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Author Topic: When Reality Died.  (Read 3441 times)

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Offline KaileikehiTopic starter

When Reality Died.
« on: October 04, 2009, 09:38:45 PM »
~When she loses what feels like everything, her imaginary friend (preferably a male character) returns and takes her to the Land of the Imaginary where dwell others who also come to life.~

Jude sat on her bed, legs clasped close up to her chest by her arms, chin resting upon her knees as she stared seemingly blankly at the wall of her bedroom. It was a silent winter night, but the sirens were still screaming in her head, blaring in her eyes, red and blue. She shut them tightly, biding her face in her arms, trying to make it go away, but it wouldn't. Her sister, her best friend, was gone, and it was all her fault. It'd been two weeks, and yet she still couldn't quite get a grasp on it. The way the light had turned from a red hand to a green person, the sudden screeching of tires, the blackness, the sirens and lights, and then the bright whiteness of the hospital room. Jude's  right arm was still wrapped up in a red cast covered in drawings and get well soons.

She shuddered as she lifted her head up from her arms and reached to turn on her lamp, getting reminded that the recent snow storm had knocked out the power. Sighing, she swung her legs over the edge of the bed, letting her bare feet hit the cold wooden floor. Her white night gown trailed to her ankles, ending in a lace edging. Most seventeen year olds wouldn't be caught dead wearing it, but she liked old fashioned things. Jude dragged the comforter off her bed, wrapped it around herself and made her way out of her bedroom and into the quiet, dark hallway.

Down the stairs and into the living room where the woodstove was crackling merrily. Her feet led her to the couch where she curled up in front of the stove, the light and popping of coals drowning out her nightmarish thoughts that always came with the dark and silence. She snuggled up deep into her blanket and sighed. 

Offline Remiel

Re: When Reality Died.
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2009, 12:26:28 AM »
(not sure if you were waiting for somebody else to respond. If so, please ignore this.)

There was no sound but the crackle and pop of the flames as they consumed the coals, gradually turning them into ash.  Within the belly of the stove, through the iron slats, the vibrant tongues of yellows and oranges danced, almost as if beckoning the girl who sat curled up in her blanket. 

No sound, that is, but the mechanical clicking of the stately grandfather clock that took up residence against one wall, behind the beige suede sofa. It had belonged to Jude's family for generations.  It was not electric, but powered solely by gears and springs and such, and it was Jude's job to wind the clock every two weeks or so.

It wasn't very loud, but if Jude listened, she could easily hear the ticking sound as the clockwork inside counted off every second.


Every hour, like... well, like clockwork, the clock's internal gong would sound out, as many times as the hour of the day.  She'd heard it go bong twelve times when she first came down, indicating that it was well after midnight.  Outside, through the misty window, a curtain of white indicated that the snow was still falling heavily.


The gentle coruscation of the fire in the stove and the ticking of the grandfather clock were soft, soothing sounds.  Jude felt her eyelids grow heavy, as she sat and waited and stared at nothing very much.

tick...tick... t....i....c...k...

She had just begun to drift off when she sat up, with a start.  The clock, she realized, had stopped.  Which was strange, because she had wound it just last Tuesday.  The day before the... accident...

She turned her head, to listen, and, sure enough, there was silence, where the ticks should have been.  She debated whether she should go and check on the clock, but it was a cold night, and she didn't want to leave the security and warmth of her blanket.

That's when she heard another noise.  A tortured, metallic creak, exactly like the sound of the clock's wooden case door opening upon its hinges.

Offline KaileikehiTopic starter

Re: When Reality Died.
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2009, 08:09:37 AM »
Jude stared, startled, as she turned her head to look into the shadiness of the room behind her. She bit her lip and slipped off the couch, clutching her blanket firmly around herself and edging closer to the woodstove, though staying off the raised hearth so as not to bump into it accidentally and burn herself. While the stove gave the room some light, it did not quite reach the half furthest away from it and she could not see beyond the very back of the couch. "W-w-who's there?" She stammered in fright.

She had recognized the sound right away. That old creakyness that she'd had to be careful of when playing hide and seek. When she was little enough, she'd open the door of the clock and hide inside with the pendulum, but she hadn't fit in there in so many years. It had been one of her favorite spots.

Heart pounding in her ears, Jude picked up the poker from beside the stove and held it up, sure that whoever was there fooling around with the clock, would see her with it. If it was just one of her parents, they would have said something when they entered the room so as not to startle her, knowing she was as skittish as a deer lately. "D-d-don't you dare c-c-come any closer! I'll sc-scream."

Offline Remiel

Re: When Reality Died.
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2009, 12:41:58 PM »
There was no response.  As Jude listened, her breaths coming in short, terrified gasps, there was, at first, only the sound of silence, underscored by the coruscations of the coal fire within the iron pot-bellied stove.

And then...there was a faint, very faint shuffling sound, like socks or slippers treading across the floor.  In the stove-lit darkness of the living room, the shadows danced obscenely on the walls.

The shuffling sounds seemed to come closer and closer.  And then, from around the corner of the couch, there appeared a pair of boots.

Just a pair of boots, and nothing more.  They were brown, and leather, the antiquated sort that came halfway up the shin and were tied by means of a simple cord that crossed back and forth from one side to the other.  Jude had attended a Renaissance Faire once, and had seen boots like that there.

They stopped, standing side by side, as if they contained an invisible person who was now studying her intently.

Offline KaileikehiTopic starter

Re: When Reality Died.
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2009, 06:39:13 PM »
Jude tilted her head to the side and stepped up onto the hearth, away from the boots. She brandished the poker at them with a great flourish, trying to look brave but failing miserably. She was as pale as a ghost and shaking from head to toe. A few strands of chocolatey hair stuck to her cheek, wet from the crying she'd been doing earlier. "D-d-don't come any c-closer or I'l st-st-stab y-y-you-ou." She burst into tears of fright, backing further away and running into the stove. She let out a yelp and dropped the poker, rocketing forward in shock.

She sniffled and edged her way around, not losing sight of the boots, inching over to where the poker had landed. She bent down and picked it up with her small, pale hand. She rubbed at her face with her cast, brushing the hair off her face with the finger that peek out. "W-what are you? P-please d-d-d-d-don't hurt me!" She whimpered and the poker hung limp by her side. She was beyond herself at this point. She just wanted to go snuggle up in bed beside her sister, but of course, half of their, now her's, bed would remain empty forever more.

They hadn't even been a full year apart, had always shared everything and done everything together. They'd even been in the same year at school due to a late fall birthday and a late summer birthday. Not twins, but close enough. And now, Jude was lost. Alone.

Offline Remiel

Re: When Reality Died.
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2009, 07:57:11 PM »

When Jude shook the poker at them, the boots retreated, seeming to shuffle behind and over each other in their haste to escape.  They shuffed around the corner of the suede couch, the toes of the boots just visible behind the edge of the fabric.

And, aside from the fact that they appeared to be moving entirely on their own volition, without being attached to any sort of visible leg or foot, they appeared to be just a perfectly ordinary pair of footwear.  There were no jagged mouths, no vestigial limbs, no reddened eyes--just soles, and insteps, and the criss-cross of leather laces.

One of the boots--it was difficult to tell if it was the left one or right one--edged back around the couch after a moment, and just sat there, the laces regarding Jude cautiously.

Outside, the snow fell in lazy sheets.

Offline KaileikehiTopic starter

Re: When Reality Died.
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2009, 08:12:23 PM »
Jude stared down at the boots, still frightened. "Y-y-you... boot things..." She bit her lip and curiosity getting the better of her, she edged foreward, holding the pointed end of the poker out before her and downwards towards the boots. Still shaking like a leaf, Jude inched ever closer to the boots, bare feet silent on the wooden floor. She was scared, yes, but she was also curious. Was this some kind of new magic? And obviously, if the boots were retreating, they were scared enough of the poker to do so.

Hugging her blanket more firmly around herself, Jude brought herself up to her full height and kept a firm hold on the poker. "N-n-now... if you don't h-hurt me, I w-won't hurt you, ok?" As she got closer, she glanced over to the photos on the wall by the stove, caught sight of her sister, and took a deep breath. Feeling brave, she moved so she was about a two feet away from the boots. "I'm g-going to put this d-down..." She slowly crouched down and set the poker on the floor behind herself. "D-don't you go getting any ideas though." She rose again, staring down at the boots still. "Now. W-what are y-you?"

Offline Remiel

Re: When Reality Died.
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2009, 08:29:34 PM »

The boots hopped backward as the teenager approached, keeping a few feet of space between themselves and her.  As Jude stared at them, she began to get the impression that they were, somehow, staring back.  They didn't make any sound at all, but simply scuffed slightly on the floor.  They shuffled their feet, so to speak.

Then, one or the other of them appeared to make a decision.  Swivelling on its heel, it hopped back behind the couch and began padding back toward the ancient grandfather clock.  The other followed suit, leaping behind its twin.  They lurched in an alternating hop-rest-hop-rest motion that, when taken together, gave the effect of someone walking.

The wooden case door to the clock was open.  The boots stopped when they reached the clock.   For a moment, they sat there, side by side; then, at the same time, they leapt up, disappearing into the darkness within the clock's mechanical innards.

The door remained open, beckoning.  Through the shadows of the room, Jude could see that she could squeeze into the opening after them, if she wanted to.

Offline KaileikehiTopic starter

Re: When Reality Died.
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2009, 08:48:42 PM »
((I'm having a slight Alice in Wonderland moment. *face*))

Jude gaped at the boots as they wandered away from her. She scurried after them, enchanted and curious as a kitten. She watched them disappear into the clock and remembered, how many times she had hidden inside that clock out of both fun and fear. She turned her head to look at the room behind her.

Everything, from the stove where they had roasted marshmellows, to the sofa where they had curled up to watch movies, and still onwards to the smooth wooden floor behind the sofa where they had practiced rollar blading against their mother's wishes. Everything she had done with her sister... everything in this room brought it all back.

Jude closed her eyes and was brought back to seeing flashing lights and hearing sirens. She took a deep breath and opened them, looking into the clock. Any place was better than this place, ridden with memories she was scared to remember because they hurt. She lifted one bare foot into the clock and then the other, squished herself inside, and closed the door behind her.

Offline Remiel

Re: When Reality Died.
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2009, 12:42:08 AM »
There was just barely room enough for the seventeen-year-old to squeeze in among the gears and the big brass pendulum that oscillated back and forth, ticking off the seconds in the clock's eternal war against Time.  Of course, the pendulum was still and silent now. 

The door creaked behind her, and closed with an audible click.  And then, there was simply darkness, and the sense of confined space.

After awhile, Jude heard the sound of footsteps approaching.  They seemed to stop just outside the clock.  They were joined, shortly, by another set of footsteps, which were much heavier, much louder, and had a metallic jostle, like that of many metal rings. A voice, deep and rich and baritone, yet with a slight tinny echo, spoke.

"We are running out of time, m'Lord.  Even now the Blight advances."

"Patience, Xander," answered another voice, presumably the owner of the first footsteps.  "I have beckoned the Princess. She will come."

"I hope so, m'Lord.  The Allswell Barrens have already fallen to the Black Forces."

"She will come," insisted the second voice.  This one was lighter, a pleasant tenor, and even muffled through the wood of the clock case door it sounded vaguely familiar. Jude couldn't place it, but she knew she'd heard that voice before, somewhere.

"Very well, m'Lord.  Seelie l'yeng'an tor."

The heavy, metallic footsteps trod away into silence, leaving, presumably, only the second speaker, the one that had struck Jude as familiar.

Offline KaileikehiTopic starter

Re: When Reality Died.
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2009, 09:59:56 AM »
Jude was shocked when she heard the voices. She blinked, staring in the direction they had come from... the door. Here she was in her beloved old clock and there were stranger outside of it! Or perhaps she'd fallen asleep and was dreaming? Yes, that had to be it. She had to be dreaming and if she just pinched herself she'd wake up and then she'd be back on the sofa in the living room. The boots, the poker, the inside of the clock that she remembered so well, they had to all be a dream, an act of her subconscious trying to tell her something.

Maneuvering either arm into a position where she could pinch herself proved difficult and Jude bit her lip before giving a sigh. She supposed she would have to get out of the clock if she wanted to pinch herself and be free of this scary dream. She pressed her body against the door, rocked back and then rocked into it, senting it flying open and her falling to land with a thud and sprawl on the floor. Her chin hit the stone hard and she blinked, staring foreward, at those boots.

With a scream, Jude sat up and clonked her head hard against the door of the clock, causing it to swing shut. She yelped in shock... dreams weren't supposed to hurt... not physically... Her hand shot to the back of her head, holding it, eyes wide open. They were rather remarkable eyes at that, deep brown with itty bitty flecks of gold, emerald, and saphire then rimmed with a sort of dark golden color. These eyes looked around at her unfamiliar surroundings and then stared fearfully at the boots before she reached out a small hand and whacked down hard on the toe. "What h-have y-ou don't t-to me you st-stupid b-b-b-boo-oo-oots!" She burst into tears, overwhelmed. 

Offline Remiel

Re: When Reality Died.
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2009, 08:15:59 PM »

Hunched over on her knees, Jude comes face-to-face, or at least face-to-boots, with the very objects that had so recently invaded her domicile. 

This time, however, there is someone standing in them.

A pair of unremarkably brown woolen trousers kneel down, and a hand appears to help Jude up.  It's attached to a green-colored sleeve, which is attached to a green-colored shirt.  And above the shirt, creased with concern, there is a face.

It belongs to a boy.  Well, a young man, barely out of his teen years.  His face is smooth, and aquiline, and framed by chestnut waves.  Blue eyes peer down at Jude, pleased and happy to see her, yet strangely sad...

It was the first day of high school.  Jude had been teased and bullied relentlessly by a group of older girls, for no real reason at all.  They stole her backpack and threw it in the boys' bathroom; she'd needed to wait for the janitor to get it out.   That night, Jude dreamt that she was being chased by a pack of red-eyed, ravenous wolves.  Terrified beyond belief, she had run into an alley to escape them, but it was a dead end.  Shrieking, she cowered on the ground as they approached, grinning just like the girls from high school....

He appeared out of nowhere.  "Get away from her!" he yelled, sending the wolves scattering.  He kicked one hard on the flank, eliciting a yelp of pain. They fought each other to get away, and after they did, he'd turned back to her, and asked her, "are you all right?"

"Are you all right?" he said, taking her hand in his own.  She was no longer in her house.  Instead of carpet, the floor was rough stone and wood planking.  Instead of the familiar walls, there was thatch and reed.  She appeared to be in a small cottage, barely big enough for a crude table, a couple of chairs, and a small hearth, over which some pleasant-smelling liquid boiled in a small cauldron.

"My name is Robin Goodfellow, Princess. I didn't think you'd come."

Offline KaileikehiTopic starter

Re: When Reality Died.
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2009, 08:46:24 PM »
Jude's eyes were wide with shock as she turned her attention from the boots to the boy. She blinked rapidly a few times, calming down. His face was familiar, his voice, everything. She wasn't sure from where, but she knew she'd met him at least once before. She reached her hand up to take his and was instantly comforted. It was strange, but she hadn't felt so much at ease in so long.

Rising to her feet, Jude pushed her mussed from sleep hair behind her ears and tilted her head. "Robin..." She turned the name over on her tongue and tilted her head the other direction, staring at him. "I'm Jude Monroe." She contemplated his words for a few moments. "Come? Was I supposed to come?" She looked around.

Despite it's small size, the cottage fascinated and attracted her. She smiled ever so slightly, enchanted by it. "And where are we?" She cauciously moved away from the clock and over to the table, running a finger along the uneven, but soft edge of it. She smiled brighter, spinning around quickly, hair flying, to look at him again. "It's so pretty."

However, when Jude had turned, she had disrupted a glass that lay on the table, and it suddenly clattered, spilling it's red contents onto the table and all over her pure white night gown. She let out a yelp as it rolled off the edge of the table and landed, smashing on the floor right by her bare feet. She jumped away from it, biting her lip and holding her foot up and away from the glass. "Oh my gosh... I'm so sorry!" She immedietly crouched down to start picking up the bits of glass and set them on the table.

"Oh, I'm sorry... so sorry, I didn't mean...." She hissed suddenly, dropping a piece of glass and popping her finger into her mouth. 

Offline Remiel

Re: When Reality Died.
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2009, 10:04:57 PM »
"Yes, I..."

Robin winced when Jude knocked the glass over, only to have it shatter on the stone floor, its ruby contents draining away into the cracks and fissures.  He winced again when she cut her finger upon one of the broken shards. 

"Here, let me, Princess," he offered.

Gently he took her hand, the blood welling up from the cut skin.  He frowned, his brow knotting as he brought her finger closer to his face.  A single drop of blood escaped the wound, losing itself immediately upon the spilled red liquid on the floor.  He put his other hand over hers, sandwiching it between his palms, and closed his eyes.  Then his lips moved, and he whispered what sounded like a very faint song.  It was a lovely song, but rather sad. It reminded her of cold autumn nights, and islands of lonely lamplight in the darkened street.

On Jude's tenth birthday, her father gave her a puppy for her birthday.  It was a small fluffy Polynesian, and although it barked incessantly and drove her mother crazy, Jude and her sister both adored it.  It followed them everywhere, trying to jump up and lick their faces. It even slept with her in her bed. 

One cold winter day, she had absent-mindedly left the door open, and the dog had wandered out into the street.  The driver of the shiny sports car never even saw it...

Jude was inconsolable. She had cried and cried.  That night, she dreamt that a horrible, giant beast had chased her to the very edge of a cliff.  As the ground crumbled beneath her, and she started to fall, a hand reached out and pulled her back.  She looked up into those eyes, those dazzling blue eyes, surrounded by waves of chestnut...

Robin opened his eyes again.  His ears, Jude noticed, were longer than normal, and the lobes, instead of being round, tapered into tips. When he released her finger, it was no longer bleeding.  The cut had completely healed.

He smiled.  Something moved on the floor; they both looked down and saw a smattering of tiny people run across the stone.  Each one had a broom over his or her shoulder, and, as the two watched, the diminutive figures began to sweep the glass shards into a pile.

Offline KaileikehiTopic starter

Re: When Reality Died.
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2009, 10:44:49 PM »
Jude blinked as he took her hand and looked down at her feet shyly. When the pain suddenly ebbed away to nothing and he returned her hand she looked down in shock. "Y-you healed it..." She blinked again and tilted her head again, not moving until she jumped in shock at the sudden arrival of the tiny people. "Oh my!"

Moving to get out of their way and careful not to trod on them, Jude watched them clean with wide eyes for a moment before she turned her head to look at Robin. "Where a-are we?" She asked again, still confused.

((Sorry it's short...))

Offline Remiel

Re: When Reality Died.
« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2009, 11:21:05 PM »
Robin bowed.  "We are in the Faerie Kingdom, Your Highness.  Your Kingdom," he added, tilting his head to one side to give her an odd look. He noticed the fascination with which she watched the tiny sprites, and grinned.  "Gnomes.  They like to feel useful."

On the ground, the miniature people seemed to be finishing up their task.  Several more pushed a dustpan across the floor, the wood scraping against the stone surface.  The tiny sweepers carefully swept the smaller pieces into the dustpan; the larger pieces were handled between three or four of them.

There were both men and women, and even a few children gleefully running around the adults in haphazard circles.  A round-shaped, portly gnome with a curly white beard casually wandered over by Jude's foot.  Leaning against her ankle, he peered upward with a strange smile on his face, obviously attempting to peer up her night gown.

An equally rotund female noticed this, and dropped her broom with a huff.  She stamped over to the male gnome, whapped him heavily on the back of the head, and tugged him away by an ear.  She flashed an icy look up at Jude as she stomped away, dragging her licentious mate behind her.

Offline KaileikehiTopic starter

Re: When Reality Died.
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2009, 07:44:30 AM »
Jude stared at him with a confused frown. "But Robin, I'm not a Highness and I've never seen this place before I don't think. I'm just Jude, why do you call me things that refer to royalty? And what is Faerie Kingdom?" Maybe he'd mistaken her for someone else, some other Jude or a girl who looked like her for that matter. It wouldn't be hard, after all, how many girls were there who had grandfather clocks like the one in her home? There had to be at least ten more around the planet, hadn't there?

Crouching down, Jude examined the little beings with the utmost curiosity. She giggled as the man was led away. "I'm terribly sorry to have tempted him, perhaps he needs a time out though?" She smiled down at the little beings who continued to scurry about, now gathering to try and lift the dust pan and bring it across the room. Jude frowned and took it by the handle. "There now... thank you very much for helping clean up my mess. You are very helpful. Now where do we put this?" She was led by a laughing, jabbering group of children to a window. She pressed the shutters open and was met with two barrels beneath it on the outside of the little cottage. One had litter type things in it, and the other held water. She dumped the glass into the one full of garbage and tugged the shutters closed before setting the dustpan down on the floor and watching the wee ones take it away. 

With a smile, Jude made her way back to robin, night gown still splatter with red. "They are useful... and quite enjoyable. Now about my questions..." She tilted her head to look at him more intently. "What is Faerie Kingdom and why do you keep referring to me as 'Your Highness'?" Despite her confusion, she was feeling better. The coldness of the world was gone, left with warmth that wasn't winter. Her arm was still in a cast, but it felt all the better than it had in weeks, as if it had never been broken at all. Color was coming into her overly pale cheeks, and her heart didn't hurt as much as it had been.

Offline Remiel

Re: When Reality Died.
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2009, 07:45:19 PM »
(sorry for the short was really busy)

Robin frowned slightly in response to Jude's question.  He took a step closer, his expression conveying concern and sincerity.

"You must have has been a long time since you have been among us."  He lifted a hand, gingerly touching her head where she banged it on the clock door.  "It has been...years, I think, in your world."

Taking her hand, he led her to one of the chairs.  "Please, sit."

Then, finding an earthenware bowl from one of the shelves lining the cottage's walls, he ladled some of the bubbling broth from the cauldron into it.  It was a thick, soupy orange color, with carrots and potatoes and peas and other kinds of vegetables bobbing in it, and its aroma made Jude realize she was hungry.  He set it down with a spoon on the table in front of her.

Should she taste it, she would be delighted at the flavour--it was hearty, and nourishing, with just the right amount of spice.

Offline KaileikehiTopic starter

Re: When Reality Died.
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2009, 08:49:51 PM »
Jude blinked as she looked up at him. Why did he look so worried? She frowned and then turned it right into a smile, trying to convey reassurance onto his face. She stared at him for a bit longer this time, and suddenly, got caught up in his eyes.

She was running. Fast and happily, giggling through tall grasses and flowers that reached all the way up to her neck due to her small size. Someone held tight to her hand, leading her forewards, but also allowing her to gambol about with pure delight. The wind rushed through her hair, sending her pigtails flying about behind her and she laughed loud and bright, falling back a little bit only to be tugged steady. "I can do it by myself." She frowned and the hand let go.

Bubbling over with glee she started to run, but kept close, not wandering off like some small children would have in a place this lovely. And then she heard it. An eerie rattling noise and she screamed, as the snake came into view. She heard a voice and was snatched, dragged away fast from that horrid snake and out of the grasses into the forest where she was left sobbing and sniffling... and those blue eyes, those wonderful eyes, had belonged to the one who had wiped her tears and held her fast until she'd stopped and then, taken her home.

Jude blinked out of her stupor and watched as the bowl was set before her. She looked down at it and back up. "Thank you..." It smelt wonderful... and her stomach gurgled. She hadn't eaten much in the past two weeks... She lifted the spoon, dipped it, and then blew on it to cool the stew before she placed it in her mouth and her taste bud erupted with joy. "Oh!"

Offline Remiel

Re: When Reality Died.
« Reply #19 on: October 08, 2009, 12:58:30 AM »

Robin smiled as Jude began to devour the soup.  He sat in the other chair, hands resting lightly on the table, just watching her eat for a bit.  Then he seemed to remember something, and got up again, rooting around among the various pots and urns on the shelves.

He selected a ceramic jug and a small clay cup, and turned back, putting both objects down on the table.  He unstoppered the jug and poured some of its contents into the cup.  It was golden yellow, like honey, but it flowed like water.  Should she drink some of it, she would discover that it was the sweetest liquid she had ever drank, but not sickeningly so.  It was like honey and lemon and maple syrup all rolled into one.

As for the cup, it was an imperfect, lopsided thing, but it performed its function well enough.  And, etched into the surface, someone had crudely spelled out

j U D e

His hands were big, compared to hers. But they were warm and cool at the same time on her skin.  Gently, he guided her fingers to the wet clay, and helped her mold it, shape it, form the lip and hollow out the inside to form a cup shape.  As it was drying in the warm spring sun, he told her to scratch her name in the clay with a fingernail...

Robin watched her carefully over the table, searching her features for any sign of recognition.

Offline KaileikehiTopic starter

Re: When Reality Died.
« Reply #20 on: October 08, 2009, 07:58:21 AM »
Jude's senses were attacked with familiarity as soon as he poured that liquid and the smell of it reached her nose. She stared at the cup in shock, eyes wide. She dropped her spoon into the bowl, the handle resting against the edge while she took the cup up and furrowing her brow as she stared at it.

And write her name she had. She'd been picky about her letters, liking the lowercase j and e better than upper case, and she never could quite get her small d's to face right, so she'd decided to go with both a big D and a big U. Proudly, she'd shown it to him and felt very warm and fuzzy with the praise she'd received. Once the cup had been finished in all ways, he'd poured her a drink and it had been...

Jude brought the cup to her lips and closed her eyes. Warmth crashed over her as she drank, though not from the drink itself really, there wasn't anything in it that was mind altering. "The most wonderful thing I've ever tasted." She set the cup down completely and traced the letters there fondly.

After they'd had lunch, he'd taken her into a Field of berry bushes, to gather all kinds to make pie. She'd joyfully picked and eaten more than made it into their basket. She'd gotten covered in the juices, purple and blue and red but he didn't scold her. He just dipped a cloth into the barrel beneath the window and helped her clean off her face and hands.

"Is it berry season?"

Offline Remiel

Re: When Reality Died.
« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2009, 02:22:04 PM »

The young man with the pointed ears simply smiled and shook his head in answer to your question.  Then his smile changed; it was still there, but it seemed to sag a bit, as if something was weighing heavily upon his mind.  He seemed worried about about something, that much was obvious; but he seemed reluctant to speak of it aloud.

"How's your head?" he asked, pointing to the spot where she'd bumped it on the clock.

Offline KaileikehiTopic starter

Re: When Reality Died.
« Reply #22 on: October 08, 2009, 07:59:57 PM »
Jude frowned and then nodded. She supposed it probably wasn't berry season, it never was when she really wanted it to be. She looked up from the cup at him again and her frown increased. "Something's the matter..." She read into it instantly, the way his smile didn't quite reach his eyes as it had in the past. Something wasn't right here... somehow she'd been brought back to this magical place she'd left behind when she'd turned six and started going to school full time. She remembered climbing into the clock one day and discovering, that to her dismay, it was only a clock. A clock didn't become more than a clock for no reason at all.

She lifted a hand to feel the ginger spot on the back of her head and winced. "Yeah it's fine. Tell me what's wrong, Robin? Please?"

Offline Remiel

Re: When Reality Died.
« Reply #23 on: October 08, 2009, 08:50:53 PM »
For a moment, the boy looked conflicted.  It was obvious that he was pleased and happy to have Jude back, and he didn't want to spoil the reunion.  But it was no use hiding the concern that grew heavy on his mind.

"Princess, the kingdom has...changed.  The Blight is back, and it's stronger than we've ever seen it.  The Sunlit Lands are under attack by forces unimaginable..."

He smiled wryly, lest he throw her into a state of panic.  She must have time to process this, he knew. It was not good to overwhelm her in such a mental state.

"We've faced the Dark Legions before, and we've always defeated them.  But this time, there are more than we've ever seen.  And they're stronger than they've ever been, and they're relentless."  He sighed.  "I'm sorry for tricking you, Princess.  But I couldn't wait for you to find us again.  Frankly, your kingdom needs your help."

Offline KaileikehiTopic starter

Re: When Reality Died.
« Reply #24 on: October 08, 2009, 09:21:57 PM »
Jude frowned. So... there are dark forces trying to destroy the kingdom that is appearently mine?" She blinked, feeling a bit faint. She'd just been a little kid the last time she had been here, of course she wasn't going to understand outright. "But Robin, what am I supposed to do? I don't know anything about this place or how I could possibly be a princess!" She let her head fall foreward onto the table with a bang of overwhelmtment. "I'm barely keeping a hold on my own life as it is, how am I supposed to save a kingdom I know nothing about from dark forces I know nothing about? I want to help you, but.. I just... don't see how..."