(how meenah lost her weird acquaintances, status, and gold.)
"You're an heiress, not a queen."
So begins a story you hate telling, the creatures on this land are more forgiving than most, and that's only because they're all fuckin' dead. Corpses and rotting skeletons litter the landscape, the sky is soaked in blood, and the magenta earth below you shakes and trembles with your every step. Your calloused fingers stroke the blunt edge of a skull, the top of its cranium is shattered and ragged, but the piece of bone has become your friend. You talk to it sometimes, tell it stories and old lies.
Not today, though. Today, you will tell it the truth. The cracked head stares at you, empty eye sockets open up to oblivion. You stare right back, your milky white orbs see beyond the abyss.
You start talking.
"I was a queen once, or at least, gonna be one. Total buoyshit, royal bloodlines and etiquette."
The skull cringes at the pun. You grimace, and place your companion on your lap to free up your hand, fingers push fuchsia glasses back on the bridge of your crooked nose.
"That was a stretch, I'm gonna admit."
The usual silence answers your statement.
"Anywave, heiress to the throne of motherglubbin' Beforus. Crazy place, lemme tell you. Boring as hell, nofin fun to do, ship was lame. The beach before me, the empress of Beforus, she was the worst kind of troll. All smiles, and culling, god. Didn't know what the people wanted, she was so out of it."
"What, you want me to tell ya more? Well, fuck you too. I don't wanna." You purse your lips, and hunch over yourself, knees to your chest, chin resting on top of bony knee caps. Black braids fall forward, and for once you let yourself sigh.
You're tired, really, but you wouldn't tell that to a soul.
You're not lonely, you mumble, drawing circle with your index finger on the rock you're sitting on, it glows and hums with energy unknown. You wish you could tap in all of your emotions into this dumb rock, get rid of the baggage and move on.
But you know you can't.
"The queen told me I was an heiress, she kept me in my place. Taught me all the things a royal should know, how to cull and how to coddle and how to suffocate."
"Oh fuck, I'm sounfin' like Serket."
"Long hair suits you."
You don't know when, or why, you started rambling to the skull you broke upon first arrival to the pink moon. But you keep doing it, it's become second nature. After chopping up your black hair for the third time since your first day here, the strands fall to the ground in uneven chunks, you reminisce on your first haircut. The skull laughs at you, it thinks you look stupid.
You remind it that it is one bad day away from being dust under your feet.
It shuts up.
"I like my glubbin' hair, thanks for your not asked for input. It was the only thing I could control, way back when."
The creak of wind against rocks stirs a memory, you're almost confused by the words that come out of your mouth. You are shaking, your hands are having spasms, clutching at air, demanding that your favorite gold trident appear out of thin air, into your hands, hands hands hands-
There were hands once, they stroked your hair, roots to ends, they would pick at your scalp, fingers would twirl pieces into braids, then undo their handiwork and start again, there were hands that held your neck, fingers tightening against thin veins, dancing across a surface of dead skin cells and pink scabs. You close your eyes, try to remember why the memory is painful.
There was a voice, and the gooseflesh subsides, you have no reason to feel scared. You remember. There was an asshole, once. How was he, anyway? Probably still trying to bang someone, you almost feel bad for him. He loved your hair, mostly because he hated the fact you had so much of it, he envied its simplicity. Cronus Ampora envied many things, but you most of all.
"Long hair suits you," he told you. The compliment was simple, it was forward, and you laughed, barked out an insult, and the next day, woke up with a sheared head, long hair gone and replaced by a short monstrosity. The only thing that survived the impromptu swiss army blade were two braids, thinner than your middle finger, longer than your wiry frame. When he saw you, the stupid broken piece of fakey fakey magic bullshit wand he carried around in his mouth fell and finished breaking on the ground. You gave him a razor sharp grin, and commented on how much easier it was fighting bitches with the new style.
He stopped visiting for months, and you bid him adieu.
Your dead troll companion is unamused by your charming anecdote.
"Dust, you piece of ungrateful shit."
"Self defense only."
Your trident becomes a better companion when you make good on your threat. The skull you rambled to was thrown off a nearby cliff, you almost felt bad when you heard the cracking thud of its downfall. The pieces of bone are bright against the gaudy pink dirt, and you're suddenly all kinds of sick of the color. It's the color of blood, it's the color of the roses in your palace's bedroom nightstand, it's the color of whispered promises of a better tomorrow, and you absolutely despise it.
One side of the two pronged weapon lands next to feet, you are furious. You can't do anything here, there is no one to fight, you are bored out of your goddamn mind, you couldn't even pull the limbs off of an unfortunate lowblood here. You are alone, you are armed, and you are so, so bored.
Maybe you should've kept the ivory skull, kept the poor head near and close, at least he listened to you without judgement, save for the time that made you push him off the cliff.
You keep stealing glances at the trident, pointy and sharp and glittery.
God, the afterlife sucks.
You set yourself next to the weapon of mass destruction and groan in frustration. You've deal with this bullshit for the last two sweeps, why deal with another one? Why don't you just fuckin' pick yourself up, shake the dust off your lazy ass, whip up a fancier, nicer outfit from the wardrobe in your memories, and go find your friends, palhonchos, all those weird losers you hung out with as a wriggler?
Oh, that's right.
They all hate you, every single one of them.
Maybe except Serket. That was a definite maybe, but she might hate you the most, considering all the shit that happened between you two, whoopsie.
You close your eyes and try to think of happier times.
But, there were times when you felt like you could be happy, if you tried hard enough, like when you learned how to fight. Your lips inch into a grin, oh yeeeeah, that was a good day. The 2x3 trident you carted around was a gift from your favorite member of the Queen's court, a violet blood with a taste for blood. He was your guardian's right hand man, and the Beforan commander of Her Royal Army. Sadly, said army was never in use, and had a tendency to pick fights with each other, instead of enemies. He was a skilled gunman, his rifle could pick off rogues in seconds, he was wicked, and cruel, which made him a perfect mentor.
The Queen hated the idea of you fighting, but he was just so convincing, gave her the most darling "self defense" excuse with ringed fingers crossed in the folds of his dark purple cape.
After lessons with the Commander, you would have tea and scones with the Queen, and she was always gentle and polite, hoping that her good-natured charm and biological predisposition for etiquette would rub off on you. You were never well behaved during these excursions, your dress would be up to your knees and underneath the tattered petticoats would be a pair of black jeans, ready to be used the moment the clock struck five thirty and you were dismissed. She would chastise you in areas that were not of you concern, personal upkeep, the state of your hands, your hair's lack of shine and luster, the disgusting music you listened to during violin practice, blah blah blah.
You would let her talk, and would watch the way her hands flitted from glass to vial to flute to chalice, fingers wiped the rim of each container, taking away with it the stain of fuchsia lips. Her wrists were adorned with gold brighter than the piercings on your brow, your ears, each little precious stone on her necklaces caught light and refracted prisms. Her hair was a monster, aquatic flowers and pearls and circlets drowned in the raven hued strands, she was shiny and bright and an illusion, the perfect front for the perfect dystopia.
That was the day you decided you hated her, you flipped your saucer over, spit out insults and words that would've made an admiral's toes curl, you were screaming obscenities, thrashing about in your hi-low, court approved, velveteen and satin disaster.
Her face was of cool indifference, magenta-ringed gaze tired behind oversized spectacles. She placed a book, you can't remember the name of it anymore, on the table, and watched your four sweep self storm out of the drawing room, leaving behind a wake of destroyed furniture and timeless keepsakes. The shards littered the shag carpets and wood panel floors, tatters of your dress decorated the lowly scene.
"Really, Meenah? Manners, please." The older troll sipped from her cup, and turned to the head servant, ordering for back up. She waited for her team of personal helpers to clean up the mess you made. She made no effort to summon you for a lecture, no enthusiastic speech about what you did wrong, there was nothing from the Beforan Queen.
You think she gave up, because...
Well, because there simply were no more tea parties after that.
"Love is for children."
After the debacle of the year, the Beforan press was lit with shitstorm after shitstorm concerning your capabilities and abilities regarding ruling, you left the palace, you weren't given a single moment of peace or tranquility there, and it's not like you liked it to begin with but it was nice pretending you were a force of calm in the usually raving underwater kingdom.
You weren't that great, actually, but that's another story. Your runaway antics led you to the doorstep of your best frond's hive, a cerulean blood by the name of Aranea Serket. She took you in with open arms, and pulled out an recuperacoon out of god knows where, and immediately fretted over your appearance, despite several interjections in her long winded speech asking her to do otherwise. You weren't too beat up, you muttered, while she tended to your battle scabs and war wounds, the blade of a rather testy violet blood nicked you here and there, but Aranea wouldn't let you leave her sight without a good check up, and a run through of injuries you had.
According to your nurse, you lost enough blood to get you into critical condition. It took a kiss or two to get her not to take you anywhere, and keep you inside the safety of her sprawling estate.
Her fingers would delicately assess every situation, they would touch and probe and press against broken skin, draw circles in your hollow cheeks, her fingers were thin and spidery, too long for her too petite palm, she was frail and fragile and tiny and you were, well, you were you. Aranea was a doll in her blue dress, with spiderweb tights and ruby red slippers. She was a doll with broken smiles and pretty eyes, and her lips were angelic, her lips were soft and blue and bruised after your teeth nipped and bit the too pretty flesh.
You were in love with her for a long time, you thought back then. She took you in when no one else did, you had honest conversations with her, you did everything with her.
It was beautiful, a twisted and horrible kind of beautiful that allows complacency to settle and discontent and discomfort and every other dis word one can find in Beforan print, because before you knew it, you left. You left with a promise to come back, a promise you weren't sure you were going to keep.
You kept it eventually, but the damage was done regardless of your more than altruistic intentions.
"You kind of hate everyone."
In between the palace and Aranea's living room floor, there was a boy. There was nothing romantic about your relationship with him, there was only a need for gold, and a need for danger. You wanted a thrill, so you dived head first into the shitville of Beforan society, you bummed with maroonbloods and brownbloods, and a specific mustardblood with a nasty, wicked mouth and an incredible intellect, you thought you would fall in love with him at first sight. He was attractive, sharp angles, sharp bone structure, sharp sharp sharp, and you loved sharp things.
But he didn't like you, not at all. Mituna Captor liked several things, loved some things, but he loathed you. He loathed everything about you, your teeth, your lips, your eyes, your piercings, your hair.
You told him he was the runner up for Miss Shellfish Beach, a coastal Beforan beauty competition, in which jadebloods picked and primped those of a lower caste to their warped definition of perfection.
He snapped at you, destroying the 's's in his path, saying you were the first place winner, and god forbid he take your crown.
You liked him for that. He was messed up, brilliant, and very shiny. You tried whipping up a blackrom between you two, but he was unreceptive at best.
(You guys had a fight, and neither of you were very much okay after that. So he left.
"Oh, she's new here."
After Aranea, and long after Mituna, you met the troll that would be your downfall.
Not romantically, no, fuck that. You met the nastiest bitch to grace the western hemisphere.
You stop talking in the past tense to look out at your only friend, your golden trident. That wicked piece of metal would be responsible for the demise of many. You wince involuntarily at the memory, and decide maybe it's better to gloss this entry over in the long and boring tome of How Meenah Lost All Her Weird Acquaintances, Status, and Gold, because you hate telling this part of the story. This part is where you mess everything up, and it was quite the stretch to pin the blame on anyone else.
"You should really keep talking," your trident urges.
"Shut the shell up," you retort back, clenching your fists, black nails dig into gray palm, you hope you draw blood.
"That was a lame pun, you should try that again."
"Oh, fuck you, you ingrateful piece of shit."
"Ungrateful, Meenah. Grammar."
"You're pullin' a Serket on me, bloody hell."
So, you talk about it anyway.
"I got myself acquainted with a gal by the name of Damara Megido. Beach was a real piece of work."
"This is your future."
After the wicked witch of the east incident, the Queen sent for you. She heard about your shenanigans with half of the planet, and decided it was best for you to come home.
You didn't argue.
You were tired of running.
"There's a moon. A haven."
Aranea would visit you at the palace, your guardian was fond of her. Serket would read you books, teach you how to cook, how to fend for yourself in a "Safe Way" and other boring, nonessential things. She would rattle on about history, talk and talk in her soft soprano, and you would find yourself, for once, interested in her lectures.
She talked about a moon, a pink moon up in the heavens. Impossible to reach by conventional means, she warned, but if one had enough magic, or enough luck, they would be able to reach it. It held riches of unimaginable amounts, it was truly a haven.
Serket had a pretty smile when she said that, you remember.
But you remember what you thought about her darlin' lecture.
You liked the sound of a haven.
You liked it a lot.
"Don't leave me."
The short haired troll, the girl in the blue dress and the girl with the pretty lilt, oh she didn't like your plan at all. She tried to stop you, tried to bribe you with money, she had enough of that to go around, she yelled, she pleaded.
She begged, took your hand in hers, and begged.
Aranea Serket did not beg you to stay.
She begged you to take her with you.
"It's a game."
You told her no, you told her no, you told her no no no. You didn't need friends where you were going, you didn't need a matesprit where you were going, you were going to kiss the goddamn stars, you were going to be the stars at this point. You were going to be the universe and beyond that, you were going to be everything and anything you wanted and didn't want to be.
She said to wait, to wait at least a week. You told her why, you asked her, grabbed her by the shoulders and shook her up, why should you wait, you screamed. You've been waiting for years, you've been waiting since the day you were born, you hated this goddamn role, and you wanted to leave.
Her gaze softened, and her lips parted.
"There's a game," she said. "A game that can do that, and so, so much more."
You were shaking in your black jeans and black shirt and black heart, and she was giving you an option. An option in which you don't have to runaway.
She stared at you, stared at you for centuries, underneath the Beforan moon, her arms at her sides, her head tilted, she was taunting you, testing you.
You considered her option.
"Where did you go?"
The game was the worst thing that could ever happen to you, your dumb friends, yeah, friends, your money, and everything else in between. No one liked Aranea enough to trust her, Kankri Vantas the Insufferable decided he didn't want to lead, and Latula "so fuck1n r4d!" Pyrope was stupider than a bunch of hoofbeats on sopor slime. Your, yes, your, ragtag team of misfits were so unprepared for the horrors of Sgrub, but you led a valiant effort toward victory.
Effort was the keyword in your quest, all of you knew it was a doomed session to begin with. You knew that the most. Aranea consulted her denizen about the Scratch, and everyone seemed content with the idea of dying, and never coming back.
You were not okay with this.
You came to the game to find purpose, to find riches unfathomable, to maybe find some sort of stability with your peers, you did not come to die.
So, you did what do you did best.
You fucked everything up.
You'll never forget the look on Aranea's face after the Tumor exploded.
Furious, outrage, incredulous, and then:
"Don't be so down on yourself, spiderbitch," you told her after the party's ghosts dispersed in the outer circle, long after you made residence on the pink moon of fable and fantasy.
She shook her head at you, and then sighed, before turning away. You saw her walk away, each step took her farther away from you, your mess, and your history.
"Why did you do it?"
The cryptic message would resonate for sweeps.
It wasn't until now, until you realize you are holding a trident stained with the blood of many, in your hands, it's not until you understand what you have done.
It's not until you understand, and realize, you do not care about the consequences that followed after your betrayal.
You committed sin because you cared.
Your name is Meenah Peixes.
The universe is at your fingertips, you can taste gold and rubies on your lips, the air is sweet with something beautiful, and it's been eons since you've seen something beautiful. Branches of a cyan tree poke at the entrance of your humble, dream induced, palace, magenta leaves find themselves in places they shouldn't be, crunching and crackling underneath your feet.
You have no possessions to bring with you, but where you're going, you're not going to need them. Where you're going, there are riches beyond imagination, there are promises of war and bloodshed, and oh, the mere thought shoots tingles up your spine.
The branches coil closer, and you embrace their existence, walk toward them with open arms, armed with your most dangerous weapon. You walk for seconds, maybe minutes before you can see the world stretched out before you, each twinkling star another lost soul, each cloudy galaxy a piece of celestial cotton candy. You are grinning, you are laughing, running, running and running.
Your name is Meenah Peixes, and you're done with waiting.
note: written for tumblr's 2012 ladystuck u w u