NaNoWriMo: Day 3

Day 3 is where things started to get really interesting. I finally started to get some hints about the plot, and what might be going on.

Also, one of my characters was VERY unhappy about what we learned, and swears, a good deal, so heads up about that. Doesn’t happen too much, but does happy more when Rook is around.

Day 3, writing before a closing shift 11/3/13 10:50 am

The girl behind the counter was usually fairly friendly, and when Brooke approached, she ratcheted up the smile a few notches.

“Sorry about earlier,” she said pleasantly. “I’m totally having an off day.”

Brooke returned her smile and nodded, not really sure what she was talking about, but that was often the case when she’d been writing. Especially when working with a new character. Sometimes she felt downright possessed.

“No worries,” she said as she set her mug on the counter. “I’ll take another of the same, please.”

“Sure thing,” the barista said and moved off to start Brooke’s tea. When the bell went off over the door, Brooke turned to see who had come in. The woman looked rough, like she’d pulled an all nighter or something, and Brooke quickly moved to get out of her way. She slid a $5 across the counter for her tea and walked over to the pick up end. She was always happy to overtip with step-dad’s money. He was happy enough to throw it around, Brooke was just helping him aim.

Distracted by a Rook tangent/realization about Rain’s step-dad 11:15ish

11:35 picked it back up here

The barista called out for her sister to come take the register while she finished Brooke’s tea. When her sister emerged from the store room, she stopped, took a quick look around the room and zeroed in on the woman at the counter. Her normally pleasant face fell slightly, a pinching around the eyes, but she moved to take the woman’s order anyways. When they’d settled up, and woman came to wait, Brooke found herself shying away, and immediately felt silly. This aversion to socializing had gone on long enough. She deliberately turned to the woman and gave her a friendly smile.

“One of those days, huh?”

The woman nodded and stifled a yawn. “Yeah, I’ve been really dragging lately. I think I’ve got a cold, or something. Just can’t get going, ya know?”

Brooke nodded sympathetically. “I hear ya. School starting back in this week has been killer. And yet here I am, up early on the weekend.” She laughed and shook her head at herself.

Both sisters then moved to the counter with both drinks, and Brooke and the woman both stepped up to the counter. Brooke accidentally bumped the woman, spilling a little of her coffee over the side of the mug. “Oh, I’m sorry!” she said quickly, reaching for some napkins.

“It’s ok, the surprise and adrenaline seems to have helped me perk up,” the woman answered brightly. Brooke quickly helped her mop up the small spill, curling in on herself mentally. It was stupid to talk to this random stranger, it hadn’t made her feel any better, in fact, now she felt worse. She mumbled another apology and slunk back to her seat, a cloud over her head.

She sat hunched over her coffee, brooding over her stupid mistake. The embarrassment of it all pressed down like a weight, slumping her over in her chair. She set her tea down and flipped her laptop back open to distract her from beating herself up. She let her gaze fall over the crowd, looking for inspiration.

Asha’s sister found a thousand little reasons to stay up front, including wiping down the counter from the spill and going to chat to the woman to make sure she was ok. She had thought there was something off about the woman when she came in, but she chatted amiably enough and the caffeine had indeed seemed to wake her up, so she was willing to let it go.

When the niggling feeling in the back of her head turned into a poking feeling, however, she went back on guard. Something was trying to worm its way in past her shields, so she followed the trail back to the girl while the tea and the laptop. She was surrounded by shadowy tendrils, spreading out and touching nearly everyone inside. Sky above, she had a feeder in her shop. Perfect.

She walked over to the girl, trying to keep her motions casual and her face polite. No need to upset anyone. It was just as natural as a fly around fruit – as long as you dealt with it quickly there was no need to worry. Humans were entirely too sensitive about insects anyways. But this was more than just a shop, this was their home, and it was her right to stake this claim and ask this girl to stop, or move along.

She reached the girl and cleared her throat, steeling herself for the confrontation. The girl snapped her head up, blinking, confused. She’d probably been arm deep in half the people here. Lovely.

“I’m sorry,” she said politely, “I hate to interrupt, but this garden is ours, and we don’t allow feeding here.”

Brooke was startled when the old sister came over and spoke to her, and even more confused by what she said. “It’s a coffee shop, what do you mean we can’t eat here?”

She was taken aback by the girl’s response, but pressed on. “Well, certainly, if you’d like to purchase one of our baked goods, but I must ask that you put your …feelers away.” She felt the tendril that was poking at her withdraw, but a quick glance showed the rest of them still feed. She coughed again, growing uncomfortable. “Um, all of them please. We really don’t mean to be rude, but, well, you’re being rather rude yourself…”

Brooke was completely lost now. The barista was glancing about nervously, stammering, and making absolutely no sense. No wanting to cause a scene, she closed her laptop and made ready to leave. She kept her eyes on the barista, like you would a stray dog, and spoke to her a slow, quiet voice.

“Alright, I’m leaving. No need for any trouble. Could you just put my tea in a to go cup for me?”

Grateful for a peaceful conclusion to the encounter, the sister moved quickly to grab the mug and retreat. She darted in too quickly, however, and bumped into Brooke’s arm. Instantly, the situation became clear. It wasn’t the girl, it was a Rider. No wonder she looked so lost. Immediately, she started apologizing all over herself, worried she’d upset a patron.

“Gosh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize it wasn’t you. Oh! You don’t either. I’m sorry, I’m being awful rude. You, uh, you seem to have a Rider, hadn’t you noticed? It doesn’t look like it’s in there too deep, I’m sure if you just flex a bit it’ll fall right off.”

The barista was babbling now, and Brooke was getting down right uncomfortable. This was bizarre, totally bizarre. And what the hell was a Rider?

“Um, excuse me? What are you talking about?”

“Oh-Oh! Oh skies, you don’t even know. Damn! I have got to start paying more attention before I speak- Hold on, I’ve got this.” She reached in between the girl’s aura and the Rider, sending a thought like a bulging root. It popped right off, about like she’d expected, then she turned to work on the girl. She sent the root down in past her aura to reach her memory of this conversation and prune it. She should have been paying more attention, she hadn’t realized this girl was human, she shouldn’t have outed themselves like that and OW!

Pain shot up her root thought, pushing her back and out of the girl’s mind. She hissed in pain and reached out for the girl’s arm to strengthen her hold. She was only slightly mollified to know that she’d hadn’t been wrong about the girl not being completely human. Mostly she just wanted this girl gone, but first, she had a memory to alter.

Brooke freaked out when the barista started babbling, then suddenly went slack faced, eyes back in her head. Suddenly she regretted picking this chair in the back corner. No one could really see them but the other barista, and she didn’t seem inclined to come rescue Brooke from her crazy sister. She felt a funny pressure, like her ears popping, then felt crushed under the weight of a huge tree or a great rock. She pushed back against it, struggling to breathe around the sensation. Something in her snapped, and turned the pressure around, narrowing it into a tiny barb of pain. The barista reached out and snatched Brooke’s wrist, and her gaze misted over red. She had a flash of her dream of the battlefield, of circling high overhead the fallen soldiers, of plummeting to earth and falling into a human shape and feeding, pulling that last little tiny spark of life from a fallen form-

And then big arms were around her, and she was being led around the back of the counter and into the backroom of the Early Bird Coffee Shop.

It had been lucky for the girls that Meliki had stopped by to pick up some seedlings to take home to her own garden. The sisters on morning duty were young enough to not really know to handle some of the more delicate situations that could pop up in a non-Haven setting. Usually, that wasn’t a problem, as most of the nastier supernaturals were limited to nocturnal activity, but every so often, something bizarre like this happened. Who could have ever guessed that some untrained kid with a natural talent for death magic would come wandering into their shop at ten in the morning.

The girl had been in and out of consciousness since Meliki had led her to the back of the shop and down into the girls’ little sithen. It wasn’t a true faerie den, just a little pocket Meliki had built for them so they’d have a home away from home when they’d opened the shop, but it ate the girl’s strange death magic up, and that was all she really needed from it right this second. That, and it kept her isolated from whoever had that tracking ward on her. If someone was willing to send an untrained time bomb like her into one of her businesses, she wanted to be as fully in control of the encounter as she could be, and that included deciding when and where she would release this girl’s energy signatures. Because she would release her, she wasn’t stupid enough to think she could hold a minor captive without repercussions, but she would do it on her on time, her own way.

12:37

[After taking a break to talk to Caitlin and realizing Rain’s step-dad is an Academic 11/3/12 11am ish]

“FUCK! Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuckity fucking FUCKS!”

“Yes,” Jon said placidly from the storeroom. He was more than used to Rook popping in and out of both his mental and physical states. Clearly, wherever he had gone to, he’d found something that made him less than happy.

“She’s in our damned backyard Jon! She’s been here the entire fucking time!” Rook paced back and forth, waving his arms. “And do you know why I couldn’t find her?” When Jon didn’t answer, Rook came to a complete stop, clenched his fists and his sides and screamed into the ceiling, “Because she’s been the pocket of a mother fucking Academic this entire goddamned time!!!” He spat the word out like it was a curse, and as far as he was concerned, it was. “Asinine, moronic, inbreed monkey fucker doesn’t even know what he’s got there, he’s just tucked it away because its shiny!”

“As if you don’t do the very same thing,” Jon said calmly from behind a stack of boxes. It wasn’t deliberate, he would call his boss out regardless of being under cover, he just needed to get inventory done so he could get this week’s orders together.

“Jon, that’s hurtful,” Rook answered, crossing his arms in a pout. “I know perfectly well what all of my shinies do. …more or less.”

“Mhmm.” Jon ignored him and continued to count. He clearly just wanted to rant, and Jon just wanted to get his work done. With Rook this distracted, he knew he’d be the one to pick up the slack, and he preferred to stay ahead of the avalanche that was Rook abandoning his responsibilities.

He thought about asking Rook why he hadn’t just picked the girl up if he knew where she was, but knew that if Rook wanted to talk about it, he would, regardless of Jon’s actual interest.

[More later?]

2094 words 1 hour and 47 mins ish 11:20 am

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