It isn't enough, but... ♥
Immeasurable steps through red sands as soft as slowly passing time. The rocks beneath show in places, and shoot skyward in places, but their harsh black skin is always welcome. These jutting outcrops are familiar. They’re home.
Even the wind, which whips up so hard sometimes that it flays open miles of sharp black stone, is expected in this place. His feet leave footprints that the wind washes away. There is no future, no past, except the history he holds inside himself. The history that writes itself upon his face and digs deep scars across his quills.
A smooth black stone beacons to him, and he perches on it for a moment, resting his sore feet. A gust of wind steals one of his plumes, whipping it from his shoulder, and sends it cascading off into the nearby cliffs. Such a small mark upon the world… What use could anyone have for a quill?
The black cliffs beyond the sands rise up to compliment the ever-fading skies. As a child, he wondered what lay atop the cliffs, and spent many sleepless nights imagining the possibilities. His dreams were always red. Always black. He knew nothing else, and pictured nothing else. Later in life, he climbed. His calloused fingers gripped the highest ledge, and he stared unblinkingly into lands that precisely reflected the sandy plains below. He had sat for days, staring, wondering what the purpose of such a cliff was, if not to help him achieve something better than what he’d been given. Stared for days, until he realized that he would rather be below. Below, staring up at the unknown. Better to stare at the unknown than stare at disappointment. And wasn’t the climb worth it? To test his worth? Perhaps that’s all a cliff ever was, he told himself. A test.
But he hadn’t climbed again.
He dusts himself off now, brushing away the soft sands that gather on his plumes and threaten to turn him red, and is just about to return to his trek when a blaze of the unknown catches his eye. He blinks, head cocking sideways to gain better perspective. Caught against the smooth black stone, half-buried by red sand, is a feather. He tugs it from its tomb, and it kicks against him, fighting to gain footing on the wind. He holds it tight, twisting it, as the ever-setting light reflects colors he has never seen before.
The cliffs groan as the unknown spreads emerald veins through their sands. He squints against the flood, his eyes weak against the sea of shimmering green, and holds a black hand up to shield his vision.
Worlds colliding. It has happened before. Blades of blue grass bursting from the red. Purple mushrooms, bubbling up to die amongst the rocks. And in the midst of it all, there is always… Him. Her. It.
Her. This time. This one. This one is new. Vibrant green that accosts his eyes. Her own eyes are unmasked, and he feels ashamed as he stares upon her naked face, emotions frank and bleeding from her every expression. Her brows are furrowed, curious, intent, and it takes him a moment to look away, look down, to see the black quill grasped tightly in her hand.