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Cicada Nights
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On the Northern edge of the island a young man lay under a canopy of needly pine trees, shoulders digging into the soft, loamy earth beneath. Small tufts of grass blades stabbed into his arms where his t-shirt became skin.

((Paris Ardennes Start))

Paris stared up at the bits of sky he could see through the vast sea of green above him. He only blinked once in a while. He just stared and stared some more, and wondered if this hollow feeling in his chest was the one his dad might have felt in the screeching moments before his car had crashed.

Eventually he got up.

The sun had warmed up his body a bit by the time he'd hiked his way out of the trees. His unopened bag was slung over his shoulder. A field of grasses greeted his eyes, the summery smell of melting asphalt roads greeted his nostrils. He glanced at a jagged and crooked wooden sign that mentioned something about tar pits and danger. Paris nodded to himself and continued on, because he saw a tiny human-shape figure in the distance, and only random tree trunks and dandelions the other way.

As he got closer, he realized someone else was coming from another angle, over the gentle crest of a hill. He recognized two familiar faces, but he could only put a name to one. Paris wasn't sure why Soren was dramatically crying over what looked like a gun, but he recognized the position of piety, of knees dropped to the ground in prayer. Paris nodded solemnly to himself and got closer, close enough to talk to either of them, Soren, or the random dude with the sword that Paris wasn't going to talk to quite yet.

"Hey, Soren. It's okay dude." Paris was smiling confidently, speaking confidently. "We're not going to let them do this to us." He gently held a hand up for Soren to take.
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The Land of Shadow · The Tar Pits
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