|Isobel Brandt \\ Persephone (praxidike) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2017-08-29 09:32:00
|Entry tags:||persephone, uke mochi|
just call on me, sister, when you need a hand
Who: Alice & Isobel.
What: The girls head off to CatCon! But not everything goes super smoothly when they get home...
Where: CatCon, then the Pax parking lot.
When: Aug. 12.
Isobel took a deep breath as she headed out into the lobby area, greeting Stephan with a wide if hesitant smile. The well-bedecked concierge smiled back, raising a purple manicured hand in greeting; the pages of a magazine slumped to the top of his desk.
"Ms. St. Germaine, it's been some time; I thought you'd disappeared, after everything that had happened."
Isobel shrugged, moving toward the desk and pausing; she glanced back at the elevator, and then dug into her bag for her phone, frowning to see no messages. She hoped Alice would be quick.
"I've just been...busy," she finally answered, keeping her phone in her hand.
"Understandable," Stephan replied, nodding. Before he could reply, the elevator door dinged open, much to Isobel's relief.
Alice stepped out in jeans and a peasant tank top, her red hair tied up into a high ponytail and glasses propped on top of her head. She smiled at Isobel and waved to Stephan. “Hi Stephan! How are you? Did you see the muffins I left at the mail room the other day?” Despite her gruff attitude when confronting the man with Daniel months before, Alice liked Stephan and held no hard feelings toward him and the oddities of the apartment complex.
Stephan leaned forward onto his elbows, his bald head shining somewhat in the cool light of the lobby as he nodded. "I did, Ms. Kennedy, and thank you for them. You spoil me, with all these treats. Goes right to my waist."
"We should be going, shouldn't we, Alice?" Isobel interjected, trying her best to not sound rude and failing spectacularly. Stephan turned wide, surprised eyes in her direction as Isobel stepped forward enough to loop one arm around Alice's, steering the redhead toward the exit. "Bye, Stephan!" He merely raised a hand in goodbye as the two women made their way out the Pax Letale door and out into the semi-warm morning sunshine. Isobel didn't let go of Alice's arm, still steering her toward her car.
"Sorry," she offered, seeming visibly relieved to be outside and in the sunshine. "I don't know what it is, but there's something about him that just creeps me out. It's not... Not the dress or the baldness or whatever, just... I don't know." She shivered, slowing her pace. "Did I act like that before, around him?"
“Uh…” Alice replied, her voice uncertain as she glanced back at the doors of the complex and frowned. “No… not really. You were really nice to him.” It was concerning to Alice and a little embarrassing to have been a part of that interaction, but she found it best to be upfront with Isobel when she asked questions about how she was before she forgot everything. At least on most topics, moments of turning into grain not included.
Trying to push past it, she flashed a smile at her friend and changed the subject. “So, I’ve never gone to a cat event like this before. Have you? If you remember…”
"Nah, I don't think so," Isobel replied, loosening her hold on Alice as they made their way through rows of cars toward Isobel's green Prius. Pressing the buttons on her keybob, the little four door chirped a welcome. "I didn't have any pets growing up. My parents thought they'd be a bad idea, that I'd get hurt or sick or something. It was...pretty boring." Faintly, she wondered how she'd reacted to getting Hanni; if she'd been the one to purchase the dog out of a childhood desire, or if Obed had surprised her. She pushed away from the thoughts, returning to a nicer path of conversation. "But I've heard a lot of good things about this place," Isobel offered with a smile as she slid into her seat. The door closed neatly behind her, and she started about turning the car on.
"Really sounds like anything anyone could ever want, related to cats. Did you want a cat?" The engine made a quiet roar.
Alice made a small smile. “I think a pet would be nice. I was thinking a dog, but my schedule is so all over the place I don’t think it would be fair to the dog,” she admitted as she settled into the passenger seat and put her bag onto the floor between her feet. “But a cat would be nice; they’re low maintenance, right? Someone who I can come home to and all that. I’m not going to lie, I really wish Rafael had chosen to move into the apartment on my floor.” The small smile diminished and she looked at her hands. “So yeah, a cat may be nice.”
Isobel smiled empathetically in Alice's direction. "Yeah, it's hard to be all by yourself, especially just on that floor! Who knows, maybe someone else will move in soon. But until then, maybe we can get you a cat."
She backed the car out of its white-outlined spot, and navigated carefully toward the road. Then they were on their way, changing lanes and taking on ramps that would steer them toward the convention center.
"You know, speaking of Rafe," she started once she was comfortably set on the freeway, "I went up to check out his new apartment the other day. It's a really nice improvement; lots bigger, and he's got room for guests. He said he was excited to have one of our dinner parties again up there." She hoped the lure might help ease Alice's anxieties about feeling left behind by their mutual friend, though in truth she was slowly steering the conversation toward a different question.
Alice’s smile was a touch sad, but still a smile all the same. “Dinner parties would be nice. We’ve sort of eased up on those, haven’t we? With all that’s been going on and what not…” Her gaze drifted out the car window and she let out a small sigh, completely oblivious to the fact that Isobel was angling for a different topic of conversation. “I wonder if I should get a kitten or an older cat. Kittens are full of energy but older cats have their own problems, right?”
"I wish I could say, I don't know much about cats," Isobel replied, her eyes carefully on the road. "I can't even remember what it was like with Hanni. I bet there'll be someone there who can tell you all about it, you know? And I read that they have adoptions, so I'm sure you'll have a ton to pick from. Find just the right cat." The conversation lulled for a moment, Isobel chewing on her bottom lip before she finally pushed herself to just ask.
"You know, Rafe told me... well, he didn't tell tell me, he just mentioned it, but I was telling him that something strange had happened to me, and he said that it had... well, something like it had happened to you, too." She glanced up into the rearview, and then over to Alice in the passenger seat, before quickly pulling her gaze toward the road.
Alice’s eyes widened and she glanced at Isobel, just missing her gaze as it shifted back to the road. Her mouth hung open and she blinked, surprised that Isobel had any inkling of things happening. But there had been so many things… it honestly could be anything, couldn’t it? Despite that, Alice had a feeling she knew what strange thing Isobel was referencing. Still, she played coy in an attempt to not scare away her friend. She had been through enough, she didn’t have to also be given crazy stories about women made out of grass.
“Ah… yeah, some weird things have happened to me. Um… what… what weird things happened to you? If you don’t mind telling me. I promise I won’t tell anyone, if that’ll help,” Alice replied, her fingers finding a torn piece in her jeans and starting to worry at the string.
"Hah, I don't know who'd believe you if you did," Isobel replied, a wide smile flashing over her face. "Um, I was visiting Obed, trying... Seeing if he could answer questions and help me remember things, and I guess... I changed." Her explanation, stuttering as it was, was vague. "Remember how you told me that I had dreams about Persephone, the Greek goddess? I guess... I guess I became her." She glanced sidelong at Alice again. "I was talking to Obed one minute, and the next... I lost time, because I was standing across the room from him, and the next I was right next to him." She left out the details that he'd been on his knees in front of her. "I hurt him. Not badly," she quickly added, keeping her attention fixed on the road. "But... Did that, did something like that happen to you?"
Alice’s eyes were on Isobel and wide with surprise. After a moment passed, she let out a sigh and allowed her shoulders to slump. “Yeah, something like that did happen,” she admitted. “I’m sorry, Isobel. I wanted to tell you but it was scary and I didn’t want to scare you. You have so much going on and, I won’t lie, everything has been so odd but with your memory loss I figured you’d think I was insane and stop trusting me.”
She frowned, looking guilty at her friend as she tuck a strand of red hair behind her ear. “But yeah… it was similar. Except for me it was Uke Mochi, not Persephone, and I remember half of it…”
Isobel glanced twice at Alice, her hands carefully on the ten and two of the steering wheel. "You remembered some of it? Do you... Can you tell me?" She wasn't completely certain that Alice's experiences would necessarily help with her own, but it didn't seem to hurt in trying. That was, as long as Alice felt comfortable talking about it.
"If you don't, we don't have to talk about it, though," she added, glancing over a third time; the car wobbled slightly, but remained in its lane.
Alice shook her head and tried to provide a reassuring smile. “I just didn’t want to scare you is all. But yeah… I remember it, but only part of it, the part where I was still me, I guess.” She sighed at went to her hair, fidgeting with it as she recalled the still too familiar memory. “I had a nightmare, Rafael was still staying with me at the time and he had a nightmare too. I woke up, he was awake, we were talking and suddenly I… I started to change.”
She held out her pale hand, extending her fingers that were still human and hadn’t altered from that state since that night. “My fingers changed, my hair too, my entire body started to become just like Uke Mochi’s. She’s all made of grass and wheat and other grains; she doesn’t have a body anymore and I was literally becoming her. And I saw it, felt it, and it was so scary and then the next thing I knew I was waking up in my bed.”
She blinked, dropping her hand to her lap and looked out the window in a poor attempt to cover any of her feelings. She thought of what she woke up to, the state that Rafael was in, but she couldn’t go telling Isobel that. So she moved on. “Rafael said that after my body became like Uke Mochi’s, you know the part I remember, it was sort of like I became possessed. Uke Mochi was there, in my body, and I just… vanished. But I guess she was nice enough and she turned me back into myself. Then she left and my body sort of collapsed. Rafael put me to bed and that’s how I woke up there. It wasn’t for very long if I understand correctly and there weren’t any lasting effects but… I don’t know, the start of it all was terrifying. I thought I was going to lose myself but I need to get it through my head, Uke Mochi isn’t like that, she wouldn’t hurt me.”
Her rambling tidal wave of words came to a halt and Alice clamped her mouth closed as she tried to brush away the memories of that night and all that had occurred of both Uke Mochi and Rafael’s dependency.
"Wow, I'm so sorry, Alice." Isobel's worried expression said more than her words could convey, and she loosed a hand from the steering wheel to reach over and grasp Alice's in as comforting of a gesture as she could offer in that moment. "That sounds terrifying. I... I just can't remember, which, I mean, by now it's kind of old hat, which is weird and dumb to say, but actually being aware that you're changing..."
She squeezed Alice's hand once more, a frown playing around her mouth. Then she brought her grasp back to the wheel, though the car had not moved at all from its assigned place. "I'm glad Rafe was with you. And you know, you can always come stay with me, if you feel uncomfortable in your apartment. I know mine's not as big as yours, but... Even with other people on the floor, it definitely feels kind of empty, all the time." She realized she missed Hanni, or at least the small shred of presence he seemed to offer. Even that wasn't true; the dog often seemed bigger than his tiny stature, and it wasn't a personality thing. Isobel shook her head.
"Well, at least for today we can focus on cats, right? We'll find you a good roommate who'll keep you company."
Alice smiled and nodded. “Yes! Maybe they’ll have some cat guides too… and I guess other things that we’d need, right? I’ll have to get a litter box and food… I can probably do that later and at least give the cat a bowl of water while I run out.” Her smile continued, becoming all the more genuine as they moved away from the topic of Uke Mochi. “Hopefully we’ll find one that likes me.”
"Oh, I sincerely doubt that will be hard," Isobel replied, glancing in the rearview as she went to change lanes.