ysonesse: (pic#5165920)
ysonesse ([personal profile] ysonesse) wrote in [community profile] rainbowfic2012-11-27 09:41 am

Angel Cake #16, Tea Rose #24, Tyrian Purple #4

Name: leiamoody
Story: Phantasmirrora―”Bedtime Stories”
Colors: Angel Cake #16 “Undying”; Tea Rose #24 “Nobody minds having what is too good for them”; Tyrian Purple #4 “Golden apple”
Word Count: 1091
Rating: PG
Summary: Miranda learns about immortality in The Realms.
Note: Set the next morning after Miranda has a weird nightmare in Girl and the Sea.
Warning: Mention of suicide contained in narrative.

“There is no death. There is perpetual existence which you might call eternal life.” Eustace was deep in a brandy fugue, half aware of the situation he described to Miranda. She, plus him, Jacob, Romena, and Arianna were gathered in the sitting room (a weird space of jade green, ocean blue and peacock feathers paired with overstuffed couches). “Everyone would be lost if this questionable gift were taken away.”

“Even yourself?” Miranda inquired from her place on the velvet window seat.

“Mostly yes, occasionally no.” Eustace gulped another swig of brandy; he was almost done the fifth glass, with a sixth glass waiting on the side table.

“It’s like cursed awesome.” Arianna said. “You don’t get old, sick, or injured. But you stay here forever.”

“Until The Summoner decides to change the rules and kill everyone off again,” Romena chimed in.

“That only happens every thousand years plus two centuries,” Jacob added. “Maybe he’ll keep this version going indefinitely.”

“And keep people to his kingdom via the manuscript,” Eustace said. “Temptation for the magically gifted and stupidly curious.” He inhaled another swig of the remainder from glass Number Five. “Like the golden apple destined to create strife among the goddesses. The book is a cursory trinket designed to bring fresh subjects here.”

“Fresh subjects? Is he a scientist?”

Jacob laughed. “That's what I said the first time!” He sat across the room, perched on a mushroom-looking purple ottoman like it was just another day…well, it really was just another day in The Realms.

Maybe she needed to ask the obvious question: “Does he ever play around with people stuck here?”

Jacob nodded. “It starts before anyone gets here. That book you poked around in has all the spells needed to suck you through a mirror. He puts that book wherever you’re likely to find it. But he scans around looking for the right people first.”

“Victims,” Romena interrupted. “He seeks out anyone who possess intellectual curiosity about magic. Throughout history he’s found alchemists, sorcerers, mystics, astrologers, and lay people. When he’s presented them with the book, The Summoner knows  who shall pass into this world.”

Miranda frowned. “Why does he pick…victims?”

“Because it’s much preferable to maintaining generations of people to experiment upon when you are twisted.” Eustace rejoined the conversation. “Our jailer once placed himself as God of a small world in another part of the universe. He kept the people under control until it got boring.” He took another sip of brandy then continued. “Old Ysonesse was destroyed.”

“Destroyed? Completely?” Miranda leaned forward, elbows on her knees.

“Well, he recycled the souls,” Jacob replied.

“Waste not, live occasionally,” Arianna said.

“So the people he brings here become immortal punching bags. And there’s no way to escape.” Miranda spread her hands out in the air like a prophet calling up visions. “Is there anything to do instead of sitting around waiting?”

There was no immediate response from the quartet of established Unfortunates. She’d been in The Realms for two days by their calendar, and uncovered one thing people did to pass the interminable moments of monotony: drinking to excess. Eustace had a wide selection of top-and-bottom shelf liquors in a private cellar adjoining the library. Clearly he wasn’t the only person hanging around Tacheron curing their ills with booze. There was also a large metropolis out in the western part of Ysonesse: The Sequel; a city that was an odd mishmash of historical styles (mostly skyscrapers, but also some Roman and Greek thrown in for the whatever factor). Ysonesse Two was the only amusement in The Realms other than some freaky garden. Pretty much everyone wandered into the city later or sooner. Of course there were personal amusements to be found after or between hours; surely all matter of recreational substances to help pass the minutes as well.

“You’ve answered the question without our assistance.” Eustace read her mind; she’d have to work on creating some kind of mental barrier.

“So everybody sits around getting drunk and high just to avoid misery?”

“You got some other activity to recommend?” Arianna snarked.

“It gets rough.” Jacob stood up in the center of the room. “You need coping mechanisms.”

“Like getting blitzed?”

“Of course not. Many of us practice the magical arts. Even if the results are less than wonderful,” Romena said more with force than Miranda heard thus far. Even with parts of her soul missing, the poor woman still had a glimmer of strength. Miranda couldn’t say if she would be able to hold a fragmented self together if the same fate dropped across her path.

“You must comprehend we have memories that accumulate, assault, antagonize our conscious thoughts.” Eustace was now into his sixth brandy. “It’s enough to drive us mad. We cast amnesia spells to put old memories aside, to make room for every new memory. But spells do nothing to eradicate the grief…or the anger. Happiness spells are like medicine; they keep you healthy but the process requires larger doses in order to retain any semblance of rationality.”

“It’s not like we can attempt suicide without getting revived every time,” Jacob added. “Trust me.”

“Some of us tried because it seemed like a way to get back home,” Arianna said. “You know how it’s like when you die in a dream but you aren’t really dead when you wake up? That’s what I hoped would happen. But I forgot about those dreams where you die in real life too.”

So the inevitable was inevitable; there was no escape. Death couldn’t happen unless The Summoner decided to end a life, but he preferred mass death instead. Immortality was both a curse and blessing. Memories piled up and needed to be forgotten. Oh, and her thoughts could be read without her permission. “Well, if I can’t beat the misery, I have to join it. Any chance of going into the city and checking out the sights?”

Jacob nodded. “I could show you around.”

Eustace cleared his throat. “She needs to visit Isabel first for a reading and to get the Ouroboros.”

“Who’s Isabel?”

“The best oracle anywhere,” Arianna replied. “She checks your soul, picks up on your strengths, gives you the Ouroboros brand, gets you ready for learning magic.”

“Oh…should be interesting.”
serpentine: (Default)

[personal profile] serpentine 2012-11-27 03:42 pm (UTC)(link)
This sounds like a very interesting world that you have set up here. I wonder what kind of experiments go on there.

(Going to go and read the rest you've written now for this universe. ^^)
bookblather: A picture of Yomiko Readman looking at books with the text "bookgasm." (Default)

[personal profile] bookblather 2012-11-28 06:57 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, wow, this world sounds like total hell.

(would you mind adding a trigger warning for discussion of suicide, please? Thanks.)
kay_brooke: Snowy landscape with a fence, an evergreen forest, and a pink sky (winter)

[personal profile] kay_brooke 2012-11-29 07:46 pm (UTC)(link)
Miranda seems to take her fate awfully calmly...but then again, what else is she going to do? Better to just get on with it than angst over something she can't change.