The Serpent and the Hare


delia2_icon.gif kaylee2_icon.gif

Scene Title The Serpent and the Hare
Synopsis After learning about the telepath's collection of memories, a dreamwalker goes to add her own.
Date April 8, 2011

In Dreams

The forest stretches out on all sides for as far as the eye can see, deep and thick like you'd imagine the world would look like without being touched by man. It's patches of sunlight that keep it from being a dark and dreary place. A place of nightmares rather then a place of peace. A gentle breezes shifts along the path, brushing anything it passes with gentle caress and making leaves rich in color flutter like millions of glittering emeralds where the light touches.

It also helps a light mist to roll in along the forest floor. Long fingers of is twist and curl around the trunks of trees filling the area with a low fog that is only ankle deep.

At the center of this forest is a giant behemoth of a tree rising up to dwarf the other trees. It's branches thick and gnarled with age spread out reaching to touch the smaller more delicate branches, while the thick ropes of roots spread along the ground. Most remarkable is when the light flickers through the moving treetops, it comes alive with the sparkle of rubies. A color of temptation, of ripe apples as they hang from the branches. Beckoning someone to pick one and taste the sweet flesh of it.

Ringing the clearing of the apple tree, smaller trees stand. Each with a mirror wrapped within a gilded Victorian frame. Upon their reflective surfaces, plays images. Memories flicker over it's surfaces, but these are not the memories of the dreamer. Faces familiar move over the surface. So many that it might confuse an unwary traveler who this forest belongs too.

The fog is high enough to impede but not low enough to use as camouflage. Motionless, save for the occasional blink of round blue eyes and the twitch of a small nose, an agouti rabbit hides amongst the taller blades of grass. It's watching the mirrors from the safety of its hiding spot, at least the ones within its line of sight. The collected montage of memories seems to interest the little animal but its silent vigil is interrupted when the mirrors it is watching begin to repeat themselves.

Stretching its neck out, the rabbit wiggles its nose, smelling the air for danger before it ventures further. Cautiously at first, walking its front paws out as far as they can go and then catching its back legs up with a small hop. It pauses there, raising its head above the fog and listening, lifting up onto its hind legs. It twists full body to peruse its surroundings before lowering itself down and taking a few more of the same steps.

The line of mirrored trees is followed until the rabbit spies on it hasn't seen before. The mirror flashes with images of a familiar man once old turned young but looking old once again. It is there that the rabbit stops, ducking into a bit of scrub to hide from whatever danger may be lurking and watches.

If the rabbit thinks it's been unobserved… then it is truly naive.

Oh, it might have been able to sneak in a few of the mirror's content before something started to watch. Twin beads of red, faint within the thick foliage of the giant apple tree, have been watching it.

Oh silly little rabbit.

Ropes of blackness slowly unwind itself from the branch it's been hanging from. A diamond shape head slowly descends while the warm blooded creature is busy. It suddenly drops to the ground on the other side of the tree, long inky rope coiling as it disappears into the ground mist.

Clothed by the mist, it moves in silence towards it's prey. Until, as the cute widdle bunny watches the mirror, that diamond shaped head slowly rises from the ground fog, tendrils of it cling to the slick and shiny scales. As it rises, it's neck flattens, spreading like a dark hood.

"Little rabbit… Little nossssey rabbit…" The voice is like fine silk as it hisses across skin and very much male. It almost sound sing songy as the head weaves back and forth in a slow pattern, bright blood red eyes watch the rabbit intently. "Wwwwhat a sssscrumptious meal you will make fooor meee."

The rabbit's eye follows the movement in the mirrors, unaware of the serpent's approach. A sudden movement in the mirror; a young girl yelling at the old man and pointing her finger startles the little creature. It jumps backward in fright and skitters, falling onto its side only to quickly regain itself. Standing on all fours, one of its back legs begins thumping madly against the ground in warning. To what, perhaps other rabbits who might be lurking but it is doubtful. It might just be instinct that has it warning the nothing else that inhabits this place of memories and gloom.

The rise of the snake and the smooth whisper of its voice provides enough of a danger but it's too late for the little thing caught within its sights. Soon enough the weaving of the snake mesmirizes and catches the brown thing in its sights. The thrumming of the hind quarter against the solid ground slows and then finally drifts to a stop as the rabbit begins weaving along with the serpent.

The rabbit does not speak.

A snake can smile… well sort of… it's mouth parts in amusement, needle thin teeth glistening in the light. "You ssshould learrrn little rabbit not to ssssneak into a telepathhhh's garrrrden." It tightens up for the strike, coils breaking the surface of the mist, like a sea serpent in the water, as they gather for the blow.

"You forget yourself."

The sharp words come from everywhere at once and at the same time almost seem like they are within the mind. The hood of the snake snaps back in tight against it's body, even as the wedge of black turns towards an edge of the tree, coils relaxing.

It's head bows as a figure steps out from behind the thick trunk of the tree.

Since the last time Kaylee was in the dream word, the woman had changed and with it, her appearance. Long golden tresses are artfully piled up on the back of her head, much like a woman of the Victorian era, with tight curls framing her face. Her clothing seems more of a mash up of modern and old fashioned. The dress she wears with it's long clinging lacy sleeve, is off the shoulder. Her waist is cinched tight, but in this dream state it isn't the same torture. It helps accentuate the curves of her hips as the white fabric of the skirt falls to where it just brushes the ground.

"Delia…" Blue eyes are focused on the little rabbit, expectant and chiding.

"I didn't," the rabbit says in an almost panicked tone. "I didn't forget, I needed to see you." The rabbit's fur rises and falls quickly with each breath taken. A racing heart underneath the miniscule ribcage hammers almost audibly to the ears of the telepath. Someone all too aware of the mind now trapped within hers. "I can't come by any other way, too dangerous."

The air around the small mammal fizzes with static before the full figure of the redhead morphs into view. Her white sundress so much different than the mashup of styles the other is wearing. Light cotton, so old it almost has the consistency of chiffon waves like a curtain in the slight breeze. Her arms bare, free of sleeves save the two pearly spaghetti straps holding the light garment up. Her feet are also bare while her head is not.

A mask that looks oddly skeletal or at least on the way through advanced decay covers her face. A rabbit with ears that twist toward the heavens. Raising one milk white hand, the younger woman slips it off and she glances toward the mirror that her father was so recently admonished inside of. "You're collecting them, the memories."

A smile tugs up at the corner of her mouth. "Actually… I was talking to him." Kaylee crouches down, with no fear and holds out a hand to the black snake. It almost acts like a beaten puppy as it winds itself up her arm. "You know better," she scolds the reptile.

"I'm ssssorry, missstressss." Blank winds itself up her arm to rest across shoulder, diamond shape head pressing along the telepath's jaw. There it goes silent, watching the red head.

Kaylee focuses on the mirror with Joseph's funeral, a flicker of sadness playing over her features. "Yes." She answers the younger woman, closing the distance so that she can touch fingers to the slick surface. "Each is a moment…" She looks at the mirrors around them, fourteen in total at the moment, though three don't really show memories themselves… only people talking about them… or in one case, images of written words. "A spot in a sequence of events. War… death… dispair." She brushes fingers over the surface of the mirror as whoever's memory it is looks at the still form of Joseph Sumter.

One the bottom of the iron filligree that contains the mirror of her father, a satin ribbon with scalloped edges ties itself to the bottom and hangs limp. Then Delia closes her eyes and the ribbon is pulled taut by the weight of a small mirror of her own. "I want to help," she says when she opens her eyes.

Inside the hand sized mirror a scene of her very own begins to play; not the dream shared by both women here but one starring a white tombstone, the redhead herself, and a dark sullen dark haired man that Kaylee might recognize from his time on the island. "I can bring you people, here, if they're willing. It might be easier for you to see what they do if they're here."

Branches creak and move, reaching out to support the mirror where it hangs from the ribbon. Kaylee's eyes are on the mirror and doesn't seem to even notice it being secured. Hands come up to press together, before she slowly pulls them apart. Doing thing the mirror grows until it's big enough to make the people beyond life size.

When the dream plays itself out, Kaylee has to take a deep breath and let it out slowly. Eye lashes still blink rapidly to prevent tears from falling. "That would be a good idea I think," she murmurs softly. "Those that can't get to me easily.

"Only way I'm going to figure out the message… is to have them all… or as many as I can get." Reaching out, Kaylee moves to grab the mirror with Delia's dream, branches loosening their grip. This mirror she takes with her, moving down the line of trees, only pausing long enough for the younger woman to catch up.

"All the variables," Kaylee murmurs.

"I can't reach the island from Eltingville, there's a few people who live there that have had dreams." The redhead utters as she follows behind at a much slower pace. She stops in front of all of the mirrors as though looking for something. Finding another familiar face, Delia pauses and studies the mirror for a long while. "My house mate mentioned that Mister Deckard was in her dream, have you spoken to him?"

Her eyes drift over the faces of all the people in the stately livingroom until she focuses in on the mechanical hand. "Oh…" she whispers, spying the aged blonde woman and darting a quick glance to Kaylee. "This is one of Tania's. She's worried, she said she was happy but when she woke up she couldn't understand how. Can you tell me?"

Delia's dream is placed at the front of the long line of dreams, given it's own tree. Once she's happy with where it's set, Kaylee moves to stand alongside Delia. "It's the oldest of the dreams so far." Fingers touch the surface and slowly she makes the scene move quickly, until the view shifts as the person stands. "This is one of mine."

As Tania winds herself around Logan from behind, Kaylee sighs. "I haven't even tried to contact, Flint. I don't even know where to look." She glances at Delia, the memory stopping on the haggard and greatly aged features of Deckard. "I should ask Joseph, unless you can find him and bring him here." In the back of her mind, something is screaming that it might be a bad idea.

Glancing over her shoulder, she points to another mirror with Tania dressed in white. "She's married to Logan." Fingers glide along the mirror before them counter clock wise, making the images back up until it freezes on Tania and Logan. "I remember Flint saying something about him using his ability on them. So Logan maybe made her feel happy?"

"I can find him," Delia says of Flint, whether it's a bad idea doesn't even enter into her head. It's a great idea to her, simply because everyone loves dreaming… probably. Her blue eyes are fixed on the image of Tania draped around Logan like a fancy scarf and she shakes her head a little. "No, that's impossible Mister Logan can't— " She stops herself and presses her lips together, taking a small breath before the continues. "It's just impossible, Mister Logan wouldn't do that." But given the uglier side she's seen, she knows that he just might. To keep something he wants.

"Kaylee, my baby…" Nervous eyes flit toward the mirror that's been placed on its own special tree. A tree that starts to straighten and grow tall and strong. Perhaps it's the dreamwalker herself doing the manipulation, marking the spot as her very own, but soon rather than the generic trunk in the copse of mirrors a giant redwood stands proudly in its place. "I don't know who her father is… right now I can only think of two men that it could be and one of them doesn't like me very much. Can you help me?"

The manipulation doesn't go unnoticed, the older woman turning to watch the trees growth with amusement. "You know… one day I'd love to visit the redwoods in California. I hear they are quite spectacular in person." It's almost wistful as if she might never see it. Though with her life as it is, she might never see much outside of this city, much less get all the way to west coast.

It's a little off track, but thoughts are like that at times. Coming out of no where. "As for finding out the father of your daughter…" Kaylee trails off and sighs. "I can't promise much." She looks to the equally tall red head next to her and gives her a small smile. "But if I find a dream that gives any clues. I'll let you know." That she can promise.

"It's all I can ask," Delia emits quietly, looking back to the mirror with the frozen image of Tania with such a vacant smile on her face. "So she knew? She remembers marrying Mister Logan and…" Respect and admiration grows for the young girl along with the shake of the dreamwalker's head. "I'm not sure if the father of my baby is Mister Logan, he's one of the two men we're living with right now. She didn't even seem jealous or angry when I told her about the dream."

Her gaze softens and her lips turn downward as she eyes the smug face of the Englishman. "I want to change things for her, at least… At least help him enough that he won't do that to her. She would love him anyway, I think. He's really good to us."

Lips press into a fine line listening to Delia. She casts a look towards the redwood again, "Only til he he gets bored of it… look…" Kaylee's words are firm, tastings like dust on her tongue. She's been where Delia is, with a different man.

She reaches to take Delia's hand and draws her over to the gargantuan apple tree, the black coils around her neck wither and the silken voice hisses. "I advissse againssst thisss. It only bringsss you pain." But his is quickly silents with a hiss for silence from the woman. Once they stand before the apple tree, Kaylee lets go of the dream walkers and presses both hands to the trees trunk. From within it a large mirror starts to float to the surface.

"I've been where you are, Delia. Not with Logan, per say." The the mirror flicker like a tv changing channels rapidly. Watching the flickering starts to slow and slow until it stops on an image of a man, also English by the words, barely heard coming from his mouth.

"I was once close to a man named Adam Monroe." Just the mention of the man's name, the world around them darkens, leaves seeming to gain brown around the edges, branches drooping. "He often told me he thought of me as a daughter." The figure in the mirror seems like he's looking at them, a jewelery box in his hands, the lid is pried open slowly to reveal a helix necklace, jemmed. Beautiful. "I knew he was a bad person." Her hand slides down the mirror, making time move backwards to a raid on Pinehearst. " But I thought he'd never do me harm, even as people begged me to listen to them. I was loyal… and a fool." Kaylee's vision in the mirror shows her cutting down guards using one of their own.

"He about ruined me, nearly killed me." The forest around them continues to die, leaves start to shift from the trees and float brown and dead to the ground. All except for the redwood which continues to stand tall. Even Kaylee seems sickly as he talks about this man, words soon strained with pain. "Drug me down a path so dark that would have resulted with me in a ditch with his sword in my back, or in jail for a long time."

Images swirl around the surface, many, focusing on a certain man in the telepath's life. The scene it settles on the telepath thinks of as a life changer, tho Delia wouldn't know it.

I'm Joseph, by the way.

I'm Kaylee.

"You need to be cautious. Logan isn't a good man. People like him have their good moments, Adam did. Saved people and did good things for others" Kaylee studies the redhead for the moment. "But in the end… if you are not careful, there will be a knife in your back. I know. For me it wasn't a knife, but something like a curse. Killing me when I think or speak of him"

You sound 'good' to me, Joseph says behind the telepath's shoulder. You know, if that's what tempts you. For most people, bein' charitable is a hardship.

"I got lucky." Kaylee feels this, even as the forest around her stands withered and brown. She looks around at the deads woods, "I miss Adam sometimes, but… I don't miss what I was a part of." Reaching up she touches a branch and a new sprout begins to form. "I just…." She looks back at Delia, concern etched into her features. "I just don't want to see you hurt like me. I have to carry this stain of some of the darkest sins and burden of it for the rest of my life."

Maybe good in some ways, but — like I said. I wouldn't be here if I was all good. The younger version of herself murmurs from the mirror.

"If he's as bad as you say he is, then everything I'm doing right now will be worth it in the end." Delia says quietly, "and if he's not." She shrugs one shoulder and stares down at her bare feet. The mask disappears from her free hand and phases back into view, resting on the top of her head as if it were a hat. "If he's not, then I can help him be who he really is. Hokuto said he's noble underneath all of it, he's just afraid."

Turning her head toward Kaylee, her blue eyes meet those of the blonde womans and she sets her jaw stubbornly. "Regardless, I can't leave Tania there… she seems so lonely all of the time." It's not pity that has her staying for the sake of the young girl, that much is obvious. Of all things, Tania isn't wanting for pity.

Glancing at the mirror again, she stares at the contrast between the couple comprised of Tania and Logan compared to the couple that is herself and Nick. "I— I'll talk to Tania about it, tell her what I saw and what Mister Deckard said. Let her decide what it is she wants. I'm not sure if a life full of false happiness is as bad as…" She turns to look at her own crumpled form being held by Nick and grimaces. "As bad as a life full of pain."

"I agree… with not leaving Tania alone." Kaylee says, touching the large mirror and watching it sink back into the trunk. "Just… be aware of the true nature of that leopards spots and he might truly like you, but… you can't ever be sure. Especially, if the right… price comes his way."

Lips press together and Kaylee turns towards the mirror with Tania and Logan. "I… can't, however, fully agree on false happiness. False isn't the same as real, and it's not fair to those children. They seemed… addicted." Her head is inclined in the direction of the newest mirror. "I've tried false happiness… it's empty and… not worth it." How many men had she made to falsely love her?

"That baby. She might bring pain, but I believe that she has a purpose, even if brief."

Fingers grip Delia's shoulder and give it a squeeze. "I would rather face a life without Joseph in it, after him being in it… then not at all. I am who I am in large because he was in it." She's fully convinced of this. "I'd be curious to see the woman you are later down the line after the edges of the pain have been worn down." Her hand guides Delia to look at the oldest mirror again. "I seem to turn out okay… stronger for it even."

She leans over and adds softly, "Though I still plan to try and change it so he and I grow old together." There is a slight mischievous tilt of her lips. "And his daughter gets to keep her father." Her head inclines to the newest mirror..

"But what if changing anything means the children never exist at all, or if they do and end up like…" She doesn't say the name on the tombstone and she furrows her eyebrows even more in thought. Delia steps up to the redwood and runs a hand along its bark. The cracked edges feel rough against her palm, it's underneath that she knows is the strong bit. "It's not the baby that brings pain, she died from the flu. I don't want her to live like that, she wasn't even a year old before she was gone. Is it selfish for me to try just for the sake of having her, only to lose her to that?"

Or lose her again. Time is a funny thing.

"I'm just so… conflicted," the redhead says quietly as she lowers the mask to hide her features. Closing her eyes, she melts down to the form of the brown rabbit again. Nose twitching as she looks up at Kaylee. A few slow lopes toward one of the trees before she picks up speed, only to disappear into the scrub bordering the glade.

"I'll bring them to you, so you can see," the quiet whisper almost seems like it could come from a rabbit and after the words are spoken Kaylee can feel the presence in her mind vanished.

Arms wrap around herself, as Kaylee watching the rabbit bound away. Already the trees are leafing again as if the discussion of Adam never happened. The only evidence is covered by the mist. Blue eyed gaze drifts to the looping memory of Joseph's funeral, her face fallen into lines of sadness and worry.

"We're all conflicted."

In all honestly, time is already changing. What's shown may never come to pass, the children wiped from the board. Or maybe just knowing they are there, they will have a chance to live, maybe in a better world or a far worse one.

All the telepath and dream walker can do for now is find and collect the pieces and put the puzzle together, see what the future holds.

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