the crying galleries
prefix shii suffix deri
hiuzhanicenum forget-me-not
3 in
4 in
0.004 lbs
size variance
core temp.
10 days
physical appearance
The shiideri /ʃiːˈdeɹi/ ... .. small stranger that looks only like a piece of tissue paper, with the middle-front section pinched upwards to form the snout. Its eyes are designated by small creases on the sides of its head, .. unable to open.
As vulnerable as any tissue paper, and even more silent.
"The kind you'd wrap nice gifts with." †Simone-Su
environment and generation
The shiideri appears in small colonies in alleyways or other external environments. Larger groups find homes for themselves beneath fog-drenched bridges or waterless water-ducts, and never in wholly dry environments . ... ... . ... ...
.. ... ... ... ... ... .. ... . ... ... .. ... ... ... ... ... ... . ... ... . .
behaviour and effects
The shiideri moves in timid but slow flutters, no step heavier than a tiptoe. When it walks too quickly, it displays difficulty in keeping its form erect, and collapses and crumples up ... A crumpled shiideri becomes a wadded mass of material that flakes apart to nothing, this "Kai Lun Reversal" taking less than ten seconds.
An adept climber, it ... .. .. .. and often prefers to stand on walls instead of floors. Only rarely does it make it to a ceiling or overhang, however. Their social behaviours constant, but minimal; a pressing of noses and side-by-side standing.
interactions with sensitives
When the shiideri encounters a sensitive, it lays itself flat on the surface upon which it stands. When it is like this, it is completely affixed; though not sticky or glued in place by any binding substance, it cannot be pulled upwards.
Upon its flattened, square-shaped surface, it imitates photos and symbols . ... ... a faded polaroid from a party unremembered by its participants, an Asian logogram with meaning obscured by time, or a daguerrotype of a long-dead ballerina; these images persist on the wall for anywhere from several minutes to several months, although short-lastingness is the norm.
Because the shiideri is so unstable, it lasts for only a few minutes following an encounter with sensitives.
Recurring contact with the shiideri𖼒 does create an effect upon sensitives, giving sensitives the ability to hallucinate at will upon any flat white or near-white surface. This effect fades if not utilized;𖼌 ... once honed in this way over a number of years, the skill appears to solidify and become permanent.𖼩 Disruption in thought or any belief that these images are real are found only as a by-product of other incidental mental disorders. Through all of this, the eyes must remain very still. Small motions – a darting of the pupils here-and-there over the whites – do not cause the image to fade, nor does blinking, but any dark object overlapping the image causes it to fade away entirely.
𖼒 "It might be a dozen times, or a thousand times, she'd told me. So I didn't give up." †Austin, J.R.O.
𖼌 "How many have gazed at white, seen some vague shape, and looked away, believing it to be only some after-image from a bright light or an eye-rub just too firm? But there are those who stuck with it, and, with them, these shapes took form." †Karnap, Killian
𖼩 "Still, I thought that I could use this skill to recreate the map that I had lost, but I don't know what I was looking at." †Karnap, Killian-II
"I was becoming such a host of these effects. Persisting through me, this menagerie-" †Karnap, Killian-II
aging and death
.. .. .. with no lasting corpse nor impression, as expected.
"I did not close my eyes but looked up at the sky and painted on the white clouds my own vision of what that city must have been like. (It was not hard, I might add, to now engage in this act; it looked as real as any movie.) Were buildings once so large that you could walk until exhausted and still not reach the end? Or did they stretch upwards to the sun and shatter like dropped glass once felled? I realized that what all that I was painting looked in effect no different from the woods and stones around me in structure albeit white and far more grand in scale. My imagination (and with it, my confidence) extinguished, I looked down upon the earth once more."