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Birds of a Feather



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Wed Apr 22, 2020 3:04 pm
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mydwindlingsanity says...



Resa’s eyes became dazed and distant for a moment before she replied, “It’s too late now...” her mind shot back as she continued, “I’m already talking with you, that is.” She tried to smile as she thought about his previous remark, “and I can take the cup from you. Would you like me to put out the fire?” Although her words seemed more cheery, Resa’s countenance seemed more downcast than before.




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Wed Apr 22, 2020 3:10 pm
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soundofmind says...



James could tell that there was more she wasn’t saying, but he wasn’t going to press it. It was none if his business, and she’s already gone out of her way to help him. She should be allowed to be vague without consequence.

Of course, he never counted on anyone else showing him the same courtesy. He always had to carefully craft his sentences and use guarded speech.

“...I’m not sure,” James admitted quietly. “If my fever breaks, I may get cold again. Leave it, for now.”
Pants are an illusion. And so is death.





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Wed Apr 22, 2020 3:27 pm
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mydwindlingsanity says...



“Oh, ok,” Resa paused considering what to do next. She felt the weight of Spruce leave her shoulder as he glided down towards the man. “Oh! Spruce, no! I’m sorry, he usually doesn’t approach people like that,” she directed her words towards the man instead of Spruce. Instead, she began a silent conversation with Spruce composed of harsh glances and aggressive hand motion. He turned from her and approached the man closer.




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Wed Apr 22, 2020 3:34 pm
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soundofmind says...



James’s eyes followed the little creature as it glided down towards him. It was like it’d never seen a human before, with the way it looked at him.

Slowly, the little creature slinked forward before it pounced on his shoulder. He didn’t feel like moving, and he didn’t want to startle it (or the harpy) so he stayed still, letting it run across his chest and up to his chin, sniffing him, presumably.

He let out a faint, weak huff of a laugh through his nose.

“He seems curious,” he said, squinting when he felt Spruce’s nose tickle his chin. “What is he, exactly?”
Pants are an illusion. And so is death.





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Wed Apr 22, 2020 3:39 pm
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mydwindlingsanity says...



“He’s a sugar glider,” she explained as she smiled apologetically, “I found him alone as a baby, and we’ve been together ever since.” Resa and Spruce’s eyes met, and she gave his a disapproving look. He seemed to nod as he skittered off the the man back towards her feet. “So... what should I call you, human person?” Resa cringed at her own wording and kept her mouth shut.




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Wed Apr 22, 2020 3:47 pm
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soundofmind says...



Whatever hint of amusement at Spruce’s curiosity that was in James’s eyes faded. A name. A name. He’d always dreaded this part of any interaction, especially when he was in-between things.

Normally, he’d come up with a random name on the spot and be mindful to respond to it like it was his own, but he could barely manage to sit up and drink tea, never mind think about subtle acting because of his nagging paranoia.

“Ah...” he breathed, his eyes glazing over as he looked up at the night sky.

He didn’t want to be called Liam. Liam was a failed experiment. A memory and a person he wished he could forget, just like all the others.

“You can call me...” he paused again, his mind fighting over the answer.

She was a harpy, not a human. What business did she have in human affairs? Why would she care if he was wanted? If she didn’t want to risk associating herself with a human (who could’ve been anyone) she wouldn’t have flown down in the first place.

“James,” he finally said. “You?”
Pants are an illusion. And so is death.





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Wed Apr 22, 2020 4:34 pm
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mydwindlingsanity says...



Resa looked confused at his long pause. Wow, he must be really out of it if he struggles to remember his own name. Or maybe he doesn’t trust you, since you’re kinda supposed to hate him. Can’t really blame him. Do I want to give my name? It’s not like he would recognize it or something.

When he finally answered, she let out a breath quietly, unaware that she held it in during that time.

“Resa... Mae. Although my friends just call me Resa,” she stuttered realizing the irony of that statement. Her face expressed uncertainty as she refrained from explaining her sad thought process at the moment, so she instead said, “It means spring rose in my native tongue. What does your name mean?”




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Thu Apr 23, 2020 1:54 am
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soundofmind says...



Resa Mae. The first harpy he'd ever met, and probably would ever meet.

He hummed to himself in the back of his throat as he looked up at her. He didn't know a lot about harpies and their culture, but if he didn't know any better he'd say Resa was alone. Why else would she come to see him - a human? She mentioned friends, but she seemed uncertain. He considered he could be overthinking it, but it would make sense.

At the very least, her being alone didn't seem to cause a threat to either of them. She didn't seem insincere. And she was kind.

But he wasn't prepared for her question. What did his name mean? It had been ages since he'd thought about it, but he knew what it meant. His mother had told him once or twice. The thought of her brought fuzzy, distant memories of her to the surface, but he promptly pushed them back down.

"It means supplanter. To trip up or overthrow. My parents just liked the name."
Pants are an illusion. And so is death.





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Thu Apr 23, 2020 5:16 am
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mydwindlingsanity says...



“Hm, interesting. When you first said supplanted I thought that might be some variant of gardening!” Resa laughed shortly as she looked at the ground in thought. She hesitantly lowered herself into a sitting position. Her legs crossed as she pondered. “Do all humans have such... uniquely defined names?”




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Thu Apr 23, 2020 5:28 am
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soundofmind says...



James watched her back up from his head and the pillow she'd gifted him, taking a step or two back before she sat down. With his head propped up with the pillow, he could actually look at her without much difficulty and still stay relaxed.

He tried not to stare in the way people did when they saw something or someone entirely foreign, but he found that his eyes kept drifting to the feathered wings sprouting from her back and the feathers over her eyes.

"I suppose so," he answered. "Are harpies not the same?"
Pants are an illusion. And so is death.





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Thu Apr 23, 2020 5:45 am
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mydwindlingsanity says...



She drew her mouth to the side as she thought for a moment. “I guess so, in their own way. I wouldn’t know how similar our cultures are really. Every time they were mentioned in books they were framed as the villains. Except some ancient history books about the times before the calamity. I’ve always been... apprehensive about what you all are really like, but...” her eyes fell to her fidgeting thumbs as she paused, “I just haven’t seen many signs of the books being wrong.”

Resa directed her gaze back to James, and a flash of realization appeared of her face. “Up until now, I guess. I mean, you haven’t tried to kill me yet. You haven’t even insulted me. To be fair, you are at a disadvantage because you wouldn’t know if I would hurt you if you were rude. And you don’t look in the best shape to be fighting anyone at the moment. And I always could fly away anyways...,” Resa blushed as she realized her habits formed in isolation were seeping out of her, “... and I’m just thinking out loud for no apparent reason.”

Resa sat with her mouth open in awkward confusion, her eyes looking inwardly rather than outwardly. She stuttered, “I-I-I’m sorry I’m probably boring you and you want to sleep! And I don’t even know what I’m doing here,” her voices drifted off as her sentence began to end and she covered her face in her hand.




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Thu Apr 23, 2020 6:04 am
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soundofmind says...



James watched Resa as she started to process out loud. He wondered what her other run-ins with humans had been like. It didn't sound like they ended well. His heart twinged a little in his chest. Sadness. Empathy. Something like that.

"It's okay," he said. A dry cough crept up with a tickle in the back of his throat before he could say much more, and he turned to the side quickly, trying to send the cough in a different direction, into his elbow. His body shook and his chest ached before he flopped back down onto the pillow. With a wheezing sigh, he sunk back into the leaves before saying more.

"I'm well acquainted with boring, and you are not it," he continued, his voice growing hoarse again.

"But I understand your apprehension. I'm not in shape to be doing very much, but even if I was healthy, I wouldn't hurt you. I have issue with my own kind, but I have no issue with you yourself or your people. And even if I did, you've given me no reason to. You've only shown me kindness. But I know that probably doesn't mean much until it's proven, and even so, building bridges of trust across the cultural and historical boundaries between people like us takes more than a cup of tea to secure."

He paused, taking in a deep breath.

"...When I'm a little further from death's door, I will gladly return the favor. Not necessarily with tea, because I don't know how to make it, but if there's anything you were to need help with, I would."
Pants are an illusion. And so is death.





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Thu Apr 23, 2020 6:30 am
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mydwindlingsanity says...



“...You would help me?” Resa’s voice drew closer to a whisper as she looked up at James in wonder and conflicting emotions. But I’m not worth it. Her eyes glistened with moisture, but she quickly blinked her eyes shut as she breathed deeply, pushing away her thoughts. Dude, this is the one time you have some company and you start getting emotional? You can at least maintain some composure.

She opened her eyes and lifted the edges of her mouth as much as she could at the time. “But you seem tired, so I should let you rest before the night is over,” she got up and added, apologetically, “Sorry I kept you up so long, my tea isn’t going to help you as much as sleep can. Is there anything else you might need? I’m happy to help.”




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Thu Apr 23, 2020 6:35 am
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soundofmind says...



James was about to say no, but then he looked to Elliot. The horse was resting with his head low, and his tail swishing. He seemed relaxed, but James wanted to make sure Elliot was cared for.

"I don't need anything, but, if it's not too much trouble, would you be willing to get Elliot some water?" James asked.
Pants are an illusion. And so is death.





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Thu Apr 23, 2020 6:38 am
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mydwindlingsanity says...



Resa’s face brightened. “Of course! It would be my pleasure to help out your gentle steed.” Resa half-curtsied as she spoke. “I know all about this forest. I even know the fastest way to get to the stream from here!” She stood proudly, but as she turned around her own thoughts reflected a different composure. You know a little too much about this forest if you ask me. There’s nothing to brag about there.

Resa calmly walked towards Elliott, hoping he would feel comfortable with her leading him away from his companion. She petted his muzzle as she reached for his lead and slowly guided him in the direction of the creek. I guess this guy really trusts me if he lets me take his horse. She wondered if he often did things like that, or if this was a special occasion.

After a few minutes Resa led his horse back to James’s campsite. Elliott seemed more cheerful after he was able to relax and hydrate himself. She smiled at the horse’s cute face as he whinnied appreciatively. She pressed her cheek to his as a way to say “You’re welcome.”

As she approached James, she tried to remain quiet in hopes of helping him fall sleep faster. Once Elliott settled, she placed her forehead against his and whispered, “Goodbye dear, Elliott. You’re the first horse I’ve ever met and probably the loveliest I’ll ever have the honor of acquainting with." She drew away and paused, glancing at James.







You are beautiful because you let yourself feel, and that is a brave thing indeed.
— Shinji Moon