9 November 2011

quork: Color painting of woman facing a lightning storm. A mix of hair and raven feathers pours down her back. (lightning storm)
The city was noisy.

The city was busy and noisy.

The city was smelly, busy and noisy.

She felt quite out of sorts as she wandered the streets most adjacent to Elleshar's garden. Her senses were continually assaulted by the bustling activity and oppressive air. She had seen all of these things slowly come to be, of course, but the perception was quite different when wearing a human body.

She was becoming better acquainted with that body, putting it through its paces to reacquaint herself with all that it could do. She supposed that she might never entirely return to what it was, before that first change. She would drop things. Her entire body would be overcome with uncomfortable, violent temblors. She still tried to break eggs with her nose. It was often embarrassing. She felt that she could probably come to accept these tics and tremors as just another part of her, no different from her long shins or her fuzzy, unkempt eyebrows, no different than the sharp red seed of rage that had taken root near her heart.

And what was she to do with that? She walked down the drizzly streets, turning the matter over and over in her head. She had always been fierce but this was something else entirely, a screaming fever beneath her skin, a fire that could not seem to be quenched. The force of it quickened her step, and before she knew it she had walked quite a distance away from the garden. These streets were not so familiar. But she kept on. She had the right to be furious, no one disagreed. Her people were gone. The worst part of that was that she had already lived that pain on the night that she had been taken, but time in its slow but incredible kindness had blurred the memory until it was gone. Upon regaining her true human form, all the memories had come slamming back into her mind, sending her reeling at a time when she had no solid foot on the ground.

Her sisters, gone. Brothers, gone. Parents, beloved aunts and uncles? Gone. She had loved her entire clan, and now it seemed there was no sign that they had ever existed. Her grief was large and ragged and had to be put aside and ignored to deal with the ever-present dangers in her current reality. Still, she would not go back to total confinement in the Tower for all the corn in the New World. She counted herself fortunate that she could return to the raven form at will. Once the connection was made, she felt monstrously stupid at not having known it immediately. It was a great comfort to her, taking the shape of the raven. For the moment, it felt more natural to her than did her true form.

She came to a gradual stop near a large intersection, quite close to the bridge that she hoped would take her over the Thames and into the countryside. The wind chose that moment to give a great gusty push, and it flapped the left side of her cloak back over her shoulder, revealing a good portion of her naked white body. It did not take long for someone to notice, of course.

"Indecency! Ruin! Oh, look away, children! Indeeeecenceeeeeeeeee!" howled a gnarled old harridan just across the way. She was pointing at Croárc with the tip of her umbrella. "Poleeeeeece! Stop her! Save the children!"

Croárc couldn't see any children about, but she did see the dutiful policeman running up to assist the old woman. She fought the urge to sigh; these people were so ridiculously repressed! No wonder they all had pinched faces and cruel mouths. But she knew she couldn't get caught by these gaolers. Too much was at stake, and certain things simply could not be explained to the wrong people. So she gathered herself and sprinted off, dodging the small crowd that had begun to form around the poor, sad offended old woman.

"Stop! In the name of Her Majesty the Queen!" the gaoler shouted, but Croárc could move faster than he could ever hope to. She felt no shame, but she was starting to feel the thrill of the hunt. A razor sharp grin showed amongst the wild toss of her thick black hair. But she knew she couldn't run forever, she had gleaned enough from society to know how these things eventually ended. She knew what to do, it was as natural as breathing. Quickly shooting down a little left-hand alley, she drew her ritual dagger from a fold in her cloak. Still moving, she spoke the dark, ancient phrase and with a great gesture, brought the dagger down into the twisted white scar between her breasts. The cloak - and a handful of bright farthings - fell in a heap to the muddy cobblestones. And a great black raven took to the rainy sky, cawing triumphantly as he climbed up and up.

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quork: A sketch of a raven, black on white. (Default)
Croárc ná Corvain

May 2012

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