2018-07-17: The Bubble of Bliss
- Cutscene: The Bubble of Bliss
- Cast: Neriah Parringer
- Where: Monastery of Saint-Mia, Rolance
- Date: July 17, 2018
- Summary: A nameless girl is adopted by someone in need of someone to love.
The orphanage at the Monastery of Saint-Mia had been her uneasy home since the accident. No place for a child - much less one whose world had been reft from her with such bloody terminality. She'd run for miles and miles through the grasslands to get as far away from that memory burned eternally into her heart - the flash of steel in the sunlight, the screams of Mother and Father, the trample of soldiers as so many old men and women and children were torn apart before her very eyes.
The eyes of a girl of four were never meant to watch a massacre. The monks at Saint-Mia had found the little black-haired girl in a field at the foot of their hill, exhausted and stunned into silence. With nary a name to give her, they'd taken her in among the small group of children they sheltered in the cold stone church in rainy Rolance.
But the Monastery was no place for a girl with nothing but a cot, a few friendly but distant old priests and a few distant and suspicious children, and the patterns of raindrops forever rushing against the stained glass window. If the world could cry for a nameless girl, even the endless rain barely seemed like enough.
Nights and days passed, one after the other. Sleep brought only memories - grasping hands, rent bodies, red grass. The pain of loss. The flickering light of a single candle became her companion as she lingered awake night after night, only fading when unconsciousness took her, only waking under the gentle coaxing of the monks.
So it was thus - one cycle after another. The rain drummed again against the window near her humble cot on this night, a night like any other. Liquid patterns wept down the faded glass face of Althena, wrought in tinted panels leeched of their colour by a sun that ceased to show its face long ago. A nameless girl without words gazed unseeing into that face with a question that the window could never answer for her.
The girl nearly jumped out of her sheets - but a delicate touch to her shoulder stilled her. The voice was low, throaty and feminine, its owner a slender shape sinking to a seat on the cot beside her. A woman a little younger than the mother of a nameless girl whose world ended on that bloody battlefield. Dark-haired, wrapped in a simple white dress, her curls spilling about her face.
With wide blue eyes, the nameless girl stared up at her visitor, clutching her hands close to her heart. Those blue eyes met the visitor's. Found the quiet sadness in pools of pale orchid.
The visitor smiled, a tender smile laced with aching sympathy. "It isn't fair, is it," she whispered. "That things had to be this way. And you look at the Goddess and you wonder... 'why did it have to be me? When she takes everything from me... who is left to love me?' I can tell you do..."
Tears stood in the eyes of the nameless girl as those memories began to consume her again. They spilled forth as her lower lip trembled. But the visitor brought a soft touch up to the cheek of that sad, lonely girl... and, tenderly, she wiped one of those tiny crystal tears away. The sorrow in her eyes only grew deeper.
"...You deserve to be loved, you know," murmured the stranger. "You don't have to be alone. I don't want you to...
"...fall by the wayside," she whispered after a little pause. "So you can talk to me... with someone who wants you to know that there's still love out there for you. That someone in the world needs to love you. And that you can be strong."
Open-mouthed, the nameless girl raised a tiny hand and touched it to the pale cheek of the stranger - and she, too, found the tiny, wet prism of a little tear, clear against her little palm.
The stranger bowed her head as she slid her arms around the shoulders of the nameless girl. The tiny shape pulled instinctively into that warmth. Nestled her face into a silkily-robed shoulder and let her tears begin to soak into pristine white material. It felt good. Like something she'd forgotten.
"What's your name," the stranger asked, her voice not carrying beyond the candle's glow.
The girl sniffled a little into the robed shoulder of the stranger. "...Evelyn," she whispered, her voice heavy with emotion.
As that name was whispered, Neriah gently tightened her arms around the little girl, stroking her hair with the very hands which had taken so much from her. Which had taken so much from too many people. Which had cast too many people away from her. Which had reft one little girl too many out of her own heart and left a village-sized wound in the middle of two lives she dared to try and live at once.
She could at least right one wrong.
"...Can I call you Evie," she asked.