Thursday, February 27, 2014

I can’t sleep

My nerves have been on edge since Kelevra showed up. Fell was pissed off for a while, but now things are back to normal for her. Wolf actually seemed pretty happy about the visit. Dude just barged in here like he owned the place and Wolf is cool with that. She even gave him cookies and did him a favor. I don't even

I guess I probably shouldn't be surprised anymore. I just think he’s a really creepy guy and if he can get in here then others probably can too. It feels like being back with Falcon and Osprey. I feel like any minute someone is going to appear and tear the head off of me. I guess it was pretty stupid to let myself pretend that I was safe for a while. 

I also can't sleep because I’m sore as all hell. When I woke up this morning I heard music outside. I went out to see that Wolf had Fell in her arms. That Azoth. Skein was coming out from under her shirt and was lifting them off the ground like a sort of weird dance. They were both laughing when they came back down. Wolf even had to wipe away some tears as she let Fell go.

Wolf set her eyes on me then and asked if I was ready to do some training. As soon as I said yes it was on and I was dodging Azoth along with Fell. After we were done and I had been hit with more fists and tentacles than a Japanese schoolgirl, we were about to head back inside when the boss appeared next to Wolf. His tentacles surrounded her for a few moments, then retracted. Then she gave him a hug. I don’t know why she did that but the boss tolerated it until she let go, then he disappeared.

So anybody want to talk? I’d normally be talking to Wolf and Fell at this hour, but they’re, uh, busy with each other right now and Monster isn’t much of a talker.


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentine's Day

Those of you who like to keep track of Calavera already know that we had quite the interesting Valentine’s Day here. For those of you who don’t, here is what happened:

I was baking cookies with Monster and had just taken a batch out of the oven when the room was suddenly illuminated by that familiar light which I had so often heard described.

“Hello Calavera” I said, before turning to find myself looking at his disappointed face. He said that he had wanted to surprise me. This disappointment was instantly forgotten, however, when he noticed the cookies; asking what the occasion was. I couldn’t help but laugh as I informed him of the day.

I thought it best to let the others know he was here so I handed Monster a cookie from the previous batch and sent him out to do just that, before turning my attention back to Calavera with a playful scolding  

"So you thought you'd pop in and surprise me, hm? Really now, how could I be shocked to see you? You told me that you'd like to meet me and you have made a habit of appearing behind people as you did just now- but on that note- tsk tsk where are your manners, dear? Didn't even knock first! What if I had just gotten out of the shower or something?"  

"Manners?" he said, pointing to himself "Me?" He burst into a fit of laughter "Knitty, that's a good one" He looked me over for a moment.
"And naked? Why Knitty, if I didn't know your heart belonged to someone else, I would assume you were flirting with me" glancing around he continued "Nice Eden you got yourself here, by the way."

I laughed “Funny you accuse me of flirting when you’re the one who just appeared in my home and whose mind has skipped straight to naked, without even considering that I might have meant that I didn’t want you to see my shabby old bathrobe! But no, no, it was just a further prod about your manners- though on that note, I should remember my own.” I gestured towards one of the batches of cookies “You compare this place to Eden? Then allow me to maintain tradition by tempting you with something to eat. Please help yourself to the chocolate chip cookies.”

I was about to offer him a drink when Fell and Hart burst into the room, weapons in hand. 

“What the fuck is this shit?!” Fell snarled “What the fuck are you doing here?”

He grabbed a cookie, took a bite and then answered,
“Eating a cookie? Why? You have something against Knitty's cookies?" he glanced back at me "Which are delicious, by the way"

Fell did not take this response well. She called him a son of a bitch and was on the verge of attacking when I told her to stop. I was curious about Calavera’s visit, so I wanted to be able to actually have a reasonable conversation with him for a few minutes more.
She wasn’t happy but she agreed- though she threatened to kill him if he tried to hurt me.
Before any further threats or provocations could be uttered I suggested that everyone sit at the table while I prepared some tea and coffee.

Calavera happily made his way to the table but not before antagonizing Fell one more time. "Cheer up Motormouth," he said "I come in peace." I thought I might have to step in again, but fortunately, Fell stayed in control.

When the drinks were ready, I brought them over to the table. I smiled at Calavera as I set a cup in front of him “This probably can’t compete with Rose’s tea, given your description, but I do hope you’ll enjoy it anyway.” My phrasing had a double purpose. I honestly did hope that he would like the tea, but I also wanted to give him a subtle little mental pinch for purposely trying to make Fell angrier. “So” I continued on “what brings you all the way out here today, Calavera?”

His expression told me that the pinch had been felt
"...She made the best tea ever," he said sadly.

To his credit, he recovered quickly; the grin returning to his face as he answered my question
"Why? It's Valentine’s Day! I told you I'd visit you, and realizing full and well that you and Fell had plans for this day, I made it my duty that I pay you a visit on this very day..."
Turning to Fell he continued with a laugh, “in order to make sure you kids don't do something stupid with your lives."

His attention focused on me again
"But in all honesty, I came here to finally meet you Knitty, simple as that. Now I tell you, getting into this place was no easy picnic...But those are the benefits of living on the board, my limits slowly disappear."

Hart was looking fairly nervous at this point, which Calavera apparently noticed as well
"Jesus kid, cheer up, I ain't going to, pardon my French, fuck everything up in here, besides, I doubt you'll do that much with that Crowbar" He gave a glance towards Fell "Same goes for the tomahawk."

Returning his focus to me, he continued, "I'm also visiting here on business, but that can wait until later, right now, I want to simply talk and catch up, don't do that a lot these days, not ever since..." his gaze fell to the table as his sleeves extended, wrapping around him as if giving him a hug "Rose was killed."

“I might not be able to do much but you’re really fucking making me want to try anyway, cunt face” Fell sneered 

I will admit that despite my previous mental pinching, I felt a pang of empathy towards Calavera, while at the same time the more sadistic part of me enjoyed it. I decided to change the subject so as not to ruin the mood of the conversation

“You know, I figured someone was going to eventually find a way in here without mine or Ritter's help.... Seems about right that you would be the one to do it.... So, catching up eh? Well, most of the significant stuff is on the blog already- I’ve continued my knitting and drawing, we’ve been training fairly hard, Carmine is long dead and… well... not buried… Carmine is dead and making for a decent lawn ornament… So how about you dear?” 

He was instantly smiling again "Me? Well I am slowly ascending beyond fabrics of time and space, me and my darling..."
the sleeves went back to their normal shape as he spoke
"we become stronger with every second and much, much more closer." looks at Hart "Incognito is following my clues, soon he and I will meet and we will have the grandest dance ever!"
he was practically shaking with excitement "Forgive me, sometimes I get carried away, the thought itself, of the day when we meet, just makes me want to jump in the air!" he took a sip of his tea which seemed to calm him down somewhat

“Oh good. You and your boyfriend can finally fuck and get it over with!”

I couldn’t stop myself from snickering into my coffee at Fell’s comment. It was terribly low brow, and I probably shouldn’t have found it as funny as I did, but there you have it. Besides, who am I to laugh at a love so focused and pure?  

“Myself and Skein have also been getting along fairly well, though it’s a little confused and curious at the moment.”  
Skein had been expressing this to me since Calavera’s arrival. At my acknowledgement, it began to kick “It is wondering why I’m not flipping the table and attacking right now, since it regards you as a direct enemy”

“I can fucking relate” Fell interjected

“It expressed similar when Roy was here. At the same time, it’s following my lead, but growing curious about you due to the mentioned lack of attacking and because of Fortissimo.”

“How could you not know?” Said Hart, finally finding his voice and the courage to lift his eyes to meet Calavera’s gaze. “About Rose I mean. You named her on your blog where all your enemies could see, dude. How come you were so surprised when someone killed her?”

I was intrigued and surprised at Hart’s sudden questioning   

Kelevra smiled "Of course it would regard me as a direct enemy, I mean you, Skein and this place are connected, like an big blood vessel and when an outsider like me, just busts in, it becomes confused and since "attack" is the only course of action it is mostly familiar with, that is what it wants to do when confused, like an animal"

I looked at my hands, the movements under my skin as he continued; now shifting his attention to Hart

"You underestimate me Softy. I'm not stupid, if mentioning her was dangerous, I would never do so. See, Rose, she had abilities beyond mine, the pawn shop she stayed in, just like this place, was a "Special" spot, no random schmo could break in and if they tried, they would die. However, recently, she made a sacrifice; a sacrifice which destroyed the barrier she had" I glanced up to see the hate in his eye "Dimir cashed in on that, he knew about her long before I mentioned her on the blog, she knew that she would eventually die, so she made a sacrifice...a sacrifice to me, she gave me access to the board..."

 “Why the f-“ Fell began before I cut her off. I could tell from her tone that she was about to make a dig at what he had just said. Given his anger, I thought that such a dig might be enough to end the conversation. As I still had some questions to ask, I figured it would be best to send her outside for a moment    

“Could you please go check on Monster, dear?”

She started to protest, but my glare changed her mind. However, a moment after she left, we were interrupted by her swearing again as she dragged Monster into the cabin. His hands, face and shirt were smeared with rot.

“The little shit has been finger painting!”

I let out a sigh at the mess. “Well Calavera, I need to clean him up. Feel free to follow if you want to keep chatting” I ushered Monster into the bathroom and peeled the soiled shirt off of him and handed it to a now gagging Hart to put outside until it could be cleaned. I then took up a facecloth, prepared it with warm soapy water, knelt down and began to scrub at one of his hands

“I don’t want to crush the bit of creativity you have left, Monster, but if you want to paint like that, you should use FRESH blood. Don’t pick at that corpse anymore because you’ll make yourself sick. Kids these days!”

"So this is one of your new "students"?" Calavera laughed "Have to say, kid's got talent, don't yell at him, he decided to take a different approach, rather than using Fresh blood which is always red, he decided to use rotten blood, such a mixture of dark colors, don't you think?"

It was my turn to laugh “You could call him that but, I’m not sure how aware this ‘student’ is of the classroom, if you see what I’m getting at. The colours are fine- they are not the problem, nor is the medium itself really.” I finished with one hand and started in on the other. “But he doesn’t have the sense to wear gloves or clean himself up after and I don’t want this tracked all over the cabin and potentially making Fell and Hart sick. Also, I’m honestly not sure how susceptible he himself is to illness, given his… condition.”     

“So while I’m trying to get him clean…” I started as I scrubbed at his fingernails, working to remove any trace of rotten blood from them “Is there any chance of you elaborating a bit about this board that you keep talking about?”

He smiled at my question "I just love when people are curious" he leaned against the wall, with his arms crossed "I can't tell you much, but I'll try to level. The board is a place, from which I can observe every game piece I want, I can see anyone, anywhere, at any time. I can even transport to them, no matter where they are, however, I cannot stay in this world for too long, otherwise I slowly start losing my blood"

He looked at his own hand "The board is protected from any game piece, nobody can enter, not even Marshmallow" he moved closer "I had to sacrifice my free will, once I complete my purpose, I will become a puppet, in the hands of an outsider, not a Fear, a different entity" he smiled and looked at Monster "...A mindless puppet" he knelt by me- a grin on his face- and whispered"...At least that's what "he" thinks"

His closeness and his words riled Skein up again. It made it clear that because he was an enemy of Ritter and because of the potential threat of his plan, it thought we should kill him. I calmed it, telling it, among other things,  that Ritter could take care of himself; that to attempt such a thing now would be counterproductive both to my own wishes and the orders I had been given.

Coming back to the conversation with Calavera, I returned his smile “’He’ Hm?”

Finished with Monster’s hands, I set about cleaning his face
“You know, my frame of reference is limited to Ritter here, but keeping yourself from being hollowed or coming back from that state is not easy… I wonder what you will do to avoid ending up like Monster”

Giving Monster a look over to ensure that he was clean, I handed Hart the cloth to dispose of and asked Fell to get him a shirt.

“He’s out of clean shirts!”  Fell called out from another room.

“Well get him one of mine” I called back as I stood and washed my own hands in the sink. Fell returned with a shirt which I then put on Monster. It was too big of course, so I tied it on one side to make it fit a little bit better. “There. Hope you like Alice Cooper” I said in reference to the image on the shirt “Please try not to ruin this one immediately”

“Here” Hart came back to the bathroom door with a slender man doll in hand “I thought he might want this.”  Monster’s eyes went wide as he reached out for the doll and proceeded to cuddle it

“Looks like you thought right” I said with a grin. I looked at Calavera “But you didn’t come here for a lesson in babysitting. You said that you were here on business too?”  

He scratched his bandaged head. "Business, right" He seemed to hesitate.

"But we need to talk in private about this" he said, standing back up "I understand that you trust your companions, but I don't. The only person I trust in here, is you and I can't afford to let them hear what this "business" is all about" Another hesitation "It's less of a business and more of a favor to be honest..." He flashed an evil grin "You said that Carmine is still "hanging" around, maybe we could go see him and discuss this near him?"

“Fuck you if you think we’re going to leave you two alone together!” Fell snarled, back on the brink of attack “She doesn’t owe you any favors!”

“Fell…” I stared before she cut me off

“Wolf no! Don’t you remember what happened with Carmine?” She was nearly in tears worrying about what might happen to me. This concern was also present in Hart’s expression

“Yes I do” I said, the memory unfolding in my mind. I calmed the rage that came with it so as to continue.

“You need to remember something too…” I said, hinting at a past conversation; a plan that we had formed amongst ourselves a while back

“Oh yeah and what’s that?” Snapped Fell

I arched an eyebrow at her, giving her a look to suggest she should really know the answer

A look of realization finally spread across her face

“Oh…” She tightened her grip on the tomahawk “I don’t like this”

“I know” 

I drew in close and gave her a kiss. Fell smiled, though she was still clearly worried

“Come on then, Calavera” I said, glancing back at him before leading him outside.

I muttered to myself as I had to jump over the mess of rotten stick figures that Monster had drawn on the steps leading up to the cabin entrance. Once Calavera joined me, we walked over to Carmine’s corpse.

Looking back at him, I could not help but look over his bandaged face, wishing to see the scars underneath but thinking it would be rude to ask. I was eager to know what this was all about but I was also wondering why he looked uncomfortable.

“Alright dear, here we are. So what was this super secret favor you wanted?”  

"The favor, right..." he began before being interrupted by Fortissimo, apparently trying to rip through his right eye bandages "Sorry, I hope you don't mind..." he said as he tore the bandages off his head, revealing his scars. This also exposed his right eye socket, out of which a tentacle emerged. "Much better" he said, sounding relieved.

"So the favor..." he paused for a moment, then continued "You shouldn't be worried that this will end up like with Carmine, in fact, I am the one in danger by trusting you..." he reached inside his trench coat, out of which came a jar with a black substance inside, Fortissimo held the jar between he and I "Skein's attack meter must be going off the charts right now"

The tentacle threw the jar in the air and he caught it. “Earlier you asked me what I would do to avoid ending up as a puppet, right?" he smiled "I will die" he laughed "And then, through this, I will come back. This is my request, I want you to store this jar exactly at those coordinates, I can't do it myself, since "HE" is looking over my every move, except right now"

I had stood transfixed as he had removed his bandages. I did not mean to stare but his scars were a glorious sight to behold. However, I found myself called back to the business at hand by Skein’s agitation.

“Well that’s convenient.” I said “How is it that ‘he’ can’t see you right now?”
Through my reassurances, the storm within me calmed once more

“And why would you trust me with something so important?”

He smiled  "See, this little Eden you have here, I'm sure you know that it is part of Marshmallow..." the tentacle sticking out of his eye hole started twirling around as he spoke "And that means, that Marshmallow protected it from an outside eye, however, not from the board. But when I appeared here, the frequency of the whole place changed a little, this is what happens when the frequency of the board collides with the frequency of any other Fear" he clapped his hands together "In result, those two collisions isolate everyone's view. Do you know why Marshmallow isn't here yet? Because, just like "he" it can't see us right now."

"As for, why do I trust you?" he pointed to Carmine’s corpse "This is why...We understand each other, both of our minds work in our own way that no one can comprehend. Both of us, we live in our worlds, which we built, we are one of the few people that have the will power and the smarts to do something like that. We might not understand each other's worlds, but we do understand the importance of our worlds and thus..." he raised his arms in the air "Respect is born" he spread his arms to both sides "That is why I trust you, because you understand and thus respect me and I understand and respect you, which is why I doubt you will betray me" Pointing to the jar, he continued "This doesn't get in the way of your goals, if it did, then you would betray me" he finished with a smile

I paced as I thought about it, then let out a sigh. Turning back towards him I gave my answer
“God damn it Calavera… Alright. I’ll do it”

Smirking at him I had to ask, “But what would you have done had I said no?” 

He looked lost at this. Finally looking at Carmine "...I would ruin your sculpture?" he scratched his head "To be honest with you, I didn't think about that, I guess I wouldn't let you see the scars? I don't know" The confused expression on his face along with his lack of preparedness was just adorable

I couldn’t help but laugh “Well I’ve said yes, so I suppose you don’t need to worry about that now, hm?”

I regained my composure “Also, I am grateful that you let me see your scars… So thank you”

He handed me the jar along with the coordinates "Always a pleasure, however, it is a bit unfair don't you think?" he crossed his arms "You've never showed me yours..."

I had Skein lift and slide my open sweater over my arms, letting it drop to the ground. The tendrils withdrew, leaving my arms exposed up to the short sleeves of my shirt. I held them out for him to see the scars that covered them. He looked at them and whistled. "Not bad… I hope you keep a track of these, I used to do it myself, but was quite impossible..." he encircled me, admiring them "Damn I'm jealous, must feel good to feel them, wish I could feel mine..." he looks at his bandaged hands "Sometimes I hate my numb body."

“I remember which ones I made and which were made by others” I smiled “They do feel very good… The pain helps in its way…” I lowered my arms “On the other hand, at least you will never find yourself hindered by it.”

"Yeah..." he paused or a moment; blood began to trickle from his nose and ears. “Oh great, I hate this...” he looked at me "I'm afraid I must take my leave now, thanks a lot for agreeing to help me out, I will remember that and I will return the favor, for when I return" he extended his hand for a hand shake "It was finally nice meeting you..." he smiled "Knitty"
“It was great to meet you too dear.” I said, accepting the handshake “Good luck, Calavera"

In that same flash of blinding light, he was gone

Oh and before I get accused of spilling secrets, Calavera already disclosed the details of the favour on his blog. If he had not done so, I would not have mentioned it here. Besides, as he pointed out, I’ve already done what he asked.

As for the rest of the day, Fell was not pleased, but I didn’t want to spend the day arguing about it. She finally let it go because she didn’t want to spend the day fighting either

We went out for some sushi, came back and watched both the original and the remake of My Bloody Valentine back to back. Enjoyed some cookies and spent the rest of the evening in each other’s arms