Oct 23, 2019 8:29 PM
Jaime in Fabulous
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Jaime is in school.

This is a waste of her time.

She used to make a habit of writing down ‘this is a waste of my time’ on the bottom of all of her tests and quizzes and homework, in plain English, just to make that fact abundantly clear, but then there was a parent teacher conference and her counselor growled at her and everyone made a great deal of fuss, and now she writes it down in a personal conlang. 

The personal conlang is spare, minimalistic, and has a writing system consisting entirely of curclicues; she’s acquired the habit of doodling extensively, to make the fact that she’s writing down a specific set of glyphs on every paper less obvious. Sometimes she just writes ‘fuck you’, still in the conlang, as a change of pace, and sometimes she doesn’t do it all, but she’s pretty consistent about it.

This is very personally satisfying.

It doesn’t make school any less of a waste of her time. 

She could be dancing, she has more natural talent than anyone she’s met but she’s still falling behind people with more time, having to squeeze in practice elsewhere - it doesn’t help that she can’t manage to concentrate on just one dance style - and she doesn’t have the social grace to persuade her uncle to homeschool her - 

She’s finishing the word ‘time’, concealed in the scales of a cute little drawing of a fish, at the bottom of her latest statistics test.

Starscape hits her.

 

She grows glossy black bat wings, seven seconds later.

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"Whoa!" says the girl who sits behind her. "Watch it, you almost hit me in the face."

"No talking," says the teacher. "Fold those up, Jaime, this isn't a good time."

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Jaime has become very good at sighing without actually producing any sound or moving her face. She sighs, exits starscape, and folds up her wings.

It takes her another moment to finish up the word ‘time’, deliver her test to its designated bin, and return to her seat.

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The chair isn't very comfortable for wings.

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The teacher would probably be annoyed with her if she switched over to having extra arms. She’ll deal, for now.

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Eventually most tests are turned in; the last ones are collected before the students are ready and the bell rings.

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At which point she heads over to her next class, switching over to having an extra pair of arms on her way.

She’s really tempted to lock herself in a bathroom stall and fiddle for the next forty minutes, but she refrains. She might be able to squeeze in some fashion sketching in the guise of notetaking.

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Her next class actually contains one of the narrow-cushion-backed chairs with a curved attachment between back and seat to accommodate a tail, but since she's currently doing extra arms the other magical girl in the class takes it as usual, gold jewelry clinking as she sits down and shwushes golden wings into place. She looks Jaime up and down while people file in. "You just starscaped, didn't you."

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“Yes.”

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"Well, now you can fix... all that," chirps the girl, smiling with pointy white teeth. "If you need tips the club meets today!"

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What a charming person.

”Isn’t that nice. I don’t think I can make it today but I might try it some other time, when’s the next time it meets?”

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"In a week. It's every Wednesday. Thalia handles membership stuff."

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“I’ll see. What’s your name? I don’t think I remember it.”

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"Serena."

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Repress the urge to be snippy, repress the urge to be snippy, plenty of teenage girls in exclusive ingroups are horrible people and this one isn’t especially deserving of her derision just because she was brought to her attention -

“Nice name. See you around.”

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"Uh-huh."

Class ensues uneventfully. Her remaining classes do not have magical girls in them.

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Thank god.

She walks home - she doesn’t want to try navigating from the air, just yet - and enters her room, and consults her assorted fashion sketches and doodles. Her uncle isn’t going to be back from work for a few hours, so she has time to kill, if she’s willing to skip today’s bit of self-directed dance practice, which she is.

Step one: petting her little miniature pinscher (with all four arms) and refilling her water bowl.

Step two: looking up assorted point values for various traits - flowers growing out of her scalp, feathers fluffing out from her shoulders, elf ears, maybe a skin color shift with pretty detailing? She’d ideally like to have enough leeway by default that she can wing and de-wing without having to replace her wings with anything.

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Plants are a little more expensive than flesh additions provided the flesh additions don't have any bones in them, and plants alone will cover a de-limbing pointwise. Extra feathers are cheap per square inch, though it'll be a fair amount of her allotment if she gets much total coverage. Elf ears are cheap. Skin color's cheap, detailing doesn't add much point value.

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Okay then.

She goes into starscape, removes her existing clothing, and wraps her braids around her head in her favorite kind of updo. That done, she adds flowers to her scalp - metallic-looking rhododendron-esque ones, with gold freckling on shimmery silver petals, absent leaves or substantial stalks. She decides to skip the elf ears.

A three inch patch on each of her shoulders acquires a dramatic poof of feathers, each feather fading from gold at the base to silver at the tip. Her skin loses saturation, and her cheeks acquire gold freckles, to match the flowers, and her wings go away.

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This gets her a little glimmer of magic, if she's paying attention.

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She is!

She waves around her hand and tries magicking in the general direction of her laundry hamper.

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A blot of darkness blobs toward the laundry hamper. Around the laundry hamper, it is like the lights are off.

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Jaime smiles.

She fiddles with her distribution of body fat and muscle tone, fixes up minor imperfections in her complexion and an old scar on her elbow, and - after some indecision - gets rid of her body hair.

That done, she implements step three: clothing. A glossy black mermaid dress, flaring out dramatically at the base, with a lettuce trim on the bottom, and a similarly trimmed slit up the side, complemented by plain black shoes. The dress stops below her shoulders, allowing for a reasonable amount of cleavage; her arms acquire thin, black, fingerless gloves of a similar fabric, going up to her elbows.

She has a quote from hamlet, in her little journal, translated into her conlang - “What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form, in moving, how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?” - and she appears it, nicely calligraphed in all of her alphabet’s little curlicues and dots, in gradients of metallic gold and silver, wrapping around the bottom flare of her dress. 

The upper half of her dress gains thin vertical streaks of similarly metallic gold and silver; her gloves do the same.

She tracks how much each change influences her current amount of magic.

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Cosmetic fixes are an improvement - more than doubles the "amount" of magic she gets, if her sense of the thing is reliable in terms like amounts.

The magic approves of the dress, but not all that much. The curlicues add as much to the dress as the dress added to nudity. The streaks are almost indistinguishable from neutral.

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She wasn’t expecting her first attempt to be all that successful... she supposes that she isn’t clinging that tightly to a theme, here, it might help if she gets more motif-y...

She spends a few minutes sketching, and then re-starscapes.

She gets rid of the streaks, first thing - no real point in them, if they aren’t going to do anything. She then goes on to replace the curlicues with diamond - still in the same gradients and in the same pattern, but with, you know, diamond, divided into prettily faceted little sections. The dots get replaced by little diamonds too, still colored gold and silver, formed into the shape of five-petaled flowers - in the same shape as the flowers growing from her scalp. She also adds large silver earrings resembling stylized feathers - dotted with nicely faceted gold diamonds - and paints her nails with pretty little swirls of gold and silver.

The edge and slit of her dress - and the edges of her gloves - lose their current form and become feathery, as an afterthought.

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This is much better! The magic likes all of these changes and its favorite is the nail polish.

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