To Touch The Night... ?!

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Re: To Touch The Night... ?!

Post by hatman17 on Sun Jun 07, 2015 7:56 pm

Mathias waggled his fingers in preparation, and settled down, back against the brick. Ayira felt stiff next to him, and he would’ve rolled his eyes had he not known what that meant. The girl had gone without companionable human touch for half her life probably, no wonder she didn’t know how to cuddle. He was about to suggest something when she suddenly relaxed and melted into him more.
It was… nice.
Mathias blushed suddenly, hoping his dark skin wouldn’t reveal anything. It had been a long time since he’d cuddled with anyone either. He coughed at himself and lifted the harmonica to his lips. He tried to think of a cheesy love song, but he was blanking. Stupid body heat.
Eventually he just decided to do his usual, and hope that passersby would react well. And so he began to blow. Softly at first to get a rhythm, and then louder so the music could swell out and into the morning crowd.
As always when he played his own music, he lost track of time. Had he kept his eyes open, he would’ve noticed that the walkers slowed their pace, tilting their heads to the music, whether unconsciously or aware of their enjoyment. Those that found themselves stopping to listen were bidden by the rules of the street to throw down some change.
Lovers that walked past hand in hand drew closer, arms tangling and heads nestling into each others shoulders. They tipped as well, remembering the happy moments of their relationships and hoping that the sweet destitute couple sitting on the ground could afford to have some of their own.
Other streetfolk found their cups filling as well. The same people who sympathized with two lovers who’d risked it all were also reminded of the realities of life and donated freely.
It was nearly an hour before Mathias realized he’d been playing so long and put the harmonica to rest. He and Ayira shook themselves from a minor daze and looked at Mat’s hat where it rested in front of them.
After a moment of silent contemplation Mathias grinned at her widely. “Yeah, this’ll cover cab fare for sure.”

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Re: To Touch The Night... ?!

Post by alyssa.carlene on Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:40 am

Ayira felt content leaning on Mathias’ shoulder and relaxing next to him. She hadn’t felt prolonged human contact in 12 years, it had been too long. She could hear people slow down and stop in front of them to listen to Mathias and to read their sign. He really did play beautifully, everyone was entranced by his song, even her. She resisted the urge to peek up at the crowd, not wanting to scare them off with her demonic eyes. She could heard change drop into Mathias’ hat and smiled slightly. She figured from the noise that it was the most she had made from begging in a long time. Twenty-one year olds didn’t make as much as 14 year olds. Most people thought she would buy booze with the money she was given. In the past, she had people say to her that they were helping her by not giving her money. Ayira grew agitated by the thought of evangelical assholes that looked down on her and said they were being good Christians by refusing to help her. Ayira felt her mouth screw up into a frown and had to refocus her attention on the warm body next to her.
He’s very warm. And he smells kinda sweet, like our breakfast. Ayira took a deep breath and snuggled closer to Mathias. She could feel a light blush brush across her cheeks at these thoughts and turned her face downwards to hide it from passersby. She lightly bit at her lower lip, hoping that Mathias was too caught up in his music to notice the blush or her new proximity.
After about an hour, Mathias stopped playing to check on their collections. He confirmed that they had gathered more than enough to cover cab fare. Ayira grinned at her companion brightly and began to stand up from the ground. She glanced down to the spot where she was sitting to make sure she hadn’t permanently damaged it. There was cracks running through the cement where there wasn’t any before. Ayira felt a wave of sadness crash over her. She hated to destroy things, it made her feel like a monster. Each crack represented the parasite within her that was slowly destroying her from the inside. As she looked down, she felt a reassuring presence behind her and a gentle hand rested on her shoulder.
Ayira inhaled deeply to wake herself up from her self-pitying state of mind, “So where exactly are we taking a cab to?” Ayira asked as she peeked up at Mathias through her bangs.

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Re: To Touch The Night... ?!

Post by hatman17 on Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:29 am

Mathias had to ask her to repeat herself, he was lost in the glimmer of a well-filled hat. He bounced it in his hands a couple times just to hear the jingle. Though his skills were great, poverty was poverty. There were never any real good times, though the past few hours came pretty close. The fact that they probably had almost 20 bucks in there was the most money he’d held in…
He wasn’t sure. How long had it been since he’d thought about the past? Or the future? How long had it been since he’d lived in anything but the moment.
Mathias shook his head and smiled brightly at Ayira. “We’re off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of New Iberia!” He paused a moment to allow her to laugh, but she didn’t, instead raising an eyebrow at him. “Non? Maudit, it’s a classic!” Ayira rolled her eyes, as if she could remember childhood movies from so long ago, or have the money to see them again now. Mathias frowned in mock horror, admitting to himself that the only reason he knew quotes was because of a former theater player he’d befriended a while ago.
In any case, he stuck out a thumb to the passing cabs. It’d probably be a while before a cab deigned to serve such obviously un-wealthy patrons such as themselves. “Dans tous cas, we’re paying a visit to un ami. Bien, I call him a friend, not sure what he appeles me. He sometimes has odd jobs, and I sometimes get them before someone else claims them. Tips well. He’s also a real magicien.”
Mathias winked at Ayira’s incredulous look. “ Je sais, je sais, but like I said before. I’ve seen a lot of stuff, and Jean LaVrajit is the real deal. One step into his shop and you’ll feel it.”
“Speaking of,” he finished excitedly at a cab flashed their lights and pulled over. “We’re finally in luck. You’ll meet him in ten minutes.”
He opened the door for Ayira and bowed jokingly. “Madame…”

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Re: To Touch The Night... ?!

Post by alyssa.carlene on Mon Sep 07, 2015 12:39 am

Ayira felt a small smile tug on the corners of her mouth at Mathias’ grandiose gesture. She wanted to savor the moment but knew that he would probably think it awkward, so she quickly slipped into the back of the cab. She looked at the driver’s identification card in the back of the cab and saw that his name was Jesus Martinez. He looked very serious in his picture and she wanted more than anything to get a look at the real man. Life in Louisiana could be rough for some like Ayira and Jesus. Cab drivers weren’t exactly treated like first class citizens.
“You two have fare for this ride?” Jesus had a definite Mexican accent. He had probably crossed the border for a better life and was driving cab instead of making big bucks in corporate America.
“Yeah, we do. He’ll tell you where we are headed.” Ayira spoke up, but made sure to keep her head down. She hated talking to the floor. She looked like a small and frightened animal when she did that. I guess in some ways she was, always afraid that this day would be her last or that her darkness would swallow up the world.
Mathias filled the driver in to where they were going and then started making small talk. Ayira carefully withdrew herself to the window and watched the city flicker by. It reminded her of a time when she was young and she did the same thing in the back of a Lincoln town car as her father spoke to business partners on the phone. She used to play car games with the driver, Samuel. Her favorite was the license plate game, where you tried to find the alphabet on different cars. She started playing by herself in the cab and mumbling the letters when she found them. Jesus must have heard her because before she knew it she heard him shout,
“I found the Q!” And sure enough a dark blue sedan rolled by with the license plate BQW-835. Ayira smiled and looked to Mathias to see him grinning too. That was when the cab stopped outside of a small, dilapidated building. Mathias paid the driver and held the door for Ayira as she stepped out and he sped away without finishing the game.
Ayira looked to Mathias and back at the building, “This? This is your friend’s shop?”

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Re: To Touch The Night... ?!

Post by hatman17 on Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:04 am

“Hey now, it might not look like beaucoup, mais Jean hides a lot of secrets in here. Come on!” Mathias smiled broadly and nearly bounced into the shop. As he opened the door, the bell rang cheerily overhead, though the effect was lost in the rest of the store. Tall shelves filled the store, reducing one’s line of site to just a couple meters. More merchandise hung from wire overhead, dangling just above, their heads, and often right in their faces. The front most section, usually used as an inviting and spacious lobby, was instead packed with several end tables covered in wares.
Mathias held the door open for Ayira as she stepped through the threshold, taking note that she was able to do so. Little did she know that there were a lot of wards in place in this shop; had she not a pure soul, she would not have been able to step through. Or something, Jean told him a different story every time.
“Hello? Mr. LaVrajit? It’s Mathias… I brought une ami? ‘Allo?” called out Mathias into the depths of the store. There was no echo, though the space certainly felt big enough to merit one. The air was both musty and filled with strange and heavy scents. It made his head spin slightly.
“C’est bizarre,” he muttered under his breath. “His sign says Ouvert, which means he’s here. And when he’s here, he always comes to greet customers. And I’ve never seen this place so messy,” he remarked on the pile of dolls they both stepped over to get to one of the aisles.
“Peut etre you should stay here, I’ll go get Jean and bring him over. Assuming I can get back out of this mess,” said Mathias before suddenly walking down the aisle and turning off into another one. Within seconds he was out of sight, and Ayira was reduced to listening to his footsteps. Carpeting and the fully stocked shelves quickly muffled them.
All at once, Ayira was alone, with only the macabre to keep her company. Grimacing masks hung askew on the little wall space, taxidermied reptiles and birds hung from the ceiling or dangled precariously from corner shelves. A pile of shrunken heads filled a stained box. There was an oppressive quiet that was quickly becoming quite threatening the longer Mathias was away.

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Re: To Touch The Night... ?!

Post by alyssa.carlene on Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:37 am

Ayira could feel the strangeness of the place as soon as she passed through the door. The shop was oppressively cluttered and the air felt stale and unbreathable. Mathias went off looking for his friend and left Ayira stranded on an island of shrunken heads and voodoo knick knacks. Ayira tried calming herself by breathing slowly.
In through your nose, out through your mouth. That’s right just breathe. Ayira started to relax and she peered around at the items on either side of her. She could see a variety of herbs and incense on her right and little dolls to her left. She took a small steps toward the herbs but stopped when she heard a clatter from beyond the shelves.
“Mathias? Mathias is that you?” Ayira whisper shouted, suddenly feeling uncomfortable once again.
Ayira started to navigate the labyrinth of merchandise in an attempt to find her companion. This shop made her feel skittish and jumpy. She rounded one corner and came face to face with a taxidermy mink and nearly let out a yelp.
Why would anyone keep something like that? Ayira shuddered thinking about the poor animal’s life and how its husk was immortalized in a voodoo man’s shop. She shook her head in pity but continued on her way. The weaving of the shelves and tables didn’t seem to have any rhyme or reason. Ayira noticed that the more she walked, the more twisted the paths seemed to get. She was starting to feel panic creeping up on her, an attack was on the horizon. This shop made her insides squirm and she didn’t like it.
Suddenly, the feeling ceased and Ayira stared down at a pack of cards. Not just any cards, tarot cards. The cards were obviously hand painted and one of a kind. The paint brush strokes caused the paper to look textured and begged for it to be touched. Ayira noticed that Death was the card sitting on top, making her uneasy.
Why is it always death? Ayira looked at the grim reaper painted upon the card and saw herself reflected in its eyes. Her heart began to pound uncontrollably at the thought that she was like a grim reaper. Doling out death with a single touch. Despite her disgust she reached out towards the card. Her fingers itched to touch the mystical fortune telling card that seemed to call her name. Ayira’s fingers hovered just above the paint and twitched slightly, making her more nervous.
Ayira suddenly stopped as she heard a noise coming from behind her. She quickly spun toward the sound and hid her hand behind her back like a guilty child.

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Re: To Touch The Night... ?!

Post by hatman17 on Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:12 pm

The man in the wheelchair peered through the small crystal ball in his hand. Mathias was deep within the illusion, pacing in circles but always thinking that Jean was just around the next imaginary corner. He chuckled, mental tricks were a bit of a forte of his.
The other girl was another story. She’d stayed behind, apparently on Mathias’s suggestion. Cautious boy. Well, we couldn’t have that. Without looking, Jean pulled a card from a miniaturized deck attached to his wheelchair. He threw it with practiced ease against a mostly empty shelf, where it expended the magic he’d put into it. The effect itself was mostly silent, but it sent out a mental pulse that manifested as a simple but un-ignorable distraction.  She wouldn’t have a line of sight, so she wouldn’t notice a short burst of light, but she did react to the imaginary clatter.
Come into my spider’s nest, thought Jean sarcastically. When the illusion was in play, the wards brought out several traps of his design. Depending on which one the girl felt an attraction to, he’d know how to deal with her. Or if she went after some of the more dangerous artifacts, then he wouldn’t have to deal with her at all. The cards were vague on what exactly she was. They were always vague, but he hadn’t had time to reshuffle before he had to prepare for their arrival; hence the more hands-on approach.
She wound up at one of the taxidermy animals, a mink. Jean rolled his eyes. Ivory was stuck playing dead, but she still managed to attract people. The brat.
Soon enough, she arrived at the tarot card lure. Interesting. She’d been drawn to some of the darker masks and a cursed bear trap at one point, but those seemed to be physical pulls, not mental ones. Whatever card she found on top would confirm which of his suspicions were valid. She reached out for the card, trembling in fear.
That’s enough, though Jean, rolling his wheelchair behind her. He was immune to the spell, so he traveled easily. Once he came to a stop behind her, he coughed softly to get her attention.
She spun around like a scared child and stared with wide open eyes. Jean wondered briefly how effective the spell must be to make a cripple appear threatening, then reached out a hand. “Your card please.”
Ayira didn’t move, still nervous and paranoid from the wards. “The card girl,” repeated Jean, “How am I to read your fortune if you don’t show me your card?”
A bit melodramatic, but it got the job done. Ayira reached slowly behind her and picked up the tarot card, handing it to Jean. He took it between two fingers and took a long look at it. “Upright or reversed?” he asked.
Ayira blinked. Jean crinkled his brow in amusement. “How long have you been in this area, you’ve never had your fortune told? Upright,” He held the card with Death sitting proudly on his white steed, “or reversed?” He flicked the card across his fingers, flipping the card upside down. “How did you find it?”
“U-upright,” she stammered. “D-does that mean you’re going to kill me?”
Jean broke his serious demeanor with a laugh. “Haha! You need to look deeper into the cards, that’s lousy horror movie talk.” With that, he drew a silvery playing card from another pouch on his wheelchair, and hurled it against the far wall. The steel-edged card cut through the wick of a candle there, causing the flame to tumble into the hot wax and blow out. The line of magic was interrupted and the illusion shattered. Suddenly, Ayira blinked her eyes rapidly and saw the true face of the store.
It was still very full, but neatly organized with lots of floor space. The shelves weren’t cluttered with menacing horror props, but were instead tastefully arranged with a clear mix of objects for varying practitioners. Playfully decorated voodoo dolls were arranged next to colorful jars of home remedies. Instead of a heavy musk that deadened the air, there was only the pleasant perfume wafting from bunches of dried herbs and flowers. The stranger and more menacing artifacts were cunningly tucked away behind other merchandise so as to not turn away the casual shopper.
Best of all, several of the formerly stuffed animals were very much alive and roaming through the store, wary of the new visitors but always on the lookout for food.  On animal instinct they knew to stay away from Ayira though.
Ayira spun around, mouth agape at her “new” surroundings. Jean chuckled, “Sorry about all of that, I had to ascertain what manner of trouble you are. Please sit, I’ll make us some tea,” he offered, gesturing to a comfortable leather love seat and plush stools gathered about a séance table. “And get your boyfriend, I think he may have wandered into the backroom. He might still be woozy from the spell, and we have much to discuss.” He spun his wheelchair around and rolled to the kitchen with a final shout of “Jasmine I imagine?”

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Re: To Touch The Night... ?!

Post by alyssa.carlene on Tue Oct 20, 2015 6:19 pm

"He's not..." Ayira attempted to shout after the man in the wheelchair but he was already in the kitchen, brewing jasmine tea or some such other fancy thing.
Ayira looked around the shop and was amazed again at how organized the place was. She never could have thought this shop could be beautiful, but in a strange way it was. She spotted a door in the back and figured that was where Mathias had wandered off to. Ayira took tentative steps towards the heavy wooden door and pushed slightly against it, peering inside. Mathias stood with his back to the door, looking around in confusion.
“Mathias,” Ayira said as she threw the door open wider, “He spelled the place! Actually spelled the place! You weren’t kidding, this guy is the real deal. Jean is the guy in the wheelchair right? Otherwise, there is some other guy rolling around here. Come on, I need to see if this guy can tell me anything about the curse.”
Ayira grabbed for Mathias’s hand and began dragging him from the room, but his feet weren’t moving as fast as his torso and he stumbled into her. Ayira squeaked as Mathias’s large body surrounded hers. They tumbled to the floor in a heap, the floors creaking at the sudden weight.
Ayira peeked up at Mathias and quickly stammered out, “I’m so sorry.”

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Re: To Touch The Night... ?!

Post by hatman17 on Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:25 am

“Whoblughedha?” mumbled Mathias from the comfort of the floor. It was so… cozy. Yes. And apologetic? Oh, not floor, Ayira. “Hi Ayira,” he said smiling, nuzzling her chest and neck in search of the best spooning position. He would be embarrassed later, but for now he was still quite dazed from spell-induced intoxication.
Ayira colored from the inebriated cuddling, and wiggled out from under him. It was pretty easy given that wasn’t actually laying on her so much as he was an inch or two above. His curse let Ayira slip him off as if he was greased. “Noooo,” he whined, reaching over blindly to grab for her wrist. “I don’t like this floor, you were comfier, come baaaccckkk.”
Ayira instinctively flinched away from his hand before remembering his protection. Even then, she was wary about letting him grab her wrist, though her curse was kept more at bay than usual with multiple unfelt wards. He giggled when she finally grabbed his hand to start pulling him towards the leather love seat.
By the time they’d gotten settled, Jean rolled back with a loaded tray. “Here we go, get some of this in you,” he cooed, pouring steaming liquid into three eclectic mugs. Ayira’s was ghastly yellow colored with contrastingly well-painted roses. Mathias was a souvenir mug from some space camp apparently, and Jean’s read “Best Old Guy”. Nothing anywhere close to the fine china typically associated with members of his trade.
“Sugar, milk, help yourselves,” Jean gestured to two small pitchers filled with each, preferring to take his tea straight. He sat back in his wheelchair, facing them across the homey tea set and blowing on his tea. “So…” he initiated, raising an eyebrow and gesturing at Ayira to start talking. When she didn’t he continued, “I didn’t have time to ask my cards why exactly Mathias or his companion were coming, so I had to go through that whole rigmarole to make sure it wasn’t trouble. You passed, obviously,” he congratulated with a chuckle rife with darker implication, “but I’m still in the dark here. Care to explain?”
Ayira looked at Mathias, who was staring sleepily at his tea as if he’d forgotten how to drink it. “Drink the caffeine Mat, it’ll help with the spell’s after effects. Honestly,” said Jean, rolling his eyes, “with the nature of that lad’s magic, you’d think he’d have more of a resistance. He’ll be out until he gets at least half a cup of something down, from past experience. It’s on you hun.” He lifted his mug at her and sipped deeply, waiting for her story.

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Re: To Touch The Night... ?!

Post by alyssa.carlene on Fri Nov 20, 2015 4:36 am

Ayira looked to Mathias for help, even though Jean already told her that he was out of it. He really was. Ayira looked between Jean and Mathias and then took a deep, steadying breath.
“So, my name is Ayira. I met Mathias yesterday at church, well at a church. Uhh, so,” Ayira twisted her hands together, balling the material of her gloves up, “I came here looking for help. I have this, problem. I, I have never really told anyone this. Mathias was the first person I told.”
Ayira looked into Jean’s eyes, trying to determine if she could trust him. To get his help, she would have to divulge the biggest secret of her life, and she was petrified. Ayira saw his genuine concern for her and her situation. Plus, she saw that he was capable of true magic. Maybe magic that could counteract the curse that pervaded every aspect of her life.
“I’m cursed. I have a darkness within me that leaks out when I touch things and it steals the life from them. I’m not really sure of the logistics, but everything I touch dies or decays. Without fail. I, I, I’ve killed so many people,” tears welled in Ayira’s eyes but she fought to keep them hidden, “I’ve hurt so many, and I don’t want to be like this anymore. Can you help me?”
Ayira looked to Jean, praying that he held the answers to the questions she had been asking since she had been 8.

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Re: To Touch The Night... ?!

Post by hatman17 on Sat Dec 26, 2015 1:59 am

“I see,” mumbled Jean into his tea. He stared at her with half-lidded eyes that betrayed nothing but took in everything. He considered. Ayira’s tea steamed, and he calculated the pattern it made before her mug cooled to a disgusting lukewarm. Ayira’s posture was noted, her stance, the way she sat to minimize contact with his leather couch. Ivory the mink circled around the couch, trying to be friendly and wanting pets, but instinctually hesitant about getting close to her. All the animals were.
Jean took a sip and set the mug down with a resolute clink. “I believe you. And I think I can help. But I can’t do it alone.”
“Believe it or not, I’m still learning magic,” lied Jean smoothly. He was an expert in a hundred different arts, in a thousand different dimensions. What he was studying was the flow of magic in this world in particular. It flowed differently here, curses and spells making surprise connections to their hosts and rituals. He’d been studying while his sister was doing fieldwork. “But there is a witch, somewhere in the swamps, that knows all there is to know,” Finding the witch was the fieldwork. The Guardian Seers had to confer with her, learn all they could and hopefully pick up tricks that would help with the war effort.
“My sister is looking for her at this very moment. She may have answers. I can help you catch up with my sister, and you can find her together. But it’s going to be dangerous. More dangerous than anything you or Mathias have encountered on the streets. What do you say?”

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