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Breach of Contract — The Life and Times of a Magical Girl Hunter [Magical Burst/Madoka Magica AU]

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Spiny, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. Spiny

    Spiny Making the rounds.

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    1.

    Who the fuck paints a house that color?

    It's a nice house, too. Right in that almost-trendy chunk of uptown where hip thirty-whatevers settle down with their 1.25 kids, when they want to Get Their Shit Together but aren't ready to give up being cool yet. Bigass porch, new shutters, nice lawn with a Jeep parked out front—everything’s great, honestly, except the parts they covered in something probably called ‘Almond Cream’ or ‘Cappuccino’ that’s a lot closer to ‘Old Puke Beige’. It even has one of the cute little signs for their security company by the door! I love those—they're like the "PLEASE DON'T BRING A GUN IN HERE" signs in schools, but funny instead of disturbing. Sure, they might keep the trashiest trash out, but, like, guys. You're an upper-middle-class family in the middle of Idyllic Suburbia, where cops have fuckall better to do than bust sixteen-year-olds for not signaling. Anyone who's going to break into your house really isn't going to care you're Protected by Securishield. Not even a little bit.

    Speaking of which…

    Exhibit A: Lanie Weber, better known as me, crouched on the shingled roof at 3:30 in the morning, about to swing in through the upstairs window. Not exactly standard entry, but my B&E is a little rusty. I probably could've just waltzed through the door and let my Wake do the rest, but probably has bitten my ass enough that it’s still sore years later. This way's much easier, and I don't lose anything except style points—which might count to some people, I guess?

    Those people are retards.

    I lean out over the gutter, draw Hammer from my coat, and pull the trigger. The shotgun bucks and sizzles, barrels flaring blue, and a hundred glowing dots hit the window like a spatter of paint. A couple seconds later, they've merged into a nice, me-sized hole straight through the glass and blinds, without a single sharp edge or shard of glass. Doorshot feels like cheatingsometimes, but if you think I'm about to dick around with lockpicks and prybars for twenty minutes when I can point and click, you haven't met me.

    I holster Hammer, grab the edge of the roof, and swing, tucking my legs as I slide through the glowing hole, right onto… a desk, which I've just kicked a bunch of papers, pens, and assorted other Important-Looking Shit off onto the floor. Nice.

    I scoot off the desk, doorshot hole folding closed behind me, and feel my boots hit carpet so soft I can feel it through the soles. The rest of the room's about as nice: fat white dresser, fancy stereo, walk-in closet on one end and a queen bed with, jesus christ, a fucking canopy. I let myself have a nice big eye-roll at that. Wasn't this girl supposed to be, like, thirteen?

    Hammer clicks as I draw it again, the barrels shifting as it loads new ammo. I aim straight up, and this time Hammer barely twitches as it shoots a burst of shining golden glitter into the air. It settles around the room, bunching around the doorframe, vents, windows—anywhere that carries sound. Softshot is probably overkill here, but like I said, probably and I are 'it's complicated' at best. There's a time and a place for it, and breaking into a spoiled teenybopper's room on what's technically a Wednesday morning isn't either.

    Once the softshot's settled, I pull back the canopy, rolling my eyes even harder as it reveals a tangled pile of blankets and stuffed animals. Clearly someone hasn't left their little princess phase. It actually takes a couple seconds of rooting through the mini-mountain of fake down and polyester fluff before I see what looks like a vaguely human-shaped lump, and a few more before I find a shoulder to shake.

    "Hey. Pssst. Wakey wakey." The lump mumbles something and rolls over, showing off a long curtain of blonde hair. Of course. With a bed like that, you'd probably have to shoot me to get me up. I take a less dramatic approach, leaning in to yank the bottom-most blanket back, and there's a miniature avalanche of fluffy friends as the blanket mountain collapses. For the first time, I can actually see the room's owner: a small, round-faced girl with—oh my god, she has Hello Kitty PJs.

    "Hey!" I lean in and tap my fingers against her cheek, nice and light— her eyes shoot open as she screams bloody fucking murder, kicking and squirming and trying to yank herself back under the nonexistend blankets. Thank god for softshot.

    "Hey, hey hey hey. Ooookay," I say, taking a step back with my hands up. "It's cool! I'm not here to hurt you. Seriously. For real."

    "H-how—wh—" She can't form full words yet, eyes glancing frantically towards the door like she expects her parents to bust in any moment. I sigh, leaning back against the dresser, and wait.

    "Just calm down, sweetie. I'm here to talk."

    "Wh-who… you…" She's still hyperventilating, but at least the words are coming in now. "G-get out of my room!"
    "You think I want to be here?" I reply, taking a half-step forward. Blondie scampers back, there's a spotlight-flash of pink, and she's suddenly decked out in a neon clusterfuck of frills and bows, pointing a silver jeweled scepter at my face. Hoh-lee shit. I'm not sure whether to laugh or cringe, and hope for her sake that she figures out how to change it later.
    "S-stay away!" she squeaks, swirls of pink collecting at the scepter's tip. I nod, pushing myself back against the dresser, and she relaxes a tiny bit.

    "Yup, gotcha. Staying." I pause, then gamble: "Nice costume."

    Blondie blinks, frowns, looking confused. "…y-you can…?"

    "Uh-huh." I nod, steeling myself for the inevitable. "I'm, uh… like you."

    Her big blue eyes widen. "You're a ma—"

    "Yup," I nod again, nice and firm, cutting her off sharp before she can drop the M word. There's enough secondhand embarrassment in the room as it is. "Yeah. That. Can we chat now? Five minutes, then I'll leave. Swear to god."
    "What…" She shrinks back against the wall, still clutching the scepter. "What do you want, y-you weirdo?"

    Says the girl who probably has more stuffed animals than friends. I click my tongue at her. "It's rude to call people names. By the way— what’s yours?”

    Blondie mumbles something into her hands. I sigh. “Didn’t catch that.”

    “Katie— I mean, Stardust Sorceress!” she says quickly, puffing out her chest. I have to bite my cheek to keep from laughing.

    “Hey, Katie. I’m Alice,” I reply, nodding confidently as I say the first name that comes to mind. “And like I said, I just want to talk." I step closer, keeping my palms out flat. Katie doesn't lower the scepter, but also doesn't freak out any further. I'll take what I can get. "You fight youma, right?"

    "Yoo-ma? You mean, like… the monsters?"

    I shrug. "Whatever you call them. The big scary things that look like bad dreams."

    She gives a tiny nod, staring at me suspiciously.

    "See how easy this is? You're doing great." In an award-worthy display of emotional restraint, I only let the tiniest bit of sarcasm slip in. "When was the last time you fought one?"

    "Um… I d-don't know," she murmurs, hugging her knees to her chest. "A month or two ago?"

    "Uh-huh. And you haven't really been using your powers either, right? Right, yeah. So you know the contract you took when you first saw your familiar?" Her mouth starts to open, and I cut her off, "little floaty thing that talks to you. Probably looks like a cute animal.” It closes again, and I can’t help a smirk. “Yeah. There’s actually a part in there that says you have to be, like, actively hunting youma and getting their seeds—you know the little black things?— yeah. They give you powers, so you have to pull your weight. No free rides.” I fold my arms, waiting for the ball to drop. It was a pretty top-tier piece of bullshittery, but the contractor never said I had to tell the truth; they just wanted a little more use out of miss Stardust Sorceress here before she broke down and went Witch.

    Katie blinks, then her eyes go wide. “Hunt? Suzu said th-they would find me f-first! He didn’t say anything about h-having to hunt them! Why are... why are you saying what I have to do, anyway? Wh-why didn’t Suzu tell me in the first place?”

    Sweet christ. I forgot how exhausting rookies are. “Is Suzu your familiar?”

    Katie nods, glaring at me and raising the scepter a little higher. A for effort, at least, though it’s kinda hard to look intimidating when your lower lip’s quivering like that. The pink-and-green bows don’t help either.

    “Okay, yeah. It’s complicated, but it—Suzu, I mean— kind of can’t tell you stuff like that. Not directly. No familiar can. So they get people like me to do it for them!” I flash her my brightest smile. “Ask about it sometime. If you pop the question, I bet Suzu will be a little more up-front.” Katie opens her mouth to speak again, and I clamp my hand in a “shh” gesture. “And no, I can’t prove anything. Nada. But I’m not popping into your room in the middle of the night for shits and giggles, Katie, all right? This is just a friendly reminder. If you were the only one doing this stuff, then yeah, the youma would come to you. But you’re not. You’ve got competition, so you’ve gotta put in the work. I mean, you want your wish to come true, right?”

    Katie nods again, her entire body shaking… and then the floodgates open and she bursts into tears, straight-up sobbing into an armful of canopy. “I’m s-sorry!” she wails, half-curling up into a little ball of rainbow lace. “I w-want to get my wish, and help people, and, and…” She takes a huge, shaky breath and sniffles before launching into another round of bawling. “But the yo… you… th-the monster things are so awful, and school’s been r-really hard and my best friend moved away a-and…”

    “Hey! Heyyyy,” I cut in, sitting down on the bed before she can gear up for Round Three. “I get it, okay? It’s hard. Life is hard. But you signed up for this, Katie. You agreed. You’re not in trouble or whatever—not yet—but you gotta shape up.”
    She wipes her nose with the back of her hand and nods. “Ohh… o-okay. Okay.” How the fuck had this girl fought anything?

    “Good.” I hit her with another flashlight smile. “So this month, I’m thinking you can hit three more youma and get their seeds. That’s less than one a week. You can do that, right?”

    “I— I-I…” Holy fuck she’s already tearing up again. I swallow my irritated sigh and clap her on the shoulder instead, giving a reassuring squeeze.

    “I know you can! You’ve got… you’ve got a strong spirit. You’ve got this. Do it for Suzu! Or for your wish. Or whatever. That’s on you. Just get it done.” I stand up from the bed, walking back towards the window. “Like I said, this is a friendly reminder. The ones next month might not be so friendly.” Katie makes a sound like a baby animal being stepped on, and I wink. “But you won’t have to worry about that, right?”

    Hammer bucks and sizzles, pumping another load of doorshot into the same window I’d dropped in. Cool September air wafts in through the blue-edged portal as she squeaks again, crossing her arms in front of her like I’m about to shoot her next. “’Course not.” There’s a slightly louder squeak— god, I can’t even help my smirk this time. “Bye, Katie.”
    Try not to die. I get a bonus if you don’t.

    I give a little wave, and then I’m vaulting up over the desk, out the portal, and freefalling the twenty-whatever feet onto the mowed-every-weekend grass. Katie's softshot-muffled sobs echo behind me, fading to nothing a half-second after I leave.

    Poor kid. Probably needs to get bullied more.

    My boots hit the ground with a burst of gold, diffusing my speed as raw magic as I jog towards the back fence. Tuck-and-rolling is for chumps. Sure, there’s a starburst of singed grass in the middle of their Lovely Suburban Backyard now, but my Wake will take care of that. Fences, like the one in front of me, are trickier—I actually have to do something.
    Hammer click-clicks, silencer sliding into place, and we have liftoff, the downward blast of orange jumpshot sending me a solid ten feet up with a muffled thump. Even silenced, it’s still loud, but it’s better than normal jumpshot’s Really FUCKING Loud. Hope Katie’s neighbors sleep as deep as she does.

    I land a couple feet past the fence (sans golden sparks) in another cookie-cutter backyard, and jog around the side of the house to the opposite street. No lights on so far—that’s always good—but I still head for the bus stop a couple blocks away instead of the one on the corner. Nerves are a bitch, and that had been almost too easy.

    Once I’m at the bus stop, I lean against the sign and pull out my phone. 3:48. First bus comes at 4:15. I’m not complaining, though—not as I tap my banking app, flick over to ‘recent activity’, and grin. Right at the top, after a charge from that kickass uptown bagel place, there’s a new deposit from “$ERR_RANGE_UNDEFINED”, timestamp 3:46 AM. One thousand USD, cleared and ready to go, for a piss-easy home invasion and a pep talk.

    I fucking love my job.

    As I’m about to slide my phone away, it buzzes: new message from a number I don’t know. Defintely majokko, whoever they are— who else would text me at 4 in the morning on a school night.

    >hey i need smthing done. hard but will pay srs $$$. where can i meet u?

    cant afford me, I tap back, smirking. ‘srs $$$’ usually means less than I’d gotten for tonight, and any kind of majokko job always meant a couple hundred times more risk. Every once in a while I get someone who has at least some idea of what I’m worth, but even then, actually getting paid is usually even more work than the job. Yeah, there’s exceptions, but they have to throw around some serious fucking—

    My phone buzzes again, five seconds later: >20k cash. 5 up front 15 aftr

    Hello, exception.

    Who is this? Some bored tycoon kid too lazy to clean up their own competition? Shaking my head, I text back:
    >tmrw at 3. uptown bagel place on grove nd finlay

    A second after I send it, I type another:
    >u buy the bagels

    Three seconds later, I get a >k, and do a little fist-pump in the night air. One free lunch, ready to go—and if things went well I’d be getting five grand to shoot the shit and eat bagels, with an extra fifteen I could cash at my leisure. And they had come to me.

    Did I mention I fucking love my job?
     
  2. KinKrow

    KinKrow Dead Air

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    And then everything went absolutely fucked.

    I'm liking this, well written and kinda deadpan funny.
    Something I'd ex0ect to see in the NSFW section, but it seems you're a bit new.
    Welcome to our den of debauchery, there is very low chance of escape.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
    Slayer 10321 likes this.
  3. D-san

    D-san I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Seems pretty interesting. I cant say I expected a Magical Odd Job Expert
     
    Slayer 10321 likes this.