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Fantasy ⟨ Cat's Game ⟩ ⋄ Kveykva & _silentsiren_

_silentsiren_

Catherine
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"Kitty" sat quietly at her spot in the park, listening to the screeching of the seagulls as they passed by. Her gaze was fixed on the horizon, the cold salty air was still unfamiliar to her as each breath filled her lungs, it stung. She had nearly forgotten when they had moved to this god forsaken town in the middle of nowhere. While it was a chance to start over... Her eyes moved to look at the mask on the ground, an all too familiar face she tried to love. The white mask was painted with a small smile, and a matching pair of eyes, warm and gentle in their expression.

Her hands reached down to the ground, holding it up to look at it better. Small imperfections here or there but... her hand swiped away at the dirt on the edges before she returned it to her face. The warmth from her breath against the material was a welcoming sensation. The air was becoming too cold, too unfamiliar; before long, winter would be there. Her phone chimed a pleasant sound, a text message.

Mom:
Hi kiddo! We were talking about dinner and wanted to​
see if you wanted anything in particular tonight?​

A quiet sigh escaped her as she went to stand, her hand pressing against something cold and almost sharp. The sensation made her flinch, jerking her hand away. Quickly she stood, looking at the foreign object. It was a plain looking notebook. 'When did this get here...?' She spoke softly to herself, looking around a brief moment before she bent over to pick it up. Her hair stood on edge, a shiver crawling down her spine as she froze in place. With a quick shudder the trance was broken, clacking her teeth together as she shook from the unexpected cold front.

"I'll have to find it's owner later. It's too cold!" She tucked it into her bookbag, making her way back towards home. An unsettling feeling lingered deep in her stomach as she walked, trying to rationalize with herself it was only the weather. "Soon I'll be at home, tucked into bed, warm, and safe." Kitty spoke aloud to herself as she walked, a few people turning their heads to glance in her direction.

The front door was opened and shut rather quickly, the sinking feeling now nauseating her.

"Hey, Cat, you didn't respond to my message so we're gonna do chinese food, is that-"

"I'm not hungry."
She walked up the stairs, taking them two at a time before she made it to her room, her head pounding now. The door locked with a click behind her, throwing the book bag onto her desk, her own self launched across her bed, the multitude of stuffed animals cushioning the blow. Kitty pulled off the mask, the cold air hitting her lungs all at once. "God!" She grimaced in pain, all thoughts of the notebook and it's owner far from her mind. "I hate this stupid town and the stupid cold air, and the stupid- AURGH!!" She screamed in frustration.

"I wish we never moved to this town."
 

Kveykva

your friendly neighborhood necromancer
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Who is next? The shinigami wondered in silence, treading through the world unseen. Reaping souls was a thankless job, but Iddie didn't mind. There was nothing to mind, truthfully. The dead were confused, distraught, and it was a reaper's place to reassure them. As Iddie walked by the ocean, they drew an item out from an inner pocket. A reaper's registry could take any form, and many of their kin had followed the lead of his lordship and upgraded to the modern era; others, such as Iddie, preferred the touch of paper to the coldness of a screen. His registry was simple, if not a little plain - a thin notebook bound in leather, with an infinite amount of pages between its covers.

The contents of these pages varied, but they were always work-related. Names, dates, locations, people. Every detail of every individual could theoretically be on any page, but he only cared for those that were relevant presently. His next ordinance was located further down the boardwalk, and Iddie started that way promptly. Seagulls plagued the skies and the air was rife with the smell of salt, but none of these details would deter the reaper from their task. Not even the wind could lead him astray, as turbulent and persistent as it may be. The wind lashed at the nest of insects creating Iddie's face, and one of his six arms was raised to alleviate the distraction.

Manmade paths were always available to be used, but they were rarely the most direct of routes. Instead, the shinigami opted to detour through one of the local parks, bypassing the local fauna without as much as footsteps to signify his presence. He paused briefly to regain his bearings, taking a moment to reference the book in his hands, when a sudden gust tore through the swarm quivering above his suit. It was quite discomforting to have their face torn from their head and scattered around the sky, but Iddie's butterflies were far more robust than their living counterparts. All of this distraction led up to a very crucial moment, one that the reaper never could have predicted to happen in all their years - they dropped the notebook.

"Ah!" Iddie exclaimed, reaching out with a chaotic mess of six lanky arms in a desperate attempt to retrieve the registry before it touched the ground. He only succeeded in spinning it a couple of times before it tumbled ungracefully onto a park bench, the reaper coming to a complete halt midstride. This was a very bad moment. This was a moment worthy of one of Chess' favorite human phrases as of late. "Fuck me."

There was a chance - a very slim one - that the notebook landing on the bench instead of the grass was considered a technicality, and Iddie would still be able to grab it before a human did. His hopes were immediately dashed as the young woman occupying the bench placed her hand onto it as she went to stand. A disappointed sigh escaped the reaper. "I will never hear the end of this..."

For the moment, Iddie was still, for lack of a better word, invisible to the world. Given his unfamiliarity with the situation at large, he decided he would remain that way until he could find a proper time to break the news to the young lady and introduce himself. Her name was... instinctively, they reached for where the registry was normally kept, dismayed to recall it was no longer in their possession. Much of what Iddie relied on to obtain information quickly was within those pages, and frankly, he'd never been without it. At the very least, he was now bonded with this human via the notebook. No matter where she went, the reaper could follow with ease.

The transition from point A to point B was fairly uneventful, but Iddie noted a few things about this human during the walk home. She was cold, and she disliked that. Her bed was warm, and so was her home, presumably. She also appeared to be the timid sort, as if worried that every shadow hid some form of monster that hungered for fresh meat. Perhaps her anxieties could be remedied? Humans were equally strange and fascinating creatures.

As the young woman entered the house, the shinigami slipped in through the door behind her, bending their head to fit inside the tight entryway. Iddie's form disagreed with many suburban structural choices, but he supposed it would become an acquired taste given how long this arrangement would likely be. The stairway felt even more claustrophobic, and the reaper restrained yet another melancholy sigh as they followed the human in pursuit. A door was shut and locked. This would have been an unfortunate circumstance for most, but reapers existed well within the realm of illusion and altered perception. The lock twisted open and Iddie entered quietly, but it would seem as though the door hadn't moved at all.

This is the perfect time. "Perfect" was a stretch, but revealing his existence to the human needed to happed sooner rather than later. They would be seeing much of each other in the future. "God!" A sudden exclamation caused Iddie to stiffen. She was clearly distressed, pummeling stuffed recreations of common animals and screaming into her pillows. "Ah, is... everything alright?" The reaper asked. His tone was staunchly monotonous, but the concern was genuine.

Iddie's form came into existence in tandem with his question. The shinigami possessed a thin, stilt-like frame that towered beyond the ceiling, causing it to bend its head to avoid collision. Six arms were poised with concerned trepidation: two at each shoulder, and an additional two sprouting from the base of the neck. Its body was pristinely dressed in a three piece suit, complete with formal black gloves to mask its spindly fingers. Most frightening of all was its face - or lack thereof. In place of a head was a swarm of a dozen black and white butterflies of varying sizes, from tiny to massive. And this swarm was nearly in the young woman's face, quivering with curiousity.
 

_silentsiren_

Catherine
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The voice almost fell on deaf ears in her fit of anger, the monotonous tone didn't quite register... but the collective shudder of wings had caught her attention. Her head brought up she was face to... face? Could it even be called a face?

"You know. I... I need to go to bed." She grabbed her blanket, tucking herself into bed as she laid down, closing her eyes tightly. "Oh yes, this is some crazy dream and I am going to wake up any minute now and this is not happening." Kitty nestled into her bed, pulling a stuffed animal close to her chest but the noise... oh god the noise. It didn't stop! Why didn't it stop?!

Only a few beats had passed before she sat back up, keeping her back turned to the creature that made itself known in her room. "This is real. Ohhhh.. god this is REAL!!" She shot up out of her bed and paced around the room, trying to rationalize with herself. "Ok Catherine, you have..." She turned to look at the... thing, quickly turning back. "Oh my god it's real. Ohhhh my god." Once the shock wore off her hands began to tremble, opting to take a seat in her desk chair.

Kitty stared in silence, the sound of wings and her now labored breathing was the only noise between them. "I think I'm going to throw up." She chuckled, though the sound most certainly wasn't happy. Her leg bounced furiously as she laughed, "Oh my god, I'm crazy! I'm imagining things. I bet you aren't even real. You're definitely made up." Kitty laughed harder, holding half of her face in her hand as she did. Something was so terribly funny to this young woman, perhaps she had finally gone crazy like everyone had said. Maybe she was experiencing a hallucination from something bad she ate.
 

Kveykva

your friendly neighborhood necromancer
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Iddie's question prompted a response, and they were delighted by the opportunity to greet the human girl properly. Well - as delighted as an entity with no capacity for emotion could be. Their gazes met for a bright, shining moment, and the shinigami searched for the ideal string of words to cause the least amount of stress for the individual before him. Her sudden shift in demeanor caught him off guard, as suddenly she expressed exhaustion. "Er, sleep well." The reaper managed.

She believed it to be a dream. A reasonable assumption, not that Iddie had any experience with dreams. To ponder and to dream were natures of men and gods - which he himself was neither. He could attempt to convince her of the reality, but he decided it best to save his breath; he would still be present when she awoke the next morning.

At once, the young woman seemed to realize the truth, bolting upright in her bed. Iddie looked on with calm intrigue, allowing the human as much time as she deemed necessary to process the oddity of his presence. They were regarded with several glances, most cut short with a mixture of fear or disgust. "Yes, I am quite real." The reaper confirmed. "There is no need to be afraid. I will not harm you." It was a statement usually spoken by angels, for reapers rarely interacted with humans on anything besides their own terms.

The disruptive fluttering of wings slowly stilled as the swarm settled itself, but there was always some degree of motion within the cacophony of delicate wings - there were simply too many. Iddie would have grimaced at the other's suggestion if he possessed a face. "That would be unwise. The flooring here is carpeted." They pointed out plainly. "You have not begun to hallucinate, I assure you. Please allow me to introduce myself." Iddie had become practiced with formal introductions with the time they spent at the location of their previous assignment, but he was too tall to even stand up straight in the girl's room. "You may refer to me as Iddie. You picked up my ledger earlier today." They explained, motioning to the backpack but refraining from touching it.
 

_silentsiren_

Catherine
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Kitty furrowed her brows, bringing her fingers up to massage the muscles there. "I knew I shouldn't have taken it." She hissed under her breath, cursing her naturally kind nature. Once she relaxed a bit, a smile as best as she could manage made it's way on her face. It was painfully clear half of her face was disfigured almost morbidly so. The skin hadn't healed quite right, leaving her face scarred which she was ashamed of.

"So... Iddie... what are you?" The obvious question was asked, they seemed fairly intelligent but... a little lacking otherwhere. Iddie very obviously wasn't human, except for the vague slender silhouette that seemed humanoid. The amount of arms perturbed her, not sure why anyone would perhaps even need that many arms... They were exceptionally well dressed for... whatever they were.

Her thoughts returned back to the notebook she had taken, or rather, a ledger? What would someone like them keep track of?? She reached for her bag, shuffling around in it before she grabbed it, turning it over in her hands. "And what do you use this for? It's... weird looking." Of course, she was curious. Suddenly a nightmarish figure with a swarm of butterflies for a face shows up, it was only natural she wanted to know more... right? Did she truly want to know?
 

Kveykva

your friendly neighborhood necromancer
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Despite having informed the young woman the book she had taken belonged to them, Iddie didn't appear upset by any means. However, with the reaper's lack of a face, many key features used to read his mood were simply unavailable. Iddie could clearly note the disfiguration of her face, but it was not something he believed required commentary. Humans came in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and one's death was rarely considered attractive. It was not his place to judge them.

The question was expected. It was also asked at the beginning of the conversation, which made much of this exchange easier. "Humans know my kind as shinigami," Iddie informed her. "We go by many names, but for the sake of simplicity I will leave it at one." In an attempt to become more comfortable (and less intimidating), they took a seat on the floor. With their unnatural height however, they managed to remain at eye level with the human.

She retrieved the aforementioned registry from her backpack, and Iddie couldn't help but seem a touch disappointed. "It is a registry, for lack of a better word. It contains a variety of information pertinent to whatever my current task may be. In the case of a human, you will likely find its pages blank." Powerful tools from the underworld shouldn't be left in the hands of mankind unchecked, so cautionary measures were taken. "My presence here is entirely my own doing, not yours. If a shinigami drops their ledger in the human realm, it becomes part of it. Now that you have touched it, the book is now yours until you die and it returns to my possession." They explained. "I cannot return to my duties without the book, and I am required to stay nearby in case it is used by the human who possesses it."
 

_silentsiren_

Catherine
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Kitty listened intently to the shinigami speak, feeling somewhat more comfortable with their change in height. Though... The way they described the book, she wasn't entirely sure how to feel. A ledger? Information? The word sounded familiar but she couldn't quite place it. As Iddie continued, confusion only grew within her, trying to understand everything they were saying.

The atmosphere changed almost all at once, her throat tightening as she listened to Iddie speak. 'Until I die?' Thoughts of death were always terrifying to think of but... there was something that caught her attention. "You said... used." Her gaze went from the book back to Iddie, furrowing her brows in confusion. "What do you meant use?" Her thumb rubbed across the spine of the book, feeling it's unique texture under it.

She wasn't even sure that books like this existed, hell, she didn't even have a concept of afterlife to begin with. Now, this shinigami is telling her there are pages filled in this book that she can't see but.. she can still use this book? Out of pure fascination she opened up the book and it was in fact blank. It looked like a standard notebook that anyone would be able to buy. There wasn't anything particularly interesting on the inside that made it different but.. the pages certainly felt weird. Different.
 

Kveykva

your friendly neighborhood necromancer
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The human seemed to understand Iddie's explanation well enough, though they felt credit was due to all the time spent in Eureka prior to their reassignment. "Use, yes." The shinigami affirmed. "Although it does not have the same capabilities in the hands of a human as it does in a shinigami's, you may still gain some degree of use out of it." The power difference was quite drastic if Iddie were to confess, but he couldn't imagine what use a human would need all the information in the book for anyway. "If a human's name is written in the book, they will die."

Just as Iddie described, the book was completely blank, filled with page after page of lined, eggshell colored paper that never seemed to run out. "I can no longer perform my duties as normal, but if a name is written in my book then I am responsible for collecting their soul." Normally, humans (or any living thing, really) died when their lives came to an end. Sometimes this was at an old age, but it could happen at any time before then. An out of control car, social stresses, overexhaustion, a maniac gorilla from the zoo - any number of things could end a human's life "before their time." It didn't change the fact that their life was over, when it was over. No sooner and no later.

"What you do with the book is ultimately up to you, but I'm afraid giving it back to me directly is not an option." He didn't quite understand why that was a rule, but nevertheless. "A catalyst is required to remove the book's attachment from the human realm, that being the death of its human owner. If you wished it return it to me immediately, I suppose you could give ownership to someone else, and then kill them. I've never seen it attempted, so I am not certain it would work."
 

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