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Tag: Siobhan

Morality

In 2012, I participated forum RP that I used to explore the varying moralities of two very different characters, a witch and a superhero. It wasn’t exactly what the original author intended, but she liked the read.

Siobhan’s Story

The quiet girl clung to her kilt. Siobhan turned slowly, her sword at the ready. No other demons appeared. No more tentacles threatened to snake out from the darkness. The witch’s eyes settled on the huddled, whimpering form in the corner. “Don’t kill me,” he whispered. “Please don’t kill me.”

Siobhan knelt and faced the little girl. Her senses reached out. Her magics could heal the broken parts of this body. The fragmented emotions would take more time. Calloused fingers wiped away the dirt and tears from the innocent face. “Yer safe now, lass.”

Her attention turned once more to the man in the corner. A minor practitioner, he had decided to turn his skills to terror and power in ways Siobhan once believed un-imaginable. After her long lifetime, the witch could now easily envision the dark places a young, male imagination longs to visit. She turned back to her young charge, removing the remaining smudge from the little girl’s face. Dim, dark eyes stared into Shiv’s. “Stay ‘ere, lass. Will ‘ave ye hame soon.”

At one time, she would have called the police. She would have accepted mortal justice and hoped this man would seek redemption. That was lifetimes ago.

The witch rose, sheathing her sword, and walked towards the cowering figure. “Please don’t kill me,” he muttered again, his eyes widening as she neared. “I didn’t know…. I didn’t know.” Her knee touched the ground as she knelt by him. “Ye will knoo,” she hissed.

The mixture of dirt and tears on her thumb glowed briefly as Siobhan breathed across it. Harsh, whispered syllables called upon ancient powers. She reached out to press the grime into his forehead. “Ah curse thee. Ye will knoo the terror that girl has known. Ye will know the ripping, the blood, the pain. Ye will knoo these things for as long as she knew them.” The witch gathered her breath and exhaled in his face. “Ye will never knoo magic, again. An fer yer lifetime, ye will ponder and regret what ye ‘ad, what ye did, an what ye lost.”

Gentle as a lover, Siobhan leaned forward to place a tender kiss on his blacked, dirt and tear stained forehead. “Ah curse ye.”

Chance’s Story

“We didn’t have to pick him up here, Mr. Thomas. This is a courtesy to you and your special relationship with the police.” Chance smiled and nodded to slightly shorter narcotics cop. “I understand and appreciate that, Officer Jackson. I know you’re taking a lot of time out of your day to handle this case.”

Chance’s head tilted to look back at the teenaged boy sitting alone at the hardwood dining table of the private dining room in Kori’s wine cellar. “There’s no way we can keep Shon out of the system, Peter?” he asked.

“No, Chance.” The officer shook his head. “The case is too high profile. Between you and me, I think I’m going to give up my season tickets. I don’t think I can watch a team whose players offer up a bunch of kids to avoid jail time.”

“Thanks, Pete.” Chance nodded again. “Let us have a moment while our lawyer gets here. Go ahead upstairs and let us get you some lunch.” The officer started up the narrow stairs before stopping to turn and address Chance. “I think it’s sad, Chance. Teens look up to these guys and all they want is a quick score.” He shook his head and continued up the stairs, leaving Chance and the teenaged boy alone.

“Abaline will be here is a few minutes, Shon,” he said as he walked towards the table. He slid out a chair and sat down next to the boy. Shon kept his head down. His hands fidgeted with the strings of his long apron. The young man arrived for work today expecting to bus the lunch rush, not get himself arrested. Chance didn’t even think about trying to contact Shon’s mother and decided to summon his lawyer right away, instead.

“Jefe? Is my shift being covered?” the young man asked quietly. “I don’t want to anyone to work extra because of…”

Chance waited for the thought to pass before he answered his employee. “It’s OK. Chandra needed some extra hours. She came in.” The boy nodded, his head bobbing slowly. “Jefe?” Shon’s dark brown eyes turned up sluggishly to look into his boss’, “I did it, Jefe. Derek Palmer asked me if I knew where I could get some… incentive. I went out to talk to my brother, came back, and sold Mr. Palmer some cocaine in the men’s toilet.”

The long exhale disguised the sound of Chance’s anger banging against the inside of his forehead. He wanted to yell, to scream at the kid. Tell him in no uncertain terms that if he wanted to fuck up his own life, do it as far away from Kori’s and the people wanted to work towards a better future, as possible. To remind him how crack ruined his mother. Tell this bright future sitting here that some pro-ball player asked him for drugs because of the color of his skin, because he looked like a dumb ass kid. Speak of the risk and temptation Shon’s actions just exposed every one of his co-workers and friends to.

Chance tried to breath out a bit more anger before he finally asked in a calm voice, “Are you going to do it again?” Shon’s head shook back and forth quickly. “No. Jefe. My marks are up. It’s only another year until I graduate high school. I want to go to college.” Tears welled up in those eyes. “I’ll never do it again, Jefe.”

“This is how it’s going to work, Shon.” The restaurateur leaned forward in his chair. “This is nonnegotiable. There is no compromise.”

“You are going to cooperate with our lawyer and the police. If Abaline tells me about a hint of sass, you’re fired. You keep clean and do everything Abaline tells you, you will have a job here. You will have off for every court appearance, every time the MCPD wants to talk to you. This is your first offense. I don’t think it’s likely, but if you have to do any time in juvi,” the boy’s face blanched. “If you have to spend any time in juvi,” Chance continued calmly, “you will still have a job here when you get out, you will not lose your scholarship, and the restaurant will cover the costs of your legal expenses.”

Silence stretched out the moments. “And my expenses can get expensive,” said a voice from the stairs. Chance rose, extending a hand. “Thank you for coming, Abaline.” the young man at the table stood as the professionally dressed woman walked into the room. “Abaline Rose, this is Shon Tuft.” The attorney glared at her young client. “You talk to the cop upstairs?” Chance asked. “Yes,” the woman responded. “I’d like to meet with Shon for a few minutes and then we’re all going down to the station. I think I talked him out of handcuffs.”

“I’ll leave you two alone, then,” Chance said as he began to walk towards the stairs. “Jefe?” said a weak voice behind him. Chance stopped and turned, his foot on the first step leading up. “I’m sorry,” Shon told him. Chance spoke clearly. “I believe you, Shon. And I believe in you.”

May you never forget… Mnemonic Devices

I offer this up as an example of urban fantasy forum RP between myself and another player from 2011.

The address led to a nondescript brownstone, up the street from a haberdashery, on the city’s northwest side. A simple brass plaque identified the offices of the Black Swan Project. The receptionist greeted her with warmth and professionalism, pushing her ill-fitting glasses up her nose as she assured Ms O’Mallory that M’lady Warwick expected her and then led the slightly nonplussed woman upstairs.

The roof door opened to reveal a steel framed greenhouse, its contents hidden behind the moisture clinging to the glass. The clanging of metal sounded from the wooden shack next to the structure, a steady curl of smoke wafted from a brick smokestack.

Siobhan wore a t-shirt in the heat of the smithy, muscular arms working the metal beneath repeated hammer blows. The item of her attention went back into the forge, clasped in iron pincers. “This bae mae first trade,” the woman said as MacKenzie waited in the open doorway. “Ah cuid make most simple tools before ah ever saw a telly.” The item returned to the anvil from the fire and the pounding began anew. Four iron bars as thick as Mac’s pinky twisted to form a setting for a jewel as large as a man’s hand.

“Ah cannae teach ye ‘ow tae craft an enchantment, naet in one day. Ah can still make yer charm, iff’n yer still willing.”

MacKenzie smiled as she watched the woman working, amazed to see such an old craft still being used in these times. She nodded to the witch, “I understand and yes I would still like you to make it for me. I think we are going to need it.” The druid forced a smile across her lips.

The setting sizzled as Siobhan placed it in a bucket of water. The red headed woman gestured towards a tunic hanging on a peg. “Change. T’will bae easier tae clean up iff’n ye make a mess.” Mackenzie nodded as she slipped the simple shift over her shoulders. “Shiv? is it bigger in her than it looks, or just a play of the lightening?”

“What di ye bring of this man ye want tae find?” the Witch asked, grinning at the comment about space as she weighed the locket in her hand. Mackenzie pulled out of her pocket a small chain with a wolf’s head locket on it. “Umm I am not sure if this is from him, but I think it is him or my father. I… uh.. I am sorry that I am not better prepared for this. I just wish I could remember more.” She handed the chain and locket over to the red headed woman.

“Iff’n yer naet sure, this may spoil the charm.” She set the jewelry on her anvil and walked over to a satchel hanging from another peg to pull out a few items.

“Oh then umm maybe we should not use that, because I am really not sure where I got it. I just know that I have had it since I came to the states.”

“The spell used tae repress yer memories reflects the nature of its maker. We need tae read that mage’s signature, iff’n ye will. We need tae draw his handiwork closer tae the surface.”

The witch slung a length of netting between two pegs then knelt. Within a few moments, she had drawn a circle beneath the makeshift hammock. A thick nob of chalk rested in her hands as she checked the sigils surrounding her work. Satisfied, she stood looking around the room. She found a large, clay bowl and set it in the center of the circle. Her face expressionless, she pressed her hand to Mackenzie’s abdomen. She nodded then held out a flask to Mackenzie, its cork sealed with dark red wax. “This will naet bae pleasant, lass. Drink this.”

“Eh.. umm sure” She takes the flask and drinks it, scrunching up her nose. “Oh… uh..”

Siobhan leapt forward, clearly surprised by the young woman’s level of trust. “What ye shuid bae asking yerselv now, lass,” the witch clucked, “tis what ye now have in common wit Socrates.” Strong arms caught Mackenzie as her legs gave out underneath her.

“Dinnae fret, lass,” Siobhan cooed as she carried Mackenzie to the makeshift hammock. “There shounae bae any pain.” The young druid’s legs refused to answer her commands. Her breath quickened as the tingle from her useless limbs spread into her chest. “Shhh, shh,” Siobhan comforted, watching the spittle build at the corner of the young woman’s mouth as her

Lips struggled to form words. The witch brushed locks from MacKenzie’s face, then crossed her arms across her breasts. “Yer life will flash before yer eyes,” Siobhan whispered, watching the panic blossom across an angelic face. “Yer memories will press again the fetters that bind them. Ah need tae grab ahold of those chains. Ye need tae remember.”

The rough sounds of a Gaelic lullaby echoed from Siobhan as the witch placed a hand against Mackenzie’s chest. She sang with unexpected sweetness at the girl’s heart slowed, then stopped.

”When she saw her, she felt like she was five again. She wanted to run to her and hold her and be held in her arms, but she didn’t… Mackenzie stood there and watched her mother and she knew she could not go. She could not leave Chance, no not her. She knew his fear was of losing her and she was not going to go out, no like this, no matter how much she wanted to run to her mother’s arms, she knew it was not her time. She had plans dammit, so she turned away from her mother and walked the other direction.”

The witch worked quickly, spreading her hands over the young druid’s body, ensuring the bowl and the circle below captured all she needed to fashion the charm. Quiet mantras passed her lips as she felt life flow and ebb around her. She plucked out the foreign streams of magic and sent them to the bowl below. Like dye in a river, the mage who suppressed Mackenzie’s memories had left traces; traces a skilled practitioner could find and track.

When finished, Siobhan took a deep, deep breath, sucking up all the life in the magically contained space. With one forceful exhale, she pushed the life back into Mackenzie’s lungs. A heart began beating again. The woman would rest for a few more moments, letting the witch work in peace.

Siobhan removed the bowl from the ground and broke the chalk circle with a rubbing of her toe. She kneaded the fowl mixture of excrement and magic with her hands, reaching out to add powders and liquids from nearby racks. She set the dun colored patty into the flames, driving the heat with a bellows. She washed her hands in a bucket then brought the water to Mackenzie’s side. The soiled shift slipped easily from the young woman’s shoulders. Siobhan bathed her naked body, drying and wrapping it in furs before stepping back to wait.

Mac sat upright with a gasp and whispered “Chance?” She looked around the room slowly remembering, where she was and why she was here. Her body trembled as she looked to the witch sitting there. It took her a moment before she was able to speak again. “What did you do to me?”

The witch stepped over to her forge, plunging the pincers into the coals and pulling out the burnt paddy. She struck it one time with her hammer, revealing a crystal within. She carried the still warm gem back to Mackenzie. “Making yer charm, lass.” A faint light glowed in the center of the amber. “An it seems that whoever ye bae looking fer still lives.”

She held out the gem to the young druid.

Mackenzie watched her intently, curiously, as she worked at the forge. She took the gem from the woman, her eyes holding a mixture of emotions. “You could have told me what was going to happen. You could have prepared me for it.” Her voice was calm and steady as she spoke. “This will help me locate him?”

Siobhan returned to the anvil, picking up the setting and attaching a chain to a ring at its back. She walked back to Mackenzie to pluck the gem from her hands and press it between the tines. The witch dangle the charm in front of her. It lilted slightly if pulled by an unseen force.

“The pull will git stronger as ye git close. T’will also brighten.” Siobhan explained. “It may naet function iffn’ ‘e warded.”

“Oh? Well then let’s hope he is not warded.” She looks to the older woman “Thank you for your assistance in this matter”

Siobhan nodded her head, slowly. “The service t’was bartered fer. That lad must care about ye a fair bit, ah ken. When ye return,” a sardonic smile passed across her face, “we’ll talk again about teaching ye what ye wannae knoo.”

Mac frowned and then looked up to Shiv. “Is there any way that I can make it to where I owe you and not him?” An eyebrow lifted in curiosity. “Dinnae faesch yerselv, lass. Ye will owe mae in tiem.” Siobhan’s lip curled. “Fer now, ah keep tae the original terms of mae agreement wit yer boy.”

Mac grinned at Shiv “Oh but I do worry myself about him, that is not anything that is going to change anytime soon. Since the favor was for me. Are you sure there is nothing I can do to convince you to let me pay this debt?”

“If he agrees,” Shiv explained patiently, “I will consider it.” The witch inhaled through her nose and sighed. “Young love. So delicious.” Mackenzie smiled “Deal. Now, thank you again for your help with this, I will see you when I get back.” Mackenzie slowly stood to offer the older woman a hug.

Siobhan accepted the offer of the hug, her strong arms squeezing Mackenzie tightly. “May this bring all the knowledge yer ‘oping fer, lass.” ”An none of the pain”, the witch thought to herself.

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