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The Heart of the Earth

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Joined: 14 Jul 2008
Posts: 88
Location: Cardiff

PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 12:04 am    Post subject: The Heart of the Earth Reply with quote

A soft wind stirred up the canopy above with a delicate rustling of leaves, faint bird calls and sounds of movement accompanied the waning of the afternoon; the day's light goldening through the outline of the trees in defiance of the encroaching twilight. Mirshuko lay on her back watching the gentle sway of branches across the sky, the earth had been cool but dry when she chose to rest her body, the last of her injuries were going to take some time to heal and for a few days resting had not felt appropriate. However, something about this day had felt different to her and Mirshuko had gone wandering through the woodland barefoot in a casual exploration of her surroundings.

The feeling; it was not a familiarity with the place she felt, not precisely, but memories of forests, trees, green spaces and rich, deep earth had stirred in her mind in a way she could not ignore. It wasn't a sense of having done something similar before that resonated with her but the calm and peace of things, the lack of urgency, of needing not to run, give chase or to be chased, pursued, hunted. It was that no one was dying before her eyes and so too was she still alive and safe, relatively speaking; free to ruminate in a moment of security along a very fragile path.

"...But I've taken another step now Sweetbrass-voice, do you see? Could you guess that was what I'd do next?" Her question rose past her lips as a quiet remark to the open air, she needed no answer to understand changes were in motion, vital ones and perhaps more costly than even the Kami who had perished.

A tickling at Mirshuko's wrist caught her attention as a spider, a little smaller than her palm and with only seven legs, climbed onto her hand. With a gentle motion, she lifted it above her face, letting it clamber across the back of her fingers and settle upon her pointer and thumb where she watched it with casual scrutiny. Its many eyes of inky, glistening, jet stared back at hers with an emotionless intensity that would have appeared out of place in a creature more accustomed to human companionship. Holding it aloft Mirshuko felt a wave of gladness first creep over her and then warm her core, it was a tenderness that had not been given by or borrowed from another, instead it possessed a truth and realness at its centre; a feeling that was intrinsically hers. She found herself speaking once again, her words forming without much consideration and seeming to follow one after another in a flow all of their own.

"The itsy-bitsy spider fell off a severed web. Down went the sun as it wove a whispered thread..." Her voice low and gentle, she stared up at the spider and beyond it into the lush, lofty canopy. "Up rose the moon but the stars were left behind. And the itsy-bitsy spider glimpsed the coloured lines..."

Uttering only a little above a whisper she pressed on in a half trance.

"A time shall go a time shall come when those of Red and Green. Face those of White and Blue in a cunning scheme. Black took a fall that fate could not deny. And the itsy-bitsy spi..d..der.."

Mirshuko stuttered as she felt a lump rise in her throat, she shuddered, blinking her eyes back into focus on her small, silent companion. A soft tremor in her voice.

"It's not going to come easy, Lucky" She slowly turned her hand, the spider crawling around her thumb to settle in her palm. "...To fight a war with weapons I do no trust, what was I thinking?"

She quirked a brow at the spider before lightly clicking her tongue.

"Hm, no, that was rhetorical. Ignore it. All of it. In fact, we have other matters to discuss" Her tone levelling, the emotion fading away.

Nestled in her palm the spider offered a singular nod, its inky bead-like eyes fixed upon the woman with an unblinking stare. She was a little way outside of the monastery grounds, but even so had one of the monks happened upon her she trusted they would leave her undisturbed, thus Mirshuko, settled upon earth dappled in light and shadows began explaining to Lucky in quiet tones, as though speaking with spiders was as simple and ordinary as drawing breath.
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Joined: 14 Jul 2008
Posts: 88
Location: Cardiff

PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pieces of crystal of differing size, colour and shape were arranged in a small circle atop a kotatsu, near to them was a spread of parchment, two journals littered with notes and a small row of tuning forks, for the time being, ignored as Mirshuko slowly turned a small and irregularly shaped stone in her fingers. It was pale, partly translucent and partly cloudy like quartz and as she prodded and poked her fingers along a rough edge she quietly hummed.

The sound in her throat, though soft and mostly quite, was tuneless and disorderly. Mir's voice inexpertly shifted around in pitch and tone as if she was seeking and struggling to discover something very particular. But she persevered whilst continuing to examine the stone, a method was clear in her mind even though she was challenged by its execution. After a time her efforts grew more consistent and she began to cycle through a series of notes until they were something that resembled a rhythm, it was quite amateur as if conjured from a child's imagination, but a sequence of seven distinct sounds emerged never the less.

The surface of the stone she had idly been brushing with her thumb had developed a smooth edge, that part of its face still warm to her touch and with a little pressure she could have gently molded it to hold a new shape. Drawing quiet Mir considered it thoughtfully for a time. She then placed it between the pages of a journal, out of sight out of mind, for bending its nature had not been the purpose of the day's exercise. The melody still lingered in her mind and curious she set her attention back to it and the other crystals. There had been something about it, her instincts told her, something there from which she may start. So again she began to hum the simple melody, over and over to make it familiar.

Slowly, with each cycle of repetition a lyric or two began to form in her mind and moments later the quiet rumble of her tune became scattered and broken as Mir started to mouth silent words in time. She scribbled them onto parchment, crossing parts out and swiftly replacing them with more but very soon it was as if the words were writing themselves, free of consideration or critique.

Once satisfied with her work she closely gathered the other crystals, pooling them together on the table top but making sure they did not touch. Mir resumed her humming for a few moments while brushing a fingertip across a rough fragment of obsidian, carefully turning it over onto its opposite face. Then in quiet and experimental tones, she began to sing.

"Green and Blue and White and Red... Chased across a sprawling web..."

She pressed her finger against the stone, concentrating as the song left her mouth.

"Above, below, middle place... All to win a foretold race..."

Her touch passed to the next crystal, curious and lingering as the words kept flowing.

"Threads of Seven woven round... Hidden thresholds few have found..."

She moved two fingertips to another, striving to keep her voice level and unwavering.

"Stepping stones in Hunting Grounds... Stepping stones to temples bound..."

Closing her eyes Mir became unaware of the shapes and colours of her surroundings whilst her voice and the cool surface of a crystal drew to the fore of her senses.

"Sweetbrass whispers, Seeker coils... Through the fate that may save all..."

In the dark behind her eyes she glimpsed, perhaps, vague impressions begin to form in grey from out of the black, each a different shade from pale to dark that faded in and out with the ebb and flow of her voice.

"Ancient knowledge, Hidden trove... To take claim needs more than love..."

She pressed on with the deliverance of every word, trying to focus on the ill-defined mist of shadows shifting behind her eyelids.

"No heed of pain, no more fear... See the path the way is clear"

Then there was a knocking sound that, though gentle, intruded in her thoughts and broke her focus. Mir blinked and looked to the door as it was carefully slid open by a servant kneeling before its threshold.

"Apologies for the interruption my lady but it is now time" A women spoke with a bowed head.

Mirshuko rose, rubbed her eyes just briefly then took a moment to gather her thoughts whilst smoothing down her clothes, with that she nodded and moved for the door.

"Indeed? Thank you. Let us depart then"
Her manner serious yet her voice polite as she strode from her chamber.
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