Briar’s Tale

Author: Persephone 100
Characters: OC’s – mostly Briar, Briar’s POV
Beta: Thevina/Thrihyrne
Rating: NC 17
Spoilers: none
Synopsis: Briar has an experience that has a profound effect on him.
Disclaimer: All the characters, their world and all things Wraeththu belong to Storm Constantine, to whom I am very grateful.

Briar’s Tale

Rain. I’ve never particularly liked it, even though sometimes a rainy day can be relaxing and give one time for retrospection but looking back on my life was something I avoided. Rain also meant I couldn’t drink my coffee on the rooftop garden. I always felt better up there where the air was fresh and I could imagine myself above all that was behind me as well as below me.

As I passively watched the trails of water trickle down the window, I sighed, thinking to myself they looked too much like tears. I felt a gentle hand on my shoulder. It was Naemien, my partner. I couldn’t call him my lover because I wasn’t in love with him, or my chesnari because I didn’t feel committed to him. He was my partner, the one I lived with, took aruna with, and the one with whom he shared the bounty of his success. He was the one I’d rooned, clawed and schemed my way up to be with. He was wealthy, powerful and strong, everything I’d thought I’d wanted. And here I was, his consort, with all the glamorous and luxurious trappings that went with that status.

He put his arm around me and kissed my cheek.

“A rainy day,” he said, “always seems to make my beautiful Briar sad and moody.”

He rubbed my back and whispered in my ear. “But no less gorgeous and desirable,” he added, kissing me on the neck.

“Well,” he said, stepping away. “I’ve got a meeting with some hara. I’ll probably be in my office and the conference room all day, but don’t concern yourself. I’ll have the serving hara bring us some sandwiches. See you at dinner, my lovely.”

I gave him a smile as he left, then continued gazing out the window. Part of my being Naemien’s partner involved my planning of all the parties and entertainment that was needed. I actually enjoyed that responsibility. I was also expected to be the perfect decoration for his arm and in his bed. He was kind to me and he was very handsome and a good lover. I enjoyed aruna with him and he never stopped telling me how much he wanted and admired me. I’d been very satisfied with our arrangement for almost seven years now, but…
Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Sojourn of the Spirit

SOJOURN OF THE SPIRIT

Author: persephone100 (persephone10034@yahoo.com)

Characters: Mostly OC’s

Beta: thrihyrne {Thanks again!} All remaining mistakes are mine.

Rating: NC17 (but only in a short section)

Spoilers: Enchantments, Bewitchments, Fulfillments

Synopsis: This is a story about a young pure born har going through feybraiha and his first aruna, including all the mixed feelings and embarrassing moments that always seem to go with coming of age, with the added twist of a mysterious houseguest next door with whom the young har is fascinated. It is set in a time period when most of the first generation incepted hara are nearing the end of their life span.

Disclaimer: All the characters, their world, and all things Wraeththu belong to Storm Constantine, to whom I am very grateful.

SOJOURN OF THE SPIRIT

The sun shone on my brother’s dark hair as he spun faster and faster, giggling, egged on by my two cousins, my best friend and myself. Soon he stopped and staggered around, out of breath and laughing until he tumbled to the ground in an exhilarated heap. My friend jumped on him and started tickling him, adding to his dizzy state.

“Stop! Stop, Coral! I’m going to pee myself!”

He finally quit and flopped down lying on the grass beside my brother, as my cousins and I began to twirl ourselves around playing the game we referred to as “getting drunk.” It was so called because we imagined that was what it would feel like to be high on sheh, wine or liquor. Not that we all hadn’t tasted it on special occasions, but we were certainly never allowed, at our ages, to get drunk. Being the oldest of our little clique, I would probably be the first of us to do so for real. Doubtless it was something my parents wouldn’t be too proud of me for looking forward to, even though they enjoyed it themselves with fairly recurrent frequency.

As we all lay on the grass catching our breath and letting the self-induced vertigo subside, my thoughts, as they were wont to do of late, turned to my parents’ almost constant admonishment that I would soon be approaching feybraiha. From all I’d heard from my parents and older cousins and friends who had gone through it already, it wasn’t something I was in any particular hurry to experience. I remember my cousin Solstice turning red, itching and crying at the drop of a hat. And then there was aruna. Of course I was curious and all the families in our community were completely open about it, but still as harlings not yet deflowered, we giggled, joked and speculated about it quite a bit.

The first inkling that maybe my coming of age was approaching faster than I’d thought, had happened only recently. Coral and I were playing near a small run, trying to catch dragonflies. We got heated from the sun and sought out a shady tree. Coral climbed onto a low branch and hung upside down by his knees. He giggled as his auburn hair hung down, almost touching the ground. His loose shirt had gone down over his head exposing him from below his hipbones to his neck. As I watched him I found that I couldn’t take my eyes off his golden skin. I wanted to smooth my hands over it and I had a strange sensation inside like I had fireflies in my stomach. The feelings surprised and embarrassed me and I was grateful that Coral’s face was covered so he couldn’t detect anything. I ran off into the bushes, feigning a need to pee and sat, trying to get myself together. Soon I heard Coral calling and searching for me. I took a deep breath and walked toward his voice. He didn’t hear me approaching him from behind so I tapped him on the back with both hands and yelled, “BOO!” He gave a cry of surprise, laughed and then chased me all the way back to the run. I’d escaped being found out–at least that time.

My hostling’s voice, calling my brother and me to dinner, abruptly ended my introspection.

“Willow! Wren! Dinner!”

“Come on!” Wren called, his whole face a smile. “Arrana’s making grilled chicken, remember? Race ya!”

We got to our cottage, exhilarated and out of breath.

“I win!” I shouted.

“You always win,” Wren said, pouting.

“Willow is two years older. That’s why he won,” our hostling said. “Sit down. We’re eating out here tonight.”

We sat at our outside table, near a grilling pit. The aroma of the grilled chicken was mouth-watering. Our hostling marinated the meat in his own concoction of honey, a spicy sauce and red pepper. It was my brother’s and my favorite meal. As Arrana, our hostling, turned the meat, our father came out of the house. He smiled at Wren and me but headed straight for Arrana. He pulled him into an embrace, kissing him. Wren rolled his eyes and I snickered. My father and hostling were obviously still very much in love which embarrassed my little brother but not me. I’d come to the age where I could appreciate their relationship to a degree.

“Gin,” my hostling murmured. Our father’s name was Ginseng but almost everyone we knew, including our hostling and my brother and I, called him Gin.

“I’ll get the drinks,” my father said as we all took our places at the table. He came out with a pitcher of iced tea for Wren and me and a bottle of wine for him and Arrana.

Arrana had prepared grilled summer vegetables and tomatoes with dressing as well as the chicken. Being that it was mid summer, we had an abundance of fresh produce, grown both as a community to share and in our individual gardens. Our little community was self sufficient, growing our communal gardens, raising sheep, goats, cows and chickens. We also had horses for transportation. We cultivated many fruit and nut trees and several varieties of berries and tubers. My parents and all the others knew how to preserve and store all the things we could grow for that purpose. My brother and I never wanted for any of the necessities of life and enjoyed many things we considered to be luxuries as well.

When we’d finished our feast, Wren and I helped to clean up and then went out to the table once again for dessert. Arrana brought out bowls of various seasonal berries with cream and sugar. Wren and I delighted in the summer sweets. All through dessert my parents made eyes at each other as we joked and talked about what we’d done that day. My father was a sort of overseer for a lot of the various workings of the community, but he was also still a very hands-on contributor when necessary. Our hostling mostly took care of our family and house, but was also available to help hara who were giving birth. All was going well until Gin suddenly asked me a question that put a damper on my contentment.

“So Willow, have you given any thought as to who your first aruna partner will be?”

I stared speechless as my hostling said, “Gin, don’t push him. He’s got plenty of time to think about that. He’s not even shown the first signs yet.”

“I know but he needs to prepare himself and choose the right one.” Then turning to me he asked, “Do you want us to choose for you?”

I gulped hard.

“I…I don’t know. I don’t know what I want. I…I…”

“See?” Arrana interjected. “He’s nowhere near ready. Just leave him alone for now.”

I wanted to kiss my hostling. He at least partly understood my suffering.

“Let him be a harling. His puberty will be upon him soon enough.”

Gin shrugged, letting the subject drop, much to my relief.

When our parents went into the house after dessert, our cousins, who lived in the nearest house, came over to us and sat at our table. Kaia and Luna were only a year apart in age, Kaia being a year younger than I was. Their older brother, Solstice lived close by with his chesnari. Our hostlings were brothers.

“What shall we do tonight?” Kaia asked.

I shrugged.

“We could catch fireflies,” Wren offered.

“We could go for an evening swim in the creek,” Luna suggested.

We were mulling over our choices when I noticed some movement in the yard on the other side of ours. Two hara who were my parents’ friends lived there. They didn’t have any harlings but they had, for about a year now, had a mysterious houseguest. I didn’t know if he was related to them or not, but it was rumored that he was at least a hundred years old and incepted, a term I wasn’t even sure I understood the meaning of. He kept to himself and spent most of his time in the small Nayati in the backyard that he’d constructed. We had a lovely big communal Nayati, but he never availed himself of it, preferring instead his own private one. The other harlings didn’t pay him much attention, but I found him fascinating. I watched as he made his way from the house to the Nayati. He strode with strength and confidence, his long blond ponytail neatly bound with a black cord. He carried himself with the stature of a warrior, not like I imagined a har of advanced years would. Of course I had no knowledge whatsoever about these things. The only aged creatures I’d ever seen were humans, and only then in pictures in books.

“Hey! Willow! So what do you want to do?” Kaia said in my face.

“Huh? Uh, I don’t know–a swim, I guess.”

Wren looked disappointed.

“Okay,” Luna said. “We’ll catch fireflies and then take a swim.”

Wren brightened and we set off for some midsummer evening fun.

When Wren and I returned home later, just after sundown, I noticed flickering candlelight in the small Nayati next door. I stood staring when my brother yelled from the back door.

“Willow, come on!”

“In a minute. I want to sit outside for a while.”

Wren shrugged and went into the house.

I sat for a few moments wondering what it was the mysterious har did in there. I looked around and seeing no other hara in the vicinity, I decided to find out. The Nayati was fairly far from the neighbor’s house, located at the very end of the yard. It was shaded by some large trees and surrounded by shrubs. I crept into the bushes and tried to approach without cracking any sticks. The Nayati was an open structure, something like a gazebo, so I had to be very careful and quiet. I finally scrunched myself between a bush, which hid me from the house, and a window, which if I knelt, I figured I could probably just peek over the bottom. Holding my breath, I slowly raised up to peer inside. It was fairly dark in the Nayati, lit only by a few candles but I had a side view of the har sitting cross-legged in front of a table with the candles, some burning incense and a few deharan statues on it. He sat perfectly still. From my vantage point I couldn’t even see him breathing. Had he been sitting there like that all evening? I assumed he was meditating or communing with the dehara or whatever extremely religious hara did. My parents took Wren and I to the community Nayati fairly regularly and they’d taught us about the dehara, our Wraeththu beliefs and mythology and all of that, but we usually only stayed a half hour or so. That’s all Wren could stand without fidgeting.

I noticed the strange har was clad only in some loose trousers and he was wearing something on a cord around his neck, but I couldn’t make out what it was. Once when the candles flared up, I thought I saw a tattoo on his left shoulder blade but I couldn’t be sure. He had several scars, including one very large one on his forearm and two on his chest. I guessed the rumors about him having been in battles were true. If he really was over a hundred, he’d probably had to do a lot of fighting in the early days of unrest amongst the different tribes. As I studied him, I couldn’t help noticing that he was actually very handsome. I found myself wishing he didn’t keep so much to himself. If I had the chance to talk with him I would have so many questions to ask. Or was I just–attracted to him? I rubbed my hands over my face. What’s wrong with me?

Suddenly I heard Wren calling me.

“Willow! Willow? Where are you?”

It startled me and I stood up. I looked into the Nayati to see the har staring straight at me, his face expressionless. I was so scared that I turned to run away and fell right into a bush. I struggled to free myself and ran, stumbling over my own feet until I got to our yard. I ran to the back door and into the house. Read the rest of this entry »

Full Circle

Challenge SubmissionFull Circle
by Persephone100
(persephone10034@yahoo.com)

Characters: Mainly Cal and Pellaz, also Astarth  [Cal’s POV]

Beta: thrihyrne  (Thanks, Luv! <3)  Any remaining mistakes are mine.

Rating: PG  Aruna is alluded to and mentioned.  Nothing explicit.

Spoilers: Enchantments, Bewitchments, Fulfillments

Synopsis: Cal embarks on a quest to rediscover his past and goes to Fallsend.

Disclaimer: All the characters, their world, and all things Wraeththu belong to Storm Constantine, to whom I am very grateful.

Full Circle

A sudden cool and welcome evening breeze blew in from the open balcony, causing the candles on the ornate wooden dining table to flicker and almost go out.  It brought me out of my stupor.  I’d enjoyed a typical dinner at Phaonica, like I did most nights.  There was excellent food, the best drink, pleasant and beautiful company: all the necessary elements to a perfect evening for perfect Gelaming hara.  I had my chesnari and soul mate, Pellaz, at my side, giving me his secret smiles and touching me meaningfully and often throughout the evening.  I relished all of this to an extent.  I’d been through rough times, rougher than most hara I knew and this, I told myself, was my reward for it all.  Not that I deserved it– I knew I didn’t.  All the more reason to cherish every moment.

Suddenly an unbidden memory assailed me as I regarded Ashmael, our illustrious General, as he sipped his drink and spoke with a tribal leader he was trying to woo over to the Gelaming’s Federation of Tribes.  I remembered an unsettling dream I’d had about him after my stint as a kanene.  I’d taken aruna with him in the dream, but I didn’t know who I was.  I didn’t feel like I was me.  I only remembered the dream because it was disturbing.  I physically shook the thoughts away with a shiver.

“Cal?  Are you okay?” It was  my beloved’s voice.

“Yes, my love.”

That night as my one and only and I lay together in post-coital bliss, I pondered.  What had brought that memory of my dream creeping back into my psyche?   It was years ago.  Why now?  I remembered I’d been with Panthera when I’d awoken in a cold sweat from my aberrant dream. He’d been the one to comfort me and I’d forced myself to stay awake for a while so the dream wouldn’t continue.  After that my thoughts wandered to of all places, Piristil.  Thaine, Fallsend, Piristil– the place I’d been a kanene, the place I think of as the rock bottom time in my life.  However, my next thought was that if I hadn’t hit bottom, would I ever have risen to the top?  I remembered when I was there, I swore I’d leave.  I’d vowed to become somehar, that I’d return to the higher status I’d had and wanted back.  Notice that I didn’t say the status I deserved.

Well, here I am at Phaonica of all places, and a joint Tigron to boot!  How the once mighty have fallen and come back stronger.  Although I do for the most part think our “royal” status a joke, I also realize that my position allows me to help hara– for real.  Maybe I think I can make up for all the wrong I’ve done, I don’t know.  But this position I’m now in sometimes makes me feel like a fake, a poser.  I’m not royal material, I know that.  Sometimes I’d like to forget that, but then I feel alienated from myself so I have to do something– usually something completely inappropriate– to remind myself of who I really am.  Lately I’ve been inundated with just those very thoughts.  It’s easy to become complacent in such a place as Immanion, especially when you consider yourself one of the highest-ranking hara in all of Wraeththu society.  Sometimes I even get an evil thrill out of lording it over hara.  I hate myself for it, but it happens.  Lately I’ve been feeling out of myself, like I don’t even know who Calanthe is anymore.  Why do I care?  I’ve always liked things to be easy.  Why do I fight it when things are going well?

Read the rest of this entry »

Saltrock Odyssey

Thevina Editor's Pick

Saltrock Odyssey

Beta: Thevina/Thrihyrne    Any remaining mistakes are mine.
Rating: NC17
Spoilers: The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit
Synopsis: This is a story of four hara, their journey to Saltrock and their life there.  It is set in the time of Saltrock just before and while Cal and Pellaz are there.   It’s also a story of their journey to self-discovery.
Disclaimer: All the characters, their world and all things Wraeththu belong to Storm Constantine, to whom I am very grateful.

It was another beautiful desert sunset.  We sat, as had become our custom of late, on a shelf of an outcropping of rock, gazing westward to view the sun making its descent, splashing in sequence its yellows, oranges, reds, blues and purples until at last the colorful display was replaced by the deepening hues of an indigo then black sky, dotted with bright stars in myriad number.  It was a dome of sparkling points, so infinite, yet seeming close enough to touch.

We sat there, night after night, my friends and I, with a bottle or two of liquor, taking in the desert night‘s splendor.  There was laughter, camaraderie and maybe even love in our conversation and banter.  We had come here by our own volition, to this dry and desolate place.  There were four of us in our little group; my best friend, Nyala, our other two friends, Sola and Lon, and me, Taj. We’d grown up together as humans and had been incepted together close to a year ago.  We’d lived in a city, so we had no tribe.

We had drifted until we’d found a place where we felt comfortable staying.  It was an outpost of sorts of the Kakkahaar tribe.  We were located close enough to an area where provisions could be procured and then sent on to the large tent city where the Kakkahaar leader, Lianvis, dwelt.  Because of this, and I assumed other outposts, Lianvis and his elite hara never had to leave their tent city unless they chose to, and they were still able to have all the necessities and luxuries they desired.

Lianvis and his entourage had deigned to visit our humble, and I do mean humble, outpost, Solarumn, once, since we’d been here.  Though he was very beautiful, he’d impressed me as being self-involved and dismissive of anyhar he thought beneath him; and he seemed to think most hara beneath him.   I remember there was much running around and many short tempers just before his arrival.  He came with his own luxurious tent which his servants set up at the highest point in the camp.  We couldn’t resist sneaking a peek inside one time when we thought no one was there.  It was lavish with beautiful materials of colors I didn’t even know the names of.  It was full of large pillows and ornate rugs.  There were flowing curtains,  shimmering fabrics and tassels everywhere. Nyala said it looked like the inside of a genie bottle.

Read the rest of this entry »

Terzian’s Dilemma

Challenge Submission - January 2009Terzian’s Dilemma
by Persephone

Characters: Cal, Terzian, Pellaz & Cobweb

Beta: Thevina/Thrihyrne Any remaining mistakes are mine.

Rating: NC17

Spoilers: The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit

Synopsis: Cal presents Terzian with a challenging situation in the fateful night they spend together at Forever.

Disclaimer: All the characters, their world and all things Wraeththu belong to Storm Constantine, to whom I am very grateful.

Terzian’s Dilemma

It was an awkward, tension filled dinner at Forever, the four of us at the table playing our roles. Cobweb poked at his food, shooting daggers at me with his eyes, Pellaz tried to eat as quickly as possible, and Terzian made small talk about his military endeavors and how many horses had recently foaled, pretending everything was fine. I seemed to be the only one having a good time. Why did I enjoy seeing these hara squirm? One of them I was very fond of, one I fantasized about rooning and the other, we all seemed to know, was having intense arunic thoughts about me. It may or may not have been obvious that I returned those feelings, albeit with a certain degree of trepidation attached. Terzian, trying to dissipate some of the stress, addressed a question to me.

“Have you been to the stables yet, Cal?”

“No,” I answered smiling. “I don’t do much riding in the winter. I prefer to engage in indoor exercise.” I winked at him.

Terzian cleared his throat, Cobweb slashed at his meat with his knife screeching it across his plate, which made everyone jump. Pell seemed to be wishing he was invisible.

“Maybe I should check out the horses,” I remarked. “An invigorating winter ride after this lovely meal might do me some good. You like to ride, Cobweb. Care to join me?”

He stared at me, swallowed and said calmly, “I’d rather be tied to a tree and gutted.”

“Well,” I said good-naturedly. “Maybe some other time then.”

Two house hara came in and refilled the wine glasses, leaving very hurriedly. The taut atmosphere must have been palpable, even to them. After we’d finished and they were clearing up, Cobweb swept haughtily from the room, Pell close on his heels. It only took a terse look and the speaking of his name from Terzian to send Pell quickly out of the room. It seemed they couldn’t get away fast enough. Cobweb, I assumed would head to his rooms to sulk in private and possibly busy himself with plans for my demise, while Pellaz would make himself as scarce as possible. That left Terzian and me alone at the table.

“Well! Another delicious and congenial dinner at Forever, eh Terzian?”

He didn’t look amused. He lit two cigarettes and passed one to me. I didn’t care for the way he made the decision for me. I would have preferred him to ask if I cared for a smoke. A small thing, but it made me want to say, “No thanks, I don’t care for one.” But I was tired of playing games, so I took it.

“Why do you want to antagonize Cobweb?” Terzian asked.

“I don’t know. Maybe because I want to see how far I can go. Maybe just because it’s fun. I like lively exchanges at dinner, don’t you?”

Terzian took a deep drag on his cigarette and sighed.

“I wouldn’t push him too far.”

I laughed.

Changing the subject, I asked, “What shall we do tonight? Chess? A good book? Or maybe torrid aruna in your room. What’ll it be?”

I could tell he didn’t appreciate my attitude, but he gave me a bit of a smirk and replied, “What do you think?”

“Probably the aruna.”

Read the rest of this entry »

« Older entries