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Home » Search » Roster » Whitepages » Records » Guidebook

Keeping Up
Open Halcyon Flats 

There is a hollow place somewhere inside him. A sickness growing. Seiji knows the name for it, but he is unfamiliar with the symptoms. He begins to realize how charmed his life had been, before — even the bad things. He rarely had cause for resentment. When it did try to rear, he knew instinctively how to cage it. But there is little to be resentful of when one is respected. When one is given the world, should he only think to ask.

Here, he is — here, he hasn't even a name.

It drags at him: an anchor hidden just below the surface. He is unknown. He goes unused. Digging up flowers in Solanis was a cheerful diversion but it was long ago, and only momentary. The monsters who call this place home don't seem to care for ceremony, for order, for anything which might lift them above their base appreciation of existence. It doesn't surprise him, but he feels frustration stretching him thin. He cannot find what he seeks. He cannot return. He cannot go home. And he can't even tell anyone about it.

He's glad to be alone, today. Alone with the maelstrom of thoughts inside him. It's a poisonous thing, this storm. He wouldn't share it with anyone else. Certainly, no one else here. His gait is long and fluid as he marches across the sand. He goes nowhere, in particular. He has no destination — only a vague prize waiting for him somewhere in this awful place. His tail lashes every now and then against taut flanks. Muscle shifting under black, black skin. The narrow geometry of him an abrupt darkness on a horizon of mirrors and sky. He supposes he ought to do something. He can't dwell in his bad mood forever. He doesn't like feeling bitter. So maybe, if he cannot go home, he should just practice for home while he's here.

He begins with trot sets: his walk lifting into a buoyant, scooping trot. The wet sand sucks at his hooves, but he approves of this. Let the resistance tire him out. Let it leech the bad feelings from him. He trots for a count of one thousand, silent, echoing through his thoughts, and walks for a count of two hundred. And then he does it again, over and over, until sweat begins to rime his sides and he feels a little more like himself.

He misses so dearly the pull of routine, the effort of his body. No one present to interrupt him, he adds difficulty for himself as he goes: canter sets now, swapping leads where he feels like it. Stretching his stride long, long, longer until the narrow sticks of his legs are aching. Tucking his stride in short, short, shorter until he is barely moving. He becomes absorbed, forgetting the rest of the world, the strange empty landscape around him. Wet sand flecks his belly, but he doesn't care. He need not be beautiful in practice. He is a thing self-possessed.

img by Tildae @ flickr
hold on to my HEARTBEAT
He flies without wings.

You have no other words for it, this awful, awful elegance, beautiful in a way that hurts to look at. He ripples under the sun, a mirage, a dream—your mind insists that he cannot be real. A liquid shadow when seen from a distance.

But his sweat smells all too real, and the prints he leave behind tell the story of a body meeting the ground; but how is it possible, when he seems so weightless? He sprints across the packed sand below, each stride eating up miles, lasting for eons, and you're not sure why watching him—a bird in flight—is so complex for you. His silence is a mystery, his grace a thing to envy, his decision to leave a painful loss.

You choose not to dwell on the latter. Instead, you picture him as he was in Solanis: absorbed in his task, joyful, bounding, proud. You remember his touch, gentle upon your shoulder. His infectious energy. The slow dance with Vynter.

You know nothing of him but what you see: power and grace.

He slows, muscles bunching; you fold your wings and plummet, your nose like the point of an arrow shot at the sand. The air whistles past your ears, tugs at your messy hair, ruffles your wings. It warns you not to play with fire, but you feel like getting burned.

You spread your wings, forcefully changing your trajectory; your shoulders groan against the strain but you narrowly miss the ground, shooting forward towards the stranger instead. Your wings raise slightly, as if to beat, but pausing oh-so-briefly on the upstroke—and then you snap them out, one low, one high, your body rolling over in the air as you tuck your wings to turn over fast. A heartbeat, that's all it takes, and you spread them again.

You don't know what it is; envy? An invitation? A challenge? But you glide and you watch and you wait.

[ idk have a barrel rolling horsebird ]
you’re a dreamer and you don’t know
that no story’s carved in stone