Meeting in the Rain

Robin stared out at the city park while enjoying her morning cup of coffee. She sat on the balcony of her third-story apartment and enjoyed the morning solitude. Her whole day was open, and she sighed in contentment when she heard the first few droplets of rain start to fall. She giggled to herself as she watched the joggers in the park scattering for cover when the rain picked up.

Don’t they check the weather?” Robin smiled to herself then took another sip of coffee. She reached for her journal but noticed movement in the park. One man strolled through the pouring rain without an umbrella, and as far as she could tell, without a shirt. He fell onto the grass on his back and remained still.

I hope he doesn’t get sick,” she thought. She put him out of her mind and wrote in her journal for about ten minutes. When she looked up to take another drink she noticed the strange man still lay in the grass. He had not moved an inch.

“Oh no, is he okay?” The sudden thought rushed out of Robin’s mouth. She did not hesitate to find out. Five minutes later she walked through the rain holding up an umbrella and carrying a spare one. She reached the man’s location and looked down at him.

He lay in a puddle of water deep enough to cover his ears and most of the dark hair on his head. His eyes were closed and he wore a goofy, contented smile on his face.

“Are you okay?” Robin asked. She expected to startle him, but he replied without opening his eyes.

“Fantastic,” he said. “Thanks for checking in,” he added. Robin turned to leave, but curiosity got the better of her.

“What are you doing?” she asked him.

“Trying to sleep,” he replied.

“In the rain?” She asked. This time he opened his eyes and sat up. Robin saw the most beautiful translucent orange eyes she’d ever seen on anyone. They reminded Robin of orange flavored hard candy.

“Is it raining?” he asked. Robin pulled herself out of his eyes and looked around at the park. She shrugged.

“Yeah. A lot.” The man nodded, then lowered his back to the ground again.

“Then, yes. In the rain,” he said. Then he sat up and opened his eyes again. “I’m sorry, that was rude. I don’t get to relax like this very often because I’m usually working on rainy days.” He shrugged. “I do appreciate you checking on me though.”

“Why are you napping in the rain? Don’t you get sick?” The man shook his head.

“No. I don’t know what it is, but it feels amazing. I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember,” he said.

“I’m Robin, what’s your name?”

“Posie,” he said. Robin smiled, and laughed at him.

“No wonder you like the rain so much, you’re named after a flower.” Posie shook his head again.

“Not exactly, it’s just a nickname. My real name is Poseidon, but..” he shrugged. “It’s too bulky.”

“I like Posie,” she said. Red washed over her pale cheeks as she realized what she said. Posie did not seem to catch it. He nodded at her.

“So, as a final check: you’re alive, and this is something you regularly do?” Robin asked. Posie nodded. “Okay. I think I understand. When the rain stops, you’ll leave?” she asked. Again Posie nodded. “And go where?”

“Haven’t planned that far ahead. I’m off today to enjoy the rain as much as I can.” Robin used her spare umbrella to point at her apartment building behind her.

“That’s my building, apartment 320.” She threw the umbrella on the ground next to Posie. “If you happen to find my lost umbrella, I’d appreciate it if you can drop it off after the rain passes.” Robin turned and walked back to her apartment. Posie laid down in the rain and smiled.

Dirge & Dread

April 20, 2018

[WP] “Tag you’re it!” She giggled. “See you in a hundred years!” [Link to post.]

Dread sat cross-legged in the dry dirt of a dying Earth, in front of a pitch black portal. She stopped “waiting” an hour ago and meditated to pass the time instead. A brilliant golden glow emanated from her body; its light kept an army of skeletons at bay. They surrounded Dread but made no other moves as long as her light filled the darkness around her. A pale girl with raven curls and orange eyes popped her head out of the dark hole in front of Dread, but she did not notice because her eyes were closed.

“Hi! I’m Dirge!” the girl said. Dread’s eyes popped open, then she stared at the head while she stood up and dusted her well-worn blue jeans off. The girl walked out of the portal. She was shorter than Dread; Dirge looked up and smiled. Dread extended her hand.

“I’m Dread.” Dirge accepted the hand and shook it, then she walked around Dread to appraise her. Dread felt self-conscious for the first time in a while; she could not remember the last time she felt that feeling gnawing at her. She stood up straighter, and ran her hand through her bone-white, short spiky hair. The curly haired girl grabbed Dread’s red shirt and pulled down the hem to look at the logo of a tiger and shark in a yin-yang formation in the center of her chest.

“I love your shirt!” Dirge said.

“Thanks. It was my dad’s.” At the mention of her father, a quick flash of remorse shot across Dirge’s face.

“Oh yeah, Regal was telling my parents about what happened when I came through. 400 years, huh?” Dirge asked. Dread nodded.

“He said Conquerors age at a slower rate when they’re not in their universe. One year for every 100,” Dread said. She felt the need to explain why she looked so young. She wasn’t used to lowering her guard and feeling inadequate, but somehow it came easy with Dirge.

“Yup,” Dirge nodded, she already knew of course. “And Celestials like me don’t age at all when we’re in a different universe,” Dirge said. She looked around and noted the skeletons forming a large circle around them.

“You’re a Celestial? What number?” Dread asked. She stepped closer and looked into Dirge’s bright orange eyes. She’d met lots of Uniques during her travels, but she’d never run across a Celestial until she met Regal.

“14, La Muerte,” Dirge said and smiled.

“Can you do portals yet?” Dread asked. Dirge nodded causing her curls to bounce.

“Yep! Since I was two,” Dirge smiled. A deep male’s voice that each of them recognized shouted out from the black hole.

“Threnody! Dread! C’mon back.” Dirge stamped her foot on the ground then stomped through the portal. Dread followed her to a nice white tiled kitchen on the other side. Regal stood talking with a couple. The woman had bright red hair, the man’s black hair and orange eyes matched Dirge’s.

“Daddy! Didn’t you tell Regal my new name?” Dirge asked. The man with the orange eyes gave her an apologetic look.

“Sorry hon, but we were kind of busy discussing your new sister,” he said, then he looked at the blonde, bearded man. “Threnody decided her name is now Dirge.” Regal nodded.

“Well she is her father’s daughter,” Regal laughed. Dread stepped closer to Dirge and whispered in her ear.

“What does he mean?” She asked.

“My dad’s name is Poseidon, but it’s too long, so he just goes by Posie.” Dirge shrugged. “Threnody was too long so I picked Dirge. It’s pretty much the same thing,” Dirge whispered an answer.

“Cool,” Dread said.

“How do you feel about sharing your room, Threnny?” Dread watched Dirge’s orange eyes roll upward in her head.

“It’s fine, mom. But can we go play first? I can make portals and Dread has been through a ton of Earths. She said we can check some of them out.”

“I did?” Dread whispered, but her only answer was an elbow in her side.

“How long?” Dirge’s mother, Robin, asked. Dirge shrugged.

“Till Dread’s birthday?” Regal leaned closer to the redheaded woman and whispered something in her ear. Robin’s eyes grew wide with surprise, but Regal kept whispering. When he stopped, her face changed. She nodded.

“Okay. Regal thinks it’s a good idea for you two to do some bonding. You know you can come home if you get bored.” Regal pulled out two black and gold business cards and handed them one each.

“Hold on to these. If anything happens you can use them to open a portal home. The each took their card, then Dirge waved a hand at the air. An empty black portal opened up. Dread started to walk through, but Dirge walked up behind her and shoved the taller girl through the portal.

“Tag you’re it!” she giggled, then she turned to her parents and waved as she stepped through the portal herself. “See you in a hundred years!”

***
Previous Dirge Chapter: Party Music
Previous Dread Chapter: Dreaded Homecoming
Next Chapter: Shattered Bones

Deathly Giggles (2-17-18)

[WP] “Um, Honey, did you teach the baby Latin?” [Link to post.]

“Um, Honey,” Posie walked into the kitchen where his wife Robin searched the fridge for dinner options. “Did you teach the baby Latin?” Robin pulled her red head out of the fridge and stared at her husband. Posie stood in the middle of their kitchen swaying back and forth holding Threnody, their chubby baby girl. Dark wisps of hair rested on the baby’s head, inherited from her father’s full head of dark hair. The child’s orange eyes matched the shade of Posie’s eyes. Robin had no doubt their daughter would be as beautiful as her husband was handsome.

“I wasn’t planning on it. Why? Did you teach the baby Latin?” Robin smirked and closed the fridge. She did not feel like cooking and decided they should go out instead.

“No, but she spoke Latin.” Posie hefted the child upward and kissed her bulging cheek. “Didn’t you, Threnny? Show mommy your Latin.” He tried encouraging the baby. Robin stepped closer to the pair and kissed Posie’s cheek.

“Dear, you don’t even know Latin.”

“No, I don’t know it, but I know what it sounds like. E Pluribus Unum and all that.”

“Pluribus Unum!” Threnody said excitedly with sparkles in her orange eyes.

“See?!” Posie held baby Threnody out toward Robin as proof. His right eyebrow raised smugly. Robin smirked.

“She’s just mimicking you.” Robin took the small child from her husband and twirled around, swinging Threnody. “If she were a normal child she wouldn’t even be talking yet, but she is our daughter.” Threnody giggled as her mother swung her around.

“Veni Vidi Vici!” Threnody said. Robin immediately stopped, and kissed the child on her forehead.

“Okay, maybe you’re right.” Robin sighed. “I’d have preferred to get a birthday or two with her first, but I guess we should call Regal to see what we’re in for.” Posie nodded and took off his red and black t-shirt. He turned his back toward Robin to show her his tattoo of an orange and white koi fish with the number 50 on its scales. Robin stepped forward and pressed her hand against his back. It sunk into the tattoo and she pulled out a golden business card. Robin flicked the business card at a wall and it formed a pitch black circular portal.

“Regal!” Robin shouted at the black hole.

“Coming!” A deep male voice came out of the hole. Seconds later a black boot stepped out of the portal followed by the other. Then a pair of black slacks, then the rest of the man. Regal was a tall man with lustrous golden blond hair. The way it was styled reminded Robin of a lion, and his golden beard only added to that similarity. He wore a sharp white dress shirt with an elegant black vest decorated with thin golden embellishments. He smiled at them.

“Robin! Poseidon! Wonderful to see you again, how’s baby Threnody?” He stepped toward Robin with his arms outstretched, reaching for the child. Robin trusted Regal implicitly and handed her child over without hesitation. The blonde man made silly faces at the baby while jiggling her around.

“Well, Posie discovered that our daughter’s speaking Latin now.” Robin smiled at her husband. His name was part of the reason she loved him so much. His parents named him Poseidon, but it was a cumbersome name. Posie was an imposing man built like a brick house, yet he was comfortable enough with himself to use the nickname ‘Posie’. They both tried correcting Regal several times but eventually they realized he just thought the name Poseidon was cool, so he used it.

“Already?” Regal’s eyes widened ever so slightly. “I’m glad you called me. She’s obviously going to be powerful, so it’s best to learn how powerful.” Regal handed Threnody back to her mother and reached into his back pocket. “Great timing too. I’ve been working on a detection method, if you don’t mind of course?” His hand returned from his pocket with a blank white playing card.

“It’s not gonna hurt her, is it?” Posie asked. Regal shrugged with a half smile.

“Likely not. If anything it might sting a bit, like a vaccination. But she would be the first actual test, since we know both her parents are Uniques.” Robin and Posie met each other’s eyes, and took a moment to have an unspoken discussion. Then Robin nodded her head.

“Go ahead,” Robin said. Regal held the white card against Threnody’s head. He glowed with a golden aura as he gave the card a jolt of energy. Threnody giggled.

“Et Titillat,” Threnody said between giggles. Regal smiled broadly at the child.

“Apparently, it tickles.” The card began to glow. A golden number 14 appeared on it.

“Robin, Poseidon. Congratulations.” Regal chuckled. “Your daughter is Death, La Muerte.”

***

Previous Chapter: Love & Laughter
Next Chapter: Party Music