Monday, March 18, 2013

Quoth the Raven

Dia duit gach ceann de mo chairde interdimensional! Although I am still rather bitter about future-me saving Valentine, I'm trying to make the best of our situation. The only person more worried about this problem is Rhyme, who seems rather upset with me.

I found him earlier, as he was sitting by a river in the middle of pretty much nowhere. Rhyme's face was screwed up, eyebrows furrowed as he concentrated on something only he could see.

"Hey?" I whisper, putting my hand on his shoulder.

"Hm?" was the only reply.

"Are you...okay?"

There is a short pause before he says, "Define 'okay'."

" you still, you know, depressed?"

"Who said I was depressed?!" he snaps, then turns back to whatever he was staring at. Both his hair and eyes are illuminated by the sunset. So beautiful. The sunset! The sunset is beautiful.

"No one, I just assumed-"

I'm cut off by a loud, low-pitched whistling sound. It's Melody, signaling her return. Rhyme mimics the sound as best as he can without turning around.

"Breá? Can I see you, please?" Melody's voice says.

I turn from my spot to see Álainn, of all people!

She looks worse than when I last saw her. Well, not really, but it looks like...she's just not there. Her eyes are unfocused, and it seems like she's having a conversation with an invisible person.

Melody mutters somehing and walks away.

"Álainn," I say quietly, so I don't startle her.

"Cad ba mhaith leat?" She says coldly, probably because I busted into her 'conversation'.

"Bhuel, tá brón orm!" I say sarcastically.

"Gur mhaith leat a bheith níos fearr. Ba é sin plé tábhachtach."

"Níos tábhachtaí ná do dheirfiúr?" I hiss, sounding harsher than I intended. But on the inside, I was boiling over with emotions. I loved and hated her at the same time. It reminded me of my 'mother', who seemed to think everything was more important than me.

"Ar ndóigh ní! ach tá sé níos tábhachtaí ná mar a mbainfidh tú a bheith riamh!"

Ah, so she's still going with the idea that I'm not her sister. It hurts to know that the only family member of yours who still exists won't even accept you as family. What's even worse is that said relative has literally been driven insane.

Now I'm staring my sister straight in her face, watching as her pupils dialate and expand in anger and perhaps fear. Like a heartbeat.

"Is fuath liom I.. Tá tú."

Perhaps that was the wrong thing to say?

"Tá tú cad é? Conas is féidir leat a rá rud éigin mar sin?" Álainn screams, collapsing. "Shíl mé leat ... grá dom!"

As she writhes in apparent agony and rips out handful after handful of her hair, I watch, not knowing what to do. After a minute, she curls up on herself, howling in pain.

"You two?" Melody yells, not hiding her fear at all. She comes sprinting from her spot next to Rhyme faster than I've ever seen her move.

Without even noticing, I have already taken off, sobbing uncontrollably. The picture of my sister breaking down like that... just... uafásach. And so I ran and ran and ran until I was sure no one had followed.

As I sat and cried, I mentally cursed myself for being so impulsive. It's always been an issue, but the result has never been so horrible!

After a while, two ravens had landed beside me, one on each side. They seemed to be communicating, hopping closer to each other (and to me) with every flutter of their wings. As they reach the halfway point- right in front of my feet- they turn to look at me with large silver eyes...

And I rise to my feet, picking up a stone the size of my palm. "Go away! Get out of here, you stupid birds!"

I blink a few times to rid my eyes of rising tears. But when I stop, both creatures are gone. "Wha-?"

"Who said we're birds?"

I spin around, nearly tripping over my own feet in confusion. Next thing I know, two more pairs of silver eyes are staring me down, this time with human faces.

"Hey! How'd you- but there were - what?!" I stuttered.

The boys remain silent, their faces emotionless.

"So... are you to going to-" they cut me off, causing me to murmur angry words under my breath.

"We heard about Álainn."

I stop my mumbling and look at them.

"And we're sorry."

For what? They hadn't done anything! Or at least I don't know what they've done.

"It was an accident. Really, it was."

"What was?"

"Your sister."

"Álainn is not an accident!"

"We know."


They didn't seem startled. Neither one of them even flinched. But I did I was frightened by the sound of my own voice.

And like Álainn, I fall to my knees, but I don't cry. I just stay there, shaking as if there was really something wrong with me.

Moments after me, the boys are on their knees. One of them has started to stroke my arm. The other squeezes his hand between the ground and my face, lifting me so that I'm sitting on my heels, facing him.

"We hope Álainn gets better," the first one says, wrapping his arms around my neck.

"And you, too," the other says, hugging me from behind.

And then I'm trapped between the two strange boys, their bodies warming mine. It feels strangely right, and I don't want to have to leave it.

Soon, I fall asleep, dreaming of the two ravens circling my body.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Cruinne Malartach

Dia duit, saol nua-aimseartha! Happy (extremely belated) New Year and (not-so-belated) Valentine's Day!

I hope your Valentine's was better than mine. I spent the day in 269 AD Rome, witnessing the execution of Saint Valentine, which is the reason I didn't sleep that night. But... something went... extremely wrong that didn't have to do with Valentine.

However, right now, I am in 2019 Tokyo, which is just about the farthest I've travelled into the future. And you know, I've always wanted to go to Japan, but I never thought of the downsides: This is the most obvious, I don't read or speak Japanese even the people who do speak English, their accents make it difficult for me to even tell that they are speaking English, my accent is apparently too diffucult to understand. And most important... I'm not supposed to exist. In fact, I don't. At least, not in the universe you guys are (hopefully) living in.

When Rhyme, Melody, and I  were in 269, outside of Flaminian Gate after the Saint's decapitation, I stumbled on my own foot as we were escaping. Of all people, theexecutioner is the one to hear me. And then he turns. Rage, confusion, hatred, and something else I will never be able to understand. All in one stare. Soon, he was staring me down, beady black eyes locked on clear hazel.

Why is he looking at I didn't understand until he growled, "Murchú."

"Huh?" I can't help but squeak.

He turns to a weeping young woman and yells at her, "It's a Murchú!" in Latin.

And I'm being grabbed by the arm. And dragged across a square-shaped sort of courtyard and onto a long. Gravel road. Soon, we find into a big marble building with an engravement above the doorway with words I can't understand. I continue to spring as long and as hard as possible, and Rhyme keeps a tight hold on my arm. The three of us turn into what looked like a library, with two men just around the corner.

One is standing tall, looking quite calm while his accomplice is babbling excitedly about a certain blonde little girl who stopped an execution. As the speaking one finishes his speech, the two turn and Rhyme grabs my hand and bolts in the opposite direction.

We turn several corners before finding an empty square room which seems to serve no purpose at all.

"You two!" I hiss, "What's going on?"

A torch I didn't notice is lit and I see Melody's hair stringy with sweat, and Rhyme's tear-streaked face. "Shh!" he scolds. "Someone will hear!" I lean back against the cold stone wall, crossing my arms.

"Breá was here earlier!" the twin manages to say, choking on a sob. "She tried to stop the execution, but-" more crying "-but she... succeded!" The older boy trails off into a stream of strange syllables and sniffling before falling forward into his sister's arms, sobbing fiercely, muffling the sound in Melody's chest.

"But if she succeded, isn't that good?" I ask, confused.

"No," comes Rhyme's weak, broken voice. "Valentine's executiton is the reason you're alive! That crying woman, Juventas, would have went on to marry Valentine if Breá had not failed in this universe. But by saving Valentine, Breá ended the entire Murchú family tree. Not only that, but she's created a whole other alternate universe where Murchús aren't around."

It takes a while for this to sink in. "!"

Rhyme sniffs and sits up a little, with Melody gently stroking his drying cheeks. "Since Valentine lives, the man who was going to marry Juventas will die without marrying, just not in this reality."


"That man was the last Murchú!"

"My God."

I let my head droop towards my lap, as a burning sensation rises in my eyes, mouth, and nose. "No. Just.No."

We let a heavy silence wash over us as I try my best to comprehend what just happened. Melody's hand comes to rest gently on mine as I see her mouth move ever so slightly to form the words "I'm sorry."

After what seems like forever, we see three pairs of feet under the door. One pair is hopping from foot to foot almost nervously. "Yes, Father. Okay, you two hurry!" a girl's voice says. In the tiny room, the air stills as we hold our breath, praying that we don't get caught.

Suddenly, the door opens slowly, revealing two identical boys, both with chin-length black hair and wide silver eyes. The two stare at us with the same awed expression. One is playing with a button on a small pouch that wraps around his waist. "Nona?" The other says, not taking his eyes off of us.

"What?" The girl's voice says coldly.

"There are... children in our storage!"

We hear hard, angry footsteps in the hallway before a tall, pale brunette pops her head in the storage room. Not even paying attention to us, the girl stomps over to the wall where the torch is mounted (narrowly missing my fingers) and snatches it up. She then waves it around for a minute before it is in front of Rhyme's face. The girl (who I'm assuming is named Nona) puts the torch in each of our faces, studying us carefully.

"Oh my word!" Nona shouts, dropping the torch to cover her mouth with both hands. "It's th-the Murchú!"

The boy with the pouch reaches a small hand into his pouch and pulls out a black ball with the numbers 2-0-1-9 blinking red on the front.

"Put that away!" Nona screeches, picking up the forgotten torch. "We are not helping that criminal!" We sit and watch, unable to think or speak as Nona takes off down the hallway.

The boy with the ball leans down and thrusts the cold metal into my hands. "Take this and do not come back here." His brother says to me.

"But why? And where is she going?" Melody asks, speaking aloud for the first time. Rhyme's shaking hand moves up to her forearm and squeezes.

"Because you have to. Nona is going to try to burn the rest of those," he jerks his head toward the ball, whose numbers have grown brighter. "You must leave because of this."

The boy reaches into his puch again to reveal a long smooth stone that says Nona Paulius, capta per Vulcanus. Rhyme and Melody's eyes are blown wide, staring at the stone.


"'Capta per' means 'captured by'" Rhyme murmurs.

"And Vulcanus is the god of fire." Melody finishes.

Before there is a loud beeping sound and I am having the life squeezed out of me by the force of time-travel, I hear one last thing from one of the boys.

"We will find you."