Posts Tagged demihumans

[scrap] Kint.

Heartbeat.  I felt a tiny rush of life from the spell, and held it up.

Heartbeat.  I tried to focus on staying alive, tried to forget my wounds, tried to forget the chill of winter, the howling raucous wind, and the snow piling up at the entrance to the cave.  And I tried to focus on the spell to stay alive.

Heartbeat.  I was alive a moment ago; my heart is beating, so I’m alive now; I will be alive for another moment.

Heartbeat.  Oh, it did hurt.  I heard searchers shouting, but I couldn’t tell from here if they were Arcadian or not, and I didn’t want to risk it.

Heartbeat.  I could outwait them all anyway.  The blood had—well, it had almost abated its flow, though with the spell I don’t think it would have mattered anyway.

Heartbeat. The cold was going through me though, and I felt quite weak, and tired. I knew falling asleep would be bad—it’d be a gamble as to whether I could keep the heartbeat going in my sleep.

Heartbeat.  I tried to focus on recovering, on getting my strength back, but I still half felt like I would lose.

Forget hiding, I thought, I need help.

Heartbeat.  I struggled to get up, which was a little difficult, not wanting to take my hand off my ruined arm, but I managed it carefully and staggered to the cave mouth.

Heartbeat.  I saw a searcher further up the valley. I gave a mental shout and, not knowing if he was terras or in hearing distance, flashed a spenselight signal showing where I was.

The weakness overcame me again and I struggled back into what little shelter the cave had.

I waited.

I fell asleep.

[scrap] Toby.

I saw a big guy who kind of reminded me of Toby…

I could be any size I liked, really; I chose to be a head taller than everyone else so they’d have just the smallest amount of understanding.

I’m a giant; I’m proud of it; the only hiding I do is for practical reasons.

So I choose to live in a world too small for me to remind people I live in a world too small for me.

I guess it’s a bit of stubbornness.  Complaining about finding shoes that fit doesn’t really suggest to anyone that I actually have a 40-foot body stored in a basement under the theater.

People are not to know this.

So it’s me venting, really.

“This doesn’t fit me” means “this doesn’t fit me.”

I wish it did—and I’m glad it doesn’t.

[scrap] Rouss.

Once you get to feeling different, it’s hard to stop.

There’s always going to be something, whether it’s the color of your hair or skin or eyes, the way they drive their car, or the way they think of other people…

Everyone is different from you, and if you keep looking you’ll only keep seeing bigger and bigger things…

And after a while you won’t just be different, you’ll be separated.

And that’s the point where I was at.

I knew I’d never find what I was looking for sitting at home, so I spent my free nights out.

Trouble is, when you’re focusing on being different, it’s painful to be around people.  Proximity feels like distance…

So I went out to the social functions, but only the big ones where there was little chance of meeting anyone in particular.

At the time, of course, I didn’t see that with that sort of mindset, I might as well have stayed at home—my unspoken fantasy of being found would have been just as likely there.

I know better now, of course.  If you want someone to look at you, your best option is to start looking at them.

It’s just like not seeing the forest for the trees, but in reverse—you get overwhelmed by the forest and forget there are trees in it.

But I hadn’t found my tree yet, so still I wandered.

[scrap] Mitch.

The first dream was the scariest.  I don’t mean it was a nightmare or anything; it’s just that it was so obviously not my dream, that I worried someone might have gotten into my head somehow.

That was, of course, vanishingly unlikely, but I was, what, twelve?  They told me I wouldn’t have any magic, so I figured it was projected in from outside.

But when I’d woken up, the dream was gone, and nobody seemed to be trying to put anything further in my head.  I lay in bed and listened.

And I started hearing things I’ve never heard before.  From Toby’s bed I heard a rumbling, a rustling, a far-off running train.

It came in his mental voice—I knew it was him.  I knew his telepathy was strong, but… that wasn’t quite right at all.

I listened more.

I heard more.

I got up from bed and headed out into the hall, the wooden floor cold under my tail and paws.

Mařa’s room was across the way; I heard—I heard her mind’s voice crying quietly.

She wouldn’t have been projecting that.

I noticed what my mind was doing unconsciously.

I stopped listening.

It was quiet again.  No broadcasts, then.

I started… listening again.

I started hearing again.

Could it really be happening?  Could I really be getting a knack after all?

I went back to bed.  In the morning, at least, I’d have to test it.

I went back to sleep.

The dreams kept happening.

[scrap] Toby.

My day starts in the basement of the theater.  It’s a little disconcerting, every time, to experience the room from two perspectives—on the one hand, my projection, which I’d come to think of as my usual body, saw the space as large, if a bit crowded; on the other hand, my real body saw it as a small, enclosed space—like sitting in a closet.

The fans ran nonstop, as body heat tended to make the place stifling, otherwise.

I set the bucket I came in with down and tried to imagine what life would be like if I couldn’t project.  The pallor, the weakness, all inescapably mine, because the world outside was the wrong size for me, and I couldn’t live in it.

Instead I was able to escape the body, somewhat—but I still had to take care of it.

It could indeed have been worse.  It could always be worse.

I tried to keep that in mind as I started washing my poor body down.

No, I don’t hate my body.  I am… well, we all have to hide who we are.  But having another body that can’t really take care of itself gets to be a chore.

And I guess, also, that having high standards doesn’t help.  I wouldn’t leave myself to live in slobbery.

So I was down here every morning.  I’d wash my poor body down, because while I did have to take up space, I didn’t have to make it unpleasant for others.

It wasn’t hard work, but I did have a lot of area to cover—it was like washing four or five cars a day.

When I was done I’d always…well, today I lay on my poor body’s chest, stroking softly as much of it as I could reach, because every body needs touch for the sake of touch, or it starts to break down.

My poor body’s hand would cover me sometimes, because sometimes I felt the need to return the favor.

I might have fallen asleep there, my poor body holding me against its chest; I’d certainly lost track of time enough that it seemed too soon before Mitch was poking at my mind.

Toby! Come on, I’m going to be late!

[scrap] Mařa

I keep apologizing because I don’t know where to start.  You get used to feeling awkward when you see every person’s death with them.

You’d think I’d get used to it after a bit, but I never could.

So, forgive me if I have trouble knowing where to begin sometimes.  I’m too busy thinking about how things end.

[scrap] Mařa

I don’t know the best way to start talking about what happened. I should probably start with an introduction.

My name is Mařa _____. I started the Wolftever Creek theater with my brother Rouss, not long ago when we first moved into town. We share the business, and the living space, with our friends Mitch and Toby Kowalski.

Mitch and Toby are demihumans like us, but that’s not the only reason we’ve taken them in—both have what you might call special needs.

Mitch was born without any illusionary ability. Demihumans tend to vary considerably from the standards of human appearances, and our illusion, though generally not very powerful, is a necessity for living in human communities.

His cousin Toby is usually able to cover for him. Toby’s trouble, though, is on a rather larger scale—being a giant, upwards of forty feet tall. Illusion is of little use in concealing this; he lives in a large subbasement under the theater, and sends an illusionary projection of himself instead of going out into the world.

The inactivity is not doing him well. Life is hard for giants.

[scrap] Kelly

I don’t know if I’ve posted anything about this story before—site search isn’t coming up with anything—but I’ve recently started trying to pull it out of my head and get it on paper. Not sure if this fragment will make it into the narrative, but it gave me a few ideas about this character’s character.

Ever since I was a little girl—as long as I can remember, really—I’ve been able to tell when people are lying. Any sort of lie, really—everything from ‘you look beautiful today, Kelly!’ to ‘Daddy still loves us, but he has to move to Atlanta for his job…’

The lies just kind of stick out—just like you can tell if someone’s talking to you in English or not, I can tell if you’re telling the truth.

Sometimes, if the lie’s really obvious, I can tell what the truth behind it is.

Doesn’t happen near as often as I’d like.

Now, people lie all the time—you think I’d grow up to be pretty cynical because of it, but that’s almost exactly what didn’t happen.

I love lies.

There’s the white lie, it’s my favorite. You’ve got a good person talking to you and there’s an uncomfortable truth coming up in the conversation, and the first thought that comes up is ‘This will hurt you to know. How can I bend reality to keep you from finding out?’ It’s so sweet—behind every white lie, a white knight.

Then there’s the false promises—from sad little puppy dog minds: ‘Trust me… please trust me… tell me it’s okay and I’m a good guy…’ Those’re the well-meaning ones, anyway.

There’s also the backstabbing sort of lie. ‘Look how I’m pulling the wool over your eyes. How stupid you are to trust me…’

Those, actually, I’m not too fond of. But nobody’s dared try that on me twice.

I’ve gotten very good at lies myself over the past seventeen years—and I can get away with some big ones of my own, easy as pie.

It’s just like speaking a foreign language I know quite well—one that goes straight in to other people’s heads.