The fire can speak for us

RO

POSTED: Wed Jan 22, 2020 5:01 pm

OOC - Backdated: 14/1 - Word Count: 1876

I want to take shelter but I'm ready, ready to fight.

Wind didn't wake the boy like it had done the last few days, the rattle of his cold chest didn't break his slumber, but a large gentle hand did the job instead. Borya's eyes, crusted and dry, peeled themselves open to the small shack that had remained a miracle shelter through the storm. Crouched before him was Tlamatini, the woman wearing her hulking cloak made of bear pelt, with both the unseeing black eyes of the bear and her own soft yellow ones addressing the boy with concern. The boy's throat felt abused and rough, words left him in a huff of cold air that didn't form anything, so all he could do was groan. Tlamatini gave the noise a frown and small smile. The sympathetic kind, it was all the woman seemed capable of giving him these last few days. "Still sick I see. Someone must be punishing you for something." She commented, before holding out a wooden carved cup before Borya's face. Fresh and warm steam rose from the cup of warm water, enticing Borya to stir further awake. With his good arm, the boy pushed himself to sit, letting out a sigh that turned into a string of phlegm-y coughs as he tried to rid his chest of the sickness goblin that clung to him. The drink was held up to his lips, Tlamatini not taking risks at allowing Borya to hold it himself with his weak state and the heat risk of the drink she was offering. Borya felt too fed up to really comment on how the woman babied him.

Once the drink ran down his throat, Borya coughed clearer and felt more confident in his ability to speak. "Are we leaving soon?" He mumbled, looking up to his protector with a sad look. Exhaustion had kept Borya from really moving, he had almost died during that storm which tended to cause the body a lot of stress, but his mind was getting better every day and itched to get out of this dull and empty shack. In his times of recovery, he'd spoken to Tlama, asking her anything and everything about who she really was. The woman confirmed she was the shadow he'd seen in autumn, who'd left a gift to the pack. She lived to travel across the lands apparently, looking to find her purpose and spread the belief of her god. Borya found the topic of religion interesting, especially how passionate Tlamatini got as she spoke on this great Tezcatlipoca who guided everyone into their next lives and joined all souls together.

Borya did enjoy her company, but her nursing nature was starting to grind on the boy. Tlama shook her head, the bear hood holding firm on her large head. "It is too much risk. I convinced Tezcatlipoca to spare you but I fear you're not free from returning to them yet." She explained. The same sort of excuse she'd used before. Whether Borya felt more lucid today or he just was reaching his limit, but the boy actually growled at her reply, cutting his frustration short when it caused his cough to come back.

"I-I need to leave T-Tlama... please." Borya asked again, the moment of angry leaving his eyes looking desperate once more. "If... If T-tezcatlipoca wants me to live then... m-maybe you should ask t-them if we sh-should leave?" Borya dared to ask, not entirely sure how Tlamatini's relationship to her god worked. The woman smiled that motherly smile she seemed to perfect, moving a hand to brush down Borya's hair that fell long over his shoulders.

"I can't just chat to them, they're not really the talkative type, more the... symbolic type I suppose." Tlama explained, then knotting her brow as she thought, "No, you might be onto something Borya... perhaps we should find out who you are, that can decide it." The woman got up then, moving over to her supply. Borya had been eyeing up the pile often, from the weird, club-like weapon to the small pouches that were shaped in a smooth way that made Borya assume they were filled with various powders. Tlama collected all the pouches from her collection, reaching into another leather bag to pull out what looked and sounded like two dark grey stones. The giant woman turned back with a smile. "I've got to make the preparations, get some more rest whilst I do, your soul needs to be strong for this."

Expecting her to be under an hour, Borya shuffled until his back was against the wall that Tlamatini had reinforced, resting his eyes and trying to pick up sounds on what the woman was 'preparing'.

Hours passed. Borya had slipped into sleep a few times, waking up with a frustrated huff as his bad shoulder ached from the awkward position. He'd attempted to stand up a few times, only to tremble on his knees and give up before he fell and made himself worse. Taking deep breaths, Borya listened to the rattle in his chest and winced. He wasn't prepared for just how many consequences of that storm he was now facing. Exhaustion, numb limbs and a dreadful cough that shook the boy's whole being with each fit. He was indeed paying a price for trying to expose himself to that blizzard, but if it wasn't for the strange bear woman, Borya would be dead. Dead for his family to never find. Borya shuddered, glancing at his toes and trying to block that thought from his mind. It had been his plan, hadn't it? Run away so his family didn't have to cry over his corpse. But now that Borya had almost tasted death, he wanted nothing more than to run into his parent's arms, sobbing and apologising for ever trying to leave them behind. But, as Borya clenched his good hand, he couldn't go back now. He'd been gone too long, he couldn't go back now expecting open arms, he didn't deserve that. What Borya's plan was, he didn't really know, for the moment he just wanted to convince Tlamatini to help him get up and move again.

Speaking of the spiritual woman, Borya frowned as his deep breaths picked up the smell and taste of smoke. At the edges of his hearing he could pick up the sounds of spits and snaps of burning wood, not close enough for him to think it was the house on fire. Before Borya could question it, Tlamatini re-entered, a look of pure wisdom etched onto her face. She walked straight up to the boy and picked him up into her arms in one single movement. "Come, it's time to ask the flames where you came from." Tlama announced, moving out of the house and into the dead woods beyond. Borya watched the orange, dancing light of a fire become more visible, as they came across the bonfire Tlamatini had worked hard to build. Large arms placed Borya gently in the snow, the heat of fire keeping the boy from deadly shivers. The woman, covered by the deep brown fur of a bear, moved over to her selection of pouches, carrying them all over to Borya. "Pick from the powders, let your mind sleep and allow the soul beneath to decide how much to choose. We are asking the lives that came before you to speak out, to seek a chance to dance their story in the fire." She explained.

Borya looked into the pouches, lit up by the fire's light. Inside were just as Borya thought, powders of different colours. Grey, red, white, all smelling as different as their tones. He tried to do as Tlamatini ordered, placing his hand into each pouch to draw a random amount of powder and place it into Tlama's opened palm. Once he'd made the selection, the woman gave him a small smile before closing her eyes and taking a deep breath. She stood up to approach the flames. "Tezcatlipoca, as one of your fire's eyes, please let me see into the soul of Borya." Tlamatini announced, and she threw the collection of powders into the flames.

Sparks flew, the flames flicked into tones of deep red and orange, and Borya swore he saw stars rise out of the flames and sore back up their home in the sky. His eyes looked mesmerised to the flames that became so alive from the powders, but before the light could sting them, he turned his attention to Tlamatini. Her gaze didn't move, she stared directly into the flames, unyielding to their bright and present light as she seemed to search for something. "There." She announced suddenly, a hand pointing up into the flames that seemed to have risen in size since she began her ritual. "This may be the only life you remember Borya, but know that you have lived before this one, your soul contains not only the life of Tezcatlipoca but the spirit of another. Just one other, and perhaps an answer to a question I had about myself. Come closer."

Almost missing her invitation amongst the other words spoken, Borya shuffled himself closer, his shoulder gently grasped by the woman, who seemed to finally peel her eyes away from the fire to beam at him. "The flames dance and reveal the ones who share your soul... when I found you Borya I thought it was the bear in me telling me to protect you. But it wasn't. We share a soul, the soul of a great eagle... look." Tlama pointed into the flames, and Borya dared a glance into the bright light. He couldn't see anything but wisps of orange heat. But then, like glimpsing at a vision, a memory, Borya could see it. Hidden in the movements of fire were the wings of a great bird, the winds pushing it's feathers higher and higher before it dispersed into the tips of the fire and formed smoke.

"The winds call to us constantly, telling us 'go, seek what lies beyond you and guide those who look up to you from the ground'." Tlamatini explained, each word hitting Borya's heart in a way he'd not felt before. All his life he'd been told to find his place in Casa, find happiness in one place that made him feel so weak and useless. Never had it been suggested to go, other than the fear driving Borya out. Was it fear? Or was it as Tlamatini explained, was the eagle within Borya telling him to catch hold of the wind and let it take him away? As Borya thought on it, he felt Tlama pull up his hair into it's usual bun, before something thin and hard was slotted into the knot. Borya's good hand raised to feel it, a feather. "We can leave now, you can't walk but I can carry you, we shouldn't deny the soul that sits within us, asking us to go."

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