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[[Some time following post #1 in A New Page Turned]]

Grass tickled her skin, her limbs baked warm and brown where they poked out from the crisp linen of her dress. Small flowers rooted up through her hair, spread out in a halo of wild curls around her face. Nimeda stared up at the sky, pulling the clouds into whimsical shape or sparking arcs of sunlight through raindrops. Today she was trying very hard to keep hold of a single thought, and it pushed a thoughtful furrow to her brow that had nothing to do with the concentration it took to manipulate her surroundings (which really took very little effort at all).

She waited for something.

For dark shadows to vein through her perfect sky, or the field in which she lay to suddenly scald with the whip of dry desert winds. For rain to fall like daggers of ice, for something that squeezed a smile to her lips in anticipation, so much so that her head tipped back, grey eyes searching, playfulness swelling in her chest.

And then remembered to hold onto that thought.

She waited for someone.
Mara wandered the fields, palm stretched through the wisps of prairie grass. She liked the open space best where the horizon stretched endlessly far away. She squinted her eyes to slits just then, attempting to see where the curve of the sky dipped to the crown of the earth. 

The peace of the moment sank into her flesh, but it was a far-off pull that beckoned her next steps. 

The slits of her eyes fully closed and Mara's horizon wrapped around her like a hug. When next she opened her eyes, a girl entombed in a would-be casket of flowers laid at her feet.  Mara's head tilted curiously, sheets of hair slipping as she did.

"Hello, Nimeda," she said as she laid down alongside her friend, willing little flowers to chase their way up around her limbs as well.
Her someone came, and Nimeda's smile grew effervescent. "Hello, Mara."

The dance of her eyes followed as the other girl laid herself out amongst the flowers, letting them crawl all over her skin. Happiness burst in Nimeda's chest, chasing out other more important thoughts for a long while. She breathed in, grinning, and continued to watch the shifting clouds above, until a thought buzzed like a bee at nectar and she tried to remember.

Remember, remember.

Little Bird Little Bird, Jon Little Bird.

Though that was not it.

Her palms opened, and rain fell swift and wet and cold, rushing her skin like a river. She giggled, rolled onto her stomach as the ground turned to mud beneath them. "How are your pets?"
The flowers tickled Mara's skin, fuzzy little fingers creeping innocently along. It was a delightful idea. Nestling among scents and softness like a bed. The flowers crept farther, vines twisting and leaves seeking. How quickly they could mutate into something devious. A beautiful bed may become the final grave if they wanted. A nightmare of nature. Her pets could nibble and nuzzle the plants onward like good shepherds. 

Nature would take over if it could. Inspired by a little hint of intelligence, or maybe aggression, and all of humanity had something to dread. A story or a warning for the ages ahead. Do not play with fire, the world might bite back. 

The vines curled and snapped. She pushed up to an elbow. "My pets are happy and full. The feast has been plentiful lately. All are sleeping and calm. As am I."

A soft rain pelted. She twisted around like Nimeda. A sheet of black hair was plastered to her cheeks.

"Would you like to hold one?" An eerie, wet smile flickered as she stretched out with desire. A few moments later, a fluffy black shadow poofed into being. Beady eyes peered from the folds of downy darkness. She pat the ground to summon it, but the creature hesitated because of Nimeda.
The feast has been plentiful lately... It sprung a thought she'd have to leap to capture, and the current was just too fast. Nimeda's head tilted, legs swinging. For a moment she frowned. "I called you for a reason," she said seriously. Her cheek planted in her palm, splattering a trail of mud. "But I can't remember why."

And then Mara spoke, and even that thought swept away for later. She sat up, legs crossed under her, eyes bright. She ought to feel afraid, but she was too curious. A skittering of old memory scratched. "Will it bite?" she asked. Her palm laid flat as though it were nothing but a nervous dog. "Oh, Mara, I don't think it likes me!"
Nimeda's forgetfulness was not upsetting. Mara only shrugged, believing that her friend would snatch the thoughts that trickled like water through her hands eventually. In the meantime, the solitary black fuzz was frozen in place. Mara's shushing seemed to tame it somewhat. It was soon nuzzling her knee. 

She tried to share the little creature with Nimeda, nudging it to go to her. "Yes, they bite, especially when hungry. They're mostly well fed and content, now. You're not easy prey either," she warned Nimeda, but Mara kept a hand buried in the fuzz of its back all the while. There was a skeletal body beneath the darkness that tensed with every step. But Mara's continued shushing kept it from snapping at their hands. For now.
Aw, it still seemed scared of her. Disappointment rippled, though not much surprise. Nimeda tilted her head, ropes of soggy hair coiling against her crossed knee. "I don't bite," she told it happily. "So you needn't be afraid of me, little fuzz ball." She shrugged, content to let it nuzzle into Mara instead. She had mostly been curious to see what the fuzziness felt like; to watch her hand disappear into the dark. She had even been curious as to what the bite might feel like, despite the churning warning of ancient memory. But Mara was right; Nimeda was not easy prey.

Her grin remained bright despite the rejection. In fact she seemed to have forgotten it already. "How do you find them food, Mara? Can I help?"
The pet's little head twisted this way and that, sniffing at the air like it was deciding whether or not to believe Nimeda. The creature furrowed its eyes to slits and tentatively pawed its way over. Mara watched thoughtfully, but her gaze was far away. 
"They hunt much of their own meals, but sometimes..." her voice trailed away like a bubbling brook winding its way through deep forests. Nimeda's train of thought often meandered, and Mara appreciated the whimsy to her friend. She was different, though. While the path through the woods was long and unpredictable, Mara saw to the other side. She knew where the journey ended.

She was happy in this world, she thought. The sky was always lit, the grass always green, except... She laid back and twined her fingers through the blades. As she did, the grass curled and browned beneath her palms until it crunched and flaked away. This world was Mara's to bend and warp with her thoughts. Any manifestation she wanted to make herself happy was at the whim of her imagination. 

"Nimeda, do you ever think about the other you?" She asked, perched up on an elbow. Eyes seemed drawn to them, pulled by the question of one whose thoughts shaped this gauzy reality. Eyes hovered just out of sight, only to disappear if she tried to look straight at one. The pets were stirring.
She did not notice the drift of Mara's unfinished sentence, of course. She was content with the little rippling changes to their environment, just as she was content with ropey wet hair and none of the discomfort of it thick and sopping against her shoulders. Mara was easy to exist with. The ancient nature of their friendship precluded words, if any distinct memories were predictably slippery. As the grass died, Nim ran paint-splashed fingers over the brittle strands, drifting drifting drifting on the strange tide that might take her thoughts any number of unusual places.

Then Mara asked a question, funnelling all that magnitude into a single thought. "Usually only when she bothers me. Like when I had to send her Calvin. But I have had many Others, and they are much and one the same." The unravelling of her multitudes, so to speak, both separate entities and not. She cared for her Other out of obligation, since they were bound, but honestly did not waste much thought on the intricacies of her life. It was a world Nimeda could not traverse, and as such one that did not concern her. She shrugged. "So long as she is happy, I am content. Do you think much on yours?"

The same thing, and not. But Mara rarely spoke of the awake world, so Nimeda assumed a distinction, and naturally separated the two in her own image. A grin glittered on the edge of her lips, quite purposefully pretending ignorance of the eyes blinking curious all around them.
There was the rift dividing Nimeda from Mara. A tiny fracture perhaps but if they weren’t careful, that rift might carve the whole grandness of a new canyon between them. “I think about her – me – all the time. She isn’t happy like yours. She suffers. I suffer.” Mara’s tone darkened as the eyes wobbled a few steps nearer. After a few moments of introspection, Mara blinked, propped up on an elbow and caught the wry grin perched on Nimeda’s lips. “Who’s Calvin? How did you send him to her?” She pat the ground then, beckoning the pet to pad its way closer to its mistress. Mara scooped up the little creature, smiling even as it bared its pointy little teeth up at her in return.

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