Life had become quiet in the Author’s mind.

After another sad but expected family death had visited her life, the writer had become content to realign her energies to become more positive and healthy. It sounded like something out of a chick flick, but the Author didn’t care about the appearance of it, even if her Characters did. She watched cat videos, sitcoms, and cartoons. She exercised and cooked her own food. She tried to find things to laugh about.

And in turn, she made Quincy grumpy as hell.

“She’s driving me nuts,” the wizard intoned one day in the break room.

Elmiryn was sitting next to her,  balancing an empty Coke can on her head. “Who is?”

“You know who…”

“Okay. But why? Would you rather be watching the Lars von Trier marathon with Nyx, again?”

Quincy paled. “Gods no! A person can only take so much art house creepiness!”

“Hey, hey! Remember Antichrist? Okay, okay–who am I?” Elmiryn scrunched up her face and said in an eerily accurate voice, “Chaos…reigns…”

The wizard smacked the can off of her head. “Damn it, Elmiryn! Now I’m going to be thinking about the self-disemboweling fox for the rest of the fucking day!”

“You’re going to think of that and not the genital mutilation–?

Quincy stuffed her fingers into her ears. “LA! La, la, la, la, la! I can’t hear you!”

The other woman just laughed and wiggled her fingers at Quincy as though she were trying to bewitch her. “You can’t unsee what has been seen!”

“Idiot!” Quincy smacked Elmiryn’s hands and stood from the table. She pressed her wrists to her eyes. “Ugh. Why are we just sitting here in limbo while the Author sorts out her ‘feelings?'”

Elmiryn shrugged. “The hell should I know? When it really comes down to it, we are the Author’s feelings. She can’t just pick up our story and start writing willy nilly if we’re all out of sorts, now can she?”

“That’s stupid,” Quincy snapped, leaning onto the counter. She glared at the polished silver handles of the cabinets, the garish assortment of refrigerator magnets, the coffee stains along the counter surface. Her ears tweaked to the dull cut of the ceiling fan subtly marking the passing time. “People write to make sense of life. We can help her, if she’d just give us a chance!”

“Oh, so I suppose Quincy the Orphan can help understand what it’s like to lose a grandparent? To have that pain chase the agony of having a family member ripped out of your life without any warning?”

“Her aunt died last year! That was months ago!”

It still hurts,” Elmiryn bit out, her face going red and her eyes flashing like blades.

Quincy turned to stare at her, taken aback. The redhead quietly met her gaze.

“It still hurts,” she said again, quieter. “I know. I’ve lost people that way too, and it never stops hurting. You just make room for it, because you can’t rationalize it. Not through science, and not through art. It just is. Let the Author deal with it, Quincy. She’ll get back to us eventually.”

The wizard broke eye contact. The ceiling fan once again took the doleful role of filling in the void of sound.

Thwip, thwip, thwip…

“I know what it’s like.”

“Huh?”

Elmiryn blinked at Quincy. The woman in question glanced at her, her thumb idly picking at a coffee stain.

“I know what it’s like to lose someone suddenly, too. My mother…” the wizard’s voice trailed for a moment. “The Morettis, I meant to say. When Paulo’s parents died…I didn’t know how to deal with it. So I didn’t try. I just kept doing what I knew how to do. That’s why I became rivals with his brothers. I let my greed take over.”

“Not your greed. Your fear. You didn’t want to feel what they felt. In the end, you just grieved differently…” Elmiryn murmured.

Quincy nodded. “You’re right. I’m not suited to help the Author with what she’s going through right now. That’s not in my Character. But I know pain too, Elmiryn.”

The woman nodded. After a moment, her lips puckered in thought. “Soooo…are you going to tell me you’re human, too?”

The wizard rolled her eyes and smirked. “Bite me.”

A pause. “Hey…You mentioned your mother.”

The smirk faded. “Can’t. Status quo.”

The warrior snapped her fingers. “Damn. Guess I’ll just have to wait till our story continues.”

“Yep. I will say this, though.” Quincy turned so that she was leaning back against the counter. She crossed her arms over her chest, her eyes drifting to the ceiling fan. “The dead do not suffer tragedy. The living do.”

“Amen,” Elmiryn muttered, reaching for her soda can under the table. The chair creaked as she she went for it. She straightened, turning the aluminum can in her hands and observing how the cheap light caught the contours.

Another stretch of silence.

Then…

“Hey.”

Quincy turned her head. Elmiryn was balancing the soda can on her head again.

“Do you think the Author will watch more videos of that Japanese cat?” she asked.

“Maru? You mean that fat cat that dove head first into a diet box?”

“He’s not fat, he’s a Scottish Fold!”

“What the hell is a Scottish Fold?”

“It’s a cat pure breed!”

“Ooh-ho! Nyx has turned you into a cat person!”

Elmiryn grinned. “What can I say. I like my pussy.”

Quincy smacked the can off of the other woman’s head again.

She nearly missed, she was laughing so hard.


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