Paper Wolf


greg_icon.gif tamara_icon.gif

Scene Title Paper Wolf
Synopsis Tamara delivers a message.
Date February 28, 2018

Farkas Psychiatric

Piano music emanates from a record player, Debussy’s Clair de Lune. The sound feels cavernous in the high-ceilinged office of Gregory Farkas, dimly lit merely by the early morning daylight filtering in through the pair of twenty foot tall windows at the far side of the office, and the amber glow of his brass-shaded desk lamp to his right. Seated at his desk, Greg works on a letter under the lamplight, glasses slouched just so down the bridge of his nose.

Father, the letter begins, and Greg is careful to ensure his penmanship is immaculate. I never received a letter from you in February. I’d begun to worry that your situation has deteriorated. I’ve spoken with Amilee over the phone since then and she insists you’re in good health. I admit I miss our monthly correspondence. Greg breathes in deeply, rolls his fountain pen between his fingers as he stares thoughtfully to the windows, then back down to the letter. It may be a while yet before I can find the time to come back overseas to visit, the work here feels never-ending. But, the situation in the EU isn’t stable, and I worry that you aren’t safe there anymore. You should come to America, you could stay with me and

Greg stops writing, brows furrowed. A floorboard creaks somewhere beyond where he’s sitting. Slowly setting down his fountain pen, Greg looks around his office with brows furrowed and jaw set. Very slowly, he begins to reach for the drawer in his desk where he keeps a revolver.

"Don't worry, you won't need that."

The voice is a woman's, its source the windows he stared past unseeing just moments before. Or rather, just to their right. The speaker leans casually against against a support post of the room's encircling balcony, hands casually low, holding what seems to be a single square piece of paper before her. She's dressed in everyday wear, dark pants and a dark blouse with purple floral print, shoulder-length hair unbound. She casts him a smile as amiably pleasant as the reassurance already given, then briefly drops her gaze to the paper she holds, folding it once, twice, with special attention to the creases formed.

"I just thought we could talk. That's what you do, right?"

Slowly, Greg pulls the drawer out while watching Tamara with all the wide-eyed wariness of a prey animal. He does, indeed, withdraw the revolver from his desk but chooses to lay it down atop the letter he was writing, then slowly closes the desk drawer and folds his hands in his lap. Leaning back in his chair, the psychiatrist arches one brow.

“That's a gross understatement, but I appreciate the brevity.” Greg’s eyes wander the other side of the balcony, a brief paranoid movement before he looks back to Tamara. “I don't suppose what you're carrying is a handwritten apology for breaking into my home?” One corner of his mouth twitches into a smile, tense but affecting affability.

Tamara returns her attention to the paper as the psychiatrist settles his gun to his own satisfaction, apparently completely unconcerned by the weapon's conspicuous placement. She folds the paper into a triangle, inverts it, folds corners back.

Her gaze lifts as she speaks again, and Tamara smiles, amused in a sincerely genial way. "There wasn't any breaking," she assures him, earnest in setting that particular record straight. She steps out from the shadow of the balcony in a casual, drifting fashion, perhaps drawn forward by the ongoing conversation; and she stops well short of the desk, before any chance of pushing the man over the edge of tension.

Her hands continue to work at the paper, turning two corners up and another down, and others down again. In better lighting, its color becomes discernible, a shade the poetic might call dove gray. "No writing either. You're already doing that, anyway," she remarks.

Blue eyes lift, eyes just a bit darker than they should be, irises thinned more than the wan morning light accounts for. Eyes that seem to see through the man behind the desk in some sense. "Writing a letter." Tamara tips her head to one side, raises her brows in a prompting fashion. "One that has a very long ways to go."

Greg’s brows tense, he watches the paper folding with momentary uncertainty. Possibilities flit through his mind: matter manipulation, papyrokinesis, dimensional folding, origami enthusiast. His eyes settle on her instead, and he stays with straight-backed posture with one hand flat on his desk beside the gun. Telepath? He can't stop theorizing.

“If you wanted to schedule an appointment,” Greg starts with an extremely thin veneer of sarcasm. “My number is publicly listed.” The implication is clear enough, but he makes it abundantly so. “Or is this a social call?” Pointedly, Greg doesn't ask for a name, doesn't offer his though anonymity seems like something of a foregone conclusion at this point.

Tamara smiles as Greg studies her, the kind of close-lipped, crooked smile that says nice try, play again. That smile fades in the moment before he speaks; she lifts her chin, regards him from the edge of her vision, a look that approaches feline in the quality of its dubious reservation. "No, I don't think so," she says at last. A reply that could belong to any of his prompts… or all of them at once.

All the while, her hands keep moving, seemingly unattended. The paper becomes an amalgamation of triangles pointing in various directions, begins to take on a three-dimensionality owing solely to the many contours of its folds. She drifts forwards a few more steps as he contemplates, as she replies, nothing threatening in her manner except the mere fact of her presence: unwanted, unasked-for, intentions unclear.

"We can be social," the seer continues after a brief silence, focusing directly on him once again. "That part's up to you." She smiles again, broad, amiable, reassuring. Or so the expression would be, if the intruded-upon homeowner were minded to take it so. "Don't worry; I know that's too much to expect today."

Nervous eyes move about the room, half expecting to see other shadows nearby. Finding none, Greg eases back into his chair with a soft creak of supple leather. “Okay,” is him buying time as he tries to puzzle this situation out. Greg’s hands come up to steeple in front of his mouth. Eyes never leaving Tamara’s steady advance.

“Why,” Greg spreads his hands, brows lifting slowly. “Are you here?” The enunciation is clear enough, he doesn't understand. He assumes the barrier is somewhere between words and intentions, but the origami happening is somehow making him more nervous. A head of sweat has formed at his hairline.

“Moreover, what do you want?” Greg’s second question is just a bit more anxious than the last.

Her hands form more triangles, change their orientations. The smile leaches from her expression, replaced by something more somber, pensive, evaluating. "I want you to think," Tamara replies, "about words. About the silent spaces between."

"About options," she continues, folding ends of triangles down, shaping what seem to be the last touches on — whatever she's creating. At the same time, she crosses the last span of floor separating her from the edge of the desk. "Yours, and others."

Tamara makes one last adjustment to the creation in her hands, then reaches out, resting it on the psychiatrist's desk, oriented toward shim. Carefully balanced on four slender legs, narrow muzzle, pricked ears, pointed tail: it's a dog. Or perhaps, given the gray paper, a different breed altogether. "About being social." The woman slants a look up towards him; this time, the smile doesn't quite reach her eyes, fails to soften the keen light of her gaze. "…or not."

Sharp as that look is, its intent remains decidedly ambiguous: A threat? A promise? An invitation?

The seer holds him there a moment, transfixed. And then that moment passes as she straightens, takes a step back. "You have company coming," she informs him, words casual now, her expression as affable as when they'd begun. The smile Tamara casts is crooked, decidedly wry. "I'll show myself out."

The origami sculpture draws Greg’s attention in sharp focus. His expression drains of color, jaw set and neck muscles working up and down in slow swallow. He's transfixed by the shapes, the stark gray coloration and the sharpness of its angles. When Greg finally draws breath again and snaps his attention away from the origami, she's gone.

Greg bolts up from his desk, chair wheeling a few feet away behind him. He looks around the room, lips parted in soft uncertainty, heart beating firmly in his chest. He raises a hand, feeling the steady beat of his pulse at his neck and jolts when the grandfather clock down the hall chimes on the hour.

Quickly he snatches up the origami dog, and pitches it into the softly crackling fireplace behind his desk. Watching it burn, the fire is reflected in the lenses of Greg’s glasses.

He has company coming.

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