Unhealthy Habits for Unsettling Thoughts

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Unhealthy Habits for Unsettling Thoughts

Post by Cognition on Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:18 am


Brian Hedron was exhausted. This was nothing new; he hadn't had a good night's sleep since... Well, for over a year. Part of it was because he was wracked with guilt; part of it was because of Shawn.
It was an open secret that Brian had killed Shawn Pozy. No one could prove anything, so he hadn't gone to juvy or anything like that, but almost everyone was sure he had done it. Some people refused to believe it since he was always the quiet introvert, but even so, he ostracized at school as though he were a leper. Only two people knew what actually happened for sure; Brian, and Shawn, who had decided to spend the rest of his days ruining Brian's life for ending his own. Well, that and other reasons...
Brian brushed his strawberry hair out of his eyes and kept his head down as he made his way through the shopping district. Beside him, visible only to him, was Shawn, grinning wickedly. "A deal's a deal, Brian!" He jeered. "Buy a pack. Smoke one now, and another before bed. I promise to give you one full night's sleep. No heckling. No guilting. No screaming. You'll get one night's peace from me." A grin sat proudly on his face, beneath his cruel, dark green eyes.
Brian said nothing; he kept his head down, praying that Shawn would just shut up. "I will do no such thing. Not yet." Shawn interjected, reading his mind as usual. Brian rolled his eyes, frustrated, but  saying nothing. He had learned arguing was pointless. But for the first time, Shawn was offering him a break; at the cost of his lungs, but still. Peace.
Shawn's manifestation vanished as he retreated back into Brian's mind. He had won. Brian was going to take in that sweet, sweet tobacco and nicotine, and slowly become addicted, just as he had back when he had a body of his own. In truth, he wouldn't feel the relief like he was promising Brian he would. He was simply trying to break the boy. He was so much easier to work with when he was beaten and psychologically exhausted. Shawn learned that rather early on in his exploits with Brian; keeping him up all night by screaming and laughing at him made him so much easier to deal with the next day. So now, he was going to do everything he could to make his new home... habitable.
They arrived at a small smokes shop. Brian stopped outside and leaned against the wall. Even with this fake ID, do you honestly think they're gonna buy it with my babyface?
Shawn re-materialized in front of him and shrugged. "I dunno. But look at it this way: If you try and succeed, you get peace and quiet. If you try and fail, you don't. But if you DON'T try at all, then not only do I give you nothing, but I'll also keep you from getting any sleep ever again until you do. Got it?" He grinned at Brian cruelly.

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Re: Unhealthy Habits for Unsettling Thoughts

Post by V.Carnage on Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:34 pm

Reid took back his fake ID and paid the cashier, placing the pack of smokes in an inner pocket of his coat.  He wordlessly nodded to the cashier and made for the door.  Reid didn't smoke very often, but he always kept a pack on him in case there was someone with him who didn't.  It was an easy way to cause a little distress.  When he walked through the door, he happened to notice a boy leaning up against the wall of the store.  Reid stood there for a moment, observing him.  The boy was somehow familiar, but he couldn't quite place a finger on it.  Regardless, the reason for him being here could only have been cigarettes, right?  He didn't look old enough to get them legally.  Since he was somewhat familiar, he was probably from Alabaster High.  Then again, Reid wasn't actually old enough either, but at least he looked mature for his age.  "Hey,"  Reid stepped over to the boy, "What's a kid like you doing in a place like this?"  He wore a neutral expression, more curious than mischievous.  How he would handle the kid afterwards would depend on his reaction.
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Re: Unhealthy Habits for Unsettling Thoughts

Post by Cognition on Tue Nov 13, 2018 6:25 pm

Brian jumped, startled at the sudden voice of someone not in his head. Shawn turned and grinned at Reid. "Uh-oooooh, Brian. Looks like someone caught you alreaaaaadyyy!" He chuckled before bursting into laughter.
"Uh... I-I'm here... I'm buying cigarettes for my dad. H-he had a long day at work today, and doesn't want to make the trek out here." Brian uncomfortably responded, quickly lying to the older boy.
Shawn laughed again. "Oh, BUUUUULL. No, no, you OWN this, buddy!" He yelled, getting right up behind Reid, who could neither see nor hear him. "Does this guy look like an idiot? No, he doesn't! He's gonna see right through this lie!" Shawn immediately dematerialized and reappeared right next to Brian. "He already knows you're lying... And he's gonna call you out on it. Then you're gonna get the boot, you're not gonna get my cigarettes, and I get another night of keeping you up!" Shawn burst into cruel maniacal laughter, and Brian began breathing heavily and sweating, clearly nervous about the situation he was in, desperately trying not to let his eyes flick to Shawn's manifestation.

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Re: Unhealthy Habits for Unsettling Thoughts

Post by V.Carnage on Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:44 pm

Reid let out a disbelieving humph.  "Even if that were true, you should know that they'd never sell cigarettes to a minor.  Even if you say you are getting them for your dad they can't sell it to you.  Do you not even know that much?"  Reid stared at the boy for a few seconds before letting out an exasperated sigh.  Clearly this guy was an amateur.  He's probably never even actually smoked before from the look of him, let alone bought some before.  He pulled a hand from his pocket and pointed a finger at Brian.  "Look, I couldn't care less if you were five and you wanted to smoke.  Theirs no fun in pushing someone who's willing.  But seeing this is just pathetic.  Have you even had a cigarette before?"  Reid looked mildly irked and a bit bored.
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Re: Unhealthy Habits for Unsettling Thoughts

Post by Cognition on Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:57 pm

Shawn's face deflated slightly as this guy seemed to see right through Brian's awful lie, but also didn't seem to care. He huffed and walked up to Reid, pacing around him, deliberately trying to draw Brian's eyes to wander around Reid. Sure enough, Brian's eyes wandered to Reid's left or right multiple times as he spoke. "N-no... I haven't smoked before. Just... A-a friend recommended it to me. Said I'm too wound up and tense, said it'd help me out."
"Aaaayy, y'hear that, buddy?!" Shawn loudly announced, putting his arm around Reid; obviously, only Brian noticed this, but it was always off-putting to see someone who looked as real as Shawn interact with another, unnoticing person. "He called me his friend! Oh, all it took was a year of being here, but wittle Hedron finally acknowledged my friendship~!" Brian shook his head, trying to help ground himself to reality and focus on his conversation with this stranger without them catching on about Shawn.

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Re: Unhealthy Habits for Unsettling Thoughts

Post by V.Carnage on Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:27 pm

Reid noticed Brian's flickering gaze and he looked to each of his sides, trying to see what the kid was looking for but to no avail.  He gave Brian a skeptical look but moved on, "I thought not.  Well there's no way you'd be able to buy cigarettes on your own with a face like that.  You'd think this friend would set you up with some or something.  Either buy them himself, or set you up with someone who can get them for you."  Reid observed Brian for a bit before popping up his elbow in the area where Shawn's illusion was standing and reached into his coat with the other hand, pulling out his carton of cigarettes, still sealed in plastic.  "Tell ya what.  I'll share this with you.  Seeing you take your first puff should be fairly entertaining."
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Re: Unhealthy Habits for Unsettling Thoughts

Post by Cognition on Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:09 pm

Shawn moved back as though he was pushed by Reid when he popped up his elbow, and put on an exaggerated look of offense while flipping off Reid. "Rude. I'm standing right here." He snapped. However, his demeanor completely shifted when he saw what Reid was offering. Instantly, he vanished and reappeared right next to Brian, whispering in his ear. It was so sudden and so close Brian reflexively jumped a bit to the side at first, despite his attempts to keep physical signs suppressed. "Take it friend! Sure, you're not getting a full pack, but one is enough to sate me for a little bit. A deal's a deal, Briaaan...." Shawn cooed.
After jumping at Shawn's manifestation, Brian nodded and stepped towards Reid. "Th-thanks... That'd be appreciated." He thanked nervously.

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Re: Unhealthy Habits for Unsettling Thoughts

Post by V.Carnage on Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:53 pm

Reid took Brian jumping to mean he thought Reid was going to pull a weapon on him or something similar and paid no mind to it.  Had be been in a different mood, he may very well have attacked the boy.  Not with a knife or a gun, as he much preferred the more discrete means of his power.  Reid pointed a thumb over his shoulder.  "Follow me.  I know where we can go where we wont be bothered.  Or at least no on who sees you will care."  Reid slipped the carton back in his coat and turned to lead the way, assuming Brian followed.  He would lead Brian to downtown of the area.  It was towards the east side of Ruby Central, so things began sharing similarities with the rundown eastern district, while still maintaining its own air of being pristine.  Few people walked the streets here.  Those that did tended to look worse for wear.  A middle aged man, nothing but skin and bone, walked on the other side of the street with a blank look on his face.  As they walked along they passed a group of four squatters not much older than them.  They glanced at the pair walking by, as if sizing them up.  Reid gave them an intimidating glare, and they immediately went back to keeping talking among themselves.  They eventually happened upon a small park-like area with a few benches.  Reid plopped down and gestured for Brian to sit next to him before digging out his carton of cigarettes and a lighter.  "Oh yeah, I never caught your name.  Out with it."
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Re: Unhealthy Habits for Unsettling Thoughts

Post by Cognition on Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:35 pm

Brian nervously followed along, not saying anything to Reid. Shawn seemed to teleport about, one moment being on the other side of the street, the next trailing behind the pair again. As they made their way to the more run down part of the district, Brian began getting noticeably nervous. "Uh-ooooh... Are you really following a stranger into a rough part of town? I thought your mother raised you better, Brian..." Shawn chided, clicking his tongue. He reappeared in the group of squatters, looking up at Brian with a twisted grin. "Then again, Mama Hedron raised herself a killer, now, didn't she?" Brian said nothing in response, but felt physically sick.
Shawn liked Reid. He was confident, bold, and exuded an aura of strength, the kind that lesser men like those squatters could smell. Brian could smell it too. Shawn thought having someone like him around would be good for Brian. Well, good for Shawn's manipulation of Brian, but that was besides the point.
Once they arrived at the park, Brian sat down on the edge of the bench, and flushed when Reid less asked for and more demanded his name. His eyes panned down to the ground and he stayed silent for a few moments. Shawn squatted down in his line of sight. "Our new friend asked you a question, Brian. Answer it. Answer it or he may not uphold his end of the bargain. And he'll leave you here, in the middle of nowhere, with me itchy for nicotine." Shawn's eyes glinted wickedly.
"B... Brian. It's Brian." It barely came out as a whisper.
"Brian WHAT? And loud enough so that he can hear you!" Shawn pressed his face so close to Brian's that he instinctively sat back up straight to back away; to Reid, it might look like he finally found the courage to answer honestly.
"Brian Hedron." He said, complying with Shawn. His voice was loud enough for Reid to easily hear, but still croaked and shook.

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Re: Unhealthy Habits for Unsettling Thoughts

Post by V.Carnage on Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:17 am

The boy seemed to be struggling to get his name out.  The first thing out of his mouth was a mumble.  Something with a B.  Blaine?  Brandon?  Reid was about to say something when the boy abruptly righted himself and much more clearly than before stated his name.  "Brian, huh? Hmm."  He began thinking, the familiarity on the tip of his tongue.  "Oh yeah!  Brian Hedron.  One of the biggest social outcasts of the entire school.  They say you killed a guy."  Reid was silent for a moment as if mulling over the facts he just stated.  However in actuality he had just moved on.  He cracked the seal on his carton and pulled out a cigarette.  He placed it on his mouth and flicked the ignition on the lighter, holding it up to the opposite end of the cigarette.  He sucked in air, before exhaling smoke.  "Guess I made a good read then.  No point messing with someone who's already an outcast.  What fun is it if no one is gonna react to it?"  He asked rhetorically.  "Name's Reid.  Help yourself"  Reid held up the open carton for Brian to pick one out.  Once Brian took one, Reid tossed his lighter.  "Heads up.  I'm not gonna light if for you." Reid leaned back and took another puff, quietly observing how Brian would handle his first time smoking.
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Re: Unhealthy Habits for Unsettling Thoughts

Post by Cognition on Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:54 pm

Brian turned pale as Reid elaborated facts he was well aware of; Shawn on the other hand grinned with delight, sitting on the backrest of the bench, his feet on the seat. At Reid's nonchalant response, however, both of them shifted. Brian let out a relieved sigh and tentatively took a cigarette, while Shawn, furrowed his brow and stepped off the bench, stepping towards Reid. "Whaaaa...? Does this guy not care you're a killer? Who the hell is this guy?"
"Reid..." Brian said, both testing the name for himself and taking a rare stab at Shawn by answering his obvious question. "Nice to meet you." He said after awkwardly catching the lighter. It took him a few tries to actually start it, but he managed to start the lighter and lit the cigarette. He inhaled far more than he should have and began coughing violently, dropping the lighter and almost dropping the cigarette. Shawn turned back from looking at Reid and burst into laughter at the sight. We had a deal! You give me a bit of peace from this! Brian thought angrily, knowing Shawn would hear.
"You've still got most of a cigarette to go before you've honored your end of the deal, killer. Keep going!"
Brian made a bit of a face, but recovered from coughing, picked the lighter back up, and handed it back to Reid before taking another, more conservative toke from the cigarette. It was clear from his face that he was not enjoying the experience.

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Re: Unhealthy Habits for Unsettling Thoughts

Post by V.Carnage on Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:13 pm

Reid burst into laughter, in apparent tandem with Shawn.  "Just about what I was expecting."  Reid took the lighter back from Brian an placed it in his pants pocket.  A mischievous grin was on Reids face. "So how is it, Brian?  Everything you were hoping for?"  He was clearly enjoying Brians discomfort.  Reid took a big breath of his own before exhaling a cloud directly upwards.  Few people passed by.  None of them stopped to look.  Only one person ever turned their head, only to immediately turn away.  Reid was halfway through his second cigarette by the time Brian finished his first.  He held up the carton to him again and smiled.  "Care for another?  I've got plenty."
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Re: Unhealthy Habits for Unsettling Thoughts

Post by Cognition on Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:18 pm

Brian looked up, his eyes watering from the smoke and discomfort. He opened his mouth to decline Reid's offer, but Shawn immediately rematerialized in front of him. "Tut-tut-tut, Brian! Remember the deal! One now, one more before going to bed. I understand since you didn't get inside the smoke shop you didn't get a lighter of your own, so I'll be nice and say you only have to smoke one more here and I'll honor the deal." He grinned wickedly in Brian's face for a moment, but then slid aside, Reid and his cigarette pack becoming the only thing in Brian's view. After another moment of silence, Brian nodded and reached for another cigarette.
"Y-yeah... Thanks." Brian put the cigarette in his mouth and tentatively put out his hand, silently asking for the lighter.

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Re: Unhealthy Habits for Unsettling Thoughts

Post by V.Carnage on Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:49 pm

Reid reveled in the reluctant acceptance of another cigarette.  It was apparent that he wasn't actually enjoying it, but that made it all the more enjoyable tor Reid.  He held out the lighter for Brian to take, opting out of throwing it this time.  Bored with the silence that had encapsulated the majority of their time, Reid decided to inquire something.  "So about this supposed friend of yours.  I'm surprised someone with your reputation has a friend in the first place.  So what's his deal?  Didn't wanna have a smoke with you today?"  Reid took another puff of his cigarette.  It was almost burned out.
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Re: Unhealthy Habits for Unsettling Thoughts

Post by Cognition on Sat Nov 17, 2018 7:16 pm

Brian didn't respond at first as he lit the second cigarette. He held out the lighter, silently thinking.
"Can't tell him the truth, he'll just think you're craaaaazy... But can't lie to him because he can sniff those out... Quite the pickle, quite the pickle..." Shawn cooed.
"He used to go to Alabaster High, but he kind of... Stopped coming." Brian started explaining, doing his best to ignore Shawn and focus on the cigarette; he was handling the second one far better than the first. "We talk on a pretty regular basis, but he kind of, uh... Lost his freedom a while ago. He got locked up about a year ago, still gripes about it to this day."
Shawn snorted. "Ooooo, clever clever, Brian. Still able to think pretty quick; maybe I'm not working you hard enough...."
We had a deal, Shawn. You give me tonight.
"Fine, fine. Tonight."

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Re: Unhealthy Habits for Unsettling Thoughts

Post by V.Carnage on Sat Nov 17, 2018 7:25 pm

Reid spit out the butt of his cigarette onto the ground and took back his lighter from Brian.  "Locked up?  He get thrown in jail or something?  What'd he do?"  Reid pulled out the carton of cigarettes again and went to grab another before deciding against it and returning it to his coat.  He was't a heavy smoker, and normally only did it to annoy people who didn't smoke.  This was a special case, but he wasn't going to start smoking whole packs at once.
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Re: Unhealthy Habits for Unsettling Thoughts

Post by Cognition on Sat Nov 17, 2018 8:03 pm

Shawn laughed cruelly, manifesting just over Brian's shoulder and began whispering in his ear. "What'd I do? What'd I do? How you gonna answer that, hm? You're the one who did the crime. You're the murderer. You're the freak, the bastard, the one with blood on his hands. You killed me. Go on. What did I do, hm? Tell him. Tell him everything."
Brian shivered slightly at the sensation of Shawn seething in his ear, and sat in silence with his head down for some time. After a minute, he let out a cough from the cigarette and looked up to Reid. "Not my story to tell." He whispered. "Not polite to put words in another person's mouth. I'm sure you wouldn't want one of your friends going around talking about your lowest point."
Shawn scoffed. "Coward..."

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Re: Unhealthy Habits for Unsettling Thoughts

Post by V.Carnage on Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:52 pm

Reid crossed his arms at the delay in Brian's response, watching him shrink away at nothing.  When he finally did speak, Reid found it less that satisfactory.  He clicked his tongue, "How boring.  What's it matter what he thinks?  He ain't here now is he?"  Despite his earlier sentiment, he pulled out a cigarette and hastily lit it.  Inhaling and exhaling fumes like an angry dragon.  After a few moments he began to mellow out again and regain his composure.  He leaned his head back behind the bench, staring up at the sky.  "You're boring me."
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Re: Unhealthy Habits for Unsettling Thoughts

Post by Cognition on Tue Nov 20, 2018 10:28 pm

Shawn stood in front of Reid and crossed his arms, grinning. "Oooh-ho-ho! He didn't seem to like that! Shoulda just told him like I said so! But did you listen to me? No. You didn't. You never listen to me. You-" The hallucination continued on like this for some time; even when Reid said something, he continued on, causing Brian to start shaking in frustration.
"What do you want from me?!" He blurted aloud, his voice trembling and his eyes watering somewhat, made more obvious by the dark circles under them.

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Re: Unhealthy Habits for Unsettling Thoughts

Post by V.Carnage on Tue Nov 20, 2018 10:58 pm

Reid sat up and looked straight at Brian.  His eyes were serious with a strange mixture of anger and apathy.  "What do I want from you?  The same thing I want from anyone.  I want you to show me something worth my time.  If there's one thing I can't stand in this world, it's boredom.  Every day everyone does the same monotonous thing.  It's not interesting at all.  People who talk big but never follow up are an even bigger letdown.  If you're gonna be a hero, do something about it instead of just spewing out pointless words."  Reid spat, remembering his encounter with the twins.  "So how about you?  Are you another waste of my time?"
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Re: Unhealthy Habits for Unsettling Thoughts

Post by Cognition on Tue Nov 20, 2018 11:22 pm

Brian blinked and leaned back, surprised that Reid answered for a moment before remembering the reality of the situation. Shawn looked back and forth from Reid and his host and grinned. "For my answer? What do I want? Keep this guy's attention. I like him. He's the sort of guy who'll keep things... interesting for us. Besides, he's your only source for my addiction right now, isn't he?" Shawn cackled cruelly and dissipated visually, his laughter still echoing for Brian.
Brian took a breath, stopping composing himself before standing up and tossing the cigarette butt to the ground. "I'm not a hero, so I'm not gonna talk up being one. So if that's what you're looking for, you're going to be sorely disappointed. But I agree with you. Actions are more important than words. People who spout nonsense drive me up the wall." Brian jabbed at Shawn, who scoffed in response, still not visible. "I'm not going to make any claims I can't back up. Am I a waste of your time? Hell if I know. Same as I don't know if you're a waste of time. Guess we'll just have to find out down the line, won't we?"

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Re: Unhealthy Habits for Unsettling Thoughts

Post by V.Carnage on Tue Nov 20, 2018 11:37 pm

Reid just stared at Brian, looking him up and down.  After a few moments her finally broke the silence, "Hmph, fair enough."  For a while Reid said nothing more, just keeping to himself.  After a while he stood up.  "Well, I think I got out of this what I wanted today.  Sitting around here isn't going to make things any less boring."  Reid dropped his half finished cigarette on the ground before stomping on it.  "I doubt you want to be around here by yourself, unless you wanna get jumped, so I suggest you come along."  Reid began walking back the way they came.  "Oh, and also, if ya need any more cigarettes, let me know.  I'll be charging ya but it's not like you'll be able to get them yourself otherwise."
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