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 Post subject: obscure
View Likes PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 6:30 pm 

you catch more flies with honey but you catch more honeys being fly

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"Continuing coverage of our top story tonight: a train car arrived today at Amersham station with all passengers missing. The train appeared to have been full when it left a station earlier in the morning and only one of the twelve cars was affected by the mysterious disappearance. Authorities have called it an act of domestic terrorism, citing an extremist group who are against the proposed demolition of abandoned South London streets to expand the Underground Rail."

Jamie drummed his hands in some manner of haphazard rhythm on the large stretch of desk in front of him, tuning in and out of the news broadcast and reclining in his chair. The most interesting part of his job was the fact that it was actually not interesting in the slightest. Libraries in the 21st century served little purpose, as virtually anything could be found online. Needless to say, they didn't see a whole lot of business, and Jamie didn't mind that at all really. No new check-outs meant that he could watch the small television at the end of the table, which he normally enjoyed quite a bit. But this particular news story made him uneasy, and between all of the news outlets online and on the air, he'd been hearing about it all day.

After the woman at the news desk talked some more, the scene changed to reveal a heavy set police officer in a crisp and pristine uniform, standing at a podium on top of some stairs. He grumbled from beneath his mustache and spoke into the forest of microphones which prodded out at him from the stand.

"These people have made it clear that they will stop at nothing to undermine the efforts of the municipal planning authority to expand the Underground Rail and now they have resorted to kidnapping citizens as they travel to work. The Metropolitan Police Service will stop at nothing to bring these criminals to justice and return the missing loved ones to their families..."

"Weird, right?" The only other receptionist at the desk, and his best friend by default, Sayid. A nice enough man for sure, but Jamie wished that he would stop asking that question every time the story came back on.

Jamie merely hummed in response, vaguely listening to the statement from the Metropolitan Police. "I wish you would change the channel. This is nothing we haven't heard a hundred times tonight," he said. He propped an elbow up on the table, cupping his chin in one hand and holding a pen in the other. The button was turned toward the table, and Jamie pushed it down and let it bounce back up only to fall back down to the desk with a small clatter. "I'm pretty sure you know that officer's entire speech by heart by now."

"I'm just saying-," Sayid started, and Jamie gave a rather dramatic groan of despair as he let his head fall to the desk. It actually did hurt a little, but he was fairly desperate to get the point across. He heard Sayid huff in agitation, but unfortunately that didn't exactly deter him from continuing. "I'm just saying that it seems a bit too weird that only one car was affected. One out of- what was it- twelve? Those cars hold a lot of people What would this group even do with them?"

Jamie lifted his head just enough to be heard. "Hold them for ransom? Kill them? Make them sit through another one of your insane theories?" he guessed, tapping a finger on the desk for each reason he listed off. Sayid disregarded his comment with a resigned tsk and turned back to the television. Jamie rolled his eyes and sat upright. "Right then. What does the great Detective Qadir think happened to the passengers, then?"

Sayid shot him a look that Jamie was sure was meant to be threatening, but it really wasn't. "He deduces the not-so-great Jamie McGuire needs to shut the **** up." Jamie laughed at that and spun his chair around to face him, gesturing with a wave of his hand for his friend to go on. After a moment, Sayid gave up the silent treatment, as Jamie knew he would. The man could never resist voicing his opinion. "There has to be something that they're not telling us in the news. I mean, they had to have found something."

"Except they didn't."

"They had to. It doesn't make sense. Say this group unloaded all the passengers on that car down onto the railway. Fine. But then what? Where’d they go?" he asked, waving his arms for a bit of extra emphasis. "They could march on the tracks for a bit, sure, but they could only do that for so long before they reached another station. And if they had reached another station, I'd like to think that someone would notice people taking the tracks on foot. And what about the cameras? Nothing?"

Jamie nodded slowly, much the way you would if you were listening to the nonsensical ramblings of an exceptionally annoying five-year-old. "So, what’re you getting at, then? That they actually vanished? Like, disappeared into thin air?"

"I’m just saying, you can't abduct an entire mass of people without someone noticing something."

Jamie rolled his eyes. "You're eccentric," he dismissed, shaking his head as if that could somehow repel neuroticism. "Look mate, there's still have a half-hour until close, please don't make me sit through this until then."

Thankfully Sayid relented, throwing his hands up in defeat and turning off the television. He disappeared into the file room and with a bit of reluctance, Jamie pushed his chair away from the table and stood, stretching his arms into the air with a groan as his back straightened and fell into place. He busied himself in organizing the papers that had been strewn across the desk throughout the day. He and Sayid were both very competent at what they did... they just weren't exactly neat about it. More often than not, by the end of the day they wound up with check-out logs mixed between order requests, and God only knew where some of the library's bills ended up. It could only be described as a miracle that they managed to get it all cleaned up and sorted out each night.

"...a train car arrived today at Amersham station with all its passengers missing. The train had been full when it left a station earlier in the morning and only one of the twelve cars was affected by the mysterious disappearance. "

Jamie jumped at the sudden sound and clenched his fists around a few papers, feeling his heart race and then slow down. Without dignifying it by so much as turning, Jamie closed his eyes, embraced zen, and laid the papers on the desk, trying to force them to lay flat where he had wrinkled them. "Very funny, Sayid, now turn it off. We don't have time for this." The woman's voice was cut off, and Jamie was greeted with silence. Which meant, of course, that Sayid had taken to ignoring him now, but at least he'd been courteous enough to turn the television off again. "Thank you."

"You say something, Jay?" Jamie spun on his heel, and saw Sayid poke his head out from the file room. "Earth to Jamie. What did you say?"

Jamie stared at him for a long moment, then turned his eyes to the television. He shook his head slowly at first, then quickly with dismissal. "Nothing. I think I'm just tired," he said, leaning backward against the desk and tapping his nails on the wood. He allowed himself to contemplate it only for a moment before forcing it to the back of his mind. “Right then, hurry up so we can get out of here."

Somehow Jamie and Sayid managed to ready everything for the next shift on time, a rare occurrence between the two of them. They stood in front of the large glass doors, Sayid digging into his pocket for his keys and Jamie drowning in a black coat one or two sizes too big for him. "See you tomorrow, then," Sayid said once he’d retrieved his keys, giving Jamie a firm clap on the shoulder as he passed by to get to his car. Left to his thoughts, Jamie listened to the car door slam and the engine roar to life, and just like that he was alone. He watched the car get smaller and smaller, and for a moment he wished for the world that he had asked for a ride home. He’d never felt uncomfortable taking the train home after work, but something about walking to Amersham station felt amiss. He really needed to stop watching the news.

When he arrived, the station was cramped, hot, and smelly. Even with a prepaid ten trip ticket, he didn't seem to get through the huddle any faster than anybody else, but before long he was standing on the platform catching the first train that had boarded. Any ridicule or complaint he was contemplating was rudely interrupted by the screeching of a halting train car pulling onto the platform. He, along with so many others on their way home from work, ambled and shoved onto the train where they would spent the next moments of their lives uncomfortably pressed against one another. There were women holding the hands of children tightly and clutching their handbags even tighter still. There were homeless men who occupied entire stretches of sitting space while they slept, and occupied even more space around them with their stench. A few people were like Jamie, just bundled up button pushers making their way to or from work. The last group Jamie could see were the perverts who slid their way like inky snakes to stand by women or children and press their bodies against them, rubbing themselves on the clean and unsuspecting with their eyes closed and perverse grins on their faces.

He hated the train.

The speeding train car rocked back and forth, jarring everybody around within its bowels. Occasionally it would breach the end of a tunnel and more natural evening light would break into the surroundings but more often than not it was dark with only the hum and bleak glow of halogen bulbs which lined the top of the car. Though even then, only a few worked and even fewer didn't constantly flicker. The train sped off from another station and into the darkness of the tunnel. Through most of this, Jamie had his eyes closed and was trying his best not to pay attention to the heat or the smell, but he could tell when the car lit up with each stop and he counted the minutes between each one. It was the same as the last time he'd ridden the train and it was the same the time before that and countless days before them still. It was the same as it would be tomorrow. Four minutes of blackness, then a stop. Six minutes, stop. Fourteen minutes, stop. The next one was four minutes away again. Four...

Five...

Six...

Seven...

Blackness passed and passed without light. Jamie opened his eyes and looked around to see the windows of the train car still awash with the same black that permeated through whenever the train was between stations. Puzzled, he pushed his way to the window and squinted his eyes to see if he could see the subtle red lights that dotted infrequently on the walls of the inside of the tunnel. Minutes more passed and no red glow. Not even a flicker. It was around this time that Jamie noticed the train car wasn't rattling and bumping like normal, but rather gently swaying back and forth, rhythmically tilting from side to side though no one in the car seemed to shift. He pressed his face closer to the glass and used his hands on either side of his eyes to peer out and tried his best to focus. Perhaps the train had stopped and something was being serviced. It was strange that they wouldn't announce that on the intercom though.

A few more minutes passed before Jamie saw much of anything. The first movement was a distant blinking white light which swung back and forth out in the expanse of nothing. It drifted closer and closer with each fade, in and out, and was almost mesmerizing. Jamie blinked and it was closer again. He watched it carefully for a minute before pulling away and looking around the car. It seemed that no one else seemed fazed by the prolonged darkness and gentle rocking of the train. No one was even looking out the window except for one man. A homeless man had risen from his slumber and was peering outwards into the same deep blackness that Jamie was, and he was watching the swaying white light.

Then, as if from nowhere, the train car was illuminated from the right side by the swaying light. Jamie and the homeless man were the only two passengers who reacted to this at all, and the light violently jerked upwards to reveal something Jamie had never seen before. Right in front of his eyes was a gaping maw of teeth and tongues and eyes. He stumbled back and fell to the floor, disturbing passengers all around him. The maw in the window opened wide, and everything went black.

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 Post subject: Re: obscure
View Likes PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:30 pm 
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A pebble skittered across the road, propelled by the toe of Michael’s boot, only to be caught and flung back at him by a passing car’s tyre. Above him, the overcast sky reflected the city’s lights and turned the moon into little more than a bright smudge. The wind was sticky with humidity. Michael pushed his hand deeper into his pockets as he turned down an unassuming alley between an adult store and a pawn shop. There, against the back wall of the pawn shop, was a steel door. Michael kicked the door once. An eye height slot swung open on rusted hinges, revealing a heavily made-up pair of poly-chromatic eyes looked out with feigned disinterest.

Baal kneels,” muttered Michael without raising his head to meet the gatekeeper’s gaze.
That was last week’s.” The voice was a peculiar shrill drawl, like the sound of a ‘90s cool-guy teenager whose voice began to break.
For ****’s sake. Just let me in, Kenneth.

The slot slammed shut with its usual rusty squeal, followed by a louder grating as the lock bolt was removed and the door opened. Standing in the doorway was a sour-faced, pudgy goth trying his hardest to kill Michel with an evil look.

My name’s Abadon,” the goth gatekeeper blurted. Michael knew how to wind the guy up. There were those that liked the scene, or the music, or the drugs. But then there were those who were caught up with the spectacle; those who took the sub-culture, and themselves, a little too seriously. Kenneth was one of the latter. Pushing past Kenneth, Michael ignored the man and began his descent down the narrow stairwell.

The Underground was nothing but a basement parking for the pawn shop above it. Instead of storing second hand vehicles that would spend more time gathering dust instead of interest, the owner figured that he could turn a tidy profit by illegally renting it out to Sasha. Sasha took advantage of the isolated entrance and the sound dampening effects of locating a bar in a hole to setting up a goth club. A bass-laden beat vibrated the drinks standing on the tables while black-clad bodies gyrated to its eclectic rhythms. Michael made his way to an empty bar stool, sat down, and began rolling a cigarette. A drink appeared in front of him. In the dark red light, the contents of the glass were undefinable, but Michael knew what it was. He also knew who put it there.

Need a pick me up, babe?” Michael took a sip before looking at the woman behind the bar. She wore a tight-laced corset that glittered purple in the light. The black contact lenses in her eyes stood in stark contrast to the pale white of her skin.

Not tonight, Sasha.” She pulled out two shot glasses and began filling them.

How you coping?” Michael’s expression didn’t change save for a pointed glance at his now half empty glass. He grabbed the shot glass and threw it back. The tequila burned down back of his throat. “She was a good girl, but you knew what you were getting into. She was unstable. ” She leaned a little forward as she gently placed her hand over Michael’s.

Michael squeezed his drink, hoping that the glass would shatter in his hand. Just like he knew how to rake Kenneth’s nerves, Sasha knew how to rake his. She didn’t do it intentionally, or, at least Michael didn’t think so. But with Emily, Sasha always laced a little venom into her words. Michael paused to light his cigarette, drawing a deep drag to calm himself.

I’m cleaning out her place tonight” Sasha immediately drew back from the counter, pulling her shawl across her exposed cleavage. Her stance became more casual as she took her shot.

****. I’m sorry. You here for her key?” Michael just nodded. She disappeared into the storage room and emerged a few seconds later with the key. Michael left a couple pounds before Sasha could protest and headed towards the elevator.

Emily lived with Sasha in the apartment above the pawn shop. The apartment was a mess of miscellaneous esoterica, empty rock CD cases, Anne Rice novels, and fishnets. If you believed in chi and chakras, you’d say it has a fatal aura, but to Michael, it was just a whole lot of unwanted memories. He flicked on a light. The place always looked like it was robbed, but this time it was different. Half of Emily’s door was propped up against her bed. The other half was splintered. Michael still didn’t react. Not much phased him in the last two months. He trudged forward through the debris and began sifting through the discarded drawers, looking to see if there was anything notable that was stolen. Something was wrong. Flipping over a Black Sabbath CD case, Michael found Emily’s purse. He stooped down to pick it up, popped it open. There was cash in it. Then it hit him. The obvious error in the overturned room. Jewellery was still there; laptop, TV, DVD machine, cell phone. All the items that should be missing weren’t and only Emily’s bedroom door was broken

Only the books were gone. Emily was a prolific reader and Michael had been there so many times that the various books scattered around the apartment just melted into the usual mess. But there was nothing. The book shelf was lying empty and face-up on the bed. There were not even loose pages left lying about. Whoever broke in to Sasha and Emily’s apartment was looking for something specific, something written, something that belonged to Emily. . .

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 Post subject: Re: obscure
View Likes PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 11:49 am 

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Dancing smoke fluttered around the ceiling, illuminated by the lazy sunlight through the tall kitchen window. The window was one of two identical windows on this floor of the apartment, but their almost 2 meter length was always enough to brighten the whole studio. Shadows of hanging leaves and flower buds stretched across a polished wooden table and linoleum flooring before stopping at a well worn red couch and a well decorated wall. Herbs were strung from the curtain rod, drying lavender, rosemary, and rose stems dried in the late afternoon sun. They mingled with the scent of sandalwood and jasmine honey that swirled from a cone of incense on the sill. A copper kettle also caught the sunlight with a dull shine as steam pushed to escape every crevice. Slowly over the course of a few more wispy seconds the kettle began to whistle. The screeching ceased as quickly as they started, a masterful hand snatching the tea off the stove.

“Io! Are you hosting me or am I hosting you? Come spend some time with your sister!”

Cautious but heavy footfalls plinked as a sturdy young man climbed down from a loft located in the far corner of the room. In one arm he held a precarious stack of papers and notebooks with a pencil in his teeth as he turned and wobbled his way over to his sibling. His feet landed in an assured way as he avoided knocking over a lamp and walking around a pile of laundry behind the couch. The sunlight then shone on his hair which only curled in the front, laying at a volume only achieved by extra-hold product. His wire glasses snuck their way down his softly curved nose with each step until he could push them back in place after dropping the stack on the wooden table.

“Believe it or not, right now this is a little more important to me than tea”

Io’s sister ignored the comment and poured two cups of tea. One cup swirled with blue flower buds, the tea itself turning a shade of indigo, and the other, a deep mug, filled with clear water before steeping to a dark brown color. Soon after came a splash of milk into the mug, and a squeeze of lemon into the cup caused the contents to pop from indigo to a rich magenta. The girl set the kettle back on the stove and floated down into a chair with her cup of butterfly pea flower tea. As she landed her shoulder length poofy curls sprung and bounced, the same color as her brother’s. She hummed a bit as she blew on the surface of her beverage; a previously placed ice cube danced circles around the rim of the cup. The whole act seemed ritualistic, and to the girl it likely was. She breathed in the steam before sipping her tea and setting the cup down with a pleasant expression, her dark brown eyes squinting with a smile.

“Now you may tell me about what happened today” the girl gestured to her brother in affirmation.

“Aife, have you not seen a TV today? Radio? Talked to literally anybody in town?”

Aife frowned and sipped her tea again, “I’ve been working since 6 this morning, and there’s no television in the shop. Plants aren’t a fan of the morning news.”

“When you see mom she’ll want to talk to you about this. A full train car of people disappeared this morning. Poof! In between stops just gone. They are calling it a kidnapping done by a radical group,” Io was flipping through a small sketchpad, and started gnawing on the eraser of his pencil. There was no doubt in Aife’s mind that he had been there as soon as he heard about the incident. It was his mission in life to know all of the happenings in the city. The fact that it helped him keep his salary with the Buckinghamshire Examiner was an afterthought. He truly loved being down in the dirt, at least in a more metaphorical way than Aife did.

“I’ll be more careful when I take the train home, then” Aife took a long sip. Thinking less of her brother and more of the train now. The train was ingrained into the city and people often took it for granted. It was pretty depended on in order for daily life to continue so it being threatened also threatened the ability for everyones’ lives to go smoothly. The whole city would be disturbed if the threatening continues.

“Yes, please be careful. Who will take care of the shop if you’re kidnapped?” Iolan chuckled and finally sipped from his own mug, “and who would I tell all the daily happenings to?”

There’re plenty of people to take care of the shop, “Oh no! What would I do without all the gossip you and mum tell me about,” Aife snickered at her sibling across from her. They continued to chat about life and how their second cousin Jamie was getting married in Maldives, how mum was trying hot yoga again despite her affinity for heat exhaustion, how Io’s friend recently went paleo, and about the new book series that Aife has fallen in love with.

“You really need to do more reading, Io. How can you be a good writer if you don’t read?”

“I always read articles by my coworkers, I do editing and reading almost all day!” Io was on his second mug of black tea, this time with no milk but a little spoon of honey instead.

“If you only read pieces from within your environment then how will your department evolve? You should at least be reading articles by the best in your field. Get some influences from your favorite journalists!”

Io watched the last of the incense smoke swirl to the ceiling, “Yeah I suppose you’re right. Since when do you know so much about journalism?”

Aife shrugged and pulled her almost black hair back into a ponytail, her curls making a bouncy poof, a few short pieces falling away and framing her face. “I do the same thing to help me in the shop. I read about the best horticulturalists and books that they’ve written about their work.” Aife thought of all the most beautiful bonsai trees she had seen and the giant golden pothos in her good friend Esme’s house. “Hey, I think I should be going before it gets too late,” Aife turned to look out the window, many people now heading home from work.

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"To live would be an awfully big adventure"


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 Post subject: Re: obscure
View Likes PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 11:35 pm 
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The room dimly lit by a computer monitor and a desk lamp gave off charm only a certain person could admire. Maybe that charm was more desired these days considering the industrial boom of modern-age technology. Myfanwy circled her index finger round and round on her desk. She stared at the monitor as if waiting for it to grow legs and start dancing. Her gaze was equally fixed and lost in some far off land all at once. On her desk was a prescription of some sertraline pills, some framed aged photos and a bag of opened, semi-stale potato chips. The only thing that was breaking the monotony yet adding to the cliche was the hum of her computer’s cooling fans: who’s name she dubbed ‘Moses’, since it was kind of aged compared to it’s news counterparts.

“--all passengers missing. The train appeared to have been full when it left the station earlier in the morning, only one of the twelve cars was affected by the--”

“Your pretzel melt panini, no caramelized onions? And a white chocolate mocha, hot with a shot of espresso...at 11:16pm.” remarked an aged husky voice with a medium-fade peppering grey hair and full beard from behind Myfanwy’s position at her desk. In an unenthusiastic swivel in her chair, she got up muttering ‘thank you’ and began rolling her shoulders. “How much do I owe you, Jewels?” “Your soul. This is the fifth run this week.” scoffed Julius. To a stranger it was rude but it was endearing to Myfanwy. “Joo-lee-usss” she stretched.

“No.”

Myfanwy sat at her cheap circle table and began taking mouthfuls of the panini. Julius leaned against the door frame with a disappointed sigh as he eyed the state of Myfanwy’s hide-out. “You think you can actually clean this place for once, Ms. Lara Croft? ” The munching stopped and a sharp look came from the young woman, “Then go put on the maid outfit I picked out for you.” Julius gave out a quick chuckle in reply to the nerve he poked, knowingly. Myfanwy hated the “Lara Croft” comments, even though it wasn’t far from the truth. During her childhood, she grew up in a wealthy middle-class religious family. Being an only child, her mother, father and surviving grandmother adored her. Her mother was as sweet as a white lilies, being a devoted loving wife and church woman. Until Myfanwy got a dark character arch.

During the night of her mother’s bible study, Myfanwy sat in the pew with her. She remembers the air feeling hollow, but it smelled so devilishly sweet. Like fresh crepes of all things. As the voices of the women became whispers then falling to silence. She looked to her mother who had such a pleasant smile on her face. But it was a smile of pity and relief, yet her eyes wide with a sort of fearful excitement. The strange act of the congregation led to the disappearance of seven women that night. The only reason why Myfanwy made it out was because she tugged away from her mother’s grip, finding herself in the parking lot for hours waiting for someone to come by. As a child she believed they were still in there, but after police arrived there was no evidence of a single body being in there at all. It was ruled as a bizarre religious extremist act and it pioneered her father to make it a national best-selling book of the trauma. Long story short, she hated churches, the blood-money it brought, and herself for not being there with her mother. She could have gone without the “cultist” tabloids, too.

“Myfi...” Julius finally spoke up. “Kid, your dad is getting old. He’s trying to make peace with you and he funds all your half-completed ideas. And your treatments. The least you could do is--``''This speech? Again?” she stood up grabbing her coffee and slinging her backpack over her shoulders. Her thick pin-straight auburn hair was in a very messy bun, as she added a few more bobby pins to it before standing in front of the door. There was a long pause, she even debated on saying what she wanted. A thousand times over and the paradox persists. “Mom would be flipping in her empty casket we buried if she knew what they said for the attention and money.” Julius remained silent, and let her talk. “I don’t care… you can come or you can wait for me. Besides, dad would be thrilled if we found evidence for his next novel. Isn’t that what dad hired you for anyway? You get to babysit, and I get to not be written out of the will.” Julius licked his teeth and fixed his gaze on Myfanwy. Opening the door, she walked out and began to close it but it was stopped by a black boot.

“You with your never ending melancholia...” he grunted.

“Glad you made acquaintance with the left side of your cerebrum, Jewels.”

_________________
'“People," Geralt turned his head, "like to invent monsters and monstrosities. Then they seem less monstrous themselves.'"
~ Andrzej Sapkowski

"I believe that the greatest poets of the last century were Edith Sitwell and Don Marquis, that jade is dried dragon sperm,
and that thousands of years ago in a former life I was a one-armed Siberian shaman."
~ Neil Gaiman



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 Post subject: Re: obscure
View Likes PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:37 pm 
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The radio was just background noise at this point.

Ten minutes. It has been ten minutes since Ricardo had pulled up to the house, and this guy still had not gotten in the car. After he had texted him, the guy stepped out of his house only to be stopped by a woman and a young girl. The only interaction they’ve had was a brief ‘one moment’ gesture before the three of them started talking, leaving him sit there. Whatever conversation they were having, he hoped it was something important.

Ricardo drummed his fingers on the steering wheel. He wasn’t really in any hurry but he did have a schedule to keep and did not want to be ****ing out over one person causing him to be a few minutes late to wherever he was going next. Letting out a sigh, he checked his phone out of impatience before contemplating whether or not he should blast the horn. After a few seconds, his hands moved quicker than his reason. However, he had no regrets. The man turned around, gestured an apology and parted with the woman and young girl. He smiled to himself as the man hurried toward the car.

Normally, Ricardo was not an impatient person. Today was an exception, as he had a rough night the day before, pulling a double shift at his usual job, and just wanted to get home. Perhaps it was the caffeine in his system making him jittery; he drank four cups of coffee before heading out.

“Sorry, sorry!”

The man getting into the backseat of the car brought Ricardo out of his thoughts. “It’s fine. Where are we going?” He shrugged.

“The train station.”

“Alright.” He plugged the address into the GPS on his phone, and went on his way.

The drive was quiet for around ten minutes, until the radio began to cover an incident last night. Something about a train showing up at the station empty. He’s heard the story repeated a few times and usually paid it no mind. There didn’t seem to be any new information at this time and it hardly concerned him anyway. Weird **** happens all the time.

“Hey, mind turning the radio up?” Ricardo’s passenger asked.

“Sure thing…”

He saw the passenger places his hand on the back of the headrest and lean forward a bit. “What do you make of this?”

“What? The train showing up, without any people? I don’t know… it’s definitely creepy.”

“Exactly! It’s way too creepy, I’d even dare to say it’s something supernatural.”

“Like a ghost?” Ricardo chuckled. Over the past two years of this, he has picked up some weird ass people. The amount of intensity this guy seemed to have while speaking was kind of amusing. He wouldn’t go so far as to call this guy crazy; he was entitled to his beliefs. He never really put much thought into these things, and they sometimes annoyed him, he had learned to tune people out over time, being someone who doesn’t really have a set belief system. But it was certainly entertaining for sure.

“Aren’t you the least bit curious, the train station might be haunted?”

“That’s crazy talk, man, I just drive for a living. I don’t know about any of this ghost ****,” he shrugged. “Doesn’t concern me.”

The passenger leaned back against his seat, “I see… Interesting.”

Much to Ricardo’s relief, the rest of the ride was quiet. But still… No matter how he tried to shake it, so many people disappearing at one time was weird as hell.

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 Post subject: Re: obscure
View Likes PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:01 pm 

the stars look very different today ★

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"With the staff changes we've been making, we now have to consider the restrictions placed on our budget."
The office was a plain one with distinct lack of character, except for the soft evening light pooling through the large west-facing window which cast a warm gold glow on an otherwise commonplace room.
Vivienne had said she would rather stand for this meeting, but on hearing those words she sat cautiously, perched on the edge of the seat with her legs crossed, purse in lap. Her scrubs were dirty after her shift, dark wavy hair about to fall out of what had been a highly functional bun.
"As such, we've been reviewing the efficacy of certain members in our departments, and have been forced to make some tough decisions."
The sun was bothersome rather than warm now. Vivienne squinted, rubbing the side of her face in contemplation as her supervisor was drowned out by the turbulence of her inner world.
Twenty years of service, Vivienne thought indignantly, and I'm the one they choose?
"...please understand this decision is not personal, and we would be happy to provide a reference should you need one..."
This went on for some time as Vivienne's supervisor described the process and next steps. This isn't right, Vivienne thought. Why would they fire me? I've never had a bad performance review, never had a complaint. I do everything right. More so. Normally, shouldn't an employer base it on seniority? First in, first out?
Maybe it is seniority, the thought dawned on Vivienne. She had never thought it would happen to her, in her own workplace.
"Is it my age?"
"Hmm, what?" Her supervisor was startled, eyes wide at the suggestion.
"Was I chosen for my age? I'm 57, not dead." Vivienne stood up slowly. One hand was drawn into a fist, though a not a firm one, at her side, while the other hand reached up to touch the edge of her worn employee badge. "I've worked here for 20 years, longer than just about anybody here. Longer than you, Amanda."
Amanda eyebrows furrowed, busying herself with straightening papers on her desk. She herself was in her 30s, if Vivienne had to guess, and had been at the hospital for somewhere around 6 years. "Of course not. It was a difficult decision of course, and we appreciate your dedication to this job and to the kids, but-"
There didn't seem to be a but. Amanda was at a loss, and Vivienne tried not to lose her nerve. She felt shamed, ostracized, and devalued. She had expected to work in pediatrics until she died or was forced to retire, and being terminated was not retirement. It was an early sentence. It didn't seem to make any sense. Her advantage, while secret, was clear in her performance rates and the notable improvement of patients in her care. She nor others had ever been bothered by the difference in age of her compared to the other nurses. She fell deeper in thought, letting out a weak sigh.
"Vivienne?"
--
Vivienne was at the public library, a few days after her meeting in the sun-streaked office. She loved the library, from the smell to the polite employees, and she tried to borrow and read a book or so a month. Sometimes thought-provoking, award winning novels, other times passionate romantic paperbacks that made her miss her husband.
Today she hadn't come to read, but use one of the public computers. She had a smartphone, but preferred the clicking of a keyboard, despite not owning her own computer.
Age discrimination she googled cautiously. She was at a loss for what to do. She didn't want to hurt anyone, or the hospital and patients that she adored, but she felt increasingly frustrated by her treatment. There was no way she could be fired from her job, especially considering what she called her "secret magic". She didn't want to bother her daughters with her problems either.
Eyes scanning key paragraphs and phrases, Vivienne began saving the information into a document. She already felt overwhelmed, and began doubting herself, but her punctilious focus kept her from falling apart and, before she had realized it, several hours had passed.
I should go home, she thought, go home and sleep.
She didn't truly want to sleep, but sleeping was better than worrying about her finances, her lost job, or her children. They cared too much and lived too far away. She would tell Isabella and Alexis when she was ready, or better yet, when she had taken care of it herself and could tell them proudly that for the first time in many years, she had stood up for herself.
Eyes scanning page after page, Vivienne had saved a few key paragraphs, contact information, and anything else that might help her. Her legs felt sore from sitting so long as she stood up and pushed the computer chair back up to the desk.
The train was only a few minutes away, and Vivienne somewhat enjoyed its rocking and swaying, just as long as she managed to get a seat. Although it was rush hour, and she didn't like the emotions people brought from a long day's work. It always made her feel even more tired.

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 Post subject: Re: obscure
View Likes PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2019 12:02 am 

you catch more flies with honey but you catch more honeys being fly

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There wasn't much to be seen in Amersham station at any given time, let alone at the present. From the few patrons brave or desperate enough to be about the underground, whispers regarding the terrorist group allegedly terrorizing the city could be overheard if one was eavesdropping well enough. In spite of the recent mania, the place looks much the same as ever, lit by the pallid bulbs of the platform. Most of the kiosks had closed, though nobody save for the staff could explain whether it was due to safety concerns or lack of business. Even the station performers are nowhere in sight. Out of the hundreds of frequent patrons that could be found boarding or exiting a train at Amersham station in a given hour, there are maybe fifty people there at the moment. Drunks mostly and a peppering of businessmen and women who seem to be in a perpetual state of agitation that the train is late even though it isn’t due for another few minutes. The only truly peculiar sight is the lack of law enforcement or investigative personnel or yellow tape. For a suspected terrorist attack site, there is little to be seen in the way of anyone taking any of this terrorism business seriously.

The main light source of the entrance to the station, down that long flight of stairs, is the sun that is caught in an eternal battle of hide and seek behind the cloud cover. Many of the lights that line the corners of the ceiling are out, have been out for some months. Every few minutes the sun vanishes behind thick dark grey and the station takes a notably dark turn for a matter of seconds, even up to a minute or two, before reappearing for a similar amount of time. It isn’t until after almost twenty minutes that the sunlight vanishes for longer than before and doesn’t seem to be returning.

The hiss of metal on metal fills the surroundings and a bright light tears the veil of the dark tunnel to the far left of the platform. The gearous whine of the breaks cut into the grim silence roughly and abruptly as a train pulls into Amersham. The twelve fifty five, the cross-town train of the afternoon. The train looks to be no different to its brothers in arms, a dirty chrome colossus tugging tons upon tons of metal cars, each lit no better than the station that surrounds it. The sides of the car are covered in grime and paint, the odd tag visible on its armour like an artist’s badge of honor.

Slowly but surely, the patrons catching their train to wherever shamble towards its doors. Of the slightly over four dozen waiting for the thing, the only thing that seems off are random strangers who wander towards the cars and slowly, subtly walk away from their initial destination and converge on one car in particular. The car third from the front attracts no less than six of the people catching the train. By any normal stretch it doesn’t look like anything odd. Perhaps the other cars have a smell to them or are filled with homeless who would be woken and kicked off once the train reaches its last stop.

Whatever the reason, the third car seems to be attractive to these few.

Those among the station with an astute sense for the supernatural might feel the air grow denser with the arrival of the train. Something lingers here. It smells old and sweet, like pomegranate that’s just a bit too ripe. There is one criteria which some in the station may recognize instantly. It is the scent of death. Anybody among the bystanders who have spent time close to death could probably pick up on this particular aroma quicker than others.

Two minutes before the last train finishes boarding, an additional four individuals board the third car, aware or not of the weighted aura it projects.

The train is more than welcoming of the many passengers who board it, a disproportionate amount of them choosing the same car. At first impression the train seems relatively normal, lit by the same lights as its comrades, and feels more or less like taking the train any other day. The only difference is in the atmosphere. The lingering heaviness and not quite tangible smell and taste are a little thicker here, though not alarmingly so. As the men and women enter the train, there is a short pause before anything happens, maybe a minute at most. The doors, all at once and across every car, hiss and close, signalling that it is ready to depart. By now, any aware individual would know that if anything were going to happen on the twelve fifty five, it was much too late to get out of dodge.

With a screech the train begins to lumber forward, slowly at first but picking up speed as it dashes into the deep blackness between stations.

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 Post subject: Re: obscure
View Likes PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:25 pm 

the stars look very different today ★

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Vivienne arrived at the platform. It was quiet, unusually quiet. Of the many people she had expected to be at the station, she saw only a few dozen around her. Commuters, like she had thought, but there was something more to their energy than simple work stress. Vivienne took the opportunity that having so few travel companions gave and withdrew from their signals, despite their unusual qualities. Have those lights started going out? Vivienne thought to herself, peering upwards through the dim light of the station. She didn't recall the station being in such poor shape and so listless, not that train stations were normally extravagant.

A weight began in Vivienne's chest that slowly trickled up her throat. Light, at first, but it grew heavier and heavier until she began to hear the familiar thudding of a train coming up the tracks. The feeling grew overwhelming, tearing at her insides and filling her nostrils with a sickly sweet scent like aged split fruit. Her eyes lost focus and the platform faded away into blurry washes of colour as she envisioned herself standing on the track, unmoving and silently screaming until the train slammed into and crushed her body. A face Vivienne had not seen for many years appeared before her. A little boy, frail and smiling weakly, curled in a bed in a blue room. The room had the same weight, the same cloying scent. Vivienne stumbled back, eyes snapping shut to reset reality. When they opened, she found that the world had refocused, and she had already been standing well over a metre from where the platform steeply dropped off to the well-worn path of the train below. What she hadn't realized is that she had moved farther than she thought. As the train shuddered to halt, she found herself standing neatly in front of train car number three.

The others on the platform had already begun filing into the train cars as Vivienne set to calm her racing heart. She felt around tentatively for any form of comfort, to borrow feelings apart from her own, but it seemed that all those around her were filled with a similar form of unease. Her orderly confidence she had gained just moments ago in the library were gone, replaced with exhaustion and dread. Her footsteps were harried, wanting the journey to be over before it began. She would take a bath when she got home. A very long bath, with candles, and a nice book, and the light smell of lavender.

The train took off more smoothly than it had stopped, as if it were a gentle ghost fading back into the shadows. Closing her eyes once more, Vivienne let out a rattling breath. If she didn't feel the familiar train seat beneath her and hear the swaying of the cars as it passed through the unusually dark evening air, she would guess that she were in a morgue.

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