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Author Topic: Colours in the sky. [Dalton]  (Read 1661 times)

Colours in the sky. [Dalton]
« on: January 03, 2018, 01:46:39 AM »
Browsing the stalls set up for the Festival of Lights, Mara stopped at one in order to pick out a hand-knitted scarf, plain blue but more beautiful in colour than any scarf she'd set eyes on before. Her eyes softened as she held the fabric close to her cheek, warmth emanating as she stroked it against cold skin. Exchanging money for it, she smiled in thanks to the vendor.

The brunette wrapped the scarf around her neck twice, tucking it in so that her neck would remain warm in the winter cold. With gloves defending her hands and a thin jacket, she still felt the chill though her constant shivering stopped. She had little money to spare on things for herself, refusing to take any more money but the coins she'd come to the training corps with, and this gift to herself reminded her of childhood. Once, she'd hoarded all she could buy, and even though her eyes still darted between stalls, picking out possible trinkets, she summoned all her willpower not to buy anything else.

It was difficult. Determined to find a distraction, she walked away and found herself at one of the decorated trees, glass jars patterning its leafless branches with so many colours. Blue attracted her the most, and she wondered how anybody could turn their back on such a place and not be enchanted by the beauty of a thousand colours painting the night. « Last Edit: October 22, 2019, 02:13:52 PM by Mara Sonnenschein »

Re: Colours in the sky. [Open]
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2018, 10:43:45 AM »
This place was beautiful.  Even without the lights, or the music, or the low murmur of joyous conversations, there was something inherently magical about the place.  The lake was colossal, stretching as far as Dalton could see in the darkness.  It almost frightened him as he stood on the banks, staring out across the sheet of ice.  What must it be like during the storms of autumn?  Did the water whip up into a fury, with spray pattering against the windows of those houses built close to the shore?  And just how deep and cold did the water run?

Not realising he had been holding his breath, the boy from Trost exhaled slowly, and tucked his chin behind the thick, moss-green scarf wrapped around his neck.  With gloved hands stuffed into his coat pockets, he turned away from the vast body of water, and walked through the ethereal streets.  He delighted in the stalls and stands that greeted his eyes, in the scents of pine and spice that tickled his nose.  A cheerful charm vendor seemed to be doing exceptionally good trade, with a short queue of cadets having formed.  They were on the cusp of their final year now, after all, and they needed all the luck they could get.

That was when he saw her, standing alone, a blue scarf draped around her neck, resting on her narrow shoulders.  Dalton changed his course, snow crunching softly beneath his boots as he came to stand beside her.  “It’s b-beautiful here, isn’t it?” Dalton murmured quietly, hoping to alert Mara to his presence without startling her.  His gaze, like her own, was turned upwards, kaleidoscopic colours captured and reflected in shades of springtime green.  From somewhere down on the ice, where people skated with varying degrees of skill and success, distant laughter bubbled up to greet their ears.  “Almost like a d-dream.”

Re: Colours in the sky. [Open]
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2018, 02:02:37 AM »
Mara turned as she heard a voice, recognising quickly as Dalton's. She didn't feel she knew the boy awfully well, but she felt glad for the company. He was nice, and that was as important as anything else. A smile touched her lips as she faced him, having to slightly crane her neck, not that she minded.  It was okay to be shorter than others - Axel would say there were advantages to both sides, but she thought it just meant she didn't have to watch out for many branches or clotheslines.

"It's amazing," she breathed, her dark eyes lit up by the colours above, shining as she looked back at the lanterns. "I've never seen anything as beautiful as this." It wasn't much of a secret that she was captivated by shiny jewelry or sparkly items - she fell for them plenty, and it was great willpower that she wasn't browsing the stalls further. She only had one with her tonight, a butterfly brooch she'd bought during the initiation ceremony, pinned to her jacket.

The girl turned back to her companion. "It's freezing though. I thought about going on one of those carriage rides, but I thought I might turn into a block of ice if I went alone," she said. Holding up a hand, she breathed on it, watching a cloud of cold air touch her gloved fingers. "Maybe I already am turning into one," she joked, rubbing at her arms. An actual coat would have been a better idea, but she had been so desperate to get out and mingle that she'd forgotten one - and now she just felt like her spirit would warm her up enough. « Last Edit: January 29, 2018, 09:53:49 PM by Mara Sonnenschein »

Re: Colours in the sky. [Open]
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2018, 02:20:14 PM »
A gentle smile danced on Dalton’s lips.  He was a dreamy sort of a fellow, he knew - his mother had told him so plenty of times throughout the years - and he had a tendency to appreciate the littlest of things.  While other cadets raced here and there, scarcely seeming to notice the twinkling lights, it was clear that Mara was just as enraptured with the finer details of the festivities as he was.  Perhaps, beneath their woollen scarves and chilled flesh, their souls were of a similar shade. 

As Mara spoke, Dalton’s expression softened, and he chuckled quietly.  “I d-don’t think Trost has ever b-been as cold as this.  I’m certainly glad they’ve put two b-blankets on our bunks.”  Tilting his head amicably, he offered the dark-eyed girl a smile.  “I’ll go with you, if you like - on a c-carriage ride?”  Save for his plans to peruse the stalls and pick out trinkets and charms for his younger brothers and sisters - little gifts that would be lovingly packaged and sent home with his next letter - he was content to see where the evening led.  And acquaintance though she was, Mara was always pleasant company.

Worried that the brunette was cold, concern coloured Dalton’s expression and stepped a little closer.  “Hey, you want my c-coat?  I have a jumper under this, and wh-what with my scarf and all…”  Wrapping up was a habit written into him by his parents who fretted, often needlessly, about any of their beloved brood catching a chill.  Three years down the line, even without his Mama and Papa to remind him, Dalton was always sure to pile on the layers - and he was more than happy to share them.

Re: Colours in the sky. [Open]
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2018, 12:06:28 AM »
Mara smiled, wondering how odd it was for the southernmost natives to contend with the cold. It couldn't be too different in temperature, but it must be noticeable still. Because it felt different for her too. "It gets very cold in Utopia," she mused, "but it's been so long that I'd forgotten quite how much." It was easy to forget, having been... a year and a half ago? So long. But she'd made so many great friends in that time, and that was the important part. Those were people she wanted to stay by the side of for years to come. Worth the sacrifice of leaving home, for certain.

Brightening up even further, she blinked at him. "You would?" Being by somebody would certainly make it warmer, and she really did want to see what it was like. It would be fun, and a different experience! "That would be great!" They could explore the forest trails, and get to see everything the festival had to offer them. Plus she'd be by the side of somebody so friendly that it warmed her heart.

Surprised at Dalton's sweet offer, especially on the admittance of being cold himself, she hesitated a moment. "Only if you're sure," she said carefully, not wanting him to sacrifice his own comfort. A spark settled in her eyes. "I'll give you a warm hug in return though, so you don't get too much colder! You were smart to wear plenty to stay as cosy as possible, after all - I can't take that away from you." She'd hate for anybody else to get even a little bit sick due to exposure to the cold, especially if she could stop them - which she happily would where possible.

Re: Colours in the sky. [Open]
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2019, 07:24:34 PM »
There was an innocence about Mara, an openness that was a rarity in a harsh, uncertain world. Her delight at his suggestion that they ride in a carriage together was unbridled and genuine, lighting up her whole face. Dalton couldn't help but smile widely in return, the corners of his green eyes crinkling. Even her hesitation was sincere, born out of a concern for his comfort.

"Please, I insist," Dalton reassured, surprised at the steadiness of his voice, having been confident that Mara's sweetness would have caused him to fumble even more than usual. While his stammer crept back in as he continued, it was clear he was slowly settling into their conversation, words gradually coming more easily. "I would n-never pass up on a hug." Truer words were never spoken by the affectionate, gentle boy from Trost.

It took a moment for Dalton to shrug off his coat but, once it was free, he held the garment up so Mara could easily slip it on. "Oh, I d-don't know about smart… more habit, one I can thank my m-mother for. At the first sign of frost, we are all bundled in layers - otherwise she is sure to b-bend our ears." He chuckled softly, fondly. "Out of love, of course."

Re: Colours in the sky. [Dalton]
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2019, 02:13:12 PM »
That was all she needed to hug someone, but she waited patiently as he shrugged off the coat and handed it over. She slipped into it, one arm at a time, and immediately it felt like a warm hug surrounding her. Smiling, Mara nodded at his words and did up the coat to seal herself in, then wrapped her arms around him. She squeezed gently, holding it for a few moments before she pulled back, not wanting to overwhelm him at all.

"Thank you," Mara says gratefully, both for the coat and the hug. Of course she was giving it, but she was still appreciative for the opportunity. "Your mother sounds wonderful and caring. And it still sounds smart to me!" The nice clothes her parents would give her were all well and good, but often she picked them for how nice they looked rather than how well they'd serve her.

Thoughts of home stirred something of a gentle unease in her stomach. "Let's go to the carriages," she said excitedly, happy to focus more on that than think of Utopia again.

« Last Edit: October 22, 2019, 02:14:07 PM by Mara Sonnenschein »

Re: Colours in the sky. [Dalton]
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2020, 01:38:00 PM »
Bundled up in his coat, Mara seemed somehow smaller than before.  Dalton returned the smile she offered as she stepped closer, leaning down to wrap his arms around her frame, green eyes falling closed as he gave the girl a gentle, fond squeeze.  The hug was warm, as Mara had promised.  Even without the coat he didn’t feel much colder than before, at least not yet.

“You’re welcome,” he murmured once they had pulled apart.  It was nice of Mara to speak so kindly of his mother, a woman she had never met.  “Oh, she’s all r-right,” he smiled, a joking lilt to his voice, expression softening with undisguised adoration.  Mrs. Lightbody was the beating heart of their family inn, both in terms of caring for her husband, children and guests and in bonding with the regulars.

Nodding in agreement – he liked to save his words where he could – Dalton offered Mara his arm as they began their walk towards the carriages.  The village around them was magical, otherworldly, everything lit by the soft glow of lanterns.  Its pleasantness felt like a warmly-welcomed reward for all their hard work.  Soon, it would all pay off, and come the summer they would graduate.

“I can’t b-believe that we’ll be fully-fledged soldiers by this time n-next year…” he remarked, the village around them buzzing with life and high spirits.  “We’ll b-be settled into our new barracks and everything…”  They hadn’t far to travel, and even as these words left Dalton’s lips, the carriages came into sight.  They were plain, practical, but their owners had decorated them with festive garlands, ribbons and bells.  The two horses standing to the fore of the carriage they approached were pale grey in colour, beautifully groomed and no doubt chosen for their prettiness.  “This is on m-me,” he spoke quietly, but with gentle insistence and a kind smile.


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