The Keeper of Time

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Fox of Spades, Dec 7, 2015.

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  1. [​IMG]

    A 1x1 between @Miyakka and @Fox of Spades

    Two college students; disheveled genius boy meets curiously clumsy girl at a film club meeting on campus when the building suddenly catches fire. It ends in tragedy; with the entrance blocked, everyone is trapped inside for over fifteen minutes before emergency responders can find a way in. Twenty-three students perish that day.

    The girl watches the skin of her arms and legs melting off. The searing pain of it is the last thing she remembers when she wakes the next morning—no burns, no scars—safely in bed.

    The keeper of time witnesses millions of tragedies throughout the ages, from fire to pestilence to murder. Hundreds of years of this turns him stone cold. Day after day following the same routine; passing time and watching time pass, not involving himself in anything except time adjustment which is only allowed in the case of glitches. Sometimes he follows her, just to entertain himself, and she's started to take notice.
    -by Miyakka


    Once, Faye read about death by burning on Wikipedia. The details were hazy, but she remembered something about how it usually took 10 to 15 minutes for a person to suffocate on the fumes. About how the majority of people died from carbon monoxide poisoning instead of from the flames. She'd looked it up, not because she was a pyromaniac or anything, but because she had to watch a documentary on the Salem Witch Trials for her history class. Mind you, Faye didn't enjoy that documentary, but it pulled her in nonetheless.

    Faye thought death by burning was an awful way to go. And now, stranded inside a burning building with thirty or so other students, she still thought it was awful. She tried not to think of the Wikipedia article as she backed up against a wall and clamped a hand over her mouth, of the witches burning at the stake when several panicked screams rendered her scared out of her wits, and of the searing pain that shot throughout her body as the flames licked at her skin. Instead, she tried to think of winters with mom and dad, of grandma's apple pies, and then of home.


    "—wake up."

    "Uh, 1692?" Mary blinked once then twice, before her confused gaze settled on her half-asleep roommate. Faye was tangled up in her sheets, eyes wide open, and expression somewhere between confused as hell and terrified. "Are you—"

    "The Salem Witch Trials began in 1692!" Faye yelled again before practically leaping out of bed and sending blankets and pillows alike to the floor.

    Mary gave her a long, hard stare. "You're acting really, really, weird. You know that, right?"

    Faye stared back at her, and before Mary could understand what was going on, her friend tackled her into a tight embrace, mumbling something about how she was so glad Mary was alive, and about how she was so glad she was alive. The hug lasted a couple more seconds before a frantic Faye bolted out the door in pajamas and a t-shirt.

    Faye heard Mary yell something about pancakes, but by then she was already on her bike, pedaling as fast as her legs would allow. The school had burned down, she was sure of it. Plenty of people including herself had perished in that blaze, she was sure of it. It had felt too real to be a dream, and yet, she was alive. The bike ride to school was full of questions, but her bike skidded to a stop when the University finally came into view.

    She'd expected to find a charred mess of ash and soot, but instead the building looked just as it had the day before.

    Still, it felt too real to be just a dream.
    #1 Fox of Spades, Dec 7, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2016

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    [BCOLOR=#000000]“Someone answer. What's the highest number known to man?” [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]All was silent in room 216, as it had been for quite a while. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]The professor was a mathematician. Behind slim, rectangular frames, his eyes lightened at the sight of numbers and equations. Even the imaginary ones, he doted on, along with word problems, trigonometry, calculations, graphs, and more. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]Professor Wig really liked math. Almost as much as he actually needed a wig. Almost as much as he hated his students—that alone explains a lot.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]“No one?” he demanded, neglecting to hide the stopwatch in his hand. Shin eyed the fleeting seconds shown on the display, as he was hyperaware of most everything. The nervous looks. The shallow breaths. And the enormous elephant in the room. He could feel it, hanging by a thread.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]Someone knew the answer. Alas, it wasn’t him. He hated numbers.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]You!” In his impatience, the professor targeted the crowd with a thrust of his finger, beating the timer by a second and a half. Shin blanked almost immediately, like a machine re-routing, as the entire class winced. He had always been sensitive to time lapses, no matter how small. But there was nothing he could do about it; his tired eyes slid closed as the steady hum of time flooded his senses.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]The next thing he knew his head was pounding, and his hand was raised, much to the disbelief of the class.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]“If you say infinity, I promise you I’ll throw you out!” [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]Come again? [/BCOLOR]The professor looked like a rabid dog; something definitely must have happened. Shin glanced sideways at Horatio who had the dumbest look on his face.

    [BCOLOR=#000000]“What are you doing, stupid?” [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]His eyes said it all...[/BCOLOR]
    [BCOLOR=#000000]Oh well. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]Shin lowered his arm. “I have to puke.”[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]. . . [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]. . .[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]He left the room in a bit of a hurry. Had he not, he would have likely been hit with the butt-end of a stapler. Also, he was almost late for something, and that something was not to throw up.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]Further down the hall, he slowed and descended a flight of steps to the first floor. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]Of course. The answer couldn’t have been infinity since infinity is a concept, rather than a number. Because you can’t measure infinity. You’d never live long enough to count that long.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]135, 136, 137—He was looking for room 142. Or was she in 144?[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]After such a traumatizing event, he wanted to see if she remembered anything. And if so, how well she was coping. A passing glance would tell him all he needed to know about the situation and how to plan his next moves.[/BCOLOR]
    #2 Tomatoe, Dec 8, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2015
    • Bucket of Rainbows Bucket of Rainbows x 1
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    Faye spent a few moments simply staring at the building before her, at the students rushing to class with half-finished cups of coffee in their hands and bags practically bursting with books. Everything was... normal. And yet, everything felt out of place too, almost unnatural. Thinking about it made her head hurt and she tilted her head back and squeezed her eyes shut. Figures, this was what she got for taking a silly dream too seriously.

    "Hey, Faye?" The familiar voice belonged to Steven, a friend from history class. He was a lanky brunette with thick-rimmed glasses and a Star Wars backpack he never left home without. "Nice Pajamas," he smiled sympathetically. "Running late for a test?"

    Faye noticed a few others staring at her and mustered up a laugh. "Yeah, really late. Why else would I be standing here in my pajamas, huh?"

    "Right, you should really stop talking to me and get to class then." Steven said with a mock frown as he began waving her off.

    Faye didn't say anything else, just gave him a half-salute before she made her way inside. Honestly, she didn't have a class till two in the afternoon, but what else could she say about the whole biking to school in her pajamas thing? That she'd did it because she'd dreamt about the place burning down and dying in the blaze with several others? Uh-huh, no, that'd make her look paranoid, maybe even a little crazy.

    As Faye walked down the halls a little aimlessly, Shin caught her eye.

    She didn't really know him, but she'd catch a glimpse of him every once in awhile. They'd pass each other in the halls, lock eyes in the cafeteria, normal things... but he always made her feel weird, watched. Not in the creepy stalker kind of way, but he just always seemed to be there. Heck, she'd passed him the other day, hadn't she? Right before that fire... that fire that never seemed to have happened.

    "Oh hey," it was the first words she'd spoken to him. "You don't look so hot, are you feeling okay?"

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    [BCOLOR=#000000]As more and more students filled the hallway, Shin withdrew to the far end where he could pass at his own pace without being a nuisance. He liked “people-watching”, nosing his way into the conversations of the students passing by; the more he watched, the more fine-tuned he became to the “ins” and “outs” of early adulthood. Frivolities like gossip and dating, celebrity who’s who and whatnot. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]Plus, he could always use more topics for conversation. How had Horatio put it? [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]You’re awkward. [/BCOLOR]​

    [BCOLOR=#000000]Apparently, had they not been forced into a group project together in the tenth grade, they would have never been friends. And even then, he’d mentioned, getting him to hang out outside of school was like pulling teeth. Shin couldn’t sit through a movie without falling asleep, much less a game of Battle Force III.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]Shin blinked through languid eyelids, spotting a familiar face approaching from a distance. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]He almost stopped in his tracks. So she’d showed up...just as he predicted she would. Shin eyed her carefully, analyzing her sense of presence: body language, gait, etc. Given yesterday’s events, Faye should’ve been dead. But thankfully this morning, she looked unscathed. A testiment to his handiwork, of course. He’d spent the night in pain because of it. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]Oh hey. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]He hesitated, producing a nod. Frankly, he didn’t have a clue how he was supposed to take her. He hadn’t expected her to talk to him at all, or to be so forward. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]“I don’t feel well,” he agreed, eyes leveling to the floor where he took an immediate interest to the bottom hem of her pajama pants. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]“Are you sick?” He wondered aloud, motioning to her outfit. Don’t people usually stay in their pajamas when they’re sick with something? Either way, he wasn’t that interested. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]All around the students kept filing, like a current in a stream with a huge rock in the middle. Time was likely shifting towards the hour, which meant class exchanges. Shin didn’t exactly have anywhere to be; he hadn’t been to his economics class since they had the last test, three weeks ago.[/BCOLOR]

    "Faye, right?" He offered his hand. "Nice to meet you."
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    Was she sick? No. Was she slowly losing her mind? Hopefully not. Faye decided to just forget about the weird dream about the fire and dead kids, because while getting spooked by a nightmare was one thing, taking it way too seriously was not exactly healthy. "Me sick? No. I mean, haven't you seen anyone walking around in their pajamas before?" Faye mustered up a smile. "It's like really comfy... and uh, if you haven't tried it yet, you should." Lame. Her excuse was horribly lame, but it was better than sounding like a pyromaniac.

    "Anyway, if you aren't feeling so good, you should go see the nurse. I can take you there." It wasn't like Faye had anywhere to be. Her next class wasn't until two in the afternoon after all, and if she went back to her flat, Mary would probably start worrying about her sanity. Faye was just about to ramble on when Shin stuck out his hand for a friendly shake. "Right, it's nice to meet you... er, Shin, right? I think we've seen each other once or twice at school events." The cogs and gears in her head began to turn and she clapped her hands together. "Oh, right! You're Horatio's friend." Faye didn't know Horatio too well, but she sat behind him in Chemistry and sometimes they'd talk about movies or other trivial things. Professor Browning was kind of a bore, and in order to stay awake and not flunk his class, Faye would sometimes start up random conversations with Horatio. Professor browning was never pleased, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

    Anyway, not wanting to linger in the halls during rush hour, Faye held onto Shin's wrist and began leading him towards the nurse's office. "I share a class with your friend," she said in hopes of filling the blanks.
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    [BCOLOR=#000000]“Has he mentioned me?” Shin wondered, cocking his head. It didn’t take him long to lose focus.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]Her hand was warm. It reminded Shin of distant times and the various activities they’d been involved in together, most of which she would never remember. Like once, when he taught her how to swim. When Faye latched on, she didn’t let go. As innocent as it was, the contact electrified him. In his entire existence, no one had ever bothered touching him with such purpose; not even his own mother. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]He cooperated as she led him through the hallways and up a flight of stairs to the nurse’s office. Inside sat a fairly young, bright-eyed lady with blonde curls and a warm smile. Shin had never met the woman before, but it was clear that she was a minority among the faculty working there. This was his first attempt at college, but he had already gotten the impression that for whatever reason, teachers just didn’t like to smile. They appeared to be fairly unhappy creatures, unfortunately. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]“How can I help you?” greeted the woman. Shin thought he and Faye must have looked like an odd pair; he looked odd without even trying, and she was still in pajamas. If the nurse noticed, she made no indication. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]How can I help you?[/BCOLOR]​

    [BCOLOR=#000000]‘Yes’, he thought. ‘Good question’. Medicine only ever worked for his muscle pain and stomach aches. If she had any of that pink liquid, that’d be great. He didn’t want to say that, though. That would make him sound like an idiot. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]“My stomach hurts, and I feel dizzy,” he replied, straightfaced.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]He noticed the wheels turning in her head for a moment. “Okay,” she said. “Have you eaten today?” [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]“Yes, I had breakfast.” Lie. He never ate breakfast, but that wasn’t why he felt sick. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=#000000]“Hmmm, let’s see. I might have something to give you then. Have a seat, okay? I’ll be right back.” [/BCOLOR]
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    The nurse disappeared and Faye stood quietly by Shin's side. Occasionally, she'd shoot him a worried glance, but mostly she was quiet. Headaches and noise were never a good combination, and she doubted Shin wanted to be asked tons of questions. If anything, he probably needed some space. Faye only broke the silence when Shin looked a little better. "He mentioned you a couple of times. Sounds like you guys are really good friends. We didn't really talk much," she paused to shrug. "Only when Prof Browning was being a huge bore... well, more of a bore than usual."

    Faye would have rambled on, but before she could say anything else, the nurse returned with two pills and a glass of water. She pressed the pills into Shin's hand then passed him the water. "This should help with your headache, but if it persists, you might want to take the rest of the day off." She gave him a sympathetic glance. "I can write up a note for you if you need one." Her sympathy seemed genuine. And without waiting for a response, she once again disappeared behind a curtain. The nurse reappeared moments later with a signed excuse note for Shin.

    The nurse said something about him staying for as long as he liked before disappearing once more behind the curtains, probably so she could return to her desk and finish whatever it was she was working on. The sound of fingers typing away on a keyboard echoed through the small clinic.

    Faye jerked her head towards the noise out of curiosity before once again focusing her gaze on Shin. "So, uh, do you want to rest up? Or do you need someone to walk you to... wherever it is you're going?" It wasn't like Shin couldn't walk himself or anything, but since he was feeling sick and all, it would be the kind thing to do. That, and she didn't want him passing out, he still looked pretty out of it.

    "I don't really have anywhere to be."
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