Thimbleful Thursday: Cherry on Top

Written to Thursday, Jan 9th’s Thimbleful Thursday Prompt, Cherry on Top. 

Facets of Dusk universe, no particular time. 

Content warnings here are only suggestions of violence and a little authorial  snark. 

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The drink had a dark grey cherry on top of white whipped cream in a grey glass with a blackish grey drink inside. The straw was white and light-grey striped, and the lips wrapped around it were pale and glistening grey.

Cole turned to Xenia to find her, too, in shades of grey, her hand clearly on her weapon and her face set in anger.

“This place,” she murmured softly. “Have you heard them talk?”

“I just came in for a soda,” he murmured. “And it’s-“

“Black and white,” she agreed quietly. “Black and white. Just like them.”  She gestured outside. “Just heard someone say they were going to ‘cancel’ someone because they said the wrong thing.  And the feeling I’m getting – there’s a list, Cole.  When they ‘cancel’ someone-“

They stopped, because the girl with the pale grey lips and the dark grey drink was staring at them.  “If you’re not one hundred percent with them,” she whispered, “you’re against them. And you know what happens when you’re against them.”

“They cancel you?” Xenia murmured.

“They cancel you.  I – if I don’t tell them, if I don’t report it, I’m against them, too.”  Her eyes were wide.  She was going to run off and tell on them in a heartbeat.

Cole glanced at Xenia.  She looked back at him.

“We were just leaving,” he assured the soda-fountain girl.

They had to get the others before they found out exactly what “cancelling” was.  They had to get out of this place before they found it hard to get back to their Door.

He looked at Xenia again.  If asked, he’d probably admit it was him or her, morally flexible and a little harsh in their world(s)view, who’d run afoul of the whole black-and-white thinking thing, and it looked like they already were a little bit.  But the soda-fountain girl wasn’t running away yet. Maybe they hadn’t… crossed the line too much?  “Do you think-”

A shout from outside turned him around and sent him darting out the door, Xenia at his side.  Four men had Simon in their grasp – “Simon?” Cole muttered.  “He’s harmless.”

“He’s the one who thinks in black and white,” Xenia agreed.  “Why did he-”

“But you can’t!”  Four more men were arguing with the four that were holding Simon.  “One evil does not justify another!”

“It damn well does it if lets us stop the first evil,” countered one of the first four.

“I just want to leave,” Simon protested.

“Well then,” one of the others of the four holding him snarled, “we can arrange that.”

Cole looked at Xenia.  She raised an eyebrow in question.

He tilted a shoulder at Alexa, standing in the crowd looking nonchalant.  She raised an eyebrow at him and nodded fractionally.

“You want a greater evil?” Xenia purred.  “I’ve got one for you.”

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