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1Rest [Closed] Empty Rest [Closed] on Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:19 am



Waking up was always the most difficult.

Hot, so hot. And smoke, it choked her.  She felt like she was breathing the embers of a stoked fire. It burned something awful. She clutched her throat desperately. Sounds around her were muffled and her sight felt diminished. There were red and browns and light everywhere though she couldn't tell what was up or down or what was what. Something inside her was screaming for her to wake up. She blinked through dry eyes to look around. There was a commotion going on. The more she focused, however, the more she felt the world tip from under her feet. She coughed and struggled to bring an arm over her eyes. It felt overly heavy, like dead weight. What was going on here?

Slowly a persistent ringing formed in her ear. Her head turned from the sound. It stung and she wasn't quite sure she wanted to hear it. Something insider her wallowed in her chest. It sent shivers down her spine against the heat. She couldn't shake the feeling that she shouldn't be here.

"Meiyo..." A voice trailed in. It was high pitched, female maybe. It dragged her name like a tease. She looked around trying to figure out where it had come from. She opened her mouth to respond, to call back out but she couldn't. She choked up black embers. "Why'd you leave us here to die, Meiyo?"

To die? She shook her head. She'd never leave someone to die. What were they talking about?

"Meiyo." It whispered from a distance. From where she wasn't sure. She looked about fervently trying to figure out what it needed.  "Over here!" She heard it yell in her left ear quite suddenly. Her head snapped to the left at its sound. The hair on her body stood on end as her heart sank deeper into her chest hiding from the sight. Her face fell pale with despair. She shook like a leaf in the wind as her mind spun in disbelief and fear. Suddenly stretched out before the small, trembling girl were the very things that she feared most in her nightmares.

All the children and villagers from the small village that had burned to death stood before her in a long line side by side. Most the bodies were burnt to a crisp but standing in amazement. The smell was awful. Burning flesh was gaseous and upsetting, to say the least. Nausea built up in her stomach just from the stench of it. Everything about them was blackened by ash and burns except one eye, each. And each eye was blue.

She wanted to beg their forgiveness but she had no voice to offer. She wanted to cry but she was too dehydrated. She wanted to fall to her knees but they were stuck in place from shackles of her fears and regrets. I know, she wanted to say, it's my fault. I wasn't strong enough, she wanted them to hear. But they couldn't hear her and she was motionless.

"Meiyo." They spoke in unison. "Why?"

She shook her head, she didn't know why she wasn't strong enough.

"Have you found him, the one with the blue scarf?" The hummed in mocking anger. They knew the answer. She blinked and shook her head more rapidly. She wanted to explain, to plead. But something at heart spoke the truth. It wouldn't matter. "You're weak." They chastised her. This time she nodded. Yes, she was.

"Meiyo." They spoke, all suddenly reaching up with one right arm towards her. "Come for the reckoning..." The reckoning? What were they talking about? This was new. As it all came back towards her, she realized that these were, in fact, the demons of her nightmares. Though they've never spoken of a reckoning before. "Come, Meiyo." She shook her head slowly. She couldn't. She wouldn't be able to. She was useless here. She was needed elsewhere. Charcoal eyebrows flicked up. Then their heads arched lower. "Come. Meiyo." They ordered. She looked to the side instead. She knew what was coming and every time, chase by the chase, and bit by bit she was losing herself. Her toes suddenly ached. She looked at her feet by surprise. They were turning black. Ash was reaching up from the floor below her. She shook her head and looked back up at the mass. They were taking from her again. "Come Meiyo. It's only a matter of time." Slowly she turned around, her heart sunk deep in her chest with welled up tears that never existed in this realm. What was next was always the hardest to find.

She ran. She ran as fast as her heavy legs would allow her. She pushed them against the depression that consumed her and the chains of guilt that held her in place. She ran before they could. Though this time she wasn't sure she could escape. She could feel their misery quacking. They wanted revenge. And more than life itself they wanted their lives back. These were her demons, draining the life force from her soul. This was an ever ending battle she may never escape. So she ran. She ran for the heck of it. She ran because if she didn't, they would catch her and she would never wake again.

"Meiyo!" They screamed as a whole just before their bodies burst into flames and the real haunting occurred. Their voices screamed in the agony she had heard them before. She felt the floor beneath her feet tip up at an even more steep angle. Her running feet couldn't keep ground, here in the dream realm, there were no limits or advantages. She was at the mercy of the fire's will. She slipped back towards the monstrous lost souls as they mashed their teeth and spit embers from their tongues. Breathing rapidly she scrambled to remember how she got out the last time. Every time she fell into the nightmare's grasp it was like an endless maze with a new pattern every time. She couldn't be sure what trick she needed to escape and the demons weren't going to make it very easy. A wall of flames burst from behind them as tall as a three-story building and its heat felt as if hell itself had burst open its gates.

Crippling fear captivated her at the sight of it. She couldn't move and slipped towards the demons that tormented her constantly. She shut her eyes tight as tears fell down her face.

Reaching up she felt the wetness that wouldn't fall before. Gasping she opened her eyes and sat up quickly. She found herself in an empty white room with a long curtain half pulled shut and a large window capturing a late afternoon of her beloved village. The brightness of the room was at first overwhelming, but as she adjusted to her surroundings, escaping the insinuating sense of panic, she came to find some comfort here.

Hospital. You’re alive. But why? What happened? She looked around for some answers. She wasn’t in her clothes anymore. She wasn’t in her black wraps anymore. A hot red blush warmed her cheeks. She was in a hospital gown with the tiny flower petal print on an off-white with ties that not nearly was enough to be regarded as clothing. She tried to swallow, but her mouth was dry. That was similar. She reached up and winced. Had her chest been cut? With suspicious eyes, she pulled the collar of her shirt and checked. Bandages across her chest. She rolled her eyes at herself. What more had she gotten herself into? She reached with her left wrist and realized there was whiter skin there than usual. It clicked rather quickly.

The small panic roused from her bed. Her knee stopped her, it was painful and from lifting the skirt she found bandages there as well. This day just keeps getting better and better… she hummed with some frustration. She looked around and found nothing available other than the usual monitors. She wasn’t hooked up so that was a good sign. Usual those who were worse off got hooked up and monitored closely. But that wasn’t the biggest concern at the moment. What concerned her most was what was missing.

She looked and looked about the bed and then pulled the curtain and found a chair with her clothes bagged. Atop was another small bag that was darker and hard to see what was inside. But it looked big enough for a bracelet. Quickly she limped over the few feet. She snatched the bag up into her long fingers and ripped it open. There it laid in her hand, stained and a bit crusty from blood, but all ten stones were there. She flipped it over and peaked at the seem. She pulled one small stitch and it opened the pocket with ease. Out fell a neatly folded little square of paper. It had been folded with the writing inside of which she had never chosen to read. But it was clean and safe and dry. Meiyo clutched the bracelet and the note in her palms and gently squeezed. Closing her eyes she breathed a sigh of relief. These were the only things left of anything of her history. Without them, she, well she didn’t know what else there could be of her. Everyone else seemed to have families and clans and she was Meiyo. Ren, Meiyo just starting her life as a kunoichi of the leaf.

Carefully she tucked the letter back into its pocket and strapped the bracelet to her wrist where it belonged. All of it was now a matter of clothes and figuring out how she had got to the hospital in the first place. She turned and her wrist swung long. A wood plank almost slipped to the floor, teetering on the edge she barely caught it before it fell to the floor. It would have been a mess. She recognized the board, from the stained paints and from the paintbrush looped in the leather strap. There was the wooden box she’d made with all of her supplies. Her headband sat there too. She picked that up first and tied it in her hair. Pulling her fingers through she found knots and a bit of blood and… Oh gawd no…. she twirled her fingers to grasp a strand of hair pulling it slowly towards her eyes. Her heart thudded wildly in her chest. With a deep breath and a pale face, she fought the urge to scream. Her hair was cut. What once were blue ends now were purple and that wasn’t the blood staining them. She turned and found two doors a small one that would lead to the bathroom and the other with a window to the hall. She raced to the bathroom, limping all the way to switch the light and find her long length of hair completely cut by three maybe four inches in a straight diagonal. Ren, Meiyo what the heck did you do this time?! she screamed at herself in the mirror. Very quickly, it all flooded back. Flashes of red hair, a sword, and her painting. With a deep breath, then another, the third one for good luck she turned back towards the room. She crossed and picked up her clothing bag. Opening it the clothes seemed to have been rinsed, but the shirt was torn. She didn’t have any undergarments or wraps to cover herself. So she had to make do with clothes that were, well, less acceptable, at least until she could get herself home. “Only a small detour and then it’s right back to -” the door opened and she hopped back against the wall, blushing like a beet.

“Right back to bed, Meiyo.” A smiling nurse spoke, pointing to the bed. She held a chart in the other and peered at it as Meiyo didn’t budge. She looked back up and laughed. “I promise I’ve seen it all before. But I won’t look if it makes you comfortable.” She winked and turned towards the other wall. Meiyo quickly shuffled back to bed, grabbing the blanket at the end of it. The nurse turned back to her peering at her chart and then nodding at a few items. “We have some things to finish healing today and then you’ll rest and be back home tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow?” Meiyo asked. Looking around the room, and then at herself in the thin hospital gown, and then back to the nurse with her face scrunched up in a pleading look. “Is there a chance I can just finish up and get home, I’ve got a friend that’ll worry. Maybe two.” Mrs. Saito was going to be worried sick. She thought of the red-headed boy too. She didn’t get the chance to really thank him. Plus she had a few more things to work together. The spar gave her a huge insight into where she was lacking and from the few moves he had provided her - painfully - she knew how she could close those gaps. She just had to get training right away!

“No,” the nurse shook her head. “You’re lucky to not stay here a few days. But it’ll be the night here and then rest at home for a few days.”

Meiyo did her best to smile, honesty was her best policy. She kept her mouth shut because she couldn’t promise to those terms.

After the nurse finished her treatment, Meiyo was left alone to rest. She breathed out a sigh of relief as she stretched her arms to the ceiling and bent her knee without pain. “Much better.” She stood from the bed and moved to the stack of items that she had been left. She grabbed the shirt. By the way, it was cut it would take some craftiness to make wearable again. She tore strips along the rip on either side and tied them closer together with a scallop fabric tie. Slipping it over her head, she checked the mirror. She shrugged. It would do. At least it wouldn’t be revealing. She pulled her shorts on. They were rougher than before but didn’t have any humiliating rips. Her shoes were on the floor under the chair but she left them there. She was stuck here and didn’t quite need them. It felt good to be dressed though.

Meiyo stepped to the center of the room, it was small but she had her privacy at least. She reached towards the floor and easily came to her hands. In a handstand, she focused on and felt the stretch of her muscles as they eased her towards the floor and then back up again. Everything there felt great. She worked through a few hundred reps until her arms were warm and the moon was high. Lowering her feet slowly as to not wake neighboring patients, she spent a good few hours moving through gentle motions of various styles. Keeping her body moving helped her feel better. Plus, the more energy she burned the fewer demons to battle it seemed. With the lights off moonlight spread evenly through the room. It lit the space with a relaxing silver glow. A smile made itself a home on her face as she moved and glided her body through her routines.

Morning came quickly. At one time she had settled herself to sit on the floor cross-legged to meditate. She had read once that meditation could be used to supplement to rejuvenate as much as sleep. Though at a slower rate, it still allowed peace and provided energy to her. From the wounds, she wanted to heal quickly, but from the previous nightmare, she didn’t want to spend time in the daisy downers section. Sunlight settled on her face and she peeked one eye open breaking the harmony. With a smile, she stretched her arms up. “That’ll count as a night I believe.” she hummed.

The small girl turned and picked up her tray of painting supplies. Just as she turned towards the door a card blew off towards the floor. Her brows furrowed, that wasn’t hers. Carefully she teetered one hand with the painting tray and the other she bent and picked the card up from the floor.

'I shall be expecting a portrait soon. In the meantime, rest well.' it read.

“Hibana, Akashi, huh.” Warmth glowed in her heart. So he had been kind enough to take her here. He was joking earlier. Maybe he wasn’t so serious as she had previously thought. “So, the rich kid with a sword has some heart after all.” Meiyo turned and left through to the hall as her mind spun with ideas of a portrait and tactics to return the favor of her loss.

[Exit Thread]

WC 2861

Stats Trained
Endurance D to D3 2861 - 1175 = 1686


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