Wapun Meadow learning that i’m deserving of love and the peaceful heart
Private  October 01, 2019, 09:01 AM
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the black doe’s trail continued steadily westward, down through the isolated pines of bearclaw and into the snow-dotted expanse of wapun meadow. how many times had indra stood on this tundrian frontier, with marten, and merrick, and lucas, and nunataq? for a moment the redleaf forgot her chase, and reveled in the crisp morning air where memories stirred like fog on the wind, gone yet not entirely forgotten.

she walked past the plains where she had played with nunataq; past the stone where her family had once stood and played. past the pines that curled around the meadow like evergreen cowls — where once, she had met tadec and he had briefly made her life complete.

reminiscing here between the bright rags of snow and pine straw, indra lifted her gaze and solemnly looked between a pair of birch boughs where the doe’s tracks disappeared. the hunger in her gut, pressed like a knife’s edge within, had been replaced with a quiet sense of desperate purpose. the hind, a strange phantom to re-emerge from her past, was only just below; indra knew wapun’s territory well, and recognized the small landmarks that spoke to a hidden stream obscured beneath the knoll. she would catch her breath here, and resume her hunt once she was sure the doe had moved on.
October 01, 2019, 10:01 AM
        merrick watched her move toward the glistening ribbon of water, eyes boring through the veil of snow that settled gently upon his coat. 
        in her body he had been held; he gazed with mingled longing and disdain upon the far-flung vision of her russet figure, for he had never forgotten her form, her scent, the expression of her eyes. within merrick, some small child cried, and he closed his eyes tightly, tightly, before turning his gaze to the shadow at his side.
        they had ventured from the nightwalkers under guise of fulfilling vengeance's ideal, and now the boy drew a thin breath and began down into the meadow, now touched with early frost. mice, gathering the last seeds to be found, scattered beneath his broad paws, but merrick had eyes only for ever-steady form of indra.
        indra indra indra in —
        "mother," the boy breathed when he and his companion had drawn within earshot. 
        the wings of a caged bird fluttered dully in the narrow, boyish chest, and merrick was surprised to find tears welling within his eyes. but they were not for the relief of a new greeting, nor the chastisment of his mother for having left; 
        rage burned behind his gaze and drove the last of the waters forth, so that his cheeks grew wet even as he offered indra a small smile that forgave all her transgressions against him.
        she reeked of the original sin, his birth.
        how he pined for her so in this moment.

[Image: snake2.png]
October 01, 2019, 10:37 AM
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around her, snow fell in muted silence; soon the tracks — her tracks — would be covered as a new whiteness looked favorably upon the world.

she moved to rustling stream, its chilled edges dark. here the snow pared off, white fading into blackened and damp earth.

lowering her head to the scintillating surface indra heard a soft step set towards her. a chill slithered its way down her spine, its presence unwelcome. she was alone — off guard — her hackles rose in thin tufts, shifting the snow that settled along her thin shoulders.

she waited with dread in her heart as the form made itself known; those eyes, dark yet familiar and —

merrick? indra asked into the eerily stilled forest, her voice weighed down by trepidation soon flooded with hope. what was he doing here? the doe she had followed was swift forgotten, for her son!

a quiet cry left her lips, a whimper of despair discarded — how she had searched for him, and now he appeared..

yet he seemed changed, and was not the child she remembered. he was older, but unmistakably still her son. the only thing indra could not reconcile about his reappearance was the maddening way he regarded her; something disturbed seemed to linger behind his gilded stare.

it was as if indra looked upon merrick then for the first time; her mahogany eyes widening, drinking in every minutia with a strange sense of dread. so focused was she, she did not even notice the shadow that lurked behind him. merrick, honey — what’s wrong? her voice carried a terse edge to it, stung by a mother’s guilt on the assumption something awful had befallen her darling boy, and she had not been there to stop it.
October 01, 2019, 10:50 AM
        a scream rose high and thin in merrick's conscience.
        how dare she address him with such maternal affection? how dare she say his name, look upon him
        look — merrick gazed into the worried stare of the woman who had given him breath, and saw there, finally, recognition. it was something that nunataq had fled; this coiled thing that plagued each step, each dream, each waking hour.
        she had created the serpent-scales in her womb —!
        indra had created him —!
        "i'm just relieved to see you," merrick answered, blinking to dispel the tension of her loving words, though the sound of them clung to his eardrums and dredged up a thick sense of regret
        why had she not treated him so before?
        "this is my companion. she's been with me a while, mother," the boy murmured, sidling aside so that astara might show herself. 
        she has made me whole, spoke his stare beneath the layers of false warmth he had bundled atop its icy veneer.

[Image: snake2.png]
October 01, 2019, 10:58 AM
astara watched her companion prowl towards his birth-giver, a hooded malevolence simmering in her gaze.

this was but a grotesque play, a hunt of the most hellish proportions — she would shuffle forth to give life to her part to play, and then like a discarded piece, slide back to shadows when it was all over.

contempt bridled her features as she watched the woman — the woman who to astara, seemed a threat to her spot in merrick’s heart. merrick’s mother was not much to look at, she surmised. raggedly, tired — yet she recognized in the woman the self-same turbulence she often saw sorrow merrick’s eyes.

astara’s gaze was hard as she lurched forward, flanking merrick in a manner both abrupt and possessive.

mine, her posture spoke.

mine, and no one else’s.

»» they may promise you that the river ain't too deep. ««
October 01, 2019, 11:28 AM
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indra fancied she saw something shift in merrick’s gaze, uncoiling — and then whatever serpent shade it was that riddled his eyes seemed gone. 

of course it was; she was so silly to think it was ever there in the first place — such a fretful, stupid woman. it was her son, her sweet darling boy — all this time in the wilds had made her a jumpy, paranoid beast.

guilt flooded her senses, sinking quick in the pit of her stomach. how could she have looked at him that way? as his mother?

a relieved smile, tinged with slight shame, threaded its way across her features. the defensiveness fluttered away, replaces by pure and unadulterated joy to see her son once more. it was just merrick; her boy. merrick, one eyed (and she would ask about that later, but still...), but here..

her baby, beloved boy.

me too, she breathed happily into that tense atmosphere, while little snowflakes doused her muzzle, hanging on the dark tips of her eyelashes. merrick, i missed you so much, i— she took a step forward to embrace him, and it was then he spoke of a companion, halting her steps. indra pulled back as a small figure pulled alongside merrick, darker even than the shadows that mutely flickered under the pines. indra’s gaze flickered from the wolf to merrick, a look of slow confusion dawning upon her countenance.

the girl, if she could be called that, looked at her in such a way it chilled indra to her bones. what had she done to deserve such a cold demeanor? indra tried to smile, tried to defuse the iciness that crept into the mood. hello, she attempted, vying for some shade of warmth in those fathomless eyes that stared back, unfeeling as a blackened pool. indra looked to merrick helplessly as no answer came, just an indifferent stare.

unsure, and trying so hard to hold onto her wuthering composure, indra connected the dots. this companion, mute — maybe a replacement for nunataq, or perhaps even ... reigi..?

she doesn’t talk? indra asked, feeling apprehension slip through her skin. she was not sure she approved — or even understood. giving the ‘companion’ ample time to answer of her own accord, indra felt an iciness grip her heart. she doesn’t talk. she repeated, her voice suddenly as cooled as the streamwater that gurgled aside them.
October 01, 2019, 11:42 AM
        astara — merrick lay his eyes upon her and was soothed. but when he looked back to indra, the expression there charred his brief happiness into cinders. disapproving; the privilege of a woman who had once called him her son. the shadow was silent; the boy felt her coldness collide with that of his mother in a silent clash of mutual dislike.
        "no," he answered for astara. "she doesn't need to speak."
        but he was not gazing at his beloved nightshade now; the slow burn of his eyes had fixed themselves to indra again. she was the forge by which he had been formed; she was the anvil and the hammer that had meted out the rot that rose now to choke him.
        "mother," and here a thousand miseries came to pass as he stared at her, beginning to tremble with the intensity of feeling that coursed through him, through all of him.
        "it's time for me to live." his tone had assumed a pleading he did not intend, but it was there all the same; merrick's lips twitched with a bone-deep relief. surely, surely indra would assure him he deserved the life he wished.
        was she not his mother, after all?

[Image: snake2.png]
October 01, 2019, 11:58 AM
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the companion returned indra’s stare in baleful silence, enmity outpouring from her dark complexion like smoke from smoldering ashes. the pure emotion in those indigo eyes speared indra to the core —

for what had she done to deserve such hate?

yet if astara’s rueful stare was the atlatl speared through her heart, why merrick’s was the guillotine; for as chanced her bewildered gaze upon him she saw hope perish in his eyes — and watched as joy’s death rose in those liquid pools.

it was time to let him live.

indra’s brow furrowed anew as she grappled with this cryptic statement. neither merrick nor the companion gave any clue to help her bumbling attempts to understand. of course, she started in a trembling exhale, unnerved by how the scene seemed to hang but by a tiny thread; if she said the wrong thing, would he leave her forever?

would he hate her forever?

of course — anything. merrick... her brows rose in vexation, the hardness of her flinty gaze softening as she spoke, a pleading of her own creeping its way into her voice. i— i don’t understand. help me understand.
October 01, 2019, 12:13 PM
        of course
        of course — he let out a breath he was not aware he had been holding, closed his eyes gently as indra pressed for the meaning of his words.
        of course of course of course the bitch couldn't just let him go.
        the serpent flicked its tongue through his stare.
        "no, you really don't," came the harsh click of his teeth. "you left me, indra. left me to go chasing kids that weren't even yours." his tone became conversational; he paced forward a step. "did you find them, mom? i hope to god you found them. i hope that the whole fucking thing was worth it."
        "anyway," merrick continued, in the same calm way despite the tears now blazing rivulets along his sable cheeks, "anyway dad left. and you left. and then nunataq left. you all left. only she stayed," he snarled malevolently, jerking his head toward astara. "only she saw this this this this thing you made me. and she stayed anyway."
        a shaking breath, rapid blinking as he fought for the rapidly disappearing measure of control. "so, mommy," he mocked, running tongue across the ridges of his teeth, "you have to die now."
        die — merrick angrily wiped away the saltwater with a fore-ankle. "i can't live till you do."

[Image: snake2.png]
October 01, 2019, 12:24 PM
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no, you really don’t. came merrick’s scathing reply, spinning indra upon her figurative heels. a gaping o of surprise claimed her lips, while anguish sunk its claws into her disbelieving eyes. 

had she done that? 

had she done all he accused..?

a flare of resentment kindled in her heart, brought forth by the childish memory of a younger indra, scarce twelve months to the day, cursing her mother’s name, her father’s memory, cursing all that had left her to die. 

it took a terrible amount of strength then, to introspectively observe merrick’s words — particularly when she felt the salty lashing of his accusations fresh against her vulnerable heart. 

she had left him. 

she had. 

that old misery, that old shade of unspeakable guilt, scrabbled its’ way out from her organs in chittering fury. he was right, and anything she wanted to say in her own defense died the moment she tried to dispel it from her parted lips. 

a sense of rottenness clung to her, for she recognized the truth in his words — 

up until you have to die.

her ears turned, a new sense of panic creeping through her. ..what? indra blinked, tearful and full of irrevocable despair. she rocked back on her haunches in stunned surprise, her knitted brow and sorrowed-with-tears gaze affixed to the serpent feigning as her beloved son.
October 01, 2019, 12:35 PM
        "no! no!" he screamed at the sight of her own tears. "you don't get to cry! you don't get to do that. you left me! like i was nothing! and you never came back!" the anguish of his childhood lashed toward her now, knife-edged and bitter; wormwood. "what was i supposed to do without you?" merrick begged, ire still curling his lip.
        "you're such a selfish cunt! still?" the boy snapped toward the shrinking red-furred woman. "you made me. i want you to unmake me, indra," he explained in a tremulous mixture of sarcasm and rage. each one of her breaths dragged more pain into his heart; his mother's innocent, questioning expression almost sent merrick into a paroxysm of incendiary shrieking again.
        "i can't change until you're dead," the boy muttered, words suddenly garbled. "the creator dies before the creation can really live. don't you know that? you know that," he insisted. "i had to raise myself. and boy did i do a bad fucking job, indra." 
        here he paced in a tight semi-circle, returning to glare at her with an abject, unrestrained hatred. "you don't deserve it, but i'll be quick, mother. i can be merciful —"
        a sharp, shaking breath; a sob
         " — even though you weren't."

[Image: snake2.png]
October 01, 2019, 12:53 PM
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upon the realization — the true realization of what her son intended to do — indra felt a feverish fear limber its way across her scarlet features.

merrick unfurled before her in his true form; indra’s eyes widened as she beheld him. a blackened beast blithering and  imprisoned in its own hateful cage.

merrick’s diatribe continued. the bile rising to her throat was somehow more palatable than the immutable venom he aspersed. indra’s mahogany gaze, wide as moonstones and rimmed with a panicked white, could scarce behold the contorted monster her son had become.

you’re evil, she stuttered, her voice rigged by breathless gasps. fear bloomed within her — god, is this what the hunted felt like?

in that moment indra realized her son was no more her flesh than a debased version of her; he had only masqueraded all this time. she could not find her feet, though she tried to will herself against running. somewhere her son, the sunlight to her dreadfully grey world, was lurking there just waiting to be freed — somewhere in that depraved dance of his maddening gaze merrick lurked, and could be saved. t-this isn’t you. she found herself pleading, her lip curling as a sob bubbled from her tightening throat.

somewhere her child, innocent and no more wicked than a lamb, had been lost forever.
October 01, 2019, 04:26 PM
        "well, no shit, mom," merrick retorted, jaws splitting into an unhinged grin. "this is me. this is what i am. this is what you did," the boy continued more grimly, thrusting his face into indra's tearstained visage. "i'm sick. i'm fucked. i don't want to be this. i don't want to do this!" he shouted, words dying into a strangled hiss.
        "you know i killed a kid once," merrick raved, turning back to his mother. "broke his bones, almost drowned him.  threw him off a mountain." the fact that he was now unsure if his young quarry had actually succumbed was irrelevant.
        "i felt alive. that is the only time i feel, mother," the yearling whispered, crouching low and slinking close to indra — back and forth, back and forth
        "that is who i am. and it began when i needed to feel something after you left," he explained, tone growing iced-over and accusatory once more. "don't you get it now?"  and here his voice broke, here merrick stumbled, and truly began to weep, gulping great draughts of air as he stared heavenward. "i'm so tired, mommy," the boy wailed in a child's voice. "i want to live!"
        when merrick returned to himself a handful of seconds later, it was to spot indra's ruddy form disappearing around the edge of the knoll, having grasped her sense of self-preservation. merrick bellowed wordlessly after her, enraged, and in the next instant he had given chase as the snow began to fall with more force.

[Image: snake2.png]
October 01, 2019, 06:22 PM
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her son continued, incensed -- every word a serrated edge pressed against her heart. when had he gotten so cruel? she was helpless in the face of his hate, vulnerable only in the way love could be.. no rejoinder of defense brimmed to her lips, for indra was just as culpable as he accused.

i'm sick, merrick spat -- "no," indra cried in return. i'm fucked, "you're not," she begged. and then he spoke of some past violence, the learning of which raked indra down to her flimsy core. he had hurt another child -- her son had hurt another child. "you're lying." came the disbelieving statement, yet one look in merrick's glowing jack-o-lantern gaze and she knew it to be true.

this is who i am. indra found she could not love what he had become. the tears that darkened her sorrowful cheeks had stilled, her mahogany gaze flickering with the immeasurable understanding of a mother who looked upon her own monster. horror gripped its needling claws within her, tugging, tugging...

indra could withstand the fireshow within merrick's gaze no longer. she tore her eyes away, to the ground where snow collected around them in dimpling sheets. i'm so tired, mommy merrick wailed to the skies -- something in indra's heart dislodged and a cry tore from her lips, silenced swiftly by the clack of chattering teeth.

she had seen in both their eyes what they planned to do -- it was laid out bare for all to see. indra did not try to console merrick, for she saw he was manic and out of his mind. she saw the fruitlessness of her own endeavors, and the narrowing window of time.

feeling every bit of her heart wrench in sickening, rippling fractures inside of her, indra turned heel and ran.
October 01, 2019, 06:35 PM
not even a tuft of fur stirred on astara's frame as she watched merrick's mother, a ruddy ball of twisted vines, slowly unravel. her head and heart moved for her companion as he spoke of his own suffering, and as a keen edge of pain hit his voice astara lifted her gaze, challenging the woman that dared hurt him so.

she would pay.

astara's teeth grit in savage satisfaction as she watched the mother turn and leave, leave again, like she had done to her undeserving son so many times. had she words, astara might have spat out that indra did not deserve a quick death, nor a son so magnificent.

instead she smiled to herself to see the fear choke the woman's senses, and like a dark serpent, slithered in the snow after indra's fading form.

»» they may promise you that the river ain't too deep. ««
October 01, 2019, 06:53 PM
        indra indra mother indra mother indra indra mother mom mom
        his paws beat out the rhythm upon the earth, which still danced beneath them; at one point, a great crack sounded, and merrick drew up his chase as a venerable spruce tree was felled almost across his path.
        the impact fired the boy more fiercely; his teeth ground together as he picked out the marks left by indra's flight.
        she could not escape. she could not get away with it again.
        soon her straining flanks came into view; the boy fancied the lengthy muscles of her thighs had shuddered in the same way during his unwitting expulsion into the waking world. but he had slid from her corrupt; she had created him so. there could be no forgiveness, no mercy.
        astara hunted alongside him, and their ravenings entwined: he for the blood of the mother, she for the end of a creature who had caused merrick pain. whatever agonies he had suffered were buried with each lash of the shadow after their quarry.
        had he not stalked this very meadow in his all-but-forgotten childhood? merrick knew the rock, the earth, the fading plants, and wended his way after indra with a singular focus.
        his stride grew longer; he coursed after the running woman, drawing up to her hindquarter; merrick swerved to deliver a crippling snap to her hamstring, to torment her as the stench of fear rolled off indra, mingled with sorrow for her lost son.

[Image: snake2.png]
October 01, 2019, 07:03 PM
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she ran, hatred for her own lack of courage coursing through her, just as thick as adrenaline.

behind her she heard and knew they followed, her son and his accursed, silent shadow.

so indra dug deep, pulled past the unmistakable despair and fresh, raw gouge of self-hatred -- she sunk deep, past layers of resentment, tall valleys of trauma --

her legs stretched out in a blur before her, snatches of red against pretty white.

her breath came in ragged gasps, echoed in symphony by her dogged pursuers.  fear lit the flame of indra's latent speed, desperation kindled the sleeping prowess that hid in her ranger bones, waiting for that moment of pure speed to dig in deep and hard and survive..

she might have made it too, were it not for the aspen that shuddered and fell alongside her. indra's senses were so heightened in terror that she nearly flew from her skin as it fell, a groaning giant finally laid to eternal rest. the cacophony threw her off her course, a dull racket of spraying snow splattering out before her. curbing her speed.

losing her stride.

indra's eyes flew open as pain sunk into her haunch. "no!" came her ragged cry, tinged with deepening dismay. she felt another sickening collapse of skin, a scarlet bloom of astounding pain that forced her eyes shut and eeked from her jaws the tiniest wail of agony.

even in that moment, that fight-or-die moment where instinct surged around her in a panicked jeer, indra did not wish to hurt her son. she staggered and caught her footing, only to see the mute companion before her. wheeling, gasping, indra's world whirled around her as her vision blurred and fresh tears fled down her countenance.

doggedly, dragging, while tooth sunk deep and cerise droplets dotted the pristine snow -- indra fumbled onward.
October 01, 2019, 07:18 PM
        down down down; she tumbled, fell, riotously bleeding. the taste of it was a thousand memories recognized, full throated longings. the sound of his own affliction slid needlepoint straightaway into a vein.
        mother. life-giver. indra scrabbled for purchase amid the growing drifts, upon the churning earth. merrick followed, wraith at his heels, twinned shadows of death.
        the boy’s screams had left merrick unsettled; the unsurety of his victim’s death had left him bereft. indra did not fight; merrick descended upon her in a flash of wild teeth.
        he choked her name through jaws that sought to rend and cut, for each drop of his mother’s blood that fed the snowbound earth was a lessening of her power over him.
        soon it would be over; he searched for her expression beneath his frenzy, beneath the hot driving of his own tears, the sobbing cruel lamentations that tore his throat even as merrick continued to clash with her in the mess of muddied loam and her own leaking wound. 
        birth; mother’s milk. the scent of the den wherein he had come alive with a first putrid breath.
        over over over over
        ”mom,” merrick grit out before his bloodied jaws lunged for her throat.

[Image: snake2.png]
October 01, 2019, 07:29 PM
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on she pressed, bleeding profusely. she was only dimly aware of the lurking presence of astara -- all she could feel in that moment was a swallowing panic that pressed against her throat.


odd how suddenly, she thought of that god damn black doe.

in slow time, indra fell to the snow. a score left in her wake, while atop her the body of her son closed in.

funny wasn't it, how something she had so tenderly made could be her un-maker?

pain rose to her consciousness, blotting out part of her vision while shadows whirled, bringing indra far from that cold landscape -- where sun-dapples played in summer shade, and merrick played as a long-gone puppy. where had that life gone?

that apparition faded on the wind as reality raked through her. merrick's jaws closed tight around her throat. indra tried to cry out, yet nothing came -- not even air, that stupid substance she had taken for granted her entire life.. what she would not give for one deep breath, one last inhale.

indra continued her struggle against the charcoal of his fur, red bleeding to black -- all the while the flame within her slowed to a weakened flicker.
October 01, 2019, 07:40 PM
        the slurry of her heartbeat in the great vein pinned beneath his tongue,
        a bell tolling.
        merrick closed his eyes and burrowed against the warmth of her; for all the pressure of his jaws, he might well have been suckling again.
        thudding; her chest against his.
        remake me
        his flamewrought gaze reopened, begged this of her as the flat glitter of terror in indra’s eyes began to soften, give way to a haze, a plane where he could not follow.
        merrick had no more tears; he shuddered breathlessly against her limp body as she began the last abandonment, and hoped with a zealot’s fire that her departure would at long last lift the shroud from his mortal self.

[Image: snake2.png]
October 01, 2019, 08:10 PM
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it's been emotional. thank you for everything. it's been an incredible ride.  i want to close indra's chapter with this song, which i think is perfect for her and her end. it's been an honor to thread with everyone who has ever met my little redleaf. <3  

as indra looked her demon in the eyes, pulled through her burning throat the last haggard gasp which yielded nothing, a new peace came over her.

in her turbulent life, indra had never known peace. peace had been the elusive bird, the white rabbit, the black doe -- all her life she had pursued it, and all her life she had known nothing but cruelty, sorrow, and meanness.

sunfire burned in her throat, but like a distant flare, bloomed and then faded. indra's struggles gradually weakened until she was no more than a frail figure pressed against her son, a mother reduced to a twisted caricature, made into nothing by the life she had labored to bear.

as the last dying light cleared from indra's rueful gaze, there came a new emotion that settled within those amber depths before her lids closed forever. a semblance of tranquility, of acceptance --

quietness --


her life did not flash before her eyes as she expected, while she slumped there on the ground and waited for her soul to leave the body it could no longer inhabit. instead of her life moving past her, indra saw all the figures of importance come swirling into view. they shuffled past like dreary stills, capturing brief moments in time long eclipsed.

she thought of @Laurel, of her love -- her sister. the one thing that had tried to make her whole in this incomplete and imperfect world. indra loved her with her entire heart, and now that heart's song was fading. she thought of laurel's children, of easthollow and valette -- and would laurel be okay? would she find a less sorrowed end then her hapless sister? would she ever look to the blue sky and see indra within it, or feel a stirring of the breeze and know profoundly, that indra was there? even if she was dead, indra swore she would never leave; death would have to pry her bony fingers free.

she thought of @Xan, and the meanness that she used to hold in her heart seemed to fade; was he out there, would he finally make things right, would he know ever how much her life had changed the moment he had stolen within it?

and @Tadec -- sweet, enduring tadec. her first and only love outside of laurel; where had he gone, would he be there waiting, on the other side? would he take her to some idyllic corner of the world where the water was clear and moss grew in bright green sprigs along the blackstone?

indra's eyes closed. she wasn't ready to leave @Marten -- god, she loved him just as much as her own blood. she hoped he would not worry or grow as dark in his heart as his mama had done -- let him do anything but go down that blackened and virtueless path. life would be okay without her there, someday.

and @Nunataq, her proud daughter. indra's heart swelled -- either from the lack of oxygen, or the undying adoration she felt for this strong woman nunataq had become. nunataq, she hoped, had found her friends, her adventure, and her purpose -- and would never look back. she was free of this toxic family, of its crippling lack of self-worth.. wherever she was, indra hoped the world was as kind to nunataq as it was unkind to her.

and lastly, @Merrick -- her troubled son. her magnum opus. even now as his jaws stole the life from within her, indra could not find it in her heart to hate him. indra willed her departure would repair whatever wound she had inadvertently caused her son; he had not deserved it, anymore than she as a child had deserved the departure of her parents. she tried to speak his name, to tell him it was alright and she loved him.

tried, and failed.

these figures all visited her and came to pass. stigmata, casmir, reek, saena, phoenix, reigi, blondine, the black doe -- that god damn black doe that had always eluded her. presently the doe's form simmered like an apparition in her fading vision, which now seemed to swell with blackened swirls that grew ever wider into spiraling black.

indra left this world with a dull smile lingering on her lips -- immune forever to the cold that settled around her.
October 01, 2019, 09:10 PM
i love u so much. ty for letting me be a part of her life ♥️

        indra beat out her last staccato breaths and was still.
        carefully merrick pried his jaws from around her unfeeling throat and gazed down into the serenity of his mother’s face. she truly had gone, now, entered the forever sleep wherein he had thrust her.
        there was no thought within the boy but relief, a weak eagerness to feel himself unpoisoned, remade: he nuzzled against the soft hairs of her chest, pressing there his forehead, waiting.
        eons passed.
        the warmth of indra’s final embrace ebbed into nothingness.
        merrick roused himself from her stiffening limbs, blinked once, tasted the dried flakes of her blood upon his lips.
        nothing had changed.
        a sharp intake of breath; he began to shake, casting his mind about frantically in tests he failed. still the rotted streak through his soul; still the foul green desire creeping like fel ivy upon his heart.
        merrick screamed.
        his voice raised to the din of shuddering trees that were beginning to find their graves; the boy stared with horror at indra’s body and the keening went on and on and on, finally roughening as merrick’s voice simply 
        he sobbed shattered cries, seeking her once more, curling next to his lifegiver’s frame which he had forever muted, and his tears were not only for the potential of a maternal love that would never be realized —
         — the last part of merrick that was truly alive had died in the snow with his mother, and he felt the loss of it as if he had cut off one of his limbs.
        crooning, aching, the boy forced his way beneath her ravaged forelimb and let himself drift into the place between wakefulness and sleep, hiccuping sobs still racking his shoulders as he too grew silent and pensive under the weight of the curse: now renewed.
        there was no escape. there had never been the hope of it, and now merrick had made a blood pact with that writhing part of himself.
        he breathed the last of indra’s scent.

[Image: snake2.png]
October 02, 2019, 01:29 PM
felled by the hanging jaws of her own son, the mother crashed to the earth -- in that moment, astara knew it was all over.

merrick thrust his jaws round his victim's throat, and held true. watching in the distantly clinical manner oft exhibited by bastards and murderers alike, astara observed the glint in indra's eyes. first, wild fear reflected back blazing as wildfire -- then, a stillness crept its way across that amber surface, settling in the manner of a rippling pool restored from its disturbance.

astara was fascinated as she watched that light -- that life -- fade; where did it go?

certainly, not around them, where the snow fell in muted sheets, and the forest was silent.

she watched still as merrick placed his mother-no-more down, watched as for a moment he seemed lighter --

watched even, as the chains hung round his heart dug their course deeper, and pulled him like icarus from his lofty heights (while he was screaming, screaming hoarse) --

tumbling back (screaming still),

back to her (silence).

an ugly prickle of something, righteous possessiveness perhaps, spread its darkness through her and curled the corners of her lips in the faintest of knowing smiles. for if merrick had been exalted by this business of murder and was given a life-anew and free of corruption, he would have likely had little use for her any longer. he would have left her, too.

but now the balance was restored, and he was returned to astara -- kindred spirit, kill-sister. back to the earth, where she was just as deplorable and he no better..

back where he belonged.

»» they may promise you that the river ain't too deep. ««