life, meet death -- dani cassidy
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  1. #31
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    life, meet death -- dani cassidy
    "Why is life so complicated?" Sprawled out on a blanket in the park -- it had become a sort of semi-sweet ritual, in a way.

    "It's an easy one." His frame positioned much like hers.

    "Then tell me the answer."

    "That is the answer."

    "What?"

    "Life is so simple, it's complicated."

    "Go on."

    "Let me ask you something. Does everything have a purpose?"

    "You got laid last night, didn't you."

    "Shut up, Dani. Answer the question."

    "I don't know."

    "It does. Because even when you think something doesn't have a purpose, it does have a purpose in that it's purpose is to not have a purpose."

    "I bet you practiced that for forty-five minutes in your mirror before you picked me up."

    "Only twenty." A boyish grin, lips swiped lightly at the corner of his mouth. "And. I did not call you at two. It was one, where I was."

    "But on my line, it was two. And my phone was the one that rang, so it counts as two."

    "Whatever. Why did you have to bring up getting laid last night?"

    "Did you?"

    "Maybe."

    "I didn't realize that was a possibility -- oh wait, because it's not. Yes or no, homeslice."

    "Why, you interested?"

    "You wish."

    "Duh."

    Lips coiled into a grin, eyes rolling to their corners to glance at him, before trailing back towards the sky. "What's her name?"

    "Julia."

    "Sounds like a winner."

    "You can tell by a name?"

    "Sure, why not?"

    Sitting up, he leaned back on his elbows, brows furrowing as lips pressed into a firm line a moment. It was his eyes' turn to cut to their corners, glancing at her. "You can't tell shit from a name." Head bopped in a curt nod, as if to signify the authority of his statement.

    "Why not?"

    "Because, look at you. Danielle. Anyone named that should act like a princess."

    "I am a princess. Just without the tutu."

    "Bullshit, you're the most haphazard princess I've ever se--" Words were cut short by his hand thrusting over his face, blocking himself from her oncoming contact. "Hey!"

    "Hay is for horses. Shut your face."

    "And look at Riley's name. Riley. It sounded like his mom was on crack when she had him."

    "That would explain why he's so much fun." Accompanied by a snicker.

    "Oh yeah? So you like him again?"

    "Just a little."

    "Jesus fucking Christ, I didn't even get the chance to take you out."

    "I hope you mean as in knock me out, because if you meant on a da--"

    "Don't ruin it for me. Pretend you would've said yes."

    "Okay."

    "Okay as in yes?"

    "Okay as in I'll pretend?"

    He sighed. "So, did he move back in?" Arms came out from under him, folding as fingers laced to rest behind his head, eyes rolling skyward.

    "He did, actually."

    "You're going to get married."

    "I don't think so."

    "Why not?"

    "Me? Married?" It made her laugh a tinkling sort of laugh that was by far not in her character.

    "You laugh, but you'll see. You'll get married and have kids, and I'll be the 'cool babysitter'."

    Frame shook with notably genuine laughter, now, head shaking. "I don't think so. I'm not marriage material. And I'm definitely not soccer mom material."

    "What about ballet?"

    "No. I don't want girls. Or boys."

    "Why not?"

    "Um. Have you met me?"

    "Shh. It's a secret."

    Head shifted as she glanced at him, lips plastered into a sour grin. "You'll make a good Daddy."

    "You wanna have my babies, suga'?"

    "Riley'll kick your ass."

    "Not before you kiss it."

  2. #32
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    Random Entry.

    I'm not really sure what's going on. Things have happened so randomly, and so quickly, that I'm sort of like, excuse me? When exactly did I even get here, and where the hell did my lunchbox ago? Maybe it's being sold on eBay for a chunk of change not even worth mentioning. But whoever buys that box is buying my memories with it. And that is invaluable.

    Riley's been quiet lately. He's playful and modest and all the things I'm not. He balances me, he brings out the child in me -- and at first, that scared me. But now? Now, it gives me a reason to keep on keepin' on. I think that's what I love about him. Love is such a funny word, by the way. I read somewhere that the Japanese have sixteen different ways of saying the world "love" because it means so many different things. Us Americans only have one word -- and it supposedly describes the way we feel towards out parents, our friends, the people we share out beds with, and speghetti. I love speghetti. But not as much as I love Riley.

    This shit going on with Gina is too much. I can't deal with Mark being gone, part of me wants to play the heroine and find him. The better part of me knows I'd only mess things up, get caught being involved, drag Riley into it or maybe even Zachary, and the three of us could waste away in jail together. It'd be like a Seinfield episode. I always hated that show.

    And what's the big deal over Friends? It's been off air for how long, and people are still crazy over it? So Rachel went back to Ross -- didn't you know that was going to happen ever since they hooked up for the first time? Maybe that's the problem with love. It's so predictable.

    My neighbor is listening to Top 40 music, and it's driving me insane. What's worse, is it's one of those country-pop songs, you know the type -- the kinds that cross over so it's everywhere -- country stations, top forty stations, and hell, mention Jesus and it's probably on the Christian stations. I have to listen to fucking NPR to get away from "take your records, take your freedom, take your memories I don't need them.." I don't need your nasty voice, man. Just shut up! Thank God for iTunes.

    This really has no purpose other than to let me procrastinate work. That stupid kid is shit, and if it weren't for Mark already missing, I'd kill him. Okay, so I probably wouldn't. I'd make Riley. And then, I'd hire Zach. He's a good kid.

    Take your cap, but leave my sweater, 'cause we have nothing left to weather? Keith Suburban is more like it. Just shut up, man.

  3. #33
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    Hands shoved deep into his pockets, feet rocking steadily back and forth as he waited for someone to answer the door. Hoping to find Dani, he found Riley instead.

    "Oh, uhh, hey."

    "Hey man. C'min."

    Zachary steadied his rocking but ceased to move from that spot, dirty shoes hugging the cement. "If you guys are busy I can come back lat--"

    "I think you need to come in." Abruptly, Riley opened the door and invited him in, leading him up the stairs. A confused Zachary followed like a sheep, glancing around the apartment for any signs of her.

    "Where's Dani?"

    "You like beer, don't you? How about a Heineken?"

    "Uh, that works." Moving to stand close to the door, he kept his hands in his pockets, feet moving back to their rocking. "What's this all about?"

    "Have a sit down, will ya? You're making me nervous."

    Blinking up at him, he took the beer and headed for the sofa, sitting down. Opened bottle kissed his lips, cold brew spilling down his throat. He wiped his mouth across the back of his arm as he watched Riley move to sit in the chair he brought with him, a disgusting recliner from the 1970's that was fit for a bacheloresque king.

    "So, yeah. Dani's not here."

    "Obviously, is everything okay?"

    Riley leaned forward for elbows to prop on spread knees, head bending as right hand mussed through his hair, left hand dangling limply as it held a bottle of beer. "Not exactly." Moving to sit up straight, he settled back in the chair before he uneasily moved back to leaning, eyes hitting the floor as he searched for words. "She, uh, got mixed up in some things."

    "What kind of things?" Suddenly, the beer didn't taste very appetizing at all.

    "Mark's missing, did you know that?"

    "No, she didn't say that. She just told me I couldn't shadow for a while because things were hectic at work."

    "He's been missing for a little over a week now."

    "What does that have to do with Dani?"

    Heel of his hand moved to rub over his forehead and eyes, fingers combing back through his hair before they scratched nervously at the back of his head. "She has something to do with it."

    "What?"

    "She knows Mark's wife, and--"

    "Wait, whoa. Mark's wife? That fucker's married?"

    "Apparently."

    "Well where do you think she is? Is she safe?"

    Shifting in the seat, he leaned back and cross his legs, ankle hitting knee. "No one is sure where she is. Gina's missing too."

    "The wife?"

    "Yeah."

    "Jesus Christ, did you know what was going on?"

    "I had no idea. I knew Dani was doing some work with Gina -- on a personal level. She didn't get into it much."

    "But, so are police looking? Detectives 'n shit?"

    "Well, that's why I needed you to come in. You're gonna get questioned, man."

    "The fuck!" His eyes widened and he set the bottle down on the coffee table, moving to stand quickly, pacing as hands shoved deep into denim pockets. "They think I had some shit t'do wi--"

    "No, calm down. They're questioning everybody. Even her sister, who hasn't seen her for two years."

    "Jesus."

    ---

    On the other side of the state, Danielle was caught up in something far worse than she ever could have imagined. Gina sat beside her in the vehicle, barrel empty, though it was held low and steady at Danielle's side. She steered the car as Gina directed, headed north -- though aside from turns with little notice, she had no idea where she was going. Eyes glanced between the road and the gun nervously, but silently -- fear never showed once in her voice.

    The fear wouldn't come until gunshots rang.

    <font color="#a62a2a" size="1">[ October 27, 2005 10:21 PM: Message edited by: reconciled ]</font>

  4. #34
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    The cemetery was thick with weeds and foliage that failed to be maintained. Fingers coiled through his hair and she dragged him through the thick brush, limp feet piling fallen leaves against them as they scratched at the cold, hard earth, backs of hands acquiring scrapes that were miniscule to what he was about to receive. Danielle followed with the gun, eyes haphazardly glancing around the cemetery as they met the edge of the dank woods. They were silent in all they did, there was no reason for language to pass through them. Thick vines hung from trees like torn canopies, dead greenery that had turned a gruesome brown crunching beneath their feet. Both sets of fingers moved to yank harder at his hair as she walked more quickly, dusk quietly creeping across the horizon, light enough that they did not need a flashlight, dark enough that their generic clothing blended in against their surroundings.

    His face was calm, like an angel who'd seen Heaven, silent in his sleep. The bruises were minor considering the damage done, heavy swells forming under sunken eyes folded beneath stilled lids. Lips formed a perfect, pale line that curled every so slightly in their corners -- as if his panicked reaction was to laugh, before he faced utter and complete darkness. He lost no blood, made no sound -- his thick stature somehow could not fight off feminine features, and as death crept over him, he lost his will to fight. Still, he was not completely dead -- he felt the ground scraping against his tailbone and legs, and he thrashed inside his frozen self, the will to scream and thrust his eyes open simply not will enough.

    He faded into the soil like a menagerie of wildflowers, blossoming with bruises that were more beautiful than a painter's pallet could ever duplicate. She knelt to feel the damp soil soak through her clothing, dry lips sinking into a grin as she leaned down to touch his face, his skin still slightly warm to the touch against her otherwise cool palm. You are so beautiful. Tongue wet her bottom lip before teeth sank into it, fingers pushing piles of soil to clump over his thighs and knees, working down to his feet. His head would be the last thing for her to cover -- she wanted to capture his face for as long as possible. She bit until she felt the metallic taste seep into her mouth, licking against her tongue -- glancing up to Danielle, she waved to her and motioned for her to leave. Crawling to look at his face, she leaned close to him, fingers curling loosely as she wiped knuckles across his cheek, head tilting as eyes gazed at him gently. My beautiful work of art, you are. Fingers smoothed over his hair and she smoothed his collar, eyes instinctively moving to fingertips as they twitched. A muscular spasm, she knew it would happen -- she knew he was really dead. Finished. The thick bruises over his neck signified that, the sound of glass crashing as he fell to the floor screaming through her mind in a shattering glissando. It made the blood boil through her veinwork, knees spreading slightly as she moved to all fours, leaning closer to him. Lips curled further into a grin, and she bent close to him, breath warm against his skin before fingers moved to sprinkle soil over his face, palm smoothing dirt into the stiffening flesh of his masque.

    "You always were my favorite brother."

    <font color="#a62a2a" size="1">[ October 27, 2005 10:59 PM: Message edited by: reconciled ]</font>

  5. #35
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    She couldn't seem to get the musty smell of the room out of her nostrils -- it was like a second air, the scent of rotten meat and stale air that lingered with every breath. She'd spent so long in the room that daylight wasn't an option -- it burned her retinas and made her squint, arms thrown up towards the sky to shield herself from the sun. The plan had gone accordingly -- in her hours upon hours of lonely boredom, she had decided to spend her time for good, planning an escape route that would only leave her fellow playmate confused and clueless. That was, when she'd come to.

    Rather than taking Gina's car (it would have been too easy to put a search out for), she hailed a taxi and told the driver to head south. She didn't define where they were going, though she knew with the wide gaps she'd left for Gina, she wouldn't think to look where she was going. She headed to the east side of Chicago and left the taxi in front of a small, rather nondescript bar. Once the only thing left to spot of him was the wet tire tracks against the road, she walked several blocks and hailed another taxi, taking it to the west side of Chicago. What little money she had she managed to keep out of Gina's sight, stashed in her unmentionables. She didn't mind that she hadn't bathed -- it only helped her plan even further.

    The second taxi snaked its way through the lively downtown district, and she spotted couples going to see a show at Steppenwolf Theatre. She watched a particular couple as they laughed together, the girl playfully batting at the young man before they linked arms, walking with a merry bounce in their stride. Immediately, she thought of Riley.

    Pulling up to the Steppenwolf Theatre, she left the taxi and walked several blocks, again, until a third taxi was hailed. There, she directed it towards the place she hadn't been in so long she could barely invision it, but it was so close she could take it. Home.

    ----

    "Riley, wake up."

    Drowsily, he rolled onto his side and smeared a hand over his eyes, blinking up into the dark outline of a girl. Squinting, he pushed himself to lean on his elbows, moving to sit up.

    "Danielle?"

    "Sh, we have to go."

    His eyes widened and he threw the covers away from him, moving to perch on the side of the bed, trying to regain his surroundings. Having been abruptly pulled from his REM cycle, he blinked furiously to throw sleep from his face. Danielle was already running around the room pulling things together -- throwing drawers open, tossing various clothing into bags. Riley simply sat there, dumbfounded and half asleep.

    "Hey, can you slow down a second?"

    "We really need to go. I'll tell you in the car."

    Pushing away from the bed, he found his jeans and tugged them on, moving to stop her from packing. Wrapping his arms around her, he pressed his lips to her neck, pulling her close.

    "I missed you."

    Letting the bag fall to the floor, she wrapped her arms around his neck, sinking against him, her tone quieting. "I missed you, too. And now? We don't need to split up."

    "Swear?"

    "Swear." Pressing her lips to his cheek, she pulled away from him, turning back to the bag. "Now help me back. We have a long couple of days ahead of us."

  6. #36
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    life, meet death -- dani cassidy
    <center>

    I shut and lock the front door.
    No way in or out.
    I turned and walked the hallway, and pulled the curtains down.
    I knelt and emptied the mouth of every plug around.
    But nothing's sound.
    Nothing's sound.

    I stayed where my last step left me.
    Ignored all my rounds
    Soon I was seeing visions and cracks along the walls.
    Oh, They were upside down.
    I swallow my words to keep from lying.
    I swallow my face just to keep from biting.
    I swallowed my breath and went deep, I was diving.
    I surfaced and all of my being was enlightened.
    Now I'm...

    I'm in hiding.

    It's been about three days now since I've been aground.
    No longer overwhelmed.
    And it seems so simple now.
    It's funny when things change so much, it's all state of mind.

    I swallowed my words to keep from lying.
    I swallowed my face just to keep from biting.
    I swallowed my breath and went deep, I was diving.
    I surfaced and all of my being was enlightened.
    Now I'm...

    I'm in hiding.

    [pearl jam]
    </center>

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