inside the outsider...

There is graffiti painted on the walls, a rather abstract depiction of a big, black insectoid lingers behind Kitty as she follows an old staircase, treading carefully when she spots the wood eaten by termites. She sniffs the air, feeling how is suffocates her. She has been here before and still, she hates this place. A dragon cries in the distance but she ignores the sound, instead, taking her time to scrutinise her surroundings. The house is run down. Kitty sits in an old rocking chair that splinters with each swing. The dragon comes to sit on the windowsill. It stares at her, unmoving, she utters one sentence. "So, this is it then?"

Her feet touch the snow, pad about slowly testing the terrain as a shiver runs through her. It steels her jaw shut, protecting the tongue that lolls against the back of chattering teeth. Kitty has no clothes, just the silver star of David in her hand. She balls the hand into a fist, feels the warmth extend from her palm as the metal finds its rest amidst flesh. One of the points has prickled her skin and the blood begins to flow. Kitty stays silent, she times the throbbing in her fist to the throbbing in her heart. Frantic. ‘Now!’ the cry leaves her, forced through the clenched jaw, and her knees buckle. She’s almost on her hands and knees when her call echoes ahead of her, the last reverberation reaching her dulled senses as she rushes for the cover of the dark thick of pine trees. Kitty bounds over terrain, her limbs are on fire, fast and free, her muscles burn. She runs, faster, faster still, she jumps. Her body has remembered the bliss of flight. She laughs, descending into night.

Katya wakes in her own bed. She turns on the lamp and brings her hand up to the light. There is a scar there. "Leave me alone! Leave me alone!" she screws her eyes up tight, tries to will away the constellations, the galaxy that whizzes past her behind her dark lashes. Her hand fumbles for her phone. It's still dead. "Don't get used to this, Kitty," the name is like poison on her lips. "I'm not giving in to you," she tells the ceiling, then curls up on her side. It isn't long before sleep takes her again.

"Space is: cold. Empty. Space is where you go to clear your head. It's where you go to appreciate your insignificance. Space is where you scream. Where you come to terms with your failures. Space is where you belong and where no one can look for you. Space is where you go when you lose your way. Space is home,"

"Very poetic, Kitty," comes the sleepy reply from Katya. "Do you think you could have used the word 'space' more times?" she is nursing a bottle of stoli and she is running out of patience. This split personality thing isn't cute. If she can just ride this out like last time, then things will be back to normal and she can get on with her life. It seems like wishful thinking.

"This isn't for you. It's for me. To remember," Kitty snaps, the pen is stiff in her hand as she writes tiny words on the napkin. She is at the end of her tether too, but she's got business here and she's not about to give up her position that easily.

"That you are crazy?" Katya laughs, the sound pushes up from her throat and out her nose. It's really a snort and she half-chokes on it.

"We," Kitty corrects, with the arch of a thick brow, pressing the back of the pen to her bottom lip, thinking. "The sooner you get used to this..."

"There's no we, psycho. There's me, and you and that thing trying to kidnap my consciousness," Katya picks up the shot glass, motions toward the purple dragon by the girl's arm. Lockheed snarls back at her, then settles back against Kitty's side, closing his eyes to sleep. He snores. Loudly.

"I told you, we're all stronger if we work together," Kitty's eyes are wide, sincere and almost convincing. Almost. She draws a map. Then a small spaceship.

"No way, no how and no thanks. I have a life. I have a boyfriend!" Katya refills the shot glass, but doesn't meet Kitty's eyes as she watches the alcohol spill out.

"No, you don't," it's Kitty's turn to laugh, crossing her arms over her chest.

"You don't know that!" Katya is vehement, absolute, downing another shot of the hot liquor, until it bubbles in her stomach like a caldera.

"I do. And if you're going to pull that card, I'm the one with the fianceé," There's no ring on her finger, but Peter's proposal hadn't been exactly traditional.

"Oh, yeah, right. Scarface," Katya's nose scrunches up, her tongue lolling from her mouth as though she's about to be sick.

"Starlord!" Kitty corrected, breaking her veneer of cool, calm indifference to Katya's stubbornness.

"He sounds like the worst," Katya's reply is punctuated by a burp. Neither quiet or lady-like. It makes her giggle.

"Because you're an authority on romance?" Kitty takes on an air that reads far too much like an agony aunt.

"I don't believe in romance," Katya grumbles and pours another shot and snatches the napkin away. She's running out of vodka.

"That's sad, Katya," her voice is kind, but unwelcome to her host, who swats at the empty air in front of her.

"Don't patronize me, mind-melder! Just, get out!" she slams the bottle down against the kitchen counter angrily. Once, twice, three times. Bang. Bang. Bang.

"You're drunk," Kitty says matter-of-factly. Like a teacher's pet. Katya hates her so much.

"Of course I am!" Katya slurs, her cheeks are pink, are puffed out. The drink settles in her belly. Her whole body feels warm as her eyes dance over the scribbles on the napkin in front of her.

Kitty remarks casually. "I should take over,"

But Katya won't surrender. "Like hell you should!" she picks up the napkin, waving it in front of her face. Kitty sees a white flag.

"Go to sleep, Katya," Kitty's voice is soothing, like a balm. It has a hypnotic quality that makes Katya sway. Katya lets go of the bottle.

"Kitty, so help me --"

Kitty smiles and takes the napkin back. "Goodnight, Katya,"

to be continued...