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Week 3, Day 7 [Dream]

It starts with a wheel.

An old river-boat wheel, specifically. American. The kind Mark Twain might be guiding down the Mississippi. It swims through the water, dripping beads and rivulets down and across the surface of an algae green something or other, pool or pond or lily-pad frenzy, covered in frogs and fireflies and without a boat beside it. This one wheel, wooden, slats combining two large circular rims together, brings a cascade of waterfalls down, again, and again, and again, and it spins this way.

When the day becomes night, a golden butterfly takes perch upon the slats. No matter what revolution the wheel takes, the butterfly rests upon its bow, wings pinched back and over its head. The wheel moves and it remains stationary, but fluttering its wings out and pinching in. Rhythm. Continuation. Perpetual.


You climb up from the water, nails dug into the slats, greeting that same old damn butterfly. That one, the one you remember telling you first how to summon them, and second how to live with them. The same that told you that all your suffering was part of a holy test. You see yourself in the third person -- you are all hands and backs and feet, bare hands, bare feet, dirty and chapped, but you are not visible, your face forever turned towards the wheel. Where am I? It is only now the enormity of the wheel becomes apparent.

You are a speck upon its wooden slats. "Look, I know, I fucked up." It hurts every muscle in your body to reach for the next slat, each and every one of them split and unwind, breaking their fibrous bonds and springing from your skin -- you see this in a flash, superimposed, before you are just yourself, digging cracked and dirty nails into the next slat, setting feet upon the previous. "You don't have to look at me like that, Philehmon."

The butterfly flaps its wings.

"I know, be your true self. Be your true self. Be your true self. I know. What if it's not just that simple?" The butterfly remains at the top of the spinning wheel, and you are whipped over and under both butterfly and the water. You speak through the algae and the fish, darting by you, even the goldfish capable of devouring you. "What if we're all just continually eternal, split beings? I mean, it's been so long."

The butterfly flaps its wings.

"I trusted you, I thought, you were our ally, I thought you were really there, telling us -- I thought -- you know, it's so stupid, I feel like I was so young, even if I was the second oldest of us all. Baofu, he's the only one who never saw you until then, and he should be glad."

The butterfly flaps its wings.

"Glad." You are all cracked and bleeding fingers. You are faceless. You are nameless. You are cracked and bleeding fingers. "You used us and now they're using me here and you have some sort of nerve to show up here, now, now, after all of this. No one here, no one, but me. I'm the only one, and you want to 'guide' me again, because I'm gullible, right?

"Well I fought Nyarlathotep and I - I proved we were good men and women and I - I did that and now I just don't know what - what - what else you godly types want from me!" You slam your head against the slat and break your forehead, blood pouring from above your brow. "I hate you! I hate you!" Under the water, and he stays, as long as it takes for the tears to stop and his lungs to burn and his muscles to fight through him while he has to crawl up again.

The butterfly rises from its perch to land on your shoulder. It presses its wing against your ear and the shush shush of its wings whispers: I can't hear you, Katsuya.

They've taken your throat.

Your face is a cavern with an eye staring from dead center. You know him, you've seen him before, you've fought him. He gave you the Old Maid, he gave everyone the Old Maid. Philehmon's partner... this one, this Nyarlathotep. They made you him. They did it. They put you against one another and took your brother away for life and replaced him with someone else and now you're never sure who it is. Is it Tatsuya, the one that Philehmon cursed? Is it Tatsuya, the one that Nyarlathotep tested? Which one? Who cares, your face

is now Nyarlathotep's face

Your eternal blackness spreads across your cheeks, now a hand pouring from your own head to grab you by the spine and throw you, forward, off the wheel, past the butterfly now flitted away --

-- forward, into a pit of tar. The sink is slow. You think how you have thrown yourself here. You think how you have thrown yourself here.

And there, (you think how you have thrown yourself here), the bony fingers and rotten nails, the spiked teeth and scales, the smooth pristine marble flesh and the spiders, and the nights, and the days, and the red, red sun. The tar fades away into a large expanse of black, the same color and texture as the nothing hand that once threw you, and all of your extensions and your growth fade away. You are a body with an eye in the center of where the body's head once was.

There is a ground.

You can see it approaching, but your descent slows so that you land pristine and flat against it.

You land on a stone tablet at the bottom of the inky well, staring up at the river. You see the fish and the river bed, as if held in a glass aquarium. The algae clings to the bottom of the glass. The fish dart underneath the wheel. The wheel turns continually. The butterfly dances along the slats, barely visible through bustling seaweed, busy carp and the turning, turning wheel.

Now, a mirror. No, not a mirror. It is not a mirror at all, but a human who looks of you but younger... and in a way, more handsome, hovering over you. "Tatsuya..." Which brain is in you now? That Tatsuya or the next Tatsuya? It doesn't matter, you can't ever be you again. Brother... Why... so much better than you... so much better, and still not even your brother anymore... you could luxuriate in your family's skills and sweetness and presence if only he were still yours...

He holds out his hand to you. "Suou-nii♥," his voice is not his own but a young woman's bell-voice. "Get up. It's never as bad as you think! We'll get a nice dinner, the all of us."

"Maaya?" He looks like your brother but sounds like her. She holds your heart, still, dimming but still, clinging to the arteries in your throat. You choke, but you still want to touch her. Your black hand reaches up and slips its fingers inbetween his, the crawling darkness instead of your own. It is like your flesh and blood hand is lead, dirty nails clapped to dirty floor.

Nyarlathotep rises without you; your eye for a face is gone.

You are now a body without a head.

Tatsuya and Maaya, in one, they walk away, disappearing into the black surrounding you, and you are left with the ache of their absence, and the spiders, and the red sun, and the glass aquarium above your now absent head.

[This dream takes the entirety of the night. It is dawn in Amesato when Katsuya wakes. The Hitomi initially shows a strange, upward shot, as he's taken to wearing it on his wrist. But the moment his eyes open, he brings his wrist around to look at the Hitomi directly.

He stares at the Hitomi, blank, tired, flat on the floor of the home in Amesato that he part-time calls his, his image of the cat just barely visible in the corner of the dream, and rolls away. He returns with a cigarette between his lips, fighting with his lighter to get it lit in the damp air. It lights, he takes a breath, and then sighs, exhaling towards the Hitomi.

When the smoke clears, the Hitomi is off.]


Apr. 3rd, 2010 05:06 pm (UTC)
[It's bleak. It's bleak, this dream-world she enters, without being really allowed, but she's in a place where someone made keys for everyone to all the other people's sleeping minds. They allow you to sometimes enter, but not touch, and sometimes they draw you in and make you part of what you're seeing. It's more annoying than a cheap parlor trick, but too real to be cheap.

This world here, it's bleak even with all the vibrancy; green water and algae and the red sun, the black tar, the golden butterfly. It's like the mind at work here is one resigned to its fate. Like there's no reason to fight, for all the futility. And still he's fighting it -- with words. Trying to resist.

Rin knows how that goes. She is, after all, the girl in the hands of fate's mercy, who has to rely on being saved by her enemy just to not die pathetically on the road. She knows how you hate that, and yet, in time, that hate softens, because it's just a waste of energy.

Yet this, this is a dream, and dreams are always more forceful, delve into what the waking mind has left behind, buried deep. All that baggage you'll never really be rid of, but while you're in control you can at least opt not to look at that particular storage room.

This dream and its feelings, they wrest control from Rin for a moment, make her furrow her brow and maybe tear up just a little, tiny bit, because that hate and that futility she stowed away come back with a vengeance.]

You... you...
Apr. 3rd, 2010 08:35 pm (UTC)
[Katsuya responds with audio, unable to handle the extent to which her face suffers on his account. He doesn't want to be polite and match tit-for-tat; he hardly does, he hardly likes it, he can't hide from his face his feelings as well as he can hide from his voice. He's not sure if she's angry or about to cry, but either affects him, for he'd always seen this girl being...

...so refreshingly above this sort of tripe...]

My apologies.
Apr. 3rd, 2010 08:42 pm (UTC)
[Rin notices that there's no picture now, just sound, but that's about it. She thinks it might be easier for him that way and feels sorry for giving him a video response -- no, maybe for having responded at all. Because it's not like she has entirely figured out how to control this thing yet. Most of the time, she just goes with what she's been given. She's not sure if he sounded offended, either. He certainly would have every right to.]

Ah, no -- I should apologize. That, uhm... that looked very personal.
Apr. 3rd, 2010 08:55 pm (UTC)
Why should you apologize? I don't think you've done anything to me by opening the network.

[He tries to let a smile come into his voice. This girl seems... very, very affected, and if there were anything he could do... to maybe make it less... there were reasons he kept things to himself.

Her mood at this moment seemed to be one of them... what good is sharing if someone else crashes?]
Apr. 3rd, 2010 08:59 pm (UTC)
It was intrusive, was it not?

[He sounds friendly, now. So if she hurt him, it wasn't so bad. At least she hopes so. She herself sounds stable now, if solemn -- but she does attempt to counter his friendliness with warmth of her own.]
Apr. 3rd, 2010 09:03 pm (UTC)
You can't really choose to watch these, I suppose, or to get entranced once they start. If I rewatch it, I think to myself, maybe I'd watch it, too.

[Katsuya exhales from the cigarette, smiles and coughs into his hand.]

Don't beat yourself up over it.
Apr. 3rd, 2010 09:06 pm (UTC)
Um, okay.

[She notices that cough. It is a sound she recognizes -- she hears it from Manji, who continually smokes his pipe, from time to time.]

Smoking, or... ?
Apr. 3rd, 2010 09:09 pm (UTC)
[Katsuya is honestly surprised, and on the other end of the Hitomi, unseen, he almost puts the cigarette out. Ah, I knew I shouldn't have quit the once... now forever, I hop on eggshells about it...]

Yes, actually...
Apr. 3rd, 2010 09:18 pm (UTC)
[With that as the only response, the silence that follows seems a bit awkward. It makes Rin want to explain herself.]

It's just, that was familiar.
Apr. 3rd, 2010 09:23 pm (UTC)
[Familiar...? Katsuya couldn't control the second cough, but was now extremely conscious of it...]

Someone back home?
Apr. 3rd, 2010 09:35 pm (UTC)
Mh... someone -- someone I know smokes a lot. And sometimes he coughs like that.

[This time, her voice is definitely infused with warmth and tenderness, but also a tiny hint of sadness. She misses the man.]
Apr. 3rd, 2010 09:38 pm (UTC)
A good friend, I take it.

[Katsuya would much, much rather talk about this... her feelings of warmth infuse each of her words with a great deal of joy for him.]
Apr. 3rd, 2010 09:45 pm (UTC)
Very good. He's my bodyguard.

[She takes a breath, and when she breathes out she's too close to the Hitomi, resulting in a bit of static, which gets a tiny "oh!" froom her.]
Apr. 3rd, 2010 09:52 pm (UTC)
Your bodyguard?

[Katsuya's surprise is only seconded by his next question:]

Are you a celebrity, or government, where you're from?
Apr. 3rd, 2010 09:58 pm (UTC)
Oh, no, nothing like that! Well, I am samurai. But I, err, hired him anyway.

[She doesn't state for what, because "I want to take bloody revenge for my parents" is never a good way to introduce oneself to a person or relieve tension. All the more so because the last months have taught her a lot about the righteousness of her actions, and what was a faint suspicion before has turned into acute awareness of just how wrong it really is. It hasn't deterred her, but she'll do it while knowing the setbacks. So she thinks that people here don't need to know. She'll answer if he asks, but she come out and say it.]
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[Audio] - revengeisalie - Apr. 3rd, 2010 10:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Re: [Audio] - catrepellant - Apr. 3rd, 2010 10:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Kannagara - The Way of the Gods

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