A name not spoken in vain
An early morning, in a normal house. The sun shone pleasantly through the curtains, and there was a faint hint of cleaning potions in the air. In the kitchen, an adult woman hummed the tune to the same song she always sang.
It was to this comfortable scene that Aisha had woken, and it was with her mother's melody hanging in the background that she carefully stepped down the stairs, nursing her left hand like it was a fragile object that might easily break. After all, that was more or less the truth.
Aisha's plaintive, worried voice cut through the air, stopping her mother's melody. She was in no mood for listening to it anyway.
Miriam turned around. What she saw was her barely dressed daughter, left arm wrapped in a sweater that was also soaked with water. A glance at the mana flows showed a deeper, by now painfully common tale. She lightly sighed.
"Mom, I… My hand…"
"Isn't that your favorite sweater?" She lightly scolded her daughter. "Well. It's just water, I suppose. Here, take this towel before you start dripping all over the floor."
"Mom!" There was a note of betrayal in Aisha's voice.
"I told you, you've got to start taking care of these problems yourself. I can't always be there to fix them for you. Tell you what." She poked Aisha's sweater with the towel, then set it aside and gently began unwrapping her daughter's hand. Miriam tut-ed at the sight. Entirely what she'd expected– pale skin from the shoulder to the elbow, then clear ice, slowly melting in the kitchen's heat.
She'd slept on it, of course, and so her hand was barely a nub. Miriam made a mental note to go air the bedsheets out, but for now, her daughter needed her. Not that she was going to make it easy on her.
She scraped the elbow with a fingernail, shaving a little bit away. This ice was literally rotten, but what could you expect from a dream-state metamorphosis. It'd have to come off.
"Your clothes are soaked." There was a small puddle forming beneath Aisha. "Tell you what, I'll give you two options. Either you go take a shower right now, then go to school, and we'll sort this out later."
Eyes widening, Aisha gulped.
"Or?" Her voice was tremulous. There was a part of Miriam that hated doing this, but she didn't have a choice.
"I can't fix it right now." Her voice was flat, brooking no argument. "I need to stay fresh for work, and you're getting too powerful. It's those worshippers in that 'Aisha club' of yours, I'm sure."
"They aren't– It isn't–"
She stared her daughter down until she sullenly looked away, gripping her arm. "They're just friends," Aisha muttered. Which was true, but her daughter had to realize what that meant for her. It was better than the opposite problem, Miriam supposed.
There was a moment's silence.
"Or I unseal your domain, and you get to take your own chances, little goddess of change. If you can punch through it while sleeping, then you're more than powerful enough to fix this on your own. Of course, your control is…" She let the word trail off. Aisha made a face, no doubt remembering the last time she'd insisted they try that.
"It's one or the other. Oh, by the way." Turning back to the counter, and her vegetables, she asked Aisha over her shoulder, "What do you want for lunch today? Eggs and sausage? I'll cut them up, so it's easier to eat with one arm."
"Sounds fine," Aisha mumbled, gripping her melting arm tightly. "I'll go take that shower."
Miriam threw her a back-handed salute, then kept chopping vegetables until she could her the creaks of her daughter walking up the stairs. Mouth set in a thin line, she looked unhappily down at the board.
"…I'm sorry, Aisha, but you need to work on this."
A/N: I thought I should get this out while, you know, the board isn't on fire. Fire soon? Flames bursting out of disks, even? But not right now.
This setup is quite frankly silly, yet probably less so than usual. A lot of interpersonal silliness can be avoided by foisting it all onto 'magic'. What you can expect from this is, nevertheless, probably the same sort of thing as in Car Fight or Susan.
We'll see where it goes. Meanwhile, I hope the concept in fact appeals.
I'm a little bit lost on the context. Is this a fan fic or continuation of something I'm unaware of, or…?
So she's apparently lost control of her magic, and her hand turned to ice as she dreamed? They're of a divine race? I don't entirely understand the situation, but I'll wait for more chapters. Gotta let it build up! Susan is my favorite story from here, after all, and… surely it's not going to be too far from that? I'll trust the tags lol
I don't write fanfiction, so this is original. :-)
To be entirely clear, her arm turned to ice from the elbow down. Then she turned over and slept on it. It was a hot night, you see, or more accurately a hot morning – her arm wouldn't have lasted the entire night. It's not going to last very long in the shower.
As for the specifics of Miriam and Aisha's relationship, I'm going to let you guess for a while. Apart from the obvious: They're definitely mother and child.
(And it's not a continuation. It's the result of a weird dream I had while sweating excessively from the heat.)
= Showers and shoulders =
The shower had been warm, and comfortable, and she'd gone in there with her heart beating rapidly from fear. It shouldn't have been comfortable. She'd walked into the enclosure with what amounted to an icy stalactite hanging from her shoulder, albeit an articulated one, and she'd be walking out of it sans an arm.
She'd tried, too. She'd really tried. She'd turned her face into the stream, dug at her emotions and felt for the tears that she was sure should be there, then laughed at the ridiculousness of her own drama. Her arm was melting – sure, this was something like the eighth time she'd broken part of her own human form, and only six of those had left her anything like humanoid. She'd stepped into the shower with an icicle. It didn't even feel like much of anything, just a bit of chilly water running down her leg.
It made a comfortable contrast to the warm rivulets running down her from the faucet, so long as she didn't think too much about it. She'd completely lost feeling in (the remains of) her arm.
No, this was fine. She'd just– explaining to her friends– well, they'd understand.
There was still a fair bit of ice left, so Aisha busied herself taking that shower. This was one of her favorite times of day, and she wasn't going to let something as silly as – er, losing a limb – take that away from her.
Reaching for the shampoo, she considered that. Maybe she wasn't over it yet. She'd broken herself before, just never publicly, and…
"Um. How… do I…"
Aisha stood frozen in the shower, shampoo bottle in one hand, missing the other. It was a plain, smooth plastic bottle. She usually had to peel it open with her fingernails. It was definitely not built to be opened single-handedly. Maybe if she bit…
The inside would be all encrusted with old shampoo.
Aisha smacked her head against a corner of the shower, allowing the water to run down her back. That left one, no, two options. She could ask mom for help. The greatest magician in the western world would certainly not be bested by a bottle. Or – and she felt frustration beating in her like a heart – she could fix it herself, like mom always hoped she would. Her tools were the dull edges of the shower door, the duller edges on the bathroom table, and magic that would probably turn her into a donkey if she tried. Or…
Aisha was a smart girl, which meant she'd figured it out immediately. She just hadn't wanted to think about it. But her other, alternative tool was rapidly melting, so if she wanted to try it then her only option was basically right now.
Aisha wasn't smart enough to think of other options, like clawing it open while holding it in place with her feet. Then again, maybe it was just the excitement of that first idea. It was her own arm, after all.
Before she could think better of it, she swung it heavily against the wall. The left, of course, or what was left of it. It shattered like glass, with a sharp pain that she had to grit her teeth against.
A second later she was blinking, spitting out an errant shard of ice. And just like she'd hoped, though there was very little left of it below the elbow, the elbow joint itself had broken into a few sharp protruding bits that moved when she tried to flex them. Even as ice, she had anatomy.
These were her… bones? They were still just ice, but it wasn't as eroded and mushy as the rest of her arm. She tapped one thoughtfully, thinking she could probably cut herself on that.
It'd do. Nod, nod.
It was even easier to open the bottle than usual. Though she broke off a few more flaking bits of ice in the process, and by the time she'd finished washing her hair– clumsily, using one hand– there was nothing more left of that arm at all, except for a fleshy stump going halfway to her elbow. Dressing herself one-handedly would be hard. She guessed that'd set the tone for the day. She didn't feel too bad about it. In fact–
Aisha eyed the stump critically. It was ugly, frankly, and it was just too long to hide inside a t-shirt. Maybe– mom did say to solve her own problems, so maybe–
Once again taking action before she could talk herself out of it, she closed her eyes and pushed in a particular way, pictures of her friends flying through her mind. No, she certainly wouldn't want Fiona or Samantha to see her this way. Restoring her arm was far too much to hope for, yes, but if she–
She shuddered and bit her lip, queasily clutching her shoulder as the flesh beneath it starting slipping through her fingers. It felt awful. It felt right, and she could feel her fingertips slipping through muscle. It felt terrifying. It felt– her left arm-stub fell against her body, twitching and powerless, and it felt exhilarating, like she was exercising a muscle that had been cramped for years. Flesh parted like clay, her fingers slipping into the hollow of the joint between her body and that arm.
She'd never actually tried this on herself before, only on what-might-have-been-dinner.
Aisha opened her eyes, looking down, and carefully not looking to the left. There was a strange assortment of colors washing away into the shower drain–yellow, brown, even some hints of red–her heart had to be doing three hundred a minute, and she had to force herself to maintain focus. Crazy ideas kept sprouting up, like making her shoulder sprout tentacles, or– spores that'd make more of her, or– definitely nothing she wanted.
Cutting the arm off wasn't the hard part of this. Making sure the cut looked healthy, or was at least covered with skin? That was going to be the hard part. It was all within her grasp, of course. Mom kept saying so. Blood vessels, cartillage, skin, capillaries, nerves, mesenchymal cells… she didn't know the names, but she knew, at a level below words.
It would be incredibly embarrassing if she walked out of the shower and had to ask her mom to fix a bleeding wound.
Gingerly, as carefully as she possibly could, she brushed a finger over her clavicle and scapula to smooth away some of the protrusions. Of course it didn't quite work. The arm had been easy– it was barely hanging on by a few shreds of flesh, and it was going into the drain. The scapula? She needed that, but her power trembled, flaring up eagerly and consuming far more of the bone than intended, and paralysing her with pain. The moment she could, she snatched her hand back like it'd suddenly caught on fire.
A gasping half-sob later, she finally made herself turn her head and stare down at the damage.
It looked like someone had dipped the bone in a powerful acid. Her flesh was literally crawling around it, squirming like it was made of tentacles rather than muscles, but the bone she'd left exposed looked like someone had sprayed hot water at an icicle. She had recent experience with just that, after all.
She'd more than halfway cut through it. She couldn't possibly fix… but… bones were strong, weren't they? Just so long as she was careful…
If the entire rest of the process hadn't felt so good, she might have vomited. Aisha knew she wasn't really risking anything but embarrassment, and maybe not even that, but– that had been awful.
"I'm so grounded," she groaned. "The party. Linda's going to kill me."
Unless– unless she could keep it a secret. She had a month, or two, maybe. Then it'd break. Guaranteed. And when it broke–
It was a distinctly glummer girl that finished the job, smoothing down the skin and muscle until her left shoulder looked like she'd just never had an arm, the remains of which went down the drain as planned. Maybe it was compensation, or maybe just her mood, but she didn't have another flare-up. It almost made up for finally realizing that mom, in fact, already knew she wasn't supposed to be armless.
However, when she exited the shower, her mom was standing there smiling at her. And thought she protested and blushed, and tried to cover herself with her one hand–
"I used to change your diapers, Aisha. You've nothing I haven't seen before."
A scandalized tone, this time. She wondered if she'd get to hold a conversation today that wasn't a single-syllable exclamation. Still… it was nice. Though she blushed beet-red from the exposure, after a few painful attempts at drying her hair on her own, she gave up and sat down naked on her mother's lap.
The brush flowed comfortingly through her hair.
She leaned into her mother's chest, smiling dreamily. Neither of them tried to start a conversation. Maybe it wasn't so bad, after all…
That attitude lasted, maybe, ten minutes. Coincidentally, that was was long as it took before she found she couldn't put on clothes without help, either. Not even panties, though she tried, oh she tried, and mom found it all far, far too amusing for someone who was supposed to be on her side. She could sit out gym class today… right?
The way her luck was going, Aisha thought glumly, the answer was 'Probably not'.
A/N: Aaaand that probably marks the high-water mark in terms of darkness, until the 'party' turns out to be a D&D adventuring party and Aisha breaks free of her chains in the middle of a boss battle, becoming once again the eldritch god of chaos she once was.
Alternately, there might be insufficient pizza.
> Appeals to Aoi
Wow, that's a tag now?
I wonder if I should feel flattered to be considered so famous that saying a story appeals to me is supposed to describe it in a way people are expected to understand.
Or if it's a sign of depopulation of gurochan becoming so desperate that one has to direct their story to someone right in the title to ensure at least somebody actually reads it, lol.
As for the story itself, looks like a promising if indeed somewhat confusing start, but having questions just adds another reason to look forward to the next chapters in hope of getting answers. Given that it's just a start though, there's little else to say but: give us more.
That being said, what about the Car Fight? Your recent post in that thread gave out impression that you were going to write something in that setting. Or is it that as you were contemplating it, it evolved into a new idea that we see here instead?
> That being said, what about the Car Fight? Your recent post in that thread gave out impression that you were going to write something in that setting. Or is it that as you were contemplating it, it evolved into a new idea that we see here instead?
Thought about it, decided not to spend actual effort on this.
As you say, there aren't a lot of people reading. That might have something to do with the place breaking every two weeks, but in any case, I'm going to stick with whatever I have suitable inspiration for at the moment.
The A2A tag is because I tried working out what to tag this with, came up mostly blank, and decided we needed a new one. :d
Truthfully, I could have easily made this tame enough to post it on a different site. Still might. There's an actual plot.
If you're not against Reddit, there's a recently made sub, r/deadlyerotica.
Linda was in stitches. Aisha glared at the blonde, who was holding on to a table to stop from falling over. She'd doubled over, she was laughing so hard.
She blew air into her cheeks, pouting at her best friend. "I tell you my deepest, darkest, most embarrassing secret, and this is what happens?"
"So that's what you were doing!" Linda wiped away her tears and grinned up at her, smile nearly cutting her head in half. "You were wincing for weeks. You stopped helping with goblin fights. I thought I'd hurt you somehow. It took you months before you even came over to play at my house again, and you wouldn't say why. How come you never asked saint Miriam for your arm back?"
"I thought she'd figure out what I'd done to myself," Aisha, defeatedly, said. This sent Linda into another paroxysm of laughter. Once she'd recovered she grinned at her, made a twirling motion with a finger against her head, and then, finally and blessedly, managed to stop laughing.
"Aisha, dear, I love you, but you're an idiot. I think we've still got some cakes. Want one?"
"So…" Linda stretched the word out. "This is just a thought, but… you know, we've done a lot of stuff."
Here we go again.
"Can you turn me into ice? Not, you know, all of me." Linda considered. "Maybe just everything except my–" Brain. "–skeleton?"
"I want to see what it's like." She nodded enthusiastically.
"Are you sure your brain hasn't melted already?"
"Well, not yet…" Linda gave her another one of those smiles, the ones she couldn't help but give in to. "Come on, you know you want to. Oh, but we were talking about the past. What exactly were you doing, all those evenings?"
A/N: Maybe later.