Posts Tagged ‘Robin’

The Key Part 11

April 13, 2016

The Key

Robin stumbled out onto the pavement and punched the alley wall.  She felt so helpless but so grateful to be out in the open air of the city again.  Her world had never been normal but it had been normal for her.  Now she was learning how strange things had been while she had turned a blind eye to it.  She had no idea which way was up anymore.

She walked along the alley and there was R, leaning against the wall.  He looked a little like a puppet with cut strings.  When she got near him, he looked up and for some reason, she thought he would bark.  He did not do that.  Instead, he pushed himself to his feet.

“Robin!  I looked everywhere for you.  Something told me that here would be where I should wait,” R said.  He brushed himself off but it looked he still had some dusting of broken glass on his coat.

“I’m tired of all this Nightmare on Charles Street bullshit!” She yelled at everybody and nobody.

“Are you alright?”  R asked and something in his eyes made Robin calm down a little.

“No. I’ll never be alright again,”  Robin said.

“What happened?”  He asked.  He reached out to her but she stepped even further out of reach.

“Let’s just say I think I know where the tattoos come from and I want to throw up.  Where’s my car?  The damage is bad, huh?”  Robin asked with no small amount of sarcasm.  She wanted to change the subject but there was no cheerier subject.

“It’s completely gone.”  R said.

“Well, it was being crushed when I ran.  I guessed it would be totaled.  Crap!”  She said and kicked a loose piece of concrete.

“Well, yeah that’s probably right but it’s just vanished too,” He said.  He was looking at her like he was afraid she might explode again.  “There’s not even broken glass on the street.”

Robin just stared at him for a few moments.  “What?  Oh great.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.  The weird stuff keeps happening.”  She walked toward the front of the building and R followed.  The street was absolutely empty and the street lights were working again.  It was as if the attack had never happened.  She had half expected the car to be pristine and waiting for them there but it was indeed gone.

“When you ran, I tried to follow.  Before I could reach the building, something huge swatted me.  I flew through that window,”  R said.  He pointed toward a window that looked clean and untouched.

Robin looked up at that.  “Jeez, are you alright?”

“The coat stopped the broken glass and I’m just bruised a lot.  But thanks for asking,”  R said.

“I’m a little too self-centered sometimes.  I forget this horrible crap isn’t just hitting me, it’s happening to people like you too.  What happened then?”  She asked.

“The building kind of coughed me back out onto the pavement.  I tried the door and it was locked and then that thing swatted me again, this time into the alley.”

“You didn’t want to be in that building trust me.”

“Well, it wasn’t a picnic out here either.  I woke up in the alley and started investigating the situation.  Unfortunately, there was not much worth investigating. So I waited for you.”  R said.

“Well. I’ve had enough of the forces of darkness for tonight.  I don’t know if I can sleep but I’m so tired,” She said with a yawn and a scowl.

“Where do you want to go?  Back to check in on the, um, ladies?”  R asked.

“Oh hell no.  I can’t deal with that anymore today.”

“Well then, where do we go instead?”  R asked.

“My place should be relatively safe now.”

“Are you asking me over to your place?”  R asked with a bit of a smirk.

“Don’t get any ideas,” Robin said but she did grin just a litle bit.

“Alright.  How do we get there without a car?”  R asked.

“I’ll call an uber.  A few people have tipped me free rides, actually.” Robin said and pulled her phone out.   The battery was completely dead.

“Damn it!  That stupid spider trap took so long that my cell is dead.  I guess we’re walking until we see a taxi,”  Robin said without explanation.

They started to walk down the deserted street.  As they approached a parked car, Robin was struck with a sudden wave of nausea.  She stumbled and leaned on the car and she felt a sharp pain behind her ear.  The car made a loud ker-chunk sound as all four doors unlocked.  Robin stared dumbly at the car.  The nausea had passed.  R watched from a few steps away.

“It was the key,”  Robin said before R could ask.

“The what?” R asked.

Robin brushed her hair aside and showed the tiny key tattoo behind her ear.  “I’ve had it since I was a baby.  Bad parenting.”

“I wouldn’t be so sure,” R said.  “Are we meant to take the car?”

“Meant to?  I don’t know if I believe in ‘meant to’ but we’re taking it because I’m tired,”  Robin said.

They got into the car and, after a moment, Robin held her hand over the ignition.  There was a sharp pain again and the car started up.

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The Key – Episode 6

February 3, 2015

The Key

It was like like the flicking of a big light switch.  One moment she was was sitting and listening to Kim’s story about her dog while eating pancakes absolutely soaked with syrup.  She was fighting the urge to pull out her phone.  Pet stories were only interesting to their owners.  The next moment Robin was standing in the middle of the adjacent courtyard on suddenly less achy legs.  She felt like a million bucks which was a lot better than what Other Robin had done to her the night before.  The wind had kicked up and she could feel her hair blowing dramatically to one side.

She looked over her shoulder and saw Kim was standing at their table and shout her name. She could see the words on Kim’s lips but she could not hear them.  All she could hear was a faint ringing as if a bomb had gone off.  She looked across the courtyard and saw that perhaps a bomb had gone off.  The corner jewelry store was now a towering inferno and there was debris all over the street and the courtyard.  In front of the towering inferno, the Doll Girl was standing, its body awkwardly twisted in what looked like rage.

The crowd had cleared out between Robin and the Doll as if they had received some subconscious signal or were afraid of fire for some reason. “You should have helped me!” The Doll Girl shrieked, its head tilted once again at an unnatural angle.  Apparently Robin’s hearing had returned just at the right time. Robin didn’t respond to that because she didn’t know how to respond.  How do you respond to a homocidal living doll?  Its happy face was painted on but somehow it looked incredibly angry anyway. “Now it’s too late.  Now I’ll take it from you!”  Its voice sounded like the unwanted child of a tea kettle and and a condor.  Its eyes began to swirl and twist violently.  “Robin Catherine Clarke.  Robin the Wanderer.  I’ll take you apart, discover your secrets and use them to cure myself.  Or maybe I could rule this city.” As the Doll kept screaming, its jaw became more and more unhinged and its limbs flailed wildly.  With halting, unsteady steps the shuddering, shivering doll lurched toward Robin.

Robin wanted to run away.  It was her feet that refused to budge, at least not in any safe direction.  She started to walk toward the raging Doll Girl which was the last place in the world she wanted to go, of course.  The Doll’s jaw was flapping wildly.  Its words were no longer being shaped by lips.  Still, despite the shrieking, they were as articulate as ever.

“No!  Stay back!  You had your chance, Wanderer!  You will die!  My kind will flourish and humanity will die!”  The words rang kind of hollow to Robin’s ears.  If desperation was a scent you could smell it for miles off of the Doll.  Robin kept her mouth shut and kept walking.

She did not know what she would do when she got within reach of the Doll. She felt like she needed to know the words but did not know the correct words.  She could feel that sensation again.  She began to burn and tingle all over and for a moment her vision blurred and her steps faltered.  She heard herself let out a little moan.  It was too much.  It would consume her.  It would consume her unless she passed it on. Suddenly doll-like creatures made of debris started to crawl out of the wreckage and shamble toward Robin with a stiff and hesitant gait.  They were all shrapnel and glass and looked like they could tear a person apart in seconds.

Robin tried to will her body to back off and get out of there but she kept walking toward the angry Doll Girl and her Dollettes. Other Robin must have a hell of a death wish. Gunshots sounded with a quick series of pops close enough that Robin wished her hearing was still gone.  One by one the Dollettes exploded back into rubble, seemingly harmless once again.  Robin looked to her right and there was the former Beetleman, standing tall with  a pretty large hand gun.  He turned his head slightly to glance at her.

“Are you alright, Robin?”

“How do you know my name?” Robin said with no small bit of shock.

“It’s a long story.  Are you alright?  You kind of have a job to do here.”  He responded, indicating the Doll Girl who seemed to be practically vibrating with anger.

“Um… right.  Time to do my thing.  Whatever that is.”  Robin said as she stalked toward the Doll Girl with a little more confidence.  Everything had mostly worked out with the Beetle Man so why would this be any different?  Once again she felt energy building up inside of herself and groaned with the pain and desperation of that feeling.  She sprinted those last few steps toward the Doll.

“No!  I will eat your flesh!  I will — ”

Whatever the thing was going to say was interrupted by Robin’s palm impacting its chest.  For a second Robin could swear she saw a dark shape flit down her arm.  There was a huge explosion of energy that threw Robin back into a couple of plastic cafe chairs and nearly landed her head on the concrete.  Beetle Man was there in a flash, holding his hand down to her.  She took his hand carefully and pulled herself up.  She brushed herself off and checked to make sure the fall hadn’t dislocated anything major.  Her head was spinning but with all of the strange goings on, she was not sure if this was a side effect of magic or a concussion.

“Was I that creepy looking when I was under?” Robin glanced away.

“No comment.” Of course he had been but what was the use of telling him that?  “The important thing is that you look good now.”  Which is when she blushed because maybe that was over-sharing.  It was true though.  He was tall, dark and handsome and had hair that was just a little long.

“Thanks.  Shouldn’t we go talk to her?”

“Talk to who?” The tall Indian-looking man who had formerly been an inhuman beetle monster pointed over to what looked like a smoking crater.  It was a smoking crater with a great pair of high heels and some shapely legs sticking out of it.  Robin started over toward the woman.  She power walked because she didn’t really want to go over there but she felt she should.  As she approached there was a familiar cloud of black smoke that made a screaming sound as it streamed into the sky and out of sight. Robin hung back for a moment in case there was anything else coming out of the girl.  She was beautiful and thanks to her recent doll form, she was done up a little like a beauty pageant contestant.  It was a little bit out of place in a crater in the middle of Robinson Square.  Unfortunately, the girl was unconscious but Robin could see her breathing which was a relief.  There was finally the sound of sirens approaching and a fire truck pulled up to start putting the inferno across the street out.  Police cars would not be far behind.

“We have to get out of here.” Robin said, looking around. “I’ll carry her. It’s not really her fault.  She shouldn’t go to jail.”

“Thanks.. um…  I’m going to have to call you something other than Beetle Man.”

“What?” He asked, paused as he bent down to pick the girl up.

“Uh… nothing.  My car’s down that way.” She pointed and he followed her easily with an unconscious young woman over his shoulder.  In the continued chaos of the courtyard they were easily missed.  They slipped away and headed back down Sullivan toward Carly’s apartment.  They arrived at Robin’s car without further incident.  “So how do we get her into the backseat?” There was a cough from behind them.

“Excuse me, but I don’t think you should move her more than necessary.  That makes sense, right?”  It was Kim who Robin had completely forgotten about.  They blinked at each other, both in shock for completely different reasons.

“Kim… I… I was going to say ‘I can explain’ but I really can’t yet.”  Robin said and smiled weakly and shrugged.  Honesty wasn’t always the best policy but it seemed best here.

“This is the strangest day of my life, Robin.  I don’t understand what happened but if there’s one thing I do understand it’s taking care of somebody.  I can take care of that girl for you, keep her hidden from whatever trouble she’s in.”

“Why would you do that?  Why would you get sucked up into my crazy life?” Robin asked.

“Because you’re Carly’s friend… and I’m needed.  Come on, I have Carly’s keys.  I, um, came to water her plants originally.”

Robin exchanged a look with the Beetle Man and then realized she hardly knew him enough for that.  She shrugged and followed Kim into Carly’s building and beckoned for the Beetle Man to follow.  Outside the sounds of sirens were everywhere as you’d expect from a city under attack.

The Key Pt 4

October 7, 2014

After twenty minutes of confused tears, Robin lifted her forehead from the table.  She wiped her cheeks dry on her sleeves.  She did not dare look at her tattoos for fear that they were still moving around.  She walked around the bar and checked each door and shut off the lights.  She didn’t know if the other her had counted out the register but after a moment’s thought she decided she really did not care.  At least she discovered her share of the tips stuffed in her cleavage.  She never stored things there but did not look a gift horse in the mouth.

She walked out onto the street and the lighting just felt really off as if everything was either too dim or a slightly different color.  If she told anybody about this night, they would lock her up and throw away the key.  She carefully walked along a seam in the sidewalk for a moment to test if she was still drunk.  It looked like she was walking a straight line but how would she know?  She decided to chance it and started to fumble for her keys.  She thought this was the perfect time for a mugging but once again, she did not care.

Finally, she located her keys and opened the door of her crappy little car.  The car started on the second and a half try and she started towards home.  At these wee hours of the night, there was no traffic to slow her down or get in the way of her possibly intoxicated mind.  It felt weird stopping at all of the red lights when nobody was around.  These days you had to assume a traffic camera at almost every intersection.

She turned up the classic rock station to fill the silent void of the dead of night.  She tried not to think too much about the term ‘the dead of night’ either.  She changed stations rapidly when commercials started to come on.  How could they try and sell her things when she was in this state of mind?  Top 40 pop music hits started to fill the car.  She did not usually like that kind of music but the beat was catchy and anything was better than silence or her own thoughts.  Or worse, somebody else’s thoughts.

She pulled up to the outside of her apartment building and cringed as the hubcap scraped and ground against the curb.  She thought for sure that she had woken the neighborhood but when she shut the car off there was that chilling silence again.  It felt like a pregnant silence, full of the stored potential of the future.  As far as Robin was concerned, nothing more needed to happen at the moment.

She stumbled out of the car and then stumbled up the stairs to the apartment she shared with her roommate.  She spent what felt like fifteen minutes finding her key on the ring.  She marveled at how all of the keys looked alike at night.  The door opened and the apartment was completely dark.  Annabella must not have come home yet.  She walked into the apartment and spotted a flickering light out of the corner of her eye.  That was the hallway to their shared bathroom.  She headed for the hallway and when she turned the corner she stopped and stared.  All of the little hairs on her arm stood on end.

Kneeling in a pool of blinking fluorescent light, there was a young girl with pigtails with her head bowed.  The girl was motionless and immediately all of those alarm bells went off in Robin’s head.  It was like the Beetleman all over again and she was still not sure what had happened there.  She started to back out of the hallway.  She did not need any more adventures or surprises.  Just as she was almost out of range of the light, the girl looked up.
The movement was as if she was a marionette and she had been pulled upright by her strings.  Her face was a doll’s face.  There was really no other way to describe it.  The puppet girl’s face was hard like porcelain or vinyl and was painted just like a child’s doll.  The happy smile was painted on too perfect and looked frightening in the flickering white light.  They sat for what seemed like eons and stared at each other.  Finally, Robin started to back up towards the door.  She glanced in the mirror Annabella had insisted on placing in the hallway and cursed her other self.  Somehow this was Other Robin’s fault.

“Don’t go.” A voice said from within the perfect veneer of the puppet girl’s face.
Robin jumped at the sound and hurried faster, turning away from the little puppet.  Why was this creepy little girl in her house?  Why was she a puppet?  There were too many questions and never any real answers.  She hurried to the door but could not bring her tired legs to a run.

“Help me.” The puppet girl muttered, lips probably not moving.  Robin could not bring herself to turn around and check if the perfect lips moved.  She had a feeling they would not and did not want to witness it.  “Help me.” It said again.

Robin could not wait anymore and fled from the apartment, slamming the door behind her.  In a flash she was behind the steering wheel of her car again and thankfully it started on the first turn of the key.  Tires screeched as she accelerated hard and headed toward her friend Stephanie’s house.


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