some lives read like poetry, others like cacophany
for Melita
Wessex Theskyra
the Wraith


Age: 39 | Height: 5'8'' | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural
Level: 2 - Strg: 27 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 27 - Luck: 25
Played by: Astor Offline
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#1
WESSEX
The light fades in the Atheneum, signaling the approach of nightfall and the time that most people would pack it in and head home - not Wessex. What does she need of the daylight when the words on these pages are as clear as if the sun shone at full strength right above her. No, it’s not the dimming light that causes her to close the book she’s been pouring through, it’s the fact that she can’t seem to find what she wants in the library. That’s the fourth book that’s revealed nothing but information she already knows.  

A frustrated growl escapes her throat as she closes the book with a heavy hand, the sound echoing in the mostly empty stacks. Rising from her chair, she heads back to where she (thinks) she found it and slides it back in place, looking at the title of the next book on the shelf. No, no… shaking her head, she walks slowly down the row, reading the spines for something that might hold promise.
No, I’ll be the stone
I’ll be the hunter, a tower that casts the shade
I lie awake and watch it all
Reply
Melita Najya


Age: 19 | Height: 5'6" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 4 - Strg: 21 - Dext: 22 - Endr: 22 - Luck: 15
FANGORN - Mythical - Vampire Gourd
Played by: Heather Offline
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Posts: 580
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#2
to be made of sunshine is beautiful
to be the light and the warmth and to be loved
There was a hum under her breath as she scoured pages of a book, tucked away in a corner, zipping through the sheets and leaves with a sort of zealous fervency that her body always invoked. Fangorn, content to grumble and hiss on some insects he’d found nestled somewhere, paid her no mind as her eyes scrutinized and examined. Her explorations and ministrations, some out of boredom, some out of intrigue, had insinuated upon the Atheneum, something she’d helped restore and rejuvenate in the past summer (which felt like lifetimes ago), until her gaze had spotted several tomes befitting her interest – mostly including weaponry tactics. Then she’d roamed, spotting a particular section, before churning over and over with staff techniques, wishing she had brought hers with her. Out of habit though, she maneuvered her fingers as if she were spinning or thrusting her trusted munition out into the ether, absorbed, memorizing the intricate details, intending to try them out when she got home.

Her attention only deviated by a familiar growl reverberating and echoing along the bookshelves. For a moment, the girl ceased and desisted in her movement entirely – Rift instincts alive and well in her frame no matter how many years or seasons separated the horrifying, treacherous world from the one she lived in now – only raising her head. Fangorn stopped his noises and nuances too, anticipating and ready for whatever the honeybee child would attempt. Impetuous, impulsive, and sometimes too bold for her own good, she slid out of her chair as quietly as possible, curiosity leading her through the winding alcoves, feet gracefully poised in silence (something she’d been working on, because maybe the rest of the earth didn’t appreciate her loud, raucous, boisterous antics all the time), until she thought she found the source.

She poked her head down the row, only a trail of crimson locks floating out from behind, as untamed and savage as their owner, before glimpsing upon the individual scavenging the library. Oh. Wessex.

Now what?

The unknown drew and regarded her, a puzzle curling and contorting over her motions. She was half-tempted to retreat, straight back into her chair, maybe tuck herself under the table, and act like she was never there in the first place. Which shouldn’t have been her reaction at all – but consequences and events had long since spiraled: blights, reigns, and then extended crowns, all within a matter of months. Her gilded eyes swept over someone she’d once beheld as a mentor, and didn’t know where she fit now. Where anyone did, in the grand scheme of things, after the pestilence had contorted itself in her form, changed her to some base-line version of the treachery inside her. But instead of fleeing, a coward’s way out, she swallowed down whatever layer of bitterness cloaked her throat. “What are you looking for?” Not that she was a librarian, not that she could be the least bit helpful, but maybe she’d come across it on her own misshapen ventures.
to be made of sunshine is painful
to be too hot to touch, too far away to reach
MELITA
Reply
Wessex Theskyra
the Wraith


Age: 39 | Height: 5'8'' | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural
Level: 2 - Strg: 27 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 27 - Luck: 25
Played by: Astor Offline
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Posts: 786
MP:
#3
WESSEX
There’s bitterness in both women, then, the Wraith’s for the assumptions heaved on her, for the silence and the looks and the way Jigano’s weaved his tale to turn her in to the killer he needs her to be. Only Wessex’s can’t be swallowed, it lives in the pores of her skin, in the machination of her mind given a lack of bile and other physical side effects of such thoughts. A private mantle of injustice, covered by a careful mask that screams I don’t give a fuck! to anyone and everyone walking on by.

There’s some solace, of course - in her divinity and strength - which is what she’s trying to research now. But alas, the Grounders don’t seem to have any public records of Gods ever having children, or of anyone being lifted up to more-than-mortal heights. She can see why, if that kind of power had been what The Voice had come from, they don’t want any others to get the same idea unless they prove themselves ever so loyal. She’s beginning to wonder where else she may need to look when the faint sound of footsteps coming up behind her makes her pause.

The person comes close and then pauses, and in that pauses the warrior decides the person isn’t a threat. If they had been out for her, they probably wouldn’t have hesitated to strike. She moves on, one ear cocked to the movements of the other and one eye on the titles. When the person finally speaks, Wessex pauses before turning around. It - this - was bound to happen sooner or later and though she has no misguided hopes that they can salvage their relationship (she’s decided to work from a place where all her relationships with non-Ascended are gone), she desperately wants to try.

“Anything that mentions demi-gods. Or a list of magic that’s been documented in people - both common and uncommon.” Turning fully around now, she responds quietly. “You? Didn’t think many people would be here this late.”
No, I’ll be the stone
I’ll be the hunter, a tower that casts the shade
I lie awake and watch it all
Reply
Melita Najya


Age: 19 | Height: 5'6" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 4 - Strg: 21 - Dext: 22 - Endr: 22 - Luck: 15
FANGORN - Mythical - Vampire Gourd
Played by: Heather Offline
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Posts: 580
MP:
#4
to be made of sunshine is beautiful
to be the light and the warmth and to be loved
She wasn’t sure what to expect – to be ignored, to be sidelined again, to be snarled upon, so she steadied herself, grounded, on her feet, waiting for the inevitable to skirmish across her frame. The answer gave her some pause, because why would Wessex care about demigods all of a sudden, when Ronin had been one for some time? Was there more research to be done? Was something else going on? Or was Melita still so out-of-the-loop that her ignorance was just another blinding sentiment, pushing and pulling against her skin? The youth had nothing to offer the former queen again; but her eyes didn’t fall. A shrug rankled along her shoulders, gaze flickering over tomes, titles, and spines, the unawareness scraping over her senses, irritating, vexing, and wondering when she’d manage to figure just the simplest things out. When the gilded set returned to Wessex, she could only shake her head. “I haven’t seen anything on demi-gods. But there was some more on magic, a couple aisles down.” Her fingers pointed in the direction, uncertain of how helpful they’d be in the Ascended’s quest. The girl hadn't grabbed them - no magic ever stirred in her hands except for the items others had created and chiseled for her.

She made to go, turning, shifting, back to the lantern light in the corner, back to her hollowed, hallowed sanctuary, back to Fangorn quietly grumbling over pages and turning them haphazardly with muffled breaths. But then the inquiry was directed towards her, and her movements were altered, dragged and etched into the same, singular ether. “More staff techniques. I wanted to try some advanced stuff.” Which likely sounded stupid, addressing someone very skilled in the undercutting and maiming with the munitions – but Melita hadn’t thought to ask, not anymore, not when Wessex had been leading and the youth had been sick, and a thousand other things had spiraled in between.
to be made of sunshine is painful
to be too hot to touch, too far away to reach
MELITA
Reply
Wessex Theskyra
the Wraith


Age: 39 | Height: 5'8'' | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural
Level: 2 - Strg: 27 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 27 - Luck: 25
Played by: Astor Offline
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Posts: 786
MP:
#5
WESSEX
It would be incredibly out of character for Wessex to snarl or strike or otherwise try to hurt someone like Melita; that time in the Spire, by the rubble, that had been try and get a blight-raged girl under control so her feet don’t fall off from frostbite. Does she know that? Does the sunshine and spear child know it hadn’t been in offense, but a last-ditch effort of someone who couldn’t use her normal tactics? “Thank you,” she says with a nod of understanding, looking in the indicated direction.

When she turns back, it seems like Melita’s about to go. She wants to call out to her, tell her to come back, a sad sort of resolve flashing across her face until she sees the girl pauses and turn back. Staff work? There’s only so much you can learn from a book; diagrams and words can only describe momentum and the feel of the weapon in one’s hands so well. If it’s going to be taught properly, it should be done in person.

Wessex hesitates for a moment, searching for the firebrand’s golden eyes and trying to discern what may or may not be appropriate. “I’m glad you’ve been practicing,” she starts with a soft smile, trying to ease her way into a real conversation. “And I’m sorry I wasn’t around to teach you more.” Her fingers run nervously over whatever book she’s landed on, feeling the indents of the black stamp of its name without registering what the title is. “I could… try to make it up to you?”
No, I’ll be the stone
I’ll be the hunter, a tower that casts the shade
I lie awake and watch it all
Reply
Melita Najya


Age: 19 | Height: 5'6" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 4 - Strg: 21 - Dext: 22 - Endr: 22 - Luck: 15
FANGORN - Mythical - Vampire Gourd
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 580
MP:
#6
to be made of sunshine is beautiful
to be the light and the warmth and to be loved
There’s a portion to her that failed to understand why anyone would give her the time of day after her antics during the blight. She’d lacked control, she’d lacked any fundamental trait except treachery, except brutality, except barbarity; and though it hadn’t been her fault, a part of her believed it had simply removed any of the notions holding her back from implosion, from conflagrations, from unleashing pent-up rage and vitriol. Like compassion. Like beneficence. Maybe the true beacons of her soul, gnarled and snarled, snagged in eldritch vengeance and savage revenge, taken upon those that hadn’t deserved any of the wrath – like Loren, Wessex, and Rexanna. But all of them had forgiven her, perhaps, and she couldn’t quite fathom the intricacies of it, when she always had a difficult time with amends, with not holding a grudge, with wavering away from pettiness. The youth didn’t flinch away at the compliment; because precision and practice had been instilled in her since the day she’d been lost amongst the Rift, striving to survive, trying to protect the things, the people, she loved. She clenched her jaw and bit down a thousand bitter things, more aimed at herself than the Wraith, feet itching to slide back across the floor.

“You were busy,” she shrugged. Whether that was doing the Voice’s services (gods, that forum), spreading the blight (ignorant of, perhaps), or any other Queenly duties, the youth only held some of that against Wessex. Because Melita’s staff training wasn’t nearly as important as anything else in reigning and running a country, and the youth had tucked herself away, away, away anyway, ashamed, humiliated, by her own weaknesses and frailties. She should’ve been better.

Her eyes narrowed at the implication of it being made up to her, because she didn’t deserve it, and Wessex surely had other things to do. “You don’t have to,” she proffered, any attempts at a smile short-lived, giving the Ascended an out, an opportunity to go back on the extension. She could find other ways. Her eyes lifted back up to books and spines and titles, but they might as well have been nameless, for all the notion and information she took in. “Why do you need to know about magic? Or demigods?” Had she gained some invocations? Was the Voice handing out more abilities? Was it more to worry about, to consider, while they strived to maneuver on from LongNight, back into the potential for ruin on other horizons, regrowth in the delusion?
to be made of sunshine is painful
to be too hot to touch, too far away to reach
MELITA
Reply
Wessex Theskyra
the Wraith


Age: 39 | Height: 5'8'' | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural
Level: 2 - Strg: 27 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 27 - Luck: 25
Played by: Astor Offline
Change author:
Posts: 786
MP:
#7
WESSEX
“Yes,” she concedes, admitting that there never seemed to be enough hours of darkness and semi-darkness. That LongNight posed a particular fear for her and she spent days planning and preparing and making sure the people in the Outskirts had what they needed. Oh, they were self-sufficient, but an extra hand, a haunch of smoked venison, a bag of nails - she was making sure everyone was safe and smart. And they’d lost very few this year, which the former Queen counted as a victory, even if no one else did. They may have lost buildings, eyes, and whatever else, but four was the smallest number she could remember in a long time.

“But you also make time for the things that’re important, and you’re important to me, Melita.” Again, she tries to find the girl’s gaze. Wants her to see the earnestness, the unabashed truth in her words, even if Wessex can’t seem to make her face do what she wants. “I wouldn’t have gone after you if you weren’t.” She makes a sound in the back of her throat, something like a scoff, but not quite as harsh. “Do you think I let just anyone throw rocks at me?”

The question could be written off as a joke, but the isn’t one, it calls on what the redheaded Outlander knows about Wessex and demands it be reconciled against reality, not emotions. The Wraith could have done any number of things other than stay and fight to bring Melita back to the real world. But she didn’t. She stayed, and she endured, and she fucking cared.

“So no, I don’t have to. But I want to.” A brief, awkward pause. “Teach you again.” If Melita would have her.

As for her search, well, she dodges the inquiry for a moment, in favor of resolving this. First things first.
No, I’ll be the stone
I’ll be the hunter, a tower that casts the shade
I lie awake and watch it all
Reply
Melita Najya


Age: 19 | Height: 5'6" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 4 - Strg: 21 - Dext: 22 - Endr: 22 - Luck: 15
FANGORN - Mythical - Vampire Gourd
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 580
MP:
#8
to be made of sunshine is beautiful
to be the light and the warmth and to be loved
She didn’t know what to say. Stunned, bewildered, eyes widening for a fraction before slipping off to the bookshelves, to dust scattered on old tomes, uncertain of what to do. For so long all those who might have considered her important, few and far between, had died – slipped away from her no matter how hard she’d tried, no matter how hard she’d fought, no matter how much she’d strived to ensure it didn’t happen. She’d thrown herself to wolves, to fires, to lightning, and suffered the consequences – not strong enough, not capable enough, and no matter the howls, the anger, the contempt, nothing brought them back. Why on earth Wessex would still consider her something worthwhile was beyond her – Sunjata too, on those notes – her jaw clenching, unclenching, tongue daring to speak something, but teeth snapping shut over their sparks. She didn’t deny the Wraith her efforts, knowing, understanding, comprehending through those blurred memories and gnarled, bony hazes, bewitching, eldritch hell pervading over her memories. There were just parts she still couldn’t fathom.

Why did anyone care?

Melita didn’t have much to offer except her fervency, and even then, her assistance could be quite minimal, especially if a task required rational thought. Ebullience only lasted so long. Force and defiance could only do so much. Anger and vengeance could only orchestrate so many things.

What good was she, really?

She thought about retreating to her little grove of books and lantern light again, the softened glow where she could pretend those staff techniques would make her something better and brighter and stronger and more dependable, where she could twist and turn and believe that the blight couldn’t press back into her skin and that pestilence would no longer reign over her. Maybe Wessex should’ve left her in the folds of the Spire, in its dank, grim shadow, until she froze. Maybe Wessex should’ve put her out of her misery then and there.

“Maybe,” ricocheted over her mouth then, an echo to her unsaid thoughts and ruminations. “When I’m ready.” Because there were portions to her missing and scalding, and she hated that too – what the blight had done in those pockets of sunshine and determination, the way it marked, the way it chiseled a hole in her convictions. It didn’t help either, that the pestilence hovered over the Ascended’s entities, like a shadow, like a vice, blame segmented either by ignorance or sagacity. Did you know? she almost asked, but for once, her impulsive nature thought better of it. Her inquiry went unanswered; likely unworthy of knowing the reasons too, so she turned back again, her gilded eyes upon the fringes of her little fort.
to be made of sunshine is painful
to be too hot to touch, too far away to reach
MELITA
Reply
Wessex Theskyra
the Wraith


Age: 39 | Height: 5'8'' | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural
Level: 2 - Strg: 27 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 27 - Luck: 25
Played by: Astor Offline
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Posts: 786
MP:
#9
WESSEX
“As you wish,” slips out softly, perhaps a little wounded, but acknowledging and respectful of whatever traumas and boundaries are whirling around inside Melita. She cannot force her way back in, can’t push the same way she would blaze a path through the world, heedless and defiant and insistent. For this kind of healing here is only time (which she hates), and space (which she can give), and hope (which is elusive). However, as luck would have it, Wessex has all the time in the world, can put most of a continent between them if necessary, and is confident that when they find Torchline, things will be better. For everyone.

In the silence that drops between them, Wessex looks back in the direction Melita indicated she’d found a book on magic. A little jerk of her head that way asks if the firecracker will join her. She pauses briefly to accommodate either a rejection or acceptance, and if it’s the latter, heads slowly towards the promising stack. “I’m trying to find out if anyone’s recorded demi-god powers before, because they seem to vary widely. But given that I’d never even really heard of demi-gods before Ronin - I’m thinking we don’t have anything here.” Her head shakes in disappointment and frustration. The prospect of going to the Citadel and asking Neron if they a.) have a library, and b.) she can poke around in it, is less than appealing.
No, I’ll be the stone
I’ll be the hunter, a tower that casts the shade
I lie awake and watch it all
Reply
Melita Najya


Age: 19 | Height: 5'6" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 4 - Strg: 21 - Dext: 22 - Endr: 22 - Luck: 15
FANGORN - Mythical - Vampire Gourd
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 580
MP:
#10
to be made of sunshine is beautiful
to be the light and the warmth and to be loved
She could just go, be left to her own devices again, scouring the pages for more detrimental techniques to wield and prosper at another time. The temptation was there, skittering and dancing over her skin. Her eyes narrowed at Wessex’s jerk of her head, a silent invitation, and the curiosity forever instilled in her skull curled and coiled against her senses. Quickly, a glance tethered back to Fangorn, waiting in the wings, and between their silent connection the vampire gourd bounded to her side, along her ankles, like a haunting little gremlin. She grabbed hold of the lantern he’d dragged over at her hushed behest, lifting it aloft, lacking those Ascended skills of sight in the dark. Then she followed the Wraith on her side of the aisle, hands ghosting over dust and shelving, intertwining with fluttering pages as she passed by, words incised and burned into spines, trying to memorize their patterns, their convictions, their configurations for later.

Then she listened, quiet but not sullen, about demi-gods, about powers, about variances, but not the why. The girl filled all of those inquiries within her head, brow furrowed beneath the eerie beams. Why would Wessex require research on demi-gods? Was she intrigued by Ronin’s abilities? Had something occurred in between all these other traumas and tribulations? Or was something else going on entirely, touches and fringes and qualities that were always so damned foreign to Melita, who seemed to live in a world, in a void, of ignorance? So instead of wallowing in its potential wrath or wreckage, she lifted her chin to ask, the light spilling across more spines, more tomes about incantations and enchantments. She’d never read them. She’d never bothered. She’d never had any of those wiles, any of those talents. “Why do you need to know about demi-gods?”
to be made of sunshine is painful
to be too hot to touch, too far away to reach
MELITA
Reply
Wessex Theskyra
the Wraith


Age: 39 | Height: 5'8'' | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural
Level: 2 - Strg: 27 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 27 - Luck: 25
Played by: Astor Offline
Change author:
Posts: 786
MP:
#11
WESSEX
The familiar sound of Fangorn bouncing at Melita’s heels is a welcome break to the silence of the stacks. The Wraith pauses, not quite sure where she’s going. “Here?” she asks Melita, pointing to one side of shelves, an area close to her, “Or - ?” she looks to the other side, brow a bit furrowed as her eyes dart over what seems like a maze of possibilities. Honestly, this section isn’t familiar to her - she’s never done much research on magic before.

The girl’s question reaches her ears and she knows she must answer truthfully and yet, is almost loathe to do it given the muddiness of their relationship at the moment. Trying to keep her tone casual, she drops a bomb like it’s the most natural thing in the world to say, like its no big deal, like they could talk about it over tea and scones. Which, they could. “Because I think I’m the newest one.” She wonders if Melita can see her eyes in the dark, the way they dart towards her, trying to decipher every twitch and blink and potential minuscule reaction.
No, I’ll be the stone
I’ll be the hunter, a tower that casts the shade
I lie awake and watch it all
Reply
Melita Najya


Age: 19 | Height: 5'6" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 4 - Strg: 21 - Dext: 22 - Endr: 22 - Luck: 15
FANGORN - Mythical - Vampire Gourd
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 580
MP:
#12
to be made of sunshine is beautiful
to be the light and the warmth and to be loved
“There,” she offered, arm raised to point to a particular section, eyes glinting along lantern light hollows and halos, waiting, waiting, waiting, stilling in the silence, besides her feet shifting on occasion, as if she we always in motion, a tempest brewing under the scars along her skin. Her ministrations and thoughts on the matter of demi-gods really hadn’t even glided towards pondering if Wessex had obtained the role herself; still reeling from the latest disintegration of thrones, titles, and crowns. So the girl’s glance did snap towards the Wraith as she insisted upon being the latest, and the youth didn’t know what to say, what to do, for what felt like the fiftieth time that evening. A part of her wished she’d just stayed within her fortifications and not come out of the threshold, hadn’t known – how far, how far, how far everyone else strayed and drifted away from her, more powerful, more potent, more everything than she’d ever be.

It stung, the weird sense of melancholy, envy, and a twist and turn of being left – but maybe she’d only done it to herself.

“Congratulations,” she extended in response, after some finality, some heated moments of nothingness; presuming it was for the Voice, for the one who concocted the blight, for the one who opened portals, for the one who orchestrated so many damned things. The girl didn’t ask how or why or what she’d done to deserve the credentials; perhaps the answers had been within her speech along the temple’s meeting grounds, accredited from and for her obvious efforts. From following allegiance to a goddess who’d damned some of them. The honeybee child felt like backing away, away, away, a storm on the horizon of her teeth and tongue, incapable of voicing it without being slashed to ribbons, without being tarnished and labeled. So she was researching, delving deeper into her capabilities – the youth nodded, understanding, comprehending, but really only going through the motions as the shock clamored, clang, and rang in her ears.
to be made of sunshine is painful
to be too hot to touch, too far away to reach
MELITA
Reply
Wessex Theskyra
the Wraith


Age: 39 | Height: 5'8'' | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural
Level: 2 - Strg: 27 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 27 - Luck: 25
Played by: Astor Offline
Change author:
Posts: 786
MP:
#13
WESSEX
Once again following Melita’s direction, she takes a moment to scan the indicated area until something jumps out at her. Lingering on two books and ultimately decided to pull both, Wessex keenly feels the long pause in the girl’s voice. Though she might appear unphased something in her sinks, falling through the floor of the Atheneum and into the depths of the dark soil, burying itself alongside feelings for Amalia. She turns her gaze to the firecracker, trying to decide whether or not to stay the course, stay in this uncomfortable conversation, or cut her losses and run.

But she’s never run. Not from those she cares about.

Stepping forward, the Ascended moves closer to the girl’s lantern so she might better see Wessex and the ex-Queen’s reactions. “That very long pauses says otherwise,” she remarks, quiet and hopefully neutral enough to keep it from sounding like an accusation. It isn’t. It’s digging - asking - for the truth, preferring to operate on that rather than niceties. She’d rather know where she stands with Melita than have to try and peel away the various layers of subtext that polite society's imposed on her.
No, I’ll be the stone
I’ll be the hunter, a tower that casts the shade
I lie awake and watch it all
Reply
Melita Najya


Age: 19 | Height: 5'6" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 4 - Strg: 21 - Dext: 22 - Endr: 22 - Luck: 15
FANGORN - Mythical - Vampire Gourd
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 580
MP:
#14
to be made of sunshine is beautiful
to be the light and the warmth and to be loved
Wessex drew nearer, closer, lantern light embodying her neutral features, commenting on her long pause after she’d acquired her tomes, and the girl didn’t fade back into the shadows. A defiant little turn of her chin lifted in its accord, Wessex’s two inches over her still granting jurisdiction for her sedition to make its way through miniscule movements. Something in her sizzled and snapped, and the frustrations, the ire, the contempt, the confusion, threatened to pour out of her, an undulating recoil of everything she’d heard, everything she’d witnessed, everything she’d experienced. It was a cycle of emotions and munitions too, pressing and crossing over her chest, over her soul, like fire and ash and bones and dust, the bleeding sanctity of things she’d savored and craved carved and whittled away. Impetuous, impulsive, emboldened, and audacious in the tomes, in the alcoves, in the sparse beams of light, her tones marched, a statement carefully curated in neither ashamed, incredulous, or demanding tones: shades of ambiguity. “I don’t know whether to be proud, afraid, or disgusted.”

And then, because Wessex had insisted, because there was a torrential tempest in her existence, because she’d been exposed to soulless renderings and irreverence, because she’d tortured herself and others – it spiraled from her tongue and loosened from her lips. “Were you rewarded because of what you did to us? Because of the blight? Because of the Fae?” Or were there other aspects Melita hadn’t known, hadn’t seen, ignorant to the footfalls of Voice duties and rituals? And maybe, in another time, in another place, Melita would’ve been smiling and happy and content for the Wraith, a being anointed and consecrated because of her devoted, dutiful service – clapping, rounds of applause and congratulations that felt more than just a string of safeguarded words. Maybe she wouldn’t have been afraid of the woman’s capabilities now, if more and more of their souls were going to be stripped away, if there were other plagues launching, presiding, waiting to be unleashed. Maybe she wouldn’t have cared if her life, if other lives, hadn’t been so effected, hadn’t been so drawn, hadn’t been so decimated and ruined. But then again – maybe none of it would’ve happened at all.

The world always told her she couldn’t go back to yesteryears and days long since passed, no matter how hard she tried, no matter how hard she wished. Perhaps this was just another instance, another crack and fissure.
to be made of sunshine is painful
to be too hot to touch, too far away to reach
MELITA
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