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Snippet #2300464

located in San Diego, California, a part of Paranormal Dilemmas, one of the many universes on RPG.

San Diego, California

The second biggest city in California, San Diego, is home and birthplace of all the three sisters.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sapphire Parker Character Portrait: Sabine Marx Character Portrait: Sydney Parker Character Portrait: Simone Parker
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The soft, regular clicks of a metronome in motion filled the central living space of the small apartment, a gentle harbinger of what was to come. By contrast, Sydney’s thoughts moved as they always did—with a quickness that sacrificed nothing of precision, only sometimes of expression. She stood, for the moment barefoot and clad in torn jeans and what appeared to be a man’s shirt, the sleeves rolled up several times until they fell just below her elbows, in the center of the carpeting, kneading her toes unconsciously into the soft pile. One hand, raised and bent, held the body of a delicate violin to her shoulder, while the other loosely clasped the bow of it, hanging limply at her side.

Her mind, as it tended to be now and then, was for the moment elsewhere, and not even the promise of mastering the piece could yet draw it back from where it wandered so far afield, adrift in some lofty current of wind and water and dream. This place—if indeed it could be called a place—was the oft-forsaken corner of her mind where Sydney kept the things that came to her not from logic or practicality or education, but from the heart. Here, she wandered among flowerbeds, plunging her fingers into loamy earth and smelling the birth of new things and life, skirted sheer cliff-faces to peer over the edge of a roaring waterfall that misted her vision and made her feel small, walked beneath great trees with leaves edged in the most uncanny shade of silver. Here, the wind blew over her, caressing her face, at times cold and forsaken, tinged with sorrow, and at others hot and humid, like the breath of one who should not be standing so close.

Of late, the predominantly-blue tones of her hidden world were giving themselves over to argent and dove-grey, a slow claiming that she could not help but view as hostile, and so she avoided this place, avoided contemplating this part of herself, until she needed to. Where once she had been the slayer of dragons, protagonist and heroine of her own childish fancy, running with quickened steps and thrumming heartbeat to where none could follow, now she felt lost in it, adrift and distinct from it, as though estranged from herself. It was uncomfortable, but she needed it yet. There was still one thing she could not do without feeling, and it was the thing she desired to do most of all, deep in her heart of hearts.

Thin fingers tightened on the violin, as if by some inborn reflex, and the strings biting into the gently-callused tips returned her vision to somewhere much closer as she emerged from her reverie. She’d found what she needed, somewhere there, in her starlit, tilting world. A deep breath shifted her entire posture, and the young woman brought bow to string, an old, practiced motion that required no eye to see it happen. With a gentle exhale, the first note rang sweetly into the air, and for just a little while, all else was still in her soul.



The cafe they had chosen was a pretty nice place, though its population was largely students and people wearing lots of plaid and tight jeans. The selection, Sydney attributed entirely to her older sisters, as they only places she really knew in San Diego were libraries, courthouses, theaters, offices, and the occasional park. Anything she recalled about anywhere else was the work of Sapphire, Simone, or both. Not that she minded in the least; her sisters were wonderful people, and if their tastes were all a little different, well, so what? It never stopped them from getting along, at least not anymore. Perhaps things had been a bit different when they were children, but such troubles were behind them now.

As usual, a lifelong habit of being early to nearly everything served Sydney well, and she was the second to arrive. The waitress recognized her and smiled, ushering her to the Parkers’ usual table, where she sat demurely, hands folded in her lap, and greeted Simone, who from the looks of things, had been there for quite some time already. Saph arrived some time after, late as she often was, and her comment produced only a softening of Sydney’s facial features, indicative of her quiet amusement. Syd didn’t smile often, nor frown, and often seemed to be elsewhere during conversations, but her sisters knew her well enough to read her happiness from the smallest of signs like this.

“Don’t worry about it,” she answered quietly, and it wasn’t long before the three of them were seated, enjoying each other’s company as they were so wont to do.



It hadn’t been more than an hour when something changed. Syd was a perceptive woman, generally, though she tried to ignore the slight discomfort she was experiencing, all the while surreptitiously searching for its source. She’d been coaxed into talking about a case, but now she fell more or less silent, noting Sapphire’s distant look and Simone’s temporary preoccupation but commenting on neither. Reaching down to adjust one cuff of the forest-green turtleneck sweater she wore with her dark jeans, she caught something from the periphery of her vision, and glanced up, meeting the eyes of someone she’d never seen before.

She’d surely remember it if she had. The man seemed cut from daylight itself, sketching a tall, but quite lean figure, crowned by an aureate mane to rival Saph’s. And it was at Saph he was most intensely focused. Though his outward appearance suggested sunlight, Syd couldn’t help but feel a slight chill anyway, as though all the warmth had been stolen from her limbs. Dismissing the feeling as silly, she glanced back and forth a few times between them, clearly waiting for the man to direct his gaze elsewhere. When he did not, she broke into the conversation with an apologetic look towards Simone, who was currently trying to secure her agreement regarding Sapphire’s mood.

“Um, Saph… I’m not really sure how to say this, but… there’s a man behind you, and he’s… well, he’s staring. To the left a little, tall, long hair?” The last, she provided in case Saph decided to turn around and figure out who it was. Perhaps it was simply some friend of hers, or maybe Sapphire just resembled someone else from the back. Maybe he was like her and tended to lose himself in thought and wasn’t staring at her sister at all. Somehow, though, that didn’t seem too likely…