Curses and splashes, on their backs again (Shiress)

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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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Curses and splashes, on their backs again (Shiress)

Postby Cleon on April 8th, 2022, 2:36 pm

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22nd of Spring, 522 A.V.

Cleon hadn’t meant to start lurking around the community pool. That was just how it happened to come out when he caught Juli swimming there, half naked. Of course his small brain decided to lock up, deciding it was better to stare from his semi sheltered position along the cobblestone pathway rather than you know actually introducing himself like a normal person.

He wasn’t quite sure if he could even manage that without embarrassing himself with the tent in his trousers. For a time he consoled himself that he was just waiting until his ardor had cooled, but at a certain point he had to face the fact that he was leering at her shapely breasts. Even worse, it was only a matter of time before he got caught, either by someone taking the pathway or worse yet, by Julie herself. He was already getting a certain reputation with the ladies of Syka, so he really, really didn’t need to fuel the fire any further.

Briefly he considered satisfying the pressing urge in a nearby bush, but even if he could manage it, he did not feel nearly so bold as all that. He just had to hope that the pool water was cold enough, or Juli didn’t notice. Before his thoughts could manage to catch up with the rest of him, he started walking out from behind the foliage, and didn’t stop until he was submerged in the pool up to his waist at which point Juli turned around, and Cleon froze like he had been caught with his hand in the merchant’s wagon.

“Uh.. Sorry.. I um.. Just wanted to give the water.. The ocean.. Its dangerous y’know and..” Cleon stammered and then just sank backwards into the water as he slowly fell into a crouch. Juli gave him a look of pure confusion then opened her mouth, and grimacing as if she had suddenly remembered something. Then shaking her head brusquly, she gestured to her ear, she tried mouthing something to him. Cleon on the other hand wasn’t paying much attention to the gesture as he quickly discovered how it made her breasts jiggle in an almost mesmerizing way.

He started to remember something about Juli having a hard time hearing because of her curse when he suddenly looked up and caught her glaring at him. Too bad her sight was fine he had time to think before he stumbled back into the water, a decision he quickly regretted as his head went under. Instantly he started thrashing out with his arms and legs the moment he lost his footing as he struggled to get back above the surface. Only whatever he tried propelled him deeper to the bottom of the pool until suddenly he felt his back up against the rough stone floor. Then a shadow slipped into view, hovering over him almost as he felt arms pinning his to his sides before lifting him out where he sputtered for a quick gasp of air then launched into a series of hacking coughs as he found himself pulled to the edge of the pool. There he promptly sprawled out on the ground, only rolling over once he had caught his breath somewhat.

Still struggling for breath, and blinking rapidly to clear his eyes, he focused slowly on the silhouette of his savior.

“Thank you” he coughed.

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Last edited by Cleon on April 13th, 2022, 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Curses and splashes, on their backs again (Shiress)

Postby Shiress on April 10th, 2022, 11:01 pm

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Shiress quirked a skeptical eyebrow at the swimsuit the owner of Tropical Fever Fashions held up before her, sure there was more to come. When the owner just smiled at her, waiting for a verdict, Shiress frowned.

"What goes over it?"

"Nothing dear, this is it. It's called a bikini and comes in two pieces."

Shiress tilted her head, examining the swimsuit, or bikini, determining that the thing was held together by nothing but strings.

"You don't have anything a little more...more?" she asked, hopefully.

The woman let out an indignant huff loud enough to startle Shiress, and the doctor decided right then and there that this bikini was just fine, perfect even, paid the owner, grabbed the two-piece swimsuit from the lady's fingers, and stuffed it into her bag with a hasty, "Thank you!" thrown over her shoulder as she rushed for the exit.

"Am I imagining things, or does everyone in Syka seem to have very little tolerance for me?" she thought aloud as she picked her way back to her room to change. Shiress was beginning to wonder if intolerance was part of her god's forsaken curse.

Once back in the room, Shiress changed into the tiny red swimsuit, pulled her hair up into a tight ponytail, threw on some sort of transparent bathing suit cover thing that came with the purchase -that coincidentally didn't cover a thing- and headed back out, door slamming behind her.

The doctor had traded a few swimming lessons with Juli for some medical advice and was to meet the woman at the community pool at midday, only to realize she didn't have a swimsuit, and now, Shiress was running late. As usual.

Hopefully, there wouldn't be anyone else there because the closer Shiress got to the pool, the more she felt like she had left her room wearing underwear. Actually, her underwear seemingly covered more. Shiress grimaced, thinking of her pale, scarred body, and very nearly turned around, but steeled herself and kept moving.

Thankfully, the pool wasn't as crowded as Shiress had feared, just Juli and a young man in the water, and Shiress breathed a sigh of relief as she peeled the cover up and over her head. Shiress had just settled her eyes back on the pool just in time to see the water close over the boy's head, arms and legs flailing as he sank toward the bottom.

Juli moved quicker in the water than any human had the right to and dove beneath the surface, and had the limp boy in her arms and to the side of the pool within ticks. Shiress hurried over to where Juli struggled to heave the coughing and spluttering figure up and out of the water, knelt, grabbed him beneath a shoulder, and dragged the kid out.

Shiress watched over him carefully as he hacked and spat out poolwater, relief washing over her when he finally managed to roll over.

"You're welcome." Shiress replied, smiling down at the young man through a curtain of long hair. "Though, Juli's the one that saved you." she added.

Shiress glanced over to where Juli was still treading water. "So, do you ever do group lessons?" she asked, then dropped her teasing gaze, her smile spreading wider to reveal a row of white teeth as she regarded the young man, " I think my friend here might need to learn how to swim, too"



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Last edited by Shiress on May 12th, 2022, 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Curses and splashes, on their backs again (Shiress)

Postby Cleon on April 13th, 2022, 4:50 pm

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When Cleon opened his eyes he saw not one, but two women hunched over him. The first was Juli, but the second he hadn’t remembered seeing in the pool before his little mishap. Confused he rubbed the back of his head briskly, wondering if he had suffered a head injury as he smiled back at the dark haired woman. Whoever she was, once he had managed to collect himself, he was quite thankful for the distraction from the awkwardness between him and Juli. In fact he hadn’t quite dared to look at her just yet, bare breast and all, instead focusing more intently on the woman who had addressed him. He had the vaguest idea that he had seen her before, but really that could apply to anyone in Syka at this point so he quickly pushed that notion aside as he sat up, still smiling dumbly.

“She uh.. Yeah, Juli can’t really hear us. I think her curse makes it impossible to hear words normally, something about color. I.. Sorry give me a moment, I’m a little fuzzy.” Cleon said, rubbing his temple as he got a better look at the woman. Her clothes almost left as little to the imagination as Juli’s did, but he was glad for the covering as sparse as it was because he really didn’t to pop another bit of awkwardness in front of her. In the chaos of his fall in the pool, his.. Arousal had managed to go down for now, but just thinking about it made it clear that it was ready to spring into action at the slightest provocation.

Unfortunately he couldn’t very well close his eyes for their conversation so he focused on her scars of which their were many on her beautiful body. They reminded him uncomfortably of his own, and he wondered suddenly what had brought this woman so far that she was here now, standing above him with a smile that belied the pain etched into her body. How could she seem so whole when he felt so.. He killed the thought, and reached to get a hand up onto his feet. Juli helped with his right, and if Shiress helped pulling on his left, he would stand, letting go of Juli as soon as could be manage while his left hand lingered on Shiress’ elbow.

“Umm.. Yeah, so what’s your name? My name is Cleon. I work over at Randal’s Surf shop as a clerk for now, but I’m learning how to carve boards in my free time. Also how to surf, and swim, which is why I came here. You and Juli are going to swim too? I’m sorry, I really shouldn’t be interrupting if that is what you are after, but if you don’t mind the company, I wouldn’t mind getting some practice.” He said, and wasn’t even sure why those words were coming out of his mouth the way they were as he could hardly look at Juli, so intense was his embarrassment.

However when Juli mimed something out of the corner of his eye that looked a lot like come with, well Cleon felt compelled to follow to pair of women over to the side of the pool where Juli wrote out on a piece of parchment something that she showed to Shiress, and they traded words like that for several moments before both looked over at him. Smiling nervously, he got a look from Juli that looked like a cross between amusement and exasperation as she strapped on a bikini top before sliding into the pool and gesturing them in.

Breathing out a sigh of relief through his nose, Cleon could only figure that it was his curse giving him a pass again, of which he had gotten plenty over the course of this season, more than he deserved really but he wasn’t about to turn down good fortune when it came his way. There was always a chance he could petch it up however so he made sure to keep his eyes above board as he slipped into the pool after the women.

“Do you have much experience in the water?” He asked the woman when he got the chance, wading in close behind her and off slightly to the right. Remembering back to the time he had first visited the community pool, he was trying to remember the movements he had used to move through the water when he slipped and nearly fell into Shiress on his way down. He managed to catch himself on the bottom of the pool with his knee, but not before his hand had impulsively reached out to catch something for balance. In this case it was Shiress’ bikini strap, and he was taking it all the way down with him.

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Curses and splashes, on their backs again (Shiress)

Postby Shiress on April 20th, 2022, 5:13 pm

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The man Shiress had helped pull from the pool was actually more a boy than a man, or at least the male's rugged good looks made him appear younger than he was, with those green eyes and blonde hair.

"It's okay, take your time," Shiress offered her hand to help the boy stand, but Cleon's statement about Juli had her gaze shifting over to the other woman, curiously, as she too helped the boy stand.

Shiress tried to imagine what hearing color would be like and failed miserably. The doctor vaguely wondered what color the instructor saw when she heard her speak. Black, no doubt. Shiress shook her head, realizing Cleon had asked her a question.

"My name's Shiress," she replied, smiling at the boy who was surprisingly eye level with her, maybe a bit taller, but not by much, "It's nice to meet you, Cleon. I'm a doctor at The Redynn in the Outpost." she frowned, "I...don't know what surfing is, Im sorry. But, no worries, the more, the merrier, right? I don't mind sharing my lesson with you." Shiress grinned.

Shiress followed along with Cleon behind Juli, and when the instructor scribbled a message on a piece of paper and handed it over, Shiress took it and read.

I can't hear or speak properly because of the curse. Are you and Cleon taking a lesson together?

Their heads turned as one to regard the blonde young man, Shiress nodded, and Juli pressed the pencil to the paper once again.

What do you want to learn? Float? Doggy paddle? Tread Water?

Shiress grinned, gesturing for the pencil.

How not to drown?

Juli nodded and waded into the pool with a jerk of her head. Shiress tugged Cleon by the hand, stepped into the water, and shivered. The water was colder than she had been expecting since the air was like a smith's forge.

"No, none whatsoever," Shiress said, replying to Cleon's question, then added, despite growing up in Zel...ahhh-!"

Shiress's words cut off with a shriek, hands flying up to cover her exposed chest as her bathing suit top was suddenly ripped off her body. Juli grabbed Cleon before the young man could sink any further and towed him back toward the surface. Shiress extended one arm across her chest to cover both exposed breasts and made a grab for her swimsuit still twisted around Cleon's fingers. However, upon inspecting the garment, she saw that the tie that went around her back had been completely torn free of the bikini top.

Grimacing, the doctor shot Juli an apologetic look, thinking she'd need to go home and find a new bathing suit, and turned to wade her way out of the pool, but Juli grabbed her arm, head shaking, as she tried and failed to tell Shiress something. Seeing Shiress frown, the woman held up a hand for her to wait, which Shiress did, took her own top off, tossed it out of the pool, and raised both hands in an 'its ok' gesture Shiress got it.

Of course, it's okay. It's Syka, and the people around here hate being clothed.

Shiress stared at the woman, unsure, then glanced at Cleon, remembering Juli had been topless when she had arrived at the pool. Slowly, the doctor dropped her hands and straightened her back, nodding at Juli. If she could do it, then so could Shiress.

Juli smiled back, waving a hand for Shiress to come to her. Propping Cleon up against the side of the pool with a 'stay here and don't move' motion, the two females waded out further into the pool. Juli turned Shiress around so that her back was against her front, then reached around with one hand, pressed it against the doctor's stomach, and the other slid firmly down Shiress's back.

-Keep your back straight-

Ok, Shiress could do that, so she straightened her back.

Juli then leaned over slightly in the water and, with an arm beneath her knees, she lifted Shiress up and positioned her on her back on top of the water, causing the Zeltivan to cough out a laugh. The instructor kept a hand on Shiress's back so she wouldn't sink, then motioned for Cleon to join them. When Cleon had moved close enough, Juli pulled his arm until she was able to place the young man's hand on the doctor's back, held up one finger in the universal sign to 'hang on a chime', then started pushing her way through the water and stepped out of the pool.

Shiress glanced up at Cleon and winced.

"I guess she wants me to float and for you to not let me sink?" Shiress asked, looking as if she was about to laugh, but got a lung full of water and not air, and started hacking and coughing, instead.

From the corner of her eye, Shiress caught Juli looking their way, saw that Shiress was ok, held up that finger again, then bent over the paper to write something. Instructions, no doubt, but the instant before she pressed the point to the paper a strong gust of wind lifted the parchment right off the little table and sent it flying off. Juli made a sound and gave chase, leaving Shiress to float and Cleon to...not let her sink.

"Well," Shiress said nonchalantly after several chimes passed by and Juli hadn't returned, "tell me about surfing."




Word Count - 927
Last edited by Shiress on May 12th, 2022, 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Curses and splashes, on their backs again (Shiress)

Postby Cleon on April 21st, 2022, 5:24 pm

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On his feet with his thoughts growing clearer by the moment, Cleon had time to appreciate his situation as they exchanged pleasantries, and he tried to work out just how he was going to apologize to Julie later. Whatever had brought this woman here, Cleon was thankful for the interruption.

“Please, the pleasure is all mine. I’ve been to the Redynn before. We must have just missed each other. I well.. I guess I didn’t end up staying there long. As for surfing, I’m not so well acquainted with it myself which is why I spend more time swimming than surfing I guess.” Cleon chuckled, and then waited patiently for Shiress and Julie to make their exchange. It gave him plenty of time to regret what he had just said, and the way he had said it, all of which he’d love to blame on his curse if it wasn’t for a small part of himself that thought it was him shining through.

However, neither of them were kicking him out just yet so he supposed all was well for now, or at least as well as it could be, things had a way of quickly shifting under ones foot. Much like they did when he found himself thrashing away at the water before slowly being lifted out by Julie who guided him gingerly to the edge of the pool before returning to Shiress.

An.. Oh well petch! For the life of him he couldn’t recall James’ advice about what he said about not looking directly at them which seemed almost impossible not that both women were topless. Fortunately the water was cold enough to stifle his biggest concern, but still, it was going to be hard to get through this lesson if he couldn’t look either woman in the face, but if he did that then obviously he was bound to look down at some point. Ahh.. Petch it.

Cleon clenched his hands together under the water, and took in a deep breath through his nose as he watched Julie guide Shiress on her back. It was not too different from what Randal had told him, although theres had been a much less hands on approach. He really hoped he wouldn’t have to adopt a similar postion, afraid that someone might make an appearance at that moment when he would have trouble looking away from either set, but alas, what actually occurred was far, far worse. Juli put Shiress in his hands as he waded over, and Cleon was suddenly very aware of the woman, of where his hands were placed, and more importantly, the twin mounds that made it hard to look at her face. He did eventually manage to do so, but his heart was hammering away in his chest, and Cleon had a brief pang of fear that Shiress could feel his pulse through his hands.

Then Julie left and made it much, much worse as he was left alone holding this stranger aloft in the water. He almost dropped her when she cracked a joke and got a mouth full of water. Hastily, he pulled her back up so she was raised briefly higher in the water before he settled back to let her do most of the floating.

“Sorry about that. Petch, I didn’t expect you to have jokes.” Cleon said with a nervous smile as his eyes fought to keep contact with hers. He looked over his shoulder to see what Shiress was looking at and noticed that Julie had disappeared before looking back at Shiress and giving as much of a shrug as he could manage.

“Well from what Randal has told me, supposedly you can ride the waves on the water if you get particularly good at standing on a wooden board. Sounds like fun yeah?” Cleon said as he considered the woman, and couldn’t help but glance at her myriad of scars once or twice. “Where are you from anyways? You were on the ship right? I think I caught a glance of you once or twice on the way over, although I was pretty busy minding after my sister so I didn’t get much of a chance to speak with anyone.” Cleon admitted as he held her aloft in the water and started looking around for Juli whom had yet to appear.

“What do you think of this place? I mean aside from all the curses.” Cleon asked, then added. “Mines not so bad compared to these other ones, but sorry, I didn’t mean to spoil your day with such talk. We can switch to something lighter if you prefer.” Again a blush was starting to flush his cheeks, and Cleon was running out of excuses for why that was as there was a limit to his mental gymnastics. Eventually, he would have to face what was there right in front of him.

Not quite ready for that though, he maintained eye contact as best he could while he waited to see what would be the next step in their little swimming journey.

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Curses and splashes, on their backs again (Shiress)

Postby Shiress on April 26th, 2022, 3:51 pm

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The awkwardness was building by the chime.

At least Cleon wasn't overtly staring at her, and as far as Shiress was concerned, the boy was actually doing pretty well, considering his age and proclivity for his age group. Near drowning excluded, of course.

"Actually," Shiress replied, really giving surfing some thought, "it kind of sounds like sitting on a board and sliding down a snow-covered hill, except on water." she frowned, scowled, then added, "No, it doesn't. I can't seem to wrap my brain around standing on a board on top of a wave and...riding it."

Thankfully, the young man changed the subject, but Shiress found it difficult to answer. For the first fourteen summers of her life, Shiress had lived in Zeltiva, then spent eight summers in chains in Sunberth, six more in Syliras, then Ravok, and finally back to Zeltiva. So, where was Shiress from?

"Well, I grew up in Zeltiva and-"

Shiress's reply was abruptly cut off as Shade's voice called out in her head, warning her not to divulge personal information lest she be found.

Shyke.

"I left there at an early age," she continued lamely and cleared her throat, "moved around a good bit after that. But yeah, I was on the ship, and I think I remember seeing you, also, and your sister; young, maybe ten, with light brown hair?"

Shiress followed Cleon's wandering gaze, knowing he looked for their instructor.

"Syka is beautiful and romantic," she smiled, doing her best to ease the boy's uneasiness, "and the people here are so kind and generous. I hate that they are suffering, though. I hate that you are suffering, too. I wish there was something I could do." she paused, then whispered, "something anyone could do."

Shiress's attempt at humor and the idle conversation was for naught; she could still feel the stiffness of Cleon's body in his arms and see the way man's back was pulled taut and knew the kid was very uncomfortable. Shiress had seen his eyes following along the lines of scars on her chest and arms and felt terrible. Anyone would become uncomfortable having nothing but hideous hints of someone's abusive past to stare at.

Straightening her way out of his arms, Shiress planted her feet on the bottom of the pool and stood. "I wonder where Juli has gotten off to?" she wondered allowed, then turned back to Cleon, "well, maybe the lesson is-"

Juli came into view, yelling something that Shiress was pretty sure were curses directed to either the elusive paper or the offensive wind that had carried it off. Somewhere the female had attained bigger paper and a thicker pencil. Shiress briefly wondered what her intentions were until Juli plopped herself down on a chair, scribbled fiercely, then held up the paper for them to see. Oh...

Cut my foot, it's ok, but stay out of pool. Still learn???

Shiress shook her head and couldn't help but look concerned, but the irritating glare from the other woman had her nodding an affirmative instead. She glanced over her shoulder at Cleon and shrugged. The lesson would continue, evidently.

Juli nodded her head once, then bent to scribble again on the paper.

You float good, Shi. Now float on belly. Cleon you hold 10 chimes and not let her drown. Kick legs once you can float.

Shiress nodded and turned back to face Cleon, brows raised and looking apprehensive.

Shiress's back was by far the most scarred surface on her body. Thick, raised whipping scars crisis crossed Shiress's back. Not to mention the angry-looking exit wound left behind from her being stabbed through the chest just above her shoulder blade. The healer swallowed hard regarding the young man. Traipsing around with a naked back in front of others was one thing, but having her bare back right under the nose of someone for their casual perusal made her heart race.

Taking a breath, Shiress tried to prepare herself for the inevitable disgust the boy would have and stepped up to Clean, her shoulder to his chest. Reaching out, she grabbed his arm, using it to steady herself as she positioned her body to float belly down. Once Shiress was sure her face would stay above the water, she waited for Cleon to place his arms to support her; one across the front of her hips, the other across her chest.



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Last edited by Shiress on May 12th, 2022, 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Curses and splashes, on their backs again (Shiress)

Postby Cleon on April 27th, 2022, 10:56 pm

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Cleon hadn’t passed through any place called Zeltiva on his way over here, but hearing someplace new didn’t exactly surprise him at this point. He’d learned already that the world was a good deal more expansive than what he had known around Sunberth, and there was more about it he was learning every day. Besides, he had a little bit more on his mind than cities that he hadn’t heard of, an Shiress’ remark about his sister had a way of further drawing his attention away from that fact.

“Blond actually, but yeah. She was, is. Faye’s got that curse that makes her age quickly over and over again. What was Zeltiva like if you don’t mind my asking?” Cleon said an after a moment he found something better to do with his eyes than avoid looking at her exposed breasts.

“It has been very good to us. I don’t think either of us have ever eaten better than we have after coming here. An they treated Faye’s cough which was nice. She is still drinking the syrup they make for her, but it has been getting a lot better. They said she had something called miners lung. I’ve been drinking a little bit of it just in case as we spent a lot of time in the mines before coming here.” Cleon said. He was rambling and he knew it, but he couldn’t help but be propelled by this nervous energy that bubbled up through him.

When Juli finally did make an appearance, he was briefly relieved before it set in that she would not be joining them in the pool. More than that, it seemed she expected him to act out the rest of the lesson in her place which he supposed he deserved for ogling her earlier. He was sure she could feel his heart racing as they adjusting their positioning so that he was holding her in a decidedly more delicate way.

It didn’t make him feel any less awkward that she seemed equally as uncomfortable with the arrangement but it did make him feel a little less alone. Like the scars on her back, it seemed like they might have more in common than he would’ve guess at first glance. However upon reconsidering about where his first glance had been focused, he supposed he should feel a bit ashamed about only noticing her as a person when he noticed her scars.

Cleon himself was no stranger to such markings, his own back had marks that matched the one’s that patterned Shiress’ back, but not to the same degree. An across his left calf there was a deep purple puckered scar that hooked sharply at the end, while the top of his right middle toe was noticeably missing. So when he saw those scars it was like walking down his own memories, only she was substitute in his place.

Blinking several times to push past the memory and back into the present moment, he took in a deep breath and made she he wasn’t inappropriately groping her while Juli encouraged her to try paddling while he held her. For a long moment he considered if he should say something, if anything to the woman he did not know, but now thought he knew because of her scars but everything that came to mind just felt inappropriate, and crass.

“You’re doing a great job.” He said, avoiding the intrusive thoughts as he tossed a glance a Juli who seemed frustrated about something as she was digging through her pack, and then looking up, made sure she caught both of their gazes before flashing five fingers at them and walking quickly away.

An awkward silence lapsed in the wake of her disappearance which Cleon was content to let ride for a few ticks before he decided to finally say what was on his mind.

“So travel huh? I didn’t much like it. The trip from Sunberth to here was long, and hard. I was glad when we finally reached this place because as soon as I set foot on the sand, I knew we where done traveling.” Cleon said, and continued a little quieter the next part. “That’s all to say, I know what its like to get marks like that, and I mean, if you ever want to talk about it, I’ve heard I’m not a bad listener from time to time.”

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Curses and splashes, on their backs again (Shiress)

Postby Shiress on May 2nd, 2022, 4:48 pm

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Shiress privately contemplated the difference between light brown hair and blonde, having never had a reason to in the past, and gave an inward shrug, capable of seeing the difference between the two hair colors, before Cleon disturbed her musing with the description of his sister's curse. A question formed on the tip of Shiress's tongue, and she nearly asked if the curse caused the girl's death but decided against it, not wanting to remind the young man of his sister's constant dying if her death was caused by the affliction.

Thankfully, the details were left out, and another question by Cleon shattered the healer's thoughts on the subject of curses. Zeltiva. Home. A home she had fled.

"Zeltiva is a beautiful port city, despite it being poor." she smiled, "rocky beaches and high mountains. I miss it."

Thankfully the boy flitted to another topic, and the niggling of homesickness didn't have a chance to take root, though the subject did cause a bit of concern for the doctor.

"Does she still cough?" she asked, legs pausing their movement, "Do you?"

The lesson continued, and Shiress lapsed into a sort of rhythm, smiling at Cleon's veiled attempt at encouragement. But when Juli abandoned them again, and the young man spoke as if he'd been stewing on a forbidden topic, Shiress's lax body went completely stiff. Sunberth. Her green eyes closed reflexively at the naming of that city.

Slowly, Shiress worked her way out of Cleon's arms and stood and wrapped arms around her chest, suddenly conscious of her body, and met Cleon's gentle gaze.

"You were a slave?" she asked, voice cautious, then thought better of answering a question with a question, despite the inquiry being hidden in a subtle statement.

"I was enslaved in Sunberth for nearly nine summers, from when I was fourteen until I escaped when I was twenty-two."

Shiress had meant her words to come out as more of a statement of fact, but they sounded like a plea for empathy even to her own ears.

"I was taken for my gnosis," she offered, then explained, "I have been marked by Bala, the Goddess of Cultivation, and when I was found to have the ability to bring a crop to harvest with a touch," she shrugged, not needing to explain further.

Eyeing Cleon, Shiress was suddenly curious if his past had been worked into his curse as hers had.

"I...um..my curse is actually my slavemaster, well his angry and vengeful ghost is," she said, then added in a near whisper, "he haunts me during the day, makes me see...things in my food, and physically attacks me at night," she presented her arm to Cleon for him to see the healing slash wound running from her wrist to elbow on the underside of her arm and shook her head, "I don't think he can kill me, but he makes me think he will."

Suddenly cold, Shiress shivered, wrapped her arm back around the other, covering her chest, and glanced around.

"I'm not in the mood for more lessons anymore, are you," she said. Then as she made her way to the edge of the pool, she frowned, curious, "what is your curse? Does it have anything to do with your...past?"



Word Count - 566
Last edited by Shiress on May 12th, 2022, 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Curses and splashes, on their backs again (Shiress)

Postby Cleon on May 4th, 2022, 5:17 pm

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Cleon mused on that for a moment, thinking back on all the ports he had known however briefly. From swampy Kenash to the sheltered bay of Riverfall, they’d all been different. Looking back on it now, he couldn’t help but compare them to the one in Sunberth, which was much less grandiose. As he shifted slightly, adjusting his grip so that it remained comfortable, he considered that name for a bit longer before speaking.

“Fortunately, it has mostly gone away. Fresh air, good food and a little medicine goes a long way to shaking what we brought with us from Sunberth. He cocked his head as he felt Shiress go stiff, then let her do what she needed to make space. He could give her that, while avoiding looking at her directly.

“Of a sort.” He said softly before she continued on with how she spent her time in Sunberth. It was painful to hear, and it was even more painful to watch that woman drag those old wounds into the light. Most of all, it reminded him of what a piece of shite he was for condemning his own sister to such a fate. Cleon wasn’t much good at hiding his emotions and what he was feeling now was a mix of rage, sadness and disgust, all twisted together to be writ plainly on his features. He kept his piece until she finished speaking about what she had been through, and what she was going through, following her to the edge of the pool stiffly.

“What I meant earlier was that I was not branded a slave, I did not wear a collar, I was not confined to my quarters, yet I was a slave to my mother and father all the same. They used me as they saw fit from a young age, and when they needed a bit of coin, they lent me to others to be used by them. If I acted out, well they used to make a game of it, punishing me. My older brother and sister would occasionally join in. Then they got creative with their punishments and started to use my younger sister Farren, making me watch. I started to drink around that time, use drugs, anything to get by with my miserable life. Then my youngest sister Faye was born and I quit it all. An before they could use her, I took her and Farren away from that place..” Cleon paused for a moment, gripping the edge of the pool. This was the most that he’d said to anyone about his past, and all of the emotions it was dredging up made him sick to his stomach.

“I think you would have liked Farren. She’s actually the reason we got out of Sunberth. Got herself marked by some goddess and sold herself so that me and Faye could use the money to get as far away from her as possible. Not a day goes by however that I don’t wish that we could have swapped places, that I could have done something to prevent it from happening in the first place if I had only acted sooner. Instead I’m no better than a slaver for taking that money. I’m only here now to make sure Faye grows up with the right people. Once I feel like she can make it on her own..” He didn’t finish the sentence, didn’t want to follow that well tread line of thought that he had considered on many a dark night.

Pulling himself up out of the pool, he sat on the edge not daring to look at Shiress for several moments as he sought to control his trembling hands. “These curses know right where to hit us. Making it so that Faye can’t enjoy a normal childhood, dredging up past addictions for me, haunting you with your old slave master. No one man could have all of that information about all of us. There is definitely something magical afoot, perhaps even divine.” Cleon reasoned slowly working his jaw as he tried to put their conversation behind him. Holding onto such dark thoughts would only make it harder to do what he needed to in order to make a good life for Faye. He had to be strong for her if he was going to be able to pull this off.

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