• Published 17th Nov 2012
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The Girl with the Lyre Tattoo - Dennis the Menace



Ask no answers and be told no lies. "Who are you really, Lyra?" She wouldn't answer.

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Sleepless in Seattle

Her arrival was much more abrupt, and much less dramatic than she'd have liked. And rather painful, judging by the landing. She was sure she hit her head. It was all a bad dream, and yes, she would soon awake from her dreams of times gone by, of a world that never existed.

But as she ran her fingers through her teal green hair, she realized that it wasn't a dream. It was better than a dream, because it was real. Everything she touched felt real. Dirt, concrete, the cold. Everything she tasted. The coppery taste of blood in her mouth.

She had wandered the streets in a stupor, clutching the small device to her breast like a lifeline. When she came, or maybe when she came to, she was laying on something hard. Her eyes opened, and for a moment she thought she was blind. Pitch-black darkness surrounded her. Silence, all around. She heard the sound of a horn somewhere, far away. Her eyes adjusted.

It wasn't quite the welcome party she had been expecting.

It was nighttime, the darkness being the only indication for if she were to take an upward glance, she would see nothing but a black sky with not a star in sight, choking with thunderclouds and smog. New sights, smells, and sounds threatened information overload. Metal carriages lined the street. How were you supposed to pull them? How silly. Lanterns with captured fireflies hung from poles, flickering eerily. Everywhere, fireflies, in different colors! Every color of the rainbow. She wondered how a world with so many fireflies could be so drab.

Not a soul on the street.

The fleshy stomp of her feet on asphalt was an unfamiliar sound to her. She could not walk yet, unaccustomed to her new form. She was like a child trying to learn how to ride a bicycle with no training wheels. In this case, walking with two feet, and as such, she had learned to crawl on the sidewalk before dragging herself into a godforsaken alley to freeze to death. Warm blood trickled down her raw knees. There were goosebumps all over her skin.

Perhaps here, she could lay her head, if only for a while.

Those first few drops of water on her face were bearable. They had only woken her from her sleep. How long had she slept? It felt like an eternity. But it was no longer dark. Was it dawn? Or dusk?

A fine layer of mist coated her porcelain skin. A single drop turned into a drizzle, a sprinkle, then a downpour, soaking her mane. She was frozen to the bone. Her joints, stiff. She hugged her knees, curling up and shivering, unable to will her body to do anything. Everything was so cold. Her eyes struggled to stay open. Her body felt numb. The sound of pounding drums reverberated in her ears. It was her heartbeat, the sound like the staccato of a metronome. It slowed. Yes, this was going to be the death of her.

She looked up. The sky was a beautiful soft azure. It reminded her of a painter's canvas. The clouds were especially stunning at that time of day. The clouds looked wispy and stretched out, like the strokes of a brush, tinted orange with a dash of purple.

"Beautiful," she whispered.

She blacked out and drifted off into a dreamless slumber.