A Key


ff_eve_icon.gif ff_kendall_icon.gif

Scene Title A Key
Synopsis Kendall comes to steal but leaves with a job instead.
Date October 1, 2020

The Forthright

Much of the history and legends of the world have been lost since the Flood, so the younger generations found themselves needing to make up new stories of their own, dredged up from what the older generation remembers, what few stories survived in the library, and things they themselves remembered back before the world was destroyed.

Tales of an old sea witch, stories passed around that there’s magic, treasure, secrets of the unknown, stories that younger kids would eat up. Among the older kids, there’s boldfaced lies about certain people behind their backs, embellishments intended to goad each other to do stupid things.

One such story led Kendall to brag that he could sneak in and get the better of this lady out living on a boat by herself, and a challenge was thrown down for him to do just that. At the risk of losing face, he had no choice but to agree, so with some misgivings he set out in a borrowed boat, suddenly not looking so confident.

No one was visible anywhere, so after making himself and the rowboat invisible, he stealthily approached, pulling himself on board….

Except things didn’t turn out as planned.

Years later…

He has to be given credit for trying. Not only has he refused to give up, Kendall had racked his brain for anything he could possibly think of that would enable him to finally, finally get the jump on this old lady. He’s come up with a plethora of ideas that would enable him to escape detection, and this time, this time, he’s finally going to get her.

She’s still in that crappy old boat, the Forthright. Kendall is well familiar with it by now, and he pauses on his approach to glare at it stubbornly. Rather than having to borrow a boat now, Kendall has been able to manifest one just big enough to fit him and a small bag. He’s laying low, peering around a building as he watches it. He knows she’s there, probably lying in wait.

After a short while to make sure no one’s around, and with a look of concentration, he makes both himself and the boat vanish, and even ripples in the water are hidden as he moves it towards his target.

Making sure even the noises aren’t heard, once he arrives he slings the bag over his shoulder and creates rungs of a ladder on the side, pulling himself up even as the boat vanishes behind him. As he gets to the railing, he freezes in place, listening.

A pair of yellow eyes peer down in his direction, three pairs actually followed by a meowing, the cats always know. And the Forthright? Was still full of them.

As Kendall gets to the deck he finds most lights out and the cats free roaming, the fact that Mad Eve was docked made it so the other local stray cats could meander, hang with their friends and maybe even hitch a ride along the old woman's adventures. The sound of music begins to seep out from the door leading below deck, nudged open by a fat tabby cat.

No Mad Eve, no Poppy.

Perhaps they were out.

A black cane slams down on his head hard right as he pulls himself onto the boat. "Where in the goddess do you think you're going you cheeky fuck? HM?"

The stories were true.

It’s always been a strange thing that his illusions don’t seem to work on cats, they always find him regardless. Maybe there’s some truth to the myth that cats can see ghosts because they’re half in the spirit realm, or whatever. Glaring at the cat that meowed, Kendall pulls himself up to balance on the railing, pulling the bag off his back and pulling out… a small fish. He lightly tosses it across the boat to the other side. He’s done this before, so maybe they expect it now. Sigh. Stupid cats.

Kendall vanishes from sight again, landing lightly on his feet on deck. He knows by now where all the squeaky boards are, but this time he has a new destination. Rather than sneak inside, he creates more footholds and climbs up the top of the cabin. Surely, surely she won’t expect this. Maybe she left one of her windows unlocked.

The crack of the cane on his head knocks Kendall silly and he almost faceplants on the deck. “Ow, what the hell!” He sees stars for a few seconds before he shakes his head and stares at Eve like a deer in headlights. Oh… that’s a problem. “I, uh…” well there isn’t really any explaining this, so instead he bolts for the borrowed boat, sliding down the fireman’s pole that suddenly appears to expedite his escape onto it. Braver now that she’s not standing right there to assault him with her cane again, he flips her off. “Fuck off, lady!”

Shit. He can’t go back without something or he’ll never hear the end of it.

There indeed is a window open, wide open in fact. More cats could be heard inside and a creaking sound, creak then a pause, creak then another.

Just as Kendall's foot disappears from view up on the cabin a young woman with platinum blonde hair strides out on deck, looking around with piercing eyes. Poppy Norwood was only here for a smoke and not that there were rules about smoking indoors but when you're out on sea being below deck could get old, cramped and smelly.

At least the salt in the air was something she never seemed to grow tired of. Lighting her cigarette and walking over to the railing to lean with her back to Kendall.

"I'll wash your mouth out with soap you snot nosed shit bird! GET OVER HERE!"


Is she shooting at him?

The old woman's mad cackle fills the air as she reloads and fires more rounds at the young man with her Desert Eagle. The recoil making her head snap back, laughing harder with each shot until she's become a banshee in the night. Her cry high and shrill and never ending accompanied with the large BOOMS of the gunshots.

Pieces of the boat fly up into the air as she shoots many a hole into the structure.

Window is open, huh. That should make things easier. Kendall is about to infiltrate, but movement that isn't a cat catches his eye. Warily, he peers over, but it isn't Eve. Oh, it's her, he thought she wasn't on board at this time. Hmm. That might complicate things.

Well, she's over there smoking, so that means she'll be busy doing that for at least the next five minutes. Ignoring the meowing, Kendall returns his attention to the window. Since it's already open, that means it won't make any noise.

Bracing himself on the edge, Kendall inverts himself, peering upside-down into the opened window warily, checking for signs of life other than all the cats. He's still invisible, trying to give himself as much of an advantage as he could.

"WHAT THE FUCK!!" Kendall shrieks as the gun aims his way and she starts SHOOTING AT HIM. Shit, shit, shit! Reflexively he brings up what looks like a police riot shield, and a stray shot ricochets off the edge, causing him to grunt in pain. It doesn't seem like that reaction was to the physical strike, owing to the sudden grimace and the way the shield wavers like a mirage before reforming again.

The boat he borrowed isn't so lucky, and the ricocheted shot hits the side of it. It's still above the waterline, but water seeps through with each wave.

"STOP SHOOTING AT ME YOU CRAZY BITCH!" well that's not exactly going to endear him to her.

Kendall sees cats through the haze of smoke that wafts into his face.

Many of them.

Prowling around in Eve's cabin, climbing over each other as they meow and yowl. Various bowls half empty with milk lay around the room, some pressed up against paintings. That was the other thing, painting after painting. It was a wonder there was room for much else. How big was her cabin?

Outside Poppy continues her smoking, not paying attention to anything going on behind her.

Some of the paintings were covered with cloth, blankets. Others were covered over by all black painting as if Eve wanted to forget those. One that stands out shows a young woman screaming… or cackling while she falls through a tunnel of iridescent colors. Oddly it looked a little like Mad Eve with the tangle of dark hair just, much younger. Maybe she was reliving her glory days through art.

Another just behind it shows two figures wrapped in a tight embrace, eyes closed. One blonde, one hair as dark as Eve's embracing beneath clear blue waters. It almost looks as if the two are passing through each other.

In the middle of the room is a large black armchair. How Eve has kept it without it becoming severely molded over the years is anyone's guess but it does appear to be rocking back and forth. It's hot in there, almost unbearable.

The cats are not a surprise to Kendall, he's known for years that Eve is a crazy cat lady. The bowls of milk, however, makes one wonder where exactly Mad Eve gets… you know what? Nevermind. Best not to think about it too hard.

The paintings are glanced at curiously, but Kendall isn't going to let them distract him from his 'mission'. The moving armchair, however, is what grabs his attention the most. Since he doesn't see anything else moving aside from that and the clowder of cats yowling everywhere, he carefully pulls himself through the window, setting himself down while trying to make the least amount of noise. Is Eve sitting in that chair? Before he approaches, however, he takes a moment to look around again, gaze lingering on a couple paintings. Pity most of those are too big to snatch.

"What did I tell you?"

Eve's rasp is harsh, cutting through the various purrs and meows. The kitties know their mother though, sensing her energy a change bubbles in the atmosphere. One fat tabby perched atop the big armchair bristles and hisses directly at Kendall.

Gray grizzly hair wrapped into a messy bun can be seen as the deranged woman herself, Mad Eve rears her head. Looking at the exact spot Kendall stands in with hardened brown eyes. "The last time, you brought your dirty little fingers into my home, HMM?" Draped in all black, a robe of sorts. She must be barefoot because no sounds of soles hitting the deck as she climbs out of the chair and rounds the chair, hunched over for a moment but she is soon squaring her shoulders back, openly glaring.

"THE NEXT TIME YOU COME TO MY DOOR IT BETTER BE WITH SWEETS OR I'LL RIP YOUR TINY FRIENDS OFF WITH MY TEETH!" A rather loud barking noise can be heard coming from Mad Eve as she then howls into laughter.

"Do you have your ticket, to this ride?"

tut tut

Her wooden staff bangs on the floor. "Hmm?"

tut tut

Fuck. There's no way she should be able to see him like that, what the actual hell. The tabby hissing at him is spared an irritated glare before Kendall returns his attention to the crazy lady. "I'd like to see you try!" he snaps back, breaking his illusion, but the uncertain note in his voice shows this is more a case of false bravado. After all, who even knows what Mad Eve would be capable of?

Nevertheless, and with more than his share of bad attitude, Kendall takes a smaller bag out and throws it at her. At first glance, it's filled with some dark green plant matter. Despite first assumptions, it turns out to be a bunch of dried seaweed, which does at least have a naturally sweet taste. "If you think I'm going to waste money on you buying sugary things, think again, old hag." Money being a rather loose term nowadays, but whichever. Despite the fact that Eve is standing right there, Kendall surreptitiously glances around the room. Maybe he can grab something and make a run for it without getting clobbered. Or /shot//.

"Hm." The old woman catches it with surprising quickness and mulls it over with a frown. Not exactly what she had hoped for but she could make her own cookies later. None that would go to this common thief! "Tribute is accepted. Have a seat you ungrateful little twink. I put tea on." Eve's many cats make way for Kendall to come closer if he dares.

"Don't just stand there, SIT!"

This has certainly taken a turn. She hums as she sweeps over to a nearby counter and picks up a small tray with two tea cups that are chipped and a steaming kettle of hot water. There seems to be some organic teas in leaf form in bowls scattered around the tray. "Ah! Perhaps we shall try a new brew hmmm?"

Clapping her hands together quite loudly after she places the tray on a small table nearby. Eve plops down onto one of the many large pillow cushions thrown around the room. Shaking the baggy of dried seaweed and taking a few pinches for each cup, followed by minced ginger, lemon and honey. As the hot water seeps over it all she takes a deep breath and grins widely. "Ho Ho Ho! We might have a winner."


Setting his jaw, Kendall waits just long enough after the second repetition to underline the fact that he isn't going to let her order him around like a dog. With a disgruntled glare at her, he stares her down before finally taking a seat, with the carefully comported air of someone who is doing so as a favor.

The tea making is watched suspiciously, his arms crossed, though every now and then his gaze still shifts around the room, waiting for an opportunity. Maybe he can palm some small item when she isn't looking, like a spoon that wouldn't be missed. Just because she caught him again doesn't mean he can't still complete his 'mission'.

He stays stubbornly quiet, not commenting on or replying to her cackling to herself over the tea. When her back is turned, he stealthily reaches over towards a small utensil of some sort. He's not familiar with the names of most of them beyond the usual forks/knives/spoons. Even as he does so, he watches her warily.

"Hmmm." Is all Eve says as her back is turned then she's whirled around again and eyeing Kendall with one raised eyebrow. From below, between her legs the ends of her robe start to rustle and there peeks a green head of a tortoise, "Bean! What are you doing there, you lovely thing you."

The tortoise doesn't look at Mad Eve or Kendall, he just shuffles slowly. The cats nose him but otherwise don't harass him, he is a grandpa like Eve is a grandma. Respect is due.

At least Bean got some.

"If you're going to work for me then name your price already, all the sulking around goddess me!" Mad Eve cackles and looks at Kendall as if he's grown a second head, sipping her tea.

Kendall snatches his hand away when Eve turns around, the antics surrounding the turtle utterly ignored beyond reaffirming that Eve is crazy for talking to cats and turtles. Even as he does so, however, the small object vanishes from sight. Maybe if she doesn't see something there, she won't notice if it actually disappears.

"What do you mean, work for you? For some crazy old hag on a ship covered in cat shit?" Well, there's no evidence of that, of course, but surely it's a valid assumption. There is a moment of thought, though, and Kendall flicks a glance her way. "Even assuming I'd have the lapse of judgment to even consider it, what would it entail?" Despite all his bluster, it's blatantly obvious he's still intimidated by her.


The barrel of a large golden painted gun is lifted and pointed at Kendall's chest. Mad Eve doesn't look angry though, she looks excited. "You can keep your life if you agree to terms. HM?" She may be old but her arms don't shake, she tilts her head and eyes the young man up and down. Just like that the gun is stored away in her robes again and she cackles. "Well you'd be doing your part in saving an old woman, a load of heartache you silly duck!" Hooting and hollering as if duh that was a worthy enough prize.

"I need you to rise above yourself, firm back. Feet planted, in the face of overwhelming odds." The old woman sounds serious? In this moment. Her gaze is unwavering in her seat. It's an odd change of pace but Eve doesn't change the way she looks at Kendall.

One painting that might have missed Kendall's notice becomes very apparent as Eve's eyes linger on it. A canvas filled with color, red everywhere like the color of blood but a mass of some sort also colored the same hue sits in the middle. Next to it, a figure shrouded in shadow reaches out to touch the red cloud.

She's quiet for a few more agonizing or annoying seconds.

Then she smiles.

It's almost as if that moment hadn't just happened.

"It's really of no consequence to a crafty one like you, good at lying, holding things or secrets close to the chest. Yes?" Mad Eve tilts her head, "I just need you to hold something for me. Until the right time. Easy!"

When Eve threatens him with a gun again, he grits his teeth, lifting his hands up halfheartedly. He's not sure he can block a gunshot that close. In stubborn silence he listens to what she has to say. What, is she trying to hire him to be part of her crew, or something? The gun disappearing doesn't make him relax one bit, as unpredictable as she is. Odds are, she could draw it again and actually shoot him this time at the drop of a hat.

Kendall notices her staring over at a painting and despite everything, he looks over too, curious. "That's a lot of red." And that obvious statement is all he has to say on the matter. When she finally finishes beating about the bush and tells him what she wants, though, it sounds too good to be true. "….what is it?" Well maybe being given something would still count. "And that's not flattering, you know." She just called him a liar, that's rude as hell. His eyes dart over to the door and back, gauging distance. Maybe he can make a run for it. He is intrigued by her request, however.

"To you it's not!" Is thrown back at the young man delightfully and Mad Eve cackles, ignoring his comment on the painting for now to produce a simple, old fashioned key from her pocket with a long brown leather string through the loop. "Be my Key Keeper. Mm?" She tosses the key and smiles, "It's vital you do not lose that. You will know when to use it."

"That silverware is a down payment, you'll find a drawer covered with a sheet when you exit my home. That is the rest of the down payment. Do you understand?"

It might seem like a ridiculous request but many who travel the seas have known to not ignore the old woman's strange behavior.

"That sounds awfully fair to me!"

There goes that demented grin again.

Oh for fuck's sake, why can't he ever win against this crazy lady? The key is eyed though, and he looks from it to Eve curiously. Hold a key for her. And it unlocks something? Something cool, maybe? A treasure chest? Nah, that's silly, that's only in kids' books.

Nevertheless, Kendall catches the key and looks it over, then back at Mad Eve. "Yeah… fine." He pockets the key (and the spoon, since she already KNOWS) and slips out of the chair. He keeps her in his line of sight as he moves to leave in case she decides to do anything else crazy, but if she doesn't, he'll make good his escape, though he will check out the other thing she mentioned.

"Excellent, now run along! Yes yes!" Mad Eve claps with excitement and winks at the man's retreating back. "Remember! Don't lose it! Or you might lose your head!" The old woman screams with laughter and claps the side of her arm chair as a cat leaps into her lap and she pets it with a wide grin.

She waits until the young man has exited the cabin and taken his silver before she chuckles softly to herself and takes another sip of her tea. "That's one down my dears." Being left alone allows Eve to be herself totally and that means looking entirely too exhausted. With a long look out the window she sighs, breath rattling. Something else rattles too, a pill bottle she pulls from one of her pockets.

Shake shake

There are only a few left, a dozen. Popping the cap off and downing one with some tea, Mad Eve settles herself and continues to look out of the window.

The felines sense the stillness in the old woman, knowing what she aims to do now. A soft gasp and brown eyes milk over to a pearly white. With a head tilt, eyebrows raise and the seer nods to herself. "Yes…"



The children


A Gate


The Empty


Stormy clouds

A figure hunched over



Green light


The Sun, Eclipse, the Moon

The children


A Rip

A Queen

A Young Girl

The Black




A Trio

Rose petals fall

A Meeting

She Comes

The Fall

The White






"…I can see."

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