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Memento Mori I

PostPosted: 02 Sep 2013 04:45
by Reimu Hakurei
And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed - Proverbs 5:11


The rain had been inconsistent, off and on for days at a time. As Reimu felt she had lost track of things, she was certain the rain was following a pattern. One of deliberate contempt for everything she was attempting. Thinking it over wasn't going to accomplish anything at this point, she only had to act and it would occur. The Hakurei shrine had been deserted now for at least a week, and the silence had gotten to her quite a bit. Talking to yourself only goes so far, and pretty soon even fairies seem like a great company. Such distressing things to dwell on drove her on towards the mountain, certain now she was being followed. Not physically, of course. She would have noticed that, even as indolent as she was. The selfish maiden refused to believe she was being ignored. It was too much to consider, too much to accept. Clearly this was the work of another, and she was acting on a careless intuition that demanded it be sated with serene violence.

The Mountain Path was even more inconsistent than the rain, and twice as insolent as the looming pine trees that towered overhead. She felt diminished in this place, her red/black outfit making Reimu look even thinner than she usually did in her red/white outfit. It couldn't be helped, if nature itself was going to conspire against her then why make an argument of things? The first cracks in Reimu were indistinguishable from the usual fits. Nobody should notice, she was sure. The second, third and fourth might be more problematic. Those might have to be buried in soil and tears. But she didn't even have Suika to talk to, so she pressed forward. Not flying, of course. She didn't have to. There wasn't time for it. She did pick up at least one or two curious fairies, wondering who she was and why she was in such a rush. They billowed in her wake, taking the shape of numerous black and red butterflies.

The three butterflies found their way up the mountain path for a couple of kilometers, without much interruption. The rain had been unsteady, an intermittent thing that demanded their attention and then relented. Grey storm clouds cloaked the head of the mountain, wrapping it in weeping sheets that soaked the shrine maiden and her companions periodically, before abating once again. Reimu wiped black strands of hair from her forehead, pasted there by another sudden downpour, this late summer storm testing her already limited patience. But now there was a new obstacle besides the weather, and even less reasonable: a hermit of the mountain. Or at least what resembled one: it looked more like rocks in the shape of a person but it spoke with the gravelly certainty of the earth itself. Slow, ponderous and utterly insufferable for a child of man like herself. The butterfly clad in red and black stamped her booted foot in the mud twice to cease his prattling.

"Hoi, I'm not going to listen to this all day! Tell me what has brought you so far down the mountain, and why I should not just blow you right back off of it?"

The rocks considered this, before adopting new and less familiar shapes. A congress of stones addressed the maiden now, challenging her with voices even less reasonable than before:

"We have been the knees and roots of this land before your forefather's father's knew of the written words. Why now should we acquiesce to your designs? We are of the stelae that have traveled and become hoary nations of repute. We seek no priests or tribute. Your image is decidedly stellar, which is to say a litany of wrong-headed thoughts."

For their temerity, Reimu smashed and shattered their bodies into pebbles with her needles of persuasion and shining lights of the divine, until they could enact no new lies.