Cotton Mouth

North Portland 
 "When you change, it’s like… sex, maybe." Lilith turned the words over in her mind many times. "A crazy rush that you lose yourself to". It sounded like a bad trip, wrapped in danger, veiled in mystery with a dash of excitement to keep things interesting. She didn't truly understand her feelings on the matter and she wasn't prepared to journey too far into her mind and run the risk finding out how terrified she truly was. When she wasn't suffering from severe brain fog her thoughts were dark, complex, throat-tightening, jaw-stiffening, eye-watering things. They were not to be touched.

 Instead of wallowing (or perhaps in addition to it, though she would never make this admission), she stole a page from the life of her younger self and practised unbridled hedonism. Anything she wanted she gave herself. Men, woman, food, drugs. There was no end. She would do anything to feel stimulated and somehow everything seemed at once diluted and more distilled. It was like her mind was trying to understand all the new depths it was experiencing to everything and, not yet capable of assimilating it all, tried to make it easier on itself.

 But these efforts were ultimately in vain. Foods tasted better (or worse), voices sounded sharper, smells... she'd never realised how putrid a city could smell until now. City people should be thankful for their noses. She thought. At least their brains could conceivably forget or filter out some of the useless smells. All she ever smelled was trash, trash and grass and dirt.

 Lily had taken to leaving her house later in the afternoon. It was like scent followed sunlight. At the peak of daylight around noon, she could go nowhere without gagging. Once she caught herself thinking that maybe if she snorted enough, she could kill some of the olfactory sensors in her nostrils. No such luck. Instead, she was stumbling into a coffee shop, clad in large dark sunglasses, hair streaked with sweat (and grease), face glistening, mood worsening.

 Admidst everyone's worbles and the and wooshes of the expresso machine she managed to order a very tall black coffee - which now tasted particularly bitter so she was sure to empty several sugar packets into it. The stir stick sloshed about, grating against the carboard cup. The effect made her skin crawl and goosebumps appear.

 Lily placed the lid absently and headed for the door. She pushed the handle with both her forearms, and squeezed the cup just a bit too hard. THe lid flew off and the coffee spilled over onto her hands before she dropped it entirely. "Jesus f***ing H Christ!" She said, getting down onto her knees, not realising she had nothing on her to clean up this mess.

 When Cara got in the mood to, quite literally, drown herself in work - she always succeeded one way or another. This even if it meant picking up an extra shift here or there in other departments. Which was what she had been doing lately and frankly, she probably couldn't recall the last time she had been off work for more than a day straight.

 This was her second day in a three day period, which felt odd and out of place. Finding herself becoming restless at home, Cara was trying to keep herself preoccupied. The day before she had been going through her wardrobe and rearranging it, this day? She'd been hitting the gym for a spinning class and once she had showered and gotten dressed, she had decided to go for a coffee. With a pretty decent coffee shop next door, Cara grabbed her sports and headed over.

 With her shades on the top of her head, Cara was standing to the side while waiting for her iced latte to come through. Scrolling through her instagram feed, she was minding her own business as she heard the voice of a woman. Cara couldn't quite pinpoint why it caught her attention, but it did and caused her to take her eyes off the screen. Upon lifting her gaze, she noticed the femme kneeled on the floor, and without hesitation Cara grabbed a handful of napkins before hurrying over. For a moment forgetting about her own order.

 "Here. Let me help you." She crouched down by the femme, offering her a few napkins for herself before she was attempting to clean up the mess on the floor. "We're gonna need more than some napkins for this, I'm afraid." Cara stated the obvious with a crooked smile, before lifting her gaze and trying to catch the attention of one of the workers there. She made an apologetic gesture towards the mess, before turning the attention to the femme.

 "Pretty sure they're gonna take care of it." It wasn't until then she noticed that the woman didn't seem to be feeling quite well, and she furrowed her brows for a brief moment. Smoothing them out shortly, she offered the femme a smile. "Let me get you a new one, alright?"

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