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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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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Butterflies With Guns

Butterflies with Guns
by Karen Chahbi

Story Notes

Spoilers: Bewitchments of Love and Hate

Contact: karenchahbi@yahoo.com

Credits: Thank you to Storm Constantine for creating this universe and letting us play with it.

The characters are mostly ones I made up, although Ponclast makes an appearance, and Cobweb, and Ithiel. Also Swift and Terzian are alluded to. It’s about a couple of Uigenna who run away from their tribe and find a life in a secluded valley somewhere between Galhea and Fulminir. One of them has a secret, and his past comes back to haunt him after they find themselves in Fulminir, having signed on as Varrish soldiers. It takes place during the time I guess Swift is growing up, and culminates just as the Gelaming are about to take Fulminir

Butterflies With Guns – Teaser

My home stands atop a hill surrounded by hardwood forest, and from the kitchen window I can see our little valley stretched out before me like a painting. The late afternoon sun reflects off the orchard gate, which in turn casts its long shadow across the gently sloping lawn. The apple trees have already shed their leaves, and I can see past the orchard, even as far as the little stone steps, and beyond them, the stream. From there the landscape drops into the valley below, and I can see out across the tops of the tall oaks and pines in the distance. If I close my eyes and stretch my mind out, I can skim along the forest floor, down the hill through the trees, along the golden carpet of leaves, and by doing so bring back lucid memories. I can float past the tall white obelisk in the town square, and look back, up into the hills toward my house, and beyond, to where the forest becomes nothing but a dark mass, and a pale mist covers the mountaintops far away. The sky is pink and those mountains are purple, and the mist encircles them like a gauzy shroud. It’s a lovely sight, but as I look I’m reminded that somewhere on the other side of those mountains I had another life, a long time ago. If I think about it, piece by piece, I can recall some of it in vivid detail. And still, some is lost to me. Somewhere on the other side of those mountains I lost my innocence, and crossing them, found it again. The journey from there to here was a long one. Along the way I learned to kill, to love, to hate, to forget. And sometimes to forgive. Somewhere along the way I buried someone I loved, and with him, a great part of myself. My story is all tied up in there somewhere.

Butterflies with Guns – Download as a PDF!
File is over 200 pages, single-spaced, so it works much better as a PDF than as a web page.

Tarot

Tarot
by Morgana

Story Notes 

Author’s Email: morganalebeau@yahoo.com

Web page: http://www.paranoid.nl/avalon

Main pairings: Pansea/Skye, Tarot/Lunar

Mentioned pairings: Azriel/Aleeme, Snake/Cobweb, and Flick/Ulaume.

Rating: NC-17

Summary: Paran takes Aleeme and Ponclast’s harling to Lisia and Tarot starts shaping his own destiny.

Disclaimer: Not mine. No copyright infringement is intended. All characters belong to Storm Constantine.

Warning: AU of course.

Spoiler warning: Set after book 6.

Beta read by DA, thanks sweetie!

All remaining mistakes are mine.

Tarot

Paran shivered with disgust and tried to increase the distance between him and the harling he was taking care of. Cobweb had ordered him to take the harling to Lisia at the Harling Gardens because Cobweb refused to have a child conceived from pelki at Forever. During the last three days Paran had cared for the harling, but he would never have volunteered to do so. The child’s presence repulsed him.

The harling sat in front of him on the sedu’s back and Paran tried to keep his hold on the child as loose as possible since he loathed touching the abomination.

The harling was the result of Ponclast raping a helpless Aleeme, forcing him to host his pearl. General Aldebaran had told him how Ponclast had viciously abused Aleeme and had even forced Azriel to watch. As a result, Azriel and Aleeme had lost their minds, but Gelaming healers were doing their best to reclaim them. Cal had dropped Aleeme into a guard’s arms more dead than alive and had then left to get Moon and the harling out of Ponclast’s stronghold. As far as Paran was concerned, Cal should have left the harling there to rot.

The first time he had laid eyes on the harling, he had recoiled in disgust and with the knowledge that the child was Ponclast’s as well. The harling was ugly. There was no other way to describe his exterior *and* interior. His head was too big, the body emaciated, and the feline green eyes had seemed to stare right into his soul. His discomfort had grown the moment the harling had been entrusted to him. He had almost asked the General to reconsider, but in the end, he had remained quiet and reminded himself that this was just another order he had to carry out.

Long, raven hair peeked out from beneath the hood which Paran had pulled over the harling’s head so he didn’t have to look at him. He understood why Cobweb didn’t want the harling at Forever since he didn’t want the abomination close to him either. In a way, he pitied Lisia, who didn’t know yet that he was going to be the harling’s new caretaker.

~~~

Pansea was about to panic. Paran had arrived unexpectedly and had demanded to speak with Lisia at once. Pansea had shown the officer into a room and had then set out on a search for Lisia. It was noon and usually during that time, Lisia tended to visit with several harlings, but Pansea had no idea where he would find the hostling. He had been stunned to see that Paran wasn’t alone. A harling had accompanied the Gelaming. Pansea had wanted to smile at the harling, but the smile had frozen on his face when he had seen the harling’s pitiful state. He didn’t know the harling’s name or history, but it was obvious that the child had been mistreated. He was also malnourished. While searching for Lisia, Pansea made a stop at the kitchen and asked one of the househara to bring food and refreshments to Paran’s room.

“Lis! Wait for me!” Pansea caught sight of the hostling and started to run. He was short of breath by the time he arrived at Lisia’s side. The hostling gave him a worried look and the blond strand that streaked his brown hair swept into Lisia’s face. The hostling immediately tucked it behind an ear as Pansea grabbed hold of the hostling’s sleeve. “You need to come with me!”

Lisia wanted to calm Pansea, but then realized his aide was stressed for a reason. He fell into step beside the young har and asked, “What has happened?”

“Paran arrived with a harling. Oh Lis, the poor harling looks malnourished! He is emaciated and his eyes… You need to see him now!” Pansea was convinced that Lisia could help the harling. Lisia was his *hero* after all.

Lisia frowned. Why would Paran bring a harling to him? He realized there was a hidden story and probably a hidden agenda and he was determined to find out what it was.

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Of Snow and Thorns

Of Snow and Thorns.
By Mischa Laurent

Notes

Editor\'s PickDisclaimer: All items contained on these pages are non-profit amateur fiction. The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit, The Bewitchments of Love and Hate, The Fulfilments of Fate and Desire and all characters named in those books are the copyright of Storm Constantine and her publishers. No infringement on the copyrights are intended. These stories are for personal enjoyment only and should be reproduced, electronically or otherwise, only for this purpose and never for profit of any sort. Portions of this story are paraphrased from the Wraeththu novels, and are the work of the original author, borrowed for the purposes of this tale.

Spoilers: None.

Characters: Ashmael, Arahal, Original Character.

Rating: Strong adult themes in latter sections. Disturbing content.

Of Snow and Thorns

In Ferelithia, it seemed, everything was expensive except the weather. Ashmael gave a sigh and paid the extravagant asking price for the mug of ale, then returned to his seat on the pavement outside the cafe, the better to enjoy the free weather. At least that was glorious. The red tiles of the rooftops made a startling contrast against the brilliant blue of the sky and the fluffy white clouds that scudded along, driven by the light sea breeze, were having better luck than he at escaping the confines of the town.

If only Arahal would put in an appearance, Ashmael could persuade him that it was time to be heading back to Immanion. But, of course, Arahal knew he wished to leave and that was precisely why Ash had not seen hide nor hair of him since last night.
Their business with the town guardians’ accomplished, Ash wanted to go home.

Normally Ashmael would be the first to hit the town, eager to drink and flirt, to enjoy the prospect of some rare time for himself. The business and political affairs of the Gelaming took up most of his days and nights, leaving little spare for private concerns. Immanion might be a different place since the Ascension, but still it was difficult to relax when there were so many eyes upon you, judging your actions and hoarding each tiny piece of gossip.

But of late, his capacity for joy seemed to have dried up. His dreams were haunted by visions of the past and the irrational feeling that he should have done things differently. It was irrational and he knew it. This endless revisiting past mistakes, past errors of judgement, had no solution and he awoke each morning, wrapped naked in sweat-stained sheets with only a mounting melancholy to accompany him through his waking hours.

Taking another sip of the sweet ale Ash ignored the interested glances from the hara sitting at the next table while he contemplated his next move. It would be churlish of him to deny Arahal his recreation. One more night in Ferelithia wouldn’t hurt. He could retire early, catch up on some much needed sleep and the two of them could be back in Immanion by noon, mission accomplished.

They were staying at an inn. The consul’s townhouse was without facilities for horses and, where possible, the Gelaming preferred to tend to their mounts themselves. When Ashmael returned to their room, he lay on the bed and waited patiently for Arahal to show himself.

Arahal put in an appearance right before lunch. Clutching various parcels, which he threw on the bed, he stopped in the centre of the room to look down at Ashmael challengingly.

‘Have fun?’ Ashmael asked, glancing disinterestedly at the colourful packages.

‘Yes. I did. Marvellous place, Ferelithia. I bought some silks you won’t believe. Better than anything you can get at home.’ Arahal threw himself down on the bed, forcing Ashmael to shift position lest he be crushed.

Arahal cupped his hands behind his head, and swung his long legs over the side of the bed. He stared at the ceiling. After a while, he asked, ‘Well, aren’t you going to berate me for my frivolity?’

‘Not at all,’ Ashmael countered in smooth tones. ‘In fact, I was going to suggest we spend another night here and leave tomorrow morning.’

Ash was gratified by look on Arahal’s face. He knew Arahal had been expecting a lecture on timing and responsibility and was surprised by Ashmael’s abrupt about-face.

‘I see.’ Arahal said. ‘Changed our mind about having a little fun, have we?’

‘No. But you want amusement and I can’t say I blame you. Things have been kind of hectic lately. If you want to go out and make a little merry, then I’m not going to stop you. I’ll stay here and catch up on some sleep while you go party.’

Arahal propped himself up on one elbow to look down at him, eyebrows raised in disbelief. ‘This is a change,’ he said. ‘Why the sudden role reversal? It’s usually me who’s trying to rein you in, not the other way around.’

He was, of course, quite right. Arahal was not famous for his excesses. Ashmael was. If anything, Arahal was usually the quiet spiritual type, content to leave all the hell-raising fame to his more gregarious partner. But even the quiet, spiritual types needed to let their hair down every now and then.

Ashmael shrugged, pretending to a casualness he didn’t feel. ‘I haven’t been sleeping well, lately. I could use the rest.’

‘I noticed,’ Arahal’s face was serious. ‘Anything in particular? I’ve heard you cry out in your sleep, but I didn’t want to say anything.’

Ashmael ran his fingers down Arahal’s bare arm, caressing the soft flesh on the inside of his elbow. ‘Thanks,’ he said quietly. ‘But, no. It’s just… I don’t know. Dissatisfaction, I guess. Something I must work through on my own, at any rate.’

Arahal smiled at him and, in an uncharacteristic gesture, leaned forward and planted a quick kiss on his temple.

Ashmael was grateful for both his reticence and the brief contact.

‘Well then,’ Arahal said in a brighter tone, leaping from the bed and hustling the parcels onto the chair out of the way, ‘I’ll leave you to it. I’ve met some very nice folk and they’ve offered to show me around after lunch. Meet me for dinner?’

‘Sure. Downstairs?’

Arahal nodded and began to bustle about, getting ready for his expedition.

Ashmael watched him from his comfortable place on the bed, eyes slowly closing. By the time Arahal sneaked out the door to meet his new friends for lunch, Ashmael was fast asleep.

*Fine, white silk, curled in the gutter, with gold at ears and throat, branded and striped with weals. Rotting corpses with blind, ruined eyes that stare into mine with the agony of eternity on their dead minds. Oil-smoke demons writhe and dance over the bodies of the frozen and the dead. And everywhere that cry, ‘There is no way. No right or wrong; not here.*

Ashmael found himself awake and sitting upright on the bed as if about to leap from it. His entire frame shook with reaction. The scenes he relived each night in dreams of late, while disturbing, had never troubled him before. He’d seen much horror. Why had Fulminir chosen to haunt him after all this time?

What could I have done? he thought, in agonized reflection. We were not ready. Could not have saved them all.

But logic seemed to give no ease to these nightmares.

It took an effort to lever himself off the bed. He felt ancient, as if his bones were creaking with the weight of his flesh. The cool water from the ewer on the nightstand went some way toward refreshing him and he used a cloth to wash the sweat from his chest and arms.
He was pulling on a clean shirt when Arahal returned.

‘Sleep well?’ Arahal asked, his back turned, oblivious to Ashmael’s brittle state.

Ashmael took the time this afforded him to sweep away the last of the nightmare and compose his face into an amiable mask. ‘Not too badly, why?’

‘Because you’re late coming downstairs. We’ve been waiting for you, and I decided to come up and fetch you out in case you’d decided to renege on me. But I see now that I misjudged you.’ Arahal turned and grinned at him.

‘As always,’ Ashmael retorted. ‘Is it so late already?’ He glanced out of the window. The sun was indeed setting over the harbour and its dying rays shone through the window directly onto his face. Ash winced and looked away.

‘Yes, My Captain.’ Arahal came over and helped him with his jacket. ‘You have been abed too long. Still, that should leave you nice and fresh for the night’s activities.’

Ashmael glanced suspiciously at him. “What activities?” Arahal locked the door of their room and guided Ash toward the stairs.

‘We’re going to a club.’ Arahal replied, smiling. ‘You should enjoy it. It’s quite famous.’

Ashmael stopped halfway down the stairs, his hands on his hips. ‘I never said I’d come on the prowl with you, Arahal. The idea was that you get to go out and I get to rest, remember?’

‘Oh, come on, Ash,’ Arahal, turned back and joined Ashmael on the middle step. ‘You’ll never sleep again now. Come out and have some fun. It’ll do you good.’

Sighing, Ashmael relented. There was nothing he felt less like doing than spending his evening in some smoky, noisy club, but if it would get Arahal off his back, he’d do it. He could always sneak away after a couple of drinks.

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