[M] Forget about your house of cards

For Dove :P

POSTED: Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:12 am

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.


Word Count → 393 :: Optime Form -- Set at the mansion fire pit. Pardon the terrible post. My brain is mush. Dropping an [M] on this for drug use.

That night, every bone in Redtooth's body ached with a previously unknown intensity. It had been a long, grueling day of cutting the lumber he needed for Inferni's repairs. Not only did he have to slave over his rough, saw cut boards with a clumsy wood planer in hand and a painfully arched back, he then had to haul the finished boards to the storeroom of the mansion for safekeeping. He hoped that there would soon come a day when all this repair work was behind him. After all, he was a farmer, not a handy-man.

After taking a brief detour to grab his satchel from the shelf in his corner room, Redtooth made a bee-line toward the mansion's fire pit. It had caught his eye a few days prior, but he had yet to find the time to enjoy the amenities the mansion offered. He loaded the stone basin with some dry kindling and scrap wood. Then, he set the pile alight with a match. It started as a small ember, but soon the whole thing went up in flames.

It reminded him of the bonfires back home in Homestead. Sometimes, he and his brothers would tend the fire in front of their small hut all night instead of sleeping. Their little fireside chats were especially common during the winter when the temperature dropped. But, Redtooth was far from home.

He took a seat on a nearby log and he watched the flame flicker and dance. He reached into the satchel that he had sat on his lap, and he pulled out a small bundle of fabric. The same one that he had showed Vicira when they had met. Redtooth unraveled the little cloth bundle, revealing three small nuggets of dried bud. It was all of his remaining Cannibis. And though he was running short, Redtooth believed this to be as good of a time as any to relax and unwind with a little chemical help.

Also, from his satchel, Redtooth produced a thin piece of paper that he then set on his lap. He took a single nugget from his stash and rewrapped the rest. It took some work, but the dry bud broke apart in his hand. He took his rolling paper in his other hand and he began to slowly, carefully craft a joint.

Last edited by Andrew Greygrief on Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
We are what we are. Get in the goddamn car.
Salsola
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Ryan
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POSTED: Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:54 pm

She was torn whether to stick to her roots and sense of comfort and remain in the woods for the remainder of winter as she and River Lark had initially insisted, or to throw up her arms and take up residence in one of the various buildings or the mansion on territory grounds. Dove much preferred the outdoors—the open, unwalled, unrestricting outdoors, where one could escape into any direction—but the winters of Nova Scotia proved more formidable than what she had weathered as a toddler in the northern United States. She hadn't her siblings or mother or pudginess to nestle up with anymore.

Could she have ever pictured herself here, like this, one horrible year later?

River Lark was ultimately indifferent to the cold; he was not so thin or stringy as she was, and spent more time socializing away from their nest near Folly Lake than she did. Dove could not shake the cold from her bones and had set out to walking, hoping to warm up as she went.

Near the mansion she smelled a fire and, wary as always, investigated. She found a fire pit and a stranger seated at it, the flames under control, and though she hated to be caught up in conversation, the Reverie had grown tired and exhausted from shivering and approached. Hugging her arms, she announced herself by looking at him sharply across the fire, then all too suddenly dropped to her knees with hands held over the fire.

"Hi," she said, her voice trembling with her shivers, and her eyes avoiding his. "I'll only be a minute."

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POSTED: Mon Jan 09, 2017 4:09 pm

Word Count → 281 :: Optime Form

He pinched the paper and rolled one end over the other. Carefully holding both sides with same gentle touch that a father would hold his child, Redtooth lifted the nearly finished joint to his outstretched tongue so he could dampen the paper's edge. With that, his creation was finally complete. He looked upon his prize with love and adoration, and he smiled a prideful smirk. Now, all he had to do was spark it up. He lowered his joint, setting it in his lap as he looked to the fire.

But there, sitting at the other end of the flickering flame, was someone else. Redtooth's brow furrowed in surprise. Surely, she hadn't been there before. Soon, she spoke. "You're fine," he said. "Actually, I really like the company." It had been a long day, and he figured that it would be nice to have someone to talk to.

In the quiver of her voice, Redtooth could hear just how cold the stranger was. Having already warmed up from the fire, Redtooth slipped off his ratty old jacket arm by arm. "Looks like you could use this more than I can," Redtooth observed. He balled his jacket up and he tossed it over the fire toward the shivering woman. It landed on the ground beside her with a muffled plop. "I'm, uh -- I'm gonna need that back eventually though." It was, after all, his only article of clothing. And during the winter, it was a life saver.

Then, after a beat, Redtooth picked up the joint that he had previously set in his lap. He raised it for the stranger to see and asked, "You smoke?"

We are what we are. Get in the goddamn car.
Salsola
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Ryan
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POSTED: Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:03 am

Clearly the stranger by the fire hadn't seen her coming by the look on his face, and instantly became a scapegoat in Dove's mind for the problems around and outside the borderlines. She made a note to visit the ravens with extra treats the next day—how they'd get by without the birds' aid in scouting, she didn't know.

But Dove did not voice any of these thoughts, for she knew at the same time they were things born out of and shaped irrationally by fear and doubt. The Reverie did not look at him when he accepted and invited her company and she hoped to keep it that way, but then found a coat flung beside her offered out of graciousness. She didn't seem certain what to do with it at first, knowing taking it would be a commitment to dialogue, but her body was exhausted trying to make up from the shivering and so she pulled it loosely over her shoulders. It was far too big and she huddled inside it, staring into the fire.

"Thanks," she said.

She found herself surprised and grateful she had not fled when a joint was offered to her, and internally scolded herself for not detecting its smell over the fire, just as he had not detected her presence briefly before. Without missing a beat Dove nodded and reached for it as a child might reach for their favorite toy, and there was no hesitation involved in lighting it on the fire then sucking in from it deep. How long had it been? Two months, three? Her supply had run out before Saffron died; they had been using up what was left of Gust's when Mistral and Achilles happened upon them.

She had grown up in an incessant cloud of smoke, and Dove seemed to settle down instantaneously as good feelings of home and family returned to her. But when she opened her eyes they were gone, and all that was left was the snow and dark winter and a man whose name she didn't know.

"I... didn't know I needed that." Dove handed the joint back. Words came easier to her with the drug, she remembered, but her tone and had not changed in full. She gestured at the mansion with a flick of the head. "You live here? I'm Dove."

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POSTED: Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:43 am

Word Count → 244 :: Optime Form

She slipped the jacket over her shoulders. It was ill fitting upon her, but it was the least Redtooth could do. The woman looked like she was about to freeze to death. Now her troubles were far behind her and she was drowning in the fabric of a warm, forest green military jacket. She then shuffled and made her way toward Redtooth's direction. She sat nearby and took the joint from his outstretched hand without any hesitation. Redtooth liked that. She knew what she wanted. There was no, oh, I shouln't, or any other verbal gymnastics. She knew what she wanted, and she took it.

The stranger lit the joint on the fire and she took a long, deep drag. She offered the joint back as she let the smoke from her lungs. Redtooth's hand met her's briefly as he took the joint back. "I'm new around here. Yeah," he answered. "My name's Redtooth." The joint rested between two fingers as he gestured toward the corner of the mansion. "I live in the corner room over there."

He lifted the end of the joint to his mouth. He shut his eyes and he took a long drag. The thick taste of burning cannabis filled his mouth. He held his breath, keeping the smoke in his lungs for as long as he could. "It's got blankets," he wheezed hoarsely before letting all the smoke out with a light cough.

We are what we are. Get in the goddamn car.
Salsola
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Ryan
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POSTED: Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:01 am

Redtooth. Nouns and adjectives, simple names, Juniper names. Her father, her siblings and herself were named in kind, albeit with gentler terminology. "Redtooth" sprung images of bloodied fangs and drawn lips to a snarl, neither of which seemed to appropriately brand the man before her according to first impressions.

The name Dove didn't brand her very well either, though. There was a cruel joke made each time her brother earnestly called her Winter, and Dove sincerely hoped the joke never spread.

The Reverie settled into her shoulders, warmed by smoke and fire and coat alike, her muscles relaxing to levels they had not reached in several weeks, perhaps months. Despite it, she noted that residual despair clung on, a depression she could not shake even when the circumstances righted themselves. She looked with hooded eyes into the fire a time, thinking herself as numb and cold on the inside as she was in her fingertips and toes.

"I'm okay. Thanks." Small as it would have been, it was best she took on no debts. Developed no lasting friendships. She did not know how long she would stay with Inferni, and hated to make it harder to leave when she did. "My brother and I are out by the lake near where all the ravens are. It's cold, but we'll be okay when I finish my sister's blanket."

A part of her didn't want to. A part of her wanted Saffron to emerge from the ocean, draw breath and take up her knitting again.

Dove nodded at the joint. "My dad grows that stuff. I have a little with me from home." She hugged her knees a little closer as if to lock inside her person every inclination to say I miss home. "Where'd you get it?"

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POSTED: Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:17 pm

Word Count → 309 ::

She politely shirked his offer away, pushing his kindness to the wayside. Redtooth shrugged in reply and said, "I mean, it really isn't any trouble. But, you know -- if the coat's enough, the coat's enough." His old, ugly jacket had been his only friend in the harsh Canadian Winter. Apart from his satchel full of various substances (mind altering and otherwise), it had been his only possession, and it had always been enough for him. However, that wasn't to say that he didn't enjoy the frills of life in the D'Neville Mansion.

Already, he could feel a creeping, yet pleasant fog settle over him. He leaned back and smiled as the effects of the cannabis began to kick in almost immediately. It felt like his entire body was humming -- it was as if he was hyper aware of the vibrations of all the individual atoms that made up his body. It was strange. It was strong. He lowered the joint and offered it back to Dove with an outstretched arm.

"I, uh -- I won it actually," he explained. "Played a game of dice with some guy down south. He put his weed up as his wager, and I offered the tobacco that I grew." In retrospect, it had been dumb to risk everything that he had to bargen on a game of chance... but, it worked out in the end. Surprisingly. "I don't know how to grow it -- that's what I mean to say," he continued. His thoughts were scattered. "I grow tobacco instead."

He paused. "Or, I did..." he added. His brow scrunched as if he was lost in thought for a moment. "I haven't planted anything since Homestead." Which led Redtooth to his next question. "Where you from?" he asked. "You ain't from around here, are you?"

We are what we are. Get in the goddamn car.
Salsola
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Ryan
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POSTED: Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:05 pm

"The coat's enough," she said, gratitude in her voice but an apathy in her eyes. She'd thanked him twice already and stifled a moment's irritation; for a moment it was like she was home with the Junipers, listening to them talking in circles while she grew tired of repeating herself.

Was the weed from home stronger than whatever Redtooth had? It'd barely made a difference. When the joint was offered to her again she took it, pulled perhaps a little deeper this time, and returned it to him without comment. Her brows raised when he explained he'd won it and preferred to grow tobacco instead.

"Ah. Cool," Dove said, detached, though she made for a quizzical look when he mentioned Homestead. "That sounded kind of homesick."

When prompted about her home she replied flatly, "A pack of flower-nomads pretty far from here. Long story." If that wasn't implication enough that she didn't want to go into details, Dove wasn't sure what would have sufficed.

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Lin
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POSTED: Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:26 pm

Word Count → 264 ::

The joint was then returned to Redtooth's outstretched arm. He did not yet raise it to his lips, but he let his arm lay slack against his lap. His shoulders rolled upward in a hapless shrug. "Yeah," he replied. "I guess it kinda did." There was a part of his heart that would always yearn for Homestead. It had been inexplicably hard to leave it all behind. Redtooth thought often of his brothers. He also thought of his mother -- and sometimes, when loneliness became too all encompassing to bear with a fraudulent smile, he thought of Sarah. But those thoughts only served to drive him deeper into himself when they inevitably arose.

It was now that those thoughts arose through the fog. However, there were things that Redtooth would not willingly acknowledge; his own loneliness being one of them. His smile faltered, like a bird flying with a broken wing. He looked down. "Maybe sometimes I am," he continued in a roundabout way of saying, I miss my family. He sighed, lifting the joint to his mouth to take a long drag.

Redtooth wasn't the most perceptive man, nor was his current state doing him any favors. However, had he not felt suddenly wistful, he would have assailed Dove with questions. Instead, Redtooth simply fell silent for a moment. After a long beat Redtooth said, "You don't have to talk about it if you don't want to." He was curious, of course -- he had never heard of Flower-Nomads before and it sounded pretty interesting. But he would not pry.

We are what we are. Get in the goddamn car.
Salsola
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Ryan
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POSTED: Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:49 pm

Whether it was nostalgia or bad memories Dove did not know, but she witnessed something get the better of him for a few brief seconds. A wistful look in the eyes, a daze of surfacing memories, a shrug like defeat or surrender, each in slow-motion sequence with long span to think and observe with gratitude to the drug in her lungs. His second comment confirmed it: Like Dove, Redtooth was less a wanderer and more a stray far from a place still defined as home. What was holding him back from returning, though, she hoped were better circumstances than her own.

He didn't go into details, though her curiosity was piqued. But neither had she about her own home. She didn't want to—she really didn't want to. But perhaps the sooner she did, the sooner they could move onto something else. Homestead. Anything.

"Juniper Peace. It's..." Her hands raised just so, fingers moving, manually adjusting invisible words between her palms. "It's a moving pack. Pretty small. They just want to live off the land and take in everything. They don't want to hurt anybody."

There was a long, increasingly weighty pause, and with it the furrow of her brows drew more and more until the Reverie read an overwhelming frustration and disgust.

"They're all stupid and going to get themselves killed. My mom, my dad, Gust, Mint..." She closed her eyes and inhaled deep. Her features resigned to a familiar placidity, and her tone went with it. "I don't know if it's a blessing or a curse me and River are here."

It felt like a curse. Ignorance, however dangerous, had been a blissful thing.

She drew in the coat warmer around herself and didn't look at him. "Your turn."

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Lin
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