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Fanfic: A Changeling Merges With Her Fetch

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  • Fanfic: A Changeling Merges With Her Fetch

    Originally posted on Spacebattles, but recommended to post it here too. Please review in a post and all that - I don't mind criticism

    Mirrors



    Click. Thunk.

    I felt my blood freeze.

    For a moment there was silence, then I heard...her clicking. Echolocation, I guessed from out previous encounters.

    Then the quiet footsteps of something that was not quite chitin and not quite mammalian flesh glide across the floor. Thump-click. Thump-click.

    I reached for my knife.

    Thump-click. Thump-click.

    I got the flashlight.

    Thump-click. Thump-click.

    The light went on.

    There she was, in all her alien glory. Wings that were somewhere between gargoyle and spiderweb were extended threateningly as exoskeleton covered arms with grabbing claws crossed, more scolding mother than fairy tale monster. Two human eyes and six bug eyes gazed at me furiously.

    A moment. Then I broke the silence.

    "What do you want, other me?"
    ----1---



    The shell the Iron Knight left behind looked up from her bed, teeth bared but eyes betraying fear. She knew very well how often I would suddenly pull a scheme out of absolutely nowhere to make every defeat a victory, every cowardly act simply preparation for an act of even greater heroism. I suppose I had to thank him for that - what doesn't kill you...

    Makes you wish he had sometimes, but I got strong enough to outwit him anyway, strong enough to overcome the monstrous warrior.

    Not the point right now. I hissed at the shell.

    "Emma. Explain now."

    Okay, now she was confused. "You snuck into dad's house just to ask me about her?"

    "Why did you forgive her?"

    Both she and I shared the trauma of that day, though mine, even she admitted, was worse. She just remembered being locked up for hours before that janitor released her slightly later than what actually happened, I ran into the woods and got lost...for over a decade in Arcadian time, hiding in the tree roots and cutting bargains with fae insects as part of my scheme to help myself and my friends escape.

    But still, that was a bit of a feat unto itself.

    Hence the question.

    "...I didn't."

    Hm?

    "I was planning to get back at her for Mom's flute."

    ...Oh. I immediately felt an objection coming on...

    Which died when I remembered exactly which Entitlement I was a part of, and what I had done to cement the legend of Skittering Jane, the girl whose mother ate a spider egg.

    I still didn't approve of this betrayal, though.

    "...You're being like her. If you do...whatever you're planning, you'll prove she and Sophia were right."

    "So what!?" The shell rose to her feet. "It's not like you're the one doing it, and you seem to think you're the real one!"

    "And?" I said. "You seem to think you're the real one too, so why are you doing this?"

    "I...I..."

    She looked down, beginning to cry.

    "Because nobody else will. Not the principal. Not her father. Not even...not even..."

    And now I felt bad for the fetch. "Hey, hey, it's okay..."

    She started to cry in earnest. Not about Emma, I think.
    ---0----


    I remember the first day I met the other Taylor. Or Ines Allard, as she was insistent on calling herself in front of her friends.

    To be frank, it was the worst of a bad week. Up until then, I thought something in me finally broke after...that incident. I suddenly didn't feel like holding back any more.

    Well...up until the moment after my revenge plot came to completion, starting with the 'weakest' bully to psych myself up. I underestimated just how many issues Madison was concealing behind that childish facade. Maybe she thought if she pretended she was younger, she would be able to convince herself that...whatever made her attack Sophia with scissors in the middle of a psychotic break didn't happen?

    She, nor anyone else traced it to me. I think they thought I would have looked triumphant. Proud.

    Silver linings are a load of bullshit.

    Then I started seeing her, long before I met her. Today I know she couldn't help it. Autumn Courtiers have that fear as a part of who they are and why they do, no matter how noble they try to be. Double for Scarecrow Ministers. It was natural for her to sort through my dreams first, and to shadow me. Studying me.

    But then, I thought I was going insane. Especially when she climbed out of the mirror that was now a portal to a strange place of thorns and ivy.

    I remember being too scared to scream while she looked me over with those cold eyes of hers. I recognized the wings and claws as those of Skittering Jane, but the face was mine. Mostly. And not due to her new eyes either. Her old ones had a sort of profound sadness I'd expect to see on a soldier tired of war.

    "Why did you do it, Taylor?" she asked. "And what should I do with me?"
    ----1---



    I still didn't have the answer to that question.

    Hell, I wasn't sure, despite all pretense, if I was, in fact, the original Taylor Hebert. The Knight could have easily stolen a bit of the other me (her unwillingness to fight back, I guessed) and fashioned the me-me from it as a slave. Actually, I wanted that to be the real explanation, because then my (our? her?) dad would have had his real daughter, not some Fae-made impostor put there as an afterthought.

    The fact that part of me wanted to stand up to the bullies like she did really didn't help.

    The Autumn King, Lord Coil (and to this day I did not understand the need for nicknames-I could understand not using your real one given the symbolic logic of Fae magic, but aliases worked just as well) told me his fetch lost his conscience. While both were greedy sons of a bitch, I had to agree with my King there. Whatever Coil was, he wasn't the kind of person who would kidnap a young girl and torture her for prophecies (I didn't put it past His Majesty to blackmail a young girl for prophecies, but eh). Mine, on the other hand? Mine began similar and became even more so in the real-world season I was gone.

    Could I judge myself for crimes I wanted to commit? Should I?

    That was the reason I began these little chats.
    ---0----

    And then my life began to really suck.

    I learned how to enter Ines' dreams from following the way she entered mine. And found out her confusion.

    I suppose it could be that she went off the deep end and convinced herself she used to be human, but no. If that were the case, it would be even more of a violation of Occam's Razor; our memories were too similar, our thought processes too alike.

    So either I was a fake or I was missing something vital. I honestly wasn't sure which was worse.

    And then the hobgoblins came and started playing tricks. Hobgoblins I drew accidentally through little tricks I learned as my other half grew stronger..

    I remember the day she slipped and called me a "shell" to my face. I didn't hold it against her. I was more relieved to have a word for how I felt.
    ----1---

    Hence, why I was here now, preventing my fetch from doing something the both of us would regret.

    What a long, strange journey we had.

    I guessed the Iron Knight, in his obsession with the concept of bravery, created her as an experiment. Would a girl who acted on the impulse to fight back still be called "brave" by society? Or a coward for choosing the easy or cunning path.

    Or altered.

    The difference was pedantic, when it came down to it.

    We weren't opposites, or even copies. We were a cracked mirror, slightly uneven and jagged.

    Stuck reflecting a person that no longer existed.
    ---0----



    Now my twin was crying herself.

    This wasn't surprising. I knew that cold face she presented to the world was just her trying to be brave. It was my face after all.

    I put my hand on her shoulder to show she wasn't alone.
    ----1---



    I felt my twin's hand touch my shoulder at the exact moment I tried to comfort her with putting my hand on her shoulder.

    We looked at each other with the exact same surprised expression.

    For some reason, I found this hilarious.
    ---0----





    I fell back on the bed, my laughter joining my twin's.

    This was supposed to be the girl I was so different from?
    ----1---




    My nemesis?
    ---0----



    Yeah sure, whatever you say.
    ----1---





    I didn't notice her dissolving into hardy wood and steel until I looked up.
    -----10-----


    And felt the odd sense of two minds in my head.

    We looked down at the trinkets.

    Well, this is new, one part of me thought.

    Could it be what you were made out of?, the other thought.

    A better question is, did the human change to look like the fae?

    Come to think it, I suppose that would be. That one was stupidly obvious no matter which theory you ascribe to.

    Do you care?

    No.

    And like that, it felt like the mirror's surface dissolved.

    The shell was me. The other was me.

    And we -no, I- felt whole at last.

    The next day, I made breakfast for dad and I, for the first time in years, and with the smile I had been wearing for months was genuine.



    A/N: Anyway, this is crossover with something called Worm, but I altered the characters to fit into Changeling's setting. A couple in-jokes aside, you don't need to even know what genre Worm is to understand this-purely Changeling story.

    If you want to ask....
    Last edited by Leliel; 11-24-2015, 12:08 AM.



  • #2
    Wow! This was awesome! Way to go!

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you!


      Comment


      • #4
        Man, that was nice . Well done.


        "I am a daydreamer and a Night thinker."~

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        • #5
          This was a good story, and I'm glad I stuck with it to the end. At first I was a little confused about what was going on, because of the terminology ("shell" instead of "fetch") and the fact that the characters' voices are so similar. The little ----0---- and ----1---- dividing each section from the next were kind of small and offset from the rest of the text, so I didn't notice them at first. Maybe the speaker's identity would have been clearer if each section were written in a different primary color, and then the last section was written in a color which blended the first two?

          It was also a little unclear where the fetch worked (daycare? preschool? juvenile detention facility?) or how she took her revenge on this "Madison" girl. Perhaps the exact method is intentionally left to the reader's imagination? In any case, it certainly doesn't feel like justice (or justifiable) for a trusted adult to attack a child in her care, no matter how much of a threat to the other children she might be. Maybe I'm missing something?

          Overall, though, I enjoyed this story. It explores an avenue for dealing with a fetch which few players and storytellers ever consider. I really liked the poetic language about the two characters being "a cracked mirror, slightly uneven and jagged. Stuck reflecting a person that no longer existed." It even gives the reader something which is precious-rare in the World of Darkness: a happy ending, of sorts.

          Well done!


          Author of Motor City Breakdown, [New Seeming] Mechanicals, and [Entitlement] Divers of the Cerulean Pearl
          Accuracy Consultant on Ashes of the Motor City, Author of Devil's Night in the D
          Editor, Compiler, and Senior Contributor to Tenebrous Seas
          Current Project(s): Late Antiquity/Early Medieval Dark Era for Genius: The Transgression

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Super_Dave View Post
            This was a good story, and I'm glad I stuck with it to the end. At first I was a little confused about what was going on, because of the terminology ("shell" instead of "fetch") and the fact that the characters' voices are so similar. The little ----0---- and ----1---- dividing each section from the next were kind of small and offset from the rest of the text, so I didn't notice them at first. Maybe the speaker's identity would have been clearer if each section were written in a different primary color, and then the last section was written in a color which blended the first two?

            Huh, you're the first to notice that, out loud, actually. Probably should have.

            It was also a little unclear where the fetch worked (daycare? preschool? juvenile detention facility?) or how she took her revenge on this "Madison" girl. Perhaps the exact method is intentionally left to the reader's imagination? In any case, it certainly doesn't feel like justice (or justifiable) for a trusted adult to attack a child in her care, no matter how much of a threat to the other children she might be. Maybe I'm missing something?

            This is where the Worm-verse ties in; Taylor Hebert, the person I am writing an AU of, is 15-16 years old. Madison is a fellow student, one of the so-called Terrible Trio that drove the canon one to near-insanity. The idea is that the fetch lacks the original Taylor's canon restraint (the first chapter of the web serial is Taylor managing to convince herself to not use her newfound insect empathy to go Carrie Beelzebub on the school), so she/it treated Madison, the most immature of the Trio, with all of her canon self's ruthless pragmatism. And yes, I left it ambiguous to avoid having to puzzle out something rather complex for a one-shot.

            Overall, though, I enjoyed this story. It explores an avenue for dealing with a fetch which few players and storytellers ever consider. I really liked the poetic language about the two characters being "a cracked mirror, slightly uneven and jagged. Stuck reflecting a person that no longer existed." It even gives the reader something which is precious-rare in the World of Darkness: a happy ending, of sorts.

            Well done!
            Thank you!


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