Log:Songs and Swear Words: Hedge Edition
|Songs and Swear Words: Hedge Edition
3 October, 2019
Amity is out picking fruit, Zak is lying in wait, and November is doing what Novembers do. When Wyrd and weird collide! Conversation in the Hedge.
It's just after noon and Amity is taking one of her little jaunts into the near hedge in search of goblin fruits. Even if they lose their power, she likes to preserve them--they make for good eating even if they lack glamour or magical properties and it's a nice way to stretch one's legs, so to speak. Here, in the near Hedge, she even feels (foolishly) safe from the attention of those who lurk deeper in its clutches. The light rain of the morning has given way to pale, watery sunlight and she steps among dewy, damp grasses and stalks of corn with a small sickle made of gleaming bronze. Occasionally, she pauses to crouch down and slice free leaves of coupnettle or murmurleaf or to pluck from the ground a whole jarmyn. Looped over her other arm is a basket which is steadily filling with the products of her work.
Perhaps foolishly, she is not overly attentive to the landscape around her, only pausing once in a while to glance around, looking almost like a deer with its ears pricked up as it searches for signs of predatory creatures. Soon, though, wariness drops away a little and she is humming a song to herself that begins to crest into song. She does not have a lovely voice, at least not supernaturally so. She sings all the same.
"The fox went out on a chilly night, she prayed to the Moon to give him light for she'd many a mile to go that night before she reached the town-o, town-o, town-o..." Someone is having a lovely time in spite of themselves. Though she seems to have modified the lyrics a bit, perhaps?
His ears perk a little as he hears the sound of a song carrying through the grass and over the stalks of corn. He raises his head, gaze fixed down the road. It never seems to curve, but there's definitely a corner there, for someone to walk around. He stays stock still, gaze fixed, and he almost seems to shrink a little into himself, melting back into the stalks as he finally moves, bit by bit, secreting himself in the grass. Waiting. Watching. To see what comes along. He's still watching as Amity comes into view and he recognizes her. He doesn't move, though. Just waits. Still watching with those unnaturally bright blue eyes of his.
The Hedge is mutable, always prone to alteration, but this? One glance at a patch of corn may see it covered in sleeping moths, and the next, nothing. One glance at a trod may seem to indicate that it is going left, and the next, a sign may appear to point right. These illusory shifts and tricks of mind and eye are never truly -dangerous-, but they are certainly inconvenient.
About the time Amity makes it to Zak, hints of ice and colour have begun to limn stalks of corn here and there, contrasts sharper and more distinct, and faintly, in the distance, very different singing can be heard. While it doesn't have a Nix's power, isn't a siren's song, it's lovely to listen to, and absolutely inhuman. No mortal throat produces notes and tones so pure, so sweet...but they certainly produced the SONG said throat is singing. (https://youtu.be/coEd6Lx_-cY)
Amity, of course, may remember that distant voice from the Wayhouse, whether or not she wants to.
"God, you gave me a fright," she says in a quiet voice and lowers her arm. "You should have said something. I nearly walked over you, you know." The voice is still singing and Amity is starting to break into a cool sweat despite the fall chill to the air and wintery snap that seems to be settling across the area around them.
"Sorry," he finally answers, voice pitched low, "I prefer to see before I'm seen." Which is kind of weird, but OK. He glances up, eyes narrowing. "Who is that?" He doesn't receognize the voice. "And who are you, for that matter?"
The singing, notably, does not stop.
That bird-voice gets pissier, and a little defensive. "What, you can watch imaginary girls in cute skirts and I can't watch a little somethingsomething on the Nature Channel?"
"I don't know. She didn't seem to want anything from me before, but..." She hesitates, glances back as if worried that she might be overheard. "She's very close to being like. Them." She doesn't need to specify who 'them' is, she hopes.
See, she can't be THAT terrifying if she says something like 'oof' now, can she? .. can she?
Unfortunately for Zak, he may not have a choice. A large white crow comes winging down along the path, more the size of a raven, really, with black eyes and vaguely iridescent scales on his feet, though those are tucked against his belly, mostly out of sight. He backwings, hovering poorly, since crows aren't exactly meant to DO that, then twists to caw, "HEY! Snowflake! Get your sparkly butt over here! Found that chick you talked about the other day. And...uhhhh...a scaly thing." Lowering his voice, the crow tells Zak, "No offense, and don't eat me. Dealing with HER is bad enough."
"Oh, she's speaking about me, is she?" There's a faint smile. "Good to know I made an impression, I suppose." Gotta get the snark in while she isn't having trouble doing anything but standing there stock still and waiting for instructions.
"My name is Zak," he replies to it with a bit of a rasp, "And I'm not going to eat you. Yet."
As for November? Yeeeaaah. No. The living ice sculpture is definitely not human. HumanOID, sure, but if a human were that delicately built, they'd be dead. Humans have to worry about silly things like bones and muscles. Here in the Hedge, as with Zillah, it's simultaneously worse and better than seeing her out in the mortal world. On the one hand, the casual power it takes to manifest so many minor changes on a whim...not cool. On the other, uh, it doesn't hurt the brain as much to see her here. Here? Here is where she -fits-. There isn't that jarring sense of -wrong-ness, of seeing something out of place.
The stalks reflect the colourful creature's soft white radiance and ever-shifting aurora, as she walks around a corner of the trod, myriad miniscule sparks of splintered rainbows just...yeah. Suffice it to say that she would make an excellent centerpiece on somebody's table, or a very expensive statue in an art gallery, if statues had colours floating through and around them, that is.
"Amity, lovely, what a pleasant surprise." Yep. Definitely the same voice, the Irish in it giving it a lilt even beyond its innate musicality. Her colours are as warm as her tone when she steps forward to touch the shorter woman's cheek, frigid digits sliding down to give her shoulder a reassuring squeeze. A friend greeting a friend, her posture says. She steps away without waiting for reciprocation, studying Zak with a tilt of her head and a light, "And Amity's friend..?" while lifting an arm for Yrrh to land on. The crow, for the record, mutters the entire time about cold feet.
"Waylady," she says and unable to stop herself, dips into a curtsy. The touch of icy fingers is cold and warm all at once and a blush springs to her cheeks as fingers trace down the line of her face to touch her shoulder. She dares not reciprocate, not without permission and so she only smiles a painful, anguished, yearning smile. "It's lovely to see you again. This is... ah, he helped us recover a baby yesterday. A Privateer tried to snatch one in broad daylight at the Market. He had a lot of nerve, that one." She'll let Zak decide if he wants to give his name. More polite that way, she figures.
"My name is Zak," he says to November, "And I don't know Amity. Not really. Just... kinda met her yesterday with that whole baby thing." He looks a little uncomfortable. Like he wants to bolt. His voice has a bit of that alluring quality to it. It's not like it was yesterday, but there's still a touch of something that almost makes one want to just listen to it. But it's not full of power - and it's certainly nothing compared to November, at least right now.
"Because my -Lady- was a popsicle," the rainbow answers, with an air of answering an old, old argument. The smile she flashes Zak is echoed with a ripple of colour, every pigment in that hide of his, his clothes, appearing briefly somewhere in the ever-changing swirl of colour through her flesh, hair and aurora. "November an Nua. Waylady of Fate's Harvest, yes, but 'November' is well enough."
Her colours flicker through Amity's a moment before she turns her head to tell the other woman that, "You needn't curtsey, lovely, though if we do come across hobgoblins, I suppose it wouldn't hurt." With a glance at Zak, she 'confides' that, "They tend to think I'm Fae. It makes life easier, unless they learn otherwise."
Turning on the ball of her foot, the mercurial creature laughs again, light and fey, and moves with light and fluid grace, taking an easy pace back toward the direction she -had- been singing from. "You're welcome to join me, of course," she calls over one icy shoulder, "but I'll understand if you'd prefer your own company. In your shoes, I certainly would."
"Thank you, Waylady. I still have to find a bit more hedgefruit before I consider my day done with, though, so I have to decline. My apologies." There's tangible relief in her voice. Relief that November is leaving. Relief that she managed to say 'no' to someone. She takes a breath. Glances sidelong at Zak as if waiting for him to approve. Or disapprove. Why does she care? She shouldn't care.
"I'll pass for now. I should be gettin' moving, anyway. Can't stay in one spot for too long." He shrugs, "Might need to go back beyond the Hedge sometime soon."
For Zak, she turns, walking backward, and states a simple, laughing, "I hadn't much choice in the matter. By the time I reached your strength, they already did," before picking up those icy, petal-like skirts and running, Yrrh left to flap himself into some semblance of flight, squawk and caw out, "THAT WASN'T FUNNY!"
"Do take care, Waylady."
"Do take care, Zak. Come by the Wayhouse sometime, alright? There are beds. And hot food. It might do you good." She raises a hand to wave in farewell to the other Changeling. "Be safe."
Maybe. He's still wary around other people and he takes time to trust. So for now he just gives her a little nod as he hitches his bag on and heads off down the trod, looking for a gate. Time to step back out. At least for a little while.