Yoooo even though I’m an avid writer I haven’t really gotten into the RP bit of FL yet so here we go~ This is a short one-shot about my main and her cousin, my alt, after he finished Seeking. It’s quick and sort of written for myself but hey, if any of you enjoy it then that’s great! Feedback and constructive criticism encouraged(please please please!!) Anyways, here she is
P.S. Phiri uses they/them pronouns, sorry in advance for any confusion.
A weak knock sent Phiri to the door after the daily Mr Sacks left and they quickly shoved the jar of honey into their weasel-proof pantry before bustling off towards the front. “I’m coming!” they shouted as the weak knocking turned to a desperate pounding. They opened their door to see their cousin shivering, knee-deep in lacre. He stood there a moment and then fell forward into Phiri’s front room, covering their welcome mat in the foul-smelling ‘snow.’
“Vermillion!” Phiri cried, pulling him inside by his arms and closing the door behind him. They quickly dragged their cousin to their guest room and carefully set him him onto the bed. He moaned and curled into himself like a dying flower.
Phiri pushed his jacket open and gasped as they saw two long, dark stains on his shirt. They hurriedly yanked the shirt up to reveal two scars with darkened edges weeping a greenish white viscous-looking liquid. They ran to get a bowl of water and a cloth and gently cleaned the wounds as Vermillion thrashed.
The scars did not look any better but the fluid started to stop at least. Phiri tried their best to pack it with spider silk so that at least it could clot.
They stayed with Vermillion through the night as he thrashed and moaned and cried and screamed, occasionally using a spoon to drip cool water between his lips. When Vermillion finally exhausted himself enough to fall into a comatose sleep, Phiri pulled a chair next to the bed and began to doze off.
The next morning, Vermillion wasn’t much more lucid but he was at least no longer spastic. Phiri woke to him mumbling under his breath about chains. “Vermillion...what happened to you?” they asked carefully, although they already guessed.
“I ordered a glass of water…an open door…the sky. A way out,” he whispered hoarsely. “I’m free. Free of the Name.”
Phiri nodded, wondering if they should be writing this down or if it was just the ramblings of a maniac.
“He’s so….lonely. And hurt. I wanted to help, but…he pulled me in. Eaten. Eaten.” He spasmed as if in pain.
Phiri brushed his damp hair back from his forehead. “Vermillion, that was very unwise of you to Seek. It would have destroyed you. I wasn’t as far as you had gone and I only barely got myself back.”
Vermillion shook his head in a stupor. “I wanted to. I wanted to be destroyed. To tear myself aparts with chains and scars and stains and char myself and burn forever.”
Suicide by the Name, Phiri mouthed to themself. They had heard that term before, associated with those gone mad with impossible hunger and terrible dreams. By their own choice.
“Vermillion, if you keep talking like that I’m going to send you to the Bethlehem Hotel and stay there with you until you promise to keep yourself alive,” they said harshly.
Vermillion’s eyes went wide at the sudden statement. “Oh, Phiri, you don’t really think-” He stopped when he saw the look on his cousin’s face.
Phiri looked at their lap. “I can’t lose anyone else. Especially not a family member.”
Vermillion reached out a trembling pale hand and took theirs in his. “I won’t leave. I swear to safety. At least-” He let out a dry laugh. “-as safe as one can be down here.”
Phiri took a deep breath. “Ok,” they said. “Ok.”
A peaceful silence overtook them, both of them lost in their own thoughts.
“Are you hungry?” Phiri asked eventually, not noticing the pun before it was too late.
Vermillion chuckled hoarsely. “Actually, I’m not. But can I have a glass of water?”
Phiri nodded and went off to get one.
Vermillion stayed with Phiri for the next three days. The scars did not heal, but Vermillion shrugged and said he’d deal as well as he could. Phiri finally let him leave with the promise that he’d send word at least once a week until he’d gained their trust back.
As Phiri finally closed the door behind him, they collapsed into a chair in exhaustion and cried. It wasn’t out of sadness, but frustration and fear for their cousin. One can’t trust many people in the Neath, but Phiri trusted their sister and cousins. To lose one of them would be catastrophic for them.
Eventually they gasped out a last few sobs and rubs at their eyes with their rough sleeves. They usually put on such an emotionless facade that they always bottled up emotions like this until it got too much. How could there be people down here who were happy? In this place where death and insanity were rampant and no one was safe from anything?
Phiri sighed and rose from the chair. There was work to be done. They were strong and could get through this. After all, they were stuck down here. Might as well enjoy it.
Tomorrow was another day. The Bazaar didn’t like to be kept waiting.
edited by Iona Dre’emt on 5/1/2018