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08/19/2019 07:39 PM 

A love like no other

  Somebody Ain’t You – Mitchell Tenpenny Love the Way You Lie – Eminem ft. Rihanna Back to Life –Rascal Flatts Keeping Score – Dan + Shay Perfect Storm – Brad Paisley Better Me – Somo More Than Anyone – Gavin DeGraw Give Up Your Heart – Levon How Would You Feel – Ed Sheeran Beautiful Crazy – Luke Combs


08/19/2019 05:31 PM 

once a bragger... never again? [drabble]

    "Hey Ollie" Grey walked towards the smaller male, smiling big towards his little brother. He sat on the porch step, watching the boy jumping and falling off of his skateboard. "Hey" Ollie smiled big towards the other.     "What're you doing, Ollie?" The oldest grinned. "Ice skating" Oliver responded sarcastically, getting up from the ground, grabbing his skateboard with a slight eye roll. "I'm trying to get my kicks down. But, I keep falling and it's getting so frustrating" He groaned and plopped himself next to the other.     "You've been at it all day, Ol. Don't you think you should give it a break?" Grey asked, raising a brow down at his younger brother, grinning as he nudged the boy's shoulder some getting a grin back in response from Oliver. "Because I'm not a quitter like youu" He pointed. Grey gasped dramatically. "I am no such thing!" He tackled his brother, laughing as he began to tickle at the boy. Oliver screeched and laughed, trying to squirm his way out from his brother's grip but failed miserably.     A black Honda accord pulled up in front of the Manhattan home on the street. "Dad!" Oliver jumped up, getting from his brother's grip and ran down the steps with his board in hand and rushed over to the driver's side to greet his dad. "Hey kiddo" Michael chuckled and soon was greeted with a big bear hug from his 8 year old son.     "I'm getting so much better, dad! Mom said if I keep practicing, that I'll be the best skateboarder in all of New York!" A huge grin formed on Oliver's face, walking up the small walk path with his father. "Well, I told you the same thing, Oliver. Just like with your sister and her dancing. She didn't get where she's at now without practicing" Michael grinned, ruffling Oliver's curls, chuckling.     Oliver groaned when he did that, messing up his do-rag. It wasn't any different than what he usually wore but his colors? They were of course red, white, and blue. Though, he did have an array of different colored do-rags to go with whatever he was feeling that day. His mother thought he was a bit crazy for wanting them and wearing them but she also didn't mind him expressing himself. It was something she wanted for her kids; to feel they can be themselves without being judged.     The boy took the do-rag off and fixed it, retying it over his locks and looked up, seeing Grey smirking at his brother. "You know he did that on purpose, right?" He chuckled some, shaking his head a little when he got the response he was looking for; Oliver sticking his tongue out at him.     "You're just jealous you don't have a signature look." The 8 year old stated as Grey nodded. "Oh yeah, oh man, you're totally right. Whatever will I do without a signature look?" Sarcasm laced his comment as he got up from the step and headed inside. "That's what I thought!" Oliver snapped back, the door shutting before Grey could react.            *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*        A few days later, Oliver was still working on his tricks, getting the skateboarding down. He was able to get himself in control on the board and felt he was finally ready for the half pipe. He headed over towards it and watched a couple other kids around his age, shredding and actually doing good. He knew there was no way he'd do it but figured he'd try. What was the worst that could happen?     "Hey Ol" Grey walked over, grinning. The 11 year old was hanging out with Ethan since Ethan was a skateboarder too. "You know you can't do the half pipe. You're barely holding yourself on a board as it is it" The blonde raised a brow towards the boy. "I can too! I can do better than you can!" He shoved the boy back as Ethan laughed. "Then prove it. Get on the half pipe and go down, do a trick, and come back without falling" Ethan crossed his arms against his chest, raising a brow towards him. "Fine!"     Oliver rushed up the side of the half pipe, grabbing on and pushed himself up, glaring down at the two older boys. He wasn't sure why Grey was friends with Ethan, the guy was a poopy head and he didn't like him at all. He dropped his board and stepped on it, scooting himself to the end, swallowing back thickly. The pipe seemed to have gotten bigger from up there because he couldn't remember it being that long from the ground.     A small whimper came from his lips, eyeing the pipe. "Are you going or not, Oliver?!" Ethan hollered up at him from the ground, snickering some. He knew Oliver wouldn't do it and would most likely fall. It was bound to happen. Oliver was always one to be cocky when it came to things that he couldn't do. Oliver glared down towards them then pushed himself off, bending his knees once he picked up air and got to the other side, riding up and did a small trick by touching the railing with his board then came back down, skidding the back of his board down to slow down and glared. "HAH! I DID IT!    "I AM A BETTER SKATEBOARDER THAN YOU, ETHAN! SO SUCK IT! I'm the bestest skateboarder in the world!" Oliver hollered, hands over his head as he laughed, grabbing his board and shoved passed his brother and his friend, going back to the railings since he was better at boarding on them then he was anything else.     He sighed of a relief when he got far enough from the two, thankful that he actually did what he said he would do. His heart had been racing the whole time, anxious that he'd fall and end up being the laughing stock of the skate park and the other two. He continued to skateboard the rest of the day, heading home when the street lights came on; his curfew to be home.            *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*    "Did you know that you're the laughing stock of the whole internet, Ollie" Grey's words came at the boy the next morning, eating away at his cereal. "Huh?" The boy raised a brow in confusion. "Did you wake up with cranky sauce in your milk this morning?" The boy asked, getting a chuckle and a shake of the head from his brother. "No, I mean you being a bragger on the internet. You bragged about being the best skateboarder in the whole world and now? The internet thinks you're a joke"     "What are you talking about?" Oliver asked, still in state of confusion. Grey grabbed his phone and showed Oliver the video he made of Oliver's bragging moment at the skate park. "Has over a million views already and people are already calling you a joke" He smirked, letting Oliver take the phone. "Who would've thought a kid would be so stupid? -- Since when do 8 year olds brag so much? -- I'm sorry but Tony mother f-ing Hawk is the best skateboarder in the world. You're just a joke!" Oliver began to read the comments.     "But, But I didn't brag though. I wasn't bragging. I was just saying that to get Ethan to shut up... I don't wanna be a joke on the internet. Grey! Why did you post that?!" He asked, tearing up some. "Because it's teach you a lesson. Oh and look? You got a comment from Tony Hawk himself" Grey began. "Sorry kid but for a joke, you sure can brag a lot. Settle yourself down before you wreck your life before you hit 10 years old" Grey stated.     "Oh and one from Ryan Sheckler as well... I was a kid skateboarder just like you, Oliver but man kid, you gotta chill and not be so pathetic" Grey knew Ethan's idea was hurtful but also knew that Oliver needed to be taught a lesson. The kid liked to brag more than someone should. This moment just pushed things a little too far. "Okay, okay stop!" Oliver shouted and scooted out from his chair, running upstairs to his room, passing his sister on the way up. "Ollie? What happened?" Dina tried to stop him. "I'm a joke!" Oliver hollered and slammed his door shut.     Dina made her way downstairs, seeing Grey sitting at the table. "What did you do?!" She asked, arms crossing against her chest. "Teaching Ollie a lesson" Grey mentioned, eyeing the younger girl. "What'd he do this time to hurt him this bad?" She asked, walking over to the table and took Oliver's spot. "He keeps bragging and well, he bragged at the skate park, so we decided to make a video of it and post it on a fake account on instagram with fake comments. It's not real. Just, a way to get him to chill out and be the Ollie we know, not this bragger" Grey looked at her.     She wasn't sure how she liked his idea but if it was the only way to get through to Oliver, she was along for it. "You might want to tell him the truth because he's crying up there. You guys hurt him bad this time" She frowned. Grey sighed and nodded, getting up from his chair and made his way up to his brother's room, knocking. "Ollie, can I come in? C'mon, let me in" The boy frowned.     "No! Go away! I'm just a joke!" Oliver sobbed into his knees, sitting against the door. "You're not a joke, Ol. Just let me in, please?" Grey spoke. A moment of silence but Oliver got up and opened the door, backing away to let Grey in. "I was going to let it sit in longer but Dee told me you were crying up here... Ollie, you're not a joke, okay? We made it up." He looked at him, telling him what he had told Dina. "We did it to teach you a lesson and I'm sorry for hurting you but I'm also glad we did it because you needed to see what your bragging does to people, it's not fun nor right, Ol"     "You mean you did this?! You and Ethan?! What kind of brother are you?!" Oliver got up and immediately pounced on his brother, trying to punch him and hurt him. "Hey! Get off of me! I'm sorry! Ollie stop!" Grey dodged every one of his punches, shoving him off. "I'm sorry!" He yelled once more. Oliver got up off of him, breathing hard and growled. "You owe me more than just an I'm sorry! Take it down before it does go public!" Oliver glared. "Okay okay, I will. I really am sorry, Ollie. But, you get why we did it, right?"     Oliver didn't want to admit it but his brother's wrong doings made him realize that maybe he did brag too much, especially when it came down to things that he couldn't do well. "I get it... It doesn't make it right but I get it... and-and" He crossed his arms, pouting. "I'm sorry" He mumbled. Grey grinned and got up, wrapping his arms around Oliver and hugged him tightly, twirling him around to get his brother to laugh which is exactly what he got. Oliver squealed and laughed. "Okay okay put me down!" He shouted. "Neverrrr" Grey playfully threw him to the bed and climbed on top of him, tickling him. Oliver screamed and laughed, squirming from under his brother's grip but he was no match for the eleven year old. 

Child's Play

08/19/2019 04:54 PM 


Squeaky leather chirped and groaned under Andy as she shifted her weight in the uncomfortable chair across from the Professor’s desk. The Professor was a big man, bald and pale. He wore a white lab coat, the kind you’d expect doctors to wear in a place like this, but his was yellowing with age, and it was tattered a little along the sleeves. The Professor smoked a thin cigarillo that he ashed into an empty coffee mug sitting on the desk between them, and he made the whole office — a grand room with mahogany walls and high ceilings — smell of smoke. Maybe it was the smoke that made Andy squirm in her chair, but probably not. The Professor didn’t squirm, though as the smoker he’d be used to the smell. Dr. Fig, the Stoddard-Barclay’s general practitioner when it came to all magical health concerns, was sitting beside her in a similar squeaky chair but he didn’t squirm either. Even Andrea, Andy’s youngest, who insisted on coming with her mother to this place so that she didn’t have to bring her sister Mia alone, seemed content. She was sitting in a stiff wooden chair by the back wall near the door, contently reading her book, staying quiet, and being very well-behaved without an inch of squirming. No, it wasn’t the smoke that made Andy squirm, it was this place, the Institute for Paranormal Trauma. She hated this place.“Interesting.” The Professor flipped through the files on his desk, reading over Mia’s case file, smoking and thinking his way through it. Andy leaned forward, a bit too eager, trying to get a glimpse of what he had read that made him remark out loud. They had been there for almost five minutes, sitting in that quiet room with him reading and smoking, and he hadn’t said as much as a peep the whole time. But Andy couldn’t read upside down, and Dr. Fig put a hand on her arm to settle her back down into her chair. He trusted the Professor, he trusted this place, and she trusted Dr. Fig, even if she couldn’t shake this horrible, horrible feeling.“My colleague here is the best in his field,” Dr. Fig said after a few more minutes of silence passed. He must’ve sensed Andy’s apprehension and felt the need to repeat his friend’s credentials. Where the Professor was wide and pale, Dr. Fig was short and dark. His naturally curly hair had been chemically straightened and was sticking upright and to an angle like a crooked candle wick. “I’m sure he is,” Andy said back. “We need the best.”“Of course, of course,” Dr. Fig said. “Nothing but the best. Nothing but the best.”A few more minutes passed. More reading. More smoking. More thinking. Andy tugged nervously at the hem of her skirt. What was making this all so much worse was that Mia wasn’t there with them in the room. From the moment they arrived at the Institute, nurses and orderlies were swarming all around them to check Mia in. It was a chaotic swirl of energy and Andy felt like her attention was being drawn and quartered, pulled in every which direction. There was the paperwork, the attention she was giving Mia who she pushed in a wheelchair, and she needed to keep her eye on Andrea. Andrea may have looked like a teenager but she was still very much a little girl, a little girl who cared deeply about her family and was prone to getting swept up in emotions. Andy had to balance that out and make sure all of her exits were counted. “It seems to me that young miss Mia is in the right place.” When the Professor finally spoke he did so with a big, booming voice, more of a contrast to Dr. Fig’s gentle, sing-songy way about him. Andy lit up when the Professor finally finished.“Can you help her?” She asked.“If anyone can, it’s me.” There wasn’t arrogance in the Professor’s voice, simply confidence. His smile eased Andy some. “I’d like to walk through this with you if you don’t mind, it’ll help me better treat her. She hasn’t spoken in how many days?”“Since Friday,” Andy said. “Friday night. Since it happened.” It was Monday now. Andy slowly closed her eyes and swallowed down the pain of that before getting back to the strength she needed as a parent.“And no one was there in the room when it happened, correct?”“Correct.”“Where were you?” Again, the Professor’s voice didn’t hold malice. He wasn’t accusing Andy of anything, he was simply fishing.“Asleep,” she said. “Asleep on the couch with my wife. Mia had been sick all day and her sister Avery was sitting with her.”“Was the witch a… blood sister?”Andy shook her head. “No. Avery was adopted. Mia,” she sniffed and wiped her nose, “Mia is too, though she’s from another world, a parallel world. She was the daughter of a parallel version of myself and my wife and when her universe was destroyed she came here.”“So this isn’t the girl’s first run in with substantial trauma involving the supernatural?” The professor asked.Again, Andy shook her head.“Tell me about the day leading up to it?” The Professor asked, jotting some things down in his notebook. “You say that Mia had been sick all day. Sick how?”“We thought it was just a cold,” Andy said. “Or a stomach bug or something, she had been up since early in the morning. She couldn't keep anything down, that’s why I was asleep by then. I had been up with her and was drained.”“Then they found the mark on her arm,” Dr. Fig added, waving a wispy finger around.“Right,” Andy nodded. “In the afternoon. It appeared under her skin and it didn’t take us long to figure out it was a hex. Avery wasn’t just a witch, she was… she was a very special witch, and a very clever girl. She cut the hex out and we thought that was the end of it. We thought Mia would get better after that and for a little while she was, she was just tired, you know? Sleeping a lot.”“And then…”“And then… it happened.” Andy swallowed and closed her eyes. “The hex was already enrooted in her soul,” the Professor said. “Cutting the mark away, clearing her in the normal sense, it only held off what was already inevitable. This hex, it commanded her to kill the witch? Her sister?”Andy’s eyes stung with tears and turned red. She sniffed and took a moment to gather herself. Then another. And another. Dr. Fig put a hand on her back to soothe her. She couldn’t stop the tears from falling but she had to hold herself together. She knew Andrea was near by and even though she never hid her emotions from her children, she knew the importance to be strong for them too. Andy nodded, unable to get any words out, but she answered the question anyway.“And soon after it was over, that’s when you found them,” the Professor said, as if he was learning more from Andy’s emotional reaction to recounting what happened on Friday night than he could just reading it on the page. “Mia, controlled by the hex, pushed her sister down the stairs and cracked her face in with the shell of a pet turtle until the turtle and the face turned to soup in her hands. She witnessed the whole horrible thing, felt powerless as she watched herself murder her own sister, and she shut down soon after, once you managed to pull her away, yes?”Andy managed a weak, “Yes.” And she nodded along to accompany it.The Professor ashed out his cigarillo in his mug and leaned forward, resting his elbows on his desk. “Mrs. Stoddard-Barclay, I can’t promise you that any of this is going to be easy, but what I can say is that Mia is in good hands here. We will work through her trauma, have her come to terms with what happened, what can still happen, and what is outside of her control, and we will give her the tools to manage the aftermath of this horrible… tragedy.” “How long?” Andy dug tissues out of her bag and was wiping her face clean now.“Hard to say.” the Professor shrugged. “My normal answer is as long as it takes. We’ll keep her here, treat her well, and get the ball moving, and we’ll discharge her and send her home at the earliest possible convenience. The work I do is only half of it. The strong family support system, that’s the rest. I want to get Mia talking and back home as soon as we can, but it’s important we don’t rush this. The last thing we need is to set her back even more.”Andy nodded and contained herself. “What about visiting? Will we be able to visit?”“Of course,” the Professor said. “Though realistically, it should be limited encounters. You and your wife are welcomed for a short check in daily. I’d recommend not bringing any of Mia’s siblings more than once a week.”It was another fifteen minutes of conversation until the paperwork was signed and the professor was walking Andy, Andrea, and Dr. Fig through the polished white halls of the Institute toward the exit. Everything looked so clean there, so clinical. But why did that make Andy’s stomach churn even more aggressively? Andy had her arm around Andrea as they walked and the Professor was walking through the list of things he’d be calling to update Andy with daily, and Andy committed it all to memory.“Would… would it be okay if I said goodbye?” Andy asked before they reached the main lobby. The Professor looked skeptical of the idea at first, squinting and thinking, but eventually he relented, saying yes, but it was best if she went alone. Andy explained why Andrea couldn’t come with her best she could, and then told her to wait with Dr. Fig while she followed the Professor to where they were keeping Mia. It was a long walk through identical hallways but eventually, Andy got to where she was going. The big metal door was locked when they got there — for her safety, the Professor assured — and when he opened it up for Andy, she went inside and cautiously approached her near catatonic teenage daughter.“Hi, Mia,” Andy said softly, trying to keep from crying. “It’s mom.”Mia said nothing back. She stared off at nothing on the wall, rarely blinking, a blank look on her face.The room was even whiter than the hallway had been. The walls were padded, so was the floor. Mia sat on a basic looking white chair by a basic looking white bed. There was a shower stall and a toilet and sink on the other side of the room, but the rest of it was bare, blank, and empty just like her traumatized daughter. Mia was pale beneath the star field of freckles on her face. Even the orange of her hair seemed to be missing some of its natural shine. Andy approached Mia slowly and got down to one knee in front of her, taking her hand and holding it tightly. Her skin was cold to the touch.“We’re going to get you better, sweet heart,” Andy explained, unsure if Mia was even listening. “I promise you, we’re going to get you better. We all know it wasn’t you, we all know you didn’t mean to do what happened. We’re… we’re going to get Avery back, I don’t know how yet but we will. And we need you back, too. We love you, Mia, my brave, strong girl.” Andy dug into her purse and pulled out a plain looking circular wooden necklace made out of Buckthorn. It belonged to Mia’s namesake, Mia Allen, the woman who gave her body so Andy could continue to live. It was a symbol of strength in the Stoddard-Barclay family, one that had a deep symbolism with Mia, and she curled it up in her daughter’s fingers for her to hold on to while she got better. “We love you, Mia,” she repeated. “We love you.”Leaving the Institute for Paranormal Trauma was harder than Andy thought it would be, and she had been preparing for it to be pretty damn hard. She walked through the gates holding Andrea’s hand as they stepped out into the perpetual night that was Necropolis City. They had to travel to the dangerous city of the dead — the city between cities — in order to find Mia the help she needed, and now that they were leaving the Institute behind Andy wondered if maybe this was what was causing all the dread inside of her. It wasn’t the building, or the Professor, or any of the treatment her daughter would have to undergo in order to get better, it was this place. Necropolis wasn’t the safest place in the world, especially for humans like Mia, and leaving her there only meant that Andy was not going to have a good night sleep again until she was back home.“C’mon, sweetie, we’ll be home soon,” Andy said to Andrea as she quickened her pace. Andrea nodded and held her hand tighter. “Okay, mama,” she said, clutching her chapter book under her arm, careful not to lose it.They reached the end of the driveway, that fed into a group of alley mouths, just before the main road that would take them to their exit, when Andy noticed a familiar looking blonde woman sitting on a motorcycle in one of the alley mouths. She smoked a cigarette and gave Andy a wave when they made eye contact.“Morgan?” Andy squinted. “Morgue,” the woman said back to her in a thick Australian accent. She blew smoke over her shoulder and slid off her bike, moving to meet Andy and Andrea half way. “Just Morgue is fine.”Morgue ‘N Graves, as she liked to call herself, was a human hunter of sorts who focused on the migration patterns of an Australian pack of werewolves that she kept promising would cause Claire a world of trouble. She also happened to be related to one of Mollie’s girlfriends — er, ex-girlfriend? It was hard to tell anymore — and although Morgue had a bit of a foul mouth on her and was rough around the edges, they were on the same side. Surprisingly, it made Andy feel a little better seeing a familiar face in a place like this. It didn’t make Necropolis any less dangerous, but maybe it meant her and Andrea were a little safer.“What are you doing here?” Andy asked, approaching and reaching out for a handshake. “Looking for you, actually,” Morgue said. “Kept me ear to the ground, had a feeling you’d be turning up round here sooner or later. Happy it was sooner rather than later. Haven’t had a good sleep in some time. I reckon I’m overdue.”“Andrea, I don’t know if you met Morgue before,” Andy introduced her daughter. “Morgue is Ophelia’s aunt.”“Oy, little ankle biter, good to meetchya.” Morgue went to shake the kid’s hand too. “You look just like yer mums, you do, bloody uncanny.”“So you were looking for me?” Andy refocused the conversation.“Right, right,” Morgue flicked her cigarette away and dug into her leather jacket to pull out a few photographs she had. “I know you and yours have been having troubles the past couple of days. I think what I’ve been getting on with might help ya with that.” She handed Andy the pictures. “I’ve been tracking this bloke for days now, ever since he got into Texas. Caught him snagging that bloke late last week. Bagged him, tossed in his boot, and carted him off to New Orleans where he sold him off to some vampy.”“Copy,” Andy sighed when she flipped through the photographs and saw that the man being kidnapped was a man she called Copy, though if he had a real name it was Andy. Copy was a soul duplicate of Andy. She hadn’t heard any updates about him in some time, but she knew he was out there. If the vampires had Copy they were probably able to use him to learn more about her, which meant they learned more about her family, which explained how the witches knew how to use Mia to get to Avery. “Do you know where they took him?”Morgue shook her head. “Not a clue,” she said. “I’m more interested in the big bloke with the scruffy beard. He’s a mean Dingo, the second to his dad... Goes by Junior. He’s back in Texas. Just figured you’d want those photos, maybe show them to that Alpha wife of yours.”“Yeah, hey, thanks Morgue. These… these are huge.” Andy smiled. “Ah, I reckon you’d have done the same for me if you had something that helped me out in a time of need. Answers are important when we don’t got any. Hey, you lot need a ride back? The streets down here aren’t the safest and you two are small enough to fit. I got room for three on me bike.” Morgue leaned in to Andrea. “What do you say, kiddo, ever ride a motorcycle before?”A degree of pain still lingered as they left the Institute behind and Necropolis soon after. Andy would ache with pain and regret with every night Mia spent there, but the answers were out there, she knew they were. As Morgue sped Andy and Andrea back home, Andy told herself that she was going to find the answers she needed to make sense of all this. She would put her family back together sooner or later, and when they were whole again, she would figure out what she had to do next.

Detective Parker,

08/19/2019 04:11 PM 

"No, I mean…sleep here, with you. I don’t want to be on my own."

16:37 The car ride home was deafly silent. Nobody said a word. Nobody knew what to say. Situations like this were delicate. They’d treated Sean as if he would break, as if he were a porcelain doll. He pulled his sleeves down and curled his fingers around them, his shoulders raising slightly. The seat belt tightened over his hand, the sudden movement attracting his mother’s attention, which caught Mike’s attention. Could he not make a single movement without being under constant surveillance? It wouldn’t surprise him if the lock had been removed from every room in the house; privacy was now banned. Nobody could have five minutes of peace—god forbid. It almost pained him to admit that he felt safer this way. Mike’s hand placed to Sean’s arm. A gentle touch to reassure. It was the little things that made the biggest difference; no words, no cliché sympathy, just understanding.  Sean shrugged Mike’s hand away with an attempt at a smile, the corners of his lips barely moved. The hospital felt like a safe space, neutral, nurses on hand; even if it were like living in a fish tank with observers looking in it was exactly what he needed. Healing at home seemed to be the the best thing for him and he would heal quicker at home, in a comfortable environment. The only comfort at the hellhole he called Home was when he were alone, but he’d lost all right to that. At least until his Mom knew he could be trusted. Christopher drove, his only input, his role played in the happy family picture they tried to portray. How he’d wished to stay in the hospital but it was only temporary. The car slowed down, the headlights on the bricks of the prison he lived in. The engine turned off, the music stopped, and the inevitable happened. “Baby, I’ll take your bags upstairs. You take as long as you need. Mike, will you stay with him?” His Mom directed to Mike, babysitting duties. Mike nodded, the boys staying in their seats. Christopher and Mom left the car, the front door open, and gave the twins much needed space. Mike still hadn’t gone back to school. Mike had been there when Sean had woken up almost every day. It was true, twins had a special bond. A special connection. Sean exhaled deeply. The heavy weight didn’t shift. “I don’t think I’m ready for this, Mike. I can’t.” “Sean, you had to come back eventually. This doesn’t have to be as bad as you think it is. Dad will stay out of way…as usual.” “As usual.” Sean agreed. “Hey…he’s gonna change. He’s gonna be better.” Sean laughed. “You believe that?” “I want to. Look, we’ll sit there for as long as you need to. Come on. When you’re ready.”   The two sat together for what felt like a lifetime. Mike held Sean’s hand and they sat until Sean was ready. He couldn’t avoid it forever. He’d taken a vacation from his life to shed his façade and let the raw side show. The mask had slipped from his fingers and he had to come to grips with his reality. Sean released Mike’s hand and unbuckled. This was it. He got out of the car and looked inside the house, the stairs, the kitchen at the end of the hall, the open arch into the living area. Perhaps he should be thankful for the second chance but he couldn’t shake the bad feeling that crept through his veins. He stepped over the threshold and tried to brush the feeling away. The house was spotless, as if there weren’t paramedics here only weeks ago, blood covering the floors, chaos in their quiet neighborhood. He hid his hands beneath the comfort of his sleeves, fingers curled to grip the green material. His Mom’s best attempt to make him feel comfortable, a new wardrobe, a new start. Maybe it worked a little. The gesture came from the heart and that’s what mattered. Even if it had been the home he’d known since he were born it felt different. The air felt thicker. Christopher’s presence put him on edge, but of course, they had a public image to uphold. Professional and experience lawyer takes time out for family emergencies, wow, what a great father. If only they knew the half of it. The words he’d said in spite, both provoked and spontaneous. Sean now came face to face with the man he’d spent years of his life trying to avoid. “It looks different.” “Your Mother thought renovating would help. Move some things around. Waste of time, was fine the way it was.” Of course. “I have work to do in the office. If your Mom asks…” Sean nodded. “Okay.” That was the end of his part, his starring role as a caring father, a chauffeur. Sean could only imagine the lecture his mother had given him when the doctors had confirmed that Sean’s injuries would scar horribly but he would survive to learn to handle the trauma, to learn coping mechanisms. Some things couldn’t be erased with therapy, some things couldn’t be forgiven. No matter how much he tried to let them go. Those words had become his internal thoughts. Was it possible to hate himself more than Christopher did? “Sean, are you hungry?” Mom approached him now, her hands extended. It was only now that he exchanged the security of his hoody for her hands, the tight grip easing the tightness in his chest. “I’m not hungry. You guys eat, though.” “You promised you’d try.” “I am. I just…don’t want to eat. I ate before we left. Please, Mom. Can I just go upstairs? I need to rest.” He pulled his hands back now and tucked them into his pockets. “I’m tired.” She nodded, a hand placing to his cheek, thumb grazing his cheekbone. “I’m just worried about you. I don’t want to fail you again.” His voice cracked as she spoke. “How could I have missed the signs?” Tears threatened to leak, the bags under her eyes were telling; when was the last time she’d slept properly. “Mom, don’t think like that. You didn’t miss anything. I just…got good at lying. Nobody’s fault. You did your best.” He leaned into the touch, his eyes closing.  “Maybe I’ll have soup or something. Nothing too heavy. I feel a little sick.” “Okay, soup. I’ll bring it up to you.” She placed a kiss to his forehead and released him from her loving grasp. “Go ahead. Call if you need anything.” Sean watched her walk away, guilt sunk in as the image of her tearful eyes burned in his mind. He’d hurt the one woman who loved him despite every reason she shouldn’t, despite the trouble he’d caused since he’d taken his first breath. He turned to look at the stairs, making his way up them slowly; the air seemed to thicken, almost suffocating. He had to get over it one way or another. It was now or never. He couldn’t hide forever. He walked down the hallway and pushed his bedroom door open. As expected, there was no lock. No more privacy. Sean left the door open and looked at the bed, new sheets, new everything. His get well soon cards on the desk. Was this supposed to be comforting? People caring enough to send a card? The flowers and visitors said it all, even when under psych evaluation, it was the easiest diagnosis for the psychologist. Depression. Eating disorders as a coping mechanism to the depression, taking control of the only thing he could—his physical image. Very secretive and impulsive, prone to emotional outbursts. Reacts to emotionally difficult stimulus with violence. Perhaps as a punishment to his emotional triggers. Low self-esteem. ? Cause. Recommendation: therapy and Prozac. Sean looked down at his hands and took a deep breath. Apparently his method was telling, the physical pain as a distraction of his emotional pain, a punishment for his mistakes, for causing ‘grief’ on his mother, for being a ‘sh*tty’ son, who being nothing but ‘a waste of oxygen’. His green eyes shifted to the open bathroom door. He could still see it, crimson on the floor, the razor on the side of the bathtub. The stinging. The f***ing burning as the sharp edge pierced his skin. It took everything in his now to scream out, biting his lip to silence the whimpers. Of all the things he’d done in this bedroom, all the girls who had lay on his sheets, welcoming him with open arms and legs wrapped around him, all he could see was blood. His brows furrowed, nausea building. He’d been so close to death, it felt like a friend extending a hand to wiping the slate clean. It wasn’t until the paramedics broke his concentration, his mother’s sobs pulled him back to the life he’d tried desperately to leave behind. A hand touched his shoulder. A heavy breath released. How long had he been holding it in for? “Hey…are you okay?” Mike. Sean turned around, his arms thrown around Mike’s shoulders, a desperate grip seeking the only support he could ask for. It felt like he couldn’t breathe, his throat seemed to swell, his fingers held on tighter as he fell to his knees. Then it came. Out of nowhere. Sudden, uncontrollably. Sean let out a cry, his stomach ached as he stopped resisting. Mike’s arms tightened around him, a hand on his back as Sean crumbled to pieces in his twin’s embrace.     - - - - - - 23:35.   Sean lay in the bed, his eyes open as he rolled onto his side, focused on the alarm clock on the bedside table. He’d lay here for hours, growing more uncomfortable by the second. It felt like the nicest furnished prison he’d ever known, faux comfort wrapped him in a smothering grip. He finally got up the bed and put his hoody back on, leaving it unzipped. As long as his scars were covered he could turn a blind eye to the evidence of his failure. He took slow steps across the cool floor. Once in the doorway he looked left at the spare room, empty. He looked right, his parents room, Mike’s room, the family bathroom. The light from the living room shone through the banisters. Who was still awake? Sean made his way down the stairs, hands tucked into his pockets. “Mom”? She sat on the couch with a glass of water in her hand, almost in a trance. She turned around to face him, tears on her cheeks. She looked exhausted. Shattered. “Why are you awake?” “Oh, I just…couldn’t sleep. What about you? You must be tired.” She patted the space beside her. “What’s wrong?” Sean shook his head, sitting beside her. “Nothing, I just…can’t sleep.” “Do you want anything? Hot chocolate? Tea?” She stroked his hair, concerned eyes examining his features. “No, thanks. I just saw the light. Wasn’t sure who was still awake.” She nodded and lowered her hand to grasp his protectively. “Your father is going back to work tomorrow.” One day off, wow, father of the year. “I know it’s hard for you to be around him. Maybe we should consider family therapy.” “Mom…I don’t need think you need to pay something for him to tell me what he really thinks. I know what he feels. I’m am embarrassment to him. I’d rather not hear him say it again. I’m good.” Sean pulled his hand away from hers. She meant well, she did everything he wanted her to, but he didn’t know how to accept the love. The care. It was like she was offering a lifeline, a hand to save him from sinking in the ocean, and he would rather drown. “I should go back to bed. But goodnight. I hope you get to sleep soon.” “Goodnight, Seany. I love you.” “You, too.” He got up from the couch and leaned down, kissing the top of her head. He went back upstairs, only when she thought he was gone and back in bed, he heard the soft sound of her crying again. Sean looked at his bedroom door, open, uninviting. He looked at Mike’s door, his hand reaching for the handle and he opened it. A streak of light fell upon the bed, stirring Mike from his sleep. “Oh…hi.” Michael sat up, hand covering his mouth as he let out a yawn. “What’s up? Are you alright?” “Couldn’t sleep. Not in there.” “It’s gonna take time to get used to.” “Could…I sleep in here?” Mike got out of bed, pushing the covers back for Sean. “Sure.” “No, I mean…sleep here, with you. I don’t want to be on my own.” Asking for help when he needed it, apparently, was healthy. He’d taken the first step. “Sure, which side of the bed do you want?” Sean shrugged. “Either. As long as you’re here.” He approached the bed and climbed in, waiting for Mike to settle back down. The twins lay, face to face, holding hands. They hadn’t done this they were kids, before they’d learned to pick at each other’s weaknesses. Sean nestled into the pillow. “I’m sorry.” “What for?” “All of it. Are you embarrassed?” Mike shook his head. “No. I’m proud that you’re getting help, I’m sad that I couldn’t see how much you needed me. I’m angry at Dad…but I’m so happy to see you every damn day. Even if you’re a pain.” Sean let out a small laugh. “Well, I am a pain.” “But you’re my pain. Wouldn’t have you any other way. Come on. Let’s sleep.”  


08/19/2019 01:55 PM 

Indestructible Intro

Attn: Klaus, EVERYONE. IndestructibleParagon /  Elijah Mikaelson/ 1545178 “It’s been an amazing ride, Niklaus.”   Those words came forth from the elder Original fully aware of what he’d intended to do.   Taking in hand that White Oak stake, there was only one thing that he could do.   With a firm grasp on the stake, he snapped it with ease.   Those words of hurt coming from his brother with optics full of tears glancing back at him.   “I intend to die with you.”   Elijah Mikaelson meant every word.  Elijah couldn’t live without his brother, nor did he intend to do so.The moment of understood realism between the brothers was unspoken.  Everything for him for the past millennia had been about his brother.  Elijah loved Klaus more than the human mind could possible even fathom.   The early Christians that Elijah had met in the Dark Age Monasteries of the 13th Century gave him the tomes of their religion with the one biggest phrase that continued to stick out for him all these years later.  Greater love had no man than he lay down his life for his friends.  Klaus was more than just his best friend.  Klaus was his brother.   Elijah would die at his brother’s side as he had always been meant to do.The last goodbyes between the brothers were filled with the promises and the wistful regrets of an extended life that had been so fatefully wasted in so many ways.   Soon the time had come.  Elijah nodded before grabbing the stake and pressing it against his brother’s chest.  He could feel the wood pressing against his own chest from the stake his brother held.  Together, one swift blow from two strong hands and the curse was broken.  To the casual human observer passing by on this summer night, there was an unusual amount of dust in the air.  Little had they known but world was now far more changed for the first time in over 1000 years.   Elijah and Klaus Mikelson were now dead.~*~He opened his eyes slowly.  Elijah Mikaelson found himself in a clearing laying on the ground.  This whole are was not unlike the one in which he’d lived his early life as a human.  “Niklaus?”   He called out his brother’s name in curiosity at first.  Once there was no answer,  Elijah scrambled to his feet.   He allowed his hands to roam over his form.   He was whole and complete.   He had felt the pieces of his body flake away and remove him from the surface of life on Earth itself.   Was this the afterlife?    The sound of rushing water could be heard off in the distance.   Dressed in a dark blue suit with a silk tie and a pocket square, Elijah looked much like what he had when he was still alive.   He was quite dead however.  He was sure of it. “Niklaus?!”   He couldn’t hear his brother anywhere.  Elijah was alone and he didn’t like it one iota.   The rushing water came back into his augmented hearing.  Surely his brother was down by the water’s edge, right?   He pushed through the brush and the overgrowth.   There was a crystal stream running through the area again like the one where he and Klaus played as children all those years ago.   Filled with memories of a simpler time, Elijah approached the stream to kneel beside it.   He extended his hand into the water to feel the cool water rush over it.   Watching the water itself, he realized something profound.   It was only water with a smattering of rocks here and there.   There were no fish in this stream.  “Where am I?”  His question rung out into the air in rhetorical form.   “I never thought I’d see the day.  Elijah Mikaelson, dead… FINALLY!”   The female voice behind him was one he knew all too well.  Her name was Elizabeth Maxwell and she’d been a witch in her life.    “Welcome to Purgatory Elijah.  This is where ALL monsters go where they die.”  She folded her arms over one another glaring viciously at the Original that had cost the witch her very life.  “When the word gets out you’re here, it’ll be a field day.”  Sapphire hues glistened with righteous indignation.   This was the day she’d longed to see for several centuries now. A perfectly manicured brow lifted upward at his former paramour.   “Klaus ripped you to shreds, Elizabeth.   I saw him covered in your blood.”   He rose to his full height of six feet standing in front of her.   “How did it feel to be ripped to shreds by my brother?  Did you enjoy feeling your flesh being torn to ribbons?  Oceans of blood poured from you that covered our courtyard for days.  It took the hybrids four days to clean it all.”   The cold calculating tones of Elijah Mikaelson had been covered in silky smooth efficiency as he recalled how his brother had so heartily defeated this witch.  A smile curled his lips in sardonic glee.  The faintest hint of his fangs brushed against his bottom lip in the process.Recalling the moment of her death sent the witch into a fit of rage that managed to direct all her focus on the Original that she had once loved with every fibre of her being.  “You son of a b’itch…”  She growled as she started toward him.   “You don’t have your brother to hide behind here.  It’s just you and me, right here and right now.”   Elijah was still grinning at her enjoying pushing her buttons in this fashion even if he was at a disadvantage here.   “That’s where you’re wrong, Elizabeth.  Niklaus may not be here at the moment, but he is here somewhere and I intend to find him.   When I do, the rules of Purgatory will change, I assure you.”    His eyes glazed over with the darkness of being an Original as his fangs were bared.   If being in Purgatory meant he had to fight… so be it.Elizabeth was a depowered witch in the realm of Purgatory.  It didn’t mean she couldn’t still fight.  She had been here for some time.   She had a few tricks of her own in her repertoire.  She was standing beside a tree when Elijah bared his fangs.   She pulled off the branch of a tree and swung it at him.The branch hit its mark.  Elijah was sent flying back by the blow to his abdomen.   His body came to a skidding halt stirring up a mound of dirt.   His head had struck the bark of the tree he’d landed near.   He shook his head and lay there momentarily stunned.   Her footsteps were closing in on his location and he could hear them.  With his head down, he was clearing out the cobwebs when she came back for another round.  Elijah didn’t need to stand up to do what he had to accomplish.  His right hand immediately struck with the speed and accuracy 1000 years of blood and murder could accomplish.   His right hand had broken through the ribcage immediately finding its way to the organ that beat there.  With the swiftness he was known for, Elijah ripped the still beating organ from her body.   Holding her heart in his hand, he didn’t even look at her.   “So in Purgatory things are quite different.”  He lowered his gaze focusing on her with a feral malevolent smile.   “Good.”    He dropped the organ to the ground before standing up once more.  Her body fell to the ground devoid of its heart.  The look of terror and surprise on her face made Elijah’s ego inflate just a tad bit more.  He stood to his feet in the middle of the dirt.  Pulling out that handkerchief he always carried, Elijah started to clean up the mess on his body.   “Now, time to find my brother.”~*~The rules of Purgatory as well as time itself passed at a far different rate than when The Mikaelson Brothers were on Earth.   His reunion with Klaus came just as Elijah had foretold.   Brothers united again in this hell for monsters such as themselves soon became stronger in war just as they had been in the old days when the earth was young and raw.    One of the curses of Purgatory had been that anyone slain in Purgatory would revive once more to begin the hunt anew.   For countless days now, Elijah and Klaus had to fight to stay alive… and stay alive they did.   Despite the myriad of faces that came across their paths in these days were as far back as the 11th Century.   Fortunately for them however, they had not seen Mikael the Destroyer.   Silently he hoped that their father was truly in the depths of hell being tormented as he truly deserved.Spending these days in Purgatory fighting side by side with his brother brought about a modicum of satisfaction.  He was with his brother.  That’s what he had determined even that day where they had plunged in the stakes severing their connection to the earth on that day.  It seemed like their lives on earth had been yet another millennia ago.  Was that even possible?   Time passed at a different rate, so in terms of Purgatory, they had essentially been here for another millennia.  Unfortunately for the monsters in Purgatory, it meant that no matter what targets were on the backs of The Originals,  Klaus and Elijah were at the top of the pecking order.   Even with a full beard and a disheveled appearance, Elijah was still the monster he was when he first arrived in Purgatory.  On this particular day, the ground shifted under himself and his brother.   Elijah managed to regain his footing with relative ease.   Optics turned toward the skies of Purgatory.   There was a crack that pierced the sky.    The door was o p e n e d.   He met his brother’s gaze.   This meant one thing.   The Mikaelson brothers could return to earth.   There was a door or gateway somewhere that could lead them back to earth itself.  Now how to find it? credit: james kriet

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