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Where Castles Fly

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Dixon Movie Theater, Theatre District, Freedom City, Earth

1.30 PM, April 11th Thursday, 2013


The two lean men, one in baggy clothes and wearing odd-looking headphones and sunglasses, the other in a scuffed but impeccable set of coveralls and bristling beard, cut an odd sight as they walked casually into the foyer. They especially clashed with the jostling crowd of chatting, laughing twenty-somethings, teenagers and sparse collection of older people sedately moving up the lines. In recent years the Dixon Theater had figured out that showings of various foreign, animated and family-friendly films led to sharp increases in their audiences, and after a while its Spring of Anime had become a local favorite, evidenced by the posters throughout the foyer on either side of the red carpet, advertising everything from Studio Ghibli productions to old-school french animation alongside early 20th century Disney.


Getting in line after beckoning for Philos to go first, the young Frenchman said brightly "Philos, my friend, you are in for a treat! I grew up with movies like these, they are both delightful and instructive." glancing at the bylines for one poster showing a gargantuan ramshackle metal house on spindly legs, he raised an eyebrow "Hm, it was based on a book. I did not know that. Looks like an English name" he added casually, turning back to his friend with a smile "Do you have any questions before we go on, mon ami? Just do not ask me to tell you the plot!"


He was in high spirits that day. He didn't often get to go out socially, and most of the time it was with René, whom he adored but still wished to meet others. That and it had been years since he had last seen a movie, and he could already feel the aura of popcorn oil and sugary drinks wafting just beyond.


That and he could actually afford it, which was nothing short of a miracle.

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"Not really, I've seen a few films before, just not at a theatre. They have them at the activity center for the Special Circumstances housing, usually more recent things though. There is not much in the ways of foreign films, foreign, it sounds so strange that just because it is a different section of this particular world that it is foreign. There are far more foreign things, as afterall there are far more distant foreigners in the city."

He reached his hand into the large bucket they got from the front and took a handful,

"I like the popcorn here, they usually don't have the option of seasoning at the small machine they keep for the movies. I like this red one, what was it called, jaw-la-pen-noe?"
He turned the buttered and slightly red tinted piece in his hand before popping it into his mouth,

"Very tasty, especially with the bitter lemon soda."

Edited by Aoiroo
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"Your culinary taste and iron stomach continues to terrify me Philos." Marceau replied with a look askance at the popcorn tub. He had politely refused his comrade's offers to share, instead taking a small water to keep him company.


Taking a sip he edged several feet closer, the ticket booth fast approaching "As for foreign...for eons we thought people from other lands were wholly alien. A century or so of globalization isn't enough to erase it, it will take a while longer. But someday soon, my friend, we shall be united in peace!" the Frenchman declared with perfect confidence, smiling happily despite the odd looks several of the other theatregoers were darting them.


He nodded at the poster again, beaming "This movie is special, because it is animated." making extremely descriptive motions with his hands he went on excitedly "Art was drawn, and redrawn over and over and over countless times so that when all of them were played in sequence, fluid motion is achieved!"

Marceau nestled deeper into his coveralls, eyes twinkling "It is unlike anything else."

"Tickets please" came the crisp voice of the red-uniformed woman behind the counter, who surveyed the two impressively lean men with a worriedly raised eyebrow. "Here you are!" handing over his tickets without hesitation, Marceau led the way to the door marked with the name of their featured presentation, Howl's Moving Castle...



Five Minutes Later...


"It is even better than I remember," the young vigilante commented, struggling to be heard over the conversations from the other patrons, taking another handful of Philos' popcorn and chewing it distractedly. Watching the on-screen parade through the streets he added dismally with his mouth full "Reminds me of pictures from the start of the First World War. Eager young men going off to fight in brilliant uniforms, horses trotting, flags streaming, confetti falling, people cheering. They had no idea what was about to happen..." he shuddered.

Glancing over and recovering his smile he added "What do you think my friend? That castle is a sight worth seeing eh? This city's style is just a century old, and already it looks like something from another world!"

Edited by Arichamus
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"Not really, there are several old cities that still look like that. You're from France, surely you've seen some."
He kept his voice down, because honestly they were still in a movie theatre. He ate his popcorn not minding the intrusive hand in his bowl, he had after all gotten the big one too share as he chewed,

"It doesn't seem to deviant from what I've seen, though that young woman's got quite the complex, even if she is well by film standards quite pretty."
He chewed as he took a sip of his bottle of bitter lemon that had been hidden in one of his deep pockets on his way into the theatre. It wasn't that he wanted to deviate, they just didn't offer any choices he liked otherwise, and he had sampled quite a few different ones over the course of his stay.

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A handful paused halfway to his mouth, the man wide-eyed in amazement. "Well-you make a good point. I have been in this ultra-modern metropolis for far too long when you can correct me on that. No offense meant, Philos," he added with an apologetic look "I mean that I've done a great deal of traveling, seen all sorts of towns and ought to have considered that. There are towns in the Balkans that look like that, in Spain I-"

Marceau turned back to the screen just in time to scowl darkly "Bah, soldiers! Met more than a few like those worthies. With any luck..aha! Wonderful!" he burst out laughing as the pair made their swift exit, leaning back in his seat and grinning contentedly "Ah, always nice to have a rescuer with magic and such a fine voice, don't you agree Philos?" he asked cheekily.


Watching the two dodging through the streets he went on "Yes, people enjoy seeing stories like ones they've seen before. And I've met some lovely people who thought themselves dreadful to look at. Making her detailed enough to be simply plain might have been just not worth it to the company. Young, smooth faces work so well after all. Her voice though, you think it's a little dull perhaps?"

Edited by Arichamus
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"I've never actually visited those places, but I've seen the pictures with recent timestamps."

He watched the scene of the movie of the floating thing. Magic, well it wasn't something he rejected or accepted whole hardedly, it was just there. Some unknown of this world covered in his books. The moonstone was supposedly magical in property, but it's been continually researched, with a variety of results, some of which were less then benefitial to those involved, or at least that is what he had heard.

"Seems aestetically simpler to make something with no glaringly obvious flaws then someone actually looking unattractive, since unattractiveness is usually judged towards deviant features to an otherwise uniform society, and such deviant features would push the uniqueness of the face structure to that that it would be more a chore to show it if you are much more used to drawing the simplified standard of society."
He didn't seem to breath until the end of that sentence but that was cut short by a handful of popcorn which he chewed for a few seconds before taking a sip of his drink,

"Anyway, perhaps we should stop talking on this, as we are not alone in the theatre."

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Marceau shrugged "Eh, might as well be a little quieter" he said softly, sliding deeper into the well-cushioned seat, watching with wide eyes as the story went on. Besides grumbling a little as the hatmaker talked with her confectionist sister, mainly because the sight of all those boxes of sweets made his stomach grumble insistently, he remained almost silent. He also seemed to waver between chowing down on Philos' popcorn and muttering embarrassed apologies as he got deeper into the movie. The casting of the terrible witch's curse was punctuated by him somehow downing an entire handful in a couple of furious chomps as he stared in fascination. "Wait!" he blurted as she made her smug exit "Why would it matter if she tells anybody? Who-oh, of course. Magic's common in this world..." He frowned and leaned further against the chair, watching with considerable sympathy as the newly-old woman made the horrible realization. He cracked a slight smile when Sophie nearly jumped at her own reflection, but only for an instant.


"Wonder what those blobby things are? Other people who've been cursed?" he hazarded to Philos. Glancing at his hand he pursed his lips and muttered "Guh, sorry..." as he brished it off vigorously on a paper towel, eyes glued to the screen.

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