Challenge: Vanilla #7 - Holiday; Guava #5 - You Wouldn't Understand
Word Count: 837
Summary: Hallowe'en is here, and a distinctly wrongly-dressed Simon sees a strangely familiar face in the crowd.
Notes: I have no idea why I started thinking about Hallowe'en today since I usually barely register its existence. Simon's comments on the holiday in no way reflect my opinions. Ioann is indeed slightly cross-eyed... And I'm slightly disturbed that I seem to be developing a hint of a plot.
I’ve never understood Hallowe’en, it’s not something I ever encountered when growing up. It’s all a bit bemusing really, all those kids knocking at your door, dressed in weird clothing and pretending to be something ghoulish.
I’ve heard people mutter darkly that it’s all becoming a bit American; the Christians whisper that it’s all becoming a bit Pagan, and some people even say it’s all getting a little Elven - but oh no, don’t pin this one on us, because we had nothing to do with it.
So, please bear this in mind, because right now it’s foremost in my mind. I’m at a Hallowe’en party and attracting some very odd stares.
I mean, really, it’s not my fault. Jonathan told me, “come as something you think is scary” and I did. The only problem is, my definition of scary doesn’t seem to be anyone else’s. I’m just taking a sip from my drink when a small hand taps me on the shoulder and, when I turn to look, there’s a pretty girl in a very revealing bunny-girl outfit staring up at me. “Excuse me, but... What is it you came as?”
It’s a revealing enough outfit that keeping my eyes on her face is a struggle. “Uh.” To answer truthfully or not... “Uh- I came as a hedge fund manager.”
The look she gives me is soul-destroying. As she turns away, I take a second, deeper draught of the pathetically weak drink Jonathan pressed into my hand before vanishing into the crowd. Well, he did say something scary...
I’m just about to take a larger mouthful, finish off the glass, when something catches my eye and it takes me a few seconds to work out what it is - a dandelion clock of pink hair moving through the crowd with surprising haste. Looks like someone isn’t having fun, and assuming I’m not mistaken... I start to move through the crowd after the figure, holding the remains of my drink above people’s heads and praying that no one knocks into me because that would be difficult to explain: hi, sorry, I didn’t mean to drench you in vodka, I was just following someone who looks like a girl but isn’t.
Oh, for Christ’s sake, hold still for one second!
“Yowan!” No, it still sounds like a cat in heat, but it catches pink-hair’s attention and he glances over his shoulder at me but just won’t stop moving. “Hold still!” I try again, and it does seem like he’s slowing a bit. “I want to talk to you!”
This brings him to a stop and he frowns at me. You’d think if someone was going to go to the effort of dying their hair pink, they’d dye their eyebrows too. “What do you want?”
Hmph. “I wanted to thank you for fixing my bike the other week.” Two hundred miles away.
“Oh.” He glances around; he’s definitely distracted. “It was nothing.”
“It was something to me,” I say, moving carefully around him to block off his line of sight. This is too weird, I’ll be damned if I’m letting him get away so easily now. “I’d be stranded if it wasn’t for you. Miles from home,” I add pointedly, but he really doesn’t seem to notice. “Can I do something in return? Can I buy you a drink?”
“I’m fine, thanks.” He takes a step to the side. So do I. “But there is something you can do for me.”
He stares up at me and I notice, apropos of nothing, that he’s a bit cross-eyed, poor sod. I want to ask him more about that night, but faced with his stare and his odd behaviour, I don’t think I’ll be getting any answers... I finally finish my drink, mostly to avoid having to say anything at all.
I guess he realises that there’s going to be nothing but silence coming from my end; he sighs slightly. “If you see a guy with a bird wing on his left arm, don’t tell him I’m here.”
“Uh, okay...” That’s got to be the strangest request ever. I’m so very tempted to ask why, but I don’t think an answer would be forthcoming on that subject either. “I’ll be sure to not tell him that- that- ...what is your name?”
He stares hard at me. “Ioann. You shouted it out once already, remember?”
“I wasn’t sure I got it right,” I mumble. It still sounds like ‘Yowan’ to me. “If I see anyone like that, I won’t say you’re here. I’ll just walk in completely the opposite direction.”
“Please do.” He’s started edging again, and he makes a very good human crab it has to be said. I think he thinks he’s being stealthy. I don’t follow him and once he’s clear of me he begins to stride for the door. I watch him go, and idly wonder what it is he’s dressed as.
Probably nothing. He’s weird enough that I think he counts as something scary all by himself.