The Kitten, the Witches and the Bad Wardrobe - Willow & Tara Forever

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 Post subject: Developing: Awakening
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 1:25 pm 
3. Flaming O
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Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:23 am
Posts: 55
Topics: 3
Hey everyone,

I've started a story, out of ignorance and out of hurry, on DCP in April. It got miraculously approved of and I even wrote nearly 25 000 words to it, which is like super-big achievement to me, because I just can't keep on doing something for more than a month. Yet here I am and it's been three months now, and I do write the story and think about it.

When I look at the first few chapters now, I feel like they are just.. they suck. It was kind of a warm-up, and the plot wasn't really thought out. It's my fault, I should have posted here at the beta pens first, but the thing is, I'm doing a rewrite. After a discussion with mod I decided to continue in the same topic, though it's not going to be the same Awakening as it was, promise.

Awakening was my first real work of fiction. That's why it looks like crap in the beginning. But as for now, 25 000 words are lotsa' practice, aren't they?

- I'm not a native speaker, actually I'm a student, so my English sometimes really sucks.
- In addition, sometimes I'd write like I was stoned - poetic shit and stuff. Please note, that I don't do any drugs, 'kay? Even if it doesn't look like that at times.
- I've read amazing Scoobies Teach Grammar and have no problems with speech punctuation & attribution of speech, thanks to it. Because of the fact I'm not a native speaker I've never had problems with apostrophes and possessive pronouns. At least I hope.
- But I do have problems with, how to put it, odd word order (though I've gotten better at it, really!) sometimes I use really weird prepositions, and sometimes I put the adjective or adverb to a strange place in sentence. I also tend to use lots of "a" and "the" on inappropriate places.

As for the story, I don't want to reveal much, but:

- I'm going to introduce other characters later in the story and they will (especially one) play significant role in the plot.
- There's magic.
- Setting is England, Northampton and then the border, Northumberland. I have a thing for north, obviously. And for border collies too.
- It's from Willow's POV, though I consider giving another character's POV (whose name I won't reveal, just for fun.) a chapter. Tara remains an enigma, to readers, to Willow, sometimes even to me.

What I look for in this topic,

- I'm looking for someone whom to consult my ideas with
- Who'd tell me, "This really is a shit, rewrite it," if necessary.
- Who'd tell me, "This really is a shit, rewrite it," even if it isn't necessary.
- Pacing, technique, just... writing. I read a lot, but I'm not as good with the technique as I am in my native language (which is logical, innit?)
- Are the characters' actions and dialogues believable?
- Should I write less lyrically?
- Plot ideas, suggestions, anything. I need someone really involved into the story. (Isn't it too much to ask?)
- And it looks like, I'd need to smooth out English. ;)

Here come the first two rewritten chapters, which serve as a testimony of my poor English, and also of my poor writing, 'cause I broke the "for Christ's sake, don't start with a dream sequence" rule. Both are approx. 2500 words.

What’s your idea of terribly sweet torment? When she ties you up and teases you to the point when all you can think about is her wonderful hand filling your core and sending you to the bliss - rocking, arching and screaming? She whispers unintelligible words into your ear, words of sweetest love, smiling when she sees the effect they have on you. Your body arches upwards, trying desperately to meet hers hovering upon you and suddenly she pulls away. A quiet whimper escapes the prison of your clenched teeth. She’s not doing anything; she’s just looking at you, caressing your naked form with her hungry gaze.

You know how she loves looking at your tensed limbs, your arched body and a small drop of sweat dripping from your forehead. You know you wouldn’t stand her gaze, that it would tear you to pieces; the unconditional love and devotion in the blue depths of her eyes, contrasting deeply with self-satisfied smirk curving her lips, making it stand out even more.

(Nothing exists in itself)

She knows it too, that’s why you’re blindfolded and bound. And waiting. She wouldn’t let you taste the heaven before leading you through hell first; she knows the heaven tastes even better then. You know it too, you trust her to lead you through the gates of bliss. You know pain is the water you bathe in.

Distantly you hear yourself pleading. Was it even your voice? She obliges, lying softly on top of you, shoving her thigh between your legs, her long hair tickling you as she kisses her way up your body, until her lips enveloped yours in a tender kiss, sending shivers down your spine. Her warm body trembles with your own desire and love as she burrows her head to the crook of your neck. A single tear falls on your heated flesh and suddenly you wish you could have had free hands to hug her closer in comfort.

Sometimes it's just too much. You're not sure you can handle such happiness and fulfilment as your body shakes with your own sobs. You become eerily aware of her weight gently pressing into you and her hand stroking your cheek; of her physical presence. You can feel her in your soul but sometimes it just isn’t enough. Sometimes you’re afraid it’s all just a dream and that she’ll fade away. She feels it too. She feels your fears, and she feels your need. She always knows what to do.

(Just a taste. One small taste, please!)

And then all dissolved into a heaven.


Willow woke up from her dream with a gasp, rapidly opening her eyes, trying to recognise her surroundings. Becoming slowly aware of sitting in a leather chair, she immediately recognised a cabin of the plane as her head shot up from the cold surface of plastic window. She recalled dimly she had been looking through it, lost in her own mind. Great, she thought grimly as she realised she had fallen asleep, even my own thoughts are boring for me now.

As her disorientation ceased, she became aware of some wet fluid soaking her cheeks; she brought her hand up and tryingly grazed upon it with her fingertips, realising she had been crying from her sleep. Or worse? She timidly raised her head to look at the other passengers in the plane and her worst fears were confirmed; some were burrowing their heads in magazines and some were openly looking her way, unable to stop occasional bursts of giggles. She blushed and shrank down in her seat, looking at the window again. Oh. My. God.

Willow gathered the last sheds of dignity and met the gaze of fat man occupying the seat next to her, who had been looking at her strangely ever since she woke up.

“That was quite a show you had made, miss,” he said to her and Willow mumbled something in response, before she turned away to gaze from the window, blushing fiercely. Rosenberg. You perve!

Willow had always mumbled and talked from her sleep; in fact, it ran in the family. Every morning her father would complain about how their apartment was turned to some kind of political debate and teenage problems counselling session at once through the night. Now she was just glad she never had dreams like this, at least she couldn’t remember. And she surely would if her father had made a remark about it. And he would have if he heard.

This dream, in particular, was strange and special. Sensual; yes, yet shrouded with the expectation of something dark, something Willow couldn’t quite identify. She decided to let it go - there was no way she could help herself with analysis. Her gaze fell on the exposed landscape behind the windows and she stretched her legs stiffened from travelling. It wasn’t actually such a long time she spent in a plane, it was just about two hours, but as she saw the landscape being a bit nearer then previously, she felt butterflies creeping into her stomach and she sighed restlessly. Her plane was landing in London in a few dozens of minutes.

She had enrolled for exchange programme few months ago; she had passed all the exams and earned scholarship of some kind. Willow hated relying on her parents’ money; she worked herself hard to earn the opportunity of being free, of getting away.

(You know you can’t outrun it any more than you can outrun your own shadow.)

And now she was sitting in a plane, her air ticket funded by Her Majesty and Department of Education, her future open yet uncertain. She absently wondered about her host family. Programme coordinators told her about a woman with a daughter of Willow’s age. She was secretly relieved that there wasn’t any man in her host family.

(And that there’s a girl, admit it, Willow.)

A girl. Whatever. With her luck it would probably be some kind of English narcissistic, cheerleader-y bitch-queen, who wouldn’t even talk to her because she’s a dork. Willow wasn’t a lucky girl; her life was a big celebration to Murphy’s laws, until - of course - she worked really hard to get rid of those odds. She learnt one thing - when she couldn’t control her surroundings, she could at least control herself. Most of the time.

The worst possible torture isn't the outer pain. It's the suffering one's mind is inflicting on itself.

Willow couldn’t expect more - she got away to England, she couldn’t expect more than that and she knew that. She let her head rest again on the cold surface of the window again and she let her mind wander to her own don’t-go-there territory for a while. Love. Feelings. Hope.

13 year old Willow was going up the stairs, her teacher’s hand wrapped around her shoulders. Willow lifted her gaze to meet pools of blue shining with tender love and care. She smiled shyly and dropped her gaze in embarrassment, trying to concentrate on where she was putting her feet, enjoying the sensation of contact with a woman she loved more than anything in the world. The darkness of it, everything faded away when Willow felt her head being slightly pulled to the side and a second later, her teacher's soft lips pressing into her hair. The slender redhead smiled even more broadly. She felt a joyful thrill in her chest rising from her very soul and for the very first time in her life, she felt like she belonged somewhere. She was home.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we have just been cleared to land at the London Heathrow airport. Please make sure one last time your seat belt is securely fastened. Thank you.” The flight attendant's voice returned Willow to reality from one of her most precious memories, yet one of which she avoided thinking of the most. She was in love with her teacher and she hadn’t realised it. And then it was too late. She died. Another proof that her life is obviously controlled by Murphy’s laws. The very first (and last!) person that made her feel that way, was a woman, 25 years older and now? Dead. Buried deeply in the ground. A dinner for worms.

Willow was never taught how to deal with feelings - they had overwhelmed her at first, like a river finally breaking free from its reservoir. And a river it surely was. Willow had been crying for weeks, she had refused to go to school, even to eat. She just slept, locked away from the world. And then, one day, she looked at her reflection staring from the mirror. Was it even her reflection? She stared at a stranger with hollow face without usual spark, with sunken cheeks, her hair messy and grassy, but it were her eyes that terrified her the most. They were far-away, blank and covered with vast amounts of pain; it was then when she had decided to live again. Some people are just too stubborn to give up. She had decided to lock herself again in the shell she had been in since her childhood, that her teacher brought her out of. She found a peaceful place within herself again. And nothing could have brought her out of it again.

She never thought she had been in love. She hadn’t even realised it. Until her best friend came out to her as gay; she had been laughing at him for a while in disbelief, telling him how cool joke it was, but as Robert’s expression remained serious, she figured it wasn’t a joke at all. It took a while for her to accept his new identity, as if he wasn’t even her same best friend as before the revelation, which sow a seed of doubt even into her own sexuality. And then, several months later, at the anniversary of Her death, when she allowed herself a brief moment of feeling, it clicked. Willow was in love with that person lying coldly underneath, in the ground and rotting.

That day she had dropped two crimson roses bound with a black ribbon onto her teacher’s cold grave. She allowed a single tear to slide down her cheek and a single drop of blood to soak the granite, for her grip on two roses was so tight, that she hadn’t even realised the thorns stuck deeply inside her palm. The drop of blood matched the colour of roses, quite ironically. Willow hated graveyards. All the lost spirits and withered bodies, all the sadness from those who were left behind. She had never returned to that place again and she had never allowed another tear to fall either.

She had been so young; she smiled weakly as she remembered. She was supposed to be hunting for boys (girls!) and licking ice-cream without a care for a world, without the bruise of pain, not to lurk at the graveyard, receiving weird glances from people around. She was supposed to be young, reckless and happy. She was supposed to live.

The part of flight, the only part worse than take-off was coming; Willow could feel the change of pressure in her ears and she tried hard not to think about Tenerife Disaster yet again, but now in a scenery of landing.

After the death of her teacher, instead of becoming a cold, untouched observer as Willow wished to be, she’d sub-consciously tried to reach some purpose with listening to others’ problems and trying to comfort them, so she could easily drive her own feelings and pain away. She gave others compassion and understanding, the things she herself had never truly got. She understood it now, but she was seriously surprised of her urges to help people, people who kept on hurting each other (and screaming, and fighting) and in the end didn’t even value her help. She understood now that she wasn’t being overly altruistic, but only overly selfish. She used their problems to pretend she herself was okay, when in fact she was the one who needed counselling among them the most. She had became Willow the helper, Willow the therapist, while inside she was Willow, the girl on the edge (border!) of insanity.

As she felt the landing plane bump hardly on the runway and gradually slow down, she allowed a small smile to curve her lips. This was her new life, her new chance, no matter what had happened in the past. No more roses bound with a black ribbon, no more hollowed eyes and withered bodies. She was free, she was pure and she had a new future to build. She was home.


London Heathrow Airport was crowded with people hurrying to check-ins, retrieving baggage and saying goodbyes to their families. Willow felt utterly lost. The main hall of the Airport seemed to devour her the very moment she put her foot inside. After retrieving her

(last remains of past)

small baggage and passing through the Customs, she darted her gaze upwards, stealing a brief moment of marvel at the magnitude of the whole Airport with its solid, modernistic and glassy ceiling of the huge building. It was a lot bigger than the small and simple airport in her hometown. And even bigger than Prague Ruzyne Airport, where she was transferring onto the flight to London.

Staring didn’t turn out to be the wisest thing to do, she realised, as she felt a bump to her shoulder. “Sorry,” she mumbled automatically, not giving half a damn about the hurrying stranger. She knew that the only thing to hurry to is death. Did that man at least have someone he loves to hurry to? Weren’t they rotting in the ground?

Willow glanced at the light-board; it was already past 6 PM. Had she been placed into another host-family, the exchange programme coordinator would be picking her up and driving her to her temporary 'home', but her future host-mother had insisted that she'd pick her up so they could get to know each other a bit. She had said she would be waiting for her near Parking Area number 27, which was where Willow was heading right now.

As she left the terminal, the wet and warm London air hit her lungs, as an evening fog slowly settled onto the parking lot. She scanned it, finding the 27th one and started slowly walking towards it, towards the woman who’ll be the huge part of her new temporary life.

The woman stood there wearing somehow amused smile, casually leaning onto her car, and as she saw Willow, she hesitated for a while before waving tentatively at her. She had long brown curly hair and she fit the description Willow had obtained.

“Hello,” Willow greeted her politely as she approached, avoiding the eye contact and suddenly finding herself very nervous. “I’m Willow… um. Rosenberg. Nice to meet you.” She absently wondered if she should offer a hand to shake.

“Hi Willow. Nice to meet you, too.” The woman smiled encouragingly, and moved to open the trunk of the car. “I’m Elisabeth. Maclay. That’s my name, which you know. But please do call me Elisabeth, it makes me sound less old.”

“OK, Mrs. Maclay,” Willow's preprogrammed response shot in, before she snapped her mouth shut with her hand and blushed.

The sun was slowly retreating below the horizon, letting the cloak of the night rule the sky as the last remaining signs of daylight slowly surrendered to darkness. Willow was resting her head on the window, staring absently onto the passing landscape, feeling her eyes closing automatically. Mrs. Maclay was trying her best to entertain her at the ride from London to Northampton, babbling about London’s sightseeings, legends and another stuff which Willow already knew. She remained polite though, shooting a ‘wow’ look when she thought she should wear the ‘wow’ expression.

Mrs. Maclay had succeeded in entertaining Willow for the bigger part of their drive. And now there was silence, accenting Willow’s hidden nervousness. She was about to meet a girl; not the normal kind of girl, but the girl she’ll be spending the most of her time in England. If she ruined this first impression, things could get really rough. She let her mind wonder about her future almost-sister. Will she really be some kind of bitch queen? Maybe she’ll be like me. Oh yes, she smirked bitterly, and then the stegosaurus comes to say hello on a flying gas-station.

Willow rested her hands on her knees, breathing deeply in, trying to contain the adrenaline flowing through her veins and speeding up her heart. It didn’t help. Before she could have stopped herself, she heard her own nervous voice asking: “What’s um.. Your daughter like?” Exposing her insecurities to a stranger was unlike anything Willow ever did. Maybe it was time to become someone else, new. Maybe England was a place for her to be really herself.

Mrs. Maclay smiled weakly, proudly. “She’s… sort of quiet personality.” She glanced briefly at Willow, before returning her eyes on the road. “I think you two will get along just fine, Will, don’t worry.”

Willow smiled in response, grateful for Mrs. Maclay’s reassurance. Maybe she was a bit lucky after all.

After that exchange, which left Willow hoping (but not too much, because I never could expect too much) the silence reigned in the car again and she left her head to lean onto the window, allowing her eyes to close. The ride was too long, so when Willow felt the car pull on the driveway and stop, she nearly jumped out of it, only politeness keeping her from doing it. Instead she slowly rose from her seat and got off the car, cautiously closing the door, trying not to make much noise. She remembered how her father hated when she had left the door to close alone, with force of their weight. When she heard the loud thud of trunk, she realised that for Mrs. Maclay it really wasn’t a problem. And unlike Mrs. Maclay, her father had never helped her with her baggages. Literal and metaphorical.

Willow observed a house as she strode towards it; it was a small, comfortably looking house tucked among the others in row, the front garden beautifully decorated with daffodils, tulips and other flowers and herbs. Willow wished she could have came during the day, so she could marvel at the beauty of the colourful flowers; she always did when she saw some. As she noticed that Mrs. Maclay had already been at the front door and unlocking it, she decided she’s going to see them during the next day.

“Welcome home, Will.” Mrs. Maclay smiled as she held the door open for her, the gesture so unfamiliar that Willow waited a moment before her body responded and she thanked her English hostess. As they entered the hall, Elisabeth called into the seemingly empty house. “Sweetie, we’re home!” Then she turned to Willow and told her where she could put her converse sneakers. “Bathroom is on the left, OK?” she said, then frowned. “Oh, you must be hungry! I'm gonna cook you something, look at you, you're so thin, you should eat something.”

“Oh, Mrs. Ma... Elisabeth, it really isn't necessary. I’ve eaten in a plane,” Willow replied shyly.

“You call that food, seriously?” Mrs. Maclay winked at her. “How about you unpacking while I prepare you supper?” She didn't give Willow a chance to respond as she quickly disappeared into the kitchen. As Willow watched her go, she felt another pair of eyes looking at her cautiously and she turned.

There was a girl, standing on the stairs frozen, her honey-coloured tresses falling freely below her shoulders, framing her sculpted face. Willow delved her gaze into the girl’s for a moment, the flash of icy steel weakening her knees, before the girl dropped her head, covering her face with long strands of hair. Willow had a greeting on her tongue, but the girl had left her totally wordless. Her face was unlike anything Willow had ever seen before - her firm jaw, her high cheekbones, her perfect nose, her lower lip split just in the middle, like a cherry. Willow wondered if she would taste like one, just there. And in the hollow of her throat. And then there, at the swell of her breasts.

Willow knew she would never find out.

The girl had one hand wrapped around her mid-section and Willow’s imaginations stopped as she wondered what was the girl protecting herself from.

What’s her story?

Willow left her eyes briefly took in the girl’s body, without seeming inappropriate, (remember, first impressions) trying to acquire as much information as she could. The girl was wearing simple black shirt and tight worn-out pants and as Willow forced not to marvel on her body, she noticed that the girl’s right hand, resting on the handrail of the stairs, had nails trimmed short and some of her fingers had plasters on them; maybe she’s playing a guitar? If she does, then she’s spending a lot of time doing that. And then Willow figured that the girl must be uncomfortable under her probing gaze, noticing her shifting her weight from foot to foot.

“Hey. I’m um..” Willow thought for a moment what her name was. If names define personalities, hers must’ve been changed a bit, she was sure of it. “I’m Willow,” she completed, lifting her hand in a shy wave.

“H-hi,” the girl said, a look of defeat passing her face as she stammered. “Tara.” She lifted her gaze tentatively from her feet and met Willow’s eyes.

Tara’s eyes were like cold sapphires glistening on her face, with the colour of winter afternoon, the universe, a world Willow could never have. If Willow hadn’t been so mesmerised, she would have averted her gaze from the quiet strength radiating from Tara’s eyes. Yet her eyes were cloaked with something deep, arcane and primal.

Tara.. What’s your story? Was there a grave in it? Was there pain? Were there screams, and fights, and wounds?

As Willow stared into Tara’s eyes, she sadly figured that yes, there was pain, layered in the depths of her eyes, bruising them with its dark presence. Willow knew she wouldn’t have noticed it, carefully hidden deeply in her soul, if she hadn’t seen it before, in her own eyes. Maybe that was why Tara’s eyes were so piercing, making her unable to avert her gaze, making her stare right into it. Tara, too, seemed somehow unwilling to broke the eye contact and Willow knew, that the introductions they’d just exchanged hadn’t tell them so much about one another’s personalities as this contact, more valuable and honest than any spoken word.

Tara took a deep breath, before her melodic voice of sunrise gently broke the silence. “Guess I should.. Show you the room?”

Willow nodded. “Thank you, Tara,” she said, enjoying the taste of girl’s name on her tongue.

Tara flashed a shy smile and Willow’s world turned upside down for a moment. To see Tara’s face lighten with a smile, despite what she saw in her eyes, was like a rainbow appearing in a rainy day. Where was the sun?

As Tara disappeared, Willow just stood there, mesmerised, shocked, a myriad of emotions passing through her as she started to follow, deftly, blindly, like a firefly following the light that was Tara. The pained beauty that was Tara.

What’s your story, Tara?

Willow always felt a deep attraction towards people with crosses to bear. She figured it was because she was needed there. And she knew that this Tara has her own painful past to bear. Of course she needed Willow - Willow the saviour. And Willow would give her whatever she would need.

(But I never could become too attached.)

As much as Willow sought for suffering, she was fearing it the most. From that day, when she dropped two roses (bound with black ribbon) on the cold grave, she never allowed herself to be that vulnerable again; the easiest way to avoid being burn is to avoid the sunlight.

When Willow reached Tara’s side, she saw Tara stealing a glance at her and she offered a weak smile in response, meant to be reassuring. Tara dropped her eyes shyly.

“Well, now we are gonna be sort of like.. sisters?” Willow said, suddenly feeling a faint hint of insecurity, while trying to make the girl more comfortable around her.

“Yeah,” Tara replied, not lifting her eyes to meet Willow’s and leaned to rest her back against the door. “So, this is m.. Our room.” She nodded in front of her, just a slightest movement of her graceful neck, just a slightest tightening of her muscles and Willow again found herself wondering how would Tara taste… Just there. And what noises would the girl make if she licked her neck and pressed her tongue to the place where her artery throbbed under the thin skin. And… Willow shook her head, focusing instead on Tara’s room. She knew that the way her room looked like tells a story of its own, whether Tara wanted or not, she couldn’t hide it.

The room was small, homely and dimly lit - only one small light on the neat desk illuminated it, along with the stars which shone through rooftop-window, letting the shadows play theatre performances of their own on the wall, oblivious to the happenings in the room. Willow felt a sharp tremor of passion; the shadows and their carelessness saw everything Tara went through in this room, yet did nothing, nothing to stop the pain bruising Tara’s beautiful eyes, once surely the blue of summer morning, now grey like winter afternoon.

(Why is your mother divorced, Tara?)

There wasn’t mess, everything seemed to have its place. Black acoustic guitar hanged from its hooks, right above the bed and Willow knew that Tara played it for a long time (when her eyes were still the blue of summer morning) and that it offered comfort - Tara trusted the guitar enough to leave it hanging above her bed. Willow would have never fallen asleep if something was hovering upon her, like a sword of Damocles. In the life she knew everything hanged on a horse hair. Especially lives.

Willow remembered her own room - there wasn’t mess or dust too, but her room seemed much more hollow than Tara’s. Their rooms were different at the first sight, yet had much in common. Both were shelters, sanctuaries even; their own small homes in shattered ones, a places of freedom, where tears soaked into the comfort of sweet-scented pillowcases, where Willow could keep lists of thing she possessed and organise them and where Tara could strum on her guitar until her fingers bled; where the shadows played unspoken fantasies on the walls during each night - Willow noticed the slightly dissolved candle in a glass, resting on the desk and she had the feeling, that Tara has trouble falling asleep in total darkness too. Is Mrs. Maclay fizzling the candle off once Tara is asleep?

There were fairy lights on the wall, turned off, surrounding the painting, which Willow recognised as Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry night over the Rhone, the lights must have acted as yet another stars over the river, when turned on. She looked at Tara again, who patiently waited for Willow to examine the room, and their eyes met for the second time. There’s no blue without yellow or orange.

“I like the lights,” Willow uttered thoughtfully, nodding in approval. What a dumb thing to say, Rosenberg!

Yet Tara smiled warmly at the comment and pointed to the closet. “I’ve cleared some shelves and racks for you.”

“Thank you,” Willow said, setting her bag next to the closet and moved towards the bookshelf, shooting a questioning glance towards Tara.

The girl nodded in encouragement, her smile shining through the gloomy room and Willow felt strangely once more, for Tara’s smiles were triggering something she had forbidden herself to feel long ago, when two roses left the tight grasp of her hand along with a drop of blood and a tear.

(And the feelings)

Books were a garden, a forest, a blue sky of summer morning; nightingale’s song gently spreading into the reader’s soul. Books were home for Willow.

And she was really surprised when she found, there among another poetry books she always wished she’d owned, a copy of Baudelaire’s Flowers of Evil. Willow reached for the book, stroking her thumb over the binding as she withdrew it from the shelf. “You’re reading poetry? Well, Baudelaire?” She asked, a weird excitement flowing through her as she awaited Tara’s response, and she felt fear at the same time. Maybe the book wasn’t hers. Maybe it was for school project. Maybe she didn’t understand Baudelaire at all.

“Yes,” Tara replied sheepishly, “His work kind of has a deeper meaning than all the morbidity and sarcasm, you know?”

Willow nodded and released the breath she hadn’t realised she was holding.

(Why do I care?)

Of course she knew that Baudelaire, coating his words in irony, cynicism, gore and perversion, found blooming life and beauty even in a dead piece of carcass. In a withered body. Quality she herself had never been able to acquire.

Everyone just kept talking about how drunk and insane he was. He wasn’t insane. He was genius. Like the Albatross from his own poem; different and envied, soaring the skies of words and reigning them, weaving them into prose and poems, making them stand out with their daring naturalism.

“I know what you mean,” Willow said as she returned the unopened book to the shelf and turned towards Tara to meet her cryptic, far-away gaze. “You OK?”

Of course she isn’t. Tara’s room, her shelter, her sanctuary, a place for her to view her fantasies being played on the walls by shadows and the place where her fingers bled from excessive guitar-playing is being violated by a stranger. Did Tara even approve of it?

“Um… Yes. I just didn’t expect…” Tara started, her eyes focusing again.


Tara cocked her head slightly, and nodded.

“I’m sorry, that you have… a stranger in your ro-”

“That’s not quite what I meant,” Tara interrupted her quickly, yet politely. "You are welcome here - now this is your room too.”

Willow sighed and met Tara’s gaze, unexpected hardness creeping into her voice as she spoke. “No Tara, it isn’t. I’m really sorry that I’m invading your privacy - don’t interrupt me please,” Willow added hastily when she noticed Tara was about to speak. “You know, I’m really good at being almost invisible, and I can be quiet too, so it’ll be like I’m not even here,” she assured, but then realisation dawned on her and her brow furrowed. “Your mother made you share your room, didn’t she?”

“Um, yes.” Tara replied meekly. “She’s a teacher, so.. She volunteered.”

Willow left the statement pass. She sighed and bent for her bag, starting to unpack her clothes into the dresser. She knew that Tara was still there watching and probably pondering about her and as she hung another shirt onto hook, she turned towards her and shivered as the steely gaze probed into her eyes. It’s hard to light the candle, easy to curse the dark instead. Would you lighten my world, Tara? Could I fizzle off the candle once you fall asleep? Would you play guitar for me?

Willow knew she could never find out.

So, that's it. If anyone is interested, please do PM/reply me, I would really appreciate it. Thanks for reading and for your time. I hope it was worth it.



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W/T Love 24/7 since July 2000
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