ushahin: (Pensive)
Ushahin Dreamspinner ([personal profile] ushahin) wrote in [community profile] hadriel2016-10-24 12:16 am

Voice; Go Back To Sleep... OTA

[Ushahin, unlike his previous communications, sends this one out around nine o'clock, about the time he thinks the most people will be heading for bed. There's a rustling sound of pages as he picks up the book he received here.] Do you all like stories? I do. I have received a book from home. It contains many legends and tales from my home. Tonight, I shall tell you one that has great personal meaning to me. It is called The One Who Walks Between Dusk and Dawn.

[His soft voice is at the perfect tone and volume to lull someone to sleep. Though with how this tale veers more towards the Grimm Brothers than Disney, it might pay to stay awake and hear the ending.]

Once upon a time, in a land called Pelmar, there was a prince who lived in a shining, prosperous city. He had everything his heart could desire, including a beautiful wife and son. The only thing that troubled him was the monsters that lived beyond the walls in the dark forest. They were the Were, a curious mix of wolf and man, and they often attacked the people when they traveled the road outside. The prince would often lead a band of men to slay the Were, but they were cunning beasts, and evaded him like smoke slipping through bare hands.

One day, a woman disappeared from the city in the middle of the night. Though curious, not many thought anything of it until a man disappeared a few days later. Very shortly, people were disappearing from the city every night, never to be seen again. The prince was greatly troubled by this all and even his wisest men could give him no answers. He prayed to the gods for help. That night, a figure came into his dreams. In his crooked features and uneven eyes lay madness. "Who are you?" The prince asked.

The figure smiled. "I am the one who walks between dusk and dawn. You may call me Ushahin." (I suppose now you will all see why this is one of my favorite stories.)

"What do you want?" The prince asked.

"I want three things. If you do this for me, I will leave your people in peace. If not, I shall take someone every night until none remain. Do you agree to the bargain?"

What choice did the prince have? He agreed. "And what three things do you desire? I have all the riches of the city at my disposal."

Ushahin told him in plain terms. "What I desire is far greater than any riches. I want three impossible things. The dream of a newborn child, the last thought of a dying man, and a memory that you have forgotten. (What I asked for was far more humble, but that would not sound nearly as dramatic in a tale such as this.)

The prince's heart sank, but he had already given his word. Ushahin gave him a week to procure what he had asked for. When he awoke, he gathered his wise men once more. The first two items were gathered through tremendous effort... (Which I am skipping...) [The sound of several pages being turned is heard.] ...but as the seventh day approached, he had them. The last proved to be more difficult than he had imagined. What had Ushahin meant, 'a memory you have forgotten'?

Though he tried his hardest, the prince couldn't discover what Ushahin wanted from him. The seventh day came and went. When the prince fell asleep that night, Ushahin returned. He was angry. "You failed to deliver your part of the bargain, prince."

"Give me another chance," he begged, but the figure in his dreams remained unmoved. The prince offered his soul in exchange for the lives of his people. Ushahin laughed and sneered at him, telling him that if he wanted his soul, he would have already taken it. (As if I ever said anything half so clever as that.)

"The time for bargains is over," Ushahin said. "I shall take everything from you. I will spare no one in your city. Neither you, nor your wife, nor your son will be exempt." The prince awoke from the nightmare with a start. He ordered his guards to search the castle. Both his wife and son were gone, disappeared into the dark forest. The prince saddled his horse and took up his sword. He vowed to save his family or die trying. (Never make such a vow. It only ends one way.)

He went into the forest by himself, going through many tasks and trials to find where his family had been taken to. When his horse's strength failed, he continued on foot. Finally, he found himself in the deepest, darkest part of the forest at night, where the Were resided. He could feel their yellow-green eyes on him as he traveled forward, though they refrained from attacking him. There, in a clearing, was the leader of the Were, the Grey Dam. And standing beside her was the figure from his dreams: Ushahin.

"Where are my wife and child?" The prince demanded. Ushahin snapped his fingers and a pair of Were pushed them forward. Though disheveled and scared, they were unharmed. Much to the prince's surprise, he was told that they were free to go. The prince hugged his wife tight and told her how much he loved her. Then he made the two leave the clearing and head back towards the main road that would lead them to the city.

"I will kill you for this," the prince said, drawing his sword.

"You may try," Ushahin said, unaffected by the threat. He was unarmed as he stepped forward, away from the protective circle of the Were. "But before you die, I want you to know that it was always you that I wanted, right from the start. You have preyed on my people long enough." The prince looked around and realized that Ushahin meant the Were, the monsters who had killed his people for generations.

He grew angry. "You choose to side with these beasts? With these monsters?"

"Of course I do. They are like me, for I am the monster of your dreams." (Again, I wish I had been as eloquent as all that.) "Tear him apart," Ushahin ordered the Were. The prince knew that the fight was hopeless. He had time only for one final despairing scream before they sank their teeth into his flesh. The prince was never seen again, except in the bits and pieces retrieved later on. His son went on to become king and was a better ruler than his father had ever been, though he never spoke another word again. And Ushahin went on to become the servant of god Satoris, the Sunderer of the world. But that is a tale for another time.

[There's a thumping sound as he closes the book with a decisive air.]

Good story. It has a few discrepancies to the heart of the matter, but then, it wouldn't make as good a story if it told the truth. Sweet dreams, everyone.
bekommen: (you want your control)


[personal profile] bekommen 2016-10-24 11:49 pm (UTC)(link)
[Nick's working her usual shift at the bar, though it's slow enough she can spare the time to listen to the story. It's a perfect mix of beautiful and heartbreaking, just like everything Nick loves the most.]

Y'know ... if you ever get the chance, you should do books on tape.
bekommen: (i get a funny feeling sometimes)


[personal profile] bekommen 2016-10-26 04:02 am (UTC)(link)
Cassette tapes. They're practically fossils, if you hear kids these days talk about 'em, I guess everyone's into fucking podcasts now or something.

[She doesn't know. The internet was not a place where she spent an excess of her free time, even before Hadriel.]

They're ... a way of making recordings so you can take 'em with you places. Like music. Sometimes people read books out loud on the recordings, and you can listen to 'em instead of reading 'em yourself. Anyway, you gotta have a good voice to read books for other people.
bekommen: (hear it in the trees)

[personal profile] bekommen 2016-10-27 03:24 am (UTC)(link)
[Nick laughs.]

Y'ain't gotta tell me that - I lived in Chicago. Got snowed in pretty bad more than once. Happened here, too, come to think of it - that was right after I first showed up. Huge fuckin' snowstorm, the power went out - that creep Fear's doing, of course.

[She falls silent for a moment, remembering, thinking back on that event and everything that has transpired since. A little mental calculation, and she arrives at a conclusion that she elects to share.]

Shit, I guess that was almost a year ago.

[Which means she's been here almost a year. Which is a strange feeling to reconcile.]
bekommen: (piece by piece cold time erasing)

[personal profile] bekommen 2016-11-06 04:11 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah ... guess you'd be an expert on that, huh.

[The passage of time and how it feels.]

Well, shit, we shouldn't even be able to have snow here. Don't you have to have some kind of atmospheric bullshit? And it's not like we've got open sky or anything.
bekommen: (went to see my fortune teller)

[personal profile] bekommen 2016-11-12 04:00 am (UTC)(link)
That seems like an overreaction.
bekommen: (see which way the winds were blowin')

[personal profile] bekommen 2016-11-17 03:26 am (UTC)(link)
Yeah, I guess if you're in charge of things, that's what you do. These assholes here seem to be thinkin' the same thing.