Author Topic: Old Dreams  (Read 215 times)

bloodless

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Old Dreams
« on: August 25, 2023, 10:56:44 AM »
The comfortable numbness of unconsciousness slowly resolved itself to pinpricks of light, the coldness of clean bedsheets, a parched throat and a developing throbbing pain. No, not developing, merely delayed she vaguely realized as the noonday glare began to strain squinted eyes. The groan and stir must have drawn attention for a shadow mercifully came over her. A sharp nose, long ago broken, high cheeks, a pointy chin, and deep hazel eyes that were inspecting something with practiced precision. Herself, came the belated realization. The features came together to form a face, and the face was connected with a name at the same time as a fresh jolt of pain saw her hiss through gritted teeth. Following the other's gaze, she peered down to see the multitude of sutures that lined her arms, and if the pain was to be believed, that was only half of it.

"Rest, child," came the man's voice, deep and soothing as a parent's ought to be. That stray thought teased out indignity from somewhere deep within, and she seized on it instead of obeying as she knew she should. Focusing on that little ember, she forced herself awake and took painful stock of her surroundings. The house interior was unfamiliar to her, but its inhabitant and his few possessions left little room for confusion - the druid who lived on the village's border. "That you survived the beating you took is a small miracle in itself," he continued softly, prompted by what must have been visible confusion. But the words were enough, and the scattered memories flooded back, of fangs and claws, of fists and clubs. Her indignation grew into something darker, more bitter, and far more primal, and before she knew it, it had left her lips.

"If I'd been one of yours, you'd have rescued me." She believed it, and couldn't help herself. Besides, why should she? It felt good, it gave the pain a focus, a way out. "And you'd have used your magic to heal me, not this..." The word she swallowed, but the grimace and weak shake of her hand were plenty to convey it. She was highborn, after all, entitled to better than crude needle and thread. When he did not reply, she turned to look at him, and grew immediately silent. The frown that crossed his features was like nothing she had seen before. As a parent's ought to be, something told her. "If you had been one of mine," he began with a treacherously calm tone, "I would have simply left you for the wolves to feast."

Lierin slowly roused from her reverie, rested but frowning. She knew why she was reliving that particular memory more than a century and a half hence, those early sprouts of the old, shallow trappings of authority. After all, had she not slipped into them once more like one does a comfortable robe just the day before? She knew, and she cared not one bit for it.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2023, 11:06:03 AM by bloodless »