otp: weight of the world

I used to be
so soft. all
gentle words and
kind smiles,
all care with a
wide open rib cage and
an exposed heart.
all trust that
no one
would ever break
such a fragile thing.
/
I used
to be
so light,
so unburdened. my shoulders
did not yet know
the way it felt
to carry the world,
the way the weight
never lessens.
/
I am now scarred
where I was once soft,
hard where I was once
gentle. all my edges
have sharpened and
my shoulders are
always tense,
always strained,
always holding up
too much but I
just keep
adding more, and
I stitched
my own ribs together with
shaking hands and a
desperate need
to protect
my heart from
all the things
I used
to trust.
—  october 11th.
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The Weight of the World (Nika Lenina Russian Version)

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Pretty cool. :o

The Mourning After

Twelve days. Twelve days have passed since the last crackled broadcast was interrupted by the cacophony of shattering stone and crumbling, collapsing tunnel walls, since the last time Enambris had heard her voice. With the exception of a broken piece of dagger and a shattered charm, there has been no other trace of Maidari, leaving them only to bear the long search for survivors and traces of the lost to be counted.

Day after day, the number of survivors found dwindled. On the fourth there were seven, a small group of men huddled behind a wall of collapsed debris kept alive by sheer determination and luck. The fifth saw two, a pair of women who had clung to a narrow ledge over the sheer drop to the ocean below. It was a miracle they’d been found, with how far into the tunnels they’d somehow gotten. But the sixth day, and every day thereafter, there were no more survivors. Only the bodies of the dead, though whether or not they were still moving is another matter. 

Like every day since the battle, Enambris once more ascends the volcanic rubble, caring little for the heat where many others were exhausting ice crystals as quickly as they dissolved in the ongoing recovery effort. Rubble blasted out and cleared away, the throat of Mourn slowly refilled and the damage repaired. The dravanians had proven themselves at first to be hostile in the wake of the battle, only briefed on its basic plans, but since had become paramount to the effort to restore the shuddering remnants of the great volcano.  All around, the signs and sounds of progress as cautious men and scalekin work together can be heard, transporting fire crystals and carts of stone up and down the mountain and as the days pass, filling in the damage wrought by Elizabeth’s worm.

Every day, she’d held out a little hope. Just an answer, even one she didn’t want to hear, was better than nothing. But as she climbs the mountain for the twelfth day, and for the twelfth day finds naught but the writhing undead lingering where she had hoped to find the living, she feels the dread that had settled in her breast. She won’t be leaving this purgatory.

Words become a blur as she strides past men setting fires to dead things, past spouts of magma and still-crumbling tunnel walls. One bloodbeast remained in this tunnel, pinned between two massive rocks too large and too well set to move. With a barked command and the wave of her hand, the tunnel is emptied of workers, and she approaches the beast silently. It hisses and snarls, it claws and gnashes the bony protrusions fashioned to be fangs, but it cannot wriggle itself free to leap upon her and rip her to pieces. For a long time, she stares at it. Searching the rotting, drooping skin and muscle, the discolored bones and the contours of flesh that might have once been human. Perhaps someone she’d known.

Then, after a silence as deep as madness falls over the tunnel, the sounds of labor dying away, she strikes the creature. Her fist embeds into the shards of bone serving as its skull, and it fragments. Bits of meat and rotting, brown-clotted blood splash the rock wall behind it. But as she withdraws her fist from what may be ostensibly considered its head, she buries it again. And again.

And again.

The wet slapping of meat hitting stone echoes over and over, for what seems an eternity as she pulverizes what’s left of the reanimated corpse. Tears as hot as the magma around her streaming down her cheeks, running trails through dirt and splattered blood. For all of their promises, all of the work they had done to keep her safe and alive… she was just gone. Like dust blown away by the wind, not a trace left behind for them to find. The wet slapping is joined by the sound of splitting metal as the knuckles of her gauntlets give under the pressure, cracking and splitting and embedding into her hands. Still, she doesn’t stop, and alone in the tunnel with the pulp of a bloodbeast splattering across the stone, she sobs.

mentions: @quick-n-silver

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