Not Your World

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by DisreputableCharles, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. "Thank you very much." Persephone Hampton nodded politely to the cashier as she did every week, pocketed her change, and lifted her bags off the counter as she exited the convenience store. As she stepped out onto the sidewalk, a look at the total on the receipt was the catalyst for concern to crease her usually delicate features. With all the kids at the house now, we can't afford to keep feeding ourselves this way. It was true that the boarding house had gained a few more tenants than was comfortable within the past few months, but she still couldn't bring herself to turn anyone away.

    Sighing, she began to walk, noting that the sky was already growing dark. What time is it? Can't be later than seven. Time seemed to go by in a blur these days, what with school, work, and caring for the younger kids. Persephone sometimes wondered if she was even going a little crazy. Heavy thoughts weighed down on her to the point they were almost tangible, slowing her pace with their unpleasant associations. Quickly she shook herself back to what she was doing, pushed her dark hair behind her ears, and continued to walk, speeding up a little more than before.
  2. Ixom strolled merrily out of a dead-end alley in the middle of Down Town, trying to look the part of any other squishy mortal. Pin-straight black hair fell in an unkempt mess just low enough to need the occasional brushing out of icy blue eyes. A button-down black-and-white pinstripe shirt was only half done up, revealing a plain white undershirt beneath. Sleeves had been rolled halfway back to his elbows, and a pair of metal-studded belts crisscrossed his hips. A third -much sleeker, and more functional- actually served to hold his pants up. They themselves were a loose-fit pair with tattered hems and patches over his knees. Departing however from his black-and-white motif, were his sneakers. They were two-tone red-and-white, with flat soles and fat laces.

    Ixom looked like nothing so much as a young punk. He came to a stop in the middle of the sidewalk, and he had to suppress the grin of childish glee that threatened to storm his face. He was <i><b>out!!</i></b> And he had a world to play with. One long-fingered hand plucked itself from his tight pocket to run it's fingers along his smooth-shaven jaw. Mortals swept by in droves, each and every one unsuspecting. And their attire was just so... Charming.

    "Now," Ixom said to himself, "to see what there is to see." His other hand joined the first outside of his pocket, and he cracked his knuckles. Falling in stride behind a pair of women who seemed quite engrossed in their handheld devices, and overly priced drinks. He aimed a digit at each, index extended, and thumb raised. Thumbs fell in unison, so like the hammer on a revolver. "Pop, pop." He muttered.

    The girls went on walking, unconcerned. Frowning, Ixom followed them. "Drink, damn you." He insisted, his mood quickly souring, as his prank failed to produce immediate results.
  3. Persephone had developed a habit of taking the longest possible route home from the grocer's, which more often than not ended up not being the wisest decision. Still, she couldn't quite come up with an explanation for why she did this; it was like each errand had to take long enough to mean something.

    She weaved expertly through the few clumps of people that blocked her way, taking care not to spill anything from her filled-to-the-brim bags of purchases. Though it was growing dark, she never worried about anything happening to her in the city. She didn't stand out. Short auburn hair, just above the shoulders, considerably pale skin, a form-fitting hoodie and jeans, accompanied by her weathered and worn Chuck Taylors...nothing about her appearance---in her eyes---was particularly appealing, except perhaps the shocking green of her eyes. That had been her only truly unique feature, for as long as she could remember.

    Walking around here lent itself to ample opportunities for people-watching, and so that was how Persephone amused herself. She took a break to set her belongings down and sat on a bench parallel to the sidewalk to watch them go by. Businessmen jabbered into cell phones, mothers tried desperately to round up screaming children, boys pretending to be men, and packs of girls giggling over some trivial matter or another. Almost laughing to herself, Persephone's subconscious then painfully reminded her how she'd never be able to waste time like that. There were responsibilities.
  4. Ixom followed the girls. And followed them. And he was rapidly growing bored.

    <i>By all the flames of hell, would you put down that damnable device and DRINK already?!</i> He fumed. He'd taken to coasting down the sidewalk without actually striding. To the unobservant, he might appear not to touch the ground at all. His anticipant smile turned into a frown, and he crossed his arms moodily over his chest.

    Finally, -as they were passing both a park-bench, and a street lamp, one of the girls looked up from he cellular device long enough to lift her drink to her lips. After a sip, she let out a gagging noise, and dropped the cup of what had once been iced coffee onto the ground. "Eew, gross!" She squealed. "What the hell?!" Ixom was trying hard not to guffaw, although that didn't stop him from doing a silent little caper on the sidewalk while the girls weren't looking.

    He strode nearer, and paused, frowning. His icy blue gaze turned to the fallen drink, and his nose gave a little twitch. He stared accusingly at the spill, and then at the subjects of his prank. "Vinegar?" He demanded. "Your coffee turned to <i>vinegar</i>?"
  5. A sudden yelp from nearby roused Persephone from her daze, one brought on by staring for too long at things that didn't matter. She sat up straight and stretched her arms over her head as she looked around for the source, which soon became apparent:

    Two girls had been walking when one of them, evidently surprised, dropped her beverage and let out the strident noise. To an observer like Persephone, the incident was rather amusing, though out of tact she covered her face to laugh. Her eyes darted from the girls to the dejected plastic cup, and it was then that she noted the boy following behind, looking rather perturbed. Strange.

    Hoping faintly for a better look, she crossed her legs and leaned over, head on her hand, feigning a stare into oblivion while she glanced nonchalantly at the situation.

  6. The girls -suddenly confronted by a strange, scowling man- each acquired the looks of consternation that women tended to get when a man was poking his nose in where it had no business being. Arms crossed, feet tapped, and each leveled a frosty glower at Ixom, who was almost painfully oblivious.

    "Freak," Said one. "Pervert," Said the other, only a moment behind. The demon -who seemed to hear neither of them- dropped into a crouch over the fallen drink. Each of the girls stepped back a pace, their looks of ire both half-fading into uncertainty. The one whose drink remained took the first girl by the arm, and began to hurriedly lead her away.

    "Vinegar," Ixom said, disgusted with himself. He touched a digit to the mess, and then lifted it to his nose to sniff. It hadn't been necessary of course. He could smell the vinegar from three feet away. Even so, he let out a sigh, and rose dejectedly. His hands got stuffed into his pockets, regardless of the spoiled coffee on his digits, as he began to glide once again, although his feet took no strides. He stopped short as he spotted the woman on the bench. A brow rose, and a smile tickled at the corners of his mouth once again.

    He leveled a hand at Persephone, making that 'gun' out of index and thumb once again. "Pop," He said. Nothing happened. For the second time, he frowned. Again, he tried. "Pop." Nothing. Glaring, he marched right up to the benched woman, and planted his hands on his hips. "Are your bags alright?" He asked, although his tone made it a challenge.
  7. Crap. It was always an embarrassing encounter when one was caught focusing on something that didn't involve them. In Persephone's case, however, the inquiry that followed was a surprise, and an odd one at that. Are your bags alright?

    "I beg your pardon?" Straightening up, she raised an eyebrow at the young man and looked him up and down. He appeared about her age, and was dressed like a moderate street punk. Not that it bothered her. "Yes, they're, uh, fine." She looked on either side of her to make certain that her words didn't contradict reality. That didn't seem to be the case. "Why do you ask?" Though she made a valid attempt not to sound too dramatic or hostile, it was somewhat difficult. Honestly, this was one of the stranger encounters she'd had lately.
  8. Ixom's mood was souring quickly. Couldn't he get just <i>one</i> prank right? Just the one? He wasn't trying to work <i>miracles</i>, but a split seam in a bag was easier by far than transforming iced coffee to blood. "Are you sure?" He asked, leaning to inspect the bags. True enough, there wasn't a seam split, or fabric torn anywhere. He rounded on Persephone, and glowered as if it were some personal failing on her part.

    "I... <i><b>fizzled!</i></b> I <i>never <b>fizzle!</i></b>" He took a step back and regarded the woman. She didn't <i>seem</i> very supernatural. Pretty after a fashion, but not supernatural. "What did you do? Just now, when I pointed at you. After the girls with the coffee, before I came over." He narrowed those icy blue eyes, his mouth pulled downwards in a not-so-subtle frown. "Have you been to a psychic lately? Or... Chinatown?" The last was a bit of a stretch, admittedly.
  9. Though another girl might have been put off or even frightened by the odd happening, Persephone found herself fighting the urge to laugh. Some things were just ridiculous. She couldn't fathom why he was so invested in---and apparently annoyed by--- the state of her shopping bags, or what had gone on prior to the questioning. Fighting a snigger became even more difficult when his inquiry involved Chinatown.

    "No, I wouldn't exactly waste my money on something like a psychic...or Chinatown." A grin played at the corners of her mouth as she looked up at him, tilting her head slightly in curiosity. "Are you okay? Had a little too much? It's a bit early for that, mate."
  10. Ixom redirected his gaze from the shopping bags to the woman to whom they belonged. "Good." He sniffed pointedly. "Charlatans, all of them. I doubt there's an honest psychic in the whole of the city. And the MSG's no good for a pretty thing like yourself." Again, he let his eyes turn to the bags. "You're absolutely positive that there's nothing wrong with the bags? You might want to give them a poke. Or a tug. Whichever you'd prefer. As a matter of fact..."

    Trailing off, the dark-haired young man stepped up and gave one of the shopping bags a firm poke. Nothing happened. "It's precisely the right time for that sort of thing, I'll have you know. Although I haven't had any, much to my chagrin. We're talking about alcohol, yes? Would you like a drink?" Those icy blues remained on the bag, as if the heat of his stare might weaken the container's constitution. It didn't.
  11. "What? Er..." As amusing (though steadily more unnerving) as this was, Persephone felt suspicion tugging at her intuition. That, and she was almost positive she was at least an hour late in getting back to the boarding house.

    Green eyes flitted from her belongings to the strange young man inspecting them, and that urge to laugh rose again, albeit briefly. She sighed and flipped up her hood, as the clouds had been thickening for the last couple hours, and stood up from the bench to brush off her jeans. It'd been long enough that she'd dawdled; time to head home.

    "Sorry mate, but I'm terribly late already." Some part of her did actually long for a break, but her work ethic won this round.
  12. Ixom straightened, blinking. Returning his hands to his pockets, he took a few respectful steps back from the woman's belongings. "A pity," He murmured. "Another time, then, God willing." His lips quirked in an ironic little half-smile, as he turned on his heel and strode off in the direction he'd first approached from. And then he stopped striding, although his forward motion never got around to stopping in full.

    <i>Damnable woman. How did she fizzle me? I have but one course of action.</i> With his mind set, the Demon pulled to a stop once again, and craned his neck to see if Persephone was on her way yet. He was -of course- intent on following her. Some men might have been put off by the prospect of stalking a pretty woman in broad daylight, but Ixom wasn't just any man. Mortal law complications aside, she was too interesting a find <i>not</i> to tail.

    "I'll show her," He muttered to himself, his ice-blue eyes trying to lock -and remain locked upon- the profile of the yet-unintroduced woman.
  13. Persephone watched as her brief conversational partner strode away, then shrugged to herself and slung one bag over her shoulder, the other two in her hands. The faintest hint of a smile danced through those brilliantly green eyes. I can't tell if he was drunk or just crazy. At least she'd have a story to tell once she got home. Or rather, she'd have an explanation as to her lateness.

    Turning on her heel, she proceeded down the sidewalk, traveling far enough to where the buildings weren't as close together and the streets separated into a winding sort of suburb. This route as well was one that she navigated with ease, taking shortcuts through parking alleys and following the maze of streets without issue.
  14. Ixom didn't have quite the familiarity with the rout that Persephone did, and he very nearly lost her a time or two. The alleys, streets and byways that the woman used to shorten her rout were as numerous as they were confusing, and a number of them were anything but sparsely populated. As Ixom pursued the object of his current interest, he flung in her direction a number of impish spells and pranks. Each time he fizzled. Each time, he turned his target -briefly- to someone or something else on their path. A dog-walker's leash would let loose it's hound. A bottle of mustard would discharge explosively onto a hamburger. Inconvenient gusts of wind would billow skirts that should have been long enough for decency, and sneezes came on just as people were sipping their drinks.

    <i>Blast that woman, how does she do it?</i> The demon was growing more and more irritable by the second. His arms had crossed his chest moodily, and he'd begun to grind his teeth. It just wasn't <i>fair</i>. He had to put up with the whole stunted-abilities thing already, but if some of the mortals were outright <i>immune</i> to his tricks, it would kill his entire vacation.
  15. Persephone had always possessed a sort of sense for things, and more than once on her way home did she experience the strange sensation of being watched. However, after two or three looks over her shoulder, she resolved to dismiss it as plain paranoia, which a girl could expect walking someplace on her own. Nevertheless she was glad to reach the boarding house as the sky grew dark, setting her things down before pulling out keys to unlock the back door of the place.

    "PERSEPHONE!" The door opened and she was inevitably ambushed by six-year-old twins, followed by a ten and thirteen-year-old who appeared more interested in the contents of the grocery bags than their friend's arrival.

    "Marcus, Weyman, don't grab my legs." She picked up her purchases and handed them to the older kids, "Take these to the kitchen; I'll get to work in a little while." After successfully disentangling herself from their grasp, she shooed them inside, but wasn't so quick to follow. No, Persephone pocketed the keys and took a few steps out onto the sidewalk, looking around for...well, something; she wasn't exactly sure what.

    "...Hello? Is someone there?" Was she going crazy?
  16. Ixom watched the girl as she walked up to... A boarding house, of all places. A woman that was resistant -nay- immune to the powers of the universe stayed in a boarding house?! He coasted out of the alley he'd followed the girl into, as she was set upon by the little anklebiters humans called children. He crossed the street while she was issuing her instructions, and he idled himself in one of the doorways of a nearby building as he listened for the sound of a door closing in the direction of the boarding house.

    Before it came however, a familiar voice called from the doorway. Ixom poked his head out of his cover, dark brows rising. He wouldn't be particularly difficult to spot if somebody was looking at him. The white of his outfit did little to mask his presence in the shadows, even if the bright red sneakers didn't give it away. "Do you people ever really expect someone lurking in the shadows to come out and say 'You've got me! I've stalked you halfway across town, and I'll throw away all the hard work I put in tailing you, just because you asked nicely'?" He stepped down from the doorway, and out onto the sidewalk, frowning ponderously.

    Again, he glided to a stop short of the boarding-house's stoop. "Although I suppose I've just done as much, haven't I? I wasn't stalking you, if it makes you feel any better."
  17. Despite the fact that calling out to no one was just a security measure and she didn't actually expect anyone to appear, Persephone kept calm surprisingly well when someone did, in fact, respond. And a familiar face as well. She sighed a little and leaned her right shoulder against the house, crossing her arms confidently as she did so.

    "Can't say I really expected someone, let alone you, to show up." Her eyes now showed something less like laughter and more akin to mockery. "But maybe I'm just really really naïve." Persephone reached up to pull down her hood and smooth her hair a bit, then looked up at Ixom. "So if you weren't following me, what led you here to answer my calls into oblivion?" She might've laughed a little that time.
  18. Ixom's hands remained tucked firmly in his pockets, and he made no move to draw nearer to the boarding house. "Let alone me? Well that's hardly flattering. I'll admit that I consider myself much more likely to show up," He paused, to consider just where he might show up. "Well, anywhere, than most other folks. I'm tricky that way, you see." He said, his tone dropping to a confidential sort of faux-whisper.

    "But as for your question, I never said I wasn't following you. I said I wasn't <i>stalking</i> you. A different connotation entirely." One hand slipped from his pocket to gesticulate. "Think of my pursuit as intellectual. And although I doubt you've quite mastered the abilities to call into oblivion, I'd be delighted if you surprised me. It wouldn't be the first time."

    He grinned, flashing his teeth in a merry grin. They were pristine. "I'd ask after your name, but that would be rude considering the circumstances. Instead, I'll introduce myself." He swept a formal bow, with one hand draped across his stomach, and the other folded behind his back. "Ixom, at your service. That's Ick-Some." He said, over-articulating for clarity. "And I would be thrilled if you'd join me for a meal. Not now, of course. The way you hurried, I imagine you have duties to attend to. At your earliest convenience, of course."

    The man really was quite full of himself.
  19. Persephone found herself returning his smile, due less to friendliness and more to genuine amusement at his monologue. She was by no means unsociable and taciturn, but considering her location she was always wary of her surroundings. And this Ixom was the first of his kind she'd ever encountered.

    "Funny," she said, still puzzled at his dramatic formalities, "how you consider it rude to request a name, but not to ask me, a girl you met not an hour and a half ago, out to dinner." Raising her eyebrows in almost a sort of challenge, she stuck her tongue in her cheek and fixed her eyes on him. "I really cannot fathom how your brain works, sir." Though her words implied some sort of offense, they were spoken with an almost joking tone, which led to the assumption that she wasn't quite as annoyed as she should have been with him.

    "Persephone," she said after a few moments, pushing off of the wall and standing up straight, though not without any of the sass of her previous stance.
  20. Ixom straightened himself, grinning genuinely. "Is it? Mortal humor has always been lost on me." He rolled his eyes, as if to encompass the world. Back into his pockets went his hands, and he returned to the languid slouch he'd assumed before he went on to bowing and quasi-formality. "Ah, but I'd be so dreadfully <i>boring</i> if I was predictable. Being a conundrum has it's advantages."

    Her name received a curious tilt of his head, and he drew a few steps closer, to maintain a conversational distance. "Dinner sounds fine, although I'd have settled for lunch. Or breakfast, even. Dinner provides a more..." Again, that hand flipped out of his pocket to gesticulate vaguely in a circular motion. Rather like a wheel. "Intimate setting. Lady Persephone." He added, his lips quirking upwards once more, as if he was pleased with the sound of her name on his tongue.

    "It will of course, be my treat. At the eatery of your choosing. To keep you comfortable in the presence of a tall, dark, and questionably motivated stranger." He waggled his brows playfully. "What say you? Dinner with a devil. Metaphorically speaking." After a pause, and a glance down at his attire, he added -as if to sweeten the deal- "I'll wear a fancy suit."