Sunday, April 27, 2014

I’ll Take Chaos and Choice

She killed me because what she thought she knew about me felt unoriginal, sad and perhaps daunting to her creatrix heart. I wish she had taken the time to get to know me. If she had asked, I would have told her, “Red and White have always been pitied by every other color under the Veil. But we, and the wisest of our kind, know better, my dear Writer.” I would have showed her so much about me.


Only the Veil Mistress looked pleased on the October I turned nineteen. The rainbow in her eyes twinkled with the morning sun. She covered the top half of my face with a soft scarf, and shared the color of my sight with the rest of our kin.

“Red Veiled” she said to me and to all, “of the word, to the world, for your Self.”

There were gasps. Even a whimper, from Pink—the prettiest ham of the Veil.

“The twenty-eighth Red in the Circle of Birth and Death,” I responded as tradition mandated, “to see brutality, to seek justice, to rescue souls.” Then I added seven words that weren’t part of the Rite of Passage, to fight for life when I can.”  

Green dropped to his knees, shaking. Green Veiled saw change. When the alteration was too drastic, his body projected the crux of the vision—painful convulsions for horrible things to come, orgasmic gyrates for the opposite. He was moaning and grunting and begging for Pink to come to him.

The Veil Mistress tried to hide a smile. But I saw the curving of her lips brightening her face before her stern voice said, “Wait in my office, Red.”

“But Iris!” Black Veiled sounded enraged. “She’s done something. One of my beasts just vanished.”

I stopped to look at Black. It was true; one of the three dogs that guided her around the Circle of Birth and Death wasn’t sitting by her skirts. My heart sank a little. Black wasn’t my favorite person, but if a poor dog had to pay for my desires to be… 

I took a step towards Black, my hands extended towards the remaining dogs, “I didn’t—”

“Don’t touch them!” She bared her teeth; a bitch ready to bite for her pups.

I lowered my hands, but the dislike I had always felt for Black rose to my throat. She was blessed with the seeing of birth, of the death of beings that had lived a happy life and were ready to rest, so why was she always so angry? “You should name the poor things,” I said. I was so close to her face that I could see the black pits of her eyes under her veil.

“Red,” the Veil Mistress’ words were hot in my ear, “my office, now!”

I turned away from Black and walked fast out of the Ritual Tower.

Before I closed the door behind me, I heard the Veil Mistress say to Black, “Quiet, child, no one has the power to control the Circle of Birth and Death. Red couldn’t have made the beast disappear, if the Universe didn’t desire it to be so.”

I ran down the steps of the Ritual Tower, stopping at the bottom of the stairs to catch my breath. Then I turned left, opened the door, walked into the Veil Mistress’ office and froze—the room had lost all its colors, and Black’s missing dog was staring at me from the Veil Mistress’ couch.

“Name him.”

The voice of the Veil Mistress made me jump. “I didn’t… the color, when I got here… the dog was already—”

“Name him, Red,” the Veil Mistress squeezed my shoulder, gently. And she smiled. No hiding this time.

I took a couple of very short steps towards the dog. Slow steps; I didn’t want to spook her. I stopped in the middle of the room, and extended a hand.

“You have to go to the beast, Red. Show it that you want to claim it,” the Veil Mistress said.

I shook my head, and sat down on the floor. “We can only be friends if you want me… Ebon. What do you say, girl?”

“I’m a boy, Red,” said a voice that sounded like the lovechild of thunder and a waterfall.

“Heard that? He’s a boy with attitude!” I yelled, and turned to share the happiness of my former stupidity with the Veil Mistress.

The Veil Mistress raised an eyebrow. “I see,” she said.

Ebon was next to me when he spoke again. “Only the kin we choose hear the voice of our hearts, my Red.”

“Black then,” I said to him.

He shook his head.

“Oh,” I said.

“Black can’t hear her beasts or—”

“His name is Ebon, Veil Mistress,” I said.

She smiled. “Ebon, you’ve made a great friend. And you, Red, you can call me Iris. I might be able to see through most of the colors under the veil, but you are the first to hear the Song of Birth and Death in 300 years. That should gain you—”

“Iris,” I said, in a deceptively composed voice, “did you say ‘most of the colors under the veil’?”

“I can no longer see red,” she said.

“Oh,” I said.

She put her hand on my shoulder. “Change is chaos; scary and unpredictable, but splattered with hope, Red. We haven’t had any of that in a while. Something chaotic this way comes, and I welcome the possibilities it will bring. You?”

My eyes drifted to the collar around Ebon’s neck. “Are you fond of this?” I said.

“Tight collars, restrictive leashes, and hot pokers in my eyeballs have always been my favorites,” Ebon said, snapping at the pretty chain around his neck.

I grabbed a pair of scissors from an end table, cut through the collar around Ebon’s neck and threw the remains at the Veil Mistress’ feet. “Iris,” I said, “I will take the chaos and a side order of choice.”


Now I’m almost twenty-one. In a few days, I will be Red in name, in sight and in color. It won’t be Ebon’s birthday, but I wish he could get something he wants, too. I’ll talk to him about it—he gets kind of snappy when I do something for him without consulting him first, almost as pissed off as when I go on a date and leave him home by himself. “Hm, I wonder if I can get some help over at Blooming Howls.”  posted by Red Veiled

for Magpie Tales 217

“Red Veiled,” a sketch, by Gina Morley

via Magpie Tales, altered

Tilly looking precious, borrowed from Myth & Moor

30 comments:

  1. Ohh! Very enthralling. And 'Iris', huh? Very clever, too!

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    1. *winks feeling all superior and a bit ridiculous, too*

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  2. Three readings in, and the chaos evolves.

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    1. Chaos has a way to make things clearer and clearer as it grows...

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  3. Chaos is good for the soul :) Perhaps that's why Black is so angry. She knows that the dogs don't want her as kin.

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    1. I've been wondering what makes Black so angry. Rage like hers has to feed on something. I hope Red shares more about her. I suspect she will...

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  4. Love the magic of your story! Chaos - dangerous too, one has to be prepared for fast turns while on the fly...~ Thanks for stopping by :)

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    1. Safety "while on the fly" made me think of Terry Pratchett's Tiffany Aching. She's always talking about the steady safety straps affixed to her broomstick. ;-D

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  5. I'm not worthy to even try and comment, as you touch a part of my mind NEVER used!
    I love the words "only the kin we choose hear the voice of our heart"...xoxoDebi

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    1. Sometimes, we can help but be surprised by the things that come out of the mouths of our characters. And yes, by "we" I mean "me." *wink, wink*

      I believe in the power of choice. All the way through...

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  6. Such darkly lush imagery! And this pretty much sums up April 2014:

    “Change is chaos; scary and unpredictable, but splatter with hope, Red. We haven’t had any of that in a while. Something chaotic this way comes, and I welcome the possibilities it will bring. You?”

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    1. For you and me both, dear Lady. I've spent half the month nodding towards T. S. Eliot, "APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding..." all kinds of mayhem.

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    2. Hahaha. You're a little devil, Lady Magaly! ;D

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    3. I just laughed so hard that I woke up my Piano Man, LOL!

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  7. Am soooo curious as to where this tale will lead us :D XXX

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    1. You and I both. Miss Re seems to be aiming for something... well, for something. I'm sitting back and enjoying the read...

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  8. "I will take the chaos and a side order of choice" I love this so much. I'm pretty sure I'm in love with Red. Oh heck I just love this whole story.

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    1. She seems to that to people. To some of us (me *cough*), the love had to be nudged and then nudged some. I can be so silly at times. ;-)

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  9. You've chosen wonderful names for these character's.......in such a fitting tale, too!

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    1. The name chooses the character, Helena Potter. Sorry. Couldn't help myself. The words made me think of Mr. Ollivander. It's early. I need coffee.

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  10. Fantastic Magaly! Can't wait for where this goes ;o)

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    1. I can't wait to where she goes! Something tells me our Red will go places... ;-)

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  11. And once again, an eerie peaceful calm descended over the offices of the Adjustment Bureau, once again , Veil Mistress had somehow managed to not spill a drop !

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    1. "an eerie peaceful calm." I really like that, especially when my mind is visualizing a huge drop of something liquid and volatile, shaking at the edge, but not being spilled. ;-)

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  12. Nice write...I love the name Ebon...

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    1. I do love the name, too. It tastes of mischief and fun in the shadows...

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    1. I am very happy you did, Cait. Thanks so much for stopping by. ;-)

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  14. Chaos and choice... sounds like my life. :D I have this in common with Red; I will always choose chaos. It has... potential.

    -Fox

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    1. Yes, it does. And potential is such a flexible fella!

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