A Stroll in the ParkStarted by Beatrix Steros at Nov 25, 2019 7:40 pm
Dophn 17, 1201 AB
Stars twinkled in the night sky as a small woman, wrapped in a dark blue cloak, traced a quiet path through the upper class park. Benches lay strewn throughout, and her gaze moved betweene each of them as stones crunched underfoot. The trees were not overly thick, same with the bushes--which were all well manicured. It was, after all, one of the favorite loitering areas of nobility within the city of Aberheil. It was also peaceful and quiet after dark. A welcome relief to the din she'd encountered within the Gilded Harp.
It was as usual for Beatrix this evening: several alcoholic drinks slid down her throught as effortlessly as water, and a flask had been refilled when she left the Harp to go on her walk. She'd not yet surfaced at home, not yet sure if she was ready to encounter Malcolm or his ex-wife. The latter was the more dreaded outcome, but the former made her heart skip with envy. She was wound so tightly over the whole ordeal that she dealt with it the only way she knew how: wetting her whistle.
Eventually, she found a somewhat secluded bench upon which to seat herself, and she leaned back, chin tilting upward so that her eyes could settle on the skies. The stars swam in a dark ocean overhead, and the light cast by the lanterns throughout the city were hardly enough to pollute that dazzling blanket. Exhaling sotly, she placed the heels of boots against the ground, wiggling her toes in them.
"I can't keep doing this," she slurred beneath her breath as she dipped a gloved hand under cloak to withdraw a flask from the pocket sewn into its side. Twisting it open, she brought it to her mouth and tilted it back, savoring the vodka's crisp, astringent flavor. Her eyes closed briefly, a sigh heaving itself from her chest with a rise and fall of her breast. When they reopened, the swirl in the sky made her nauseous and bile rose in her throat.
She washed it down with more alcohol.
The voice might be familiar to Beatrix, if she is sober enough to recall her previous encounter with a certain purple-haired woman. Elariel leans behind the bench, her arms folded casually over her stomach. Short, loose, lilac strands blow about her face, tossed by the chilly wind of impending winter. She is dressed similarly to last time as well--tunic, pants, voluminous cloak, and there is that sort of....darkness around her. It wraps her like a blanket, not quite touching the hybrid but certainly not out of reach.
Beatrix's brow furrowed and her head turned to focus on the lilac haired woman. She didn't remember her. And if she did at all, it was so faint perhaps because the meeting had been brief. Even the woman's voice wasn't recognized. Her vision swam and her eyes closed as a gassy, alcohol laden burp left her pale lips.
Another wave of nausea followed, and she washed it down with the remainder of the flask. Two gulps, that's all it held for her this evening. She upended it and shook it, tilting her head back and tongue seeking the burning drop of liquor. When it proved futile, she capped it and returned it to her pocket.
"You make it sound... easy," she said quietly.
Elariel leans back against the sturdy trunk of the tree. Her posture is relaxed, eternally comfortable--or comfortable appearing. One corner of her naturally full mouth curves up with amusement. What about Beatrix's drunken misfortune brings that smile is unclear, but she pushes away from the tree to stand beside her.
"For some people, it is. Some people spend their whole lives changing. It could be for you too. You never know until you try. Is this what you want your life to be, vomiting up your supper in the park like a vagabond? No judgment here if it is, but you could pick a less...disgusting hobby. Just keep it off my shoes, please."
The cloaked woman twitched slightly, lips pressing into a thin line. She wanted to mock the hybrid woman, make a face much like a child would. And yet, she did not. She had at least that much self-control. She exhaled, breath reeking.
"What else could my life possibly be?" she said after a moment, stifling another alcohol laden uprise of bile. "I can't even face my husband, so I've been staying at Inns in the Bottoms. Horrid, horrid places, those are." Her tongue darted outward, moistening her lips.
Her head turned, verdant eyes raising to peer at Elariel. "You've some funny looking hair," she slurred. She sniffled. "Maybe you shouldn't stand so close. I can't make promises I won't--"
Beatrix began gagging and leaned over the side of the bench and hurled.
The vomit splashed down with the horrid scent of booze and bile, turning Elariel's stomach all on its own as it splattered across the ground around her feet. Some of the green-brown goop splashed against the toes of her soft leather boots.
Elariel sighed. It was a patient sigh, like a mother might give to a misbehaving toddler. The look in those aquamarine eyes was impossible to read.
"What do you want you life to be?" she wheedled, fishing around in her cloak for a bottle of water and offering it to Beatrix. "And why not? Here, sit. You'll feel better." The shadows dipped and fluctuated around the hybrid, but she didn't seem to mind.
Beatrix knew precisely the sort of sounds Elariel was making; after all, she had three children of her own. But in her state of inebriation, her mind couldn't make those connections.
What did she want life to be? What was it even now? A soft sigh parted her lips and her head tilted downward. She needed to go home, to her husband and children. But what if she found them all one happy family again? Without her?
When Elariel brought out the bottle of water and offered it, Beatrix reached forward to take it within her hand. She pulled it open and tilted it into her mouth, swallowing a mouthful of the fluid. It tasted faintly of vomit and booze: the inside of her mouth was an absolutely awful palate.
"I want to be happy again," she said finally.
"So be happy," replied Elariel. She rubbed her vomit-splattered shoe against the wet grass she was standing on, as if that might get rid of the ick. "Happiness is a choice. You can let yourself be bogged down by your problems, or don't. Things could always be worse." A slight, amused smile hovered about her mouth.
"You could always be vampire food."
Beatrix made a rather unpleasant face at the idea of becoming vampire food--the last thing she wanted wrapping their arms around her was a corpse. She downed the rest of the bottle of water, the liquid making her feel drunker, yet hydrating her insides. Water kept the hangovers at bay, most of the time.
"I want my husband," she said after a moment. "And my children, if they'll have me."
Her gaze turned to regard the strange woman again. "I'd rather not let things get any worse than they already are."
The shadows swirl and writhe behind Elariel, almost seeming to reach out and wrap themselves around her. The hybrid gives up on trying to wipe the puke from her clothing and leans back a little, into the tree she was against previously. The darkness drapes her like a cloak, and something flickers in those aquamarine eyes. Something different, unreadable. Maybe a breath of true emotion in an easygoing demeanor that is, at least in part, a facade.
"Then stop staggering around drunk feeling sorry for yourself and go home. Your children' aren't going to wait for you forever."