Author's Note: New story- I know, I know, shoot me later, MBFoPL-fans. I got more than halfway done and had a block, then the procrastination-bug bit me and now my muses are singing a different tune. :O!
Well, here I present to you all, Wonderball. Yes, like the NESTLE chocolate treat. :D



A young woman sporting a plain black T-shirt and jeans found her way into a strange, rather run-down shop in her effort to escape the New Orleans sun and the heat that came with it. The allure of Mardi Gras '95 had brought thousands of teenagers down to Lousiana, while common sense and an affinity for the cold pulled a lone college student into the shop. The store, if it could be considered as such, was no more than a shack, filled with strange occult-themed knickknacks and talismans, run by a single old woman.

Had she been more along the lines of a hag, and the college freshman more than just moderately attractive, the scene would have been borderline cliché, but as it was, the woman behind the counter, though far past her prime, and middle-age for that matter, seemed fairly well maintained. Her dark, sagging and wrinkled skin still retained a healthy glow, her long white hair was pulled into a long braid that was swept over her shoulder and ended just above her hip. She was dressed in a rather old-fashioned white dress which seemed to fit the atmosphere of the shop, however her sharp blue eyes stood out starkly against her dark skin and pale hair.

"Welcome. Is there anything in particular you are looking for?" The old woman spoke in a quiet tone with a strange accent that the girl couldn't quite place, but the degree of strength to the woman's voice caused the student to freeze and look at her.

"Ah, no ma'am. I'm just browsing.." She replied, quickly- the woman's mere presence and stare intimidating her.

The old woman examined the child in front of her closely before smiling- exposing a slightly yellowed, but still full set of teeth. "Very well. Feel free to ask me any questions, should they arise."

The girl nodded, smiling hesitantly back before busying herself with looking over a collection of polished stones.

The woman continued to watch the teenager wander around, looking at everything with childish curiosity; her eyes flashed briefly and her smile broadened- her expression changing into a knowing look. "Pardon me for prying, dear, but why on God's green Earth would you be wandering around a place like this on your own?"

The girl turned and looked at the woman, pale green eyes wide; startled.

"Surely a young girl like yourself would come with company?" The woman continued, watching her closely.

Taking the conversation as her cue to approach the woman, the girl nodded and moved to stop a yard from the counter, and the woman behind it. "I-I came with some friends…" The girl looked down, a menagerie of emotions flickering through her eyes- pain, sorrow, self-pity, and a flicker of anger.

The woman's smile faded as she concealed her glee, feigning a look of concern. "And where are they now, dear?"

"Um… w-well, we've decided to spend some time apart…" She trailed off, giving only a vague explanation.

The woman nodded in understanding. She sighed softly before looking at the girl sternly- self-pity was not something she liked to see, and she refused to tolerate it in her shop. Unless of course, it could be used to her advantage, but that was currently inapplicable. "What happened? Did he dump you?" She asked bluntly- straight to the point.

The girl's head shot-up, a wide-eyed expression on her face, making her look like an owlet. "Wha-eh e-ex-excuse me?" She stuttered in her shock.

"Did. He. Dump. You?" The old woman enunciated every word clearly, starting to wonder if she had misread the girl's character, worrying that she might take flight and never return.

The girl crossed her arms, drawing into herself.

The woman held her breath, assuming she was about to get slapped in the face with a quick 'goodbye'.

The girl's aura flickered before flaring before the old woman's eyes as her head snapped up, green eyes blazing.

"He cheated on me. This girl- a friend's best friend, she came with us… an apparently, they lacked the decency to wait a full five minutes after I left, to make sure I wouldn't come back, before jumping each other like sex-deprived rabbits on Ecstasy." Her nails dug into the exposed skin on her arms- knuckles turning white from the pressure, eyes flashing with her fury, completely disregarding her former withdrawn and polite demeanor, uncaring at the possible offense her rather vulgar statement could bring.

The old woman flashed a scheming smirk, "Ever considered trying Voodoo?"

The girl shook her head, before a similar smile wound its way over her lips as well. "No… but I'm more than willing to rethink that."

Ten minutes and thirty-seven dollars and sixty-two cents later, the girl had a cloth bag slung over her arm- containing a single voodoo doll, different colored ribbons, a needle, a candle and a book reading simply 'Voodoo for Dummies'.

"Be very careful with how you read everything now, dear." The old woman smiled contentedly.

"Of course. Ma'am, please forgive me for being rude, but what's your-"

"Roma." The old woman cut her off, already knowing the question she was going to ask.

The girl flashed a brilliant smile. "Well it's a pleasure to meet you, Aunty Roma. My name is Faro Kayler." She extended a hand to 'Aunty Roma'.

Roma smiled and tightly clasped her warm, wrinkled hands over Faro's smoother, thinner hand. "The pleasure is all mine, dear." She pulled the girl into a hug and smiled. "And don't ever call me 'Aunty' again." She scolded before letting her go and shooing her towards the door.

Faro blinked before laughing, feeling a lot better, despite the ill intent she was harboring, and trotting to the doorway before glancing over her shoulder. "Alright, take care, Gramma Roma!" She called back before skipping out the door as two small girls wandered past her into the store.

For a brief moment, out of the corner of Faro's eye, the two children- neither taller than her hip, seemed to disappear, and in their place stood a young woman, around her age, dressed in a rather trendy outfit, if it were the later half of the 1920's.

She blinked and the children were back- the young woman no where in sight. She shook her head.

"Freakin' heat…" She mumbled, shrugging the sight off to the sun frying her brain, before heading back towards her hotel, a somewhat sadistic smile playing on her lips.


A/N: So, there's your first taste of "Wonderball." It will involve karma, questions of morality, the existence of the human soul, and of course, what it takes to be human. There will be a little bit of voodoo, some murder, a little gore and of course, romance. So, await and then read the next chapter at your own discretion.