Fantasy Character Castle Chronicles n.1
August 14, 2021 at 2:37 pm #136985
‘Thus says the Lord who created you…’
The written words fell into a pattern in his mind as he repeated them over and over again but it didn’t seem to get the images out of his head, or slow his skipping pulse. It’s not wretched this time he could handle it, but he already overreacted and they can’t afford this right now. ‘He who formed you, who wrestled with God,’
Get a grip.
Alessio glanced a Lupa and at everyone, his first instinct was to run. Being alone was isolating, fractured with thoughts but it meant it was over. The abuse was over…for a while…Nithel moved to him and Alessio instinctively followed him with his eyes a few moments like a last hope. It was over it was over it was over–
Then the girl spoke. His eyes flick to the white knuckles of her fists, probably taunt with memory.
“The only one – I need to look after – is me. No one else – matters.” She hissed, glaring into with dead eyes. “That – how I survive. Understand? That is – life.”
How many times had that pumped like adrenaline through his brain? And you couldn’t get words to shut up the constant, constant drumming of fear, fight and flight. His father had always told him only a coward wouldn’–
“True again,” The dragon rumbled, and yawned a vicious array of teeth (wonder what he’d think if Alessio told him no dragons in Casumbra were sentient and the rite of becoming an adult at fourteen involved killing as ferocious as seadragon as could be obtained from the waters…). “But I’m weary of this debate. We’re all stubborn enough that none of us will convince the others of our opinion. Besides, wouldn’t it be best for us to work together rather than become divided?”
We’re already divided when we survive only for ourselves…His dark eyes skidded to the girl. Words never…never worked, people hardly changed no one he can think of. And he had tried, so hard, for so long, to help someone who–
‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name.
You are mine.’
Then why have You left me with this hell?
That’s not…probably not something he could think about rationally right now. Nithel didn’t say anything, Alessio suddenly realized he was waiting for him to speak. And Alessio didn’t know what he could say, he was just as desperate and lost…
“Fair enough,” He said just above a whisper to the dragon. But he turns and kneels in front of the girl. There were words, arguments, reasons but they were dead. You don’t want this life, defend it as much as you want you don’t want it. It’s not about explaining that it’s possible to find something better, Alessio didn’t believe it then at all. That was a fairytale for someone who’s lived in nightmares and nowhere else.
What words could you say?
“I understand,” he said, quietly. After second’s hesitation, he slid the hood off his scarred face. It’s been years since he had willingly avoided doing as much as he could to conceal the crisp red scar hooked from his forehead to his left eyebrow from the sharp end of a hot poker. “That’s how my parents survived.”
There’s a long pause. Alessio never talked about it, he said said the man’s name never thought it, never said a word about his parents if he could help it. Just shut up and take it, nobody could help anyway.
“I only knew my mother, I was born while her husband was away. I probably have more siblings than I know of but I happened to be born at just the right time for her.”
If that’s what it was. If maybe it wasn’t just that she was getting old enough she was afraid she wouldn’t have a doll to play with if she passed off another child. Maybe he was just lucky..
“He knew as much as she did about me, but it wasn’t worth the scandal to disown me for that.” Alessio would go no farther in the story, not what she did, how she died, how she…
“Something changes in you when the only people you know are monsters.” he murmured. His thoughts halted as he realized she’d understand without him trying–and failing–to explain. Because no one ever understood if they hadn’t experienced it. But the words, having the words…Alessio even found himself thinking how had the wizard said it?
“You never know if you’ve become a monster to survive, and feeling guilt? Does it even matter if the only thing feeling guilty does is stop you from protecting yourself? You do what it takes to survive and you’re guilty, you don’t and you’re guilty and one day you wonder if maybe you just like the pain…”
‘I know a dirty secret about you.’ He had said. ‘You want to be hurt, it makes you feel safe because it’s all you’ve ever known. For all your fighting you want to be the victim.’
“But you can’t…idealize hate…and pain. No glory, no safety..” Alessio struggled to keep his voice from cracking. Perhaps she understood, perhaps he was searching for that…that only the broken ones understood. “But you never survive it, even if you live.”
That’s all he could handle from his past right now. He felt sick with the pounding in his head and the thudding of his heart. And maybe he just had a hero complex trying to talk to her, maybe that’s why so often… And yet. One last word.
“I never thought you could walk away. But you can,” he said “and I’ll be here when you’re ready to try.”
Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underageAugust 14, 2021 at 5:04 pm #136995Neasa@irishcelticredflowercrown
Mayra was stunned. Her lips were pressed into a thin line, so so hard it hurt. She couldn’t walk away. Even if she tried. She couldn’t change.
He had said he would be there for her. There – for <i>her</i>. Mayra. The Bloody Mink. Murphy’s Hound. The Little Monster. She squeezed her eyes shut. There was no way he would understand. No way.
Even though he had just poured his heart out to her – she couldn’t find it in herself to care. That was how it was with her. She was unable to empathise, feel anything towards others. But she could feel a sense of – she recognised the pain in his voice. The dead look in his eyes. The sadness of his turned down mouth. The desolation in his posture.
He was similar to her in almost every way. They were so alike. And yet-
She took a shallow breath, lifted her chin and stared above his head. “I – born like this,” she pointed at her scarred face, shrugging. “I think. But – people scared. They see – a creature. Not a girl. So – I steal. Lie. Hurt. Fight.”
She held out her palm, psionic energy swimming above it. “Hunt. And – torture. Because – that is all I can do.”
She met the boy’s gaze – Alessio was his name. “I – cannot – change.”
Alessio just gazed at her silently. Letting her speak.
Nothingness filled her head. Her heart beat against her chest, speeding up. “There is – a man,” she whispered into the silence. <i>No! </i>her inner voice screamed. <i>What are you doing? Shut up shut up shut up-</i>
“A bad man. Lots of money. Kills. Steals. He – has power. Great power. And I – his dog. I do dirty work – and – and-“
<i>Shut up shut up shut up Mayra shut up don’t say it be quiet say nothing-</i>
She choked then, her lungs squeezing together as if a belt had been wrapped around it. Why – why was she telling them this? Why was she shaking? Why was she letting her guard down? She wanted to sink into the ground and let it suffocate her.
The image of him manifested in her vision. His reptilian smile, his glinting blue eyes and perfect blonde hair. Her gut churned and her nails bit into her arms. Even now she couldn’t escape him. Even now-
She let out a soft sound as something in her caved in. Her mouth moved of its own accord, letting out the truth. “I – his toy. He does – what he wants – with me.”
She met Alessio’s gaze slowly, watching as the truth of the hell that was her life dawned on him.
Mayra squeezed her arms hard, but didn’t flinch. She couldn’t even cry anymore. She had no hope. No joy. No sense of value in life.August 16, 2021 at 8:08 pm #137039
“I – born like this,” She tilted her head staring over him as she motioned to her scars with a dead shrug. “I think. But – people scared. They see – a creature. Not a girl. So – I steal. Lie. Hurt. Fight.”
His abilities. They had called it monstrous, broken, unnatural. They saw a pawn. A weapon. A threat. (
A child.) He understood, more than anyone should he understood.
“Hunt. And – torture. Because – that is all I can do.” The red energy swirled in her palm. He remembered… that place/situation. The kids –you wouldn’t believe how much young killers confide in you–they said it’d start with training, training until they were good, knew enough.
Then it wasn’t training anymore it was survival, they weren’t matches simulating the fight it was kill or be killed. You had to fight dirty or die, they’d be able to convince themselves it was self-defense enough. More fighting more dying until it was just the only thing they were good at and then you’re so used to it you don’t really need that excuse anymore, you take a life in advance to even the odds and pretty soon you find it doesn’t even faze you anymore. You kill. Because that’s what you’re supposed to do, it’s all you know.
I understand. When does doing what it takes to survive become a sin? He held her gaze and he saw her, deep into her soul. It’s ok. I’ll listen.
“I – cannot – change.” She could. And somewhere inside her she knew it. But her eyes flashed with pain, he could already see a face imprinted on her mind like a skeletal Reaper before she formed any words. It was breaking apart, instincts to survive and desperate fear. It was wrong, it was so wrong, any person who would do that to someone else, trap them in that kind of hell–
“There is – a man,” Her whisper sped as the words slipped out as if racing her own thoughts to say it before she shut down. “A bad man. Lost of money. Kills. Steals. He – has power. Great power. And I – his dog. I do dirty work – and – and –”
Her body caved into a broken sob that didn’t come out but tore her insides instead. Alessio hated him, the man who had done this to her. And even–even now he just couldn’t believe someone would be so so cruel and heartless. He’d vowed with every breath in his heart never again, never never would someone treat someone else the way they’d treated him. No one else should endure this, please.
“I – his toy. He does – what he wants – with me.” Her words barely made it out, and the only thing he could hear was her shaky, forced breath. But her eyes turn up just a bit, devoid of life, staring into his. Anger was reflected in his eyes, a fury at the man. Not surprise, to tell the truth he wasn’t at all surprised, those people always seemed to have a sixth sense for wounded people they could prey on.
“No,” Alessio said in a very low voice. Slowly, he touched her shoulder as gently as if he couldn’t even breath, but also firmly. “Look at me; you will get out. I won’t let him hurt you.”
She probably gave a raspy laugh at the idea, but Alessio was past noticing anything other than the fear that was consuming her. And this wasn’t something he’d have ever thought of doing if he hadn’t known exactly how it felt to break down. He wasn’t good with touch but he wrapped his arms around her shoulders and held her as well as you could someone curled into a ball.
“Listen.” He whispered where no one else could hear, holding her tightly. “I know you can’t believe me now, but I promise you can get out. I promise.”
Suddenly the words weren’t to comfort her as much as himself. Suddenly his grasp around her shaking body was as much his own fear as it was protectiveness. And suddenly the images he’d tried so hard to suppress were all he could see, like a sword caving his chest, twisting his mind. Alessio never said his name, never thought it, burned every memory every thought and it wasn’t enough.
“Listen, you’re not alone.” ‘How long will it take for you to understand you’re alone and no one cares?’ “I care–I’ll be there–I promise…You’re not alone, you’re not the only one–…”
He said it.
He already started to say it–no!–It’s already out…it’s already…it’s…
It was cold it was so cold the room was always cold everything was. Maybe that was just a normal temperature to most people but losing his ability always made everything cold. So cold he could almost feel a blizzard through his insides, it always made him so nauseous that’s almost all he could remember. Breathe…breathe…breathe, it’s ok, it’s over, it’s ok.
‘Thus says the Lord who made you, who wrestles with God. Fear not..’ Perhaps comforting someone else creates a sort of calm or strength you can’t get anywhere else. But he held her like there was some sore of assurance in being held, like he could really protect her from the monsters inside of them. He finally spoke in an even, almost detached voice even though he knew his eyes were wet and everything a blur.
“I loved someone who killed…for pleasure.” The only tick that gave away the pain was how long he paused between the words, so soft not a soul other than her would’ve heard it. “depending on how you define love. I guess. … I didn’t know anything about who he really was. … Or maybe. I didn’t want to see it.”
He hadn’t had anyone else to turn to. Childhood friend, his mother trusted him even his father wasn’t opposed to him. Everyone fell for him. And Alessio hadn’t had anyone else to turn to. What kind of fourteen-year-old wouldn’t have believed the best of the only adult who had even pretended to protect him?
“But he had a lot. Of power.” ‘Fear…fear not…for I have redeem–redeemed you are mine–Mine…’ Breathe…stop just stop stop! But his voice was emotionless, his mouth was dry. “He was gay.”
He didn’t say a word after that for a long, long time.
“Listen to me,” he said inaudibly to anyone else. “I promise. We will make it out. Understand?”
Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underageAugust 17, 2021 at 6:29 am #137048Neasa@irishcelticredflowercrown
Mayra was shaking so hard, darkness eating away at her. She couldn’t understand why. Hadnt she always been taught that she had to look strong and intimidating? She was taught how to conceal her emotions, bottle them up, trained to feel nothing until it was second nature to her. So what was this-
“No,” the boy said, interrupting her thoughts. In a move that shocked Mayra to the core, he touched her shoulders. She stiffened, unsure what to make of it. He continued. “Look at me; you will get out. I won’t let him hurt you.”
She shivered as she met his determined gaze. A hoarse laugh escaped her. He couldn’t protect her. No one could.
One and half years ago. She was being chased down by the bullies in her foster home. She couldn’t remember their names. Both were girls. Both tall. One dark haired, the other blonde. And they had made it their daily routine to beat her up. Spit on her. Even use their knives on her. Usually it was just her hair. They loved the harm they caused her.
But that day it happened- she had changed. She was no longer the same. She could feel it in her bones, her muscles, every cell in her body.
Things happened. The next thing she knew, one of them was hanging upside down, suspended by reddish energy that she had created, screaming and sobbing with terror. The other was being choked as she lay on the ground, helplessly begging for mercy.
She ignored them. Determination filled her, to make them suffer, to make them feel the humiliation she felt-
Then <i>he </i>arrived. She noticed him standing fifteen yards away. A huge black car was parked down the street. He was striding towards her, dressed smartly in a dark suit. Her eyesight wasn’t great. But when he removes his sunglasses, she could see that his eyes were the coldest, most brilliant blue she had ever seen. And they tracked her.
He saw what she could do. The light in his eyes could have been mistake for reflection from the street light. But it was greed, hunger and delight all rolled into one. And his smile. That was hard to forget too.
Since that very moment they had crossed paths, she had been trapped in a repetitive circle of nightmares.
Then the boy wrapped his arms around her shoulders and the memory fell away. She let out a soft breath, her fists clenched. His arms were strong and gentle, holding her to him as if he was determined to shield her from all the bad things in the world.
No one had hugged her in so long.
“Listen,” he whispered to her. “I know you can’t believe me now, but I promise you can get out. I promise.”
She could feel him struggling to get the words out. Her eyebrows knitted together, sensing the despair in his posture, the sadness in his tone.
“Listen, you’re not alone. I care–I’ll be there–I promise…You’re not alone, you’re not the only one–…”
He was holding her tightly, unwilling to let go of her. She swallowed, finally realising why she had felt such a kinship with him the moment she had seen him. They had known similar horrors.
“I loved someone who killed…for pleasure,” he said shakily. “Depending on how you define love. I guess. … I didn’t know anything about who he really was. … Or maybe. I didn’t want to see it.”
Mayra could relate. She had wanted to believe that <i>he </i>truly cared for her. That was what <i>he</i> said to her constantly. <i>You’re nothing without me. No one could love you the way I love you. If you leave me, I will die of a broken heart.
What this boy had gone through – she felt something crack in her soul. Anger funnelled their way through her. It was cold fire, icy determination. It was the same feeling she felt everytime that monster decided to have his way with her. Resolve. To make him and others like him pay.
“But he had a lot. Of power.” He hesitated, dragged in a breath and said. “He was gay.”
She closed her eyes for a moment, pressing her lips together. What had happened to him was unspeakable. It made her fume and rage. Not for herself. But for him. This boy who had shown her nothing but kindness.
He was quiet for a long long time. Mayra didn’t know how long they had been speaking for. She looked deep into his eyes. She saw the depth of emotion in them. The pains of his past. And somehow – she didn’t feel indifference. Nor anger. She felt – something else.
“Listen to me,” he whispered quietly. “I promise. We will make it out. Understand?”
She nodded. Believing him. Because she did. She believed him. And she could recognise the wounds in his heart. It was the same wounds she had. Only time could heal them.
She swallowed, feeling like a total idiot. She was absolutely going to regret this. This power – was something she didn’t understand. And this thing she was about to do was even more so. Those who followed the old religion would say it was a gift from Anu. She just referred to it as her best possible quality.
Mayra touched her pendant for a moment, making up her mind. She would do this for the boy.
Gently she reached out and touched the place where his heart was. Then she touched his temple. The boy stared at her, eyes full of questions. She closed her eyes, and a melody fell from her throat.
Her gift couldn’t heal him. Not completely. But it could give him strength and motivation and resolve. She could take the worst of the inner pain away and replace it with something else. She had done it before. This singing ability was something she had her whole life. But she used it rarely.
The lullaby she sang was old. Very old. It had originated in Old Éire, when the folks had told stories about ghosts and fairies and giants. When foreigners invaded their land and destroyed their culture and way of life. When famine forced the natives to leave their ancestral land. The pain and longing in the words could still be felt now, centuries later. She felt her medallion hum on her skin, and she knew that it was glowing softly. Anu or not – someone divine had gifted her with this ability. To use for good.
The melismatic style she sang in was amateurish. But it still came easy to her. Perhaps because her ancestors originated on that isle.
It was working. She could feel soft, silky warmth travelling down her fingertips into the boy. He was shivering. Was he crying? She couldn’t tell.
When she finished, she took her hands back and opened her eyes. He stared at her. Unable to speak.
She let out a trembling breath and held eye contact with him. ”My name – is Mayra Brigid Eirinn Camacho,” she said softly, slowly. “My mother – was Daniela. Honored Air Force Pilot who fought and died for our freedom. I have not – tasted freedom. Never have. But – I want to.” She swallowed. “I do not – know you. But I will – help you.”August 17, 2021 at 8:07 pm #137057Kimmi@kimlikesart
Nithel watched Alessio and the girl some, but also closed his eyes. Thinking. Still stunned by the pain of Man, and all that happened.
He was glad that Alessio cared so much for her. But he flamed inside that one had hurt him, like one had the girl. But he remained silent now, feeling that all his talking had done more harm than good. So he’d remain silent for a while. Though he was thinking of his friend, a lot.
Thinking of how little himself knew, and how much he still had to learn.
*also hoping the dragon wasn’t listening in on the two youths, but assumes he is* *at first angry, then begins to wonder about the dragon, and his pain*
Passion = A Willingness To SufferAugust 19, 2021 at 2:07 pm #137081
She nodded and he could see the change in her eyes. Maybe that was the one good thing that came from hell, it lent a power to words more than the words themselves could. But saying so much he already regretted it he wanted to back out. It was worth it, if it helped her.
All those nights, those endless hours cut off. He…he was so used to charming, manipulating his way, maybe he’d convinced himself even that he actually loved Alessio. As if…as if love was obsession, was so possessive there was no…
He…never touched Alessio, exactly. Or, all the way…? He tried to, oh he–As if making someone too scared to refuse was consent. ‘You can’t just abandon me now! I knew it, I just knew it, you think I’m not good enough for you?’ It was so much he didn’t want to talk about, didn’t want to think about, didn’t even want to go through any subtle distinctions between a relationship that raped his soul.
Maybe…maybe he was wrong to phrase it that way. He wasn’t thinking clearl–
She touched a pendant around her neck, and gently touched his heart. That surprised him, Alessio stared at her, uncertainly and she touched his temple. Why? No one had given him any kind touch in so long…
Then she started singing, it was the most beautiful thing he’d ever heard. Ancient, aching with pain. But there was something clear and soft broken between the notes. Perhaps it was…hope?
Somehow, the song was full of memory. It was cold…it was…He had isolated Alessio, so much, even he was almost welcome if it was just some sort of human contact. That was the very, very deepest pain; he didn’t know if he counted as human anymore. Consent…abuse…the lines were so blurred by manipulation and experience, maybe it was just who he was. That made people break him. That he was untouchable, an emotional leper. And love, kindness just didn’t exis…
But the song seemed to touch that, softly.
‘You’re not alone, you’re not the only one–’ Had he really thought that before, and truly believed it? Unlovable, that was the skip in every single thought, like a corrupted segment of code or a virus. It wasn’t even conscious but it was in every little detail every little section of his mind. And her music almost wanted to call it out.
‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you.
I have called you by name…you are mine.’
He’d never felt a meaning in the words, just a comfort. (No one would care about him, individually) But, then…he was staring at her. Touching his head and his heart, the two pieces that had always been divided by terror. And slowly…he wasn’t untouchable…or unlovable.
Alessio was there and it was hard to believe that these people cared. But he believed it…
Tears blurred his eyes, and for once he didn’t even think to try and hide it. This was what Nithel had been trying to show him. That he was loved. That there were people who cared, maybe even a God that cared beyond all else, personally.
He stared at her as she opened her eyes. Words wouldn’t come, not even thoughts hardly. Only reviewing every action every person here had done that affected him. Nithel was protective of him, Brendin…had helped him, had even offered to teach him to use his powers, Jericho had done what she could to comfort him and he had seen it, just never been able to truly believe it. And now she–Alessio didn’t even know her name–the girl he tried to comfort. Had healed something he hadn’t even hoped to ever heal.
She let out a shaky breath and stared back at him. How much had it drained her? Why had she done it? Why…
“My name – is Mayra Brigid Eirinn Camacho,” She–Mayra, said softly. “My mother – was Daniela. Honored Air Force Pilot who fought and died for our freedom. I have not – tasted freedom. Never have. But – I want to.”
Alessio had never wanted to find freedom for someone so much, since the slave-girl at that…place. If there were anything he could do to give her that freedom he would die for it. And Mayra swallowed before continuing, reaching out of everything she’d known to some frail chance at hope.
“I do not – know you. But I will – help you.”
She had already helped him, so much deeper than…Alessio wondered if the song worked for her, but didn’t want to ask in case it didn’t. Perhaps, that was always it; a gift that could be given but never used. He could never find the right words to express gratitude, it always seemed to fall flat when every little kindness was so much more than he ever expected.
“You won’t have to fight alone.” He said finally, and meant it more than anything. It suddenly registered he hadn’t even told her his name and that was the easiest thing to think to say so he added. “I’m Alessio.. Eliakim, at your service.”
How long had it been since he’d given anything more than his first name (and that often unwillingly)?
He was officially completely out of his element now.
Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underageAugust 26, 2021 at 5:20 pm #137215Kimmi@kimlikesart
Nithel still sits and does the same thing.
Then it occurs to him that he didn’t finish passing out food. Maybe the wolf-girl wanted some… And the dragon.
*doesn’t move yet, though*
*was worried the castle was going to do something to them again*
Passion = A Willingness To SufferSeptember 1, 2021 at 1:58 pm #137341
Lord Castle was waiting until night. He figured it might be more entertaining if they got a chance to be rested before the next disaster hit…
It was a long time before Alessio could think of anything to say. He searched Mayra’s mismatched, shiny eyes for every flicker of hope or peace, so determined to give her something real, a real hope. He’d never wanted to help someone so much…
It’s getting late in the day. Should they get moving or try to take a break? Alessio’s deepest survival instinct was the never stop, never slow down if you could help it, never stop running or going forward or just going. But right now, all Alessio wanted was to stop, and breath in some measure of safety he’d never felt before that he could barely believe was real.
“Well…it’s getting dark, maybe we should take shifts standing guard through the night.” He suggested to no one in particular, defaulting to logic whenever he couldn’t figure out how to handle his emotions. But he didn’t move, he really didn’t know what to do now. Alessio had never felt so bewildered, he didn’t want to leave Mayra he didn’t know what to say or do he’d never felt such a connection that…that hadn’t completely terrified him ever since…
Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underage
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