I was outside in the cool evening breeze. My friend Kiara had told me of this place, run by two of the Rowans who had decided it was time to settle down for a little. Chrysania and her partner whose name I couldn't recall. I did remember that she was a lovely woman. Both were--well - interesting by most people's standards. They had a glow about them most days that hid something from the world at large. I could see it, though, I saw it every day, and kept my mouth closed on it. It was one of the agreements we'd made. They served me half price; I kept their little secret. It was harmless enough after all. It wasn't one of those that would harm anyone. It might freak them out a little, Might make the two women lose business, but it wouldn't seriously hurt anyone, so It was kept by me, and all was well. I found it odd, though that neither of the two were outside this evening. Usually at least one was to play hostess to the incoming guests and to remind them of the rules: Be respectful, and if you are too drunk to keep your fists to yourself, you'd better use the bell pulley beside your table; there was to be no fighting inside or outside this establishment. At the sound of the bell, there would be a carriage, or sometimes even a cab to take you home; no questions asked.
I pulled open the door, thoughts of my favorite fruit-flavored mead dancing in my head, but they were scattered by the strains of Hotel California that poured out of the door as I stepped in. That drew a chuckle out of me. Usually I came into something with a bit more of a celtic flavor to it- Something by the Clancy Brothers, the Irish Rovers, or someone less well known like Siren Song or The Harper and the Minstrel, or even, a few times, a live performance by a few visiting members of the Rowan clan.
The usual croud was there. Others with much the same glo as the two women had, others looking curiously at those with said glow before turning away to mind their drinks or their other businesses. A couple turned to watch me pass through the door, and admired my hair, A long sable sweep with sapphire pins the same color as my eyes in it to keep it together at the top so that the bottom fanned out like a peacock's tail. I looked about as I always did, admiring the work they had put into the place. It was intricate, elaborate, even exquisite. It never faild to awe me, even now.
I always found this place interesting. It always seemed to be poised between so many worlds. A world where creatures like the fairies, dragons, pixies and gryphons depicted in the cieling actually existed, the world that most would consider the "real" world in which the only places those creatures did exist was in the stories told to children and read by other adults who had a pentient and a liking for such things, and yet a third, where some of both was true; the imaginative world where anything was possible; anything at all. A world in which anyone could enter and feel as if they had just come home, at least for a time.
I started for the horseshoe shaped bar at the end of the room, then stopped when I saw him...
The same gray eyes; the same black hair. All I saw was the front of him. He wasn't moving; had he moved, I probably would have realized it wasn't who I thought it was. He held a drink in one hand as casually as the one I had been looking for for several years now would hold a flute, or even sometimes a sword. The man was leaning against the mohogony bar, his chin resting in his free hand. It almost looked as if he were brooding, which the one I had been seaking for was want to do.
I didn't think, I just moved; my cat like grace and strength carrying me across to him on instinct. "Clarien? Clarien!" It was a good thing I restrained myself from throwing my arms about the man I thought was my brother, because he was looking at me with an odd mixture of fear and confusion. The look on his face told me that all he wanted was to curl up in his seat and disappear. It was as if I'd scared all the light out of him now, his eyes had gone flat and almost dead looking, and there was no color at all in his face now- none: He'd gone as white as a sheet.
He mooved then And I knew, I knew that the man I'd nearly thrown myself at *wasn't* Clarien. He looked like Clarien, Somewhat, but that was where the similarities ended. Now that I was closer, I noticed that his hair was so much shorter than Clarien's that I nearly had to laugh. This man's hair was to his shoulders; Clariens was to his waist and kept in two long braids. I had often done them myself. The eyes were the same though; the same intense, almost heart-stopping gray. Eyes that seemed to see through to your soul, and weigh it before dropping it. Eyes that didn't mis *anything* at all. Eyes that were used to picking out things that no one else would even think to notice. Including, I realized as I folowed them, the creatures in the cieling; The scattering of egles, starlings and ravens that flitted among the more fanciful creatures seemed to fascinate him nearly as much as they had me on entering. I may have been the only one who knew that he was recovering his composure just then.
"I am not who you think I am."The man said, his voice still a bit shakey; and it confirmed it. This man's voice teetered between a reedy tenor, and an almost irritating winy baritone. Thankfully he was able to keep it in the reedy tennor which was slightly less irritating. "I am..."
I raised my hand to cut him off, "It doesn't matter, does it?" I asked, "I- Mister, I'm extremely sorry for frightening you so, it's just..."
It was his turn to make the gesture, "It does matter." He said, "Don't identities always matter in worlds like these? It's how we know each other isn't it? Our names identify us; our clothes identify us; even our speech patterns identify us to others, no?"He met my eyes with his own, and I nearly got the shivers. That look was the same as my brothers, the darkness that said 'I'm not
evil, but I do things that many consider undesirable'. Odd how much differently I reacted to this man's eyes. Clarien's eyes didn't make me shiver; this man's did. It was obvious that he was a visitor. his comment of 'worlds like these' made me wonder where he was truly from.
I blinked. "I do not think..." But I had to. He was right to some degree. Humans thrived on labels for things, perceptions of things. But... I wasn't entirely human, so I'd never really bothered with the purely *human* way of identifying things- Or had I? Was this man trying to teach me something about me? Or was he just spouting off random questions because he was... or was he?... beyond enebriated. I had to stop, to think. I had relied on my eyes, hadn't I? My eyes told me that this man *was* Clarien; he'd had the same look as Clarien- Or at least from a distance, anyway.
"You came in looking for someone; you did not find him. You came in *looking* for someone; you did not find him." The man took another long drink, "My fear was that you would embrace me, that you would squeeze me, Lady..." He knew what I was; I could tell it in the way he trailed off, "I have not the strength nor the stamina you do. It is not in me to have it; nor do I wish it to be. Had you stopped for a moment, you might have known-sensed-that I was not your quarry, but someone else entirely."
I blinked. This man was sound, all right. I closed my eyes and let myself slide into a chair next to him. I could catch his scent now, and he was right. Had I stopped for just that one moment, I *would* have realized. I, after all, had more channels than usual to catagorize the world around me. Humans relied on site, on appearance, on hight and wate; on face structure, eye and hair color.
I had so much more at my disposal, had I only relied on it. Not only did I have all of the things I just mentioned, but I also had scent, concentration. Keener perceptions than most, and that bond that only twins had, That deep all pervading oneness that only Clarien and I had; that sense of kin finding kin that nearly always defied words, almost always. A sense, I now realized, that was nowhere to be felt here. Not even when I stopped to close my eyes and search; It was nowhere to be felt in this place, and it made me sad for a long moment. Where was he? Dear blessed gods... where was he? Would I ever, ever see him again- ever?
"Chrysania," The man said softly, "Calls me Nightstar because I only come at night- And I tend to shine a light on others that make them see things about themselves that they do not realize. If not with my eyes, then with the way I speak, the way I do things. As I have, no doubt done with you, miss..."
"Morgan. Morgan Dunkin." I said softly, "Nightstar, Yes. Yes, you have, Nightstar. That name fits you. Just- Just as my brother's fits him."I closed my eyes again. Dear blessid stars, I missed him. Every day I missed him.
"Shall I buy your- What was it you like- the mead?" He turned and stuck out his hand. Long and slender.
"Fruit flavored meed." I took his hand, "Perhaps this mistake, Perhaps it wasn't one after all."
"There are no mistakes, morgan. Not even with identities. You took me for someone else. I taught you a lesson. I was meant to teach you this. Now you know more of what you are capable of, yes?"
I nodded. Odd how much like my father Nightstar was; no such thing as coincidence. There is a reason for everything. Never forget that: Never ever forget it. I watched Chrysanias partner bring our drinks over; watched Nightstar pay for both. I knew then, that it would be a very long time before I left the inside of the pub this night. I also had the sneaking susspicion that tonight would be only the first of such long nights spent with this Star of the Night. He intrigued me, and anyone who did that had my attention. All of it.
this entry was written for therealljidol on the topic: "I think I thought you were someone else" (mistaken identity). I hope you have enjoyed it. If you did pleas consider voting for me on Friday. :)