Quote Prompt Mini-Drabbles
“I don’t see anyone. Do you see anyone?”
JK’s voice penetrated the fog, sounding like it was far away for the moment before Lorraine opened her eyes and broke trance she had dropped into. She blinked at the younger woman and then shook her head, glancing around. “No. I don’t see anyone.” She confirmed softly. “And I didn’t see anyone either.” She didn’t elaborate, somehow knowing JK would know what she meant without needing to do so.
“But, I feel them.” This came out a little more firmly as she met JK’s eyes. “I don’t know what they – it? – is, but it’s close and it’s…not good.” She shivered briefly because what she felt was dark and it was watching, and she had no idea what it was. She didn’t like any of that. “We should probably keep moving until we can figure out what we’re dealing with.”
Reuben stood directly in front of her, feet slightly apart, hands on his hips, eyes narrowed slightly, lips pursed….if she didn’t know any better she might have almost thought he was actually offended by the whole conversation. Almost. But, she did know him and so his stance was more comical than anything, even as he made a valiant effort to not be amusing for once.
She wanted to give him that. A silent pat on the back, A for effort and everything. And she really tried to keep a frown on her face, or at least to not let the smile that so very badly wanted to appear do so. But, she couldn’t hold her own expression for long and finally she burst out laughing.
“Not you, that’s for sure.”
“I like you. You’re different.”
“I’m different? I’m –“ Lorraine’s eyebrows shot up and she slowly and pointedly looked him up and down before meeting his eyes. “That seems like the pot calling the kettle black, to me.” Her seriousness faded into a smirk before long, however. “But, it’s also better than some of the things I’ve been called, so I’ll take it.” Her hands dropped from her hips and she relaxed somewhat. She hadn’t really been offended or anything, just surprised that this man would say such a thing.
Of course she was different, and she knew that. She had come to accept that. But, so was he. Even if that was an understatement. She hadn’t been at all sure what to think of him at first. Honestly, she still wasn’t entirely decided. But, her gut hadn’t told her to run away upon first meeting him, so that was a plus. Not that she ever really listened to that instinct when it did arise anyway, but that wasn’t the point. After a long moment, she spoke again, smirk still lingering.
“I think I like you, too. You’re different.”
“Well, excuse me, Psychic Wonder!”
Lorraine was quiet for a long moment, eyes slightly narrowed as he glared right back. She wasn’t sure what it was that seemed to ignite sparks between them, but she didn’t care for it at all. Could they get along? She was sure they could. Would they? That she wasn’t so sure of. She also wasn’t so sure she cared at the moment.
“Hey, now! You’re the one who asked me here, not the other way around.” She protested, offended by the tone more than the words. “So, you can either listen – or at least hear – what I have to say, or I can go find someone who will. I’m not here to play puppy and follow you around, nor am I here to play silent witness to whatever it is that’s going on. You don’t want my help? Fine. There are plenty who do. I can leave right now.”
She knew that was a lie, whether he did or not. Once someone asked for her help, it didn’t matter what she thought of them personally, she gave that help to the best of her ability. Even if she left right now, she wouldn’t be able to just let this go. But, he didn’t have to know that. At least she didn’t have to tell him.
“So, what is it going to be?”
“Shh, be quiet!”
Even as she strained against the icy restraints that held her arms above her head, trapping her against the wall behind her, Lorraine knew she should probably listen to the hissed order. She wasn’t entirely sure what she was dealing with or how she had ended up in her current predicament except that she had definitely walked into the wrong place at the wrong time.
“No! You’re hurting him!” The protest was out before she could stop it, but it wasn’t true. It looked like icy torture was being inflicted on some poor person by the one who had trapped her as she was. She wasn’t sure how it was even possible, had never believed in ‘superpowers’ or whatever it was that this stranger was using, but she couldn’t deny what she saw. She also couldn’t deny that she didn’t like it.
“I’m detaining him.” The same voice floated back to her, but the attention of the one speaking didn’t rally waver. “He’s a bad guy.” It sounded so simple and she had no way to prove if it was true or false, but she still didn’t think it was right and something wouldn’t let her stay quiet about it. “You’re still hurting him. Good or bad, that isn’t okay.” She realized she probably sounded like some lame broken record, but she couldn’t stop herself.
“I’m detaining him.”
The words were repeated, and she tried once more to free herself, not sure what she would do if she managed to succeed, but also not thinking that far ahead. Finally she stopped and after a few moments of silence, she spoke again.
“You’re detaining me, too.”
In my veins;
“Don’t touch me.”
Watching Andie recoil from her touch was one of the most heart breaking things Lorraine had experienced in a long time. She only wanted to offer comfort, an apology, to make up from an earlier argument. Even if she wasn’t sure what had really sparked that argument to begin with. Andie had said some painful things then, too. But, none of them were a lie and none were things Lorraine could truly blame her for.
But, they were also things that Andie wouldn’t ever normally say. Even if she was upset, she didn’t lash out like that. Not at her. Not at those who loved her. But, maybe ‘normal’ was the key word there because the girl hadn’t been acting normal for some time now. It was small things at first, things that could be easily brushed off as a bad day or just one time things. Everyone had those days now and then.
But, slowly these things were becoming less subtle and Lorraine of all people knew that any differences in people’s actions, thoughts, demeanor…any differences at all, no matter how small, could mean very bad things. Even if she didn’t do what she did for a living, even if she didn’t possess the gifts she had, she had lost a family member when she was younger to something no one had believed her about. She had known that person wasn’t themselves and no one had listened. She didn’t want to make that mistake herself.
Dropping her hand slowly, she took a deep breath and watched Andie for a long moment. “I’m sorry.” She finally spoke the words softly, not sure what all she was apologizing for, but meaning it with all of her heart, nonetheless. She was worried, scared. She wanted to fix this.
“I just want to help you.”
“I like you. You’re different.”
Lorraine considered the words and the woman who said them for a long moment before responding. She honestly wasn’t sure what to think of either them or the woman. Something told her not to get too close too quickly, that caution was needed. But, she also didn’t want to be rude. There was no need to leap directly to that, no matter what her gut said. It said be careful, not be a jerk.
Offering a small smile she decided to give the woman a chance. Not that she had had any intentions of doing anything different. It wasn’t in her to turn people away that she didn’t know or for no good reason. Everyone deserved a chance.
“I think I should say thanks? Though I’m not sure if it’s meant as a compliment or not.”
“Don’t do this.”
Lorraine blinked, her gaze dropping from the house she had been silently studying to what appeared to be a young girl standing before her. She was pretty sure she hadn’t been there the whole time and, like with the house behind her, looks could be very deceiving. It wasn’t a plea exactly, more like a request and a warning rolled into three simple words. The tone made her take a second look, a frown gracing her features. She didn’t have to ask who this was trying to tell her what to do. They had had a conversation once before, many years ago.
“Why?” Though her return question was a single word, there was nothing simple about it. She wanted a reason to not enter this house belonging to a family who had asked for her help because she was sure there was none that could be given that would actually stop her. Not even one from Death itself.
Shifting her weight, the girl didn’t immediately answer, as if not sure how much to say, maybe how much could be said. Lorraine wasn’t sure how much interference could actually be given or that it was ‘allowed’ to be given at all. If this visit was even supposed to be happening. She was an expert on a lot of things ‘normal’ people weren’t, but this wasn’t one of those things. This was out of even her realm of full understanding. “This…won’t end well.” The answer was hesitant but serious and it did give Lorraine pause.
“For who?” She finally asked softly. “Me or them?” The regretful, almost sad silence was answer enough and her gaze lifted to the house once more. “I see.” And she did. But, it didn’t matter. She couldn’t turn her back on these people who were so desperate for someone to help end the torment they were enduring. If she could help them at all…then whatever happened would be worth it.
“I have to.”
Another simple exchange and she offered her own sad little smile, watching as the other met her eyes for a moment and then lowered her own before stepping aside with a sigh. No more words were spoken as Lorraine approached the house, willing to take on whatever was waiting for her.
~ V ~
How was she even supposed to try to answer that? She didn’t know what normal was. She wasn’t and never had been that herself. And he definitely wasn’t. She had only just met him, but it didn’t take much to know he was different. Whether that was a good or bad different remained to be seen, but she hadn’t wanted to turn tail and run yet, so…that was a plus?
Tilting her head slightly she considered her answer, trying to come up with something that made sense. But, nothing really did. What was normal for some was not for others and really, was there even such a thing? Normal was ‘not strange,’ ‘not different,’ but maybe it wasn’t necessarily all that good either. She had always struggled with accepting her own differences, but not really those of others. Knowing what it was like to be feared and outcast for something you couldn’t control, she did her best to never do that to other people she came into contact with. Finally deciding on her answer she offered the tiniest of smiles, though she wasn’t really amused.
“I can’t. I don’t think there is a fitting definition.”