Fin del camino

P. Beanie

POSTED: Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:09 pm

Spanish is in '<>' brackets, image of home: here :: Words→ 000

Clouds covered the sky, selfishly blocking what could have been a relatively sunny day. It was nothing close to the heat Leto was used to back home, but his short coat and creaking bones weren't complaining. The clouds were light and fluffy, they didn't show any intention of dropping a shower today, something else his aching joints couldn't complain about. The old man almost found himself smiling at the simplicity of things, the peaceful weather and the rhythmic clicking of wooden cart wheels on gravel and stone. His pleasant attitude was reflected in the flicks and taps of his bony fingers against his guitar, playing an quick and upbeat song accompanied with the old man's humming. Occasionally Leto's magenta eyes would look to Sabina, trying to lightly pressure her into singing along, or otherwise make sure the young girl wasn't becoming too bored with their travelling. They'd been walking for so long now that Leto was beginning to forget when they'd even started this journey, or when it was supposed to end. Well, Sabina had been doing most of the walking, as had Cabra and Cabri. The old dog was confined to the back of their small cart, sitting still like luggage, making sure to not aggregate his bad leg. He hadn't been able to handle a whole day's worth of walking ever since he had his right leg practically torn in two, and he was too sick of being in pain to argue his capability anymore.

Leto wasn't a optimistic man, but he could feel like the green canopy trees around him and the smell of life around him smelt of home. Or perhaps the herbs Sabina was giving him to keep his pain levels down was making the old man more 'jolly' than usual. He wondered if his young companion thought the same. This place felt comforting, Leto had felt that way ever since arriving in the general area, being told of particular towns and places of trade that might take the pair's fancy. Honestly, Leto was looking for a place to rest, and he didn't mean something temporary. If the old man's body could speak for him, it would be screaming at him to stop. And for once, Esqueleto was willing to listen. He wanted to stop, he felt far enough from the Hell of his past to finally give into the reality of his age. <"What do you think of this place, niña?"> Leto asked through a sigh. Gazing at the varying sights of trees one side and green fields on the other. <"I have this feeling of joy here, although that might be the herbs you gave me.">

Chuckling with his hoarse voice, Leto swallowed and continued talking over the quieter notes of his guitar. <"But seriously, this could be where we stop. A place to finally settle down, if you want to."> Leto's eyes seemed to lull for a moment, his head tipping and swaying with the movements of the cart. A particular bump in the road jostled the old dog into focus, just in time for him to gawk slightly at a sight not far away. <"Oi, Beanie, look over there!"> Leto called, carefully pulling his guitar across his back and stumbling out the back of the cart. The old man limped quickly towards his goal, chortling a little in joy as he waited for Sabina to join him.

A single house sat in the middle of a small clearing, snuggled between two sections of evergreen forest. Some of the walls seemed to be melting with age, paint dying and walls crumbled in places and windows missing or collapsed, but other than that it looked in no worse condition than the homes back in Leto's old home. <"Perfecto."> Leto muttered, aged and tired eyes looking over the abandoned household with a sense of longing.

POSTED: Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:08 pm

The cart's wheels rolled with a squeak. The occasional bump in the trodden dirt path caused it to judder and rock; stones were almost instinctively kicked out of the way by the two goats who held the reigns and pulled the old man through the woodland. They occasionally bleated at each other, the conversation lost on the young female as she kept watch over her small, mismatched family. Leto's eyes were dilated; the high seemed to be helping with the pain, and Sabina couldn't help but feel a slight tinge of jealousy at the potential euphoria the old man could be experiencing at that moment. With the rays of cloud-dulled sunshine peeking through the green canopy above them and the soft tweeting of native birds greeting them upon their arrival to the new land, Sabina took a moment to inhale all the scents around her. Many souls had travelled these roads; their scents lingered like ghosts on a highway. There was also the scent of something else, something mysterious, and as Sabina's nostrils twitched eagerly to decipher the source, Leto's voice pulled her out of her concentration.

She smiled gently as she turned to look at the seated male. Clicking her tongue against her teeth, the cart slowed to a stop. It always amazed her how smart the goats had gotten. They had practically raised them from birth; a gift from a stranger along the way. They were well trained, though mischievous at times. Sabina didn't mind. She enjoyed teaching them new tricks.

"It is nice here," Sabina acknowledged in English, hoping to inspire the old man to practice more. If they were to relocate permenantly, Sabina knew he could not get by on Spanish alone. She would help him, certainly, but she wouldn't be around all of the time. They would need food, and she would need to hunt; a fact which brought specks of joy into her gaze. Sabina was an excellent spearfisher, and she loved nothing more than the thrill of the hunt. The only downside, however, was the occasional mishaps. Sabina hated getting wet - whether rain or river - and if she missed her mark, more often than not, a tumble would follow, and Leto's bellowing laugh would not be far behind.

"The herbs probably have made you delirante," she admitted, a mild look of amusement on her face. "But then again," she continued as her smile widened to a cheeky grin, "...siempre has Estado un poco loco...". Sabina winked at the old man, walking up closer to him as he pulled himself off the cart and directed their gaze to a weathered, forgotten house. It needed some work, a lot of work in fact, but it had potential. It seemed to be in a quiet area. They hadn't seen another soul in days, but Sabina still felt the need to keep her wits about her. Ever since her stupidity had cost Leto the function of his leg, Sabina had never let herself get in those circumstances again. She protected him fiercely, the father she'd never had and the friend she'd always needed, and though she had no doubt he could probably do quite well on his own, she would miss him if he wasn't around. The idea of losing him scared her something horrid.

She swallowed her thoughts away with a large gulp of saliva. "It'll need work," Sabina hinted gently. She stood beside the old man and gently nudged him with her shoulder. "Up for the challenge then, anciano? ... Just no painting it azul, eh?" She nodded her head toward the pots of paint on the cart. Leto always had a fetish for paints and pretty colours, and as long as they didn't blast her in the face every morning on the walls and doors of her home, Sabina wouldn't object. Though, deep down, the woman knew even if he did paint it blue, she wouldn't really cause a fuss. She just liked to wind him up. They were an unusual pair, for sure, but Sabina wouldn't have wished it any other way.

POSTED: Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:59 pm

OOC :: Words→ 000
Often times under the low Mexican sun, sitting on his master's porch and playing into his guitar, Leto would dream of something like a home. Not one where he was chained, starved and beaten for being ugly. One where he could still sit in the sun and play, but with the warmth of freedom in his heart to keep a smile on his face and a tune in his guitar. Somewhere that the old dog could feel like he owned, and not the other way around. It was the dream of an old man, and one he thought his paranoid mind would never allow him to have. Not long ago, the idea of settling down or stopping felt foolish, the more distance Leto put between himself and his old country the better. But now, Leto needed to stop, not just for himself and his aching bones, but for Sabina. The girl had known nothing but travel her whole life. And whilst it and its many hardships had helped her grow into the young woman she was now, a daughter Leto was proud of, she deserved to know what having a home was like. It explained the old dog's sudden burst of energy as he rolled out of the cart and hobbled towards the nearby decrepit house, that and the herbs Sabina was feeding him were blocking any screaming his legs might be trying to send the man. The fact that Sabina was not immediately rejecting the image of this being their possible home had Leto's skinny tail moving like a whip, and he chortled at her response.

"¿Azul? No, lo pintaré de rosa!"

He replied, pushing Sabina lightly before limping forwards, leaving his walking stick behind in the cart in his excitement. The old man was aware of his daughter's attempts to force him to speak some different tongue. But the aged dog was adamant about sticking to what he knew. Stubbornness kept his voice the same, though it didn't mean Leto didn't understand the English words spoken to him just fine.

"¡Especialmente en tu habitación! Un montón de rosas, azules y amarillos, creo."

Leto called back, putting a stop to his elation for just a moment to observe the small front porch for signs of collapsing. Magenta eyes scanned the old, rotten wood, before Leto forced his bad leg up onto the first step. With a very graceful hop, Leto's good leg joined the other on the first step, accompanied by a squeak of aged wood protesting from the weight. But it held firm.

"Tenga cuidado con estos pasos, Beanie. No estoy seguro de que te lleven tu pesada espalda."

A small smirk on his lips, Leto hopped up the other two steps to the front door, and gingerly pushed at it with a bony hand. To his relief, it didn't immediately drop dead off it's hinges, but then again the old man wasn't that strong in his push. With an angry creak of rusted hinges, the door opened to let a wave of decades old dust come rushing over Leto's stained fur. He coughed a little before continuing inside, his feet hitting the wooden ground with a rhythmic thump and skip. Inside, beyond the dark, damp and dust, the household looked barely touched. Well, there were obvious signs of scavengers, from the pieces of destroy furniture turned into unnatural positions and the sheer bareness of the place. But other than that, it all seemed in good condition. Compared to other ruins anyway. Moving his thin body from room to room, checking the floorboards for damage and any bobbles perhaps left unseen by others passing through, Leto began thinking of what work would need to be done. Leto had a bit of experience in almost every job, and building was no exception. The only issue was the additional eight years on Leto's life since he'd last helped construct a home, and the wound on his side and the weakness of his limps. Carrying wood around like he used to would be impossible at his ancient age, but Leto supposed this house could be a project for Sabina as much as it was for him, and would give the old man a chance to pass some more of his skills onto his adopted daughter.

POSTED: Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:10 am

Leto's chortled laugh perked the young female's ears. She raised a brow, watching as he taunted her with talks of pinks, blues, and yellows. She opened her mouth, ready to object vehemently to the potentially offensive rainbow house she'd find herself living in, but watching the animated, excited old man made her pause. Her opened mouth dropped into a small smile as she watched him hop and bounce around the wooden steps and spiderweb covered entranceway. It was only the remarks about her rump that washed the smile from her face. Shock filled in the blanks for a split second. It had caught her off-guard. Sabina recovered quickly, however. Her life on the road with this quick-witted, sarcastic elder made her mind work twice as fast. Her lips pursed and her eyes sparkled dangerously. She stepped closer to her adopted father, clicking her tongue against her teeth.

"Come now, papa." She cooed quietly. Her voice was cool and collected. "You're just jealous your own culo has never been this pretty." It was Sabina's turn to smirk. She inched closer, resting one foot on the aging wood of the house, and the other still among the dirt and pine needles.

"And besides--" she paused, twitching her tail thoughtfully. Mismatched eyes found Leto's gaze and she held it unwaveringly. Iris's glittered in the gentle rays of light from the canopy. Dust found her nostrils and she snorted slightly. "This culo gordo is going to be doing most of the heavy lifting, ?"

She grinned and gently pushed past the older canine. She looked around the dusty shack, hesitant to breathe in all the muck that lived inside their new home. Her gaze absorbed each detail. The damaged wood; faded and cracked paintwork; cobwebs; the faint squeak of rodents hidden somewhere in the walls. There was a rocking chair in the corner. Sabina knew instantly that would quickly be claimed by the older canine. She could already see him sitting in it, swaying with its rhythm and strumming his guitar. The thought brought a warm feeling to her chest. Her fondness for Esqueleto only grew with each passing day.

Seconds passed as though they were minutes or hours, but Sabina kept her composure and continued her gentle taunt of her beloved guardian. She glanced over her shoulder at him, waggling a finger to the surrounding area and giving a gentle shrug of her shoulders. "...So... you better be nice to me, eh Papi? ... For now, at least."

POSTED: Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:31 pm

OOC :: Words→ 000
In a way, Leto was very much a child, his magenta eyes only just experiencing this side of life. Yes, the old man had many years carried on his back, but those were years spent in Hell, where he'd learnt skills to be useful, and had seen things he learnt to avoid. He may have learnt how to build, how to sew and cook and clean, but Leto never learnt how to smile or laugh. He never got to explore, see lands of green and watch the skies above change from location to location. It was a thrill the old man was only just beginning to appreciate, something he only realised he missed now that he had the chance to experience it all. Caution still tugged at the back of Leto's neck like a pestering fly, but he put it at ease by thinking on this location. Remote and quiet, hidden in the comforting hands of a green forest, it seemed perfect for what the old man imagined as the place to rest his weary soul. With his eyes squinting in the dark, the pink iris glared a little to Beanie as she came back at him with a retort, slowly following him up and into the old house.

"Hah! ¡Nunca me viste cuando era más joven, tan guapa como yo! ¡Cabello que fluye, forma delgada y un hermoso culo, deberías estar celoso!"

Leto snapped back, blinking away any quick look of remorse on his face. He had been a handsome young man once, but a lot of things had changed him. A mistake he made in the name of love, it had torn him from the concept of giving his heart to another for so many years. Now here Leto was, caring for a cunning young lady with all the pride and joy of a father, loving her in a way he'd never done before. It felt nice, it felt safe, and it made it easy to smother the pain of his old life.

"Tal vez, pero haré el diseño, después de todo no queremos vivir en una porqueriza."

Leto commented, admiring the rocking chair with a rare fond memory of his old master and the peaceful afternoons in the Mexican sun.

"También puedo limpiar bien, así que todo este polvo y lodo desaparecerá antes de que te des cuenta."

With a dignified flick of his skinny tail, Leto gingerly lowered his rump down into the chair. It creaked in protest slightly against the old man's slight weight, and for a moment Leto had to grasp the arm rests as the chair drooped backwards, but after a few rocks Leto was certain that it wasn't going to crumble.

"De qué estás hablando pequeño, siempre soy amable contigo."

Leto replied, feeling the ache in his leg drop down below the waters of herbs and and painkillers flowing through the old man's system.

POSTED: Fri Aug 17, 2018 3:28 pm

Leto's response was quick. Though not bitter, Sabina couldn't help but wonder if she'd hit a nerve somewhere in the depths of the old man's soul. She watched him carefully with her mismatched eyes, lips pursed and ears twitching atop her crown. Her tongue tapped quietly against the back of her teeth, biting back the urge to apologize. She knew their relationship was strong enough to overcome the occasional back and forth. In truth, their insults were love-filled parcels of admiration for one another, and an apology would do nothing except drag in the awkward silence and uncomfortableness of having to face their inner demons. Jesting and insults were the better choice of medicine for the pair of them, and Sabina knew that well enough. She would keep her insecurities to herself and as such, continued to just watch the old man. A smile slipped across her lips as he fell into the rocking chair. It was comforting to know he could still be quite predictable, even if his pride might've been knocked only minutes before.

"I don't see us ever living in a pigsty with you around Papi." Her eyes twinkled. "Even half crippled you're all sparkly clean and bright." She stepped around him, peering past an old doorway that hung down from a hinge. Dirt and dust covered the floor in another room. The distant scurries of rodents met her ears as foliage wobbled down from the mountain formed in the corner of the room. Sabina watched closely, though had no thought of hunting or killing their new companions. Sabina's beliefs fed off the idea of a life circle. Killing others was only necessary for self-defense or for eating, and even then, there was a strict code to the hows, whats, whens, and everything else that linked into the way the world worked. Sabina clicked her tongue thoughtfully as she briefly pondered on her spiritual choices. She inhaled deeply, tasting the dust on the back of her throat. Coughing gently, she looked back to her adopted father. She smiled gently again, shrugging her shoulders at nothing in particular, before leaning carefully on one wooden beam holding up the roof slightly to the left of her.

"As for your niceties," she teased, "...we'll just agree to disagree, eh old man? Make love, not war, right?" She choked back a chuckle at her own amusement, bringing her hair-covered eyes to meet Leto's steady gaze. Grinning widely at him, she shrugged her shoulders a second time, and in a moment of playfulness, allowed her rough, pinkish tongue to slip from her lips. She stuck it out at him long enough for it to register, bringing it back into her mouth once satisfied her point had been made. Even with her rough, crazy upbringing, and her sudden need to grow up before her time, Sabina still held some of her childlike ways. It was rare; surprising even to herself, but it was welcomed. After all, even the darkest of souls needed some kind of light every once in a while.

POSTED: Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:24 pm

OOC :: Words→ 000
Leto's old eyes glanced passed his daughter and towards the warm rays of sunlight creeping across the dampened floorboards. He'd probably try to move the chair outside, to properly soak in the summertime sun whilst he could. The heat here would never be the same as a Mexican's sun, Leto knew that. It was dry where he came from, here the heat felt more stuffy and thick and not as vicious. Still, there was a small hint of longing in the old dog to feel the warm sun rays as much as possible. It didn't bring back the bad memories like others things did, only the moments of rare peace Leto got to experience. Sabina's eyes dragged her away towards another room temporarily and it gave Esqueleto a moment of thought. This place would need a lot of work, more than he would cope with in his age. The ex-slave had built many houses in his life in the Villa, but that was with others and with supplies. Here, he and Sabina were alone, and the girl was fresh to the art of building. Still, the old man liked the fact this home would be his, whatever plans he made to repair it and make it brighter were his plans, personal plans. There would be no strict word or whip stopping the old man from painting the rooms bright colours, other than Sabina's disgust.

"Love not war" Leto muttered in the local tongue, giving Sabina a small grin, "You are lucky I love you, ?"

Letting his own pink tongue drop through the yellowed front teeth of his maw for a moment, Leto chuckled before glancing around some more.

"Estoy pensando que deberíamos tomar la palabra para evitar que uno de nosotros caiga en la trampa algún día."

Leto began, gesturing towards the floor. He didn't detail who he imagined would be the one to fall, since it was his place in their relationship to be the unlucky one.

"Nos llevará un tiempo hacerlo, pero estoy seguro de que usted está listo para el desafío, a menos que quiera ser derrotado por un anciano."

Leto added, rocking back in his chair. As much as he'd probably be a hindrance than a help with his leg, Leto wasn't the kind of old dog to sit lazily in his chair. The old man was a fan of siestas but not all the time.

POSTED: Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:30 pm

Sabina smiled coyly. It wasn’t often the pair expressed outwardly their love for each other, so when it did happen, the young female didn’t always know how to handle it. A knot in her stomach was always the first reaction; a blush and a smile to follow. Sabina’s attempts to keep things stoic and plain were foiled by three simple words – I love you – and without hesitation, the dark-furred female knew, she loved him too.

‘Luck has nothing to do with it Papa,’ she finally responded, her lips still wriggling uncomfortably in a bashful smile. ‘I’m just that lovable, don’t you know?’ Her eyes flashed cheekily. She nodded slowly, listening intently as the old man spoke of floors, plans, and procedures. Sabina knew she would be the one to do the heavy lifting, but after everything he had done for her, she held no objections to that. Sabina welcomed the lessons. The skills would be useful in later life, no doubt about that; and besides, it would keep her busy and away from the beautiful, but oh, so repetitive strumming of his guitar.

‘Concrete, si?’ Sabina interjected. ‘Mix the mud and grass, stomp for an eternity, lay underneath the wood flooring...?’ Her hands gestured correspondingly to Leto’s own movements. ‘Or would you rather skip the wood altogether and just have the mud?’

Sabina looked across at the separate rooms from the main living space. ‘And these spaces—’ Her hands moved and signalled toward them; excitedly gesticulating as she filled the room with her ideas and bright sparks. Leto’s enthusiasm for the project was inspiring; infectious even. Sabina could already see this place as becoming something more than just a building. She could feel a sense of homeliness already in the broken wooden shell. There seemed to be hope radiating from every corner of the place; Sabina hoped it wasn’t just misplaced naivety, waiting patiently to one day bite them both in the arse.

‘Sleeping quarters for us individually… or do you see something else in there?’ She smiled gently. ‘And what of our altar? We must thank the Loas and Saints. After all, with their help, we’re finally here… safe.’ She looked at Leto with serious eyes. ‘Legba, Joseph, Agwe, Christopher… We should say our thanks. We don’t want to upset them after all Papa. I fear what their wrath could bring.’

POSTED: Sun Oct 14, 2018 5:46 pm

OOC :: Words→ 000
For years Leto never cracked a smile, not a real one. He'd almost forgotten the sensation of fun, of true laughter and speckles of hope. Sabina had returned that to him tenfold, in ways the old man couldn't put into words. Yes, Leto had adopted her, and sacrificed his mobility to save Sabina's life, but in return she gave him a new life, the kind that made Leto wish he could have spent more of his years being this happy and relaxed. To think of where he would be now if he never foolishly admitted his love to another man in front of his family, Leto didn't want to consider it. On one half it would have meant a life spent free, but on the other it would mean never meeting Sabina, so the old man simply refused to think about the choices in his past. Better to focus on the present, and what it gifted him with.

"Adobe sí. Podemos quitar el piso de madera y mezclar trozos de agua, tierra y césped allí."

Leto explained, recalling the many many times he had to make mudbrick himself for the houses back in Mexico. The weather was much warmer there, which helped to set the mixture quickly. Here in the cold north it might take longer, but Leto was certain the technique would still work.

"Tal vez podamos usar madera en la parte superior para algunas habitaciones. Dejando el suelo mientras el concreto también funciona, podemos agregar pelaje en la parte superior para mantenerlo caliente."

Leto was no expert in home design, he'd spend most of his work making the mixture and packing it into bricks then mapping out homes. But, the old man was creative, and had clearly raised a creative daughter in Sabina. The old dog grinned, pointing to one of the rooms.

"Me gustaría tener mi habitación cerca de la parte delantera, ¡así es más fácil ir de la cama a la silla!"

When it came to Sabina's religion, Leto remained supportive but a little confused. His view on spirituality was simplified, based on a mutual respect for the dead and the need to see it as a bright and colourful thing rather than something miserable. For a dog as old as he was, it felt important to view death in a positive way, not as a doom waiting around the corner. Leto gave Sabina a respectful nod over her suggestion.

"¿Los conoces mejor que yo, los haces tantos altares como desees, incluso podemos establecer un área detrás de la casa para rituales?"

POSTED: Tue Oct 30, 2018 1:58 pm

Sabina pulled a slight face. ‘Fur,’ she parroted quietly, watching Leto discuss the flooring in further detail, almost certain she could hear his brain ticking away in the split seconds of silence between them. ‘That means hunting. Out there. By myself.’ Her face twisted, trying to avoid the smile that wiggled beneath her faux expression of disgust and disapproval. ‘You really want me going out there?’ She teased further, inhaling deeply for an extra boost of courage at her next words; ‘Look what happened last time I went out by myself. You can’t take me anywhere, right?’

Her eyes smiled softly at the old man. Her stomach knotted at the memories of the night in question. Sabina’s guilt ate away at her like a cancer, but she knew from her time spent with Leto that humour really was the best medicine between the two of them. If it was left to fester, the whole relationship would fall apart, and Sabina would most likely turn to vices and habits marking her for an early grave. She knew this too well, and she was certain Leto knew this as well. He didn’t show it, however; any resentment he had inside was as opaque as the concrete they talked about. For this, Sabina was grateful.

Talk shifted. Sabina’s eyes followed where the old man gestured. First the chair, then to a space that had potential to be something of a room given time. It was difficult to picture it completely, given the place was filled with foliage and life that had been there long before they arrived. Sabina was sure she could smell hedgehog or something of the sorts living in the floorboards. They would have to be relocated, or risk being eaten by some weary traveller, Sabina noted down in her head. Glancing up at the rafters, she momentarily admired the old beams. They held up well; though weathered and mossy. Sabina inhaled the dirt and dust in the air; her chest swelling and falling in the seconds that fell between the two scheming canines.

‘You’re just lazy,’ Sabina continued, teasing further. ‘Eh, given half the chance, you’d just build the bed around the chair.’ Her face cracked slightly, and her brow twitched. Strands of hair fell across one eye and she flicked it away with little effort. ‘Hey, maybe we should just go all out and make the room guitar shaped too, eh? Just to make sure it’s very you… What do you say Papa? Shall we take it up a notch?’

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