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3 mos ago
Current ╬ęgeddon.
1 like
5 mos ago
XVIII: The Moon
2 likes
5 mos ago
"I do this for your grandson; whose life was taken by a quicker bid behind the handgun."
1 like
6 mos ago
Dive headfirst into a pool full of knives.
6 mos ago
Sisyphean heartaches.

Bio

May you always find what you seek.

Most Recent Posts

"I am the sludge stream,
rising around the drowning;
blocking out all light."

My favorite haiku.
@Mammon Thanks. It's pretty nice to be back.

On a more professional note;

BUMP.

Added A Short Exchange to the ideas. Uuuhm, give it a read and hit me up if you're tantalized. If not, it's fine.
Bump. Made my return after a two month absence.

Planning to add two more ideas, sometime in the next little while.

Looking for some Sleepyhead Syndrome action.

Mind you, I'm open to tossing ideas back and forth.

I don't do fandom stuff.
What a strange bunch! The tension that lingered in the air following the angel-boy's question was simply delicious to Elegance. She licked her lips, though a high-held hand of cobalt flame might have hidden that from most of the odd assemblage. Magician stood ahead of her, just out of arm's reach. He seemed to be considering them carefully, silence stretching for the long, uncomfortable moments he favored. Surely the answer has already been chosen, no? Could my master be so forgetful as to let something this important slip his mind?

Slowly, an oversized hat was removed and offered back to her. She took it with only the slightest second of hesitation. He was always surprising her. Even when she was expecting to be surprised and calculated her movements around that certainty, she was rarely fully prepared to keep up with the one she kept. Her grip on its brim was tight, loosening the moment she realized it; drawing it close as if to protect it. In the darkness, severed only by her dancing lanterns and the twitching of her own flame, Magician let the Mortals look upon his countenance.

Elegance felt Envy give her throat another squeeze. Of course, she had seen him numerous times; but that the Mortals were so freely given leave to observe him only set the servant more on edge. Her flame intensified, gaining a green tint near its base. Madness whispered vile things from deep within, impulses kept in check only by her loyalty to Magician and his mistress.

They should be thankful I haven't turned them to ash. With that thought, lanterns began drifting in their direction. Slowly migrating from their perches or perpetual circles to march unevenly toward the Mortals and her charge. Remember to smile, Elegance! No good keeper does her work without a smile. He told me to be on guard. If I start letting my mind wander... It split her lips and revealed pristine teeth, her smile much like her frown; with this newly crafted form.

His hair was unkempt, compressed by its time under the headgear. Dark in coloration, somewhere between black and brown. His jaw lined with stubble and his eye ringed with the darkness of fatigue. Aside from his eyepatch, there was little that would mark him as anything different from the Mortals gathered before him. Unless, of course, one were to peer into his eye. Those who had glimpsed the Ghost Girl's gaze would find familiarity in its coloration, but animate with emotion more readily identifiable as 'human'.

"Keep your voice down," Elegance had seen him wince at the angel-boy's volume, and had tensed, but held back the myriad flames she had in mind for the impudent Mortal, "but that's not a bad question. Being on rocky ground to begin with only makes it easier to ask." He lifted a gloved digit, pointing to nothing in particular, "Is it one you ask everyone you come across?" His eye, Elegance assumed, fell on the boy the Mortals had brought along. "Ignore that. I'll explain what's happening with Silverbrook, assuming you can keep your temper in check, Ascot."

Oh, he's using their names. Isn't that adorable? It might have been, were she not so thoroughly disgusted by their presence. Elegance had, as she had said, watched the Mortals for a long while. All of them, in turn, as it pleased her; given leave as she was to do with what she would like with a fragment of Vision. It was still on her person, though searching hands would have passed it over. She fully intended to only return it if her master asked. Otherwise, it was hers. Spying on the far-aways of Irriss had become something of a hobby.

"It's a displacement in the coagulating reality of Irriss. A scab picked open by an unfortunate accident," her attention snapped back. Guilt slapped iron chains against her ribs. Elegance nearly grunted. "The boy that stands in your midst; Ellard, as you've come to know him, is a Phantom. Your abilities, perhaps even the mere presence of those given a Semblance roused him from the trance I imposed on that meandering place." Elegance watched as they shifted, as the boy himself opened wide eyes at her master. "What you recall," no longer addressing the group, but the lone boy, "is a fabrication. A gift intended to impart twisted endearment to your puppet-master. That's not me, in case you're wondering." His shoulders rose momentarily and fell unceremoniously. Ellard stared, mouth agape.

Elegance shifted on her heels, uncertain as to how long she need brandish her flame. Watching them all was making her anxious. Magician continued, heedless of her discomfort and excitement. "Though, really, thinking about it brainwashing isn't an inadequate term for what I've been doing. It has cruel connotations and a lot of bitterness behind it, but the word fits." His eye undoubtedly flickered between the Mortals. One at a time.

"I can see that this might require a little bit more than what I've told you. Taking that into account, now that I've gotten to see you all in person; I'll rescind my earlier statement. It seems like I was too hasty. Keep your Semblance." He heaved out a sigh. "Please, if you'll give me a bit of your time and patience; I'll do what I can to explain Silverbrook...and Ellard's situation. Just...try not to be so loud. The rest comes after. The bigger, more important Q and A." He turned his back on them, the tails of his jacket swishing most gloriously as Elegance was able to behold his face again. A hand outstretched, a hat returned. "Elegance, if you wouldn't mind taking our guests back to the keep? I need a moment alone." It didn't need to be a question, but the unwavering maid certainly appreciated it.

He didn't pause for their protests or Elegance's answer, taking two steps that forced his servitor into motion; then disappeared altogether. The distortion he left carried with it the same tinge of Madness as always, but Melancholy had somehow managed to sneak a whisper in. It made Elegance shudder and her flame brighten.

"Of course, of course!" She said to her absent but invariably listening master, as well as to the group. "As you can see, my master would like to speak more privately with you. If you would be so kind as to indulge him and follow me to the keep proper; you will be given the audience you were sent here for!" She gave her most brilliant smile, making sure it even touched on her eyes. "Do not forget that you are guests in this place, should you choose to enter. In case you did not hear earlier, I am Elegance. Keeper of the keep and Magician's servant. It's one of my many obligations to be certain that no uncouth sorts linger in my master's home!"

She hoped they would take it for the warning it was. Regardless, she began to make her way to the open door; where her underlings were already beginning to scatter. No doubt taking up their proper places.

If there is so much as one thing amiss...

Visions of fury filled the caretaker. Behind that, though, there was concern. Not for the Mortals or their quest, or even her master; but a nameless and ancient dread that had wormed its way into her heart.
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