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 Mirror, Mirror [Franze/Public]

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bubbelah



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PostSubject: Mirror, Mirror [Franze/Public]   Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:28 am

"....Twenty-six..."

".....Nineteen..."

"....Twenty-five and one-half..."

Murmurs could be heard from the small woman in front of the makeshift mirror next to her bed.  They had taken away her real one, and she had assembled another from bits of reflective material that other patients had smashed, that she managed to grab pieces of before a clean-up crew arrived.  It was only a matter of time before they took it all away from her again.  Franziska never understood why they did that.  She needed it, she needed to watch herself.  She needed to keep the ugly at bay.  

At the moment, it was by carefully monitoring her waist with a tape measure she had lifted off a construction cart during some renovating.  It wasn't stealing-- they lived communally. It was all theirs, or... All hers.  

They'd let her keep her corset, since it was hers (thus no one else's to use for dangerous ends), and it had become as much for muscular support as it had a hindrance to her rehabilitation.  

As much as she needed these things... There was still a rush in getting caught with them.  All eyes were on her, then.  That was why she had to keep herself beautiful.  

Frustrated with her results, she measured again.  Bust, waist, hips.  Still the same.  

"Disgusting." She muttered to glass shards.  Part of it, she understood, was from her past husbands.  She still sobbed the same thing from time to time.  Why won't you look at me? There was never an answer.  So she had to find it in herself.  But this place was making her ugly.
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nahn-SEK-wuh-tuhr



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PostSubject: Re: Mirror, Mirror [Franze/Public]   Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:58 am

"If by disgusting, you mean the state of that mirror, then you're right. It's pathetic." Piter flipped a page of his book (one of the only ones they had in this place; he tended to hoard them for himself), having been standing near the doorway for quite some time. She hadn't noticed him--probably too preoccupied with herself--so he'd taken it upon himself to observe. He did a lot of that, lately. It never struck him that maybe it bothered people, and he wouldn't have cared if it did.

They thought that him committing himself to this place was him throwing away his freedom, punishing himself. On the contrary, it was unleashing potential he never knew he had--special gifts, that were always in his arsenal, because of this supposed "illness". It was more like a gift he'd never known how to use properly. Whereas before, he'd used his fearlessness in conversation to make an enemy out of everyone, through contemptuousness, he learned it could be used to charm. To lure people into a sense of security, before crushing them. By diagnosing him, they'd only enabled him to become even more terrible and abusive, towards anyone and everyone.

And he took 'anyone' very seriously. He'd been scouting out victims and allies--or allies who could easily become victims. By behaving well and cooperating with the staff, he earned roaming privileges, which he used to move about the hospital and observe people. By observing them, he not only learned how to act more like them, but how to assess what they wanted. If he knew how to act, he could become what they wanted. If he became what they wanted, they would trust and open up to him, making themselves vulnerable.

Of course, it wasn't as easy as it seemed. Feelings were apparently hurt very easily, and as he was accustomed to saying anything he wanted (and what he wanted was usually highly unpleasant, or, as he saw it, honest), it was frustrating to try and figure out how much he could hurt without completely pushing away. Especially since he still lacked the skills to detect subtle or buried emotions. He didn't like people who weren't easy to figure out.

Which was why he targeted Franze. It was easy to know what she wanted: attention. Which he was all too willing to give, so long as he was entertained in return. And the fact that they'd been mildly acquainted, before arriving at the hospital, meant that he didn't have to find an excuse to want to become friends. Even so, he didn't, at first. First, he'd learned Austrian German--rather, he learned to drop his standard German accent and pick up the one she used. It was easy enough to do this, after a few sessions of group therapy. All so he could say that he "far preferred" the Viennese version of the language to the "coarse" regular variety. It was just as much as a lie as saying he was actually from Austria. Then he went on to figure out what her diagnosis was--anorexia was an obvious one, and he'd discerned some patterns in her behavior that suggested symptoms of something else, as well. (That was the beautiful thing about this place: everyone supposedly had something wrong with them, and if you could figure that out, you already had a huge advantage.) Then he plotted. And then he made his move, and was now regularly collecting information from her. One thing he'd discovered was that she was always desiring reflective surfaces.

Reaching into the pocket of his suit jacket (even in an insane asylum, it was always the same getup for him), he pulled out several large chunks of a bathroom mirror and passed them to her, "I come bearing gifts." Gifts he'd gotten by convincing another man to shatter a bathroom mirror for him. He then proceeded to reap the rewards and then blame said man for the damage. Last he'd heard, he'd been relocated to the third ward.

"I do wish you would play the piano more often, instead of staying hidden in here," he mused monotonously, flipping another page, "The rest of these people are awfully boring, sometimes." In actuality, he didn't give a damn whether she got her place in the sun, or stuck to the shadows, and he found most of the people here fascinating--whether he actually liked them or not. But he did enjoy her piano playing. It held his notoriously fleeting interest.
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bubbelah



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PostSubject: Re: Mirror, Mirror [Franze/Public]   Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:07 pm

She jumped at the voice, immediately swiveling around, tape still around her waist.  It was a man-- Piter--but not the kind she would want looking at her.  He was nice enough, he just didn't appreciate the way she looked like any other man would.  

Still, it was nice to have a friend (if she could call him that) around there.  

Especially when he gave her things.  Especially when those things were mirrors.  She received them with a wide smile, not bothering to thank him. Immediately starting to rearrange and remove pieces of her Frankenstein mirror, she replied bitterly, "Maybe I would-- but those people are barely competent enough to appreciate it." The same went for the rest of her.  It depressed her, to walk out and have no one looking.  At home they did.  This place was making things worse.  "Besides," She dug under her bed for some (also stolen-- but then again it was *hers*) tape to apply the mirror pieces.  If they didn't catch her, maybe they would give her back her makeup.  Then, her jewelry, until she had everything she needed to feel fine.  Then she would go home.  

Turning to face him again, in the middle of her work, she questioned, "And why aren't you out there with the rest of them?"
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PostSubject: Re: Mirror, Mirror [Franze/Public]   Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:46 pm

No, he certainly did not look at her the way other men did. Whereas other men looked at women with desire in their eyes, he looked at them like a scientist looked at a butterfly pinned to a tray, scalpel in hand. Maybe they were beautiful. Maybe they were fascinating to observe. But that only intensified his conviction to cut them in half and examine the cross-section. Whatever remained after he was done got discarded; he didn't want anything he'd sucked all of the usefulness out of.

It was with that cold, sterile gaze that he watched her rearranging the mirror. Pity it would probably be taken away again soon. Oh well, that just meant he could continue earning favor with the multitude of shards he still had in reserve.

"Well, you can't expect low-class rabble to enjoy the finer things in life," he noted, dog-earing a page of the book (It's All About Him: How to Identify and Avoid the Narcissistic Male; if there was one thing this place didn't lack, it was psychiatric literature) for later reference. "Have some pity for the savages." As if he, the biggest savage of them all, even comprehended pity.

When she turned around, he made sure to look up. He'd gathered that she wanted people to pay attention to her...not books. "I don't have patience for people who bore me," he replied bluntly, waving a hand at the door--at the 'rest of them', "They're like playing ball-in-a-cup." People were all games. And while all games had potential for fun, if they were too simple and frustrating, they quickly got buried in the toy box.
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bubbelah



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PostSubject: Re: Mirror, Mirror [Franze/Public]   Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:28 pm

There. In place.  She could see her face much better.  The only part of her she was satisfied with.  Not so much, without her makeup.  She frowned at her fragmented reflection.  "Yes, well, that begs the question... Why are we kept in here with them?" It was maddening.  Nothing was wrong with her.  They were hindering her and keeping her captive, to boot.  

They were friends. Definitely.  They were the only two that could rise above... The rest.  She didn't know enough games to add to his metaphor, so she just nodded, a silent agreement between the self-proclaimed elite.

As if she didn't even hear the dangerous tone of excitement in her voice, she'd had enough of looking at her undecorated visage, and whirled around again, grinning.  "Piter-- let's go.  I want to take something back." Stealing.  But they'd stolen from her first.  
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PostSubject: Re: Mirror, Mirror [Franze/Public]   Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:19 pm

"Because we are victims of a society that has grown disrespectful of superiority," he answered without missing a beat. This much, he truly believed. Once upon a time, he could have commanded people to feed rabbits out of their mouths, and no one would have dared question his sanity. Even if it had always been questionable. The world had really gone to hell in the last hundred years.

Ah, and this was why he wanted to be friends with this woman. Sensing the excitement in her tone, he snapped his book shut and pocketed it. "Certainly. Pray tell, what are we commandeering?" Not one second was wasted considering that he should have perhaps done the opposite of encourage her. He was, simply put, an enabler. If someone suggested they try to escape, he'd say, 'By car, not foot, of course?' If someone suggested they murder someone, he'd respond, 'I know who to frame for it and how.' This was just another escape from boredom.

Did he understand there were consequences for acting out and hurting people? Certainly. But they didn't faze him. He knew he was far too intelligent to be threatened by any of the yahoos running this place; he could get out of any situation before they even thought to convict him. Or, so he believed. So far, it had held true, anyways.
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PostSubject: Re: Mirror, Mirror [Franze/Public]   Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:18 am

"We're going to get my box out of the lockup," She disclosed.  The place where they kept patients' personal effects, if they weren't allowed them.  They had her shoes (a weapon? Psh.) her jewelry, and most of her clothes.  She didn't see why.  But she desperately needed them.  "And you can... I don't know... Look in the peons' boxes." She didn't really know why, but he had an odd thing for looking at other people's things.  

Not waiting for an agreement, and too proud to be sneaky, she walked right out, making her way through the halls.  "If  I'm going to be here, the least they can do is make it like home, for me." Truthfully, she was getting a bit nervous, with everything so unfamiliar.  She didn't like change.  Not at all.  
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