at death's door

Dove

POSTED: Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:30 am

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It hadn't been that long ago since he first came across her scent in the Mansion. Oriole often walked the halls, fixing what he could with his meager knowledge, cleaning as he went. Inferni lacked a Chamberlain and Oriole was determined to pick up the mantle even in his sorry state. His eyes itched, his nose flowed, and his appetite was slim to none. Versace saw that he was fed, however, despite his protests. His aunt seemed determined to fuss over anyone who so much as crossed her path. Her "nephew" was not exempt. The bundle in his hands was from her as well, wrapped in leaves the meat was cooked and fragrant.

He followed Dove's familiar scent down the hall leading up to her room where he hesitated. Much like the first time he stood here he debated turning back. But clutching the bundle in his hands he set his jaw and resolved himself to approach. He raised a fist and knocked on the door frame.

Dove? He called, hidden from view. He wasn't about to force his presence on her if she didn't want him there. Are- are you there? His voice sounded oddly hushed. It's brassy tone was somewhat husky at the low volume, more of a man's voice now. I have food.

Last edited by Oriole de l'Or on Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
Oriole de l'Or

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POSTED: Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:28 pm

In lapses of consciousness she listened to ailing cries from the stables just beyond her window. She listened to the rain and the murmurs of clanmates rushing to and from the horses' aid. Coughing. Wheezing. Vomiting. How are you feeling, they asked each other. Have you eaten? Have you slept? You don't look so good.

I don't look so good, Dove had thought to herself.

Harosheth had been by once, somewhere in the earlier blur of days, long before word carried that she herself had fallen ill. Someone else had checked in on Dove, too. Was it Conrad? It must have been. They said something about Salvador—about Pilot. She couldn't remember much more than that.

Maybe I'm dying, she thought. Maybe this is it.

Cold and hot and shivering all at once, she pulled at the furs and the knitted blanket of Saffron Reverie and shifted her weight off the bedsores on her bones. Dove curled into herself and listened for a time to the whistles and wheezing of her breaths. In a haze and stupor she revisited earlier considerations that she deserved this, that she had been cause for River Lark's disappearance, that she was the reason her family had been sundered apart and her little brother likely dead. She wasn't stupid. She'd known he had to be dead.

She wished for water, but she preferred thirst to effort. To visibility. To shame.

Oriole came for her; gods only knew why. The rapping upon the doorframe startled her conscious yet for a time she said nothing and willed him away. Despite it, Dove knew he was not one to dismiss so easily, and so from beneath the covers she creaked, "I'm not hungry."

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Lin
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POSTED: Thu Jun 08, 2017 5:38 pm

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There beside the door's battered frame he stalled catching the audible wheezes of her breathing, waiting for something; an invitation, a sign? Maybe he shouldn't have come here at all.

She kept him waiting for what seemed an eternity of fidgeting and anxiety while opposing thoughts battled for control of his busy mind. She probably didn't want to see him now. He thought of dropping the package at the door and leaving, not so much as taking a look inside. And then she answered.

He jumped and almost dropped the package, hesitating before he slowly sidled out from his hiding place. Me neither. He rubbed his stomach with his knuckles looking at anything but her, mostly the floor. But we need to eat. My aunt makes me, so I guess I don't really have a choice. He shrugged.

Anyway, she uh packed me something, so I thought...maybe, we could share? He chewed the inside of his cheek until he finally worked up the courage to lift his gaze to her face.

Even under the blanket she looked small, which was funny because to him she didn't seem small at all. Not how she acted, or how she spoke. She intimidated him in good health and just as much now, however crazy that sounded. He could tell from her eyes and gaunt face that she'd gotten it too. She really didn't look too good...

Last edited by Oriole de l'Or on Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
Oriole de l'Or

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POSTED: Tue Jun 20, 2017 7:53 pm

Share? That would be a waste.

The thought of food turned her stomach, though it was empty and yearning all at once. Curled into a ball beneath the sheets, Dove shuffled enough to peer at him without sitting up, and considered him through hollowed eyes. Her mind wandered as he spoke, and her eyelids drooped; her focus was simply not there. Somewhere in the periphery of her consciousness the Reverie was made aware of this fact, but hadn’t the mind the combat it.

“Okay,” said Dove. It wasn’t clear whether she had forgotten what he’d said, or just hadn’t the energy to fight him. She pushed skeletal fingers and skeletal palms to the mattress and pushed herself up, slowly, much like a paper lifting just slight with a curling breeze. In Saffron’s blanket she huddled there, seated, looking out at him with hollowed eyes and gaunt cheeks and matted hair sticking in every direction.

She opened and closed her mouth a few times, trying and failing to purge the dryness. “Aren't you sick too?”

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POSTED: Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:47 pm

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He still hadn't entered the room properly, stood in the door frame he fidgeted awkwardly. He was scratching his side when she answered and then everything stopped.

Oriole jerked his head up fast. Too fast. His head swam causing his eyes to water. When he leaned backwards for support he about fell through the empty frame. Fortunately, his hands were quick enough to stop his fall and he clutched himself to the door frame. His cheeks were aflame now and it wasn't the fever.

He took some time to collect himself before turning her way and crossing the room to set the package down beside her. There he bent and undid the twine, the leaf wrapping falling to the sides. He held it out to her to select what she wanted then picked up something for himself. I'm okay, he assured her, determined since the start to suffer his illness stoicly. It was just a bump in the road, besides he had so much more to occupy his time. He sniffled.

Have you seen Haroseth yet? He asked, stealing a glance at her through the corner of his eye. They've turned the ballroom into a sickbay. You should go, he wanted to say. He just wasn't sure she wanted to hear it. He was still standing beside the mattress, torn between the desire to sit and the notion of it being too forward.

Last edited by Oriole de l'Or on Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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POSTED: Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:14 pm

He stumbled, and she watched nearly detached as it happened; only after he caught himself and recovered did it occur to Dove that Oriole was more ill than he let on, and that her reflexes had long since given up on her. With flattened ears the Reverie watched him cross the room with the package, expecting him to collapse again. She expected the fragrance of the unwrapped meat prepared for them might stir together her appetite, but the smell seemed salty and flavorless as if she had eaten it each day of her life, and Dove drew back from the offer and reconsidered.

If only to placate him, she frowned and tore away a meager piece of meat. Dove made space on the mattress and motioned him to it, and looked at the morsel in her fingers as Oriole settled himself in.

“I'd rather stay here. You should see her, you don't look well.” Idle, she squeezed and separated strands of meat between her fingers. “How bad is it out there?”

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POSTED: Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:50 pm

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If Dove noticed his stumbling she didn't let on. She sat there passive, watching but not reacting. In a way it was a relief, but the implications were damning. That's why he insisted she take the tender strips of his aunt's cooking. Even after she picked at it he held it out wordlessly waiting for her to take more. It wasn't in his nature to force. When his hand hovered a little too long he selected his own and set it aside.

Just like before he hesitated beside the bed even after she made him room. His lightheadedness quickly changed his mind and he sank down into the mattress facing out. His good manners and piousness didn't allow for anthing more. I'm uh, I'm alright. I just got ahead of myself there. He shrugged. Like his father, Oriole's work ethic was already strong and growing. Something as silly as a sniffle wasn't going to hold him back.

It's bad. The animals are getting sick, too. Horses, even Dad's raven's gotten sick. He lifted the strip of meat to his lips. A whiff was enough to dissuade his stomach, but he took it in anyways to set a good example. He couldn't savor it in his state and soon swallowed the piece whole.

Last edited by Oriole de l'Or on Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
Oriole de l'Or

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POSTED: Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:55 am

“From here, I can hear people going in and out of the stables constantly. Poor things...” She couldn’t stand to think of the horses, let alone any other simple creature affected by so severe an illness. They hadn’t the consciousness to grasp what was happening to them, and if they were anything like the occasional sick mules and horses from Juniper, they likely stopped eating without the mental capacity to understand how worse it created their condition to be.

Dove looked long and hard at the morsel of meat she’d picked from his plate and strung apart in her hands, uneaten. With shame she put it into her mouth and chewed it, so tasteless on her malnourished tongue that her gag reflex nearly kicked in.

“There’s an older raven, grayish with lots of tatters. If he gets sick too, I don’t think he would make it.” Dove would learn in the weeks to come that the ravens were comparatively untouched by the onset of illness, and celebrate with a wide grin the survival of the old veteran she’d grown to admire. For now, however, she dreaded his fate more than she dreaded her own. ”If you see him out there, could you tell me how he looks? I call him Pilot. I saw it in a book once about flying machines.”

The Sciens breathed in deep, held it to settle her stomach, and looked at him as she exhaled. ”How are they treating this in the ballroom? Did Harosheth make a remedy?”

all the colors mix together to gray
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Lin
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POSTED: Thu Jul 06, 2017 7:38 pm

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Yeah, poor things. He stole a long look at her, so small and bony beneath the blanket. Who did she have to look after her, her brother was gone. No dads or aunts. The Clan took care of their own, but fragile pale Dove didn't seem to mix all that much. Oriole wanted to help her, but beyond food he wasn't sure what else he could do. And despite it all it was the horses and birds that Dove spoke of even as her own body withered.

He was glad to see she'd finally eaten something, little though it was. Feeling the same revulsion he tore himself off another chunk hoping she'd once again do the same. Just a piece, just one more- please.

Pilot, huh? Yeah, I'll keep an eye out for him. He didn't read much outside of practical topics: books about building things, fixing things, fighting and warfare, the Bible (of course), but it piqued his interest all the same. Flying machines? It sounded like fiction, at least they were now. There was nothing left of the humans save their bones and the metal contraptions and crumbling buildings they left behind.

Uh, well. It was never a good sign when Oriole's hand met the back of his neck. I don't think there's a remedy, persay. Just some food and some herbs and stuff to help with the symptoms. Mostly it's a quarantine to make sure no one else gets sick. Frowning Oriole lowered his head as if he were about to tell a secret. Last I heard Haroseth wasn't doing well either, and she's pretty old now... It felt conspirational to speak of her like that but it was worry that furrowed his brow. He liked Haroseth, he wasn't sure what the Clan would do without her and he wasn't about to consider it.

Oriole didn't speak again until sometime later, preferring the dark cloud of Haroseth's health to fade from their minds and hearts. When he did speak it wasn't about illness or even Inferni at all. It was the book Dove mentioned earlier. What were they like, the flying machines I mean?

He couldn't imagine how they worked or what they even looked like, he'd never seen one before. He'd never even been away from Inferni to see one, rusted and decaying as they were. Oriole listened attentive and thoughtful as she explained, offering an 'ah', or 'wow' where appropriate and asking questions. It was nice to take his mind off things and he liked listening to Dove. They'd never spoken this much before and he was glad of her company, despite everything else.

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