My Ranking Points
Newt’s POV! Thanks so much for waiting for it :p Agh, everything’s been so busy! Per the usual, I guess. At least it isn’t being finished a year later? Apologies!! I just hope this level doesn’t deteriorate too much.. we have a lot of great characters and ideas and I really want to see things happen 🙂 Also, excuse the sometimes flowery prose haha
@fairytalegirl123 @thatmario @fluffypenguins @agatha303 @ everyone else that’s still alive lol
He was not a vampire as Lucinda was, and was thus prone to seeing a reflection he didn’t want to see, a face looking back that he would much rather see looking away.
Newt ran a hand through his hair, gave a hum, patted the brocade of his borrowed waistcoat. He didn’t look at himself- not once. His trousers, decidedly, were much more interesting. And his shoes! Particular things, they were. Good, nice.. Other excellent synonyms.
The material was leather, of the kind grown soft and old and very fuzzy on the underside, in the manner of a peach skin. What brand was it? What dye was used for the lighter colored strap? The things he’d like to know.. If Newt had it his way, he’d be wearing these shoes and living in a garden. It would be a nice garden of course, one where the sun gave a firm clasp upon his shoulders and the wind never had the hint of a storm. The coconut strings of his old bones would be buried under the soil once he died, catnip tea would brew by the stove, elderberry extracts would sit on the counter. Wouldn’t that be fun? Wake up to a tea kettle’s giddy shriek, find himself surrounded by such familiar smells that their prods at the nose seemed less like a feeling and more like an old friend beside him.
He noticed the rapid drum of his hands, and stopped before his head transfigured into some kind of potted thing ripe with ideas.
Either way, dead or alive, leather’s aged facade is an expected, perfect thing. Yes, perfect! Nothing like his body, his mind, the spirit that less braceleted his world than clamped it in a metal vice. Leather was something reliable, something to hold onto when the boat rocks, the man screams. As expected as the tick of a clock’s hand in its dulled wedge. That was why he hated looking at himself, some days. He could change. He could look back the next day and find his pupils had become the abdomens of two spiders, his eyelashes had become raven’s wings flapping so hard that his dark circles were in fact bruises from such a terrific torrent.
He was afraid of many things, and this was but one from a terrible grove, green, overgrown with fear.
And oh! Speaking of clocks, there was actually a clock in the room, only more or less fabricated by his thoughts. How coincidental! He wondered what material it was made of to be such a foggy white. Marble, maybe? With less veins than the typical kind he’d seen installed in his own town’s homes? Sheesh, Elizabeth was rich.
The clock was planted right above the mirror he’d been so reverently avoiding for the past.. thirteen minutes. Hmm. He’d been timing the patting of his waistcoat as well, he realized, for they were spaced at very precise 37 second intervals that made him wonder if his mind had a metronome click inside of it. Or, given that he didn’t much like clicks or other synthetic sounds, the rhythmic swipe of a songbird’s wing. Yes, that sounded better. Nicer to be sure. Maybe it could be the swipe of a waxen herb instead, green and lovely and with a soothing chill on the skin of those he might treat when he got older, when he wasn’t caught up with a burning school and a pretty girl.
Never mind that last one. He never thought that, did he? Couldn’t be…
Newt would’ve frowned, but that would entail some effort when his body was still being inhabited by a less than hospitable host. The easy warmth he’d been maintaining dropped to a ***** gale that left him numb with the spirit’s reminder, not so much as tipping a hat with its swift departure. Another boy might have hoped the easy warmth wore boots as it took flight from him, heavy and leaving it to beat wings so awfully stilted it seemed like a dying man’s heartbeat. It had left him helplessly alone, after all!
But no, even such a thought was terrible to Newt. He only hoped that the easy warmth had allowed itself short sleeves to cool, and that it might bid farewell to its next occupant and make them even happier than it did him.
The spirit tittered at this, but he was sure it was less out of a kindly sense of humor than the hilarity of seeing how childish he was. Personifying brief feelings? Really? This surety of Newt’s was confirmed when the spirit allowed him to be had one small and **** but very rare grimace, courtesy of its delight in seeing him so gloomy.
After all, gloominess was never his main objective, and hadn’t been seen on his face for quite some time. This was likely to the spirit’s disappointment, given how it tended to more strongly favor chaos, disorder. The occasional human sacrifice, usually on a bed of lettuce for the nutritional factor.
But there was a party at hand! And a big one at that. Big enough to be advertised all around the Endless Woods, big enough for the Browns to pay less mind to the scraps of “friends” their daughter had brought to the table. Though Newt was sure that he could be Elizabeth’s friend, at the very least, he didn’t think he was in enough of a position to do that. Or do anything involving another person- talk, even. Share his thoughts, his feelings. The thought made him antsy. All this horribly fast-paced interaction, thrusting and weaving about so fast the world tilted a bit when he turned too quickly, was making him feel something like.. well, something like fish bones- alternating between being swallowed whole with the rest of the world and being tossed aside, worth less than the crumbs on a napkin.
“Newt, are you done?”
Newt cracked open the door in response. Elizabeth stood in the hall. To his surprise, she’d exchanged her usual outfit for a golden number, one that extended to fan out along the floorboards in large sheathes of folded sun. She looked nice. Yeah.
“I m-mean I hope so! Sorry for being in there s-so long.” The spirit stuttered out abruptly, relishing in the miserable heat crawling up Newt’s neck.
“Here, come into the hall please.”
She made a small noise of discontent and adjusted his tie, stepping closer in the process. Definitely closer.
“Have you never been to a party? What did you do for that long anyway?”
“Fix my hair?” Newt replied, the lilt of a question instead of a statement forming on his lips.
Elizabeth glanced up, endeavoring to step back a pace or two for their difference in height. A brief draw of the brows crossed her expression. Dear, he hoped he wasn’t being as annoying as he thought he was.
“Sure, Newt. “Fix your hair.” Anyway, come on. Party’s in one hour now, and if I talk to my parents on my own I’m fairly certain I’ll get a migraine.”
People waited an entire year for this?
Newt sat with Feather on some chaise lounge or other that a servant had set up, but for what reason he wasn’t entirely sure. He did wonder though.. There were at least eight other unoccupied seats, so many in total he was certain any rational designer would consider it too cluttered for their tastes. Certainly one of Amber’s magazines would, as he had spotted an edition in the bathroom jumping out at him with lurid type. Judd Solomon, apparently, had the most dreadful three piece suit at his last event. Four buttons instead of five? “Scandalous!” barked the bold pink letters, and he had the strangest thought of Rosemarie yelling at him in a poofy dress.
“Do you think you’ll join the competition?” Feather asked.
“I-I mean, maybe? It’s an annual thing and all, so I’d certainly have to wait a while if I didn’t.”
Feather shifted, pointing his knees to Newt as a compass does to north.
“You know what I hear?” He asked, a conspiratorial hush draped over his words.
“Well, let’s just say that tensions are high. The war between the regions is going to make some lunatic desperate to impress. Or several lunatics, actually. If the representatives of a certain region lose first, the region itself will look like a laughing stock. That, and there will doubtless be a Gavaldonian, or some group looking for the cure to the plague, the knowledge of the moonflowers’ location.”
Feather leaned back as casually as can be, ungainly as a swan gliding over a blue lake- that is to say, not in an ungainly way at all. A touch of envy colored Newt’s vision.
“Wow. In that, um, case, I’ll just think it over a bit more carefully!”
He smiled in a way that would appear light to the stray viewer, but the chapped nature of his lips made him feel as if his mouth was getting pulled apart. Suddenly, a clear ting rang out through the high-ceilinged room.
“Ladies and gentlemen! Thank you for attending this function. We’ve all waited quite some time for this, haven’t we?” Mrs. Brown stated crisply, positioned in front of the grand doors from which guests had ceased to flow.
A polite ripple of claps went around the room. Newt was distracted, however, and momentarily stunned by the spirit’s stinging clap. He was more focused on those doors, to be honest. They were quite nice doors, bands of some kind of lightly colored metal making winding runs from top to bottom. Reminded him a bit of a fairytale ballroom. In fact, the whole place gave him such reminders. These came in the form of its lofty columns, rich carpet, swathes of dancers twirling limbs in unison. There was something off about it though. Rather than the celebratory festivities of a fairytale come to a close, it seemed something like the first link in a chain. The event that set everything off, the issue that crafted his next action. Unlike his imaginary garden with pleasant winds, what air went in this room certainly did have the taste of a storm, one with lashing winds and tearing, biting cold.
Newt adjusted his tie with an anxiety befitting someone else.
“Newton,” he corrected.
“Yes, Newton.” Mr. Brown said, capping off the word with a dull smile. “Apologies. Would you mind if we had a chat privately?”
Quinn both raised a brow and quirked a lip despite being mid-conversation, and her drink sloshed even more dangerously than it already had been. Was that her third one? Admittedly, the person she’d been speaking with seemed to be on their sixth glass of wine, as they lurched on the spot.
Feather, on the other hand, had since left to a dramatic affair across the room. Elizabeth and Lucinda were busy placating or otherwise humiliating a distinctly red woman. It had to be one or the other, since the woman’s arms were flapping wildly at what could very well be either the two girls or an almost invisible stain on her sleeve. Maybe she was pleased at a very nice compliment?
An all too vigorous nod of the head returned Newt to his own situation, and a sharp and embarrassingly loud crack at the base of his neck sent rolls of giggles through the spirit.
“Yes, s-sure! Of course! I.. mmhmm.”
“Great. Follow me.”
The spirit was really laying on the stutters today, he noticed.
He padded after the man as they weaved through the throng of guests, ending up at a small door that looked quite similar to a servant’s stairwell. Indeed it was, Newt found, upon stepping in and letting the door shut behind him with a smooth click.
“I warn you of the steps, by the way. The distances between each one aren’t always the sa-”
“Thank you for telling me,” Newt replied cheerily.
Did he really just interrupt someone mid-sentence during his first phrase without stuttering? The spirit was brilliant, really.
He followed Mr. Brown up and up, worrying at the skin of his lips as a sense of unease rambled through his system. He hadn’t taken account of it before, but the stairwell felt more murky than other stairwells of its variation, the chill crawling over his eyelids and settling at the tips. His chest felt strangely floaty, head felt oddly warm. It wasn’t exactly unpleasant, but..
Was this what it was like when the spirit felt worry, of all things?
The idea set Newt into a further panic, and he stumbled on the next grooved step. Where were they going? The path seemed to be getting darker despite their ascendance, but they finally entered a small chamber. Long shadows had been tossed across the floor by braziers burning dimly, just as velvet drapes choking in mothballs had been tossed across a cheap wooden stand. It looked like an unused storage room, but it still felt unbelievable that the Browns had allowed such a place to be so unmaintained. Newt had the sense that somewhere, along that brief but peculiar trek up the stairs, he’d cross the threshold of a place in which reflections smiled back and paintings blinked curiously.
Mr. Brown turned to face him, and Newt could say he didn’t look entirely friendly. Why exactly was he here? The party was still going on, and Mrs. Brown had to be only halfway through her announcements. It wouldn’t do well for Newt to be out of his depth during something like this.. As it was, his anxiety wasn’t the best as of late.
But when Mr. Brown did announce his intentions, it wouldn’t be an understatement to say that he thought of nothing else.
“If you’d please present the spirit in its non-possessive form, I’ll be less likely to make threats.”
And he pulled a weapon out of his coat, one with a metallic glint and what was certainly a barrel.
HELLO I AM ALIVE AND CRAVING ANGST
*laughs . maniacally* boy newt sure is nice
would be a shame if something were to
h a p p e n
(@agatha303 are you planning on POVing for your character that’s with Ace’s group anytime soon?)