New Mutants Unlimited 47

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New Mutants Unlimited #47
Post by Alkaline on Feb 27, 2007, 6:07am

New Mutants Unlimited #47
The Biggest Lie

Cover Description: A black cover except for a close up of crime scene tape stretched across the middle, with a spatter of blood splashed across the entire cover.

Setting: A year or so before joining the NM.

Torrance Silvey is picking at her cuticles with a Bic pen cap, quietly mouthing along to Elliot Smith's "The Biggest Lie", chewing on her purple lower lip between verses. She occasionally glances up from her nest, the dirty recliner in the motel lobby, and watches the obsidian rain cut its rhythmic lash across the window with each gust of March wind; mainly she watches the policemen moving in and out of the hallway, and fighting sleep.

She’s writing.

This is where the road crashed into the ocean.

The alcohol isn't much of a crutch, anymore. It doesn't support all the weight you carefully pile on me, I still stumble, and more and more I don't want to pick myself up.

You haven't yet graced me with the dishonor of throwing it all back in my face, but the way you do it is even crueler. You're leaving it all on me, asking me to stoke the embers and set ablaze one of the most beautiful things in my life. It's worse because you're lightly grazing the blade over me, in chill anticipation of your manipulations.

You always start these arguments; like the divine being I built you up to be, you craft them out of nothing, and you try to place the blame on me. You reconfigure the words, force your own inflections into the meanings. I've actually grown afraid of speaking to you, it's like Russian roulette.

The song ends, randomizes to "Coming Up Roses", and she loses interest in her notebook and picks up her tattered Lovecraft anthology, halfway through the Strange Music of Erich Zann, when one of her Darklings, a tiny sprite, alights on her shoulder. She unfolds herself from the seat and allows his mind to flow into hers.

She's standing in a cordoned off motel room, all yellow police tape, white masking tape, and scarlet stains. There are unrecognizable shapes under light blue sheets, and all too recognizable shapes outlined on the floor. The homicide detective in charge is drinking coffee from a Thermos in the corner kitchenette.

"Are you all right? Do you need water, or…"
The officer taping the rest of the scene looks at the detective,"No, just…damn…can't we open a window or something, Jesus, the smell."
"Windows are painted shut," and the detective swishes coffee around his mouth, swallows, then, "Hell of a thing.”

Torrance nods, fishes into her black pants for a cigarette; doesn't light it, just chews on the filter and watches her Darkling’s memory in grainy 8mm film.

The detective takes a slow, thoughtful sip from his Thermos, stares over his shoulder at the mess behind him, the mess being meticulously photographed and examined.

"Torn apart," and he swishes the coffee again. "Forensics will have a field day.”

Another slow sip of coffee, and Torrance really could care less, just wants to be back home, not like she can do anything beyond what she's done. The detective suddenly makes eye contact with her, looking at the Darkling, and the memory cuts short.

She tucks a strand of ink-black hair behind her ear, and wipes her hands on the thighs of her jeans. She pets the crow before dissolving it. "I guess Serena wasn’t lying."

Torrance gives one long glance down the hallway, before pulling her jacket over her head and dodging out into the rainy night.

*

Torrance is asleep on her couch, still in t-shirt and jeans, when her cell phone vibrates violently on the end table. She groggily gropes upwards, and the phone skitters around the table like a crazed trilobite, finally colliding with her fingers. She grunts into the receiver, and as she sits up, knocks over a glass of tea on the floor from the night before.

"(Shit.) 'Lo?"
"How are you holding up after last night?"
She sighs out of the side of her mouth, "Oh, it's you."
The woman on the end lets out a gruff exhalation, sarcastic laugh, "You think somebody else would actually call?"
Torrance’s eyes aren't even open, and she leans back into her couch. "I suppose not, not after…"
"We need to talk more about last night. How about the usual meeting place?"
She looks at her watch, "My television shows aren't over until eight. How about nine?"
"You don't have a television. Eight-thirty."
"Eight-thirty," and she clicks the phone shut and falls back onto her pillow.

She picks up her notebook:

"What do you want from me?" you ask, every time, a last ditch smart-bomb in the pitched battle you struggle to maintain. I've given, selflessly, since day one. All I want from you is for you to be happy. I don't wait for reciprocation, or to be rewarded - my reward is knowing I've improved your life by that much, that I've improved your day by this much. I can't think of a time you even have reciprocated, let alone an honest "Thank You" that wasn't a segue into another favor or want.

When things are good, you ask "What did I do to deserve you?" and I honestly couldn't tell you. I don't care about your past or what you've done. Hell, I consider myself the lucky one most of the time, and I couldn't tell anyone why this is if my life was on the line.

And all you can think to do is pity yourself, find a bad angle, and lay a foundation of blame around me. Walling me in.

*
It's a quarter to nine, and Serena has finished two Maker’s Mark and Cokes and a shot of vodka, when Torrance walks in, nods to one or two familiar faces, then sits down with her at the bar. Nobody asks any questions, this is a company bar.

Serena is all leather and buckles and fishnets, and she enjoys watching Torrance shift uncomfortably in her seat. She thumps a manila envelope on the counter, careful to place it between the sticky stains on the oak table.

"Ten thousand, large," Serena says in a low tone.

Torrance’s face falls into her typical sullen look, sighs, and keeps her eyes on the manila envelope.

Serena picks it up, pulls the metal tab up, and reaches a hand inside. "Everything he had on him. Seven for my little sister; then three to me, for the favor."

"Seven for me, three for you," she's reciting it as if a teacher had asked her to name the date of the American Revolution. But then she pauses, and her purple lips twist. "I went down last night, to see if it was done."

"Butchering," Serena slid the envelope over to Torrance. "We didn't even leave a body to pull a sheet over last night, we had pieces all over."

"I saw," Dagger buries her hands in her choppy dark-as-sin hair and stares at the watermarks on the counter.

"He deserves it," and Serena yawns, and drags her sharp nails over the wood table, wolfish grin, and Torrance touches her cheek, but there’s no welt, not anymore.

Serena smiles wider and tosses a folded over page of newspaper in front of Torrance.

She scans it, reads it again, and she tries to feign the incredulity, "'Bite marks?'…'Pieces chewed off…digits missing…'…'Animal attack?'" She wants to say "You're shitting me," but she's known the underside of things too long, and she's only thinking, "I've been here too long. I’ve done this too long."

And so she says, because it's the only lie she can come up with, "You're shitting me."

"So what do you make of it? Honestly," and Serena scratches behind her ear, and Torrance realizes she is quite dog-like, that her ability to turn into some sort of she-wolf isn’t her mutation, it’s an extension of her personality.

"I think…I think if a coyote or other animal broke into a motel and mauled Case, that that's a good thing," and she drains her sweet tea. "I need to go," and Serena’s eyes cut into hers.

“You know he deserved it.”

Torrance nods, looking at the floor. “Thanks for watching out for me.”

*

The urine-yellow streetlight is prying its way into the blinds, and Serena stretches across her red sheets, kicking the quilt to the foot of the bed. Rain is slapping against the window, and she lies on her side, watching the shadows of the raindrops lazily move across the carpet. It's not until the blurriness fades from her eyes, and the cotton clears from her mouth that she realizes she has a migraine, the kind of migraine that travels from the head, down the throat, and explodes inside the stomach.

She's hung over and the rain beating the window is clouding her thoughts. Did she take a man home from the bar again? Or did she just work and go home? How did she get home?

She belches, the haze of cheap late-night diner food and alcohol coating the back of her tongue, and that's enough to set the nausea off. Off the bed and into the bathroom as fast as her legs can spring her, and it's not enough; she trips over something warm and wet in the middle of the floor, sticks the landing, and makes it too late to the bathroom - trickle of bile and spit on the toilet seat before she unloads a torrent of vomit into the bowl.

Her eyes are closed, but the toilet bowl only amplifies the auditory experience of vomiting, that rush of liquid and chunks crashing into more liquid, and the sound and the smell only make her more nauseous.

She flushes and leans against the bathtub, shivering in her underwear; her head is clear at least, the steel cobwebs finally relieving the pressure in her head.

And then Serena sees the bit that didn't land in the bowl and get flushed, the little bits of finger, nail to knuckle, and she dry heaves into the toilet.

"Jesus," she half-chokes into the bowl. "Not again."

*

Torrance looks up at the night sky, and stares at the stars blanched by the city lights. She chews her cigarette filter and says to no one in particular, “Fuck you, Case.”

She opens her guitar case and pulls out the tattered green Mead notebook:

I never knew until I put this down, actually focused on it in my head, how bad it could hurt to lose something you never really had.

The worst part is I'll never tell you, you'll never know how badly you've mangled me.

And I'll still never understand why.

This isn't goodbye. This is "I can't stand you."


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #47
Post by William "Wraithling" Weaver on Feb 27, 2007, 10:23pm

« I think everyone's just in a state of sheer awe and astonishment that they can't comment. I like it, though, and the unrelated thought it gave me about a bulimic vampire was kind of amusing. »


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #47
Post by Nephy "Lifebeat" Nephrahim on Feb 27, 2007, 10:25pm

You don't Need OOC here.

And I still haven't gathered to courage to read the long Fanfics yet.


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #47
Post by William "Wraithling" Weaver on Feb 27, 2007, 10:33pm

That was actually the kid in me « I also like Frosted Shredded Wheat», personally, I hated it.


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #47
Post by Nephy "Lifebeat" Nephrahim on Feb 27, 2007, 10:44pm

You know, prehaps you should try to stay on the good side of your future GM.


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #47
Post by William "Wraithling" Weaver on Feb 28, 2007, 3:43am

I will not bend my knee to a tyrant!!

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