The Tower In The Storm

Discussion in 'The Queen of Cups' started by Zin, Jul 9, 2016.

  1. Katters

    Katters Has never made a candle

    Katters waves the kit in front of her, her brow furrowed and her ears pinned back defensively. Yeah! You better run!
    The thought is directed at the now missing thing, but she turns herself and starts running down the street, dancing around the cracks in the pavement.
  2. Zin

    Zin Professional Lurker

    Static fills Katters' ears again, popping, crackling, and then she goes tumbling as someone lets out a startled shriek, and suddenly the air is fresh and bright and there's someone hammering on the horn of their car, yelling at her to get out of the road, is she crazy ?!?
  3. Katters

    Katters Has never made a candle

    Katters brings the kit protectively over her head as she falls, which means she lands square on her elbows. Adrenaline masks the pain — for now — and she jumps to her feet, her ears still folded back and her eyes wide and wild.
    She tucks the kit under one arm, the other hand coming up to flip off whoever it is that’s yelling at her, a reflexive gesture for a chronic pedestrian in Snowtown. She does get out of the street, though.
  4. Zin

    Zin Professional Lurker

    The world is alive and bustling, and you get jostled by people on their way here or there...

    There's no trace of the eerie stillness from before.

    You turn your head, and see the car you watched disintegrate pull out, speed up... and then there's a ruinous scream of metal as it darts through a red light and straight into the path of an oncoming trailer.
  5. Katters

    Katters Has never made a candle

    Katters winces — another reflex, a show of sympathy for the driver that she does not really feel — and falls into a flow with other pedestrians. She’s got a lot of problems right now, and she doesn’t want to add “being a witness” to the list. She has to step around a number of shocked lookie-loos (tourists), but before long she’s out of the radius of the accident and sailing becomes, more or less, smooth.

    She’s heading back toward the shops. The last thing she wants to do is get there and discover the destruction is real, but by god she’s curious. And tired. And in desperate need of a smoke.
  6. Zin

    Zin Professional Lurker

    The house is just as much of a mess as you left it, but - if you slip inside - the blood where you lay on the floor is much more vivid... and you can hear police sirens coming closer ..

    Apparently someone did call the police...
  7. Katters

    Katters Has never made a candle

    Great. Who the fuck called the police? Probably those Chavideans who moved in across the street, can’t keep their noses out of other people’s business. And of course the cops are fashionably late, as always — her tax dollars at work.

    Katters goes into the house. It’ll be another minute or two before the Lees arrive, and then another five seconds before they decide the missing doors are an invitation inside. She won’t be here when they do.

    The bedroom is in as good a state as the rest of the house, which is to say, it’s been ransacked. Her bed’s been torn open in several big, angry slashes, mattress fluff blooming out like giant mushrooms. They tore Zebra’s bed in half, and one of the halves is wedged into the bathroom doorway.

    Books are strewn everywhere, some of them ripped into pieces, others partially burnt. The bookcase, too, shows signs of fire damage, and there are cracks where it’s been thrown into the wall. It’s as though someone tried to set it ablaze and got angry when it wouldn’t catch.

    The computer looks like it was crushed, the monitor is in pieces and a great, big dent's in the middle of the tower. Took the Advil, wrecked the computer, of course they did.

    But wedged behind the desk is a crumpled pack of cigarettes, and that almost makes up for everything else. There’s even a lighter in the pack, and only a couple of the remaining cigarettes are broken — score.

    And here come the cops. The sirens keep blaring, just outside the shops, and Katters hears a couple of doors slam open and shut. She still has no interest in being a witness, and even less interest in being a victim, and active disinterest in being a suspect, so it’s time to leave. The cigarettes go in her pocket, and she goes clambering over the mattress and into the bathroom.

    There’s a window high on the bathroom wall. It’s barely big enough for an adult person to squeeze through — in fact, it’s very easy to assume it’s too small for that, which is the way Katters likes it. The laundry basket that goes under it is missing (she isn’t sure whether to blame the intruders, or Zebra, or herself for that, each culprit is just as likely as the next) but she can still reach it if she clambers onto the sink, leans across the towel rack, and—

    The kit goes out the window, and Katters follows it.
  8. The Queen of Cups

    The Queen of Cups What A Lovely Tale

    The world is gray, the air tastes like ash.

    The ground is rough, gritty, covered in dry gray dirt.

    This is not what the area outside your window is supposed to look like.

    This... is not like any neighborhood you've seen before, at least... not in person. It's a cramped, winding, empty place... and Everything is gray, even the sky...


    (( I'll grayscale after the flight. ))
  9. Katters

    Katters Has never made a candle


    Katters leans against what she stubbornly assumes is still the back wall of her home and fishes out a cigarette. Whatever this new nonsense is, it can wait.

    Here’s what’s supposed to be behind the house: a small garden, overrun with yellow and brittle weeds. A fence. Her third neighbour’s backyard.

    Here’s what isn’t supposed to be back here: any of this.


    Katters lights the cigarette and sighs exasperated smoke into the air. She glares at her surroundings, her eyes narrow and her jaw pushed forward, like she thinks she can intimidate them into changing. She takes another drag from the cigarette.



    She gathers up the kit and starts walking.
    • Like x 2
  10. Zin

    Zin Professional Lurker

    You hear the crackle of a radio, and hear a song start playing.... though every step you take towards the sound seems to keep it the same distance away...

    The windows and doors around you are barred, by and large, and the air remains still, the world stuck in a strange sense of twilight.
  11. Katters

    Katters Has never made a candle

    The cigarette helps. Call it a +1 to fortitude, Katters feels much more capable of dealing with whatever this is after a shot of nicotine and rat poison.

    This place feels like Shelton, but not. Taller buildings, closer quarters — and she’s never seen a neighbourhood in Shelton that didn’t have a dozen people just hanging around at any given time. Maybe it is Shelton. She spends as little time as possible in that part of the city, maybe it’s a part of the city she’s never been to.

    She’s leaving tracks in the dust and ash, and it occurs to her that if there were anyone around, they’d have left tracks, too. But everything is untouched — pristine, if you could call “covered in ash” pristine. She pulls another lungful of cancer from her cigarette.

    There must have been a fire nearby, maybe up the mountain. That happens, right? You get a wildfire upwind and all the smoke and ash gets blown over to you. Maybe they evacuated the area.

    The music is strange, but what isn’t, today? It’s actually a little cheerful, and Katters finds herself humming along with it after a while.
  12. Zin

    Zin Professional Lurker

    Footsteps echo behind yours, as the song trails off to an end. The echo isn't perfect, it moves in a tap tap tap, tap tap, ta ta tap, like whomever behind you is dancing.

    Then the radio static buzzes in your ears and a shadow spins past, too-long limbs drawn up, like a ballerina in a pirouette.

    There's no face, no definition to the thing. But.

    It's smiling.

    That's the only feature you can identify.

    It begins to go hazy like static within five feet.
  13. Katters

    Katters Has never made a candle

    At least someone’s enjoying themselves.

    Katters stops, letting the shadow pass her by. She glances back the way they both came, then turns back to it and watches it dance away.
  14. Zin

    Zin Professional Lurker

    There are no footprints in the dust but yours.

    It vanishes into static in another few feet.
  15. Katters

    Katters Has never made a candle

    Cool, an hallucination, then. That’s predictable — or, it would have been on any other day. Whatever, it was minding its own business, Katters will mind hers.

    She takes one last pull from the cigarette and puts it out on her shoe, before putting it back in the pack. She resumes walking — she’s got to come across an exit or something, sooner or later.
  16. Zin

    Zin Professional Lurker

    There's a patter of fingerlight touches on one of her ears, like someone is tapping them with clawtips.
  17. Katters

    Katters Has never made a candle

    Katters ducks and weaves away from the touch, turning to see who the hell’s invading her personal space. She brings a hand up to her ear and rubs away that unwanted-touch feeling.
  18. Zin

    Zin Professional Lurker

    This time, her eyes don't meet empty air.


    The woman's skin is stretched taut across a skeletally thin body, not a scrap of cloth to be seen... and the bones she sees under the skin are all wrong, they aren't all the right shapes, or in the right places... her limbs are long, spindly, ending in sharp points. She balances on her pointed feer like a ballerina, staring at Katters with her head tilted to one side, knifelike arm still suspended to where it was touching her ear.

    There's a single bright drop of crimson on the tip of the bony appendage, the only colour Katters has seen on anything that isn't her.
  19. Katters

    Katters Has never made a candle

    Jesus christ, that’s not normal. The kit slips out of Katters’ hand, landing heavily in a puff of dust. She takes a step back, eyes glued to the — the woman?

    A part of Katters is intensely curious about what’s going on under the woman’s skin. A small, detached part of her wants to cut into the woman and find out what her skeleton actually looks like. The rest of her doesn’t want to go anywhere near the woman or her fucking knife arms.

    That part wins out. Katters scoops the kit back up, still staring — takes a step back, another, turns, and runs.
  20. Zin

    Zin Professional Lurker

    Music emanates from behind Katters...

    There's a steady click click click on the concrete behind her, and ash bursts into the air every time her feet make contact with the ground. The world seems to stretch out, expanding on and on, and the creature draws closer.

    A window one three floors up swings open and a the bottom of a rope ladder is hurled down, just ten feet in front of Latters.
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