[P] [AU][m] we must be mistaken

WARNING: This thread contains material exceeding the general board rating of PG-13. It may contain very strong language, drug usage, graphic violence, or graphic sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.

Specifically, this thread is marked mature because of: potential graphic descriptions, cursing.

Everything had pointed to a normal day. 

Symre Rask looked too big for the small café, her table strewn with crumbs and coffee rings. She was all legs and broad shoulders folded into the table at the window, her combat boots propped up against a nearby chair. Her scuffed leather jacket was studded with metal that flashed each time she bounced a nervous knee. Her nail polish was dark and chipped, and each time the barista glanced her way she glared at him with challenge.

She was not one for subtlety, and so it was then she tossed her head that she also casually threw him the finger.

”You’ve been here for hours.” He lamented, wiping his hands on a towel that was pushed up over his shoulder, ”You gotta buy something or leave.”

”I already told you.” She leaned on the table and blew hair from her face, grumbling, ”I’m waiting for someone.”

A lie, clearly.

”There’s nobody in here anyways.”

The barista rolled his eyes, ”That’s because you’re scaring all of the customers away.”

Her hair hadn’t been washed in a few days, and she toyed with the end of her braid as she turned to gaze out the window. The reflection that peered back at her was harsh and unkempt, her eyes lined with too much kohl. She smiled toothily before frowning, drawing a zig-zagging line through one of the many stains that marked her table.

It was the loud shattering sound that startled them both, a low hum that seemed to rattle the windows as a fleet of trucks tore down the street outside.

”What the fu-“ Symre snorted roughly, ”Too fast too furious.”

The scent of smoke wafted in beneath the door, and a moment later a rumbling that sounded like the echo of an explosion.

The Barista hopped the counter to peer outside as he flipped the door sign to closed, ”I'm gonna go check it out. Stay here.”

Symre shrugged and crossed her arms as the windows began to rattle again, ”Does it look like I’m going anywhere?”

(///) | NPCs: N/A

I imagine that the Barista is Ruckus :') 

AU: Specific Fandom: The Walking Dead 
Your Characters are trying to escape a coffee shop, when something goes horribly wrong!
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He stood in front of the floor length mirror and carefully drew his thin tie taut, adjusted its position, and then allowed his hands to fall away to his side. He scrutinized the young professional who narrowed his eyes back at him, silently imagining what other lofty, important people might see when they lifted their eyes up from their smart devices for a beat and evaluated him.

Somewhere in the distance, a chorus of sirens wailed a warning of some untold emergency that fell on deaf ears.

Was the tie too much? Shaking out the sleeves of his blazer, Percival buttoned the blazer and pursed his lips unhappily at his reflection. The tie was too much. Working deftly, he loosened the knot and drew it up -- carefully, carefully -- over his immaculately styled hair. He needed something more casual, he decided. After all, he was going to an interview, not a wedding.

In the end, he went with a grey v-neck sweater and a pale blue button-down shirt under that, the collar neatly framing the neck of the sweater and contrasting nicely with the dark navy blue of his blazer and slender-legged slacks. Leaning in close to his reflection, Percival wetted his thumb and lifted his thick eyebrows above his thick-rimmed, square eyeglasses to smooth an errant hair. Turning his head from side to side, he assessed his hair and beard for any evidence of untidiness and then he backed away from the mirror again, gave himself a final glance, and nodded to his reflection.

Today was going to be the first day of the rest of his life. He could feel it.

"Okay," he said to himself. "Let's do this."

Pulling the door shut behind him, Percival locked up and glanced at his watch. Plenty of time to review his future employer's values and mission statement one more time over a turmeric latte. Popping in his AirPods, the young adult stepped out onto the sidewalk and headed down the street to his favorite neighborhood coffee shop with his neck craned down at the iPhone in his hand.

He was vaguely aware that the sirens from earlier seemed to still be howling and he spared a sympathetic thought to whosever lives were undoubtedly forever changed in whatever horrible accident required the presence of that many emergency vehicles. He was also distantly aware that everyone around him seemed almost to be in a rush, with bodies brushing unapologetically past him and drivers blaring their horns at other drivers. Shame these people hadn't given themselves enough time to get to where they needed to be like he had. But he wasn't going to let the poor planning of his community dampen his spirits. Not today.

"Oh my god! OH MY GOD!"

Percival didn't dare look up to see whatever delinquent was publicly screaming their heart out, but when the sharp twisting of metal and the crisp shattering of glass cut through the soothing notes of his acoustic music he no longer had a choice. With a groan, the two vehicles came to stop in the middle of the street, their front bumpers locked in an eternal kiss, while the atmosphere exploded in sound all around him. For the first time all morning, Percival was acutely aware that something was horribly, horribly wrong.

"What's happening? What's going on?" he asked a stationary woman ahead. But when she turned to look at him, Percival saw that there was a crimson hole where her left ear had been and she was missing half of her cheek. "Jesus christ!" he screamed, stumbling back from her as an explosion from somewhere within the city rumbled inside his chest and pulled his attention away from the woman. "Jesus christ!" he reiterated, swallowing as he chanced another look at the gravely-wounded woman.

It took several long beats for him to understand what he was witnessing as he watched two ashen figures tear into the woman like a child to cake.

And then he ran.

The coffee shop was close now and it was the only place he could think of going anyway. Holding his stomach as though doing so would keep him from puking, Percival didn't even see the "Closed" sign on the door as he jerked it open and stumbled inside, pulling it shut again as quickly as he could. Once inside, he found the nearest garbage can and emptied the contents of his stomach over a sea of paper coffee cups and plastic lids.

Shakily, he lifted his head out of the garbage and straightened his back. When he saw that he wasn't alone, he started visibly and gave a small scream. But, aside from her unkempt hair, terrible eye makeup, and questionable fashion sense, the woman looked normal. At least she wasn't bleeding all over the place or being eaten alive.

"I don't know what's... going on out there," Percival began, still catching his breath. "But there's- I just saw-" He cut himself off. Did he actually see what he thought he saw? Maybe her injuries were worse than he initially realized and they were trying to save her. He shook his head. "I don't know. I don't know..."

Feeling lightheaded and suddenly very tired, Percival slumped down into a nearby chair and pulled out his iPhone. The best way to get information these days was to get it straight from the source, not from weird women with bad taste.

OOC: lmao i spent way too long deciding Percy's outfit and hair/beard style. xD AIGHT LET'S DO THIS.
[WC -- 923]
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She reluctantly dropped her shoes to the floor with a heavy thump when it seemed like it had been too long since the Barista had disappeared outside. Symre reached into her pocket and pulled out a cracked cel phone to casually thumb through her notifications. The background flashed, a beautifully posed bird that she’d found on the sidewalk. She had thought there was something beautiful about its splayed wings – the tiny feet pointed like pinwheels towards the sky.

There was an unread text from her Uncle, the grave-toned soldier, which she promptly deleted with a frown.

He had practically raised her but had a whole new family now. He had a new wife, and new kids. There had been no room for Symre in their uptown Condominium. The time flashed, and Symre wondered how long it would be before the man returned. She discarded the phone with a clatter, glaring at the screen for a moment longer before twisting to look for the heroic Barista.

The view outside had changed, as the sky began to darken like a bruise. There were a few more cars that raced by, though these appeared to be civilian vehicles – a cop car siren forcing her to cup her hands over her ears as it peeled by in hot pursuit.

Symre blew a low whistle and prepared to hunker down again, but was rudely interrupted by a panting man who burst through the door uninvited.

”Yo! Didn’t you see the sign?” She gestured, ”We’re closed down man.”

He was both disheveled and put together somehow. His hair was coiffed just-so but had fallen to one side as he ran. His spectacles were askew as he vomited into a nearby trash can, which caused Symre to smirk. She threw a napkin towards him, ”That’s disgusting. You sick or something?” Another police car thundered by and she slowly pulled herself to her feet as realization struck her.

”...You on the run?”

Her phone pinged on the table behind her - notifications coming in rapid succession. 

The man had collapsed into a chair, the light of his phone reflecting in the lenses of his glasses as he poked and prodded frantically at his screen. 

He seemed too neurotic to be a criminal.

Outside, a woman wandered past as if she was recovering from a night of partying. Symre chortled, "Someone's having a bad day-" 

The woman turned so sharply that it made Symre's arm hair stand on end. It was as if she'd heard her somehow through the glass. There were no more sirens how, Symre realized somewhat absently. 

A man appeared. And then another. 

Each was bloodstained, their hands stiff and claw-like. 

"Dude." Symre was reaching blindly for her phone, unable to take her eyes off the window, "Dude. Dude. Dude." 

The woman made a sound unlike anything she had ever heard before .

"... I think you should lock the door."

(///) | NPCs: N/A

I have never loved anything more
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If he wasn't on the verge of having what he could only imagine was a legitimate nervous breakdown, Percival would have felt dreadfully embarrassed at having vomited in front of a complete strange in the middle of a public establishment. Like a bullet-felled bird, the napkin fluttered to his feet without a sound and he cleared his throat as he bent to retrieve it.

"Thanks," he muttered, swiping at his mouth with the sandpaper-rough napkin. Was it some sort of unwritten, unspoken, agreed-upon rule that all food service napkins had to be made of the same ruthlessly scouring materials? Percy discarded the balled napkin and briefly lamented the fact that he had left his lip moisturizer at home.

The passing of another emergency vehicle, its sirens blaring, reminded him starkly of whatever nightmare he had walked through to get here.

After giving the woman a heavy-browed look, Percy decided that ignoring her was the prudent course of action and resumed his efforts to figure out what was happening. He narrowed his eyes at his screen, digesting words like a macrophage but struggling to make sense of anything that was being read before his phone began alerting him to incoming text messages. He swiped the notifications away without reading them, trying to keep his attention focused on the news article he was trying to understand.

Because it didn't make any sense.

How could this be happening everywhere?

He was distantly aware that the woman was talking again but didn't tune in until after her last "Dude." was spoken. So when she suggested that he lock the door, he heard her clearly. "Me?" he scoffed humorlessly, lifting his eyes. She was the barista, wasn't she? "Why should I be the one to lock the door? You're the one who works..."

The movement outside caught his attention and the blood drained from his face as he trailed off. A chill zip-lined straight down from his head to the tips of his toes and Percy momentarily forgot how to breathe.

If he didn't want to lock the door before, he wanted absolutely nothing to do with getting anywhere near the outside world now. But he also recognized the danger of the outside world coming in and it was that which drove him to cross the café floor. With his heart like a jackhammer and his mouth the quality of cotton, Percy inched to the door while his eyes remained fixed on the bloodied, limbless, waxy humanoids that the woman was entertaining through the window.

But before he could reach the door, the squeal of cracked nails against glass drew his eye. Like a macabre photograph, the disheveled and wounded face of the undead barista appeared in the café door's window and Percival saw the doorknob turn.

He made a sound like a frightened animal and ran the rest of the distance, slammed the door shut just was a set of fingers reached into the threshold. "Help! Help me! I can't get it locked!" Pushing his back into the door, Percival was blissfully unaware of the pair of fingers that had popped off of the undead barista's hand when he shut the door.

For the moment, anyway.

"Help me get this damn door locked!" he roared at her. Shifting his weight to get into a more firm position, one of the barista's fingers found its way under Percival's foot and, with a sharp gasp, rolled him forwards.

OOC: jfc these two :')
[WC -- 588]

The woman made a sound that had Symre cursing again, her eyes widening as she shoved her phone deep into her pocket.

It was as if the world had convinced itself to slow. Symre stood shell-shocked as the zombie trailed towards the window, slapping bloodied palms against the glass. The streaks that it left made Symre grimace, but the sound of Percival running to the door attracted her attention sharply.  There were even more now who gathered, attracted by the womans moaning. They all stumbled; their clothes ripped to expose… were those bite marks!?

The world had sped up while she wasn’t looking.

The man screamed shrilly, the thumping of his shoes drawing Symre’s attention to the door.

The forgotten Barista was struggling to re-enter the café while Percival struggled to hold it closed. She could hear his shoes squeal against the linoleum as he was pushed back, and she rushed to assist him – grimacing at the fingers which fell to the floor. ”Oh my god, that’s fucking disgusting.” She thrust her shoulder up against the door with a grunt, planting her combat boots firmly as she reached for the dead-bolt that would afford them some temporary safety.

It felt like it took forever for her to grasp it and twist it shut with a thunk. For a moment the hollow eyes of the Barista found her and she forced herself to look away.

”Why’d you have to go outside?” She sighed as she stepped away from the door way, panting softly before rubbing her hands against her sleeves, ”Well, looks like I'm stuck with you. We’ve gotta find a way out of here.” She tapped her foot and glanced frantically about the coffee shop, ”Maybe we can butt some of this stuff up against the door and just pray they don’t break through the windows.”

Without thinking she zipped her jacket sharply, as if it would protect her like armor.

”Fuck me – there’s more of them.”

The groaning continued, and somewhere further afield she swore she could hear someone screaming.

”Do you think we need weapons?” She had moved to begin gathering the chairs, one under each arm. "Maybe there's something behind the counter."



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