South, Always South


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abby_icon.gif young-abby_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif logan2_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title South, Always South.
Synopsis Delia only meant to visit, find out if Abigail wanted her dog back. What she discovered, with Tania in tow, was something else.
Date March 28, 2011

In Abigail's Dream

A large fountain of white marble sparkles under the pale moonlight, shadows of the plants that grow around it stretch ominously through the tiny courtyard. It's big enough for the fountain, a few iron benches turned blue green from humidity and their wooden planks polished to a gleam under the silvery light. The burble of the water as it flows from one bowl to the next creates a tranquil mood despite the reach of the shadows. Someone loves this place, enough to make the attempt to make it hospitable.

A woman dressed in white lays face up in the middle of a pavillion only large enough to fit a single bed. Blue eyes are closed to the moonlight and her breathing is soft and slow, as though she is sleeping. The netting that encompasses the bed matches her dress perfectly, covering her like the silk of a spider and presenting her as though nestled in a cocoon. Her blonde tresses spill over the side of the polished wood, almost touching the moss covered flagstones that floor the pretty little space, a space that grows more and more frightening with each passing hour. Sunset has come and gone, now all there is left to do is wait for sunrise.

The round mass of hedges that protect the little space twist and wind and grow out miles in every direction. Here, the woman is safe, safe from any intrusion; unwanted or otherwise.

At the very end, near the first bush where the space opens to allow visitors a small white rabbit springs from the undergrowth, catching the eye of a teenage girl. Its blue eyes are wild as it runs from a yet unnamed danger, leaping back and forth in front of her path, almost inviting her to follow. We're late, we don't have much time.

Pausing at the sudden appearance of a rabbit, Tania takes a step back before crouching down to peer at the creature. "Kto vy?" The girl asks the rabbit in her native language. She probably doesn't notice the slip into what's more familiar. As good as she is with English, it's still a foreign language.

but, at it's urgency, she stands back up and steps toward it again, ready to follow. Her finger gestures toward the undergrowth he just popped out of, questioningly.

The rabbit pauses in its frantic run and sits up on its back haunches, only one eye on the young woman. An ear flickers back and forth as it stares at her. One might get the impression that it understands but it's only a rabbit and as such it thumps its foot against the ground in a hurried pat-a-pat-a-pat. Slender front paws are tucked under a proud milky ruff, accentuating it like a bosom, allowing each breath of the lapin creature visible.


The thumping is repeated before the small animal launches down the path that leads into the maze. Its journey away from Tania has only enough pauses to ensure that she follows, every step int he wrong direction has the thing racing around her feet in a circle before darting off toward the correct path. This way… you need to hurry.

And Tania follows! Although it does have to come hurry her when she slows to look around. She's never seen anything quite like this before, after all. But, when it does come and remind her it's time to move, Tania does something she hardly ever does in reality. She runs.

Prayer plays like background music, whispering all around them as the wind plays over the tops of this hedgemaze. One has to strain to catch it, catch the feminine voice that whispers the words but not seen.

Come to me now oh Lord I beg of you. Please answer me my prayers as I offer them up to you. For the waters have risen high, up to my neck and this has become the hour of my need dear Lord

Through the maze they go, here and there, parts of it burned away, blackened leaves curled away from scorched corrugated steel, white letters on it scratched away till you can't recognize what letter that they were. As if a palm were pressed there and left damage in it's wake. The smell of jasmine and ivory soap mingles with the burnt leaves, a twist to that scent, stronger and stronger in one direction,

It isn't until the rabbit turns one corner, Tania in the small mammals wake that there is a glimpse of golden hair, a flash of ends going around a corner, out of sight but a promise of just around the corner.

The rabbit stops dead in its tracks, its ears twisting around like oblong satilite listening devices. Hesitant, it rises up to peek its head around and then lowers flat, its lean belly scraping along the earthen floor as it scrambles under one of the thinner hedges in an attempt to find a shortcut.

It doesn't wait for Tania to crawl through. Larger feet this time, bare ones, take off in a sprint toward the edge of the maze.

From where the wisp of flaxen locks teased the rabbit and the girl, a swath of crimson curls winds around. Balanced delicately on her head, a skeletal rabbit's skull hides her features. The woman is dressed in a white cotton sundress that could be mistaken for a night gown. Its soft fabric ripples in the breeze and clings to a lean form that is just shy of being emaciated. As the rabbit did before, the woman also beckons forward, this time with an outstretched arm.

That prayer gets her attention and makes her push that run a little faster. Which means, when the rabbit stops, Tania nearly trips over it. Nearly. She ends up dancing around it a bit before she catches her balance again, just in time to see it take off again. "Podozhdite!" She calls after it, then lets out a heavy sigh.

When she turns back toward the sighting of that hair, Tania sees not gold, but red. The appearance of the beskulled woman makes her wary… but also curious. She looks toward where the rabbit disappeared, then back to the woman and her outstretched arm.

It's cautious steps that bring her toward the redhead, but she goes nonetheless.

Before Tania actually reaches the woman, she takes off at a sprint, much like the skittish rabbit before her. Unlike the rabbit, though, she doesn't come back when the girl falls behind. Instead she calls out in a voice that should seem somewhat familiar as the woman living in the room across from Mister Logan. At least, a representation of it.

"Don't stop, don't lose me. I won't be able to hold you here." Despite the warning, Miss Deliya is not making it easy for the younger redhead to keep up.

Curiouser and Curiouser. When the mysterious woman takes off, Tania falters a little, but she picks back up a run after that moment's hesitation. She runs a little faster when she recognizes the voice, the oddity piquing her curiosity.

But it is a challenge to keep up, as Tania can't really imagine herself without her illness that has kept her frail and delicate her whole life. But she still tries, even as she starts to feel her legs shaking beneath her. "Medlenno, Miss Deliya," she pants out the request for an easier speed, "Ya ne mogu ugnat'sya." She can't keep up, but the urgency of it all keeps her from giving up.

Wisps of gold elude them, always turning around the corner, leading them this way, then that, no matter how close they get, fingers within reach till finally they round a corner within the maze and find themselves almost running into an electric fence. Beyond that, though, a womans.

Here there's very little greenery, mostly corrugated steel, a cot with dead and dying greenery wrapped around most of it, the smell of ozone, the sound of cruel laughter replacing the whispered prayers. The smell of humans pervading senses, overriding nature and jasmines or ivory. Urine, the faint copper associated with blood. The sounds of people on either side of this open topped corner of the maze.

But in the middle, sitting on the ground with her knees drawn up, spindly arms wrapped around her knees and gold hair tumbling everywhere is Abigail. One presumes it's Abigail. Dirty jeans, long sleeved cotton shirt that looks like once it could have been white, in another world, but is blackened, rusted with flecks and splotches of dried blood. The finger that grip denim clad knees are thing, making Delia's gauntness look like she just might stand to loose a few pounds.

In the shadows though, lurk two men, outlines really. One skinny, wearing a suit, eyes that glow that oh so familiar green to at least Delia even as the individuals lifts a smoke, the but glowing as he inhales. The other has less familiarity to any, none at all in truth and doesn't stand out so prominently, save for eyes that watch them.

There's no glow or flash in Delia's eyes as steps toward the shadows, her bare feet collecting the dust of the area as she evades the darker spots. Instinctively, she takes a deep breath inward attempting to catch a bit of the scent that makes her heart turn somersaults. Her eyes narrow when only more of the same wretched odors permeate the air around her. Raising a hand, she stretches it out to touch the skinnier man but before her fingers touch him, they curl into a fist that's raised to the bottom of the mask she wears.

The wisps of smoke that coil in the air between them smell more real than the thin man does, a scent that can't be mimicked, at least to Delia. A construct, she knows that much. A representation of what is and isn't. From the setting, a personal nightmare. Turning her back on him, the tall redhead takes long strides toward the fence, stretching her arms to rip down the wire before she actually passes through it.

Fences work on Tania. A symbol of boundaries, a clear sign to stay out. Private area. They don't even need to be electrocuted. The girl stops, looking on toward Abby and the two men. By her blank expression, it's hard to say if she recognizes anyone at all. But she might.

When Delia goes for the fence, Tania turns in surprise, eyes widening. Is she allowed to do that? The question of a young girl who hasn't discovered the desire to rebel just yet.

Delia goes through it, an uneasy sensation to be sure, but this isn't the real world, the only real barriers here are the walls, the steel beneath the leaves and vines that work to cover it, grown up over time, trying to obscure it, disguise it with something that doesn't hold such dark significance to it's dreamer. But Delia's actions too, weaken the electrified fence, sparks in her wake that sputter out and the ozone smell goes with it, even as the fence sags and curls in on itself from the oniermancers actions.

This prompts the figure on the floor to lift her head, look at the pair who are both standing there and coming towards her, the shadowed individuals beyond. It's the latter that prompts the look of exaggerated fear in Abigail's face, as emaciated as her hand, blonde hair in dirty greasy strings, fingernails bitten to the quick and digging into her knee's. Her chin coated in red that's dried, leaving flakes of it occasionally falling off, dry lips pressed together tight. She shakes her head, quivering very much like the proverbial rabbit that Delia was not so long ago.

It's when she opens her mouth to warn them of something, there's the raw stump where a tongue should be, garbled words that can't be formed without a tongue to aid in the manipulation of air.

Tania knows what the blonde before her is trying to warn her of when the shadowed individuals start for her, the flash a shaving blade, old fashioned and pearl handled, in the hand of the green eye'd individuals hand. It has Abigail bolting up and forward, bare feet planted on the ground, going through Delia and towards the others.

Delia's form drags in colored pixels behind her as Abby rushes through her body. They're slow to form back into a whole person and by the time the redhead has turned around, she's witness to the flash of the blade and the onset of the lean gentleman to the teenager. There's an angry set to the blue eyes behind the mask and it angles down and to the left, one spiraling ear pointed in the direction of the blade wielding man.

The eyes close and the world whirls around them like they're inside the eye of a tornado. The fence, the cot, and the mask from Delia's face. It spirals through the air and the ears plant deeply into the soil at the thin man's feet. "Stop this, now."

Normally, this would be when Tania would run. But her survival instinct war against her not wanting Abby to get more hurt, and that internal conflict leaves her standing there instead of doing anything useful one way or the other.

The girl yelps when Delia makes the world spin and spin and it's worse than a carnival ride, really. But she tries to latch on to Abby, half for anchoring and half to keep the woman back from the scary.

Tania finds that there's nothing to latch onto as her hand goes to grasp Abigails, that hand she reaches for dissipating, turns into smoke and is dispatched just like smoke, leaving nothing of her arm, starting to unravel inch by inch. The tempest of their surroundings settles, Delia buying the few moments needed for them to be distracted from approaching Tania, the leveling of the blade that threatens to swing down even as others peel forth from the shadows as if they might grab a hold of the Russian and bring her down to her knee's.

Till Abby collides, one arm thrown wide, hooking around the knife bearing man and the two of them thump against the wall, near solid for a heartbeat before they, both of them, dissipate into smoke and drift upwards in colored ribbons of gas that turn grey then are gone.

Which leaves just the green eyes and smirking shadow, who turns his back on the pair, pulling in on his cigarette to make the tip glow before turning away and walking off, eventually he too disappearing.

There's a pained expression on the face of the tall young woman as she stalks up beside Tania. In a smooth bend, she reaches for the mask and pulls it up out of the dirt. It's placed back on the top of Delia's head, not pulled down for the moment, before she turns and regards the teenager. "Come on, we have to keep moving." She doesn't say where.

Bare feet leave prints in the dust and from those tiny shoots of lavender press up through the soil. Her arms swing with every step, giving her a rather casual gait as she moves further into the maze, pressing onward. "I came to check on her, to see if she wanted Rhett back." Delia's explanation as to why she's here isn't a full one.

Tania moves after Delia, her feet safely tucked away in boots, a sharp contrast to Delia. "Ya ne ponimayu." The girl says to her, the confusion clear, even if her language isn't. But there's a shake of her head before she continues, "Came? Came where?" For her, the idea of being within someone else's head is a little strange. Strange enough that the obvious answer doesn't seem to come to mind. "Miss Ebby is sick! I heard she is very sick. Was that her? I do not understand." At least she gets it out in English this time.

Deliver me from the sword, my precious life. From the power of evil that surround me, from the lions mouth That threatens to devour me and the horns of the oxen that wish to pierce my heart.

One they're away from where the scene, the memory seems to have surfaced and attempted to interact with the intruders so to speak, they can hear the prayers still carrying on in the wind in the faint voice.

Give ear to my prayer, do not remove yourself from my supplication. Stand close to me, forgive me my transgression and do not rebuke in your anger for my actions. Make steady my judgments, forgive me my weaknesses and when the hour of dark comes upon me, give me the strength, send me the strength so that I may stand in your light.

Half listening to the voice and half to Tania, Delia continues to navigate slowly through the maze. "She's very sick, I've seen minds like this before… not… like this but similar." She tilts her chin down to gaze at Tania and gives her a small smile. "When I worked at the hospital, I used to visit people like this. Abby's too sick to wake up, we have to find her to bring her back."

Her eyes flit upward to the pale disc in the sky and then back to the teen, giving her a sad smile. "We have a long ways to go, come."

"Is this telepathy?" Tania may jump to a few conclusions, but the general idea is dawning. "How am I here? Chto, chert voz'mi. Ya ne ponimayu. Pochemu zhizn' s uma!" It's a tiny, little Russian rant, is all. But she steps up to Delia's side, letting out a small huff. "I want to help Miss Ebby. She's my friend." They way she says it… possibly her only friend.

Whatever it was that was said at the end of the prayer isn't heard for their talking, voice dying off, the sound of day birds that will soong ive way to those of the night.

"As I went down in the river to pray Studying about that good ol' way And who shall wear the starry crown? Good Lord show me the way!"

It's louder, singing instead of prayer, heard clearly from around the corner and when the two turn it, the path opens up to a four way intersection, not the center of the maze, but a red herring. four paths where but one is the proper one. Beneath a bower of white wood and chocolate vines, all green with their red flowers grown wild over it, giving shade is a young woman no older than fifteen. Simple white flats and a simple baptismal white dress. Her blonde hair covered beneath the fall of similar cloth, kneeling over someone with her head bowed. A gold cross on delicate chain dangling and spinning

Cradled in the lee of her body, the convace of her form bent over is a dark haired woman, Delia recognizes her, recognizes the white snowy barn owl that perches on top of the trellis and watches, Abby's palms pressed to Eileen's sternum. Woulds wicking away slowly but surely, midriff a mes sof black stitches.

Other birds lurk, Ravens, Vultures, four in all that sit on corners of the maze, watching, an ominous weight to this area as if they might dive in and attack. Except the owl. Who turns so errily and creepily to watch the two women as they appear. An oriental medallion about it's neck.

"O sisters let's go down Let's go down, come on down O sisters let's go down Down in the river to pray. As I went down in the river to pray Studying about that good ol' way And who shall wear the robe and crown? Good Lord show me the way" Clear and swwet comes Abby's voice, personal and intimate. Sincere. A religious side of Abby that not many of late, has seen.

The mask is lowered to cover Delia's face once again and she stops, short of what almost looks to be a baptism of sorts. "These are her memories, somewhere inside all of them, Abby will be sleeping." Delia explains further, not sparing a glance to Tania anymore as she focuses on the scene in front of them. The raptors above them are bestowed a nervous look before Delia presses on, right into the midst and into the attention of the young woman herself.

"But isn't that her there? How is she sleeping if she is there?" So many questions. Tania is a little delayed in coming after Delia, but she tries to catch up when she realizes the woman moved. She eyes those birds, too, her brow furrowed before she looks back to Abby. "Miss Ebby!" She calls, trying to get her attention, too.

The owl spreads it wings, making itself bigger, beak parted and a gutteral jiss coming from him, shifting in spot side to side, warning off the two women but going no further. The others just remain as they are. watching from afar, imperious. As her name is called, she lifts her head up from were she bent curled over the dying woman, song faltering on her lips as Tania calls out but no recognition flaring up from her.

"You're interrupting. I can't save her if you're interrupting" So young, very young, not as young as she could be, in memories she can't remember, but are there. She lifts a pale palm, fingers curled save for a forefinger which stays straight, pressed to her pink lips and bisecting it. "Shhhhhhh" Gentle chastisement as only a fifteen year old could dispense and turns back to healing a sickly Eileen, face swollen with bruises and contusions, the avian telepath a mess.

Placing a hand on Tania's shoulder, Delia stops her from moving forward, still keeping a wary eye on the birds above them. "Just watch… we can't hurt by doing what she says." Behind the mask, the older redhead's face contorts into a grimace of pain and she presses her lips together into a flat line.

Tania does stop, but she gives a confused look up to Delia. There's no doubt that she has even more questions, but this time she stays silent, as Abby requested. But she looks back, the worry on her face is meant for Abby, not the broken woman in her arms.

Abigail returns to the task at hand, to eileen's form, her voice picking up again it's religious tune, absorbed by the green covered walls, lulling the birds that watch into a slight sway that is seen as she keeps on.

"As I went down in the river to pray Studying about that good ol' way And who shall wear the starry crown? Good Lord show me the way. O fathers let's go down Let's go down, come on down O fathers let's go down Down in the river to pray. As I went down in the river to pray Studying about that good ol' way And who shall wear the robe and crown? Good Lord show me the way"

And she moves her hand, small miracles in it's wake. She smooths a finger over fragile brow, her thumb stroking along the arch of the short hairs that define the injured woman. Purples and blues, blood and injury disappear in it's path. underneath her thumb, leaving whole and healthy flesh as a result. They'd heard of Abby's healing, of the gift she'd held before but that was taken from her.

And she moves, touching here and there, dissolving wounds before their eyes, the avian telepath cradled by her finding peace little by little, lines of pain disappearing till there's nothing left, she's whole, and disappears, fading away with a soft little "God bless" From her. But just as soon as Eileen disappears - to note, the birds do too, Abigail looks up to the other pair, the owl fading off as well.

"She's not here" A drawl much deeper than what they're used to from Abby. "She came through here, left before I could touch her. I'm sorry."

"Which direction did she go in?" Delia's question is blunt, made with no outward emotion though above them the already dark sky grows a little more dim with the gathering of stormclouds. The change in the young woman's voice causes the older of the two redheads to step in front of Tania, as though protecting her from some sort of danger. One of her milky white hands slides down the young girl's arm before gripping hers firmly, ready to fling her back in case of danger.

Tania takes Delia's hand, peering around her at this younger version of Abby. She seems to pick up on Delia's anxiety, because she looks a little nervous now, too, where moment's ago she was all for running in. But she's quiet now and still.

"South" Baptismal white Abigail speaks, turning in the supposed direction, not leaving the bower, even though at her feet another form is starting to shimmer into place, though it's hard to make out who it is. "Always south, Home" Of course. Home for Abby is south. Here in New York, south towards Manhattan and the condo. South to Butte la Rose. She offers her hand out to the two of them, palms upturned, one for each. "Can I give you a blessing? To carry to her?"

"South," Delia repeats, the mask tilting in the direction in question. "Of course, always south," she agrees quite soon after. The twist of hedgerows, over and undergrowth that impedes their path causes a glimmer of worry in the older woman. South has so many obstacles, though like her own little problem a few months ago, nothing of this nature can be overcome without a few obstacles.

Without hesitation, Delia slips her free palm into the outstretched one of the Abby in front of them. "A blessing would be nice, she'll need it when we find her." Still Tania's questions remain unanswered, something better left for the waking world.

When Delia reaches out for this Abby, Tania does, too, just laying her hands over theirs with a tiny, almost invisible smile. "Thank you," she says, her voice also softer now. "Sorry for interrupting."

Her hands are warm, and up close, her eyes different than what they know. Something more in them, a blue a shade more vibrant than what she presents in the real world. Others could tell them why, that they changed, when she lost her ability, but here they are, what they were, in a younger face. "Circle me, Lord. Keep protection near And danger afar." Her head bowed, the hands brought up and pressed to her forehead as if receiving benediction from the two of them.

"Circle me, Lord Keep hope within. Keep doubt without. Circle me, Lord. Keep light near And darkness afar." They can feel the warmth that comes from her, from where their skin touches hers. A low warmth, a tingle, a feeling of all things good that swims along through their bodies, erasing aches and hurts they might have gotten from scrambling along the hedges and under them. Healing. Bone deep, curling around their heart and digging it's fingers in. "Circle me, Lord. Keep peace within. Keep evil out. In this your name I pray as your humble servant Abigail"

It's done, and she releases their palms, even as the body behind her comes into being, Teo, near bad off as Eileen was. "I have to go, you have to go to. But you'll be back. She'll be waiting." She turns away, slippered feet stepping away, stepping over teo so she can sink back down, gather his head in her lap and start in on healing.

Teo doesn't even receive a cursory glance as Delia turns to move into the maze again. "Come on Tania," she utters as she bends to move between the tangle of branches and leaves. The winding ears of her mask get tangled up a bit and it's pulled off her head, left hanging from a limb by its leather cord. Frustration rules the day (night) as the dreamwalker reaches back and yanks the mask off only to find her way blocked by new growth when she turns back. Their way has been effectively blocked, much to the older of the pair's dismay. "A duality," she says quietly, puzzling out their conundrum. "She wants us to come, but she's blocking our way."

Coming along with Delia, Tania watches over her shoulder as Abby gets back to work. There are a few reasons she finds the healing fascinating, and it's hard to look away. But as the mask gets caught and she bumps into Delia, she turns her attention back to what's ahead. "I hope she knows we are here to help. And is not afraid." But how to prove such a thing in the mind, that's beyond the girl.

Sluuuuurp the dregs of a juice box, it's contents dragged up through a straw, draws attention away from the hedges to the pig tailed five year old in coveralls, a pink plaid button down. Cheap canvas shoes with no socks, bits of twigs and leaves in her hair, stuck to her clothes, and blinky blue eyes. Little fingers squeeze the air out of a juicy juice box, staring up at the two adults. The straw extracted with a pop and the little girls head tilts to the side as if that might make them make more sense, cupid lips pressed together.

Then she skips forward the few steps, grabbing thier hands, tugging both redheads to lean forward to hear her words even as they are starting to wake up, forcibly punted from Abby's comatose mind.

"But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep."

"Wait, Ebby…" Oh, but it's too late, she's already waking up. And as she opens her eyes, she looks over toward where her brother sleeps before she starts to quietly slip out of bed. Feet pad down the hall on her way to Delia's room. She knocks. And knocks. And knocks a little harder. And when there's no answer, she pauses a moment before she slides the door open. And seeing the woman there, the girl comes over to give her shoulder a little shake. And then a little harder shake. When the girl eventually figures out that Delia isn't going to wake up, she lowers herself onto the floor at her bedside, keeping vigil.

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