Alone Again...Naturally

April 14, 2015:

Another night alone on the streets for Wanda.

5th and Broadway

A dark alley which has a really nice dumpster.


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: Alone Again...Naturally

Fade In…

Lightning splits the dark skies above New York and turning the deep grey clouds a little lighter if only just for a moment. And then the thunder rumbles. The deep growl of the weather would once have sent humans cowering in terror but now they can barely hear it above the angry beeping of car horns, shouted insults and the thrum of thousands of engines as everyone tries to get home before the rain starts to fall. Though there is at least one person who is already home and she smiles up at the power of nature with a mixture of awe and joy. Wanda sits atop her favourite dumpster in a dark alley near 5th and Broadway, giggling with delight at the first drops of rain splash upon her face. She is dressed as she is always dressed – in whatever she has been lucky enough to find. Yet somehow she always manages to be consistent with her discoveries - boots (with holes in the souls); black thigh high tights (frayed and torn); a black dress where the skirt stops mid-thigh (holed and missing a strap); black fingerless gloves (though they weren’t designed fingerless) and her scarlet red jacket (scuffed and worn). Next to her is a box of half-eaten Chinese food. And next to that is a closed scrapbook which has seen better days since someone bought it in the 1970s and threw it out in the 1980s.

Wanda opens her mouth wide as the rain starts to fall in earnest. Happily catching as much as she can even as her long auburn hair becomes plastered to her thin body and her take-away box starts to fill with water. “Okay… I will move” she sighs to something that is not there. A deep breath of the moist air before she leaps off the dumpster, grabbing her food and book and retreats to a collection of cardboard sheets laid flat across two piles of crates. Another crash of thunder and the rain becomes torrential. Pitter-patting against the cardboard that is now over Wanda’s head as sits cross-legged upon the concrete floor of the alley. “Better?” she asks the nothingness as she rests the book on her lap and carefully opens it. The binding had almost gone when it was found and she had to tape it up so much that it squeaks as she goes through the pages.

A sudden glow of red around her left hand helps her to see the contents; her right hand in charge of turning the pages and caressing the contents through their plastic covering. The book is filled with all manner of keepsakes. Peeling back the plastic of the first empty page she slips in the business card recently given to her by Agent Simmons before flipping her way slowly through the book; a newspaper picture of a ‘comet’ rocketing between two skyscrapers where Wanda has scrawled the word ‘Nyx’ beneath it in charcoal; the stub of a cigarette and a business card with the word ‘Constantine’ beneath them; a scrawled address – Doctor Strange’s; another newspaper photo of strange ice formations in town with ‘Bobby’ written beneath; articles describing recent family massacres – a reminder of what she failed to stop; rough drawings of a vampire (‘Nighteyes’) and an ‘angel’ (Aspect); an image of Columbia close to losing her clothes thanks to the damage she was taking; an article about the evils of Spider-Man where she has scrawled ‘Lies’ beneath it; a poster advertising a performance by Zatanna. Each one she fondly caresses, smiling warmly at the memories they bring. These are people she is proud to know. People she hopes she can call friends. People she will gladly help, maybe even die for, because they have helped her.

Wanda turns to the front page of the book. More newspaper articles – Ice Rink Attack! Terror At Robert H Kane Bridge! Along with some accidental photos of some blurred object the camera could not hope to have caught. At the center of these scraps of paper is an old black and white photo of two pre-teen children holding hands and smiling happily to the camera. Wanda has no idea who these twins in the photo really are or even where she found it. It doesn’t matter. As far as she is concerned it is her and Pietro, back when they were happy. When they were safe. When they were together. A drop of water splashes the plastic above the photo and she looks up to growl at the leaking cardboard. Except it is not leaking. It is just her tears. Wanda quickly wipes her eyes and then carefully wipes away the tear. A last touch of the image of the two children before closing the book and placing it carefully into a satchel bag she found in a dumpster. The rain is pelting down now and she peers out from her cardboard home to see lightning split the sky once more. It looks like the storm will last all night. Wanda makes herself as comfortable as she can, doing her best to avoid the rainwater that now trickles down the alley and through her sanctuary, and slowly drifts off to sleep. The satchel bag held firmly in her arms.

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