Saturn ascends, comes round again

POSTED: Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:57 pm

[WC: 700]

It didn't feel real, sometimes.

Marlowe wasn't certain anything was real these days. He still hurt and he still bled, which proved he was mortal, but reality was difficult to fathom even though he had lived it.

How many miles had it been? Born on the road as he had been Marlowe had traveled long and far. Always, always he found himself back on it – fleeing one disaster and finding himself in another. Like a river, all these things flowed together, returned on themselves. The Boreas wolves from Zion had chased his grandfather north, and as Jethro had explained, come again to avenge their fallen comrades. Fanaticism had driven them, but so too had baser thoughts like pride and anger.

Death was not enough top stop these things from happening.

Campion was dead, but his influence still lingered.

Some of this was obvious. The scar on his chest, the way he limped. There were other things too, that Marlowe did because of Campion – how he flinched when people touched him, how certain smells or sights would reduce him to a catatonic state. It had been years now, it felt like, and Marlowe could see the wolf's green eyes in his dreams.

Because of Campion, the dog called Gustavo had come. Because Gustavo had come, Marlowe had been ripped away from the only person who might have saved him from himself.

They seemed destined for something, though, because Pazuzu was here again. It was not friendly between them yet. The jackal ignored and brushed off his advances. He pointedly spoke to others and not Marlowe. This seemed to bother their two wards, who had formed an unlikely duo. Lotan and Jethro had warmed to one another faster than the rest of their companions.

In part, this was because of her.

The young woman who looked so much like her mother was cold and serious. She held command over the dark wolfdog (her brother, as it turned out) and Agrippa's daughter. Even Pazuzu seemed to defer to her choices, which drove Marlowe half-mad.

He hadn't wanted to go along on this damn task. Fetching supplies felt beneath him, but oh, those damn women had him by the balls. Mara and his sister (a shock he was still grappling with) had asked for something simple, said that they'd help him if he did this for them, and all the damn kids had wanted to come along too.

Now there were six of them. Six of them, two cats, and one chattering monkey. They looked like a fucking circus.

Initially, the plan had seemed simple enough. They – that was, this traveling party – would go west and acquire whatever it was the boat needed, return it to the captain, and be on their way.

It was, of course, too simple. Though they had made good time at first, leaving Portland behind, their progress had slowed to a crawl as snow began to pile up. They were not able to divert south for fear of losing the road and so carried on, forcing their way through the worst of it when able, hunkering down against the cold when they could not.

The horses were miserable. Even Taz, who normally could not abide anyone but Marlowe touching him, seemed desperate to be close to them.

It went like this for an age.

The day the snow broke, they arrived in Erie. That afternoon it returned, stranding them there.


It had been three days now, and Marlowe was sick of it. He stormed away from the campsite on foot, snarling to himself. After picking at Pazuzu they had gotten into another fight (thankfully not physical, as both Lotan and Jethro had been present) and Marlowe was frustrated with their lack of progress. Under the gray sky his no-color cloak could hide the boldest colors of his fur, but the landscape was unremarkable here and he stuck out amongst the snow and bare-leaf trees.

He stopped only when he became aware of someone behind him and whipped around to face them.

When he saw who it was, his jaw tightened.

What? He asked the girl, hating how she looked, hating how she looked at him.

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Luperci Every man has a price to charge and a price to pay. Take peace from the earth and make men slay each other. The Cursed
plead the fifth
hell is other people
the devil made me look

POSTED: Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:20 am

lmao I'm so sorry bout Tia

She hadn't felt much like herself when they left Portland, but once they put miles of forest behind them, it started to come back.

It felt right to be concerned with only the practical motions of each day, and to fall asleep in a different place each night. It was as though her person was scattered among the many aspects of travel, and she was picking up the pieces as they went. She might have thought the Bedouins had trained her to this end, but she knew now it was her own internal restlessness that drove her to roam. The lifestyle suited her – it was her - and she was relieved to find that not all was lost in the mire that was Portland.

She tried not to think about what she left behind. Griffin had been wrong about the pain. Absence had only honed it to a fine blade, and any moment she wasn't moving, it left more incisions on her heart.

She missed them all. When she closed her eyes, she saw them all there, laughing and teasing and dozing to Naji's stories. She missed catching the gaze of whoever else couldn't sleep, and then whispering with them until the night was halfway through. When she and Mateo were left awake, they'd talk about the lightest things, of dreams and dances and starry worlds. She and Rahab would talk of anything and everything, sometimes too deeply, and she'd find herself unable to sleep for the rest of the night. There were always things she was learning about her brother, and they didn't talk as much of their parents anymore, now that they had lived so fully without them. And then Griffin...Griffin wasn't the kind of person who liked uncertainty. They always ended up arguing, with her introducing doubt to the nonsense he asserted. She thought he must have liked her for that, and maybe she'd liked that he built ideas for her to knock down.

Anyway, it was all gone now.

The dynamic had shifted with its new players, and these days she did not catch the eye of either her brother or best friend for they were more often looking towards each other. As for the others, there was not much to say yet except on the matter of one.

Marlowe. She didn't like him.

She didn't like the way he looked at her, or the way he talked to Pazuzu (or any of them, really). As far as she could tell, he had few redemptive qualities. She found him sullen and argumentative, and if there was any contribution he made to the group, it was only to criticize the decisions they made. She never spoke of her displeasure to anyone, but she wondered if they could sense it. She could have let him go after the tantrum he threw, but in an effort of fairness, she went after him.

The cold out there was different than any cold she had encountered before. Even with a thick coat like hers, the icy wind had a bite that warranted layers of furs, leather, wool, anything they thought to bring. These days her shoulders sported a mantle of rabbit fur, which she managed to paw off a trader before they headed out west, though not without parting with the last of her spoils from the war.

A wind rattled loose the snow off the trees, and it came drizzling down on them as a whirling mist. Even if Pazuzu hadn't warned them, anyone who could see the sky would know it was folly to wander alone now.

There's going to be another storm, she answered. She kept a neutral expression, sparing neither warmth nor anger for his behavior. That was something the Bedouins had taught her, about how the heart could fester as much as any wound and poison the rest. Feeding into his ire would make him less cooperative, and she supposed they both shared a certain aloofness that most described as cold.

The warmth she held was reserved for the ones who had earned it. She didn't think this would have mattered to him. Either he cared nothing about what others thought – which was truly a rare situation, while bitter men were not – or he thought himself a man above such laws of propriety, and any law, for that matter.

She took no pleasure in wrangling him back in, not after his outburst, but she saw it as her duty to watch over their group. Although, if he weren't Rahab's uncle, she may not have waited for the snows to separate him from the rest. Poison could spread, the Bedouins had warned her.

You should come back, now.

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POSTED: Sun Mar 03, 2019 10:25 pm

He showed her his teeth. Age had begun to leave its mark on him. Marlowe felt this every day. His leg told him when the weather changed, and oh it was happening all the time now. Winter was a bad time to travel, but the ship needed to sail before the storms came, and so their timing was miserably designed.

It was a mean smile. I know, it said, and a great terrible many other spiteful thoughts.

He shrugged the cape about his shoulders to better move the hood's position. Beneath it, the pale scars on his face were mostly hidden. These covered his body, hidden as most were. Even his palms were covered.

Marlowe was still so desperate to hide.

We not gonna be able to cover much ground if this weather keeps up, he said as he began to fish around in the satchel hanging above his hip. He had spent too long in the jungle before coming north. The mountains had kept him fit, used to the weather, but they had lingered too long in the heat and the false sense of peace.

Bit by bit, he felt himself reconstructing.

I don't like being stuck like this too long. People notice, Marlowe offered, turning his distracted gaze towards the woody area near where they had settled.

User avatar
Luperci Every man has a price to charge and a price to pay. Take peace from the earth and make men slay each other. The Cursed
plead the fifth
hell is other people
the devil made me look