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 Always Raining

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PostSubject: Always Raining    Sun Sep 20, 2015 1:00 pm

It had rained for four days straight on Beata Academy that week. Madison walked into the building that night, as she had the four nights prior, dripping wet. She had been training her power, simply going out into the sports field with Lotte and...walking home. Her mentor's voice rang in her ears, a voice she'd heard through the telephone a few times whenever she tried to take a raincheck on the activity.

"Nonsense! Sorry, Maddie, you can't skip a day, or we'll have to start over again!"

Madison sighed, shoes squelching with each step. It seemed like she was getting nowhere. Every day was the same: She'd put on a tough face and walk as creatures would growl at her, every once in a while taking a scratch at her arm. She already had a bunch, had already sewed her fair share of holes in her vests. This vest would need the same treatment.

Like every prior day, when she reached her floor, she tiptoed, careful not to alarm Nicola, whose room was beside hers. It would be pretty suspicious of her to be coming up the stairs like that at nighttime, unlocking her door as if she was just coming home from the blackness outside. She tried her best to muffle the key sound, casting sideways glances. When the door open, she practically jumped inside.

She was safe. Nicola had never been over before. Madison sighed, putting the key back in her bag. She was soaked...

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PostSubject: Re: Always Raining    Mon Sep 21, 2015 4:52 pm

Nicola was simply laying on the couch, not daring to touch anything, the back of her hand resting on her forehead. Slowly, one hand reached toward the coffee table, grabbing her phone. It wasn't anything fancy but not anything completely old-fashioned. She rarely used it in the end, with the fact that she didn't necessarily like pictures and she didn't have many contacts. Just her brother, the elderly couple that took them in, and some friends. Most of said friends were from Beata so she there wasn't any real need to contact them that way. All she had to do was take a few steps to find them - the campus wasn't that big.

A loud beep rang through, the phone vibrating in her hands, and with a small groan, Nicola pushed the power button, sitting up.

It was just Hieta messaging her.

A small sigh escaped her, blue eyes skimming the text. You are missing a uniform set. What the hell? How did he even find out? Biting her lip, her fingers mashed the touchscreen buttons with a quick response, Were you in my stuff again?. The response was almost instantaneous. Nicola still wasn't sure how he managed to use a phone when he was fucking dead and a ghost. Apparently he could just control when he wanted to touch a physical object, but that sounded like complete blasphemy. But she wouldn't deny that she was glad enough for it, that he could almost live normally as long as Destiny was around for a bit. Maybe she should do something for the necromancer - she did technically owe her.

I am not getting you another uniform. I recommend you go retrieve the one you are missing.

With another groan, she replied, Fine and quickly shut her phone off. Nicola looked to her side for a few moments. Her roommates didn't seem to be around. Were they out at the cafeteria? Or were they just inside? Hastily, she ripped a paper from her notebook and scribbled a message for Brant, in the case that he found she was missing. She swung her legs over and got to her feet, opening the door, a loud creak sounding throughout the room. At least Madison's dorm wasn't that far in the end. They were right next door.

The hallways were dimly lit and there were some points where they flickered on and off. That was the first thing she noticed. The second? There was water trailing on the floor in someone's footsteps, and it lead straight to the dorm right next to hers. 303. Did someone just come in? Without another question, her hand rapped in a staccato rhythm.

"Hey Madison, I sorta need something from you."

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PostSubject: Re: Always Raining    Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:20 pm

Madison froze as she heard the rhythmic tapping of a small hand against her door. At first she was relieved to believe it was just a roommate, one she never talked to, who forgot her key and was checking to see if someone was inside to let them in. However, the muffled voice from beyond the door was indistinguishable, and Madison grew rigid. Whatever step she had begun towards the door stopped midway, so she appeared to be in half-stroll, blue eyes wide and flitting back and forth. Damn, she was a mess, uniform torn and tattered, wet and dripping, and she wanted to change but couldn't with her friend at the door. She thought to ignore her, but paranoia told her Nicola had just saw her enter, and besides, Nicola expected her to be in at night.

Shutting her eyes hard, still solid in place, she called, "...what do you need...?"

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PostSubject: Re: Always Raining    Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:28 pm

A frown came unbidden to her lips, and Nicola took a step back, her arms crossed over her chest. Madison wasn't going to open the door? Her eyes drifted towards the soggy floor and back to her friend's dorm. There was no way Madison would've been outside during nighttime. At least, that's what she would assume. She could be wrong, and admittedly, she didn't want to be. Madison was smart enough to know that it was dangerous for her in the dark, right? Yeah, she definitely, absolutely wouldn't go outside without a light source on her. "Do you mind getting the uniform that I lent you?" In the end, Nicola wasn't going to ask about it - she was here to grab the vests and leave. Straight to the point. She was just getting straight to the point.

"My brother's kinda throwing a fit about it, so if you could hand it back to me now or let me in to find it, that'd be great."

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PostSubject: Re: Always Raining    Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:41 pm

"I-I'll find it!" Madison sounded unusually antsy. Her joints melted, and she found herself fast-walking to her room, throwing open her door. Where did she leave that sweater? It was unlike all her own sweaters and vests, a distinctive tint to it that made up one of the many acceptable uniform colors. Her eyes scanned over her room, at all the strewn about clothes, the ones thrown over her hamper, until she came across one; in alarm. The sweater was there, all right, but she had worn it the day prior. It was still damp. The girl's face grew red with shame. Why did she have to wear it so much afterwards?

"Erm..." She Rushed to the door in an overwhelming effort to please Nicola, to cover her tracks. "I, uh, accidentally dropped it in the bath a few--erm, a day ago, um, it's still wet, um, sorry..." The door opened, and out came a damp hand, with a damp vest and a damp sleeve, the barer of this hand hidden behind the door and out of sight. The sweater was shoved blindly in Nicola's face, then lowered with little dexterity.

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PostSubject: Re: Always Raining    Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:54 pm

Her hand had come up, adjusting her cap and she had restlessly waited for Madison, unable to stay in place. At one moment, she had been fiddling with the corners of her skirt to tapping her feet and by the time her friend had come back, she had been pacing around the hallways so much that her footsteps might as well had made a giant schism right through the floor. The uniform was right in her face, wadded up in a sloppy, wet bundle, an arm dangling awkwardly from where it was supporting itself at. Nicola's eyes narrowed before she snatched it away with a plain, "Thanks."

With a quick inspection towards the door, which was only opened with a small crack - just enough for Madison's arm to slip past -, Nicola tried to get a closer look inside, her efforts completely fruitless. Was it messy inside or was there something worth hiding? Or maybe it was something else entirely. A wave of answers and solutions came to mind, but they were all completely baseless. She should just leave it be. It wasn't worth analyzing in the end... right?

"Say, were you the one that just came in?"

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PostSubject: Re: Always Raining    Mon Sep 21, 2015 6:11 pm

There was a pause. The door displayed no emotion, being a door and all, but behind the door, Madison's face was one of vermillion defeat. Was there a way to hide it? She gave a breathy, "Mhm...," and opened the door slowly, with hesitation, revealing the wet sweater by raising her sleeves. Did she have to tell Nicola? No doubt lectures would come from her reveal. How stupid she was, going out in the rain, in the dark! What was she thinking!? Such a stupid, stupid girl! It was all she ever told herself, it would be refreshing to hear it from another mouth. Charlotte surely found it a good idea.

But as soon as she thought it through, in that brief moment of reveal, she realized that this didn't mean certain guilt. It was just wetness. She could have gotten wet in a lot of places outside. "I, uh, I-ih-I just finished doing wash downstairs, and someone's machine...malfunctioned." She rubbed her arm, but the cold made her think better of it. She pulled the sweater over her head, bring chilly streaks across her face, and threw it over the kitchen counter. There, that was viable enough. Of course, when she raised her sleeves earlier, she didn't take in account the slashmarks. Washing machines didn't do that...

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PostSubject: Re: Always Raining    Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:20 pm

She didn't blink once from the moment the door cracked open further, like a curtain slowly unraveling itself to reveal the star of the show. Madison was completely soaked from head to toe, her hair matted and sticking to her skin as though it were glue and the fabric of the uniform wasn't any different. Nicola's eyes narrowed as the sweater came up and over, the rolled up sleeve revealing scars and red lines marking the flesh underneath. Clearing her throat, she lazily asked without a second thought, "So the malfunctioned washing machine attacked you?" It only took her a few moments to retrace back on Madison's words and put two and two together.

"Ya know, you could've just told me if you were going out late at night or something."

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PostSubject: Re: Always Raining    Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:18 pm

She was caught. Madison had a rush of awful feelings, a bitter guilt that traveled through her, and though she tried to formulate more excuses at first, a denial and a dismissive correction, she stopped herself and feebly went: "Sorry..." Was she mad? Madison never knew what Nicola thought, how she exactly felt about stuff. Sure, many people would be angry at Madison for orchestrating a lie like that. Was Nicola the kind of person to laugh?

In the month she knew Nicola, Madison did not know the answer to this.


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PostSubject: Re: Always Raining    Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:35 am

For a few moments, for the first time in so long, Nicola was lost for words. She hadn't expected Madison to admit it just like that, and she knew somehow, that it was a given. Her gift was something she had been wanting to conquer for so long, something that she wanted to get rid of, something to get out of her life. But to go as far as risking her life every night just to do so? It was like tossing a load of bricks and letting it smack you in the face. And now she was being forced to think about all of this. Had she assumed that it would be easy for Madison or that she'd figure it out soon enough without having to put much effort into everything?

... Had she?

A small frown stretched across her lips, half because of her stupid naivety and half because she had assumed that it would be easy for someone as weak as Madison to dominate over her own nightmares just like that. Life wasn't that easy in the end. She should've known that better than most people. Maybe she had been expecting too much or trying to see people for someone they weren't. That she had been believing anyone could get over their problems like taking candy from a baby. Maybe for once, she didn't want to judge a person by their cover. But she had done that in the end, didn't she?

Letting out a soft sigh, her mind began formulating whatever words or phrases that she could answer with. None of them seemed to be useful or the right things to say. Nicola wanted to be blunt, to be straightforward and to tell her how absolutely stupid Madison had been for practically throwing her life away for something as measly as gift practice. She wanted to. But she didn't. It would be hypocritical on her part. So what should she do?

Should she say anything at all?

She hated the word, but Nicola knew, in the end, she was ignorant. She had carelessly looked at everyone else's problems as something akin to squashing a pesky fly. Like crushing an ant with your finger. Like smashing a spider open with your shoe. Something that you'd hesitate with for a few moments before going through with it anyway and wondering why you thought it was so hard. Madison's gift seemed to be just like that. She had to avoid going out in the dark. Easy-peasy. That's all she really bothered, simply scratching the surface.

Over time, she began to figure out how much more complicated the other Summer's powers were. That she'd die if she tried to do anything stupid. Constantly being trapped around her own personal nightmares in the world of the conscious and the unconscious. The sudden quiet had begun gnawing at her, asking her to speak up and Nicola forced herself to relax. Why was she so tense and worried about her answer? Did she think Madison would think of her worst than before? She was positive that Madison thought of her in an ill manner. After all, she poked fun at the other girl whenever she got the opportunity to.

Too bad it was actually really fun in the end. Nicola drew in a sharp intake of air, blue eyes locked to the other. "I would be telling you that you're being an idiot and that you should find a different way to go through with this, but..." Where was she supposed to go from there? Scold her anyway and take back her previous words? Tell her what she was doing was fine in the end? Or just dismiss it and forget that she ever mentioned it?

"If you feel like this is the best way to go through with your gift, go for it. Just don't blame me if you wind up dying because of it."

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PostSubject: Re: Always Raining    Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:56 am

Dying? Go for it? Though Nicola had obviously chosen her words wisely, but Madison's shoulders slumped at the sentiment. Maybe she wanted Nicola to feel worried about her. Maybe she wanted Nicola to feel angry about her risking her life.

"I'm not going to die...," she said, "I have a handle on it. I, um, have a mentor, erm, tutor--teacher, if you...will..." She rubbed her arm with the half-suppressed murmur, then beckoned Nicola in with a wave, with a soft "Come in." She had been standing at her doorway for a while; if they were going to talk, she might as well come in. Besides, she had to change. She began to back up towards her door, a little slowly and strangely, until her heel found the couch and she fell over onto it.

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PostSubject: Re: Always Raining    Sun Sep 27, 2015 5:09 pm

"Teacher or not, there's always the possibility," Nicola replied impulsively, her mind already strained enough. Following Madison with a sleepy air, the moment she reached the cushions, she slumped over, her cap falling over her eyes. Her hands hung awkwardly in the air, reaching to fix the bill and readjust it, but they dropped like dead weights. Fuck it. It was just a hat. She leaned back, kicking her feet onto the coffee table as her vision was blocked out by complete, utter darkness. Theoretically, Nicola was assuming that this sort of dark wasn't the kind that would force Madison into seeing some hallucinations. There was enough light that it wouldn't matter, but if that was the case, she would've been decently alright on the roof.

Crossing her arms over her chest, she let out an exasperated sigh. "Whose the one teaching you, exactly?"

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PostSubject: Re: Always Raining    Sun Sep 27, 2015 7:32 pm

Madison looked up at her from where she lay, beside Nicola, legs hanging over the side. Good, she didn't point it out...
"She's a guardian," said Madison, almost dismissively, voice trailing into the ceiling fan that whirred over them. She watched the blades spinning, before getting up, swinging her legs with a rush of momentum that sent the couch lurching. Then, as she opened her room, about to flick on the lightswitch with haste, she paused. And she looked. And she smiled. She'd show Nicola just how harmless the darkness had gotten.
"Here..." She beckoned Nicola, albeit a little softly, and with a breath, her face became hard with a certain...nothingness. It was absolutely still, her brow meaner than she had ever earnestly made in real life, and she made her way into the dark room.

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PostSubject: Re: Always Raining    Tue Sep 29, 2015 4:46 pm

As soon as the cushions began surging around like a rapid tidal wave, Nicola bumped up into a sitting position, her hands coming up to adjust the rims to get a good look at Madison. The other girl had gotten up and moved away, and immediately, the color drained from her skin. Blue eyes widened like saucers in the night sky before narrowing down into a hard glare. "You're kidding, right?" There was no way in hell Madison would just go in like that. She examined the other girl's features for just a few moments before conceding with a defeated sigh. Lurching onto her feet, Nicola took the steps forward towards the vacant room, standing right beside Madison and waited, watching as Madison wound up going inside.

"This is your funeral if you fail," Nicola mumbled with a grimace, the very thought of having to see any more blood - let alone deaths - made her want to throw up right then and there. Evaluation or not, she didn't want to be part of another bloodbath. If Madison died, then all of her hallucinations would be set free. And unfortunately, that meant nightmares rampaging the school. "Good luck, though." Did Madison need luck? Or was this guardian so effective that it didn't matter at this point?

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PostSubject: Re: Always Raining    Tue Sep 29, 2015 5:27 pm

Madison looked around the room. As she entered it, she'd noticed she'd never done something like this. It was always a straight path, a start and an end. This; this had no end, but rather a wall, covered with the clawmarks of her underlings. They pierced her with eyes, wanting to pierce her with fangs and claws and waiting for a moment of vulnerability for her to do so. The girl silently stared, looking around the room at all of them, terrified but unable to afford showing this. She crept further in, picking up the first clean shirt she saw, a plain old T-shirt, situated under the overarching glare of a bulldog-like man. He drooled on her as her arm passed under him, but it was not real, and so she took no disgust. Backing up, the girl left the room, and immediately when she entered the light, whipped around in triumph.

"See? No problem!" There was no drop in her voice, just a bright smile. She began to unbutton her wet shirt, but as she did this, slender fingers materialized from the darkness, tapping her shoulder. She froze, rigid. Something touched her. Whatever it was, whether it had always been, it was tangible now. Perhaps she wasn't all-the-way out of the darkness. Out of the chasm of her room, invisible until it pulled itself into the light, came a wicked-looking woman. Her rotten head grazed the top of the ceiling, her fingers latched to Madison's shoulders as it pulled itself out, and she rigidly stood, unable to move through her own fear. Her body was half the length of her legs, her skin shriveled with cyanosis. Her eyes were like glass, and her teeth were yellow and curled, sharp as the nails on her fingers.

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