the only moment we are alone

POSTED: Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:53 pm

Semini Amaranthe
the world is not a cold dead place
Optime | Jan 1st, 2016 | North of Krokar, Miramichi
*draws the curtains open* I had to post early because I won't be around on the 1st! <3 Love you all! Happy New Year everyone!

The pain woke her from a deep and dreamless sleep.

She was alone. Through the mist of her breath, she could see the window and the ripples of a dark, early dawn and was reminded of the sea.

Semini felt a tremble in her legs that quickly broke into movement, out the door and up the well worn path like she did almost every day. As she went, the familiarity began to dissipate. It was what she had done her whole life. She had run from the things that scared her and the things she loved, she had run from anything that had ever mattered. Now she ran like she could outrun time itself.

The forest welcomed her in chilling silence. She got the sense that she wasn’t meant to be there as she slipped through snatching wooden fingers. Only the momentum of each step compelled her forward, away from the thundering quakes of pain.

When it hit, all the people she had ever been spilled out of her.

A daughter, a sister, a swimmer –

She saw these pieces of herself and ran through them like she had her own childhood,

– an heiress, a sailor, a false savior –

Her fist threw aside a twig that had caught her tangled curls. A frustrated noise erupted from her throat,

– a mutineer, a thief, a broken girl –

She saw the call of morning break through the trees, but not the root that caught her foot. She fell across the dirt. Phantom shapes loomed around her, a jury yet filled,

– a found one, a lost one, a lover –

Her hands curled around the arc of her body and she lay panting as time moved on. She didn’t know how far she’d gone, but she didn’t hear the sounds of Fiskebyn or the rivers to the east. The ground was hard and cold, and there was enough light to see that in her haste, she had scratched herself to red. Another pain ran through her, louder and closer and all caught up.

She was a child again, in the boat and in the storm, looking forward and knowing that only a terrible sea waited to swallow her whole.

The last three appeared to her,

– a Navigator, a Waterbearer, a Mother.

The vision of the Mother remained as the light of day picked off the others.

She came all in white, but her hands were the color of Onuban sand and they felt just as warm when they cradled her face. Her hair was a blossom of the brightest red, spiraling down in elegant twists and braids like the bursting stars of the Amaranthe banner Semini had known her whole life.

Mama,” She cried in a whisper.

The Mother pressed her lips against Semini’s forehead. It was a cold kiss, like the tickle of snowfall. “Mama, I’m sorry – “

Her breath began to quicken as she understood that it was a hallucination. “I’m going to die.” Tears welled at the corners of her eyes. “Oh god, I’m dying, and I didn’t get to…” she trailed off with a hand over her stomach and a silent grimace of pain.

My little seed,” The Mother hummed while winding aside a piece of hair that had come tangled over Semini’s face. Her expression smoothed serenely over looks of wistful pity and yearning, as if emotions were just tiny waves abutting her steel ship. “It has been too long.”

She carefully brought Semini’s head into her lap. It was still cold there, but the silks of the robe were plush and softer than forest floor. Semini cried quietly to herself, more certain now of the death that had lured and caught her.

The Mother brushed her wild selkie child’s curls until they were free of the forest’s clutches. “None of my daughters will perish in her most honest hour. Girls,” she called into the woods, “We will make camp here.”

Figures materialized from the trees, and Semini was slow to realize that the jury had been an entourage, and the Mother was her mother. Thalia Amaranthe was no longer watching her daughter, but had turned to the jeweled and decorated woman who knelt at her side and waited for direction.

She was soon immersed in the sounds of home – muffled as if in water she heard her native tongue, the crackle of flames and the billow of canvas and fabric. She watched helplessly as they erected a tent around them, brushed out the frost-tipped debris and laid fresh winter flowers and basins of water at their sides. Though a woman came and draped warm wool across her body, and another fidgeted with the rest of her, Semini’s head remained upon her mother’s lap.

“Now we are ready,” Thalia told her, graciously, as if she were a host and this moment an early guest. Her hands wiped the wetness from her daughter’s cheeks.

“I’m not – “ Semini began, and cried out with another contraction.


“What are their names?” Thalia asked when all was finally quiet. She rung out the towel in the basin and returned to her daughter’s side.

She was curled within the blankets, but Thalia could see the tiny heads of the children poking up – two sleek and ocean blue selkie pups.

She wondered briefly of the father, and if his seed was strong enough to paint the children in his colors. It seemed very like Semini to choose a man whose genetics would fail against her own, that or a man who would augment what was strong already.

Either way, the Amaranthine line would continue, for a girl had been born.

“Lotan,” came Semini’s muffled voice. Volkov, for the boy.”

“And for the girl?” Thalia knelt down carefully by her daughter and stroked her hair aside. Semini growled protectively, as was natural for a new mother. Thalia took no offense and continued to do as she willed.

“Tiamat.” She said after a long moment of thought. “I had a vision of the Mother.”

“Those are ancient names.” She said and smiled. It wasn't convention for an Amaranthe to be named for old world stories, but this was a facet of her daughter she was pleased to see had remained the same. Semini had been her child with the ocean in her skin and the sun in her eyes, the seed that dreamed of growing into many great things. She never did, at least not in Amaranthine soil. Thalia had always suspected that she needed much more water than was offered in Onuba.

“Papa told me the stories.” A pup gave a sharp whine, and Thalia brought the wool blanket up as her daughter moved to accommodate them. Their shelter was quiet again but for Semini's small, tired voice. “I never want to forget. Anything. Anyone.”

“They will live,” she assured, “You chose well.”

Her daughter stirred and to her surprise, offered her white hand. Thalia kissed her palm and curled it in her own. “Rest,” she crooned as she smoothed out her daughter's fingers. She recalled when they had been much, much smaller. “Rest now. You’ve made us all proud.”

When Semini finally closed her eyes, Thalia wondered if she dreamed.

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