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Author Topic: Daisy chains. [Struna]  (Read 969 times)

Daisy chains. [Struna]
« on: March 17, 2018, 11:18:53 PM »
[ spring 846 ]

Spring bloomed around her, with tufts of green grass sprouting colour on the edges of the well-worn dirt. The cold that had wrapped its icy fingers around the training grounds had faded into the air, leaving a bright sun to cast its glowing rays of life on. It seemed the only clouds in the sky were wisps that scarcely obscured the sun, and warmth radiated. Everything seemed peaceful.

Mara could almost forget she was training to kill one day.

She sat in the grass, while others milled about, her fingers working deftly. Nails pinched into soft stems, spilling the slightest moisture and tearing small holes in which she slipped in another's stem. The daisies entwined, a close band of flowers whose petals touched. There were plenty here, and while she didn't want to pick all of them, she loved to have tightly knit daisy chains. This one, she'd decided, would go upon her own wrist, and she slid it on. Holding out her arm, she admired it.

Bright-eyed and happy, she smiled to herself as she plucked a few more daisies from the grass. She debated the dandelions, then pinched the stems of some to begin patterning with the white-petaled, smaller flowers. Perhaps it was childish, but she found it incredibly relaxing. Being surrounded by flowers, of the fresh feeling of spring gracing them all... it was nice. All she needed to do now was finish the second chain and find a friend to bestow it upon.
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Re: Daisy chains. [Struna]
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2018, 03:00:54 PM »
Even now, idleness did not sit easily with Struna.  Where she came from, there was always work to be done, both on land and on water.  Here, the lessons were challenging, sure enough - especially those restricted to parchment and chalkboards, so tedious, ugh! - but the cadets were given time to themselves too.  Sometimes entire afternoons, to spend as they pleased.  With no letters to write, and no desire to study, these left Struna at a loose end.  Fidgety, and at a loss of what to do, she followed her feet.  She had no destination in mind, though she did hope to find Nack; time with him was never time wasted, even if they did nothing but laugh and chatter like sparrows.

Other cadets milled about outside, enjoying the spring sunshine, but it was the lone figure sitting on the grass that caught Struna’s eye.  Somewhere else - deep in a woodland meadow perhaps, or even on the springtime shores of the Great Lake - Mara might look ethereal.  All she needed was a gossamer gown, and to have perched on her brunette head a colourful crown of blossoms.  With thumbs hooked casually through her belt loops, dark hair spilling into her eyes and cascading untidily over her shoulders, she altered her course and approached the girl on the grass.

“Hey,” Struna greeted, as she drew near, unsure of how else to start a conversation.  Back home, the only remarkable thing about her was the peculiar colour of her eyes, but here?  Here she was too coarse, too rude, too loud, too wild, too superstitious.  As such, she often struggled to know what to say to other girls.  Especially those girls who wore pretty dresses, or giggled over boys, or planned their shopping trips into town with military precision.  Maybe girls who wore bracelets of woven flowers would be a little easier to speak to?

“Where I come from…” Struna started nonchalantly, stepping a little closer now, mindful of where she placed her boots.  The daisies and dandelions spread beneath her feet had their cheerful faces turned skywards, and deserved better than to be crushed back into the earth from which they sprouted.  “… bouquets of daisies’re given to new mothers.  They’re a sign of new beginnings and true love - all that good stuff.”  With a wistful smile, Struna shrugged.  It felt odd to be talking about positive symbolism for once, rather than warning others away from bad omens.  “Pretty as they are, if I was torn up and sore, last thing I’d want is daisies.”  She laughed then, and nodded at Mara’s wrist.  “You’re good at that.” « Last Edit: March 18, 2018, 03:01:08 PM by Struna Mayberry »
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Re: Daisy chains. [Struna]
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2018, 02:14:51 PM »
She didn't hear the footsteps creeping up on her, her first awareness of somebody by her the simple greeting. Mara looked up, tilting her head back, brown eyes fixing onto violet. "Hello," she smiled, pleased for some company, and waited for what she had to say. At least, she supposed Struna had something to say to her.

The last impression she'd had of the girl was their time working together in pairs. Her giggling with one of the boys sat near them had ended with the two troublemakers being picked out by their instructor. It seemed something of a regular ordeal. That they could find enjoyment in some of their more work-intensive than chatty classes was almost impressive. Even if she would never dare disrupt anything.

New beginnings. Her eyes widened. "Really? There's a lot of symbolism on flowers, though I've never heard of daisies being used for that - new beginnings a little, but not for birth." It was wonderful, to know of different cultural uses of flowers, and to use them to wish well in life's twisting path. "Maybe it's the idea behind it that means the most. Somebody thinking of you enough to collect so many flowers, a reminder of life sprouting from any dash of grass... you never know, maybe it'd be a relief to come from pain and see those flowers?" she suggested.

Looking to her wrist, a smile graced her lips. "Thank you. Would you like one? Or you can make your own, there are plenty of flowers to use here. I don't want to stop them growing, so I leave a few to grow still as well," she said, pointing to a few daisies around that she'd left be. Over time she would spread out further to collect more, or move position entirely. But she never wanted to risk getting rid of all the flowers. If she left some to grow, maybe they'd grow more by the summer.
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Re: Daisy chains. [Struna]
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2018, 06:33:19 PM »
While she was reluctant to get ahead of herself, Struna had to admit - with some relief - that this wasn’t the worst beginning to a conversation.  Especially as Mara actually seemed interested in what she had to say. 

The dark-eyed cadet pondered the matter of gifted daisies and offered another perspective, one much more positive than Struna’s own dismissal.  So Mara was every bit as sunny as she had heard, a thoughtful and kind-hearted girl.  What on earth had brought her to the military?  Had it been the draft?  “I like the way you see things,” Struna remarked, her expression softening with quiet contemplation.  She had to admit, it would take a long time to gather enough of the cheerful little flowers… perhaps it was a labour of love.  “Might even be you’re right.”

Somehow, the invitation caught Struna off-guard.  She blinked in surprise, then flashed a grin.  “I’d like that,” came her answer, gratitude lacing her voice.  Sitting gracelessly on the cool grass, cross-legged, raven hair spilled over Struna’s brow and into her eyes, only to be huffed away reflexively.  Glancing about, she settled on the first flower of her chain, reaching idly to pluck that chosen daisy.  It made sense, not to harvest them all.  Much in the same way smaller, younger fish were saved from the catch and returned to the lake; it had to be done if there were to be more trout to enjoy in future.

“What’s your favourite?”  Struna asked, genuinely curious, as she pressed into the stem with her thumbnail.  Violet eyes peered across at Mara, from behind the locks of unruly hair that had already slid back into place.  “Your favourite kind of flower, I mean.”
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Re: Daisy chains. [Struna]
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2018, 10:53:14 PM »
Mara smiled brightly at the other girl, inclining her head almost shyly, letting a strand of hair fall down her forehead. "I'm probably not right," she murmured, "It's just an idea. One interpretation. Everybody has their own intepretation, and I think it's nice that we all have different ideas about the same thing." It showed individuality as well as allowed them all to think about different things. If they all believed the same, that would be boring, wouldn't it? Axel would probably disagree, and that was his point of view.

Which... most people probably saw as wrong.

Watching as Struna took a seat and plucked her first daisy from the lush grass, Mara shone another smile at her, and continued to work on her current chain. The question surprised her, and she hesitated, deliberating her answer with a tilted head. "Mm... what if I don't have a favourite?" she asked. Did that seem foolish? "There are many flowers I like, and they come out best at different times of the year. So if I pick one, in a week or more I'll have to answer something else," she said, hoping that made sense. Blinking at her, she wondered if it just sounded even worse. "Do you have a favourite flower?"

Threading two daisies together so the bud touched the stem, its petals spreading out and fluttering as a breeze caught it, the brunette shielded the chain in her lap to save it. The worst part was losing even one petal, because it made the flower look crooked. Even if the wind itself wouldn't tug out a petal, if she let go by accident somebody might step on it and crumple up the petals.
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Re: Daisy chains. [Struna]
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2019, 02:37:25 PM »
As Mara spoke, Struna was struck by how thoughtful the girl was, and by how considerately she answered even simple questions. The raven-haired cadet returned the smile, a smirk staying on her lips even as she worked on her daisy chain. "You're a different breed, eh?" Struna remarked as she plucked another tiny white flower from the carpet of grass. Only once the words were spoken, did she worry they sounded rude. "I mean that kindly, don't think I'm teasin'." Even that reassurance didn't feel sufficient, and Struna scrambled mentally to think of a gentler way to communicate her meaning. As her mind was occupied, she was a little rough with her daisy, the flower now a kinked link in her chain. "My da says still waters run deep, and I reckon that's true of you."

The question of a favourite flower was asked in return, and it gave Struna pause. The pink tip of her tongue appeared at the corner of her mouth as her fingers worked to straighten the manhandled daisy - and as she mulled the query over. Her heart was one of water, waves and lakespray, and while the jagged headland was home, she paid little mind to what grew there. Then the answer came to her, and it seemed a blindingly obvious choice.

"Water lilies, I s'pose," Struna replied, smiling fondly, thinking of the quiet, still bays where points of pink and white colour flashed amongst the green of lily pads. "Irises are nice too," she added after a pause, imaging the slender purple blooms swaying on the shoreline. "... and marsh orchids." This last was the rarest of the botanicals Struna had mentioned, and it would easily take a day of trudging through the damp meadows to find a mere handful of the speckled flowers. To be gifted even one was considered a gesture of love in her home village.

Struna laughed then, warm and genuine. "All right, I see whatcha mean - it's hard t' choose!" Shaking her head, still smiling in amusement, she added another daisy to her chain. More carefully, this time. "Back home, the ground's either boggy, or rocky 'n' hilly, s'no really the best place for flowers t' grow…"

That posed another question, one Struna felt sure she should already know the answer to now that they were a year into their training. She hesitated, regarding the kindly girl opposite her. A gentle breeze played across the grass, teasing through black and brown hair alike. "Where're you from?"
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Re: Daisy chains. [Struna]
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2019, 05:57:28 PM »
Her cheeks reddened as she blushed, unsure of how to respond to the compliment - she certainly saw it as one. Perhaps sometimes she felt a little odd, odder still with how aggressive so many of the other cadets could be, and how seriously they took things. But it was moments like this that reminded her that everybody was their own person. She always believed it, of course, but having gentle moments... it made her feel less alone in that perception. "Thank you," she murmured, somewhat awkwardly, and added, "I think I know that saying... I like it."

The flowers Struna answered made her smile wider with each one, relieved that she too knew the difficulty of picking just one. The very last she answered didn't sound familiar, but then Utopia didn't have many marshes nearby, not unless they travelled towards the Great Lake - she was more familiar with maps of the mountainous regions, since her father had to chart journeys there with far more care than others. "Irises are wonderful. They're so vivid," she sighed happily. "What are marsh orchids like? Do they have the same vibrant colour, almost as bright as a fuschia?" Her questions were eager, seeking knowledge about the wonder of plant life.

The question came as a surprise, though she was in the process of considering telling the girl about the gardens in her district as it came about. "I'm from Utopia. We have the most amazing gardens there," she said with pride. "Outside the district, there are forests and grassland with all kinds of plants and brilliant fungi. Within, we like to decorate our windows with so many colours... like rainbows. I used to help with looking after the flowers on the streets. Hanging baskets and tall rows of sunflowers. There were some patches of grass where bushes would bloom at different times of the year..."

Her words faded as her grip on her daisy chain, for the moment no more threaded, thinking on home. It wasn't that horrid feeling of homesickness, but a twist of nostalgia that made her wish the training grounds were better cared for. Beautified, really.

"Here, we just have the wildflowers. It would be too much work and worry to keep up with the flowers," Mara said softly, speaking sense into herself just as much. "Where are you from?" The question in turn was much more about an eagerness to learn from the girl than it was a distraction.
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