Current Time: 08:06 pm EST

Misery Loves Company



 
Guest
 

Downloadable Entire Thread (For Excel, use Save As...) 1
  Creator Post Date

Averly Amoret

INSTALLMENT ONE

A scream ripped through her, as Averly watched helplessly as the figure of a man slipped into the icy depths of the river. Pale hands at her sides clenched themselves into fists as she bundled the fabric of her skirt, and took off towards the coursing river.

The weary silence of the forest was quickly replaced by the thundering crash of water against jagged rock and fallen tree limbs, the final winter’s snow melting into the large body of water that snaked its way through these woods. Thunder blue orbs scanned the water for any sign of the fallen man, a hat or sword floating above the water would act as a buoy and tell her where to find either a man struggling against the current or in the very least a corpse. Her leather-bound boots struggled to navigate and find purchase on the rocky river bank, each step she took threatened to send herself tumbling into the waters cold hands. She kicked rocks and fallen debris out of her way as she steadily made her way to where the man had plunged inward, searching for any sign of life.

The glint of metal against the hazy winter sun was seen out of the corner of her eye, the gorgeous sword warped by the ever-coursing river. Even with the rapid water, she could make out the swords tip lodged between two boulders and its strap clutching the shoulder of its bearer. Without a second thought Averly discarded her thick fur shawl and kicked off her boots before she thrust herself into the water. Pebbles dug into her now bare toes, her hands grabbing at the navy lapels of his coat. Mustering up as much as strength as she could, she pulled him into her arms, attempting to shove his torso towards the edge she had climbed down. His torso landed with a thud on the snowy ground as she began to wade her way to the edge of the river and pull herself out.

A shiver coursed through her as she climbed up, her slender hands aching as she desperately tried to heave the broad-shouldered man out of the river’s icy clutches. Her hands hooked themselves underneath the arms of the seemingly lifeless body, dragging him against the snow and rocks.

Her lungs burned as she greedily drank in the cool winter air, dropping to her knees beside the lifeless man she had attempted to rescue. Holding in a raspy breath she leaned her ear towards his face, so close she was sure he could have brushed his lips against her lobe had he been conscious. The handsome, blue lipped man was NOT breathing. Averly spared a moment to chew her lip, anxiously trying to remember the summer her grandmother had pulled her cousin out from a frog pond and used her hands to pump the life back into her.

“How much water can possibly be trapped inside of you, my friend?” It took all she had to still her shaking hands as she ripped past his coat and undershirt and turned his head to the side; before placing two fingers at the top of his breastbone using it as a guide to place the heel of her other hand at his sternum. Swiftly, she began the process of forcing air into his lungs. If the water hadn’t killed him first, laying here on the snow for too long until she forced the water out from him might.

Ave took a moment to close her eyes before bringing her rosy lips to meet blue, breathing her life into him. As their lips met she was overcome with dread, as if a lightning bolt of darkness ran through and slammed into her psyche. Her head snapped up so quickly she thought she may have strained her neck during the motion. But a moment later a strange gurgling sound broke the almost serene silence of the world, and the man expelled water from his mouth and nose. His gasp could have been compared to a newborn baby’s first scream of life, had she ever been fortunate enough to have heard it for herself. It was exactly what she had pictured when she imagined it.

His violent coughing brought her back to reality, and she surged forward to catch his head in her hands before gently placing it on the ground. She scanned his face for any sign of realization or pain from his tumble into the water. He was lucky he hadn’t caught his head on the sharp edge of a boulder or sliced one of his legs open upon his own sword. But what struck her most was his fierce hazel eyes, as horrifying as this experience would be should he live through it, they were alive with clarity.

“Are you coherent?” Averly found her voice shaking with the question, only now realizing her feet were buried in snow from bracing herself. She quickly reached for her fur shawl, draping it over his broad shoulders before quickly pulling her boots back onto her feet, her toes delighting in the fur lining though they would be damp in a few moments.

“J-Jared?” He rasped. His face scanned hers, a small smile tugging at his full but pale lips.

Before she had the chance to respond, his eyes glazed over, and it was easy to tell he was not living in this moment. The small emotion that was once found in his handsome face was gone, instead finding its home in her own. Ave shook her head and stood, glancing at his form before staring at the forest towards where her home would be about a half mile east of where they were.

Pondering how she would get this man to her home, she found herself wishing she had a carriage, or in the very least a horse. She imagined herself dragging the man by the feet, and quickly vetoed the thought. The very last thing this near lifeless man needed was snow lodged up his shirt and up the legs of his trousers. No, she would need to find something to either help her carry him or run the half mile between him and her home. But could she really risk leaving him here this close to dusk?

February 03, 2019 07:21 pm

Averly Amoret

INSTALLMENT TWO

As if signaled to do so, she heard a wolf howl off in the distance. It would be irresponsible to leave him here so close to death, even if for a moment.

Averly began to pace next to his now sleeping form, staring down at her now drenched boots. It had only been a few moments when the cords tying her boots caught her eye. She may not have a horse, a carriage, or a cot. But she did have materials to work with.

Quickly, she set off towards the tree line, testing fallen limbs for durability. She found two reasonably long and sturdy branches and hauled them back over to the river bank. Setting them down, she ripped the shawl off from his chest and between the two limbs; hastily tying the two together the best she could manage with the cords of her boots to form a makeshift sled of sorts. Averly took no time in attempting to haul his body over the shawl, hoping that it would keep its form once she started dragging him.

The muscles in her biceps screamed at the motion of trying to pick his torso up, the burn spread its way down her arms and her legs soon followed suit. Averly felt her teeth tearing into her bottom lip as she finally set him down atop the contraption, the skin threatening to break underneath the pearly sheen of her straight white smile. Her knees began to wobble as she hunched herself over them, catching her breath. It had been years since she had even attempted at any sort of physical activity, and her endurance was at an all time low. Her once toned body had turned thin and soft from months spent wrapped up in blankets by the fire, nothing like the bulky man lying in front of her.

With a huff, she positioned herself at his head. Grabbing each limb with steady, uncertain hands, she began to drag him backwards.

TWO MONTHS PRIOR

A shudder ripped through her as blood pooled at her bare feet, all thought escaping her as she watched it gently splatter on to the floor. Her eyes briefly paused at her small swollen belly, before focusing back on the crimson on the hardwood floor. It was only a scream that made it past her full pink mouth, all breath escaping her at the horrible realization that her babe was dying.

It was as she hurtled herself towards the wash room that pain exploded in her lower back, a pain unlike any cycle she had ever experienced. Her hips ached, and her stomach lurched at the thought of her precious gift attempting to vacate its loving home inside her womb. Heart racing, she lowered herself with as much care as she could into the oversized wash basin and lifted the hem of her night gown. What she saw, she knew would invade her thought at every waking moment from that moment onward. Bright blood covered her thighs, lump tissue clung to her porcelain skin. A sob ripped through her, shaking her shoulders violently. She would have no choice but to call for help.

Mustering up strength, Averly tilted her head backwards, resting her head on the lip of the tub. Her eyes fluttered closed as she imagined a golden light flaring out from her home, all the way to the outer reaches of Witch Country. To where both her mother, and grandmother resided. Once a renowned mid wife, Ave’s grandmother Esmerelda could save the baby. If only she had been called in time.

The golden beacon hit a wall of gray, poking and prodding until allowed to slip through the smallest of cracks. No doubt, into the now curious minds of both Esmerelda and Cassandra, Averly’s mother.

The terrified, blood soaked mother waiting in the tub sent a silent prayer to the universe, that it would be in time to save the last piece of her lover that she had. 

February 04, 2019 06:28 pm

Averly Amoret

PRESENT

Bile rose up into her throat, filling her mouth with the acrid taste. Averly dropped to her knees, her slender hands gripping her knees as she heaved. The journey from the river, up the hill to her cottage nestled in the tree line had nearly debilitated her. The sheer weight of the man was enough to overwhelm her, but hastily pulling and dragging him had exasperated and made her physically ill. Her body had long grown numb in the icy air, the only sensation left in her fingers was a wildly unpleasant tingle. Beautiful, thin fingers that were meant for tending to her garden were now beet red and stiff. Her palms had been ripped to near shreds by the tree limbs, no matter how many times she had stopped to pack fresh snow underneath strips of cloth she had torn from her dress.

After her retching was through, Ave wiped her mouth on the hem of her skirts and carefully stood up. She had made it to just outside her home and was now prepping herself to drag the STILL unconscious man inside. More than once she had stopped just to make sure he was breathing, and although it was shallower than she had wanted it to be. He was at least alive, with a heartbeat. For now.

A sigh escaped her now pale lips as she picked up the tree limbs and began sliding him towards her front door. Kicking it with a savageness completely unlike her normally docile nature, she began to quickly move him inside. The fire she had put it on still raged within the confines of her fireplace, despite the wind that now howled inside her home. The pleasant aroma of fresh herbs nearly made her nauseous as she finally set down the limbs once safely inside the door. It was with a quick dance around the man that Averly was able to shut the door, once and for all putting solid walls and warmth around her and the unpleasant chill of winter.

February 05, 2019 04:19 pm

Averly Amoret

INSTALLMENT THREE

TWO MONTHS PRIOR

Averly nestled into an armchair closest to the hearth, cradling a cup of herbal tea between her long fingers. The lip of the cup was nestled against her full lips, the steam coating her face in warmth. It had now been hours since she had called for her mother and grandmother, and they were currently taking care of the mess they had left in both her bedroom and washroom. A generosity that was out of place for both elder witches, who were normally stoic and cold. Both Esmerelda and Cassandra were hard at work, while their lovely Ave was struggling with the feeling of drapetomania. The chill of winter calling her name, its mind-numbing cold sung to her now. Anything to get away from the reality of what had happened.

Cassandra, her mother had been the first to arrive. Storming through the small cottage with concern that Averly had never seen on her face. Even from the cold porcelain bathtub, Averly could see that it was indeed concern filling her brilliantly green eyes. Cassandra had dropped to her knees next to Averly, placing a cool palm on her daughter’s forehead with a care that had been gut wrenchingly absent her entire childhood. “She will be here soon, my daughter. How long have you been with child?”

A sense of dread quickly washed over Ave, her throat tightening. Of course, she had somehow forgotten that she had left her family in the dark when it came to her condition. With a sigh, she had said “Nearly 8 weeks, if my notes are correct about my cycle.”

Cassandra leaned over the rim of the basin, placing a steady hand on Averly’s stomach. The familiar warmth of her mother’s magic seeped through her, the magic deceivingly inviting. Her mother’s natural affinities were dark, to say the very least. Although it seemed that she could will that darkness away, if the matter called for it. “Nothing can be said for sure until your grandmother arrives, but I can sense a faint heartbeat. There is still hope.” It was with a tight-lipped smile that Cassandra smoothed back the wild tangle of hair from Averly’s face. As if her motherly instincts that had been absent for most of her life, suddenly returned seeing her blood-drenched daughter soaking in the gore that fell out of her.

It was a crack that sounded through the home, marking that Esmerelda had finally arrived. Salt and pepper curls floated into the doorway of the washroom, weary gray eyes locked on the scene before her. Esmerelda was not the kind to feign distress, instead gracefully dropping to her knees beside the tub. Wrinkled, spotted hands placed themselves on Averly’s womb and began to glow with a rose-tinted hue. “How long have you been enduring the pain?” Grandmother worked quickly, without hesitation. Lifting up the cotton nightgown higher, she did not wait for a response. “You’ve lost a lot of blood, Neptem. Filia fetch me a cup of hibiscus tea for dear Averly, it should be in the third cupboard from the entryway if memory serves me right.”

Of course, her grandmother would suggest tea, of all things. The old witch still considered tea a natural nepenthe, as well as valued the effects different blends had on the body. However, after nearly 60 years of being a midwife, Averly knew she had to trust her judgement.

“You’ve already lost the babe.”

February 06, 2019 04:01 pm

Averly Amoret

*OOC Disclaimer: “Present” is not “present day,” it is in the present in which Averly’s backstory takes place. Hopefully, once the story is complete, the timeline will all make sense. To anyone currently following, I would appreciate any feedback or review! Thanks for looking.

 

Present

With gentle hands, Averly tucked a pillow under the head of the stranger, lying in a state of oblivion on her floor. His brilliant chestnut-brown eyes were locked on the ceiling, though his eyes danced back and forth while his eyelids fluttered ever so slightly. It was as if he were living in a nightmare, held down by fear as the horrors of life haunted him. Ave could relate to the pain. Even though he was a hulking mass of mortal man, she had managed to strip him of his frozen outerwear before wrapping him in a cocoon of fine furs and the warmest blankets she could find.

Occasionally, she would tilt his head up to spoon feed him a broth she had made. His open eyes and breathing the only indicator that he clung to life. She had to continuously switch out cool wash rags to keep a fever at bay, along with giving him sips of water to keep him hydrated. Averly had learned her lesson their first night at her home together. She owed the man nothing yet, found herself setting up mental alarms on his condition before installing three different kinds of locks and wards on her bedroom door. It was in the middle of the night when she had woken in a panic. Sweat dripping down her brow, and the nape of her neck, she rushed to his seizing form. She had set up her sun porch as a makeshift clinic of sorts, procuring any herbs for ailment that she could find in her stores. His skin was hot to the touch, and he had started to choke on his own saliva. Ave now found herself keeping a watchful eye on him, waking ever few hours to check his breathing and that he had what he needed.

During the long hours of the day she would rotate switching his soiled clothes and blankets and tending to him in the hours he lies awake. Averly found herself watching him drift in and out of consciousness as she settled herself beside the warmth of a fire, or from across the cottage in her small kitchen. She would send prayers to the sky, to anyone listening, thanking them for the extra stores that she had dug up for this winter’s harsh conditions. Averly had enough dried meats, herbs, and vegetables to last the two of them the few weeks until spring. Only a few more weeks until she would begin tending to her gardens, only a few more weeks until she could step outside without the fear of the harsh winds biting at her exposed flesh. She remained optimistic that in those few weeks, the stranger in her home would break his fever and be on the mend.

It occurred to her, at least a few times a day, that she didn’t even know his name. When she had found him, he had called her Jared in his half-alive, nearly frozen state. There were so many questions she had about who he was, where he had come from, and why he was in Witch Country. Mortal men feared both the mountains surrounding them, and the tales of her primitive ancestors who had once flayed men for the fun of it. What made him different? His kin had not stepped foot on Inara Mountain in a century, that much her coven still made sure of. The boundary went so far as to curse the lands around the mountain, on the mortal side of course. ‘To ensure the protection of witches,’ her grandmother had told her.

That is…until she had met Hudson. 

February 07, 2019 05:13 pm

Averly Amoret

INSTALLMENT FOUR

FOUR MONTHS PRIOR

The day she had met Hudson, had been a strange one. Freshly twenty, she had decided to head out on her own for the first time. Leaving the strange comfort that came from living under the same roof as her family, for the peaceful quiet that came with living on your own for the first time. For months she had spent all of her spare time making the necessary preparations for her departure, something her grandmother Esmerelda had made clear she did not agree with.

“I fail to see how leaving your family will be beneficial for anyone. You are skilled in our nurseries, no one can whisper to the herbs like you do. You’ve shown so much promise as a midwife as well, now you’re throwing it all away to put yourself in danger.” Esmerelda crossed her arms in front of her, the expression looming on her face a daunting one. The high witch’s salt and pepper curls hung in an elegant mess down her back, and her striking gray eyes peered into Averly’s very soul.

For nearly a century, Esmerelda had been charged with protecting these lands and its people. In Ave’s opinion she ruled with a strict iron fist, keeping its people in line with fear rather than just discipline. Even as her granddaughter, Esmerelda seemed to look over Averly with an extra keen eye. The marks resulting from Averly’s plentiful punishments as a young witch, followed her even until adulthood. She may never forget the fear that had coursed through her tiny body as Esmerelda stalked over to her with a freshly heated fireplace poker, all because she had cried after watching her mother kill a rabbit for that night’s dinner.

“I’m not going far, grandmother. Down the river, still close enough to sense if you should need any help. You’ve also done an excellent job at keeping our lands safe, I have nothing to fear as long as you hold power.” Averly feigned a tentative smile, keeping her head lowered just enough to show the respect Esmerelda consistently sought after.

A cruel smile danced its way across Esmerelda’s features, “I’ve taught you well, Neptem. You’d be ever wiser to remember that flattery will always work its wonders when it comes to me. You may go, but you are to return here twice a week to assist me in my rounds. Should you fail, you will be living under my roof rather than your mother's.”

Fear coursed through her bones at that wicked smile, and Averly had to fight to keep the bile that crept up her slender throat down. “I will not fail you in that regard. I will return as requested.”

“Oh, I’ll be sure of it. Don’t make a fool of yourself Averly, your mother is too soft. I will ensure that you are kept in line if she will not.”

Later that same day, Averly decided to tend to her garden. Beginning the hard work of weeding the small plot east of her cottage. The land there was fertile enough, but nothing like the centuries worth of spell enchanted nurseries that she had tended to her entire life. Her natural affinity for cultivating life had been a shock to both her mother Cassandra, and the cruel dictator witch that was Esmerelda. She would consider them disappointed, if she had not grown to learn new skills.

  Ave’s magic was the light to Cassandra’s dark magic. Where her mother could kill with half a thought, Averly could nurse them back to health. Life wilted and stopped under her mothers’ footsteps, where fresh flowers sprouted underneath Averly’s feet when she began taking her first steps. A magic so strong and new, that witches all over the country came to pay their respects to the new princeps.

It was while planting the common sage seeds on the east side of the plot that she began to hear the rusting of leaves and the snapping of branches. Ears perked, she slowly stood from where she had been hunched over. It was only while gardening that she had ever been permitted to trade in her usual fine skirts and dresses for knit leggings and knit shirts. A fashion similar to the other worlds they had visited during Averly’s witchling training, one of the very few traits they had adopted over the years of world-walking.

With light footsteps, she quietly snuck her way over to the tree line. Observing the forest ahead, waiting for any movement to catch her eye. Trained ears had told her that the sound was much too large to be a small creature, perhaps it was a deer searching for the river.

The broad shoulders of a mortal man became visible through the coniferous forest, his boots clumsily crunching over debris. His wary expression became visible, his head turning ever few moments to scan the area for anyone spying on him. As Averly so happened to be. From his demeanor, it was easy to tell he knew exactly where he was, and that he was most definitely NOT supposed to be here. His dark cloak hid any weapons he may have brought along his witch hunt, but unfortunately it could not mask the smell that came with mortal men. A distinct salty, musky smell radiated from every pore of their being. It was a scent she had only caught a few times in her short life, and one she doubted she would ever want to again.

Silently, she spread out the golden but invisible light of her magic through the forest. Soft tendrils twirling their way intimately around the trunks of trees until they made their way to the man, wrapping around his ankles first before they crawled up his defined body. Although the could not see it, her magic was able to tell her as much.  What her magic did not tell her however, was if he had any weapons. How strange indeed, for a mortal man to come through Witch Country without a weapon in sight. Her curls of magic finally crawled up his spine, slipping into his mind with ease. Averly began digging through the information when his voice sounded, so clearly over to her.

“Where are you, witch?”

February 09, 2019 07:32 am

Averly Amoret

 PRESENT  

Averly just so happened to wake as a crash came from the kitchen, the unfamiliar voice of a man saying “Oh, sh*t” had her prop up in alarm. It was a struggle to keep herself from hyperventilating, when she remembered she had indeed gone to bed with a man asleep on her floor. Exactly how much time had passed since she retired to her room? When she had last checked on him he was still unconscious and feverish, his skin maintaining a white pallor.

Swinging her long, slender legs out of bed Averly rose with a sleepy haze. Quickly wrapping a blanket around her still sleep heavy form, not bothering to change out of the silk night gown she had donned before going to bed. Quickly, she ripped open her bedroom door. Anxious to see how the man was fairing since he had fallen in the river nearly a week ago. But as she rounded the corner, the mortal standing before her looked nothing even remotely like the person she had left earlier.

The man standing in her kitchen, raiding her pantry looked healthy. Sun kissed skin, warm brown hair cascading down to his broad shoulders, and nude aside from the blanket he had haphazardly tied around his waist. Ave watched, awestruck at the figure before her searched through her kitchen. He was evidently looking for something, because he passed by every morsel of food that she had stored. It was with a huff that he closed the doors to the pantry and began looking around, unaware of her presence as of now.   

Not wanting to put off their introduction, Averly cleared her throat. Suddenly aware of how the blanket swung low on his hips. He turned to her, wide-eyed, in a defensive stance. There were those chestnut-brown eyes, full of both curiosity and confusion. His full lips were somehow exquisite with life returned to them, the color in his face bringing out the splattering of freckles that arched across his nose and cheek bones. However, his expression was what caught her off guard. He looked almost angry, at her and at himself it seemed. Nothing unusual when you’ve just spent a week half-alive in a stranger’s home.   

“Who the hell are you?” That was indeed anger shining in his eyes, his handsome face cross with confusion.   

Swallowing the sudden lump in her throat, Averly took a deep breath before responding. “My name is Averly, I found you drowning in a river.”   

The surprise on his face nearly stopped her heart, he looked almost apologetic, but he maintained his reserve. “Alright, Averly. Where exactly are my clothes?” A blush filled his cheeks, bringing her attention to his high cheekbones. Stars, he truly was handsome. How had she gone a week without realizing?   

“Oh! I’ll go get them. I had to hang them up to dry after dragging you out.” Quickly, she hurried off to fetch his clothes. It was as she turned around Averly noticed that she must have folded them and placed them in her favorite arm chair near the hearth, realizing she must be groggier than she had anticipated. With a quick shake of her head, she grabbed them off the arm chair, placing them at the edge of the countertop for him. “There you are, looks like you didn’t have to go through my pantry after all, they were in plain sight.”   

With a huff, he snatched them up, dropping his blanket with no hesitation to start pulling on his clothes. Whatever reserve he had, quickly fading away. Ave however turned away, covering her eyes as if she had been blinded. “I’ll just give you a moment.”   

With a quick turn, she set off down the hallway, promptly catching her foot on the edge of the wall. Her hands splayed out in front of her, quick to protect her face. Just as she was about to hit the floor, she woke up in her bed with a jolt. Hands still splayed out in front of her. Ave could feel her nightgown sticking to her skin, still sweaty from sleeping.   

“What is going on?” 

February 10, 2019 10:56 am

Averly Amoret

 INSTALLMENT FIVE

TWO MONTHS PRIOR  

As Cassandra sat beside her, Averly jolted from her daydream with jump. Spilling hot herbal tea in her lap during the process, the substance burning her tender skin underneath the blankets. Sliding a gentle arm behind her, Cassandra pulled her daughter in close, Ave could have sworn she breathed in the scent of her hair as she did so. “It’s always hard losing your first, dear.”   

Shock froze her mouth open wide, as Ave stared deep into her mother’s brilliant green orbs. Those mossy green hues had once filled her with outrage, to the point a walk in the cool winter air wouldn’t even be enough too cool her down even when she was barefoot. However, they now looked sadly into her own, both regret and sorrow replacing the aloofness that had shaped her childhood. Hesitantly, Cassandra smoothed back wild curls from her face, placing a kiss just above her brow.   

“I was your age when your father and I first experienced the despair that comes with losing a child. Though it be but natural, it was heart-wrenching nonetheless. If we had known you were expecting, or even willing to conceive, your grandmother would have prepared a tonic at once.” A shake of her head had Cassandra’s long brown mane swaying with the motion, her eyes closing for half a moment before meeting Averly’s once more. “It doesn’t matter now. What matters is that you are alive, and that you will recover. Your heart will always ache, but it can be persuaded with time.” A tight-lipped smile sent the wrinkles lining Cassandra’s lips upwards, so misplaced on the witch’s otherwise young face.   

Averly fought back the fiery burn of silver lining her almond shaped eyes, the tears threatening to spill over onto her cheeks. Cassandra’s voice filled evoked saudade within Averly’s own heart, though she had no memories of her father. Cassandra and Rowin’s love was aeonian, and once in a life time. Though their lands small, Rowin had once hailed from a coven who sought refuge in the Inara Mountains. He had come down on market day when he laid eyes upon her mother, knowing instantly he was to spend the rest of his life at her side. Averly had requested the story thousands of times. Usually, her mother remained sibylline in any description she gave of the man Ave had never met. Every once in a blue moon however, Cassandra would indulge her only child in the tale of romance.   

“The tonic your grandmother gave you will help you expel the remaining tissue, it should be over within a day. Until then, you would be wise to get as much rest as possible. I’ve suspended your duties in the nursery for the following week. It’s the most I can do for you, I’m afraid. You know how she is.” With a sigh, Cassandra stood up from where she had nestled in with Avery. An exhausted smile didn’t quite reach her eyes as she turned to grab her overcoat. “Ave, please remember how much I’ve loved you.”   

Tears began spilling down her weathered face as she looked once more at Averly, savoring her daughter’s silence, before stepping through the entryway. The heavy wooden door slammed shut behind her, a sudden chill climbing up Averly’s spine.   

“I’ve never heard my daughter speak so much, or make as grandeur of a gesture as the one she has made tonight.” 

February 10, 2019 04:24 pm

Averly Amoret

CHAPTER FIVE

PRESENT

**OOC Disclaimer: From here on in the story I will be calling the previously stated ‘Installments’ chapters as to better make sense in the actual story I am attempting to put together. Once I reach the turning point I will title that “INSTALLMENT TWO” and continue with numbering the chapters. If you have any criticism, or reviews please feel free to send it my way. I’m always looking to improve my writing, as well as receive any feedback on the story I have put together so far. **

Averly sat in her bed hyperventilating, nearly brought to tears with confusion. After waking, truly waking, she had quietly tip-toed into the sunroom to check on the still unnamed man lying on her floor. He was just as she had left him, his body wrapped in blankets, sleeping soundly with no sign of movement in or around his dormant body. She had even gone as far as to check his clothes, which were still hang drying on a line outside her cottage. The pantry had no sign of being raided, there wasn’t so much as a speck of dust out of place. Pinching herself was the only tell-tale sign that she was conscious and not stuck in a dream as she had apparently been before.

The only conclusion that she could come up with about the odd dream, was that she had simply stressed herself out so badly that she had started dreaming of the man. The toll it was taking on her trapped inside her home with a sick, half-alive man was obviously a great deal more than she had expected. It left her wondering just how considerable her own imagination was, for her to dream about how his voice would have sounded should he be awake. The thought of his affect on her was unnerving, causing a shiver to crawl up her spin.

It was only when daybreak flooded through her window that Averly realized just how much time she had spent in her room, riddled with anxiety over the ordeal. Her wildly vivid dream aside, she had tasks that must be completed today. Only half of them pertaining to tending to her ward.

Mercilessly tossing her blankets aside, she set to begin changing. More than ready to get out of her sweat soaked nightgown, and to run a comb through her birds’ nest of hair that had tangled itself in great knots. It took only a moment to procure the garments from her small wardrobe by her door, and a few more to find the brush lost in the mess. Donning the black pants, loose tunic and warm socks would be the least of her struggles this morning. Making sense of her wild curls however, would be another ordeal entirely.

Ave was about half way through combing through her gold locks when she had simply lost hope, instead tying the knot on top of her head. Although she would have adored a hot bath, she had to make sure her patient was still breathing before she could even consider taking the time to indulge in such luxuries. It was as she went to unlock her door that she hesitated, wondering how she could possible react if he somehow was awake. The image of the blanket wrapped around his hips brought heat to her cheeks, followed by utter disgust that she would think of a sick mortal man with any emotion other than pity.

Standing on the threshold between the hallway and her bedroom, she carefully listened for any sounds that would indicate movement. It was almost hard to hear over the pounding of her own heart inside her chest, or her rapid breath coming out in great heaves as she fought to calm down her nerves. Once she was satisfied she stepped out, quickly surveying the cottage before padding into her sunroom. It took effort not to breath a sigh of relief when she found him in the same state as hours before. His eyes were still closed, so she need not worry about having to investigate those brilliantly brown-hues.

Dropping to her knees beside him, she began changing the makeshift bedsheets, replacing them with fresh ones she had folded beside him the day before. The image of her grandmother crawling out of her own skin at the thought of her granddaughter acting as a common medwitch, was enough to nearly bring a smile to her solemn face. The sudden healthy glow of the man, however, was not. He was suddenly recovering more than he had the last week. Which should have brought her some relief, but all it did was send her mind racing at how she would face him after the vision she had the night before.

Vigorously shaking the thoughts out of her mind, she stood to replace the washcloth on his forehead with a new one. It was as she neared the backdoor that she heard the knock sound from across the room. Averly could nearly feel her heart jump up into her throat as she quickly turned back around, her eyes first going to her ward laying stiffly on the floor. He was still asleep, the knock sounded again, this time it was easy to make out that the sound was coming from her front door.

Dropping the washcloth, she quickly crossed the room to peer into the window beside the door. The long brown locks of a familiar witch came into view, her heart sinking with the sudden realization. Her nails dug into the palm of her hand, leaving crescent shaped marks where her fingers tightened in on themselves. The sudden realization as to what would happen if she did not open the door hit her with a tidal wave of emotion. She was left with no choice but to open the door for the young witch standing on her porch, lest she face the consequences. It was with a shaky breath that Averly guarded her mind, praying to her beloved stars that the witch had the common sense to not report back on this day.

With quivering hands, Ave turned the door knob, swinging the wood paneled door in a great sweeping motion. Painting a smile on her rugged face, feigning hospitality. “Hello! What a surprise.”

“Oh, what a surprise indeed. How long do you plan on keeping a mortal male in your home without sharing?” Tyche’s gorgeous face contorted with a devilish grin, shoving her way past Averly and into her home.

February 11, 2019 04:59 pm

Averly Amoret

CHAPTER SIX

TWO MONTHS PRIOR  

Averly watched as the older witch’s mouth turned into a harsh line, the motion sending her soft wrinkles lining her mouth downward. Though her icy grey eyes were full of life, the wrinkles surrounding them were those of the wise old witch who had decades of experience under her unassailable power as the head witch. It wasn’t hard to see that her grandmother must have once been beautiful, the ringlets cascading down her back and framing her face had once been full of life. Her raven black hair had withered away to salt and pepper colored curls, the fizziness the only thing bringing her dull hair any volume these days. Rumor had it, that every male witch in the country had once sought her hand. Esmerelda had dismissed them all without a second thought, instead taking a lover for one night, only to be impregnated with Cassandra.

The uneasiness in Ave’s belly only grew stronger as she closely eyed her grandmother stalk closer, her footsteps drowned out by the sound of Averly’s own heartbeat. The gentleness Esmerelda had displayed earlier was only a ruse, it was always a ruse. To earn her trust, get her guard down, so that when she least expected it she could be pounced on. The gait in which Esmerelda walked towards her reminded Averly of the mountain lions she had watched over the years, nearly admiring the swiftness in which they attacked their prey. Averly was to be no different in this circumstance.

As Esmerelda’s claws dug into the cushions of her armchair, Averly leaned back into it. Staring up at her grandmother, quick to swallow the fear and bile creeping up her throat. “Who was it that impregnated my granddaughter? Don’t even try to lie your way out of this one, parvulus. “Esmerelda’s voice sonorous voice hissed into Averly’s ear, only sending another shiver of fear up her spine. The sneer on her grandmother’s face made her suspect that she somehow already knew, but that she was waiting for an answer before continuing her interrogation. Eventually handing out the punishment with the iron fist that had ruled for the near century that she had been in power.   

“It was a mortal man.” Ave struggled then to control her breathing, the fear that clenched her gut taking over as a cruel grin spread over her elder’s face. Standing, Esmerelda fished a dagger from the folds of her black cloak. Her long, seemingly frail fingers cradled the dagger carefully. Nearly admiring its deadly beauty as she paced around the armchair in which Averly sat in, coolly contemplating a worthy punishment for her. Averly had done more than break one of her grandmothers’, and high witch’s top rules. No, she had also jeopardized Esmerelda’s opportunity to offer her hand in marriage to someone else. Averly had nearly birthed one of the half-breeds that had been wiped out once Esmerelda had come to power and had not seen the light of the day since.   

“Your honesty is appreciated. However, the crime is the same. You will be dealt with the utmost importance, only fit for my kin. You have not only betrayed myself and your mother, but you have betrayed the very law that I wrote. You have jeopardized the well-being of this coven and our standing with the rest of the country, and most importantly jeopardized our reputation.” Esmerelda sneered as she spoke, continuing her circle around Averly with too-sure steps. “Your mistake could cause a crippling affliction of the nervous system that is the order in how our life works.”   

Too quick for Averly to detect or see, the dagger in Esmerelda’s hand swept quickly along her forearm. Leaving a crimson gash, starting at the side of her hand and extending down to her elbow. Fire sparked in her arm at the wound, the white-hot pain shooting through her recklessly. The wound was nowhere near as painful as the words that Averly heard next.   

“Had you been able to keep your pants on long enough to let him pass by, the poor dear need nod have suffered such an unfortunate accident.” 

February 12, 2019 06:37 pm

Averly Amoret

PRESENT

 

The heartbreaking smile on the seer before her made Averly’s heart jump for joy. She quickly pulled Tyche in for a bone-shattering embrace, grateful to see her long-time companion. Ty’s council was one that Ave held above all others. Her dear friend was not only a seer but was wise beyond her years.

“Although your sinful antics normally bring a smile to my face, this is no laughing matter.” Averly quickened her pace, leading her friend towards the sick mortal. Motioning towards his unmoving body in a sweeping motion, she spoke with a cool calmness that went against the rushing wave of emotions in her heart.

“He’s been like this since I brought him here nearly a week ago. He nearly drowned in the Steel River. I’m sure you already knew that bit though.” A grim smile spread out her rose-bud pink lips before her bottom lip tucked itself underneath her pearly white teeth. Contemplating just what had brought Tyche here.

With an all-knowing smile, Tyche squatted down beside the stranger. A gentle hand brushed itself over his calm face, smoothing the wrinkle between his brows as he dreamed. Her long brown locks brushed past her face, pooling down onto her knees as she studied the sleeping man.

“You can read me well, Ave.” Averly watched as a small smile graced itself on her already beautiful features, Tyche had always been the embodiment of radiance. With a sigh, the seer straightened herself back onto her feet and studied Averly for a moment before continuing.

“I know his name is Silas Cooper, and I know it was you he heard in those woods. I’m afraid I don’t know much beyond that. I saw him, I heard his name, and I so clearly heard your scream before my dream went black.” With a shake of her head, goosebumps became visible on Tyche’s bare arms as she slid of her heavy coat. So gracefully she side stepped around the medical supplies gathered around Silas, dropping her coat on a nearby arm chair before dropping down into it.

Averly watched as Tyche’s slender fingers delicately rubbed at her temples, as if she was attempting to coax the vision out of her memory. “I’m here for two reasons, no special occasion or duty to your grandmother. My presence here is unknown to the others, so we must make this as quick as we can.” With a heavy sigh, Tyche slumped further down into the armchair to get comfortable.

“Refreshments if you please, Ave. It’s been a long damn week.”

With a roll of her eyes, Averly set off towards her small kitchen. Pulling a glass bottle full of amber liquid out from her stores, pouring the spirits in two short crystals for them both. Of course, Tyche would require to be pampered during her short visit.

Averly was half way back towards where the femme was nestled in her favorite armchair, when she stopped dead in her tracks as Tyche exclaimed “Tell me, why is it you want to die Ave?”  

February 14, 2019 06:43 pm

Averly Amoret

CHAPTER SEVEN

PRESENT

 

A cold blanket of fear shrouded over Averly, those seven words damn near broke her heart. The pitiful voice in which Tyche spoke swallowed Ave’s heart in sadness. It was true that at one point she had wanted to die. Some days, she still found living increasingly difficult to manage.

The last thing she needed was Tyche thinking she still felt the same as she did those months ago. “I don’t feel that way anymore Ty, I swear it.” As Averly spoke in a soft-spoken voice, she could feel her full bottom lip begin to wobble in a desperate attempt to not break down in tears. The silver lining her eyes threatened to spill over, her hands clenched at her sides to not break the concentration holding her together.

“So, you have felt that way then?” Tyche questioned.

“You know I have. You saw firsthand the inconsequential mess that I became.” Averly watched as Tyche chewed on her thumbnail, straight white teeth grabbing onto it fervently.

“Then the alew in which those words were cried haunts these woods. You know as well as I do just how long raw emotion can cling to the fabric of reality. It seems as if that untamed emotion has manifested itself, and our friend Silas must have had his senses overwhelmed with the outburst.” It was with this realization that Tyche dropped to her knees beside the motionless body on the floor once more, her long slender fingers stretched out across his chest as she laid her palm over his heart.

As Averly watched Tyche work her magic, she began to pace back and forth. Watching the scene play out before her, wondering what Ty could glean from his memory. If anything at all. Had Averly the magic that Tyche had, maybe she wouldn’t feel so helpless as she watched him suffer day after day. However, if Averly possessed even a tendril of the magic that flowed through her friend, she would have long gone insane.

“Oneirataxia.” Tyche muttered as her fingers worked their way up Silas’ chest, her hand sprawling out across his forehead as if she was taking his temperature. “He’s been hallucinating due to his fever. What have you been doing to bring it down? He’s lucky he hasn’t died yet.” Averly watched as Tyche chewed on her lip, placing one hand back on his chest while the other massaged Silas’ temples.

“In the hours he lies awake he’s unable to differentiate between reality and fantasy, his hallucinations. Once his fever breaks, he should stop hallucinating. There’s no telling what a week of daydreaming will have done to his psyche though.” She watched as Tyche pulled away from the man on her floor, the seer still observing him from afar as he continued to sleep.

“I’m going to recommend Yarrow Tea to help him break the fever, even while he’s hallucinating you should be able to get him to swallow. Aside from that, the only thing I can think of to help is to talk to him. Try to keep him tethered to reality as best you can.”

February 16, 2019 08:58 am

Averly Amoret

TWO MONTHS PRIOR

 

The sharpness of her nails embedded into her palm brought Averly silent comfort in the pain that it brought. The ache in her hand was dull, compared to the heart break of those words, her heart shattering in a moment notice around the sharp knife her grandmother had stabbed into her chest.

“Suffered such an unfortunate accident?”

Esmerelda’s eyes widened ever so slightly, the motion not going unnoticed by Averly. Nor did the way her grandmother’s grip tightened on the hilt of the dagger as she paused beside the armchair. As always, Averly watched as Esmerelda regained her composure and carried on with dignity.

“How ignorant do you think we are, Neptem? We all heard about how sweet Tyche found you huddled over the corpse of a mortal. She may have twisted the story to seem like you are as delicate as the flowers you tend to, but your mother and I knew better.” With this Averly watched numbly as her grandmother snarled. “That girl may be loyal, but it doesn’t change the fact that she’s as bad as a gossip as the rest are.”

With another quick movement, Esmerelda slashed another would into Averly’s now bare thigh. The thick blanket she had originally nestled into the armchair with, pooled on to the floor at her feet. The keen sting of the blade did nothing to make her muscles move, nor did the blood that seeped its way down her thigh and into the cushions on which she sat.

“It’s not hard to tell that you were his undoing.” Averly watched as a smirk lit up the cold gray eyes of her grandmother, of her coven leader. She had succumbed to be a senseless form as her grandmother hacked away at her slowly, knowing she wouldn’t be done until Averly was sobbing on the floor.

“It’s just a shame that you had to lose an heir, as shameful as a half breed would have been to my family.” A soft snort escaped the thin line of her grandmothers’ mouth, Averly’s ears pricking up in response.

Fire spread throughout her body, filling her cheeks, her gut, and bringing a pounding sensation to her head as she stood up and quickly exploded.

Swiftly, Averly tore the dagger from her grandmothers’ fingertips as she simultaneously sent a blow to her stomach. With deadly precision Averly dropped down to her knees, pinning Esmerelda’s neck underneath her own weight. Bringing the blade of the dagger down to meet the middle of Esmerelda’s chest hard enough to draw blood, but not sink into the soft flesh that lay there.

“Don’t you ever bring my child into our quarrels again.” The words felt like acid on her tongue, the venom in which they were said harsh enough that she recoiled inwardly.

“The next time you do, I won’t hesitate to rip out your throat using your own weapon.”

February 17, 2019 05:28 pm

Averly Amoret

It was the unfamiliar voice of a man that once again brought her out of her heavy sleep, the words she was unable to make out quickly followed by a sputtering cough. Averly could feel her heart skip a beat as the soft padding of feet came down the hallway, ensued by the creak of the bathroom door across the hall from her own bedroom. Quietly, Averly swung her legs out of the bed. Her bare feet hitting the floor just as her own doorknob jiggled, followed by Silas’ deep voice.

“Hello?” The strange sudden booming voice filling her headspace rendered her unable to think, and hardly breathe with the alarming masculinity in that voice. Despite the obvious hesitation in the tone, he tried for the bedroom door again.

“If you would just give me a damn minute I’d happily come back.” Averly grumbled back, silently cursing herself for being so rude. Once again, she should be grateful that he was up and moving.

Once again.

This had happened once before. The memory of her previous dream came rushing back, slamming into her full force. Her breathing became jagged as she rushed to throw a blanket over her slim shoulders, hiding another silk nightgown that she had donned before passing out in her bed.

“Is this real, or another figment of my imagination?

Annoyance responded beyond the door as she paused before it, suddenly anxious about who or what she might find waiting behind it.

“What are you on about? I’ve only just woke up.”

Gnawing on her lip nervously, Averly unlatched the locks on her door and swung it open. The man before her strikingly familiar and full of more life than she had last seen him. His chestnut eyes were alive with curiosity as he ran his gaze slowly down her bare legs.

The cool breeze of the hallway brought attention the heat blooming behind the apples of her cheeks as she could feel his gaze upon her, the hostility in her last dream apparently gone. After making her introduction to him in her last dream, it was only natural that the fictional Silas in her dreams remembered her in this one.

"Averly, wasn’t it?"

February 18, 2019 06:35 pm

Averly Amoret

CHAPTER EIGHT

PRESENT

Nodding slowly, Averly blinked once, twice, then a third time before bringing a hand to cup her cheek. Anxiety riddled her even in her dreams, it seemed.

“I am, but I don’t think I ever caught your name.” Liar. Averly scolded herself, knowing damn well what his name was, but her dream induced vision of Silas had not been the one to tell her. She was in no hurry to return to the sad reality of tiptoeing around the comatose state that he remained in.

“Silas. Silas Cooper.” A smug smile danced across his smooth lips, his angular jaw flexing at the motion. Handsome, seemingly arrogant, but rather pleasant to look at. One hand holding the blanket around his waist, the other was outstretched towards her. The pleasantries mortal men exchanged never ceased to amuse her.

Politely, she placed her hand inside his own. His hand was surprisingly warm for being a dream, the calloused palm wrapped around her own in a gentle but firm handshake. Averly had to keep her heartbeat steady as she clutched at the swaddle of blankets hastily wrapped around her. Even dreaming of the man in her sunroom could make her nervous, the very thought was embarrassing.

“Well, Silas. Tell me why I found you in the river?” It was a pleasant enough question, no ill intent behind those words. She was simply curious, and as his rescuer she felt she was entitled to know.

However, the cold look in his eyes suggested otherwise. His glazed expression turned downwards, staring at the floorboards as he was lost deep in his own thoughts.

“I heard a woman screaming.”

**OOC: The last post was also set in 'Present', but part of Chapter Seven. **

February 19, 2019 05:15 pm
1
Actives (15) Fresh Blood (0) View All The Fallen (1) Graveyard
Flahme, Jacob Ander, Eloise Buchanan, Mordred, Crimson Belladonna, Katherine Pierce, Anakin Drake, Loki_, Lil Joe, Grace McKenna, Athena Maximus, Angela Scott, Kenpai, Elessar, Mallory Quarters    Strife 
Home | Profile | Forums | F.A.Q. | Donate | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy | Contact Us
Created by Arctic Moon Studios. All rights reserved. © Bloodletting 2006-2016

Official Sites for Bloodletting
Blogger | Twitter | FB Group | FB Fan Page