Shades of Madness


sable_icon.gif tamara_icon.gif

Scene Title Shades of Madness
Synopsis Two people with their own distinctly bizarre quirks lounge on a fire escape and chat.
Date June 23, 2010

Gun Hill

It sure ain't freezing anymore. The sun can make a brick oven of the city streets, especially in these parts where the buildings are genuinely made of brick. In the just-after-noon heat, indoors where there may be an air conditioning unit somewhere or other seems a better choice than outdoors, where the breeze is hardly enough to take the edge off the heat. But it isn't precisely fry an egg on the sidewalk hot, not yet at least, and for someone used to Georgia summers, this is nothin'.

So Sable would say. Nothin' at all. And with a dose of the southerly superiority it's hard to shake. Like the accent she almost shook but then re-caught with a vengeance. Like her penchant for loitering, even in her own home. She's perched on the fire stairs, the black-painted iron bolted firmly into the warm red brick, leaning on the railing, squinting out at the street, looking but not really seeing. She's either in deep thought, or thinking of nothing at all. Sometimes these two are less polar than you might think. Contemplative, maybe, would be the handshaking equivalent.

The warning that she has company comes as a plaintive little creak of stressed metal located somewhere overhead. It could as easily be thermal, induced by the intensity of applied sunlight; but the second one is a bit more suspicion-inducing. The final verdict comes when a blonde-haired head pokes out over the railing on the next level up, its owner leaning halfway out in a manner that looks — less than wise. She's wearing an off-white tanktop printed with colorful flowers and butterflies; bare arms fold over the banister, supporting her study of that person down there. "Busy day?" Tamara inquires curiously.

Misty seems absent, which is probably smart on an old metal fire-escape.

Sable's head immediately tilts, her eyes returning from their sightless gaze to focus on the blonde-wreathed visage above her. She has to lift a hand to her brow, to block out the ferocious glare, but she recognizes the voice. She smiles, eyes squeezed into light-beseiged slits, "Ain't yet. Thinkin' it might become. 'course," she flashes a grin, "You'd be th' one t' ask 'bout that, eh?"

She scales the stairs, taking two at a time, gripping the railing to swing around corners, the metal shaking a bit beneath the percussive application of her feet. Sable winds up on Tamara's level pretty quick, and comes up beside her, leaning back against the railing as she regards the seeress from a less demanding angle. "I've a thought, 'n' a question of sorts, that I hope won't sound dim witted. I'm guessin' you ain't totally beyond surprise 'r nothin', but, like, what does fuckin' surprise you? I can't quite figure how that'd work."

The seeress tips her head down at Sable, blue gaze tracking the other girl's progress upstairs until she has to straighten up off the railing. She faces Sable in turn, lips quirking in a crooked smile at the query. Tamara doesn't answer at first, but looks out at the street around them, reaching up to push her hair back from her face. She sets her elbows against the rail momentarily, then leans on one arm and fishes in a pocket with the other. A slightly tarnished penny is held up for the yellow-eyed girl to see. "Maybe you threw this down on the street. Once, twice, twenty times; pennies come in many. Did they land on black or yellow?"

Sable extends her hand, palm upraised and open, and nods at the penny. "Only one way t' find out," she says.

Tamara shakes her head a bit, though she reaches out, resting penny and fingertips against Sable's palm without quite letting it go. "Maybe you only dropped it once. Maybe once was special. The road says black black black but the penny says yellow." Now she releases the coin, pulling her hand back. "All the voices in the shadows, until you let go."

Sable nods, examining the penny, as if close enough attention will reveal its desire for a yellow landing pace to her as well. She nimbly shifts the penny to the top of her thumbnail, placing it in the classic 'coin toss' ready position, and extends her hand over the railing's edge. "So, y've seen what's, like happened, but without knowin' just what of what's happened actually happened?" she arches her brow, pressing for clarification, "Yer here in th' moment with me," she grins, "Lucky you," back to serious questions again, "But y' recall the ways it might have been you got here, with you walkin' backwards 'n' all?"

A searching look, "Will y' know how it lands just before it lands, when the moment's almost u-fuckin'-pon us? Will you remember it right, mebbe just before I get t' see the result?"

This is not a rhetorical question. A tiny metallic ringing sounds as thumbnail strikes upwards and the penny hurtles upwards briefly, before acceleration due to gravity reverses its course and brings it spinning down, down, down…

Tamara tips her head to one side, peering quizzically at Sable as if most of what the other girl said pretty much just flew past her ears. But some of it doesn't. The blonde leans her back against the railing, not looking as Sable extends her hand; not looking over as the penny is flipped up, nor down as it falls. "Not special this time," she observes while it hurtles towards the ground behind her, falling ever faster. "Just black."

Sable's eyes have been on the penny this whole time. To see what happens, she has to see it happen. It strikes the curb and ricochets off into the street, hitting its edge and rolling, rolling, rolling in a circle, cutting across yellow lines again and again, losing speed, losing energy, until finally… tink. It finds its resting place on the dark asphalt, only six inches away from yellow paint. Sable looks back at Tamara, looking very pleased, both with her, and with herself.

"See, now I'm just gonna be spendin' my hours thinkin' on ways t' throw y' f'r a loop," the yellow eyed girl admits, "Behold a future where y' see every hairbrained scheme of mine spread out b'fore y'. Or behind y'. A fuckin' menagerie of hijinks, 'n' the only surprise which…" she waggles her brows, "Which shade 'f my madness must you endure?"

Hands braced against the railing, Tamara looks over at Sable and smiles tolerantly. "Sometimes." Her gaze drops, to where she scuffs the tip of a sandal against the metal beneath their feet, tracing a rust stain across the surface. Raises up to trace the vivid red bricks of the building, the jagged line of a heat-induced crack in the mortar. "Room for all kinds of shades. Why are you mad?" the girl continues, with a distant curiosity that implies she hasn't misinterpreted the word: hasn't confused madness with anger.

"Partly by birth, partly by will," Sable says, with the nonchalance of one explaining why it is they decided to go for raspberry iced tea rather than peach, "I didn't get no initial fuckin' choice 'bout the first, and th' second is my way 'f claimin' some fuckin' power over that first. I know what sorts of mad I could be, if I didn't go about bein' the sort of mad I am, havin' gone through more th'n I'd care t' re-fuckin'-visit. Plus I c'n seem less mad where I am by assumin' some madness where I'm not, if y' follow."

Tamara's nod as she listens is equally nonchalant; probably because her expression also suggests that a lot of Sable's explanation is passing her by as well. She has no frame of reference by which to process it — but she listens anyway, because the conversation itself has value. "No visiting," the blonde agrees with a bobbing nod, picking out at least one concept she can interpret. "Gone is away." She tips her head the other way, as if reflecting on that statement for a moment; but whatever it is, it passes in short order, and Tamara redirects her attention to Sable.

Sable snickers, "Sure, hon. I'm liable to agree with most anythin' you say, just out of sheer gape-jawed appreciation, as you surely know," she says. "I hope I remain civil in m' dealin's towards you, hon. For no reason I can quite put the ol' finger on, seems I've taken a shine t' you. You lemme know if I've done anythin', like, that maybe you wouldn't approve of. I'll be quick to be a different way, arright?"

Now the blonde cants her head again, looking at Sable for a moment before shaking her head a bit, a small and reassuring smile on her face. "You didn't need to worry," Tamara says, just before bracing her hands on the rail and boosting herself up to sit on it. Probably also not a wise thing to be doing on the fire escape — but she is. Swinging her feet back and forth between the bars, the seeress nods slightly, perhaps belated confirmation to Sable's request.

Reckless personal endangerment is something Sable heartily approves of. The restrictions on fireworks purchase in her last two home states is something she considers the height of soft fascism. Which is to say it blocks a path to her own personal pleasure. She takes a different position, though, gripping the railing and leaning back, letting her elbows lock as the worn heels of her shoes squeak on the metal underfoot. "Good. Worryin's contrary t' my preferred lifestyle. I ain't particularly practiced with it," she starts to swing from side to side, her arms forming parallel horizontal pendula, "It's gettin' on, and I've got t' be down t' help out ol' Quinn when she arrives. Y've met her, I'm sure. She just hasn't, eh?"

Tamara considers the question for a moment, feet still swaying idly back and forth. "I think she will," the blonde proclaims. One hand peels free from the warm metal to wave a shooing gesture at Sable, Tamara smiling crookedly. "Go. Say hello."

"By yer leave," Sable says, smiling back with equal crookedness. She pulls herself properly upright and releases the railing, drawing into a stand before giving Tamara a low bow. "'til next time, hon. I hope it continues t' be such a pleasure as its been."

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