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Two Eternities...

Discussion in 'UO White Stag Inn' started by Quiby, Nov 24, 2003.

  1. Quiby

    Quiby Guest

    Although it may seem a little pretentious, and it’s not common for such a thing to happen with a short story, but both Yuki and myself would both like to dedicate this work of fiction. We have both worked hard on our respective pieces, and each have a guiding light to who we would like to give our recognition.
    The story will be posted as each part is completed, mostly because it is to be a long story, and it would be easier to read if it were split in smaller parts.

    <center>“To the White Stag Inn, and its patrons, past and present. For everything.
    James “Quiby” Budd

    To Michelle. Thank you, for being you.
    Lilka “Yuki” Readman</center>

    The dull ache in her feet reminded her of happier days; when she would take any opportunity she could to walk, for no reason other than walking.
    The ache didn’t come, as some people imagined, from doing all her walking barefoot. After all, the leathery pads on the soles of her feet were good enough for her feline ancestors, and they were good enough for her, too. It just seemed that the rest of her feet didn’t share her passion for travelling by foot.
    The memories of years gone by caused a smile to distort the gloomy set of her features, but the smile never reached her eyes, and faded just as quickly as it arrived.
    Unfortunately for her, her happy memories were usually stalked closely by their less-positive counterparts, and it didn’t take much influence from them to remind her of the melancholy that weighed down on her heart.
    She paused in a small clearing among the trees and cast her eyes skywards to take her mind off things. From the muted indigo of the sky and the delicate hint of pink in the clouds, she guessed that she only had an hour or so before darkness fell.
    She was pretty certain that she was in the forest surrounding Yew, although the forests did cover most of this corner of the land. In any case, it meant that her progress throughout the day had been good, and she could now direct her attention finding an alternative to spending her third night in a row balanced precariously in a tree. Not that sleeping in trees didn’t have benefits above sleeping on the ground, but falling off the branch while sleeping was a definite concern.
    “Perhaps it will snow tonight,” she said quietly to herself, sniffing at the air. The temperature had been dropping for the last few days, and the chill air had the telltale crispness of incoming snowfall. It occurred to her that maybe she’d chosen a bad season to travel in, even taking into account the insulating effects of her fur.
    She sighed as she remembered the days when she had wished she were as hairless as all the normal girls she’d met, a few of whom had wished to look as cute she was with her fur and feline features. Her eyes drifted down focus on the tail, swinging tentatively from side to side behind her, reacting to her downhearted feelings.
    “Why?” she asked, directing the question rhetorically at the feline appendage as she scooped it up in her hand to keep it under control as she lowered herself to the ground, until she was sitting among the tree’s roots.
    She reached up to the collar at her neck and began working at the buckle, undoing it with little trouble.
    Her eyes were automatically drawn to the silver tag that hung from the black velvet band, drawn by the elaborate the inscription of her name; “Quiby.”
    She kept the tag meticulously polished, so much so that she could clearly see her face in it, especially the stripe of deep brown fur that stood out in stark contrast to the pale skin on each of her cheeks.
    By inclining the tag upwards a little, she was able to see the similarly brown feline ears twitching unconsciously to every sound as they stood erect from the tumble of pale brown hair that cascaded down to her waist.
    “Who are you?” she whispered to the reflection, as if it the young girl in the tag wasn’t the same girl that looked back at her every time she looked in a mirror.
    “I am you,” she answered herself, smiling weakly as the reflection followed her movements, effectively answering her question, “but who am I?”
    She let out her breath in a long sigh and directed her attention to the collar that held the tag, wondering for an instant why she still wore it when it brought back such painful memories.
    The man who had given it to her had been the closest thing to a father she had ever known, but no matter how hard she tried, she was unable to focus on anything but the painful moment of watching him be slain before her eyes. A memory made more painful by the knowledge that she had managed to upset him moments before the terrible evens, and she had never been able to make it up to him.
    A tear ran down her cheek and settled in the stripe of fur, promising to leave a telltale salty mark to remind her of her grief after it had subsided.
    “I’m sorry,” she whispered, looking back at the detailed lettering on the tag. Wishing, not for the first time, that she could go back and change the past.
    With a sob, she buried her eyes in the crook of her elbow and wept.
  2. Yuki

    Yuki Guest

    71st day of autumn, 374th year of division

    The years have passed slowly for me, regardless of the myths regarding elves that suggest the contrary. Just because the blood in my veins has granted me longevity far in excess of that of a human, does not mean that the years have passed any less noticeably. It is beyond reason that the infernal Lord British, apparently a human, has remained in control of his faculties over the years. Humans have no parallel for the training elves receive from an early age, preparing them to deal with the prolonged lives they are destined to lead. The concept is not a native one with them, and yet he has shown remarkable resistance to the passage of time. The elven conditioning of my youth has done nothing to ease the pain that comes of waking alone every morning, in a bed once shared with the one I love. The one who's love I will never forget.
    For close to forty-four years I have kept a journal, keeping a record of my thoughts. But not once have I considered the reason. Perhaps, with the absence of a trusted soul to confide in, I have turned my confidence to these pages, many of which are now yellowed with age. Another cruel reminder of how time has passed.
    That would be a fully acceptable motivation, I am aware. To put words to feelings is to take a step towards understanding them. But if I these aging volumes are simply for my own gratification, then why is it that I have so painstakingly scribed the words in handwriting that is openly legible? Concurrently, why have I translated my thoughts into the common language of the land, which is a language I do not speak unless it is unavoidable, rather than the flowing language of the ilythiiri?
    The truth is simply that I am arrogant enough to believe that the story of my life would be of interest to someone. My precise handwriting, a plea for the potential reader, that they not abandon their studies on account of illegible handwriting. As for the language, few people outside of the underdark would understand my words, and even fewer would be foolish enough to admit to their knowledge.

    Naturally, the elves would want to get their hands on the journals. They are an intelligent people, and it is quite right that they would seek answers to their questions. Especially if the questions have been pondered by almost every elf in the land for over 80 years.
    Not that the answers are of great importance to elvenkind, but their absence forms loose ends in the tapestry of elven society. A question without an answer is a gap in the elven sphere of knowledge, and so these blights are far from as trivial as they might seem to one who has little or no experience with elves. A loose thread is an imperfection that, if left unchecked, may fray.
    They cannot seriously expect to learn that which desire from the volumes of a journal, when the answers only exist in the head of an elfmaiden, whose life ended by the hands of her people.

    Perhaps I digress because of the approach of old age. It has certainly been on the horizon for some time. Indeed, I am quite surprised that the shadow has not already come for me. But how interesting would life be if we understood everything? If nothing has the power to surprise us, what do we have to look forward to?
    There comes a time when a logical mind recognises when a cause is lost. Even a deluded mind can see it before the heart even opens itself to the possibility. When that happens, all reasonable hope is lost, and all that is left are whispers of emotion, as powerful as they are illogical.

    I am still waiting, my love.