[LAM Session 2] Mandi, Berto 3

edited March 2015 in LA Monsters
It's been a rough couple of days following the big outburst at school, and there has been all sorts of excitement within the walls — cops, scent dogs, and texts from your mother — but you've finally started to find some normalcy, and routine. We know you gain consciousness in the locker room every morning, and we know that's kind of your "haunt"... So to speak.

What do you do in your waking hours? When do you usually come out from your little hidey hole to play?


  • edited March 2015
    In the girl's showers, actually, but that's kind of the same thing. Sort of, Its cold and unpleasant in there, and I really don't like my mornings very much until I get up and outside.

    Campus is peaceful before school, even more than after, There's almost no cars going past, only the custodian and an overzealous teacher or two to share the whole place with me. Generally I avoid them and even though they can't see me I don't quite trust that yet and find myself hiding around corners... just in case.

    School hours I still sit in class, though not often in my seat, It's surprising how little everyone seems to miss me... sometimes I accidentally bump the marker off the whiteboard or something. And

    I've followed those two girls around, listening to see if they mention me... hardly ever I guess beyond a satisfaction that they've 'owned' me or whatever. I haven't forgotten what I saw in that dream. I won't forgive her either... I just don't know what to do about it. Yet.

    After school is the best. I watch the sports teams sometimes, in The gym or out on the field. And... ok I admit I've snooped on a couple or two um... making out... Ok I guess that's really wrong... but...


    So things are different, but not really that different. I'm still here.., and mostly nobody cares. But I feel... more calm. Yeah... that's a good word for it. Calm.
  • Ooh, playing peeping Tom, are we? Who did you catch Eventide kissing when she thought she was alone?

    There are some rumors going around the school of a ghost in the girls' shower, though nobody has the audacity to claim it's you. You've found a few girls stay late after class, or after changing in gym. They hover around the showers, peeking in dark corners, freaking themselves out. Do you show yourself to any of them? Has anyone noticed you off the cuff, and started up a conversation with you?

    Let's pick up after school. There was a basketball practice that just finished, and you're wandering the halls when you find John Smith waiting near the water fountain where he took that picture. He's all alone.

    What do you do?
  • edited March 2015
    Eventide was kissing Jason... I mean Seth, you know, that guy in the back row. I was following Eventide around a little cause I was worried she might tell about me. That she saw me, but they were whispering and I got really close to hear and you know I was like this close when they kissed... and well it was startling and kind of um... anyways. I didn't hear what they were talking about unfortunately and the kissing went on long enough that I just had to um... go.

    I'm invisible right? Well, you try being invisible sometime when you're not used to it. You still hide, you still sneak around and worry about being noticed. You still go through the door and try not to run into stuff... which is weird cause I totally could walk right through the door but sometimes I still open it... and it opens. And sometimes I bump things, which is also weird cause I totally could just go right through. So... yeah people see when I mess up... and I think the girls in the showers have occasionally noticed my shadow, or something... not really sure what I did wrong. I wish I would stop randomly bleeding, too... seems to happen when I get upset. Yes I still get upset.


    John Smith... he came?

    I go to him... still sneaking, although there's really no point to it. I sneak quietly up near him and stand there a second like I want to say something. But I can't just... appear, right? I'm not here any more. Not really.

    I waver, unsure... then quietly like a whisper I say near his ear, "John..."

    He can probably feel my breath more than hear me.

    I wonder what he'll do.
  • John perks up when you whisper his name, and looks over his shoulder. He looks right through you, looking confused, but whispers back, "Amandine? Is that you?" The whispering was probably more for effect, and fear of looking stupid to himself. He's looking around for you.

    What do you do?
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    For a few seconds I don't know what to do. I'm weirdly surprised that he heard me, that he recognizes me. And I kind of stand there (glad nobody can see me sometimes) and think of something "ghostish" to say. But he looks as awkward as I feel and that makes me feel a little better.

    "Jo... John... you're right. It's me..." I'm not quite so close, but still whispering like someone might overhear.
  • John looks around to make sure nobody's nearby, and when he's satisfied you're alone, he whispers back, "Where are you?" Some people in school have obviously seen you occasionally, right Mandi? How do you appear when you want people to see you? Does it just happen? Or do you have a system worked out?
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    I guess I just appear, like magic... or something. But it's not like I do it in front of people, so, what it looks like to them... and I guess it's possible that I could have trouble appearing... you know, if I'm stressed out or something. I don't have a system, I still sneak around like I'm visible.... still not used to this.

    People have probably seen glimpses when I didn't mean them to. Maybe most of them wouldn't care either way if I was alive or dead.

    "I'm here," I make sure I'm right behind him before making myself seen. And I quietly say, "John I'm right here."

    I let him turn and see me. Looking just the way I did the day I died. But wearing a melancholy little smile and hands clasped at my back.
  • He turns around when you call his name, and nearly jumps out of his skin at first, but his posture relaxes quickly when he sees it's you. He smiles back, but there's a little more joy in his face than there is in yours. "I didn't know that you'd come back here... Is it safe to talk here? Are you OK?"
  • edited March 2015
    He startled me a little as well, and probably catches me with surprise on my face. His genuine smile puts me quickly at ease, though... Freddie smiled just like that.

    "I'm," I can't just say that I'm dead, right? "I'm kind of in trouble... and it would best if nobody knew I was here today... ok?"

    I plead with my eyes, reach out a little but don't touch him. It's the truth, just not all of it.

    I narrow my eyes slightly, I'm really trying to trust here but it's hard not to think of how I've been hurt so much, for trusting.

    "Why are you looking for me?"
  • He nods slowly, not sure why you would want to keep it secret, but respecting your wishes. He shrugs when you ask him why you were looking for him, "I noticed you were gone in Art class... Your mom came looking for you, and I guess I got worried. Something about this place just made me think I could find you here."

    He takes a tentative step forward, and awkwardly sticks his hands in his pockets — like he doesn't know what to do with them. "Why are you in trouble? Is there anything I can do to help?"
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    I nervously nibble my lip for a second, glance down at his hands as the go into his pockets.

    What I really wonder is why he cares...

    "Uh..." It would be gret to tell him. But... uh... not really possible. He can probably see that on my face. I'm not great at hiding my feelings, right? I take a look over my shoulder down the hall, "do you... want to just hang out a little while? That would help..."

    I manage a weak smile, feeling shy as ever. But did I just sort of ask him on a date? Sort of... ok not really. But it's something.
  • edited March 2015
    Excitement fills his eyes, and he starts nodding enthusiastically. "Sure!" he answers, maybe a little too loudly. He looks around to make sure nobody heard him, then repeats — a little more quietly — "sure! Do you want to get some food, or something?"

    Where do you go to hang out?
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    His excitement kind of surprises me and I feel it, too. A little flutter inside. I haven't felt... good about anything for quite a while. It's been days of learning, of loss, of loneliness. But this is... different. Almost normal.

    But... I don't know if I can leave. I haven't gone as far as the street since dying. But I can't bring myself to say anything and I nod, yes.

    "Anything... yeah. Um... what do you like?" I hope this works.
  • He motions for you to follow him, and he makes his way through the halls to the side door of the school — the one where the students go to smoke when they don't want to be seen. "My grandmother owns a cafe. Let's go get something to drink!"

    Do you follow him out? He's going to take you right there unless you stop him. What scares you the most about leaving the school?
  • edited March 2015
    "Oh, wow!" I kind of chirp as an answer before he finishes his sentence. I'm both nervous about being with a boy, and worried about going outside. I follow him, hands together at my chest and taking nervous steps. Smile at him whenever he turns to glance at me, but I'm all twisted up inside.

    I pause in the door as he holds it open for me... I can smell the old cigarettes smashed around the door like discarded... uh... cigarettes.

    I wait there with a hand on each side of the doorframe for a good few seconds until he makes some sound, or seems to notice.

    Then a deep breath. I smile at him and say thanks.

    And step outside.
  • The anticipation of stepping outside really was a thing, wasn't it? There's that ever-present draw from deep in the school, to the girls showers. It was pounding in your ears as you walked up to the threshold, but faded as you stepped out into the real world again.

    No explosions... No blood... No teleportation back to the showers...

    But something's not quite right, is it? You hear rumbling in the distance, like a storm rolling in just barely loud enough to hear over the cars, and air conditioners. John turns around to see what's up, and you take a few steps forward. You smell something — a faint odor of death and decay, lingering nearby.

    Then you hear it: a young student, about your age, whimpering to himself. His face buried in his hands, and a cigarette smoldering on the ground next to him. He's bleeding from both temples — suicide — but John looks over and doesn't see him. Worse yet, this young student is chained to the ground by the neck. That same chain from your vision a few nights ago. He's ignoring you — completely consumed in his torment.

    And he's not the only one... You see shadows walking the streets just beyond the school's grounds. Some are just people, going about their daily routine, but some ... Some of them are dead, like you. Some of them are clearly not like you though — some of them are sick, and twisted. Abused, dragging heavy chains behind them, gnashing their teeth, and mumbling profane words of damnation. This isn't the world you left your home to explore, is it? One of them, walking on the sidewalk nearest you, stops and smells the air. Searching for you.

    This thing:

    John takes a step closer to you, "Is everything OK?"
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    I slow, stop. Freeze...
    It slowly builds, that feeling that something's wrong, then the unsettling noises... (now I know what that scritch-scratching I hear sometimes at night through the windows has been) Then the smell, and the dead.. that chain I've seen before... and that... that thing which nobody should ever see!

    A pitiful whimper escapes my lips, fear obvious on my face. John steps closer and I startle and look at him. I open my mouth, head shaking slightly like I'm trying not to believe what I'm seeing. That poor soul chained there... for a moment I want to go to him to help, but... that thing, those things are looking for me. Coming for me... right now I just can't. I have to get away.

    But Amandine... you're past being able to disbelieve. Believe it.

    "I'm sorry..." I manage to say...

    I turn and hurry, then run back to the door, back to safety... and I find myself praying that it hasn't locked closed yet.
  • There's shock in John's eyes as you turn around, and head back to safety. He takes a few cautious steps towards you, then picks up the pace as the door starts to close behind you. He doesn't make it in time before you hear the click of the door shutting. John reaches out and tugs at the handle, but the door doesn't move. "Amandine?" his muffled voice calls through the glass, "Amandine, it's locked. What happened? Are you OK?"

    That creature has turned, and is facing you from the walkway. It shuffles slowly down the path, reaching out slowly for you... Or is it John? Either way, it's coming for one of you.
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    I bolt inside, as the door closes, I lean back against it, feeling not safe... but sheltered.

    But... oh no. John! That thing... wait...

    My mind spins, can it hurt him? Can it even see him? They must have always been out there, even when I was walking to and from the gate, those things were there, right? I just didn't see them... I didn't know.

    But John calls to me and I just have to let him in. I just have to.

    I take three deep breaths to steel myself before reaching for the cold locking bar to push the door open for him.

    "John, hurry! Come inside!"
  • Holding steady to open the door:
    (Rolled: 2d6+1. Rolls: 4, 6. Total: 11)
  • edited March 2015
    I peer through the glass out at the terrible outside, the street of horrors and danger which only I can perceive...

    Wait. I force myself to look at him, the poor chained up soul... I want to help him. I stare. He's in torment... and there's others aren't they? I can hear the cries...

    And those chains I've seen... felt. It's wrong.

    Asking the MC a question
    Is there anything I can do to help him?
  • John looks a little spooked, not sure what to do, but he follows your orders, and you slam the door shut before the thing can amble its way over to you. John looks outside for some evidence of anything that might be going on, but doesn't see anything. "What's going on?" He whispers, unsure of himself.

    That tortured soul seems completely oblivious to the monstrosity coming up the path to the doors. Enough so that when the creature stops mid-step, and turns to face him, he doesn't even lift his head from his hands. A twisted smile creeps across the creature's face, and a viscous black tar falls from its mouth. It reaches out to the chained boy.

    If you really want to help that boy, you need to draw that thing away from him.
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    Well, I made my roll, so let's assume I'm not entirely scared senseless here...
    I slam the door shut after John enters, but the glass, the damned glass. I can see what's happening and I can't just ignore it, right?

    It's going to get him!

    "Close your eyes." I say to John, urgently. Maybe he thinks it's some kind of game or something, but the moment he does I silently disappear and pass through the wall to go to the chained boy.

    We'll see if I get that far.
  • John's so confused right now, he's just doing what you tell him to. Once his eyes are closed, you're through the door easier than ever, and running to the chained boy. The creature has made it to him first, though, and just as you get there, it grabs his forearms, and a loud hiss fills the air — like acid on skin — and the boy is shaken from his confinement. He cries out in pain, and the creature shakes with sick pleasure, its black teeth glistening in the setting sun.

    The boy doesn't seem to notice you, as he struggles to get free from the grip of this thing. What do you do?
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    I rush over, for a moment of my life fear isn't on my mind. I run to the chains, grab on with both hands, crying, "leave him alone! Let go of him!" And I tug and tug on the chains, trying to wrest them free from whatever anchors him to the pavement.

    I try not to look directly at the thing (it's terrifying) but I probably can't avoid it... I just have to try. Have to try and do something for him. Somebody has to!
  • The chain sinks into the pavement, like someone poured the asphalt around him; but when you tug at it, the chain moves freely — like the chain is anchoring him to the bottom of some endless asphalt sea. You pull on the chain, struggling to wrest him free from this thing's grasp, and you do. The creature hisses at you as the young man is pulled from his grasp — you notice the young man's skin is burned badly where the creatures hands were... There's still a putrid smoke pouring off him.

    The tugging seems to have snapped the young man's eyes on you. He turns around to find you tugging on his chain, and pleads, "Help me! It's going to end me! Get it away from me!"

    The creature looks hesitant — like two of you aware of its presence is more than it bargained for. It bares its ebony teeth, and takes a cautious step back. It's not ready to cede ground just yet, but you've got it backed into a corner here.

    What do you do?
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    I pull and pull at the chains, the fact that they just pull through the ground is alarming, confusing. The creature just feet away is terrible, but I'm here. I'm doing this! I hold back frightened cries and tears as I struggle to free him.
    A long loop of wicked chain hanging from my hands I stare up at the creature, my pale hair hangs over my face and obscures my eyes.

    "Get away from him!" I cry, and well... it's the only weapon I have. I Lash out with the long loop of chains held in my hands, swipe at the creature with the cold metal.I'm by no means powerful, but I have the force of adrenaline, fear, and determination behind my actions.

    Lashing out?
  • Lashing out sounds right to me. Hit it.
  • Lashing out at the thing: (Probably not wise)
    (Rolled: 2d6-1. Rolls: 4, 2. Total: 5)
  • You swing the heavy chains at the creature, and they make a sick crunching noise as they crash into its frail body. An anger bellows forth from its throat, and it closes the distance between you, shoving you back and onto the ground with a terrible force. You lose your bearings for a second, and drop the chain to the ground. With the wind knocked out of you, you watch on in horror as it grips the poor boy's head in its hands, and squeezes.

    A tormented scream escapes the boy's mouth, and that horrible hiss fills the air again. Seconds later, the creature and the boy start to char and smoke all over. Their bodies turn to ash, and smoke, and eventually blow away entirely in the wind... In less than a minute, they're gone. Not a single trace of the boy, or the creature. The small pathway is quiet. The chain slowly sinks down into the ground, like an anchor was pulling it down into the depths...

    The door to the school opens, and John comes running out and drops down to his knees next to you. "Amandine! Are you alright?!"
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    What the Hell? Damn, Mandi is a weird chick. I'll head over, just to see what's up, you know? "Hey, Mandi. What the.. what the hell happened to you?"
  • edited March 2015
    Wait up a second.... here's what I'm doing.
    I try to hold him as he goes, the boy. But he dissolves from my grasp and he's gone and I'm left there on my knees, ashes slip through my fingers which probably only i can see.

    My eyes are red and frightened, but I'm not quite crying. I'm breathing too fast, obviously fueled by adrenaline as something terrible has happened... though. I'm just sitting there on the sidewalk all alone right? What could have happened.

    So uh... John kneels with me and realize that I forgot (again) to stay invisible... damn. I turn slowly to him, about to say something when Berto shows up like out of nowhere.

    I say this first to John, but turn my head and I'm looking at Berto by the end, "I was... he..." and I try to laugh it off, awkwardly, "I was just going for a walk um... I slipped."

    Obviously not true... right? But I put on a weak little smile. They would never believe me if I told them.
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    That was like the most words she's ever said in front of me, I think.

    Is it weird that the thing that pops in my head is that she still has a cute smile?

    "Well, you're back now, right?" I ask, not sure what else to say. John's kind of blocking me, and evidently they're close or whatever, so I'm not going to just shove the band geek out of the way. I'll hang back a bit, but I'm watching her closely.
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    They can see that I'm upset and trying not to show it. I slowly stand up still wearing that awkward little smile. I'm obviously anxious and shaken... not obvious why.

    I look at my hands like they hurt and open and close them a couple times and I think of the chains and that makes me think of that... thing... and then I look at Berto and sort of realize something and make a little chirpy sound as I almost start saying something. Then swallow that. I stare at him. Could he really? Berto definitely catches me staring, mouth hanging a bit open as my brain reels.

    Suddenly I want to be inside. Where it's safe... where I belong, and I'm grateful John is here, right? But I can't take my eyes off Berto. Like... it's not safe to. Right?

    "I uh... forgot my bag..." I lie again, hich is something I don't usually do a whole lot of and suddenly I'm full of them.

    I take a couple steps towards school trying to keep that smile on my face and not scream.... I hope I don't start bleeding... it comes when I get upset. Sometimes.
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    She's up now, looking around, unsure. "It's cool. The bag. It's in your locker or something?" I'll walk with her to her locker, unless Abs is not having it.
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    Locker. Do I even have a locker any more?
    "Uhh, yeah something... my locker. Sure...
    I look at poor John who must be so confused, at the specter of that monster which was just here...
    I don't know what to say, I wait to see what John is going to do, and almost as if drawn there on a string I head back to campus.
  • edited March 2015
    Abby is a little confused as to what is going on. So is John, technically, but who's keeping score? Abby's eyes are going back and forth between Berto and Mandi, and she pats Berto on the shoulder. "I've gotta get home. See you, Berto." She'll follow you as far as her locker, but that's about it.

    John looks less composed. He looks to you, Mandi, and seems to distrust Berto on your sudden mannerisms alone. He steps up next to Mandi, and says with some confidence, "I'll go with her, Humberto. Weren't you busy doing something else?"
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    Its his name, right? But it sounded different the way John, said it. It sort of makes me energized in a weird way... if it weren't for what I just saw minutes before I might even laugh.
    Berto.... he's dangerous right? But I can't take my eyes off him. But yeah... it would be better not to go together, right? I glance at Abby, who is looking at me that... that way.
    "Its ok.. really I just need to go to my locker. No big deal." Why am I so nervous... after what happened out here I should be happy to be alive....

    Oh. right.
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    I give Abs a nod. "Coolio, Abby." When John tries to blow me off, I look at him like "whoah little man". "John. I was walking Abby to her locker. Look, there's her locker. Now, I'm talking with Mandi. And you, for some reason."

    I look to Mandi, "Yo, is John your boyfriend or something?"
  • edited March 2015
    Berto is like this. He brings out this attitude between the boys. He's good at it, getting them off balance, making them angry. Making the girls want him...
    I know it and his question still gets me off guard. (of course I DO have a lot on my mind right now)
    "No... he's..." I look at John. We still haven't had a chance to talk. "We're just... just friends....
    That sounds awful, doesn't it.
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    At Mandi's answer, I look to John and shrug like, "hunh, isn't that interesting?"

    "Mandi, do you want me to go? Or stay?" There, John, let's see what your not-girlfriend wants.
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    Hey, maybe I'm Turning Her On?
    (Rolled: 2d6. Rolls: 5, 4. Total: 9)
  • edited March 2015
    I blurt out, "yeah!" Like... of course I want him to stay... and immediately wonder why I said that. I blush, a little caught in his headlights as I forget for a moment what I think I know, and he's just that warm, kind boy who shared a table with me at lunch that time. Who came here out of nowhere and noticed me when all around me was crumbling.
    I look at John, feeling like I'm terrible... why did I say that? I can't take it back...
    "John I..."
    Do I have to decide? I just wanted someone to notice me... but this isn't fair.
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    "Cool," I say with a smile. I'll head to her locker, because I know where it is. Does John. Lean against the one beside it. "Where you been, chica? Been missing ya."
  • John looks crushed, Mandi. The confidence he had is gone, and he's slumped down in submission. A hand slips into his pocket, and he scratches nervously at his hair as Berto moves to take you to your locker. It seems he's not coming. He nods, like he knows what's going on, "No, sure... I'll catch you around. I should get to my vocals lesson anyway." He can't seem to make eye contact with you, Mandi. Instead he just lets you go, unsure of what to do with himself.
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    I'm crushed, really. The one guy who reached out to me and I let him down like this? But...
    "John I'm sorry...." I say, my voice shaky as I'm so aware of Berto hovering near.
    But I'm dead... I can't have a little secret romance with a nice boy like him, can I? He wouldn't understand... he'd probably be afraid me if he knew. Right?
    Would Berto be?
    I sniffle and look at Berto. What's his face like right now as John goes?

  • Will answer Berto in next post
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    I watch John go. I'm not sneering or anything like that. If he hadn't gotten touchy with me, I wouldn't have much of a problem. He's just a hanger-on, you know? Sort of like me, before Officer Ramos. Well, he's a band geek. I can't play an instrument.

    I cross my arms as I lean against the locker. "He didn't have to go." I say it to Mandi, but it's a hallway, I'm sure he can hear. Whatever.
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    I look back and forth from Berto to John and back. He had to go... it was so obvious, that guy thing.
    We stand near my locker but I don't even want to open it. Like, what if it's empty? I'm sure it is... I'm not here any more. I lean on the row of lockers, nervously tap-tapping with a fingernail.
    "I'm in a little bit of trouble..." a weak smile. It's the same thing I told John, and that seemed to work. Fingers crossed. "It's better if everyone doesn't know I'm here... ok?"

    It's on my mind how he seemed to show up just as I touched those chains. Could it mean something? Can I trust him? I know he's a jerk. Pretty much default for boys... but he was so nice at the start of the year. That one time.
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    Mandi's eyes are so pretty, when you get a chance to see them. When she isn't looking down. She seems really nice, just, you know, sheltered or something.

    "Okay." I agree. "I'll ask Abs to keep it quiet. I won't tell anybody." I assure her, and why not, right? Why the hell would I blab about that? It's interesting, though. "Maybe I can help? Is somebody hurting you? Fucking Brad?"
  • edited March 2015
    It makes me feel weirdly smart that he believes me. And it's not really a lie, right? How much more trouble could I be in than dead?
    But he mentions Brad and I raise my hands defensively.
    "No, oh no no... nothing like that," how much should I say. He seems to really care... but... my blue glass eyes flicker up to his before I admit, "It's stuff at home... uh... I can't go home." And I find saying that out loud sort of hurts inside and my heart twists up a bit and he can probably see that on my face.
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    Shit. Is she pregnant? I always chalked her up to being a virgin or something. Mandi looks at me, and I'm struck. Like, there's this weird thing when I see her, you know? She's nothing like Abby, who's badass. Mandi's so soft and gentle. I don't want her in trouble.

    "Oh." Is her dad hurting her or something? I'm afraid to ask. "You have any family? I could, you know, drive you there or something."
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    He's looking at me like I'm broken, now. Kind of hurts. And I feel like I don't want him to think that way.
    "No..." I look at his eyes now like it's important. My head shakes slightly, "I don't want to go anywhere... I just need to stay here."
    A serious, slightly embarrassed look on my face as I realize that doesn't make much sense.
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    "I don't get it, Mandi." I admit, rolling up to stand beside her. "What's the deal with you, like disappearing and then showing up here?"
  • edited March 2015
    I turn and lean against the lockers, arms crossed kind of low across my middle. He can probably see how I'm deciding if I can confide in him. My eyes mostly down towards the floor with the occasional flicker.

    You know... I just saw a monster out there kill someone. I haven't forgotten that... my arms are crossed so he can't see my hands shake. I think if I was alone I'd probably fall into a heap and lose it. I'm glad he's here... for what it's worth.

    I exhale and quietly say, "you wouldn't believe me if I told you... I just have to stay here." Another flicker to his eyes which almost dares him to ask. But I'm afraid he will.
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    I wouldn't believe her? I can believe more than she thinks.

    I reach into my jeans and pull out my phone, tap around to my Gallery and pull up an old pic of me and my older brother. It's from last year, before me moved. I'm rail thin, fall full of zits, my nose is crooked, too. I show her the pic. "Guess who that ugly fucker is?" I give her a second, then answer for her. "Me. Last year."

    I swipe to a couple more, just so she sees what I was before I came here. "There's this guy, like a fucking genie. Came along, made me look good, gave me muscles and a badass car. A fucking genie."

    I don't say anything for a moment, let that shit sink in. "So, what's with the blood and the hopping around and shit? Seriously. And why can't you leave?"
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    Litte skeptical at first when he starts going through his phone, but I look. Compare the picture to him. And yeah... it's him. Really different but it's him.

    "A genie?" I am really skeptical about that. I think I know who.... even what this genie really is. But maybe he doesn't. Maybe he's innocent. I feel a little bit relieved.

    "I'm not really here any more... Humberto," nibble my lip and think a second. "I guess I'm something like a ghost... or something." Why does saying that make me blush. Like I should be embarrassed about it?

    Ok maybe I should.
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    "You're here." I say, stepping closer, like a foot away. I reach out to touch her forearm. "See?"
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    I half-withdraw from him, but not completely.
    "I know I'm here!" I say with a pained expression and quickly follow up slowly, sadly, "but I'm not really... it's ridiculous right."
    Maybe I have to show him, but I really don't want to.
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    I cock my head, giving her a WTF look. "So like... how are you not here?" I touch her forearm again. I can even smell her.
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    I pull my arm back and look at him with narrowed eyes, "this Genie of yours... what if he's not nice. What if he's bad."
    Trying not to be too confrontational but I do have literal visions of hell in my head to go on here.
  • edited March 2015
    I ease back, since she's not into it. "Officer Ramos isn't the nicest, well, genie. Or maybe he is, I don't know any others." I shrug, like, well, I don't. "He's helped me out, hasn't hurt anybody. Why? You know something?" I'm noticing she's real chatty now.
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    I swallow nervously.

    I hover with my mouth open, my top teeth just touch my bottom lip for a moment before speaking. "Kinda..."

    Then a little break into a nervous laugh, "you probably don't believe it anyway... uh... I don't really know. It just seems like you don't get all..." I look at him, feet, legs, body... face. "You don't get all this for nothing. Right?"
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    I chew on the inside of my cheek for a minute, an old, ugly habit my abuela tried to get me to stop. I mostly did, except when something's bothering me. "No. Not for nothing." I shrug, "He wants me to do stuff sometimes, like spread the word to some people. And he gets pissed when I fuck it up." I reach up with a finger to show her the zit. Probably not that big of a deal, but I fucking hate it so much.
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    "He did that?" I look at it, hadn't even noticed at all... "Why would... I mean it's no big deal... you're still...."
    I almost say cute. But I don't say it. He totally knows I was going to say it.
    Quick change of subject, "I don't think you should listen to him."
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    "I'm not going back to that..." I sort of gesture at my phone, which is back in my pocket, but seriously, she has to know. "No way."

    Then it sort of hits me that she thinks I'm cute. I look at her for a moment, try to catch her eyes. "You're really pretty, Mandi. I've never told you, but I've always thought it."
  • edited March 2015
    Ok everything that happened just goes away for a second then he says it. I felt so alone... let Freddie lead me to the girls, let my own loneliness cost me everything.
    Tears well up in my eyes as I look at him and the stress pours out, my voice breaks, "why didn't you tell me?"

    The last words nearly a cry but not quite.
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    I shrug again. Why do I keep doing that around her? "I dunno, I felt like I scared you. Or something. I mean, why does it even matter? I'm telling you now." I'm reaching a hand up to cup her cheek. "You're really pretty, Mandi. I'm sorry I didn't tell you before." I'm giving her the gonna-kiss-you eyes. She can back out, really easy.
  • edited March 2015
    Wow, that makes me feel good and what, is he... no no. He sees a bright blush on my usually-pale face my eyes go wide and I take a sharp breath with a little girlish whine and hold it...

    I panic a little at what looks like (my first?) kiss and without thinking I suddenly turn ghostly and disappear through the wall of lockers I'm leaning against and suddenly I'm gone.

    At least... for a moment.
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    I lean in, and then, she's not there. I'd closed my eyes for just a second, then poof. She's gone. I stand there for a moment, looking around for her. If she's gone, I'll head back out to my car.
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