A Selkie's Tale

Part 2

GM: Now it’s blue. All blue.

GM: Blue.

GM: Just a bit closer now.

GM: Clear.

GM: No, that’s not it. It’s really-

Kira: Panic and wonder clash. I should breathe. I can’t breathe!

GM: Wait.

GM: Blink.

GM: “Shh. If this one gazes too closely, her eyes shall depart her.”

Her. The mistress. The Great One. The Fisher Queen.

GM: That wasn’t how she-

Kira: Gasp at the words.

Kira: Gasp at that face-

GM: A prism. Several sides of an incomprehensibly large glass.

GM: “Help me help me please help me-”

:: HEED NOT THE DECOR ::

Kira: Snatch back that hand reaching to touch. Urge to jam the spear in further. Screaming. Mine.

GM: “Is it time yet, great mistress? Is it time?”

:: SOON ::

GM: “Girl! Soon, She says! Hear Her words and obey! Soon! SOON!”

Kira: The voices make no sense. “No, I won’t!” Mine again. Pain. Feels like water in my lungs, burning.

GM: “No?”

GM: “Surely this one desires a taste?”

Kira: Beauty. Beautiful. I reach to touch again.

GM: Oh, it feels like – tastes like -

GM: Exploding on her tongue and buds like a conquering army, blood rushing to her face -

“Another, My pet?”

Kira: “Yes, more, more…” my voice trails off, sinking into near-babble. Begging.

GM: Marching delicacies down her mouth, cream and syrup and sugar and crumbs screaming their blue glee over her teeth and mouth and gums and tasting like

Kira: Her pet, yes, hers. Tasting all that she wishes to give me.

GM: “Hers, mongrel, Hers-”

“Ssshhh.”

A fucking room.

Kira: Shimmers in my eyes, golden everything, shimmers under the water where no light penetrates. Hypnotizing. I follow.

GM: Her lover takes her.

Her lover is forceful.

GM: Her lover is hungry.

Kira: Yes… NO! Oh god, I can’t… I’ve never felt it like this, so hopelessly needy.

GM: Her lover is blissful.

Kira: Yes, I’ll beg, please… please.

GM: Her lover is transformative.

Kira: She gives to me this gift. I have never felt, seen, tasted so fine. This gift is everything.

GM: Her lover is transcendant.

Kira: The only gift I can remember.

GM: Her lover is tempestuous.

GM: Her lover is secretive.

GM: Her lover is pure.

GM: Her lover is a contradiction.

Kira: Her depths will crush me. They are beautiful. They are everything.

GM: Her lover is always hungry.

Kira: I cannot breathe under this surface, but I breathe deep.

GM: Her lover is cruel.

Kira: Devouring mouths tear at my skin, sucking at the blood.

GM: Her lover is kind.

GM: Her lover is piercing.

Kira: I hurt so badly… no… this is not hurt. It is bliss. I love so deeply. I bleed so much.

GM: Her lover is unreachable.

Kira: Not yet… Not while I’m still lost. Aren’t you hungry too? I starve.

GM: Her lover is finished.

GM: Lips encrusted in stone and barnacles clamp over Kira’s most intimate places and when she opens her mouth they’re the jaws of a clam leading into a bottomless black pit and kelp strends pull Kira in and it’s dark and black and cold and she’s got goosebumps and the bumps are growing and writhing and shuddering and crusted in barnacles and seaweed and erupting into dead rotting seals

Kira: “No! No! NO!” No one hears, cares, it doesn’t matter.

GM: And the rotting dead seals suckle her breasts and lick her clit with their mouldering black sandpaper tongues and Kira’s gnawing off their flesh and it’s foul and the vomit’s rising in her throat but she has to keep eating or else

GM: Finally all done and she’s got their skins now their skins now their skins now their skins now

Kira: Their fur, their beautiful fur, I remember their fur… so hungry, is it me? Or is it them? It’s us. We’re hungry.

GM: And the clam vomits and wretches and splurges her onto the throne again and her lover takes her again and they’re coated in blood and bile and shit and they’re seals and they’re fucking like seals and they’re snorting and honking and yowling in the throes of their mating and it’s glorious glorious GLORIOUS

Kira: I scream too, I scream along. I am theirs now too. Not mine.

GM: And Kira’s human so full of bliss she could explode and her lover’s ten jaws shred the meat off her seal bones and feed it back to her-

GM: “It’s happening again, dear!”

GM: “Confound it all. The worst guest is an uninvited one.”

Kira: That voice, it feels like jagged ice, jagged blade, cutting in, boring deep, until I can’t get it out of my head. Uninvited, Uninvited, Uninvited.

GM: Glub glub.

GM: Her Keeper’s palace is full of treasures.

GM: Usually.

Kira: I can’t watch, I can’t watch, but they make me. Who? She makes me. No, She wouldn’t…

GM: :: HUNTSMAN ::

GM: “Presssenttt/hheerreee/aattending, Mmiisstresss/Gggreat One/Your Raddianncee.” Clack-clack-clack go the chest-teeth.

:: WHAT DO YOU BRING ME ::

GM: “Nnewww ssllaves/ffuucckssss/ssselkies/toyysss, Yyour Magnificence/Luminesscence/Sssovereignity.”

GM: Flippers/barnacles/tentacles/fingers stroking Kira’s cheek. :: MY PET WILL NAME ONE ::

Kira: The one that’s hiding, I like her… call her Velvet, her hair looks like it.

GM: :: THAT ONE ::

:: COME ::

GM: “Please please please oh god oh god please -”

“Whhat off fffiirrssst twwoo, Misstresss/Yoour Majjesty/Supremacy/Higghness?”

:: UNSATISFACTORY ::

GM: “OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD

Kira: That one, that one, shut her up. She’s crying like you’re a monster, that one. Doesn’t deserve you.

GM: :: SILENCE ::

GM: “OH GOD OH MY GOD WHAT DID -”

Kira: Nothing, nothing, nothing, they all become nothing. Becomg nothing.

GM: “Ssssiillleenncce, wwrrettch/detritus/flotsssam/inconsequential!”

:: TAKE YOUR PAYMENT AND GO, HUNTSMAN ::

“Yyoourr ssslightest whimm isss the marrow of my bonessss, Misstresss/Queen/Lord/Ruler/God.”

:: BRING THE VELVET PET CLOSER, PET ::

Kira: Grab her hair. I pull her if she won’t come. My Queen says, and I will follow.

GM: “Oh god oh god no please, please, I’ll do anything -” Crying and shuddering and great big choking sobs -

Kira: Anything she says. Out of my hands.

GM: :: YES ::

PLEASE I-”

GM: “Oh!”

GM: “Ohhh!”

GM: “Ooohhhhhhh…!”

Kira: No, no, no, I don’t want her to see what I’ve seen. My Queen gave it to ME… Tears. Are they tears or water?

GM: “Oohhhhh that’s – that’s – just righ -”

GM:OOOHHHHHHHH!!!”

“My pet would never wish to leave My realm, would it?”

“No! NO! Never! God, you’re -”

Kira: Screaming. Gasping great lungfuls of water that never choke. I wish I could choke.

GM: “The other pet! I hear her – is she-”

:: NOTHING ::

Kira floats empty

GM: Alone

Kira: There is nothing. Nothing is what I am. Nothing, floating alone with more nothing, blending into the waves like one droplet after another.

GM: Unwanted

GM: Irrelevant

GM: Forgotten

Kira: There is no color, not even blue.

GM: The other girl

Like her

She must have…

Kira: No, no, nononononono, it’s mine, she’s mine, all mine, I had something, finally, all mine… velvetbitch, want her blood, her blood like the flesh I was fed.

GM: Take it take it take it take it take it take it take it take

Kira: I will gnaw it off her bones, succulent, sweet, my bloodredvelvet symphony

GM: “Ohhhhh! Ooohhhhh!”

Kira: Mine, it’s mine, I will free it from your bones, wrap it round my shoulders slick blood and flesh on the inside, against my skin. My skin. It’s my skin.

GM: “God, You’re -”

GM: “I understand…”

“Back soon?”

Kira: Back? I quicken. Is there a leave-taking?

GM: “I’m so lonely without You…”

GM: Without Her

“I’ll be the fairest of them all when She’s back.”

GM: “A little to the left, so I can see myself better.”

Kira: She won’t forget me, not now, now I am beautiful, just as beautiful.

GM: “Yes, yes, I want those too -”

GM: “And one of those – I’ll be perfect.”

Kira: Soft scent of water lilies in my hair, the push and pull of the currents against my skin making it smooth like water-touched stone. Perfect. Yes, perfect.

GM: “What’s that? Who’s there! I know you are!”

Kira: What is it? Something wrong… sounds like. Is it Her?

GM: Hands seizing throat, pulling, straining, screaming. “SHE FAVORS ME! ME! YOU CAN’T HAVE HER YOU CAN’T HAVE HER-”

Kira: Oh, oh god, the want cuts so bone deep. Mine, mine… it’s my favor. My reward, I EARNED her.

GM: “YOU’RE NOTHING NOW NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING!”

Kira: I can’t, I can’t be nothing, not when I was everything, or was she everything? She was everything. Always everything.

GM: Her!

GM: “The OLD one, Mistress, the useless one, the one You don’t -”

Kira: Everything… everything! I want this feeling to devour me, never to leave again.

GM: :: BEGONE ::

GM: Back to where she started.

Kira: Gray, gray, is it gray again? Please not gray.

GM: “Come along, dearest. We musn’t be late for the Fisher Queen’s ball.”

Kira: That queen, THE Queen, MY Queen. The only pearl in the ocean.

GM: The pearl’s ballroom is packed to bursting with jewels.

A radiantly beautiful young man, the very icon of a Greek god, dressed in an Edwardian gentleman’s dapper fashions and conjoined at the waist with a naked leprous wrinkled hag whose open wounds leak pus and vomit, but when the crone speaks her voice is like silk and velvet to the ears, and when the gentleman opens his mouth swarms of wasps and beetles buzz out -

A six-fingered Indian man swathed in luxuriant silks every color of the rainbow, with three yowling and growling tiger’s heads sprouting from his meaty neck, their fangs carved from emeralds, their eyes set with blazing rubies -

A mouthless, noseless, earless, androgynous figure with glowing white skin. Two tiny mouths where eyes would be, gnashing and clacking their tiny rotting black teeth. Three pairs of moth-like wings unfurling from its back, their edges razor-sharp and slick with blood -

A suburban housewife from the 1950s with curly hair, a polka dot dress, pearl necklace and fluffy apron, but it’s slathered with blood – arm in arm with the perfect 50’s husband with his Chevron moustache, smoking jacket, newspaper in one hand and pipe in the other, but when he takes a puff it’s vomit that oozes out -

A gigantic centipede scuttling through the gala with hundreds of click-click-clickering legs, with three smiling women’s faces where the eyes and mouth would be on a human head -

A mannequin in the elaborate flowing dress of a 17th century French noblewoman, with an elaborately coifed and powdered white wig as tall as her own head, empty vacant eyes, a crudely carved mouth with endless rows of glistening shark’s teeth that gnash and rend the empty air -

They dance. They babble. They eat. They scream. They fuck. They laugh.

Kira: Should one scream, or should one simply serve? They like the screaming, but they also like the serving.

GM: Tables and tables heaped high with food, roasted pigs and grapes and hams and wines and pineapples and sausages and jellies and cakes and pies and reds and pinks and greens and blues and mouth-watering scents that smell so good and human slaves for table legs sweating and straining to keep the tables held up their stomachs growling and rumbling their eyes longingly fixed on the feast they musn’t have or else -

Scream or serve. Scream or serve.

Fire-breathers and sword-swallowers and musicians and jugglers and ballerinas and lion tamers and magicians and acrobats and strong men and puppeteers performing their best tricks, eyes feverish, desperately eager to please -

Scream or serve. Scream or serve.

Luxuriant four-postered beds with silken sheets and pillows and cages full of painted whores blowing desperate rose-scented kisses in case any guests want to have a mid-ball fuck, which many do, or even two or three or twelve dozen -

Scream or serve. Scream or serve.

And the dancers, the revelers, the beauties and the nightmares, the Gentry, the Lords and Ladies of Faerie, the Good Folk, the Kindly Ones, the Others, spinning round and round with their partners on a floor of frozen waves and stolen moonlight beneath a chandelier of stars and pearls and rose petals, trading dances and longing looks and blown kisses and globs of phlegm with -

Kira: Serve, serve and don’t look. No scream- what’s just touched me? OH GOD! Serve… SERVE!

GM: The Fisher Queen, the hostess and mistress of the estate flitting about her many guests, dancing with some, eating chunks of others, partaking in sexual congress with a few, laughing uproariously, her pink-red sea kelp hair lazily rippling through the water.

Scream or serve. Scream or serve?

Serve?

Scream?

Kira: Serve, SERVE! Scream, falling, flailing, oh god, scream, SERVE!

GM: “Love me!” shrieks the conjoined crone, pressing Kira’s mouth over her sagging rotting teat. But the orange-pink milk that squirts out tastes like champagne and caviar and distilled bliss.

Kira: Do not vomit, She’ll be mad. Don’t insult Her guests, oh god, it’s disgusting, it’s beautiful, oh god, oh god.

GM: “Love me!” the handsome man tries to thunder, but he can’t speak without expelling a buzzing cloud of beetles and flies, so the insects form themselves into the words, and when he presses his mouth to her lips, it fills up with bugs -

Kira: I can’t, it’s too much, I want him, them, her, who? Her! She could be watching… will She be angry? They’re stinging my throat, I can’t breathe, I can never breathe.

GM: Scream or serve. Scream or serve. Scream or serve.

Kira: Serve, just serve them, just shut up, weak bitch, serve, serve, serve, it’s what you have to do to get Her back.

GM: Moonbeams and pearls and roses slamming up to meet her cheek, crone and gentleman slaking their conjoined lusts on a six-headed – but not her. Not her. Not her. Not now. Not now. Not now.

Kira: I can’t do this, I can’t, it’ll tear me apart. It’s already tearing me apart, I feel like nothing, I feel nothing. She’s all I want to feel.

GM: Laughing and spinning and eating and fucking and wanted by them all.

Kira: All. All? Is she here, does she see me?

GM: “A river a thousand paces wide sickens Me, Fisher Queen.”

“A river a thousand paces wide is not enough, Nightmare Lord.”

Kira: Queen, yes My Queen, MY, MINE. I want to touch Her seaweed slicked skin. I hear Her, does She see?

GM: “Tranquility does not make any sense, Fisher Queen.”

“An axe always strikes for the heart, Maharaja.”

“Silence goes both ways, Fisher Queen.”

Kira: The heart yes, take my heart, my heart’s blood. You own it already, Queen of sapphire, emerald, diamond.

GM: “Nothingness sickens Me, Broken King.”

“Tomorrow is coming, Fisher Queen.”

“Sounds are storytellers without equals, Your Eminence.”

Kira: Is that why? Is that why She forsakes? Am I nothing now? Nothing, the gray, am I nothing?

GM: “Awe is always a pleasure, Fisher Queen.”

“Ideas beg questions, Your Excellency.”

Kira: I am good enough, good enough for Her. I am not gray, I am an iridescent explosion, droplets in the sunlight. See, My Queen? See how I take Your delicacies and use them like You use me? Look how amusingly Your pet has been taught!

GM: Freezing. Burning. Reddening. Spilling. Melting. "Please, you musn’t so – I’ll dissolve – " Icewater flowing across her skin.

Kira: Dissolve and scream, scream your pain and your pleasure. Spill your blood, your flesh.

GM: “Mmm. See there!” “Water and ice.” “Contradiction in terms.”

“Aahh-! Ahhhh! Aahhh—hhhhhggg!!” Icewater across her skin, so cold it’s hot -

Kira: Destroy it, destroy it for her pleasure. Devour the essence of its pleasure, take it into yourself, bathe in it, ah god it burns!

GM: Sculpted ice breasts melting, shrinking, dissolving, running across faces – hands grasping her lover’s thighs, grasping through, seizing the running ice, holding it fast -

“What if?” “The Southern Lord.” “No.”

Kira: Break it-toys are for breaking, break it BREAK IT! Drench them all.

GM:AAAAAAAAAAAAGGHHHHH STTTOOPP” Sizziling, hissing, burning -

Kira: Rip it to shreds. Is it my blood or hers? The cold, does it come from me? Devour her, fangs ripping through flesh, hissing hot against flesh.

GM: Hhhhiiiiiiissssssssssssss

Steam and heat and running through her hands laughing, shrieking, calling, begging, moaning -

Kira: Crimson, is it crimson is it? I want it splayed across my hands, my face, my thighs, dirtying my silk-white-blue skin.

GM: A woman’s ideal husband stepped right out from the 1950’s, smoking jacket, perfect moustache, thick square glasses, hand resting on her shoulder. “Son, we need to have ourselves a talk. A long and serious talk.”

Kira: Talking? No talking. I don’t want to talk!

GM: Polka dot dress, pearl necklace, curled hair, dainty white gloves slapping her across the cheek – “Don’t contradict your father, boy.”

Kira: I’m not a boy! Don’t you see? I’m Hers, Her beautiful maiden, Her… they don’t see. Do they see? Me? Her?

GM: Roaring. Screaming. Bellowing. Red. Red. Red. Smoking pipe falling to the ground. Husband’s hands slamming her back-down onto the dining tible. Spilling soups and meats and wines over the floor.

:: IT—DARES— ::

:: IIIIIIIITTTTTTTTTTT— ::

Kira: Strangled scream. I can’t! I can’t breathe!

:: DDDAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRREEEEEEEESSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ::

GM: Teeth flash. Claws rend. Red flecks across the mannequin’s powdered win, trickles down her fine dress. Shreds of gore dangle from the tiger’s gleaming emerald fangs. The centipede’s three faces scream bloody murder at each other as they tug a piece of meat between their mouths.

Kira: I dared, I dared, please, take it, please don’t oh god…

GM: The suburban housewife rudely belches, coughing bone splinters onto the floor. The husband pats her back as he picks at his teeth. His eyes burn with hate. Kira remains impossibly conscious as her flesh feeds the guests, helpless to do anything but dwell upon that most primal of terrors: I’m being eaten.

Kira: I scream, I scream, My Queen, no, do you see? Do you see what they do to me? Destroy Your pretty pet! Your inventive, intelligent… oh GOD IT HURTS!

GM: She’s copulating with the enraged husband, her own gore slick against her back, guests screaming wagers and that they bet ten changeling slaves and her abdomen feels like it’s about to explode and her water breaks and she’s giving birth only it’s slimy flopping eels crawling out of her womb and why does each one have her mother’s face -

“Hush little baby, don’t say a word, mama’s gonna buy you a mockingbird…”

Kira: For You, My Queen, for You My Queen, for You, these horrors, these beautiful horrors, don’t You want?

GM: And the husband cuts off Kira’s head and pulls out her brains and it’s not fair because she needs those and she reaches out to grab her head back but he’s pulling her face’s skin over his head like a mask -

Kira: Desperation, terror, I’m going to vomit, I feel it deep in my bones, where are my bones.

GM: “If that mockingbird don’t sing, mama’s gonna buy you a diamond ring…”

Kira: Justkillme, justkillme, justkillme, justkillme…

GM: And Kira’s running through her parents’ house for dear life and the walls are cracking open and countless hands are reaching out to yank her by the hair and legs and arms and shoulders and toes and tongue -

“If that diamond turns to brass, mama’s gonna buy you a looking glass…”

And they’re pulling out her hair strand by strand -

“If that looking glass gets broke, mama’s gonna buy you a billy goat…”

And they’re pulling out her teeth and tearing out her tongue and there’s blood spraying all over her sister’s report cards what will mom say -

“If that billy goat don’t pull, mama’s gonna buy you a cart and a bull…”

Kira: A mirror? A mirror, no, NO, not a mirror, oh god, no, thank god, OH GOD it hurts, no, please, I didn’t mean to make such a mess…

GM: Kira writhes and suffocates on the grass, her mouth and throat full of dirt, and the tree is sprouting in her lungs, roots comingling with her intestines, branches stabbing through her ribs, and leaves are growing and red ripe apples are sprouting and each one has the enraged screaming face of the perfect husband who -

“If that cart and bull tip over, mama’s gonna buy you a dog named Rover…”

Kira: I love dogs, I want to tell them that I love dogs, but I can’t speak, the roots are squeezing so hard, and I can’t…

GM: The husband is wearing a doctor’s coat and calmly assures her how it’s for her own good as he stitches her eyelids shut, plunging and plunging his needle through the tender pink flesh just below her whites, over and over, stab stab stab -

“If that dog named Rover don’t bark, mama’s gonna buy you a horse and a cart…”

Kira: I can’t see, I just wanted to see Her. Who? HER. Where is She now? Where?! Oh god my eyes, my eyes, he’s going to feed them to Rover. Rover’s hungry because I forgot to feed him. My sister never does.

GM: Kira’s eating an apple full of writhing worms and now her flesh is twisting and writhing and bubbling with worms and she’s kissing the perfect husband and worms crawl through her lips into his and now he’s infected and his flesh is wrippling and twisting and full of worms but he just grins and laughs – and kisses her again and worms crawl down her throat and through it over her neck -

“If that horse and cart fall down, you’ll still be the sweetest little baby in town…”

Kira: The tree, they’ll eat the tree, and then the garden will be bare, and that will be my fault too. No flowers for her in spring, oh god, no flowers.

GM: The Fisher Queen reclines on a coral reef with moonlight cushions, stroking Kira’s hair. “Oh, My old pet, My old pet drew My guest’s ire, the Perfect Husband’s ire, how could it possibly do that to Me? To Me!”

Kira: So you would see, so you would see how clever! Please… oh her fingertips, they’re heaven.

GM: “Stupid,”

GM: “Foolish,”

GM: “Presumptive,”

GM: “Thing!”

Kira: NO, My Queen, PLEASE My Queen, understand! See! For You! For You!

GM: “Get rid of it, Mistress, expel it, Mistress, its devotion is nothing beside Your velvet pet’s, Mistress! Your velvet pet loves You, Mistress, Your velvet pet would never do anything to displease You, Mistress.”

Kira: Velvet is the usurper, she is inferior, you CHOSE me, you CHOSE ME, remember? My skill, my devotion. You did not choose her!

GM: “Yes, My new pet has such a soft velvet pelt.” Fingertips dancing over the velvet one, a seal yowling, screaming, crying in the ecstasy only She could give -

Kira: Teeth gnashing, grinding down into one another. Her blood, I want her blood, howling for it, I want to see her suffer like I do, but all I can do is howl.

GM: Purring, shuddering, licking, screaming, oh the Mistress favors her!

Kira: Thrash and thrash, let me free, I can please you better My Queen, she is nothing, nothing, nothing.

GM: Laughter comingled with weeping fits of ecstacy, how OOOHHHHhh how your devotion is nothing before MMMIIINNNEE OOOHhhh you have NOTHING! Nothing to offer! My pelt is unmatched, my pet is soft as satin, soft as velvet, soft as -

Kira: KILL ME, I can’t listen any more, I want the gray, I want the black and the white, no more emeralds, no more, no more, no more.

GM: Gray. Gray. All too easy. Forgotten forever. Lost. Alone. Irrelevant. The velvet one’s pelt tastes best, nothing she can -

Kira: Rip it off, take it from my skin, leave me bones, nothing but bones, dry, brittle, even the sea will not seep in.

GM: :: THIS ONE OFFERSITS FLESH? HaAHAaHhaAaHAaHAhHaaahhAHA ::

Kira: My flesh, my flesh, what does it mean if it tastes so rotten now. I was the sweet one once, I was. I babble, there is nothing in these words, they mean nothing, I mean nothing.

GM: Snorts and splits apart into hundreds of smiling grinning biting laughing rainbow fish that swim away without so much as a backwards glance. Scales streaked velvet. Scales blue. Scales gone. Kira floats adrift, alone, forsaken.

Kira: This gray is all I want, she will never love, believe, crave me. Velvet bitch has taken everything, and it’s only me now. Only me always.

GM: Only her. Only her. Only her.

But?


GM: The water is black as tar and feels nearly as thick. An overpowering smell of brine assaults Kira’s nostrils, worms up her skull and writhes around in her brain like the kelp forest that seems to stretch on for miles. Strands lash at her wrists and ankles, hungrily trying to pull her back.

:: This is not what she wants. ::

Kira: No dear god, let me go, let me go, let me go! They feel like a hundred tiny mouths tearing, devouring me. Let. Me. GO!

GM: She pulls and thrashes, kelp ripping soundlessly in her wake, weeping tears of yellow joy.

Barnacles slash a dozen razor-sharp tongues across Kira’s skin. The water mists with red.

:: I cannot protect her here, beyond the borders of My realm. ::

A grinning clam snaps shut across Kira’s knee, its toothy edges slicing all the way down to bone. Jace shrieks as the seal that knocked him on his ass sprouts fangs and lunges for his throat.

:: The way ahead shall only bring her more pain. ::

Kira: She wants out. It’s all she can think of. Out of the waters, out of the distorted, fucked up fantasy-world… Away. Anywhere else is fine. She howls in pain, and there’s an echo of the inhuman in it. N

GM: The spidery crabs stab spear-like apendages through Kira’s throat, stomach, thighs, breasts, everywhere, skewering her up like a pig for slaughter. Her marine biology professor hands back a final exam graded ‘F’ with a cold expression.

:: Only pain. ::

Kira: Yes, only pain. That’s what she repeats to herself as she pushes. Pushes forward insistently, shoving and screaming, damn the plants, the creatures, and all the rest.

GM: They envelop her.

Dozens of tiny jaws gnash, clench, and tear. The swarm is barely visible through all the red. They gnaw a gaping hole through Kira’s stomach that spills out her parents’ and sister’s smiling faces, spills out a framed diploma, spills out an alarm clock, spills out a toy sail boat, spills out something innate and intrinsic that leaves only terrible, undefinable emptiness behind, an amputee’s phantom limb flailing in denial.

:: Stay. ::

Kira: She can’t stay, not undone and unloved, discarded like a bored child’s old toy. She would have rather incinerated, been shredded to piece, a thousand deaths just to get free than to stay here.

GM: Light shines down from above.

Nearly there, within reach, just a bit closer…

:: My pet shall return to My realm, as I know she will yearn, as I know she must, and as I know she will. ::

Kira: She can see it now. A memory of wind passing over her skin is sharp and cool and crisp. Or is it a warm breath? The voice bears down, and it seems so close that it seems right over her shoulder. Never…

GM: :: …as I know she will yearn, as I know she must, as I know she will… ::

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