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Early evening in the Sleeping Woods. Swan's Lake. [Open]
Swan sat on the shore of his lake tossing pebbles into the calm water. A few nights ago, Mowgli had said they they were going to need supplies. Swan hadn't really understood what he meant; they had all they needed right there, didn't they? Apparently not, though, Swan had to take Mowgli's word; he was the human after all.

The hard part was explaining to Mowgli that Swan couldn't go with him. The magic of his curse always drew him back to the lake at sunset and sunrise so he could transform in its waters. He'd tried to stay away before but it was an instinct he couldn't escape. Neither of them were happy, but Mowgli had assured him that he'd return in a day or two.

It had been quite a bit longer than that and Swan was beginning to wonder if his friend was really coming back at all. Another stone hit the water, the last in his hand, and he brought his knees to his chest, rested his chin on them and resigned himself to another night alone.

Tags: tiny, swan

From: [info]_ruleofthumb Date: 04/13/2007 13:55:07  

The silence of the night was interuppted by the predatory shrieking of an owl. The winged animal came streaking through the trees, sending leaves drifting to the ground as it seemed bent on catching the insect it had claimed for a snack.

But that "insect" was desperately zooming through the sky, doing her best to dodge branches and the occasional dragon fly and firefly. All she had been doing was taking a bath within the little nut shell of a tub she had fashioned for herself, and there was the owl, hellbent on eating her!

Tiny made the mistake of glancing over her shoulder, terrified by the crazy look in the owl's glowing eyes, and she zoomed straight into a thick bush. The many leaves and twigs interuppted her flight, and she landed within the bush with an "OOF". The owl paced and pecked at the twigs while Tiny hid under a large leaf below until the animal gave up and flew away in disgust. Tiny remained beneath that leaf, curled into a ball.
From: [info]cygnetsong Date: 04/15/2007 09:48:27  

So lost in thought was he and so far from the brush, Swan didn't hear the little disturbance. and if he had, he would have written it off as the usual night sounds that surrounded the lake.
From: [info]_ruleofthumb Date: 04/15/2007 12:48:54  

Tiny waited a moment with baitd breath, until she was sure the owl was gone. Slowly, she uncurled herself and stood, trembling, horrified to only now discover that she was very much naked. Fleeing for her life had made her forget this detail. She had left her little dress flung over a twig while she bathed.

Tiny reached out, grasping a large leaf and yanking it. She wrapped it around herself as best as she could, but the shape and length of it were awkward and made moving difficult. Nonetheless, she held on tightly and flew from the bush, spotting some water ahead. Tiny landed at the shore shakily, and held onto her leaf tightly as she burst into tears, the little voice wailing. "It isn't FAIR!!" First Mr. Goodfellow, now this.
From: [info]cygnetsong Date: 04/15/2007 13:57:54  

That shook Swan from his thoughts. He looked around, brows furrowed with confusion. He knew he was alone by the lake, but he could have sworn he'd heard a voice. He started to rise, but paused, spotting a small shape not too far from him on the sand. He squinted, then peered even closer because...was that a girl with wings? An incredibly tiny girl with wings. A fairy perhaps? But he'd never seen one so small. And the poor thing seemed upset.

Crawling slowly along the sand, getting a little closer for a better look, he tilted his head and wondered what was wrong.
From: [info]_ruleofthumb Date: 04/15/2007 22:46:53  

Tiny sniffed and gasped and wiped at the tears on her face, and then let out a long, hard sigh before crawling over to the edge of the water, leaning far over and splashing a handful on her face. Perhaps the swallow was right, and I'm simply too small and ignorant to handle such a big world. And then she noticed the one watching her.

Tiny flailed and lost her balance, splashing into the water and losing her 'clothing'. Sputtering, Tiny splashed to the surface, wings damp and hair covering her face.
From: [info]cygnetsong Date: 04/16/2007 15:36:50  

Concerned, Swan, picked up the tiny girl gently and set her further back on the sand. He peered down at her, worry furrowing his brow now. He'd ask if she was all right if he could, but without a voice all he could do was hover and wait to be acknowledged.
From: [info]_ruleofthumb Date: 04/16/2007 16:38:00  

At first, Tiny flailed and cried out when Swan reached for her. The last person that had picked her up threatened to tear her wings off. But he was gentle and sweet, and he set her on the sand without plopping her down rudely. Tiny reached for her discarded leaf, wrapping it back around herself and looking up at Swan. He was a quiet fellow, that was for sure.

".......Thank you." She finally said after some consideration, and sniffled, wiping at her nose. "You're very kind."
From: [info]cygnetsong Date: 04/17/2007 09:51:48  

Swan smiled, glad she was okay and had stopped crying. He pointed at her, then looked around and shrugged his shoulders. He wanted to know where she had come from.
From: [info]_ruleofthumb Date: 04/17/2007 18:37:26  

Not being the brightest crayon in the box, she blinked, and then looked around, too. It took Tiny a moment before it dawned on her that he was asking about her . "...OH! Over there." She pointed to the bushes. "I was taking a bath, and an owl tried to eat me. So I flew away, and he chased me until I ran into the bush."
From: [info]cygnetsong Date: 04/22/2007 10:18:58  

That sounded like a very harrowing ordeal indeed and Swan looked appropriately sympathetic. It must be very dangerous in the woods for someone so small. He wondered if she none of no other fairies had been around to aid her. He asked as best he could with his gestures, but it was hard to convey and he wasn't sure he had expressed his question clearly.
From: [info]_ruleofthumb Date: 04/23/2007 18:51:28  

It took Tiny a moment, but she peered at his gestures, head tilting this way and that. "...Others like me? Oh." She shook her head. "As far as I know, I'm the only of my kind. I'm not a fairy, and the only two fairies I met so far do not seem to like me. One tricked me, and the other wasn't very friendly." She sighed, and then frowned, pointing at Swan. "Why can't you talk? You're not a fairy, are you?" Tink was the only other creature she had met that couldn't talk to her.
From: [info]cygnetsong Date: 04/30/2007 08:04:30  

He seemed to sympathize with the little not-fairy. Swan was the only one of his kind as well as far as he knew. None of the other swans in his lake could change or had any inclination to do so. Not to mention he'd also been tricked by people more than once. So, yes, he understood the small girl's distress.

Was he a fairy? Swan laughed, silently with nary a ghost of sound. He shook his head, smiling. No, he wasn't a fairy. He pointed across the lake a pair of swans who were nesting for the night.
From: [info]_ruleofthumb Date: 04/30/2007 08:55:52  

Even though Tiny wasn't sure what Swan was laughing at, it was contagious and brought a smile to the girl's face. She watched him point, and for a moment Tiny considered what he was telling her. Then her eyes lit up.

"You're a swan!" She exclaimed, and then studied Swan closely. "But you don't look anything like them! You don't have any feathers...or wings, or anything."
From: [info]cygnetsong Date: 05/01/2007 08:54:46  

Swan looked a bit sheepish at the very true accusation. But how to explain his curse? He tried to mime as best he could, tried to hard with hands and gestures, but he wasn't making any sense, just knew he wasn't and he beat at the sand in frustration. The frustration left him on a sigh, replaced by loneliness once more. He wished Mowgli was back. He'd be able to explain. And Swan just missed him.
From: [info]_ruleofthumb Date: 05/04/2007 09:20:02  

Poor Tiny just stared, unable to comprehend exactly what he was saying. But boy, did she understand. Tiny sighed, shoulders sagging. "Sometimes people think I'm a fairy..well, all the time. But I'm not! So...I guess I don't look like what I really am, too. Do you have that problem? People call you a person, but you're really a swan?"
From: [info]cygnetsong Date: 05/05/2007 13:01:17  

Actually, Swan didn't consider that a problem. He shook his head slightly, a little frown furrowing his brow. He liked being a person; there were so many more things he could do. He tried to explain by walking his fingers across his palm like a person, then pointing to himself and smiling brightly. Swan wanted nothing more with all his heart than to be a real human.
From: [info]_ruleofthumb Date: 05/05/2007 14:30:50  

Tiny watched his pantomiming, and then slowly nodded. " you LIKE being a person? So...are you only a swan sometimes? And how come you don't like being a swan?" It took Tiny a moment to realize her questions might be too hard for someone who couldn't talk. "Oh..I'm being too difficult, aren't I? I'm sorry."
From: [info]cygnetsong Date: 05/06/2007 11:50:43  

A little difficult? Maybe, but Swan just smiled and shook his head again. He'd try to answer her questions as best he could, starting with the first. He pantomimed a person walking again and touched his chest, smiling over-bright. Did he like being human? Very much so. As for if he was a swan only part of the time...He frowned in thought for a moment, then held one hand flat while the other hand arced above it like the sun moving across the sky. He then flapped his arms, like the bird he sometimes was, and hoped she understood.

The last bit was a bit harder to answer. It wasn't that he didn't like being a swan. It was what he was born as after all. It was just...Well. He folded his hands over his heart, eyes closing in a look of such need, such want, before he opened them again and walked his fingers across the sand. As simply as he could explain it, he just wanted to be human with all his heart.
From: [info]_ruleofthumb Date: 05/06/2007 14:31:50  

"You like being a person." She confirmed with a nod, and then tilted her head at the second pantomime. She blinked at the arching movement of his hand, and then her eyes caught the moon. A lightbulb went off. "Oh! It's nighttime, and at night, you're a person. So when the sun comes up, you're a swan again?" Well, that would be an interesting life, indeed.

Tiny flew upward, careful to hold onto her makeshift robe, and sat on the swan-boy's shoulder. She sighed. "Poor Swan-Boy."
From: [info]cygnetsong Date: 05/10/2007 12:57:15  

His own sigh echoed her. Indeed, poor Swan-boy. Propping his chin on his hand, he stared over the lake again, mood low once more. Was it really so much to want to be loved? To need to be loved?

He sighed again, looking over at Tiny as he touched his heart, then raised a finger to the corner of his eye, running it down his cheek like a tear.
From: [info]_ruleofthumb Date: 05/14/2007 16:43:04  

Tiny frowned, seeing Swan's melancholy state. The poor, poor swan-boy. She hated to see people sad, to see ANYBODY sad, and so it tugged at her heartstrings. She watched his movements, and it took the little dim-bulb a moment, but she got it. "It makes you sad because your heart-...Oooh. Are you in love? Do you want someone to love YOU?" She puncutated it with a sigh.

"...I understand." Tiny tilted her head. "Do you have somebody you love, and they are not here?"
From: [info]cygnetsong Date: 05/21/2007 11:04:05  

Swan wasn't certain how to answer at first. Did he love Mowgli? His friend was certainly kind and fair to look upon, and Swan enjoyed his company greatly. And he did miss the man quite a bit...Swan nodded finally, looking sadder still. Not for the first time he wished Mowgli would return soon.
From: [info]_ruleofthumb Date: 05/21/2007 12:32:40  

Thumbelina looked extremely sad at Swan's plight. "Ooh. That's horrible." She was silent for a moment, and then brightened a attempt to cheer Swan up. "I bet this person loves and misses you just as much, right? I bet you'll see them soon. What's her name?"

Tiny obviously pictured couples as boy-girl, having never really seen otherwise.
Community: [info]pentamerone
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