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> Restless Soul - The New Adventures of Niamh & Looch
PhonAntiPhon
post Jul 22 2015, 10:48 PM
Post #1


Knower
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Joined: 27-August 12
From: South of Lake Rumare...



A Word To The Wise:
This story continues directly on from the end of what was the final tale: 21/09/13 - "From Darkness" - HERE. For anyone reading this who isn't familiar with the adventures of a certain Bosmer, a little background reading might help - (check my sig, or the link above) - for those of you who are, well it's nice to be back.
And yes, I *know* it's not Cyrodiil, but it will be, we just have to get there, be patient...

======================================================

-RESTLESS SOUL-
.I.


A soft lambency filled the apartment, from outside and far below the muted hum of early morning traffic filtered in through a half-open window. Lucinda awoke slowly, lay for a time under the covers, her head resting on the soft pillow, staring up at the smooth white ceiling. Beside her the woman from the night before slept peacefully on, her breathing slow and regular.

She'd said her name was Niamh E., just that and nothing more. She was the singer in one of the bands that played at weekends down at the waterfront bars. Luciana herself had worked in a grill bar on the front and had seen her about from time-to-time, had even stopped in Gracy's on the way home to hear her band once. Not really her thing, a bit too punky but none too shabby nevertheless. She had found the woman herself though more than a little intriguing; all tight leathers and colourful hair woven with red linen strips; piercings and heavy black makeup completed her look.

She'd come across as sassy onstage, giving hecklers and fans alike as good as they gave her, all the time following whisky with whisky, cigarette with cigarette. By the last song she'd stripped to her bra and knickers, skinny body jerking and weaving to the jittery beat of the music, hair lank about her face and shoulders, her liberally tattooed porcelain skin running with silvery sweat. As the final chords jangled out she was laughing and bouncing, dark eyes glinting under the stage lights, her body a blur as she spun around and around, arms stretched out, screaming at the top of her voice before finally collapsing onto the stage and crawling off on hands and knees to cheers and whistles and applause from the crowd. Lucinda remembered how jealous she had felt of Niamh's energy and life and how she had wished, and did still, that she too could be more like her.

Lucinda was not naturally attracted to women, but even she'd had to admit to herself that there was undoubtedly something about Niamh, she was a force of nature for sure and mysterious also, somehow, not just her manner or her looks on stage but, something, there was something about her that Lucinda could not quite place her finger upon; a look or an expression that betrayed something deeper maybe. Life moved on however, her job changed to another part of town and with it came a relationship with a guy who seemed - as they always do - to be The One.

He was not, as it turned out, and six months later she found herself single and alone, feeling sorry for herself in her apartment on the the tenth floor of a low rent block on N- Street. It was already dark and she had perhaps had a little too much wine when she found her thoughts turning once again to a certain mysterious and intriguing woman, in a band, on the waterfront.

-x-


So she found herself once again in Gracy's, standing at the bar sipping a gin and tonic and watching a whirlwind of life spin and dance across the stage and thinking, "why am I here? For the life? For the energy? Or for her..." in truth she did not know, but regardless clapped and cheered with the rest as once more, quivering with nervous energy, the real reason for her coming out crawled from the stage, a strange and spindly thing, dripping wet in dark underwear.

The performance over, the rest of the band left the stage and the audience drifted back to their seats and into their booths. A growing sussuration of whispered conversation and piped songs replaced the live music of only a few moments earlier. Around her the long bar began to fill up and Lucinda, still on her first drink and rapidly feeling more and more out of place and alone despite the crowded space, finished up and turned to go, placing the empty glass on the counter.

"Buy me drink?" Came a voice directly behind her. Lucinda froze, her blood draining into her feet. Heart hammering, she turned around. She was standing there, right there. Nodding her head slightly, she raised an eyebrow at Lucinda. "Hi, I'm Niamh E., just that." Lucinda froze for a moment. "Whu..." She said, her mind working furiously. Niamh chuckled, chewing at the silver ring that passed through her lower lip. Turning to the bar, she signalled the barman. "Whisky." She looked at Lucinda, grinned again. "She'll have the same, so she will."
The drinks duly arrived, and Lucinda numbly handed over the money. "Keep the change." She croaked when the barman brought back a handful of coins. "You have a voice, then." Said Niamh with a smile. "Don't mind if I do..." So saying she pocketed the change.

Niamh's long black hair was tied up in a high ponytail, and Lucinda could now see it was shot through with streaks of dark red and burgundy. "You have a name?" Niamh turned to face Lucinda as she asked, and it occurred to the latter later that it was quite possible that she had genuinely expected her to not actually have one. "Lucinda." She replied. "...Lucy for short."

Just for a moment, something passed behind Niamh's big chestnut eyes. "Lucy." She repeated the name slowly, turning it over in her mouth as if it reminded her of something. Then she blinked and gave a brief little half-smile; raising her glass she said, "I'll call ya Lucy, then." Lucy nodded. "If you like." Niamh paused, her glass halfway to her lips, regarded the other from under furrowed brows. "I might, at that..." Lucy felt herself blush.

-x-


It was impossible not to get on with Niamh. It was like fighting with some inexorable maelstrom; no matter how hard you struggled, you just kept getting drawn in. Not that Lucy was doing a great deal of struggling mind, on the contrary, another whisky later and Lucy, who had already had two glasses of red wine before leaving the flat, found herself close in a booth with Niamh, who seemed almost totally untouched by what she had drunk, and regarded the other woman across the table with wry amusement as Lucy flubbed her words and giggled behind her hands.

Back in the present, Lucy smiled, and cast a glance to her side at Niamh's still sleeping form. From out of the window the street down below had grown busier and the room was definitely lighter. Never mind, she was content. Closing her eyes she let her mind drift back to the evening before, it already seemed so far away.
One thing she did remember was that, before the evening got a little... hazy, she had sat and looked at Niamh as they talked, taking her in, as if wanting to record every detail of that first time they had met, as if it were the first time she had ever met anyone.

They'd downed the first shot in one, in silence, and Lucy had somehow ended up paying for another and Niamh had again taken the change. Lucy, feeling like some awkward teenager on a first date instead of a thirty-five year old divorcee, stumbled over further introductions and obvious questions about Niamh's band. Somewhere along the way though the answers and the conversation drifted away to be replaced by a silence that seemed to enclose the two of them in a comfortable isolating sphere and cut off all sound, leaving only vision and that, it felt to Lucy, was enhanced, somehow.

Niamh's face was long and angular, yet somehow delicate, "elfin" might have been the way to describe it; full lips and a small nose and two widely-set eyes, large and chestnut coloured, set in deep and shadowed sockets. Within the pupils though there was depth, like they were two unfathomable pools. Her eyes were captivating and seemed to drag Lucinda's attention back to them every time she moved her own gaze away. Around her left eye a horseshoe of multicoloured circles had been tattooed, with a small blue star just beneath. Her ears seemed overly large in comparison to her head, and they were heavily pierced through with rings; in addition to these there was a ring in her lip and another through her nostril, they were all thick bands of silver, and she was constantly chewing at the one in her lip.

Lucinda remembered that her gaze had looped lazily downwards, past Niamh's mouth; her lips, coated in black lipstick, moving silently it seemed to Lucy as she spoke, and down over her shoulders. It occurred to her now, here in bed with sobriety once more crystallising her thoughts, that the other woman had been watching her, Lucy, looking at her, all the time...
Niamh had been wearing some kind of tight black leather affair that left little to the imagination, it was unzipped to just below her chest and left her long, slender yet surprisingly muscular-looking arms bare - (and she was indeed, as Lucy was to find out later, considerably stronger and more sinewy than she seemed) - her skin was porcelain white, and unmarked but for numerous swirling tattoos of many colours, consisting, it turned out, exclusively of various shapes; circles and squares, stars and crescents. The effect was to make it seem like she was wearing some kind of dazzle camouflage, like the ships that Lucy had read about had been painted with in the war. Later, in the flat, it had been difficult to keep track of her movements, or perhaps that had just been the whisky.

"...another." The sound of the bar and its occupants crashed back in on Lucy. Feeling as if she were falling forwards, she snapped suddenly upright on the seat. Niamh waited patiently for her to compose herself, her head cocked on one side, long fingers steepled before her, the nails painted a deep black. "I said, get us another, I have to pee." Except Lucy heard it as: "...Ai harv t'pee..." Niamh's accent had a curious Gaelic quality to it, neither Scottish nor Irish, but some strange mixture of both. There was an odd sing-song quality to it also, a kind of underlying musicality present in every word she said. It was a little weird but rather pleasant at the same time - (a lot like Niamh herself, Lucinda thought). "Whisky?" Asked Lucy. Niamh winked. "Aye, that's my drink." She got up from the table but then paused, looking at Lucy with that same curious half-smile, and again Lucinda had the oddest feeling that Niamh recognised her somehow. After a moment Niamh said, "Don't worry, you're doin' just fine." So saying she leant quickly across the table and kissed Lucy once on the lips, before moving off and away, smoothly disappearing into the crowd.

Lucy raised her fingers to her mouth, the impression of Niamh's lips fading only slowly. Her touch, her closeness at that moment, her scent; cinnamon and sweat, whisky and something... exotic; Lucy took a deep breath, her heart was beating way too fast and for a moment she felt sure that the other woman had drugged her. "She's clearly not your type." Said her stern inner voice. "You've paid for the drinks all night and now she's poisoned you! walk away Lucy..." Nevertheless she found herself at the bar once more, and her second thoughts grumbled into silence, ignored for the moment at least.

It was very late by now and the bar, though still certainly lively, was nowhere near as full as it had been previously in the evening, and as such Lucy was able to get herself served fairly quickly. "I see you've got something goin' there with Niamh." Said the barman as he came over and took her order. He was a large man with a green mohican, a wide nose and a wider mouth, his name tag identified him as Boris. Lucy smiled and shrugged in a kind of "Maybe, sort of" way. "This is it." She thought. "This is where he tells me she's no good." Deep in her mind, her inner Lucinda sat up and grinned smuggly. Boris poured the drinks and waved away her money when she offered it. "Nah, keep it, it's on me. She'll fleece you that girl will, and you'll still love her for it." He raised a stubby finger. "Word to the wise though, be careful with 'er, she's more fragile than she looks, is Niamh." Lucy raised an eyebrow, squinting slightly from the whisky she'd drunk. "How do you mean? " Boris looked around him, then leant forward conspiratorially. "Just that she's been through a lot, that's all. Acts all tough and brash she does but she ain't as hard as she thinks that she is, I know." He pointed a finger at himself. "I've been like a father to 'er these past few years..." Lucy wanted to ask more, and it seemed Boris was about tell her something further, but other customers had by then arrived and, with a final glance at her and a brisk nod, he left to serve them.

Lucy was, as far as was possible given her increasing level of inebriation, somewhat more thoughtful when she returned to the booth. Niamh had already returned, and was slouched nonchalantly on one of the bench seats, toying with the silver ring that pierced her nostril. As Lucy sat down and passed her the whisky, Niamh gestured with her chin to the barman. "Boris collared you, did he?" She asked. "Yeah, he did..." She paused for a moment, took a sip of whisky. "He said, um..." It was her fourth or fifth of the night and the words in her head came only reluctantly to her lips. "I know what old Boris says." Interjected Niamh. "Now though, now's not the time for serious talk."

"What... is it now the time for?" Asked Lucy, suddenly breathless, her voice catching in her throat. Very deliberately Niamh drained her glass and placed it on the table. She licked her lips and stared directly at the other woman. "Well," she said, her curiously accented voice lilting musically, "I suppose we'll just have to see, won't we?"

-x-


This post has been edited by PhonAntiPhon: Jul 22 2015, 11:36 PM


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Acadian
post Jul 24 2015, 07:26 PM
Post #2


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From: Las Vegas



Welcome back to both you and Niamh!

We know that Niamh crosses time and planes quite easily, so the time/location of this is a delightful mystery for now. A well-crafted and entertaining study of Niamh from an outside perspective. Her essence comes through fine, no matter where or when we encounter her. smile.gif


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PhonAntiPhon
post Jul 26 2015, 02:54 PM
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From: South of Lake Rumare...



Thanks very much Acadian! smile.gif
It's good to be back and good to be back writing about her. I'm currently working on the next installment...


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PhonAntiPhon
post Jul 27 2015, 08:15 PM
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Joined: 27-August 12
From: South of Lake Rumare...



.II.

Lucy was up and making coffee and toast by the time Niamh awoke. She'd boiled the kettle and sliced bread, and was rummaging in a cupboard for some aspirin to assist with the surprisingly low-level hangover she had from the night before - ("That's because you wore most of it off..." Her inner voice commented rather primly) - when she suddenly became aware of someone standing behind her. Turning, she saw Niamh in the doorway.
"Oh!" She exclaimed, reflexively tightening her dressing gown around her. "Niamh, how long have you been there?" The other woman raised an eyebrow, "Ya weren't so keen tae cover up last night, Lucy-Loo..." Lucinda blushed and coughed, and an awkward moment of silence followed.

Niamh broke it. "I borrowed one o' yer T-Shirts. Figured you'd not want me wanderin' yer flat with ma bits out." She picked at the material, Lucy was hardly a large woman, but on Niamh the T-shirt hung shapelessly like a sack. "Ye don't seem the type..." Again there was silence between the women, Niamh stood in the doorway of Lucy's little kitchen and surveyed the room, her expression unreadable. Lucy chewed at her lip, still holding the packet of aspirin. To her, Niamh seemed different from last night, and not in a way that could be defined by the abscence of alcohol; and further, not in a good way, either.
It was as if...

"I'll have a coffee." Again Niamh broke the silence, and with it derailed Lucy's train of thought. "Black, wi' nae sugar..." Lucy nodded, inwardly sighing. She could see where this little encounter was going and whilst it wasn't somewhere nice. This woman, so passionate the night before, so... Real, was this morning distant and aloof, but there was something else, something Lucy could not put her finger on. "I was going to do eggs and toast, if you'd..." Niamh shook her head. "Na, jus' coffee." So saying, she turned and wandered off into Lucy's living room on delicate feet that seemed to make no noise at all on the laminated floor. Shaking her head, Lucy prepared coffee, going about the task with methodical concentration entirely out of keeping with its simplicity. She would realise later that it had been simply an effort to prevent herself thinking too hard about the very obvious conclusion to the night's "entertainment". it was like being strapped to the rails and seeing the train approach, and being entirely and completely unable to do anything at all about it.

Niamh was sitting cross-legged on the sofa when Lucy came through with two mugs full of Finest Filtered. Steam curled lazily up from the hot black liquid. She placed the mugs on the table in front of the sofa and looked across it at her guest. Niamh had pulled the T-shirt up to her waist when she sat down, leaving her long, dancer's legs exposed. They were, like the rest of her, heavily tattooed, with brightly coloured geometrical designs curving and weaving their way up from her feet and over her calves and thighs to...
Lucy looked away, suddenly finding the view not to her liking. She was feeling an increasingly bitter taste in her mouth that had nothing whatsoever to do with the strong coffee she now sipped, cradling the mug in both hands. It was too hot really, but there seemed little else to do, Niamh was certainly turning out to be the very definition of taciturn; if she was honest, she was not in the mood for small talk either, her good feeling from earlier had long since evaporated.

Niamh made no effort to take the mug, only stared into the liquid it held, her chestnut eyes focused intently it seemed on the sparkling reflections of the ceiling lights in its surface. finally she looked up at Lucy and regarded her, just as thoughtfully, flicking her tongue back and forth over the ring in her lip. Despite her mood, Lucy still found Niamh's eyes strange and irresistably alluring. They seemed somehow even deeper and more mysterious this morning, like portals or doorways, only they were closed to her.
"I hae somethin' to tell ye." Said Niamh, finally. "Here it comes." Thought Lucy. Was it her or did the other woman's accent seem thicker and more pronounced this morning? "I'll be leavin' after ma coffee." She continued, shaking her head for emphasis. "I'll no' be back."

Lucinda smiled ruefully, took in a breath. "For good?" She already knew the answer but she figured it couldn't hurt to ask anyway. Niamh looked away briefly then looked back at her again, scratched the side of her nose with a long finger. From outside came the faint drone of a plane as it cleaved its way through the clear blue sky of an early summer day. "I'm... I hae things I need to do. It's best."
A wave of anger flowed suddenly over Lucinda, indignation, and frustration at the turn of events and the hand she'd been dealt, even though or perhaps because of the fact that she could see it coming. "Best? Best for who Niamh?" She hissed, slamming her mug down on the table. Drops of coffee escaped over the rim, splattered onto the smoothly reflective surface of the table. "You ha... You spent the night with me and now, what?" She stood up. "Oh I got things to do." She mimicked Niamh's voice as best she could, a limp parody of her accent. "Well you can just, you can just..." As swiftly as it had risen, her anger died away once more. She sat down on the floor, held her hands out towards Niamh. "I don't know why I care so much. You're just a woman I picked up in a bar."

Niamh shook her head. She'd watched Lucy's outburst seemingly dispassionately. "No, Lucy, you're just a woman I picked up in a bar." She pointed at herself with a thumb, her voice was harsh. Silence, heavy and awkward once again descended on them both. When Niamh spoke again it was with a softer tone. "I hae ta go, Lucy." Lucy felt her anger growing once again. What made it worse was that she did not even really know why. Their call and response was entirely true, Niamh had picked her up. Neither of them should by rights feel any loyalty at all to each other.
The fact remained however that she herself had gone to that bar - (and picking anyone up in a bar, let alone a woman, was something she would never normally have done) - specifically for Niamh and then they had... Until last night she had never been with a woman and she knew in her own mind that she would not be with another. What should have been an oddity, an experience borne of too much wine and maybe her feeling a little lonely and sorry for herself clearly was not that; somehow this woman had got under her skin, since even before last night and she, Lucy, was now only just coming to realise that, although in no way did she understand; it felt almost like destiny, or something.

"So what was I to you? Just a bit of something different to you, not one of the usual girls you go with?" Lucy could feel her eyes moistening, and fought to keep her composure. "You... You did something to me, Niamh!" Eyes sparkling with unshed tears she glared at the other woman, Niamh met her gaze and just for a second Lucy thought that something passed behind her eyes, a shadow, just like the night before. "What are you not telling me, Niamh?"
Niamh stood up, unfolding smoothly from the sofa in a single lithe movement. "I cannae do this, I hav tae go." Without another word she padded into the bedroom. Lucy, still sat on the floor, could hear her dressing, could hear her moving back and forth grabbing her clothes from where they had been left (thrown) the night before.

By the time Niamh had dressed and re-entered the living room, Lucy had got up from the floor and was clearing the mugs away. "Can I at least have a phone number, something?" She asked as Niamh reappeared in the doorway. "Ai dinnae have one." She said flatly, avoiding Lucy's gaze. "So nothing? I... I mean that's that, then?" Asked Lucy, desperately trying to keep a note of pleading from her voice.
Niamh finally looked at her. "Lucy, it wuz fun, it wuz, but ai cannae stay here wuth ye." She placed a hand on her chest. "Ai should never have spoke te ye, never have... come here, ai should have let it go." Was there a note of desperation in her voice, of something she wanted to speak of but could not? "Ai just wanted... Ai jus'... Ai cannae put ye through this agin, an' ai cannae do it masel' neither, it's too much."

She headed for the door, her long hair, still lose about her shoulders, seemed to flow about her as she moved, ripples of deep blacks and dark reds. Lucy spread her hands out to either side of her body. "Niamh! I don't understand! What do you mean you can't put me through this again? Niamh!" Niamh opened the front door, paused. Lucy took a step forward as if to come after her. "Niamh you're confusing me, we've never met... Have we...?" Niamh turned to her, Lucy held out a hand to her. "I don't understand..."
"It's best this way." Said Niamh. "Don't ye follow me, Lucy."

And then she was gone, the front door shut, and Lucy standing in the hallway of her small apartment alone once more, with one hand stretched out, the fingers grasping, as if trying to capture a memory before it faded utterly. "What has she done to me?" She asked herself out loud, her voice thick with emotion. "I don't understand..."

-x-


Down below her, the front door to the apartment building opened and a slender, pale woman in a form-fitting black leather outfit with large black boots, her long hair, black with deep red highlights, pulled back roughly in a high, untidy ponytail, emerged and walked rapidly up the street, her gaze fixed upon the pavement. She moved smoothly through the morning crowds of commuters heading towards the city centre, a river of people flowing along the pavements and across the roads and down into the subways, a waterfall of bustling humanity.

And there was Niamh also, unobserved and ignored. Ordinarily that would have been just the way that she liked it, but not this morning, today for the first time since she could remember, she felt genuinely lost and alone. Halfway to the subway at the corner of J- and Lorde streets she stopped dead on the pavement, eliciting rush-hour outrage and assorted unpleasantness as those behind swerved to avoid running into her. Looking to the left, she spied a dark alleyway between two of the buildings. She darted into it, walked deeper into its shadows and finally stopped, leaning back against the damp brick wall in the musty gloom.

Looking up through the iron skeletons of rusting fire escapes she could see a bright blue strip of cloudless sky, the tops of the buildings silhouetted against it. Although it was a still morning, a breeze funneled through the alley, scattering old papers over her booted feet and carrying with it the potent scent of mouldering trash and other even less palatable things. Sighing, she pinched the bridge of her nose and shook her head. A look of anger settled upon her angular face.
"Stupid, stupid!" She berated herself. "It wuz her! It wuz and you couldnae leave well enough, ye eejit...!" She kicked the wall behind her with a boot heel. "But it wuz her, tho'..." Her inner voice was softer now, a yearning tone creeping into it. "It's been so long." She took in a deep breath, let it slowly out. It shook just a little. "Ai missed her..."

Sliding slowly down the wall until she was resting on her haunches, she folded her long arms around her knees and resting her forehead on them, closed her eyes. In her mind, what few memories of her past life she had retained fluttered in and out of reach, tantalising and frustrating her. Yet again she strove to capture and make sense of them, hints of another world somewhere far from this city, a place and time she had caught an occasional glimpse of, another life she knew had been hers, somehow, though more than that she could not remember. To all of that she could now add one certainty, that this woman Lucy - there could be no doubt about it - she was the woman that Niamh had known and had loved in that misty former life.

Maybe, she thought, finding her meant that she would now be able to find herself, and find her own way back, but the thought of that terrified as much as thrilled her. There was a big part of her that did not want to know how she ended up where she now was, and going back might provide an answer to a question that she did not want resolving. Be that as it may, this morning she had awoken in Lucy's apartment and she had known that beyond any doubt the woman whose bed she had shared last night was the same one whose life she had shared in that place beyond here.
"Shared... Niamh?" She laughed bitterly to herself. Ruined more like it. Though she had only the vaguest of memories, with the knowledge of this woman came the added clarity that yes, she had loved her, but that she had put her through the ringer, and ultimately somehow, brought her low, and ruined her. That much she did know, if not the how or why of it.

"Dammit!" She hissed under her breath. She loved her still, that much was clear, but like the joining of the ends of some vast circle, she knew that ultimately she would ruin her again despite that love, just as she felt certain that she had before. And Lucy would, when it came to it, gladly submit. If Niamh's clouded history had told her anything, it was that she no more belonged here than Lucy belonged in that far world beyond the limits of memory. When the time came though, and it would somehow, Lucy would go with her. Niamh knew this now, and she hated herself for the knowing and the doing.
She. Niamh, would return to her promised land and with her would go a woman who would become a ghost, inhabiting another's shoes in a world as alien to her as this one still was to Niamh, and that wasn't even taking into account the other option, the one she really didn't want to think about...

Lifting her head off of her arms, she tilted it back against the wall and gazed up at the sky between the buildings, her chestnut eyes gazing away at somewhere far from the city and the alleyway in which she sat. They were drawn, she and Lucy, one to the other, for better or worse it seemed.
"I'm sorry Looch..." She whispered. "I'm so sorry."

-x-


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haute ecole rider
post Jul 29 2015, 04:47 PM
Post #5


Master
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From: The place where the Witchhorses play



Well, the usual ugly morning-after that typically occurs after many, if not most, one night stands. However you've managed to add a twist to this one that makes me want to read more.

I see you're still struggling with paragraph spacing -- it is really the only thing I can find to nitpick about. I'm not sure if it's a software issue (I had similar issues when I used MS Word and copy pasta into this forum - one of the main reasons I stick with Apple's Pages or Scrivener for all of my writing). Once I get past the inconsistency in the paragraphs, I find the story compelling to read. So I'll be watching this space!


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PhonAntiPhon
post Jul 29 2015, 05:49 PM
Post #6


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Joined: 27-August 12
From: South of Lake Rumare...



QUOTE(haute ecole rider @ Jul 29 2015, 04:47 PM) *

Well, the usual ugly morning-after that typically occurs after many, if not most, one night stands. However you've managed to add a twist to this one that makes me want to read more.

I see you're still struggling with paragraph spacing -- it is really the only thing I can find to nitpick about. I'm not sure if it's a software issue (I had similar issues when I used MS Word and copy pasta into this forum - one of the main reasons I stick with Apple's Pages or Scrivener for all of my writing). Once I get past the inconsistency in the paragraphs, I find the story compelling to read. So I'll be watching this space!

Thank you smile.gif I'll be doing my level best to keep it interesting !
Yeah the spacing issue... It is mostly a formatting problem. I do a lot of writing on tablet as .txt so that it's cross-platform but copy-paste to here and it stuffs it. I do my best to put it back the way it should be but sometimes bits escape. Other than that it's probably me and something I do need to watch...!
Although I write a lot, I'm not perhaps as disciplined as I could be with everything, all the time.

Next episode - (a bit briefer) - coming soon!


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PhonAntiPhon
post Jul 31 2015, 07:05 PM
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From: South of Lake Rumare...



.INTERLUDE.


Reincarnation happens all the time, mostly though no one ever knows. The Great Wheel turns and the souls of the dead are reborn, reintegrated, to begin again all unknowing. Occasionally someone may receive hints of their past life, a feeling they have "been here before", such people are rare in the great scheme of things however.

Niamh was not one of them, though she was similar. If it is rare for a person to be reborn and to remember their past life within their world, it is all but unheard of for a being to die in one sphere and arrive anew in another. But Niamh was not normal, in her previous life she had been - outwardly at least - what the people on the world in which she now found herself would call, a "Wood Elf" - a creature of the forests belonging to fantasy fiction; books and films.

Never human, then, and only as it ultimately turned out superficially Elfkind. She was far more fey than anything else and at the time of her death dark magic and wild impulses had coursed through her body, twisting her, bending her mind and spirit into new and unknown patterns.
Thus it was that upon its next revolution, the multiverse, in its ineffable wisdom, had deposited her somewhere... Else. Allied to this she never truly lost sight of her previous life but glimpsed it at times as one might see a distant range of mountains, or a village far off, obscured mostly by drifting clouds.
It had come to define her, this sense of Otherness, of belonging somewhere else in both space and time. She was it is fair to say consumed nearly constantly by a deep and very real sense of existential angst. Lately, new memories had risen to the surface in her mind, memories with greater clarity, places and faces, feelings; smells and thoughts.

How could all of this be?

We are all of us bound, spiritually, to the place we are from whether we like it or not. Whether we return physically or not, our minds drift back there from time to time. Niamh was much the same, though she never knew the exact location of her creation, for she was brought into existence by dark magics and strange ritual.

For her, the ties that bound her encompassed the world from which she hailed, and having been flung through space and time to somewhere entirely alien to her, one can only surmise that these ties, these threads, were strong indeed to have endured as powerfully as they did. Had she but known it, she would not have been so anxious to find her own way back to the world of her dreams, for it would have been apparent to her that the very threads that bound her to her previous life, grounded her to the world of her creation, would ultimately drag her back there.

The multiverse, as it turns out, cannot abide stray and loose threads, and ultimately causes them to return back upon themselves or be flung loose and subsumed back into the fabric of existence. Niamh's life force was too powerful for the latter however and so for good or ill she would in the fullness of time have found herself dragged back from one reality to another.

So, perhaps, all she really needed to do was wait a day longer, a month, a year, a decade, and reality itself would ultimately and inevitably have "reset" her. Sadly though things are never (relatively speaking) quite that straightforward. The very strength and power that had enabled Niamh's life force to retain a hold upon the world of her origin enabled others to observe her, and in observing, to attempt to follow from one world to another, using the shining beacon of her spirit and the bright filaments that extended, all shimmering colours, from her soul back to the world of her previous life as both a marker and a path.

These beings saw the world where she now lived, and their coldly calculating minds saw opportunity for plunder and for domination. They had mustered themselves in the timeless reaches of their own habitation, and now a small cadre sallied forth along the way, moving ever closer to Niamh and her strange new world.

You and I might see these beings and know them as Daemons. Niamh however would recognise them by a different name.

Daedra.

-x-


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ghastley
post Jul 31 2015, 07:09 PM
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Oh no! The entrance to the Channel Tunnel is really an Obivion gate, and all those people on the Calais end are Dremora in disguise! biggrin.gif


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PhonAntiPhon
post Oct 5 2015, 10:10 PM
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From: South of Lake Rumare...



Maybe just a little bit more...

This post has been edited by PhonAntiPhon: Apr 11 2016, 08:18 PM


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PhonAntiPhon
post Apr 11 2016, 09:05 PM
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From: South of Lake Rumare...



-THREE DAYS LATER-

.I.

To the usual sounds of the Great Forest, there was that morning added a new one: a low-pitched drone, barely perceptible at first, but rising over the next two or three minutes in both volume and pitch.

The sound appeared to come from everywhere at first and as it grew in intensity, the natural sounds of the forest were stilled, to be replaced by a hullabaloo of increasing panic as forest dwelling creatures of all sizes fled hither and thither from a steadily growing phenomenon that none of them could place, but was becoming yet more real and threatening by the moment.

Over the next few moments the event resolved itself in space to a clearing on a slope overlooking Lake Rumare, and the Ivory-White Imperial City, gleaming in the morning sunlight where it sat on its island in the still and glistening waters, its high tower reaching into the blue sky like some holy lance set to pierce the heavens.

Anyone looking up from the city at that moment would have seen upon the rise in question a point source of bright, pure-white light growing into a large, strangely flat circle, darkening progressively as it grew until it resembled nothing so much as a large and intensely saturated purple-blue hole, hovering in the air roughly ten feet above the ground.

This breach in the air, accompanied as it now was by a high, keening wail, remained stable for a moment or two, before beginning to pulsate, swelling and contracting in a distressingly organic fashion, almost as if it were attempting to rid itself of some blockage that was lodged deep within it. Over the next few moments, this movement grew more and more violent, streamers of arcing purple light formed around the hole in the air, and streamed from its centre as, added to the intense wailing sound, there came a deep and sonorous crackling as of a mighty electrical storm.

Suddenly, and with a powerful spasm, the centre of the hole thrust itself clean open, creased lips of pure energy wrapping back over its own rim as it effectively swallowed itself almost instantaneously, accompanied by a massive detonation and a bright and intense flash of white light, fading to purple as it dissipated into the tortured air where the hole had been less than a second before.

Yet all was not finished, for in its place, hanging very briefly in the air, was a dark form. As gravity regained control, this form tumbled earthwards, hitting the grassy slope with a bone-jarring thud and rolling some fifteen or twenty feet down the hill. As it did so it separated into two shapes, shapes that revealed themselves to be both humanoid and female, two helpless bodies tumbling, limbs flailing.

Finally they came to rest on the earth, one slightly apart from the other, their bodies and clothing steaming in the sunlight. All, for a moment, was silent and still, before one, groaning softly, sat slowly up, and brushed her long black and purple-streaked hair away from her face. Groggily she shook her head as if to clear it, and looked over at her companion where she lay limp and seemingly lifeless on the still dew-damp ground.

This other woman was dressed in strange clothing, now torn and dirty, one boot was missing and the buttons of her blouse were ripped open. This woman's pale hair had been roughly chopped short and her face was marred by a large and ugly-looking gash that extended from her left ear clean around the front of her head to her right temple. Dried blood covered her waxy, sweaty, skin.

The black-haired woman's eyes began to register alarm as the full import of what she was seeing suddenly hit home. With a cry of "Lucy!", she became suddenly galvanised and crawled rapidly upon her hands and knees across to the other woman. As she reached her, Lucy's eyes started open, wide with terror; body spasming, she reached to her throat and with clawed hands grasped at her neck, her mouth wide and gasping as she tried desperately to draw air into her lungs.

"C... Can't breathe!!" She croaked, gazing unseeingly at Niamh, who sat by her, still dazed and confused, able at that moment only to stare in utter bewilderment as Lucy quaked and rocked, choking and gasping on the ground in front of her.

-x-


This post has been edited by PhonAntiPhon: Apr 29 2016, 07:36 AM


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PhonAntiPhon
post Apr 21 2016, 12:08 PM
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.II.

Waves of nausea broke over Lucy, the edges of her vision were dark and fuzzy, vignetted; and what she could see of her surroundings appeared as if through a gauze-covered tunnel, growing further and fainter with every passing second. Her lungs strained in her chest as, arching her back, she clawed frantically at her throat as if trying to dislodge some deep-seated and ultimately terminal blockage.

But it was no good, however much she tried, she simply could not draw enough breath.

Niamh looked first at Lucy, then round the encircling forest in wild-eyed fear as she desperately sought for something, anything, to resolve the current and completely bewildering crisis which confronted the two of them. SO close on the heels of their recent escape and the terrifying events that directly preceded it, her own brain was struggling to process this latest calamity. Standing up on legs still wobbly as a newborn colt's, she hopped drunkenly from one foot to the other, almost wringing her hands in an agony of helplessness.

The world drifted further away, and darkness descended upon her finally. The tingling in her limbs faded, and her scrabbling hands fell to the grass, moist and distant as it was now. Drawing one last, desperate, useless breath between her quivering lips, Lucy finally lost consciousness and was still, her body splayed out upon the slope overlooking the Imperial City on its island in the lake, the sweat drying and cooling upon her blue-tinged skin.

"F**k!"
NIamh, realising with a choked sob that she was now literally out of time, dropped once more to her knees by Lucy's now-still body.
"Think Niamh, think!" She berated herself, thumping her forehead with a hand balled into a tight fist. "Wut's wrong wi'ye, ya stoopid wumman?!" Shouting at Lucy's rapidly-cooling form would do no good she knew, but short of climbing inside her and squeezing her lungs between her fingers...

With a gasp, she sat back on her haunches, staring first at the view down the hill, then down at Lucy, then around her.
"O' course!" Niamh, her feet in two worlds, had become so used to one, she had since all-but forgotten the differences inherent in the other. "Hurry, ye stoopid b*tch!"

Bending over the other woman, she ripped open the rest of Lucy's blouse, sending the few remaining buttons pinging onto the grass. With the merest pause, as if remembering some lesson she had once had, she placed her hands flat on the others chest, between her breasts. Drawing a breath herself, she began to pump rapidly at Lucy's chest, as if the other woman were a pair of bellows and she herself was attempting to reignite a long-extinguished fire.

"...1...2...3...4..."

Stop, breathe.

"...1...2...3...4..."

Stop.

Lowering her face to Lucy's, she listened intently for any sign of breathing, hoping against hope to feel even the faintest brush of air against her cheek from between Lucy's now almost completely blue lips.

"...1...2...3...4..."

Stop.

She pressed her ear against Lucy's chest, the other woman's skin unpleasantly clammy and cold.
Nothing.
"Breathe! Breathe ye f***ker!!" She cried, beating her fists against Lucy's ribs.

Another moment of desperate searching around her, as if inspiration might appear suddenly from her surroundings. Then, back to it once more: pump, pump, pump, and all the while a growing weight in her belly, a certain knowledge that Lucy, so soon found again, was now gone; forever this time.

"No!"

Lowering her face once more, Niamh clamped her mouth over Lucy's and, inhaling through her own nose, exhaled sharply into Lucy's mouth. Once, twice, she did this and then pulled back, placing her cheek against the other woman's lips.

"Could it be...?"

Sudden hope surged within her breast and she set to with renewed vigour, alternately pummeling Lucy's chest and blowing into her mouth; stopping to listen and feel for breath. The reality was that maybe only seconds had passed, yet to Niamh it felt like an eternity; another day, a sunrise away perhaps, such that when finally and with a sudden choking and violent gasp Lucy finally came round, it was all Niamh could do to sit back on her calves, her own body shaking and running with sweat, her own breath rasping in her throat.

After that first gasp, Lucy shivered mightily, and coughed - a harsh, wracking hack. Turning her face to one side she spat stringy phlegm onto the ground.

As she watched Lucy come round and recover, listened to her breathing stabilize itself, Niamh allowed what control she had left to slip from her.
"So close..." She whispered, her voice cracking as she burst into tears.

At the sound, Lucy looked blearily round, reaching out to Niamh with a shaking hand. Wiping at her eyes to clear them, Niamh took Lucy's fingers in hers.
"Hallo..." She whispered.
Lucy smiled lopsidedly. "I think you broke a rib..." She replied hoarsely
Niamh could not help but laugh.

-x-


It was maybe forty minutes later.

Lucy was sitting against the trunk of an enormous tree, belonging to a species that she had never seen before. She'd tied what remained of her blouse more-or-less closed, using a knot across her belly, covering herself as best she could. A cool breeze was blowing up from the lake below; it felt good upon her skin, although the scents it brought with it were at once familiar and yet oddly alien. It was all strange, in fairness - too strange, in fact.

Below her was a gleaming marble city, centred around an impossibly high tower that shone strikingly bright in the sunlight. The sun itself was... sort of the wrong shade of yellow, and the sky in which it sat was of a shade of blue that was subtley different from what she was used to.

Beyond all of that though, was the air itself. Although more recovered now, and even allowing for the pounding that Niamh had given her, Lucy's chest ached when she breathed and she still felt nauseous and light-headed. She sipped warily at a cup of water that Niamh had filled from a nearby stream. The cup found in the small pack which was all Niamh had been able to bring with her. The water tasted fresh enough, but had an odd tang to it that Lucy couldn't place.

There was more too, much more: a massive, almighty elephant sat in the room with her. It was one that she was finding it increasingly difficult to ignore. So many questions...

"How're ye feelin'?" Asked Niamh softly, squatting a little distance from her, her head to one side. She was looking intently at Lucy and Lucy could not help but think that there was something very different indeed about her recently-found... "Companion".
Nevertheless; "Better..." She replied, drawing in a shallow breath. She pressed the fingertips of one hand to her chest. "Feels... feels like I'm up a mountain..." she gasped, "...like... like I'm breathing in a paper bag..."

Niamh nodded, was silent for a moment.
"Aye." She said eventually. "Took me a minit tai werk it oot masel'" She sat down on the grass, crossing her legs. "Oxeejen." She said simply.
Lucy found she was having trouble working out what the other woman was saying. "Oxee...?" The penny dropped. "Oxygen?"
"Aye. Ther's less'n heyar then back in ur wurl'." Said Niamh. "Wun we cam' thru an' all, twas a shock tae ur system, so it wuz, an' ye choked..."
Lucy nodded slowly. "Less oxygen..." She said almost to herself, then looking squarely at Niamh she said: "And... where, exactly... is here... Niamh?"

-x-


This post has been edited by PhonAntiPhon: Apr 29 2016, 08:04 AM


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mirocu
post Apr 21 2016, 01:42 PM
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Wow, talk about touch and go there for Lucy blink.gif Lucky for her Niamh finally got her bearings and was able to help her come back.

Only question I guess is, back to where..? wink.gif


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PhonAntiPhon
post Apr 21 2016, 03:36 PM
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From: South of Lake Rumare...



QUOTE(mirocu @ Apr 21 2016, 12:42 PM) *

Wow, talk about touch and go there for Lucy blink.gif Lucky for her Niamh finally got her bearings and was able to help her come back.

Only question I guess is, back to where..? wink.gif

Yeah I know, where indeed...
Of course, it's not just Lucy's location in space and time that's changed, and that's not counting what forced them to make the jump in the first place.

All will be revealed. wink.gif


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PhonAntiPhon
post Apr 28 2016, 10:15 AM
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From: South of Lake Rumare...



.III.

Niamh was silent for a moment, chewing at the ring through her lower lip.
"Where d'ye want me te start...?" She said finally
Lucy swallowed to clear her throat and with some effort, sat up straighter against the tree trunk.
"...Start... small..." She whispered, still breathless.

"Hokay..."
Niamh made a face and stood, unfolding herself from a seated position with a weirdly sinuous grace. Lucy watched her as she did, her brow furrowed, and just as Niamh opened her mouth to speak, Lucy held up a finger to stop her.
"Also..." She paused, rather to get her breath than for effect. "You look like a... fairytale..."
A look of puzzlement travelled across Niamh's features. "Whut?"
Lucy pointed at her. "You... look like, a Fairytale Elf. You look weird."
There was a pause whilst Niamh considered this, then she said: "Wu'll cum tae tha'. Ai think tha' ye shuid jes' deal wi' wun thing at a tyme, hokay...?"
Lucy, who in all honesty was having a hard time dealing with anything, could only nod her head, too exhausted for anything else.
"Ok..." Was all she could say, and waved an arm in Niamh's direction.

"We're yn the Grate Forist." Began Niamh, gesturing expansively at the trees around them both. "Tis tai the west o'the Provinse a' Cyrodiil, wur we ar noo. Behynde me," she continued, turning and pointing like the oddest tour guide that Lucy had ever seen, "behynde me yz Lake Rumare, upon whyche yz The Ymperial City."
She paused a moment, looking at Lucy, who nodded at her to continue.
"Hokay, thus entire region yz the Heartlands, yn the center o' the provinse, th' forist streches tai west an' north o' heeyar..."
"Where, are... we going?" Lucy interrupted, she was finding it no easier to speak, and if anything she felt worse than ever. "To... the city down there...?"
"Nay." Niamh's response was immediate. "I dinnae thynk that wul be a guid idea. Y'see ai..." Her voice tailed off a moment. "Le's jes' say I hae ma reasons fer stayin' awai."
She stood for a moment in thought, chewing at her pierced lip, tapping the side of her nose with a long finger.

It was an admirably bitesize, if information-lite, summary of the pair's present circumstances. Even this though was to prove too much for Lucy.
"I think... I'm going to pass out, again..." She breathed, her eyes already becoming vacant and glassy. Niamh watched her as Lucy slumped sideways, her body flopping once more onto the grass at the foot of the massive trunk.
Looking round nervously, Niamh padded softly over to Lucy and knelt down by her. "Ai hope ai'v dun the rite thyng..." She whispered softly, if only to reassure herself.

-x-


Lucy came round with a start. It was pitch black and her head was throbbing with a pain that immediately made her long for the oblivion of sleep once again. Lying still, she took an experimental breath and found that, whilst still less than ideal, she at least felt she could breathe a little easier. With a soft groan, she raised a hand to her forehead and ran her fingers over the ugly cut that spanned it.
"Dinnae touch yt..." Whispered a heavily-accented voice from just behind her. With a gasp Lucy pulled her hand away. There was the sound of water pattering onto the ground, and then what felt like a damp cloth was laid gently over her forehead.
"Leave yt thair, hokay?" Came the voice again. Lucy finally recognised it as Niamh's.

"Niamh...?"
"Aye." Came the reply after a pause.
"I don't..." Began Lucy, but Niamh stopped her, squeezing her shoulder.
"Lay styll, wull ye, eh?"
In the darkness Lucy heard Niamh very softly change her position until, identifiable only by a slender shadow, or rather a darkening of the area in front of Lucy's face, the Elf was sitting by Lucy's side, and looking down at her.

"Ai had tae moov ye, wun ye passed oot." Whispered Niamh. "We ur hieyar uppe the slope. Soldiers frae th'Ymperial City saw uz arrive an' cam tai looke fer uz, ore whutevva cam thru the portle."
She was silent for a moment, the long fingers of one hand pressing lightly on the damp cloth covering Lucy's forehead.
"Mynde yoo." She continued after a moment. "Uvree F**ka frae heeyar tai the Skyrim borda, wuid-a heerd uz, ai rekkon..."

"So what happens now?" So many questions were bubbling in Lucy's mind that not a one of them seemed more appropriate to ask than any other.
"Wull..." Began Niamh staring, presumably, into the trees to Lucy's left, her dark eyes glittering in the starlight. Now Lucy's eyes were more accustomed to the dark, she could vaguely see the other woman, silhouetted against the relatively brighter sky and if anything, even - (or because of) - being only partially glimpsed, Niamh seemed even more otherwordly. Added to this increasing strangeness, there were constellations that Lucy could see in the sky beyond her companion that bothered her also, mostly because she had never seen them before.

Niamh, her voice bearing only vestiges now of what it had sounded like when first they had met literally a world away, if she were to be believed, talked on, but Lucy's thoughts drifted away. The pain in her head, and her growing hunger and thirst; the circumstances that found her here, still fuzzed and blurred in her mind's eye; all these though pressing, taking a back seat to the nearly overwhelming feeling of being somewhere utterly alien.

Strange skies above her, the cries of creatures in the woods around her, borne on a breeze that carried with it smells that were at once familiar and yet utterly unknown in too many ways; and the ever-present feeling that she was about to simply run out of breath, which, though somewhat better, was still very much there. All of these things jostled in her mind for attention, tumbling over each other as they fought to be acknowledged and addressed.

And then there was Niamh.
"What are you?" She heard herself say.
Niamh stopped, her train of thought broken. "Whut?" She said.
Lucy raised herself on her elbows. "What you Niamh? What are... you, and why have you brought me... here?"
The Elf was silent for a moment, perhaps thinking how to answer, though Lucy had no real idea. In the darkness she could see only the glimmer of Niamh's eyes and her slim silhouette.
"Ai dinnae ken if thus yz the tyme, Lucy." Said Niamh at length, evidently trying to be gentle with the other woman.

It was lost on Lucy however.
"Well I say it is...!" She grated, her teeth gritted. "I say it is, Niamh."
She saw Niamh's silhouette pull away from her, and gestured round about in the darkness.
"I'm freezing my ass off in a f**king forest on a mountain, for Christ's sake! I got nothing but the clothes... I was wearing, skirt and blouse... and, and I'm here and you..."
Lost for words, she shrugged. "You owe me something... something at least."
She heard Niamh sigh, there was a pause then; "Hokay, ai'll tell ye."
"Thank you." Replied Lucy, then adding, "please though, can we have some...warmth, a fire, at least?"
"Nay." said Niamh. "We'ur nay safer oop heeyar then we wer doon the hill. Yn fact..." The elf shifted, and Lucy saw the deeper shadow of her head turning from side to side, "Yf 'nethin' we'ur yn mor danjur, yn the darke, an' on that note..." Niamh moved silently closer to Lucy, bent her head down to the other woman's face. Lucy received a sudden rush of a strongly cinnamon scent, mixed with some exotic sweetness as the elf's warm, moist breath touched her skin.
"Kepe ur voice Doon, hokay?" She pulled back, and even despite her anger, Lucy felt a faint disappointment as the heady scent faded away.

The nighttime breeze was chillier now, and Lucy, her movements and breathing still somewhat laboured in the thin air, sat up, the damp cloth falling to the ground from her forehead. She pulled her knees up to her chest, wrapping her arms around her legs. "Go on then..." She prompted, her voice quieter and softer now.
"Wull..." Began Niamh, then sighed, and stopped. She was silent for so long, in fact, that Lucy could feel her anger returning, and was, nighttime dangers or not, about to say something, when the other woman finally appeared to have found the right track for her thoughts.
"Luik, Lucy, ye nede tai get uzed tai the fact tha' ye'ur nay yn ye're own wurld, k? Thus wurld heeyar, yz a verra diff'rent place alltugetha."
"And you brought me here..." interjected Lucy.
"Tai saiv ur lyfe!" Responded Niamh, "Ye wuid ha'..."
"I did not need saving, until I met you!" Lucy's voice was far more than a whisper but she was beyond caring, her life had been just fine before this... before Niamh had arrived and f*cked it all up.
"Wull ye let me hae ma sai!" said Niamh, with some force. "Hey? ye wanted a hexplunaishun, noo let me!"
Begrudgingly, Lucy forced herself to calm down.

Niamh took a deep, calming breath, let it out slowly.
"Whun ye sed ai luiked lyk a faerietail, ye wuz sorta rite." She began again. "As ye wuid unnerstan' yt 'newai. Ai am indede an Elf, or... mosslee at 'nee rate. thus wurld, yt has menee beyins that ye wuid thynk ar frae storeez, k? Ai suppoze ai am wun o'them."
Niamh paused to let this sink in. Lucy, for whom this information was, alarmingly, not the strangest thing she had heard or seen that day, nodded in the darkness for Niamh to continue, and was largely unsurpised when it appeared that Niamh had seen her do it, and could in fact see her just fine despite the lack of light, for she continued straight away.

"Ai am whut thus wurld, Nirn - (ov wych heeyar, Cyrodiil yn Tamriel, yz a part) - calls a "Bosmer",a Woode Elf, altho', ai'm nae compleetlee tha'..." Lucy was aware at this point that Niamh was clearly not telling her everything about herself, but it seemed equally from the tone of her voice, that she herself was a little confused on the point. She stored this information away for later.
"Ai am whut ye see, an' ai sounde lyke thus, yn realitee, Lucy. Nae whut ye saore an' heer'd yn ur wurld." A pause, then; "Tha' wuz a... reflekshun a'me, a translashun uv me." Another pause. "Whut ur wurld thort ai luiked lyke. D'ye see?" This last question was asked with something of a desparate tone, as if Niamh, having struggled to explain something that she herself did not fully understand, was hoping that Lucy would simply acknowledge the information she was given, so that Niamh could move onto safer ground.

Lucy was not about to let her off so easily, however.
"So why am I the same... here, as I was?" She asked, and Niamh made a sound in her throat that indicated her displeasure at not being let off the hook, with a sigh she continued.
"Wull, ye dinnae belong heeyar, Lucy, ai had te pull ye frae ur wurld tae thus wun, tae save ye. Tha's why ye hae got the problemz tha' ye hae got, wuth ye breath an' all - ye shuid nae be heeyar."
"You got that right." Said Lucy, then; "So, how you were ok in my world - I'm struggling here, Niamh..."
Again there was a long silence, and when Niamh spoke again, her voice betrayed emotions so unlike those that hitherto Lucy had associated with this strange woman, that she was actually taken aback; loss and some great sadness infused Niamh's words.

"Whut meks ye thynk ai wuz ok...?" She asked quietly, and hard on the heels of that; "Ai dinnae belong 'neeweyar, Lucy, 'neemore. Ai nevva belong'd heeyar tai start, an' whun ai... died... ai stopped hae'yn' 'neeweyar ai cuid call a home."
"I don't..." Began Lucy, thoroughly confused, but Niamh leant forward and placed a finger on her lips to silence her. Again there was the scent of cinnamon, and Lucy found herself experiencing once again a vague and not unpleasant tingling feeling, tinged also though with a strange feeling of loss, not for herself, but as if some deep and unheeled sorrow had transferred itself from Niamh to her.
"Lemme sai..." Said Niamh. In the darkness, Lucy could only nod.

"Ai, ai hae a place heeyar wunce, tai th'east o' heeyar. Wuz'nae much buit twas myne. Anna wumman, wuth hoom ai loved verra much. Then ai fownde owte who ai reella wuz an' ai lost evverathyn', e'en ma lyfe." She paused for a moment, and Lucy could not be certain, but she thought that she heard a snuffling sound from the shadowed form in front of her.
"Ai awoke yn ur wurld... dyffrunt..." Continued Niamh. "Buit sumhae the same as bifour. I dinnae ken yffe ai hae alwaiz bin theeyar or yffe ai jus' wuz, buit ai felt ai wuz adryft sumhae an' yet mebbe ai cuid mek a lyfe fer masel'. Start agin, p'raps, ye ken...?"
Lucy, still silent, nodded, knowing that Niamh could see her.
"Ma naycher yz Fey, Lucy, ai am wylde lyke the wynd an' ai fownde a lyfe o' sortz that sootid me. Buit thenne ai met yoo..."
"Me?"
"Aye, yoo. Ye ar lyke the wumman ai yoosed tai luv, ye e'en luik lyke her an' her nem wuz "Luciana", ai used te cawl her "Looch"..." Niamh gave a little laugh after this last statement, and it was so full of yearning heartbreak that Lucy felt her own eyes fill with tears.

Yet she felt anger rise within her chest as well.
"And so you pretended I was her." She said quietly. "For all of this, it wasn't me you wanted but her, wasn't it?" Lucy felt her lip begin to quiver, not only had she been wrenched literally screaming from her own world, but it was not even for some noble reason or purpose, it was all for a selfish lie it seemed, for someone else's wistful gratification; an attempt to regain, using her, a life they had lost.
"Ai thoght ai cuid lyve agin wi' ye, Lucy, mebbe, ai dunno. yt wuz wrong ai know buit ye hae tai see; whun ai reelyzed whut ai wuz doin' ai tried tai stop, ai sed, buit yt wuz too lait...!" The pleading in Niamh's voice was real, but it was still not enough.

"It was, too late, for me." Lucy muttered to herself, then out loud she said, "So, then, the... thing in my room..."
"Aye, the Daedra." Said Niamh, her voice betraying her evident relief at being able, if not to change the subject completely, then at least to move away from its raw and emotional core. "Ai guess ye wuid know them as deamyns in ur wurld." She went on.
Lucy didn't know about daemons from sh*t, all she did know was that she had been jolted awake shortly after midnight that morning - (she assumed it was the same day, though she had no way of really knowing) - by an intensely bright light accompanied by a low grating sound and a foul smell. She had been asleep on her sofa, wearing the clothes she was still in now, and, somewhat the worse for a bottle of cheap red wine, had at first simply assumed that she was dreaming, as opening her eyes she was confronted by a hellish vision.

In the centre of her living room a creature stood on four pairs of legs terminating in needle sharp points, these legs extended from a thorax composed of some dull brown chitinous material, behind which depended a bulbous abdominal sac, soft and flabby and covered with thick, gingery hair. The creature looked for all the world like some massive, mutated spider, but for the fact that where it's head should have been there was instead the nude, heavy-breasted torso of a woman, the skin grey and thickly tattooed. Upon the wide, muscular shoulders sat a head covered almost completely by a large black helm, leaving only a cruelly-twisted, red-lipped mouth showing. The creature's muscular arms terminated in large hands with thick, clawed-tipped fingers, one set of which had been wrapped around a wicked-looking axe or cleaver of some fashion.
Lucy had lain, paralysed with fear, on her sofa, staring stupidly at the nightmarish creature as, its putrid breath steaming from beneath its helm and its clawed feet skittering on the wooden floor, it had turned its head towards her...

Niamh's whispering voice brought her out of her reverie and back to the present.
"Tymes wuz heeyar whun the Daedra romed frae Gates 'cross the land," Niamh said, "an' nun wuz safe frae them. Buit that thret wuz for-stawl'd an'e'er since thiz beestys flock onlee tae poorfull sawces o' Majik, oar o' vairy-ants tai the norm."
"Meaning...?" Asked Lucy, though in truth she felt that she already knew the answer.
"Meenin' that thai ar led tai thoz liek me - thoz hoo dinnae belong." Said Niamh bluntly. "E'en afor ma... deth, ai wuz a beekun tai kritters frae Elcewear. Buit synce mai... ritern, thiz kritters hae cum fer me." She paused, and when she continued, Niamh's voice had in it that same sorrowful tone that Lucy had heard from her earlier. "Ai trid tae sai, Lucy, I trid tae tek masel' frae ye, tai droor them awa' buit yt wuz tai layt... ai'm so soree..."

Despite everything, Lucy really felt that Niamh meant it, the apology was heartfelt and sincere. It didn't, in truth, help much, but it was something to hold onto at least.
"Are you really dead?"
"Ye doan' sound supryzed..."
"Niamh," began Lucy, "today has seen me nearly killed by some Spider-Beast, grabbed by you and dropped... here..." She took a breath. "...Only to nearly die again, and for you to then... turn out to be an Elf - an Actual, Elf, and I am apparently in a, Magical Fairy Story - the fact that you are apparently dead, in This Place, is in no way the, most surprising thing that has happened to me..."

From somewhere off to their right something large moved slowly through the undergrowth and down the slope. Lucy felt the short hairs on the back of her neck prickle.
"Wull, Yus, ai canne see tha'." Replied Niamh, once the sounds had disappeared. "Wull, yus tho ai wuz nai masel', ai rimemba ai wuz execyootid by hangin', yn ma towne, to th'east o' heeyar - Bravil, on the watta... Luciana was watchyn'..."
There was silence for a moment. An owl hooted from further up the slope, again to their right. Lucy saw Niamh's head move to the direction of the sound, saw her body momentarily stiffen, and then relax.
"Hmm... Wull, ai hae nai idea why ai cam bak, nun, buit ai dyd. Thur must bee a reesun..." The silhouette shrugged; a shake of the head. "Buit ai dinnae ken whut yt cuid bee. Mebbe yoo..."
Lucy smiled ruefully, made a soft noise.
"What about this Luciana?"
"Ai dunno Lucy, ai dunno e'en whut tyme thus yz, ev'reewun ai yoosed tai know cuid be ded an' gon fur als ai know... ore mebbe, thai nevva wur..."

Lucy, listening to the Elf, could not help but feel that perhaps the two of them were actually one and the other both just as lost here. From what Niamh had said, if it was true, Lucy at least had somewhere to belong - even though it seemed unreachable now, whereas she - Niamh - belonged nowhere; adrift, Niamh had found an anchor in Lucy's world, Lucy herself it seemed, and for better or for worse, the two of them now appeared to be entwined - (though not in the way that Lucy had once envisaged).
Thinking on it, Niamh had indeed all but broken up with her, and now Lucy could see why - though she was no nearer to understanding the wherefores. Equally, when the sh*t had hit the fan and Lucy had been cornered in her apartment by the Spider-Thing - (ironically awoken from a boozy night mourning the loss of her fledgling relationship with Niamh) - then Niamh had appeared, on cue and seemingly from nowhere, and rescued her, or at least removed her from the frying pan...

"But if I had never been with you, then I would never have needed saving..." Whispered Lucy to herself.
"Soree, whut...?"

Niamh had not been concentrating on Lucy for some minutes.
Increasingly something was bothering her, the usual sounds of the Great Forest were all present and correct, but that was the problem, they were All There All At Once in what increasingly seemed to be a deliberately manufactured fashion. Niamh's skin was itching and her sinewy body stiffened, as she strained to sense anything that would confirm her growing fear.
...It was almost as if...

Something was coming.

Time slowed.

Niamh, turning to Lucy: "Run!" A harshly-whispered command.
Shoving her, pushing her, Lucy falling sideways and clambering oh-so-slowly to her hands and knees.
Niamh, all pretence at quiet gone now, leaping to her feet.
"Ruuun!!!"

-x-


This post has been edited by PhonAntiPhon: Apr 29 2016, 07:56 AM


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PhonAntiPhon
post Apr 29 2016, 02:34 PM
Post #15


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Joined: 27-August 12
From: South of Lake Rumare...



.IV.

Caught completely off guard, Lucy fell face first into the damp grass, only to have Niamh's fingers close round the collar of her blouse and yank her to her feet, she promptly stumbled again, holding her hands out in the darkness to brace herself against the impact with the ground.
Only a few feet from where the two women had been sitting, the slope dropped off sharply, Lucy's fall took her over the edge and sent her tumbling head over heels down the hill.

Niamh, her fingers tangling in the collar of Lucy's blouse, was thrown off balance and fell with her, cursing all the way, until the two of them fetched up painfully against the side of a fallen tree some twenty feet downslope from where they had been. Niamh sat up almost immediately, shaking her head to clear it, her senses reeling.
Looking up the slope, she could see three or maybe four dark shapes moving amongst the trees, and heard snatches of harsh, whispered conversation. Fortuitously their tumble down the hill appeared for the moment to have thrown off their attackers, whoever they were.

Turning to Lucy she was equally gratified to note that she was at least mostly conscious and appeared unhurt.
"Lucy..." She whispered, then again: "Lucy! cum on, ye hav tai moov, naow!"
Lucy rolled her head back until she hit the wood of the old tree behind her, opening her eyes she tried to focus on Niamh.
"Whu? Whu jus..." She asked groggily.
"Nae tyme!" rasped Niamh, grabbing hold of Lucy's collar once again and looking nervously upslope. Her hearing, far more sensitive than Lucy's even at the best of times, picked up the by now fainter sounds of their attackers heading off somewhere to their left.
"Possblee skuttyn' roon'..." She muttered to herself.

getting up into a crouch, she dragged the still dazed Lucy around to the end of the fallen tree, where, thankfully, she found that the middle of the trunk had rotted away, leaving a hole deep enough to hide a body.
Without further ado she pushed Lucy into the trunk and covered her with leaves. Ignoring Lucy's feeble protests and flopping limbs she leant into the trunk and grabbing the other woman's face to keep her head still, brought her own face in close.
"Stae heeyar, Lucy." She hissed. "Stai heeyar, ai WULL be bak, ye ken?"
Hoping that at least the most salient points of her admonition had got through, she turned to go, but stopping, turned back and leaning into the hole once more and with only the barest of pauses, kissed Lucy on her unprotesting lips.
Then she was gone into the darkness of the forest.

-x-


With a squeal, Lucy was dragged feet first into open, her flailing limbs throwing the hitherto concealing blanket of leaves hither and thither. Though dazed from the fall, she'd nonetheless been awake just enough to comprehend what Niamh had told her and had dutifully, once she had come round, lain still and quiet in the warm, enclosed, and mould-scented darkness of the trunk.
At some point she had, lulled by the sense of security she felt around her, dozed off, buried under a covering of leaves. What she had dreamed, she could not have said, and certainly was not now in a position to even attempt to recall.

"Niamh...?" She asked, lying on her back on the grass, blinking in the all-too-bright light of a blue-skied dawn.
The creature looking down at her was very definitely not Niamh, in fact, aside from the Spider-Thing, she had never in her life seen anything as hideous before. What was worse was that it was Here, right over her.

In a flash she took in all the detail she needed: humanoid, but massive and with a greenish-hue to its leathery skin. A bestial face with short pointed ears, dark pig-like eyes and a thick-lipped mouth full of tusk-like teeth looked down at her with an expression that mixed malice with open and unfettered lascivious hunger.
Opening her mouth, Lucy drew in as deep a breath as she could, and screamed.

The creature pulled its head back, momentarily perplexed, but upon realising that little harm was about to come to it from the pale and screeching woman on the ground beneath it, it grinned hugely and opening its own enormous maw, bellowed back at Lucy who, stunned, instantly ceased yelling and shut her mouth hard enough to clack her teeth painfully together.

Lucy lay on the grass and goggled up at the creature from eyes saucer-wide with fear, her face a bloodless mask of porcelain skin.
"Well well..." Rumbled the beast, dropping its wickedly curved and broad-bladed sword to the ground with a heavy thud.
"What 'ave we 'ere...?"

Bending down it observed her closely through squinted eyes, Lucy wrinkled her nose at the unwashed animal stench that emanated from its body, and its sour, rotting-meat breath.
"Hur, like a Princess." It said, standing up and blocking out the sun. "You 'ain't from round 'ere that's fer sure, but no matter, you'll gi' Old Graggus sumfin' at least, to show fer all this night's efforts."
Graggus laughed nastily, his voice thick and clotted as he eagerly surveyed his catch.

Lucy shuddered and tried to rearrange what was left of her clothing.
"Nah." Said Graggus. "Shouldn't bovva, girlie, I'm only gonna take it all off of ya anyway." He looked round momentarily. "Gave that Elf that was wiv yer the slip I did, oh yes, but I fink I'll take you somewhere a little more private."
He leant down and ran a hand roughly over Lucy's chest, prodding at her with a fat finger.
"An' then, " he said, a small string of silvery slobber forming at the corner of his mouth, "I can see about Taking You Somewhere A Little More Private, aha hur..."
Lucy cringed away from him as he loomed over her, laughing at his own joke.

Then, suddenly there was a dull thudding sound, and he stiffened, his enormous brows knotted together as his face took on a look of quizzical surprise, and like one of the massive fallen trees strewn round about, he toppled over onto the grass.
With extraordinary presence of mind Lucy rolled away from him, avoiding being crushed as he fell fowards onto his face. Lucy sat up, her heart pounding in her chest.

There was a dent in the back of the creature's head, from which greenish blood was welling lazily. Graggus moaned softly and snorted, one hand moving to investigate his wounded skull. Taking advantage of the situation, Lucy was in the process of scuttling backwards away from him on her hands and feet when from out of the bushes behind Graggus came a familiar figure.
Hurtling out of undergrowth, Niamh threw herself upon the prone creature, her face a mask of malignant fury.

"Ye leeve her a-loan, ya Orc Bastyd!" She yelled, and drawing back an arm swung the rock she was holding in her fist down upon Graggus' skull. Once, twice, thrice, until the hard sound of rock on bone was replaced by the wet, sloppy sound of rock mashing into brains and gore. Niamh, sitting astride the still twitching creature's back, stopped her assault and, taking a moment to catch her breath, threw the stone away from her and wiped her blood-and-matter-streaked hand and arm upon the Graggus' roughspun tunic.

Lucy gaped first at Niamh, and then at Graggus' rapidly cooling corpse.
"You... He was going to..." She began.
"Aye, tha's ryte, an' he wuid-a too..." She shuddered as she climbed off the body. "An' b'leev me whun ai sai, yt isnae suthyn yr ferget, neetha."
She walked over to where Lucy still sat huddled against the fallen tree and, bending over, she gently took her arm.
"Stand up naow, Lucy, lessee ye, an' whut's whut."

Shakily, Lucy got to her feet. Niamh, taking a step back, looked her up and down.
"Wull, ai thynk ye'll lyve. Haow's ye breethyn?" Niamh looked at Lucy intently, head to one side, dark eyes probing her face.
Lucy took a deep, slightly experimental breath. Despite everything, it did feel a little easier. Paradoxically the sleep from which she'd been so suddenly and terrifyingly awakened seemed to have done some good.
"It's better..."
"Guid." Replied Niamh, her voice soft.

Lucy, remembering something, placed her fingers momentarily on her own lips, lightly touching them.
"You kissed me..." She said.
"Aye, ai dyd." Replied Niamh. "Yf'n ai cun kip y'alyve fer loang 'nuff ai'll kyss ye agin too..."
Lucy studied Niamh for a moment, her eyes critical. The Elf met her gaze directly and openly.
"I'm not sure, still, whether I want you to, Niamh" Lucy lowered her eyes, looked sideways at her companion. "You are the reason I'm here..."
"Ai am." Niamh's response was immediate and loaded.

Lucy shook her head and smiled ruefully. It was a paradox that precluded resolution. On the one hand it was because of Niamh that Lucy found herself in this new world; on the other, it was because Niamh saved her life, when she could have left her, that Lucy was here. She could either make the best of it, or she could spend the rest of... however long... resenting the Elf and being lonely and miserable.

She studied Niamh a moment longer. The attraction was still there, undeniably - more perhaps, given the fact that the woman standing opposite her was quite literally exotic, rather than just appearing to be so. She sighed, it was she supposed better to give in and have a Niamh and the promise of... something, than to have no Niamh at all and potentially nothing.

Lucy, visibly relaxing for perhaps the first time, chuckled, shaking her head at Niamh.
"Whut?" Asked the Elf, a quizzical look on her face.
"Do you have this effect on all the women you meet?"
Niamh was silent for a moment, then grinned lopsidedly. "Sum."
"You win." Said Lucy quietly, and stepped close to Niamh, her arms spread.

The two women held each other tightly, and lucy closed her eyes and rested her head on the other's shoulder. Niamh was so skinny, and yet her body pulsed with life and strength. She had the physique of Bruce Lee. Lucy remembered being impressed by her physicality that first time, oh so long ago now, it seemed.
She breathed in, and again the heady scent of cinnamon and mysterious spices, mixed now with sweat and dirt filled her senses.
"Ai'll luik afta ye, Lucy." Said Niamh quietly.
"You better." Replied the other. There was a brief squeeze from the Elf in acknowledgement.

They remained that way, arms locked around each other, eyes closed and bodies pressed tightly together for some moments, relishing the closeness and the calm it brought with it after the chaos of the last few hours and days. A cool breeze ruffled their hair and all was silent apart from the gentle soughing of the branches around them, and the calling of birds up in the trees deeper into the forest.

Finally Lucy opened her eyes and reality, such as it was, once again made its presence felt.
"What is that?" She asked, barely keeping the shudder from her voice.
Niamh broke away and turned to look.
"Tha' thair yz a Orc." She said.
"Are they all like that?" Asked Lucy, her face screwing up into an expression of disgust as she studied the massive corpse. A pool of dark green blood was coagulating slowly around its smashed skull.
"Whut, vy-olent Raipysts? Aye sum o'em yus - jus' lyke hyoomenz, an' Elves." Niamh shrugged. "Theeyar nae dyff'runt yn theeyar wai, buit nae, Lucy, no' evree wun."
She put her hands on Lucy's shoulders and looked into her face, her dark eyes wide.
"Ye hae a lotte tae lurn, Looz, buit nae wurree, ai'll b'heeyar."
For a moment the two women studied each other, then Lucy nodded, once, and grinned. "Yeah, I believe you will."
"Guid." Replied Niamh, and leaning forward, kissed Lucy lightly on the end of her nose.

"Noo," she said stepping back, "We hae tae gette ye oot o' tha' stuffe." She gestured at the remnants of Lucy's clothing.
Lucy looked dubiously around the clearing.
"This is hardly the time, Niamh, and besides you could be a little less brusque about it..."
The Elf looked at her for a moment in puzzlement, then realisation dawned.
"Och, noo! Theeyar'll b' tyme enuff fer that layta." She said with a wink. "Nae, Yoo stycke oot lyke a spare prycke atte a weddyn' yn them cloths."
"Well what do you suggest?" Replied Lucy, blushing somewhat at the thought of "later".
"Wull, gimme a sec an' ai'll hae ye sum nue thredz."

With that, and before Lucy could say anything, Niamh had disappeared into the bushes once again, heading back in the direction from which she had come. Lucy, having put as much distance between herself and the dead orc as was possible, waited nervously for her companion to reappear.
As she waited, she looked down at herself with a critical eye. Her feet were bare, her shoes having long since come adrift, her skirt was mostly in one piece, though it was filthy and stained, and ripped around the hem.

Her blouse seemed to have come off worst overall, the knot with which she had secured it across her belly was still holding at least but one of the sleeves was ripped almost off at the elbow, and the collar was hanging loosely over one shoulder. It had once been white, but was now dirt- and blood-stained, and smelt strongly of stale, sour sweat.
More than anything she wanted a bath, even over the gnawing feeling of hunger that was growing in her stomach, but a part of her was very much resigned to the fact that the dirt covering her exposed skin was only going to get worse before it got better.

Niamh returned soon enough, and handed Lucy the bundle.
"What's this?" Lucy asked dubiously.
"Wun o' the Bandytz wuz a wumman, an smallysh, 'boot ur syze." Explained Niamh. "Ai figgured ye hae moar yoos fer the thredz than she dydde..."
"You want me to wear this?" Lucy untangled the clothing and held it at arms length. It smelt even worse than hers did and was if anything even more filthy. There was a pair of tan, brushed leather trousers and a jacket of similar material. Both had lace fastenings made from strips of leather. A pair of boots, darker brown and worn but evidently sturdy fell from the bundle onto the ground at Lucy's feet.
"Yus." Said Niamh, and then looked nervously around the clearing. "An b' kwyk too, ey? We hae tae gette oot o' heeyar sharp, kais o' moar o' theez bastidz..." She looked pointedly at the dead orc as she said the last word.

There didn't seem much point being modest.
Lucy untied her blouse and stripped it off, then slid her skirt down her legs, aware as she stepped out of it that Niamh was quite openly watching her.
"Ye'll wun't tae drop ye keks." Said Niamh, pointing at Lucy's knickers.
"What?" Said Lucy, freezing midway to picking up the ex-bandit's trousers.
"Ye keks. s'betta tae hae sum ayr roon' ye nethas." Replied Niamh matter-of-factly. "Twull be a wyle tyl ye hae a wosh, an' yu'll be ryte skanky yf'n ye kepe them onne. Trus' me."

Lucy paused for a moment longer and then, shrugging, pulled off her underwear.
"Yooz the byndin' onne ye boobz." Niamh pointed at the strip of dark green cloth on the ground. It had fallen, hitherto unnoticed, from the jacket.
Lucy fastened the trousers and bending once again, picked up the length of cloth; the material, though softer than the rest of her attire, was no less dirty, in fact it had an unpleasantly greasy feel to it.
"Aye." Niamh nodded encouragingly. "Yu'll blend yn betta an' yu'll b' moar cumfee." Niamh pointed at herself, and looking at her, Lucy noticed for the first time what the Elf was wearing: form-fitting, dark-blue or black leather trousers and jacket, knee-length boots of a softer-looking material, though still just as dark. The jacket was open almost to her navel, revealing beneath it a binding similar to the one that Lucy now held, but of better quality.
Niamh had tied her deep black hair up in a high ponytail, holding it fast with red cloth, saving for two tightly wound braids that hung down in front of her long, pointed ears which stuck out, their trailing edges pierced by multiple silver rings, from the sides of her long, narrow skull. Her true nature was thoroughly ascendant now and Lucy saw confirmation, if any were needed, that Niamh herself was a creature very different from the apparent reflection she had fallen in with in her world.

It took Lucy a few minutes more to dress herself, and when she was done, Niamh looked her over and nodded approvingly.
"Aye, ye'll doo." She said.
"Just that?" Replied Lucy, feeling more than a little self-conscious. Frowning, she reached under the jacket and tugged at the chest-binding. The clothes mostly fitted, but aside from their dirty condition, the material was rough and scratchy. The boots were comfortable enough, if a little tight. Lucy had been briefly concerned that she might get blisters, before figuring that blisters, at least, were very much down on her priority list at the moment.
"Yup, 's'enuff fer the mo'." Answered Niamh. "An' noo, we hae tae go."
"Which way?" Lucy, having lost all sense of what bearings she had following the earlier tumble down the slope, looked blankly to left and right.
"South." Said Niamh, and checking to make sure Lucy followed, headed out of the clearing and into the trees.

-x-


This post has been edited by PhonAntiPhon: May 3 2016, 06:16 AM


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Renee
post May 1 2016, 04:26 AM
Post #16


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Joined: 19-March 13
From: Ellicott City, Maryland



Hey Phon good to see you again! This story is fun to read.
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PhonAntiPhon
post May 2 2016, 09:24 AM
Post #17


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Joined: 27-August 12
From: South of Lake Rumare...



QUOTE(Renee @ May 1 2016, 03:26 AM) *

Hey Phon good to see you again! This story is fun to read.

Thanks Renee, it's good to be back.
(Again)


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PhonAntiPhon
post May 3 2016, 02:51 PM
Post #18


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Joined: 27-August 12
From: South of Lake Rumare...



-INTERLUDE-

Far to the east, a harsh wind was blowing up the craggy slopes of the valus Mountains. These steep and often inaccessible peaks ranged down the eastern side of Cyrodiil's border with neighboring Morrowind, effectively providing a natural fortification that separated the two provinces one from the other.

Little life was to be found amongst the smooth fascias and fractured granite of the range, and what vegetation there was clung, scrubby and hunched, close in to the rock face, or could be found huddling, as if for warmth, in sheltered nooks and crannies.

From the peaks that formed the northern section of the range a traveller, should they find themselves amongst them, could look down upon the city of Cheydinhal, nestled in the mountain foothills and bisected by the glittering Corbolo River, and to the north of it Lake Arrius, sitting betwixt the northernmost boundary of the Valus, and the eastern limit of the Jerrals, the range guarding the northern borders of the Imperial Province from the harsh tundra of Skyrim.

Somewhat to the north and east of the lake, far up amidst the jagged peaks at the very limit of the Valus range, was a house. Outwardly it was unassuming enough, a two-storey dwelling sturdily constructed against the elements, its windows small and shuttered against the bitter upslope wind that flung, when it had a mind to, flurries of snow against the weathered stone that, roughly rendered, made up the bulk of the dwelling's construction.

Outwardly then, unassuming enough.
Inside however the building appeared to consist of an unmeasurable space, vast and dimly light with a nebulous, pale lambency that seemed to come from nowhere and everywhere in equal measure. Should one be disposed to enter the building through the heavy oak door, one would perhaps turn around and note that from the inside both the door and the windows to either side of it were no longer visible. Indeed the internal view of the building's walls was that of a flat and featureless barrier, grey coloured, as if an impression of stone had been created more to delineate the boundary of the space within the walls, than to actually provide a formal and concrete structure.

It would have become very soon apparent to any observer that the space within the house was certainly in no need of physical boundaries and in fact had quite probably no requirement for any boundaries at all. Had that observer been able to tear their attention away from the unplumbed enormity of the void above and beyond their immediate environs though, they would have found themselves within what appeared to be an area roughly analogous to that of a study or a drawing room.

This region, approximately twenty feet square in real terms, was delineated with drapes and heavy tapestries. A large, antique-looking rug lay upon what seemed for all the world to be an oak floor richly stained and varnished. Comfy chairs and furniture lay round about the room and paintings and a map of Cyrodiil appeared to be hanging in the spaces between the drapes, suspended as it were in mid-air.
The incongruity of this so-called room was further enhanced by the presence of a roaring fire in an elaborately-decorated fireplace, whose brick chimney disappeared upwards for some tens of feet until it was lost, fading into empty air. In front of this fireplace, and abutting the hearth was a low table, covered with a green cloth, on top of which was a crystal ball of not inconsiderable size, filled with what appeared to be languidly rotating white and grey clouds. This crystal was suspended by arcane means between two brass rings, the top one hovering unattached above the lower where it rested upon the cloth-covered table.

In a plain-looking wooden chair next to the table, lit for the moment only by the flickering yellow and orange light from the fire, sat a female figure, she hunched over the crystal ball as if peering into it, although on closer viewing it could be seen that her eyes were closed and her plump, soft lips - painted a bright crimson - were moving rapidly as if she were reciting a spell, or an incantation of some kind.

Presently she stopped and sat upright against the straight wooden back of the chair. Fully lit now both by the fire and by the ambient glow within the surrounding space which appeared, since her attention had removed itself from the scrying ball, to have brightened somewhat, she could be observed to be a woman of perhaps forty summers with dark eyes and porcelain-white skin and hair, midnight black, falling in thick tresses round large pointed ears and about her shoulders.She was tapping her teeth with a long finger tipped with a wicked-looking crimson-painted nail, a thoughtful epression upon her smooth features.

Presently she stood up, revealing herself to be tall and slim, though not without curves which were accentuated by a plunging dress of black velvet, split high at the thigh and gathered on the ground about her feet. From the slit in the dress emerged a long, slender leg, upon the thigh of which was strapped an elaborately-hilted dagger, held in an intricately designed and tooled leather sheath.

She was silent a moment longer before she spoke to herself, it seemed, her voice low and rich, and husky.
"Aah, so ye've ritern'd hae ye, Niamh..."
Her dark eyes widened and glittered, and a half-smile flickered briefly across her lips.
"Cas gan choinne na n-imeachtai..." (an unexpected turn of events) Her voice assumed a thoughtful air. "Ne'ermynd, we shall see how thus plaiz owt."

She turned and headed to the very edge of the pseudo-room.
"Gan choinne go deimhin..." (unexpected indeed) She said, her voice louder now, then; "Kynnaeis! Where ar ye? Cum heeyar gurl...!"

From out of the pitch darkness there emerged, shuffling, a girl of not more than eighteen summers. She was elven, or at least of Elven Kind, and her skin was pale though, unlike her mistress', it was clammy and sallow, its paleness a result of lack of food and sunlight and of the drugs with which Beldanne kept her in thrall. Her straw-colored hair hung greasily down her back and she was skinny and fragile-looking, her frame covered by nothing more than a loose, shapeless shift of light cotton.
She stopped in front Beldanne and turned her head up to look at the witch with dead grey eyes.

"Kynnaeis..." Sighed Beldanne, and reaching out a long-fingered hand she gently cupped the girl's chin. "Soch a prittee wun ye ar, Kynnaeis."
The Elven girl was silent, merely staring up the older woman, her eyes unblinking and her expression unchanging.
Beldanne laughed softly, a harsh sound.
"Wull, anois caithfidh tu ag obair ar do choinneail." (now you must work for your keep) She said. "Send th' Sparroes, Kynnaeis, send thum tae west an' tae sooth, tul thum tai luik fer the Aos Si - Th' Spiorad..."

She gave the girl's chin a firm squeeze and pushed her away, sending her stumbling back out into the darkness to blindly do her bidding.
Once she had gone, Beldanne the Witch turned again towards the scrying ball and stared down into it, an expression of deep consideration on her long, pale face, lit as it was by the flickering fire.

-x-


This post has been edited by PhonAntiPhon: Nov 10 2016, 09:47 AM


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Acadian
post May 3 2016, 03:19 PM
Post #19


Paladin
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From: Las Vegas



Bewitching!

This interlude was great fun to read - well described and full of mystery. Loved the ominous elegance you gave the witch, complete with scrying ball and an elven thrall.


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PhonAntiPhon
post May 3 2016, 04:33 PM
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QUOTE(Acadian @ May 3 2016, 02:19 PM) *

Bewitching!

This interlude was great fun to read - well described and full of mystery. Loved the ominous elegance you gave the witch, complete with scrying ball and an elven thrall.

Thank you Acadian! smile.gif

Beldanne the Witch plays a brief but influential and pivotal role in Niamh's previous story arc here:
Niamh's Previous Story - post 104
I wanted to play around with her character more then, but there was no space for her in the plot, this time however, she'll be actually featured a lot more...

This post has been edited by PhonAntiPhon: May 3 2016, 06:33 PM


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