Scene setting : The Peach Cafe – Blood City.
co-written with Temp and Gene.
Temp: What in the world was this place? There had been a fair bit of knowledge given to Selina by her Grimoire about this time period, but none of it really clicked with her. Gigantic stone buildings littered the area around her, and large metal rectangles moved at high speeds down large paved roads. None of this was even possible in the time that she knew so well, but that time had long since passed. Centuries had gone by while she slept within her sealed crystal, and for some reason she was now awake and in this strange land. Her Grimoire, Tallulah, had explained that the crystal had opened due to her own powers leaking from within, but it still explained so little. Her purpose in life had completely changed, as had her very persona. There were now two very different sides of her, one which was extremely vile, and one that was very confused and timid. The latter was what she was experiencing right now, though earlier she had been her true self. In a way, her ‘dormant’ form had a personality and mind of its own, one which disliked the ‘awakened’ form and it’s methods. Unfortunately, the awakened form was her true self, while her dormant form was something that managed to form during her slumber. Her goals and life were conflicted and a mess, but she at least had the resolve to continue with this new chance at life. She only hoped she could keep her true self at bay as much as possible.
After exploring the city for a fair bit of time, Selina found herself to be rather worn out. Her belly ached, her throat was dry, and her legs ached from the extensive amount of walking. None of the wordings on buildings really made much sense to her, so trying to find some place to rest was proving difficult. Until she stumbled upon a place called ‘The Peach Cafe’. Cafe seemed familiar to her, and if she remembered correctly it was place that she could actually utilize. Her small body eventually stepped into the cafe, where she found herself to be the new center of everyone’s attention. Everyone seemed to be staring at her. Perhaps it was because of what she looked like? Nobody here was dressed even remotely similar to her. Her eyes drooped down towards Tallulah, who was being firmly held against her chest with both of her arms.“Tallulah, would thou be so kind as to dilate wherefore these people art staring at me?” The cat plushy in her arms didn’t make a sound, and due to her very odd wording combined with her speaking to an apparent toy, she drew in even more reactions. “Prithee, doth not look at me like I am some strange creature.” She spoke lightly as she shot a rather weak glare out at the people around her, but somehow managed to get them to look away. Once their stares were gone she let out a weak sigh, and walked over towards the nearest seat. There were two people behind her that were talking, but she payed them no mind, and instead raised her hand into the air. She held it there for a good minute, as if expecting some kind of reaction from someone. After getting no response whatsoever, she cleared her throat with a loud ‘AHEM’, and wiggled her hand while staring at one of the waitresses. “Colours me! I require thy services! I desire tea and biscuits!” Ordering what she wanted wasn’t even something she could get right. Tallulah would be facepalming over and over again if it weren’t for the curious eyes of the humans around her.
It came as as a delight when Ava was allowed to sit. When she brought up the matter that she went to the Acalo school, Ava saw no signs of any emotion letting her know whether she was welcomed for not. Joel had sighed before – it was unknown to Ava the real reason behind it – though she only took it as him not really wanting to talk. The proceeding moments were awkward. Her eyes shifted to the objects on the table and then the photographs on the wall, waiting for him to talk. When he did, Ava couldn’t help but smile in relief. More so, he knew who she was. The thought of excusing herself and leaving crossed her mind seconds before he spoke. As long as Joel gave the impression he didn’t mind her presence, Ava would stay.
“We have crossed paths on occasion at the school, but as yet you are in none of my classes.”
Ava nodded in agreement, “I’ve heard a few things about you,” Her glance moved to his muffin, then back again as she quickly added, “Good things,”
Her composure had been engulfed with formality. She sat, with her legs crossed, back straight, and hands clasped on her lap. A smile was plastered to her face, next to her soft features. Ava ran a hand through her hair, moving it away from her face. No matter how natural Ava appeared, her eyes revealed her current mannerisms to be nothing but fake; the practice of being formal and polite was something she was forced to do time and time again.
“I imagined a girl like you would travel in a pack.”
Ava blinked in an initial response to what he said. Was that the impression she gave to those who didn’t know her? Perhaps it was true; she ought to have a close friends with whom she’d do everything with. Reality was not like that. Since all the students knew one another since they were kids, everyone quickly knew one another. When puberty came, Ava wasn’t deemed ‘good enough’ to be integrated into a close group of friends or a pack.
Ava hesitated, before she finally managed to reply, “It isn’t really my sort of thing,” Her reply had been well thought out and it might have been obvious to anyone she wasn’t revealing the true reason.
All the while, Ava remained oblivious to Selina’s arrival. She was positioned so she had no view of the entrance and consequentially Selina’s arrival. Despite Ava noticing others looking at something, she decided not to be rude and seem as though she wasn’t interested in conversing with Joel. Though, Ava couldn’t deny she was curious. It took all of her willpower not to turn around. However, if Joel made any mention to the new arrival, Ava would proceed to look. If not, she’d hear Selina calling to a waitress.
Either way, her formality would trickle away from her face upon seeing Selina. What in the world was the girl wearing? Her attire looked old; not just old by a few years, but by centuries. And what was up with the way she was speaking? Ava stared, her mind replaying what the girl had said.
“Is she,” Ava paused, thinking of the word, “Cosplaying?” She continued when the term came to her mind, “Why in here?” Even though Ava was speaking aloud, she was speaking to herself instead of Joel; Ava usually found it helpful to think aloud.
Body language says a great deal about the person, and it was clear from the way that Ava presented herself before Joel that she had been raised by someone that taught her manners and etiquette – especially in her posture. Back straight, and with hands in her lap. Ava’s dress gave Joel cause to wonder about her family; the Blackbane. One of the more influential in the city. With money comes power and influence, and yet this girl’s nature was a tad off from what he had come to expect. It was why he had made the blunt observation about how he imagined this girl’s social habits to be. Joel’s eyes followed Ava’s as she stared at various objects in a way to pass the time through the uneasy silence. This gave Joel the time to study her like she was a museum piece. It was amazing what one learns if they are truly observant. We often say more without having said a word. What was surprising however, was when Ava commented that she had seen him about the school too, and had heard things. This intrigued Joel, till she mentioned that she had heard good things.
“Really? Are you certain about that?” Here he was questioning her about such rumors. Joel was something of an enigma – a lone wolf. Not one to dilly dally in the daily lives of his contemporaries, or his students. He only took on students to tutor who showed patience and a will to learn – something lacking in most of the students at the school. At this point Joel’s grey eyes turned to the shade of a oncoming summer storm – drilling the girl’s as he continued. “Don’t always believe what you hear, Miss Blackbane.” Would this come off as a kind of warning?
Another pause in the conversation, only to be broken when Ava managed to say that travelling in a pack was not her sort of thing. At this, Joel raised his right hand to his chin and stroked it idly as though contemplating her words. Was she truly different from the other girls of her age? He had not seen any other students from the school in the cafe, so perhaps she did prefer her own company. But why? Tapping his cheek twice, he was about to say something when suddenly there was a ruckus being created what could be be described as a girl that looked as though she had stepped off the set of Downtown Abby. But it was not just her clothes that caused Joel to suddenly take his eyes off Ava, but how the girl spoke – and who she spoke to. A cat plushy held tightly within her arms. The young teacher moved his left arm to be draped over the back of the booth, as he candidly turned his head towards the newest customer to the cafe. His grey eyes trailed up and down the girl, taking in the outfit and he could not help but smirk. The girl was quite petite, but her accent. She was not from the city. The girl looked lost.
“Prithee, doth not look at me like I am some strange creature.”
Now normally when a person speaks, it is only interesting if it is addressed to them, but Joel was fascinated – oddly enough by how the young girl addressed the crowd. Instructing them not to stare at her as though she was a circus attraction. But could she not see, that it was the mix of her voice and her wardrobe that brought such attention? Even Ava could not hold back, and wondered out loud if the girl was cosplaying. At first Joel shrugged his shoulders lightly, his head turning just long enough to say. “Well if she is, she has a very good tailor.” The period clothes looked authentic. But Joel’s head snapped back so he found himself staring at the girl when she sang out; “Colours me! I require thy services! I desire tea and biscuits!”
~Tea and biscuts? Colour me?~ These words were definitely not said by some juvenile cosplayer. Keeping an act up like this took either great dedication, or madness. “Why in here?” The whispering of Ava continued, though she was not addressing Joel. Again thinking out loud. Was Ava not used to company?
The waitresses all huddled together, as though they were frightened to even approach the girl. They whispered to each other, pointing fingers, and one girl shook her head as though to say she was not going to go serve the weirdly dressed girl. Seeing this reaction, Joel raised his arm slightly and snapped his fingers.
“The girl wishes to have tea and biscuits.” His facial expression became cold…almost glacial as he stared at the girls with a menace that could not be hidden. “Now.” That word….Now, sent the girls scurrying to make a pot of tea and find a nice size cookie. Joel frequented this Cafe often and he was known to the manager. The last thing the girls wanted to do was upset him. Quickly, one girl came to Selina’s table and placed down a small tray, that had the tea pot, cup and saucer along with a little milk jug. A couple of shortbread cookies were on another plate and by the smell of them you could tell they were freshly made. The girl waited to be paid, but this was when Joel took out his wallet and handed the girl a ten dollar bill. “Keep the tip.” The waitress bobbed her head and hurried away, giving Joel the opportunity to speak to the strange looking girl. “Enjoy.”
Now the girl had her tea and biscuits, maybe she would be quiet and Joel could go back to his studies. Only thing was he forgot about Ava – who was still sitting opposite him. He picked up his coffee cup gently and took a sip, only to say afterwards.
“You were saying?”