disparage: [ ELENA ] (there you go.)
caroline forbes, VAMPIRE BARBIE. ([personal profile] disparage) wrote in [community profile] pivot2014-03-14 12:38 pm

( i'll remember someday )

It was difficult to play Chinese Whispers in Abax when one person could simply log onto the network and broadcast the whisper in question. This morning, she had awoken to an announcement about a black cat — or dozen — that had made themselves at home in pivotal locations in the city. One, they said, was rumoured to be that of Cleopatra's, one to be Julius Caesar's, and another, Marc Antony's. While Caroline was positive that much of this information was untrue, it hadn't prevented her from blur-running to Christine's door and demanding they find Cleopatra's cat at once. It might be good luck, she thought and even voiced, to find the cat of such a pivotal historical figure.

Searching for a black cat, with little to no proof it was, in fact, Egyptian, kept her mind from wandering. Many people she had thought would remain with her in Abax for her tenure were gone. The streets were quieter, the ghosts had multiplied by the dozen over night, and the worry gnawed at her bones that she would, one day, awake and find Christine Chapel gone.

It was this thought that prompted Caroline to loop her arm with Christine's the moment they stepped away from her front door. And she kept her arm tightly hooked to her faux sister's, from her apartment all the way to the museum.

The Sphinx stood, foreboding, in front of them. Caroline wasn't sure if she had seen anything so scary in her life — and she had seen the cruel face of Death. It loomed, gigantic and historic, before them, waiting, patiently, for them to approach and request a riddle. Caroline leaned away from Christine, arm still looped, to peer around the big body of the creature. She had always suspected there to be another way around, a crack in its rather hard, stony armour, but she had not been able to find such a thing, even in the deepest of night when she couldn't sleep and the nightmares of home had kept her awake.

Her heart was hammering in her chest. She'd been to the museum a few times before, but she had never been the one to answer the riddle. Even with Christine by her side, she felt uneasy, as if on a boat in unruly waters, standing before the doorman. "We have to remember," she said, her eyes never leaving the Sphinx, "that seeing a black, Egyptian cat that may have been Cleopatra's is so worth it." She nodded, convincing herself, then turned to face Christine with a smile. "So worth it."
hypospraying: (concern ○ i'll hold my breath)

[personal profile] hypospraying 2014-03-14 02:35 am (UTC)(link)
Christine had never been big on history. She enjoyed the arts, and science of course, but history had never really been her thing. It was for this reason that she gave Caroline a skeptical look when the younger woman came to fetch her for this little expedition. She'd be more impressed if the actual Cleopatra showed up as opposed to her maybe cat.

But Caroline looked excited about this, so she allowed herself to be led to the museum. It wasn't like her days in Abax were so full that she couldn't fit this into her schedule anyway. At the foot of the Sphinx, Christine looked up at Caroline, wondering if she was having second thoughts. The word was that if you got a riddle wrong, you lost a memory. Of course this had taken some time to establish as fact, since those who lost a memory didn't realize it was lost. But now that they knew this was the case, Christine was wary. She was pretty smart, but a lot of riddles relied on common sense and the thing about smart people was that sometimes they couldn't see the forest for the trees.

She inhaled deeply and forced a smile when Caroline looked back at her. This would make her happy and they desperately needed that here in Abax. But before they got started, Christine had to show a bit of that worry.

"Before we do this, are you absolutely sure you want to risk losing a memory just to see this historically significant cat? We haven't found out where our lost memories go."
hypospraying: (frustrated ○ not this talk again)

[personal profile] hypospraying 2014-03-14 03:20 am (UTC)(link)
There was a slight huff of annoyance from Christine as she was shoved, but she found her footing and contemplated the Sphinx again. The creature watched them impassively for a long moment, letting them get their issues out before she would begin her riddles.

"All right," Christine finally said, readying herself for this. Maybe if she got it wrong the Sphinx would take a bad memory anyway. But why was she thinking she'd get it wrong? She didn't allow herself to fail at things. This was a challenge, and she could rise to the occasion.

Lifting her chin a little, she stared at the Sphinx, who stood up and began stretching very much like a cat. Christine hoped this cat they were trying to get in to see would be worth it. It had better be able to talk and tell them all about Cleopatra.

The Sphinx took her time, but finally lay back down, looking between the two.

"A group may enter if one agrees to answer the riddle and does so correctly. But beware: answer incorrectly and I will steal a memory. Who volunteers?"
hypospraying: (worried ○ like blood like honey)

[personal profile] hypospraying 2014-03-14 05:17 pm (UTC)(link)
Christine told herself that she should volunteer. She was older and made it her mission to look out for Caroline. She knew it wasn't completely necessary, since a vampire could probably take care of herself better than a human, but this was a riddle, not a physical fight and so Christine probably should have stepped up to save Caroline in case she didn't know the answer.

And yet she stalled, her tongue stuck. What if she lost something precious? What if she lost a really good memory that she had always latched onto in this dark world? What then?

Caroline's voice jolted her and she looked between her friend and the Sphinx. Okay, so they were doing this.

"All my riddles are easy," the Sphinx said, twitching her tail lazily. "It is people who are not smart enough to divine the answer. But here is my riddle: What goes round the house and in the house but never touches the house?"

Christine swallowed hard. She couldn't even help Caroline because she had no idea what that even could be.
hypospraying: (shock ○ put up defenses)

[personal profile] hypospraying 2014-03-15 05:30 am (UTC)(link)
"Incorrect," the Sphinx intoned, no compassion in her voice. "The correct answer is: the sun. And you have now lost a memory."

"No!" Christine protested, head whipping back between her friend and the creature. "Please, can I get it back for her by answering a riddle?" Her heart was thudding quickly against her chest. She didn't want Caroline to lose any part of herself, especially a part that might be regained. But the Sphinx let out a slight hiss, not about to make a deal.

"No. You may answer a riddle correctly in order to gain passage into the museum only. You cannot barter for anything else."

Looking up at Caroline, Christine exhaled a shaky sigh.

"Are you all right?" Her eyes darted back and forth across her friend's face, as if she could read her like a book and learn the answer without words needing to pass between them.
hypospraying: (surprised ○ that's one hell of a rash)

[personal profile] hypospraying 2014-03-15 05:58 am (UTC)(link)
"You haven't changed," Christine said warily, unless the memory she'd lost was that the Sphinx took memories in the first place. She seemed to think her body would have changed instead.

Her gaze shifted to the ring Caroline always wore, wondering what she meant by that.

"But you always wear it. Maybe the memory you lost is where you got it?"

She hoped it wasn't a precious heirloom, given to her by her grandmother or something. If Christine had been in her shoes, that would be the type of memory she would hate to have slip through her fingers.

"What do we do now?"
hypospraying: (concern ○ that's a fugly top)

[personal profile] hypospraying 2014-03-15 06:14 am (UTC)(link)
"Bonnie's the witch, right?" Because maybe the ring had some special spell on it. Though Christine couldn't recall Caroline ever mentioning it, so perhaps that was just wishful thinking on her part.

Without knowing just what she'd lost, Caroline couldn't know if it was a huge, life-altering thing or not. And Christine wasn't willing to believe it hadn't worked. Not with the way the Sphinx sat silently, listening to them guess at this.

"But you were really excited to see it. We could try again. I can go this time." She wasn't looking forward to the prospect of losing a memory, but she both wanted to cheer Caroline up and prove to herself that she wouldn't fail. Looking back at the Sphinx, she said "Ask me a riddle," without giving Caroline a chance to respond to her first.
hypospraying: (serious ○ falling out of view)

[personal profile] hypospraying 2014-03-15 06:35 am (UTC)(link)
Christine paled slightly, as no immediate answer came to the front of her mind. The question made no sense. If you could catch something, logically you could throw it too, because in order to catch something, it had to be thrown by someone in the first place!

She stared at the ground, mind racing. What could be caught? It couldn't just be any old object. It had to be something specific. And that was when Christine began overthinking it. She didn't consider wordplay or the intangible, because her mind was picking at the two words "catch and throw," thinking it had to be something physical.

Finally, she thought she had it. Or at least she hoped she did.

"A falling object," she tried. Because the fact that it was falling separated it from something that could be thrown. It couldn't be thrown while it was still falling.
hypospraying: (upset ○ i'm forgetting everyone)

[personal profile] hypospraying 2014-03-15 04:47 pm (UTC)(link)
"Of course," Christine murmured to herself. "Catch a cold. Of course." It had been stupidly easy and she'd failed to get it right. This would make the list of times she wished she could crawl away into a hole and never come out again.

It was sweet, Caroline arguing on her behalf, but she'd agreed to the rules in the first place so nothing could be done. Swallowing thickly, she nodded her head and forced a weak smile.

"All ten fingers and toes," she stated, in imitation of Caroline. "And cold free."