Author Topic: Eliza Sorry - Walk With The Noise  (Read 944 times)

Siobhan

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Eliza Sorry - Walk With The Noise
« on: January 23, 2020, 08:13:01 PM »
It is dark. There's some dripping sound off in the distance, but it doesn't concern Eliza. Nor does the chitinous scuttling of mandibles and appendages. The spiders will keep to themselves, so long as they remain undisturbed.

This is a new habit: sitting in the dark of a cave, watching its inhabitants go about their lives. She's not sure why she keeps on coming back here, but then again, she's never been good at caring about what she needs.

There are so many names swirling in her thoughts. The faces they belong to clutter her head, masking the clarity of mind beneath. It is time to wash them away.

She measures in a breath, calculated and quiet. The air is rank with the sweetly decaying bodies that the spiders tend to, letting them ferment in poisons until some secret threshold is met and they are devoured. The scent dazes her, like a shot of whiskey on an empty stomach.

Eliza is ready now. She sets a piece of paper in front of her and begins scratching at it with charcoal. Ever mindful of her company, she keeps her etchings in time with their skittering movements. She visualizes the faces cluttering her mind, and, one by one, she writes a word, distillating them down to the emotion they evoke in her.

A strong jawline and an easy smile, framed by a red bandanna. Turning back to her, a worried look in his eye as he's swallowed by mists.
"Gratitude."

Flawlessly white hair surrounds a wicked smile. Laughter: too loud, too wild, too slurred.
"Concern."

A velvet mask, on top of a gold one, on top of a lace one, on top of countless others. Dark lines begin to creep in along the eyes.
"Curiosity."

Bloodless flesh with wisps of silver hair. Dark bruises and empty eyes. Her mouth open to scream; but, instead: gargling blood.
"Irritation."

Reddish gold hair and a reserved expression. Purple and gold silks, fluttering, like a butterfly drowning in honey.
"Pity."

A dark face, with a darker expression. Pale purple eyes, narrowed like a cat stalking a bird, that suddenly shift to satisfaction.
"Admiration."

She stares down at the mismatched words, studying them with a clinical eye, like they belonged to someone else. With deliberate, but slow, movements, she rips the paper to bits.

Her head is clear now, devoid of meaning. She grasps the hilt of a sword and tenderly draws it. A hush of breath escapes her as the blade catches a glint of light.

She stands now, leaving the paper scraps to rot, and wanders off. Her eyes dart to imaginary shadows in the dark and her steps take on a rhythmic pattern. No faces to get in the way of her visions. No distractions in her search for their source.

Siobhan

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Re: Eliza Sorry - Walk With The Noise
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2020, 10:35:13 PM »
Eliza dangles her feet over the rock ledge. Though the river is far below, she can still feel its spray spatter her boots. They have soaked through by this point. Despite the summer sun above, it is cool in this cave and she shivers as she loses heat through her dampened feet.

The physical discomfort calms her: a pinpoint of sensation in a swirling convergence of thought. When did the winds in her mind turn into a storm? They have always been whistling through her ears. She has put great effort in steering her path according to their warning gusts, staying one step ahead of their fury. But now, they have caught up, on all sides.

Her hands rest on her lap. They cradle an incense burner, left cold. There is a faded scent that still lingers in residual oil, though it is masked by a layer of dust that clings to it in disuse. She hunches over it, eyes fixed on the few flakes of brown rust that cling to its bowl.

"Fears." She names the imaginary winds in a murmur to the iron dish, then furtively glances to the side like she expects something to jump out at her. Partway through the motion, she seems to realize what she is doing. Her brow furrows in disappointment at her weakness. With deliberate hands, she pulls the dish up close and mutters into it. "Surrounded by fears..."

"Body."
The image of a basement flashes through her mind, damp but comfortable, with a long table illuminated by a single, flickering candle. Most of the chairs are empty, but at the head of the table: a spider. The dancing light casts its shadow all across the room in weaving strands. They creep closer and closer until-

"Mind."
A different basement, dark and abandoned, its colours strangled by a whispering void. Ebbs and flows as the unearthly voices fade in and out of focus. But solidity behind it all; a menacing comfort humming soft words. And a pact, sealed with sanity.

"Soul."
Figures circle a pulsating orb in a stoccastic rhythm. Five black stones guide their dance, slick with a sticky gleam. In the center - a dagger. It flies up and around, on unseen wings, in tune with the figures below. Then, with a sudden flip, the blade hurls itself into her, diving into her core. The image flashes ruby red, then fades away.

As her words echo into silence, the halfling holds her head bowed down and wrenches her eyes shut. She shudders as her imagination runs wild with what might be lurking behind her, but she holds herself still. She will not look. She will walk with this weight behind her. She will drag it, if she has to.

Eliza opens her eyes and blows out a puff of breath. It picks up the dust in the bowl and carries it out in a swirl over the undergound river. She watches the mote dissapate, then picks herself up off the ledge.

With soggy footsteps, she walks further into the cave. She does not look back.

Siobhan

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Re: Eliza Sorry - Walk With The Noise
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2020, 09:38:23 PM »
A distant whistle echoes through the cave. There is some trapped draft that filters its way further into the tunnels and Eliza leans into the noise. The wavering drone is familiar. That soothing sound used to lull her to sleep, for many nights, so long ago. It is a comfort, but by now she has learned what it really is:  a weakness.

Comfort dulls the senses and clouds the mind. It swaddles us in soft cloth, so that we can't feel the harsh reality of the cold stone floor, of the waiting rope, of the task at hand. There is no room for self-indulgent pity in what she is about to do.

Eliza is by herself, but she does not feel alone. She knows there is more, beyond the shapes and colours that her eyes see. A dark tapestry - the foundation of it all - that pierces through the edges of her vision. Within those woven threads is where existance lies. Anything and everything else is a scattered projection. Nothing more than the limitations of a mortal mind, twisting the ephemeral into the material because that is all it can understand.

Her certainty has accelerated these last few weeks. Questions cycling into answers, then reforming into new questions, in a spiralling loop. They lead down, and down, endlessly, in a funnel towards some overwhelming truth, still so far out of reach. Each spin of the spiral brings her closer. But each spin has a toll for entry. It is in finding that cost, then embracing it, where the circle breaks and the next question begins.

"Self."
Under the night's sky, a name, spoken. Words from a monster made mundane, they strike and all the pieces are seared, electrified. Cannot deny what is connected: the heart beat of the past still ticks, like gears of a clock, grinding forwards. Acceptance, of the crushing pain. Refusal, to be worn away.

"Solitude."
Red, red, nothing but red. Trapped. Hello? ... silence. Stifled. Suffocated. All threads, clamped and muted. Terminal oblivion, the end - then, the world shatters under the heel of a boot. Spirit springs back, but the veil, thinned, now. The mirror, cracked. Veins of insidious connection, between shape and shade, brought to focus. Never truly alone.

"Rage."
Where this spiral leads, a precarious tightrope; down, down, and down. To balance the gap, between the reflection and the self? The deepest, utmost desire of the heart. There, where shape becomes shade and back again. A stunted flame, fanned, in bloody mania. The headrush of violence and its cold aftermath.

"Faith."
A stone slab, blanketed in chains. Trap or nest? Belief, what switches the answer; then sealed with powdered ambition. The first step, blind. The next, in wonder. Obvious, the hindsight of where lines led, threaded through the corners of her. Clarity, where the spiral leads, entwined in an abyss.

The halfing takes a deep breath. Spread out before her is a woven net of rope, knotted and spiralled all across the cavernous floor. It is irregular, like a spiderling's first web, but she imagines a pattern to its disorder. She knows very well that the map of it in her head is flawed. She will have to improvise her steps and like anything worth doing, there is no guarantee of success.

Eliza focuses on that unfettered rage and its promise of bliss, pushing aside any trace of regret, pity, or softness. She shuts off her thoughts to fully loose herself into the wild emotion. And then, and only then, does she take a first spinning step upon the interconnected ropes.

The creak of twine and her softly shuffling steps join the whistle of the air current. Together, they almost form a melody. But there is no child to lull to sleep anymore. Children do not survive long, alone in the dark.

Siobhan

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Re: Eliza Sorry - Walk With The Noise
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2020, 02:36:45 PM »
The orchard is bright in the early morning sunrise, almost unbearably so. Eliza's eyes are still mired in remnants of the night's dark, so she shields them under the wide brim of her hat. This place has not changed at all since her freshly misted footsteps first stumbled across it. The grove is still sheltered from the wind and the mild breeze still rustles the branches in that soothing pattern. Birds flicker across the trees in song as they rummage for seeds and insects. Muffled laughter can be heard in the distance - a farming family greeting the day.

The halfling's fingers twitch. It feels wrong, that this place should be untouched by latent trauma. There seems to be a contented peace here and she can't find the fault line. She can't see where the illusion breaks down, where the dark tapestry seeps through...

The winds picks up, filtering through her scarves to chill her damp cheeks. Comfort is an illusion, it has to be. Because if it's not, the weight of what she's destroyed would crush her.

But illusions can be useful, so long as you keep an eye on the face behind the mask. She understands that now, though it is far too late to solve anything. Maybe there was a time, when a hushed conversation in a gilded hall over delicacies and wine could have shifted into indulgence, and then a quiet truth. She takes a deep breath in to stop herself from following this train of thought. Eliza didn't come here to wallow in self-indulgent woe.

There's an ornate bottle on her lap, with a sliver of ruby red liquid left in it. Eliza runs a fingertip over its grooves and angles, as she tongues a wound on her lower lip.

"You saw." She murmurs softly, voice lost in the breeze and birdsong. "The shapes in the dark. Understood them, and they, understood you." She wrenches her eyes closed and recites words in a different tone, a slippery cooing noise. "Never give up the lead. Always, maintain one step ahead." She tilts her head up, as if to curse the sky, then shifts back to her usual voice. "Failed to teach you, that."

The admission calms her. The halfling begins to dig at the dirt, prying up pebbles and roots with her fingernails as she makes a small burrow. She lines it with a soft black cloth, then a burnished gold one. Finally, she cradles the bottle into the hollow.

"Somewhere with birds," she whispers to the liquid within the glass, then swaddles the loose ends of cloth around it. She sets herself to hiding it, pressing cold earth back into the burrow, packing it back into the flat ground of the orchard.

Eliza rests her hands over the spot and holds her breath. She is utterly focused on the chittering of sparrows and robins above. The halfling stays that way, still and silent, until her lungs burn.

With a gasped inhale, she stands. Her hands move to her stomach, smoothing over creases so that her leathers lie flat against her. Eliza turns her head, to look at the darkened ground behind her, though there is nothing unusual there.

"Never truly alone." She reminds herself, hands still fussing at her midsection.

A sudden shriek of laughter from the far side of the trees interrupts her. With quickened footsteps, she slips through the fence line and away, unwilling to catch the attention of the farmers. This isn't a place where she belongs.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2020, 04:04:27 PM by Siobhan »

Siobhan

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Re: Eliza Sorry - Walk With The Noise
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2020, 04:11:50 PM »
Eliza stands, in the dark. Her tiny world is bounded by four walls and the illusion of a door. She knows better, than to focus on the apparent exit and the muffled noises beyond. They don't exist, they can't exist.

There is just her and here. The rattle of a chain as she takes a deeper breath, or the scuffle of her bare foot as she adjusts her balance.

She walked into this room with open eyes. The moment she stepped onto that caravan, this is where her path led - frozen and still, while words percolate overhead.

But those words cannot be heard, here. Within this room, there are simply memories that pulse with each beat of her heart. The scattered collection of a lifetime, held between these four walls. She tries not to dwell on faces. Acknowledging those names that are dear to her would break her down, and she needs to be still, frozen in tranquility.

Because the noise outside is real. She will be called to walk upon it again.

Siobhan

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Re: Eliza Sorry - Walk With The Noise
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2021, 04:01:00 PM »
The halfling is perched within a pile of ornamental coin. She has curled up upon herself as she stares in an unblinking trance at the floor. The room surrounding her is trashed and abandoned. Fractures of a once exquisite table are littered across the scene, the wood corroded and twisted to uselessness. The local rats have run amuck, nesting into the crooks and crannies of the chamber as they feed of the pungent detritus of food stores.

Despite this havoc, Eliza's attention fixates upon a single stain on the tiling below. Some sort of brown ichor was smeared across the floor in a viscous mess. There are little paw prints on the edges where vermin have tested the substance, but the center remains undisturbed, desiccated into a glossy finish.

The spindly movement of a shape behind her breaks the tranquility of the room. Black tendrils rise up from the dark beneath Eliza and coalesce into a silhouette. The resulting figure is reminiscent of the halfling's shape, but twisted into a swaying posture. The sentient shade wraps her arms around the halfling from behind with a tender affection.

Eliza shivers instinctively from the sepulcherous touch, but otherwise doesn't seem to mind. She continues her vigil with intent focus, watching the play of light dance across the ichor stain.

He denied you, my Mother.

The shade's head is pressed close against the halfling's as the words materialize in Eliza's thoughts. She bites at her lower lip, hard, while sinuous insinuations continue to trickle through her.

He murdered you here. You were nothing to him - a bystander casualty.
But...
... he wasn't nothing to you, was he?

A cracking sound echoes throughout the room as Eliza hurls a chair leg as far as she can, without aim. Her eyes are wild with a fury as her attention snaps back to the stain on the floor.

You wanted him to know you,
Like how I know you:
Rage and Beauty.

She takes a shaking breath and closes her eyes. The halfling leans back into her companion, though it is in a controlled motion. Eliza knows that the silhouette behind her is without body. The shade tightens its chilled grip around the small woman, as words continue to flow through Eliza's mind.

You went to his lair after,
Alone.
You asked for what you needed.
"Pain, not death."
BUT HE DENIED YOU.

Eliza's eyes spring open. Her pupils are dilated strangely, like she's looking through the floor to something she imagines below it.

And so, my Mother,
In the weeks later,
You proved to be not nothing.
You were his death.

The shade detangles its arms from Eliza with serpentine grace. A dark hand lingers over her cheek in endearment before the silhouette fades away, merging itself back into Eliza's shadow. The halfling lets out a slow exhale and her eyes regain focus upon what is real, rather than being lost in imagination.

There's a soft clinking of metal as she pulls herself to her feet and out of the pile of decorative coinage. She traverses the room to the door with deliberate steps. Just before opening it, she glances back to the ichor stain - there is now a single, but perfect, outline of her boot in the middle of it. Her mouth twitches upwards, briefly, then her expression settles into flatness. Eliza leaves the room to the rats, locking the door behind her.