Dangerous Waters

"This is Tom Lockjaw reporting live from the abandoned swimming pool where a socialite was killed in cold blood! Can you tell us more about the case, inspector?" 

"It appears that the man had drowned, but the most baffling thing is that the pool is dry and there were no traces of water anywhere. We have our forensics team studying the body even as we speak and... what's this? They found magic residue on the body!" 

"Well, this seems to further confirm the fact that a magic user had a hand in this. As several eyewitnesses and policemen had testified, a witch had been seen around the area, disappearing when she was found near the victim. The police will continue to investigate into the matter and capture the suspect as soon as possible. And now a word from our sponsor!" 


"Heya, Lexi! You there? It's me, Connor. Listen, I'm so sorry about the trouble you've gotten into. I believe you didn't do it, but nobody is willing to listen to me at the moment, and I'm stuck following protocol and doing paperwork. Heh, maybe I should have been a superhero instead. Anyway, hope the contact details I left you will help! He seems like a nice person. Also I think I hear Agent Wolfe coming. Gotta go. Good luck!" 

Click, beeeeeeeep... 

    • A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs
      A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs

      Lexi Calandrina wasn’t sure how she had gotten into this mess. The angry shouts had overwhelmed her empath senses and made her panic, teleporting away to calm herself down before she did something that might put her in deeper hot water... She called the hotline number for SHUSH to ask for advice, but she’d been too shaky to get any words out. She needed peace and quiet but her mind kept replaying the imagery, and sounds, and... Oh gosh. The emotions-
      She ended up being sick for a few minutes. Her empath senses made her feel like she was drowning, just like that poor man...

      She wanted to talk to someone but she was so rattled, she wasn’t even sure if she could write a statement about what happened, let alone face an interrogator. She needed a hug and a warm drink, not guarded looks and empty cold voices. If only she could have gone to SHUSH. Harmonizer or her agent friends would comfort her. But the higher ups who were more likely to interview her made her nervous on ordinary days, with their cold faces and irate voices. She couldn’t stand to be around them now...

      She tried to hold back the tears long enough to read William’s message and concentrate on teleporting but it still took her several tries to find the place Connor had shared. She hoped she wouldn’t find the police waiting for her at...Kent Mallard, P.I.? Was this the right place? The area felt seedy and unpleasant. Lexi shivered, feeling like she had eyes on her. She raised an invisible protective shield around herself...just in case. Here goes...

      Knock knock.

      • (Nega) Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard
        (Nega) Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard

        And the door was answered... 

        By a little girl in a fluffy pink dress. 

        "Oh, you poor dear," she gasped at seeing the witch's state. "Come in. Let's get you calmed down with a nice hot drink and cookies. Wouldn't you like that?" 

        She guided Lexi to a chair, set aside a half-finished glitter project that was on a tray to avoid mess, handed her a plate of homemade gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, and moved towards the kettle. "Chocolate, coffee or tea?" she asked gently. 

        • Quiverwing Duck
          Quiverwing Duck

          "Gosalyn, who--" a voice from the back of the office started speaking and then cut off, because the drake peeking out from behind some filing cabinets caught sight of Lexi. "Oh, gosh, I'm sorry, ma'am."


          He tossed the folders he was holding onto a desk as he walked to the front of the office, tugging his necktie's knot back up into place. "Before we get into anything, ma'am, may I ask if you're in immediate danger?" His head turned to look out one of the office windows, and then the window on the door. There was no point in starting a discussion if some toughs with guns were ready to burst in, after all.

          • A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs
            A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs

            “H-he-hello... Am-am I at the ri-right address?” Lexi couldn’t help wondering when a little girl answered the door and fussed over her. She was grateful though. Gosalyn’s kindness seeped into her broken heart like a spoonful of honey.

            She dabbed away more tears and hesitantly followed the girl’s guidance, running into the chair Gosalyn pulled out for her. She bit her lip to keep from crying out loud and shakily sank into the chair, numbly muttering “thank you” before sensing the other person’s surge of emotions. Thankfully he seemed more concerned for Lexi’s wellbeing than the fact that the child had just let a stranger into his office. Lexi tried to pull herself together to explain. 

            “I d-d-don’t think so?” She fumbled for her phone, dropping it in her lap and picking it back up to show Kent. “Agent C-Connor sent me your address?”

            • (Nega) Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard
              (Nega) Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard

              Gosalyn soon set a hot beverage of Lexi's choice on the table next to the plate of cookies, and offered a handkerchief for her tears. And also a hug, if she wanted that. 

              "Even if you are at the wrong place, we'll be more than happy to help you!" she told her cheerfully. She then glanced at the address and nodded. "That's where we are! Take your time to talk." 

              • Quiverwing Duck
                Quiverwing Duck

                "Well, you've already met my little assistant, Gosalyn." The drake pulled down the window shade on the office door. "I'm Drake Kent Mallard, feel free to call me by any or all of those names, I promise I'll answer to them."


                He pulled a chair over for himself and sat down, assuring Lexi, "We're on your timetable, please feel free to collect your thoughts." As calm as his expression is, it is hiding an upwelling of compassion, concern, and a little anxiety over the young woman's distress. "We can talk whenever you feel ready to do so."

                • A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs
                  A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs

                  “Thank you,” Lexi gratefully accepted the handkerchief and hug. She was too nervous to eat or hold a cup but the thought, and the warm sweet scents, certainly helped. She shivered, still feeling cold all over from the shock, and from sharing the victim’s feelings as he slipped away.

                  “I-I’m sorry for dis-...” What is the word?! “Disturbing you. I...I saw something terrible.”

                  She looked at Drake anxiously, not wanting to share what she encountered with Gosalyn. She did not want to upset her. 

                  • Quiverwing Duck
                    Quiverwing Duck

                    Drake gave Lexi a gentle smile, then reached an arm out towards Gosalyn. "Sweetheart, please do me a favor and put away the files that are sitting in my outbox. Thank you." After giving her a hug, he waits until the girl is at the back of the office before he nods to Lexi.


                    Quietly, he said, "You're not disturbing me. You came here for a reason. Please tell me what I can do for you."

                    • A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs
                      A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs


                      Lexi set the handkerchief down and concentrated on getting the tea cup to her beak without spilling it. That accomplished, she set it down and began to explain.

                      “I think...I’m a suspect...” How should she explain her abilities?
                      “I found a man in a swimming pool, cho- choking. But the pool was dry and dirty and- And I thought I could save him-“
                      Here comes a new flood of tears.
                      “I rolled him on his side and patted his back to help him breathe and he kept gurgling and gaping, and staring blankly at me. I sensed someone else in the area but I was too busy trying to help the poor fellow. He- His heart- I...couldn’t help him...”

                      Lexi covered her ears, trying to block out the sounds her mind kept replaying.
                      “The police came and I panicked. I-I-I know I should have st-stayed to answer their questions. But their voices- So much negativity and suspicion- I couldn’t-“ Her voice was strangled by tears and hyperventilating.

                      • Quiverwing Duck
                        Quiverwing Duck

                        There was the briefest pang of  faint dismay, immediately swallowed by sympathy, when Lexi mentioned her encounter with the police. Drake quietly said, "We'll deal with the police issue, don't worry. We can do that later."


                        Reaching out to Lexi, he does not make actual contact with her arm; not everyone welcomed that sort of touch, after all. "I'm sorry you had to go through all of that, Miss. That was a highly traumatic experience." He sat back, thoughtful, idly rubbing his beak.


                        "I need to know as much as you're able to tell me. Could you please tell me how you located the ah, gentleman?" He was curious. If the victim was in an empty pool and already choking, it wouldn't be all that loud.

                        • (Nega) Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard
                          (Nega) Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard

                          While Gosalyn was usually obedient and always did as she told, she was concerned for the woman and wanted to help her as much as she could. Besides, he didn't tell her that she couldn't eavesdrop... 

                          It was admittedly impolite to do so but how else could she help when they were so intent on protecting her from scary stuff? She was grateful about how caring they were, but she'd seen more horrors. She could handle something like this.

                          So as she dutifully stored the files away neatly, she listened carefully to their conversation, feeling more and more worry and sadness for the woman. How terrible for her to experience something like this. She hoped dad could help her. She too wanted to help, if he'd let her. 

                          • A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs
                            A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs

                            Lexi flushed and looked at Drake nervously when he reached out to her. Were they touching? No. Good. Although it might help explain things, she was reluctant to change the status quo and be treated differently. Although most St. Canardians seemed open or at least nonchalant about her kind...

                            “I-I’m an empath. I-I can sense emotions...” She swallowed and dropped her gaze, adding under her breath.
                            “I’m also a witch.”
                            Her shield spell went back up, creating an invisible bubble between her and the up to now, very kind drake. Just in case...

                            • Quiverwing Duck
                              Quiverwing Duck

                              "Ah, I see. So you sensed his distress and went to help." Drake went silent for a long moment, then, thinking, although he did not seem surprised.


                              Looking back to Lexi, he said to her, "I've known a lot of magic users, but I've never had direct experience with an empath. Are..." His hands lifted as he tried to think of a proper way to ask his question. "Is that a constant input for you, or are you able to disengage that power at will? I don't want to invade your privacy on this, but it'll be helpful for me to know."


                              He also took a moment to glance to the back of the office, just to see if any ducklings were peeking in on the discussion.

                              • (Nega) Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard
                                (Nega) Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard

                                Oops. Busted. 

                                Gosalyn squeaked and ducked out of sight, then looked out again a second later, a very apologetic look on her face. 

                                "I, uh, got the files stored away," she explained. "I just wanted to help..." 

                                She glanced at Lexi as she walked out. "I'm very sorry that you've been through that. We don't care who you are. All that matters is that you're in trouble, and dad is going to help you," she gave Lexi an encouraging smile. "Don't worry. We'll help you out of this." 

                                • A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs
                                  A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs

                                  Lexi read between the lines of Drake’s question.

                                  “Y-Yes and no... It is constant, but I have a spell to block some of the input I recieve so that it does not overwhelm me. Without it, I’d feel everything everyone in this neighborhood is feeling right now.” She shuddered. “It’s hard to- to explain. But I can show you...if you would like a demonstration.“

                                  She smiled at Gosalyn. “It’s alright, Sweetie. Thank you for your concern. Thank you both for your kindness. Just as negativity adversely affects me, positivity recharges me. You’ve both already helped me a great deal.” 

                                  • Quiverwing Duck
                                    Quiverwing Duck

                                    Drake rolled his eyes a little when spotted Gosalyn, but he clearly was not surprised by this, either. He lightly touched the top of the girl's head when she got within arm's reach.


                                    To Lexi, he said, "I would be interested in a demonstration, yes. If it's not any trouble for you. It's going to be important when we deal with the police, because your average cop isn't going to know what its about." Much quieter, mostly speaking aloud to himself he said, "I'll see about speaking with the detectives involved."


                                    "Your situation is unusual, Miss, but its something that can be handled," Drake told the young woman. "However, even if they're convinced you're not a suspect, you'll be considered a witness since you did sense another presence in the area."

                                    • (Nega) Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard
                                      (Nega) Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard

                                      Too bad it seemed all that help would soon be undone. 

                                      There was a sharp rapping on the door as Gosalyn handed Lexi another tissue, and a young hound bearing a striking resemblance to the man who died in Lexi's arms entered. 

                                      "Is this P.I. Mallard's office? I don't have much time, and I need-" 

                                      He froze when he saw Lexi. Then his eyes narrowed. "You..." 

                                      Gosalyn gasped and moved to shield Lexi protectively as the man made a lunge for her. 

                                      • A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs
                                        A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs

                                        Lexi drank a little more tea to help steady her nerves.
                                        “I don’t know if anyone would believe me, even with a demonstration. It won’t take much effort on my part to share with you, but disengaging myself from the sensory information...I might need help with that...”

                                        She took off a prismatic tear shaped crystal pendant and held it on her palm.
                                        “This necklace has a spell on it and once it touches me, it forms an invisible shield around me to help me focus. It-“

                                        She paused and looked toward the door, sensing someone else fast approaching. She put the necklace back on while the stranger knocked. She started to thank Gosalyn for the tissue but the man’s sudden aggression toward her made the witch jump to her feet and teleport herself and Gosalyn to the other side of the room.

                                        She kept her hand on the girl’s shoulder, unintentionally sharing her whirlwind of fear, confusion, sorrow, and (even though she was not responsible for what happened) guilt. She knew a healing spell, and a spell for suctioning water; why didn’t she use those?

                                        • Quiverwing Duck
                                          Quiverwing Duck

                                          Drake was just turning to see who was entering his office and was already rising from his chair when the lunge happened. Calmly but swiftly he moved in front of the stranger, one hand suddenly on his shoulder, the other on one of his wrists.


                                          Considering the man could have been flipped and tossed down onto the floor, it was a very passive reaction, albeit one that could quickly become aggressive if need be.


                                          "Hello, sir. You do have the correct office, although I would request that you not engage in any violence here," Drake said, his tone and attitude completely pleasant. "I would hope we could speak calmly about this issue."

                                          • (Nega) Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard
                                            (Nega) Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard

                                            Gosalyn was startled when she was whisked away just like that. Those emotions confused her and she felt sorry when she realised they belonged to the witch. 

                                            "It's not your fault," she told Lexi gently. "We can't control our emotions. Don't worry. We'll help you out of this." 

                                            "SHE KILLED MY DAD!" the man yelled into Drake's face. "I need her convicted! He was right about his work. Magic freaks like her don't deserve freedom! You think you're above us because you can do more than we can? I promise I will make your life hell!" 

                                            Those words were venomously directed at Lexi. 

                                            "Leave her alone! That's not very nice!" Gosalyn frowned at the man. She could be soft-spoken and mild mannered, but she would stand up for people if they needed it. 

                                            • A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs
                                              A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs

                                              Lexi shuddered and stepped back, stung by stranger’s vehemence before his words even registered in her mind. She bit her bill and shrank, literally, to Gosalyn’s height to hide behind her. She wanted to teleport away from the office and hide, but she did not want to leave an even bigger mess for Drake and Gosalyn to straighten up. That stranger seemed like the type who would hire a bounty hunter with a spectral hound to hunt her.

                                              Too frightened, hurt, and confused to respond to the man’s accusations, Lexi stayed silent, although if Gosalyn hugged her now, she’d probably feel her heartbeat pounding through her stomach and hear a sniffle.

                                              • Quiverwing Duck
                                                Quiverwing Duck

                                                Although Drake remained calm in the literal face of the angrily shouting man, it was dawning on him that he might have to knock the guy out as politely as possible if he did not settle down. Oh, well. He had ways.


                                                For now, he just tried to talk him down. Gently, he said, "Sir, it's very likely she is a witness to the murder. Not the perpetrator. I understand that the situation you're in is horrible, and you have my sincere sympathy. If you could please calm down, we will figure this out."

                                                • (Nega) Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard
                                                  (Nega) Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard

                                                  Gosalyn gently cuddled the tiny Lexi and hummed a soothing tune gently. 

                                                  The man's eyed narrowed. "It's her! I know it's her!" he snarled. "My dad had been working to remove the magic community's rights for years and they killed him! Get her out of here and we'll talk." 

                                                  • A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs
                                                    A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs

                                                    Shaking all over, Lexi shut her eyes and focused on Gosalyn’s positive energy. Which was...oddly charged by something not quite of this world. Huh. She’d mull over it later. For now, she needed to be a witch, not a frightened child. Her mother once told her that words would only hurt her as much as she allowed them to, and it was time to take that lesson to heart.

                                                    After returning Gosalyn’s hug, Lexi grew back to her full height and tried to look steadily at her accuser.
                                                    “S-Sir...?”
                                                    Oye, her voice sounded so wimpy right now.


                                                    “I-I don’t live in St. Canard. I d-don’t know what you’re talking about. I-I-I’m sorry for your...l-loss, and your negative a-... Uh....Associations with me. Your ac-cusations are...f-false.”


                                                    Why won’t her beak stop quivering? The spasms were starting to hurt!


                                                    “I can not hurt anyone.”
                                                    Finally. A clear sentence.

                                                    ”I do want to help find justice for your father though. That is w-why I’m here.”

                                                    • Quiverwing Duck
                                                      Quiverwing Duck

                                                      Drake did have genuine sympathy for the man, even though he clearly held some unpleasant beliefs. Having a loved one die did not loan itself to calm or rational behavior. Although he appreciated Lexi's attempt to smooth things over, in a case such as this one, it might not be enough.


                                                      His hand moved up to the side of the man's neck, and it looked as if he gave him a pinch or poke. Whatever it was, the guy suddenly collapsed and Drake caught him, as if this sort of thing happened all the time.


                                                      Glancing back over his shoulder as he carried the unconscious man to the couch, he said, "He probably just needs to lie down for a little bit."