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Imprimatura
Topic Started: Aug 13 2016, 05:40 PM (1,453 Views)
Cicada Days
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
The thought was a lonely and mute one, that if she'd spoken up about the windows she might not be standing here right now.

G047 : Florentina 'Tina' Luz
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Heavy, block-sized metal doors built with factory uniformity. They consumed the thoughts. Spartan, cold, lifeless design. The floor was also mostly sterilized, Tina's sneakers only squelched and squeaked against tile. When she'd woken it had been with a painful vise around the broad of the curvature of her skull. She'd quickly removed herself from the floor. The bag had been searched, it had turned up a discordant jumble of items. Some familiar, some not so. Some to stay within the bag, some to be held firmly in her hands.

It was a rod of a lush and organic iron, the sort that was rare to find if one only knew labs and school yards. Junkyards, museums, that was where Tina found metal that felt textured to the touch like this. The head was gnarled like the body of a fish, only foaming at the mouth and body with sharp pylons. Her grip remained firm as she slowly trudged from door to door, the weapon creaking back and forth, perpendicular to the broad of her hips. Her eyes met empty rooms. She coughed, the sound echoed off the walls in a dull manner, sounds seemed to half melt into the plaster and brick.

More rooms to check. Three, oddly oriented against her body on the cardinal axis.

She had to move, soon. She fully knew that there was nothing in here now. Just gates to pass, hanging open on hinges sheared to the bone.
V7

V6 - Like you imagined when you... were young...
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The noises had been accompanied by the harsh, shrill register of metal rambling and rattling. Tina had remained cautious, her muscles only barely primed to move. Before a number of faces sketched from unknown stock and source appeared. An athletic body with thin, silky jawline was shouting. First at nothing in particular, then at her. She felt the rough-hewn body of her nameless weapon press into the flesh of her thigh tightly. She then felt it relax. Her steps were small, ankle to foot, they didn't carry her far before another face poked out of one of the cells she had yet to check. A soft, all Americana sort of face carved into a heart around the base of her hairline. Two cells left unknown.

"H-Hello...?"

Tina's sidelong glance was infinitesimal. Could have been measured by the smallest increments on a stopwatch.

She marched briskly, the floor continued to squeak beneath her sneakers. Their age betrayed, shoelaces peeling and fraying into the ether. The noises were still loud, but the syllables seemed to more clearly define themselves into approximations of human speech. Phonetically. 'Re', 'ruh', so on and so forth. Tina felt the weight of her collar shift slightly, smooth bore metal pressing straight into the flat contour of bone and tendon. When she breathed in that moment she could feel the collar rise and fall. Then it was gone, and she was at Barry's side.

Wordlessly she waited as he rubbed his hands together. It was an oddly picturesque scene and sound, the slight matchstick etch of palm on palm.
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Eyes were pointed her way briefly, she met them only with the flesh, round cusp where her thin eyelashes nested. More words that melted into sweet static. Three clear, stabbing the eardrum in drum rattles of punctuation. One, and two, and three. Other way around.

Her fists remained tight, clenched vises threatening to split her knuckle along the seam. One hand warbled, tendons bouncing hesitantly. Tina wasn't especially sure. A second later on the noiseless downbeat where a sharp, crisp bark split the air between herself and the tall body beside her, her hand sprang. One hand. The other continued to strain mercilessly against the weight of a pole. It steadily dripped, drooped off the firm axis it had been formerly welded into. That she noticed most. Elsewhere, her fingernails dug into rusty iron just enough so her dully rounded nails began to buckle, splinter as they found a place to be among many. The effort felt unwieldy, halfhearted, one where her body tipped and bowled and shuddered more than the door ever could.

Muscles beside her seemed to flow effortlessly. They seemed to somehow give their all, every bead of sweat drawn glistened as a coin.
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The door was vanished and vanquished. Conquered by the boy athlete, when Tina was conquered by it. The floor's riposte to her fall was lean and mean, it struck right into a flat bone on her hip like pestle upon mortar. Made such a sound too, though Tina herself remained silent as her body rocked with dull ache. Something else clattered to the floor, toothed body seeming to reach for the heavens before it's damp squeal collapsed into dust motes and silence.

Silence not for long. They seemed to be congregating. Back twisted into a knot and kink Tina could see the innocent pallor of face she'd seen before, and another face altogether built around the nose. They asked, they spoke. They shared faces. All the heads attached by thin sinews and flesh to bodies did, lips melting into something effervescent as vision briefly became a blur. Eyelids open, shut. Piston action like a machine. Like her legs as she suddenly felt herself clawing, scrambling for the nameless rod of weapon she had purchase to call her own.

Somehow, the air seemed noxious. A breath drawn was a breath short, and Tina had to let it out in a minuscule gasp. There were three groups now.

One of two, one of two, one of one.
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The camera was clearly not pointed her way, though it saw her all the same.

The boy they'd freed was of a soft and round quality, his hair erupting into the higher dimensions. Suddenly in his hands were blocks of cheap plastic in his hand whose crevasses and wrinkles disguised the value within. They could have gone in two directions, but suddenly just one. The one where the horizon would stretch to infinity. Her hands were set into a tremble, knuckles peeling. She felt a tension in her ankle. The one who had freed the boy seemed to have no intent for the bars. The tension fell. Tina stood still, having not budged an inch of limb. Relaxed, her neck could roll. Also regard the other group of two, separately.

But there were questions now. Friendly, mellifluous tones of something irrelevant.

"The bus windows. Too convenient they were all locked." Tones ugly, gritty. Tarry. Her throat seemed to itch.

Those windows hadn't budged under scrutiny and with a liberal smattering of palms. Tina spoke with the floor as her audience, her eyes briefly alighting before perching once more. A glimpse of some expansive gray canvas, flecked blue like egg shells. A structure of lips that didn't seem quite so sturdy. The colors faded into a dust-streaked shadow.
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An arranged bouquet of fingers was pointed in her direction, so that her eyes could look into those of the fleshy piglets. Tension neatly rode on the ball of her ankle, her weight briefly resting on the potential of moving itself elsewhere, at pumping speeds.

They spoke further, Tina spoke nil. Almost like she couldn’t breathe, like the air preferred itself in other lungs that weren’t her own. Something vised her throat. A spasm. If she coughed she’d have stolen something that didn’t belong to her. It took a forceful swallow to sooth the throat. Nothing went down but specks and flakes of dry.

They’d been here an hour of a minute. Tina hadn’t been breathing for most of that time, somehow.

Teamwork. An astute observation. One of two, one of two. The one with nose distinctively painted onto his face wore his voice steeled like weapons. Sword and shield, perhaps. His blood and marrow sluiced, surging in a direction that lay beyond a gate. The girl followed him, wearing her own facial features of some sort of tiny form.

Tina felt the unsought idea of her heels grinding into the faded plush of her sneakers. The heavy specters of Cochise flesh shrunk in stature until her back was melted into a wall. Her eyes expanded into the infinite horizon of eroded floor tiling.

One of one.
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Flesh and bone and bright. Slowly the tones began to melt away. Vapors dribbled off them, etching air into the vaguest of shapes. A map. A wave. A plastic casing, a plastic wreath. Steel, cast into violence.

Tina's ears split. They went without protection, as firm bolting welded her to her mockery of a stave. Muffled loud, like a gun shot chromatic over an octave. Back and forth, back and forth, fingers danced on a piano diminuendo. Pressure on her lip. Enamel. A face, a request for thought. Tina tasted the slightest tinge of iron and rust. It splashed from the sinewy pillow she crushed with incisors. It hurt. Sentences exchanged. It hurt. The velvety cream of a shoulder rubbed by fabric as it mightily flexed. The drift of vapors, until the air was clean of all but the remaining miasma. Noxious on her breath. A finger trembled though Tina was a statue. She could breathe.

It hurt.

She felt her chest tense, loosen. Tense, loosen. Tense, loosen. Lungfuls in syncopation, whistling mutely through eroded crags of teeth. Each step. A discombobulated accordion, air leaking with every footfall. Her shadow was cast. The typecast of G047, unassuming, darkened a few shades. Zero saturation could become negative. Thoughts continued to churn, hollow racket of cogs and clanks.

Tina's field of vision narrowed. A distant din that continued to stubbornly echo, it was finally silenced. She could only hear her own breath. Tepid. A weapon clattered to her side, briefly abandoned. Her fingers wove, a clumsy backstitch. The purr of a zipper. Nothing but muted hues inside, but one hue stood out. Grayscale, more so than it's surroundings. The gentle god-fearing gift of a girl who didn't fear god. Reverence led greasy fingerprints only lightly against the fibers of anothers' child, pride. Pride. An emotion.

It...

Would do. She could wear it, even if it weren't her own. But not on her body. On her soul, where it would be warm. In her bag, where it would be safe. Lily Caldwell's gift to Tina Luz was carefully buried, sealed hermetically by masses of other meaningless fabrics.

One breath, just one. It smelled only of the sun's gentle touch and a spring breeze. Home. If she put one foot before another, if she made toe meet heel... But she needed to hold a weapon.

She breathed choke.

((Florentina Luz continued in Rückenfigur))
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