Are You My Mother? (Memory)

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Posts: 80
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:36 pm
Race: Yludih
Renown: 40
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Wealth Tier: Tier 5



Are You My Mother? (Memory)

Ashan 710, 110-112th
Her mother was gone.

To market most likely, they never went as a family. There could be too many eyes or so her parents always said, though she understood it better now she liked to go herself and get sweets from stall owners who thought it cute she helped her parents. Another part of her, one she had long since let fade, wanted to hold hands with her mother as they picked things for the garden but instead she was left to tend the weeds as per her mothers note. Simple and brisk, as with all her instructions:

Gone to get tomato seeds. Pull the weeds, Zih.

She had paid it no more mind that she paid the clouds overhead. To her it meant she could pass the day swimming in her new form, the quiet cool of the waters around her blocking out the loudness of the day as people woke. But her father, he had taken one glance at the note and gone strangely pale. Nothing he said or did was truly out of the ordinary save for how quiet her was in the hours that followed. Breakfast was a somber affair, his lunch only punctuated by the handing of his leftover to Zih, who swallowed them with childish greed, but when he came home his dinner talk was nothing but a quiet:

"Eat your dinner, Zih."

There was nothing she could find that would cause him to be so curt, though no one in their family was verbose by any means they usually chatted softly among each other. The Yludih child only did as she did with anyone else, she watched. Watched and waited for her father to do something that would explain the strange tension he exuded. But it was only the following day when there was no accompanying note and her mother had still note returned did two and two make four.

Her own head swam with burnings, drownings, murders, exposure. Yet her father was already at work and none of her fears could be soothed, nothing would make it seem like normal. Every shadow that crosses the busy door front made her flinch until she could stand no more and fled to the garden where the weeds still lay. With single-minded focus she put her all into cleaning the garden bed, watering it after though it was far to late in the morning to be of any use. Her mother always said earlier was better so the water had a chance to sink into the dirt and truly soak the roots but her mother said a lot of things.

Like only going out for tomatoes.

As she stared at the pile of weeds, note crushed in her small hands the day passed until the letters were too hard to read and the soft call of her father from inside prompted her to move. Zih didn't want to ask. If she asked it would make it true. Her skin felt too tight, as if it had fused to the stones underneath and would shred on any edges it could find. He smiled his same quiet smile when she came in and Zih slipped the note back into her pocket. She couldn't ask.

She didn't want to know.

Instead of forming the question that burned in her mind like a brand, Zih smiled back at her likely sole parent, "What's for dinner?"

Still so quiet he only led her to the kitchen table that suddenly looked far too big, the whole house was far to big, and her likely agreed because he made no comment when the young girl dragged the chair closer to his then ate in silence. And when she crawled into bed with him that night he still said nothing, as he said nothing the following morning when he slipped out for work.

There had been no other instructions from her mother. Just weeds, though this morning she watered them early enough to be helpful but her mother had still not returned. Her fathers face that first day flashed in her mind, telling her it was unlikely the woman would either. Her tiny heart quickened, what if they would disappear too? Wasn't this what they always had feared? Was it what they always had feared or was it something much simpler? Were they abandoned? Was she?

Zih only felt the thoughts stop when her foot, swinging far too quickly in the chair, smashed into the table leg. Coins on the table scattered and fell to the ground like fallen leaves, the soft clinking being drown out with the rain. There were no more thoughts as she picked them up one by one then pocketed them. Not a sound within her head until she reached the market. Nearly empty except for those who still sold wares in the heavy rain and those desperate enough to buy them. But the child was not there for the wares, though she made sure to look at each stall then shake her head as if that were the case.

She was a shopper, not a hopelessly lost child.

But the closer she got to the end of the small stalls the more that strange itch beneath her skin began, her mind buzzing until it was a furious roar above the rain. Maybe she would go for a swim until there was nothing but her own pulse and swish of water in her ears--

A flash of familiar hair caught her eye, her feet moving before she could tell them to stop. To behave and listen and that it wasn't possible to live in a market for two days and that her mother would never do something so foolish and draw attention like that. Yet her arms still wove around the slim waist as soon as it was in reach, the soothing motion releases the tension in rooted so deep her entire body tingled, "Mom!"

As fast as she had done it, Zih released that woman. The voice had been colder than the rain in it's unfamiliarity even it she watched and felt all of her crack when a familiar face turned. The tension was back so quickly her soul ached from the force of it because this was her mother but it was not her mother. A smile, not one like her mother wore, crossed the full lips and the eyes were pitying, "Did you lose your mom in the rain? I'm sure if you go home she's waiting for you."

The tears were obscured by rain, the only reason to note them was how warm they were on her face. Zih meant to shake her head, laugh it off as a joke, anything to not be recognized as more things made sense. Things she knew to be wary of. And though unclenching her teeth was an effort in and of itself, the girl made it, her won lips curving to mirror the older version of her mother. This is what they were good at. Copying. Zih could do it.

"I am, th-thank you!"

It was the most she could get out before she turned and ran. This time the rain could not silence the noise in her head.

Her mother had used a face from here. Her mother had used a face from the city. Her mother had likely been caught. Or worse. What if that merchant wasn't from the city? Had they looked for her mother? What had she done? What had Zih done by showing her face? Was the woman whose face her mother had stolen following her? Was this how it was always? Would it always be this way? Was no face their own? What had her mother even truly looked like? Maybe that woman was her mother? Maybe her grandmother? Or the grandmother of the stolen face? Where was her mother?

The questions chased her until she slammed the door, startling her father at the table who finally, finally broke the silence when he saw her face.

"Your mother isn't coming back, Zih."

"Why does that lady have her face?"

Her father sighed, his steps echoing too loudly in her head as he scooped her up like she was a baby again, falling silent once more. She knew he wouldn't tell her, probably never would have if she hadn't gone to the market. The young Yludih wasn't sure if that was a blessing or a curse, her mind could come up with theories but none would be right. Or worse they would be. Without a word her fingers dug into his back and he made no protest as he sat them down and rocked them both, the silence worst than if he had scolded her or confirmed her fears. What if the real reason her father never spoke of it was because he too didn't know?

Zih fell asleep to these thoughts, her heart racing even in her nightmares until she woke in the morning, and her mother was still gone.

Though probably not to the market.
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word count: 1530
Posts: 469
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:29 am
Race: Human
Renown: 270
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Wealth Tier: Tier 6


Re: Are You My Mother? (Memory)





Acting: Pretending everything is normal
Acting: Pretending not to cry
Acting: Lying to yourself
Gardening: Tomato plant care
Gardening: Proper watering
Gardening: Must be tended to everyday


EXP: 10


My first thought when I read the first sentence was to feel sad for a mother's death, you really fooled me with that one! But then the sympathy came back when it was made clear that the mother was actually gone. You did a great job of setting up the thread so that it started and ended on the same tone. I think you did a good job of painting a picture of what life might be like for a typical child in the ST universe. Enjoy the rewards

Insert Player 2







word count: 140
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