NEW Story: Drip
⚠️ This article is archived, and should be considered non-canon.
Barbaloh was once the spirit of a rainforest, but now lives only in the world of the spirits as a merchant, selling potions, spells and other supernatural nonsense. Tzipora, a brave human girl and fierce humanist, has gained passage to the spirit world through the bones of a derden, or “angel”. She found herself in another dimension and in total darkness, and the spirits immediately sensed her presence, taking physical and anthropomorphic forms to talk to her. A blood spirit, speaking as a deformed rodent creature, took interest in the arteries in her forearms. She would have been killed if not for Barbaloh’s customers, who drove the spirit off and demanded she meet with Barbaloh. They tell her that she is the first human to enter the spirit world in forty-five thousand years, and since Barbaloh is the defacto lord of the spirit marketplace, he shall listen to what she has to say.
A frog-like spirit called Woh tells her to strip off the filthy school uniform she’d arrived in, and materialises a beautiful gown in front of her. He tells her to wear it, and Tzipora protests, but she begrudgingly undoes the buttons of her shirt and reaches for the gown.
“There,” Woh tells her in a voice that isn’t human, “you are now the Princess of the Earth.”
And so Tzipora, at least to the spirits, inherited the Earth. Terrified and alone, she became the ambassador of the human race, and to save them she would have to meet Barbaloh.
There are obvious elements of spirit culture in the design of the gown. The lanterns suspended from wooden poles give her passage in this place, the left one protecting her body from the spirits and the right one ensuring her blood continues to flow. As a human with a physical form, she is vulnerable to the temperaments of these creatures. Barbaloh asks her to take off her shoes and socks and walk barefoot, to anchor her to the world. Physical beings can become detached from reality down here, forgetting their birth names, forgetting their body and finally starving a state of vegetation. The gown is embedded with crystals of the Earth, sewn out of a material like silk. Circles are a recurring motif, in reference to the Earth.
The story of Tzipora and my retrofuturistic world is a long and occasionally confusing one. It is set in the summer of 2063. If you would like to know more, just ask, or check my post history for everything Vekllei-related. Thanks for listening.