Meilong Yin Meibun
No amount of sleep can ease the tiredness I feel.Played by Mystique Null // 8 Posts Last Active Mar 07, 2018, 11:55 PM
Mei was born with a voice, but she doesn’t remember having one. An accident, the same one that took her left hand, that left her legs shaking and weak if she stood on them too long. The scars that zigzag across her body are a warning, testaments to a forgotten folly, and they ache when she’s cold but she still can’t stand to look at fire. Pain was not born as her constant companion, but she doesn’t mind it. At least, she doesn’t remember a time when it wasn’t, and there is some comfort to be gleaned from the familiar.

Shuya is not kind to those who are weak. Life was made for places like Efrea, where there is sun and warmth and fertile soil and the weather keeps its mood. It was made for places like Uclain, so chock full of gifts that life grows upon life and still they all keep thriving. It was not made for cold, bare stone and steep rocky slopes, where snow can be seen even in mid-summer and the wind howls one way then another, where storms form with no prior warning and winter and spring and summer all exist within a day. But still the squat, woody plants cling to the cold rock faces, still the crows come in summer and settle across the dense aspen forests like a living blanket. Still the wolves howl at night, even when the snowdrifts rise as tall as your head. Life finds a way. And though the fire may have left her weak and struggling, it was kinder to her than it was to her parents.

It left her alive. And her village rejoiced, for life was life, and love was love, and they will always love their own. Mei was an orphan, but she was never left abandoned. They taught her how to speak, not with her mouth but with her hand; and though she only had one, she made do. Later, they taught her to write, so her symbols need not be half-formed. They fashioned her crude crutches from fallen branches, so her legs need not work so hard. And when she told the priestess, clumsily, haltingly, that she may be a girl and not a boy, they were more than eager to help her change her name, find new clothes, prepare for the ceremony when she came of age.

And then the Blight came, and no one would touch her.

It must be divine punishment, her village agreed, as together, they tried prayer, then potions, then exorcism. They were small, and isolated, and knew not of how the Blight formed or of how it spread. But they knew that magic calmed the harsh roar of a blizzard. They knew that magic made the hearth a little brighter, a little warmer. Magic ensured that those who were lost, or trapped, or hurt, will not die alone and helpless. Magic was life in the mountains, the anchor that allowed them to cling and thrive even as the world tried to drive them out. When Magic left, Death came crawling in its steed.

Despite their best efforts, the Blight continued to chew away at her indigo heart. Eventually, her village came to a decision. It was not an easy one to make, and it was not one made without quarrel. But though they may love her, for she is one of theirs and they will always love their own, Mei is only one of many. And though they may love her, she cannot hunt, she cannot climb, she cannot run. Before, magic was the greatest skill she offered. Though her body was weak, her heart was strong. Given enough time, Mei could’ve moved avalanches by herself, sheltered her village in the midst of a blizzard, bring down a moose or bears or wolves with a glance. But now, she does not even have that.

They cast her out. They cast her out in tears with as many eyes as they could spare, what meager amounts of food she could carry tied to her crutches, a crude prosthetic hand that at least offered some functionality, a net that she could hunt with, knives that she could cut with, and multiple jewelry and talisman for good luck and to ward off evil. But though their intentions were not bad, they cast her out all the same, and for the first time in her life, Mei was alone.

She tried to go to other villages in Shuya. They wouldn’t take her, not with her weakness, not with the Blight. Occasionally, they took pity on her and sent her off with more eyes, more food, but they will not let her stay. She tried to appeal to the priests and priestesses she met on the road, but they couldn’t help her. Little by little, her magic dimmed. Little by little, she grew weaker. The more she walked, the faster her legs gave out, the more her lungs closed and wheezed and made every breath an uphill battle.

Shuya wouldn’t have her. The mountains were not made for the weak, and Mei had nothing to offer anymore. But she couldn’t leave, not to the capital which lay beyond the entire range, not to Uclain which valued strength above all else. Mei remained in Shuya just long enough to find someone willing to let her hitchhike with them into Efrea in a last-ditch attempt to see if it would be kinder, more amenable to her plight.

Mei is clumsy in this new world. The Efreans do not understand her. Not her hands, nor the scribbles she jots down, and she does not understand them, either. The world is different, brighter, louder, and the air presses heavy upon her shoulders with a weight she cannot un-feel. The people here live by different rules, and she can’t tell if the glances sent her way are ones of pity or disgust.

Eventually, she may learn their ways, but she does not have the luxury of time. Her eyes are dwindling. She’s taken to sleeping on the streets. She has pawned off most of the tokens given to her for protection, and the knives, and the dried herbs stuffed within her bags, and it is not enough. Pain had followed her for as long as she could remember, and before she had become so accustomed to it that she barely felt it anymore. Now, though. Now, she was relearning it all over again. Her muscles sag in the heavy air, and walking but a few steps is enough to reduce her to panting. She shakes even while she’s sitting. Her legs feel like they’re breaking. There is a constant vice around her chest squeezing her lungs smaller and smaller, and every breath comes harder than the rest. She lost her hand somewhere back in Shuya, and her throat burns from the inside and out.

Life finds a way, but there is a limit to how much it can take. She can feel her body breaking. Any more of this, and she knows that she will die. And though it breaks, she knows, too, that it is changing. Knows that given enough time, people will automatically refer to her as ‘he’, and takes meager comfort in the fact that she will probably die before then. Bit by bit, she can feel her heart dying, and she knows that given enough time, the thrum of magic will be gone completely. The world feels faded, now. She feels faded. She tries to hold on to her emotions, tries to feel angry, sad, anything, but they swim away every time she tries to touch them. She doesn’t know if it’s because of the Blight, or because her body has given up on her.

She doesn’t know what to do.
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Date Registered: Mar 07, 2018, 11:20 PM
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