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Literature
Christmas in a Cell
    There was a chill in the room, and he could hear the guard coughing in the hall.
    Was it getting close to midnight?
    He had been mulling over a strange feeling all day. He knew, according to the marks he was making on the wall, that it must be Christmas Eve. How quickly the days had passed, each one deepening the dread in his heart.
    Perhaps this was what Melete had felt, locked in a prison in Hererat. Why wasn’t she answering his calls? At first he hadn’t even made them—she had killed his son—but eventually the desperation took over.
    Through his exterior window, he could see snowflakes falling in the night. Maybe he could ask the guard what time it was. He wondered how many of them still held a shred of loyalty towards him these days.
    If he squinted at the dark ceiling, he could almost imagine that the soft flickering shadows were not from the lantern
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Literature
A Christmas Battle
    It was the fourth day of Christmas, just one of the twelve until Epiphany. Joshua Shephard was passing through northern Bellingrath when he saw a rather unusual sight--A very bright and well decorated shop. This was strange because, as everyone knows, Bellingrath should have been dirt poor. But this shop surpassed even some of the finest shops in Cedulan.
    “How about we stop for a bit, dear?” Joshua said.
    Isis, who had been reading a book, looked up. “So soon?”
    “I’ve seen something interesting,” Joshua said.
    Isis laughed. “Oh no. It wasn’t King Bhatair, was it?”
    Joshua kissed her on the forehead. “Of course not. Even I’m not cold hearted enough to bother him on Christmas. See that store? The sign outside said they were selling hot chocolate.”
    “Good to hear,” Isis said
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Literature
Masquerade(For Aceofstars16)
    Gudrun set the book down and rubbed her forehead. It had been an exhausting day, and the worst of it was that Bhatair should have returned hours ago, but he hadn’t.
    There was the sound of a door opening. Gudrun sprang up, almost  knocking over her chair. She ran to the entrance, where a servant was taking Bhatair’s cloak. Gudrun wrapped her arms around him and ran her hands through his curly hair. He kissed her and smiled. “I missed you.”
    “It was a painful fifteen hours for me, too,” Gudrun said, smiling. She couldn’t help but find it a little funny. Bhaitair often went on trips, sometimes for weeks and months on end. She knew this, but she couldn’t deny that even the shorter trips made her miss him all the same.
    Bhaitair didn’t laugh. “Every minute away from you feels like a minute wasted.”
    Don’t be ridiculo
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Melete and the Firefly by OpalescentSky Melete and the Firefly :iconopalescentsky:OpalescentSky 5 10 Berlyne and Apen: A Collaberation by OpalescentSky Berlyne and Apen: A Collaberation :iconopalescentsky:OpalescentSky 7 1 He loves us. by OpalescentSky He loves us. :iconopalescentsky:OpalescentSky 6 1 When I think about the way by OpalescentSky When I think about the way :iconopalescentsky:OpalescentSky 5 1 I don't have time to maintain these regrets by OpalescentSky I don't have time to maintain these regrets :iconopalescentsky:OpalescentSky 3 1 We're All Sinking by OpalescentSky We're All Sinking :iconopalescentsky:OpalescentSky 7 1 If Grace is an Ocean by OpalescentSky If Grace is an Ocean :iconopalescentsky:OpalescentSky 9 4 Garden Edge by OpalescentSky Garden Edge :iconopalescentsky:OpalescentSky 4 4 Father's Day by OpalescentSky Father's Day :iconopalescentsky:OpalescentSky 1 0 Mother's Day  by OpalescentSky Mother's Day :iconopalescentsky:OpalescentSky 2 0
Literature
No Dream
     Apen’s small  hand quivered over the paper as he stared at the date marked at the top of the page. There was something odd about it, and his blood began to tingle at the memory.  Apen took a deep breath. He couldn't remember that now. He had to focus on his studies, or he wouldn’t get any chocolate. At the thought of chocolate, Apen smiled to himself, and he turned his attention once more to his books.
    A bell tolled, clear and deep, and Apen raised his eyes from his architecture textbook to the smug face of the clock against the wall. Was it the afternoon already? He was a little hungry. The day was quite warm, and only the faintest of breezes disturbed the purple and blue flag in the courtyard outside his window.
    This peaceful moment ceased with a sudden tickling against his cheek. He breathed in sharply, and turned in his seat to see April grinning.
    “You should see your face.
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    There was a chill in the room, and he could hear the guard coughing in the hall.

    Was it getting close to midnight?

    He had been mulling over a strange feeling all day. He knew, according to the marks he was making on the wall, that it must be Christmas Eve. How quickly the days had passed, each one deepening the dread in his heart.

    Perhaps this was what Melete had felt, locked in a prison in Hererat. Why wasn’t she answering his calls? At first he hadn’t even made them—she had killed his son—but eventually the desperation took over.

    Through his exterior window, he could see snowflakes falling in the night. Maybe he could ask the guard what time it was. He wondered how many of them still held a shred of loyalty towards him these days.

    If he squinted at the dark ceiling, he could almost imagine that the soft flickering shadows were not from the lantern in the hall, creeping through the tiny barred window of his cell, but the warm crackling fireplace from his first Christmas with Gudrun. Softly, they sang Christmas carols and lit candles around the room.

    Chains He shall break, for the slave is our brother 
    And in His name all oppression shall cease. 

    It was simple, but they were happy and warm and young and foolish. Reverend Terpsi had opened his Bible and read with a voice like distant thunder.

    When everyone else had gone to bed, Gudrun laid her head on his shoulder and said, “There’s nothing that makes me happier than you, my love.”

    His heart had been too still, too warm to respond with language, so he drew her in for a kiss.

    They grew older, and watched their small children playing. He remembered the sad ache of joy mixed with resentment when Ezra Damir had given his daughter a kiss on the cheek under the mistletoe. Everyone laughed, but it was just another reminder that she was growing, growing more quickly every day, like a never ending race.

    That was their last happy Christmas all together. Where was she now?

    Like a match, the vision burned out. Some days he could hardly remember the shade of the blush on Gudrun’s cheeks or the brightness in Delaney's eyes. Any memory of his eldest son was like a threatening, smoldering coal that he pushed beneath the cinders. How deeply love had turned to despair. He couldn’t think of Bellingrath, couldn’t think of his family. It was too much to bear. Perhaps it would have been better if he and she had never met. What more could they hope for? How could he have forseen or prevented their downfall?

    It was too painful to linger, even for a second, on the Christmases of his childhood. Better to bury it all away, like the bodies of his parents. If only he could have been spared the pain of living beyond their ruin.

    Quickly, he fumbled through his mind for something that didn’t hurt. There was a Christmas he spent with Marcus once. They were on the road, with little food or water. His body was constantly sore. Marcus never complained, never dragged his feet, though sometimes Bhatair forgot he was just a child. At last, they came across a small farm outside of Greenway.

    He knocked on the door. An old woman answered.

    “Hello,” he said, “I’m sorry to bother you—I know it’s Christmas Eve, but do you have room for us?”

    “Hmph,” she said “I don’t know about that.”

    A young man with black hair came behind her. “Mother, let them in—it’s freezing out, and likely to snow.”

    “You’re too soft-hearted Joe,” the old woman said. “These boys could be Raritans. I don’t like the thought of letting them go through the house while we’re asleep.”

    “Ok, maybe not the house, but maybe they could at least share the night with the horses?”

    “Even worse!” She said, “those animals are our way of life. If they stole even one of them, I would skin these boys alive!”

    “I don’t think there’s much danger of that,” Joe said. “Look, we’ll let them stay in the barn and I’ll check on them in the middle of the night to make sure they’re alright. And why don’t we share a little turkey with them?”

    After much bickering, she agreed to let them sleep in the barn, as well as sit down in their fabulously warm house and eat a few small portions of their Christmas feast.

    Later, Joe slipped them some gingerbread. “Mother is going to bed now,” he whispered. “Want to sleep in the house? I’ll make sure she doesn’t find out.”

    “The barn is fine,” Bhatair said. "You're incredibly generous."

    The horses leaned their heads over their stalls shyly to assess these strangers. Marcus and Bhatair huddled on the floor, plenty of blankets surrounding them. Bhatair put his hand to one of the small lamps Joe had given them, and moths brushed up against him as they danced around the light.

    “Marcus,” he said, “what sort of things do they do for Christmas in Preble?”

    “Books,” Marcus said.

    Bhatair was hardly surprised. “Books?”

    “We give them to each other on Christmas Eve,” Marcus said, “and then spend the rest of the evening reading them.”

    “Aren’t books expensive?” Bhatair asked.

    “Not if a lot of people are buying them,” Marcus said. “Even so, everyone in my family would compile our money over several weeks. Some years, there was just one book for all twelve of us. Other years, we managed to get a book each, or at least a few books we could all share.”

    “Do you miss them?” Velvare asked.

    Marcus flinched. “No. And they wouldn’t miss me anyways. But I do miss the books.”

    Bhatair felt a twinge in his heart. “Well, I didn’t know about this tradition, but I did get you a Christmas present, and because you like books, it was the only thing I could think of.”

    Marcus reached with his small hands for the worn copy of A Christmas Carol. His eyes lit up, and he hugged it close to his threadbare sweater.

    “Thank you.”

    “You’re welcome,” Bhatair said. “And for what it’s worth, I would be pretty lonely if you weren’t here right now.”

    “Same.” Marcus reached into his knapsack. “By the way, I’ve been wanting to give this to you for a while.”

    Bhatair took it, feeling its weight. “The Silmarillion?”

    “I don’t know if you’re going to like it,” Marcus said, “but I wanted to give you something, and you said you’d read The Lord of the Rings…”

    “I did,” Bhatair said. “Marcus, you didn’t have to.”

    “I know,” Marcus said. “And neither did you. Merry Christmas.”

    “Merry Christmas.”

    Bhatair and Marcus sat until late surrounded by the rough wood of the walls, reading. The book’s words haunted him, a tale ancient and reflective, bringing forth its ideas slowly but surely, like a new leaf opening in the spring. Though it wasn’t always easy to follow, Bhatair found himself immersed as the hours of the night wore on, and finally he surrendered to sleep.

    Velvare blinked tears away. Not even Marcus was with him now. He didn’t have a single book to keep him company, and especially not his son. His dear son, with whom he’d spent seven Christmases. His dear son, who had now passed out of this cold, miserable world. What was left to him now? Where had Marcus gone? It comforted him a little, at least, to think that Marcus might be mourning his loss as well.  How had he joined the little ship in their voyage to the east?

Why had he gone? They had shared so much together, and then he just left without a word. All this time, Velvare had enjoyed Marcus' admiring, loyal friendship, and now it was gone. Had he neglected...but no, he had done no wrong between them. The image of Marcus holding his son on the ship pierced his mind.

    He had to bite his lip from cursing Apen Shephard. He had sworn to protect Enel, and now he was dead. Why hadn't he mentioned Enel was wounded? Had he not known? Where did Melete come into all of this? Where did the lies begin and end? But it didn't matter. Maybe Apen Shephard would die soon too. Maybe they all would, now that he was imprisoned and Syllor’s Curse was going to reign free upon the earth.

    He remembered his last Christmas with Enel, the delight he had shown when Velvare had bestowed him with many candy canes. Why hadn’t he talked to him more while there was still time? He’d kept everything from him: His mother, his siblings, his identity, Walter’s Curse—and now he was dead.

    Where was Melete?

    He wanted to scream, to bash his body against the cell door until it broke open or she came to save him. Why had she betrayed him? Had she betrayed him? His mind fluctuated between a dull ache of confusion and hot bursts of anger.

    Why?

    How was he supposed to be thankful, when he had nothing left?

    How was he supposed to celebrate the birth of God’s son, the savior of the world, when his own son was likely lying in the bottom of the ocean, tossed about by the currents? What hope of salvation could he have when his only reason for living had left the earth? What good was ambition now?

    There was a clink at the door.

    Velvare leapt up, but then lay down again. He would not give whoever was coming in the satisfaction of seeing him riled up. He longed for a mask. He prayed for an earthquake to swallow him whole.

    He could see the shadow of Avidan entering the room as he stared at the ceiling. He felt more and more that the shadow resembled his own. In the bleakness of it all, he wondered at the change that was happening to Avidan. No more did the boy wear simple colours and an invisible circlet, but robes and a crown. A small, very small voice told him that Avidan was growing into something else, something more now that he, Velvare, was no longer there to hold him back, but Velvare squashed that voice like a bug in summer.

    There was silence in the room, and then there was the sound of something—maybe a tray being placed on the floor.

    “Velvare,” Avidan said, “Please say something.”

    He would not speak. Not for Avidan, not for anyone.

    “It’s Christmas Eve,” Avidan said. “Every year I used to think, ‘maybe this year—’ but it never was, and now I don’t think there will ever be the chance of it, ever.”

    He would not speak.

    “I think maybe our first year together, we felt the most like a family. You got me a small toy ship. I got you socks. I was a child. It was the best I could think of.”

    Ah. So that was what he meant.

    “With every passing year you felt more distant.”

    He would not speak

    “I know you probably think I brought this on myself, but I haven’t: you did.”

    Velvare shut his eyes tight.

    “Why won’t you say anything?”

    He would not speak.

    “Well, Merry Christmas—enjoy being locked away.” Avidan’s voice rose into an ugly mountain, choking as he stomped off.

    Velvare’s mouth started to form the words “Merry Christmas,” but the door slammed shut. Too late.

    He opened his eyes. On the ground lay a silver tray, with a plate of cookies and a cup of what was presumably cocoa, topped with whipped cream and steaming.  A sprig of holly lay on a book he recognized well. He brushed it away and read the title, scratched and battered with age. How often had Avidan seen him reading it every Christmas?

    The Silmarillion.

    He pulled it close to him and wept.

Christmas in a Cell
Merry (belated) Christmas! This is my secret santa for midenian-lostie, I'm sorry it's late! It's mostly based on the prompt: 2. Velvare alone in prison for Christmas hahaHA bring on the angst, but I kind of did the other two as well because choosing was so hard. Anyways, if you didn't get enough SADNESS this Christmas, I hope this will amend that! My writing skills are a little rusty, but I am very thankful to Alyssa for her generous contributions to the fandom over the years, so I did my best with the time I had.

I included a particular lyric from the carol Oh Holy Night because it's beautiful and also makes me think of Syllor's Curse.

Happy New Year!

Characters from The Silver Eye, a webcomic by LauraHollingsworth  
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Hello!

Some of you might remember that six months ago now, I went to Japan! It was a really amazing experience, you can read more about it in this series of blog posts that I wrote: www.beneaththetangles.com/cate…

It was an amazing experience, thank you to everyone who prayed and wished me well! I've been home for almost a month now, and adjusting has not been easy, but I'm getting there. Sorry for the huge lack of art, I actually did do some while I was away, but it never made it onto dA. I shall probably post some of it as time goes by, as well as some old traditional pieces from a years ago that I might have kicking around. I also want to get back into my art, although it might take a while because I am quite rusty.

I hope everyone was ok while I was gone! Unfortunately, because of the overwhelming amount of notifications I received, I decided to delete pretty much all of them, without looking, there was just too much! But if you have something you're really proud of that you want to be seen send me a link and I'll take a look!
  • Listening to: Our Window by Noah and the Whale
  • Reading: Winter and The Well of Ascension
  • Watching: Recently finished Moribito

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OpalescentSky
Lynna
Artist | Hobbyist | Varied
Canada
I love both writing and art immensely. While becomeing a writer is my dream, you will probably mostly see visual art from me on here.
I go by the name Lynna on a lot of sites, including CAA. (If you recognize me from there, please say hi!)
If you have any interests in common with me and would like to talk about it, please send me a note! Especially The Silver Eye, I am always willing to exchange thoughts and theories. We TSE fans need to stick together :)

Tumblr: fair-and-finn.tumblr.com/
Anime and Christianity blog I write for: beneaththetangles.com/
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:icondragonanne:
Dragonanne Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2016  Student General Artist
Happy Birthday!!!!!! Airborne 
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:iconopalescentsky:
OpalescentSky Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much! Happey (belated) birthday to you too!
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:icondragonanne:
Dragonanne Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2015  Student General Artist
Happy Birthday!!! Airborne 
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:iconaceofstars16:
Aceofstars16 Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Happy Birthday Lynna! <33
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:iconneoconvoy:
Neoconvoy Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2015  Student General Artist
Happy birthday!
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:iconneoconvoy:
Neoconvoy Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2015  Student General Artist
Merry Christmas!

God bless you!
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:iconzurajanaikatsurada:
Zurajanaikatsurada Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
thank you for the fav!
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:iconj-moriarty:
J-Moriarty Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2015
Thank you very much for the fav! :hug:
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:iconskypher:
Skypher Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2015  Professional General Artist
Thank you for the favourite, Opal! : )
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:iconnefletstock:
NefletStock Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2015
thanks for fav.
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