Maybe it’s for a homework assignment. Maybe your character finds their way in through a dream. Maybe they meditate with the specific intention of finding it out of curiosity, or perhaps for some other purpose. Whatever the reason, this month’s event will for to write your character finding their way into their soul room, a place that reflects their soul and personality. Is it a peaceful place or is there tension in the air? What are their surroundings like? Is it rooted in a memory of a specific time and place? Or is it more abstract, bending to represent their personality and state of mind rather than a set location? Can they hear anything? It’s up to you, and up to them.
The usual rules apply. You must reach a word count of 1,000 for your entry to be counted, and you can post it as a reply right here in this thread. You can post with however many of your characters you want. At the end of the month, we’ll look it over and dispense points. The points earned for participating in the monthly event alone is 90 by default. If you really blow us away with your entry, we’ll award you 100.
The deadline for the July monthly event is August 1st
Post by Cyrille Lécuyer on Jul 25, 2014 13:30:05 GMT -5
The idea of a “soul room” was quite an interesting one. It meant every being had a soul unique enough to warrant a space unlike any other. The concept itself was interesting, but that general idea was really all Cyrille knew about it. He had never been to his own soul room before, and didn’t really know how to go about doing so. Even if he did, the boy wasn’t sure he wanted to. It was common for people to hide from their true self. Heck, even he did it, as pathetic as such things were.
So, when it was suggested the boy see if he could enter it he was a bit hesitant. The suggestion had come from one of his teachers, and it made sense. The idea was that access to such a place would allow someone to understand themselves much better, and should Cyrille understand himself better he could begin to rid himself of his gynophobia. It made sense, but Cyrille was still rather hesitant towards the idea.
Before Cyrille even begun to worry about the possibility of being traumatized by what he might find, he had to actually figure out how to enter the place. How was one to do that, exactly? Meditation seemed likely, despite Cyrille rarely having the mental stamina to do such things. He’d have to try that, despite the likelihood of it failing.
Cyrille decided that the best place to attempt to access his soul room through meditation was that of his own room. After all, it was generally quiet there, and he probably wouldn’t be disturbed. Cyrille didn’t know anything else about meditation, so he figured that was all he needed. The boy sat down in one of his chairs, closed his eyes, and drifted off...
When the boy woke up, he found himself sitting in a dimly lit room. The room was bare and small, with next to no colour to it. There was not much furniture in the room, consisting of two chairs, a coffee table, and a bed. The objects looked simplistic in design, but it was rather hard to tell. This was because each piece was covered in white cloth. This was the case for every piece, save the room’s only source of light; a faded pink chandelier that the other furniture seemed to be positioned around. The walls and floor were barren, with no decor or even windows to speak of. Not the most pleasant looking place.
Cyrille’s reaction to the place was not much more than a soft sigh. He had not been expecting such a place to be his soul room. Though, he wasn’t really sure what he was expecting in the first place. Perhaps something less... boring? The place looked as though someone was in the process of moving out. But, even so, why was everything so dully coloured? Save the chandelier, everything was a shade of grey. Though the floor appeared to be made of wood, it was sapped of colour, despite not appearing painted. How very bizarre.
After he had gotten over his initial reaction, the boy stood. He figured he might as well see what the furniture looked like under the cloth. Surely it had to be somewhat interesting to liven up such an incredibly dull space. He’d start with the table. Cyrille walked over to the piece of furniture, and pulled at one of the cloth’s edges. The action immediately made him cough. ”Odd... I didn’t think these were dusty...”[/color] The boy muttered to himself once he had recovered. He then brought his attention to the table he had just unmasked. Again, not what he had been expecting. The table was absolutely gorgeous. It was finely crafted, with intricate designs carved into the legs. The tabletop itself portrayed a beautiful painting of doves. It had been properly finished to shine under the chandelier’s light. Now, why would anyone insist on covering such a thing?
The chairs and the bed were very similar to that of the table. The bed was equally beautiful, with lovely silk sheets. The chairs were identical to one another, save for the designs carved into the wood. One scene portrayed the day whilst the other portrayed the night. The attention to detail was astounding.
It was at this point the boy noted something his back had been turned to. The far wall that had been out of sight from the chair he had been sitting on wasn’t nearly as bare as the other walls were. Three doors sat on that wall. One lavender, one sky blue, and another a pale pink. The sky blue and lavender doors were situated on either side of the pink, with the pink door being much more extravagant than the other two. These doors might just lead somewhere not so drab. Best go check.
Cyrille attempted to open the lavender door first. Keyword being “attempt”, for the door refused to budge. It didn’t seem locked, just stuck. After fiddling with it for a while, the boy finally managed to get the damn thing open. ”Eh?!” He exclaimed in surprise and confusion seeing what was behind the door. Literally nothing. There was simply more wall behind the door, like it had just been put there for decoration. Perhaps one of the other two doors would be different...
Alas, they were not. Or at the very least the blue one wasn’t. After about the same amount of fiddling, the door opened to yet another dead end. ”Well... that was a bit anticlimactic...” The boy muttered to himself. The only door that remained was that of the pink one. It was a beautiful door, so perhaps having this one for mere decoration wasn’t a complete loss. Cyrille brought his hand up to the lock, and begun fumbling with it again. However, the door refused to open. Perhaps it was locked. How annoying.
Nonetheless, with none of those doors being anything special that concluded Cyrille’s analysis of his soul room. Quite the odd place. The boy wasn’t really sure how this information could be useful to him, but perhaps he’d figure that out later.
Post by Levi Kastein on Jul 25, 2014 17:45:33 GMT -5
This whole assignment was idiotic at best! Levi saw no point in trying to enter his soul to apparently learn more about it. If he needed to do such a thing he would just do it and his soul would comply. Levi was already perfect so there was nothing to be gained from such a stupid exercise. Regardless of his thoughts it was still an assignment and Levi was not one to allow a challenge to best him. Leaving the school he headed back to his house for this ridiculous experiment, if he was going to do it he wasn’t having anybody see him.
Arriving at his current residence Levi headed up the stairs so he could be in the correct room. If this was to happen there was only one place that even entered his mind as suitable. Making his way to the upper floors so he could be above the common people in a literal sense he opened the door to his favorite room in this pathetically small house. A grin spread across his face and he walked inside, despite this stupid test he at least was given a good reason to spend time in this room.
The room was large and mostly covered in shadows except for a ray of light that cut through the center. Coming from a window on the left of the door the light revealed one large object in the center of the room but any details were lost. Flicking a switch a set of lights turned on in the back of the room and illuminated the contents of the room. Back near the lights stood two suits of armor against a light gray wall. Gold trimmings adorned the walls and carried on through the room passing the door and a curtained window that was on the wall across from it. The window that had allowed the light in initially was nearly reaching between the floor and ceiling and overlooked the city.
What made the room unique was the throne that sat in the center and pointed toward the large window. It was large and imposing and Levi hated it. As majestic as it was it was a temporary throne made of wood and adorned with gold, severely lacking compared to the one that awaited him at home. The seat was a royal purple to go with the dark wood that made the throne and a second pair of lights pointed at the throne to make it the very obvious center of attention. Removing Zegen from his waist Levi approached his throne and sat on it to overlook the city. Placing his sword across his lap he relaxed and silently looked out at Death City.
In a position he was comfortable with Levi focused on his breathing like the teacher had instructed. A deep breath in and then a slow exhale, repeat until it becomes methodic. Resting his hands on his sword Levi closed his eyes and focused on the feel of the blade. The sword was important to him so it should do for a focal point. Directing his thoughts inward Levi sat in silence and concentrated on what the teacher had told them. He still found the whole thing pointless but he was still going to excel at it!
After a few minutes Levi felt a falling sensation but it passed quickly enough for him to not care about it. Besides the falling sensation there was nothing and that grew aggravating. Gritting his teeth Levi’s concentration faded and was replaced with anger. Like he thought in the first place this whole thing was a waste of his time! This was taking too much time! Done with the stupid experiment he snapped his eyes open and was met with a much better sight.
The makeshift throne room was gone and replaced with a much larger and accurate representation. A dark marble floor stretched out before him and carried a reflective sheen. White marble pillars lined the walls and windows filled the spaces between them to bathe the area in light. Looking down he noticed two things, that the throne he sat on was very different and his clothes had changed to match.
Instead of a wooden mockery what he sat on now was the real thing. Glistening gold and silver made up the throne in its entirety and running his hands along the arm rest he could tell gems encrusted various areas. Looking at his clothing he saw that the normal jeans and jacket had been replaced with clothes he had back home. The metal shoes of a knight replaced his boots and a fur trimmed cloak rested over his shoulders. Now that he was thinking about it there was a distinct weight on his head that could only be a crown.
Grinning he looked out at the vast space around him and snapped his fingers. In moments there was a unanimous clanging that rhythmically grew louder. When it came to a stop multiple suits of armor stood at attention on either side of the thrown waiting for a command. Taking a moment to look at all of the suits of armor Levi had a theory that he needed to test. Looking straight forward he gave a simple command to see the result.
Simultaneously every suit of armor drew a hand across their chest and dropped to one knee. Once in the position they made no movement to leave it and simply awaited the next order. Pleased Levi sat back in his throne and gazed at the sight. Smirk spreading across his face he basked in the moment and contemplated what to do next. Standing he held out a hand towards the suits and gave his next proclamation.
”You may rise. I expect better recognition upon my arrival next time.”
Again the suits of armor obeyed the command and rose to their feet. Each suit turned in unison and thumped a fist against its chest plate in response to Levi’s words. Satisfied with the response Levi closed his eyes and upon opening them was back in the makeshift throne room. Rising from the throne he returned Zegen to his waist and left the room.
”I knew it would be a waste of time, like I wouldn’t know my own soul.”
Done with the exercise Levi headed out for some useful training. He had more important things to focus on, like how to best destroy the next kishin egg that was unlucky enough to meet him.
For once, Alex had actually paid attention to what his teacher was saying because what they were saying was actually kind of interesting. Soul Room’s; a place unique to each person that reflects there inner self, a place where you can learn things about yourself that you never thought could be true and a place that most found it hard to reach.
Introspection. It wasn’t something that Alex thought about too often. His eyes were firmly focused on the now and the future, thinking about the past too much just complicated things. But if there was a chance that finding his inner space could help him become a better Meister – clear all the bad stuff out of his soul so that it was easier to find a partner that matched – then he was up for giving it a shot.
How hard could it be?
Pretty damn hard apparently. He fell back with a sigh, head hitting the pillow of his bed as he gave up on meditation again. As much as Alex liked to just… not worry about things, he was finding it surprisingly hard to let go of all of his thoughts entirely. There was always something to think about and when he did genuinely clear his mind, he fell asleep, waking up sometime later feeling annoyed at himself.
It probably didn’t help that he was doing all this in his bedroom back home, but if he was going to sit around doing nothing he might as well do it somewhere comfortable and familiar.
Alex didn’t like failing. Especially since in this case his only obstacle was himself.
He raised his arms and placed his hands behind his head, knitting his fingers together and just staring at the ceiling. It had been a week with no progress and the whole thing was starting to feel like a waste of time; he was starting to forget why he was so eager to try this in the first place and now the only reason he was continuing at all is because he’s stubbornly refusing to give up.
Alex yawned and turned his head to look at the alarm clock on his bedside table, the digital display showing 9:23 in its aggressively red lettering. That early and he was already feeling drained; it was amazing how much meditation could take out of you considering it was just sitting and doing nothing. Alex closed his eyes, too lazy to get up again and thinking that a nap right now was a pretty tempting prospect.
Almost as soon as he had blocked out the sight of his bedroom though, he began to notice a change. The ambient sounds of his room, usually unnoticeable became suddenly noticeable in their absence. The temperature seemed to shift, moving from somewhat warm to absolute neutrality. His bed felt harder beneath his back and he seemed to be missing his pillow too.
Curious, he sat up and looked around; he certainly wasn’t in his bedroom any more, but it was somewhere familiar. It looked like the dojo at school, same walls, same floor, albeit with all of the equipment taken out of it; was it always this big? This… this was his soul room right? It could be a dream but somehow this felt more real than that; less real that real life but… not a dream.
He wondered briefly at why his soul would take on this particular form, but it wasn’t exactly much of a mystery. Alex’s life was focused around the pursuit of becoming a Meister and of making his Weapon partner into a Deathscythe; he spent most of his time in this room, or with his father doing his own particular brand of training. That his soul would reflect that was not too weird.
The choice of room wasn’t weird, but the room itself was. The barren room seemed alien, yet familiar at the same time. He was used to seeing it full of people, loud people, and was usually focused on his training and not on the room itself. Seeing it the way it was now was unusual, but it was off in more ways than just that. Looking around the room he noticed that there was no door either – it was completely sealed in fact – and he stood by the idea that this place was bigger than the real place.
It was quiet too, unnaturally silent and in the silence his own heartbeat and breathing seemed unusually loud. He wondered if it was possible to feel claustrophobic in such a large space; that must be so as it was the only explanation for the uncomfortable feeling in his chest.
All a little weird and off-putting but, well, he was currently exploring his own soul; he had to expect a little weirdness right? Always one to shake off his concerns, Alex puts his hands behind his head again and lay back down. Well, this was interesting, he guessed; not exactly revelatory but he wasn’t expecting too much to begin with. He was a simple guy with no mysteries or puzzles to work out, no inner demons locked away and no skeletons in his metaphorical closet. It was about time he left, but it was good to know he could do this after all. Now he just needed to figure out how to wake up.
That was easier said than done however when he didn’t even know how he got in. The longer Alex stayed in the room, the stronger the unidentified feeling of unease grew. He stood up from the ground and began to pace circles around the room; he felt restless, like he needed to move or he was going to go crazy.
Soon he was looking over his shoulder every few seconds and clenching and unclenching his fists. It was a feeling he couldn’t describe, like eyes boring into his back watching him; no, that wasn’t right. He could feel a weight on his shoulders and back but it wasn’t from being watched.
For some reason he was itching for a fight. Whatever this presence was it aggravated him and made his blood rise; whatever, whoever it was it felt like something distant that he would have to reach for and that’s what he wanted to do. He wanted to reach for it, grab it and beat it.
And then surpass it.
He blinked curiously, wondering where that last part came from. He didn’t know where those words came from, but as soon as they passed through his mind he saw a flickering shadow in the corner of his eye. He spun around to face it, but it had already gone.
No-one, he’s alone. He couldn’t possibly not e alone here, but he knew what he saw. That… shadow, whatever it was; he had only seen it for a second but the sight of it tugged at his memory. It looked vaguely familiar.
He closed his eyes and exhaled slowly. As he does so he feels another perceptible shift in his surroundings; the hum of electronics, the breeze through an open window, the soft sheets and pilot beneath him as he suddenly finds himself horizontal.
He opens his eyes already knowing what he’s going to see and is not surprised to find the familiar ceiling of his bedroom above him. He looked over at the clock again and saw that the time now said 9:24; no time at all and yet he felt like he’d been gone for so long.
He let out a little nervous chuckle and swung his feet off the bed, launching himself into a sitting position with the momentum. He was breathing a little heavy, like he’d gone for a mile run, and his chest still held traces of that uncomfortable feeling.
Interesting, but he had no desire to do that again any time soon.
Post by Fritz Ingram on Jul 29, 2014 0:45:23 GMT -5
Today was going to be the start of something different! Fritz wasn’t the fighting type so he hadn’t really put much effort into training himself since joining Shibusen. He was a weapon so what was the point of him being able to fight on his own? He had thought like that but hearing about some of the dangers others had faced in class gave him incentive to change that. Going straight to punching things was a bit of a leap so he would start slow with a simple exercise he was familiar with, swimming! An early afternoon swim to get things started sounded like the perfect way to get ready.
Swimming laps around the pool until sufficiently tired Fritz wasn’t sure what else to do after. Shibusen students had a reputation for going to excessive levels but this was all new to him. Deciding to simply float in the pool until he was ready to walk back sounded like a good idea. It had been a while since he had swum to such a level and his arms and legs certainly felt like it was a new experience. Dropping his arms and legs and letting them sink down in the water Fritz relaxed and focused on the movement of the water around him. Closing his eyes he simply floated and let his mind wander, he did some work but he could take a break to rest.
The water felt cool in contrast to the sun moving higher in the sky. Just floating and enjoying the time in the water was great and allowed Fritz’s mind to drift off and away from anything he could worry about. Everything was calm in the darkness behind Fritz’s closed eyelids until the distinct feeling of sinking overcame him. Water rushed over his head and pressure began to build over his chest, limbs still heavy he snapped his eyes open to be met with an unexpected sight.
Instead of the blue of the sky or even the blue of the water Fritz was met with simple black. It wasn’t the darkness that one might find at the bottom of a pool but the darkness that existed in the complete absence of light. The pressure was gone and he no longer felt the water or exhaustion in his limbs, but the feeling of sinking persisted. Falling seemed more accurate but the feeling was not the same, this was a slow descent instead of a quick drop.
Turning his head to the side revealed more darkness with a source of light beneath him. Seeing the blue circular edge was enough to put everything into perspective. Resisting a sigh he focused on moving his body so the descent was no longer dragging his back down first and he would be able to land on his feet. With some work it was accomplished and Fritz noticed the shoes of his mission outfit covered his feet. A further check revealed his entire mission outfit was on him instead of the red trunks he was wearing a moment before.
Below him was the only visible structure around, a large blue circle of stained glass that appeared to be floating in the abyss. The most prominent feature in the glass was an image of Fritz seemingly resting in a near sitting position. He was in his normal attire of sandals, swim trunks, and open shirt and his eyes were closed. Rings covered various areas of the glass and segmented it into different patterns and features. The border rings started with varying shades of blue and moved inwards to a pattern of circles with the image of a shinigami skull in them. An overlapped ring revealed the image of a beach with the light of the sun shining down and the waves coming in. The sun was covered by a different ring that covered the upper half of the other.
Inside the ring were various circles filled with faces. About four large circles took up the focus but other smaller ones took up the space between the larger. Every face was easily recognizable to Fritz as he continued his descent toward the glass. His friends from home could be seen in the smaller circles as well as his parents. What caught him by surprise however was the orientation of the larger circles. The central ring had been the frame to Xenix’s face the last time he had ventured into his soul but now she had moved to a different large ring and the face of Niina had claimed her spot. It wasn’t too surprising once he thought about it but the change was initially unexpected. Not putting too much more thought into it he neared the end of his descent and prepared for the change once his feet landed on the glass.
Regaining his weight Fritz took a few steps and looked around the landscape of his soul. Walking towards the center each step sent the sound of a footstep on glass reverberating away into the blackness that surrounded the area. Aside from the obvious the area was devoid of any other sensations. No wind blew across the platform and no scent was carried by it, aside from the footsteps and Fritz’s own breathing not a sound could be heard, and the only source of light seemed to be the ethereal glow that came from the platform itself. The calmness could be seen as peaceful but to Fritz it was more eerie and unsettling.
”To what do I owe the visit? ”
From behind him came the voice, his own voice. Quickly turning around there was nobody save for his own shadow across the platform from a light that should not exist. A form rose from the imitation shadow and took on the same appearance of Fritz, at least in silhouette. Blond hair was replaced with black, purple eyes mirrored with yellow, and sun tanned skin a paler white. Both wore the same outfit but where Fritz had red the shadow wore deep purple.
”What do you want?”
The usual brightness in Fritz’s voice was gone and left only a cold tone. Also gone was the smile that usually remained on his face for an expressionless line.
”So cold, I thought that was supposed to be my job. I’m just not used to you suddenly showing up in your or our soul.”
Mimicking Fritz his double placed his hands behind his head and took on a grin, which somehow seemed more malicious than when Fritz did the same. In return to the grin Fritz seemed to grow angry, his face taking on the unfamiliar expression while he glared at his replica.
”Don’t say that! This is my soul, not yours.”
Grin never leaving his face the darker Fritz continued to look at Fritz seeming to enjoy his anger. Dropping his hands and resting them with his thumbs in his pockets the double began to walk circularly around Fritz.
”Well you aren’t wrong technically, but you aren’t right either. This is your soul, as is made plainly obvious by that eyesore in the center; however you are missing one important thing. I just happen to also be you, with much better fashion sense.”
Fritz kept his other in his vision and turned to make sure it stayed that way. At his words he almost seemed to flinch, as if just hearing them hurt some part of him. Shaking his head and swiping a hand across the area in front of him to reject the idea he responded with more anger.
”No, you’re wrong! I am me, nobody else!”
Almost as if expecting that response the double rolled his eyes and let out a groan. Moving a hand to cover his face he stood silent for a moment before looking back at Fritz with bored eyes. Sliding his hand off his face he rolled his eyes again rolled his hand at Fritz.
”Blah, blah, yeah I get it. You should try getting that angry normally; it would probably help you not get someone killed on a mission. Oh wait I forgot you can’t actually do that because I’m the one who gets all of your anger, great idea with repressing that. I mean, retreating in on yourself works fine for me but that just means more dead civilians.”
Keeping the grin in his face the darker Fritz waited for a reaction from his sunnier version but Fritz failed to act as he wanted. Calming down Fritz did not show anger or any other emotion. Closing his eyes he just breathed and relaxed before opening his eyes and looking back at his replica.
”I’m ok. It’s my soul and I can handle things without you.”
Putting on a small smile Fritz let the anger recede and faced his double. In response to the sudden calmness the darker Fritz took on the anger. Glaring at Fritz his rage seemed to build the calmer Fritz became.
”You see? This is exactly my point! Get angry! Show an emotion that isn’t stupid happiness! Look around you, do you know why your soul is this abyss of darkness? This is all your fault! If you just faced things like a reasonable person I wouldn’t be stuck here, hell I wouldn’t even be here!”
Rage subsiding into a calmer anger he still glared at Fritz but remained calm enough to stay silent. Fritz mirrored him in silence, the two just looking at each other in a standoff. Fritz knew to some degree that what his darkness had said was true but he just couldn’t do what it wanted. Usually the advice was more unreasonable but it remained that he shouldn’t trust what he heard, even if at some level he knew it to be true. Putting on a wider smile Fritz responded only with a quiet ”Sorry.” before his form began to waver. His dark self reacted in anger and transformed his right arm into a silver replica of Fritz’s partial form. He attempted to swing at Fritz but he was already too far gone for it to connect. It looked like he yelled something after but by then Fritz was almost out of his soul and the sound didn’t carry.
Snapping his eyes open Fritz was floating in the pool as he had been before. His limbs still sore but no longer feeling like they weighed hi down. The sun seemed to have just reached the middle of the sky and it laughed over him in amusement. Letting out a sigh of relief he moved over to the side and pulled himself out of the pool. A weight settled in his chest from the event, most likely some sense of guilt coupled with fear. Ignoring it he dried himself off and got ready to leave and maybe do some other training once he got home. By the time he was ready the weight was gone, the only feeling was a sense of joy that the day was so sunny and warm.
Note: This post is set over the course of a little over a decade. It jumps around a little, but it is in chronological order.
For as long as Caroline could remember, her soul room had been a normal, empty void of black space. From what her older sisters had told her, it was exactly how it was supposed to be: quiet, calm, and empty. Their letters had told her again and again that it would get better, though, that her soul room would turn into something amazing if she just gave it time and found a good meister. That connection would be the key to unlock whatever her soul had hidden that she couldn't find on her own. At least, that's what she and her sisters believed.
Now she was standing in front of a boy – he looked to be a year or so older than her. It was their second week in the NOT class, and she was still jumping from partner to partner with no progress to show for it. The boy before her (his name was Kazuo, wasn't it?) stared at her with dark eyes half-shrouded by a pair of glasses that reflected the glare of the lights in the room. He didn't seem particularly enthused about trying out yet another partner, but Caroline gave a weak smile anyway to try to ease the tension.
“Alright everybody. Begin whenever you're ready.”
“I guess that means we should start.” It was the first thing Caroline had heard him say directly to her, but at least he was talking. So far everyone had said he was some kind of “ice prince” - apparently he had been silent and cold to just about every other student in the class. It was enough encouragement for Caroline to immediately call upon her weapon form. The soft blue light surrounded her as she closed her eyes. When she opened them again, she was in the dark, silent abyss of her soul room.
Suddenly Caroline gasped. It felt like her whole soul room had just burst with a buzzing new electricity. She took a few breaths to calm down before she dared to take a peek beyond her soul room. There was Kazuo, standing in a defensive position with her blade held aloft before him. He looked like he had been handling her weapon form all his life as he took one swing, then another and another with perfect ease. So this is what her sisters had meant they had had spoken of their partners. Caroline's soul room felt amazing, so much so that she didn't ever want to leave. She let her vision fall back to the darkness of her little room but was surprised to see a new addition. A light blue curtain was shrouding something to her right. She took a few steps and wrapped her fingers around the edge of the velvet fabric but was cut short by the sound of Kazuo's voice.
“Caroline.” Wow, he said her name! “Can you return to your human form?”
A few seconds later, Caroline was standing in front of Kazuo again, the mysterious curtain all but forgotten as she stared at what she hoped was her new partner. She still couldn't believe how electrifying her soul room had felt.
“I believe we are a match, and if you are in agreement, then I would be honored to be your meister.” With that, Kazuo gave her a deep bow, one that obviously showed a lot of respect. It was the only time he ever bowed to her.
“I – I...” What was she supposed to do in this situation? Most of the other teams that had managed to pop up in the class were so energetic – some of them had embraced or high-fived or something silly like that. Why was he so stiff? Well, she'd have all the time in the world to figure that out.
“I'd love to be your partner!” She gave an awkward bow in return (such an odd thing to do!), and that was that. She was finally going to live out the stories her sisters had been telling her for years, and there was no limit to her excitement.
* * * *
Caroline once again stood in the void of her soul room, relishing the energy that now coursed through it. Her weapon form was in the hands of Kazuo as he began their first training session, but her focus was already turning elsewhere. She looked to her right and was greeted with the sight of the blue curtain again. A few bounding steps later and she was standing in front of it with her fingers curled around the soft fabric. With a deep breath, she pulled the curtain aside and stepped in.
All she saw at first was the soft glow of a candle on the floor. Its golden glow filled an area of only a few feet, but it was enough to reveal a small pile of unlit candles on the floor. For a moment she stood there, perplexed, until the scent of something....eucalyptus?...reached her. Caroline crouched down closer to the candle and took another whiff. Yep. The scent was definitely coming from the candle. It wasn't too strong, but it certainly had a calming effect. For a moment Caroline remained still, taking in the special candle until she realized that something about herself was different, too. Instead of her hands resting on her bare, knobby knees, they were clenched around light blue fabric that looked similar to the curtain. Looking down at herself, she realized that this part of her soul room had decided to dress her in a plain, short-sleeved dress that went a little below her knees. It was simple, but in her opinion is was much better than nothing at all. Besides, she had other things to think about besides a change of clothes.
She was still concerned about the darkness beyond the little flame that flickered its light around her. It was easily solved, though. If she lit more candles, then she would be able to see more. Taking the first candle, she shared its flame with the others that were off to the side. With more light she could make out the gray stone walls and the curtain behind her, but the hallway in front of her was still full of darkness. She lit one last candle and discovered that it was sitting in a small tray with a handle on it. This one smelled faintly of cinnamon. Caroline picked it up and held it out in front of her to see if she could make out anything more in the hallway, but she was still met with inky blackness at the end of the candle's light.
There was only one reason Caroline believed that a candle with a handled tray would be sitting at the entrance: she was supposed to explore. She hesitated. How far did this hallway go? Would she ever be able to find her way back to the center of her soul room? Pushing aside her fears, she took one step, then another, until she was calmly striding down the hall with the cinnamon-scented candle held aloft in front of her. The gray stones glowed with the yellow light of the candle, but they never once changed their blocky pattern. It wasn't long until she came across a fork in the path. Right or left? An unlit candle was sitting on a ledge between the two halls, so she shared the flame of her candle as she tried to make her decision. Right or left? Back and forth her head went until she heard Kazuo's voice again.
“Caroline? Are you listening? We're done for the day, so you can change back now.”
It sounded like it was coming from the hall on the right. Immediately Caroline took off in that direction, holding a hand in front of her candle to prevent it from blowing out. Once she had gone a decent distance down the hall, she placed her candle on the floor and silently hoped she would find it again when she returned. This addition to her soul room was uncanny, but exploring it was something Caroline was already growing excited about. She wasn't sure if she was going to be able to sleep tonight with this strange place to think about. With one last look at the candle, she changed out of her weapon form and stood in front of Kazuo once more.
* * * *
A year had passed since Caroline had first begun to explore her soul room. She and Kazuo had been promoted into the EAT class, and now their missions were starting to become challenging. Having spent plenty of time in her soul room, she had also managed to learn more and more about the part beyond the blue curtain. Instead of just a few hallways, the place had exploded into a full-blown labyrinth. She had found that while she was walking down the halls, she could still focus on the world outside that Kazuo was experience. The sound of his voice would always guide her down forks in the paths, but she had still managed to run into a few dead ends anyway. Her progress was never lost when she left her soul room, though, for she would always return to wherever she had left the candle she had been holding.
Now their situation was growing desperate. Whatever this creature was that they were fighting, it was damn good. Kazuo had yet to land a hit, but Caroline could feel his energy fading fast as he took blow after blow. His voice in her halls was growing weaker and weaker, and suddenly the fear of losing him began to weigh down on her. It was going to take a miracle to get out of this one. They had never managed to do one before, but the only idea Caroline could come up with that would give them the upper hand was a Soul Resonance.
“Kazuo, hang on a little longer. I know it's difficult but we have to- “
“Soul Resonance? Are you crazy? I - “
“We have to. We need to finish this battle, and you're almost out of energy and I can't - ”
“I can do this just like we are, so wait it out and - “
“No! I won't!”
It was the first time Caroline had all-out rejected a command from her meister. Over the past year she had been an obedient weapon, one that always kept her meister happy no matter how foolish his actions seemed. It had been a lopsided relationship, one that left him in complete control as she wandered her labyrinth carelessly. Now it was costing them in battle.
“Alright.” Kazuo let out a sigh. “What do you want me to do?”
Caroline stood dumbfounded for a moment. He was asking her for directions? It didn't seem natural, but she didn't have time to waste. An idea clicked, one that she hoped would lead to a Resonance.
“I need you to keep talking. Don't stop, don't ask why. Just keep saying anything that comes into your head and dodge any and all attacks. Go!”
“Okay, fine. I can't believe you're making me do this. Caroline, you better be right about this. You talked back to me! You never do that. What's gotten into you? Are you going crazy? Are you-”
Excellent! Caroline could hear Kazuo's voice loud and clear now. Its direction was simple to follow now that she didn't have to wait for him to speak, either. She rushed down the hallways, ignoring any unlit candles along the way. She could always go back and light them later, anyway. Kazuo's harsh words echoed filled the hall, but Caroline understood that he never actually meant any of it. That was one of the perks of being his weapon: she was able to know a lot about him even if he didn't want to tell her. His words would have hurt deeply if she had taken them literally, but now she simply interpreted them as the opposite of what they meant to keep herself motivated. Kazuo may have acted like he had a harsh and detached exterior, but Caroline knew he wasn't as selfish and arrogant as he made himself look like.
Finally Caroline caught sight of something other than the usual gray walls that surrounded her. A blue curtain, just like the one at that entrance, was at the end of the hallway she was racing down. It had a candle on either side of it, illuminating its light blue fabric. Kazuo's voice was definitely coming from behind that curtain. All she had to do was pull it aside and -
Caroline felt her heart drop. There was no floor beneath her now, only empty, pure white around her. She turned around to look behind her, but the curtain had been replaced by the white. She must have dropped her candle before she entered this new room, for it was no longer in her hand. The initial fear of falling faded away once she realized that she was actually floating, like she was submerged in a swimming pool made of clouds.
She whirled around to see Kazuo in front of her, hands cupped around his mouth calling her name over and over. He was wearing a matching pair of light blue pants and long-sleeved shirt, plain but somehow fitting for the room they were in. Once he was sure he had her attention, he held his hand out to her and gestured for her to come closer. Moving around wasn't as difficult as Caroline thought it would be. She closed the distance between them and held her hand just and inch away from Kazuo's. His eyes were pure and dark, but they were no longer shrouded by his glasses. With a deep breath, Caroline finally grasped his hand. Instantly she felt a new power erupt, a new level of the electrifying feeling she had when she first met Kazuo. So this was what a Soul Resonance felt like. At the same time, her meister pulled her into an embrace, one so unexpected that it left Caroline stunned. She could still smell the scent of eucalyptus on him.
“I'm glad you made it in time. Your idea was brilliant, and I'm sorry for ever doubting you.”
* * * *
Those words rang in Caroline's head as she stood in a black abyss. It had been almost a decade since she had last taken the time to change into her weapon form and visit her soul room, and now her twenty-seven year-old self was remembering all the years she had spent with her one and only meister. The memories that always stood out were the Soul Resonances. Even ten years after he had left her, she could still hear Kazuo's voice from those times as clear as day. In the pure whiteness of their Soul Resonance room, his words stopped being so abrasive and turned towards the sentimentality that Caroline had hoped Kazuo would grow into one day. It never happened.
This was the first time she had returned to her original soul room. The blank darkness was unfamiliar and uncomfortable for her. Wasn't she supposed to return to where she had left her candle? That was how it worked, wasn't it? She turned to her right to see the same blue curtain that had been there when she first met Kazuo. Its velvet was faded, though, and there were a few holes dotting the old fabric. Gently, Caroline pulled the curtain aside and tried to take a step in. Her foot met with resistance, and a few pebbles rolled out onto the floor around her. She leaned down and felt around; maybe there was a candle around here. Instead of feeling the wax of a candle, Caroline's hand only wrapped around rock after rock after rock. She began to reach higher and higher, but all she could feel was rocks. It didn't take her long to realize what had happened: her precious labyrinth had collapsed in on itself. It was a pile of rubble now, waiting to be forgotten. Caroline let the curtain drop and took a step back before collapsing on the ground.
It was gone. It was all gone now. All those years of work, all those memories and candles and fights and hallways – all gone. The truth had finally sunk in. Caroline knew she wasn't getting her meister back. He wasn't going to return to her or fight with her or let her find him in her labyrinth anymore. Instead, she'd just have to be satisfied with the blackness of her original soul room again.
Post by Dante Giovanni on Jul 30, 2014 13:11:12 GMT -5
The assignment struck Dante as odd at first. Giving a bunch of NOT students an assignment to find their soul rooms seemed a little above their learning curve, but the more he thought about it the more it started to make sense. They were NOT students, but the overall goal of one day moving up to One Star dragged Dante out of any instant doubt that tried to tell him the whole thing was a bad idea. It was as much training as anything else did. It just happened to be entirely on them, finding a place that only could only be found by them. Besides, getting to know their own souls better couldn’t be a bad thing, right?
Getting there was the hard part for Dante. The easiest way seemed meditation, but he was notoriously fidgety. He had to do something to keep himself moving, hands into pockets, rocking back on his heels, etc. But sitting still on his bed with his eyes shut and alone in his room allowed for none of those things. Concentration came with all the swiftness and speed of a three-legged wooden horse, and the way Dante kept opening his eyes to glance around didn’t help either. Any outside noise distracted him, whether it came from outside or his family members moving about downstairs. A household of five Sicilians was rarely quiet, after all.
Dante eventually opened his eyes and let himself fall backwards onto his bed. He knew it was possible to get to his soul room; he was just doing it wrong. If he could just be still none of this would be a problem, but anything short a strait jacket probably would result in failure. Granted the strait jacket had a flaw too in that his legs would still be free, and another in that he didn’t actually know where to get one and didn’t particularly want to. Staring up at the ceiling, he heaved a sigh and moved so his forearm covered his eyes. Lying down felt easier than sitting up, at least. His back had been starting to feel stiff anyway. If he could just manage to relax…
Dante felt the familiar feeling of being on the urge of sleep, but it was different somehow. His thoughts lacked the numb feeling that came with waking, and his mind was oddly clear. The familiar sensation of his legs falling out from under him made him kick. The movement was usually followed by rendering him wide awake, any potential dreams chased away by a reflex. But this time his feet connected firmly with a flat surface.
Opening his eyes was somehow difficult. It felt very much like he wanted to sleep, or like he was dreaming and couldn’t wake up. With a bit of effort, he managed to open his eyes, blinking slowly at the unexpected amount of light. It made him squint for a moment; keeping his head down which alerted him to the knowledge that he was standing upright. He looked down to see he was standing on what looked to be white marble, cool and smooth beneath his bare feet, and polished within an inch of its life to reflect his image like a mirror.
Dante lifted his head slowly as his eyes adjusted, gold flitting around to see what was in his immediate area. Directly before him was an altar, or rather what resembled one. A waist-high rectangle maybe eight feet long and three feet wide made of the same polished marble. It only looked like an altar in theory as there was nothing decorating it, not cloth or offerings or idols to be found. Somehow it made sense.
Stepping back and slowly turning, it became obvious he was standing at the top of some sort pf landing. He stood upon the top level of seven tiers, each one made of the same polished marble cut into rectangular slabs that gleamed in a way that nearly blinded him. The rise of each couldn’t be more than a foot since Dante wasn’t terribly high up, the run of each grew longer the closer they were to the ground. If Dante had to make a rough estimate, the tier he stood upon was likely somewhere around fifteen feet long and ten feet wide. Each descending tier beneath the top slab seemed to grow by at least three feet to allow for steps and walking space.
At each side of every tier were white arches, extending from one corner to the next. Gothic in design to form points where they met several feet up, Dante didn’t need to have the same knowledge of architecture his father possessed to know that none of them aside from the ones attached to the top tier he was on would have stood outside of his soul room. They would have collapsed, but here they stood solid and beautiful.
Still staring about with a rather dumbstruck look on his face, Dante turned in a slow circle before venturing further. He walked in no hurry around the limits of the tier he had landed on, paused at one of the corners when he reached it to lean on one of the bone white pillars of an arch. He took a moment to glance down at his reflection, muted in color and near monotone within the pale stone that held it. When Dante let his eyes wander up again, he looked out over the ground that held the temple-like structure. Leaning fully against the pillar, Dante let his head lull to the side and rest against the cool marble, a lazy smile tugging at his lips.
Pale sand stretched a good ways out from where the bottom tier lay as a base, devoid of flaws or shells and their fragments. But beyond that there was shore and sea, clear water so blue it didn’t seem possible. But it was familiar, reminding Dante of Palermo and the frequent trips to the beach with his family during the summer. The sound of gentle waves rolling in and hitting the sand was calming, peaceful. The water stretched on for as far as Dante could see, seemingly endless under the bright sun that beat down on the scene.
Dante couldn’t wait to turn in the assignment, but he felt like lingering in his soul room a little longer first.
Post by Jin-Eun Song on Jul 31, 2014 13:02:56 GMT -5
This was unexpected.
Jin-Eun had hardly been worried about the homework assignment to enter his soul room. Given his near constant state of serene calm, he never thought for a moment that it would be difficult, but he also never thought it would be unintentional. The teacher had given the NOT class a week to complete the assignment so he was in no real hurry, but he still planned to give it a shot early enough so that if he did happen to fail, he would have time to try again.
But stumbling into it on accident was almost embarrassing. Work at the morgue was hardly slow, but there was usually a lull at some point during each month. Jin-Eun vaguely remembered dragging his feet all day after class, having not slept a wink due to reasons unknown. His father told him to take a breather before he starting dozing . Jin-Eun remembered wandering out of autopsy and into the room lined with silver doors; corpses kept safely behind each until they were ready for their last dress rehearsal, or until it was time to investigate cause of death for the unlucky ones. Jin-Eun hadn’t made it very far, leaning against the far side of the mostly silver room and sliding to the floor. He had only meant to sit down for a moment, only lean his head against the corner of the door beside him for a moment, only rest his eyes for…a moment…
The smell of formaldehyde vanished and so did the chill that came with the need to keep the cadavers from rotting. Jin-Eun felt something solid keeping him upright, still leaning against something, but not metal. It wasn’t cool enough, not smooth enough. In fact it felt a lot like…
Jin-Eun opened his eyes in spite of the heavy feeling that kept them close. Color assaulted him instantly and he shut them again, the intensity under bright sunlight stinging hazel eyes. After a few moments he tried again, squinting to allow his vision to adjust before opening them fully. Color and sunlight clouded everything around him, overwhelming at first but as Jin-Eun slowly stood he grew accustomed enough to take in the scene.
Glancing behind him, he had indeed been leaning back beneath a very extensive and likely very old cherry blossom tree. Appearing somewhat awestruck, Jin-Eun turned his attention back to the rest of what surrounded him, taking a few tentative steps forward onto a paved pathway, the stones tinted lavender.
Before him lay rows upon rows upon rows of tombstones, wide bases sporting black and gleaming plaques that bore no names. Thinner pillars jutted skyward with four sides forming a pointed end from the top of the bases, each roughly three feet tall and made of smooth grey stone that gleamed in the sunlight. Each and every tombstone sported bouquets of flowers lain at the base, bursts of bright and muted and light colors emanating from each, vibrant no matter where they were positioned and almost too much to look at. Some graves held blank picture frames, other small boxes. Several were decorated with incense pots, other held candles.
Surrounding certain corners were low flower bushes, separating standalone individuals from families that lay in eternal sleep with rhododendrons, hydrangeas, camellias, lilacs. Pale pink and blue, intense magenta and purple. The lines corners and several of the pathways entirely. The smell of formaldehyde was replaced by the much sweeter scent of flowers, Jin-Eun realized.
What’s more was that there seemed to be no end in sight. The rows of tombstones extended back and back and back, the only change being that they occasionally rose up a few levels in need of stairs. Given that he could see past them, though, Jin-Eun could guess they didn’t rise very high but rather took on the appearance of stiffly rolling hills. Every once in a while if Jin-Eun turned his head to the left or right, rows of cherry blossom trees lined up like barriers between sections of graves, obscuring the view beyond even if the lavender pathways led clearly far beyond to twist and turn between the equally colorful flowers.
Jin-Eun almost felt out of place being entirely dressed in black, latex gloves and a blood stained apron still in place. But then, he certainly didn’t feel out of place. It was completely silent save for his footsteps as he slowly began following the pathways. They echoed through the space but were anything but ominous. There was an overwhelming sense of peace held within the quiet, soothing and instilling a sense of calm in Jin-Eun that rivaled even his usual state of being. No heat came from the sun, but it blanketed the area around him with a haze not dissimilar to a summer evening.
Reaching the first of several steps that rose only just enough to block the view beyond, Jin-Eun climbed to the top and paused to gaze out over the continuing graveyard. There really is no end to it, he thought as a serene smile pulled at his lips. Walking over the brief landing, he sat down at the top of the steps leading back down. Jin-Eun leaned back on his hands and tilted his head back, closing his eyes and just letting the sun wash over him. It may not have been warm, but Jin-Eun could still feel it in an odd sense of the word. The smell of flowers filling the air and the silence ringing dully in his ears really was too soothing. This was a safe place. This was a sacred place.
But Jin-Eun then abruptly remembered how he’d gotten to his soul room: on accident. Wait a minute, how long have I been asleep? Straightening, Jin-Eun made to stand up, but he was beaten to the punch while the pull of responsibility readied to help yank him back into the real world.
<<Jin-Eun, wake up! I said take a break, not take a nap with the corpses!>> Jin-Eun’s eyes snapped open and his father’s rather displeased face appeared in front of him, hands still on his shoulders from shaking him awake. Jin-Eun blinked and then adopted an apologetic smile, clapping his hands together as though in prayer and speaking softly.
<<Sorry about that. I guess I was more tired than I though. I promise I won’t do it again!>> He watched his father adjust his glasses and shake his head, turning away and waving for him to follow. The smell of formaldehyde returned and made Jin-Eun crinkle his nose for a minute, but he readjusted quickly. It wasn’t as though he wasn’t used to it. He did feel bad about dozing off.
Post by Irene Dixon on Jul 31, 2014 22:18:43 GMT -5
She couldn’t believe she hadn’t thought of it sooner. After her little episode with Nolan and all the time following, she never thought about entering her soul. It was a window into who she was… and she hadn’t at all thought about learning from it. Irene had taken the time to enter her soul before. It wasn’t a normal occurrence, but from time to time she delved into her deeper self. A few years earlier with her old partner, times were so much simpler. Sure there were some dark secrets, but everything was in place. Everything was good. After her partner’s disappearance, Irene visited her soul once.
Now would be the second time after that… She was scared of what she might find. In her room, bedside lamp on, she sat in the center of the floor. Boots covering her feet, denim jeans over her legs, she felt comfortable and at home. Letting her knees bend slightly, barely keeping her legs stretching out to full length, she ran her hands up the sides of her thighs and rested in the crease of her knees. Breathing in and out, deeply and slowly, she calmed herself. Body and mind. It made her nervous to enter her soul when she didn’t know what she might find, but it could do her good.
Closing her eyes, she knew there was only one thing that might make her feel more at home. A brief flash of light illuminating the semi-lit room, her blunt partial form took its place on her now fisted right hand. Leaning her torso a bit closer to her legs, she could feel the slipping into darkness. Not an uncomfortable and nerve-wracking darkness, but a calm. A serene sense similar to her weapon form.
A smile slowly made its way across her face, afraid and somewhat cracked. She knew she had gone within her own soul… but it took her a few moments to open her eyes. Clinging to the last memory of her soul. But that couldn’t be held to forever. Irene needed reality. Taking a little more time before she opened her eyes, she stood, partial form not present in this ‘reality,’ she pushed herself up from her knees.
The familiar fabric brushed against her fingers. A delicate material. Opening her eyes, Irene glanced down. A long gown, deep red in color. Dark colored heels on her feet. The dress gathered over her right shoulder and cascaded elegantly across her frame and continued until it almost touched the floor. If she had a mirror, she would have seen a light amount of make-up on her face, her hair mostly similar, though a few more curls in the normally jagged sides.
Taking a deep breath, she took the chance to look around the room. Everything… was disheveled. The grand piano that was just off center of the room had the fingerboard cover totally torn away from the instrument. Keys were missing from it. The lid of the piano was also somewhat crooked, looking like someone had tried to tear that off as well. Trumpets littered the place. A small, silver piccolo trumpet was under the crooked piano lid, dented and shoved into the strings of the piano. Bb trumpets of various colors and tarnishes lay across the room. Well.. pieces. Slides here, piston valves there, a bell smashed in and bent almost beyond recognition. Eb and C trumpets… a Flugelhorn and a cornet. They were in pieces, thrown into holes in the wall, smashed through the floor, crumbling at the base of the piano.
Lips drawn into a tight line on her face, Irene crossed her arms in front of herself to try and calm her surging emotions. Even if she hadn’t played or taken notice of music in a long while, she would never destroy them… Had things really gotten this out of hand? They used to be displayed so nicely… the piano in prime condition, trumpets on stands and glorious spread on the piano. Tears welling in her eyes, she realized that she was still on stage.
Even in all this mess, the stage remained a part of her soul. She was standing near the edge, the piano behind her. Trumpet a mess everywhere. But… her back was facing the seating. Swallowing, she felt like something was caught in her throat. Was this more fear? Why couldn’t she calm down? Shaking slightly, she felt overwhelmed in her own soul. How did everything become so screwed up.
She turned. Ever so slowly. Her nails dug into her bare arms. She didn’t want to look. She didn’t know what she might find. But… she needed to. Or felt she needed to. There might be answers! Anything that could help her get over this. Closing her eyes, she turned quickly. Even though she was now facing the audience, she wasn’t quite ready to face them. Taking a deep breath, exhaling. Another breath. Exhale. She snapped open her eyes and saw
Blinking, her grip on herself lessened a bit. Nothing? That wasn’t too bad. Narrowing her eyes a bit and leaning forward, she thought maybe the light made it seem that way. Stage lighting was always hard on the eyes if one wanted to look at the audience. But… she didn’t see anyone…
Then, her face went pale. She saw someone. But first, she heard them. A girl’s voice.
“You weren’t strong enough to keep me around.”
Melissa. Her partner. She had made an appearance in her soul last time, but she had been around then. Was she to blame for the girl’s disappearance? Or was this just her own mind trying to blame her? Was this inward? Did she actually do something to drive her away? Could she not protect her? Shaking again, Irene shook her head and took a step back. A tear escaped and slid down her cheek. Her arms clung tightly around her own body.
But when her eyes focused on where the girl was again, Melissa was gone. Just completely gone.
“Your weapon blood is a curse.”
Whipping around, Irene came face to face with her mother. Jaw dropping, utter shock and confusion on her face. Her mother? But as instantly as the voice and vision appeared, the woman was gone again.
“You’ll never be strong enough.”
Her father. She knew his voice. Closing her eyes and covering her ears, Irene shook her head again. This wasn’t them. This wasn’t her family. But… why was her soul torturing her? Had the calm really fallen so far away? Tears were streaming down her face now. These people she loved… would they really think that about her?
And the tears kept coming. She felt every sense of comfort leave her. Eyes closed still, but Irene could feel that her position had changed. Her arms were hugging her knees, pulling them close to her chest. She was sitting on the floor again. Probably in her room. And she just cried. Letting it out. Letting it go. That’s all she could do… try and do anything else and she might have to face the fact that the only people she loved hated her..
Lucia sat calmly atop her bed, legs crossed and eyes closed. Nolan had suggested that she try to figure out how to enter her soul room, that it might be helpful in addressing her anxiety problems. That had been a few weeks ago, and she had managed to procrastinate on the task until she just couldn't stop thinking about it anymore. Now that she was actually trying to find a way in, though, she found herself getting more and more frustrated. How was this even supposed to work? It wasn't like she was a weapon that could just poof into her soul room when she transformed. She was a meister. Did meisters even have soul rooms? Were they allowed to access stuff like that? Or was she just a dud? Probably a dud. She had been trying to figure out all this soul room stuff for over half an hour and still had come up with absolutely nothing to show for it. Lucia opened her eyes and sighed deeply. This was useless. She'd have to ask Nolan for some pointers if she ever tried this again. Laying back on her bed, she stared at the ceiling and tried to think of anything besides her nonexistent soul room. Soon enough, her eyelids grew heavy and she fell asleep.
* * * *
When Lucia opened her eyes again, the first thing she noticed was the darkness. Had she slept through the rest of the afternoon? She sat up in the bed and froze. This wasn't her room. Well, technically it was, but it wasn't the room she had now. She was sitting in her bedroom from her childhood home - everything about it was exactly the way she had left it before the blasts that brought the whole house down. Even her old drawings were still taped all over the place, leaving not a single inch of the original off-white walls in sight. The window was cracked open, just barely allowed a small sliver of grey light to enter the room.
After taking a moment to adjust to her surroundings, Lucia tried to understand exactly why she had ended up here of all places. This house, these drawings, the bed – everything was supposed to be gone, so why would -
Oh. That's right. It had to be the manifestation of her soul room. It was the only logical explanation. After trying so hard to get to it, all it took was a nap to finally find her way in. If Lucia had known it would be so simple, she wouldn't have put so much effort into her initial attempts. At least it wasn't an empty void or anything. She had hoped for something interesting, and, well....this certainly was interesting. Lucia stood up and examined the old pictures on the walls. All the details were perfect, from the colors to the strokes to the size and cut of the paper – nothing had been changed. It was amazing what her soul could recall. Still, it was a rather small space. As pleasantly delighted as Lucia was to be back in her original home, she still couldn't shake the feeling that there was more than just this simple room. The door was to her left, but what was behind it was a mystery to her.
Suddenly the sound of laughter reached her ears. It was soft and echoey, but it was definitely coming from beyond the door. Lucia gulped. The last time she had gone through the door, she had gone through a living nightmare. Who was to say it wouldn't happen again? She didn't think she could bear it if her own soul made her go through that night all over again. Unfortunately, she didn't know of any other way out of the room. Nolan had neglected to tell her anything about that part. There was only one way for her to go, and she definitely was not looking forward to it.
Lucia gripped the handle of the door and gently pulled it open. Her heart was pounding in her chest, her body tense as she tried to avoid looking through the opening. Once the door was halfway open, she finally allowed herself to take a peek around the door. Instead of seeing the dark hallway she remembered, though, she only saw white. White everywhere. It was bright, a brilliant contrast to the cold darkness of her room. Encouraged by this new development, Lucia took one step, then another outside. On her next step, her foot caught on something and she fell over on the ground with a light thud. It wasn't the fall that made her yelp, though. Whatever her foot had hit had been knocked over and was spilling liquid all over her shoe. She looked back to see a bucket and a small pool of red forming around her foot. Her initial conclusion was that it was blood - the crimson color and the thickness seemed about right for such a substance. She jerked her leg away and scooted a few feet back, anything to get away from that liquid. Then a scent reached her, one that made her rethink her original assumption. Was that oil? Blood didn't smell like oil. Lucia reached down and scraped some of the liquid off her shoe with her fingers. Holding it up in front of her face, she suddenly felt incredibly relieved. It was just red paint. Nothing to be worried about. How silly.
“You made it!” a voice chirped.
Lucia jumped at the sound. She turned to her right to see a small child standing before her. The little girl looked to be about four or five years old. Her blond hair was in messy pigtails, but her purple eyes sparkled with youthful energy.
“I've been waiting here all day for you. Do you know how long that is? All day.”
“I-I...I-” Lucia stuttered. She couldn't get her mouth to form proper words, especially know that she recognized the little girl. Why would her soul room bring in this child?
“It's okay. I'm not mad or anything.” The younger Lucia plopped down in front of the real version and gave her a big, goofy grin. One of her front teeth was missing, but it didn't seem to bother her in the least. “Anyway, I've got a surprise for you!” With that, the girl reached out with a purple hand and pressed it on Lucia's chest right above where her heart was.
“What are you – Why?!” Lucia was still struggling to make complete sentences.
“It's just paint, silly! See?” The little girl giggled and wiggled her fingers in front of Lucia's face, waving it around to show her the purple paint that covered it. “And see, I just put a handprint on you. It's funny because your clothes are white. You're like a big, walking piece of paper. Why do you wear white? It's so boring. It needs more color!” With that, the little girl placed another handprint on Lucia's sleeve.
“What? You want to play, too? There's plenty of paint buckets around. You can even put paint on me. I don't mind. It's fun!” The little girl gave Lucia another toothy grin.
“No, I....What is this? Why is this here? What's going on?” Despite the girl's cheery attitude, Lucia found herself struggling to come to terms with this new situation. She didn't remember having so much energy when she was little. Sure, she loved to paint and play, but this little girl was a fireball compared to what Lucia was now. How could she be so sure her soul room wasn't playing some dirty trick on her.
“All this?” The girl jumped up and raised her hands above her head to gesture at the white expanse around them. “It's a giant canvas, silly! We can paint whatever we want, whenever we want! That's what we like to do, right? I like it a lot more than that gloomy room you came out of.” The little girl stuck her tongue out at the door Lucia had passed through earlier. “You can always go back inside, but I like it better out here so I'm going to stay and have fun.” With that, the girl's attention completely dropped from Lucia as she rushed off to a paint bucket a few feet away and dunked her hands in.
So this was what her soul room was like. Lucia had to admit she hadn't expected anything so...she couldn't exactly pinpoint a word for it. Therapeutic? Probably. She spent so much time in her room, whether it was at home or at Shibusen. Maybe running around a giant canvas was just the thing her soul wanted to do. With that thought, Lucia stood up and took another look around. The little version of herself had been right – the place was just one giant canvas from the floor all the way to the high ceiling. Buckets of paint were randomly dispersed all over the place, their colors ranging across nearly every shade imaginable. Lucia wandered to the nearest one and stood over it, taking in the teal color before her.
“Excuse me, are there any paintbrushes?” she called back to her tiny self.
The little girl stopped running her purple-painted hands along the wall to shout back, “Of course not! What's the fun in that? Just use your hands like I do!”
Okay then. That seemed very disorganized to say the least, but Lucia dipped her hand gingerly into the paint anyway. Holding it in front of her she leaned down and smeared a line on the canvas floor, then another. It was actually kind of fun to use her hand like a paintbrush. A small smile crossed Lucia's lips as she made long sweeping strokes across the floor, then moved onto the wall. Soon she was losing herself in the same way she did when she became extremely focused on a piece of work at home. Her hands dipped into any color she could find nearby. The previous color was always washed away from her hands and replaced with the next one, never mixing with any other color until it was spread on the walls or floor or wherever Lucia decided to paint next. She even left a few handprints on her younger self as payback for staining her nice clothes.
Lucia had no idea how much time had passed by the time she fell over and landed on her back on the floor. Her younger version imitated the motion and let out a giggle when she landed beside Lucia. The room was covered with paintings of anything she and her younger self could imagine, a giant, colorful mural across the entire room that gave Lucia a sense of fulfillment she hadn't felt in a long time. She couldn't help but feel lucky to have a soul room that didn't haunt her like she thought it would.
“See? Look at this! You don't have to stay in that little room to paint. So promise me you'll come back again, okay?” The little girl held out her fist with her pinky up.
“Okay, I will.” Lucia locked her pinky with her younger version's, sealing the deal with paint covered hands.
Charmie: eyes on fire, knees weak, palms sweaty
Mar 19, 2017 16:15:05 GMT -5
Morrigan: Do I sense lurking?
Jan 31, 2017 13:26:09 GMT -5
Skyye: the application
Dec 18, 2016 22:42:04 GMT -5
Skyye: The place is slower than I like to see. Though I would definitely play with anyone who stops by! If you're new, it's best to look around and see what sort of character you might like to play or be interested in playing. Hit up the rules and go over
Dec 18, 2016 22:41:54 GMT -5
Scarlet Sakura: I am new here, what do you do?
Dec 15, 2016 19:12:49 GMT -5
Minty : should I join?
Dec 9, 2016 19:57:17 GMT -5
sunjikuro: Is this place dead??
Dec 8, 2016 1:22:51 GMT -5