Kellen brought home a stray today. Strange. That’s usually Griffin’s way, not his. This bears study.
The girl is a waif, bird-boned, sharp-eyed. Her name is Annabel; she says that her last name is Lee, but that’s too damn cutesy to be real.
Got to take all of these kids with a grain of salt, y’know.
She’s got the magic about her, of course. Kellen’s one of those who won’t even notice anyone who hasn’t got it. He’ll walk right into them. I’ve seen it happen. This one has a big, big glow about her, which, of course, tells me two things –
- She has a shitload of raw power.
- She has no fucking idea what to do with it.
Need to teach her to shield. If I can. I sure haven’t had any success teaching Kellen, but he only half-believes he’s doing what he does.
She believes, though. She knows she’s got something.
Annabel doesn’t want to talk about her magic. She’s hella stubborn, that one. I think people have probably pestered her about it before.
Griffin’s hanging out here a lot, now that his house-sitting gig for Chris is over. He doesn’t seem to like being alone. Only goes home when he needs to. Fine by me – he’s a calming presence here, and the way Annabel’s energy interacts with Kellen’s is highly distracting.
Griffin’s teaching Annabel. Good. She likes me, but she’s still pretty standoffish. She and Griffin really clicked with each other. Not the same way as her and Kellen. She and Kellen are fucking epic already. She and Griffin are on more of a basic level.
Looks like Axis is moving in here too. It’s getting crowded, but between Kellen and Axis, they’re pulling in enough to cover my rent and then some, which I sure as hell can’t do on my own.
The energy is settling as we all get used to her.
Annabel’s eyes… dangerous. She says that the more of us there are, the stronger her magic is. Synergy, she said. It’s freaking her out.
I recommended that she try some speed for that. It’s not an uncommon reaction. This town is pretty damn warped already - and the people it pulls in here - an empath like Annabel can get easily overwhelmed.
My suggestion freaked her out a little. She’s done some stuff. Pot, of course, everyone does that. She dropped acid once. But snorting something is different, she says.
Kellen wants her to do it. He says he wants her to be on the same level as him. He wants to be able to converse with her in his own manner, I believe. Kellen’s far out to start with – but he can’t manage life without tweaking, and that is something that a non-tweaker cannot understand.
This is pretty fucked up, but – I think this is his way of telling her that he’s falling for her. He’ll never say the words. But he wants her with him. Kellen’s not like that with most chicks.
I’m fascinated by this kid. She’s intuitive as hell. She’s started to open up to me a little. She’s starting to acknowledge her magic – she says it’s why she’s here. Something bad happened with the guy she was shacking up with – he couldn’t deal with the sort of shit that happens to people like us. The sort of stuff we do. The sort of stuff some of us have to do.
So things got all fucked up there, and she felt drawn here. Which is a pretty familiar story by now. How many of us are old-timers, and how many are newcomers? The balance is getting uneven. I find this to be of concern. We are coming to a cusp here. Forces are gathering. And we’ve got this handful of geezers like me and Martin, John and Morgan, who’ve seen these waves come and go – and then we have the kids, people like Kellen and Annabel, kids who either don’t believe in their power or have an overinflated sense of it. Or are afraid of it.
Whatever is coming up does not want finesse. It wants raw power, and lots of it. And it remains to be seen whether it will be a beneficial thing, or if it will break these kids’ bones and suck the marrow from them.
We geezers are on damage control on this one. It’s looking like the kids who actually take themselves seriously and have some finesse – like Griffin – are backup.
Annabel is here and defiant and glowing, and in her and those like her I see our near future.
Our far future is obscured.
I am having coffee. Annabel is scribbling something in a notebook. Griffin is out somewhere, so’s Axis – but Kellen is in the corner with his bass, playing something that is vaguely like flamenco. Every so often she looks at him. He’s tweaking, so he doesn’t notice. He’s gonna sit there and play til his fingers bleed. I am feeling a little like that myself, but I have not done near the amount that Kellen has.
Annabel is fucking Griffin, too.
Kellen does not seem to mind. Curious.
I wonder what she’s writing.
They came home tonight, and clearly Kellen has been successful – her glittering eyes told the story, her jumpiness, her chattering.
He said that he’d convinced her to drink it, mixed with water, because she was so afraid of snorting it. She did, and found it to be pleasant, and upon hearing how much more intense it was when one snorted it, she agreed to try.
I remember my first time – a little pain. Chemicals permeating delicate tissue. Acrid taste. Shuddering. The rush.
She grabbed my hands. “I can’t feel anyone! Anthony – I can’t feel anyone!” So happy. So relieved.
Yes, little Annabel. It works. Cuts you off. Makes it so you can breathe.
I felt a bit of a pang, though – no longer pure.
But no one is pure, really. Not in this place. It strips the self away.
The best you can hope for is a little control over the process. Manage the descent.
I am sitting at the kitchen table and watching her cry. Desperate. Her first time coming down. And now she sees why Kellen never stops. Why he keeps himself aloft.
Her jaw hurts – she’d been grinding her teeth the whole time. He forgot to tell her not to. He forgets this shit.
That’s not the big thing, though.
Suicidal depression. Incomprehension.
And, for an empath – lack of shielding.
Griffin is here, holding her. She can’t stop crying. She can’t stop saying “I can’t stop feeling them, everyone, get them out of my head – please, help-“
I do not mean to sound callous, but she will learn to manage this. This is a price to be paid for those hours and days of safety, of perfect clarity. She does not yet know that she can make it stop by doing another line. Kellen can’t tell her – he’s playing his guitar again – and Griffin won’t. Griffin is the White Knight. I’m sure he thinks he can save her.
It is her choice.
These days, you are not drawn here unless you have a rather profound death wish.
It is her choice.
I am not telling her – because she needs to feel this. She needs to know.
She is trying not to scream. He has her on his lap and is rocking her back and forth. He is upset. She can feel this. It isn’t helping. But he can’t control it. And she can’t control her magic.
“Make it stop,” she says. “I can feel everything. Everyone is in my head. Make it go away.”
Your choice, Annabel. What are you going to do?
Kellen has started to call her Crystal. Himself, Rock.
Rock and Crystal Jones, he says.
She likes it.
They’re back. Kellen and the girl. Rock and Crystal. Kellen was not forthcoming as to where they’d been for the past week, and Crystal – she refuses to answer to Annabel anymore – does not seem capable of articulating anything right now.
Kellen says she’s been awake all week. And that essentially he has her trained to go to 7-11 every sunrise and purchase some non-soda beverage and some food item, so she does not forget to eat.
He has given her the following rules, which she keeps on a piece of paper in her back pocket. I’m past worrying about that shit – Kellen keeps a syringe in his jacket. And a spoon. And Crystal still looks innocent. No one’s going to search her.
So the list –
1. DO NOT do without Kellen knowing.
2. DO NOT do from sources other than Kellen or Axis.
3. DO NOT seek out.
4. DO NOT buy.
This is Kellen. He wants her on this – to keep her safe. But he must exert this control over it – because without the rules, she would simply be a different kind of unsafe.
We’ll see how long she sticks to the rules. He needs to realize that that shit isn’t going to work.
He tells me that he’s here for a limited engagement only, that he’s going to be hiding out for a little while. I don’t know what he’s done this time – but Axis does not seem to be involved, so I think that it must be metaphysical instead of work-related.
He squanders his magic. And he makes very bad bargains.
He won’t talk about it. So I don’t know if he’s involved her in this shit. And it’s not my job to tell her, if he hasn’t. Not Griffin’s either. He’s trying to stay as far away from this shit as possible.
If it is metaphysical, I am not comfortable with him taking the girl with him – but he insists.
Who the hell knows.
Her mind goes a mile a minute. She’s on a different level even from Kellen. I think that it doesn’t mute her magic like she thinks it does. I think it just changes it. Crystallizes it, to use a pun. Shuts down her input from other people, but boosts her input from within herself.
She’ll be fine as long as she doesn’t realize that. She’s scared shitless of her magic – she really lacks any kind of self-defense when she comes down so, of course, she refuses to come down. She would freak out even more if she knew that she wasn’t killing it.
I want them to move back here. She says and does things in this state that need to be translated – things by which I can get a better view of what’s going on.
Also, I do not want Kellen’s people getting ahold of her. The magic people, not the drug people. Well. The magic people more than the drug people.
I worry about Kellen. They take from him all the time. He does not realize what he’s giving them.