Author Topic: Fresh Start, Fresh Ink  (Read 9231 times)

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Offline The Cedar Witch

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Fresh Start, Fresh Ink
« on: February 27, 2019, 10:40:01 AM »
The sun was just setting now, golden fingers reaching through the trees and between the buildings of the South District, touching the window of the backseat of the cab.  This city was packed with potential and Astrid was impatient to dig in.  After being on the move for so long she was looking forward to getting to know the little nooks and crannies of this city.  Well, that was the plan anyway--if all went well.  She had a good feeling about this, though.  The next step would be to find someplace to stay and work and that would set everything else in motion.  But for now, she was more interested in some tattoo therapy.

No dwelling now.  This was a fresh city, a new start.  There was only moving forward.  If she stopped then...

Astrid paid the cab driver from one of several envelopes stuffed with bills, hoisted her bulging backpack--with everything she owned--over her shoulder and turned toward the building looming ahead.  The eight-story structure was positively crackling with magic, and Astrid had no doubt in her mind that this was the right place.  It wasn’t what she had expected when she heard tales of Saint Sabrina, but she knew that things were not what they seemed--especially when magic was involved.  It would be nice to be around such an awesome source of power again, and it was almost enough to make her homesick. 

Hesitantly she approached the large oak doors and rapped three times, unsure of what she would find inside and how she would be received. 
Anna/Odessa/Sonya || Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

Offline Harlequin

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Re: Fresh Start, Fresh Ink
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2019, 11:29:45 AM »
The doors swung open of their own accord after the first knock, revealing a chaotic interior.

The grand chandeliers had been rehung and glittered with ever-burning candles, as bright and sharp as only freshly-cleaned crystal could be. The scaffolding lining the walls teemed with human activity, and an overwhelming smell of fresh paint permeated the space as wild murals took shape under their busy hands. The soft furniture had been relegated to one corner and covered with drapes to protect it, but the heavy oak coffee and side tables gleamed, freshly varnished, in the candlelight, surrounded by Eames-inspired bright, plastic chairs.

Astrid would feel the energy in the house as an electric thing, as clear and loud as the the laughter that rang through the lobby from the small groups of people (and people-shaped-etceteras) gathered about the lobby. Some chatted amongst themselves, a few read books or worked on laptops by themselves, and one particularly loud cadre was engaged in a rousing game of scrabble. If Astrid didn't know better, she might think the old hotel was proud of itself.

"Hi! Hello!" Called a young woman with rainbow curls from the old check-in desk, waving manically "How can I help you?"

Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: Fresh Start, Fresh Ink
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2019, 12:11:13 PM »
Astrid blinked a few times, adjusting to the change of energy from outside to inside as the door swung open.  No, this place was positively alive--crackling with magic was a serious understatement.  The energy was contagious here and a grin stretched across her face.  She had to know more about this place!  It was definitely nothing like she expected, and it seemed very silly to have any expectations at all to begin with.  There was something interestingly complex lurking here--a kind of darkness but nothing that she was intimidated or put off by.  Life was more than love and light.

She could feel herself passing through a powerful kind of protection spell as she crossed over the threshold of the hotel, and was met with a feeling of safety and security that was all the more welcoming.  Relaxation touched the tension from the long cab ride and she exhaled softly with release.  Somewhere in the back of her mind was the impulse to remain on guard--but she was so tired and it was so nice to be around something new but familiar at the same time.

Her eyes were drawn first to the murals, resisting the urge to make a beeline to them to study closer.  She loved watching artists work, the thought process and decision making that lead up to the birth of the piece itself.  It was an intimate thing, to be able to watch this process unfold.  She could have watched for hours--and she wanted to!  Astrid was surprised at the number of people who lingered about, socializing or doing their own things.  It was very dorm-like.  All of this reminded her of college--and her chest was gripped with feelings of bittersweetness so much so that she held her breath for a moment.

But enough of that.  Someone was talking.

"Uh--yes, hello!"  She approached the colorful-haired woman at the desk, boots squeaking on the hardwoods.  "I was looking to get a tattoo?  Is there a way I could make an appointment or get any more information?"  Word of mouth hadn't given her much to go on.  The tattoo was definitely the top priority but she also wanted to meet this Saint Sabrina.  From the little information she had gathered, she was someone who was to be both feared and trusted. 
Anna/Odessa/Sonya || Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

Offline Harlequin

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Re: Fresh Start, Fresh Ink
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2019, 10:57:20 AM »
"Sure!" Chirped the young woman. She bent and pulled a huge, old appointment book from just under the check-in desk. It opened with an impressive 'fwump', "Looks like Sabrina has some availability this week. When works for you?"

Just then, a woman's voice spoke, low and melodic, from the ether behind the young lady, "That's quite alright, Tansy, I have a moment now to talk. I'll be along shortly. In the meantime, do see if our guest is interested in joining us for family dinner?"

Tansy must have felt that that statement spoke for itself, because once she was done listening, she smiled with half of her mouth and shrugged one shoulder. "There's food in the kitchen if you're interested! I think it's tater-to casserole and stone soup."

Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: Fresh Start, Fresh Ink
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2019, 11:24:46 AM »
Astrid managed not to jump at the voice emanating from the air--who she assumed was Sabrina herself.  There was a little flutter of nervous excitement in her gut, shortly followed by some enthusiastic gurgling.  Hot food?  This place just kept getting more awesome the longer she was here.

"That sounds amazing, thank you.  Is there someplace I could stash my bag?"  The backpack, while bursting as it was, held more than it appeared.  Enchanted with sigils hand-stitched into the fabric it allowed her to keep several sets of clothing, a set of pliers, some snacks, several books, all of her magical tools, a small collection of Moleskine notebooks and dozens of pens to name a few.  She made a mental note to stitch a few more to help with the weight--but hopefully, she wouldn't have to be lugging it all over the place anymore. 
Anna/Odessa/Sonya || Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

Offline Harlequin

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Re: Fresh Start, Fresh Ink
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2019, 10:25:01 AM »
"You can leave it here with me," Tansy beamed at her like a little ray of sunshine, reaching a hand over the counter both to shake and grab the bag, "I'm Tansy."

"Kitchen's that-a-way, through the dining room," she pointed to her left, "Just follow your nose."

Astrid would find the dining room and industrial kitchen also in the midst of being renovated, but mostly serviceable. There was huge pot of a thick stew warming over a low flame on the gleaming stovetop, and several pans of casserole on the black marble counters. Bowls, plates and cutlery were set out appropriately. Most of the other guests had already served themselves, and moved back out to the lobby, so there was no line to wait in.

Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: Fresh Start, Fresh Ink
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2019, 10:10:31 AM »
“Astrid.”  She took the extended hand, gave it a firm shake, and was hit with the immediate pulse of knowledge that, despite appearances, Tansy was no human.  Astrid’s best guess was some kind of fae, though the vision gave no other information with this brief contact and lack of effort to get a better reading on her part.  The only thing that gave away her sudden vision was a slight flinch, but she smiled warmly and added “It’s good to meet you” to make up for it.  Tansy seemed cool--there was nothing to worry about there.  This city was bound to be full of interesting surprises and non-human beings.  At least, that was the word that had been traveling the wind.

“Thank you for your help!  Oh, and this is heavier than it looks.”  She shrugged the backpack off her shoulder and gingerly handed it over the desk.  Turning toward the direction that Tansy pointed, she inhaled deeply and exhaled with a sigh.  Another grumble from her stomach urged her forward.  Why hadn’t she stopped for food first before coming here?  The kitchen wasn’t hard to find, and the closer she walked the more her stomach seemed to vocalize. 

She approached the soup, feeling a wash of comfort as she took the ladle in her right hand.  No harm adding a little something of her own to this ‘stone soup’--it was the least she could do as thanks.  Astrid took a slow breath and fixed a gaze into the pot.  Summoning up the warm embrace of Earth from her feet, she stirred deosil three times before pouring some into a bowl for herself.  Her grandmother was always saying that soup should feel like a hug, and Astrid couldn’t help but carry on the little spell as tradition.

Moving out of the kitchen, she went to where everyone else was sitting and eating, finding a quiet unoccupied space to sit.
Anna/Odessa/Sonya || Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

Offline Harlequin

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Re: Fresh Start, Fresh Ink
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2019, 07:42:29 AM »
Shortly after she finished her meal, Astrid would notice an exceptionally tall woman wearing a long blue dress making her way through the room from  the hallway beyond the dining room.

She stopped and made pleasantries with a few other tables before settling into the chair across from Astrid. Up close, the young witch would see that Sabrina's dress was a simple jersey cotton affair, and the height was not a product of a high heel; Sabrina was barefoot. In one hand, she carried a small notebook."Good evening Astrid," Sabrina smiled broadly, and extended a large hand, "I'm Sabrina. Welcome to my home. You're here for a tattoo?"

Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: Fresh Start, Fresh Ink
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2019, 11:16:14 AM »
"Hello Sabrina, it's good to meet you."  She took Sabrina's hand, feeling the ripple of something--what the hell was that?--on top of the demon in her blood.  The height she was prepared for.  The power that hummed throughout she was prepared for.  But that something else--it was like another presence entirely.

"Yes, I am here for a tattoo--but also to meet you.  I've uh heard some things about you during my travels,"  Astrid paused, wondering if she should add where she pulled the information from but decided it wasn't necessary information to offer. "Good things of course!"  She hurried to add with a slight blush.

"I've been looking for a place to relocate and heard that you were to be trusted, that this city was a place for the... Unusual."  What kinds of Unusual didn't need elaboration.  "I was wondering if I could ask for your opinion of this city, and if you knew of a good place to stay temporarily until I can find my own way."  She wanted to ask so many questions--like was it safe here?  Were there other witches?  What was the city like?  But Astrid felt hesitant and maybe a touch self-conscious.  While she felt a reassuring presence from Sabrina--and the whole building really--they had only just met.  She should've planned this conversation a little better--it may have been a little unfair to ask for this kind of information right off the bat.  It was really only going to be about the tattoo--why was she suddenly spilling all of the other things on her mind? 

"Oh, and I do have a little sketch of an idea for this tattoo I am interested in."  She added.
Anna/Odessa/Sonya || Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

Offline Harlequin

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Re: Fresh Start, Fresh Ink
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2019, 01:55:45 AM »
The witch laughed gently as Astrid blushed. While diverse, theirs was a relatively small community. You didn't live as long and as loud as Sabrina had without making a few waves, "It hasn't always been good things. Some still call me 'Dogwitch' with good reason." She winked, "Slings and arrows though, right? We do the best we can with what we're given."

"The Parlor still functions as a hostel; you're welcome to stay here if you'd like, as long as you pitch in with family dinner and around the house. There's also the Detour Motel to the north." 

Sabrina held out a hand, for the sketchbook, placing her won notebook on the table, "Certainly. May I see it?"

Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: Fresh Start, Fresh Ink
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2019, 03:12:31 AM »
Visible relief washed over her--so she could stay here?  That would be amazing.

"Oh--right!"  Astrid reached inside her jacket for the small sketchbook she had stowed in there.  She flipped past a few pages--sketches of people she had seen along the way, quick designs for jewelry, intricate plans for daggers, complex sigils in progress--before finally coming to the page with her tattoo idea.  For the briefest of moments, she seemed reluctant to pass it to Sabrina.  It was a very personal artifact and she wasn't sure what sort of information could be gleaned from touching it.  The only witch's hand that it had ever felt was her own.  She had meant to make a copy on a loose piece of paper but hadn't gotten around to it--but that was her own fault. 

"I was interested in getting these on the backs of my shoulders and down the backs of my arms--would you call that a shoulder cap?  Well, you get the idea.  Any variation with the design is fine--I'm not looking for an exact copy so long as it encompasses the general ideas and purpose."  The drawing of two ravens with wings spread was done in thick black lines, save for the runes on their backs, which were more delicate. 

"To let Huginn and Muninn widen my sight."  She added quietly, watching Sabrina's face as she looked at the drawings. 
Anna/Odessa/Sonya || Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

Offline Harlequin

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Re: Fresh Start, Fresh Ink
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2019, 10:01:55 AM »
Sabrina drew a hand over the parchment, feeling the intention behind the markings humming up through her fingertips. The rest of the book clamored back at her from below it as well; plans laid more carefully than the other witch's exterior would imply.

 The spellwork would be simple enough, and better if they worked in tandem.

"Have you ever done anything like this before, or are those your own work?" she asked, gaze flicking to the eyes at Astrid's temples.

Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: Fresh Start, Fresh Ink
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2019, 11:31:22 AM »
Astrid touched one of the tattoos in question as if just realizing it was there.  "Yes, they are mine."  She remembered the hours in front of the mirror, making each mark one small dot at a time.

"And these are as well."  She rested her hands gently on the table, drumming them lightly a few times before pulling them away. 
Anna/Odessa/Sonya || Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

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Re: Fresh Start, Fresh Ink
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2019, 10:36:37 AM »
"It's good work." Sabrina nodded her approval, "It will be interesting to see how we work together."

She gathered up her notebook, and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, "I'd like you to feast or fast --  whichever your practice prefers -- for the next two days. Keep silent during this time, as well as you're able. The house may speak to you. If it does, keep its secrets. We'll meet back here at 11:30 that night. Is there anything you need me to know about your Magic?"


Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: Fresh Start, Fresh Ink
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2019, 11:12:26 AM »
Coloring slightly at the compliment as though it were an unexpected thing to hear, Astrid muttered a quick thank you before Sabrina continued. 

She would fast and meditate for two days.  The excitement of weaving magic with another witch was slowly beginning to creep in.  The last time she had worked a spell had been back home with family--but that was an entirely different matter.  She had her entire life to grow into the way their energy harmonized.  It was as familiar as breathing.

"Not that I can think of," there wasn't anything about her magic that she could foresee being an issue "Was there something specific you had in mind?"
Anna/Odessa/Sonya || Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente