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Author Topic: Don't Talk to Strangers  (Read 289 times)

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Offline Lion

Don't Talk to Strangers
« on: October 25, 2017, 07:38:08 PM »
[Open by Request /o/]

Tired eyes opened to the poster of Georgia Jacks on his ceiling. Georgia Jacks, an on screen legend. Sure it was Aediolan cinema. And the copy he was most familiar with was a worn out bootleg dvd of the “Ziggurat of Death”.

Glover had smoked so much dandylion one time he recited the entire movie line by line as it played and did so three times in succession. He went hungry for days after that. The fridge having been cleaned out after the first runtime. And he couldn’t make heads or tails of the numbers on his phone to dial for takeout. He had never loved orange chicken and noodles more than he did on day four.

He didn’t call Wil then. He didn’t need for them to see him like that. It wasn’t the first time and it definitely wasn’t going to be the last. At least, - he quietly thanked the stars - at least this time, he was home and as he stared above him, the smug triumphant grin of Georgia Jacks was greeting him.

Years tended to bring a particular talent in playing pretend.

His phone ignited with the familiar light and backdrop of Wil making their most attractive face of sheer displeasure. Which was usually a glorious amalgamation of a groan in the midst of an eyeroll. And usually brought about by three-day old orange chicken that Glover kept in his jacket one time. Usually led to priceless responses. And some shrieking on a few occasions.

With a groan he rolled up into a sitting position, checked the messages and wandered over to the shower. He was fine, he was ok. He could head down to the station today and he was running out of sick days as it were. Even if his head was swimming and it felt like he was underwater even as he let the cold water waterfall down his face. He already knew he was late, Wil was probably just foaming at the mouth to ream him out.

That was always fun, and it would make for an interesting day. Glover dressed and cupped his coffee to go before stepping out of his apartment. A quiet day, warm, almost an hour to noon, and every step was taken leisurely. Glover sipped his coffee and favored a smoke, brushing blond hair from his face reached in for his go-to Hippo lighter. Brushed steel, an engraved hippo design on the side and he puffed hard as the flame took, pushing any thoughts of hunger away from him. They’d get lunch and his partner could lecture him on the importance of punctuality.

The coffee tasted like dirt. He could handle it. 

“STOP HIM! SOMEBODY STOP HIM PLEASE!”

A commotion around the corner was a vague warning, and Glover glared upward. In an instant, a hard body collided with him like a rampant bull and knocked Glover clear to the ground. The coffee container flew out of his hand. The mugger that knocked him down scrambled to his feet and his foot landed on the cigarette that flew out of Glover’s mouth on the impact. As he disappeared, the detective reached for the smoke, rolled it over on his thumb and felt the white hot of rage boiling inside him. The guy was getting away and he was running like hell down that street with a purse firmly fisted in his grasp.

“Stop. Police,” was what Glover should have said. And any other cop might have bothered to call it out. But he that was his last smoke until lunchtime when he could cop a pack from Wil. The last smoke that the stupid fuck just ground into oblivion!

Glover growled and bolted in pursuit, crossing a busy intersection and giving chase with all the strength he could muster. He hoped the fucker didn’t plan on running far, because that was only going to make it worse. Pushing between crowds, shouldering old ladies, and running over small children, the guy ducked into an alleyway and squealed when Glover rounded the corner right after him.

“What the fuck!” he panted, and ducked into the first open door on his right. Glover followed suit and when he didn’t see the mugger, he paused, seeing little more than shelves and shelves of plants.

The fucker had to be in here somewhere. He wasn’t about to get away.

“Come out asshole. End of the line,” Glover growled softly, and kept his hand on the grip of his pistol just inside his jacket.

Online Moonie

Re: Don't Talk to Strangers
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2017, 05:21:56 AM »
Jordan knew it was going to be a pleasant day in Tynova the moment they woke up. The plants told them so, even before they opened their eyes. It would be sunny and warm, quiet and beautiful in the expertly designed and sculpted city they called home. Of course the sun wasn’t up when they were, because there was far too much to do early in the morning to sleep in until the sun came out.

Showering, fixing their hair, doing their make-up, and picking out clothes for the day took Jordan almost an hour every morning as it was, and today was no different. Half of the time getting ready really was picking out their outfit.

Today was a simple day. Skin-hugging jeans tucked into these adorable dark grey boots they’d gotten on clearance a couple weeks ago and a thin, soft long sleeve shirt that was a much lighter grey than their boots. Most of those dark red waves were pulled back into a simple ponytail with a black scrunchie; a few loose curls framed their face nicely.

They looked cute as fuck.

By the time they had gotten ready and checked all the cages in their room, feeding and watering the assortment of pets as necessary, the sky was starting to lighten outside – which was the perfect time to head downstairs to the greenhouse out back of their shop. Jordan had perfected timing morning chores over the years, and they had a comfortable half hour to prepare the shop for opening after all the plants were watered. They were able to light incense and brew coffee, giving a last sweep to make sure everything was perfect.

A soft veil of smoke was blanketing the store in no time; the perfume of a strong mix of herbs and spices was inhaled with every breath and accompanied by the rich aroma of brewing coffee. They always kept a pot of fresh and hot coffee sitting out on a table next to the counter – complete with cups, stirring sticks, sugar, and an assortment of powdered creamers available for their loyal customers.

Tynova Specialty Teas and Tonics was the sort of place that most people either loved or simply had no use for. On a general day the business catered almost exclusively to regulars, with a handful of new faces curtesy of word of mouth. This was not surprising, given their tucked away location on a side street. It was a necessity to be so located, really.

There was just no room for the greenhouse on a main street!

Without the greenhouse the business simply didn’t work. Jordan wouldn’t pass off merchandise made with subpar ingredients. That was just poor customer service, after all, and they were nothing if not customer-centric at Tynova Specialty Teas and Tonics. It was a fifty-year strong tradition with the late owner Laura Dell, and Jordan would never have dishonored the woman who raised them by sullying her memory or the reputation of the shop she had loved – the shop that they loved.

The morning was especially quiet on this particular day. They might have been disappointed, but the lack of customers did allow them to work on their laptop while perched comfortably on the stool behind the counter. It was drawing close to noon before anything really stirred in the shop, and it wasn’t a customer coming through the door.

Jordan felt the shift in mood coming from their collection of potted plants in the backroom of the shop; it was odd for there to be a disturbance coming from there. Yes, they had propped the door open a crack to let in fresh air and occasionally a stray animal would wander into the storeroom looking for a safe place to nap, but the plants wouldn’t be so bothered by just a stray cat. Even more troublesome was that they thought they could hear something.

Maybe against their better judgment, Jordan left the front of the store – which was thankfully empty of customers if there really was some problem – and headed towards the back room.

“Hello? Excuse me, but customers aren’t allowed back here, you need to come in through the front door or leave before I call the police.” Bold words, maybe, but Jordan’s voice was soft and slightly wavering as they called out to whoever was back there, hesitating by the open door and peeking in nervously. Boy wouldn’t they feel dumb if it did turn out to be some stray bumbling in from the street!

Offline Lion

Re: Don't Talk to Strangers
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2017, 10:57:28 PM »
The worst part was, that Glover hadn't rolled out of bed in a bad mood. Today would have been an entirely decent, non mood swinging day if that rat bastard hadn't gotten about knocking him down and then promptly crushing his last cigarette when he dropped it. Good fucking gods, could this city go one fucking hour without someone trying to do some illegal ass shit!

Couldn't he enjoy one fucking smoke in peace!!!!??

Glover decided right then and there, he decided that he was going to make this asshole's life an absolute living hell. Point his gun at him and make him do a little dance in his skivvies and everything. It was going to be glorious!  Put that on the internet!  He'd probably get a million hits alone.

Glover cracked his knuckles as he thumbed the hammer of his pistol and walked between those weird plant tables and saw them on display. The smell in here was incredibly refreshing to the senses. He smelled all sorts of herbal scents, peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender, flowers, and Glover thought he was going to be sick. It wasn't that it was nauseating perse, more so that he'd never had his senses open with such euphoric clarity that was.

Not without being stoned out of his gourd that was.

"Hello? Excuse me, but customers aren’t allowed back here, you need to come in through the front door or leave before I call the police.”

A voice that tried to have some kind of weighed authority and was much too soft to succeed and Glover shifted his gaze around, turning back to the door and walking back to it to make sure that he closed it and locked it. He also took a gardening hoe and set it up against the frame. Just in case.

At least this way it would take a little bit more effort on the mugger's part to make a grand escape and from the sound of it they didn't make it around to the front yet.

Glover didn't answer right away, and he knew that whoever else was in here wasn't going to answer.

He moved closer to the wall, feeling thorns prick at the material of his jacket and he bent his knees a little to stay lowered and keep from getting too much attention. As he approached the door to the back he pulled his gun out and half-cocked the barrel, holding it up, not quite in the face of that really pretty individual standing there.

He smirked a little. "I am the police," he whispered. And opened his jacket with his freehand to show his badge.

Online Moonie

Re: Don't Talk to Strangers
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2017, 11:24:50 AM »
No one answered right away, and for just a moment Jordan thought maybe they were just being a bit paranoid and the plants were just being contrary. That would have been nice, because that would have meant there was nothing to worry about. Too bad the sound of the back door locking and something being shoved against it dashed any hopes that everything was just fine.

Not to mention as they peeked further into the room they could see movement. Maybe if they were smart they’d have shrunk away from the slightly crouched man as he approached them. Instead Jordan felt frozen in the spot as that gun was pulled out, it was almost in their face! Speaking of their face, all the color drained from it as they instinctively raised their hands, a spike of fear driving into them. After all, they had no idea who this man was or what he wanted. Maybe they were being robbed?

That had never happened before!

Honestly the hushed declaration that he was the police did little to soothe Jordan, who was still staring at the gun with wide eyes, their face pale and tight and hands still held up nervously. They could barely drag their eyes away from the gun long enough to flicker down to the exposed badge.

Why were the police here? A moment of pure panic seized them. What if they’d finally decided that Jordan was just too suspicious and wanted to arrest them for no reason other than that they were psychic? It was not an, in their opinion, unfounded fear. They had spent many a night worrying themselves sick over the possibility of being persecuted over their undesirable psychic abilities.

It was the plants that really calmed them slightly, because the blond cop wasn’t the only intruder they were fussing over. They were after someone else.

“There’s someone else in here,” Jordan whispered, finally lowering their hands and shooting a nervous glance towards a workbench covered in empty pots and gardening tools, “Over there, hiding behind the bags of dirt and mulch.”

Offline Lion

Re: Don't Talk to Strangers
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2017, 01:28:06 AM »
Super smart, Glover, he chided himself. Great plan. Lock yourself in with a criminal and a piece of crusty milky toast and you were set for the day. All for that last cigarette that he probably could have gotten at a corner drug store for a few bucks. For once a lick of sense wasn't smacked into him, and instead came about all on its own.

Glover grumbled something to himself. Something something - didn't need what he didn't use. And now it was personal and that mugger was going to get the ass kicking of his life anyway. If it wasn't him, it was going to be some other lucky punk that they'd crossed.

Yeah, so much better to nip it in the bud while the getting was still good. Glover gripped the gun firmly, and was glad the milky toast didn't make fuss over whether or not that badge was real. To which would be cause for a great deal of needless arguing. Good, one less headache for today.

They whispered something about mulch and someone else hiding in here. "I tailed them in here," Glover hissed to them. "Get down, close the door. I've got this handled." Glover turned their back to them and shifted around to maneuver low between two sets of pots that were far too heavy to be on the tables and glanced around toward the indicated pile of dirt and mulch.

Glover didn't know it, didn't see it, but he definitely felt it!  That bite that snagged at the texture of his pants and got a good nab at the meat of his ass. He shuffled forward and whirled around to see nothing more than a vine with a wide fan-like head on it, with a row of teeth.  A hand slapped across his mouth and he stepped on a crunch of dirt along the floor.

That noise made the mugger jump out from their spot. He had hid himself well in the crook between the two piles but the moment he saw Glover come into view he stepped over to the work bench of gardening tools and reached for a set of gardening sheers.

He wasted no time in jumping over another table, between the plants, heading for the front entrance door, kicking it open.

Glover recovered and fired off a shot that broke an empty pot.  Cursing slightly, Glover pursued once more, bursting through that door the man had torn open in his fury to escape. And Glover stopped dead in his tracks as he saw right in front of him the garden sheers placed firmly at the base of their throat.

Poor pretty little thing, poor milky toast. This really was going to turn out to be a shitty day for everyone involved.

"Don't you fucking move or I'll jam this thing right into her fuckin' neck," he growled.

Glover squinted, pointing that smoking barrel dead on. "They," he corrected and fired that gun. All that was heard was the casing that dropped to the ground and the body of the man that followed, a hollowed out point right through his forehead.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2017, 01:32:31 AM by Lion »

Online Moonie

Re: Don't Talk to Strangers
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2017, 10:13:18 AM »
Maybe someone else might have argued the validity of the badge, but Jordan wasn’t inclined to argue about anything with anyone holding a gun that close to their face. It didn’t matter if the man looked closer to a bum than a cop – when he told them to get out of the room and close the door they jumped to obey as quickly and quietly as possible.

The door clicked shut softly as Jordan moved back to the hallway leading from the front of the store to the storeroom. Should they have warned him about some of the carnivorous vines and plants they kept for pest control? Ah well, too late now.

Jordan was basically holding their breath as they strained to listen to sounds from the back, sounds other than the plants whispering in agitation. It wasn’t an easy feat; they were really whipped into something of a frenzy with the unfamiliar intruders. What a bother, it might take them hours to calm them all back down after this.

A sudden noise alerted them to the fact that something was actually happening now. Jordan took a couple faltering steps away from the door before it burst open. They couldn’t have gotten out of the way if they wanted to. Jordan was barely able to squeak as an arm wrapped around them, and then they could only whimper as something sharp pressed against their throat. It took a moment for them to realize it was a pair of their own garden shears threatening to draw blood.

Of course a moment later the bum cop also burst through the door from the back, still pointing that damn gun in their direction. Jordan’s eyes were wide and frankly terrified. They were pretty sure that death was imminent, either through being stabbed or accidentally shot.

Did…did he really just correct the guy holding shears to their throat? Who the fuck cared about proper pronoun usage at a time like this?! The asshole could have called Jordan an it and they would have enthusiastically agreed with that assessment! Not that Jordan really cared that much when their life wasn’t in immediate danger. People mistook them for a woman often enough, it hardly mattered to them one way or the other what anyone thought they were.

Given time Jordan might have been curious how the cop had even known, but really there was only a split second between the odd exchange and a bullet zooming right past their head. They cringed, hunching up on themselves and their eyes squeezing shut as they anticipated, well, anything.

When nothing painful happened and the body of their captor thudded against the floor, Jordan peeked one eye open tentatively. Oh thank whatever gods there were, they were alive! The relief was very short lived as they looked down and saw a man with a bullet hole in their forehead lying dead in their shop. That image was enough to drain whatever color might have been left in their face.

“You…you killed him.” Yes, they had held shears to their neck, but they’d never seen someone killed before. The shock wore off and they scrambled away from the corpse, nearly falling over themself against the wall. “…what the hell!? You could have hit me!”

Offline Lion

Re: Don't Talk to Strangers
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2017, 09:13:24 AM »
Hindsight was always 20/20. Something something saying it didn't help matters when you just made a mess over someone else's shop and although he should feel bad about doing so, he only smile. Just a tad. Yeah, that response wasn't going to tide over well.

Glover blinked and observed his handiwork. He wasn't grinning that he'd just killed a man. Quite the contrary. In fact, the line he'd said right before pulling the trigger was so stupid - like it came right out of a movie and he was positive he could have come up with something better to say. It'd been a split second, but it could have been way better.

A cheeky grin that twitched and... "Huh?" Glover didn't think he actually heard what he thought he heard did he? Oh goodness. Well if this was how this person thanked other people for saving their life oh well then maybe they needed a lesson in appreciation.

"What's your name?" he pressed. His brow had knitted into a scowl, glancing between the body and the shears that were almost in their neck. You'd think they'd be a little more grateful, and the grunt that followed conveyed nothing but his displeasure. Who the fuck did this person think they were? Maybe this happened more regularly than he thought. In which case he could understand the indignation.

"Just be happy I didn't hit you, crusty milk toast," he sigheda and took an index finger and thumb pinching the top of his nose and sighing loudly. "Look you got a cigarette? I had one, but this asshole stepped on it. And I kinda really need one. So I'll take that over a thamk you, for saving your life."

Online Moonie

Re: Don't Talk to Strangers
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2017, 04:45:50 PM »
Maybe this grimy cop could smile in a moment like this, but Jordan could only think about the fact that a bullet had whizzed by their head and the fact that their shop had just been turned into a bit of a crime scene. It was only a matter of time before their were cops swarmed all over the premises, coroners to bag and take the body away, they’d want them to give a statement of what had transpired.

It was all a migraine coming and this disheveled jerk was smiling.

Crusty milk toast?!” The nerve! Who did this guy think he was? If anyone was crusty around here it was him! “My name is Jordan Harper, and you’re one to talk. My life was only in danger in the first place because of you, and you could have shot me!”

Thank him? There was fat chance of that when he’d completely wrecked any chance at a normal, boring, safe day for Jordan and their business. Honestly they weren’t sure if it was even safe to move at this point. Did he really expect them to just casually fetch them a cigarette when anything they did could disturb the scene? That’s how all this worked, right? They weren’t really sure, but that seemed logical to them. Of course, doing what they were told by the police also seemed like the logical thing to do.

“I don’t have any cigarettes. I have do tobacco and papers up front, though. Uh, right this way.” Being very cautious, Jordan skirted away from the body further. Their hands were starting to shake as everything became more and more real with each passing moment. This was going to be a hell of a day. They needed a hot cup of tea and a thick blunt to ease the nerves.

Yep, that was the ticket. Would it be wrong to light up before more cops showed up?

Jordan figured if it was wrong they’d find out pretty quick. Quickdraw there was sure to chew them out if they did something wrong. They slid behind the counter and onto their stool before pulling out a tin full of premeasured bags of dandylion and packs of rolling papers with prices labelled neatly. A quick scribble note to write off one of the bags and they put the rest away. Nimble fingers were already working on rolling up a joint. “There in front of the counter are the tobacco products, just let me write off whatever you take. You don’t mind if I help myself, right?”

Offline Lion

Re: Don't Talk to Strangers
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2017, 08:41:47 PM »
That was a one in a hundred shot on a good day. So yeah, Glover was grinning. Today was very much not a good day.  Not only was he going to be horrifically late and his ears would be ringing for a week straight - thanks Wil but no thanks - but that fucker crushed his one and only cigarette for the day and no doubt anything he'd hidden in the squad car was probably going to be gone. He had a hard time keeping track which packs he'd left behind and which ones he'd stashed into his pocket again and forgot to replace.

"Well, Jordan Harper," Glover hissed, making a point of exaggerating every syllable of their name.  He shrugged, knowing the tone was insulting, but considering he'd just saved their life, they could handle a little hazing right now. "He ran in here of his own volition. Ok? Ain't like I knew where the fucker was gonna go. Damn near made me have a heart attack. I don't like running, ok?"

Nevermind the fact that Glover hadn't seen a real gym in more than 5 years. If it weren't for his smoking, the Tahi-tahi would have taken over his belly and lovehandles by now. Glover cautiously reached down to check his stomach, wondering if this Jordan Harper had any food cooking somewhere, or like some fruit. When was the last time he'd had an apple?  Around the last time he'd seen a gym.  Seen being the optimal word here.

"What are you doing?" he asked.  A pointless question considering they were already doing it and Glover followed them, explaining where the tobacco products were. "No, no, thanks. But I'll take that."  He crossed the distance and took the newly rolled up joint from their grasp.  He'd examined the handiwork and tucked it into the crook of his mouth, pulling out his lighter and lighting the end. A long drag soothed the burn, and as if within seconds he felt himself immediately mellow out.

Hoooly shit...

"This is....magnificent. Yeah, I'll take a bag of this.  Thanks," he nodded to them and took another long drag on the joint.  "This though."  A gesture to the body.  "We gotta get rid of this. You got a place we can bury it?  Ain't nobody gonna miss him, that's for sure."  Glover walked over and blew smoke over the dead mugger's face, licking his lips. "Guess I'm not the only one having a bad day."

Online Moonie

Re: Don't Talk to Strangers
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2018, 05:20:27 PM »
There was little in that moment that Jordan wanted more than for this whole day to just be over with already. They weren’t sure what they had done to anger the divine forces of the universe and be thusly punished with death threats and an annoying cop with an attitude problem. Clearly whatever transgression they’d committed had been severe, though. It was the only explanation that they were currently willing to entertain.

Jordan made a soft sound of annoyed protest as the dandylion was plucked from their hand without so much as an attempt to ask for his own. Blue eyes flashed balefully at his unwanted guest before they fished out their box again and started marking another bag down.

It was while they were starting to artfully make another roll that the suggestion of hiding the body was made. Nope, clearly they had committed something so grave the universe had decided to fuck with them until they just croaked. Maybe their parents were right and they really were cursed. It sure felt like it as they stared frozen at the grimy cop that had barged in with his damn criminal problems to dump them all over Jordan.

Excuse me?” Holy shit what kind of cop was he? Either a very bad, dirty cop or not an actual cop, and Jordan had to wonder if the badge was a fake. “No I don’t have somewhere to bury a dead body are you fucking kidding me?”

They hated to get so wound up and start swearing, but this went from an already insane situation to whatever was worse than that. Jordan wasn’t even sure.

“We have to call the cops. I don’t care if he’s a criminal, I’m pretty sure hiding his body is a pretty big crime! Do you know what they’d do to me? Not that you care, but I am a psychic. I already get enough harassment from the authorities when I’m not helping people break the law.” They didn’t know why hiding the body was even an issue. The man had put shears to their throat with a clear threat. A cop would have been in the right to shoot him. At least Jordan was pretty sure it would have been cleared as a justified shooting.