Title: Pricks & Thumbs-12
Fandom: Fear Mythos
Characters: Rich Providence ♂, Propylaia ♀
Rating: G (L0 N0 S0 V0 D0)
Notes: Fish gets the girl! No, really. Gets. Out of the door. Strange conversations ensue.
I went back for the keys, right away, this time. The first two rooms I opened were disappointing. Nothing but floor soap and rolls of bags. I took a bag, just to make it easier to carry things, if I found a bunch of stuff. But, it wasn’t until the third room that things started to look good. That’s where I found a really long hose. I want to think it was for filling that pool I will never again go near, but I also have a sense that doesn’t make sense. I’m not sure why. Still, took the hose. Also took a broom that looked like it might be wider than the door frame. I don’t know why I keep thinking of the door as pulling things in, when it seems more interested in pushing things out, to either side.
But, that’s not the important part. The important part is the girl.
No, Fish. Back up.
Ok, so, I tied the hose to the broom, and went to the corner. Sure enough, there she was, clutching at the doorframe, trying to pull herself through. Still singing that song. It felt like it echoed off the city, itself, without actually being loud enough to do that. I still couldn’t really see her, which I still don’t understand. But, I threw the broom to her. Well, no. It took a few tries, and it was more like I swung the hose at her with the broom for a weight. It took her a while to get a hand on it, but her hand was the first thing I could really see, like with no psychedelic effects. No blurring, no seeing through it. As soon as her hand grabbed the broom, it was like her hand was suddenly real. I tied the hose around a pole and started to pull, as soon as she had both hands on the broomstick.
And, then, there she was, just laying on the ground like she fell, coming out of the door. I ran over to her, which was weird, because it worked. I couldn’t get much closer to the door, but I could get to her. And then there was all that awkward staring and saying stupid things and ‘are you ok?’
I told her my name was Fish, and she blinked at me. Said she found a note written in chalk, on the street on the other side of the door (street? isn’t that door to a shop?) and it said ‘find the provident fish’. I told her I wasn’t sure I was ‘provident’, but my family name was ‘Providence’, which was probably close enough.
Through all this, she managed to sit up and started looking around. I offered her my hand, and she hesitated a long time, before she took it and stood up.
"You’re really real," she said to me. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that. It was such a weird sentence.
I asked her name, and she said I should call her Laia. Then I asked what she meant about ‘really real’. I guess she couldn’t see me either. Just heard the same song, but heard me singing it. I reassured her I hadn’t been singing, I’d been trying to talk to her; trying to tell her I’d find a way to bring her through. She said she hadn’t been singing, either, but asking me to help her. Something changed, then. Some realisation that the door was more than it appeared to be. It seemed to block parts of things, but not all of them. Blurry vision, the wrong sounds, folding space…
For a while, we just looked at each other, coming to terms with the fact that we looked related. Actually, from what she said, we look more related to each other than we do to our parents. She’s not The One, but we appear to be a sept no one noticed. The One Who Walks Before Us hasn’t spoken to her either, but the green eyes, the black hair, the ashy skin scrawled with blue and orange lines… There’s no one else in town with that mark. There’s no one in her town, either.
I’m inclined…no. I really believe she’s real. Hah. Now I’ve said it. She’s really real. I don’t think she’s a dream. I think this is what our sept does, and we never knew because there aren’t enough of us in one place. But, there’s two of us, now.
She thinks we should give the cities names. Cities, because she has one, too, and it doesn’t look anything like mine. I told her that next time we met, we should each have a name, because that would give us time to come up with good ones.
We joked around about this being the weirdest way to meet someone, and how we’ll never trust a door again. The kinds of stuff you’d expect, really. And then she really started to look around. "I wonder if there are other doors. I wonder if there are more places, more cities. I wonder if they’re even all cities."
I told her I was pretty sure there were places in the city that had gone wrong, even if I wasn’t sure what ‘wrong’ meant. I described the room with the swimming pool, and that oppressively creepy feeling. And, of course, the fact that nothing had any words on it.
I guess I’d noticed that first. She hadn’t, because of the note in the street, on her side. And the arrow pointed at the door, so she’d never really looked for other words, because who can read the words in dreams, anyway? Except the important ones, of course.
And then we ran out of time. The clock at the top of the tower tolled, and Laia got all swirly like she’d been in the door. And then she was gone, and I was awake, in bed.
I want to see her again, and now I know how. I wonder if there are more of us. I know there’s another town, somewhere out there. I just don’t know what to do about it.
We don’t know where we are. I don’t know if her town knows where they are, either. I just know we’re near Tower Mountain. Not close enough to get there, without being torn apart by razorhounds, but close enough that the old folks still talk about going to the mountain, before it was taken by Those Who Walk Before. The Dolls brought the message that those who want to speak to Them should face the mountain with their entreaties, and the Dolls always know which way is toward the mountain. We’re just more than a few days from it, and the razorhounds get thicker, toward the mountain.
But, there’s another town, out there, and Laia’s in it.