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The Height of Luxury

munin coll

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#1 Madeline Comeau

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 10:21 PM

They were at the Applebee's. It was the most fancy place Munin could ever remember going to. Granted, the last place she had eaten at was a McDonalds and she didn't so much eat as she slept in the playplace for three days. It was cool. She had gotten to use the monkey bars when no one was around to laugh when she fell. Good times. 

 

These weren't quite as good times. She was fidgeting with her clothes. They felt wrong. They smelled wrong. Her fingernails were clean. Her gums hurt a little from when she had brushed her teeth.They had bled. Which...was cool, but it still hurt. And she was wearing shoes. They were little green tennis shoes with purple laces. She hated to admit it, but she liked them. They were probably the best thing about the experience.

 

She gave a waitress a deathstare when the poor lady tried to take her glass to refill it. This was her glass now. She could take that stupid waitress.She couldn't just snatch her glass. Who did she think she was?  Eventually, the waitress backed down and walked off. Madeline turned to look at Coll. Well, this Coll. There were lots of them. But only one was here. 

 

"So are you kicking me out yet?" 



#2 Coll

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 01:46 AM

"If I was kicking you out, I'd tell you," Coll said. "I wouldn't take you to Applebee's first."

 

Applebee's was fairly fancy for Coll as well, since mostly they ate at their soup kitchen. Money was sort of tight, especially after buying Madeline clothes and shoes and a toothbrush and everything else. They were taking extra shifts at all the jobs they could and carrying more of a balance than they'd prefer on a couple of credit cards, but they'd get by.

 

"I just thought it would be nice to go out to eat," they explained. "Celebrate the fact that we've managed to live together for a week without anyone dying or having their memories wiped or getting arrested or anything. How do you feel about it so far?"

 

It was actually kind of nice having someone around to talk to, even if that someone was a stubborn little girl with a strange patchwork of memories. People had stayed with Coll before, but they usually ended up becoming a part of Coll, which was good, but different. Even if Madeline wanted to join, they wouldn't have accepted her before she turned 18, so there'd be at least two different people sharing the apartment for years to come. Assuming neither of them got murdered or mindwiped or arrested or anything.



#3 Madeline Comeau

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 12:59 AM

Munin shrugged. "It's hard to sleep." She had been having nightmares. Sometimes the walls would close in on her and crush her. Other times, she' feel a tightness around her neck, like a noose tightening. Others, she'd simply be chased by some lurking beast she couldn't see. It had been rough nights, but the days were okay, she guessed. 

 

"And..." She shrugged. "I miss using my powers." She looked down at the table. She knew Coll wouldn't like that. 



#4 Coll

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 10:27 PM

Repeated shrugging wasn't exactly the most glowing endorsement Coll could imagine of their parenting skills, but it wasn't bad, considering. And honestly, they'd be more worried if Madeleine didn't miss using her powers. With how often she used to use them, the only way Coll could imagine her not missing it would be if she still was. And constantly worrying whether their memories were being messed with wouldn't help either of them.

 

Whether she wanted one or not, Madeline deserved a chance to be a little girl instead of a disconnected collection of memories, and Coll was going to make sure she got it.

 

"I know it can be hard to get used to a new place," they said. "And a new way of living. Let me know if there's anything I can do to help with the sleeping thing, okay? We could try putting a fan in your room, or a night light. Some people sleep better with a little noise, or with a little light."



#5 Madeline Comeau

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 08:11 PM

Madeline shook her head. "I'm not afraid of the dark." She wasn't. She was a big girl. She was just afraid of Gallow. "I just know He's going to come some night. He always came at night." She made a grimace.

 

"And I think maybe I could protect myself but you're not even a fighter and there are too many to protect." She had generally decided that Coll was part of her....family? Pack? Tribe? She wasn't sure of the wording. In her head, Coll was just part of her. Sort of. Not as literally as Coll's bodies were part of Coll but kind of similar. Except in the ways it wasn't. It made her head hurt a little. 

 

"I've been practicing the moving-stuff a lot to try and be ready." She meant telekinesis. She could never remember the word. It was in some fuzzy place in her braid, connected to some other memory she had long since given away, but the connection kept it firmly in a shroud of mist. It must have been something important. 



#6 Coll

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 08:29 PM

"I didn't say you were," Coll said. They'd thought they might get away with it if they categorized the night-light and the fan together as 'things that might help you sleep,' but apparently not. "And I appreciate you wanting to protect me, but that's not your job, okay?"

 

They were actually really touched that she had even thought of protecting them. She was a sweet, fierce little thing, and sometimes they just wanted to form a protective circle around her, like a herd of elephants or something.

 

"And it's not the end of the world if one of me dies. I mean, it's not fun, but it's happened before, and I got through it. I didn't even lose any of the memories from that body. So you just worry about protecting yourself, because I'm never all in one place at the same time, okay? I'll be fine."



#7 Madeline Comeau

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 06:35 PM

Madeline made a disapproving look at Coll. "It'd be like losing an arm or something though, right? That's not okay. You'd be mad if I lost my arm." She held up her right arm a little. "Even this one, which I don't even use all that much. I mean I'm pretty sure I could go without both of them but it'd be harder to lose the other one." 

 

She shook her head, She was getting off track. "The point is that I think if I got to him first, I could do it. I'm just scared he'll get to us when my guard is down." She looked down at the table. "Or he'll make someone else come and I won't know what they can do." She shrugged her shoulders. 



#8 Coll

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 01:18 AM

Coll sighed. Madeline was an extremely stubborn little girl when she wanted to be. It could be sort of endearing, but if she ended up dying because she thought protecting Coll was more important than protecting herself, they'd have a hard time forgiving themself.

 

"I'd rather lose one of me than all of you," they said. "If you're ever offered a choice between losing an arm and having me die completely, then I'm okay with you giving up the arm, okay? And I wouldn't be mad if you lost an arm. I'd be worried about you." They paused. "Unless you did it on--no, even if you did it on purpose, I'd be more worried than mad. But don't, okay?"

 

They sighed. "Anyway. There's always one of me awake and in the apartment. I promise I'll wake you up at the first sign of trouble." And get you the hell out of there before you can do something stupid.



#9 Madeline Comeau

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 11:26 PM

Madeline sighed. She didn't believe Coll. Adults always lied. But she decided that would be rude to tell Coll. And she wanted her chicken strips so it was probably best not to be rude. She started picking at one of her nails. 

 

"What do you think I'm gonna be when I grow up?" She asked, attempting to look very casual. But she wasn't the best at hiding things. There was some genuine concern in her eyes and she seemed to be moving kind of anxiously. 



#10 Coll

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 01:38 AM

"I don't know," Coll said, considering the question carefully. "Once you're old enough, you might find a way to use your powers to help people who want help coping with trauma, or people who want memories moved between them. Or you might do something that has nothing to do with your powers--be a doctor, or an architect, or maybe someone who helps other kids who are in the same sort of situation you were in. You don't need to decide right now. There are lots of grownups who still aren't sure what they want to spend the rest of their lives doing."

 

They weren't sure why the question was so important, but they hoped that wasn't a bad answer.



#11 Madeline Comeau

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Posted 12 September 2014 - 05:21 PM

Madeline looked disappointed and crossed her arms over her chest. She didn't want to know what her options were. She knew that much. She had seen where kids like her had ended up. She wanted to know what Coll expected. She wanted to know how badly she was going to disappoint them. A few moments of silence later and she let her arms fall and wiggled a bit in her seat, deciding suddenly that she wasn't sitting high enough in the chair and propping herself up on her legs a bit to get a better look around the room.

 

"How many of them do you think are special?" 



#12 Coll

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Posted 12 September 2014 - 08:19 PM

Coll raised their eyebrows. "How many people in here are PEs, you mean? I don't know. Probably at least a few."

 

Trying to follow Madeline's thought processes was surprisingly difficult, even for someone who had personal experience in thinking several dozen different ways.



#13 Madeline Comeau

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Posted 13 September 2014 - 10:20 PM

"Do you think they're happy with their power?" She turned her gaze back to Coll. "He said it was something we should revel in, because it made us better." She shrugged. 

 

"But a lot of the ones I met didn't seem very happy about it." She made a face. "Were any of you special before you were you?" She didn't pause long enough for Coll to answer. "Do you think someone could just forget their power? Or would it just keep showing up?" She bit her lip.

 

"Not that I wanna lose mine. I dunno." 



#14 Coll

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Posted 14 September 2014 - 01:04 AM

"I think that most people end up being happy enough with their powers," Coll said. "I know I am. I wouldn't have been able to become myself if it wasn't for my power. And yeah, one of my bodies can fly, and could before it became a part of me. It didn't fix everything, it wasn't necessarily something to revel in, but it didn't make life worse, either. Your power is a part of you, as much as the color of your eyes and the way your brain works. I think even if you forgot it, it would show up again eventually."



#15 Madeline Comeau

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 11:29 AM

Munin shrugged. She liked shrugging. It was a gesture that required so little movement, and didn't say much at all really. It was a very passive gesture. It signified that she was letting things pass over her, letting the world do what it wanted by her will. It was almost like saying "I could change this, if I wanted, but I allow it to be so." It made her feel in control. She liked that feeling. It was a lot less scary than the alternative. Than being someone's pawn...Than being His pawn. 

 

"I think I want to be in charge when I grow up." She wasn't sure what she wanted to be in charge of, but it seemed good. "I could do it better." She was pretty sure of that fact. The people in charge now were the fucking pigs. She was better than them, surely. It was hard to be worse. "Do you think so?" 







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