Cooperative Fiction

Skip to content

1: Into the Gray


Re: Into the Gray

Post by Metarie on

He asked again, "hello? Now what?" He looked towards where she was. She was just lying there, with one hand up above her head on top of her wildly thrown hair. The other one was across her stomach. "Well, thats never a good thing." He said this with worry, not sarcasm. He reached out his hand and touched her cheek, then put the back side of his hand to her neck. "Okay, well we got a pulse. Too cold though. She put too much effort into that, Shoulda just walked." He puffed on his smoke again and exhaled the air. He took his hand and held it a few inches above her face. He took the smoke from his mouth with his free hand and put it out on the ground. He felt the heat in his hand by her, it glimmered, and the heat radiated out and onto her. "That'll keep you warm," he said moving his hand a few inches aloft of her but moving down her body. "What's going on in that head of yours?"

"Like her do you?" A voice traveled to him from the top of the drive. Sitting under the carport is what looked like a cat in form. Grey stripes intermingled with black making the creature look like an American standard tabby. A long, striped tail curved around a body that sat up neatly upon its haunches. The end of the tail, completely black, flicked around smugly. The thing had a vaguely cat-shaped head as well. Large, wide golden eyes sat above a flat, pink nose. Pert, large ears sat atop the creature's head. There were two things that were odd about the creature. The first is that its face seemed sit on its neck more like a persons would. The second thing was its mouth. The mouth was split in a wide, spiky smile - all sharp, pointed teeth. "We figured you'd gotten a little bored and complacent, Devvo. Thought you might like a little company." The gleam in the thing's eyes was neither good nor malevolent, nor even mischievious, but a combination of all three. The creature's tail swished this way and that across the ground as if it were very pleased with itself.

Great, he thought. All he needed was a damned Jinx running around starting problems. They weren't normally mean or nice. They were just troublesome. They loved chaos. It's what they lived for. "Shoulda known, how many other "cats" are running around both in the Gray and Home worlds? Why'd ya do it though? Hell, she didn't do anything to you, and how in the hell do you know me?" He was becoming increasingly agitated. He didn't need this, not right now.

The creature stood up and stretched, arching its back into the air. One back foot stuck out and it wiggled its toes. The quick-silver lines began to roll off of Ari's arm. "Oh, we all know about you, Devvo." The Jinx smiled again smugly and walked over to the fallen girl. It extended its nose and touched it to her forehead. "You mean you didn't see it?" There, plain as day lay a mark. The mark was an ancient one. A crescent moon in woad blue with the horns turned upwards. The mark was faint, very faint. "She's got the blood doesn't she?" The Jinx started to wander off. Off-handedly, it said over its shoulder, "I wonder how long it'll be before They notice?"

Re: 1: Into the Gray

Post by Metarie on

Devon looked angry, for one the Jinx was one step ahead of him with his knowledge on pretty much everything. It knew what Ari really was, and he didn't. He didn't know what the term "The Blood" was, and the damned Jinx did. He wasn't about to give into that trap though. He posed a new question to the beast. "Why did you seek her out? Why did you scratch her and have her be able to enter this realm? What's in it for you?"

The Jinx stretched out it's other back paw, spreading its toes. It's little under paw was pink. The quick-silver stream followed after the Jinx's paws, leaving little silver cat prints on the drive. "Ah, well, didn't I say I thought you seemed a little bored?" The Jinx looked over its shoulder as it walked away. "Enjoy!" Slowly the Jinx began to fade, making its exit from the Gray slowly. Two large eyes fixed Devon with a steady gaze. "I'll be watching..." And that was as much answer as Devon was going to get. A riddle or some other challenge to raise the creatures curosity might have gotten Devon further.

"Damned son of a bitch, I'll get you!" He shouted at the Jinx, knowing by now it was long gone and couldn't hear him. He was frustrated, no he was infuriated, with the beast. Devon had spent lifetimes in this hell hole and the Jinx acted like he was a newly Awakened, or a new Changed. Blasted cat, he thought, I have more important things to worry about right now. He looked down at Ari, she had been out cold this whole time. He brushed back the hair that had fallen back over the mark. How did I miss that, he wondered, no way I could have missed it. The mark just simply wasn't there before. He wasn't sure if it was the truth or not, but he made himself believe it. He wasn't going to let the Jinx make him feel any more ignorant.

He rubbed the mark, allowing a little heat to come from his finger tips. She stil felt cold, and he thought it would help. With his right hand he wafted heat over her body, over her curves to her knees and back up again, and then back down. Her eyes twitched. She seemed to be dreaming. He hoped she would come back to him soon, hoped it was indeed a dream, and not a nightmare.

Ari's eyes fluttered open. There was the faint smell of vomit and metal in the air. A warm feeling was centered on her chest and an even warmer feeling was in the center of her forehead. The warm feeling continued down to her knees and then disappeared. A chill made her shiver. This is when she realized she was looking up at a Devon framed by the bowl of the Gray sky. Ari sat up and a wracking headache nearly split her skull. "Aiigh!" Ari's eyes squinched tight and she buried her head in her hands. Devon had guessed right. The Blink had taken a lot out of her. After a few minutes the pain dulled to a throb. "Did it work?" Ari repeated herself, forgetting that she had actually done the Blink successfully in the haze of the headache. "It did... I remember... " Ari said softly; her voice drifting upward from her downward tilted face. She looked up at Devon. The blue mark was no longer there. "We should look for the cat."

He was faced with a dillema now. He didn't want to tell her that he had spoken to the Jinx already. He didn't want her to know that she was to be a Changed or even an Awakened. The Awakened were rare but only came in two types, good or bad. Devon had lucked out, he wasn't a Changed who had taken a demonic form and eventually been driven crazy. He had been an Awakened to this realm, but then others came from him. He didn't want to think about that right now, he wanted to think about her and find out what was going on. He didn't recognize that mark. He didn't know what it symbolized or what events might unfold for them. What he did know was that the Jinx had mentioned someone or something would come for her. They needed to get to safety and quick.

He looked back at her with a sullen feeling of despair. He didn't want her to become a Changed or an Evil Awakened, or whatever else might be out there in the abyss of the Gray. He lied. "I'm glad your awake now, you've been out for a good 30-45 minutes. I took a look around once I made sure you were okay. I didn't see anything out of the regular, albeit the regular tends to be strange, but no cat. Howabout I take you home? Do you think you'll be able to come out of the Gray alright?"

Ari looked up at Devon and nodded. "I'd like that." She held out her hands to him, seeking help to stand. "Wow... 30 minutes. No wonder I am so cold." Ari shivered as she came to a stand, wrapping her arms around herself for warmth. The heat Devon had provided dissapated quickly. "How do we get home?"

Devon smiled. She WAS out of it. He chuckled and pointed to the building behind her. This was where she had blinked to, and he assumed this was her home. "That it maybe? Why don't we leave the Gray for a while though. I've spent enough time in it, and after today, I think you have too."

Ari turned around, following the line of Devon's finger. "Yes, that's it. And leaving the," she paused over the word, "Gray... is what I meant." Ari braced herself for the gut-wrenching experience of exiting the Gray. She assumed it would be as uncomfortable as the Blink had been. Her head still throbbed from the headache. At least, if she was home there would be medicines. Ahhh, sweet pain relief. And tea. The thought of something warm to drink and taking off her shoes sounded wonderful. "Do we go up the drive now and then go, or just go?" A retentive question perhaps, but she was trying very hard to understand what was going on.

"I think it would be best if we go now." He looked around, he had an idea of who the They was now. He didn't like it much at all, he needed to get her inside and out of the Gray. He didn't know if that would protect her from them or not. Though, it was better than staying out here. "After you?" He nodded for her to lead the way. He couldn't enter without being invited, he hoped that was true for all.

Ari paused again. Was that it? "O-ok?" She led the way up the drive and to the door beneath the carport. Dipping her hands into her pocket she retrieved her keys and unlocked the door. Stepping in, she turned to closed the door after Devon, waiting on him to step in. He didn't at first. "Are you coming in?"

He looked at her like nothing was out of the ordinary. "Well I mean, technically you haven't actually invited me in, so...yeah." Ok maybe that gave away too much, he thought, he didn't care. She invited him into her car, she would invite him in. Either that, or he'd sit out here all day. He wanted to come in, and make sure no one else did. Then again, if he was correct about "They's" identities, she might be safer if he was not with him. If they came for her thogh, who would protect her? "Well are you going to invite me in or what?" He asked this with a comforting smile.

Ari gave Devon an odd look. Hadn't she just done that? "Right... please, come in." Ari made a sweeping gesture with her free hand. "Would you close the door, please?" Ari had moved away, putting on the kettle for her tea. She was a latte addict, too, but she didn't have one of those machines... yet. She looked up at Devon. "Well, this is my house. I suppose you want a tour, too?" She asked as she resumed looking at the kettle. The need for a cup jumpstarted her into movement. "Would you like something to drink? I have ... water and ... tea." That was pretty much the extent of it. The house was a standard ranch. From the kitchen, he could see down a hall. The rooms immediately adjacent the kitchen were the dining room and a walk-through bedroom, which had been converted into an office.

He smiled, she was always being a smart ass wasn't she? "Sure, thanks, I'll take some water please? So a tour huh? Well if you insist on being so hospitable, how can I deny that?" He looked around, looking at the windows and back to the door. Some beings had to be invited, others could break in...If the proper protections were not in place. That would have to be settled soon...

Ari nodded. The kettle dinged. Reaching for a water glass, she pressed the glass to the water dispenser on the refridgerator. "Oh... do you want ice?" With her other hand she poured hot water into a mug. "It's in the freezer," she said as she passed him the glass of water and moved to finish making her tea. Ari gave Devon a look. One smart ass comment begets another, they always say... "Alright." Ari toed off her shoes sighing happily as she stepped into the carpeted diningroom. "This is the dining room." An opening led into the livingroom. "Livingroom." A large picture window dominated the wall allowing sunlight - when it wasn't raining to fill the room. A fishtank containing two healthy looking goldfish sat by the front door. Bearing right, Ari led the way into the hall Devon had seen from the kitchen. "Bathroom," she pointed to the first door next to the office. "Spare room. Bedroom." She pointed to each room respectively. Ari didn't bother to mention the half-bath in the bedroom. It didn't seem important. If he needed to go, he could use the main one. "And that concludes the tour of Niven House. Thank you for your patronage." Ari gave him a grin and then winced. "I need something for this headache." Ari moved into the bathroom, sitting her teacup on the counter. Opening the medicine cabinet gave Devon a sudden view of himself reflected in the mirror as Ari reached inside for headache medicine. "Ah..." The sound of tablets could be heard as she opened the bottle and then poured a few into her hand. Popping the tablets in her mouth, she sipped the tea and then closed the cabinet.

Devon recalled the window again. If someone were to throw a rock through it, and shatter it, the dwelling would be open to anyone without invitation. He noted he would definately have to protect that, the door was safer than that damned thing. As he continued to drink his water, and continue on the tour, he got lost in his thoughts. Protection. She needs protection, then it hit him, maybe HE needed protection from her. There was no telling what would happen, she could become a changed with enough time, or she could be awakened. The trick with that was, was she a true awakened, or one of the Others. The "others" was a term he had made up describing the evil society of the awakened. He so hoped she wasn't one of them. If he protected the dwelling, nothing could get in, but he couldn't get out.

"I hope those kick in soon..." Ari looked at Devon. He seemed a bit off. "Are you ok?" Ari took another sip of tea, eyeing Devon over the rim of her cup. She felt a bit awkward standing barefoot in the bathroom, blocked in by a man who was staring blankly. "Devon?" She moved forward, "Uhm... excuse me..." she felt a little uncomfortable now. She should have thought this through a little better. She had just brought a crazy man into her house. Was it possible to defend yourself with a toilet plunger and a cup of tea?

Opening the medicine cabinet gave Devon a sudden view of himself reflected in the mirror as Ari reached inside for headache medicine. . He seem distracted though as he looked at it, like his mind was a million miles away at that moment. It had been so LONG since he had seen himself. Mirrors were something that didn't really exist in the Gray, who needed them. Seeing himself though, scared him. It was like he was seeing..Him. There were subtle differences though, one being the eyes. "His" eyes were black. Pitch black. Ominous (sp?) and foreboding, hateful and mercilous (sp?). He shook his thoughts away. Protection. He hadn't heard a thing she had said. He turned his head to her, a little embarrassed, He smiled though, trying to ease her worried face and asked bluntly with intent. "Do you have any chalk? Anything to write with, I need something bold though, something thick. Sorry I seemed to have gotton lost in my thougts for a second. I do apologize."

Ari relaxed. She had been ready to toss the tea into his face and slam the door shut. She could get out through the bathroom window easily enough. Out to where was another question. Confusion filled her gaze again. Chalk? Ari opened her mouth, shut it, and thought for a moment. "I have a marker. You know the kind you write on moving boxes with." She moved to step past Devon but had to stop waiting for him to move. "It's... out there." She indicated outside of the bathroom with a lift of her chin. Maybe she shouldn't completely give up the idea of tossing the tea in his face. "It's a black marker. Smells weird..." Ari stopped talking then. She had begun to ramble about inane things again. There was a small, square dresser sitting outside of the bathroom door, nestled in a corner of the hallway. Ari pulled open the middle drawer. Inside the drawer were what could only be described as a myriad of different pens, colored pencils, markers, paints, paintbrushes, crayons, oil pastels, and other implements of writing and drawing creativity. There was even a box of fountain pens. "I think its in here..." Ari started to dig through the pile.

He didn't see the marker, that smelt funny, but he did see some masking tape. For what he was about to do, maybe it was best to have this. "Mind if you hand me that tape? Keep looking for the marker though. I'm definately going to need it." She gave him an incredulous stare as she handed him the tape. Thoughts were obviously going through her mind, one probably being, "Why am I handing this lunatic tape?'. He grabbed the tape and walked back to the bathroom. First opening first, he thought. He unwrapped the tape with a loud "Scraack" and then placed it into a square around the the window. "One down!" he yelled. Though she probably had no clue of what he was doing. He moved to the larger window he saw when he came in. "Hmm, this is going to be alot of tape." He looked at the roll. It would probably be enough, he was almost sure of it, but it wouldnt be enough for the door. He whispered to himself, "She really isn't going to be happy about this." He walked back to Ari, still looking for the marker. "Gotta question for you... Door or Window? Don't ask, just door or window? Have you found that marker yet?"

Ari continued rummaging after staring at Devon for a few minutes. She peered into the bathroom just as he yelled. Her eyes narrowed. She was wondering why a piece of tape was on her window. Ari nodded as she held out the marker. "Yes?" The query in her voice would be obvious. "Is this some sort of magic thing?" Her brows drew together as he confused her yet again. "Uhm... door?" Speaking of doors and windows, there were small glass panes on the front door and multiple glass panes on the side door. Two windows in the kitchen, two windows in the diningroom. Two side windows, one on either side of the picture window; Two windows in her bedroom. One in the other bath, two in the spare bedroom and two in the office. Ari liked light... except when she wanted to sleep, but that is why she had dark gold curtains over the bedroom windows. Ari followed Devon, forgetting about having tea. In the livingroom, there were also bookshelves; some of which were sci-fi/fantasy or anime. That might explain her willingness to be a little more flexible in accepting what was going on. The experience seemed reminiscent of almost every story she had ever read. Normal person, weird thing happens, bad amorphous things threatening, attractive anti-hero - the list goes on...

Devon was happy she said door. The bad thing was there were windows on the door, nothing was ever simple was it? He continued to look around. There had to be more windows then just the one in the bathroom and the large one. He roamed around the place again. He had been so lost in his thoughts he didn't even notice. "Damn!" He walked into the spare bedroom "Shit!" He continued to look around and cussed everytime he seen another window. "Yeah! It's magic!" He through the tape on the floor, there was no way he could be neat about anything anymore. He snatched the marker out of her hand, a little rude, but he was ticked off with himself for not noticing. He went from room to room, starting at the living room with the front door, then to the large window and so on and so forth. He was drawing symbols, no, it seemed to be like he was writing something instead. All over the seal of the door, then moved on to the other problems he found. The writings were total gibberish to anyone who didn't know the language. He knew he was acting crazy, but he didn't care. He wanted the place protected and now. He hurried along but with caution every writing had to be perfect.

Previous



Return to Old Posts

cron