Return to the Store

May 19, 2015:

Wanda heads back to Transian Trinkets to pick up her order.

Transian Trinkets

A shop in the East Village located down a narrow sidestreet.


NPCs: Olyena


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Wanda told Olyena that she would return to the store to pick up her order in three days – that was almost a month ago. A homeless witch’s life can get busy. But now she needs those presents for her friends so she is making her way down the narrow alley towards the store known as ‘Transian Trinkets’.

It is late afternoon and the tourists rarely go this far from the main street so Wanda is alone in the alley when she slips through the door and a little bell rings over it to announce her presence. “Hello?” asks a frail old woman’s voice from behind a bookcase filled with ancient tomes of faded ink and barely understandable images.

<It is me> Wanda replies in Transian. <I am sorry it has taken so long to get back here> The witch is dressed in one of her new Zatanna inspired outfits – boots, black latex pants, red corset, red elbow length gloves, all under a long, scarlet hued cloak that Olyena had given her in this very shop.

The old woman pops her head around the bookcase and grins in greeting. <I understand, dear. Pretty young women have much better things to do than come to musty old shops. Or they should have.> Olyena walks up to Wanda and takes her hands, turning them over to look at the palms…and immediately frowning. <I really must remember my glasses before I do this> she faintly smiles, though both women know that the future shown in those lines and bumps is too frightening to discuss.

<Were you able to create the charms?> Wanda asks hopefully as she slowly pulls her hands away and hides them behind her back and out of the way. And she is also blushing. <I am not pretty. There is one boy I would like to think that but…he has so many girlfriends that he barely notices me. They are all much prettier than me>.

<Nonsense> Olyena snorts before gesturing Wanda to follow her towards the counter. <You must remember that men are stupid. Subtlety is not their strongpoint. You should tell him how you feel. Maybe even spell it out in large letters he cannot miss. If he turns you down still, well, as I said, men are stupid>. The counter is strewn with fabric and odds and ends that half hide the cash register that is a relic from the nineteen thirties. And yet there is still EFTPOS available. <Now where did I put them?> The old woman starts scrounging around under the counter, pulling out draws and sifting through the contents.

As Olyena searches, Wanda starts to wander around the tiny little store. All the items from her homeland make her feel slightly at peace. Her fingers run over traditional dresses that she hasn’t worn for years. Even the way the material has been created is unique and reminds her of the times her mother worked on the sewing machine to create false pockets for the family’s clothes. Places to hide their pickpocketed prizes. Despite the moistness in her eyes that memory does also make her smile. Pietro was so much better at it of course. By the time the mark had realised the robbery, even seconds after it happened, her brother was already in another street and chatting up a girl.

<Why did you leave Transia?> asks Olyena from under the counter. Wanda wakes from her memories and starts back towards the old woman.

<I am Romani. We are not very welcome anywhere. Transia is no different. If something goes missing or goes wrong, who do they blame?> It’s a rhetorical question. <So I thought I would come to the ‘Land of the Free’ where no one is judged or prejudiced against.>

Wanda’s words make Olyena laugh. <I think you will find that it still happens here, dear. Maybe not so much to Romani but there are plenty of others who suffer the same way. Blacks. Jews. Women>. A slight pause. <Mutants. I would hate to think what a black Jewish female mutant must go through in this country. Ah…here we are>. She stands, blowing the dust from the top of a shoebox before placing it on the counter. <Did you come to the United States by yourself?> she asks lightly as she slowly removes the top of the box to reveal four circular lockets, each attached to its own thin, silver charm bracelet. <Here they are. They should suit your purpose>.

<Yes, by myself> Wanda replies as she picks out one of the lockets. She suddenly feels rather queasy and the voices in her head object in very harsh language about her holding the charms. Wanda drops it back into the box and then steadies herself on the counter.

<It seems you have a touch of the witch about you> Olyena notes softly. <These are to protect your friends from…you?>

<No> Wanda breathes, shaking her head. <I am not a witch. I just felt a bit faint. Not all Romani are witches>.

<Of course not> Olyena smirks, <Just the women.> A wink for Wanda before she places the lid back on. <I shall get you a bag.> More scrounging around under the counter before a hessian bag is found and the shoebox stuffed inside. <There you are> she smiles as she offers it over. <And how would you like to pay?>

<Cash> Wanda replies quickly, frowning at the quip about her being a witch. She pulls out a variety of bills and coins from her pocket and lets them spill on the counter. <I should have some hundreds in here…> she muses as she shifts through the alien, to her, bills that are all one colour.

Olyena plucks out a couple of hundreds and slips them into the register before helping Wanda scoop up the rest to return to her pocket. <That will be enough. Do let me know if you have any problems with the charms. As you know, magic is an inexact science…if it is even a science…so I hope that you will forgive me if they do not work as well as you hope. I am not in your league, dear.>

Wanda looks curiously at the storekeeper as the voices urge her to leave…and leave the bag too. <Thank you> she mutters as she turns to make for the door, still a bit weak in the legs. <I am sure I will be back> she smiles.
<I am sure we shall see each other again. It is not as if the city is overflowing with Transians>.

Wanda nods to that remark before slipping out the door and into the alley where she takes a deep gulp of air to help clear her mind. But the voices won’t stop. They tell her to run and it takes all her will to deny them. She reaches into a pocket and pulls out a small vial of ‘The Blood of the Lord’…or Smooth as it also known. Wanda pops off the stopper with her thumb and drinks down the drug. Immediately her body spasms, her eyes rolling back into her head as the ‘blood’ seeps into her veins, tissue, muscle and even her soul. Then she is still, breathing slowly, her eyes lit scarlet with building power. Smooth does not have the effect on Wanda its creators intended for mutants. In some cases it is the reverse; the witch’s powers enhanced rather than subdued. It brings peace…but frees something else deep inside her. Something that cannot wait to play. There is only one voice in her head now. Her own. And it pleads for the darkness to return to its cage.

“No” growls Wanda to herself. “Not yet. First we have to see Bobby since you were too afraid to.” A malevolent smile creases her face.

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