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Atlas Blake

Suddenly, it hurts to breathe.

0 · 150 views · located in Widow's Peak

a character in “Evermore”, as played by CharlotteV








H E I G H TXANDXB U I L D: 5'11, thin


A head held high with white privilege and shoulders squared from good posture being beaten into him, Atlas often appears taller than 5'11" at first glance. He walks with a confident strut and speaks with a well mannered monotone that is neither high pitched enough to be annoying nor low enough to be considered soothing.

The blonde hair is natural, although his roots stay dark, and misfitting of every love story about a blonde haired, blue eyed boy - Atlas' are brown. His ears were pierced as a teen, but he let them grow in during college, and these days only a septum ring adorns his face (although he flips it up when he's doing rounds). His tattoos, for the most part, are a mess where aesthetic wasn't considered: a small anchor, heart, and cross adorn his left collarbone for his father, mother, and favored grandfather respectively. The word 'KISS' is scribbled across his abdomen, a drunken college decision he doesn't particularly like to talk about, and on his ribcage he has a Danish proverb, Don't speak unless you can improve on the silence.

With a penchant for the color black, it's not uncommon to find him smartly layered in the colors, preferring brand names above comfort and accessories to match. He was taught that clothes were the first impression for a man, and Atlas' can do the talking before his mouth does. They say: this man is very rich, very bored, and very uninterested - whatever you were going to approach him about is better left unsaid. If one manages to get passed the outfit, the resting bitch face will do the rest.

Perhaps the only interesting thing about Atlas' outward appearance are his nails - consistently painted a dark shade of red ever since someone decided to tell him that he 'didn't look gay enough'. These days, a cigarette is usually between his fingers. A habit he's picked up, despite being a doctor. After all, what does he have left to breathe for?


P E R S O N A L I T Y:
Brought up to be the King of the World, Atlas has always been a bit of a brat, believing the world revolved around him and what he wanted. He took to manners and calm talking and being too smart for his own damn good as a child, and just grew to be more insufferable with age. The real issue is that he can back up his words with his knowledge, which makes it hard to write him off and move on.

Atlas was always good at school, a quick learner who seemed to enjoy it, and a quiet kid who didn't bother his teachers unless he was specifically told he wasn't allowed to do something that he believed to be in his best interest. His parents thought he was perfect, his school councilor had other thoughts: Atlas didn't make friends, he didn't run or play, and he got quite upset if things weren't in exactly the right order. He didn't do well in group projects and he absolutely did not, under any circumstances, share. His parents attempted sending him to therapy, but when Atlas quite strongly said that he did not like it, well then. That was that. Atlas got what Atlas wanted.

He branched out a bit more in college, managed to make a few friends, relaxed with a few alcoholic beverages and became almost likable, but those who could put up with him weren't exactly the nicest people. Because Atlas isn't cheerful, he isn't funny or charismatic, he's muted - like a polaroid photograph whose colors never quite came in. Apathetic, unimpressed, and a bit too blunt for polite company, Atlas isn't friendly or easy to get along with.

It was this detachment that made people think he would make an excellent doctor. His bedside manor left little to be desired, but his mind was logical, sharp, and at the very least, he always told the truth. Atlas has never believed in sugar coating anything.

Has Mild OCD - Ambidextrous - Knows what every piece of silverware is for

F E A R S:
Failing at claiming a future outside of an office - His grandmother - Being alone


Preston Atlas Blake was the product of too much boredom, too much champagne, and an opera house bathroom... which, coincidentally, are probably the same things his soul is made of. Despite the fact that his parents were really too young to be married, much less having children, the pregnancy was met with overwhelming joy. A perpetual only child, Atlas was spoiled rotten. No longer than it took him to ask for something was it in his hand, and the true meaning of 'need' was never a thing the kid felt. Surrounded by money, staff, parents who had nothing better to do, and extended family who thought they could bribe him into loving them, Atlas had it made.

In fact his only issues ever came from other people. An annoying side effect of conversing with the general population was the reminder that there was, in fact, a world out there that wasn't all about him. It should have been a sobering fact but instead Atlas decided to completely ignore it all together. He didn't need people, they needed him.

College sobered him slightly of this, but medical school did not. He was bright, smart, and perfect for his job (aside from bedside manner). His eight month sentence to Widow's Peak was meant to help with that - a small hospital that needed the extra hands and didn't have enough patients on the schedule to allow Atlas his excuse of having too much work for chitchat. He figured he'd get his work done and move to some bigger and better hospital.

But then Cassidy Aisling happened. A Cystic Fibrosis patient who chipped away at the worst parts of Atlas' personality until some stupid pun startled a laugh out of him. He can't even remember what it was now, just remembers the bright, excited grin on Cass' face. The one that seemed to be just for him, even though Cass smiled at everyone. That smile was different. He tried to be professional - he as a doctor, Cass was dying - something he'd never struggled with before. But as the months passed, their glances got longer, Atlas' touches lingered, and before he knew it he was taking his lunches in the seat next to Cass' bed and staying there long after his shift had ended.

Atlas wouldn't let himself think about it, about what it meant. Graham Aisling pulled him aside one day and asked him with knowing eyes and a thin pressed mouth, "You know my brother is dying, right?", and Atlas has snorted and said something about who was the doctor in their situation. He wouldn't let himself think about it until he heard the code, until every student and attending in that hospital was running for Cass' room, until he was shouting at them to get the fuck out of his way.

He did compressions for a full 48 minutes and 22 seconds before the Chief of Widow's Peak Hospital pulled him off. He stared, empty and shaking, at Cassidy's chest that wouldn't beat, the sound of his heart monitor flatlining the only thing he could process, despite people talking to him. He stared until they called Cass' death, at 19:13.

Everything after that was a blur. From taking off his coat and stethoscope and leaving them on the end of Cass' bed, to saying "I quit" and walking out of the hospital, to returning to his apartment and telling his landlord that his lease would no longer be temporary, to buying cigarettes and smoking the entire pack that night on his balcony.

He hasn't talked to his parents, or anyone else, sense. But he did buy yellow paint, and suddenly his living room is a lot brighter, even if no one knows it but him.

So begins...

Atlas Blake's Story


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Atlas Blake Character Portrait: Cassidy Aisling
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2.75 INK

ImageHe doesn’t know how long it’s been since he last moved. There’s chinese take out containers on the floor that have started to smell, and open bottles of whiskey, and mugs half full of tea because he wanted tea but it never tastes the way - he never closed the gallon of yellow paint and it’s crusted over.

Atlas pushes himself into a sitting position. His head hurts, he’s probably dehydrated, and his fingers itch towards his phone to check the time, the date, anything, but he can’t. He’d put it on ‘do not disturb’ mode eventually, but he knows that if he unlocks it, the text that will be waiting for him is from his supervisor: a long winded speech about how the death of a doctors first patient follows them their whole career, but it doesn’t make them any less of a doctor.

People die. Atlas had been snapping those two words ever since he’d been accepted into med school. People die, get over it. Every human came with an expiration date. And it wasn’t like he hadn’t lost people before. His grandfather, a well liked aunt, a friend in college from a freak accident. But this was different. This was … worse than he had expected.

His fingers reach for the Johnnie Walker on his coffee table and the polish on his nails is beyond chipped, a look he never would have accepted before. The bottle comes up with a flyer stuck to the bottom of it, and autopilot more than actual desire leads him to peeling it off.

Widow’s Peak Halloween Market.

It was from the hospital. Some teen had been passing them out to the staff, Atlas had ignored them but Cassidy had taken it, and with a bright smile pressed it into Atlas’ hand and asked him if he was going. Atlas had given him a blank stare as a response, but Cass had just shrugged and mentioned that he’d like to, if he could.

Atlas had talked to the Aisling’s, Cass’ head doctor, and they’d all agreed Cass could go, with a wheelchair and his oxygen and a medical professional with him. Atlas had volunteered to go, and so had Graham, to his great annoyance.

Four days later, Cass was on a ventilator.

He should go. It’s an annoying, intrusive thought that doesn’t feel like it belongs to him, but for some reason it makes him stand. He takes the bottle of whiskey with him while he showers, and while he picks out clothes that are warm enough he won’t be miserable. He used to enjoy that part of his routine, but now it’s just black jeans and a black turtleneck and the closest shoes and he decides that's good enough.

He trades the bottle for his wallet on the way out the door and lights up a cigarette the moment the cool Oregon air hits him, and walks. There’s not many people out, small towns don’t promote loitering, but there’s a boy on the bench and Atlas turns his gaze to the ground because he’s not in the mood for small talk.

A curly mop of hair. A flash of glasses. A smile. That smile. His smile.

Atlas closes his eyes tight and takes a deep inhale of smoke, his logical mind fitting the pieces together. He hasn’t been sleeping well. He’s dehydrated. He’s been drinking. He’s going through the stages of grief. He shouldn’t look back. Keep walking.

He looks back.

Round cheeks. Fidgeting thumbs. Deep breaths. Bright smile. His-

Stop it.

He’d thought he’d gotten past the denial stage long ago. Maybe this was the bargaining stage? Maybe this was the part where he would think the world owed him just a little more than it’d already given him. Where he’d promise he’d give it all back if that boy on the bench was-



Characters Present

Character Portrait: Atlas Blake Character Portrait: Cassidy Aisling
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3.50 INK

#, as written by Ivisbo
I was raised up believing I was somehow unique
Like a snowflake distinct among snowflakes,
unique in each way you can see.
And now after some thinking, I'd say I'd rather be
A functioning cog in some great machinery
serving something beyond me.

He really had no idea how long he’d been sitting in this one spot, staring at the wall across from him.

Vines were growing up the brickwork, interlacing themselves amongst each other and reaching upward with hopefully tendrils towards the sun. He liked tracking a single vine, following it with steady eyes before losing it amongst the growing chaos of the plant. Beautiful in a way that only nature could manage, artful its simplicity, pure decision to just survive even if a brick wall stood in its path.

Cassidy wasn’t too sure where that train of thought came from other than that it felt very important, very true, and utterly meaningless. Listlessly he broke his staredown with the wall, tugging at his overlarge sweater as a gust of wind cast up the street he’d been inhabiting for the better part of the morning. Or maybe he’d been there for a few days? Years? He wasn’t sure about a lot of things right now, lost in a sea of blankness and over sensation. If he focused, he could remember the necessary information.

His name was Cassidy Aisling. He had a mom, a dad, a brother, and a chronic illness that was supposed to kill him by 25. He’d spent the last week sick with phenomena, it had gotten worse and worse until the doctors had been forced to put him on a ventilator. Atlas had been there, with a sever set to his mouth and eyes cloudy with a look that Cassidy had wanted to ignore. He'd held his hand and read to him now that he could no longer manage it, filling in for his family when they were too exhausted to stay awake. Atlas has looked mournful, which had frustrated Cassidy because he was stuck to a goddamn machine and unable to force a smile on that annoyingly serious and handsome face. And then….

Disjointed thoughts, foggy from drugs and an unusually dark darkness. His brain could conjure up yelling, someone crying, the wail of a flatline, but they all seemed like memories he was pulling from an old television show. None of them seemed real, just images his brain pulled together to make sense of it all. He didn’t trust any of it, it made him physically uncomfortable to think about, so he just stuffed it deep into the “ignore-this-shit” portion of his brain and moved on.

What he did know is that he’d been sitting at a public bench for a while now, shivering slightly from the cold but relishing in the sensation, and breathing. Deep inhales fully in through his nose and gusting out of his mouth. The plume of hot breath in front of him was glorious, large and full and leaving him with an elated high he’d never known before. Cass had never breathed like this in his entire life, never enjoyed what the expansion of a healthy set of lungs could do for a human. He should probably be figuring out how his broken body was managing this, but for now he was just enjoying the fact that he was defying everything ever expected of it.

There were other weird things. He'd stuffed his hands in his pockets earlier and pulled out a set of keys and phone, both definitely not his but also his at the same time. He’d known the password for the phone, for instance, and he’d known what route to take in this small town to get to where these keys opened a door. Cassidy’s brain had instantly tried unscrambling this knowledge; he had never lived on his own, what with his parents house and the hospital being the only places someone manage his health. But like every time he tried making sense of things, his whole being screeched to a halt and wanted to scramble the hell away from it. And either way, he could breath, so who cared about a stupid new phone and an ominous set of keys?

People began walking by, dog owners on their morning walks or early birds out to fetch a coffee. Cass leaned back against the bench a little more casually, letting the ease of his breath settle him into a comfortable sort of meditation. The absence of struggle had never felt more freeing and he was perfectly content to let the world move around him for a bit, so different then how his life used to be. Everything had been hard before; he’d lived in a world where the basics had been a struggle, he’d had to claw towards every breath and just force his body to keep up with the pace of others. Now everything just worked, he was a functioning part of the world around him and it felt absolutely amazing.

Someone walked out of the building in front of him, a rigid skeleton of a man that Cassidy almost didn't recognize amidst his inner delight and contemplation. It was one of his first times seeing Atlas outside of a hospital coat and his black turtleneck and pants were strikingly odd looking on his pale skin. He also just looked bad, his body caved in like a puppet without strings, his hair limp like dying hay, his brows and eyes screaming ’leave me the fuck alone’.

Obviously, Cass had ignored that expression every time he’d seen it. That was the face that had originally made Cassidy what to crack the med student open, so all it did now was break his own face into a blooming smile. He sat up, grinning from ear to ear and perched on his bench ready for Atlas to smile back in return-

Only to have the man walk straight past him, eyes averted purposefully. Cassidy almost laughed, immediately assuming that this haggard state was something Atlas did not want his patient seeing him in, until the man actually did turn back around relectuantly.

He looked worse, if that was possible, then Cass had originally noticed. He looked like a shell of a human, a gutted pumpkin with only a husk left going about its normal routine. Cass’s smile faded for a moment when unfathomably sad brown eyes locked with his, then he threw himself off his perch and slapped the brightest smile on his face.

“Atlas!” his voice was a croak from misuse- when was the last time he’d spoken out loud?- but he just coughed it away, “Are you ignoring your favorite patient!?”

Atlas blinked at him slowly, like he'd been lost in thought somewhere far away, like he hadn't noticed it was Cassidy he'd just walked passed. When his gaze finally did focus on him, but there was still something not quite ... right about it. "What-" he said, then swallowed thickly and started again, "what are you ... doing here?"

Cassidy threw himself into his normal cheerfulness, hoping that whatever was happening that had chipped apart this man could be fixed with some tea and smiles. He laughed and gestured at the building Atlas had just exited, "I guess its pretty weird I am sitting outside your apartment this early in the morning. I swear At, I am definitely not stalking you. Let's just call this a fun coincidence and ignore all the awkward implications?" He walked a little closer, testing the edges of Atlas's obviously distraught mood, "Are you...okay? You look as uncomfortable as a shrunken wool sweater on tumble dry"

Atlas snorted softly, the way he always did when Cass said something weird. For a moment, that odd expression on his face slipped into something more normal, but it was back far too quickly. "Halloween Market," he said, random, avoiding the question. "Do you ... still want to go?"

"YES!" Cass's answer was instant, loud, and accompanied by a full leap forward. He'd never been able to move like this before and it felt absolutely great to follow up his energetic personality with actual energy, "And I don't even need you as a medical chaperone anymore cause I'm good as new" He took a big inhale to punctuate his point and thumped his perfectly functioning chest, "So just as friends?"


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Atlas Blake Character Portrait: Cassidy Aisling
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2.25 INK

Image Atlas wasn’t sure he’d ever read reports of people seeing their … loved ones after death that weren’t complete bullshit. Or more ghostly, like a touch to the lower back, or the scent of their favorite coffee in the kitchen, or their song coming on the radio when they were having a meltdown in the car. He’d always brushed it off. Some people just weren’t as mentally fortified as others.

He hadn’t thought that he belonged in the previous group. The kind who had to conjure up an image of a boy that had died too young for his evident liking. If he was imagining Cass, then he should probably turn in his medical license, because if he could do such a perfect job of it, then he’d evidently spent more time putting his patients features to memory than doing his actual job. And if he wasn’t - well, he had to be, didn’t he? Because he had seen Cass die. He’d watched the machine flatline, he’d stared at Cass’ chest begging for it to rise, he’d heard the chief call time of death. He’d been there.

And this Cass, just like he said, was good as new. Cystic Fibrosis didn’t just disappear. He ignored the urge to reach for him, to tuck his oxygen tubes into place, but they weren’t there to fix. Cass was breathing, like a normal person, taking in greedy lungfuls of smoke and letting them out in visible whisps thanks to the fall chill.

Atlas had been called an asshole since he could walk, but at least he wasn’t so cruel as to make his hallucination of Cass still suffer.

He should turn in his medical license anyway, because he was losing his goddamn mind and he was perfectly okay with it. He was perfectly okay with looking at that big grin on Cass’ face until the alcohol, or the crazy, or whatever it was faded away. Then he’d crawl back in his whole, and hope the world swallowed him.

Just as friends,” Atlas quoted, and he doesn’t know why it’s so funny, but he snorts and rolls his eyes, and mumbles it again under his breath as he starts walking. Nothing is very far in Willow’s Peak, and it’s just nice enough out that a walk will feel nice.

He thinks of reaching for Cass’ hand, folding their fingers together. He’d done it before, when Cass was at his sickest, because between the vent and the noise and the people it seemed like the best way to say ‘it’s me, it’s Atlas, I’m here’. But now, it feels different. Now it feels like if he reaches out, his fingers will go right through Cass’ hand, and then what? “Is that what you want? Just friends.”


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Markus Vasco Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Erin Monaghan Character Portrait: Elle Aldrich Character Portrait: Leo Mathers Character Portrait: Xan Cole Character Portrait: Nixie Cole Character Portrait: Atlas Blake Character Portrait: Cassidy Aisling
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3.25 INK

outfit : herex|xhex: #4d5676
xxxnever did I think I'd be coming back around
xxxdigging up old memories
xxxalways used to be the one to let it go
xxxkept my fears in a suitcase

outfit: herex|xhex: #800000
xxxThey say I may be making a mistake
xxxI would've followed all the way, no matter how far
xxxI know when you go down all your darkest roads
xxxI would've followed all the way to the graveyard

Markus found himself staring blankly at the man as he began to speak. Trying to convince himself that he was just imagining things. That there was no way that this was him. There was just no way. It was seven years now, he had seen the body, been to the funeral, everything. So, there was no way, he was just seeing things he so desperately wanted to see. But then, the other man spoke and Markus could have sworn his heart stopped in his chest. His voice. That voice. It was his. And suddenly, Markus didn’t know what to believe. Was he truly losing his mind? Was this the day he finally just lost all of his remaining senses? Probably. But, even if he was just seeing things that weren’t really happening, Markus didn’t want it to end just yet. He shook his head, taking him out of his thoughts as he finally felt strength return back to his legs to help pull him along as the other man got back in line. Markus didn’t know if he was staring or not, but he must have been as his eyes scanned over the man that stood before him as he spoke. Nodding ever so slightly as he said that he was from around here. That he grew up here. Or, that he thought he did. Markus didn’t understand what he meant, but kept silent as the man continued to talk. Not like he had much of a choice, seeing as his voice caught itself in his throat and wouldn’t come out as hard as he tried.

He found himself continuing to scan over the man that stood next to him trying to understand what the fuck was going on. Hell, he was close to asking what kind of sick joke was this, until the man finally said that he was sorry about his memory, and how he had bad amnesia. And that if he seemed to come across as rude, that he wasn’t doing it on purpose. Markus took the cup the man handed to him, and took a sip. The drink helped clear his throat a bit, but not much. Markus finally found himself regain that strength he needed to speak, and he couldn’t help it as his voice came out in a shaky tone, try as he might to not have his voice break, “It...It’s okay.” he began, clearing his throat and took a deep breath as the two began to walk once more. Markus took another moment to gather his thoughts, he didn’t know what was going on but, if Soren was really fucking here, somehow...Well, he wasn’t going to waste it. He didn’t care. All he wanted was to be able to talk to his best friend again-no, the person he cared for more than a friend, but that was so long ago. As if it was almost a life time ago. But, however many years may have passed by, and however older he may have looked...This was Soren. His Soren. His best friend. Markus bit his lip for a moment and began to finally speak again, “Yeah...I guess you could say we used to know each other.” Markus said with a small chuckle, however forced it was.

This felt so unreal, but he wasn’t going to waste time with this. Markus sighed as he looked down at the ground before looking back at Soren. “We...We used to be best friends, Soren. Me, you...and one of our other friends.” he paused for a moment, finally for the first time his memory went back to how things used to be. Back when they were kids, the three of then. He shook his head once more as he continued, “But, that was a long time ago. A really long time ago...But, that doesn’t matter. You’re back and...That’s all that matters.” he smiled slightly, a rather genuine for the first time in a long time. He looked back at Soren, “I won’t ask what happened but...If there’s anything I can clear up for you...I’ll be more than happy to, if I can.”

Soren could have guessed from the man’s reaction that they had somehow known each other, but being told that they had been best friends just broke Soren’s heart. He watched the man, desperately hoping for something to be familiar, for something to just trigger the memories and they’d come flooding back. But besides that lingering feeling that they had known each other, there was nothing. Soren studied the man’s face for a second or two, before things fell into place.

“You’re Markus, right? Markus Vasco?” He said, his face lighting up in a smile at the realisation that the name finally had a face to match. Even though he asked it as a question, his gut told him he was right. Markus Vasco, his best friend… well, before. For a moment, there was that burst of emotion, just lingering for a second, but this time, echoes of the emotions remained. Not enough that he could remember why he felt them, but it was something.

“Well… I mean, even if you did ask what had happened, I don’t think I could answer. I… just woke up two days ago and… poof. No memories, no… nothing. All I could remember was my own name.” He decided against mentioning that his first thought had been Markus’ name for some reason. Now he knew who he was, he swore that the man’s face was familiar. But there was a bittersweet undertone. He knew who Markus was, but he couldn’t remember any of their history, any of the things that defined their friendship. All of the things he could remember were things he’d rather forget, but the good memories were completely out of reach.

“I… have no idea what happened. Just… nothing. Do… do you know?” He asked, turning slightly to look at Markus. There was a wave of that same anxiety he felt whenever he went to type his own name into google, except this time it didn’t go away, settling into his chest and wrapping around his lungs. Soren cleared his throat in an attempt to ease the building pressure, but it didn’t budge. He felt in his pocket for his cigarettes, but he’d left them on the window of his apartment. He took a sip of his cider, trying desperately to ignore the growing pressure in his chest.

Markus nodded slowly as he could tell Soren was trying to piece things together, and the moment he heard Soren say his name, a smile appeared on his face. But for just a moment. “Yeah. That, that’s me.” a tone of excitement rang through his voice, quickly clearing his throat as he recomposed himself. Taking a deep breath as he listened to what Soren said. Not exactly fully understanding but, for as far as Markus was concerned, why would Soren be lying about this? It didn’t make sense. Hell, none of this made sense. Markus took a deep breath, before taking a sip of his drink, “Uhm...I think it’d be best if we...Sat down first..?” he motioned with his head to a few benches that were off to the side of the main square, far enough away from most crowds. Once they both sat down, Markus put the drink down next to him on the bench, and clasped his hands infront of him before he began to talk, “Soren..” Markus began, “....Seven years ago...There was an accident...We got into an argument and….We both stormed off...I don’t know what happened exactly but...You got into a car accident, and...Sor... You didn’t make it.” his voice dipped at the end, as tears began to fill his eyes. He let out a long held breath in a small gasp, rubbing his head. “...You wouldn’t know this cuz...Well...You were gone after this but...Our other friend...Erin she...She died not too long after you…” he shook his head, his knuckles turning white as he gripped his knees as he looked away. This was the first time in years he talked about either of them. And now, he was somehow talking to Soren again? Whether he was really here, or Markus was just imagining it, he didn’t know. But, if this was really Soren, however he may have been here, he deserved to know.

Soren’s chest tightened even more as Markus suggested they should sit down, but he just nodded numbly. It felt like every nerve in his body was screaming at him to run away, to leave, that he wouldn’t like what he was about to hear, but he needed to know. He needed to know what the hell had happened to him.

But he never would have guessed what Markus was about to say. He had died. Seven years ago. It felt like there was a weight pressing on his chest now, enough that it hurt to breathe. He wanted to accuse Markus of lying, wanted to say it had to be some type of sick joke. But… deep down, it felt like he knew. When he desperately tried to call up some memory of the incident, all that came up were all the bad memories he’d tried not to think about. The shattering of glass less than an inch away from his face, the burning of cuts, and the sickening smell of whiskey. The fear of creeping through an empty house as silently as possible in case it wasn’t as empty as he thought.

“This… this can’t be happening,” he managed to force out, searching Markus’ face for some type of answer. “I can’t… how did I-“ The weight on his chest now was unbearable, and Soren realised that the light above their head had begun to flicker and both his and Markus’ cups of cider were now floating in mid air. His hands were flickering in and out of sight. “I need to go.” He bolted to his feet, looking at Markus for just a second longer. “I’m sorry.” He managed to get out, before turning and walking away.

He didn’t know where he was going or why, but all he knew was that he needed to get out of there before something bad happened. Back to the apartment, back to where he was safe, away from everyone else. The quickest way home was through the crowds, and his intense discomfort won out over his desire to be away from people.

It was when he was in the crowd, surrounded by people, that it happened. His vision suddenly went black, and it felt like he’d been pushed into a freezing lake, gasping for air that wasn’t coming and the cold practically painful against his skin, even through his clothes. And then there was a voice. Low and dark and sinister. “I’ll take things from here.” It sounded smug, as if this was a game. And Soren couldn’t do anything to stop it.

And suddenly it seemed like he was watching his body from somewhere else. Something else was wearing his skin. Soren had never stood that tall in his life, had never worn an expression like that, one that was somewhere between idle boredom and intense hatred. It took him a moment to identify what was wrong. The iris of his eyes was pitch black, darker than dark, chilling when you looked at them for even a millisecond too long.

A demon was wearing his skin and using it to wreak destruction. Soren wasn’t sure if the limitations of his strange new abilities were just gone or if the demon just knew how to use it better. Because handmade stalls, impeccably made stalls, were shattered to smithereens with just a lazy toss of it’s- his- hand. In only a few short moments, it had destroyed half of the carefully made stalls without a second thought. And it smiled, an awful, twisted smile that looked all wrong on Soren’s face. It caught two people staring at him in terror and that horrible smile widened.

“Haven’t you ever seen a ghost before?” It asked, in a voice that was both his and not his, reverberating all wrong for such an open area. “Consider this your first warning. Restore what was mine to me or I will use these vessels to bring more destruction than you can ever imagine,” it called. It turned its cold, harsh gaze on a figure that Soren swore he knew, and Soren panicked. He didn’t know how he did it or even that he could, but he flung his consciousness towards his body. And it worked, because there was that same feeling of being temporarily submerged in water, of breathlessness and not being able to breathe.

For a moment, he stood exactly as the demon had stood. And then his legs gave out at the same time as a wave of dizziness and exhaustion hit him, and he hit the ground, dazed and trying to piece things back together.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Markus Vasco Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Erin Monaghan Character Portrait: Elle Aldrich Character Portrait: Leo Mathers Character Portrait: Xan Cole Character Portrait: Nixie Cole Character Portrait: Atlas Blake Character Portrait: Cassidy Aisling
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4.00 INK


A demon just smiled to himself as he let the man take back control of his own body. He was done playing games with that body, the townspeople in the market were frightened enough. But he certainly wasn’t done playing games. He could feel two more souls in a small diner, their fear and confusion and panic making them vulnerable and so, so easy to control. And oh, the destruction he could cause there… Finally, he was making the town pay for everything they had done, everything that had been taken from him. One of the souls put up more of a fight than the other, but he still took control easily and smiled that wretched smile. Only one of them had gotten the abilities of telekinesis. Never mind. There was plenty he could do with just the other's bare hands.

In the small diner, people were already hiding and running, the strange blonde woman having already disturbed them enough. The two women sitting opposite each other got to their feet in sync, their eyes both having turned a pitch, bottomless black. They paid no heed to the third woman who stood beside them. The glass in the windows near them shattered, one by one, closely followed by the lights hanging over their table. The blonde woman pushed past Nixie, not even acknowledging her. As she walked, glass kept shattering, lights and windows turning into mere shards without her even having to look at them.

The brunette smiled that awful, twisted smile and sauntered up to the counter. With strength that seemed to exceed what her frame should have been capable of, she picked up one of the stools and hurled it over the counter with enough force to break both the stool itself and shatter the tiles on the wall where it hit. She sent the items on the counter flying with a swing of her arm.

The two of them wreaked havoc on the diner, never touching anyone there but instead choosing to simply cause as much destruction as possible. The blonde had picked up a few cuts from the broken glass but hadn’t as much as flinched at any of them, and hardly seemed to notice them. When they got bored with the diner, they stepped out onto the street to find cops waiting for them outside. They laughed, their actions mirrored.

The demon briefly considered leaving the two souls to deal with things there and then. But no. He wasn’t done yet, and besides, he thought, the town needed to know what they’d done. They needed to know why they were suffering and that they could do nothing to stop it. They needed to know exactly what they’re dealing with. So when he spoke, he spoke through both of them.

“You took my love from me forty-nine years ago. Forty nine years, I have waited and waited for this moment. And now, I will make your precious town suffer. I will see it burn if I must. You will pay for all of the pain and the suffering you have brought seven-fold.”

Finally satisfied with the chaos he had caused and beginning to feel the drain of having possessed two bodies at once, the demon withdrew and let the souls regain control of their own bodies, smiling with satisfaction as their bodies crumpled with exhaustion.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Atlas Blake Character Portrait: Cassidy Aisling
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5.00 INK

#, as written by Ivisbo


"If I know only one thing,
it's that everything that I see
Of the world outside is so inconceivable
often I barely can speak
Yeah I'm tongue-tied and dizzy
and I can't keep it to myself
What good is it to sing helplessness blues,
why should I wait for anyone else?"

Cassidy was always good at telling when something was wrong. When he was a kid and his parents had kept medical information secret, he’d always been able to tell that they were carrying something extra heavy that day. Maybe it was because he’d learned to read doctors postures when they brought in bad news, read the reactions of his parents before he knew how to speak ‘medical’, read his friends at the hospital when they were having bad days, but Cass always had a sense of how others were feeling.

Atlas was an anomaly for him, had been from the very beginning. Other than his perfect face, it was what had drawn Cassidy to him initially. This stoic, clean and kept, nearly robotic doctor, with his perfectly pressed shirts and hidden gauged ears was something he’d immediately needed to understand.

So Cass could tell Atlas was off and not in his normal ‘I’m coldhearted leave me alone” sort of way. He was thinking too much, his eyes deep-set and equally relieved and worried at the same time. When he snorted and rolled his eyes at him, Cass was relieved to see some other emotion leak out.

Cassidy fell in step next to the taller man, keeping his eyes forward to avoid watching Atlas’s stress. Is that what you want? Just friends, was a fair question that he really didn’t have a safe answer to. They’d always tip-toed around the subject, leaving their relationship stuck somewhere between doctor-patient and something more. But now… with how he felt now, why couldn’t they be something more?

Cass glanced sideways at Atlas, aware of the awkward silence they’d fallen into but also aware of the other Very Important topic his brain had been skirting around.

He wasn’t sick anymore. As amazing and miracle-like as that was, why wasn’t he sick anymore was a better question. Cass knew something had happened at the hospital. He’d been sick, so sick he’d been ready to die… and now he was here. That train of thought made his stomach feel nauseous and his brain ache with anxiety, so much so that he stuck his hands in his pockets to hide their tremors. Whatever it was, he preferred the awkward tension of Atlas’s presence next to him then the turmoil of why echoing through his head.

Suddenly the street was filled with the sounds of sirens, the town's small squad of ambulances, police cars, and firetrucks speeding past them in the direction of the main part of town. Cass watched them go with wide eyes, that anxious apprehension redirecting itself.

“That can’t be good…”, He mumbled and glanced over at Atlas, “We should probably steer clear right? I don’t want to get in their way if someone is hurt”

Cass was avoiding the question, and Atlas understood why. Like everything else in Cass’ life, their relationship had been left in limbo - something more that couldn’t be. But now? In whatever world his broken mind had transported him to? Why not.

The other boy stuck his hands in his pockets, a wave of anxiety accompanying him, and Atlas wondered momentarily if his own realization that this couldn’t be real made his hallucination jittery. If Atlas thought about it too much, would Cass disappear? Was Cass aware that he would disappear? He was really becoming one for the mental health textbooks.

The sirens nearly scared Atlas out of his own damn skin, he’d been so lost in his thoughts that he felt his heart jackhammer against his chest. He’d been good at trauma, once upon a time, and some part of him ached to run to the scene. His instincts reminded him of flying around corners, hands on a gurney, arguing with other interns about which case was his. High on adrenaline and perhaps a bit of a god complex.

He hesitated, his body saying ’go’, but his mind saying no. He wasn’t a doctor anymore. His credentials had been left behind, all his plans evaporating to the sound of Cassidy’s heart monitor stopping.

“Right,” he said, and his voice sounded dry. “What do you want to do, then? Anything you can think of.” He didn’t know how long Cass would last. If he only had a day to give him the world, then he’d make it enough.

“Tea?”, Cassidy’s voice was a bit of a squeak, the single word bursting out of him like he’d been barely restraining it. Really there weren’t many things Cass held dear as much as a warm cup of leaf juice. In the hospital, it had felt like one of the few completely normal things he could do- sit by a large window holding a cup of shitty cafeteria green tea while the world continued on beyond the glass. Atlas had joined him a few times on lunch breaks- it was a routine he could hold on to, something they could continue from before.

“Not really sure where we are”, Cassidy glanced around, his mind skirting around how he’d even gotten to this part of town in the first place, “Maybe you know a place?”

Tea. Of course. Give the boy the ability to drink alcohol or go skydiving and it's tea he asks for. Atlas thinks about the half-full mugs skittered around his living room floor and it's almost funny. Almost.

If Atlas was feeling like himself he would have dissected Cass’ words. Asked questions, prodded for information, figured out how. But maybe he didn't want to know. Maybe he didn't want to prod so much that it would cause Cass to disappear just as suddenly as he'd appeared.

“Yeah,” Atlas replied, and turned his back on the mess of sirens and drama headed into town. “This way. There's a little bistro a couple of blocks over.”


It hadn’t been too cold, but the welcome warmth of the small restaurant loosened the tense uncomfortable muscles along Cass’s spine. He hadn’t realized he’d felt rigid and sore till he sunk into the comfortable booth next to the window, his herbal tea order still brewing behind the counter. Atlas had opted for black, of course, his tea order just as stoic as his uncomfortable posture across the table.

Cassidy fiddled with his sweater sleeves, pulled over his thumbs out of nervous habit and glanced between the sidewalk outside and Atlas’s pinched face, “Soooo…. you’re- uhm- taking the day off? It’s your weekend or something? I always thought you just kinda lived at the hospital”.

Atlas stopped breathing. He wasn't sure he had been breathing right since they'd first entered, because the barista had looked right at Cass’ bright ass smile and asked him very directly what she could get for him. A stranger. Someone who had no reason to share Atlas’ mental breakdown. Mass hallucinations didn't work that way. Which meant ...


He had seen Cass die. He'd been there. Pumping his chest and trying with everything in him to start his chest again. He'd felt the lifelessness of his body. Heard the long scream of a machine warning them they'd lost him. Seen the looks in his colleagues eyes. Heard Cass’ mothers cries follow him out the building.

And yet ... “Cassidy!” A voice called, and Atlas pushed himself away from the table to fetch Cass’ tea from the counter. What was he supposed to say? How was he supposed to answer. The mug was a typical one, but the little pumpkin sticker on it spelled Cass’ name out plain as day. Real.

The barista put another drink on the counter but hesitated before she called out the name. He wanted to ask her if she really saw him. Just to make sure he hadn't somehow split his mind and created a multiple personality issue - taken Cass’ identity on as his own, and she was just humoring his crazy ass. She seemed to take his mental breakdown as nervousness though, because her eyes flickered over his shoulder and she said tenderly, “He seems very sweet.”

“Fuck,” Atlas muttered, and left her with no explanation as he went back to the table and sat Cass’ mug in front of him. “I quit,” he said, a little too harshly, a little too I'm-losing-my-mind. “You aren't there anymore.”

Cass stared at the tea, then at Atlas again while he tried to sort out what he’d meant. He quit? Are doctors even allowed to quit? Atlas hadn’t finished med school entirely, so he guessed it was possible to choose a different path….but Atlas quit because Cass wasn’t there anymore?

“That….uhm...I’m not really following you”, Cass picked at his cup, ripping at the sticker while he continued to stare with wide eyes at the clearly unraveled man across the table, “I don’t understand what’s going on. I’m not at the hospital cause….”, He frowned, snakelike pain coiling around his forehead, telling him that train of thought was only going to bring on more discomfort, “Cause I’m better?” He tried, his voice hitting a note that clearly conveyed his complete confusion.

Atlas didn't want to do this. Like a child who threw a tantrum rather than leave the park because they were having too much fun. He wanted to go back, to enjoy whatever time with Cass he had, to not shatter it with the truth. He wanted to turn back the clock to a world where Cass wasn't dead. Whatever was going on though, whatever this was, it was fucking with Cass too.

“Because you're dead, Cass.”