“Does she die at the end?”
The pen rolled away from the woman’s hand; tense, pale fingers uncurling to allow the trinket to clatter against the half-full mug of her now cold coffee. It had been a few hours since she had actually gotten up from her seat to get coffee, now that she thought about it.
“I want to know so that I don’t get my hopes up too high.”
The question had come from her editor, the tanned skin of the stern man standing out stark against the pale lavender of her living room wall. His nose was scrunched up in obvious disgust, his eyes had slid away from the mess of papers on her coffee table, her current desk, to the piles of movies pressed up into a corner of the living room.
The table was also covered in the remains of a plentiful Chinese food delivery, as well as empty bottles of soda. There was no way she would risk an open tabbed can near her work. As well as what was once an entire box of strawberry snack cakes.
“Why would I tell you if the main character dies at the end?” Her voice was raspy, unused, and definitely out of practice as she slid the mess of papers out of her space, creating the smallest area where she could begin to gather and stack them in a neater way. Eyes the color of a doe’s fur, brown and gold lifted from the work to look over her editor again. He was agitated, unwilling to touch her furniture and steering a good ten feet away from her kitchen doorway, where a large stack of dishes was visible; perched precariously beside the empty sink. It oddly resembled the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
“I don’t want to get my hopes up,” he insisted, his eyes straying with much less disgust back to the papers in her hands. He tilted his head, ink-colored bangs falling out of his carefully gelled back position as he leaned closer to get a better look.
She thought it over. Technically she had no obligation to tell this man of what she planned. Although the other side of the coin would be considered common courtesy.
Then there was the fact that he was an asshole on deadline week.
However, there was also the fact that he would come over in an instant if it meant she was having writer’s block.
Armed with coffee, usually, and a takeout bag from her favorite burger restaurant.
“I haven’t decided,” she admitted after a few moments.
He sighed in what she assumed was relief.
“The hell you put that woman through is only made up for in the fact that she has fun with it,” Akiiki, the surly man, muttered. He seemed to get over his aversion to her untidy apartment quick enough, striding with his polished black leather shoes past the bulk of her coffee table, and where she sat perched on an authentic blue zabuton.
“If I don’t make every effort to have her suffer, I fail as an author,” the woman chuckled, offering the man the last of her cakes, truly the only step she has ever made in the right direction for hosting and socializing, period. He declined it, but she only tossed it back into the cake box, her elbow casually sliding the forgotten wrappers into the small trash can on her left, placed there for this specific purpose. “I make a character, and then I give them a goal. To fill the hundred thousand or so pages of adventure they need to go through, I have to stop, and think; how can I, in the most efficient and brutal manner, deter this woman from peace and happiness?”
“You are a savage writer and I question every day why teens and young adults love you,” the man muttered balefully, plucking the now neatly organized mess of papers out of her hand to look through it. There were no overlying pen marks, yet, so she likely would need another week. Because of course, she would need another week. What author didn’t second guess themselves before each and every deadline and try to rewrite every single line?
“What can I say,” the woman smiled, all teeth and no humor, “Tragedy sells.”
“I will not forgive you for killing her dog,” Akiiki protested under his breath.
“No one will ever forgive me for killing her dog,” Pipperly scoffed, rolling her eyes in an amused manner, already reaching for the cold coffee and stopping herself just in time from drinking it. Getting to her feet was a bit of a chore; her legs were numb with pins and needles and her feet had long since lost blood circulation to her toes.
She left to put the mug in the sink, while her surly editor worked through the pages she had finished typing.
It took her twelve and a half minutes to grind and make her own coffee, tossing the thoroughly engrossed man a haughty smirk when he dared to glare over the pages at her.
“She gets kidnapped, again?!”
“Too much?” Pipperly shrugged, “She has to be used to it, by now. She’s a millennial and an optimist. I needed her to wind up in Gurun somehow.”
“I loathe you,” the man hissed, clicking his official, elegant-looking and also damning silver engraved pen with the harsh red ink and scribbling in the margins as he worked.
“Eh, I never much cared for your opinion,” the woman chuckled, slumping back down to her pillow after a few seconds and running her fingers through her messy, deep chocolate hair. It was nearly black in its darkness.
“Should I brace myself for more of your heartless ideas or will I get a small amount of decency in a sweet team bonding scene?”
“Read and find out,” Pipperly smiled innocently.
Akiiki narrowed his eyes, but said nothing, turning back to the pages in his hands with severe focus while the girl in the hoodie and the panda slippers leaned back in her seat to savor her coffee.
Just another deadline gone by...
The arch of the blade reflected the glare of his brother’s eyes. Had he been told even the night before that it would come to this between them, he would have scoffed and dismissed the pour fool who dared to-
Pipperly cried out, snarling audibly as she glared at the woman holding a perfectly manicured hand on top of her shut laptop. She’d been lucky her fingers hadn’t been smashed in the crossfire.
“Work Time is over, Pip,” the girl cooed, wiggling her fingers in an almost spooky gesture to the elder woman’s dark, unamused face. “Put the sadistic melodrama away for a few hours and come drinking with us-!”
“I’d rather gargle rusty nails,” Pipperly drawled, swiping the laptop quickly so she could open it back up and save her progress. It was shut again and this time the very tip of her middle finger was assaulted in the process, causing her to yelp like a trod-upon cat.
“You decided to grace the office with your presence,” the computer was dragged away from her by the perky, pigtail strawberry blonde-haired menace while a pair of larger, visibly more buff arms swung from behind her to keep her from lunging forward. “You get to deal with the welcome-back-to-society celebration-!”
“I am eight chapters away from finishing this fucking series,” Pipperly was seething in the arm of her chuckling coworker, cursing the fact that she knew who he was by scent. Her gym partner and one of her office friends, Jason. “Give me back my laptop-!”
“I’ll give it back when you drink two beers-!” she held up two fingers for emphasis and grinned, showing off pearly white teeth set in a petal-pink-mouthed grin.
Against her better judgment, she was dragged to the company’s favorite hotspot, a bar called Mickey’s with a cocktail and a scotch glass on the glowing sign outside. Pipperly was parked onto a bar seat by Jason and a beer was shoved into her hand by Serena, the previously mentioned strawberry blonde.
Sometimes, Pip thought to herself with vague, exhausted annoyance, chugging back the first beer with a blank face, I think they only invite me to these because they know I drink the most...
True to her own silent, begrudging prophecy, she finished off three more tall beers with her coworkers mingled and laughed in a ragged group of ten or so. Jason looked over to her every so often, his eyes flickering across her face, but she had already had this conversation with him, and she wasn’t keen to repeat it, even drunk.
Finishing off her fifth beer, she decided to call it a night before her pleasant-ish buzz turned into a buzz-kill.
She put down the money for her drinks and a decent tip, shouldering her bag which she had quickly swiped from Serena’s side, the young woman laughing too loudly at something another coworker Pipperly couldn’t name from the top of her head had said in a strained, laughter-filled gasp.
Clearly, they were well enough to entertain themselves without the grace of her presence.
She only made it to the exit after getting bumped into by no less than three people, the worried form of Jason looking for her petite stature from his position towering above the average heights of the residents causing her to only pick up the pace of escape.
She rounded the corner before anyone could bump into her again, walking briskly down the sidewalk with her keys looped between her fingers and her other hand holding her phone in her pocket.
Her eyes darted from face to face, immediately clocking who was drunk, who was exhausted, who was ready to party, and lastly, and most importantly, who was looking for trouble.
By the grace of God, she made it to the bus stop bench with about ten minutes to spare, no interruptions, and with the cool air leaving her sober and refreshed.
She kept her keys looped between her fingers but brought out her phone to open up her author’s page to look at the newest posts.
cactuscriteria:Oh my gaawwwwdddd-?!?!!?┻━┻︵💨ᕙ(🔥益🔥ᕙ ) Hw mch longer until the nxt book-?! ᕙ( ︡'︡益'︠)ง
scubaorc:God, you’d think the guillotine would show us a little mercy.
SnowLeopard226:Have you been reading the books at all-?! When has this vindictive, brutal excuse of a villain granted us even an iota of mercy-?!
cutesyplumrivera:Piperrrrrrrr ~TToTT~ You horrible, horrible man! I will never forgive you!
‘Still salty about the dog dying,’ Pip thought, feeling her entire being shift with mild resignation. Ah well, she knew they’d be pissed. But.. well, the scene didn’t feel right without the dog dying...
She had tried to work around that, but the previous scenes had a lead-up that had her skin crawling at the thought of removing it.
And now.. She was on the last of nine books, eight chapters away from finishing.
She’d already written the epilogue, all that was left was getting it there.
This curveball was going to be the highlight of her career-
Pipperly was so engrossed in the blush-happy, sugar-sweet ending she’d envisioned for her babies that she failed to notice that the ground beneath her foot stepped forward gave away, a solid, eerie, red-colored circle of light snapping up from the bowels of the dark space between the bus steps and cement of the sidewalk.
A scream, trapped in her throat, managed to leave her lips in a panicked gasp, paired eerily with the terrified screaming of several other bystanders who either leaped back out of the range of the light swallowing her whole or scrambling to pull out their phones.
Ah- her final thoughts swirled through her rapidly darkening vision and consciousness, seeing the flash of a camera and several other phones in her periphery, paired with several terrified faces otherwise, ‘Now I remember why I tormented Moira..’
‘Humans are cruel... And to think otherwise is..’