Pawn to Queen Four


gillian2_icon.gif helena_icon.gif

Scene Title Pawn to Queen Four
Synopsis Helena's Wonderland is full of monsters and riddles and questions.
Date July 14, 2009

Helena: Dream Garden

When Helena thinks of home, it's always the same place. And when Helena dreams of home, it's the same place too, but perhaps slightly less fantastical than this. Her mother's garden is lush with flora - and Helena instinctively knows in her dream that this is her mother's garden, even despite the details that are bit off. Like how with a brush of her foot, beneath the dirt is a checkerboard surface, and the flowers are almost too technicolor bright, and some of the plants, like that mushroom patch, are awful big. It's bright and sunny, but there are still shadows, despite how wondrous the place is, there are figures lurking in the shadows, monsters waiting for Helena to retreat from the soon. She herself is not Tenniel's Alice, but something close - her blonde hair pushed back in a headband, a peasant shirt of blue and white, blue-jeans, sneakers. An Alice for the twenty-first century.

Among the bright flowers, there is a shift, something that looks like a hand trying to reach out. It doesn't quite work that way. This dream bares no resemblance to anything outside of movies and fairytales, not to the person who inadvertedly fell into it. It'd been going on for some time, before the flowers moved, before a simple burst of will exerted over it gave her that much communication. Too bad the closest non disruptive thing she has to latch on to… is a caterpillar. Moving out to the edge of a nearby leaf, she rises up a bit. A voice can be heard, from the direction of the tiny thing, but there's no mouth that's moving. It's almost a whisper off the wind, raspy, but feminine. Unlike the caterpillar in the story, "Do you know where you are?"

Helena turns at the sound of the voice, almost frightened by it, until curiousity gets the best of her. She approaches, tenatively, peer at the caterpillar once she realizes it's there. "This is my mother's garden." she says with certainty. "I'm supposed to meet someone here, but I can't remember who."

Slighly bigger than a normal caterpillar, it looks more or less like one should, if completely the wrong color. It stands out among the leaves more than nature would allow, purple as opposed to green or another natural color. Purple had always been Gillian's color, so it adapted when she took over the form. Tiny little legs twitch and move, and a puff of smoke seems to come from the tree behind it. "Why are you waiting if you can't remember who?"

Helena frowns a moment. That's a very good question. The physicality of Helena in her dreams is more or less the same - but lacking the weariness, with something vaguely childlike, or maybe innocent, about her. Then she ventures, "Because it's important."

"How do you know it's important?" The disembodied voice asks, while the smoke puffs out a little more. It smells odd, but somehow seems to fit with the dream in many ways. Perceptions of the dream expand by the moment, the shifting of the dirt, the checkered board under the earth revealed by her foot… Gillian may not quite grasp the ability to manipulate much, yet, but at least she can do more than watch her wander around and wait now.

"I just do! He'd wait for me." Helena seems certain of this. "You're a very curious caterpillar." she says, "And you're very pretty. When are you going to turn into a butterfly?"

He. The caterpillar drops down from her upright position and scrunches her body up a bit at the words. Perhaps she doesn't want to become a butterfly! Unlikely. "Maybe someday. It would be nice to fly," Gillian responds quietly, the smoke puffing out to briefly mask her, but the dispursing with a little air. "So you know you're waiting for a he?"

"Yes!" Helena accepts this revelation brightly, smiling with teeth as white as could land her a Colgate commercial. It falters a little though, when she confesses, "I don't know who it is." Her eyes dart nervously to the foliage behind the caterpillar's leaf, deeper into what appears to be woods, shivers a touch, and then refocuses on the tiny talking creature. "Have you always been here?"

For some reason the leaf looks extremely yummy— but Gillian avoids biting a hole in the edge of it as she straightens up again. "Not always, but I've been here for a little while." The raspy voice responds, twisting around to look in the direction of the forest, the source of the shiver, before moving back. What eyes it has probably shouldn't give such a personification, but at this moment these two black spots near the front look very much like eyes. "Do you know who you are? What you are trying to become?"

Helena lets out a laugh. Silly caterpillar! "I'm Helena." she says instantly. "Helena Dean. This is my mom's garden." But the second question confuses her, and she looks around as if somehow the answer is hanging from the trees, or in the faces of the flowers. "Am I trying to be a butterfly? If I change, he won't recognize me when he comes, will he?"

"I don't think you're trying to become a butterfly. You're not a caterpillar, are you?" a voice that might somehow spark a memory in someone who doesn't remember much. The caterpillar bunches up slightly, turns colors a bit when certain things are mentioned. Red overpowering the blue in the purple, eyes flashing towards gray instead of black. It never lasts long. While Gillian may be more aware of things than the dreamer, she doesn't even know how to leave, yet…

Helena lets out a laugh. "Oh no, I'm not a caterpillar. Do you know what I'm trying to change into?" Her question is earnest and innocent.

Crawling over to the edge of the leaf, Gillian's tiny legs, four of them, hold on to the end as she lets the rest of her body fall off, so she can look down at the ground of the garden. "Look down." She says cryptically. "Do you know much about chess, Helena Dean?"

Helena looks down at her feet. Absently she scuffs at the dirt, reveals the white square underneath it. "I know how the pieces move." she says, her eyes still on the ground. "But I'm not very good at it."

"If you were in a chess game, do you think you'd like to be a pawn?" Gillian asks, as she crawls up the length of her own sectioned purple body to get back onto the leaf. "The problem with being a pawn, is they can't move backward— but this is your mother's garden. You're back at the beginning again. Might explain why you can't remember things."

Helena smiles again. "Doesn't every girl want to be a queen?" she asks, lifting her hands and whirling around, but then pauses, startled. "But it's safe here. And here's going to meet me here. If I'm not here, when he comes, he won't be able to find me." She studies the ground, begins to step forward and brush away dirty with her feet, but stops as squares spread off into the tree line. "I - I can't go in there."

"Sometimes I think I'd rather be a Knight," Gillian mutters quietly in the wind, as she crawls back up to the top of the leaf and pushes herself up to the full few inches of height that she is so she can see the forest again. She can't jump to the next leaf, so she's forced to raise her voice a bit as the smoke grows around her again. It actually starts to obscure her. "Why can't you go there? What's in the forest, Helena?"

"Bad things." Helena steps back slowly, as if she's frightened that something - someone - will reach out from forest and snatch her and pull her in. She sounds suddenly very young, and rather terrified. "Bad things!"

Transformations take time in the waking world. Days, weeks, months. But this is a dream. In the dream, the smoke wraps around the caterpilar until it can't be seen at all. "Just because it's scary, doesn't mean you need to act like a child. How do you expect to be a queen if you stand around waiting for him when you can face your fears on your own?" The voice sounds angry, the smoke turns many colors, until a hole gets ripped into it with the flapping of tiny colored wings. Purple, red, black, the butterfly with large wings flies over to her shoulder and hovers.

Helena looks over her shoulder at the butterfly, now transformed, and beautiful. "Will you go with me?" she asks. Dream-Helena doesn't seem to realize she's someone grown-up. No, Dream-Helena is a little girl in her mother's garden, where it's safe. But maybe things will change if she goes into the forest.

The butterfly change had been easy enough, much easier than taking over the caterpillar. Maybe it had been in inevitable change, that just needed a push. Little does she understand how her changes seem to have an opposite effect on the dream than the person she got it from. Gillian won't be scaring the child-Helena. "I'll go with you this time."

Helena takes a breath, and steps into the forest. The daylight is filtered through the forest canopy here, and so it's shadowed. There are strange noises, the sensation of eyes watching, prying - this isn't a good place. Terror is evident in Helena's movements, and through the trees, figures can be seen, but only out of the corners of one's eyes.

The butterfly remains in flight, rather enjoying the freedom of the dream, even if Gillian might not wish to be in this particular one. Chances are she could be seeing much worse, though. The forest doesn't scare her nearly as much as the other possibilities. "What do you think is out there?" she asks, fluttering nearby. The voice remains husky, though the smoke no longer follows her.

Helena doesn't answer, because if Gillian looks, she'll see for herself. There are people in this forest, and they've all got their eyes on Helena. They appear in shadow, and they look hungry, but some of the faces are recognizable: Ethan. Lucrezia. Kazimir. Arthur. And the one who seems most persistent: Verse.

Verse. Gillian's tiny little eyes focus on him for a moment, cause he's the face she only barely recognizes, fluttering close by, she asks, "Who is that? Why is he chasing us? Do you know what he wants?" They look hungry, but what are they hungry for? No further tweaks are made to the dream. Either she's afraid to mess with it, or she can't reach much beyond what she already has.

"It's Verse." Helena whispers. "If I move fast enough, he won't catch me." Her feet start to pick up their pace, she starts to move faster. "I should have waited! I should have waited for him!"

"How did you know he'd even be able to find you?" the butterfly asks, wings making a fluttering sound as she stays close at hand. Gillian stays at the young blonde's side, even keeping on the side that the various dangers might be at. "Maybe he won't recognize you when you become what you have to, but do you honestly want to stay exactly where you are? He obviously didn't stay behind— how do you know he won't be different?"

"Verse isn't the one I was waiting for." Helena murmurs, but her feet carry her quicker. "I don't even know where I'm going." Shadows continue to flit through the trees at the edges of perception, ominous and dark.

"I know," the butterfly intones without a mouth to speak with. Gillian's getting a little tired of this form, and the limited expression. As wings flap, she forces a small change upon the dream. Just upon herself. She won't touch the woods at this point. The body stays about the same size, but the wings shrink to become straight and black, and all of a sudden Helena's being flanked by a tiny fairy. Dark hair, black wings, a red dress and slippers… Cartoonish, she's really too small to make out details beyond that, but at least now she has limbs. "You're going the only way you can go— forward," she says, now with a mouth, even if it's so tiny the sound shouldn't be easily heard. It's loud enough, but doesn't seem as bodiless.

Helena stops, and can't help it, there in the dark forest she laughs. "You're a fairy!" she can't help but exclaim, and claps her hands. This seems to inspire her, and she moves forward, through the forest. "Why do you want me to go so bad? I thought all fairies did were fly around and make mischief."

"You asked me to go with you, but it's— you're already going this way. Even if you don't know it," the former caterpillar turned butterfly now fairy says, crossing arms over her chest as she flutters along. A glance is cast towards the woods around them. "These are dangers you're facing now. Hell, all of us are. I'm not exactly your biggest fan, to be perfectly honest, but I didn't like seeing you acting like a child hiding in her mother's garden, either." Now that she has a body, even if it's tiny, it's difficult to hide certain emotions. Not anger, exactly, but frustration. "I wonder why you want so much to be a leader. A Queen."

The maturity is slow in coming. The longer dream Helena stays in the forest, the more adult and aware she seems to become. "I don't want to be a Queen. I just want to be free. Maybe being a queen is the only way that I can." She starts trudging forward again, her eyes darting to and fro.

"I guess we have more than one thing in common, then," the tiny Gillian fairy admits in that soft rough voice. Even as a fairy, the voice retains the same basic sound. "Freedom is all I really ever wanted… I'm not sure which of us took the right direction to get it…" The dangers in the woods may not have reached out and taken them, yet, but that doesn't mean they aren't still waiting. Looking ahead, looking to the side, she asks, "What else are you afraid of?"

"Losing what I love." Verse has disappeared, and it seems to be more Arthur in the shadows now, occaisionally seeming to stand beside a tree, or linger in a shadow. Helena looks faintly frustrated. "Becoming nothing. How deep are these woods anyway?"

Love. Arms remain crossed as the fairy flies with one foot pointed down, the other leg folded up a bit. Gillian gets the idea, but doesn't quite like it. "You always lose something. There'll always sacrifices." Sacrifice. A sentiment scared with a man she catches a glimpse of in the background between two trees. Becoming nothing. "These are your woods, Helena, just like the garden was your mother's. I think you're the only one who can find out how deep it goes."

"You don't sacrifice for nothing. You give up to receive. What am I getting, for my sacrifices?" The tone is curious rather than complaining, she seems genuinely puzzled. "These are my woods?"

"Sacrifice goes other ways too," Gillian says, that slightly indignant look standing out for a moment. "Sacrifice to give. Not everyone gets something cause they give something up. And sometimes no one wins." The woods are examined again, then she points a hand down. For a fairy, she doesn't have a wand. Maybe she could do more with one. "It's your woods." Her dream. "And your path through the woods. I'm just along for the ride."

"I've sacrificed plenty." Helena says, brows furrowing, but she resumes walking. There's a patch of light in the distance, sunbeams breaking through branches. A figure in that grove, male but indistinct. "There he is!"

There he is? The fairy continues to hover, but arms fold again, not quite in the same gesture. Fluttering after, she doesn't fall back, doesn't turn around and fly away. "You're not the only one," Gillian says, looking past her and into the grove at the indistinct form.

Helena's pace increases, her footsteps falling more rapidly. What she does not pay attention to now are those hunting her, gathering closer and pressing in as she moves toward that grove, as if the light itself is a trap. She doesn't see it. Her feet move faster, and it's like she can't see those reaching, grasping, clawing…

For a moment, Gillian hardly notices either. It's only due to falling back a few feet as she makes her rapid pace through the grove toward the indistinct figure. A figure who could really only be one person. That's when she sees the hands, the forms, reaching out, grabbing. Forms that are not quite as interested in her, tiny fairy whose dream this is not. If there were a clock, a tick would go by, from the moment she sees them. Another tick. The figures might actually reach her.

Then she curses and flies forward. The younger woman had wanted to wait. To stay in the garden. She'd urged her forward. "Pay attention!" she yells, from her tiny form, before actually trying to punch one of the figures— specifically Arthur— in the face. For a moment she grows in size, gaining more definition, looking much more like who she's supposed to be. Right down to a beauty mark on her face. "Turn around or fucking move faster."

Helena has started running full tilt. Those who would snatch her have become monstrous, but as Gillian comes into their path, they start reaching for her too, with greedy, hungry expressions. Helena manages to break past them, into the light of the grove. The mysterious male form starts to turn around and…

…and Helena wakes up, rubbing her face and wondering what the fuck.

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