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T'ema's adventure continues!

This is the epic completion of the triptych started with "Beyond All Terror and continuing in "Lies Its Memory. As usual it is being written mostly off the cuff, using poetic structure to help me get the story out where prose is more difficult.

Content warning: This poem has a stalking hero and a moderately violent confrontation in it. Be mindful of your headspace when reading it.

The day was cool but spring was coming,
And T'ema was ready for it.
She had been through a month of winter
And had little idea what was next.
The spirits told her these changes were normal,
Yet she hardly believed it.

Her oath nudged at her,
And she finished her breakfast quickly.
The paperwork to be finished took
Almost an hour, and then she was free.
Free to hunt, she thought.

T'ema corrected herself.
This man in her dream,
He was not prey to be stalked
And thrust through with a lance.
He was a person,
And people were to be counseled.

She considered her path,
But the magic would lead her
As it always did.
It would tell her which way to leap,
Which trail to wander.

T'ema waited until after lunch,
Then went out to seek her man.
She followed the thin, angry sense
Of his spirit as it had bled.
Such persons would always produce suffering,
And dark spirits would surround him.

She walked calmly, following
What was to her a fine but tangible thread.
When she reached a shabby-looking motel of
Many low rooms, she paused, looking at each door.
The manager came out of the central building.

"Looking to stay a few nights?"

"No, mister. I was looking for a friend.
He said he'd be here, but I don't see him."

"Well sorry, I can't help you.
My guests stay private,
Unless you're a cop."

T'ema nodded.

"Tell you what, if you give me your friend's name,
I can leave a note for them if they're here."

She shook her head.
"We were supposed to meet

He smirked. No name, looking for a 'friend',
Wanting privacy. She wasn't even embarrassed.
He was sure of her work.

She shook her head.
"Well, we will meet soon enough.
I shall leave you be."

The manager nodded,
And wondered if he should call the police.
If she wasn't a prostitute,
She was probably casing his place
For a robbery.

As soon as she left, he did just that.

T'ema felt a sense of warning,
That she should not approach again.
Darkness protects its own, she thought.
She walked on, unsure when
The trickster would emerge from his hole.

After dark, T'ema realized
She was hungry, and
Her money was nearly gone.
According to the Peregrine Shelter's message board,
Urbanburg did not allow panhandling after dark.
She did not wish to try busking so late,
Lest it also have been banned.

She went back to the shelter,
And was rewarded with a warm meal.
These humans cared well for their own,
She realized, and felt welcome.
That night she slept well.

When she woke, she felt the call again.
Today her target would emerge,
Her sense of him active, in preparation.
She considered his energy.
He too was preparing to hunt.

She knew his prey would suffer.

That afternoon, T'ema was singing
Outside a busy shop, when she felt a tug.
She finished her song,
Bowed to her listeners,
And left to seek him.

She followed the trail to a
Colorful celebration, where
Children laughed and
The screaming man's voice
Was harsh, but joyful.
T'ema peeked through the fence.

A party of some kind,
And a magician working tricks,
Telling the story of his
Handkerchief and its adventures
All over his body,
The cloth dancing through his clothing.

There were adults,
Watching and applauding.
T'ema became mindful of her disguise,
Turning invisible
And moving to a different spot.

The show was tolerable,
And the man seemed to like children.
Then he called for a volunteer to
"Hypnotize" -- and T'ema felt a spike of
Hunger in his ego.

The unicorn looked to the nearby spirits,
Seeing mostly happy and friendly kinds.
But a prominent cloud hovered nearby.
She mentally nudged a warrior-like spirit
And noted the dark one for him.
He thanked her and chased it off.

Meanwhile the magician had laid a woman
On the table and was flicking his fingers
At her face. Then he grinned and said,
"You're a chicken!"

She sat up, made wings of her arms, and
Started making an odd "cluck cluck" sound.
She kicked at the ground, leaning to
Peck with her face.

T'ema wondered what was happening...
The others laughed and applauded.

The magician snapped his fingers.
"And now you're not!" he declared,
And just as suddenly the woman became
Red-faced, trembling, but herself.

"Never fear, my lady! You are unharmed."
But T'ema gently brushed her spirit
Over the woman and found a dark hook
Deep in her mind.

So this is how he does it,
She thought. He plays entertainer,
Then takes them as he can.

The spirits crowded her,
Curious, as she hummed a soft tune.
One of the children turned his head,
Hearing it. T'ema quieted.

After the magician was paid
And had left the yard, T'ema
Silently prayed, and was heard.
That all-surrounding voice spoke again:
We understand.
The mental hook that could have yet compelled
Would soon dissolve.

Then T'ema turned to the chase,
Invisibly stalking the man.
He was radiating "No See Me",
But she was immune, having trained
To resist such powers herself.

What is your name? she projected
Toward his spirit.
Go away, demon! came back.
She withheld her reply, but a knowing came:
She must challenge him boldly.

Oh, if I must she thought to herself.
T'ema dropped her disguise and put on a blur of color,
Pointing her finger.
"You!" she challenged.
The man stopped as if yanked by rope.

"Who are you that alters minds?"
He grinned, projecting a costumed figure,
And pulled out his expanding top hat.
"Mindflare has no time for battle!"
He claimed, but his heart and face were leaping.

He thrust his hand at her, and she sang a clear note,
Her spirit catching the mental knife.
He slashed, and she blocked and turned it.
Onlookers began to gather, pointing, talking:
Mindflare was fighting a unicorn!

T'ema did not know
She would be news by morning.
She knew that this monster
Should be stopped.
And she knew, a monster is stopped
By finding its worst pain
And undoing it.

While Mindflare tried to carve her consciousness,
Eliciting jerks from her body as she shielded with song,
T'ema hummed chords, harmonies, dissonances which
Caused him to tremble with emotion -- and reveal his spirit.
There! and There!
She thrust.

He twitched all over, then dropped
As if his heart had ceased to beat.
T'ema knelt, and carefully spread her hands over him.
His spirit was low, simmering but quiet.
She stayed shielded. Some spirits had done this before.

As she began to heal his body,
He thrust. A brilliant light
Shone briefly inside her eyes,
And T'ema fell on her side.
Mindflare scrambled to his feet, but she
Threw out a foot and he tripped.

"So the beast bides his time?" She leapt on him.
"I am a man, not a beast!" He struggled fiercely.
"Men treat others with respect, not as prey."
"Go away!" He grabbed her nose and squeezed.
T'ema winced, attempting to pull them both to their feet.

Mindflare slashed again,
And T'ema caught the pieces of his
Mental blades. She held them and sang
An old chant of her people.

"We hold you when tired,
We tend you when sick,
We lift you when weak,
We guide you when lost

We build you when broken,
We light you when dark,
We fill you when empty,
We warm you when cold

His demeanor softened.
He didn't know the words, and
T'ema's aspect was harsh,
But her spirit was a loving warrior.
His energies began to pull back
Into themselves.

We know you as deeply
As we know ourselves,
For we are the Family
That bore you of old

When you come crying,
Scraped when you fall,
We kiss you and heal you
And help you feel tall.

"Mindflare, I believe you have some explaining to do.
There is a man many miles away who believes he was tortured,
A woman closer whose mind was stolen,
And many broken edges in you where
Too many have been struck."

He thrust right into her mind and screamed

Then he ran away while
T'ema was staggered.
Her glowing light faded,
And she stumbled.
The spirits came quickly to feed her magic,
Shaping its attunement to hide her again.

She wandered toward the crowd,
Which pressed close...
But she vanished before them
And was not seen to pass by.

When T'ema came to herself, she was sitting quietly
On a park bench.
She prayed to her gods,
And received a distant, comforting response.

The city's spirit nudged her.
"Unicorn, thank you. He has gone to his motel room,
And isn't coming out."
T'ema blinked.
"I- Where am I?"
"Three blocks north of the Peregine Shelter. You live there, right?"
"Oh." She was quiet. "I wish I could have helped him."
"Why would you help him?"

T'ema sighed.

"His family was neglectful. His father died early,
His mother worked and drank, his brother wrestled
Then ignored him as they grew older...

"He has much to pay for, more than I knew. But
That horror inside came from a source. Heal the source,
End the monster."

A dryad touched her shoulder.
"The park is closing. Please, you should go."
T'ema nodded. She spoke to the city.
"Will I hear you again in my spirit?"
It seemed to shrug a Maybe at her.
But the gratitude was clear.

That evening, T'ema wrote a short letter
And asked for it to be sent to the
Center in Colorado where her quest had begun.

I found your tormentor. It was Mindflare.
Tonight I will work to end
Your connection to him.
May you have peace.

As she laid in her bed that night,
Lights dim in her room,
She held her whisper doll
And spoke of her teacher's writings.

"When the destroyer consumes us,
We turn dark. This darkness is not a color,
But an attunement. We are broken in it,
And its evil empowers us.

"That evil speaks to us, whispering of pain to be given.
Yet always behind it is some trauma,
Some terror or neglect, some experience
Which has created a lack or a need.
To end the evil, fill that lack, heal that need."

She sighed, and cuddled her whisper doll.

"After the pain, when we are recovering,
It is important to remember:

"Beyond all terror
Lies its memory,
And whispers in the dark."

Date: 2015-09-21 06:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] book_worm5.livejournal.com
A lovely character, and an intriguing series. Maybe even Mindflare can be helped, if he'll accept it. This makes me wonder whether T'ema will run into Damask one of these days...


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