aison: to keep me awake (and for memories)
A ([personal profile] aison) wrote in [community profile] veiledallegory2012-03-28 11:26 pm

Enlightenment: sun and the shine.

Title: sun and the shine
Warnings: Nothing so simple.
Word Count: 1302.
Characters: Nigel and Bernkastel. Briefly Will. Mentions of Alan, Crista, and Erico.
Notes: Commission for [personal profile] psyches: "Nigel Kane, Bernkastel, and Willard H. Wright; on miracles."
This is part one of three.

Summary: Of this world, there are some who do not run by the rules known so well. Even the rules set by madness and dreams, they shatter, tear asunder, to raise up anew.

References: "We Can Get Them for You Wholesale," Smoke and Mirrors, Neil Gaiman.

It was a meeting of detectives but one was found lacking. Gold eyes set firmly from a higher height and then spoke: “You’ve already lost the means for the motive.”

You’ve already been tainted by a witch.


There was a girl once, he recalled, that looked as such: blue hair and violet eyes clear to his gaze, but she detested the comparison and he was playing nice. At any rate, the monster in the guise of a woman gestured, expression place in such a way to disallow any negatives. “I have a job for you,” she sang. “Do this for me, and you’ll be free of your pain.”A lie by any other name. He had been given enough warning.

There was a girl once, blue hair and violet eyes, and she had called herself a witch.


Alan, of course, did not believe in witches. Alan, of course, did not deny them. A pity, Nigel thought. This would be far simpler with one who denied witches.

…He shuddered from memory, and perished the thought.


One would question why he chose that pathway, but look no further than red, scarlet upon the snow, and blue, sapphire gems in the night. It came in three parts, and if he wanted to quote another, he could see the irony.


He met her when she wanted it to be. When he felt the loss of hope. It had been ten years… It had been three. To the day, to the minute, and he pushed thoughts of Alan away, and focused on what was lost. The birds pecked at crumbs beneath his feet, and the breeze shifted quietly. Sound faded to the background, blurring, not unlike his vision.

“There was a time,” she complained, somewhere to the right of him. “Where those seeking death leapt off skyscrapers.”

His eyes angled to her lightly. “I don’t seek death.”

She cackled, and it was almost horrific in its edge of politeness, an offering of entrails. “My mistake! There was a time where those seeking lost family threw themselves off skyscrapers.” She smiled, eyes dead in her face, and her insinuation more than obvious. Seeking those who were lost led to death. She lost nothing in providing that, because the ones before her would still walk that path regardless, hopeless and miracleless as it was. “A park like this just lacks a certain je ne sais quoi. You’re French, right? In some life, at least.” She laughed again, an obscene giggle, and he wondered when was the last time she had entertainment. When was the last time she had played a game to her every whim. He wasn’t so set on providing her with that. He just wanted--

…Ah. That would end things before they started. She looked over to him, swinging her feet on the bench next to him. “Are you sure you’re not pathetically seeking death?”


Once he would have said yes.


Brown, black, and white mingled and murmured their secrets to each other like pieces of a whole, long since separated, and when Alan’s face lightened in that way unknown to any others, Nigel felt it, even if he could not see it. And after, when they parted ways, and white left with, perhaps, a duller black, and nothing so close to the richness of brown, and after, when Alan was asleep as if by someone’s design, Nigel wondered to the dark. He questioned realities made, and if they would be considered more true if one never knew the difference. If they, perhaps, for all their man-made qualities, for reasons of man’s madness over its own marvels, simply suited. Perhaps it was a reality created that allowed for happiness, when life itself was guaranteed to always end in loss.

It was a certainty.


“A certainty?” she echoed to him when he spoke. “Heeheehee, you’re asking the wrong witch, certainly. Give me something more abstract to shatter.”

“I’m not looking for you to shatter it,” he countered idly. “I was seeking confirmation.”

The game was clearer in this world, and she was amused by one who knew the rules. A smile set upon her face, eyebrows lifting in feigned surprise. Nigel waved a hand in dismissal. “A conversation; idle chatter. Nothing so close to a wish.” An agreement of beings. He was lying, as he would, and it was everything like a wish, everything that she needed to use him as hers. She existed insubstantial, only viewable to those who lacked the ability to discern realities.

Nigel wondered suddenly, if Alan would see her if he stumbled across her path.


“Do you want to see?” she asked him once, eying him with a maddened look and a grin. “‘I can get them for you wholesale’--I can show you the other worlds you could have ended up in.”

“The point?” he replied, without pause. “I’m in the world that I’m in and nothing can--”

She smiled, and he had misstepped without thinking. He had spent too much time in the company of a witch, and even the one who claimed immortality of the mind had slackened. She said nothing to mock him, as if sure of her sale, and instead stood up, brushing off her skirts, and almost kindly held a hand out to him. “Let me show you the miracles you want.”

He wanted to deny her, to claim those miracles were dead, but he knew, and knew well, that in some worlds they weren’t, in some worlds, they were together, happy, and in some worlds, they were fighting but alive, and in some worlds, there was love redeemed and within reach, in some worlds, in some worlds--

And Nigel knew, in those worlds, Alan did not exist.

“Another time,” he breezed, standing to walk away, and Bernkastel, the Witch of Miracles, reached a hand once insubstantial out to touch his arm, and intoned, “But I insist.”


“All right,” Nigel said, out of breath and cheeks tear-streaked. “All right.”


There are ways and wiles to witches once wild--their gift, if that it can be called, is of seeing what is actually wanted, rather than what is spoken.


“I have a job for you,” the witch in velvet and lace purred. “Do this for me, and you’ll be free of your pain.”A lie by any other name. He had been given enough warning. There were a few, a matched pair, that had spoken of witches. Yet, he only moved to mirror her, inclined his head theatrically and spoke, “I’m not going to follow a trail of breadcrumbs,” and she only smiled, satisfied, “I have no intent of letting you waste away in the curtains.”

Waste away before your time. She smiled again. Her eyes still dead in her skull.

It was another he thought of as he replied, the tell only in tone, for eyes revealed nothing when held as oblique mirrors. “Then I’ll look forward to your game, lady.”

This only gained a giggle, sharp as daggers. “Poor pretty lost child,” Bernkastel crooned. “Trying to play a game you already know you’ve lost. But there might be a miracle for you yet. If it exists, I can find it, so do well in your dance.” Her hand tapped, impatient, against the arm of the chair she had settled into. “It’s nothing so idle a fancy, so take it seriously.

“And remember,” she said, a double-edged blade in every word. “I always repay my debts.”

Nigel wondered if it was meant as a promise or a warning, a bid to succeed or a threat of betrayal, but she had no worry, for in this, Nigel had--

Aha, it was supposed to be funny, wasn’t it? It should have been, but it fell flat nonetheless. The back of his jaw clenched against the threat of tears.

He had nothing, so he would do nothing against her, for the possibility of that miracle.

That empty miracle that he would die for the chance of, all the same.