Cryptids and Sock People

From Dark City


Wave Hill


Ciara Thorne Ciara lingered after Liv left for the night, feeling rather pleased with herself. The park was a nice space and particularly lovely in the Autumn evening with the colors and scents of it perfuming the air. Objectively, judging the seasons based purely on their mundane properties, Autumn was the best.

Sierra Roen There's a terrace overgrown with plants whose foliage has started to turn orange and yellow and umber and brown, just a little ways removed from that low stony wall that overlooks the Hudson, and there are two people speaking there at a little more than what might be called a respectful distance. It's a broad-chested man with shoulder-length locks the color of sand, and a dark-haired, dark-eyed woman. Neither of the seem particularly interested in getting any closer to the other, and they don't. They only talk, and briefly, and then stand there quietly regarding one another while either, presumably, waits to see if the other will leave first. Eventually, the sandy-haired man does, stepping away from the terrace and moving away through the decorative garden, off and way into the distance along a winding stone pathway. And then only the dark-haired woman is left. She exhales an inaudible breath and turns towards the view, regarding it placidly.

Simon Hill Having a few hours to himself between jobs, Simon stops at Wave Hill to take in some greenery and have a few moments to himself to decompress from the constant urban hustle he's thrown himself into. Dressed for the cool weather in thick canvas cargos and a light jacket, he finds himself sitting on a stone wall, taking a sandwich from his backpack and begins to unwrap the paper as he looks over the river into New Jersey.

Ciara Thorne Ciara strolled up along the terrace, trailing a hand across the stone. She passed the sandy-haired man as he left, and shot a friendly smile towards Sierra but didn't make any move to impose on her personal space. They might have been related even, they looked so alike- both the same height, dark hair, and gracefulness as they moved. She was dressed casually in jeans and a thick cream-colored sweater against the chill, and grinned at Simon. "Bit late for dinner," she said lightly.

Simon Hill He looks up to Ciara and smiles with a light laugh. "Nah. Never too late for a good pastrami on rye. That and I'll sit and take a break to eat when I can get the time."

Sierra Roen Once the sandy-haired man had gone and she became aware of others milling around the place, Sierra burned away some of the gossamer helixes of Essence that wound through her system like ephemeral scaffolding. She canted her attention with minimal and passing interest in the direction of the nascent conversation between Ciara and Simon, and wrinkled her nose in a subdued reflex. There was something about the woman that just tickled her nose, and it wasn't just the sulfurous scent that she shared with that other refugee, the one on the rooftop. It was more than that, a scent this woman and the rooftop-refugee both shared with one another, and with the Hedge. She turned back towards the view and pinched the bridge of her nose, and mouthed something quiet and uncharitable in a put-upon whisper. Two in one day. What were the fucking odds.

Ciara Thorne With the Wyrd? Deceptively high! She grinned. There was just something about Simon that was trustworthy. "Ok, well I'd probably make an exception for pastrami too," she allowed. "So bon appetit!"

Simon Hill "Thanks." He takes the still wrapped half of the sandwich and holds it out to Ciara. "Want half? I don't think I'll be able to finish both before I start my next job, and I don't want to risk tossing half in my bag to mess up my work clothes."

Ciara Thorne Ciara had lost track of Sierra, didn't even glance back towards her across the terrace. Out of sight, out of mind. She chuckled and shook her head at the offer. "No thanks, I already ate dinner. What do you do for a job? If you don't mind me being nosey. Don't feel bad about telling me to take a long walk off a short pier, if you want your privacy."

Simon Hill He chuckles. "Jobs. Plural. I'm a courier, a delivery person, a bartender, a valet, a stocker, a janitor..." He shrugs and smiles. "I wear many hats."

Ciara Thorne "And I thought I was busy!" She chuckled. "I do uber as my second job. Got to do whatever it takes to make it around here though, I guess." She leaned against the stone, watching the lights on the water. "Which one's your favorite?"

Simon Hill "It aint being a janitor, I'll tell you that." He laughs and takes a bite of the sandwich while he ponders. Chewing thoughtfully, he swallows and nods. "I think it has to be making deliveries. It lets me meet all kinds of interesting people."

Ciara Thorne "Yeah, people make or break a job," she agreed. "I've met some characters doing uber. My day job is in theater, and that's just full of interesting people too. Not always the best kind of interesting, but you get what you get."

Simon Hill He nods and smirks. "That's the truth. That's why 'May you live in interesting times.' is such a harsh curse to lay on someone."

Ciara Thorne "It is cruel. I try not to curse people though. they bring enough on themselves without my intervention."

Simon Hill "Especially when you catch someone talking shit when you speak the language. The look on their face is always priceless."

Ciara Thorne She smirked. "And you're multi-lingual too! Well everyone likes to talk shit, and they all secretly want to be overheard and understood so the person they're talking to knows exactly how they feel."

Simon Hill "Spanish, some Mandarin, and some Cantonese." He shrugs. "Three of the most common languages aside from English. But then again, I lived in Chinatown for a while, and then lived in Queens for a little while and picked up Spanish." "But when you catch them, and they get that surprised Pikachu face, it's always a treat."

Ciara Thorne "I never got to learn any other languages," she admitted. "And high school Spanish doesn't count at all. I don't remember a single thing. Maybe I'll get the chance to learn someday, but things are just so busy, you know?"

Simon Hill "There's always time. Take it from the guy with a billion jobs and only sleeps maybe six hours a night." He grins. "Shit. We've been talking all this time, and..." He thumps his forehead. "I'm Simon."

Ciara Thorne "Ciara." She couldn't help but laugh a little. "And this might be a bit out there, but did you happen to meet a girl named Shae by any chance?"

Simon Hill He scrunches up his face and thinks. "Shae? Not that I'm aware of. But there's millions of people... Law of probability, if I have met them, it was either delivering food or making a drink for them, so it would likely have been a short encounter."

Ciara Thorne She shrugged. "Big city! Lots of people," she said. "You'd probably have remembered her. It was just a random thought I had, based on her mentioning a guy that helped her out."

Simon Hill "Oh. Well... I'm sorry. I guess I haven't met her then. But I do always enjoy meeting new people."

Ciara Thorne "So who's the weirdest person you've ever met?" Ciara asked, lips twitching upward with amusement.

Simon Hill He lets out a low whistle. "That's... Hmm. Weird is so subjective. I think I'd have to say..." He looks down at the ground as he thinks. "The Sock Puppet Couple."

Ciara Thorne "And with a title like that they were either a very innocent and sweet couple that obsessively made sock puppets for some children's charity or they were some psycho murders you barely escaped from. I'm not sure there's much room in between the two options."

Simon Hill He chuckles. "It was one guy, with a sock on each hand. One was Mr Sock, the other was Mrs Sock." He takes a deep breath before continuing. "He did all of his communication through the Sock Puppet Couple. Granted he was a hell of a ventriloquist, but if I addressed him directly, the socks would get mad and demand I speak to them and not the help."

Ciara Thorne "Yeaaaaah, you're lucky to be alive," Ciara said, keeping a dead serious expression. "You had a narrow escape and should be grateful to have your life and skin intact."

Simon Hill "Yeah. I wasn't even going to try and get a tip. I handed the bag to Mrs Sock and got the hell out."

Ciara Thorne She snorted a laugh. "I met this one choreographer. She did ballet, of course, and was a *complete *psycho. She'd pound this cane to the beat and get louder and louder with passive aggressive intensity whenever any of her dancers made a mistake." "I'm completely terrified of her."

Simon Hill "Sounds like my grandfather. Except instead of a cane, he'll pull out a pistol loaded with blanks that he uses to scare off bears and just point it at the ceiling and pull the trigger."

Ciara Thorne "Oh good grief. That sounds rather dangerous. Out of curiosity, did he have that many bears around?"

Simon Hill "Blanks, and he never points it at people." He shrugs and finishes the sandwich half and wraps up the other half. "Yeah. It's not exactly legal to kill a grizzly, even in Alaska."

Ciara Thorne "Yeah but... what if it was going to eat you? Obviously being from around here, grizzlies aren't exactly my forte and I know even less about them than I do about nearly anything else. But they're big and scary in movies, and 'bear attacks' are a thing, right?"

Simon Hill He nods. "They do happen, but not as often as you'd think. Sure, getting mauled is a horrible way to go, but you scare them off when they aren't close enough to you to bite your face off. Like if you catch them trying to get in your garbage, or you see them shuffling through your property, you make a lot of noise and they'll usually go away. If they don't, that's when he'd use the real gun."

Ciara Thorne "So what brought you out here? New York is a bit far afield from Alaska."

Simon Hill He grits his teeth and makes a bit of a hiss. "That's a bit of a sore subject. Let's just say that I got on the bad side of some less than savory neighbors."

Ciara Thorne "I'm sorry," she said softly. "You've really got to watch out for those abominable snowmen. They're like the mob. Once you get on their bad side it's hard to get your books cleared again."

Simon Hill "Tell me about it. You owe a yeti, they'll do more than just break your legs." He nods with a smile.

Ciara Thorne "In a round robin between the abominable snowman, grizzly, and yeti, who wins?" she asked, happy to take a detour from what was obvious the sensitive subject.

Simon Hill He ponders the question and taps his chin. "Well, with a yeti and the abominable snowman being the same guy... I'd have to go with the bear if it's pissed off enough. When I was about 16, I was stupid and left some food in my uncle's truck. Open bag of cheetos... Next morning, there's the truck with a door ripped off and a passed out and stuck grizzly in the truck covered in cheeto dust."

Ciara Thorne "Oh shit? They're that strong? And really? Yeti and the snowman are the same? How did I not know that?"

Simon Hill "Just one of those things. Just like Sasquatch and Bigfoot are the same guy." "But yeah. Bears when properly motivated are really beastly."

Ciara Thorne "I've really got to catch up on my monster lore," Ciara muttered. "You never know when you'll run into one after all. What kinds of weaknesses do these things have anyways? You know, like vampires and sunlight. Werewolves and silver. Guys and romcoms."

Simon Hill "Film crews." He says with an affirmative nod.

Ciara Thorne "Oooooh, that's a good one. I'll have to remember it. And bring a camera if I ever leave the city, just in case. They're never caught on film after all! It's perfect." She laughed.

Simon Hill "Exactly! Sure, they'll some into your hunting camp, drink your beer, eat your food, and take your smokes, but the second you grab that camera, they're just gone." He laughs.

Ciara Thorne "So what happens if you put a surveillance camera? Like a hidden doorbell camera? Do they just avoid your property entirely and hit the neighbors?"

Simon Hill He nods. "Yeah, pretty much. They're sneaky like that. But when your neighbor is 5 miles away... "

Ciara Thorne "This has been the most enlightening conversation I've ever had. Thank you! Who else could have given me such insight into the monsters of rural Alaska?" She smiled. "It's getting late though and I've got to go I hope I haven't made you late for your six hundreth job either."

Simon Hill He shakes his head. "Nah. I'm not late. I just have to hit the subway instead of just pedaling." He carefully stores the other sandwich half in his bag and stands up. "It's been a pleasure to talk to you. Hopefully I'll run into you again in the future."

Ciara Thorne "Well, if you come here pretty regularly, the odds are good!" She said brightly. "This is one of my favorite parks."

Simon Hill "I'll keep that in mind. But if you're ever in Harlem during the day, you'll likely run into me."

Ciara Thorne "Fate's a bitch but she has a funny way of putting her oar in things. So I have a feeling that I'll see you again."

Simon Hill "I hope so. But I hope your tips are good and your audiences polite."

Ciara Thorne "And stay away from the sock puppets. If you disappear on me, I'll be looking for them first."