Cloud Rooms and Museams
Liliana and Felix were still asleep when the six Infinities headed out. Goodbyes were hard, and they didn’t want to waste time with tears. Besides, it wasn’t like this would be the last time they saw each other. Everyone would come back safe and sound. Destiny left a note on the coffee pot, telling the humans they had already left. They gathered up their belongings and met in the basement, that way they could at least whisper without fear of having to wake the humans.
“So are we just going to stand here or are we actually going to get this over with?” Luck suggested, making the first move by grabbing Demise. His brothers nodded and grabbed a Fate. A second later the six of them were at the Coincidence home in Òrìsà. Destiny had been here once before, but she still looked up at the tree houses in awe.
“No way. This is your home? I just gained so much respect for you.” Demise stared wide eyed up at the many houses, slightly jealous that their home was more exciting than hers. She pulled her tangled hair out of her face and into a ponytail so she could see it better.
Fortune made a face as she craned her neck up, pointing to Karma’s paintball colored room. “What’s with that one? I don’t like it. It isn’t like the rest; it doesn’t blend in.”
Karma frowned, feeling the need to defend his room. “I personally think it’s perfect. Granted it’s a bit misunderstood, but it’s still perfect.”
“Way to toot your own horn dear brother of mine.” Luck clapped his brother on the back and began to climb the tree stairs.
The other two Coincidences followed Luck with the Fate’s in tow. They led the girls up and up until they had reached about the middle of the cluster. Then the ventured left, all the way until they reached the furthest one out from the rest.
Karma stopped outside of room 100, turning to the group with a smile on his face. “Well ladies, allow me to show you… pause for dramatic effect… our sanctuary.”
Slowly he opened the door and walked in. The room looked like Easter, pale colors of pink, yellow, blue, and white. The entire ground was covered in thick, fluffy pillows softer than any on Earth. The ceiling was low, Chance’s head almost brushed against it, and Karma had to bend over to fit inside. It was perfect for sitting or lying around. And to top it all off the walls and ceiling grew cotton candy. A sharp, fresh smell filled the air, like the smell of snow. Overall it was the most relaxing room Destiny had ever been in. It wasn’t hard at all to get situated and comfortable inside the soft sugar room.
“Karma and I were devastated when we found out we could not fulfil our life dream and sleep in the clouds. So Luck made this for us by hand. It took him weeks, and he wouldn’t tell us what it was ’till it was complete.” Chance remembered fondly, a small smile tugging at his lips.
Karma plucked a handful of blue cotton candy from the ceiling and popped it into his mouth. “The sugar growing thing is thanks to Sloth. Back when Luck and Lust were a thing Sloth and his brother would come over all the time. Sloth told Lust what Luck was planning, even if he never told me no matter how much I begged. So Sloth made this invention and now we have endless sugar!”
The air was getting tense. Luck had gotten over Lust a while ago, but he was still recovering from alcoholism. This story was just a stab to the gut for him. Karma could see that of course, and it just prodded him to further torture his brother. He sighed loudly and dramatically before continuing. “But then heartbreak happened. My house got redecorated, Luck became a drunk. Ah, the good ol’ days.”
Chance cleared his throat uncomfortably, trying to get rid of the negative air. Being stuck in the middle of his brothers glaring contests was never fun. “Right. So as I was saying before story time. Thank you Luck for making this room for us.”
Demise had an amused look on her face. It was so nice to actually see her face. She went from a tangled mess of black covering all her features, to someone decent looking. After she brushed out and washed her hair, it fell in thick natural waves. Her face, once deathly pale, was now a clear fair tone with large dark eyes. And she carried herself differently ever since she discovered what personal hygiene was. No longer horrible posture that resembled a hunchback, now she stood normally and with a little confidence.
“So,” Demise smirked, a teasing tone in her voice. “You and Lust huh?”
Lust fidgeted and looked up to the cotton candy dangling from the ceiling. He bit his lip, clearly not comfortable with everyone staring at him. “W-well, it j-just happened. He was charming and funny, and I fell. The way I figure, gender doesn’t matter. At one point we are all just an essence, the Rouhk doesn’t come till the Test of Classification. I don’t let it get in the way, ya know? If I like you then I like you.”
Demise rolled her eyes, she honestly couldn’t care less about someone’s orientation. “I meant about the break up. You can’t let yourself self-destruct because it didn’t work out. You can’t let one bad relationship ruin your life.”
Luck shrugged, what was done was done. He was slowly working on getting better. “I don’t plan on moping forever. I have decided to move on.”
Fortune smiled, it was her time to shine. “Well I personally think that that is most fantastic. Everyone deserves happiness, and it’s so wonderful that you found yours.”
Karma glanced at Fortune and tapped his nose. “Hey, you got a little brown on ya there.”
Fortune gasped and sat up, furiously rubbing at her nose. “Did I get it? Is it off?”
Demise smiled and shook her head. “Oh please, like you would actually get dirt on yourself. Your nose is clean. He’s just teasing.”
“My brother means you are a brown noser, a suck up.” Luck clarified, hardly looking up. He was used to Karma being a bully, to him at least.
They had been in the candy cloud room for hours, until long past the sun had set in Ineôcâ. It was wonderful, everyone talking and gently teasing each other. Destiny hardly noticed she was getting slightly colder by the second. Getting to know the brothers, swapping stories, it was a nice break. But it couldn’t stay this way forever. As much fun as Destiny was having, she really had to get them to focus on the reason they were here. “So Chance, you said you guys had an idea for what to do?”
“Well it was actually Karma’s idea. He was thinking —”
“I can take it from here brother.” Karma interrupted, bouncing up and taking another mouthful of cotton candy. Everyone collectively rolled their eyes at his dramatic antics.
“Oh get on with it will you? The suspense is killing us!” Chance smiled up at his brother and ate a bit of pink candy.
Karma grinned, he was a natural for the stage. “We go to Winchell first, he is our Creator.”
Fortune nodded, quickly getting on board with this plan. “Yes, obviously. He will be the easiest to find due to your connection with him.”
“Great. Any idea how to find him?” Luck asked with crossed arms.
Demise spoke up. “The Luminary Virtuoso, inspires others, highly skilled. Where would you find someone like that?”
Karma got his usual sparkle in his eye, the one that said he had an idea. “I know the perfect place.”
Karma grabbed a hold of his brother’s shoulders, and the Fate’s grabbed ahold of his, ready to be whisked away to wherever it was Karma was taking them.
The light was blinding, so much different than the dim glow from the cloud room. After their eyes had adjusted they found themselves standing in the center of a wide hallway.
“No way.” Fortune shook her head. “I personally don’t think we will find The Luminary Virtuoso in an art gallery.”
Karma frowned at her lack of faith in him. “Oh come on, it is entirely possible. You never know with those Creators; they just do the darndest things.”
“Well,” huffed Luck. “I suppose we can at least give it a try, couldn’t hurt. We are already here, after all.”
Karma was astonished to say the least, eyes blinking slowly and mouth agape. His least favorite brother was the last Infinity he had expected to defend him. Slowly he walked forward, hugging his brother tightly. Karma was tall and muscular whereas Luck was slim and slender, it was like a bear hugging a twig. Of course Luck looked less than thrilled with the public display of affection, trying in vain to push his brother off.
Karma held him tighter, swinging him around. “Look at this, I knew there was hope for you yet. I can always count on you.”
The blonde rolled his eyes. He seemed to come to terms with the hug and awkwardly patted his brother on the back. “I know for a fact that last part is a lie.”
Fortune smiled as she watched the brothers. She turned and began walking through the halls, expecting the others to follow. One wall per painting. Some were murals, covering the entire surface. Others were small, no bigger than a computer screen. Some simple, one singular object. Others complex, full of second guessing and meaning. Each one beautiful, several hours devoted to each masterpiece.
Destiny glanced at a clock on a wall, it was only six thirty-two in the morning. The halls were empty; the gallery hadn’t opened yet. “So I’m guessing we aren’t looking for a person here then; we are looking for a thing.”
Chance nodded as he got between his brothers, breaking up their love fest. “Right you are Des. Our Creator is known for being creative. Winchell is smart and he likes to hide in plain sight. Look for something unusual. A trace left behind of a portal to Crëwr.
Destiny’s walk faltered slightly, as did a few of the others. Crëwr was the dimension of the Creators, only they were allowed inside. Unless of course an Infinity had been specifically invited by one of the four Creators. Fortune had been there on several occasions, at least once a year to help The Divine Provenance.
They wandered all throughout the gallery, even going so far as to split up when they were beginning to be rushed for time. If worst came to worst, then they could just shift to their Abbaxa forms when the art museum opened so as to not attract any unwanted attention. But eventually they found themselves at the place where they had divided. Oil, charcoal, paint, just normal artwork one would expect to find in a place like this. Nothing out of the ordinary.
“Well that was a bust.” Demise sighed and slumped against a wall, sliding to the ground.
Karma shook his head. “Nah, it wasn’t a complete waste. We all had fun and bonded. We got to see amazing artwork. It was well worth the trip.”
Chance laughed and rolled his head back to rest it against a wall. “You never cease to amaze me, always looking on the bright side of things. Tell us, how does one like you, who does horrible things on a daily basis, manage to always make everyone smile?”
Karma thought it over, scratching his goatee in thought. “Well unlike you I don’t have a tragic backstory of lost friends and love, I stay detached from things that can die. And I don’t like to dwell on the past. I think all of us can take that advice.”
“True.” Fortune raised an imaginary glass, pretending to toast to his words.
“Here, here.” Destiny mimicked her sister’s actions.
There was a chorus of “Aye” as the others did the same.
“Let’s make a promise.” Chance suggested idly.
Karma narrowed his eyes at his brother. “What kind of promise?”
“A promise said is a promise kept. Don’t make it if you aren’t ready to live up to it.” Destiny turned her gaze to the Coincidence, daring him to take it back while he could. He had yet to fulfil his first promise to her, that he would make up for meddling with her Test of Classification. Though he was slowly working on it.
“I say we do it.” Demise spoke up from her spot on the ground. “What are we promising?”
Chance seemed unphased by Destiny’s words, and he hadn’t taken it back yet. He did seem serious enough. “A promise to stick together over the next few days, no matter what will happen. We will be honest and help each other, no secrets or lies, we will stick together. Of course it’s purely for business reasons, that doesn’t make us friends or anything. But an alliance between our Concepts until we have completed our task.”
Luck and Karma shot weary glances to each other, silently wondering if they could handle being civil to each other.
“Okay, sounds simple enough. I promise.” Fortune was the first to agree surprisingly enough. She was the eldest Fate; she was the one all about order. Destiny had thought agreeing to work with the Coincidences was the last thing she would want to do. But that was what they had been doing so far, and it had worked out decently well.
Everyone else chimed in quickly, hardly hesitating. It wasn’t even that hard a decision really. They were planning to kill a Creator after all, something like that required them to be honest with each other.
“Are we seriously doing this?” Luck asked with a laugh. “Forming an alliance in the middle of an art museum?”
“You say it as if it’s the most unbelievable thing that could happen.” Demise’s raspy voice had a slight humorous undertone in it.
Chance laughed. “Yeah, this is nothing compared to that time in Egypt-”
“We agreed to not bring that up anymore.” Luck protested with a glare, though a slight blush rose to his cheeks.
Fortune must have taken pity on him. “To be fair though, who would have thought we would see the day our Concepts worked together?”
Karma started pacing slowly sporting his perfected look of an old distinguished professor. “Well children, the history lesson today is one that will go down in books for sure. Back in my day these Concepts were enemies. But then one fateful day, oh my do see what I did there, everything changed.”
Everyone chuckled and giggled at the impression. Even Demise cracked a smile and a few laughs escaped her lips. After a moment of calming down a silence fell over them. Unlike the previous uncomfortable silences begging to be broken, this one was natural and comfortable. They were each lost in their own thoughts, gazing at the art filled walls around them.
Demise tilted her head, looking around the ceiling in search of something. “Ya’ll hear that? It sounds like an ocean soundtrack is playing or something.”
“Nah, this place isn’t even open yet. I haven’t seen any staff come in the doors.” Chance shook his head.
Luck narrowed his eyes as the sound filled his ears. He slowly started walking, letting his hearing guide him. He turned the corner and stopped suddenly, pointing at a painting. “That one is making noise. And moving.”
Demise noticed everyone had stood up and began walking over to where Luck was. She groaned loudly as she pushed herself to her feet, angrily mumbling to herself. “I had just gotten comfortable.”
“No way, that’s not possible.” Fortune gracefully walked over, inspecting it for herself. She even went so far as to put her ear up to the painted water. When she pulled away her left ear and some of her hair was dripping wet, leaving a puddle on the ground. “It’s wet. Not like paint wet, like water wet.”
As it turned out Luck was right, the water was moving with the current, the fish slowly moving their fins. It was a large painting of the ocean floor. Light beams streamed through the surface, hitting the seashells and sand below. Schools of fish swam amongst the brightly colored coral reefs. The shadow of a shark gradually got bigger as it came to the front of the painting. And a few ugly looking fish floated around the edges.
“Okay, either that is the coolest thing I have seen in like ever, or we are in the middle of a horror movie. Karma smiled excitedly before turning to the blonde Fate and patting her shoulder with a solemn look on his face. “Farewell Fortune, it was incredible knowing you.”
“Excuse me? What do you mean by that?” Fortune took his words as an insult, her hands rested on her slender hips and she glared daggers at Karma, demanding him to explain.
“Oh common, you know how it goes. You’re the pretty blonde so you die first. I’m not one hundred percent white, so I survive long enough only to die in the sequel.” Karma explained casually, pretending that her piercing blue eyes didn’t bother him.
“Oh please, it’s not like you’re the designated black friend. You’re only a Spaniard so you can die just as easily as I can!” Fortune huffed and took a few steps away from the painting, letting everyone else get a better look.
“Giant spider crab, fang tooth fish, wolfish, cannonball jellyfish.” Chance named them off as he got close enough to tell them apart.
Destiny made a face, concerned at Chance’s extensive knowledge of fish. She pointed to some numbers in the lower right hand corner where the author normally signs their piece. “What’s that, coordinates? Guess he isn’t chillin in Crëwr like we thought.”
“Chillin? Seriously little sis?” Demise smirked. “There is no way you are cool enough to pull that off. That slang just doesn’t work for you, ya know?”
Destiny bit her lip and tried to turn invisible to hide her embarrassment. She had seen some kid say it once in a movie and thought she would try it out. Well she learned her lesson, never again.
“Well then what are we waiting for? Location is right there. Let’s begin, shall we?” Luck was the first to close his eyes and disappear.