NaNoWriMo: Day 18

I started to get lost in my own continuity a little bit. I’ve always kind of felt that’s a really good point in a story. Where it’s developed enough that you realize you actually have an idea, and that your beginning doesn’t point to that idea solidly enough, or that you wandered a little of track in the beginning, or whatever. When you need to go back and edit, I think it means you’ve finally got some substance.

11/18/13 9:55 am

There were more people milling about the lobby this time, or maybe they’d all gone somewhere else when her step-dad had come looking for her. This time, there was a pair by the front counter, an Asian girl pouring herself a coffee from the machine on the end table, and a freakishly tall, freakishly pale dude behind the counter proper.

“Heeeey kid,” the dude called out, “nice to meet ya all awake like and moving about. You technically saw me the first time you came in, but you were pretty out of it, so I didn’t bother to say hi.” He’d been moving around the counter as he spoke, coming to stand in front of them. He several inches taller than Zig, who was already pretty much head and shoulders taller than Rain. He held his hand out with a smile. “The name’s Jack,” he said pleasantly.

Rain took his hand, after a brief moment of uneasiness about it. The long, pale fingers were a little cold, but that was about it as far as weird went. She chided herself – just because he looked half-skeletal didn’t mean there was anything inherently freaky about him. Though he did live with Zig.

Then she realized she should say something instead of just standing there, holding his hand. “I’m Rain…” she said uselessly. He probably knew that. “It’s, uh, nice to meet you?”

Zig laughed at her obvious discomfort. “I think you’re freakin her out dude.”

Rain spun on him, giving him an angry glare, but the girl with the coffee was laughing and walking over.

“That’s cause Jack freaks everyone out. Go eat a sandwich, ya runway ring wraith.” She shoved him over playfully, which only made Jack seem ever taller, as her shoulder didn’t come much past his waist. Of course, she was fairly tiny, in that petite, Asian way. Her thick, black hair was cropped just about the shoulders, with streaks of red on either side of her face. Her eyes were a startling gold, like something that belonged on a predator’s, but they were at home with the smile she gave.

“I’m Rinna,” she said, also holding out a hand.

Rain wouldn’t have hesitated, except for the look on the other girl’s face. Zig made a sound low in his throat, almost too low to hear, but Rinna’s lips pursed and she shot him a lot. “Fine,” she said dramatically, “I’ll behave.”

“Rinna’s a pyromancer,” Zig informed her, “and a brat. She likes to mess with people- and she really shouldn’t, especially with you having an ifrit for a pet.” The last was spoken at Rinna, with a very pointed look. Rinna kept glaring, then flicked her eyebrows at him and turned back to Rain with a smile. “It’s ok, I won’t bite.”

Rain took her hand, though she didn’t believe a word of Rinna’s reassurances.

Her hand was much warmer than Jack’s, but that might have just been Rain expecting it, knowing she wielded fire. Rain kept the contact brief, just in case.

“I’d like to meet your ifrit sometime,, if you can bring him.”

That gave Rain pause. “I don’t know,” she answered honestly. “I don’t see why not?”

Rinna nodded, and moved off to sip her coffee on the couch. Zig flashed Rain a smile and pulled her in the direction of the downstairs.

[and then I suddenly realized this scene would totally come AFTER talking to Meliki]

“C’mon, kiddo. Let’s get you something to eat, ok?”

They wheeled into the backyard again, but instead of going inside, Zig moved them further into the yard, toward a large, white Gazebo. A large Polynesia woman was tending to the flowers around it. She stood and stretched her back, turning around to greet them with a smile. It was Meliki.

“Hello again child, Rain,” she called as they approached.

Rain wasn’t quite sure what to make of Meliki. On the one hand, she seemed the most alien of everyone she’d met in the past few days, but really, that was just the way she talked. And the way everyone behaved around her, she guessed. Maybe it was because she didn’t really bother trying to pass, like the coffee shop fey did. Then again, Zig couldn’t pass for much more than a weirdo, so maybe it was just the weird feeling Rain couldn’t shake that she didn’t quite count in Meliki’s head. She was less a person, and more a game piece, but in a game Meliki didn’t want to play. She didn’t bear Rain any ill will, as far as she could tell, but it didn’t really seem like she bore her any good will either.

Maybe it was all in Rain’s head.

[Does she know Meliki’s name? DOUBLE CHECK]

Meliki moved to sit on the steps of the gazebo, beckoning the two of them to follow suit. Zig flopped down happily on the grass, tucking his hands behind his head and soaking up the sunshine. Was he going to take a nap? What the hell?

“My boy here tells me you have something you want me to look at?”

Rain turned back to Meliki, then fiddled with her keychain when she reminded her why she was here.

“My step-dad gave this to me last night, he says its for “bigger problems” I might run into down here, so I assume he means fey?” She left it hanging, almost expecting to be informed that giant pterodactyls were likely to swoop down on her here or something. Which was ridiculous – they hadn’t done so before she knew about magic, why would they now. But she handed the tube over to Meliki anyways, who took it from her with obvious distaste. She held it between the tips of two fingers, clearly not wanting to touch it more than she had to.

“It’s been spelled, child. Doubtless its main purpose is for tracking you, though I don’t doubt there’s something truly noxious waiting to be sprayed inside as well. I would hold on to it- he’s just going to put ward after ward on you anyways, and you may need its protection at some point, certainly.”

She handed it back, and Rain clipped it on her belt again. What Meliki said made sense, even if she didn’t like knowing she was lojacked. But it didn’t really surprise her.

“He’s already found you here once, so there’s no need to avoid wearing your tracker here. You might consider leaving your keys in the shop if you spend any time downstairs, however – it will block his magics, and that might worry him a bit.”

Rain scoffed at that, but didn’t interrupt.

“I wouldn’t take it anywhere you don’t want him knowing you frequent, however. I think it’s stronger than anyone you might take with you to mask it, so it’s probably best if you “forget your keys” if you’re planning on being anywhere you’d prefer to keep secret.”

“So don’t take it to Rook’s,” Zig said from the grass, without opening his eyes.

Meliki shot him a glare. “I wasn’t thinking of there alone boy.”

Zig shrugged. “I’m just spelling it out for her, the kid’s not too quick on the draw.”

“Hey!”

Zig laughed at her protest. “I’m just teasin’ ya kiddo.”

“Anyways-” Meliki said, a little louder than necessary, “it should be pretty harmless aside from that. Is there anything else you’d like me to look at, child?’

-10:30 am 1237 words, 35 mins

2:03 pm

Here, Rain waffled, feeling a little silly. It made sense that she’d be tired, with so much going on, and her sleep schedule being all jacked up would explain why she was so dead this morning. And if Zig or Meliki had seen anything weird about her, they would have said something, right? Still… She couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong with her.

“I, uh… could you look over me?”

Meliki nodded, beckoning Rain closer. She stepped over to the woman, who took Rain’s chin in her hands and examined her face. Then she closed her eyes and began to hum softly, and Rain felt the force of it vibrating through her.

“Hmmmm….” she said at last, opening her eyes again. “It would appear, child, that someone has given you something to bind you within yourself. It is a very small thing, and should wear off quickly, but I’d wager that if you were to reach for you magic now, intentionally, that you would not be able to grasp it. It does not seem to be affecting your normal energy flow, but it would stop you from …flexing. Does that makes sense?”

Rain’s eyes widened and she shook her head. Pretty much all of that had gone over her head.

Zig sat up in the grass, going to bat for this one.

“Have you ever tried to use your power on purpose?”

Again, Rain shook her head. “I’d never done anything until the coffee shop on Saturday, and things have been too crazy for me to really experiment.” She looked down at her shoes. “I wouldn’t even know where to start.”

Zig nodded, unsurprised. “Our well water was to fill you with magic, one so that our sithens would recognize you and two, so that there was no room for your magic to expand within you. It would have taken a minute to wear off, since we kept you steadily dosed up, so you probably wouldn’t have been able to even do anything until the next day anyways. And then you were with Rook…” He trailed off, not wanting to make accusations when he knew nothing of what had happened.

Meliki had no such issues. “Did they give you anything, child?”

Rain nodded. “A glass of water.”

“Hmmmm…..”

Rain hesitated, before adding, “I don’t think it was Jon. He was very adamant about letting me go, letting me come to them on my own terms, and how I wasn’t in any danger with them….” She trailed off, feeling less certain of herself. “I dunno. I just don’t think it was them.”

Zig nodded, but it was more an unconscious gesture while he thought. “They really would have had no reason to let you leave, or even bring you back in the first place, really. Rook’s involvement doesn’t make sense – yet.”

Meliki nodded in agreement. “That little bird definitely has a plan, but he always has a plan or scheme of some sort, so I wouldn’t think too much of it. He always tries so hard to seem like he’s not up to something – makes him rather suspect.” She smiled at this, certain she wasn’t the only one that saw through him. But so many people in the communities had their own agenda – as long as it didn’t interfere with hers, she didn’t care. Taking this child of her hands would be a blessing, so long as he didn’t plan to use her death magic to wipe out the neighborhood. She couldn’t see such a social creature having such intentions – who would be left to be impressed with him?

Rain waiting patiently while Zig and Meliki entertained their own thoughts, but finally she just had to ask “So what am I supposed to do?”

Zig was the first to answer. “Well, it doesn’t matter much who put the brakes on, it has the same affects either way. Until it wears off, you won’t be able to use your magic, so I’d take this time to start traiing yourself mentally while the power is off, so to speak.”

Meliki nodded in agreement and stood. “That is the best course of action. You and Tripp, spend some time with her this afternoon, find out where her natural talents lie. I’ll work at this problem from my own end.” Then she went back to weeding flowers, clearly having dismissed the two.

Zig stood as well, raising his arms high in a stretch. “C’mon kiddo, let’s go find my bro.”

2:26 23 mins 770 words

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