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Toralea ~ Woman of Variance

Woman of Variance

If you hurt me, do it quickly

Toralea Obsidiannan, Sheltered from the storms
Artwork by Liz Lemon Swindle

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Toralea Button Like a proofreader, picking out every flaw of the city before her, she looked over what used to be her beloved home. Every color seemed abased. Every turn of the street and every building outline felt oppressive. The bleeding sky bathed the back of her hair in it's paint, her features were sillouetted against the backdrop of finality. She had left that place, the tangible reminder of it, and the teeming fragility of her echoes of wraithlike joy.

She left Delium behind her, blissfully behind. Now she had entered a land as black as her heart. Even the trees had blackened trunks and the streets seemed to glisten with obsidian stone. Ennui settled around her like a fine mist. If she could not die, then noone could make her live. She was tired, so very tired. Circles deepened around her eyes like rings around Saturn.

Eyes sprung open at the same time the gasp escaped. Warmth trickled down her belly, a growing stain upon the cotton. Clutching her mid-section, Toralea buckled over with the burning bluewhite pain that seered through her.

It couldn't be him, why would he do this to her? He loved her. The cloak disappeared around the corner as her consciousness teetered on the edge of lucidity. A last glimpse of her beloved was the heel of his boot, before she sucumbed to the blackness of sleep. Her crumpled body slid along the side of the shopdoor, and her cheek was marred by the rich earth that recieved her body into its cradle.

tora Button The vision of the flowing cloak and the boot of her lover were seered into her thoughts, it was hardly within her ability to realize, that the boot was that of a woman. Her body ached, it was that alone that told her that heaven hadn't been her reward, perhaps this was the hell everyone has promised her? Eyes squeezed tightly closed, she didn't think she wanted to see what her punishment would be for loving a man already taken.

The silence got the best of her finally, that, and the odd sensation of being warm, but not entirely healthy. Her hands roamed over her old wounds. The nightmare had been replayed yet again. Surely she was dead, but why could she still feel her toes and her body? She opened her eyes to a deep baritone, her fingers slipped over her throat as she looked upon the man towering over her crumpled form.

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She could hear the night sounds of the kingdom, and smell the fall fading into winter. She must have slipped to the cold ground in her exhaustion. Could it be she was yet amongst the living? Could this one before her be some angel sent to heal her so that her agony would never cease? What punishments more was she to bear? What else was there for her to withstand because of her evil? She turned away from his face, she felt as if she was awash in warm liquid, blood perhaps? Her own? She didn't know, she wasn't even sure any longer that she cared. She just wanted release from feeling, release from the horrifying love that was once her salvation.
"If you will hurt me, please do it quickly, the agonies I have suffered will go on long enough." She sounded pitiful. She knew it and she didn't care. Any thread of self-worth she had retained had been cast away like old waste when her lover's dagger had been lifted over her breast. Her breast, that had cradled his head, then ripped in two by his hand. She could hardly fathom it, hardly understand what change had overcome him to have turned like a rabid dog on her. tora Button

tora Button
"If I am in hell, then what you do will make no matter, if I am not, then do what you do quickly so that I may swiftly arrive there."

She allowed the man to pull her up. What matter did it make now? What did anything matter ever again. Leeching warmth from his hands, she stood on her own finally wanting no more than to be left alone. Blessedly horifically alone, yet she was not alone. Lifting her face to the one who held her doe-like eyes awaited her punishment.

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A rodent scampered across her toes. She watched it in dejected curiosity. It reminded her of someone. The spindly tail and rounded twitching ears. The whispers that were in constant motion. It made her sad. Lifting a toe surprised the creature and it disappeared out of view. Seeing her own naked toes reminded her once more of the boots she had seen leaving her. His cloak, and she thought his hand, but those were *not* his boots, she was certain of that. Something strange was at play and it was not but the abject agony that tortured her. A thin pinprick of memory painted a ribbon of hope across her bleeding heart. Could it be possible that it was not Senir who had attempted to take her life?

Toralea's Tumult
The night was swallowed by day. Eyelids fluttered and unveiled contracted pupils. She ached all over. Cursed humanity, she stretched out her stiff limbs. Sleeping outside against a doorjam was far from comfortable she decided. Funny how things looked different in the stark daylight than they did at night. She thought back to the past few evenings like there were somehow no more than a dull dream. . A stab in her chest reminded her too quickly of her past experiences. Despair threatened to rush in at the least provocation as she looked out across the room. Wait, she was in a room. She sat up quickly. The tantilizing scent of soup reminded her that she had not eaten in too long.

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Am I in Hell?

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