"I can send you back," she'd said last night; it was over the din of the club, but you could hear her perfectly, always could, like she has a line to your hindbrain and can just reach in and touch whenever she wants. She seems to know it, sly smile even now in cold morning light, slim fingers trailing the rough glaze of her coffee mug. She looks oddly wrong in the daylight, in the mundane setting. Kai has always been a wild uncontrollable thing, a tornado, a scream, and you cannot quite adjust to seeing her here, in a place you'd started to think of as yours.
She sips her coffee, spreads a hand out as if to offer you something. Or everything. "You've always known," she says, her voice rough and sweet, crystallized honey. "The 'click your heels three times' is bullshit. It's not clicking her heels that brought Dorothy home, it's the road, all that hard walking. There's a lot of walking in fairy tales, have you noticed? I seem to remember those being a particular obsession for you. Dorothy's silver slippers - those can't have been comfortable. Countless pairs of iron shoes to wear through. God, the shoes - Cinderella's stepsisters sliced their toes off, or their heels, and were caught out by the blood pooling from their shoes and dripping along the path behind them. Then there are the heated shoes Snow White's stepmother was forced to dance in, or the red shoes that danced the girl to her death..."
"You're saying it's shoes
," you say, pulling back once again. This is ridiculous, a waste of your time, a waste of your hope.
"I'm saying it's blood," she says, suddenly quieter, and you feel that grip on you tighter. "It has always been shed blood, from the very first time you went. Hasn't it? You bled, poor little Ash, didn't you? You were, what, eight? You must have bled. Not every time since, no, but the blood and the pain open doors. Did you ever almost get back?"
You remember, and you nod.
"The road back requires blood," she says. "Just for the opening - it has to open you too, you know. I can send you back, Ash, but you must be willing to bleed."
"Not the Road Home
Scarf by Shira! The pattern is Troubadour by Tanis Gray; the yarn is KnitPicks Gloss Heavy Worsted, a wool/silk blend. This is eight feet of gorgeous rich red scarf, a seemingly-endless road that is, nonetheless, not the road home. Based on my character Kai from Cicatrix
Despite Kai's certainty, this is not the road home.Click here to bid on auction items!
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(Not all of today's posts will be Cicatrix
. I think.)