If life were a song, you'd be my nightingale

[p. Embla]

POSTED: Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:57 pm

--

Since the funeral, Victoire struggled with what she could do for her friend. She wondered, what would she have liked when her own mother died and her effigy burned at the pyre? What would she have wanted? Her grandmother was actually a wealth of suggestions when she finally posed the question to the aged matriarch.

With her blessing, Tori took whatever oils, beeswax creams, and decoctions she wanted from her grandmother’s stock. Goddess knew that since Delfina had not been helping making most of them, Victoire had taken over her mother’s role in maintaining the herbal remedies and the plants themselves. Come spring, she’d likely be on her hands and knees in the garden doing the same work her mother had. Somehow, it was something she did not mind as it brought the daughter closer to the deceased mother.

She took an empty bucket, a small pot, pouches of tea, and took her favorite combs and ties. The pot inside rattled as the various vials and bottles jostled against one another in the makeshift padding consisting of a scarf and an old towel. But Victoire looked pleased as a pickle as she ventured to her friend’s home.

Uninvited, maybe, but since her stay overnight, the girl was quite confident in her right to see Embla. It was only fair and she was an actual friend, not a false sympathizer who cooed and moaned, lamenting something they did not actual care about. Plus, with the news of an Inquisition, people were less likely to make such displays. Tori had nothing to worry about, of course. She was about as much of a black witch as her mother had been.

She shifted her bucket and smile as she knocked on the door. She did not want to be gloomy.

Victoire Heiwa
How did I live in a kingdom of thieves and people who say things they don't really mean, really mean

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Salsola
The Confidant
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Luperci

POSTED: Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:13 pm

✨pp of Victoire answering, hope is ok!

Embla did not intentionally neglect herself, but energy was hard to come by. Most of the day she slept fitfully, but sometimes she rose and tidied the house, cared for the horse, ate what small prey her fox brought to her doorstep. Small things like this were subsequently followed by a long nap that left her more groggy than she began the day. In the end, she had to be happy with what little she accomplished.

It would get easier.

She sat, tailor style, in the tower's main room, rolling a shiny pebble that Jalda found for the fox's entertainment. The little creature pounced it when it went skittering under the table, and brought it back to her repeatedly, kissing her cheek and wiggling in her lap. The antics made Embla laugh lightly, pushing her hair out of her face. Once a shining auburn, the only glimmer in the strands were from oil -- and its curls had tangled into mats in places where her head rested at night. The rest of her fur fared little better, though she'd had the presence of mind to at least splash around in the creek when she went to drink water. She would brush it out properly sometime, she told herself -- when the task did not seem so monumental.

The pebble went rolling again, and Jalda scampered after it, then froze and pricked her ears at the knock. Something like dread pooled in Embla's stomach, and she timidly stood, wondering if it was an Inquisitor come calling or just someone with condolences. H-who is it? she managed, her singsong lilt a little too high and nervous, but when the answer came warmly, she felt herself relax at once.

Opening the door, Embla smiled down at her friend -- a little shy, as she tucked her hair back from her face again. Come in. How are you? she asked, holding the door for Victoire and looking back inside.

The tower looked tidy, all things considered; no dust gathered on the mantle of the hearth, which smelled like last night's fire. Jalda, who'd hidden under a stool, came out when she saw Tori and began to bat the pebble around. Hello, the fox greeted, not making eye contact -- but Embla smiled proudly at her all the same.

Salsola
The Tradesman
User avatar
Raze
Luperci
but tomorrow may rain, so
i'll follow the sun

POSTED: Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:14 pm

--

Embla opened the door and Victoire's heart hammered like the clattering of a windmill grinding wheat in her chest. Stupid, loud heartbeat. Did it need to be so irritatingly audible? She could have sworn that the other girl could hear it, too, so she did the best she could to pretend it was not blood rushing in her ears and just a regular cadence found in ambient surroundings.

Oh, god, she really couldn't, could she?

I'm okay, but that doesn't matter. I'm here for you! she chirped back cheerily, putting on all the cheer that she could muster from every corner of her body. She pulled the joy from her fingertips and toes, bringing the most happy feelings she could manage forward. Life was dark in Salsola and Tori wanted to bring some light to those frightening, gloomy moments.

She walked in and the fox spoke to her, shyly. Victoire looked decidedly surprised at the voice but smiled after a quick recovery. Hi, she replied, giggling somewhat to cover her nerves. Or was it her nerves escaping despite her best efforts?

Tori gave the room a quick look, nearly biting clean through her lip, when she spun on the other girl. I thought I'd come try to take your mind of things. She raised her bucket, the contents rattling noisily at the sudden sharp motion.

Victoire Heiwa
How did I live in a kingdom of thieves and people who say things they don't really mean, really mean

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Salsola
The Confidant
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Luperci

POSTED: Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:17 pm

Victoire sounded bright, cheerful - qualities that Embla exuded before all this terribleness happened. She found it harder and harder to smile, to chirp, to dance, but Victoire was here for her.

She would be her songbird while she tried to find her voice again.

The thought made her smile more genuine, but at the cost of tears brimming in her starry eyes. She shut them tightly, and rivulets dripped down her cheeks, but she was quick to rub at her face and sniff. Okay okay okay, she mumbled half to herself, feeling grateful and foolish and overwhelmed by all her emotions.

The little pebble's rattle as it skipped across the floor reminded her of the present moment, and she exhaled and looked curiously to Tori. The other girl was awfully giggly and abrupt with her movements, but maybe she was just nervous - and there were dozens of reasons for that. Embla felt nervous, too, knowing how much of a mess she was in front of her guest and good friend; she kept pushing her hair back and frowning at the feel of it.

But Victoire presented the bucket with a jumble of sound, and Embla pricked her ears, unable to help her curiosity. She came forward and grabbed the bucket's rim with both hands, squinting inside, then reached in when the faded blurs didn't grant her clues. Her fingers traced the teeth of a comb, the smooth surface of a pot, the cool glass and clay of little vials and bottles.

For hair, she realized. Oh, she said.

Shame battled gratitude and relief, because taking care of her hair just felt so beyond what she was capable of, simple as it was. Her eyes got watery again, and her shoulders slackened.

Thank you, I'm sorry, she said, brushing past the bucket to hug Victoire briefly. You don't have to but thank you.

Rubbing her face, she spun toward the door. There's, um, a water bucket outside for Berkanan. I'm sure she won't mind. I'll, I'll be right back if you want to make room for stuff, anywhere is okay, she rambled, and slipped out the door to fetch water.

Jalda dropped her pebble and stared at Victoire expectantly.

Salsola
The Tradesman
User avatar
Raze
Luperci
but tomorrow may rain, so
i'll follow the sun

POSTED: Sat May 04, 2019 11:06 am

--

Victoire beamed at her much taller friend, who seemed so surprised by the gesture. It meant that it was going to be even more appreciated than she had expected in the first place and it filled her with that strange happiness of giving something good another. It was devoid of the backstabbing and expectations of a favor for a favor that seemed to accompany the things others did. Her siblings and grandmother seemed to be the only one who never expected such things, doing things selflessly for family without a qualm, but they certainly turned the self-serving attitude outward.

She shook off the looming feeling of darkness and focused on the light that was Embla before her.

Giggling somewhat, she let the other girl fetch the water, glad that the chore did not fall to her in an unfamiliar space. Don't worry, it won't be anything fancy. But her gear decidedly suggested otherwise.

She pulled a stool out and set it in the brightest spot of the home, nudging it into place with a foot as she set out her things on a table neatly lined up next to one another. Combs, oils, soaps, wax, picks, ties. Everything that the girl thought would help clear a head. She waited for Embla to return, and remembered quickly that she was hard of sight.

Careful, I moved a stool to the light so I can see your pretty hair better, she added bashfully, realizing her compliment and feeling her face heat up at the connotation.

Victoire Heiwa
How did I live in a kingdom of thieves and people who say things they don't really mean, really mean

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Salsola
The Confidant
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Luperci

POSTED: Sun May 12, 2019 9:13 pm

When Embla returned, bucket in hand, it was to find a stool pulled out into a patch of sunlight streaming through the arrow-slit window. Small objects seemed to be lined up on a table, their scent telling interesting stories in lieu of the details her eyes couldn't quite make out: oil and soap and wax. She pricked her ears and stared at the bright figure of her friend in surprise, tail wagging.

"Oh," the coywolf laughed at Tori's compliment. "It's not pretty now. The light might show scary things hiding in this rats' nest."

She paused a moment, setting the bucket down, and folded her hands together, thumbs running over her knuckles nervously. She stared at Victoire, then took a breath and came over to settle on the stool, reaching out to squeeze Tori's elbow as she passed. The little grey fox had curled up before the cold hearth to watch curiously.

Embla sat down on the stool facing away from Victoire and squared her shoulders, ready for whatever needed to be done. The detangling might hurt, but she was prepared.

"Do you use all this on your hair? Is that why it's still so silky even though it's long? If I had as much hair on you, I would sit on it all the time." She giggled.

Salsola
The Tradesman
User avatar
Raze
Luperci
but tomorrow may rain, so
i'll follow the sun

POSTED: Thu May 16, 2019 8:04 pm

--

Victoire gave a slight scoff as she waved away Embla's dismissal of the compliment freely given. She did, however, feel her arm warm from the light squeeze her friend gave her. It frustrated her to no end that she was capable of such responses, especially when she hardly understood them and their nature. Or perhaps she was willfully ignoring them.

Sometimes. Grandmere loves her flower oils and she's very particular about hair. It seemed to be something that her old age emphasized. She had been the one to teach Tori how to comb, pin, braid, and oil her hair after her mother passed and she began to show an interest in more in depth grooming. Granted, Isabella had often been prone to pushing her oils and such on her children and Victoire had been pretty receptive. Even then, she was learning the tricks the old woman had to pass on.

Victoire giggled as she started to examine Embla's hair. It was pretty but in need of a bit more attention than it was getting lately, clearly. I just think it's nice long. I can do really, really nifty things with it if I have enough time and even helping hands. Garsea usually disappeared promptly whenever she started reaching for the bag of hair ties and the brush, knowing she would make him hold dozens of braids for way longer than necessary.

I just put it up or braid it and make buns and things when I need to do something and not get it in the way. It was her pride and joy, something to love that was not tainted in some way.

Tori nudged the bucket to the edge of the chair and grabbed a smaller bowl, filling it. Delicately, she pressed a hand on Embla's forehead to lean her back somewhat. Maybe we should have done this part outside, she said absently as she carefully began to soak the girl's hair, letting the excess drip down into the bucket and, unfortunately, onto the floor. I'll clean up after, she promised, feeling hot and wildly uncomfortable. Her hair was soaked, rather damp, and Tori grabbed the wedge of lopsided soap to start lathering.

So.. how are you doing, Embla? she asked, filling the silence so that her heart wasn't the loudest thing there.

Victoire Heiwa
How did I live in a kingdom of thieves and people who say things they don't really mean, really mean

Player WikiCharacter Wiki
Salsola
The Confidant
User avatar
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Luperci

Salsola