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Miss Cleo and the Weirdoughs



 
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Violet Adler

The taste of freedom was a tantalizing thing for all young twenty-somethings of America. For Violet, it was perhaps a little too addicting. Brought up in a world of formal parties, private schools, and conservative ideals, the temptations of adulthood were irresistible. Perhaps what made them even more alluring was the fact that she was still under the thumb of her parents for monetary reasons. She worked for them; not exactly something she would recommend to others.

As such, she took any opportunity, any excuse to make her way down further south from north Cali to have some fun. For this particular trip, she’d decided to stay a few nights with a friend of hers in Santa Monica. However, things had gone a little sideways today. There had been a monstrous glass throwing argument between her friend and their other significant other, and she’d ditched them to go enjoy herself. She was dead set on hitting the famous Santa Monica pier before she had to make the long drive back up north.

It was approaching late afternoon when her sandaled feet hit the well worn wood of the boisterous, colorful locale. Despite the slowly setting sun, it was still plenty warm to call for the cutoff denim shorts and white, flowy tank top she’d opted for. It was impossible to be unhappy when confronted with the brightly painted storefronts and cafes. The huge landmark of a ferris wheel embellished the horizon at the far end of the dock, leisurely making it’s circular journey. The tourists and locals that wandered up and down the pier were an eclectic mix. Buskers playing guitars, groups of people huddled around watching street magic shows, and numerous food trucks with long lines cluttered up the space nearer to the entrance of the pier. Violet didn’t mind the crowds, finding the energy and heat of the environment invigorating.

First things first. Pizza.

It wasn’t her first trip to the pier, and she made a beeline to her favorite pizza place in the whole world. It was a tiny hole in the wall shop, squished between carnival game booths, but the food was divine. They had a real stone oven in the back, and the smell just wafted down the pier, drawing in any hungry souls within a half mile. It was called Twisted Toppings, and the name wasn’t just cute. They literally had any toppings you could possibly want, and some that you didn’t even realize you wanted.

For her, the perfect pie was thick crust, extra cheese, pineapple, crispy ham, onions, black olives, and a healthy dose of coleslaw. Not the watery, chunky coleslaw that most places bought from the supermarket, but crisp, homemade, peppery, fresh slaw that just added that perfect crunch to the perfect food.

She ordered a small pizza all for herself, ordered a beer, and waited extremely impatiently for the pie to be done. Once they handed it to her, she nearly tripped over her own feet trying to find a free table to sit at somewhere along the pier. It was a good five minutes before she spotted one that was only occupied by one person instead of ten. The woman in question didn’t look like she’d give Violet the stink eye, so she approached with a bright smile.

“Excuse me, do you mind if I sit here? All the other tables around here are packed, and I might actually die if my pizza gets cold..”
May 25, 2018 10:38 pm

Quinn Abernathy

It had been a long day, and it all started with a little bit of pleading. But only a little. Fresh to California after a long and exhausting trip, Quinn found herself wanting badly to roam. The people at the commune are a mixture of new and old faces. Some, Gideon recruited. Others, traveled with them from Louisiana to their new home in Northern Cali. Most days, a large portion of the community would travel to Los Angeles to set up a market of fresh fruits and vegetables in a portion of the city that caters to a population of naturalists.

Gideon went every day. But, not this one.

"I'll go," she had piped up, desire clear in her voice as she lifted her head. "Noli can teach, and one of us should really be there. Just in case."

He didn't like it, and she expected as much. Gideon has always been protective of her, but now? Now it has doubled down. In her current state, she is becoming noticably pregnant with what will likely be their only child. He had hated leaving her behind before, but that had been a necessity. They had to get out of New Orleans. But now? Forget it.

Thankfully, Quinn is also fairly good at begging the man into giving her just an inch, and he concedes. But long, she is on the road, opting to drive the truck behind everyone else. The others make her uncomfortable, and she cannot fathom being alone with them for any length of time in unfamiliar territories.

The morning and afternoon went well, but Quinn grew restless. Bored. Her heart stomach told her she needed something destinctive, and it lead her to searching out exactly what she needed.

Pizza.

A short drive later, and she finds herself at Santa Monica Pier. It is lively, vibrant, and such a difference from the oppressive environment she has dwelled in for so long now. There is no stopping the smile on her face, and her nose leads her to her mark: Twisted Toppings. She knows just by the myramid of smells in the air that she, and her little navel orange that dwells in her belly, would be enjoying so much more than this.

"Um... thin crust. Extra sauce. Extra cheese. Cream cheese. Broccoli. Pepperoni. Banana Peppers. Olives. Mmm... diced tomatoes. Are those peas? ...Yes! Okay. Yea. And that should do it!"

Minutes later, she would regret so many toppings on such a thin pizza, but she would eat it nonetheless. With a fork. At an empty table.

'Excuse me.'

The young woman would find herself, mouth full of greasy delight, looking up at the woman before her. A hand rises, covering her mouth as she listens and nods before the question can even be finished. Swallowing, she nods more profusely.

"Yes. Please." There is no shame in her pizza. She has a bona fide excuse to eat something that the general public would likely deem a crime. "Have you ever been to this place before? I might never leave."
May 25, 2018 11:09 pm

Violet Adler

Violet’s smile only brightens further at the enthusiastic nodding of her fellow blonde. She’d initially intended to take a seat at the other end of the table so she wouldn’t intrude on her space, but the eager question that bubbled up from her comrade in crust had her sliding onto the seat pretty much just across the table from her.

“I have! I try to get down here as much as I can for the sake of my sanity. This pizza just... gives me life.” Violet’s eyes zeroed in on the labeling that splashed across the box that her pepperoni pal’s pizza was nestled in. Her jaw literally dropped. “You’re not telling me that this is the first time you’ve been to Twisted Toppings. It’s my Mecca. I know that I don’t know you, but I’m so happy to share this experience with you.”

As she spoke, she opened her own pizza box, and steam drifted tantalizingly up from the cheesy, pineappley, crispy nectar of life. Leaning in, she inhaled deeply, like the pizza perfume was her oxygen and she’d been suffocating.

“Ohhhh yeah. Come to mama.”

She lifted a perfectly piled slice up to her mouth and took a profoundly unladylike bite from the goopy goodness. The sound that followed would have made a nun blush.

“Oh my gawd.” She spoke through the mouthful, barely managing to swallow it down before speaking reverently. “Why is there even other food.”

Despite her complete attention on the cheesy feast before her, she managed to spot the unusual toppings on her new friend’s pie. “I can appreciate a woman who slaps some broccoli on her pizza. It’s indicative of an adventurous soul. And peas! I hate peas, but I bet I’d love them on this. You should give pineapple a try next time.”
May 25, 2018 11:33 pm

Quinn Abernathy

"Pizza is life." The declaration is heartfelt before Quinn takes a pronounced bite from the pile of goodness on her fork. Shaking her head, she gives a smile. "Just moved here. Everything is new. Is all the food this good? I could smell fried oreos. And funnel cake. And I saw a sign for fried ice cream, too. Can you believe that? Fried ice cream."

Shoveling in another piece, she chews happily, delighting in each burst of flavor until the melty cream cheese begins to stick to the roof of her mouth. Awkward as it is, she swallows and attempts to clear it away with her tongue.

While Quinn is having a slightly religious experience, her partner in parm seems to be on a whole new plane of existence. This is nice, and she is grateful that all the different scents stop her from honing in on a single one.

"Before, pineapple on pizza always seemed like a crime. That's why they have fruit pizza, right? But now?" She points toward her stomach with her free hand, indicating the utter lack of control she has over her own tastebuds. "...I should have gotten pickles."

Quinn finds herself peering at the other woman's pie curiously, roving over differences and likeness alike. "I'm Quinn. ...Taste mine, I'll taste yours?"

Maybe it is a little forward, but this kinship has already become something of a sisterhood of cheesy pie. "In pizza we trust."
May 26, 2018 12:07 am

Violet Adler

With the sincere declaration from her mozzarella mate, she could feel the sacred bond of the foodies forming between them. Unbreakable.

Yes. All the food here is amazing. I actually think California might have some of the best food in the world, as long as you know where to look. I mean. You haven’t lived until you’ve had a freshly baked rainbow donut with cinnamon toast crunch bits sprinkled on top.”

Her friend emphasized her amazement with the fried everything at the carnival-esque location, and Violet could only grin through a too-big mouthful of ‘za. A gob of tomato sauce plopped from the stacked slice onto her pristine white tank top, and she made a short sound of annoyance as she chewed, swiping at the glob with her finger and bringing the remnants up to her mouth. No muss, no fuss. This is why bleach was invented.

If her parents could see her now, they would probably deny knowing her. She could practically feel the sharp rap of a ruler across her knuckles. The sisters at the Bishop Francis School for Girls were probably feeling itchy in the pimp hand right about now.

"Before, pineapple on pizza always seemed like a crime. That's why they have fruit pizza, right? But now?"

Violet’s eyes followed Quinn’s pointed finger down to her belly, brows raising in pleasant surprise. She finished her mouthful, washed everything down with a swig of her beer, and leaned in toward her new friend conspiratorially.

“I’ve got an idea for when we’re done here. Me. You. Fried pickles. Ranch dressing.”

Picking up another piece of her pie, she waved a hand dismissively. “Anyway, people who think pineapple on pizza is unnatural are probably just as boring in every other aspect of their life. It’s probably a good way to weed through dates. A guy who thinks Hawaiian pizza is gross is probably really vanilla in bed.”

A little too caught up in her own version of Hawaiian pizza, she didn’t notice Quinn’s roving gaze until she spoke again.

“Taste mine, I’ll taste yours?”

She giggled through her mouthful before swallowing and eagerly lifting a slice from her box and placing it into Quinn’s.

“Definitely. I’m Violet.”

A slice of Quinn’s pizza was placed into her own box, and she immediately lifted it to her mouth, taking a bite of the cheesy, goopy goodness. Her eyes rolled back into her head.

“Mmmgh…”

A swig of her beer, and she was raving. “You’ve got a damn good eye for pizza combos. I never would have thought to put peas on pizza.” She squinted thoughtfully. “I think it could use a little bit more crunch, though… maybe some crispy bacon.”
May 26, 2018 12:38 am

Quinn Abernathy

"Fried pickles?"

This is by far the best decision Quinn has made in a while. Not to say she doesn't own all of her previous decisions, but right now? She is eating the best pizza she has ever tasted, with someone new and normal, without worrying about the cult's prying eyes and judgments.

Slowly, she nods, shoving a far too large piece of pizza into her mouth via fork. No regrets. Especially not as wide, chocolate hues watch as her new friend gives strong food-based opinions.

Honestly, Quinn had never really thought of it that way. And, judging by her words, Gideon was a great choice. A man who eats Flamin' Cheetos with chopsticks is obviously a pioneer. And he isn't vanilla, either.

As slices are swapped, she bounces in her seat. She is far too excited about this, but Quinn abandons her current slice to cut a piece of Violet's concoction. What she tastes, the burst of sweetness countering the salt of cheese and rich tomatoes, is enough to make her faint. She does not, for the record.

"This is so good," she gushes, through a mouthful of perfection.

Swallowing, she clears her throat before leaning forward. Quinn has strong opinions about bacon, and the right audience to voice them to. This is beyond exciting. "I love bacon. But now, they put bacon on everything. I wouldn't be surprised if there were a bacon ice cream out there, and that's just not right. Bacon deserves to be cherished, not used. It's like avocado. Everyone wants avocado on everything. And that weird rice pasta stuff that the hippies eat now. What is that called again? Kween-wah? King-mah?"

Lifting her water, she takes a sip before diving in again.

"This cole slaw is just perfection. It's brilliant. This perfect little dash of tang."

Quinn can feel herself filling up, and still with so much pizza to go. She knows she would need to wait before hitting the pickles. Still, she persists, taking that one last bite that would put her over the edge and into a borderline food coma.

"What else is there, out here?"
May 27, 2018 05:57 pm

Violet Adler

This entire scenario wasn’t something unusual for Violet to find herself in. She was friendly and outgoing, with no shortage of friends. Of course, it was definitely a case of quantity over quality. Most of the people she hung out with tended to be of the superficial sort, lacking any meaningful depth beneath the tanned, well dressed facade. Perhaps it was the fact that she came from money, and hadn’t learned how to engage in meaningful friendships from her parents. Perhaps it was simply the environment she grew up in.

Nevertheless, Quinn was a friendly face alone in a huge city, and Violet considered herself a very good tour guide when it came to Los Angeles.

Fried pickles?”

Violet unleashed a devious grin, nodding behind a huge mouthful of pizza. She was confident that she could satisfy any combination of pregnant cravings that Quinn could come up with.

“Yup.” She said, swallowing the mouthful. “It’s a little way down the pier, closer to the ferris wheel. We’ll go check it out in a little while, if you don’t have somewhere you need to be.” She tacked on the latter almost as an afterthought, forgetting for a moment that she and Quinn hadn’t actually come to the pier together.

Altogether, she was entirely too pleased to have found a kindred soul just as keen to explore the world of pizza combinations as she. The fact that she’d found someone who actually liked Hawaiian pizza besides herself had her on another plane of excitement entirely.

One of us! One of us!

Violet listened with one hundred percent attention to Quinn’s detailed opinion on bacon, entirely prepared with her own response almost before she could stop speaking.

“There is bacon ice cream. And bacon donuts. I think it's part of the sweet and salty thing that people have finally started embracing. I have mixed feelings about the ice cream, but the donuts are divine - only if they’re fresh, though. I’ve even seen some shops selling chocolate coated bacon, and… I’m only telling you this because I feel like we’re connecting on a deep level, but I’ve bought an entire package of them. I keep them in my car so that nobody knows.” She spoke animatedly, thrilled to be sharing her shameful secret with someone who just might understand, if not actually agree.

“I totally get where you’re coming from, though. Bacon is good to the point that it shouldn’t be adulterated with other stuff, but… I also think that it’s too good to not sprinkle on other things. Like salad.”

They both paused for breath, both still munching away at their pizzas although they were slowing down a little.

“What else is there, out here?”

Violet chewed thoughtfully for a moment, considering the vast myriad of options before them. “Well, we could always go on a couple of rides, but we should probably let the pizza settle a bit to be honest. It’s delicious, but heavy.”

She glanced idly around herself for something that might pique her interest, and her face lit up only a moment later. Violet pointed toward the small pop-up tent a short walk down the pier (clearly not a permanent attraction), and grinned at her new friend.

“We could go get our fortunes told? Ten bucks says I’ve got diabetes in my future.”
May 27, 2018 10:00 pm

Quinn Abernathy

When Violet suggests rides, Gideon's voice is immediately in her head telling her no. That would cross a line. As if their life isn't dangerous enough, getting on an old carnival ride would just put him further over the edge he will surely venture upon finding out she'd gone off on her own.

"Mmm... I don't know. Sometimes I get motion sick."

It's not really a lie. Quinn does find this to be a common thing. While she isn't afraid getting sick, it certainly would put a damper on things. But then, Violet points with a quirky smile, and her gaze follows.

'We could go get our fortunates told?'

Her jaw slackens, mouth slightly agape at the idea. Never in her life has she ever been to see a psychic, and this is a blasphemous opportunity she simply cannot pass up. Honestly, if she is going to misbehave safely, this is the way to do it. Good company, good food, and only minimal trouble. Not even trouble. It is like an adventure.

"You're on."

A thousand watt smile brightens her features, and Quinn shuts her pizza box as if solidifying their fate. This would be a day to remember. To be completely honest, she hadn't been sure as the treck across the country had been started. Each day, she becomes more and more stable. Happier, confident, and grateful to the one man who made this all happen.

She never would have gotten to do this in Louisiana.

Quinn waits for her friend, picking up her bag and slinging it across her body easily before standing up and lifting the box of leftover goodness from the table. Later, she might be concerned with how she might sneak this into the commune for later consumption. Right now, she is merely here for the adventure.

With her new friend at her side, they take their leave, their table immediately consumed by a part of at least ten. Stepping out into the fresh air once more, she cannot help but appreciate the ocean breeze and the salty smell of the air. "I used to go to Coney Island a lot... it can't even compare to this."

As they approach the tent, she finds her excitement palpable. This is new. All of it. They barely make it to the tent before a young woman steps out, skin bronze and hair dark, her vibrant honeyed eyes standing out easily. It takes Quinn aback, and she cannot help but find the desire to call her Esmerelda.

She leans slightly toward Violet, whispering as they make their final approach. "I really thought it'd be an old lady..."
May 28, 2018 11:42 am

Violet Adler

Violet was sure that her suggestion would have earned an eyeroll and an emphatic no from most other people, but Quinn was thrilled at the idea. Violet would definitely have to remember to get her number later; it was super hard to find people as fun as this.

Her bright grin of excitement matched Quinn’s, and the two ladies quickly started to clean up their areas, Violet wolfing down the last bit of crust from her last slice and polishing off what was left of her beer before tossing it all away in a nearby trash bin. She was a notorious for having a bottomless hole of a stomach, and it would be a cold day in hell before she left food sitting on a plate. It was a miracle that she wasn’t a three hundred pound heifer by now. It was just lucky that she actually enjoyed running.

A lot of people ran to get fit. She ran so she could eat junk food.

The two friends (because they were definitely buddies at this point) fell into step with each other as they headed toward the brightly colored tent, chatting breezily about random little things they saw around them. Each of them seemed to blossom once they stepped back into the sunlight, the salty ocean air tousling their very blonde hair.

"I used to go to Coney Island a lot... it can't even compare to this."

Violet’s brows shot up with a tiny gasp of jealousy. “You’ve been to Coney Island?! Oh my gosh, that would be so fun… I’ve never been out of California. I mean, I know it’s a giant state, but still.”

She started to ask about the best kinds of food at Coney, but they had gotten quite near to the tent, and Violet’s mouth snapped shut when an exotic beauty emerged from within. Dark hair, molten gold eyes, and skin more radiantly copper than a new penny. She was the kind of woman that made all the other women around her feel self conscious. Her thick, loose curls were held away from her face by a bright, floral bandana, and a long, flowy blue skirt dusted the tops of her sandaled feet. A deep green blouse set off her golden eyes, and the jingle of bangles sounded from her wrists as she waved to welcome them.

The duo slowed as they approached, and Violet giggled quietly at Quinn’s offhand comment. Equally as quiet, she muttered back, “Right? She’s dressed like most of the local girls around here, too. Could’ve at least worn some crystals around her neck or something.”

“Hello, beautiful girls! Would either of you like a reading today?” The bronze goddess of a woman smiled at them welcomingly.

Violet piped up instantly. “Yes, absolutely! We both would! Quinn here would like to find out if her future child will marry into the Windsor family, and I’m dying to find out if my future husband is into Hawaiian pizza. It’s important."

A clear peal of laughter rang out from the fortune teller, clearly not offended by Violet’s shallow view of her profession.

“I don’t know exactly what I will see, but I will certainly do my best. Would you like to come in together?”

Violet linked her arm around Quinn’s. “Yes, please!”

Nodding graciously, the fortune teller led the two women inside the small tent. Inside was a tiny table just large enough to cram four small chairs around the outside, and a couple of candles were set in the middle, although it seemed they were more for lighting than for ambiance. There were no frills, no incense, no cabinet with colorful potions stocked within, and most disappointingly, no crystal ball.

Despite the meager setting, Violet was still busting with excitement. She’d never had her fortune read before, as she’d never seen this booth set up before now.

The two of them sat together across from the fortune teller, veritably vibrating with excitement.

“My name is Juniper, but you may call me Madame June. Who would like to go first?”

They looked at each other, tiny grins threatening to become full blown giggles. “Um, I guess I will?” Violet scooted her chair in, deeply curious.

“Very well. I’ll need a personal item of yours. Preferably something that you keep close to you at all times. Or…” She folded her hands together on top of the table and lowered her voice. “If you would like a more precise reading, you may wish to allow me to prick your finger for a drop of blood. The method is entirely sterile, I assure you.” She added the latter, seeing the flicker of surprise on their faces.

Again, the two girls briefly looked at each other, conveying surprise. Violet wasn’t the most cautious person in the world to start with, so it only took a moment for her to decide that she indeed wanted to go the more “precise” route.

“I’ll let you prick my finger.” She bit her lip in cautious anticipation, all the more excited by the tiny voice in the back of her mind warning her that she shouldn’t do this.

Madame June procured a small sewing kit from her pocket and handed it to Violet. “Pick a needle and run it through the flame.”

She did as she was told, noticing that the needles in question were indeed free of any debris. Choosing one, she lifted it and ran it through the candle flames for a few seconds until it started to char. Offering the needle to Madame June, she held out her hand across the table and waited for the poke. Wincing a tiny bit at the small jab, she watched as the tiny red drop welled up from her index finger. Madame June lifted the bloodied needle to her mouth and…

Violet’s eyes went as wide as saucers.

She licked the needle clean.

Violet’s mouth hung open in astonishment. Madame June’s molten gold eyes slid shut, and she breathed deeply.

The tent was entirely silent for a long moment.

“Oh… my sweet moonchild.” Madame June whispered to her from across the table. “With a crown of daisies and clothed in blood… red, your hands, your scars to bear upon your breast. Marked down to bones, scorching screams inside your heart.” The Madame’s breath caught. “Caught in waxing chains, you will never be as free as you are right now. But the urge, the need... it will be your purpose. For love, you will willingly bleed… unto pale death.”

Listening intently, almost too shocked by the woman’s actions to let her words sink in, Violet’s brows pulled together at the turn it had taken. This wasn’t at all what she’d expected. A welling of something stirred in her stomach; not quite anger, not quite fear. An uneasy quiver.

Madame June’s eyes finally opened to look dolefully upon Violet’s face. “I’m very sorry, my girl. My visions aren’t always good news, but… it’s like looking through a keyhole. I can only see a tiny part of the whole picture. Just because I saw a dark moment doesn’t mean there won’t be any light.” She smiled kindly and reached forward to grasp her hand. Violet allowed it for a moment before pulling her hand back.

She looked at Quinn, clearly a tiny bit shaken. “Um… you don’t have to if you don’t want to..”
June 03, 2018 12:02 am

Quinn Abernathy

Linked to Violet, Quinn enters the quaint tent without a worry in the world. Everything inside was simply charming due to it's sheer simplicity. While Violet might be underwhelmed, Quinn is in awe. She has never done anything like this, and it leaves her with a heady sensation. Deep chestnut eyes sweep the area as she takes the seat furthest inside before landing upon their host, Juniper.

If she were not so overwhelmed, she would have jumped at the chance to go first. But her vibrant counterpart beats her to the punch, and Quinn grins.

I'll need a personal item of yours.

Already, as she sits chewing her lip, Quinn is considering what personal item she might hand off. Her wedding ring? Her mother-in-laws ring? There are few possessions that she carries, least of all anything deeply personal. But that is the life she leads. Few trinkets, many memories.

I'll let you prick my finger.

She blinks back to reality, eyes wide as she realizes what is happening here. And then, as Violet follows the instructions picks her poison and passes it through an open flame, she finds herself leaning forward in her seat. Curiosity has taken hold, and there is no helping the slackening of her jaw as a sharp edge pierces flesh and then...

She licks it.

Her gaze flickers to Violet, willfully catching her reaction, and then Madame Juniper's whispers fill their space. It demands attention, bringing the tiny hairs upon the back of her neck to stand tall at attention and tiny little bumps to rise upon her arm. Her stomach knots, and as the nature of the premonition is explained, she swallows.

Um... you don't have to if you don't want to..

Quinn looks at Violet, a soft hand reaching to touch to her forearm. It is a silent show of support, and companionship, and without a thought she slides her chair forward.

Deep down, she knows nothing good will come of this, but there is that constant battle for hope lures her forward. As much as Quinn loves her life, and her perceived future, she also knows there are some things that would never last. Gideon had told her so - and she is so willful to be told he was wrong.

"I'll do it," she affirms quietly, unwavering hope evident. It is a true show of her sheer will, and also some things she already knows.

Within moments, a needle is selected, warmed, and given back. There is no flinching as it pierces her fingertip, nor a reaction as the woman brings it to her lips. And, as the tent becomes stoically silent once more, Quinn's gaze lands upon her lap, where her hands twist together nervously.

Please let this be okay, she prays. Please.

"Darkness and light..." Madame June's voice fills her senses, and Quinn fights back the urge to cringe as she lifts her gaze to the woman. "Darkness in light. What was will never be; What will be, will never be what it was. A trusted foe, a flame put out. Two will remain. One will never escape."

For all we know, I’ll die in the next few years..

A quiet gasp catches in Quinn's throat, and as she stares at Madame June, she cannot help but feel as though there are words left unspoken. Slim fingers reach up, swiping beneath her right eye as she tears her attention away.

"Um.." Quinn clears her throat, taking a slow breath in and out before continuing. "Thank you, Madame June."
June 03, 2018 07:20 pm

Violet Adler

“Um… Thank you, Madame June.”

Violet had been watching Quinn during her reading, and it was clear that the woman’s words did mean something to her. The single glistening tear that escaped the corner of her eye made it undeniable. As for Violet’s reading… she couldn’t say it made even a little sense.

She crossed her arms as she looked away from her sweet friend, leveling an unamused gaze upon the carny quack.

“Yeah, thanks. I didn’t realize your whole show was about scaring people. If we’d wanted to get freaked out, there’s plenty of psychos down at the boardwalk to talk to instead of you. It would’ve been free, too.” Pulling out her wallet, she slapped a $20 on the table, enough to pay for both of them.

“Thanks for the sideshow, freak.” Standing, she lightly touched Quinn’s shoulder. “C’mon, let’s find those fried pickles.”

The Madame said nothing as they left, not touching the money left for her upon the table. Her full lips were nothing but a grim line as her golden eyes followed them out, a touch of remorse within.

As the two of them exited the stuffy tent, the warm ocean breeze washed across them. It managed to clear Violet’s head a little, and she rubbed at the tiny spot of dried blood on her finger. A short laugh bubbled up from her lips. “Wow. That was… that was something.”

Blue eyes rose to consider Quinn’s expression; her mind was clearly still inside the tent. Kindly, she briefly touched her arm, a tiny gesture of concern. “I’m sorry she upset you, though. You know she only wanted to freak us out so that we’d talk to people about it. Word of mouth is good for business.”

She smiled brightly at her new friend, although that cold feeling of unease had settled like a rock inside her stomach. Violet knew better than to believe the “vision” of what was little more than a carnival sideshow, but that didn’t stop the goosebumps that had formed upon her arms despite the warm air.

Moonchild.
June 03, 2018 08:28 pm

Quinn Abernathy

The silence is broken by a beautiful, raspy voice full of fury. Violet berates the woman before them, and Quinn is halfway in reality as she quietly protests beside her. "Violet, it's okay... she... she's just doing her job." Despite her message, her voice is mournful. The message delivered was harrowing, and the young blond would further haunted by them. Tucked safely in their new home, the love of her life's clock is ticking.

Thanks for the sideshow, freak.

"I'm sorry," is all she can get out as they exit the tent, two words spoken over her shoulder though she cannot bring herself to look at the woman left behind. While it isn't clear if Violet's reading meant anything to her, Quinn's rang clear like a bell.

Gideon was right.
Their time is limited.
Forever is nothing but a dream.
He told her.

She left her leftover pizza in the tent. Quinn realizes it is a lost cause; there would be no returning. But that does not really matter, because losing her lunch is so easy compared to what she knows is to come. A frown is etched upon her lips, arms crossed, when Violet's laugh fails to reach her.

"Mhmm..."

Violet's touch brings her into reality, bringing earth and water together. A sad smile is offered, and she shakes her head. "I appreciate that."

Without a second thought, Quinn loops her arm through Violet's once more, drawing the woman closer in an almost hug. "I'm sure it'll be okay... besides..." she clears her throat, blinking back her own emotions in order to cheer them both up. "You have a really great hippy name, now."

Her free hand lands upon Violet's forearm, and she gives her an earnest glance. "I think we need chocolate."
June 03, 2018 09:05 pm

Violet Adler

Quinn’s slender arm looping through hers once more pulled her mind away from the weird feeling in the pit of her stomach, and the bright woman even coaxed a sincere giggle of delight from Violet.

“You’re right, it’s a fantastic hippie name. We should think of one for you, too!”

Quinn insisted that what they needed was chocolate, and Violet couldn’t have agreed more. They walked around the pier together for a while trying to find something that was conventionally chocolate, but… this was the Santa Monica Pier. Nothing about it was conventional. Violet was also sporadically chirping out any hippie names for Quinn that happened to occur to her, although she hadn’t settled on one yet.

Eventually they decided on a basket of deep fried oreos to split between the two of them, which were divine, and not having any luck in finding a picnic table to park at, they settled for leaning on the pier railings, checking out the lights at Muscle Beach in the distance.

“Maybe… oh, how about Serenity? Or Crystal? Eh… that one is a little strippery.” She popped a fried oreo into her mouth and chewed thoughtfully. The delicious little morsels were amazing. They weren’t fried to the point of crispiness, but were actually quite soft, as if it were some kind of tempura batter. And the heat of the fryer made the cookies incredibly soft and melty.

“Sparrow? Or maybe Prairie… I like Prairie.”

Swallowing the mouthful, she grinned at her new friend. “I’m really happy I got to meet you today. Eating pizza with you was way better than eating it alone, and that’s already pretty damn good.”

Not one to dwell on things, Violet had already mostly let go of the uneasy feelings that the reading had given her. She'd decided to instead be happy about the new friend she'd made. Hopefully they'd share a pie together again soon.
June 08, 2018 10:45 pm
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