The Editing of Northern Lights – Darkly Dreaming Rose, Obligations, and the Start of Chapter 4

Note: This is the Editing Blog for my FFVII fanfiction Northern Lights (which you can find at the end of that link).  I will be discussing a myriad of topics along with my frequently tangential and harried editing process.  You should be able to garner some enjoyment and insight from this without having read the story and/or without prior knowledge of the original game, but if you’re a fan of paranormal romance and/or dark fantasy, you may find it to your liking.  The story will be spoiled in this editing examination, though I will do my best to mark spoilers for any other narratives I mention.  Thanks for your interest and enjoy!

<–The Three Day Reedit of Chapter 3     Til the End of Chapter 4–>

9/19/14
Chapter 4 – Blood Dance
Quote:
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil…” –Psalm 23:4
Picture: Yes

Chapter 4 - Blood Dance
Picture Source: No
Picture Satisfaction: Medium High

Finally, Chapter 4.  I have to say I love the title for this one.  It’s exactly what it says on the tin, and believe me it delivers.  It has to.  You can’t have a character who is known to be a killer; who’s been basically designed to kill and not have them kill someone.  Seph has sworn to see Aeris to safety before he begins his much more morbid quest of finding his true mother’s grave.  He is a character charged with obligation.  Obligation…all of my stories are about that.  Characters bound to something, forced to walk a path.  Even in the original story both Sephiroth and Aeris are bound.  He by the false mother and lies he was told (did you really think he could’ve just retired?  Highly doubtful…he’d never be allowed to have such a choice), and she by her connection with the Planet being the last individual who could commune with it and manipulate the Lifestream in order to bring about what must be.  Right back to the puppet strings and manipulation.  Holy shit…I just had a terrifying revelation.  The Lifestream is made up of all the souls of everyone who has lived or ever will live and Aeris manipulates that.  She manipulates all of those souls to do her bidding.  Granted it’s to save the world, but can we say ends vs. means?  Oh. My. Fucking. God.  If the Ice and Fire Gurus are right about the Night’s King being the ultimate warg and able to manipulate the manipulators, I still think Aeris could potentially be a match for that.  Wow.  Wow.  I stated in a prior post about the illusion of freedom, an idea that is also heavily referenced and also inferred in ASOIAF.

I just realized the obligation paradigm while watching James and LaDonna’s video entitled Nemeses, which is also exactly what it says on the tin.  Again, please only watch if you’ve read all of the books otherwise spoilers galore.  They go into which characters are anathema to each other and which ones will be the others’ undoing.  It’s quite interesting.  Now, even they admit that they may not be right, but it’s the discourse, discussion, and intelligence behind it that count.  Even if they’re only 75% correct, they get you thinking, and there’s such a dearth of that in this world.

Perfect timing iPhone!  Sarah McLachlan’s “Good Enough” just came on and I wanted to talk about a sort of cute little idea I got while driving to work the other day. (Future Narcissist here.  So…because the universe is my meta playground, as I’m reading through/editing this, Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” just came on my iPhone.  Where do I ever begin with this? As I’m going through this I’m also kind of reading my favorite part of my  original paranormal romance…a part I associate with that song.  So many wheels within wheels.)  Another of Sarah’s songs was playing “Building a Mystery,” and as I was listening, it started to really remind me of Sephiroth and Aeris in Northern Lights.

She wears a dress made of starlight at the end.  I love that…there’s a fairytale about that, I think.  A young girl whose mother died (always with the dead mother, what the fuck?) (FN – Yeah…I have much better insight as to WHY this is.  It’s a very common trope.  A friend recommended the book Women Who Run With the Wolves, which apparently explores this paradigm more.  It’s on my list to read), but she left her three magic objects (?).  One contains a dress made of starlight, one a dress made of moonlight, and one a dress made of sunlight.  It’s the Brother’s Grimm version of Cinderalla.  Holy God is this depressing.  Seriously universe, do you just want me to find stories with paralleling paradigms to this?

“…can you look out the window
without your shadow getting in the way
oh you’re so beautiful
with an edge and a charm
but so careful
when I’m in your arms…”

cause you’re working
building a mystery
holding on and holding it in
yeah you’re working
building a mystery
and choosing so carefully

you woke up screaming aloud
a prayer from your secret god
you feed off our fears
and hold back your tears

give us a tantrum
and a know it all grin
just when we need one
when the evening’s thin

oh you’re a beautiful
a beautiful fucked up man
you’re setting up your
razor wire shrine”

The “shadow getting in the way” line.  I’ve mentioned “the shadow” before with Seph, and I’m clearly thinking of the shadow of his wing with this, which represents the self you don’t want to acknowledge (all my angels seem to have this problem).

That shadow...
That shadow…

He does not want to face that aspect of himself, because it’s the visual representation of the darkness that he let feast on his soul, and he always has it; he always carries it.  Even though it’s hidden from her eyes right now, he knows it’s always there.  It’s part of him, and he can’t divest himself of it just like he can’t divest himself of Jenova’s cells.  He doesn’t have to let them control him, but he can’t get rid of them.  It’s like if one (or both) of your parents was a serial killer or rapist.  They’re a part of you, and they’re always going to be a part, but you arguably have choice.  Sephiroth has choices (again arguably) in this narrative.  I keep giving myself outs on this because again I’m not 100% sure that free will does exist, and this has nothing to do with God or any other higher force.  On a higher level, I don’t know if we are all just automatons responding to stimulus.  Going through motions as set by our brains reacting to what we see and the culture we (?) have created.  On a horror level, I don’t know if something is indeed holding the puppet strings our lives and writing our stories as I’m writing this.  That…is…terrifying, so I’m going to move on from it to the next lyric.

The “you woke up screaming aloud” line we see later along with “hold back your tears.”  In the original story, there’s a line from Cloud’s narrative that always stuck with me, and it was about how no one had ever seen Sephiroth bleed or cry.  Prior to insanity, he’s presented as a very aloof general who knows his job and does it well.  He has an almost Stannis like stoicism, a bit more profound because ,well, he was created to be just that whereas Stannis arguably turned into what he is after witnessing his parents’ boat founder right in front of his eyes.  We do not see any real emotion from the eldest Baratheon.  He hides all of that below the surface and is only concerned with what is right and what is just.

Stannis is someone you can neither love nor hate.  He just sort of…is.  In a way he reminds me of Javert from Les Miserable.  They both have very rigid standards.  The law is the law.  It cannot be changed; it will not be mocked.  A good deed doesn’t cancel out a bad, but a bad deed doesn’t negate a good, the latter being more of a Stannis point of view.  Stannis is more lenient than Javert.  To the inspector “once a thief forever a thief,” whereas Stannis raised Ser Davos from a smuggler to a knight after making him pay for his crime with shortened fingers despite his crime culminating in the Onion Knight saving Stannis and his entire castle. For Javert, there is no good to be found in a thief/smuggler.  What you are you always will be.  He holds to this standard his entire life, and when it is shaken the cognitive dissonance causes his demise.  He cannot bend so he must break.  Stannis was compared to iron in that he would also break before he bend, but he was still not so rigid that he didn’t see Davos’s (sea) worth.  Sorry…the pun was just too easy.

With Seph in the original story, I think the presentation of him prior to snapping lends more credence to the sympathetic aspect, because when all was said and done, he was just a soldier and even afterwards (as said in a prior post) he was an angel of something.  Angels are messengers.  Angels are servants or some higher power.  If we go with the Jenova in control theory (and even if we don’t) he was just obeying his “mother.”  (If I’ve learned anything from Disney and Squeenix it’s that mother definitely does NOT always know best…)  Yes, he was the best and most beautiful (hey Lucifer motif!), but he had no designs on world domination or eradication, and I’ve already gone on this rant in a prior post.  I wanted to focus on the “woke up screaming aloud” line.  While that doesn’t happen per se, we have seen and do see later that Sephiroth is tortured by horrible dreams, and there’s some life mimicking art here…

I have had prophetic dreams and nightmares about my life’s most tragic event for years.  It gets worse when I see something that connects to it and even worse when I see something that connects to that.  I’m not going to go into details because I might go insane, but when I saw Advent (and the movie Se7en probably helped with this) I had nightmares about disembodied heads.  My current slew of horror concerns lacerated and removed wings.  I have a reoccurring vision/nightmare where I’m a model (which would be awesome and is totally unrealistic given my current state, but anyway) and I’m wearing black wings because I’m doing some dark angel modeling thing.  When I get off the runway, they want me to do a pose where I’m chained to a wheel type thing, and I agree cause apparently my anti-feminism and racism detection switch has been turned off!  Well they chain me and blindfold me, then proceed to cut off both of my wings, and they are not fake at all, but real and I can feel it.  There are later iterations where they sew them back on with black thread (the color is important because that’s where that idea in my short Threads of Sorrow came from.  That’s right universe!  If you throw horrible things at me, I will take them and make them my own!), and I can feel the needle going into my flesh.  Now go to last night.  I jog on a fairly consistent basis and got another fallen angel idea while doing that (great ideas happen during exercise let me tell you) where the fore mentioned descends onto some very sharp wire and lacerates his wings or one wing, and he’s found and has the rents sewn up with black mourning thread.  Yup, that’s what happened to me last night.  It was pretty awful.  I’m not gonna lie, but like I said, this has a silver lining.  One, it tells me that I am indeed crazy, and two, tragedy and horror make the best inspiration for stories, at least for a little ole goth like me.  So while it sucks to wake up clutching your back and shoulder blades, it’s still pretty awesome to have the means to write a blog post entitled “Darkly Dreaming Rose, Obligations, and Chapter 4.”  The “rose” comes from my other online name Ash Rose that I still use for emails and whatnot.

Because why not.

Note that “darkly dreaming” comes from the title of one of the first Dexter novels by Jeff Lindsey, which is excellent by the way.  I remembered them because of that title and added that I read it on Goodreads in addition to adding the others to my “to read” list.  The show is fantastic, too, up to the FINAL FUCKING EPISODE ARGHHHHH!!!!!!  OMG, you can’t even know how much rage I have right now.  There aren’t enough capital letters in the world to encompass this.  I was so amazingly pissed off by how badly they fucked that up, and they had so many chances to save it.  (TBH Future Narcissist is still pissed off whenever she thinks about it.  So much rage…)  Okay…I was not happy when they *spoiler* killed Deb. *end spoiler*  That was not cool.  *spoiler*  Her and Quinn deserved a happy ending, but I fucking knew they were going to do it when they kept showing flashbacks of her and Dexter.  I was like, “Oh my God…they’re going to kill off Deb.  What the fuck is wrong with them?!” *spoiler end* but you know what?  It would’ve been okay, but THEN *spoiler* they have Dexter take her fucking body out of the hospital.  I don’t give a shit that it’s a hurricane.  Someone would’ve noticed that.  *end spoiler*  I let a lot of shit slide with that show like how he managed to avoid being caught as a serial killer in general, but that, no, I’m sorry.  Even then, EVEN THEN it was still salvageable, but the killing blow was when *spoiler* they had Dexter living as a goddamn mountain man after he abandoned his son and Hannah in some foreign country.  *end spoiler*  WHAT THE SHIT WAS THAT?!?!??!!!  *spoiler*  So the character is left with nothing.  He’s living his life as a lumberjack while his girlfriend and son believe he’s dead.  We’re left to speculate whether or not he still has to feed the dark passenger (the only thing I was okay with), but they couldn’t have given him a happy ending?  Dexter deserved one.  I think he arguably fell under the jurisdiction of earn your happy ending.  He deserved to have some kind of redemption and growth.  Yes, he was a killer, but he tempered it and tried to do the right thing per his father’s code.  They could’ve had him escape with Hanna and Harrison, live abroad, and we could be left to wonder if the cycle started all over again. *end spoiler*  With this shitty ending we have that question, but it was lazy and irresponsible.  I should’ve known.  Apparently Showtime is notorious for ending good shows horribly.  I haven’t seen it, but apparently Weeds suffered from the same sickness.  So when the same thing happened to How I Met Your Mother I just nodded along in sympathy (not Showtime, but still horrible ending according to the fans, and after hearing about it, I have to agree).  I’d only seen a few episodes of that show, and really enjoyed it, but I have such an extensive list of shows and movies that it’s muddled along in there somewhere.  I think of an alternative funny title to Northern Lights is “How I Met My Mother,” and it makes me giggle because it has a waaaaaaaaay better ending than that show.

Alright are we going to write up some edits?  Yup, we’re going to write up some edits…

As fore mentioned Blood Dance is what it says on the tin at the end in a darkly poetic fashion.  In this chapter, there’s some cute scenes between Seph and Aeris.  Oh, can I say I like the pseudo-portmanteau of their name “Sephaeris.”  I don’t know how common that is, but I’m going to start using it and maybe it’ll catch on.  The inverse Aeriseph (which oddly enough I generally hashtag on Twitter), sounds like that drug Aricept, but Sephaeris sounds pretty if similar to the band name Save Ferris(Future Narcissist – lol so yeah, the name of the ship is Aeriseph and I’m so used to it now that I don’t even questions :p) Anyway, they go to her church, then Sephiroth kills a bunch of people so I guess he was asking forgiveness before doing that lol, nah, not really.  The current pic is him running with a bloody sword and blank, but strangely intense expression.  It’s his “killing face.”

Chapter 4 - Blood DanceI think I decided I was going to post the pictures if I damn well wanted to, but I feel bad about this one because I don’t have a source.  So I’m going to say it right here, if you are the creator of this beautiful piece and you do not approve of me using it, please, please, please let me know and I’ll take it down right away without any problems.  Otherwise if you are okay with me using it, please let me know the source URL and I’ll link to it post haste.  I really hope I won’t have to use this disclaimer often, because I want to give the sources of my pictures.  If you see something on this or any of my posts and you’re like “Hey, that’s mine!” or “Hey, I know whose that is!” and it either doesn’t have a source, you don’t want me using it, or I didn’t say anything about it not having a source, or any combination of those options or options I haven’t thought of yet, LET ME KNOW.  I will NOT be upset.  In fact I’ll probably be embarrassed and feel like an ass that I didn’t acknowledge my lack of source.  If you’re the artist and you’re actually reading/liking my blog, I’ll probably pass out with joy that someone with talent is actually talking to me.  I swore I had this one saved in my Deviant Art favorites, but I spent about two hours yesterday looking not only through that but just at, um, pictures of Sephiroth so, yeah, you know I was so upset about that *squee*  I got a bunch more amazing pics to pin and favorite including this one of Stewie dressed as him.

Hooray a source!
Hooray a source!

This alone for two hours.  Worth it.  I mean it’s not like they’re both seriously disturbed mama’s boys or anything like that. (FN – Yeah so I’m less amused by the “mama’s boy” mocking than I was last year or rather I’m admitting that it pisses me off, because I’m kind of tired of mental issues being used as a fucking punchline, but that’s another post for another day.  I wasn’t trying to be mocking here, because I don’t see anything wrong with being a “mama’s boy,” unless we’re talking about an Oedipal complex.  That’s a whole different ball of wax.)

Dammit…I was trying to find the text message conversation I had with a friend of mine about Stewie so I could just post it here, but I’ll try to remember.  Okay, so first Family Guy is my favorite TV show.  I don’t even care that it kind of sucks now; I still love it (FN – *screech* putting the brakes on.  I still love Family Guy, but I can no longer say that it’s my favorite TV Show.  FFVII is still my favorite game though.  If 18 years hasn’t changed that, one year certainly won’t) (Final Fantasy kind of sucks now, too, and I still love that).  What I was saying in my text was how I think Stewie really loves Lois, but he can’t deal with his dependency on her, which is why he’s constantly trying to kill her.  By killing her it will prove to the world (and himself) that he doesn’t really need her, but so long as she’s alive, it proves that he does, and he just can’t handle that.  If you see the episode where he (not really) kills her, he trips and falls moments later, and then sits there crying for his mommy.  The only reason I think he actually went through with it (again in simulation anyway, and I LOVED the meta commentary Brian had about that afterwards) was because Brian mocked him about it, so again it’s all about proving it to the world and himself.  So yes, I just did a little deconstruction of Stewie.  I apply literary theory to all.

What is up with people will silvery hair and long black eyelashes??

Elsa Long EyelashesElsa also has dark eyebrows, a pattern we’ve seen with Rhaegar, too.  Seph at least has silver eyebrows, but I’ve gotten mixed responses on peoples’ preferences with that.

Beautiful rendition of a prior posted pic
Beautiful rendition of a prior posted pic

I think it’s kind of weird to have basically white hair and then dark eyebrows.

Tumblr for the win
Tumblr for the win

Yes!  That right there.  I just think that’s really odd, because her eyebrows and hair are incongruent.  With Elsa, I think it’s less noticeable maybe because they’re not as dark and she’s a cartoon so you can get away with stuff better (?).  Also it implies that Elsa would’ve had dark hair like her mother if she didn’t have ice powers.  Both Seph and Elsa have long upper AND lower eyelashes, which is going to be hella fun for me since I’m being Elsa for Halloween (FAIL) and I’m planning on cosplaying Sephiroth for Otakon 2016 (hopefully not fail D:), aaaaaaaand just like that I admitted something that totally opens me up for ridicule cause holy shit am I super shy and terrified of the potential comments, but whatever, not going to get into that now or really elaborate much further.

Prior to writing this up I was sans quote, and had to think up one.  I…cheated a little and went back to my novel, because I use quotes per chapter there, too.  I figured why the hell not; I can glean some stuff from here, and who’s going to be the wiser.  Northern Lights is a fanfiction and non-publishable.  There is a thing called Kindle Worlds where  you actually can publish fanfiction, but just the thought that Squeenix would ever allow that makes me piss myself with laughter.  Oh man, I already had my rant today about Dexter; I am NOT going into what I think about Squeenix at this time.  I’ll save that for another blog post, dear readers. (Okay maybe this makes me a wuss puss, but I’m not as upset with Squeenix right now because they fulfilled their long forgotten promise and announced the FFVII remake.  I can’t stay mad at you…)

So I figured out what happens in this chapter to try to pin down the appropriate quote:

  • The “in between” is introduced
  • Aeris and Sephiroth go to her church
  • Sephiroth kills around fifty or so people when they go through the “bad sector” (hot ♥♥♥)

Even though the chapter is entitled Blood Dance and is therefore a clear reference to him slaughtering myriads, I feel the crux of it is their time in the church, and that’s why I went with the excerpt from Psalm 23:4.  I considered keeping on the “…for thou art with me,” but the “thou” totally refers to God and that would’ve been interesting/weird considering the foundation.

Instituting a new plan to see how many pages are in each chapter and break it up like that instead of just editing until my eyeballs fall out.  So Chapter 4 starts on page 26 and ends on page 39 so 13 pages if my maths are correct.  Will attempt six pages tonight and seven tomorrow so to page 32 with my ambition!

“The basement door was still shut to his glare as he heard the scratching ever below.”  Terrifying.  Both the scratching and his glare.  One advantage to looking angelic is you can totally milk the power of disapproving glare.  I don’t think he needs to mention Aeris’s ignorance of the scratching.  It seems like a tell rather than a show, and it comes up later when they’re actively discussing it.

I always envision stories as scenes playing out in my head like a movie.  The end of the last chapter they stand hand in hand where she almost swears he smiles, and the scene fades out to black.  Even though I open it literally with him going downstairs, I envision it with Aeris brushing her hair in the steamy bathroom to show that time has passed.  She’s showered and is now contemplating her image in the mirror and what she is and what she’s been.  Then it’s Seph downstairs searching through her cabinet, his eyes sweeping back and forth like one of those cat clocks.  I was going to use a picture, but honestly none of them were creepy enough.  The cats were smiling.  We all know that cats never smile.  Even the “cutesy” clocks are kind of creepy though.  Can we talk about that??  How cat eyes are creepy, but cat ears are adorbz?  I’m serious.  You put cat eyes on anything and it likes Satan is coming after your soul, but you pop some cat ears on something and it’s the cutest fucking thing you’ve ever seen.

Why would you DO this??!!!
Why would you DO this??!!!
Neko Seph - Even cute with the kitty cat eyes.
Neko Seph – Even cute with the kitty cat eyes.

I just died from the cute.

*dead again*

I’m noticing in this edit as in ones for prior stories that I’ll put in thoughts in the initial writing and then remove them later.  It’s similar to using an adverb as a placeholder for a better/stronger verb.  I like Aeris’s sort of examination of what’s happening with her “murderer” lurking downstairs in her mother’s house, but she’s starting to think of him as being just another potential danger and frankly, not a very dire one.  She’s lived with that her entire life, and so far he’s made no threatening moves towards her.  She’s not completely unguarded, but she’s considering letting it down.  I like that they both think of the basement: Sephiroth in aggravation to the unknown scratching and Aeris in remembering the world’s hum.  I think it suggests more threat that the little Cetra hasn’t even thought of. She knows the basement wasn’t safe from mundane forces against her, but didn’t even consider metaphysical ones being able to break through those walls.  It’s a bit of a slight on her part, since she of all people should be prepared and expecting that eventuality.

Ah the “eternal life” question comes up with respect to Aeris.  I need to figure out a way to weave this in.  Yes, she’s been revived indefinitely by the Planet because it needs a guardian for now and then even after whatever her task is is done, it figures it should keep her around on this side of the stream.  I may just leave this as an implication or not since I’ve told you fine readers right here, haven’t I? 🙂

Interesting to note that this story and all of my others have a bit of necromancy in them in terms of people coming back from the dead or being reincarnated.  Huh, it’s kind of fucked up if the Planet itself is practicing necromancy , although since it’s the repository for all souls that are, were, or ever will be, you can’t really call it that, can you?  It’s more like a storage bin for them and could then conceivably choose which ones it wishes to retrieve, and if it decides it wants to recall the last of and the (literally) Ancient race that could talk to it, that’s its prerogative.  I wouldn’t want to spend all of eternity in utter silence with no one to hear my voice.  What a lonely existence that would be…to have billions with you and not be able to speak to a single solitary one of them.  Though Aeris still exists just in spirit form, but the conversation would probably be different.  In the Lifestream or the Promised Land, nothing happens.   There’s no action, no danger, no history to be made.  It’s like the Garden of Eden and aligns with the idea that human history did not begin until man was cast out.  While being forced to toil and die was awful, humanity wouldn’t have done anything so ensconced in paradise, not until it was lost could any semblance of a story have begun.

Oh and just FYI there’s a Catholic site about necromancy called New Advent.  Fancy that.

I love, love, LOVE the way he looks when Aeris comes downstairs.  I’ll see if I can find a good picture of him (like cause I have NONE to choose from at all).

Boom
Boom

No source again *sigh* The internet can be a harsh mistress…

He’s still bound but by the silver bracers he’s always had, a possible symbol that he’s always been bound.  If you’ve played the game, you might have noticed that a lot if not all of the characters wear those bracers.  Aeris certainly does.

Her Marilyn Monroe pose
Her Marilyn Monroe pose

We already mentioned Seph’s (you can see them in the chapter pic, but there can never be enough pictures of Sephiroth)

Bound and beautiful still
Bound and beautiful still

And the other characters have them, too.  I know they’re just a type of armor, but I like to think that it implies a binding of sort, because all of the characters of FFVII are stuck on this inevitable course not of their choosing.  They just have to play out their parts and take their unchoosen punishments.  In Northern Lights Aeris doesn’t have bracers anymore.  She’s not bound like he’s bound in fact she’s exercising this fact by leaving the city.  There is an obligation on her, but it’s amorphous and unknown.  She knows she has to do something for the world, but she doesn’t know what that is yet; therefore, she has more free will and choice in her actions now that Sephiroth is here to facilitate the way.  A great deal of her frustration was due to not knowing what her primary task was, still not being able to leave the city, and not being shown what she was supposed to do while she was there.  The only blockage to her leaving was the circumstances of the slums.  With Sephiroth those circumstances become null as we’ll soon see.

With his leather gloves on, his arm is just continuous black broken only by the silver bracers.  Random thought.  Wouldn’t the people who imprisoned him have taken his coat?  It’s a nice coat and probably worth quite a lot.  Unless he “convinced” them not to, but he was sleeping when he was captured.  Hm, I’m not sure.  I think I’m not going to worry about it or I’ll make it a beta question. (Future Narcissist – So these beta questions never actually happened.  I compiled a list of things to ask the people I’d asked to be my beta readers, but no one had time to do it, so I just figured it all out for myself.  It’s a fanfiction that I can just post so it’s not like I can’t change things if I want to.)  How about that?  As I was writing the question I may have come up with a solution.  Perhaps like his name, eyes, and hair it’s seen as something ubiquitous to him and would therefore be a killable offense to own.  Maybe his is a feasible explanation for why he’d be allowed to keep it.  Seph really likes that coat…

“He was all black and silver with winter white skin, a study in monochrome save for eyes like emerald seas.”  Mmm delicious *ahem* I mean yes.  Debating now between “eyes like emerald seas” and “eyes like emerald storm.”  Sephiroth’s eyes are true green like starless emerald skies not the green we see in humans.

Pretty
Pretty

Not that that isn’t pretty.  My husband has green/hazel eyes.  I could go off on the whole hazel thing.  I’m pretty sure hazel is what they say when they don’t know what the hell color it is or when there’s a mix of colors.  I always put hazel as a mix with brown, which those above eyes have.  But Sephiroth’s eyes are like this.

Green Cat Eyes

Or more accurately this.

Sephiroth's Cat EyesYessss that’s what I’m talking about.  I also know this is photoshopped, because not even kittiees have eyes this green, but cats come the closest, and can I just say that I had the source to this yesterday when I saved it, but now I can’t find it.  Grrrr, fickle interwebs 😦

The nearest human equivalent is Sharbat Gula known (sadly only) as “The Afghan Girl” for years until she was found again decades later and her story was told.  I could stare at this picture for hours; her eyes lend such an intensity to such a young face.  They tell the tale of her land’s tragedy without even needing a word.

Afghan Girl with Green Eyes
Sharbat Gula

The world seems to be full of lost stories whether in fiction or in truth.  Life mimics art and art tries to make sense of that which mimics it.  It seems a vicious cycle.

“Aeris could barely breathe as her foot slid against metal, the shackles that had ringed wrist and neck.  Looking down the flower maid’s fear revived for the bonds had been literally crushed.  Steel sheared down one end before the cuffs had been ripped apart.  The neck clasp with its remnant chains was discolored and warped where he’d snapped it.  If he’s strong enough to do that to metal, what could he do to me?  Sephiroth must’ve sensed this thought for his eyes narrowed as he frowned.”  Aeris is thinking, “Holy fuck…if he can do that to metal, what could he do to little, frail me?”  When he “senses” her thoughts, it carries the question of whether he’s doing more than being astute.  The nature of this tale’s foundation always suggests that, something I need to be hyper aware of.  Not even withstanding this, Aeris’s fear is revived at the sight of his twisted manacles, until she sees he made her breakfast, which is adorable.  Sephiroth really doesn’t want to frighten her.  He really doesn’t want to frighten her at all.

“’I think you’re always going to be frightening,’” she told him, biting her lower lip, “’but I’m trying hard not to be scared.’”  For now that’s all she can give him, and for now for him it’s enough.  Making breakfast is an utterly mundane and menial task, but he enjoyed doing it for that very reason.  When you’ve had your fill of a life full of blood, such banality is heaven.

Tea.  There’s always tea in my stories.  I’m a huge anglophile and I just love the concept of tea.

“’Afterwards I think I was locked in the darkness for days or even weeks. It’s hard now to remember.  The only light I had issued from my own eyes and I was in terror of the shadows they caused.’”  I don’t want to imagine being locked in the dark with only the eerie light from my own eyes for company.  Aeris is beside herself after hearing this tiny tidbit of his past, and Sephiroth is utterly confused as to why.  Even if he weren’t nonplussed by her obvious sympathy for him, her feeling sorry for such a punishment would be a surprise.  As he tells her it’s “how the greatest generals are made.”  The strongest metals are tempered in the hottest fire…a sentiment that resonates with subversion in the origin of this tale.  Aeris’s declaration that he didn’t deserve that punishment is so important.  It sets the foundation for their relationship.

I reached page 28.  My ambitions fell a bit short.  I didn’t anticipate how exhausted I’d become in a mere two pages.  My eyes are already tired right now from writing this up.  I’m trying to do edit one day, write up the next and then edit afterwards.  I believe I started this around six or seven o’clock and it’s almost ten now (currently 11:30 as I’m finishing up my edit of the editing post btw)?  Yeah it takes a while, but I think it’s worth it.  I’m drinking all of the coffee and will attempt to get to my page 32 tonight if not further, but I’m not going to beat myself up if I don’t.  There’s no dark room to lock myself in and no glaring light to make shadows…

With that dear readers I leave you until we meet again.

<–The Three Day Reedit of Chapter 3     Til the End of Chapter 4–>

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4 thoughts on “The Editing of Northern Lights – Darkly Dreaming Rose, Obligations, and the Start of Chapter 4

  1. Wow! That was quite a read. I’m proud to live in the same province as Sarah McLachlan. I will always greatly admire your strength and FFVII knowledge, but I disagree that “Final Fantasy kind of sucks now” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bahaha oh I remember that time of my life when I paid more attention to people’s shitty opinions instead of experiencing things for myself *shakes head*

      Yup! I remember that about Sarah from high school. She was my favorite singer/songwriter so I did my homework.

      Liked by 1 person

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