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FIC: Lost Souls, Part I: One Way Ride (1/2)

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  • jmmadigan@webtv.net
    Title: Lost Souls, Part I: One Way Ride Author: Jamie Category: AU Logan/Marie. Some angstin going on. Rating: Oh, let s go with PG-13 for language.
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 26, 2001
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      Title: Lost Souls, Part I: One Way Ride
      Author: Jamie
      Category: AU Logan/Marie. Some angstin' going on.
      Rating: Oh, let's go with PG-13 for language.
      Disclaimer: X-Men and its characters are owned by a bunch of people.
      Sadly, I'm not one of them, or I'd have money. But I don't, so please
      don't sue me. Title and lyrics come from Hooverphonic, off their "Blue
      Wonder Powder Milk" CD.
      Summary: If Marie were human, would her life be better? Possibly, but
      not in this story, baby!
      Distribution: Want, take, have. Just let me know.
      Feedback: OK, I don't really do the angst thing, so I'd love to hear
      what you think. jmmadigan@...

      ~~~~

      see them point in your direction
      see the indifference in their eyes
      just living in oblivion
      struggling with too many wires
      you've got to solve this riddle
      otherwise you won't get back
      so if i were you
      i would concentrate on this morbid one way track
      ~~ "One Way Ride," Hooverphonic


      It was gray. The sky, the snow, the road. Even the piece of shit car,
      which Marie was pretty sure started out an icy blue, had shifted into a
      dirty, slushy gray. She blew out a breath as she slammed the hood down,
      and damn if her breath wasn't gray, too.

      She walked slowly around the car and stood for a moment, pondering her
      situation. On some nameless road in the middle of this godforsaken
      state, which for some reason she'd always longed to see, though for the
      life of her she couldn't recall why at the moment. Not another car in
      sight. Presumably there was a town somewhere along this road, but she
      had no clue how far it was. And the car ...

      Marie reached for calm, but it seemed to have deserted her She took her
      anger out on an innocent tire, punctuating every kick with a hissed
      curse. "Shit-shit-shit-son-of-a-motherless-goat-piece-of-shit-car!"
      Growling, she gave the tire one more kick.

      Real mature, Marie.

      Her conscience, in the voice of her Momma, piped in as always. *Ladies
      do not curse, Marie. Don't lose your temper, Marie.*

      Shit.

      "Well," she said aloud, startled at the echo of her own voice. "Looks
      like we're gonna be walkin', Fred."

      Fred, a mutt of indeterminate parentage she'd picked up a few states
      back, grinned at her from the front passenger seat of the car,
      slobbering all over the window. Obviously, he didn't understand the
      gravity of the situation. But then, he trusted her to take care of him,
      so that in itself showed how little sense he had.

      Marie sighed and opened the back door, climbing in and shutting it
      behind her. It was fortunate, she supposed, that she'd started her
      journey on a bus and had packed lightly. Of course, it was a wonder
      she'd packed what she needed, considering her state at the time. The
      memories threatened, and she ruthlessly pushed them back. No time to
      think. No time. Maybe later, 'K? Like in fifty years or so.

      She opened her duffel bag and surveyed its contents. A few changes of
      clothes. Toiletries. Her journal. Wallet. She leaned over into the front
      seat, pushing Fred and his doggy breath gently out of her way, and
      yanked her portable CD player out of the tape deck. Stretching a little
      farther, she managed to snag the case off the dashboard that held all 10
      CDs she'd brought with her.

      Music was key to Marie's life. Sometimes in high school, she'd gone
      without lunch for weeks to save money to buy CDs she'd wanted. When it
      came to survival, Marie thought honestly that while starving to death
      would be bad, starving for music would be worse. Maybe if she'd been
      able to carry a tune herself it wouldn't have been as bad. She could
      have just sung her way through life instead of relying on the songs of
      others.

      By ditching a sweatshirt, she managed to cram the player and CDs into
      the bag. Just barely, and she wasn't sure how on earth she'd manage to
      carry the bag to the next town. Wherever that was. She wondered briefly
      if she'd die of cold or exhaustion first and if she'd be gray, too, when
      they found her dead body by the side of the road. And then, wouldn't her
      father be able to give a big, fat "I told you so"?

      "I'm gettin' morbid," she told Fred, who just gave her his dopey dog
      smile, as if to remind her that she'd been morbid for a year and a half,
      and what was so unusual about that, anyway?

      Marie tightened her coat and wrapped her scarf more firmly around her
      face. She clambered out of the car, dragging her bag out and dropping it
      on the pavement with an echoing thud. She opened the front door and let
      Fred out. He ran up the road and back again, wagging his tail. He knew
      better by now than to jump on her, instead jumping up and down excitedly
      in front of her.

      "Yeah, yeah," she told him flatly. "We're goin' for a little walk.
      Whoo-hoo."

      Fred froze, staring back the way they'd come. Marie stopped, hearing the
      car a moment after the dog did.

      "OK," she said. "Fred, you gotta sit there and look as harmless as
      possible, boy." She pushed her hood off her head and loosened the scarf.
      She knew she looked about 16, though she was 20. Might as well use that
      innocent look.

      *Hitchhiking is dangerous, Marie,* her Momma's voice said.

      "So's freezin' to death," she argued aloud. Fred didn't even look at
      her. He was used to her talking to herself.

      A truck with a camper attached barreled down the road, and Marie took a
      deep breath and stuck out her thumb.

      The truck flew by. It didn't even slow.

      "Son of a bitch!" Marie looked at Fred. "Can you freakin' believe that?"

      Fred obviously couldn't believe it, either. He was staring down the road
      at the disappearing vehicle.

      Just her luck. The one person besides her to drive down this godforsaken
      road all damn day was a heartless bastard.

      "I guess we walk, then, huh boy?"

      Fred panted in agreement, thumping his tail on the ground.

      Marie grunted and pulled her bag up to her shoulder. She started
      walking, finding that she could position the bag near the middle of her
      back and take the weight pretty well. She stopped as she noticed Fred
      wasn't with her.

      She turned back to find him sniffing around the car. After a moment, he
      hiked a leg and peed on a tire before before trotting to stand next to
      her. Marie snorted out a laugh, the first in several days, if she
      remembered correctly. "I couldn't have said it better myself."

      ***

      Jed's Landing -- and what kind of name was that for a town, anyway? --
      was basically a bump in the road. But it had some buildings, which would
      mean heat, Marie thought. And heat sounded like heaven at that moment.
      Even Fred was looking a little frozen around the edges.

      She wasn't sure how far they'd walked, but it had been hours since they
      left the car, and she'd long since lost all the feeling in her
      extremities. Unfortunately, she still had all the feeling in her back,
      which was killing her. There were a few houses and some kind of general
      store, which was closed for the night.

      The only place that showed any life was a big, square building at the
      end of the "town." Judging by the pickup trucks and semis crowding the
      parking lot and the neon signs in the window, it was a bar. It looked
      like paradise to her.

      She was worried they wouldn't let Fred in the door, but nobody even
      looked at them when they entered. In fact, all attention was focused on
      a giant cage in the center of the room, where it looked like two men
      were fighting.

      Marie laughed shortly, and that was twice in one day, probably a record.
      Some people found the strangest things entertaining. She nudged Fred
      with her foot and moved to a booth in the bar area off to the side. Only
      a handful of people were over there, as most were watching the fight.
      She settled the dog under the table and positioned her bag in front of
      him, just in case. She sat down with a sigh, stretching her feet onto
      the seat across from her.

      A few minutes later, she felt someone shake her. "Miss?"

      Marie jerked awake, staring up into a woman's face. She looked to be in
      her 50s, with platinum blond hair and the biggest purple hoop earrings
      Marie had ever seen.

      "Y-yes," she stuttered, disoriented. "Shi -- um, sorry. I think I fell
      asleep."

      "It's OK, honey," the woman said kindly. "But you looked like you were
      gonna fall out of the booth, so I thought I'd wake you up. Don't know
      how you can sleep with this racket goin' on."

      Marie smiled, and the expression felt foreign to her. Had it been so
      long since she'd smiled at someone? "I can sleep anywhere," she said.

      "Can I get you anything?"

      "Somethin' hot? Coffee, tea, anything," Marie said. She shrugged off her
      coat. It was almost steamy in the building, but her insides still felt
      frozen.

      "And some water for your dog?"

      "Uh ..." Marie started. "Yeah, that'd be great."

      As the blonde moved away, she looked under the table. Poor Fred looked
      exhausted. "I'm sorry, buddy. I forgot you were there."

      Fred's tail thumped, and he stared at her with his trusting brown eyes.
      Dumb dog.

      The woman -- Marjorie, she said her name was -- returned with some
      blessedly hot coffee and a bowl of water for Fred. She also brought over
      a bowl of pretzels "just in case you two want a snack." She refused to
      take any money, and Marie was reminded that there was the occasional
      nice person in the world.

      TBC

      Jamie

      ~*~*~*~*~*~

      Amy (graciously) criticised the artistic parts of the story, and offered
      hints for a sequel, which unfortunately couldn't be carried out, as the
      hero and the heroine were dead.
      ~~ Little Women
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