Logs:PrP Choices: Who We Are Pt. 2
|PrP Choices: Who We Are Pt. 2|
|Dramatis Personae|| |
27 August, 2017
Regan has touch choices to make now that she is free. Who does she want to be?
Michael hasn’t become so careless, not yet. That’s a step in the making of a psychotic like him, but that’s a later stage. That’s usually when you get caught. Maybe you want to get caught. The only bag he brought home, was one on the table where he dropped it in his anger. All it contains is a small little locket. Maybe that was the present for her. It looks kind of expensive. Certainly not diamonds. Just a little gold and a heart shaped trinket that looks like it opens.
Though to her mind, as she looks at that trinket, it might occur to her that Michael does get up during the night a lot and go somewhere in the place. Whether that’s ominous or not, is hard to say. Is there a basement spot he spends a lot of time in? A room? Whatever it is, he always comes back to bed a little while alter, always more ‘loving’ than before he left.
As Regan walks by the kitchen window she swears she sees someone outside looking toward their place. A man in a suit? Odd. A second look, and there’s nothing there, like a figment of her imagination.
Because she's pretty sure it's not brand new.
She's considered, before, the possibility of a stash. If Michael's absences from the house and from bed were to be explained in the most obvious of manners, at least to Regan it would be that he's bringing things home and, like a rat enamored of shiny objects, hemade a stash somewhere. Chilling to think that somewhere in the house there's a shoebox with a ripped corner that contains the souls of people who fatefully crossed paths with the man she's sleeping with.
She has a moment where it occurs to her that she's relieved that's not a turn on. Well, maybe she's not wholly fucked in the head completely, yet.
And perhaps somewhere there is a such a stash, if she wanted to find it, now might be the time. If she had an inkling. Yet, if their souls are locked to such things, she’d know it, she’d see the ghosts and their anchors and know. But no ghosts are present here like they should be. Does she know this? Has she really learned about her new self?
Relieved that that she’s not completely psychotic herself? Completely given in to the darkness. Maybe there is a hope, a chance, or as someone or something so recently put it, a choice.
Her phone buzzes again. The sound of another message coming in.
Glancing toward her phone where it lies beneath a scuff on the wall, she grumps softly and palms the locket to go pick it up. Not many people have her number, so it must be Doc's lawyer calling back about the advance in her allowance she requested, or the little 'project' she had quietly been working on. She leans over to pick it up, already heading for the basement, the cliched dank apartment in which stashes tended to reside.
She did a number on the phone, its screen is cracked beyond repair. She can’t make out anything. She’d probably cut her hand just swiping it to unlock, and the fingerprint scanner is done. Whoever is trying to get a hold of her it at a loss. Maybe that was her intention.
Nothing to do but the basement. She’s been down here before. Nothing really seems different. Nothing catches her eyes as out place. If anything is down here, it’s hidden and well.
The initials give her pause, but they're two letters out of 26, it's a coincidence, that's all. Still she thinks about the faces as she slips it into her pocket, careless of the fact that Michael may find it missing. It's fine-- she's never been overly cautious. She used to ride the bitch seat of her 20-something drug dealer boyfriend's motorcycle going 80 on the highway without a helmet. They even got in an accident once. maybe the head injury is why she cheated on him. That certainly had grave consequences. But really, after what happened with that, what's left to fear?
She's really been murdered twice, come to think of it. The first was just pretend, a vanishing act.
In the basement she realizes she could actually use Lydia's help for once, but the dead woman has refused to enter this house. So Regan has to consider Michael on her own.
And that she can do.
His habits, his attitudes, his demeanor. How many times he glances at the basement door when he's in the same room, whether she's ever found it locked, what else he keeps down there. the smell of it, the smell of him when he climbs back into bed and starts grappling her. The creak of the stairs, the damp of the earth, the lighting, his penchant for darkness or its opposite. The basement, the bathroom, a loose corner of the floorboards, the attic, the guest room crammed with junk, the strangely dust-free corners of particular pieces of furniture, where the cobwebs are torn and where they remain. The devil's in the details.
It occurs to her, that the girl in the picture looks eerily like her, suddenly. Not the same, but blond hair, skinny, blue eyes. And the initials. Is it just two letters?
The once dead, or even the twice, they often think that, what’s left to fear? Yet there’s plenty. There’s a whole world of terror out there Regan may not yet know. Things beyond power and comprehension. And even then, maybe the biggest thing to fear is the darkness inside. Worse than any head injury, maybe worse than death itself, once it takes you. Once it owns you.
It’s not so much Michel’s mindset she needs to consider. Or what kind of secrets he might be hiding. That could be anything, it might not even be possible to know what is really in a mind like that. What needs to be spotted is something out of place, something that doesn’t belong. Yet there’s nothing. But the devil is in the details. She is correct. She turns away from one corner when a gleam of light catches her eye, a metal tackle box. Michael doesn’t fish. It looks a little rusted, and it’s hidden a table in the corner, a blanket carelessly falling off of it to reveal that corner. She’s never seen him with it before either, or down her for that matter in the hundred times she’s been. How has she missed it all these times?
Her mind still on the picture in her pocket, trying to glean the significance, she quietly walks to the table and puts her fingers cautiously to the box, examining them afterwards for the layer of dust that would prove it's been there all along, untouched. Flecks of paint glitter toward the ground, and she pauses, listening carefully. Oh,. she might be caught, snooping. perhaps she wants to be. Perhaps that's the best way to thrust her life to the next act-- she's never been good at gracefully going from one stage to the next, always needing that violent push. The drugs when she was 13, the sex when she was 15, the torture and confinement to end her childhood. What better way to become an adult that have a serious row with a possible murderer.
Reaching into her pocket, she draws the locket forth again, letting it fall to the extent of its chain before she catches it and peers once more at the picture. her eyes have been trained to the darkness since her year sojourn with Doc.
The tackle box, as old as it is, doesn’t have much dusts, it’s been used recently, it’s been handled a lot. There’s no sound of getting caught, no one opens the door, no one but her and silence.
Then her phone buzzes again, to try and wake her from her haunting reverie.
Wishes are granted, or perhaps nightmares. She can hear the sound of a car driving up, it could be anyone’s. Could be. But soon, she can hear the door unlocking, opening. That voice. “Hey babe, I’m back. You ready to go? Where are you?” Then, silence again.
She jerks her hand back and pulls quickly to her feet, heading for the door. Maybe enough time to get back and return the locket? Maybe not. She slips it back into the pocket of her tight, torn jeans and takes the steps two at a time, miraculously not breaking her neck.
"Heard something down here," she says, preemptively. "Cat got in through the window.”
Open Pandora's Box? She reaches back for the tackle box, aware her phone is useless. The chaos of 3 things converging at once-- the expected call from her lawyer, the return of Michael, the mystery before her-- she's never been good with 3's. Two crises at once, she can handle, but 3 things demanding her attention are too many.
She jerks her hand back and pulls quickly to her feet, heading for the door. Maybe enough time to get back and return the locket? maybe not. She slips it back into the pocket of her tight, torn jeans and takes the steps two at a time, moraculously not breaking her neck.
"Heard something down here," she says, preemptively. "Cat got in through the window and was knocking shit around, got him out and shut it." Terrible story. The window was never open and Michael might have known that, if he was especially paranoid. Still, it's what came to mind. Huh? (Type “help” for help.) There he is, Michael, standing at the top of the stairs, just before the door. Just staring. Likely, the open door to the basement drew him. He always keeps it closed, or so he thought. There’s something in his eyes, both dangerous and scared. Maybe he wants to buy her explanation, maybe he needs to believe his secret is still unknown, until he’s ready to reveal it. A long pause. “Oh. Okay.” The danger lurks, but it is quelled a little.
He looks past her, down the stairs, not that he can see if anything is really disturbed, but he looks all the same. Then he shuts the door behind her, securely. “You, uh, ready to go?” He gives her a little once over, rubbing his hands together nervously.
Has he noticed the missing locket? Perhaps not. The bag lays where Regan left it. Untouched as far as she can tell.
But instead, she has to go somewhere with him. Maybe he just wants to fuck her on a gravestone again, pursuing some bad boy goth fantasy like it's novel and edgy.
"Can you grab my coat from upstairs? I wanna wear my boots." The high heeled sexy ones that take five minutes to put on. At least that pleases Michael. A simple ‘Yeah’. He smiles at her, and then nod. “Sure, babe.” There’s a pause though, a glance one more time at the basement door and then he’s bounding up the stairs himself to grab the coat. It does take a minute, the impossibility of ever finding where women put things. It makes no sense to any man’s brain. But not that long, and he’s returning with her coat.
She can hear his footsteps approach. He holds it out for her, not for her to take, but to help her put it on. Like a gentleman. Perhaps, still grabbing at some sort of normalcy. Good boyfriends do stuff like that to show they care. Right?
it is possible, he wants to fuck her in some sick fantasy, but maybe this one is worse than a simple gravestone, this time.
"God that cat smelled," she tells him, coloring in the details to put him at ease. "Stray, lets get some tuna on the way home, I want to catch it and get it to a shelter." Plausible-- the one soft place in Regan's heart is for neglected animals, and it helps her seem like a normal soft-hearted girl, not the cunning little rabid fox she really is. Her charms do work, too. That kiss brings out an actual smile, one not tinged with worry, or fear, or danger. He kisses her back, on the forehead. It’s what’s available to him at the moment.
Still the mention of that cat, even in details, make his eyes flow back to the basement door cautiously. It’s not helping, it’s seemingly making him more nervous. It’s maybe just him. He turns back however, forces another uneasy smile to his face. “Sure, babe. We’ll get some on the way home.” There’s that nervous rubbing of hands again, but he tries to perk up. “Ready to go?” It’s a curious look, even as he’s moving to grab his keys.
Placing them in his pocket, he turns back to her, holding out his hand. For hers?
But Michael is finite. Most of the time she keeps that in mind. Once in a while she pretends.
At this moment, the end feels in sight, and the way this man has been keeping the vacumous space inside her gouged soul from collapsing in on itself brings on a pang of severe regret.
Still she never thinks of changing him, saving him. He's a rebound monster, after all. Offering one of her slow, edged half smiles, she takes his hand.
In the attic of her brain where The Nurse lives, that creature puts a new record on the mental phonograph that's a little too on the nose. Don't fear the reaper.
And perhaps, just perhaps, she can’t find the answer in any men like this or any other because the answer doesn’t lie there. Even Doc’s love was imperfect, even if she will never realize it.
Michael leads her out the door with another small smile, and they walk to the car. He gets in, and unlocks the doors and starts it up. It’s a piece of shit, of course. Old and not very pretty. Likely, Regan feels she deserves better, she had better before. He rumbles out onto the road and she can hear something rolling around in the trunk that Michael seems to be oblivious too. Or maybe not, he turns on the radio and cranks some tunes, ones he knows she likes.
He says nothing about where they are going, the ride kind of subdued and quiet from his end. But the farther they go or the closer they get, an energy starts to fill Michael. A confidence she doesn’t see in him often, maybe ever. A nervous happiness.
Comfort is nice, but she's still young and able to see its lack as an adventure, a diversion, a rebellion against Mum and dad.
But it'd be nice if the heating in this car worked better. She hugs her coat around her, loose in the front seat without a seat belt and singing with the radio, old 90's grunge which had been a vice of her much older brother's. She lights a cigarette and toys with the wedding ring strung on barbed wire around her neck. Another woman's ring, from a finger that's been rotting for a century, and an undead love.
The woman to whom it belonged is in the backseat, and when Regan glances back there, she can see the torn leather of the seat through the woman's ribcage. Michael hums along with her, a bit more as they gets closer. His smile grows, maybe foolishly mistaking Regan as happy in his presence, or for his presence, or for the present he’s presumably taking her to. Maybe it doesn’t matter to him. There’s a fervor to him now that is laced with anticipation and excitement.
As Regan looks back at the ghost, they turn a corner. A car turns with them. A silver BMW maybe. Michael’s completely oblivious to it, but Regan is sure that car turned with them a few turns ago. It doesn’t seem to be following too close. It could just be a coincidence. Sometimes you’re simply going the same way.
Soon though, Michael rolls up a sidewalk outside a nice house in suburbia somewhere. A place you might find a new couple starting their lives, or families. The car behind you turns another way. Coincidence, it seems. Michael looks to a house up the street and then looks to Regan. “We’re here. I think you’re going to love it.” He turns off the lights and the car and gets out, shutting it. He even makes an attempt to go around and open Regan’s door for her.