by Shouga Naiko (生姜ないこ) (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/139128.html)
by Bluejuice (青液) (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/138762.html)
by Yuite Dio (神莠射手) (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/140327.html)
by candidkage (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/139646.html)
by ms_greency (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/139456.html)
Lilly-white. The last one had possessed such skin too, before he’d thrown himself into the fire.
Tried to make himself ugly to him, as if that would stop him from admiring the bone structure beneath the skin, the organ that lay limp between his legs.
And then he’d ripped into the flesh of his own wrist, determined to be free of the life of captivity, when he’d been rescued from the fire and healed. Though burned, he still had looked beautiful.
Ever the prideful ones, fae.
[Readers sensitive to consent issues may exercise due caution. –Ed.]
There was something splendid about the scent and feel of old books. To be surrounded by them was something he’d desired since his earliest recollections. As technology progressed, he became more and more of a throwback, spending long hours pouring over tomes that would be much ‘easier to carry’ on a ‘reader, but he loved the feel of the paper, the smell of age, the sound of the pages turning, the sensation that he was actually learning something as opposed to having it plugged into his brain without digesting it. He resented the ‘ease’ of technology, how it made people take for granted the beauty of the words on the page, how they flowed from one mind to another over the expanses of time and distance.
In another time, he would have been one of the Irish monks, keeping alive the words of the ancients despite the church’s edicts and the layman’s fears. Such an ascetic life would suit him, if he had access to words on paper. More than anything else, words were his god.
Only when the sun was at it’s highest was the haa’sith of the Light allowed to travel through the temple grounds to bathe. It was the only chance Ashiid had to clean his pale scales of the temple’s cloying incense. It was also the only designated place where he could be away from the priests, the citizens and the other haa’sith.
Ashiid hid his nudity beneath a robe as pale as his sun-bleached scales. It was a billowing thing, made to accommodate generations of Ateimei bodies, from young to old, lithe to gargantuan. His role as the light haa’sith, or emissary in the Standard lexicon, was the most flexible of all haa’sith.
There was an old house at the end of Shiro’s street—Victorian, his architect brother would have pointed out. With a sunken porch, boarded windows, peeling paint, and shingles littering the overgrown lawn, it was a poor sight. Lonely. It seemed a shame that such a place had gone to decay.
“Go to China!” his father said. “See the world!” his mother added. (“Use all those seemingly useless ‘dialects’ you learned in college!” his own brain chimed in, treacherously.)
Somehow, Roger was fairly sure that this was not what his parents had meant: a sleeper car on a zhida train– overnight direct express– from Wuhan to Shanghai.
It wasn’t actually horrible, despite Roger’s initial misgivings about being a foreigner sharing a car with three curious Chinese. They asked questions only at the beginning of the trip, before the train departed, and Roger answered them easily: no, he wasn’t here to teach English; he had an internship at a brokerage in Shanghai waiting for him, thanks to his father; he looked forward to sleeping the entire way.
At the foot of the Hollowed Cliffs in presence of sea and sky, under the names of the Brother and Sisters of the wave he once served, the man once named Ker Caliel dei Salis swore off any future expeditions that did not come with a treasure meant to be found. No more inane riddles, no more locked rooms passable only after every single necromanced fiend died eight times, and he banned puzzles that could only be solved at dawn. It prevented necessary rest. Caliel rubbed bleary eyes, swearing when dust, sand, and the crumbling rock around him crusted his skin.
We are completely soaked when we finally get into the house.
“You’ll catch a cold, if you stay like that,” I tell him. He blushes and stares at our entwined fingers. He doesn’t want to let go, that much is clear. God, is he beautiful. I drop his hand, aching at the desolate expression on his face, and wrap my arms around him, pulling him close. His silence was scary. Raphael has never been a talkative person, not really aggressive either, but he can and will stand up for himself. But at the funeral he said nothing. So all I could do was stand next to him, a silent sentinel, reminding our family of their place. Because there is nobody else left to do that, other than me.
“I think it’d be good for you to start painting again.”
Navid didn’t answer, keeping his eyes fixed instead out the window. It was raining hard now, and the wind pushed the drops nearly sideways into the glass, giving a view of the grounds as though from behind a waterfall, everything distorted and distant. The IV in the back of his hand itched; he didn’t like it there, but Dr. Lin had told him after he’d pulled out the last one that it’d be a good idea to give the vein in his elbow some time to heal. Everyone in the clinic had lots of good ideas to share.
“We go, son. Now,” Dad said absently. He took a long step up and pulled the driver’s door shut with a grunt, the mosquito net clinking against the thick safety glass of the windows. He stashed the gas mask between the seats. Dad’s worn leather cowboy hat was pulled up and a sweat covered his forehead, his gray, bushy eyebrows riddled with tiny drops. He propped his massive body into the driver’s seat, wrinkling the plastic coat that covered most of what was inside, and rammed the car key into the ignition.