Deluge Feb 14, 2022 11:48:56 GMT -5
Post by Deleted on Feb 14, 2022 11:48:56 GMT -5
Celeste couldn’t have been more excited.
Rain battered the window in sheets. The witch could feel the glass tremble beneath her fingers, rattling in its frame against the force of gale winds and the pummeling of hail. The streets themselves were empty but for the water streaking past in muddied streams. The last storm of this magnitude, she’d heard, had washed away whole buildings in its path. A speculative rumor, but charming nonetheless. There had been great strikes of thunder, wind that could tear walls from foundation, and rains like the kami herself had descended upon them. The winds would bury the innocent in debris. The floods would snatch away children, screaming in its greedy currents. With the sun obscured by the storm, there would hardly be a streak of sunlight in the sky – perfect for any demons that might arise in the chaos.
“Oh, how exhilarating!” Celeste sighed the words to herself, almost wistful. “To be a part of history! How long did you say these stormy spells would last?”
The man beside her gave a dry look. ”A few days, probably. It won’t be blue for a while at least.”
”Truly? How excellent! Then I’ll have the chance to watch!” Celeste eyed the window happily, ignoring the man at her side. The bar was packed with those seeking shelter, though few had the courage or appetite to order anything. It was a haven now for those lost in the storm, waiting tense and idle for enough of a break to flee home. That didn’t stop what few authorities trapped here from carrying out their business, enforcing their registry for the Accords on anyone of suspicion. For the most part, they didn’t speak in more than tense whispers over the howling wind outside, but Celeste didn’t mind being overheard. She was far too elated to contain herself – subtle or not – and she so loved an audience.
”You know, I’ve missed most of the interesting happenings here. Did you hear of that business at King’s Castle? With the President? So exciting. A shame it came before my time.” A colorful lie. Celeste pressed her palm against the window. The glass was cool beneath her fingers, trembling on the precipice between safety and disaster. She could feel the man’s scorn without looking at him.
”People died in those riots, you know.” The man crossed his arms with a distasteful scowl. He was still wearing the apron from his last shift at the restaurant, though Celeste couldn’t say why he’d stayed. Perhaps it was to stay out of the storm. Perhaps it was just for the company. Celeste gave him a saddened look, eyes wide and mournful.
”Oh yes. How very tragic. All of those innocent lives!” She sighed dramatically before glancing again at the storm. ”Still. It must have been quite the event…”
The man let out an exasperated grunt before turning to leave her. Celeste heard mutterings of kicking her out among the bar staff, but she wasn’t worried. The storm couldn’t do more than carry her away, and when she resurfaced, it would be to a new kind of strife. Floods were a perfect vector of disease, and with dozens in the city possibly sick already; the tainted water would turn that plague into an epidemic. Between that and these new Accords being issued, the common ilk certainly had their share of troubles. Celeste sighed and leaned her shoulder against the window, tilting her head to the glass until she could hear every crash of thunder like a drumline in her ear. “Such a pity.” The storm raged on beyond that plate of glass. She was nothing more than an observer with dampened bangs and unmuddied hands.
”Hm, to think what else could be lost…”
Time passed. The storm raged on. And Celeste had not, as of yet, been forcibly thrown out of the bar.
The witch considered that a victory in itself, and to celebrate, she’d sauntered to the bartender, perched on one of the stools, and ordered a bottle of wine. “We’ve already closed,” they told her, but she only scoffed and gestured to the crowd huddled in leather booths and back hallways. “Oh nonsense. With all the company you have?” She waved her hand dismissively. “We’ll need something to pass the time, won’t we?”
Whether they’d listened to her point or simply wanted to avoid trouble, they brought her what she wanted when she flashed them the money for it – twice what was listed on the board, though she pretended not to notice. After fifteen minutes of negotiations, Celeste was left with a bottle of cherry wine and a musty glass that they hadn’t bothered to clean properly. She took it without complaint and sipped thoughtfully with her ankle resting on one knee and her back leaned against the bar counter. Outside, the storm had already worsened, though she couldn’t see much farther than two feet from the glass. There was too much rain, too much debris, and too little light.
In other words, beautiful. Celeste rolled sweet wine on her tongue and relished the fearful whispers and gale winds in the darkness. One day perhaps, the whole world would be nothing but this -- shadows, detritus, and silence. She closed her eyes and tried to imagine it.PL: 32,000 | Antisense: Active | Adamant Fortress: Active