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What We Do Is Secret

 
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Capistrano
Wolf Like Me
Proven Adventurer
Proven Adventurer


Joined: 12 Feb 2008
Posts: 184

Location: A small apartment near the University of Northeast RhyDin or Clovely
6,135 Silver Nobles


PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:27 pm    Post subject: What We Do Is Secret Reply with quote

Darby Crash: Everything works in circles. Like sometimes you're doing something, and a year later you're back at the same point. You understand that? So circle one, is what we're doing now, and someday we'll probably do circle two.

(“What We Do Is Secret”)

August 13, 2012 R.S.C.
AMD Training Academy, New Haven


By the time Jay had walked halfway down the dorm hallway to his room at the AMD Training Academy, he knew someone had broken into his room. There was a new smell present, one that wasn’t usually there, one that was both oddly familiar and utterly foreign. He found himself running down the hall, ignoring the sweat and cologne and perfume and pheromones of the other Academy students. Instead, his nose sniffed at the air, focused on a peculiar mix of ozone, jasmine, vanilla, and sandlewood incense. Not surprisingly, it got stronger the closer he got to his door. Surprisingly, when he arrived at his room, the door was shut. There were no signs that the lock had been messed with. He tried the door handle, and the door was still locked. Jay breathed in deeply, and the smell he’d noticed from down the hall was still there, so strong that it almost overwhelmed him. He took a few staggering steps backwards before shaking his head vigorously. Then, he pulled his teeth back into a snarl, the hackles on his neck standing straight up, and unlocked the door. With a quick twist of the knob, he dashed into the room, growling at the intruder.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

Namaste’ to you too, Jay…Dreamwalker.”

A woman stood by Jay’s desk, looking over some papers he had left there haphazardly. She was dressed in a teal silk sari speckled with flecks of gold and silver. Her dark tan skin seemed to glow and shine, as if lit by some unseen light. Dark, straight black hair went down to her back, and every time Jay tried to get a closer look at her face, it seemed to shift subtly – crow’s feet that were there one moment disappeared the next, replaced by wrinkles, and then replaced again by laugh lines. It threatened to give him a headache, so instead of looking right at her, he just looked in her general direction, gritting his teeth the whole time.

“Swapneshwari.”

Her only response to her name was a dip of a nod.

“I haven’t heard from you in years. I prayed and I prayed, and nothing. What, the werewolf thing make things too complicated for you? Washing your hands of me?”

“It is…complicated, J-“

“You’re goddamn right it’s complicated!” Jay interrupted, clenching a fist. Swapneshwari didn’t flinch.

“But I am back. And I need you again.”

“Need me for what?” Jay arched an eyebrow at Swapneshwari.

“I need you to be the Dreamwalker again.”
_________________
The future lies on some horizon
So many times I had to say farewell
I know it turns out fine, following the exit sign
At least that's what I tell myself
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View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Capistrano
Wolf Like Me
Proven Adventurer
Proven Adventurer


Joined: 12 Feb 2008
Posts: 184

Location: A small apartment near the University of Northeast RhyDin or Clovely
6,135 Silver Nobles


PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:31 pm    Post subject: Sick Bail Reply with quote

July 26, 2003
Santa Cruz, California


The song playing on the boombox started off with a walking bass line, and Jay pantomimed playing along until the drums and guitar kicked in, upon which he started to head bang along to the garage punk riff. It was a song by one of his favorite bands – a band that didn’t exist anymore. A band that had been wiped out by a car crash just six days earlier. Jay had very nearly cried when Chico had called him with the news, and the one CD they had released hadn’t left any of Jay’s CD players in the days that followed.

Tonight, that boombox sat on top of the white granite steps of the county courthouse, cranked as loud as it could go. At the bottom of the stairs, on the sidewalk in front of the courthouse, Chico and Aron were trying out flip tricks with little success. They would skate back and forth, picking up speed and kicking up their boards, but time and time again, their feet failed to return to the boards and the familiar clatter of failure would echo around the courtyard nearby. Instead of ground tricks, Jay and Zeb had been focusing their attention on leaping over the steps on their boards. There were two sets of them, eight stairs a piece, but the top set of stairs was too close to the courthouse doors and they couldn’t get enough speed to jump it. The lower set, though, gave them plenty of room to build up speed to jump. Time and time again, Jay and Zeb would ease their way toward the top stair, kicking against the ground occasionally to build up speed. Once they were near that step, they bent their knees and propelled themselves into the air, landing with a crouch on the sidewalk below. The slam of the wooden boards and polyurethane wheels on concrete was cathartic, but it wasn’t quite enough for Jay.

Right next to the lower set of stairs was a hand rail, thick and rectangular and angled down the length of the staircase. It was a perfect rail for boardsliding, and that was exactly what Jay did. He built up the same head of speed that he was using to vault over the stairs, but instead of jumping up and over them, he instead ollied onto the rail. He twisted his body and the board so that the board was perpendicular to the rail, with each set of wheels on the opposite side, and balanced himself carefully as he slid down. Just when he was about to run out of rail, Jay straightened out the board and landed on the sidewalk, knees bending slightly with the impact. After busting out a couple of them in a row, Chico, Aron, and Zeb stopped what they were doing to watch Jay. It still wasn’t enough for Jay.

On the other side of the steps was a handicap ramp, twisting up from the sidewalk and then straight up towards an automatic door. On both sides of the ramp were longer, thinner metal railings to grind. It was more dangerous than the rail on the lower steps, and Jay could hear his friends murmuring behind his back about that while he hopped up the steps, two at a time, making his way to the railing. Once there, he walked backwards, as far away from the top of the ramp as he could get, and set the board down on the ground. The rhythmic rolling of his skateboard’s wheels mixed with the steady drum beat and jangly guitar riff from the boombox. Jay kicked fiercely at the ground to build up speed, as he headed for the railing. Once he was close to the rail, he bent his knees and ollied towards it, like he had done hundreds of times before. Unlike earlier, when he boardslid on the lower rail, he landed flush on the railing, with both of the board’s trucks on the rail. He immediately realized he had bitten off more than he could chew. The rail was thinner, harder to balance on, and that was compounded by the length and the smoothness of the iron. Complicating things even further was the face it was harder to balance the board on the wheel trucks than it was to balance it on the bottom of the board, like he would have if he was boardsliding. As he slid down the rail, going faster and faster, he could feel the back end of his board slipping away from his control. He tried desperately to keep his balance, but it was too late. Right as the board reached the end of the rail, it shot out from underneath him, slamming into the side of a car parked on the street with a dull thud. Without the board under his feet, Jay flailed at the air for a moment, before his head smacked against the very edge of the rail. The last thing he heard before he fell unconscious was the sound of a dime rattling around in his skull, then the sickening crunch of bone on concrete.
_________________
The future lies on some horizon
So many times I had to say farewell
I know it turns out fine, following the exit sign
At least that's what I tell myself
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Capistrano
Wolf Like Me
Proven Adventurer
Proven Adventurer


Joined: 12 Feb 2008
Posts: 184

Location: A small apartment near the University of Northeast RhyDin or Clovely
6,135 Silver Nobles


PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:44 am    Post subject: What Is the Light? Reply with quote

Black. No light. Jay stood in the dark, deep and infinite and impenetrable. To the left and right, there were no walls. Above him, no ceiling or roof. He crouched, trying to touch the floor, but when he did so, his hands found nothing but air. Yet there he stood, defying every rule of science.

He looked down at his feet, and couldn’t see them. He held a hand in front of his face, and couldn’t see it. He raised his hand up towards his face, but he couldn’t feel it. He couldn’t feel his body. He tried to take a breath, suck air deep into his lungs, but he couldn’t. There was no air present, and his chest stayed stubbornly still. He tried to speak, but no words came out. He shouted, but there was no sound.

Then, light rolled in. A tiny dot,, hovering, growing ever so slowly from a mere mote to will-o’-the-wisp to light bulb size. It continued to grow, and when Jay looked down at his hands now, he could see his fingers shining, while his palms were half-hidden in shadow.

“...hello?” His voice came out as a weak whisper, growing louder and louder with each echo until it threatened to deafen him. Then, it disappeared, utterly muffled and muted. Still, the light grew, until all he could see in front of him was white. He turned his head left, then right, and then looked over his shoulder. It was still dark, still black, but flickers of shadow and sunrise licked at the corners of the dark, slowly inching in on its domain.

As the light spread out over the darkness, a woman emerged. Dressed in a teal blue sari, her dark tan hands were clasped together in front of her. As she came closer, Jay could see that gold and silver threads had been woven into her clothing, and he realized that the light came from her. No, she was the light? Confused, his eyes drifted up to her face. Somehow, it was young and old, all at once: wrinkles and laugh lines came and went, shifting in and out of focus.

She looked at him, smiled, and without even thinking Jay kneeled. “I’m…” Jay’s voice quivered and broke momentarily. “I’m dead, aren’t I?”

“Jesse James Michael Capistrano,” she spoke his name, and the air was saturated with the smell of jasmine and vanilla. The light around her shone brighter, and Jay had to shade his eyes. “No, you are not yet dead. You are between the living, and the dead.”

“And you’re the angel? The angel – the angel of death.”

The woman shook her head, and a faint smile crossed her face. “No, I am not the angel of death. Not as you conceive of angels. I am Swapneshwari, the goddess of dreams.”

“So…I’m asleep.”

“In a matter of speaking. You are in a coma, Jesse. I come with an offer. I guard the dreams of sleepers, but I cannot do so alone. I need…avatars, in a matter of speaking. I cannot be everywhere at once, but my avatars – my arms, my eyes, my ears, my mouths, my legs – they can be. Join with me, Jesse, and you will awake from your coma. You will be injured, and you will take time to heal, but you will be alive. Or chose not to join with me, and go with your God. Be at peace.”

“Be dead.”

Swapneshawri nodded. “Be dead. I warn you, the path you would walk with me will be difficult. It will be painful at times. But you will be protecting the world from the invisible evils that lurk in it. It is a worthy task, an admirable calling. Tell me, Jesse, what do you chose?”

“I choose…” Jay squinted his eyes, and his vision was blurred with tears when he reopened them. “I don’t wanna die. I want to live.” He leaned forward, reaching for her, trying to grab the edge of her sari. “Please. I’ll do it. Please let me live.”

Swapneshawri looked down at the hand grasping her clothes. Again, she nodded, slow and solemn. “Then Jesse…” she pointed to the side, and the light became a room with white painted walls. A door appeared in one of the walls, with a large brass knocker and door knob. “Welcome back to the world of the living.”

Jay let go of her sari, and stood with shaky legs, glancing back and forth between her and the newly formed door. She smiled and dipped her head towards the door. “Th-thank you.” With that, Jay walked swiftly towards the door and threw it open with his head tipped back to the ceiling.

_________________
The future lies on some horizon
So many times I had to say farewell
I know it turns out fine, following the exit sign
At least that's what I tell myself
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Capistrano
Wolf Like Me
Proven Adventurer
Proven Adventurer


Joined: 12 Feb 2008
Posts: 184

Location: A small apartment near the University of Northeast RhyDin or Clovely
6,135 Silver Nobles


PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a young boy's shoulders to let him know that the world hadn't ended."

(Batman, “The Dark Knight Rises”)


Long ago…
Santa Cruz, California


Jay sat on the edge of the orange vinyl cushion, legs kicking at the air at random intervals. The rest of the remaining chairs, their cushions equally garish shades of brown, yellow, and green, sat unused. A man stood at the edge of the waiting room, talking quietly to an white-haired man, but no one breached the barrier between the tile floor and the beat-down beige carpeting. Fluorescent lights glared outside the waiting room, waxed until dim reflections of passers-by could be seen in the tile. Inside the carpeted space, however, dim lamps did little to chase away the night lurking outside the full pane windows.

Several floors up -- Jay’s mother and grandmother hadn’t told him the exact floor -- his father was being prepped for surgery. His baby brother was staying with his aunt, while his younger sister was currently going to the restroom with his grandma. That left Jay alone, in an unfamiliar building, with no friendly faces in sight. Just the two men talking off to the side, and the nurses and doctors rushing from one room to another, one floor to another.

The parade of medical workers was broken by a police officer. She pushed through the revolving door to step inside the hospital, then took a sharp turn down the hallway that bordered the waiting room. Her pace slowed when she saw Jay, then she began talking to the two men standing on the tile. They looked over at Jay, shaking their heads, and the woman nodded, before stepping onto the carpet. She made it halfway across the floor, before she stopped, resting a hand against the back of a chair.

“Hello.”

“Hi.” Jay’s legs stopped kicking, his gaze aimed at her knees.

“Are your parents here?”

“I’m not supposed to talk to strangers.”

“Are police officers okay?”

“Well...yes. If it’s an emergency.”

“Is it an emergency?” The officer prodded in a gentle tone.

Jay lifted his eyes to meet hers. She wasn’t much older than his mom, with light brown skin and dark eyes that were almost black. She wore burgundy lipstick, but no other noticeable makeup, and had done nothing to cover up a mole just underneath her right eye.

“Well…” Jay drew the word out again, longer this time. “Wait. Are you really a police officer?”

“Sure am.” She pulled the golden accessory off of her uniform and handed it to Jay. At the top, the words Santa Cruz Police were written. Below that, the city’s seal -- a beach, a pier, a man sitting under an umbrella, a woman holding a large disc or a ball, a pine tree, and a house and mountains in the distance -- had been embossed. At the bottom was a series of numbers, with a letter preceding it. Jay examined it, turned it over in his hands, and returned it to her.

“What do all those numbers mean?”

“That’s my badge number.”

“What’s an badge number?” Jay wrinkled his nose, and kicked up at the air hard. He kept his leg extended momentarily, before letting it drop back down.

“It tells people who I am. If you have those numbers, and a police officer ever gives you any trouble, you can tell another police officer and they will know who you are talking about.”

“Oh...okay. But...what’s your name?”

“Officer Ramirez. But you can call me Camilla.”

“I’m JJ.”

“Well, JJ, can you tell me where your parents are?” She flashed a smile to accompany her question.

“Mama’s upstairs with Dad. He’s gotta get a surgery.”

“Who’s watching you?”

“Grandma. She’s taking Jane to the bathroom.”

“Your sister…”

“Yeah.” Jay’s fingers dug into the armrest.

“How long have they been gone?”

“I dunno.” Jay leaned to the side, peering past her into the hallway. “A while.”

“Well, JJ, tell you what. I’m going to wait here a while for your grandma to get back.” Camilla’s voice was both firm and kind. It told Jay that she was staying here, whether he liked it or not.

“O-Okay.” He began flailing his feet again, sitting in silence in the waiting room. The police officer’s walkie-talkie chattered, and she picked up out of her belt loop and muttered something into the receiver in a quick, clipped tone. She returned the device to its holster, turned back to Jay, and smiled.

“I’m sure your father will be fine, JJ. I promise you.” For a split-second, the fluorescent light behind her seemed to halo her head. He blinked, and it was gone. He shook his head rapidly, rubbing at his eyes.

“Sorry it took so long, Jesse,” a voice called out, straining to be heard over the intercom. A stooped grey-haired woman walked down the corridor into the waiting room, holding hands with a young girl in a Barbie t-shirt and pink corduroys. “The closest bathroom was out of order, so we had to walk to the other side of the building.”

Camilla winked at Jay, before pivoting on her heels and approaching his grandmother. They talked briefly, too quiet for Jay to hear, until the conversation concluded with the police officer patting his grandmother on the shoulder. Camilla then stepped past her, her footsteps thumping rhythmically on the tile. Jay hopped up out of his chair, rushing past his family to look down the hallway Camilla was walking down, but it was too late. She was gone. He stared into the white light for a few seconds, before he darted back to where his grandmother was and hugged her leg.
_________________
The future lies on some horizon
So many times I had to say farewell
I know it turns out fine, following the exit sign
At least that's what I tell myself
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
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