A Fluttering Feeling | String of Stardust

String of Stardust

~Suzette ✧ Chapter V~

༻A Fluttering Feeling༺


     {“Stop it, please—!” I shriek while being tossed against the wall. I hear a vase fall to the ground from the impact, yet all I can focus upon is my own pain.

     The throbbing that reverberates through my back, the throat that feels as though a cat has torn it to shreds, and surely sounds much the same as well; the boiling hot tears which stream down my face…

     “What the fuck did you think you were doing, just up and leaving like that?!” the blonde man screams, stinging my ears.

     “You would not grant me a divorce; I had no other choice!”

     As I shout this, he slowly comes closer, so close to my face that his breath overtakes mine.

     “I’m your husband,” Marc says sternly. “Your only option was to stay here.”

     “Why?” I croak, “If it was never even my choice to marry you, why must I be forced to remain?”

     “Your ‘choice’ doesn’t matter. You were bound to me, so it was your duty to be faithful!”

     “I tried…” I whisper, scarcely able to speak now. “I did everything you asked of me, spent so many of my days by your side, attempted my best to love you true; and yet, you never cared to return any of it…”

     “Because you’re nothing but a whore.”

     “I never left the house because of you! I had forsaken nearly all of what few friends I had! How could I ever—!”

     “And yet…you still brought that bastard over. The one you left with.”

     As he says this, he steadily advances his hands towards my neck—

     “I needed…somebody…who might…love me…” I stutter through my sobs.

     He laughs quietly.

     “Well, he’s not here anymore,” he says.

     “…What did you do to him?” I barely gasp out.

     “Don’t worry, Suzette,” he whispers. “You two shall be reunited once more very soon. I’m not so cruel to keep the lovers away.”

     And with each word he squeezes tighter.


     And tighter.

     Until finally—}


     The next thing I realize, I shoot upwards, screaming, sobbing, gasping for air to fill my depleted lungs—yet soon find myself more confused than anything else. No longer am I in the house, but rather instead a vast meadow. Up above, the Sky is dyed a dark indigo, embroidered with bright pearly Stars illuminated by the light of the waxing Moon. For a moment, I lay there in a daze, until I am jolted back by a deep voice speaking my name.

     “Suzette?! Did something happen?” Hikaru rushes to the front of me, at first only a shadow, although my eyes soon adjust to the darkness to see him more fully, his face full of concern.

     “Just…a nightmare, is all,” I mutter, still trying to process it. Now he fully sits down, by my side.

     “Pšyku…” he whispers. “Is there anything you need?”

     I shake my head no.

     “I am simply a tad disappointed in myself, is all…” I whisper, thinking over the situation.

     He and I have journeyed for a fortnight now; and truthfully, I have become so engrossed within the novelty of this journey that he has occupied rather little of my thoughts, less so than I anticipated.

     Instead, I have focused upon how my physical endurance has strengthened immensely, even if I am not particularly swift regardless. I have grown used to Hikaru somehow, even if asking “faeries” for help still seems extraordinarily odd, although he appears to do less of that as of late. I spend my days daydreaming of warm ovens and sweet-smelling treats, not concerning myself with thoughts of the wretchedness I left. He has been nearly severed from my thoughts, I believed…

     But perhaps it is merely that, what I wish to believe. Not the truth.

     “Why do you say that?” Hikaru asks softly.

     “It was about Marc,” I sigh. “I believed myself to have moved past him, but I suppose not…”

     “Sometimes I have dreams about—” Abruptly, he pauses. “…About the past. Please don’t let that be the thing to discourage you. It’s not like you can control your dreams.”

     “Yet they reveal so much, what is buried deep within you…”

     “It hasn’t been very long since you left,” he says with a yawn. “There’s no need to be so hard on yourself.”

     “Yes, I suppose you are correct,” I reply, “Hopefully time shall help this subside…”

     “It will; so, please don’t let yourself get too discouraged, all right?” he smiles gently.

     While I do not mean to, for a moment I merely stare at him, at the moonlight that appears so beautiful upon his face—

     “…Suzette? Is something still wrong?”

     “N-No, not at all,” I stutter, “Just…still a little shaken.”

     “Hmm…” he looks towards the woods, seemingly pondering something. “Do you think music would help get your mind off of it? I don’t know if it’ll be quite to your taste, but sometimes I play music when this happens to me.”

     “You sing?”

     He laughs.

     “I’d never subject you to that, but—” he reaches towards his satchel, and quickly rummages through it to bring out a wooden instrument adorned with muted flowers, one that somehow seems the slightest hint too large to fit within his bag. On one end is a crank, while a row of keys runs across the top.

     “Oh! This is that strange instrument bards once used! A…uh…”

      “A hurdy gurdy.”

     “Yes…that,” I reply nearly laughing, although I successfully suppress it. “Why have you not played since I have arrived?”

     “I know instruments like these mustn’t really be to your taste.”

     “I cannot say; I have only seen it in illustration.”

     “Would you like to find out?”

     “I would love to!”

     “Then I hope you enjoy it,” he says, placing the instrument on his lap, adjusting the position.

     First, with his right hand, he slowly turns the handle, producing a low buzzing like a swarm of bees. And then, with his left, the fingers press over the keys, their soft clanking heard beneath the proper sound. It sounds much like a violin, but more resonant and hoarse, yet somehow even more lovely. For what appears to be an eternity, I become lost in the haze of the otherworldly melody, and stare mesmerized as his fingers delicately dance over the keys.

     After a time, my gaze drifts upwards, and I see a small smirk upon his face, his eye closed; even he himself seems to have drifted off within the music, perfectly at peace. Yet despite its beauty, I find my attention drifting ever further from the music, instead focusing on his serene face that appears to shine like a freshly polished jewel…

     Eventually, the music steadily comes to a halt. He gazes up to myself, and I flinch as I realize I was staring at him again…

     “Did you like it?” he asks, and I smile widely.

     “It…it was delightful.”

     Now he grins even more than before—

     “Mâzjêr,” he replies gently, “But, I think I’ll be going back to sleep now; forgive me, I’m still pretty tired…”

     “I am as well,” I answer, “Thank you for this, you truly did not have to…”

     “It really is no problem; it’s always nice to play a little at night anyways,” he answers. “Somêl amé, Suzette.”

     “Tsiâ mo, Hikaru.”

     And with that he returns the hurdy gurdy to his satchel, and he in turn returns to where he lay before. I too lay down and close my eyes, attempting to calm my mind…yet, as I think more of this evening, my heart grows feverish.

     Why did I continually gaze upon him like that…?

     Admittedly, when we first met, he appeared quite charming, with the most marvelous hair and a lovely face that still remains so even with age—but, ah, it is rather embarrassing to stare, is it not? Especially as this is Hikaru I am speaking of; to look upon him in such a manner is—no, no, I could never. It is simply terribly odd.

     Soon, I attempt to hush any strange thoughts away, and let myself to drift off to the realm of sleep.


     “Suzette, are you ready to wake up?”

     Steadily I open my eyes, the world still in a slight haze. To the side of me is Hikaru, shaking me awake. Once he comes into focus, his face appears rather joyous.

     “Nnn…I suppose I can be,” I grumble while lifting myself up. “Is there something in particular happening?”

     He smiles brightly, in quite a charming way, and for a moment my heart skips a beat—

     …Ah, not again! It is too early for this!

     “I found something I think you’ll like,” he says, “Do you want to see it?”

     “Yes, just a moment,” I reply, wiping my eyes.

     Meanwhile, Hikaru stands up and gazes over, waiting for me. Once I arise, he leads me a few minutes away, when we come upon what he wished to show me—and it is almost as though I can physically feel my eyes glistening—

     A whole field of wild wheat!

     “Oh, this is just wonderful!” I gush, clasping my hands together ecstatically.

     “I’m sure it won’t be as good as what you’re used to, but—”

     “So?” I answer while running towards the field, gathering as much as my arms can carry. “Come, Hikaru, you must help as well!”

     And so for a while, the two of us rummage the field, picking the wheat.

     “Ah, how marvelous!” I say once I gather as much as I can hold, “I have never baked entirely from the beginning before!”

     “I didn’t realize it’d make you this happy,” he replies with a laugh.

     “Of course,” I whisper, looking down at my bundle, “It has been far too long since I have baked at all, and I never anticipated being able to do so on our journey…”

     Eventually the two of us find a spot to stay for the day, and with it a few large rocks for me to begin my work.

     “Anything else you need?” he asks as I finish preparing.

     “Find some extra water; and, if you come across any fruits, gather a few! It shall make them sweeter.”

     “Can do,” he replies, and turns to leave—but I tug on his robe before he can.

     “Hikaru…mâzjêr vrémond né,” I say, looking up towards him.

     “I didn’t really do anything,” he says, “I just happened to stumble across it.”

     “If you say so,” I say, swiftly turning back and arranging some wheat to be threshed. “Vwârdnie,” I bid him goodbye.

     “Vwâ,” he returns softly, and turns to leave.

     Steadily I begin my work, separating the grains from the rest of the plant. It is a slow and methodical business, and perhaps would be boring to nearly any other person; and yet, instead I find myself perfectly content. Always I had baked with the flour already milled—for why would I not? Though I know the basics of this process, this is entirely new for me…

     It is not particularly easy, and in the end the result may not even be very great. Even so, the mere process itself puts me at ease, quelling any fears I had, or other thoughts entering my mind as of late. Instead, for the first time in ages, I may indulge in my passion and become one with the process. No more thoughts, merely quiet work.

     Hours pass; by now, all the wheat has become flour, and all that is left to do is mold the dough. However, Hikaru has still yet to return. I close my eyes and exhale deeply, attempting not to worry already. He has lived this way for who knows how many years. Surely he is fine, and I will be as well. Luckily, mere minutes after these thoughts, he arrives.

     “For a moment, I thought you got lost!” I joke with him, although it is not truthfully a joke.

     “A bit distracted, perhaps—I hope I didn’t keep you too long,” he says, handing me his flask.

     “No need to worry!” I chirp, happy to continue my work once more.

     “I also brought these too,” he adds, handing to me a pouch from within his bag.

     Merely by holding it within my hands, I can already parse its contents. My guess is soon confirmed, when opening it reveals a small bundle of blueberries.

     “Ah, mâzjêr né! This shall make the bread much better, I hope!”

     And with that I set the bag down to my side and resume carefully gathering the flour to begin making the dough…before sighing.

     “Hikaru,” I say quietly, “Would it be too much of a bother to set together a spot for a fire? I know I have already asked—”

     “No, don’t apologize,” he replies, “If I didn’t want to help, I wouldn’t have shown this to you in the first place.”

     Swiftly I look down and continue my work with a small grin upon my face.

     Gradually I pour the water and knead the dough, while nearby he gathers stones and wood for the firepit. Once all the buns are made, I gather them within my apron, and set myself down beside him.

     “Is everything prepared yet?”

     “Everything except the fire.”

     “Ah…” I sigh, knowing how long that will surely take.

     “Don’t worry,” he says, while grabbing a twig from the stack, “I hope this doesn’t bother you,” he chuckles, yet even so it does not sound joyous.

     “What do you mean?”

     In reply, he merely brings the twig nearer to his face, and nearly inaudibly whispers to it. At first nothing happens, but within a few seconds—

     “Ah!” I gasp while flinching back, startled by the flames now engulfing the twig.

     “There we go,” he says to himself, setting the twig back on the pile. “It will take a bit to really get going, but hopefully it’ll be good enough soon.”

     “H-How did you…” I whisper, scarcely able to form the words.

     “I asked,” he answers quietly. “I know you seem to be put off whenever I work with the fae, but I’m sure you can agree it’s much faster than rubbing sticks together, or even a flint.”

     In reply, I merely gaze upon the growing fire…

     One could explain away all the other instances of him “working with the fae” as madness and chance, but there is no explaining away this…!

     “Suzette, are you okay?”

     I nod slowly.

     “Sâ pšyku,” he apologizes with a sigh. “If it bothers you that much, I won’t do it anymore.”

     “I just must become used to it,” I reply, “This is all quite new for me, as I am sure you can imagine…”

     “Mâzjêr,” he whispers.

     “What for?”

     “I’m just happy it’s you that’s here,” he smirks slightly, eye still closed. Swiftly I turn my head towards the fire, attempting to distract myself from my quickening pulse.

     “Ah, it appears the fire is ready now,” I offhandedly comment, gently putting the little buns by the flames as I do so. And then I close my eyes, and merely exhale.

     What is the matter with me lately? He is just being kind, and nothing more…

     Come to think of it, to some extent, have I always acted this way? Perhaps it lessened a little when we began this journey; yet, even despite his oddities, the longer I am around him—

     No, no, no, what am I saying? He is the only one here with me, after all…

     Keeping my head still, my eyes glance over towards his direction. His eye is open now, yet he is merely watching the fire silently.

     He is a wonderful friend, but anything more…my, we would certainly be an odd couple! Others might even assume he is a woman as I first had; ah, how farcical…

     And he is far too old for myself; surely, I cannot be with one who is so much older than myself as he is, already reaching adulthood as I was born…and it is not as though such feelings may be reciprocated regardless. I may be “young,” relative to himself, yet any charms of my youth have fled, if I ever had them to begin with…and we are far too different to be compatible. He wanders the Earth, seeing many wonderful things—whereas I simply wish to lead a rather boring life, with a simple occupation; I am sure such an existence would be dreadful to him, would it not?

     Still, a fluttering feeling arises in my chest. I shuffle with unease.

     “Suzette? I think the bread is done, but you should probably check.”

     Swiftly I gaze up once more, eager to have anything distract my thoughts again. And indeed, it seems I was lost within my thoughts long enough for even the outsides to have fully browned. To my side I grab a stick specifically chosen for this purpose, and set them aside to cool.

     “Ah,” I sigh, “I surely hope this turns out well…”

     “Did you enjoy making it?”

     “Very much so—why do you ask?”

     “Then either way it was a success, wasn’t it?”

     I smile.

     “Ah, if you say so.”

     After a few minutes pass and the bread is at last cooled enough to touch, I am able to try my creation. My first creation in so long, I cannot even recall the last time I have baked something.

     It…is edible. And warm. I do not vomit. That…is about the extent of all that is pleasant that can be said of it.

     I heave a heavy sigh.

     For those many hours of work, I had truly hoped it would be better than this; yet, these were made rather primitively, after all. Still, it is a tad difficult not to become quite discouraged, thinking perhaps my talent for baking has irreparably dulled over these wretched years. I do not want to consider such a terrible, terrifying thought…

     “Hikaru, do you enjoy them?”

     “Yes!” he replies happily.

     “You are not just being kind?”

     “To be honest with you,” he says, “It’s much better than I was anticipating—not because of your skill, I mean, just, considering the circumstances—” He does not just stumble, but completely trips and falls over his words; although I do not mean to, I cannot help but chuckle.

     “I know what you mean; I am not offended,” I assure him. “That is encouraging to hear, as I am less impressed myself…”

     “Do you not like it?”

     “With all my work, I had hoped for better…yet, I suppose if someone enjoys it, this was not entirely a waste,” I sigh, attempting to be positive.

     “I can assure you I don’t think it was,” he says, returning the grin.


     “My arms are sore, but it was rather nice to rest my legs for the day,” I think aloud, attempting to remain more optimistic.

     “And you at least got a little more practice before starting your own bakery.”

     “That is true, I suppose…”

     “So, mâzjêr,” he says.

     “What for now? You are the one who gave me this idea.”

     “You still shared it with me.”

     “Would it not be rather rude if I had not?”

     “It’s all right to accept thanks,” he chuckles.

     “…Yes? Why do you say this?” I ask, looking upon him in confusion.

     “Whenever I thank you for anything, it seems like you always deflect it.”

     “It does not seem as though I do anything particularly noteworthy…”

     “Then I just appreciate you,” he replies calmly.

     Meanwhile, my attention darts towards the now dwindling fire, my face warming as it cools.

     “You too,” I whisper.


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Lovingly created by [James Margaret Rose].