She hated the holidays. Hated them with a passion. Especially the Yueltide season. It only brought up painful memories for Cecilia. As far as she was concerned it was just an excuse to do something other than be productive. Sure there was the whole changing of the seasons deal but did it really need to be celebrated to this degree?
Much to her chagrin, her mother enjoyed this time of the year and it was only because of her that Cecilia tolerated it and presented her mother a gift just to make her happy. It was the least she could do. After all, she is the only parent she has ever known and although she thought poorly on her mother's past decisions regarding her family, she had never once done anything to hurt or hinder her. And for that she was eternally thankful.
Cecilia was well out of the confines of the city. It was only yesterday that the High Constable absolved her of her punishment for previous problematic behavior on her part. She admitted she had a nice time but that feeling of easement was long gone by now. Still, she needed some time to herself without garnering the scornful looks of the other soldiers. So instead, she spent nearly the entire day up here at her usual slope that overlooked the entirety of Persephoneia, seated against a sturdy pine tree. Not only did she need the time to herself, but she just couldn't take all the premature happy tidings and excited chatter of what to get their family or significant other. Cecilia reacted with a frown and shake of her head every time she passed by a civilian doing just that.
She raised her dual-colored gaze, her expression neutral and emotionless, up at the remaining pine needles and bare branches of the tree she rested on, its usual comforting forest green coated with the plump and plush white blankets of snow. Her eyes slowly trailed over to the adjacent pines and firs. They were like naked creatures, the snow dressing their bare hides with white fluff. It was a strangely comforting sight to her.
The Lapras adjusted the thick fabric of her sweater to cover her neck. It was merely an anxious tick though. Since her primary element was ice, the freezing temperature didn't bother her so much. No, it was something else. What made her anxious was not being able to understand what people saw in these holidays. Even despite hardship, the people find some way to comfort themselves with the people surrounding them. Why were they so happy? What made them want to be so giving and kind and reach out to others?
Cecilia only understood survival and striving to be the best. Not allowing anyone to get in her way and proving her worth. There was no room for her to do those kinds of things.
'That is was why you are unable to connect with others the way everyone else does.'
'What do you mean?'
'You isolate yourself. You take the form of ice itself – cold, detached, void of warmth. You are the type of person who's so set on something, that it is the primary concern. You know, you weren't always like that. You can't allow the memories to consume your present. You are a kind soul and will lend your aid if necessary but now…you refuse to allow others close, and thus you shield and encase yourself in your own prison and I don't wish that upon you.'
'Amphitrite, I've done everything so far due to my own strength. It's made me a stronger person.'
'Yes but are you happy? I know you Cecilia…'
'I only want the best for you.'
And with that their conversation was over. Cecilia sat against the pine, hugging her knees and resting her head against her arms. Her mind was void of all thought. It was a long while before she came to but she retained her position.
Was Amphitrite right? Was the reason why she was never truly satisfied because her focus was so…narrow-minded? It was a ridiculous notion and one she was ready to toss out the window. Or at least shove into a dark corner. It wasn't something she wanted to dwell on at the moment. One of these days though, some deep reflection was due.
Cecilia sat there for some time trying to enjoy herself in silence. Key words, trying to. When she realized she couldn't, she was ready to call it quits. She stood up from her spot and took a step before something in the wind caught her eye. She felt the chilling breeze as she strained her eyes to see what it was. A gentle fluttering reached Cecilia's ears as it floated closer, until it finally landed at her feet. Bending over and picking it up, she recognized it as one of the wishtags that everyone in the city had. Wishtags were little strips of paper where one writes their wish on and folds it into the shape of a star. It was said that the legendary creature, Jirachi would grant one wish upon one of the wishtags upon waking from its dormant state. She saw a number of people writing and folding them, then setting them at the top of their Yuel trees as of late.
She was never too into these things and was about to toss it over her shoulder. Yet something prompted her not to. She glanced down at the empty strip of paper and sighed. "I suppose there's no harm," she said to herself.
She grabbed a single pine needle from the tree she sat under, before venturing into the naked woodland. It took some searching but she managed to find a few unharvested berries on a bushel and picked them. Then she stripped a curved piece of bark from a nearby tree and carefully crushed the berries into the groove of the bark. Once she was satisfied, she gingerly dipped the tip of the pine needle into the crush berries and wrote upon the wishtag.
When she was finished and allowed it to dry completely, she gingerly folded the strip of paper into a star and held it up to inspect it. With a satisfied nod, she then began to trek through the woodland area until she found a humble fir tree. It wasn't exceptionally large. Rather, it seemed to be the smallest of the trees only reaching several feet taller than Cecilia herself. But it had the most vegetation still attached to it and it seemed to have the most spirit. Cecilia liked it enough and reached up to place her star at the crest.
The Lapras took a moment to stare at the star for a moment. She didn't think any differently about the holidays. She still hated it and resented the memories that were associated with it. It wasn't anything special but the mere thought of taking part in something that everyone partook in brought a small smile to her lips. A feeling of warmth welled in her breast but it was momentary. It was time she headed back but she was content knowing her secret would stay safe out here.
I like this story. The story is akin with each other, and doesn't flow off or give useless side stories. Solid in other words. The use of adjectives is well done and gives the reader a good picture of the character and surroundings. I didn't have any trouble picturing her sitting on the snow, and leaning against a pine tree overlooking a bright Persephoneia. Using too many adjectives will just slow down the story, let people use their imaginations. The character's emotions and behaviors are believable, and relatable to some people including me. Although I don't "hate holidays with a passion" I do wish I could find a nice little nook in the wilderness where I could get away from people.
I saw a few spelling and grammatical errors, like "'crushed' berries"and placing another comma behind Jirachi; "It was said that the legendary creature, Jirachi, would..." Also, try not to use the same word in the same sentence or place a comma in the sentence, "...would grant one wish upon one of the wishtags, upon waking from its dormant state." Aside from that, very well done.
To sum it up, story is original and solid, no cracks. The characters are believable and they can also be related to. Nice use of adjectives, it was just the right amount so the reader's imagination could also kick in. A few spelling and grammatical errors, but I assumed that it was because of forgetfulness. Also what is a "dual-colored gaze"? Is it something like Heterochromia iridum? Because that would be AWESOME!