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Post by Keres on Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:36 pm

The shower was still running. Necessity, that. Sickly sweet the way soap and decay had washed off in equal amount. Even now it drifted out along with the steam. With a sigh she pushed the door closed, nose wrinkled when doing so turned back to the rather simple bedroom it connected to. Not much of a bedroom either, to be honest. Sweat stained sheets hanging off an equally wretched mattress. Clothing, tatters really, dotted the floor almost randomly. If not for the lamp and dresser it would be very, very hard to believe someone had chosen to inhabit it. Then again, didn’t she count in that regard now?

Not important. The shirt was comfy. Too big for her by at least twice, but pushing up the sleeves had made it easier to button up the shirt while she peeked and pried through drawers. A pair of glasses was in one of them that she didn’t hesitate to put on before she spun with a little giggle. “Dizzy, dizzy dance~” came lilting out before tripping on her own feet and crashing onto her backside. A small, even murmuring whine she plucked the offending item off her face and flung it somewhere into the corners; little bits of light leaking through the blinds reflected off the broken lens in a way that explicitly seemed to be mocking her. She stuck her tongue out in response before ambling back onto her feet.

Nothing much else seemed to be of concern. A small stash of bills rolled up and tucked away; which she had no where to put anyways at the moment. And she had tried, but it had looked odd stuffed into the shirt’s pocket. Like a weird lumpy green nipple that sat uncomfortably on her skin. She put it somewhere else she thought she might remember it being later when she had more pockets. Better pockets. Or at the very least, clothing that –well clothing in general would be nice- fit better. Underwear, would be a good starting point but only a bra. Wearing someone else’s panties was akin to using a bare toilet seat at a trucker’s rest stop. Besides, she’d flung them all out the bathroom window at the kitties she’d seen prowling in the alley outside.

Her lips came together in an “Oh!” when realizing that she was wasting more time looking when she already knew where a perfectly good set of pants were. On this realization she went humming back into the living room, suffering the ugly color scheme and the bits of plaster and powder that had been yanked out as a byproduct. She did have to pause to smack at the hands, then forehead, of the man that was hanging mostly limply backwards through the hole. Gasping, guttural noises she didn’t like. And he kept trying to move even though that was very bad in of itself. Almost got all that nasty blood on her nice clean shirt and would likely keep trying unless she did something about it.

Just as well she did. There was a solution close enough. So on the original train of thought that had brought her through the room in the first place, before being rudely distracted, she pushed open the swinging door into a kitchen that was only a minor improvement over the room she had left. Which to do first? Oh no, pants first. That was important. So through the door way, in the flickering light of a ceiling lamp that was only barely held up and together by now exposed wires, she attempted to remove a suitable pair of pants from a woman who she was certain wouldn’t need them anymore. As a rule, people needed faces to be concerned about clothing and the woman’s was more…a paste that had helped improve the apartment’s décor.

A good yank, her grip slipping, and she dropped backwards yet again. It was tempting to blame the skinny jeans but judging from the woman’s ass they might not have been that particular style. They did come off, eventually, after several attempts and frustrated gestures. That accomplished and her new jeans secured she retrieved what she’d need to deal with the man walked back into the living room with every intention of fixing the problem. Couldn’t very well leave him there like that where he would keep making noises and trying to move.

A knock at the door froze her mid-step. Only once, but the shadow of some figure lingered just outside it, creeping in through what light was in the hall itself. The man made another noise and she turned with a stern “shush!” and finger to her lips…then realized he probably couldn’t see that. Embarrassing as she found it the feeling passed when she realized he hadn’t seen her mistake any more than he’d seen her wagging a finger at him to begin with. People needed eyes for that. But still, she didn’t want him making any more noise while someone was creeping just at the door.

Plaster always felt funny against her toes. Terrible feeling, icky even, crumbling crusty powder sticking to her skin and setting her teeth on edge. But alas, she had to suffer it to throw the towel across the man’s face. There was a weak reaction, reaching for her again and being slapped yet again, and a muffled soft sound that seemed to fade quicker than it should have. She’d sing him a lullaby later if he woke up again. But it had been mother’s opinion all boys simply wanted something soft to cuddle before sleep. It seemed like good advice. The man had clutched one end of the fabric in his hand before the noise trailed off and the entirety of him seemed to relax.

In all that sudden fuss she’d forgotten the stranger danger. Strange men creeping outside her door seemed like a bad thing. Perhaps the police? No, no they never seemed to be happy to see her. But then what was she supposed to do? She got closer, freezing again when there was a knock, but inching closer after it repeated itself. Maybe it wasn’t a stranger? No way to be certain, so she would have to beat him at his own game. So when it came a third time, she slipped up against the door itself, put her ear to it, and rapped against it three times herself.

Surely outsmarted, the potential stranger mumbled about one thing or another before turning back down the hall with a steady, if lessening clack of shoes against wood. Still a little shadow at the bottom of the door, but it felt familiar. After a few seconds of consideration she decided that it was a good shadow. The door cracked open by inches, slowly pulled from the jam as she peeked through the opening; all too quickly letting a small squeal of delight out before flinging it wholly open.

A small black box.

But not just a small black box, but another larger white one, and she knew what was in it too. Mr. Friend had sent her gifts again. So it hadn’t been a stranger then. But better that way. Mr. Friend had been very clear that it was better if his gifts were a surprise. “Like Santa” he had said. A bit silly, since there wasn’t any such thing but she understood the comparison. And his presents were always so nice. It also meant that it was probably better if she didn’t stay any longer. Mr. Friend gave such nice things but also, he’d said, they were to help protect her. That was also silly for more than a few reasons. Still, it felt nice in a funny, warm sort of way that fluttered in her lungs.

Time to find a new home then. First she tried on her new coat of course, pulling it tight against her body, a nonsense song on her breath while she modeled it for no one in particular. The little black box would wait. She didn’t need it just then. Mr. Friend was nice enough to give pretty coats with a pocket on the inside just for it. Always close that way if she ever needed it or wanted it.

It did seem a shame to leave all the people that had come into her home. They could have been friends –a different sort, of course, and not as special- too if their songs just hadn’t been so ugly. That didn’t seem to matter anymore. It hadn’t the time before, either. Just as well she listened this time too, then. She might stop to play with the kitties on the way out if they were still there, if there was time, but only if they wanted to.

In the time it had taken for her to consciously decide on that small stop she’d already reached the thick plywood that had originally boarded up her ramshackle home. It moved just as easily when she first found it, more so now. It hadn’t felt like much effort, but even she found herself startled for an instant when it went flying back with a wet crack against the building opposite of the side entrance. Trash cans rattled in immediate response to the noise, leaving her to huff as she saw small furry forms scatter in every direction but the one she had wanted.


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Post by Qrähe on Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:34 pm

He kept a good distance from the package carrying lackey. Trying to track down a few things that had caught his interest some time ago, rumors of another who worked through multiple levels of unaware stooges. Someone who was pushing in on what was one of the only connections that kept him in with villains and criminals alike. For so long when you needed something in the city and it was considered impossible to get you visited him.

Now someone was moving in to his city and trying to push him out and leave him without the kind of know that he had slowly built up. Using that to know when to strike and take down those who may have gone on for years without being caught and punished. He wasn’t about to let some no name hidden shadow push him out, not after everything he had accomplished.

Tonight was the culmination of weeks of hard work. His apartment had started off tracing an unknown figure with simply a stock photo of an outline of a headshot. Easily enough he was able to prod, afterall it was only natural he would want to know who was trying to muscle him out. A few were able to help him start piecing together names who would deliver for this mystery of a person.

One by one, photos would be added and linked with yarn, laughing at how quickly his apartment was turning into that of a crazy conspiracist. Fine by all accounts, anyone who did follow him home wouldn’t have any idea of his true nature and plans. In fact it would seem as if he was simply just another mad man intent on holding onto his little kingdom.

Turning a corner he watched the man disappear into a building, a fairly rundown shit hole if he had to say. Abandoned most likely, he’d have to wait and see if he had been made or if this was just the destination to drop off his packages.

Lighting up he began the best part of any kind of surveillance, the waiting game. It was the most difficult part as it was impossible to know whether it would last minutes or even hours. Even dropping his gaze for a few seconds could be more than enough to lose sight of his little friend. Not to mention whoever might be receiving said packages.

This time though, it wasn’t but a few minutes before a now packageless man was emerging from the building and briskly walking on his way. With the packages gone, he doubted that there was any reason left to follow him. The last few times he had tried to follow after the package was dropped off, but nothing came of it and they would often just be on their way to whatever and continue on with their day as if nothing had happened.

That’s why he had planned to wait this time for whoever had received the package. Depending on whoever it was he may or may not confront them, he didn’t want to tip his own hand too soon. He had to assume whoever it was unseen, wanted him out of the picture.

Almost with a startle he heard the crashing of a board flying across the alleyway and slamming into the metal trash cans placed out for the building next to it. A small pack of cats seemed to scatter with the loud noise. Out of the new hole crawled out she was carrying one of the packages with her.

Flicking down his cigarette he stepped down on it and gave his foot a little twist to put it out. He stepped out from around the corner where he had been watching and crossed the street, heading to the entrance of the alleyway where he had seen her crawl out from the building and into.

“Not really a safe building for someone like yourself, tend to find junkies in a place like that.”

He strolled up onto her, he certainly wasn’t very intimidating. A pair of jeans, military style jacket with a Mickey Mouse t-shirt underneath. All of them well worn, a faded Mickey’s face smiling only adding to how much he didn’t come off as any kind of threat. At least to your average criminal he might seem like the perfect target.

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Post by Keres on Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:30 pm

A few moments passed before She glanced over at him. Probably longer to realize, visibly, that She was being spoken to. With it came a brief blush followed by her mouth making a tiny O shape before fluidly twisting into an all too smug smile. Fingers tapped across the little black box to a cadence only She knew before slipping it into the inside of her rain coat. Someone new or at least one that She couldn’t remember meeting before! Wobbling there, in such a barely lit alley, a number of ideas occurred. None of them likely what a normal person would imagine, but then, knowing that had never actually bothered her before. So She repeated the word “Junkie” slowly sounding out, amused by the way it fumbled along her tongue.

Ahh but she was supposed to talk; not just stand there fiddling with the braid hanging over her shoulder. Granted, not much would stop her from doing the latter. “If I’m myself, perhaps” The finger pressed to her lip in thought after –if he was observant enough- suggested that even She was uncertain of that prospect. A pointless consideration, though. There was nothing behind her but broken toys and a cold building. He was alive. And he looked like something out of a movie.

A heart skipping a beat and She danced, in her own awkward skipping sort of way. Water splashed underfoot when landing in a puddle, bringing her to a sudden stop in it. Her other foot hang in the air, loosely swaying but not yet coming back down in tandem with the other. Toes wiggled in the fetid puddle, where she stood entranced by the tiny ripples that would wash out from the movements. That was when she turned her head; blue eyes lit up like mirrors reflecting light from behind them, and laughed. A small girlish thing at first covered up by a demure hand that eventually fell away as the small, simple noise turned to cackling when she threw her head back.

The other foot came down. Water splashed up in a curtain –the only sound now- and fell just the same. There She stood. Her hood was raised, hiding everything but the loose hair she had toyed with before. It hid the brilliant light that had been in her eyes not but seconds ago, but her lips, still unobscured, did not smile. Did not crinkle with laughter or twist in that childish way in an attempt to bite back the laughter. Along with what he might see of her remaining features it was a sterile thing in that moment.

“Maybe…” When she began this time there was a hollow quality to her tone that sounded nothing like the girl before. The emptiness of it was almost a voice on its own.

“Maybe this place isn’t safe for someone like you. Never know what you might find.” Even her steps took on an odd cadence; one in front of the other in approach, briefly, before she turned. From the way she took the board in hand to setting it over the opening again each was a mechanical gesture. A body acting on memory and little else, given the statuesque way her limbs seemed to tense and move. When She had finished she turned her head to stare with quiet assessment before turning her back to the stranger in her midst.

A pause in her stride, head canting back with a simple “Well?” was all she offered. Tired, a stomach rumbling which she eventually realized was her own, there was no sense to the events as they had been laid out. Always money in the pocket of her rain coat; always was in each new one. Nothing that would buy more than a few meals but it was more than she had most days. It seemed better to start there for the both of them, until there was one revelation or another as to what would await them next. Until that time came there was a nice enough diner only a block away.

Somewhere quiet where the songs could still be songs.


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