to dress in veils of paper craft

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Literature Text

Winter Eskpeditions | Kindness

cw: mentions of blood and body horror

‘You made me roses, you say?’

The creature before her makes a steady sound, something almost musical as they avert their gaze from her own. They’d appeared rather suddenly, that star painted creature, and they’d appeared most of all speaking of moments. Of threads they needed to finish, of ends needing to be met and collected. An unfinished tapestry of a project, this too old and too young creature had put upon themselves, and here they sit.

Empty handed. With nothing to even hint at their efforts.

‘I attempted,’ Arkies states, fiddling with the grass of the long abandoned garden. Roses grow abundant here, trees and flora so crucial to this villa’s air. It’s perfection, even in the changing and growing state it finds itself in.


‘And I failed, as of yet.’

White paws come into view, and a gentle laugh rings out. Chains click together, rose petals rustling against paper toned wood.

‘May I see them?’

The elder creator lifts their head, tilting it slightly. Fur and leaves rustle together, intermingling with the sounds of the garden. ‘You wish to see them?’

‘Of course I do.’

‘But none of them are finished.’

‘I don’t mind.’

‘None of them are perfect.

They needed to be perfect, Arkies had repeated. So many paper roses made, so many paper flowers crafted. Time spent again and again, fiddling with their shape, but it was never done. A petal was always off, the colors incorrect, their aura meek or too heavy. Perfection, that was all she deserved. This villa, this garden, these colors, these winds. The songs the birds who still cling to this place sing, the clap of butterfly wings setting stories into motion, the very stars who hide beneath blankets of fading light, waiting to gaze down at them.

Arkies raises their head, and that one eyed creature stares back.

Red, cream, black, gold. Stark beneath this sky, within this garden, within this world. The messy paint stroke left behind by an artist, one not yet blended into the piece or covered by lesser tones.

She is finery.

She is more than a paint stroke.

‘If you made it, my darling starlight,’ Mischa begins, her tone warm and light, ‘then it is as perfect as I could ever begin to hope.’

Her chains glitter in the light, the ever present moon above the old creature’s head only making their shimmer worse.

A bitter feeling settles in their chest, as they stare into pink and cream and gold. A bitter wrongness, an ill-fitted thing. Perfection does not describe the things they made, and they’re well aware of such facts. Perfection is found in this. In these birds and their rose petal songs, in the sun and its velvety setting beams. In the shimmers of golden chains mingling with black flora, in the growth of all things enchanted and her that’d long made up this place. No longer a house of a human, but a house to an artwork. A set stage, a ballroom ready, a feast prepared. The dressings are set, the cutlery chosen, the arrangements perfection.

She was a feast. Painted, contained, everlasting.

She is a feast. Sculpted, freed, forever.

‘They aren’t fitting,’ Arkies states. ‘They’re crudely made. I will return with a true one-’


She begs very little for things, stranger or companion.

‘I want to see them, starlight,’ she says, dipping her head down so she might look up at the creature. ‘Your effort, dear, is worth so very much. You see withered petals, I see fresh blossoms. You see cracked clay, I see pristine details.’

‘These are ill made, they are not fitting--

‘But I will find a place for each and every one,’ she promises. ‘I will cherish them all, whether unfinished or so very close.’

‘You are perfection, my dear starlight.

Let me see what you have made for me.’

That moon gives a faint pulse, glow mimicking almost something full. The stars they wear as a crown dance, and though Arkies averts their gaze again, they can’t dare deny such a request. It takes little more than a swaying flick of their tail, gold bands spinning, vibrant galaxies shining in the wake of the motion before they settle once more.


So, so many roses.

There’s a soft gasp, the sound of glittering chains and petals rustling again in a manner that has the creator raising their gaze. She watches, staring out into the sea of paper crafts that she’s been brought at her own whim and wish.

They cover the garden, mixing with the flowers already true and proper, standing out against the perfect backdrop. There’s no spared space, no stretch not touched. They mingle and curl into one another, stray pieces of paper unhooking and dancing in the wind, floating alongside true petals and true creatures that fill up this true garden. It looks almost as if a child has dumped their project here, and in a way, one has. An incomplete, imperfect project, ruining a precious, perfected view.

‘I love them.’

Arkies turns, stopping at the sight of pure joy and warmth that stares them down. Her singular eye crinkles up, lashes heavy.

‘They aren’t perfect.’

‘They are to me.’

Mischa bends to them, tail wrapping around that ancient creature as she leans against their form just slightly. Her muzzle presses to their cheek, chains leaving musical notes to mix with the birds who sing an orchestra for their meeting.

‘I’ll cherish them,’ she promises. ‘Each and every one.’

It would be rude to say it again. To repeat what has already been spoken, carved into the mind, given to the wind to carry. The world knows the truth. They aren’t perfect, they are crude imitations. They are frail, and they will not last like their true companions. They will not last like her.

They need to. They need to last as she does.

‘You deserve true perfection,’ Arkies says, voice warbling, echoes floating in. ‘You deserve a feast befitting your own. A perfection that will heighten your own forever more, that you may look at and feel proud of.’

‘But I am already proud. And I am perfectly happy.’

She turns to the flowers again, her own petals taking off with the wind. She shines so brightly now, crimson fur glistening like silk or velvet.

‘I am a feast, my darling starlight,’ she says. ‘And I am to decide what goes with my servings. I will choose the table dressing, the decor, the music, the drapes. And I, my golden soul, have chosen these.’

Her paw lifts a rose, battered and frail but she cradles it so gently. Like it were glass that’d shatter in seconds if she handled it too unkindly. It wouldn’t. Arkies had long since been throwing them, fitful and frightened that perfection of her stature couldn’t be matched and made to shine. These roses, some of them at least, had been beaten in more than just the wind.

Yet still, she cherishes them. She holds them delicately, leaning her weight into that ancient beast, who is made to watch as the paper creations intertwine with her furs. They tangle into the dear form of her very being, grasping at chains, at crimson and cream, at a body they don’t deserve to be near.

‘Thank you, my darling.’

‘I won’t stop. I refuse.’

‘I know.’

‘Not until they’re perfected.’

‘I know.’

‘Just as you are, and this entire place. I will not stop until they are perfect. Each and every last one.’

‘I know.

Mischa nuzzles them, breathing in deep. It rattles in her chest, like the flakes of 3D fixtures that’d begun crumbling from her painting, like the true flowers that’d been pressed into her canvas and tried to dare escape.

‘And I will cherish each and every one you make in this journey.’

Her gaze is firm, gold glinting like stars.

‘And I will not deny the grace of a single one near me. For they are all perfect in my eyes, if they came from you.’

They don’t know what to say to that. Not truly. For there is nothing more to say than what’s already been spoken.

Their stars shimmer on their makeshift crown, moon bobbing as they watch with curious eyes as Mischa tangles faux flowers within her fur. They watch even after the sun has begun to hang lower, the wax of its presence growing cold as the silvery moon rises to coat their furs. She’ll shine so brightly under it, they know she will. Whether in wax made sunlight, or silver silken moons, she will shine perfectly as she always has.

‘You’re darling.’

‘You’re golden.’

She stands, and they follow. It’s like a veil, the flowers she’s tangled into herself. They cling so well, and if not for their crudeness, Arkies would’ve believed them her ravaging growth that’d flooded down the stretches of her neck, her long form, her draping tail.

Her gold catches in the light again as she gives a slow little spin, wandering in a circle around Arkies in show. Their moon shimmers in response, faint glow pulsing like a heartbeat, stars and night sky swirling with colors to a beat of song only they could dare hear. The two of them, caught in a slow loop of roses and natural orchestra, beneath the rising stars and chilled winds.

She stops, and so do they.

She gazes at them, and they couldn’t do anything but stare in turn.

‘How do I look, hm?’ Her head tilts, and her tone is something nearing coy. ‘Draped in your gifts, my dearest visionary. You’ve improved a painting once again.’

‘I have marred it.’

‘I have marred myself, golden doll.’

Arkies tilts their head, tail curling around their feet.

‘So I’ll ask again,’ Mischa says, sitting before that old and frantic creature, and grinning up at them. ‘How do I look?’

Like everything. Like gold and blood and feasts and famine. Like that woman she’d been made to represent, growing and changing and made to be feasted on, with organs filled with thorns and fruit and her ribs wooden and ivory. Like that heart, seeded and frail, exposed to open air, and primed for the taking. Arkies wanted to hold it then, cradle it from that painting, bring it to life. They had, to an extent.

Yet here, they feel as if they’re staring at it once more. That darling painting, that bloodied table cloth, that exposed woman, that bleeding heart.

‘Like perfection.’

Arkies lays their tail over her own, curling it around her. She returns the gesture in kind, gaze not leaving that old and weathered thing as her faux flowers grasp for her creator’s fur. Her tail wraps secure, tucking under their stomach.

‘Like art. A painting. A feast.

She tilts her head, and seems to smile even further.


I would so loathe to be anything else.’

brought on by writing from the dear Narnicissa <3333 oh how I love them --- 36(wc: 1,819) 5(event) 10(other) 20(interact) 5(elemental) 1(enchantment) 1(accessory) 5(personal) 16(storyteller) || 99 AP Arkies, owned by Narni

18(wc: 1,819) 2(event) 5(elemental) 1(enchantment) 12(storyteller) || 38 GP Mischa

18(wc: 1,819) 2(event) 1(accessory) 12(storyteller) || 33 GP

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