Open I'm Walkin' Here!

Alice realizes crowds are no fun.

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I'm Walkin' Here!

Postby Alice Weaver on December 6th, 2020, 5:22 am

As Alice flooded into Madeira’s body, twisting through as she was naturally inclined to do humming along to herself as she worked, quite pleased with herself as she noted the small step back Madeira took when Alice advanced on her. Thinking herself quite clever to have taken advantage of that confusion she was understandably shocked when she heard a response to her internal thoughts.

That’s a rude thing to say about someone’s body A voice that was clearly projected clearly. Followed by Now, for the love of gods, stop. This is a dance, not a deathmatch. The irritation was clear in the voice, and to be fair Alice was jerking the body around quite a bit, shocked at the voice.

Ah...Apologizes. I’m not used to someone just kind of...laying there. If I knew it was going to be like this I would not have done the whole act at the beginning...I think I can feel it made you uncomfortable and... A bit heated were we? Good… She started the thought projection apologetic before it turned sly with the feeling of a large grin as she released a bit of control allowing the body to settle and take a resting stance.

Stretch out a bit, take your time. See if you can move my fingers. The advice was sound as she took one of their arms into the other stretching the shoulders as she slowly flowed like ice water down their arms, reaching and spreading throughout the fingers, giving them a wiggle before pulling a rude gesture that was quickly dropped.

Damn. I missed doing that Then Madeira reasserted her control and Alice let it go as she...they? Reached out their arms like a pianist, helping to stretch out and limber up the body. Alice then felt a tendril of will reach out from Madeira’s soul and tug her soulmist along the proper channels, insistent yet guiding, showing her how to wrap around the joints and how to flow through their muscles. After a few examples, Alice pushed the guiding hands away and tried to continue on by herself, flowing quicker and smoother than before and when stumped patiently waiting for the guiding hand to come back.

Next something quite strange happened, she felt a flow of information brush against the edges of her mind, mixing in with her own and she got flashes of images and ideas that were not hers. The only other source being Madeira, these were her memories now made Alices. Not wishing to pry too far into anything that wasn’t hers she reached a mental hand out and sifted through a few, lingering on a few with no rhyme of reasons, the warmth of a house, a few friends, and inconsequential things such as a few memories of what food tasted like.

Only fair that when one gives they also receive as she returned a few memories of her own. A dull day weaving string the sense of monotony and want to see the sun and be free of this dark, stuffy room overwhelming. A sense of wonder and awe as her brother--the name Hawk drifted by--who was just a red-haired as Alice but well-muscled and bearing a few scars down his arm regaled her with tales of adventure, fighting sharks in the open ocean, scaling large cliff while teetering on the edge. Warmth and comfort bloomed along with these flashes before something rolled down that was dark and cold filled with bitterness as a strange view appeared. Alley walls looked upon from the ground level and black leather boots filled the vision, gurgled rasps of pain eliminated from the experience, a sweeping cold moving throughout their entire body as a bolt of fear struck like a storm. The memory repeating one phrase over and over I don’t wanna die, not yet, please don’t take me, I don’t- I can’t…please

Stopping the flow Alice projected to Madeira Is that how we do it? Is this what you mean by graceful? Alice having to shake herself from the funk of revisiting a memory she buried deep inside for a long time, it just happened to burble up during this brief moment.

“Are we ok?”

Are you ok? The body and voice spoke as one.

“We are ok”

I am ok, this isn’t my first time but nothing compares to this. Do you or do I? Or is it do We? A bit of confusion lacing her thoughts as her thoughts were their thoughts and the combined individuality was...addictive. No. Cutting herself off from those thoughts she shook their head to clear it and held the body perfectly still, freezing like a deer in headlights at what to do now.
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I'm Walkin' Here!

Postby Madeira Dusk on December 29th, 2020, 5:53 am

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Madeira closed her hand and remembered the feeling of spinning thread between her fingers, despite having never touched a spindle. She breathed deep and was charmed by the novel pleasure of it, though she had been breathing all her life. She raised her closed fist to her breast and knew that if she had to, she could punch as straight and true as a person her stature could hope, though she had never hit anyone in her life.

This was what it meant to have Grace, it was a mingling of souls, it bled thoughts and memories and skills between them. She wasn’t really Madeira anymore, but she wasn’t really Alice either. Right now she was something that balanced on the razor edge just between.

Hawk. The name drifted by and she fell into a daydream of a memory. Her fingers felt rough and scratchy from the string she was spinning. The room was dark and candlelit though it was the middle of the day. Poor people can’t afford windows in Stormhold. The only thing she had to look forward to was Hawk and his magnificent stories. Stories of adventures and escapades in the wide world!

The daydream turned darker and there was a dissonance between the souls as the living body remembered dying. This was not the first death Madeira had witnessed; Dira had given her the ability to see the last moments of anyone who died where she stood. But there was something different about seeing it in a memory, where it existed not as an event but as a feeling. It was a clack of boots and an electric fear and the feeling of air moving across the open flesh of her throat.

I don’t wanna die, not yet, please don’t take me, I don’t- I can’t…please.

Madeira didn’t realize she was hyperventilating until she noticed the concerned looks on the faces of passersby.

With effort she mastered herself, took a calming breath, and evened out the Grace between them. This Grace felt different than when she did it with Jomi, her only other partner. They brought out the worst in each other, her pride feeding his malice, and his discontent feeding her resentment, all coming together to make a monster. She wondered what her and Alice would make together.

Is that how we do it? Is this what you mean by graceful?, Alice asked. Madeira replied with a wordless affirmation. She was doing really well. Much better than she expected of a five-year-old spirit.

Alice never told Madeira what she was going to the library for, but she knew anyway. The woman brushed off her skirts and walked under the hanging sign into a bright and cozy Reading Room. Inside it didn’t have the same untouchable awe as the Lhavit’s Bahrani Library, or mind-bending qualities of Alvada’s Sunken Library, or the tired dutifulness of Syliria’s Archive. Actually, she was shocked to see how casual it was. It was a healthy selection of books, a couple of desks with people scratching away at copies, and an enormous sunken couch.

Alchemical texts, she reminded herself. Turning towards the nearest bookshelf she ran her gloved finger over the spines, trying to discern some sort of organizational system. But the native Avalad had never been good at pattern recognition. If there was any system at all she couldn’t discern it. Lifting her head she looked around the room, prepared to ask for help. To her dismay there was not a single recognizable librarian in the room. Who the hai looked after this place?

Both souls were too polite to show their frustration outwardly, but their body indulged the feeling with a silent huff.

What does a good ghost like you want with Alchemy?, Madeira projected to her partner with a casual thought as she turned back to their fruitless search, but it did little to cover the fiercely burning curiosity beneath it. Her acting skills didn’t translate well to her internal voice. Memories slipped out with the last word, and flashes of a fiercely red-haired Inarta called Ray and a golden bar of lead soaked into the other soul. The knowledge that Madeira had seen alchemy performed but had never practiced it herself accompanied it. You wouldn’t even be able to use the knowledge, not when your djed is decayed.

Even as she projected it another thought bloomed brightly in her mind, and she worked to hide it from the other soul. Ghosts can learn magic. Jomi did. He learned flux in the body of a Myrian. That could mean…

Unless you’re looking for someone to do it for you? Fascinating. I’ve never met a ghost more driven than you, Alice, her soul hummed, impressed. I guess my question should be, what are you hoping to get out of such a volatile world magic?
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I'm Walkin' Here!

Postby Alice Weaver on December 29th, 2020, 8:16 pm

As the pair stepped into the library Alice felt just the tiniest bit of regret at the memories she shared with Madeira. She felt their breath pick up as they experienced Alice’s darkest day and a few people spared a glance at the sudden display. The only recompense was to drift a soft apology through the shared part of their mind and pull those feelings back down, into the deep depths of her own personal mind.

Whatever this Grace was it was an odd feeling, to be frank. It felt as if both were on the ballroom floor each dancing with a whisper of space between the two souls. Each stepping into the same to the same place at the same time, yet their feet never obstructed the other’s way. When one fell or stumbled the other party pulled them back upright with a simple flex of will. Alice was doing the larger share of the stumbling, slipping off that razor edge only to be pulled back up by Madeira as the two souls began to once again twirl around one another. Light touches seemed to be the name of the game here. Both raised to be polite yet independent lead to the heavy use of gentle touches and prods to keep the tempo in check and not have one overtake the other.

Alice worked along with Madeira as their eyes skipped along the spine of the worn book. The two minds working in concert made quick work of analyzing the hundreds of spines. The ghost drawing on Madeira’s impressive skill of observation to buoy herself as well as keep up with the analytical woman’s mind. At times pausing the shared body to pull back a book from the shelf to reveal another book that rested behind another that was almost missed, only to quickly discard it as it had nothing to do with what they were searching for.

The longer they searched the more disheartened the spirit became. They seemed to be turning up a disappointingly empty hand. She knew in her heart of hearts that this was a long shot but dreams sometimes don’t mesh with reality and a brief flash of anger rose from the gentle simmer of her soul. Tempted for the barest chime to chew out whoever was in charge of this place. What kind of organization system was this! Why was gardening in with math books and language books mixed in with anatomy! But as they gave a look around it seem that there wasn’t anyone that looked even vaguely like a librarian. She knew Maderia was feeling the same as both had the same, sudden urge to give huff. One that the co-piloted body was only too happy to oblige its passengers with. Then a question floated across their shared mind, breaking them from their dull, fruitless search. The question was phrased to sound casual but the underlying feelings that came from sharing souls were one of intense, burning curiosity.

What does a good ghost like you want with Alchemy?

It was a simple straightforward question that should have been simple to answer but Alice knew it wasn’t going to be in the slightest. The question was also accompanied by a memory gentle splashing down and unraveled itself to the ghost. A red-haired Inarta whose name revealed itself to be Ray. Along with the knowledge that Maderia knew of Alchemy and had seen it does yet never powered a ring herself. That was...a tad bit disappointing but it seemed the stars weren’t going to aline themselves to the ghost’s wishes and she’d just have to make her own fate.

You wouldn’t even be able to use the knowledge, not when your djed is decayed

Ouch. If that was really true Alice just may as well discorporate here and now. Drift off into the void and never be seen again but it seemed as if Maderia was keeping something from her. She could feel the other soul shift and twist away from her for a second, the sudden movement throwing Alice off the edge of Grace only for her to catch it by the fingertips and hoist herself back up with a mental gasp.

Do you honestly believe that? She snipped back at Maderia in an instant. Quite ready to believe the Spiritist but throwing a quick lie to see if the woman would hesitate as Alice implied that she knew otherwise when she really didn’t. Alice could only help that the lie wasn’t terribly obvious, especially when the person you were lying to shared a mind…

Unless you’re looking for someone to do it for you? Fascinating. I’ve never met a ghost more driven than you, Alice. I guess my question should be, what are you hoping to get out of such a volatile world magic? Maderia’s soul hummed to her.

Now that was the question, wasn’t it? Not what she was going to do with it but what she would tell Maderia what she wanted to do with it. And how the spiritist would react. Their obvious connection to Dira making the issue all the slight bit more complicated. The few threads of lies that she started to feed Maderia, images of crackling fire dancing through the air and lightning dancing to her tune, dissolved halfway through, the other strands of thought that were shifting around the edge crumbling and dissolving like the lies that they were. She guessed this was the moment of truth really. It would be more work to dance around Maderia if she lied than to get rejected and have to find another Spiritist. Her mind made up the ghost attempted to explain herself.

She first decided to set the stage. The wealth of Madeira’s memories she could pull from might make it easy to get her point across. First, she called one that spoke of the warmth of the sun kissing her skin before shifting rapidly to a large meal that was bursting with flavor. Dumping in another one on top of that of enjoying the cool night breeze before a more...intimate thought popped up. One of Alice’s that she didn’t mean to call forward which was rapidly, and embarrassingly, squashed. Moving on without missing too much of a beat she turned to words, shoving as much raw emotion as she could into them. Wanting to get across her sincerity and longing and to show that she was being truthful with the medium to the possible detriment of herself.

I want to feel again. I want to wander under the warming sun or the endless night stars. I want more time with my family and I want a chance to love. I want to smell pig fat sizzling away in the morning when I wake. I want to soak in a warm bath for god’s sake. And there was a pregnant pause, I want to mean something to the World… Another pause, Draw from that what you will about why I wish to learn magic.

Her piece said she sunk back into the Grace. Preparing for the possible storm she just unleashed. Like a wild animal tucking itself into the corner, preparing for the inevitable strike...
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I'm Walkin' Here!

Postby Madeira Dusk on January 9th, 2021, 1:31 am

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    Madeira paused in their searching, watched the dewy glint of her spiderweb glove as it tap-tap-tapped at the spine of a thin red volume (A Brief History of Cats and the People Who Hate Them) as thoughts that weren't her own rolled through her. They were memories of simple earthly pleasures: a hot meal, sex, warmth from a crackling fire, the taste of the wind at night, a long bath. Would you deny me these things? The memories seemed to say. Doesn't everyone deserve such simple things?

    As the self proclaimed queen of the hard sell, Madeira could recognize when she was being sold something. Her first instinct was to curl her lip at this flagrant attempt to pull at her pity. What Alice was implying was blasphemous, no matter how she dressed it. What she wanted was exactly what she couldn't have.

    "That's a dangerous pit to fall into", she warned aloud. "Yours is not a condition that can be cured." Trying could take people to terrible places. She remembered Savis, the Nuit the used to know. She remembered standing over her during a transference ritual and watching her sickly black soul oozing from one corpse to another in thick, syrupy drops. She remembered Mama Jook, one of Uldr's Chained Ones she had fought, and the bony hand that grasped claw-like from the sleeve of her butter-yellow sweater. The memories made her soul ache.

    Carefully, she told herself. This needed to be handled gently. Alice was not mad, and Madeira too had that consuming desire to leave her mark on the world. If their situation were reversed, would she act differently? She wasn't sure. But Alice had trusted her with the truth, she should do the same.

    "I have something to show you."

    The dynamic of their possession switch completely as Madeira smoothly pulled back control, severing their shared experience completely. The library had nothing they needed, so the spiritist left it behind. The bright sunlight was brutal after the cool dimness of the Reading Room. Madeira lifted an arm to shield her face and ducked into the nearest shadow, the dappled shade of a leafy potted tree beside the building.

    Lowing her hand to her chest she pulled her rings off her right hand one by one, then pinched the tip of the glove between the last two working fingers of her left hand and pulled it off. Beneath it her skin was a messy ruin of warped, melted tones of pink and white, made thick and clumsy with scar tissue; but in the center of the palm, as crisp and fresh as a new tattoo, was Dira's gnosis. It wasn't a secret, Madeira was even proud of it, but she could never predict how a ghost would react to it.

    "I'm an Eiyon, that's how I can touch you. Two years ago death herself got down on her knees and kissed my hand." She smiled as she brushed the mark with her thumb. "I want you to move on and find peace. That's my purpose. Yet even with everything I know there is absolutely nothing I can do that will make that happen. But death is so kind, and so patient. So lets make a deal. You want to live again? Okay. I will help you try. I will help you explore every avenue, be your hands and eyes, be a source of djed and soulmist. You're such a driven spirit, I don't think there is another way to satisfy you."

    That's what it came down too. This woman was so determined to live she wouldn't just consent to just lay down and die, no matter what Madeira did. The only way she would is if that spiteful spark in her guttered and died first. But it had lasted five years already, and would probably last fifty more. Still, if Dira could live on her island for thousands of years surrounded by ghosts, waiting patiently to claim them, then it was only right that her Eyion could wait a lifetime for this. She did not believe Alice could reverse her fate, no matter how long she tried.

    "In return, I'd like you to stay close to me. I have my ghosts give me-" she flicked open the secret hinge of one of the rings she had removed, a heavy black onyx with a silver fringe, revealing a little piece of foreign soul inside- "a piece of their soulmist. I keep it on me so I can evoke them", she made two points with her fingers, indicating traveling between, "in case I need them. I think you'd like my manor. It's nothing like your old home. And my manor would certainly like you. What do you say? All the resources and energy you will ever need, and a safe place to call home, as you work. The only thing I ask for is for you to be there for me, too. Then when you're ready, and only when you're ready, you'll allow me to help you die."
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    I'm Walkin' Here!

    Postby Alice Weaver on January 9th, 2021, 2:42 am

    The response was all in all positive, much to her surprise. She was flat expecting to be trapped within the Spiritist and erased from the world, or whatever else Spiritists do to misbehaving ghosts. But Madeira didn’t react that way instead she returned Alice’s sincerity and honesty, first she warned her of the blasphemous and dangerous pit, warned her that Alice’s condition can not be cured.

    Danger is everywhere and I have nothing left to lose. The Ghost sighed solemnly across their shared space, And who knows if it can be cured or not? Our world is a magical one with many hidden secrets. At the very least a way to allow me to live most unfettered by no longer relying on your fellow practitioners.

    “I have something to show you.” Was the next phrase Maderia uttered out loud before Alice felt the grace slip between her fingers like loose sand as she was pulled back down into the warm waters of Maderia’s soul and relegated to the position of an observer. Soon after the duo left the cool comfort of the library and thrust themselves into the light of day. Madeira shielded her eyes as she quickly moved under a potted tree before she began to strip off her gloves. Almost making a show of it.

    The deliberate and careful movements held the spirit’s attention rapt as all she could do was stare out from behind the borrowed eyes. First, the rings left their fingers before with a gentle tug the gloves came off and Alice had to suppress a gasp. Hidden beneath the concealing cloth was a ruined hand of melted tones and thick, blocky scar tissue.

    But it was not the ruined flesh that caused a gasp. That reaction was directed towards the gnosis mark of Dira that radiated the feeling of an endless slumber towards the ghost. The inevitability that all life will end and there is nothing one could do. Dira would always get her due…

    Alice’s eyes were so locked onto the mark she nearly missed Maderia’s explanation and the tale of the fact that Death herself kissed Maderia’s hand that was what allowed her to interact so closely with the dead, those like Alice. Then she offered a deal to the ghost, a tempting offer. She offered to help the ghost on her probably doomed quest to return to life. She offered hands, Djet, and her eyes to assist the ghost. Citing that there was probably no other way to satisfy Alice, which was very true.

    Then the cost to the deal came, a simple request but one that still brought a flicker of fear through Alice. All she would have to do was to give a piece of her shroud to Maderia so she could call Alice to her if needed, come to live in the manor (that would apparently like her?), that she was there when Maderia needed her and the last utterance sent shivers through the ghost hiding in Maderia’s soul. Alice would allow Maderia to help her die.
    Alice felt a bit out of control of the conversation, almost locked within the body of Maderia, and before she continued she decided she would like to finish this face to face. So she gently pushed at the bounds of Maderia’s souls and if the Spiritist didn’t pose any objections she would ooze herself out of Maderia’s body, untangling herself from Maderia’s muscles as gently as one could. Pulling herself back together in front of Maderia, hidden underneath the shade with her as Alice wrapped her arms around her now barely visible body, shivering at the sudden loss of another soul so close to hers. She took a few seconds to compose herself as she put on the barest materialization, taking on the consistency of murky water as she touched the ground with her bare feet just an arm’s length from the Spiritist. The false cloth of her dress fluttered in an unseen breeze before it settled down.

    “Before we continue I want to clear a few things.” She spoke with a weakened voice, arms still tightly wrapped around her body as her hair spilled over the top of them. Her whole body radiating a nervous excitement as she felt she was stepping into a massive shift in her unlife. “I- I know I can not avoid Death forever...I know that Dira will always get her due. I just want a chance to actually live before I die and go into that frightful abyss. That makes no difference to you I know, but to me, it means the world.”

    Wordlessly she held out a flickering and ethereal hand to the master Spiritist and with a look of concentration gather a small bit of her depleted shroud within her hand. “It’s a deal, Madeira. And I hope you will stop me if I lose myself to the fear and anger…”
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