Shadows from the Past

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Shadows from the Past

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Tiko on Sat Jun 23, 2012 7:39 pm

Bang, bang, crash-bang, slam, bang, bang.

Heavy boots slammed over and over into the rusted out dumpster outside of the bar, the man's assault unflagged and furious as he kicked the green container. His rage breathed out of him in a sharp hiss, strengthening and weakening in between each kick.

"Fuck." Bang. "Fuck." Bang. "Fuck!" Bang. "FUCK." Bang.

"FUCK, FUCK, FUCKFUCKFUCKFUCK." BangbangbangCRUNCH.

The metal finally caved, and his foot sunk deep into the twisted and contorted hole he had just made, forcing him to fall on his back, hard, to the pavement. He lay there, dazed, staring at the sky as his ragged breaths slowly returned to him, his anger relegated to a tiny ball underneath his breastplate.

"Trust me, guys. Whisper's okay, guys. The real evil's out there, guys." He muttered. "Fuck. Fucking blind. Hoodwinked by th' woman who can' even fuckin' see. Tycho, yer a real piece o' work."

An awkward silence filled the alleyway before a familiar voice presented itself. Having been uncharacteristically quiet most of the evening, it seemed that it had only been a matter of time before it made itself known once more.

'So uh... you done manhandling that dumpster?'

""I think so. But th' dumpster started it." He muttered, gingerly removing his foot from inside the dirty green container.

"Ya know," he began, "I think I'm finished wi' th' whole... adventurin' thing. Th' one time I try an' save th' world, th' person I do it with turns out ta be a goopy... black thing. Wonder if she an' Balthantankerous worked it out."

'And to think I was hoping for world ending fireworks or something. It's not exactly easy to entertain yourself when you're dead you know. So, what now? Not that I really care, but for the sake of killing time let's hypothetically assume I do.'

"Dunno." The man muttered, spinning himself around to rest against the now ruined dumpster, putting his arms on his knees, resting his throbbing head against the cool, slick metal.

"Tha' was m' last idea. I haven't done anythin' but think 'bout th' Sword Bearers in a long time. Bein' a hero ain't 'zactly my forte, ya know? Could try theivin' again. Tha' was fun fer a while."

'Well, if we're on the topic of robbery, I happen to know of a certain decrepit old man. Really I don't know why the old fuck isn't dead yet, but either way it's not like he'll miss the stuff if you rob him. I mean he can't have too many years left in him. He works for a magic academy, has to be something worth stealing.”

Tycho gave a short bark of laughter. "Why am I not surprised tha' that's the idea ya jump onta?"

'Hey, just what are you trying to say exactly? I'm trying to be supportive here you know. Turning a new leaf and all that crap... or something. You know, fuck it, forget I said anything.''

"I usually do." He chuckled, and then pushed himself to his feet, rolling his abused ankle around and around, listening to the cracking of the bone as the aching joint was stretched fully. "Alrigh'. Yeh have th' only idea we got so far. Lemme grab some supplies, an' we'll see where th' old man can be found."

'Oh no you don't. You think I'm going to just take that and then turn around and help you anyways? Not on your life.'

He began to walk out of the alleyway, his hands linked behind his head. "Never took ya t' be touchy, lady. Wha', ya can dish it all day bu' ya can' take it, huh? 'Sides, ain' like there's a lot o' magic academies on Terra. Either yer in an' we fuck with this guy, or yeh can watch. Up ta ya."

The voice fell silent as it seethed in anger. 'Fine, but fuck all if you're getting laid this month.'
I've moved on. If anyone stumbles on any of my old roleplays or wants to hit me up for nostalgia sake, feel free to shoot me an e-mail me at [email protected] or hit me up on http://www.storytellerscircle.com. Good luck RolePlaygateway.

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Re: Shadows from the Past

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby NotAFlyingToy on Sat Jun 23, 2012 7:42 pm

Thieving was like riding a bike, in a lot of ways. Except the small part of thieving that was illegal. The mage academy was large and forboding, made even more so in the extreme shadow of twilight. Behind Tycho's mask, his eyes were alight and alive, his footsteps quick, as he made his way across the grounds, towards the little shack that the Gardener lived.

He was assuming.

'So, you have done this before, right?'

"Once or twice, yeah." He muttered, the cloth of the happy face mask pressing against his face. "Had a cooler mask, though."

'Just asking, because you look ridiculous.'

"Wha's that, bodiless spirit? I couldn' hear ya over th' fact that I have physical form."

'Physical forms are overrated. You have disease and injuries to worry about, not to mention the body odor. Speaking of, when is the last time that you had a bath?'

"Tuesday. Or somethin'. I don't know." He responded. His gaze was distracted, focused on the door of the garden house. Sidling up to the wall of the shack, Tycho dropped into an agile crouch, forming his body around the low-placed windows.

'Uh huh.'

"Hush. Trying to concentrate." Slipping around to the front door, Tycho was pleased to note the old fashioned, iron-wrought lock that sealed it shut. A slight tug had the door emit a soft and abrupt creaking noise, telling him that he couldn't monkey around with it. Withdrawing a thin metal rod from the inside of his cheek, Tycho snapped it in two and slipped both pieces into the keyhole, deft fingers working each piece of metal with precision.

'Who would have thought a drunkard could have decent dexterity.'

Tycho grinned around his tongue, which he was chewing on in concentration. "Tha's kinda th' point, ain't it?" He murmured, before the heavy lock released its hold with a faint click.

"And boom goes th' dynamite." He whispered into the night, letting the slickened metal pieces fall to the ground.

'As much as I approve of explosives, that may be overkill.'

"Says th' woman who made fire bear-hug a woman."

'I'm just a dead person. Don't look at me.'

"I can't. Yer incorporeal." With a sharp tug, the door slid open, revealing a darkened cabin.

'There see, that's settled then. Don't go blaming me for your spontaneous combustion problems.'

"If ya say so." Tycho muttered, getting a good look at the interior of the old man's home. The lights were all off, and all around the place there were instruments used in the common managing of grounds; large shears for grass, a rake, four different hammers of shapes and sizes, a multi-purpose screwdriver, and a chainsaw. Each of these were scattered over a variety of flat surfaces; the kitchen counter, a small table, and even in the sink, in the case of one of the hammers.

Tycho closed the door behind him, then moved further into the two-room shack, checking the bedroom for any sign of the old man. When he confirmed the clear coast, he allowed himself to relax slightly.

"Now," he said, smiling to himself. "where 'zactly would an ol' man keep actual valuables? Any ideas?"

'Don't ask me, you're the thief.'

"You're the one who suggested th' house o' pain." Tycho murmured, pressing a finger onto one of the sharp spikes of the rake. It was blunt and rusty. "Th' guy doesn't care much fer his tools, does he? How d'ya know this guy again?"

'Never mind that.'

"Fair enough," he muttered, his hand moving so the palm touched the spikes, resting directly over-

The hammer of the pistol bit deep into his palm, biting through skin and sending a shock to his nerves. He twisted, trying to escape the pain, his hand wiggling out of the cold metal hold, the blood that dripped from his hand like mucus from an unwiped nose making the transition easier, and the sudden explosion brought his eyes forward, eyebrows raised and wide to see-

Tycho threw himself backwards from the rake, stumbling into the kitchen table as he did so. Hip making contact with the wood, the chainsaw leaped upwards, falling to the floor with a clatter of metal and heavy plastic. Stumbling over the equipment, Tycho fell against the far wall, his right hand clutching his left desperately, pressing it against his chest.

'Jeeze. How much did you drink this morning?'

"Shut up." He snapped, rubbing his thumb over the spot.

'Yeah sure, that's one way to treat someone being concerned.'

Tycho growled lightly, raising his hand in the dim light to view the spot where the rake had touched. There was no pain anymore, no explanation for the sudden onslaught of images, but what he saw there shook him to his core.

A round, white scar, looking like an imprinted triangle on his palm.

'Hey, blockhead. Visitor incoming.'

Before he could contemplate that, there was a sudden turning of the doorknob, a protest of creaking hinges as the front door was flung open. Without hesitation, Tycho reached downward to grab the chainsaw, reflexes taking over.



Old man Jensing was a calm and happy fellow, and today was one of those days that left a happy and tingly feeling inside of his brittle bones. Good news was few and far between for the old fellow, what with the disease that was slowly eating at his body and dulling his mind. That morning had brought the usual aches and pains and dosage of medicinal herbs that the healers had sworn up and down would ease his pain. He didn't know about that. They only really succeeded in giving his bowels something to whine about, and they tasted like blackberries.

But the morning had also brought six letters from each of his six wonderful grandchildren, wishing him a happy birthday. Each of the letters had a card inside, loving hand-drawn, though the skill had ranged with the child's age. Little Lucy had drawn him with his rake, waving hello on top of a hill of roses, while Jeff, the true artist of the kids, had put his efforts into making a truly inspiring card that had wished him many days of well wishes. Each of the six cards were accompanied with apologies for not being able to see the man on the day he turned eighty three.

Jensing didn't mind. They had plenty to occupy their time then comforting a sick old man, and he wouldn't have it any other way. All of them had answered the phone when he had called after his work was done, and he had listened to them excitedly recount their day, shared in them the joys of youth and childhood. The six conversations were always followed by a brief talk with his kids.

"I have a gift for you, dad." Stewart, his youngest, had said into the phone.

"You've given me plenty enough, Stu. This was wonderful."

"All the same, Dad. You're way over the hill now. So I was thinking that maybe it's time to get you someone to help you. May and I worry about you being up there all alone, in that shack."

"Oh, hogwash. I'm fine."

"I know, Dad. But, see... We found this dog."

Jensing's heart skipped a beat, remembering all the times he had wished he had a four legged companion to help him drift off at night. His son continued chatting, making sure to talk loud and slow - Jensing's ears weren't what they used to be.

"Normally, May and I would keep hold of him, but he doesn't like all the noise. So I was thinking, if I brought him tomorrow, he could stay with you a while?"

Jensing's smile was so big and wide, he could've sworn his Marjorie could've seen it from in her grave. "Think that'd be fine," he said, voice gruff.

"Awesome. See you tomorrow."

The day improved even more, with his boss telling him to take the rest of the day off, go home, and get some sleep. "Dogs are energetic, Jensing. You'll need your rest."

As Jensing crossed the lawn to go into his house, all he could think about doing was curling up with a mug of tea, taking his herbs, and drifting off in his arm chair. He couldn't wait for the morning, when he'd be able to have a companion and see his son and repeat the amazing day he'd just lived out. Whistling softly, he didn't even notice the already unlocked door as he opened it wide.

To see a man in a large, yellow, happy face mask, wielding a chainsaw.

Old man Jensing's heart exploded.



When the bag of bones collapsed, Tycho panicked.

"Shit. Oh shit. Why is he home so early!?" Tycho yelled, dropping the chainsaw in his rush to get to the old man's side. "You said he worked!"

'Well what kind of idiot listens to me? I'm just a voice in your head, what do I know.'

"Shit. Shit, shit, shit." Tycho knelt beside the man, pressing two fingers to the side of his throat. "Oh, goddamn it. He's dead. He's fucking dead."

'Heh. About time the old fuck croaked.'

Tycho stood suddenly, gripping the old man's arms and dragging him further into the house, being sure to close the door behind them so a passerby couldn't see in. After a moment's hesitance, he dragged the man further into the cabin, going for his bedroom. He pulled the old man up and dumped him on the bed, yanking the covers out from under him and haphazardly throwing them over him. He stood there for a moment, staring down at the prone form.

"Well, we'd better make this worth it." he muttered, before heading over to the dresser in the corner of the room and opening it, pawing through underwear and socks. "Where are th' goods."

'... Seriously? You're going to rob the dead guy? Way to go, I didn't know you had it in you.'

"Thought you'd approve." He muttered, slamming the drawer shut. "He ain' got anythin'. Fat load o' good you did me, here. Thanks a billion."

'Again. How is this my fault? I'm just a voice in your head. You know there's a reason people aren't supposed to listen to those.'

"Yer a voice that shoots fire. Fire tha' tackles people ya don' like." Tycho paused at the man's bedside table, throwing open the drawer there. Inside, was a stack of papers and a pen -

My dearest Jessica.

'You had more reason to hate that psycho bitch than me. Why are we putting this on me again? Uh... Tycho?'

Tycho blinked. "Hm? Wha'?"

'Seriously, how much did you drink?'

Tycho rubbed at his eye, irritated. "Yer seriously askin' me about drinkin' habits when there's a dead guy not two feet away." He growled. He turned back around, then whipped around again in a full circle, lost and desperate.

'Oh come on, the guy was like ninety, you probably did him a favor.'

"Did him a favour, or did you a favour?" He queried. "Yeh seemed ta not be a fan of our dear old gardener."

'Uh huh. So I had you come rob him on the chance he would walk in and have a heart attack upon seeing your face? While admittedly, the latter part isn’t' too far fetched, I think you’re getting a little paranoid don't you think?'

"Paranoid." He muttered, putting his fists on his hips.

"Lets see. I'm havin' random flashes of a woman fallin' off of a cliff, I developed a scar from touchin' a blunt rake, an' theres a voice tha's inside m'head. Tha' can apparently make fire ride people like a cowboy. If there's anyone in th' world tha' deserves ta be paranoid, it's me."

'Hey, to be fair, I was here first.'

Tycho scrubbed his eyes again with the palms of his hands. "Yeah." he muttered.

"Yeah, you were. Weren' ya." His voice was contemplative, heavy with thought. "You were here 'fore any o' this started."

'Hey now, don't you go blaming any of this on me.

"Is there a better reason ya can give me?" Tycho asked the empty room. Well, almost empty. Discluding corpses.

'Uh... I'm a figment of your imagination, caused by excessive drinking and merely serve as a way to blame your shit hole of a life on someone else?'

Tycho waved his hand. "We've covered tha' theory aroun' th' time ya started shootin' fire at people, m'dear." He moved back towards the kitchen, opening each cupboard in turn, looking for anything to snag. In the third one he opened, there sat a single ornate glass bowl, with a small wedding band sitting at the bottom of the glass.

Tycho's movements slowed at the site of it. It was gold, shimmering in the dim light, and it felt heavy against his fingertips as he lifted it with the caring of a man who was seeing far more than a small gold ring.

Do you, Jessica, take Sherriff Darsin to be your lawfully wedded husband?

I do.


'And I thought we already covered the matter of your premature eruption issues not being my fault. Tycho? Fuck all, do you have any idea how not fun it is to insult you when you're not even paying attention?'

Tycho blinked again, shaking his head rapidly. "Fuck. What is happening to me," he grumbled, shoving the ring inside the pocket of his coat. "If it ain't fun, stop doin' it."

'Ugh, just hurry up would you.'

"There ain't anythin' here." he growled. "Yeh jus' sent me on a massive waste of time. Next time, I decide who we steal from."

He began making his way towards the door.

'Hey at least my decision didn't end up with a psycho bitch trying to knife you.'

"It also didn' end with us gettin' any money." He snarked, the ring feeling heavy in his pocket as he made his way into the night, slamming the shack door behind him.

'Neither did psycho bitch.'

"Least I got somethin'. Does it get lonely bein' a ghost?"

'Putting out the bedsheets and then passing out in a drunken stupor doesn't really count as getting squat you know.'

A pause.

Then, "Well, thank God for tha'."

'Probably would have walked away with gonorrhea or something.'

"Yer knowledge o' these diseases is tellin', m'dear." He strode across the lawn, headed back in the direction of the city, the gold ring weighing heavily in his pocket.

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Re: Shadows from the Past

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Tiko on Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:55 pm

Tycho's stride was purposeful, now. Eager to leave behind the fact that he had all but murdered a man, and the ring burning a hole in his pocket, the man wanted nothing more than to get rid of the damn thing and maybe make a quick buck off of it. He knew of a single place that would buy it - an old fence that worked as a hot-dog vendor, open only during the late hours. The walk was a long one, but he'd been in the thieving game long enough to know that as soon as you went somewhere that wasn't 100% for you, you were a goner.

Stepping into the light of a small lamp post, the hot dog stand sitting prominent and proud near a darkened alley, Tycho took a moment to pull his hood up, his happy-face mask having been long discarded. Hands pressed into pockets, fingers rubbing around the cool metal of the ring, he stepped from the light and moved towards the pile of wood and metal.

The old woman that turned to greet him certainly gave him a fright.

"Help you!?" She said, chipper and grinning, though her mouth was filled with more gum than actual tooth.

"Where's Rolan?" Grunted Tycho, head bowed so that his face was cast under shadow from the glowing insides of the stand.

"Out sick! I'm takin' over both businesses until he gets back. Would you like a dog?"

Tycho raised his eyebrows. "Never came here for a dog before. Ain't intendin' to start."

The old woman laughed. "Alrighty then. I see your game. What do you got for me, Mr. Darsin?"

Tycho blinked, at that. Slowly, his gaze raised towards the woman, beholding her in her full, wart-nosed, uneven-eyed glory. The woman was smiling that gummy smile again, a fly buzzing around underneath her right eye, mapping out her cheek.

'So why are we here again?'

Tycho winced slightly. "I'm just here t' sell a ring," he muttered, in answer to both questions. Reaching into a pocket, he placed the small disc on the edge of the formica hot dog stand, sliding it towards the woman with a single finger.

"Lookin' for three figures. Four if ya can work it."

The woman snatched up the ring, before licking it quietly, smiling at him. "Again, Tycho? So very predictable."

'Your friends are about as charming as you.'

Tycho's eyebrows quirked. "I've never been one ta deviate from m'path. You Rolan's ma?"

The woman cackled. "Oh no. No, I have zero relation to Mr. Rolan. But I know you, Tycho dear. I know you well."

The sickening smile graced her features once more. Tycho took a small step backwards, his gaze shifting down the street in both directions, before landing back on her. "We ain't met before."

"I suppose we haven't." The woman said, smiling easily. "It must be just a coincidence that I know your name. I'm probably just fucking with you." Idly, the ring swirled around a single gnarled finger, flashing in the dimmed night.

Tycho frowned. "Do you get any readings from her?" He muttered, quietly.

'Are we talking creepy old woman vibes? Or are we talking dark sinister magic vibes? Because I'm definitely throwing in my support of the former. But if you really must know, probably some of the latter also.'

Tycho gnashed his teeth together quietly. "Anythin' in particular?"

'Well she knew your name and is licking your ring, if that's not creepy old woman vibes, I don't know what is.'

Tycho bit back a grin. "I meant 'bout th' other part." He muttered, his gaze flicking up to the woman, who was now lifting the ring towards the moon, as if to better examine it.

'Oh. You really should be more specific. I suggest you don't wear that ring anytime soon. Then again the odds of someone actually marrying you are probably negligible, so that shouldn't be too hard.'

For some reason, Tycho felt a stab of pain in the palm of his hand, where the rake had apparently scarred him. His hand curled inside his pocket, and in his head, he was curling around a warm arm.

"Mm." he grunted.

"You know," The woman said, casually. "I can hear you. Do people actually let you pretend that nobody can hear you when you talk to your chest like that?"

Tycho's lips thinned into a firm, small line. "How much?"

The woman tossed the ring into the air and caught it with surprising dexterity. "Turns out I can't sell it. Too bad. You would've thought that trying to sell this ring so many times would've yielded a buyer by now."

Again, his brows furrowed as he reached to take the ring, before stopping his hand short. "What'd ya do t' it."

The woman's smile widened. "The same thing I always do to it, Tycho, dear. Just take the ring."

Tycho drew his hand back, taking a step backwards, almost in the shadows surrounding the light. The woman's smile vanished, replaced with a contorted, enraged expression. "You will take the ring, Tycho Darsin. Or this will be unpleasant."

'Ugh. Light her up already.'

The man shrugged. "I like unpleasant."

'I don't usually judge your sexual escapades... well actually that's a lie, but regardless. Dominatrix style with old women? That's a little weird even for you.'

The woman snapped the ring closed in her fist, eyes flaring in the night. "This only ends one of two ways, Darsin. Either you burn or you die peaceful in your bed. If I were you, I'd take the ring. We wouldn't want this to end like this again."

Tycho frowned. "Y'keep sayin' that. 'Again'. 'Always'. 'Usually.' What do y'know? Who are ye? Wha' did I do to ya?"

The woman's face contorted even further. "You were supposed to know by now!" She shrieked, pointing a finger at him. "You were supposed to remember! How did... It doesn't matter. I love you too much, Tycho, to let you comprehend."

She smiled slightly, almost softly, at the man. "Burning it is."

With a sudden flick of her palm, a fireball rushed towards Tycho, smacking into his chest. He felt the amulet burn hot and bright, as the flames around him, licking at him, clinging to him in much the same way as that fire clung to Mylor, burning her neck, arms, clothes. But all he felt around him was a sensation of warmth as he stood there, numb, watching the woman through the orange engulfing him.

To see, and be satisfied by, the look of utter horror on the old woman's face as she strained to control the fire, making it dance over his face, his hair, his back.

'Don't just stand there like a useless lump of flesh you moron.'

"Don' intend ta." He muttered, and began to march towards the woman, cold fury in his voice. "Y'like fire, huh?" He called.

"Y'like t' make things burn? Well, I'll tell ya a secret. I got a frien' - or somethin' - an' she likes fire too. She likes it - a lot. Sometimes, she likes it so much, tha' she lets m' use it."

He was right in front of the stand now, burning palms slapping against the formica, sending the old woman shrinking back against the far side of the wall. Through his burning vision, Tycho grinned down at her.

"Wanna see if she'll let me use it? D'ya want t' play this game?"

Fire licked up the sides of the stand, hungrily grabbing at any wood mixed in with the metal and plastic that made up the bulk of the structure. The woman closed her eyes, whimpering slightly.

"What d'ya know? Who are ya? What did ya mean earlier? An' a warnin - m'friend's pretty bored righ' now."

She continued backing against the far wall, her eyes drawn in, anger overtaking her fear. "If you don't remember, you will. And you'll wish I killed you now, Tycho Darsin. You'll wish I struck you down."

Tycho shrugged, before thrusting his fist towards her, letting himself relax, and thinking the word "Fire."

When nothing happened immediatley, he re-thrust his first towards her, frowning as nothing happened. The woman chuckled lightly, her gums showing through her wide lips. "Guess your friend's a bit of a twat, huh? Or maybe it's you. Maybe you're alone in the world - again, I might add."

Tycho growled slightly, fist still outstretched towards the old coot. "Help me out here, lady."

'Hm? What? I haven't the faintest clue what you're talking about.'

Tycho sighed slightly, raising his eyes to the ceiling of the stand. "Please."

'Jeeze you're thick today. What do you want from me? I'm just a voice in your head. It's your amulet.'

Frowning at this, Tycho considered his options for the briefest of moments, the flames still covering his body, licking at his legs. Nodding to himself decisively, he vaulted over the counter of the hot dog stand, rising to his full height in front of the cowering woman. Both hands gripped into tight balls, he stared down at her, a strange type of fury overcoming him. There was something about the woman, something dark and sinister, that made him confused and violent.

The hag's smile and mocking laughter died down as she glanced up at him, her legs pushing against the floor, attempting to gain more distance between them. "What are you waiting for, 'Ko? Do it."

Ko, I have a favour to ask. Daddy wants me to bring the little one to the river, where we found the cave? I don't want to go alone. Come with us? Please?

Tycho's fist lashed out, making contact with the woman's right cheek with an abrupt force, sending his knuckles into a panging sense of shock. The woman's cheek was singed, blistering from the heat of the flames, and her head lolled slightly even as he came at her with his right hand, smashing into the opposite side of her head. He was overcome by the rhythmic motion of the deed, the sudden hardcore violence. Around him, the flames flickered and died, cooling into a temperature that made them deep red instead of the orange hotness of before. With a flash of the amulet, however, the fire around his hands and arms flared, igniting into an even higher, all-consuming roar as he swung his fist towards her temple, making her slump against the back wall.

Suddenly, the old woman was nothing more than a dumpster, green and twisted. The blows he landed were nothing more than his fury and anger. Whisper, covered in black tar. An old man who died from a heart attack. A barely understood letter written to a woman he didn't even know. Balthazar. The Corruption. His faults and failures, all inside an ugly, twisted old woman.

When it was done, Tycho sat against the opposing wall of the stand, his arms crossed over his bent knees, gaze holding the crooked and battered corpse, charred in places and blistered in others. His arms dimmed, the fire retreating into his skin, as he breathed heavily.

Tycho wiped at his eyes, not even noticing the tears pouring from his cheeks. He opened his mouth, and then closed it, swallowing. He couldn't tear his gaze away from the woman, forced himself to stare at her, recognize that he had done this.

'Well, that was... have you ever thought about therapy?'

"Can't say I have." His voice was raw, scratchy. Thick with tears. "Thanks fer th' help, by the way."

'Hey, don't look at me. I have better things to do than beat up old ladies. That was all you. I don't know how many times I have to tell you that. Seriously, it's like talking to a brain damaged orangutan.'

"Yeah, poor you. You must have it hard." He said, in mock sympathy. He stood, half-heartedly thrusting his fist out again, thinking the word.

When nothing happened - again - the tears came harder, resulting in a hoarse "fuck" that tore itself from his throat.

"Please help me," he said, softly. "Need t' get rid o' th' evidence. How do I use it?"

'Well, I probably should have said something sooner, but I think it's a little late for that.'

"Wha' do y' mean?" Tycho said, turning his gaze from the dead woman.

All he glimpsed was the sight of two bright red converse in the pool of a streetlight as a figure dashed away from the scene, glancing over his shoulder once before disappearing into the night. Tycho's first instinct was to leap over the counter again, but once there, he didn't have any clue as to what he was going to do. Chase after him? The boy had a good head start. Chances are, he'd report the murder.

It was only a matter of time.

Turning back to the hot dog stand, Tycho let out another dark sigh, having finally seemed to stem the flow of tears. "The stand? Can y' help me burn it down?"

'What good will that do? I mean, unless you're looking to roast the old lady on a spit with the rest of those hot dogs.'

"Fire'd cover up bruises. Don' need it t' be completely burnt, just charred. Yeh gon' help, or not?"

'I'm really not following. Some kid watched you pummel the woman's face in, and you're worried about bruises? Just get the fuck out of there.'

"So, a not, then. Thanks fer th' heads up, there." Tycho walked back around to the hot dog stand, searching for something to do with heat, fire - anything that didn't involve summoning it. Because, apparently, he sucked at that. Finding a small propane can, he tossed it into the stand, opening the valve to release some of the gas into the air. Taking five strides backwards, he pulled out a pack of his cigars, lit the entire thing with his lighter, and tossed the package into the stand.

He turned and walked away as the flame spread to the top and sides of the stand, engulfing it all in a macabre, orange and red fireball.

Please, Ko? I know that you want to practice archery, but-

Why would I want to hang out with dumb kids like you guys?

You make everything fun! Come on, just this once.

Okay, fine. But as soon as something cool comes along, I'm taking off.

I love you, big brother.

Yeah, yeah.

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Re: Shadows from the Past

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby NotAFlyingToy on Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:27 pm

The paper was spread out on the nightstand, the dusty white against the deep mahogany of the wood. Tycho's eyes were glued to the front page of the paper; the words "HAVE YOU SEEN THIS MAN" shrieking out at him, accompanied by a drawing that was... well, laughable.

The drawing depicted a man wearing a black hoody, a dark beard, chiselled jaw, and narrowed, dangerous eyes. In short, a man who looked far more attractive than he.

The article detailed the teenager's story - how he had seen the dark deed and fled immediately to the authorities. It conveniently shied away from wondering why the hell the kid was out there in the first place, but Tycho supposed that that was neither here nor there in the long run. Right now, he had a woman that he had murdered - in cold blood, really. Granted, she had set him on fire, but who on earth was going to believe that story? The article had said it plain as day - a kind old hot dog vendor, brutally attacked by a raving madman.

Tycho ran both sets of fingers through his hair as he continued to gaze down at the paper, the thick dark locks curling and retaining the position he left them in. He needed a shower, and he needed to think. Both of those things were proving fairly elusive the longer he stared at the damned paper.

"Tha' looks nothin' like me." He muttered. "I look stupid."

'I dunno, I can kinda see the resemblance. They definitely captured the drunken lunatic vibe, wouldn't you say?'

"Th' nose's too straight. An' he looks too tall. They go' th' height completely wrong." A finger tapped at the top of the page, where the facial hair spread across Police-Sketch Tycho's face. "An' that's a shade too dark. M'face is lighter."

Sighing, Tycho knocked the paper off of the nightstand, rising to his feet. Padding around the run-down motel room, attempting to collect his thoughts, flashes of the night streaked across his frontal lobe.

"Okay," he said, to the room. "So, since I'm kinda a murderer now, an' yer technically an accomplice, I was wonderin' if y'could do me a favour."

'An accomplice? I'm pretty sure they can't pin a murder on a dead person. Besides, I'm just an unfortunate bystander in all of this.'

"Hm. Wouldn' put anythin' past th' Wing City police, lady. But I was wonderin' if yeh could show me how th' amulet worked. Last night, didn' seem ta wanna do so much as a spark."

'That old lady would probably have a different story. What were you thinking when it did work? You know, what was going on in your head to make you pummel a woman into a pile of dead meat.'

Tycho sighed, his fists curling with the weight of a woman's bones crunching beneath his fists, boots, elbows.

"Rage." He said, simply. "But that ain' consistent. Used it on Mylor's robot, an' that weren't anythin' bu' thinkin' Fire. Same with th' gooey thing. So... Hulkin' out can' be the answer."

He paused.

"Can it?"

'No, you moron. You were feeling rage, but what were you thinking? The amulet exists as a constant source of power. You simply need to let your walls down to let it in. A trick that is made substantially harder given your limited mental capacity. When you were angry it was easier because you were acting on instinct, you weren't thinking about it. That's your answer. Less trying, and more just letting it happen. Let the fire out, let it use you as a conduit, and reign it in. It will have a mind of its own if you don't get a handle on it.'

Tycho lifted the amulet, staring down at it. "So, are ya sayin' it's Sentient?"

'Not exactly. Think of it like... uh... an untamed river. It's going to run its course one way or the other.'

"You can tame rivers?" Tycho muttered, imagining a flowing body of water attempting to roll over for an outstretched treat. Shaking away the sleep deprivation and odd thoughts, he walked towards the bathroom, reaching in to twist both knobs on. As the water began to flow, he closed the shower curtain and stared at it.

"Alrigh'. Let m'walls down."

Tycho exhaled, going with the first image that popped to mind; a river that was walled with concrete, trickling through the cracks in a pathetic amount of water. He watched as he slowly gained the ability to temper the flow, strengthen it, shape it via the walls around it. Slowly, very slowly, he forced the walls to retreat, sinking into the ground with a groan, letting the water pour further, stronger, until it was truly a torrent that maifested in his twitching fists, tingling sensations flowing over his palms and wrists.

Tycho opened his eyes to see flaming hands, hands that he rotated slowly, watching them with fascination and awe. The fire was red; bright and unnatural, and his eyes widened at them.

'What do you know. It seems that the monkey can be taught after all.'

Tycho smirked. "Ya think so? What'd y'learn, then?" Tycho touched his face with the flaming hand, feeling the prickly tingle alongside the skin of his own flesh. Amazing. Simply amazing.

"Hey, this could be real useful." He said, grinning. He raised an arm, dramatically pointing. "Tycho, th' human torch!" All fear my-

His finger touched the shower curtain, promptly igniting it.

'I'm afraid all right...'

Squeaking, Tycho leaped backwards, watching as the flames around him promptly died and withered away while the curtain shot up in flame, the fire, not having anywhere else to go, wilting the cheap cloth until it sank into the rapidly filling bathtub with a faint hissing sound. Tycho watched with a bit of disdain at the material.

"Righ'." Tycho said, turning from the bath, walking back into the main bedroom of the shitty motel room. "Enough o' tha'. Thanks fer th' help, Lady."

'Yeah yeah. Try not to kill yourself. Just because it protects you from fire doesn't mean it will protect you from you know... having a burning building fall on your head.'

"Soun' advice." Tycho said, slightly mockingly. "Now. Can yeh think o' anythin' I did recently ta piss some ol' woman off? She seemed pretty intent on killin' me."

'... should I make a list?'

Tycho rolled his eyes. "Yukk it up, chuckles. I mean serious, 'My name is Inigo Montoya, yeh killed m'father' type rage."

'... I was being serious.'

Sinking onto the bed, Tycho let out a short chuckle. "Alrigh'. So let's assume tha' everyone ain't as psycho or touchy-feely as you. Maybe by like... four hundred percent or so. Now can y' think o' a list? Did I kill someone's cat in th' last few days?"

'You do realize this wasn't the first woman to try and kill you in the past week? Right? I mean really, maybe you're just not a people person.'

"S'true. Th' count o' women tryin' ta do me in has gone higher since y'joined me. Could have somethin' to do with all those flamin' hugs you give out, also." He stifled a yawn as he lay back against the covers, not bothering to take any of his clothing off.

"Maybe it's you."

'Didn't we just establish that you're the one using the amulet? I'm just a voice in your head. And I know I sure as hell didn't light the bathroom on fire. Not my fault that you picked up some weird toy and didn't bother to learn how it works first'

"An' we've established tha' I don' believe yer a voice in m'head. Yer not a very good listener."

'That doesn't really invalidate the situation. Besides, if I could light you on fire, I would. Repeatedly. It would be great.'

Another yawn, and the man rolled over to flick off his lamp. "Promises promises. Didn't yer mom ever tell ya not t'be a tease?"

'Didn't you just wake up? Seriously, let's do something that doesn't involve staring at the ceiling for hours. I hear there's this little old lady who sells flowers down on Main Street.'

"Between facin' another possibly crazy old woman an' an extra few hours o'sleep? I'll take th' sleep, thanks." He mumbled into the pillow.

'So. What's with the random bouts of going comatose?'

There was a long silence from the pillow. "I killed a woman yesterday night, Lady." He muttered.

'Don't forget the old man the day before.'

"Yer helpful." He shot back. "I Ain' never killed before; not like tha'. An' th' scary thing is, I should be feelin' panicked. I should be feelin' some kinda crushin' remorse. But I ain't. An' th' strangest thing 'bout this whole thing is that when I was standin' over th' woman, a voice in m'head was sayin' 'Just like last time.'"

Tycho rolled over again, on his back. "Well, second strangest. Th' strangest thing is tha' I only have you ta talk abou' it with."

'So you have a history of beating up women? Somehow that doesn't surprise me. But that doesn't answer the question about why you keep zoning out all the time. It's a little off putting having you blank out on me when I'm trying to tell you what a moron you're being.'

Tycho rolled his eyes again. "We wouldn' wan' that, would we? An'..." He furrowed his brow, thinking.

"I think... I think I do have a history. Bu' I can' remember it unless somethin'.. I dunno. Triggers it. Everythin' bleeds out, an' all I see are colours, an' voices. Some of 'em are my own."

'Well, what did you remember last night? You blanked out pretty good for being in the middle of committing violent, unbridled acts of rage and murder.'

Tycho squinted. "Little girl, callin' me 'Ko'. Couldn't have been more'n fourteen. I was young, too, voice was crackin'. Somethin' about escortin' her an her brother somewhere? Some kind o' cave? An' her dad would be mad. An then th' woman called me Ko."

He squinted further. "Don't make sense, though. I'm thirty somethin'; she was an ol' hag. Could she have been playin' mind shit on me? Can ya sense shit like that?"

'Huh. Okay, I think it's official. You're out of your mind. Like we're talking full on, clinically fucked in the head.'

"An' th' voice in m'head is th' best person ta diagnose me?"

'Well, actually I think the voice in your head is further evidence of your condition. So are we killing more old people or what?'

Tycho frowned. "Nah, you weren' much help las' time. Don' think there's much of a team spirit from ya."

'I was moral support. Or I suppose technically that would be amoral support...'

Tycho hopped off of the bed, standing to his full height as he walked out the door. "Th' word yer lookin' for is "Useless"."

'IUh huh. I see how it is. Well, let's see how well you fair without me, eh?'

"Can dish it out, but y'just can't take it. Funny, how I'm th' one going through flashbacks and sleepin' th' day away, yet yer th' pathetic one." He smiled in satisfaction.

'You misunderstand. This is purely for self-satisfaction. It'll entertain me to sit here and wait for you to come asking for my help.'

Tycho shrugged. "Promise you won' talk?"

'I don't recall that being part of the arrangement.'

"Figured this was too good t'be true." Popping his dirty, well-worn collar, Tycho stepped out of his room, not caring about whether or not he locked it.
Last edited by NotAFlyingToy on Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Shadows from the Past

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Tiko on Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:49 pm

Of course it'd be raining when he walked outside.

Retreating his nose lower into his collar, Tycho moved through the drizzle, the heat of the day making the air muggy, thick. His eyes constantly danced around everyone walking past, looking for any kind of recognition, alarm... any emotion or hint or clue that they were going to turn him in. Inside the pockets of his coat, his hands fisted into tight balls, his head bowed and low, eyes on the ground when they weren't skating over everyone in a panic.

A car drove past him, an errant wheel sinking into a puddle along the side of the road. The water splashed over his pants, making dark stains in the denim. He barely noticed, so absorbed was he in focusing inward. He imagined a line that stretched from when he was born to now, and focused on each on each point of that line.

He didn't get past waking up one morning, fifty thousand dollars on his bedside table.

But he had so many experiences. He could feel the way a smooth, wooden crossbow rested against his hands. He could remember the cool river about his bare foot when hunting for deer. He could envision the feeling of a steam jet burning his arm, his belt heavy and loaded with tools.

He felt the bite of a hammer into his palm, and the blood that suddenly rose because of it.

He was snapped out of his reverie when a man’s shoulder slammed against his, spinning him to the left to step out of his way. As he did so, his collar popped down, exposing his face to the drizzling misery of the rain.

Blinking at the sudden exposure of skin, Tycho was just about to pop his collar back up when he caught sight of a familiar kid.

A kid who was looking at him as if he recognized him.

Their gazes met and clung for the span of a heart-beat. Tycho raised his eyebrows, the kid’s mouth twitched downwards.

In a flash, the two began to move in two different directions; Tycho walking quickly down the street, popping his collar back up. The kid began running towards a constable, leaning against a building on his cell phone. Tycho heard the words “Officer! Officer!” ringing across the distance he began to put between him and this place, his steps quick, but not hurried. Long, but not running. He was calm, he was a mountain, he was unflappable-

“Hey you! Stop!”

Tycho began to run.

‘Oh boy, this is going to go great.’

“No kiddin’” The man shot back, his footfalls coming faster and harder as he tore around the corner, skidding slightly in the slickened asphalt. Recovering his balance by a hair, Tycho weaved through the crowd, his body bobbing and weaving between pedestrians as he moved. Behind him, the thudding footfalls of shined shoes began gaining on him. Tycho’s heavy drinking and utter lack of anything resembling exercise didn’t exactly serve him well, here - he was quickly losing his breath, unable to keep up with the frenetic pace of the chase.

So, naturally, he resorted to underhanded tactics.

As a woman with a stroller passed by him, her eyes widening in shock at the hot pursuit, Tycho whirled around her, his fist catching the woman’s sleeve and yanking her into the path of the chasing policeman. She staggered off balance, the stroller perching dangerously on two wheels with her sudden shift in balance. The policeman had two choices; either crash into her in the pursuit, or stop and help her.

Apparently, the cop wasn’t a good samaritan. That, or he wasn’t very dexterous. Either way, the man went bowling into the woman, making them both topple to the pavement, the stroller flopping on its side, accompanied by the soundtrack of a giggling baby from within.

Tycho didn’t slow in his path, charging across the street, barely sparing a glance backwards with a satisfied smirk. He was home free, now - all he needed to do was give the man the sli-

A screeching of tires made his heart leap into his throat, and suddenly he was airborne, slamming into the top of a taxi cab, bouncing, and rolling over it. He managed to land on his feet - an act that was accompanied with a sharp pain up his left leg - and hobbled to the sidewalk, keeping up a mantra of curses that intensified threefold as the cop managed to disentangle himself from the woman, and was now squawking on a hand held radio as he ran across the street, closing the distance between the two men.

“Officer Rawley requesting backup at Fifth and Nile, we have a suspect running west on Nile. Suspect is on foot, and injured. Repeat, this is Officer Raw-”

With another screeching of tires, the policeman, too, went somersaulting into the air.

‘So uh... are you trying to add killing a police officer to your rap sheet?’

“You can’ blame tha’ one on me.” He grunted back, turning to hobble into a nearby alleyway, staggering towards the street on the other side. “Still insistin’ on bein’ stubborn?”

’Stubborn? Whatever do you mean?’

“Tha’d be a yes, then.” Tycho confirmed, dragging his bum leg further into the darkness of the alleyway. “Wha’ would I do withou’ ya?”

“Without who?” Piped up a shrill voice, seemingly coming from a pile of garbage.

Tycho leapt into the air, whirling at the sudden voice, his hands flying in front of him in a gesture of self defence.
The figure popped up from under the mound; a dark-skinned man, covered in a slimy substance that coated him, making him look smooth and shiny beneath it. He grinned a full set of wide teeth at Tycho, oddly white and luminescent, in contrast with the rest of him. “Hello!”

‘Oh hey, it’s another woman. You know what this means, right?’

“Can we go back to you bein’ sullen and quiet, like tha’ one time? Tha’ was great.”

‘Sullen? Hardly. Unless you’re one of those men who thinks he’s God’s gift to women, and that if a woman isn’t speaking to him, it means she must be stewing over something. Then again, with your penchant for beating women, who knows what bizarre and distinctly unhealthy views are going through your head.’

“Apparently, yer in ‘em. With that info, I agree with yer assessment.”

The man looked from Tycho to the wall next to him, then back at the man. “Who ya talkin’ too, slick?”

Tycho smiled, politely, before taking a too-large, shaky step backwards. “Look, pal-”

“Oh, I insist. Call me Matthias.”

‘How about Martha? I like Martha.’

“Er. Okay. Matthias. I’m kinda in a hurry, here. There’s someone chasin’ me.”

The man glanced as Tycho pointed back to where he came, raising his eyebrows. “Can they move through brick?”

Tycho blinked. “No, they’re jus’ around th’ corner. Tycho turned slightly to gesture towards the opening of the alleyway.

Only to find that it was a complete brick wall.

“How are the memories coming, my friend?”

At that, Tycho slowly turned his head, his gaze furrowing as he beheld the man, sizing him up. “Memories?” He said, through clenched teeth.

“Mhm!” came the chirped reply. “Sudden flashes of a questionable nature? People and places you haven’t met or seen? Disorienting and random bouts of time that you zone out?”

Tycho’s fists clenched a little tighter. “I don’ know wha’ yer talkin’ bou’.”

The man nodded. “Yes, you do. What’s wrong with your tongue?”

“Nothin’.”

“Exactly. You speak with an odd mixture of consonants and vowels; not quite an accent, not quite a speech impediment.”

‘Heh. I like this guy after all. Though personally I would have just asked how much booze you threw back this morning.’

“It’s the result of poor physiotherapy from a tongue wound - likely sustained when you were quite young. But you don’t remember that, do you?” He queried, leaning closer. “How’s your hand?”

Tycho frowned. “Okay. Who th’ fuck are ya? How d’you know this stuff.”

Matthias smiled slowly. “Now, that’s the question, isn’t it? But you’re asking it the wrong way. The question, Tycho, is who the fuck are you. You sure as hell aren’t a thief from the slums of Wing City, a rough-and-tumblin’, high drinkin’, don’-give-a-fuck type of guy. You also aren’t the hero of the world, looking to save the Sword Bearers from plight and misery.”

Tycho frowned. “Y’seem t’know who ‘zactly I ain’t, mister. Mind givin’ me a hand?”

The man shook his head. “Oh no. You’ve done enough. The reason we’re having this conversation, Mr. Darsin, is that something’s very, very different this time around. You should’ve been burned to a crisp last night, and yet... Here you are.”

’So what was that you were saying about me being useless?’

Tycho’s mouth curled slightly in a snarl. “How d’ya know all o’ this? How does everyone I meet know more abou’ this than me? What th’ fuck is happenin’ to me?”

Matthias arched an eyebrow, his fists planted on his hips. “Well now, that’s a little dramatic, don’t you think? Look on the bright side; you’re clearly more resourceful this time around.”

“This time-- What!? What the fuck even does tha’ mean? Th’ woman said th’ same shit last night, too - this time aroun’, this incarnation. What am I - some kinda immortal... person?”

Matthias’ lips quirked a slight bit. “Oh no. I’ve said far too much already; the rest will be bestowed upon you with time. The memories will return - if you are patient - and then we can see this game out until it’s end.”

Matthias’ hand reached out, a glowing palm brightening up the alleyway. In an instant, Tycho’s leg felt better, the stabbing pain disappearing. Tycho glanced down at the leg, testing its mettle against the pavement for a time, amazed at the sudden vanishing act of all pain. But when he looked up, the man was gone.

“...I don’ get it.” Tycho said aloud.

‘Well, that was a remarkable waste of time...’

“No kiddin’.” Tycho muttered, scratching his chin idly. He began walking again, dazedly through the alleyway, deep in thought.

“Memories. Patience. Th’ fuck is this, day care? Don’t answer that.”

Sighing, he moved out into the street, glancing up and down it. No police.

“Wanna go to th’ bar?” He asked, idly, his feet taking him up the road.

‘So you’re a wanted criminal with police out scouring the streets for you, and you want to go to the one place you’re known to hang out? Sounds like a plan, let’s go.’

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Re: Shadows from the Past

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby NotAFlyingToy on Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:40 am

My path leads me to the grassy slope that leads to the mountain trail, on either side of my path are bottles; thousands upon thousands of all shapes and sizes that litter the ground. I walk up the pathway, leaving the cabin with your hairbrush and perfume nestled inside far, far behind me. I ascend the path of my sin, each bottle a memory, each glass a stark reminder of my own actions. Each one of these bottles is incomplete; for I am not in the bottom of them, and I remember each time I hit that dreadful state. At the time, I knew not how I had come to be at the glass prison, slowly filling with rum and whiskey and rye and red wine. I only knew that I was content to stay there. The Sheriff told me he was not drunk, but tired. Maybe I was drunk and tired when that Smith & Wesson kicked against me, the hammer biting my palm. Maybe I was trying to shoot my way out of the bottle.


As the shot glass was lifted to Tycho’s lips for the eighth time that evening, he was suddenly struck with vivid imagery, the kind of sudden plunge into a daydream so deep that it could very well be a hallucination. He felt as though there were someone sitting beside him, their hand around a bottle that was far bigger than his own method of drink, their heavy sigh rattling the bar counter. Turning his head to the side, however, resulted in only making him severely doubt his own sanity. There was no bar stool beside him - he was at the end of the counter - but he could’ve sworn a friend of his, a man he had known for a long time, was sitting there with him.

“Okay, either I ain’t drunk enough, or I’m too drunk.” He murmured, tossing the shot back effortlessly. He didn’t even wince as the tequila burned his throat, just orded another one immediately. “Coulda sworn someone was sittin’ ‘side me.”

‘Uh huh. How many of those things have you shot back tonight?’

“Yer always so interested in how much I’m drinkin’. If I didn’ know better, I’d say you were worried.”

'Or maybe I just don't care to subject myself to watching you wake up in a pile of your own vomit again. Have you thought about therapy? Or you know, prison. Oh, I know! One of those psychiatric prisons would do just about right.'

“Aww, you do care.”

“I’m getting worried, Tycho. They haven’t shown up in three days.”

The voice lilted over towards him, emanating from the empty space beside him. He whirled, squinting at the space. Almost involuntarily, his own mouth moved.

“They’ll show.”

The words were spoken with conviction, absolute determination. He felt as if he knew exactly what he was speaking of, as if it made perfect sense to blurt out such an insistent statement in the midst of a bar. He rubbed at his face, pressing his hand to his lip as he swirled the little glass. “Think I’m goin’ crazy. Crazier than usual.”

‘You think? But hey, watching you be crazy is better than nothing. So, what other things have you been seeing?'

Tycho squinted. “A cave. An’ some glowin’ green stuff all ‘round it. Got all over m’hands. Feel like somethin’ importan’ happened there.”

He rubbed his face again.

“How do you know? How do you always know?”

“I jus’ do, man. They’ll show. Quit worryin’.” He snapped to his right, and then blinked, hard. “Fuck me,”

'You know, there's some caves down by the lake. You don't want to get caught in there if it rains, but I remember there being some green slime. Maybe you'll remember something. And hey, worse case scenario, you just further your downward spiral and break from reality. Really, it's a win, win situation.’

”Yeah. Yeah, you’re right. I just... How can you be so calm? When they have Jes-”

“Don’ finish tha’ fuckin’ sentence.” Tycho suddenly snarled, sweeping the glass off of the table, sending it skittering towards his right. It flew through empty air - for a moment, the space looking like a tall, thin man, wearing a baseball cap - and smacked onto the floor, leaving a jagged crack up the side of it.

Tycho stared down at the shot glass, before rising to his feet and cramming his hands into his pockets. “Yeah. Whatever. Let’s go.”

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Re: Shadows from the Past

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Tiko on Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:45 am

In front of him was a cave, a yawning mouth of darkness and the faint sound of dripping, a culmination of a little boy’s dreams. Tycho stood at the entrance, peering quietly inside, his eyes darting around the rapidly fading light inside the tunnel, fists clenched awkwardly at his sides.

At the back of his mind, a memory itched, tingled - tried to make itself known. He felt like he was grasping at shells in an ocean - whenever he felt his fingers close around it, the slippery surface would force the object to fire deeper into the sea. Before he could drown himself, something always yanked him back - a fish hook digging into his skull that brought him back towards surface level. He flexed his right hand, still gaping at the mouth of the lakeside cave, still not being able to bring himself forwards.

“What’m I gon’ find in here?”

'It's your head, I'm just a spectator. Maybe you'll remember something.'

Tycho’s response was a grunt, two fingers rubbing at the bridge of his nose. “Alrigh’ then.”

He took a tentative step towards the caves, the rocks crunching beneath his worn feet as he approached the yawning opening in the rock face...

To find it completely collapsed, filled in with rubble and grit, large boulders nestled in between smaller ones.

“Ah yes. It’s all comin’ back to me now.” He deadpanned. “Neglected t’mention there weren’ any kind o’ caves, didn’ ya?”

'Well, pardon me if my information is outdated on account of being dead.'

“Ever get tired o’ playin’ th’ dead card? It’s okay t’ admit bein’ useless, y’know.”

’And your idea was so much better. Oh wait, you didn’t have one. Unless you count drinking yourself into a stupor.’

“Anythin’s better than’ this, far as I’m concern-”

“Stay calm, man. Be cool.”

“Don’ tell me t’fuckin’ be cool. ‘M an ice cube. Shut up.”

“Just saying, Darsin. Maybe this is a little too close to home.”

“Jus’ fuckin’ walk, Mack.”

Tycho paused, staring off into space for a moment, before beginning to pick his way across the rocky terrain, circling the once mighty caverns around to the side of the bluff. The entire way, he could hear two men breathing, the crunching of boots, the rustling of fabric. He could almost feel the weight of a revolver on his hip, and he could taste the sweat and fear of the man beside him. These experiences were incorporeal, non-existent. They weren’t happening here, now.

But they were happening.

'Uh... the caves are back the other way.'

“I know.” He said, determined.

“Shit, man. What if they don’t-”

“Funny. I remember tellin’ ya to shut th’fuck up, Mack.”

“Don’t do that, man. This just... it freaks me, you know? This whole cliffside meeting? What if they don’t got Jessica?”

“Then they’ll wish they were dead.” Tycho’s voice dropped, acidic, poisonous. His steps were heavier, faster, as an empty dread filled his gut, clenching his heart with fear. Something had scared him, here. Something had driven him to stupid actions, and from what he could gain from the slippery memories, he had been prepared to murder to get whatever it was.

Whoever it was.

He continued to walk until he was staring up at the bluff, remembering taking a dive off of it and landing in the water below. Where he was standing was shallower, louder as the waves rolled gently into the shore, shifting through the rocks with a near-constant hissing of waves. He stood ankle-deep in water, squinting upwards at the cliff, watching. Waiting for something.

'So uh... are you just planning to stand around taking in the view?'

Tycho opened his mouth to reply, and abruptly shut it, his eyes staring at a point atop the cliff. “This is where she fell,” he muttered to himself, squeezing his eyes shut.

’Who fell?’

He could almost see it; it was right there, right in front of his grasping fingers. He could feel the smooth outer edge of the memory, slowly working the shell into his palm.

“Mr. Darsin. I believe we have something that belongs to you.”

“Tycho?”

“Jessica?” He whispered, his voice barely heard over the hissing waves. His eyes popped open.

’Jessica? What are you on about now?’

The rest of the memory was a blur, blacked out shapes and wonky colours, his grasping fingers as the shell slipped away. He felt the bite of a hammer into his palm, the smell of sweat filling his nostriles and hazel eyes laughing at him. He felt the revolver shot boom through the night, a woman with red hair twisting with the gunshot, tumbling into open space.

As she turned to her left, the swell of her belly against the moonlight.

“NO!” Tycho screamed, viewing the woman fall from two vantage points, arms stretched in front of him as if to catch her. He saw her disappear over the lip of the bluff and fall into the space above him, her arms outstretched, flung wide. From the top and from the bottom, he watched her fall.

And in both cases, he closed his eyes when she hit the ground.

Opening his eyes - finding his vision blurred with pooling tears that fell down his face in small rivers, he stared at the rocky waves beneath his boots, not noticing the cold chill that slid up the back of his calves as the water seeped into his pants.

'I almost hope you just fall over and drown. I really do. Are you going to fill me or just stand there in a daze?'

Wiping below his eyes, Tycho glanced upwards again. “Someone died here. Someone I loved. Think her name was Jessica.”

He kicked at a rock in the water, and began walking back towards the shore, an odd picture of a goat filling his mind as he walked through the spot Jessica landed in a mangled, twisted heap. A goat with golden horns and red eyes.

Clearly, he was outside his mind.

“D’ya happen t’know o’ a random golden horned goat? Is tha’ like th’ patron saint o’fucked up?”

'All of that, and that's what you have? A goat? Really?'

“D’ya wanna hear ‘bout th’ possible criminals tha’ apparently kidnapped m’pregnant wife an’ shoved her off o’ a cliff? ‘Cause I got the impression tha’ you don’ much care bou’ shit like that.” He snapped.

'... I’m sorry.'

Tycho exhaled, his hand finding a familiar hold on the back of his neck, sifting through his hair. “Yeah. I... Alrigh’, I didn’ mean t’snap. Jus’ a little... on edge. Any help y’can give would be... well, helpful.”

'Demon goats are kind of a common theme. You may need to be more specific.'

Tycho’s straying hand moved from the back of his head, down his neck and towards his jaw, resting there thoughtfully. “Red eyes, gold horns. Kinda... mischievous lookin’? Like it knew somethin’ I didn’.”

[/i]‘Yeah, I’ve got nothing.’[/i]

“Hmm.” He muttered, beginning his ascent of the rocky terrain again, soaked shoes squishing with each step. “How d’ya know about this place, anyway?”

‘Lucky guess?’

“Lucky guess.” He repeated, nodding to himself. As his steps took him further and further away from the spot that Jessica had fallen, he felt his limbs grow heavier, slower. He was almost more aware of his surroundings, like a sixth sense. He felt the round stones beneath his feet give way when he tread upon them, rolling slightly until they found purchase. He felt the wind on his skin, felt a sudden prick as something pierced his foot-

He winced at the pain, lifting his foot to glance at the bottom of it. Embedded there was a small broach, a white lily pressed upon it. As he removed it from his shoe, his fingers closing around it, he felt suddenly weak, nauseated-

There was no way out of the cave - they all understood that now. The little boy, oddly, was the only one of their number who didn’t cry out, didn’t even so much as sob. He sat there on the floor of the oddly glowing cave, his legs crossed and eyes shut. The oldest boy clawed at the entrance to the collapse, his fingers raw and bloody from the effort. A girl kneeled over the prone form of another, much older girl, her mouth quivering.

“I think she’s dead, Tycho.” She said, her voice quavering. When the older boy didn’t respond, she turned towards him. “Tycho?”

“I heard you.” The oldest suddenly snapped, whirling to face her. “Are you going to help me, or are you just going to sit there?”

The girl put her hands on her hips. “Don’t you get angry at me. You’re the reason we’re here in the first place.”

“Don’t you even-”

“Hell, you’re the one that brought the kitchen slave down here in the first place. For what, a little slap-and-tickle? You make me sick, older brother. You were supposed to watch out for us. You were supposed to keep us safe-”

The older boy suddenly had the girl’s dress in his fist, his hand clenched around a small decoration that held the thing to her shoulder. “Shut up. Shut the fuck up.”

“Or what, Tycho? You going to hit me? Go on; do it.”

He didn’t; but he did rip his hand away, the broach sterling silver in the odd glowing of the cave. Growling his frustration, Tycho hurled it deep into the cave mouth, so far that he didn’t even hear it land. The girl’s expression, at first shocked and dismayed, slowly turned to broiling, tight anger.

“You son of a bitch.”

She leapt at him, her nails sharp talons, as her screeching filled the room.

When Tycho became aware of his surroundings again, he was lying on his back amidst the rocks, his temple bleeding slightly, a memory of an impact of stone on his skull. Blearily glancing at the object in his hand, he found only a bit of twisted copper, rusted and disintegrating from age and misuse.

“Th’fuck?” He whispered, groggily.

‘You know, when I said you should fall down and drown? You do know I didn’t mean it, right?’

“Wha’happened?” He muttered, looking around him in groggy panic. “Where’s th’ cave?”

’Maybe we should head back, you know, before you kill yourself.’

“Maybe.” He grumbled, sitting up, his head feeling like it had been split open. “Gettin’ tired o’ this sudden memory shit.”

‘So, where are we off to next?’

Tossing the scrap of metal aside, Tycho grunted.

‘Actually, I just had a thought. Scary I know.’

“Terrifyin’.” Tycho responded. “What kind o' thought?”

'You said something about a wife, right? Why not check the local public records for a marriage certificate, or a death certificate.'

Tycho snapped his fingers. “Lady, yer a genius.”

Hopping to his feet, suddenly energized, the man picked his way towards the path on top of the bluff, his steps taking him towards the city, sure of finding answers within.

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Re: Shadows from the Past

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby NotAFlyingToy on Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:34 pm

“What era of certificate are you looking for?”

The question posed was innocent enough, and was surely one that any normal man with a normal request could easily answer. Unfortunately, Tycho was left staring at the young blonde behind the desk, hands shoved deep into his pockets, aware that the back of his head still contained granules of sand and grit that stuck to his scalp. Not to mention the state of his clothes.

“Can y’give me a range?”

The woman plastered a fake, I’m-tolerating-your-appearance-in-a-government-building smile upon her face. “We have records dating all the way back to the mid-1800’s. I can look some up for you, if you wish.”

Tycho watched the oh-so-delicate lines upon the young lady’s nose wrinkle slightly as the nearby fan blew more of his scent towards her. She clearly wanted him out of her hair, and it wasn’t helping Tycho’s ego to stick around.

“Nah, I got ‘er. Thanks fer th’ help. Where can I look?”

The woman merely pointed across the marble floor, towards eight computer interfaces, hard-wired into a single round kiosk. The barbie fake smile was still plastered across her face, and Tycho tipped his invisible hat towards the woman as he made his way towards the computers.

On each screen was a simple display; a search bar was located at the upper right corner, the cursor blinking in the space before the small, cheerful “Go!”. Underneath the bar, there were several options - from Death certificates to property dealings to wedding certificates, alongside time frames.

Settling down at a keyboard, Tycho furrowed his brow at the screen, typing “Darsin” into the search bar, and proceeded to tick off the Wedding certificate option, alongside “Present - 1950’s.”

He clicked Go, and watched as a small “One moment please!” logo presented itself..

‘Hum de dum de dum.’

“M’I borin’ ya?” He murmured, as the check ran through. Four hits. He moved his cursor over each one, squinting at the dates.

‘Never mind that, what did you find? And try not to collapse and flail around on the floor in here. Probably will get dragged out by security.’

“Judgin’ by th’ looks she was shootin’ me, I’d say tha’ it’s gonna happen regardless.” He squinted at the screen. “Hm. None o’ these are a Jessica. Maybe we got married out o’ th’ City?”

Letting the question hang out in open air, Tycho whirled the mouse around the later dates, pondering the point of digging deeper. Shrugging a shoulder, he clicked the later dates, leaning back in his chair as the far too cheerful logo plastered itself over the computer screen once more.

He rubbed at his eyes, waiting for it to load, before suddenly struck with a thought. “Hey, yeh were alive, right?”

‘Hm? Why do you ask?’

“No reason.” He said quickly, drumming his hands on his chest as he stared at the logo. For some reason, the cheeriness made him want to put his fist through the monitor.

“Well, okay there was a reason,” he muttered, finally. “What was it like? Dyin’?”

’Planning to give it a try?’

Tycho shook his head. “Not for me.” he said, slowly. “For... Someone else. Did it hurt?”

’Do you want the truth?’

“Wouldn’t ask otherwise.” He grunted.

’It was a bundle of puppies and daisies.’

A huff of laughter emerged from clasped hands, and Tycho shook his head, sighing. “Yeah. Reckon it was. S’what I want t’believe.”

He tapped his thumbs, fidgeted. “D’ya think... what y’got, with th’ bein’ in m’head... Could tha’ happen t’anyone?”

'Sure why not. I mean, it's not like there aren't lots of crazy people hearing dead people in their head.'

Tycho was oddly sober, intense as he gazed up at the ceiling, imagining a woman’s face with a sardonic smirk. “Is tha’ all y’are, though? A voice in m’head? I mean... What if Jess-”

His voice broke off, choked, as if he were suddenly hit with puberty again. He shook his head, squeezing his eyes shut, fighting down the emotion. “Y’know, forget it. S’stupid anyway.”

Focusing on the screen in front of him, he scrolled down to the single hit on the screen, reading the names quickly. T. Darsin, and Jessica May-Darsin. Married, church of Precostals.

1923.

Nineteen. Fucking. Twenty three.

Tycho shot upwards, turning to stalk back over to the woman at the front desk. “S’cuse me.” He barked, hoarsely. “Someone’s fucked yer system up.”

‘Uh. That might not be a good idea.’

The woman, startled, glanced over Tycho as one would examine a crushed worm. Tycho snarled at the gesture - an actual, dark snarl. “Yeah, I know. Y’ain’ ‘zactly m’favourite person ever. I’ll make it brief.”

'You know, you might want to curb your aggressive tendencies towards women, unless you want to idle the night away in jail.'

As the woman opened her mouth, Tycho turned his snarl inward. “Shut th’fuck up, lady.” He pointed. “M’marriage is in tha’ computer. To a woman. An’ it says it was over eighty years ago. Do I look a hundred t’you?”

The woman’s nostrils narrowed - a symbol of annoyance that Tycho nearly did a double take at. “There are no mistakes in the system, sir. It’s updated every two years by a team of professionals.”
“Professional what? Knob gobblers?”

‘Oh boy. Here we go again.’

“Sir.” The nostrils narrowed even further. “If you continue to make a ruckus, I’m going to ask you to leave.”

Tycho stared. “Make a ruck- lady, which planet were y’born on? Y’look like a snake, an’ talk like m’grandmother. If I’m makin’ a goddamn ruckus, maybe y’should call ‘pon yer team of professionals,” he said the words as if he were a whacky children’s show host, “an’ haul m’ass outta hear.”

A tap on his shoulder turned Tycho around, his eyebrows quirked as his gaze led straight to a necktie, wrapped around a thick neck.

“Sir.” The bear of a bodyguard boomed, in a deep baritone. “I would like to ask you to leave.”

“See?” Tycho barked, looking at snake-bitch. “S’all y’needed t’do. Ask politely.” He nodded at the big man, then at the desk woman, before walking out the door.

“Precostan cemetary.” He muttered. “Can’ be true. Jus can’.”

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Re: Shadows from the Past

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Tiko on Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:27 pm

He didn’t know what he had been expecting, really. But the Graveyard had been as unfamiliar and unmemorable as any other. His mind didn’t offer up any more dizzying revelations; it didn’t set off a beacon of memories in his skull that sent him flat on his back for hours.

It was a graveyard; spooky, dark, and dead. As Tycho approached it steadily, his fingers doing an impromptu dance against his waste, he held fast to the belief that it was impossible.

Couldn’t be her. Couldn’t be here. Certainly wasn’t eighty years ago.

“She ain’t here. Ain’t no way she’s here. Tha’s crazy, righ’?”

'Do you really think that this would be the oddest thing that has happened to you in the past few weeks? By comparison, this is almost normal.'

Tycho shook his head. It was different, somehow - having physical proof to acknowledge what he was already beginning to expect. If he went into that gravesite and saw a stone that had her name on it...

He shut down that line of thinking, hopping the large iron-wrought fence with little regard or difficulty, his flashlight held between his teeth. As he landed on the other side of the high bars, he straightened, taking in his surroundings silently.

It was pretty standard as far as gravesites went - long rows of headstones that stretched from where he stood far into the distance of various shapes and sizes. Some were squat and flat; others were tall, shined to a marble polish and glittering in the breaking dusk. Tycho’s hands gripped the flashlight harder, flicking it on to better read the stones. “Didn’ say where she was buried. Guess I’ll start here. Can y’look fer anyone approachin’?”

'Like who? It’s a graveyard, at night.'

“Like someone who, say, makes mist tha’ tries t’boil people.” He muttered, staring at headstones. “In case y’haven’ notices, things ain’t ‘zactly normal, nowadays.”

‘Yeah, yeah. Fine.’

Tycho smiled slightly at that. “Aight’. Let’s get t’work.”



It was nearly an hour and five sections later that Tycho took a short break, leaning against the grave of one Harry Davidson, folding his arms and exhaling loudly as the cool marble pressed through his coat. He shifted his feet until his knees were slightly bent, his elbows resting on them.

“I’m beginnin’ t’think that yer a bad omen.” He said softly, looking down the row of graves he’d already checked.

‘Bad omen? Why’s that?’

“Well,” he began, shuffling his feet. “I weren’t more than a dude with a license t’drink. Then y’showed up, an’ all tha’ Swordbearer stuff happened, which lead t’me seein’ visions. Then, th’gardener, an’ th’ old woman. Seems like as soon as y’came into m’life, shit started explodin’.”

'Okay, well that's fair enough I suppose. But let’s say none of that stuff happened. Where would you be? Sitting around the bar drinking yourself to an early grave? Maybe you have this whole thing backwards. Really, are you any worse off than you were before? You're alive, and you're sober about five percent more of the time. That's a positive in my books.'

Tycho opened his mouth to reply, and then shut it. “S’a fair point.” He muttered, before rising to his feet.

At his full height, he began to search once more.

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Re: Shadows from the Past

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby NotAFlyingToy on Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:18 pm

At long last, he came to a block of gravestones that were different - far different - than any he had seen before. They were modest wooden crosses, the engraved dates and times of death were on small plaques at their base. As he walked down the path, he began to feel nauseous; the rippling movement of his stomach making him nearly double over. The feeling intensified as he fell to his knees, began to crawl, sobs wracking his body, his tears disturbing the dust in the harsh light -

And just as suddenly, he was standing in near darkness, before a solemn grave. Weeds had overgrown the small cross, and he had dropped his torch somehow - somewhere. He didn’t question it - he was trapped in the heat, the feel of the moment. Almost as if he was in synch with a life that wasn’t his; he could feel the sun, high in the sky, beating down on the back of his neck just as moonlight streaked past him. He bent towards the weeds in his battered overcoat and torn up jeans just as he did the same motion in an expensive tuxedo, the black tie choking at his skin. He brushed them away, removing the vegetation, just as he put flowers on top of the small engraving.

JESSICA DARSIN
1891 - 1923

A roaring in his ears had him staggering back, falling flat on his back as suddenly pictures, words, voices all invaded his head in a stirring cacophony of memories - memories that didn’t belong, shoving out ones of his mother and his brothers and car accidents and drinking.

“Kids? I don’t think Tycho’ll want kids. No, he’ll probably-”

“If you touch another goddamn bottle, Tycho Darsin, I swear to god, I’ll-”

“I don’t need your pity. I just need you to fix my door.”

“You may be the rudest man I’ve ever seen-”


Just as her voice filled his head, and the flashing pictures and movements - red hair with a flower through the curly tresses, her eyes when lit by candlelight, the feel of a smooth back under his rough fingers, her fist on his jaw, mouth tensed in anger, kissed, biting.

“Think y’could c’mere a sec? I got-”

“Don’ get yer panties in a bunch. Jus’ painted th’ room. She’ll need a pink room; girls like pink.”

“Y’know wha’? Fuck you. An’ fuck him, too.”

“Y’ain’ zactly a peach either.”

“Calm th’fuck down.”


His own words - thrown back at him through a long tunnel, echoing and bouncing and reverberating between his ears. At the end of the tunnel was a light, a long, wicked peak, jutting from the middle of a green oasis, corrupting the fields around it into shades of brown. A voice is booming and swearing in his head - I crawl on my belly, toes scratching at the rocky and sharp ground - his own, but he can’t make sense of the words. An island, the island, comes to him, came to him, has yet to move through him. His hands grip something - moss? Grass? Sand? Rocks? A periwinkle dress? - his back slams into something hard, and someone, somewhere, is shrieking a name.

His face is wet, and it isn’t raining, and his throat is sore, but he’s not sick. He vaguely recognizes that it’s him screaming, the name he’s screaming is hers, and the plaque he’s hitting is hers as well. His awareness switches between sunlight and moonlight as his fists slam against her name, against those little numbers that mean she was here seventy years ago, and he was, as well. He hits them and hits them until his knuckles are broken and bruised, until his blood is all over the space in front of her simple, wooden cross, until the grass around them is flecked with red -

- an explosion from a pistol, a man’s blood spattering on her bare breasts -

He doesn’t pass out until his arms are numb, his throat is bloody and raw, and his breakfast joins his blood on the grass.

-----

It had been three days.

Three days since he’d spoken; Three days since he’d moved his eyes from the fault on the wall where the plaster hung loose over a small hole punched into it. Three days since he’d showered or bathed or spoken, done anything than let the minutes tick by into hours, the hours tick by into oblivion. He felt numb, tired, and confused. He didn’t think, didn’t do anything other than occasionally bury the side of his face into the pillow.

Three long days.

’Tycho, you can’t lay there forever. You need to at least eat something.’

No response but a blank stare, his hands coming to rest underneath his cheek, eyes closing. Go away, he thought. Just go away.

He had remembered her. Remembered the way she looked and what he felt for her. And, all over again, she was gone.

’Look, I’m not going to go away. It has been three days, and while you may not care that you’re getting rather ripe, I would take it as a kindness if you at least showered and ate something before you die and things get really unpleasant in here.’

“Fuck off.” He muttered, rolling onto his back, his cheek scraping against a crusty pillow. The first day he’d spent roaring and sobbing in equal measure, the evidence of blood from his fingers and snot from his nose culminating in a copper coloured layer of hardness over the hotel pillow. He didn’t care; in a way he felt he deserved it.

’Will you at least talk about it? This isn’t healthy, I mean, less healthy than your normal bouts of drinking yourself into a stupor. I actually think that if you were drinking, it would be less concerning.

He glared upwards. “Fuck. Off.” He repeated. She had been quiet so far; hell he had just gotten to enjoy the solitude. Why didn’t she stay that way? Why couldn’t she leave?

’Whatever it is, it can’t be worth this. I should know.’

He snapped, then.

“You should know!? Wha’ ‘zactly do yeh know? Enlighten me to yer vast experience in this situation, ‘cause I’m havin’ a bit o’ difficulty with th’ whole, y’know, livin’ fer eighty years, losin’ th’ love o’ m’life, an’ suddenly bein’ able t’remember the exact momen’ she was torn away from me. An’ there ain’ fuck all I can do ‘bou’ it.”

'Oh, come off it. I've spent a lot more time dead than that, and you don't hear me bitching. Life sucks, simple as that. I know this, you know this. The only thing we aren't seeing eye to eye on is the fact that when life throws shit at you, be ready to throw shit back. There certainly won't be fuck all you can do about it, if you lay about here moping.'

He sat up, furious. “Don’ pretend t’know wha’ I’m feelin’, or wha’ I need, Lady. Yer nothin’ bu’ a vindictive bitch tha’s been piggy backin’ aroun’ on me, calling yerself tall on m’shoulders. Why th’ fuck should I listen t’you? Wha’ ‘shit’ could I possibly ‘throw back’? There ain’ nothin’ left!”

He flopped back down, his neck slamming into the pillow. “Fuckin’ joke. Can’ even remember her funeral, can’ even remember th’ best I had in life. Fuckin’ joke.”

'You forget that I'm probably the only person in your life right now that gives a right fuck at all. So my people skills aren't the greatest, it's not like yours are any better. Besides, you spend your days talking to a dead person, and then curl up in here because you can't do anything about your dead wife? You're cleverer than that. If you weren't, I wouldn't still be entertaining myself being a 'vindictive bitch' as you put it.'

Tycho glared at the ceiling, imagining a face carved into the crappy plaster job. “What can I do?” He snapped. “Wha’ could I possibly do?”

'There something I didn't tell you before, because frankly I figured if it went wrong, it would break you worse than you are now, but at this rate, I'm not sure there's much to lose. If the woman means that much to you, I might know a guy who knows a guy...'

Hope bloomed in his chest, crushed by the weight of doubt that settled in his stomach. “You know a guy who knows a guy?” He repeated, incredulously. “Unless th’ guy can pull folks back from eighty years dead, I don’ think he’ll be much help, here.”

’Souls are eternal. A day, a year, a century, it’s all the same to us. The trick lies in restoration of the body. That takes skill, and I’m not talking your backyard dabblers or half bit necromancers, unless it’s zombies you’re after, but I wouldn’t recommend having sex with those. What you need is a priest with the know how to restore the flesh and then return the soul from the beyond, which I may be able to help with. Just... these things don’t always go right, that’s why I didn’t say something sooner.’

Tycho paused for a time, his fists clenching at the bedsheets, eyes straight ahead, mulling the words over. Souls are eternal...

It could go wrong. The person that would return to him could not even be here. What if the woman that came back to his arms after all of this, the woman that he now was so incredibly aware of, so incredibly familiar towards... what if she wasn’t the same? What if she was a shell of a woman? What if she didn’t remember him?

Could he live with himself if he pulled her from an eternal slumber - where she could’ve had peace, could’ve been elated - just so that he could see her again?

Yes.

Tycho hopped off of the bed, standing to his full height for the first time in three days, shaking loose the cobwebs of his mind.

“Le’s give it a shot.” He murmured, attempting to keep the emotion from his throat, the chance, the shot, of seeing her again. “Ain’ like she can get deader.”

'Slow down there. Shower first. You should at least be presentable enough to not look like some crazy hobo off the street.’

Tycho frowned down at himself, then waved a hand. “Dude words aroun’ bodies. Ain’t like he’s never smelled it ‘fore.”

’Look, just trust me on this one, okay?’

Tycho grumbled once, rolling his neck and shoulders, patting his matted and coarse hair that stuck to his skull like a second skin. “Awrigh’. He’s yer friend’s friend.”

Tycho meandered into the bathroom, his clothes shedding as he went. “Bu’ I wanna get this done as soon as possible.”

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Re: Shadows from the Past

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Tiko on Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:33 pm

The church was towering and winding in the cloudy day, the afternoon sun fighting and struggling to be seen through the ominous cover of fluffy darkness. The impenetrable barrier loomed over the exiting patrons of the church, the wide double-doors hanging open and stiff, tied to their respective walls with a long, thick coil of rope. As the believers moved to their cars, Tycho squatted on the other side of the wrought-iron fence, his face shaved, hair cut, and wardrobe updated. He was wearing slacks, a dress shirt that was buttoned all the way up, shoes that were shiny and cramped his feet.

He had fought against the tie, and won.

“Wha’ ‘zactly am I gettin’ myself inta, lady?”

'We have been over this twice already. Just wait until the congregation clears out and then head inside. Don't look at anyone, just make for the pastor. You're here on business, very specific business. When he addresses you, show him the money. That will get you in the door, but after that you're on your own.'

Tycho’s eyebrows raised at that. “What, are y’ goin’ to be left at th’ door or somethin’? Holy places expell ya?”

'Har har, very funny. No you dumbass, he's going to ask you a lot of personal questions. Now stop wasting time.'

Tycho pointed at the stragglers leaving the church. “Y’said wait fer th’ congregation. I’m waitin’.”

When the last few stragglers exited the church doors, Tycho stood from his perch, stretching his knees before picking up a thick black briefcase. He walked towards the double doors, placing sunglasses over his eyes as he moved, trying to exude James Bond with very limited success. A memory wafted towards him, of him walking towards a tall apartment building, a revolver on his hip, a briefcase in his hand.

This time, in this decade, he didn’t have the gun. He felt suddenly naked.

A short man in a robe came out of the church as Tycho started up the stone steps, untying the ropes tethering the doors open. He paused as Tycho approached, and shot him a beaming smile that split his lips, reminiscent of the Cheshire cat.

“I’m sorry, son, but the sermon’s over. You’ll need to-”

It was then that Tycho flipped the latches of the briefcase, turned it towards the priest, and opened the lid. The man’s eyes immediately flashed with recognition, and he waved Tycho inside.

The church was huge and encompassing, as these places always tended to be. Tycho lifted the sunglasses off of his face, putting them in his dress shirt pocket as the man finished untethering the doors, moving towards him with quick, businesslike strides.

“Are you the Praetor?” Tycho asked, his voice reverberating around the room.

“What kind of question is that?” The man snapped. “Of course I am. You don’t have an appointment.”

“No, I don’.” Tycho said, keeping his voice just as curt and business-like. “But I do have fifty thousan’ dollars that could change hands, if yeh’ll hear m’ out.”

The Praetor’s upper lip curled slightly, before waving something off. “Follow me.”

The two men moved through the church, past the Pulpit set up in front of the assembled benches, around a side door that led to a dimly lit hallway. The Praetor grabbed an umbrella, tapping three times at a stone block, which immediately opened a small passageway. Tycho had to duck to fit into it as the Praetor lit a lantern, descending into the darkness.

“How did the subject die?”

Tycho blinked at the question. “She fell. Fell off o’ a cliff,” He paused, “ an’ she may also have been shot.”

A tut from the Praetor’s lips was the only response to that, followed by “Was she feeling extreme emotion?”

Tycho lifted a brow. “Well, she fell off o’ a cliff, Praetor. Figure tha’ she had some emotion or another.”

“Being a smartass will get you nowhere, Mr...?”

’Damien Sezarius’

Tycho widened his eyes. “Uh... Damien. Damien... Sezarius.”

The Praetor’s eyes widened in surprise. “Ah, of course. Mr. Sezarius. We finally meet.”

Tycho frowned at the man’s back, before nodding. “Mmhm.”

“I’ve always wondered what you looked like, you know. You weren’t what I was expecting.”

Tycho slid a glance upwards. “Me, either,” he muttered, more to Red than himself, clearly wanting an explanation.

'What? You weren't exactly winning any friends off your own stellar personality. So what if I gave you the reputation of a necromantic necrophiliac. At least he'll think you traffic in the trade.'

Suddenly, Tycho stopped moving, making a strangled, angry sound in the back of his throat. When the Praetor glanced back towards him, he waved slightly. “Stubbed m’toe.”

The hallway opened to a large room, with several implements adorning the walls, ceiling, and floor of various shapes and sizes. In the center of the room stood a large table, with spotted flecks of blood spattered across it. Tycho watched with a veiled distaste as the Praetor spread a sheet over the table, smoothing it out with rounded, fat fingers.

“What was your relationship with the subject?”

“Was married t’her.” He said, simply.

“Happy marriage?”

Tycho thought about the snippets he had remembered. “Had its ups and downs.”

“But overall, it was happy?”

“Yeah.”

The Praetor nodded, tapping his hands against the table. “Did you love her?”

“Yeah.”

“Did she love you?”

Tycho frowned. “S’far as I can tell.”

The Praetor paused for a moment, before holding a hand up. “Mr. Sezarius. I appreciate your need for discretion, but these are very important questions. I would ask that you answer them seriously and with as much honesty as you can, so I’m not surprised if and when something happens.”

Tycho nodded, and the Praetor asked again, “Did she love you.”

“Yes.”

The Praetor nodded to himself, whispering something indecipherable as he hopped onto the table, folding his legs beneath him. “This position helps me think,” he explained, before continuing on with his interrogation. “How long has it been since she’s lived?”

Tycho frowned. “Uh... Seventy years?”

The Praetor widened his eyes at that. “You’re older than you look, Mr. Sezarius.”

Tycho let out a dry chuckle at that. “Y’don’ know th’ half o’ it.”

Tapping his chin with his fingers, the small man thought. “It’d have to be a bone resurrection, then,” he decided. “A bone and a piece of the loved one’s spirit; an object that they held dear to them. You’ll need to bring it to me at night; using the back entrance.”

The Praetor hopped off of his perch, leaning against one of the counters. “That’ll restore the body. That’s the easy part. The hard part will be tracking a soul through seventy years of white noise... hmm...”

Tycho watched the man think for a moment, before the short one shrugged. “I’ll think of something. Just get me that bone, and the piece of identity for now. Okay?”

Tycho nodded slowly, before turning away. He stopped at the door, facing into the darkness. “I take it you only get advanced paymen’s?”

The Praetor smiled. “You take it correctly.”

“Alrigh’. See you soon.”

With that, Tycho advanced up the staircase, quiet for a time until he was out of eashort of the short man. As soon as he was...

“So, how d’ya know a necrophiliac Necromancer, anyway?”

‘We had a thing’

Tycho’s nose wrinkled. “Disgustin’.”

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Re: Shadows from the Past

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby NotAFlyingToy on Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:34 am

As the shovel overturned yet another pile of dirt, Tycho wiped at his brow, glaring at a nearby tree, trying his damnedest not to think about what he was doing, who he was defiling.

“Didn’ think I’d be playin’ the part o’ a necromancer, too,” grunted Tycho, biting the shovel into the grave with another deep plunge.

‘So how often do you dig up your dead wives? I only ask because last I checked grave robbery was quite illegal, and you’re making a hell of a ruckus.’’

Tycho glowered for a second, before his pace considerably slowed, his movements growing much softer. “Guess I didn’ think t’ask th’ expert o’ diggin’ up corpses on th’ matter.”

He overturned another bit of earth. “Have you even seen one o’ these resurrections? An’ how d’ya know tha’ midget, anyhow?”

'I knew of him. It's a long story. Are you getting anywhere with that?'

“Wha’? Diggin’? So far, I’m movin’ dirt aroun’. We got a long time t’ do this,” he said, pointedly, “an’ it’s not like y’can go anywhere.”

'If you really want the details of my personal life with a necromancer, I can oblige you. Want to hear about the time we-’

“No.” Tycho said, flatly.

‘Suit yourself.’

The shovel hit something hard and wooden, and he grunted. “Alrigh’. Shallow grave, must’ve dug it m’self.”

‘Explains a lot.’

Tycho opened his mouth, then snapped it shut, digging around the box, unearthing it. “Ever seen one o’ these resurrections? Y’didn’ answer th’ question.”

’I’ve seen a few in my years.’

“Are they ever... y’know. Messy?”

'I won't lie – well actually, I do that quite a lot, but not in this case. Resurrections are tricky things, and sometimes... things go wrong. Traumatic events can really mess with a persons head, even when they don't result in death. Some things you just don’t want to remember.'

Tycho nodded slowly as he uncovered the box, staring at the ground for a long, silent moment.

“Am I doin’ th’ right thing?”

'Way I see it, someone killed her right? You're just giving her back what was taken from her. There’s nothing wrong in that.'

Tycho smiled slightly at that. “Yeah. Yeah, guess yer right. Thanks.”

He stepped off of the box, sliding it slightly open, just wide enough to reach in and grab the first bone he saw. The finger bone came off in his hand; the first, second, and third knuckle coming loose and jiggling in his palm. This wasn’t her, he said to himself, firmly. This is just a part of her. And it’s all going to come back.

Inside his palm alongside the three little white bones, sat a solid gold band, a band that she hadn’t taken off - even when six feet in the ground. Tycho smiled lightly to himself as he pictured her milky white hand, laced together with his own.

”But that’s what we have, isn’t it? Love?”

“Sure, if ya wan’.”

“Say it.

“Nah, I don’ wan-”

“Tycho Darsin, you
will say it.”

“Fine. I... love you.”


“Got a delivery to make.” Tycho muttered, rising to his feet. “Let’s go.”

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Re: Shadows from the Past

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Tiko on Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:44 am

In the midst of the sawdust and rusty-smelling room, with the priest, or shaman - whoever the fuck he pretended to be - chanting and rocking back and forth, Tycho couldn’t stop fidgeting. His fingers flitted up his shirt, tugged on his sleeves, his short stubble, the ends of his hair.

'Relax. You're making me nervous just watching you.'

“Can’ relax.” Tycho grunted, shifting on his feet. “‘E ain’ gonna hurt her, righ’? He’s done this sort o’ thing before. You’ve seen it?”

'She'll be fine, but you need to do something unless you want a zombie instead of your wife. You need to put the amulet on her. It forms a conduit between the living and the dead, it'll give her soul passage back to the body.'

Tycho frowned at that, his head snapping anxiously towards the prone form, slowly coming forth from the man’s dark chanting. Her body was being rebuilt in flashes of dark matter, but her throat - perfect, pale throat - was fully formed.

“How does...” he started, but his anxiety about this working, about finally seeing her for the first time in nearly a decade, made the query die on his parched throat. Like a zombie, he shuffled forwards, reaching behind him to grip the amulet.

His chest felt lighter, foreign as he lifted the chain from his neck, and an odd sense of loss plagued him. He shook his head roughly, undoing the small clasp and reclasping it around the warm skin of his love. He laid a hand against her clavicle, gently feeling the texture of her skin, before withdrawing backwards, watching the man at work.

“Did it work?” he asked in a rush, his fists clenching.

Tycho's inquiry was met with silence, but as the chanting reached a crescendo, Jessica's eyes snapped open and she arched her back with a shuddering gasp. A flash of light filled the room, fluctuating out from the amulet at her throat to slam into the chest of the priest. With a grunt, the man struck the stone wall and slumped to the floor.

But none of that registered.

With a sudden leaping pounce, Tycho closed the distance between him and Jessica, images of her face in different eras, times, emotions all flooding into him and coming pouring out in a soft, high-pitched noise. Her name attempted an escape into open air, but it died, sour and limp on his tongue as his rough, clumsy hands reached to grip one of hers, greeted by a warm pulse and soft skin. Holding it between both of his, he leaned forwards, meeting her eyes as moisture slipped from his.

A blooming smile spread over his face, his shaky grin spreading wider. “-ess-” he croaked, rubbing her hand against his face.

“Tycho?” she whispered softly. “Where are we? I... I think I fell.” Sitting up, Jessica encircled her arms around Tycho in a warm embrace, nestling her head against the crook of his neck. “It feels like I haven't seen you in years.”

His response was a stacatto of gasping sighs, his hands reaching to curl around the woman’s shoulders, his chin resting on her head. He leaned down, pressing his lips into the top of her head, breathing her in, basking and drowning in the feel of her around him.

“You’re here, now.” Tycho whispered, a dry rasp on the air. “You’re here.”

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Re: Shadows from the Past

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby NotAFlyingToy on Wed Dec 26, 2012 1:45 pm

Jessica stood at the window of Tycho's apartment, her back to room. Her fingertips reached up to press lightly against the glass as she listened to Tycho's words. She seemed distant as she stared out towards the street below while Tycho’s voice droned in the background. She hadn't said much since they had got back, opting instead to just listen and to let him talk. And talk he had, in great length, but it seemed to fall on deaf ears.

After finishing the story, Tycho leaned forwards, looking to take in her face.

“Say somethin’,” he grumbled, his voice quiet and thick.

“Do you love me?” she asked at last. Her fingers brushed against the glass, a faint hairline crack appearing in the dirty pane. Withdrawing her hand she turned around finally, her eyes searching Tycho's with an odd sort of detachment. There was something almost mechanical about the way she searched his face, studying him intently for something.

Tycho stepped in front of her, reaching to take her hands in his, linking their fingers together. He searched her face for a moment, the dull look in her eyes, before giving her a slow, firm nod.

“I do,” he said, leaning towards her, quickly pecking at her lips, “more ‘n anythin’.”

“Say it. Tell me you love me,” Jessica said. There was a focused intensity to her eyes now, and she was studying Tycho as if he were some object of fascination.

Tycho quirked his head at her, squeezing her hands tightly. “I love you, Jessica. ‘M in love with ye’.”

For a time she said nothing, searching his face for something unsaid. Finally a flicker of a frown crossed her lips and she simply turned back to the window, letting Tycho's hands fall away. “I need some time, to think. Can you give me that?” she asked finally.

Tycho leaned backwards surprised at that. “Er, yeah. Yes, ‘course. This mus’ be overwhelmin’ fer ya. I’m ah, sorry, if I rushed it ‘er anythin’.”

He took a step backwards, his hands everywhere, rubbing at his pants, his neck, awkward and unsure. “I’ll go get cleaned up. Are y’gonna stay here, or...?”

At first, she didn't speak, keeping her back to Tycho. As she stood in silence, her hand raised up to brush against the gold pendant that was nestled beneath the front of her shirt. It was a soft touch, more of a light caress than anything. “I'll stay here,” she replied quietly.

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Re: Shadows from the Past

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Tiko on Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:24 pm

There was a handful of times in Tycho’s life where he enjoyed the time before sunrise. Granted, most of those times were not with him waking to it, but more witnessing it through the fog of a sleepless night. As a general rule, if Tycho was waking up at the crack of dawn, he had been doing something wrong the night before.

The first thing Tycho did this morning, however, was reach towards the cold, empty side of the bed, reaching for the body that he had felt the night previous. He retracted his hand, rolling to his side, burying his face deeper into the pillow as his uncovered eye watched the emptiness. He was sad, he realized. He wanted to wake up beside her.

It was the way that she had come back to him, he decided, sitting up in the too-bright bedroom. With so much grief, compassion, an explosion of raw emotions. It was both the realization of him losing something that was so precious to him combined with the weight of getting it all back that left something feeling off, wrong, about it.

But god, was she beautiful.

Tycho stood from the bed, stretching languidly as he padded towards the clothes he had worn the previous day. He wrinkled his nose at them, realizing that, now that he had someone to impress, living like a crusty bum on the side of the road wasn’t acceptable. His hands clenched slightly with the need to impress her, the want to shape himself into someone who could be worthy. She probably fled because he didn’t jive with her impression of him - no matter how faint it may be.

Walking past the reeking pile of clothing, Tycho headed, unprompted, towards the shower.



As dawn finally arrived, Tycho sat at his small dining table, his fingers flicking his spare lighter open, then closed. Open, and closed, in time with the tiny clock that was five hours behind.

Okay, so she had wanted space. She had fled the apartment because that’s what any sane woman would do, when she suddenly realized that she had been dead for eighty years or so, and that her husband - who was probably responsible for her death - was still sitting at her feet like a lost fucking puppy.

Open, then closed. Open, then closed.

He was entitled to be a little puppy-ish, though. Hell, he’d wanted her back. He had wanted her back before he’d even known it was what he wanted. All those years, he’d put himself through a meat grinder - drinking, fighting, sulking, stealing - and at the end, it was a punishment. A long, tortuous punishment for letting her go off that cliff, a gun kicking in his hand, men surrounding him that he had...

Open, then closed. Open, then closed.

Fuck it. He’d waited for eighty years, he could wait a little longer.

Open, then closed. Open, then closed. Open, then closed...

The quiet crack of the front door was soft enough that had Tycho been doing anything other than sitting in silence, he may have missed it. It was Jessica who slipped quietly inside, but catching sight of Tycho, a flicker of a frown crossed her expression. Easing the door closed, she offered a soft smile in its place, fluidly covering her surprise at finding him already awake.

“I didn't realize you were awake already. I didn't want to disturb you.”

Tycho raised his eyes to hers, snicking the lighter open and then shut once more as he rose to his feet, the silver sliding into a back pocket with ease. He offered her a small smile, shrugging his shoulders lightly.

“S’no problem. It ain’ disturbin’ when the disruption’s wanted.”

He took a few steps closer, his instinct screaming to kiss her, but instead clasping his hands behind his back.

“Where’d ya go?”
“Just out. I needed some fresh air,” Jessica replied.

Slipping off her coat, she draped it over the back of a chair beside the door, where it slid down to the floor.

As the muffled fwump echoed throughout the space, Tycho’s eyes caught the jagged little cut - ugly, but not life threatening - on the outside of Jessica’s elbow. He wanted to grab the skin and examine it closer, an urge to protect her and diagnose her aches taking him pleasantly by surprise.

Instead, he pointed a stubby, gnarled - but clean! - finger. “What happened t’yer arm?”

Jessica shifted her own gaze to her arm, catching note of the ragged scrape. “It's nothing. A boy clipped me on his bike as he rode past,” she explained. “You know, why don't we get out of here. I want to see the city.”

Tycho looked at her for a moment, then shrugged. “Sure. Let me grab m’keys.”

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Re: Shadows from the Past

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby NotAFlyingToy on Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:47 am

Back at Tycho’s apartment, the door was shoved open with a bang and Jessica practically dragged Tycho inside by the front of his shirt. She was intoxicated and her movements clumsy, but there was a fire to her eyes as she leaned up, her lips hovering over top of his. Her breath was hot against his skin, her voice an alluring whisper. “Do you love me, Tycho Darsin?” she asked.

With flaming locks of red hair to frame her coy smile and mischievous eyes, the seemingly subdued woman of the night past had taken on the guise of a temptress, a vixen if there ever was one. It was reckless of her, but with alcohol muddling her thoughts, she wasn’t paying much mind to the potential consequences of her actions. Hooking the collar of his shirt with a finger, she pulled him all the closer until the length of her body was pressed up against his, and she had to lean past his mouth to whisper softly into his ear.

“Tell me you love me,” she murmured.

Tycho’s hands couldn’t get enough of her; pulling on her clothing, tugging at it as she murmured in his ear, whispering promises and husky hints. One hand gripped at her hair, tugging her head backwards as his teeth nipped at the place where shoulder met neck, raking the skin he found there lightly.

“I love you,” he growled, pressing her hips to his with his other hand. “Even though you’re a fuckin’ tease.”

“And what if I am,” she teased.

He could feel her moving, grinding her hips against his own while the purr of her voice caressed him as surely as any touch could. One of her hands snaked up his chest, fingers splayed against the firm flesh before closing to grip his shirt, while the other tugged firmly at his belt buckle.

“Maybe I’ll just go to bed and leave you wanting me,” she threatened, her voice low and sultry.

The belt unfurled from his loops under her nimble ministrations, and his eyes closed briefly for a time, savouring the feeling of hands on cloth, tugging, insistent. Then, his hands gripped her wrists, hauling her against him so that their lips brushed.

“Try it,” Tycho whispered, his eyes bright as each movement of words made shapes upon her mouth, “and you’ll be tied to that bed, Jessica. You know how much I’ve waited for you?”

He took a step forwards, keeping the distance between them, dancing her back on nimble feet - especially for a drunkard. “Do you know how long I’ve waited for this?”

His steps guided her backwards until her back hit the doorframe to the bedroom. Catching her balance against the woodwork, Jessica let her hot breath dance across his lips.

“Show me, show me how long you've wanted this,” she whispered.

Her hands were trapped in his firm grasp, but there was a fire in her eyes that warned of what she might do should he release them. Pressed close, she writhed against him, every movement of her body taunting him still further.

He enjoyed her squirms, felt the pull of her body as he pressed into her, pressing his mouth to hers in a low chuckle. Memories came flooding back; memories of situations just like this, her quiet sighs and sealed lips, always parting in the wake of his insistence. The fact that she offered up resistance, looking up at him with those fiery eyes...

She must be feeling as he was.

He unsnapped her jeans, still maintaining a lock on her wrists as he pressed her small form hard against the doorframe, dragging her hands up above her head, holding them there with one hand. “Don’t move,” he growled, “and I will.”

The meeting of their bodies came together like a tidal wave crashing against the shore, sweeping away sand and grit and rocks with each moment. Their passion spread like wildfire; his insistence, his demands met with an equal impatience, just as hot a fire. It surprised him; the Jessica he knew was quiet, reserved, submissive to his firm handle on what he wanted for them.

They wound up spent, her draped over him, half-clothed and both sporting their fair share of bruises and bites, on the bedroom floor. He let out a throaty, breathy laugh, his eyes seeking hers in the darkness.

“That was somethin’,” he said, and a small snore answered him.

Tycho shook his head, gathered his wife in his arms, and placed her on the bed. Too tired for pajamas, he curled around the love of his life, pressed her close to his chest, and fell into a blissful, dreamless sleep.

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