Well, when I said I would write Annie's POV, I hadn't had any idea how odd it would be! Oh well, gotta roll with the punches. It was write this or start flipping tables in frustration/anticipation for new pages. Text is from Basil Valentine's "Triumphal Chariot of Antimony," an alchemical book. This was written throughout "Divine," with more added as updates were made. Hopefully it's not fragmented! I wasn't going to post this so soon, but what the hey! Thing about that is that it means the next chapter might be late. (Some people were not meant for the high-stakes world of writing cheesy gay fan fiction.)
Many Artists intending to Anatomize Antimony, have divers ways vexed, wrested and tormented the same, in such wise as it cannot be well described in Words, much less believed; yet, the matter being truely examined, they effected nothing. For they sought not its true Soul, and therefore could not find the feigned Soul of it, which themselves sought.
Antimony floats, nothingness in all directions, darkness lying lightly as silk across her eyes. Somehow she is not startled by the sudden touch of a hand on hers and the feel of sheets on her bare legs. She slowly sits up, and feels grassy earth replace the mattress. She remains observant, but not curious, and her eyes stay closed. One does not question logic in a dream.
The rustle of leaves in the cool breeze tells her she is in the forest, and before she has time to marvel at this, calloused hands are fluttering to her wrist. By the bracelets she recognizes Kamlen, who grins as his cheek brushes hers. She turns away with a laugh, smiling demurely as he clasps her hand, which is now bearing the simple wristband of the Anwyn. He suddenly releases her as a woman's hands pull her away by the fabric of her sleeves, handing her something and slipping away before the befuddled girl can grab one of her smooth arms. Kamlen is gone, and now it is just her, the tree, and the object in her hand. Even her bracelet is gone. Without even examining the object, she knows it is a mask. Automatically, she holds the smooth ceramic of it over her face, and sighs, heart heavy.
Her eyes spill over with tears, but she smiles because now there's warm sunlight on the back of her head and the sweet taste of cherries on her tongue. She lays aside the cold mask and lets her hair fall into her face, leaning into Kat's familiar, comforting arms. Of its own will, her hand slips under the mask to find a pencil and stack of papers.
Sorry, Kat, she thinks semi-lucidly, but she doesn't really feel guilty, only weary, and her smile doesn't slip. The mask suddenly lifts, exposing her hand to the hot sunlight. She scowls.
Give it back!
She lunges for it, limbs still tingling from the cherries, and it is whisked away. Someone is laughing, laughing at her.
Give it back!
Antimony knows she is whinging, but doesn't care. She stands unsteadily, spreading her feet apart in a fighting stance, angry and blind. Women's hands grab her wrist. With the other arm, she weakly tries to free herself. Finally, the stranger releases her, and she desperately presses the mask to her face as she collapses to the ground.
Why can't everyone just leave me alone?
The woman withdraws, and Antimony is left lying alone in the grass, mind blank with fear. No longer is she contentedly sailing through a dream, but caught in a lonely nightmare.
There is no breeze to dull the sun's heat, and the warmth of it calms her. Her breathing slows, and she cautiously puts aside the mask, ready to seize it again if she needs it. She lets herself relax, suddenly exhausted, and a hand shakily brushes the hair out of her face.
No, her mother is dead.
No, her father is gone.
Kat will always be there for me, she drowsily thinks. She hears muffled voices, quiet and familiar, keeping her awake. She tries to identify them.
Jack... and... Zimmy? The voices are clearer now, and even with her eyes shut, Antimony can tell exactly what's going on: Jack is speaking with Zimmy. No, flirting with Zimmy! His voice is disgustingly soft with love. No, not love, merely- blood boiling, she struggles for words- a misguided obsession! She grabs her mask, swift ferocity in every motion, and stumbles to her now-shoed feet across the balcony. Satisfyingly, she manages to grab and yank Zimmy's coarse hair. Disgusting. How could Jack fall for such a girl? Doesn't he know-
"She's a deranged psychopath!"
Her voice is hoarse with anger. Zimmy's head turns, but she is helpless in Jack's grip. Annie revels in it, that he is working with her, now, that he has turned on her, that he has seen the errors of his ways.
"A deranged-" Zimmy spits, a quiver of fear in her voice, "Oh, yeah? Well... Your dad's a jerk!" Antimony recoils as her mask shatters into smooth, sharp fragments with a quiet crack.
How dare she how dare she she doesn't know my father she doesn't know me she doesn't know anything she's only some horrible lunatic she doesn't know my father he has his reasons I'm sure I swear it's really the truth!
She grits her teeth, grabs Zimmy like she once did to Winsbury, and lifts her by her wrinkled shirt. The burn in her arms and the scratches on her legs are welcome, and she easily tosses Zimmy away. As she collapses to the ground, breathing heavily, she smiles in satisfaction, and falls back into the darkness of sleep.
The next thing she knows, she's in a hospital bed with no idea of how she got there. Her mind is wide awake, but her body is tired, so she stays in bed as her eyes dart alertly around the room. Hospitals don't bother her, in fact, they do the opposite, and all she is wondering about now is how she got there.
Kat is asleep at her side, and Annie wonders how long she has been there, if she fell asleep worrying over her. Afraid to wake her up, she gently ruffles Kat's hair, fluffy and messy with sleep, and Kat's eyes blink open.
She stares for a moment, and finally, Annie smiles.
"Hi!" she says, brightly.
And that's all! Sorry it's so short.
By the way, I'm so glad people have been enjoying this story! I think I've thanked all the reviewers in PM's, and if I haven't, it's 'cuz I forgot. I don't know if the comic is just so obscure that there's a small audience, but I don't get too many reviews. I know it's also because many of them go through PM's. I'm always open to comments and criticism, so don't be shy!
(I hope I don't sound petulant. If I ever become one of those authors constantly bargaining, shaming, and/or whining to her readers over reviews, SLAP ME IN THE FACE RIGHT THROUGH THE SCREEN.)