Author Topic: The Cut, The Break (Setebos)  (Read 357 times)

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Offline Rosehips

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The Cut, The Break (Setebos)
« on: August 31, 2016, 11:35:39 AM »
She glares at it. The warzone, where the bodies were being buried. In places where the ground had been covered plants were starting to grow.  She curls her lip, something inside her tightening. “Why are they growing back! This place shouldn’t be pretty” There are tears in her eyes too. She huffs, trying to compose her personal outburst.

Grass and flowers were starting to sprout, had someone planted them here? Had she missed something? Rosehips spent her days watching people, trying to stay as hidden as she could.  She didn’t want to interact, she had no longing for it usually. The flowers were good enough friends for the shy yearling.

But not these tainted ones--  they were disgusting, someone should weed them away. She had always associated flowers, even in her bittersweet moments, with happiness. Her stomach churns. She looks at the plant that was blooming, it looked like maybe it would become marigold. Disgusting.

The dead were supposed to rest, in her opinion, solemnly. She had never been one to visit her parent’s grave, they were resting, if they wanted her, they could have her, but not soon. Only after it was her time. That was how she saw things.  The flowers made light of something so serious.

There was no reason to praise the war. There was no reason to think anything but seriousness about it. There was no need for cowards making it pretty (Surely it wasn’t the brave soldiers). She was a coward too, ushered away to safety when she could have fought. But it was only a mistake to make once.

She blinks away tears, she shouldn’t have been so anxious or upset about this, it hadn’t really affected her personally. But still. She notices someone, usually she would have rushed away, usually she would have pretended to not notice, but still.

“Why are they letting things grow here?” she whispers to them, her eyes looking over them critically, the shy girl turns her head to look at the stranger—her eyes glaring bullets. “Its disgusting and improper, a disgrace to the dead” she whispers.  Anger in her voice.


I run a six mile jog with my walkman on
Smoke myself to a place of distress
Count the sixteen ways that my life went wrong
This way my daily self-help routine
Until you walked into my life, like a siren call
#eeafaf
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Offline Setebos

  • The flowers of naivete
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Re: The Cut, The Break (Setebos)
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2017, 12:27:12 PM »
Setebos was no stranger to grief. His slow crawl through the five stages wasn't a linear path with a definitive conclusion, but a continuous, perpetual loop. He was, shall we say, especially familiar with flinging his rage at ghosts -- screaming and crying and wanting for someone to hear him and hurt the way that he was hurting. Anrende was taken by God, and his assailants were forever out of his reach, untouchable, unrepentant.

He searched for people to blame. He blamed God. He blamed Lotus. He blamed Ghost and Haven. He blamed himself, for being foolish and naive when he had always thought he was above it, for doing the right thing and not expecting Saboro to take advantage of that. He blamed nature, fate, cosmic forces that could never be held accountable for his suffering. But he was here -- he was here, and he had always hated himself. He had always thought he was wretched and ugly and never, ever good enough. Some parts of Inaria remained impassable to him, because he couldn't look at them and not imagine disheveled grasses stained with his blood. Inaria's winds weren't a smooth and lyrical breeze, but a mocking cackle.

Sometimes, he could almost make out a deep, wheedling voice thundering through the trees: WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU'RE GOING?

Inaria's Jacarandas weren't purple anymore. They were red, bright red, and sometimes black.

Regardless, Setebos braved the wilderness that had become so hostile to him. Avoiding it wasn't an option. His only other alternative was to burrow himself in his den and rot. But it wasn't borne entirely out of necessity: maybe he had wanted to rediscover and nurture the beauty that he had once found in nature. He had wanted to imagine that one thing that once brought him peace had been left untouched by trauma. He wanted to think that Jette and Nereid didn't maintain some measure of control over him.

He came to the war zone, occasionally, even if being there made him feel like he was being choked out, like his body simply couldn't accept the tainted air that he was breathing. In the wake of the war, they had transformed the battlefield into a graveyard - a monument to the dead. Foliage once stained with blood now flowered emerald green, and in place of bodies, there were flowers blooming. Occasionally, Setebos would see visitors standing over the graves, deep in thought, and he would leave them to their business.

He visited Isaac's grave sometimes. It was painful for him, but the kid didn't have any family living in Inaria. He didn't deserve to be just a lonely body in a silent grave.

The former battlefield was normally silent. Today it wasn't. Setebos addressed Rosehips not with his usual disdain, but with quiet pity. The kid was so young. If life was fair, she would have never had to experience this terrible, nauseating feeling. He heard her words and recognized them in himself. Setebos shook his head, sighing, and approached her, keeping his voice level. When he spoke, it was with a grounded sense of familiarity.

"Kid," he said quietly, sympathetically. "There's no use yelling at plants. They can't hear you." He paused. "Let's go somewhere else."
   




This old warship has wounds
And it won't sail for nothin'
The old sailor said to me
And I was foolish not to listen
And paid such close conscription
All the lies I believed

"But if you lend me some more labor
And put your name on paper
We just might catch a breeze"
I know now he was not a captain
Now because of all my actions
I grow alone with the sea

[ #E42217 ] | played by Sunblink
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Offline Rosehips

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Re: The Cut, The Break (Setebos)
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2017, 11:47:23 AM »
She feels embarrassed to be caught like this, and she wants to run away it’s her first instinct, she tenses up, her body shaking a bit. Her skin feeling red hot below her dusty pink fur. It was true that she couldn’t understand the war truly, she hadn’t fought it in. She hadn’t been there to witness the marching of Saborans on their soil, to witness the pointless deaths. All for what, she wondered. She didn’t even understand what the war was about.

Saboro she told herself. Saboro took away her sanctuary and her feeling of peace. Every problem she had she blamed on the nation, the vicious wolfs. A land of cruelty she assumed. She made them her enemy, she removed all personification away from them until they were a mass, a subject. One unit of Saboro.

She may not have understood war, but she understood grieving enough.

She belonged to a group of orphans after all. Children who’s parents left, children who were raised by Inaria as a whole. Perhaps that’s why she doesn’t run away. Every member of Saboro was in some way connected to her.

He scolds her, he tells her to leave the plants alone, and she nods solemnly.

“We shouldn’t be mocking the dead” she tells him, her eyes looking into his, and while her voice is soft, her brows are furrowed, exposing some of her true emotion. Even Rosehips, a placid girl, blooming into a woman in Inaria, still had feelings of rage.

“I’m sorry” she apologizes after a moment. “Are you who planted them here?” she asks, perhaps there would be a chance to educate him, or at least ask questions. “I just don’t understand. I would never disrespect my parents like that” (While King Ghost had filled her with hope that they might be alive she had tried to be rational) “With flowers and pretty things. Death is a serious thing.” She tries to express as they turn away from the graveyard, if they turn away from the grave yard.

“It isn’t something to make light of like this”


I run a six mile jog with my walkman on
Smoke myself to a place of distress
Count the sixteen ways that my life went wrong
This way my daily self-help routine
Until you walked into my life, like a siren call
#eeafaf
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Offline Setebos

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Re: The Cut, The Break (Setebos)
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2017, 09:54:58 PM »
The girl's rage fizzled away into immediate cold embarrassment, and for a second, after having been caught red-handed, she looked like she was about to flee. Setebos carefully regarded her. If she had decided to run, he would have permitted it and gone about his business; fortunately, she stayed. She nodded, not quite in agreement, but as if she was considering his advice. "We shouldn't be mocking the dead," she told him, young eyes impossibly hollow, like dark knotholes in a tree.

Setebos wanted to think that this was unusual for a child, but he supposed that this was the new generation of Inaria. The bitter generation, the generation that came home from Nardir to a ruined home and murdered parents. It was rage better reserved for hardened adults, not children warped and bent. As she walked beside him, Setebos coaxing her away from the graveyard and into a more secluded, peaceful grove perhaps more befitting her solemn temperament, she offered an apology and a question.

"I'm sorry. Are you the one who planted them here?"

"No," Setebos said, and he wasn't lying. If this was his handiwork, he would have proclaimed it, and he would have told her why. "I don't think anyone did. They just grew there."

Rosehips was young, but she deserved clear, honest answers, not saccharine fables disguising a horrible truth. First of those horrible truths: sometimes crap just happened and you couldn't blame them on anyone. Sometimes the people that were to blame were already dead. Sometimes they would never be punished. Sometimes marigolds bloomed in blood. Closure was the biggest fairy tale of them all.

"I leave flowers sometimes, but I don't plant 'em. I just leave 'em," he explained evenly, unemotionally. "We do it 'cause we're leaving things that help us remember people as they were in life. Like you're leaving a gift for them." If it was any consolation to poor grieving Rosehips, those flowers cut from the stem would eventually wither and die too, unclaimed atop Isaac's grave, unless some inquisitive rabbit came to nibble at them first. "My mate liked flowers. I used to leave them for her before I... left and came here. Now I plant them around my den, 'cause it's what she would've liked. We used to garden together."

He had never mentioned his mate before to anyone in Inaria, not even other Healers; now he was throwing out her name like an anecdote, because he thought that Rosehips needed it. Because she wasn't a judgmental adult: she was a child suffering adult tragedy. He pried open his ribcage, squeezed Anrende's memory out of his bruised and rotten heart, and flung it at the girl's feet like a silver dagger before he could think of how much it still hurt. Setebos continued, steady and stone-faced, "I guess part of it's tradition."
   




This old warship has wounds
And it won't sail for nothin'
The old sailor said to me
And I was foolish not to listen
And paid such close conscription
All the lies I believed

"But if you lend me some more labor
And put your name on paper
We just might catch a breeze"
I know now he was not a captain
Now because of all my actions
I grow alone with the sea

[ #E42217 ] | played by Sunblink
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Offline Rosehips

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Re: The Cut, The Break (Setebos)
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2017, 03:50:48 PM »
Perhaps if she was born generations before, if this had happened in a different time and era, this would have been different. She was descended in some ways from war machines. Maybe she wouldn’t be bothered by death? Maybe Setebos’s lecture would have made her bitter and angry. They had bread the fury out of her though. Her species, perfected, weren’t they? Fixed at least.

"I don't think anyone did. They just grew there."

She nods sagely, feeling remorse for being caught. For acting like a child in front of her superior. And her soft voice is rather quick to reply, “Ah! I-I’m sorry for accusing you sir.” She isn’t good at this, interaction with adults, she needed to time to work up the courage.  She is glad though, to learn, to have an answer.

He explains to her how they were a tradition, and her brow furrows slightly,   “No, one ever taught us about that.” She was an orphan that knew little about grieving, she had never had the chance as a child, it had only sunk in in adolescence. Perhaps though, one day the grieving would subside. King Ghost had after all.  There were a lot of things that she hadn’t been taught. It was her fault though, she thinks. She was the one who decided to grieve alone and privately, shyly.

She was just blooming into a figure seen by the public more than just fleetingly.

"We do it 'cause we're leaving things that help us remember people as they were in life. Like you're leaving a gift for them."

“I see. Don’t you think its all too, cheerful though?” she would ask. It seemed so to her. She was a girl who had planted roots for herself in her own, old ways of thought. Things she decided while hiding in the rose garden.

"My mate liked flowers. I used to leave them for her before I... left and came here. Now I plant them around my den, 'cause it's what she would've liked. We used to garden together."

She is silent then. She knew that people grieved, people other than the orphans, but she had never heard about it so openly, a statement of tradition. “So you find it to be a nice way to remember her?” she would inquire, quietly. “Perhaps my parents liked flowers too, I mean, I’m named after plants” She had always found it to be her calling, her namesake being a healer. She wasn’t sure that she understood though. "They don't have a grave to leave things at though." she would add after a moment of careful consideration. "But, maybe i understand now, a bit." It was still all too bittersweet for her but, could she judge others for grieving?



I run a six mile jog with my walkman on
Smoke myself to a place of distress
Count the sixteen ways that my life went wrong
This way my daily self-help routine
Until you walked into my life, like a siren call
#eeafaf
Played by Critter

Offline Setebos

  • The flowers of naivete
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Re: The Cut, The Break (Setebos)
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2017, 12:35:07 AM »
Once his mate's death was said and in the open, Setebos was astonished at himself for how casually he had revealed that information. He had buried it so deeply inside of himself he almost couldn't feel the pain anymore (it was just a hard black weight on the back of his neck like some tumescent knot of muscle), but he had never forgotten it. But it was much like he had been weeding a garden: he had taken the truth in his fists and finally tore it loose, uprooting it from his aching soul, and even though it was now gone, he was left with an empty hole and dirt on his hands. Setebos considered himself an expert at ignoring his pain, however, and fortunately, Rosehips did not dwell on the subject by spouting useless, self-aggrandizing cliches about understood loss. She merely apologized for mischaracterizing him.

Setebos shrugged, indifferent. The rage of a child did not trouble him. "You don't have to apologize," he said.

He looked back at the once-battlefield, and supposed that he could relate to Rosehips's desire to see it scarred forever - though he spent long hours staring at his mutilated underbelly, hoping for the denuded patches of fur to regrow so he could, at least, not be haunted by that lasting reminder. After Anrende died, nothing infuriated him more than the fact that while he was frozen in grief, the rest of the world continued into the future. He wanted everyone to suffer. He wanted everything to be barren and grey. He still did.

"I can't speak for other people. I'm only telling you how I look at it," Setebos said frankly. "Death's an ugly fact of life, and you're right, people shouldn't try to sugarcoat it. When people talk about change and moving forward, they got this tone about them, like they're trying to forget, and that's not how it should be."

Tiny blue flowers with white faces stared up at him from a patch of overgrown grass; pastel polka dots amidst the greenery. Indeed, it was cheerful. "Flowers're cheerful, but I'd rather think of my mate when how I knew her, instead of how she died." Quiet, cold, sick, pitiful, hobbled, and in pain. There were no flowers to represent the way that Anrende's spirit slowly perished within her body. Nature itself defied such misery. "I think that's what they're tryin' to do. They're trying to make something that's better than how those people died. It's more about life than it is about death."

Setebos paused, as if uncertain of his own explanation. When he met Rosehips's eyes, he was genuinely asking for her opinion. "Am I making sense?" he asked.

Because Rosehips didn't condescend to him by forcing exhausted platitudes down his throat, Setebos chose not to patronize her by pretending to know her position as an orphan. His relationship with his parents was a complicated one, but he had a family, and he thought himself fortunate for that. An idea occurred to him after she mentioned that she had nothing to remember her parents by. "Do you want to change that?" Setebos suggested delicately. "You could make something for them."
« Last Edit: May 16, 2017, 12:35:33 AM by Setebos »
   




This old warship has wounds
And it won't sail for nothin'
The old sailor said to me
And I was foolish not to listen
And paid such close conscription
All the lies I believed

"But if you lend me some more labor
And put your name on paper
We just might catch a breeze"
I know now he was not a captain
Now because of all my actions
I grow alone with the sea

[ #E42217 ] | played by Sunblink
   » tracker