|ʙᴇᴇᴘ ʙᴇᴇᴘ, ʀɪᴄʜɪᴇ (trashmouthed) wrote in valloic,|
@ 2020-10-25 18:35:00
|Entry tags:||!action/thread/log, it: richie tozier, the raven cycle: persephone poldma|
WHO: Richie & (Vodka Aunt) Persephone
WHAT: A reading (plus pie, and learning Things about himself)
WHERE: 300 Fox Way
WHEN: A few days after his arrival
WARNINGS: Not much - some dark thoughts about death and repression
|Richie checked the address in his text messages and took a deep breath, eying the door to the Psychic Haus (a bright blue house, like the color of a robin’s egg) from the sidewalk. 300 Fox Way, according to the directions, transplanted into Vallo from its point of origin. And that was fucking obvious, because it sure did stick out - all the places around it were straight out of a poem scribed by Poe, all those gothic designs and spook and ghouls, whereas the house he was standing in front of screamed of bright colors, the kind spilled from a box of crayons.|
Bright colors and teapots, and maybe one of those Felix the cat clocks with the moving eyes, tick tock - he guessed he’d see for sure, when he went inside. Which he oughta do, instead of standing out here like an idiot.
He’d been invited by Vodka Aunt Persephone, and the fact that she was clearly a psychic and this was a place for like, crystal ball readings and tarot cards did not go amiss - maybe it was a little strange, because he just didn’t know much about this sort of thing but a part of him was also a tiny bit curious. Even if he was sure any reading would just show that he was clinging to a melancholy, mood ricocheting back and forth between low and lower - Eddie’s death was still fresh, it stung in ways he couldn’t describe and the idea of trying, to a bunch of people he didn’t know but who apparently knew him, was intimidating in a whole weird kind of way.
Oh well. He’d just bury it - like he did everything else. What was one more thing?
There was like, a sitting room he’d been directed toward - so he went inside, hunching a little like he tended to do sometimes in order to look shorter than he was (he was lanky, feeling like a muppet some days), picking a chair, legs crossed and tapping fingers anxiously against his knee. Keeping still, such a challenge.
Persephone had known he was coming, not just because of an actual appointment but from her morning readings even before. It was cheesy to state that, though she’d murmured it to Maura over their coffee and breakfast. Her best friend humored her - as always - and was elsewhere for this, just to not overwhelm the more delicate ones.
Though this one was more than just that. Delicate wasn’t a word often associated with the type of trauma he’d clearly endeared, even if she didn’t have a full picture of it in her mind. Bits and pieces floated through, especially from the moment he’d stepped into her door.
She was just in the room over, tea already in the white cat cup and water near boiling. It was a blend, one of Maura’s making, and strong enough to make her nose wrinkle. Persephone poked her head out of the door, blonde hair looking as wild as ever as it fell down around her face, “Come on then, there’s a much nicer chair in here for you to fidget on.” Here being the tea room, garish in decoration and yet homey in feel, it was as eclectic as all of the ladies of Fox Way, but as comfortable as the pie cooling on a far away kitchen counter.
“Oh, uh - hey, aunt Persephone,” Richie jumped up from the chair like he’d been caught carving dicks into the furniture or something and, sure, she wasn’t his aunt (they were probably close to the same age?) but still. He could tell already that she had very good aunt vibes and so he wouldn’t fuck with that - he’d just listen to instructions. Sometimes he was successful at it.
But into the other room he went, and this place was very much reminding him of some kind of British tea cottage with lace curtains and antiques or whatever - he was an eclectic sort himself (just look at the way he dressed, and you bet he already found a store with tacky overshirts in this city) and thus appreciated the decor. The cooling pie basically just made his mouth water.
He hadn’t really had a good meal since Jade of the Orient, and that seemed like ages ago.
“Thanks for having me. Your place is nice. I’ve like - never had a psychic reading before?” He scratched his scruffy cheek, sitting down in one of the chairs. “I mean, except at the Ren Faire. But that was just so much mead and meat on a stick.”
There was a quiet laugh in reply to aunt Persephone. It wasn’t the first time. Blue had grown up with her and only really called her that as a joke, Orla was the same. But she was close with the girls, having a hand in raising them in her own way… which usually involved vague life-lessons, bad fashion advice and giving them the answers to homework at 11pm when the rest of the house was quiet.
“Most people haven’t, when they come here. Blue’s boys never left us alone after the first time themselves.” And oh, what a wild ride that had been.
She placed his cup of tea in front of him, turning it to align right and pointed a finger at him immediately after. “Don’t touch, two minutes.” Next came the vodka, in a little pretty bottle, poured into her own teacup before she set it down on the table for him to use. “I’ve always been more of a turkey leg girl, I think. But I’ve worked a number of Ren Faires, if that makes you feel comfortable?” Along with carnivals, traveling caravans and groupie busses for celebrities that enjoyed the occult. There wasn’t much she hadn’t seen.
“Uh - right, got it. Two minutes,” Richie agreed, but he was that kid - basically telling him not to touch something meant he felt the hot and sudden urge to do just that. But pissing off Aunt Persephone did not seem wise, so he simply - sat on his hands and tried not to fidget. Which was easier said than done for the likes of him.
He’d just count down, until he could splash a bit of medicine into the cup - it was an interesting thing in that sometimes vodka tasted like vanilla, or something fruity, or dough. Sometimes it tasted like nothing at all.
After approximately one-hundred and twenty seconds, he placed a finger on the edge of the cup. “What do you usually look for, when you do a reading for someone?” he asked.
In those two minutes, Persephone sat across from him, regarding the man with an easy and non-judgemental eye. She watched him fidget and saw his nervousness, but she saw something else as well. The same brightness she’d mentioned to Blue before, like a light being directed straight at her face.
It made her want to avert her gaze, like one might do if they glanced at the sun for too long.
Always a rule breaker, Persephone started drinking her own tea before the two minutes were up, secret smile playing at her lips. “I’m not looking for anything. The leaves will tell me or they won’t. What are you hoping to discover?”
“Leaves?” Richie looked down into his teacup and - oh. This was the thing where the squiggles that were left over told someone things, right? That was cool. He’d only vaguely heard of it before - admittedly, most of his dealings with psychics were with those cheesy machines at the arcade, pop in a token and receive a fortune.
Or fortune cookies. But he wasn’t going to think of the disastrous Chinese food meal right now, that had started out so right and ended so wrongly - Stan’s empty chair, and what that meant.
He added a generous splish-splash of vodka to the hot beverage, then picked it up and took a sip or two. It was good - kinda fruity? Strong tea though, the vodka aside - the forest in a cup, Jesus. “Oh, um - I dunno, maybe it would be nice to know if I’m...going to find a decent path here. Or just turn into a recluse and drink myself to death.” Like so many celebrities before him (granted, he hadn’t reached high tier yet but still - better than B-list, maybe?).
Persephone’s eyebrow arched. Not a surprising choice, most people wanted to know some variety of their future and if it was going to go good or bad. It was the second-most-common request after love life, and often linked.
For some reason, it was still surprising to hear from someone so clearly linked to something more, which left two probable options; either he didn’t know he was linked or he knew and had a handle on things. The latter thought gave her pause though, as she wasn’t sure he was the type to have a handle on many things.
“Is that really what you want to know?” It was curious and light, almost wistful as Persephone traced an absent finger around the rim of her cup. The idea was to get him thinking, second-guessing, maybe even a little paranoid, right where the leaves could sense it.
Well, it was working. Richie was a walking bundle of bones, some muscle, nerves, add a dash of anxiety (that was like a whole shit ton’s worth, in all actuality), and a hell of a lot of low self-esteem. He hadn’t spoken to Stan in years and yet it was like in that letter, he knew the words that would reach his Trashmouthed friend - be who you want to be, be proud. Ever since he left Derry, he hadn’t been proud - the arcade was the only place he felt safe, and that had been ruined for him too. From there, it just snowballed into a lot of self-loathing and repression and refusing to accept himself for who he was.
But now, Richie was trying. He figured he had to try, or else Eddie saving his life and dying because of it would have been for nothing.
Still, he had no fucking idea there was something lingering in his mind; all he knew was that he’d been bathed in a light born of primeval hatred and - Beverly hadn’t been able to walk away from it unscathed. This was the first time he thought that maybe he hadn’t been able to either. “There’s something wrong with me,” he said, sipping on the tea as if he could hide behind the cup. “I don’t know what it is.”
But maybe he wanted to know - better than asking if he was destined to get laid here, ever. Probably.
There it was. Persephone didn’t look proud of the revelation, but she let it sit there in the air, lingering between them as she contemplated. She didn’t usually see things, not in the way of people having visions or flashes, but she did know things, as if the person was a book to be read.
“There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re--” She was slowly reading that book, the one right in front of Richie’s form, invisible to the naked eye. It was easier to pick these things up when Blue was around, but in this case she wondered if Blue would just make him brighter. “Bright. Were there lights?” It was always a little risky, rattling off things she knew without actually having tea or cards in front of her. People trusted tangible items more than honesty and just plucking thoughts out of thin air, but Richie had thus far rolled with everything else thrown at him and Persephone wasn’t one to hide.
Bright. He didn’t really like the sound of that, because a part of him knew what it meant - but Richie was already here and he was already doing this, so why not see it through all the way. The tea was steadily being consumed, because even if the taste was strong he just - couldn’t stop drinking it.
And he wasn’t sure if he agreed with the assessment that there was nothing wrong with him - he wished it was true, but he told himself there were a lot of things wrong with him, and society agreed because it was still a very hetero whatevero kind of world. He’d grown up in an era where things like don’t ask, don’t tell were expected, a time where there were more anti-gay politics than you could shake a stick at, and you opened the morning paper to read the news story about a gay college kid beaten and left for dead, tied to a fence like a scarecrow. Maybe things had gotten better over time but even so, he wasn’t even close to being out. More like one big bundle of emotional constipation. Check, please.
But anyway. “Yeah, there was,” he said, pushing his glasses up on the bridge of his nose. “It was - we called it the Deadlights. Pure evil. I saw everything and not enough.” He felt it too - the cycling of power, on and on, forever through time on a little paper boat. One specific clown with a face that reminded him of stale cake, cracked buttercream icing - smudged paint and sharp teeth, we all float. “Humans can’t really look at it. Not without going insane or dying. My friend, when we were kids - “ He tried not to fidget, “...she got caught in them too. And then after she would have these dreams where she’d see what was going to happen?”
Bev had seen Stan die, anyway - but because the bullshit magic of Derry made your memories of the place fog over more and more, the farther away you got from the town, that meant she was having dreams of them all dying and not knowing what they meant or who those people were. Fucked up, to say the least.
It was as if Persephone could see the book in front of her filling in, word by word. Both his own, and what she was picking up from the air and putting into place. Things left unsaid - probably for the best - and things that were buried deep. She saw that little paper boat, and the clown, and Persephone’s face wrinkled into something unpleasant, the kind of expression she hadn’t pulled in a long time.
“You’re all made of stronger stuff,” Persephone finished her own tea and then added just vodka to the cup, with no hesitation. She could also put it back like any proper Estonian, with the gusto of a cocky college student. Persephone put her cup back down gently, itching to fill it again but held off for now.
“Drink it down to the dredges but leave a little water.” The gentle instruction was pointless. she didn’t need to look in that cup to know, but they were here and he was paying them for the reading, so the reading they would do.
The confirmation would be nice. Maybe that’s why Richie actually did check back with Persephone and wrangle himself an invitation to the House of Psychic People - he hadn’t experienced anything that told him, necessarily, that he was some kinda Deadlight clairvoyant in the way Bev was. But if it was there, he’d rather know than be blindsided. She hadn’t understood what was going on, until she was older and they all came together again - by then, it was too late.
So Richie followed instructions and finished that tea - not all the way, just enough, and he left a little bit behind that would hopefully do the trick. “If it shows what you think it will show - I mean. What do I do?”
Like. Was there a training program for people such as himself? Or should he just ignore it and hoped it went away on its own? Honestly, that was what he was leaning toward. It was how he dealt with, oh, ninety percent of his problems anyway.
Persephone leaned forward, placed both elbows on the table and cleared the middle. She reached out to invert the cup onto the saucer, and then turned it three times. Usually, she would have let the other person do this, but Persephone already knew the outcome, and the leaves had already made up their mind.
It took away a lot of the guesswork. Which was nice, in a way, but the whole thing left a worried, unsettled feeling lingering in the air. She wasn’t exactly sure how to help him, but in a way it was similar to how things had gone with Adam.
“The path you take from here on out is completely yours to command, but I can introduce you to some people that can help?” She looked up at him as she turned the teacup right side up. Her head tilted, hair falling around her shoulders and to the table. Interesting. Not the doom and gloom she had expected, right off the bat, and it made her blink a few times at the outline of the tea-like dragon nestled in the bottom of the cup. There was a line along the outside of the beast, which made Persephone smile.
“Sudden or large change, as you might’ve expected. And fate,” a delicate finger pointed to the line. “It breaks up a little in the middle, fading away but gets solid again, showing a new beginning.”
Richie leaned in too, though he wasn’t sure what the fuck he was looking at - it all just appeared to be squiggles in a cup to him, but that was pretty obvious since he knew jack shit about this whole thing. “A new beginning,” he repeated and, no, that didn’t sound too bad. Unless it was the beginning of the end. Yikes.
But maybe the fate thing was what mattered - that he wasn’t destined to go the same way he was before, if he’d been at home. He wasn’t sure what was in store for him there, beyond trying to figure out how to deal with losing Eddie (and leaving Eddie) - maybe here, he could grieve. For both Eddie and Stan. Figure some shit out. Learn to be kinder to himself. Stranger things had happened.
“It’s better than I was expecting,” he grinned, toothy and sheepish. “But yeah, I guess - if you know anyone that can help...” he trailed off. He wasn’t too proud to accept help because what the fuck.
Persephone pushed the vodka closer to him and patted Richie’s hand, helpfully. “You talked to Blue already, and there’s Adam. I helped him a great deal, when he was adjusting to things.” She got up, leaving him to the option of the alcohol if he wanted it, along with a few minutes of peace and quiet.
She didn’t chance leaving him alone with his thoughts for long, but quiet was sometimes nice when figuring things out.
And it helped that she returned with an entire pie balanced on one hand, and two forks in the other. It was apple crumble, and under normal circumstances she would have thrust a piece of pie at him to ground him and give him some comfort food, but Persephone was feeling the fatigue enough to want some for herself. “Pie first. That’s the first rule of Psychics Club. Welcome.”
Adam. He committed the name to memory, while he sat there and let the quiet sink in. If Richie had to use one word to describe him, it probably wouldn’t ever be quiet (or someone who was appreciative of quiet) however, in this case, it was appreciated. The silence helped take the jagged edges off, at least.
So did the vodka - which he just drank straight from the bottle. Bottoms up. Not a lot, but a little sip-sip sure didn’t hurt.
He also perked up a little when Persephone returned - the sight of pie was like heaven, and just made his mouth water all the more. “Psychics Club - sounds cool,” he snorted a laugh, reaching for one of those forks. “I’m not usually a rule kind of guy, but I think ‘pie first’ is one I can abide by.”
And at the very least, he wasn’t alone. Being in the Psychics Club was better if it wasn’t a sole membership, so he’d find his way. Probably.