Sharpened Silk

Title: Sharpened Silk
Author: youcantseeus (youcantseeus12@gmail.com)
Characters: Ponclast, Aleeme, Abrimel, Pellaz
Summary: Thirty years after the horrors that Aleeme experienced at Fulminir, he seeks out Ponclast. Ponclast POV. (Ponclast/Aleeme, Abrimel/Aleeme).
Spoilers: Books 1-6. Also, possibly Paragenesis.
Word Count: 9000
Disclaimer: I do not claim ownership of Wraeththu or any of the characters in this fic.
Warnings: Not a piece of rape fiction by any means, but there is a lot of discussion of pelki/rape. Self-mutilation. Ponclast POV.
Author’s Note: I’ve been working on this piece for a little while — it won’t leave my brain. Darker than some of my other stuff, but with an introspective bent that makes me fairly satisfied with the outcome. Reviews of all types are loved.

Sharpened Silk

Most days, I possess something resembling happiness.

I have so little and what I do own is granted by the grace of the Tigron. Several years ago, he deemed me fit to occupy the earthly realm. This does not mean that I was given my freedom – there are guards at my gates and watchers scouring my every thought for the slightest signs rebellion. But the Tigron gave me a cottage in the woods, far away from other hara, where I could meditate on my wrongs and spend time with my chesnari. I think that Pellaz did it more for Abrimel than for me.

This afternoon is like most and I go to my attic study to work on my memoirs. Writing memoirs preoccupies most first generation hara of importance. I am no longer important, but I was once and the ability to write about my life has not been stripped from me. On days when I feel rage, I find writing easy and my scribblings are full of angry recriminations and bitter regrets. However, my time in another realm imparted some level of calm to my being and on days when this is my dominate mood, I mostly stare out the small attic window. Our cottage sets on top of a hill and I should be able to see the surrounding forest, but the window is positioned so that I only see blue-gray sky unless I climb onto a chair.

I am still in prison.

I am staring out the window at that blue sky when there is a knock at the door. “Enter,” I say.

Abrimel comes in. This surprises me because my chesnari usually spends his afternoons in study. In many ways, the lonely, academic lifestyle suits him more than it does me. I enjoy gaining knowledge, but only as precursor to action. Abrimel loves reading, learning things about different tribes – so different from the typical Gelaming aristocrat who doesn’t want to learn about any tribe but his own.

“Somehar is here,” he says.

I give him a wan smile and he walks behind me to put his arms around my shoulders, a comfortably intimate gesture. There is a rumor going around Immanion that the Tigron comes to me for advice. For this reason, Gelaming aristocrats occasionally pay off my guards so they can get some advice of their own – normally about their inane love lives. The truly depressing fact about all this is that I am glad for the distraction.

“Did you tell him I wasn’t a seer?” I ask. Lately, they’ve gotten it into their heads that I can predict their futures. I am not a seer, though I can occasionally predict what might happen through common sense and a realistic view of harish nature.

“I told him,” Abrimel says. “He’s still there.”
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Fairy Tale

Fairy Tale
By Lusa

Story Notes

Author’s Email: rhapsodyingreen@cox.net
Web page: http://www.geocities.com/lusa_thul/ecrirehome.html

Pairings: Aleeme/Azriel
Rating: R
Summary: Aleeme reflects during his imprisonment.
Spoilers: For pretty much all of Shades.
Disclaimer: Storm Constantine was brilliant and thought of all this, not me, tragically.

Fairy Tale

My hostling told me a human story once, about a princess trapped in a tower. She waited alone, empty and tragic until a prince arrived to save her. They fell in love and the entire world, from that moment on, was perfect. It’s all backwards and wrong for me. I fell in love, I felt that way, and I actually understood and believed all those silly fairytales. But then it went wrong, somehow, for reasons I still don’t really understand. I don’t want to, anymore, because I’m scared to learn just what they might be. Now it’s me locked away in a tower, not some distant character. Now I’m the one who suffers.

Can I describe this pain? Words don’t really exist for it, because what my life has become is something too terrible for them. Even ‘pelki’ falls short. That first time Ponclast touched me I thought I could fight it. That I could be stronger than this. All I would have to do was think of Azriel and he could not hurt me.

I still love him, but I can no longer even remember his face.

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Mirror, Mirror

Mirror, Mirror
by Eldraug

Story Notes

Rating:  R-ish. I guess. I think. Maybe PG-13. Um. Okay, if you’re under 18, don’t clika.

Author’s notes: Yet another in the Furniture series. This time it’s Thiede’s mirror. Completely AU as always.
Beta:  TNT – my ever present and always loved beta.

Disclaimer:  As always, I own nothing. Nada. Nyet. Zippo. It’s all Storm’s. I’m just playing with it. Please don’t sue me. Obviously a brain that keeps coming up with this stuff isn’t worth owning. And it’s really all that I have. Sort of. Once GLHEC gets their hooks out of it . . .

Mirror, Mirror

Seriously. If that idiot looks into me one more time and remarks how beautiful he is, by all that is good and shiny in this world, I will arrange to have someone pop a cap in his ass. I mean, honestly! How often can one har toss his red hair over his shoulder and pout before it gets boring? How vain can one har be?! Ah, but when one is a mirror, that’s about all one can expect. That and hara doing stupid, messed-up shite and looking at themselves while doing it. Gods, sometimes I wish I had been made into a coach bumper or a window or something. He’s not the only annoying one, though.

I completely want to throw myself off the wall when the dark-haired one named Pellaz comes to visit. That har’s gonna be bald from brushing his hair so much. And he sings when he does it which sound pretty much like a cat caught in a washing machine. Then he asks his reflection who the prettiest har in all of Immanion is. If I could barf, I would. I so want to say “Not you, soon-to-be baldie! And, by the way, I saw your chesnari rooning Thiede seven ways from Sunday last month.” But, I am destined to be a silent observer of the hara who come to this place.

And while I’m on the topic of Pellaz’s chesnari, being in the same room with that har is about as much fun as having your silver scraped. Not only is he vain, as most hara are, but he’s loud, drinks too much, and likes to watch himself when he roons. If they only knew how stupid they look! Cal looks somewhere between getting ready to throw up, which I have also witnessed from Mr. Calanthe Drunkypants, and thinking too hard about something that confuses him. Like first-year harling math. I honestly don’t know why ANYhar would roon somehar that looks that funny when doing it. When he’s not rooning and making faces at himself, he’s either drunk or hung over. Skinny, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, but no one has clued Cal in on that yet. I don’t even want to talk about the time he got drunk and popped into the Otherlanes. I’m sure some poor realm is living with perpetual rain in the form of har barf courtesy of Immanion’s Favorite Drunk.

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Ever After…

Ever After…
by niennaainur

Contact: nienna_ainur@hotmail.com

Pairing: liberal and highly suspect use of some canon characters, but no pairing in the “nudge-nudge, wink-wink” sense (Aleeme, Cobweb, Ulaume, Azriel, and Aleeme’s harling, also mentioned Lisia)

Rating: PG- General Audience, or for you gamers Rating – Everyone

Warning: poor grammar and appalling punctuation.

Spoilers for The Shades of Time and Memory

Summary: Aleeme’s harling – My version of events

Disclaimer: All the pretty Wraeththu, as well as the world they live in, were created by, and belong to, Storm Constantine, who (bless her!) is gracious enough to allow fans like me to take them out and play with them occasionally. No copyright infringement, or disrespect, is intended.

Beta by bigunen – all the remaining mistakes are mine!

Ever After…

Part 1

Some images stay etched clearly in your mind even though they were only a fleeting moment in time. It was that way with the dark haired har by the fence. He was there when I looked up, our eyes connected for a split second, and when I looked up again he was gone, but his image was burnt there in my mind’s eye.

Tipene, the farm’s horse healer, and I had been helping a mare deliver a foal when I’d seen my long-haired vision. The delivery had been complicated and I’d not enough time to spare more than those two glances. My vision had been lithe and pale, with a braid of long dark hair that fell over his shoulder. His tunic was a dark forest green and pants were black and spattered with mud, as was his travel cloak. Not that being spattered with mud was unusual at this time of year. Spring brought mud and foals and I had myself been spattered with my fair share by the end of the afternoon.

Later, as I gazed out a cracked and dusty pane of the office window at the leggy foal who trotted somewhat gawkishly behind his mother, I felt Tipene’s arms slide around my waist and his chin come to rest on my shoulder.

“Still seeing visions?”

“Oh just shut up!” I said lightly.

“Nohar saw anyhar matching that description… you are losing your mind… what you had of one.”

“He was there, I saw him.”

He released me and turned me around to face him “My dear young apprentice, as your mentor, I feel it necessary to point out that it is customary to wait until you are shit-faced to start seeing things.” Tipene was grinning broadly enjoying his own joke immensely “Let’s go to the pub, join the others, and get some intoxicating liquid into us, then perhaps we’ll all be able to see your friend.”

He ran his fingers through my dark thick hair, and I pulled away. Although there are definite exceptions to the rule, I hate it when hara touch my hair. I can’t explain why I hate it, other than my hair has always been sensitive. I’m aware of it as if it existed on its own, separate from me.

I grabbed my jacket. “You are buying,” I shot out over my shoulder as I headed out the door.

***

It was dark, but still fairly early when I headed back to my small flat above the carriage house across from the barn. I staggered slightly, but more from fatigue than the drink; the farm’s mares don’t tend to go into labour during regular clinic hours. Although to be fair, my balance would have been somewhat better had I not had those last few shots.

Inside my flat it was dark; I fumbled around feeling for the lamp. A mumbled string of curses slipped out when I almost knocked it over. I got the lamp lit, set it on the mantle, and turned back to the room. My heart nearly leapt out of my chest, I let out a yelp, and stumbled back a step in surprise. My vision was sitting in the faded, threadbare arm chair, his mud spattered cloak folded neatly over the back, his long dark braid hanging across his chest, his arms rested regally on the arms of the chair, and his legs crossed. He stared at me without expression and I stared back in mute shock.

“You’re about 10 now.” It was a statement not a question. “What’s your name?”

“Lorin,” I answered automatically, and at that point my brain seemed to slide back into action. “Whoa! Wait a minute… this is my home and that’s my chair you’re sitting in…I get to ask the questions.”

His eyebrow arched gracefully although his expression did not change, and I found to my frustration I could not think of any coherent questions. He waited in silence watching me.

“How did you get here?”

“I let myself in. The door was not locked,” he responded smoothly.

“Okay… fair enough.” His calm reserve was making me feel flustered. “Okay, so what do you want? Why are you here? Who are you?”

He regarded me thoughtfully for a moment.

“Which of those do you want answered first?”

“Shit, I dunno… you pick.” I stabbed my fingers through my hair nervously.

He took a deep breath. “What do I want? I want your hate, I want your forgiveness.”

He rose from the chair gracefully.

“Why am I here? I am here to face my guilt and my fear.”

Three steps brought him to stand directly in front of me. He was an inch or so shorter than me, but his bearing and the power I could feel in him made him seem much bigger.

“Who am I? I am Cobweb.”

“Cobweb?” I’m sure my jaw dropped. “The Cobweb?”

He grimaced slightly, and began to pace in the small somewhat cluttered space that made up the main room to my flat.

“I have envisioned this a thousand times, I’ve rehearsed a million speeches, lofty pronouncements, and rationalizations. I’ve faced many fears and threats in my time, and yet this, facing a ten-year-old harling, is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

He spoke the words out loud, but it seemed they were more his own personal musings rather than a conversation starter. He stopped pacing; he folded his arms across his chest and looked at me. He said nothing, but his eyes glinted in the dim lamplight.

I cleared my throat awkwardly after a few moments “I’m sorry, I’m a bit confused? Why would the Cobweb be here in the middle of nowhere? Why would you want my hate? Forgive you for what?”

Cobweb waved his hand dismissively. “What do you remember of your early life? Tell me.”

The hint of arrogance in his voice indicated he was used to being obeyed, but this situation was beginning to get too bizarre for me, putting me in no mood to humour him or anyhar else, no matter who they said they were.

I opened my mouth to object but he raised his hand to stop me. “It is important.”

I folded my arms across my chest and stared defiantly at him for a few moments, before shrugging “I was a war orphan. I lived for awhile at Harling Gardens. When I was two, Akamu and Dougan adopted me. That’s it.” I shrugged again.

“Nothing before that? “

“No.” I shook my head. “Although my parents did tell me that it was the Gelaming that found me and cared for me for a time, and that it was one of their healers that named me. But I have no actual memories of that.”

Cobweb blew a heavy sigh through his nose, and began to pace again.

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The Road Back Home

The Road Back Home
by Erviniae

Story Notes

Pairing: Azriel /Aleeme

Rating: R

Chapter 1/1

Warning: Angst, memories of rape/pelki

Disclaimer: All characters belong to Storm Constantine. I am just playing with the hara.

Summary: Can one ever go back home after a fall?

Author’s notes: The time is about 3 years after the rescue of Azriel and Aleeme from Fulminir.

The Road Back Home

“No, stop, leave him be, take me…. please…take me…leave him alone…I am Swift’s son, please leave him be, he is innocent…” Azriel cried out, he begged his captor for the release of his chesna. The chains straining against his wrists, biting into his already torn flesh, blood trickling anew down his forearms, to drip upon the filthy floor. A floor soaked with his own blood, urine, feces and vomit. For how long they were kept like this he did not know. Azriel had lost all track of time; for no windows were in this cell he was forced to live in, chained like an animal. The only light that ever shone was that which was brought with the open door, rarely for food or water, though frequent for pelki.

“Shut him up!” yelled Ponclast to his son, Diablo.

Diablo punched Azriel hard in his abdomen, to which he promptly vomited down the front of his already dirtied rag of a shirt.

“Hold his head up, I want him to watch,” sneered Ponclast with hate in his maddened eyes. “If he closes his eyes, cut his sweet chesnari.”

Diablo took out his knife, ready to blindly do his father’s bidding, even as his other hand yanked Azriel’s head up fiercely, so he would be forced to gaze upon the vile act before him. For the briefest of moments, Aleeme looked deeply into his consort’s eyes. ‘I am so sorry,’ spoke Azriel into his chesnari’s mind. Aleeme closed his eyes screaming out at the pain of his soume-lam being roughly penetrated by Ponclast’s ouana-lim. Tears fell unhindered down Azriel’s dirty face, streaking it clean with tears.

Azriel spoke once more into Aleeme’s mind, ‘ Leeme, please, just let him in, create a pearl, then you will have rest.’

A loud sob wracked forth from Aleeme as he let Ponclast invade his cauldron of creation, hot aren mixing with cooling yaloe to form a pearl. Ponclast grunted loudly with his release and pulled out slowly, savoring the moment. “Well done, Aleeme, I do believe you are learning. Take him back to his cell!” yelled Ponclast to Diablo, who immediately did as he was told, pulling Aleeme up by his hair. Aleeme cried out, he was weak and in much the same state that Azriel was in. Quickly, Aleeme found Azriel’s eyes once more, though the gaze was haunted now and Aleeme was gone, replaced by a blankness that made Azriel whimper. Desperately trying to contact his chesnari through mind touch, he was met with only blackness; Aleeme was gone. Azriel growled at the treatment to his consort, straining more at his bonds, to which Diablo laughed and in an instant they disappeared to wherever Aleeme was being held.

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