Log:Stones for the Dead
|Stones for the Dead
5 May, 2017
There are three bodies buried in the Hedgefruit garden. A conversation about death, heights, and stacking rocks as a human impulse.
Lulu has found a place to settle herself. Here amidst the ruin, the little Moth has found a spot for herself and it is atop the Gazebo. Her head tilted as matte black, light absorbing eyes stare up at the Hedge sky. She's braiding her hair in a rare display of taming the wild colorful masses. Is she in of all things? A gown. It's an ancient thing, drapey and flowy and may have once been a lovely evening affair but it looks moth eaten and somewhat decayed. Thankfully she wears her usual fringed shawl over it. Her feet? Bare currently, her boots sitting on the ground next to a bench at the base of the gazebo. It's much easier to climb with bare feet.
It's the bird which notices the ascending mothling first - tilting it's white, Sume-i head to one side and fixing her with a gleaming silver eye before wheeling along and flittering down to perch - quite uninvited - upon the carefully braided mass of her hair. At least, that might be his intent unless forcibly removed.
Ridley, for his part, does not seem to notice - either the bird, or the girl. Rather, his attention appears drawn to the pair of abandoned boots - to which he meanders along towards then tips forwards, peering down at them most curiously.
"Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join... the dance? Well hello." She smiles and reaches up to let the Raven nip at her exploring too long fingers with a smile. "Come to join me appreciating all the lovliness here?"
She cranes her neck to peer below but says nothing. Watching as Ridley approaches the dove gray boots. They may have once been knee high or more but they've collapsed in on themselve,s the soft doeskin wrinkled and set. The soles wore so thin they practically don't exist. In fact, a /close/ inspection will see that someone has simply cut out foot-shaped pieces of what appears to be stick on 'wood' for the soles. They are fuzzy inside and absolutely -coated- in Moth dust. "Hello, hello.." She looks up at the bird. "Have you bothered teaching him yet?" She wonders of the bird. "He does seem so in need of your wisdom.”
At least, that might be the impression one might get from its reaction. At first, the creature - a high contrast white thing with thick black lines demarking its edges - seems to shift and settle itself within Lulus crown - then, apparently not finding things as it last left them, it begins to peck and tug at the various braids either in an attempt to undo them, or somehow reconfigure them into a more nest-shaped infrastructure.
At her questions, though, the bird seems to sniff slightly - then peers down to Ridley before canting his head back and sideyeing Lulu once more; only to cut loose with a rapidfire, stacatto string of what sounds like mildly irritated Gaelic prior to resettling back in to make a nest of her hair.
Ridley, for his part, only then chooses to glance up - hands on his hips and shoulders arching, bending backwards from the midsection to regard both girl and bird for a breath or so. "Oh. Well, hello there;" Crisply, almost brightly - though the Elementals brows lower and thin a fraction at the birds outburst. "Did you forget how gravity worked again?"
She sighs and chuckles at the squeaks. She doesn't understand them but she does reach up to soothe the Raven with another few light strokes.
"Me? Oh no. I very well know how gravity works." Her eyes narrow a little and her lips thin out in mild annoyance of the mention of her gravest enemy. "But I wanted to see all of it. All of it. Down there the view is so.." She sighs, "Limited." She says the word in a poof of frustrated dust. "And.. You are. Ridley? Yes?" She looks thoughtful for a moment.
For his part, Ridley looks on idly - then, with a simple indraw of breath, he bounds upwards - lithely, almost weightlessly transversing the distance from one branch to the other as he ascends to her position as easily as a person would hop up stairs. It's definitely not... natural, but the Elemental seems to carry it through without a second thought. "Oh, don't I know it; though it's less the fact of not being able to see as things being in the _way_. I miss paths that were clear all the way to the horizon."
Well, it is good for hedgefruit.
A woman -- not particularly tall, only about five foot six, but as solid as a brick wall, quite literally -- moves slowly into the garden. Not even slowly, per se, but deliberately. She moves like she means it, like she's thinking about every action and the consequences thereof. Her eyeflames burn steadily in the pits where most keep their eyes, and the shin on her forehead burns steadily. She's carrying a pair of boots in one hand, though, again, for the keen of eye, those boots don't seem to have any soles, just a strap across the bottom at the arch. No greeting for the living, not at first: Gisa moves to the patch where the first, smallest mound is carefully tucked under sprawling leaves, and searches for something in the dirt.
Oh yeah, and then there's today's t-shirt, perhaps evidence of Kyle's influence. In white text on blue, it reads: '#JewishHolidays - #theytriedtokillus #theyfailed #letseat'
Lulu tilts her head and her lightless eyes blink a few times. "Gisa. Yes. I remember now. Will you tell me why the rocks?"
Currently, Lulu is atop the gazebo in bare feet, she's wearing what once was a beautiful flowing draped evening gown which has been worn and brushed in places, little rolls here and frays there. She's got a heavy fringed shawl over her shoulders. Her hair was in braids but someone, perhaps the chalk-art raven currently nested in her hair, has pulled out whole tufts to make it fluffy giving her a definite urchin appearance to the petite fey moth. Next to her, perched and poised regally, Ridley is watching the conversation between Lulu and Gisa (While his player is AFK).
Lulu has moved to the edge of the branch she's on to look down and smile to Gisa. The Golem's sigil kindled in her forehead while they speak and Gisa goes back to very carefully tending the earthen mounds, somewhere around four by six and likely a lovely place to easily accommodate the best fertaliZer for most hedge fruits.
Logan, still new to the Freehold, has plenty of exploring to do. He's probably passed through here before, but now he stops and lingers to take in the...lack of plants. Lack of view. Lack of atmosphere. Lack of almost everything, really, apart from the gazebo and the other Changelings clustered around it.
He is dressed in one of his Hedgespun uniforms, which make him look like a fairytale prince, and the golden crossbow slung across his back only seems to add to this effect as the brightness of his light makes its way into the garden, followed, as always, by shadow. Logan approaches the others politely, and he seems to be listening for just a moment before offering a winning smile to all assembled. "Well. Not where I thought to find my fellow Freeholders gathered, I must admit." Blue eyes move from Lulu to Ridley and finally to Gisa, the only face he knows. He inclines his head to her. "Gisa, wasn't it? How's it going?" His voice is light and boyish and occasionally peppered with those flat vowels that native southern Californians can't avoid.
Also, it should be noted, Lulu has a bird on her head. It's a peculiar sort of beast - pure white, yet with remarkably harsh and jagged an outline in the manner of a high-contrast pen and ink brushpainting. For the most part, though, it seems to be some sort of stylized raven; and it's successfully made a nest within the moth-girls poofy hair.
As far as Ridley, though; the Levinquick remains crouched upon that branch, not too far from the girl with the bird; his gaze flicking from her, to Gisa, then back again. "Mn. I don't know;" His own voice? Most definitely Scottish - a deep, resonant sort of undertone with a very recognizable brogue, though there also exists a more whispery undercurrent, like wind through jagged rocks. "There's a sort of beauty in nothingness too; even if it's just the ability to start running and not having anything in the way to stop you. Too many... things about? That just starts getting cluttered."
A little shimmer of dust breezes off her when she looks back to Ridley, the dust hitting the edge of the Dusk's mantle and turning to embers and ask then nothing at all. "I'll ponder nothingness I suppose when I've nothing else to ponder. But until then there are so many new things to learn." Then Logan catches Lulu's eye and she blinks wide-eyed and cooos covetously. "Shiny."
When Lulu asks, Gisa's eyes light and shimmer; the shin grows all the brighter. "There are a lot of reasons. A rock is more permanent than flowers. When you leave flowers, they go bad in a little while, and must be cleared. But a beloved bubbe may have a small pile of stones on her grave over years; it shows that many have come to visit and pay their respects. The graves of many soldiers in the IDF graveyards in Israel look like small fortresses." There's a distant look on Gisa's face when she says that, and she shakes her head slightly, going on, "There's also an old superstition that putting rocks on the grave helps the soul stay in the beit olam, the permanent home. We weigh our dead down so their souls don't wander where they shouldn't. If a restless soul has not gone to God, then it ought not haunt people." And, well, these souls have plenty reason to be restless, even if Changelings don't usually leave ghosts. "But my favorite story is one that I heard at a kibbutz about... sixty years ago. Shepherds, before the common Jew was literate, would use stones to count the sheep they had brought with them, because they could not write it down. And so when we put a stone on a grave, we are asking God to place that soul in his shepherd's sling. As Abraham would have counted his sheep, so God will count, and so watch over, the soul that we mark."
Pretty long-winded, for a golem. At the end of it, she scuffs her foot in the dirt absently. "And it helps. It feels solid. It feels lasting."
Logan is definitely shiny. Almost too shiny, as in his light is almost too harsh, like looking into the sun...except the undercurrent of shadow is constantly dimming it down. His smile deepens at Lulu, dimples showing and all. A curious look is given to Ridley as well at his talk of nothingness. But when he hears Gisa's explanation as to what she's doing, his expression grows more solemn. "Oh," he says softly when she explains about the murdered victims, and he stands there with arms folded and head slightly tilted as she goes on to explain why stones are left on graves. "I always wondered about that," he tells her when she's finished, bobbing his head. "What an interesting tradition."
" I had thought perhaps that as part of it. But it's all very .. practical. Isn't it. Poetic and Practical. Though Thank you for telling me Gisa. If I ask again will you tell me all of those things?" She wonders airily. "I would like to remember."
Ridley pipes up about his own people and their customs and she blink towards him with wide eyes. "No. It's not the same. But it's an interesting and practical approach as well. But how would you know which was which? When was one a grave and the other a ley line? "
Logan's gaze moves from the ground back up to Ridley, listening for awhile, and then to Lulu. A smaller, more subdued version of his smile appears on his face as she speaks. She's kind of adorable. Then he shifts his smile over to Gisa at her air-pat. "I know. Death is a part of life, in our world and in all of them, I guess. Do you need any help?" Gisa probably doesn't, given what she's doing, but Logan is the type of person to ask anyway. "The good thing about death," he continues, "is that we can appreciate life more fully in its wake. But I always like to see the silver lining," he adds with a grin.
Then, on to Gisa. "I think so; and that people make the best of what they have available. Even as chidren, we liked stacking one thing on top of another. Somewhere along the lines, someone ritualized that instinct - it stands to reason that if one group somewhere came up with the idea, another group somewhere else would have had similiar ideas. Given that everywhere has rocks." Pause. Beat. "And children."
And then, finally, a quick glance is shot back to Lulu before he shifts his focus to Logan. "Hmn. Yes, well; dead is still dead - but you are right, it happens to everyone. I guess that's why worrying about it isn't that big of a deal."
Lulu smiles at Gisa and shakes her head. "No. I won't. Don't worry. Gravity will not win today!" She sniffs a little and then her head tilts a bit. She considers the Golem and Golden one below before turning her gaze back towards Ridley. "I should be on my way." She reaches up over her head, patting about for a moment, and then gently helps to dislodge the Raven on her head. She smiles, "I should be on m way, hmm, perhaps if you look close you can see yourself in Logan though?" She offers before looking down and then frowning. "No. I don't want to climb down today. Don't worry. I won't fall." She promises the group fo them and once the Raven has lofted off her head she walks towards the edge of the gazebo and like she's caught on a breeze that doesn't exist the fluttery bits of her clothing warping with the wind she's off. Gliding off whimsically to do whatever it is Lulu's do at Midday. Without her boots.
"Anyway. Yes, I have stacked rocks. Humans stack rocks, so Lost do as well. How are you both?" SUBTLE ELEMENTAL SUBJECT CHANGE.
Well, leave it to the golden Lost with the quickchanging light and shadow to take subtle subject changes in stride. Logan says no more on death, boots or anything else. Instead he puts his yellow boot up on a stump and rests his arm on it, looking instantly at ease, like he's been here like this all along. "I'm doing really well, thank you! I've been exploring the Freehold and the boundaries of the Hedge a little, just to get my bearings. And I've met some interesting people. There certainly are a lot of us here in this corner of Vermont, aren't there?" He is looking at Gisa with his bright, friendly, penetrating gaze as he says this, but he does smile at Ridley as well, not leaving him out of any potential conversation.