Author Topic: Tree of Life  (Read 3499 times)

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Saccharin

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Tree of Life
« on: June 01, 2011, 07:05:31 AM »
(For Brooce)

William had assumed she would stay on the outskirts of the city, only venturing in to feed, but it was not the reason she\'d broken her long standing habit of completely avoiding heavily populated areas. Something had drawn her there, and it most certainly hadn\'t been her sire. It was unfortunate that he called the city home as well, but perhaps he\'d been pulled in by the very thing she had.

The closer she\'d gotten to the city, the more she felt that similarly to the forests she typically retreated to when morning threatened, it was alive. Not in the same way her forests were, of course, but it was remarkably similar. Where life flowed in a forest through extensive root systems, the city too had an underground system that directed the tide of energy throughout it. That\'s where their similarities ended. The energy in the city flowed in lines as straight as the tall buildings that suffocated its horizon from a centralized point. She could pick any one line that she felt and follow it directly to its source. And she had.

Her outfit, made freshly clean in a creek near the cabin she\'d taken over, was the same she\'d worn the last time she\'d been in the city; a faded black tank top, dark blue jeans with holes starting at the corners of her rear pockets and socks that covered her feet before she tucked them into hiking boots. She smelled strongly of soap, but it wouldn\'t be long before she again smelled of the wilderness. Especially considering what she was doing, now that she\'d found the origin of the lines.

She took off her socks and boots, leaving her feet bare, and climbed a tree that dwarfed all those around it. She realized it was the oak in her dream as she pulled herself onto one of its lower branches, and then scooted along, her powerfully muscular legs on either side of the limb and her hands helping propel her forward. When she came to the point where the tree bent under her weight, she leaned forward and put her ear to bark, causing her long braid to fall from her shoulder and dangle down like a black rope.

Anna could hear sap slowly moving its way upward from the roots, filtering into individual branches, then stems and finally the dark green leaves of the oak. The tree itself wasn\'t the source. It was just a tree, magnificent and large as it was. It was beneath the roots where the energy began, and where it split off into lines that went on and on, as far as the reservation, many miles away, and then even beyond that.

She closed her eyes and began humming, but the humming quickly developed into singing. In her native tongue, she sang of her wish that the spirits continue to protect the trees remaining in the heart of the city. Even though the spirits had stopped listening to her long ago, she thought she could hear them stirring in response and opened her eyes. Then she realized how wrong she\'d been.

Another had been attracted by her song.

Offline Harlequin

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Re: Tree of Life
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2011, 02:08:04 PM »
Vivianne hadn\'t intended to talk to people today. Especially not in-the-park-after-dark people – but here she was, looking up at the woman singing to the tree. Well, she wasn\'t talking yet, so maybe she wouldn\'t have to worry about that. Not that talking was particularly worrisome these days, but nonetheless –

That woman had a truly remarkable voice, and it deserved attention – despite the fact that Vivi couldn\'t even begin to fathom what she was saying. And there was something uncomfortably familiar in the tones of the darker woman\'s voice. Something that bore investigation.

Well, a pause at least. She was only walking home (to a veritable cornucopia of nothing-to-do) from journaling club, after all – tiny moleskine clutched in one slim, pale hand. The other hand bunched up in the lavender fabric of her skirt. Kicking her flip-flops off in a moment of idleness, the blonde curled her toes into the cool, damp grass.

Thus, Vivianne watched and listened, head craned upward and blue eyes squinted against the dark until she could contain herself no more, "Does the tree ever sing back?"

Saccharin

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Re: Tree of Life
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2011, 02:43:38 PM »
Anna, gifted with supernatural sight, could see very clearly that the girl standing at the base of the giant old tree was the very one she\'d encountered only a few nights prior at the club William had taken her to. There was no mistaking her light blonde hair and skin so pale she could make out the light blue veins in her throat as she tilted her head back to look upward. She\'d been reminded of the spirits her people told stories of the very first time she\'d spied the girl, and was thinking of them once more as she looked down at her, unmoving.

Normally, this would be the point she either fed or fled, but she was no longer in the forest she\'d lived in for nearly two centuries. No, this place was different. She stirred to life, sitting up and bracing herself with her hands.

"Sometimes," she said, a smile making her voice warm, "but you must listen carefully."

With nimbleness typically reserved for felines, she climbed down from her perch to land near Vivianne - far enough away that the girl hopefully wouldn\'t be threatened by her proximity. She remembered that she hadn\'t liked being touched, so it was likley that getting too close wouldn\'t be appreciated either.

Even if William didn\'t think her capable of it, Anna could learn and adapt... she just needed a reason to.

Offline Harlequin

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Re: Tree of Life
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2011, 09:26:43 AM »
Vivianne\'s eyebrows jumped up as the woman made her graceful descent, and she took an instinctive step back. She knew of only one species that could move like that, and being caught alone after dark with one of them could only bode –

Oh.

It was the woman from her ill-fated trip to Risk. Frowning, Vivianne tilted her head to the side. Then she smiled. "Anna," she said, remembering the other woman\'s name, and laughed her halting, nervous stranger-laugh.

"It must be easier with ears...you know, like yours."

And the point for the simultaneously lamest and most obvious comment of the night goes to...Vivianne! She cringed, not wanting a repeat of the awkwardness of their last encounter.

Speaking of – she looked around for the man Anna had been with at Risk, but he was nowhere to be found. Maybe things would go better this time, after all.

Saccharin

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Re: Tree of Life
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2011, 08:15:44 PM »
She smiled widely when Vivianne said her name, pleased that she\'d remembered. The woman was even more pleased that she hadn\'t been fled from, or told to go away; she\'d been talked to instead, and it filled her with satisfaction.

"It might be easier, but even you could hear the leaves talking with the wind if you listened." She smiled again, and moved to sit at the base of the tree\'s trunk, next to her boots.

"No one else is here," she said once she\'d settled herself and looked up to see Vivianne searching the night with her sky blue eyes. "Just me. And you." Long fingers encircled the braid that\'d fallen behind her shoulder and she pulled it forward so she could look straight ahead without it restricting the movement of her neck. "The other night... It should\'ve been the same. I would\'ve liked that."

Offline Harlequin

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Re: Tree of Life
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2011, 01:13:50 PM »
Another breathy laugh left the teenager as she squinted up at those leaves, now still and quiet in the absence of wind. She\'d used to retend she could hear voices in the leaves when she was a kid.

But her gaze was jerked back to earth as Anna spoke again, and the corners of Vivi\'s mouth turned upward in a smile. Watching the other woman, her hands went to her own hair, pulling it over one shoulder unconsciously, "Your friend\'s kind of...combative, isn\'t he?"

Though she was used to looking down at people as she talked to them, the blonde felt strange standing over Anna, so she sat down as well. Her skirts made a circle around her in the grass.

Saccharin

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Re: Tree of Life
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2011, 08:42:11 PM »
Anna kept her face straight ahead, watching Vivianne settle herself nearby out of the corner of her eye. She hadn\'t expected the girl to sit with her, but was happy nonetheless that she had.

  "He\'s not my friend," she said firmly, though not unkindly, "but yes. He likes causing problems, I think." She pulled her knees up and wrapped her arms around them, resting her cheek on their tops and turning her head to face Vivianne. "He made me, many years ago. We were apart longer than we were together. I came to the city, and he was here, but since that night he has not tried to find me again, so maybe he will not be causing problems anymore."

She desperately hoped that was the case.

Offline Harlequin

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Re: Tree of Life
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2011, 04:03:53 AM »
"He sounds like my friend Chance," said Vivianne, nose wrinkled slightly, "He\'ll go out of his way to wreck someone\'s day. Sometimes for no reason." As she spoke, her hands smoothed the soft blond tail of her hair over and over again – a clear nervous habit.

When she realized she was doing it she let her hands drop back to her lap, and shrugged, "I like Chance, but I\'d hate to have to be around someone like that forever."

Saccharin

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Re: Tree of Life
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2011, 07:57:52 PM »
"Me too," she admitted, grimacing as she thought of having to be around William forever. "I haven\'t had to spend all that long with him, though. He left soon after he sired me and I hadn\'t been with him since. Not until the night I met you."

She smiled widely, her fangs flashing briefly before her lips covered them again. "I like being around you better."