[P] Something In The Way
Cami
#1
[Image: IkflHa1.jpg]
Miguel Quispe-Lopez
“in the water where I centre my emotion,
all the world can pass me by” – RHCP, “The Zephyr Song”

"Do you have an offering for me?"

The words clung to Miguel.

"Do you have an offering for me?"

The hooded figure appeared before Miguel, almost floating with feet obscured by its long cloak. The boar's skull visage stared into his very soul.

"Do you have an offering for me?"

Miguel stared at the ceiling of the inn as he lay in bed. His encounter the night before replayed in his mind over and over. How he froze before what must have been a ghost. It felt so real. He did not dismiss the supernatural, not at all. He firmly believed he had encountered the spirits of his loved ones past, but never encountered something that felt so... malevolent. And yet he was not attacked, or harmed in any way. He just ran from it.

But why him?

Miguel got up and left his room, already panting as he got outside. He still hadn't gotten out of the habit of sleeping fully clothed, so he seldom had to get dressed, but he already regretted the comfort of solitude. The man gulped and leaned on the wall of the Trailside Inn, hoping no one left their rooms any time soon. He couldn't tell the time of day through the window at this angle, but he knew he overslept. Sleeping in the open air meant that he would wake up when the sun told him to, but sleeping indoors had ruined his natural rhythm, making him feel slothful and indulgent. Even though he did spend a little too much time in his room anyway.

He often spent his evenings at the Ugly Coyote, but the night prior had been far too late. He didn't know if it was the alcohol that made him experience what he had, but he was probably going to stay in his room from now on. He shut his eyes and tried to slow his breathing, placing his hands on the wall. He gulped. He really hoped no one caught him right now.


OOC:
Word Count: 339
[Image: bi1P3Nw.png]
Miguel Quispe-Lopez
Running through the field where all my tracks will be concealed
and there's nowhere to go

Character WikiPlayer WikiExtra Links
[Image: he_him_by_agent_pits-d88i5w6.png]

art by me
#2
Camellia was glad that her father didn't live at the Trailside Inn anymore. It meant that he was closer to her. Although it had been super convenient to stay with him during the Stockshow since it was right in Charmingtown. By the time the next Stockshow rolled around, she intended to have a home and horse of her own. Things that would give her much more freedom to come and go as she pleased. And have guests. She wondered if she could have Pandora stay with her for the Stockshow. Would the Rey Salvaje allow her to have a wolf as far as the Parish if it was someone she vouched for? The girl wasn't going to ask anytime soon, but she pondered it sometimes.

Today, though, she was going to the Inn anyway. She had buried something there in the courtyard - a bone, really nothing all that important - and wanted to retrieve it. Mostly because she wanted to chew on it. Just because she was now on two legs didn't mean her stupid teeth had stopped aching. The girl didn't complain about those to anyone, except to ask for things to gnaw. The bone she had buried was just right for chewing, though, and she missed it. Thus her journey to retrieve it today. Hopefully no one else had found it and taken it while she hadn't been visiting. As far as she knew there weren't any other pups staying there, though, who would've been the only ones likely to find it.

She was headed through the Inn toward her hiding spot when she saw someone who looked like they were in distress. Her ears flicked lightly and she tipped her head. He looked... sort of familiar? Was he a member of Del Cenere? Maybe he was and had been staying at the Inn when her father was living here. If he had, she hadn't talked to him at the time. "Are you alright?" she asked, walking toward the older male with a concerned expression. Was he in medical need? She didn't know how to handle medical emergencies, but she could fetch someone. Maybe he was just in mental distress. That she could possibly help with.
#3
[Image: IkflHa1.jpg]
Miguel Quispe-Lopez
“in the water where I centre my emotion,
all the world can pass me by” – RHCP, “The Zephyr Song”

Miguel jumped out of his skin, yelping when he heard the girl speak, somehow not even smelling her approach. His heart pounded at his ribcage as he stared at the pup, eyes wide and mouth agape. His knees were weak with panic, but he braced himself against the wall and panted.

"You..." His speaking was laboured by his loss of breath. "Scared me, muchacha." Miguel straightened his posture and leaned his shoulder on the wall.
"Estoy bien, gracias. I just... Thought I saw a ghost."

He did not lie, the sight of the hooded figure from the night haunted him whenever he closed his eyes. He had never felt the kind of fear that gripped him then and had not let him go, possessing him as he ran home. Was this a demon? Was God punishing him for running away all those years ago?

"You do not need to worry about me, damita." His heartbeat returned to a more regular rhythm and pressure, even though it was still in a rush. He put his weight onto his own two legs and gave himself a brush.

"Just a question... This town is not... haunted, is it? I believe many here are good God-fearing people. But there is a... malaise that I can sense. I have not felt this before. The unease which clouds my judgement, it..." He breathed a deep sigh. "I am a little scared, muchacha."

Miguel extended his hand toward the girl, after making sure that it was clean.

"Please forgive me for my behaviour. I am Miguel. What is your name? You look familiar to me, are you related to someone?" He scratched his head. "It must be Peony! You are her child. Camilla! No, Camomile? It is a flower, like Peony." That must be it, he thought, smiling to himself. He was glad his memory was becoming a bit more reliable.


OOC:
Word Count: 315
[Image: bi1P3Nw.png]
Miguel Quispe-Lopez
Running through the field where all my tracks will be concealed
and there's nowhere to go

Character WikiPlayer WikiExtra Links
[Image: he_him_by_agent_pits-d88i5w6.png]

art by me
#4
Considering she didn't think she had been sneaky at all, Camellia was startled herself by his startled response. The girl backed up a couple of paces and flicked her ears back in surprise. Oh shoot, she really hoped he hadn't been having a medical emergency because if he had she had probably just made it worse. Who were the closest healers who could help? Was anyone staying in the Inn that could assist? Cami was already starting to spin up the things she would need to do in her head. Calm under pressure, get to a solution...

Only after the initial spin around of surprise from him, the strange male seemed... alright. Flustered, sure, but not dying. Thank God for that. She was also happy to hear the Spanish words splattered through his sentences, because it meant she could speak Spanish to him. An opportunity that she was always seeking. "¿Un fantasma?" she asked, looking around as if expecting a specter to be hiding somewhere around her. There wasn't one, though, and she wasn't sure if he had been referencing her? She was 100% sure she wasn't a ghost, though. That would require dying and she wasn't ready to do that yet.

He called her damita and she had to smile at the word. She was more accustomed to senorita, but she thought she liked damita better. "¿Embrujado? No. Tal vez en el cementerio, pero no en todo el pueblo." at least she had never seen ghosts. Although to be fair, she hadn't seen any at the cemetary. It was just the one place she wouldn't be surprised to see ghosts. That was where they belonged, if anywhere.

He was already off on another tangent - wow his brain moved as quick as hers! - and introducing himself. She took his hand and shook it politely, listening as he figured out who she was. Sort of. At the very least he apparently knew her mother. "Sí, Camellia es mi nombre. Encantado de conocerte, Miguel." she tipped her head slightly. "¿Cómo conoces a mi madre?" lots of folks knew Peony, so it shouldn't be a surprise, but he apparently knew her well enough for her to talk about Camellia.
#5
[Image: IkflHa1.jpg]
Miguel Quispe-Lopez
“in the water where I centre my emotion,
all the world can pass me by” – RHCP, “The Zephyr Song”

Miguel smiled warmly at hearing his native tongue spoken by the young girl, as he felt like maybe he wasn't such a stranger here.

"Encantado, Camita." He chuckled. "Conozo tu madre porque ella fue amable conmigo."

The scruffy man felt a fluttering in his stomach, and he released his built-up breath hoping it would release the feeling. He stood for a few moments, thoughts frozen. He could not remember if he actually had anything he wanted to do, or if it was just needing to get out of his room as fast as possible. He would feel exposed if it was not a young girl observing him, but as she was also the daughter of Peony, he did not feel uncomfortable. He had been around lots of young siblings and other children, so her age did not bother him. Little people were people too, after all.

"Have I seen you here before, muchacha? You do not live at the inn, no? You are la hija de Peony, you must live with her, no? Who is tu papa?" Miguel cocked his head. He was still getting to grips with who lived here and who made up the pack that had taken him in.

"I have to find... an offering for this spirit. Or it will not leave."He began pacing around the inn. "It visited me last night, muchacha, and demanded an offering. You must believe me. But I have nothing to give to anyone, let alone this fantasma. Apart from the clothes on my back. Can you help me, Camita?"


OOC:
Word Count: 262
[Image: bi1P3Nw.png]
Miguel Quispe-Lopez
Running through the field where all my tracks will be concealed
and there's nowhere to go

Character WikiPlayer WikiExtra Links
[Image: he_him_by_agent_pits-d88i5w6.png]

art by me
#6
Her mother had been kind to him? That wasn't really surprising, she thought, knowing her mother certainly could be kindly toward others. It was just that she often came across as so fierce that she was a bit surprised to hear it as a descriptor of a first meeting. Certainly Peony had not been kind at all to Haytham when she had first met him. Then again, she had flared up her hackles in protection of her daughter. Could Cami blame her for that? Maybe a little.

"Well, 'm glad ta hear ya have a good experience already with mi familia, then." she said with a wag of her tail. It was always good to start off on a positive note with someone new. Especially since she had startled him so if he hadn't known her mother, maybe he would've been more put off by her presence.

At his questions, she shook her head. "mi papá vivía aquí, but he moved out fairly recently. Ya could've seen me with him, though. Hosea Courtright? Not sure if'n ya met him, too." she had fallen into a mix of her father's accented common tongue and Spanish. It was easy to let it flow back and forth with someone when they were doing the same. It was kind of fun, too. Just picking whichever words felt like they made the most sense as her tongue started moving.

He began to pace and she perked her ears at what he had to say. It was a bit concerning that he had met a ghost demanding things. Although she recalled that she had experienced an apparition on the streets with her sister that might have been the same thing. It was part of the celebration around Dio de les Muertos as far as she knew, though. "Well... 'm sure we kin figure somethin' out. What kinda things are ya good at? We could catch somethin' or make somethin' for it. Th' Gang has stores that we're allowed ta use, so long 's we also put into it. So if'n we use somethin' t'day, we kin replace it later, 'n it'll be fine. Oh, an' we gotta make sure we mark what we took, my Uncle Trel won't like it if th' logs aren't correct." but as far as she knew, otherwise they could use items to make offerings.
#7
[Image: IkflHa1.jpg]
Miguel Quispe-Lopez
“in the water where I centre my emotion,
all the world can pass me by” – RHCP, “The Zephyr Song”

Miguel scratched his head, feeling the muck dislodging from his fur and dirtying his claw. He realized he had not left his room with his chullo on his head, and the matted fur on his scalp was there for all to see. Luckily it was only the senorita.

"No, I cannot say I have met him. I have been keeping to myself mostly. I travel a lot, you see, but this is the first time I have stayed in one place since..." He paused, his sentence trailing off somewhat.
"I have a funny relationship with people, muchacha. They fascinate me and I do love to figure people out and talk, perhaps mostly in one-to-one; but I would rather be on my own and live away from everyone. It is a constant tension I have not eased. It is why I left my home and travelled wherever my feet would take me, but your mama has convinced me to stay, and part of me says this is for the best. But there is that part of me which is searching for any reason to tuck my tail and run away, but I cannot. I am a coward but I do not think I could live with that. Because it would be living in regret which I do not have for leaving my home. My first home. But I do wish this can be my new home."

The man stepped closer to Camellia, crouching down slightly to be at eye level.

"Do you understand this feeling, Camita? Likely not. I do not believe your mama does either, not truly. But her kindness is a reason that I cannot leave. I will not leave. But this accursed espectro wants to chase me out. I cannot do that. Can you help me?" He repeated his plea for help, hopefully being more persuasive with context. He did not know why he was telling the nina this, but if she was la hija de Peony, she would share her mother's compassion.


OOC:
Word Count: 338
[Image: bi1P3Nw.png]
Miguel Quispe-Lopez
Running through the field where all my tracks will be concealed
and there's nowhere to go

Character WikiPlayer WikiExtra Links
[Image: he_him_by_agent_pits-d88i5w6.png]

art by me
#8
Cami really wasn't sure what to make of the scraggly dog. He wasn't what she would've expected from a friend of her madre's. He was... just a bit off. If everyone else had been walking in a line, he'd be slightly to the left and maybe staring off the wrong direction somehow. There was something to be said for going your own way, but Camellia wasn't even sure Miguel intended to go his own way. He was just doing it without thinking.

Apparently he hadn't met her pa, either. Then again, he hadn't immediately known Hosea was her father, so that said something about his closeness to Peony. Her parents had been together for quite a while, after all. If he didn't know Hosea's name he probably didn't know her sisters, either, except maybe by name. The man rambled enough about his history with living one place, which explained a lot of it. Camellia would like to think he was so open about his past because she was a good listener, but she suspected it was just that he always talked a lot. Some canines were just like that. Heck, she was often like that.

She wagged her tail a bit when he crouched to be level with her. "No, I'd say 'm generally rather sociable. 'n a'course I still live in the land where I was born... that helps some, I'm sure." because she was still surrounded by the comfort of familiarity. Maybe if she had been off other places, she would want to be alone more. Cami had never truly been mistreated, though, so she rather enjoyed the company of others.

"Well if'n it wants t'chase you out, then mebbe we should chase it out instead! D'ya think we kin spook it away from ya?" she wasn't entirely sure what he wanted her to do to to help, maybe that was it? "Or... what d'ya want me t'do, I'll do whatever I can t'help."
#9
[Image: IkflHa1.jpg]
Miguel Quispe-Lopez
“in the water where I centre my emotion,
all the world can pass me by” – RHCP, “The Zephyr Song”

Miguel clawed at his beard in thought, turning away from Camellia.

"I had not thought of that," he murmured, scratching his chin. "Fight the enemy with fire, but all warfare is based on deception and this could be a baiting manoeuvre to get my guard down. The enemy knows this place better than I, for it is a haunting ghost and I am but a wandering spirit." Miguel paused for a moment, stopping his pacing back and forth. He carefully stepped in a 180-degree turn and faced Camellia once again.

"I do not think this plan of action is wise. But neither is appeasement. If I give an offering, then what is to stop it from attacking afterwards? Or coming back for more so it is satisfied. We must be brave, not wise." Miguel crossed his arms and peered at the girl. Was she ready for this sort of thing? How was she anyway? Was Miguel even ready?
"We are never ready for such things, muchacha. I wonder, do you know much of the supernatural? What can banish such a wretched thing? I have met a handful of people with skills in the occult but learnt nothing from them, as they kept their skills secret. I do wish that these rituals and lore were made accessible to us normal people. That is what books used to be for, Damita. They were so important to those who came before, but so many of us lack any skills necessary to keep such sacred things." Miguel stamped on the ground, head buzzing with idea juice.

"I got it!" He exclaimed, unable to keep still. "Camita, do you know of anyone learned in the supernatural and the occult? We must exorcise this demon, I see it clearly! It must be returned to El Santismo." A fire burned in his eyes, searing away his fear and doubt.

"That is what we must offer. A return to Dios." Miguel grinned, his grimy beard parting to show his remarkably well-kept teeth.


OOC:
Word Count: 336
[Image: bi1P3Nw.png]
Miguel Quispe-Lopez
Running through the field where all my tracks will be concealed
and there's nowhere to go

Character WikiPlayer WikiExtra Links
[Image: he_him_by_agent_pits-d88i5w6.png]

art by me
#10
The strangeness of the fellow did not decrease as time went on. If anything, Miguel became more cryptic in his mannerisms and words as they kept talking. None of it made sense to her. Especially the part about some apparition trying to drive him out of his room. Why would a ghost want him to leave? As far as she knew, no one had ever died in a room... so why would they be appearing to haunt him here? Unless it was a ghost from his past and not anything tied to Del Cenere at all. The veil between living and dead was thinner right now. It was the season for the dead to speak to the living if they needed.

He was rambling about what to do, what not to do... it was kind of dizzying logic, really. It was like he wanted to do something but also adamantly did not, which was a strange middle ground that meant he wasn't going to do anything. Because one had to decide something to progress. Ah! At last, though, he had made a decision and that was a relief for Camellia who was running out of ideas to offer him.

An exorcism? "Mebbe my uncle, Sugabear? I think he'd know 'bout that stuff best of all in th' Gang..." she trusted him most when it came to things requiring a bit of the mystical, anyway. Although she was sure there were others who had some experience or knowledge, Suga was the one she trusted most. She wasn't sure how much exorcising he had done before, but if he didn't know maybe his sister... or he knew someone who knew...
#11
[Image: IkflHa1.jpg]
Miguel Quispe-Lopez
“a man gets tied up to the ground,
he gives the world its saddest sound” – Simon & Garfunkel, “El Cóndor Pasa (If I Could)”

Sugabear. Miguel had heard this name around the pack, although not with any attached reputation. So when the little senorita suggested him with some confidence, it made sense. God was waiting to reveal this to him, for the key moment in his task.

"¡Si! ¡Vamanos, muchacha!" Miguel cried out, before heading towards the exit. He sped out, only to return again and collect his chullo, and darted back outside. After some time, the man reemerged, appearing somewhat deflated.

"Ah, Camita, it occurs to me that I do not know where your uncle lives. I got a bit, uh, zealous. Would you kindly lead the way?" He opened the door for the girl, feeling his energy level deplete a little. He didn't know where the rush of enthusiasm came from, but it was fleeting. Perhaps it was boredom. Perhaps it was fear. Perhaps ennui. Regardless, spending time with the young girl eased his troubles. She was like her mother in that way.

"What can you tell me about this Sugabear? Do you know anything about his techniques? Will he be inclined to help me, do you think? If he is anything like your mother, I think he would. Is he your mother's brother? Or your father's? What about the Uncle Trel that you mention? What does he do? Surely not exorcisms?" He cocked his head, a sudden bout of curiosity energizing him to unlock more knowledge about Peony and Camellia's kin.


OOC:
Word Count: 244
[Image: bi1P3Nw.png]
Miguel Quispe-Lopez
Running through the field where all my tracks will be concealed
and there's nowhere to go

Character WikiPlayer WikiExtra Links
[Image: he_him_by_agent_pits-d88i5w6.png]

art by me
#12
The eagerness with which he responded made her think he had to be spooked indeed. She hoped that Sugabear could help with exorcisms. Technically she had helped Cent with an odd ritual that was an exorcism of sorts before, but... she knew Sugabear better. Trusted that he would be able to do this sort of thing and would assist. Presumably Cent would too, but it wasn't the kind of thing she felt she could ask of Cent. She did think she could ask it of her Uncle Suga. He'd do whatever he could to help.

At first he was leading - she thought perhaps he knew the voodoo practitioner - but then he paused to let her in front. "Si, of course!" she said eagerly, moving to walk through the door and head toward the Perrin du Lac residence.

There were a lot of questions suddenly coming about her family and she listened to all of them carefully. Cami made a mental list to make sure she answered them all fully. "Sugabear is a herbalist 'n he knows a lot about spiritual things too. Technically he's not my uncle, s'just a family friend that's watched me since I was little. So my sisters 'n I consider him our uncle." at least she knew that Daphne had called him "uncle" before; she hadn't specifically heard Tansy say it but she was sure the middle child would agree. "I think he'll help s'long as he knows how t'do it. Uncle Trel s'my pa's brother. He's more of a quartermaster. Keepin' track of stock 'n that sorta thing." and an archer, but all of the Braithwaites and Courtrights were archers. It hardly seemed worth mentioning. Certainly he didn't do exorcisms... at least if he did, she'd never heard about it.
#13
[Image: IkflHa1.jpg]
Miguel Quispe-Lopez
“a man gets tied up to the ground,
he gives the world its saddest sound” – Simon & Garfunkel, “El Cóndor Pasa (If I Could)”

Miguel furrowed his eyebrows, using them as anchors in the sea of knowledge. Sugabear wasn't her uncle, but he was. She has more sisters. Trel is her uncle. But so is Sugabear. He keeps track of stock...

"Aha! Camita, do you know if your Tio Trel would know of anything that we can give to the spirit? Maybe we can visit him. Perhaps with your two uncles, we could make a team and really drive that demon away!" His tail swished back and forth with excitement, but it lasted even shorter than last time, and Miguel came to a stop.

"Or, perhaps not. This does feel like a lot of work for a nighttime spook, it might not be worth it after all." He sighed, and gave Cami a warm smile.

"Thank you, muchacha. We do not need to bother your uncles. Perhaps we should get you home instead, no? Unless you needed to go elsewhere. But I can escort you. To see your mama, of course."

Miguel patted Camellia on the shoulder.

"It has been nice to meet you, Camita. I will just wait out the night in my room. I am sure the ghost will not find me there, so I will just keep safe. But I will make sure you are safe first. You do not need to be part of this."


OOC:
Word Count: 226
[Image: bi1P3Nw.png]
Miguel Quispe-Lopez
Running through the field where all my tracks will be concealed
and there's nowhere to go

Character WikiPlayer WikiExtra Links
[Image: he_him_by_agent_pits-d88i5w6.png]

art by me
#14
Camellia would mull over this experience with Miguel a lot in the future. The rapid ping pong ball of his thoughts and plans was hard to follow. It made her feel a bit dizzy to keep up with what he wanted or planned. Almost as if he had no idea where he was going from one moment to the next. Wind and whimsy take him, he was doing whatever he thought of at that precise moment and nothing more. Then later more of the same. It seemed a strange way to live.

"I mean, sure, Uncle Trel'd know what we could use for an offering..." at least, what was available for communal use from the pack's stores. Although they could just check that on their own too, she thought, as she said it. If more uncles would help Miguel's cause, though...

He had already changed his mind, though. They were going to just end this altogether for the night and he'd hide out where he figured the specter would leave him be. She furrowed her brow but nodded slightly to indicate she understood. "Well... alright, then. Ya don't need ta escort me home, though, I kin get there well 'nough. S'far outta yer way when ya should just get in an' rest. You'll hafta let m'know if ya get rid of th' ghost, though, an' if not, we kin always get Sugabear a different day." she said with a brief wag of her tail.

The girl started to walk back out of the Inn before he could protest, her hand up and waving. "I'll tell my ma ya say hi!" which he technically hadn't done, but probably would've; and Peony liked those sorts of niceties.
#15
[Image: IkflHa1.jpg]
Miguel Quispe-Lopez
“a man gets tied up to the ground,
he gives the world its saddest sound” – Simon & Garfunkel, “El Cóndor Pasa (If I Could)”

Miguel watched the girl skip away and mumbled a response, waving her away with an obviously fake smile. He often resented his inability to smile on demand, but he knew that in theory, it would bring comfort to the recipient, so at least he made an effort. But did he? Did he actually care enough to make it convincing?

The girl suggested that he rest and Miguel supposed that was a good idea. He was tired, after all. He'd been spending all of his nights away just so that he would be around people, but never left early enough to get to bed on time. So then he'd wake up early, walk for miles, and then come back and do it all over again. He wasn't even sure if it was worth it, as he never spoke to anyone long enough to enjoy their company. Just sat by himself in the corner.

He turned on his heel slowly, once again facing the inn. He was glad that Camellia had spotted him, as he didn't know how he would be if the girl didn't shake him out of his anxiety. He clutched his heart, the slight pain back and present, but not threatening to have him on his knees. Just as a reminder of what happens when you don't take care of yourself.

He stepped inside and his thoughts went to Peony. She often felt like his only friend in the world, and yet he hid in his room and hardly saw her. If he was going to survive this ghost attack, he needed to see her more often. Friends don't come around enough for him. Maybe he can see the little girl again too.


OOC: End of thread!
Word Count: 291
[Image: bi1P3Nw.png]
Miguel Quispe-Lopez
Running through the field where all my tracks will be concealed
and there's nowhere to go

Character WikiPlayer WikiExtra Links
[Image: he_him_by_agent_pits-d88i5w6.png]

art by me


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