Confessions

I have a meeting in three hours, but that derned amimain and her amazing prompts has awoken the muse. It must be fed, with words. There’s some slight language in the fourth one, so apologies and please avoid it if the f-bomb bothers you. Also any apologies if these surprise you in a negative way. I definitely got further into some of my character’s heads than ever before, and it’s a bit disconcerting: particularly Sky. These all are going to be fairly obvious, and I have nooooo apologies for that. This is not one I want to use to keep people guessing.

Another prompt! Confessions that your characters have. Something they’d maybe write down of a piece of paper, and then burn the paper. Maybe something they wouldn’t write down at all.

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I have a confession. I’m paralyzingly afraid. Normally I’m not afraid of too much, other than falling off a cliff or something like that that’ll kill me. Hah, you know what? It’s not even the fact that having a kid could kill me that bothers me. It really isn’t. Hazard that comes with the job, so to speak. I’m just terrified of having a child. Someone I’m responsible for. I can take care of myself alright, and my husband…well, he’s amazing. He helps me more than I could ever possibly help him. Argh, it breaks my heart. I can see it in his eyes; I don’t know if he thinks I notice, but I do. He loves me so much, even though I clam up a little whenever it’s mentioned. It hurts to hurt him like that, more than any cut or bruise I’ve ever gotten.

Even Helvia, sweet and smart a woman as she is, and I really mean that, even she managed to get some figurative balls and have a baby. Why does it scare me so much? It just does! I can’t explain it. I must be broken, maybe it’s a side effect of my brain being so off with my feet, who knows. It just scares me. I’m worried that the only way I’ll ever be ready is if I’m thrust into it. That’s why I jump headlong into so many things: I’m afraid. And if I just jump right in, I’ll figure it out. It’ll be too late to turn back, and I just have to deal with it. It’s why I talk before I think things through, it’s why I usually just start carving wood without a plan. If I have my knife to the wood, there’s no turning back. Every night, I go to sleep promising myself that I won’t drink that awful stuff, that I won’t warm it up. That I’ll be ready to carve that next step in my life. Then I chicken out every morning. I drag myself into the kitchen and I pour myself a cup. I put the timber away for another day of avoiding it.

Eru, I hope it just doesn’t work one day. I’ll never be able to give him what he truly wants if it doesn’t. I’m too much of a chicken to do it myself.

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I have a confession. I need to go home. I can’t do this. I thought I could, I thought I could be strong, but I can’t. I’m a young thing desperately in love, and I just can’t stay away. We have our entire lifetime together, it’s true…but even an eternity, until the end of time itself, isn’t enough time together. I was such a fool to think we could be apart. We aren’t married yet, not really, but our souls are already intertwined. I can feel it, like a pulsing heart, beating from across the ocean. Faint. Calling me home. It isn’t like the slow, gradual draw I felt from the sea itself. No, this is you, my beloved. You’re beckoning me to your arms, and my heart itself is answering. I’ve already learned so much here, but you’re more important. You’re all that matters to me. I’m coming home as soon as I can.

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I have a confession. I want to go home. I want to beg, pride thrown to the side, and ask my father to take me back. I am Lossoth. That is who I am. My heart, my soul, my very blood cries out for a shockingly cold wind; for the sight of the sun, searing in its beauty as it reflects off a glacier. To skate upon thick and hearty ice with luistin. To have a warm meal huddled inside a snow-covered tent lined with furs. It is the very core of my being. Every night I dream of returning, and every day I long for it. Yet the bundle to my right holds me back every time. If I leave, if I return and beg, my daughter will learn nothing from a mother not worthy to have her. As I said, I am Lossoth. We are a proud people, hearty and strong. My little Lempi will not have a mother too weak to stand on her own two feet. She will not learn at the knee of someone who bent to an unfair requirement. She had a father from Bree-land strong enough to master the winters of Forochel and gain the trust of the tribes of snow; she has a mother who was strong enough to forsake her home for a deep and abiding love. She has a proud and fierce blood in her, and I will die before any tell her otherwise.

But I want to go home. It’s killing me. My spirit dies further each day I’m torn from the land that birthed me. I may even die young, leaving my poor daughter to her own fate. It’s just too much.

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I have a confession. I wish I would die. I truly, deeply, utterly hate myself. I’m broken in all the wrong ways, and I’m not right in any way at all. My nose is too big, my freckles are too many, my hair is too mousey, I’m still too skinny even though I’ve gained a lot of weight since leaving…oh, and I’m an aesthetic. Or whatever the hell they called it. Broken, busted, defective: that’s what they should’ve said, because that’s what it is. I am who I am, and I refuse to be anything else, but it doesn’t mean I don’t hate it deep down. Hate me. All the other girls around me are happy, they’re receiving little gifts and they’re giggling about magic acorns and necklaces and kisses…me? I’m sitting in the corner. Making another candle. I do love candles, I love beeswax, but I need more than that. And I hate myself for it. Why can’t I just go through life not needing anyone, not needing to be loved, not needing to be needed in return? That would make things so simple. I could just shrug and go, “Oh, I just never found anyone!” and no one would look at me twice. Weird candle-lady, they’d call me. Crazy Sky and her apartment full’ve dogs. I’d be fine with that. But no. I need love.

From the wrong person. The wrong people. The wrong choice. For fuck’s sake, I’m sneaking out every night to spend the winter nights outside. At a camp site. Why? For what was most likely a figment of grief and imagination. She couldn’t have been real. She was mysterious and had grey eyes and bright hair and actually talked to me like I was a desirable object. A frightened rabbit she called me. Acted like I wasn’t broken for who I am. Of course it wasn’t real. No woman exists like that; I think she was a fairy. A fairy I made up, in order to make up for how pathetic I am. Maybe one night my fire will go out early and I’ll freeze to death. That’d make things nice and simple, now wouldn’t it? Go to sleep and never wake up. Bah, who am I kidding. I’d wake up and kindle the fire again. I’m too scared to die on purpose. Doesn’t mean I don’t want to anyway, sometimes.

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I have a confession. I am a selfish man. I left my home, my family, all who loved me, only to follow the whim of my heart. To travel and see exciting new places. No regard for anyone but myself and what I wanted. Things have not changed so much, not yet. I find myself in an area in which I do not belong. I stick out much like a sore thumb, one that has been smashed with a hammer or whatever would cause a thumb to be round and red, noticeable. My speech is formal in a land of little true education, and my clothing brightly colored yet surrounded by earth tones. But still I stay. I tell myself it is for her, but it is for me. I have never found anyone quite like her, one who stirs me so deeply yet inspires such restraint.

My true wish is that I could sweep her off her feet and walk until I could walk no more. If only that she were willing to travel. The places we could see! We could even travel as far as Ered Luin itself, see Duillond and its impressive library. Marvel at the Elven architecture and the clean, sweet air of fragrant blossoms in the spring. Perhaps there would even be a boat, docked and ready to carry Elven passengers home. Yet that is not something she wants. Not something she needs right now. I wish it were otherwise, and I am guilty for it; to wish she is something other than what she is is one of the greatest insults you could wish someone. She is who she is, and I-…I am fond of her. The frowns that are meant to be smiles, the soft, fluttery kisses akin to the touch of a butterfly’s wings, the steadfast pride that straightens her back and drives her to be as educated and independent as she is able. All of these things make up who she is. And yet I still find myself wanting more! I am a selfish fool of a poet, and a bad man.

She drives me to want to be a better man: a man who will do any and everything for the one for whom he cares, one who is not afraid to stand stationary. One who will think of others first and himself last. That is my confession: I am selfish. But I am trying.

Dreams: Different Homes

The weather was growing more and more pleasant by the hour – that is, colder and colder. She had begun to see snow along the ground, and secretly rejoiced. That joy was quickly overtaken by a small whine again. Shifting her dark blue eyes to the small bundle wrapped in furs, Tuija gave her daughter a wane smile. The girl hadn’t stopped complaining since they left Snowflood: she missed her friends, the wagon was hard, she was getting colder. That was to be expected, though. Children were never good travelers, especially at Lempi’s age. Once she saw the white huts and felt the cool breeze upon her cheek, she knew her daughter would understand why it was so important to return. The message that was brought to her from a trader, a note saying that Leikko of Sûri-kylä was willing to formally accept her daughter as his grandchild, it brought Tuija a joy she had almost forgotten.

Time warped, and much to her delight, she and Lempi arrived immediately. Her daughter, pink nosed and ill-equipped (Bree-blood was thin, she learned) to survive in this frigid weather, pulled the fur tighter around her. “Maaa, I’ve seen it, can we go n-”

Lempi’s current complaint was cut off by a raising of her mother’s palm, a gentle laying of fingers upon her lips. Tuija’s eyes filled with tears at the sight of her home once again, reverting back to the tongue of her people. “Shhh, love. Listen to the wind, it welcomes you home.” Lempi looked around, and Tuija watched with apprehensive joy. Just to see her daughter surrounded by fluffy white snow, dark blue eyes watering at a cold gust, filled her heart. When that little girl looked back up to her, still speaking in the Westron that she grew up hearing, and said that one awful sentence, her heart fell through the pit of her stomach.

“Ma, I want to go home to Snowflood and see my friends.

Tears filled her eyes and Tuija turned away to hide them. As she did such, the ground fell from beneath her and she tumbled through the sky. She eventually landed on her feet, Lempi nowhere to be found. Slow, cold, horrible panic began to set in. Where did her baby go? Where’s her daughter? Running through what seemed to be thawing antarctic tundra, small dead pieces of grass littering the icy mud, Tuija screamed her daughter’s name until her throat was hoarse and her voice left her. Finally kneeling on the ground, her knees instantly being dampened with the thaw, she cried. Warm tears slid down from her face, dotting her pants with small dark splotches of liquid.

“Ma!”

Tuija’s head snapped up so quickly, she was sure it would keep flying backward. Working her throat and finally finding the courage to scream her daughter’s name one more time, she pushed upon the ground and ran in the direction of her beloved child’s voice. She finally saw a small dot in the distance, pressed onward. Her baby came into view, but now she was an adult. Tuija’s eyes grew wide and she stared at the fully grown young woman, a mix of her mother’s eyes and hair, framing a face almost wholly her father’s. “Lempi?”

The young woman whipped off the traditional Lossoth garments she wore, and threw the fine hunting bow to the side. It lit on fire. Lempi, a righteous fire in her own eyes, stared back to her mother with a mixture of contempt and sadness. Her voice startled Tuija further, as her daughter spoke both in Westron and with the voice of Tuija’s father, deep and stern. “My father also named me Aimee. That is my name. I am leaving to go home. Do not try to stop me. I do not belong here.” The woman turned to leave and walked into the cave that had seemingly appeared while Tuija was focused on her daughter.

Screaming once more, barely a shrill sound that was more pain than words, Tuija tried to plead with her in Westron. She went to follow Lempi into the dark cave, sure she could convince her daughter to not leave her. She would go with her, anything; please don’t abandon me. The darkness of the cave was absolute – she no longer saw, and the cave swallowed her whole. The entrance was suddenly gone, and she was alone again. No daughter, no light, and no hope. Tuija wept bitterly.

Her eyes shot open, sitting up with a gasp. Tears were pouring down her face; tears that she immediately wiped away with the fine blanket on her bed. The dream was too real, too poignant to be anything short of the spirits trying to tell her something. Tuija shifted to rest on her elbow and lounged, still rather shaken by the dream. She softly murmured once again to her infant daughter in the language of her people. The baby was awake, her mother’s crying clearly had woken her. Tuija kissed her on the forehead, then sat again and held Lempi to her breast. Her voice cracked as she whispered in her native tongue, “I’m sorry.”

Cedar-woman: To Work

Tuija shifted her body, pulling the sling she carried closer to her breast. Soft breathing made its way out, bringing a smile to her face. Lempi was asleep, and how; worn out after the activities of the previous evening. It was an unexpected surprise, meeting that young woman, that near-neighbor. When she – her name was Gilnes, no? – spoke the language of Tuija’s people, if only to say the standard greeting and farewell, it threatened to bring tears to her eyes. Remembering the conversation brought a wave of memories back to her, even as she walked now. She wished she knew this language more clearly, for she couldn’t describe her land properly – even to one who was a neighbor.. and now, ystävä. Friend.

She said last night that Forochel was beautiful. That it had “green sky, purple.” That the “snow sparkle like sun on water.” Those words were not adequate to describe her beloved home land. The snow sparkled like a million small diamonds in the sun, which peered down from a clear, deep azure sky. The cool air showed her that which should not be seen: her breath, in white whisps of fog. Her eyes watered as a frigid breeze blew across the camp, toward the lake. On the edge of it, children played on their luistin. The clean smell of never-melting snow mingled with the scent of her pot of stew, causing her to jump up and go to stir it as her mother and older sister laughed at her forgetting dinner.

Only one word in Westron – which she knew, at least – could properly describe the village of Sûri-kylä. Home. She ached for it, with every fiber of her being…but then the warmth pressed against her reminded Tuija of why she was still here. Her daughter. Half-Lossoth, half-Bree. Given names of both, Lempi and Aimee. Both meaning “loved.” Since her husband passed, she called her child by the name of her people, Lempi; so that the little girl would not forget she also came from Sûri-kylä. The large, beautiful village in the snow. In respect and love, she did take his last name, both her and her daughter. Lawson sounded incorrect next to their Lossoth names, but it would be what it was. Rememberance would be maintained.

Even with the Bree-lander’s name at the end of her own, Tuija was rightfully very wary around strangers. She had lived in Bree-town proper for almost a year, but never took up a permanent home or work. None cared for the strange foreign woman who was so quiet and spoke with the language of a child, and even fewer trusted her. Sure, there were offers of a night here or there; and some times, they were tempting. It was a lonely life, and Tuija felt the ache, the want of a companion. Yet every time she looked down at her daughter, she knew there needed to be more than the promise of one night and whispers in the dark. She needed a husband, if she were to ever bring a man into small Lempi’s life. A man who would love her as his own.

Loosening her shirt a bit as she walked, Tuija let some of the – to her reckoning – warm air breathe into her clothing. It was so hot here, how can the people stand it? Poor Lempi was already used to the warm climate, but even she felt some of the Lossoth blood coursing through her veins. She liked the cooler sling during this weather, their harvest breeze rustling through the mostly-bare trees. Soon there would be snow, and both of them would rejoice. For Lempi, it would be her first taste and touch of snow; for Tuija, it would be that small piece of home with which she could share with her daughter. If only for a short while.

The woman tossed back her shoulders, standing prouder and more hopeful with that thought. Soon their winter would arrive, and she would – hopefully – have more steady work. Her ystävä, Gilnes, had given her odd names. Heart-wood, Dar-steed. Said they often found work for those who needed it. Tuija needed it, and so she had walked south. She stood in front of the door of what those in this Dar-steed town told her was the Heart-wood Estate. Full of hope, and full of a burning desire to prove herself, she knocked on the door.