Monday, October 25, 2010

[RP] Dreams in Salt, Part 5

She came to soon after the sun set below the horizon of the floating city and dipped low toward the rim of the rest of the world below. Her mouth was dry and she opted not to move for several minutes as she slowly regained consciousness and registered the existence of the world around her.

It was very gloomy-dark in the apartment, which meant she’d missed the entire afternoon and most of the morning. Ambika supposed it could very well be the evening of the following day, and prepared herself mentally for that possibility. The stench of clams filled her nose. Familiarity hadn’t diminished that particular olfactory shock yet and it fairly bludgeoned her senses. Impossibly, her stomach growled.

Or perhaps it was somewhat possible, considering she hadn’t eaten in three days.

A dry chuckle snapped her out of her sleepy state. She sat up, hair fluffed out into a strange, asymmetrical halo around her head, and prepared to unload roughly four tons of shadow energy in the direction of the sound.

Zana’zua, either unaware or unafraid of how close he was to utter annihilation by brainwave, simply sat in her dining chair with his hands on his knees, an outline against the faint light that came in through the stained-glass window as the streetlights flickered on. Ambika blinked at the pair of softly-glowing blue eyes hovering in the gloom, and they blinked back.

“Sleep well?”

She grunted. A stray lock of hair fell in her face and she brushed it all back in annoyance, searching fruitlessly in the dark for her errant clip.

“I don’t know why you waited so long.”

He grinned at her. “What else do I have to wait for?”

Thanks to the streetlamps outside it was just light enough now to see the troll rubbing her fists in her eyes with her mouth turned down at the corners. She resembled a slightly overgrown and very cranky child.

“I don’t know. Whatever it is you people do.” Rising to her feet, she put both hands in the small of her back and stretched, cracking several aching joints at once. “How did you get in?”

“The door was unlocked.”

Ambika frowned mightily and hobbled to the small open kitchen, rattling the cupboard as she located a cup and a tin of tea leaves in the dim light. “I suppose I forgot to lock up.”

She didn’t mention that it was also, for her, quite worrisome. Her stomach rumbled again and she paused for a moment, trying not to heave at the fish-market stink that assaulted her senses.

“Do you need anything?” Zana’zua shifted in his seat, resting against the back of it.

“I need something to eat,” she admitted as she put the kettle on to boil. “I haven’t gone to market in ages, I have nothing in the house.”

Zana’zua stared pointedly at the wastebucket full of clams. “How old are those?”

“Why?” She stared blankly at the death knight as she wiped out a teacup with a clean towel.

“Do you not eat clams?”

“What.” Her gaze fell to the bin at her feet, which was filled to the top with pale white meat.

“You just said there was no food in the house.”

“I don’t eat those.” Her disdain was evident in the wrinkling of her nose.

“Why not? They’re good, if I remember correctly.” He walked over to the wastebasket and looked in.

“I don’t know,” she said truthfully, shrugging as she tipped the steaming kettle into her cup. “I wasn’t thinking of them as food. I haven’t since...”

Her mouth tightened and she stopped there, busying herself with the seeping of tea leaves mixed with various sweet-smelling herbs.

The death knight turned towards her, smiling gently. “Since.”

“You will eat anything when you’re poor. Sometimes when you leave bad memories behind, you also leave behind the things that remind you.” Tap, tap went her silver spoon against the side of the cup.

Zana’zua nodded. “I see.” He stared thoughtfully at the bucket for a moment before turning back to Ambika. “Where would you like to eat, then?”

“I’ll order something from the bar downstairs. They have a decent kitchen.”

“Would you like me to wait here?”

She put a hand up to the crow’s nest of her hair and looked at him. “I don’t suppose I could talk you into getting something for me.”

The death knight chuckled. “What do you want to eat?”

There were soft sipping sounds in the dark as she contemplated the question. “Soup. Something with a lot of vegetables.” She paused to sip again. “ seafood.”

He shrugged, and headed for the door. “No seafood.” He chuckled again. “I’ll be back soon.”

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