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Immortal Hijinks 1/5/2018 9:12am
Being immortal definitely changes your perception. You look at things from the long view. Not so much “what’ll I do this weekend” as “where do I picture myself in 20 years.” A hyper-developed sense of patience becomes your baseline.
At least that’s how it’s been for me for over 150 years. Now things are different. The nectar shortage and the conclave of other immortals all being drawn to the same place at the same time have shortened my view. I’m engaging in social activities more than ever, going to every night of the Winter Festival events, even attending an underground robot fight (I’ve seen worse). It’s like I can’t see past next week, and trying to jam everything into the “now.”
Is this what it’s like for all the non-immortal types? It’s been so long I don’t remember. It’s kind of exciting, living each day like it will be your last, but I’d really like not to make a habit of it. What’s an immortal girl to do?
Immortal Hijinks 12/20/2017 11:10pm
Being a sixteen year old girl alone in the world attracts attention. I know plenty of girls at school who don't like riding the bus alone at night. It wasn't any easier a hundred years ago, or fifty. If you can hire drivers and butlers and lawyers willing to let a sixteen year old girl be the boss, you can get around OK. But sometimes it's just easier to create some shell parents and enroll in a boarding school.
I've attended schools in New Orleans, Honolulu, San Francisco and Baton Rouge. Paris, Budapest, London, Rome. Calcutta, Jakarta, Singapore, Cleveland. Lots more. After graduating each one I'd say goodbye to my friends and use my investments to set myself up in a hotel, with staff. Years at the Plaza in New York. But I learned the hard way you can't break into the Algonquin Round Table as a sixteen year old girl. So back to boarding school it would be, where I could at least have some semblance of a social life.
Immortal Hijinks 12/7/2017 9:59am
Following the horrrific centipede attack and the death of my family, Sheriff Stone took me in. As sheriff of the nearby town of Warlock (Territory of New Mexico), Sherriff Stone was the protector of the local region from all threats eldritch and arcane. Supernatural forces in the area were still wildly untamed at the time, and the Sheriff had his hands full. Demonic Werebat gangs, companies of undead Texas Rangers for hire, angry wind and fire elementals, not to mention the occasional infestation of giant centipedes, all kept the Sherriff busy for many years.
The Sherriff seemed to have a knack for surviving the most perilous battles, which the local residents chalked up to luck, a strong constitution, or the medical skills of his native acquaintances. His own immortality and mastery of mystic powers was largely kept secret, and the apoption of a young orphan into his bachelor household was seen merely as further example of his upstanding moral values.
Sherriff Stone was an excellent guardian, though at the time we went through the usual strains of any teen/parent relationship (even in the mid 19th century). Our spats largely sprang out of his disinclination to include me in his battles with the forces of evil, though he did provide a rich education on the occult arts.
Included in that education was my first primer on immortal practices, and how I could not stay in his company forever. Plus, after four years in Warlock, it became increasingly difficult to explain to the locals why his apdopted daughter wasn’t “growing up.”
So, with a mix of tears, anger, gratitude, love, and excitement, I hitched a ride to the San Domenico School in Monterey, California—the first in what would be a very long line of private school enrollments.
Immortal Hijinks 11/28/2017 9:02pm
I remember the sound of the centipedes coming. We had turned off the Santa Fe Trail, trying to make a shortcut to the Old Spanish Trail. It was already dark but my pa was stubborn. He ignored the signs.
Maybe it was the sound of the wagon that roused them from their nest. Or the smell of the horses. At first I thought it was the wind blowing through reeds, but there were no reeds here, just desert. More like the bristles of a witch's broom swishing on sand.
My ma spotted them first and hollered at pa to run the horses. She used her serious voice so he didn't argue. I looked and could see their shiny black bodies in the moonlight. They were as long as wagons, and fast as snakes.
They were on us in no time.
I wouldn't have survived if it hadn't been for Sheriff Tomas Stone. He arrived too late to save the rest of my family, but I hadn't been ripped apart and eaten, just bit. He took me to his shaman. I was so far gone from the poison the only way I was going to make it was if he gave me the nectar.
It was 1858, and I was 16. The same age I am now.
Immortal Hijinks 11/12/2017 10:43pm
The Ambrosia of Immortality is mine again. At least for now. @gavcrowleys
's tip panned out and I was able to procure the elixir that bestows eternal youth. This time it's in the form of those little wax bottles called Nik-L-Nips. You know them--you bite the tops off and they're filled with "juice?" In this case they are filled with a thick, golden honey, and when it touches your tongue it's like waking up from a dream. You can feel every nook and cranny of your awareness filling back up with the boundless power of existence. It'd been almost too long since my last dose.
The bodega is called The Honeypot. The woman at the counter has a name tag that says Veronica, and after I say the magic words (and the accompanying series of complex finger gestures) she reaches behind the Swisher Sweets and pulls out a dusty 5-pack of Nik-L-Nips. She slides them to me across the counter, and I slide back the ancient coin we use for these transactions. She takes a moment to look at the coin to make sure it's the real deal, then throws it into the register with the nickels and dimes.
"Been here long?" I ask.
"Lo siento, no entiendo."
I could reply in Spanish (one of the many languages I've picked up over the years) but I'm sure she'd be just as evasive. One of the rules of the immortality racket has always been not to ask where the juice comes from, or why. The story goes that once upon a time the source was controlled by an unscrupulous immortal who forced all the others to do their bidding in exchange for the potion. Eventually there was a war, and ever since, the source of the ambrosia has been hidden, and it can only be purchased as I've just done. Don't ask, don't tell. Everybody's happy.
Which is part of the reason we immortal types usually steer clear of each other. As in "living on different continents" clear. We might see one another at an airport, or a train station, but it's considered bad form to acknowledge it.
So why are we all starting to turn up at Psyhigh? Just this week I've seen @Alessia
on the school grounds, giving off that glow that we can see in one another. And then there's @Amenamapet Ra
, captain of the rowing team. This is highly unusual, and combined with the funny business of the sudden, unannounced change in availability of the elixir, it's enough to make the newly invigorated hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
Immortal Hijinks 11/3/2017 9:08am
The Handymart is closed down. The sign said they'd be back in a week, but now the whole place is emptied out. Usually when the source of the ambrosia of immortality shifts from one location to the next they hand out a flyer, or at least a business card with a phone number scribbled on it, or longitude and latitude coordinates. Not this time. They closed in a hurry. Something is up, obviously.
I realize I'm a stupid sitting duck, standing out here in front of the Handymart with my mouth open, fists on the glass. Whoever shut this place down knew exactly what made it special, and who it was important to. I'm probably getting photographed by some private detective right now. But working for who?
I pull up my hoodie and make my way down an alley, walking at speed but starting to feel my age for sure. How much longer do I have without the nectar? Why isn't it presenting itself? Like a kindly abuela coming up and telling me I NEED this special Fanta flavor she has. That's happened before. I AM OPENING MYSELF TO THE UNIVERSE NOW! PLEASE HOP INTO MY HAND, OH ELIXIR!
Still no luck. I'd go back to the dorm but that horrible ticking would put me completely over the edge. I see a crow fly under the sun, just above a tree that looks like an ankh. That's a good sign--a hieroglyphic inscription I remember well. Crows. What about that kid on campus who used to be a crow? @gavcrowleys
I believe. He's been kind of weird lately. WeirdER. But when you're opening yourself to the universe, you should take any sign you're handed, I guess. I'll need to introduce myself, and see if he can help me locate the source for the nectar I so badly need.
Immortal Hijinks 10/29/2017 5:30pm
I’ve had a hard time locating the new nectar source. Being immortal is usually pretty breezy—there are only certain ways we can be killed, which are pretty arcane and generally known only to us. But deprive us of the elixir for long enough and we’ll turn to dust. Which is why I’ve been stopping by every corner store and gas station in the tri-cities area and checking for it. So far, still no luck.
Maybe it’s the jitters—or the withdrawal—from missing the juice, but can you hear that infernal ticking? I live in Greenwich Dorm and I’ve never noticed it before, but I swear it’s getting louder every day. And it’s driving me nuts!!!
Immortal Hijinks 10/23/2017 9:53am
Being immortal comes at many costs. I’ve outlived everyone I know, except for the handful of other immortals I’ve met along the way. And filing away so many memories takes awhile to get the hang of.
But maintaining immortality also means taking the necatar, or ambrosia, on a regular basis, so you need to have a line on a steady source.
The Handymart is closed for renovation. The sign says they’ll be open again in a week, but I’m due. The elixir has a way of presenting itself no matter what—it seeps in through the cracks of our continuum like spring water, or oil, or gold. I’ll need to find its new source soon.
Immortal Hijinks 10/15/2017 3:36pm
The fundamental secret to my immortality is the nectar, or ambrosia, or elixir, or whatever you want to call it. There's always just one place in the world at any one time where you can get it. Right now it's the Handymart down the street from school. They also have excellent baklava.
Immortal Hijinks 10/11/2017 9:08am
How did I become immortal? A series of lucky accidents. Of course, you've got to be ready to take advantage of life's opportunities, but I wouldn't say it's because I'm smarter or better than anybody else. It really just comes down to dumb luck.