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Eurydice is waiting

>> Eurydice is waiting
TITLE: Eurydice is waiting
AUTHOR: ultraviolet9a
SPOILER: Throughout both seasons in a mild way mostly. I think. Esp for Pilot, Home, IMToD.
CHARACTERS: Mary Winchester, John Winchester, (Jess, mention of Sam and Dean), the Demon.
SUMMARY: “There are no asphodels here.”(Summarising the plot would be a crucial episode spoiler. My apologies.)
FEEDBACK: Dude…duh
DISCLAIMER: I don’t own the Winchesters, even though I promised them cookies.
NOTE: I’ve been so perplexed in writing two, no, three big arcs that I forgot my true love lies in one-shots.
Flectere si nequeo superos,
Acheronta movebo.*
- Aeneid VII, line 312, Virgil-
1. There are no asphodels here.
The snake had yellow eyes and its bite was fire. It stung and ripped her belly apart and laughed as her world tilted. Then wrapped her in gauzes of flame, red orange white waves of pain that scorched -Sam Dean John- and then shadows. Darkness.
Burns no more.
Sunlight is falling on an open field. White clouds move across the azure sky and the patterns aren’t fixed but unpredictable like a kaleidoscope. There are no asphodels here. Scarlet poppies mark the green grass like drops of blood and a road winds through it all like a gritty ribbon of dirt. There is no sound but the slight feeling of wind and the rustling of a cerulean river coiling alongside the road.
Everything is peaceful and soothing. There are no asphodels here. There is a woman with blonde hair and eyes that want to seek peace but know they are forgetting something. Her mouth is dry, as if her whole body carries the memory of flame and concentrates it into thirst.
Her feet are bare, but earth welcomes her skin and walking through the grass feels like cotton. Her hands pass through the poppies (there are no asphodels here) like drops of blood, and that is important somehow, small red drops falling, falling on a crib, but the image fades quicker than a sunset.
She dips her hands in the water, splashes her face. It cools, but doesn’t quench the thirst. Soft grass and poppies underneath her knees and palms and she leans forward to look inside. Water. Water. She doesn’t see her reflection. She cups her palms and dips them again in, this time to bring them to her mouth and small drops escape and fall back in the water forming outspreading circles–blood drops falling, falling, falling, remember-and slide down her fingers and arms, small drops running like soothing fingers –I love you, you know. Marry me. I love you,-a lover’s touch. She raises her arms higher, splays her fingers open, lets water be water and free, feels it run heavy down her arms, down her elbows, drenching her white dress right on the belly.
Dampness there –so familiar, doesn’t hurt now- and her palms cup the wet fabric, her own flesh. It wasn’t always flat, her palms remember curves, holding the shape of something that was yet to come. A child. Children. Eyes wide open as knowledge tries to settle in her mind, unravel the cotton mist that has settled there and knows nothing but a field full of poppies and no asphodels.
She closes her eyes, tries to grope for the thread that will get her out the maze the way one clings to a dream she knows she’s dreamt but can’t remember.
Then she sees the other woman. She is young and beautiful in the ripe way of healthy sane sheer beauty with her dense blonde hair and the curve of her lip, the curve of her body. Her walk is silent and gliding as she goes and stands to the other side of the river, and then she is mirroring her, kneeling across her and her hands cup water.
There is a sigh like wind from the girl’s lips and her palms carry the water to her mouth.
Her own hands are still on her belly but now they reach to the other side, palms wide open.
“Don’t,” she says without knowing why. “Don’t.”
The girl’s eyes focus on her for a moment.
“Don’t,” she says again and some dark corner of her soul adds “Remember. Important. Don’t forget.”
The girl smiles. It doesn’t match her age, this weariness. Doesn’t match the fields of poppies –there are no asphodels here-, doesn’t match the clear water. It matches the silence.
“It burns too much,” the girl says and takes a deep breath.
The sigh escapes like wind and this time she hears it.
Then the girl brings the water to her mouth and with each drop she becomes more like water, see-through and the sunlight seems to be brighter.
“Sam,” she says herself looking at the girl, but the girl doesn’t look thirsty anymore and her eyes have the serenity of those who choose Lethe. The girl gets up, starts walking away and with each step she becomes more transparent till sunlight streams through her in small explosions of rainbows.
She blinks and the girl is no longer there, just that wisp of wind that was sighed, and she anchors herself to it.
Sam. Sam. Sam. Sammy.
And then memory hits with the searing force of white flame SammyDeanJohnhome and the world explodes around her and she’s falling.
2. Home.
She has a hard time keeping count but here, even when she’s wrapped up in flames, fire doesn’t hurt her. She bids the time that doesn’t pass by remembering –Dean’s birth, Dean’s first step, baby Sammy home, John holding her, cooking, laughing, Dean had fever-details that throw roots in this house. Her roots. This is a house for children and a new family has moved in, and something dark and angry has chosen her home as residence too. She tries to protect the family. Doesn’t want harm on them, no family should ever be allowed to fall apart, not like hers. And waits. They will come. Someday home will beckon to them and they will come.
They do.
They are no longer children, they are men. She sees them all grown up and knows she’s dreamt of them before they had even been born, dreamt of their beauty and courage, their mind and soul, part of her as much as John. Love.
Not blood red like hearts are painted, not white like purity. Love feels colourless, like water, and it holds the light yet lets it through, welcoming, not imprisoning.
My boys, she’s thinking. My boys. Love like water, like the water she sees in their teary eyes.
She has a hard time keeping count here, but now she does. And knows there isn’t any. One glimpse has been enough and she leaves with a song in her heart and a smile on her face and when she goes for the poltergeist the flames she wraps it in are not orange nor white, but transparent.
3. Oh river, I see drifting
She’s back in the field. There are poppies still and this time she notices details, like the small white daisies, too innocent to stand out under the blood red drops of colour around them. And she remembers everything.
Sam and Dean. John. Family. Home. The ceiling. The demon. The fire. Sam and Dean. All grown up.
She feels thirsty and knows she won’t last long without water. She needs it, needs to soothe down the burn inside. Doesn’t want to forget. Her boys, all grown up. John. The love, transparent and pure like water. She tries to hold on to it, hold on to it fiercely, take it in small mental sips or long gulps that make the burn a little less heavy, but the river is always there, murmuring, whispering, singing.
She lies on the ground, clutches with burning palms against daisies and poppies and grass, looks at the sky, lets the patterns of the sun etch themselves in the back of her eyelids. She’s thirsty. So thirsty.
And maybe, maybe that is all there is to it. She saw her boys. Managed a proper goodbye that soothed her more than a thousand oceans. Maybe the important thing about time is not counting it, but knowing when it has come.
And she’s tired. Feels weak. Dizzy under the sun like a fading flower. She drags herself on all fours to the side of the river. Watches it flow, just next to the road on the other side. If she had the strength she could jump on the other side. Or wade across it. She doesn’t want to. All roads have led here, to this moment, and she bends down and cups her hands ready to dip them in the water when she hears a cry from the sky and her eyes scan it, looking for a falcon or a hawk or an eagle. She doesn’t expect the small sparrow that lands on the road across watching her with eyes that are too intelligent for a bird. It makes sounds again, bird sounds she shouldn’t be able to feel. Sparrows shouldn’t sound so melodic. Shouldn’t sound like a lament from the bowels of the earth. The sparrow jumps on tiny feet and then flutters its wings.
Her eyes turn to the river again. It’s no longer transparent and she clasps her mouth in her palms to stifle her own cry.
Where water ran, now there is fire, liquid, thick like lava slowly coiling and hissing like a snake.
And she knows that song and her voice rises in lament to the sky.
Because John has died. John is in hell.
And love feels no longer transparent but thick and burning like molten gold.
The sparrow watches.
4. Your song bears a burden too weighty.
She cries. There is no water left in her, but tears fall down as she stands on the edge of the fiery river and are sucked greedily by the earth.
She lies back on the earth, takes comfort in the steadiness of the ground as her own body shakes in private earthquakes and time stands still.
Her sobs subside. There’s lament deep in her bones and for a while everything else is drowned out by it. Then slowly there is another sound that finds a way through her flesh, her bones, her sinuses, her blood.
John is mourning. Lamenting. Suffering. Hell is breaking him, and through those cracks the pain, the grief, the longing he kept inside all those years streams like water from a cracked vessel. It leaks through him, through fire, earth, rock, through everything that stands between him and his sons, between him and his wife.
Water always finds a way. It sings of pain and separation. It sings of loss of hope and her heart quickens. No. No.
She rises to her knees. She held poppies when she wept, crushed their fragile beauty in her palms that now look bloodstained. It doesn’t matter. She walks away, away, back to the river. Turns to face it. The sparrow is still there. Waiting.
So she runs, long strides that make a soft thud against the ground and then she jumps and closes her eyes and hopes for a hard fall.
When she opens her eyes again, her body aches and the sparrow is looking at her with big dark eyes.
“What?” she says, her voice hoarse. “What now? I came. I’m on the road.”
The sparrow makes a sombre tweet sound and then hops away on the road.
It doesn’t feel comforting under feet. It claims blood like shards of glass, and when she looks behind, her own blood is trailing after her like makeshift poppies.
Doesn’t matter. And time runs. And doesn’t move. And doesn’t matter either.
And the sparrow flies, and there is nothing but that river of fire and that road leading nowhere. Everywhere. Here.
There is blood spattered on the road ahead of her. She looks behind her. There is blood smeared too. The alternate poppy fields, and this can’t be…but is.
“No,” she says feeling absolutely normal, conversing with a sparrow. “This isn’t the way.”
The sparrow flies away. And before it does, she finds it equally normal that it seems to smile at her.
She looks around her. At the river. At the poppies. Makes a bouquet of them. Feels strangely comforted by their weight in her palm.
She’s bone tired. She’s mourning. She’s still thirsty. And one way or another, she’s going to hell.
She closes her eyes, improvises a prayer and dives into the fire.
5. Your voices lay siege.
Hell is not exactly a place, the way the field of poppies isn’t. She thought it’d be alternating between fire and ice, hitting hard in the mind, but it’s more like a cave. Dark. Shadowed. Colourless.
She hears hordes of demons yelling trespasser cunt sinner pain stay hurt you bitch, strings of curses, threats, private fears in the back of her mind. But they’re muted, drowned out and she clutches the poppies to her bosom, them the only vibrant colour in a muted ugly world.
Fire comes later, voices whisper. Ice goes deeper. You’re not close enough. Leave. Leave. Now.
Like hell, you bastards, she replies and finds it in her to laugh at the pun. I won’t stop looking. I’ll find him.
He’s mine.
She freezes. Knows that voice. Remembers it whispering while it pinned her to a nursery ceiling.
He is dark, not like a shadow, but like the first, primary dark before light was born. Everything else is dimming around him, save for his eyes. Yellow eyes. She recognizes them.
He made a deal, her killer says. Traded his soul for your son. He’s mine.
A flick of dark hand moves. The shadows become less black and more grey till she can make out a shape. John. He is not chained. He is not burning. Flesh isn’t torn of him. He is curled up into a ball, a grey colourless ball, whimpering.
What have you done to him?
Have? I’m still doing it, dear. Torture is a state of mind, you see.
Yes. I see. Now stop it. I’m taking him. I’m claiming him.
You can’t.
Watch me. She takes long strides towards the shadows. She hasn’t moved a bit. The demon laughs.
I’ll keep you here, too. And when your sons end up here, and oh, sooner or later they will, we can have a happy family reunion. Isn’t that what John always dreamt?
There’s a whimper from John.
Your brave soldier, singing to my tunes. Broken.
She looks at him. Looks at her husband. Looks at the demon. Holds the poppies tight to her arms.
I come with a song, too, she says. I come with a song of war.
She closes her eyes, thinks of water and blood red poppies. Of Sam and Dean all grown, their eyes when they saw her. Thinks of anything that anchored her back in the house, the transparent flame that killed the poltergeist. Snippets of prayers she can’t even remember, translucent, clean words. Memories she should have, but doesn’t.
A tear starts rolling down her cheek, thick, salty. It finds its way slowly down her face, the curve of her jaw, capturing the dark world and yellow eyes inverse and tiny, trickling along, and then no longer connects to her skin but falls. Falls. Falls. And hits the ground with a thud as loud as thousand earthquakes.
The demon hollers a long winded No that shakes the foundation of everything around. But it isn’t his holler that shakes everything. It’s holy water, the holiest of all, in an unholy place and the balance has been shaken.
And her tears won’t stop falling. Can’t stop falling.
He’s mine, she says. I’m claiming him.
The demon shrieks again, angry, furious, mad, defeat in his curses and threats, defeat in the shadows that flare up in fire, like a napalm bomb.
She doesn’t feel anything anymore. When she opens her eyes again, she’s waist deep in the river, and water is water again. She walks to the side of the road and gets out, dripping, careful not to bring her hands to her lips. The ground is shaking.
She looks at her hands. The poppies are scorched, but if she looks close enough she can see their core. It’s red, deep red like a ruby. Or blood.
She crouches on the grass, wraps her arms around her feet and waits. Everything is silent for a long, timeless while.
Then there are footsteps.
6. Though lovers be lost
She sees his shape in the distance, getting bigger and bigger as he approaches. Thinks she’d hear these footsteps from miles away. She gets up. Waits for him to come to her, weary, broken, but him.
“Mary,” he says. His eyes, his voice are full of tears. He opens his arms and they feel like homecoming. She slides inside them, lets her own cradle his body and tries not to cry, not when she’s in a field of poppies and John is holding her after twenty three years.
“John,” she says and her voice holds a smile even as her eyes hold water. “What took you so long?”
-The End.
*“If I cannot deflect the will of Heaven,
I shall move Hell.”
SIDENOTE: Titles for subchapters 3, 4, 5 are lines of Lorelei by Sylvia Plath and  6 is a line of And Death Shall Have No Dominion by Dylan Thomas. I don’t own those either. Apparently, I just worship them.
Also, if you liked this fic, you’ll probably like Nothing, like Something, happens Anywhere as well. (I’m just saying.)


( 40 have shined — Play nice and shine on )
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Apr. 2nd, 2007 03:39 pm (UTC)
This is SO very, very, very beautiful. Your Mary is wonderful, and strong, in a way that is totally hers.

thank you.
Apr. 2nd, 2007 09:19 pm (UTC)
So happy you think so, thanks! You're always so nice to me and my stories! *hug*

And, come to think of it, you have been nice since day one really. When I was still trying to figure out what an ljcut is. *facepalm*

*scratches head* Why haven't I friended you yet?
(no subject) - phantomas - Apr. 7th, 2007 11:30 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ultraviolet9a - Apr. 7th, 2007 01:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 2nd, 2007 05:13 pm (UTC)
Wow. Yet another lyrically beautiful piece from you. Loved the repetition you used there, the variations as Mary's awareness shifts and grows. And YAY, she got her John back in the end!
Apr. 2nd, 2007 09:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you, hon! So glad you liked it!

And...you do know that deep in my soul it all gravitates to one thing: making John happy somehow. *g*
Apr. 2nd, 2007 07:40 pm (UTC)
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel,
yet they shall not break;

they may noy have broken...but I did...that was an amazing story. Thank you.
Apr. 2nd, 2007 09:23 pm (UTC)
I'm very happy that you liked it. Though I didn't mean to break anything, really. Just give John a happier afterlife. :)
Apr. 2nd, 2007 07:51 pm (UTC)
This gave me chills.
They started here: Love feels colourless, like water, and it holds the light yet lets it through, welcoming, not imprisoning.

One glimpse has been enough and she leaves with a song in her heart and a smile on her face and when she goes for the poltergeist the flames she wraps it in are not orange nor white, but transparent.

and just kept coming. Beautiful.
Apr. 2nd, 2007 09:24 pm (UTC)
Chills make me happy :). So thank you for your lovely comment.
Apr. 2nd, 2007 10:14 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is gorgeous. I love every word of it. Beautiful, and just like the myth it is.
Apr. 3rd, 2007 08:23 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! :)
Apr. 2nd, 2007 11:30 pm (UTC)
This is so beautiful. I have tears in my eeys, but they are good tears. Your Mary is so amazing, strong and stubborn. Also I loved the atmosphere of this fic. Thank you for the lovely read!
Apr. 3rd, 2007 12:40 am (UTC)
OMG! I think my head is spinning - but in a good way.

Cards on the table - I am a very unshippy fangirl (usually so very, very "gen"). It takes a very special depiction of ship to set my heart aflutter, but the John/Mary that you've got going here? *swoon*

And the way Mary thinks about her boys, Sam and Dean all grown up? Okay, the whole fic is just gorgeous!

Go Eurydice! ;-)
(no subject) - ultraviolet9a - Apr. 3rd, 2007 08:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ultraviolet9a - Apr. 3rd, 2007 08:30 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 3rd, 2007 01:58 am (UTC)
Wonderful. I love the strength of Mary here, the determination rooted in love which feels very true to her and is reflective of her family as a whole.

And, oh, the ending. I want so very much for them to have a happy ending, and you've given them a beautiful one here.
Apr. 3rd, 2007 08:36 am (UTC)
Thank you so much, esp because you see Mary the way I see and write her.

And yes...happy endings...if Kripke won't give me one, I'll just have to make one myself.:)
Apr. 3rd, 2007 02:16 am (UTC)
beautiful, as always.
Apr. 3rd, 2007 08:36 am (UTC)
Apr. 3rd, 2007 02:37 am (UTC)
Oh how beautiful! The imagery in this was wonderful - and I love the nod to Orpheus and Eurydice (like Orion, Orpheus is among my favorite myths). And tears as holy water is just perfect.
Apr. 3rd, 2007 08:37 am (UTC)
Thanks, sweetie!

And yeah, for some reason Orpheus always gets me somehow. One of my uberfavourite myths, though I got plenty of them...
Apr. 3rd, 2007 02:37 am (UTC)
Oh, that was just gorgeous. I loved the imagery and the reversal of Orpheus, the way Mary brought him out. Beautiful language, and very moving.

(Here by way of vaznetti, by the way.
Apr. 3rd, 2007 08:38 am (UTC)
I am happy you enjoyed it. Thanks! :)
Apr. 3rd, 2007 05:35 am (UTC)
I don't often enjoy reading fic (fan or pro) set in supernatural realms, because it usually fails to describe the otherness of Heaven/Hell, the rules and words and bodies that we have not applying in those places. Your story succeeds, and does so magnificently, with amazing imagery (especially with the flowers and water), and terrifying consequences.
Apr. 3rd, 2007 08:43 am (UTC)
I know what you mean about Heaven/Hell fic. Afterlife is such an unclear realm, and not all one reads can strike the right chord.

It's great to know that mine worked, esp the imagery part, cuz nothing was random really (spoke the symbolistsuckergirl :) ).

Apr. 4th, 2007 08:22 am (UTC)
Oh... *teary eyed*
Fantastic. *sniffles*

Reverse Eurydice. And this time, Orpheus succeeded. Yes!

*crawls under blanket with bear to sniffle some more*

Apr. 4th, 2007 10:34 am (UTC)
Re: Oh... *teary eyed*
Aw thanks, hon.

And yes. Once in a while I redeem my karma by giving a happy ending. :)
Apr. 14th, 2007 05:34 am (UTC)
Oh my goodness. This was just so lyrical, but I don't know if that made it any easier for me to read. Moments like this (Her mouth is dry, as if her whole body carries the memory of flame and concentrates it into thirst.) were absolutely heartbreaking, as it should have been.

Very nicely done.
Apr. 14th, 2007 07:53 am (UTC)
Thanks, sweetie! :) Sometimes I only write a story just because I know that I'm going to get an aesthetic pleasure out of the language and imagery. Kind of like in "Elemental". And here too, obviously. :)
Aug. 8th, 2007 07:04 pm (UTC)
Aug. 14th, 2007 09:38 am (UTC)
Thank you so much!
Aug. 8th, 2007 11:09 pm (UTC)
Someone linked to this today, and it's just stunningly beautiful. Wow.
Aug. 14th, 2007 09:39 am (UTC)
Thank you so, so much!
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( 40 have shined — Play nice and shine on )


(I am a rainwalker)


Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colours. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.

-A Hat Full of Sky

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