The Punishment of a God, Part 1
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There are people that get simply showered in luck. They are born with exceeding talent, get good education, find like-minded friends, a successful first love and a well-paid job.
Chloe Winter was not one of those people. One could tell that at the moment because she tried to find her shoes. They had vanished after P. E. class and after some searching Chloe also had to realize that someone had accidentally taken her gym shoes with him. Probably because she had put them somewhere they didn’t belong, again.
Such things happened a lot, sadly. Chloe was an incredibly scatterbrained girl. One time she had, seemingly lost in thought, put her pencil case on the closet with the school material, another time she couldn’t remember where she had put her jacket, and sometimes, she had apparently doodled on her desk without realizing it. The other day she had found her school bag in the trash. Chloe was constantly vexed because of her thoughtlessness.
No, no sign of her shoes.
"I Think you won’t find them here anymore."
Susanne Graf stood with a sad smile at the entrance of the changing room. Susanne and Chloe were complete opposites appearance-wise. Both were around 13 years old but Chloe was half a head smaller than most of her contemporaries. Susanne was half a head taller. Chloe had dark brown, open hair, Susanne instead was strawberry blonde and had a pony tail. "Seems like it", Chloe replied resigned. "Do you want to go home like this?" Good question. This had been the last lesson, but she would ruin her socks on the way home. Wait a sec!
"Well, I always wanted to learn how to mend holes."
"Noble objectives you got there. I will go now. Can you manage?"
"Of course."

Chloe couldn’t manage. It was fall, it was raining buckets, Chloe didn’t have an umbrella and everything was muddy. Splash, splash, splash, that’s how her steps sounded like. She could only throw her socks away once she got home…
Suddenly, a pair of bright-green lace-ups came into her view. Lace-ups with no feet in them, to be specific. They stood inside a shop window and shared the place with a lot of stuff that definitely wasn’t shoes. Apparently, this was a business that sold everything.
The name displayed on a big sign over the entrance confirmed Chloe’s assumption. Wunderkiste1 it read. Weird. Chloe walked this way every day, but she was sure, that this enterprise wasn’t here yesterday. In any case, so she told herself, it was a welcome opportunity to escape the rain.
A little bell announced that Chloe had opened the shop door. She entered but didn’t dare to step down from the doormat in the entrance area. She didn’t want to dirty the floor after all.
It took a while, in which she gradually dripped the doormat full, then a woman in an emerald-green dress appeared before her. The brown hair was tied into a tight knot, giving her the appearance of a strict teacher. Her warm smile stood in stark opposition to that.
"Oh dear, you are soaking wet!", she exclaimed with a voice, which despite her apparently not very advanced age, indicated a lot of cats and freshly backed cookies. "And where are your shoes?"
"Not important", Chloe repelled. "I am just waiting here for the rain to subside, and then I will be gone. No efforts necessary."
"No efforts necessary", grumbled the woman and vanished in the back of the store for a moment to then return with a pair of shoes resembling those in the shop window exactly.
"No really, it’s! Losing them was my fault."
The woman, Chloe discerned by a tag on her chest that her name was Mirabilis rolled annoyed her eyes.
"Girl, take those shoes; you only hurt your feet!"
Chloe was hesitant.
"But I don’t have enough money for a pair of shoes!"
"I really don’t care! A young girl has to wear bloody proper footwear. For that I gladly take the loss of 50 And now wait here, I’m going to get a towel and a hair-blower, so you get a little dry."
Chloe did as told with a really awful conscience. She really had not intended that. Mirabilis came back with an rechargeable hair blower and a pink towel decorated with blue bunnies, and blew Chloe hot air in the face, while handing her the towel. She became dry unnaturally fast.
"L-Listen, I can’t take this", Chloe resumed. "You want to get back out like that?"
"I lost my shoes myself, for that I can’t-"
"Okay, look. Search choose something you find here. The shoes are free premium to that."
"But-"
"No buts! You won’t step out of my store without shoes, you got that?"
Chloe produced a distressed sound. She was sure that this would bug her the entire weekend.
She didn’t have that much money on her person, so she looked for something cheap after putting on the shoes. The store had a weird selection. There were shoes, dolls hats, building blocks, desks, clubs, axes, bowls and many more. Especially a big mannequin with a completely enveloping cloak. She had the feeling that the window dummy was looking at her. At last, she found a little notebook, with What I did on my holidays written on it with happy letters.
"Uh, that one…"
"Good choice, comes to three fifty."

Mirabilis looked after the girl while it hesitantly left the store with her new note book and the shoes, and shook her head in worry. At least she would have some fun with the notebook. Mirabilis was very proud on this creation. A notebook that could bring its user to every place in his memories for half an hour once written in it. That was perfect for relaxing.
Since nobody else came, the saleswoman got back to work on new products after half an hour. On her way there she passed a basket, whose contents brought her to an immediate halt. Because said contents were nonexistent
"MARIO? DID YOU DISPOSE OF THE REJECTS?"
The cloaked mannequin creaked woodenly while starting to move and moved up.
"Rezheects? Madmoiselle, I did not ’andle any trash."
"Then why is this basket here empty?"
"Oh. I zhough zhose were new products. I sorteed them all in."
Mirabilis’s face went blank.
"Was there by chance a memory notebook included?"
"Euh… Oui, Madmoiselle."
Mirabilis knew that Malkuth was not made of flesh and blood and therefore couldn’t pale. But somehow she had the feeling he did anyway while she grabbed the jigsaw. The girl had taken the topmost notebook, most likely the defect one. And she had no clue how to find the little one. All she could do was hoping that she would get cast away to not to bad of a place or, for that matter, to some place at all

Chloe entered her home. Silence welcomed her. Well, relative silence, she lived at a main street and a railroad crossing in a three-room flat. It’s only rarely quiet here. This relative silence did not surprise Chloe. Her mother always worked long shifts.
Chloes room captivated the observer through a manifold of details. She liked bright colors and chaotic patterns, so her bedding was held in appropriate colors, which seemed to fight a fierce war against the dull white of the ingrain wallpaper on the walls and ceiling. On the hardwood floor also stood a bookshelf with several well-thumbed magazines and books, some keepsakes of memorable events and several crates with stuff that accumulates in a child’s room through the years but is never willingly thrown away by the owner. There were also a big, heavy closet that looked as if it had survived two world wars - what it actually had done - and a desk with a little mirror and a cheap laptop with several stickers stuck on it. The desk was also misused as a makeup stand by Chloe, because she gradually became interested in looking good as part of her starting to come of age. A makeup box revealed that.
Chloe showed now for children of her age rather unusual behavior. She made willingly and also with complete focus her given homework. Afterwards she pondered with a frown what she should do with the notebook the woman in the store had sold her.
In the end she decided to make a drawing book out of it. She looked in the mirror and started a self-portrait.
The imaginary observer would have noted that Chloe wasn’t a remarkably good artist, but still, a certain talent could not be denied of her. She got completely into the zone with her art.
At least until sudden vibrations of the notebook got her out of her focus. Her eyes narrowed while she tried to find out why normal paper acted like a smart phone set on mute. And now it also got hot….
Chloe just started thinking about putting the notebook down, before suddenly getting swept away by a strong wind, pushing her headfirst into the notebook.
And through it. The paper seemed to not exist anymore. Chloe saw only blackness, while she tried to push against the pull at the edges that became hotter and hotter, all while screaming fiercely and in panic. But she was mercilessly pushed further and further in. Panic got a hold of her completely once she suddenly lost her grip. A last scream resounded in her room, before getting suppressed by the closing pages. The pages of the fallen down starred to smolder as the heat increased more and more. There was no real fire, but the notebook still turned completely into a pile of ash after a short while.

At another place, a big cuboid apparatus started to rattle. Then, several green lights on it started blinking and a loud beeping sound rang out, similar to an alarm clock. It took a short while until a person entered the room, observed the technological racket with expertise and then started grinning. That would be fun.

Next Time on Nexus:
The Punishment of a God, Part 2

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