27 August 2010


Title: Name
Author: SilverInk
Writing: Short Story?. (part descriptive anecdote)
Word Count: 1669

I waited in the round room of black for something to happen to me, as there was nothing I could do myself. With my eyes still closed I lifted one tiny paw and pressed it against the wall of the dark room I was scrunching in. It was composed of thin, cool strands and as a whole was smooth but not soft. It was covered by something else, a flimsy object that felt like solid reeds woven together. This was not smooth, but soft. It fluttered when I poked it, and the level of light flickered subtly. I paid no more attention to either and nursed the dull pressure in my head, a vestige of my nap.

Finally the shaking of the room stopped and I straightened slowly, stretching my limbs and feeling much like an old bed must when its occupant gets off it. It was like my bones were pulling, slowly but surely. But I was no old creature and my pace was due to the fading lethargy of my brain. 
Ahead of me, a light seeped through the darkness, creeping quietly throughout the very small room. 

"So? How do you like her?" a voice that sounded like apple pie said. 
The room suddenly tilted and I skittered out of it and onto fluffy ground. 

"So...cute!" a gentle voice the quality of drifting cloth murmured. My ear turned towards it but i was peering at the apple-pie lady. The pie-shape of her lips turned upwards at the corners. "But what is she?" the drifting-cloth person said. 

"A kiwiti," apple-pie replied. I turned away from her and faced the drifting cloth girl and the silent rock behind her. She smiled and held out her hand amicably. I touched it tentatively and felt a thick softness, something like a rough version of a stack of smooth papers. I sniffed the scent of pencil and presumed she would be my kataria.

The silent rock spoke now, with a robotic voice that sounded like rocks trickling past each other. It was neither cold nor warm; it reflected both the seriousness of the man yet conveyed the emotion behind it. He said in this strange voice of his to the drifting cloth: "Kiwiti are creatures that are born the form of a kitten and evolve into a giant leopard-like creature. They can not only communicate mentally but can also use magic of their own. They are highly intelligent and the various species of kiwiti are still well-established in their traditional lands. This one...she is from a nearby pack that has been very friendly with our town. "
What was this that he said? Something about me? I sat still and silent, listening intently and carefully.  I understood tidbits of their language, but not all. In any case, speech would not have been appropriate here. It was necessary to impress the kataria, so that I would be accepted. I waited.

"Do you understand?"
The drifting cloth rustled and turned to the robotic rock. "Yes, thank you, Papa!" To apple pie she said delightedly, "Thank you, Mama!" before turning back to me and again offering her hands.

I assumed that robotic rock was called "Papa" in this household? And apple pie was known as "Mama"? 

Drifting cloth picked me up and skipped out this room and into another. The old room had a symbol on it looked like an upside down question-mark with a flat line on top instead of a dot. This room had a circle with a curved line poking out on top. Inside though, they were very similar. The blankets and curtains wore the same design and the pillows were identical dumplings. The same round, wooden desk was present; the door was the same as well, aside from the symbols. 
She set me on a bed half the size of the one in the other room--that was perhaps the only difference in the basic furnishings-- and pulled up a chair as I inspected the white sheet on the bed--a sea of sand grains sewn together. 

"Hi! My name is Ribbon Blues and I'm 9!," she said, the quality of fluttering strips of cloth echoing in her voice. "What's your name?"
Name? What was a name?

Not understanding, I peered at the golden-brown tails attached by purple-pink bands to my new Gaurdian's head. She was an elf, I decided. Kiwiti did not have such elaborate fur, and we most certainly did not center it on our heads. 

"What did your parents name you before you came?" she tried again.
Name? Parents? Elves were strange. I was confused of the terms she used, but could tell she was speaking to me and that it would be rude to just leave, particularly since she was my new kataria and I could not ignore my guardian's words. I mimicked her position and laid my front paws in front of me and set my head on them. When she tilted her head sideways, I did that too. When she cocked it to other side, I followed her movement. She was no longer talking. What that a signal for me to leave?

"What should I call you?" she asked, sighing. This time I understood. She was asking for my Identity. 
I sniffed and a sharp but pleasant scent diluted by water wafted through my nose. "My birthmother is called Genna Ash," I told her. 

"Hey!" she exclaimed. "Mama is called Genna! I'm called Ribbon Blues," she said excitedly, enthusiasm radiating off her as her head popped up and the tails bounced. I connected apple pie with "Mama" and that with "Genna" This girl, drifting cloth, was also called "Ribbon Blues", which was a...a name. Did the elves need so many ways to identify and call people? So many Identities? So many...names? 
"A name is what someone is called?"

"Yep!" Ribbon Blues said. "So what's your name?"

"I...do not have one."

"Didn't your parents name you?"

Again with the parents. What was a parent? "Parents?"

"You know, like your mother and father?"

Again with the confusing ways of identification. So many...names! I had no name yet. I had no Identity. "I was not given one."

She looked startled. "Then let's think of one for you," she decided. She stared first at her uncompleted painting of the mountains outside the room then at the pastel slate featuring the Angelsign, thinking of something then unknown to me. I followed her gaze with wide, alert eyes. 

"Where did you used to live?"

"In the place of snow and cold, where the ground was color of my fur and the rain the color of my eyes."

"In the mountains?"

I nodded quietly and examined the Angelsign slate with interest in the art. 

"Mountains...Sierra? No. Angelsign... Angels... seraphim? Sierra, Seraphim...Syra? Serah?"

"Serrah?" I asked, rolling the "r"s of what I assumed she had chosen as my "name"

"Yep! That's it!" Ribbon Blues said, jumping up and twirling me around. "You'll be called Serrah Ash!"

"Serrah Ash," I pronounced, mulling over it contently when she dropped me back on the bed and rummaged through the secret panels of a large hat perched on her painting easel. 

"I'm going to continue painting now, ok?" she confirmed. I nodded once and yawned lazily. Eyes half closed, I estimated how I could get myself onto the table next to Ribbon's easel. I ran and leapt, missing the table edge by far. Luckily, Ribbon caught me and set me back on the bed before pulling a pen of brown gel out of the large purple hat. 

Ribbon uncapped the gel pen with a soft click and drew a rectangle shape in the air between the bed and the table. A soft milky brown flowed smoothly from the tip, and seemed to soften into a three-dimentional line floating in the air. After looking it over, she drew squiggly lines and colored-in spots in the rectangle. She recapped the pen and set it on the table as if this was the most normal form of magic; I stared suspiciously at it, unmoving. The drawing shimmered softly, still hanging in the air. 

She then detached the large shiny stone on the front of the hat and covered its smooth surface with her small hands. When she opened her hands, it had faded from a deep purple to a semi-transparent white; I could see a few items floating around phlegmatically in the stone now hovering above her hands. Ribbon tapped one of these and the stone glowed white and elongated itself into a skinny, silver stylus with diagonal violet stripes. She pointed the stylus at the glimmering drawing and the fading fireworks glowed before cementing into a plank of wood spanning the gap between the bed and the table. 

I glanced at her to find her returning the stylus to its stone-form and re-clasping it to her hat--her mage's kit, I supposed. Tiredly, she sauntered around the table, opened a cabinet and pulled out a bar of light blue mint speckled with rich chocolate chunks. She bit, swallowed, and instantly seemed more refreshed.

Lifting a paw, I stepped tentatively on the plank and crossed slowly but safely. "You could have just picked me up and put me on the table," I said as Ribbon finished the mint, returned to her seat in front of the easel and picked up her palette.

"But then I wouldn't get the opportunity to practice my magic," she replied, turning to me. Accepting the answer, I picked up a paintbrush by the handle with my teeth and offered it to her. She took it, smiling, and resumed painting.

I sat on my hind legs and watching her from the table: she depicted a snowy mountain range in the palms of a pair of hands; off the edge slipped snow and fell as a ribbon of blue ash. 

Artist's Note: It actually started as a 300 word descriptive piece (that's about the time Ribbon takes Serrah to her room) but I expanded it--1300 words more. :D That's probably why the organization is kind of random and Serrah has descriptions of fluctuating detail. 

I got the idea for Ribbon off this piece of art by Saehral (Brittany Fuerst) on deviantART: Deadly Sin: Ruby (NOT MY ART). And that's really what inspired the story.

For clarity, and for my own future reference, the literal definition of a kataria (note this is a Miniword) is a guardian, which is why Serrah calls Ribbon one. But the kataria is more like companion/ living residence host/ daemon than a guardian. So if Ribbon were to visit the kiwiti tribe, Serrah would be the kataria and Ribbon the keythaune (term that wasn't mentioned, but basically what Serrah was in this scenario.)

If you'd like a clarification of what anything is/ any terms/ anything, please tell me in a comment I'll add it to this note here :D Thanks for reading! :)

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