Hello! Welcome to a brand new Paranormal Tuesday!!!
As I said before (In a post you may or may not have read) unlike Secondary Sundays, Paranormal Tuesdays will be divided in two categories or “parts”: Phantom Tales and Grim Days.
You’ve already met the first characters in this universe, so here I bring you new ones.
I hope you enjoy this first Grim Day.
GD: Ramona and Sebastian
Life ends and starts with a flash. Or at least that’s what people have told Ramona over the years. She’s not too sure about the details of coming and going, but she does know about the process of it.
She knows that human beings live and breathe and maybe even love or hate. She knows what emotions and memories do to a decaying body. She intimately knows the way in which people barter and beg once their time is done and they realize they’re not ready to go.
Almost anyone in her position would refuse, of course. They’re trained to refuse and stand strong and tall and towering over the rest of someone else’s kingdom, but Ramona could never get into the habit of cold steel and punishing eyes.
It’s not because she feels a particular affinity with those who roam the world -No, she has fortunately escaped that particular affliction- but because she finds it easier and amusing to reach deals with the living. She likes the idea of aking for tales and precious objects thay can only delay the inevitable.
Someone might escape her today, by the short gasp of a breath, but they will escape her tomorrow.
“I knew I’d find you here.” Sebastian’s mocking voice reaches her before the distinct smell cold beer does.
Ramona turns around to see his dirty blond hair and careless blue eyes. He’s holding two cans of beer in his perpetually stained fingers, and he carries the feeling of a job well done with him.
“Where else would I be?” She takes one of the beers, which leaves Sebastian’s pecking fingers free to steal the almost forgotten cigarette from her lips.
“Dunno, town square maybe? You’re not usually this fond of heights.” He looks down toward the ground stretching fifteen floors below them.
“I’m keeping a lookout,” Ramona says. She doesn’t have to point to the right direction for Sebastian to find Letty lounging on her couch as she reads an old magazine.
“Ah.” He smirks. “How foolish of me, of course.”
He doesn’t offer any other comment but he does sit down beside her. His long legs reach further beyond than hers, but only just barely. Their shoulders rest comfortably a width apart as they look out to the streets and people below them.
For a moment, Ramona distracts herself looking at the sharp tip of her heels, the muted brown complexion of her legs, and how they compare to Sebastian’s gangly, jean-encased legs. As she moves her feet from one side to the other, Sebastian mimics her movement until their lower bodies are swaying in tandem to a soundless tune.
The wind whips her short black hair away from her face, intermittently slapping Sebastian’s. He doesn’t frown or show any signs of being affected by it, though.
“It’s getting colder,” He notes, voice calm and soothing like an Autumn’s evening.
“It’s always like that before the beginning of spring.”
Sebastian hums. “We’re about to get very busy very soon.”
Ramona makes an inquisitive noise, looking down and away trying and failing to find an approaching disaster.
“The beginning of spring is always the busiest,” He says, blowing cigarette smoke into the cooling air.
“Oh.” Ramona focuses her eyes back on Letty, noticing the careful twist of her lips as she mouths along with her reading. “You are right.”
Sebastian shrugs. “Not something I’m proud of.”
Ramona snorts and looks at him sharply. Her hair whips back and forth between them, until Sebastian grimaces and offers her a wriggly, silicone hair band.
“One of today’s barters, I suppose.” Ramona arches an eyebrow, but takes the offering and pulls her hair up into an absentminded bun.
“She was six.” Is all Sebastian says before his eyes get lost once more in the darkening skies.
They never give reasons for what they do and what it means. They both have a very different reasoning for doing what they do, but they mostly cite the same argument when asked about it: it’s fun.
“You’re taking care of Smith’s tonight.” He says, seemingly out of nowhere. “I promised Lucas I’d swing by tonight and bring him some records.”
“Is that wise?” Ramona drawls.
“Probably not.” Sebastian shrugs. “But he said they’re getting tired of the old selection and it was making their patrons antsy.”
“Antsy,” Ramona scoffs. “I’d reckon that if I were human, I too would get antsy if the hotel I was staying at started to play Chopin at four in the morning. From my toilet.”
“It’s all good fun,” Sebastian dismissed her with a careless wave of his hand. “Besides, they’ve now moved onto the newest classics. I’ve heard that Lady Gaga from a toothbrush is equally haunting.”
Despite herself, Ramona laughs in between snorts. Sebastian makes that satisfied face he always makes when he gets to prove that ‘Ramona has feelings just like the rest of us.’
“I bet,” she says once she manages to calm down her breathing.
Even after all the laughing is done she can feel and hear the air echoing inside her empty chest. It’s strange to breathe in and out through a body that doesn’t really need it. A body that lacks the fundamental pieces necessary to turn oxygen into energy and carbon dioxide.
“You sure are looking grim today.” Ramona starts and jumps to her feet to face the owner of the voice. A girl that looks like she’s sixteen and thirty between blinks of the eye is hovering over the roof of the building. Her muted ginger hair falls heavily to the middle of her back. The dullness of it contrasts almost comically against the bright cheeriness of her sundress.
“Unholiness, Paige!” Ramona curses. “What are you doing here?” She yells at the same time that Sebastian says “Ha ha, look who’s so funny.” without turning around.
“Oh, just thought I’d drop by to see how you guys were doing.” She smiles serenely, flicking her hair over her shoulder as she allows the heel of her sandals to touch the ground.
“I heard the rumours but I didn’t think they would be true.”
“Rumours?” Sebastian questions with a snarl, his distaste for Paige evident I’m the way his flingers crumple his still smoking cigarette into a ball.
“That you had finally settled!” Paige announces cheerily.
“Settled?” Ramona frowns, at the same time Sebastian deadpans, “we’ve lived here for years.”
Paige smiles, and her face turns into a darker version of itself. Then in the blink of an eye she’s back to the serene expression. “Not the rumour I’ve heard,” she singsongs.
“Then what,” Ramona hisses through clenched teeth.
“I heard that you two had finally made yourself at home in the twenty first century. Marisol said she’d seen you walking around in clothes that fit for once.” She mocks Sebastian, whose ears turn bright red in two parts anger, one part embarrassment. “And that you,” she carries on, spinning in a quarter of a circle until she’s face to face with Ramona. “Were socializing with the locals.”
Sebastian looks about ready to jump off the building just so he doesn’t have to hear Paige talk any longer, so Ramona takes pity on him.
“So what? Aren’t you guys the ones that said half a century was long enough for someone to settle somewhere.”
“Well, my, oh, my.” Paige fans herself, pretending to be fighting tears. “I just never thought I’d see the day.”
Sebastian fumes silently from the edge of the building, silently debating the benefits of jumping off and away, and having to deal with Ramona later.
“Whatever do you mean?” He forces out of a clenched jaw.
“Puh-lease,” she drawls. “Nobody settles down in nowhere ville.”
“More like Nowhere City.” Sebastian corrects her with a drawl.
“Or Nowhere Metropolis,” Ramona joins in almost jovially. “We have enough numbers now.”
“At one point does it stop being Nowhere and just becomes Somewhere?” Sebastian asks with exaggerated interest. “I mean, it needs to be at least Somewhere by now, right?”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah.” Ramona nods rapidly. “We have skyscrapers now, not many but enough.”
“Right, if we had, say… Five more, maybe we could move on from Somewhere and become A Place.”
“You two are such idiots.” Paige rolls her eyes.
“Oh, I’m sorry.” Sebastian smirks. “We forgot you were there for a moment.”
“Yeah, we were too busy settling to pay attention.”
Paige makes an annoyed noise in the back of her throat and disappears. It’s neither gradual nor sudden. She doesn’t fly away or open a portal into another place, or even wink out of existence with a flair, as some people seem to think. She is simply there one second and then not the next one, like she had never been there to begin with. It’s as if anyone would be crazy to think she had ever occupied any space at all.
“Well that was annoying,” Ramona grumbles.
“You’d think they’d stop caring after so many years.”
Ramona shrugs. “I honestly don’t give a crap that you’re wearing jeans and a brown leather jacket as opposed to your fluffy black coat and navy blue cordoroy pants fashion.”
Sebastian looks like he wants to roll his eyes at her jibe, but he only pats the concrete beside him, inviting her to sit back down.
“So,” he says, once Ramona has sat down and her idle fingers are picking away at the bits of dried clear polish on Sebastian’s jeans. “Smith.”
“Smith,” she echoes. “I’ll do him, I don’t care.”
I don’t mind, is what she means. But she would never say that out loud. That’s just not who she was.
“‘Course you don’t,” Sebastian replies, a thank you in twisted letters and words.
They stay like that for a while longer. Lofty has long since moved away from the bay window and has started to clean her room slowly. Over the back of her couch, Sebastian catches a glimpse of a faded black coat and smiles. Ramona reaches over to tap his closed fist with one long red nail twice.
“Cheers,” She says.
“Cheers,” Sebastian replies, and then just like that, they both jump off the edge of the building.
At first there’s a pull and then nothing, like grvoty wasn’t even an aftrrhtough for them. It isn’t.
Ramona opens her eyes, her body is still falling but she doesn’t care. She wants to seethe sun reflected off a hundred windows as it sets and Sebastian takes flight away and above her.
One breath she’s falling and the next her pump clad feet make gentle contact with the ground. There’s a child standing directly in front of her, staring wide eyed as his ball rolls away from his limp hands.
“Are you an angel?” He asks, warily.
“Yes,” she says, as her fingers reach out to ruffle his hair. “That I am, kid.”
She doesn’t say which kind, but then again she doesn’t need to.
Good angels don’t have bones for wings, and they certainly don’t take children off and away to end their lives.
No, that’s what Grims are for.