Song Meme

Kernel ask meme

@sawyergt

Based on this ask meme

Oh jeez. This one was a little harder, but after a while of skipping through the shuffle, I landed on “I’ll Cover You (Reprise)” from RENT.

Just imagine it as from a sister to a brother rather than to a lover, and…yeah…

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OC Question meme

From this list of OC questions

48. What were their parents like? How has that affected how they are as an adult?

Zepheera’s parents, Tack and Klerida, were a young, loving borrower couple with a happy and healthy baby girl. Klerida was headstrong and set in her ways, determined to have the perfect family. On the other hand, Tack was agreeable yet ambitious. After the birth of his daughter, he knew he wanted the best for her. He had loads of plans for teaching her how to borrow when she got older, and even started learning how to read from the human children’s books (in 1927, it was common for borrowers to go their whole lives without learning how to read or write).

Then when Zepheera was a year old, her father died in her nursery in a terrible calamity, the source of which could be traced back to Zepheera herself. With Tack’s death, something broke inside Klerida and was lost forever. She became very hateful toward Zepheera, taking advantage of the child’s healing factor to physically abuse her. This shifted more toward mental abuse when Klerida remarried and had another child named Kernel.

By then, Zepheera was old enough to spend more of her time with her father’s brother, Boston. He was kind to her, taught her everything he knew

Zepheera ran away from home at age 17 and soon thereafter ceased to age. She’s had decades to separate herself from her childhood and move on with her life, but one thing lingers from those days that will not leave easily: Zepheera is terrified of becoming a parent, almost deathly so. The last thing she wants is to somehow end up like her mother.

This fear blinds her to the fact that she’s actually great with kids, very protective and no-nonsense yet fun-loving and encouraging.

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Prompt: Fragile

From this list of one-word prompts, which I’m still taking. Feel free to send me one!


“Zepheera.”

The seven-year-old groaned as she was gently shaken awake by her uncle. She rolled onto her back and sleepily blinked up at him from his lap. He smiled and brushed her tousled hair back. “It’s time, sweets,” he whispered.

Zepheera grumbled unintelligibly, covering her head with the blanket Boston had wrapped around her earlier in the night.

He chuckled and scooped up his small niece into his arms.

“C’mon, sleepyhead,” he grunted as he stood and headed out. “You wanna meet the baby, don’t you?”

Zepheera pouted and buried her face in his shoulder. She really didn’t, but she knew that was wrong to say so she held her tongue. She wasn’t sure how she should feel about the new baby. It wasn’t like she was worried about the baby stealing her love; her stepfather had no idea how to talk to her, and the attention she got from her mother was all bad. Zepheera had never seen a baby, but her uncle described them as small and chubby.

Then he had to explain to her what ‘chubby’ meant.

All Zepheera knew was that she had been sent away to her uncle’s home for what felt like days (even though Boston insisted the day hadn’t passed) while her stepfather and his sister took her mother away while she was in labor. No one would tell her what labor was. Clearly, it was time-consuming.

Boston put Zepheera down when they were outside her house. She gripped the leg of his trousers, almost hiding behind them as they stood in the doorway of her parents’ bedroom. She’d never been in there, and she’d learned to be wary of any room her mother was in.

Her mother was asleep in bed, her bright red hair pasted to her forehead with sweat. Zepheera frowned, staring for a moment to determine if that was even the same person. She looked so…relaxed. Peaceful.

And she’d never put much thought to it, but her mother was quite beautiful in such a natural state.

“How’d she do?” Boston asked, cutting off Zepheera’s thoughts. She realized that her stepfather was sitting beside the bed.

Baycliff smiled wearily at Boston, his golden eyes bright even in the late-night darkness. “Sis says she did great. Hardly screamed. Boy, did she want to, though.” He tilted his head when he saw Zepheera peering curiously at the bundle of fabric he was holding.

“Come see your little brother.”

It took an encouraging nudge from her uncle for Zepheera to pad carefully across the room. She gasped softly when she got close enough to see an itty-bitty head and pudgy little arms poking out of the bundle. Uncle Boston had said small, but she didn’t think it’d be that small.

“Do you want to hold him?” her stepfather asked Zepheera, to her unfiltered surprise. She glanced at her passed out mother, who would never entrust Zepheera with anything nearly as delicate as this baby seemed to be. Still, as long as it was being offered… She nodded.

Baycliff carefully passed the bundle to Zepheera, showing her how to properly support the head in a sturdy yet gentle grip. Even so, she froze once she had the baby all to herself. She could feel his little feet shifting in his sleep against her arm. He hardly weighed a thing, even to Zepheera who was small for her age.

‘Small and chubby’, though accurate, were hardly the tip of the iceberg of adjectives that flooded into Zepheera’s mind as she took in every detail of her brother. He was light, soft, warm, innocent, and so pale; even Zepheera’s very light brown skin seemed dark against his.

Her uncle’s even darker hand reached down to smooth down the baby’s unruly strawberry-blond hair. It was an innocent enough gesture, but it made Zepheera stiffen a little. Seeing how big Boston’s hand was in comparison expanded her list of words for the baby: weak, helpless, fragile. Something protective awoke inside her, and she held the bundle closer despite the fact that Uncle Boston was one of the only people in the world Zepheera loved and trusted.

Boston sat cross-legged on the floor and carefully pulled his niece in to sit in his lap, to help her relax.

“What’s his name?”

“Kernel,” Baycliff replied.

Somehow, having a name to match the face added a new layer to what Zepheera thought about the whole affair. This was a brand-new person in her arms. He would be a man one day, but for now Zepheera could hold him without issue.

“Kernel…” Zepheera echoed, barely a whisper. On an impulse, she leaned down to gingerly kiss his forehead. His little brow scrunched in spite of how soft Zepheera had tried to be, and his buttery-yellow eyes blinked sleepily open.

“Hi, Kernel,” said Zepheera fondly, unable to hold back a smile. “I’m your big sister. You’re safe with me, I promise.”

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Prompt: Blood

EEEEVIIIIIL ;o; Why can’t you people just let my characters be happy??

Oh, who am I kidding, they were always meant to be like this ;w;

This is another insight to an otherwise unseen character in my main story. Not an excerpt, just a sneak peek into the tortured past of my OC.

In reference to this list of one-word prompts. Feel free to send me one!

16. Blood


“Come on, slowpoke!” Zepheera hissed over her shoulder. “You almost caught me that time!”

“Sissy-y-y!” whined Kernel as he ran after his big sister, whose name was too complex for the four-year-old to pronounce.

Zepheera simply giggled and carried on jogging through the underbelly of the house. She and her brother played this chasing game almost every time they snuck out of their little home in the walls. And every time Kernel would claim that Zepheera had the unfair
advantage, being much older than him at the age of eleven. But she knew that being able to run well was an important skill for a growing borrower to develop, so she insisted upon the game.

She did, however, try to make it easier for him until he got big enough to be able to contest with her. She ran slower so he could catch her, as well as to give him a fair chance at running away from her. She would dodge and weave around the piles of brick and sawdust left over from when the building was made to improve his motor skills and reflexes.

He’ll be a great borrower someday, she’d think at the end of their games. And I’ll have helped.

A cry of distress behind Zepheera made her skid to a stop and whirl around. Kernel had tripped and fallen hard on the dirty concrete, and his shoulders shook with stifled sobs. Even he, who had been babied by their mother, knew how important it was to keep as quiet as possible, no matter what.

Zepheera rushed to his side and helped him sit up. He had dust all in his strawberry-blond mop, and his buttery eyes shone with tears. His right forearm had been scraped from the elbow to halfway up, seemingly from a sharp rock. Crimson blood stood out starkly against the boy’s fair skin.

Kernel whimpered when Zepheera tried to wipe the blood away without so much as a blink. Her heart hurt when it heard his pain.

“It’s okay, Kern,” she whispered reassuringly, brushing his hair out of his eyes. “It’s only a scrape.”

“S-s-stings,” Kernel sniffled burying his face in his sister’s shirt.

Zepheera wrapped a comforting arm around Kernel’s shoulders, but it took her a minute to figure out why he was so upset. Could it really be that this was his first time getting hurt? Looking back, i wasn’t that impossible. Their mother had made certain that Kernel was safe inside their home. Zepheera supposed that now was as good a time as any to
teach her little brother how to handle pain.

“Well, it won’t for long,” she promised. “Know why?”

Kernel shook his head no.

Zepheera covered the scrape with her hand, eliciting a wince from the boy. “Because in a few seconds, it’ll be gone.”

The boy’s eyes grew large at his sister’s confident assertion. “R-really?”

“You bet,” Zepheera gave him her biggest smile. “Ready? One…two…three!”

The sight of the intact scrape wiped the smile from Zepheera’s face and the wonder from Kernel’s. His shoulders started shaking again, and Zepheera hugged him tighter.

“I-it’s okay,” she insisted. Why didn’t it work? “That’s…that’s normal. I promise.”

Is it just me?

All her life, Zepheera’s wounds would always disappear. Bruises faded within hours, if they ever formed at all, and cuts and scrapes like this were easy-peasy. No one had ever explained to her that that was out of the ordinary. She’d never seen her uncle get hurt, nor her mother, but her mother had certainly seen her heal.

Her mother had been the cause of all her pain in the past.

But for now, Zepheera had to push that aside and get help for her brother.

“C’mon, Kernel,” she cooed, lifting him into her arms as she stood. “Let’s go find Uncle Boston. He’ll know what to do.”

She felt his head shake no against her shoulder. “M-mummy… I want mummy,” he moaned pitifully.

Zepheera let out a long sigh. She’d hoped to delay confronting her mother and stepfather about this for as long as possible. But she couldn’t find it in her heart to say no to Kernel, so she started home.

For a moment, she thought about what she might say to her mother about what happened. ‘It was an accident’, ‘I should have been watching him’; but she quickly realized that it didn’t matter what she said. Nothing would alleviate whatever punishment their mother chose for her. Ever since Kernel had been born, Zepheera’s mother had never laid a hand on her in anger. But now Zepheera was responsible for her baby boy being hurt.

She wondered if, for the first time in three years, she would see blood tonight.