She was lying down on her bed, asleep, when she got the call.
“Good evening, Miss. Alicia Spinner. This is Judy from the Office of Magical Defense. I am calling to inform you that your mail order Guardian will be arriving shortly. This transaction was carried out on the nineteenth of October, two thousand and ten. Thank you for conducting your business with our company.”
And before Alicia could get so much as a word in edgewise, the woman had hung up, leaving her with only the dial tone for company.
When did that happen?
She stopped short. That night, last night, Luke had left her for that bimbo of a redhead, Molly. She massaged her temples, trying to recall what she did that night. After she saw Luke and Molly together, she ran away and bought as much alcohol as she could before driving back and drowning her sorrows in booze.
“Give me someone who I can trust! Someone who won’t leave
me!” she had yelled before collapsing on her bed.
Don’t tell me…that they took that seriously?
Panicking, she tried to redial the number, but the number didn’t show.
In fact, it was as if the call had never taken place.
Maybe she had just imagined it. Funny things happen when you’re in the twilight land between the land of dreams and the land of reality. She put the phone down wearily and drew her hand over her face.
What time was it?
She glided weakly to the window and pulled the curtain back ever so slightly only to find a green eye staring at her from the other side of the glass. Shrieking, she fell backward and clambered back into the bed, her blankets up to her chin.
The owner of the eye walked through the window, as if it was nothing more than a sheet of water, and stopped at the foot of her bed.
She took in his appearance. Jagged pieces of black hair poked out from under a purple top hat, the rest of which was tied into a low ponytail that ended at his waist. Underneath the brim of the top hat gleamed a pair of violently green eyes that eyed her curiously. He was in a purple suit with a green cravat and the mere sight of him made her head ache.
He swept the hat majestically off his head and bowed. “Good evening, Miss. Alicia Spinner,” he said before taking out a white card from the inner pocket of his coat and clearing his throat. “My name is Alexander Finn Beck and I am your Guardian that you have purchased. Henceforth, I shall be protecting you from harm and will accompany you as a general companion. I will carry out any order you give me without question or complaint and will protect you with my own life if I have to.”
“Wh-wha-what are you---that is why are you---I mean---”
He smiled as he put the card back into his coat pocket. “It’s all right. It usually takes a bit of time for our masters to adapt to having us around.”
“That’s not the problem!” she squeaked. “I’m sorry, but you’ll have to go back.”
He frowned slightly. “Go back? But I can’t. Surely you read the contract…?”
She flushed and looked down at the covers.
“I take it that you didn’t look at the contract, then,” he sighed before snapping his fingers and a formal looking paper appeared out of thin air. “There, see? No refunds, no returns. All transactions are made at the purchaser’s own risk. You signed here, remember?” He pointed at a scribble that she recognized as her own signature.
She held her head in her hands. “This is a bad dream, this isn’t really happening, you’re going to wake up and find that this room is empty. There’s no strange man in a top hat Alexander Finn Bucket---”
“---this isn’t happening, this isn’t happening, this isn’t happening---” she muttered to herself, rocking back and forth.
“Ah, shock syndrome,” he muttered. “Well, that’s easily fixed.”
He walked around the bed and put a hand softly on her head. “Mementum,” he murmured, causing a soft glow to emanate from his hand and engulf her head. Her mind went blank and her eyelids closed.
The last thing she saw were the green eyes.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
He reclined on his chair, his eyes fixed on his finally finished painting. It had been a long journey to reach this point. His one hundredth painting.
Ten years ago, he would never have guessed that he would be painting for a living. He always thought that he would follow his father’s footsteps and footsteps and taken over the store.
And then he met Joan.
Joan, who had given him his first paintbrush and, by doing that, opened a whole new world for him.
“Paint me something,” she had said. “You look like you’d be a good painter. You have that feel about you.”
Nervously, he had taken the brush and palette from her hands and slapped on a few cursory strokes onto the canvas, streaks of chaos in the vast emptiness. Although it wasn’t much, it gave him a thrill, seeing color in the bland white surface of the canvas.
After that, he had gone back to Joan’s studio every day and painted on the same canvas, adding color and texture, aided by Joan. As each day passed, the painting seemed to gain form. By the end of two weeks, a finished painting sat on the easel. It was by no means extraordinary, but it was his.
His first painting
The painting that would spur his love for art.
He knew that he could never compare to Joan, but he hoped that he could someday become half as good as her.
And then, one day after he had finished his sixth or seventh painting, Joan disappeared. She stopped coming to the studio and appeared to have vanished from the face of the earth.
“She’s like a stray cat,” Luke would say. “Coming and going as she pleases.”
After she left, he temporarily lost his passion for painting. There was no point if Joan wasn’t there. Instead, he decided to take over the shop as his father had wanted.
And then, a few months later, one of the customers happened to see one of his paintings. Impressed, the customer asked if he could buy the painting.
“I’ll give you fifty dollars for it,” the customer had said. “It’s a work of art!”
Startled that his paintings were considered as masterpieces, he gave the customer the painting and pocketed the money.
Perhaps there was some future in his painting after all.
He went back to the studio, now quiet without Joan’s humming and the sound of jazz floating out of the radio, and sat down at the easel. Nothing had changed, except Joan wasn’t there. He picked up the paintbrush, just as nervously as he had so long ago, and started to paint. He let the colors flow from his mind and onto the canvas. The brush was once more part of his hand, moving as he willed.
After three days of constant painting, the finished portrait stood on the easel. Clear blue eyes. A crescent of a mouth, one side tilted more upward than the other in a lopsided smile. Flowing, dark red hair.
It was then that he decided to devote his life to art. Painting held more allure to him than managing a store.
He opened his eyes again, his one hundredth painting sitting on the easel before turning to the portrait of Joan.
Wherever she was, he hoped she was happy.
Picture was used from here.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
No one ever went near the old house at the end of Silverneedle Way. It had been there since the Battle of Forgotten Lies, six hundred years ago. I know. Mama told me the story, just as her Mama told her. She would tell it to me while stroking my hair at night.
They say a woman once lived there, the most beautiful woman in existence. She seemed to have everything she could ever want, a loving family and a kind heart. However, her days of happiness were soon cut short and she was cursed by the Dark Mage, Alastor, for she refused his hand. Enraged at her decision, he cursed her with immortality. She would be forced to forever reside in the house she desperately wished to escape. Its splendors gave her no happiness and the beauty had no use for her. Rather, they reminded her daily of her ill fate. Only one thing gave her comfort: the old piano in the attic, its yellow and black keys stained and pockmarked my the ravages of time. At dawn, dusk, and midnight, her music would float down from her fingers, permeating the air with its unbearable sadness.
She once had a lover, long before she was cursed. Alastor soon found out about their love and, determined to thwart it, sent his familiar to destroy her lover. Taking the form of a horned black wildcat, the creature slipped into the house, where she was with her lover. Paralyzing her, the creature forced her to watch as it ruthlessly murdered her beloved, blood splattering on the floorboards and white walls. The creature then snatched up the remains of its victim and soared off, back to its black-hearted master.
Regaining control of her limbs, the woman collapsed on the floor, the blood of her lover soaking into her gown. She let loose a scream, and Alastor appeared before her.
“Thou hast witnessed what befell thy companion. Consent to be mine mistress, or feel mine wrath!” he hissed, stepping forward. She stumbled backward and grabbed a lamp. Screaming, she lobbed it at him, shrieking in anger as he merely sidestepped the flying lamp and immobilized her again with a lazy flick of his finger.
“Do not toy with me, human,” he growled. “Accept or suffer!” he released her once more. “What is thy answer?”
“Never!” she spat. “I would rater die! Kill me!”
His face darkened. “Is that thy final response? Think on’t carefully, human.”
She remained stoic in unspoken resolve. A darkness settled in the room, as if the light was being sucked out. Alastor’s face contorted into an inhuman leer.
“On thy head,” he hissed, “be it. I curse thee with an immortal life, forever imprisoned in this house, forced never to forget what happened on this day.”
As the words fell from his forked tongue, his features became more and more inhuman. His eyes narrowed to slits, ears lengthening to dangerous points. Sharp teeth glistened like silver daggers. In a gust of wind, he was gone, leaving the woman to live a cursed life.
She clambered up to the window, tears gushing furiously down her face, and jumped, but never felt the blow of the ground below. Instead, she was thrown back into her room, screaming and sobbing. Again and again she attempted to kill herself, but the curse always prevailed.
After a sleepless night, she noticed something glistening in the debris from the previous night. Like a sleepwalker, she glided to the source of the glistening, only to find the locket that she had given to her lover the night before. It played a beautiful melody, passed down generation after generation in her family. Clinging to it, she sobbed anew, her tears rolling over their kin and mixing with the blood that still stained her skirts.
Hurtling upstairs, she threw open the door of the attic, a room as of yet still unknown to her, and found there an ancient piano. Laying the locket on the lid, she played the melody it gave her, the music filling her with a desperate peacefulness and calm. She played it every dawn, dusk, and midnight for all the years after, her tears adding fresh stains to the half rotted keys.
Every year after that, the Dark Mage would visit her, and every year he would repeat the same request. And every year, she would give him the same reply. Perhaps, the Dark mage felt that time would soften her, but he soon found it to be quite the reverse. She became more and more determined and angered with each passing year.
And there she remains still, singing the sun in and out, whispering lullabies to the stars and dreaming of freedom.
A/N: This was my attempt to write in sort of an older style...it's not that good, but still.