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Jane Grey

Plain Jane

0 · 1,059 views · located in Epilogue Books

a character in “The Multiverse”, as played by Umbrella

Description

Jane Grey

Age: 21
Species: Human... possibly.


Image


Physical appearance and demeanor:

Dark hair, short and wavy. Tan-coloured skin.
Wears plain, simple clothing - usually grey.

She seems timid, moves around quietly. Has a way of blending into the furniture.


Main character points:

  • Her body feels unstable, like she's changing or about to change.
  • Identity issues. Her mother always taught her to be quiet and submissive. Encouraged her to be plain Jane, but there's magic running in her blood and it's getting harder to keep up appearances. She doesn't know who she is if she isn't plain Jane.

Brief History:

Her father was from Celestra City and was human, but the magic there mutated him. He used a love potion on Jane's mother, Mary, and bought her to the city where she became pregnant. Mary was freed from the love potion while she was heavily pregnant and fled the city, frightened by the magic, the control it had over her and most of all, the strangeness of the city encompassed by it.

Terrified of abnormality and desperate to hide their history, Jane's mother gave Jane the most plain name she could come up with. She has told Jane as briefly as possible where she came from, but made it clear that she is plain Jane. Magic is not permitted in any way and is not part of her.

However, Jane has vague flashes of memory, in which her skin itched and feathers spiked through it, in spots like ingrown hairs. Her mother plucked them out angrily while Jane sobbed, not for fear of her body, but for fear of having let her mother down. But she looks human now, so assumes that these were just strange dreams from a long time ago. Jane thinks she is 100% ordinary, but lately, her body has been feeling unpredictable, like she can't feel comfortable in her skin; at any moment, it may disown her.

Mother died? Or Jane left.

So begins...

Jane Grey's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Philius Percival Wolfinson Character Portrait: Jane Grey Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Jane crept down the street, her head ducked into her cloak and her eyes cast down towards the cobble path. She was exhausted and overwhelmed. Being lost in the Cursed Woods had not been her idea of a good time and while the town had provided a place of haven from the dense trees and dampness, she had been wandering its streets for hours, afraid to rest for fear of being spotted by some creature she didn't understand and didn't understand her. She didn't belong here -- not that she knew where she did belong.

She lifted her head and spotted the window of a bookshop. Even from the outside, she could see the stacks of old volumes and almost already smell the dust and old ink. That was a familiar smell - a safe smell. She glanced at the street around her, before pushing open the door, relieved to find it open, and slipped into the shop. The smell didn't disappoint her and she inhaled deeply.

A chair.

She couldn't help herself. It was wooden and hard, but after being on her feet for hours, it could have been made of mud and rock for all she cared. With the books forming walls around her and the old scent of paper holding her close, she felt safe for the first time since she had been separated from her mother. She allowed her eyes to close, not even thinking about other occupants in the shop.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Philius Percival Wolfinson Character Portrait: Jane Grey Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Philius looked up from a battered copy of "Falconry In The Valley Of The Indus" by Richard Francis Burton, then carefully marked his place, setting the book down gingerly behind the counter. As the strange travel-weary woman slumped into one of his chairs, he flipped the sign on the door and engaged the deadbolt, examining her with real concern before retreating to the back room. Several minutes later, waistcoated proprietor emerged with a cup and saucer in one hand and a steamy teapot in the other, setting both down on the table near the Janeful chair. He grabbed a leaf of nearby newspaper to slip under the pot, protecting the varnished wood.

"Welcome to Epilogue Books, Miss. I take it you aren't here to shop. Are you poorly?" He looked on anxiously, hoping the woman was still conscious.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Philius Percival Wolfinson Character Portrait: Jane Grey Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Jane jumped and opened her eyes, straightening up in her chair. The man stood before her must have been in the shop the whole time, but Jane owed not noticing him before to his appearance: so suited to the bookshop that he must have blended in. "I'm sorry," she murmured in response to his statement, only just becoming aware of how rude she had been. What had she been thinking, barging into a bookshop with no intention of buying anything? She pulled down her hood, hoping to salvage what she could of her manners, as he asked if she was ill.

"No, I-" But she could feel that strange, unsettled movement under her skin, her cells making decisions to which she wasn't privy. Her bones ached with the coldness of growing pains. Jane wasn't ill, she knew, but she was certainly something abnormal. "I'm just tired," she managed and noticed the glorious scent of hot tea. Beside her, there was a steaming teapot.

Tears rushed into her eyes at the man's kindness. She was being ridiculous, she knew. She silently cursed herself and blinked rapidly to keep from crying in front of this stranger. The poor man shouldn't have to deal with an exhausted woman simply because he owned a bookshop. "I'm so sorry to intrude." She cleared her throat, attempting to rid her voice of its emotional crackle. "I don't want to be a hassle. I'll leave." But she didn't stand up.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Philius Percival Wolfinson Character Portrait: Jane Grey Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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"I assure you, mademoiselle, that I take no exception to beautiful young women lounging around my shop. Take some time to compose yourself and please enjoy the tea." He took a seat next to her, reassessing as he sat. "Is there anything else I might get you before I begin bombarding you with my many questions regarding how you came to be in that chair, so clearly at the end of your rope? Some biscuits, perhaps? Ah! And a warm blanket!" He darted out of his chair and returned half a minute later with the promised plate of digestives and the very fluffy blanket, which he did not hesitate to drape over her with care. He resumed his seat, the scattered bookish proprietor watching her curiously.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Philius Percival Wolfinson Character Portrait: Jane Grey Character Portrait: Jane Hawkins Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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  1. Sorry, just accidentally tagged the wrong character! I'm not sure how to remove it - if it's possible!

    by Umbrella

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Jane blushed slightly and smiled as the man darted up again, touched by his kindness. She hugged the blanket around her shoulders and took a digestive. "Thank you - so much." She brushed the crumbs from the blanket sheepishly. She knew she should have felt more guilty for imposing on the man, but she was too relieved too have found a place of solace. Besides, he seemed more than happy to accommodate her. Suddenly, she pictured her mother's face with a thin eyebrow raised and her lips pinched skeptically: Men aren't just nice to young girls out of the kindness of their hearts. She should have been wary. Her mother had would have wanted her to be frightened, but when Jane glanced up at this man's kind eyes and genuine concern, she didn't feel frightened in the slightest.

"My mother and I were in the Cursed Woods," Jane paused, deciding if the explanation of how they had come to be there was too complicated too recite. Then again, she wasn't even sure she fully knew the reason; all her life her mother had periodically moved them and it was always further from the Eastern Seaboard, from her mother's fears. But whatever her mother was running from, Jane had known the Cursed Woods were a bad idea; the name wasn't exactly subtle. But Jane had followed her obediently.

"We became separated a couple of days ago," she continued, "and it wasn't until this morning I found this town. My mother had told me about it before. She said it was a place of..." she looked at the man, not wanted to offend him if he was associated with the things her mother had warned her about. "That there were vampires and monsters here. But my mother always overemphasises the darker things," she added quickly. Jane had wandered around the streets for hours, too afraid to stop somewhere in case someone approached her.

She took a sip of the hot tea and inhaled the steam for a moment before placing it back on the newspaper mat. "I'm Jane," she said, realising she hadn't introduced herself, and held out her hand.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Philius Percival Wolfinson Character Portrait: Jane Grey Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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What an intriguing young lady. Philius shook any ungentlemanly thoughts from his mind and regarded her, lamenting her recent trials. "It is my very great pleasure to meet you, Miss Jane. My name is Professor Philius Percival Wolfinson, but you may call me Phil, if you prefer." After another pause for thought, "Is your mother all right or do we need to organize a search party for her? Will she be looking for you?"
He pulled a flask from his coat pocket and unscrewed the lid, holding it out to her. It smelled of strong brandy. "For fortification, if you're inclined, to warm and calm you."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dr. Alto Clef Character Portrait: Philius Percival Wolfinson Character Portrait: Jane Grey Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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The front door of the book shop opens and a man in a lab coat and hat enters. In his left hand is a Ukelele which he slings onto his back. He looks around to try and find the owner and sees Jane and Philius.

Dr. Alto Clef approaches them and begins to speak.
Excuse me. I am looking for the owner to enquire about a book that a colleague of mine is looking for. A Study of History. Vol I: Introduction: The Geneses of Civilizations. Published in 1934 I believe.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dr. Alto Clef Character Portrait: Philius Percival Wolfinson Character Portrait: Jane Grey Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Jane hesitated, trying to remember if her mother had any rules regarding alcohol, but Jane was tired -- tired of trying to remember her mother's rules and just generally very in need of sleep. She took the flask and tipped it up to her lips. The liquid hummed on her tongue, almost a burning sensation, but not entirely unpleasant. "Thank you," she said, handing back the flask and enjoying the warm buzzing in her tummy. The unsettled feeling that had been constantly present for the past few months seemed to settle under the alcohol's hum. It felt like a sleeping monster, just waiting to leap out from the shadows and make her body betray her, but Jane wasn't sure in what way. She just knew that's what it would do.

"My mother..." Jane couldn't imagine sending a search party out to find her. Mary had always been firmly, almost ferociously, independent. Jane almost wondered if she might prefer to stay lost in the woods than to hear that her daughter had been talking to people, telling them what they had been doing. Jane couldn't have done anything differently, but would Mary be angry with her? Probably, she thought. Jane licked the tang of brandy from her lips, wondering how to respond. "I'm not sure that that's necessary. I don't want to-"

But Jane jumped as the door opened, her eyes widening at the creature that stood there. His wide grin made Jane's skin crawl. She dropped her gaze down to her lap, trying not to look startled. She didn't want to offend him, or Phil. He's probably a perfectly good person, she thought. Looks can be deceiving. But the hair that had risen on the back of Jane's neck did not settle down.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Dr. Alto Clef Character Portrait: Philius Percival Wolfinson Character Portrait: Jane Grey Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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It's ok. I'm usually friendly. If not a bit weird. My name is Dr. Alto Clef. My employer sent me here to search for some books. I believe you might have a few copies of them?


Clef looked around as he spoke. He took his Ukelele and strummed it a few times.
Used to work for a top secret government group. Agent Ukelele they called me. Killed 99 people in my time as "Ukelele". Technically they were more... weird than I thought. We called them "Reality Benders". Because they has the ability to change reality. I saw some pretty fucked up stuff in my life. But "Reality Benders" were probably the most fucked up thing I've seen.


Following his rant, Clef takes a deep breath and then grins.
I might have gotten a tad distracted. But it never hurts to go of topic.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Dr. Alto Clef Character Portrait: Philius Percival Wolfinson Character Portrait: Jane Grey Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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He startled slightly in surprise, certain he'd put the bolt on the door. "I'm sure it wouldn't be any trouble, but if you're certain, I welcome you to stay here for as long as you need, Miss Jane."Philius gave Jane a reassuring pat on the shoulder before turning to the newcomer.

"We're closed at the moment, sir, and the door was locked, so I'm uncertain how you gained entrance, however I can make an exception this once." He moved toward a filing cabinet. "Who is the author of A Study of History. Vol I: Introduction: The Geneses of Civilizations., and were there multiple publishings?" The drawer he pulled open from the filing cabinet was overflowing with multicolored papers haphazardly shoved into olive green file folders, most missing their tab labels. Oddly, the drawer seemed far too long to have fit in the cabinet at all. He seemed unperturbed by any of this, however.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dr. Alto Clef Character Portrait: Philius Percival Wolfinson Character Portrait: Jane Grey Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Jane pulled the blanket closer around her and smiled. "Thank you," she murmured to Phil, but was distracted by the newcomer - Dr. Clef - and his ukulele. She wasn't sure how seriously to take him. Killing ninety-nine people? That wasn't something of which Jane would be proud, but then it sounded like he came from a very different world to Jane's. There were moments when Jane wouldn't have minded changing reality, but she had never heard of a creature that could do it. It made her nervous.

One of her shoulder blades began to itch and Jane shuffled on the chair. Perhaps the brandy hadn't done as good a job at settling her down as she had thought. She felt strange again, unsettled, not at home in her skin. The itching on her shoulder became more intolerable and she chewed her lip. She didn't want to scratch it: it reminded her of memories of dreams -- dreams from when she was a child -- in which feathers would sprout from her skin. She shuddered and focused on Phil and Clef, the itching beginning to abate.

She watched Phil pull out the drawer and tried to work out whether the length of it was a trick of the eye or an enchantment of some kind. She smiled slightly and realised that despite her mother's fear, she wasn't worried about magic -- if that's what it was. She didn't feel shocked by it either; it just felt... normal. Perhaps that was wrong. However, Jane just watched Phil at the cabinet, finding his sure movements comforting, particularly next to the strangeness (at least, in her eyes) of Alto. She wanted to close her eyes, but didn't feel comfortable enough with Clef there. Instead, she ran a finger along the spines of books beside her. So many stories and worlds and lessons, too many for Jane to ever understand.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Dr. Alto Clef Character Portrait: Philius Percival Wolfinson Character Portrait: Jane Grey Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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The book's author was one Arnold J. Toynbee and I don't believe there was multiple publishings. As for money... that isn't a problem.
Clef pulls out a small pouch from his pocket. Inside it is different types of currency.

Clef then strums his Ukelele again, this time a bit quieter.
As for how I entered, I cannot reveal how I entered. Otherwise my employers will be quite angry with me that I used my equipment wrongly.
He looks at Jane as she ran her finger along the books.
And what's wrong with you young lass? You look like you've had a very frightening experience.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dr. Alto Clef Character Portrait: Philius Percival Wolfinson Character Portrait: Jane Grey Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Phil closed his eyes, turned around once, and allowed his hand to fall randomly on a shelf, drawing it back to reveal Arnold J. Toynbee's A Study of History. Vol I: Introduction: The Geneses of Civilizations. He approached and extended the volume to Dr. Clef with a flourish. "There you are, Herr Doktor. That will be three-hundred seventy-eight and sixpence... or four dragon scales." A tag draping from one of the central pages confirmed the quoted sum, dragon scales having seen a recent drop in value.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Dr. Alto Clef Character Portrait: Philius Percival Wolfinson Character Portrait: Jane Grey Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Clef empties his pouch on the counter. He then counts them until he is certain that he's giving Phil the right amount.
Here you go. Three-Hundred, Seventy-Eight and Six pence. I even put a little extra in for great service.


He then picks the book up and puts it under his arm.
I better be off now. My employer is going to be angry I took this long. It was meant to be a 1-day mission. And stay safe ma'am.
His last bit of his sentence was aimed at Jane. Clef turns and walks to the door of the bookshop.

As he steps outside, he turns to Phil.
In regards to how I entered, I used this key that my employer gave me. Can open any lock. But I should be off now.
He exits the store and begins to walk down East Lanterna Way.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Philius Percival Wolfinson Character Portrait: Jane Grey Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Jane watched Phil select the correct book, her head tilted in wonder. That had to be magic, didn't it? Suddenly the strange man was addressing her and she jumped, having hoped to stay in the background of this whole strange encounter. But to her relief, it was a valediction. "How strange," Jane said when he had left, but realised that her own presence must, to Phil, be almost as strange as Clef's. The bookshop owner was probably having quite the evening of it -- but for all Jane knew, this was entirely normal.

She hugged the blanket more tightly around her, again wondering if Phil would prefer her to leave to, but where would she go? "Thank you again for being so hospitable. I--" she swallowed, wondering how to phrase this without being rude. "Is there any possibility of me sleeping here -- just for one night." She added quickly. "Or if you know of a room somewhere, but I don't have much money." She suddenly wondered how much money she did have and glanced at her small bag. Her mother had kept most of their money, but given a very small amount to Jane in case of... well, in case of this, she supposed.

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Character Portrait: Philius Percival Wolfinson Character Portrait: Jane Grey Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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The man, watching the retreating Dr. Clef with a curious expression, tore his attention away from the figure as he faded into the ever-pervasive Verinotte fog to favour Jane with a warm smile. "You're welcome to stay here for as long as you like." He absent-mindedly went over to the shelf he'd pulled the book from to check that the empty space left by the purchased book had already been filled with another volume, then nodded, satisfied.

"You have no money, no direction, no food, and nowhere to go. I'd be a monster if I tossed you out on your ear, wouldn't I?" He patted her shoulder reassuringly. "In any case, the books like you. If you decide to accept the offer, we'll begin your job training tomorrow." Wolfinson plopped into the chair near her, opening two books: One was about the adventures of a wizard private investigator, the other was a worn book with no title, full of symbols Jane didn't recognize. If she stared into the latter long enough, it was as though the symbols began to read themselves into her mind. Phil switched to the former whenever he seemingly needed a break from the wacky symbol book.

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Character Portrait: Philius Percival Wolfinson Character Portrait: Jane Grey Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Jane was so surprised that it took her a moment to react. She loved the idea of having a stable place to stay, not being constantly on the move to keep her mother's ghosts from catching up with them. She looked out of the bookshop window to the street outside, wondering where her mother was and if Jane should have been afraid of those ghosts, but Jane had wasted too much energy harbouring her mother's fears and obediently following her around Aslund. Her mother would be fine, cursed woods or not; she had looked after herself for so long anyway. It was about time Jane marked a path for herself. She exhaled, feeling the weight of years of don't talk to strangers, keep your hood up in the street, don't trust them or them or them, slide from her.

"Thank you so much," was all she could say, hoping that her wide smile would portray just how grateful she was. "That would be..." but despite being surrounded by thousands of words, she couldn't find the right one. Nothing could summarise how fortunate she felt to have taken refuge in this particular shop and to have met this particular man. "Really good," she said, deciding that picking something clearly inadequate was better than picking something wrong.

She looked at the strange book that Phil had open. The symbols were entirely strange to her, yet the more she looked, the more comfortable she felt with them. She ran her eyes over their curves and shapes and they seemed to run their eyes through her too, like a handshake, or a puppy deciding that it liked you after a thorough sniff of your hair. She blinked and shook her head; she really must be tired.

"I think I might need to sleep now," she admitted, hoping he would show her to a bedroom. Now she felt safe and warm, her eyes were stinging with tiredness and the symbols in Phil's book had begun to blur.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Aeka Takayama Character Portrait: Philius Percival Wolfinson Character Portrait: Jane Grey Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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The door to Epilogue books slowly creaked open and the young Asian woman that was outside slowly, and somewhat hesitantly stepped in before she looked back outside. She looked first up the street and then back down the street before she allowed the door to shut behind her.

The wooden floor creaked as she stepped in, she was hugging the oversized jacket close to her body as she looked around with unease and trepidation.

She gave a soft nod of her head and a smile to Phil, and then a polite nod to the other woman in the bookstore, before she looked at the rows of books in front of her.

"Maybe the Umibozu won't find me in here." She said quietly to herself.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Aeka Takayama Character Portrait: Philius Percival Wolfinson Character Portrait: Jane Grey Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Slowly shutting the odd book onto an age-yellowed length of lace, and using a post-it to bookmark the paperback, Phil rose, intent on showing Jane to his spare room, indicating she should rise to follow. Before he could open his mouth to speak, however, the woman in the oversize jacket entered. He gave Jane an apologetic look and gestured for her to remain in her seat while he saw to the newcomer.

Turning toward Aeka, he gave a small nod and and return smile."Stars and garters, what an oddly busy evening. How may I assist you, young lady?"

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Character Portrait: Aeka Takayama Character Portrait: Philius Percival Wolfinson Character Portrait: Jane Grey Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Jane smiled at Phil. Despite her tiredness, she found the situation amusing: Phil, it seemed, wasn't used to so many visits in one evening. She gave the young woman a smile too and retook her seat, her eyes moving over the books and settling into the cosy ambiance of the room. This lady seemed more normal that the last visitor, Jane thought. She didn't have three eyes, at least, and hadn't broken in -- but then again, Jane knew she wasn't good at judging people's characters; who knew what this lady's story really was.

Jane's shoulder blade was itching again and this time she reached under her layers of blanket and clothing and managed to scratch it. But she paused, her eyes widening slightly. Her skin felt almost rough, just in that small patch on her shoulder. She swallowed and withdrew her hand, determined to let neither Phil or the other lady know that she was concerned. It's probably nothing, she told herself, just a patch of eczema or something. But given the strange way she'd been feeling recently -- not fully at home in her own body, as though it was deciding whether or not it wanted to be part of her -- it didn't feel like nothing.

She pulled the blanket around her, subconsciously using it as a shield and a comfort, something that would keep whatever was going on with her at bay, and watched Phil and the young lady.