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Devil Nights; Private
Topic Started: Jan 17 2012, 10:19 AM (2,385 Views)
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((Martin Ricco continued from The Great Elsewhere))

The group of five former high school students had found the houses a bit more difficult to find than expected. It was almost as if the town was changing its shape every time they thought they had it figured out. Martin then remembered that every new town he'd ever been in had been difficult to navigate, and that in any case, he'd never had to go anywhere in this much dark before, with only a flashlight and the moon to light the way.

It was also getting hard to concentrate on getting somewhere with a possible death sentence hanging over their heads. If somebody was going to come rescue them, it'd have to wait until morning, and Martin didn't know if he could wait until morning at this rate. Somebody might be coming to rescue them, or they might not. If he knew when the rescue crew was coming, he could concentrate on keeping everyone comfortable until then. If not... at least he could prepare for the long haul. But he wanted to know something.

The group turned one last corner and finally arrived at the row of houses Martin had woken up in earlier that day. If it wasn't for Martin having a recollection of the architecture, they would have merely had to guess that these were even houses. The moon's shine, bright as it was, could not pass through eaves, and that left only the sharp angle of the roof clearly visible against the night sky. The sky, now that he was looking at it, was very pretty. He wished he had a poetic comparison, but the only quotes that he could recall involved comparing the night sky to something, not comparing something to the night sky. And in any case, didn't all poets acknowledge that when it came down to it, words paled in comparison to nature itself? So "very pretty" would have to do.

Martin took his gaze off the stars, incredibly bright out here away from civilization, and focused it on his flashlight. He scanned the nearest house with it, getting a general idea for where everything on it was, most importantly the door.

"This one looks as good as any. We should all look for supplies and then go to bed for the night. We ought to have a rotating lookout system to keep eyes out for people walking around."

Martin led the way. He looked both ways before crossing the street out of habit, despite there being absolutely nothing he could have seen. It felt a bit silly, actually. They had been walking around before, talking to at least some degree, but now he was acting like he was committing a crime. Whispering, sneaking, the whole bit. What they were doing would have been a crime at any other place and time, but there was nobody living inside this house, and nobody to tell them they couldn't squat in it. And yet he still felt incredibly uncomfortable breaking into this house. He figured that no matter where you were, the rules still held. No trespassing, keep off the grass, and most importantly, thou shalt not kill. Or so he hoped.

A few creaky steps up, a few more across the small porch, and then Martin cautiously opened the front door and disappeared into the first room he saw.
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(Amanda Clearwater continued from The Great Elsewhere)

They needed rest. The house would help with that, rest for a few hours then search for more people. The time pressure was real now.

And Amanda was going to beat the clock.
Edited by Courtography, Jan 23 2012, 02:54 AM.
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(Holly Romero continued from The Great Elsewhere)

Holly absentmindedly twiddled her fingers together and listened to the crunching of rocks against shoes as the sky continued to get darker. The timid girl stayed near the back of the group, figuring it was safer that way anyways. The others didn't seem to be paying much attention to her either.

Holly stared up at the sky. It was a beautiful night; the clouds were gone, having floated off to some other part of the world, and the moon shone bright, providing the best source of light the group had. If she were at home, Holly would probably be sitting under her favorite tree, enjoying the scenery and attempting to get some inspiration for her next story.

The memories of home burned in the back of her head, no matter how hard she tried to get them out. She wished she could see her mom and dad one last time, hug them, apologize for all the times she got mad at them...

Stop thinking like that. We're going to be rescued... somehow...

Her thoughts were dulled momentarily when Martin stopped in front of one of the house, suggesting it would be a good place to stop and rest for the night. Holly looked up and down the structure of the building. It looked extremely run down, almost like someone had taken a sledgehammer to the entire place. On the other hand, it was the best they were going to get out here, and Holly was getting really tired. It would have to do.

The teen simply nodded her head in agreement as the others started filing into the house. It felt a bit odd to finally go into an actual building, considering she had never really step foot in the clinic. She peered back up at the moon, as if saying good-bye to it and leaving for a long time.

Well, here's hoping for the best.
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((Roy Benson continued from The Great Elsewhere))

Roy’s optimistic mood had all but disappeared when the group eventually reached the houses, replaced instead with a feeling of irritation. He wasn’t blaming Martin this time, however. It had turned dark quicker than they’d expected, and so their only light sources had been their flashlights and the moon. Roy’s flashlight had been next to useless; it was being held in his left hand, as he kept his rolling pin permanently in his right hand, and so he could only tilt it slightly to illuminate where he was going. Which wasn’t very helpful. Roy had had to stick close to everyone in order to see where he was going, and had stayed silent, concentrating solely on getting to the house.

Eventually, the group stopped. Roy guessed they’d arrived at the house. Martin scanned the surrounding area with his torch, and as he did so, Roy stared upwards, thinking. He’d never really thought about the sky. Sure, a couple of times he’d wrote poetry about it for school, but the thing was, he’d never really believed in what he had wrote. Throw some fancy words together, and you’ve got a poem, simple as that. Now though, he had to admit, the star-filled sky was pretty damn impressive. Fuck, if I’m gonna die soon, at least I got to see something as beautiful as that... although, hopefully, I’ll be able to see things like it more often, when we escape this place... yeah...

Martin’s voice brought Roy back down to earth. It seemed as if he’d found a suitable house. Roy was surprisingly alert and awake, and he wasn’t really exhausted ever, but somewhere safe for the group to stay the night in was definitely welcome. He didn’t want anyone hurt.

Martin looked from left to right, before walking across the road. Roy couldn’t help but grin at that. Looking out for cars wasn’t exactly Roy’s number one priority at the moment. Roy followed the others across the road, sticking close to them. As he drew closer to the house, Roy could see that it wasn’t exactly in the greatest shape. In fact, it looked almost as run down as the clinic had. Roy looked warily over at Martin, but hell, the guy had said there were mattresses and things inside, and Roy trusted him.

The wooden steps creaked as Roy stepped on them, and he briefly paused on each one. He didn’t want a similar incident to the one that had happened at the clinic. He managed to get to the front door without any trouble, however, and walked inside. Roy couldn’t see anything for sleeping on immediately, but a brief peek into a room revealed a mattress lying on the dusty floorboards. Satisfied, Roy called out to Martin, who was in another room.

“Hey, Martin! You want me to be lookout first? I’m not too tired, and you guys look as if you need to get some sleep, ASAP.”
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((Leo Raclaw continued from The Great Elsewhere))

Leo kept his gaze up, his eyes seemingly unimpressed with the night sky. Meaningless, glimmering specks that infested the night sky. Still, an internet connection would've been preferred. Also: a bed, good meal, and civilization would be great.

Actually, fuck it. Lets go back home and leave the stars to rot. He'd been carrying his flashlight to help Roy illuminate their path, but the fucking stars felt more useful so he stopped paying attention to where the beam went.

When Martin spoke, Leo's eyes moved to the immediately to the forward as they approached the house. He chuckled when Martin looked both ways. Leo imagined that the Americans in charge got bored, so they made the "game" into Frogger and whoever made it across the road got to live.

As the others filed into the house, Roy offered to be lookout again. In spite of Roy and himself, Leo said,

"I'll keep lookout." Only realizing what he did after the fact, Leo thought. I needed some more fresh air anyways. He took his place leaning against the railing away from the house, putting the weight on his elbows as he listlessly looked out into the street moving the flashlight's beam like that of a light house.
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[[Delilah Rivers Continued From: From Where You're Kneeling.]]

They weren't there. Sam and Clair weren't at the bridge anymore when Delilah returned with Pepper there.

Well, it made sense. She couldn't expect them to just wait there this whole time, they had to move on eventually. Besides, she had told them not to follow her anyway. There was no reason for them to expect her to come back.

Delilah had been careful to avoid the area where she and Sam had the terrible encounter with Richard, for Pepper's sake. She did not need to know or see any of that, if the goal was to keep her from breaking down again. Delilah instead found a peaceful bank a bit further down, hidden by a bit of riverside shrubbery, where both she and Pepper could relax and eat without worrying about anymore encounters.

During this time Delilah was able to wash up near the shallow part of the riverside, washing away all the blood and grime from her body and clothing. She had left her clothes to dry quickly in the sunlight of the prairies. It was easy due to the constant heat, which seemed to abruptly change once the sun started dipping and night was setting in.

It was cold, unusually cold, a drastic contrast from the heat of day. She had only grown adjusted to the heat here and the sudden change was felt quickly. The way deserts worked were certainly odd. Fortunately for her, her jacket had managed to dry up on time.


...Now they were back in the town.

Delilah decided that it was probably a better decision for them to find a shelter of some sort where Pepper and herself could hide out and rest for the night, away from the extremes of the outdoors. They wandered throughout the dark streets, looking for a building that wouldn't stand out too much. Until Delilah spotted a line of wooden homes.

She patted Pepper's arm and pointed in that direction.
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** Pepper Clarke, female no. 23, continued from… From Where You're Kneeling

The searing heat had long since lost its deadly edge, instead replaced by the cool embrace of the night air, but Pepper hadn’t yet managed to shake the temperature. Her face, burnt raw by the unforgiving sun, practically percolated her line of sight, leaving her lids heavy and eyes hot. Painful red spots dotted her arms where she’d ripped the hairs fully out, devastating the follicles and leaving the aching reminders behind.

No amount of pain could compare to mental anguish, however.

It had been hours since they’d left Patrick behind, his blood all but chipped from her hands, but she still couldn’t shake the scene from her mind. It seemed as if every time she blinked; he was there. Delilah, on the other hand, seemed completely unfazed. She sat at the side of the riverbank laughing and splashing as if nothing had happened.

Even now, as they walked through the cracked streets looking for shelter, she remained eerily serene about the ordeal. Every so often, a far off crackling or the whistling of the wind would pick up, fracturing the façade and turning the otherwise calm Delilah into a paranoid mess, leaving her scouting the streets for the perpetrator.

It scared Pepper, honestly, to see her friend so unhinged and unpredictable. She was never one for surprises, now more than ever in the deadly gambit. But she had to keep her reassured, right? That’s what helped people wasn’t it, when they can rely on someone? She’d smile reassuringly and shakily comfort her friend, tell her that everything was going to be fine once they got some sleep. Not that she expected herself to be able to sleep, honestly, not after what had happened. It wouldn’t surprise her if she never slept again, in fact.

“Those look nice,” Pepper barely whispered as Delilah pointed out the row of wooden homes. Little more than dilapidated shacks, probably home to all sorts of ghoulish creatures.

Ghosts were the least of their problems, though.

Ghosts weren’t armed to the teeth.

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Martin searched through the room he had found. It was a living room, or so he guessed - it was large enough, but it was stripped of anything that could make it as livable as the name suggested. There were a few chairs in the corners, one of them a rocking chair, and there was easily space for more. The wood was discolored at the joints, though, suggesting that they weren't going to hold up under much weight.

The chairs also faced the center of the room, something that would have been an insignificant detail if it hadn't been so unusual. Whenever he would go to other peoples' houses, all the chairs and sofas in the living rooms would be facing the TV, as if that was the most important thing in the room. For parties, at least, it was most important. But families in the Wild West, or at any time before the modern era he guessed, had no TVs, no external object demanding attention. The center of attention, instead, was each other. Exactly like it should be, he thought.

He heard a call from the next room as Roy asked him if he could be the next lookout, as he wasn't too tired. Leo volunteered himself before Martin could say anything, though. He wondered why Roy was even asking his approval - he was the leader and all, but if people wanted to take on responsibilities, he'd let them. It was better to get people to take the initiative than to foist tasks on them anyway.

Martin spun around and announced, "Only chairs in here. I'll go check another room." He realized he'd lied, though, because the thing that occurred to him to do next was to sit down in the rocking chair. He thought he should test if it was at least something that could be slept in - no way this house was going to have beds for 5 people.

Martin knocked on the seat. It seemed sturdy enough. He turned around and planted his hands on the walls as he eased himself into the chair. Easy does it...

There. It was workable. Just barely - he wouldn't want to fall asleep in it - but it was a decent enough place to rest. No time for that, though.

Well, maybe just a bit more time.
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Amanda couldn't help but notice how small the house was. It just seemed so little compared to most of the houses even in their small town. Not that it was surprising, they were in the middle of nowhere, and there probably weren't many trees to make houses.

That actually makes sense...

Yeah she was on a roll. Not many trees, smaller houses. Heck they probably didn't have enough to spare to make a hockey stick.

And that would have sucked.
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((OOC: For the sake of avoiding inactivity, I give a quick post))


The flashlight kept the movements up. Slowly he moved it to the left, and then to the right. In an attempt to keep himself entertained Leo started mixing up the beam. He moved it in loops, zig-zags, and now it had become a mixture of both. Using improv on the movements as he pleased, Leo didn't even care if there was a possibility of danger.

As far as he cared, this was a bad fucking day gone out of control. And if the guys in there kept taking this so seriously then Leo would take his business elsewhere. Now, where was elsewhere and what could he do there?
Edited by Acidic, Feb 6 2012, 06:35 PM.
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((Same as Acidic, quick post to avoid inactivity))

Before Martin could answer Roy’s question, Leo of all people volunteered himself as lookout. Roy looked at him with his left eyebrow raised, on the verge of saying something like “You sure that’s not gonna be too much effort for ya?” Instead, all he said was “Just don’t do anything stupid, okay?”. There was no time for pointless arguing-well, maybe a bit, it slightly removed the monotony-and he didn’t want Leo so agitated that he couldn’t concentrate on his job properly.

Roy heard Martin calling out from his room, saying there were only chairs in there. Well, that’s not exactly what I had in mind for sleeping. Although I guess they could be workable, and there are worse places to sleep. Like the floor itself. Anyway, I should probably go look for some actually beds right now, rather than think about them.

After a brief bit of walking around, Roy realised that the house really was tiny. There were only, at most, five or so rooms in the entire thing, each much smaller than he was used to. As far as Roy could see, there were also only two mattresses in the entire place; one in the room he’d already checked, and a slightly unclean looking one in an even smaller room. So I guess we’re gonna have to share then, unless we are gonna use the chairs. Thank God Leo’s on watch; if I had to share with him, I swear I’d have broken something.

Roy noticed Amanda was simply standing to one side, not doing anything and seemingly deep in thought. Roy walked up to her, and in a quiet voice, asked her “Hey, Amanda? There something on your mind?”
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[[OOC: Avoiding Inactivity.]]

Delilah's lips stretched into a wide but gentle, closed mouth smile when Pepper described their soon to be shelter as being nice.

She looked over at Pepper, took her hand and started walking closer through the streets and to the homes.
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(... I am a stupid, stupid person. Sincerest apologies to everyone who I held up with this.)

Holly walked into the house, taking a look around the place. It wasn't too impressive looking, but that was to be expected. There were chairs, and furniture, and a roof, and that was all the she was looking for at the moment. It was sort of like a fortress, albeit a cruddy one.

Everyone went off and started doing their own thing, leaving Holly by herself. She didn't really mind, as she didn't have many intentions of talking to them anyways. Not that she didn't like them or anything, she just didn't have much to say. Much that she WANTED to say, anyways. She had a lot on her mind, but it was best to leave it internalized for now.

Holly walked up to one of the walls and leaned against it, slowly and tiredly sliding down until she was sitting on the ground. She had surely gathered a lot of dust on the back of her shirt, but that wasn't really a concern at the moment. Holly was troubled. And tired. She rested her head on the wall, just glad to have a chance to stop and wait things out for the moment.
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Losing all interest in this task, Leo's mind wandered. To thoughts of home, his pets, sleeping in a warm bed, and the like. He would have chided himself for having such cliche thoughts, but all fucks that could be given about originality had been left on the train. Staring off into space he imagined all of the other kids showing up one by one, and this whole thing being over with.

His eyes had gone over the landscape without seeing until he noticed some figures down the street. After a double take Leo shifted the pack on his shoulders, and walked towards them until he was close enough to recognize them while being safe. Pointing the light at them for a second longer than was probably necessary before saying,

"Delilah, erm." He should have recognized the other one, but after a long day his mind was nothing but a useless void. Then it spit up the name, "Pepper." He said, letting it hang to make sure it was right. Realizing that he was waisting time trying not to stare at Delilah he made himself point to the house and say,

"Look, there's more of us inside. We've been looking for others, but you're the first we've found." Well, Holly's presence proved that wrong, but specifics didn't matter. Turning towards the house he started walking, and waved his hand for them to follow him. As he walked he held his face forward to hide his blush in the night.
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Pepper kept her gaze fixated on the cracked, depressed looking streets as she and Delilah scouted for a place to rest for the night. Many of the houses had rotted through; bits of roof broken through and exposing the innards to the outside world, doors almost completely off their hinges and windows long since broken out. It was a sad sight, sure, but anything was better than sleeping outside where anything could take them in their sleep.

Hyenas.

Mountain lions.

Peers.

A chill ran through her body, shaking her to the very core of her being. She tried to tell herself it was just the cold of the night harmonizing with her sun-beaten flesh, but she knew it was more than that. Her eyes darted to the few remnants of Patrick’s blood peppered across her hands. As hard and as terrifying as it was to admit; people were dying. They wouldn’t ever be able to say goodbye to their families or accomplish the things they wanted to, they’d just be absorbed into the ground like some sort of sick fertilizer. What if tonight was her last? What if she’d never see the sun again? Her fingers clenched tightly into the fabric of her knapsack, the sundries inside poking uncomfortably through.

She’d been tempted to open it several times, mainly from the hunger digging at her, but curiosity had played its part. Sickly trying to get her to peek inside, see just what she was expected to defend herself with. Whether it was from fear or her own little protest, Pepper had left it well-enough alone, demoting it to a mere stress-ball under her fingertips. She liked it better this way, at least; this way she could pretend she was brave.

A bright light shook her from her thoughts, beckoning her gaze upwards from the bag. She shielded her eyes with her arm, peeking out just enough to make out the form of Leo Raclaw. Immediately her pace faltered, almost in unison with the quickening of her heart. She didn’t know much about Leo, but it wasn’t as if her preconceived opinion of someone was telling. Not if Delilah was concerned.

Squinting past the beam of light, Pepper remained as silent as ever as he spoke, taking an instinctive step backwards when he invited them inside. More of them? More of what exactly? Before she’d even realized it, Pepper’s hand darted up to her head, taking out several red strands before retreating back into position. Wincing, she twirled the strands in between her figures and looked hesitantly over to Delilah; unsure of what her friend would do.

Pepper had never been good with crowds, typically going out of her way to avoid them if she could back home. Something about them made her uncomfortable, as if all eyes were on her; sizing her up, inwardly mocking her weight or her red hair, anything. That’s why it was so surprising when she found herself wanting nothing more than to follow Leo into the house, the thought of kids tormenting her not even running through her mind. She just wanted someone , she wanted the company. When she was hurt or upset back in Alderbrook, she could just go home and lay in bed and Maw-Maw would sit and talk to her and tell her that High School was only four years and that people would see her for who she was in college. Pepper didn’t have that here; she only had herself.

She might not even make it home to go to college, so this was all she really had, right?

And maybe Ramona and Martin would be in there, maybe they’d had the same thought when she and Patrick didn’t show up at the light-post?

Patrick.

Pepper focused her attention back to Delilah, still unable to read the friend she’d once known like the back of her hand. She wasn’t at all sure how Delilah would react to a room full of people, especially in her condition. But, if it was as many as Leo alluded, she wouldn’t try and do anything crazy, would she? It was worth making the effort, wasn’t it?

And more than anything, Pepper needed someone to help her.

“Del? It’s, uhm, Leo, you know him right?” She asked softly, placing a hand on her friend’s shoulder, “We can trust him, I’m sure of it. Why don’t we go in? And if we’re, uhm, uncomfortable, we can just leave, okay? Please?”

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