Night Blooming


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Trippy the Three Legged Dog

Scene Title Night Blooming
Synopsis The nom de plume of the woman who wears masks is a strange parallel to the ability that's captured Delia.
Date December 10, 2010

In Dreams

A burritoed in a blanket of warm pitch and dangerously comfortable in the nothing, Delia's form drifts listlessly through the void. She's been going slower and slower lately, apathetic in her wandering and not as careful as she would be if she cared where she was going. Opening her eyes, she pulls herself toward yet another. Always one more, only to be disappointed in the result of not being the right one. To her, traveling between minds is somewhat akin to zooming through space at hyper speed. She saw it in a movie once, there was a tall hairy thing that would roar instead of talk… but everyone understood what it was saying. Strange.

Each mind in a different glow sunk into its own gravitational pocket, it only takes finding one with the right amount of dimness to be able to seep in.

Scratch scratch scratch..

Thump thump thump thump..

Scratch scratch scratch..

Thump thump thump thump..

Hazy around the edges at first, a long short greying snout weaves over blades of grass quickly, the thin leaves themselves becoming a blur as the host trots faster and faster. Sniff sniff a pause sniff and into view a half eaten sandwich comes into view. The sounds of smacking can be heard as a pink tongue snakes up and laps at the snout.

"HEY! Get outta there!!" A gruff male voice with a Brooklyn slant sounds like its owner is speaking under water, or to Charlie Brown. Quick as a whip, the sandwich is absconded and everything blurrs again.

The sky grows black… the sun is gone.

Trippy lifts her head and cocks one ear toward an old crate, which mysteriously turns into a boulder as her pretty green park is slowly overlaid with a darker, more sinister sort of setting. The sandwich drops from her mouth and the dog, careless of where she dines, begins to feast on her prize. At least, she tries, until she's interrupted.

A few feet away, the redheaded form of a tall woman materializes from nothing. The mangy dog grows into a more formidable creature, a werewolf. Rising on her two hind legs, the slathering beast snarls at the woman… She's gonna take my sammich!!

The world beneath Delia's feet and the paws of Trippy shudders once, but it's hardly enough to steal the attention of the monstrous beast who begins to make her lumbering advancement on the redhead. It's only the second time, and then the third time of deep impact making an earthquake like tremor shiver the leaves on trees and make something deep within the world creak and groan, does the beast take pause and turn its gigantic head over one bulky shoulder.

What she sees is no less breakable as the redheaded woman that just appeared and threatened her food via proximity. In fact, it's just another redheaded woman, smaller in some ways, and with her face covered not with a mask, but with feathers. White, brown, black, sprouting along cheekbones and brow, pressed to conform against human face shape save for where the ends protrude and quiver, masklike if too organic to be so.

The rest of the garb is plainer. A summer dress with cap sleeves, feet bare. Something about her harks back to something else that Trippy remembers, when blankets and dog treats and cuddles were a part of her life. The masked dream walker takes a polite step forward, and the impact of her delicate sole connecting with the rugged terrain makes the earth shiver.

"Trippy," she says, and her voice echoes as high as the sky, jagged lightning zigzagging electric through the air, thunder rumbling. "Bad girl."

The first redhead isn't so steady on her feet during the second and third of the tremors. Staggering to one side and then back again, she braces herself in something of a crouch, ready for the mythical creature to make its attack. As its attention is diverted, Delia also turns her head toward the other redhead. Her eyebrows tweak downward in slight recognition and her mouth drops open, like she's going to say something.

As suddenly as the booming voice emits a godlike wrath of lightning and thunder in command toward the once-dog; Delia's jaw clicks shut, her eyebrows shoot high up on her forehead, and her eyes widen to the size of dinner platters. Both the dog and the young woman risk an eyeslide toward the other, the dog shifting its shoulders up in confusion while the young woman does exactly the same. Then they both turn back to focus on the other dream walker.

"Wh-who are you?" A question that could be foolishly brave comes out in a timid squeak from the fledgling. Her bright blue eyes flit to different points in their surroundings before landing squarely on the feathery mask again. Somewhere, her mentor must be watching. Maybe.

The intruder of this piece begins to move sideways, stepping a circle with the once-dog as the focal middle and Delia on circumference. If Hokuto is in fact present, she isn't making it apparent — and for all that the Japanese dreamwalker is not the most subtle, there are likely ways she can remain hidden. This, the second redhead might well be aware of, judging from the way she tilts a glance skywards and around as she moves, a hand up to tuck red curl behind the shell of an ear.

"Jasmine." She looks back towards Delia, a smile writing on her mouth, visible beneath the growth of feathers that masks her upper face — but her eyes are visible, at least, reflecting a hint of trepidation. "Nice venue." A sliding glance towards the werewolf creature, warier.

"Jasmine," Delia repeats a little more quietly, licking her dry lips before half lidding her eyes in thought. "A night blooming flower, like a dream walker." The little comparison makes the woman smile a little, the dark circles under her eyes making a sharp contrast to her pale skin. It makes her look that much more weary. Smoothing her hands down the sides of her hips in a nervous brush, her light cotton dress swishes before falling back to its limp spread from her figure.

Trippy cocks her head between the two women confusedly and drops down to all fours with a high pitched whine. Wishing to be forgotten, the dog slinks back toward her meal and settles down on its haunches. Its large paws grapple with the sandwich, trying in vain to get a good grip before sinking its sharp fangs into the morsel.

"I do what I need to…" The young woman replies. The soft sigh at the end of her statement, draws it out and gives her a rather pathetic countenance in combination with sagging shoulders. "Besides, it's… different. Better than entering the dreams of some men, they can be sort of disturbing."

The smile at the comparison is mirrored back at her, a little broader; pleased. Jasmine comes to a halt some few feet away, a respectable and comfortable conversational distance, folding her arms before glancing towards the dog who is swiftly returning to her meal. The dreamwalker makes a sound through her nose at Delia's last comment, more or less agreeable, a wry angle to her shoulders that communicates a subtle shrug. "People think they're so complicated, but I find that it's the external things that overwhelm dreams when we really only want simple things. Food. Sex.

"Love. And then worries about bills or getting fired or getting married come along and things get neurotic. Weird, and disturbing. Dogs don't really have much to worry about, do they?"

Sky blue eyes regard Delia again, peering out from the feathers that pattern and grow around them. The pattern shifts a little in a way to suggest a raising of hidden eyebrows, ivory teeth setting against her bottom lip in a gesture of concern before she adds, "You look so tired."

A look over at Trippy finds the dog rewarded with an even larger sandwich, possibly just to keep the canine busy while the adults are talking. "I don't have much to worry about when I go into a dog's dream. I think I'm going around in circles because I've been here a few times already but it's not so bad. She's not as scary as say… stumbling into a dream where some jerk has a harem of mes and demands I get naked." The downturn of the young redhead's lips in distaste causes small creases in her otherwise smooth skin.

With some effort, Delia tears her eyes from the dog and turns back to Jasmine, shrugging. "I am, I used to never get tired doing this but I can't sleep here. I can't do anything except keep moving and I can't find a place where I can just… stay because they all wake up and I'm scared that if I'm there when they do, I'll just — " Raising a fist to shoulder level, she makes a little pff sound while flicking her fingers outward.

"Why do you hate Hokuto so much? Is it because she's making me find my own way back?"

Jasmine's mouth twitches in faint disapproval and disgust. That's gross. Poor Delia! Her own white hands clench into small fists, the kind that don't look all that capable of punching anyone, not without inflicting as much damage on her own knuckles and slender wrists as she might on the faces of certain men. She squares her shoulders beneath the sleeves of her summery dress, smooths out the fabric a little, along her belly, her hips, the hem of the skirt slapping against her bare shins.

She shakes her head, maelstrom autumn curls shifting like seaweed beneath water. It's one of those headshakes that communicates yes rather than no. "It's hypocritical. Wrong. You could just— " She mimics the hand gesture. Pff. "Or you could hurt someone else. Has she told you her story yet?"

Shaking her head, Delia lowers her eyes to her bare feet as her eyebrows knit together. "No, not really. I heard some things — I haven't met anyone that thinks badly of her though. Mister Logan swore at her, but…" Her voice drifts off and heaving a large sigh, she drops to a sitting position on the ground, pulling her dress over her legs until nothing shows but her dirty toes. "…My dad wouldn't be so happy to see her if she'd done all those things, would he? Or.. People just seem so happy to see her."

Unlike Jasmine's fine tresses, Delia's are tangled and twined into wild curls that stick out nearly every direction. The other redhead seems her polar opposite in almost every aspect. The other dreamwalker's dainty and refined features do more to make the fledgling feel like an awkward gargantuan made of spare parts and extra long limbs than her own sister does. "She's stronger than the boogeyman though, maybe she'll keep me from becoming like… my dad's girlfriend."

"It's her secret. Not everyone knows. Not everyone cares. I don't either, but— she should know better. She should know better than to just do nothing." Jasmine lifts her mostly bared shoulders in an apologetic shrug, and then folds up her legs beneath her so that she might sit with Delia, a hand up to smooth a slightly twisted feather back into place, a smaller one coming loose and drifting away on the slightest breeze that blows by.

Continues preening, a little, adjusting the sit of her skirt around herself before hands come up to make sure her red tresses are tangled the way they should be to be presentable, eyes half-hooding as she thinks. Then, she blinks across at Delia. "Who's your dad's girlfriend?"

"Lynette, the blonde lady from the other night, the one that calls everyone darling. My dad has a thing for her," there's a bitter quality to the young woman's tone as she actually puts words to her father's dalliance. "She was with the boogeyman, I just don't get it. I mean… he was one of the people who got her stuck on R-Ref— drugs but she told him to teach me how to do this." Her upper lip quirks into a half sneer and with yet another sigh, she rests her chin on the top of her knees.

After a moment's silence, the tall woman's features smooth back down. She stares off at some point in the distance, her eyes glazing over after a few short seconds, even though she takes a deep breath to continue talking. "You think he'd try to get me on drugs if I went with him?"

Bird-like, as if in tribute to her chosen mask, Jasmine tilts her head quizzically at this question, bright eyes blinking once. "I don't know," she admits, a hand going out, and hesitating, hovering instead in the air between them. This close, there's a shiny quality to pale skin, a little unreal, but then again, feathers don't also grow out of the faces of young women either.

There's a lot of surreality to get used to, when it comes to drifting between dreams. "Perhaps he just wants to help you. Like I do." And then she goes to try and fix one tangle of red at Delia's shoulder, to get it to align with its brethren locks.

"I need to learn how to make a map… in here," the ragged of the two redheads says solemnly as she waves the hand furthest from Jasmine in the air. Glancing over at her, Delia squints slightly as if in thought and opens her lips to take a little breath inward. "You know how to do lots of things, like Hokuto. Do you know how to make maps? So you know where you're going? Or can you go really far away from your body so you don't need a map?"

She can't hide the jealousy she feels not here, since the scenery is reactive to whatever emotion she has. Now the already inky sky boils with ominous clouds that have taken on a shade of olive green. It gives a different sort of quality to the air but when the wind picks up, it's easy to see where this new emotion is headed. The thick clouds begin to rotate above them in a large circle, already the edges of it are sinking downward.

Jasmine tilts a glance upwards at the changing atmosphere, but she doesn't seem too alarmed by it. Cautious, maybe, detailed in the way her posture grows slightly stiff, her attention watchful. "I'm not very much like Hokuto," she insists, her voice becoming a shade above a whisper. Either trying to placate Delia, or simply, suddenly shy. "And if you wanted, you could probably cast me aside like she does. You're both artists. I'm— " She shakes her head, then, gaze dropping to regard the ground they rest upon, her bare feet crossing at the ankles.

"I don't need a map," and a twitch of her lips and a subtle shift of the smaller feathers near her eyes communicate a subtle smile. "But I think that sounds like a good idea. I could— I could probably figure out where we are now…"

"Oh." The clouds above them falter a little and the slow churn eases until the imminent threat of a tornado becomes a little more slight. "If you're not … an artist what are you? You're not like the boogeyman, are you?" She pauses, considering her own question and then shakes her head, her tangle of hair becoming displaced again and the strand that was fixed springs up again.

Reaching into her pack, Delia pulls a thin wooden dowel from its depths and pokes the end into the dirt. Scraping a little grid into the soil, she draws a star at one point and looks over to Jasmine. "That's where my body is.. With a red bird. I don't know what that means though, I forgot." The furrow of her eyebrows indicates some heavy thought going on. Above them, the maelstrom bubbles in frustration. Holding the dowel toward Jasmine, she shrugs. "Where are we, if that's my body?"


…reluctant to say, apparently, conflict warring beneath cornflower blue eyes. Finally, Jasmine says, "A tourist." There's a little bit of bitterness in her tone, and she doesn't feel the need to explain any further than that. Taking the dowel, she hovers it over the makeshift grid with obvious uncertainty, before glancing up towards the sky. "If you can rein it in a little, thank you…" What occurs next is not a very intrusive shaping of dreamworld, but a summoning of something else.

The ground shifts beneath them, flattens out into grey, and a spray of cold water suddenly hits both women, icy enough for Jasmine to let out a gasp of shock, the spray having flown up from the passing wheels of a car. She's bundling a woolen coat around herself over her summer dress— the former of which was not there before— and glancing around.

A building has risen out of the ground, with a red awning and blurry script. A doorman stands at the entrance, his face similarly blurred away, and it's the texture, the scent of the place, that seems more important than the faces of people and the text on signs. About twenty feet upwards, the world seems to disappear into a grey haze, like cloud cover.

There's a fire hydrant over there. It gleams golden, and seems to bask in its own special light. A prominent feature. Dog dreams are weird.

Delia winces as the flood of water envelopes her form, causing the cotton dress to cling to her skin. Her wild hair, weighted down by the water, drips muddy streaks down her back in a vee. Bringing one hand up, she smoothes it over her face to rid it of the icy drops sliding down her pasty skin.

Ar! Ar! The sharp bark of the little beagle mix as it looks toward the two women seems to be a summons. She points her nose toward the building and paces the sidewalk between them, circling their legs to try to get them to move. The sharp click of her paws against the wet sidewalk gets a little faster and then stops as she places her two front legs from the sidewalk onto the road. Ar! Ar!

The taller of the two women angles her head to glance at the dog out of the corner of her eye. Her eyebrows furrow again, this time impatiently as she snaps at the canine. "Quiet, Trippy, I'm trying to remember. Go home or something." Then her eyes widen in shock and she takes a gasp inward, just as the little dog takes the order and bounds out into the congestion of cars between them and the building. "TRIPPY NO!!"

The yell gives the dog pause and she looks back at them in confusion…


With a yelp, Trippy tumbles under a passing vehicle.

Delia will feel Jasmine's hand clutch her arm, as if worried the other redhead would try to interfere. The contact brings about a sense of vertigo, as if Delia could simply slip through the fabric that holds this dream together and plummet somewhere dark, but the sensation passes when Jasmine pulls her hand away again, mouth parted in an oh, eyes on the display of dog hitting vehicle. "Oh, you poor thing," she gushes out, voice thick with pity, but her focus returns to Delia soon enough.

"Well." She huffs a small, breathy chuckle, looking a little abashed. "This is it. This is where you are, roughly. Too bad we can't just catch a cab."

It's only Jasmine's hand that stops Delia from running out after the dog, giving it and then Jasmine herself a curious glance before resuming her place as a spectator in Trippy's dream. Her horror is short lived as the dog gets up and shakes itself off, only to continue running across the road, this time with only three legs. The fledgling's face falls into a pitying expression, for the dog more than herself. "Oh man… I didn't know how she lost her leg."

Shaking it off, she turns toward Jasmine and then looks up at the building. "I think I've been here once, this is where my brother lives?" Wrinkling her nose, she half lids her eyes and puckers her lips into a tight knot. "So… how do I know where people are when I'm in their dreams?"

Roaming back a step to let distance fall back between them, Jasmine curls an auburn lock around her finger, obviously a little conflicted about helping for all that she was so keen to do it at least twice, now. She breathes in deep, lets it out as a sigh, and shrugs beneath the heavy woolen coat draped oversizedly on her slender frame. "There's a reason people like us flock to Refrain users. Refrain brings about memories. Good ones, but that's not the point. For all the weirdness we can dig up, it's all stitched together from memory. Nothing's new anymore."

She peers up at the face of the building. "If you can summon up their most recent memories, focus them, perhaps, that might clue you in about where they were when they fell asleep. You might get misled, now and then, of course. Nothing is certain, here. I think that's about all I can help you with… oh!"

Crouching down, Jasmine tucks a hand into a deep woolen pocket, and pulls out a white stick of chalk that she observes, before setting it to sidewalk pavement. She sketches out, swiftly, a rough replication of Delia's grid, marking the same space, then marking another. "This is south," she adds, pointing to one end of the 'map'. "But I don't think I should tempt fate any more than that, do you?"

Giving a wary glance up to the sky, Delia sighs heavily and shrugs. "Hokuto might not like it… If she's paying attention." If the depressed tone is any indication, the young dreamwalker might a little tired of the no interference rule and leaning toward the easy way out. Instead, she shivers and looks down at the chalk grid.

"Why do you want to help me?" She doesn't look at Jasmine as she poses the question, not at her first anyway. From her feet, slowly they drift up toward her auburn locks and then they find the eyes that match her own. "People don't ever just help random strangers in New York, not without wanting something. I know I shouldn't be looking a gift horse in the mouth or anything but… I just don't understand. My dad isn't here trying to help, why are you?"

Scrutiny has Jasmine shifting another few inches backwards, as if suddenly shy about her bare feet on the slick asphalt, the mismatched pairing of her floral dress and the heavy wool over it, clutched closed closer as if to disguise her own body. Less conscious, somehow, of the owlish feathers that grow on her face. She tilts her head as she considers this query, gaze darting down between them. "Compassion is the finest weapon and best defence." There's a somewhat playful smile that accompanies it, casting that statement in a facetious light with the sliver of ivory teeth shown in cherry-stain mouth.

She pivots on a naked heel, and adds, "And because I have the power to. But I think my ride is here, before we get too serious— " A yellow cab on the curb was either always there to begin with, or smearing into reality as her hand darts out to lever open the door. But she said they couldn't catch cabs. :(

Life isn't fair.

Or maybe it's just Delia that can't catch a cab. Scowling a little as the door to the yellow taxi is opened, she simply nods once and steps back to allow the other woman her exit. "Okay."

Crossing her bare arms over her chest, she hunches against the frigid temperatures and takes another look up at the highrise acros the street. Ever so slowly, her dress dries off and cleans itself of the muddy slush that was washed over it before. If only it were that easy to clean the rest of her too. "I guess you won't come back if Hokuto's around, will you?" Closing her eyes, she concentrates, almost looking constipated as she makes an attempt at something she's never done.

The young woman is rewarded as a downy feather sprouts up between her eyebrows. Not quite a mask, but a start. Unfurling one of her arms from the tight huddle, she raises her hand to touch the brown bit of fluff. "Heh… you make it look so easy."

Jasmine pauses where she's shielded by the door, hands perched atop it as she studies Delia's attempts, and the little feather that grows. A smile beams across at her — some mix of flattered, pleased, amused. It fades a little as she thinks back on the question just before, hesitating. "She scares me," she admits, tucking in her chin. "So maybe. Maybe not. But I'll come back eventually." Fingers lift off the edge of metal, splay in a waggled wave, before the redhead is slipping into the warm interior of the cab.

With a snikt, the door closes behind her, and with a smearing kind of motion-blur, it both drives away and disappears, leaving Delia alone in the mindscape of a three-legged dog that could.

As the taxi fades from view, Delia is left in an uncomfortable place. Cold, wet, and most of all lonely with only a three legged dog as a companion, she sits down on the edge of the curb and closes her eyes. This time, no more feathers appear. Nothing seems to answer whatever call the young woman put out. Peeking one eye open, the realization that the other woman is actually gone hits her and she draws her knees up to her chest, hugging them tightly.

She rocks back and forth, much to the confusion of the dog who is across the street watching her with a tilted head. Slowly, the young woman melts into a fuzzy blur and then disappears completely. Mmmm— ? the dog's high pitched squeal of a whine is cut short by a whump and Trippy wheels in a fulls circle, first one way and then the other. Ar!

Scratch scratch scratch..

Thump thump thump thump..

tScratch scratch scratch..

Thump thump thump thump..



A large pillow is tossed toward the end of the bed in the general direction of the dog and Kristen grunts, throwing herself back down into her own and using half of it to cover her exposed ear. "One of these days Bradley Russo… I swear to god, dog, you are the worst Christmas gift he's ever given me."

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