Solo Haunting Memories

In your darkest dreams, they still find you.

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Haunting Memories

Postby Asterope on May 17th, 2021, 4:50 am

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3rd of spring, 521 AV

At first, she didn't know where she was. Aster groaned, blinking open her eyes and peering around, disoriented, dazed, and confused. It was dark; it took a long moment for her eyes to adjust. When they did, she saw stone walls around her, rising far above her, enclosing her within a tight circle. There was some water on the ground that sloshed when she shifted, only up to her ankles, but it was uncomfortably cold and seemed rancid from sitting still for so long.

Aster squinted upwards at where the pale, dim light filtered in through the top of wherever she was. She realized, at that moment, that she was chained up as well, her wrists shackled to the wall above her head, sore and raw where the metal of the manacles had dug into her skin. Slowly, memories of where she was filtered back in, and panic seized Aster.

"No!" The shriek of rage and fear tore from her throat unbidden, without her meaning to. Aster lurched forward, throwing her body weight against the chains holding her, away from the wall; but the shackles only dug into her wrists further, cutting into her skin. She felt the warmth of blood running down her forearms, but she hardly registered it in her blind panic, thrashing uselessly, water splashing around.

"No, please, no, not again," Aster sobbed, slumping down against the wall. A light flicked on overhead, brighter than before, and looking up, Aster could make out the silhouettes of figures standing above, peering down at her. She could hear voices, but they sounded faint and distant, wavering and muffled, as if they were speaking from beneath water. Breathing in and out so quickly that she was nearly hyperventilating, Aster twisted in her chains again, looking around frantically.

There was nobody else chained up with her; she was alone in her suffering this time. The drain at the center of the room opened, metal grating on stone; the water drained out slowly, and Aster could hear something slithering within the drain. Aster squeezed her eyes shut, a scream already crawling up her throat, as she knew exactly what was going to come crawling up out of the drain.

She heard skittering, something fleshy scraping along stone, and Aster sobbed openly as she felt something brush her foot. She jerked away, curling in on herself and she cracked her eyes open, watching the giant centipede scuttle out of the drain. It loomed over her, much, much larger than she remembered, reaching almost the top opening of the containment. It clicked its mandibles, and lunged down at her.

Aster screamed as she felt the centipede tear into her flesh, the lights flickering above her, and she heard mocking laughter echo, bouncing off the stone walls that rose around her. Aster fell back, but this time there wasn't a wall behind her, and her back hit a metal table beneath her. She was strapped into it, and people in lab coats milled around. Someone stood over her, a silhouette blocking out the light, goggles obscuring their eyes and a mask covering their mouth and nose.

The person raised a syringe before jabbing it into Aster's arm, and she screamed again as what felt like acid began burning through her veins.


Word count: 546
Last edited by Asterope on May 20th, 2021, 6:28 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Asterope
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Haunting Memories

Postby Asterope on May 17th, 2021, 4:50 am

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She woke up mid-scream, the shriek caught in her throat, choking her. Aster flailed, thrashing around, rolling off her bed in her frantic movements. Cressida poked her head out over the edge of the bed, flicking a tongue out in concern, gently flapping down to land on Aster's chest. Aster's own wings were tangled in her sheets, her foot also caught in them and hooked on the bed still. Her face was wet with tears.

Inhaling shakily, Aster reached up to stroke a finger over Cressida's head. "I'm okay," she croaked, voice hoarse. Had she really been screaming in her sleep? Her throat felt hoarse and raw, so it seemed likely. She rarely had dreams, if she was honest; and when she did, they were usually nightmares. But it had been a long time since she'd had any sort of nightmare about her time in Ravok. As horrific as it had been, it seemed like a lifetime ago at this point.

She could still feel the scrabbling legs of the centipede on her, its mandibles tearing through her skin. Shuddering, Aster disentangled her foot from the sheets, then carefully extracted her wings. Pushing herself to her feet, she scooped Cressida up and walked over to the window, pushing it open and inhaling the warm, fresh night air deeply, sucking it in almost greedily. Aster gripped the frame of the window, half-hanging out of it, closing her eyes and enjoying the gentle breeze on her face. It cooled the sweat that had formed a sheen over her skin, blowing her thick, dark hair back gently.

With a long sigh, Aster stepped back from the window, still cradling Cressida, and walked back over to her bed, sitting on the edge and stretching her wings out slightly. Cressida stretched her head up and gave Aster's nose a small bop with her own snout, making Aster smile slightly. "I'm fine, really. I promise." Her voice was less hoarse now, but she would kill for a nice glass of cool water.

"Just...a nightmare. They happen sometimes. I don't think I've had one that bad in awhile, though." She frowned slightly. Did it mean anything that she'd had such a horrible nightmare so suddenly, and about something that had happened seemingly so long ago? She couldn't tell, and she wasn't sure that she wanted to know. Aster sighed, flopping back down onto the bed. Cressida slithered up to her neck, curling into a ball at the base of her throat.

Aster choked slightly, muffling a laugh. "You're getting too heavy to do that," she said, reaching up to gently remove Cressida from her throat. "You're gonna choke me if you lie on my throat like that." Cressida flicked her tongue out, ruffling her feathers, and Aster could swear she felt the little winged serpent sulking. "Don't be like that," she chided, gently. She could still feel her pulse hammering slightly, but talking with Cressida and feeling the cool night air drifting in through the open window was calming, and it was beginning to soothe her.

"It was scary, being there," Aster whispered after a moment, the nightmare still fresh in her mind. "Scarier than being in Sunberth, in a lot of ways." If she was going to be honest, she had actually pushed a lot of those memories to the back of her mind, chucking them in a box, locking them away, and forgetting about them. Perhaps that was why they had resurfaced so suddenly and violently; because she had tried to force herself to forget them.

Word count: 591
Total: 1,137
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Asterope
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Posts: 632
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Joined roleplay: August 16th, 2017, 11:11 pm
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Haunting Memories

Postby Asterope on May 24th, 2021, 3:12 am

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Aster inhaled deeply, closing her eyes, a frown curving her mouth and furrow creasing her brow. She was so tired of running, of hiding, of feeling scared. Fearing her own past, her own self. She'd had that thought more than once recently, but thinking it and acting on it were two very different things.

Perhaps she needed to begin facing her fears, her past; to stop running and hiding and ignoring it. And perhaps this was the place to start. Aster clenched her hands tightly into fists, then stretched them out, forcing them to relax. She lay on her back, forcing the tension out of her body one bit at a time, inhaling and exhaling deeply.

She forced her legs to relax, her abdomen and chest to loosen, her shoulders to release their tension. And she opened up the little locked box in her mind where she had conveniently shoved many of her memories from Ravok.

The ones from the dream came first, fast and hard, still fresh in her mind. She tensed as she remembered the feeling of the giant centipede skittering over her, mandibles digging into her flesh, the scream that ripped from her throat. She could feel herself breathing faster, and Aster forced herself to stop, taking a moment to relax herself again, forcing her breathing to slow.

Perhaps if she could revisit the memories while she was calm, they wouldn't be so terrifying in the future. Whether or not that was true, she knew she needed to confront them. The memories after the bite were a blur, a haze of pain and confusion and what felt like fire burning through her veins.

She remembered being moved down a hallway, strapped to some sort of metal table on wheels. She could hear people talking in muffled voices, see sterile white coats fluttering around her. Her memories faded there too, before coming back in a shockingly bright room, equally sterile and white.

She was still strapped to the table, faceless, masked people standing around her, poking and prodding at her. They injected something into her, and the burning in her veins got worse until all she could do was scream her throat raw and her voice into silence.

Aster opened her eyes again, swallowing hard. She was sweating, she realized; and she could feel her heart hammering in her chest, her breathing hard despite her best attempts to keep herself calm.

Word count: 403
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The sun will rise, and we will try again
User avatar
Asterope
A light that never goes out
 
Posts: 632
Words: 639035
Joined roleplay: August 16th, 2017, 11:11 pm
Location: The Outpost (Sunberth)
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Overlored (1) Alvadas Seasonal Challenge (1)
Power Fork (1)


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