Lullabye & Pizza (5-10-18)

[OT] Theme Thursday – Media Prompts: Female Vocals [Link to post.]

Alanna White bowed to the crowd gathered around her, and collected her tips from the sparkling green prop top hat with a black band and plastic golden buckle sitting on the cobblestone walk way in front of her. As she bent down her eyes glanced across the street to her right. They were standing there again. The two women, one tall with bone-white spiky hair pointing upward, and a shorter one with long draping curls the same shade of white. Alanna noticed them about a week ago, but she had no idea if they’d been watching her longer than that. 

“I’m gonna take a break folks!” Alanna chirped brightly to the crowd and they began to disperse. The previous night she lay in bed after putting her mom to sleep wondering at the what ifs. What if they were talent scouts? What if they wanted to sign her? What if they wanted to kidnap her? She decided the next time she saw them she would find out. That sunny Saturday afternoon in the crowded downtown district she found her chance. After a deep breath she pocketed the money and moved to cross the street. They seemed to notice her walking towards them. The shorter one wearing a white and orange gothic lolita type dress elbowed the taller one in the ribs. The tall woman wore blue jeans and a red shirt with a tiger and shark logo on it in a yin-yang formation. She turned and smiled at Alanna as she stepped closer. 

“Hi!” Alanna waved at them. The tall woman nodded, the short one smiled and waved in return.

“Hi!” she said. “I’m Dirge, this is Dread.” She gestured to the taller woman. 

“I’m Alanna,” the redheaded girl said. 

“Yeah, we know.” Dread said. Alanna nodded.

“I’ve seen you guys watching me for about a week. Something I can help you with?” Dirge elbowed Dread in the ribs again.

“See? I told you that’s when she noticed us.” Dread shrugged, but Dirge turned her attention to Alanna. “We’ve been watching you sing, and we have an opportunity for you,” Dirge said. Alanna squeezed her fists tightly as her heart leapt in her chest. 

TALENT SCOUTS!” she screamed internally, but she smiled at them and nodded her head. “What’s that?” she asked. Dirge cocked her head to the block of buildings behind them.

“C’mon, we’ll buy you lunch and we can talk,” Dirge said. Without waiting for Dirge to finish speaking Dread turned and began walking up the street. After she invited Alanna Dirge also turned and walked away assuming the ginger girl would follow them. She followed, reasoning that she could bail the second they tried to lead her into a blind alley or back of a van. They ended up walking into Alanna’s favorite pizzeria a block up the street. Dirge and Dread sat on the same side of a green and red booth leaving Alanna to take the other side. After the waitress took their order Dirge leaned over the table and spoke in a hushed tone. 

“You’re starting high school next year, right? We’re here to recruit you for a special, uhh, private school.” Dirge said. 

“You mean like a school for artists?” Alanna’s face lit up, but Dirge shook her head. Her white curls bounced as she made the motion. 

“No. More like a school for your other talents.” Alanna’s face went pale. 

“We could use a Banshee,” Dread said. Alanna wasted no time sliding out of the booth while Dirge elbowed Dread in the ribs again, this time hard enough to cause the taller woman to complain. “Owwww.” 

“Don’t go!” Dirge said. “Watch.” She opened her mouth and sang a simple, single low note; she held it steady while staring into Alanna’s emerald eyes. The tone sounded peaceful to Alanna, almost like a soft lullabye whispering in her ear. Dirge stopped singing as Alanna yawned. She pointed to the patrons at a table in the corner. Alanna looked towards them and realized they were both asleep. Her head jerked around as she eyed everyone else in the restaurant. They were all asleep. 

“Wake ’em up.” Dirge said to Alanna. “You can do it.” Alanna looked around at the restaurant then back to the the two women. Dirge smiled and nodded. Dread gave her a thumbs up gesture. Alanna opened her mouth and sang a note without thinking. Her note was a higher pitch than Dirge’s, and not quite as steady. She sang while she stared at a sleeping woman. In seconds the woman’s eyes began to flutter open and Alanna stopped singing. She took one more look around and realized everyone was awake again. She slid back into the booth. 

“So like a school for Banshees?” Alanna asked. Again, Dirge shook her head. 

“Not quite. It’s more like a school for heroes. You can do a lot of good with your skills.” Dirge said. At that moment the waitress walked up.

“I’m sorry. Unfortunately your pizza was burned and we have to make another one. It’s going to be a bit longer but as an apology your meal will be free of charge.” Dirge smiled at her.

“No problem, thanks!” Dirge said. Alanna used the interruption to think. After the waitress left Alanna spoke up.

“I’m in.” 

Lucky Lee (1-18-18)

“Are you okay?” she asked. “No,” he said, “but I will be.” [Link to post.]

Jasmine Lee walked through the crowd searching for a mark. Any sucker that looked like he had a heavy wallet. She spotted a short man with his blue hair standing upright in a well kept mohawk. He wore gold chains and a dim look on his face. On his feet she saw the gaudiest white snakeskin boots she ever laid eyes on. Literal dumb luck, if Jasmine ever saw it. Elaborate tattoo sleeves decorated both arms. He walked next to a young woman in a purple and gold hoodie. Jasmine decided to follow them to try and get him alone. She decided to do some side jobs while she followed her blue payday.

Jasmine spotted a hurried man approaching from the other direction, almost shoving people out of his way and glaring at those around him. He wore an expensive watch, and Jasmine felt good about giving the jerk what he deserved. She changed her course slightly, then bumped into him. He looked ready to blow his top at her, but Jasmine smiled at him with a gleam in her eyes.

“Are you okay?” she asked.

“No,” he said, “but I will be.” The man’s anger melted into a smile and he nodded at her politely. Then he continued forward and Jasmine heard him whistle as he walked away.. She looked down at the watch and wallet she ‘found’. The wallet held a couple of bucks, and the watch was fake. She sighed and kept walking. She spotted the blue mohawk and kept following it. The girl still walked next to him. Jasmine pocketed the worthless items and searched for another victim. The lunch rush offered her plenty of opportunities, usually she only needed to work about an hour a day.
She spotted another jerk barreling through the crowd.

He almost shoved over a stroller in his way, and did not bother to apologize. She stepped into his path and shoulder checked him.

“Are you okay?” she asked with her practiced smile.

“No.” he said, “but I will be.”  He smiled at her and walked away at a more peaceful pace. She checked his wallet and found it loaded with 100 dollar bills. She looked up to check for the blue mohawk. He and the girl walked past a policeman and then stopped in front of a pizza shop a few stores ahead of the cop. The girl in the hoodie nodded and disappeared into the pizzeria while the short blue haired man leaned up against the wall to wait.

“Perfect!” Jasmine said. While walking she pulled a couple of hundreds out of the richer wallet and put them into the poorer one, then she pocketed the rest of the money. She did not understand her power, but she always felt an empathic flash whenever she used it. The first guy was in the middle of having a very bad day, and she felt guilty for making it worse. The second guy was an asshole through and through. She stopped and handed the wallets and watch to the police officer.

“I found these on the ground.” The officer looked at her with skepticism.

“Yeah right kid. What are you? 13? 14? So you picked some pockets and trying to ditch the evidence?” The officer grabbed her wrist. Jasmine did not want to miss her window with the blue haired guy. She stepped forward and bumped into the officer.

“Are you okay?” she asked.

“No,” he said, “but I will be.” The man walked away smiling. In a few hours when her power wore off he’d have some vague memories that the items were lost, but with no idea of where he found them. With the officer gone she walked towards the short man leaning against the wall. She walked towards him while trying to figure out how to best bump him. Him not walking made it a bit more awkward. When she walked near enough to make her move her ankle shifted. She stepped wrong on something and tumbled toward the man. She managed to think quick enough to activate her power as her body pushed the short man against the brick wall of the pizzeria. After the contact she looked at him.

“Are you okay?” she asked with her dazzling smile. The contact alone was enough to use her ability, but over time she learned that being personable helped it take effect faster.

“Yeah, I’m fine.” He pushed against her slightly to help her find her balance. “How about you?”

“Huh?” Jasmine panicked slightly. It was the first time her power did not work on a man. She  recovered quickly. “Yeah, I’m fine. I tripped on something I guess.” She looked back to where she took her misstep and saw a small red translucent cube. It looked like a dice, with no spots on it. As she looked back to the blue haired man she noticed he also had a pair of red dice tattooed on the back of his hand. The dice sat next to a golden beer bottle that showed the number 25 on its label.

“Shouldn’t you be in school?” The man asked with a goofy smile. Somehow it was endearing without being creepy. At 14 she was used to creeps, and this was not the first time she’d heard that line from creeps. Usually a sinister smile accompanied the question. Something seemed different about him. Instead of telling him to mind his own business, Jasmine shrugged.

“I’m on lunch break, and I’m working to take care of my parents.” Both were true, though she never admitted it to anyone. Both parents were sick and unable to work. Jasmine’s lunch hour managed to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table, so they knew better than to ask where she was getting the money from. After she realized what she said she gasped, and her hand flew to her mouth to cover it. The stranger’s smile became friendlier. “Why’d I say that?” she asked.

“Feedback,” the man said. “My name is Vegas, by the way.”

“Feedback?” Jasmine’s eyes went wide. There was no way that was accidental. He knew exactly what he said, which meant he knew exactly what she could do. He nodded.

“Your power doesn’t work on people who are expecting it,” a female voice said. Jasmine turned to see the young woman in the purple and gold hoodie standing in front of them holding a pizza.

“I’m Jenny by the way,” Jenny said. She pulled her hood down to reveal her short, spiky hair glowing blue. Jasmine saw golden finger tips coming out of her black gloves. “Want some pizza?”

Pizza and Promises (1-11-18)

Magic, it happens, is real ; it just takes an innate talent. You and your best friend have it, and just learned about it. [Link to post.]

“This is fantastic!” Hector said. He waved his fingers in the air and released a rainbow of light shaped like musical notes. “We know magic!” Hector danced around in the center of his room, surrounded by by a whirlwind of different colored musical notes. His best friend Ricky sat on the bed and stared at him with a less enthusiastic look on his face. Ricky waved his own hands in the air, he released sparks of purple energy.

“We can *use* magic,” Ricky said. He shook both of his hands and purple energy sprinkled out like a powder. “But I wouldn’t say we *know* magic. Why do you get the cool rainbow notes?” Ricky stood up from the bed and walked toward Hector. He bumped into a green note in the air.

“OW!” Ricky yelled. His hand shot to his upper arm where the note hit.

“Sorry! I didn’t know they did that!” Hector’s panic caused the notes to disappear from the air. He ran
to Ricky’s side to check the damage. Instead of letting him see, Ricky threw a handful of purple powder at Hector’s face.

“Yeah, I don’t know what mine does either.” Ricky laughed at Hector’s frantic movements to get the dust off his face.

“LEAVE ME ALONE! STOP!!” Hector yelled “NO!” He stepped back and stumbled to the ground. He panicked and crab walked backward to a corner of his room. His eyes were wide and his chest heaved with fast, deep breaths. “GO AWAY!!” Tears poured from Hector’s eyes. He rolled curled into his body and buried his head in his knees. “pleaase…” he whimpered.

“Oh shit, I’m sorry!” Ricky shook his hands, unsure of what else to do. Purple powder fell from his hands as he tried to end the effect. He walked to Ricky’s side and knelt down next to him on the floor. “Heck? Hey man, snap out of it.” After several moments Hector looked up with red puffy eyes.

“Whoa.” He elbowed Ricky in the ribs, and allowed his friend to help him up. “Don’t ever do that again… to anyone. That was terrifying.” Hector took several deep breaths to try and calm himself down again. The paranoia was not entirely gone, but it was manageable. Ricky helped his friend sit down on the bed and sat down next to him.

“These things are crazy, man. We’ve really gotta learn how to use them properly, before anyone gets really hurt.” Hector released a golden note into the air. It hit a wall and disappeared. Nothing happened.

“Yeah, but I wish we knew where it came from. I’d love to see if we could get more, or maybe different powers,” Ricky said.

“We got our tattoos a few days ago, maybe the guy used magic ink or something?” Hector lifted his right foot to the bed and pulled down his sock to admire the tattoo. At 14 he needed to keep it hidden from his parents. It was a red and black electric guitar with the number 32, his favorite number, in golden numbers on the soundboard. Ricky put his left hand near Hector’s ankle to look at his tattoo also. It was a dagger with a scroll around it. On the scroll the number 12 was written in gold. Ricky’s parents passed away, so there was no one to punish him for getting a tattoo so young.

“Maybe,” Ricky said. He did not sound convinced. “Anyway, let’s go test these out somewhere. I wanna see what we can do.”

“That’s a good idea, just take it easy with that stuff,” Hector said. The two left Hector’s house and walked to the nearby shopping district. The square was packed with people streaming in and out of shops. The smell of food hit Hector’s nose.

“Hey, maybe we shouldn’t do magic on an empty stomach,” Hector said. He smiled at Ricky and led the way to their favorite pizza shop. The waitress smiled at them as they walked in. Hector nodded at the cute girl.

“Usual,” Hector said. Ricky nodded in agreement and they sat down at their regular table. Ricky’s hand hovered over the rustic wooden table, and he winked at Hector.

“I’m gonna try something,” he said. He released a small, single speck of purple powder from his hand onto the table. The waitress brought their sodas and Ricky flicked the speck of powder at her. She jumped with a yelp the instant it touched her. The sodas spilled all over her uniform, and the glasses shattered on the floor.

“I’M SO SORRY!” The waitress yelled than ran away to the back of the kitchen. Hector kicked Ricky’s shin under the table.

“Asshole, leave her alone!”

“I was just testing it out, we have to learn don’t we? What’s wrong, you like her? She’s like 20, man. She’s not going to be into a kid like you.” Ricky grinned at Hector.

“She’s always nice to us is all, just leave her alone.” Hector grabbed the napkin dispenser and stood from the table. He knelt on the floor to clean up the glass and soda. Hector heard some noises coming from the kitchen, then the cook walked out wheeling a bucket and mop. He reached the table and apologized.

“Janie’s sorry guys. She thought she saw a giant spider on her hand or something. I dunno. I sent her home,” the cook said. He began to pull the mop out, but Hector stopped him.

“I’ll take care of it, just don’t let our pizzas burn,” he smiled at the cook. The cook nodded and walked back to the kitchen. Hector knelt down again to make sure he picked up all the glass, then he mopped up the soda. While he worked Ricky stared at him with annoyance.

“Man, you are too nice.” Ricky complained after Hector returned the mop bucket and sat down again. He brought fresh drinks for both of them. A young woman in a purple and gold hoodie appeared at the side of their table. Hector looked up at her. He caught a twinkle of purple behind her eyes, though the hood kept most of her face in shadow. Her hands were in the front pocket.

“You’re definitely too nice, but that’s a good thing!” the woman said. Her hand moved out of her pocket to pull the hood down. Her blue glowing hair was not as surprising as her golden hands.

“I’m Jenny, can I sit down and talk to you guys for a bit?” She asked. She placed a couple of bills on the table. “I’ll pay for your lunch.” A golden number 46 glowed on her forehead.