Déjà Vu:

A Continuous Crossover

 

Chapter I – The Demon and the Dove

by

Máire Flynn

 

Carrie materialized into the physical plane once again.  Her training had taught her caution during the substantiation process.  The physical plane was amuck with wild emotional vibrations that flowed like a river.  A Dove – the name of her people – had to fight just to keep from being swept away.  In spite of that, she found the old sensations were like finding the caress of a lover in a dark room, unseen but felt in all the right places.  The vibrations were caused by emotional energy people released when they laughed, cried, fucked, fought.  The emotional spectrum of humanity was the muck, and a dove had to wade through it carefully.  It was not too uncommon for Doves to materialize on earth with psychological disorders.  In Carrie’s days as a young conscript, she had materialized with uncontrolled bouts of anxiety, depression, mania, and even nymphomania.  It still embarrassed her to think of the time she had tried to rape her mentor, Vandra.  Vandra only smiled and shot a bolt of energy into Carrie, causing her to fall to the ground like a sack of potatoes.  It was the memories of Vandra that kept Carrie stable during substantiation, and how her own recklessness had led to her mentor’s death.

            Oh Vandra, I owe you so much, and I’ll never forgive myself.

            When her astral body reached the physical plane, she began to materialize herself.  This was always the fun part, taking the form of any human she wanted.  She could be any age she wanted; have blonde hair, black hair, dark skin, be six feet tall, or be a man – all of which she had done at one time or another.  Being a man had been rather fun, and of course she had managed to work in sex with a woman during her mission.  She just had to know why men were so crazy about it.  Her superiors frowned on abuses of power such as this, but often that was all they could do.  She accomplished her missions and she stayed alive.  After all, it wasn’t as if she was being paid for her services, like money was something she needed anymore.

            Her form this time was basic.  She assumed the form of a twenty-five year old female with auburn hair and blue eyes.  She shaped her body to be as graceful as an Olympic gymnast.  When in doubt, she stuck to a body that could give her reasonable speed with some durability.  Strength was unimportant under most circumstances.  The magical energy a Dove could produce was sufficient enough to shatter every bone in an enemy’s body, if she chose to do so. She could shape her aura in the form of ethereal stabbing weapons that could slice through any physical matter as though it were warm butter.

            Just as substantiation neared its completion, Clothing! she hastily reminded herself.

No one observed her appearance in the town of Brury, Utah … Except for one individual, who only grinned as she watched Carrie stagger out of the ally like a drunk.  She could have chosen that moment to strike, to end the dove’s life and the trouble she brought with her.  Instead, she decided to be more sporting with the Interloper.  After all, it was Carrie who had killed so many of her friends in the past.  Instead, she began walking quickly to catch up with her enemy, quietly.  She wouldn’t kill the Interloper, but she was going to make it clear that she could have.  That was real power, to have all the ability in the world to kill someone and to choose not to.  Killing was the weak part, the necessary “evil” of their line of work.  She would have likened herself to a cat toying with a mouse, had she not hated both felines and clichés.

 

***

“I like the hair,” a woman’s voice spoke behind her, causing Carrie to simultaneously turn around and leap backwards twelve feet.  A few people noticed, and a couple of people even clapped.

            Carrie found herself staring at one of themShe could have killed me right there, I was still trying to get over my grogginess, and she had been watching the whole time.  It could have ended right fucking there!  However, it was her enemy’s mistake for not seizing the opportunity.  All of her defenses were up to full charge, and she was ready to react to whatever the woman-shaped demon could muster.  This was undoubtedly the one she had been sent to dispatch, however it did not explain the unseen shadow that was enveloping the town.

            “Hear me, Interloper, and hear me well.  I shouldn’t have to tell you what could have just ended, but it would not have been very sporting had I chosen to do so.  You’re here to put a stop to me, and I’m going to give you a chance to try.  However, I am not alone by any means.”

            “Oh, more of your kind walks these streets?  Then where are they so I can line their bodies next to yours?”  The woman-thing chuckled at that.

“There is a game afoot, and it’s not by my or my people’s design.  I am merely a participant in someone else’s interest in this town.  Having studied your past experiences with us, I couldn’t resist drawing you into the festivities.”

“What do you mean, ‘festivities’?”

            The dark haired woman only smiled, her black lips parting to reveal silver teeth that glinted in the midday light.  “I’ll give you an example.”  The woman pulled out a small flute and began playing.  Carrie would later regret not trying to kill her where she stood, before she could even begin to play, but that just wasn’t to be.  Carrie decided the defensive would be wise – making sure her aura had formed a protective layer around her body.  The small crowd of people watching the bizarre confrontation unfold before them could not see Carrie’s shielding, but they were nonetheless confused…

            …and their confusion would soon turn into a panic.

            Whatever defenses Carrie thought she had were shattered in the length of time it took for the sound waves of the flute to reach her.  Spectators could actually hear the loud, electrical POP! of her protective bubble bursting.  For a moment, Carrie thought that the sole purpose of the flute was to destroy her defensive capability.  But when she looked around, she noticed people frowning and staring at each other in confusion.  She could see what they couldn’t, however; their auras were becoming brighter, more vibrant.  This made her frown for only a moment.  She was only used to seeing auras so vibrant on children, yet their bodies were of adults.  She looked at her hands – or more appropriately, the aura surrounding them – and saw that it too was brighter.  She looked around at the people again and noticed several of the women were readjusting their bras, but not realizing that they were doing so.  Were there this many young people standing here earlier?

            Of course, she knew the answer to that.  Everyone around her was regressing, and this was the second time she had encountered an entity that could do this.  She herself had been reduced to a seven year old child during her daycare protection mission by a wicked dwarf.

            “Oh, this is really cute!  Can’t you guys come up with a more original way to cause mischief, and this sure as hell seems like a bold move right here in broad daylight in front of a WHOLE FUCKING CROWD OF PEOPLE!  I thought your kind never wanted anyone to know about your existence!”

            She took the flute away from her mouth – which continued to play in spite of physics, and said, “We don’t have to worry about it, not here in Brury.  The Order’s taken care of everything, and very soon I am going to take care of you.”  She put the flute back to her mouth and sped up the tempo of the music

            “What Order?  Goddamnit answer me!”  She stopped at the sound of her voice, which was more girlish now than it had been before.  With the sped up tempo, she saw that everyone was regressing more quickly than before as well.

 

***

 

A woman and her boyfriend, who were already becoming young adolescents, in rather oversized clothing, ran for their car, which was parallel parked in front of World Foods Deli and Imports.  They weren’t going to make it out of earshot from the music though.  On the way, the girl stumbled and fell.  The boy, holding his pants up in one hand, grabbed the girl and pulled her to her feet with his other hand.  In shock and general confusion, she reached down to grab her high heeled shoes, which had caused her to trip in the first place, when her boyfriend yelled in a ten year-old’s voice, “Forget em for chrissakes!”  Being a boy, and the same age as his girlfriend, he was now shorter than her.  When they made it to the car – her car – for she was fumbling through her purse trying to get her keys out in time.  In growing desperation, her boyfriend snatched the purse from her and dumped the contents out onto the ground.  When he found the keys, he stuck it in the keyhole and unlocked the door.  He grabbed his girlfriend again who was sobbing as she tried to gather up all of her things that had been dumped out.  She squawked as she was yanked away, but didn’t protest the issue too much, realizing that there were more important things happening.  Now the size of a seven year-old, the girl tried to get into the car, her skirt hanging down to her ankles with one strap drooping off her shoulder.  She crawled over to the passenger seat and then the hopped in too.  He closed the door on his pant leg, trapping his leg for a second until he reopened the door to free it.  There was more frantic scrambling as he got the key into the ignition; he had to scoot the seat all the way forward to even be in comfortable reach of the steering wheel, being no more than five years old.  Finally, he got the car started and had almost made it out of the parking space when the vehicle began to roll backwards and into the car behind them.  He was no longer able to reach the foot pedals.  In defeat, the three year olds huddled up together in the driver’s seat and balled like children.  Soon their heads shrunk below view as they continued their march backward through the years.

 

***

 

A group of about five teenage boys, when they realized that they were shrinking away, tried to simply run away from the flutist.  If they had managed to make it beyond earshot, the effect would have stopped, but that was the problem – the flute was so piercingly loud that they never would make it.  However, not knowing that, five friends from Brury High School launched them selves in a full sprint.  As they ran, their jeans began slipping off their diminishing hips.  By the time the former seniors had made one block, their shoes were way too loose and getting bigger by the moment.  One boy who was now only eleven, stopped to tie them and cried out for his friends to wait up, but they all pretended not to listen.  No problem, they all began losing their shoes.  With the bottoms of their pants no longer gathering on shoes, they simply slipped down over their socked feet, the toes of their socks flopping about limply as they ran.  Another few yards and none of them were running at all… it was more like a wobbly trot as the remaining four tried to hold their pants up.  By keeping their pants pulled up to preserve modesty, their engulfing pant legs were impeding their run.  This caused one of them to trip,

who before falling grabbed onto his nearest friend’s rear pocket, yanking them all the way down; he lost his balance too and fell flat on his face.  The boy who had yanked down his buddy’s pants didn’t bother getting back up, feeling the hopelessness of the situation.  The boy in front of him, kicked the pants off his ankles and continued running.  The boy in the very front had also ditched his pants.  There were only two boys left in the running now, at only four years old.  The boy in the front wearing boxers lost his underwear first, but the boy in briefs kept his for a few yards more, holding them up with one hand.  It didn’t really matter anymore.  By that point his legs had become sluggishly awkward like any other two year-old’s; he hobbled another few feet before they gave out.  He tried to get up but he couldn’t manage to stay balanced; knees feeling weak and with his balance unsure.  He tried crawling, eventually crawling out of his own shirt before finally stopping.  His mind was turning to mush in his head; having forgotten why he had been running in the first place; he glanced back behind him and saw a trail of clothes and four baby boys crawling about, one of them—What was his name again?—sucking his thumb distractedly.  He glanced up around him on the otherwise empty sidewalk at the signs and various other things with writing on them.  For a moment he thought he remembered what the big words meant, but he couldn’t comprehend it now.  He tried to remember his numbers, his ABC’s…and drew a blank.  His vocabulary was vanishing by the second, but he tried to remember something, anything… A furry little animal that made him momentarily distracted was meowing helplessly on the sidewalk, which had once been fully grown before the flutist began playing her instrument.  He tried to remember what the name of the little animal was, but that too had escaped him.  After moments of desperate soul searching, he recalled the one word that he had not yet been robbed of.  Momma.  “Ma-ma!” he cried aloud, and realized how small and lonely his voice had become.  He cried the name again, and again, tears welling up in his eyes.  Finally he deteriorated into a wailing infant that knew he wanted comfort from someone, but couldn’t remember the name of that first and final word.

 

***

 

There was only one person on duty in World Foods when the woman playing the flute had begun her haunting tune.  Her only two customers, a man and woman in their twenties, had gone outside to watch the weird acrobatics and music show that was being put on the sidewalk opposite the deli.  Linda hadn’t noticed any of the slight changes on herself until the flutist had increased the tempo of her tune, but she did vaguely notice the change in the small crowd.  There sure are a lot of young people out here at this time of day.  She had been used to an older lunch crowd from the surrounding business.  She didn’t think much of it at first, having already noticed the five high school kids hanging around outside.  Where are the damn truancy officers when you need ‘em?  It wasn’t till she got a second look at the young couple who had been in the deli when she realized something was amiss.  They looked more like teens now.  She frowned at that and just blamed it on a trick of the eye until she glanced over at the high school boys, who now appeared to be more like junior high kids.  She scanned the rest of the crowd, and everybody looked…younger?  Was that it?  Younger?  Sure enough there was a man – a regular customer for two months – she knew had to have been in his early forties yesterday, who now looked like he was thirty-something.  His premature gray hair was vibrantly black again.  She ran out to him and patted him on the shoulder.  He turned around and Linda got an up-close view of him.  He looked younger, and quite frankly, fuckable; but this was not the time for her to think too much on that.  He looked at her and his mouth fell open.  “Why good god, Linda, you look like a college girl!”

            “Me?!  Look at your self, you look like you’re thirty for Pete’s sake!”  The young couple standing beside them had overheard their exchange and finally took a close look at each other.  They could have been fifteen or so, but that was pushing it.  They sure weren’t in their twenties anymore, that was for sure.  The poor girl’s bra was way too large for her diminished chest.  She looked down through her collar and confirmed this with a gasp.

            “M-maybe we should get out of here,” her boyfriend said in a crackly, annoying voice of a teenaged boy.  She nodded with a blank, shell-shocked expression.

            Other people in the crowd were coming to the same conclusion as they began running for their cars.  The group of young boys who had once been of high school age were bolting down the street at warp nine.  The only person Linda didn’t see panicking was the young woman, who now looked to be a girl of about fourteen or fifteen, who had done something earlier that a couple of people in the crowd had applauded.  She had been glancing around at the crowd, but now she was glaring at the flutist, seemingly oblivious to the changes that were also affecting her.

            Linda and the young man at her side only stood there as years slipped off of them by the second, finally she pulled herself together and grabbed the sexy man at her side and yanked him inside.  She closed the door behind them and locked it, but they could still hear the music the flutist was playing.  “What the hell’s going on, Linda?” he asked, staring at his hands in a daze. 

“It’s the music!  She’s rejuvenating everyone in earshot, it has to be!”

“But that’s just not possible!” he answered in desperation.  It just didn’t make any sense for music to cause people to become younger.

“This didn’t start till she came along and started playing, and look at her!  The bitch is still the same as she was a few minutes ago.  Everybody else is getting younger and she’s fine!”

“What are we going to do?”  He asked as he watched the regressing boy in the driver’s seat of a car try to pull out of the parking section, but failed miserably by rolling backwards into the car behind him.  “What the hell, that’s my car he just crashed into!”

            “Forget about it, we need to get in the back freezer!”  The seventeen year old girl grabbed the twenty-five year old man and yanked him along as she raced for the freezer door.  She flung it open and jumped in.  The hunky guy behind her seemed a little skeptical of entering the freezer, but she yanked him inside anyway.

The sixteen year old girl only stood there panting for a few minutes before the guy said, “My name’s Derek, by the way.”

“How did you know my name was Linda?  You called me Linda earlier.” she asked, trying to calm her self down.  She was no more than sixteen now, and was absolutely beautiful to Derek.

“Your name tag.”  He said with a crooked smile that made her want to melt.

“Oh, right… I’m such a ditz.  I have to wear this, five days a week, and I forget it’s there!”

            “So what are we going to do now?”  Derek asked, looking in the direction of the closed freezer door.

            “I’m not going out there till that bitch is gone, I don’t think I can afford to get much younger,” Linda said with wide eyes as she peaked down her blouse.  “I was a late bloomer…I didn’t even need a bra until I was fifteen.”

            “Well, at the expense of sounding like a dirty old man, they look just fine right now.”  His grin widened, displaying teeth that were well cared for.

            “Well, you’re more like a dirty young man, Mister Derek.”  She said with a smile.  She moved in a little closer to him and touched his face which had been smoothed with the reappearance of youth.  “Jesus, it’s cold in here, you feel so cold to the touch.  What are we going to do to pass the time, not to mention stay warm?”

            Linda didn’t expect Derek’s grin to get any wider, but it did

.

***

 

Carrie realized that her defensive barrier could not be brought back up, and time was running out.  People had scattered, but many of them had not made it that far at all.  Instead of trying to lunge herself at the now taller woman, Carrie tried to fight off the effects of the flute with her mind.  She scrunched her eyes closed and began concentrating on herself at an older age.  She felt her aura trying to counteract the effects of the regression process, but all she could do was slow it.  She was now perhaps seven or eight years old.  Her pants and panties had fallen to her feet, but she ignored it as she fought harder.  She felt the process beginning to slow, but it was killing her body.  The energy involved in trying to reverse the effect was causing her heart to pound in her chest like a jack-hammer.  Sweat was beginning to stand out on her body and two tiny drops of bled dripped out from her shut eyes.  She felt herself becoming dizzy, or maybe she was just becoming too young to stand, causing her to fall backwards.  Her heart felt as though it was on the verge of bursting out of her chest, her mind raced, and her nose was bleeding heavily.  She kicked her tiny legs in the air, one sock falling off and the other dangling limply from her right foot.  Her oversized shirt was hiked up exposing her undeveloped sex to the world, and the demon, before her.  She felt her body reaching its limit, but refused to give up.  She couldn’t transubstantiate back into the astral plane with so much magical interference bombarding her from the flute.

            When the breaking point came, she screamed with madness, louder than she had ever screamed in any of her lives.  The scream consumed the world until nothing was left but that one sound.  She heard her voice changing in pitch and residence from the tiny sound of a toddler’s to that of girl, to an adolescent, and finally to an adult.  She heard the sound of wood splintering and scrambled to her feet, sans any underwear or pants.  The demon woman stood maybe twenty paces away, with a bloody hand held up to her face, the flute had been reduced to a multitude of small splinters on the ground beside the creature; her scream had shattered it.

           The demon eyed her coldly as she pulled a four inch splinter from her cheek area.  Within seconds the wound healed, leaving nothing but blackish red ooze on her face.  The flutist grinned and a long, dagger like tongue came out of her mouth and licked away the blood.  She reached into her Napoleonic era vest and pulled out another flute.  “I could do this again, and again, but I think you get the point by now.  You’re beaten, and I can and will kill you whenever I choose.”

            “The door swings both ways on that one, demon!”  Carrie snarled as she lunged at the creature.  She formed her aura into two sharp sickles, spread her arms out wide, and brought them both together like scissors, hoping to cut the demon in half, but it was not to be so easy.  The demon waved bye-bye and simply disappeared from thin air.  Carrie skidded to a halt after landing a few feet back from where the thing had once stood, and screamed with rage.

            She would have found a car or some other inanimate object to pummel, but instead she collapsed onto her knees with exhaustion.  She wiped away the drying blood on her nose with her T-shirt, giving anyone in eyeshot a clear view of her naughty bits.  She looked around and saw that no one except for a few wailing infants were within eyeshot.  She heard a siren as police and paramedics approached from the distance, so she willed herself to get the hell up, and managed to stumble back into the alley where she had materialized.  Running out of ideas, she simply opened the hatch to a dumpster and climbed in, closing it back up once inside. 

            Carrie was hurt pretty bad, and was certain she had suffered a minor heart attack during the confrontation.  All she could do now was rest and regenerate her body to something approaching ninety-percent effectiveness.  After that, Carrie would have to find the Flutist, and make sure that she didn’t find Carrie first.  There was this Order the demon had spoken of.  What was it?  Was it somehow linked to the flute?  What in the blue fuck was happening in this town?  She closed her eyes as her breathing slowed.  She would let sleep take her, and hopefully it would go undisturbed.

 

(lady_maire@yahoo.com)