In hell I'll be in good company

P. Mateo | Searsport

POSTED: Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:08 am

Searsport was growing more familiar by the day and, despite the winter wind's best efforts, they were getting by well enough. They were still alive, at any rate, and there had been no evidence – not a sight, not a sniff – of the self-righteous thugs who had been chasing them across the country. With any luck, they had lost them by coming north, up into territory that was as bitter and unforgiving as her heart had long grown to be.

In the meantime, while they waited – either for the law to catch up with them or for the dust to settle at last – Evelyn was hellbent on surviving. With her burn scars and her blind eye and her small stature, it was more effective to leave the hunting and the trapping to the boys. But the fire-kissed coyote wasn't without strengths of her own and here, in the closest thing to a town square Searsport seemed to have, was were she flexed them.

With her hood draw, tattered ears poking through the holes at the top, Evelyn watched the passing Luperci as she sat, clutching her cloak around her thin, narrow shoulders. She scrutinized everyone as they passed – seadogs and shipwrights, thieves and thugs, poets and paupers – and waited for someone to come along who fit the bill for her purposes. Like the old fool she had taken the blanket from, The Vicar was looking for someone desperate or innocent or just downright stupid – anyone she could bleed for useful items with minimal effort.

For, though she did not doubt she could work her skills on more suspicious folk, it simply did not do to put in a lot of work for a less attainable reward. Evelyn was, and always had been, an opportunist. She wouldn't shirk her duties, if there was work to be done, but when it came to trade and safety and survival, she was only being smart.

Adjusting her weight to keep the blood flowing, Evelyn stared out into the passing residents and visitors of Searsport. When her eyes – one milky in death and the other vibrantly alive – caught sight of a bright-eyed man with the bushiest eyebrows she had ever seen in a Luperci, The Vicar felt a familiar composure wash over her. "You, sir!" she called out, jerking her chin up to him with her arms still wrapped in her cloak. "Seems to me you got an eye for special things."

Unveiling a single, thin arm from beneath her cloak, Evelyn held up a small vial of clear liquid between the bandaged digits of her thumb and index finger. "Got just th' thing for you."

[WC — 446]


Loners
Coyote
User avatar
Mandi
Little Bandit

POSTED: Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:39 pm

Mateo had hesitated for a long time before finally making the trek into Searsport. It reminded him too much of the life that he had left behind (Tiamat would have said that he had abandoned it) and for that he was deeply ashamed. Even from this distance he could make out the tops of the tall-ships that sometimes crowded the bay, and he pined for the Golden Hind for the first time in weeks.

He wandered on foot, leaving Ruckus to mind the horses. The boy seemed more comfortable with this, as the close proximity of so many luperci had the boy nervously twitching – his two-toned eyes nervous despite the faux confidence he usually exuded. Ruckus had a personality that was too large for his thin body – and though his arms were marked with stories he was loathe to reveal anything of his past to the nobleman.

Mateo had departed with his hands hidden deep in his pockets, his violet gaze eager to observe the luperci that he passed along the stony path. A woman caught his attention almost immediately – her flame-red hair cascading over her shoulders in waves of fire. He gulped, ignoring the way she grinned at him before skittering further forward. He could hear her tinkling laughter as if it were made of chimes, and he could feel his cheeks go warm.

There were others too – burly men with wiry hair and eyes as cool as stone. They guarded certain doorways and blocked twisting alleyways – but Mateo ignored them and followed the flow of the other wolves. He paused sometimes to inspect wares that were offered to him before carrying on, his lips twisted into a resigned smile.

Perhaps Ruckus had been right to stay with the horses.

A woman suddenly sprung from the sidelines to interact with him, a hood gathered up loosely so that her face peeked up at him from shadows. She had large ears that marked her as a coyote, and one eye that was richly orange and the other dead and gone. Bandages twisted about her muzzle, and when she spoke, he swore he could make out the edges of a burn.

Mateo felt compelled to stop for her and dipped his head curiously as she began to speak.

”Who, me?” Mateo straightened, running a hand through his thick curls with a smile.

He squinted, ”What is it?”

The Troupe
Minstrel
User avatar
Amanda
Luperci

POSTED: Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:30 pm

As her eyes held their ground over his unblemished face, with its thick brows and bright eyes, Evelyn found herself wondering how some folk managed to survive for as long as they did. She watched him run his fingers through his lavish locks, his digits disappearing beneath layers of healthy fur, and felt the stirrings of envy claw up from the depths of her heart. Had she folded the hood of her cloak down away from her head and revealed her own mane, she wondered if this child of summer (for, with his sweet smile and clear eyes, that was what he reminded her of) would consider how lucky he was to have made it this far unscathed.

"Yes, you," she confirmed, though it hardly felt necessary to do so to the hardened coyote. Were her eyes turned upon any other sorry sap in this waste of a town? No. Evelyn handed the vial to the Summer Child and sucked on a tooth, the sound short and sharp. She fancied herself a damn decent performer if the need called for one, though she would be lying if she said that it didn't suck the life out of her whenever she had to fake a smile or encourage effervescence into the usual emotionless tone in her voice.

Unhappily, she pasted a smile on her lips. "That, my good sir," she began, watching him carefully. That old fool she had filched a blanket, jerky, and some fishing hooks from might prove easier, but The Vicar rarely backed down from a challenge. "Is health an' vitality in a bottle. Got any aches? Consider 'em history. Need a bit of brawn? That'll do ya." Lord, how she hated the way her cheeks burned when she smiled. "Why don't you tell me what you're lookin' for, son," she said with fake charm. "An' I'll tell you if it'll do ya any good."

Tugging her shawl around her narrow shoulders, Evelyn Escuella fell silent but never took her eyes away from his fair face.

[WC — 344]


Loners
Coyote
User avatar
Mandi
Little Bandit

POSTED: Sun Jan 27, 2019 3:09 am

Despite all of the effort that Mateo put into trying not to look, each time the womans attention was taken he was curiously peering at the bandage that lay wrapped about her muzzle. She was a coyote made up of layers; a deep hood that had her ears pricked through it, a thick scarf that wound its way around her throat – and he swore he could see more bandage peeking above the folds of her garment. Her eyes were pretty and flashy – and smoky tendrils of hair gathered to one side of her face each time she moved.

She picked him out of the crowed easily and herded her toward him, and as he dug his hands deep into his pockets she peaked his interest as she thrust a tall bottle toward him. Fearful of dropping it he tugged his hands out of his pockets and balanced the thing carefully, turning it in his hands to inspect it as she spoke. Her voice had a southern twang to it, and Mateo wondered where she had come from – for each time he turned the bottle she was gleefully there explaining what it was.

”Uh…” It was a lot of information to take in.

”You mean to say this… cures everything?” His large brows rose curiously, though there was a dubious set to the tilt of his mouth, ”What’s in it?”

His eyes widened suddenly, ”Is that why you have so many bandages?”

”An old man in my Troupe… he always goes on about his lumbago. I wonder if this would help him?”

The Troupe
Minstrel
User avatar
Amanda
Luperci

POSTED: Sun Jan 27, 2019 3:17 pm

Disadvantaged as she was from the heat and the flames that had eaten away half her face and claimed the sight of her right eye, The Vicar did not catch the boy when he stole glances at her face. But that hardly mattered. They all looked, everyone. What would have made him any different? She assumed that he wasn't, and so she assumed that he looked, too.

In the beginning, after the terrible pain of her fresh burns had sunken down into her flesh, and then deep into her bones, and then deeper still – seeping into her marrow and spreading throughout her body like a cancer &ndsah; to become an ineradicable part of her for all the rest of the days she had left to run, she had cared about the way folk looked at her. Back then, when she was still getting used to the look of her own, new face – the way the skin was puckered and bald and warped; the way her eye was glossy and pale and dead; the way her ears were tattered and ragged and rotten – Evelyn had been hypersensitive to every glance and every gaze and every gape.

Even though Evelyn had always thought more highly of the skill involved in carefully weaving her words so that the result was innocuously persuasive, rather than overtly coercive, it still stung to know that she was no longer pretty.

But then, everyone who had known what she looked like before the fire was either dead or missing or running. And there had been little time to dwell too long on any of that because, by then, they were running too.

After she had grown accustomed to the look of her ruined face and her scarred arms and her patchy mane, and all that agonizing pain had become tired and dull; after she had hardened her heart and embraced her speechcraft and fortified her mettle; after she had chosen dignity over pity and confidence over weakness and life over death; after all their miles and their suffering and their losses, The Vicar no longer cared what stirred the minds of those gawking faces as their eyes looked upon her horrible face and blank eye.

In the end, unless they had something to offer her, they meant about as much to her as biting flies meant to a horse.

Her fire-hued eye flashed. "Now, I ain't heard them words come outta my mouth," she said with false humor in her voice and a gentle, upwards tilt on her dark lips. How awful it was for her, to pretend to be nice. "Hell, wouldn't have a need for all of this if it did." Pulling her bandaged arms from beneath her cloak, The Vicar rotated them briefly before she drew her hood down to give him the full, terrible look of the cruelty of fire's kiss. "Ain't got a cure for burns, just th' same as there ain't no cure for growin' old."

Flipping her hood back over her head, she gave the vial in the young man's hands a light tap with an index finger before she covered her arms again in her layers of inadequate warmth. "But just a little of that and th' pain is gone for good. Does for toothaches an' backaches an' headaches, too. So your ol' man's lumbago? Give him a swig and he can consider it history."

She breezed over the curiosity he expressed for the make-up of her little concoction without batting an eye, hoping to bury it beneath all the benefits that it had. "You'd like to help an old man out, now. Wouldn't you, son?" she asked in a bright voice that was a stark contrast to the darkness of her heart. Looking into his bright-eyed face, The Vicar was careful not to appear as though she was sizing him up. Though, in her mind, she sure as hell was considering what useful goods he might have to offer up for trade.

[WC — 677]


Loners
Coyote
User avatar
Mandi
Little Bandit

POSTED: Sun Jan 27, 2019 6:44 pm

In Onuba presentation had meant everything. In the land of his birth Mateo had been lucky to be born into such pristine bloodlines; his father the Majordomo of his town. He had been fitted in tunics that had matched his eyes and announced himself as a Saldeco the moment he had stepped into the Court. Here in Nova Scotia his name was a useless thing on his tongue, though he knew that Lilia and Rafael were out there somewhere, for he had smelt her once a year ago by the borders of something fierce and wild.

He had never found her.

Mateo had never struggled with his life – not like this bandaged woman had – though he had been lucky in that the life of propriety had not allowed him to nurse a certain arrogance that sometimes grew along with it. There were plenty of examples of this in Onuba – bulky rude Robles dogs who claimed the Court with their wide shoulders and bright eyes. Rita and Maribel had loved everything about The Court – the pomp, the wonderful way that words gave way to games and that connection gave power to their name.

It was something that Mateo had never been good at. He had instead allowed himself to be distracted by the beauty that surrounded him. He still remembered the first time that he had met Tiamat in the old cathedral while the others had taken part in the dancing and the drinking. She had struggled in the same way – a soul who had just never really fit in.

The deep hood reminded him of O’Brien, and for a brief moment he had himself drawing parallels between them – though was distracted by the way she tapped her nail against the glass bottle in his hand. She brought him back to the present and he felt his eyes raise to take in the confident expression on her face. She had a way of giving her words rhythm, and Mateo bobbed his head as she explained how the product would help good ol’ Sawyer Cook.

He wet his mouth, ”What are you looking for in trade?”

Mateo couldn’t help but wonder if she had come from the Coyote clan down south – the place had obviously been ravaged by fire, once. She had a history that was lined with fire – the blind eye blinking blankly at him as he considered what he had back with Ruckus that he could offer. He gestured with his nose at her, ”Come with me – lets see what I have to offer to you in exchange.”

The Troupe
Minstrel
User avatar
Amanda
Luperci

POSTED: Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:46 am

What was she looking for? Evelyn provided the bright-eyed moron with a measured and thoughtful look. There were a great many things that she wanted: safety and freedom from persecution; a world without wolves; a past that was not steeped in such tragedy and torment. But none of these things were realistic, let alone able to be traded for. They were pipe dreams; the sort of unattainable hopes and wishes that kept romantics and fools busy.

And The Vicar was neither of those things, so far as she was concerned.

"Bitter cold, this land is. A thick blanket or a warm fur would sure be nice," she suggested, shrugging the threadbare thing wrapped around her shoulders with dismay. Weapons, tools, food – anything practical and useful would be worth a vial of worthless, watered-down moonshine infused with an essence of juniper. "Now, I ain't greedy," she lied, her voice bright and sweet. "But what you hold there will make a new man outta your old friend," she reminded him, hoping to encourage him to use his own head to come up with something worth what she was selling.

Peering in through those lavender eyes, Evelyn imagined that she could just about see his mind working. She was getting clinching this deal now.

But she had absolutely no intention whatsoever to be lead away from this part of town, with its many eyes and its many ears to sound the alert should she need it, by a baby-faced, bright-eyed lad who might turn out to be a murderous beast in disguise. Evelyn sucked her tongue inward sharply from the back of her incisors and crafted her lie. "Afraid I can't do that, son," she replied with regret. "Been lured away with such promises before." The Vicar lifted her eyes sadly. "And you know what I got for it?" She paused a beat and then patted her abdomen slowly. "Only a baby put in my belly an' nothin' more."

The Vicar considered the dog in a way that suggested she was thinking that that was precisely what he was planning to do to her, too. "You ain't that kind of man, right? How's about you bring your things back here instead." She held out a palm for the vial. "I'll keep this safe for you, waitin' right in this spot."

Maybe, she thought, feeling irritated with the man and the lack of belongings on his person. Where before she had felt certain that she was close to successfully closing this deal, now everything was up in the air. Would he take her suggestion and bring back his goods, or would he decide that what she was offering wasn't worth the trouble? Would she decided that he was worth the trouble?

Silently holding out her hand for the vial to be returned to her, The Vicar waited for his decision.

OOC: god mateo you creep, trying to lure away a poor, innocent lady :')

[WC — 486]


Loners
Coyote
User avatar
Mandi
Little Bandit

POSTED: Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:02 pm

Ruckus stood and worked with the horses as he waited for Mateo to return. He has never understood the instinct that demanded wolves come together in groups - their silent body language determining an order that he feigned interest in. Once Mateo had explained The Court to him - his homeland of Onuba a bright and silky thing that the tattooed street dog could not even fathom.

He had come from a lower life than this. Concrete Jungle has been a part of his life for as long as he could remember; the tiny platform keeping him safe from all manner of danger. Ciprian Tenebriso had been a danger he has not recognized until it was too late - and sometimes when he slept he could see the leading face of the man who has forced him to become a killer.

Atleast he had been able to save someone.

The thought of the young girl and the staring eyes of Solomon filled his with a heavy dread.

He patted his speckled horse and shook his head as he realized Mateo was headed back - empty handed and alone.

Evelyn has painted a terrible picture for Mateo. As she had patted her belly and gazed dead pan into his violet eyes he has visibly made a face and agreed to return with something to trade for this so-called cure all.

"Hey Ruckus!" The boy ducked as if in dear of being recognized and Mateo scoffed at him. "What are you doing?" When no answer came he continued while patting his horse and rifling through a saddle bag. "I found a trader back there who has something that might help Cookie with his back - I want to see what I can trade for it." Ruckus growled softly and stayed the man's hands with his own.

"You sure?" he sniffed sharply, "Why didn't they come with you?"

Mateo paused and glanced at the taller boy, his gaze dragging along the now familiar lines and whorls that made up the designs along his arms. "She uh... Said something unsavory."

Ruckus stared and stared.

"What? That's... God Mat, what does that even mean?" He grunted, "I'm comin' with you."

Together they returned to Evelyn Escuela, a blanket wrapped in the hands of the Onuban boy. There was also a small partridge that had been plucked of its feathers and dried - something that Ruckus has placed on top and had left no room for question.

"I'm back!" he held the package up a Ruckus assessed the woman silently, "What do you think?"
The Troupe
Minstrel
User avatar
Amanda
Luperci

Dead Topics