When Worlds Fall

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This is a Title.

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16 Re: This is a Title. on Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:24 pm

I cock my head slightly as I step into the small apartment, my hands coming to rest atop my cane as I wait for her to answer. It takes me a second to remember that she can't before I take a deep breath and wince apologetically.

"Right, sorry," I say quickly as I reach into my pocket to pull out a small keyboard - not unsimilar to the one she had on her vox mask. "So you can communicate... but, uhm, it's sort of useless for use on the street. It just chimes when you push the buttons, but I'll at least recognize them."

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17 Re: This is a Title. on Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:27 pm

I rise onto my knees to take the keyboard, looking at it curiously as I glance towards him with a smile. 

"Thank you." I type, hesitating between words to ensure I'm not moving too quickly before looking up at him.

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18 Re: This is a Title. on Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:31 pm

I smile lightly, bowing slightly as I nod toward her, my head cocking toward the musical chime of the keys. "You're very welcome," I acknowledge before pointing offhandedly toward the keyboard. "That's how I learned my ABC's right there, my mum made it just for that. So, you know, don't lose it."

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19 Re: This is a Title. on Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:39 pm

I nod quickly before realizing, yet again, the man can't see me.

"I won't." I type out, settling onto my bed as I look around the room a bit sadly. "No chairs, but you can sit on a pillow." I type a bit quickly, leaning over to grab a pillow and hold up towards him in offering.

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20 Re: This is a Title. on Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:42 pm

"Thank you," I say as I hold a hand out, the back of my fingers brushing blindly over the pillow before I find it. I'm happy to take a seat on the floor nearby, my head tilting toward her again. "So you never did answer me. What's your favorite color? And do you prefer brown leather or red?"

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21 Re: This is a Title. on Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:44 pm

"Purple," I respond, my legs curling before me as I settle in with the keyboard. "And either." 

"Do you want something to drink?"

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22 Re: This is a Title. on Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:49 pm

It's not the most ideal means of communication, the chiming keyboard taking time for the woman to spell out each word, and more time still for me to decode it.

"Sure," I nod after a moment. "I mean, usually I get a girl's name before accepting drinks in her home, but I suppose I can make an exception."

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23 Re: This is a Title. on Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:52 pm

I can't help but grin as I set the keyboard down, crawling over it and going to the small set up near the door. Just a few meager cabinets, one of which is a small fridge. Inside, bottles of water, with a few glass bottles of soda pop and juice tucked into the corner. 

I toy with the idea of trying to sound out the option, the loose form of water even wandering over my tongue before I grab all three and head back to the bed before setting them down to grab the keyboard.

"Water, soda, apple juice." I type out, glancing up at him, "Which."

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24 Re: This is a Title. on Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:55 pm

"Soda, please," I nod before holding a hand out as she passes me the bottle. The pop of the cap is satisfying, the ridged metal biting into my palm as I twist it off. "I'm Marnin - or, if you're my neighbor, that asshole with that store."

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25 Re: This is a Title. on Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:58 pm

I grin a bit, dropping the water on the floor as I pick up the apple juice before my hand hovers over the keyboard.

"Its musical." I laugh softly, "I'm Ljuba."

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26 Re: This is a Title. on Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:01 am

"I'm sorry-," I frown a bit, the bottle of soda pausing at my lips as I tilt my head again. "Jooba? L...j - what?"

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27 Re: This is a Title. on Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:05 am

"L. J. U. B. A." I type each letter slowly, waiting for him to nod his understanding before I go on. 

"Tricky j." I type, grinning as he tries to mouth it. 

"Loo-" I say weakly, "Loobae." I wince a bit, "Lewwbae."

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28 Re: This is a Title. on Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:10 am

"Ah, okay," I nod in understanding, the gears in my head turning it over as new ideas come to mind. "I like that, actually. It's unique. Bet your old mask had a hard time with one, huh?"

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29 Re: This is a Title. on Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:11 am

"It said the J." I type with a slight sigh, opening my apple juice. "Tricky J."

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30 Re: This is a Title. on Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:17 am

"Well, we'll have to fix that, hm?" I smile slightly as I hold my bottle up toward her.

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31 Re: This is a Title. on Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:27 am

"Yes," I nod, raising my bottle and leaning forward to tap it against his before sitting back. It's in these moments that I always find myself at a loss for words. Small talk is odd when you're having to slowly type out each word, and that's if anyone lingers long enough for you to reach the end of your sentence. 

"Your mom tinkered?" I find myself asking, my fingers tracing the keyboard curiously as I glance up at him, "Family?"

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32 Re: This is a Title. on Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:33 am

"Whole family did," I nod as I take a long drink of the fizzy beverage. "My brother owns a shop in the artisan district - we don't talk much. I'm the wasted talent in the family, apparently. Noisemakers aren't practical, as if anything is practical in a city that floats in the sky... I could be an umbrella maker, I suppose... or parachutes..."

I mull that over for a moment, nodding thoughtfully before shrugging my shoulders dismissively.

"Other than that, nope, no other family," I smile lightly. "Just me and my doodads. You?"

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33 Re: This is a Title. on Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:37 am

"Wasted." I respond, hesitating over the already-typed word before continuing. "Trinkets. Baubles."

I set the keyboard down, twisting to grab a small stone from the window sill so I can stretch forward and hand it to him, humming towards him as I hold it out.

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34 Re: This is a Title. on Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:45 am

I raise an eyebrow as I take the offered item, the cool touch of stone registering instantly as I turn it over in my hand. What she described as wasted makes my breath catch a little. Potential. That's what I see. An idea occurs to me as I bite my lip thoughtfully.

"Can I have some of your blood?" I blurt out, Ljuba's shock registering instantly as I shake my head quickly. "I mean for the mask! Not like - not to market or anything. I mean... I could tune it to you, to your magic. I could help you make these, but make them not... wasted?"

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35 Re: This is a Title. on Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:52 am

My smile fades as I tense a bit on the bed, watching him closely as I shake my head. 

"Not a good idea." I respond once I've pulled the keyboard into my lap. "Magic is-" I stop, my fingernails tapping against the keys as I try to find the right word. "Tricky."

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36 Re: This is a Title. on Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:58 am

"Not magic, just... a signature," I say a bit crestfallen before sighing softly. "Ah well, though. It was an interesting thought."

My lips purse thoughtfully as I turn the egg-like stone over in my hand, the rough edge of the geode pulling my attention back to it every time my fingers graze over it.

"What about one of your geodes?" I ask hopefully. "Could I put one of those into it? Crystals are remarkable resonators of sound - even help keep the timing right in clockwork. And if it's already cracked, there's no magic to it, right? Just a little shell of you."

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37 Re: This is a Title. on Thu Oct 27, 2016 1:01 am

I nod absently, glancing at the crystal in his hand. It's one of my older ones, from Reach's End, composed of some of the finest ingredients I'd ever gotten my hands on. To be fair, it'd been one of my favorites, but I need to be able to talk. 

"Take it." I type, sighing as I sit back. "I have loads."

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38 Re: This is a Title. on Thu Oct 27, 2016 1:09 am

"Excellent!" I can't help but grin at that, the geode slipping into the pocket of my jacket as I get to my feet excitedly. "Just you wait, you're going to love your new mask. I love making tech for witches. No one can tell if it's tech or magic, magic or mundane. It's a crying shame more of us don't work together, our crafts could meld together so beautifully. Well, you'll see what I mean when it's done, not that you have to take my word for it."

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39 Re: This is a Title. on Thu Oct 27, 2016 1:05 pm

His flurry of excited words leaves me smiling awkwardly before it even registers, but by this point he's at the door and half out.

"Ooh!" I try to call after him, grabbing for the keyboard frantically, "New mask!?" I type out repeatedly, rising to my feet to go after him.

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40 Re: This is a Title. on Thu Oct 27, 2016 1:54 pm

"Nice talking to you, too!" I call back, intentionally misunderstanding the flurry of chiming coming from the keyboard. "No time to waste, though. Ideas! I gotta write them down before I forget!"

In my haste, my awareness suffers a bit, and I manage to knock into a couple of things as I hurry off down the hall in search of the exit. I nearly walk into the toilets and showers at the end of the hall before remembering it's the door on the right before that and I double back, the chiming from the keyboard still following me a little ways down the hall. I wave quickly at Ljuba and disappear out the door, now far more oriented than I was and less clumsy without the welcome mats and knick-knacks of residents to trip me up in a narrow corridor.

If I weren't so excited for the new addition to her mask, I might feel a teensy bit guilty about not telling her I've taken on a larger project than she originally asked for. A small part of me wonders if maybe I've made a mistake, if maybe I've ruined some sentimental gift from someone. It's a thought I dismiss quickly, though, because I can't imagine anyone nice being cruel enough to give her such an ugly mask as though they were doing her a kindness. And as I arrive back at my shop, that's the last thought I give the possibility, my attention quickly running away with the new project before me.

***

Days pass after my visit to Ljuba's little apartment, a trip that turned out far more fruitful than I had anticipated. Just being there in her cozy little home, taking in all the smells and shapes around me, had given me ample inspiration on how to make this new mask her own. After learning her name and getting a better picture of who she is, I scrapped the previous design almost entirely, and burned my fingers moulding a new vanity piece from the old brass from the previous mask.

I don't know how many days have gone by before Ljuba finally shows up in my shop, but I know it's more than I had quoted her. I try to act surprised when she comes in the door, but I know I wince visibly as she comes up to the counter with an expression that can only mean what the fuck, man? I'm nowhere near finished with her piece - in fact, I'm only in the front half of the shop now because I'd managed to cut myself while thinning the edges on one of the leather panels for the neck piece.

"Hey there, Lju," I smile innocently, still nursing the bloody rag tied around my hand as I dig around under the counter for the first aid kit. "What can I do for you?"

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