Ota General Hospital : Part Two – TG.

Sunny the nurse has walked in on a fight between an investigator and a suspected ghoul, right on the top floor of the Ota General Hospital.  Will the nurse flee, or stay for the show?

Scene setting : Ota General Hospital – Tokyo Ghoul.

Written with Temp and Moo.

 

Temp:  The Investigators jump had saved her from any sort of damage or disable, but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Once she had slid past her she came to a stop, and then stood back up. Her single red eyes immediately locked onto the woman across from her, and was followed by a small giggle. “If I was really resisting, you and your partner would be very dead.” Wolf stepped forward as she released her Kagune, which shot out from her upper back. The very strange and metallic white Ukaku almost seemed to shine in the dark of the room. Due to this being a close quarters combat situation, her Ukaku projectiles would make quick work of this woman. “Are you sure you want to fight me? I mean…really…fight me?” She’d not even used her Kagune yet, and had only shown it. Not to mention she still had her trump card, her Kakuja. Killing this Investigator wasn’t something she wanted to do, but beating the shit out of her was a completely different story.

 

Moo:  Landing back on her feet to whip around, Nikita let out a breath, inhaling again through her nose to keep it even. It was strange to hear Wolf giggle; it caused Nikita to blink, looking slightly surprised. Her grip tightened on her quinque, however, when she spoke. As light as her tone was, her words were heavy. Needless to say, she felt threatened hearing the ghoul ask about fighting. The sight of her kagune was strange, but nothing could come as a surprise to Nikita when she knew Wolf cannibalized.“….” Silence would greet Wolf for a few moments, until the woman felt like being ballsy again and simply rushed to swing her sword again. Unfortunately Rupture was good for damaging attacks, due to its size. Kato’s quinque–Viper as he called it–was much faster and would more than likely fair better against Wolf. Nikita’s size and build would have to make up for what her weapon lacked. Now wasn’t the time to question if it was worth the effort. Both of them were holding back for obvious reasons, and they needed to be discussed. “…You’re the most peculiar ghoul I’ve ever laid eyes on,” she confided. “What are your motives?” If she couldn’t neutralize Wolf before questioning her, Nikita would simply do it in the midst of battle, should it continue.

Razorbackwriter:  Sunny was thrown back as the lift came to life again, only this time the lights on the floor panel all lit up and the lift roared upward. It was like the lift had a mind of it’s own and wasn’t stopping at her designated floor. The nurse’s bright jade coloured eyes burst open as she was overcome by a sense of fright. Unusual for the plucky nurse, but when unexplained events like this occur, the nurse was human just like everyone else and feared something was not quite right. With a loud bang the lift finally stopped at one of the upper floors. Sunny placed a hand to her rounded bosom and let out a sigh of relief as the doors slowly slid open. The only problem was the lights outside the lift were flickering, and not only that; there was a strange smell. Like…gunpowder and…blood. Blinking, Sunny took a few steps forward before her head could be seen as she surveyed the hall outside the lift.

“H..Hello?” She whispered out. The floor was not at all crowded like the other ones. This one was practically deserted. It was most unusual. Treading carefully, the nurse stepped out of the lift and she could just hear a voice that was coming from the eastern part of the floor.

“…You’re the most peculiar ghoul I’ve ever laid eyes on.”

Sunny gasped. A ghoul was on this floor? Sunny didn’t know what to do. Should she get back into the lift or should she investigate? Plucking up her courage, Sunny tip toed along the corridor towards where the voices were coming from.

~RB~

 

Temp:  Wolf wasn’t very impressed by the Investigators movements or fighting style, but that was due to her clearly not fighting like her life was on the line. Then again, Wolf wasn’t fighting like that either. This Investigator likely knew more about Wolf than most, which could mean she was a high ranking member of the CCG. The silence that she was met with from the woman was somewhat expected, and so was her second attempt at attacking her. Most Ukaku users were very mobile and relied on their projectile weaponry, so if you were to close the distance you’d have an advantage, but Wolf was different. When the sword came down towards her she used her kagune to slam into the sides of the blade, effectively holding it in position and keeping it from hitting her.“Motives? I seek justice.” She would then raise one of her legs and attempt to slam it into the woman’s chest. The kick would obviously be much stronger than any humans kick, and would likely disarm the Investigator when combined with her holding her weapon in place. The presence of another within the area was something she had picked up on, but it would go ignored unless the human came into sight.

 

Moo:  Nikita’s arm jerked to the side as her weapon was held in place. The first half of it retracted back to its normal shape, but from the point of contact with Wolf’s kagune up to where the woman stood, the weapon would still be broken apart. Nikita glared at Wolf the moment she opened her mouth to speak, Justice? The slamming of the ghoul’s foot to her chest sent her reeling back, letting go of her quinque to fall back on her ass. The air left her lungs for a moment and she gasped to get it back, sweating lightly as she grimaced. But she wouldn’t let up; she looked up toward the petite ghoul and finally found enough air to speak again as she held her chest tightly. “You don’t kill investigators. You cannibalize ghouls who kill needlessly. What are you? A vigilante? GIVE ME A BREAK.” She panted from using little breath for a lot of words. “You have too much attention on you from the CCG. Why don’t you hate us yet?” Nikita was of course unaware of the innocent nurse nearing the scene, as delicate as her footsteps were. The action dragged her attention away from noises such as a whispered hello. “… You want equality. We’re not so different, you and I.”

 

Razorbackwriter:  The bright eyes of our innocent little nurse were now wide as ever as she chanced upon a battle that was going on right on one of the higher floors of the hospital. It was almost unreal to think that the CCG would dare take on a ghoul or…whatever it was in such a place. From what Sunny could see, there was a little wolf masked ghoulie thingy fighting against what had to be an investigator. One thing was for certain, the investigator was taking a right beating, being kicked in the stomach and sent flying onto her ass.

Sunny’s head bobbed about as she clasped her hands together. “Oooo that looks like it hurt.” The nurse now giving her own little commentary on the action. If she had a flag and a bleacher it would be sport. Keeping in behind one of the laundry hamper trolleys, the nurse kept bobbing up and down like she was afraid of a projectile or body coming her way.

“You don’t kill investigators. You cannibalize ghouls who kill needlessly. What are you? A vigilante? GIVE ME A BREAK.”

Sunny did a little fist pump and then rolled her hand like she was barracking. “You tell em!” Talk about going from shit scared to suddenly enthusiastic. To be honest, this was the most exciting thing to happen during her shift. Again she ducked up and down, offering a thumbs up when she could.

~RB~

 

Temp:  Wolf smirked as the Investigator was flung back by her attack, and was now in possession of her quinque. The presence of the other human was made quite clear to the both of them when she decided to speak. Was she out of her mind? Wolf tilted her head to the side curiously as the Investigator continued to lecture her, but she only let out another giggle in response. Using her kagune she flung the Investigators weapon back towards the human that had been commenting on their fight. The weapon would wizz just past the girls head and smash into the wall behind her, causing half the weapon to be lodged in the wall. “I only kill those that deserve it.” Her form of justice was deep within ‘evil’ territory, but her cause was just. The fact this human wanted equality was also something she found very interesting, but just how true was it? The fact the woman didn’t go all out on her certainly supported her claim. “Equality can only be gained through blood, and both Ghoul and Humans must die to obtain it.” In order for there to be peace, the instigators of war needed to be silenced, which is what Wolf was aiming to do.

 

Moo:  Nikita stared at Wolf while she giggled before her attention was grabbed by a rather loud nurse. Blinking, the investigator stared at the woman, her mouth forming the words what the… How could someone cheer her on so loudly and carelessly? Did that nurse not value her own life? She flinched while she watched the weapon fly toward her cheer leader’s head, though it would miss quite luckily. And another problem within itself…Nikita no longer had a quinque she could reach easily in case she needed to. Then again, Nikita realized that this ghoul was not like others as she began explaining it.“That’s a vague generalization,” she muttered, sitting up fully with her hands on the floor. Her eyes had wandered from the nurse back to Wolf, narrowed completely. Hearing equality being obtained through blood, she suddenly found herself remembering what Ruvik and Kato had been debating about in the cafe. “… As long as there’s bloodshed, I doubt either side is going to seek peace. Regardless who’s doing the killing, there will always be a scapegoat. And it will always be the opposing side.” Somehow, this chain of events was slowly changing Nikita’s mind. “I want the same thing, but how easy is it to accomplish?” It was very scarce to find ghouls and humans with mindsets similar to theirs, after all.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Sunny was in the worst possible place to suddenly think it was alright to cheer on as a spectator to what was a life and death fight between an instigator and a ghoul. It brought the attention of both combatants squarely in her direction. The wolf like ghoul being so annoyed that she hurled a weapon straight for Sunny’s head – barely missing it by inches and cutting straight into the wall behind her.

“Not..good….Not…good.” The Nurse squeaked as the weapon was wobbling back and forth from the force of the impact. This was serious, and not to mention, it was the investigator’s weapon that was stuck. The poor girl! Sunny, had to help. She plucked up the courage, shouting out. “I got it!” literally grabbing onto the end of it and trying to pull it free from the wall. She dangled and swang back and forth – grunting and pulling with all her might. Truth was, Sunny was good at helping patients get in and out of bed, getting a weapon that was stuck in a wall out….that was another story. Every so often you could see her swinging back and forth, crying out hopefully that she would have it out of the wall real soon…..any moment. Yes, the clock is ticking.

Finally a crack appeared and with the weight of the nurse on the one end, the wall gave way….as did Sunny and both she and the weapon crashed to the floor behind the laundry trolley.

“I got it!”

Sunny held it up triumphantly with a look of pure satisfaction that her valiant efforts paid off.

Gingerly, the nurse stepped out from behind the trolley and swung the weapon before giggling. ‘Who want’s a piece of me?”

Was she high?

~RB~

 

 

 

The Maze of Greed – Part Four : SS.

Hate and revenge can lead you down a very dark path.  This is what Scar and Mariela are about to find out.  What if they are not the only ones that are lost in the Maze of Greed?

Scene setting : Maze of Greed – Seven Sins series.

Co-written with Dessy and Artie.

 

Razorbackwriter:  “I was speaking all la de da. You know, fancy talk. I didn’t mean that you were mywitch…I…I…oh forget it.” Trying to explain his faux pas was just making him seem a bit silly. He didn’t mean to upset her, but by her body language the damage was done. When a woman folds her arms and gives you the look, its best to settle your bets and pay your dues. Even if you meant no harm by it. The alp much rather find a way to help the witch get far as he could from Lydia’s clutches, but now that they were in the maze, it was going to be easier said than done. Course, she interrupted his chain of thought when she mentioned that Lydia was far more evil than she first thought. Lydia had gone out of her way to earn the young witch’s trust. Becoming a woman who was nothing more than a fraud. Oh she seemed lovely, alright, but the clues were there. Like when she killed Warner, and used his blood as a sacrifice for the Devil. Did the Devil himself not say that she was an ambitious little bitch? This was of course all well before Scar arrived on the scene. And he was summoned from the book of shadows. Lydia’s grand plans for him were to keep Mariela out of harms way as she plotted the ball, and then what was to happen afterwards, when everything fell into place. Again, Scar knew that Mariela was the key to Gabriel’s curse or the removal of it. But Scar had taken Mariela into the maze first and well before Lydia was ready. That was why she appeared in the hand mirror held by the raven man.

“You…remember the hand mirror, don’t you?” Scar started, his face now perfectly serious. There was no joy or mischief in his voice. “There….is another one. Here….somewhere in the labyrinth. A bigger mirror…a looking glass.” It appeared the Alp knew a whole lot more about Lydia’s schemes than first imagined. “It’s not hers. It belongs to a Warlock. I think his name was…Raul, or something. Anyways, it is enchanted just like the one I broke.”

Scar fidgeted with his hat nervously as he bowed his head. “My understanding is that the Lydia in the mirror is in another dimension. It was why I thought….that it was safer out here, than in that hall.” Was the Alp starting to regret bringing the witch out into the maze? “As for….the price of using my hat as a way to escape, the price could be a greater one than you are prepared to pay. As I said before, magic always comes at a price.”

~RB~

 

Dessy:  Mariela stared at him, raising an eyebrow as the alp tried to explain himself… but miserably failed. “‘Fancy talk?’ That’s what it is?” she said, before she just ended up grinning when he told her to forget it. She didn’t know what had happened for Scar to start calling her “my witch” when she wasn’t his property. But if he was trying to earn brownie points, it wasn’t working. Not right now. Mariela was still a little unhappy that Scar never gave her an explanation. She also didn’t like whatever was going on in the maze. She was a little angry about that.

Mariela nodded her head when the hand mirror was mentioned. Her face turned into a frown when Scar grew serious. Most of the time he was always happy and playful, so seeing him so serious was weird. “What does the mirror have to do with anything?” she asked, putting her arms by her side. “And why did a warlock give it to her?” she then asked afterwards. She was so full of questions, and so curious.

Mariela watched him fidget with his hat, her green eyes watching him as he talked. “So, there are two Lydia’s? Why and how? And what does this “other Lydia”,” she made air quotes with her fingers. “…want to do with me?” she then pointed to herself. She listened to him again, and she thought that Scar was regretting taking her out to the maze. That’s what it sounded like, at least. “What do you mean “a greater one than I won’t be prepared to pay”? Scar, I have no idea what you are talking about…” she sighed, and gave a roll of her eyes. “I know magic always comes with a price! Everything comes with a price!” she said, annoyed, and moving her arms around the air dramatically.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Scar grimaced as Mariela’s anger started to get the better of her. Here she was, stuck in a horrid maze with the Alp, when she could be back in the ball room. Though little did they realize just what had gone down within those walls. Scar certainly didn’t know….not yet. All he knew was that when he took Mariela from the ball room, he genuinely feared for her life. Some of Hell’s most powerful beings were in that room, and with murder taking place, unruly fights…well, Scar figured some of them might succumb to the blood lust and attack a pretty thing like Mariela. She totally took his words the wrong way, and he felt like she was scolding him for it. It really was just an honest mistake, and yet he could feel the rise of her anger. She was becoming more and more animated. Flailing her arms about her wildly. His answers had only made her want to ask more questions. For example, what did the mirror have to do with anything? Why would a Warlock give it to her?

The alp was starting to feel drained. He had no idea that Mariela would be so damn curious about…well everything. His job was to keep her in the dark. That was what Lydia had set for him. But after the wonderful times he spent with the witch, he had lost sight of what was required.

“Why would a Warlock do a deal with the Demon of Ambition….and Greed? Why do you think?” Now he had an exasperated tone. Scar had only overheard the pair plotting, but not actually met the Warlock properly. “He obviously thought there was something to be gained. I don’t know….maybe…maybe…” the Alp stuttered. Racking his brain of possible conclusions. “There must be…a damn good reason. Maybe they had a common enemy. You know, revenge and hate can lead you down a very dark path.” He glanced around him and then he suddenly had a clue. “What if….there is someone in this maze, beside us? What if, she let him use the maze…for a purpose other than her own?’

Perhaps the Alp was on to something, but the train of thought left his mind when Mariela again quizzed the hat and the price that would be paid for using the magic within. The colour drained from his face, as he stepped right up to her and went to grab her shoulders. Staring at her he said softly.

“Imagine a place where you had no power, no magic. The hat is a portal in a way. You could use it and save yourself.”Scar turned his head away from her as he closed his eyes. Was his love for her so much that he was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice?

~RB~

 

Dessy;  Mariela took a deep breath and put her arms by her side. She was getting angry. This entire thing was just frustrating her in many ways. From being dragged out of the ballroom, to being in a terrifying maze, to this whole confusing mess with the two Lydia’s and the two mirrors. It was frustrating the young witch. All she wanted was for the entire mess to be over, and that’s it. She rested her arms at her sides, watching Scar as he spoke.

“Why would a Warlock do a deal with the Demon of Ambition….and Greed? Why do you think?”

This caused Mariela to give a shrug of her shoulders. She didn’t know. It could be anything. But Lydia and this warlock were obviously working together for something. For what, Mariela didn’t know. “I know there must be a “damn good reason”, but what is that reason?” she asked. The witch was too curious for her own good – asked so many questions. “Yeah… “Hate” is starting to lead me down the path where I’m going to destroy the next living creature that appears in this damn maze.” she grumbled, putting her hands on her hips. At Scar’s next words, Mariela’s eyes widened. “What purpose would that be? And if there is someone else in this maze, then we have to find them, Scar. We can’t leave them in the dangers of the maze.” she spoke, now determined to save whoever this person was from the terror of the maze. She wasn’t going to just leave them here.

All of a sudden, the color drained from Scar’s face when she mentioned the hat again. He grabbed her shoulders, staring at her as he spoke, and Mariela’s green eyes stared into his red one’s. “If losing my magic is the price I have to pay, then I’m not doing it.” she spoke, but watched turn away from her and close his eyes. “My magic is the only part of my family I have left, and I fully intend on keeping it.” she spoke, crossing her arms now. “And I never said I wanted to go to another dimension. Because I don’t.” she said, but her face softened. “There’s something you’re not telling me about this, Scar. I can see it in your face.” she said. She took one of her hands and placed it on the Alp’s shoulder. “What is it?” she then asked, tilting her head to the side as her other hand lay by her side.

 

Artie:  Blackness, then slight light. More blackness, then light again.. Bandit’s eyes would flutter open slowly, laboriously, her head pounding as though she’d been knocked out. What a hell of a dream.. Though, she would soon find it wasn’t much of a dream. Her wrists felt sore underneath her, her whole body aching with a dull and burning pain. She would push herself off of the grass, attempting to take in her surroundings through a fog of pain in her head. Her eyes blinked again, lids heavy and yet not fully opened yet. A light groan escaped her lips, a tired look on her face that had a prominent bruise on her cheek, in the midst of a healed but dirty cut. How it had gotten there, she couldn’t tell. Blonde hair that was stained brown fell into her face, furthering to cloud her vision. With a light huff the female would manage to sit herself up, reaching to her neck to find no collar… a clear ploy of some sort. She was sure it had merely moved itself to be around an ankle, but she wasn’t sure. At the moment, all of her limbs felt painfully dead and dull.

“Hello?” The word formed on her lips, but her throat was so dry all that came out was a soft croak, more along the lines of ‘grnoa?’ She herself could only barely hear the noise come from herself – it was so painfully quiet of a noise. This was the effect of little water, the burning that steadily rose a direct symptom of this dry throat. She would lick her lips, but unsuccessfully, as her tongue had little moisture to begin with. As she began to somewhat focus, yet still weakened, Bandit would gaze down at herself. She was fortunate to be back into clothes, her prior clothing.. It was in the same dirty condition, with a minor tear on the hem of her shirt or pants leg, but otherwise they seemed to be unaffected. Where am I? Pure willpower would force her to crawl to a hedge of the maze across from her, sitting up but un-moving as she appeared almost dead, eyes barely open from the energy crawling here had required. Her head slumped a bit as her eyes closed, the sounds of something in the distance.. voices, maybe? She couldn’t be sure if they were friend or foe, but she would try to not make herself known, knowing an enemy wouldn’t be fended off if she was found..

One last kiss – GS.

 

Tommy knew that he had to get on with his day.  As much as he wanted to stay with Elissa, he had a job to do.  Course, he needed to check up on Frank.  Little did he know what he was getting himself into.

Scene setting : Elissa’s apartment – Gantz Series.

Co-written with VunG.

 

VunG:  A Muttley-style laugh would slip out from behind the shower walls before the water was turned on, amused at his startled response. Ah, she loved it when she was nasty. Only thing that could’ve made that better was a Zoidberg ‘woop woop woop.’ Oh well, what could you do? She would continue cleaning herself, actually half-expecting to see Tommy come zipping through the door for another round. That said, it was probably for the best that they held off, they needed to get on with the day; they could think about more bedroom adventures later. Would probably be better if they did it at night anyways; no risk of being late… well at least for Tommy. Sometimes being self-employed was awesome.

Of course, she was fully aware that he was watching her outside, and as she lathered up she made sure to make it as sensual as possible, all too happy to tease him. Eventually though she’d get herself all cleaned up and out and get her hair washed, letting it drape down, not that it was particularly long. Exiting the shower with a content sigh, she smirked when she saw that he was still present. Drying off quickly, she made sure to apply special attention to her wound area before wrapping it around her torso and sitting down on toilet (lid down of course) and began changing her bandages. The area hadn’t broken, thankfully, but it certainly was a bit red… she was going to be hurting later; thank God for painkillers. Heh, would probably help with her ass not aching too. Being shot aside, this was probably the best morning she’d had in a long time.

Once she had the bandage on, she walked over to Tommy and shooed him out of the way so she could reach her medicine cabinet for her prescription. She smiled the whole time though, and she went ahead and gave him another peck on the lips once it was down. Whether he realized it or not, Tommy had Elissa’s attention now. When she had said she wasn’t necessarily in love, that was her going into semantics; this wasn’t a one night stand for her, and she had no intention of giving him anything more of that impression.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Tommy allowed Elissa to get into the medicine cabinet, by stepping back on command. The light wave of her hand, shooing him from the vanity worked. No words were needed. It didn’t matter that she couldn’t speak. Her body and that gorgeous face said more than a voice ever could. The reporter had been entranced by her, as he took on a voyeuristic nature. Silently observing her from the moment she left the shower and attended to her wound – that still looked to be quite sore. Pain killers were going to be the order of the day. Tommy continued to watch her. She took her medicine and washed it down with a glass of water, before turning her attentions back to him. His prize for behaving. A soft kiss. A peck, nothing more, but the softness of her lips was well and truly worth it. Tommy winked at her as she drew back, then started for the door. He tossed his clothes from the day before into the sports bag, and zipped it up tight. In a way, he didn’t want to leave, but he did have obligations, such as his job. His editor had instructed him to report on the hospital, but he always knew that the big scoop was the failings of the Commander, and his indiscretions. The parcel with the incriminating evidence was still out on the coffee table and had to be packed back up for when he caught up with Frank.

Frank.

Tommy rolled his eyes at thinking of his friend. He’d left a damning message that the detective call him, but as far as he knew Frank didn’t get back to him. Was he okay? Strolling over to get his jacket, he dug about in the pocket and fished out his cell phone. Looking back for a sign of Elissa, Tommy said.

“Going to try and call Frank before I go off to work.”

He pressed in the number and waited for it to be picked up.

~RB~

 

VunG:  It was hilarious how little needed to be said with Tommy, even excluding her sign language. It was like they were so in-sync that they just understood each other without any need for communication at all. It was… odd. She had become so used to having to work to communicate with people and get her emotions across, and here was Tommy understanding her like they were telepathically connected. Once he left the room, she would be pretty quick to finish tending to herself and would be just about to leave when she caught Tommy’s intent to call Frank.

That certainly brought her euphoric mood crashing down, though less out of concern and more out of anger towards the detective. Of course, he would likely be able to tell she wasn’t thrilled about something or another, but she’d nod and urge him to do so before heading for her room to change. Oh, she was concerned, she hoped he was alright, but she was still ticked that he had just jetted out on her with the last words being that he was pretty much intending to kill himself. If he was still alive, she’d have to restrain herself pretty hard not to punch him in the gut… though she would probably feel bad if he really did kill himself and she hadn’t done anything to stop it.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Tommy’s change in his demeanor might have come as a shock to Elissa as he was now barking down at the cell phone at Frank. Frank was alive. This was a good thing, but Tommy was still angry at him for the way he left Elissa’s and gave little or no explanation as to what he had been doing, or why he had not called before. Tommy had his back to Elissa as he spoke, but if she was paying attention, she would have seen him rub the back of his neck in a show that he was frustrated by his friend. The conversation seemed to be one sided. With Tommy barking questions repeatedly and not getting the answers he wanted. Let alone an apology. It was then Frank said that he would be there shortly with…a friend. The hell? The phone went dead and Tommy just held it out in front of him as though in disbelief that Frank hung up on him.

 

“Son of a bitch!” Tommy couldn’t hold back and then spun on his heel as he threw the phone down on the nearest chair. You could see the anger in his face. The gritting of teeth and the snarl in his voice. It took him a moment to get his composure. Did Frank have any idea how worried Tommy had been? They were supposed to be best friends. Tommy brought his fingers up to the bridge of his nose and pinched the two together as he muttered a few obscenity’s. He really cared about Frank, and often felt let down when the detective acted on impulse.

Finally getting his composure, he lowered his hand and then realized that he had lost control in front of Elissa. The one person he didn’t want to offend.

“Frank. He’s fine.” A roll of the eyes showed that his words were being with veiled sarcasm. “Apparently he is on his way here. You want first punch?” He was offering Frank up like a punching bag. All Tommy knew was he wanted to hit the guy….before he hugged him.

~RB~

 

VunG:  Elissa wasn’t bothering to actually change in her room to begin with, but as she passed and saw how agitated Tommy seemed, she definitely knew that it would be best to be on hand, for his sake. As she got into something closer to her usual attire, she quickly realized just how angry he seemed to be getting. Unless he had decided to call his boss after failing to call Frank and wound up in a shouting match, then those two friends were having a serious fight. As angry as she was with Frank, she had to admit that he wasn’t a bad guy and was probably under a lot of stress… she still wanted to punch him, but it was still rough seeing Tommy so angry. When he finished and sent the phone flying, she watched for a moment with wide eyes, glad she hadn’t been in the path. Letting out a sigh, she walked up to him and placed a hand on his shoulder as he waited, looking up at the man with concern as she waited for his response.

To his words, a mixture of relief and frustration passed through her mind, grinding her own teeth at the thought of how long it took for them to find out whether or not the idiot detective was okay. She was a bit thrown off by the fact that he was coming here, but she supposed that he would have his chance to explain himself. ~Assuming he doesn’t flee before he steps through the door?~ she asked with a scoff before continuing, ~You first. I need to decide whether to punch or slap.~

 

Razorbackwriter:  Tommy hated how intense his anger had become and the timing was so off. The last person he wanted offend was Elissa right now, and it took a moment for him to reign himself in. Only when he placed a hand on his shoulder, did he remember himself. His eyes searched hers to see if she was dissapointed in him. But what Tommy saw was a look of both frustration and relief. Odd as it was. He felt the same way, and in a sense it was good they were both on the same page. It was amusing though how she signed that Frank might do the bolt before they get the chance to get him through the door. Yeah, he might see their faces and rethink his visit. Truth was they both felt the same way about the detective. At times he was his own worst enemy.

~You first. I need to decide whether to punch or slap~

Tommy beamed as Elissa signed this. In fact, he started laughing at the very idea of Elissa slapping him across the face. It’s not like he didn’t deserve it. Tommy reached for Elissa’s hand and then kissed the back of it, a smug expression coming to his face.

“Save the slaps for me. I kinda like it when you get rough.” He wiggled his eyebrows playfully, then now filled with a renewed sense of warmth for her, he leaned in and planted a soft kiss on her lips.

“I want to spend another night with you. Tonight, maybe?” He was so hopeful that she might say yes. Tommy had his own apartment though, and by rights he should invite her over there. But that was for later, unless she agreed.

~RB~

 

VunG:  Ahaha, it was so good to see that her response was able to cheer Tommy up a bit (not that she hadn’t meant what she said). Whether just the thought of her slapping him or Frank’s reaction that did it, she couldn’t help but grin a bit in turn to his diabolical glee. The kiss on the hand was a curious action, but certainly not an unwelcome one, even if she did roll her eyes a little. His words about liking her getting rough though, that got her all sorts of warm, the thought of how aggressive she could get with him shooting through her head a bit. Yeah, she’d save the slaps for him, all he wanted. That said though, the tender kiss he gave her was equally welcome, and she gladly kissed him back.

And then he went ahead and asked if she wanted to repeat this tonight. Oh… how to respond to this… hrmm… well, she could make a joke about making sure it was at his place so they could tear up his sheets this time. But… no, she wouldn’t bother with words. Instead she reached up to bring him down a bit and kissed him deeply on the lips, but as she did so she gave his crotch a light squeeze, just enough to get her point across. Once she pulled away from him, she just stared back at him, a coy smirk on her face saying what little hadn’t been said already. All she added was a quiet sign of, ~Your place or mine?~ Oh, she was more than willing to continue this dalliance with him; keep it going until they both got tired of each other.

 

Razorbackwriter:  A sizzling kiss. That was all Tommy needed to lick his lips and mouth “Yum”. The reporter watched her sign the question of whether it was her place or his and he was quick to answer. “Mine. I’d like to cook for you. But we might have to make it a late dinner. Once Frank gets here and we deal with him, then I have to get to work.”Tommy glanced down at his watch, and then grimaced. It was getting on already and he wasn’t sure how long it would take for Frank to get from wherever he was to Elissa’s place. He hoped that Elissa would be okay with this arrangement. Tommy didn’t normally cook for anyone, as most of the girls he had dated seemed to enjoy doing it for him. He got lazy after a while and simply either took girls out to a fancy restaurant or ate whatever was on offer.

This time round, Tommy wanted to impress Elissa. For some reason, he just felt this need too. It was odd, especially for a guy like him. Hell, he’d even take her back to meet his parents if he got the chance. That was how serious Tommy was becoming. He didn’t want to bring up the “I love you” line again, since it got him in over his head the first time he had said it to her. When the time was right…..when the feeling was mutual, he wouldn’t hesitate.

Tommy took up a lock of Elissa’s hair and curled it around his finger, as though he just wanted to play with her while they waited for Frank to show up. He did so without saying another word, though he kept looking into her eyes, before showing a special kind of smile. He moved a touch closer to her so he practically had her up against the wall. Deeply, he inhaled her smell. Even closing his eyes as he did so. The edge of his hand touching her cheek. Feeling the softness of her skin. There were two sides of Tommy Xo. One that could be so gentle….and the other that could be rough and ready. There just wasn’t time for another tryst, but instead he was going to quietly enjoy her. Even if she did just squeeze his balls.

You know, he didn’t mind one bit.

~RB~

 

VunG:  Huh… Tommy… cooking… that was an interesting thought. Truth be told, Elissa had no preference one way or the other as for whether her significant other cooked or she did. When she was married, her husband usually did most of the cooking, but that was because she had longer work hours, and she made sure to treat him every once in a while. She wasn’t an amazing cook, but she knew a few foreign dishes that she mostly learned just so she wouldn’t have to dump twenty bucks if she wanted to have them. Regardless, she was definitely curious to what he could do in that regard, and she gave an enthusiastic nod, agreeing full-heartedly to the plan… and like she’d been thinking before, it would be nice to alternate locations.

Eventually their decisions would slowly drift away, and slowly a very different mood would begin to fill the room. As he proceeded to play with her hair, she would look up into his eyes, her own blue ones sparkling thoughtfully, trying to figure out what was going on in his head. One of her hands simply dangled while the other rested on his side, and as he closed the gap her hand gladly rested on his hip. The closeness was pleasant, and as he began to caress her cheek, she would feel a strange, nearly-forgotten sensation filling her. This tender affection, this… gentle treatment, it was something that she hadn’t had in… well it felt like a lifetime ago. She had been more than a little rough, and nowadays that was the usual her–that or ice queen–but once upon a time she had been more like Tommy, able to show a far more tender side. Slowly she brought her free hand up to meet his, but she wouldn’t move it or try to control it, she simply laid it there and leaned into his hand, closing her eyes happily. Hmm… perhaps she had been hasty with him… simply calling this the beginning of them simply dating…

This felt… right.

 

Razorbackwriter:  It was strange, and wonderful all at the same time. Tommy didn’t have to say anything. It was right there. The way that he touched her, the way his eyes held hers and both closed at the same time. Two silhouettes that stood so close now it was like one being. Tommy didn’t even think about stealing her away into the bedroom again either. This…connection that they were sharing gave him so much more, than a wrestle between the sheets. He could feel a tightening in his chest, like he almost couldn’t breathe. He was right. Tommy had fallen. Fallen….crashed and burned in love with Elissa. He knew he didn’t have to say it this time, cause the feelings were there. Her face….the touch of her hand to his. A new happiness was spreading through him and he wanted to laugh. If she opened her eyes, she would see it. A smile fixed to his face that couldn’t be wiped away.

His free hand moved to cup her face with the other hand now. Closer he moved to her and then he kissed her. Not hard and hungry. This was different. He was professing his love without words, but through his actions. She must know by now. There was a sound. Not a growl, no. Almost like he was moaning her name, but he kept on kissing her. Pushing her back hard to the wall.

Damn Frank….if he turned up now. Tommy didn’t want this kiss to end.

~RB~

 

 

 

The Maze of Greed – Part Three : SS.

There are many untold dangers lurking in the Maze of Greed.  Mariela, the witch has escaped one, thanks to the magic of Scar’s hat.

Scene setting – The Maze of Greed.  Seven Sins Series.

Co-written with Dessy.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Scar felt a tingling sensation just after he had shouted for Mariela to put the hat on if she could. He knew what the hat could do, but did Mariela? Hearing her voice, the desperation in the tone made Scar all the more determined to find her in this hellish maze. Scar had a renewed sense of urgency as he raced down yet another path that was lined with hedge walls so high that you couldn’t see over them. The alp was panting, much like a canine – rounding another bend and yet seeing no sign of his beloved Mariela.

The snake woman statue lurched forward with the intent to grab at the witch. This statue that had come to life was one of the charmed attractions of the maze. A deadly creature that if she had gotten her hooks into the young witch, she would have set her venomous snakes upon her. Her yellowing eyes glistened with hatred as she swung out, only to have the witch vanish before her eyes. All because she put on the magical hat. The snakes drew back their heads sharply – then started a slow dance like motion, using their senses to try and feel a change in the air flow to find the wily witch.

The charms clinked and rattled all around the snake woman statue, who was now hissing violently in her desperation to snatch at the witch. Her head snapped towards the sound of Mariela’s foot falls as she fled from the scene. Her nose crinkled up in disgust, since she could not capture the girl, but just as the statue started to stiffen, Scar turned the corner – almost running smack bang into it.

“GAK!” The alp explained. He looked up slowly to see the menacing eyes of the statue once again brighten. “Oh……shit.”Yes, the Alp was frightened, but then he used his agility in speed to zip around the statue. Making faces, and blowing raspberries at it. The snakes flew out, snapping at him wildly but the alp was simply too fast. He was like a blur of black and white, being the tuxedo that he wore. This was turning into a bit of a game but one where he was trying to get the snakes all tangled up and cause the statue to become trapped within her own creatures.

“Ehehehehehehe!”

Scar was such an odd one at times.

~RB~

 

Dessy:  Mariela had eventually stopped running – mainly so she could catch her breath. She turned around to look in the direction she was just running from. She hadn’t heard anything else from Scar after last time, and she was beginning to worry. The maze was huge, and she didn’t want to know what else was in this maze, or get lost in it. She was walking backwards, watching the statue as it appeared angry that it couldn’t catch her. This caused a grin to appear on Mariela’s face.

She then squinted her eyes at a blur of black and white – before hearing familiar laughter. Scar. Mariela had ran towards it a few feet, before stopping and watching Scar make faces at the statue. “What the hell is he doing?” she mumbled. Mariela had a very amused expression on her face, and it took every urge to not burst into laughter. He was acting like a five year old, and the entire scene was quite amusing. He was… an odd one, that much was for sure.

She waited for Scar to run towards her, but the Alp seemed too busy. Mariela gave a groan and a roll of her eyes, before running in his direction. She took Scar’s hat off to make her visible, before quickly grabbing his hand. She spun around afterwards and began running again, pulling Scar along with her. She stopped after they had ran several feet and handed his hat to him. “I believe you might need this back.” she spoke, although she was also trying to catch her breathe. “And what took you so long?”

 

Razorbackwriter:  It was a strange, yet comical sight to see the snakes slither around and around the statue maiden daring to try and attack the wicked alp who was simply way too fast for them. Within no time at all, the snakes were all knotted and tied up, causing the statue to be unable to lift her arms. Scar continued with the childish taunting, the poking out of his tongue and the cross eyed expression that would have any child in fits of laughter. He would have continued, had it not been for the sudden sound of Mariela’s voice – a light mumble asking him what on earth he was doing.

Scar finally stopped to catch his breath, tossing a glance back at the statue and then smiling proudly at Marelia.

“Snake charming.”

It was said so off the cuff, that it was simply ridiculous. Before Scar could say how pleased he was to see her, Mariela snatched at his hand and spun on her heel to drag the wicked Alp along with her. Scar almost got pulled off his feet and it took him a bit of effort to keep up with the witch. Only when she stopped a few feet away from the now incensed statue that she spoke to him. It was hard to tell what she was saying, cause she was visibly out of breath.

“I believe you might need this back.”

“Why thank you. Did the trick, didn’t it?’ Scar took the hat graciously and placed it back on his head, giving it a firm pat and then tilting it to the side. You had to admit, it looked better on Scar than it did on Mariela.

“And what took you so long?”

“Ah…yes. Well. Remember birdy?” Scar said with a slight tilt of the head. He wasn’t sure how the witch would take this news. “Let’s just say he would make wonderful pillow stuffing.” In other words, he was dead. Scar shrugged his shoulders. “Oops. My temper got the bad of me.”

Pouting he approached Mariela and uttered softly. “I am sorry. Old habits…and all that.”

~RB~

 

Dessy:  Snake charming.”

This caused Mariela to roll her eyes. “That’s just…” she started, before sighing. “You know what? Nevermind.” she then said with a shake of her head. She looked over towards the statue and gave a grin. “Well, at least you’ve managed to get snake lady over there distracted for a while. That’s a good thing.” she said with a nod of her head. She then turned her gaze back to Scar. By this time, she had caught her breath back – at least for now.

“Mm… yes, it did. The hat isn’t just a simple accessory after all.” Mariela commented, grinning. The hat looked far better on Scar than it did on her. That was for sure. Mariela narrowed her eyes and titled her head at the mention of Birdy. “The one you got in a fight with? Yes, of course I remember him.” she spoke. At his comment, she widened her eyes. “You… killed him?” she then spoke in a shocked tone. “I can clearly see that.” she said when he mentioned his temper. She then shook her head. “One less person we have to worry about.”

Mariela gave Scar a pat on his arm when he apologized. “No need. Old habits die hard. I get it.” she gave a smile, before growing serious and putting her hands on her hips. “Now, I don’t suppose you have a trick in that fancy hat of yours to get us out of this death trap of a maze, huh?”

 

Razorbackwriter:  Rows of glistening razor sharp teeth were on show as Scar cracked a huge smile at Mariela’s words. According to her, he had done a good thing by trapping the snake woman statue in her own snakes. It was rare for anyone to pay he a compliment, let alone say he did something good, considering what he had just done to Birdy. Course, what he did do to Birdy was the next source of conversation and her reaction left him feeling a tad nervous. Scar succumbed to temptation to eliminate the raven man as he believed that Mariela’s life was in danger at his hands.

“One less creature, my young witch. I dare say that Lydia has many more lurking amongst the hedge walls.” His eyes taking in their current surrounds before settling his gaze back upon the beautiful Mariela. For a young innocent she was handling the maze rather well….considering. “This maze is no simple parlor game. It was designed with a sole purpose in mind.”Again that would take thoughts back to Lydia’s evil schemes. One thing he did know was that Lydia did not do this on her own.


“There is…one more thing I didn’t tell you.” Scar started, only stopping when Mariela asked if there was another fancy trick in that hat of his. Scar pinched the edge of his hat with his thumb and index finger – dragging the pair along the brim with a quick flick. The alp’s mind racing as he teetered on whether to tell Mariela or not.

He lowered his hand uneasily and stepped back from the witch.

“It….could. But I must warn you, there is always a price to pay.”

What he meant by that was something he was not quite ready to divulge.

~RB~

 

Dessy:  Mariela watched him as he smiled after she commented on him trapping the statue with her own snakes. She gave a smile as well, but the smile then went way and ended up with an eyebrow raise. “Your witch? I don’t recall ever being “yours”…” she spoke, narrowing her eyes and crossing her arms. HIS witch? She wasn’t property. Scar didn’t own her – nobody did. “Yeah… I really don’t wanna stick around to to find out what those other creatures are.” she said nervously, this causing her to shiver because she could only imagine. And she didn’t want to.

“Really? I could have never guessed considering I got got attacked by a statue and her snakes.” Mariela said with an eye roll. “That “sole purpose” is obviously death. Lydia is much more evil than I originally thought.” she stated. Mariela’s face grew serious at Scar’s next words.

“There is…one more thing I didn’t tell you.”

“Oh, boy.” Mariela sighed. “And what would that be?” she asked, mentally preparing for whatever came out of the Alp’s mouth. She was not having fun right now. Not at all. Mariela eyed him the entire time, and wehen he took a step back, Mariela tilted her blonde head. “I don’t like the way you said that.” she spoke with a frown. “What “price”? Why does everything come with a price?”

 

 

 

“Hello Humans!” – GS.

 

https://i0.wp.com/i218.photobucket.com/albums/cc86/VergilX_X/Female%20Characters/0bcfb7d1-f6b1-4036-8d76-6fea98fcf2c5.jpg

With breakfast almost done, Frank and Isolde are about to make a move.  What is waiting for them out on the street?  Oh, you’ll never believe it.

Scene setting : Jax’s Coffee House

Co-written with Chor and Temp.

 

Chor:  Isolde felt a sort of release as she talked about herself. These were things even Khalil barely knew, which showed just how private and alone she kept. At the mention of the horse-back riding, a huge grin found itself to Frank’s lips, surprising Isa. What had she said? He spoke then, about his grandparents and their horse farm.

Her Aunt Scherze had a few horses, mostly unbroken save for Doof. Her aunt named the horse because it was clearly suffering from some sort of mental disorder, but it was the gentlest horse there and during her vacations to Germany Isa loved to ride the red roan appaloosa filly on cool Sunday mornings before Gran would drag them off to church, always complaining that Isolde smelled of manure. When Isa was eleven, she received a call saying that Doof had passed away. His brain had been riddled with cancer for many years and they thought it best to put him down rather than let him suffer any longer.

Isolde put food in her mouth so Frank didn’t seem like the only one eating. Really she was deep in thought until he spoke again, having finished his meal. She looked down to her half-eaten plate and back up, grinning. Her? A catch? The idea of it made her want to laugh, but she didn’t. A light blush had come over her cheeks and she pretended to wipe her bare lips to cover it.

I would propose then…that you tie together all of these hideous hooded sweatshirts. T’would make a better net than a wardrobe in my opinion,” Isolde shot back to him, listening to him laugh at his little joke. She had not let it die liek he had probably intended. Finishing her meal in a couple more bites, Isolde went to her coffee, sipping it cautiously as it was still the slightest bit hot.

 

Razorbackwriter:  “Perhaps I could tie together the hoodies, but I can tell that you aren’t overly keen on them. Be more of a deterrent if anything.” This was said with absolute honesty. Why Frank even kept that box in the closet was a mystery, but he wasn’t one that tended to throw things away. Like his marriage. His behavior didn’t help him there, but if he had the chance all over Frank may have done things differently. Though, it was one way of finding out what his ex was truly like. It is the rough patches in marriage that test our love. If the foundation is weak to start with, it has no chance of lasting. Isa thankfully played along with Frank’s banter which only helped to create a more relaxing breakfast – from what had earlier been something out of a Jackass movie. You would honestly have to wonder if Frank knew anything about women at all by the way he acted. The real reason was more caution if anything. He wasn’t a player like Tommy. Frank was more one for keeps, if you could put up with his God awful puns and strange habits. The Frank that sat opposite Isa was a far cry from his youth. The young forensics officer might be surprised to know that back in the day Frank was a real risk taker and something of a rebel. How times and events shape and mold us.

Now that the pair were onto their coffee, the meals having being eaten; Frank took out his wallet and placed out a few notes to pay for their breakfast. He wouldn’t accept Isa paying her share, since he believed a man should pay for the woman when dining out.

Stuffing his wallet back into his jacket, Frank mused on what Tommy was up to. No call back. The detective hoped he was okay. Elissa too. Maybe they should pay her a visit, to check on her shoulder.

“Fancy going over to El’s?”

Course Isa would know he meant Elissa. Frank still felt terribly responsible for her injuries. The girl didn’t deserve what happened.

~RB~

 

Chor:  
Isolde laughed at his reply to her suggestion.

Ja, I’d likely asphyxiate on the fabric from being surrounded by such hideously over-bright colours,” she replied, still chuckling as she took one last sip from her coffee. As he placed the money for the check, Isa frowned. He’s already spent an awful lot on her and she can tell he’s suffering from some financial hardship, so while she is not it feels wrong to let him pay.

That sounds fine to me,” Elissa said with a shrug, but also looking down at how guilty her outfit would look. Actually? Fuck it; she doesn’t live for what anyone else thinks. She gestured for them to go with a smile as the waitress cleaned their table behind them. As they walked out, she secretly slipped enough cash in bills to cover her meal cost into his pocket. You learn all sorts of things living in the city. Suddenly, as if a cloud had lifted, a thought came to Isa. How in hell could she have forgotten?

You know I’ve got a car, right?” she asked him, wondering. She bought the car immediately after school and has had it ever since. It was currently sitting in the parking garage near the station. They needn’t take a cab everywhere. She didn’t really mind it, but it would certainly save some cash in their wallets from the stingy cabbies of New York.

 

Temp:  Xillia had moved from Times Square, venturing further into the city completely aimlessly. There wasn’t much that she wanted to do at the moment other than explore her surroundings. Studying the humans that inhabited the planet would be something she did along the way. There would likely be all sorts of different opportunities to do so, considering how many of them there were. She had already managed to gather quite a crowd, most of which was continuing to follow her through the streets.

Eventually she wound up in an area she’d never really seen before. The only references to places she had were things from movies and pictures, which she had acquired on her home world. Even though she was lost, she really hadn’t decided on any one destination, so it meant little to her. What did meant a lot to her was greeting every human she saw. Being such a tall creature had it’s advantages, especially when you were looking for things smaller than you. She spotted two humans near what seemed to be a restaurant, which she then started to walk towards. As soon as she was close to the two, she offered them both a happy wave and a bright smile.“Hello humans! Your planet is wonderful!” Was that the kind of compliment that would appeal to them? Who knows.

 

Darkness – The Hub : Part Two.

 

This is the second installment of lpstribling’s and my collaboration of “The Hub” – Darkness.

 

LP – “Lock it down!” The man standing over Rory belted out the words as he straightened up and twirled an index finger in the air, giving some signal to a larger group of people.

Everything stopped. Everything. The music, the lights, the clinking of the glasses, the dancing. The occupants of the Hub now followed some strange automatic call and moved from wherever they were to huddle around a still-frantic Jacinta and her not-so-conscious birthday boy. The only sound holding in Jacinta’s ears was the ringing from what sounded like Duster, the band she was hoping to see with Rory, yet under slightly more normal circumstances.

She watched them crowd around and a strange chill scurried down her spine, almost to the steady buzz of the fading ringing from the now non-existant music.

As she knelt over Rory they were looking down at her – all of them. She turned her head, looking at each of them in the eye, and then moving on to the next one.

“This is the girl?” The tall bearded man asked. Jacinta had seen him before in the Hub. He hadn’t been there all that long, but he wasn’t a newbie, either. He worked behind the bar and, from what she had heard from people, he was pretty good at what he did. She didn’t have any complaints. After all, she usually managed to leave the place drunk, so he must have been doing something right. But she didn’t know his name. Worst of all, she didn’t know why he was asking about her, especially now, here in the middle of the Hub with the doors locked and the sound off. What exactly was happening?

“I guess.”

Jacinta’s head snapped around to the girl who answered – a short redhead dressed in black. Her creamy white face looked all-business above two arms crossed at her front.

“I don’t really know. He said he was waiting for some girl named J. I don’ know; I’ve never seen her before.”

“You J?” The bartender’s finger dropped down to Jacinta with a stern lock.

Jacinta’s eyes fell from the bartender’s and drifted again around the room of all the Hub-goers. They were all there, all the regulars. The bartender’s staff (how many times had she seen these people there) the cocktail servers, the bussers and the band. And then there was everyone else. Everyone. The patrons, the guests, the daily drunks, and business men, the hookers and the first-timers. It was just a regular crowd. Just regular people.

Then a slow smile grew across Jacinta’s lips. “Oh ha, I get it. Right? Right? I get it. This is a joke, right?” She stood slowly as she looked around more. “Like this, all of this is a joke..Ha ha!” She clapped twice and walked around slapping a couple of shoulders and pinching cheeks. “Even you Rory, you sick fuck.” With her foot she nudged the quiet tip of one of her heels into his ribs, waiting for him to laugh. “Right? I can’t believe you fucked me like that.”

Rory’s eyes were glazed over, glaring in a vague wide loose grasp at whatever the view from the ceiling brought him. His lungs still rose and fell in a calm rhythmic repitition.

“C’mon birthday boy! it’s over. I’m done. I got it. Let’s go. No more.”

No one moved. Not an eye, not a smile, not a subtle reach for a cigarette.

The clear drinks on the bar still held their shape within the glasses they’d been given.  What happened to the Tongan bouncers?

It was frighteningly quiet.

 

“Lights,” the bartender said.

 

Everything went dark.

 

~

 

RB – Why wasn’t anyone speaking, other than the bartender and the ginger haired girl?  Surely this was some sort of stitch up.  People all playing along to make the prank seem so real.  Jacinta practically fell for it that was until Rory didn’t yell out “Surprise!”  He just lay there.  HIs eyes had this  glassy look about them.  Had he been drugged?  This wasn’t funny anymore.  “Heh..”  A nervous half hearted chuckle escaped Jacinta’s lips, but no one cracked a smile, let alone moved.  After the experience of being chased down, then having the homeless man tries to attack her; this was now the icing on the cake of what was a dreadful night out. Why wasn’t the band playing?  Why was everyone staring at her?  She had tried to get the stains out of her dress.  No, that can’t have been it.  Where was Trevor?  Why were the doors closed?

Jacinta swallowed hard as a wave of shock raced through her system.

“This isn’t funny anymore.” A light waiver in her voice as her courage all but left her.  Eyes turned to that of the bartender, but he stared at her coldly then simply said…”Lights.”  The club then fell into darkness, which made the whole situation all the more terrifying.

 

“Rory?  Please…get up.  Say…something.”  Jacinta could no longer see any of the faces of the patrons and staff.  All they were was shadows. Hovering.  Close.  Too close.  Jacinta backed up just a step and felt something or someone big in behind her.  She suspected it was a male, by the feeling of their body in behind her.  But what she hadn’t anticipated was how cold his flesh was.  There was the chilling touch of his breath on her shoulder, that made her jump in surprise.  Without warning, a large set of hands seized Jacinta by the arms, locking her in place.

“Let me go!” Jacinta screamed in protest, kicking and struggling from her captor’s grip – trying in vain to wrestle herself free.  But the harder that she struggled, the tighter the man’s fingers bore into her flesh.  All she could do was lash out and kick with her feet, one foot accidentally kicking Rory who was still on the ground.

 

“Ahaha, she is feisty.”  The Cinamon haired girl let out a twisted laugh at Jacinta’s expense, like she was actually enjoying the show that the frightened girl was putting on.  Jacinta’s hair was now partially covering her face, but she could just make the outline of the girl that spoke.  Jacinta heard her when she first found Rory on the floor.  Why was she laughing?  Jacinta had never seen her before in her life.

“You think this is funny, bitch?”  Some of Jacinta’s spark had returned as she fumed at the treatment she was receiving.  None of this made any sense.  It was supposed to be a night out to celebrate Rory’s birthday, but everyone was acting like extras from a horror movie.  Jacinta snapped her head towards the bartender and screamed “Turn on the lights!”  It was amazing what adrenalin could do. Her eyes darted towards all the shadows that were standing there, silently.

“Rory did say that I’d like you, J.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”  Jacinta hissed back.  She looked down to where Rory lay on the floor.  Had Rory been drinking and socializing with this bitch before she got there?  How did she even know who she was?

“You drugged him!?”  This was the first thing to come to mind.  It was the only reason as to why he would be on the floor like this.  Kim stepped over Rory and came to stand right in front of Jacinta, cocking her head to the right slightly.  “Maybe..” A cruel smile was forming upon her lips.  For some reason, she was easier to see in the darkness.  Why that was however was a mystery.  A slender hand, again cool to the touch graced the right side of Jacinta’s face causing her to inhale sharply.  She tried to draw her head back but it hit the man’s chest behind her.  That was enough for her to jerk forward again.

One of the bar staff handed Kim a champagne glass that was filled with a clear liquid.  She placed her finger in it and gave it a swirl before glancing up through her long eyelashes at the well restrained Jacinta.  “You can join him, you know J.”

Without warning, Kim gripped Jacinta’s jaw and tried to make her drink from the champagne glass.  Her nails cutting deep into Jacinta’s flesh. There was a burning hatred in her eyes.

“Rory!” A garbled cry coming from the poor girl who was being forced against her will.

 

~

LP-  As scattered as they were, Rory forgot his dreams as soon as his eyes blinked open. Things blurred for him. A deep heavy blur. There was consciousness and sound, and there was a mix of dreamy memories.

He remembered screaming, something with struggle. There were solid voices, stable, those which spoke of confidence and promise. They mixed with the fearful, the unsure, and the timid. Something was wrong with the second set of voices – they were unstable, although they were few. Or was it just one. He heard J’s voice. It sounded good. And he saw her too. She was running. She was running to him and it was outside. But she was running not because she wanted. She wore walking clothes, business clothes, clothes she wouldn’t use to run. And it was dark, and it was outside. Her eyes showed her to be afraid. Rory tried to look behind her in the blur of his dream, but there was a point at which his vision dropped off – low beams in the woods at midnight.

“…sure no one knows. Not one bit of what….”

 

That girl was there then. He smiled when he saw her. Something in his heart felt bad when the thought of J while he was still with her. But what she gave him was good – it felt so good. There was her color, her smile, her wit. There was the way she walked right in and moved his social borders to the side, as though they had no purpose whatsoever. It was as if she said, ‘We don’t need these here, do we?’

“…the two of them. I don’t need another Shastin brothers incident. As soon as he wakes up, I want you to…”

The cinnamon girl was there too. She smiled with her big bright teeth, clean teeth, and her laugh…her lips were just so natural and she knew it, didn’t she? She wore black, and Rory was helpless. In his warm slumber a gurgle escaped his mouth.

‘Simmen grrl.’

The sound and quick rumble of his own vocal chords brought him back into a state of fuller waking. He let the weight of his head drop to one side and saw another form there. J was sleeping in the quiet dull of a rusty yellow ceiling lamp, the wires of which were lost in the dark above it. Her body lay recumbent on a table, a white blanket covering her. ‘That’s good,’ Rory thought. ‘There’s a lot of scary things happening in this place. Sleeping’s best.’

“He’s awake.”

The incoming footsteps brought Rory closer to full consciousness.

 

“Mornin’, Sunshine.” The man’s voice was gruff; it matched his stature and color of his blurred form as Rory’s eyes made blinking struggle to give his body clarity. His stature loomed in the dim room, his head almost brushing the hanging light as he and a shorter girl crowded in on J’s resting form. The blur of Rory’s eyes eased into a slow clarity and the man’s dirty trench coat and worn boots gave him the away – a street man, someone who lived outside, survived on the concrete. And from his beard, unkempt and frayed, there was something worrisome about him, something that showed he wasn’t concerned with how others perceived him, moreso how others felt in general.

“Mmm?” J stirred as the two stopped over her.

“She’s still out for a bit. We can still get some work done, enough for starters anyway.” The large man’s form was blocking the body of the girl who spoke, but Rory recognized it without having to see her. “You sure this is the girl, though? The one you chased?”

“Yeah,” grunted the man. “‘At’s her. A real runner, too. I would have had to chase her more, but when I realized she was still headed here, I figured I’d save the energy.” He bent down to J’s face. “Probably got all your runnin’ for the week tonight, didn’ yeh?”

Rory listened and looked. The voices inside him were too scared to make a sound. He wanted to yell at J, tell her to look out and to find someway to get her out of there. Things were too scary. He wanted to get out of the scary parts of the night. They could talk about it later, but right now his dreams and things he was seeing weren’t very…where was this place? Things were wrong, but Rory didn’t quite know where.

 I hear you, he thought. I hear you when you tell me this is bad. Every one of the voices in his heard were pounding. They told him, screamed at him to do something. I know, he thought. I’m trying.

And he was trying – he was trying to move his body, but all he had to himself were his eyes, his mouth, this throat and the automatic breathing of his lungs. Yet his arms weren’t working, neither were his legs. Not his toes, his fingers or his torso. In several instances, he made a full body trial. ‘Where am I not working?’ was the thought. Nothing moved.

Frustrated, he began to sniffle. Tears formed in the ducts of his eyes, and one rolled over his cheek and dropped to the surface. He sniffled again and murmured through a pair of semi-functioning lips, “J-j-Jacin-ttaa.”

Another sniffle, and the tall man turned from J’s quiet form to face him. In the background, the girl behind was visible as well. It confirmed what he already knew.

Again, he tried to speak. “Simmen grrl.”

 

~

 

 

RB –  “Hello……Hello?”  A room without windows, without doors. The walls were like glass – black glass.  Shiny and smooth to touch.  Jacinta ran from wall to wall – pressing her hands up to the glass surface but she could only just make out her own reflection.  She was still dressed in the same clothes as the night of Rory’s birthday.  A strangled cry came from the very pit of her stomach as she continued to smack her palms to the glass walls.  There was nothing to grip onto.  No handles, no latches.  Just the cool smooth glass that formed the four walls, ceiling and floor of what was a prison.  Surely this was a dream  A dream from which Jacinta had no way of knowing how to wake.  This was one of Jacinta’s fears.  Being trapped in a  glass box with no way out.  Her heart started racing as the wave of panic started all over again.  “Why is this happening?”  The girl brought her curled fists up to the glass and beat at it repeatedly, till her hands were swollen and bruised.  The glass remained unaffected by her efforts however, and soon the girl turned and pressed her back to the glass – sliding down slowly into a crumpled heap.  Her head soon resting on her knees with her arms curling around her legs as she rocked back and forth.

The reality was far different from being trapped in a glass box.  Jacinta was laying still on an observation table beneath a rusting yellow ceiling lamp, much like the kind you would have seen in an old World war two movie,  like old war bunkers.  It was a far cry from the strobe lights of the Hub.  Whatever happened after Jacinta had been forced to drink from the champagne glass was all but a haze.  The last thing Jacinta remembered was the room spinning as she was consumed by a terrible darkness.

An assortment of coloured wires that were from several monitoring machines, were fed up and under the white blanket that covered most of her body up to her neck.  Her head was resting on a small u shaped support.  Jacinta’s face looked calm, serene almost.  How looks can be so deceiving.  Though the scruffy bearded man enjoyed seeing her like this.  Different from how she was when she was practically sprinting down the main street to get away.  Fast and in such serious footwear.  Jacinata made a sound, like she was rousing.  Perhaps it was due to the scent of his breath as he leered over her.

“Yeah, this is the one.”  A certainty in his voice when he looked over at Rory, who was now mumbling what sounded to be Jacinta’s name.  The trail of a single tear down his face indicated that he was starting to come around, and knew that his friend J was there.  It was the other name he said, that got Kim’s attention.

“Simmen grrl.”  That was what he called her.  Almost like a pet name, a nick name. It was almost cute.  His quiet sniffle brought Kim from her place at Jacinta’s side to walk over and caress the forehead of the incapacitated Rory.  “Shhhh.  You’ll only wear yourself out.   Don’t worry about J, she’s in good hands.”  A light head tilt and Kimmy assumed a more caring expression.  “You’ll thank me later.  I know you will.”  The corners of Kim’s mouth curled ever slightly as she continued to stroke the top of Rory’s head, before leaning in to plant a soft kiss on his lips.

 

“Miss Lloyd?  I thought I told you to bring me the Kenner file.”

The sheer glass walls warped and changed into that of her boss, Mister Hinkley’s office.  Jacinta had gone from being curled up near one of the glass walls, to standing in front of her boss’s desk.  She couldn’t remember why she was suddenly there, and why he was looking at her so oddly.

“Miss Lloyd?  Are you alright?”

“I…uhm.  I…”  Wide eyed, the young secretary looked at her reflection in the mirror, and she looked just as she had before she’d left the office the night of Rory’s birthday.  Why was this like experiencing a repeat of the same day?  Jacinta was completely lost.  Clueless as to what was happening.  Where were the glass walls?  Her breathing became shallow, as she fumbled with a folder that she was now clutching in her hand.  It was marked “Kenner Inc – Classified.”

“Jacinta…this is highly unprofessional.  I really did expect more from you.”  Her boss rose from his chair, and made his way slowly around his desk.  Raising his hand to button his jacket as though taking on a more formal appearance.  Jacinta was ready to hand over the file that was until the body outline of Mister Hinkley flickered.  Much like the way a television screen does with bad reception.

“Hand it over, Miss Lloyd and and then you can make a start on those presentations.”

“J-j-Jacin-ttaa.”  It was another voice and not just any voice.  It was Rory.

“Rory?”  She could not help but answer him.  Why did he sound like he was crying?  Better yet, where was he?  Jacinta clutched the file closer to her chest and took a step back from Mister Hinkley, who was now scowling at her angrily.

“Hand it over, Jacinta.” His voice had a gravel like consistency, which was nothing like how she knew him to be.  Her boss went to snatch the files, but it was at that moment his face changed to that of the man that had chased her through the streets.  That horrid man.

“Probably got all your runnin’ for the week tonight, didn’ yeh?”  The smell of his breath made her want to be sick.  The room started to swirl and break away, as a bright light shone from above.  Jacinta could feel the grip of a man’s hand upon her and though she tried to pull away, she was incapable of moving.

It was like she had no control over what was happening, but instead of going back into the glass walled room, she found herself lying flat on what must have been a table.  The steady hum of machines that blinked rapidly, along with an array of lights and stats started to come into focus.  Her eyes were opening, ever slowly.  Jacinta’s pupils changed to try and adjust to the light of the room that was directed down upon her.  There were tubes in her arms, IV’s and all across her chest and abdomen; small sensor pads that were stuck to her with a special tape.  Only when the face of the hooded man came into view did the true horror start to set in.  Had she been operated on?

“Simmen grrl.”

Jacinta turned her head towards the sound of what was Rory’s voice and what she saw made her physically sick.  It was the girl from the club and she was leaning over Rory, kissing his lips.  Was this another nightmare like in her boss’s office?  A surreal kind of dream?  Jacinta struggled within a body that simply would not obey her commands.  All she could do was turn her head.  Turn her head and watch the cruel display of Kim being affectionate to what she thought to be her man.

“J’s awake.  Just enough time for one last test.”  Again the bearded man spoke, and what he said made Jacinta’s blood run cold.  ~Test…what test?~  Kim glanced up from Rory, who was still unable to move or respond to what was happening to him. She took in the terrified look on the young girl’s face and smiled in triumph.  All she did to respond to the bearded man was nod…..and only once.

A quiet whimper was all that Jacinta could muster, as the bearded man was handed a needle from an unseen accomplice.  He forced the tip into the saline drip and started to press down to release the clear liquid that ran down the tubing and into Jacinta’s arm.  There was a sharp stinging sensation, before Jacinta’s eyes rolled into the back of her head.  If only she knew what they were doing.  Why she replayed her day before the party.  Who was this evil man and the cinnamon haired bitch?

As Jacinta once again lost consciousness, a door opened and a well dressed man in a grey suit entered the room. He looked like a banker, or lawyer.  Clean cut, perfect hair and chiseled chin.  Steel blue eyes coldly surveyed the room and then the two that were layed out on the tables.

“Good work.”  His words were curt as he closed the door behind him, only to face Kim who had stopped preening Rory’s hair.  This man in the suit.  He must have had some authority, since Kim backed away from the tables for him to inspect.

In the crook of his arm were some files, and on the one that faced outward was a snap shot, similar to a government photo.  The woman in the photo had much lighter hair, but the eyes were unmistakable.

It was Jacinta.

~

 

Dancing with Death – SS.

 

Behind the gilded masks lay creatures of true deceit.  The ball continues.

Scene setting : The Masquerade Ball of Greed.

Co-written with Krystal, Zetta, Moo, Dessy, Temp and Nhal.

 

Krystal:  Maya found herself separated from Allister, and from under her mask, her blue eyes showed a little panic. Before long, though, she exhaled quickly, collecting herself. “I’ll just have to find him, that’s all…” She began making her way through the crowd, occasionally brushing against other ball-goers, all dressed to the nines. The quality and art of the gowns were astounding, and the expertise that went into making each suit was something to wonder about. As she made her way through the crowd, as luck would have it, she bumped into a man wearing an elaborate cloak and a full-faced mask. She looked up at him to apologize, but as they met eyes, she stopped, examining the eyes staring back at hers. “…William…?” she asked, her voice as soft as ever.

Allister was looking around for Maya, but not as dedicated as Maya was looking for him. He was enjoying the party while keeping an eye out for his friend. From under his mask, his blue eyes scanned the room, taking in the grandeur of the place. The architecture… The gowns, suits, artwork, music… This was truly an amazing spectacle. Then he saw her, the woman at the top of the stairs, dressed in a lovely blood red gown. Lydia…? He suddenly felt a little nervous. If she saw him, or Maya, things might go badly for them. He had to find Maya and warn her. Lydia was the only one who knew them, and the only one who could give them away. He started to push through the crowds, making sure to stay polite, looking for Maya.

 

Dessy:  Once they had started dancing, Mariela was focusing on the steps. She was quite a skilled dancer, her father always dancing with her when she was little and teaching her different dances. Then as she got older and started going to parties, her mother taught her a few dances her father didn’t know. She turned her head to see Lydia talking to some man. “Who’s Lydia talking to?” she asked, looking back at Scar with a curious expression on her face. Dancing with Scar, she had realized he seemed to be a natural at dancing. She wasn’t sure if he was taught, or if it just sorta came to him. At Scar’s compliment, Mariela gave a smile. “Thank you, Scar. My parents taught me a lot of different dances when I was little.” she spoke softly.

 

 

Nhal:  Giving a slow tired nod, Sloth yawned quietly as he observed the new arrival. “I see… So she’s the one who wound up killing off Greed.” Watching the woman walk down the stairs he tilted his head towards Kirsikka slowly, lowering his voice to a whisper. “Our Lord says that we must be wary… He feels very suspicious of this one… Please keep yourself out of the way.” he slowly moved and drifted his way around the room, moving towards Lydia and company. “Ahh so this is the woman that took the place of my brother?… I must say, such a task is no easy feat. Under normal circumstances that is…” his shadowy figure stood tall, nodding his head towards her respectfully. “I am Belphegor… It is a pleasure to meet you my dear.

 

Moo:  

“Technically speaking,” Kirsikka remarked under her breath. Her eyes lifted, gazing at him from the side while he spoke word of caution. Her head barely gave a hint of her nodding. “Aren’t I always?” The corner of her lips gave way to a smirk before she began moving slowly in the other direction. The doors to the rest of the castle weren’t too far; just a cut through the dance floor and she was capable to go where she pleased, given any guards didn’t give her trouble. Her eyes danced over the guests while she traveled through them, landing briefly on Belphegor while he introduced himself to none other than the princess of greed. She barely paid mind to those surrounding the two. Eventually in taking hands with a few guests, she was spun about the room, keeping her eyes toward the doors. It wasn’t until Kirsikka was led to the edge of the dance floor that she disappeared completely. A light blue frost swept through the crack of the door, leaving some ice to shape itself to the frame. If guards took notice of the difference and attempted to open them, they would find the doors stuck for several minutes. Enough to buy her time to roam the halls without notice.


Gabriel’s eyes remained holding Lydia’s gaze while the two conversed. The corner of her lips twitched with some amusement. As easy as it was to ignore the compliment, Gabriel did take some form of enlightenment in the woman’s humor. “An amazing gift for a woman… If he wasn’t turning over in his grave over mine, he would at yours.” Everyone knew Mammon had no taste for women on a throne; the very reason he had stomped to Wrath with a half assed army. The kingdom was no gift; it was taken. None other than a demon of ambition would set her sights on such a grand opportunity. It was questionable what the woman would want next. Gabriel’s smile remained as Lydia giggled, flitting her fan. Oh, the materialistic souls of Hell were quite the bore.

“I believe you don’t,” Gabriel agreed with her eyes narrowing in the slightest. While she was one to obtain what she wanted through force, Lydia had no problem manipulating those around her. And slowly, Gabriel attempted to do the same…Draven proved to be a failure, but she assured herself that next time, the djinn would be hers. Even if it meant cutting off his legs so he couldn’t run; so long as his hands were in tact, she could have what she wanted from the boy. Though, that was something to think about at another time. The sharp inhale from the princess caused Gabriel’s attention to right itself. Trouble must have been stirring, not an hour into the eve. It caused the woman to smirk, watching Lydia soften her expression once more. “A second gift from Greed,” she mused. “The generosity here is astounding.” It was enough to make any person wary. Her crimson hues stared at the male accompanying Lydia as the princess leaned toward her ear. “What would the demon of ambition have planned for me?” The closeness might put Cecil on edge; her gaze slid over to him, a small and pleasant smile placed perfectly on her lips while her eyes seemed to give away the truer feelings she possessed at this moment. To deal with Lydia now would save her a great deal of annoyance in the future, surely. And such a beautiful face could make her throne room feel a little more homey. Mammon could certainly use the company in his grave…

The woman’s thoughts were put on hold as a new presence made himself known, speaking to Lydia alone. Belphegor…Gabriel hadn’t expected the likes of him to show up at this party. Even Asmodeus was more likely to show his face than this lazy brute. He wasted no time in presenting himself, causing a bit of amusement to pass over Gabriel’s face. Under normal circumstances. This was pleasant; Lydia might not have been as smooth as she originally thought. Mammon was simply an idiot… Something easily noted as he had blindly set himself up for his undoing. All that was required was the extra push. And Gabriel’s money was placed on Lydia having something to do with that.


Astarte’s attention had been caught by the boys’ conversation about a man that Eren apparently owed a match to. The same one who had injured him before he’d run into the couple, more than likely. The two had a better understanding of each other than she did, in a sense. Being boys who happened to love fighting all the same. Still, her reminder of behaving themselves wasn’t ignored. She was pleased, even in hearing Blitz’ simple yeah, yeah. The hellcat smiled. If something happened, she wouldn’t blame the pair…and hopefully Eva wouldn’t so much as question the event. The woman did hold herself high, and paid little regard to anything happening outside the Anarchy Division, much less if she was getting time to herself or not. The woman deserved a break anyway…being here was a simple pleasure for the three. Handing out cards was no task; they could socialize and present the Anarchy Division as hard working, dedicated civilians of Hell. Taking up a job or two if it was offered wouldn’t hurt any less either. Considering this, her words had little weight to them; the boys would end up finding entertainment where they would with no disdain from the hellcat.

Entering the room, she hadn’t been completely aware of her surroundings. Though Blitz’ shoulder brushing against hers brought the woman’s attention to him easily. Astarte couldn’t help but let out a surprised whoa of sorts, coming out light and girly. Her arm found its way around the back of her lover’s neck, the other hanging loose while their lips locked together. It caused a rise in her heart rate, blinking before she closed her eyes in his embrace. There was no regard for the place he chose to do this; she would never argue with his romanticism, as she looked forward to it constantly, and would return it wherever possible. Disappointingly enough, the moment ended too soon and she found herself having to lift upright before she fell to her rear. Thank you, cat reflexes… Mask on, mask off. You’re my girl. The reminder was a little thrilling, actually, as it caused Astarte to grin. The woman did not need any reminding… No single person could ever hope to obtain the place in her heart that Blitz had, no matter the efforts they put forth. She would remind him of this when the time presented itself. But for the time being, she was here on business. She reminded herself of that as she looked down at the deck of cards in her hand. The hellcat had been left with thirty-five…Eren was the guilty party of taking her last five, as if turning the entire ordeal into a competition.

With the three dispersing into the room, it was made rather apparent that it was exactly the thing on the Phoenix’s mind. Astarte couldn’t withhold her chuckle as she watched a breeze of air pass through toward Blitz’ section of the ballroom. She shook her head, smiling while she began greeting a group of men and women. None were worth more than a glance as she handed them cards and began to talk about the jobs Anarchy Division accepted. No job was too dirty; prices were easy in regards to the sums the nobles held in their own pockets, even as they spoke to her now. The hellcat moved from one group to another, until her eye caught a rather peculiar looking gentleman. He looked sick, or maybe drunk. He swayed as she offered her hand, before looking rather concerned. His eyes drooped, and he fell to the floor with a thud. She stepped back immediately, raising her arms as though she didn’t touch the man at all. It wasn’t so obvious the ball wouldn’t run smoothly that night; but there were other party crashers in the room. Astarte’s gaze moved along nearby men and women, lowering her arms slowly. Some rushed toward the man, chatter beginning, as well as some panic.  

 

Zetta:  Even with his back turned he had caught ear of his surroundings, listening closely to both ladies near him as they continued to mingle. Cecil was doing his duty as one usually close to Her, Lady Wrath. Running his blue ocular orbs quickly atop the masses here at the Greed Kingdom’s castle. Hoping to identify one of them as a danger to the rest, just to be able to go back to his love and tell her of his findings so that maybe he could leave her- if she wanted, with a good impression. The most odd thing he found was a cloaked man, completing his outfit with a mask covering his entire face, unaware of where he was prior Cecil only looked his way because he was the first to bump into someone in this whole thing. Sure enough right after he did so he blended right back into the crowding, his watcher losing sight of him thereafter. While idle he would turn around briefly in time to witness the other Lady moving toward Gabriel, already alert he was just about to take a step in their direction, thinking this could be the chance he wanted. But he was getting a look as well, the same killing intent he fell for back at the other castle, the gaze of infinite anger-in-madness came toward him. Only due to familiarity was he able to confidently look back, for the sake of acknowledgement there was a split-second that the two of Wrath looked eye to eye. Immediately after Cecil’s eyes met the ground beneath her, so as not to anger her, but let her know that he took note.

Now left option-less, the lone guard of wrath turned hunk of a date brought his eyes back to the gathering. He finished his observation of the room in eleven seconds flat. “Hmm. Maybe nothing is going to happen to Lady Gabriel after all..” He would have to struggle to actually witness every single presence in the room but he did in fact feel comfortable with the visual sweeping. At least now the blame would not come to him if he were to not notice anything more peculiar in the future of the grand ball. “I guess I sho-” Stopping himself dead in-tow, however just before the man turned around he quickly noticed a grouping of three individuals entering the place. For such a party they all looked casually dressed with just a bit of preparation involved for their gathering here. All except the man behind what appeared to be a couple, that one was right after them and so it was made obvious to him that he wanted to show his ability to present himself. The man before him was unpredictable, swiftly taking his mate to their own world and then simply dropping her off where she was. That was incredibly unprecedented, moves like that should be prohibited as any number of things could have happened with the accordance of such a close kiss. Weary eyes would never catch a move like that much less note it as a dangerous aspect. But neither of them were in the immediate vicinity of the royal guard, or his prominent Lady Wrath. So it was unnecessary to acknowledge them further, though for the sake of peeking his interest he followed the female of the three to watch what she would do after such a dramatic display of affection..

Unsurprisingly, she was quick into her own pacing, for this he shifted his gaze back along the crowd. His eyes widened when he finally took note of the dangerous presence he was ever-aware about. The woman he’d been eyeing was just a few inches away too, until she was directly upon him, and in that moment he collapsed! He certainly looked pale before, and this was where Cecil’s mind became active; Considering the worst cases here. Going along with the subtle approaching rearing themselves in this ball, it was most likely that he was not sick, but poisoned. A feature that he would not have acknowledged before as everyone was dancing actively, one person bumping into another would mean nothing in a crowd. Now the gaze of the guard would go back onto the woman, or where she had been, because after a minute of his note-taking she was gone. Now he was looking for that one in that full-mask, cloaked down to his boots. Now that one could truly be taken as a suspect, but before he could search for him or anyone else who had brushed that man he would return himself to Gabriel. Still in the midst of accompanying the other Lady, yet another person made himself known. To this though, Cecil would make his way to his love. Gabriel appeared idle to him for the moment and this was his chance to relay. “Gab…” Cutting her name into a sort of alias would make it seem like they held endearment, he was told to be normal after all, and while he debated on the true meaning of this he figured that as her date he was permitted to such boldness. This was almost surely the only time he would have the pleasure. “there’s a growing panic on the floor, you think I should check it out?” He never spoke like this to her before, being casual almost felt alien to him, but he was ‘normal’ at one point of his life and so acting as such was slightly befitting.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Blitz was hot on rich tail, making his way beside many who were already paired into groups of dancers he was etching himself into the memories of many as he effortlessly broke several romantic moments with his entrance. Beholding a reduced number of about 25 cards he had been making rounds of these people, being asked time and time again about what exactly the mercenary clique did. “What!?” Asked rhetorically, obviously, he did not allow a moment to fully past as he wanted his respondents to not say anything after him- but be given the impression that he only questioned them for not already knowing because the business was so widely known. “Anarchy Division only does everything!” He commonly followed up with, finding himself bearing a smile with his progress. This only serving to encourage a smile in the other party with a heart-felt response of pleasantry. A few times he was pushed towards a full explanation by surprises responses of actual interest, nobles were too oblivious he felt, the diversity was invisible unless one was to metaphorically dissect these people. Luckily for him, he was here on topics of expansion, once he had someone sold enough to take his card he could bid for a hasty retreat and be off on his merry way. The man was downing his total the best way he could after catching that dark breeze from Eren, something he was able to easily perceive once he had come in contact with it. For he could see different energies from an individual almost in separate coloring than others, just another trick learned from his former closeness with real forces of life.

The demigod was looking for more prominent people, as always if he could make to it a root of nobles, he would have his name in for the references needed to bring Anarchy Division some real money. He began searching in higher places for someone to come to, looking better taking care of than a simplistic dress or a button-down shirt. But class that he used to be accustomed to, before his time in the mansion where he had the ability to act however he wanted. For that he was sure that looking in escalated areas was a smarter tactic.. And then it hit him.. Why not simultaneously attract everyone.. This idea was birthed upon finding the chandelier above the mid-section of the building, since there was less noise up there he would easily manage to project his voice to descend on those below. Promoting his group even further and easily ridding of Eren’s competition. Making such a move could result in a bad look for Anarchy Division, if everyone saw him flying while a dance was going on, but just as he thought this a bunch of people began making way to one side of the room. Some side-event probably, his enhanced senses picked on exactly what had been happening though. Someone fell out in the middle of party. This made for an opportune moment to get high and then onto the chandelier. He began flying upward, using this ability to make himself weightlessly ascend in the wake of panic.

 

Temp:  William had definitely not expected Maya or Allister to actually approach him in this place, considering what he was doing was supposed to be covert. Any kind of attention that could be put towards him was a bad thing, and apparently Maya didn’t quite understand that. His head turned to look around him to see if anyone noticed what she had said, thankfully everyone was too busy with the poison victim.“Maya…dangerous…leave…” William had no time to talk, as there would likely be a bit of a security increase now. He placed a hand on Maya’s shoulder and held it there for a moment, then simply walked past her and faded into the crowd. Hopefully she and Allister would make it through this unscathed and wouldn’t do anything reckless.

 

For now what was important was keeping up on his assassinations, as well as lowering any probability of him being the likely suspect. In order to do this he would have to make it look like someone else was going about murdering people, and make sure that other people saw it. There was never a lack of useful poisons in the world, thanks to this he knew just what to do. Once again he walked towards his targets, which there were two of. As soon as he was close to one of them he patted him on the back and simultaneously stabbed him with another poisoned needle. This poison was a peculiar one that sent it’s victim into a frenzy of anger after a short duration. William made his way away from the two and into another crowd, making his way towards the opposite side of the room. After ten minutes or so the poisoned man suddenly flipped out and started attacking the man in front of him, taking a dagger from his coat and stabbing him repeatedly. If guards didn’t take care of the man then the poison would, though it would take several hours. Hopefully that little distraction and set up would clear him from any curious eyes.

 

Razorbackwriter:

 

 ~The Chamber of the Spider~

 
While the classical music filled the castle halls, deep within the bowels of the castle there was a chamber that was not too far from the old gnome’s blacksmith shop. This part of the castle was hardly used, and in no way was as grand or elegant as the upper floors. The stone flooring that lead to the chamber was dust ridden and there were cobwebs hanging from the upper crevices that ran along the ceiling. There were few torches and only some were lit. From high above where the band was playing a waltz for the regal guests, the sound below was almost like a low bass thudding. No merriment or pleasure gained from the sound. Shadows in this dark corridor seemed to stretch on further than what would be considered natural. But little did those that attended the ball, realize that the very thing that led Mammon to his death was kept in the dark chamber. Standing atop a small podium that was round in shape and approximately 30 inches was the Beserker armor. Surrounding the armor was twelve stone statues. Each holding a long sword tight within their grasp. The statues appeared worn and covered in a thick layer of dust. Again…there were spiders webs in all corners of the room and at the back a larger web again. A light Chittering sound is heard, but then there is silence. The Beserker’s armor still bares the scrapes and scratches from battle, but all blood has been absorbed.

~The Grand Ballroom~

Mariela was right to be curious about just who the Princess of Greed was speaking too. In fact, Lydia had made a beeline right for the handsome looking young man. Scar lifted his head slightly and then narrowed his gaze at the pair. Interesting. He had not come across this man before, but by the looks of his dress, it would appear that he was one of the Princes of Hell. But which one? He had with him a rather large gentleman that stood quite close to the Prince. Scar jutted out his bottom lip and tried to make head or tail of it. Continuing to twirl Mariela around the dance floor, whilst stealing glances, Scar had a question of his own. ”I had no idea that one of Hell’s Princes was gay.” Again he twirled the young witch and leaned over for a better look through the crowd. ”And if he is gay…I think Lydia is wasting a perfectly good flirt. Look at her. Tsk.” To be truthful, Scar had no idea who the gentleman was, but then another approached Lydia and this one was moving rather slowly. Drawing his own conclusion after seeing the chap yawn, then speak to Lydia, Scar said. ”My money is on THAT Prince being Sloth….er, I mean Belphegor.” Giving a light shrug of his shoulders, he continued to dance with Mariela, before looking at her and asking. ”Did you want to hob knob with the likes of those royals?” The Alp was curious to see if Mariela wished to be introduced.

 

Keeping up appearances was the order of the day for Lydia as the change in her expression from seeing Maya and Allister didn’t go unnoticed. Yes, she tried to speak of more topical subjects, like the breaking of the curse that Mammon had set upon Gabriel on his dying breath. As Gabriel asked what the new Princess of Greed had in store for him, another royal approached and this one was the brother of Mammon. Lydia was about to put on the performance of her life as she turned ever slightly and found herself falling beneath his shadow. Belphegor towered over her and though he could have been cutting in his remarks and introduction he held back and used tact. Lydia lowered her fan slightly and offered what appeared to be a genuine smile. Not the kind where she grit her teeth for she bore no ill will for Belphegor at all. She was wary however. Knowing Gabriel was right there, the Princess of Greed was careful in her reply. ”Delighted to meet Mammon’s kin, and under such circumstances. We here at Greed mourned the passing of your dear Brother. He of course left a legacy which I am sure that we will uphold.” What legacy Lydia meant was to be kept close to her chest. Suddenly, Lydia brightened as she went into full hostess mode. ”Oh how rude of me. Belphegor, may I present….Gabriel, PRINCESS of Wrath.” Oh the cheeky look on her face as she gestured to the stunning male that WAS Gabriel. ”We were just discussing how fast change was occurring. I mean. One minute there was seven Princes of Hell…now there are….are…uhm.” She paused a moment, since Gabriel still looked like a Prince, not a Princess. ”Five…” Lydia couldn’t hold back the giggle. It really was kind of funny when you thought about it. But Lydia’s good humor was about to come to an abrupt end. The black suited companion that had joined her from the stairs had been keeping a watchful eye on those that were dancing and enjoying the sumptuous delights from the buffet tables. Lydia’s companion made a strange sound and then bent his head to whisper in Lydia’s ear. You could see the smile fade from her face instantly as he passed on word that there had been an incident. ”Already?” Lydia exclaimed before rolling her eyes. It was at this moment, she asked the two princes to be excused. ”If you would both excuse me, I must attend to a trifle little matter.” Chatter was already building from some of the guests as they formed a circle around the fallen man. The one that had just been murdered. Picking up her skirts, Lydia rushed over to see just was causing such a ruckus.

Scar had also heard the commotion and stopped in his dance with Mariela. His eyes darted from the scene where a man had fallen, to the swift movement of Lydia and her companion across the floor towards them. It was then another fight broke out in a different part of the room. A man had removed a hidden dagger from within his coat and was stabbing another guest wildly. The ball was turning into chaos, and this was the moment that Scar was afraid of. He seized Mariela’s hand and went to drag her from the dance floor, towards one of the terraces that led to the garden maze. ”No time for questions. I made a promise to you. Come on!”

Lydia spun around at the sound of the new fight that had broken out and this was when she lost all patience. Her wonderful party and all her plans would fall into ruin due to unknown reasons. ”Guards!” She screamed on the top of her voice. As they would file in from various doors and entrances, she pointed out the two men fighting, while a Doctor was seeing to the man on the floor.

 

~RB~

 

 

Little white shorts – GS.

 

Gantz series.

Scene setting : Detective Frank Malone’s apartment.

Co-written with Chor.

 

Chor:  After probably the most enjoyable shower Isa as experienced in awhile, she stepped out of the shower onto the plush rug – which was immediately soaked by her dripping body- and pulled a towel around herself.

Shit,” she whispered. She really was not on her game this morning, as she had also forgotten that the clothes were in Frank’s bedroom. She decided on not bringing further attention to her idiocy and settling at the moment for brushing her teeth. At least three times. Finally, with the stench of the ghost of garlic of nights past gone, she pulled the towel tighter around herself, which was simple on account of there being little for her to actually cover, and opened the door a crack. Frank was in the kitchen and not paying attention. See, Isolde saw her underwear and bra as just articles of clothing, nothing too sexual or important about them. That probably stemmed from being with her sister, who came home in lingerie most mornings. Isolde tiptoed to his room while Frank was turned around and closed the door behind her.

Okay, back of the closet,” Isolde said to herself. She opened the blinded door and peer to the back of the dark space to see a box nearly overflowing with clothing Isa knew could not be Frank’s. She dragged it out with great difficulty on account of how much was actually in it. Oh my god. Isolde nearly snorted when she lifted out the contents. The box was teeming with white shorts and hoodies of every neon colour imaginable and…dear lord they all read “Malone 02” on the back. Soccer mom, how did Isa not guess it. She honestly couldn’t imagine Frank with someone who owned this many pairs of white shorts. Isolde couldn’t imagine how many more pairs the woman had that she was able to leave so many behind. How many monogrammed hoodies can one woman own?

Isolde snapped on her bra and then pulled over it an orange hoodie that didn’t have all the same vibrancy as the others – likely because of multiple washes in city water- sighing, as if the colour burned her eyes. Then came the shorts, through which her underwear were absolutely viewable. Shoving the box back to its hiding place where she hoped to never see it again, Isa exited the room, face slightly wrinkled, cringing like she was wearing some sort of clown suit.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Frank had been toying with his cellphone while trying to come up with an appropriate message to send to Tommy. It was not surprising that the reporter would send him such a text. They had been friends a long time and Tommy could easily pick when Frank was at his lowest. It was one of the things that made their friendship what it was.

Hearing the continual running of the water from the shower, Frank deducted that Isa was really enjoying it. Thankfully they weren’t on rationed water supplies, as that could have put a dampener on her morning ritual. Clothes. Now that was going to be interesting to see. When Frank had placed the large box of his ex’s clothes in the back of his closet, he had completely forgotten what was in it. Trust Missy to leave behind all her soccer hoodies and those numerous pairs of white shorts. It was only when Isa emerged in the pumpkin colored hoody did Frank have that sudden flashback. One thing though, Isa looked amazing in those white shorts. A hell of a lot better than Missy ever did.

Seeing the wrinkled facial expression showing that Isa wasn’t exactly sold on the look she was wearing, Frank tried his darnedest to cheer her up.

“Hey, Isa. You look great!” At least she wasn’t wearing the neon hoody. Those stood out worse than a construction worker on his night shift. Tommy gave a small thumbs up, before reaching for his wallet and keys. His phone was now safely tucked back into his jacket.

“Fancy going to Jax’s coffee house for breakfast. I happen to know they do great waffles.”

Frank was hopeful that Isa would agree to his idea, since it was his favorite place now for coffee – which he badly needed. Realizing he needed to freshen up first, he patted Isa’s arm as he shot past her into the bathroom.

“Give us five minutes, would you?”

In the bathroom, Frank splashed his face with cold water, before patting it dry and then grabbing his tooth brush to brush his teeth. Curry breath and all that.

Re emerging, Frank showed Isa to the door.

“I’ll text Tommy when we get there. Say….do you like soccer?”

 

~RB~

 

Chor:  It was kind of Frank to tell Isolde she looked great, when in reality she knew she looked nearly ridiculous. The shorts were tight beyond belief; how did this woman even have a child with such narrow hips? Isa was swimming in the hoodie however, the fit so loose the only way for her to function her arms was to roll the sleeves to her elbow.

Thanks,” she uttered with a disbelieving nod. Of course, it could be worse…probably? Okay, maybe not. The hot mess that stood listen to Frank mention a little coffee house for breakfast smiled to herself. Two meals in less than 48 hours? This would have to be a new record. They’d better alert the media; write it into the calendar…

Sounds great to me. Can’t say no to waffles.

Isa wouldn’t argue. Waffles happened to be her favorite breakfast food, aside from cheese-eggs, but she could only eat the eggs if she made them. Everyone else seemed to cook them too long or with not enough milk and cream. Thinking about it, Isa reminded herself that she should probably pick up milk and eggs when she got a chance. Maybe even bread. Frank darted past her to use the restroom and she blinked a wide blink, as though she’d gotten whiplash from the fast movement. When he’d emerged, Frank was a new person. Fresh and ready for the day. Jeez, how is it he didn’t even have to try to look handsome? This made Isa’s predicament a little more sour. At the mention of soccer, her jaw dropped with a grin. Really?

Oh, yeah, love it,” she replied sarcastically with a little chuckle as she grabbed her clothes, wadded them into a ball, and followed him out.

 

The Hub.

The Hub.

An exciting new collaborative work with lpstribling – wordpress.

RB – The crowd bustled as it stood in the long formation of a line up just outside the Hub night club.  Saturday nights were always best and the cold eyed looks from the Tongan bouncers gave those that lined up hopefully a sense of impatience.  Tapping his foot, Rory looked down at his watch.  Jacinta was late….again.  It was her idea to meet the gang at the club, and the young office clerk wondered if she had been kept back again by her power driven boss – Mister Hinkley.  Reaching into his jean pocket, Rory fished out his cell and checked the messages again.  Still – nothing from her.  ~Dammit, where could she be?~  he thought to himself.  There was still about ten people in front of him, and at least fifty in behind.  Cursing softly, he tapped in a message on his key pad and then hit send.  At this rate, he wouldn’t get in till well after midnight.

“Will that be all now, Mister Hinkley?”

Jacinta was standing in the door way of her boss’s office, chewing her bottom lip and hopeful that the presentations she had prepared were enough to suffice.  She had spent a good four hours on them, but she knew that there was no way that Hinkley would give her any credit.  The bespectacled manager scanned the series of documents from the brown folder, and finally gave a slow nod.  At least he wasn’t yelling.

“I think that should do it, Miss Lloyd.  You are free to go.”

If Jacinta could have she would have done a fist pump, but she knew that would be totally out of order.  Instead she offered a weak smile and turned on the ball of her right foot to scoot back down to her cubicle and grab her things.  ~I am so late.~  Her mind was racing, wondering if Rory was still down at the club waiting.  It was his birthday after all.  There was a brightly wrapped box on the desk that was in between two piles of papers and Jacinta haphazardly reached for it, stuffing it into her attaché case.  Rory was a sci-fi nut, and she had gotten him a special edition copy of some old Star Trek movie.  It was not her scene at all, but he went on endlessly about his love of Kirk.

The sound of the cleaners moving their floor sweepers through the building signaled just how late she was.  Cursing under her breath, Jacinta switched off her computer and snatched up her bag.  The sound of her heels, clacking quickly down the corridor to the lift would barely be heard over the steady hum of the carpet cleaners. The last anyone would have seen was the sight of Jacinta hurrying for the lift, as though her life depended on it.

Down on the street outside, there were few people about the foyer of Macquarie building.  Jacinta stepped out onto the pavement and looked up and down the street for a cab.  They didn’t often come down the business end of town this late at night.  ~Christ~  Jacinta was going to have to leg it.

~RB~

LP –     Rory’s head turned back, checking behind him with more of a frequency now that the line in front of him had diminished from the ten people who used to be in front of him to the two or three (two) that stood there now. The attendant doling out tickets had clocked out and someone new had stepped in for her about five customers ago. The replacement seemed to be a bit more experienced, on the ball, organzied, and overall better equipped to handle the job than the previous person. It was better for business, thought Rory, more economical. It was probably more efficient – again, better for business, he thought as he kept looking around (Where was Jacinta?). But, at this very moment, he wished that the other person was sitting behind the window – the more inept, less efficient, person. The dolt. The person who would give him just that much more time to wait for her.

“You too, huh?”

Rory’s head completed the half circle this time upon hearing the voice. The short girl behind him in line stared up at him for a reaction. At the quick glance at her he noticed only the smooth pale of her face’s white skin, several freckles, and the wry curve of her peach lips. From what his periphery gave him, she wore black. Had she been there the whole time?

“Sorry?” he said.

“I said, ‘you too,’ as in ‘did you also get stood up too?’ I figured the abbreviated version would be enough. Not that I want to pry or anything,” she said. Her voice, as he heard it, was somehow as smooth as her skin. She looked back at her toes as she finished.

Rory glanced down as well, hoping to bounce down to where she was looking and back in the time that her eyes came back up to his. Black. Boots, leggings, skirt – all black.

“And there’s no need to be sorry, either. We’re both here waiting for someone else, aren’t we? Someone who, let’s face it, probably isn’t going to show up.” She snorted in a chuckle. She looked back at him, a pearly smile widening. “Ironic isn’t it? At least it’s not your birthday.”

The comment itself was innocent enough. But how beautifully it matched her. Could the purity of her sarcasm have been better on anyone else at any other moment?

“Umm,” he began. She turned to him. Those eyes again. What was going on with those things? They had him. But his mind snapped back to Jacinta, and how she wasn’t there. He looked at the girl with complete focus. “Actually, it is my birthday.”

“Really?” She said, the hook of her wry smile snapping to its zenith. “Mine too.

RB – The sounds of police sirens filled the night air.  Jacinta was practically jogging, which in her heels wasn’t such a good idea.  Hell, if only she’d worn her pumps.  Her brunette hair bounced upon her shoulders, her eyes widening as a car sped past her and happened to drive right through a puddle.  The oncoming wave was unavoidable.  ~Kasplash~  Jacinta threw up her hands and let out a growl of indignation.  This just wasn’t her night.  The young secretary rolled her eyes, and gave her left foot a wiggle to shake off the excess water.  She’d been planning this night for weeks and had made arrangements for their friends to meet them inside. Her silk stockings now clung to her legs like a second skin, and the cold air nipped at her.  At this rate she was going to catch a cold.

Jacinta pursed her lips and then with a renewed sense of determination, she started off again.  The club must have been six blocks away, so if she picked up her pace, she should make it in twenty minutes.  Give or take.

As Jacinta crossed the next street when the walk sign turned green, a dark shadow came out from one of the adjoining streets.  The glow of a cigarette the only visible sign of light other than the street lamps.  Smoke wafted lazily about the man’s head; as unseen eyes followed the trail of the young woman.  It wasn’t safe to be out alone on a night like this.  High above the clouds parted to reveal a full moon.  Slowly, the man reached up for the cigarette that was clenched between his teeth and withdrew it slowly.  His fingers parted slightly, to allow the cigarette to fall to the ground where he simply left it.  Not even bothering to stamp it out.  Head bowed, the man pulled his hoody up over his head and started off after Jacinta – at a slower pace.

One says that we all have a sixth sense.  Intuition for when things aren’t quite right.  This would be the case with Jacinta.  Though the noises of the city streets were now a meld of cars, sirens and exhaust vents, she managed to hear the sound of foot falls coming in from behind her.  Ashen faced, Jacinta had to stop herself from looking back.  Surely it was just another late office worker, like her.  But curiosity got the better, and when she glanced back over her shoulder, she could just make out the outline of a tall man, wearing hoody and torn jeans.  She couldn’t see his face, but there was something in his left hand.  The flash of a silver blade.

~FUCK!~  Her mind screamed, yet no words escaped her lips.  Survival instincts kicked in, and Jacinta broke into a run.

~RB~

LP –    The bass from the inside of the club massaged both Rory and his new friend as they dipped past the ticket window and the statued muscles of the Tongan night guard and approached the main floor. He had put to the back of his mind the thought that he had bought her ticket and offered her the first drink of the night. It was a friendly gesture, the thought. Besides, his real date had stood him up, at least that’s what made the most sense. The more he talked to the girl who was in line with him, the more he wanted to feel like having a date for the night.  It was a chilly evening after all..

“And it is our birthday.” Perhaps it was the way she said it. The way her her cinnamon eyebrows hovered playfully over the green opals of her skin. There was something about her. Why not? He thought. It was just one drink. When Jacinta shows up, he would just tell her that he was making small talk with someone while he was waiting. Could she really be that upset?

Duster was the featured band of the night and it explained why the Hub was as packed as it was.

As they entered, a spot opened up at the small silver corner table right by the entrance. The girl stepped right in and pulled Rory’s arm over as if to show she was marking their territory.

“How’s this?”  she asked.

“Great” he said, feeling a comforting jolt of the sudden grasp of her hand on his. “Okay, I’ll head over to the bar. What’s it gonna – “

“What?” She yelled up at him, cupping her ears. The booming numbness of the band on stage, some no-name cover for the main event, scratched at the audible ambiance. It grated on the ears and it was natural that she couldn’t hear him.

Rory started over, decibels louder, with gestures. “I said, I’m going to the bar. What’s it going to be?” He made tilting wrist motion – the universal sign for alcohol, or ‘I need to drink.’

“Vodka,” she mouthed with a wide grin, mimicking his tilted wrist gesture.

Rory smiled back, comfortable, and turned to wedge his way through the crowd of dark-colored tops, tinted shades, gelled hair, and bling. He waited behind a couple of bodies for a few minutes before moving into ordering position.

“Vodka and a Long Island,” he told the bartender, a veteran with a tone build and clothing with tones low enough to match the club walls and the night beyond.

“You with her?” the bartender’s voice coughed as he readied two glasses with several crushes of ice.

Rory tapped a bit on the wood of the bar top and looked around. The bartender couldn’t have been talking with him. With all they have to keep track of, he was probably answering a question from –

“Hello??”

Rory looked back to an icy bold look from the bartender. The man’s strong peppered beard more prominent than Rory had noticed.

Rory leaned in, giving focus now to the man  behind the bar.

“I said, are you with her?” He made a quick point of his finger and then picked up a white rag and washed his work area.

Rory followed the quick gesture of the bar man back to the girl he came in with. Her head was cocked to the side, and her smile was locked on him. She brought a hand up and made a tilting motion.

‘How ‘bout that drink?’ she motioned.

RB – These heels were not meant for running in with the pavement doing untold damage.  But what was a pair of heels worth, when you were being chased?  Terror gripped Jacinta’s heart as she tried to weave her way down the pavement.  Arms pumping violently as she surged forward with her hair flying about her face.  Jacinta had never run this fast in her life, not even in middle school.  What would her gym teacher say?  It was amazing however the affect of adrenalin, when you thought your life was in danger.  The hooded man was closing in on her.  Why her?  Why tonight?  Where were the damn cops when you needed them?  Sure, she could hear the sirens, but they could have been a thousand miles from where she was running.  Without stopping, she bolted across a busy intersection.  A car horn blared while the screeching sounds of tyres breaking would give others in the vicinity cause to look.  One midnight blue sedan barely missed her – swerving just shy of her.  Jacinta turned her head back to see if the man was still on her tail, and this is when she got the shock of her life.  This man….this hooded assailant, leapt over the car bonnet.  Like something out of a movie.  Springing forward; with all the agility of a wolf.

A scream of terror tore from her lips as she snapped her head back around and continued on running.  She had to lose him, but how?  As the terrified young woman passed another street, she saw the entrance to an alley.  Darting down and across the street, she hurried in to a place where the street lights had little effect.  The darkness would be her camouflage.  A large industrial bin was to the right side and Jacinta ducked in behind it.  Her heart was beating so fast that she thought she might have a heart attack.  She placed her hand up on it, whilst gasping for air.  Her lungs felt like they were set to explode.

~Please, please go away~  Jacinta rocked back and forth, listening out for the sound of his oncoming footsteps.  Her lips parted with a single line of saliva hanging from her bottom lip.  This was not the way the night was supposed to have been.  Had it not been for her boss insisting she stay back to finish those damned presentations, she would be at the Hub – probably on her third drink.  Jacinta squinted her eyes tightly, bowing her head.  A single tear escaping from between her eyelashes and trickling down her cheek.

It was at this very moment that her cell phone buzzed.

Jacinta froze – her bag vibrating with the annoying tune of Gangnam style amplified on the small speaker.  Jacinta dug about in her bag to try and make it stop, with her fingers fumbling about inside it. Jacinta  carried so much junk about in her bag, things that she hardly ever used.  It was hard to find her phone through it all.

Out of the corner of her eye however, she could see the shadow….approaching her. A cold shiver ran down her back.  Was this it?  Her fingers curled around a small tin of deodorant, and she slowly withdrew her hand.

~RB~

LP – After the standard seven rings, Jacinta’s voicemail picked up. He sighed. “C’mon, c’mon. Where the fuck are you?” he muttered to himself while the robot recording played through. They had only been together for coming up on a month and he still hadn’t told her how much it pissed him off when people couldn’t take the easy three mintues to change their voicemail.

“Hey, J, it’s me,” Rory began, chuckling, “like you expected anyone else, right? Look, I’m already inside. I mean, I know you probably got held up by the Hink or whatever. Whatever. He’s a dick. Anyway, call me when you’re close, or…whatever, just come inside. We’re right by the…I’m inside by the door.” He clicked the phone off and dropped it back in his pocket. He almost let it out – his co-birthday, his order of Vodka, his cinnamon. The way it was looking, Jacinta wasn’t coming anyway. If she did, he would figure it out; ‘this is my friend’ he would say, someone who was there letting him share the table, ‘But moving on, where the hell were you?!’ 

Yeah, that would work.

He headed back toward the entrance way of the Hub, flashing the blur of blue ink on his wrist to the Tongans as he did. ‘Three fucking minutes,’ he thought.

There was a minor fear that she wouldn’t be there when he walked in. But that fear dissipated as soon as he popped his head around the corner. Her small form still sat there at the silver table, fingers interlaced around the clear and plain tumbler and her drink. Her eyes grabbed him in the dimness and the vibrant sounds from the stage. They were a hideous pounding, but he was too drunk to care, and not from the alcohol.

Kim was her name, or as she liked it, Kimmie. God, did that fit perfectly.

“Still cold outside?” she asked taking another sip of the vodka. She had made some progress since he had been away from the table.

“Not too bad,” Rory responded, taking his seat. Was his chair a bit closer to her?

She looked at him with a mild squint, almost trying to see behind his eyes. “Really?” she said.

“What?”

“‘Cold outside?’ You’ve never heard that one?” She scanned his face before shrugging it off and going back to her tumbler. “It means ‘did your date come?’ But I guess if I have time enough to explain it and you’re sitting here alone listening to me give you the explanation, then I guess it means that yeah, it’s still pretty cold outside.”

“Oh, right. Well, she probably got stuck at the office or something.”

She shook her head and mumbled something before knocking her head back and downing the last of her drink. “AAhhhh.” She let out a refreshing release from her drink and slammed the tumbler on the hard surface.

“Did you say something?

She smirked looking at her glass and then turned to him. “Yes, actually, I did. I said that I was probably going to be stuck here again on my birthday with another boring life sob story about whatever blah blah excuse why people can’t be happy or why the other person in their lives isn’t better in this way, that way, or the other.”

Rory’s glass was at his lips when he heard this. He lowered his glass to give him space to explain himself. “Whoa, wait, I wasn’t -”

“Just hang on a bit,” she started. “Happened on my birthday last year too; met some good-lookin’ guy, went to a bar, got drinks, and he bored the fuck out me and ended up talking with the bartender the whole night. I walked home,” she said. “Ha! The shit I get myself into.”

“No no, hang on a second,” Rory started. Where it would go, he didn’t know, but he had to figure something out. Jacinta wasn’t there, and if it wasn’t going to be her, he might as well enjoy his birthday. “I don’t even like the bartender,” he closed. It was the best he could do. He actually thought it was pretty good. He had only talked to the bartender once that night, and after the guy told Rory to watch out for this girl, he didn’t care if he talked to him again.

She snorted and looked over at him. She nodded in small bobs. “Good one,” she said. “Well, then how about another drink?”

“Haven’t even touched mine yet,” he said bringing his Long Island to his lips. “As soon as J gets here though, I think you might like her.”  It was more of a hope and he knew it. No, the truth was it was bullshit. He wasn’t sure how he would get out of it now. But with Cinnamon Kim at his side, he was starting to feel pretty good.

He took a long sip and set the drink down. “Let me just get this in me and we can go from there.”

“Alrighty,” she said, blurring in front of him. The vision of the inside of the Hub zoomed in and out. The walls changed faded and grew into new colors. He looked at her again. Her form was fully blurred and, with a crash, Rory’s eyes somehow found the ceiling.

From the floor, a tall form filled his blurred vision and stood above him. The figure crouched and Rory’s eyes closed.

“I thought I told you about her,” said the bartender.

RB – A slurred voice came out of the darkness, one that made absolutely no sense.  It was enough for Jacinta however to act.  She pointed the small aerosol can of deodorant towards the approaching man and pressed the nozzle down hard.  “Arrrrggh…what are you…doing?”  The man stumbled backwards awkwardly, his hands up to his face as the deodorant stung his eyes.  “Trying to blind me!?”  Seeing the man now, Jacinta realized it was not the same man that had been chasing her, but some homeless man wearing a torn coat and worn out shoes.  His hair was matted and sticking out like straw from beneath a fishing hat.  Feeling a surge of courage that came from God knows where, Jacinta launched herself at the stunned and blinded drunk – knocking him back so he would fall hard onto his ass.

“Bitch…I was trying to help!”  The gurgled reply came up from the man who was now down on the ground and reaching up for her.  The poor girl was so frightened that she refused to take his hand, but instead gave him a hefty kick in the side, enough to have him howl in protest.  The homeless drunk curled up in pain and groaned loudly, with Jacinta leaping over him and then taking off back to the main street.  By the time she reached the first lamp post, she was breathing raggedly, her eyes darting up and down the street.  The man she attacked was not the same one that had chased her down.  Surely he had to still be in the area. Not willing to chance another encounter, Jacinta took flight in the direction of the Hub.  It was only two blocks away and at the speed she was going, Jacinta would be there in a matter of minutes.

But what had happened to the hooded man?

The homeless man rolled over till he was on all fours, blooded drool dripping on to the pavement.  He coughed loudly, swearing and cursing at the girl’s antics.  His eyes were stinging from the deodorant and he blinked rapidly – causing his eyes to water.  With a gloved hand he wiped one of his eyes.  “Damn bitch…” he croaked, trying to get up to standing.  Suddenly, he felt the grip of a man’s hand upon his head.  Gasping the drunk floundered as a silver blade was brought to his throat.

~SLASH!~

He’d been pulled back up onto his knees by his assailant.  The drunk couldn’t see behind him to recognize what was to be his killer. Helpless eyes stared forward in horror while the blade was slashed across his throat.  Blood spewing out and down over his already stained shirt.  The drunk clawed out at the air in front of him, but already his lungs were filling with blood.  Drowning; on dry land.

The hooded man released his hold on his victim, who crashed forward into a puddle of his own blood.  The body twitched violently like a flailing fish on land before succumbing finally to death.  What a horrible way to die.  Alone…His body would of course be found later.  Probably by the city council refuse service, or perhaps some down and out prostitute.

The killer brought the blade up to his lips and licked at the blood as it dripped from the silver edge; a grin spreading across his face.  The drunk was not his target.  She had managed to get away…..this time.

Trevor the Tongan bouncer was standing with arms folded at the front entrance of the Hub, when a disheveled looking Jacinta raced up and reached for one of his arms.

“Trev…let me in.  Please.  I’ve been chased…six blocks and was almost mugged by a drunk.”

The bouncer sneered down at Jacinta, not recognizing her at first – mainly cause she looked terrible.  “What chu talkin’ about, J?  You late.  Your boy is inside.”  Trevor jerked his thumb towards the entrance of the Hub, then squinted at her, before wrinkling up his nose.  “What’s that smell?”  He sniffed.

Jacinta slapped both her hands to his chest and gripped his lapel.  “Garbage.” She huffed.  “Now let…me…in!”

Trevor shrugged and lifted the rope.  Jacinta didn’t even thank him, but instead hurrying inside and running straight to the rest room.  She almost knocked over a few of the girls in her rush.  On getting inside, she slammed her bag on the wash counter and stared at her reflection.  The girl staring back at her was barely recognizable.  It would take another ten minutes of preening and cleaning herself up before she was presentable enough to face Rory.  That was…if he was even still in the club.

Emerging from the girl’s room, Jacinta scanned the room for any sign of Rory.  The place was packed, but she did happen to notice the barman crouching over someone.  Curiosity got the better of her and she pushed her way through for a peek.  When she got alongside the barman and looked down, she was shocked to see who it was.

“Rory?!  What happened to you?”

~RB~

‘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.

 

Razorbackwriter:  

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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~