Between Shadow and Sun

Description: For Jones~

Dreamer Pakhet

    Sapphire to Ebon-gray
  • Blackwidow Queen
  • Played By:

    The Dreamer
    Tigrelan Kaeleer
    3 Posts    0 marks
Between Shadow and Sun
« on: June 26, 2019, 01:20:53 AM »
The balcony was warm in the early afternoon sun, the low couch that Khet had piled with pillows and soft blankets cast only half in the shadow of the closest tree branches. Dappled in that light, the soft winter wind ruffling her fur, she was almost lulled into sleep. It had been a morning of meetings with her Coven, trying to track where they would be impacted most heavily that winter. Sorting dreams, linking problems and solutions, deciding if something that was a solution for one thing was a problem for another

So many pots on the stove. Men, women, seneschals; prides across a territory that Kheti knew but didn't know. The tip of her tail took up twitching in jerks across the pillows, irritation obvious. On her belly, claws popping in and out of a particularly abused pillow, her mind hummed away, active despite the perfect environment for a nap. So many of her people spread so far and wide, and difficult to reach.

Connecting them, showing them how much she cared for them, how she wanted to be the best for them that she could be because they deserved it. They deserved so much, and she wanted to give it to them, but they were so. So.

Myr would know what she meant.

Sweeping out mentally, she hunted for her best friend and companion's mind, irritation adding an edge to her sweep similar to stalking. Hopefully she hadn't been waylaid by anyone else, otherwise Pakhet would have to go find her, and with her mind itchy with ideas and an inability to enjoy the damned outdoors like she wanted, something was likely to catch fire.

Deep breath. In through her nose, hold. Out again.

*Myr?* she sent, curious but not pressing, not urgent. She hoped the irritation had bled away enough that Myrrine knew she wasn't directing the feeling at her on purpose, and that it was nothing she'd done to inspire it. Sometimes Kheti got ahead of herself, got too riled, excited, about her ideas.

Other times she wanted to descend from the city screaming and beat everyone's damn heads together. It would be so much easier if she could just show them how they could be and then have them do it.

*If you're not busy, there's room for two* she sent again, the image of her current favorite balcony at the forefront of her mind before she pulled back, a different dark cloud descending over her thoughts. An old one, bitter and worn, thread bare with anger and sadness as intimate as her own bed. If Khet could have clearer visions, could actualize them into webs, maybe she would be better at getting the people to see that the path she dreamed for them was good and right.

But that was her own failing, unique to her, and she was under no delusions that anyone else had any control over it. Wouldn't have Myr if I were good enough alone, she thought, and that was comforting. Myrrine was better than any Craft skill, and Kheti found herself smiling at the thought. She didn't need to carry her dream alone because Mother Night had seen fit to gift her with another pair of shoulders for the task, and that was blessing enough.

Tail curling in pleasure, Khet went back to popping her claws in and out of her maligned pillow, less aggrieved than she had been. Whenever Myrrine decided to appear they could organize their priorities and get to work, and then the humming, itchy feeling in her skin would have a direction and she'd be less likely to snap at some poor apprentice.

*And please bring snacks!* She shot out quickly, feeling sheepish. That probably had something to do with it too. She was sure there was something in her cabinet, but Myr always had better snacks.
@Jones

Myrrine

  • Inactive Character
  • Black Widow Queen
  • Secretly Dreaming
    Tigrelan Kaeleer
    2 Posts    114 marks
Re: Between Shadow and Sun
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2019, 12:34:42 AM »
Long legs wrapped around an overstuffed poof Myrrine stared at the slate sitting on top. Eyes almost crossed as she focused on the black lines drawn along its surface. Each one had to be exactly right. Checked and rechecked a dozen times until it matched the one in her head precisely. Once she began to spin her web, there was no going back. Only starting the process over. And it had already taken her the better part of the day to pick the perfect piece of wood, then copy the web on. If she had to pick a different slate, it would be a lesser web from the beginning. There was this one chance to get it perfect.

And Myr liked things to be perfect.

With a steadying breath she set her hand over the wood. It was warm and rich. It was the web. The could feel it in the pit of her stomach. The one that would decide if this was her year to give in. To take a mate. Be an actual mother, and not just an extra set of arms for the coven’s children. Letting the air out of her lungs slowly she freed the claw of her index finger from its sheath. Tracing the lines she carved into the fresh wood little by little. Spidersilk in liquid form dripping from her pointer finger as she went. Filling the newly created scratches.

Forming a picture from the inside out. Soft circles with fake anchors. It looked more like an artist rendering of a real spider’s web than the work of a blackwidow. The black ink mixed with the ivory of the silk. A rich gray, nearly as dark as Kheti’s Offering. And in its lines a dream lay waiting. Slowly, slowly she watched her own face form. Then that of her best and only trusted friend. Side by side. Both gazing down into arms filled with bundled blankets.

Ears pivoting and eyebrows high she worked faster to have the whole picture sooner. Nearly to the end when Kheti’s voice filled her head. ”Hm?” She tried, so focused on the dream it took her a moment to realize it was a thread. Her friend was not there in the room. Tail twitching it curled over her shoulder. Tip teasing across her chin while she put the finishing marks on the wood. This one she would keep. *Coming. Web. Five minutes.* She answered even though the web was done.

She wanted a few minutes alone to let it sink in. To rub her flat palms over it nervously as if that would help her accept the vision inside. Looking into the web for hints she gave a soft curse. They looked happy as far as she could tell. Sleeping kits in their colorful silk wrappings. Only their little ear tips peeking into view. Kheti leaning on Myr as if she wanted to be held too. It was very terrifying. A bit exciting. Maybe. Myr couldn’t decide. Surely Kheti would know. Everyone said it was passed time to give in. Have a baby. A few months of pregnancy, a day of pain, then she could hand it off without being burdened. Duty done. The face in the web did not look like it would be handing it’s prize off any time soon, though.

Giving her toes a wiggle she climbed up from the floor. Back cracking at the very base when she stretched up. Slate vanished into her cabinet for sharing. Her quick trip to Kheti’s room detoured only long enough to sniff out half of a chocolate cake and a pan of crisped zucchini slices from the kitchen. *Yes alright. Sweets and savories. Should I bring milk? What am I saying. Of course milk.* A jug of that lifted from the cold storage she snuck away before the hearthwitches could clip her tail for the theft.

Smiling lightly she rolled her lips between her teeth as she bounded into the bedroom. ”Bored?” She asked. Walking on her tiptoes over. Energy brimming out of her limbs as she paced instead of sitting. Twirling when she turned. Treats laid out on the couch in the place her body had been expected to occupy. ”Do you think the scholars were right, at the meeting? Do you think the rains will start next week?” Everyone was getting prepared. Soon the men would come up to the lower levels of the city. Which meant that Myr only had a little while to speak with the Seneschals and weave her webs. To find the just right one. Because babies were like webs, surely, you only got the one chance to do them perfectly.

And Myr liked things to be perfect.

Dreamer Pakhet

    Sapphire to Ebon-gray
  • Blackwidow Queen
  • Played By:

    The Dreamer
    Tigrelan Kaeleer
    3 Posts    0 marks
Re: Between Shadow and Sun
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2019, 02:55:59 PM »
Interest peaked, Khet rolled over, pillow to her chest and eyes up, although she wasn't seeing the branches of the tree that hung there. Myr's webs, for their joint venture and just for herself, were always a thing of intrigue and beauty. She spent so much time on them, making them so exact, that Khet couldn't help but be in awe. She wondered what she'd envisioned, what she had been so moved to make a web for, knowing that it was taking up hours of her friends time. She kept her silence then, not wanting to interrupt further.

Pleasure a warm wave in her, she sent the feeling back a long a thread at Myrrine's forethought, smiling at no one. Of course milk. Best snacks from her best friend.

Who, when she appeared, was brimming with energy Kheti wasn't generous enough to attribute entirely to their talks that morning.

"Immensely," she replied, only rolling her neck to watch Myr enter, eyebrow arched even as her attention flickered between the food to the other woman's face and back. A heave to roll her body up, claws out to snag at the zucchini slices almost as quick as they were put down. Chewing, ears and eyes followed as Myrrine began to wear a path in the floor, spinning and pacing and pacing and spinning. Last vestiges of frustration and melancholy vanished like mist beneath the sun at such animation.

"Mmhmm." Given before swallowing, partner to a nod. Mouth clear, glass in hand from her cabinet, she poured from the milk jug. "When I dream about the land it's all very wet feeling. And they came almost the same time last year, didn't they? Maybe a bit later." A week, maybe two before water would start to make the caves uninhabitable and the men would ascend and everyone would be infused with awkwardness. She'd draw it up as a symptom of living apart if she didn't see sisters acting just as ridiculously with seneschals that they saw regularly as well as the visiting men.

There had been some unsubtle looks from the scholars and their coven mates during that part of the talk, like Kheti didn't understand what the rains meant, that "they" had two meanings and she had to remember both. She knew they thought it high time she pick a man and commit to a child. That expectation rankled a little, and made her more covetous of the whisper thin dreams of softness she'd been having intermittently.

Her look of curiosity folding into teasing, Khet grabbed several more slices of zucchini and called forks from her cabinet to rest on the cake plate, saying, "Why? Would you prefer them to be starting tomorrow?"

She would like Myrrine to get a baby and a partner, for however long she might like to keep the male, if that was what she wanted. Her own desires weren't quite so clear, and she was reluctant to pin them down. Better instead to focus on someone else's happiness, and who more deserving than Myrrine?

Myrrine

  • Inactive Character
  • Black Widow Queen
  • Secretly Dreaming
    Tigrelan Kaeleer
    2 Posts    114 marks
Re: Between Shadow and Sun
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2019, 09:07:42 PM »
The pensive mood in the room dissipated as Myr ticked her way across the floor. Loose hair cutting the air with every turn as she reached the walls. Could she feel Kheti’s eyes tracking her steps. Tail swishing rather than curled about her ankle as was typical. The drawn out hum affirmed her anxieties. Lips pulling in over her teeth she nodded thoughtfully. Then forced the emotions out with a sigh. ”I can feel their giddiness when I read the land. Nervous to  leave us while they service another coven. Eager to find warm beds to perform in.”

Never the land though. Myrrine’s dreams and queen craft never turned to the soil. She could not make things grow, except for the wombs of her coven-sisters. Which always came with child after her blood went into a fertility brew. All the more reason, her mother and the elders insisted, that she should take to the mating beds. If she could help seed root where it had always refused, then surely her own was ripe.

Stopping short Myr crouched at the foot of the chaise. Toes splayed for balance as she stuffed her mouth with three pieces of the chopped zuchinni. Buying time before answering. A finger laid over her lips while she chewed and thought. Once she had swallowed her mind was made up. More or less. ”Yes. It’s silly to keep them down until the last minute. Also, the sooner they come up the sooner a routine falls into place. All the upheaval and fuss is a big messy distraction.”

And Myr liked things to be perfect.

”Seems ridiculous to have all that commotion over a coalition of penises. Albeit, if that were not the case we wouldn’t be living apart to begin with.” Women would be fighting, and men would be fighting. It would all draw on the energy of the city. Twist it up until everyone was tense. Myrrine most of all since their energies played so intimately with her own. Connected to these people she only got to prowl among a handful of weeks each year. ”How long do you think the flooding will be? They were very long last winter. I heard one of the healers saying it might have been a cause for the cough.”

Which worried Myrrine too. A baby in a time of plague! Fate had lost its sense. But she had never been lead astray by a web. Not once. She was compelled to follow. ”I wanted to say before, but not in front of the others- I felt a strange thing. People from outside the territory coming in. One on the first time, and several the second time. Strange for so many in so short a time. The first is a mystery. I thought it must have been a mistake, someone fallen from the Wind, they blocked my webs from divining more. Else he did.” She said darkly, reference the Walker, knowing that her friend would know who she meant by the tone alone. Now that he was on her mind she couldn’t shake him easily either. ”Has he said where he will go for the rains? Not here I hope, although I have seen a new stripe for his apprentice It’s in my desk drawer… Anyway, I was saying! The second person that came across the border was not an outsider. I saw her in a web. A healer with strangers in her company.”

Face puckering she picked up a fork, twirling it between her fingers before she chose the words. ”Are you in a hurry for the men to get here?” Would her friend let her choose on her behalf? Kheti should have the perfect child too, and while Myrrine loved her fiercely she knew Kheti would let daydreams outweigh sense in male choosing.

Dreamer Pakhet

    Sapphire to Ebon-gray
  • Blackwidow Queen
  • Played By:

    The Dreamer
    Tigrelan Kaeleer
    3 Posts    0 marks
Re: Between Shadow and Sun
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2019, 01:29:24 AM »
A laugh ripped itself from Khet's ribs, sharp and abrupt, petering into chuckles at her own surprise as much as the statement itself. "Our sisters are the same, although performance is a different worry." It wasn't like anyone was going to be exceptionally proficient, at least not for their partner, not at first. Khet would bet her tail there would be a fair share of awkward fumbling that first night, brews or no.

Khet's dreams of the land were always clearer to her than the dreams for people, sweet green earth always more willing to yield than the flesh. She felt it with the whole of herself, the taste of rain, the smell of the mud, the sound of the rising water echoing in caves, the feel of submersion heavy in her fur. Easier to walk a land she was separate from than to try and peer into the future of even her closest friend. How trying.

"We can issue for them after the very first rain, if you like, but I won't be having us look too eager." Too much a show of weakness to the covens in the other districts, and too much import given to the word of her own council. She didn't want them to get big-headed, thinking they'd pushed her into something when it had been her own colluding with Myrrine that brought them to the same place.

She stuck her tongue out at Myr, pupils widening and ears flicking forward. "A brotherhood of penises, sister, please." But even that gentle teasing couldn't wash the prickle of dislike that rose up in her. Khet's views on the division were things best kept locked up, although Myrrine knew anyway. It still wasn't something she wanted to bring up then, a well worn path of frustration and teeth gritting upset. "Long enough," she grumped. Long enough to have everyone thrown into a Darkness damned tizzy. Even with her jewel, being that physically close to someone meant they were within reach of her secrets, her soft underbelly, and Pakhet couldn't imagine that in good favor.

Ears back, tail a tight band wrapped around her leg, Pakhet buried her face in the pillow, glaring past the abused fabric at the zucchini. The cough. One of the roots of her stress, her dark emotions. Anger, frustration, fear. Anxiety and helplessness in her darkest moments, when her webs were muddy, opaque with emotions run high. Something Pakhet wanted very desperately to sink her claws into but never could. She rolled her lip between her teeth and stood, mind already racing toward contingencies. "I want an increase in healers and seneschals among the pregnant," she started, turning away a few paces before twisting back, " basic healing brews for the men coming up, more non-participating seneschals on watch during the courtships. Everyone is going to be interacting, it's going to spread more quickly with all of us in close quarters." All their population mixing, passions high, the chance of injury, even mild, present for all. The best defense against the spread of the cough would be to keep everyone as healthy as they could, while they investigated those that already carried it.

Ah, the other root of her grievances. The Walker. Pakhet was torn between snarling and screaming into her chest-clutched pillow. Damnable man! A thorn at every turn, and all of her webs of him hazy and angry. Khet would love to stand face to face with the menace and give him a piece of her mind and her Ebon-grey. "Not that I know of," she frowned, peeling the growl back from her words. She plucked a zucchini from its plate and sank her teeth into it with restrained viciousness. "Like as not he'll hole up in his cave because to ascend would be some kind of personal affront. His apprentice is sure to follow. We should see if we can investigate the individual, though." Khet had some very aggressive ideas about pulling on that thread to needle back at The Walker, but he and his apprentice were as much her charges as Myr or the sisters a half territory away. That would be an abuse of her position and her gifts, no matter how satisfying it had the potential to be.

Her eyes darted back up to Myr, eyebrows up. "A healer? And a party of strangers?" She turned, tail flicking and curling, walking one edge of the balcony and then back. "We should issue a," firmly worded, "request to our healers, across the territory, that they keep with us, to help find a cure for the cough. We need as many hands and minds on this as are available, and it will only gain traction in the coming season. And we'll have to consider her party carefully, we can't risk bringing foreign ills in to the weak."

Cheek between her teeth, she asked, "Can we quarantine the sick that arrive? Would there be substantial push back if we said it was for the safety of the future young?" Some of her own littermates had died of illness, small bodies wracked by fever and cough until the life had been drained of them. Not like this creeping beast, this shade that haunted her dreams, but illness nonetheless.

Myrrine's next question blindsided her, knocked her from the mindset of The Dreamer and back into Pakhet the woman. She blinked, startled. "I - ," ears flickered, tail wrapping around her waist, long hair brushing her elbows. She liked the menfolk well enough, she supposed. A part of her people as important as the scholars and the sisters and the witches who Renewed. But did she want one? A man, to call on, for half a decade if she so desired? Did she want a child at the end?

Warmth across her chest, the phantom memory of a dream - a tiny body held close, gentle, soft, loved. A little someone who she could love without reserve, fully invested. Blood of her blood, forever.

"I'm intrigued to see who will arrive," she allowed, because Kheti wasn't sure about people seeing her vulnerable, let alone naked. She'd enjoyed the intimacy of sex on her Virgin Night, but pleasure hadn't been the main take away. It had driven home the division between her sisters and the men, and that was a gap Pakhet had trouble ignoring. Eyes narrowed in curiosity and an edge of playfulness, she purred out a suspicious "Why?" Myrrine knew she cared more for the way they wrestled than actually getting to know any of them. Distance kept her from tearing her hair out in frustration, and Khet was fond of keeping her hair.
 

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