A little bit of setup: This is a character — Jeep is her street name — for the tabletop roleplaying game Nightlife. At the beginning of our current game, she was sitting in a Kin-friendly bar drinking and listening to a Sidhe band play. Sidhe Bigwig enters and ends up singing along to an old-country dirge mourning all the things they’ve lost, which has quite an affect on most of the people in the room. Mostly this is me still trying to get a grasp on the character and her history, and wanting to get some internal stuff down that wouldn’t have/didn’t come out in actual role-play.
Damn the Sidhe.
Damn them, and damn their blasted song that brought faces from her past swinging violently to front and center. Brothers and sisters at arms, the ones lost to war, and the ones left behind to pick up the pieces after; enemies who shouldn’t have been enemies; enemies who should never have been allowed to stand as long as they did; wars fought for noble causes, and wars fought for no reason. The decades slid past her mind’s eye, slowing only as they reached the beginning of her second life. They lingered there on the precipice, terrifying and taunting, then spilled over into the years she’d shoved aside longer than any others.
She saw the gentle face of a man young enough that the weathering still barely showed, but old enough that the horror and grief he held back was betrayed only by the crease of his brow and the twitch of his clenching jaw. Three children stood close to him, the oldest with her face pressed into his hip, refusing to look at whatever he was seeing; the second oldest cradling the third, a wailing infant, staring defiant and stubbornly forward, ignoring the tears that wet her ruddy cheeks.
Next came the house, the one they’d built together; the farm they’d both worked until they ached and barely had the energy to make love; the family, all of them, his and hers both.
She shook herself out of the dark reverie and took a shaky swig from the beer in her hand, then swiped angrily at her wet cheeks. The tears came still. It was like she’d sprung a damned leak. She glanced at the rough man sitting at the bar next to her and realized with some surprise that he too was weeping. It almost made her laugh. Almost.
It made her angry too, to have those memories unlocked unasked. She crushed down the impulse to throw her beer at the Sidhe man singing along in the booth nearby, the pretty one who’d drawn all eyes when he’d entered the room. The Wolf snarled inside her chest, and she knew that, for the first time in a long, long while, it would not allow itself to be sung into silence. Not for much longer anyway.
Conversation down the bar drew her attention away from her emotional wound-licking. Nasty creature afoot? Someone may need “taking care of”? She didn’t know these life-drinkers from Adam, but when they asked who wanted to come along, she threw her hat in. Better to cut the Wolf loose somewhere useful than have it run rampant somewhere she’d feel guilty about later.