EDIT: The html for this was not cooperating. If it didn't make sense to you on first read-through, that's because it made no sense. I've fixed it now.
This was written as part of a challenge to write thirty things in thirty days based on thirty prompts. The posts from this challenge are tagged "challenge", and the title to the posts are the corresponding prompts."You'll only find peace while traveling."
Spells, Samantha decided, should be more dramatic than that. Really. There should be chanting, or markings, or at least a moment of clear focus, for heaven's sake. But no, the spell that defined her entire life was six words in the vernacular. It wasn't even a good story. She couldn't even remember what she'd done! It was embarrassing. And now...
"It's in my bones," she whispered.
Most people wouldn't mean that quite so literally, her bones whispered back, in their annoying, upper-crust-accented way.
"Stop it." Samantha paused a moment, then tried mouthing, [Can you hear me like this?]
Of course. If I were a being of air, I would be much easier to live with. She felt the voice ring with a definite smirk. Sam couldn't explain how she knew that, but then, the voice wasn't really coming in through her eardrums, so that was hardly odd.
She kept her mouth closed this time, and thought, Can you read my mind?
It was hard to keep time, without a watch and away from any place with a big town clock, so she counted steps. At twenty, she tried moving her tongue without her lips, [Can you hear me like this?]
Of course. Again, immediate and smug. Good. It couldn't read her that deeply.
[What happens if I stop?]
Sam did. That hunger, thirst, itch, lust, want, that started in her feet and moved up, until she couldn't focus, could hardly eat, certainly couldn't sleep, until she ran and ran and ran, drinking in every new sight and sound. She'd fought it, at first.
[But no injury.]
A laugh, one that wouldn't be anything but genuinely amused if it didn't echo through her rib cage, ick. No food, no water, no sleep, and then you run mindlessly until you collapse. But no, no injury beyond that. I need none to prod you into finding me something new.
[It isn't new to you,] she bit out, as far as she could without opening her mouth.
I like how new things taste. Besides, if I set you running until you saw something I hadn't seen--well, you'd die first. And then where would I be?
Sam's eyes flickered to the knife at her belt. [Huh.]
You won't do it. There was just the barest something, so slight it didn't translate into anything but a feeling, wouldn't be there if she weren't actually in the same body.
[But if you make me miserable enough, I might.] She walked to a weeping willow, drew her blade, sat under the bowing branches. [You like the taste of new things, but you're not a being of air.] Another flicker of understanding. Instead of pushing at the creature in her bones, pulled the feeling closer. [You like things to be a little the same. You don't want me attached, but you're attached to me.] Sam put the blade to her throat. [How attached?]
You wouldn't. You wouldn't! The cry went from echoing to buzzing, climbing in pitch as the spell woven through bone reacted.
"It's balance," Sam murmured. "You can't make me too miserable, because I might." She put the knife in her lap. "But I won't, because you can still make me plenty miserable." Her fingertips lay on the hilt now. "We rest, at the next town. I will be friendly, and I will stay until I am done," her bones thrummed indignantly, "or until I sleep with someone, whichever comes first. Just because I'm not starving doesn't mean I'm happy with this set-up. Deal?"
Her bones went quiet. Deal.
"Good." Sam closed her eyes. [Do you need to sleep?]
[Then keep watch. Neither of us wants me dead yet.]