Gerard's fingers were sparking again. He swore under his breath, trying to keep his hands mostly hidden, shaking and flexing his fingers. He also tried not to set his pants on fire, because the last thing he needed was another accident like that. He would have thought he'd have the hang of it by now--he'd had a variety of odd things happening to and around his person since he was very young, but everything kept shifting and altering and one day he had words manifesting across his skin, scrawling in black letters up his arms and down his thighs and across his neck, and the next he'd somehow managed to turn his hair white like bone. He'd gotten it to go back to black eventually, and somehow convinced the words to go one at a time and stay generally stationary instead of scrolling like some demented tickertape across his limbs.
But the sparking. The sparking had always been intermittent, coming when he was annoyed, and at the most fragile ends of his control anyway. And it was doing it again, and in public too. It was mortifying, and he clasped his hands together (fingers on the inside) and pressed his entertwined hands between his thighs, trying to take deep breaths and calm down. People were starting to stare, and he was sure that the sketchbook on his lap covering what exactly what his hands were doing down there made him look especially skeezy.
[Medieval Fantasy castle!verse, go crazy :D]
There were some days that Brian loved his life, when his charges were bright and efficient, and he could enjoy a dinner at the King's table and share laughs with fellow former knights. But those days were few and far between, and more often than not, he found himself cursing the day he'd given up the adventure and honor of knighthood to become squiremaster. He'd travelled all across the kingdom and to countries beyond, even the Northern country that had gifted him with silver rings for his ears (villagers here tended to give him strange looks, but he wore them with pride), fought in great battles and survived with no permanent damage to himself, wore his kingdom and his house's emblem with honor, and now...now he spent his days shouting at pampered charges without enough influence or money to get them directly on the track to knighthood, though you'd never know it from the way they act.
He had some good recruits, but for every one that was dedicated and talented, there were five more lazy, ineffectual, apathetic, weak layabouts. The King's own magician had given him stones to hold that were supposed to soothe his temper and draw the ire from him--stones that had been white when he'd gotten them and, less than a week later, were an angry mottled purple.
Brian made sure the last of his charges had cleared the stable--the day's lessons from the stablemaster about proper horse care had been largely ignored. It seemed every squire-in-training he had was there only as a starting point for knighthood and failed entirely to realize that they would be serving as squires until they earned the right to try for knighthood and that many of them, judging by the work ethic and natural aptitude (the lack of, that is) they'd shown meant that they would never become knights. He knew what it took, and he couldn't honestly name more than two or three students who had a chance. Once the stable was empty, he sat down heavily on a barrel, scrounging in the leather bag at his hip for the magician's gift.
Frank failed at thinking things through.
Which was why he was sitting at the last (previously) unoccupied table for four at the cafe that his ex girlfriend and her friends frequented, attempting to hide under a gray pageboy cap pulled low over his forehead, the rest of his face obscured by am unlabeled book of mostly blank pages.
Failure entered the picture disguised as his uncovered arms, distinctive tattoos exposed for anyone and everyone to identify him from yards away.
He and Jamia had broken up 6 months ago. He hadn't really had a good excuse for her - how do you tell the woman you've spent 10 years with that you don't love her anymore?
6 months and this was only his second attempt to visit the cafe. The first, 5 months ago, hadn't gone well. He'd stopped in one day when he figured Jamia and her friends would be at their weekly yoga class. He'd barely made it halfway to the counter before being accosted by three of the women, who less than politely informed him that he should leave before he ended up with a fork in an Unfortunate Place. Not usually one to back down from a challenge, Frank had ...turned tail and left without a word.
Now, though busier than he ever remembered it being, the cafe was blessedly free of fork wielding women who hated him. Frank slurped at his freshly topped off mug of coffee and lowered the book from in front of his face. The two pages in front of him were mostly blank, save a scrap of lyrics he'd heard coming out of someone's open car window on his way to the cafe.
That night I closed my eyes,
Swimming through all my lies.
In my regret, I laid.
I turned to kiss your cheek,
Your body was grieving.
You opened your eyes and said,
"We need to talk..."
My stomach turns then twists to knots.
I feel all the blood rush away from my face.
When you say you can't do this,
I plead my case.
And I'm sorry for, running away.
Frank dug in his pocket for the mechanical pencil he was never without, as he rifled back through pages filled with random detritus. Frank liked to write. He liked the way words looked filling up a blank page, he liked the shape of the letters, coming together to form words, sentences, paragraphs.
He stopped at a page near the front of the book, dated nearly a year ago, and reached for his coffee again as he traced a finger over the letters of the one word that filled both pages.
C - U - N - T
He loved the word. Loved the look of it, the sound of it, the looks on people's faces when he said it. He'd filled two pages with it, in varying sizes and colors. Jamia had wanted to frame the pages and put them up in the front hall of the apartment they shared. This only cemented Frank's belief that she was "The One'. Until she wasn't.
He was so caught up in his memories that he didn't notice when he set his mug down on his fork, until it tipped over, spilling coffee across the pages. Cursing under his breath, he righted the cup and picked the book up by the corner, dangling it over the edge of the table to let the coffee drip to the ground.
Gazing somewhat forlornly at the wet "cunt" pages, he shook the book, little droplets of coffee flying in all directions.
It wasn't long before his mind processed the combination of "dripping" and "cunt", and then he was gone, dissolving into giggles and drawing stares from the people around him.
Mikey twisted the cap of his pen between his fingers, nose crinkled in thought, before he started to turn the water-ring his iced latte had left on the napkin into a maze of lines, sharp edges underneath delicate swirls. Working with a plain old ballpoint pen was sort of freeing (he'd stolen it from some gallery or another), just letting him doodle on an old napkin in the park instead of having to pull out any of his usual set and actually produce something to hang in some edgier-than-thou gallery and then in the home of some hipster who thought it was "intriguing." He smoothed down the corners of the napkin when the breeze threatened to pick them up, adding a rough line across the center of the circle he'd created.