the water engulfing you melts away, sighing with steam. your skin is radiant, glowing, your hair is a flower scented crown. the light of the oracle dims slowly while ghostly lips gently kiss you on the cheek and soft spirit hands guide you out of the grotto. the candles light your way, leading you to a giant green lillypad glinting with dew drops at the shore of the river-ette. you step in, and slowly begin to [[float|awake2]] away.
you make your way back to the violetgrad terminal, where a hover-bus waits for lonely early morning passengers. you board, excited to go home. moments later, you've returned to liliumplatz. by the door of your petalhive is a [[letter|the end]].
the surroundings begin to grow familiar.the leafboat comes to a stop, and you slowly, slightly levitate out, onto dry land. you walk down the marble path, now strewn with a rainbow of pansies, heading to the garden's gate. [[you have finally left the garden|awake3]].
but now it's dark and you don't know how to get out. you're \nlost\nscared\nlonely\nall you brought with you was your [[journal|Journal]],your [[pen|Pen]] and a [[mulberry sandwich|mulberry]].\n\nand now you're trapped in the abandoned garden during a lunar eclipse. \n\n[[something might happen|Eclipse3]]
[[suddenly all goes still, all goes quiet|Moon2]].\n\n\n
why, why, why did they have to have beeswax candes. \nyou'd know that smell anywhere\nyou burned beeswax candles at [[their|Heart]] birthday...\n\n\n
squirming and slicing through the boughs and vines, you try to make your way out of the garden. partially in a trance and wholly afraid, your limbs blither. every fast breath burns. \n\nthe faster you try to leave, the harder the garden [[pulls|The Scent 2]] you back in...\n\n\n\n
<i> you are there, sitting on my living room floor. you won't let me fly in the house, and my hair turns silver.</i>\n\n[[suddenly--|awake]]
[[slipping on marigolds|run2]]
[[sliding on jasmine|run4]]
[[tripping on violets|run3]]
[[landing face first in roses|enter]]
[img[]]\n\n<i> will burst forth delicate snowy buds, and grow new tendershoots deep into the ground. always and forever. [[abandoned|orc9]] or not...</i>
<i>...for even though you have been cast aside, you are not truly abandoned. you have, and always have been [[whole|orc13]]...</i>\n\n\n
<i>...your heart is [[verdant|orc7]]...</i>
<i>...even though you have been left behind, you will continue to exist, to [[grow|orc8]]...</i>
[img[]]\n<i>...the abandoned garden feels your too have been left as you were bursting forth with [[life|orc5]]...</i>
<i> the garden, you too are a [[beautiful being|orc6]]...</i>
you feel like you are going back in forth in time. you can hear every voice of every human in unison. all you can see is a sparkling, deep [[purple|orc4]].
[[the oracle begins to speak|pool2]]
[img[]]\nsubmerged beneath a wall of grasping glistening ivy, you have reached the oracle's cave. still and stagnant, it had been waiting for you. now it is oceanic, sloshing about. [[excited|orc]].\n\n
<i>let you hair melt into the oracle pool. slowly dissolve yourself into darkness, absorb yourself into the water. return home to the sea. acknowledge your body’s interior water within a body of water. feel the perimeters of your being slowly unravel, slowly expand, until you cover the entire planet. become a strange, lone, radiant light illuminating a body of water at night and invigorate our tired, [[sleeping bones|orc2]].</i>
[[ten fingers feeling brittle rubbing two soggy eyes|lonely3]]\n\n
[img[]]\n\nyou plunk down onto a crumbling bench by a happily gurgling little river-ette. your feet mercilessly and rhythmically kick a stray marble hand, covered in sugary violets. a small animal scuttles about, examining leaves. the silence is broken periodically by agitated birds,trilling their shrill fear. exhausted,[[you start to slip into sleep|dream]]...
[img[]]\n\na ripe goldfinch bright quince clutched firmly in the hands is a beautiful thing. smell it. it smells like paradise.\n\nfloral heaven in a warm bowl of quince and tendon. \n\nyou would sing\n"quince and tendon was her hair\nquince and tendon my lady fair"\n[[every winter|Every Winter]]\nwhen quince season arrived\n\ funny it is to now fear a [[quince tree|The Hare]].
it feels more like you are dragging your body around than walking. gathering little bouquets of tangled star jasmine, you hold them to your face, breathing them in. you crown them with the little dew drops sliding down your face, collecting in your nostrils. \n\n[[why did you have to come here|lonely2]]
[[the abandoned garden|Start]]\n
the moon is churning, turning, burning...\nthe lunar [[eclipse|Eclipse2]] is under way...\n\n\n\n\n
gentle flower eaters, tide pool dwellers.
at first it was fun, to steal succulent clippings for your capsule garden and pick persimmons that made your mouth dusty.\nto lean against cracked marble columns, biting your hangnails and thinking of what a [[lark|break7]] they are missing out on. \n\nto pity them for pitying you.
before their dissappearance. \n\nthey dissolved\nbefore\nyour\nvery\neyes\nbecause your [[heart|Sink]] was not good enough.
wincing and whining, you lay there, huddled into a ball. you unfurl slowly, and achingly sit yourself up. a strange scent slowly oozes towards you. alluring and terrifying, it [[draws you in|TheScent4]].
the path is slick, covered in colonies of moss tenderly blanketed in crushed wet leaves. you make the fatal, fated misstep, and slip, slamming your [[body|The Scent 3]] against the damp marble. \n\n
feeding my hair and nail trimmings to tropical plants. stringing silver beads on brown leather cord. exploring my dreams to divine the near future. pleating velvet and piling gemstones in a bowl. waiting, creating, waking.\n\n[[<<back|Journal]]
you suddenly surface from your sea of tears. you cannot help but wonder where those [[candles|The Fog]] are heading.
a strange time to be in a strange place. \n\nyou walk slowly, each step weighted down by confused calculations. your [[mind|Thinking2]] is shirking and shrugging. \n\n
you had never been there before. never had slinked through the rusted frivolous gate before. never battled a large hibiscus bush to let yourself into the garden either. but there you are, doing it. \n\n[[you got lost on purpose because you wanted to be found|Break5]]
"THEY don't even have a pen HALF as nice," you thought, angrily, placing three poppycrowns in the hand of the sweetly smiling cashier. \n\n"i bet they don't even know where to get a fountain pen like this" you [[wrote|Pen2]] spitefully in your journal, a true testament to your superiority. \n\n\n
you become conscious of your breathing.\nyou're afraid that you are going to forget...\nyou feel like you are going to [[suffocate|Breathing 2]].
they would have liked this [[garden|break7]].
that was their favorite thing to bring on picnics. it wasn't yours before, but now it is.\n\n[[wonder if they still like mulberry sandwiches now...|mulberry3]]\n
<i>...use this negligence as a catalyst to regain the knowledge of your true power. your true self. deeply remember who you are, because, in your core, you have never [[forgotten|orc11]]...</i>\n\n
[img[]]\n\nyou turn and see a decapitated marble head, crushing the bed of ferns cradling it. you look closely and see an eye not unlike your own, staring back...\n\nin a daze, you stumble backwards, onto [[something|The Lamb]] soft and warm...\n\n
every winter you would layer\nsilk\ncashmere\nand wool.\n\nevery winter was like a dream...\n\ntonight is not dream. \nnor is it quite winter. \nbut like winter, tonight you are bundled in\nsilk\ncashmere\nand wool.\n\nlike winter your thoughts are brimming over with [[quince and tendon|Quince And Tendon]]\n\n
a tinny, tiny voice whispers in your ear\n"you're alright. no need to quake and faint. look up at the sky. once the moon disappears follow us to the oracle's cave. run as fast as you can. you have to [[be there|moon5]] right when they wake up."
[img[]]\nthe weed choked stream stops it burbling. an insomniac mourning dove pauses mid <i>hoooooooooo</i>. your ears are filled with the buzz of silent [[nothingness|Moon3]]. \n\n\n\n
the candles,covered in algae garlands and shipwrecked leaves,appear again.they surround you,holding you hostage. \n[[you begin to quake, to faint|Moon4]]. \n\n
honey scented steam billows from the pool like fingers caressing your eyes lips cheeks brain. a sweet hum haunts your ears, unstopping. lashes flutter, desperately trying to darken the intense light pouring from deep within the earth. \n\n[[the oracle has manifested itself|pool1]]\n\n
[img[]]\n\nyou had never seen a flower before, but you had some [[concept|Concept 2]] of what they are.
the mint hover-bus swooshed to a stop infront of you, then emits a series of friendly sounding chimes and beeps:\n"[[now boarding route 3, liliumplatz to miriam district|Brake]]."\n\n
you stood there in the fog, wearing gray and feeling gray, at the steely blue hover-bus stop. the one with the flickering orange light.the one whose route goes past the old,empty mansion with an overgrown [[garden|Break3]]. \n\n
you wanted them to find you, somehow, even though they don't know where you are to begin with. they haven't known since the thistleweek celebration three months ago...\n\nyou raise your arms and inhale deeply, then [[follow the tender mosspath|break6]] further into the guts of the garden.
"y...y...y-yes..."\n\n\n[[look upwards|moon6]]
[img[]]\nthe quicksilver lunar mare glow softly. the moon feels magnanimous. blissfully milky and peaceful. slowly, the silver radiance is taken over by gentle darkness.\n\n[[you begin to run|run1]]
[[margot elm|StoryTitle]]
an opulent orb of a silver moon is framed by two shaggy [[juniper trees|Berries]]. an owl floats between them and disappears. it is twilight in the abandoned garden. populated by imitation grecian ruins it has become real through its own decay.\n\nferal [[roses|Concept]] choke a mossy aphrodite. the oracle’s cave, coated in algae, no longer overflows with omens. an armless artemis is bedecked with dry pine needles. cracked seedpods litter the ground around a crumbling nymph. \n\na sea of fractured marble slabs leads to overgrown box woods, shivering with birds nests and reeking of animal musk. there, a shrouded figure proffers medusa’s wildly swinging head…her eyes glint with salty tears…\n\n[[look upwards at the sky|Eclipse]]\n\n
[img[]]\n<i> brave like the abandoned garden. this is your lesson, dear [[little sprout|awake1]]...</i>
the air feels thin\nit is hard to [[think|Thinking]]\nit is hard to [[breath|Breathing1]]
breath \n[[in|Breathing3]]\nor\n[[out|Breathing4]]\n\n
i dreamt that i had long,long hair and swam in a brackish lake. i looked out the window of a train and saw black-beaked swans emerge from a moonlit river. i slept in a bed full of furs and velvets. i fed white flowers to a huge, terrifying sea anemone that quivered in the middle of a flooded garden.\n\n\n\n[[<<back|Journal]]
oh, why should you even care about cosmic unwinding and unweaving, when you yourself have been [[undone|Break2]]. you're a threadbare, worn out version of who you used to be.
[img[]]\nyou trample out at the violetgrad terminal. your sleeping right foot stings itself awake. you turn three corners, walk in a zig-zag for twenty minutes, and stumble down a vacant hill.\n\n[[you have arrived|Break 4]]. \n\n \n
the milk spell (to be remembered)\nthe rose spell (to be loved)\nthe rosemilk spell (to be loved and remembered)\n\n[[<<back|Journal]]\n\n\n
[img[]]\nhow could you drown sorrow-deep at a time like this?\n\nwhy is their name at the tip of your tounge, but not a useful word like "help"?\n\nbecause you still mourn, that's why.\n\nthat's why your thoughts dart about and tie loveloops around your minds [[fingers|sink2]] when it tries to undo a death knot. \n\n\n
[[return to the garden?|Start]]
mulberry sandwich:\nfour slices eggfoam bread\neight thin pieces of springtime sheep cheese\nas much black mulberry jam as you'd like\nsome butter\n\nspread jam on one slice of bread\ntop with cheese\napply second slice of bread\nmelt butter in pan\n(the case iron one you bought as a rosefire eve present)\ngrill sandwich\n\n[[serves two|mulberry2]]\n\nenjoy
[img[]]\nyou burst sweatily and sadly into consciousness, momentarily thinking you were in your warm sleepcocoon. the night air chills the beads of sweat on your vulnerable neck. you turn your head to better listen to a distant quail [[chirruping|Moon]] sweetly...\n
[img[]]\na sound like galloping horses starts off as a small buzz, then increases to a crashing, skull shattering crescendo. you turn to the source of the noise and see [[nothing|The Fog]]...\n\n\n
[img[]]\n\nyou collapse by [[the quince tree|Quince And Tendon]]. a violent gust of wind bursts every single quince blossom. the petals billow around you, settling into your hair, catching between your teeth. \n\nyou eyes are drawn down to the quince roots. the source of the scent materializes. \n\nit is death manifest. \n\ntonight it is a partially dissolved white [[hare|The Hare 2]], taking it's creamy cloak of petals down into the earth with it. \n\n
the sweetwater growing turbid with sugar steam shoots upward, a reverse waterfall, expanding and encompassing everything. it gently absorbs you into it's watery heart,suspending you somewhere between life and death. [[you are being drawn within the depths of the oracle pool|orc3]].
"are you warm, my little [[lamb|lamb3]]?"\n\noh, how your eyes shimmered then.
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you placed your transport prism into the reader and entered. although the bus was empty, you sat in the back and stared out the window. silently floating past the opalhouse units, the bus ventures into historic sector C. \n\n[[your stop is close, now|Broke]]
<i> are a tidepool dweller, a gentle [[flower|orc12]] eater...</i>
<i> bless us with your [[presence|lesson]]...</i>
<i>...pain isn't terrifying, something to be avoided at all costs. it is a catalyst for change,self-introspection, and growth. no one likes to be sad or in pain, but when you are at your lowest remind yourself of all the positive things you have done and all you have learned through surviving and [[healing|orc10]]...</i>\n
gathering olive boughs\nlily roots and fern fronds\nto build up tangled brambles,\nhovering protective leaves for a spell\nof frayed herbs and woven vines\nto ensure the blessing of silence\nupon the gentle soporific speck\nthere lying in coarse white linen,\nthe hidden eyeballs flickering, dilating, \nencompassing, there in white weaving up\nanother, far from this heaviness\ncloser to the gurgling of melting ice,\nlying there, cradling a dagger like a softness,\nsoft as smoke and just as far away\n\n[[<<back|Journal]]
...until a lavender fog lit from within begins to manifest. from it, long [[beeswax|Beeswax]] candles, held by unknown hands, begin a solemn march to the oracle's cave. their light punctuates the eerie darkness...\n\nyou sense [[something|The Eye]] behind you. your flesh puckers into goose pimples.
[img[]]\na cool breeze rustles the fur of the vegetable lamb. it’ll never notice. the [[lamb|Lamb2]] sleeps on. \n\nyou leave your mulberry sandwich near it's mouth. maybe it will wake up and find happiness in this gentle gift.\n\nsleep deep, my sweet sheep. \n\n[[you feel lonely|lonely]]\n\n\n\n\n\n
gaze averted from the pregnant sky, you look downwards and fixate on the flickering leaves of a downtrodden dogwoood. \n\n[[ stand still and try to orient yourself|Crossroad]] \n\n[[try to find the path out of the garden|The Scent]]
at the moment the\n earth\n sun\n and\n moon\nalign\nreality unwinds and reweaves itself.\nduring [[the unraveling|Break]], the peek into the dark space behind those cosmic threads unleashes the preternatural. \n \n
you are a terrible liar, but then, you are in a [[garden of delightful fakes|Start]].
there is a something you must [[witness|The Noise]] tonight. the garden will not let you go until you do.\n
in a place so vernal, so full of unfettered life, you wouldn’t expect to meet death. but there it is, present in the scent of rotting plant matter and decomposing [[animal|The Hare 3]] bodies.\n\n\n\n\n\n
you were never much for keeping a journal. you'd start them and abandon them quickly, jotting down memories half-heartedly. but lately, you cannot stop writing, and carry your journal everywhere. \n\nyou chronicle your daily [[activies|activity]],[[poems|Poem]],[[dreams|Dream]],and [[thoughts|Thoughts]].\n\n[[you probably weren't going to use it at the garden, but you brought it anyways|break7]].
you feel calm.\n\nthe garden feels [[calm|The Noise]]...
your half formed thoughts slowly surrender to the pleasant warm hum of [[nothingness|Thinking3]]. \n\n
in\nout\nin\nout\nin\n[[ou--|The Noise]]
to forget about being weak\nyou woke up this morning\ntossed aside the faux-shearling blanket you mummifed yourself with\nmade a cup of cardamom tea and \nsaid outloud to no one\n"i'm going to explore that old house"\npacked your bag\nand [[headed out|break7]]\non a frustrated, sleep-deprived whim
later that night, you cried yourself to sleep thinking about how you'd never use that pen to write them a letter. how you will probably never write a letter to anyone in your life again. \n\n[[you could have written them a letter, but you didn't want to seem weak|Pen3]].
out\nin\nout\nin\nout\nin\nout\n[[in--|The Noise]]
no, not now. \ndon't let yourself remember this, or you'll start to [[sink|lamb4]] again. \n\n
[img[]]\nyou once woke from a sickbeddream and feversribbled, in silver ink on a torn brown paper bag:\n\n"she crushed juniper berries beneath her feet,\n and wore daisy crowns in her sleep.\n she ran over wolves and ate their sheep,\n and spat something in the sink."\n \nevery time you see a [[juniper tree|Start]] now you start to feel a little feverish. \n\n
you aren't anyone's little lamb anymore, but there is a quite real [[one|The Lamb]] right infront of you.
the feeling of shoved back, un-wept tears is delciously painful. [[keep them in for now|lamb5]].
it seems to be coming from under a near by quince tree. gingerly, you pick yourself up and [[walk towards the scent|The Hare]].
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the candles abruptly stop at the mouth of the cave, glowering in the bloodgold glow. the air is heavy with the gilt of the moon's honey and doplets of honey suckle nectar. \n\n\n\n\n[[you venture into the oracle's pool|The Oracle Pool 1]]
<i> i am in a bleak warehouse, gathering jars of a broth made of humming bird nests. a droplet of the golden liquid escapes the container. i wipe it away with my finger, then absentmindedly, stick it in my mouth. i feel a strange grit on my tongue. </i>\n\n[[you start to go deeper into your dreamworld|dream2]]
i dreamt i was in a warehouse, gathering jars of a broth made of humming bird nests. a droplet of the liquid escaped the container, and i wiped it with my finger. i put my finger in my mouth, then felt a strange grit on my tongue.