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Maycee Thomas

She could feel the dampness of the newly rained on bench seeping through her jeans, chilling her skin beneath, and spreading a dark ring on to the fabric of her pants. Her knees were spread and her body hunched over so that her head could hang between them. Drips of rain still fell from half full clouds, plip plopping on to dark hair and creating even darker spots.

The pain was near unbearable. Even the scant light that shone through the darkened sky was enough to feel like pins stabbing through her eyeballs and into her brain.

This time it wasn’t even caused by magic. It was just her own body creating havoc of its own volition. Thanks for the betrayal, body.

It wasn’t helped by the fact that it was Christmastime. The sidewalk was filled with people rushing from store to store, place to place, barely looking up from their phone long enough to avoid running into someone else. Or a pole. Or the bench she was sitting on. She was sure that someone would just tumble right over the arm rest at any moment. Sometimes it was easy to go unnoticed in this day and age, where everyone was too caught up in their own digital world to see what was going on around them.

But it was too much.

Too much noise.

Too many bodies.

The tingle of bells and singing came seeping through the doors of shops every time a door opened or closed. Yelling for taxis. People talking on mobile devices. The sound of cars as they puttered over pavement, splashing happily up on to the curb as they drove by.

It was all too….too.

All she wanted to do was breath through the nausea that was rising up through her belly. This was probably the entirely wrong time to do any sort of magic or illusion, and would only make it worse...but it would only make it worse for a small moment.

Right now she needed a distraction. For herself. For those people speed walking back and forth and around where she was. And she had a pocket full of chocolate bars for when the next wave of migraine hit afterwards.

Her hood is pulled up over her dampening hair, shielding her face as she pries forest green orbs open with as much force and will as she can muster.

A large area of ground starts to shudder in her vision, blurring and shifting, making those around her uncomfortable to walk through it. It wasn’t a spell of aversion, but an innate ability in humans to avoid things that were unusual even if it wasn’t intentional. Air displaced. Yellow lines started to appear between the trees lining the sidewalk and bike posts. Every moment they got more visible, more lucid, until the black ‘caution’ could be read along the sides of every piece of tape.

Out of her pocket came the chocolate covered nougat bar as invisible iron spikes rammed into her temples. She pulled back and shoved nearly the whole thing in her mouth in the first bite.
The dark concrete lightened in spots, turning white and elongating to curving lines, creating a shape with each passing moment. Not even seconds, though it seemed so much longer to Maycee than that.

Eventually lines met up, the curvature of white forming a picture on the ground. At least an outline. Of a body.

And all of it was right in front of the bench she sat on, creating wide berth between her resting spot and the rest of humanity.

She could feel the warm trickle of plasma seeping from her nostril. First the left, then the right, following the line of her full lips, down her chin, leaving a trail of red down both sides until it drips once to the wet ground.

As she pulled out another candy bar, of which she apparently kept plenty in her pocket, she leaned over and lay down on the bench. Eyes closed. She couldn’t fall asleep all the way, couldn’t rest completely, not with the work of art she had created just a few feet away, but with it set it was only a small amount of energy to keep it running. Energy that she was going to keep up by the carb loaded treat she was about to put into her red lined lips.

Blood and chocolate, the perfect pairing.
December 21, 2018 08:26 pm

Jack Whitechapel

People.

There were people everywhere. They rushed on with their important lives from building to building. They moved with such haste and desperation that they didn’t seem to notice that anyone else existed in the world. The small child was anonymous in the crowd. Some people might think that a child walking alone at night in drizzly, wintery weather would be noticed. That was not the case here. Everyone was far too focused on the gifts they were going to buy and the gifts they were going to receive. They were thinking about the fine dinners they were going to have and the special moments they were going to have with their families. Because of this, they didn’t really notice one another.

People.

If Jack were the type who understood social dynamics, he might find it ironic that in this season of togetherness, everyone seemed to be wrapped up in their own little world. The tinkling bell of the Salvation Army person in the red vest outside of each store was about the extent of the notice given to other people in this world. It wasn’t even with any sort of plan that people dumped change into the bucket, but as a matter of course. It was what they were supposed to do and what they were used to doing, so they did it.

People.

Jack noticed people. He noticed their habits, even if he didn’t fully understand them. He didn’t really care about them. He was the outsider looking in, alone but never lonely. How could he be lonely? He had his collection. There was also the Tall Woman. He remembered her even if it had been a long time since he saw her. He knew she would come back, though. That’s what they were supposed to do, right?

People.

People were everywhere. Jack found himself more fascinated by the strings of lights and the different decorations. He walked slowly in his little black and grey suit, so clean and neat despite the moisture. His head kept swiveling in every direction and his bright eyes reflected the flashing, multicolored strings of Christmas. So pretty. And so many people. Jack wondered if the Tall Woman was with them somewhere. Maybe she would bring him back one of those little sandwiches with the chocolate on the outside and the vanilla ice cream in the middle. She knew he liked those, so she probably would

People.

There was a person that Jack noticed. She was all alone and looked lonely. Jack was all alone, but he wasn’t lonely. There was too much to see to be lonely. But she… she looked so sad and all alone. Maybe he should go trade with her? Jack reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a small, flat rock. It was his favorite rock. He had had it forever and it had the most beautiful green veins running through it from end to end. He held the rock up in front of his eyes and stared intently at it. The colorful lights reflected off of it. He stopped walking and just stared into the depths of the colored lights. They seemed to be emanating from beneath the polished surface of the green veined stone.
People.

HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONK BEEEEP HOOOOOOOOOONK

“What the hell are you doin kid? Get outta the road!”

Jack stared at the rock which was suddenly brighter. The headlights of the car that had stopped next to him made it so much easier to see. He smiled and turned the rock over and over in his fingers. The only problem was that he couldn’t see the reflection of the colored lights.

HOOOOOOOONK HOONK HONK HONK BEEEEEEP BEEP HOOOOONK

The chorus of honks and beeps from the cars stopped behind the first one got louder and more insistent. Jack was getting frustrated that he couldn’t see the reflected lights within the rock. He put it back into his pocket and walked until he finished crossing the street and stood on the sidewalk yet again. He looked around, not sure of where to go at first. His eyes eventually landed on the lonely person. She was probably lonely because she was all alone. Jack wondered if she wanted to trade…

That’s right! That’s why he had gotten the rock out! He was going to trade it with her. Happy behind his placid expression, Jack finished making his way to the woman sitting on the bench. He was about to hold the rock out to her and offer to trade when he saw her bloody face. She was hurt? Whatever had happened, the blood fascinated him more than anything. It fascinted him more than the inconsequential lines drawn on the ground where he stood. It fascinated him more than the thought of the chocolate ice cream sandwich the Tall Woman was going to bring him when she got back. It fascinated him more than his rock. It even fascinated him more than trading with the woman.

Jack didn’t know much about personal boundaries… so he reached up and, if allowed, touched the first two fingers of his right hand to the crimson stream beneath her nose. No words. Just a touch.
December 21, 2018 08:59 pm

Maycee Thomas

The honking of the cars should have dragged her out of her stupor. It should have, but maybe she was just too used to noise, too used to the background hum around her that it didn’t even seem out of place. All she could hear was the quiet reverie playing softly in her head of her own making.

It sounded an awful lot like The Pixies.

She felt something on her face. A light touch that forced a sigh from her lips as she reached up with her sleeve to wipe away whatever lay there. While she expected it to be soft, probably with wings or six legs, or even more of the red liquid that had finally stopped flowing, she found something...else. Still soft. Less pliable. Definitely not a bug. She forced her eyes open with a soft groan.

Okay. Small child. That was unexpected. He still had his finger on her face where the blood was starting to dry to her pale skin. The shock of finding him tampered with her concentration, and the image behind him wavered around the edges and then popped out of reality, leaving the sidewalk as it had been moments before.

Maycee was a rather solitary creature. She had no friends to speak of, and definitely nothing more than a friend. She dealt with people when she had to, when it was of use to her, but mostly she kept to herself.

Which meant she wasn’t used to people touching her, especially not her face.

It didn’t upset her, it just surprised her and the look in his eyes was what. Curiosity? Well, what normal child wouldn’t be at least a little curious at a bleeding person. Unlike many adults, she rather liked the bluntness of children. They told it as they saw it, no sugar coating. They asked questions that adults were afraid to ask. So, with that in mind, she pulled her lips into a tight smile and spoke.

“Allo, little man. Are you out here all alone?” her words thick with French accent. She would assume that, because most parents would be tch’ing their child by now for bothering a stranger. Slowly, Maycee pushed herself into a seated position.

At least now with the illusion faded away to nothing, the bleeding had stopped completely. The ache in her head, which had been so fierce just moments ago, was starting to fade though the remembered pain was still lingering on her synapses.

“Do you need some help?”
December 30, 2018 05:13 pm

Jack Whitechapel

Warm. The blood was warm and sticky. It had a very distinctive odor. Something like the smell of a penny if the penny was held against the flame of a lighter for a few seconds. Jack had tried that before. He had learned that you have to hold it with a pair of tweezers or something even larger to keep from burning your own fingers on the heated metal. It had left huge blisters last time he had done it. Jack looked in what seemed to be reverence at his fingers when they were brushed away from the woman’s face. They were stained a burnt red in the artificial, flashing light of the world of multi-colored bulbs and colored tinsel. It was the attempt at everyone in the world to hide from the misery and depression that surrounded their general existence. That was what Jack had come to realize. Maybe he hadn’t completely come to that conclusion, as such, but he definitely realized that people were unhappy and that the lights were meant to convey some sort of artificial joy around this time of year.

Jack watched his fingers in the light a bit longer. The reflection of the flashing bulbs in the bright surface of the blood that had not quite dried was fascinating. It seemed to emanate from beneath the surface of the blood. It seemed to come from some internal source that was as beautiful as it was magical in its own right.

”Little man,” she called him. Was that some sort of insult about his size? Was it a reference to the fact that he was male and would grow up to be a man one day? That he was not a man yet? Whatever it was, it seemed to be rather rude to the tiny boy and he made this known with a very firm, very direct glare. He had eyes that reflected a dark abyss and agelessness that no child’s eyes could ever capture. Jack did not understand the passage of time as most people did. He knew how to tell the time on a clock. He knew how to read the little hand and the big hand with the useless second hand that would circle at a painfully slow, metronomic pace. It was hypnotic to the boy when he watched the thinnest of the hands tick tick tick its way around the surface of a clock. But utterly pointless.

Jack reached his hand back toward her face just as slowly and carefully as before until bloody fingers, mostly dry, rested on her cheek. Paint? Jack liked to paint. Especially with red. It was his favorite color. He traced a quick outline. A faint line showed the direction of travel, but little else. There was no volume to the finger-stroke. There was no substance to the circle he drew. Dissatisfied with the quality of the dried vitae on his fingers, Jack tentatively licked his index finger trying to add moisture to the blood. It didn’t seem to rehydrate the red drops that were well on their way to flaking away and drying black against his extremely pale skin. He reached up and pressed his fingers beneath her nose again. Nothing. Dry.

“Help me paint,” Jack said. His voice was sweet though it showed very little emotional inflection. Musical without the required change in cadence in its monotone. Without further warning or preamble, Jack doubled up his pint sized fist and attempted to punch the woman directly in the tip of her nose and restart the fountain of paint.
January 03, 2019 05:25 am

Maycee Thomas

Eyes. His eyes.

Maycee had been around many different types of supernatural creatures. Yes, creatures, because even she wasn’t human, not really. There was something intrinsically different in her DNA that gave her the ability to warp reality. Create images that weren’t there. Frontal lobe yadda yadda yadda. Maybe someday she will become a scientist and actually figure it out.

For now, though, she would just squirm a little because the dark and vacuous depths of his eyes did something that was typically hard to do with her.

Made her uneasy.

Part of it was the way he was looking at, no, inspecting the red substance on his fingers. Then trying to spread it down along her cheek. Okay...a shiver went up along her spine. ”Help me paint.”

It was an innocent enough request. It would have been innocent enough, at least, if there were some emotion to his cadence or words. Something behind those too old for him eyes. But it was nothing. Maycee herself wasn’t exactly what one would call a saint, or even close. She made a living, survived, off of the duping of others. So how was it that she couldn’t shake this feeling in the pit of her stomach. Still, despite the unease, he was still a child who seemingly was walking around the city on his own in the middle of one of the busiest shopping seasons. He never did answer her to where his parents were, so she would assume that was the case. He was alone. And yes, he was just a little (lot) creepy. But he was a kid, right? Harmless enough.

“Umm, okay. I’ll help you p…”

Words were cut off though, and replaced by a cry of pain and surprised as she felt the little fist hit at her already sensitive nose. She could feel the fresh wave of crimson gush from her nostrils and down the front of her face. Well, this shirt was ruined. A few people even pulled themselves out of their internal headspace to notice it. Not enough to help or even break concentration on their endeavors or paths.

She stood up quickly. French started to spill from her lips as plasma spilled from her nose. “
Que se passe-t-il? Qu'est ce qui ne vas pas chez toi? Baise moi.” Her head tilted backwards, pinching the bridge of her nose. The raging pain in her head comes barrelling back until she can barely see straight.

She might have to change her view on children after this.
January 04, 2019 06:52 pm

Jack Whitechapel

Jack felt the impact. Soft, thinly veiled cartilage struck hard beneath the hard, sharp angles of knuckles padded only by a paper thin layer of pale skin. It was a sudden rampage of violence that he rarely encountered and truly did not think of as violence all things considered. His only goal had been to promote the flow of the bright vitality that had dried far too quickly beneath the woman’s nose and to use it to decorate the planes and angles of her face with delicate finger-strokes.

Baise Moi!

The world is dark and eerie. Fog radiates up from the ground thicker than metaphorical pea soup, blocking visibility almost completely from the height of roughly a meter to the dark, slick paving stones. Each footstep echoes cavernously from brick and block buildings, reverberating back and forth until it is magnified and directionless. Small feet shod in cast-off shoes with hard, uneven soles move more rapidly as the small boy glances around in fear. He cannot see beneath the height of his chest to the ground below. He is confused and lost. Terrified. He cannot tell where he is… or why he is here.

He hears the sound of flesh on flesh as someone slaps someone in the distance, or maybe right next to him. The boy cannot tell. He stares around desperately with wide, dark eyes, trying to take in the sights. It’s dark. It’s scary.

There are monsters in the night. There are creatures in the darkness. He has been warned about them. There is a butcher running around cutting women to pieces and, if it will cut up a woman so violently, what will it do to a child? Ma is afraid every night and has even started bringing his new Pa back instead of meeting him in the alleys. Too bad she can never seem to pick one and most of them smell like alcohol and the tang of opium. Some of them even hit her and John can’t allow that to happen, can he? So he tries to stop them and his face ends up bruised and battered like it is tonight.

The slap of flesh resounds again. It increases in tempo. It sounds like night when Pa comes home with Ma except without the squeaking of the old floorboards. The tiny boy rounds the corner. He is looking for Ma. He is hungry and he needs her. Plus there is some monster running around out here cutting up women and it scares him. What would he do without Ma? Where would he go? The Mutton Shunters would take him and shove him in a home with mean women who would smack him with spoons and paddles. Ma told him they would…

He rounds a final corner and sees the face. It is bruised and bleeding. It looks like Ma’s face, but Ma doesn’t look like that. She has all of her teeth still and a crooked brown one to the side. She has smaller lips too and they are not so brightly red. This can’t be Ma.

"Baise Moi!"

The voice that says it is raw and harsh. The Shadow Man holds something bright in his hand that drips and streams something black. He keeps trying to force Not Ma to take it from him. And he says those strange words over and over in rhythm with his pumping arm that sent the glittering thing down toward Not Ma.

"Baise Moi!"


The boy’s bright eyes snapped open wide and his jaw went slack as the memory hit him with the weight of a mountain. He looked around in panic, searching for the Shadow Man and Not Ma, searching for anything that would explain where he was and what he was doing there. His eyes alighted on the lady before him. Perhaps it is child’s instinct. Perhaps it is fear. Perhaps it is many things… that send Jack charging forward to leap at the woman’s waist where thin arms wrap tightly about it and his face was buried into her abdomen.
January 04, 2019 09:29 pm

Maycee Thomas

Two little arms wrapped around her waist and tightened. They hugged like they needed to feel something solid and real, like they needed reassurance and comfort. Two things that she was not really good at giving.

Maycee didn’t always know what to do with physical affection. Well...not -all- physical affection (wink wink, nudge nudge), but the kind given without pretense or expectations. Holding hands. A friendly squeeze on the arm. A hug. Solitary lives will do that to a person.

So, first reaction? Freeze.

Freeze there with her hand covering her throbbing nose, trying to pinch the flow of blood off at the source. Stare up at the cloud misted sky. It was just like one of those fainting goats, except she managed to keep on her feet for now.

But they stayed cinched around her waist. Finally, she let out a long sigh.

And what happened, then? Well, in Realm they say – that Maycee’s small heart grew three sizes that day. And then – the true meaning of Christmas came through, and Maycee found the strength of ten witches, plus two!

Her body relaxed. Sure, she was covered in her own blood and she might have to replace her favorite jacket if the stains didn’t come out. Sure, her head and face and really her entire body were pounding like a jackhammer was tapping out Metallica on them. Oh, and then there was the fact that this small child had just punched her in the face after looking at her with creepy dead eyes.

Still, she lowered her arms and, unable to help herself, she wrapped them in turn around the boy and returned the affection.

Maycee had lived a rather f*cked up childhood. Who knew what this kid had been through?

It was then that at least one passerby actually noticed the young lady and child, the blood, and the strange picture that they painted on the sidewalk. An older gentleman sauntered up to them, his hat tilted to the side and his plaid scarf wrapped expertly around his neck. “Excuse me, miss? Are you two alright?”

She glanced at the man and nodded. “Yeah, we’re just fine. Thank you, monsieur.” Still looking concerned, he did return the nod and went on his way. Then, to the kid, “We are just fine, right? What do you say we go get out of the cold and get some hot chocolate.” That’s what little ones liked, right? Maycee was completely out of her element here, but now she felt somewhat responsible for this boy who was, as far as she could tell, alone. “Then we can talk about where your parents are.”


January 10, 2019 07:19 pm

Jack Whitechapel

Jack's expression was always placid. It was always serene. His face was slightly rounded in its placidity giving him an almost angelic representation with cherubic features screaming of innocence. Platinum strands hung a bare two millimeters above his matching, thin eyebrows. Likewise, his lips were thin and pale, the soft flesh barely showing any color change as they blended with subtle brush into his waxen paper skin. What separated him from the beautiful, heavenly host was the eyes. They were the metaphorical "windows to the soul" and they showed nothing within their nearly black depths. Sclera were white and crisp, without vein even on the closest inspection and surrounding irises of such deep cocoa as to be nearly indistinguishable from the black, overly dilated pupils. THey were the empty, cold and dark windows of an abandoned home stark against a moonglow nightscape. They showed nothing of the inquisitiveness and curiosity a that he seemed to exhibit.

Jack stood what would generally be considered uncomfortably close to her and, if she were paying close attention, she might notice the incongruity of his breath which, while warm, did not mist in the cold air. He shook his head back and forth exactly three times. He knew it was three times because he counted them. He didn't want to go anywhere. He didn't know what a "parents" was and he knew for a fact that he didn't have one. Maybe it would be interesting to collect? Besides, if he had one of these "parents" things, Mother would have told him.

Unabashedly, Jack reached up and tried to touch the woman's face where the blood had flowed, fingers questing for the beautiful red that stood bright against her comparatively pale skin. He wanted to feel that sticky warmth again. He wanted to poke at it, to play with it, and to draw pictures with it. He wanted to stroke lines under her eyes and over her cheeks so she looked like one of the "Indians" he had seen in one of the pages of the things that were on the shelves in the place with all the shelves.

Beautiful red. He wanted more of it.

"Paint," Jack said. "Paint," he continued and reached into his pocket. He retrieved a large brown object that, on closer inspection, was still feebly moving. If she looked closer, she might see that it was a spider about the size of an American Half Dollar coin. It was hairy, dark brown, and looked both confused and maybe a bit angry. He pushed the twitching mass into her palm, squeezing her fingers around it and looked back up to her face. "Paint. Trade," he said.

It was a fair trade. She would let him paint and he would let her have his favorite bug. It was his favorite even though it kept biting him.
January 18, 2019 12:24 am

Maycee Thomas

Maycee understood body language. As someone who had, on more than one occasion, pretended to be someone else, she -had- to understand it. So, she definitely noticed that he stood too close to her. In fact, he didn’t seem to have any boundaries at all in terms of personal space.

Her nose was case and point.

Maybe he was autistic? She searched her memory bank, which had more vaults than she could count, for information she might have seen or read. Really, he fit into quite a few of the checkmarks. No personal space. Singularly minded. No expression or emotion. Now if she only had any idea how to deal with a special needs child that would be great.

Of course, the fact that she was internally torn right now didn’t help. On one hand, he had hugged her, which meant that what? He liked her? Needed her? Considering she had found him wandering alone, that could very well be the case. Then on the other hand (though she did wish she had more hands to make more points) when she looked into those fathomless eyes, it scared her a little.

A lot.

And Maycee didn’t really scare easily.

But she could handle this, right? He was a little boy. Little boys aren’t that scary, even to one so anti-child. So when he reached up to touch her face, she let him. It was progress. It was...messy. She felt small fingers slide over her smooth skin, dragging along trails of crimson in their wake. Stark against white flesh. She was already rather pale, but in the winter months even moreso. Not vampire pale, but close.

Once more he mentioned ‘paint’.

Realization dawned on her. Yeah, he was trying to paint with her blood. Nope, not creepy at all. Not wanting to startle him, as he was precariously close to her already wounded nose again, she took in a slow breath and then began to speak. “You know, I bet we could go buy some…”

Words cut off as she felt something in her hand. Something...moving. Soft. Her eyes closed and she willed for it not to be what she thought it was, little feet scuttling against her palm. Bringing her hand up, she opened it to see the angry mass of writhing legs.

Nope. She would not do it. She would not scream. She would not shriek like a Banshee. That part about Maycee not scaring easily? That was before she was holding a big goddamned spider.

Then it bit her.

She yelped and dropped the thing on the ground, screaming “Connard!” very loudly. It was a good thing most people in the vicinity seemed to be English speaking or else she would have been very uncouth. Screaming obscenities in the presence of a child? Well, nobody would ever call her a role model anyways.

Head pounding, nose throbbing, hand bitten. She held her palm where the thing had taken a bite, not caring now if she disturbed the wee one. “C'est ce que j'ai pour avoir essayé d'être gentil. Je devrais savoir mieux!”

She would then back up and try walking away. He could find his parents on his own.
January 21, 2019 07:37 pm
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