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Author Topic: Back to Life [Twin Peaks Holt]  (Read 3533 times)

Flowerstar

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Back to Life [Twin Peaks Holt]
« on: March 21, 2009, 12:35:19 AM »

A/N: Some background for people unfamiliar with the holt: Brindle grew up in a three-mating of her father with two maidens and had a slightly younger half-brother. They lost her mother first when she was pretty young and then her father's second lovemate and her son died at the same time in a harsh winter.
In this holt there is the legend that up in the mountains, in the frozen Death Peaks, you can meet the spirits of the dead. So, unable to get over losing his lovemates and son, her father Bladeshine went there to see them again and when a rescue party went after him, they found him half-frozen to death and he was ill and unconscious for a long time afterwards.

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~ TPH 3140 ~

Days had started to blend into nights and nights into days. Brindle rubbed her face tiredly as she got up from her place for a moment to stretch her aching limbs. The air in the cave was thick with the smell of herbs, below it the thin foul trace of decay. She long had stopped counting how many days had gone since they had brought him back.

Her father. With helpless tenderness Brindle stroked the cheek of the elf lying motionless. All the time he did not wake, not when they had cut off the leg destroyed by the cold, not when the fever tore into him with hot claws, not during the calm hours when his body came to rest. His mind was somewhere else and she only got a faint answer when she sent, proof that he hadn’t left her completely.

But you did, she challenged him in her mind and in a sending that enticed no reaction from him. Mother and Ivy and Spot drew you away. I still was here but it wasn’t enough. You must have known that you might not come back, or maybe you even didn’t want to. I don’t know. I only know that the dead were more important to you than the living.

She raged against him that way when she was so tired that she cried, after nights when the fever shook him and she hadn’t slept. And then there were times when she knelt beside him, her head bowed, and pleaded with him to wake up so he could forgive her. Forgive her that she hadn’t been good enough a daughter to help him through the pain, that she hadn’t respected his wish to go on that mad quest and had told the chieftess, stealing from him the chance to say goodbye to those he loved or maybe stay with them if he so wished. And then she crawled into the furs and curled up against him like a kitten, wishing them back to happier times for them both.

~*~

“Brindle?”

She turned around, startled that it was someone else but Thistlepin, Scabbard or the healer to come here. Most of the other tribesmates shunned the cave where Bladeshine lay between life and death. Brindle could not think ill of them for it, or maybe she did.

It was Gemstone, and Brindle tried to dredge up a smile for her friend and agemate from somewhere under all that emotional and physical exhaustion. She failed. And her voice was harsher than intended when she replied: “Yes?”

Gemstone looked a bit taken aback at the curt response but came in nevertheless, sitting down next to her. “How are you?”

Brindle turned her gaze away and shrugged. “As well as can be expected.” Her voice was bitter but she had stopped caring.

For a moment silence hung heavy in the air before Gemstone placed a soft hand on hers. “Brindle, why don’t you come out for a bit? Get some fresh air. You’ll become sick yourself like this.”

She shook her head without replying. She did not want to go outside and leave him alone, and she didn’t want to talk to others with all those unhappy thoughts swirling in her mind. She just was … tired …

“Come on.” Gemstone gently nudged her. “The others miss you, too.”

“No.” she finally broke her silence flatly, withdrawing her hand from Gemstone’s touch.

“Brindle, please—“ the other maiden began but was interrupted at once.

“What part of no don’t you understand? I don’t want to! My place is here and I’m not about to join you and the others in some mindless fun and pretend he doesn’t exist!” She took a deep breath which was all she could do to keep herself from going on.

Gemstone stood, her expression hurt. “That’s not what I asked of you, and you know that.” she said quietly.

Then she left.

Brindle stayed behind, and as the flames of her anger burned down to simmering coals and finally died, they left a foul taste in her mouth, foul like the air in the cave. This had not been the first time she had yelled at Gemstone or someone else, either … The last time it even had been Scabbard and she probably was lucky that she only had suffered a compassionate look and a strict rebuttal.

Desperate, the maiden buried her face in her hands. “Please, father.” she whispered into her palms. “Please come back. I can’t do this on my own.”

But again there was no answer.

~*~

That night she dreamt. She did not remember anything afterwards but the feeling of despair and abandonment, of loneliness so strong that it clung to her heart when she awoke, and she buried her face into the furs to muffle the sound of her sobs.

As she lay she listened to the sounds of the tribe drifting into her cave. The crackling of fire, rattling of bowls and the crash of one that met an untimely end on the hard stone floor, and over it all the chatter of elfin voices, and a great yearning to be a part of this again gripped her as the idea of spending another day at the side of her father sleeping or unconscious and beyond her reach dismayed her.

Finally she rose and dressed, slipping quietly back into his cave. He still lay like she had left him the night before, with no sign that he was doing worse but none that he was doing better, either. She stood and watched him for a while. Then she bent over him and kissed his forehead gently. “I’m sorry, father.” she told him, sending the words at the same time in the vain hope that he still heard her. “But I can’t sit any longer and wait for you to return to me or to leave me forever. Since they brought you back I’ve been as good as dead, too. It’s time to go back to living.” She stroked his hair and smiled helplessly. “Don’t worry, I won’t leave you completely. I still love you. I hope one day I’ll be able to tell you that again when you’ll actually hear me.”

With that she turned and left the cave to find Gemstone first and to apologize. And then she would start living again.
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Humour is reason gone mad. (Mark Twain)
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