unblinkered: skeptical.png (skeptical)
unblinkered ([personal profile] unblinkered) wrote in [community profile] brightpine2014-08-21 05:20 pm

the most predictable place in the world

The man sits in the biggest chair. The coffee shop has the one oversized armchair, very cozy. Nobody takes it, of course. It's the only chair of its kind in the building, the rest of the room being full of booths and tables with ordinary wooden chairs. It must be for display purposes, right? Or, at least, it's not the sort of thing you presumptuously take for yourself.

Unless you're Maxwell Wax. If you're Maxwell Wax, you've been coming to the same coffee shop every day at the same time for a year and a half, and you've noticed that nobody else ever sits in the big comfy chair. If you're Maxwell Wax, you sit in the big comfy chair for hours and quietly watch the people come and go. If you're Maxwell Wax, you know the pimply guy at the counter doesn't have the guts to ask you to leave. If you're Maxwell Wax, you know the coffee shop has a procedure for dealing with customers who don't buy anything, so you buy the cheapest coffee they have and let the barista stew in uncertainty. If you're Maxwell Wax, you pretend to drink your coffee, then drink a little and then spit it out, because it's disgusting.

Max knows this coffee shop. It's the most predictable place in the world. It works the same way, day in and day out, no one ever doing anything unusual. He knows the regulars, not by talking to them, but by watching quietly and learning their pattern. They all have a pattern, it's not very interesting. But it makes sense, and Max can see it coming. It's relaxing. It's beautiful.

What happens to the big comfy chair in the next few moments is not something Max can see coming.
pythbox: A book. (Default)

[personal profile] pythbox 2014-08-26 03:24 am (UTC)(link)
The chair cushion softens abruptly, from cozy to absurdly plush to virtually insubstantial to thin air, all in the space of a few seconds. Max's surroundings fade away at the same time, the coffee shop dissipating like a particularly detailed mirage, to be replaced by a snowy hillside dotted with also-snowy pine trees. Max lands in a large, soft snowdrift, which is reasonably cozy as snowbanks go, but still much wetter and colder than an armchair.
pythbox: A book. (Default)

[personal profile] pythbox 2014-08-26 06:13 pm (UTC)(link)
A chill breeze blows some loose, powdery snow over the top of the hill, dusting Max and his surroundings. Nothing else interesting happens.
jackfrostbite: (⑪ eternal)

[personal profile] jackfrostbite 2014-08-26 06:59 pm (UTC)(link)




A young man steps out from behind a small cluster of snow-laden trees.

His hair, falling in loose curls to his shoulders, is black in shadow but glitters blue-white wherever the sunlight touches. His skin is a pale, frosty blue - and in fact slightly frosted in some places, but it's almost impossible to tell where the external coating of ice ends and blue flesh begins. As though the boy himself is made of snow and ice.

He is wearing some kind of period clothing - a surcoat with a large silver snowflake emblazoned on a black background, over a black tunic and leggings, with an assortment of daggers and one longsword strapped to his black leather belt.

"What manner of creature are you?" he asks.
jackfrostbite: (⑩ listen well)

[personal profile] jackfrostbite 2014-08-26 07:11 pm (UTC)(link)
The blue man sighs.

"Can you speak?"
jackfrostbite: (② sun on snow)

[personal profile] jackfrostbite 2014-08-26 07:16 pm (UTC)(link)
"I ate too many apples. Where did you come from?"
jackfrostbite: (④ frosted smile)

[personal profile] jackfrostbite 2014-08-26 07:31 pm (UTC)(link)
"They were magic apples," he clarifies. "You are in the country of Narnia. And not the first person to arrive here without meaning to. Are you a Son of Adam - that is to say, a human?"
jackfrostbite: (⑤ give it up)

[personal profile] jackfrostbite 2014-08-26 08:03 pm (UTC)(link)
"I was the first I've heard of. And the only, until you. I would know, had there been others since. What country did you come from? What year is it there?"
jackfrostbite: (⑨ fearless)

[personal profile] jackfrostbite 2014-08-26 09:18 pm (UTC)(link)
"In the country of Narnia," the blue man reiterates. "In a world far away from the one you know. Where magic is real, and humans are rare, and you and I are very likely to be the only two people who have ever heard of the United States of America. I'd bid you welcome, but it would be a cruel joke."
jackfrostbite: (⑧ assassin)

[personal profile] jackfrostbite 2014-08-26 09:34 pm (UTC)(link)
"I am not lying," the blue man says patiently.
jackfrostbite: (⑩ listen well)

[personal profile] jackfrostbite 2014-08-26 09:50 pm (UTC)(link)
"And how should I convince you, then?"
jackfrostbite: (⑪ eternal)

[personal profile] jackfrostbite 2014-08-26 10:17 pm (UTC)(link)
...He sighs.

"Fine," he says. "Here."

Very casually, with no stronger emotion than mild exasperation, he draws a dagger and cuts the smallest finger off his left hand. A brief splash of glittering blue-black blood falls on the snow, freezing it over with a crust of ice that spreads a few inches past where the drops fall; the severed finger turns from frosted blue flesh into ordinary transparent ice; and from the stump, a new finger grows, first in transparent ice which then turns to frosted blue flesh once the growing stage is complete. All this is over in a few seconds, not much more time than it takes him to make the cut and catch the extra finger and put his dagger back in its sheath.
jackfrostbite: (③ beyond caring)

[personal profile] jackfrostbite 2014-08-27 03:25 pm (UTC)(link)
"Magic apples," he says. "One makes you immortal; two make you a little strange; three did this to me," with a gesture at his frosted blue skin. "I don't recommend them; I strongly suspect they may be cursed."
jackfrostbite: (⑥ take a bow)

[personal profile] jackfrostbite 2014-08-27 03:39 pm (UTC)(link)
"I have no idea. They live in a garden far away, and I've only been there once, and I don't know who built it."

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