Saga Could Be (Celtic Song Challenge); OC's-Completed 11/14

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by leiamoody, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 8, 2005
    Title: Could Be
    Author: leiamoody
    Genre: Drama
    Characters: OC’s (Ametrine “Trine” Zoff; Covianna Leolyn; mentions of Lisane Aurum and Koury Vita, plus some unnamed characters)
    Timeframe: 1 ABY; sometime in the past (no specific year in mind)
    Rating: Dunno. There are mentions of therapeutic and recreational drug use, plus a murder.
    Summary: A girl discovers the past is always present.
    Author’s Notes: Written for the Celtic Song Challenge. The song I was given is “Banks of the Ohio”, which has several versions but falls under the genre of “murder-ballad”.

    They walked along the river promenade. Trine held her girlfriend’s right hand, where she was going to place the five-carat chyrsopraz set in platinum on the third finger. It was her great-grandmother’s engagement ring, over a century old and considered too old fashioned for her mother’s more mundane contemporary tastes. So the ring currently resided in a safety deposit box at the Calacour Heights branch of the Imperial Bank…

    Trine looked down and saw the ring glimmering on Lisane’s finger.

    How can she be wearing the ring?

    They walked along the river promenade. Lisane paused to twirl in her new lavender dress and silver shoes, which contrasted beautifully with her auburn hair and pale skin. She was always happy, like a child who just won the biggest prize at a carnival.

    The city towered over the girls. Coruscant at night never changed, always filled with light and noise, yet somehow magical.

    Coruscant doesn’t have any rivers.

    Her thoughts didn’t come from the version of herself that wandered around the illusion of Coruscant. It wasn’t real, of course, but it wasn’t like watching a holofilm because it felt real, like a memory.

    Trine placed herself back into the dream/vision, because she was supposed to witness something in this suspended state of consciousness (according to her psychiatrist).

    She and Lisane were now seated at a little café overlooking the Great Western Sea. They were on vacation.

    There’s no ocean on Coruscant. No rivers either. The only water anywhere is the reservoirs.

    Then she was back walking along the river on some city-planet that wasn’t Coruscant, but resembled it. Except for the river cutting through the middle of the city. But the location was a giant metropolis overstuffed with skyscrapers and holograms and floating vehicles calling in several languages (but all designed to advertise some garbage to the populace below).

    Trine was here, walking along the river, holding a woman’s hand. But this woman wasn’t Lisane…and the hand holding the woman’s wasn’t small like Trine’s. It was large and rough, with bloodied scabs on the knuckles instead of the tattooed letters.

    This hand belonged to a man. But it was her hand too. Trine understood that she was once this man, in some other place and time. The woman next to her-as-him wasn’t Lasaine, certainly not in body or in…

    If there was something called the “soul”, then the girl walking next to the man was her former girlfriend Koury.
    Trine was pulled back into the office of Doctor Covianna Leolyn; she could see her body down below stretched on the lavender sofa.

    She was reassured to see those recently inked letters, one letter on each knuckle of her right hand, which spelled out “Ke’dem”. Any good Corellian girl would use the ancient language to express how she viewed herself, given most of the older people wouldn’t recognize Olys Corellsi. “Ke’dem” wasn’t a polite term, but it was truthful. She was crazy (according to the other three psychiatrists she had been to before coming to Covianna). She considered herself condemned, and everyone she encountered (those beings in positions of influence, like her parents, the cops, and the doctors) viewed her as some lost cause.

    It was Covianna’s idea for her patient to use daturon so she could explore the issues that drove her depression and other related mental issues. It was better to take the hallucinogenic in a doctor’s office instead of her usual personal experimentation. Trine’s relationship with medicinal substances was tricky; various nights and the occasional day in the holding cells at District Seven’s Police Station were sometimes followed by vacations at certain rehab clinics (the best was at the Sunrise Clinic on Bespin; floating among the clouds while supposedly not taking anything to get high was awesome).

    She felt the sudden pull of a vacuum behind her…then she was gone, dragged back into darkness.
    Trine returned to the man’s body, on the planet that wasn’t Coruscant but was still surrounded by skyscrapers and neon light and too much noise…and stress everywhere…

    [There was nothing in his life that was dependable; his shift at the factory was moved yet again to overnight for the indefinite future. This was going to cut even more into his time with his beloved].

    So I was a guy working in some factory, and Koury was my girlfriend back then…when exactly was then? Where in the nine hells did this happen?

    The guy walked along the river, holding the girl’s hand.

    [After working two double shifts and three hours of sleep he could finally spend time with her. But this wasn’t just another night spent wandering around the downtown section where everything was overpriced. He was finally going to propose to her. Those lonely days and nights could only be endured as long as they were together].

    Trine pulled back from the scene, hovered over it like a ghost.

    Now the girl was standing at the railing of the promenade, staring down into the water. She didn’t resemble Koury, in all her dark haired and dark eyed beauty; this girl was tall, with long and curly blonde hair, green eyes.

    For some reason she wore Lisane’s lavender dress and silver shoes.

    How is that possible? Am I getting everything mixed up?

    Trine decided to go back into the man’s body.

    The girl turned away from the railing to look at him, then down at his right hand.

    The man held a thin silver band between his thumb and index finger. It wasn’t fancy, but it was the only thing he could afford. He was going to propose.

    He stepped over to the young woman. She looked at the small circle of silver, then moved her gaze up to his eyes, then smiled. But it wasn’t a happy smile. She was confused.

    Words passed back and forth between them. The man stared at the ring.

    Trine knew how this was going to end. Which meant she couldn’t stop anything. She couldn’t tell the man not to toss the ring aside, or to reach for the knife in his pocket.

    Trine could only watch as the man rushed forward, holding the knife, then plunged it into his beloved’s chest.

    The girl fell backward as the deep red spot grew and spread outward from her heart. She landed on the pavement, coughing up blood.

    The man dropped the knife, stumbled backward, cried out, then ran away.
    Trine was pulled back into the bleak space that existed between the memory and her consciousness.

    Someone screamed, faraway and in another place and time. That scream belonged to her.

    “Ametrine!” Another voice came from the faraway place-time. It called her that name she hated. The voice belonged to the doctor.

    It was time to go back to the present, and her body.


    Koury Vita appears in my stories Cosmic Rose and My Holodrama Is Like Life. Her past relationship with Trine is briefly mentioned in the first story.

    Covianna Leolyn appears in My Holodrama Is Like Life. This story occurs about two years later.

    The Great Western Sea exists on Coruscant in the Legends canon.

    "Ke'dem" is a word in Olys Corellsi, according to the list on Wookieepedia.

    Daturon is a fictional toxin first created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for his novel The Poison Belt. My version is a hallucinogenic that is based upon the properties of datura, although not a literal representation of the real-life plant.

    The prescribed usage of a hallucinogenic is, of course, uncommon. It has occurred in the past when LSD was legal (Cary Grant is a notable example).

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    DARTH_MU Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 9, 2005
    Part 1?


    hm.... Green eyed blonde. Does she wear shoes?
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  3. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 8, 2005
    Nah, just bedroom slippers. :p

    I didn't put in an outfit here because I wasn't focusing on that kind of detail during this part of the story.

    EDIT: I added some silver shoes along with a couple of other minor details to the story. That was an admitted goof, which comes from the fact I don't have a beta reader to give my stories a second look over. Thanks for pointing out the error. :)
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  4. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    Yeah, you are back with some deep stuff that gets addictive with no warning.

    Good that my current job position does not consist of hours of school lessons plus "homework" (such as lesson preparations, test development, corrections and lesson analysis). That means I have time to read stories like yours.

    You said part I and so I wonder what part II will bring us. More visions of the past and or the future? More interference from the doctor? Perhaps even more hints to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?
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  5. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 8, 2005
    Thanks. My stories are...strange, so they do require time.

    Part II will help provide some explanation of what occurred in the first part. Any influnces from Doyle will not be directly present. But there will be discussion of past lives, and he was a great supporter of Spiritualism. Maybe I could draw some inspiration from that.

    Sent from my LGL22C using Tapatalk
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  6. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 30, 2005
    It's such a joy to immerse myself into your universe. The details are always so meticulous, and your characters are so real. I remember Koury from "Cosmic Rose" - so this is her sweetheart, Trine!

    It must have been horribly disturbing to know that in a former life "Trine" murdered "Koury." I wonder how much the trauma of that even seeped into their current lives. It's kind of freaky that Trine can hover over the scene, then see it from the man's perspective, then witness it from the woman's perspective. Travelling through to past lives is freaky enough; to take on multiple views would pretty much blow my mind. [face_hypnotized]

    Awesome interpretation of the song. I'm eager to see what happens next!
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  7. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 8, 2005
    Thank you. :)

    Part of the experience that characters in my universe deal with when confronting their previous lives is the consequences of their previous actions in all those lifetimes (once they begin remembering them, of course). The trauma which once affected them will often creep into other incarnations, and will manifest in different forms. Sometimes the same patterns in relationships will replay themselves, although the specific natures of those relationships will not always be the same from one life rotation to another. In Trine and Koury's case, their prior relationship led to a relationship in their current lifetimes where things were dysfunctional.

    The concept of being able to view multiple perspectives is helpful for the learning process of a soul.

    What comes next helps to clarify what happened to Trine. That might provide some context, or just be confusing in a different way. Who knows? :p
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  8. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    Wow, this is one twisty, trippy experience for Trine here—realities flowing into realities, identities flowing into identities, blurring the boundaries between past lives and this life, all the little not-quite-right things (the lack of natural bodies of water on Coruscant, the ring inexplicably on Lisane's finger, Lisane-as-Koury-as-Lisane) that slowly build up to the horrifying climax. And what masterful work you do with that buildup—the ill-fated riverside proposal scene is of course the one described in the song, right down to the young woman's look of confusion and refusal.

    A reader could easily be tempted to say, "oh, well, it was all a flashback/dream/vision in the end and thus not really all that real"—but it isn't just that, because of the way you've tied in your wonderful fanon on dream therapy and the afterlife. Trine isn't "just" imagining things here—this horrific act is something that she actually did in a past life, and that she'll have to come to terms with probably here in this life as well. So this isn't just a case of "could be" here—it's a case of "was." And of course it's always wonderful to see your OCs again—Trine, Koury, Dr. Leolyn, and the rest.

    Thanks so much for contributing to this challenge—it's wonderful to have you and your amazing universe on board! Looking forward to more. @};-
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  9. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 8, 2005
    Thank you. :)

    It’s definitely trippy, and goes all over the place. She’s under the influence of a strong hallucinogenic, but she has also (By accident? By design?) come under the guidance of someone/something else that wants her to remember not only the other lifetime but also grants her the unique privilege of crossing those hard and long-established boundaries between other universes (which I’ve already mentioned in another story). But she isn’t Force sensitive, and isn’t in the right frame of mind, so her experience becomes blurred with her memories of the past life along with her current life.

    But when Trine comes to that memory of killing her beloved in that other lifetime…everything becomes real. Like you mentioned, “could be” now emerges into “was”. But the title of this story is meant to reflect Trine’s disbelief that the memory is real. It also reflects the possibilities of other things and places that she gets the barest glimpse of during her dream trip.
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  10. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 9, 2000

    It is a trippy story, and a little hard to follow because it jumps back and forth, and yet intriguing and disturbing. Your comment, though... oh, all kinds of sad Celtic creepy forebodings come from this! If Trine can't figure out who she is or when she is... Dr. Leolyn seems as if she's trying to help... or maybe she has darker intent? As Bartok the Bat would say, "This can only end in tears!"

    Ah, this Celtic Challenge... brings out all the paranoia in me!
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  11. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 8, 2005
    The disjointed nature of the story does raise certain possibilities that can be construed as creepy. Dr. Leolyn has the best intentions, although she understands that what Trine is undergoing is a strangely necessary learning experience which will hopefully enable Trine to overcome her messed up self-perception and make improvements in this lifetime so she doesn't have to come back for another round (another lifetime, in other words). But the learning process of overcoming every single past demon you've acquired over several lifetimes is going to be messy and painful.
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  12. Pandora

    Pandora Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Apr 13, 2005
    There's a quote by William Faulkner that I came across a while back that goes: "The past isn't dead. It isn't even past." It came back to me while I was reading this story--and as if one life of mistakes wouldn't be enough to deal with, Trine has to deal with baggage from another, long ago life. A life in which she was a man who murdered the woman he loved, who she would meet and love in this life. (I assume that they recognized each other on an unconscious level when they met in their present incarnations, and that the dysfunction came along with that.) And it is a memory that hasn't faded into a dream. It happened, she did it, and it can't ever be changed, and death was not the end. I can only wonder how Trine is going to deal with this now.

    As for Trine herself: despite the space opera setting of city-wide planets, Trine felt very real to me. She has her issues, but she is trying to handle them in her own way, and she doesn't have time for polite terms. My father works with "problem teenagers," and I have heard more than a few stories like hers. (And for all I know, her parents--from what little information there is on them in the story--might have well considered sending her on a wilderness program during the round of rehab attempts. And since this is Star Wars, they probably have an entire planet set aside for it.)

    I'm not sure what I think of this psychiatrist and her methods. You mention in a reply to an earlier comment that she has the best of intentions, but good intentions can still lead to unpleasant results. I suppose I shall have to wait and see what happens next.

    Finally, thank you for writing this for the challenge!
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  13. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 8, 2005

    I love that you posted a Faulkner quote. :D

    When it comes to the living permanency of the past and how it intrudes into the present, that’s something that is true in life, fictional or real. So maybe past lives don’t really intrude into our actual lives (unless you believe in that), but the past doesn’t get locked away as we move through life. Memories can be repressed, but they can’t be destroyed.

    In my version of the GFFA, there is a recurring theme I write about regarding reincarnation and the existence of a functioning Afterlife. Every being that exists in the galaxy has lived before, and will more than likely live again, until they can get out of the cycle of life/death/rebirth. Being able to remember their past lives is the first step in the process of getting out of the cycle.

    Yes, Trine and Koury did have an unconscious connection that brought them together, then pulled them apart. It’s part of the process of remembering the previous incarnations.

    I always strive for bringing reality into my fictional universe, especially since much of what I’m writing is fantastical.

    Trine’s parents are wealthy, concerned about their daughter’s wellbeing because it has a bearing on their social reputation, and would be likely to send her to a wilderness planet.

    Covianna’s methods are designed to achieve enlightenment. The process of enlightenment is not pleasant in my GFFA. But it’s not any easier in real life. Maybe I just like torturing my characters for the sake of knowledge. :p
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  14. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 8, 2005
    (So, you know, like totally, here's Part Two, which ends abruptly...)
    Two hours later, after the mind trip followed by a really deep nap, Trine was back in reality. She was still in Covianna’s office, which made sense because the psychiatric mystagogue was supposed to watch over her patient while under the influence of a heavy hallucinogenic that wasn’t supposed approved for legal use…but obviously the naughty doctor didn’t care about the niceties of legalities.

    That explained why Trine came after hours, when the living staff had departed and only a medical droid was in the office to assist with the procedure. Covianna administered the proper dosage in a glass of water. Trine would have preferred the popular form called "Dream Ether", but knew the good doctor wasn’t willing to go the illegal route.

    Trine sat across from the psychiatrist with feet curled up on the sofa and with a crocheted blanket wrapped around her shoulders. It was night outside the window; speeders zoomed by the transparisteel, which didn’t stop the occasional intrusion of a blue-yellow-green-orange holodisplay that repeated the same annoying advertisement for some cheap alcoholic beverage that was being falsely represented as classy.

    "Nothing ever changes," Trine murmured.

    "What do you mean?"

    Trine pulled the blanket tighter around her body. "Cities that cover planets. They’re always too big and noisy."

    Covianna nodded. "You’ve spent a lot of time on those kind of worlds."

    "I’ve only been on Coruscant and Corellia."

    "This planet is rather chaotic. Corellia is a little more organized."

    "About the same."

    Covianna nodded. "Tell me about the tattoo on your hand."

    Trine laughed. "You’ve got a problem with a girl wearing ink. Maybe you’ll tell me I’m too pretty for it."

    The doctor sat back in her chair. I don’t care if you put a map of the galaxy on your back. I want to understand why you chose to wear a tattoo as a public insult against yourself."

    "Why do you think it says anything bad?"

    "Anyone who reads Old Corellian knows what 'ke'dem' means."

    Trine wanted to respond with some remark that would put Covianna back into her corner. But she was caught offguard.

    "My father was a professor of Ancient Languages. He specialized in the Corellian dialects.” Covianna smiled. “I read a few datatexts on our home network. I don’t possess his facility for words, but I do have a very good memory. So I can remember the meanings of most of those words.”

    Trine stared down at the letters that felt accurate yet wrong…but maybe they were right? That wasn’t the doctor’s kriffing business. “So you’re educated.”

    “I’m not up for examination, Ametrine. You’re supposed to be here for treatment.”

    “By court order yet again, so I know how this routine works.”

    “You were referred to me because of that pattern you engage in-“

    “The drugs, breaking into places, stealing a couple of purses, among other notable offenses. You probably mean all of that is combined but you also forgot to include the apathy which comes from my parental units. That’s probably the fuel for my various acts of disobedience.” Trine leaned back into the lavender brocade that covered the sofa. “Maybe I just don’t care.”

    “What do you hope to accomplish by walking around wearing such a negative description of yourself?”

    “I hear these comments coming from somewhere, and they keep running through my head. So if I put them on my skin, they can’t keep bothering me.”

    “What motivates you to engage in this pattern of behavior?”

    “You mean the drugs, breaking into places, stealing a couple of purses down in the Underworld, or my lack of concern for anything? You probably mean all of that is combined but your also forgot to include the apathy which comes from my parental units.”

    “Why do you have these feelings about yourself?”

    "I’ve always felt like a waste of atoms. And people in my life never hesitated to let me feel that way.”

    “But you aren’t a waste of atoms. In any of your lifetimes.”

    Trine wrinkled her nose. Was the psychiatrist going insane?

    Trine tapped her left index finger against each letter on her right hand. “So I’ve been another person before in some other lifetime.”

    “Do you believe that’s true?”

    “How can I believe in something that I’ve never experienced?”

    “You’ve had other lifetimes.”

    “How do you know?”

    “How else can you explain that memory of murdering your girlfriend?”

    Covianna shook her head. "Your obstinacy isn't surprising. It's common for disbelief just before awareness. It was difficult for certain groups to contradict their own spiritual preconceptions when confronted with the ultimate truth."

    "I'm supposed to accept I've lived before now?"


    "Why would I do something that kriffing stupid?"

    "The element of choice is not always part of the process."

    "So I killed my girlfriend?"

    "Not you, but some other person that shares your soul."

    "But that is still me, the same person even with different flesh."

    "You haven't killed anyone."

    "I did when I was someone else. I killed my ex-girlfriend when she was another person. I was some guy with a knife and got into some argument with that other version of Koury. She didn't want to get married and I got mad..." Trine pulled her knees up to her chest "...then I stabeed her and ran away."

    Covianna nodded. "Have you remembered this incident before?"

    Trine glared at the doctor. "Of course not."

    "Not surprising, some people experience these memories in childhood. Others remain untroubled by them until later when something triggers those experiences."

    "So I've been a guy before. And I killed someone I loved." Trine sighed. "What am I supposed to do with that knowledge?"

    "Hopefully you want to explore that memory to discover when it happened and why you committed the act. Then you might connect the possible effects of that past incarnation with the troubles of your present existence."

    Trine glared at the doctor. "I can see that image of her lying on the promenade. How could I learn anything from something that happened..." she turned her hands over and stared at the lines on her palms. "I don't know how long ago it happened or where it happened."

    "We all have to learn from our past, no matter how long ago it happened."

    (Trine gets up, leaves the office instead of wanting to confront her past life memories, and storms into the nearest turbolift. The doors close, and thus is the ending like the Director's Cut of Blade Runner. The End.)

    (Okay, so I ran out of steam for this story...I mean, I had ideas to continue it further, and I like the idea and everything, but then I realized, "Hey, this story is REALLY CLICHE." So this is my conclusion.

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  15. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    I didn't realize at first that this story was going to have a part two, but I'm glad to see one here. :) This is an interesting and revealing conversation between these two very different characters; kind of an "Ochsen stehen am Berge" situation, with neither budging an inch. Trine is so used to thinking of herself as a "waste of atoms" that she reacts with disbelief to Covianna's assertion that she's not. That said, I don't blame her for reacting with disbelief to the idea that she's had past lifetimes, nor for being kind of confused by the idea that the person who killed Koury was both someone who "shares her soul" and "the same person even with different flesh." She, and we readers, are being invited to consider what the differences and similarities between those two things may really be: what indeed do we do with that knowledge? What Trine does, at least at this specific moment, is to storm out and not do anything with it—though from what I know of your oeuvre I'm pretty sure this isn't the last time she'll encounter these past selves. And if perchance you come back to this story, or continue Trine's journey elsewhere, I'll be glad to see more. @};-

    Again, thanks so much for sharing and for contributing to the Celtic Song Challenge—we're glad to have you and your universe on board. [face_good_luck]