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    Three variations on help

    by , 02-24-2015 at 10:11 PM (456 Views)
    Disembodied, I'm watching a teenage girl walk into my home, an old Victorian in a small city. The door wasn't locked. She's been sent here by someone who told her I can help her, but apparently he wasn't specific enough about exactly the kind of problem I would help her with - he'd emphasized how important it was that she get off the street tonight, so she's gotten the misimpression that I run some kind of homeless outreach thing. I'm thinking, amused, that she's not far wrong.

    A girl who's just recently started staying with me walks out of the bathroom wearing a towel, and she says oh, hello to the girl who's just walked in, assuming that the girl must be a friend of mine. She tells the girl I'm 'out' right now - they know me by the name Nick. They chat a little back and forth, neither of them realizing their mistake, and I'm thinking this is a good coincidence, that a girl her same age was around to meet her first, and that they get along well; this should put her at ease.

    The girl who just got out of the shower gets something to drink out of the fridge, and as she's doing so she holds up a particular marked bottle, asking if the girl wants any of this. Oh, damn it - so much for putting her at ease. It's blood, but the markings don't actually indicate that. Offering it was a reasonable thing to do, given the people she's seen just drop in looking for me; and since she's assuming the girl already knows me, she's also assuming the girl's already familiar with what's in that bottle. The girl says sure, takes the bottle, and opens it.

    (Woke up. Back to sleep.)

    I'm on one side of a wooden barricade, and an old friend of sorts on the other side is calling to me. He's telling me that he's taken my advice, and he's decided that I was right - all those people without any magic, their lives do have value after all. As he says this, I'm looking through the gaps in the barricade to the soldiers lined up on the other side. I recognize them, or rather I recognize their uniforms indicating the lord they serve, a man whose help I've been trying to secure for a while now. They're unnaturally still. It's clear my old friend is controlling them directly. I'm not going to have much luck with that lord if I kill off his people, not to mention the people on my side of the barricade who would never forgive me - we're going to have to run.

    (Woke up. Back to sleep.)

    I'd convinced a group of fox demons to give up their human forms, their physical forms. Now I'm returning to the lake where they live, and they're gone. There are markers like graves standing in the places they'd been when they gave up their forms, stakes of white wood with names written on them - or what they used for names, more like descriptions really, they changed them fairly often. I read each of them. I kneel down before one with a name I recognize - it had belonged to a child. For the sake of protecting one human man, I caused this.

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