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Saga - OT The Bitter Girl--OC's--Fanon Roulette Challenge Response

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by leiamoody, May 1, 2016.

  1. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 8, 2005
    Title: The Bitter Girl
    Timeframe: 0 BBY
    Genre: Slice of Life, Drama, Vignette
    Canonicity: AU
    Type: Short
    Characters: OC's (Mariklare Trindello, mention of Zizi Pao)
    Summary: A woman scorned by time, society, and her own emotions reflects upon a brief romance.
    Other relevant information: Written for the Fanon Roulette Challenge. Fanon elements used for this response: Sacorria by Ewok Poet, and Soul Drain by Chyntuck.

    This story is a companion piece to The Song Hour, which is the perspective of this doomed relationship from Zizi's eyes.

    “Seven o'clock, and all is hell."

    Mariklare picked up the glass and downed another long swallow of her latest mixed poison. Two shots of Seven Rivers whiskey and four shakes of metsima created a muddy brown and blue concoction in the tall blue smokeglass that was her constant companion.

    "Every day is just the same as before, and will always be the same again and again." Mariklare narrowed her eyes against the blazing sun hanging over Sacorrata. Another sunset followed by another interminable stretch of darkness until the burning light of sunrise came along once again. She could have put up the shading which turned the penthouse windows black, not only to block out the sun but also to hide the dissolution of life far down below in the streets and mountains, apartments and hovels where the creatures who claimed themselves intelligent and cultured hid behind other windows. She'd given him freedom, pushed the dear creator away from this oppressive world. In exchange she gave away all chances of happiness plus the opportunity to escape the confines of her oppressive birth planet.

    "Sacorria on any other Benduday is just like any other Benduday on Sacorria." Mariklare snorted. Talking to herself, just like always, and now she couldn't even make sense. "Five days a week, so many weeks a year. The ruling class rules and the suffering class suffer." Another long swallow from the muddy brown-blue combination in the smokeglass, which was a final gift made by the four hands of someone long ago. Twenty years, give or take some lost hours, another side of the calendar since her false words had exiled the poor artist from Sacorria. She could have gone away with Zizi, even if she had to be smuggled in an old leather trunk and stuffed into the cargo hold of the shuttle that carried her erstwhile romantic companion away from Sacorria.

    Mariklare turned away from the late day sun and its punishing burn. Her miserable focus was placed back upon the stark entombment of her apartment. Sniffing yet another Sacorrian iris couldn't replace the vision of sterile gray and black and scattered touches of white. She might hallucinate a kaleidoscope of neon rainbows for an hour, but those brilliant hues would fade away to be replaced by the drabness once again. Nothing could trick her brain anymore, because nothing worked anymore. Maybe heightened immunity to the healing effects of drugs was some kind of physical punishment. The hallucinogenic flower couldn't send her off to somewhere pleasant, the prescriptions couldn't block the aches in her nerves or the blackness that swallowed her brain during every waking and sleeping thought.

    It all started with the mermaid. A little aquamarine and emerald colored hand blown glass figurine was the first item she purchased from Zizi. It was also when they first met, on a melodramatic sunny afternoon, forever swathed in a rosy hued watercolor memory when Mariklare was young and splendid, and Zizi was glorious and mysterious.

    Two days later she (always accompanied by her mother and the obviously undercover security detail) found her way to Zizi’s apartment/workspace in Sublata. On that day, when the sun had disappeared behind slate-hued clouds and rain poured from the sky and soaked her shoes and ruined the hem of Mother’s dress…Mariklare acquired two more little glass creatures so the mermaid wouldn’t be lonely. One golden fire crystal carved fertility goddess (a mythological figure not to be found among the collective mentality of Sacorria) and a clearglass-interwoven-with-silver-filaments serpent joined the mermaid on her dressing table. Fantastical creatures were not only a fascination to delight her eye, but also provided some necessary distraction to a bored young heiress. Nothing within the regimented life of the Progress and Unity society could entertain her.

    Yet Zizi’s works were not created only for the amusement of a bored girl. Every piece of glass fashioned by the Pho Ph'eahian’s four hands, even the songs played upon his ebony colored mandoviol, were the culmination of thoughts and dreams that came from the Hidden Source of All Things. Zizi was a perpetual romantic who followed the whims of imagination and left the planet of his birth to explore the galaxy. Twin flames of creativity, art and music, kept Zizi’s passion for life alive as he traveled in pursuit of the higher calling that coursed through him. Money was not his greatest concern, though he was rational enough to understand a modicum of income was necessary to have a comfortable existence. He came to Sacorria with a recommendation from the Mardri Soulworks Collective, which enabled him to purchase a vendor’s license to sell his art on the illustrious promenade known as Cobblestone Square (the place where they met). His talent won him many admirers, even though the aristocratic Human population questioned the audacity of a four-armed, purple-furred alien coming here and becoming popular.

    Not even a successful artist could overcome this prejudiced garbage. Yet it didn’t stop Mariklare from pursuing a relationship with Zizi. It was a strange entanglement, conducted in the clandestine hours when the always-watchful gaze of the Security Bureau switched from the obsessive glares of living beings to the uncaring view of holocameras posted everywhere. These encounters always occurred within the privacy of Zizi’s apartment, away from the Trindello compound where she remained behind literal bars (on the windows) and behind twenty-meter durasteel walls. The affair only lasted six months. It was never a grand romance lifted from a three-credit holonovel, but the relationship gave her one chance to experience a rare emotion…happiness.

    “And who is Mariklare Trindello?” Only the omnipresent servant droid (she couldn’t remember the model, but then she could barely remember to wear clean undergarments most days) heard these ramblings. “She was responsible for sending him away. I confessed to Father about our affair. But I also lied to Yvar, and said I was drawn in by some hideous alien seduction.” Her small laugh turned into a cough. “I was a diabolical creature in a previous life who used to drain living souls. Clearly I enjoy the sensation enough to continue doing so in this lifetime.” Her fingers pulled at the burnt orange velvet robe that hid her wrinkled flesh, while its matching braided cord concealed the loose pouch of stomach. Two decades of drinking various interpretations of alcoholic beverages had mutated the pretty little heiress into a swollen imitation of the woman known as Mariklare Trindello. “At least Zizi got away from here. He was too wonderful to remain on Sacorria. This is supposed to be my hell.”

    Mariklare stalked over to the omnipresent selection of liqueurs and spirits laid out for her on a side table. Her stock of beverages was vast (the generous allowance provided by her prearranged marital companion helped provide for her greatest need). On this miserable evening the assemblage of bottles included a Clone Wars era vintage Alderaanian emerald wine, yet another Seven Rivers whiskey (brought straight from the processing facility in Curheg), a stray Gralish stolen from the Trindello family cellar, and seven other containers filled with seven other intoxicants. She needed something to push away the memories…those fleeting months of joy, now locked forever in the past.

    “Time for swimming in the Seven Rivers,” she declared, grabbing the dirt-brown smokeglass carved with the Sacorrian coat of arms on the front. “It’s never perfect, but it always helps.”
  2. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 30, 2005
    Such a sad story. She had a chance at happiness and she blew it. Now she lives in the echo of what might have been. I will need to come back and re-read this to pick up all the lovely nuances here. Beautiful character description!
  3. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    Well, you've hit it out of the park once again with another finely limned character study. :cool: Perfect companion piece to "The Song Hour"—ever since reading that I have been curious to see Mariklare's side of the story, and this doesn't disappoint in the least. She and Zizi are polar opposites, in a way, at least in how they deal with their disappointment over the failure of their romance. He's sorrowfully resigned but finds a certain modicum of solace in his music and his restaurant business (it really is true that keeping occupied keeps the spirits up). Mariklare, however, tries and tries to find that modicum of solace in her blue smokeglass (very cool description—I love blue glass!) and the things she fills it with, and it doesn't quite work, only making her more and more bitter and jaded.

    This is superficial, maybe... but I kind of read the "bitter" of the title as a reference not only to her disposition but also to the taste of the things she keeps drinking. The story in general has to me a sort of Angostura-aromatic-bitters or Campari-bitter-orange taste... sorry, bizarre sort of synesthetic moment here. :p

    Though there is a sort of synesthesia at work throughout the story, and especially in the descriptions of How Things Once Were between Mariklare and Zizi. The way the jewel-like colors of the little glass mermaid and snake and goddess meld with the afternoon sun and the "twin flames of creativity" to create a "rosy hued watercolor memory" is just plain gorgeous—and even the ebony of the mandoviol contributes to that rosy hue, in a different way. What a perfect way of describing the only happiness in the life of this scion of His Humanship, because it all shines all the more brightly in contrast to the bars and duracrete walls and holocameras and general soul-quashing-ness of Progress and Unity.

    Once again, you've done a bang-up job of incorporating the fanon elements. Ewok Poet 's fanon on Sacorria is not only the perfect contrast to the love and light of Zizi and Mariklare's brief romance, it is also, very sadly, the only place Mariklare is ultimately able to belong: "her hell" and not his. (And I've really enjoyed seeing the way both of you have been incorporating each other's elements—that's how fanfic should be!) And in a way there couldn't be a better way to describe what's happened to Mariklare than by analogy with Chyntuck 's soul drain: what is the current, aged, jaded Mariklare but a soul-drained version of her previous "pretty little heiress" self? Whether she did it to herself, or whether the circumstances and setting did it to her, is left tantalizingly open here: it might be all of those and none of those at the same time. (And it wouldn't be a leiamoody story without hints of that reality beyond this one, of previous lives and the Hidden Source of All Things, which in your hands is likely to be no abstract concept but a vital entity. :cool: )

    So thrilled to have sparkling piece as part of the Fanon Roulette challenge—bravissima! =D=
  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Poignant and intense! =D= =D= You can feel the bitterness of her existence, the sheer pathos of it all. @};- The imagery and metaphors are exquisite. You can tell by contrast that Zizi has found a measure of fulfillment and she is just -- subsisting. :( The contrast is stark between the brief interval of happiness where she could be herself and accepted as such versus imprisoned inside the cultural strictures of what is expected of an aristocrat. [face_thinking]
    leiamoody and Findswoman like this.
  5. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    WOW. One more occasion where whatever I write in response to this, it'll ultimately come out as complete nonsense. I'm...not worthy. [face_blush] This is incredible. :eek: Not to mention the chromatic overload, for the second time after "Cosmic Rose".

    First of all, the elements themselves. I knew that you got my Sacorria stuff, but I was not aware of what the other thing was and the way you juggled it into making it a metaphor that completely matches Mariklare's condition is perfect.

    It took me a couple of reads on the course of past two days in order to catch every single detail, but if one thing is clear, it's that this story is on the same level as its predecessor. They are a stark contrast to each other, dark memories of a lost love, but still nowhere near in the range of pathetic kitchen sink drama. They're like The Beautiful South songs and that would basically mean that you're only the second person in the world - after Paul Heaton - who can pull this off! Not sure what you think of his work, but I can assure you that this is a compliment.

    That said...rewriting Rotterdam seemed appropriate here. It's a song about alcoholism, after all.

    This could be Saccorata, or anywhere
    Sublata or Curheg
    Cause Saccorata is anywhere
    Anywhere alone...

    There are these two incredible leitmotifs: number seven and (the) glass. Seven is even where one cannot spot it immediately: it's seven o'clock, but the glass AND the amount of ingredients in this [hl=black]lethal[/hl] cocktail also amount to seven. Seven is also the Biblical number and the bitterness and rivers go well together. Rivers come in handy. When I wrote the entry, I envisioned Priga as an über-Danube and the other six rivers as über-Savas, giving Saccorata the look and feel of my own city, Belgrade...IN SPACE! However, the idea of a ridiculous number of tributaries came from the Pripyat River and, well, I guess the rest can explain itself in this entire context. Toxicity, toxicity, toxicity. And then, baaam, the exact motif appears here. You have the intuition to get the best from the most vague and, as I said at first, I'm.not.worthy.

    And then there is blue. Zizi is a blue-furred alien, who gave his blue-eyed love a blue-green mermaid and now, the only blue thing that remains is the blue smokeglass. And what's scary beyond belief is that Zizi gave Mariklare the glass as the parting gift and her death will eventually be what she drinks from it. At the same time, from what I understand from the first story, his species is more or less immune to alcohol. He drinks a bottle of super-old wine that would've gotten anybody pretty much hammered, and nothing happens. And in that way, they're both doomed - neither can Mariklare actually drown her sorrows, because she had so many opiates that nothing other than a silver bullet would work anymore.

    The way Mariklare is depicted here, as opposed to what remained in Zizi's memory is more a caricature of her mother. The hem makes an appearance twice, to the point where I wonder if the mother's dress that was ruined on the first trip to Sublata is now her robe. The rosy lips are long gone, this jaded Human is anything but the fragile blonde Zizi remembers. She looks swollen, she has aged and she's only ~40. The way her changed body and the constant depersonalisation and derealisation were described is eerie, but absolutely believable. At some point, people who have abused as much substance as she did start having permanent delusions and only brief moments of wit.

    And some things are still vague: e.g. what these two other figurines stand for, why did she go against her own self. And, most vague of them all, Zizi found out about Mariklare's death" Not sure to which one of us is this up to, but this is where I admit that I didn't even think about it.

    Second last: would love to know more about the Hidden Source of All Things!

    Last, but not the least: love it how emerald wine and smuggling somebody in a leather trunk casually make an appearance.

    If there's anything I forgot, I'm sorry, this is the kind of a thing I'll be obsessing over and over again, pretty much as it was the case with The Song Hour and @Findswoman's Opus 66. Overwhelmed. Absolutely. Totally.

    Disclaimer: I never took any drugs, but I'm fascinated by them. Same goes for romance. And death. These things are better from afar! And this is pretty far, alright.
    Gamiel, leiamoody and Findswoman like this.