Tag Archives: Virago

Virago: Part the Thirteenth — Confusion

First chapter: Fire & Rain

Previous chapter: Answers

They were fighting again. Kelsey and Hannah were always fighting. But usually, their arguments were a lot more passive aggressive than this one.

Arthur walked into the room just as Kelsey suggested that her sister leave the premises. He was aware that he should only interfere if the disagreement became physical. Watching the two, he felt rather sure that it wouldn’t get that far.

Kelsey’s eyes opened back up and she looked across at her sister with a sneer.

“So you’re still here. I guess you don’t actually mind being in this ‘hexed-up’ house after all.”

Hannah pursed her lips. Kelsey sighed, twisting her neck until she heard a satisfying crack. Arthur examined his Keepers’ faces. The likelihood of them getting past this argument was high. But there was also a likelihood the girls could end up fighting dirty.

Continue reading Virago: Part the Thirteenth — Confusion

Virago: Part the Twelfth — Sibling Rivalry

First chapter: Fire & Rain

Previous chapter: Answers

The chipmunks Hannah had tried to tame had always bitten her. It aggravated her that even the smallest animal couldn’t understand that all Hannah wanted to do was help. With her focus turned to Kelsey and trying to make sure she had a decently normal life took entirely too much energy out of her. Why did Kelsey always get to have everything her way?

Hannah was heading home from the restaurant where she had just enjoyed dinner with some of her friends. She bet Kelsey would just be sitting at home messing around with her wall apps. Hannah’s therapist had told her to be supportive of Kelsey. But how could someone support something so innately destructive? It blew her mind how Kelsey didn’t even see the destruction she caused. She erased the incidents surrounding their parents’ death like they weren’t even there. But Hannah knew what happened.

Kelsey was the one who hurt small birds only to heal them up again. She tormented the little animals Hannah tried to nurture alone. Kelsey thrived on being alone because nobody would want to be around her on purpose. Hannah would inwardly seethe with rage at how ignorant her younger sister would remain towards the pain she had caused so many others. She heard about the student who spontaneously burst into flame on the same campus Kelsey had attended. That was no mere accident. What would it take for the suffering to stop?  Hannah took a deep breath. She gripped the steering wheel tighter as she inhaled and loosed her hold as she exhaled. Much better. Everything would be fine. After all, maybe she was much too passive. Kelsey was just the opposite. Only nobody ever knew. Kelsey could create pain and mayhem without anyone knowing it was her. That wasn’t passive. That was just dirty. But Hannah could confront her. Tell her that the elephant in the room must be addressed. Her real or imagined “super” powers had to go. And if they wouldn’t go, Hannah would make them stop.

Continue reading Virago: Part the Twelfth — Sibling Rivalry

Virago: Part the Eleventh — Answers

First chapter: Fire & Rain

Previous chapter: Expiration

It was eerie being inside a near stranger’s house alone. Kelsey winced as she heard the linoleum squeak beneath her sneaker. She made her way towards the living room and tapped on the walls to bring up Barbara’s wall app. She was stunned when nothing lit up. What sort of archaic shit was this woman into?

Kelsey idly glanced towards the candles. The woman had multitudes of those in here. Candles were thought to summon spirits when used correctly or to honour perished loved ones.

She lit some of the candles nearest to her. They were all in a row. She looked at the window. Luckily, this room only had windows facing the backyard. Nobody should notice from the street. Kelsey closed her eyes and calmed her mind. She wasn’t exactly sure what she was trying to do here. She half-expected the house to somehow give her some guidance, or maybe some part of her would explain what the hell was going on.

The flames leapt towards the ceiling with a whoosh! Kelsey’s eyes flew open, worried that something was going to catch ablaze. She looked around the room, but it was silent and still. Until a shadow appeared in front of her. It didn’t have a face but it had the form of something once human. Kelsey chewed on a hangnail. Who was supposed to speak first in this sort of scenario, anyway?

Continue reading Virago: Part the Eleventh — Answers

Virago: Part the Tenth — Expiration

First chapter: Fire & Rain

Previous chapter: Dreams

“We are all monsters. It is the ones who deny that who end up being the most monstrous of us all.”

Kelsey couldn’t remember where she had heard this quote, but she liked it. She had come to terms with the fact that she was strange a long time ago. But boring people like her coworker Josh and her sister Hannah were the sort of people who would never admit to their own private monstrosities. Perhaps Barbara was one as well.

Kelsey chewed her lip. She wasn’t keen on accusing Barbara of anything. Especially if she didn’t have anything but a bad dream to go on. But Barbara had been popping into her life lately, and it couldn’t have been pure chance that Kelsey ended up in Barbara’s yard one rainy evening. It could have been any other nutcase neighbour.

Grabbing her hoodie, she stomped downstairs. Arthur was midway through a greeting when the front door slammed in his face. Kelsey pulled the drawstrings tight around her face and shoved her hands deep into her hoodie’s pockets. It wasn’t a long walk to Barbara’s. But it was cold.

Continue reading Virago: Part the Tenth — Expiration

Virago: Part the Ninth — Dreams

First chapter: Fire & Rain

Previous chapter: Smiles

Seeing Barbara at 7-Eleven annoyed Kelsey. Turtle Creek was a small town, but it wasn’t that small.  Her presence reminded her of what she had said about Kelsey’s parents. The false sincerity. It left a bad taste in her mouth.

Something else was off about Barbara. She seemed vaguely hypocritical. The way she would silently despise Kelsey, but be openly curious about her. Barbara knew Kelsey was different, but how?

Continue reading Virago: Part the Ninth — Dreams

Virago: Part the Eighth — Smiles

First chapter: Fire & Rain

Previous chapter: Nostalgia

The rain pattered against Kelsey’s bedroom window. A forlorn leaf affixed itself to the lower pane, askew. There would be no sun infiltrating the clouds today. Kelsey awoke uncomfortably. It was a reluctant move on her part. Every day was the same. On her absolute laziest days, she wouldn’t even open her eyes for the first twenty minutes. Instead, she would focus the tiny sliver of her alert mind upon a crumpled t-shirt or a pair of jeans in the corner of the room. On her good days, she could sleepily drag those discarded pieces of clothing towards the bed. On her bad days, sometimes they would catch on fire.

The latter wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. She liked timing how long it would take for her sister to smell the smoke and come careening into the room with a fire extinguisher. Only then would Kelsey flash an impish grin and douse the fire herself without raising a finger. She knew Hannah knew. But Hannah was too rigid in her ways. She would never own up to the fact that her sister had an interesting repertoire of skills. Kelsey couldn’t understand her. She would totally be supportive of Hannah if she ended up having superpowers of her own.

Continue reading Virago: Part the Eighth — Smiles

Virago: Part the Seventh — Nostalgia

First chapter:  Fire & Rain

Previous chapter:  Arthur

Kelsey adored the 1980s. People nowadays were too focused on things of the present and future. But she was obsessed with the past, even though it had been many decades since the 1980s had lived and died.

Kelsey understood why people back in the 2010’s used to be nostalgic for the 1980s. Kids growing up in the 1980s had a wild, distinct flavour about them that never really compared with any other decade before or since. Cell phones were nonexistent, and you just saw people when you saw them. Unless you called them up at home.

Mobile phones were practically obsolete nowadays. Only those with deep nostalgia still took pains to acquire them. It didn’t matter if you had a phone or a Network implant. You could connect to people either way. But if you had a Network implant, you could multitask at a higher volume. It connected the user with any of the technology inside their home, or any nearby that wasn’t password protected. Mobile phones, app walls, iris functions, neural communications, vocal cues. All of these and more were accessible with a Network implant. Obviously, the more personal something was, the more likely it would be password-protected. These passwords included characters from Greek and Mandarin languages, numbers, and symbols, and were difficult to hack. Only the user knew them and was in control of them. The passwords would be changed every week. They could be altered more often if requested by the user.

Technology moved fast. But people didn’t always care to keep up with it. Even with fancy application walls which showed movies, games, and social media, many were still content with mostly using them for films. Some of Kelsey’s friends didn’t even have any app walls. They only had computer panels and Network implants. And they were perfectly content.

Continue reading Virago: Part the Seventh — Nostalgia

Virago: Part the Sixth — Arthur

First chapter: Fire & Rain

Previous chapter: Dark Bath

The stench was unimaginable, and Kelsey had to fight to keep her dinner down. She couldn’t suppress a yawn, however. At its completion, the smell didn’t seem as bad anymore. Maybe she was getting used to the ghastly stuff in the tub. There seemed to be one simple solution to the mess at hand. And it could be executed much quicker than the plumber would arrive.

“R2!” she called downstairs, with Hannah still fussing over the tub. “Can you please bring your beautiful metallic ass in here?”

His name wasn’t actually R2. Kelsey preferred to call their android, Arthur, that name because she knew how much it annoyed him.  She knew that he didn’t resemble the little beeping droid from the ancient Star Wars films. She also knew that Arthur wasn’t supposed to argue with his Keeper. He was online for one main reason: to make his Keeper’s life easier. That was any proper android’s goal during their existence.

Continue reading Virago: Part the Sixth — Arthur

Virago: Part the Fifth — Dark Bath

First chapter: Part the First — Fire & Rain

Previous chapter: Virago: Part the Fourth — Sisters

Kelsey blew on her cup of tea. She felt like she had been in this house that reeked of onions and mildew for ages. The window pane in the kitchen was cold to the touch, but the rain didn’t sound as violent anymore. Kelsey meandered into the next room, where she expected to find Barbara. It was a small parlor, with even more lace doilies and tired furnishings.

“Hello?” Kelsey looked around for her host, but the only sign of life emanated from the candles next to the television. They had been recently lit, and the wan flames wavered with uncertainty.

She could hear the click of metal against metal from nearby. It could only be the dryer with her hoodie inside. She followed the sound and yanked open the dryer door. Tearing off the musty sweats and an oversized shirt, she tugged on her own clothes. She was zipping up her hoodie when she finally heard movement. It was enough to make her uneasy. Barbara hadn’t disappeared on a pleasant note.

Continue reading Virago: Part the Fifth — Dark Bath

Virago: Part the Fourth — Sisters

First chapter: Part the First – Fire & Rain

Previous chapter: Virago: Part the Third — Neighbours

“The floor is lava!” Kelsey once screamed. This had caused Hannah to look at her in exasperation. Even though she was only two years older, Hannah had always treated the age gap very dramatically. Anything Kelsey had taken pleasure in as a child, Hannah had treated with distant superiority. Puzzles, dolls, cartoons, any of the apps on Kelsey’s bedroom wall. Hannah was always light years ahead of her. That particular day whenever Kelsey had discovered that the living room floor was, in fact, made of lava, Hannah was having none of it. She was busy teaching their parents’ android how to cook macaroni and cheese by using milk instead of water. It was a very grown-up thing to do. She didn’t have time to jump from pillow to pillow howling at the top of her lungs if her toe accidentally touched the carpet. That was all Kelsey and her childish imagination. Hannah never believed in any of that nonsense.

Continue reading Virago: Part the Fourth — Sisters