Not this again...

Cypress

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Blue. Gold. Fire. Pink.

The floating orb in Azah’s hands slowly drifted between colours and materials.

Silver. Blood. Gray.

Each colour was a memory, but that was as much as the others had ever figured out.

Sand. Sea. Stone.

Here, in her world of black and white, colour always had meaning.

Lavender. Green. Dust. Brown.

Most importantly, they conveyed the very essence of life.

Blue. Red. White. Snow.

The entire story of her life, emotions packed one by one into a sphere smaller than a skull.

Copper. Crystal. Stone.

Troubles and Despair, Happiness and fortune, secreted away where no one would see.

Blood. Fire. Ink. Death.

The sphere vanished into thin air, the cycle complete.


Azah sighed, leaning backwards to sprawl on the floor. It never got any easier, even a thousand years later. The world shifted and blurred, showing her a glimpse of a universe that was not hers. It passed after a moment, leaving behind nothing but an aching in her skull and the taste of blood in her mouth.




When she woke up again the ground beneath her squished like ooze, not granular enough to be wet sand nor was it liquid enough to be some sort of mud. The sweet smell was overwhelming and disorienting, permeating the air. For now, her ears seemed to be having trouble adjusting to the sudden shift in time and space. The only thing she could hear was a constant ringing. Heaving herself up from the ground with some difficulty in the unstable turf, Kassandra opened her eyes to see… Icing.


Nothing but sugary buttercream icing coated the ground, swept into drifts like sand dunes as though someone had forgotten to smooth it out. The oddities didn’t stop there. Covering the expanse in front of her, she could see towering trees striped like candy canes. Behind her was a cliff that seemed to be made of chocolate cake, layered with fudge icing. The mere existence of this environment baffled her, further confounding her with the appearance of a distinctively gelatin bear climbing one of the trees. Kassandra took in a deep breath, sweetly scented of mint and vanilla, circling to gather in all the finer details. The ringing never faded, making it hard to truly get a grasp on all that this was.

“Think Kass…. This is definitely not the same world you were just in… and the others are not present. The dulled senses are from a sudden jump across the space between… and you are in a body that very clearly is not your original one… so you’re still dead. This world must have collided with the other one, dragging a small part of us along with it but not the whole. So. I can come to the conclusion that I am very alone… and with no chance of rescue, in a very isolated universe.”

She stood facing the trees agian, suddenly furious at the inanimate objects. With only the slightest of whims she turned the icing beneath her into a hand gun, spinning and unloading what would have been three clips of bullets or more into the spongy turf.
 

Cypress

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Any creature with a modicum of good sense fled in the opposite direction of gunfire, even here in this strange world. She could hear the alarmed birds screeching as they deserted the candy cane trees nearby in search of safer perches. Luckily - or unluckily, it was hard to tell without the others whispering in her ear with their own powers - sentients of all worlds had no such fear. Standing in the ever-growing silence her outburst had caused, she lifted an icing coated hand to her forehead, cursing under her breath at the stupidity of her actions.

Kassandra couldn't tell how long it had been since she had fallen through the boundary from her world to this one. The sun hadn't moved yet, still looming slightly beyond the horizon and casting a peachy orange glow across the sky.A voice came to her left, startling her out of her thoughts and back to reality. She saw one figure first, then a second, smaller person - she assumed they were people - race past the first to see the newcomer.

A little girl stood at the edge of the tree line, watching her with big round eyes befitting a child's doll. The child was entirely too still, entirely too perfect to be real. An android, perhaps, or something much less alive than she had thought. The stiffness also appeared to affect her father standing behind her, a rifle held at his side. His face had a slightly green pallor to it, though it was too deep to be an illness. It reminded her of the way her father's red scales had bled into his skin, creating a hellishly disgusting effect. The man tried his very best to pull his child away from the icing-coated monster that stood before them, weapons still in hand, though he was too gentle and the child refused to budge. Kass tilted her head to the side and the green man froze, trying to push the child behind him with a terrified look on his face.

The sorceress sighed, lifting her hands and dropping the icing-gun back into a pile of icing. "Tsylas, stranger. I am not here to murder anyone. Or slaughter them, or eat them, or whatever it is you believe me capable of doing. This is not my home, I am merely abusing sweets."

She watched with curiosity as the little girl ran up to stare at the tall stranger. Kass could see now why the father had been so delicate. The child was, in all shape and form, a china doll. From the fine threads of perfectly coiffed hair and the pristine, healthy glow of the blush on her cheeks, to the glazed, soulless look of her perfectly sky-blue eyes. A small furrow forming in her brow as she watched the little girl stare up at her, she switched her gaze to the father. The green colouring extended down his neck and into his hairline. His heavy work clothes practically fused to his skin also in that atrocious colour of jade green. This, she thought, is too pure for the dead. I must be rather lost to have found my way here.

"You should come home with us."

Kassandra blinked at the sudden invitation, eyeing the girl thoughtfully. Her father tried to protest, hesitantly approaching to pull his child away.

"My name is Juniper. What's yours?"

The sorceress shrugged, leaning down to lift the practically weightless girl from the icing floor. She could see the father pale, panicking that a possibly dangerous woman had his child, but Kass couldn't bring herself to care. The child had come to her, so clearly she was capable of making her own decisions.

"I am Kassandra, seventh reitz and heir to the Morrevell throne. Not that those words would carry any meaning here." She looked down to the child in her arms. Juniper was no heavier than the china doll she resembled. Kassandra trudged through the icing to deposit the girl safely back to her father's arms. "Kass will do fine."

Juniper watched in awe as Kass backed a few steps away.

"So you're like a princess? With castles and unicorns and a fairy godmother?"

The sorceress raised an eyebrow, cautiously wondering if the child actually knew what royalty was for. To be out in the middle of nowhere like this, Juniper couldn't have been very high up in the social food chain.

"I have never been a princess, and I believe you are asking about a palace. I was an empress, Unicorns are not worth the trouble they cause, and neither are fairy godmothers." Kassandra snapped a few branches from the candy cane trees, fashioning them into a simple yet functional tiara. Placing the little crown on Juniper's father's head, she gave them a weak smile.

"I've always been my own fairy godmother. It's a delightful side effect of using magic to rule a kingdom. You don't get to have someone else fix your mistakes for you. Now," Kass's eye's studied the man's with a ferocity that made him hold Juniper tighter to his body, "I need you to show me the way to the closest point of civilization."
 
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