Tallulah : More than a toy – BC.

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Joel and Ava were now on the hunt for clues.  The library could be a wealth of information, if you knew where to look.  The cat plushie that Selina held was not what it appeared to be.  

Scene setting :The City Library, Blood City.

Co-written with Gene and Temp.

 

Temp:  Selina was appreciative of the assistance she was being given, but she felt like she was being looked at strangely by Ava. Mostly everything she had said and done shocked the girl into a new period of time, but why? Perhaps she was like her, a Witch? Or maybe she was someone who hated her kind? Selina really couldn’t figure it out, but she knew that it bothered her. Hopefully Ava didn’t actually have any negative feelings towards her, and instead was either nervous or extremely curious. Either way, she wouldn’t fault the girl.

While Ava was being told what to do, Selina turned her attention back to Joel, who was now questioning the plushie she carried with her. Her head tilted down as she looked at it, then back up to Joel. “Not cursed, but possessed…tis’ a demon in mine service, and the lady helpeth to keepeth me under control.” Joel likely wouldn’t understand what she meant by ‘control’, but she could explain that if he questioned her further on the subject. Tallulah didn’t offer any argument or comments to her revealing this information, which meant that Selina was free to do as she wished. This would help keep her in control of herself simply because she could express things without restraint.

 

Gene:

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After receiving her instructions, Ava shot a quick smile at Selina and Joel, and then walked away from the two. Purposely, she started at the shelves – dedicated to history – at the far end of where they were. She had to clear her mind. Ava leaned against the shelf, staring at the floor. Selina was a witch. No confirmation was needed; Ava didn’t want or need Selina to perform a spell – she just believed because, upon giving it further thought, witchcraft was a sufficient explanation. Her knowledge about things other than spells, when it came to witchcraft, was limited; her imagination began to run wild, thinking of the possibilities out there. Though, the only way she’d find out is if she began her task.

Removing her bodyweight from the shelf, Ava looked at the top row, tilting her head so she could read the titles on the spine. Some books were, essentially, a repetition of the ones before it, from a different author. There were books from the history of the world, species, even the universe, though she’d expect them to be in the Science section.

Finally, she came across which was much more suited to the ones she was looking for. The palm of her hand opened, and the book flew out from its position, landing in her hand. Her fingers ran over the title, inked into the cover: ‘The myths of the Supernatural’. Opening the book, she began to read the first page.

 

Razorbackwriter:  

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Ever have the feeling that you are in too deep? Joel was starting to feel this way. From what would be considered fiction to many, this girl was basically saying that she was a High priestess from a fifteenth century coven, and that in her arms she was holding a demon, no less whose job was to keep her under control. Whether the plushie was doing a very good job of that remained to be seen. Joel began to ponder. If she was a being of great power, than why was she in form of a child? Surely a Priestess would be an adult. Again Joel rubbed his chin. Nodding at appropriate times, but keeping a close eye on how this girl reacted to his questioning. She was so upfront, and not holding back, really. This either meant she was telling the truth as she knew it, or….she was the best cosplaying actress on the planet.

Joel checked over his shoulder on Ava, who had now found a book – hopefully one that would give them some insight into Selina. Wanting to keep the girl calm and content, Joel reached into his satchel and pulled out a small packet of mints. He enjoyed these when he was on the bus, or in between classes. He kindly offered the packet to Selina, not as a bribe, but hopefully something she would enjoy.

“Here…these are mints. Very tasty and good for your breath.” Not a great choice of words, but the good intent was there. If she took them, Joel would excuse himself and make his way over to Ava, but not before placing down his satchel at the study table.

“The myths of the Supernatural?” Joel had come up alongside Ava and used the crook of his finger to gain a view of the cover.

“We want facts…..not myths.”

~RB~

 

Temp:  Selina tilted her head to the side as she looked up at Joel. Her eyes scanned him curiously, and eventually she looked down at Tallulah. He was a very curious man, but he didn’t seem at all familiar with magic. Perhaps he was unique in some way, or perhaps he was genuinely just trying to help her. She happily took the item that was offered to her by Joel, and payed no mind to him walking away and over to Ava. The two were obviously looking for some kind of history on her and her coven, which she didn’t mind. Though, she did think it was pointless.

Eventually, she stepped over to a desk and took a seat, setting down Tallulah on the table as she did so. She then leaned forward on the table and pat the plushie on it’s head, offering it a smile. “Tallulah, thou may speak…I order thou, obey mine words.”Tallulah could be very stubborn from time to time, and she had been that way since the cafe. “A’rite a’rite…sheesh, you didn’t have to invoke a command…whaddaya want?” Selina sighed in relief when she heard the voice of Tallulah, finally the demon had decided to comply, though this time it had no choice. “What doth thou think…about all this?” The opinion of her demonic servant was something that mattered to Selina. “Honestly, I think I shoulda let the real you get used to this world first…but you’re adjusting well enough, other than that old ass speech.”Selina wasn’t exactly comfortable with Tallulah possibly wanting her awakened form out, but she respected her opinion. She let out a sigh as she popped one of the mints in her mouth, finding it’s flavor to be very strange. It was unlike anything she’d ever eaten before. For now, she would remain seated, kicking her feet and enjoying her mints while Joel and Ava did as they pleased.

 

 

 

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‘Shows over’ – BC.

 

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Scene setting : The Peach Cafe – Blood City.

Co-written with Temp & Gene.

 

Temp:  Selina was interested in what Ava and Joel had to say about her, but she wasn’t expecting them to inquire about where and when she was from. It seemed that both of them were somewhat suspicious about her and her origins. If she were to tell them the truth then they would most likely not even believe her, and that was if Tallulah even allowed her to tell them in the first place. She had a feeling her Grimoire would interrupt somehow if Selina was about to let out some kind of important information to strangers. Regardless, she decided to just go ahead and go with whatever was going to happen. She stood up and followed Joel and Ava, and they would now make their way towards a Library. Just how was this going to go? Surely they weren’t a threat to her or anything…right?

 

Gene:  

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“You should not be asking her where she is from….but rather…when, Miss Blackbane.”

Ava could not muster a reply. When she is from? Was Joel implying- no, he couldn’t be. Time travel came to her mind, however it was impossible. A few movies were based around them, but that’s all they were: movies. Movies were filled with lies, always giving a misrepresentation of reality. It was why she disliked them. Her ideal weekends would never be going to the cinema.

The decision to leave was, obviously, a good one. When Joel mentioned the library, Ava slid out of the booth and moved to the table she was previously at; there was one bag on the table, which contained products she bought at her time in the market. After collecting them, she looked to Joel and Selina, then the others. They were still the centre of attention and it began to unnerve Ava. She felt as though every individual had their eyes on the group. In associating themselves with Selina, it appeared the crowd now viewed them the same way: abnormal. If Ava had the guts, she’d step forward and defend hers and Joel’s actions. If only she had the guts.

With one nod, Ava indicated she was ready to leave. She walked to the door and held it open for Joel and Selina. It was time to go to the library.

 

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Did Joel really expect Ava to entertain the notion that their new friend may in fact be from another time? It was true science fiction. Time travel simply was not possible according to all sources, and yet there were things in this world that no one could truly understand or even begin to comprehend. Joel was always passionate about learning as much as he could about theories, superstitions and even the occult. The whole point of his visit to the Peach cafe was to take notes and study from the ancient text that he had sitting on the booth table.

Taking the weathered book up off the table, Joel opened the flap of his leather satchel and carefully slid it inside. A light brushing down of the flap to conceal it and he was right to go. Ava was still muted by Joel’s suggestion, and this made him think that she found Joel’s statement to be fanciful. Selina on the other hand said nothing. This alone caused the hair on the back of Joel’s neck to bristle. Maybe he was onto something after all. He watched her slide out of the booth, with the cat plushie tight to her chest. It was just a toy, right?

Selina indicated with a nod of her head that she was ready to leave. Joel moved across the floor and pulled open the door. He stepped back as each of the girls passed through. This left him alone with the gawking crowd of cafe patrons. A dark and brooding look returned to his features as he said firmly.

“Shows over people. You can return to your regular dining schedule.” He sounded like a television broadcaster, but with a nasty streak. The customers all muttered to each other, before returning to their conversations, papers and laptops. All but one. A young man had been tapping something into his phone. This was the same man that had taken a picture earlier. Releasing the door, Joel strolled over and hovered before the man, before his hand reached out and snatched up the phone. The cheeky bastard was about to post the picture on social media.

“Oi! Give that back!” The young man protested. Joel held the phone just out of reach and said. “Oh…you mean this?” His thumb worked the keypad and he erased the picture of Selina and Ava with one flick. Happy now that the evidence of Selina’s visit was gone, he then dropped the phone into a glass of water. Mission complete

“Oops.”

Joel smirked at the young man in the booth, and then headed out of the cafe, whistling to himself. The girls should be waiting outside, and together the trio would start off for the library.

 

~RB~

Finding common ground – BC.

Scene setting : The Peach Cafe – Blood City.

co-written with Temp and Gene.

 

Temp:  Selina was actually quite fond of physical touch, or at least she felt like she was. This was likely something from her true self leaking over. The magic and abilities she possessed were very much reliant on touch more so than feeling. There were a great deal of things she could do to this man now that his hand was in hers, but she refused to do such a thing. This man was offering her a kindness previously unknown to her since her awakening. In truth, the emotions and thoughts of her true self bleeding over were quite frustrating.

Thankfully, she now had something to distract herself with in the form of Joel and a Miss Blackbane. The girls last name was actually extremely interesting for some reason. It felt familiar in some way, though she couldn’t quite place why. Regardless, there was now an introduction between them all, but they still didn’t know her name. As soon as she sat down she looked back and forth between the two curiously. Surely there would be now harm in sharing her full name to them. It was unlikely they’d know anything about her. “Mine name is Selina Shamandalie, ’tis a pleasure to meet thou.” She offered them both a slight bow of her head, and rested her eyes upon Joel upon hearing his request. “Nay, but I appreciate thy tender.” There was one thing that was surprising though. Joel seemed to think she was near the same age as Miss Blackbane. This was actually quite false. Even though she was very confused and alone, she knew that telling a human she was centuries old wouldn’t blow over so well. For now she would have to just go with his assumption of her youth.

 

Gene:  

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However long had gone by until Joel and Selina came to the booth was unknown by Ava; she had been too busy pondering on the current state of affairs. Though, the moment the two came over, Ava returned to reality and looked to them both. With Joel and Selina standing side by side, Selina’s height was really eemphasized she was small, very small and perhaps it was her height which gave Ava the impression of her being a young girl. Though, her mannerisms and the way she spoke told a whole other story. As Joel introduced herself, for her, Ava smiled.

“Please, call me Ava,” She added. As for Joel’s comment about them being around about the same age, based on her appearance Ava would say she was a few years younger. She decided not to mention it; Ava hadn’t realised Joel was trying to establish a common ground. Ava did want to ask Selina for her age, but it might have come off as an inappropriate question, so once again she kept her mouth shut.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you too, Selina,” Her surname was one Ava would expect in a history book.

Ava had no idea what to say. There were times when she was socially awkward around those her own age, however this time it was due to Selina’s attire and the way she spoke. How could someone pretend it was normal? Nevertheless, Ava decided she might as well try. It was clear that Joel was a few steps ahead, of Ava, when it came to accepting the girl and her differences.

“So, where do you come from?” She asked. Moments after asking the question, Ava realised that maybe she shouldn’t have asked the question. She had posed it in such a way that it’d make it clear Ava didn’t think she came from around here. Was it rude? No, it couldn’t be. Could it?

Her eyes flitted around the room. People were looking at them. Usually, people would only look at her because of who she was. Now, they were looking at her because of who she was with. Everyone was having their own conversation, though it was obvious which conversations were regarding Selina; they’d occasionally glance over as they spoke. Out of the corner of her eye, Ava saw a flash. She scanned the room for whoever it was, and saw someone – a male young adult to be precise. Had he taken a picture? If the picture was put on social media, then someone would recognise Ava. It’s not like she minded being seen with someone like Selina, however it was the fact she’d be seen in the Inner City. Her parents never liked it when she came here, especially on her own.

“Maybe we should go somewhere less,” She hesitated, thinking of the right word to use, “Crowded,”

 

Razorbackwriter:  

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Joel took the girl’s rejection of the offer of more food well; shrugging softly as it was no big deal. The young girl was so polite, and the way she kept up with the use of words from another era was impressive. But the more she spoke, the more that Joel realized that the girl was not from this place, and now he questioned if she even knew where she was. Her name was Selina Shamandalie, a pretty name by all accounts. The teacher had not come across that name before, and he glanced toward Ava to see if there was a look of recognition upon her face. Sadly, there was no way to tell, what Ava was thinking. She kept her replies light and curt – as though she didn’t know quite what to say. No wonder this girl was alone. She was seriously lacking in social skills.

“So, where do you come from?”

Joel watched on silently for a moment, to see what Selina would say. He was curious too, but then his eyes narrowed as he thought of a question of his own. “You should not be asking her where she is from….but rather…when, Miss Blackbane.”

The young teacher was staring at the delicate embroidery on the girl’s attire, and knew that there was no way that had been made by a seamstress of the modern age. All of it was hand stitched. The kind of clothing you would see in a museum display. Joel’s face lifted slightly and he again turned on the charm.

“This really isn’t the place to discuss such delicate matters. The walls have ears, along with some very nosy patrons.” He was right of course, since all eyes WERE on the trio. There was a sudden flash, like you would get from a smart phone or camera, and the young teacher growled under his breath. What ever happened to privacy? Joel’s patience was now at an end. Ava had already suggested that they go somewhere less crowded, and he couldn’t agree more.

“I think the best place to go would be the library.” Signalling to Ava to gather her things. “If that is alright with you, Miss Shamandalie.”

Joel stepped back and made for a clear path towards the exit.

 

~RB~

 

 

A darker shade of Crimson – BC

Scene setting : The Peach Cafe – Blood City.

co-written with Temp and Gene.

 

Temp:  Selina’s true self was quickly rising to the surface due to the thoughts running through her mind. From what her Grimoire had explained, it seemed as though her true self was suppressed during normal times. However, during times of high mental and emotionally stress that suppression faded. This was beginning to prove itself to be fact. Her fingers curled until her hands formed fists, and her teeth ground together in frustration. Her own kind was responsible for all this, right? Normal Witches. Scum. Scoundrels. Weaklings. Peasants. “Nay! I shall not submit to this fury!” The words were shouted seemingly out of nowhere and to nobody in particular. She had already drawn in quite a few looks due to the inquiry of the nearby woman, and now this little outburst would add upon it. Her cheeks ran red as she fully realized what she had shouted. There wasn’t much time for self loathing though, as the man from earlier had suddenly made his way to her side. He was close to her now, and giving her a very kind and helpful look. Her eyes soon locked onto his, and as they did, the bright blue of her eyes flashed a bright red. Whether or not this man realized it, he had managed to calm her down enough to drive her true self back. The eye color change was a signal of this, as her true self had bright red eyes instead of blue. Surely he would notice this change, but how would he react? It wasn’t something that she was concerned with. Instead of any further sadness or embarrassment, she took the mans hand very gently. “I happily accept thy tender. Once again, thou hast mine gramercy.” The man seemed to understand her more than anyone else, so surely he would know she was fine with his offer. If her words didn’t click, then her taking his hand more than likely would.

 

Gene:  

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Despite Joel’s sudden encouragement to ask her to join us, Ava was unable to. Her mind was too busy thinking of reasons why the girl would be upset. And, of course, asking if the girl was okay did not help at all. Ava instantly shied away, regretting what she had done.

“Nay! I shall not submit to this fury!”

The outburst took Ava by surprised, temporarily allowing Ava to stop wallowing in regret. It was evident Selina was angry, but the reason remained unclear. Was it because of the attention? Or was it because of Ava’s question? Ava began to say something, but stopped. An indescribable feeling churned in the depths of her stomach; what was it? It was excitement to discover the unknown. Admittedly, feeling such a thing at such a time wasn’t a good thing. There was some concern for the girl, but Ava primarily wanted to know more about her. Did she even come from Ozyrn? The fashion in a few Cities were very different, however Ava had little knowledge about them to calculate which City she’d come from. Furthermore, there was the dilemma of entering the City – unless you were high ranked in another City and were coming for whatever reason.

The suddenness of Joel’s action caused Ava to slightly jump; she wasn’t expecting Joel to interfere. She overheard him asking her to join. Now, a mixture of relief and embarrassment overcame her. Relief that Joel had jumped in and request that she join them and embarrassment that Ava was unable to do so; arguably, Ava had been distracted by whatever the girl was thinking, but for Ava it was still inexcusable. She managed a slight smile that the girl had calmed down, though one thing was clear: there would be talk in the City. Gossip had a way to spread across the City, like a disease. Ava was glad Selina had accepted Joel’s offer, but now her mind began to tick. She was almost certain the arrival of the ‘strange girl’ would be known; Ava had never seen her before in the City, however she could have been in Kayl or the lower Districts. Originally, Ava assumed the girl was cosplaying – perhaps she still was – but now, Ava wasn’t too sure. Either the girl was very good at it or something was wrong. Maybe it was Ava knowing the existence of magic which was causing her to overthink the situation, or even consider options a normal person may not. Still, Ava had no idea about the existence of the other Supernaturals or that the City was riddled with Witches; any conclusions about Selina would probably be far from true. If the girl was truly like this then… Ava didn’t want to think of it. The Council had a way to be paranoid – especially her father – and would investigate if she was a threat; Joel was right, people feared what they didn’t know. Rumours had it that people, in the past, had gone missing. The reasons why were unclear to Ava, but she could guess it was probably because they were a danger, in one way or another, to the City or challenged the status quo.

 

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The young girl’s sudden outburst tore through the cafe faster than wildfire, alarming many of the patrons at nearby booths and tables. It certainly took Joel by surprise, but he remained calm – not letting Selina see that it unsettled him. A sudden change in the girl’s tone showed she was losing control of herself in the face of the strangers around her. But what truly came off as weird, was how the girl’s eyes changed. From the softest blue to a daring red. Almost like her eyes were on fire. Was there another, more violent side to this girl? Or was she scared? To Joel it appeared to be a bit of both. She truly was alone, lost and confused by everything around her. This cemented what Joel had already begun to suspect. The young teacher didn’t waiver however, he was made of tougher stuff. The pair were almost locked in a staring competition. Joel gently holding the girl’s hand, until the storm passed and her eyes changed back to the pretty blue from before.

“I happily accept thy tender. Once again, thou hast mine gramercy.”

Joel smiled, but it was only a small one. Tender steps and care was needed in order to help this girl. He eased himself up into standing, and assisted the girl to move from the booth she was in, over to the one that Ava was at. Ava looked to be a million miles away. Clearly, she had a lot on her mind, or the girl was making her nervous.

“It would be rude of me not to make introductions, Miss. I am Mister Joel Martin, a teacher at the Acalo school.” Joel placed a gloved hand to his chest, before then turning his wrist and using his fingers to gesture towards Ava.

“And this is Miss Blackbane, a student. If I am not wrong, you both appear to be the same age.” This was Joel’s way of breaking the ice, or perhaps helping the girls find a common ground. The earlier incident would not be brought up again, unless of course Selina happened to mention it. Though with those rosy red cheeks, Selina may have been too shy to speak of it. She barely knew Joel or Ava for that matter. Joel continued to stand, so that Selina might sit. He kept a sharp eye on the rest of the cafe’s patrons. If any dared approach, he would gladly fend them off. The last thing the young girl needed was unwanted attention. Joel felt he needed to keep this under wraps. He wasn’t stupid. Joel knew that there were those in the city hierarchy that investigated those that were deemed to be….different.

“Can I get you another cup of tea? A sandwich perhaps.”

Joel wanted to find out more about this girl. His eyes darting to his weathered book. A book that had lived through the city’s troubled past.

~RB~

 

 

Little Girl Lost – BC.

 

Scene setting : The Peach Cafe – Blood City.

co-written with Temp and Gene.

 

Temp:  Well, at least there were still gentlemen in this time period. The mans sole satisfaction with her smile was flattering, and the words were more than welcomed. It was a nice change of pace from strange looks and mumbled words. Unfortunately, the girl near the man seemed to be unsure as to how she should interact with her. The very late wave was something she decided to forgive and let go, rather than find any kind of offense. Selina was different from everyone around her, that much she was beginning to understand. From what she had gathered so far, there had been quite a bit of advancement as far as the human race went, both in terms of society and intelligence. There was likely a great deal of learning that she had to do, at least if she wished to live among these humans. The alternative to adapting to this new urban environment was to live in the wilderness. There would be a great deal of room for experimentation and witchcraft, should she choose to partake in it. It would also mean that her Awakened form wouldn’t be able to cause any sort of disaster. Leaving was definitely the best option, no doubt about it. Surviving on her own wouldn’t prove very difficult, or at least she assumed so. Before she did anything she would have to speak with her Grimoire, who was currently being stubborn and keeping her mouth shut. For now, she could at least enjoy her time among these ‘modern’ humans. Who knows, maybe she’ll even learn something.

Presently, she was too busy focusing on the food in front of her to notice anything going on around her. Anyone staring or talking about her would go unnoticed, at least for now. The quality of the food was a massive improvement from what she could remember eating in the past, which was fantastic. She had always enjoyed sweet things, but these biscuits were simply amazing. The tea was also very good and really fresh, which was quite surprising. The advancements to cooking techniques were something she was very excited to experience. Eating in general was something she loved doing. Thankfully she had no reason to worry about her figure, a true miracle. “So much hath changed.” Speaking to herself was a common practice she took part in, though this time she was communicating with Tallulah, who still remained still and silent. Was the world view on magic another thing that had changed? There was no other reason for her to remain inactive than that, considering she was very talkative when the two were previously alone. The silence was beginning to make her feel a bit lonely and depressed. Which only helped make her realize that she really was completely alone. Not one person from her coven likely remained, even descendants were highly unlikely to be alive. “I wish I couldst return to mine slumber…” Why hadn’t she thought of this from the beginning? Maybe she was just trying to deny the facts. Either way, it was unsettling and very distressing. A tightening of her chest was beginning to develop, as well as a very clear look of dread that now painted itself upon her face. She was starting to feel unstable, which was not a good thing at all.

 

Gene:

 

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The kindness and politeness displayed by Joel, to the girl, did come to Ava’s attention. He was an interesting person – that was for sure. Ava almost wished she could do the same; quickly switch how she acted around certain people. It’d certainly be a useful skill.

When Joel explained why he helped her, Ava’s gaze flickered to the floor. He had a point; people feared the unknown. Even Ava did, especially when she first began to practice magic. However, her fascination and curiosity was sufficient enough to motivate her to continue. Ava looked towards the girl. She was eating, seemingly lost in her own thoughts. She only turned to face Joel when he posed the question. This brought about silence once more. Anyone would want help if they were lost and hungry; the answer was simple enough, but Ava knew that wasn’t the point. Even though everyone would say yes, it was ironic how they wouldn’t help someone else in that same position. Ava wasn’t brought up to be charitable and had hardly been exposed to the poverty within the City. It was the same reason why she read the newspaper: Ava wanted to learn the truth about the City. The City – or the world for that matter – wasn’t a utopia.

“I understand,” She nodded. Just talking to Joel was allowing Ava to learn new things and open her mind; well, he was a teacher after all, “Should we ask her to sit with us?”

Once again, Ava twisted in her seat to look at Selina. This time was different. A look of worry was on Selina’s face and Ava’s own expression began to mimic it. Was the girl alright? Come to think of it, Ava realised she appeared to be around the age where one wouldn’t expect her to be out, in the city, by herself.

“Are you okay?” Ava called to her. A few of the neighbouring booths and tables heard the question, Selina once again becoming their centre of focus. It wasn’t Ava’s intention to bring any more attention to Ava; she bit down on her lip, silently cursing herself for her stupidity.

 

Razorbackwriter:  

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Soft words said only to herself were casually overheard. Joel couldn’t help but hear what the girl in the next booth was saying. Though it was not directed to anyone in particular, it did give rise to clues about the girl’s circumstance, and this suddenly made the young teacher curious. A natural trait of one that always was seeking to learn more about the world and those around him. Though Joel had his back to the girl, he was becoming more aware of her plight with each passing second. For a moment he zoned out of the conversation with the young pupil opposite him. Ava’s gaze was now going past Joel towards the girl in the next booth. Had what he said awakened something in her? Perhaps Ava did understand that Joel was in fact giving her a lesson on morals. “I understand.” But did she really? Only time would tell.

“Should we ask her to sit with us?”

“I wasn’t planning on staying much longer, but if you insist.” Joel was being honest in that he had planned to head home to Orago district. That was until the girl behind them muttered that so much had changed. What could she have meant by that? The girl was dressed as though she had stepped out of a time machine – not that there were even such things in existence. Not in reality anyways. Joel’s ears peaked again, when he heard the following remark again aimed at no one. “I wish I couldst return to mine slumber…”

That was enough for Joel.

“Go on and ask then, Miss Blackbane.”

Joel shifted in the booth, so that he could make room for the girl if she should happen to join them once Ava asked. Ava’s face however showed concern, which had Joel glance back at the girl again. Indeed the young girl was deeply troubled. Her lips pouting – a very real sadness showed. The tea and biscuits may have helped stave off hunger, but it was not enough to take away the sorrow. Who was this girl…..and where did she come from? More importantly, now that Joel studied her garments more closely…..when?

“Are you okay?” Ava called, bringing about the focus again of the entire cafe upon the young girl sitting alone in the next booth. That was the last thing she needed. Joel decided on action. Sliding across and out of the booth, he took the few steps and crouched down so that the girl could stare directly into his somber grey eyes.

“Please Miss. Come join us. We might be able to help you.”

Whether or not Joel could help remained to be seen, as he didn’t know the truth about the girl. Not yet. Joel offered his hand to the girl for her to take. Such gentleness in his expression, where from earlier he looked at the waitresses so differently. The young teacher could change emotions as easily as blinking. He waited patiently for the girl’s response.

~RB~

“Thou hast mine gramercy” – BC.

Scene setting:  The Peach Cafe – Blood City.

co-written with Gene and Temp.

Temp:  What reason was there for all this hostility and confusion? Selina was very confused as to why her presence was causing such a disturbance. Nothing really made any sense until she heard how the other people around her were speaking. They all sounded so much more…simple, in comparison. Her eyes once more drooped down towards Tallulah as a frown developed on her face. “Has’t thee anything to sayeth?” Of course, not a single sound was heard from the cat plushy. Selina knew why her Grimoire wasn’t talking, or at least she thought she did, but she didn’t quite understand it. The one thing that stood out the most was that there was very little magic to be sensed around her. Perhaps her Grimoire thought that magic was frowned upon in this city. Whatever the reason may be, she figured it had to be serious. A small sigh escaped from her lips as she noticed that her desire for sustenance was not being fulfilled. Thankfully, she managed to acquire the attention of a nearby man who repeated her demands to the nearby servants. Much to her surprise, the workers seemed to reply immediately towards the man and quickly went about retrieving her desired items. Within a short period of time her request was granted, and placed in front of her by one of the women. Selina looked up at the server and smiled while giving her a light bow of her head. “Thou hast mine gramercy.” As soon as she had thanked the woman she went ahead and examined the tray that was in front of her. Everything looked wonderful and delicious, but she still had to thank the man before she got to her treat. “Gramercy also be to thou Sir, thy kindness is quite refreshing.” Much like she did towards the woman that served her, she once more bowed her head, but this time towards him. The girl near him received a very light wave, which was simply because she seemed to be a friend of the gentlemen who had assisted her. The girl had said something about her earlier, but she hadn’t understood the words at all. ‘Cosplaying’ didn’t make a single bit of sense to her, but she assumed it wasn’t some kind of horrible insult. It did bring about a fair bit of confusion though. Perhaps asking these people why they were treating her so strangely would be the best approach? Perhaps not. Instead, she decided to put her attention into the treats in front of her. Finally, something to eat and drink.

Gene:

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The clothing of Selina’s was interesting. Ava knew Joel was right; if this was merely an act, the girl had indeed put a lot of effort into it. Yes, her attire was odd, but the tailor – in this day and age – would have put time and effort into creating such a design. Her attention settled on the waitresses. Anyone not conforming to the social norm was always treated in such a way. This was more pronounced in the Vestro District, which gave way to gossip; then again, anything in the District sparked gossip. If it hadn’t been for Joel, perhaps the waitresses wouldn’t have served her. Temporarily, Ava turned to look at Joel, scanning for any sign of expression which would reveal his intentions for helping her out. There seemed to be none other than kindness, in Ava’s eyes. However, it was when Joel paid which struck Ava. The cost wasn’t much, but still such a thing was never common: another paying the bill for someone, especially if they didn’t know one another. She opened her mouth to say something, but quickly closed it. Ava returned to observe Selina. She wasn’t being subtle at all – just like she wasn’t being subtle when she had been observing Joel, prior to their conversation – but that could be because of her positioning in the café. Listening to the girl speak to the Waitresses, Ava couldn’t be sure what she was saying. Gramercy? The word caused one of Ava’s brows to rise. She had no clue what the word meant, let alone what was going on. After a few moments, Ava decided to go with the conclusion that Selina was thanking the waitresses. When Selina had waved to her, Ava recoiled, becoming aware others may notice her studying Selina. She looked behind her then back to Selina, placed a hand on her chest and furrowed her brow. The girl had waved at her. What might have been a bit too late, Ava returned the wave. “You were saying?” Remembering that she was sitting with Joel, Ava quickly recovered and returned to the conversation. She muttered a few apologies, shaking her head and regaining her composure. Ava fell silent, mulling over the fact he had paid for her. Even though the act might have seen simple to some, Ava wasn’t accustomed to seeing such a thing. “Why did you do that? Help her out?” Ava asked in a hush tone, not wishing for Selina to overhear. The only clue that Ava might be speaking to her were the occasional tilting of her head to view Selina, from the corner of her eye.

Razorbackwriter:

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The language used by the strange looking girl in the next booth left the waitress muted in surprise. The fact of the matter was, she simply didn’t understand what the girl said. It was of course repeated to Joel, who did understand. The word; gramercy for example was middle English broken down from old french if he wasn’t mistaken. It actually made the young teacher smile lightly to hear her use it – not just to the waitress, but also to Joel himself since he was the one who aided her in her plight. “Gramercy also be to thou Sir, thy kindness is quite refreshing.” “Think nothing of it, Miss. Your smile is thanks enough.” If that didn’t make Ava’s jaw drop, then nothing would. One minute, Joel could give a look that could chill a girl to the bone and then on the other hand he can be an absolute gentleman. It was odd to say the least. Joel chuckled when the young girl waved towards Ava, while still clutching her cat plushie tightly. Perhaps it was a source of comfort, as Joel noted that she had spoken to the soft toy twice since entering the cafe. The girl seemed harmless enough, even though she obviously was not from the city – or the surrounding districts for that matter. A light whisper from the other side of the table brought Joel’s head back around, and he listened to Ava ask just why he helped the girl out. Making sure she got her order, and paying for it as well. It was really second nature for Joel and he couldn’t see anything unusual in his actions. “People are often frightened of what they cannot understand. You saw how everyone gawked at the poor thing when she entered, yet she was no harm to anyone. The girl appeared lost and hungry. It was the least I could do. And look, now she is settled and thankful.” Joel was right about that. Naturally, he was still curious about why a girl was dressed so and speaking in an old tongue. But he also wanted to enjoy his coffee peacefully, so you could say he had an ulterior motive. Taking up the last part of his muffin and then popping it into his mouth, before chewing thoughtfully – Joel swallowed and added. “If you were lost and hungry in a strange place, would you not wish for a helping hand?” Joel was a strong believer in giving to those less fortunate, even though he himself did not have a lot to give. This came from his upbringing, when his Teacher told him that those with nothing often give what they can to others. Would Ava appreciate this for what it was? Or was she too high in the heel to even understand.   ~RB~  

Tea and Biscuits – BC.

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.

Gene:

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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.

Razorbackwriter:  

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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?”

~RB~

Who can it be now? – BC.

Scene setting – The Peach Cafe : BC.

co-written with Gene.

Gene:  

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Armed robbery leads to murder of cop . The title of the article had been stamped onto the page, its black font taking up at least ¼ of the page. To someone like Ava, it was certainly eye catching. Who didn’t love reading articles regarding murder and theft? Upon viewing the front page, which had too much exposure regarding a woman’s body, she instantly turned the paper – with some difficulty due to the size – and settled her eyes upon the crime-related article. There was plenty of gossip in the papers which were delivered to the Vestro District and not enough reality. Her attention fixated on the first paragraph, reading it then proceeding to re-read it, to let the contents sink in. Thankfully, the article was written in a neutral tone; the amount of bias in some newspapers was truly horrifying. Ava was entirely oblivious to her surroundings, though she occasionally took a sip of her drink.

“You’d find much more interesting reading material at the library, Miss.”

Her head raised upon hearing the man speak. She hadn’t anticipated that anyone would talk to her. Ava turned, looking for the one who spoke; however, he was already walking away to his booth. She opened her mouth to say something, but froze. As the man sat down, Ava peered at his features. It popped into her mind, that she knew him. From where? Ava was still figuring that part out. The man was attractive, but it was clear he was too old for Ava – not that she’d attempt anything anyway. Upon realizing she was being way too obvious as she observed the man, Ava quickly turned and looked back to her newspaper.

As if her mind were a cemetery, and the man a ghost, the fact that he was recognizable continued to haunt her mind. It was rare times like these, when Ava couldn’t place her finger on something, which she hated. Though, the state of mind only ever occurred to Ava when she was trying to remember a spell.

He was a teacher at her school. Her eyelids came together, and the sudden blackness obscuring her view was enough for her to recall the past. Martin, his name was, however Ava would have to refer to him as Mr Martin. Even though Ava wasn’t in any of his classes, nonetheless she remembered seeing him around school and hearing some chatter about him; all teachers were talked about at her school, something Ava never really liked to divulge in. Whenever hearing gossip or inadvertently being present whilst one was going on, she never liked to participate; it was clear if people could gossip about anyone, they’d certainly gossip about you.

Should she go say hi? Ava was unsure whether the teacher recognized her, or not. It was always peculiar to see teachers out of school; what was one meant to say? Address them as Sir/Miss or call them by their first names? What would you talk about? All these questions shrouded her mind. After around 5 minutes of debating what to do, Ava finally gained the courage and left her seat. As she headed over to the booth, nerves prickled her skin, yet her expression remained calm. Whilst it would have been a few seconds until Ava reached the booth, it felt as if minutes had gone by.

“I just wanted to say hi,” Ava smiled, her voice not betraying her jitters. “May I sit?” If the man said yes, Ava would proceed to slide into the booth, opposite him. However, if he said no, Ava would turn away and walk back to her seat, her cheeks reddening with embarrassment. If she had been granted permission, Ava would say, “I go to the Acalo school; I’m not sure if you know me,”

Razorbackwriter:  

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The background sounds merged into a light gaggle of chatting voices, with the hiss of the coffee machine and the steady beat of popular music that filtered through the wall mounted sound system. It was enough to make it easy to mull over the days events. Joel had been searching for the book in his possession for some time, and now that he had the opportunity in the privacy of the cafe booth, he planned to start his studies, over a quiet coffee and muffin. The script on the opened pages was one that he had learnt back in his youth. A kindly old man who lived above his parent’s apartment often gave him private lessons to help bolster his studies. Joel’s mind was cast back to the dimly lit room that smelt strongly of tobacco and mould.

“Persistence in your studies will lead you on a path to great wisdom.” The voice was now a ghost that often spoke to Joel in his dreams. Amazing how this man’s teachings had a profound affect upon Joel and now the day had come where he would use this knowledge to help him unlock what had been up until now a mystery. Joel wet his lips in anticipation, as he took out a small black leather book that was bound with a red ribbon. He picked at the fray edges and started to untie it – only to be interrupted by the clink of a coffee cup in a saucer, that was being set down on his table.

“Your coffee and muffin, Sir.” The young fresh face barista set down his cup and the small plate which had a warm muffin on top. This mild interruption had Joel pause, whilst the girl waited to see if there was anything else that Joel wanted.“Thank you.” His reply was curt, eyes narrowing as he waited for the girl to leave the table. He hated people that hovered over him. Unbeknownst to Joel, the girl found him attractive. She teetered on the spot and then smoothed out her frilly skirt with her hands. “Heh.” A little giggle escaping her lips. Perhaps she was used to being told how pretty she was. There was no mistaking that she was, but Joel wasn’t in the least bit attracted – or in the mood. Rolling his eyes, he reached for the UNO card and then handed it to the girl with a gruff rumble in his voice.

“Thank you.” Maybe now she got the message. The young waitress blinked back to reality. He really wasn’t interested in her. A small pout appeared and she turned on her toes and sped back to the counter – her cheeks aflame.

Now that he was alone once more, the young teacher picked up his coffee cup and proceeded to blow on the top of the froth. The heart shaped pattern started to blur, and Joel then took a small sip – only to hear another voice. What the hell was with women today? Joel’s eyebrows both piqued, his head turning slightly to see who it was.

“I just wanted to say hi,”

It was the young woman who had been reading the sad excuse for a newspaper. Joel set his coffee cup down in it’s saucer, and stared at the girl wordlessly. The pause was interrupted by the fair haired girl asking if she could sit. Joel would be the first to admit, that the girl was way too young for him. Horrid thoughts started to filter through his mind until her face jolted a memory from the Acalo school. SHE WAS A STUDENT. Joel’s eyes closed as he raised two fingers to pinch the bridge of his nose. He realized that this was of course his fault. He HAD to go and make that remark about the newspaper. Letting out a sigh of resignation, Joel gestured with his hand towards the empty seat in the booth. Again, his tendencies towards being a gentleman rose to the fore. Staring at the girl through pale blue lenses, he listened to the girl introduce herself – though not by name.

“I go to the Acalo school; I’m not sure if you know me,” The girl’s cheeks were now a deep shade of red. Joel took this as embarrassment at being so bold to approach a teacher in a public place. Slowly, Joel closed the weathered old book in front of him and then pushed it aside with the brush of his hand. He then reached for his small black book and dropped it back in his bag. The girl was known to him. From one of the more influential families. It was easy to tell by the way that she dressed, so unlike the girls where he lived. Amazing the differences in style to those that could afford it and those who couldn’t. Finally, Joel decided to speak.

“Of course, Miss Blackbane.” Yes, he did know her name. Joel’s glasses slid gently down the bridge of his nose allowing the haunting grey of his eyes to be seen. Dark pupils dilated momentarily as he observed the girl. She wasn’t just a pretty young thing, but she was exquisite. Unique in fact. “We have crossed paths on occasion at the school, but as yet you are in none of my classes.” The young teacher idly tore off a piece of his blueberry muffin and then popped it into his mouth. This whole scenario was unusual. A teacher having coffee with a student and one that he did not have in his class, would make gossip mongers salivate. Joel eased himself back into the leather of the booth seat and remained calm and in control. Now it was his turn to be inquisitive.

“I imagined a girl like you would travel in a pack.” Insinuating that she was the type of girl that had a close knit circle of friends. Odd how girls liked to do that. Joel had always been a loner often enjoying his own company. Joel’s lips carried the ghost of a smile as he waited to see how she would react. He absently drummed his long fingers on the wood of the table as he waited for her to speak.

~RB~

The Peach Cafe – BC.

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Location is displayed by the symbol: https://i2.wp.com/i62.tinypic.com/14nmcyq.png

The Peach Cafe is famous for many things: their milkshakes, drinks, and beautiful women who work for them. It is a great place to come and chat with your friends and usually ads are posted here (if you are looking for a job etc).

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Scene setting – The Peach Cafe : Blood City Series.

co-written with Gene.

Gene:

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Ever since her meeting with Hiram and Lilly ended, Ava had returned to the stalls and continued her little shopping spree. A few items caught her attention, but she was mainly proud with the necklace she wore. There was something appealing about it; it was simple, yet complex at the same time. It possessed the perfect kind of modesty, one that would go with any attire. She might have spent an hour or two zigzagging from stall to stall. Saturday was typically the market day and one of her favourite days. It wasn’t that she was looking for something to buy – although it’s obvious if she liked something, she’d definitely purchase it – but simply looking at the products each market had was interesting; Ava enjoyed asking the specifics about some of the products: where they came from, how were they transported, with what materials were they made? Indeed, they were odd questions to ask, however the owners didn’t seem to mind.

After her adventures in the market, Ava moved on to shops. She entered each store empty handed and left the same way; at home she had enough, so why would she have any need to buy more? Ava was more than content and so felt no need to buy unnecessary items, whilst others in the Vestro District were known to go overboard when they went shopping. There were shops in the Vestro District – this was so the upper class would have no need to enter the Inner City and mix with the lower classes – but they only sold what one might call ‘high classed items’. It was a bore to always see such glamorous items. Plus, at times Ava felt the need to escape the upper class.

Now, it was the afternoon. How long had it been since Ava entered the Inner City? A few hours. Maybe 3 or 4. Either way, she came to the Peach Cafe; it was busy as always, yet so calm at the same time. After ordering a warm drink, she took a seat near the window, reading a newspaper. In the Vestro District, newspapers were different; they never disclosed the amount of crime going on in the City, however there was plenty of gossip. Her eyes remained fixated on the newspaper, finding it deeply – and perhaps worryingly – interesting how un-perfect the City truly was.

Razorbackwriter:  

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Introduction of Joel Martin.

Gently blowing smoke out from between his parted lips, Joel stood just outside the Peach cafe – finishing off the last of his cigarette as it was against policy to allow smoking in the coffee establishment. Joel closed his eyes and with a light tilt of his head, he took one last drag before pinching the remaining part of the cigarette and then letting it drop to the pavement; where he used the tip of his boot to crush the stub into nothing. He could of dropped it into the rubbish bin, but preferred this method. A light shake of his shoulders, and he pushed himself forward from the lamp post; his grey eyes cast now towards the entrance to the Cafe. Already there was quite a crowd, but it was not bustling – nor was there much of a line up to be served. With an almost bored expression, Joel sauntered towards the door – only stopping to open the door for an elderly woman who had made it to the entrance before him. He reached out and let his slender digits clasp the bronze handle, pulling the door back almost effortlessly. The woman, whose head scarf covered much of her hair and obscured her face thanked Joel with a gentle tone, to which Joel merely nodded his head. If there was one thing his father taught him it was to respect his elders. It cost nothing to be a gentleman in what was a changing world. Respect for the elders of the community was on a down turn, as the current generation were all too transfixed by technological devices to even pay attention to people that they dined with.

Once the elderly woman was safely through the door, Joel followed and allowed the door to close on its own as he surveyed the interior of the Peach cafe. The atmosphere had a warmth to it – be that from the scent of the roasted coffee beans, or the tender smiles of the waitresses. The manager always found good looking girls to serve his customers, and being served by a pretty face was welcoming. Not that Joel was really bothered about being overtly friendly with the waitresses. They were there to do a job – provide a service, which they did well.

Taking up a menu as he waited to be served, Joel happened to notice a fair haired woman seated by one of the window booths. In her hand she was reading the city newspaper. The young man tapped the menu against his left open palm, not even bothering to open it, while his ghost grey eyes locked onto the cover story on the front of the newspaper. Joel’s lips thinned as he noted that the news of the day was about some B grade celebrities buttocks. Really, couldn’t they put something actually considered news on the front page? Joel’s concentration was only broken by the sing song voice of the barista.

“Sir, would you like to order?”

A petite blonde girl with pink satin ties pulling up her hair into pig tails smiled brightly, as she clutched her pen in readiness. Joel exhaled sharply through his nostrils, placing back the menu in the stainless steel stand.

“Flat white in a mug, and a blueberry muffin please.”

The girl scribbled down the order and then tapped the keys on the register before announcing that Joel’s order came to nine dollars. Joel’s right brow crept up slowly – as he was somewhat surprised by the cost. Had prices gone up that much in recent weeks that you were paying nearly ten dollars just for a coffee and muffin. The young man smacked his lips together in indignation, and produced a ten dollar note; before telling the girl to keep the change as a tip. It wasn’t much of a tip, but the girl hid her disappointment well.

Taking his table number which was actually a UNO card, Joel strolled towards his favorite booth, but not before making a passing remark to the blonde haired woman that was reading the newspaper.

“You’d find much more interesting reading material at the library, Miss.”

Joel ran his fingers through his sandy locks which were unruly; much like the man himself. Without bothering to introduce himself, or even wait for her reply; Joel continued to his own booth. Sitting down, he took out his brown leather satchel and started to undo the flap. He slowly reached into the aging leather and withdrew an old book. Tattered and worn with yellowing pages. Joel tossed the satchel onto the booth seat beside him and then flipped open the cover to start to read as he waited for his coffee and muffin.

~RB~