Solo Water and Stone II

Jaylani continues trying to learn to swim

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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Water and Stone II

Postby Jaylani Rae on August 27th, 2017, 4:56 am

Afternoon of the 46th of Summer 517

The water was consuming. Beneath it sound was muffled into being nonexistent. When there was no sound, just an echo filled silence remained. There was no air to be found under the surface the the water. No way for one absent of gills to breath besides to reach the surface. Lungs protested against the holding of breath and lack of air. It was so different beneath the water to hold her breath than it had been holding it outside of the water. There was a weight here that had not existed out there. A cry of pain silently swelled within her chest and an instinctual drive to get out of what was not her natural habitat screamed within her head. When it became too much, the held in air was released. It was not a slow stream like she had been practicing for the past several days, but all of it came out in a gust of bubbles. Jaylani did not stay under after that. She grasped the edge of the pool with the tightest of grips as she pulled herself above the surface, gasping for air.

“You are getting better. It was almost six ticks that time,” Duncan praised her from where he sat on the edge of the large pool.

Jaylani rested her forearms on the edge of the pool and pulled her body upwards. She coughed over the stone, but there was nothing to come up. Air was pulled into her lungs after she was able to stop the coughing. Deep breaths in rapid succession. Her hands trembled. She had not understood why at first, but she had realized it later. It was fear or nerves. Whichever sounded better. The mixed blood balled her hands into fists and focused her eyes up onto Duncan’s unseeing ones. She was unhappy, but not with him. Maybe with him. She was not sure.

“It not good,” Jaylani got out through gritted teeth, “why so hard?”

The Svefra male sighed and Jaylani glared slightly in response. He had told her earlier that she was expecting too much from herself too soon, but she did not think so. She did not get why all her practice had not made this easy upon the first try. Why was being underwater so much more difficult than holding her breath above the water? Should it not be the same?

“You will get there, it just take practice. Besides, you are already getting better. This is the first time you have even tried going under water after all. You are doing really good thinking about it like that,” Duncan pointed out optimistically, for the second or third time this day.

Jaylani huffed a breath of irritation. She hated this. She did not say that, but it was obvious enough. She did not like this lack of control. This inability to make something happen in an instant. This need to practice again and again and again with little improvement. When she had watched others swim before it had not seemed so hard. It looked rather simple, actually. Yet, she was discovering that there was a lot more thought to it than others made it look. One had to think about their breath, moving arms and legs at the same time, keeping form, the predictability of some bodies of water. There was much to take into account. It did not just come like second nature. Not to all peoples anyway.

“I want to be there now,” Jaylani admitted rather grumpily, casting her gaze down to where her hands were fists against stone.

The mixed blood heard her mentor sigh again. She could imagine that he was getting annoyed with her. Normally he was very friendly and endlessly patient, but she had ways of testing such patience. With anything else she would not have been such poor student, but with this.. well it has been mentioned before. She loathed the fact that she could not swim yet spent the majority of her time in the ocean. She did not want to spend the time learning this skill, but wished that she just already knew it. Sadly, for her, things did not work like that. This was the only route to go if she was serious about wanting to really swim.

“I know. As I said, you will get there eventually. Have a little patience.” Duncan's voice spoke with kindness in it.

Jaylani slowly lifted her gaze to look at his face. She just stared at him a moment. That dark hair, the tanned complexion, those unseeing eyes. She did not see an ounce of the irritation she was feeling within that face of his. He was calm, still kind, still more patient than she expected him to be. The woman exhaled and nodded to just herself. He was right, she needed to be more patient and she needed not to take it out on him. It was not her fault that she had never been taught as a child to do this. She had never let anyone teach her. Silly really, she had been with a Svefra pod for so many years in her early years. She wondered if they had tried to teach her and she rejected it or if she had learned and then promptly forgot. If that was the case, she hated her past self for shunning such lessons.

“Okay, you right. Let me go again.” Jaylani verbal responded after some rearranging of her thoughts.

The mixed blood released all the air from her lungs and moved her arms so that her hands were gripping the ledge of the pool with her elbows bent just below the surface of the water. A breath was sucked in after that. One of those deep ones that filled her belly first and then expanded within her breath. Her mouth was closed, one hand leaving the ledge to take hold of her nose and plug it shut. The other hand staid firmly on the edge of the pool as Jaylani pushed herself below the surface. Water surrounded her once more. Her hair was suspended in the water around her. Her body floated and yet felt heavy beneath the water. It was not long before her lungs began to protest again, but Jaylani persisted. She would not go up yet. Instead, she counted the ticks as they passed.

'One... Two… Three… Four… Five…'

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Water and Stone II

Postby Jaylani Rae on August 27th, 2017, 6:08 am

The day before this day Jaylani had worked on another skill. That skill was one she had been taught the basics of by someone who had disappeared from her life. She had been older when that person had come into her life though. A more willing student. Someone who wanted to get to know how to survive in the world around her without having to rely on other people. Jaylani wanted to be that person. She wanted to be strong and capable. She wanted to be able to function on her own and not need anybody. Not that she did not want anyone in her life, but she did not want them to be a necessity. For now, though, they were a necessity. She was more or less completely reliant on others to survive. Even here. She had some skills, yes. She gave what she could back, yes. Yet, if she was completely alone here, she was not likely to survive for long. That was not a bad thing and she never wanted her being alone in Syka to become a reality, but she did wish to be a little less reliant on those around her.

Seven ticks. That was how long she staid beneath the surface this time. Bubble rose and with them, the mixed blood’s body. She breath in a deep breath as she hugged the edge of the pool once more. This time, though, was different. She did not cough. Did not gasp for air. She did breath heavily, but she could get the air. There was not so much fear choking her airways. So she breathed. Her dark hair was plastered over her shoulders and upper back. Water dripped from the tip of her nose and beaded along her exposed skin. She did not care, though. She just brought up a hand and wiped the water from her eyes before wiping it below her nose to wipe away the strange feeling that lingered there from exhaling beneath the water. She let out a breath, but it was not a sigh. Just an exhale of relief. She had made it back and she was fine. She had even managed to stay under a little longer. Patience, it seemed, was key.

“See, already better. You will be a little fish in no time!” Duncan praised with a chuckle.

Jaylani laughed a breathy laugh and shook her head. She was not so sure that was true. For one, as far as she knew, humans did not usually turn into animals. Two, she did not see any gills growing on her and to be a true fish she would need gills. She did not point this out to Duncan, however, because he seemed quite happy with the words he had said. Quite sure that he was right and she would be a little fish in no time. She would not hold him to that. Otherwise they would both likely be disappointed.

“Sure..” Jaylani responded, that laugh still lingering a bit in her voice, “I go again?”

“Lets give this a break and trying something else. Give your body a bit of a rest,” Duncan suggested before he moved from sitting onto the edge of the pool to being with her in the pool.

“Alright,” Jaylani simply agreed.

“Remember how to float?” the Svefra male asked her as he extended a hand towards her.

“Yes,” Jaylani gave another simple answer as she took his offered hand.

“Good. Show me,” Duncan instructed.

Jaylani decided against remembering last time and what had happened, but she was not so good at making her own rules and then sticking to them. Her mind went right back to that time of the day ten days prior. It had been her first successful adventure in floating. Duncan had moved around her and gotten her body into the correct form. He was very capable at most things from what she knew, but watching her and making sure she did not lose form was not one of those things. He just simple could not do it unless he had been checking her body constantly through the touched of his hands. She had lost her form and while it had not really been a big deal because the male had been right there to catch her, it had given her a fright. She was weary of trying it again, but he insisted. Besides, it was not really that hard. Jaylani was at least more confident in floating than she was in holding her breath underwater for any longer. She already knew how to do the floating. She just needed to make sure she properly executed it this time and keep herself from losing form.

“Alright, now remember, legs straight and arms straight out. Lower arched up towards the sky. I will be right here if you need me,” the Svefra instructed after helping the mix blood out into the middle of the pool.

They were both treading water at this point, but that would end soon. Just Duncan would continue while the mixed blood floated. Jaylani was mentally preparing herself, however. She was taking a moment to remind herself that all would be fine. Tightening her grip within Duncan’s own helped in reassuring her. He was right there. He had not let her drown last time and he was not going to let her drown this time. She trusted him. To others that might not have been saying much because she trusted most anyone she had any kind of relationship with, but to her trust meant everything. She just had an easier time of giving it, maybe even when she should not.

“Alright,” Jaylani said as she began to raise her legs from below the water.

Duncan helped her some with getting to the point of being horizontal with the water. Jaylani did her best to get into form on her own, though. She stretched out her legs in front of her, her arms straight out to the sides. One palm was raised towards the sky while the other was still holding Duncan’s hand for reassurance. He was not going to let her go. The mixed blood worked on arching her back and keeping it arched. She tightened the muscles of her lower back and stomach. She felt her muscles tensing at her will so that seemed to be a good sign. All felt like it was going right.

Duncan did not check or adjust the mixed blood’s form this time. She did not understand why not, but she did not think about it too much. She was just focusing on not drowning. It was almost silly how focused she was on it. Silly not because it was important, but because she was forgetting to relax. Forgetting to enjoy herself.

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Water and Stone II

Postby Jaylani Rae on August 27th, 2017, 9:22 pm

The sky was made bright by Syna’s afternoon light. The water of the pool sparkled. Light and rainbows danced within the waterfalls that kept the water continuously circulating. Looking from above, one would see the mixed blood there floating in the pool with one of her hands held in the grasp of the male who continued to tread water by her side. From the outside, she looked peaceful. Her eyes were closed, her body surrounded by the sparkling blue water with hair surrounding her head almost like some sort of crown. She was beautiful. She was always beautiful, even when she was a mess, but there was something relaxation and peace did to the face. It became softer somehow, more innocent and pure. She might have even been described as looking like something ethereal, but she was not quite there. When one looked closer, they would catch the wrinkles between her brows. It was not much, but it was just enough to show that she was not at all as relaxed as she might have first appeared.

Jaylani had her eyes closed because to leave them open would have brought pain, but she did not like being trapped in that grey darkness that was found when eyes were shut in direct light. She felt like her control over the situation was lost because she could not see anything. Syna’s light was blinding, however. Spots had danced in that grey darkness when she closed her eyes and only now had they begun to fade away. One good thing came of this lack of being able to see, however, the mixed blood could turn her focus to everything else. She narrowed her focus on her body and every movement it was making. Her ears were full of water so she could not hear, but her nose along with her mouth were still exposed to the air so she could breath. There was a part of her that wanted to suck in breath after breath in rapid succession in an almost sporadic sort of way. The more dominant, smarter, side of her kept her breathing even. An in and out that reminded her of those breaths she took right before falling asleep.

Her heartbeat was loud in the half Myrian’s inner ears. She could hear it thumping steadily against her chest. It had been faster earlier, but she was learning to let go. Learning how to allow herself to relax just a little bit. She had been floating for several ticks by this point, maybe even a couple chimes. She did not know, time was relative in this state. There was no counting being done when there was so much else to focus on. Keeping muscles taunt, arms straight, legs from bending. Jaylani was still doing a little too well with this, however. Her arms and legs were straight like an unbreakable stone. Her back was aching from all the pressure she was putting on herself to keep it perfect. Yet, she did not know how to let go. How to give in and allow her body to just relax while she kept her form.

There was a pull against her held hand. Jaylani felt her body being pulled towards the one who was pulling on her. It was Duncan, she knew that much. It was barely willing that she allowed her body to be pulled towards him. He moved to where his hands were at her shoulder before he prompted her to fall out of her position by pushing her shoulder gently upward from behind. Jaylani was reluctant as she pulled on her abdominals to raise her torso up. She brought her legs beneath her and her head above the water surface. Droplets of water fell from her face and hair as she took a light hold on Duncan’s shoulder and treaded water using her other arm and her legs. She looked at him with irritation, but also curiosity. Why had he made her stop when she had been doing things right? She had not almost drown, so what was it that he wanted?

“What?” she asked, her voice unintentionally sharp before she adjusted and instantly apologized in a softer tone, “sorry. Something wrong?”

“It is alright. Nothing is wrong, but you were so tense. I could feel even just in your hand. Your hold is different when you are relaxed and when you are tense,” he explained to her, his voice calm.

“I was just making sure I do it right,” Jaylani pointed out, not sure why it was so bad she had been tense, “I stay floating, did I not?”

“You did, but floating is meant to be relaxing. That is one of the reasons for knowing how to do it,” the Svefra answered, “learning proper form is important, but so is learning how to relax while staying in that form.”

Jaylani did not say anything right way. Instead she quietly contemplated what he was saying. In a way he was saying she was doing it wrong, but without saying so many words. The mixed blood knew she had not been doing it very wrong, though. She had stayed up and had not come near drowning so she must have been doing something right. Yet, he was saying that her not relaxing was doing something wrong. She sort of understood that in some small way. Her muscles were sore after all. Could all the tension contribute to that? Thinking about it, she decided that perhaps the answer was yes. She had been sore from the day before’s activities when she woke up that morning, but now it was different muscles that ached. She decided that it made sense for the tension to have created said aching. Maybe there was something to a little relaxation.

“Alright..” Jaylani agreed hesitantly, “how?”

“Remember how it was on your first try?” Duncan asked.

“I nearly drown,” Jaylani reminded.

“Before that. Why did you cave in towards the water?” Duncan asked patiently.

“I lost form,” Jaylani answered.

“Why did you lose form?” Duncan asked.

Jaylani bit on her lower lip, thinking about it. She had been very relaxed her first time. She had let peace was over her like a blanket and been at complete ease. There had not been near as much tension if there had been any at all.

“I not thinking,” she told the Svefra male, “I was lost in mind. Peaceful. Relax.”

Duncan nodded with her answer and gave her a smile that she had to shift her face to see because of where she was in relation to him.

“Exactly. Now you just have to find balance between those two states. The too relaxed state and the too tense state. Then you can do both, keep form while being relaxed and enjoying yourself,” the Svefra instructed.

Jaylani sighed softly and verbally agreed with him. He was right. She remembered how nice it had been before she lost control. She wanted that peace again, but she did not want to feel like she was drowning again. Balance. She just needed to find a balance. The mixed blood thought that maybe, just maybe, she could actually do it. With some patience. Another thing that would require some patience.

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Water and Stone II

Postby Jaylani Rae on August 28th, 2017, 1:56 am

Sometimes when Jaylani was at the pools with Duncan she found herself wondering what life was like for him. What was it like to forever be surrounded by that darkness that earlier had made her feel so trapped? When she had closed her eyes earlier she had known that the darkness was only temporary. All she had to do was will her eyes open and a world of color would consume her vision. She could see all the shades of the rainbow through her eyes. The shadows and what existed outside of those shadows. She could see where she was going and look back to see where she had been. The world was open wide for her, but for the Svefra it was not. What was it like to know that the darkness was not temporary, but forever? He would never see the colors of the world again. Never be able to rely on his sight to get him through even a simple task. Jaylani found that she admired him to some extent for having been able to adapt his life and somehow survive in spite of what the gods had taken from him. She relied so much on her sight that she did not think she could have ever done it. To lose any of her senses, really, would have been quite catastrophic to the mixed blood.

“Are you ready to try it again?” Duncan asked, his voice curious and patient.

Jaylani pondered the question for a moment, but she already knew the answer. She was done for the day. Her body ached and she was tired. This work, the stress that came with it, was quite exhausting. So even though she wanted to keep going so that she could get to her results faster, she knew it likely best not to push herself. That would only bring frustration and her frustration was not something anyone should be subjected to dealing with. Especially not one who was trying to help her.

“No, I think I go to the soaking pool now,” Jaylani answered after a moment.

If she really wanted to, she could practice her floating there as well. Even the breathing underwater could be practiced there. The pool was just shallower. She was sure that she would not drown there. If she started to feel herself stuck beneath the surface than she could always press her feet to the bottom and push herself up. Standing there would put her head and neck well above the surface of the warm water.

“If that is what you want to do,” was all Duncan said in response.

“It is,” Jaylani said, nodding as she spoke.

Duncan nodded and began to lead Jaylani to where the steps leading out of the pool were. They had to swim for the majority of the way, which was difficult on the mixed blood. Her swimming using both arms and legs at the same time was always a challenge. She did a sort of flailing thing every time she tried. Duncan tried to help, but he had a harder time swimming with only being able to use one of his arms to actually swim while the other was used to support the female who struggled not to nearly drown. Somehow, through a lot of trial and error with pauses for deep breaths, the two got to the stairs. Once Jaylani got a foothold on the lowest one, she was fine. She walked up and right out of the pool, water dripping from her drenched body.

Jaylani was glad for the solid stone that was beneath her feet once more. She felt more stable and secure when she could just simply walk to where she wanted to go. So much easier than trying to swim somewhere. Less of a risk of drowning or even falling. She was usually rather sure on her feet. The mixed blood did not think about it for long. She just breathed a sigh of relief that they had made it. No even near drowning had happened this day. Though, of course, they had not embarked on much that was new. She had done the floating before and while she had not worked on her breathing for underwater before, she had been practicing the technique of it. So that was it, holding her breath underwater had been the only new thing she had done this day.

“Thank you,” Jaylani told Duncan as she gathered her soaking wet hair in a clump in her hands and began to twist it.

Droplets of water splattered against the stone beneath the mixed blood as she wrung her hair out. There was no reason for her to do what she was considering she was likely getting in the other pool here in a chime, but she did it anyway. Likely so she just had something to do with her hands. She did not often like feeling like she was being idle.

“You are welcome,” Duncan replied with a small smile.

The pair said their farewells for the day after that and Jaylani made her way up to the smaller pool. Her things were all there where she had left them upon entering the paradise settlement’s pools. She had her brush, soap bar, razor, and clothes sitting in a pile. She had just worn her skirt again, hating having the extra fabric of her other clothes when she did not need them. To swim here.. it was not like Riverfall. There things were a little more strict when it came to most things, fashions including. Here there could just be skin, especially when swimming, and no one would bat an eye. Of course, when they went into the jungle the story was different. They needed clothe to protect them against all the dangers that were found within the wilds. Here though, so close to the beach and as they got closer to the water, not as necessary. Jaylani found that she liked this. She liked having the choice, it was liberating.

The mixed blood picked up her things from on top of her skirt and moved them closer to the edge of the pool. She was alone here so might as well take the chance to get herself clean. First, though, she was planned on just soaking in the pool. Relax her tense muscles and her mind. It was a therapy that she needed. So she slipped in the pool and sat on the bench found with in. She rested her head back, closed her eyes, and allowed her mind to drift. The peace and relaxation she wanted was not hard to find. In fact, both came to her almost instantly as she let the warmth of the water work its way into her bones.

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Jaylani Rae
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Water and Stone II

Postby Gossamer on December 11th, 2017, 2:51 am

The Fates Have Spoken
Here is your thread grade!


Experience: Swimming +4, Socialization: +2, Observation +3,

Lores: Swimming: How to hold one’s breath underwater, Swimming: How to float on one’s back, Swimming: How to tread water, Swimming: The importance of Relaxation, Bathing Pools: Relaxation and Cleanliness Can Be Found there, Syka: Clothing Optional Near The Beach

If I missed anything let me know!


As always PM me if you have issues.

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