WEDNESDAY BIRDNeat - Grumpy - Photographer’s Eye - Commitment Issues - Kleptomaniac"Let me start off by saying this: I am an onion. A motherfucking onion. I’ve got all these layers, some of them good, some of them bad (mostly bad), but the thing is, once you peel them all away, there’s just a useless core left. Sometimes I think about how people say that when you die, your life flashes before your eyes. You see all your big accomplishments, all the people you loved, your happiest moments. I will see nothing, nothing at all, except for the flames of hell at the end of the tunnel, because god knows I’m not going to heaven.
Allow me to rewind and explain myself.
I like to look back on my birth with an embellished flair and say that I was born with hatefulness in my genes, because my mother couldn’t stand me from the very moment she saw the plus sign on her pee-stick. I was a hindrance. A calamity! I remember that even when I was a young child, fresh from my toddler years, she would watch me sometimes and say, “You destroyed my life, Wednesday. One of these days, I’ll leave you and never come back. I’ll be free from you.” She would say it softly, like a gentle caress. It was a stab in the gut. When I finally hit the age of adolescence, I saved the trouble for her. I left her before she could leave me.
That’s the crux of the matter, isn’t it? It’s like learning how to ride a bike but half-assing it. As soon as the bike wobbles, I call it quits. I get off at the first sign of trouble, because I can’t stand the idea of being fucked over first. There’s certainly an innate sadness in not developing deep relationships with people, but I’m used to sad things. Sadness could be my middle name. And my last name. And my first.”
INFO• Wednesday is incredibly critical of herself (and other people, but that’s a whole different matter altogether) and suffers from deep-rooted insecurity issues. Consequently, she is constantly worrying about her body image, and over the years, this has escalated into an eating disorder.• She likes things neat. This could be from mild OCD or simply because she’s a control freak, take your pick.• She’s street smart. Wednesday is a pro at picking locks, hot wiring vehicles, and slipping the cash out of people’s pockets.• Although stealing is her main source of income, she also has a part-time job at the local grocery store and partakes in the hobby of photography. She likes to take pictures because it detaches her from everything— when she’s using a camera, she’s separated from the world with her lens. She also enjoys photography because…well, she’s really good at it.• She has a tattoo of a sun on one arm, and a crescent moon on the other. These tattoos are basically a glorified version of the yin yang symbol, which expresses that good cannot exist without evil (i.e., day cannot exist without night) and that there is a balance between the two. Except in Wednesday’s case, it’s more like evil with a microscopic sliver of good. Heh.• Wednesday is not necessarily a bad person. She is surly and cynical, and she is deeply flawed, but she’s not bad. She just needs a little prodding in the right direction, that’s all.

WEDNESDAY BIRD

Neat - Grumpy - Photographer’s Eye - Commitment Issues - Kleptomaniac

"Let me start off by saying this: I am an onion. A motherfucking onion. I’ve got all these layers, some of them good, some of them bad (mostly bad), but the thing is, once you peel them all away, there’s just a useless core left. Sometimes I think about how people say that when you die, your life flashes before your eyes. You see all your big accomplishments, all the people you loved, your happiest moments. I will see nothing, nothing at all, except for the flames of hell at the end of the tunnel, because god knows I’m not going to heaven.

Allow me to rewind and explain myself.

I like to look back on my birth with an embellished flair and say that I was born with hatefulness in my genes, because my mother couldn’t stand me from the very moment she saw the plus sign on her pee-stick. I was a hindrance. A calamity! I remember that even when I was a young child, fresh from my toddler years, she would watch me sometimes and say, “You destroyed my life, Wednesday. One of these days, I’ll leave you and never come back. I’ll be free from you.” She would say it softly, like a gentle caress. It was a stab in the gut. When I finally hit the age of adolescence, I saved the trouble for her. I left her before she could leave me.

That’s the crux of the matter, isn’t it? It’s like learning how to ride a bike but half-assing it. As soon as the bike wobbles, I call it quits. I get off at the first sign of trouble, because I can’t stand the idea of being fucked over first. There’s certainly an innate sadness in not developing deep relationships with people, but I’m used to sad things. Sadness could be my middle name. And my last name. And my first.”

INFO
• Wednesday is incredibly critical of herself (and other people, but that’s a whole different matter altogether) and suffers from deep-rooted insecurity issues. Consequently, she is constantly worrying about her body image, and over the years, this has escalated into an eating disorder.
• She likes things neat. This could be from mild OCD or simply because she’s a control freak, take your pick.
• She’s street smart. Wednesday is a pro at picking locks, hot wiring vehicles, and slipping the cash out of people’s pockets.
• Although stealing is her main source of income, she also has a part-time job at the local grocery store and partakes in the hobby of photography. She likes to take pictures because it detaches her from everything— when she’s using a camera, she’s separated from the world with her lens. She also enjoys photography because…well, she’s really good at it.
• She has a tattoo of a sun on one arm, and a crescent moon on the other. These tattoos are basically a glorified version of the yin yang symbol, which expresses that good cannot exist without evil (i.e., day cannot exist without night) and that there is a balance between the two. Except in Wednesday’s case, it’s more like evil with a microscopic sliver of good. Heh.
• Wednesday is not necessarily a bad person. She is surly and cynical, and she is deeply flawed, but she’s not bad. She just needs a little prodding in the right direction, that’s all.

VAUGHN LAPOINTEDaredevil - Frugal - Athletic - Light Sleeper - Ambitious"I can still see her face, that trademark white picket fence grin hinting at future laugh lines. Christ, I loved that smile. Dolores, that was her name, but I called her Lolita as a wry tip of the hat to the author Vladimir Nabokov when I first met her, and the alias stuck. She was Lolita to me. Always Lolita.It was a Friday afternoon, I believe. Lolita wanted to use some of her coupons (she was always leaving newspaper shreddings everywhere from clipping those damned things, but it was a small price to pay in light of everything else) at the grocer’s. "Vaughn, I want to leave before rush hour traffic." I remember her tapping me on the arm, feather soft, a touch that surmounted to less than a whisper. I should have known. I should have known. But I didn’t know, not then, and I slid in the car with her."What do we need to buy?""Mmm, I was going to stock up on shampoo -have you noticed that we can never seem to manage to run out of shampoo and conditioner at the same time?- and get some other toiletries. Plus my parents are coming over this weekend, so I wanted to buy—""Shit, Lolita, when were you going to tell me your ‘rents were stopping by?"There was a heated pause in the car. “Look, I don’t see why you can’t get along with them.”"I really can’t. I hate that they think I’m inferior just because I don’t have a six digit annual salary. Fuckin’ middle class, man."Another moment of silence. I could see her fingers tapping on the steering wheel, a sure sign that she was either a) pissed, or b) very pissed. Damage control. I reached out to her, shaking my head. “I— aw, hell. I’m sorry, Lolita.” She exhaled a thin stream of air between her teeth, glancing at me from the corner of her eye as the stiffness from her shoulders gradually slipped away. She let go of the steering wheel briefly to squeeze my hand. “It’s okay, baby. It’s oka—”It wasn’t okay. Hours later, when they found our bodies under all the crushed metal, I was still holding her hand.”
INFO• Vaughn comes from a working class background. This has always been a sore point with him ever since Dolores, and his ambition to rise through the ranks is partially just to stick it to da man, and partly due to the fact that he believes it bolsters his self-worth. His goal is to become a Superstar Athlete.• He gets night terrors, which are basically nightmares x 43920849023980. His solution? To not sleep. He’s a grade A insomniac that can go for days without sleeping, surviving solely off of coffee and sheer willpower.• Vaughn is, in lack of a better word, a cheapskate. He’s incredibly scrupulous with his money, no matter how much he has. He collects coupons, although he never uses them. If you ask him why, he’ll just smile and evade answering.• Caffeine is his bestfriend. He drinks so much of it, he probably pisses pure Kona coffee straight out of his whazoo every night. Other than that, however, he doesn’t have any vices at all. He doesn’t drink (not even socially) or smoke, and he’s very mindful of eating healthy.• He can’t stand cars, which is ironic since he lives in one of the most bustling cities in existence, Bridgeport. He takes the subways and refuses to come within ten feet of an automobile. Cars are pretty much his only limit, though. He’ll do tons of dangerous shit as long as the word ‘vehicle’ isn’t involved.• Your mom.

VAUGHN LAPOINTE

Daredevil - Frugal - Athletic - Light Sleeper - Ambitious

"I can still see her face, that trademark white picket fence grin hinting at future laugh lines. Christ, I loved that smile. Dolores, that was her name, but I called her Lolita as a wry tip of the hat to the author Vladimir Nabokov when I first met her, and the alias stuck. She was Lolita to me. Always Lolita.

It was a Friday afternoon, I believe. Lolita wanted to use some of her coupons (she was always leaving newspaper shreddings everywhere from clipping those damned things, but it was a small price to pay in light of everything else) at the grocer’s. "Vaughn, I want to leave before rush hour traffic." I remember her tapping me on the arm, feather soft, a touch that surmounted to less than a whisper. I should have known. I should have known. But I didn’t know, not then, and I slid in the car with her.
"What do we need to buy?"
"Mmm, I was going to stock up on shampoo -have you noticed that we can never seem to manage to run out of shampoo and conditioner at the same time?- and get some other toiletries. Plus my parents are coming over this weekend, so I wanted to buy—"
"Shit, Lolita, when were you going to tell me your ‘rents were stopping by?"
There was a heated pause in the car. “Look, I don’t see why you can’t get along with them.”
"I really can’t. I hate that they think I’m inferior just because I don’t have a six digit annual salary. Fuckin’ middle class, man."
Another moment of silence. I could see her fingers tapping on the steering wheel, a sure sign that she was either a) pissed, or b) very pissed. Damage control. I reached out to her, shaking my head. “I— aw, hell. I’m sorry, Lolita.” She exhaled a thin stream of air between her teeth, glancing at me from the corner of her eye as the stiffness from her shoulders gradually slipped away. She let go of the steering wheel briefly to squeeze my hand. “It’s okay, baby. It’s oka—”

It wasn’t okay. Hours later, when they found our bodies under all the crushed metal, I was still holding her hand.”

INFO
• Vaughn comes from a working class background. This has always been a sore point with him ever since Dolores, and his ambition to rise through the ranks is partially just to stick it to da man, and partly due to the fact that he believes it bolsters his self-worth. His goal is to become a Superstar Athlete.
• He gets night terrors, which are basically nightmares x 43920849023980. His solution? To not sleep. He’s a grade A insomniac that can go for days without sleeping, surviving solely off of coffee and sheer willpower.
• Vaughn is, in lack of a better word, a cheapskate. He’s incredibly scrupulous with his money, no matter how much he has. He collects coupons, although he never uses them. If you ask him why, he’ll just smile and evade answering.
• Caffeine is his bestfriend. He drinks so much of it, he probably pisses pure Kona coffee straight out of his whazoo every night. Other than that, however, he doesn’t have any vices at all. He doesn’t drink (not even socially) or smoke, and he’s very mindful of eating healthy.
• He can’t stand cars, which is ironic since he lives in one of the most bustling cities in existence, Bridgeport. He takes the subways and refuses to come within ten feet of an automobile. Cars are pretty much his only limit, though. He’ll do tons of dangerous shit as long as the word ‘vehicle’ isn’t involved.
• Your mom.

CHAPTER 1.0 - ”Red”
VAUGHN

The first time I met her, she was red. Real red. Fire hydrant lips, rouge nails, a dress that clung like drying blood to the curvature of her body. I wasn’t sure what I noticed first: her fingers methodically tapping hidden rhythms on the side of her glass -clink clink clink clink clink- or the abundant aura of red, but regardless, I shouldn’t have spoken to her. She was, and is, my sweetest downfall. But that’s not the point, is it? Because I did, I spoke to her, my greeting hovering in the dusky thrum of the bar that sat between the crossroads of everywhere and nowhere, because this was where my life changed. One word:

"Hey."

She swiveled in her seat, and I’m pretty damn sure that a rift happened somewhere in the universe during that moment, because I could feel a pickaxe tearing through my flesh and bones and, by god, my heart, as she turned to look at me. Then she smiled.

That was how I met Lolita, my first love.

———

I’m sitting at the same bar again, half a decade later. They say that time flies when you’re having fun, so I guess the opposite is true too—that time slows down when you’re feeling miserable. Although, ‘miserable’ is a bit of a harsh word; ‘numb’ would be a more accurate descriptor. I’m numb, numb, numb, and I can’t feel a fucking thing. It’s been five years, but if I close my eyes, I can still feel Lolita’s cold limbs curled on top of me, her body quivering and bucking under the weight of a two-ton vehicle. I can hear her whispering in my ear, over and over: "You’re safe, baby, you’re safe."

But I’m not safe. I’m really not. I’m just numb. And yet, in the foggy recesses of my mind, I can still manage to distinguish the tell-tale sign that I am being addressed by a stranger—someone is tapping my shoulder, someone is slipping onto the seat next to me. Lolita’s seat. I don’t look up, not until the stranger speaks:

"Hey."

My head snaps to attention, and the gut feeling in my stomach gurgles through my throat and out my mouth in the form of a hurried inquiry, “Lolita!?” It’s not Lolita, of course it’s not. But it could be. She has the same eyes, doe-like and ochre. Same white-blonde hair, the kind of faded color that’s reminiscent of bone marrow. Same red-painted lips, although Lolita was always smiling. This woman is frowning.

"What? No. Who the hell is Lolita?" She doesn’t wait for an answer, and her slender fingers reach out to grasp my hand. "I’m Wednesday." I limply shake her hand but I don’t bother to tell her my name—she must sense my unenthusiasm, because she promptly lets go and occupies her freed hand by tugging on the pinkened ends of her clipped hair. For a while, neither of us speaks, and she drums her fingers on the counter while I sit there and marvel at her physical similarity to Lolita. It’s fucking bonkers, they could almost be twins. Awkward silence. "Well," Wednesday finally says -her voice is throaty sounding, like jazz and too many cigarettes- as she sits up straight, "This has been lovely, but I’ve got things to do. Au revoir, mystery boy.” And then she’s leaning towards me and I can feel the soft puffs of her breath skitter across my face, one, two, three, and she’s kissing me, Lolita is kissing me, and her thumbs hook themselves on my back pockets. Instinctively, I deepen the kiss, but then she’s pulling away, and the last thing I see are her red lips bared into a shit-eating grin as she walks away, those nimble fingers tucking away a small object between the folds of her dress.

It’s not until later that I realize my wallet is missing from my back pocket.

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