HypothermiaIt starts, as many things do metaphorically and very few things do literally, with an avalanche. This is both.Hypothermia by DrMeh
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Lin Long Dau is born with the last star on the coldest night of the coldest winter in Undisian living memory.
The fire flickers, on the verge of death, as a chill wind blows through walls of aged stone. Inside, the people shiver, and Lin begins to cry with weak, peculiar sounds, his skin cast with unnatural pallor, tinged with blue.
The baby’s discomfort alarms the attendants, and the family exchanges nervous looks. Only the mother speaks. “Give him to me,” she says to the father, in whose arms Lin continues to weep strangely. Lars, relieved, places the baby in her arms, and soon the unnerving cries are quietened by a warm embrace and smile. Everyone noticeably relaxes.
“That’s it,” Lin’s mother says. Her eyes are bright in the flickering dark, as bright as her son’s eyes are not. “He’s just
the mind has mountainsLife is brief.the mind has mountains by DrMeh
Fall in love, maidens,
before the crimson bloom
fades from your lips,
before the tides of passion
cool within you,
for those of you
who know no tomorrow.
My earliest memory is listening to my mother sing this song. My mother was a woman who was not beautiful except for when she sang, so she was always singing. I remember sitting at our kitchen table drawing childish pictures, enjoying her sweet soprano thrum through the walls of the house, glass shaking in the cabinet doors with her powerful vibrato.
I remember hating this song.
She always laughed when I told her. “I used to hate it too,” she said, which was really the worst answer possible to a child that wanted to learn.
“Then why do you always sing it?” I couldn’t understand the sudden tightness of her mouth.
“Well,” she said thoughtfully, picking me up and putting me on the counter. I took the large, brightly painted spoon from her and stirred the salad. “I think
all souls of the faithful departed“The book didn’t choose me,” Jolyon had once told the children, a long time ago. “It nearly destroyed the one it did.”all souls of the faithful departed by DrMeh
It’s all Blake thinks about these days. He stares at the damaged gables of his childhood home, and thinks of the magic that is Endymion Spring. That magic had been powerful enough to destroy Diana Bentley, but it had ruined Psalmanazar too. Now, Blake acknowledges, it will claim him as well.
Because all the magic of the world had not been enough for him, and the children are adults now, and they don’t believe in magic anymore.
Blake tries to visit London as much as he can. There are people he loves there, people who keep him from sinking like Psalmanazar did. His sister lives there now, not having had the choice when their parents divorced. Jolyon still teaches at Oxford, but he is so very old, and already Endymion whispers caveats and cold comfort to Blake’s wet eyes.
So he skulks in America, avoiding Oxford and all
Quarks1. UpQuarks by DrMeh
“What’s your favorite color?”
Next to him, Locus smiles, slight and gentle. Blue eyes flash, and Korona has to remind himself to breathe. “Locus.”
Meca’s slim fingers stop mid-flight over the keyboard; behind her, crew members exchange curious glances. She seems to be concentrating on something, but when she speaks, her voice is casual. “That’s not a color, sir.”
Isn’t it? Locus shifts at his side, and Korona distractedly puts out a hand to stop him. “It’s okay,” he says, and nobody is sure whom he is speaking to.
The subject of their childhoods comes up often. The wonders space travel has to offer are many, but far in between, and crew members invariably gravitate together for conversation to fill in the lonely blanks. Everyone agrees that a childhood in Altair is the best in the universe, that tail puns are most laborious, and that the commander is uncharacteristically closemouthed whenever th
PraetoriaOne night, I come home to find my brother crying.Praetoria by DrMeh
“Why are you crying?” I demand, aghast. “Is something wrong?”
He doesn’t look at me, just smiles and shakes his head. “No, nothing’s wrong.” But the tears keep coming and I’m only five years old, so it confuses me.
“Are you sad?” I ask, a little naively, perhaps.
That elicits a shaky laugh, but there is no humor in his eyes. I’ve always thought my brother has the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen, colored as if by ghosts, and it troubles me now that they are clouded with an ugly, strange shade of sorrow.
But he just smiles and says, “Sometimes, we cry when we are happy, Micah,” and hugs me. We spend the rest of the night practicing swordfighting and he tucks me in to sleep with a wish for sweet dreams, and he distracts me so well that I never remember he doesn’t answer my question.
One day, I come home to find my brother crying.
Impact Theory"What do you want to be when you grow up?"Impact Theory by DrMeh
It's a question Welknan schoolteachers ask their students every year, from the day the children enter school to the day the young adults leave. Answers are carefully catalogued and presented to the students at their graduation ceremony in a beautifully decorated scrapbook made by the teacher of each student, added to each year, growing with the child.
It's arguably a silly tradition, and perhaps even morbid to remind the adults of failed childhood dreams, but it's meant to inspire and the children love it, and it's something to do anyway.
Some kids stick to plain, safe answers- tailor, construction, banker, teacher, doctor. Others get imaginative- artist, musician, architect. Others still are painfully practical- shop assistant, office worker. Once in a while, a few are philosophical- "me" and "good" are common.
Rosalin is invariably of the plain variety, not because she isn't imaginative, practical, or philosophical (she is, at times), but be
freedom to know eternityi.freedom to know eternity by DrMeh
Dragon's shadow is bigger than him.
Jane only notices this when they're flying patrol. Her eyes trace the shape following them on the ground so far below, and a faint memory tickles her bones – "So much nothing between here and there," she'd whispered, more scared and alive than she could ever want – she teeters on the edge of realization – but it falls away as soon as Dragon opens his snout and whoops with sheer joy. The powerful cords of muscle along his snakelike body curl with exertion as they cut through the sky, and behind her wide-open eyes, Jane knows what it is to be free.
She joins him in one long wail, the happiest they've ever been, Jane and her Dragon, Dragon and his Jane; his shadow slips from her mind in light of the pure sun, and Jane draws back safely from that abyss with a gasp.
"Anything wrong?" Dragon shouts over the roar of the wind.
She flicks his ear gently. "I'm fine," she says, and she is.
Nothing can go wrong.
Jane cries a lot. Dragon
Svartiseni.Svartisen by DrMeh
The day Trisha Elric dies is the day Winry Rockbell decides she's going to be a mechanic when she grows up.
Her grandmother is pleased, of course. "Good for you," she congratulates when Winry tells her. "It would be a shame to let your talent go to waste."
Five year old Winry doesn't understand any of that. She only looks at Ed and Al, tears streaming from their glazed eyes, and understands that mechanics fix things.
"Winry," Ed whispers. She moves closer, breathless- she'd run straight over the second she heard what happened.
"Ed," she says, and doesn't know what to say. "I- I'm so sorry." He doesn't reply, and she hesitates, casts a look around for help. Al is sitting on the fence, silhouetted by the setting sun. The bloody light glances off his fair hair, blinding her momentarily. She blinks away the reaction-tears, tiny pricklings of cold comfort.
Poor, sweet Al. Ed, dear Ed, frozen on his front step, watching his brother cry as though from an unimaginable distance. Her hands tw
the bones of all thingsFive times they did not love each other:the bones of all things by DrMeh
Once upon a time, Armand Russo finds two fallen angels. They look so alike, they must be brother and sister. The girl is unconscious, a brutal head injury leaking blood onto paper-pale skin, but it’s the sight of the boy that catches Roo’s breath in his throat.
Beautiful, so beautiful that he can scarcely believe it: long golden hair streaming like sunlight and river-blue eyes drowning in tears as he begs his sister to wake up. There’s an ache in Roo’s chest as he listens to the angel weep with fear and pain and loss, and Roo feels more clear-headed, more free than he has since escaping Purgatory because this is something that only he can understand, not the prince or the king that do not weep but hate.
So he approaches. His heart is in his throat, but it’s his heart, so he extends a hand, offering his help.
The angel looks at him, arms wrapped protectively around his dying s
Bloom +faces+BloomBloom +faces+ by DrMeh
First Garden (of faces)
Shelke Rui, when asked, claims that she does not remember her time in Deepground. "It's all a blur," she explains, sometimes to Vincent Valentine, sometimes to Nanaki, once to Tifa Lockhart, and refuses to say any more on the matter.
The truth is, as it usually is (she's beginning to learn), somewhat more complicated.
It is blurry, but in varying degrees.
She does not remember her first night in Deepground at all; not so much as a blur as an entire blank spot. It begins with Shalua tucking her in, kissing her hair with a whispered wish for sweet dreams, and exiting Shelke's room quietly, leaving the door slightly open to let light in, because nine year-old Shelke is a little(kindofveryverymuch) afraid of the dark.
It ends with an abrupt return to her senses, which tell her that she's strapped down to a metal table of some kind, wires wrapping around her tiny body, and strange people in white coats standing over her, murmuring long words