Solo Eggshell and Snakeskin

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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Eggshell and Snakeskin

Postby Madeira Craven on February 16th, 2019, 7:56 pm

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32nd of Winter, 518


A weak winter sun was just cresting over Zintia, and the grounds of the Infinity Manor were bathed in the gold of early morning. In any other city there might have been a drowsy, tranquil air to the beautiful early hours; but Lhavit never slept, and neither did Infinity and it's many denizens.

Madeira, fresh from class, had put away her fancy silks and jewels and prowled the front yard in a simple cotton dress. She sang nursery rhymes with Emma as she threw handfuls of feed out for the fat hens and Big Red, the aging threadbare rooster. The little ghost was helping as best she could, reaching into Madeira's basket with lines of concentration between her brows, trying lift and throw the spilling seeds with her incorporeal hands.

"Cluck, cluck red hen
Have you any eggs?"

Madeira started the simple melody, her voice light, high and unpracticed. From their spot in front of the hutch she could see the turrets of Savis' little castle flapping their jaunty blue flags. The Spiritist roused the Architectrix that lingered in the grounds with a pull of attention.

Sing with us, house.

Never one to miss an opportunity to flaunt its passion for art, the house bestirred itself with enthusiasm. The sound of the wind through the trees began to change, as the leaves all bent just so. The rustling became a jaunty whistle, and Madeira showed her pleasure through warm thoughts and praise.

"Yes sir! Yes sir!
As many as your legs!"

Emma replied lustily, throwing a handful of seed into the wind and having it blown back through her. The chickens scrambled through her shroud to peck at the spilled seeds.

"One for your breakfast", the ghost continued, stepping through the tide of chickens.
"And one for your lunch!
Come back tomorrow,
I'll have another bunch!"

Madeira threw the last of the feed across the grass and put down her empty basket. The house opened latch in the wall of the hutch, and she only had to lift the panel and brace it with its wooden rod. The inside of their little chicken habitat was insulated with straw and stank of warm chickens. Nestled in the little piles of bedding were five fresh spotted eggs. Bracing her basket on her hip she started the nursery rhyme again.

"Cluck, cluck red hen,
Have you any eggs?"

"Yes sir! Yes sir!
As many as your legs!"

The house whistled along, and even seemed to be catching the simple melody in its manipulation of the trees, to Emma's delight. Madeira plucked out the eggs one by one, tucking them away into her basket. She was just weighing Rosie's egg in her palm, wondering if Jomi's pet had laid another gemstone, when she noticed something green curled under the chicken's bed.

"Emma", Madeira called, smiling even as she interrupted the girl's song. "Come see this."

The ghost blinked to her side with a stir of cold air, squinting into the empty hutch.

"What?"

"Right there, in the nest. Look closer."

The little girl's stuck her head inside, looking down into the matted straw, and her big brown eyes grew even wider.

"Wow, did Rosie lay a snake?!"

The Alvadas native did consider this briefly. In a certain way it made more sense than a chicken laying two hundred carats worth of gemstones every couple weeks.

"I don't think so, kitten. I think they snuck in here to stay warm."

Two snakes were tightly curcled around each other, buried in the dent of Rosie's fluffy body. They were too small to eat chicken eggs, so the chickens probably tolerated them, or perhaps didn't even notice their stowaways. They were typical garter snake, grass green and skinny. One opened it's little toothless mouth defensively as Madeira trapped the cold, groggy creatures in a gentle cage of fingers.

What was a snake doing out of hibernation in the winter, anyway? Perhaps the lack of true winter had destroyed their natural rhythm, she pondered, tuning our Emma's prattling.

"Oh, they're so cute! Can we keep them? Please? I'll take care of them all by myself, promise! I'll be so gentle, and feed them every day. Oh please. Oh please oh please oh pleeeeeeease!"

WC: 722
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Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
Posts: 1309
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Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
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Eggshell and Snakeskin

Postby Madeira Craven on February 16th, 2019, 9:06 pm

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The larger of the two snakes continued its threat of violence with its gummy mouth, but the smaller seemed at total peace, and simply wrapped its tail around her thumb as if juicing it for every last bit of warmth. Their scaly skin was smoother than she expected, and more elastic. Even in their tiny bodies she could feel an incredible strength in their coiling muscles. And Emma was right, they were cute.

But how could she ignore this gift plopped into her backyard? She hummed watching the creatures from between her fingers, before making a decision.

"Hush, Em."

The ghost came to a sudden stop mid sentence, recognizing the incoming judgment of her master. She bit her lip and put on her best pouty face.

"You may keep one", Madeira stressed. "And we will release it back into the garden as soon as Spring rolls around and it gets warmer, no exceptions, and no tears. And you'll help me dig up the icky slimy things it eats from the garden." Despite the girl's honest heart and impassioned plea, she had no delusions about who would actually be caring for the little beast. The ghosts both had a habit of collecting things their corporeal master had to take responsibility for.

Emma's pout transformed into a wide smile that cracked fissures in her lip's weeping sores.

"Really? You mean it?"

"Yes kitten. Which one do you want to keep?"

She cupped her two hands together and opened them enough for the girl to judge their silent occupants. The snakes reacted to her cold by hunching tighter, the smaller trying to burry between her fingers, the other coiling as if to spring. Emma was taking her choice seriously, her cheeks puffed out and concentration written in her brow. Madeira watched her with sad eyes, and wondered how her choice would change if she knew she was picking which lived and which would die.

"Him! He's so shy..." she bubbled, picking the smaller of the two "I love him."

"Then you can keep him", she cupped her hands together and tucked both squirming snakes into the warm and cozy pocket of her dress. Emma didn't ask why she was taking both when she had said they were only keeping one.

So with a basket full of eggs and a pocket full of snakes, and the house still whistling its pretty tune, Madeira started up a new nursery song as they walked back to the house, her voice wobbling from note to note, though nobody present seemed to mind.

"This little chick ate corn today.
This little chick ate worms, they say.
This little chick ate yellow meal.
This little chick ate a potato peel."

"And this little chick like a fluffy ball,
Ate a teeny, tiny, bit of all!"

Emma sang, taking up the second verse with characteristic enthusiasm.

"Corn today! Worms they say!
Yellow meal! Potato peel!"

As they climbed the forked staircase to the front door, the pregnant Spiritist leaning heavily on the banister as she went, she summoned her dijed. As her hand slid up the rail she fed the dijed through her palm and into the structure, nourishing the Architectrix. The house hummed its appreciation, using this boots of power to swing the doors open for them, and to whistle the last note with what sounded like every tree on the lot, turning the very air into music.

WC: 576


User avatar
Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
Posts: 1309
Words: 1100445
Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 8
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (1)
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Donor (1) One Thousand Posts! (1)
One Million Words! (1) 2018 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)

Eggshell and Snakeskin

Postby Madeira Craven on February 18th, 2019, 1:05 am

Image


A big pot was set over the stove until it was toasty warm, then lined with garden dirt from the yard. Emma chose which foliage they were to decorate the snake's new habitat with, and soon they had a cozy little den of leaves, flowers and bark. Madeira set the pot by the hearth to keep warm and reached into her pocket for the smaller snake. The creatures writhed and balled together as if to protect each other from her searching fingers, but with some finagling she managed to pull them loose and separate the brothers. The smaller she let loose in the pot, under Emma's watchful eye.

"I expect you to keep an eye on him, right?", Madeira reiterated, hand on her hip as she look down at the little girl who was leaning over the newly occupied pot. "We don't want Spooks getting at him, do we?"

"I'll take such good care of him!" the girl's curls bounced with her vigorous nod. "Promise!"

"And you?" she spoke to the ceiling, addressing the Architectrix. "I expect a warm pot and zero mischief. If Jomi comes sniffing around you tell him to-" She stopped herself with a glance at Emma and cleared her throat. "You tell him I'll be displeased if he hurts Emma's new pet."

The house murmured its assent, pressing an earnestness into her awareness to prove how serious it took this responsibility.

"Good. I'll be back later."

Leaving Emma cooing over her chosen snake, Madeira descended the rattling iron staircase to the basement below. On the other side of the iron studded door the lamps had already been lit, and the light shone bright and steady over the many implements of her and Savis' magical indulgences. But Madeira would not be using them just yet.

Instead she took down a small glass jar from a shelf, along with Savis' embalming alcohol and a clear glycerin syrup. She poured half of each into the jar, blinking back tears as the alcohol seared her nose, and closed the lid and gave the contents a shake until dissolved. This was the simplest embalming solution she knew, and the only one she was sure she could do without the help of a more complex recipe, but surely it would serve.

She picked a mid sized carving knife from the available tools and reached into her pocket. She felt something seize around her finger and realized the snake had bit her with its toothless mouth.

"It's okay, it's okay..." She soothed, lifting the thing out as the snake tried to constrict her fingers. "It's not fair, I know. But it will be quick, I promise."

But the creature just wouldn't hold still, and she couldn't fully pin it with just one hand. In the end she had to pinch it just behind its head, leaving its tail to lash across the table and wrap around her wrist. The panic was on the creature, as if it knew what came next. It's wet pink mouth was open wide to threaten and bite, its tail pulling, pulling, pulling with every bit of muscle that it had.

Madeira placed the tip of the knife on the table, and chopped down with a hard downward stroke.

It took a chime after the head rolled away fro the tail to loosen its grip. By then her hand was red and stinging with pooling blood, but she didn't begrudge the doomed creature its fight. Once the muscles were soft enough, she loosened the skin around the beheaded neck and peeled the skin away like a sock.

The rest was simple. With the blade flat along the skin she scrapped away the meat still clinging to the underside of the bright green skin. Then rolled loosely, she submerged it in the embalming solution and stirred it so no pockets of air remained. She threw the meat into the fire, placed the jar back upon the shelf, and suddenly nothing remained of the little creature but the green slip of skin, floating in cloudy fluid.

Poor snake, it wasn't his fault he wasn't chosen. "I'll make you into something worthwhile", she promised, drying her hands on a rag. She sang under her breath as she used it to cleaned the spots of blood and shed scales from the table.

"Cluck, cluck red hen,
Have you any eggs?
Yes sir, Yes sir,
As many as your legs."

WC: 754
User avatar
Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
Posts: 1309
Words: 1100445
Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 8
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (1)
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Donor (1) One Thousand Posts! (1)
One Million Words! (1) 2018 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)

Eggshell and Snakeskin

Postby Madeira Craven on February 18th, 2019, 4:46 am

Image
Grades Awarded!

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Madeira Craven

Skills
  • Animal Husbandry: 2xp
  • Singing: 3xp
  • Architectrix: 3xp
  • Negotiation: 1xp
  • Leadership: 1xp
  • Embalming: 1xp

Lores
  • Architectrix: can manipulate its grounds
  • Garter snakes: henhouse stowaways
  • Negotiation: reasoning with a child
  • Leadership: bestowing responsibilities
  • Animal Husbandry: building a snake habitat
  • Embalming: snakeskin

Awards & Retribution
+Preserved Snakeskin: green garter snake

Notes
Notes here.
User avatar
Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
Posts: 1309
Words: 1100445
Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 8
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (1)
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Donor (1) One Thousand Posts! (1)
One Million Words! (1) 2018 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)


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