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VenomousEve

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Paper Trails
« on: January 18, 2018, 06:03:40 pm »
Subj: Foggy
<<sent to: sandboy on: November 10 @ 2:08:31 am>>

Hey sandboy,

I know it’s late, but I like writing to you when I can’t sleep. It makes me feel less alone—which is funny, because I’m not sure if I want company or not. I tried to go to bed early tonight and I even fell asleep for a little, but my dreams are so weird these days. I can never remember completely, when I wake up, but I’m anxious sand my mind feels so foggy. Do you ever have nights like that? I wonder if I’m going through a phase or if this is normal or what. I kind of think it has to do with that night, but I kind of feel like that’s making a big deal out of nothing, you know?

Sorry for rambling. I’m so glad we started talking, though. I mean, I know you’ve been following my stuff for a while, but it meant a lot to me that you reached out. You don’t feel like some empty voice on the internet anymore, and I think I need that kind of friendship right now. Like, you feel close and you feel separated from my mess at the same time. That’s weird, I guess, but it’s really good too. How do you get to sleep when you’re having trouble? It’d be alright if you wrote to me too, if it would help you. I’d feel less like I was always the one unloading on you. I already feel like such a selfish friend.

-kankanna


She laughed, and waved at Mel until the other girl turned the corner and moved out of sight. When she was alone, she stopped smiling. That was Kanna a lot, these days. Sometimes she noticed, but most of the time she was too tired. She turned on her heel and took the steps up to the door two at a time. There was nobody home, and the screen banged behind her when she let it slam shut. “I’m home,” she said to the quiet. In the kitchen, there was a note on the table. She swiped it, but didn’t read it. She was certain it would say something about food in the fridge for dinner.

Kanna grabbed an apple off the counter before she went upstairs to her room, and shut her door behind her. Sitting on her bed, backpack slung haphazardly across the far post, she crunched into her apple. She bit hard enough that she imagined the tip of her tongue would come off if she caught it between her teeth. She wrinkled her nose at the thought. She had two exams this week and a report due next Monday. She hadn’t started the report, and the tests would start to loom a little too heavy if she thought about them for too long.

Her grades had been slipping since that night. She was aware, sort of, but didn’t want to admit it. That gave her own mistakes too much power. Her mother didn’t need any more ammunition. She was perfectly good at withering away Kanna’s self-confidence without Kanna dabbling into her own guilt complexes.

Kanna huffed and scrambled to the edge of her bed, straining to perch her half-eaten apple on her desk without getting up. It slipped, and she watched it bump to the floor and roll until the curving marks of her teeth looked like fingers around the edges of the red round. She thought about picking it up, and then reached for her backpack instead. There was a pack of cigarettes tucked in an inner pocket, carefully wrapped in tissue like she’d thought they’d be less conspicuous. It was endearing, in a way, because it spoke honestly to the way she’d been fumbling through lately.

She pulled one of the sticks from the pack. Some of them had a dried shimmer on their paper. Kanna’s lip gloss. She never lit them, but something about the sneaking panic of being caught made placing the cigarettes between her wet red lips feel… well, she didn’t really know.

The small moan that escaped her did. Tossed back in her pillows, dark hair askew and that cigarette hanging from her pretty, frowning mouth. Her fingers were rough. Not because her skin wasn’t young and soft, but because her gestures were frustrated. Almost like it was punishment. Kanna didn’t mean to, but when she closed her eyes she ended up trying to remember the things that had happened before. It had been horrendously cold when she’d woken up in that strange bed. Her hand jerked, wrist fighting the waistband of her uniform skirt.

Subj: Downtown
<<sent to: sandboy on: November 14 @ 11:34:06 am>>

Hey sandboy,

Would you believe it if I told you that I just got back home? It’s probably nothing to be proud of, but I’ve gotten pretty good at sneaking out. I took the bus downtown and went back to The Network. I thought they were going to turn me away, honestly. The guy at the door asked for my card and I had to pretend like I’d left it at home. I’m pretty sure he knew I was underage. Hah. I probably should have been studying. Mr. Welter is going to hate me. Ugh. I’m awful.

Is it totally messed up that I keep going back? I mean, I know what happened. I think. At least, I have a good guess. Either way, it was really stupid of me the first time. I don’t know why I keep going back like I belong there or… like I want other answers. It’s just a bar. Nothing about it or the people there care about me.

Did I tell you I bought a pack of cigarettes? I bought it from a guy that peddles booze behind our high school. People call him Rank Pete, because he smells to high heaven. But he’s got a valid ID and you pay him double so he can get himself a beer for every beer you buy off him. Or pack of cigarettes. I don’t smoke, but I bought them anyway. Story of my life, huh? I’m not really sure who I am right now. Can you tell? I think my art is getting weird because of it, but I don’t hate that. I just wish everything else would fall in line.

How is the weather where you are? It’s cold here.

-kankanna


Kanna woke up with a jolt, peeling her cheek from her open text book. Beside her, a cold cup of tea told her that her mother had been by. She was at once appreciative and mortified. Kanna thought she’d gotten better about locking her door. She sighed. Reaching for her window, she grit her teeth and pushed up hard, the pane groaning in its frame. Old house. The night air was frigid, but she didn’t mind. It would help keep her awake. Kanna took a sip of her tea. It was bitter from steeping too long. Her lips puckered as she fished the tea bulb out with her fingertips and nestled it on the saucer.

She went to bed at four in the morning, and dreamt of strangers groping her breasts. 

Verse

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Re: Paper Trails
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2018, 08:51:15 pm »
Subj: RE:Foggy
<<sent to: kankanna on: November 10 @ 4:07:02 am>>

Dear Kan

I'm up all night, you know that. A Shinigami lives mostly at night. But a good girl isn't suppose to feel so at ease during the dark hours. Are you becoming something else? Some of the monsters you draw are incomplete. But some of them are withering. I think you'll be beautiful, alive at night. If you can't remember your dreams, what do you wish they were?

When I have to sleep, I steal some liqueur from my friend. It used to give me some excitement and then I'd get lulled by the alcohol. I'd take so much I wouldn't remember. Good advice, yes?

And you're always oversharing with me, even before I started talking to you, right? In your pictures. I feel like some of them only I understand, now. It's how I like it. I like to see you, Kan. And I'm glad that I noticed you now of all times, when you're changing.

I followed a rabbit today. She went off from her other friends and I went after her. I like that rabbit. I think it noticed me and recognized I was dangerous to her, but she still went into places I could follow. Maybe some day I'll set a snare. Maybe the rabbit wants that?

Whenever you can't sleep, just pull the curtains apart and close your eyes by the window. It's an old spell. To let the night see you, and accept you.

Sweet dreams, changing girl

/sandboy

How pretty her cigarette handling was. Completely novice. He couldn't help but purse his own lips when she caught that filter. He could have watched it through her camera, but if he lit anything now she'd see his face in the leaves. Still in his work clothes, black shirt and navy slacks, hanging elegantly on elegant legs, on the branch that had become his second home. He didn't indulge concerts like these as often as he should, peering through her window. It was almost like a tale of budding lovers, if he'd been her age. Their tree hanging off the fence made it too easy.

sandboy: I'm thinking of you.

He wanted her to hear her phone vibrate as she petted herself closer to exhaustion.

sandboy: hope you're having a good time
Sandboy: you'll be fine
sandboy: did it feel good?

Last one was an indulgence. She'd never guess, anyway, but it would stay with her. Wasn't Kanna just an indulgence? Sometimes she checked her newsfeed and her friend's pages. That made him furious and led him to make images of her severed head in his lap.

Subj: RE: Downtown
<<sent to: kankanna on: November 14 @ 11:40:46 am>>

Kan

I read in my studies that a lot of cultures smoke as a comfort. That's not weird. Do you want me to send you cigarettes? I know someone who makes them, and they taste funny.

Are you going back to N like a murderer to the crime, or are you hoping for something other than nostalgia? I think it's a powerful place for you. This reminds me of something that happened when I grew up. I had a cat that didn't even acknowledge me, just came to me for food, but once I got sick of it and held it down and petted it the way I wanted on the kitchen floor, it would always go back to that spot and call for my attention. I'm not sure what that means. What would you do if you recognized him in N? Would you know his face? I think, if you keep going to N, someone else might find you there if he doesn't.

The weather here is icy. But a shinigami doesn't care, right?


Evram's hands smelled of the detergent Kanna's mother bought to wash her daughter's night clothes. His head was filled with the faces she made with her eyes closed. He had a car, a good one - his uncle was the principal of Gladiola High and the Welter family had done well enough for generations - but he preferred the train for some reason. A hood large enough to cover his well developed pretty, sleeves rolled up. Kanna had such a route that half of it was spent without her friends, and lately she'd taken to choosing a car that the ones that did come aboard eventually didn't see her.

He wondered if she was really too busy with her phone or if she noticed his leg against hers. Perhaps she was reading the mail he'd sent?


Subj: dream
<<sent to: kankanna on: November 15 @ 2:08:31 am>>

Slept a little. Dreamed of a heroine in one of my mangas. Her power is that she doesn't see the evil that the villains does, and then she can make it so it never happens. He's gaining on her though, even if he likes getting away with almost anything, as long as she doesn't see. Anyway. I dreamed that she was torn apart but there was this strange expression of elation on her face. Isn't that funny? Maybe people should let themselves be manhandled more. It could open the door to new sensations.

We're just people trying to discover how the next stretch of existence is going to be, right? We might find meaning anywhere.

How did you sleep?

sandboy
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 10:01:54 pm by Verse »

VenomousEve

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Re: Paper Trails
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2018, 10:02:58 pm »
She stared at the messages on her phone and flushed. It was nothing, she knew. Her mysterious friend with his twilight letters. But it was hard not to feel like she’d been found out and it made her shudder. Shuddering… with what, she wasn’t sure. Did it feel good?

kankanna: School was alright. I guess that counts as fun? My best friend’s birthday is on Saturday.
kankanna: My mom is always on call, and she always stays at the hospital. I used to think she was disappointed in me, but now it feels kind of fun to have the house alone so often. Maybe that counts as fun too?

kankanna: I hope you’re having a nice evening too… if it’s evening where you are. I wonder if we live near or far.


Kanna took her time washing her hands. The water was too hot and she scrubbed too vigorously. Her slim fingers looked a little raw and red when she was done, like she’d thought to cook them through. When she went to bed that night, she’d only written two pages of her report.

In the morning, she was half-awake at the stove. The rice cooker steamed. A shrill whistle and she turned off the burner with a snap, taking the kettle to pour herself some water for tea. Breakfast was quick, the egg sliding from its shell after a quick rap against the edge of her rice bowl. It was going to be another day alone. Father wouldn’t be home until the weekend.

Mel had texted her that morning to say she was sick, so Kanna walked to the bus stop alone. She took the seat behind the bus driver and spent the twenty-minute commute reading over history notes. It was easier to be studious when people were watching. She smiled and waved when people called her name—there were several—but did not invite anyone to sit with her.

Kanna was likable. She had a pleasant demeanor and was neither too loud nor too quiet for anyone to find her particularly offensive. She kept a socially acceptable group of friends and had an admirable sort of relationship with her closest girlfriend, Mel. She spoke to boys enough that was not “frigid,” but steered clear of frequent company enough that she was not “easy.” Kanna was, on the whole, so very innocuous and reasonably charming that there had not even been rumors about the night she’d gone out with her class. Inevitably, it was presumed she had gone home at a respectable hour. Nobody had asked her what had happened, not once. Kanna was certain that meant, so far as the world exterior to herself was concerned, nothing had.   

From the bus, it was another twenty-five minutes on the train to reach school. Kanna could have gone to a high school much closer to home, but she’d wanted to go to Gladiolas for its reputation. Or, maybe her parents had wanted her too. Kanna was never entirely sure when she came up with ideas for herself, but she often reminded herself that it didn’t much matter. It was a good school and it was worth the commute.

This particular morning, she buried herself in her phone. The man beside her was unusually close for how empty the car was. It would probably have been appropriate to ask him for a bit more space, but she didn’t.


Subj: RE: Downtown
<<sent to: sandboy on: November 16 @ 4:04:21 pm>>

sandboy,

Sorry I’ve been quiet for a couple of days. I’ve been studying for a few exams and such. I haven’t gone back to N since I wrote you last. I think I’d be worried if I had. I still don’t know why I think about that place so much, but I’m pretty sure it’s not totally healthy. I hope I’m not like your old cat.

Do you like the cold? I kind of do. I’ve started liking it better lately. I’ve been taking your advice and standing in front of my open window at night, letting the chill wash over me. It does help me get to sleep. I think you might have gotten into my head a little, if I’m honest. Sometimes I feel like the night is really watching me. I know that’s silly and it’s probably just placebo or paranoia or both. Still, thank you for the suggestions. I haven’t remembered any of my dreams in the last three days. I think if I could remember, I’d hope you were in them. You’re very special to me. I didn’t know how much I needed a confidant before.

I got your other message too. The one from yesterday. It sounds like your dreams are complicated. Do you like remembering your dreams? I used to be sad when I couldn’t. Lately, I’m just glad when I get sleep. I think my dreams end up coming back to me in my art, but I could just be making that up. What do you think? I think you read me better than I read myself, when you talk about my paintings.

-kankanna


Kanna gasped, the safety razor clattering against the tub basin. “Shit, shit,” she mumbled and bit hard on her lower lip. Dark red beads welled up in a neat line down her leg. She’d forgotten to wash the soap from her hands before she started shaving and the handle had slipped. She washed the cut, watching the water dilute the pigment of her blood and salivate a rosy pink on the bottom of the tub. It wasn’t a deep cut and it wouldn’t scar, but it had hurt.

She tucked herself into bed early. She would finish the last page of her report tomorrow. The sound of the heater spewing warm air through the vents reminded her of a rushing tide. When she was small, that sort of sound had helped her sleep. Kanna sat up, groping through the dark off the end of her bed until she’d found her backpack. Fumbling fingers pulled a cigarette from their hidden spot and drew it to her lips. She pressed her tongue against the filter and knit her brow at the taste, laying back in her bed wide awake. She tried to fall asleep for the better part of two hours before she returned the cigarette to its package and went to her window.

Tonight, peering out and seeing no lights save the streetlamp across the street, she unbuttoned her sleeping shirt to the cold. It made her skin twitch and prickle. Kanna breathed in deep, eyes closed and did not move until the flush peaks of her pert chest had become painful. Her own hands felt foreign on her cold skin, grasping uncomfortably at her modest rounds. She pulled the window shut with a jerk and a bang and drew the curtains shut.

She fell asleep quickly after that and her breath hitched as she dreamed. A man led her gently out the back door of the Network and helped her rest against the cold brick wall. His mouth had tasted like liquor and cigarettes, or maybe the liquor was on her own breath… she wasn’t sure, but she trembled when he slipped his hand under her shirt.


Subj: School
<<sent to: sandboy on: November 20 @ 8:33:54 pm>>

sandboy,
 
This weekend, Mel had to cancel her party because she was still sick. I felt bad, because I was almost relieved I didn’t have to go. I used to really enjoy spending time with my friends, but it’s kind of confusing now. I feel like all my smiles are fake and I want to ask them why nobody has noticed. Maybe it’s just tiring. I feel like I’m being dramatic, which only makes me feel worse too.

I had to turn in my report today, and I’m not sure how I did. I’m usually quite good in this particular subject, but Mr. Welter grades me very unforgivingly. I’ve been meaning to ask him about making up for some of my lower scores, but I’m kind of embarrassed. At the same time, it’s probably best to just go for it… my parents will be upset if my grades drop this semester.

I know I shouldn’t do it, but I think I’m going to sneak out to the Network tonight. I think there’s a bit of an adrenaline rush that I’m becoming addicted to. It helps me forget all the stress at home. I’m also starting to feel like I might belong out at night like that. It’s hard to be looked at like I’m such a polite girl at school. I’d really like to be that person, but like you said… maybe I’m changing. I feel like I don’t deserve to be thought of as a nice girl. Nice girls don’t wake up in strange places the way I did. Not even once. It’s very wrong of me to think it, but I almost hope somebody finds me. I think I deserve it.

-kankanna


Kanna did not have to sneak when she left home at midnight. Her father’s trip had been extended into this week and her mother was still at work. Still, she felt like the house judged her when she slipped into the small black dress and wrapped herself in a long coat.

Verse

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Re: Paper Trails
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2018, 01:12:09 pm »
Evram turned his head away from the girl next to him. In his hood it didn't matter much. He was familiar with her skin, and started with a hand she might not remember between them. It wasn't so unthinkable that someone would like to rest his fingers on the side of his own leg. If the letter still held her attention, a few retreats of his palm would fish up the hem of her skirt. Eventually he could rest a gentle grip on the high of her thigh, well hidden under the fabric supposed to conceal her. If she'd inhale to scream his other hand would be swifter over her mouth, twisting her face away from his own, some threats in her ear before he left her. But if she was good, he'd not treat her harshly, and simply tug gently at the side of her undergarment, to wordlessly ask for her compliance and slight shifts in helping him liberate her from them.

Kanna didn't know herself yet. He was her teacher, and had seen how lost she was at the beginning of a fateful semester, when he heard her laugh carelessly, finally as a woman, and realized she had so much potential. What kind of teacher would he have been if he didn't guide her? It was important she came into her own, both in her body and in her heart. And that she wouldn't be corrupted by the wrong kind of distractions.


Subj: RE: Downtown
<<sent to: kankanna on: November 16 @ 6:25:21 pm>>

Kan

Don't ignore me for days like that. It makes me mad.

Don't be afraid of N. It'd be a bit cruel to yourself. I think it is the place that started your new life. It means something, doesn't it? When you think about it, can you see yourself never going back? I think your ghost is still there, waiting.

It's not silly. I know the night is watching you. And I think it likes you. You have lived in the sunlight all your life, and then, one time, you lived at night and it showed you something new, but you had too much light inside to remember. The more you live at night the more you'll remember of that time. And I'll be with you every step. You can always confide in me. I'm your sandboy. If you tell me your troubles I'll bury them.

I remember all my dreams. I treasure them. They balance me because every time I am polite in the day, I hurt someone in my dreams. Then I feel vindicated and whole. Perhaps you'll have balance too, when you remember. To me, I feel like I'm there with you in your dreams when I see your art.

/your shinigami

The night had waited for her. He'd prayed to her nerves that they wouldn't settle so that she'd show herself. How beautiful she was in that frame, in the wall of her house, on display for him where he sat. The brown in his eyes didn't catch a reflection from the night lights, and he stared freely at her pert, young orbs, and wanted to applaud when she grasped them with her pained expression. Evram felt such triumph, whispering things to her, and then see her bloom like a garden for his suggestions. She was his seedbed. A slow nod, that she may leave, and like they were connected by desire, she closed her window and her curtains. The branch wasn't such a good place to satisfy himself, so he left her there, for tonight.

Subj: RE: School
<<sent to: kankanna on: November 21 @ 01:02:44 am>>

Kan

Mel is part of you daylight life. You don't always have to be with her. Until now, haven't you neglected the night in you? It's fair to spend some time with the night too. I think I'm a night friend of yours.

Go speak with Mr. Welter. Your parents would be upset if you didn't do anything when you have the chance. Education is important. You've gotten so far. Mr. Welter is and adult. You need to listen. He wants your best.

You are not a nice girl, Kan. I think that's why you don't like to be seen as one. I don't mean that you're a bad one, but you're different than nice. When you woke up from that time, you were confused weren't you? You weren't disgusted or fearful in that strange bed. You went home and didn't tell anyone. The only time a person is confused is when they're presented with several things in conflict, which means they're seeing more than one thing that might be right for them. Go see what was right with that time, Kan.

/your shinigami

He wore a cap tonight. Black clothes as always, but with a navy shirt under the jacket. It was the same shirt her addled fingers had crushed in their desperate grip when he'd started pulling at her clothes. Not that it was entirely defensive, from what he'd felt. Her eyes were foggy, but the motions of her mouth had been clear, even if her words were muddled. She could be honest with foreign chemicals in her veins, and she knew that. That had been a moment of truth between them, but too much truth, so she'd had to erase it in the morning.

Along the way he decided to go as he'd gone that night, and threw the cap into the bushes, and simply messed his hair up violently, to turn it from the voluminous backward form to something more alluring, dancing over his dark eyes. Still hidden, but at least it was less likely to call for attention. He also didn't wear her teacher's stern expression and straight mouth, but slightly parted lips to hint at predatory fangs in a subtle grin. Canine confidence.

N was blinking before them, and he stayed behind her in line, turned away. Beautiful girls like Kanna didn't need to be of the right age.


sandboy: you're in N aren't you? Welcome home. Now look for your memories in the strength of vodka, rum and wine.

He stayed close, protecting her while his shoulders were convening with the music.

Takeda Urumi had always had a good eye for Kanna, and he'd discovered her already. On his way over to ask her how she'd gotten in, someone folded him over a quick punch to the gut. Takeda was shoved into a corner before he could recover, and wretched on the wall as his vision blurred. The strike had been charged with so much hatred he could feel blood on his tongue before he fell to his knees. He tried to regain his breath but it only settled into an uneven rhythm, which registered as alarming to the Gladiola High baseball star.

Sandboy with his shadowing hair went back guard Kanna.

VenomousEve

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Re: Paper Trails
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2018, 11:41:39 pm »
Subj: Strangers
<<sent to: sandboy on: November 21 @ 8:01:56 pm>>

sandboy,

I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to ignore you. I’ve just been very busy with school, and very listless at home. I haven’t had the energy to do much. Why does it make you mad? Do you not have very many friends? I don’t mean to pry, but you sound lonely when you say things like that.

There was a strange man on the train today. I think I’ve seen him a few times, and he sat next to me. He was very close and he smelled familiar, which scared me. Do you think he might be following me? I’m probably being paranoid. I think he tried to reach up my skirt, though I can’t be sure. I got up really fast and left before I could be sure. I got off the train two stops early, too. I’m probably overreacting, but my heart still beats hard when I think of it.

Maybe it’s because of what you said about the night. Lately I always feel watched. Sometimes I think it’s comforting, and sometimes it puts me on edge. Did you know that you can be a little bit frightening? Do you mean to be? I don’t mean that in a bad way. I think nighttime things can be good. Like you said, maybe I’m becoming one, a little bit. It’s refreshing, because my life is so comfortable during the day. It makes me feel like a terrible person for being dissatisfied or sad. I think I have been looking for an excuse to feel anything at all, really.

-kankanna


Kanna laughed. She’d already had a drink, provided by a sweaty man leaning over the bar. He’d asked her if she liked the way he looked at her and she hadn’t known how to answer. He called her “pretty little girl” when he handed her the drink, and she wondered if he meant it because he knew.

kankanna: what if I don’t want the memories?
kankanna: I think I just want to be somebody else. Everything happened to somebody else.


She didn’t understand herself, because she hated the burn of the vodka down her throat and drank it anyway. In a pitifully sel-absorbed way, she thought she was something like her glass’s kindred spirit. It didn’t matter if they dressed up the liquor with sugar and juice. It still tasted foul. The Network was a pragmatic balance of smoky bar space and a bass-throbbing dance floor, separated by modestly sound damping couches that had stains rendered invisible by the dim lights and intermittent strobes. Several couples had established themselves on the furniture and were engaged in questionable levels of intimacy. It was possible that Kanna’s guesses were worse than the reality. If she had realized that, she might have been embarrassed.

Kanna picked her way from the bar to the dancefloor, throwing back a shot along the way. She’d bought that one for herself, and asked for something sour. The bartender had been nice and obliged her, though he’d raised an eyebrow at the request. She could have at least tried to seem like she knew what she was doing there.

Kanna did not see Takeda and did not recognize Evram for who, or what, he was. When her head was spinning, she took to the dirty floor and thrust herself among the humid bodies and their strained musicality. She was a good night thing, when she danced. Eyes closed and head tipped back, thin wrists rising. People pressed around her, equal parts interested in her body and disinterested in her presence. She didn’t look to see if men or woman reached to touch her and pull her into their writhing. Kanna liked the sense of being buoyed along by the magic of music too loud to understand. When a glass was pressed to her lips, she thought briefly that she shouldn’t swallow, but did it anyway. This time, the burn did not seem so unpleasant.

It was late when she extracted herself from the floor. Kanna had encountered more liquid generosity than she’d anticipated, but that was self-deception at its finest. Kanna had come here four times since that night, and when she started drinking she found the alcohol continued to flow freely. In the empty hall by the restrooms, she sank to the floor with her back against the wall. Knees up, modesty an afterthought, and her dark eyes blinking slow.


kankanna: I’m scared somebody fucked me and I didn’t resist, but I’m sitting here like I don’t care. I should stop coming back like I want answers. I don’t think I want answers.

Kanna did not hurry, when her mother shouted that breakfast was ready. The tile in the shower felt good against her cheek and it looked like faeries were swimming in the water webbing her splayed fingers. She blinked them away and shoved her head under the spray, soap slipping down her forehead and stinging the corners of her eyes. She would talk to Mr. Welter today. When she approached him about her grades, she often felt like she was being annoying and it made her flush. She tried not to do it often.

She was twenty minutes late to her first class, and spent most of the day rephrasing what she thought she should say when she saw Mr. Welter at the end of the day.


Subj: Re: School
<<sent to: sandboy on: November 22 @ 7:34:01 am>>

sandboy,

I’m going to go see Mr. Welter today, like you said. You’re right, I should remember he’s an adult and go with that mentality. I think I expect people to be like me, and be confused and self-centered all the time. It makes me feel exhausted when I consider trying to give excuses about school. Mr. Welter, in particular, is difficult for me. I feel like he’s especially hard on me. I really don’t think it’s my imagination, either. Sometimes he looks at me like I’ve been spoiled, expecting better results. But it’s not that.

It makes me feel even weirder now. I don’t know why. Like, maybe his harsh grading is because he knows I’ve been terrible. It’s ridiculous to think he could see through me like that, when even people at that stupid party don’t seem to have noticed anything go wrong. Either way, it makes me feel a little like I might deserve the way he’s treating me. I almost want to ask forgiveness for something he knows nothing about. How completely absurd.

-kankanna


Kanna was anxious as she watched the other students leave the class, and she bobbed her knees restlessly as she waited in her desk. She’d taken her time packing up her bag, but she was still left without anything to occupy her as the last few ambled out of the room. It would bother her if Evram Welter was watching her, and it would bother her if he was not. When they were alone, she would stand with a little too much force, desk squeaking as it scraped backwards an inch.

“Um. Mr. Welter? I was hoping I could talk to you about my grade in your class and… I guess maybe… if there’s something I can do to bring it up?” Kanna’s voice hitched and she tugged the hem of her skirt. It should not have been hard to meet him in the eye when she walked to stand in front of his desk, but she couldn’t shake the feeling that every thread in her life was wound together. Like she wouldn’t have had to be here at all, if she’d been a better person to begin with.

Verse

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Re: Paper Trails
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2018, 11:57:02 am »
Subj: RE: Strangers
<<sent to: kankanna on: November 21 @ 8:45:04 pm>>

I get mad when I’m not sure what you’re doing. You are a means of my own self-discovery too, Kan. I am watching you become a firefly and then I can’t see you when your light goes out. Is it terribly distasteful of me to want that light? Maybe Shinigami doesn’t have worldly needs, but they need something else, right? I don’t feel lonely when I speak to you, but I suppose I don’t keep many friends. Other people aren’t as interesting to me. They’re set, like a I’m in an amusement park with statues moving on iron rails. You’re still changing. You’re engaging. You’re in color.

Maybe the man on the train can feel the night seeping off you. You probably smell familiar to him too. He seems like a night thing, also. What if he’s another thing you need to discover? The train is a crowded place. I think you’re safer there than most places. Maybe you need your heart to beat faster. You said you wanted to feel things.

You say I’m frightening and I think that’s because I’m new. I promise I’m good for you. All the comfortable things in your life led you to N. And then the nighttime things sought you out. Your two lives are meeting, finally. On the inside, part of you can recognize that, and other parts are afraid. Have you ever jumped from a height into water? Someone had to trust that it’d be delightful, and then they knew the fear was excitement. Isn’t that why you and the night have become better friends, lately?

I sat close to the rabbit today. I thought I could pet her, but she ran away. It makes me wonder if I should throw a net over her. She seems like she might like to be petted. What do you think?

/Shin

Inside the thrum, Evram moved closer to her. He pretended well, reacting to the insistence of the palpable music through his body, but really, he was taking cues from her. A popular anchor in this sea, as any pretty face and young body, she had to withstand a lot of attention. It was better she loose herself in it, that it tempered her, and put callouses on her hesitations. Libations came to her easily, but Evram had to swipe a few feet to keep her free. His arm was around her waist a few times, but he had to be a leash, a scent, rather than her companion. It was more important she become further shackled to this world. Get her closer to that night without giving her the confirmations she craved.

He watched her as she wrote him.

Sandboy: I think you want something, if not answers. And it’s coming for you, Kan. But are you ready?

Confident in his disguise, Evram moved through the corridor, black fangs in his eyes. She was a sought after commodity, sitting alone like that, and he had to be first.

“You can’t sit there.” He said, moving within a cut of her lashes, to secure his game of masquerade, and pulled her arms until she stood and he could turn her around, and press her breasts to the wall, and keep her there with his body. “Why are you here alone?” he demanded as his hands went over her skin to her knuckles and then inward to her hips, his face obscured in an angle her neck couldn’t turn. “You should run away. Unholy things happens at N to rabbits like you.” Bold, but he’d been soaking his tongue in strong water, too. “I could have you banned.” He threatened as his hand found her belly and slid down steeply from there.

He could taste her array of aromas and remembered them from their pivotal night. He wanted it now, to throw her into a stupor and see that primordial honesty in her eyes, and collect her sounds. But she was meant for other games too, his Kanna. Her ear was so close, and his tongue was so deeply in love. His other hand circled her throat tightly to gather her perfume and sweat. He dragged those fingers over his lips and pulled deeply at the scent while his lower hand cupper with familiar pressure. Memories made drown his palled in nostalgia. “Let me show you the way out.” Intent in his voice that perhaps even hazed synapses could decipher. But are you ready?


Subj: RE: School
<<sent to: kankanna on: November 22 @ 8:15:04 pm>>

Kan

I think it’s good that you speak with him, then. For your schoolwork and for yourself. He makes you feel uneasy because you think he sees something in you that you don’t even understand fully. Wouldn’t that be great for you? I wonder what he can see…

Isn’t it a good thing if he treats you differently than before when something really did happen to you? The others who were there didn’t notice anything new, even though your world has changed. Apart from you Shinigami, whom you’ve told outright, perhaps Mr. Welter cares the most for his harsh grading? You should rely on him, if you can. My father told me harshness can be a sign of affection. And if you feel like you deserve it, all the better. Punishment can be a doorway to healing.

Listen to him. Trust him.

/Shin

He was finishing the fair assessment of another essay when she put her voice into the room which still had the last echo of the last student leaving. He looked up, hair shining in its tamed back state to underline the details of his face. Handsome, pretty, as he’d been called by the faculty, a real problem for the young girls. They joked, but they were right. He plucked silver frames off his nose and nodded.

“We can talk.” As though he could do nothing to stop that. It wasn’t really inviting. Maybe there was a cruel challenge in there, too. He’d been watching her, of course, but he’d be a poor follower if she’d noticed too much. Still, the spirit of a person can sense the attention of something else.

Once she’d stilled in front of his desk he stood, sound dull since his chair was heavier than hers. Good school, Gladiola High. “It could have been higher.” Your grade. “You’re not a bad student when it’s simple things. But your focus is lacking lately.” He shrugged as he went around the desk, tailored silhouette drawn out. He towered over her, close, with all the truth licking at her from his deeply dedicated, dark aura. He thought of the texture of the inside of her cheek when he pointed to the edge of the desk, for her to sit, as though his advantage in height wasn’t enough already. What would she do with her skirt then?

“What do you offer? I haven’t got so much time.” Because I have to pretend to be a functional working man, your teacher, and your sandboy. Tentacles from his loving guts curled through the air to try and remind her of their night, and hold up the faces she’d made for her. She smelled clean, today. “The essay  you gave me on The Poem of Cretse was especially uninspired, and it underlines what your problem is, I think.” He let her wait, as though hoping she’d figure it out herself. “Honesty. You read the story but you don’t understand the value of it. Honesty.” He’d lean in closer, scrutinizing her, as though he might fail her if he saw something he didn’t like on her uniform. “What can you write that’ll convince me you’re honest? What is it in your life that occupies your mind that you haven’t been?”

His seemingly pristine skin roared to touch her, but he kept all the furious desire inside, even though the color of his dark eyes brimmed with it, and made browns deathly red. Her Shinigami.

VenomousEve

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Re: Paper Trails
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2018, 04:57:11 am »
Subj: Re: Re: Strangers
<<sent to: sandboy on: November 22 @ 7:00:03 am>>

sandboy,

I think your rabbit may not know what she wants. Animals are like that. People too, probably. It’s hard to articulate what we want when we don’t have the vocabulary. That’s very animalistic, isn’t it? Wordless yearning for things we don’t even know we crave. Your rabbit may like it if you pet her, but she will be frightened she has been caught. Do rabbits really have the capacity to value both?

-kankanna


She wanted to swear it was a dream. There were parts that were addled. It wasn’t like the first time, though, when her mind had made up the details and she’d known it was all puzzles and blanks. This time, when she woke up in the morning, she was in her own bed and she needed a shower. She could still feel that man on her skin, her heart beating fast. She was sure of it, but sure of it like she’d lived it through a lens. Little, surreal edges to her recollection. Had that strange man said something about a rabbit? His mouth had tasted painfully familiar. It had frightened her and made her hips buck.

Kanna drew a bath and settled low so the water pooled in the dips of her pale skin, strung sweeping over her collarbones. She splashed her face once, droplets beading on her dark lashes, and let her head swim with the strangeness of her present self. She felt like she was cataloguing an old event, another life. Pulling facts out of dirty sepia. She thought, practically, that if she was going to keep slipping out a night she should drink less. Kanna was not a social drinker. She did not know how to be. She had been naïve, and now she was strutting up to bars alone and entreating blackouts. Part of her understood that she must be a little bit unhinged. She didn’t like the person she was, when she skulked back to the Network at night. She didn’t like the thin smile she was at school, either.

The man’s voice had set all her nerves on a razer’s edge. She remembered making a sound when his palm had sought the apex of her soft thighs. Kanna thought it would have been to protest, but she realized she was questioning her own distress. After that, it had been a bit of a blur. She’d gone with him somewhere, tasted his tongue and felt his teeth on her lip. She’d ended up home, in the ened. The water rippled between her knees and new her forlorn pleasure intimately.


Subj: Welter
<<sent to: sandboy on: November 22 @ 5:46:00 pm>>

sandboy,

I stayed after class to talk to Mr. Welter. Thinking about it now makes me anxious, but I can’t quite say why. I’m embarrassed, but maybe it’s natural when a man stands so close… to feel… something? I say that, but I don’t think I would have been so confused before. He was a bit harsh with me, but I guess he wasn’t wrong. I didn’t feel it was mean, so much as I think he really believes I can do better. I was trying really hard to take what he was saying to heart, but I don’t think I’ve ever been so close to a teacher before. It was unnerving and hard to focus.

Sandboy, do you have a lover? I realize we talked about me much more than we talk about you. Do you think we’re the same age? There are plenty of my classmates who are in relationships or do this and that for fun. I’ve got to admit I’m very inexperienced in the area, which might be part of my nervousness when I’m alone with the opposite sex. It’s not very good though, you know. It’s like being told not to think of a song. You’ll naturally begin to recall its lyrics. I think having to remind myself that alone doesn’t prescribe intimacy ends up making me feel the situation is intimate. That ends up being embarrassing, and that leads me to here… writing to you on the train because I’m mortified by the way I am certain I blushed.

-kankanna

 
“Honesty…” she’d mumbled it, rolling the syllables between her pink lips a half beat before he answered his own question. Kanna hadn’t really wanted to say anything, but she was perched on the edge of his desk with her legs folded against the wood and her hands clasped in concern. Little fawn. It was too hard to keep his stare and she flushed as she ducked her face. “I’m sorry.” She said, because she didn’t know what else to say. She thought she shouldn’t feel guilty, but Kanna’s guilt was always hovering near. It took barely a whisper to send it roaring to life.

“I don’t know what to offer. I could write another paper, something extra. I can do better. I, uhm, I really need this.” Kanna said, and she hated how quiet her own voice was. She didn’t really need it, either. She needed her parents to stay off her back, to not look at her like she was failing. Was it even possible to fail so early in life? She needed to ask because she needed a lot of other things. It was frustrating, because she didn’t have time to care about the grade. Not really. Kanna just wanted to figure herself out. It had happened so fast, all these strange changes. “I’ll do whatever you’d like, Mr. Welter.” She said, and she sounded a little weary beneath the shyness.


Verse

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Re: Paper Trails
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2018, 10:28:06 am »
Subj: Re: Re: Re: Strangers
<<sent to: kankanna on: November 22 @ 8:40:23 am>>

The rabbit likes it sometimes, Kan

So I think you’re right. Isn’t it funny how it knows I’ll follow, but it goes running off from its friends anyway? I think my rabbit is very funny. In my heart, looking at her, I don’t think she’s like the other rabbits anymore. We’ve both changed her. And she likes being afraid, even if she doesn’t know. It’s part of the adventure for her, right? When I touch her I can feel her little heart, and it’s not the rhythm of normal fear, even if it’s fast. I think her friends might notice soon, that she smells like me. I like that she smells like me.

It’s so strange and wonderful with little things like that. They look at you like they want to be captured. Wouldn’t that be good for anyone, to be told what to do so they wouldn’t have anxiety?

/Shin

Another conversation with his Wild Kanna, last night. She’d gotten better with her lips, because she was either drinking less, or getting used to it. Her limbs weren’t so sluggish and he’d not had to guide her as much. It was the loveliest anyone could be, looking with sometimes clear and oftentimes heavy lids at the truth they were waiting for. He’d taken her home to his place, and held her in front of a mirror when her clothes were on the floor. The lesson ended there, because he couldn’t watch her every day and stay so cold as to not indulge a little. He needed to be honest too.

In the shower, would the ink crescent moon, a bid for the time of their next meeting, high on her inner thigh, smudge and bleed blue? Would she even notice? How cruel, that on the other side there were faint purple circles, print of his teeth. What would she think of herself, with such proof in that hidden place? What would she feel if she touched them?

He stayed in his sheets a little longer, and imagined he found the outlines of her body in the mattress. But the foam didn’t remember as the name said. Little girl, making grown men nostalgic. He hid his face in her pillow, deeply, and then he woke up with a rigorous, meticulous morning routine.


Subj: Re: Re: Re: Strangers
<<sent to: kankanna on: November 22 @ 5:58:23 am>>

Kanna

Do you think Mr. Welter knows when you’re focused or not? It’s the job of a teacher to know what is best for his students. He obviously noticed about you, sees through you in some regard. It’s not impossible that he sees the ghosts of your nights at N, even if it’s not in detail. And he’s still trying to help. Maybe that’s what you need? Take risks and take help. That’d be a very lovely way to drift. And how beautiful. Are you a flower on the sea, Kan?

I’m older than you, I think, because I’ve lived some of your trials, haven’t I? Your loneliness is tempering you, by the sound of it. I’ve known you a little while, and things has been allowed to  grow in you the way they wouldn’t have if you were not alone. Your blushing is part of that, and I think it’s adorable. When you fret over forgotten nights it rather cute. How unsympathetic of me. But I feel for you too, of course. Your changes are very picturesque.

Would you be jealous if I had a lover? I joke. Where would you find the time to be jealous, in your brimming life. My lover is a little of a riddle. She’s a bit audacious but when we’re done she’s like she’s never touched. And then she looks for me when her pulse reminds her of our togetherness. I love her completely. She loves me sometimes, but I think she’s warming up. And she likes hands around her neck. Such grown-up things I’m telling you. Is it too much for my blushing Kanna?

In all of this, would you like a lover? Have you given it a thought? What should your lover be like? Or do you consider your mystery someone at N to be your lover? It’d be a little cruel if he isn’t at least lent a thought like that. Maybe a lover with a mask is your type? You say you’re not experienced, but I think many of your friends would be the ones blushing if they knew how you dance in your patterned dress to N’s music, waiting for another blind meeting.

Am I teasing you? I’m sorry. I can imagine you blushing.

/Shin

He considered her quietly. Unsure Kanna on his desk, apologizing. She wouldn’t be so responsive as she was on the Network’s dancefloor. Not so readily unfold. How dangerous the world was for something as addictive as her. At least libations from plants are usually excruciatingly hard to extract. She wore her nectar beaded on her lips, and overflowing in her eyes. Kanna wouldn’t tell anyone if he indulged here. He’d see to it. But that wasn’t the kind of friendship they’d have.

He breathed deeply when she conceded to his preferences. She didn’t know what she was doing, saying thigs like that. He sat by her side. A good distance, first, and then closer. “Will you? If you do, I would definitely feel inclined to raise your grade.” He thought about it for a while. “I want this.” He said and pointed a finger to the side of her neck. Her heartbeat, her heart. “What’s inside. That’s what you were missing in you latest assignment, and that’s what you’ll have to give now.” He explained, stern.

“Ah, honesty is so tricky.” Pretending at sympathy. “How about you write a girl who’s changing, then? Just an example. Tell me about her. What’s her inner journey? Maybe you know what will make her happy. Where will she end up? What does she do with all these new things?” His hand was on the side of her neck as he studied her eyes. “What is the difference between the person she presents herself as, and the one she’s becoming on the inside?”

And suddenly his demeanor warped, a hair fell out of place from his perfect, dark wave, a single fang curving to cradle the corner of one brown, reddening eye. “I’m on your side Kanna.” He promised, head at the angle in front of her as it had been when he’d taken her after N. A confession she wouldn’t let herself hear. And then he sat up straight and put the stray hairs back. She wouldn’t have noticed that he’d nudged her close to the short edge of his desk. “But you can’t just wish for it. You have to work. How about you stay after some time, and tell me about this girl?” Another small scoot, and she was sure to fall over.

And if she did his arm would extend like a rope for a soul swimming with others in the river Styx. Catch her wrist and look at her from this compromised position before he pulled her up sitting again, him standing, to correct his collar. “Really, Kanna. Get a hold of yourself.”

VenomousEve

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Re: Paper Trails
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2018, 05:11:21 am »
Kanna was worried she had loved deeply in her dazed excursion. She found the thought mortifying and thrilling at once. On television, there were girls in torn stockings and black leather that threw back shots and straddled strange men. When she and her mother shared dinner and found time to watch a program after, there was always a lot of commentary about that particular species of female. For a long time, Kanna had nodded and agreed dutifully. Lately, she felt a little ashamed. She thought the girls might be strong and beautiful, but pressed her knees together tighter on the couch when her mother began to rant. It made her a traitor to both her mother and the girls on television. It made her no better to herself.

Subj: Rabbits
<<sent to: sandboy on: November 23 @ 11:15:30 am>>

sandboy,

Rabbits have the luxury of needing to do very little but exist. If even a rabbit would like to be persuaded, I can’t imagine why a person wouldn’t want the same pleasure. I think I’ve grown up with someone telling me what to do, whether I believed it or not. I’ve been alone a lot more since I started High School, and things changed for me then. I didn’t think I’d miss being directed the way that l’m finding that I do. But I’ve dug a bit of a pit, I think, because it’s me that’s changed and I wouldn’t know how to ask. It’s nice to have you, though.

You said you were older than me. Maybe that's why I feel better asking you for help. That’s selfish of me, I suppose. I think I’d be too confused to take a lover, but you make it sound like a good sort of confusing. It does make me blush, but I think it’s because I’ve never heard anyone talk about their intimate lives. My parents are very quiet and distant. I think they love each other, but they are good at being parents in front of me, if that makes sense. I’ve never had a boyfriend. I always thought that was because I was serious and, maybe, pure. Now, I think I’m just scared and inexperienced. It's a little cruel to say I should think of the stranger at the Network, isn't it? If I wanted a lover, I'd hope I could love them without washing it away in all sorts of guilt and liquor. It was traumatizing, whatever I forgot, and I'm just a bad person to keep digging it up again. I don't know. I think that's how I feel.

In the end, like your rabbit, I wish I had someone to tell me what to do. I’m glad you told me to listen to Mr. Welter. Even if it’s hard, I have a reason to do it and I think that means I’ll be able to be good. Is it possible I’ve just been lacking direction?

-kankanna


She flinched when he reached for her but her skin was warm and soft when he touched it. And she didn’t move away. Her stare flitted upward, searching for his like it might give her answers. “Inside?” she echoed, and thought she must have sounded like a dumb little child then. “I can try. Change is hard and… subjective though…” She coughed, pushed back when he moved closer.

“I have a—a pen pal, I guess? We talk about the ways people change and it isn’t as hard for me. Maybe I could write about it to you. I’ll do my best.” Again, she inched back on the desk. It wasn’t because she was trying to get away as much as she was trying to give him room. That was Kanna at her core, it seemed. Lips parted when he told her she should stay, a breath of familiarity in the contour of his cheekbones and the rich of his eyes. “Mister Welter?” she murmured, blinking to rid the ghost from her eyes.

Kanna yelped when she slipped off the desk. She thought of her sandboy’s rabbit when Mr. Welter caught her, and she thought her heart must have known the same tangle as the little woodland thing. Fear and a relief. She was blushing again, and hung her head when he set her atop the desk. “Yes, I’m sorry. I’ve been kind of out of sorts lately. I can stay as long as you want, if it’s not imposing. I’m very serious about improving my grade.” She said.

She folded her hands on her lap and thought about her friend’s message. He’d said that Mr. Welted might see through her a bit. Somehow, that made him more trustworthy, because he’d noticed. Kanna thought that was a bit scary, but she thought sandboy would tell her to embrace it. She cleared her throat. “The girl you’re talking about is me, right? That wasn’t the original assignment, but I need to write more genuine analyses.” Kanna looked him in the eye steadily then. “What do you want to know about me?” She said, and there was a thin edge of challenge there that surprised herself too.


Subj: Wolves
<<sent to: sandboy on: November 23 @ 11:20:02 pm>>

sandboy,

I think Mr. Welter brings something strange out in me. Or maybe it’s you? I know I told you he made me nervous, and he does, but I think I also act out of line. I wonder if I’m not as inexperienced as I think I am. At least, maybe I’m not as naïve as that implies. I don’t know if I like what that means. It doesn’t even have to do with the Network or that night. It’s like I’m slipping down a rabbit trail, as it goes. You’re going to tell me to embrace it, right? What if I don’t like who I am on the other side?

-kankanna


That night she did not go to the Network, and dreamed of a hard wooden desk beneath her back. She woke up writhing in her own sheets. Kanna stood in front of her window, slipping from her night shirt as the curtains fluttered in the cold. She traced her own body with her hands, her dim night light setting her skin in amber shades and settled her palms high inside her thighs. She realized she was sore there and realized Evram’s mark there without seeing it. Whatever it registered as in her head was hardly as coherent, but it made her sigh and shut the window. She did not close her blinds, and might have realized it when she slipped her fingers beneath the thin cotton stretched across her hips. For the night, which her sandboy said she belonged to.     

Verse

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Re: Paper Trails
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2018, 09:43:11 am »
Subj: Re: Rabbits
<<sent to: kankanna on: November 23 @ 11:55:30 am>>

I will always be here to suggest for you, Kan

If you wanted, while you slept, I could tie piano wire to your joints and dance you through your days. You would be completely fulfilled then, if that was possible. Or you would miss the little weight you carry around on your heart like a pendant. Either way, I’ll be right beside you.

Ah, imagine if your lover at N would know that he could never be your lover because you wash him away. Maybe he’d be a little upset then, and throw his expensive cognac glass to the floor? Aren’t you being a bit unfair? Just a thought I had. I think he could take comfort when he sees you on the dancefloor again, though. Everywhere you go, you settle the hearts of men, I think, Kanna. If that were true, isn’t that flattering?

Since we’re so honest with each other, I have to confess too, and perhaps thank you. You wanted to know more about me, right? I see your face on my sometimes lover when we’re toiling. How crass of me. I don’t see that as a betrayal. Is it strange that we’ve been intimate a few times, but you have no memory of it?

/Shin

Like the petals melting off trees of a misplaced spring, his pink little Kanna was falling into place when he shook her. A terrified sound, when he saved her, like she was sugaring herself for his pleasure. It was hard not to be rewarding when she was being so unknowingly generous, but it wasn’t that much strain being harsh, either. His eyes did not give away the view it had below her skirt, arching wide and betraying her in the little fall to show off cotton pinched between her thighs.

“So smart.” He said, dry, when she surmised her avatar in his example after her little slip that they’d agreed was entirely her own fault once she was sitting agin. “First, before we start, if you’ll stay and I’ll contribute my time to hopefully see proof that you deserve a higher grade,” he started, grabbing her legs firmly, and pulling her, his little toy on his desk, until her knees were over the edge while she was still seated securely on the flat surface. He parted those knees slightly. “you have to work on your posture, Kanna.” He insisted and wrapped his arm around her to push at the low of her back so she would straighten, and then under her shoulder blades to have her chest out. If she wanted she could have her hands on the desk for support, leaning back. What an inviting doll she made.

“I would like to know what the pen-pal knows. Of course.” To her challenge. “We should start there. If this is all previously confessed then there should be no trouble saying it again. Unless you’d like to submit the letters to me.” He waited for a while, his legs almost touching her free knees, while he was academically posed himself, above her, forearms crossing his chest while his hands held his elbows. And then, if she’d try to say her first word about sandboy, Evram would step in, to part her slightly, and tilt his head in some consideration, scrutinizing gaze watching her details at a tight distance. “You’re tense, Kanna.” How could she not be, with all this handling. “This won’t do. I am going to get a few things. You have this classroom alone. Do whatever you have to in order to relax yourself by the time I come back. Get rid of that tension or I’ll notice.” He stepped back, having planted enough suggestions to assume where her mind might lead her.

Of course, once he left and closed the door to invite her misconception of privacy, he’d still be watching her from another wall. And if his little rabbit decided to do what she could to bring her own blush to an inferno so it might fade by the time he came back, he’d hurry to match her, and pass her, so he could return before she’d had her fill.

“Ah, sorry. Yes, where were we?” as he came back in through the door.



Subj: Re: Wolves
<<sent to: kankanna on: November 23 @ 11:40:32 pm>>

Kanna

I like this confidence in your primal self that you’re talking about. She’s trying to contact you, your other self. She speaks through the alcohol but now she’s trying to connect in other ways. Do more of the things where you can see her. If Evram brings her out then stay closer to him.

I wonder what would happen if you asked Mr. Welter for help finding her. It sounds like he’s already on her trail. It would certainly raise your grade.

What if you let me talk to the you on the bottom of the rabbit hole? I wonder what she would say.

/shh

He would have left off with his usual nickname, but the hushing tag was just as good. Her display in her window was far more fetching, tonight, and had cause his fingers to falter. He’d learned to type with low light on his phone. There was a straight line between the leafs from the street to her window if you knew where to stand. Out of reflex, he caught her on video when she held her herself for the night. His mouth was parted, and his blood was angry when he watched her. What an excruciating connection they’d made for themselves.

Sandboy: Kanna, you’re beautiful.

A smile when she remembered him without knowing as her fingers graced his intimate mark. And then he was staring, as her cotton knotted and shaped after her circling and pushing knuckles. He wanted her to unveil herself from that cloth. He needed to nurse that kind of desire in her, too. She was coming undone, but so was he. He could not wait until he got home, of course, and finished in the car before starting, and then twice more on the side of the road to her film.

VenomousEve

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Re: Paper Trails
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2018, 08:46:28 pm »
“I can tell you, but I’d rather not show you the letters. That’s private, I think, or showing you would feel invasive. I don’t know how my pen pal would like that.” Kanna said. She had been remarkably pliable, dark stare still pinned on him as her palms planted firmly against the desk. Did he know he was making her heart race? Did he like it? She felt like she was someone else, and she wondered if sandboy would be proud. If these were the flutters of confidence, Evram Welter shattered them and reached for her rising heartbeat. He had passed into an intimate space with her, between her spread legs, and he might as well have taken her physically for the shaky breath that crossed her lips.

She was left reeling when he left her, a terrible mix of dread and unsatisfied curiosity warming her stomach and instilling an urgent ache. Kanna did not realize she was trembling. She tried to remain still in his absence, the initial intention to relieve tension by a more traditional meditation. Perhaps she had been altered by her midnight exhibitions, the very night her personal voyeur. Her pulse did not calm and the sweltering heat of her confused flush did not dissipate. Kanna had tried to level with Mr. Welter and been thoroughly put back in her place.

The very thought made her shiver and one hand came to absently pet her skirt, hips tipping in an independent eager. She did not mean to engage herself that way, but she had sparked. Kanna was a small, slim girl, and her fingers knew how to slip past the waistband of her skirt. God, she was bold, wasn’t she? She wanted to feel her own skin and shoved past the thin cotton that had pressed, smothering, to her most suggestive shapes. She was appalled by her own thrill, but it only made her eager, and she nearly sobbed when Mr. Welter’s hand on the doorknob had her jerk away from her own pleasure. She looked as if she’d known a lover in the brief time he’d left her, a certain dishevel to her that felt clandestine. Was it normal to have affected herself that way? Or was it him?


kankanna: sandboy, I think I’ve fallen in love.

She wondered if it would make him angry for her to say it, and remembered that he had imagined her face while holding his lover. Kanna thought that should be concerning to her, but it made her stomach knot in a different way.

kankanna: I want him to want me, and I don’t think I’ve ever really wanted anything before, if this is what wanting is.

Kanna was at the Network again, eleven in the evening and sober as she’d ever been. She danced the way she thought she must have danced when she was inebriated and felt, for the first time, predatory eyes on her skin. It made her flush—she might as well have been drunk. Kanna realized she was being childish, on some level.

Subj: Re: Re: Wolves
<<sent to: sandboy on: November 24 @ 10:27:01 am>>

Part of me doesn’t even care about my grade. Do you really think Mr. Welter would like all the new parts of me? I’m such a little girl, because I’m blushing while I’m writing it. I don’t know what happened, but I’m imagining all sorts of things lately. It’s like I can’t stop the daydreams. I’m trying to be a little more accepting of how it feels, but I think it’s depressing part of me too. Maybe I’m manic? What do you see in my art, lately?

I’m being the kind of girl my parents would hate. Should that be thrilling or terrible? I can’t tell anymore. I feel like I’m going through a real awakening, but I kind of hate it. Is it possible to be enamored with self-loathing?

-kankanna 


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Re: Paper Trails
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2018, 07:00:19 am »
He had been graceful about her integrity about the letters. Why shouldn't he be partly proud of that? She received a small sigh for her valiant defense of her never seen confidant. It was pertinent he still play the role of some weighing, deliberating deity. He had also been busy with crowding her space, and enjoying the effects on her, on how she almost dug herself into the wood of the desk and pushed into him at the same time.

Her privacy, in the classroom where her friends would play and overlook her change, she'd taken his instructions. He tried not to groan in triumph when she fit her hand in above her skirt. How incredibly satisfying to force something without it knowing.


sandboy: I'll follow to make your fall softer. It's the least I can do, because I had you some time ago, and you sounded like my lover. I can barely see her real face anymore.

He was quite pleased, coming back to the mess of a girl, sitting by herself but accompanied by all the suggestions of her dishevelment. At first he simply looked at her as though she might have changed her hair, and then he came closer to examine her, all in operatic silence. He claimed his place between her burning legs like before, as though he owned it now, and leaned close to see her face at a null distance. His hand was high on her thigh, thumb on the inside, almost putting pressure on what she'd attended to but not solved.

"Oh, Kanna, you're missing something." he said and squeezed her thigh harder. His breath was also hot, but the temperature was satisfied for now, since he'd caused her such frustration and inspiration, while he'd at least gotten to leave a notepaper transparent in a trashcan, in the other room. An advantage, between them. "Are you hungry?" he suggested dumbly, other hand on her stomach to nurture the inferno there. "Maybe you should go home and we'll pick this up tomorrow. You should... snack whenever you have the craving." he ordered. "There is this closet next to my office that locks from the inside. Go there whenever you need a little bite." it was littered with access from his office, of course.

When he took a step back from the melting girl he thought it was a testament to himself and his adherence to his plan. "Now go. Eat."


Subj: Re: Re: Wolves
<<sent to: kankanna on: November 24 @ 11:10:41 am>>

Does anything make you feel better when this new direction is depressing you? Maybe the night could help you again. It's a sordid thing, what you're thinking, but there's nothing wrong with that. He's supposed to be your guide toward adulthood, isn't he? You want to hold his hand as you mature. My studies say it is easier to have some kind of totem to attach your emotional changes to. Your love is like all manner of life in the sea, and it is drawn to any structure that is presented. Can you feel your thoughts swirling around him? I think he's strong enough to anchor you both.

Isn't it stranger if you didn't love your loathing? It is so deeply inside you, and you have only recently started feeding it after killing it for so long. Things that awaken are usually the most vengeful. Try to be kinder to it, appease it. That's what I'm seeing in your art. You're going toward something, part of you is rushing toward it and it's tearing the frightened, nailed down parts. You could be so balanced, but you're not.

I try to satiate you when I'm with my lover. I try so hard I'm turning her a bit into a harlot. Does that make you feel better, that there is a version out there that might be living the life you want? She's getting to be such a nightly girl.

/Shin

Evram had not seen her take drinks, and witnessed the abandon rise in her movements. He was proud. Almost like a father at seeing his daughter consistently independent. But he still needed to teach her, or at least reward her. His thin disguise of a storm of black hair over his eyes. He swam through the people and pushed against his Kanna. His arms went around her, possessive, and made them both stoic for a moment, out of place in this worming room, his fingers even squeezed her throat like she could take it when she'd been in that hotel with him. A flash of truth, waiting in her memory. And then he let go so she could continue moving, and he could enjoy her against him. If she twisted around he'd kiss her, to blind her, and if she continued to move like they belonged, he'd breath into her hair. If she ran he want to let her, for the plan, but he might grab her wrist.

VenomousEve

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Re: Paper Trails
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2018, 08:28:30 pm »
Kanna had never known what it was like to be enchanted until he was standing at the crux of her intimacy and teasing her appetite. What a horrible metaphor, and yet she’d feel a horrendously overwhelming sense of relief when she returned home to find the house empty. Kanna had never been so loud as she was, knelt beside her bed with her forehead against the covers and her a self-aggression between her thighs that left her shaking and weak. She was panting and flushed when she finally laid back on her carpet, rough fibers on her bare back. For whom had the show been, that she’d bothered to undress fully before spreading her legs in solitude?

kankanna: do you really think of me that way often?

She spent the evening writing for Mr. Welter, deleting paragraphs when the girl she described became too self-aware and intent on her own womanhood. When it was dark out, her mother came home and knocked on the door to see if Kanna was awake. Kanna did not lie to her parents, but she had turned off the lamp when she’d heard the car in the drive and she stayed still, fingers poised over the keys, until she heard her mother’s steps retreat. Somehow, the small deception and the compulsive honesty she’d been spilling on the page was enough to send her stumbling to her feet and throwing her curtains open.

kankanna: maybe I can pretend the night is you, the way you see me on your lover.

Kanna was a woman, smooth curves and one of those ridiculous cigarettes hanging from her lips, when she pinched at her own flesh and administered the relief of her digits with something close to violence. It seemed she could not do enough to sate her hunger, poised in front of the second-story window.


Subj: Stockholm
<<sent to: sandboy on: November 26 @ 11:58:33 pm>>

I think I’m taking shelter in my own confusion, which makes me hate myself, and that revulsion is becoming so tied to my own womanhood. I hate that too, but it only gets worse. That’s a terrible sort of spiral, isn’t it? I don’t think Mr. Welter is pulling me away from that, I’m swirling around, as you say, but somehow that’s the only thing I want. I’ve been isolating myself from everyone. Mel, my parents, they never saw me change and now it’s like I can’t bear to be near them. Isn’t that repulsive? It’s like I’m becoming some terrible sort of elitist.

I think I’m weak to be so unable to move on. That ridiculous night, the one that’s become strange and frightening fantasies, completely unset me. Maybe my hold on things before were that tenuous? I hope your lover finds relief when I can’t.

-kan


Kanna had trembled when his hand found her throat. It was the same man, the one she’d gone to so many times now. She had not forgotten that touch. Her heart was certain it had been the same touch that had precipitated this whole change. Her demon, with his chest against her back, and she was overwhelmed immediately when she realized she’d gone looking for him. There were no excuses now, without a drop of alcohol to hide and dull her morning memories. When he let her go, her movements slowed, still dancing, but with more purpose. Like she was looking for him.

She was frightened that he was staying, and more frightened that he might leave. When she could take the heat of her own skin no longer, she twisted to face him and found the taste of his tongue before she could know his face. Kanna was not a loud girl when she was drunk, but she’d become enamored with her own voice. The soft, intimate murmurs against his lips were lewd and whispered. A secret shared on the dance floor.


Subj: Stockholm
<<sent to: sandboy on: November 27 @ 8:22:03 am>>

I don’t think my mystery at the Network wants me to see his face, but I’m certain now he waits for me. Or, at least, he finds me when I go. Maybe it’s foolish and I’m tricking myself, but I think I’ve only ever been his. I don’t know if that makes me better or worse, to go back again and again to someone that tried to own me. I think girls are supposed to fight against that kind of thing.

It might be unfair to him now, too, because I didn’t mind keeping my eyes closed when it seemed like he wanted me not to see. I was picturing Mr. Welter. That’s wrong of me, right? Then again, you say you see my face when you’re with your lover. I feel like that should concern me or make me uncomfortable, but it doesn’t feel wrong to me. You’ve known all these strange parts of me, right? It makes me loathe myself that I’m not more scared, but I see that as me being wrong again and not you. So, I don’t know what it is to fantasize about someone I’ve never had. I can’t feel you’re wrong, and it makes me blush, but I feel terrible about myself for the same desire.

-kan

When Kanna could no longer endure Mel prattling on about going to the coming weekend’s football game, she excused herself from lunch and said she was feeling sick. She went to the closet Mr. Welter had told her was available, slipping inside when she was sure nobody in the hall had seen. Kanna flushed when she realized her own disappointment: the closet was empty. It did not stop her from locking the door and putting her back against the wall, pushing her skirt up without the shame she should have had and biting her own tongue to stay silent.


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Re: Paper Trails
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2018, 10:18:03 pm »
sandboy: I think of you with your lips and legs apart, that's my only image of you, kan. And the night is me. I'm always watching. You're performances have become grander productions lately, haven't they?

He'd hurried home after her, that day, because why else had he doused her with so much gunpowder, if he was not going to see her crackle and burn? He was reckless, following along, barely adhering to his meager disguise at all, but Kanna didn't see. She was busy not catching flame on her way. It was torture when he saw her, after having rustled branches in the faithful tree, that always hosted him, but always betrayed its owner.

How desperately her fingers moved, and how pretty she was, nude and in a hurry. It was tricky for him, but he managed to leave traces of himself on a leaf that dripped the heavy proof down on other leafs.

It was almost as exciting to see her mother in the windows of the hall, and guess on Kanna's fib when the mother soon left and Kanna went to her curtains. Evram wanted her honesty, but it was scrumptious to follow her lies, too. With her staring out while making a rough game with herself, he couldn't afford another relief for himself. He'd have to simply watch her in quiet awe. She was tumbling so fast down the hole he'd dug for her.


Subj: RE: Stockholm
<<sent to: kankanna on: November 27 @ 01:08:25 am>>

They're not holding you back, the people who used to know you, you're just holding on too hard to them while they're standing still and you're moving. They don't even notice, like stones in a river. I think you'll be freer if you hold on to something like you.

Mr. Welter wants to see you change. He tries to help you but it'll be hard if you can only give him one hand. Your friends and family will still be there after you've discovered what's at the end of all your cravings, Kan. You can't go starving through life. You already know that.

Lately my lover has become more bold. The more she comes to me, the more honest she is, the more her face truly resembles yours. I think that's what I want for you. I want you to blush like her when she's dizzy, but I want you to remember the next day, too.

I feel like you're drowning. I think that's what you want.

/Shin

He felt accomplished when kept her body against his when he'd offered her freedom on the shaking floor. It felt like his nerves had invaded her now, and she was letting them have her limbs, the way she moved and opened her mouth for his tongue. She tasted like none of the concoctions sold by the mirrors and colored bottles. His beloved Kanna, finding him at last.

So he continued to take her breath away, an invigorating flash of her adventurous self that he'd know through chemicals but never pure like this. His hands were on her, to study her dance without hindering it. A secret of his gender, too, a poorly kept one, was hinting at its own place between them, firmly claiming audience against the front of her thigh. He had no modesty about it, and pushed the low of her back so her body would fit better into his.


Subj: RE: Stockholm
<<sent to: kankanna on: November 27 @ 09:10:34 am>>

Could you stand seeing his face? Do you want to? What would happen if your mystery is revealed? Maybe he's guarding your heart. But maybe he shouldn't...

And, I'm sorry Kanna, but haven't he always owned you? Ever since that night, we only talk about him, he's the change I love in you. He's in your art - you've depicted him burning away your old life even if you don't see that yourself. And you have fought it. But you're loosing. Is it on purpose?

You don't seem to hate him when you're picturing Mr. Welter. So go on. If he's not showing you his face then perhaps he's inviting that kind of mask? If it feels bad then you can put veiled confessions in what you write to Mr. Welter. Anything close to the truth is an admission, yes? When I have my lover say my name, even though she won't remember - she is terribly forgetful - and she does it with your lips, it is the greatest reward.

You're mixed up inside, Kanna, and you're coming undone soon, I promise.

/Shin

Evram smiled to himself when he hear the door and the lock on the other side. He leaned against that wall and found her number on the screen in his hand. Kanna thought she'd trapped herself in that room, but he'd already caught her when he'd made her blood rush faster. He called her up, and heard the vibrations from where he stood, back leaned to hers, with only the thin wall hiding their truths. He wondered if she'd use the quivering device for herself, or if she'd answer and continue.

"Hello, Kanna." if she did pick up. "I was just reading this last thing you sent me. Are you mixed up inside, Kanna? Would you need me to protect you from these things? I can be close to you, like a teacher. I think you need someone inside you, too, to help you."

VenomousEve

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Re: Paper Trails
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2018, 06:44:12 pm »
She did pick up. It was ridiculous, and she shouldn’t have done it. But she did. Her fingers shook as she held the phone to her ear, her other hand still frustrated between her thighs. “What?” Kanna took a moment too long to recognize Mr. Welter’s voice on the phone. When she did, her unruly touch found a deeper warmth and her breath shuddered across the phone line. “Inside of me?” her voice hitched and there was muffled rustling as she pulled the receiver away from her face. She was gasping, confused, and wretched because she hadn’t stopped herself. Was she addicted? She thought about her pack of cigarettes.

“What do you mean, Mr. Welter?” she brought her lips back to the phone, and it sounded lewd when she asked. It should have. She knew that, and was horrified by herself anyway. She tipped her head back so the crown of her head was pressed to the wall, back arched, and digits imploring. She imagined the man at the Network and Mr. Welter’s lips in those kisses, wondered if he would show as much eagerness to possess her. “Fuck. Oh. Shit, I’m sorry, I—” Kanna stumbled over her own words, dropped the phone. He might hear her panicked whimpers as she arched perilously close to gratification.

The line went quiet, and when she picked back up the device she was breathless. “I’m so sorry, I dropped my phone.” Kanna said, and sounded so guilty it was hard not to forgive her for all her imagined transgressions.


Subj: RE: RE: Stockholm
<<sent to: sandboy on: November 28 @ 09:00:14 am>>

His face is all I think about when he’s touching me, but I’m frightened because it’s a terrible kind of dream. I’m the most disgusting sort of girl. I have no sense of myself anymore. I feel a little like I’m being stolen away and I can’t see who is taking me. I want Mr. Welter to help me, but I don’t know how to ask. Whenever I think of it, I can’t help myself. I don’t sleep well, and wake up with my feelings in knots.

Is it good to come undone like this? I feel like I have no control, which is frightening. Part of me doesn’t care if I have control. I just want to know that somebody does. Sometimes, before, when we first started talking, I’d pretend that you were the one with control. It gave me peace. Now I stand in front of the window and feel like I’m begging for somebody to come that doesn’t. I have never been so dissatisfied with myself. I am both morbidly curious and disgusted about this new self.

-kan


When she went to the Network next, she did not even bother going inside. Instead, she waited in the alley behind the building with her phone clutched in her hand. Whether it was a defense or some other folly was hard for Kanna to parse out, but she could feel every inch of her own skin in the cold and wondered why she was so cursed to ache to be touched.

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Re: Paper Trails
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2018, 09:29:37 am »
There was a very telling grin on the other side when the girl opened the little private world up for his ear. While he waited for her first words, he pressed his head firmer to the wall they shared, and focused further into the carved hole that let him see her fully. His hand was on the uncomfortable cargo she always filled in him, between his pockets. She’d not stopped her lower hand. Innocent Kanna was coming along rather well. Piece by piece she was being built into a monument of her truer self.

But dropping the phone was just an affect for something else that she felt shame over. She had been in a red rush and he had seen her play herself apart because that had been her only conceivable choice. Incepting needs into Kanna was always so incredibly rewarding. His tongue had hardened, also, when she went about cussing like all her seams were opening, finally. He put heat and fog on his own phone when he watched her fly.

“Don’t worry about anything, Kanna.” He said with his sounds heavy from anticipation of his own release. “You’re doing very well.” He encouraged.


Subj: RE: RE: Stockholm
<<sent to: kankanna on: November 28 @ 11:05:34 am>>

Kan

You’re just now finding  yourself in all this abyss. Really it’s the kind of freedom you want, I promise. It is not the thrusting into a world that you’re afraid of. You’re circling something and it is coming closer to you, too. I think if you’re willing to take his help, Mr. Welter will lead you. Your hand is out already, isn’t it, you’re doing it without knowing, he can see it in your eyes in class, how you’re lost.

You’re falling right now, and the friction is slowly killing you. Isn’t complete freedom just being pulled apart in all directions? I think you’re destined for some captivity soon. It should wake a protest in you, but that’s all you’re looking for when you’re lost, isn’t it, Kan? What if you were perfectly snug with someone who’ll take control?

If you go looking, and sticking your head into new places, it’ll eventually end up in a snare.

And I think you’ll smile then, Kan.

/Shin

Evram had seen something new in the way she carried her body, this time. Around the corner, leaned to the wall, with his beloved rabbit one turn away. The truth was on him, hair combed back like she’d seen him in his class. Distinct face naked. A demon chosen the best shape for a little girl to worship. But it wasn’t really the statuesque nature of his assembly that had drawn her in, it was the texture and taste, rather. She’d know them well, if she had doubts. His eyes were empty, savoring another last moment before an obliterating first venture, one of many between them. The music was violently trying to reconfigure the building, and the bricks were rejecting it. He took up his phone.

Sandboy: I always think about you and your adventures, Kan.
Sandboy: I can’t live without your thoughts on your swirling world.
Sandboy: I put it on my lover’s face and she seems to be addicted to it, too, what I do when I see you.
Sandboy: Go get soaked in your tight freedom.

Evram put the precious thing away and turned the corner. One less square light. His rhythm was independent from the insistent base that would usually have her moving dangerously, and rising through layers of self-control. In the distance, perhaps she could tell herself he’d be faceless today too, but he wasn’t hiding anymore. He would grow exponentially while she was trying to understand, until he was towering above her like he would during her deepest stupors.

“Kanna.” He said but there was nothing cordial in his voice. He took her shoulders and held her to the bricks, their faces at null, his inclined, perched to do damage to her mouth. Three finger from the right rested on her collarbone and then caressed her throat, where she’d liked it in her daze. All things should be wrenchingly familiar. “Would you like to see my home, again?”