Rearviewmirror [Cat & Change]
There were more people than normal in Tora's alleyway. These were mostly the stereotypical drug-abusing homeless people, the ones who rented their orifices for a portion of the money they needed to alleviate their addictions. These were the type of people Tora hated; they couldn't survive on their own, and to be honest, couldn't care less about their own survival. She hated when they were here because then people mentally insinuated her into their ranks. She'd only arrived back in her usual sleeping alley a few minutes ago, and had already been propositioned twice. She had to hold back her pride to stop herself from hurting them, even if it would give her somewhere to stay for the night. Probably longer. She thought, and the idea tempted her. She hadn't eaten in a couple days and she'd at least get a couple meals and some good sleep in jail.
She headed for her second choice, though she knew there were addicts there, too. At least the ones there only asked people who looked like they could pay, and they didn't sell themselves. They were also more protective of each other, so she didn't have to wake up to weird old men about to get whatever sort of satisfaction they could from her. Sure, it wasn't a common occurrence, but it had happened too recently for her to completely rule it out.
She arrived a few minutes later, having used her Clean spell on the way, so she arrived as manicured as the last day she was released to the streets. Her artist friend was here, even, trying to sell paintings to passers-by. As usual, he wasn't having any luck, even at drastically reduced prices compared to what he got from galleries. Even they barely supported him for a week or so per painting, and she knew there was no way he could support her like he did when they lived together. She approached him and immediately turned to a nearby customer. Within a minute of speaking, she'd managed to convince them to at least look at a painting, and not long after, they left with a couple paintings. She smiled to her friend. "Any luck today?"
"Not 'til you showed up. What you doing on this side of town?" He smiled back sympathetically and hugged her like a father hugs a daughter. "The parade?"
"Yeah. I hate parades. All they do is corral the bad people into my alley."
"I know, Cho." He'd called her Cho since they met. It's how he heard her name the first time, and it fit as closely as one could expect for a diminutive form of a name, even a short one like hers. "The Hole's got a family. Couple'a kids, their parents. Prob'ly still room for ya. If not, they'd make some. You're still young 'n cute. Good with kids. Might help 'em out if you stayed there with 'em."
The Hole was just that; a hole. Or more specifically, the maintenance area inside the bridge that one got to through a round hatch underneath. The lock was easy to pick, and it was common knowledge among those in the area (and one of the first things they learned if they were new) when the city used the Hole for its intended purpose. They made sure to keep it clean so the city wouldn't kick them out and made sure they were nowhere near it when it was accessed by the workers. No one questioned the nearby squatters if the lock was off, but if it was off for multiple visits, they usually found out who was in it easily enough. The homeless near The Hole tried their best to keep the druggies out, but some of the abusers were good at hiding at least that they were still addicted.
"No thanks." It wasn't that the offer wasn't good enough for her. She was actually interested in staying there, even with there being a family there. She didn't take up space. She turned it down because she'd already stayed recently, and it looked bad if someone monopolized The Hole for too long. It was hard enough to get good shelter in the city without going to St. Agnes* or St. Martin de Porres** without being ostracized by everyone else.
"Your loss. Not a lot of room outside The Hole, either. Not under the overpass, anyway. So long as you don't mind getting rained on, I guess. Doesn't look like that'll happen tonight, though." It was hard to tell through his shades, but he had been looking at the sky throughout the entire conversation. She hadn't figured out why yet, but even while she lived with him, he never took them off, and never talked about it when anyone asked. And people did ask, especially on cloudy days like this one. "Fine with that?"
*A shelter specifically for homeless girls --as in 17 and under, or at least those who looked like they were-- that she herself had stayed at a couple times out of desperation, especially since they also offered some medical care. She hadn't acquired her ability to Clean her clothes or Seal and Numb her wounds yet the first time she'd stayed there, and they offered private and temporary clean clothes they could use while theirs were washed. Each room even had a shower. While the rooms were barely livable in terms of size, it was enough for someone who normally had no bed, and likely no parents. Even though she knew she wouldn't be seen, she showered with her clothes on whenever she was there, only taking her shirt off so the tiger wouldn't fade. And now, she only really had to wash her hands ever, so it wasn't an issue.
**While the owners were religious to the point of fanaticism, but they took good care of those who stayed with them. She'd never personally stayed there, she'd heard they made people sit through a prayer that was over a minute long before they were allowed to eat, and very much disliked it if anyone didn't cooperate, even if they couldn't technically do anything about it. They had bigger rooms than St. Agnes, but they usually had a waiting list for those, with the majority of others staying in the same room they ate in on cots with fairly soft blankets and pillows provided by the nearby church.
the gray in the green
As he pulled in front of Our Lady of Eternal Night, Gareth resisted the urge to light a cigarette. He leaned the old motorbike onto its kickstand with a sigh. A few kids, barely older than Gareth was when he first came to the orphanage, stared at him warily before running inside the thick oak doors. The corners of Gareth's mouth lifted in a smile; it had been a long time since he had last been here, and it was no surprise that he scared the kids. His scar certainly didn't make him a looker. Gareth dug around in his saddlebags and withdrew an envelope. He walked to the orphanage's doors and paused. Gareth shivered as he glanced upward, eyes meeting the familiar stone gazes of the gargoyles guarding the orphanage. Even as a child, they had always unnerved him; the nuns had tried to calm his irrational fears with tales of gargoyles' true purposes, of how they are meant to protect. Gareth never believed them, not after he woke up to a gargoyle perched on the wardrobe in his room.
Gareth took one last look at the gargoyles sitting above the entryway before opening the doors and stepping inside. The foyer smelled of vanilla and burnt leaves, the same smell that seemed to pervade the entire orphanage. Gareth had no idea why it smelled that way; the nuns never allowed the children to burn anything for fear of producing a firebug. The familiar wall hangings of Mary, the Christ, and the Last Supper drew his attention. They were more worn than when he lived at Eternal Night, or maybe the colours just looked more faded now that he didn't see them as often. "Oh, Gareth, how are you?" said Sister Mary Catharine as she swept into the foyer, her once-youthful face just now beginning to show her age. She hugged Gareth, and after initial stiffness, he hugged her back. "I'm alright, just came by talk to Sister Frita about fixing up the 'gator." Sister Mary Catharine coughed into her hand, attempting to hide a smile at the broken-down bus's despised nickname. "You really shouldn't say that. Sister Frita might hear you, or one of the children, and then they'd parrot it in front of her. You know how she is when she's angry." "Yes, I do, all too well. Is she in her office?" Gareth walked to the right doorway, and placed his hand on the doorknob. "Yes." Sister Mary Catharine followed Gareth down a long hallway and stopped at the last door. "I'll see you later, Gareth. Sister Frita, Gareth is here to see you!" she said as she knocked lightly on the door. Gareth, not waiting for an invitation, entered.
"Sister Frita, I'll need the keys to the shed," Gareth said as he sat down, not wishing to look at the wizened sister, "so I can give you an estimate on how much it'll cost to fix. The two sat in silence for a moment, and Gareth was about to repeat his request when Frita answered in a wheezing hiss. "Cost? You should be doing this for free! We fed you, we clothed you, we watched over you, and now you wish to charge us?" Gareth bit his lip, fingers fumbling in his pocket with his lighter. He was about to say something when she continued."You are a disgrace, Gareth Horts, and I hope you suffer for your ineptitude!" Sister Frita frowned at Gareth, and he thought she would send him away, but she drew out a key chain and slid it across her desk to him. With a relieved sigh, Gareth grabbed the keys and dashed out of her office. The old bird made his heart race; he had to lean against a wall and close his eyes to make it slow.
Gareth walked through his childhood residence, eying the children just as cautiously as they eyed him. When he made it to the back door, he slipped outside, grateful for the solitude. He walked to the large shed and unlocked it with the key, and began his inspection of the ancient green bus that the sisters hauled the children around in.
Last edited by thenameofchange; 06-21-2012 at 05:53 PM.
It was only starting to get dark, but Tora was already preparing to sleep in the sparse grass next to the overpass. It had rained a couple days ago and not been too hot since, so the ground was still soft, thankfully. She'd never liked going to sleep when it was actually dark, either. It reminded her of home. She was younger when she lived there. They let her stay up later all the time, though, if she had wanted. If he had wanted. She tried to separate the past and the present like that. She was only a he back when she lived a normal life. Now the only person who knew that was Edward Coates...and she had no interest in getting too close to him any time soon. Last she'd heard, he was a couple states to the north, pitching some "life-changing" product. Anything for money, she thought, but I need to stop thinking about him.
She pulled her knees up under her skirt and hid her purse (which was easy, since it seemed to be MADE to be concealed). Someone had come by earlier to distribute pillows and blankets, and even left some behind, given the high homeless population within the city. She'd met the person who had done it many times before. He usually gave out clothing and shoes, including his own if someone really needed them. He was a small business owner, and paid for all these things himself, with his own money. She didn't necessarily like accepting charity, but she knew a good person when she saw one. Had he been here right now, she'd have even volunteered to help him if he'd buy her lunch; it had been nearly a month since she'd bought anything truly worthy of being called food, and it showed. The closest she got was when someone offered her a sandwich a day or two ago and she offered to pay them for it. She couldn't convince them to take her money no matter how hard she tried, and she still had the sandwich in her purse out of spite. She thought about it now. It did look good, and she hadn't eaten. She usually did that in her alleyway, but had forgotten when she saw the crowd. She sighed and un-hid her purse again, opened it, and pulled out the sandwich. It still looked safe to eat, and the bread looked particularly fluffy and light, like it was freshly made just before they gave it to her. It probably was. With a sigh, she opened the bag and took a bite of the sandwich. The feeling of relief was indescribable to anyone who could eat like this everyday. It hurt her pride, but it was so worth it. She tried her best to eat it slowly to make it last longer, and even stopped halfway to put it away. She didn't know the next time she'd be able to have something like that again, and it wasn't in her best interests to eat it too quickly.
She dropped the sandwich back in her purse and hid it again. Hopefully for the rest of the night this time. She lied down on the soft earth, wrapped in the blanket. It was rough, but warm, and the pillow was fresh and new. She did her best to keep her pillow on top of the blanket, with the blanket folded in half so it could cover her and keep her off the dirt. It was warm, and despite knowing better, felt incredibly safe. And if she was lucky, she'd be able to take it with her; every once in a while, she could find old backpacks hidden in the trash in nearby apartments. Even the dumpster by Our Lady of Eternal Night had them occasionally, though not as frequently. Where they came from, she didn't know, and she liked to keep her distance from that place; she had no interest in it, since she did in fact have parents, even if they had no idea she was even still alive, and even if they suspected it, they probably wouldn't recognize her with the new appearance, not without seeing her eyes. It was a sad thought to fall asleep on, but it was the last thought she had before drifting off to sleep.
the gray in the green
After looking at the 'gator for about an hour, Gareth decided he had a rough estimate of how much it would cost the nuns to have the old bus fixed. He crawled out from under the bus and wiped greasy fingers on a rag conveniently found lying on a shelf. Gareth squared his shoulders and headed back into the orphanage. When he entered Sister Frita's office, she wasn't there, so he took a seat and prepared to wait. Waiting for her once again, despite the huge difference in cause, reminded him of the many times he had waited for the nun when he had been a resident at Eternal Night. After about fifteen minutes, Sister Frita came into the room with a sullen boy following her. She motioned for him to take the other seat. Poor guy, wonder what he did to get her eye on him, he wondered as Sister Frita turned to him. "So, how much will it be, Gareth?" "Well, I've got to change the--" "I don't understand mechanic, so please just tell me the price." "Oh...umm.. around three thousand, when I'm done." Sister Frita scowled, then nodded her head and pointed toward the door. Gareth nodded and took his leave, barely getting the door closed before Sister Frita began berating the poor boy for breaking a window with a baseball.
Gareth kept his head down, avoiding the gazes of the children as he made his way to the doors. He left the orphanage, sighing with relief and immediately lighting a cigarette. Nervously puffing away, he turned to look at the windows of Our Lady of Eternal Night staring at him, the building hulking like a cloud over his life. He just couldn't seem to escape it.
After Gareth finished his cigarette, he stamped it out on the sidewalk and straddled his bike. It purred to life, and he began the drive home, jumping at imaginary shadows. Going over an overpass, he nearly swerved into an oncoming car when he thought he saw a...gargoyle?... leap out at him. Damnit, what's wrong with you today, man? he thought as he righted himself. The other car's horn blared, making him wince. You'll be home soon, nice and warm. Boogeymen and old ladies can't touch you there. The thought made him want to giggle, the kind of laugh that wouldn't stop.
Tora slept. And dreamt. A certainly unusual dream, one which bordered on terrifying in her mind. The world around her was white: White fog around her, white bricks beneath her, and from what she could tell, a pure white sky. It was very bright. And from what she could tell, it was empty. Every once in a while, she'd see something that looked like a wave, or at least a ripple, in the fog, and she'd even occasionally see something that looked like movement in the distance. Whatever it was, though, was always gone by the time she reached where she thought it was. And then, closer to the end, when most of the dream she had spent walking, always seeing something far off in the distance, that something would appear in the corners of her field of vision, and just as quickly disappear. She still couldn't determine what it was, no matter how many times she saw it.
When she awoke, she awoke to the sun in her eyes, burning almost as brightly as her dream. All the same people from the night before were there, with a minority still desperately trying to cling to their dreams. She herself remembered the dream clearly, and wished theirs were better. She wished her abilities could be more like...dream-trading, but she'd never wanted to risk accidentally cutting into someone's skull with her magical Boxcutter. She rolled over a little, finding she'd kicked off the top of the blanket during the night and, more curiously, the bottom half was wet. She herself was wet, too. She looked around to see if anyone else could see, but everyone else was either trying to sleep or trying to get a meal. She moved a little to smell the blanket, and was relieved that she wasn't the source...probably. It didn't smell like urine, at least. Unfortunately, that didn't matter much; she was wet, and there was nothing she could do to dry off her clothes. She could get the smell and anything dirty out of it, though, which she did.
She left the blanket where it was, but took the pillow, even though she didn't have anywhere to put it. She looked around for the artist, but she couldn't see him right away. What would I say, anyway? 'I think the middle of my blanket didn't dry the way it should have'? She shook her head. I don't know! He'll just think I peed! Her face hadn't gotten any less red, even after waiting half an hour, because all she could think about was the blanket. It hadn't moved anywhere since last night. Anyone who saw her would know it was her. That thought made her face brighten more. The fact that she was drying so slowly didn't help, either. She walked away quickly after a good amount of time, and went into a nearby bathroom. She hid in a stall, opened the tank, and started splashing water all over herself to make the rest of her clothing wet. Now, if I hurry, I can look like I just took a shower!
It was when she walked outside that she was happy it wasn't a cold day, despite all the clouds. She was still a little itchy, but she was at least staying cool when the breezes rolled through. When she returned, however, the artist was sitting right next to her blanket, leaving her no real escape. And of course, he saw her at the same time she saw him. He stood up and walked over to her. "Let's see if we can find you some cleaner clothes." He smiled like a father, though he didn't look like he was giving her a choice.
the gray in the green
The rest of the ride home was uneventful. Gareth arrived at his shop, exhausted, and parked his bike inside the spacious garage. Currently he had only one vehicle he was working on, an old Plymouth with some engine trouble, so his garage looked depressingly empty. With a sigh, Gareth walked to the stairs, climbed slowly to the second floor, and unlocked the door to his apartment. He lived in a studio over the garage, with a living room with a connecting kitchenette, one medium-sized bedroom, a small bathroom, and a laundry room. The tired mechanic locked the deadbolt behind him, twice for surety, before dragging himself to bed. He fell asleep as soon as his head touch the pillow.
Gareth dreamed of evil nuns and gargoyles that chased little children down winding, dead-end streets.
In the morning, he blearily blinked his gritty eyes, vehemently cursing the sun that streamed through his bedroom window. Gareth glanced at the clock. The little green numbers glowed at him. "Only eight? Aaaah!" he said as he rolled over and buried his face in his pillow, not looking forward to running the errands he had put off yesterday. With a sigh, Gareth pulled himself out of bed. He was feeling a bit more spiffy after a quick shower. Looking in his fridge for some breakfast, Gareth growled at the emptiness. Definitely time to go to the store. No breakfast for me. Gareth left his apartment, locking the door behind him. His bike started with its usual purr, and he drove toward the local supermarket.
When he got there, he ran into someone from the past. "Hey, Gareth! Long time, no see, man! What's up? How've you been?"
Gareth glanced up from the tomatoes he was inspecting. A tall, burly man with a head full of curly blonde hair was smiling at him, holding out his hand. Gareth stared at him. He looked vaguely familiar, but Gareth couldn't place the face.
"It's me! Bailey! From Eternal Night? I haven't seen you in forever!"
"Yeah, hey. It's been awhile. How are you?" Gareth smiled awkwardly at Bailey. Yeah, he remembered the man. As a boy, Bailey terrorized the rest of the Eternal Night residents. Gareth may have been a bad kid, but Bailey was the bully. Gareth's chest began to tighten, and he felt the rising panic as Bailey continued to talk. He glanced around for an exit, a means of escape, but he couldn't find one. Bailey had him cornered by the veggies and the cold meats.
"I'm great! Have you heard about those suicides? Nasty stuff, man. Three people have killed themselves in the last two weeks, or so the newspeople say. Personally, I don't trust them. The government rules the news, so why believe a word they say? It's all to keep us under control, ya know? Hey, are you okay? You're looking a bit sick."
"I'm fine. And no, I hadn't heard. I don't watch TV that much." Gareth swallowed hard, feeling the urge to throw up all over Bailey's penny loafers. The shiny, loathsome shoes squeaked as Bailey walked over to inspect a cucumber.
"Alright, well I've gotta go. I'll see you later. We'll have to get together, rehash old times."
"Yeah, we will." NOT! Gareth thought as he watched Bailey walk away. He breathed deeply, craving a cigarette. Oh well. He needed to finish shopping so he could go home and finish working on the Plymouth.
The artist led Tora to the store owned by the guy who usually brought all the clothes for the people on the street; the same person who brought pillows and blankets. The sun was hot enough to evaporate most of the water and other fluids on Tora's clothes, which she didn't mind. Of course, it meant she was itchy, and she made it known, whining to her friend fully half of the trip. Of course, when they reached it, she let him do the talking; while she could sway someone, she did a lot better with some setup by someone else. She'd hoped she wouldn't have to.
The store itself was full of clothing, enough to fit a much larger store. So it was clear that he had more than enough to give away...though he did sell it quickly most of the time; most of the narrow aisles were packed with people, even on empty days. So many people, in fact, he often joked with people about getting a bouncer to keep them at a fire-safe level. The artist led Tora through the clothes to where the owner usually hung out near, but not inside, his office so people could ask him questions. At this particular moment, he was organizing one densely packed shelf of women's t-shirts. After a quick greeting, the artist got straight to the point.
"I know you'll be bringing out some clothes in like 2 days, but...well...you know what? It's busy in here. Mind if I talk to you in your office? About my girl here?"
The owner nodded, his bemusement clear enough, even with only a single raised eyebrow. The two men walked into the office, but not before the artist bent down a little to whisper to Tora: "You stay here. I'll be out in a minute." While they were in the office, Tora was worried. Had he found out about her? As close as the two of them were, he did offer her enough privacy for him to not have known she was truly male, but had he figured it out now? She could feel herself beginning to sweat, even though this store managed to stay significantly cooler than it was outside.
A few minutes later, the two men came out of the office. The artist's smile made Tora a little less nervous, and the owner of the store had a sympathetic smile that made her feel even better, even if she didn't know why; regardless of what he was told, he could still show that same smile. But as they hadn't gotten kicked out, at least he still felt for her. And then he spoke, breaking the silence between the three amidst the speaking of everyone else around them. "Sorry to hear your story. So he's taking care of you now? Ever think of starting something to get yourself back home? I'll put up a sign and collection jar at the register. Mind if I get a picture?" He hesitated for a second, having looked straight into her eyes. "Those eyes'll get you money fast" His accent came through in thin one heavily emphasized syllable. "I'll get you some nice clothes, nice clothes." He mumbled to himself as he walked to the front, motioning for them to follow. "Pretty girls get sympathy, sympathy gets money. Definitely need a picture." He dug around near the front. "What size you wear? You look small. I can hook you up with some other stuff girls your age like. A neighbor of mine here was going to give stuff from their store, too." He hesitated a second, then continued with a skeptical tone. "You into girl stuff? Like being pretty'n all that?"
Tora wasn't sure what to say. Does he know? What did he tell him? I...guess I can be honest, either way. Not saying anything incriminating either way. She nodded. "Yeah. What kind of stuff?" She watched him pop back up with an older-style camera, one she doubted they even made film for anymore. He'd already had the camera pointed at her, and told her to smile big. He made sure to tell her that the initial smile was too big, that it would make people think she was better off. When he was done, he put the camera back behind the counter.
"Don't worry. Made sure to only get you from the waist up." That made her even more nervous, but she still didn't know what they'd said.
Last edited by Catherine; 07-10-2012 at 04:00 PM.
the gray in the green
As soon as Gareth finished shopping, he loaded his groceries into the saddlebags of his bike. The saddlebags bulged nearly to overflowing; he'd have to be very careful on the drive home, or risk losing the milk. Before he started the bike, he happened to glance upward at the roof of the supermarket. A stony face stared back at him before ducking down behind the store's sign. Its dark wings made no sound as they folded out of sight. Gareth's blood ran cold, then hot. How many days has it been? Four, five? I can't wait any longer. Have to get it filled today, he thought as he turned his back to the gargoyle. Everything inside him screamed to RUN!, but he knew better than to listen to those urges. With his medicine out of his system, the hallucinations were making a comeback--the sooner he made it to a drug store, the better. Gareth kicked the bike to life, slowly pulling out of the parking lot despite his fear. He glanced in his rearview, searching for the gargoyle's silhouette among the cars behind him on the road or flitting from building to building in the air. He thought he saw something, but he couldn't be sure. Either way, man, it isn't real. You've gotta remember that. They never are, regardless of how real they seem. They can't hurt you. Only belief in them can do that.
Gareth followed a silver BMW most of the way to Karmichael's Drugs. At Walington Street, he took a left, breaking away from the car. He pulled in front of Karmichael's, parking between a small black Kia and an ancient Ford T Coupe. The Coupe's doors were coated in rust. Gareth wrinkled his nose at the disrepair the vehicle had fallen into as he fed coins into the parking meter. He walked into Karmichael's, breathing in the mixed smell of candy and medicine that seemed to hang about the place.
"Well, hello, Gareth. Haven't seen you in awhile! What do you need, son?" Ferdinand, the head pharmacist, rumbled as Gareth approached the counter.
"I ran out of my medicine."
"Alright, we'll have it done in just a few minutes. Angus! You heard the man!" he yelled behind him to his young assistant."Get him thirty days' supply of quetiapine."
While he waited for his medication, Gareth browsed the store, avoiding the few other customers. When Ferdinand called his name, he quickly walked to the back. Ferdinand handed Gareth the bag containing his medicine.
"You know you don't need to let yourself run out like this. You should keep it in your system. Anyway, I'll just add it to your tab. Have a nice day!"
Gareth muttered his thanks before leaving the pharmacy. He stuffed the medicine deep within one of the saddlebags, underneath the milk. He'd much rather lose foodstuffs than his medication. The hallucinations needed to go away again. He didn't like them, didn't need them, didn't want them. As he pulled away from the curb, the gargoyle once more caught his eye. This time it was perched on top of a dumpster farther down the street. Gareth blinked hard, and jerked his eyes back to the road. It would go away once he took the meds, or if not then, in a few days. If it didn't, then he would have to go see his doctor again. That would be hell, for sure. That lady was certainly creepy, almost as bad as the hallucinations themselves.
It was past noon, that much she could tell, so St. Agnes would definitely be willing to take her in, even if just to wash her old clothes. Her new ones were softer than her others, and she didn't mind them at all. She was also pretty sure these were more expensive ones than Emil usually gave out. They were simple colors, but she didn't mind, though not having her tiger shirt on made her feel psychologically naked. Her new shirt was a charcoal tee, and she wore it with some jeans in the new Grunge style. She wondered why anyone would pay money to look homeless, but it made her fit in a little better...or at least she liked to think it did.
She was still not sure what the two men had talked about, but she wanted to wait to ask at least until they couldn't see the clothing store anymore. When it was finally out of their vision, Tora hummed nervously while convincing herself to speak. "So, did you two...what did you talk about?" When she didn't get an answer, she asked again. "Why did he want my picture, really? What did you tell him about me?"
At last, a sigh. "I didn't want you on the street anymore. Told him you'd been kidnapped, brought here. Told him you'd wet your...blanket." He shrugged. "Why?"
"Nothing else? Nothing..." She hesitated. "Nevermind." I need to stop being paranoid. He doesn't know yet, and if he does, he doesn't care. She took a deep breath. "I need to wash these. I'll find you later, k?"
"Make sure to eat. You show up sometime today, I'll buy you lunch."
She walked away with a little smile, carrying her clothes, which seemed to be drying and a little crunchy in some parts. St. Agnes was only a few streets away, so she wouldn't have to be in the heat for long. A man on a motorcycle passed her, and he seemed distracted. He's going to get hurt. She sighed. Maybe that's for the better, as long as he doesn't take someone else down with him. She continued down the street, as she was almost to St. Agnes. She was only a few minutes away from washing her clothes, unless one of the "young bag ladies" was doing laundry. Thankfully, they didn't show up nearly as much in the summer, whether it was because they were off the streets, were cycling their clothes to account for the increased heat and not needing to wear as much, or dying from heat stroke.
the gray in the green
The rest of the ride home was uneventful. When he arrived, Gareth fumbled with his keys, dropping them twice before finally getting his door unlocked. When he flipped the light switch, nothing happened--the rooms remained dark and silent. Gareth cursed and made his way to his kitchenette, stuffing his few groceries into the fridge. He hoped that the power would come on soon, couldn't figure out why it was out now, and prayed that his milk wouldn't spoil. He popped two of his new pills, eager to get rid of the gargoyles. With a sigh, he trudged back outside, determined to ask the neighbors if they lacked power as well.
As he began to leave the apartment, he tried the lights one more time. They came on, but flickered weakly a few times. Hmmm...maybe it's just my bulbs.... Ah, well. Guess another store trip for me. Gareth closed and locked his apartment door, sure to check it, then once more mounted his bike and left. Seems like I can't ever stay home anymore..Maybe the gargoyles will be gone this time though.
The ride to the store passed pretty smoothly. When he arrived, he found some bulbs and bought them. On his way out of the store, his cell phone rang with a number he didn't quite recognize.
"Is this that mechanic repair shop? Oooh, I can't remember the name... ummm..." The voice belonged to an older lady, and her fretful tone over her momentary lack of recollection almost made Gareth laugh.
"Yes, ma'am, it is. I'm Gareth. And what can I do for you?"
"I'm calling from St. Agnes. We've got a small problem with one of the girls' cars. See, she usually goes out and picks up groceries and such, but right now it won't start. Will you come take a look at it?"
"Sure. I'm close by anyway, so I should be there soon. Can you tell me your name, and what it's doing when you try to crank it?"
"I'm Miss Greenwhit. It doesn't do anything." Her voice was mystified, and Gareth suppressed another chuckle. He didn't like many people, but older women who couldn't understand mechanical things made him laugh. Not in a mean way, it was just humorous, just as he was sure they'd laugh at him if he tried to knit.
Gareth took down the address and headed over to St. Agnes. When he got there, he went to see Miss Greenwhit. She showed him the car, and he started his inspection.
Last edited by thenameofchange; 08-03-2012 at 12:12 AM.