Writing sad stories is a way for me to work through my depression. It’s odd how getting all that angst out helps to lighten your mood. This is an excerpt from a Role Play that is currently unfinished but despite it’s sad mood, it’s helped to raise my spirits so I thought I would share it. The shear level of emotion in it is some of my best I think.
Trigger warnings: This is a SAD STORY. Insanity and loss is inherent. You have been warned.
For clarity, I play Phaedra, the other characters are written by other people.
Phaedra appears at the gate, carrying a small package wrapped in cloth. It had been ages since she or her people had been seen inside the mists, and the lone woman held sorrow in her very bones. The guards seem surprised to see her, a soft whisper moving through their ranks as she quietly asks permission to enter. “I come ta ask a favor.” is all she is willing to share.
One of the guards glanced at her, stepping to the side slightly, indicating that clearly she was welcome to enter, and yet still hesitant to speak, gaze darting towards the village for a moment, before determining, “Lord Maric and Nathaniel are both currently indisposed, although you are welcome to wait in the castle to speak with the Steward.”
She nods, keeping her haunted eyes lowered to the ground. She doesn’t thank the guard, didn’t even think to anymore. She grips the parcel tight and lifts the hem of her worn skirt as she makes her way up the hill towards the castle. She was always surrounded by her people, the children or laughter, yet this eve she surrounds herself with the silence of mourning hearts. She never raises her head to look around the courtyard, though she is well aware of the looks she receives as she moves through the village that she had once called home. Home enough to return her here now.
Aoibheann thankfully didn’t get any more irritated, although Dyisi’s calm wasn’t quite as contagious as it usually was either it seemed, her body physically unable to. Turning towards Wren, as she saw– Well, what she could actually see was up for debate considering the chemical imbalances of her mind and the fact that her eyes clearly needed rest. But she saw something that made her mind go straight to panic as she screetched, “GET THEM OFF OF HER!” towards Wren, hands shaking before the rest of her body did as well, trying to think of how she is supposed to save the poor girl, only problem is her mind can’t really think.
Dyisi has a small moment of relief that the woman didn’t outburst at her for the suggestion of rest. However when the outburst did come.. towards Wren.. she winces slightly before holding her hands up while trying to keep a calm.. “No no no! It is ok! She is fine. Come, come.. you need rest, nai? Things they are no making sense.. your mind, it needs time to relax.. as does your body.” While she again tries to corral the woman towards the castle, her senses pick up a different pattern, one that brings a moment of confusion. Despite her attention being straight on Aoibh, the blue eye moves towards Phaedra to study the woman. Either attracted by the senses, or by the woman’s movements. “Worry no for now.. come.. we will rest now, nai?”
Wren Darling took a step back from Aoibh as if she fully expected the woman to lunge at her or something. “Get what off me?” She gestured with her head towards her wings, “These?” She tried to fold them back as if to hide them with a pained expression as they were still very sore, but she gave up. “You can’t. They’re…part of me now I guess. It hurt enough growing them in. Please, don’t rip them off.” She explained. Her attention darted over to Dyisi, and the girl nodded along with her words, “Yeah, rest is probably a good idea.” She shuffled forward to follow after them, perhaps to make sure Aoibh would accompany the satyr. She spotted Phaedra and gave her a curious look, and then looked back to the pair nearest her.
Phaedra pauses as she hears Aoibh’s outburst, lifting her head for the first time since she entered the village to look over to the woman she had broken bread with. Emotion leached from her face, she simply pauses to look. Her package held tight to her breast. It was hardly bigger than a loaf of bread, but it was wrapped with such care. She sees Wren’s new wings and a pained expression overcame her. She looked quickly away and turned to move towards the castle once more, keeping her silence.
Aoibheann snapped, simply insisting, “No, no, no, no, no!” as she tried to back away from Dyisi, all the while warning Wren, “They wrap and they bite and they smother and they choke,” apparently none of the girl’s words having had any effect on whatever delusion Aoibh was under. “I don’t want to sleep,” she assured Dyisi, “I don’t need to relax, I DON’T WANT ANYMORE TEAS, ANNA!” Now shaking so badly that she practically fell to the ground, hissing as her gaze fell on Phaedra, or well, vaguely in her direction at least, muttering, “She lies, she lies, but no one believes me! But I know she’s a witch, but I won’t let her, won’t let her– I don’t want to sleep, don’t want to let them eat me…”
Dyisi eases her approach, knowing full well what happens when someone feels cornered. Her hands move in this.. want to pick her up but can’t touch her because that would be bad for all involved.. way. The blue eye looks back to the woman as she hits a psychotic break it feels and flashes brilliantly. She obviously didn’t like or approve of it’s idea by the flat look that she gives. “Is fine.. is fine.. no rest. But we could go in castle and sit down? Nai? Anna, she will no bring you tea.. we will have what it is you want.” As she again tries to calm the woman, she looks over to Wren with this wave of curiosity. There were options.. One, try to knock her out either by a well place smack with the balled end of her staff, or saturating the area with the emotions attributed towards tiredness. Two, use her magic to take the form of Maric in hopes that will calm her down enough to get her inside, but that’s really the cruel one. Three, let her keep spiraling down and stand there gobsmacked at it all. Four, get a guard to come carry her into the castle. Which might be amusing to watch.. When Aoib teeters down, she uses her staff to try and keep the woman from hurting herself in a fall.. “Easy.. easy.. There is no witch here to harm you.. and if there is, I will take care of her for you, nai?”
Wren Darling’s forehead wrinkled while she watched Phaedra clutching something. She looked about to wave to her in a friendly way, but Aoibh’s outburst had her turning back with round eyes. “They…they what?” Despite the fact, the girl realized Aoibheann was delusional, she couldn’t help but feel a bit nervous. “If…if you don’t want to rest…maybe…a walk, or–” She blinked when it seemed poor Phaedra was called a witch. She gave the woman an apologetic look before glancing back to shaking Aoibheann who nearly fell. She moved closer and tried to reach out for her arm in an attempt to keep her upright, especially if they were going to travel. To Dyisi, she gave her an appreciative look for knowing what to say in this situation. “Yeah, we can sit down and have dinner and wine or something.”
Phaedra ‘s frame grew even more tense with Aiobh’s screams, her shoulders hunching up around her ears, but she didn’t turn back around, though her flinch was obvious. It took everything in her not to turn around, but it was all she had. She nodded to the guards as they opened the doors for her and she slipped inside to wait, swallowing the tears that threatened to spill over. She was surrounded by friends, she would be taken care of. She had her own demons to wrestle this night.
“We have spent the last few weeks hiding from the Darkness that Screams out in the Fae lands. We had set up a nice little bit of trade with some of the lesser fairies. Nice enough that we all had enough to eat and some to set aside for when the winter storms hit.” she offers a soft smile, still clutching the bundle close.
“You never know what you are gonna find out there. The lands themselves are full of magic and wilds and some of the most amazing views you could ever imagine.”
“Night before last we found the most amazing lightening bugs, hovering around a bush of the brightest violet.” Her eyes take on a distance, wading through memory.
“Gracie and Kenneth were laughing,” the smallest smile curls the edges of her lips, “Honest laughter, after such frightening times we couldn’t help but follow suit till the entire caravan was laughing. Ben broke out his guitar, Jacob pulled out some hooch he had been making and Thomas found his fiddle somewhere from the back of the Caravan. Shannon’s voice rang out so sweetly over the meadow.”
Phaedra lifts her face to the moon, letting the tears stream from the corners of her eyes, though her smile doesn’t fade. “I danced with Kenneth, even little Gracie was trying her hardest to dance.” she shakes her head, opening her eyes to look at them again, “She had twisted her ankle just a few days ago, you know how kids are.” she snorts, falling silent for a long time, shifting the package in her arms. She doesn’t offer to put it down, nor does she complain of it’s weight.
“It was almost like old times, before the village shifted here. Back when we were on the road in a whole other world. Winter’s cold kiss always came with warm cider and the bright tinkle of bells. Something about that bush made everyone remember the old Yuletimes from ages ago. Candles and laughter and food we had stored just for the great feast.”
“The children fell asleep in my arms that night, Gracie and Kenneth and even little Pinkie who had finally regained some color to his cheeks after such a long sickness. The fae’s brews were helping him, and we made sure we had enough to trade for more each time the Caravan came back.” she laughs, tears streaming in great rivers now and she hugged the linen parcel tight, “The next morning I woke to Kenneth taking Gracie out into the woods to relieve herself.” her voice breaks and she finally pulls the fabric back from the cold dead body of the youngest of the Caravan, “Pinkie never woke at all.” she brushes his sunken cheek with trembling fingers, “The fireflies were gone, and they took little Pinkie with them. There was nothing I could do, nothing I could try… I hadn’t even said Goodnight!” she stops, her voice catching in a sob and she has to take several minutes to gather herself before she could continue.
Turning desperate eyes to them she whispers, “I’ve come to ask if we could bury him here. It was the safest place we knew in our travels, the most welcoming, and we don’t want to lay him to rest out there.” she shakes her head, “Never out there…not if I can help it.”