isis_icon.gif zachery_icon.gif

Scene Title Neverwhere
Synopsis In the In Between. The space between consciousness. The Neverwhere.
Date August 24, 2019

It’s dark here.

The kind of dark that has its own living murky quality to it - moving, shifting, revealing what it wants only when it wants….

A stairwell. The steps are old, likely to protest at any passersby whose weight is larger than a slinky cat’s. On one side a wall of rough fieldstone bears cracks and crevices, a few glossy with trickles of leaking liquid. On the other, a metal banister should offer support, but its intricate wrought ironwork is embellished with bitter black thorns.

The darkness breaths again and moves…


A small shape is slumped at the base of the stairs, wedged into the corner where the stone wall and dirt floor turn off into deeper darkness. Even the living shadows cannot disguise the mop of red. Her head tips back with a thud to reveal a pallid face.

Isis’s eyes are brighter here; her frame smaller, her features sharper. She’s harder. Knife-like. She looks up the stairs expectantly.

With a distortion in the black, something begins to appear where her eyes are locked. As if on the very last step of a long walk, a second figure pulls out of the darkness and onto the very top step of the stairs. The creak of bending wood is heavy, almost melodic.

Nothing about this new figure is brighter than it should be. It's just dark, unfamiliar. It's as if the darkness from which it emerged would like to cling a moment longer. Save for… one eye, lighting up white just as a shadowy hand reaches out for the banister.

Thorns and all.


Heat rises from below. Maybe this is not a stairwell at all. The living darkness, the leaking liquid, and that heat. It’s the throat of some beast.

The wall at the bottom undulates in a slow-rolling wave, pushing the redhead to her feet. She catches the base of the bannister.

Thorns and all.

The thorns pierce. The two figures don’t feel it here. Not in their hands - where the thorns grow barbs of their own deeper, more gnarled into flesh. Not in their wrists or forearms - where the wrought iron banister begins to entwine like sentient ivy and encroach up their skin.

They feel it in the Elsewhere. In their guts. Yanking.

“Are you sure?” she whispers, but the throaty stairwell carries her query up with the hollow echoing quality of a megaphone.

The thorns and ivy pull anyway.

Just as a wave rolls through the darkness that surrounds, the unfamiliar figure standing at the top holds tightly onto whatever it finds in its grasp. Simultaneously because of the question, but also the fact that what was grabbed has grabbed back.

It is not a deterrent, though.

With the bend of an elbow, another footfall finds another step, and another step finds another creak. This time less melodic and more… guttural, accompanying another waft of hot air that seems to take away some of the darkness so readily clinging to this visitor's shape.

"I offered, didn't I?" Zachery's voice sounds out much more quietly in response, though no less stable. It's as if he's been asked this many times before, and it's always been this answer. It's as practiced as his perfect posture. The darkness relents for a moment, the ghost of some light elsewhere washing over him just long enough for his face to become recognizable, expression — alert. An alertness that stays even when a wide grin creeps its way into view as he leans forward to take yet another step down.

A little louder, he asks, "Having second thoughts?"

The stairs are silent under her ascending steps. She’s traveled them before. Many times.
Her expression placid, she shakes her head.

“-Yes.” A more delicate voice interrupts, flitting from the black nowhere stretching beyond the bannister.

Isis closes her eyes and takes the universal deep breath of someone pained by annoyance. “She’s worried about you.” Isis opens her eyes. Now she is on the upside, looking down on Zachery, the pair stuck fast in the middle of the stairwell neigh nose-to-nose. “I won’t let anything happen to you.” Cold. Hard. Truth. Or, self-delusion.

Beside them there’s a window in the wall. The wobbly glare of light reveals a hint of movement from the other side. “That’s not usually there.” Her voice lacks the usual quality of curiosity. It’s just a fact. “Is it yours?” she asks only half octave above indifferent.

Now looking up, Zachery's grin wanes somewhat, though still some of it remains at the comment of worry.

He pulls his thorn-riddled arm free from the banister, all at once, streaks of black left behind where vines had come to sneak up along the flesh. A glance sideways is deemed enough, and with barely a cant of his head he joyfully proclaims, "Let's find out!"

Two things happen at once.

One thing is that his now freed hand grabs Isis by the arm. Two, is his elbow being thrust sideways, into the glass. For how easily it shatters it should not be this loud. Cacophonous, like a jet engine, if such a thing could scream.

Instantly it pulls Zachery through the void created, and Isis with him. Once ejected into the other side, he hits the wall, soundlessly, before she does the same, except with him serving as somewhat of a break in her fall. Gravity brings them to the floor all the same.

Or is it… the ceiling? It's the ceiling. They're in the exact same room, but upside down. Through the broken window, they can see themselves, neigh nose-to-nose. But the words aren't right. Time is moving backwards on the other side.

Shards recollect, fall upward, and create a window anew. Then, it vanishes.

The room, the wrong way around, roils.

Zachery, rolling face side up (down?) from where he's been thrown, listens to the echo of the question he's been asked as it floats back into his mind. Is it his? "I think it might be. For a while."

Isis, the slender and sharper version of her, curls in on herself and rolls gently onto her side. She regards the small shallow crater in the opposite wall where their bodies collided and wriggles enough to bring a hand to her head. She kneads the front and then the temples, massaging a headache but seemingly oblivious to the dark, diverting lines of black ichor moving across her arm where a several broken iron thorns jut out from starry-white flesh.

She sits up … on the ceiling, looking down on the inverted and empty stairwell beneath them. Despite gravity seemingly holding her to the surface above her hair falls away from her body, downward in wild fiery steams. So, too, does the ebon ichor leaking from her forearm.

THUD. Pause. Then more fervent. THUD-THUD-THUDTHUDTHUD. The hollow harried sound emanates from the wall where the window had been.

When Isis looks away from the wall and back to Zach, it is with a lofted brow and golden eyes. “Breaking all the rules… literally.” The grin that finds her features is unbridled, not at all that calculated thing practiced Elsewhere. “Hurry,” she hisses, equal parts excitement and warning. She grabs his hand with her clean one and pulls. Pulls him - his world. Everything flips. Only, it isn’t the Neverwhere. It’s Somewhere. His Somewhere…or… Somewas?

Light. Pure, white, and blinding. The pair are simply slender shadows thinning… thinning… thinning away, bleeding into it. Gone.





A dabbled, splattery trail of dripping black ichor marks the white. On the ground. Up the wall.

On the ceiling - an inky black-sanguine puddle. No, not a puddle - a small pool.

From placid, reflective pool of blcak comes a voice, distorted by the smothering, drowning nature of the liquid… «I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I shouldn’t have come here…”»

Into the pool of black blood, through uncountable depths… There they are, back upon the stair. Only, this time he is at the bottom, in that solemn dark corner, alone - Shadow Zachery.

She is at the top, the knife-like Isis. She clings desperately to the top of the bannister. The thrones in her arm are gone, only to be replaced by black barbed wire that has wound its way entirely up her arm, over her shoulder, and encased her torso. The tails of the sadistic metallic wiring slither and wrestle most restlessly, winding out of sight through a dark doorway. Her voice manages to clear the stairwell, less distorted now. “I’m sorry…”

Then the barbed wire wins and she is gone.

The stairwell is gone.

The Neverwhere that never was.

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