Fortunes Told


eve2_icon.gif sibyl_icon.gif

Scene Title Fortunes Told
Synopsis The first one's always free.
Date February 20, 2018

Cat's Cradle

The air is chilly this early afternoon in the Safe Zone, but still the door to Cat’s Cradle stands open. The afternoon bartender isn’t in sight, maybe they’re on break? There’s a spotlight that’s been left on but that’s the only light currently on in the place. There’s music playing from somewhere though. A door stands propped open in the corner and once descending there is a small hallway. There are christmas lights hung up along the walls giving off a dim light.

At the end of the hallway are two doors shut, one painted white and one painted black. The white one was plain and had a padlock on it. The black door more curious, an old fashioned clock is embedded in the door it’s gears rewinding backwards never stopping. The music that is playing softly is coming from that door.

That the bartender is on break turns out to be a stroke of luck for Eve’s newest customer. Sibyl Black, in possession of a fake ID that professes her age to be sixteen and her name to be Sibyl Epstein, might otherwise be turned away at the entrance and sent back outside into the snow.

Hands covered in a pair of fingerless wool gloves dust microscope fragments of ice from her coat and hair, which hangs in a loose, disordered bun at the nape of her neck. She tucks errant curls behind her left ear as she pauses in the doorway and searches the room for signs of life with eyes that are a little too calculating for someone her age.

Or maybe Sibyl’s shrewd nature is simply a product of the world in which they both must live in. Floorboards creak under her weight but do not alert the missing bartender to the teen’s presence. She crosses the room and places the tips of her fingers on the door’s handle.

Something, she does not know what, compels her to turn it and step inside.

Inside the girl finds herself in a large room covered from the walls for the floor in fabrics, large pillows are thrown around everywhere. The light from the room today is solely from the fireplace in the corner, casting shadows on the wall.

All around hanging on the walls are paintings, ones that have come to past, ones that have not and ones that are unfinished and may not be prophetic at all.

Sitting against the wall puffing off of her joint Eve turns a head towards to regard the girl with a blink before she smiles wide and nods at the girl. “Well.” Is her form of a greeting. She gestures across from her, a fresh plate of cookies sit in front of her the steam still rolling off them a bit.

Before Sibyl can move she is nabbing one for herself and taking a bite before leaning back against the wall. “Hm?”

Well, this is weird.

Also: This is probably the part where Sibyl should be backing out of the room and creaking the door shut behind her. Probably. Cookies, however, are high in caloric content and Sibyl is looking a little too thin even for her small, wiry frame. It’s been a rough winter.

She looks at Eve like Alice must have looked at the Caterpillar from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: with some awe, but mostly trepidation. The air in here is very hazy, and will make her feel lightheaded and bubbly if she decides to stay more than a few minutes.

“You’re Eve Mas,” she says.

“That is my name, there are others.” A dip of her head in the girl's direction. The smoke wafts up towards the ceiling as the seer munches on more of the cookie. “Is it good?” Referring to the cookies, she had long begun to actually pay attention when she put things in the oven. It's paid off.

There's a shifting of movement and then she's leaning over and using matches to light a bunch of candles sitting on the tables around them. An eyebrow quirks as she studies the girl. She doesn't ask Sibyl’s name nor try to guess it. Instead she stares into her eyes, searching for something.

The whispers in the back of her head stir, rising in volume but they were always rising in volume and she was managing it today. Very well too.

Sibyl couldn’t tell Eve whether or not the cookies are any good; the smell attached to the smoke has her second-guessing whether or not she wants to take the risk and put one in her mouth. She meets the seer’s gaze and holds it. The first thing Eve notices is that her eyes are a smoky blue-gray, the colour of the sky on a winter morning in the first hour after sunrise when the world is still a little dark and requires street lamps to illuminate it.

The second thing Eve notices is that she doesn’t shy away. “The sign outside says you read fortunes.”

“If you'd like.”

Is the simple reply and Eve is not studying the girl anymore but instead looking up at the ceiling. “Free of charge, sit,” her eyes flick to the pillow on opposite of her on the other side of the plate of cookies. Her pale skin is illuminated by the fire in the corner. “You are small.” It's a brief reflection as she watches the teen, “But you're not as young as you look.” This isn't a reading yet, just Eve being Eve.

Ruffling the raven dark mane of hair, the seer levels Sibyl with a look and tilts her head. “Your hand.” It's a simple request and Eve extends a pale hand towards the girl, Sibyl can decline if she’d like. But that would defeat the purpose of why the young girl has come here.

It stands to reason that if Sibyl knows who Eve is, then she’s also aware of what the woman can do. No one should take a sign like Fortunes Told with even a grain of salt.

“I know,” she says as she reaches out and rests her hand in Eve’s outstretched palm. That she’s small, she means. The assertion that she’s older than she looks has a frown tugging at the corners of her mouth, but maybe she should be flattered. What thirteen year old girl doesn’t wish she was sixteen or even eighteen instead?

At the touch, Eve’s vision clouds over, the wispy haze of her marijuana smoke seeming to thicken in the air as it transforms from gray to a dense, choking mustard-yellow gas. She’s no longer in the interior of her parlor, but somewhere where the trees are so tall that their dark canopies blend in with the cloud cover overhead. Rain assails her face.

The seer smells damp earth and new growth. She’s standing in that strange place where winter transitions into spring; although the air is cold, snowdrops are opening from beneath the layer of last year’s dead leaves on the ground around her, and the branches look like they’ve been dipped in pale green and white paint where this year’s buds are beginning to show.

She might be somewhere on Staten Island, she thinks, deep inside the greenbelt. The negation gas roils around her feet and swims across the ground, sinking into the forest’s natural dips. Eve hears the wet, shuddery sound of someone else’s panicked breathing in the undergrowth. A rifle cocks with the sharpness of a snapped twig.

Here little kitty-cat, little kitty-cat,” a rough voice sings-songs, off-key. “Come out, come out wherever you are…

There’s the crack of a gunshot, followed by a short, hitching squeal, and then—

She’s back inside the parlor. The smoke in the room has mostly dissipated, but Sibyl is still standing across the table from Eve, watching her with a cloudy expression of muted concern.

As that vision plays in Eve’s mind, her eyes cloud over milky white and she tilts her head as her breathing becomes slow and deep. Taking long pulls of air, snapping out of the vision with a gasp her head snaps up to look at Sibyl and she jumps to her feet in a crouch. “There’s that gas, it’ll take away your uniqueness dear.” Reeling from the induced vision she leans backwards on her heels propping herself up on the wall to catch her breath. It can still take the wind out of her.

The seer has a brief moment of regret, she shouldn’t have read this girl. No girl should have to know this these things.. Well.. She unexpectedly leans forward and studies the girl, “Why are they after you kitty cat? That might be the question you’re seeking to answer.” A light shrug and Eve is leaning back again nabbing another cookie and biting into it. “Prowling around Staten Island might be an mistake. Keep your Protectors close..” The dark haired woman looks at Sibyl with concern and she shakes her head. “All up in the trees, swinging feet, there’s a monster in the greenbelt.

The smokey haze of the room makes Eve squint at the young girl in front of her. “Have you been watching them?”

“You’re the second person who’s told me that today,” Sibyl says. Leave Staten Island alone. The rest of Eve’s warning is more difficult to decipher, and she’s not sure she has the energy to do that much mental detangling today. “I’m not sure what you’re talking about,” she adds, slow and cautious, mindful of every word she chooses to use without drawing them out. “Negation gas is illegal.”

“Well do you intend on listening?” Eve’s eyebrows raise and she drags the tip of her finger idly on the surface of the beat up table, a flick of her gaze upwards to the ceiling, intending to mean topside, the city. “And everyone around here completely abides by the law.” A sarcastic tone is thrown Sibyl’s way and the older woman is shaking her head and sucking her teeth in regards to negation gas being illegal.

“Do you abide by the laws? There's. There is a voice in the forest, that negation gas is there Kitty Cat, that's what it calls you.” Eve places that trailing finger to her temple and taps it. “That rough voice.. there's a gunshot. Bang.” A finger gun pointed up at the roof. “There is danger.”

Well that's everyday life especially these days.

“Are you sure it isn’t a metaphor?” Sibyl asks, a cutting note to her tone that she wishes she could dull when she hears it. She presses her lips into a thin line before she says something else that’s meaner than she probably intended it to be.

She takes back her hand and looks down at her fingers, curling them back into her fist. “I don’t believe in visions,” she confides in the prophet after a moment of sullen contemplation, “not if they haven’t happened yet, not if they aren’t happening now. I only believe in things I can see.” And sometimes not even then. “Thank you, though. How much do I owe you?”

There's a snap of her head as if she was slapped and then Eve is cackling, slamming her hand up and down on the beat up table. “It's all a fucking metaphor!” She says it sarcastically but there's a bite to her tone, she eyes the teen. So yea, she did a thing and it follows her around.

A snort as Sibyl declares what she believes in. There's a bit of a hum as she ignores the teen for a moment and leans over to dig in a bag near her, her other free hand going to nab the spliff out of the ashtray. “You believe what you want Sibyl Epstein.” she says the name that is printed on her ID.

At the mention of what she sees Eve pauses, “Sister Seer?” A dimpled smile crosses her face, it's a wild look though. Not exactly comforting. Eve withdraws a pale hand from the bag and shows a tiny delicate looking bell. It clinks in her hand as she moves forward fast and grabs the girl’s hand hard pressing the bell into her fingers.

“Do not be so full of yourself that you don't take others perspectives, there are too many sides to be willfully ignorant.” Her face close to Sibyl’s staring into those eyes deeply, “This one is on me.” Keeping her hand over Sibyl’s making sure she keeps ahold of the bell. “If you get in trouble, ring that bell.”

Yea she's serious.

Sibyl has a bell now, apparently, whether she likes it or not. Perhaps not to offend Eve further, she tucks it into the pocket of her coat. The name Epstein has the muscles in the girl’s shoulders and neck going taut, and she stiffens. Her fingers creep across to her left breast and the interior pocket she keeps that particular identification card. The edge of her thumb traces its outline, reassuring her that it’s still there and Eve isn’t sneaking a look at the rest of her paperwork under the table.

It’s time to go.

“Thank you,” she says again, “for the fortune, and for the— bell.” Her voice sounds as though it might tick upward at the end of that sentence, like it’s a question. Even Sibyl isn’t sure.

Eve tends to have that effect on people.

Wordlessly, she slips out of the parlor through the same door she came in, and makes a beeline for the building’s exit before the bartender — recently returned from his break — has the opportunity to ask her for her ID. Not that he needs to.

Eve apparently already knows the most important thing on it.

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