Jane escorted Daria home, offering to carry the journal this time. It wasn't that late, but the street was dead silent, so much that the only distinct noise was from their clopping boots on the pavement. At the door, Jane gently handed the contents to the chestnut haired teen.
"So,... I guess I'll see you at school tomorrow" shrugged the taller girl, rubbing the back of her head.
"Yeah. I'll get this stuff laminated tonight and then I can produce photocopies of the images and symbols for you to work from"
"Yeah... cool, thanks"
The two looked around awkwardly for a minute. There was no doubt Jane wanted to work up the nerve to kiss her goodnight, but considering Daria's feelings, and especially after what happened earlier in the kitchen, there would be the probability that Daria wouldn't appreciate the gesture so much. Chewing her lip, hands tucked in pockets, she turned and walked away, leaving the bookworm with a small weight at the bottom of her stomach.
Jake Morgendorffer was sat in the living room grumbling, massages his temples with frustration at the workload from his new client.
"Hey, dad" Daria greeted nonchalantly.
"Oh, hey kiddo!" he beamed with enthusiasm. Anything to distract him, even for a blissful second from this work, was an act of mercy.
"Listen, I know it's late, but is there any chance I can borrow your laminator? I kinda need it to protect some work"
"The laminator? Why don't you use some of those plastic sleeves and store them into a folder?"
"The stuff I have is really fragile. Even with the sleeves, I can't be 100% guaranteed they'll be safe"
"Very well then. That old hunk of junk makes a little bit of a noise. Can it wait till morning?" he openly pondered, seeing as his wife and Quinn were sleeping upstairs.
"No problem. Thanks dad"
"You're welcome" he sighed, looking down at his papers. There was no question Daria sympathized for her high-strung parents and despite her callousness, still felt the responsibility in some doses to have consideration for the ones who brought her up, despite how little they understood and listened to her at times.
"Err... can I get you some coffee or something?"
"No, no. I should pack this in. I'll look at it again in the morning" he mumbled, scooping up the work and heading upstairs with her.
Since his heart attack long ago, he'd tried to find some level with his essence of humanity, learn to stop when it was too much. Even though it was a mild one, the experience still shook the teen and she chewed her lip, watching him go up the stairs with caution. He wasn't THAT old, but he was still her father.
"Well, goodnight Daria"
"Goodnight, dad" she responded softly.
The raven haired cynic was mesmerized. She traced a nail delicately along and around the pendent, scratching lightly at the surface, at the engraving. The sigil was absurd. It possessed visual details similar to that in the Goetia. There was no name of the deity however and, having been looking online at some of the symbols, saw that it matched absolutely none in the damned publication. It may remain a mystery. Maybe time will tell. She told herself frequently not to look into it too much. This was the secret work of a madman. The teen sat at her desk, the lamp spotlighting herself and the object in the darkness that was waiting to engulf her when her mind called for slumber. Occasionally, out the corner of her eye, she could swear she saw a dark figure, but she blamed it on her tiredness and eventually succumbed to her own weariness.
Daria couldn't help but feel the sounds of everything around her were amplified that night. She seemed to pick up on every little sound, so much that if someone so much as dropped a pin, she could hear it. The hospital got to her and it was hard to discard the thoughts of people having been in that place and the tortures they were exposed to. She also became hyper sensitive to sensation. Her own heartbeat under the covers, the slightest rub of the duvet against her skin. Just as if she thought things couldn't get worse, she had the slightest feel of the drawing of fingers tracing along her throat and seeping into her hair, ever so gently.
Jane opened her front door to the abusive intrusion of natural sunlight, resorting in her grumbling with disapproval. "Hey Daria"
"When the hell are you going to get your mental alarm clock fixed?" she asked somewhat mockingly.
"I slept like shit last night" the artist grunted in excuse, still in her pajama shirt and bottoms.
"You and me both. Hurry up, or we'll be late"
"Yes, your majesty" she murmured ,with a lazy curtsy of her shirt, and she went back upstairs.
Eventually, Jane left her residence and the two walked together along the street. Her stomach growled in annoyance over the absence of a substantial breakfast. "So the both of us felt some sort of presence in our rooms last night" the artist analyzed aloud.
"If we're lucky, maybe we can rent a room out for it. I'm hoping it won't be bothered by Quinn's materialism and love for her own voice"
"For once, I sincerely hope that what you said was playful sarcasm"
Daria blinked, rather astonished. "Wait, you don't think that what we experienced actually WAS something? Who'd have thought"
"I'm not a theist, but I'm open minded nonetheless to unexplained phenomenon"
"It CAN be explained. We consumed a large amount of cheese beforehand which contains serotonin, which can result in making dreams more vivid. In your case, it's understandable and you essentially explained that you were tired, which gives a valid reason for seeing something out the corner of your eye. And for me, well... there may have been a draft"
"MAY have been? From the sounds of things, you aren't so sure yourself" Jane raised a brow with curiosity.
"I kept thinking of that place last night. I guess it really left more of an impression on me than I thought it would. You're not seriously going back in there, are you?"
"Why not? Once we get the general gist of the building layout, who knows what we can do with it" the artist mused, her head in the clouds.
"You sound like your planning to convert it into some kind of rave joint"
"Hey, that's a cool idea. Can you imagine Trent playing in that place once it was all done up? We can have it made into a place for his gigs and he could collaborate with other artists, sell vinyls and cds and stuff"
"God, I hope you're joking" Daria groaned, rolling her eyes.
If the abominable blinding light of day wasn't enough to make Miss Lane and Morgendorffer want to shrivel up like ignited cockroaches, there was a personification that came close enough to achieving that.
"Good morning, class!" greeted Mr O'Neil cheerfully. "I just wanted to check up on your progress for your assignments, where you are to make a piece of creative writing based around a historical landmark or distinguishing detail of Lawndale. I'll be going round to each of you individually. You can either tell me about what your plan is or show me what you've done so far"
"I don't think you ever DID tell me what YOU were going to write about" Daria wondered, turning to Jane.
"I didn't. I don't really have a plan for anything"
"You could just write about the asylum too"
"I probably will. I don't think..." the artist began, but came to a hard pause. Her pupils shrunk and she froze.
"You could talk about the fine culture of this town, particularly in its rapid spread of mime schooling" the bookworm kidded, only to find that her comment did little to deteriorate her girlfriend's fight or flight stance. She wasn't so much looking directly at her, more or less, looking right over her shoulder and her face exclaimed a more intense notion of horror with every second
End of part three