Country: United States
August 08, 2018
09/10/2019 02:07 PM
Quote Prompt Mini-Drabbles
“This place is abandoned. Don’t worry.”
Arching an eyebrow, Lorraine glanced at her companion. “Actually, that’s when I tend to worry more.” She spoke matter of factly as she looked up at the rickety old house. It could definitely use some work. The paint was peeling, the roof was bowing, the boards were broken, the windows cracked. A couple of steps were missing and the weeds surrounding what had once been a walkway – at least she assumed that was what it had been – and was now crumbled cement were at least knee high.
There was no electricity and she figured that had been the case for some time, while large overgrown trees loomed ominously over the sides of the house and the roof that looked like it might cave at any moment. To complete the picture, clouds hung low as the sun was beginning to set, bathing the house in an eery light that was slowly fading even as they watched.
“Places thought to be abandoned aren’t always as empty as they seem.” She continued, dragging her eyes away from the dilapidated building to look at the man beside her once more. “And if it is truly abandoned, then why are we here?”
“Ghosts don’t exist!”
The words were barely intelligible as Judy clung to her for dear life, tears streaming down her cheeks as she buried her face in her chest. Her shoulders heaved with terrified sobs and it was clear the words were more an attempt to convince herself than anything else.
Lorraine wished for nothing more than to be able to agree, but she couldn’t because she didn’t lie, and Judy knew the truth even as she tried to deny it. She had seen something. Something real and frightening and trying to deny that wouldn’t make it go away. Though she had hoped and prayed that Judy wouldn’t be…blessed with gifts like her own, or that they would at least not manifest until she was old enough to handle them, she had known better. And was anyone really ‘old enough’ to handle such things?
Her own gifts had been a part of her for as long as she could remember, even when she didn’t know they were different, what they were…even when she had tried to convince herself that they weren’t, and she could make them go away. She had grown up having people fear her or tell her to stop making up stories, not believing anything she said. She hadn’t had the support that she so desperately needed…she wasn’t going to allow Judy to grow up that way.
Focusing on soothing her daughter as much as she could, she waited until the sobs died down to silent tears, Judy’s grip loosening just a bit as the desperation and terror faded slightly. Stroking her daughter’s hair, she pulled back just enough to meet her eyes. Wiping away her tears, she was silent for a long moment.
“Baby, I know you’re scared. But, we need to talk…”
“This is crazy…none of this is real.”
Lorraine arched an eyebrow from her position leaning against the door she had just slammed closed behind them. As if that would really stop anything. Closed doors weren’t really a barrier for the kind of thing that inhabited the house they were currently in. There weren’t many things that were now that it had a firm grip and could manifest not only psychically but physically anywhere on the property that it chose.
She understood that if you didn’t deal with this kind of thing on the regular – and even sometimes if you did – it seemed like it wasn’t possible for the things that occurred to be happening. But, they were both bruised and bloody and you would think that would be convincing enough. Of course denial was a very strong and convincing thing.
It was random how they had ended up together in the first place. Tatum and her friends had decided to throw a little ‘horror themed’ spooky party, because that sounded fun, and that the best place to do so was in an abandoned and rumored to be haunted house. Lorraine and her husband were in town to give a lecture at the local high school, where she had actually seen this little group earlier this afternoon. Taking a walk to clear her head, she had been drawn here. Now she knew why.
She wasn’t sure where the rest of the kids were. She and Tatum had been alone when the demon had appeared and she had shoved the younger girl into the nearest room hoping, not necessarily to get away – she knew that wasn’t going to happen so easily – but for a moment to breathe and figure out what to do next. It seemed they really were going to get only a moment as the thing threw itself at the door, the wood shaking under it’s weight. She was surprised it didn’t just fling it open and send her flying, but grateful that that wasn’t the case.
Her gaze shot to the door she leaned against and then back to Tatum who still stood staring at her with wide eyes. After a moment she finally spoke. “You wanna tell that thing out there that?”
“Calm down! We aren’t going to die!”
For someone who was trying to be reassuring, Andy’s words were loud, her eyes wide and she shifted her weight anxiously while continuously looking over her shoulder as if she expected something to come barreling around the corner they had just rounded at any minute. Which wouldn’t be surprising at all if that was exactly what happened.
Lorraine often wondered how she managed to find herself in situations such as this almost every time she saw Andy. But, then she realized that they both seemed to be magnets for the strange, unusual, and often scary things that most people didn’t even want to believe existed. Why wouldn’t this happen every single time?
She just arched an eyebrow at Andy as the other woman returned her gaze to her and offered what she clearly thought was a reassuring smile but fell rather short. She appreciated the effort nonetheless and she offered a small smile of her own to show that, but she didn’t agree with the initial words. Though she didn’t necessarily disagree either.
“You really should work on your reassuring appearance and stuff. Words aren’t everything, you know.”
“Did you just touch my shoulder?”
It took Lorraine a moment to comprehend what he was saying and then she frowned a little. She wasn’t usually one to be star struck, but this was Elvis Presley. Was it really possible to be any other way? That thought made her frown a little more because it was possible, and she knew that very well. She knew how to be professional and how to deal with people. Or she should by now. It shouldn’t matter who it was, and this wasn’t even the first time they had talked. Not that she’d felt any less intimidated the first time. Almost like those obsessed teenagers that seemed to be everywhere. But, she wasn’t one of those…
When the words did finally sink in, she glanced around because they were alone, and she had most definitely not touched him. She wasn’t even close enough to do so. She returned her attention to him as he turned to look at her, shaking her head and murmuring a ‘no’ in response to his question. Now that she wasn’t focusing on not being a complete fangirling idiot, she realized that something was off. She couldn’t immediately pick out what it was, but she could feel something. Some…thing.
Suppressing an obvious shiver, she shook her head again and then met his eyes. “No. I didn’t…”
a lost god
With a slight groan, Lorraine looked up at the one standing above her. “Yes, we mere mortals tend to bleed when injured.” She didn’t quite snap the words, but they were harsher than she normally would be. Of course pain did that to people sometimes and it was a stupid question with an obvious answer. She finished tying the makeshift bandage around the wound and slowly got to her feet.
“That’s not what I meant.” His tone was nearly impossible to read, as was his expression. Though, honestly, she didn’t try too hard. She had experienced some pretty out there things in her life, but this was even more out there than she was used to, and she didn’t really know how to react to his presence, let alone his words and so her own continued to be snappish even as she asked for elaboration she wasn’t sure she wanted.
“Oh, pardon me. What did you mean?”
Mary Savarese JLU
“Did you just see what I did?”
Lorraine blinked and her gaze moved to Mary’s face as she slowly nodded. “I think so.” She finally managed to speak. Mary had used some kind of…power and she was still trying to comprehend what she had seen. It wasn’t any kind of trick or anything like that, she was sure of that much. Instinctively she wanted to take a step back, but as someone often on the receiving end of a fear brought on by a lack of understanding, she didn’t do so. She had no reason to think Mary was a threat just because she was…different. Just because she didn’t understand. After a moment she lifted her eyes to Mary’s and spoke again.
“How did you do that?”
Gabriel (your name never copy/pastes for me, sorry!)
“You need to believe me, please!”
She wasn’t sure why it was so very important that her words be heard and heeded, but she was practically begging as she said them. She had just encountered the beautiful woman before her and didn’t know who or what she was, but still this concept was extremely important to her.
As someone who was used to being scoffed at and laughed at, feared, ridiculed, called a fake a phony and a liar, it shouldn’t have mattered nearly as much as it did. And she couldn’t explain why this time was different. Why she couldn’t just brush off the idea that she might not be believed about what she saw just because not everyone was a believer. Skeptics were a dime a dozen and there wasn’t always anything she could do about it, so she often just had to let it go. She couldn’t do it this time. “Please.”
There was a long silence and her gaze dropped with the realization that she should probably prepare herself for one of the former reactions rather than the one she was asking for. But, they slowly lifted when the other finally spoke. Her voice was soft and understanding and there was a gentle smile on her face.
“I believe you.”
“If something bad happens, I’m blaming you!”
Lorraine arched an eyebrow as she looked back over her shoulder. “You’re blaming me because you can’t listen and not follow when I tell you not to?” She shook her head. “Okay, if you insist.” She had specifically told Amora to hold back, to not come with her, to let her handle this on her own because this was what she did. Clearly her words had not been heeded.
She and Amora had gotten rather close rather quickly, each learning from the other more than they had thought possible. She had taken the girl under her wing like another child as easily as if she were her own. And like her own, one thing she hadn’t been able to teach her was to listen when she thought she was right or when what she was being told was something she didn’t want to do. She should have expected it. Amora was headstrong and stubborn, but she wasn’t stupid. She also cared more than she often wanted to let on. Which was why she hadn’t been able to stay away.
Lorraine knew this, but it didn’t make it any better because Amora’s words, though somewhat playful, were legitimate. Something told her that things were going to go badly and yet she had come despite that feeling. So, maybe Amora wasn’t too out of line with what she had said.
“How about I blame me, too?”
“Shh, be quiet!”
Lorraine sighed at the words. “You told me that before and I didn’t listen.” She pointed out. She wasn’t sure how she had found herself in almost exactly the same situation a second time. Only this time, she wasn’t a captive witness to whatever he was doing to this ‘villain’ before him, only a witness. How she kept running into him was a mystery to her. As was why.
“Well, listen this time!”
It was clear he was irritated with her and she was distracting him. But, she wasn’t sure that was a bad thing without knowing exactly what was going on. The person who was captive was watching them with amusement, eyes skipping between them. Maybe he thought her distraction was going to give him some opportunity to escape or something like that. She didn’t care what he thought.
“Um…I don’t think so.”
08/27/2019 03:26 PM
Quote Prompt Mini-Drabbles
“No one’s ever built me a shrine before.”
Lorraine blinked at the words, eyes briefly wide with disbelief, and then she covered her mouth so that he wouldn’t see her grin. He was obviously very very wrong. She couldn’t believe he didn’t actually know how a lot of people – not just women – basically obsessed over him. He was Elvis Presley. Everyone knew who he was. If she was honest with herself, being in his presence even made her a little giddy, but she hid that well, somehow managing not to ask him to sing for her or for his autograph or any of those things that would make her look less professional and more like a simpering fangirl. Though the latter might happen before this meeting was over – for her husband, of course.
“I think you underestimate your popularity, sir.” She was still smiling as she dropped her hand, but it didn’t look like the teenage crush kind of grin or like she couldn’t believe what he had just said, so it was a plus. “Surely you have to know how crazy people are over you.” She arched an eyebrow, still smiling, and then looked back at the ‘shrine.’
It wasn’t the creepy obsessive kind that it could have been, nothing that indicated stalking or anything darker. It simply looked to be a homage in his honor, nothing to overly worry about. People liked to honor and show off things that they liked and their tenuous connections to those things. Even if those things were famous people.
“This is probably the most basic shrine in your honor that exists.”
“And what brings you into my domain, little one?”
The teasing smile turned gentler and reassuring when the girl just stared at her for a moment without answering. “I’m sorry.” Lorraine immediately added, leaning on the fence that surrounded the little yard where their chickens lived. A quick glance around showed that the girl was alone, and she seemed a little nervous, so her instinct was to alleviate that if she could. “What can I do for you?”
Everything about her demeanor was friendly and open, wanting the girl to tell her who she was and why she was there, wanting to help her if she could. Not just because she was a child, but because there did seem to be a reason for her appearance. She didn’t ask again, didn’t push, just waited for the answer to come when it would.
The girl shifted her weight slightly, as if unsure how to answer. Or maybe if she should answer now that she was there. After a long moment, she finally spoke, her words barely loud enough to be heard.
“I…um…I think I need your help.”
50 Shades of Sin
“You don’t look very…godly…to me.”
In fact Penelope had looked like a drowned rat, standing on her doorstep in the rain, waiting for the door to open and hopefully grant her access inside before Lorraine had reached out to pull her in. She now stood in the living room, toweling her hair dry while Lorraine spoke. An arched eyebrow and a pause of the towel was her initial reply before speaking. “I never said I was a god.”
Lorraine cocked her head slightly, arching her own eyebrow. “Oh? I distinctly remember a conversation where ‘goddess’ was mentioned.” She was smirking a little, though she tried to be serious. It had been an offhand comment, clearly not meant to be taken seriously, but that wasn’t the point.
“Sarcastically.” Penelope murmured, gaze dancing away, though Lorraine couldn’t tell if it was embarrassment or something else. The other woman was hard to read and certainly hard to get to open up. She still hadn’t really managed either and they had spoken a few times before this.
But, if Penelope was stubborn about those things, she was ten times as much and she was determined to break through that wall. Even if it took a very long time. She liked the other woman, though she didn’t really know her well. “Okay, okay.” She held up her hands in mock surrender, not pushing or teasing more. “What brings you here in weather most people would hide away from?” She asked this a bit more seriously, smirk fading into curiosity and just a touch of concern.
There was silence for a moment as Penelope focused on her wet hair. Then she looked up once more. “I kind of…need a favor.”
In my veins;
“Um…hello? Any…anyone listening?”
Andie’s voice shook just a little, though she was clearly trying to hide any fear she might be feeling. They were standing in the basement of the family who had requested that Ed and Lorraine help them with what they were convinced was a haunting. Lorraine had agreed – against every motherly instinct she had – to allow Andie to accompany them, to see what they really did. How involved she would remain would depend on what this initial walkthrough revealed.
Lorraine suppressed a shiver that had nothing to do with the temperature and looked around them. She didn’t see anything, but she felt it. Of course. It was the basement. Something was always in the basement. Well…not always, but in a lot of cases. This clearly being one of them. But, she had known there was something in the house before any of them had even entered.
Suddenly the hairs on her arms stood up and she felt the whisper of a touch on the back of her neck. Jerking around to look, she still saw nothing. Whatever it was didn’t want to be seen. At least not yet. As Andie opened her mouth to speak again, she reached out to stop her, grasping her arm lightly. “Don’t.” She murmured, her tone freezing the words in the girl’s throat as she looked at her with wide eyes. “What?”
Not ‘why?’ but ‘what?’ She knew that Lorraine was sensing something, and she only got confirmation of that. “I don’t think we want to know what’s listening…” She murmured, grip tightening slightly as she shifted to push Andie toward the stairs, giving her a shove to get her ascent started without waiting for agreement.
“And I want you out of here. Now.”
“A god? Don’t be so full of yourself.”
Lorraine wasn’t stupid. She knew it was dangerous to taunt the one she was facing, but she wasn’t about to let him continue to believe that he was all powerful and everyone around him was going to bow at his feet. Was he dangerous? Oh, yes. Was she afraid? Well…yeah. Was she backing down? Not a chance.
It was hard because the appearance she faced was that of Jai, someone she liked, someone who was good, someone who could easily become a friend. Someone she would never want to hurt. But, the one who looked out at her through those eyes definitely wasn’t Jai. The one who strutted around as if he owned the place, the one who ran on and soaked up the fear of others. The one who could easily hurt her or worse if he chose, just because he felt like it. Still she didn’t try to take back the words as she met those eyes, making sure her face was fully visible to him as she stood her ground.
“No, I think you’re the exact opposite of what anyone would consider a ‘god.’”
“You probably look nothing like your statue.”
Lorraine blinked and glanced at Andy who was walking beside her. “What are you talking about?” It wasn’t unusual for the other woman to say things that seemed to come from out of the blue. Usually – usually, not always – there was a point behind them, however. It just wasn’t always immediately obvious. This was one of those times where she had absolutely no idea what Andy was getting at or where the comment had come from.
Andy shrugged. “I was just thinking…if someone built a shrine to you – and someone probably has.” She arched an eyebrow in Lorraine’s direction. “I mean, you’re a well known ghost hunter, psychic, demon fighter…person. Not everyone thinks you’re crazy and some people obsess way more than they should over people and things.” She cocked her head slightly and then continued. “Anyway, if someone did then whatever statue they used to represent you probably looks nothing like you. They usually don’t.”
Lorraine found that she was still staring at her and what she was saying still didn’t really make sense. Her first thought was ‘what?’ But, she didn’t actually say that out loud. She figured her expression did that well enough, though Andy didn’t backtrack at all. “I’m not even remotely shrine worthy.” She finally managed, not sure how to respond and going with that instead of the number of things that she was thinking.
Andy looked at her, serious bordering on somber. “You never know.”
“And what is a mere mortal to a god?”
Lorraine was quiet for a long moment. “You probably expect me to answer that all preachy-like. ‘There’s only one God and all mortals are important to him. He loves them all equally and watches over them and cares for them and there is no greater God than the one God.’” She arched an eyebrow. “That about right?” The answering expression on the other woman’s face was a little hard to read and she continued before the other could really speak.
“Truthfully, while I live by my faith and know that it’s gotten me through things I shouldn’t have lived through, while I am not ashamed or quiet about my beliefs, I don’t pretend that I can actually answer that question.” She paused for a moment. “I know not everyone shares my beliefs and as one of those ‘mere mortals,’ I honestly don’t see what is special enough about me to garner the interest of any higher power.”
“Others may answer differently, but I can only say what I think and that’s that I don’t know.” She shrugged. “So, to answer your question: what is a mere mortal to a god? Maybe nothing…but maybe everything.”
“You dare speak to me in such a tone?”
For a moment silence was the only answer to the question. The question itself wasn’t spoken in anything but a calm tone and yet there was more behind it than a casual observer might catch. Lorraine was never a casual observer. Something about him rubbed her the wrong way and she couldn’t pinpoint what it was.
He was powerful, she could feel that. But, power didn’t always mean bad in her experience, so she didn’t think it was that. He didn’t necessarily have the best attitude at the moment, but she dealt with all kinds of people and…others, so she was also used to that. She wasn’t sure what it was, and she figured it didn’t really matter at the moment.
“Oh, I’m sorry. Would you prefer I bow down? Simper? Express fear? Plead for you to listen to me?” She hadn’t actually been rude to begin with, she never was. Cautious, understanding, sometimes quieter than most expected was how she approached most situations. Silence to read both the situation and those involved before she figured out which way to jump. So, the assumption that she had been anything else, made her more defensive than she would usually be. She didn’t like that.
“I don’t bow to anyone, I don’t let fear control me and I don’t beg people for anything. I’ve asked for your help, but I can go elsewhere.” She met his eyes for a moment, not sure why she had come there to begin with. He wasn’t the kind of…person she would ever ask for help from, but he had come recommended and so she had tried. “I don’t need you to do anything for me.”
“Don’t be stupid. Gods don’t exist.”
Arching an eyebrow, Lorraine studied the woman before her. “I think that depends on your definition of ‘gods.’” She finally replied. That hadn’t actually been where the conversation was going, but she couldn’t always predict the direction such things would take, and she had learned to roll with it. And while she didn’t appreciate being called stupid, she didn’t dwell on that. She had been called much worse things in her time.
“Some people consider super-heroes gods.” She shot a meaningful look at the detective. “But, I guess ‘super-heroes’ is subjective as well.” She shrugged. “Some people consider higher beings gods, or some believe in only one God.” She didn’t elaborate or preach on that one, though she almost wanted to. “Some people worship those who are successful or beautiful, things that impress them in others or they wish they had themselves. “Some think the rich or powerful are gods because they control things.” She shrugged again.
“Just because you don’t believe in something or someone doesn’t mean they aren’t a god to someone else.”
“What a cute little shrine. I wonder who it’s to.”
Lifting a hand to rub her temple for a moment, Lorraine sighed. How she had gotten roped into working with Lucifer was beyond her. The fact that he was a L.A.P.D Civilian Consultant who owned a nightclub here in L.A. where she had been asked to help with a case was almost as far out there as working with him. Working with the Devil. Was that like dancing with the Devil? She certainly hoped not.
“Who it’s supposed to be to, you mean?” She asked. The shrine was elaborate, but the symbols were wrong. They almost seemed to be a mishmash of several things rather than a dedication to any one entity. “It’s all wrong.”
She didn’t have to look to know that Lucifer was smiling at her as he prompted her to continue. “Do tell.”
Sighing again she pointed out what was wrong with the shrine, what symbols were out of place, what should have been used based upon her best guess as to what the attempt was, what entity it was meant to be for or to summon, or whatever the real reason for it’s construction had been. It was a lot of guesswork on what was supposed to be happening there, but the knowledge behind the explanation and symbols was real and when she glanced at Lucifer, she saw he was grinning a little more, one eyebrow arched.
“What?” Her tone was almost defensive. “My husband is a demonologist. I’ve picked up a few things along the way.”
“Your petty discourse is highly amusing.”
Lorraine frowned and turned her attention briefly to James who was standing beside her, hands on her hips, a distinctly unamused expression on her face. The discussion at hand was supposed to be about saving the world from an incoming army of demons…the discussion that was happening was pretty much the opposite of that. Something small and stupid and well…deserving of James’ comment.
The others in the room seemed almost stunned by it, however. Not necessarily ashamed that their words had gone so very off course that they weren’t even arguing over the original topic anymore, but that someone had dared to point it out, to call their discussion meaningless.
“She has a point.” Lorraine spoke softly, but in agreement. She didn’t expect her own voice to have any sway over anything, however. She wasn’t even sure why she was there except that she had worked with James before and they had worked well together. She wasn’t a superhero of any kind, but she wanted to help and fighting demons was what she did, so…here she was.
All eyes moved from James to her and then back to James as silence fell over the room. James offered an appreciative glance in her direction – one not many would even notice – but kept her focus on the others. “By amusing, I mean really not. So, are we going to actually figure out what we’re doing or are my partner and I going to go out there and win this war without you?”
Lorraine had been nodding along, but she froze at the last part, a small smile lifting the corners of her mouth. Not enough to look overly happy or even be picked up on by pretty much anyone in the room, but enough to show that she was pleased.
James had called her ‘partner.’
08/21/2019 02:50 PM
Ouija - Drabble
She could feel that something wasn’t right even as she entered the house. She didn’t bother to knock, this was basically her home, too, even though she didn’t live there. She and Betty had been best friends for some time, and they took the ‘my home is your home’ thing to heart, often showing up unannounced and making themselves comfortable without invitation. Betty’s parents weren’t home, so it was just going to be the two of them and their third best friend, Alice, having a sleepover that night. Something they did fairly often.
She hesitated, slowly turning to hang her coat on the rack just inside the door before heading toward the living room. “Hello?” Her steps were slow as she almost reluctantly approached, not knowing what it was that told her something was wrong. It felt like someone was watching her, but a glance around showed no one and she frowned a little more. “Betty? Alice?”
“In here!” Betty’s voice came from the recesses of the living room. She sounded distracted, amused. Something Lorraine couldn’t feel herself as a cold breeze lifted the hair on her arms and made her look around one more time. Still nothing could be seen, and she sped up her steps, wanting to be with her friends rather than alone, even just in another room. What she saw stopped her in her tracks, however.
Her friends sat on opposite sides of the coffee table, their fingers resting lightly on a planchette that was sliding across the Ouija board in the center of the table. Betty was grinning and Alice was frowning. Not an unusual combination for the girls. “Come and play with us, Lori.” Betty looked up to grin at her and Lorraine couldn’t return the smile.
She shivered and wrapped her arms around herself instead, shaking her head but unable to answer right away. Her expression only seemed to amuse Betty more. “Oh, come on. It’s just a game.” She wheedled, taking one hand off the planchette to gesture to it. “It told Ali that Charles is cheating on her.” This made Alice scowl a little more. “Betty said Charles is cheating on me. She’s moving it and trying to upset me.”
Betty rolled her eyes but was still smiling. “I’m not moving it.” She told Lorraine as if it were a big secret. “Ali is, but she doesn’t want to admit it.” Alice simply shook her head to indicate that it wasn’t her.
Lorraine looked between them, still frowning. “It’s not just a game, guys.” She spoke softly, but firmly. She was scared and she didn’t know why. Thunder crashing and lightning flashing outside made her jump and turn wide eyes on the window. It had been slightly cloudy when she had come in, but nothing to indicate an actual storm was coming. When she turned her gaze back to her friends, both were staring at the window as well.
Betty turned back and shrugged. “You know how crazy the weather can be. Come and sit at least, if you’re not going to play.” She gestured with her free hand again for Lorraine to join them before returning that hand to the planchette and her eyes back to Alice before they dropped to the board again. “What is your name?” She asked the question and then waited. “It wouldn’t tell us before.” She told Lorraine, eyes still on the board.
“Its name is Betty.” Alice muttered, clearly not happy with how this game had been going so far. She frowned again when the planchette began to move and Lorraine suppressed another shiver as it landed on a single word: NO.
Alice’s head shot up and her eyes narrowed as she glared at Betty. “Ha, ha. Very funny.” Betty shook her head. “I didn’t move it.” She insisted, but Alice clearly didn’t believe it. She rolled her eyes. “Your name isn’t Betty?” Again the planchette moved, circling the board only to land on the same word: NO.
“Then what is your name?”
This time it made several circles but didn’t stop on any of the letters. Lorraine leaned forward slightly to see but refused to touch and was too tense to sit and relax. It returned to the same word a third time: NO.
“Well, that’s informative.” Betty smirked a little, glancing at Lorraine. The smirk faded a little as she actually looked at her friend. “Hey, it’s okay. It’s really just a game. Nothing to be scared of.” Another crack of thunder emphasized her words, causing them all to jump and making her laugh a little nervously. “Look, it doesn’t even know any words but ‘no.’ Probably doesn’t even know its own name.” She chuckled, because she still thought it was Alice moving the game piece.
“It doesn’t want to tell you its name.”
The smile faded and Betty looked slightly concerned at the words. “What do you mean?” Alice was watching her now, too, frowning as she did so. Their fingers still rested on the planchette that rested on NO.
“It doesn’t want to tell you its name.” Lorraine repeated, knowing she should just shut up. “It might lie and give you a name, but the real thing gives you some sort of power over it and they don’t like that.” She didn’t know where the words came from, but she couldn’t stop them even as her friends stared at her for a long moment. Finally Betty grinned again. “Ha! You had us!” She looked at Alice who offered a small hesitant smile. “Are you sure you don’t want to play? Looks like you’d be really good at making it all spooky and fun.”
Lorraine shook her head. “I’m not touching it. You shouldn’t be playing with it either. It’s not a game.” She knew the words weren’t going to do any good, but she couldn’t help the protest, watching as Betty shrugged and looked at Alice again. “Ask it something else, Ali.” She encouraged and Alice, with a glance at Lorraine, did so. “Is Betty messing with me by moving the planchette?” She smirked a little knowing that it would move to no because Betty wouldn’t admit to such a thing.
The piece began to move and this time it spelled out a word: HERE.
Alice frowned and looked up at Betty. “What does that mean? That’s not what I asked.” The planchette began to move faster, hitting on the same letters and spelling out the same word in rapid succession. Lorraine swallowed hard and looked around again, that initial feeling of being watched intensifying. “Something is here.” She murmured, not even sure her friends had heard her.
The planchette was still moving. It circled to YES and then went back to repeating; HEREHEREHEREHERE.
“Stop it, Betty!” Alice was scared now, angry that Betty had managed to make her feel that way. She wasn’t surprised when Betty’s protest that she wasn’t doing it came, but she was surprised to see the fear on her friend’s face that said maybe she was telling the truth.
The lights flickered and the room went black, lightning flashing briefly enough to show the terror on the faces of all three girls before plunging them into darkness. “What’s going on?” It was Betty’s demand this time and Lorraine didn’t have to see her to know that she was really afraid. A light, cold touch on her arm, made her bite back a scream as she stumbled away from the table where her friends still sat, another flash of lightning showing that their hands were still on the planchette. Neither of them had touched her, but both were moving to let go, to see what it was that caused the absolute terror on her own face.
“Tell it goodbye!” She nearly shrieked the words. “Don’t let go until you tell it goodbye!” Her friends scrambled to do as she commanded, afraid not to listen because this wasn’t supposed to happen. It wasn’t supposed to be real. They were just playing…
Both girls verbally repeated the word and also pushed the planchette to Goodbye on the board. After a few moments the lights flickered and came back on and a quick, frantic look around the room showed that nothing was there. Betty and Alice were pale and staring at each other, breathing heavily.
Looking around one more time, Lorraine’s breath hitched as a voice slithered int other mind. She knew neither of the girls could hear it because neither reacted at all, but she could. “For now.”
She didn’t know what it meant, and she was absolutely certain that she didn’t want to know. Taking another deep breath, her eyes fell on her friends whose disbelieving gazes turned to her in turn. She could only ask one thing. “Do you still think it’s a game.”
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.”
"Confess that you're a witch!"
"I know it's hard."
"We'll be fine as long as we stay together."
"Life goes on."
"I've always had a hard time."
"How did you get the confidence?"
"I was just wondering."
"Let me explain."
"We can make little errors."
"Maybe it'll inspire you."
"They don't need to know a damned thing."
"It just faded."
"It's something I have to do."
"This is important."
"I think I'm finished."
"Let's start with a simple test."
"They have everything."
"You can often choose."
"Wait, what's going on?"
"He/she hasn't yet."
"Data is already recorded."
"Things aren't what they seem."
"Take your own advice."
"That isn't going to happen and you know it."
"This got slightly less serious."
"No matter what other people may tell you."
"He/she was wrong."
"Roll the dice."
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.
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