A Dream Made Real

[p] - Milos

POSTED: Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:03 pm

It’d been a long day for Bramble. He’d risen so early it might have been the middle of the night before and been out on a hunt, tracking down something a little larger than just a couple of rabbits. The deer rested over one shoulder, its blood dripping down his back and drying into his fur. It’d been a hell of a battle of wills and his prey had given Bramble a few bruises and scratches to remember it by, eventually though the Parhelion’s tactics and patience had won out. Of course, after finally having won that battle, Bramble had then had to carry the carcass back home. The extra weight had slowed him, but there was no way he was going to give up his prize, not when he thought of how amazing it was going to smell when he cooked it over the fire.

Arriving back at their quiet camp, Bramble could see the fires flickering through the trees, and he wasn’t sure he could remember a more welcome sight. Sure he was hungry, but Bramble was tired too, and he could really do with a lie down before he jointed the carcass and perhaps his stomach would be kind enough to wait for breakfast before it made him cook it something, though it was doubtful. Slowly he picked his way through the trees whistling a soft tune, just letting the others known that he was coming and wasn’t an intruder. The last thing he really wanted was to carry dinner all the way home, only to be jumped by his family. It’s one of the reasons he’d approached the camp so that his scent blew towards them. As he emerged from the trees his eyes fell on a familiar sight and they paused.

Before the fire, looking tired, well exhausted, thin and wearing raggedy clothes was Milos, his dad. His stomach clenched, this time for a completely different reason other than hunger. Every time Bramble managed to push the disappearance of his da, his mind played cruel tricks on him. It wasn’t the first time either. The Parhelion had lost count of the number of times he’d seen his da wandering through the camp, or sitting beside the fire. Sometimes he was smiling, other times he was unconscious or raggedy. This hallucination seemed not to be as good as Milos in Bramble’s more optimistic moods, but wasn’t as bad as Milos in Bramble’s more pessimistic moments. The Parhelion squeezed his mis-matched eyes shut and counted to three, opening them again to see the figure there still. His breath hitched in his lungs, but Bramble shook his head and began to walk to his rude shelter, planning on dumping the carcass nearby so he could start preparing it. Wishful thinking and exhaustion had both got the better of his common sense and had taken control of his faculties. Despite himself, Bramble felt a tear leak from his blue eye and lose itself in his cheek.
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POSTED: Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:22 pm

Motionless and grim, he stared into the flames with his mind miles away and lost within the maze of time. A different fire warmed him as he sat, reliving that terrible last night he had spent with Talbot and Degaré. He believed that he could still smell the tang of Otilie's blood and the hot anger from the beast of the wolf who had cut her life short. Sucking air into his lungs in quick, shallow inspirations, Milos felt himself slip away from reality and back into his living nightmare.

Since reuniting with his family, the fallen Captain had kept his distance. He was scared and he was tired, but he was also overwhelmed. Despite his promises to Daisy that he would make sure they got back home safely, there was a soft and silky voice within that whispered to him day and night throughout their entire ordeal; it told him that, whatever good he did to keep his promise to his daughter, he was not getting out of this alive.

So insidious was this suggestion, so quiet and unassuming, that Milos hadn't even realized the impact it had made on him until that evening of his reunion with Eliza. He had kept his promise; he had made it.

But it was not what he had believed would happen, not deep down in the center of his soul.

That wasn't the only reason for Milos' belated return to his family – there was also the whiplash of being surrounded again by love and tenderness and the terror of just how much of a liability he was to them all – but it was perhaps the most honest one.

In a way, he felt as though he was on borrowed time.

Gentle as a caress, a familiar scent slipped into his nose and managed, with some time and difficulty, to draw him back to the present day – next to a fire made by deft hands belonging to kind hearts. Slowly, Milos returned to reality, blinking his eyes to clear his thoughts and turning his head hesitantly toward the origin of that smell.

"Bramble?" he managed, staring as though uncertain if what he was seeing was real or a fabrication of his mind. Bony and half-naked, with only a ragged loincloth to his name, Milos sat against the firelight and held his breath.

[WC —393]

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Spotlight Soul Luperci Mate to Eliza but you'd become my candle in the dark
the sun still rises
even through the rain

POSTED: Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:00 pm

When he heard the voice, the Parhelion with the mismatched eyes, halted but did not turn. No matter how many times he’d hallucinated the sight of his beloved da, never before had he heard it speak. Bramble couldn’t turn around though, he couldn’t look, just to find out that his imagination was playing the cruellest kind of trick. Bramble had been strong, and he’d retained most of his relaxed and outgoing attitude, but inside he hurt, and if he turned and Milos wasn’t there, well he didn’t think he would survive something like that. The younger Parhelion managed a few more steps without looking back, but his mind halted him again, that most pernicious of emotions reared its ugly head, hope. What if he was wrong? What if his da was there? How could Bramble forgive himself for just walking away?

Screwing up his courage, Bramble turned his head, but realised his eyes were shut. Opening one blue eye he peered at the gaunt image of his dad, who had stood, that was something his visions hadn’t done in the past. Slowly a yellow eye opened, before both eyes squeezed shut and opened again. Milos still stood there.


Bramble wished his tone didn’t sound so uncertain and wasn’t tinged with such desperation, it made him sound like an idiot. Swallowing he tried again.

”That really you?”

It might have sounded like such a stupid question, but Bramble needed to hear it, needed to be sure. Too often his mind had played tricks on him. Despite growing older and wiser, Milos was still Bramble’s hero. Whenever he came across the older Parhelion, Bramble was reduced to that quivering pup who was once held in his dad’s arms and brought in from the snow. To see him there, no matter what his condition, brought a tear to Bramble’s eye.
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