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Old 10-09-2011, 11:13 PM   #1
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No Love Lost, Chapter 6

This all just sort of...played out. Out of nowhere. I'd actually have written more but I gotta sleep so I'm not a zombie in Art History tomorrow.

***

"Everything will be all right, Tonight

No one moves
No one talks
No one thinks
No one walks, Tonight
"

—Iggy Pop, "Tonight"

Chapter Six. I Don't Want To See.

almost makes sense/a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle/again

Those few days when Corinne and Mats were gone hovered on the periphery of Ciarán’s mind and then floated away, blue-iridescent, into nothingness. He’d returned with Ace in tow and literally dropped the other boy into the downstairs room, then taken the vacated couch, squeezed his eyes shut and his arms around the pillows and fallen asleep fast. Inside was less harsh than outside. What Ace had been trying to tell him, though, was that inside was worse. More dangerous.

He felt the smooth cold skin of bottles against his fingers when he woke up, collapsed from where they’d been stacked in a row, and empty where they’d been full. Their emptiness reflected a winter harshness that was far from what he felt inside of him. He stretched and let the watery sun trace his arms until he heated up properly. Then he saw the bruise-dark shadows under Ace’s eyes and the way he looked at the light coming in through the glass. Since the other boy’s back was turned, Ciarán took a better look at the writing scrawled permanently over Ace’s fingers. Saw little flashes of something hidden that he’d try not to ask about. So many traces left behind in the skin regrets.

“Did you write that?” Ciarán asked.

“Write what?” he got in response, and a tensing of neck muscles.

“That. On your fingers.”

“No.”

“But it says—“ Then Ciarán was literally pushed away.

“Just shut the fuck up, okay?”

No, he wouldn’t. “Why don’t you answer anything I ask? Why the hell are you being so secretive? It’s not like I wouldn’t find out anyways.” Ciarán didn’t know. Something about the words written there bothered him. Not what they said but the way they were written. It didn’t look like tattoos at all.

Ace looked away, then back. “You’ve got nowhere else to go, right?”

Ciarán nodded unsurely.

“So it won’t matter if you do find out.”

“And…?”

“So, find out yourself. I’ve got my own shit to work out.” A slight smile at that. “But here, I’ll give you a hint.”

Ciarán blinked; the backs of Ace’s hands were a couple inches from his face. His eyes traced, “Property of Stairway No.2”

“And what’s that supposed to mean?”

“You asked why no-one leaves.”

“But you did. And so did Corinne and Mats.”

“They should have been back by now,” Ace said, looking troubled. Something pained bloomed in his eyes. He moved his hands away. “These mean nothing. They’re not a problem anymore. Everything obvious you shouldn’t be worried about. Now shut up. I’m serious. Shut the fuck up.”

“Why?” Ciarán asked. It hung in the air a moment.

“Because you’ve got nothing on us. There’s nothing you can do. You should have pissed off when you came here. Alright? You don’t need to get fucked up.” Ace bit his lip and said harshly, “You’re a kid.”

“Oh, come on. Says you.”

“Yeah.” A pause. “I’ve got even less time.”

He stopped worrying about what the fuck Ace had said and tried not to just make the lame excuse of, ‘it was the drugs talking’. Because the kid seemed more lucid when on drugs than off them. Off them, he just looked scared.

Things moved on, even with two people gone and people shifting, moving. London apparently had a job. Ciarán came with him one day and watched London morph into a starched uncreased American. The second job was at a store with no sign, full of odds and ends. Ciarán’s hands found as if by instinct something dark and curving. He brought the guitar home and glared at it, knowing it was not his instrument, the guitar saying right back he’d never play it properly. His hands bled and the strings wailed and snapped and hissed right back at him and he sat it against the wall, giving a great sigh and looking up, seeing Tommy was there.

“You want a go at it? It’s a nuisance,” Ciarán muttered.

“Is that why you’re so frowny?” Tommy asked, letting a crayon fall to the windowsill. A messy streak of orange dashed over white paint.

“Nah. I just know I can’t do this,” Ciarán said frankly.

“Do what?”

“This.” He nodded at the guitar.

“Why?” Blue scribbles appeared on the glass of the windowsill.

“I’m not my da.”

As a fat cerulean sun shape was drawn over the blue scribbles, the eight year old replied matter-of-factly, “I’m not my da either.” He smiled and dashed away, and ‘wait a minute’, Ciarán thought. He remembered someone saying they didn’t know who Tommy’s dad was.

He sighed, and then grinned, and walked outside. Roof tile burned his bare feet, sun threatened to make him a giant freckle if he didn’t put his shirt back on. He had a bit of a guess, he had running through his head as he stepped clear of the stairwell, as to who—

Ciarán frowned, seeing something. White fragments of vision drew him backwards. He turned around and looked down at the stairs slowly. “1 O N Y A W R I A T S” they read from top to bottom step. He turned around and looked again. “STAIRWAY NO 1”. He looked at the other stairway leading to the room no-one should go to and started walking to it, heart beating fast. “ W R I A T S “ was as far as he could look before his vision stopped. In the shadows near the door, someone sat, with their ear pressed near the doorknob. Spider looked up when he approached and shook her head, swallowing.

“What are you—“ Ciarán began to incline his head towards the wood of the door but she grabbed him by the shoulders. “Don’t,” she said, then ran down and tore towards the street. Ciarán ran after her. He couldn’t even form a question. She ran faster than him, until he was out of breath, and left him behind.

The reason was just pushing into his understanding when he found Spider back on the rooftop, in the shadow of the stairwell, with her arms around Lou, who just stared into the distance with a tight face, knowing she knew he didn’t want her there, but that they fit together strangely well in that moment. Her dark edges that hurt or irritated most of the time gave him a grip, in that moment, on reality.

He knew, she knew, Tommy wasn’t his, or hers. Reflections of streetlights shone in a single track across his face where he’d been crying nonetheless. His teeth gritted, his fists balled. He hated Spider, hated her with a sort of love, that she thought he could love her, that he could reshape himself to be someone like that. She knew it wasn’t possible. But she was closest to him through that love-hate.

“What happened?” Lou asked for the fifth time. He’d heard. It just didn’t seem real.

“You know how London’s always saying there’s no floor in the second building?”

Lou nodded. “Just to fuck with us. Ace does too occasionally when lying helps new arrivals.”

“He fell.” Tommy. “He actually fell.”

“He wouldn’t do that. Someone pushed him.”

“Who the fuck would push a kid off a ledge, Avery?” she whispered. He let it slide this once. It still hurt as much as if Tommy was his.

He was silent.

“The thing was, there were only two people in there, Ace and someone else.” Aside from Tommy.

Spider shook her head; Lou could feel it against the nape of his neck. It was strangely off-putting, then again, she was to him.

“I know Ace couldn’t.”

“Why?”

“Tommy.”

Finally I hear it told straight.” He couldn’t help some exasperation creeping into his voice. “I don’t know why everyone thought the logical answer was that I’d fucked Helena.” He made a face. “Kid wasn’t mine.”

“Corinne’s still gone,” Spider said quietly. “Mats wouldn’t. He loved that kid, wanted to teach him music.”

“So why didn’t anyone think Mats was his dad? Good lord.” Then Lou turned around and frowned. Spider caught her breath. Being this close. It was like she was fourteen and thought he, fucked up beyond measure, gave a shit about her. “That leaves two people.”

“One,” she answered, “since drummer kid was outside.”

She saw his eyes widen in realization, in the faint glow of the light that was left in the day, and before he could blurt out the name, grabbed his head, gripping his stubbly hair, and kissed him. He forgot for a moment about women. He forgot about her. He kissed back and she forgot other things as well, but not before he remembered and broke away. “Not you.”

“No, it wasn’t me,” she answered to something else.

“You know I don’t love you. I can’t.” He could feel she was hurt but he couldn’t help it. “But you’ve got to stay safe anyway. I don’t want you gone.”

“Gone like Corinne and Mats?”

“Gone like Tommy. Those two are still alive.”

Ciarán crept downstairs into the warm room. He’d heard everything. He’d seen the strange way the two held themselves apart. He’d heard finally what had happened in the room above the second stairway. He fumbled with the doorknob and squeezed his eyes shut before he saw it, but he did. The broken orange crayon fallen from the table in a dash across his eyes.

He sat down in the same place as before, thinking. He did have nowhere to go, Ace was right. This was fucked up, but he had nowhere to go.

But.

Tommy.

Two people in the room above Stairway No. 2.

Ace. London. London. Ace. Helena. Tommy. His mind went through endless lists of names, possibilities, explanations. Ace seemed afraid, but at the same time Ace seemed crazy. Or maybe just afraid. London seemed collected. He hadn’t hung around London much except for that one day. Ciarán didn’t know enough to explain who had done what, if he ran and told. And where the fuck had Helena been? But that didn’t matter. He was thinking backward. Back to when he’d met both. Ace had told him clearly to fuck off and go away. Perhaps because he was hiding something? And London, British bastard, had (possibly) known and (possibly) invited him along for the ride.

Backwards.

Backwards.

Back.

Back still, the urge to drum. It manifested itself now in his feet. He wanted to run far away. And back still before, exhaustion. He slid into sleep and towards that first drumming heartbeat, there was the echo of something like this happening before.

He’d caught in the single second his ear had been pressed to the door:

Don’t speak of this.”

In such a low voice he couldn’t tell who’d said it.

But he’d heard that before. So long ago he could barely remember. So long ago it was just about all the way back. The similarities were disconcerting, but as of yet, not important. He only thought so now—that they weren’t important—because he didn’t know that he’d been affected. He’d only know by the time he took action. And by then it would be too late.
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:37 AM   #2
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Still confusing-ish... but getting to be more interesting than confusing, almost like a mystery story? I wonder how Ciaran's going to fit into the grand scheme of things.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:02 AM   #3
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Glad it's less confusing XD and you're not meant to know everything yet, so it should be, a little.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:54 PM   #4
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Ya know what happens when I stop paying attention? YOU POST NEW CHAPTERS.



(it's a really good one, btw. I like it!)
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:57 PM   #5
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Yes, yes I do XD
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:47 PM   #6
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