I'll feel the fear for you, I'll cry your tears for you

POSTED: Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:55 pm

It had begun to snow.

Pure flakes of perfect, frozen moisture eased down from a sky so softly grey that it could have been the underbelly of some great and benevolent bird, holding the world and its children in the downy warmth of its feathered embrace. A dove, perhaps, or an egret. Or whatever bird that singular white feather adorning Otilie's flowing mane had come from.

A snowflake kissed the lashes of one hollow eye and tickled the sensitive skin as it melted, reminding him that he was still alive. There were some who were not. That white feather wasn't so white now, not any more and never again.

And there was no benevolent deity, bird or otherwise, whose embrace could warm the hearts of Earth's children.

It was difficult for Milos to tell if it was he who had forsaken the Goddess first, or if the River Goddess herself had chosen long ago, back before his betrayal of Otilie and the fire that ate Fiskebyn, back to that happier day when he had first set eyes on the men who now bound his soul in stone and darkness and misery, to abandon him.

It did not matter, he supposed. The outcome was the same.

If there were gods and goddesses, divine beings who held power over the living and the dead and demanded fealty in exchange for love and protection, they were not benevolent. Not the River Goddess nor the gods of old that he once knew as a whelp, before the first time his life had ended.

It was simpler to forsake them all, as they had forsaken him. As they had forsaken Otilie.

The bile that had been sticky and sour in the back of his throat finally clawed out and into his mouth. Milos staggered violently forward, bending at the waist, and heaved the contents of his stomach – acid and bile and nothing more – onto a blanket of fresh snow. Once he had begun, it felt as though he would never be able to stop. Dropping to his knees, the fallen Captain retched and gagged and spewed until his body shook and his eyes were moist.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," he was quick to say through the strings of saliva that dripped from his lips, fearing retribution. Wiping stomach acid from his lips with the back of his wrist, Milos scrambled back to his feet and fell back in line.

He still had a promise to keep and a life to protect, and he couldn't let this – a moment of weakness in the pit of his stomach – be the cause of his failure to uphold that. Not after what he had done. Not after the woman's sacrifice.

Once Daisy was safe, once he had returned her to her mother and her siblings, back into the warmth and the safety of Krokar, then the gods – all of them cruel and baleful and filled with malicious intent – could have him. But not before then. Please, not before then.

If there was any hope left in Milos' ruined heart, it was for Daisy.

Falling in earnest now, the snow glittered and glinted in the dim winter light and cloaked the skeletal branches of slumbering trees in purity. Conifers, with their spines of emerald defying the dead and drab colors of winter, wore the crystals of white like a blanket. Songbirds chattered cheerfully to one another but, except for the sounds of their feet crunching through fallen snow, all the world was otherwise silent.

Far behind them, where she had been left to feed the scavengers and the opportunists, Otilie's body, too, was covered in a sheet of white and buried gently beneath the purity of a million frozen stars.

OOC: Don't worry about me. Set after [M] this thread and in reference to this one.

[WC — 628]

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

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