Blood Tells

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Blood Tells

Post  Liv on Tue Dec 27, 2011 6:54 pm

I turn away from the kitchen. "Well, despite all the excitement, we're still broke and I still need to busk if we want to eat. I need to go sing my songs...yes yes," I say, holding up a hand to forestall the exclamations, "I'll take somebody with me. Djhuety, in the mood for a stroll?"
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Re: Blood Tells

Post  Djehuty on Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:34 pm

Shrugging noncommittally, Djehuty reaches for his coat and tucks it over his arm. "I am at your service."
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re:blood tells

Post  Liv on Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:37 pm

"Come along then."
Once out in the street, I turn my steps away from our usual haunts. I can feel Djhuety looking at me strangely. "I stretched the truth a little in there." I admit, "but I didn't want everyone asking questions. I need to get answers right now."
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Re: Blood Tells

Post  Djehuty on Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:51 pm

"And there's some part of you that thinks its a good idea for none of our friends to know where we're at?" He hefts his coat as he matches pace at Liv's side. "You are a VIP now with an unfortunate tenancy toward DID status."
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re:blood tells

Post  Liv on Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:52 pm

"I brought you, didn't I?" I say, shooting him a glare, "Besides, we're not going anywhere dangerous."
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Re: Blood Tells

Post  Djehuty on Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:59 pm

"Define dangerous." He digs his hands into his pockets and deviates a moment to a news stand, returning a moment later with the late edition of The Night Times - for all of you that didn't have the good sense to read it the first time around - and begins browsing the headlines of the last few months.
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re:blood tells

Post  Liv on Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:05 pm

"Mammoun Emporium." I say offhand, "Very low on the danger scale. Most of the time. And there's a decent oracle there. The kind that actually tells you something relevant, and tells it straight. Come on."
The emporium is huge, far bigger on the inside than it at first appears. In the welter of sights and sounds, underlain, sadly, by the inevitable canned music, all manner of things can be found.
But all I want is a little wishing well. It looks badly made and unbearably pretentious, but looks can be deceiving, especially in the Nightside.
"Penny for your thoughts." I call down into the well. A voice, impeccably English and rather bored, drawls back at me."Well well, little queen, how nice to see you here at last. I see you ruling and I see you dead. And I see you standing at an altar with a fine, fine man. Do you want to know the name of the man standing beside you, with his hair all gold?"
"No thanks." I say shortly, "And cut the tourist crap. I need information, oracle. What's your price?"
"Well, you're no fun." the bored voice in the well drawls. Then there's a sigh. "One drop of blood, one question."
I nod. Drawing my knife, I hand it to my friend, and proffer my hand. "Just deep enough to let blood flow, please."
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Re: Blood Tells

Post  Djehuty on Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:11 pm

Wincing, Djehuty takes her hand, then thinks better and pricks his own finger with the keen blade, holding his hand out and letting a large drop of blood fall into the well; it is followed almost immediately by a sickening squelching sound, at which he makes a face.

"You've been paid; now speak truthfully and usefully." He growls over the lip of the well as he presses the tip of his finger to thumb to stop the bleeding.
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re:blood tells

Post  Liv on Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:31 pm

There's a nasty organic noise, then a satisfied murmur. "Mm, tasty. Right, what's the question?"
I draw a deep breath. "How do I bring about the best possible solution in the trouble to come with the least bloodshed?"
There's a derisive snort. "You are no fun whatsoever."
"Just answer the question," I growl, "or I'll tell a water kelpie that you're a good swimming pool."
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Re: Blood Tells

Post  Djehuty on Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:42 pm

"Fowl play," the well growls. "Almost as bad as that horrid woman a month ago."

"There is no easy solution. Since the elves left, the various fay races are at each other throats, and the humans are starting to realize that they don't like you lot all that much either."
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re:blood tells

Post  Liv on Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:45 pm

"That's not an answer, that's just what we-"then I freeze. "The elves left? Left where?"
"That's another question, which requires another payment." the voice says snidely.
"You still haven't answered our first question." I shoot back. "Don't play games."
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Re: Blood Tells

Post  Djehuty on Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:53 pm

"I see the branches of the tree as time splits itself with every decision," the voice of the well echos of its stone walls. "And you, queen, are the source of so many branches. Have you meet the opposition yet?" The grin in the voice tells that it already knows the answer. "She's liable to try and beat you just on general principle; not that she doesn't have a good reason. If you want to avoid bloodshed, she can't know it's you. Take a cue from the Pendragon."
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re:blood tells

Post  Liv on Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:57 pm

"The Pendragon was forced to hide his lineage due to his parentage. His father." I say thoughtfully. On impulse, I take Djhuety's hand and a little more blood falls into the well.
"Who is my father?" I ask, "What's his name? And what does he have to do with all this?" I'm doing this wrong, I know I am, but something tells me I've got to ask.
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Re: Blood Tells

Post  Djehuty on Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:26 pm

"Betrys Ab'Ys. The name says it all." smirks the well.
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re:blood tells

Post  Liv on Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:29 pm

"Next time, I pay you only after I get answers." I growl. With a glance to Djhuety, who nods shortly, I hold his hand over the well again. "Who is the woman you spoke of...the one that will stand against me?"
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Re: Blood Tells

Post  Djehuty on Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:32 pm

"You simply MUST start attending those family reunions, milady. You don't even know your own kin." The well gurgles up. "Keep the blood coming. The sooner I have my fill, the sooner I can stop answering people's cursed questions and be about my own business."
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re:blood tells

Post  Liv on Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:34 pm

"Go fuck yourself with a red hot poker." I snarl, turning on my heel. Outside, I look up and down the street. "Well, so much for that." I mutter. "Asshole oracle."
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Re: Blood Tells

Post  Djehuty on Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:38 pm

Sucking absently on his forefinger, Djehuty nods his agreement. "What was that about the elves?" He mumbles around the digit.
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re:blood tells

Post  Liv on Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:49 pm

"No idea. Maybe something happened while we were gone?" She glanced at the paper in his hands. "Read while we walk and tell me if you see anything interesting."
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Re: Blood Tells

Post  Djehuty on Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:01 am

Djehuty browses the paper as they walk, turning a page with an occasional grunt of frustration. They just round a corner into the Sherlocks when he stops in his steps, staring hard at the headline on what is now the front page.

"John Taylor: Once and Future King?" blazes out on the page as he hands it to Liv.

"John Taylor, new Walker for the New Authorities, seem to already have an edge up on his new job. While few are willing to speculate as to the circumstances involving the disappearance of Henry Walker, and the sudden rise of his replacement, infamous John Taylor, considerably more wish to conjecture as to the reason the newly returned King Sword, Excalibur has come to the Nightside and why, for the love of all that is holy and just, it chose our very own Magnificent Bastard to wield it."

"John Taylor, known to most of us for bringing about two wars of mythic proportions in as many years, refused to comment...
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re:blood tells

Post  Liv on Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:16 am

I snatch the paper, reading with amazement, then flip pages. "What in the..." then a headline makes me freeze. "I can't believe it. He did it. John Taylor actually did it."
Together, we puzzle out the story. No wonder they told tales of the man. Singlehandedly he had raised up King Arthur, ended a War of the Courts, and sent Elfin kind into a world all their own. Amazing.
"Wow...." slowly, I fold up the paper. "Glad we weren't here when all that happened."
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Re: Blood Tells

Post  Djehuty on Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:18 am

Stunned, Djehuty nods...

"Think Fairchild went with the others?"
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re:blood tells

Post  Liv on Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:19 am

"Either that or he got killed. Hopefully the latter." I hand his paper back, then pause at a street crossroads. "Here. This is a good place."
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Re: Blood Tells

Post  Djehuty on Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:55 am

Looking around, Djehuty nods. "I'll go first this time... Nothing ventured, nothing gained." He digs into a pocket an pulls out seven sticks of chalk, bound together in a straight line and bends down, tracing a broad semicircle in seven colors at his feet while mumbling inaudibly, followed by a number of roughly human shapes which continue to pull them selves together after he leaves them to move on to the next.

Standing straight, he looks out at the few people that had stopped to examine his crud work and smiles.

"People, people. You see my creativity is not so great... but hear, let me tell you something; these are not merely figures of dust and gravel, but true living beings, rising from the pavement to meet with you and tell you a story."

He motions to a tall standing figure, dressed only in an aura like that of a rainbow. "Meet the First Born, the Being from which we all arose, man and fay, mortal and immortal." The chalk bows slightly. "In those early days, Being was alone, his own self and no more."

"And believe me, it was dreary," the figure chimes in with a voice that seems to cover the entire musical scale, far above, and equally beneath the sound of human hearing. "I found nothing but Void, my antithesis."

Djehuty smiles at the responses of the crowd before continuing. "And the First Born lay down and dreamed. And as he dreamed, the things we now have dulled ourselves to filled him with wonder and pleasure until..." He pauses as a muffled groan rises from the eight foot tall Being at his feet. "He awoke, and found that none of it had been real. He cried and tears, a sight never before conceived until his grief called for them, rolled down his cheeks and feel from his chin as he began to describe to Void everything he had seen, pulling them from himself to show to Void and fill the spaces between. He saw the great races rise, speaking them into existence, building cities and wonders in their long lives, learning the rhythms of their new world. Then rose the men, children of the dust and stone. They lived quickly, and they devoted much to pulling as much as they might from their short lives. They were the Void to the immortal Being, even as Being had known its life. He watched as his beings took on life of their own, as the immortals walked among the men and trained them, and as the men showed the immortal the dreams and ambition of the short focused life."

"The harmony shattered. Jealousy rose in the men for the lives of the immortal. "All that I could do, all that I could create with their lives." and the immortals looked out and saw that the rhythms they had come to learn were changing. Even as they remained the same, they felt the earth aging and evolving beneath their feet. "Men are changing our world, tainting it with their feeble lives."

He stops... "Where do we go from there... we all know the next bit... but how will it end... the world is divided... Being is divided." He motions to the chalk figure, now falling back into the pavement. "There is no Being without Void. How can there be Mortal without Immortal?"
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re:blood tells

Post  Liv on Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:52 pm

I frown a little. The crowd is muttering, not a good sound, as the beautiful chalk drawings fall back to the sidewalk.
"Not everybody likes the truth." I mutter in his ear as I step forward. But the story is stuck in my head now, and I can think of nothing else but one particular song. It's a strange tune for such a sad story, too happy, too energetic, but in a way it does fit, a dark kind of energy. People would recognize it; men had adopted it, though they had lost the first few verses and the meaning.
"Here is a song of old mistakes and old foolishness. Listen, and do not repeat these errors." I say to the crowd. Then I begin the song.
There was a willow woman and she lived in the woods, weile weile waile,
There was a willow woman and she lived in the woods, down by the river side.
She fell in love with a lord of men, weile weile waile,
She fell in love with a lord of men, down by the river side
She took him into her home and bed, weile weile waile,
She took him into her home and bed, down by the river side
The willow woman she woke alone, weile weile waile,
her bed was empty and her lord was gone, down by the river side
Now the winter came and the winter passed, weile weile waile,
and the willow woman with child was fast, down by the river side
She said oh babe, neither kin nor man, weile weile waile,
there’s no place in the wide world for you to stand, nor down by the river side
Oh babe oh babe what shall you do, weile weile waile,
there’s no place in all the world for you, e’en down by the river side
She had a knife all long and sharp, weile weile waile,
She had a knife all long and sharp, down by the river side.
She stuck the knife deep in the baby’s breast, weile weile waile,
She stuck the knife deep in the baby’s breast, down by the river side.
She took unto her tree and cried, weile weile waile,
She wept and mourned and pined and died, down by the river side
Now there are two willows growing in the wood, weile weile waile,
now there are two willows growing in the wood, down by the river side

When I finish, tears wet the faces of many in the crowd. It hurt to sing, but it's the kind of pain that brings release, release of tensions and emotions, of old pain and old secrets. I think it must have hurt to hear as well, in the same way. Hidden wounds don't heal. Wounds given air and treated do.
The clapping is like a river in full flood.
I stay with quiet songs, thoughtful and sad, slow and sweet, gentle at times, and lamenting at others. After three hours, I take up my earnings. We have plenty.
I lift my head. "I think I need to go home. To speak with my mother. I should have asked her before going to some fool oracle. Come with me?"
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