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.