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[personal profile] form_mage
...should i stop doing daily prompts then, and start posting story? i don't know who to ask. i'm scared to start for real. XD

theme: the land where even sleep doesn't exist
characters: jinn and myrrh

"You're dead," Myrrh says, instead of introducing himself.

The leader of the Brothers Alya looked up from his map, impassive. "Whatever gave you that impression, Myrrhanius?"

"I can smell it," said Myrrh. "You're the same as me. A little better-made, but I'm dead, too."

Jinn raised one eyebrow. He really was better-made; you couldn't see the stitches in him, nor tell that his eyes were painted glass, and Myrrh was a little jealous despite himself. Jinn sighed, and it sounded delicate as a real sigh. He patted the empty space on the bench beside him, and Myrrh trotted over, trying not to feel like a dog.

"Has your master sent you?" Jinn asked as he climbed up. Myrrh shook his head.

"I came on my own."

"But he knows."

"He knows." Myrrh grinned, though he didn't dare turn that grin towards the other doll. "You didn't really think your brother'd lived two hundred years?"

Another sigh, from breathless lungs. Jinn's hands smoothed over a painted country. "Has it been that long?"

"I dunno when you died, exactly," said Myrrh, "but it's been that long for me."

Jinn said, after a moment, "...you let him rename you?"

"Didn't exactly have a choice," said Myrrh. He pulled his knees up to his chest, with more difficulty than a child his size would have, because a child his size would have real knees and not stiff hinge-joints made of ebonwood. He let Jinn stare at him a little longer, though he hated how he could feel the stare, and hated wondering whether it was their shared magic that let him feel it, or their shared blood, or their shared fate, wondering whether he'd ever felt stares before he'd died, being unable to answer that wonder.

He hadn't meant to come here feeling sorry for himself. Hadn't meant anything by it, actually--had just wanted to see his brother in person, or come as close as a dead soul could.

"I'd always wished I could meet you," Jinn said, touching his shoulder.

Myrrh stared over Jinn's seamless hand, and pointed at the winding blue lines of the rivers. "If you're looking for the place they'll attack," he said, "it's there."

"You think so?" Jinn sounded relieved.

"They're waterwalkers. They will go where they have the greatest advantage. And you aren't fond of the water. Even Master Brya knows that."

"Does he."

"He's sleeping now," said Myrrh, carelessly; after all, what use did he or Jinn have for sleep? "I suggest we have some sort of plan in mind by the time he wakes up. I can tell you which tools he has at his disposal, if you'd like."

When he looked at Jinn's eyes, he remembered, suddenly, that his own had been the same bright blue. But he didn't know what to do with the memory, so he put it in that same place he put everything else he didn't need--breathing, sleep, his own name--and he settled in to make battleplans with a brother he'd never known.

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September 2010

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