tag archive

Rue's Waxy Friend

With the click of a button the room fills with the mournful sounds of a funerary dirge, a piano's mournful notes weaving through droning prayers and grief-filled tears. The music drips down the cold stone walls and across the marble slab—

"Ugh, it's so cold in here ..."

The body on the slab shifts just enough to stare at its companion. She's shivering in a lacy black dress and mourning veil, nipples hard and skin goosebumped.

"It's a crypt. Of course it's cold."

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The Devil's Calling Card

Hell rises in the distance, vast and insectile; tiers of sculpted pustules marching up towards judgment's implacable many-faceted eye. Its walls have already begun to open, vast diaphanous wings unfurling from their eternal prisons. The ground shivers beneath its shifting weight—

You walk a bit faster, heedless of the weeping blisters burning on your feet. There's not much time left, not now, none left to waste! It's time, it's finally time—!

All that remains is to reach the city.

You're going home.

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7: We All Have Regrets

Arlene's last customer of the day is uncomfortably prickly as Arlene looks her over. She's healing up well: the only trace of the rod's presence is a scattering of flowers rising up from beneath her flesh, their lines sketched in blisters and bruises and knotted scars.

Florence refuses to meet her eyes when she finally steps back and peels off her gloves.

"... well, you seem to be healing up okay, unless you want me to clean the traces off?"

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6: If Such Things Have Ends

"What was I?" Florence asks, the question bubbling up unbidden through her seed's vestigial throat and out past teeth already well on their way to hatching. Up in the red sky above the little patio where she keeps that memory of her lesser self her hands flutter uncertainly.

It is not what she expected to ask the shining-blazing-sharp-painspitting thing which crawled into her and took away her toys.

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2: The Soapbubble Moons

Florence kept on looking at her arm on the drive home, glancing down or running her fingers along the carefully sutured line where Arlene had opened her up. And that place at the base of her palm, where her tendons curled into her hand—

"You doing okay, Flor?"

Thorn, sprawled out in the driver's seat, their arm dangling out through an open window into the cool night air; body language as open as ever. A sharp contrast to the concern in their voice.

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1: The Glass Rod

Arlene's last customer of the day is anxious and uneasy as she sits in her chair, her arm locked into place on the worktable. Far too late to turn back, and yet—

"A-are you sure this is safe?"

She can't help but notice the customer's sweat, so laden with fear and guilty desire.

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Amulet, Shadows, Growth

By the time you find the secret door you're almost ready to give up and call it a day (well, a night. Can't rob the necropolis during the day!). Maybe this tomb was never finished, this mausoleum never occupied.

Maybe it's just a dead end! A trick. It's been known to happen.

Besides, your lantern's starting to sputter, the last refill of oil on your belt hanging with the weight of finality. If you waste it on a dead end then it'll be weeks until you can scrounge up enough for another attempt, maybe months before you can sneak in again.

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Apothecary, Limbo, Medical

She only went to the witch as a last resort, after years of being shuffled between doctors, of mortifying exams and racks upon racks of bloody vials. And, of course, pain. Always pain, always the ebb and flow of agony filling her and fading away with no rhythm she could hear.

She wasn't stupid, no matter how her mind was fogged; she knew that witches were a last resort, dangerous and mercurial. That's what she had always been taught, what she'd always heard in breathless news reports about children plucked from their beds and remade into new forms.

(Always "children" for some reason, even though they were invariably legal adults with their own lives and minds, always treated as if they were dead even though they had simply become something different. Always interviewing the parents, not the transformed. How very odd.)

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The Angel's Phone Booth

Feral angel girl sitting in the basement, far from her flock's nests, filthy light splintered by broken windows falling all around her.

It reminds her of her halo, in a way.

Letting it fill her senses feels the same as the Thing used to feel in her mind.

Years ago someone dragged a whole-ass payphone into the basement, just pulled it right out of the ground and tossed it down. It still sparks form time to time.

Angel doesn't know why, for all the time she spends looking at it, but it's convenient that it's already here.

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Cocoon & Bloodbath

Each layer went on easier than the last, cloying red salvation closing over your bare skin, burying you deeper and deeper. At first the brush's rough hairs hurt, tore your skin and sent your own red welling up, but by the third coat you could hardly feel a thing.

The pain brought to mind her warnings, that she would not be gentle and that this would hurt–that your claustrophobia might make this process unpalpable, that if you broke the cocoon she would not be able to wrap it around you a second time. Hurt filled you with fear.

Yet when it faded, when crimson sheets bound you too tightly for you to move or see or feel, so too did your fear. You drifted there as she worked, almost outside your body; thinking of it only to idly consider how much of the process might yet remain before you.

After a time, you did not even think of that.

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