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Posted: Apr 16 2017, 06:40 PM
puppeted by kenzie
It was hard to try to balance, Sloan's need for social acceptance and feeling of belonging and her occasional need for seclusion. A balancing act that often had her overcompensating on one side and tipping off of her balance. Needing to then try and swing back and overcompensating again on the opposite side. A balancing act that Sloan was mostly wildly attempting to maintain while swinging back and forth.
The desire to be accepted and to belong put Sloan around other people and therefore their auras as her magic seemed intent on making her days filled with a pounding in her head. Dropped her into a cacophony of colours, all insistent and demanding her attention. The colours blurring together and hinting at a plethora of things that people sometimes preferred to keep hidden and made it a jarring experience to interact with anyone putting on a front that had their real disposition opposite to what they were presenting. Jarring and not pleasant in any means. It put Sloan in a position where she was unsure how to act and where the normal cues clashed with what her magic was telling her. Unfortunately, her magic didn't come with an off switch either, it flared up when it pleased to and especially if there were strangers around her; as if her magic was trying to help her in an incredibly unhelpful way.
That lead to Sloan secluding herself for periods, cutting off contact almost completely to give her mind a rest. There was only so much imposed colour and augmented perception her mind could take at a time. It was a kind of way to force the magic to recede and give her some time to breathe and relax from its effects. She couldn't see auras if there was no one around her to have an aura, and Sloan had never been able to see her own. Monty, her python, also helped her here in giving Sloan a companion to not feel so alone even if her seclusion would lead her to feel isolated. Even after all these years with her magic Sloan still hadn't found an actual balancing point between the two. Sometimes she could use up more magic and focus with her farsight, but that also took up considerably more energy.
Confusing and jumbled and leaving Sloan swinging between the opposing needs.
That was where the drugs and alcohol had often come in, it gave the witch a way to be around others without the pain of auras souring the experience. Dulled the sensation and then the presence of overwhelming colours, letting them melt away. Unless a coven mate asked her to read someone.
Her focus was pulled back to Xander, and her lips pulled down slightly as Sloan considered his words. Genetics. That thought had never really occurred to her, that perhaps that suffering side effects was linked to family, that some witches were more susceptible than others and passed it down through their families. Mallory and most of her friends had seldom displayed such negative side effects from their magic that Sloan had. And she had no idea if her parents suffered from over- or under-use of their magic either, the knowledge of her being given up something that was almost always in the back of her mind; taunting and reminding her that she hadn't ever really belonged. "I don't know, maybe? It sounds possible and makes some sense and would give a reason for something that's a part of us affecting us so badly." Like a wonky genetic sequence. Did one example of a family show a possible trend or a flute? "I don't know if my parents had any side effects, so I can't really speak for or against a trend of them being in the family." She admitted, a small shrug when she mentioned not knowing if her own parents were negatively affected by magic. Technically Sloan didn't even know if both her parents were magic, only that her mother was dead and her father had been unable to cope. Apparently, bad coping ran in the family, so maybe bad side effects did too?
A measure of awe filled her both at the control of manipulating the fire and at how much of the face it conveyed. Of course, Sloan had no idea what the girl had looked like in life, but the visage of fire definitely looked life like and as if it could materialize into a flesh and blood face like an elemental shifting into a human. There was a question stuck on her tongue, but it couldn't seem to escape her teeth because Sloan was unsure if asking about the girl in the fire would make Xander sadder or more unburdened. She remembered how much she had enjoyed talking about Mallory while they were together, but since leaving Florida the witch was almost scared of speaking about her first love. As if talking about her would somehow conjure the other witch.
The witch shook her head, hair swaying with a wan smile on her face. "It's really not, Xander. And I don't see how being a mess means you can't have your head on right. Life's messy, we are too." The two weren't incongruous for Sloan. If anything Xander knowing he was a mess probably helped to prove his head was on better than hers because she'd never have acknowledged the mess her life had become if her farsight hadn't decided an intervention was in order. The witch knew she was a mess now, but back then, when she was a whole lot messier? There'd been no realization and no view that anything had been wrong. At least not consciously. So it had been up to her subconscious and magic to rip the rose tinted glasses from her. The thought of seeing her old coven again was quite honestly a terrifying concept to Sloan, because she wasn't sure she'd have the willpower to walk away from them again. They knew her too well, know how to play on every sympathy and insecurity. "I...I hope you get to Xander." Really the only person she'd truly lost through the years was herself. Her father gave her up and she ran from her coven. There hadn't been anyone to lose during her years in the foster system either.
"I think it's possible, but I don't really know how heaven works. It could take years for her to walk among mortals again or she could have simply passed on. It depends on how the afterlife and all of that works." She commented, gesturing vaguely at 'all of that'. The metaphysics of all the afterlife possibilities mostly went over Sloan's head. She knew angels, demons, and ghosts were all very real but beyond that or how it was decided which one you became? Beyond her.
Posted: Apr 17 2017, 07:46 PM
puppeted by J-Chan
Life was all about balance, of this he was sure. How much to eat, how much to sleep, how much play you put into your life – moderation and balance. Given time, it was easy to decide how you wanted your schedule to be. A lot of people took advantage of this, though. For them, it was simple to feed themselves, and even simpler to know when they needed sleep. A person like Xander didn’t have that luxury. Tired as though he might be one night, the racing thoughts and troubles weighing down on him just wouldn’t leave him be. As much as he wanted to eat, food just choked him or turned his stomach entirely. It was a never-ending cycle that presented itself when he least wanted it to, and made the easiest of tasks so aggravating and nearly impossible to do. A balancing act though it was, sometimes he tumbled and fell – and other days, he surprised the shit out of himself. And, even, surprised other people that were in his life. In just a few short months after he started taking his pills, things became easier. He wasn’t as tired now, didn’t have to live life from one meal to the next, and he managed to slip play time into his routine, too. Nights like this where it didn’t matter how long he was out – so long as he made it back to his place in time to feed his pet, Oscar.
But then life wasn’t meant to be easy. It was downright difficult at times, and that’s what made it half the fun, what made it worth it in the end. He could see that, and that gave him comfort, even when others tried to put it in a different perspective for him. Make him see it the way they wanted him to. That wasn’t how life worked. At least, that wasn’t how his life worked. His experiences and his life might be different for another person; who was really to say? That is why he tried to be sympathetic to other people. In a way, he knew what it was like for them. Not always, but he had been there himself. He’d lost people dear to him, been at the bottom of the barrel with no hope for escape – he’d put on those shoes and danced to that beat, so to speak. It wasn’t an easy dance by any means. But then again, life wasn’t meant to be easy.
He knew there would be times where he didn’t want to be around people, and that was okay; the coven wouldn’t kick him out for wanting a little privacy. Sometimes he showed up to the coven gatherings, other times he didn’t, but he always called when he was certain he couldn’t show up. Whatever excuse the coven leaders gave the others was their own business, if they chose to give one at all. People had the right to their privacy, so long as others were kept in the loop. And he never failed to do that; not once. Even when life had beaten him down to his lowest point, somehow he managed to keep his coven leaders informed. Vincent knew some of what the young witch was going through. They’d talked, and he thought that the advisor would understand, given his position at the hospital.
“It would make sense, yes,” he confirmed, nodding his head as he spoke. He pondered it some more, and wondered – he never really asked his mother her opinion on the matter. All he knew was that it was entirely possible, seeing as how it had affected two generations that he knew of. Were there more in his family? He never asked that, either – there was still so much about his family that he didn’t know. “It’d be something that I could maybe ask my mother about, see if it affected anyone else in her side of the family. No one in my dad’s side of the family is magically inclined… that I know of.” And that part did make sense, seeing as how only one child in his immediate family had magic – namely him. His sister seemed to have an empathic gift, and she was skilled at throwing potions together – but she had never exhibited any magical ability of any kind. Maybe she was a late bloomer? If she hadn’t showed signs of magic by now, he doubted she ever would. It would have been nice not to be the only weird one – even in spite of the fact that he and his sister were rather close.
The image in the flames was so lifelike that Xander felt a familiar longing nagging at his insides. A hand moved over his lips absentmindedly, the sensation he had felt from kissing her still as real as if it had just happened. God, how he missed her. Love like that was so rare that he wondered if he’d ever have that again. How much he could stare at her, though – his mind recalling every moment they shared together, each of them praying that it’d never end. Good things, though, had to come to an end. Life was not all sunshine and rainbows; God, how he knew that. He held onto the image as long as he could, each minute that passed feeding on his magic reserves – or whatever it was. “What’s on your mind, Sloan? It’s okay. Talk to me.” He tells her, sensing the change in her demeanor – a particularly bad habit, his empathy, but like her own abilities, one that he couldn’t shut off.
“Does anyone know how heaven works?” He said, somewhat jokingly. He’d never had the opportunity to meet an angel – at least, not that he knew of – so he hadn’t had the chance to ask them that very question. After the image was gone, Xander looked tired – as if the magic he used had been a tremendous amount. It wasn’t, not by a long shot, but recalling the image, the memory, had been tiring. “It’s a nice thought, to think that I might see her again, but I don’t think that not everything that lives – and dies – becomes something else. As you say, she simply could have just passed on – “ a somber topic he didn’t want to discuss further. Turning his eyes downward, he closed them and shook his head. When his head came up again, his eyes were open, and he said, a small smile on his face, “All this talking and not once have I asked you how you are…” so – “So how are things?” Though he’d never talk to her about her drug use, he did want to know how she was doing. They’d talked about him so much tonight – it’d be nice for a change of topic. For his sanity’s sake.
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