• Graded • Deep is the Fog

warnings for family (npc) death and mourning

The Orm'del Sea is an ocean that separates Eastern and Western Idalos. It is said to have many horrors awaiting those that wish to travel through its waters.

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• Graded • Deep is the Fog

Postby Hart » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:36 pm

"Speaking in Rakahi"
"Speaking in Common"
78th of Ymiden, 707

Hart had slept at Jovy's side. It had been an uneasy sleep, a position that hurt his back, but he had slept there regardless. He'd slept sitting up and hunched by her bed, a constant vigil the last few trials.

His head rested lightly on her blankets now, next to her tucked-in legs.

So when he woke it was to her singing, murmured from above him; her singing, and the feeling of thin fingers combing gently through his untidied hair.

Deep ocean blue
Carry me home
Give me a light
To sail to

Oft though the fog
Has brought me despair
I call to your light
And sing

It wasn't a song he'd heard before. Not one of the ones their mother had sung to them as children, though as Jovy sang now it had that same soft, lullaby ring. It was a very sad song, those words, Hart thought muzzily, still half asleep. Jovy had never been a pretty singer, though she had loved music and sang regularly, every day.

Or at least, she'd used to. She had stopped singing since she had come back. Since she had been ill.

So with the melody of the waves on the hull, her voice was not pretty. But it was beautiful to hear again, all the same.

Deep ocean blue
Am I yet home
The love of my life
I sing you

Where have you gone
Are you yet here
Deep is the fog
For me

Her hand stilled in his hair, her voice growing faint on the last few words, and Hart had a moment of inexplicable reaction. He thought, just then as she'd stopped singing, that it had happened, that he'd lost her. He jerked away from where he had been resting, moving his head from where it had been pillowed on the edge of the bunk, and her hand fell away from him as he did.

But there she was, dark eyes watching him, and she looked--

She looked at peace. For once, she looked rested.

She smiled at him and said, "There you are, I thought you'd never wake." Then frowned, more herself than she had been in many, many days, and gave a scolding voice-- almost a mocking of their mother, but despite that he could sense it was only half a joke. "Have you been combing your hair? It appears not. Well why not? You look a fright."

"You should see yourself," Hart told her.

She was quiet for a moment.

Then, "Hart, I'm feeling thirsty. My throat hurts." She lifted her hand to her neck and her hands were so steady. He remembered the last time she had gotten up, and she had barely been able to stand. "Would you get me some tea? I think I would like to get up and see the clouds and the sky this morning."

"Alright," he said cautiously.

"With sugar," she insisted.

"With sugar," he agreed.

"And lemon," she said, grabbing his hand as he stood, and finally he had to smile back at her, like the sun coming out on a dark day.

"And lemon."

"Two slices, not one. Oh, and a dash or two of tonic." Tonic was medicinal, used to treat colds and flus, mixed heavily with gin. "Thanks, skip." She gave him a grin and he couldn't help it. She let go of him and he near soared out of the cabin, unable to contain himself as he ran up to the deck.

"Da'!" Hart shouted, pausing on course to the galley. Their mother was standing at the bow; she turned, expression somewhat blank, but then grinned wide-toothed when she saw the joy on his face. "What is it, love?"

"Jovy woke and she said she wants tea. She wants tea. And she was singing."

"Singing?" He was certain had she been holding something she would have dropped it, perhaps even accidentally over the very side of the ship. "Tea?" Her grin had gone with the shock and yet there was more light to her face. A brightness dawning that hadn't been. Suddenly she looked younger, almost like a girl. She looked as hopeful as Hart felt.

"I've got to go get it. I don't want to make her wait." He was already moving.

"Make her wait and she'll change her mind," their mother said, something of a mantra when it came to Jovy, and watched as he darted for the galley before turning and heading with a spring towards the cabins and Jovy's bunk.

In the galley Hart slopped fresh grog water into a pot and put it on the simple cooking lantern to heat, lighting the oil to set it to burn. He paced the galley from port to starboard then bow to stern, and again, and again until the water came to a boil. Then he took the boiled grog off, added a splash then another of the medicinal gin, and poured it into a mug over the tea leaves to seep.

The basket of lemons he accidentally kicked over in his hurry and he scrambled to scoop them up, before taking one and cutting into it. Two slices went into the mug and two generous dollops of good sugar. He stirred the tea with a spoon and blew on it, careful not to spill, as he rushed towards the bunks.

"Hart, don't--" he thought he heard their mother call out right before he opened the door, yet he opened it anyway. Then came to a stop in the hatch.

Jovy was dead.

She was lying on the bunk where he'd left her, her blankets kicked from her feet as if she had been planning to stand. It could not have been five bits ago he'd seen her-- she had smiled at him, she had grinned. She could have been sleeping but he could tell from their mother's tears that she wasn't. For a moment there was a silence and he thought it was a joke, that they were tricking him. They must be tricking him, though it was cruel. But Jovy could be wicked. Then he saw that her chest didn't rise and her eyes were just slightly open, as if gazing upon something far away.

The tea hit the floor and it must have scalded his bare feet, but if it did he didn't feel it. At least the mug didn't chip; it was Jovy's favorite. Something about that startled him and his mind replayed the sentiment over and over again, Jovy's favorite mug, her favorite mug, her favorite. He leaned and picked it up from where it had fallen on the ground, turning it over in his hands as if to check that it remained in one piece.

Hart took the hem of his shirt and dried the spilt tea from the mug's surface, then walked and placed it next to Jovy's side, as if her hand might reach out and take it. Instead their mother picked it up and curled over it, holding it close to her face as she wept as if the mug might catch all her tears.

Hart walked from the room.

Up on deck he told Ody, whose face went stunned silent before he shook his head and wandered off to tell the rest. Then Hart went back down to the galley.

All the things he had used to make Jovy's tea were out still, the knife used to slice the lemon, the rest of the lemon itself, the gin, the bag of tea leaves, the pot, the bag of sugar, the lantern which was still lit, and how had he forgotten not to unlight it? Only the basket of lemons was in order and Hart knelt next to it, trying to make sense of the insensible. Outside he could hear someone wailing, not their mother, someone else-- perhaps their mother's sister, their aunt. Their aunt, he thought again, and his mind repeated the words over and over once more as if it might help him, their aunt, their aunt, their aunt. Until he realized. His aunt. His aunt.

His mother.

The mug.

His life.

Jovy was dead.

Without moving from where he'd knelt on the floor Hart reached up towards the counter and took the cut lemon from where he had left it. He put it in the basket of full lemons, the others whole and unhurt, and thought, this doesn't make sense. He took it out again and held it in his hands. Suddenly the walls blurred, the lemon blurred, and the tears made everything awash with hurt.

As his mother had wept over a mug that had once belonged to a someone, a something that had once been a favorite and now was just a mug again, Hart wept over a cut lemon, a something that had once been whole and now had pieces missing from it. Where was the rest of it? Spilled on the ground in Jovy's room. Jovy's room, Jovy's room. Not her room, not any longer; the room, the room. They would have to pick her up and lower her overboard, into the sea.

"Tea with lemon and sugar and tonic," he wept out. Then, "U'frek, please, no. Please no." What had that song been that she'd been singing? Something about the ocean. He thought she must have made it up. He tried to remember the words.

Thanks, skip.

"Ocean blue," he wept, and put his hands up to his face to cry. His hands were stained with lemon juice when he touched his eyes. He cried harder for it, though he still tried to speak.

"Where have you gone? Are you yet-- are you yet--"

"I sing, I sing. I s-sing." He couldn't remember. He couldn't. "Oh gods. Oh gods I beg you."

Where have you gone
Are you yet here
Deep is the fog
For me

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Deep is the Fog

Postby Aegis » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:20 am


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