Blue Light Productions presents

Blue Light Productions presents:
episode seven,
by Ben Rawluk,
with special thanks to Jen Whitson.
Soundtrack -
Ravencroft: "Cruel," by Tori Amos.
Dust: "Grave Mentor," by Delerium.
Winterthorne: "Datura," by Tori Amos.
Emily: "Trans Fatty Acid," by Lamb.
Luke: "Only Happy When It Rains," by Garbage.

     Darkness. Almost midnight.
     The only light was that of the city, pinpricks of neon shimmering in 
the dark as she sat on the roof, clutching her coppery arms to keep from 
freezing in the night air. Stupid Net.ropolis, she thought - it always had 
to be cold at night. Even in summer. The warehouse groaned quietly beneath 
her - she could almost pick out the heartbeats inside. Her cohorts. But she 
turned her attention to the city - all the lights and colours and sounds.
     She wondered why she was out so late. It felt like a dream was waiting 
to be dreamed. The fifth time in as many nights. Dust was her name and dust 
was her element; swirls of dirt surged through the air in every direction, 
responding to her unconscious desires. Swirl here, stab out there. Clouds 
were forming, an aura of dingy brown that obscured her features as she sat 
on the roof, shivering, waiting for the reason for her insomnia.
     Something flew past; her eyes strained, and she tried to make the shape 
out. A crow? No, more like a raven, flying off into the distance. Dust 
giggled, in spite of herself; Rebecca had mentioned that omens tended to 
show up in Net.ropolis all the time. Probably nothing more.
     Almost midnight.
     Something was screaming in the back of Dust's mind. She couldn't put a 
finger on it, but it was certainly making itself known;  the dirt and 
pebbles were flying all around, faster and faster. Growing in intensity. 
Like some kind of anticipation.
     And then something happened; a thought struck Dust. It was almost 
midnight, and now she realized that midnight was /important/, and not just 
because of things like the Witching Hour and - and - and - Witching Hour? 
Dust stopped for a moment. She felt like she should be hearing witches any 
second, cackling away. That didn't make sense. She hated things that didn't 
make sense. The soil stabbed out like blades of smoke.
     Dust screamed, low and gutteral. She clutched her cheeks, fingers 
digging in and dragging down on the skin as everything came back. It was 
hideous. She wasn't Dust. She was, she said to herself in loud capital 
letters, Dust of the Wicked. Her cortex burned as blood made contact 
(imagined). She remembered -
     Shattered and holding him in her hands until he is broken, too. He's 
dead just the same,
lying naked beneath the baking sun, all his pretty fluids sucked into the 
hot dirt beneath him. Dust crouched at his side, caked in earth, the brown 
streaks of it across her face and beneath her gleaming eyes, so full of 
viciousness and the joy of victory that she looks near fit to cry...
     Holding her brother.
     Holding Scald. Her blood boils in her veins because that was what he 
did - pulled everything up, everything to the surface, a raging flood of 
familial blood...
     And Dust clutched the metal of the roof, propping herself up - bringing 
herself back to the present. She had, she knew, barely a minute before she 
forgot it all again. A minute to go before the pain disappeared and she got 
to be mortal and human and normal, even if she /could/ twist the soils and 
the ashes and the dust.
     Her eyes widened.
     Widened to the size of dinner plates, because she /knew/. Ravens don't 
just show up around her. It doesn't work like that. They come if they're 
ordered to, if torture is in the mind of the master. She sniffed the air, 
still wincing from the pain she remembered. It was so hideous, like knives 
in her back. She picked up the scent after a moment. She was out of 
     "Hello," she said, in a pained voice. "Sister Wicked."
     The figure stepped out of the shadows, light slowly filling in the 
details as Dust turned to look: slight and lithe, skin like vanilla ice 
cream on a hot day in summer. Lips like dead flower petals. Eyes of that 
familiar blue, like oceans untouched by pollution. Dark clothing, sensible 
for once. Dust was almost impressed. "Hello, Dust," said the girl. "It /is/ 
still Dust, right? You two," her voice caught on the word 'two,' "You were 
never really into the name game, I remember. Call me Ravencroft right now, 
     Dust looked at Ravencroft with uncertainty, eyes narrowing in slight 
     "Oh. The curse. Right. Don't worry, it doesn't come back into effect 
until I leave. I've made sure of that." Ravencroft looked away, and Dust 
perked up - she was obviously fighting something inside her head. She didn't 
want to come in the first place.
     "Why are you here?" Dust stood slowly, deliberately. "You're not 
supposed to visit me, ever. You don't want to. I can see it in your eyes, 
you little - Ravencroft."
     "Can't a big sister," Ravencroft bit her lip, "Visit a little sister?"
     "No." Dust crossed her arms. The memory - on the edge of her 
perceptions, she felt it grow more vivid with each passing second. She 
winced. The curse was so strong.
     "Fine." Ravencroft walked right up to Dust, noses mere inches apart. 
"Play it the hard way, you little bitch. You screwed everything up - 
destroyed our destiny, Dust. I - how did you do it?"
     "What?" Dust took a step back. Dammit, she thought, never show 
weakness. "I - look, I said when it happened, when Father wanted to know. He 
provoked me like usual, he boiled my blood with his - his inheritence. That 
was his thing, you know that. Twist people up inside, make them remember 
every killer instinct, every iota of hate. I couldn't take that anymore. Why 
- why are you bothering me with this? Can't you let me spend my minute in 
hell and then go back to not remembering the pain?" As long as Ravencroft 
held back the curse that made her forget who she was, the pain and the 
memories of her old existence were foremost in her mind.
    "No." And as Ravencroft spoke, Dust remembered -
     Then the door opens, and Winterthorne and Ravencroft stand looking 
down, big sister and big brother are home. Dust looks up, and for the barest 
second the joy is in her eyes, and the pain as well, and the desparate need 
for them to _understand_ why she has done what she has done.
     Dust shook her head violently, pulling herself back. "Well, why the 
hell not? You said we don't have our destinies anymore. We aren't what we 
were. What we were meant to be. You and our brother sank into the roots of 
it all, primal and elemental and that's great, you survived. I got to be 
mortal and that's how /I/ survived. Can't I have that?"
     "Don't tell me you wanted that." Ravencroft pulled away, eyes searching 
into the night. "The blood, the guts ripped right out of you. That's how you 
became mortal. They took their pound of flesh right in front of us, Mother 
and Father did. I heard you scream for an entire day. They pulled it out and 
stuck it in a box and that was that."
     "When I'm mortal," spat Dust, "I don't remember that. I can't. Why are 
you here? Why are you screwing with my life even though I'm suddenly 
     "He's here," mumbled Ravencroft, staring at the rooftop. "He's calling 
himself Winterthorne. He said he was going to come see you."
     "He hasn't. Why is he here, then?"
     "He wants to play with my toys," Ravencroft grunted. "I hate him. You 
hate him. Maybe we could, y'know?" She looked up at Dust, pointedly, "I 
could keep the curse away for a while." More remembered moments -
     Two sets of them, Winterthorne and Ravencroft just old enough that they 
focus most of their attention on each other, leaving the younger set of 
siblings to do the same with themselves. Each half of each set spending most 
of their time trying to foul up the other half, and though other pairings 
and alliances formed they were impermanent and just as likely to drift into 
backstabbing as to stay the same...
     "No." Her voice was flat, she didn't care what Ravencroft thought. 
Delicately, she moved over to the edge of the roof, looking down over the 
side. Her friends were inside, under her feet, and they didn't know anything 
about what was going on. And, come morning, neither would she. "It never 
worked, in the old days. You'll stab me in the back, or I'll stab you."
     "Dust, I /hate/ him."
     "I know."
     Dust closed her eyes, and then opened them. She couldn't go on like 
this. "Stop this. Go away. Let me forget. I have to. God, I'm going insane 
because of you."
     "Families are supposed to drive each other crazy," giggled Ravencroft. 
     "Gospel according to the Nineties," grimaced Dust. "I won't help you."
     "No, I suppose not. Daddy'll be so mad if he finds out I talked to you. 
I suppose that's why Winterthorne said anything - screw with my head, get me 
in trouble."
     A memory cascaded across Dust's lobes -
     That day. Ravencroft and Winterthorne look at each other and smile. Not 
real ones, of course, nothing /real/ between them but knives, yet happy just 
the same.
     Won't Daddy and Mum be /so/ angry when they hear about this...
     "Gnh." Dust gripped the sides of her head. "That was what it was always 
about, wasn't it? Getting each other in trouble. Well, /fuck that/. I was 
just getting used to being a supervillain, and then you have to make the way 
things were stick around for more than a minute at midnight. I /know/ you 
didn't come here to ask for my help - we're both too far gone for that. What 
did you want from me, you stupid girl?"
     "How did it feel?"
     "How did what feel?"
     "It. The big deed. How did it feel. To spill Wicked blood?"
     "Oh." Dust looked up, at the high-rise skyscrapers, blinking on and 
off. "It felt - look. You know how it felt. You can guess. It felt beautiful 
wonderful like ecstasy from on high. I wanted to dance in the valley for 
seven days and seven nights, because my blood wouldn't fill with bile to let 
me know that he was near, because he never would be, again." A thin, 
featureless smile crept across her lips - cracked and dry lips. "I was 
     "Ah." Ravencroft stared. Her fists clenched and unclenched. Dust sat 
after a moment, pulling her knees up to her chin. After a moment, Ravencroft 
joined her: the position didn't suit her, Dust decided, but she attempted it 
     "So he's screwing up your latest game?"
     "Yes." Ravencroft breathed in and out. "I have so many good ideas, and 
he wrecks them all."
     "Scald was the same way."
     "Do you miss it?"
     Dust thought for a moment. "No. The pain's too much. I'm barely not 
screaming right now. Believe me. I like the way things are when I don't 
remember. I think. The people I'm with are stupid and clumsy and I want to 
wrap tendrils of soil around their throats sometimes. But."
     Ravencroft stared at the lights, her eyes twitching back and forth 
between them. "I've met this boy," she said, finally. Her voice almost 
quivered, twitching as the old muscles relaxed and she felt the angst 
dripping away from her.
     "Yes? And?"
     "I'm manipulating his life to shatter his sister's will and align her 
prowess to my desires."
     Dust nodded, sagely. She felt strange; they shouldn't be talking about 
this kind of thing. They should at each other's throats or stabbing 
Winterthorne in the back. But things had changed, she mused, and nothing was 
what it once was. She - she remembered again -
     They had wings. But now the feathers of charcoal grey fall to the 
ground with each passing moment as Scald's death echoes through all of them, 
all the Wicked - they are growing older, growing primal as his blood seeps 
into the soil. Ancient impulses echo inside her forehead as she sees what 
she has done...
     "The usual," she said, finally. Dust almost smiled; she had recovered 
faster, the train of thought was still within her grasp. "Is there something 
special about this boy? Is he a Chosen One or something?"
     "No. Not chosen or anointed or destined for great things. Just this 
boy, with a sister. A sister will be useful to me." Ravencroft smirked 
darkly. But not with the teeth. "He's a good kisser, though. Even if he 
/does/ wear too much makeup."
     "Makeup?" Dust grimaced at the thought. "Goth, then? One of your usual 
     "Yes. Sad, isn't it? Can't I find /one/ lousy bronzed god in a position 
of use to me?"
     Dust and Ravencroft stared at each other for a moment. Something was 
different. And then they did something they hadn't done in a long, long 
time: they broke down into giggles. Dust winced every time, though. The pain 
bled into her brow. "I think you should stick with the goths."
     "I suppose." Ravencroft stared. "I - I suppose we would never have 
talked about this, before."
     "I was just thinking that," mused Dust. "Things have changed. We don't 
get a status quo anymore. Which is half the reason I killed that bast - oh." 
Dust massaged her temples. "It's still sloshing around in my head. You 
should go. GOD. I just want to forget all this. I was used to mortality, 
it's all I know, during the day."
     "You upset the balance. Daddy's curse was for your own good - you had 
to be reminded of what you did, but in a way that made it gnaw away at you."
     "Doesn't mean I have to like it."
     "Dust - we never enjoy our punishments."
     A few moments of silence. The soil and dirt rose and flew around Dust, 
surging forth and disappearing into the night air. Dust watched Ravencroft 
bite her knee, in frustration; she was always eating something, gnawing on 
something. At least in the old days. A very hungry person.
     Finally, Dust couldn't take it anymore.
     "What do you know about it? You never did anything," said Dust, her 
anger rising again. The words trickled from her mouth without any control. 
"You just went along, playing with lives and destroying them and fighting 
with us. You never killed your brother."
     "Yes." In, she breathed, and then out. Dust watched the carbon dioxide 
become a mist in the cool, night air. And then, in a quiet voice that could 
barely be made out, Ravencroft added, "I never killed my brother."
     "But you wanted to," answered Dust, looking off into the distance. 
"Like me. Wanted to. Want to. That's really why you wanted to talk to me, 
isn't it? Live vicariously. You won't kill him, will you? You can't. That 
was the whole point. Even if the family /has/ changed - some things stay the 
same. You can't kill one of your own. You two always had to be the role 
models, teaching respect to us runts of the litter. Even if that was just 
another way of saying claw each other's eyes out, in those days. I'm amazed 
that Mother and Father didn't kill the lot of us and start out fresh and 
     "They couldn't - not by the end. They had changed just as much as we 
had. Even Grandma."
     "No. I mean - before that."
     "I don't know. Maybe that's what they wanted. Get us all filled up with 
fury and anger and hatred and set us out on the world in the end. Makes for 
a nastier demise then all of us Getting Along Famously while we work. All 
trying to outdo each other, I guess."
     A moment of silence. Dust stared as the dirt danced.
     "Can I forget, now?"
     They held each other's gaze, and Ravencroft stood, slowly. "I - yes. I 
owe you that much, I guess." She smiled, weakly. "I'll go. You'll forget."
     "And the world will go on and the birds will sing - the big, black 
ravens will sing as they have always sung. Badly. Go. See this boy of yours. 
Screw up his entire life."
     Ravencroft nodded. The beating of wings filled Dust's ears, and then 
the curse swept across her mind, clearing so much memory and pain away...


Okay, so maybe a bit more interaction with Jen. Yes, yes. We all know you 
hate me. Or are just /really/ jealous of me getting to collaborate with her 
and everything. Dust is the Third Wicked? The idea kind of spawned 
haphazardly, but then it grew and grew and grew and - heh.

The soundtrack at the beginning was spur of the moment.  The songs just 
/fit/ everybody so well. I may come up with a more over-all soundtrack for 
the series if I have time to come up with a playlist.

This episode was a repeat of the "episode four" phenomenon: written in 
approximately two hours, edits notwithstanding. Proofreading 
notwithstanding. So, it's a little more coherent than usual, and no scene 
breaks. Ravencroft just tends to inspire these episodes so easily, it seems. 
Well, that and the new Tori Amos album I bought a few days ago, which is 
echoing in my earphones while I type this. I know this particular type of 
episode is always short, but it's really because the story flows for as long 
as it can, and then ends just like that. No prior warning.

'Teens in Trenchcoats,' 'Ravencroft,' 'Luke Jones,' 'Emily Jones,' and 
'Winterthorne' are all owned and created and copyrighted to Ben Rawluk, 
1999, all rights reserved. 'Dust' is property of Jen Whitson, all rights 
reserved. Direct any comments to - thanks.
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