the trivial sublime

POSTED: Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:38 am

Word Count :: 437here you go mellish! foredated jan 26th, that okay with you? i'll let you PP macarius. <3

Something in the silence drew her face up like a call. Up ahead lay the mythical area of the winter carnival, she assumed. Passersby had shared their differing opinions to friends and acquaintances, whispering murmurs of an old hybrid’s ability to augur the future of many. As was expected, two categories of people had formed amongst the crowd: the believers and the non-believers. Lilin, herself, didn’t know where she fit in. At first she’d heard nothing but the buzzing sound of over-enthusiastic canines, primarily because she’d been so intent on listening to whatever Axle and Grit were discussing at the time. Assimilating the activity reviews was easier with piqued interest, remotely filtering the useless information from the intriguing gossip. Her attention had already begun to involuntarily divert from the discussion at hand, introspectively straying from the here and now.

The authenticity of this elder’s gift remained contested by a few sceptics, as expected. Charlatans weren’t uncommon in this sort of field. But something rooted within her being; a deeply anchored part of her couldn’t let the merchants leave without trying. She had too many pending inquiries, some of which simply could not be discussed with others. What paths lay ahead? What potential would become reality? The two-toned loner found herself planted several feet away from the tent, sea-green irises staring deftly ahead. No one seemed to be in there at the moment. It was only when Axle called out to her that she turned around, peering back at her flock. Lilin hadn’t realized she’d stopped following until now. “Lili?” The Rottweiler called out her name once more, lacing his inquiry with a tone that seemed to say: make up your mind, woman.

Pursing her lips together, peering back and forth from one destination to the other, she finally conceded to her thirst for knowledge. A shake of her head was given in reply, paired with a brief clarification. “I’ll meet you guys later, ‘kay?” Both of the males agreed with a nonchalant shrug before leaving the vicinity. If there’s one thing she loved about those two, it was their general insouciance with pretty much anything, whereas others like Ezra might’ve questioned her motives or accompanied her. Once inside, finding the dingo-looking senior proved to be an easy task. He was seated at a rectangle shaped table, silently waiting for her to move forward. It was she that spoke first as she took a seat opposite of him. “Show me what you got, old man.” An uneasy smile drew itself on her lips. Her comment had been challenging enough but her eyes pleaded for him to go easy on her.

Image courtesy of jeremy vandel; table by the Mentors!

POSTED: Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:04 am

(833) tl;dr. Last few paragraphs are all that matters.

The past few days had left him mentally drained. Between the trades, the talks, and the rather predictable leader’s meeting he had little time to himself. Ezekiel had managed to trade off nearly all of his pelts; this was unsurprising to him, given their fine tanning and the softness of the leather itself. With a large collection of odds and ends now kept in the small encampment he had the two men had made, there was little to do but try and sort through it all. Oblak had been easy enough to mingle with the other horses, though Ezekiel kept her close at night. This eased his own tensions and allowed him to sleep easier. As today went, he was taking care of a last-minute order from Enkiel. Ibsen had been careful to stay out of range of the festival, but as a raven, his presence was largely unnoticed. Still, the coyote excused himself with the premise of exercising the horse. He mounted her without tack and rode away from the conglomeration, his pace quick and jagged—if anyone did follow him they would likely be turned around in doing so. Ezekiel sighed and let out a singular cry that was entirely raven; he was able to mimic their sounds flawlessly. A tree rustled and from it fell a shadow, only to swing high, flutter, and approach.

“Too many wolves, hm?” The raven croaked, his eyes laughing. He settled on Ezekiel’s outstretched arm, talons shifting lightly. A small parchment was wrapped around one of his legs. A single red ear flicked at the mention of his cousin-kin, unhappy with the closeness of their tent to so many antagonistic packs. It was lucky that the Cajun dog stuck with Max; the two of them were so busy fighting with each other that they had no time to even consider violence. Myrika and his half-brother had been spotted at one point, but he had lost them in the confusion after only a few moments.

“It’s quite thrilling, really,” he replied, amber eyes darkening. “You should feel lucky that I didn’t let you come.”

“And miss the fun?”

A croaking caw broke from the coyote, which caused the bird to laugh in his own tongue. Ezekiel plucked the string gingerly, loosened the parchment, and found his cousin’s fine and delicate handwriting all too clear. He snorted. “Did he try to tell you all this?”

The raven lifted a wing and flapped it once. “He talk too much; too many words to say.” At least, too many for the bird to translate. While his memory was amazing, his speech was not that of his father. Marlowe had been a genius as far as ravens came; while Ibsen and Zola had both shown promise, they were only above average and not as remarkable as he recalled the elder being. As Ibsen began to preen at this wing, Ezekiel pocketed the note.

“What else?”

“Nothing. Inferni quiet. All here, no trouble.”

“Even Salsola?”

A glimmer fixed itself within the raven’s eye, and he fluffed his chest proudly. “I tell others to watch; if we see them, you know.”

The coyote smiled thinly. “Tell Enkiel to give you what I left; you eat like a king tonight, my friend.”

With that, the bird took off. Ezekiel turned Oblak but did not follow his original route; he swung wide, riding her hard, and came about after another twenty minutes. When he reached the corral, he dismounted and allowed the mare to rejoin the other horses she was socializing with. Luckily, the scent of his stallion remained—and he now confirmed that Oblak was pregnant. She would foal later then the others, but with any luck, early enough to avoid the frost.

The Aquila quickly headed towards the woman with the seeds. He had spoken to her previously and given a single hide with the promise of trade once Ezekiel spoke with his medic. As it turned out, Enkiel wanted a large selection. Sydney seemed thrilled about this, equally ecstatic when Ezekiel offered to send his Cajun friend over with some sort of recipe. Alligator stew, as it turned out. Enkiel’s list was large, but she handed over the packets with a laugh. His bag once again full, the coyote turned outside and began heading back towards his own tent.

A call from behind made his ears turn back, but he recognized the voice and quickly hurried away from it. The two hybrids in question were likely going to ask him to break up another argument; he ducked into the nearest tent as he heard Sydney’s voice rise, catching his apprentice and thief off-guard.

Ezekiel stiffened suddenly, realizing he was not alone. He turned and found an orangish man seated before a low table, smiling in a peculiar manner. The odd looking woman behind him struck a chord; she looked remarkably familiar. As he opened his mouth to explain, the older man spoke.

“Sit, please. Something brought you here for a reason.”

POSTED: Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:45 pm

Word Count :: 273--

There was an eerie composure engulfing the dingo elder, meditative and blunderingly brilliant in all of its nonconformity. He didn't answer immediately, instilling virtues of self-discipline and patience instead. Her restlessness was of a distinctive kind; of blighted hopes overshadowed by silent reverence. He smiled that enigmatic smile, further fuelling doubt and confusion within her. Would he give her what she ought to know? At the mercy of a self-proclaimed clairvoyant, Lilin did the only thing she could do. She waited and waited some more, only to be rewarded with an unexpected visitor. Unexpected for her, anyway.

Lilin turned with the sudden intrusion, mediterranean orbs riveting to the newcomer's general direction before latching onto his face and the golden gaze adorning it. Once again, nothing was said. The moment was his to explain: she could not demand answers. A reply came but it came from neither clients. The dichromatic female was left dumbfounded by the senior's invitation and as he spoke, she pivoted toward him once more. Should Macarius live up to his name, revelations in the presence of a complete stranger weren't desirable.

Once again put in a position where demands weren't hers to make, she remained seated before casting another glance to the younger male. An uncertain smile was offered to him then, paired with the slight shrug of her shoulders. While the ultimate decision was his to make, the intrigue had mostly likely gotten to him too. They weren't the ones in charge. She would cooperate until things got too personal and then take her leave, if necessary. "Hey," she offered meekly, hoping to dissipate whatever discomfort hung in the air.

Image courtesy of jeremy vandel; table by the Mentors!

POSTED: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:16 pm

Ezekiel felt the muscles along his back tighten, causing the fur to bristle under the quiver. The old man seemed to think it was fate that drew him here. A man raised to take such claims with both faith and skepticism, the Aquila was torn. If this was a charlatan or a false prophet, what good would his purpose be here? Amber eyes trailed to the old man, and then back to the peculiarly colored woman. Why did she look so familiar?

A breath escaped him and Ezekiel motioned for her to sit. “I’m sorry I ran into you,” he apologized, and joined her before the man. His red hands ran over his thighs, smoothing the fur, and the Aquila sat fluidly at the older woman’s side. “My name is Ezekiel,” he offered, and looked back to the older man. He was shuffling through a deck of cards, fingers moving and turning them with frantic ease. It was a hypnotizing thing to watch and the Aquila found himself drawn into such a thing.

He rose his ears, puzzled, and looked to the woman. Perhaps she knew what was going on with this whole display, as Ezekiel had literally stumbled into the soothsayer’s tent.

POSTED: Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:42 pm

Word Count :: 241<3

When a deck of cards was taken from hiding and shuffled before the duo, Lilin mimicked her newly appointed companion's expression with the same degree of fascination. Until now, she hadn't grasped the ampleur of fortunetelling and all of its diverse practices. From personal experience, she'd mostly witnessed clairvoyance and palmistry. Subsconsciously, she had expected the latter. Her right hand laid atop the wooden table still, as if expecting the dingo elder to make use of it. When the elder's attention remained on the cards for a few more moments, it became clear that his method was not one she'd seen before.

She hadn't provided an answer to the younger male's apology right away, not knowing what to make of it in the first place. He had nothing to be sorry for. Instead, she offered a compliant smile. Hopefully he would understand its meaning without her needing to explicitly supply clarification. "I'm Lilin," she offered then, meeting his ochroid gaze a second time. He diverted away for several seconds before returning to her, clearly attempting to decipher what he'd gotten himself into. Her dicromatic face wrinkled into a frown, just momentarily, until she recalled the manner in which he'd stumbled upon the ritual: it had been accidental and clearly, he had not the slightest clue what they were here for. "That's Macarius. He's a fortuneteller," she mouthed almost silently, pairing her statement with a sideway nod to designate the dingo hybrid.

Image courtesy of jeremy vandel; table by the Mentors!

POSTED: Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:42 pm

(711) To make up for the wait here is a massive post. <3

It seemed he was captured in this scheme, for the doggish hybrid had all but included him by his soothsayer’s tongue. The coyote was glad that the woman seemed aware of such a thing, though he was put off by the idea of such magic. While he did not believe that witches and ghouls were real, he understood there was a spiritual world and he was wary of it. Demons could cross over to this world, so why could men not touch the other side with magic chants or potions or even something as simple as a deck of cards. He felt his jaw tighten and turned his attention to the man.

The hypnotic display was truly interesting. His old fingers worked with the cards as if they were alive, shuffling to and fro and finally placing the pile before the two. “You cut,” he instructed the woman. Once she had done so, he placed the cards into one pile and looked to the Aquila. “Now you.” With a faint frown, the coyote did as he was told. Satisfied, the man piled the two stacks together and began to lay out a pattern.

One car was place before him, then two below it, and three below this. The pattern mirrored itself then, with two cards and then one. “Each card speaks of what is and what will be should your path not change,” he explained. “This side is his,” the dog went on, waving his hands over the half closest to him. “And this is yours. The center card is what unites you,” he added.

Satisfied they understood, the man flipped over the top two cards. One was a drawing of a lion, the other of two horses—one white and one black. “You are Strength,” he explained to Ezekiel. “But strength must come with discipline. You are The Chariot; you will always struggle for balance.” By looking at her, Ezekiel wondered if this was true. Her half-toned fur suggested such a thing. The dingo took a breath and moved onto the other cards, beginning with the woman’s. It was a drawing of ten sticks bound together, but it was reversed. Next to it was a Luperci wearing a crown and holding a cup; this too was upside down.

“Your path leads you to treachery. Jealousy usurps the affairs of others. A man who lacks moralities and lives a dual life may draw you to evil,” he concluded gravely, though there was little emotion beyond this. It was not his place to suggest good or bad.

Ezekiel’s cards were that of eight pentagrams, also upside down, and a Luperci bound by one foot and hanging from a tree. He furrowed his brow at the sight of it. “Your path is one of dishonest dealings; what you gain now will cost you later. However, you will change—and you will learn of sacrifice.”

The two cards surrounding the center were overturned. To the woman, a horse with a cup was shown. To Ezekiel, it was a cloaked figure holding a lantern. “You,” the dingo looked to the woman. “Will find a man who brings forth change; a dreamer. You may find love in him. You,” he went on, looking to the coyote. “Have a need for prudence.”

Finally, he flipped the center card. It was a skull, drawn in sharp white in contrast to the black around it. “Death,” the old man said. “But not for you. Life is a circle, and it does not end. Death is but another change; your lives will move on from what they once were.”

Satisfied, he pulled the cards back into his hand. Ezekiel, watching his face, was less than enthusiastic about the stark acceptance he saw there. If fate was predetermined, he disliked the idea of someone knowing and being able to tell him what lay ahead. The whole system became flawed, allowing for choice; and choice often set one down a path that did not coincide with the intended. Sparing a glance to his companion, he motioned to the entrance of the tent. Perhaps she too would like to leave. The woman was quite pretty despite her odd, blue eyes, and perhaps could make some sense of the odd prophecy better than he.

POSTED: Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:18 pm

Word Count :: 509 that post was delicious! wotd: ad rem

Unfamiliar with tarot reading and its procedures, Lilin had expected a certain degree of complexity and disorientation amid the séance. The concept in general was relatively easy to understand, at least from the way it had been explained to them. As instructed, she had cut the freshly shuffled deck as close to the middle as possible; lifting the top stack from the rest and promptly handing it over to the dingo. Her actions were executed gingerly, with a level of poise that she did not possess within. Azure irises did not leave the elder's face, for fear of missing the slightest hint of an expression. Silence was not the only thing they shared, according to the clarification provided to them. It was ad rem: every card displayed before them had its individual meaning, including the middle one - binding the two clients by means of fate.

At that moment, she allowed her gaze to falter and return to the coyote sitting at her side. Her unspoken inquiries were brief, as her attention was summoned once more with the elder's additional revelations. Strength was associated to Ezekiel; a commendable quality very few were worthy of. She couldn't help but wonder how true it was. Then came her turn: The Chariot and her never-ending search for balance. The coyote's gaze swept over her shortly thereafter, causing her receivers to fall back with culpability. Her reaction was instinctive. She knew all too well what it meant and how it applied to her. However, Lilin could not have foreseen the prophecies that followed suit. Her face froze in an instant of perplexed agony when "treachery" and "jealousy" collided with a man of evil.

The information had barely registered in her mind when her accomplice's destiny was laid openly before the trio. She did not judge nor think of him a lesser man. It seemed Marcarius' audience was not one of untarnished innocence. Which of the two was most corrupted? At the mention of love and a dreamer, a cynical smirk nearly crept onto her sable lips. It was hard to believe, especially in the world she lived in; virtually a contemporary bordello where Barrett and Ezra brought home countless Jezebels. Where was this dreamer? Death entered the equation as the binding element. There was little room for misinterpretation as the dog elaborated, soothing the inner upheaval triggered by what it could have meant.

Nimble fingers reached for the card, touching it momentarily before having it taken away. Judging by the tarot reader's reaction, there would be no time alloted for concerns and questions. It was frustrating to have all this mumbo-jumbo bestowed upon them without concrete meaning to accompany it. Ezekiel's invitation was accepted hastily: a bland "thank you" was murmured to the dingo before retreating, following closely in the coyote's footsteps. Fresh air was greeted mercifully by her lungs as she allowed a contained breath to finally escape her. "I'm sorry. It's not every day you get up close and personal with a stranger." she admitted, not knowing where to start.

Image courtesy of jeremy vandel; table by the Mentors!

POSTED: Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:17 am

Given his belief of a higher being, the occult world was not one Ezekiel was stranger to. He knew the names and ranks of demons, and considered himself capable of identifying them in the hearts of men. It was doubtful to him that cards and drawings could really predict anything. Ezekiel let out a breath into the bustling area outside the tent, stepping aside as another wolf slipped in behind him. The amount of people was unwelcome to him—he did not enjoy feeling so claustrophobic and yearned for silence.

Amber eyes trailed to a pair of selcouth blue, and he found himself tensed by their color. Blue had always been unnerving to him; he had seen it in the eyes of madmen, seen it in his odd little brother with the peculiar ticks, and he associated it with negative things. The she-wolf was an odd looking thing. Had her scent not been so corrupted by the hustle and bustle around them, he might have caught Barrett’s upon her and known her as a comrade. As it stood, she was still a stranger to him…and one with a peculiar destiny, as it seemed. “It’s alright,” he finally said. “I didn’t mean to interrupt your session.”

POSTED: Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:23 pm

Word Count :: 215 --

The hybrid's feint was mirrored almost instantly as they politely made way for another victim of fate. Her attention attached itself to the clairvoyant's newest client before his form faded away into the tent and for a moment, Lilin briefly considered eavesdropping on the seance. Had she not been accompanied, it would have been a definite possibility. Currently, Ezekiel served as some sort of gravitational pull and as density of the crowd lessened enough for her to slip in next to him, a few quick skips brought her to his side.

Sustaining his gaze was a challenge in itself, bringing forth cumbersome feelings. She was accustomed to the awkward looks constantly thrown her way; either due to the fervency found within the blue of her eyes, the achromatic birthmark on her forehead or her complexion in general. But the manner with which he looked at her was entirely different, just as one would had it been possible to look right through another individual. Her gaze deviated from his eventually, focusing on the path ahead as her right hand was brought up to restlessly rub her adjacent arm.

"I know, that was quite an entrance by the way." she replied then, allowing a smirk to tug at the corner of her lips. "Should we be on the lookout for pursuers?"

Image courtesy of jeremy vandel; table by the Mentors!

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