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Holiday Wishes - December/Janurary Vignette


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This time of year is one for wishes for the year ahead so in honor of this for our latest vignette were looking for the wishes and desires of the heroes of any of the cities, and beyond. You have three choices to base the vignette on, all themed more or less on wishes:

 

Family Wishes This time of year you want obviously want to spend it with friends or family, things can go good or bad as most family gathering do.

Mask a Wish Your hero gets to help out a fan for the day, it can be tragic or uplifting as things often are this time of year.

Wish for a Wonderful Life? A pesky imp show your what would happen if you didn’t exist or didn’t take up the mantle of a hero. Things could be better or worse obviously.

 

Please post them here by January 31st 2020.

(As a reminder, vignettes follow the same general rules as posts in terms of content, player character limits, and so on. You may have only one vignette per player character. Each vignette should be at least one page (~500 words) in length; if posted in your thread counts at the end of the month, it is worth 1pp for the associated character. An especially long vignette, 1000 words or more, may be worth up to 2pp. Multiple players can collaborate on a single vignette - we recommend Google Docs for this, it's very useful - but the vignette should be about one page per participating player. )

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Family Wishes 

 

The drive out of Freedom City (to the airport in Philadelphia that led to a flight to DC) was a liminal space - a space where Ashley wasn't quite Agent George and Judy wasn't quite Jaycee Cahill. It was the last time they'd be able to be alone together until after the holidays, anyway. Sitting in the back of the Dawg and peering out its tinted windows at city streets decorated for the holidays, Judy finally offered, "Ah wouldn't have told anybody." She looked up at Ashley, meeting her eyes in the car's rearview mirror. 

 

It was a measure of how much time they'd spent together that Ashley knew immediately what her 'sister' was talking about - and that she'd have to respond. "I know," she finally said. "You're a good sister." 

 

"Do you want to talk about it?" 

 

Ashley sorted through scenarios in her mind. Was Judy going to ask why she'd made that choice? No, probably not - she'd learned better than that at Claremont. Was she going to ask if Ashley was sure? Well the answer to that was no but there was no way she was having _that_ conversation with Judy. Was she going to come out of the closet herself? As terrifying a prospect that was, Ashley was reasonably sure that a girl who looked at Leroy that way had to be pretty goddamn straight. 

 

"There's not really anything to tell," she said, which was true enough, in a sense. "It doesn't change who I am." Doesn't it, though? This was not really the time to be having this conversation with herself. 

 

"Well, okay," said Judy, a little awkwardly. There was silence for a while, then Judy said, "Can Ah just say, Ah'm sorry it took so long?"

 

Ashley shot a look in the mirror back at the look of big-eyed sympathy from her Pentecostal teenage ward and repressed a deep, deep sigh. "Don't be," she finally said. She glanced up at the sky, where light pollution on the Interstate only left the Moon visible, and thought of stars so distant you couldn't even see them from Earth. "Things happened for me at exactly the right time." 

 

"Well good for you," said Judy, smiling. "Ah guess we both had some big changes this year..." She sighed softly, then made a confession. "Ah hope Daddy doesn't win next year. It'll be a lot easier if he doesn't. For all of us."  

 

Especially you and Leroy. Ashley knew it would be deeply unwise for Judy to keep her relationship with her would-be fiancee from her parents for too much longer - just as it would be deeply unwise to tell them that she was engaged to be married to a prince from another dimension. But things _would_ be easier if Judy didn't have a Secret Service escort anymore. "That would...change a lot," she finally said, not wanting to comment on how she was probably going to vote Democrat for the first time in her life in 2020. 

 

"Well...change isn't so bad," said Judy, smiling brightly. "You know," she said, "maybe Ah'll start my knitting now. There'll probably be lots to do this Christmas..." 

 

 

To the woman who puts stars in my eyes, Ashley typed alone in her apartment a few weeks later. She looked at the words, then at the books she'd spent her Christmas money on. She typed in a few lines from the Who Moved My Cheese guy, then deleted them; she typed a few lines from Shakespeare, then deleted them too. She looked at the neatly bound copy of the King James Gospels that Judy had bought for her for Christmas, considered it for a half-moment, then decided that nothing from there was likely to be immediately appropriate either. 

 

Thank you for 

 

Well there was a lot of stuff she could thank Fa'Rua for, none of which was going in a text message that might be read by somebody other than its intended target - which was to say, in a text message. 

 

for showing me what it's like up there. 

 

In the attached picture, she was sitting next to her bedroom window with her brand-new telescope, narrow band filters and astronomy book. Her pink lipstick was the same bubblegum color as her hair - and if everything was covered by her Christmas outfit, it covered everything well.

 

You'll have to come down here for your real present, though... 

 

-

 

Across town, Jaycee Cahill opened her sister's bedroom door. Jerusha Deborah Cahill, fifteen and red-faced blotchy from her tears, shot one look at the door and said, "Are you gonna pray for me too, freak?" 

 

There was a time when Judy would have bolted from the room at that - or maybe burst into tears where she stood. As it was, she took a moment to compose herself before she stepped inside and closed the door behind her. "Ah'm sorry about what happened today." Of course she was going to pray for her little sister, but not over her like she was trying to cast out demons. 

 

"Your pity is even worse," hissed Jerusha, sitting up in bed and glaring daggers at her sister. If she'd cursed, if she'd actually told Judy to leave, she would have - but this moment of connection was something else.  "You gonna tell me you feel sorry for me? You gonna tell me Ah made a mistake?" Normally she was the sister least inclined to speak with their native accent, but it had been one Hell of an evening. 

 

"No," Judy hissed, "Ah'm gonna tell you that Momma did." She took a few steps into the room, then said, "Ah don't care what you did, she shouldn't have made you apologize to all of us like that! You didn't do anything to me, or Joanna neither!" She was sitting on the bed now. "And Daddy just shrugged like he always does and let it happen! Ah was so mad at them Ah wanted to throw something." 

 

"...well don't do that, you'll set the place on fire," said Jerusha, a weak smile on her face. When Judy did flinch, Jaydee said, "Oh come on, if Ah can't joke about it, who can, huh?" The smile turned into a scowl as she reviewed the events of the last couple of days. "It's not like anything happened, anyway. Carl and Jennifer and the others were the ones actually messing around, Ah just went to sleep, and Carl's daddy is sure as hell gonna make sure all those pictures get deleted. My first drunk and this is all it got me." 

 

"Yeah, well..." Getting drunk with her youth group had been a pretty goddamned big mistake, in Judy's personal opinion, but that didn't justify the handwritten apology letter her sister had given to her, to Joanna, and to her father over dinner, nor the obviously-rehearsed speech that had gone with it. "It wasn't right. Things need to change in our family." 

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Forever Boy

Make A Wish

 

"Open your eyes. Trust me, it will be fine." Pan's tone was reassuring, but the young girl by his side resisted. She shook her head violently, refusing to open her eyes. 


Pan frowned. It should be fine, after all. She should be fine. Sure, she did not have the easiest of lives. She had been through much trouble already, she had to keep so much in, and yet, she did so well. She thought so little of herself, but really, all she had to do for this to work was simple. "Come now, just think happy thoughts, and everything will be fine. Think about your friends, think about fun. Think about Christmas, think about your dreams, think about playing. Think about your birthday, and fluffy puppies and kittens!" 


It had to work. She needed this. Needed some happiness, and Pan was sure that he could deliver. They had reached out to him a while back, almost a year ago now. Well, Ms. Lupine had been the one to make the call, routed through Nicholson to Claremont. The little girl with the weight on her shoulders, the one that trapped others in her nightmares, without even meaning to. Little Victoria, who loved the stories of princesses so, who loved the story of Peter Pan, and just wanted to get to know him. Of course, Pan had agreed with little thought, and since then, he had often spent time at Nicholson, trying to help, as best he could.


And now, here they were, Victoria holding on tightly to his face, her eyes closed as they hovered just above the ground, sparkling Pixie Dust falling from them and joining the snow beneath their feet. "I will be right here, Victoria. Do not worry. I will let go, but I will be right here. Think happy thoughts, and you will fly! Just trust me!" 


"But it's scary!" Victoria protested. This was her wish, what she had said she really wanted, and yet now, she protested. She fought back against him. This was hardly as Pan had imagined it would go. Share some Pixie Dust, have some happy thoughts, go flying around a bit in the Nicholson gym. Of course, that entire plan had depended on Victoria actually opening her eyes and trying to fly on her own. Not this. Not being scared of something she actually wanted to do. Ms. Lupine was sitting on a chair a bit away, watching them with the eyes of a hawk. Or, perhaps the eyes of a wolf? It was not like the Nicholson School could allow him to be all alone with Victoria, after all.


"Then, what do you propose? That we stop, before we begin? That you give up?" He felt Victoria's hand tighten its grip on his own.


"Nuh-uh! I wanna do it... but its scary!" 


Fear was something strange, something unknown. Not something that Pan knew much about. Not something he had expected to meet here, but of course, Victoria had much to fear, herself most of all. She had made such progress in the year he had known her, and yet, she still held on to old regrets and fears, but what could he expect from one as young as her?


So, what could he do? Give up, stop before they began, as he put it? She would be disappointed, would probably pout, but on the other hand, he would have done as she wanted. He had met this resistance in Victoria before. This fear of change, of something new, even if it was something that she had wanted to do. Giving in would be the wrong choice, he thought. Challenging her fear would have to be the only course of action.


"Tell me, then, why are you afraid? All you need to do is open your eyes." His tone was calm, slow, understanding. It ate him up inside to take things this slow, he wanted to go flying, he wanted to fulfill Victoria's wish, but taking things too fast? Now, that would never help with her. From her seat, Ms. Lupine followed the events closely. Her face showed little of what she thought.


Victoria hesitated for a moment. Her eyes were still tightly shut. "... That I'll stop thinking happy thoughts..." she finally admitted. "I don't wanna think about the nightmares, I don't wanna think about the bad stuff, but I'm afraid I'm gonna anyway..."


Could she be blamed for such thoughts? No, of course not. Victoria's position was unique. To most children, their dreams were just that: Dreams. To Victoria, her nightmares could come real, drawing in everyone around her. Of course she was afraid that a bad memory of a nightmare would come back to haunt her. Pan nodded in response, even if he was aware that Victoria could not see it. 


He squeezed her hand tightly. "Listen to me, Victoria. You have been through such hardships, you have seen such horror, from your dreams and others, and yet, here you stand. You are already flying." Slowly, he started easing his squeeze. Ever so slowly, bit by bit, not all at once. "But, bad things happen to us all. You might think that you are not allowed to be happy, but that would be wrong. So tell me, what makes you happy? Tell me, what makes you smile?" What are your happy thoughts, he almost said, but caught himself. No, that would be too obvious, would it not?


Again, Victoria hesitated. Pan was almost ready to stop, call it all off, when she finally responded. "My mom and dad... They make me happy, when they come see me." Pan smiled. Slowly, he inched his hand closer to freedom, while Victoria continued. "Miss Lupine's great. And Mr. Bear, my teddy... and my best friend Tracy, and my other friends, and school, and fairy tales, and reading..." She was going now. Faster, and faster. Letting it all loose.


Pan managed to let go. He held his hand up, Victoria had no even noticed, as she just continued talking, listing all that made her happy.


"... and ice cream, just not pistachio, and Disney movies, and... and..." She paused for a moment again, sounding almost embarrassed. "And spending time with you, when you come visit, Mr. Pan."


Pan's smile grew even wider. He couldn't help it. He loved spending time with Victoria, and he knew she loved it too, but it was still so nice to hear. "Open your eyes, Victoria. You are thinking so many happy thoughts, and I do believe it is time for you to fly."


She finally did as he asked. Slowly, Victoria opened her eyes, and looked down, then to the right, to see Pan waving at him. She tried moving a bit, floating up, to the side, a bit down, back and forth. Gaining confidence, beginning to move, while Pan stayed close. 


"Now, this will not last forever, my dear Victoria, so I have one proposal, before the Pixie Dust fades!" He was standing in mid-air before her, looking serious. Victoria nodded, she seemed a bit unsure. Pan's lips split into a grin, as he took off. "Catch me if you can!"


For as long as the Pixie Dust lasted, for as long as she could, Victoria and Pan chased each other around the gym, flying high, flying low, with laughter filling the room.

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