Solo Macabre Truths

Lina is landed with a mystery when a young boy asks her for a reading

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Center of scholarly knowledge and shipwrighting, Zeltiva is a port city unlike any other in Mizahar. [Lore]

Macabre Truths

Postby Lei'Lani on August 13th, 2021, 2:48 am

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67th Summer 521av
Early Afternoon, Light Show Theatre


  A coarse wail reverberated through the sombre room. The burning hearth seemed to also be stunned by the sudden wailing woman and whipped around in protest as if a breeze had blown past. Lina had thrown on some spruce twigs in an attempt to create an appealing and calming aroma, to put at ease her clients when they entered.

  The sobbing woman flailing across the small, round table from her, led Lina to believe that the twigs were an added effort gone to waste. She sat wide eyed and flabbergasted as what to do with the weeping girl, fiddling with the hem of her burgundy, linen dress.

  Her heart ached slightly as she worried it was all her doing, though logically she knew that other people's reactions were not her fault. Sometimes the readings did not provide the client with the right answer to their questions; though never before had Lina had a customer wail in front of her in such distress.

  Lina subtly wrapped her hand in her spare ramie rag (in an attempt to prevent her gift from activating with the simple gesture of touch), before reaching across the dainty table and compassionately patted the girl's hand that toyed with the tea cup in front of them, "Hush. The future not clear, always change."

  Sniffling the young, bright eyed girl grabbed the ramie rag surrounding Lina's hand and suddenly began blowing her runny nose on it. Lina swiftly snatched her hand back, terror gripping her but for a tick if their flesh were to touch, hoping the girl didn't notice for fear of offence. A sheepish glance up at her, confirmed Lina's rash action hadn't been noticed; the girl too preoccupied with her own flood of emotion.

  She finally stopped sobbing enough to stutter through deep breaths, "But, I want, Jim, to marry, me. Why, won't he, ask me, now?"

  Biting her lower lip Lina's voice caught in her throat as she cupped her hands in her lap. She feared saying anything would again draw the ear-splitting wail as before, but the urge to console the young woman won out, "The leaves did not said he not. They caution, marry not close on future as you like."

  Despite her efforts, the girl wailed, loudly and brought Lina's rag to her nose and cried into it. Thankfully the material muffled some of the cries. Lina sat across the table completely at a loss.

  "You are young, pretty. Much arcs forward that will give marry."

  The young girl, paused in her sniffling and nodded, "You're right. I am young and beautiful. I can have any number of men I want."

  Lina nodded earnestly, just thankful the girl had stopped crying, "Yes, you much arcs before marry is concern. Life to be enjoy."

  The young blonde finally smiled as she wiped her nose, her breathing slowly returning to normal, "You're right. I don't want to be burdened with children now. I have many suitors I have yet to indulge."

  Lina sighed in relief as the young girl eased with a growing smirk. Sinking back into her chair still reeling from the sudden outburst, Lina hadn't a clue why the reading provided such a reaction within the girl; whatever the cause she was just glad it seemed to have worked out for her.

  Now suddenly beaming with excitement, the young client stood from her chair, straightening her florescent flaxen dress at the waist and offered Lina her ramie rag back. She accepted it reluctantly as it was wet with the girl's tears, and snot. Lina forced a broad smile through the flicker of disgust though and rose to meet her guest and walk her to the simple wooden door.

  "I sorry, no answer what you look." Lina hung her head slightly, she felt genuine sorrow for the girl and shame crept in at not being able to provide her with the experience or guidance she had clearly been looking for.

  Despite her own feelings about the reading, the young girl grinned and waved her hand dismissively as she stepped into the open doorway, "Nonsense! I merely thought I loved Jim. Now I see I have a whole buffet to taste. It was exactly what I needed and my parents will be more than happy that I won't be marrying Jim. They never much liked him anyway. No money of course."

  The girl half laughed to herself before she twirled out the door and skipped through the reception of the light theatre.

  Lina leaned against the open doorway to her simple room, watching her latest client saunter into the streets in disbelief. The light theatre's afternoon showing would begin soon and a small crowd slowly began filing into the ancient building. It's architecture a mix of ancient design with the smoother concrete of more modern restoration ebbing into the foundations.
Last edited by Lei'Lani on September 7th, 2021, 10:09 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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Macabre Truths

Postby Lei'Lani on August 13th, 2021, 3:03 am

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  Shaking her head, her long snowy locks falling into her eyes, Lina folded her arms as she swept her hair behind an ear. Fortune telling was certainly anything but predicable. Lina chuckled to herself - oh the the irony. Taking in a deep breath and thus shedding the intense emotions of that last reading, Lina glanced about the open area to see if any more takers were coming her way this day.

  Suddenly a small boy sheepishly approached from the arched, main doorway to the Light Theatre. He was hesitant to enter the building clutching his small hat in both his hands. Lina eyed him disquietly, he couldn't be more than 10 arcs old, if even and was unaccompanied by an elder. His dark curls bobbed as he weaved among the gathering crowd, wringing his hat anxiously, his eyes darting all around.

  Lina's thick brow furrowed in growing concern as he edged closer to her. She had never had someone so young approach her before, maybe he was lost. She unfolded her arms to appear more friendly and smiled warmly as the child neared, "Hello,"

  The creases of her brow deepened as she took in his dishevelled form; skinny, too skinny and his clothes were torn, muddy. Now angst knotted in her stomach as a frown etched across her pale, porcelain features.

  "You lost?" She smiled as warmly as she could manage and attempted to conceal her worry lest she frighten him away.

  "N-no, m'am." He stuttered. With his head bowed, the boy's eyes flicked all around as he continued with a little more assertiveness, "I-I heard of you from the other kids. Their parents came to you."

  Lina's brows raised in surprise, was he here for a reading? No surely not, he was only a kid. She nodded along knowingly and decided to indulge him, "Yes, I read fortune, past, future. Some look answer, sometime my reading bring comfort."

  The small boy's emerald eyes suddenly sparkled and any misgivings he had seemed to vanish, "Yes! They said you helped!"

  He faltered into silence and Lina waited a moment to see where this was going, but he simply gawked up at her like she was magical. An uncomfortable pit formed in her stomach as she felt the weight of this child's hopes land on her shoulders.

  Shifting uncomfortably on her feet beneath the reverent gaze of the young boy, Lina fiddled with the hem of her linen dress that dangled by her knees, "You like help? Like reading? Need answer to question?"

  The bright eyed boy nodded earnestly, his long curly locks bouncing into his eyes with each shake of his head. His emerald gaze shot wide as if he just remembered something important and shoved a hand deep into his pockets, scrounging around fervently. Extending a closed fist full towards her, he shrugged with a slight frown, "I don't have much money, would this be enough?"

  Uncurling his miniature fingers revealed a collection of scrap. Lina's lips drew into a tight lipped smile despite herself as she eyed his valuables; a crinkled piece of scrap paper, a broken piece of blue coloured chalk, a shiny pebble from the beach of Mathews Bay and two copper coins; grimy and covered in dirt.

  Lina giggled to herself as her heart ached for him, "Yes, yes enough." She pushed herself from the frame of the doorway and turned into her small work space, glancing over her shoulder she motioned for the young boy to follow her, "Come."
Last edited by Lei'Lani on September 7th, 2021, 10:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Macabre Truths

Postby Lei'Lani on August 16th, 2021, 3:18 am

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  With a barely concealed squeal, the young boy skipped in after her, clutching his valuables tightly in his fist. As the boy entered the dark, sombre room, the heat from the fire in the hearth on the back wall buffeted Lina's porcelain face and was a welcome sight as the room suddenly dipped with a cold chill.

  Lina busied herself with clearing the tea cup from her last customer off the table and went to a bucket by the hearth that was full of water. Bending at the waist she dunked the tea cup into the water and used a spare, clean ramie rag to clean the tea cup of all the left over tea leaves.

  Glancing over her shoulder at the bewildered boy as he glanced about in awe, Lina called him out of his daze by offering him a seat at the table. The chair was slightly too high for him, so the young boy had to hop up onto the rickety chair that made no squeak, nor swayed with his movements.

  Shaking out the tea cup to try and dry it the best she could, Lina brought the kettle over from the hearth where it was always boiling at the ready for each new customer, "You like tea?"

  Scrunching up his nose a little the boy glanced sheepishly up at her, "Well, not really... well, no actually. Do I have to? "

  Grimacing slightly Lina nodded, "Afraid yes." Oddly feeling like she could be open and honest with the young boy Lina shrunk into her shoulders, "Shame I new to this. Not know other way of reading, yet."

  Was it the lack of fear she sensed from him that allowed her to feel at ease? Adults seemed to always have some form of trepidation or another gnawing at them constantly. Soaking in the bright eyed boy before her, Lina couldn't help but feel his endearing spirit as he grinned up at her while she poured him a small cup of tea.

  Sliding the cup across the small, round table towards him Lina sunk into her chair opposite him, the flames of the hearth warming her back. Lina pulled a second cup from the side of the table and began pouring herself a cup of tea, "Now, what help you come? Why need reading?"

  This question though, seemed to cause him to falter. A sorrowful frown etched across his dirty cheeks as he glanced into the depths of the tea cup scooted before him, "I, well. I-I was hoping you could, um, maybe, if you could..."

  Lina's heart ached in her chest. What could cause a child so young to display characteristics beyond his arc and draw such concern? "It is okay. I help, if I can. Why I here, I like to help, guide, provide answer if I can."

  His frown almost curled into a smile, almost, "It's well, it's my parents see? They went on a trip and well, they've been gone a long while." The young boy's emerald eyes began to water, however resolve damned the tears from falling as he wiped a sleeve across his nose.

  Raw determination set his young features in stone, "I was wondering if you could read my future, to see, how much longer they will be?"

  Dread gripped Lina's stomach in a cold vice. Tea readings didn't quite work that way, how was she supposed to explain to this poor lad? She groped for time to think, "Maybe we saw. Drink with me and we saw what the leaves show." Lina lifted her cup to her lips though hesitated to see if he followed her lead.

  A frown pulled down the corners of her rosy lips however, when the young lad simply sat staring at the cup full of steaming sweet tea before him, "I-I really don't like it. Can you not drink mine?"

  Puzzlement etched Lina's usually child-like attributes in deep lines as she swallowed a mouthful of warm, soothing tea, "Afraid cup not get reading on you, if no drink. Sorry I no sweet to make better."

  The young boy shrugged as if her words hadn't sunk in, "That's okay! You drink yours. If you ask your tea the same question for me, won't it work?"

  Lina was caught frozen in those big emerald eyes as they pleaded up at her. He really wasn't going to drink his tea was he? How could she make this work? She couldn't really help him without his energies influencing the leaves, could she?
Last edited by Lei'Lani on September 7th, 2021, 10:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Macabre Truths

Postby Lei'Lani on September 3rd, 2021, 9:26 pm

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  Perhaps it might work if she concentrated and focused her own energies into her cup; she had never before explored something like this. Alternatively, if she bound his near future to hers in some way, maybe just maybe she might perceive what his near future held by reading the leaves from her fortune. Could that even work?

  She doubted very much that his parents would be back within the day, or that his suggestion would work. She couldn't see how she could translate his energies into the tea leaves through herself. The more she mulled it over as she sipped at her cup, the more she presumed that it simply wouldn't work.

  However if she gained his trust, perhaps she could escort him back home, back to whoever was his guardian while his parents were away, "Alright, I ask you question to I cup, I drink. I come with you, to see parents when read in leaves?"

  Lina's heart thrummed in her chest at the little lie she had to tell. She wasn't fond of lying and mostly never saw cause for it; this time though was for the benefit of the child. She couldn't let him roam the streets on his own, he was so young.

  She just had to get him talking and find out where he came from. As she took another small sip of the steaming tea Lina cautiously delved, "Where parents go?"

  The young boy shrugged as his emerald eyes traced every movement of her cup to her lips, "Away. They are merchants, they go away all the time."

  Taking a big gulp to hide her disappointment Lina pressed further, "Where you live, if parents go away?"

"Is your tea magical? Is that how it answers your questions?"

  Lina chewed the inside of her cheek. He was a crafty one, deflecting her question with one of his own in attempts to distract the conversation. Gaining his trust was going to be harder than she thought.

  "No magic, blessings of Divine, hand, around," Lina gestured to the room around them hoping to convey that the influences of the Divines were in everything they touched, breathed and crafted. Her common was improving but communication was still limited.

  Taking another gulp of tea the boy straightened and beamed when he saw the tea nearly depleted, "Can you read it now? Can you ask it when my parents will be back?"

  The moment of truth, Lina nodded and forced a smile, "We saw." Flipping the tea cup swiftly over onto the saucer, she turned the cup thrice, before quickly flipping it back around. The small amount of liquid drained away, leaving a smattering of random patterns of tea leaves around the shell of the cup.

  Chewing her lip Lina leaned in close, turning the cup this way and that, her doe-eyes swiftly ignored the contents of the higher section of the cup and focused on identifying the more prominent symbols based in the lower depths of the tea cup; identifying her near future.

  Eyeing the dark specks, the most obvious to her was that of a cross, not a set 'x', but of set which could indicate trouble more likely than death. Oddly she saw a shoe down near the bottom of the cup, which could propose that her hard work would pay off with good fortune. One of the larger arrangement of tea leaves was hard to discern, it could either be a square or that of a closed book; foretelling of either comfort and peace or hidden secrets.

  What troubled Lina more than those symbols however, was the image of a dog at the cusp of the bottom half of her cup, her gaze momentarily lingering on the young boy as he beamed at her patiently awaiting her revelation; a friend needs help. Below the image of the canine were a set of wings, a message from the afterlife. It was a troubling arrangement that left many interpretations open.

  Which ever deciphered meaning Lina chose to take from the collection of symbols in the tea leaves of her cup, it didn't provide any answers as to what she was to do with the young face staring at her expectantly from across the table. What should she do? How was she going to return the boy to his parents?

  As the young boy's emerald gaze bore into her, Lina chewed the inside of her cheek. She would have to give him something. Clearing her throat, Lina leaned forward and tilted the teacup so that he could see inside.

  "Here, maybe square, maybe book, too hard to saw. Can mean peace, can mean, um," Scrunching her face in thought Lina sought the word for secret in common but couldn't quite remember. As a principle, Lina preferred to give her clients every possible interpretation of their reading, to leave decisions of how it would impact their lives up to themselves. However, translating was proving difficult.

  As the boy's eyes sparkled with the hope of what peace would mean in terms of finding his parents, the stumble in language possibly provided Lina with the opportunity to comfort the boy. Perhaps, it would be best to omit the concerning interpretations.

  Lina shrugged to the boys questioning gaze, "Can mean you parents, can mean me. I drink, no know if tea leaves read you question. Never done before."

  He simply nodded with a sorrowful smile, so Lina continued, "Wings, mean message. There is message." A thought suddenly struck her as to how she was to get this boy home, "If message send to parents, where it go? Where you live?"

  Lina almost held her breath awaiting his answer as he shuffled in thought, "Um, its, well we were almost never at home, I mostly hung around my parents shop. That's probably where any messages would be sent."

  Lina beamed, "Yes, where shop? If message for parent, we go, read message, maybe find parents?"

  The young boy, elated, leaped off his chair and bounced, "Oh yes! That's a good idea! Lets go! Lets go! I'll show you!"

  Lina attempted to contain her own elation at finally finding a way to gain his trust, but also a crack in the mystery of trying to get him home. As Lina stood and dowsed the fire with the bucket of water, she only hoped that his parents would be there; or at least someone trust worthy that could look after the boy until they returned.
Last edited by Lei'Lani on September 7th, 2021, 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Macabre Truths

Postby Lei'Lani on September 3rd, 2021, 10:52 pm

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  Closing up her little corner work space, Lina raced out of the Lightshow Theatre in an attempt to catch up to the spirited youth as he bounced by the main doorway. Waving her ever onward, the young boy was certainly fitter than Lina, who huffed and puffed as she followed his lead into the maze of cobbled streets of Zeltiva.

  She wasn't yet so familiar with the layout of the city that she could confidently know where they were or where the young boy was leading her, but he seemed unperturbed and ducked in alleyways and took shortcuts here and there. He was certainly very street smart for someone so young. Then again, if his parents were busy shop merchants, he was more than likely left to his own devices.

  As they made their way swiftly towards Mathew's Bay, Lina began to recognise the Sailor's Quarter as it was the first place she had set eyes upon with her mother when they first arrived into the city. Some comfort settled Lina's roiling stomach as she knew at least where the boy was leading her.

  Red faced and laboriously breathing, Lina slowed to a brisk walk, clutching the stitch forming painfully in her side, while waving at the boy racing ahead with her other hand, "Wait! Wait."

  The young boy glanced back when he heard her yell and laughed. Lina's cheeks flushed and not just because of her exertion, "I no run much, wait, slow," The boy was clearly skittish and eager to return back to his parents shop, but was polite enough to slow down for her as he trotted and skipped only a few paces a head.

  Delving deeper into the quarter, the boy lead them towards the piers. Turning down back passageways behind the more prominent and busy buildings by the pier, they journeyed to a more commercial section of the quarter.

  The rotten stench of fish and sweat almost made Lina gag as they passed by a local fish market and soon began to encounter other merchants with their stalls in the open street. Around the mini marketplace, there were only a few buildings; the ones present appeared dilapidated and in wont of upkeep.

  Still, the boy pressed further, waving her ever onward down through a tight alley and around the corner of another back passageway. Huffing and puffing Lina stumbled thankfully to a halt behind the boy as they faced a ruined building; two-storey, the concrete crumbled away from the foundations and what windows were still in place were smashed. With debris scattered all around, it looked to have been hit by a hurricane.

  Lina's heart sunk as she held her breath, eyeing the boy anxiously. He gasped in shock and stood silently gawking at the ruin. She couldn't understand. The building looked to have been in this state of disrepair for years; and yet the boy seemed completely perplexed by the sight.

  "I-I don't understand. I was here only a few days ago!" He spun around, tears freely streaming down his cheeks, his lower lip quivering, "What happened?!"

  Lina threw up her hands in an attempt to calm him, "I-I sure you parents fine. No jump ahead." Lina quickly scanned around, "Here," she gestured towards a ramshackle wall that overlooked the sea beyond. "Here, sit. I go, ask, find, what," She vaguely motioned to the crumbling ruin behind them as the boy swung his legs over the wall sniffling and sobbing between heart-breaking breaths.

  Despite the sharp stitch in her side, Lina pushed herself and swiftly rushed back down the back passageway they had come and raced towards the mini market they had passed by earlier. Someone would know what happened. Someone had to know. Her lungs burning with the effort, Lina's mind reeled with the implications. How did she go from a simple reading to this?
Last edited by Lei'Lani on September 7th, 2021, 10:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Macabre Truths

Postby Lei'Lani on September 3rd, 2021, 11:04 pm

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  Gulping for air, Lina snatched the sleeve of the first man she saw, always careful to never touch another's skin lest she be flooded with their fears and terrors.

  "Please," She swallowed hard, catching her breath as the man edged away from her in alarm, "Please, shop over there," She pointed behind her from where she had come, "What, how shop," She couldn't think of the words with her mind awhirl so she balled her hands together and imitated an explosion in the hopes that he would grasp her meaning.

  She surprised herself at how forward she was being. Lina was always a quiet girl skirting away from others. She supposed, it was the boy, he needed her to find out what happened to his family; his needs outweighed her discomforts.

  "The shop, how it," She mimicked her explosion again and the man's eyes seemed to gleam with understanding, though as he warily eyed her, his feet shuffled him further and further away.

  "The old Anderson's place?"

  Lina gulped for air again as she nodded earnestly, "Yes, shop, back there, how? When?"

  "That there happened years ago. Terrible tragedy." The man shook his head sorrowfully.

  Lina's brow drew together as she cocked her head in confusion. Years ago? The boy said he was there not days ago. None of this day was making any sense. "When?" Lina struggled to mouth the word he had said, 'tragedy'? what did it mean? In a quest for answers for the young boy she put her voice to the strange word, "When, tra-trage-tragy"

  "Tragedy? Oh my dear, that happened back in the Djed Storm."

  Lina shook her head in bafflement. Why wasn't she more fluent in common?!

  It was now the man's turn to crease his brow in puzzlement, "The Djed Storm, back in 512? The great big storm that ripped apart most of Mizahar?"

  Storm, 512av? Lina remembered that massive event. She was only 14 at the time but she remembered it well. Djed, her mother had called it, had torn the world asunder. She remembered the destruction, the wounded. It was a horrible time. Lina shook her head as she struggled to come to terms with what he had told her. She reminded herself of the boy, she had to stay focused.

  "What of family on shop? What, where family from shop?"

  The man's face softened from the once wary glower, to one of compassion as he edged closer, bowing his head, "I'm sorry dear, they perished in that storm. They were in the shop when it was hit."

  Lina searched his eyes in disbelief. She couldn't understand what he was trying to tell her. Perish? What was that word? Almost as if he understood her inability of comprehension, the man half whispered in simpler terms, "Love, the family died back in the Djed Storm of 512. The whole family were in that shop at the time. No one survived."

  The family died. Lina lost her breath. The family had died. She couldn't grasp it, the boy had said he was there not a few days ago? A sudden realisation hit her. Was he simply in denial? Was the thought of losing his parents in that horrible storm too much for him to accept?

  Wait, but no. The boy looked barely 10 years old! He would have only been a baby surely. No, her math was wrong, he wouldn't have even been born would he? What in all the Divines was going on?

  "Whole family? Who in family?" She needed answers, this was all wrong and made no lick of sense.

  The man appeared just as bewildered as she, though not surprising; she probably looked a mad woman. "Mr. Anderson and his wife and dear spirits, their wee lad. They were all caught in the storm that day. Not a one of them survived. Their wee boy had only just had his birthday too. It's a terrible tragedy."

  Lina's heart skipped a beat as the curtain of realisation parted. She reached out and gripped the man's arm urgently, "The boy? How old? How old boy when died?"

  Startled the man pulled away from her tight grasp, "Ten! The boy was only ten, woman. Let me go!"

  In a daze Lina barely saw the man pull himself away and march off down the street, muttering curses under his breath. Dear Divines. What the shyke was going on. Lina spun around and glanced in the direction of the ruined shop, towards the wall were she had left the boy. The whole family, the boy of ten, dead, in 512av. How could that be?

  Her legs felt as jelly as she dawdled back down the back passageway. What was she supposed to tell him? What was she supposed to do with him? How was he even here? Was he even who he said he was? Was this some sort of prank?

  No, he didn't seem the sort, besides he appeared genuinely struck at the devastating site of the shop. Maybe they were wrong, maybe he didn't die in the Djed storm; but then wouldn't he be older. Lina tried to calculate it in her head. It had only been nine years since the storm, so, it could be plausible that the boy were a babe at the time.

  Yes that must be it! Still, the boy was ardent that his parents were coming back. Bless him, no one must have explained properly to him. He was more than likely one of the orphans from the orphanage. Lina bit her bottom lip too hard in angst as she faltered in her step.

  There he was, sitting with his head in his hands sobbing on the wall where she had left him, the ghost of his past in ruins behind him.
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Macabre Truths

Postby Lei'Lani on September 12th, 2021, 8:13 pm

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  Her mind stirred through the thick fog of all that she had learned as she stared at the boy sobbing on the wall. The sun glared in her eyes making him appear as if a mirage; a fuzzy cloud surrounding him as he fluctuated within her sight. What was she going to tell him? Would confessing the truth to him be too much for his clearly grief-stricken mind to handle? Was it even her place to with hold the truth from him?

  Sighing in frustration Lina forced her wobbly legs to move, swinging them over the ramshackle stone wall as she sat next to the young boy; sharp chips from the stone wall jabbing uncomfortably in her behind.

  Red puffy eyes darted up to her as he sniffed, "Did they know what happened? Do they know where my parents went?"

  Lina's breath caught in her throat, the time had come and she still hadn't decided what to do. Drawing her lower lip through her teeth in deliberation, Lina sighed, "I sorry. Man, say they die."

  Lina couldn't bear to look upon the heartbroken boy, couldn't bear to see the pain of loss in his eyes; though, as she stared at the glistening body of the sea before them, she could feel his intent gaze burrow deep into her.

  "He's lying." The boy had turned from distraught to angry, his voice quivering with his denial.

  Lina finally dragged her eyes from Laviku's peaceful domain to the scowl souring the once innocent features of the young boy next to her, "I sorry, man sound true on his word." She flicked a glance over her shoulder towards the desolated ruin behind them, "Man say parents in there. Big storm. I so sorry."

  As she let her words hang in the air, Lina's thoughts drifted to the tea reading; the set of wings in the tea leaves, a message from the afterlife. Usually Lina merely gave the readings and left the clients with what will, she had never before journeyed with her client as the omens from the tea leaves came to fruition. The boy's frustrated whispers jarred her from her thoughts.

  "It can't be. They can't be. I saw them a few days ago!" He looked up with renewed tears coursing down his already stained cheeks, "Why wouldn't anyone come for me? Why didn't they tell me? What am I supposed to do now?"

  Lina's heart ached for the pain she saw in such young eyes, she shuffled uncomfortably beneath his pleading stare, "Well, where you stay now? When parents go, where you stay?"

  The boy's lower lip quivered as he sobbed, "Nowhere! I only saw them a few days ago! What am I supposed to do?"

  Lina's brow furrowed in puzzlement, it was strange that he wouldn't reveal where he had been living, as she gazed down at his bobbing curled head, the odd cloud surrounding him fluctuated and obscured her view of him as the boy wept; dust, Lina surmised.

  Unsure as to how to console him, Lina reached out to embrace the young boy in a gentle hug - suddenly her hands went straight through him!

  Lina squealed and flung herself to the side, toppling backwards over the crumbling stone wall. The wind was jolted from her lungs with the impact as she landed flat on her back. The boy in unison yelped and leaped to his feet atop the wall. Scurrying back away on her hands, sharp stings penetrated her palms from the stone chips laying around from the debris; the boy seemed just as startled as she.

  Searching his hands frantically, the boy patted himself down, "What was that? What happened?"

  He seemed on the verge of a panic as Lina slowly shimmied to her feet, dusting herself off, "I, I... I hand," she lifted her hand before her face in wonder, "It went through.. How..." Her brow knotted in fear and utter confusion, Lina eyed the boy anxiously, "What.. what are you?"

  As if she was spouting nonsense the boy hopped down of the wall, "What do you mean what am I? I'm me of course."

  Lina shook her head in disbelief, fear roiling up through her stomach so violently she thought she was going to be sick. The man's words from the mini fish market rung through her mind, 'Not a one of them survived.' Not one of the family survived the storm in 512av. Dear Divines. Was this boy dead? Was he the message from the afterlife the tea leaves foretold?

  Lina's doe-eyes grew wide in terror as the pieces of the puzzle finally clicked into place. It would explain why he never touched his tea. It would explain why he thought he only saw his parents a few days ago. He was a spirit. He was a spirit trapped in this world. The image of the dog shaped in the tea leaves in her cup came to mind; a friend needing help.

  A frightening shiver ran up Lina's spine as she realised how the fortune from the tea reading was suddenly coming to pass. Part of her always thought that her art of tasseography was more of guidance and advice from the verse around them, than actual events in the future that could come to be.
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Lei'Lani
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Macabre Truths

Postby Lei'Lani on September 15th, 2021, 9:36 pm

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  Staring wide-eyed at the young soul in front of her, Lina found her voice faltering. How was she supposed to help him? Could she even help him? Her brow furrowed as she suddenly realised she didn't even know his name. Taking several deep breaths, Lina tried to slow her hammering heart as she inched cautiously closer to the young eyes searching her for comfort.

  "It alright," She forced the concern from her brow as she attempted to smooth her features with a forced smile, "I no afraid. It alright." She edged her way around the visage of the young boy's ghost. The strange dusty aura surrounding him, she suddenly realised, was not dust at all. Inching towards the crumbling wall, she leaned as casually as she could against it, chewing the inside of her cheek in thought.

  "What you name?" Lina lifted her hand to her heart, "I Lina."

  Panting with the boiling cauldron of fear and panic, the boy squeaked, "Calix. My parents call me Cal."

  "Cal," Lina nodded in affirmation, hoping to secure a familiarity and thus solidify a trusting bond with the boy by referring to the name his parent's used. She gestured towards the wall beside her and raking his fingers through his hair the boy took up a seat on the wall next to her.

  "I don't understand what's happening. Why couldn't you touch me? Where's my parents? Why did the man say they were dead? Why is there shop gone?"

  All of his questions were questions of her own and Lina stuttered as she held no answers, "I, I no, I sorry I no," She shook her head sorrowfully, she wished she could answer him. "Man seem true," She glanced at the wreckage of what once was Cal's home, "When you born, Cal?"

  Perplexed by her question the boy gave her a suspicious glance from the side, "17th Fall, why?"

  "What year?"

  "502av," His voice grew deep, gravelly with his concern and caution.

  Lina closed her eyes and bit her lower lip as it finally came to light. He was indeed a ghost of the past, trapped in the world of the living, in complete denial of what had happened to him. Searching the young boy's teary gaze, Lina inched slightly closer to him and caught her hands mid-movement when she realised she was about to touch his hands in comfort.

  She knew that if her hands passed through his, it would engender panic once more. Instead, she settled her idle hands in her lap as she turned towards him, taking in a steadying breath as she processed the situation herself, "Cal. It be 521av. It be much year after you born. It be 521av."

  She allowed this information to settle before she continued, all the while holding the boy's fearful gaze, "I mind, there big storm 512av. In Mura, much this," She gestured to the desolate ruins in front of them, "Much death. Cal, man say you parents dead in 512." The boy's welled up tears began flowing anew down his rosy cheeks, "Cal, man say they son dead in 512av."

  Lina's eyes fell to her hands as she picked anxiously at her fingertips, unable to see the pain in someone so young, "Cal, you any brothers?" She witnessed the slow shake of his head from the corner of her eye and sucked in a steadying breath as she withheld her own tears, the impact of the boy's own emotions striking a cord in her heart.

  "How? How can that be? I'm here! I saw my parent's not a few days ago. They only left to get more supplies, for the store. They're coming back! You're lying!"

  Fuelled by denial the boy leapt down of the wall with balled fists at his sides, "That man is lying, he doesn't know what he's talking about! Neither do you. I'm going to wait for my parents because they are coming back." He turned his back angrily towards her, pausing momentarily as he glanced over his shoulder, his once innocent face, scrunched in outrage and wet with tears of heartbreak, "You were supposed to help me."

  The last of his words laced Lina's heart, but before she could utter a word, the young boy raced away. She slid off the wall, chips crumbling away from the stones as she did so. It was no use, he was swifter than her and knew the streets of Zeltiva better than she.

  What was she going to do anyway? How was she supposed to help a spirit? And yet that was the message in the leaves from her tea reading. She would help this boy. Somehow.


END.




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Lei'Lani
Fortune Teller
 
Posts: 52
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Joined roleplay: July 1st, 2021, 8:28 pm
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Race: Konti
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