1963-07-08 - Pawns
Summary: Sean Garrison puts his best effort forth in following Amora's wishes concerning Cecilia Reyes.
Related: http://marvel1963mush.wikidot.com/log:1963-07-06-my-pet
Theme Song: 'Psycho Killer' Talking Heads
garrison cecilia 

The world went on, as it so often does in the wake of great personal change. Cecilia Reyes was a mutant. This had become abundantly clear to her neighbors and childhood friends, the tattered remains of her family that she shared a 1 bedroom apartment with in the inner city of the Bronx.

This world of familiarity and memory was already separate from the cleanly laundered clothing she carefully ironed before stepping on the bus to attend classes at Columbia, the manicured fingers that primly held pencil with as much competence as scalpel, and the ‘Sir’ and ‘Ma’m’ she so carefully offered up to anyone in Academia.

Mutant or not, her neighborhood had always been her people. And while there were sideways glances, suspicious whispers, idle gossip and the occasional fearful crossing of the street to opposing sidewalk; this neighborhood held far worse than a mutant girl attending college. Perhaps she was genetically altered at some loci in her DNA, but diversity was as integral a part of the Bronx as the air its residents’ breathed. Cecilia bundled herself in the warmth of that blanket sewn from so many thousands of threads, and let it swallow her up in anonymity every night when she stepped off the bus.

Fear followed her with the click-click of hound nails set to track. It was subtle, a prickling at the back of the neck, a sixth sense her mama had always warned her to heed. When she turned on the bus or the street, there was nothing there, like sweeping the bed skirt aside only to find the darkness underneath the bed unoccupied. Often she would pause halfway to her bus stop, wavering in the early morning hours with her breath chasing out from between red lips in wispy tendrils of steam. Never could she find an eye on her, but something untouchable had slipped into her senses and threatened to tighten fingers around her neck, pressing and pressing until the windpipe collapsed.

She was familiar with the nature of trauma. The nightmares were normal, and though she woke in the middle of the night often to the memories of bone crunching under her palm, the subtle pop as ocular nerves crushed beneath her thumbs, the sound of percolating black coffee always roused her back to reality. Curled up on the couch with her knees to her chest and the chipped mug that she had favored since adolescence, the memories were swallowed up by the comforts of the present.

The fear remained, though.

As the days wore on, the very act of breathing became a chore through tightly compressed chest. Every last inhalation was slowly forced down, clearing the head with a purposeful exhale those years of martial arts training had forced into instinct. The black circles beneath her eyes were overwhelming the concealer she applied, until finally she abandoned the effort, citing her studies as the causation. She took to walking at every opportunity, something about the passage of city blocks beneath purposeful stride putting her farther and farther from the anxiety that threatened to cripple her.


Something about the walking dissuaded the shadow of fear that stalked her steps from bus seats, park benches, behind the glaring windows of expensive car. The distant call of the neighborhood she lived within became her only refuge, for the jackal that sniffed after her steps slowed at the border, pacing and waiting. Sean Garrison had become gaunt in his focused efforts; the stone within his jacket pocket a constant, tugging reminder of his purpose. ‘Let us start with a nudge of … fear. She could use a portion or two of it’ had been the command of his goddess, and he complied for lack of free will to do anything else.

Though he saturated the very air around Miss Reyes with a perpetual concoction of terror, he could produce no hunted looks or cowering paranoia. At first the strength was intriguing, but he quickly tired in both mind and body of the effort it took to press with no considerable effect observed. Still, for two days’ time he followed her through campus at an easy distance, stepping onto the bus a stop or two before she did, cruising slowly down the street to park just outside the café where she was taking her coffee.

Sean may have been at a loss for how to cripple his target, but that did not stop him from slinking just outside her peripheral attentions and working what meager magic he could.

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