He was sitting on the hotel roof, legs dangling over the edge, humming a heady tune he’d probably heard in a deli somewhere. He squinted at the book next to him and gave a critical look to the paper strip in his hand. Nah, that wasn’t it.
He interrupted his pen-chewing session and added a few lines here and there, straightening a curve or two and oh, right, that triangle was supposed to go there-
Vinz jumped about a feet into the air and dropped the pen, who bounced off the shingles and swayed teasingly over the abyss, before succumbing to cruel gravity a second later.
RIP pen, he would be dearly missed.
Vinz turned around to glare at his cackling roommate, hand clutching his El Diablo shirt against his ribcage. “Dude!” he shrieked, “Don’t do that, I almost fell!”
“No you didn’t.” Lino shrugged, taking a seat next to his best friend. “Why are you on the roof anyway? That’s kinda my spot, y’know.”
“… Your spot.”
“Oh my god, you don’t own the freakin-”
Vinz quietened, only now processing the implication behind Angelino’s words. “Wait a minute, does that mean coming up there is a habit of yours?”
His friend blinked at him, surprised by the outburst. He scratched his neck. “…Maybe?”
“But when? I never see you leave the flat when I’m around.”
Lino stared at his lap, naked black feet rocking back and forth over the edge. He looked uncomfortable.
“I just… come up here when you’re at work, okay? The air’s bit less polluted here, it’s nice.” he mumbled, before brutally switching back to his usual demeanor and elbowing him in the ribs. “So anyway! What’s with that weird symbol?” he asked, pointing at the slip of paper in the skeleton’s lap.
Whatever questions Vinz wanted to ask were immediately swept away by his excitement. Flames burning bright with pride, he showed off his work to his companion. “It’s a magic sigil!”
A heavy pause. Angelino slowly lowered his gaze on the black lines and dots adorning the paper.
“… A magic what?”
Vinz let out an excited ooh and grabbed the book at his side, almost shoving it in Lino’s face. “A sigil! See, it’s a magical symbol you can draw on pretty much anything, there’s thousands of em and they all have different meanings and mine right here means my loved ones are protected so if you keep it with you it’ll keep you safe and-”
Vinz took a deep breath before he could pass out from lack of oxygen.
“-so yeah! They’re pretty neat, don’t you think?”
Angelino just stared at him. He briefly took note of the book’s title (“Wiccan spells and sigils for beginners”… Where did he even find that?) before looking back at his friend’s over-eager face.
“… Suuuuuure.” he drawled. “Magic drawings. Awesome. What about that stuff over there?” he continued, pointing to a pile of weird herbs and colorful stones a few feet away, next to the pile of blank paper sheets.
Vinz nodded knowingly. “Oh, I use those to charge the sigils. They need natural energy to work, and gems are a good vessels for that kind of craft.”
The young deadbeat hummed, taking a good look at the pile of gemstones glistening in the afternoon sun. He smiled and gave Vinz a gentle pat on the shoulder. “Yeah, I don’t get it. I really don’t, all that magic stuff just sounds like nerdy crap to me.” He turned away and looked up at the city, taking in the familiar (if a bit crappy) sight. “But if you believe in that stuff, whatever man. You do you.”
Vinz looked mildly disappointed in his friend’s scepticism, but quickly shrugged it off. “A’right, I’ll take it. Don’t think I’ve gone full crackpot theorist though, I just found this book at a flea market and found it interesting, there was a few others about fire spirits and stuff…”
Lino lifted an eyebrow. “Vinz-”
“I swear I wasn’t being obsessive about my origins again!” the hotheat quicky blurted. “I just- there’s some weird stuff out there. Aliens, black matter stuff?”
He cautiously waited for Angelino’s reaction. When he got none, he pressed on. “I’m just saying, if those are a thing now… why not magic? The guys from La Lucha Ultima had some supernatural shit going on too, so-”
“Okay, okay!” the hybrid interrupted, raising his hands in what he hoped was a calming fashion. “I get it. Maybe magic’s a thing, fine. I sure can’t prove it’s not.” He got up and dusted off his dark blue pants. “And you’re right, the world got really fucking weird lately.”
He stretched up his limbs towards the sky, his shirt lifting up and revealing the pale, thick scar barring his right hip. “So I guess magic plants and magic stones aren’t that big of a, stretch.”
Vinz groaned. “God your puns are terrible.”
The other smirked. “Don’t you mean-” He grabbed a blank piece of paper and slowly teared it in half. “-tearable?”
“Whelp, time to throw myself off the roof now! Bye Lino, t’was nice knowing ya.”