The Orago District – BC.

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The Orago District is where the working class residents live. They are neither rich nor poor, but can afford good enough housing. This district has a commune feel to it, with lights hanging across the streets to provide light at night. For this reason, Orago can seem like a safe place. There are a few shops and cafes here so residents do not always have to rely on travelling to the Inner City or worse, Kayl. Residents will usually work in the Inner City or the Port, but some might work in Kayl.

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After Ava had knocked Selina out and then placed a magic sleeping spell on her, Joel and the young student take Selina and the talking demon plushie Tallulah back to his home in the Orago District.

Scene setting – Joel’s House – Blood City.

Co-written with Gene and Temp.

 

Razorbackwriter:  

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Joel’s House

Thankfully, the bus ride went smoothly from the inner city towards Orago district – where Joel lived. To those that sat near them on the bus, Ava and Joel spoke as though the girl that slept in his arm needed medical attention, and subsequently the other passengers gave them space, thinking that she was contagious. Amazing how people thought when you gave them subtle hints. It was enough to make Joel feel a bit more relieved, but he still had an unconscious High Priestess on his lap and she could wake at any given moment. Passing through the valleys and outer forests they finally came across the outer district of Orago. It was nothing like the city, and the many towering hills that were dotted with dwellings and shacks gave the tourist the impression that this was a workers town. That those that lived here commuted to the big city center and back daily.

Getting off the bus stop nearest to his home, it would be a five minute walk up some small trails till finally coming out at a double story building in amongst the trees. It was overgrown in parts, but in a way it had a certain charm about it. Almost like it was nestled in the middle of a garden that had long since been cared for. This was true in a sense, since it was Joel’s mother that had the green thumb. In the years since her death, the garden came into its own and grew in a way as though to protect the house that was in the middle.

Taking Selina up the stairs, he stopped at the door to take off his shoes, when the sliding door slid back to reveal a young woman who happened to be Joel’s sister. She was on her way out and stopped right before Joel with a look of bewilderment and confusion.

“Joel….what are you doing bringing home a child?” Stepping back only as Joel barged on through, the weight of the girl having grown heavy in his arms. “I can’t really explain, Beatrice. I need to place the girl down.” He headed into Beatrice’s small bedroom and placed the girl carefully on her bed. His sister didn’t like this at all.

“You can’t just bring a kid home and then dump her in my room without telling me what is going on.” Beatrice put her hands on her hips and frowned at her older brother. This was most out of character for him, and she wanted answers. Instead, Joel went to put on a kettle for a much needed cup of coffee.

“Go to work, Beatrice, you’ll be late.” He didn’t even look back at her to see if she had gone. Beatrice shook her fist at her brother then snatched up her bag, before seeing Ava on the porch. “When I get back, I want answers.” She shot Ava a strange look, then took off down the stairs to catch the bus to the inner city, just where Joel had come from.

Now that he was alone with just Ava and the sleeping Selina in his sister’s room, Joel took out a cigarette finally and lit it. Taking that first drag helped him relax after the very trying day.

“So, time to interrogate the plushie.” Joel said, hoping that Ava would set the bag down and let the strange toy creature out.

~RB~

 

Gene:  

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The excuse worked perfectly well. Not only were they able to leave the Council Headquarters quickly, the lady from before hadn’t noticed anything odd about the room. Even on the bus, whilst some did look at them, they kept their distance and did their best to make eye contact; it was as if they were a disease people noticed, but didn’t want.

As the bus made its way to the Orago District, it quickly became apparent everything was new to Ava; never before had she been in Orago. The Vestro District purposely kept itself secluded from the lower classes. For that reason, many generations knew little about the life others, who weren’t as fortunate as them, held. Her finger lingered on the glass and her attention was being pulled in all directions with the scenery. Even when they departed from the bus, Ava would often slow down to observe something, then quickly run to catch up with Joel and Selina.

After a few minutes, she finally rested her eyes upon Joel’s house. Was this truly where he lived? If Joel ever did look to her, she’d do her best to mask her surprise. It was only after seeing such things, which made Ava realise that not everyone was as fortunate as her. However, the obvious-caste-system was the least of their problems.

Following close behind, Ava found herself meeting Joel’s sister. It was odd meeting someone related to a teacher; when she was younger, she always thought teachers lived in the school and had no family. She took her shoes off and would have greeted his sister, but there seemed to be no point. It’s not like greeting her would stop her questions. Thankfully, Beatrice didn’t ask any questions what Joel was doing with a 16 year old; after his sister left, Ava began to explore her bedroom. It wasn’t as though she could do much exploring; nonetheless she took interest into the smallest of details, until they came back to the topic.

Ava placed her bag onto the floor and said, “It’s fine to come out,” to Tallulah. The toy had been brief with its answers to their previous questions, but they had to know more.

 

Temp:  Being stuck in some humans bag was not something she had expected to ever experience, and yet here she was. Selina had apparently remained asleep due to Ava’s spell, which was fortunate for the two humans. Honestly, she doubted that the awakened Selina would just randomly kill these two, but their fear was understandable. When they finally stopped and seemed to be at their destination she was quick to hop out of her ‘prison’. She then made her way next to Selina, and turned her head to look between the two humans. “Interrogate huh? What the hell else do you two want to know huh!?” Explaining everything to these two was rather irritating, but there wasn’t much of a choice other than to comply at the moment.

 

Razorbackwriter:  The toy plushie emerged from Ava’s bag and was in no mood to be asked questions or be interrogated by the pair. Which was equally as frustrating for Joel, since he had taken a very big risk in bringing the girls back to his house. For one, it would send tongues wagging for sure by his neighbors. The kettle in the kitchen was boiling, and Joel left Ava alone with the plushie as he went to fix them both a cup of tea. The house was very simply furnished. Nothing outrageous or fancy in this home. Everything was functional and practical. The furniture alone looked to be older than Joel himself, and it was.

Coming back into the living area, Joel set down the tea tray and of course offered a cup to Ava. It may be a welcome relief. Something that was considered normal, in a very unusual situation. Stirring his tea with a spoon, he finally set the cup down and got down to it.

“You say you are Selina’s guardian. If this is true, than you would understand that neither Ava or I mean her any harm. But if she is a danger, just what are we to expect? I mean, I have brought her into the safety of my home and that of my sister’s.”

Joel then looked at Ava. “I am sure that Ava never meant to be caught up in this either. It’s getting late, and I know she would be missed by her parents soon. We are both owed some sort of explanation. Surely you can understand that.”

it was then that Joel asked the most serious of questions.

“Why was she put to sleep? What did she do that had her condemned to be cursed for nearly six centuries?”

~RB~

 

Gene:  

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With Tallulah out of the bag, and her obvious displeasure at having to be interrogated, Ava stepped back. Perhaps it would be best allowing Joel to take the lead – this was his home after all and it’d only be respectful for Ava to simply act like a guest. Joel’s departure resulted in silence in the room; Ava had no idea what to say to the toy.

“So…” She said, doing her best to eradicate the silence; talking to a toy was much more easier than talking to someone her age. Tallulah didn’t look the slightest bit intimidating, though that was probably a misjudgement on Ava’s part. If she was younger, she’d certainly want to cuddle the toy. However, Ava had to keep in mind Tallulah was Selina’s guardian. There was probably a good reason for that.

As Joel re-entered, Ava took a seat and accepted his offer of tea; she thanked him and took a sip. It did come as a relief to drink something soothing in this hectic day. Sitting down made her realise how tired she was. Her arms ached from carrying the bags, whilst her legs just wanted rest on the couch. She kept her composure for the time being.

The reasoning with Tallulah began and Ava avoided Joel’s gaze when he spoke about her. The ultimate question was asked. Was Selina truly so bad she was put to sleep? Or were the circumstances leading to her fate were different?

Temp:  Tallulah sighed and rubbed her ‘hands’ against her head, shaking it as she did so.“Look you two…she didn’t do nothin’ and she wasn’t condemned, okay?” Having to explain such ancient history was really annoying, “Her family and coven were killed because of the magic they practiced, and the only reason Selina survived is because she was sealed away. You two probably think she’s evil, but I’d say she’s just…eccentric…” She wasn’t considered evil back then, but she definitely did have her quirks. Experimenting sometimes brought out her sadistic side, but she wasn’t a heartless murderer. “She’s not gonna kill you guys if she wakes up alright? She might examine your bodies or something though..on the outside I mean, not internally!” Hopefully these humans would calm down on their little doomsday scenario.

 

Razorbackwriter:  

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The teacher knew that Ava was averting her gaze from him, but as to why he was unsure? He arched a brow as if to say ~What’s with you?~ But of course, the attention then swung back around to Tallulah who was now becoming short with the pair. Going as far to say that she didn’t do anything to warrant being cursed, and that in fact her family were slain simply for being witches and practicing magic. Now, that was not entirely unheard of. People killing those that they deemed to be witches. It totally married up with the time period as well. Superstition, religion and people’s own inability to accept what they did not understand caused much panic and resulted in the deaths of those that were accused of practicing.

Joel sat on the edge of an old and tattered armchair, his elbow resting on his knee and his upturned fist supporting his chin. He wasn’t dismissing anything that the plushie said, in fact it explained a great deal. Tallulah was trying to reassure them that Selina was not evil per say, but eccentric.

“Of course she isn’t evil. That is why you were so quick to tell us to knock her out in the Council HQ.” This of course was laced with sarcasm. Could you blame him for feeling this way?

Joel rolled his eyes and gave a little flick of the head. He simply couldn’t help acting out.

“She’s not gonna kill you guys if she wakes up alright?”

“Well that’s comforting to know.”

She might examine your bodies or something though..on the outside I mean, not internally!”

This had Joel’s eyes widen considerably. A girl witch wanting to examine his body. “I don’t think so.” Joel pushed his hands onto his knees and rose to standing suddenly. He was becoming exasperated now, and the cracks were starting to show. Joel, was tired. The only problem was he couldn’t go to sleep in his own house, knowing that Selina could wake up and then….carry out an examination on his sleeping form. So comforting.

Joel walked in a small circle, raking his fingers through his disheveled hair. What was he going to do now? Should he just call the authorities, and let them take her off his hands? He didn’t need this now. He had a job, one that he counted on to keep the roof over his and his sister’s head. God, his sister. What was she going to say when she got home? He could picture the argument already in his mind – hear her raised voice. Not to mention the neighbors would get an earful too.

The teacher shot a look at Ava, who like him was also starting to look worn out. His lips formed a slim line as he came up with the only solution he could think of.

“I’ll take first watch. Ava, you might want to call your parents, and maybe just camp out on the couch while I watch Sleeping beauty in there.” He jerked his thumb towards his sister’s bedroom.

~RB~

 

A ticking time bomb – BC.

 

When magic is happening right out in the open, it would be very hard to explain.  Knocking out Selina in order to keep her true self repressed posed even more problems for Ava and the young Teacher; Joel.  

Scene setting :  The Council HQ, Blood City Series.

This is co-written with Gene and Temp.

 

Razorbackwriter:  

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Insane. That was the best word to describe what was happening in the reading room. We know and accept what happens in our world, because, logic. Logic and what we are taught from a young age as to what is real and what is fantasy. But what if everything you had ever believed could be turned on it’s head in a single moment. That being when a plush toy comes to life and starts screaming at you. Not just to do the unthinkable – knocking out a child, but also telling you off for picking it up. Joel, dropped Tallulah on the table, right at the same time that all the papers and documents that had been in the box blew up and danced about the room as though there was a freak wind storm. It was enough not only to block Joel from seeing Ava perform a spell on Selina to put her to sleep, but it also stopped passersby in the corridor to seeing what was going on within. Papers danced and whizzed past Joel at an alarming speed. It was like being in a wind tunnel and he madly tried to catch them out of the air. If any of them ripped or tore, he was going to be up for more then the initial fee that the paid in the beginning.

Only when the papers started to settle, and Joel was trying to put them in a pile, did the plushie talk again.

“Woah man, that was CLOSE! Good job human.”

Course, the plushie was speaking to Selina. Joel had no inkling that there was not just one witch in that room, but two. Rising to stand and putting the papers back into the box, the young teacher realized that he was in way over his head this time. He wanted to have a cigarette so badly, just to calm his nerves which were frayed. It was one thing to deal with an abusive talking plushie, but now they had an unconscious girl, who could be a real danger to them – not that he even could begin to understand why. One thing he did know though, they couldn’t stay in here.

“Okay….so the name Steiness is bad for some reason.” He couldn’t believe he was going to even attempt to talk to the abusive plushie, but he had to know. “Why?” You don’t just knock a girl out for no reason.

 

~RB~

 

Gene:

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With a spell being a success, Ava now held Selina in her arms. She quietly shuffled, doing her best to move Selina onto the chair. Now, since Selina was only sleeping, Ava knew if they continued talking loudly, she might wake. After ensuring Selina wouldn’t fall off of the chair, she looked to Joel and the toy and placed a finger on her lips, indicating they should be quiet.
Ava moved away from Selina, picking up the papers as quickly as she could and organising them into a pile. Her speed yet carefulness to not make a sound made it clear she wanted to move away from Selina. After seeing that display, it no longer surprised Ava that Selina was once a High Priestess. Even a human could have recognised the danger and power displayed in that one action. Her own magic tingled from sensing the immense power in Selina. But, now she could no longer sense it. There was definitely more to the girl than papers could reveal. Out of the corner of her eyes, Ava eyed the toy. It knew something important. Even though she had initially ignored the instructions of the toy – due to being bewildered – it knew what to do. It knew what was happening to Selina.

Finally cleaning up her own mess, Ava gestured for Joel to follow her. She would have proceeded to pick up the toy – or whatever it was – however, the way it reacted to Joel picking it up gave a clear impression. Instead, she settled with also waving her hand to the toy. Ava moved to the far corner of the room and waited for Joel and Selina’s toy to come.

“You know something,” She whispered, looking at the toy, “Who is she?” Despite their current situation, Ava’s voice was surprisingly calm, even though inside she was afraid. As of now, Ava didn’t care what had set Selina off.

 

Temp:  Selina was completely knocked out, and wouldn’t be causing trouble any time soon. Tallulah on the other hand was still very much awake, and she wasn’t very happy. Joel had picked her up which pissed her off, and then Ava seemed like she was going to attempt the same thing. Fortunately she decided against it and instead motioned for her to follow her and Joel. Obviously she didn’t want to wake Selina up. The Grimoire hopped off of the table and over to the two humans, looking up at them with an unmoving face. So they wanted to know more about Selina? At this point sharing information probably wouldn’t matter, so there was no need to ignore them. “Selina Shamandalie, High Priestess of The Black Halo. What else is there…She isn’t a child? Her real form is being suppressed?” What more was there to say about Selina that would make them understand who she was? Probably nothing. It’d be best to show them, but at the same time would be a bad move.

 

Razorbackwriter:  

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Everything about this situation was now so fucked up, that Joel was beginning to regret ever having been a gentleman towards the young Selina in the first place. They were in the worst possible place to have just discovered that not only was Selina a High Priestess of the Black Halo, but she was not a real child. Her real form was being suppressed. Why would she be suppressed and kept asleep for five or so centuries. Probably because she was the be all and end all of dark magic. Joel was no idiot. He knew that the fact a talking cursed cat plushie was now opening up that her Mistress was someone of great importance and a danger not only to those around her but also herself. The flashing of her eyes, was the start of the troubles, so….if she had started to remember, as the teacher was trying to get his head around this, that not only were they in trouble, but those that worked and visited the Council HQ.

Joel slapped his hand to his forehead. Of all the places they had brought her too. Now, they had to get her out of there….and fast. Also, they had to keep her unconscious, for fear of what she could do if she woke up. The young teacher knew that there was no way that Ava was going to take the girl home, knowing what she was. Her parents were very important people in the city, and the last thing they needed was the High Priestess of the Black halo under their roof. Joel was also thinking that he couldn’t possibly take her home with him. What would his sister say?

He honestly didn’t know what to do. Or who to turn too.

Joel scratched his hair line and looked at Ava with a worried expression.

“Any ideas on where we can take her?”

~RB~

 

Gene:

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The concise explanation the toy presented only left Ava with more questions. She began to say something, but stopped, instead choosing to rub her head. The silence that occurred after gave her some time to think about how to construct her questions.

“Any ideas on where we can take her?”

Ava looked up to Joel. That was a good question. Unfortunately, it was one she couldn’t answer. Where could Selina go? She’d need to be watched. By who? The two couldn’t do it; despite her appearance, Selina was dangerous, that much was clear. It was only by fluke that Ava had managed to stop her ‘real’ self from coming out.
Her face waned as a possible solution came to her mind.

“Should we-“ Ava hesitated. Even possessing the thought sent shivers down her spine, “If she poses a threat… Shouldn’t we,” Ava began to shake and her voice wavered, “Kill her?” After voicing her suggestion, she shook her head, “No, no, we can’t,” Though, her eyes flickered to Joel.

Tallulah would have obviously been against the idea. Joel, on the other hand, might not; even though Ava had backtracked on what she said, a part of her wanted Joel to agree with her and fuel the suggestion.

“What is her real form capable of?” Ava decided to ask Tallulah; maybe – just maybe – her real form wouldn’t be as bad as they thought. “Why would her real form pose a threat to us and the city? If it would, at all?”

 

Temp:  Tallulah would have had a very angry look on her face due to Ava’s suggestion, but she was not capable of that in this form. “I suggest you never say or consider that again, human.” Selina was her mistress, and as such she was bound to protect her. The fact this girl had the nerve to suggest such a thing in front of her was outrageous. At the mention of Selina being a threat to them she sighed. It wasn’t very easy to explain why Selina was a threat. “Selina was brought into this world with blood and dark magic rituals…so her mind is a bit…twisted…and her magic is unlike anything you’ve likely ever seen.” She was definitely dangerous, but whether or not she went about killing or blowing things up was uncertain. It was hard to figure out what Selina was thinking in her true form.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Joel could hardly believe his ears when Ava started to suggest that they kill the High priestess, rather than do any more to help her. Was she insane? Murder carried a life jail sentence, and Joel rather liked his life….on the outside of a prison cell. He hadn’t even been caught speeding, or had a traffic ticket. Breaking the law just was not in his books, no matter how dangerous a person or individual could be. Truth was, they really didn’t know what she was capable of, though Ava may have a better idea considering what and who she was – not that Joel was clued in to her true self. The Teacher just stood there, slack jawed. That was until the cat plushie demon thing put forth that they were never to say of consider that course of action. Joel held his hands up as though he was not taking part in that sort of plan.
“Don’t look at me, I can’t even kill a spider, let alone another being.” It was true, he simply didn’t have what it took to kill someone. So that was definitely out.

“Selina was brought into this world with blood and dark magic rituals…so her mind is a bit…twisted…and her magic is unlike anything you’ve likely ever seen.”

“I have yet to see anything magical in this day and age, aside….from well you…talking.” This was pointed out to Tallulah, as Joel didn’t have anything to compare with what Selina may or may not be capable of. Glancing down at Selina’s unconscious form, Joel knew that she would be too heavy for Ava to carry, and that it would be up to Joel to do the honors. He could hardly believe what he was now going to have to do.

“I’m going to have to take her home. I don’t know of anywhere else.” He looked exasperated and in need of a cigarette, but again he couldn’t exactly light up in the reading room of the Council HQ. Putting on his satchel across he body and swinging it to his back, he went to pick up the sleeping Selina in a fireman’s lift and then motioned for Ava to get the door.“You get the fluff ball, and we just leave the documents here for the officials.” They couldn’t take those with them, as they were government property. “There is a bus stop not far, we should head out there now, and I take her and Tallulah home with me.”

If Ava wanted an out, this was it. She probably had gotten more than she bargained for in the first place from the time she entered the Peach Cafe. Going home with a teacher probably wouldn’t look good.

 

~RB~

 

Gene:  

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As expected, the two didn’t respond well to her first suggestion; it might have been better in the long run to eradicate any possible threats by eliminating the source of them in the first place. It was a utilitarianism approach and maybe the whole City would have benefitted from their actions, however it didn’t deter from the fact it’d scar the morality of Ava and probably Joel.

As Tallulah responded to her question, it crossed out any possibility that they could reason with Selina’s true form.
“She’s evil,” Ava whispered to herself and then muttered, “Great…” When Joel commented about Tallulah’s ability to talk, Ava piped in, “How are you able to talk? And move?” As soon as Ava posed the question, she dismissed it, “Never mind,” It was clear they had to leave. Now.

Thankfully, Joel had volunteered to have Selina stay with him; it was likely Joel would be the one who had to do so. Ava couldn’t return home with an unconscious girl – what would her parents say? Her only concern, for Joel, was that Selina’s real form wouldn’t awaken in his house. With Joel’s instruction, Ava leaned towards Tallulah then recoiled, not wanting her to act badly.

“Do you want to go in one of my bags?” She suggested, gesturing over to them by the table. The thought hadn’t crossed Ava’s mind that she could back out. Her concerns regarding Selina clouded any thoughts – if there were any – of letting Joel handle Selina and going home; she was a part of the problem too. Perhaps, it was because she too was a Witch. Whilst Ava had never been in a coven – mostly due to her lack of knowledge if there were any other Witches – she still felt duty bound ensure Selina wouldn’t do anything bad. What chance did humans stand against a Witch like Selina, whom was supposedly powerful?

“We should say we are talking her to the hospital,” Ava advised; people would notice a man holding an unconscious girl more than a girl wearing the sort of attire Selina did.
If Tallulah jumped one of her bags, or allowed Ava to hold her, Ava would be following Joel, heading to his house.

 

Temp:  Tallulah watched Joel as he picked Selina up and eyed him to make sure he didn’t try anything. She’d been with her mistress for centuries now, so it should be obvious that they shared a bond of sorts. The real form of Selina loved her just like this fake did, but the two were different in every other way. It was obvious to her that these humans considered Selina to be some kind of ticking time bomb, and they weren’t really in the wrong. This was a matter that wasn’t going to be handled as easily as killing one person though, that much was certain. For now she would follow the humans, as they had her mistress, and jumped into the bag that Ava mentioned. She had no idea what was the best thing to do with Selina at the moment, but she needed to keep her safe.

 

 

Dispelling myths – BC.

Finding answers in the City Library was proving harder than first thought.  One book would be borrowed and given to Selina, but Joel knew that the search would have to continue if they were to trace her family in this time period.

Scene setting : The City Library – Blood City.

Co-written with Gene and Temp.

 

Gene:  

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The contents were a list of names of supernaturals: vampires, fairies, ghosts, shape shifters, demons and more. Over half of these Ava hadn’t heard of; it was obvious the book was a collection of races which existed and didn’t exist, though Ava wasn’t sure which ones were real. She came to a halt when she found Witches. Flicking to the page number, Ava began to read.

The book began with what Witches were – as if the reader didn’t know what they were – and then moved onto how Witches are perceived: old hags, young maidens, demonic creatures in human form. It brought a smile to her face to see how the book mocked the perceptions others had about Witches. Eventually, the chapter became more serious: its description of Witches was pretty accurate. They pretty much the same as humans, the book described, with the addition of magical abilities. It was unfortunate Ava had made the decision to skim read; there simply wasn’t enough time to read the whole chapter. Luckily enough, a few pages in, the book moved onto the history of Witches. Some accounts of the race were probably folk lore; Ava did not mind. After all, the author had to include some humour to keep the reader engaged. It was until she came to part where Witches in the twelfth century she began to read.
Her reading was disrupted by the intrusion of Joel.

The only indication of her irritation, at what he said, was that she folded her left arm and sighed slightly.

“I don’t think we’d get any real facts on Witches since no one really knows they exist. We’ll only find rumors and myths in these books,” Ava looked over to Selina, who was sitting down. “The archives might help,” The amount of times her history teacher had voiced his fascination with the archives was far too much. “If we knew her last name, maybe we might see them in the archives,”

 

Razorbackwriter:  

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Joel figured Ava was not to pleased with what the Teacher had said. She was doing the best she could to find some clue to Selina’s origin and what led her to be in this time, but trying to find that in a book of myths might not have been the best place to start. A book like this one needs to be studied at length for hours, not a matter of minutes. Joel himself should have known that. As Ava concluded that whoever wrote the book did so from a skeptic’s point of view, or perhaps a human’s, then it would be classified as myth not fact. Thankfully, Ava was a bright child and had a better idea of where to look, since the book currently offered no substantial leads.

“The archives might help.”

“They might indeed, Miss Blackbane.”

“If we knew her last name, maybe we might see them in the archives.”

Thinking for a moment, when Joel and Ava were back at the Peach cafe, they had made introductions, and he recalled what Selina had said. “Her surname is Shamandalie. Selina Shamandalie.”

So this was the name that they would be searching for. Joel gave Ava’s back a light pat, and to lift her spirits hopefully, he added. “Good thinking.” Joel didn’t give out praise often. “But I think we might borrow this book. If not just for the simple fact there might be something in there that triggers Selina’s memory. Who knows, she might be able to dispel a few myths for us, hmm?”

Joel turned his head to check on Selina, who was now swinging her legs back and forth and sucking on one of his mints. Least the child priestess knew how to behave in a Library.

 

~RB~

 

Gene:

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Closing the book, Ava was unable to hide her smile when Joel praised her. She nodded, in thanks, and was about to ask Joel to put the book back where it originally was – as its home was too high for Ava to reach; hopefully, the man would not notice this, unless it was very observant – until he advised that they should borrow the book for Selina.

“Okay,” Ava nodded; she removed her purse from her leather jacket and fumbled around for her cards until she came to her library one. “I’ll go take this book out,” She proceeded to walk away and head for the counter.
As she approached the counter, gave her library card, and asked to take the book out, she recalled the name Joel had said. Selina Shamandalie; the surname rang no bells. Perhaps it was a good thing. If the family still existed, who knows what they’d be doing? They’d be Witches – that’s for sure – but would they be good or bad? As quickly as the questions arose, Ava dismissed them. Now was not the right time.

Taking her card and book, she picked up the bags she had left near her seat – as Ava didn’t want anything to take any of the contents – then returned to maze of bookshelves, searching for Selina and Joel.

Upon finding them, she’d ask, “Where are the archives…?” Ava was almost too embarrassed to ask. Would they be treasured in the library or elsewhere? She had no clue about such things and maybe it was good she didn’t. After all, one would except someone of Ava’s age to not care about such things.

 

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Joel watched Ava take the book over to the counter to take out, using her library card. While it didn’t have the answers that they sought straight up, it could be useful down the track. The teacher made his way back over to where Selina was sitting, and reached out to ruffle her hair in an affectionate manner. He normally was not like this as he only mixed with students during working hours at the school. He had a younger sister at home, who was now too old to play games with, though they were still pretty close. She was one of the few people that understood Joel. You could say that they had a very special bond. Joel had not given much forethought in how they were going to help the girl beyond finding out if she had any living relations, or even if they could find people that were….well, her kind. The teacher didn’t even know where to look, in this day and age. Though his research into the occult, which he never thought he would come to use; might be of help to the child Priestess.

“Ava is just borrowing a book that we might need.” The teacher offered, right as Ava returned and asked where the archives might be. Joel thought for a moment, and then he raised a finger as the answer struck him. “The Hall of public records. It’s near the city council chambers. A bus ride from here.”

The Hall of public records was a government funded facility that held documents, certificates newspaper articles and classified documents, that only were released under the freedom of information act one hundred years after they were sealed.

Joel picked up his satchel and threaded it over his arm to rest the strap on his shoulder.

“Come on, we’ve pretty well exhausted the search here. Next stop, the Hall of records.”

 

~RB~

 

Gene:

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“Hall of Public Records?” The name was familiar to Ava, however she had never been there. Why would she? Such a place would be a bore to any 16 year old. It did make sense that the archives would be stored there. Despite the name, Ava pretty much knew not everything would be public. There would be secret documents – information the Council wouldn’t want anyone to find out – within some part of the building. Or was Ava being too naïve? Would the Council hide things of importance in the Hall of Public Records? It was where Ava would expect them to be stored – that or the Town Hall. Though, the truths about the City might not be placed in either location for the very reason people would assume they’d be there.

Ava held the book out to Selina, “Perhaps it’ll be useful to you. Page 432. That’s the section on Witches,” When Selina took the book; Ava would pick up her bags. She checked her watch. It was noon, almost evening. Before nightfall, Ava hoped they’d discover at least something else about Selina. Where would the girl stay? Joel was the likely solution as Ava’s parents would never allow Selina stay the night.

Her phone buzzed and Ava pulled it out. Her mother was calling her. Swiftly, she muted the call and nodded to indicate she was ready; time to catch the bus.

 

Temp: Joel and Ava were certainly determined to assist her, which was something that she greatly appreciated. Selina also knew that Tallulah appreciated the assistance that she was being granted, though it didn’t really benefit her at all. If it were up to Tallulah she would turn Selina back into her true self for awhile, but she knew that this version of Selina wanted no part in that. Being split between two very different personalities wasn’t easy, nor was it easy to maintain. It was a constant stress on Selina’s body and soul, as well as Tallulah’s. However, it was inevitable that Selina’s true self would soon make an appearance, but for how long would she be present? That mostly depended on the severity of the situation. So far she had not been threatened, but the moment that she was…things could go very bad. That was all yet to be seen though, so for now Selina and Tallulah would rely on Joel and Ava. She happily took the book that was offered to her and picked up Tallulah from the table, then pushed herself out of her seat and started following the two. Apparently they were off to yet another location.

 

 

Tallulah : More than a toy – BC.

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

Scene setting :The City Library, Blood City.

Co-written with Gene and Temp.

 

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

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

 

Gene:

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

“We want facts…..not myths.”

~RB~

 

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

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

 

 

 

The Black Halo – BC.

 

The mystery of Selina’s past was slowly coming to light.  Joel and Ava would need to do more however to help the girl.  Did the Library hold the clues?

Scene setting : The City Library – Blood City.

Co-written with Temp and Gene.

 

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Joel kept his composure as the young girl before him was practically falling apart. The shock at his words, that she was now in a time that was six centuries from her own, had her tearful and visibly upset. It was hard for even the Teacher to comprehend, but the truth was she was not of this era. Now, she couldn’t possibly be a time traveler if she didn’t know what century she was even in. This was why Joel asked her what the last thing she remembers. It could give clues as to who she was…or what.

“What doth I remember? Blood…Dark…and death…the death of mine coven…mine family.”

~Coven?….Dark?….Blood? The death of her family.~

Joel’s eyes widened at this. If what she was saying was true, then Selina was a witch. The teacher opened his mouth as though to say something but then quickly snapped it shut when he saw that Ava was seated out of ear shot, and had the attention of a male just across from her. He was unsure if the male worked at the library, or was a student. Joel didn’t recall him from the school or any of the neighboring shopping districts. Either way, he didn’t feel like explaining everything to a stranger, if the chap should try and engage conversation with them.

Thankfully, Ava headed over and motioned for the pair to follow her deeper into the Library. This wasn’t a bad idea, as Joel had already formulated a plan to find out EXACTLY who Selina was.

As the trio walked through the aisles of books, Joel said to Ava.

“We need to find out if there is anything here in the public records of a fifteenth century family of witches. A coven, in this very city.”

Joel was sure, that if they got more evidence of the existence of a coven, or Selina’s family, it may well have clues as to what happened to the family, and more importantly how Selina was here in this time, as though she had awoken from a curse.

Looking down at Selina thoughtfully, Joel tried to reassure her. “We are going to find your family in this age, and hopefully, they will be able to look after you. Surely, there are descendants.”

There had to be.

~RB~

 

Temp:  Selina had remained in her fragile state since the moment she started crying. At first she had no idea what the tears were for, but the facts slowly bled forth from her true self. Everything she had ever loved and held dear had been taken away from her. Her coven, her family, all burned, brutalized, murdered…but why did she remain? That fact wasn’t brought forth from her true self, unfortunately. All she really knew in this form were the things she was allowed to know, which meant a lot of answers were sealed away from her. This was most likely due to her awakened self not wanting to be further suppressed due to some kind of sensitive information. The one thing her awakened self had no control over was outsiders and their influence. Joel seemed determined to find information on her and her past, while Ava’s motives remained uncertain. She looked up at Joel with that same sad expression, her eyes dropping less tears now than before. “The Black…Halo…” The three words had been bouncing about her head wildly ever since she first lost control, and had been taken over by her true form. Was this the name of her coven? It seemed important to her when she spoke it, so surely it held some sort of importance.

 

Gene:  

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It did not occur to Ava that the conversation between Joel and Selina might have been of importance. Though, her need to calm down seemed to be more important. As the three walked, Ava opened her mouth to ask what they had spoken about; however Joel seemed to have other things on his mind. After hearing him, her mouth snapped shut.

Witches? Coven? This was all too familiar; Ava wasn’t even sure if there was a coven in the city – well if there was a coven currently in the city. She gave Selina a horrified look when Joel reassured her.

“You’re a witch?” Luckily, her tone was more hushed than before. Her eyes weren’t full of disbelief. Instead, they were full of shock. It made sense, which was the worst part for Ava. Magic might be able to explain Selina’s origins. With each step, her acceptance of the fact that Selina came from the fifteenth century sunk in. Was she immortal? Were there even immortality spells? If so, Ava hadn’t encountered any.

“You’re a witch…” Ava repeated what she had said, expect it was a statement, “Okay. The Back Halo,” She chewed the inside of her cheek and nodded. The name was unfamiliar to her.
“What makes you think we’ll find anything to do with Witches, especially public records? Wouldn’t they hide themselves?” Witches had many stories dedicated to them; many of the recent ones were born after the period where Witch hunts were popular. Since then and now, Witches became nothing more than stories or superstition.

 

Stranger than fiction – BC.

 

Joel was sure he was on the right track with his thoughts on Selina.  Taking her to the Library, along with Ava, the truth is about to be revealed.

Scene setting : The City Library – Blood City.

Co-written with Temp and Gene.

 

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Making sure that their new companion didn’t attract anymore unwanted attention, Joel escorted Ava and Selina to the City Library, which was actually a fair way from the shopping and cafe district. Thankfully, most of the pedestrians were too busy flicking through their smart phones to both to look up and see what was right in front of their noses. This was exactly what Joel was counting on. Society had changed and sadly for the worse. Though there were a select few that held on tightly to the old ways. Joel walked with a distinct strut, his attire allowing him ease of movement. It was almost as though he had a regal air, but he was the son of commoners and not one of high station – though he taught at the prestigious school of the rich and affluent. The young teacher was keen to light another cigarette, but remembered that his companions might not take to kindly to the offending smoke. So, he buried that thought deep as he walked along briskly.

“It’s not much farther.” In a way keeping the girls attention towards him and not those that they passed. There was a good reason why he chose the library to learn more about their new friend. The building itself was a couple of hundred years old, and it was a great source of history and archives of the by gone eras. A place that Joel felt that there may be answers to his own unasked questions.

Turning the corner, the imposing sight of the building gave cause for Joel to smile, though it was a fairly thin one. How many times had been here, he simply lost count. A place of solitude to those that wished to lose themselves in the many tomes on the dusty shelves. It was not a place for those that were all about money and possessions. The only thing you would get here was knowledge, something that Joel had craved all his life.

Reaching the large oak doors that had been carved by a true master of carpentry, Joel pulled the left door open and stood back to allow the two young girls to enter.

“After you.” His voice polite, yet serious.

Once the girls had entered, he stood in behind them and waited for their reactions. Had either of them been here before? He imagined that Ava hadn’t, for she simply didn’t appear to be a little book worm. Selina on the other hand, may have. In order to get the ball rolling, Joel walked around and then crouched before the young girl with the cat plushie and asked.

“This is a place that will help us I think. But I do have one question. What year is this?”

Her answer would help guide him to the right books.

 

~RB~

 

Temp:  Selina had once again examined her surroundings during the walk from the Cafe to the Library. This was something she had done beforehand, but she found herself doing once more regardless. This era was so much different than what she remembered that seeing something once simply wasn’t enough. Any looks she might have received from passersby went unnoticed due to her fascination with the city. Eventually the three arrived at the Library, and she was led inside by Joel. The building was quite old from the looks of it, but she wasn’t quite sure if it felt familiar or not. It definitely felt a lot closer to who she was than the rest of the city, that much was certain. Upon Joel crouching before her and questioning her, she found herself a bit lost. What year was this? “This is still the fifteenth centu-…” Her sentence would go incomplete due to a sudden shock she felt from her Grimoire. Apparently Tallulah didn’t want Selina sharing that information. Normally she would go with the advice of the Grimoire, but this time it was different. Tallulah seemed scared or worried about this time period for some reason. “Century…is it not?” This time there was no response from her Grimoire, for whatever reason. Selina knew that some time had passed by, but surely it was still within the same century…right?

 

Gene:  

 

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As the trio left the café, Joel led the way whilst Ava trailed behind Selina. She looked to those they passed; however it seemed they were too busy with technology to notice something not in the norm. Ava had a phone too, though she spent little time on it. Most people used their phone to communicate with one another, play games or just browse the internet. For the first, Ava had little friends. As for the second and third, Ava wasn’t much of a gamer and her phone had no internet. Her parents didn’t want her to be distracted; Ava quickly realised they simply didn’t want her to learn more about the City. Her natural curiosity allowed her to pursue such knowledge from other sources. Ava recognised the route to the library; it was one she took many times.

Finally, the library came into view. With little interest, she looked to it. The impact the building once had on her had long gone. Ava entered, whispering thanks to Joel. Her reaction to the library was pretty dull. When she was younger, she had come here many times, mainly to gain knowledge about Witchcraft. She only found the history of it, but it wasn’t what she was looking for. Ava wanted to see if there were more spell books. There wasn’t any in the library. After her disappointment, she hardly came here; only if there was a school project and she needed to do some research, then she’d journey to the library.

When Joel posed his question to Selina, her answer shocked Ava.
“Fifteenth century?!” She exclaimed; the librarian sent her a disgusting look and shushed her. Ava bit down on her lip, her face reddening. Was Selina delusional? This was the 21st century; her answer really did invoke deep thoughts. What was truly going on?

 

 

‘Shows over’ – BC.

 

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Scene setting : The Peach Cafe – Blood City.

Co-written with Temp & Gene.

 

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

 

Gene:  

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

“Oops.”

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

 

~RB~

A darker shade of Crimson – BC

Scene setting : The Peach Cafe – Blood City.

co-written with Temp and Gene.

 

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

 

Gene:  

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

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

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

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

 

Razorbackwriter:  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~RB~

 

 

Tea and Biscuits – BC.

Scene setting : The Peach Cafe – Blood City.

co-written with Temp and Gene.

Temp:  What in the world was this place? There had been a fair bit of knowledge given to Selina by her Grimoire about this time period, but none of it really clicked with her. Gigantic stone buildings littered the area around her, and large metal rectangles moved at high speeds down large paved roads. None of this was even possible in the time that she knew so well, but that time had long since passed. Centuries had gone by while she slept within her sealed crystal, and for some reason she was now awake and in this strange land. Her Grimoire, Tallulah, had explained that the crystal had opened due to her own powers leaking from within, but it still explained so little. Her purpose in life had completely changed, as had her very persona. There were now two very different sides of her, one which was extremely vile, and one that was very confused and timid. The latter was what she was experiencing right now, though earlier she had been her true self. In a way, her ‘dormant’ form had a personality and mind of its own, one which disliked the ‘awakened’ form and it’s methods. Unfortunately, the awakened form was her true self, while her dormant form was something that managed to form during her slumber. Her goals and life were conflicted and a mess, but she at least had the resolve to continue with this new chance at life. She only hoped she could keep her true self at bay as much as possible.

After exploring the city for a fair bit of time, Selina found herself to be rather worn out. Her belly ached, her throat was dry, and her legs ached from the extensive amount of walking. None of the wordings on buildings really made much sense to her, so trying to find some place to rest was proving difficult. Until she stumbled upon a place called ‘The Peach Cafe’. Cafe seemed familiar to her, and if she remembered correctly it was place that she could actually utilize. Her small body eventually stepped into the cafe, where she found herself to be the new center of everyone’s attention. Everyone seemed to be staring at her. Perhaps it was because of what she looked like? Nobody here was dressed even remotely similar to her. Her eyes drooped down towards Tallulah, who was being firmly held against her chest with both of her arms.“Tallulah, would thou be so kind as to dilate wherefore these people art staring at me?” The cat plushy in her arms didn’t make a sound, and due to her very odd wording combined with her speaking to an apparent toy, she drew in even more reactions. “Prithee, doth not look at me like I am some strange creature.” She spoke lightly as she shot a rather weak glare out at the people around her, but somehow managed to get them to look away. Once their stares were gone she let out a weak sigh, and walked over towards the nearest seat. There were two people behind her that were talking, but she payed them no mind, and instead raised her hand into the air. She held it there for a good minute, as if expecting some kind of reaction from someone. After getting no response whatsoever, she cleared her throat with a loud ‘AHEM’, and wiggled her hand while staring at one of the waitresses. “Colours me! I require thy services! I desire tea and biscuits!” Ordering what she wanted wasn’t even something she could get right. Tallulah would be facepalming over and over again if it weren’t for the curious eyes of the humans around her.

Gene:

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It came as as a delight when Ava was allowed to sit. When she brought up the matter that she went to the Acalo school, Ava saw no signs of any emotion letting her know whether she was welcomed for not. Joel had sighed before – it was unknown to Ava the real reason behind it – though she only took it as him not really wanting to talk. The proceeding moments were awkward. Her eyes shifted to the objects on the table and then the photographs on the wall, waiting for him to talk. When he did, Ava couldn’t help but smile in relief. More so, he knew who she was. The thought of excusing herself and leaving crossed her mind seconds before he spoke. As long as Joel gave the impression he didn’t mind her presence, Ava would stay.

“We have crossed paths on occasion at the school, but as yet you are in none of my classes.”

Ava nodded in agreement, “I’ve heard a few things about you,” Her glance moved to his muffin, then back again as she quickly added, “Good things,”

Her composure had been engulfed with formality. She sat, with her legs crossed, back straight, and hands clasped on her lap. A smile was plastered to her face, next to her soft features. Ava ran a hand through her hair, moving it away from her face. No matter how natural Ava appeared, her eyes revealed her current mannerisms to be nothing but fake; the practice of being formal and polite was something she was forced to do time and time again.

“I imagined a girl like you would travel in a pack.”

Ava blinked in an initial response to what he said. Was that the impression she gave to those who didn’t know her? Perhaps it was true; she ought to have a close friends with whom she’d do everything with. Reality was not like that. Since all the students knew one another since they were kids, everyone quickly knew one another. When puberty came, Ava wasn’t deemed ‘good enough’ to be integrated into a close group of friends or a pack.

Ava hesitated, before she finally managed to reply, “It isn’t really my sort of thing,” Her reply had been well thought out and it might have been obvious to anyone she wasn’t revealing the true reason.

All the while, Ava remained oblivious to Selina’s arrival. She was positioned so she had no view of the entrance and consequentially Selina’s arrival. Despite Ava noticing others looking at something, she decided not to be rude and seem as though she wasn’t interested in conversing with Joel. Though, Ava couldn’t deny she was curious. It took all of her willpower not to turn around. However, if Joel made any mention to the new arrival, Ava would proceed to look. If not, she’d hear Selina calling to a waitress.

Either way, her formality would trickle away from her face upon seeing Selina. What in the world was the girl wearing? Her attire looked old; not just old by a few years, but by centuries. And what was up with the way she was speaking? Ava stared, her mind replaying what the girl had said.

“Is she,” Ava paused, thinking of the word, “Cosplaying?” She continued when the term came to her mind, “Why in here?” Even though Ava was speaking aloud, she was speaking to herself instead of Joel; Ava usually found it helpful to think aloud.

Razorbackwriter:  

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Body language says a great deal about the person, and it was clear from the way that Ava presented herself before Joel that she had been raised by someone that taught her manners and etiquette – especially in her posture. Back straight, and with hands in her lap. Ava’s dress gave Joel cause to wonder about her family; the Blackbane. One of the more influential in the city. With money comes power and influence, and yet this girl’s nature was a tad off from what he had come to expect. It was why he had made the blunt observation about how he imagined this girl’s social habits to be. Joel’s eyes followed Ava’s as she stared at various objects in a way to pass the time through the uneasy silence. This gave Joel the time to study her like she was a museum piece. It was amazing what one learns if they are truly observant. We often say more without having said a word. What was surprising however, was when Ava commented that she had seen him about the school too, and had heard things. This intrigued Joel, till she mentioned that she had heard good things.

“Really? Are you certain about that?” Here he was questioning her about such rumors. Joel was something of an enigma – a lone wolf. Not one to dilly dally in the daily lives of his contemporaries, or his students. He only took on students to tutor who showed patience and a will to learn – something lacking in most of the students at the school. At this point Joel’s grey eyes turned to the shade of a oncoming summer storm – drilling the girl’s as he continued. “Don’t always believe what you hear, Miss Blackbane.” Would this come off as a kind of warning?

Another pause in the conversation, only to be broken when Ava managed to say that travelling in a pack was not her sort of thing. At this, Joel raised his right hand to his chin and stroked it idly as though contemplating her words. Was she truly different from the other girls of her age? He had not seen any other students from the school in the cafe, so perhaps she did prefer her own company. But why? Tapping his cheek twice, he was about to say something when suddenly there was a ruckus being created what could be be described as a girl that looked as though she had stepped off the set of Downtown Abby. But it was not just her clothes that caused Joel to suddenly take his eyes off Ava, but how the girl spoke – and who she spoke to. A cat plushy held tightly within her arms. The young teacher moved his left arm to be draped over the back of the booth, as he candidly turned his head towards the newest customer to the cafe. His grey eyes trailed up and down the girl, taking in the outfit and he could not help but smirk. The girl was quite petite, but her accent. She was not from the city. The girl looked lost.

“Prithee, doth not look at me like I am some strange creature.”

Now normally when a person speaks, it is only interesting if it is addressed to them, but Joel was fascinated – oddly enough by how the young girl addressed the crowd. Instructing them not to stare at her as though she was a circus attraction. But could she not see, that it was the mix of her voice and her wardrobe that brought such attention? Even Ava could not hold back, and wondered out loud if the girl was cosplaying. At first Joel shrugged his shoulders lightly, his head turning just long enough to say. “Well if she is, she has a very good tailor.” The period clothes looked authentic. But Joel’s head snapped back so he found himself staring at the girl when she sang out; “Colours me! I require thy services! I desire tea and biscuits!”

~Tea and biscuts? Colour me?~ These words were definitely not said by some juvenile cosplayer. Keeping an act up like this took either great dedication, or madness. “Why in here?” The whispering of Ava continued, though she was not addressing Joel. Again thinking out loud. Was Ava not used to company?

The waitresses all huddled together, as though they were frightened to even approach the girl. They whispered to each other, pointing fingers, and one girl shook her head as though to say she was not going to go serve the weirdly dressed girl. Seeing this reaction, Joel raised his arm slightly and snapped his fingers.

“The girl wishes to have tea and biscuits.” His facial expression became cold…almost glacial as he stared at the girls with a menace that could not be hidden. “Now.” That word….Now, sent the girls scurrying to make a pot of tea and find a nice size cookie. Joel frequented this Cafe often and he was known to the manager. The last thing the girls wanted to do was upset him. Quickly, one girl came to Selina’s table and placed down a small tray, that had the tea pot, cup and saucer along with a little milk jug. A couple of shortbread cookies were on another plate and by the smell of them you could tell they were freshly made. The girl waited to be paid, but this was when Joel took out his wallet and handed the girl a ten dollar bill. “Keep the tip.” The waitress bobbed her head and hurried away, giving Joel the opportunity to speak to the strange looking girl. “Enjoy.”

Now the girl had her tea and biscuits, maybe she would be quiet and Joel could go back to his studies. Only thing was he forgot about Ava – who was still sitting opposite him. He picked up his coffee cup gently and took a sip, only to say afterwards.

“You were saying?”

~RB~

Who can it be now? – BC.

Scene setting – The Peach Cafe : BC.

co-written with Gene.

Gene:  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Razorbackwriter:  

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

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

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

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

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

“I just wanted to say hi,”

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

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

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

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

~RB~