With my love bloodied on the ground, his life spilled out in a fit of my anger, I finally realize the mistake I had made.
— Maiden, Mother, Murderer (Act 3, Scene 5)
Linsan clung to the side of the Glasscoaster as it rumbled over the deep ruts of a road she could barely see. The sun had set an hour before and it was getting dangerously close to being dark for the speed they were going.
“Brook, we need to stop.”
“There is a village ahead,” came the sullen tone.
“Yes, ten miles ahead and we aren't going to make it.”
“I have headlights.”
“You have one headlight,” snapped Miska from the back. She was braced against both sides of the Glasscoaster. “You shattered the half of them when you lost control an hour ago and hit that tree!”
“We'll make it.”
“Brook!” Linsan said. “Stop!”
Brook frowned but the Glasscoaster didn't slow. It hit another rut and the entire vehicle twisted violently to the side before it began skip against the rough, dirt road. She grabbed the steering wheel and twisted hard, turning into the curve until it fishtailed back into place.
Linsan whimpered as she braced her knee on the dash. “Please… please stop!”
Brook's eyes glittered with tears as she shook her head. “We can make it.”
Ahead, the dusk was quickly darkening as the shadows stretched across the road. The single light from the buggy did nothing to reveal the deep ruts in the poorly maintained surface.
Brook sniffed as tears ran down her cheeks. She shook her head. “I-I can't.”
Linsan wish she understood how the controls on the car worked but she didn't think there was a way to wrest control. She dismissed it and then tried another tactic. Picking herself up, she knelt on her seat and leaned over to talk into her friend's ear. “Please… just stop. We'll make it.”
“I don't want you to get hurt.”
Another sob. Brook shook her head. “N-No.”
“Brook, I can't lose you. Not now, not ever. You're my friend.” Linsan had no idea of the words were reaching into Brook's despair.
The buggy nailed another ridge. The force shoved her back and she tumbled over the top of her seat and into the back. Her limbs caught among Miska's as they were jostled violently.
Claustrophobic, Linsan flailed for a moment before she found some sort of balance.
Miska chuckled. “Hi, there.”
Their faces were only inches apart.
“You seem to be grabbing my tit.”
Linsan looked down. She had one hand braced against the back of the seat and the other was cupping Miska's large breast. Her knee had planted between the blonde's thighs. She gasped. “S-Sorry!”
Miska grinned. “I'm honored to the say the least. You are a beautiful woman, but I really have no interest in getting into your panties.”
Linsan started and then chuckled. “That's good, because I don't want to be in yours either. I don't really go for women.”
The vehicle seemed to slow but Linsan couldn't tell if it was her imagination.
“Oh?” Miska said while gesturing to Brook's seat. “You seem to like Princess enough. I know what a woman being pleasured sounds like.”
Miska gestured silently again to the seat.
It took a moment to register, then Linsan grinned as she realized they were playing for an audience. “Well, when we were girls, she tried to kill me in the forest. I tried to hurt her back and the next thing we knew it, there was magic flying everywhere, punches thrown, and then our daddies made us behave.” Gingerly, Linsan adjusted her hand so they were in less of a provocative position.
“Did you kiss and make up?”
Linsan chuckled. “Eventually.” Her words were a bit louder than needed. The memory of their first night together as lovers made her squirm.
“So you're say if I keep fighting with Princess, maybe she'll be interested in me?” The question was clear as was the questing look in Miska's eyes.
Linsan cocked her head. She started to answer, playing a part, but then the Glasscoaster swerved violently and she abandoned her role for a moment to keep in balance. As soon as the buggy straightened, she grinned back. “It really depends, I guess,” she said mimicking her mother's tone as she cobbled together lines that were popular from a number of plays.
“On what?” Miska seemed amused but there was a flush on her cheeks that wasn't directed toward Linsan. She wanted Brook, more than Linsan could ever give her friend.
“If you want to lose and have her be your queen or if you want to try conquering her kingdom by yourself.”
“You think you're smart, don't you? Have all the pretty words?”
“How do I have both? How can I lose and yet conquer at the same time? What if I just want to be her queen?”
Brook's foot slammed into the floor of Glasscoaster and the brakes slammed into place. Both Miska and Linsan were pitched forward to the floor. The tight space ground their bodies together as the amusement between them crumbled.
As soon as the buggy stopped, Brook reached back and smacked Linsan's head. “I am not a prize to be traded!” she screamed at the top of her lungs. Her door swung open and she bolted out.
“Shit,” Linsan said as she scrambled to free herself. It took a minute and some difficult positions until she was able to crawl over the seat and out the door.
Brook was only a rod away, stomping in a circle. When she looked back, her cheeks were wet with tears. “I'm not a character, Lin! I'm not some play you can rattle off the top of your head!”
“No!” Brook stormed forward. “I just lost everything! Again! I had to give up my daddy! I just caused my family to lose their money and they don't even know why!” Her voice was shrill.
Miska grunted as she tumbled out of the Glasscoaster. It was tilted against the ditch that ran along the road. One wheel bobbed with the movement.
Linsan turned back to her. “We both lost something, you know that.”
“You lost a Couple-damned instrument that no one plays! I don't care how much money it is. I lost my dad! My family! My money! I lost everything!” With a snarl, she brought her hands together.
Linsan only had a heartbeat to brace herself before the world exploded into a boom that tore the ground up and threw it away from Brook.
She winced as a second one came, hammering into her and throwing her back.
“Damn you, Linsan! Damn everything about you!” Brook screamed as she clapped again. The sharp sound punched Linsan.
Miska grunted and stepped forward.
“Rot in the ground!” Brook's voice cracked before she clapped her hands.
Linsan tried to brace herself but she stumbled from the force that punched her.
Miska stepped forward, her hair snapping in the wind. Her feet dug into the hard ground as heat shimmered around her.
Brook's next clap shattered the window of the Glasscoaster.
Miska stepped forward even as Linsan was shoved back.
“Get away from me!”
“No!” snapped Miska. She forced herself forward.
Brook stepped back and clapped her hands again, magic bursting as it tore apart the ground around her.
Clods of dirt and rock flew at Miska but the blonde shrugged them off as she did the waves of force that hammered into her.
Linsan could only watched as Miska closed the gap.
Miska was only a yard away.
“I hate you!” Brook sobbed and spread her arms to clap again.
It only took a single step as Miska came up to her. Her hands caught both sides of Brook's chin before she pulled Brook into a kiss.
Brook froze, her hands apart.
Linsan stared in shock, her face burning and her ears ringing.
Miska held her close as she continued to kiss. It wasn't a tender embrace like on the stage but something far more intimate than Linsan could have ever given Brook. The air around them rippled as Miska moved with Brook.
Tears glittered on Brook's cheeks then her arms fell. A moment later, she slumped down.
Miska knelt down with her, cradling her body as they both dropped to their knees in the middle of the blasted field.
A muffled sob rose up and then Brook wrapped her arms around Miska tightly.
Linsan turned her head. This wasn't a moment for her. She cupped her ear to try drowning out the ringing and then limped around the Glasscoaster to see if she could find a better place to camp for the night.