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Mar. 9th, 2011 11:44 pm
demiurgos_girl: (~now and forever.)
[personal profile] demiurgos_girl
[[OOC: This is just a prose thing to make sure there's a log about what happened between Elaine and her Shadow. It's important enough that it needs to be written out, I think (characterization stuff and what have you). :P ]]

The voice was familiar. Of course, it would be, because Elaine heard it as her own voice. It was strange hearing herself speak, as though she were listening to a recording she had once made, but eventually forgotten. The single word penetrated the heavy silence, making Elaine’s shoulders tense, making her wandering eyes narrow.

“Child,” the other girl said, and Elaine looked up, nervous.

That other Elaine was on her feet, leathery wings spread wide as she approached. Elaine could see the throne behind the other girl, that disgusting effigy. Instinctively her hand drew closer to Mhairi, as though she could shield it with her physical presence alone. She briefly entertained the thought of letting Mhairi die to reclaim her powers and deal with the intruder, but quickly put that option aside.

Searching for comfort in the dark room, she spread her wings wider. “What do you want?” It was a relief to hear her own voice was level.

“I want to teach you.” The Shadow stopped a respectful distance from Elaine. “Something you already know.”

“It doesn’t sound like I have much to learn from you, then.”

The Shadow only smiled. “Do you know where this is, Elaine?”

Her response was short and clipped. “Wonderland.” She knew the answer that the Shadow wanted, but she didn’t feel like playing along.

“Yes, this is Wonderland.” On the other hand, the Shadow only smiled. “This is also hell. You’ve been here before.” Elaine stayed silent though the other Elaine with leather wings paused, as if waiting for a response. When none came, she continued. “You hate this place. You find it disgusting and vile. You want it to go away. You want to destroy it.”

“That’s nothing new.”

“Shh.” The other Elaine stepped closer, which seemed aggressive. Elaine bit back a complaint. “Lucifer put up with it for billions of years. He could have destroyed it at any time, but to be honest it only bored him until he left.” The Shadow crossed its arms. “Your uncle. Our uncle, is someone we admire very much. Why?”

Elaine had a ready answer for that. “He always keeps his promises. He never lies. He’s saved me before.”

That made the Shadow smile, and she seemed pleased at how quick Elaine’s response was. “He’s saved us, but how many times has he made us die?”

Elaine opened her mouth. Closed it. It was true that she’d died almost as many times as she’d been saved, but she’d never died directly at his hands. It had always been the things that happened around him. As though the circle of influence around everything he did made people suffer.

“And how many times has he left you? How many times has he asked you to do impossible things? ‘Save me,’ ‘Save the universe,’ ‘Kill the immortals.’” The Shadow went on, ignoring how thoughtful Elaine seemed to be. “How many times has he used you?”

“I wanted to save him. Lucifer is my friend.”

“And you’re his tool.” The Shadow took another step closer, and Elaine felt fear this time instead of anger.

“Liar.”

“No, Elaine.” The Shadow’s voice was soft and gentle. “I’m telling you the exact, literal truth. You don’t want to admit it to yourself. You want to think he’s so perfect, that someone out there in the universe is perfect enough to be idolized.” The Shadow leaned to the side, looking past Elaine toward Mhairi. The girl noticed and tried to block the planet from view. “And slowly he’s turning you into another him. Slowly you’re picking up all his habits- good and bad.”

Elaine looked away until the Shadow took another step, which made her snap her head back in the monster’s direction.

That seemed to please it. “But let’s admit it, Elaine. Part of you just hates him.”

Another heavy silence hung in the air. Deep down, did she feel betrayed and hurt and just angry at him for so many things? For changing her life so rapidly? But she’d never missed the old life. It had felt too limited. Too rigid. With Lucifer, she felt free.

“Germanium,” the Shadow said, and that jolted Elaine. “Gallium, zinc.” It paused as though waiting for an answer.

Hesitating, Elaine eventually obliged. “Nickel, cobalt, iron.” It was a game she had played with her father, on boring mornings before school. “Okay, squirt,” he’d say, “start at germanium and work backwards.”

“Poor girl,” the Shadow said, reaching outward. That scared Elaine but before she could react, the other girl’s hand was brushing her hair away, pressing against her cheek. “You miss your mother.” Elaine opened her mouth at that. “I miss her, too.” The Shadow sounded genuinely sincere, her voice soft and kind. “People forget how old we really are.”

Elaine found herself pressing her cheek against that hand. Her eyes closed. She did hate Lucifer. She hated him for leaving her, for using her life to save his, for asking her to do things she never would have done on her own. In a strange way, she loved him like family. But she hated him like family too. Like her father, who she missed dearly, and her mother, who she missed even more. And if there was a reason to hate him, then there was a part of him she didn’t idolize. A part of him she shouldn’t.

“You’d blindly follow him until you end up like me. Like him.” The Shadow’s voice was fainter, still. “But at the end of the day, who exactly did you want to be?” The hand slowly left her cheek. When Elaine opened her eyes, the Shadow- the other Elaine- was gone.

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Elaine Belloc

December 2011

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