Portrait of Talia, The Red Tailor (by Rav)

A portrait of Talia as rendered by Rav/Darlene.  Darlene has quite the collection of character portraits over on CoA, you can view more here, at Rav’s Journal.  I must say I’m very happy with her work, it is definitely how I see Talia.

Tomas, pt. 13

((OOC Note: Dreams and decriptive entires are entered in italics))

He had watched from the shadows as the two large figures held the man. They pulled him to his feet, his face already beginning to swell under the bruises until one eye was pressed tightly shut, his lips split and bleeding. A third man swung the club again and the sharp crack of a rib was followed by a gurgle and a whimper.

A dark smile twisted the corner of his mouth as he heard another blow land. They had done this to him. It was only fitting to return the favor. The tall one stepped back, hands shaking from the rush of adrenaline. The club hung at his side and he surveyed the damage.

“I doubt he’ll try that again.” The two let the beaten man sag to his knees. His breath was short, sobs cut off in the sharp pain. “We’re done here.”

Done? How can they consider this done? Anger flashed hot, threatening to consume him with its flame. It will never be done!

He stepped from the shadows. The two men turned to face him, eyes wide with surprise. Still holding up the beaten man by the arm one spoke with a hesitant voice. “Tomas? What are you…?”

Not waiting for the question to finish he strode forward with purpose. With one hand he grabbed the hair of the beaten man and pulled his head back. Fear showed in the one eye looking up at him. Bloody lips trembled as if to form a plea. His other hand, holding a knife went to the man’s throat. There was a sharp intake of breath as the metal touched skin and for an instant no one moved. Their eyes locked and the fire inside him burned white. A quick pull and the blade opened the man’s neck, blood flowed, almost black in the alley’s dim light. The eye that showed such fear rolled back, lifeless.

He let go of the fistful of hair and the man’s head lolled to the side. The two men holding the arms stared at him, jaws slack.

“Now it is done.”

He wiped the blade on his shirt and looked to the others. All eyes followed his movement as they would a deadly viper. Eyes that darted between him and the nearest escape. One by one they shook their heads and backed away.

“No…” Her voice cut through the murmurs of the others. “What have you done?”

He held out a hand, beckoning, and she took a step back. “Swift.” His voice was calm, and he motioned her closer again. She took another step back and the confusion in her eyes turned to fear and pain. She hesitated just a moment more, mouthing “no”, then turned and fled into the night. “Swift!” He called after her, but the others broke their frozen stance and followed on her heals. The two men were gone; the body slumped at his feet. He stood alone in the night as the rain began to fall. “…Swift.” His voice was lost, and he slid into the shadows again.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Waking in a cold sweat, Tomas pulls off the ragged blanket. He’d find no comfort in sleep tonight. Gathering his pack he sets off into the warm summer’s night.

Talia, p. 96

It has been a long trail back.  I’ve found few answers to my questions since I left, but there is one truth I have gathered… “The past is just that… passed.”  There will never be a way to return to what once was.  We can only move forward, cut away the tattered rags of who we were, of the lies we believed and the ghosts we chased.

My nights have been quiet.  The wolves do not come to the sea.  Even He has long forgotten me. Perhaps they have moved on to easier prey.  I will not hunt when I return, but I will not be hunted either.  If I can, I will live in peace.

~Red

Talia, p. 95

The salt air brushes against my face and I’m reminded of that day years ago.  We hadn’t spoken.  I don’t even think he knew I had come to the docks.  Arrangements had been made, passage paid for and silences bought.  She thought I might want to say a farewell, but how could I?  After all that had been done, after all that had been lost.  I no longer knew who he was.  And yet I still found myself standing there on the cold morning air, waiting, watching.  They finished loading, ropes were cast off, and the ship slowly began to drift.  Only then did he step to the rail to look out over all he had left behind.  Was it sadness I saw, or anger?  Regret and disappointment over what might have been?

I stepped from the shadows and pulled back the hood of my cloak.  I know he saw me then, for his face did change to surprise.  He started, and moved along the rail as if he could cross the distance, the gulf that had opened between us.  At the edge he stretched out his hand, pleading.  I shook my head and that was the last I ever saw of him, for I had turned my back and walked away.  Tears dried on my cheeks leaving a salt that had nothing to do with the sea.

Since then I have found the sea to be a lonely place.  Why I tried to seek him out after all these years I do not know.  There was a trail, for a time, and I clung to that false hope.  But it ended too. A vessel set out to chart the western seas… no port of any size had record of it returning.  He is truly lost.

Tomas, pt. 12

* A new, if still tattered journal sits in the bottom of Tomas’ pack once more *

I never truly believed I’d see her again, but the thought of it always lingered in the back of my mind. A hope… or a wish… like a dull pain that is always there, but can be ignored, most of the time. Would she have forgiven me? Would she have run away? I remember the hurt in her eyes. The fear too. I had done what was needed, what was deserved, what was right. And the others all fled. I was alone then, truly alone. At least that was how I felt. We were hunted. I was hunted. The others fled to save themselves from what I had brought down upon us, but what choice did I have. She could not accept me as I was and if I remained, I was a danger to us all.

Now, not only distance separates us, but there is a gulf of time as well. Those events that placed me on this path… that drove the dagger between us… they have yet to happen. But from here there is nothing I can do to stop them either. That time will come once again, but by then my bones will long since have turned to dust. There will be no forgiveness for me, for that which I did… for that I have yet to do.