If you're lost on the characters, just ask. Technically, it's possible to figure it out, based on the hints in the text—and no, they aren't canon 'ships—, but nobody's figured them out yet without help, so apparently it's a tad bit harder than I thought it'd be.

#insert 'stddisclaimer.h'


-o0o-


e chiove

by Incendiarist


-o0o-


The rain fell in torrents, the clouds so thick that, even at midday, the town was fully dark. This was not an odd occurrence.


-o0o-


The group gathered under the pavilion was small, illuminated by kerosene lanterns which were not particularly good at their job, but tradition was tradition. A small girl in a flowing dress, black like everyone else's clothes, sang a song of mourning which might have contained words at some point, but was currently more of a sob, less any fault of her own and more the song's own for being in a language that she didn't speak.


-o0o-


The door opened, the lowest of the hinges creaking, and the figure stepped inside, dry, despite not having an umbrella. Not entirely existing had its perks, and this was a town in which they could be used to their full extent, and it didn't seem the inhabitants had ever even heard of cold iron.


-o0o-


He saw her in his dreams, the strange girl forming from the shadows. She was beautiful, almost inhumanly so, long black hair braided down her back, electric blue eyes bright as the stars. She was saying something, but he couldn't hear her, couldn't move closer, and she smiled sadly at him and disappeared. The same every night for almost a month now.


-o0o-


N'capo 'e criature.


-o0o-


She didn't talk when she didn't have to, and when she did, she never raised her voice above a whisper. She'd been at the same school eleven years, and none of her peers knew her name. She didn't mind, preferring the company of books in any case, because if she was going to have to deal with the land of the dreaming, she was damn well going to deal with it behind a wall of text. It was lost on her, how they worked, and she'd tried before, even, to figure them out, and it'd taken her all of a week to decide that there was nothing shameful in giving up.


-o0o-


He could hear her now, the sibilant accent of a voice that was unused to human words; he knew what she was, knew what she wanted, wanted what she wanted. And a little kitten on his doorstep, black with a white marking on its chest and electric blue eyes, it spoke to him in her voice during the witching hour, told him tales of her world.


-o0o-


The figure lifted the child, quietly, quietly, out of the cradle, and smiled when it didn't wake.


-o0o-


Little girl, girl-in-the-dress, I have to have you, I have to; pretty little girl, do you taste as good as you look? I need you, little girl, to get out of this dream world and back to Tír na mBeo, back to the land of the living. Don't be afraid, little girl, child-of-tears, you need not fear me, I won't hurt you. It's alright, little girl; you'll love it in Tech Duinn, you will, little girl, beautiful one. Sleep now, little girl, fair-doll-in-white, and sleep well. That which is not real cannot hurt you.


-o0o-


Addò 'o cielo che è cielo nun se fa mai scuro.


-o0o-


The kitten, it promised him that it would find a way to bring it out of the land of the dreaming, and he trusted it, trusted it with his life.


-o0o-


A fetch in the cradle, it'll get ill and it'll die and it'll be buried, and no one will see it for what it really is.


-o0o-


Her eyes lit up when he came by in the night, they always did, but tonight's different, they have a baby, and they can drop the glamours now, they'll leave in the night and none will see them and her claws dig deep into skin they'll never be able to puncture, they've been too long in this dream-world, had forgotten how it felt to be themselves.


-o0o-


Their town is dying, their little world is crumbling around them, it always happens like that when the people of peace come, those which take everything and leave nothing, nothing except the bodies, but they'll make it through and rebuild their lives and their families and they'll take precautions this time, and the good folk will stay away for awhile, until the stories have faded into superstition and legend, and then they'll come and the cycle will begin again.


-o0o-


E intanto 'o core aspetta.


-o0o-


A cat with eyes like stars, arching its back under a chocolate-brown hand, it's gloating, I did it! it says, I did it! and he's smiling at it and Get a knife, it says, and he does and they leave the land of the dreaming together.


-o0o-


Little girl, fair-doll-in-white, she's gone now, she's moved on to Tech Duinn, but don't mourn her, she did her job well, I'm in Tír na mBeo now, I'm in my own world again, and without that extra eye I had in yours, thank all unseelie things, so you shouldn't mourn her, mourning is for those who failed.


-o0o-


Feather on the floor of her room, when their teacher said she was missing no one knew who he was talking about, and she had a child now and she was happy in the court, would never go back to the land of the dreaming again, why would she want to? they were happy together, happy with their child, they were in want of nothing and likely never would be.


-o0o-


There was a welcome mat on the doorstep, it's why they lost their son, and they wouldn't make the same mistake twice.


-o0o-


Ca s'arapene 'e funtane.


-o0o-


Little town on the brink of death, little lives in ruins, and they'll build themselves back up, and they'll be careful and they'll keep the fair folk away, but soon enough the memories will fade and they'll get sloppy again, it's just a legend, just superstition, and the people of peace will come again, a vicious cycle; no one wins but them, those who take everything and leave nothing.


-o0o-


FIN