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Champagne 7, Jelly Baby 5, FOTD

Silver Spoon piece
Author: rustydragonfly
Challenge: Champagne 7 (onyx), Jelly Baby 5 (one day, I shall come back), FOTD (tidings: News, information, or intelligence: sad tidings.)
Toppings: hot fudge, gummy bunnies (origfic_bingo October card: choosing sides)
Extras: fresh peaches (Expect a few last-minute changes throughout the day. Welcome the alterations. Think of them as adventures and new traditions. If anything, try it, you'll like it.)
Wordcount: 789
Rating: teen and up, mentions of family loss and general creepiness.
Story: Manifestations
Summary: Majiv receives some news, and makes a choice.
Notes: And that's that for Arc 8. Yes, it was a short one. Follows directly on from this piece. Next time, it's back to the boys and their story. Hope you liked seeing things from a different angle for this one.

Also, I don't know how to say this since it doesn't fit the pint criteria, but this is a very important scene. Though if you haven't got up to this bit, it could well be spoilery.



Majiv didn’t turn away from the fire. “You know the rules, don’t you?” she said. “No weapons in a waystation.” There was no reply, so she held her hands out, though they were already dry from the fire, and got to her feet. Still never taking her eyes from the hearth, she went on. “But if you’re who I think you are, I don’t think they’ll make a difference either way. Come on in. Just know what’s waiting for you.”

She heard the door open at her words, felt icy air billowing into the tiny shack. The fire wavered in its wake, but did not go out. She could feel the breeze against her body, running through her hair and stroking the bare skin at her hands and neck, making the hairs stand on end. When she turned around, there was a woman in the doorway. She leaned against the frame, arms folded, and smiled. She looked young, and so lightly built that, in any other place, Majiv would have feared she’d freeze.

She didn’t know if this was what she’d expected. She could try her memories, but they were old, and had betrayed her from the start. They always lurked at the back of her mind, and fled every time she made a move toward them, like dreams slipping from her waking thoughts.

“Hello, Majiv,” said the stranger. The breeze ruffled her hair, and she smoothed it down. It was close cropped, perfectly straight and perfectly black.

“If you take one step in here,” Majiv said, “the fire will see to you.” She could only hope it was the truth, and, if not, that she could bluff well enough. “It’s not time for that. Not yet.”

The stranger laughed, the sound echoing amongst the snow-covered trees. “I came for your sake.”

“There’s nothing you can do for me.”

“Your sons were here.”

Majiv said nothing.

“Ah! That got you, didn’t it?” The stranger jumped up from her slouch, leaning with one hand on the door frame and sending a trail of frost cascading to the ground. “I’m just here for your sake. Not for my brothers or sisters. Take me for what I am. Just a wanderer, looking out for another.” She held her hands out, palms up. “You can shut the door on me, if you want, and I’ll not bother you again.”

Majiv could already feel the heat fading, dissolving into the frozen forest. The stranger waited. She had such green eyes, Majiv noticed, green as summer. Strange, the things you noticed on the edge...

She’d been running all her life, even if few people knew, or could see it. Sarn had been one, and Bala knew more than anyone, before she’d walked away. And to her sons, she’d given her story, as a warning. “You may fight everything under the moon with teeth or claws, as long as you avoid their blood,” she’d said. “But stay away from the cold. Don’t fight it, don’t track it, don’t make any promises to it.” And if you’re lucky, she’d always thought but never spoken out loud, they’ll never bother you for my sake.

If Dhaymin could know what she was doing now, the air would be so thick with obscenities that she could cut it. But she’d given that advice a long time ago... and she’d never meant it for herself. I’ll have one favour of you before the time comes, she thought. “Then take me to my sons,” she said. “And no more.”

“You know,” the stranger said, “I never lie.” She held a hand out, and Majiv took it in hers. Her fingers were so slim, her skin so cold to the touch...

Majiv exhaled, and her breath came in a cloud of fog. She let the stranger lead her out of the door and into the snow, where she felt the icy touch at her feet even through her boots, running through her legs and up her veins. Outside, all was silent. It was a clear night, and the moon was out, casting a faint, silvery light over the snow-blanketed land. In the road, waiting with no tether or tackle, stood the biggest, blackest horse that Majiv had ever seen. It looked up at her approach, and its eyes gleamed for a second in the moonlight.

“I suppose if it’s you that takes me,” Majiv said, “I might have the honour of at least knowing your name.”

“That’s a good question.” The stranger let go of Majiv’s hand, and pulled herself onto the horse’s back in one quick movement. “I’ve had plenty. So many I’ve lost count.” She bent down, offering her hand again. “If you like, you can call me Numbers.”

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
ichthusfish
Dec. 29th, 2012 01:20 am (UTC)
I knew that had to be Numbers :) You've made her stance and character so strong and clear that she stands out as soon as she appears. Nice to see Numbers again. Very interesting scene. Looking forward to more :)
rustydragonfly
Dec. 30th, 2012 09:22 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I like that you can tell who she is before she's named, I guess I'm doing something right here.
niee87
Dec. 29th, 2012 08:07 pm (UTC)
Okay, now I am SUPER curious! Hmmmm
rustydragonfly
Dec. 30th, 2012 09:22 pm (UTC)
Yeah, this did turn out to be one of those reveals that just creates more questions. But yes, Numbers knowing who Jen was a couple of arcs ago was not a coincidence. But if I said any more, I'd have to kill you.
bookblather
Jan. 22nd, 2013 08:27 am (UTC)
HOLY CRAP.

Arc 9 please come now now now.
rustydragonfly
Mar. 29th, 2013 12:34 pm (UTC)
I am sorry to say that Arc 9 is not about these two, though you probably know that by now!

But stick around for oh... two more arcs? And things will happen. Trust me.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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