[DRYH] Scribbler (08)

edited June 2014 in DRYH
The Wax King sent Lady Madalena off to gather the other Knights for your assault on Mother When and the Finishing School. He asked if you would go to the Drawn Tower to meet the Scribbler, giving you directions to find it within his domain. The Wax King had a line of folks wishing to speak with him, to mete out judgments, offer sanctuary or hear complaints. You noticed, as you left, that the candle drooped slightly when he climbed the dais to resume his role as a monarch.

The Drawn Tower is an inky black obelisk sticking up towards the top of the warrens, possibly piercing it in places. No guards standing outside, no people, smothered or otherwise, nearby. In fact, all the muck and the mire ends about twenty feet from the base. The edge is a dark blue, like a pen's ink has run a bit into the muck.

The tower, as you get closer, appears like someone took a giant magic marker and scrawled a tower. There are tiny gaps where the marker didn't completely fill in the space, and you can see through it, or into the tower. darker and lighter places of shading along the walls, as well.

As you come to the foot of the tower, this man sticks his head out of a window at the top:

"Who are you?" he calls down, his voice heavily accented.


  • It occurs to me that I need a cool "nickname" like Scribbler. I'll have to work on that.

    "Scribbler? I'm Benny. The Wax King sent me to meet you. Can we talk?"
  • edited June 2014
    "Ben-nee?" he sounds out the name with the question. He smacks his lips as he considers, then says, "Yes! The new one! Oh yes, I know you.... Benjamin. Yes, come into my Tower."

    I assume you do. The tower, for all it's height, doesn't have much inside, really. A staircase that runs along the inside wall of the tower, all the way up to the top level. Along the walls are hundreds, maybe thousands of drawn figures and characters. Pencil and charcoal line drawings of animals and stick figure people that sway and dance and wiggle, watercolor vistas tens of feet high of far off islands and oceans that move and ripple. There are even fake staircases, leading to nowhere.

    On the top level, which has a relatively detailed wooden floor, you find the Scribbler. This level is a large studio, with paints and canvases galore. There are a pair of smothered women here, in poses they hold effortlessly. One looks familiar.

    "Ben-nee! It is good to see another Awake. Come in, take some food." he gestures to a working refrigerator, looks like a real one. Who knows where it gets power. What do you hope to find inside?
  • Oh man, am I craving fat and salt and sugar and comfort. I hope there's a can of Coke and a few pieces of cold pizza. Pepperoni and mushroom, preferably.

    As I move toward the fridge, I say, "Thanks, Scribbler. It's good to see you, too. You're the first Awake I've met, unless the Wax King really is one. How long have you been... here? In the Mad City?"
  • Just inside the fridge is a bottle of Coke, the old classic kind with the kind of cap that you need a bottle opener for... or very strong teeth. Plus, there are a couple slices of pizza pie, coagulated grease and cheese with pepperoni and mushrooms. Big fat slices.

    As he finishes up a scribble "The first? You've missed some grand ones, then! Awake are always the best company to keep. They are the only ones who understand, you know?"

    He waits for you to take a bite and wash it down before he answers your second question. "I dunno, Ben-nee. A few years...? More? Time is no matter anymore."
  • Oh yeah... I grab the coke and a slice of pie. "I don't suppose you've got a bottle opener?" I smile hopefully. I'll take a look at whatever he's scribbling, watch the process for a bit.

    "I don't even know what I understand, yet. I'm really new at this, Scribbler, and already been in all sorts of mess."
  • Scribbler smirks when you ask for an opener. He was drawing the Smothered woman that looked familiar, but he stops to rip a page out of a notebook on his small wooden table, draws an opener, then pulls it off the page, and walks over to hand it to you.

    The Smothered woman, you realize she's the one who gave you those Wax Coins.
  • I address the Smothered woman directly. "Ma'am, thank you. You were the first person to help me, right after I came to the Mad City for the first time. I appreciate that."

    I pop the Coke open, take a bite of cold greasy deliciousness and wash it down with a swallow of soda. Looking at Scribbler, "Thanks. This is just what the doctor ordered."
  • The Smothered woman slowly inclines her head, a slow blink acknowledging your thanks with such poise.

    Scribbler responds, "Always good to have something to keep you moving, yes? Lots of different drugs, techniques, mental... exercises. You'll need them all." He cocks his head to the side, looking at you with sudden intensity, "Of course, Ben-nee, there is The Trust. When two Awake are partners, strong friends and allies. When they can actually support each other. Let each other sleep. One at a time! Always. And one will protect the other during their sleep, and during their recovery until they are strong again."
  • The Trust... Is this an offer, I wonder? I don't think I'm ready to enter into a partnership yet.

    "Scribbler, is there anything you can teach me in the short term that might be a help? I can't pay back the favor right now, but I won't be useful in the future if I don't survive in the present, right?"
  • That request gives Scribbler pause. He walks back over to sit in his stool by the tower window, picks up a charcoal pen and looks at his drawing pad. He starts sketching out some small figures, drawing fat lines for the outline of the chubby figure. "What can you, ah... what can you do here, Ben-nee?"
  • I think for a sec, then decide to put on a little show. Guessing Scribbler will handle it better than my last attempt at a demonstration. A moment's concentration and I'm starring in the greatest hand to hand movie fight ever, the one between Roddy Piper and Keith David, from the first half of They Live. I'm playing John Nada for Roddy, and "greenscreening" in Keith David's performance as Frank. Man, this is fun. For the first time, really, I'm just digging on what I can do.
  • edited June 2014
    You notice two things pretty quickly. This amuses Scribbler greatly (Smothered woman, hard to tell, but maybe not so much?). Scribbler has no idea you're cribbing from a movie.

    When you're done, he laughs and claps, "Ben-nee, that is amazing! Your power is great. Can you only change how you look, and conjure these apparitions?"
  • edited June 2014
    I take a sweeping bow, trying to include the Smothered woman in my field of vision. "I don't know how far I can push it. I think, if I was willing, I could make them real for some definition of the word. Make them have physical... impact."

    A beat to think.

    "I'm also really fast, when I need to be. Flash fast. Well, maybe not quite, but..."
  • "Really fast? That's grand." Scribbler says as he continues his little doodle. He pulls up the charcoal pen and it looks like this.


    After a moment, the fingers wiggle. The feet flex. The hands reach up off the page, grasp the paper as it if is the top of a hole and the thing pulls itself up. Sits up, then clambers to it's tiny feet.

    Scribbler snickers at the doodle-man, then he sighs, "That is my power... I wish I could draw beautiful women."
  • I chuckle, too, as I watch. Doesn't seem much of a power. Then I think about this tower, the way it seems... sketched. Guess it's not all cuteness and capering around, then.

    "Man, that's cool. I guess we're connected. What I see, goes. What you draw, is. Ever think about taking a drawing class?" Maybe next time I wind up home I'll try and find that copy of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain that Mom abandoned.

  • Scribbler shrugs, "Yeah... someday." He puts a finger down in front of the doodle-man, and the creature walks up his finger to his arm, then settles on his shoulder. He looks over at you, the doodle-man sitting near his ear, whispering into it so low you can't hear. Scribbler asks, "Did you bend knee to the King, Ben-nee?"
  • "No, Scribbler, I haven't. He hasn't asked."
  • That gives Scribbler pause. "Is that so? How ever interesting is this. He once held five Awake under his banner. I was the last of the five to join, and one of the only two to survive. Ben-nee. I wonder... did he explain why he did not ask?"

    You realize the Smothered folk are slowly making their way out of Scribbler's chamber, leaving you alone. And that doodle-man, whispery quiet, is wuite a chatterbox. Still bending Scribbler's ear.
  • I think about it for a minute. Sometimes, when shit gets all tied up in the politics of high school, it takes someone from outside the "power groups," to work things out, or end them. Like a ronin, y'know? Dedicated to a cause, but not to a master.

    For just a moment, I appear to be Toshiro Mifune in Yojimbo. "The Wax King didn't explain. But sometimes, the best results come from someone who is making a choice, not offering an allegiance."
  • Scribbler squeezes his lips tight, inclines his head as if conceding your point. He looks at his doodle-man, and it hops off his shoulder, landing with a splat. It hops up and waddles over to his bed, and starts pulling the sheets off as if it is going to... strip the bed or something. "You asked for a tip before, Ben-nee. I tell you this. Each Nightmare has little ones, like my doodle-man. They can create them whenever they like. My advice, do not worry about them unless you must. Strike at the source."
  • "Thank you, Scribbler." We're alone now, and my endless supply of questions seems pointless. I head back to the fridge, take out the second piece of pizza, take a seat and focus on the slice, glancing at the doodle-man from time to time. I'm procrastinating, I know, avoiding thinking about the fight to come.
  • --END SCENE--
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