Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Nightfall Saga: Secrets Revealed (Part 2)

Just like that, the Testing was over. There was no more calling of names, no more sitting in hallways, no more secret meetings behind closed doors. Everyone went back to socializing, eating, gossiping and whatever else they had occupied themselves with doing before. Lady Alara busied herself with packing. She was leaving as soon as possible and taking her daughter with her.

In the middle of the frenzied rush, Cixi snuck away. She was just as happy to leave as her mother was anxious to get her out. Nothing would make her happier than to be rid of these ridiculous clothes, ridiculous people and be back in her hammock at the clinic with Nic and Erad. But, there was one person she had to see before she left. After making her way quickly and quietly down the maze of corridors, Cixi lightly knocked on the familiar study door. She knew that she was supposed to have Matthias do all the knocking and introductions for, but that just seemed so silly. Besides, she was on her way home. What could possibly be done to her now for knocking on a door?

The door opened and Cixi met the rather stunned gaze of Tobias, wearing his long brown robes as always. He looked past Cixi, obviously searching for the servant who was supposed to be accompanying the young lady elf. Cixi spoke up, directing her question at Tobias

“Is Lord Jaias busy?” 
“You know that you never have to ask that.”

The answer came before Tobias could form one of his own. He quickly moved out of Cixi’s way, allowing her to come inside of the study. Lord Jaias was sitting behind his desk, as it seemed he always was whenever Cixi had come to see him. He rolled up whatever it was he was working on and placed it to the side. His eyes had dark circles beneath them and the lines in his faces seemed deeper than they had been before. A grin crossed his lips as Cixi came into the room.

“Has my sister allowed you to come and see me?” he asked, leaning back in his chair and placing his arms on the armrests.

Cixi shook her head, as she took a seat on the opposite side of the desk, “No, she doesn’t know that I have come here to see you. But I thought it was only polite for me to come and say goodbye. 

"Goodbye?" Lord Jaias asked, "Rushing off are we?"

Cixi shook her head again, "My mother and I are leaving today. In fact, we are leaving pretty soon. My things are probably being loaded on a carriage as we speak.” 

Lord Jaias took a deep breath,”I had hoped you would have stayed for a bit longer. But once my sister has made up her mind, there is no unmaking it," Lord Jaias paused for a moment.

"You have a position in House Silvacce, I heard. You should take a few of those outfits that you wore while you were here. I’m sure that you will have use for them again.”

“I really don’t think my mother would let me keep them,” Cixi replied, “It would probably be best if I just let them remain here.”

Lord Jaias nodded, pursing his lips slightly at the thought. There was silence for a few moments. Cixi started picking at the frills on her dress. What it was that had driven such a wedge between her mother and her uncle? He seemed genuinely nice and understanding. And her mother was usually sweet, despite her stern streak. Cixi could feel her curiosity churning away in her head. However, she wasn’t entirely sure if it was something that she wanted to ask. At least not right now. Looking to change the subject, Cixi eyed something in front of her.

"Oh!" Cixi exclaimed, seeing the small object on Lord Jaias desk, "I used to have a toy just like that one!"

Lord Jaias sat forward in his chair and moved some papers around to see what Cixi was talking about. Nestled next to some ink bottles was a cube. It was constructed out of polished wood and metal with shifting pieces on each side. With a grin on his face, Lord Jaias picked the cube up and slowly turned it around in his hand.

"Really?" Jaias replied, interest causing his ears to perk up, "I didn’t think that you would have any interest in puzzle boxes. Especially ones like these. Do you still have yours?"

Cixi shook her head, "No, I don't know what became of it. I used to play with it all the time and then I lost it somehow. My brothers were going to let me play with theirs, seeing how they didn't really care for it. But oddly, they lost theirs too. Just figured they were given away or something."

"Did your puzzle box have any special markings on it, like this one does?"

Lord Jaias turned the box over to reveal a black cat etched into one of the sides. Again Cixi nodded her head.

"Yes, it did. All of ours did, actually. They all had silver crowns etched into the side. We never knew what they meant. Just figured it was a toymaker mark. But I have never been able to find a puzzlebox like that since. It was so pretty, like yours."

Lord Jaias grinned, “Yes, this particular one is quite special. It was a gift. My father always kept it right here on his desk. I find myself doing the same thing.”

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Daily Write - Belong to You

I want to pen this letter to you. Share my deepest feelings. But I don’t know how. How do I paint my heart in ink? And paint it in such a way that you can understand these thoughts and feelings that I barely understand myself. Even now, I wonder if I should burn this letter and give up on this endeavor. 
How is it that you can make everything so intoxicatingly confusing? How can you give my world such calm and clarity. And in the same moment, make everything so chaotic and uncertain? My head swims. My pulse quickens. I cannot rid myself of this ever present smile you put on my face. I am powerless to undo this unyielding and wondrous net I have found myself entangled in. I am captured, captivated and entranced, as if wandering in a dream that I never want to end.

My first waking thought is of you. And you are the last image in my head before drifting off to sleep. Your eyes, your smile, your laugh , my head is filled with thoughts of you. Like a lingering pleasant memory constantly revisited.

Perhaps I am nothing more than a fool. A fool with a pen, making a poor attempt to give voice to my heart and my soul. I hope I can convey at least a whisper of my heart. I want you to know this part of me. The part that springs to life when I am around you. This flickering light that glows for you. And every second it continues to swell in my chest.

This is my letter. This is my heart in ink, painted on paper for you to read, and hopefully for your heart to understand. I want for nothing more than to belong to you.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Nightfall Saga: Secrets Revealed (Part 1)

The story beings with The Nightfall Saga: The House Gathers

And continues with The Nightfall Saga: Moving Pieces

The reason for the Gathering was now coming ever closer. The Testing was about to begin, made pretty evident by the ambient intensity increasing by the day. Cixi was not entirely sure testing meant, but the swell of  whispering clued her in to it's importance and shrouded secrecy. She asked once or twice before it began, but the only answer Cixi received was from her handmaidens. She was told not to worry about it. Lady Alara had made sure that Cixi would not be participating. Of course that didn't quell Cixi's curiosity in the least. If anything, her exclusion only added more fuel to her ever burning questions.

What Cixi could glean from the clandestine whispers, the five heads of House Ebonlynx gathered together in one of the many rooms in large estate and called for candidates to come and sit with them. Behind those closed doors, some sort of examination was administered. What it entailed, no one would say. How the test was passed, no one would say either. Not even so much as what the test was for. But, when the day came that the first name was called, everyone headed to those doors and made themselves comfortable outside of them.

Cixi watched the entire procession with everyone else. One person after another walked into that room and had the doors closed behind them. Time would pass, the doors would open again and they would walk out. A servant announce the results for everyone to hear, then he call the next name. Cixi was confused by the somber ceremony of it all, especially after all the lighthearted socializing that had gone on before. None of those who failed looked disappointed. Those who passed did not seem elated or joyous about their success. There was no discussion of it afterwards. Everyone talked about everything else except what was happening behind those doors. And no matter how many times Cixi inquired, even her own mother never expounded on what was going on.

Cixi had tried asking others, but her questions were met with less than warm answers. Her status among the House had changed slightly now that everyone had seen how protective Lord Jaias had been with this niece. The powder haired huntress was under the protection of one of the Heads of the Council. No one was to so much as look at her cross ways. And while this had saved her from the arrogant berating she had received when she first arrived, it could not save Cixi from this. Her inquiries about The Testing had been met smoldering stares and tight lips.    

Cixi was exempt from having the go through the Testing. That did not sit with anyone in House Ebonlynx. Especially since everyone knew it was because of her deserter mother, Lady Alara. If Cixi was to be accepted as an Ebonlynx, she should be at least be considered as a candidate as well. Cixi should get no favoritism, especially being the granddaughter of a former Head and the niece of the new one.  And while no one breathed a word of it, the air was thick with dislike for Cixi and her the outcast mother.And now, Cixi didn't even have Lord Jaias to talk to.

Times like these, Cixi wished that she was back at home, hunting, with her actual family. There was none of this smiling in your face and then ripping you to shreds the moment you were out of the room. Cixi wondered how much longer she was going to have to tolerate all of this. How much longer she would be able to tolerate this. Little did she know, it would not be long at all. Thanks to a relative whose name Cixi never knew, the days of her stay were to be abruptly truncated.

Story continues: Secrets Revealed (Part 2)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Birthday Beauty Box

My sister spoils me :D

I had my birthday a while back and I got a really awesome gift from my sister. I will call it my beauty box. I haven't used everything just yet, but I have fallen in love with everything that I have used so far.

Face and hair products

My sister is letting her hair go natural just like I am. She sent me a shampoo and conditioner combination that she liked by Aunt Jackie's. It smelled really nice, so I decided why not. I absolutely adore this stuff now. It makes my hair feel really soft and smooth. I didn't think anything would make me walk away from Organix, but this stuff is a keeper.

Next is a green tea facial cleanser, moisturizer, and toner that I believe comes from The Face Shop. I have only been using the toner right now, because I had just opened my Olay products. However, I had no toner to speak of, so this came right on time. Very simple add in to the daily facial cleaning regime.

The volcanic clay...I like it because it has a nifty name. It is solely for cleaning the pores on your nose, like a Biore strip. It is pretty quick and simple. Put it on your nose, let it dry and then peel it off.

Face masks!!
The shampoo and conditioner were my favorite products so far, but these are a close second. I love face masks, especially these. The serum from these things makes my skin feel so much more hydrated and refreshed. Plus there is usually enough left over in the packet to rub on my neck and shoulders.I was never much for face products before, but these have me hooked.

This last one was a gag gift that made it's way into my box. (Thanks, Frankie) I swore that I would never use used something that had the word 'placenta' in it. The name of it simply grosses me out. I mean, come on, have you guys ever seen an actual placenta? Not something want to be massaging into my hair follicles. Frankie knew this and when she saw this protein pack, she couldn't help herself.

So that was my beauty box. Not sure how I'm supposed to match this for Frankie's birthday. Maybe I will get her a bunch of video game related stuff.Maybe make her a personalized Lootcrate or something along those lines.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Daily Write - Equals

You were everything I had ever wanted to become. There was nothing else I wanted more than to stand on your pedestal. To stand on that same height our peers had placed you on and look into your eyes.

 I find it ironic now. The thing that drove my want to emulate you, become you, what sat you in spotlight and heraldry, was the one thing you despised. Despised so much you tore it out, ripped it up, and destroyed every part of it. 

 Now that you have turned your back on what made you great, are we finally equals?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Daily Write - Touch

We had practiced. We had prepared. We had anticipated all we could. There was nothing left for us to do now but try. So, here we were, standing in front of each other. In spite of all preparation we had put ourselves through, neither of us were completely ready for what we were about to undertake. 

I was scared. No, more than that. Scared does not give my feelings at that moment enough depth. I was terror stricken. He was too. You didn’t have to be like us to feel our anxiety. It was an unseen fog, sucking all the air out of the room, threatening to choke the two of us. 

“It’s going to be okay,” he reassured me, using that gentle tone of his, “-I- am going to be okay.” 

He could hear my fear. Probably clanging as loud as warning bells. I was already pushing my thoughts into his mind. That was my worst fear, the thing concerning me the most; losing control and hurting him. 

“We don’t have to do this,” I whispered. I wanted to give him a way out. Give me a way out, “We can just label this a bad idea and forget about it. We can simply walk away.” 


His rejection was so simple. So final. So quiet. I felt him calmly pushing back. Pushing down my anxiety, like a cooling breeze running over my skin on a muggy summer day. He had become stronger and he showed me to quell my worry. I took several deep breaths and focused, folding the anxiety in my chest smaller and smaller until it was too small to feel. 



I could not watch him remove his gloves from those long, spindly fingers of his. Instead, I focused on my own. Nothing more than thin, white, pieces of fabric, they fashioned a barrier that shielded my sanity from drowning in the noise. Removing them was cutting loose my anchor and setting myself adrift in that noise. I could hear the echo of his breathing the same way one sees ripples on a lake. He was unsettled and uncertain. More than I was. Of course he was. The risk he was taking eclipsed my own and no one could know that more than him. I had to focus. 

We both took a step closer to each other. I could not look at him. Not yet. I had to breathe. I had to focus. However, I struggled. My heart hammered against my chest with such force. It only got stronger with every step. I thought at any moment it would break through and burst in front of me. 

“This is harder than I thought it would be.” I breathed.  
“Actually, you surprise me. You are quite calm.” 

His heart beat. I felt it like it was my own, thrumming in my head like a quivering drum. The process was already beginning. I had not noticed until he spoke. We were just within reach of each other, however he seemed so much closer than that. The fog tightened around us, dense, heavy and charged. It was seeping into my pores. He reached his hand towards me, slowly. 

“You’re shaking.” 

My own voice sounded foreign to me. I was losing the ability to recognize myself. 

“I know.” 

I held my hand out towards his. I could taste the fear building in the back of my throat, but I promised myself I would not hurt him. I just kept repeating that I had to focus, visualizing the fear as nothing more than liquid draining out of me and into the floor beneath my feet. I could feel the fog around us, clinging to my skin. It was a brewing storm about to swallow the two of us. I saw our fingers, his and mine, nothing separating them but a breath. And yet to me, it might as well have been a canyon. A canyon that I had to jump across.

 “I trust you.” 

His quiet finality. 

“Wait! No!” 

But it was too late to pull away. He clasped my hand in his. The burning jolt that followed seared into my flesh, bore into my stomach, ripped through my chest. I couldn’t breathe. My skull felt like it had been set ablaze inside a crushing vice. My entire body threatened to explode into ash and melt into nothing. I wanted to resist, to scream, to pull away and run. Instead, I forced myself to endure it all and look. Forced myself to pull my head up and stare into his eyes. His body seized like a leaf twisting in the wind. His face was pinched in agonizing pain. But, he too searched for my eyes. We found each other and in that moment I thought I had fell. But soon realized it was not falling. I was melting, disappearing, being absorbed into those eyes. 

I no longer saw him. No longer spoke to him. I felt him. I simply felt him. We were nothing more than two existences, two thoughts, two energies swirling in the presence of each other. We knew nothing and yet we knew everything. We were new and carefree. We were old and satiated with our lives as they had been. We ran, we flowed, we flew, we slipped farther and farther away into that vast expanse. This space of nothing occupied only by the pure essence of us. Never had I felt so close to someone. So together. We were two objects occupying the same space. 

Time passed. How much, I am not sure. I walked and remembered I had legs. Remembered I was made of muscle and bone. I felt that weight pulling me back into reality. I was slowly rising back to the surface, feeling my own skin, hearing myself breathe, feeling the beat of my heart in my chest. My mind was drifting, failing to latch onto anything concrete. I tried moving my body, but my limbs would not respond.. 

I could still feel him in my mind as I lied there, motionless. He was mist clinging to high mountain cliffs. I felt his smile and heard his gentleness echo in my head. 

“You are butterflies.”

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Let's Talk...

Let's talk about failure. I know, ugly word. A word that has ended many a dream for many a person. It's not the failure that breaks most people. It is everything that comes after; this package of malevolent feelings. The shame of it, the depression, the feeling of being sub-par and inadequate. You drown in those feelings, suffocating. And you just sit and watch as your dream is snatched away and crushed. Or do you?

I'm not going to jump on a soapbox and tell you to learn from your mistakes (though that is a good idea). I'm not going to spout out a bunch of inspiring quotes that have found their way onto posters, bumpers stickers and passed around on Facebook status updates. Instead, I'm going to tell you that I understand.

I understand failure and the package that comes with it. Wanting to hide, wondering why it happened to you, feeling beyond alone. Because, how could anyone possibly fathom what is like to have a hole blown in your world so big that it shatters everything in it? I get it. I get you.

I understand failure. It aches like nothing I have ever felt. I was mired down in this dark mental pit with nothing but my horrible, berating thoughts and bitter tears as company. But, I could not stay there. I could not die there. I could not drown, fade away and let this moment be the one that represented me, my life, myself as a whole.

Shutdown. Cry. Scream. Have the largest tantrum of your life. And when you are all done, don't roll over and die. Don't let this be your definition. Despite the tears, despite the pain, do not let this moment define who you are and who you will become.

Because that is what this is: a moment. A moment in a series of many you are going to have after this. Don't fade, don't give in, don't die. Not here. For now, breathe. Survive until this moment fades into the next.