The Ruiner “That American Life” Pt. 1 Boundaries

I. Boundaries

Troy New York 1:13 am

The Ruiner didn’t get paid to justify or question the reasoning behind his orders and he had a strict internal policy about working for free, but he often found himself thinking about why he was doing what he was doing. Why did these people need to die? What crime necessitated a visit from someone like him?

It was rare that he felt what he was doing was as important as he was told it was. Many of his targets seemed to receive the death sentence because it was the easy, lazy choice and not so much because the fate of the nation, world, or universe depended on him killing someone for acting a little bit weird. It was something that never really made sense to him, but it seemed to be getting worse.

For example, last week he was sent to kill a man named Chuck Johansen for the crime of accidentally receiving mis-delivered mail. Yeah, the mail was from a highly important intelligence asset, and yeah, it contained some pretty wild information about a small third world country’s attempt to get a nuke, but it was encoded, encrypted, and written in some sort of invisible ink. It meant nothing to anyone other than the intended recipient and it also looked like a piece of junk mail offering a low-interest credit card. There was no reason anyone one sane could assume this situation was a high level threat.

None of that mattered though, not to the people who told Harris who to kill. To Harris it was senseless to kill someone who accidentally got a hold of something they had no idea was important, but his thoughts about what constituted sensibility were never asked for. It would have been less messy to wait for Chuck to toss it in his recycling bin and have some Agents dressed as trash collectors come by and pick it up before the usual trash guys came. That was less messy by spades, but sending Harris in was cheaper, and either way, the result was the same to those upstairs. He was starting to feel like a Stradivarius that was exclusively being played by a tone-deaf toddler. He was the magic eraser for a bunch of power hungry creeps who could no longer tell the difference between becoming a monster and fighting one.

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T.J. Washington In “The Long Day” Pt. 1 Morning

Late to the game? Catch up here.

6:45 am Sam’s Bar

I woke up the same way I fell asleep- almost drunk and sitting on a stool in Sam’s new bar. I inhaled deeply while scratching my stomach around my belly button and made sure to suck in as much air as I could, since you never know when you’re gonna need it. When I was as full of air as I could be, I stopped rubbing my stomach and started on my eyes.

Nothing feels quite as good as the first eye rub of the day. There’s just something about it that keeps me coming back every morning. I usually start by rubbing with my palms, then switch over to the back of my hands. When that’s done I curl them up (my hands, not my eyes) and use the pad between my thumb and forefinger until I’m done. It takes as long as it takes. There’s no rushing it. There’s no reason to. Waking up is delicate and mysterious. Best not to mess with it.

When I finished with the rubbing, I blinked several times. After enough blinks, my vision cleared itself of the morning fog and I took a look around. I didn’t feel like getting off my stool just yet, so I started bending my head side to side while stretching my neck a bit. Still feeling sleepy, I held my hands up so I looked like someone trying to imitate a goal post and made a face like I hadn’t gone to the bathroom for months and twisted side to side from my waist while making weird moaning, yawning, almost zombie-like noises. This induced a pretty decent head rush and I found myself looking at thousands of tiny silver stars. They swarmed in from the sides, converged over my field of vision and began swirling in a circular pattern. After the tiny dots finished their elaborate dance, they faded away revealing to me my surroundings once again.

I waited for the “Wonka whooooo wubbby wub” noise to fade away before firing off one more yawn. When I finished that I shook my head and let my mouth make a flapping sound – just in case.

Waking up after sleeping isn’t easy. Nor is it simple. Hell- it’s not even guaranteed to work. Lots of things can go wrong while a person is walking back from the Land of Nod. It doesn’t stop once consciousness is restored either. Once the eyes are open and the brain hands over breathing control to the mind and your muscles are once again under your authority, you have to lure your soul back into your body. This is usually accomplished through a series of stretches, strange noises, and yawning. Usually.

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Jimmy Jam, Sally Slam and The Birthday Sham Pt. 1

Sally carefully folded her robe and sheathed her dagger. She placed both the items in a wooden box and locked it. She hid the wooden box at the bottom of her closet and turned her attention to her diary. She wrote about her day, what she had eaten, her mood, the mood of her parents, the phase of the moon, and how she felt after performing her daily rituals. She liked writing about her thoughts and feelings, but not so much about her day. Even though she was barely seven, she knew how to spell more words than most kids two years older than her.

Being a Junior Sorcerer wasn’t easy for adults, so it should be reasonably understandable that children would have an extra tough go at it. Sally had been studying hard but was still having some issues with ancient Hebrew. Her Latin was coming along nicely though, much to the surprise and joy of her instructors.

She closed her diary and, with a sigh, assumed the half-lotus position and shut her eyes. Meditation wasn’t her favorite part of learning Magick, as no child’s idea of a good time is sitting perfectly still in a void of non-thought, she did find the practice useful and worthwhile. It was similar, in her mind, to vegetables in this manner. The value and benefits were a bit divorced from engaging in the process. Seeing things this way was pretty new to her. Before joining the Society she hated doing anything that wasn’t immediately enjoyable. As all regular readers of these accounts know, her impulsive and overly emotional behavior caused more bloodshed and broken bones than someone of her size should be able to cause.

Jimmy, on the other hand, really took to meditation and found himself practicing longer and longer each day. Just by little bits of longer and longer, he was in currently in no danger of accidentally becoming a Dali Lama. He liked the calmness that the practice brought him. He felt it made him more efficient in the field.

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“Classic” SEG: Jimmy Jam, Sally Slam and the Rude Awakening Pt. 1

 

Last time we saw Jimmy and Sally, Sally had just woken up in the middle of the night and discovered that their extended stay in the Grove of L’il Suicides was nothing but a dream. As it turns out, they didn’t spend a lifetime in the after life. Nor did they eventually return to earth and fall in love. However, their parents were still fed up with what horrible children they were and both Jimmy’s Wizard Uncle and Sally’s Aunt Witch took vows to never bring them back from the dead again.

Jimmy had the same dream Sally did. He too, woke up crying but didn’t call out for comfort. If he did, he was afraid he’d lose the fear he spent years instilling in his mother and second dad. If word got out that he cried over a dream- no matter how terrifying a dream it was- his reputation as coolest kid in town would be tarnished forever. So he sucked it up and chewed on his pillow until he fell back asleep.

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SEG 1st Anniversary: Jimmy Jam And The Bath Time Scam

 

Jimmy Jam was 6. He was the coolest kid in town and everyone knew it. Everyone. The mailman, the firemen, and even the man at the ice cream store- in addition to all the neighbors. If Jimmy Jam met someone who didn’t know he was the coolest kid in town, he’d tell them. Then they’d know.

He had a leather motorcycle jacket that his favorite uncle had given him before he was born, because his uncle was a wizard, he already knew how cool Jimmy would be.

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