Contest Entry: A Small Gift - Tavari

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Tavari
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Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2023 12:08 pm

Contest Entry: A Small Gift - Tavari

Post by Tavari »

“This isn’t a gift; it’s a collar. As soon as you put it on, you’re subjecting both of us under his heel!”

The pit-deep, growling voice was so loud that Tavari’s fingers twitched while they brushed over the bracelet in his hand. The leather smelled brand new and it didn’t have a single crease in it. The only thing that interrupted the feel of the sleekness were the indented animal shapes in it: a rabbit, a deer and a horse. Tavari had traced those patterns a thousand times by now.

“You are so weak!” the voice spat out.

The Illidari exhaled slowly where he sat alone in his tent. It felt like his insides were racing to rip through his flesh and spill out all over the white goat pelt. The red would look good on the white. But no… He didn’t bleed red… He bled green. Besides, his lack of eyes wouldn’t show him what it truly looked like.

“I’ll show it to you…” the voice whispered mockingly and flashes of rivers of red blood and gleaming guts were thrust into Tavari’s mind.

Tavari lingered in the vision, watching how the blood soaked into the thick goat pelt with fluffy white peaks in between. He marveled momentarily at how he could see his own face in the glistening liver. Except the blood and guts were mixed with familiar long, black locks of hair that did not belong to Tavari…

“Stop that!” Tavari snarled out loud in the empty tent. He could taste the rising build-up of bile in his mouth.

As the deep, sadistic laughter filled Tavari’s ears, he inhaled sharply, squeezing the bracelet between his fingers so hard that his hand shook.

Grains of desert sand scraped over the tent, creating a persistent noise that he focused on to push the vision away. It was a scratching noise on the canvas that was familiar. It brought to his mind a memory of his lover standing outside, his aura pulsing with life while he made his presence known.

“He’s not a demon. This isn’t about ownership,” Tavari thought insistently while his grasp on the bracelet eased up in his shaking fingers.

“Isn’t it? Everything is about ownership. You carry this on you and everyone will know that you’re his. We’ll be branded like livestock. I will be ridiculed! I won’t be under anyone’s rule!” the voice built up into a roar.

“You’re under MY rule!” Tavari roared back, without uttering a word out loud. He glared at a pair of scuffed boots on top of an old crate.

A loud, discontent growl rumbled in his ear, like someone had shaken the earth and sent heavy boulders crashing down around Tavari. Or perhaps the growl was in his head. It was hard to tell sometimes. Tavari knocked the heel of his palm against his forehead and pressed hard.

”It’s still a token of ownership. He’s making it known to the world that you are his.”

Tavari thinned his lips and squared his shoulders, his brow dipping in annoyance. The feel of the indented rabbit, deer and horse in the bracelet kept him from storming out into the building sandstorm.

“You know I’m right…” the voice teased.

Was it a token of ownership? No… Not ownership. A token of commitment? No… A show that he cared enough to have something special made as a reminder of an intimate talk. This was a private gift with private markings on it that only the two of them knew what meant.

“Three of us…” the voice corrected.

“It’s an affectionate gift!” Tavari insisted.

“But you want to be owned by him… You want his mark on you, because you are weak…”

Tavari rubbed his brow and exhaled sharply. His eyebrows slanted in confusion.

Well, didn’t Tavari crave to be with this man? He felt less like a spinning compass around him. The hole in his soul after the painful separation that his kind had suffered felt less empty with him… This man could conjure up a storm of emotions, and in the center of it Tavari felt alive. And calm. And confused. But ownership?

Tavari fastened the bracelet around his wrist. He pushed himself up and threw aside the tent flap, heading for the steps that lead to Mar’at. His hair lashed around in the wind.

The demon could never understand anything but the climb for power. The demon could never understand something as complicated as love.

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