zeeth_kyrah: A glowing white and blue anthropomorphic horse stands before a pink and blue sky. (Default)
[personal profile] zeeth_kyrah
(Written by the seat of my pants, with minimal editing. Let's see if I can finish this, or only get partway into it. Inspired by [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith's poem "Simple as a Glass of Chocolate" and the comments below it, as well as recent personal events.)

T'e-ma Huollo was a creature of another world,
Walking ethereally through ours. Her heart
Echoed with the songs of ages, her mind
Was filled with thoughts of wisdom
Fully distilled.

She looked like beauty itself,
Youth and age and form mixed all together
As in the reflection one sees
In the divination well.

Upon her brow was a horn,
Curved, with a slight twist.
Her hands and feet were like no
Living creature on Earth, formed
With horn upon the ends, but not hooves.
Fingers and toes bent delicately
To grasp their respective tasks.

And when she spoke, it felt like
The songs of the Universe
Echoed around the listener,
Leaving impressions of emotion
That colored her words.

But this is not what made her so alien.

It was simply that the world she walked
Did not know her, did not know itself
In her presence, for her power
Was alien spirit made flesh.

As days went on, she found herself
In a city of humankind,
Hiding her features with a cloak
Of dream, the illusion that is truth,
So that she could travel freely.

At a park she saw a man lying on a bench,
Hiding a pistol beneath his coat.
The metals sang to her of their electric balance,
So different from flesh and bone.
She knelt beside him.

"Sir? Are you well?"
Her question got no answer,
And his breath was pale and weak.
She turned to see a crowd gathering.

Hand on his shoulder, she whispered
Words no-one could know,
A song his wife sang when they were
Raising their young son,
Before the divorce.

He sat up, blinking,
As an officer of the law approached.
"Sir, are you okay?" asked the
Blue-coated man.

"Yes," said the man. "Leave me alone,
I want to hear that song again."
T'e-ma at his shoulder
Smiled sadly and shook her head.

"I'm sorry, I must not.
You'll hear it again someday in your dreams."
He sighed.

"Sir," said the officer, "I'm going to have to ask you
To move along. This bench is public property
And we can't have you sleeping here."

"I got nowhere to go!" came the protest.
"Come with me," said T'e-ma.

The crowd began to disperse
As the man lifted himself off the bench
In T'e-ma's secretly strong arms.
She helped him walk to a nearby cafe,
And bought him a coffee and
Two tea cakes.

"Was she beautiful," she asked.

"Nope. She was strong,
Got my attention in high school
When I was on the football team
And she tackled me by accident
On the way to class."

"I see people always
Looking for beauty first."

"She said I had nice eyes.
You think the team would get girls,
But they all wanted the quarterback,
Not a nose tackle. I'm no dream myself."

"What happened?"

"You all get concerned,
Then you ask what happened.
Leave my life alone."
The man concentrated on his meal.

T'e-ma shook her head slightly.
"No. You were going to end it.
I feel that weapon.
I know who it's for."

He would have jumped to his feet
And run away if she hadn't
Smiled as if she herself had
Lost her dearest love.

"I see them sometimes,
In the shadows of life.
They tell me stories now and then.
Your wife is with you.
It's how I knew her song."

"Tell me, is she okay?"

"Yes and no," came the reply.
"She is well, but concerned for you.
Your son is worried, she shows me an
Image of him pushing papers away
And lifting an image of you."

"He's gay. I can't go to him!"

"These are changing times.
Will you learn them anew?"

"The devil will take me!"

"And what am I,
Asking you to save your life?"

The man looked through illusory mist,
Saw her horn and aspen-leaf ears,
Saw the round shape of sloe-dark eyes,
Saw the velvet coat of hair on her skin.

"Wha- what are you," he gasped out,
Surprise locking his chest in pain.

"You know what I am,
Man of Strength.
Can you face me?
Will your heart take the truth?"

He sighed.

"Call him. If nothing else,
Say hello and wait.
I'll buy you a cake for the road now."

Months later, the woman
Who'd sung her heart-song
Appeared to T'e-ma and nodded,
Hand on her own heart.

"Namaste, shining spirit,"
Said the woman.
"Are you well?"

"I miss my home," said T'e-ma.

"Sing of it to me, for my family is together again,
And my husband has home once more."

"Not yet, but I will sing
To all your world
Of mine, and what I have lost,"
Declared the alien.

T'e-ma went to a club she had found
And there at the open mic night,
She signed the paper in foreign script
In parentheses adding ("Tayma")
And waited for her name.

The call came out,
She stepped up,
And took a breath to sing.

As in a dream every listener turned,
For the glamer around her faded.
There on the stage was a unicorn-woman,
And from her mouth came a sound
No angel dared disturb.

"Ih pa re-kuz na Rai ju'e,
Toh la-ta ieia tollei ta,
Fhrehlo te p'hu'ro neh.

"In words of dream my World is,
Not life nor sleep shall conquer it,
Eternally half-lit love upon."

So sang she that no other sound
Intruded 'til she finished hers,
Chest heaving with tears.
T'e-ma bowed her head.
The applause was deafening, an ovation
Loud as the greatest could receive.

Her facade began to return,
But the emcee touched her arm.
"Tayma, will you sing another?
An encore, please."

She shook her head.
"No, thank you. This is enough for now.
It is titled in your words,
The Song of Life."

A record agent in the crowd
Offered her a deal,
But T'e-ma shook her head.
"I'll record it when I'm ready."

"How about as a background singer?
I could put you in touch with movie producers!"

"No. I don't sell my songs, only their performance."

The man gave her a hundred dollar bill.
"That's what we do. Call me."

T'e-ma smiled her sad, sweet smile,
Took the money,
And walked into the night.

Every now and then
She enters the stage of another life,
Sings a song that saves it,
Sings that one's song of life.

But when she sings for herself,
It is her world's song and not her own,
That saves her life again.

---

T'e-ma Huollo ("Tayma Hoo-oh-low") - A unicorn-like humanoid from another world, T'e-ma came to Earth to answer a call for unicorns, and has chosen to help save humanity from its suffering one soul at a time. She is a magical creature; it is woven into her very being, and she can communicate with spirits as well as feel the energies of life, pattern, and material around her. It empowers her body with unnatural strength, grace, and beauty; and provides the ability to create illusions and dreams. This magic also grants occasional access to wisdom beyond her own knowledge, but such access comes at the cost of service, which is why she was teleported to Earth. As a side effect of the mismatch between the magical energies of her homeworld and Earth, the colors of her short fur coat shift over time. Her name means "Singer of Songs", as energetic resonance is the source of her powers.

While T'e-ma's abilities are mostly not the small, subtle stuff that is so fascinating to write and read about, she tries to be subtle about their uses, especially in public settings. The major exception is when she sings songs from her homeworld and her own heart, when she allows herself to be seen and heard as she truly is. While agents from several record companies have tried to approach her, she mostly earns money as a traveling entertainer, saying that only when the time is right will she start selling recordings of her music.

She can use magic to heal and purify like mythical unicorns as long as she takes the time and energy to observe the anatomy and environment she's restoring, and has had her horn cut off before; while the act does not kill her, it is traumatic and painful and disables most of her illusion and empathic abilities until repaired. She is otherwise fairly resilient against damage, because she can use her healing magic to hold herself together long enough to survive assaults of any kind.

[No stats block at the moment; discussion allowed. Magical ability is top-level "resonance magic", with feats allowing for special senses, long-range senses, and healing/purification. Negatives include a fascinating and human-attractive alien body (thanks to her magic), a somewhat awkward and vulnerable horn, and intense homesickness.]

Wow!

Date: 2014-10-25 08:24 am (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
From: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is beautiful and moving. She reminds me of the ki-lin. I've linked to this from my Polychrome page as an extra.

Re: Wow!

Date: 2014-10-26 12:25 am (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
From: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
>> The theme of an empowered being as a quiet savior and friend are important to me, but also why should we be made to hide our best talents? <<

I like the idea of being bifocal along that spectrum, to be quiet at times and then reveal at others.

>> The resemblance to ki-lin is intentional, as I've been experiencing the manifestation of a unicorn Otherkin side. I figured, "write what you know", and this poured out. <<

Well, it worked.

Unicorn is one of my aspects, though dragon is more prevalent. Being a shapeshifter makes life interesting.

Haunting

Date: 2014-12-22 11:37 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Especially apropos when the dark of the year makes me miss the people who aren't in my life any longer.

Thanks.

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