Magical Scribe Eleanor Slam versus The Grind Part I

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Who made the packaging on these ramen blocks? For the life of me I can't get this thing open. I wanted a sandwich, but they were all out after I woke up from my first shift. The earlier I lose conscious perception in my trance state, the longer it takes to come back. So either more suffering up front, without being able to move even my eyes as I become acutely aware of how uncomfortable I am, or more suffering later, where I end up missing lunch or dinner.

The latter doesn't seem so bad in comparison.

Still, I was hoping for something nice today after this fuck-awful weekend. I should have learned by now, nice just doesn't happen to me. And yet the lesson never ever ever EVER sticks.

Just getting these was a fantastic demonstration of how shitty everything is. That tea-guzzling bitch found me while I was trying to carry it and a bowl of hot water, which was fucking retarded in the first place. She spooked me so bad I dropped the bowl. Then she actually came charging at me with those freaky maces, screaming that she'd beat me into paste. While I'm sure it'd be nice to have an excuse not to work, I'm afraid of things that hurt. I'm not sure how I managed to outrun her, limping away as I was, but I did.

This fucking plastic piece of shit. Why the fuck does it require so much force to open? My right hand being burned doesn't help, red and tender as it is. It's too painful to try very hard to open the package this way, so I'll have to use my teeth instead.

Fuck, I got little bits of noodle all over the desk and the floor. It must have gotten crushed while I was hauling ass back to the office. The silvery flavor packet falls out and drops onto the floor, where I try to pick it up - dammit, that was retarded, I spilled more crumbs. I toss the useless thing in the trash as I grab the largest wedge I can find and bite into it.

It's very chalky, and tastes like a mouthful of flour and failure.

They haven't brought me my weekly allowance of grief seeds yet. I know it's Monday and the week's just getting started, but it feels like there's a lot of that corruption stuff flowing around my soul gem. Maybe that's what's got me so melancholy today. Swallowing the tasteless dry noodles and trying not to choke, I find myself trying to figure out why everything's so fucked up. Trying to find some reason or logic behind why everything is terrible while taking another bite.

Maybe it's because I was a troublesome kid. I did bite a lot in kindergarten. Kept climbing on the counter and eating all the cookies no matter where Mom hid them. Very prone to crying fits.

But I think everything went to Hell after I punched that boy.

I used to have a more significant weight problem when I was in first grade. I got called the "Breaker" because I sat on a rickety chair one time and it snapped under me. Some boy was the one that kept pushing for the name to stick. He was a real shithead for a lot of reasons.

If movies had taught me anything, it's that if you knock out your bully, everything gets better. So one day I just lost it. Went from sitting at my desk to whaling on his smug, stupid face even after he fell down. I was screaming and crying the entire time, even after the teacher pulled me off of him. After seeing the damage I did, though... I just started crying because I felt like shit.

Before I was transferred out of that school for good, I heard one of those jump rope rhymes, or whatever they're called, caught on after the incident. I start tapping my foot in a rhythm as I quietly cite the lyrics that stuck with me:

"Breaker, Breaker, bellyacher Made a hit and knocked down Laker Raised on a diet of Pixi Stix Just how many hits did Elly get?"

Right, that was his name. Never heard from any of those kids again, since my family had to move to a different district.

Chew, chew, swallow, bite. If I only had something to wash this down with.

I really didn't try hard enough to be a good daughter, did I? There was that time I got caught taking things from my classmates' backpacks because I didn't like any of them and none of them liked me, so I had to change schools in the middle of second grade. Next year I managed to get constipated from all the awful shit I ate, and had to take mineral oil for months. Actually tasted worse than this junk.

But my crowning achievement in being a horrible child was when I set that trash can on fire and melted a perfectly good television in the process with an improvised flamethrower, because I should never have been allowed anywhere near the matches and compressed air. There was definitely a lot of yelling and belt-whipping after that, which I certainly deserved. Hell, I deserved worse at that time. They were good people who deserved a better kid than me. But that treatment facility they sent me to only managed to instill in me some good manners about washing my hands and nothing else. That sort of bullshit is why I didn't get to visit Disney Land that year, or ever again.

It's about that time that I picked up cussing out of habit, since that's the sort of thing that I heard a lot around the house. Everybody was really upset. Come to think of it, I don't remember seeing them ever smile again after that incident.

I did try a little, though. I really wanted to help them somehow. Even if I had to remove myself from the picture, I just wanted to make them happy. Make them laugh like they used to way back when. Hell, I'd settle for them not being ashamed of me. But I was just a kid. Just a stupid fucking kid who couldn't even help herself, much less anybody else. That it hasn't changed even now is a testament to what a goddamn failure of a daughter I am.

FUCK! Cut the roof of my mouth. Now it tastes like flour, failure and blood. Which... actually manages to be an improvement from before, and gives me something to swallow with. Joy.

All those fuck-ups are probably why they told me to just stay out of the house during tax season. I think it was tax season, anyway. Lots of forms to fill out. I didn't like having homework, so most of it was done at school. It gave me time to walk around town. Do some chores outside to take an infinitesimally small amount of their burden upon myself. I wanted to do something, anything, other than continue to be a useless sack of snot and tears.

So of course that's when it showed up. Some kind of black-furred rabbit-cat-weasel thing with scary eyes, decked out in gaudy, gem encrusted jewelry. He asked why I was crying, and I spilled my guts. Because I was awful and didn't take the "don't talk to weird animals" lesson to heart.

He said he understood, and offered me his little contract : Get a wish in exchange for working at a big agency. Fight monsters that used to be like you because they let their souls become tainted. Something about saving the universe if you let yourself become a monster. It was heavy stuff that should have sent me running back home, so that I could maybe ask for permission or at least talk it over. But no, I was just an awful little brat who wanted Mommy and Daddy to stop being angry at me and for our family to live Happily Ever After. But rather than wish for anything helpful, like, say, money, I said something so mind-bogglingly stupid that I want to kick my younger self's teeth out just thinking about it :

"I wish I could help."

I swear that bastard bunnycat weasel was laughing when he tore that shining blue bauble out of me. Scared me so bad I fell on my ass. Said I was one of his bitches now, which should have given me a clue that the fuckwad needed a good punting. Instead I sat there and listened to his spiel about "superhuman clerical abilities" and "minor physical augmentation". And to be fair, that sounds pretty great when you're twelve.

Time to move on to the crumbs and bits.

The first time I transformed, which was right on the spot, it felt... Revitalizing. Empowering. I felt strong, like I could do anything. It took me a while just to stop basking in the sensation and rush on home, because I managed to distract myself by feeling nice for a change. To make up for it, I found myself moving much faster than I had ever done in my life. I accidently ran past my house because I wasn't paying attention, I was so engrossed. Then I hit the city limits and turned around, feeling utterly ashamed of myself.

I forced open the door and sauntered into my house proudly. The looks of shock and confusion on my parents' faces couldn't stop me from grinning. Grinning so hard my face hurt. I did a little twirl to make the cape flutter and followed up with a curtsey. It was somewhat embarrassing, but I was too caught up in the moment to care. I could do something for them, something for the people who raised me. Something that would make them proud of me.

They didn't even recognize me at first. I didn't realize at the time, but my hair had changed. It used to be short and brown, now it was a mass of lavender curls. Then Mom cautiously asked if I was Eleanor, and I assured them that I was their daughter. I launched into a short speech explaining that I could take care of their paper-fueled woes with my newfound power. I didn't even bother to ask permission, I was just so eager to show what I could do that I strode over and grabbed hold of the nearest sheet.

When I was close enough to look at the forms, a chill went up my spine. Something was wrong, but I didn't know what it was until I tried to move and found that I could not. At least, not of my own volition, as my body went to work on the forms with a pen in its hand. Sounds were muffled as though I had my head submerged underwater. And my brain felt like it was being pumped full of cotton as numbers and seemingly random words like "mortgage" filled it to the bursting point.

Everything started to hurt, and my eyes grew dry as they refused to close. I wanted to scream, to cry, to beg for help, but I couldn't move my lips at all. I couldn't even tell if I was breathing. And I felt everything that made me what I am being shoved aside to make way for this unwanted knowledge. Thankfully, this didn't last very long, as I soon lost any and all conscious thought.

And of course, upon finishing everything, I had no idea what was happening or how long I'd been there. I didn't know myself, I didn't know about my house, and I certainly didn't know who those panicky figures were that were standing near me. I just knew that they were there, and that I was in pain, so it must be their fault. I screamed gibberish at them, the people that I was convinced were at fault for this. When one of them, think it was Dad, raised his voice at me, a pen materialized in my right hand. This was the sort with the pointed nib, and as I made a fist, it grew and grew until it was big enough to pass for a spear.

Understandably, my parents panicked and tried to run, but I went after them. Even though they made it outside, I was much faster than they were, and it was so easy to catch up to them. To slash and stab at them, ink mixing into their blood and making them double over in pain as they grew ill. I wanted to make the things that made me hurt pay for what they did. And it felt -good-. It felt cathartic to cause such pain, to maim and mangle and poison.

I... I don't like to dwell on this part. It makes me feel ill.

Thankfully, I remembered what was happening before a fatal blow was struck. And I was rightly horrified of what I did. The pen, the costume, everything disappeared in a flash as I tried to help them up, but they were terrified of me. Yelled at me to leave. So I did the only thing I could do : I ran home and locked myself in my room.

Don't throw up, don't throw up, don't throw up. Big gulps of air now, Eleanor...

I lay on my bed for hours just staring at the window. I couldn't sleep at all. I just kept going over the events in my head, feeling worse and worse with each iteration. I heard sirens in the distance at some point, and that made me cringe.

I plucked the soul gem from its gilding. It had started to get murky with that corruption I'd heard so much about from the weaselly little cat thing. This bauble was the source of my troubles, and he has specifically told me not to break it. So naturally I threw it against the wall as hard as I could.

It bounced off and landed on the floor, rolling along unharmed. I felt like I'd been the one hurled around, tears forming from my eyes as agony became my world for the next hour or so. Or maybe it was just minutes. I couldn't really tell, but it felt like a long time. The next brilliant idea I had was to run away, put everything behind me. And I made it as far as the end of the block before everything went black.

Next time I woke up, I was sitting in a chair in a very sterile office environment. I could feel something pressed into my hand: that soul gem I'd left back at the house. Right, the thing said not to get too far away from it or else you're like a puppet with your strings cut.

Speaking of, sitting behind a desk covered in some of the gaudiest decorations I've ever seen, was that fucking cat. I don't remember the specifics, because that fucker's voice gives me a headache just thinking about it, and I was in a daze at the time, but he welcomed me to the Eighth Officio, informed me that he owned me now, and that my folks were doing fine without me. That last part gave me some relief, since I was afraid I'd flat out killed them, but this wasn't what I'd signed up for, was it? I thought I'd be doing magical girl things.

Asshole said that's for the big girls. Thanks for making me feel self-conscious about my height, you shitlord.

Then he laid out my new job and its benefits : I'd be his paperwork-filling bitch, working each weekday from seven in the morning to nine at night, and get a thirty minute break between workloads to eat lunch if I was quick enough. All the documents would be in some kind of code or something because super secret sensitive information bullshit, I don't know why he wanted to do it. Probably because he's just an asshole.

For all of that, I'd make less than ten grand a year, would not get dental, and had to live in what was little more than a closet with a bed. At least I didn't have to fill out any forms or whatever, but I vehemently complained that it sounded inhumane. Smug fucker told me magical girls aren't humans anymore and I was little more than property. I tried to complain again, but he did something to the soul gem that made my insides boil until I agreed to the conditions.

I was put to work a few hours later. Had to actually climb up onto the chair I was given, it was so high up. There was a mountain of papers on the desk, far taller than myself even if I stood on my tiptoes. I remember pulling at one to get started and the entire thing came crashing down on me. Then darkness, then a bright flash, and... I guess I did my thing. I came out of trance so late that it was actually about time for the next workday. Holy shit, did I ache. Felt like I'd been posing as a statue and staring at the sun, everything fucking hurt.

Apparently the girls of the Eighth, as a whole, didn't like people who cry too loudly. Or too snottily. Or not loud enough for them to enjoy it. Or cry at all. In any case, over the next few days I learned the hard way that tears attracted some terrifying, vicious people that were more than willing to kick all the sad out of me. But since it didn't impede my work in any way, it was allowed. I don't think my complaining would change anything anyway. Not after what happened the first time.

As it turned out, just about every little ray of sunshine in that shithole was actually everything I was ever happy about, or even hopeful about, going up in flames.

For instance, trying to show up people that pick on you only works in movies. And giving yourself a new surname, because your family disowned you and you want to sound cool, is completely fucking retarded. Holy fucking shit, I thought I could actually beat them at basketball or something because I was a magical girl now. I thought I could be -good- at it because I was a magical girl now. Guess it somehow didn't register that they were, too. And that they were better at it than me. And even if I'd somehow won, they'd probably kick my ass anyway. And that no, you can't just go out and try to jam with the rest, that's breaking the whole secrecy thing or whatever, girl that's not even five feet tall dunking on some dude. That's the kind of moronic logic that a twelve year old, one who thinks they can magic things better, would have.

Godfuckingdammit why was I such a stupid fucking kid? I couldn't even handle being independent and had to go a whole month without food because I spent it on some video game or something that got stolen.

I actually accepted some kind of meal from a crazy girl that I'm pretty sure... No, it definitely had drugs in it. No other explanation for why we spent the weekend in her laboratory, "testing stimuli" or whatever to see what makes me go off. Television ads, DVD menus, fliers, newspapers, newspapers in television shows, magazines, books, computers, smart phones, crossword puzzles, word jumbles, comic books, character sheets... All of it set off the trance, like a dog chasing after a ball that you actually have hidden behind your back. Sometimes we revisited things with some minute adjustments that turned out to do nothing. Wearing glasses, for instance, didn't affect it at all. Really, I think she was just toying with me until it stopped being fun.

I was so tired by the end of it all that I just collapsed until I was dragged out and left in the hallway. Got a few precious minutes rest before I had to find my room.

Hell, getting food was a battle all its own even if I could pay for it. Kept getting chased down by scary characters with ridiculous weapons and even more ridiculous costumes. Nearly died when some girl almost sliced off my head with a scythe. Who the fuck uses a scythe?

Had to skimp on a lot of luxuries. Like pajamas and spare clothing. The soap I used kept crumbling and I had a hard time getting a grip on it. Almost certain I heard somebody call me Smelly Elly because of the shitty soap breaking before I was done using it. The cheap toothpaste didn't work, either. I had some pretty painful toothaches that would cost too much to look at, much less fill. Fucking weasel.

But I think my crowning achievement in stupidity while I was there, has to go to trying to kill myself through defenestration. As it turns out, no matter how far you fall, you're only going to break your legs, and not your soul gem. After that, they put a gate on the window that I wasn't able to budge, and I wasn't allowed outside.

The months went by with a tortuous slowness.

At one point things seemed to pick up. I got a chair that wasn't shit. It was actually very comfortable, and I wish I still had it. Then somebody started bringing me food and water during my breaks. And it was real food. Well, real fast food, anyway. It felt like an actual meal instead of just part of one. People were giving me a lot of room in the hallways instead of trying to knock me down, too. I thought that I might actually be able to live with myself.

The weasel rat bastard had other plans.