Brewing Tensions [CLOSED]

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Brewing Tensions [CLOSED]

Post by Reyn » Sun May 24, 2020 8:48 pm

"Table for one, please."

Edgar smiled at the receptionist, following her eyes around the room until both pairs settled on a table at the back- a dimly-lit corner with an ambiance fit for two. He nodded approvingly. It was fine, for its purpose. Though hardly a private setting, there was enough space between the corner and the rest of the shop to make him confident enough that his work would remain uninterrupted for the time he would spend there. Not ideal, of course, but fine.

Now, if he had wanted to work, and nothing more, Edgar would be far better off staying at home. For all his airs and graces, it was important to remember that the man was, in fact, somewhat of an introvert, and sitting out in a public setting most assuredly would not lend itself to his finest prose (although, from reader experience, neither did sitting in at home). With a trembling hand, he drew out his notepad, and, with a steady voice, beckoned the waitress to his side.

"I'll take a pot of earl grey, please."
He said assuredly,
"Oh, if the scones are still going, I'll have one of those, as well. Thank you."

She asked him what he was doing. She asked him if the notebook was his, as if that was a question. She asked him if he was familiar with the area, whether he was planning to visit the old church before the big rennovation, what his latest paltry novel was about. Edgar responded with practiced ease (he was writing, it was, yes, no, he didn't know, what did it matter). It was all akin to torture, this was- sitting there in a trendy cafe, staring at the gallery of little trinkets and novelties around them, listening to this stranger's incessant ramblings about his own, pointless-

He stopped abruptly, forcing himself to blink a few times to regain his bearings. He was losing focus. He was losing touch. Hopefully that wouldn't be so apparent to the waitress.

"Ah, you read the column, did you?"
He answered,
"I'll tell you what, that's the last time I'll be writing for the Guardian. I respect the publication as much as any, but the people they send to interviews are something else, I tell you..."

Edgar laughed, and the waiter laughed with him. 'Oh yes,' they chuckled. 'To Hell with those journalist twats who refuse to think before they speak.'. 'To Hell with them, and to the Throne with us, the worthy few, who were blessed with divine knowledge of when to keep our mouths shut.'. They continued like this for minutes.

She left to fetch his tea.

He blinked again, scanning his surroundings like a deer in the woods. The tea was on its way. There were no scones, they had run out of those thirteen minutes ago, but they were making a new batch that would be ready in ten, and this, to him, was fine. No need to hurry them. These things take time.

The teapot was set down on the table before him, perched next to a freshly-baked scone and a little jar of jam (he had decided against hassling them for clotted cream). He blinked once more, as people were want to do, and dismissed the waitress with a polite, yet unsteady wave. His smile was faltering again. How unfortunate. Edgar reached into his breast pocket for his watch, flicking it open before him to glance at the time. Half past three, exactly. Where did it go?


He snapped the watch shut with his hand, returning it to its place as quickly as it was taken out. The tea would be ready, by now. Three minutes and fifty-four seconds had passed, making a for perfect four minutes by the time he poured his first cup. It was perfect- warm and tasteless, with not a hint of bitterness to be found.

'How surreal.' He thought. 'Better write this one down.'

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◇ Brewing Tensions [CLOSED] ◇

Post by Annasiel » Sat May 30, 2020 3:08 am

Another time, another day
Another life to spend astray -

Another brother left to play
As sister, sister fades away.

Another kin, another hall
Another crack where raindrops fall

Another storm between their eyes
As waters sweep and cities die.

Another space.

Another word.

Another lingering essence heard
And in another lesson learned

Their paths diverged

But never turned.

She stood outside the tea shop, hands hung - anxiously, perhaps - before her. The fingers wrung, again, again, working away at dampness buried deep inside the tips, but there was no dampness there. There was nothing, there, not in her hands, not worlds, not letters, not even an offering as gift.

She blinked. Should she have brought a gift? It was only customary. Gifts were what one gave, in times of meeting, especially after such a long stretch of time. Another blink. How long had it been? She was not the one that counted - that was his task, up in his tower of clocks and gears. He sat behind his desk and counted the seconds he spent alive. She walked among the world, and measured the space her feet overtook. A pace was a form of counting, but it measured aside, not askance. Afront, not afew.

Reaching out a hand that wasn't hers, attached to a body she didn't know, the woman opened the tea lounge door and stepped inside. It was no more than seven strides between her and where the man sat. She recognized him immediately, not by how he looked, or dressed, though both where memorable in and of themselves, but how he felt. That empty, hollow thunk of his heart, vibrations in the air tickling the hair of her arms.

One step. Two. Three.

The barrista gave her a wave and a smile, but she paid her no mind. She was not here to shop for pleasantness and guile. She was here for - him.

Four steps. Five. Six.

Behind his chair, now, within distance to see what he had before him. A cup of tea. How quaint. He was watching it, as though waiting for something, but she couldn't for the life of her know what. No, not the tea. He didn't wait for that. He waited -

He waited -

She took the final step, passing his table, then turning on her heel, dress swishing about her legs. She grasped at the back of the chair like a drowning woman grasping at her rescuers arm, and like that woman, she pulled it down with her, descending into the lukewarm waters to meet the familiar stranger's eyes.

"Hello," she said simply, softly. "My name is Alice. Do I - do I know you?"
I look in the water and fear what I see
I know it's no stranger but I know it's not me
My life is a lie that was uttered in jest
If I can't change at all, let me rest

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Re: Brewing Tensions [CLOSED]

Post by Reyn » Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:27 pm

Something was going to happen. Something he couldn't see.

There were certain beings- no, certain forces that existed outside of time's influence. Some were people (once), forced from the sanctity of his order into a world of contingency and confusion that not even he would envy. Some were more abstract- primordial beings who were born into a reality with no place for causality, persisting through the universe he had come to know and loathe. Some were... one was a combination of the two.

No. He didn't want to think about this. This had always been a flaw of his, the stupid boy- always fixating on that which he could not control, in spite of all that he could. It was that fixation that brought him here. It was that fixation that left her behind. It was that fixation that put the crown of rot and entropy upon his sorry head, and here he was, asking for more. He scowled down at his reflection in the teacup. He was foolish, and it seemed as though he... as though Edgar was beginning to realise that.

Ah, what better fable of immortal hubris was there than that of Edgar Vernon; the miserable author of ages long dead, who wrote tale after tale of the tedious dread of the fates of the empires he graced with his form- that he warned would come to be if his whims were not met by the people he came to despise. It was weak. Weak and pathetic. If only the old fool would realise that there were some people for which his fated prose would not come to be! That, despite his insistence, there were some stories that were simply not made to be written! That sitting here, staring at his own reflection was going to bring him no more comfort and happiness than returning to his miserable little townhouse to dream against his typewriter!

If only he would realise his own futility.

He began to count the seconds under his breath, eyes darting around the room in frantic anticipation as the cause of the disconnect drew closer and closer. Of course he was nervous- Edgar had never been forced into a situation where he didn't have absolute control over every variable, and it was making the arrogant halfwit very insecure. He dropped the teaspoon onto the table, running his hand over the dents in his skin made from gripping the thing too hard as the seconds ticked down to zero, and...



This... no, this wasn't meant to happen, I- he wasn't ready for this to happen. Alice visited him in the tower, didn't she? That was where they usually met- in the tower, in the one place where he had absolute control, the very manifestation of his trembling grip on temporality... why was she here? Why was she now?

She was talking, saying words he didn't have the time to understand, let alone to respond to. Time slowed down around them, the animated thrum of the staff and the patrons coming to a gradual halt as the Clockmaker peered through the static haze of steam to fix his sister with a frankly antagonistic scowl. Oh, great author of calamity, tell me- what wise words will your wit be able to weave? What perfectly astute statement will you speak to summarise the grand tapestry of your thoughts on the matter? What magnificent poetry will you spin in the infinitesimal pause you permit the world to observe, given all the time in the world to plan and prepare and ensure that everything is just the way you want?

"Alice? Is... is it really you?"

No... no, that wouldn't do at all. Try again.

"I... no, I don't believe we've met before. I'm Edgar. Edgar Vernon."


"I'm not sure... you do seem awfully familiar. My name is-"

Wrong. Again.

"Is it really you, Alice? It's been so long."

Oh, good grief- a grief good enough to completely blind the withering bastard to all the sense in the world. Edgar's—no, Rene's—no,
face fell into a frown. His eyes narrowed in a cold, inscrutable stare as he brought the steaming mug up to his face to take a sip- steady, precise movements that would, in any other context, be most fittingly accompanied by the subtle whirring of a machine.

He gave the café four-point-two seconds to catch up before he spoke.

"I'm insulted."

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