Orphic Phantasia

46: The Reclusive Writer

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Shelley glanced at her cellular. “About 10am.”

Alonie grumbled and pushed a tangled mass of hair from her face, revealing the blotched streaks of yesterday’s makeup running down her pale cheeks. Slouching further into the sofa, she called upon the apartment A.I to start up one of those innocuous cartoons she was so fond of. This one started its randomised plot with a racist caricature of a pale-faced white man in conversation with a lion-sized crow. With a million possibilities from which to pluck a narrative, Utopia had no need for writers.

Shelley reached for her pen and started tapping it against the table in time to her jittering leg. “Allie,” she mumbled, then repeated herself, louder, until her friend acknowledged her. “Phoenix came over earlier. S—she wanted to talk with you about things.”

With a groan of despair, Alonie sunk into the sofa. “The fun never stops,” she said. “Did you tell her I don’t give a shit?”

“Like that would stop her,” replied Shelley. Especially now everyone was gossiping about how Emily and Alonie were sisters. Shelley still wasn’t sure what felt worse: that she had never realised two of her closest friends were actually twins, or that neither had ever cared to tell her. She would have to hand in her proverbial friendship badge once all of this was over—assuming they didn’t do a Dante and throw it out the nearest proverbial window before she had the chance.

Alonie sighed. “This is what happens when you run away with the faeries,” she said. “I told you that stuff was nothing but trouble.”

If anything, Shelley hoped that Emily had run away with the faeries. Even after all the stories she had heard about them, the Sidhe were surely preferable to the company Emily embraced the last time she did something like this. “Have you looked through any of the files?” she asked.

Alonie pulled herself out of the sofa and dug her fingernails into her arms. “It’s fucking bollocks, that’s what it is,” she snapped. “All that crap about—about girls sucking up souls and girls with no souls and reincarnation and—it’s all a load of fucking bollocks! You could write better shit than that, Shell, couldn’t you? You could make it all up on the spot, right?”

Beneath the heat of Alonie’s anger, Shelley felt very small indeed. “I—I dunno,” she said.

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It’s hard to think of snarky footnotes when Shelley is doing them for me…