*Running Hot, Running Cold

Home of Izira Nyte and The Forgotten Layers Inn. Resting in an unnamed magical realm, the place is easier to find when lost if one is without the aid of a map drawn by the lady herself.

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Izira Nyte
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Lost Things (2)

Post by Izira Nyte » Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:07 pm

[[June 2008]]

Morning. The blush of sunlight seeped through the light curtains of the window, casting a muted glow into the room. Izira sat with legs falling over the edge of the bed, her back erect with head tilted and eyes closed. Low light carving shadows against the thin night shift she wore and her protruding spine. She needed to eat, but she wasn’t hungry anymore. Her arms were bent, hands out before her. Narrow fingers danced nimbly across invisible keys of black and white. Silence remained the guardian of the room, but within her head the music came alive. She didn’t play one song, she played every song. The notes, patterns and emotions erupting through her mind one after another until one song remained clear. It was a lullaby, sung to her by her mother so many years ago. Gentle and sad, Izira’s fingers came to a halt after only a few bars.

There had been a piano somewhere. She recalled sitting at it to play, keys bringing the music she felt to life. Other things too, she turned her head as if to catch a more solid view of those mental phantoms. Tarnished silver bars of a cage, black feathers and black eyes. Soft dark fur marred by a bright orange mark. Orange fur and a low rumbling purr. A piano, a fireplace, a black bearskin rug. There were memories attached to these ghosts that she could not recall. She wondered if they were part of a dream, but the idea died as soon as it was born. She didn’t dream. Thinking on it, she didn’t recall ever dreaming before either. She wondered what dreams would be like. Anything like the images she saw or the things she heard that were not actually there? Letting those thoughts slip away, Izira once more heard the sweet lullaby being sung. The woman’s voice was delicate and full of care. She wondered when she’d heard this woman sing.

A knock sounded on the door to her room, breaking the solitude that had surrounded her. Eyes opened and for a moment they were pale gray, sheets of ice, before amber-brown bleed back into those gazing irises.

“Yes?”

“Your wake-up call, Ma’am. You wanted to be woken for work.” A young boy’s voice replied. Through the solid door Izira picture him, slight and with red hair. His face was freckled. His name was… she couldn’t remember.

Work. Izira nodded to herself. Yes, of course, work. There were things she needed to do, things she hadn’t gotten around to doing yet. There was party she needed to plan, drinks and dinners that needed to be served. There were people that she was waiting to see, but their names were lost to her for the time. Friends, perhaps.

“Ma’am?”

“Yes. Thank you, boy.” He loitered outside the door for a moment before the sound of his retreating steps could be heard. Izira stood and without much thought about what she was doing, got ready for her day.
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Lost Things (3)

Post by Izira Nyte » Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:09 pm

[[June 2008]]

Izira’s mind had been gone, but now it was back. Still, there was a difference within her. Her heart felt as though it was at a distance from her and her emotions were more or less a calm pool. There was a man she had kissed, merely to keep him from thinking he had her pegged. When he saw her the next day he seemed to be under the impression Izira was falling for him. The idea made her laugh. Love? There was no love in her heart for him or any man. It was that knowledge that she kept in mind as she thought over the faded memories of the previous days. There was someone she wanted to speak to…

--

She was simplistic in her stakeout methods. Finding a place to sit and watch The Mark, she waited for Alain's exit. She didn't care to go in. He would come out or show up in time. In hand she held a covered cup, a fruity mixture from a local place in hand. Her figure was still showing the weight loss, but her skin was looking better-vibrant and alive. No blackness showed under her eyes and those amber-browns were solid and alert. She wore a light blue wrap top that exposed the flesh of her collarbone and shoulders over a soft grey skirt and open-toed black heels.

Alain exits through the fire escape, and as always, with his hand lingering on the doorknob, he checks his surroundings more closely - there isn't much he can do about sharpshooters, but he likes to be as careful as he can. He's shutting the door and reaching for his sunglasses... when he spots Izira. After a few ticks, he opts to clip the glasses into his shirt (worn without a tie, under his favorite brown duster) and walks down the stairs, and checks over his shoulder a few times as he makes his way over to her, keeping his expression cool... the rolling emotions 'aided' somewhat by his paranoia. Still, in the pit of his stomach, he feels sick.

She watched him spot her, watched him take his time to decide what he would do. As he started his way over, Izira took a slow drink from the cup she held. Cool and calm, so much more so than him. Inside and outside she was unwavering. The cup parted from her lips, amber-browns turning to him as though he had just happened by an area he was not expected to appear in. "Hello Alain."

His calm is only on the exterior. Inwardly, for a number of reasons, he's a mess. "Izira," he says to her as he draws close, and can get a better look at her - and she does look better. Thin, but not emaciated. "How are you?"

"I am of sound mind for the time being." Her finger traced the top of the cup. Her statement telling him she knew she had gone mad and she knew it likely to befall again. Eyes moving from his face off towards the distance, "I faintly recall seeing you when I wasn't, briefly." Though he hadn't approached her, he had fled.

"At the inn, I imagine." Slowly, with a small sigh, he takes up a lean on a brick wall nearby, and fishes through his pockets for a cigarette. "Still working at the Great Helm?" Flick, flick. Puff.

"I am." She turned following him with her eyes and body as he settled. "I'm making dinners for duelers and throwing parties to bring in more patrons." She was so on top of things.

Her statement makes him wonder if she hasn't been to the Forgotten Layers, yet. "It must keep you very busy."

"It keeps me occupied. That is enough." She crossed her legs, silent a moment before she carried on. "I want to tell you Alain, I do not hate you." The words might have been kind, but her voice was empty of any emotion on that subject.

He still loves her, he realizes, but he says, "I'm glad to hear it... and the feeling's mutual." Blue eyes trail over to her face... and then away again, to the human traffic. "I imagine I deserve your hate, but I'm happy not to have it."

She didn't agree or offer him other comforts. Her next words delivered with unattached effectiveness, "I do not love you either." Holding up a hand she stood, and a brightness came into her eyes, hoping to still his tongue as she just watched his reaction.

He looks over at her again, eyes flickering over her face... nods a few times and looks away, maintaining an external cool. His silence may speak volumes, or at least suggest volumes are left unsaid - his tongue is certainly stilled, though.

"That you avoided me in my condition tells me something. I know you well enough I would say. It is guilt. The hero fails a helpless girl. You did not fail me as a hero, Alain. You failed me as a lover. Feel guilt for the heart you couldn't hold. But know what I go through is my own doing. I did this by my own hand."

Bright blues narrow in a small, thoughtful frown. Another study of her face is as useless as the rest - she is cool and composed, chilly as far as fire elementals go... The words she speaks sheds a little new light on the subject, not comfort necessarily, but at least understanding, and he nods slowly, once.

She sense his inability to read her, because there was nothing there to read. A cool smile graced her features, "My heart is cold." Her hand reaching out to him, the back of her fingers tips moving to brush their backs against his cheek. They were cool to the touch. "It is an odd feeling, yet freeing. I do not know if I was mistaken then or now." Speaking of her heart, was she mistaken to love him then... or cut off from herself now?

He steels himself the best he can against her touch. It stirs his heart to an incredible ache, and he bows his head slightly. Cold hearts seem to be something of a problem this summer... "...Be careful of it, Izira. You may have cut yourself off from more than you realize... more than you needed to." He holds his cigarette carefully aside. "I can think of a few friends of yours who are not so free."

"What is done cannot be easily undone, Alain. I need a new bond and until I find one the madness will continue to rule as it will." She chuckled, and it sounded just like it would before. Amusement highlighted by the smile that graced her features. "My friends. Do you count yourself amongst those not so free?"

"I was thinking of Jeremiah," he says with simple precision, and taps his cigarette.

She frowned at him, puzzlement flowed across her features. Another expression, suspicion. "I do not know a Jeremiah."

"Nor a Silas?" he adds, trying his best to indicate Silas is merely another of her friends, and not Jeremiah.

"Silas is not counted among my friends." An unknown man and another that caused her irritation. Her mood was now one of distrust.

"Very well," he says quietly, nodding. He retrieves his sunglasses, and does not put them on yet. "I've got to be on the move," he says, and the cigarette drops from his lips, and he stomps it out.

"As always." She shook her head. A sad look, then she smiled unconcerned. "Have a good day Detective." Turning she picked up the covered drink she'd forgotten upon standing and with that in hand. Headed back to work and the dinner rush.

"You as well, Izira," he says, forcing himself not to look back at her as he slips into traffic.
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The Forgotten Realm (1)

Post by Izira Nyte » Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:14 pm

[[June 2008]]

The realm of Forgotten Layers was lost to winter. Snow and ice covered dead trees. Flowers that once bloomed all year round were nowhere to be seen. The garden of the inn was buried under a blanket of white, the small fish in the littering ponds frozen in still life beneath the surface. The rabbit, Pascal, had been rescued by Jeremiah from the outdoor hutch when the changes started happening to the realm. Though both ravens, Hope and Light, had been journeying beyond when the realm had lapsed into a season of cold and had yet to return. There was enough in storage for the man and rabbit to survive, but for how long it was unknown… without the Lady Izira present the death of the realm was inevitable…

--

The dream was real. Her mind was slipping again. She didn’t remember leaving the small room she’d been keeping in the city, but here she was standing on the outskirts of the borders to her realm. Had her unwillingness to return halted her hesitant feet or had it been the soft cries of the two ravens perched in green covered branches? They watched her with dark eyes. Each bird crouched to either side of the first tear that led into the realm, waiting for what she would do.

Her eyes had been clear of color, but with her awareness returning so too did the amber-brown tint bleed back into her irises. Those orbs shifted from black feathered bird to black feathered bird, catching in the silence their call for her to go back. She retreated a step, feeling nothing between her foot and the ground. Grass gave way to mud. It was then she realized she how wet and cold she was. Looking over her thinned frame, finding herself dressed in a sheer white night shift. Little was left to the imagination as the soaked fabric clung to her form. Had she forgotten this would be a result of her action, that madness included blackouts of time? She hadn’t forgotten, just hoped it would have held off a while longer.

It had been night when she’d gone to bed. Now the darkened sky had fled away from the morning light, leaving only a thin strip of its memory on the horizon. Was it only the next morning or another morning after that? Standing in a small clearing within the woods, there was no way for her to know. Body turned to face the direction the city of RhyDin rested. She should go back there, return to her room. There were plans in the making, dinners and a party. A few new people in her life, maybe not friends yet, but perhaps soon? And her friends that were? They were unseen, unavailable, as distant to herself as her own heart had become. Standing at the brink between one world and another, Izira could tell how alone she had become in her life. How alone she had always been. At the edge of her realm, her heart felt closer and she could feel that it was broken still. Not over a man, but her life in general. Her heart was broken, it had always been broken. She didn’t know if she would be whole again.

Movement in the woods broke the lady from her melancholy. A dark shadow that was there one moment and gone the next, blacking out the space between the trees before vanishing. The ravens remained steady. Izira couldn’t help but wonder if the shadow was her mind slipping away once more. Amber-browns searched into the forest beyond, half hoping to see the shadow once more and half hoping against it. Which was better—madness or an unknown shadow? Izira started to think the answer to that was a lose-lose situation…
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Post by Izira Nyte » Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:15 pm

[[June 2008]]

Not madness then. A fleeting thought as the wind was knocked from her lungs. No assailant had been seen, not clearly. The shadow faded into a whisper of darkness before it struck. Her eyes were rolling back, her balance failing as her vision reached towards the sky. Raven cries filled the air and the birds broke from the trees to circle above her, out of reach. She fell back into the mud, feeling it faintly against her skin, sticking to the wet fabric of her shift. The rocks she felt more clearly. A few stabbing into her back, one had struck the back of her head upon reaching the ground. Now a sensation of warmth was growing at the back of her head as the focus of her mind dulled.

Would someone find her body? Would she be missed? Would they bury her or burn her or leave her to be forgotten. Though part of her knew, she had already been forgotten—had always been a failed memory. The will of her father’s people were going to have their way, the abomination would be gone. Her life had been one bad turn after another, if she had ever kept her scars she could only imagine how badly she would look. Bad enough to never catch or keep a person’s eye, she thought. Bad enough, maybe people would have stopped hurting her early on. Maybe. The other paths her life could have gone were unknown to her, but the future seemed glaringly clear. She was going to die.

All this went through her mind within seconds of being attacked, as her vision gazed into the sky and blackness swallowed the sight of birds that flew above. Their calls reached her from somewhere far away. She tried to open her eyes, tried to move a leg, a finger but her body would not respond. The shadow was there, waiting for her and she had no chance to run. She wondered if it would hurt, she hoped it wouldn't.

A chill touched her ankle, pressure touching against the flesh, something started dragging her away. The calls of the ravens were gone. Silence surrounded her but for the sound of her body against the ground. Her sense of direction was gone. She didn’t know what her fate would be, but as death wasn’t claiming her yet she felt the determination within herself return. She would live. She would beat this thing and live. As soon as she could move, she would bring such fire upon this creature it would regret ever approaching Lady Death. Another hard hit to the back of her head from an outcropping rock silenced her mental rebellion…
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Post by Izira Nyte » Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:16 pm

Izira had no thoughts as the shadow brought her through the tear to the realm she had fled from. No awareness in her mind as the season suddenly changed from spring to winter within a breath, nor as the shadow that held her leg turned into a man. He towered over Izira, standing six foot four inches at his full height and built like a redwood tree. He was tall and thick and solid, wrapped in thick protection from the unseasonal weather of the realm. Walnut brown hair, touched with golden copper, peeked out from under his navy blue wool hat in short curls. It reached down the sides of his face and around his chin and mouth, building a beard of medium thickness that reach over a matching scarf. Bright green eyes shone from a face that was a youthful looking thirty, though tired and drawn. Jeremiah.

It had been a risk to him to go beyond the realm, even a few feet. Until the realm was whole, he was little more than shade when he left it and with the realm in the state it was in he was barely that much. What little it was, though, had been enough. He hadn’t wanted to hurt her, but there had been no other way. Whether or not she wanted to admit it, Izira needed the realm and more so the realm needed her. When the ravens had perched outside the tear and sent a message to him that the lady was near, he knew he would do whatever it took to bring her back. Thankfully, whatever it took was short of having to kill her. That would have aided no one in the end. Still, now that he had done what was needed, she wasn’t in the best of shape.

Jeremiah bent a knee into the snow, first working to pull down and straighten out the fabric of Izira’s shift before lifting her into his arms. She was as light as she looked. He frowned down at the body he held cradled, unable to avoid feeling guilty for how everything had turned out. Solid fingers moved to brush the hair from her face, guiding it to fall behind her head. Gently, lips were pressed to her forehead—lingering—as he closed his eyes. She had almost been lost to them. “Welcome home.” Bringing his hand away from her hair, it returned to him covered in blood. She wasn’t in the clear yet, they needed to get back to the inn. He turned with her in his grasp, holding her tightly as the tear back to RhyDin closed behind them. Then quickly as he could, back through the snow he went, heading for the inn. Above them the two black ravens followed.

--

The realm to the Forgotten Layers inn still exists, though its borders are closed to the land of RhyDin. Those seeking the tear to reach that place will only wind up wandering through unchanging, unmagical forest. Perhaps if they journey far enough they will wind up in the pastures where farmers tend cattle and horses beyond the city of RhyDin. Nothing remains but the knowledge of the place and the woman that was once there. Who the lady was will become little more than a missing person—a missing boarder from a small inn, a missing bar mistress from The Great Helm, a missing patron from the local shops, a missing face in the crowd. The birds she fed in the parks will go on as will those she never met. Perhaps those who knew her will wonder, but eventually they too will go on. Eventually the lady and the realm, there one moment then gone the next, will fade from memory and be forgotten.
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