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03 November 2013 @ 04:55 pm
Original Fiction: "Who Once Was Rose"  
Title: Who Once Was Rose
Original Fiction
Author: HalfshellVenus
Rating: G
Summary: The truth was that I knew dangerous things.
Author's Notes: My LJ Idol Community Chest story for lilycobalt, who has been amazingly patient. I tried to get as many of your prompts in as possible, and hope the tone of this was the kind of thing you were looking for.


You would have called me Rose, had I remained in the village we both once knew. We would have found happiness—a future—amidst those dirt-and-pebble streets. A life begun in those long-ago fields where we chased wild rabbits would have carried forward through the years until we were grown enough to marry.

But that was not what happened. Our Fate shifted before ten summers had passed, because no matter what we might have hoped for ourselves, the unbending truth was that I knew dangerous things.

My childhood ended the day they took me away from you.

Did you know I could see other worlds, Galliard, hear other histories only slightly different (or sometimes vastly) from the one we held to be true? Sometimes I knew just where those rabbits would run, or I saw the frigid waters claim you (Oh, that day, that terrible day. I still dream you didn't listen when I said to stay inside that winter morning). At that big stone house on the barren plain, they taught me to watch and listen to the different threads of possibility and to pull the truth closer to the one they chose to keep.

I have turned tides, Galliard, of both time and water. I have kept the fire from the forest so many times that I wonder if we truly change the path of Fate or simply postpone it. What it wants will always eventually come to pass.

It was lonely, there on the plain. I missed my family and my friends, you most of all. I thought of the places we used to go—the sentinel stones near the river, the village stables, the hidden hollows in long-dead trees. I tried to escape, but the guardians always caught me. I found no future in which I ever successfully got free.

When I first saw your daughter, I hoped that she was ours. Her image came to me long before I knew you had a wife. Does your daughter dance as I once did, Gaillard, or sing the geese back to the garden as you did when you were a boy? Or is she more like your wife, a woman who joined the village long after I left and who remains as much a mystery to me as the minds of the people in the kingdoms beyond the sea.

I hope you received the letters I sent, whenever the cook was able to carry them onward. I could never offer you much in the way of amusements or news, but simply assurances that I thought of you and everyone else I Ieft behind. It was only recently that I gave up hope of ever returning home again.

Yesterday was when everything changed: the guardians asked me to unmake the past. They had dreams of some better future, but I could not persuade them of the danger. In changing the past, might we not also unmake ourselves?

I refused, not only out of reason. Unmaking the past would mean losing all my memories of you, of our childhood, of the better life that is all I have left to cling to.

The guardians threatened to kill me, and I believe they may, but I will not change my answer.

Please try to remember: I loved you once. I love you still.

If my Fate waits to claim me, I will still know that you survive.

I will die with your name on my lips.

----- fin -----

With grace in your heart and flowers in your hairlilycobalt on November 4th, 2013 12:25 pm (UTC)
I was so excited to see the message from you that this story was ready! I think that it's lovely. I can see from the style of the narration that Rose changed almost beyond recognition from that child, but that the little child is still there, still loving, despite everything that's happened to her and all the fates and futures she has seen. The final lines about that love surviving almost bring me to tears.

Thank you for writing for me.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on November 4th, 2013 09:51 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you liked it!

The unspoken parts of your Shakespeare quote kicked off the beginning of the story, and most of the rest so easily formed the larger idea of a lost love and what could-have-been (and still was, for one half of the pair).

All the things Rose wants are so simple, and none of them unreasonable. But the "gift" she didn't ask for and probably never wanted has complicated everything so that her life is no longer her own.

Her love and longing for Gaillard, and the memories of how it all started, are the only parts of herself she has left. But to have a love define you? There are so many worse things for any of us, hard as the actual outcome may be.

Thank you for offering such an interesting range of prompts-- they produced their own story, something more innate to them than anything I would have come up with on my own!
cindytsuki_no_bara on November 5th, 2013 03:21 am (UTC)
i really, really like this. i like the language and the way rose remembers galliard and how her memories of him are so important that she'd rather be killed than lose them. she comes across as a little bit defeated, but also kind of fierce.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on November 6th, 2013 07:25 am (UTC)
I feel for her, having had so much taken from her and with so little choice in all of it. But you can feel that in hanging onto all of that so strongly, she will not give up her love, her memories, or the safety of other people simply to take the 'easy' path. Stolen, used, but in the end still no one's puppet. In the end, that stubbornness might save them all.