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Oct 18, 2019 2:37 AM
honeysuckle rose unboxes jeanne
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The light is low and golden in the bar, reflecting off dark wood and polished glasses.

The room isn’t silent, but it’s quiet. There’s no conversation, no laughter, just the gentle sound of a jazz trio picking out a song they’ve played many times before.

(There is nobody attending the instruments.)

There’s a red velvet chaise lounge right in front of the stage. This is where the newest arrival to the Vision will wake up.

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The girl on the lounge is young, fit, golden hair flowing down her shoulders.

She might have been pretty, too, once.

(On each cheek, an angry red welt marks out a letter M; across her forehead, in uncompromising block letters, a tattoo spells out MURDERER.)

 

It takes a moment after she wakes up before she opens her eyes; when she does, she already knows something is terribly, terribly wrong.

(That's live music. There shouldn't be live music.)

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A door opens beside the stage.

The woman who walks out is...larger than life, in a few senses. Her proportions are a little too exaggerated to be natural, oversized hips and lips especially — particularly for someone who’s nearly seven feet tall.

It’s hard to tell without seeing her eyes, but she looks concerned.

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She is not the only concerned one.

At her entrance, the girl's anxiety shifts to outright terror; she sits up abruptly, pressing herself back against the lounge as if to gain an extra half-inch of distance.

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“...Oh, honey. I’m not going to hurt you.”

She walks a little closer, but slowly, palms up and clearly empty.

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She attempts to become one with the couch.

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She moves closer and closer until she’s near enough to sit down on the edge of the stage and fold her hands in front of her.

“Cross my heart, honey.”

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...headshake headshake. Huddle.

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She looks her over (at least, that looks like what she’s doing).

“...Do you need something to write with, sweetheart?”

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Increasingly forceful headshake.

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Well. This is going to be a tricky one.

For a few minutes, she just sits on the stage, waiting. It’s hard to tell whether she’s watching her or not.

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...after a minute, she starts cautiously glancing around the room for exits.

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Inspecting the surroundings is a step up from incoherent terror.

The woman nods.

“Go ahead and look around.”

It looks like there are four ways out of the room —there’s an ornate staircase nearby, the door next to the stage, a hallway near the end of the bar, and a set of double doors with beveled windows, furthest away.

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She scooches tentatively towards the end of the couch nearer the double doors.

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“They don’t go back, sugar, but you can try.”

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Cringe.

 

 

...very hesitantly, she makes a phone gesture by her ear, and looks hopeful.

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“I have a phone, hon, but not the kind you need.”

Behind her, the instruments quiet for a moment, then start a new song.

“Why don’t you come up to the bar with me, and I’ll get you some water and tell you all about what’s going on.”

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She doesn't look any happier about this idea, but she compliantly stands up.

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She heads there right away.

As soon as she steps behind the bar, her shimmering red dress unravels off her body. Thousands of tiny black filaments rise up from her skin and weave around her, and within moments she’s wearing a simple black dress instead.

(Her bottom half is hidden behind the bar, and all you can really see from Jeanne’s perspective is her back, but it’s still...abrupt.)

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As soon as she’s appropriately dressed, she turns back to her guest.

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Jeanne is relatively unalarmed by this development.

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That’s a pleasant surprise! Not that she doesn’t like alarming some people now and then, but this poor girl seems spooked enough already.

She sets a glass of water on the bar and waits for Jeanne to sit down before she speaks.

“So, honey...you’re here because it looks like you need my help.”

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...that might have been the slightest flash of a facial expression other than 'abject terror.'

 

If so, it was definitely an expression signifying 'you are so far off base you've left the ballpark and are drowning in the middle of the Atlantic ocean.'

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Well. Isn’t that interesting.

“Mhmm? Is that how it is?”

She takes a bottle off the shelf behind her and pours just a touch of whatever’s in it into a shot glass.

“I trust my bar, honey. It’s never been wrong when it says somebody wants to change.”

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...change is maybe an interesting word.

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That’s promising.

“Now...do you want me to fix you up so we can chat about it?”

She taps the edge of the shot glass.

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