Ghosts of Dances Past (Noven)

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Herein lies the realm of dreams, where dreamers who are scattered all over the world in the physical can come together in the mysterious world of dreams. Remember, unless one is a Dreamwalker, there is no control over dreams. Ever. Anything can happen, and by threading a dream, you are subject to whomever can walk dreams and the whims of Storytellers.

Ghosts of Dances Past (Noven)

Postby Amrita on December 17th, 2014, 5:11 am

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Yes, you.

She hesitated to be so direct. Did he really not understand? His incredulous tone sent her heart sinking into the pit of her stomach.

Or maybe he did understand what she’d meant. Maybe he just didn’t want to believe that these souls truly needed him. They couldn’t leave him alone. Not until they’d either realized the meaning of their existence or fulfilled their life’s purpose; both of which seemed to require Noven somehow.

Amrita shut her eyes with an exasperated sigh. Abu was far better at explaining these things. He’d been patient and tolerant, calmly listening to her blatant ignorance with that slightly silly tilt of his head as she spewed on about ghosts being unintelligent and insane. He would ask her questions to challenge her beliefs, and counter her arguments with logic and reason. In truth, it took her a long time to accept his entirely altruistic philosophy. How could she expect to convince Noven of such things, so quickly? She’d barely had experience handling ghosts on her own, let alone influencing their murderers.

There was no time to dwell on Noven and her own naivety. Amrita’s focus quickly shifted to Henry as he pummeled forward. She heard his target yelling from behind her when she jumped to get her partner’s attention, hoping that Henry would stop once she got in the way. He didn’t.

His vengeance passed through her in a momentary gust of freezing mist. It struck her like a million tiny needles, the cold pain surprisingly amplified by the experience of Henry’s own pain infused within his soul’s substance. Amrita shrieked as she fell to the ground on her hands on knees, tears flowing down her cheeks.

She was way past her breaking point. Not only did she feel like she was physically torn to pieces, but her mind felt torn as well. On the one hand, Amrita desired to free Henry from suffering - if only based on her ideals and pure instinct. On the other, she figured that the only significant way to help was to let Henry use her body to his own free will. Did that mean that Noven needed to suffer? He hadn’t said much of anything to plead his case against being a traitor. Why try and save him when it was clear that he was the catalyst for the passage of nearly every undead soul in the room?

And that was when it clicked: she didn’t have a real reason to hurt him. Despite being a killer, Noven had done nothing to justify physical punishment. Most of the ghosts in this room were murdered according to a reasonable sense of morality. As far as she was concerned, his intentions had been pure, even though his actions were far from it. The room rumbled in conjunction with her sudden realization, cracking her wall of unwavering resolve.

Amrita turned to see Henry drunkenly beat down his former friend, who oddly wasn’t fighting back. She could see the rage in his deadened eyes as he delivered every bone-crushing blow. It was strange to see such force in an ethereal form. Impossible, even. Especially when she could see his hands pass straight through Noven’s shielded face.

Trying to focus on something she could control amidst the near absurdity, Amrita strained to get back up on her feet, only to fall back onto her rump like a frail little girl.

Petch. She winced, groaning in utter frustration. The room full of ghosts stared blankly at the scuffle unfolding amongst them. As much as she desired to free their souls, Amrita knew that she meant practically nothing to them. Her relationship to Henry was the only thing they vaguely understood, but other than that, she was just another one of the living. The thought of her insignificance crossed her mind just as a shrill, feminine voice broke through the noise of the dead.

Amrita slowly picked herself up. She watched and listened as the sickeningly gorgeous young woman sauntered over to the men on the floor. Who IS that? She seemed to be a friend of Noven’s. But when he bolted for the wall and sent the whole room hollering in response, she wasn’t sure whose side the woman was on. She needed to know. She was through with this madness, and she needed answers.

“Why?” Amrita shouted across the room. “Why shouldn’t he try?” Amrita began to walk closer to the pretty redhead, both in awestruck wonder and burning curiosity.

“Why does he even matter to you? To both of you?” Her voice shook as she tried her best to stay calm. She turned her gaze to Henry, hoping that he’d hear her sincerity through his inebriated haze.

“Sweetheart, I want you to get the atonement you so desire. And you know I’ll do anything to help you. But why does he deserve to die?”

There’s no such thing as someone deserving to die. But Amrita could accept that some people strayed so far from morality that death might be necessary for the protection of others. But how far from morality has this man strayed? Was it right to allow him to suffer without giving him a chance to explain himself?

She could feel herself desiring Henry’s wholehearted fulfillment far more than evenhanded retribution. The almost desperate need to see Henry happy was stronger than her circling moral conscience. It consumed her.

And she would genuinely do anything to grant him what he wanted.

oocAgh, this took a lot longer than I expected! And I feel like my writing doesn't flow the way I'd like it to, lol. Finals are making me lose my shit :smoke:

But seriously though, if you want Noven to wake up soon, let me know. :P
Amrita
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Ghosts of Dances Past (Noven)

Postby Noven on December 25th, 2014, 10:18 am

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He was still hacking away when Nov realized he was no longer making progress. The blade had slipped from his grasp some time ago but his arm was still in motion, fueled by such sheer determination that the muscles continued working long after the rest of his body had given up.

Against his will, Nov sank to his knees, hands dropping down to slash in a puddle of his own blood.

"What..."

He looked down and his mind reeled with horror. The entire front of his tunic was oozing blood from dozens of stab wounds. It was impossible to tell flesh from fabric anymore, as everything had become one giant, crimson stained mess. Had he not been staring at his own torso, Noven might've assumed he was looking at the workings of a pack of rabid dogs. Dagger forgotten, he raised a shaking hand to peel away some of the shredded cloth, thought better of it, and left it hovering above his wounds instead, his entire body frozen in indecision.

The man fought a rising tide of panic. He could feel pain, but it was distant and vague, just like Henry's blows had been. A part of him knew his situation had gone from bad to worse...much, much worse. The "I'm probably going to die for good this time" kind of worse. But the reality of it hadn't quite sunk in.

Behind him, Nov was vaguely aware of Amrita pleading with his tormentors. He found it frustrating that she was asking "why" instead of helping him figure out how to escape this hell hole. What did she see in Dead Henry anyway? He was dead, on top of displaying all the telltale traits of an insane person. For petch's sake, how much appeal could a crazy dead guy have?

Noven wanted to turn around, but every instinct in his body told him not to. The smallest of movements could bring fresh waves of pain and even more damage to his wounds. Unable to move, the cook just sat there, fighting the urge to give in to unconsciousness.

Meanwhile, the juvenile goddess took one look at Amrita's expression of sincerity and laughed, high and clear.

"Die? I don't want him to die. Why would I want such a lovely pet to end his life so needlessly? He's just barely begun to entertain me." Krysus floated a little closer, her feet not quite touching the ground. "I'm only trying to help, like I always do. Look at him, bleeding himself out from his own stupidity. Where would he be without me to guide him, to lend him such sweet, sweet power?"

She drifted even nearer and glided around Amrita's sunkissed form, close enough that the woman ought to be able to feel the goddess's breath trailing across her skin. "So much death piled up around him, so much suffering..."

Shuddering in pleasure, Krysus pressed herself against the lovely mortal and raised a pale hand to pull back some of Amrita's hair. "Dear Henry here may have agendas of his own, but my desire is simple. I want Noven to be mine to use as I please. To be another one of my perfect, vicious, murdering machines. A flawless tool at my disposal. And in order to do that, I have to eliminate the one thing that stands in my way."

The goddess leaned her molten head beside Amrita's exposed neck as she spoke, dragging her long, wine red nails from the woman's jugular down to just above the swell of her left breast. She tapped against the skin there and whispered two words.

"His heart."

Floating back up through the air in a swirl of silks, Krysus laughed shrilly again before melting once more into the darkness. Noven had heard nothing except the sound of her maniac tittering. All he knew was that he felt profoundly glad she'd gone at last; nothing good ever came of her influences and he was in no position, both physically and divinely speaking, to defy her.

"Amrita..." he tried to say. The words were like sand in his throat. "You...you have to...get ou--"

"Would you really, my love?" Henry interjected, cutting his former friend off mid sentence. "Would you truly do anything to help me?"

Nov had collapsed entirely onto the floor by now, no longer concerned over the state of his wounds. He could feel his blood under him all warm and wet like a pool of red soup. If he was going to die, the cook reasoned, then the last thing he could and should do was stop Henry from enacting whatever selfish, sinister plan he had through this unsuspecting woman.

Gritting his teeth, Noven pushed himself one agonizing inch at a time back onto his feet. He had to throw up one hand to brace himself against the slimy, bleeding surface of the flesh wall--or the inner lining of his own stomach, the man had finally realized--to keep from stumbling face first back into the floor. Wobbling unsteadily on his feet and covered head to toe with blood, Nov glared up at Henry's once again youthful visage.

"L...Leave her...the f...fuck...alone."

Henry paused for a tick, his arms already halfway raised to clasp around Amrita's slender neck. He turned to face Noven with an expression of incredulity. "And what do you think you're going to do, old friend? Kill me a second time?"

Struggling just to stay on his feet, Nov shook his head slowly back and forth. "I didn't...didn't kill you...wasn't me...Daggerhands..."

"But it was your fault," Henry hissed. "I died because of you! My whole life, gone in less time than it takes to piss, all because you tried to save some stupid whore. Was it worth it, Nov? Did she give you the petching of a lifetime?"

Throwing his head back, Henry fake guffawed. He seemed to have forgotten his plan for the time being, which Nov might've counted as a success, if the corpse's words weren't driving massive stakes of pain straight through his heart, each one twisting and turning upon impact. "Oh, wait. No, she just ended up getting raped thrice as much anyway and having a new face carved for her with a rusty blade. Definitely worth getting both your best friend and mother killed over, wouldn't you say, Little Red?

Noven didn't even think to question how Henry knew any of this. He'd died in that alleyway long before the rest of the repercussions had taken place, but rationality became obsolete. All Nov could do was sink back down on his knees and weep. He hadn't shed a tear since Calyn died in the fire, but now they were pouring down his face in angry streams.

"I'm sorry..." he tried to offer, "so sorry...I swore vengeance, I swore to find a rip apart the filthy scum who did this to you and Nona..."

The last thing Nov remembered was hearing the sound of Henry's ghostly voice.

"Sorry doesn't cut it," the cadaver had seethed.

And then he was awake, eyes flying open to be greeted by ink black darkness. The sheets underneath him were soaked with sweat and he was panting from exertion. A dream, the man realized slowly. It was all just another night terror...

Pulling back his woolen blanket, Nov could see no wounds across his bare torso. The skin was a bit damp and feverish to the touch, with a new scar visible from his previous stomach wound, but looked otherwise unharmed. Letting loose a shaky breath, he raised a hand to swipe against his cheek. His wrist came away slick with wetness. It seemed the only things he'd brought back from his nightmare were tears of guilt and loss that Nov had long since refused to shed again. But something about this dream...its vividness, its realness, had triggered pain buried so deep that it rendered him powerless to defend against it.

A flare of panic ran through him. There had been a woman. What had happened to her? Nov laid there in perfect stillness, running over all the details he could remember and finding himself irrationally worried over someone who wasn't even real. She had had a name...Amrita, if he remembered correctly. Try as he might, the man couldn't recall ever having met someone by that namesake.

A few chimes later he gave up and closed his eyes in exhaustion. Only to force them open instantly again, fearing what might happen if he returned so soon to the still-fresh nightmare.

Noven looked up at the darkness of his ceiling and repeated to no one--or perhaps to everyone--in particular the lingering words from his dreams.

"I'm sorry..."


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