Completed Do You Hear That? Pt II [Trinket Box Ability]

An unexpected rendezvous leads to something more.

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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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Do You Hear That? Pt II [Trinket Box Ability]

Postby Naadiya on February 4th, 2022, 12:26 am

Do You Hear That? Pt. II
14th of Winter 521 AV


When morning did arrive, Naadiya found it hard to lift her eye lids. Having first laid on the bed for a good ten minutes futilely trying to forget all the tiny, shining eyes in the dark, Naadiya had then fallen into a deep slumber as suddenly as a if she’d gone over the edge of a cliff, into currents made of pure dreamless sleep. But now Syna’s rays were pouring in through her window and washing over Naadiya, warm, bright and invigorating.

First, she poured herself a glass of water and drank until it was emptied. Then, going out into the deck with her mantle wrapped around her in a column, its fabric tucked under her arms, she knelt in the sun’s light and breathed in deeply. With both arms stretched above her towards the sun, she said her morning prayers. She wished for peace and pride for her fallen loved ones and for the living, purity and prosperity. And for herself, she prayed for luck. Luck in finding answers to her questions and luck in making her path to truth as free of strife as possible. Above all else, she prayed for truth and the clarity to see it.

“May Syna grant me light,” she concluded her prayer and stood again, noticing how quiet the inn seemed. Maybe the others were still dozing, but Naadiya guessed they had started their days earlier, leaving her to the song of the wild birds around the grounds mingling with that of the chickens. She stood and walked to the deck’s edge looking out onto the grounds, but upon seeing a black shadow slither by, glimmering lightly when the sun’s rays graced its back, Naadiya was satisfied to go back in. It’d had a large lump in its middle section, she noted with a shiver. At least that individual snake would be sated for now.

How many more were out there hunting even right now, she wondered.

Ready to get a start to her own day as well, Naadiya returned to her room and got dressed, thankful that today seemed cooler than the day before.

Having had gotten a head start on her skin regime when she awoke in the middle of the night, Naadiya felt, at least, clean of sweat as well as sufficiently scrubbed and moisturized. The jungle air seemed to help with that as well. She didn’t even have to wake in the middle of the night to replenish her fluids, or risk the insides of her nose drying out to the point of cracking and bleeding. She did anyway. But, that was mostly force of habit she supposed, or the nightmares. And clean, fresh, flavorless water always seemed to wash the nightmares away like dirt in a bath.

Time for your faces, she could almost hear her mother’s voice.

The “faces” had started when Naadiya was very young. Too young to wed, too young to weave and way too young to worry over wrinkles. But habits started very early and her mother knew that. She created silly characters that represented each facial exercise, an accompanying voice and personality always included. Each set of stretches, said to scare off the ‘Evil Hag’, always her mother’s go-to ‘big bad’.

Naadiya’s reflection in the small looking glass mimicked her expressions precisely as she filled her cheeks with air, held for three seconds and let go. Repeating the process four more times, the the giant puffer fish bloating and releasing.

Now, she was the poisonous lizard, stretching her chin upwards, holding for a second and letting it return, and repeated this as well for four more sets.

Taking the final role of the sand shark, Naadiya opened her mouth wide in a large O and relaxed. Open, then relax. Open, then relax. Open, then relax.

The exercises were designed to keep the facial muscles active and elastic, ensuring her skin retained its wrinkle recovery and warding off permanent lines. That had been more of a custom passed down from mother to daughter to sister to cousin, than one openly shared with everyone else in the tribe. One of their many secrets of lasting beauty that withstood the test of time.

Word Count: 698
Last edited by Naadiya on February 15th, 2022, 8:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Do You Hear That? Pt II [Trinket Box Ability]

Postby Naadiya on February 4th, 2022, 12:32 am

But her reflection wasn’t perfect, she’d been irked to notice. One ear proudly displayed a white stone dripping with silver chains, while the other one hung naked. The faint confusion at the imperfection faded away as memory flowed back.

Yes, this ornate little trinket had been given to me without its twin.

She wondered if the woman who’d once owned the small treasure, had left her tribe for the same reasons she had. Probably not. Did this woman still hold the other half of the set? She'd never know.

Naadiya too, was without her other half.

Growing up with a twin had not been what Naadiya had heard from people. Benshira women who proved fertile enough to have a child were highly respected and much needed. Those who had multiple children were often lauded or thought to have been favored by a divine.

Before getting pregnant with Naadiya, her mother, Vandiya, had had two pregnancies. The first had been smooth and free of any issue. The second had not lasted long, ending in the baby passing before birth. Naadiya had been born into a set of three, the process nearly killing her mother on the birthing bed.

“All births may differ,” her grandmother had explained to her many years later. “You may expect the unexpected and still be surprised when it runs up on you, it can be the most dangerous time of a woman’s life if handled poorly.”

Of the three babies, only two lived.

It took a long time for their mother to recover. The physical damage had been deep, but it paled in comparison to the pain of hearing one of the three she carried had not made it far enough to breath the desert air.

Nearly a season had passed and everyone was still walking on eggs shells around the grieving mother. They suggested she tend her other children, saying her eldest could not handle the burden of caring for her newborn sisters on her own. Her response had been silence. Silence and dead eyes. This had been her second infant lost and while she knew it was common among her people, it did little to numb the pain.

She felt angry with herself, having the initial feeling of guilt. Even the word “miscarriage” seemed to be made to blame the mother. But the anger she pointed inwards soon burned away to a deep sadness that overwhelmed her and seemed endless to her eyes.

But the embers of rage never fully died within her even as she dragged her feet around in silence, on the few occasions she moved at all. So when her her sister, her own sister, made another snide comment on her abilities as a mother, her response had been a sharply manicured hand flying in a slap so quick and so loud, the two sisters did not speak for many moons.

When the story of their aunt’s reddened cheek would be retold, years after the fact, from sister to sister, her mother was wielding fias on her fingertips. Sharpened golden claws over their not-so lethal cousins coated in deep red paint.

Blood red. The blood of Aunt Fatima!

Then they’d laugh at the story, having warped what was one of their mother’s most painful memories into one of hero worship.

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Do You Hear That? Pt II [Trinket Box Ability]

Postby Naadiya on February 4th, 2022, 12:45 am

The twins had been much preoccupied with the fantastical stories they would hear from their grandmother or elder sister. In the stories, heroes always had special abilities, magical powers or the divine hand of a gods behind them. Twins especially, always had telepathy or shared a voice or could close their eyes and know where the other was.

There had been no telepathy between Naadiya and Zaraiya. In fact, both had been so preoccupied with others seeing them as individuals they'd go out of their way to look as different as possible, in the hopes of not being treated as a unit.

Naadiya’s hair grew longer and longer till it ran down her back, Zaraiya kept hers tied up in knots and braids so that her shoulders remained always untouched. Naadiya learned to love painting her face with cosmetics, to better or at least alter her appearance whereas Zaraiya went barefaced almost in defiance.

Naadiya loved to weave, never having felt that it had been forced upon as part of the family business, or if she had ever felt it, the feeling was soon lost. Zaraiya hated it and only did any weaving when she absolutely could not get away from it. Otherwise, she would spend her time by the cook pots, a place Naadiya tended to avoid.

They were as close as any siblings who didn’t quarrel, but not much closer. If Naadiya were to choose her closest sister, it would have been her older sister Vindriyana, not her twin.

But when it came, it was a sudden shock.

On a warm, muggy day at sea, the wind had died down so much, the ship was barely moving. The heat had been creeping into everyone’s clothes and breathing the wet air gave no relief. Naadiya was looking out into the horizon. There was no land anywhere to be seen or her eyes were failing her in the heat. Then, without warning, she felt a sharp pain in her chest. She could find no explanation and the best healer onboard could only shrug in confusion at what malady ailed her. The pain persisted until night fell and sleep took her.

When she woke up, Naadiya knew her sister was gone. She had no way of confirming the gut feeling she had, but also felt no need to. She knew.

There was no need to think of that now. Looking back at the past brought too many deaths into mind. She thought about the past a lot recently, but not once had she attribute it to her new jewelry, strange as it was.

The earring was becoming part of her. Naadiya had even forgot she was wearing it until a reflection passed her. The trinket had no weight, it didn’t even pull on the elastic skin of her earlobe. More often than not, she’d be surprised to find herself wearing it, not remembering having put it on.

She finished getting ready and headed out her room with a simple cloth bag, one given to her by Dawn for the transporting of fabrics to and from. In it, she also placed her little box of cosmetics, hoping she’d be able to replenish some of her supplies with the local trader.

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Do You Hear That? Pt II [Trinket Box Ability]

Postby Naadiya on February 4th, 2022, 1:03 am

The previous afternoon, Dawn had asked her to pick up a couple of things from Juli in the Mercantile on her way in. While she often had things sent directly to her, the designer still wanted Naadiya to get familiar with the island in case a last minute errand did ever spring up.

Naadiya did not know when the newly fitted garments had arrived at the inn, but found them waiting for her in the main common area. Slipped under the piece of twine that held the bundle together, was a torn bit of paper with Naadiya’s name scrolled in spindly letters.

Her feet felt much cooler in her new sisal sandals than the leather boots she had arrived in and her breezy linen garments did much to ward off unwanted heat but offered little protection otherwise.

When shopping for her new garments, Naadiya had searched for affordable light materials and opted out of the more expensive dyed and decorated options. Squandering money she did not have on something as frivolous as beautiful clothes was something the miser insider her scoffed at.

Dawn had been happy to help. Naadiya chose not to guess whether it had been out of kindness or a more prudent wish to keep any laborer associated with her establishment looking at least presentable.

Agreeing to take the cost of the items out of Naadiya’s first payment, Dawn proceeded to adding in a fitting at no extra cost. She had so few customers this time of the year and wasn’t inundated with work, plus it was a matter of pride for the aesthetically driven seamstress. Since she’d arrived in Syka, Dawn had seen the opportunity to shape local fashion. And with so little competition, she was doing a pretty good job.

She was not about to let this new girl walk around in such humble attire and have it fitting poorly.

It did not take the Benshira long to reach Juli’s usual spot, but when Naadiya arrived, the young shopkeeper was not to be seen. Dawn and Tony had been fairly relaxed about what times Naadiya came and went as long as the shop was open, and even if it wasn’t she’d sometimes find the back was left accessible to the weavers. So as she leaned on the counter to wait, Naadiya looked around in no hurry.

There was a young woman in the far corner, looking out into ocean as if waiting or contemplating something. Her hair had been pulled back, secured with unseen pins, coming to a cascade of waves at the back. Naadiya’s eyes lingered on the bracelets and armbands the woman wore, some of them reminding Naadiya of how she once wore her own jewelry.

But in comparison to the athletic dark blonde, Naadiya looked very plain. She still wore her one earring but that was all the adornment on her, while the other looked to almost belong on a stage.

A couple of minutes passed and neither woman spoke or moved. Naadiya was beginning to wonder if her rise up the stairs, and even her presence now, had even been noticed by the other.

Is it starting to feel awkward? She doesn’t even look like she’s here right now…

“Uhh hello? Good morning. Have you seen Juli, by chance?” Naadiya finally found a bit of voice hiding in her throat.

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Do You Hear That? Pt II [Trinket Box Ability]

Postby Naadiya on February 4th, 2022, 1:16 am

The way the woman spun around was so quick, Naadiya flinched. She might have stepped back if her back wasn’t already to the counter. But then the woman laughed a light lilting laugh and Naadiya eased her back.

“Hahaha did I scare you?! I’m sorry! You startled me! I was lost in my thoughts, didn’t even notice you. You ever get lost like that?”

There was a gentle jingling in the air and Naadiya soon realized the other woman’s skirts had decorative metal rings that caught the light and sometimes rang as they struck one another as she moved.

“Do I?” Naadiya started, taking some time to answer, “I— Well, yes, I supposed I can get lost like that in my own head, especially when there are heavy things to think on, or unpleasant memories that like to claw their way back from the grave... Would I be prying if I asked what you were lost thinking about?”

Why had the breeze seemed to stop?

“Feathers!” The woman blurted out quickly. Her voice had gotten higher and she bit her lip nervously for a second but then, briskly made her way to the counter and knocked a couple of times on the wood. “Juli?”

A ringing had begun in Naadiya’s head, sharp and sudden. Had she drank too much the night before? She couldn’t remember drinking at all! The sunlight that beamed in, got brighter, almost hotter. Is that what she felt? Could she hear heat?

Quick as her malaise had come, it seemed to evaporate with just as much haste. Unsure if she had let her strange episode become visible, Naadiya yawned loudly and ran her fingers through her hair, flipping it to one side.

Naadiya was just opening her mouth to say something when the woman stopped her short.

“What did you say your name was, again?”

Recovering fairly quickly, Naadiya replied “I hadn’t introduced myself, I’m sorry. I did not mean to be rude. My name is Naadiya, I have only recently come to Syka. I’ve been weaving for the Swiftwaters.”

“Naadiya, nice to meet you. I’m Rainmere—” she had been mid-speech when they heard someone running up the stairs.

Both women turned to the entrance and saw Juli carrying a wooden box haphazardly held together with twine.

“Good morning!" came Juli's voice, a little out of breath. " Hi Rainmere, hi Naadiya! Sorry for the wait! This stupid crate started breaking even as I picked it up. I had to get some twine and run back, it seems to have helped just enough, thankfully. As soon as I saw it I knew it would be trouble, look at that wood, it has completely rotted through!”

She placed the box on the counter taking a long and much needed breath, and as soon as her touch left the wood, it seemed to collapse in on itself. Juli sighed, exasperated, “well, at least it survived the trip.”

More steps came up the stairs and Naadiya looked over again while Rainmere and Juli started talking as the latter walked behind the counter.

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Do You Hear That? Pt II [Trinket Box Ability]

Postby Naadiya on February 4th, 2022, 1:33 am

A scruffy, long haired, blonde man swaggered up the steps and leaned in at the entrance, both arms holding onto the door frame. His bare chest was well muscled but not like that of someone who exercises regularly.

Naadiya did not have to glance back at the woman, Rainmere, to confirm the difference. Her body was taught and lean, a perfect blend of youth and exercise. His showed some signs of indulgence. But even if Naadiya had wanted to look away from the bare chest, he was now coming towards her.

He smiled a smile that clearly came quite easy to his face.

“Well now, hello. Who is this?”

The man had stopped much closer than Naadiya had expected and placed a hand on the counter, leaning slightly. “New in town?” He said, surveying her.

Juli had fetched a package and handed it to Rainmere, who, seeing an opportunity to leave the earlier conversation unfinished, nodded her goodbyes to Naadiya as she passed her. “Don’t let him sweet talk you! It’s his specialty!”

The man let out a wounded laugh, bringing a hand to his chest in mocked pain, then turned back to Naadiya, who had now moved a couple of steps down the counter. “No need to run, I don’t bite!”

Behind the counter, Juli Chaliva rolled her eyes and turning to Naadiya said, “Naadiya, Dawn said you’d be stopping by, I have your package right here, give me a second.”

She searched under the counter for a bit before coming back up with a bundle wrapped in brown cloth. Naadiya thanked the merchant and placed the bundle in her fabric bag, bringing out her little box of powders and creams.

“Juli, I was hoping you could also help me with something else. Do you have any of these in stock, or would you be able to get a hold of some? I would feel silly asking you to import on the Veronica if it would only be such small quantities.”

The Svefra girl scanned the contents of the box and pursed her lips, thinking and nodding.

“I think I can get you some of these, not all, though. The ship doesn’t go to the desert’s borders that often, Its mostly Riverfall and back.”

“If there's anything you could get me, I would be grateful, but if you think the cost is going to be too high, don’t even worry about it,” as much as Naadiya wanted to keep her supplies topped off, some luxuries might be unattainable at the moment.

“You might even be able to get some stuff locally if you forage, just to replace things that are harder to come by. I’ll be right back, I’m going to write a list for you.”

Hardly waiting for the trader to retreat into the back, the blond man spoke up again.

Naaadiyyyaaa” he said her name slowly, a hint of a grin returning to his face.

He smelled of coconuts and rum and sweat and smoke. How easy it was to let the smell fill her nostrils, then fill her lungs. Her back had been stiff, but Naadiya could feel she was only minutes away from thawing. Another long waft and...

“My name is Artik, if there is anything I can do to make your welcome more… welcoming, you just let me know.”

“Hi Artik, nice to meet you," her words purred at the back of her throat, "I had just been telling Rainmere, I'll be Tony's new weaver. What do you do around here?” She asked

“What do I do? What don’t I do, that’s the real question! You might call me, a troubadour of sorts, I sing stories of love and valor and magic, those of course, go very well by the water at night. The moonlight does wonders to a tale.”

This time the ringing in her ear was very light, Naadiya strained her ears a little to hear it, to define where it came from but it was so low she couldn’t decide and then it petered weakly.

Juli came back with a piece of paper she handed to Naadiya. “Come back tomorrow and I will get you some of what you asked for, here are a few substitutions I can suggest for what I don’t have.”

Word Count: 713
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Do You Hear That? Pt II [Trinket Box Ability]

Postby Naadiya on February 4th, 2022, 1:45 am

Juli looked at the blonde man and raised an eyebrow, “Is there something I could help you with, Artik? Or are you here specifically to make my customers uncomfortable?”

“I can’t come by just to say ‘hi’?” he joked.

Only now having picked up one of the scents, Naadiya had been wafting, Juli cringed. “Have you already been drinking?”

“Me? No! Not I!” His voice was boisterous and theatrical almost becoming song as he spoke but Naadiya could hardly make it out over the ringing that burned her ears.

No, not both ears. Just the one, she realized.

Her eyes were squinting and her jaw was clenched as she stared down at the counter, but the other two near her did not seem to notice as they spoke.

“Stu brewed a new drink! It has bird’s blood and star fruit milk, or Milkmilk fruit and star dust or something. I don’t know, but it tastes like falling right into the ocean with your arms and legs splayed out for maximum surface contact.” His voice seemed light enough but the look on the man’s face spoke of a slap-like pain. “You two should really come and try it!”

Juli laughed, shaking her head incredulously, “yeah that is going to be a hard pass from me. No thank you. I have enough to do without alcohol slowing me down today, maybe another time.”

He looked quizzically at Naadiya but the woman was distracted trying to pin down the source of the sound only she heard. “Uhhmm, Naadiya? Everything alright?”

She glanced up and realized both Juli and Artik were looking at her. “Uhh I told Dawn I would drop off this package, and I still need to pick up yarn from her…”

“Great!” He interjected, “Dawn loves me, I will walk you to her and then I’ll show you the Star’s Milky Punch… or the Bill’s Bloody Slap, we are still working on the name. There is no Bill, so that doesn’t work. I just remember Stu saying something about a Bloody Bill, sometimes he makes the mistake of telling me the recipes afters I’ve already sampled the product.”

At a cringing look from Naadiya he laughed, “No, there is no meat or blood in the drink… not that I know of at least!"

Despite having nothing to do with its brewing, Artik consider himself a co-creator of the beverage, reasoning that it was his flavor palette and drunken musings that sometimes thought up the combinations, and that was reason enough for him to claim bragging rights.

They said their goodbyes to a concerned looking Juli and made their way to Naadiya’s new workplace.

Syna must have been looking out for Naadiya that morning for when they arrived at the shop, Dawn was nowhere in sight. Hurriedly, Naadiya placed the package somewhere her boss would find and popped out back to grab a few skeins. There she realized, Dawn had left some already waiting for her in a bag much like the one Naadiya had carried in.

She exchanged the bags, taking her cosmetics box, she placed it among the yarns and quickly shuffled out. Softly, she pushied Artik from behind in the hopes she would skip an encounter with the austere woman she now worked for.

A whisper of a 'thank you' left her lips, as Naadiya tilted her head up to the sun and the two carried on.

“Now for a mid-morning drink, aye?”

Naadiya smiled, wondering why she was even going along with this. It was clear the man had his own charm but was it just that?


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Do You Hear That? Pt II [Trinket Box Ability]

Postby Naadiya on February 4th, 2022, 2:13 am

They had been walking and talking about anything and nothing. Every other thing out of his mouth seemed to be meant as a joke, even when it lacked a punchline.

The two were reaching the Tidepool Bar, when Artik told Naadiya to wait for him on the dock that lead to the restaurant. Doing as she was bid, Naadiya waited, it was a beautiful morning and she didn't mind. She adjusted the bag hanging from her shoulder and looked out into the water. It was so clear it looked like you could take a mouthful and quench every thirst you’ve ever had. But she shouldn’t… that would be stupid… no, this was still the ocean.

What did I say to that Rainmere woman? She disappeared the first chance she got and I have never seen anyone stare off for that long thinking about feathers.

Naadiya had not been able to decide if the comment had been a joke or a deliberately abrupt end to a conversation Naadiya had no business asking about. But the headache brought on by the ringing was too much to think about anything else at the time. Now, she ran over the events again in her head trying to see at what point something had changed.

Artik was returning, she could see him walking back from the bar with a large pineapple in each hand. He bobbed his shoulders to the tunes in his head as he handed Naadiya a yellow fruit filled with a foamy and opaque, light creamy beverage.

With a smile, Naadiya took the pineapple, careful not to drop the palm leaf that had been fashioned in the shape of a bird. She could smell a fruity, tangy scent but also something nutty and sharp citrus bursts.

But even all these exotic aromas did not fully mask the scent of alcohol and Naadiya hesitated, wondering if she should really start imbibing this early in the day. Her hands would likely not want to weave and her eyes would definitely not catch any mistakes in the fabric.

Even so, Naadiya found herself bringing the fruit up to her mouth and drinking greedily.

It wasn’t sweet at all, though Naadiya suspected there were still sugar tossed in as she could feel the crystals against her teeth. They weren’t abrasive, just a soft crunch. The tartness of the liquid was tempered by the milk or cream and while it may not have fully hidden the scent of alcohol it had been enough to make this the smoothest cocktail she’d ever tasted.

At first, Artik meant to reach and take the drink away, thinking she’d overwhelm herself so early on. Just then, Naadiya stopped, took a deep breath and let her shoulders drop. A warm giggle was rising in her throat and escaped.

Naadiya couldn’t feel the effects of her hurried gulps yet, but this was not the first time she’d had a drink in her life, and she knew it wouldn’t take long on her empty stomach.

A well-practiced drinker himself, Artik could read the signs like words on a page and smiling, he took her free hand in his and helped as she lowered herself to sit, taking a seat himself by her side. Naadiya raised her skirt above her knees, keeping it dry as she took off her sandals and dipped her feet in the water.


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Do You Hear That? Pt II [Trinket Box Ability]

Postby Naadiya on February 4th, 2022, 4:27 am

“Thanks for the drink,” she said, finding it had been a while since she’d last had a hard beverage and, oh how much she missed the easing effect it could have on the mind. “What is in this again?”

Artik took a long sip from his pineapple and when he’d brought his hand down, the blond of his mustache had been frosted with a creamy foam. Naadiya laughed but did nothing. How many times had he done this same move with other girls in the jungle. How many had leaned to wipe away whatever he had so charmingly spilled or smeared on himself just to find themselves lost in his eyes?

“I actually asked him again just now,” he said smiling, foamy -stache and all.”Its coconut milk with pineapple, oranges and mikmik nuts, and rum of course, plenty of rum.”

Naadiya raised her eyebrows nodding with a smile creeping back on her lips. Plenty indeed. She was going to take another sip when this time Artik did stop her.

“No, no! Watch, you are going to miss the best part.” He took the skewer that held the verdant ‘bird’ in his drink and lifted it, scraping it on the pineapple’s edge until all the bits of fruits fell into the mixture and began to bleed. Red juices swam in stark contrast to the milky yellow.

“There you go, see its gotta be bloody. Everything Myrian has a little blood in it,” he winked at her as he lifted her skewer and let the red chunks fall in her pineapple, as well.

Naadiya laughed but quickly snatched her skewer back from his hand and jabbed it into her drink until she speared a piece of red fruit. The burst of flavor in her mouth was tart and tangy but also smokey as if it was been charred.

“I mean… wow, compliments to the barkeep. But that wouldn’t be you, then, would it?”

“Unfortunately no,” his smile never seemed far behind, “That is not a gift I can claim my own. The presentation, however, that’s all me! The crazy leaf bird and the bloody fruit chunks, I thought of that! Stu’s too calm and collected but I convinced him a Myrian themed drink needed a little blood, a little drama. People always crave drama.”

Again, Naadiya could not hold back her laugh.

These drinks are strong!

“They crave what they can’t have. As soon as people have drama, they only want peace again.”

Now it was Artik who laughed, “Spoken like someone who’s had a bit of drama come their way.”

“You could say that,” she chewed on another piece of boozy fruit. “So you said this was a Myrian drink?”

An able evader, himself, Artik smiled and pretended not to notice the sudden transition.

“That’s right,” he said, “Stu, our local benevolent brewer and bonafide bar aficionado, makes drinks straight out of a Divine’s own dreams. He sometimes gets ingredients like the mikmik nuts, that he doesn’t alway have on hand so enjoy it while it lasts! The mikmik grows in the jungle but we don’t usually try to plant it ourselves, there are these awful birds that seem to love the damned things so much it makes for a troublesome harvest.”

He took his own palm leaf bird and tossed it into the ocean, “Hope you can swim you little fruit thief.”

Naadiya threw hers in the water as well, “There! Now, if they can’t swim, at least they will die together.”

“Dramatic indeed” was the man’s only retort before he finished off his drink and ate the rest of the bits of fruit. He lowered the pineapple off to his side and laid back on the dock, his feet swinging in the water. Naadiya was about to follow suit when he stretched an arm out to her and she realized he was holding a canteen. She took and opened it, sniffing the contents and, finding them to be water, took a swig.

“Always drink water when you drink booze and you will never get drunk!”

She raised a doubtful eyebrow at him.

“Well, you will get drunk less often.”

Naadiya nodded, took another drink of water and laid back on the dock with him. Placing the canteen in the foot of space between them, Naadiya hoped no one would be coming up the path any time soon.

Word Count: 729
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Naadiya
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Do You Hear That? Pt II [Trinket Box Ability]

Postby Naadiya on February 4th, 2022, 4:43 am

“Let’s play a drinking game.” Artik said, mischief in his tone.

“We have no more drinks!”

Even as she said it, Artik produced a flask from somewhere only the gods could guess, scantily clad as he was.

“Alright then, what game did you have in mind?”

She took the flask from his extended hand and smiled at what an odd morning this was turning out to be.

“A simple one, well suited for new friends. I will ask you three questions. I’ll ask about one thing you like, one thing you’ve done, and one thing you want. You must answer two truthfully, and one falsely. I then have to guess which is the lie. If I guess right, you drink. If I guess wrong, I drink. Then you can ask three of your own questions.”

“Simple enough,” she said, hoping the drink hadn’t let all her walls down.

“Okay, first question, we’ll make this an easy one… Do you like to swim?”

Naadiya bit the inside of her cheek. She did not know how to swim and wondered if this qualified as a lie, but it felt like one. So without giving more detail she gave a tight lipped “no.”

Artik made a sound of disapproval but went on.

“Have you… ever made love during a storm?”

A sharp snort shot out from the girl, surprised , and yet not surprised, by his sudden, abruptly different line of questioning

She huffed but gave in, “no…. I don’t think so.”

“You don’t think so?”

“I— I don’t think so. Maybe?”

“Oh no, trust me, you’d remember if you had.”

“Okay,” Naadiya nudged him with an elbow, “last question, then you guess, and then you drink.”

“Wayyy too confident! You will jinx yourself!” He rolled his torso to face her slightly and narrowed his eyes, “hmmm…. Why Syka? What did you want to find?”

It took her a couple of minutes to answer but they seemed to drag on for ages.

“Truth.” She answered, her tone far off and almost a whisper.

“Nahhh, too vague!” he was shaking his head unconvinced.

“You never specified how detailed answers had to be, besides that was two questions” she laughed, poking an accusing finger on his shoulder. “Now, you guess.”

Artik cupped the area she had touched with his opposite hand as it she’d done him injury, “fine fine…”

First he stared into her eyes, then scanned her face and body, thinking over her given answers. Where had there been a break, an inconsistency, a lie?

They went on for a few rounds. Artik drinking each time. He was starting to get sorely disappointed by his last minute changes of heart that he was sure had resulted in wrong guesses. But how had her guesses been right so often?

At least in drinking games, even when you lose, you win, he thought as he took another sip of the sharp burning liquid.

Naadiya had started to blame the man’s losing streak on his blood/alcohol levels. It had been clear he’d had at least one drink before meeting her and Naadiya was starting to suspect it may have been more.

But then, there was also the ringing. It had seemed so much lighter than before, dulled even but each time she’d heard it Naadiya had impulsively guessed that whatever Artik had just said must have been the odd-lie out. Each time her guesses hit the bullseye.

Her head was starting to clear somewhat. Each time she won, Naadiya had drunk water as Artik took his losing swig of rum. An idea was beginning to take form but Naadiya let it simmer in her head for a bit before finally blurting out:

“Forget the game, you’re losing anyway. New game. Everything I ask you, answer with the opposite of what you think I want to hear.”

“How is that—?”

Naadiya cut him off, “What color is the sky at night?”

“…white?”

“What happens if you jump into a fire?”

“You… freeze? I don’t think I’m understanding the game. When do we drink?”

“No need,” Naadiya replied, disappointed that her theory had proved inaccurate. “It was a stupid game, sorry.”

Before, the ringing had come and gone when she’d thought he’d been lying and, Artik’s many swigs had proven she’d been right. Now, it had stopped. Even so, she now was more sure than ever before, that the earring had something to do with this feeling. Her earlobe was feeling so hot Naadiya had tried touching it twice to check if someone was awry, only for her fingers to inspect what seemed to be a perfectly normal ear.

Could the difference had come from intent? When she’d been able to hear the ringing, it seemed to Naadiya that it had been when someone had said something to her, of their own volition and with their own motives. She might not even be able to make the sound return at will, for all she’d been able to guess.

Word Count: 830
Last edited by Naadiya on February 4th, 2022, 5:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Naadiya
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Posts: 214
Words: 338176
Joined roleplay: January 11th, 2022, 11:57 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human, Mixed
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