Danger and Dreams

September 07, 2015:

She's more lost than ever now that she's found herself.

Gotham Harbor

A warehouse roof overlooking the ocean.

Characters

NPCs: Old Coyote

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: Stairway to the Skies-Within Temptation


Fade In…

Jesana stands atop a little used warehouse in the Gotham Harbor. It’s just after midnight in Gotham city and the night sky is filled with dark clouds. In the distance lightning sparks and flashes. Ever so faint; the boom of thunder reaches her ears. The native american woman’s brown eyes gaze out towards the ocean and the storm brewing there. It’s raining there, she can scent it on the wind from her rooftop perch. Idly Jes wonders if the storm will reach the shore as the clouds have. It doesn’t matter really. Home isn’t far and the water won’t hurt her any. This is hardly the tallest building about, so she isn’t worried about the lightning either. Besides, the violence of the storm suits her mood at the moment. Hands resting atop the edge of the waist high wall encircling the warehouse Jes stands with a bleak expression. Her shoulders are bowed as if a great weight rests upon them rather than the thin straps of her tank top.

A bit of stone crumbles and falls away beneath her fingers before Jes realizes how tightly she clutches the ledge and relaxes her grip on the brick surface. How much longer until she adjusts and her new found strength is muscle memory and not something she has to pause and think about. It makes her slower, less effective and yet more dangerous; albeit in an unbalanced way. An angry punch thrown before wouldn’t have killed unless she was really lucky or really meant it. Now however, she’s capable of driving someone’s bones up into their brain without even trying.

The coyote woman has been training when she can but her advancing pregnancy makes it more difficult. She can’t go all out and can’t practice with anyone else until after she’s given birth. While Jes is relieved she’s had none of the issues of her first pregnancy, this has still been hard on her. She’s not used to having to be so careful. It’s not in her nature. A few days ago she’d willingly thrown herself in front of Jericho’s sister and Brinley when they were being shot at. Jes hadn’t even hesitated. Her life is dangerous, and often very hard. Even trying as she might to avoid dangerous situations, when they appear she can’t stay on the sidelines. She’s begun to realize this and worry. What happens when she has this child? When she no longer needs to worry about losing them before they have the chance to be born? She’ll be right back out there in the thick of things. Jesana is a predator, a hunter, and her Father’s daughter. Trouble and the coyote will always be on a first name basis and she’s aware now what that really means.

What kind of life is that for a child? Never knowing where their mother is, or when or if she’s coming home? She knows what that is like and it’s not something she wants her own child to grow up with. Ever since Hell and her Awakening Jes has come to know what she is and understand herself a bit more. Her life will never be easy and safe and the people around her, those she loves and wants to protect are always going to be in danger. She’d scoffed as a child when her bonded and first love had claimed to see a monster outside his window in the dark. She hadn’t been there when the Wendigo had come for him and it had been too late by the time she found the beast’s lair. Would the Wendigo have noticed the boy if she hadn't drug him with her all through the woods around the farm?

The family that adopted her and the twin children her brother’s wife had surrogated are all dead now too. Slaughtered by her own stepfather. The monster who attempted to raise her in his own image and now uses the souls of her family to give him supernatural strength and power. Jes failed to protect them and they died horribly. She’s lost friends, and lovers, and the bonds that had meant so much to her. The people Jes comes to care about die. Over and over again, it happens wherever she goes. Jes knows not everything is her fault. She’s not that conceited. John choosing to sacrifice his soul in Hell rather than risk the demon riding him gaining control hadn’t been her fault and she probably should have let him go instead of splitting her soul chasing after him. She’d failed to save him and barely managed to save herself and Kitty Pride. She either brings danger with her or she finds the place or person it’s mostly like to be. It’s her nature and it’s always going to be so.

Old Coyote was born at the creation of the universe and there at the shaping of this world. He is The Trickster deity of the First Peoples, and the catalyst for change and chaos in the natural and spiritual worlds alike. In all of the histories and stories Jes was told and taught, in all of the adventures he went on, Old Coyote and his friends always died in the end. Unlike them, he rose again with the dawn in search of the next adventure. Jesana is his mortal daughter. “It’s me, isn’t it? It will always be like this no matter what I do, won’t it? Would things have been different if I’d done what I was told during my vision quest? Would my family and my babies would still be alive?”

“What if I’d stayed on the farm and never met anyone here. I wouldn’t have have loved them. I wouldn’t have lost them. Or gone to Hell and learned who and what I am. The price for knowing was too high. I failed him and I’d give it all up if it brought John back.” “Would you then? Even if it meant losing what you’ve got now? Do you regret that life growing in your belly so much that you’d give it up before it even began?” The voice is warm and thick like honey and the faint whiff of tobacco and leather reaches her nostrils.

One hand moves to her stomach in a protective gesture and Jesana growls softly. “This is the only thing I do not regret. Whatever it has and will cost me, I wouldn’t change this. Even if giving them up again is the right thing to do.” Her voice breaks and the wall beneath her other hand crumbles a bit more. Going through that again and with a child she’s ready for and could love without reservation, it would kill her. Only it wouldn’t because she’d keep going somehow because she always does. Lying down and dying isn’t an option. Never again.

Nodding to himself he moves on. “Your werewolf knew what he was running with and he chose to do it anyway. It wasn’t up to a pup to save him or his and your family from his own poor decisions.” Old Coyote steps forward and places his weathered hands upon the stone ledge next to Jesana’s. “People die, girl. Just like they’re born. It’s the way of things for everyone, not just you. If you hadn’t left that farm that psychopath would have taken you and killed them anyway. You weren’t ready to deal with him yet. Human or coyote, a pup is still a pup.”

“The Hellblazer has been doing his thing since well before you were born. He’s got his own fate and place in the scheme of things, that one.” The man at her side continues. Jes doesn’t turn to look at him. “What’s my fate, then? To fail everyone? To put them in danger they can’t stand against, or will I finally break and become the monster my stepfather tried so hard to shape me into? Maybe I’ll just find a death I can’t come back from. What’s the point then of going on, what good am I if all I bring is death and ruin to those I’d love and protect?” Her voice is flat and emotionless belying the fierce whirlwind of emotions in her chest that nearly rivals the storm at sea. She’s so hurt and bitter and angry, hating herself and the world at large.

“You won’t rise with the dawn, if that’s what you’re asking.” Old Coyote glances aside with a half grin and glint of mystery and play shining in his eyes. “Not yet at any rate. You.. you set your own fate in this world pup. You choose, what you do, who or what you want to be. That much of me you have in you for sure. I told the God-Wolf when we last met, you’re one of the interesting ones. Its why my sisters meddled with you.”

“The future isn’t set in stone, you know . Where would the fun in that be, or the point? There are some things most things really, that are the most likely to play out. Day to day, year to year, age to age. Most people don’t try to break out of their path, or find another way. There’s always a few that can and do. It is possible. Free will and all that. And then there’s you. You’re a wildcard, girl. You aren’t bound by anything anymore save your own mind and limitations. You do what you will regardless of the consequences and sometimes those are gonna be damn hard to live with more so for you than most, you’re right about that. It’s up to you to figure out what you’re gonna do about it whether you take the easy way out and stop caring about anything or just take each moment as it is for what it is, or find some other way entirely. Ain’t nobody who can make that decision but you, others might try but you’re always going to find your own way in the end.”

Scowling because that isn’t really isn’t what she wanted to hear Jesana finally turns only to see that he’s gone. A single black feather sits on the stone ledge where Old Coyote’s hands had been and is strangely unmoving despite the growing wind. Jes picks it up and tucks the feather into the hip band of her shorts before heading downstairs and making her way home. The storm is finally starting to fade but her thoughts and the swirling torrent of emotions are no closer to settling. Damn but she wants a sip of scotch right now. She’ll have to settle for tea and bed instead. Maybe she’ll find the answers she’s looking for somewhere in her dreams. It wouldn’t be the first time and Jes doubts that was the last.

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