Kingdom of Alteria : Tourist District (2) – Shattered Dimensions.

 

Razorbackwriter:  

Kingdom of Alteria : Tourist District

“We shall.”

With the speed of her movement to wind her arm around Grant’s elbow and bring herself closer to him, Kasumi managed to again take the young man by surprise. He couldn’t help but stare down at her as she moved in so close. This must have been a cultural thing, for you don’t normally take the arm of a stranger. Grant certainly wasn’t used to it. But, he quickly regained his composure and began to escort the kitsune through the busy crowds towards one of the conventions restaurants, called “The Jolly Jumbuck.” A funny name but it was based on an old poem and had a large picture of a sheep that was baaing, illuminated in neon. It was an all you could eat restaurant, though that did have a fine print clause that you didn’t eat so much that you exploded.

Going up to the front counter, Grant asked for a table for two. The young pimply faced young man wearing the paper hat and cheerful smile handed Grant a tray with two plates, cutlery and two cups. “Go down to table 12 and we shall bring you out the complimentary break sticks.”

Thanking the young man, Grant tried to carry the tray, with Kasumi still threaded on his arm. Naturally, many of the customers were watching the pair come in, a few were whispering – much of it was about how cute Kasumi was. One young boy was egging to pull her tail. Children…

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Finding their table, they were seated close to where the long buffet bar was. A virtually smorgasbord of delights with hot and cold dishes, salads, all kinds of roasts, soups, pastas and of course a massive desert buffet with a ice cream vending machine. The variety of scents and smells were enough to make you salivate, and already there was something of a line up by the hungry patrons.

Pulling out a chair for Kasumi, after setting down his plate, Grant asked.

“Would you like me to get you a drink, while you go fill up a plate?’

~RB~

 

Kiri:  

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Kasumi was actually entirely used to doing this, she had even done it with her brother… ahem. Father. Kasumi had to shake that subject out of her head, considering it was a slightly taboo… subject. She had done this with her father of course, but with her brother having gone missing long ago, she never talked about him. Nor did the rest of the family. Her only family left was him, if he was even alive. But anyway, not the point here. Typically, this wouldn’t be completely customary, in fact it was a bit different than what most would’ve done. Normally, in a country like the one Kasumi’s family hailed from, this might have been slightly rude to a stranger, however new places require amendments. Hence why Kasumi had a tendency to . . . do this. Once they had entered the restaurant, Kasumi almost immediately began to feel overwhelmed. She grew up for a hundred years as a fox for crying out loud, and even then her family was more traditional in the end. Her ears continued to flick, honestly avoiding saying anything about the whispers she easily picked up as though she was whispering with them. She didn’t see the young boy who was wanting to pull her tail, and if she had she would’ve pulled her tail out of his reach in an instant. Luckily they got seated soon though, which made things a lot better.

Kasumi looked at Grant with a smile, nodding at his question quietly. Normally she’d do it on her own, but it wasn’t polite to refuse a request from a gentleman.

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“Thank you, mister Taylor. I will take you up on that.”

Perhaps she seemed fairly out of place talking the way she did, but that was how she was raised. It was a bit abnormal, but her family had come from an older era than most. Feudal Japan wasn’t the kindest back then, and it was strict on rules as much as it was pride and honor. Two things Kasumi took seriously. She didn’t take long to really get everything together, going after the things she knew she could stomach, which meant a lot of meatier products. She did have a canine’s internal system after-all, corn and things like that didn’t agree as much. Even with a more human body, it didn’t always agree. Depended on what it was. Once she’d gotten to the table again, she sat and waited on Grant, letting him return before she started. Politely, and patiently. She’d embarrassed him enough for one day.

 

Razorbackwriter:  

Kingdom of Alteria : Tourist District

There were so many different types of food to try in this amazing little buffet restaurant. Grant had taken the liberty of getting Kasumi a drink from the beverage bar, and brought it back over to their table. It was as he was setting down the glasses, that there was a god awful blast of light, much like lightning smashing into the earth right outside the restaurant. It was enough to rattle the very panes of glass within the window frames and brought about attention from waitresses and patrons alike.

“Woah!” the young man was shocked by the sudden blast of light and even put his hand up to shield his eyes. What on earth could have caused such a thing? Taking a peek past one of the waitresses, he saw the arrival of a very large being decked head to toe in armor. Exquisitely made and so shiny. Wow, this convention went all out with who they invited. The pyrotechnics were amazing. Yes, Grant thought this was part of some Hollywood like show to give the convention goers a thrill. Had Grant known who it REALLY was, well, he never would have believed it.

“That must have taken a month of Sunday’s to make. Wow, I wonder if he works with the costume department at Burkett Studios?” So many questions and Grant couldn’t help but continue to marvel the armored man, as he entered the restaurant. The patrons parted like the red sea to let the man through where he was followed to his table by another man. Both had weapons on. Holy cow! Grant was a little awe struck by the whole thing. He had completely forgotten about Kasumi.

“Sorry I got so carried away. So, fancy some soup…or maybe you might want to take your pick of the salad bar?” He was not entirely sure what Kitsunes ate.

~RB~

 

Fu:  Rooftop Nearby

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-The male once more appeared , this time above a rooftop while gazing off into the distance . His mind and his posture had showed that he was here on a mission , not a simple traveler yet he did look like one . The male pointed his head upwards at the sky towards the white sphere ; Celestia as if being before God’s very presence. He kept his gaze up towards the sphere while his hands weaved in a pendulum-like pattern.-

” With my eyes I percieve the potential in your irregularity , with my brain I can imagine the possibilities , with my hands I will sculpt the path for you to take , with my heart I shall give birth to this new deceit . Come forth , Abyssmal Core

– A large rumbling sound could be heard by all and all shaken from the tremors , regardless of distance within Alteria . A Dungeon appeared within the walls , but only Grant could sense this place directly and get there without any trouble. As if a link was established. The dungeon was located in the fields between the palace and the rest of the city , but it was shrouded in a dark mist. –

? ? ? ” Come………. Come find me……….. It is your destiny to make me yours. ”

– The Purple haired male would smirk and walk away before uttering out a phrase once more before leaving the area .-

”And with that , the stage is set. The world is your stage , so get out there.”

Second Dungeon : ” Abyssmal Core ” Unlocked

What is love? – GS.

Tattoos that tell a story.  Frank learns more about his friend, Isolde.

Scene setting :  Jax’s Coffee House – GS.

Co-written with Chor.

Chor: Isolde nodded her head, thinking of low, low times in her life. Isolde just happened to be in the right place at the right time to save Frank, but Isolde had no one but Khalil, who practically dragged the ambulance to her apartment. The kid knew she wasn’t right and he saw where she was headed, but if he had been just ten minutes later, it would have been too late. His hand came to rest over hers and she looked at it, goosebumps crawling up her sleeved arm , over her clavicle and up her neck, where the baby hairs in the back raised. His thumb caressed her hand as he took it into his. She focused a bit, making sure he didn’t flip the hand over; view the wrist. Suddenly, he withdrew, and she looked up at the waitress, blinking.

Finally, her meal arrived and she pulled her napkin into her lap; wouldn’t want to ruin such lovely shorts with a blackberry stain. Frank’s meal had not yet arrived and she refused to eat, despite his urgings about it ‘getting cold’. Patience is a virtue. Her mother would have rolled in her grave if she’d begun eating. The thought made her grin. She poured a little cream in her coffee, then a literal ton of sugar. She liked coffee’s effects, but not the taste. She drank a lot of coffee as a youngster, but only because her family couldn’t afford it for years until the market went down, so then they drank it religiously.

In my family, we do not eat until everyone has been served,” she said politely, not wanting to make Frank upset because clearly he was just trying to make her happy. Isa appreciated this fully; it was more than anyone else ever tried to do. He mentioned the tattoos then and her face changed. She’d totally forgotten, wrapped up in her outfit of something that wasn’t quite choice.

“Ah, well. If I had a shirt on under this, I’d likely pull this off to show you, but you’ve seen quite a bit of it already,” she said, rubbing her neck, “but it’s a poem in Hebrew:

In the merciful time, at twilight,
Bow your head and I’ll reveal,
the secret of my torments:
They say there is youth in the world-
Where is my youth?

And another secret I will confess:
My soul has been seared by a flame;
They say there is love in the world-
What is love?”

Razorbackwriter:  Watching Isa as she mentioned that in her family it was tradition to wait until all plates were on the table had Frank taken off guard slightly. He honestly thought that he was being polite in asking her to go ahead and start. Thankfully, one of the waitresses brought over Frank’s order – placing the eggs benedict down before him as he whipped a napkin out from under his cutlery and draped it across his lap. Well, I have mine now so..”

Conversation went back onto the strange markings that ran up and down Isa’s legs. She mentioned that had it not been for the fact she was only wearing the hoody as a top, that she could show him the extent of the markings. Truth be told, he got a good eyeful back at the apartment when she was hunting for a towel. Frank toyed with his fork as he listened to the poem, which is what the markings represented in hebrew. This was the first that Frank had ever heard of someone having an entire poem tattooed on their body. Made a change from the usual fare, of flowers, butterflies and ex girlfriend’s names.

Cutting into his toast and then dipping it into the holanaise sauce, Frank nodded as he was deeply impressed. “Must have been hell getting it done.” Frank clearly was not a fan of the tattooist needle. He then popped the toast into his mouth and chewed heartily – thankfully with his mouth closed. Frank had excellent table manners around the ladies. With the guys, well that was another story.

“You know, Tommy Elissa and me were here just the other night. Mhm. We were running on adrenaline, I can tell you.”This was before the shooting….right before. Funny how Frank had ended back there again for breakfast. To be honest, Frank didn’t mind. His cooking left a lot to be desired, plus his pantry was not exactly packed with choice ingredients. Like many it was simply easier and more enjoyable to eat out.

Frank took another mouthful, this time with egg and bacon on his fork. You could tell he had an appetite, but still tried to make interesting conversation. Placing down his cutlery, he reached for his cup of coffee and then took a sip. Amazing how coffee just perked him right up.

“So what do you do…for fun? Away from the lab, I mean.”

And here come the questions.

~RB~

Chor:  Oh, gute,” she said, her ‘gute’ a sort of German-American mixture of the word. Old habits die hard.

Isolde smiled at Frank, lifting her own cutlery to cut her crepe as he settled the napkin upon his lap. The first bite was utter euphoria and Isa’s mouth and stomach reveled that finally she was eating real, delicious, and nutritious food. Truth be told, the last time she’d had crepes was the morning before Claura’s disappearance. She’d sung silly tines their grandmother taught them as she cooked the German crepes and wrapped in them the redcurrant jam. Isolde used to remember that as the last happy day she’d ever have. Of course, who could have predicted that yesterday could have changed her so fully. She took another bite as Frank went on about the tattoo. A shrug moved in her shoulders. It wasn’t painful to her, who has a pretty high pain tolerance; and in fact -though she won’t likely ever admit it- she actually enjoyed it. She felt as if she deserved the pain.

At the mention of Tommy – that must be the reporter- and Elissa – who must be the woman- Isa again wondered if they were alright. Frank really ought to call his friends back. He surprised her then, with a question about what she did outside of the lab. This was going to be an awkward answer, since all she truly did was work in the lab, then take cat naps and eat vending machine food. She should tell him about before her small, abysmal life began.

Well, I’ve really been lacking there lately, but I’m also employed at the American Museum of Natural History in the Forensic Anthropology department. I used to do studies, demonstrations, and tours and all that. Mainly. I did a lot of casework, working on specific bodies we’d get in. I also used to play in the symphony. Strings; cello mostly, but a little violin or viola occasionally. I mean, I’m no master at it, so second seat was pretty exciting for me. Before…I used to ride horses often. There’s something about them that’s so elegant and just altogether they’re just magnificent beasts to interact with.

That was the end of her spiel. She didn’t really do much aside from work after school started. She figured she had to dive head first to pay off her loans, but as soon as that was done she still remained deeply buried into the workplaces. Her friends from school all lived close and they would often meet to hang out, but after Claura she pretty much dropped everything.

Razorbackwriter;  Some of us find it hard to get time to have any kind of life outside our working hours. Frank’s used to revolve around his son, but of course when his ex took him away that left Frank with little to do but drink and spend his waking hours at home studying the wall. The wall being the one in his home office with the trails to nowhere on Rory’s death. Some nights he wouldn’t even sleep. Just sitting in his old leather chair and rock back and forth slowly. His mind going over that night again and again till the first rays of light would filter through to the office. Not much of an existence.

Frank ate heartily as Isa told him all of her life away from work which was a darn sight more interesting then his own story. Nodding at appropriate times and only placing his cutlery down to replace them with his cup of coffee, he was genuinely interested. She was also employed at the American museum of Natural History A role that Frank was sure was of some importance. Is was also into music. Playing the cello – as well as a little violin. Frank smiled at the mention that she was second seat in the symphony, which meant she must be good.

The last part however brought a big smile from Frank, she used to ride horses. Why you might wonder this brought such a reaction was due to the fact it triggered a memory of just how much his ex hated them. Whenever there was a parade and the police horses came along, his ex put on such a performance it was a wonder people didn’t throw down money in front of her. Drama Queen.

“I couldn’t agree more. Majestic and beautiful creatures. I haven’t ridden though since my teens. My parents used to send me out to the Grandparents farm some holidays and that is where I learnt to ride.” Course he couldn’t go near horses after Missy reacted to them so badly. Much to his Grandparents disappointment. He hadn’t been able to go visit with his son, thanks to Missy. How he hated the woman.

Frank placed his cutlery down on his cleaned plate with a clink, before picking up his napkin and dabbing his lips.

“I enjoyed that. You know, you are a very interesting woman, Isa. You’d make quite the catch. If only I had a net.” At this he laughed at his own poor joke. Such a sad sack.

“Enjoying those crepes?”

~RB~

 

 

Old Scars – GS.

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Breakfast is always better when someone else makes it.  Frank and Isa are about to enjoy the delights of Jax’s Coffee house.

Scene setting : Jax’s Coffee House.

Co-written with Chor.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Pulling the door open for Isa, Frank peeked inside to see how bad the crowd was this morning. Thankfully, Jax’s was about half full which meant that they would easily get a table and the wait would not be all that long. Following Isa in, Frank stared down at those white shorts. The tell tale showing of Isa’s panties, which Frank had seen earlier gave the detective reason to smile. He had acted like a total goof when she emerged from the bathroom looking for towels. Thankfully, Frank felt that Isa would have forgotten about all that by now. The welcoming aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans invigorating the senses.

Seeing a table free, Frank ushered Isa towards it and then pulled out a chair for her, just as you would expect a gentleman to do. “This is so much better than sharing a bowl of cornflakes and stale milk at my place.” Waiting for Isa to get comfortable, Frank moved to the opposite side of the table and took a chair, reaching for the menu. He knew one thing. Frank needed a large cup of coffee, and then he would see what took his fancy on the menu.

On the way over, the conversation had been light. Mainly about how his little boy loved to play soccer on Saturdays. Much of the time, Frank was working, so he had missed many of his son’s matches – much to his own disappointment. In all honesty, Frank didn’t feel like he had been a great father to his son. So much of his important milestones had been missed, and all because of the job. It made him wonder if having kids was such a good idea in the first place, but his son was an accident. Do you tell your child such a thing? No. Well, you shouldn’t. Frank tried to hide the sadness of how he missed his little boy, but his ex had made sure that Frank would never get custody or visitation. All Frank had was a handful of photographs, and one small soccer shirt. Maybe one day, when his son was old enough he would seek Frank out. Or would it be too late? Missy had remarried and the guy was a writer with plenty of time at home to be there for Frank’s son. How easy it was to be replaced.

Taking up the menu, Frank held it up and whistled.

“Eggs Benedict. My favorite.” Frank had already made up his mind.

“See anything you fancy?” This was asked as a waitress approached their table, tablet in hand ready to take their order.

~RB~

 

Chor:  Isolde was a little hesitant to enter the restaurant, because just in stepping from the cab she’d already had enough looks – mostly at her backside- for the morning. The woman braved it, though, and allowed Frank to kindly open the door for her to enter. Her escort immediately found them a table and gladly sat down in the chair he’d retrieved. The whole place was aflutter with quiet chatter and Isa caught conversations here and there. She was not really listening in, but when the ebb and flow of the words came like a wave; there was only one conversation left to hear and she couldn’t do anything to stop it. Isa had barely even glanced at the menu, but had mostly made her mind up on the way that she would have waffles.

Be careful what you wish for: I survived my childhood eating muesli every day,” Isa joked, though it was true. In the dark, quiet mornings as her family sat around the worn wooden table eating their typical German breakfast, Isa would have killed for cornflakes. The thought of that made a smile curve her lips. Suddenly, Isa’s eyes caught something on the menu. Crepes. Oh god, that was it. Her waffle-filled morning had come to an end. It would be crepes with black berry jam and she decided this all before Frank even uttered a word. When the waitress appeared, she looked to her with a light smile.

guten Morgen,” she said, then closed her menu and placed it to the side, “I’ll have the crepes, with blackberry jam…or preserves, whichever you’ve got? And coffee; one cream and…well, I suppose if you can bring me the sugar it’ll be easier.

 

Razorbackwriter:  It was nice to listen to Isa speak with that slight accent that Frank had not really picked up on before. Easing back in his chair, as he went over the menu he only lifted his eyes away from it to watch Isa give her over to the barista. “No waffles?’ Frank was a little surprised that Isa had changed her mind so quickly, but obviously she preferred the idea of crepes that morning instead, now that she saw the full range of breakfasts offered on the menu. The waitress took down both their orders and spun on her heel – quickly away to go and get their breakfasts started. Frank had to admit, the service was great. Placing the menu back in the holder, Frank couldn’t help but say something about those white shorts.

“Amazing how you are the same size as my ex. Those shorts are pretty…uhm…”Thankfully he stopped himself before he made a massive gaff. “….nice.” He let out an loud exhale of breathe followed by a smile as he decided to change tact. “You really stuck your neck out for me, you know. The Commander has probably been at the station all night.” The meaning behind this statement was that Commander Bracks was probably destroying her computer files and anything incriminating on it. It was a fair bet that he had people that owed him favors around the office. Some people got promotions that they didn’t earn. Not by performance results, anyways. It was troubling, to say the least.

Remembering his cellphone, he took it out from his pocket and then placed it on the table in front of him. “Tommy messaged me. Sounded mad as fuck.” Frank ticked his head a little to the left, remembering what state he had been in the night before. Frank toyed with the phone for a moment, almost too nervous to call Tommy back.

“I really do owe you one, Isa. You pretty much saved my life.”

Did she understand the gravity of his words? Truth be told though. Frank was not out of the woods yet. There were people out there with objectives. Dishonest and clever people. Frank was a pawn that many wanted seen taken off the board.

~RB~

 

Chor:  Isolde wiggled in her chair. Funny he should mention the shorts; they weren’t the same size, as Isa’s hips definitely did not lie about how these white atrocities were, but enough where she wasn’t bursting at the seams.

Nice isn’t the word I’d use, but ja, they’re…int’resting, to say the least.

The way he said it though, she knew he’d jsut stopped himself from saying something very, very different. The way he attempted to change the subject had her laughing on the inside, then what he said had her truly laughing. Bracks? Do work?

Yeah, that’s not likely. That fat pig probably slept like a baby with his new wife while his dirty lackeys did his job for him…” Isa nearly spat, just thinking about the Commander putting her off a bit. She had a particular bone to pick with that man, and not just because of the situation with Frank or just his shitty human being status in general. There was far more history between the two that Isa hadn’t divulged on yet. She’d hoped she’d never have to, but eventually someone has to know. Especially now that Claura’s files have gone missing. Isolde rubbed her leg where a few symbols could be seen, sighing. So much to do, yet she just wanted to enjoy the happiness she was truly feeling here with Frank. She could only imagine the sight of her office, her lab, maybe even her apartment? At the mention of Frank’s friends, Isa felt guilty for forgetting about them. The poor woman who’d been shot and the other man…the reporter? She hoped they fared well. Isolde was caught off guard by Frank’s words and the utter sincerity of them. Blinking, she looked to his eyes.

I was only doing what I wish someone had done for me,” she said a little sheepishly. Old scars, reminders of those days when she hadn’t had anyone to tell her that it would be okay, burned on her wrists.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Isa’s laughter was infectious and of course the way that she described Commander Bracks had chuckle. Frank would have laughed a bit louder save for the fact that what Isa said was pretty spot on. He was a disgusting pig of a man, and you had to feel sorry for the woman that he went home to at night. There was just something not quite right about the man. Frank couldn’t quite put his finger on it, but Bracks had a sinister streak. The kind of guy that gained pleasure from torturing animals. Just the mental picture of him sleeping as Isa said made Frank shudder. Frank tapped the table twice with his open palm and then said “Enough about him, okay? Wouldn’t want to ruin your breakfast.” Yes, a change in conversation was a top idea and of course when Frank had said that he was grateful for Isa for everything she had done for him, he softened when she said that she was doing what she had hoped someone had done for her.“Really?”

Frank’s brow knitted slightly as he reached across the table to take her hand. He remembered her placing down a white rose as a symbol for the one she lost – Claura. That was her name, Frank thought. Frank’s thumb moved delicately across the top of Isa’s hand as he was about to ask about Claura, when the waitress brought over the crepes with blackberry jam as well as some cutlery. It sure did look good. Frank knew it was time to pull his hand away. “Don’t want it getting cold, now.” A simple nod and he gestured for her to eat as he waited for his meal to be brought out. A cup of coffee was placed down and filled by the barista and he thanked her kindly, before looking back at Isa.

“This is nice.” Frank, the King of small talk. If he could though, Frank could talk underwater when the mood was right. In this instance, the detective was wanting to ensure that Isolde enjoyed her breakfast. He took up his coffee cup and blew on it gently, then took a sip before placing the cup back down in the saucer with a gentle clink.

“You never did tell me about those tattoos.”

~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~

Turkish delight – SS

Scene setting – Park

co-written with Krystal.

 

Krystal:  Maya nodded to the woman, taking note to call her as such, and when she winked at her, Maya smiled, though still feeling a little uncomfortable. “It is quite luxurious… It must be wonderful to be able to travel like this around the Kingdoms,” Maya said, clasping her hands together on her lap. Her nails were painted black, also, and were at a nice length. She raised a hand to touch the tassles on the window beside her. They felt very soft.

Seeing Domi move out of the corner of her eye, she saw the box and it’s contents. Maya took it in her hands, looking at all the different sweets. She bit her lips, and not wanting to be rude to someone who was so kind to offer them a ride, she took one and popped it inside her mouth, chewing with her mouth closed. It tasted wonderful.

Allister had stayed straightened up and sat properly after Maya corrected him. He was good like that, especially when he knew he was in trouble. After taking his eyes off of Domi’s bosom, he cleared his throat and moved some hair out of his face. He took the flask and smiled, his face still blazing from already being drunk. He flipped it open and took a swig before closing it and replying to her about her question. “Y-yeah, Lady Gabriel finally killed off that bastard Belial, finally… She’s the new Princess of Wraath,” he slurred.

Maya swallowed her Turkish delight after closing the box. “That’s right… Prince Belial is dead, and a new Princess has risen,” Maya repeated. “We saw the fight end. Princes Leviathan and Astaroth were also present.” Maya didn’t seem emotionally phased by this, but she did seem interested.

 

Razorbackwriter:  The carriage jostled along on the cobble stone path that weaved its way through the park with its occupants now enjoying themselves on the gifts of confectionery and alcohol that Lydia provided. These were more than just gifts, but a polite way of making Allister and Maya feel comfortable and relaxed in Lydia’s company. A demon with high ambitions always knows how to groom her targets or new friends to help get a leg up, so to speak.

Lydia’s gloved hand toyed with one of the nearest tassles, while she smiled at Maya’s comment that it was wonderful to be able to travel this way around the kingdom. “Beats walking any day. And nothing compares to the reception one gets at the castles of the Princes. You get treated like royalty by the staff. Not that I am royal mind you. I just love the way they live.” Lydia brought her hands together to be placed neatly in her lap – her eyes twinkling at the very thought of the juicy tales that this pair might know. Of course, when asked if there had been a death that eve; as Lydia had come to believe, she was rewarded with both offering information that one of the Princes had fallen to the blade of another. And not just any other. Lady Gabriel.

Lydia took out a black fan and snapped it open – flitting it furiously as she drew in a sharp breath feigning shock.

“Oh…my goodness! Belial lost his head….to a girl?” It was sensational as it was scandalous. Maya backed up her companion’s statement adding that they saw the fight and that two other princes were present. Prince Leviathan and Prince Astaroth. Lydia’s jaw dropped even further. Mammon was going to want to hear this…if he hadn’t already. Lydia could almost imagine the Prince’s reaction to such news. A Princess of Hell. What a treat.

“Such ambition the girl must have. I must say I am impressed.” Lydia added, forgetting herself for a moment, since she was of course the Demon of Ambition. Lydia didn’t normally have to resort to violence in order to get what she wanted, but this news shone a new light on just how a girl could rise to greatness in Hell.

“So how is it you both escaped the scene unscathed? Are you both blessed with good fortune, or was it just luck?”

 

~RB~