Country: United States
August 08, 2018
08/19/2019 11:18 PM
Quote Prompt Mini-Drabbles
“Get away from me.”
Lorraine held up her hands and took a step back – a single step and no more – before she dropped them once more. “I’m sorry.” It was instinct to touch someone when the desire to bring them comfort was present. It wasn’t always a good idea because people didn’t always like to be touched and sometimes that touch could let her get glimpses into other people’s lives that neither had given permission for. Sometimes it was happy memories, sometimes not so much. It didn’t always happen. But, sometimes…
She still wanted to make him feel better somehow, no matter how unlikely that was. She couldn’t just walk away when someone was hurting. Even if she didn’t know the story. People walked away or past people in need, in pain, in self-destruct mode all the time. Too many people. She could never be one of those.
She studied him for a moment, but didn’t leave, even though every inch of him was defensive and said she probably should. She wasn’t really good at listening to signs when someone needed help. She didn’t try to touch him again, merely sighing and looking up to meet his eyes, not really knowing how he would react to her refusal.
“I just want to help. Even if that’s by doing nothing but being around. Sometimes the simple things like not being alone are the best.”
“We don’t stop fighting.”
Lorraine looked up from where she was seated on the concrete curb, dejected and quiet. Her shoulders were slightly slumped as she leaned forward to rest her elbows on her knees, the voice coming as a surprise when she raised her eyes. “That sounds like something I usually say.”
James stood over her with a rather unreadable expression on her face, merely arching an eyebrow in response before she spoke again. “Then why aren’t you saying it this time?” Lorraine only shrugged in reply, not speaking this time, and so James continued.
“You and I are fighters. We’re strong. We have to be. We don’t give up and we don’t run from fights.”
The last made Lorraine look up again. It was something that she and Ed said all the time. Something that they always stuck to because their fights were always scary, always things that others ran from because they didn’t understand and what they didn’t understand couldn’t possibly be real. After a moment she echoed the last words. “We don’t run from fights. We face them.”
James nodded once and held out a hand, wrapping it around Lorraine’s when she accepted it. “Then get up.” She pulled Lorraine to her feet and then let go of her hand. “This fight isn’t over for either of us.”
“I wanted to make you proud.”
The younger woman’s gaze was on the ground, almost as if she were afraid to look up after her admission. After she believed she had failed so miserably at her attempt. Lorraine had no doubts that the words were absolutely sincere and also that Camille was beating herself up far more than she needed to for every little mistake she felt she had made. She hadn’t even really done anything wrong.
Reaching out ever so slowly, so as not to frighten her, Lorraine gently lifted the other woman’s chin so that she had to look at her, meeting her eyes squarely before removing her hand, though she wanted to pull her into an embrace and offer some form of comfort and reassurance instead. “You do make me proud.” She finally told her softly, but firmly.
“You amaze me, if you want the truth.” And it was the truth, there was no way Camille wouldn’t know that and she knew that was a fact. “You’re here for one thing.” It was obvious in the way she said the words that she didn’t mean standing in her living room, but still living at all. Still existing through all the trials and tribulations that her life had put her through. “And you’re a good person. Not many can say that.” She offered a small smile because that was so true.
She tilted her head slightly. “Nacho adores you. That would endear you to me even if I didn’t already love you myself.” She grinned a little at that. “You’re good for him and he needs that. Just as I think he’s good for you. You’re good together and that makes me happy.” Nacho was her best friend, he was family. So accepting the pairing really spoke more than words ever could because she did fully accept and embrace them together and think that it was a good thing.
“My daughter also thinks the world of you.” She revealed, almost as she were a child telling a secret. “I know she hasn’t said anything to you, but she won’t shut up about you to me.” She smiled a little more, because this was true, too. “If I didn’t like you so much and think you deserved your own time, I’d probably bother you a lot more to babysit when Ed and I go away.” This was also a revelation because she didn’t trust just anyone with her child. In fact, she could count on one hand the number.
“So don’t think that this –“ She gestured to the mess the other woman had left in the kitchen while attempting to make dinner. “-makes you any less than you are or even upsets me or makes me think less of you. Some people are good at cooking, at housework, at the domestic thing, some aren’t. That’s life. But, that doesn’t mean you aren’t special.” She paused and met Camille’s eyes again. “Special. Not strange, not weird, not bad, not undeserving of love and affection and the good things in life.”
“So, I’m proud of you every day for just being you.” She reached out to gently squeeze Camille’s hand before letting go again. “I’m proud of you and I care about you.” Now she stepped forward boldly, not really knowing the reaction she would get, and embraced the other woman. “Welcome to the family.”
In my veins;
“I wanted to make you proud.”
Lorraine looked up from where she sat at the kitchen table, going over a few things for the latest case she and Ed had gotten involved in. Andie stood in the doorway, frowning and looking rather dejected as she said the words softly. She wasn’t sure what had prompted the words or the apparent guilt and sadness, but something also told her that asking directly probably wouldn’t get an answer. Instead she studied Andie for a long moment and then sat the paper she was reading on the table and turned to face her fully.
“It makes me sad that you think you don’t.” She finally answered honestly. “I’m proud of you every day of your life.” She met Andie’s eyes so that the truth could be seen in her own. “For all the things you don’t even realize you are. You’re smart and kind and intelligent. You’re brave and not afraid to speak your mind, but not to the point of hurting people. You’re good, Andie.” It didn’t escape her notice that Andie winced at the last, but she didn’t point it out. Not yet.
Something was off, she knew it. She just didn’t know exactly what it was. She wanted her reassurances to help not hurt, but it almost seemed like they had the opposite effect of what she wanted and that hurt her. “You’re not perfect.” She offered what she could conjure of a tiny smile. “No one is. And I’m proud of you for that, too. Everyone makes mistakes, but you learn from them. Not everyone does that.” She tilted her head a little. “And I love you. No matter what. Even when you can’t do the same. I’ll do it enough for both of us.”
Though she wanted nothing more than to pull Andie into her arms and make all the pain of whatever was torturing her go away, she didn’t do so. Instinct said to go slowly and tread lightly if she wanted to know what was going on, and even then it wasn’t guaranteed. “I’ll also listen, you know.” She turned her gaze back to the files and papers in front of her on the table, making the words sound idle and offhand, though they were anything but. “To anything you might want to tell me, no matter what it is.” She absently picked up one of the photos as if she really were concentrating on that rather than still fully – if not visually – focused on Andy. “I’m told I’m good at that.”
“Hang on, I’ve got you.”
Lorraine blinked as she nearly literally ran into the man as she rounded the corner. She knew the words were meant to reassure, but she didn’t know him, and he didn’t know what she was running from, so they didn’t exactly have their intended effect. She figured she should probably at least offer a thank you of appreciation, but that wasn’t what she said.
Glancing back over her shoulder, her eyes scanned the shadows for the demon that had been following her. She wasn’t exactly sure which one it was at this point as she and Ed had been spending their time trying to gather everything that their babysitter’s friend had released during the ONE night they were away from home and there were a few they hadn’t managed to deal with yet. She didn’t see it, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t close. Finally she replied to the stranger’s words.
“I don’t think you want me. I come with baggage.”
“I thought I could save you.”
Lorraine’s smile was gentle, if a little sad because she could hear the sincerity and regret behind every word as Chloe spoke them. But, they were unnecessary, as was the guilt that laced the entire idea. She didn’t like the other woman feeling badly for something that hadn’t worked out the way she thought it should because she didn’t see it as a bad thing herself. She reached out to pat the other woman’s hand in a gesture attempting comfort and understanding.
She appreciated the thought and the desire to help, but what Chloe thought was saving, she thought was the opposite. More trying to change her beliefs, the way she looked at things, if nothing else. In what she thought was a good cause, of course. She truly believed she was helping. But…
“Not everyone wants or needs to be saved and not everyone shares the same definition of the word.”
“Don’t say that. You’re going to be fine.”
Lorraine offered an exhausted and pain filled smile to the angel kneeling beside her. An angel kneeling for her when it should always, always be the other way around. She didn’t deserve such a thing. She was no saint, nothing that special. Certainly nothing deserving of an angelic visit, let alone such a sentiment as that of the words that were spoken. And still she wanted nothing but to offer comfort, rather than to receive it.
This demonic confrontation had been different, worse than the rest that she and her husband usually encountered. Everything she saw and dealt with took something out of her. It didn’t matter what it was. Sometimes it was more than others, but she always felt something each time. She sometimes wondered if that wasn’t the price for having these abilities that she didn’t ask for that allowed her to help others who couldn’t help themselves, but she’d decided long ago that it didn’t matter. Helping was what she was meant to do, and she could and so…she did.
She always struggled through the aftermath of these encounters. Sometimes it took longer than others, but she always did it. She wasn’t sure that would be the case this time, but she didn’t remember exactly why, what had brought her to this. She decided that also didn’t really matter.
Reaching out, she touched Gabrielle’s hand and offered another small smile. “You’re probably right. I’ll be fine.” She assured, not knowing if her own words were the truth of a lie. “But…I’m tired, so I’m just going to close my eyes and rest a bit, okay?”
“You have to wake up.”
A frown graced her features as Lorraine tried to place the familiarity of the voice that spoke to her and just why it was saying such a thing. Tilting her head slightly to one side, she squinted into the shadows of the bedroom she shared with her husband, trying to see who it was that was talking. It didn’t seem to be trying to scare her and she didn’t get any bad feelings from it. Quite the opposite actually, though it was hard for her to decipher exactly what she was feeling.
“I am awake.” She finally spoke, still trying to pinpoint the speaker. When she finally stepped out of the shadows into the light from the moon shining through the window, her eyes widened, and she was speechless for a long moment. It was like looking into a mirror. She took an instinctive step back, mind spinning as she tried to figure out just what it was that was messing with her and why it chose to do so this way.
“I am awake.” She repeated, not sure if she wanted that to be true or not. If she was, then this was real, and she wasn’t sure how to handle that. If she wasn’t…at least she could chalk it up to a vision of some kind and figure things out from there. “I am awake…”
“You can’t leave me.”
Lorraine paused, glancing over her shoulder at the young girl who stood where she had left her. The young girl who was so very much more than she appeared to be. At first she wasn’t sure she had heard the words correctly because Ruby had been saying the exact opposite only moments before.
She didn’t point out that the girl had been telling her that it wasn’t her time and she had to go back, that she couldn’t stay even if she wanted to because her family needed her, others needed her. That she had been so adamant about this that Lorraine hadn’t had a chance to say much at all. Not that she would have argued. She wasn’t afraid to die if it came down to that, but that didn’t mean she wanted to.
It only took a moment to realize that the words hadn’t been meant to be heard, maybe hadn’t even been realized they were said aloud. But, they had on both parts and she couldn’t just leave as if she hadn’t heard. Turning fully around to face Ruby, she took a few steps back in her direction.
She offered a small smile and some simple words: “It’s not forever. We’ll meet again.”
“It hurts inside, and you feel alone.”
If anyone had told Lorraine that she would ever find herself face to face with the purple haired daughter of Maleficent and Hades who was related to a bunch of Olympian gods that she didn’t even believe in, she would have thought they were crazy. Or messing with her. But, here she was. She wasn’t sure she believed this girl’s origin story, because it did seem crazy. Like a fairy tale.
But, it didn’t really matter if she believed that part or not because the girl’s words were sincere, and she knew exactly how they felt. She knew what it was like to want nothing more than to make your parents proud, to do and be what they wanted, and to feel like it was never enough, like you were only managing to do the opposite.
“It does.” She agreed softly, figuring Mal would roll her eyes or scoff at her agreement, because how could she possibly know how it felt? No one truly understood. That was usually the initial thinking and Lorraine didn’t really try to change that. It wasn’t about arguing experiences and it wasn’t really about her.
She studied Mal for a long moment, figuring a hug or other comforting gesture might not be welcome from a stranger, so she attempted to do so with words instead. “I know what it’s like.” She didn’t elaborate. Mal could ask if she wanted, or not. “But, I also know that you’re not your parents. No matter how much you – and they – might want you to be. It’s hard to find yourself, but you’ll never be happy if you don’t. If you let others dictate your life.” She smiled a little self-deprecatingly. “I know, I sound like a self-help tape or something, but it’s true.”
“You have to do the hardest thing in life: find out who you are and like it.”
08/19/2019 10:53 PM
Strong Women (drabble @ignacio)
“I’m not wearing this!”
Lorraine knew her voice was muffled by the closed door, but she also knew her protest could still be heard loud and clear because she made sure of it. Standing in front of the mirror, she stared at her reflection in disbelief. She wasn’t entirely sure why she had put the outfit on to begin with. It wasn’t something she would ever be caught dead in. Way more revealing than anything she would normally wear, less…well, just less. But, Nacho had insisted that she at least try it on, claiming it might not be as bad as she thought. It was worse.
The words floated back to her through the closed door and she immediately and vehemently shook her head, though he couldn’t see it. No way was she walking out the door in such an outfit. “Not happening!” Finally she found her voice as she tore her gaze away from the mirror and reached for the robe on her bed. “It’s not Halloween, Nacho!”
“Just lemme see!”
He sounded eternally amused and a little more insistent this time and still she had no plans to do any such thing. “I’m going to change now! I can’t believe you thought I would like this! Why would you ever even entertain such a notion?”
“S’a costume party! ‘Strong Women’ or somethin’. The Doc or the redhead or…someone decided it’d be a good time.”
That did it. Yanking open the door, she stood there, eyes wide with disbelief. “’Strong Women?’” She demanded, one hand on her hip, the other holding the weapon that had come with the costume. “You heard that, and this is what you came up with?” The disbelief she had been feeling before was nothing compared to what she felt now, as she stood flabbergasted at the very idea that such a revealing thing could be considered strong anything. Offended that this was his idea, his interpretation of such a thing.
He stared at her for a long moment and even she couldn’t read his thoughts until he finally whistled and grinned. “S’got a bow and arrow don't it? That’s strong.” She tried to stay angry but couldn’t quite do it. "Didn't think you'd actually put it on."
“I can’t believe anyone would let you pick what fit such a theme. And I'm still not wearing it.”
08/12/2019 03:37 PM
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.”
08/05/2019 07:05 PM
Always and Forever - Drabble
‘I love you. Please don’t go.’
For a moment, Lorraine was sure the words had been said out loud, though she hadn’t meant to. They were so heavy in her mind, that she was afraid she hadn’t been able to stop herself. A glance at her fiancé’s face, however, told her that wasn’t the case. She hadn’t been so selfish and cruel as to make him feel guilty and to try to beg him to stay when she knew full well why he was doing this. And she knew he would come back to her…even if it took forever.
As Ed reached out to stroke her face, it was all she could do not to throw herself into his arms. To hold on for dear life until the ship waiting to take him away from her had departed and he had no choice but to come back home with her. Instead, she offered him a smile despite the pain this parting brought to her. Because that was what he deserved, what he needed. Because she really was proud of him. “I love you.” At least she could tell him the first part, because that was something else he needed to hear. Even if he already knew it. Which she desperately hoped he did.
His answering smile was one of sadness and love, but also a small amount of excitement and a well deserved pride. He had successfully survived the six weeks of Navy Boot Camp and come back to proudly display the uniform he had earned before he marched – or rather sailed – off into a war that he fully believed in in an attempt to make a real difference in the world. “And I’m proud of you.” She added softly, meeting his eyes. “So very proud.”
She didn’t know how much the words might mean, but they were as true as the rest. She couldn’t even begin to explain how she felt, how she admired his bravery and his desire to do good. How she knew he was good. His determination and stubbornness were only a part of that because it was others he looked to help, not himself. It was others he took into consideration. This selflessness was only one of the many things she adored about him, but there wasn’t time to lay them all out and so she left it as it was. He knew already. Somehow she felt like he knew exactly what she thought and felt, even when she didn’t know herself.
She spared a quick glance back at his parents and briefly hoped they had told him the same, though she wasn’t sure they had. Ed’s relationship with them wasn’t the best and hers was nowhere near good enough to discuss things with them. They didn’t like her, and she avoided them whenever she could. But, she was glad they had come, that they had been there to see him off, even if she didn’t know what had been said during their own goodbyes.
She turned her gaze back to Ed and swallowed down her tears. Though she put on a brave face for him, she was terrified. For him, for herself, for whatever might happen in the time they were apart. She knew he had to do this, but that didn’t alleviate those fears. Yet that was something else she would never tell him. She absolutely refused to play on his selflessness and compassion, to give him any reason to doubt what he was doing. She would not be the reason he regretted anything for the rest of his life, and if he didn’t go now, he would. She knew it beyond a shadow of a doubt.
“I love you, too.”
As he softly echoed her words with just as much emotion behind them as hers had, she swallowed hard one more time. Then she leaned forward to kiss him, trying to put everything she was feeling in the single gesture. They didn’t always have to speak, sometimes they just knew how each other was feeling. She almost desperately wanted this to be one of those times.
As they reluctantly parted, she attempted one more smile. “I’ll be waiting.” She told him as the ship’s whistle blew, indicating that he had better get moving if he didn’t want to miss it. Both looked that way before meeting each other’s eyes once more. “Always and forever, I’ll wait for you.”
Always and Forever
08/05/2019 05:49 PM
Quote Prompt Mini-Drabbles
“There’s power in pain.”
Lorraine was quiet for a long moment, thinking about the words and the way in which they were said, the tone behind them. Her companion sounded like he was speaking from experience and for a moment she wasn’t really sure she should say anything at all. But, she wanted to encourage him to say more if he wanted or needed to. Listening was one of the things she did best and sometimes even that little thing could help people more than anyone realized.
“That’s true.” She finally acknowledged softly. She couldn’t deny it. People knew it. Other entities knew it. And both used it to their advantage. Oh, not everyone did. She couldn’t imagine using someone’s pain against them when she wanted the opposite – to make it go away. But, not everyone thought like her and she was very well aware of that fact. “But, that doesn’t mean that power should be used and abused. Hurting others doesn’t make oneself hurt any less.” She paused again. “And hurting oneself doesn’t make anything go away.”
She had seen him fight. In defense against other wizards. Which was still somewhat hard to grasp in itself. That there were wizards out there. Though she supposed it shouldn’t be. She already knew about a world within the ‘normal’ world that most people weren’t aware of. Why couldn’t there be more? She had also seen him drive away some evil entity with a magic she hadn’t known was possible. So, she knew he wasn’t a stranger to pain himself.
“It all just depends on how you use that power. What you do with it.” She looked at him for a long moment. “How do you use it?”
“My tolerance for bullsh*t is now at an all-time low.”
Lorraine stared at the other woman in silence for what seemed like a long time, but James wasn’t looking at her. She was scowling ahead, hands on her hips as she considered the situation they now found themselves in. She briefly wondered how they always found themselves in some kind of physical danger that usually required fighting and sometimes even killing things.
As a Slayer, that was really what James did, so it shouldn’t have been hard to figure out. But, just once, she almost wanted to deal with a normal kind of haunting. Not that any were normal, but the kind of thing that she felt on firmer ground with. The kind of thing she did. Fighting, at least the physical kind, wasn’t her forte and, honestly, she hated it. It just had turned out to not be optional more often than she liked.
But, they always – at least thus far – got through whatever came at them and she found herself liking James. Though she didn’t really know her yet and when the woman finally looked at her, probably wondering why she was so quiet, she tilted her head slightly and smirked.
“You had a tolerance to begin with?”
“I don’t recognize my own self.”
Lorraine glanced at the young woman sitting beside her. Andrea was absently, slightly anxiously lacing and unlacing her fingers, as if she didn’t know what to do with her hands. They had first met when Andrea was a child, talking about how Andrea had a ghost – the sheet with eye holes cut in it in her hands – and how it was a good ghost because, of course, not all ghosts were bad. That hadn’t been as long ago as one might expect.
She felt for the girl, for sure. Confused herself as to everything that had happened to her in her short life. A voodoo baby with a werewolf for one mother, a body jumper – basically – for another and a twin who had been taken and raised in another realm before returning. With exceeded physical growth but no mental experience to go with it, it had to be terrifying and confusing to try to figure out now only what you were, but who.
“I don’t think anyone does all the time.” She finally answered softly. She meant it to be comforting, but she knew it probably wasn’t much. She could sympathize, empathize, but she couldn’t truly understand what Andrea was going through. She could, however, feel some of it through the girl as they sat close enough to touch. “But, you have a more…interesting history than most, so of course things are going to be difficult for you.”
She paused for a moment. “But, interesting certainly doesn’t have to be bad. And everyone spends their lives trying to figure themselves out. And you’re not alone. You have a family that adores you. Unconventional as they are, that is an amazing thing. I can’t say I understand, or I can figure out things for you, but sometimes it helps to have someone who isn’t quite as close, as involved, to bounce things off of. I can be that for you.” She glanced at Andrea again. “If you want.”
“I see your smile, and yet I feel your pain.”
Said smile faded slightly and Lorraine arched an eyebrow, but she didn’t withdraw the hand she had held out after introducing herself. It was an odd thing to say, especially as a first thing that was said. But, the vibes she was getting from him were rather odd as well. Twisted and hard to define. She was wary, but not necessarily afraid. She just didn’t yet know what to think of him.
As he accepted her hand and continued to smile himself, her gaze lifted to meet his and she almost pulled her hand away. Almost. After a long and silent moment, he let go, smile still resting on his lips as if he were eternally amused, as if he enjoyed throwing people off as he had immediately done with her. She studied him for another minute or so before she lifted her chin and finally replied.
“What if I were to say the same thing about you?”
God Starts Here
“In silence we discover ourselves.”
Lorraine opened her mouth to reply but then closed it before she allowed any words to escape. Her cousin was usually right about this kind of thing, wiser than her years and always willing – wanting – to share that wisdom with the world to make it a better place. She was so…good. There was really no other way to describe her. She wanted nothing more than to help and take care of the world and was on the right path to doing so with everyone she worked with and taught.
She was one of the people Lorraine admired most in the world. She always had, really. From when they were close as children to now, when they were hoping to regain that closeness as adults. Even in the time away from each other, when they each lived their separate lives, Irene continued to hold a special place in her heart. She always would. It was because of this love and admiration that she so deeply thought about her cousin’s words before responding, rather than just blurting out the first thought in her mind. It was because of this that she knew she could be honest and ask her own questions in return. It was because of this that she responded the way she did.
“What if one doesn’t want to discover themselves? Then silence is just the torture of having to hear your own mind.”
“That’s the mind at war with the heart.”
Lorraine nodded slightly, swirling the liquid in the glass she held absently. “Desires at war with morals.” She agreed softly. It was hard to believe she had agreed to a drink with the Devil…and the conversation that went along with it. Maybe harder to believe it was an actual conversation. Almost like one between two people. Except he wasn’t a person. Not really. Though, at points, it was almost hard to remember that. Hard to remember that she sat – in a club she would never normally enter - with the being she should hate most in the world, in all worlds really.
“It’s a constant battle.” She added after a moment. “In my experience anyway.” She didn’t know about his, and she wasn’t sure she wanted to ask. She wasn’t sure she wanted to waver any more in her beliefs about how she should feel about him than she already did. “Because what you want might not be what’s right.” She tilted her head slightly. “Or what you want might not be something you need, but you don’t always know that.” She paused. “Or care.”
She took a sip of the drink. “Is that what you target?” She finally asked. “He had told her he wasn’t the liar he was made out to be. He had basically said he didn’t even care about the affairs of man for the most part. But, that negated most of what she had been brought up on, what she had learned her whole life. And those years were hard to wipe out with a few sentences and a single drink. “Those who are at war with themselves?” She shook her head before he could answer. “I guess that would be everyone in one way or another.” She took another sip and fell silent, giving him a chance to reply, still marveling over the fact that this was an actual conversation without animosity or anything one would expect.
A true conversation with the Devil.
“The saddest souls seem the happiest.”
It was said with such nonchalance, but also not lacking in conviction, that it was hard to argue. Not that Lorraine really wanted to. He wasn’t wrong after all. Oh, it wasn’t always the case, but a lot of the time it was. She knew from experience. Her own and that of others. “Does that make them more or less desirable souls?”
She couldn’t believe she was asking the question, or any, really. She should be trying to come up with a way to get out of this, to get away completely. She shouldn’t be questioning the Devil. She certainly shouldn’t be trying to understand him. “Those who are pretending so hard, but really wanting something – anything – to make that pretense a real thing. Those willing to do anything to get even a glimpse of true happiness or what they think might bring that to them.”
“In my experience those are the easiest to sway, to convince, to possess, to take the soul.” She frowned a little. “Well not in my experience, exactly. But with those I’ve helped it’s often those who are either the saddest, the lost, those seeking anything to make them feel better who allow themselves to fall into the darkness. Who allow themselves to believe the promises given to them, no matter how outlandish they sound.”
Oh, even those people didn’t always give in. She was a prime example of that. There were many times she could have given in. Not only to those dark things around her, but the very entity standing in front of her. She had met him before, more than once in her life. But, she hadn’t allowed herself to fall into that trap and that just might be because she had some other form of guidance, of protection. Most people didn’t have that, and they went with what they did have, an only way out of their own personal darkness. It wasn’t always a stupidity or curiosity or even skepticism that made people seek out the unknown.
She studied him for a long moment and then continued with her next question. “Or do you prefer a challenge? Those not so easy to sway. Is that more satisfying?” She didn’t mean it to be a challenge but realized after she had said it that it could be taken that way. After all, he was here with her, who had been somewhat of that challenge so far, who had denied him more than once and would continue to do so.
“Or maybe some combination of both?”
07/30/2019 09:36 PM
30 Day Writing Prompts August 2019
“I love you. Please don’t go.”
“I thought things were going great.”
“I won’t let you.”
“I’ve got you.”
“You could have warned me!”
“I am home.”
“I never cared about you.”
“Words can lie.”
Some people bring out the worst in you.”
“Dying together is even more personal than living together.”
“Sometimes people put up walls.”
“You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you.”
“Unholy sh*t. It’s working.”
“You are never coming home.”
“What kind of question is that?”
“This is so evil.”
“Everything in life is just for a while.”
“Treasure the experience.”
“What’s your favorite scary movie?”
“Why are you doing this?”
“The world changes too fast.”
“I was always kind of searching.”
“I want to believe.”
“Sure, why not?”
“It got better.”
“You are the biggest drama queen I’ve ever met.”
“And you were a douchebag.”
“You ask the stupidest questions.”
“You point that thing at me, you better pull the trigger.”
“Come and find me.”
07/30/2019 03:19 PM
“Don’t you trust me?”
She just looked at him in silence, as if she hadn’t heard him correctly. She wasn’t entirely sure she had, but there was no mistaking the not so innocent smile on his face that said she had. She just couldn’t believe he would ask such a thing when there was no way he could not already know the answer. She was sure his amusement was only enhanced by the look on her face, but she couldn’t help her disbelief and it took her a moment to get her expression under control once more.
Once she did that, she shrugged almost nonchalantly, figuring that would probably be answer enough, but that it would only be…polite to use words as well, no matter what those words were. “I’d say I’m sorry, but that would be a lie and I don’t like to do that.” She finally murmured, looking up to meet his eyes. “No. I don’t trust you.” She answered bluntly but not rudely. “But, I can’t imagine why I wouldn’t trust the Devil.”
“That was unexpected.”
Lorraine stood bent over with her hands on her legs as she tried to catch her breath. She had nearly literally run into the woman as she came racing around a corner with a monster on her tail that she didn’t want to catch up. This one wasn’t like what she usually dealt with and she probably could have banished it, or otherwise dealt with it, if she had a chance to gather her wits enough to do so. But, it wasn’t having any of that and so running had been the next best choice. Even if she knew she wasn’t going to be able to do that for long.
Straightening she arched an eyebrow at the woman who had spoken, attempting to keep any other expression in check. “Did you just stroke and scold a Hellhound like a pet and then send it home like a dog with its tail between its legs?” She couldn’t quite keep the disbelief out of her voice because it sure looked like that was exactly what had happened. “I mean, thanks…but, yeah…unexpected for sure.”
“What do you want me to say?”
It was a loaded question and one that Lorraine wasn’t sure she had the answer to. Her head hurt, but she was chalking that up to stress and facing whatever had just come after them. Some soul sucking demon that she wasn’t familiar with. Which didn’t mean much. She and Ed faced many demons, but that didn’t mean there weren’t untold numbers they had never encountered or even didn’t know about.
It was gone now, but it hadn’t been banished with prayer or even any of the ways she knew of sending demons back to hell where they belonged. No, this had been completely different, and her companion was completely different. She had known he was more than just a musician. Though she hadn’t known what kind of more. Honestly she still wasn’t sure. She rubbed her forehead and sighed.
“I want you to tell me that you didn’t just get rid of whatever that was with a…magic wand and some mystical silver mist.” She finally replied. “Tell me I didn’t see what I just saw.”
“You’re not alone.”
“Never.” Lorraine confirmed softly. Her gaze was on the ground and she didn’t have to look up to see the eyes watching her carefully and closely. Her answer was simple, at least out loud. But, all that lay behind it was not. Even when she was by herself she generally wasn’t alone. She didn’t go into that, however.
“I always have my husband.” Now she did lift her eyes and a small simile lifted her lips as well. “Always. He’s my soulmate. I need him. And I’m never alone with him.”
“You need him.”
It surely couldn’t be a hint of disapproval she heard in the woman’s voice. “We need each other.” She clarified. “We’re a team.” She thought about that. “Not that we can’t do our own thing, we just prefer not to. We were brought together for a reason.” She shrugged.
Her smile faded and she wondered just what the woman was thinking. After a moment, she decided she probably didn’t want to know.
“I’ve got you.”
Lorraine slowly lifted her gaze. This case had been worse than the rest. It had hurt, not just physically but inside. Oh, the things she saw and felt always had an effect on her, usually a bad one. She persevered anyway because this was what she – they – were meant to do. She hadn’t been sure they were going to make it out of this one, if she was honest. But, they had, and she knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the reason was sitting next to her.
“You always have.” She attempted what she could muster of a smile, though it wasn’t much. “Like my own personal guardian angel.” It was more appropriate than it might seem if one considered that it was the Archangel Michael who spoke with her. He had first come to her as a young girl, chasing the shadows away and assuring her that she would never be alone.
She wasn’t sure what she had done to deserve such attentions, but she knew he had told the truth. He had never again appeared physically as he was now, but she had felt him, had known he was there whenever she called on him for help in her battles against those very shadows he had chased away years ago. The shadows she did her very best to chase away from others.
She was quiet for a long moment as her gaze dropped once more and she took a weary breath. She had no words for how grateful she was for everything she knew he did for her, how he helped her, protected not only her but her husband and soulmate. So she did her best to put all of her feelings into two simple words that weren’t simple at all.
07/26/2019 06:23 PM
A New Friend - Drabble
The church had always been a source of comfort for her. Ever since she was old enough to remember, it had brought her a sort of…peace, a shelter from the world outside. A world she had come to learn wasn’t always as bright and wonderful as she had thought as a child. She had learned that not everyone was as good as she would like, not everyone was as accepting of those who were different. Because different meant strange. Different meant bad.
Oh, she hadn’t thought so at first. She hadn’t even thought that she was that different. Not really. She had thought that everyone could see the things she did, she had thought dreams and visions that came true were normal. She had thought everyone could feel as deeply as she could. She had been wrong, and it had been one of her favorite people to drive that fact home.
School wasn’t the wonderful place it could have been. The other girls didn’t like her because of those very differences. They thought she was a liar, someone who liked to make up stories in order to scare others. Or to impress them. Neither were true because the things she said weren’t stories. Or so she had always thought. But, Sister Margaret had shown fear, Sister Margaret had been the reason she was sent away at the age of twelve for a weekend of silent contemplation and prayer. She was the reason that Lorraine had begun to believe that maybe everyone was right. She had been someone that Lorraine loved most dearly, one of her favorite people in the world, and she had turned away from her.
Maybe she was just fanciful, maybe she did need to grow up and stop making up stories. Maybe if she did this, people would start to like her more. Maybe she wouldn’t see things that clearly weren’t there. Maybe she wouldn’t be considered a liar, or worse, crazy. Maybe she could just make it all go away.
For the next few years she did just that. She stopped talking about these things, she stopped pointing them out or even outwardly acknowledging their existence. She almost convinced herself that none of it was real. The shadows were just shadows. The dreams were just dreams. The feelings she got…just feelings, no more or less intense than those that everyone felt. The things watching weren’t really watching, she was just overreacting. There was no such thing as a premonition, even if she knew things before they happened. It was all just one big coincidence. Almost.
That began to change upon entering the familiar and beloved church one afternoon. There was someone she had never seen there before. A woman, a nun that she was somehow drawn to and wary of at the same time. It was the first that won out and she found herself opening up to the woman as she hadn’t to anyone else in a very long time, not even herself. She hadn’t intended to do so, but she was so good at drawing out the thoughts that were buried deep inside, the things that Lorraine had hidden from herself and were a relief to tell someone who wasn’t afraid, who would listen and not scoff and tell her she was making it up. Someone who would encourage her to reveal these things because lying, even to yourself – maybe especially to yourself – was a sin and she had been doing so for years.
The Sister listened to her tales of visions and shadows and ghosts and things she didn’t entirely understand because she hadn’t allowed herself to believe they were real. Because she had allowed those around her to make her think they were bad, and she was bad for experiencing them. She shared her tales of woe from early years, being outcast and snubbed. Wanting nothing more than to be friends with those who laughed and made fun and feared. Wanting nothing more than to be normal like they were.
This new…friend listened, and she didn’t fear, she didn’t jeer, she brought to light an entirely different view of these things, these abilities, these gifts. She was just what was needed, and Lorraine was eternally grateful for her very presence as her visits to the church became even more frequent and the conversations even more revealing. Here she wasn’t made to feel the way she felt out in the world. Here she was made to feel special. Here her differences were celebrated. She couldn’t quite bring herself to believe that she was better than those who had driven her to hide who she really was, no matter how much that might be implied. But, she was starting to believe that maybe it didn’t make her worse…
07/25/2019 04:08 PM
The Best Gift - Drabble
Offering a nod and a smile of thanks to the person holding the door for her, Lorraine slipped into the theater where Ed was currently working. She had been hoping to catch him at home, but his parents had told her he had taken an extra shift. An extra shift the day before his birthday. The day before he was going to enlist in the Navy. The day before he was going to set into motion the events that would take him away from her for God only knew how long.
She briefly wondered if he had told his parents anything about his plans, or if he was just going to do it and tell them after. When there was nothing they could do about it. Not that they could stop them even if they already knew. He was set on going and nothing was going to hold him back. No matter how much she might want to, how much the idea terrified her, she hadn’t even tried to talk him out of it. He needed to do this, and she wasn’t going to stand in his way.
It had only been a few days since he had told her. Almost a week exactly, actually. The same night he had proposed, and she had accepted. Another thing she wasn’t sure his parents knew about. They didn’t seem to like her for some reason and so she hadn’t asked about either when she had gone looking for her fiancé before coming here.
She wasn’t really surprised he was at work, but she could feel the heat in her cheeks as she entered the theater with a cake in her hands, looking about as out of place as she could because she clearly wasn’t there to see the movie. The two girls who were working there were grinning even before she stepped forward to place the cake on the concession counter. “Please tell me Ed is here?” It came out as a question, but she must have sounded more desperate than she intended because one of the girls grinned. They hadn’t ever formally met, but Lorraine had been a regular weekly customer even before she and Ed had gotten together, so the girls had seen her many times even before the more frequent ones since then.
“He’s in cleaning up the theater. I’ll get him for you. Be back in a jiffy.” The girl was still grinning as she moved to do just that. The other was smiling as well and she gestured to the cake. “This is kind of elaborate. Birthday?” She guessed. Ed didn’t share that kind of thing with his coworkers, but it made sense that his girlfriend would be aware and want to do something special for such an occasion.
“Tomorrow.” Lorraine nodded. “But, I wanted it to be a surprise.” She smiled a little self consciously and absently tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ear as the girl’s smile only grew. “Oh, I’m sure it will be. He didn’t mention you were coming today. Usually he’s all gooey and happy when he knows you’re stopping by.”
Lorraine blinked and felt herself blush even harder. “I’m Lorraine.” She spoke the words suddenly, feeling stupid for how out of the blue the introduction seemed. “I’m sure you already know that, but I’ve seen you just about every time I’ve come in and I feel bad that I don’t know your name, so…”
The girl laughed at this. “We definitely know who you are, but you’re a lamb for wanting to know us, too. I’m Helen.” She offered Lorraine her hand, which was gratefully accepted. “Lillian went to get your boyfriend, I’m sure he’ll be out here any second.”
“I probably shouldn’t have interrupted him at work.” Lorraine didn’t even get to fully finish the sentence before Helen was scoffing. “Please. There’s no one here but us right now and it’s just swell of you to drop by with such a surprise. I can’t wait to see his face.” Lorraine offered a questioning look, wondering if Ed was in for a world of teasing from his coworkers once she left.
“Hey.” Ed’s voice snapped her out of any wonderings and her attention turned to him as he approached with a surprised but pleased smile on his face. “I didn’t expect to see you today.” Lorraine shifted her weight slightly, but couldn’t help but smile in return, even if she was beginning to wonder if this was a good idea after all. “Yeah, well…birthday…” She gestured to the home made cake on the counter.
Ed’s gaze followed her gesture before returning to her. “Tomorrow.” He replied, but she could tell he was touched by the gesture, even if he didn’t want to overly show it with an audience. “Surprise?” She replied, her smile growing just a little. “It’s just the cake.” She couldn’t help but sound a little regretful that there wasn’t a present to go along with it. “And me.” She added the last without thinking about it, instantly horrified at her brashness and the snickers that came from the girls who were still watching them with interest.
Ed only grinned a little more, eyes sparkling as he stepped closer to take her left hand in his. “You already gave me the best present in the world.” He told her as he lifted her hand to kiss the simple band on her ring finger. “You said yes.”
“You’re engaged? That’s so sweet!”
“They’re only sixteen!”
“So? It’s still sweet!”
The girls’ voices faded away as Lorraine met Ed’s eyes. Flipping his hand in hers, she pulled him a little closer, stepping forward as she did so that she could meet his lips with hers. She didn’t care that they had an audience, she wanted everyone to know just how much she loved him, how much he meant to her. And yet, she wasn’t even fully aware of anyone watching because he was her entire focus in that moment as they parted and she met his eyes once more, her own lit up with the love she felt.
“Happy Birthday.” She told him softly, thinking that maybe coming here hadn’t been such a bad idea after all.
07/09/2019 06:03 PM
Quote Prompt Mini-Drabbles
“Will you dance with me?”
Lorraine stared at Lucifer for a long moment, certain he couldn’t be serious and not having a clue why he would ask such a thing if he wasn’t, where he was going with it, or what he expected her to say. Her gaze dropped from that eternally amused smile to the hand he held out to her, still not believing she had heard him correctly even as he arched an eyebrow at her long silence.
“It’s a simple question, really.” His voice was smooth, almost friendly. Drawing her in even as she wanted to turn away. “A yes or no answer with no strings.” The smile grew slightly. “Though it would almost be a sin to not pay homage to such beautiful music.” He moved the offered hand slightly, indicating the offer still stood even as her eyes raised to his once more.
After another long moment, she hesitantly placed her hand in his, afraid of that touch and what she might see or feel. “You know…people talk about ‘dancing with the Devil’ all the time. I never thought it was a literal thing.”
“I need your help.”
Lorraine didn’t immediately reply to the words that she could usually never turn away from. It was no secret that this woman didn’t like her, that she didn’t want to be asking for help – from anyone, not just her – and that this was a last resort type of thing. Even though they had never really interacted before.
Part of her told her she shouldn’t be there at all, that she should leave now while she could. A little voice telling her not to ask for more information or even agree to listen, but to say no right away. Zelda practically radiated with power and strength and she was pretty sure that she would have been able to feel this even without her own special abilities. It was enough to make her wary, but not quite enough to make her listen to that little voice because when someone asked for her help…she gave it if she could.
She opened her mouth to say no, actually thinking she might say it, but what came out was the exact opposite. “All right…what do you need me to do?”
“Why are we saving him?”
Lorraine sighed and ran a hand absently through her hair. “Because that’s what good guys do.” She explained softly, for the second time now, watching as James considered that before arching an eyebrow at her.
“We’re the good guys? I mean, I know you are, but…”
“Yes.” Lorraine replied firmly. “We’re the good guys and saving people is what we’re supposed to do.” It was a given to her and she was sure at least the good guys part should be a given to James as well, but apparently it wasn’t.
“What if he’s not a good guy?” The challenge shouldn’t have been a surprise, but it kind of was and Lorraine considered the answer before she spoke again. “Then we save him and decide what to do after. Our actions shouldn’t be based on his. Two wrongs don’t make a right.”
There was a long pause before James replied to that. “So…no eye for an eye then?”
“Honestly, I thought I would be dead by now.”
Lorraine frowned a little. “Well, that’s reassuring.” She shook her head and sighed, glancing around before returning her gaze to Reuben. His eyebrows raised almost comically, and he considered that for a moment. “Oh, I didn’t realize you wanted reassuring, I thought you wanted honest.” He cleared his throat and opened his mouth to speak again.
Waving him off before he could even start, Lorraine interrupted. “No, you know I prefer honest from you.” She paused for a moment, thinking about that. “Most of the time, anyway.” Her lips twitched even as his lifted into a small grin of acknowledgement as he spoke again.
“You’re not dead yet and I’m not dead yet, so I’d consider that a win, yeah?”
“Honestly, I thought I would be dead by now.”
Lorraine arched an eyebrow at the woman standing before her. They had only just met, but something about Christine almost seemed to pull her in. Something made her like her without even knowing her. There was also a power about her that made her wary but not necessarily afraid. She had encountered many powerful beings and power didn’t always equal bad.
Just as different didn’t always equal bad, she always did her best to give those who were ‘different’ at least a fighting chance. No one deserved to be outcast because they weren’t just like everyone else. In fact, those who were different were often the most kind, the most understanding. They knew what it was like to feel odd and alone and often didn’t want to inflict that on anyone else. Often, but not always. She also knew that not all people fit into the same mold and what was true for one was not always true for others. But, that was neither here nor now.
Considering the words, she nodded slowly. “I can understand that.” She didn’t need to know the woman’s story to hear the truth behind the words, to know there was a history that led to that belief. But, that didn’t mean she didn’t want to know that story should it be offered. “But, there must be a reason you’re not, right?”
“Honestly, I thought I would be dead by now.”
Lorraine studied the man for a long moment without speaking. It wasn’t a bid for condolence or reassurance, simply a statement of fact. It was what it was, and she understood because she had often thought the same thing herself. “That you’re not has to be a good thing, right?” Even as she asked it, she wasn’t entirely certain what his answer would be. Most people would think it would be yes, but that wasn’t the case for everyone, and she knew that.
She shook her head and leaned back just a little. “I’ve often had the same thought, you know. I’ve wondered how I’ve made it as long as I have. But, I figure there’s a reason and even if I don’t know exactly what it is…that doesn’t matter because it’s there.” She paused again. “And for me it is a good thing.”
“Don’t ask questions you don’t wanna know.”
Lorraine would have smiled if the woman wasn’t so absolutely serious in her answer. “I can tell you right now that I never really want to know the answer to my questions.” She replied honestly, her lips twitching just slightly, though she wasn’t really amused. Amusement was just better than letting herself get too incredibly serious before she had to. Yet, she was also careful to make sure it was known that she wasn’t laughing at or mocking her companion at all.
She considered her own words for a long moment before continuing with a shrug. “But, want and need aren’t always the same thing and I usually need to know, even when I don’t want to.” She cocked her head slightly and offered a different kind of smile, a more understanding one. “Somehow I feel like you know exactly what I mean.”
“Why aren’t you scared of me?”
The question was truly curious, but not judgmental at all. It was also a legitimate one because everything that she had learned growing up said that she should be terrified by the ‘monster’ standing before her. That he was evil, a monster, a demon. Whatever word you wanted to use for that which wasn’t entirely human.
Vampire, if one wanted to be exact. Something she had never dealt with or run into before. Something she had thought didn’t really exist. Though she was more open minded than most and knew that all kinds of monsters were out there, and she had likely encountered only a fraction of what existed, it was still something major to take in. Media and legends said many things about such creatures, but she wasn’t one to believe what others had to say without her own input, her own knowledge. She wasn’t one to judge unjustly when she could help it.
“Maybe I am.” She offered a small smile. “But, that doesn’t stop me from doing…well, anything.” That smile grew just a little. “Besides, something tells me that you won’t hurt me. A gut feeling, if you will.” Though it was more than that, she didn’t try to explain. “A feeling I trust.”
“How did you find me?”
The cool touch on her arm was more than enough to alert her that there was a presence there and it was reaching out to her, seeking her help. She had already been prepared to reach out herself, but there was a desperation behind this that made hesitation a non-option.
Closing her eyes and stepping forward, she had thrown herself into that in between place where she could communicate most easily with those who were just out of reach of the living. It was always risky to do so. While it made it possible for her to find those she was seeking, it also made it possible for that which might be seeking her to find her. There was always a chance it could go horribly wrong, but it was a chance she took anyway.
“I didn’t.” Her answer was simple as she stood face to face with the woman who had contacted her, a darker presence all around them both. “You found me.”
“I’m not afraid anymore.”
The words were nearly enough to bring tears to her eyes, because she was so very relieved to hear them. There was nothing more she wanted in the world than for her daughter to feel safe talking to her, telling her anything. She hated the idea that Judy might keep secrets for any reason at all.
Reaching out, she pulled the girl into an almost fierce embrace. “You have no idea how happy I am to hear that.” She murmured into Judy’s dark hair as she kissed the top of her head. “Or, maybe you do.” She smiled a little as she let her go just enough to see her face once more.
“I want you to know that you really can tell me anything.” She met Judy’s eyes, made sure she was listening closely, that she knew she was telling the absolute truth. “I never want you to feel like you have to hide things because it might upset me or make me mad or make me worry. Honestly, I’ll worry more if you don’t talk to me.”
She paused and studied her daughter’s eyes for a long moment. “You never have to be afraid to tell me things. I’ll understand. Even when you think no one does. And I’ll never turn away from you. I love you and nothing will ever change that. I’m here for you. Always.”
“By the way, you’ve been uninvited.”
She matched him stare for stare, as he clearly tried to come up with something to say in response to her sudden words. Though she said them as matter-of-factly as if the conversation had been about that the whole time. “What?” The simple word was all he managed to come up with and she arched an eyebrow in response. “You heard me.”
She wasn’t sure what it was that made her say the words, what it was that made her suddenly not want Ethan in her house, though he had been there before. He and Judy seemed to get along fairly well, and he hadn’t really caused any problems or anything of the like. But, there was something that drove her to say the words, to revoke the invitation she had offered only hours before.
“Why?” She couldn’t blame him for asking because it had come from out of the blue. But, she also couldn’t really answer, couldn’t explain the sudden change of heart. She hated that she felt like such a yo-yo around him. Sometimes liking him, sometimes almost hating him, not always even having a reason for either.
She was quiet for a long moment. “Because I said so.” She would have smiled, maybe even chuckled at how mother-like that answer was, if she hadn’t been so confused about her own reasoning. Or lack thereof. “Because I said so.”
“So, you’re a tough guy.”
Lorraine grinned a little at the look he gave her as she stood with her hands on her hips and one eyebrow arched. “Oh, you don’t like that? Maybe that’s what I’ll start calling you instead of your name. You know, since you can’t seem to remember that I have one.” She couldn’t help but chuckle as he let out an exasperated sound, though she soon grew more serious as she stepped a little closer.
“I know you really are tough. You have to be. I see that, I understand that. But, that doesn’t mean it has to be all the time, you know. I also know there’s more than one side to you and just how tough it is to have to hide that.” She studied him for a long moment, listening as a soothing song came on the radio that was quietly playing in the background of their conversation. “Will you dance with me?”
“What?” He looked so surprised that she had to smile again, even as she held out a hand to him. “You heard me.” She moved the offered hand slightly, clearly expecting him to do as she asked. “Show me that you’re tough enough to let that wall down just a little. Long enough to relax for one song.” It was somehow obvious that she was completely sincere and that there were no ulterior motives behind the request. She really did just want him to relax for a moment and she trusted him to do that without making a big deal out of it or teasing her.
Placing his hand in hers, he slowly stood and moved to the center of the floor with her. “You know –“ He stared, thoughtfully as they swayed to the music. “I think maybe you’re the tough one, woman.” Okay, maybe expecting a lack of teasing was a bit much on her part. She couldn’t help but laugh, however. “Maybe you’re right!”
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