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The Micro-Scenes thread

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1 year 5 months ago #63945 by null0trooper
null0trooper replied the topic: The Micro-Scenes thread
Party Like It's 1999

Melville Cottage, Whateley Academy

Hikaru Myoujin was the very model of decorum as she took the call from Princess Kako. The call had come while she was performing her RA duties, so she'd maintain that decorum if it broke her.

"Hikaru, do you remember me telling you that the IHA would be happy to arrange dates with suitable gentlemen? As it should happen to turn out, the Household has learned of Whateley Academy's traditional Halloween Party. Some feel that it would be a shame to pass up such an opportunity..."


MIT&T, Massachusetts

"... but I'm twenty-four, give-or-take some! Having me escort a fourteen-year-old to her school's dance has to be ten different kinds of wrong."

"Drop your illusion and try saying that with a straight face."

"So I look a little young."

"For pushing forty, I have to say the princess has you beat in the looks department. But you both could stand mingle more, actually risk contact with sunlight and other people, maybe gain a couple of pounds."

"Keep that up, and I'll invite Cousin Brigitte to drop by early."

"See? You two have so much in common!"


Melville Cottage, Whateley Academy

"... What do you mean 'nothing in common', my sweet Okami? I'm told that the young count can turn into big puppy. So adorable!"

"This has already been arranged, hasn't it?"

*It would appear so, Daughter. I admit to being intrigued as to what Kako is planning.*

"We only need to finalize what you're going to wear so he can make suitable arrangements. You don't want to both arrive wearing the same colors! That would be almost as bad as coming as yourself."

*Something cut for dancing, I should think!*

"It's being narrowed down as we speak."

*But to present us as other than us. That presents difficulties.*

*Aren't you on speaking terms with the other Kami?*

*Of course! If it is to be for only one night, sacrifices can be made. I could even bear to wear... I have an idea!"


MIT&T, Massachusetts

"Why now? Rikke, you of all people should know the red-letter tabloids would have a field day with this."

"Because Thomas is off-plane and you mope. When you mope, my only nephew gets sulky."

"But!"

"Because we all know what happens when you get bored and there's no adult supervision. No, the Crown Prince does NOT count except at State affairs! Now, Amaterasu is known to favor red and gold..."

"Blood and money. I can respect that."

"Thank God it's a costume party. Come as you aren't."

"That can be taken in so many ways. Rikke? What aren't you telling me?"


Monday evening, October 31, 2016, Melville Cottage, Whateley Academy

It had taken more work (in the case of onlookers at the salon, tears) than Hikaru had expected, but she managed to get her hair cut, dyed, and styled to fit her chosen role. White shirt trimmed in green, green cargo pants, and sneakers completed the look. Kurenai pitched in by projecting a hard-light disply that hid her own equipment. Whenever she suspected Hikaru to be paying insufficient attention, she added bright green sprites to the display.


Downstairs

Mads grinned and bore the attention of a Security escort to Melville from the Guest House. If he could put up with getting the body and face makeup right ( and the hair! ) he could put up with this. What had completely surprised him was that Thomas had been in the mood to pitch in after getting back early.

Another surprise was that he'd managed to cross the entrance lobby to Concierge's desk before the catty comments drifted to his ears.

"Who does she think she is?"

"More like who was desperate enough to hire her for the evening."

"May I help you?"

Mads choked back the first few suggestions that came to mind, and said < I believe that Myoujin Hikaru is expecting me. >

Well, it looks like the name-drop worked.

< Who should I say is enquiring? >

< Her escort for the evening, of course. >


Hikaru

"My WHAT?"

"'Escort' was the approximate term used."

Hikaru fumed. "I will be there shortly!"


Downstairs

"She will be down here soon."

"I look forward to it."

Both pretended not to here the giggling coming from their observers.


*Daughter. Even when provoked, we do not stomp our way to, our, oh, my.*

Hikaru and Amaterasu had not been expecting their "date" to be wearing a Little Black Dress, halter top, mini-skirt length, paired with black chelsea boots. A simple belt, large silver ankh, and a realistic raven completed the ensemble.

*Do try not to drool*

Mads took in the short brown hair, the green and white clothes, walked over and smiled.

"Ben 10! I've been dying to meet you!"

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1 year 5 months ago #64059 by Kettlekorn
Kettlekorn replied the topic: The Micro-Scenes thread
"It's sort of working, but I'm doing something wrong," Morgana muttered as her hand healed in a burst of orange flame.

Thulia eyed the working critically. "No, everything is in order."

"But it isn't green like yours."

"Oh, that?" said Thulia with a grin. She reached into her pocket and withdrew a pouch of powdered blue crystal. "Just sprinkle this into it."

"Oooh. Magic crystals? They enhance the healing?"

Thulia laughed. "No, silly! Just copper sulfate. It burns the prettiest green."

I am the kernel that pops in the night. I am the pain that keeps your dentist employed.
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1 year 5 months ago #64067 by Cryptic
Cryptic replied the topic: The Micro-Scenes thread
Tia spun around glaring daggers at the Wondercute girls and Karma. "Stop following me!! I'm not the Easter Bunny, which means I . DO NOT! HIDE! EGGS!"

"I made a bunny that lays colored eggs" Petshop stated proudly. Then she deflated a tad. It doesn't hie them very well though."

"Wait. What? No, no, I don't want drawn into your insanity."

I am a caffeine heathen; I prefer the waters of the mountain over the juice of the bean. Keep the Dews coming and no one will be hurt.
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1 year 5 months ago #64095 by Bek D Corbin
Bek D Corbin replied the topic: The Micro-Scenes thread
The predator crouched on its perch and surveyed its domain for prey. There, sneaking along the edge of the hallway. The predator set, tensed, twitched its tail and launched itself from its perch. It spread its wings and dodged among the started obstacles, almost losing sight of its target for a moment. But the prey was too sure of its defenses, and wasn’t being wary enough. The predator folded its wings into a power dive and piled into its prey.

A feminine scream filled the corridor of Dunn Hall. “What was that?” someone said. “I heard a girl scream.”

The students watched as the small dragonet furiously wrested with… thin air? After some spirited tumbling around, Smokey seemed to get a mouthful of something and started shaking his head back and forth, like a dog with a pillow. The screaming sound got louder, and students gathered around to figure out what was going on. Then there was an audible snap, and suddenly Smokey had a fuzzy mottled white-and-brown rabbit by the scruff of the neck. The rabbit was still, except for a noticeably weakening twitch of a hind leg.

“Oh,” said one of the older students. “Invisibunny.”

“Invisibunny?” echoed another student. “You mean someone made an invisible bunny? Why would they do that?”

“Because they could.”

“Aren’t we gonna do something about that?” Asked a female student gingerly.

“Why?” asked a boy with an noticeable Australian accent. “They’re invisible rabbits!” he said it with an inflection that suggested that he considered rabbits to be large hopping rats with fluffy tails. “If that little lizard is good for bringing down rabbits… nah, something would go wrong. Something always does…” he gave a sigh for the fact that despite its notoriously vicious wildlife, Australia still had to produce an effective natural predator for rabbits.

Smokey adjusted his grip on the rabbit’s scruff and started to haul the body off. “He’s gonna EAT it?” someone asked.

“Who knows? None of my business, as long as he doesn’t get blood on the floor.”
*****

There was a scratching at the back door of the Crystal Hall kitchens. One of the cooks went to the door and opened it. Smokey was crouched there, the rabbit in front of him, and he was looking up as his tail wagged eagerly. “Oh! You caught another one?” the cook said appreciatively. “And he’s a big one! Well, you’ve earned it, come and get your reward.” The cook picked up the rabbit and carried it to a counter. Smokey pranced after him, clearly anticipating his reward. Setting the rabbit on the counter, the cook lifted up a fresh éclair and placed it on a plate. Then he filled a demitasse cup full of cappuccino and set it on the plate. He set the plate on the floor. Smokey picked up the plate and gingerly carried it out the door.

The cook hefted the dead rabbit and said, “Well, at least we’ll have a steady supply of hasenpfeffer for a while.”

“If that little lizard could get fat, he’d roll,” chuckled another cook.

“But is it okay to cook a bio-devisor’s project?” a third cook asked.

“We’ve tested it,” said the first cook, “and it’s safe so far. Besides, if Smokey didn’t keep their numbers down, they’d breed until they started to threaten the local squirrels. And you do not want to piss off the local squirrels.”
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1 year 4 months ago - 1 year 4 months ago #64106 by Katssun
Katssun replied the topic: The Micro-Scenes thread
"Hey Mom...is it okay if my girlfriend is comes over tonight? By the way, she can only eat meat."
Last Edit: 1 year 4 months ago by Katssun.
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1 year 4 months ago #64116 by Bek D Corbin
Bek D Corbin replied the topic: The Micro-Scenes thread
Out of necessity, some stories go through a LOT of revisions from original concept to what finally gets posted. This is how what ended up as 'The Final Trump' started out.
****

I adjusted the fit of the dress. I looked good in it, if I had to say so myself. And why shouldn’t I? I was gorgeous in a gazelle-slender freshman high school way. There was no way that anyone would ever be able to tell that I’d been born a boy. I turned this way and that, and reveled in it in the privacy of my own bedroom. I was in mid-twirl when Mom barged in without knocking. I reflexively froze. She took one look at I, and a look entered her large, almond-shaped eyes. She drew herself up and declared, “Avery! Look at you in that dress!” She swept me up in her arms in a hug that would have crushed a normal person. “I am just so proud I could BUST!”

What a difference a summer makes. I looked into the mirror and liked what I saw. It was one thing to know that I’d probably turn out to be a mutant- rather a foregone conclusion, what with both Mom and Dad not only being mutants but supervillains. But it was another to realize that instead of weedy facial hair, underarm odor, zits, a voice that broke every five seconds and an Adam’s apple the size of a grapefruit, puberty brought the gift of beauty. And femininity. I smiled at my reflection, and was agreeably impressed. My old boy-face had been… well… serviceable enough. But boy-Avery had had brown eyes and a boy’s face. Now I had eyes that were flashing emeralds set in a visage of feline beauty and grace. I was definitely my mother’s daughter, even if I’d inherited Dad’s control over ectoplasm, instead of Mom’s super-strength, near-invulnerability and flight. But so, I’d gotten the things that really mattered, the face, the hair, the sleek physique, and in time, the great boobs. I was only fifteen, and I could hardly expect to have Mom’s great cleavage- yet.

And it was so good to be able to try on dresses and makeup and experiment with my hair, without sneaking around, worrying that the ‘rents or little brothers would find out! Not that sneaking around hadn’t been fun- and good training.

Mom minutely adjusted the fit of the dress on me, more out a desire to get in that last little molecule of mothering than any sartorial need. “So, have you settled on that for your trip to Whateley?”

I held up one of the other dresses and worried my lower lip, more out of seeing if that bit worked than any real worry. “Yes, I think that this will have to do… Oh, this would be so much easier if I’d had the time to find out what my own personal style is!”

Mom grinned indulgently and chuckled. “It must be nice to think that. Well, what can I say? No more time for any wardrobe changes, we have to go get to the airport!”

“Mom, do you have to come with me?” I asked plaintively. “I mean, I’m fifteen! I can travel by myself!”

Mom patted me on the cheek. “Of course you can, dear. But due to your… change in status… I think that it might be best if I went along to make sure that everything is taken care of.”

“errr… Mom, if by ‘change in status’ you’re talking about my sex change, they’re used to that! Remember, in the brochure, there was that bit about ‘my mutation is causing me to change sex’?”

Mom let out a fluttery exhalation of exasperation. “Oh, PLEASE! That? Avery dear, the Hellers haven’t gotten where we are by taking things on face value! No, I’ll go and make sure that there are no ‘unfortunate misunderstandings’. Besides, I haven’t been to Whateley in thirty years; it will be good to see the old place after all this time. And, it will give me a chance to finally meet that delightful Miss Hartford that was so helpful with laundering the proceeds from the DeSilva project.” Mom leaned in, “And besides, there are a few things that a girl really does need to hear from her mother, and what with all the craziness and Grand Opera, we haven’t really had a lot of chances for ‘Girl Time’.”

I flinched at the thought of ‘girl time’ with Mom, but managed to keep my peace. I watched with steely patience as Mom looked through how I’d packed everything and then showed me how it should be packed. Okay, she DID have a point or two but still… Mom had Javros gather up the luggage. She could lift over six tons, and I was in the thousand pound area, but Javros had been with the family since before I was born, so he handled the bags. ‘The reason why supervillains like the Crimson Claw are always yelling that they’re surrounded by incompetents is that they ARE surrounded by incompetents; those are the only people that abusive idiots like the Claw can HIRE’, I recall Dad telling me once. The Hellers were very big on pointers for future careers in super-crime. ‘Hire competent people, treat them well, and HOLD ONTO THEM! Equal parts Loyalty and Terror! I’ve been in the business for 25 years, and not a single underling as rolled over on me!' Still, I reflected, there may have been something to the Dad’s pontifications.

Mom stopped Javros. “No, there’s still one thing left to do.” She stopped at a bookcase, lifted up a statuette, moved it to another spot until she heard a click, and then replaced it in its original setting. The bookcase pushed out slightly and slid to one side, revealing a stairwell going up. “Cardinal?” She called up. “Cardinal Sin? Come down, there’s something that needs your personal attention!”

Dad’s voice wafted down and snapped irritably, “I’m in the middle of something!”

Mom scowled and called back up. “But we’re leaving!”

“I’m BUSY!”

Mom growled and stalked up the stairs. Javros and I looked at each other awkwardly as the sounds of Mom and Dad yapped at each other up in his Lair-away-from-Lair. My brother, Vic (age 10) wandered up and asked, “What’s all the noise about?” Alex (age 5- my folks are very big about having their children five years apart. Alex hasn’t caught on that his time as the ‘baby’ of the family is running out) was tagging along, and wanted to know too. The noise upstairs went violent, and there was the sound of a few things breaking.

“Mom and Dad are, ah, working through a few difficulties,” I told them. Alex ducked behind the protection offered by Vic’s back. Only five years old, and he already knows how things work around here.

Finally, Mom came tromping down the stairs with Dad literally kicking and screaming slung over her shoulder. The dreaded Angry-Mom look all over her face, she set him on the floor and snarled, “Was that a HOSTAGE I saw up there?”

“Doctor Proteus is in town, and all the decent Hostage Hotels are all booked up,” Dad said defensively, adjusting his robes. Dad’s supervillain name is ‘Cardinal Sin’ (yes, we know about the guy in the Philippines, don’t let it bug you), and he affects a sort of ‘techno Cardinal Richelieu’ look, with the dark scarlet cassock and a false mustache and van dyke beard. “I HAD to put him SOMEWHERE!”

Mom put her hands on her hips and glowered, “We had an understanding: No Weapons of Mass Destruction, No Demonic workings of ANY kind, and NO HOSTAGES in my house!”
Dad started to quibble, but Mom waved him down. “Later! Believe me, we’re going to talk about that later! But now… Now, you have a few things to say to your daughter.”

“I don’t have a daughter,” Dad said mulishly. He refused to even look at me!

“DAMIAN HELLER, how can you SAY that?”

“Shhh! I have a hostage upstairs!”

“Which is one reason why I won’t have them in my house! Now, Damian, you need to talk to Avery.”

“Wont!”

“Damian, you always say that family comes first,” Mom said in her most Mom-ish tones. Well, Dad was acting like a little boy, so… “Avery is going away to school, and we won’t see her for weeks. She didn’t ask to be changed into a girl. Now, how do you think that she’ll feel, going away to stay with complete strangers, if you won’t even talk to her?”

Dad pulled a face, and finally gave me a look. I was waiting with the deadliest ‘sad kitten face’ that I could pull off without breaking out laughing. Dad took it straight in the face, and seizing the drama with both hands (as per uze), he swept me up in his arms for a crushing hug. “Avery… I’m sorry… I’ve always wanted a daughter…But you were my son! MY SON!”

What did I tell you? Drama Queen or what? “I love you, daddy…” I mewled, <note for the future: always begin any negotiations with Dad with, ‘I love you, Daddy’. Apparently the Dadinator is an absolute sucker for this; if I’d been born a girl (as I should have been!), I would have mastered this by age Five!> “And you still have Vic and Leggie!”

He looked down at me with tears in his eyes and paternal pride gleaming from his face. If I didn’t think that Mom wouldn’t raise the roof about it, I’d hit him up for a Porsche for my sixteenth birthday right about now. “You’re absolutely right, Princess!” Princess. I can now officially get away with murder.
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1 year 4 months ago - 1 year 4 months ago #64136 by null0trooper
null0trooper replied the topic: The Micro-Scenes thread
Debriefing a notable Charlie-Foxtrot Exercise,
Team Tactics I, Whateley Academy


Gunny Bardue: Where do you get the idea you can sit around all day and do nothing?

Absinthe: Do you think I sit around and do nothing?! I haven't had a chance to sit around and do nothing since the day I arrived at Whateley, I'm too busy running coffee and doughnuts for the MCO on weekends - do this Wylann, do that Wylann - and when I'm not running around after closeted H1 members, I'm doing extra studies with Mrs. Lauriant, and if I'm not doing that, I'm fulfilling my destiny - do you know how many times I've had to deal with superpowered bullies? I've lost count - do I get any thanks? No - I have fought dragons, witches, bandits, I have been punched, poisoned, pelted with fruit - devisor bananas to be exact, and all the while I have to hide who I really am because if anyone finds out, The Queen To Come might decide to have me executed after all. Some times I feel like I'm being pulled in so many directions I don't know which way to turn!

Gunny: And what do you Pu- people - have to say for yourselves? You do concentrate on Absinthe a lot.

Vapaat Taivas: Geek the mage first.

Gunny: What?

Vapaat Taivas: Exhibit A is sitting in front of me; Exhibit B is his wingman.

Metro: Hej! Why is it-

Gunny: Pipe down, son, they've met you. Your team makes a habit of taking Fixx down next. Could someone explain why him and not Jinx, Porcelain, or Flytrap?

Rorsmand: Gunny? These two (gestures at Metro and Smithy) take notes.

Gunny: That makes more sense than I am comfortable admitting to.

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WhatIF Stories: Dream A Little Dream For Me

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Last Edit: 1 year 4 months ago by null0trooper.
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1 year 4 months ago - 1 year 4 months ago #64291 by Kettlekorn
Kettlekorn replied the topic: The Micro-Scenes thread
Trish glanced from her Sudoku puzzle to Lifeline, then started. The girl was asleep at the table, her pen set neatly beside the closed spell book she'd been writing in. "She's finally finished."

Caitlin placed one last precisely bent paper clip into place and then flicked the cardboard pinwheel, causing her contraption to hum to life. "Perfect timing." She stalked into the other room and snagged the book, then backed into the corner as a security officer carried Lifeline back to her cell. Sparing them no attention, Caitlin withdrew a flashlight and The Space Blanket of Absolute Protection from hammer-space, the latter of which she threw over herself before beginning to read.

Half an hour later she emerged from the blanket's shiny, warded embrace and rejoined Trish in the observation room. "Bad news. This isn't a spell formula, a ritual, or anything remotely useful."

"Then what is it?"

"A creepy fan-fic."

"...What."

Caitlin tossed the book on the table and it fell open to a random page, so Trish leaned over and read a line. "'Nikki found herself wrapped in Bunny’s arms and staring back into those wide, teary blue eyes.' But... but why?"

"Hell if I know. Talk to Bellows or Horton."

"But-"

"Nope, I want nothing to do with this. Besides, I've got a date to keep."

"A date."

"Mmm hmm," said Caitlin with a shit-eating grin. "A date at the range with Kid Glock. We're gonna pew click ka-pew, and bang kabang, trigger-trigger-trigger, shoot the figure, set up, shoot the figure."

"This is not an appropriate time for jokes."

"Any time a problem's not my problem is a time for jokes, and a student writing TG slash is very not my problem."

"Tee-gee? Slash? What do those-"

"Uh uh, nope. Talk to Bellows and Horton, not me." She pulled a black disk from hammer-space and attached it to the wall, then flicked it to reveal a short tunnel outside. She stepped through and began peeling it off from the other side. "Eldritch has left the building."

I am the kernel that pops in the night. I am the pain that keeps your dentist employed.
Last Edit: 1 year 4 months ago by Kettlekorn.
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1 year 4 months ago - 1 year 4 months ago #64336 by Katssun
Katssun replied the topic: The Micro-Scenes thread
Dickinson Cottage, November 16th, 2016 - Evening

Nana had burnt her hands while trying to keep Hannah off of the poor kid from Hawthorne. Once again. The staff in Doyle said she'd be fine in no time, but they had a scheduled match in a half hour! The boys over in Twain could not be allowed to hold on to the current record going into Thanksgiving.

"So…who has the steadiest hands in the building?"

The three girls looked at each other. One rushed down the hall as quickly as she could.

----

Darcy Gleason found herself seated at a table in the common room, no idea what was going on. Five minutes ago, a girl she had seen around the cottage but never talked to was pounding on her door. Four and a half minutes ago, the two of them had been thrown out of the room by Darcy's roommate Viola, Darcy's bag in tow to deal with whatever emergency this was. It was getting late, but Darcy was always ready to help with crises of a cosmetological nature.

Two minutes ago, three girls including an RA explained what they needed Darcy to do for them, and six seconds ago, a ten-minute timer started on the hefty bomb made of hard light in front of her. Metal panels had slid aside every which way as the timer started.

"This is just a practice round Beautician," said the girl with bandages on her hands. "No need to get nervous. Just describe what you see to Milena and she'll tell you what to do."

She couldn't see the RA seated across the table from her due to the huge opaque screen made of hard light from the projector that sat in the middle attached to somebody's laptop. But she had seen the huge stack of paper held together with a binder clips and sectioned off with stickies before they got started.

A calm voice cut through the faded Harlequin green wall. "Always be descriptive. Can you read a serial number? Oh wait! First tell me what it looks like before you move it."

Darcy nervously brushed her fingers down her fat Dutch braid and leaned up to look at the top of the fake bomb. She saw a little box of wires, two boxes of buttons, a little radio thingy, a glass dish with a glob of silver liquid in it, and a big button. She relayed the information as best she could to Milena who recognized each of the pieces despite Darcy's lack of familiarity.

"Okay, DON'T move the box if you can help it, there's a mercury trigger. Use the mirror to read the serial number and look for batteries." Darcy leaned over to her bag to fish out a compact. One of the other girls stopped her.

"You can use the mirror from the game's toolbox, it will pick up the info and display it through the projector."

"One, Bee, Cue, Dee…"

"Stop. Phonetics please."

"Okay…One, Bravo, Quebec, Delta, Romeo, Seven." She repeated quickly. One of the two girls on her side of the screen glanced at her.

"Okay, thanks. Which box has a red light on it?"

"The little radio thingy."

"It'll make some beeps that only you can hear when you hold the square button in. Let me know what they are, long or short."

Darcy listened to the series of beeps and simply replied, "Whiskey7."

The other two girls blinked at Darcy in surprise while she heard Milena flipping through pages. "Daddy is a HAM operator. My brother and I both have amateur licenses in case he's away at work after a hurricane takes out the power in the state. We usually have power when the shoreline doesn't."

"How much time's left?" Milena asked as she was still flipping through pages.

"7:30."

Darcy heard a soft curse, "I know why the codes are randomized but come on! Ah. Tune it to Three Point Two Eight Seven." Darcy did and the red light went green.

The girls continued talking back and forth over the next six minutes as Darcy cut wires with fake tools, rapidly tapped buttons, did her best to describe weird symbols that Milena had to ask clarifications about, and finally got to the big button.

"What colors is the button?"

"Spanish Veridian."

"So green." Darcy heard her flipping pages.

"No."

"No?!"

"Maybe more of Teal, or even Pine Green? There's a fair amount of blue in it."

"So it's green. Or is it checkered blue and green?"

"No."

"No what?! We have less than a minute."

"Fine. It's Green. But there are blues in the ultraviolet." Darcy put up air quotes as she said 'blues.'

"Whatever!" After another burst of frantically flipped pages, Darcy heard, "Hold the button down and tilt the box until the mercury hits the edge of the glass dish and then immediately let go of the button."

Darcy stood up and did as she was told. The button box LED went green and the timer stopped. '00:08' The box made a very loud click.

The other two girls cheered. Her partner came around the other side of the table and smiled. "Ten minute break, and then we do the real thing…"

Darcy swallowed hard. "The real game thing? Right?"
Last Edit: 1 year 4 months ago by Katssun. Reason: Fixed internal continuity error
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1 year 4 months ago #64450 by Katssun
Katssun replied the topic: The Micro-Scenes thread
The March of Dreams

Elise Crewe walked out of the stone and slate cottage at the very core of her dreamspace and across the small but immaculately maintained lawn via a well worn packed dirt path.

She adjusted her floppy beige sunhat and pulled open a well-oiled wooden gate in the fieldstone rock wall before steeping into the sea of garbage that ran from horizon to horizon. Bright rays of light cut through the sickly indigo hue that filled the sky like the sun peeking through clouds, highlighting specific patches of abandoned belongings.

Elise carefully threaded her way through all manner of things, careful not to step on any of them with her opened-toed wedges. A few baubles were delicately nudged aside with the edge of her shoes. Something robin's egg blue caught her eye in the distance. Moments later she stood before a beast of a car. The word "Dodge" emblazoned on the front in chrome letters. Her hand extended out to touch it when it was yanked back with a very firm grasp around her wrist.

"Not yet. Maybe in a few years," her spirit Meadow said sharply. "Depends." Elise's spirit was all-business tonight. No stained dresses like she usually preferred. Instead she wore her vibrant red hair piled elegantly on her head. Ruched black trash bags forming a floor-length gown. The look on her face was insistent, but not confrontational.

"It's just a car…"

"They're never 'just a car' Elise. Not ones like that."

"Fine. I trust you," Elise twirled around looking for something simple. A tube of lipstick lay on the bare earth a few steps away. A quick glance at Meadow, a subtle nod in return, and Elise picked up the gold and brass plastic tube.

Her completely white embroidered sundress morphed into a floral dress that nipped in at the waist and a burgundy cardigan settled on her shoulders. Elise felt a strong squeeze on each of her legs as tights rolled up them. She sank an inch or two as her sandals became Velcro sneakers. Her world turned in on itself.

A bedroom laid itself out before her. Her view shifted to the vanity. A black and white photo of a well-groomed man in uniform. A later color photo of two old people leaning against a railing, maybe of a ship, all smiles. Pure white houses on rocky cliffs behind them. A necklace stand rested on the other side of the vanity, a simple gold chain with three rings hanging from the bottom. A chime of a doorbell came from somewhere else in the house. The lipstick still in her hand, she placed it on the vanity next to the necklace.

The scene shifted. She felt a pinch on her left hand. A small room, a blaring television. The curtains drawn. Raising her hand, she saw a different ring encircling her finger than the ones on the necklace. The lipstick tube sat next to her on a small table, alongside a glass of water. A rumble of a cart came from the open door. The usual string of overly-quick impressions rushed at her and the world compressed on itself.
ApprehensionNervousPrideLUCKYFondnessKeepsakeForgottenKeepsakeForgottenKeepsakeForgottenTAKEN.Disposed.

She returned to her dreamspace, her clothes shifting to normal. The lipstick shone brightly with inner light. It compacted itself into a pinprick and burst into embers, quickly fading before they came close to the surface. She let out a sigh to shake the memories.

Elise's eye landed on a stone wrapped in bits of leather. She picked it up and her clothes evaporated, but weren't replaced! Trees sprouted from the garbage piles and a sea of leaves replaced the toys, broken electronics, and occasional recliner.

BetterBESTWorn.Dropped.

The stone exploded into light. Elise smoothed out her dress and thanked her lucky stars that was a quick one.

"Here," Meadow said, holding out an empty soda can. "I'm curious," she said with a smile.

Elise reached for the can and four walls pivoted into place around her, zigzag wallpaper rolling down the surfaces. Elise grunted softly as she was squished by her shifting ensemble. A tight red shirt that failed to cover her midriff, denim overalls that fit more like a romper at least a size too small. She quickly popped one of the buttons on the straps before her breasts got crushed as she shrugged the other off of her shoulder.

Usually things shifted to fit. This happened sometimes when the memories were from toddlers.

There wasn't a can in her hand, but a tiny painted soldier in its place. The scene collapsed as quickly as it came.

HeroFUNWornDisplayedRemeberedExamined.Recycled.

"That's a first," Elise remarked, brushing the fading sparkles of light from her hands.

"I very much doubt it’s the last though," Meadow replied. "I'm surprised the emotions clung on even after that though."

Elise glanced behind a stained couch that Meadow wouldn't let her touch and picked up a partially burnt record player. Polished wood floors, and an unattended and empty bar off to the side. Her dress split at her waist and the top rewove itself into a fitted blouse with floral-looking trim. Her skirt swelled into much thicker fabric as it became swing skirt with a cat sewn onto it.

"Hard Nope!" She dropped the player back to the ground and rapidly shook the remnants of the memories from her hands as she returned to her dreamspace. She hated the Fifties! "Uggh!"

"You have to get to them sometime…"

"Not today I don't!" She twirled at her spirit with a raised finger.

Meadow silently shook her head in response.

Compulsively wiping her hands on her dress, Elise picked her way around more things. Shadows from above ran across the pair as they passed a pile of bright satin dresses and a heavy desk with a few pens scattered on its surface. Then there, in a isolated patch of earth, sat a small stuffed animal. Elise snatched it off the ground.

The space around her built itself piece by piece, even shifting over time. Pale pastel pink walls with a border of wallpaper blurring into bright magenta before turning a very dark red and then finally white. A cradle faded into a small bed with lace trim before surging into a full size bed with satiny sheets and then ending as a treadmill.

But her clothes stayed constant. A pink, lacy dress, a little short on her, sure, and what felt like buttons going down her back. The stuffed animal felt soft in her hands.

SoftWarmLovedFavoriteLovedHeroREALMissedCozyChildishCOMFORTINGCherishedForgottenNostalgiaDingyFondness.KissedGoodbye.

The bedroom faded, and the toy shone with a brilliant glow…that promptly faded. The soft feeling replaced by a sensation that was both warm and rough. Her eyes widened with momentary panic.

"Meadow! It happened again!"

The pair walked briskly back to the cottage at the center, Elise carefully cradling the bundle in her hands. Meadow opened the gate at the wall. Elise knelt to the ground and placed a miniature, but very much living and breathing Stegosaurus on the grass. It squeaked happily. Elise glanced across her small menagerie that included a squirrel, two micro-sized horses, and four rabbits already munching on the lawn.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Kettlekorn, Mister D, Malady, null0trooper

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