Like stubborn boys with big green eyes, we'll see everything

POSTED: Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:40 am

(482)

Thread Prompt: The pulley-boat to Isle Haute has been rebuilt! Without a permanent resident, the island has remained largely untouched. Now overgrown, the curious place has all sorts of opportunities for rediscovering what secrets it holds.

The journey had been admittedly jarring. Solace's decision to follow the convoy had been an impulse wrought by indignation. Even now he felt angry that he had to stoop to taking his fate into his own hands rather than his mothers offering it with honor, like the firstborn had been.

It didn't matter now. He was old enough, just as old as Absolution, and he could make this journey. Without the convoy, too.

It wasn't hard to survive. While they left to the academics to those they were capable of it, his mothers had taught all three children how to hunt. Quicksilver especially impressed the importance of the skill upon the trio. Solace could see why now; many prey escaped him, youthful mistakes made, but what he did catch left him feeling sated enough to travel. They may had been civilized, but they weren't above mortal coils.

Perhaps harder was being alone. Solace had grown used to being surrounded, whether by the familiar faces of the Outpost that he had grown alongside or the unfamiliar of the merchants and traders of the ports. Finding himself in the silence was unnerving. And terribly boring. He had no one to entertain and no one to entertain him. It gave him time to think, to reflect on the thoughts that brewed.

When he arrived at Salsola with dirty paws and a sharper mind, he decided he was a better man than he was when he left the Outpost. He made it by himself with no mother to coddle him or a fire to warm him or eyes to watch him as he slept. He needed none of that.

He was Bambino still and not Family yet. But all in due time.

There were other matters to attend to, like finding Absolution and giving him the terror of his life. Solace truly haunted his brother and it was too fun to simply give up the ghost.

His arrival had been quiet, crossing only a few Family. Mere formalities were made to clarify who the silver boy was and why he was here. Without pomp (to his disappointment) he was welcomed home and even given hints as to where to find his dark mother and brother. They had returned to the tower that his silver mother spoke so fondly of. A Witch's Point, she had called it. Dramatic. He liked it.

Solace strutted the dust paths of the Ruins openly as if he was walking down the streets of Portland. He had found the scent of his brother and he followed it like he was hunting prey. Indeed, there was a tower cloaked in thistle and honeysuckle, and underneath the powerful stench was his scent. Of course he inside on such a nice day, Solace thought cheekily.

Solace opened the door, cascading light through the opening and filling the dimly-lit parlor with sun. "Absolution!" he boomed obnoxiously.

Last edited by Solace D'Angelo on Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
shaking the wings of their terrible youths
Salsola
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Shannah

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POSTED: Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:35 pm

(540)

Plague had left early that morning, speaking of the herbs she would bring back and the tea she would brew for her son when she returned. “It will help you sleep without disturbance,” she said, pressing her lips to his forehead in a heartwarming gesture of maternal affection. Absolution, his eyes beginning to feel heavy from exhaustion, watched her leave without a word. All he could think about was how much she looked like the shadows in the nightmares he was haunted by when he did manage to enter true sleep.

He wondered if, given his coloring, he looked as ghostly as she did.

For a while, he sat in the reclaimed master bedroom, simply staring off at nothing, his head full of thoughts and ideas that soon grew to be too much for his exhausted body. The young man tried to sleep—even a little would do— then, though after thirty minutes had gone by he realized his efforts were in vain. It was odd, the way he felt so lethargic and yet still couldn’t manage to fall asleep, as if some force was keeping him awake against his will. Dread filled his chest, left his ribs aching when he breathed. He was upsetting himself with his own thoughts, ones of his siblings and his silver-colored mother and how dearly he missed them though he didn’t regret leaving Portland.

This would pass, he told himself—eventually, he would get used to his new home, his rightful home, and he would be able to sleep. He could only hope it would happen soon.

In the meantime, Absolution decided that he should busy himself with something, anything to get his mind off his own woeful existence. Looking over the parlor he now stood in, he figured there had to be something in it of Quicksilver’s that would interest him, keep his attention while he waited for Plague to return to him.

He wandered around the tower without direction, poking into the baubles his Mom had left behind when she moved to the outpost with his pregnant mother. There were books, a chest he could not open (though he certainly tried), and crystals he eyed with suspicion and disdain, among other things.

His eyes caught on something pallid in the dimly-lit study room on the second floor, not too far from where his darkling mother had left him. Upon closer inspection of the item, his eyes seemed to brighten ever so slightly, glistening green with interest. It was a cat’s skull, sun-bleached a warm white. “Curious,” he mumbled as he took the remains into his hands and made his way down into the first-floor parlor room. There, he sat on a chair and began to truly...admire the item for what it was.

And that was when the door swung open, an all too familiar voice calling out his name. Bewildered, the young man whipped his head around only for his eyes to go wide with disbelief.

“S-Solace? What the hell are you—” he cut off his startled cry, quickly connecting the dots in his head, and realizing what exactly his younger-by-minutes brother had done. A smile creeped upon his face, then, eerie—just like his mama’s.

“...Mama’s going to kill you. You know that, right?”

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Marcy
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POSTED: Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:38 pm

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It worked out perfectly that Absolution was, indeed, in the front room and not someplace hidden within the tower. He tried not to get too distracted but his eyes were still drawn around the room and away from his brother. They had only been separated for about two weeks while the room, all of Salsola, was new to him. The scents were faint but the cloth that hung on the walls smelled of Quicksilver. He was struck with a slight pang.

However, the bewildered look on Absolution's face made his lips twist and curl into a bastardly smile. He was silent as his brother made his exclamations though he raised a brow when he cut himself off. Speechless? he wanted to tease. But then he saw a darker smile creep onto Absolution's face. It was a strange thing, his smile. It was uncanny and didn't befit him.

But as Absolution said his thinly-veiled threat, or at least that's how it sounded to Solace, he just snorted and his grin stayed lively. "You would love that, wouldn't you? That way you can play with my skull too." He pointedly eyed at the cat bone he had in his clutches and snorted again. Only Abby found such fascination with dead things. It had long since stopped being disguising to the silver boy and became another quirky interest of his brother's.

"But I doubt Mama is gonna kill me." Solace walked in, leaving the door open behind him to keep the room lit. No doubt it was Absolution's doing that the room was so drab. The lurker probably liked creeping around in the dark. "She loves me too much," he said airily as he helped himself to one of the chairs in the room. A poof of dust that was lightly coating the cushion flew up.

Solace was sincerely unconcerned with Plague's ire. He had gotten away with many things before with only the lightest of consequences. A scolding was something he was no longer afraid of.

The boy propped his elbow on the arm of the chair and rested his cheek against his fist, green eyes twinkling. "A 'welcome home, brother, I missed you so much' would suffice, Abby."

shaking the wings of their terrible youths
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Shannah

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POSTED: Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:11 pm

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He had, in reality, barely touched the tower’s decor. Though he disliked the occult-related items strewn about here and there, it felt wrong to disturb them so soon after his arrival. After all, they still smelled of Quicksilver. He figured that was why Plague had chosen to seek shelter here and not in the previous residence she had mentioned in passing, so she could feel closer to the wife she had left behind. They would not be separated for much longer, he felt.

With Solace’s unexpected disappearance and subsequent arrival, there was no doubt in his mind that their sister, sweet little Jubilee, would grow stir-crazy and seek to join her brothers in a show of burning tenacity. And not wanting her daughter to travel alone, their silver mother would surely accompany her.

Soon, they would be together again. It was a nice thought, even if, originally, Absolution had left the outpost for the sole purpose of getting away from his family and establishing himself as his own person. Separate from his parents, from his siblings, from Solace, because despite their shared blood and the instinctual need to care about his well-being, he was a tiresome presence in his life.

When all Absolution sought was rest, his brother was there to disturb him in every way one could possibly imagine. Whether it was night or day, rain or shine, physically or verbally, the boy would find a way to pester him. It always angered him, as it did now, and maybe that was why Solace kept doing it—because he knew he could get a reaction.

“I would, actually, if it wasn’t so small,” he said, clicking his tongue. Black claws silently scraped against the collagen Absolution held in his hands, careful not to dig any unsightly grooves into it. He would keep the skull for himself, he decided, so that warranted him caring about its physical condition.

Absolution could only roll his eyes at the dismissiveness of his brother’s words, thinking it stupid of him to be so unconcerned with their mother’s reaction to his arrival. Posture all he want, he knew Solace trembled at Plague’s childhood tales of brutality, her ominous threats, and her unnerving stares just as much as he or Jubilee did. “It’s your funeral,” he muttered.

He leaned back, sinking further into his plush seat as the other boy sat elsewhere in the parlor, turning his attention back to the cat skull in his hands. “Bold of you to assume I missed you at all, Lacey.”

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POSTED: Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:46 pm

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I would, actually, if it wasn't so small. Solace huffed through his nose and his eyes crinkled as his grin broadened. "What are you, a size queen now? Sorry my skull doesn't meet your standards, you buzzard."

His opposite hand, the one that didn't support his head, drummed rhythmically against the chair as he stole a moment to glance around the room. It was certainly intended to be a parlor—there was no decent place to sleep, no beds or furs. He spotted the narrow staircase that must lead up to the upper flowers and he itched to rise from his seat to explore. However, Solace kept himself steady. He wasn't done bothering Absolution yet.

He gave a returning roll of his eyes at his funeral remark, and quipped back lightly under his breath, "Better be there or I'm gonna haunt you."

Then Absolution claimed that he didn't miss him. In mock shock, Solace lifted his hand to press his pale fingers against his chest. He was so aghast.

"Oh, you wound me, Abby," he mourned with a toothy smile. " I traveled so far, all by myself in the great northern wilderness, braving the Outside without a mother to babysit me," he said, bragging, "and in the end I cannot weasel one comforting word from my own blood brother. He only tells me he wouldn't even play with my skull. This world is unfit for me."

By now his hand was draped over his forehead. Oh, he was starting to feel faint. Solace quirked a grin and dropped the dramatics and straightened in his seat. "It wouldn't kill you to pretend that you missed me. Anyways.

"Please tell me you haven't holed yourself in here since you got here, because I want to know everywhere you've been. It'll save me time knowing what's interesting and what's not."

shaking the wings of their terrible youths
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Shannah

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POSTED: Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:07 pm

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Absolution kept his gaze fixed on the skull in his hands, lightly tracing a finger over the edge of one hollowed socket. Around him, the world seemed to blur, and soon even his brother’s voice was but a soft hum in the background. He stared into the blackened depths that had once held eyes and it was not long before he began to drift off from the waking world.

If it were not for his fear of waking up somewhere unfamiliar again, he would have allowed himself to fall asleep then. But as it were, his experience the night before had bothered him too much, and the mere thought of it happening again made his heart pound, his chest ache.

As if on cue, Absolution managed to jerk his head up in time to catch the end of his brother’s monologue. He furrowed his brows at what seemed to be a demand, his first instinct being to assert his rank of Family over his brother’s head. But he held his tongue, not seeing any point in getting himself worked up any further when the demand was not particularly insulting.

He let a silence fester between them as he sat up straight in his chair, hand still delicately clutched around his newly procured treasure, like it was a sort of anchor tethering him to this plane of existence. Others might think it odd, but he found that the trinket reminded him of his silvery mother. It had belonged to her not too long ago, after all.

“As if I’m going to help you in any way when you so boldly disobey our parents. You made it here on your own, you should be able to get a lay of the land just as well,” he said, his voice snide and self-righteous. A moment passed, however, and he continued despite himself. If he didn’t cooperate, he was sure his brother would simply continue to pester him.

“...I did hear word of a pulley-boat system being used to access one Isle Haute. I haven’t had the chance to check it out for myself yet, though.”

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POSTED: Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:49 pm

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Solace was comfortable with the silence. When his brother didn't immediately speak he did not worry about not getting the answers he wanted. They were a family of thinkers, contemplation; their thoughts were loud and it was easy for them to get lost in the sound.

Plague and her eldest son were of the brooding sort, while Quicksilver and her middle child had creeper-vines in their head. They were slow yet consuming thoughts that threatened to overwhelm them but they never showed it. Anxiety, Quicksilver had tried to explain once.

Yes, even little Solace was touched. But no one knew this, not even himself. His smile would never tell.

A grin quirked on his face at Absolution's rejection. Solace almost launched into another annoying spiel but less arrogant words came from his brother and his dark ears twitched with interest at what they heard.

"Isle Haute? Never heard of it," he said as if to dismiss it, as if its lack of proper notary left it worthless, or maybe as if Abby's interest made it dull by default. Perhaps that what Solace meant by weeding out what was worthwhile; anything that piqued his brother must have been boring.

However, he continued, "Maybe if you aren't too busy gathering dust, we can go check it out. At least I want to go look at the boat!"

shaking the wings of their terrible youths
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Shannah

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POSTED: Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:20 pm

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Strange as it might sound, Absolution and his brother were very different people, and yet, so very similar. It was something he thought about on occasion, when he was alone, not being harassed, and his mind drifted off. Though they both acted as if they detested each other, it was far from being the truth. The brothers cared for each other as brothers should, even if neither of them let this show openly. If someone should come for one of them, the other would surely come to their defense. It was only natural.

Tired eyes fell upon his brother’s silvery form, Absolution’s gaze finally wrenched from the skull in his hands. He shook his head, “I’m not surprised—I only heard of it myself a short while ago. It’s been uninhabited for some time now, apparently.” The young man stood up then, setting his new trinket down on a table for safe-keeping. He would come back for it later, after this little excursion.

“I wasn’t gathering dust, he said, scoffing. “But fine…we can go take a look at the place before mama returns. Both should be entertaining, I would wager.” There was a sense of condescension laced his smirk, then, evidently excited to see just how his mother would scold Solace for his disobedience.

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POSTED: Sat Jul 21, 2018 5:27 pm

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Solace gave a crooked little grin. "I think it'll only be entertaining if she manages to catch me," he challenged, sure of himself that he could somehow avoid the ire of his dark mother. He was already concocting some brilliant scheme in his mind, a wild goose-chase for the ages. It hardly obeyed the laws of reality and it would fail when the time would come. But Solace did not know this then and only focused on the moment.

"Lead the way, since you know more about it than I do." Even as he said that, Solace was first to walk through the still open door. The vegetation that surrounded the little pathway to the tower tickled his ears and he remarked, "This place is a little overgrown, don't you think? Do you think mom did this on purpose?" Quicksilver didn't seem one to have so much growth, but what did he know? The flowers were pretty, at least.

"What else have you heard about the isle? Why would they have a pulley there to begin with?"

shaking the wings of their terrible youths
Salsola
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Shannah

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POSTED: Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:32 pm

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Absolution rolled his eyes, still entirely unamused by his brother’s usual overconfidence. Lithe hands plucked a leather satchel resting nearby as he followed Solace out of the tower, ducking his head low to avoid the fleeting grasp of the overgrowth that curled around their mother’s former home.

Ahead of him, Solace bombarded him with questions, all of which he had no answers to. He gave a great sigh and quickly listed off his responses, adjusting the way his bag hung from his shoulder, “I wouldn’t be surprised, not much else, and I have no earthly idea— maybe it’s to, I don’t know, get to the isle itself?” The last of his words were a wisecrack, though this was unclear as his voice was unchanged from its usual deadpan tone.

And like all the times before their arrival to Salsola, this banter went on for far too long.

↟↟↟

He was not unfamiliar with docks. There were plenty of them in Portland and often he would take solitary walks there when his family was elsewhere in the settlement, trading as they usually did. The smell of sea salt was somewhat of a comfort then, the way it lingered in his nose and how he could almost taste it on his tongue. The flavor of it gave him a short burst of energy, jolting him to life when he thought he might pass out from exhaustion where he stood.

At the end of the dock there was a large bell and with it, a small boat that was oddly stationary. He could see no cable from where he stood, and after a few moments of inspecting what would be their transportation, he came to realize the cable was under the water itself. “Interesting,” he said, humming in thought. After a short pause, Absolution turned to his brother, arms crossed, head quickly swiveling to look at the isle they could see in the distance.

“I think,” he began, “we’ll have to pull ourselves across the channel. I heard there used to be a slave to do that for us, but I don’t think there are slaves here anymore.” It was a shame, really.

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