All posts by Xaneathmar

Dove’s Daily Diary 9

Dear Kedi,

I started your telepathic testing today. The first thing I realized is that I know who you are, pabizoo.

You’re sinyukwe. A peace soldier. I knew most of them were clones, but I didn’t know I had one in my house.

You’re already so strong. I’ll have to teach you telethics soon, before you start probing minds without permission. Once you grow up, you could force anyone to do anything you wanted, just like the other sinyukwegi.

Including me.

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Kediké, I’ve never been so afraid. Will I be able to teach you to be a good person, before you start abusing this power of yours? Will this good upbringing be enough to keep you off of the path of your brethren?

I will protect you forever. I swore that. But there are a lot of people who think that you’re the one we need protecting from.

Kedi. You’re a good girl.

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Please prove it to me.

-Tikkidové

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Dove’s Daily Diary 8

Kediké,

You might have noticed me crying lately. I know you have, because you came up and hugged me and said “Yozimi.”

Oh, Kediké. How can I tell you that I’m crying because someone dear to me died?

I only just got the news from the homeworld. My cousin, my goto, Tharijuné, died. She was a bizaabgotojo just like yours, and she died in a spaceship crash.

Have I ever told you how I got my name, Kediké? Tharijuné and I picked our names together. Tharijuné and Tikkidové. Blue Flower and White Bird. To this world, Dove and June.

Maki wrote a tune that she sings to you, and I made up some words. It goes like this:

E mo’mo O!
EA mo’mo O!
Jotu mo’mo O!
Yada Kedi
Miki Kedi
Poppoki Kediké!

You love to sing this song! You sing it to your nightlight all the time. You say, “Payato diyoozi^bicoo-sicoo^kixazi kiyaki! Payato diyoozi^bicoo-shishozi vivingigotogo!”

Are you singing this song for your gotogo, Kediké? Are you singing to them about how much we love you?

I will always take care of you, Kedi. I never saw myself as a bizaabgotojo, but here I am. Here we all are. In Tharijuné’s memory, I will care for you.

-Tikkidové

House 1.2: Upholstery

I’ve learned that it’s the little things that count.

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The smallest touch can transform something.

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Even Mack and I have been transformed by living and working in this house. We’re more loving, more affectionate. Every spare bit of time is Us Time.

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We’re working on the nightstands right now. Steaming off the chipped white paint, lacquering them into their original wooden glory with pride. We’re still looking for lamps.

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Everything we do, the house watches us. Does it approve? Does it feel joy as we upholster and varnish? Or does it wish to stay unchanged?

I don’t know.

 

Daywalking

That morning, Sylvia woke up bright and early on Aylin’s instructions. She went upstairs to find an elegant bar set up in the study.

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“Morning, Sylvia!”

“Good morning, Aylin. You said yesterday that we were going swimming?”

“Yep! Drink this.”

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“Whoa!”

“Powerful stuff, isn’t it? It’ll protect you from the sun for four hours, but we’ll want to start home before that just in case.”

“You had one of these too?”

Aylin winked. “Suffice it to say I have my own methods.”

“Okay, let’s go!”

As soon as she stepped out of the door, Sylvia was awestruck. Sun! Real sun, not burning her skin! The combination of the tangy drink and the warmth on her skin made her feel energized, alive even. With a spring in her step, she followed Aylin down the forest road to her house and through the tourist-filled square of Forgotten Hollow to the rail line.

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After a quick train ride, they found themselves at the steps of the Bathe de Rill, Windenburg’s famous public swimming pool. Aylin headed straight up the stairs to the changing rooms.

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Sylvia was a little nervous. She’d never really gotten the chance to go swimming before.

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Aylin sat calmly by the poolside. “Go on ahead! I’ll join you in a moment.”

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Sylvia screwed up her courage, climbed the stairs, and jumped!

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As she swam away from the diving stairs, Sylvia rejoiced. Sun! Water! New feelings flooded her mind. Could life really be this fun?

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Aylin bubbled up to the surface. Sylvia hadn’t even seen her get in.

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Suddenly, Sylvia got an idea.

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The ensuing splash fight was a battle to be remembered, but it had to be cut short by the timer running low on Sylvia’s sun protection. Aylin called things to a halt at two and a half hours, to make sure they had time to shower and get back home before Sylvia started sizzling.

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As she followed Aylin back to the train station, Sylvia promised that she’d find a way to go swimming again.

Free Day

Sylvia spent the fourth day in the study.

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She found old math workbooks and puzzled out the problems.

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She delved into tomes of vampire lore.

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She meditated, surrounded by books and the knowledge contained in them.

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She practiced the pipe organ.

When all of that was done, Sylvia went outside.

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She read the epitaphs on the gravestones in the memorial pavilion.

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She tried to figure out who the statue woman watching over the graves was.

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She harvested the plasma fruits in the fountain pavilion and put them in the icebox.

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She even got out of the garden and went for a jog.

When she exhausted her options outside, she explored her room.

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She opened the cosmetics in the bathroom.

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She experimented with the perfumes.

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She organized the closet and made the bed.

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She set the table and had another bowl of Aylin’s plasma fruit salad.

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She examined the labels on the strange jars in the cupboards.

When Aylin got home, she brought a gift.

“I got a science kit at the store. I thought it might help make up for what Ingram put you through.”

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Together they assembled the kit.

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“Wow! Aylin, you’re good at this!”

Aylin chuckled. “I’ve spent a long time fixing things. Little projects like this are a breeze!”

“So, how did you know about Ingram?”

Aylin turned serious. “I asked her to train you. I didn’t anticipate her reaction.”

“You asked her to do that?”

“Not to hurt you, certainly! It’s been so long since she trained anyone, I’d almost forgotten how she worked. She won’t be doing that again, I assure you.”

“Do I have to train with her some more?”

“Only if you feel comfortable doing so. I’m not going to force you to see her again.”

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Sylvia took a deep breath.

“I’ll go back, so long as nothing like that happens again. I want to learn.”

Aylin looked at her for a long moment. “You’re brave.”

“I want to learn. If you’re not going to teach me, I’ll have to learn from Ingram.”

“Very well. The day after tomorrow, you’ll see her again.”

“And tomorrow?”

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“Tomorrow we go swimming.”

Ingram

On the third day, Sylvia met the other woman.

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She was standing outside of Sylvia’s door when Sylvia woke up.

“Attack me,” she said.

“What? No!” Sylvia exclaimed.

“Then I will attack you.”

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The woman didn’t lay a hand on her, but Sylvia doubled over in pain. It was like a thousand sharp needles were pricking at her body, sending waves of agony through her mind.

When the pain subsided, the woman looked at her approvingly. “You rode the pain out. I am impressed. You didn’t even try to fight back.”

Sylvia felt stunned. This woman had appeared out of nowhere and attacked her! Who was she?

“Now,” said the woman, “I will teach you how to fight. I am going to conjure an illusion. You will dispel the illusion. I will not give you instructions. Go.”

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Suddenly, Sylvia’s vision blurred. When her eyes cleared, Aylin was standing there and the woman was gone.

“Aylin!” Sylvia exclaimed. “Where were you? Did you chase that woman off? She attacked me? Why did she attack me?”

“She’s devious,” Aylin responded. “Trust nothing, especially not yourself.”

Sylvia shook her head and rubbed her face. A sort of feeling was squirming behind her eyes– a bizarre sensation, like something was wrong with her head… She tried to block out the feeling, to no avail. Focusing, she tried to find the source of the sensation, only to discover that it wasn’t coming from inside at all, but from Aylin herself.

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“Aylin? Is something wrong?”

“It’s possible. Stay on your guard.”

Sylvia closed her eyes and concentrated. Go away! she thought. Get out of my head! The feeling of wrongness only intensified. Angrily, she reached for the wellspring of power deep inside, thrusting her inner pool of darkness forward.

“Very well done!” said the woman. “Sloppy, but effective.”

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Sylvia opened her eyes to find the woman standing there again and Aylin gone.

“You tricked me!”

“That was the point of the exercise– to see if you could find that out on your own. You did. You have the power to fend off most ordinary assailants as it is, but your technique was unrefined. Focus.”

Sylvia focused. She dug down into the core of her body and reached again for that power, rising into the air.

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“Now pull it in. Use only the bare minimum of power to keep yourself there. A single thread, nothing more.”

Sylvia looked at the flow of power through her body, and saw it coursing through her like a river. Pull back, she told it. Slowly, she did, resisting the urge to let it burst free, until there was only a trickle of darkness in her veins.

“Better,” said the woman. “Much better.”

As she began to walk away, Sylvia called out to her.

“Who are you?”

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“Ingram,” said the woman.

Then she was gone.

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Training

On the second day, Sylvia’s training began.

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Aylin took her to the pavilion out back, where two yoga mats were set up.

“Let’s begin,” she said.

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“The mind is not a prisoner of the body, nor is the body a slave of the mind.”

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“Body and mind are a single whole. Without transcendence in one, there can be no transcendence in the other.”

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“Limits are not meant to be broken. They are meant to be discovered. Every time we say a limit is broken, we have merely discovered that it was beyond where we thought it was.”

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The dawn found Sylvia exhausted, watching as Aylin bent her body into increasingly more difficult positions.

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As she scrubbed her aching body, she pondered Aylin’s words. What did any of this have to do with being a vampire? Count Straud had made her exercise her powers, but Aylin’s training so far had nothing to do with any of that.

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Her last thought as she drifted off to sleep was that it would be worth it.