Saturday, February 15, 2014

Episode Thirty Three - Uninvited

Episode Thirty Three 


It is utterly beyond our power to measure the changes of things by time. Quite the contrary, time is an abstraction at which we arrive by means of the changes of things.
-Ernst Mach

Twilight painted the room in the fading light of a rainy day. It should have been her room. Every fiber of her being was certain it should have been her room, but that certainty solidified in the fact it wasn't. It wasn't her room. Her room wasn't blank and empty save the quickly draining light trickling in from windows she couldn't see from a source that couldn't exist. There was no radiation of light, no hint of where the light was coming from. Just a lighter color painted against the black the way an artist would create the essence of light without the natural reality of it. She wasn't sitting in her chair. Not her chair. She didn't own anything as roughly made and badly sanded as the twisted thing she sat in. And even as she reassured herself the stark white walls, the blank floor and even the fading light itself wasn't real the insistence of the wrongness of it all welded up, threatening to overtake her carefully manufactured calm.
She forced her breathing to remain slow and steady, even as slats of muddy gold slanted, skewed and seemed to run against the white walls. Darkness crept up, overtaking the room in inky lines like knurled fingers and Esther gripped her knees as all luminance winked out.
As perfectly white as the room had been was how darkly black it was not. And quiet. It was so very quiet. She could hear herself breathing as if wearing a mask underwater; the sound reverberating in her head and feeling louder and more awkward and out of place then it should be. She hadn't been here before. Not here in this exact place, but the feelings and certainty on its otherness was all too familiar. Something would come. For her, something would slither or rattle or skitter across the floor she could no longer see. She slid her heel up against her thighs, bare toes dangling on the edge of the chair. She waited.
Soft rustling in the dark. Scraping and fluttering. Esther wrapped her arms around her legs, burying her head against her knees. The darkness pulsed and pushed in.
Then, with the subtly of a blooming rose, a gentle light shimmered in the gloom. It made no sound, but Esther lifted her head to search for it. Blue and wafting in an unfelt breeze, the light danced closer in the dark. A flutter grew from the light, somehow calm against the raging blackness. As Esther focused, another light appeared. Then another. Soothing whispered accompanied the wings. 
The light drew closer and a strange form materialized from under its glow. The light emanated from large butterfly wings, about the size of Esther’s palm. She could see tiny veins beneath the light as they fluttered nearer.  The wings attached to the shoulder blade of small human like creatures with all manner of hair style and dress, but all seemingly made from plants or flowers. One wore a dress of browning leaves tied with twine, another a shirt of dried petals. Their bodies were impossibly thin, their legs and arms reminding Esther of toothpicks. They swirled around her, the soft whispers and giggles growing.
Esther raised her hand. The soft blue shimmered. Her finger lifted. The color drained into a fiery red. Esther barely hand time to yank away before long needle like talons sprang from the tiny fingers and racked the air where her hand had been. The room filled with a dark susurrus and a red glow spread out among the creatures, the flutter turning to more a buzz of an angry swarm. A wall of red pulsed through the room and the darkness receded with an overwhelming squeeze to the air. The glowed filled with furious hissings on the verge of hearing, just barely being able to be heard but very definite in their malicious intent. Esther felt pieces of her hair lift and yank back. She batted her hands over her head and a cold claw slashes across her arm. The flurry increased and swirled up, a tornado of angry whispers and blinding light. Esther clung to her chair, covering her head with her arms. The faeries descended and a rush covering her in red and pain. Esther felt the chair tip, her hair pulled and fell. She screamed. The light changed from bright red even through her eye lids to a yellow. The defending flutter of ragged wings vanished just as Esther hit, not the stark floor of the room that never was, but the icy floor of--
A breathless pause gave birth to a sudden laugh. Then more. Esther opened her eyes.
"Miss St. Clair! Miss St. Clair!"
Esther blinked and looked up. The bleary form of Aulder stared down at her.
"Are you alright?"
"I...I..." She looked up passed the professor and saw Holon gazing down at her as well.
"She just fell asleep." He met her eyes and nodded.
"Miss St. Clair?"
"I guess so. I'm sorry..."
The art teacher sighed with relief but looked annoyed. "Back in your seat. And try to stay awake."
"Yes ma'am, I'm sorry."
"I don't want your apologies, Miss St. Claire." Art stood and headed back to the front of the class. "I want your attention."
Esther slunk back in her chair.
"Now I want no more interruptions and please finish your sketches for the day."
Esther reached for her charcoal and winced. She slowly pulled back her sweater. Her lip slid between her teeth. Two long lines with dots of blood along the scratches that vanished up her sleeve, over the nearly healed lines. Panic synched her chest and she clenched her sleeve so tightly over the marks the pain redoubled.


Friday, January 10, 2014

Episode Thirty Two

Episode Thirty Two:
Darkness isn't the opposite of light, it is simply its absence.
-Terry Pratchett

     Simon and Ro sat on one of the benches against the ivy wall at the cross of Macmillan Gardens and Morland Avenue; Simon atop with his back against the ivy.
     "Hey," Esther said, quietly.
     "Sup!" Ro hopped up. "So when are you gonna tell me where you go each week?"
Esther started, the blood draining from her face as she glanced at Simon. "I...I..."
     “Ok, ok never mind. Just a suggestion," Ro back peddled. "You guys free this weekend?"
     "Yeah." Simon stepped down from the bench.
     The three of them crossed the street.
     "I think Monica is on double shift at the hospital Saturday."
     "Awesome! How about a hang out day at my place? You got allergy meds, right Si?"
     He looked at her blankly.
     "I still got the kitten brigade."
     "Oh, right. Yeah."
     As they got to the steep incline, Esther slowed. She turned to the street; an odd feeling creeping into her stomach.
     "Hey, what's up?" Ro stopped, waiting for her.
     Esther frowned. "Like de ja vu...or something..."
     "There's a glitch in the Matrix."
     Esther looked up at Simon. Ro laughed.
     "Did the ginger just make a funny? Hurry up, Neo."
     Rounding the ivy walls they headed up the front entrance to Westin.
     The closer they got to the school the harder Esther gripped the strap of her satchel. She kept her eyes on her shoes even as Ro rattled on about the games she had or the movies they could watch. Esther glanced to her left, sure she heard a familiar giggle.
     Rebeca, Isabella and Sadie stood in a semi-circle around Tobie, Jacob, Gus and Holon. Tobie leaned into Rebeca, who was twirling her hair around a manicured finger. Gus talked with Jacob, pretending not to notice the pair, but his gaze darted to them every so often with an ill-concealed frown.
      Esther glanced at Holon. His gaze, intent on the scene in front of him, flickered immediately to her. Esther's breath caught in her throat. Sadie, noticing Holon's switch in interest, turned. So did Isabella, then Rebeca, quick as a cat. Esther jerked her head down, feeling the nasty scrutiny of all three girls as they passed.
     "Morning ladies," Ro said, cheerfully waving. "And jerks."
     "Stop it, Ro!" Esther grabbed her arm, picking up her pace. She couldn't help but glance back. The girls were ignoring them, and Holon had turned forward. Rebeca was preening again for Tobie, her smile suggestive, her hand on his chest. A shimmer of light darted across Rebeca's fingers then over her hair. Esther's eyes narrowed, but the refraction skipped away.
     "Oh you stop it." Ro twisted out of her grip. "Show them they can't get to you and they'll get bored. And seriously, what's the worst they could do?"
     Esther bit her lip. "I'd rather not find out." As she turned forward, the refraction darted in front of her eyes with a barely audible buzz. She lost mastery of her left foot as it collided with her right heel and tripped; skinning her knee just above her socks as her satchel thumped to the ground, spitting out her books. The expected laughter still brought tears to her eyes, more than the pain.
     "You ok?" Simon asked, a hand on her shoulder. She gasped and his hand recoiled, as if bitten.
     "Geez, Es," Ro said from behind her. "You were even too fast for Si. E for effort though, man."
Esther stared at Simon's arm a moment, the awkwardness setting it. Turning away she lifted her arm slightly. Simon's hand slipped under her. Esther leaned into him, letting him help her up. She stood, trying to control her breathing, trying to keep the tears in place.
      "Y-Yeah. I'm fine."
      “You're bleeding," Ro pointed out.
     "I'm fine."
     Simon handed her the books. "What's their problem?"
     "Demented followers of the false god," Ro said loftily. "They're so damn full of themselves you'd think they'd float away. Or been beheaded by now."
     "I need to go clean up." Esther hurried ahead. "I'll see you guys later."
     "Meet for lunch?" Ro called after her.

Episode Thirty One

Episode Thirty One

I sense there's something in the wind
That feels like tragedy's at hand
And though I'd like to stand by him
Can't shake this feeling that I have

     Esther sank back in a heavy gloom and waited. She let the rhythmic ticking of the grandfather clock to the left of Dr. Belane's desk melt away. The street sounds outside the window decrescendo and the slight scratch of the couch's upholstery beneath her faded. Somehow it was easier this time to slip into the void. Somehow it was almost...pleasant.
     She knew Dr. Belane was talking, couching her. She wasn't sure if she were ignoring the words or just couldn't hear them anymore. The familiar sound was on the cusp of her hearing, just on the edge of shadows and she had no desire to amplify them with concentration.
     I could fall asleep. Or maybe I am...
     The spark descended in the dark; slow, dripping as thick honey down a straw. She waited, expecting the jolt of fear. Even as the gold swayed, parted and outlined a round shape that spiraled so fast it sent ripples in the dark she felt...calm. The fast sway and spin of the undefinable object lulled her. She watched the ripples of the dark pool and multiply.
     A swell sharpened.
     Esther focused. A small bit of shadow pulled away from the rest. It stretched and barbed as another bit dripped upwards and bulged to form a globe. As the object swayed the gold illuminated a form rising up from the ripples. A creature, barely distinguished from the dark, lifted another sharp arm from the darkness, shadows dripping off a form like runny tar.
     Chatter, delicate and soft at first, filled the darkness. Esther's heartbeat sped, pounding in her chest. Another arm, claws at the end, surfaced from the shadows. Then another. The ripples accelerated, clashed against one another, spread. And each seemed to bring up an arm, claws, a...head.
     The comforting tones of Dr. Belane echoed eerily, muffled by shadows. The silence within the scape turned sinister with clashing chatters and foreign whispers. The darkness reached for the thin golden line. Claws surrounded the object. The thick background of black undulated, pulling the gold into it. The gold sunk, darkness folding over it like a curtain, strange creatures pulling, tugging, forcing it under. Esther struggled against it, willing the gold to ascend. But a small articulation, a sound that resonated with her voice purred against her ear.
     "Let it go. Let it go."
     Terror poured into her, hot and weightless, and with it a new and familiar voice. "Its just a dream...Wake up. Wake up Esther. Wake up!"
     Dr. Belane...
     "Open your eyes, Esther."
     She struggled against the growing dark, the vanishing gold, the rising claws.
     "Listen to me. Focus on my voice. Open your eyes."
     The voice sharpened. The crisp shadows lost their edge.
     The scape shuddered. The chatter lessened. The gold glowed. It tore through the dark, creating seams of light. A shriek. All was gold and light and...
     With a gasp Esther opened her eyes.
     For a moment silence pressed down on her like a weight. Then...the scratch of upholstery beneath her fingers. the soft whoosh of traffic outside a window. Her own panting breath. The doctor's office coalesced, the concerned face of Dr. Belane looming over her.
     Belane smiled. "There you are. No, don't sit up. I'll get you some water."
     Pressure lifted from the couch as Belane stood.
     Esther blinked up at the ceiling; sure her body was at once reeling and still.
     "Take slow deep breaths." Belane sat beside her, offering a small plastic cup.
     Slowly Esther pushed herself up against the arm rest and took the cup. Sipping at the water she tried to ignore a gnawing urge to close her eyes and escape back to...what exactly?
     "What was that?" she asked. "I couldn't control it at all. All this darkness swelled up and..." Her hand tightened on the cup and she took another sip.
     "It's ok. Sometimes our subconscious gets the better of us. We might be trying too hard."    Belane took the cup and set it on the coffee table. "How do you feel?"
     Esther swallowed. "I'm ok."
     "Are you sure?"
     "Yes." She sat up straighter.
     "Good." Belane smiled, though Esther had a feeling she wasn't buying it. "Just sit for a while before you head out, ok?"
     Esther nodded.
     The iron gate squeaked as it closed. Esther glanced back. Dr. Belane was on the porch. She waved. Esther forced a smile and hurried onto the sidewalk.
     An odd rustle punctuated the still air behind her. She glanced up at the trees lining the avenue as she continued down the sidewalk to the Underground.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

New Year New Time Same Bat Channel

New year and new goals. Finish Clock Work!

Episodes will be going up the 10th of the month now.

Going through I think I missed an ep between the last two. I am having an editor go back and make sure, but there might be an adjustment. If there is, I WILL LET YOU GUYS KNOW! I usually annouce on twitter and the CW facebook any new eps or such. 

And for being such good fans and putting up with my random idiocy I will post two eps if that is the case. DERP. It is strong with me.

So follow me on twitter @10thmuse or come hang out on the Clock Work facebook!

Thank yall so so much for the patience and support.