burn it all on the altar now

POSTED: Fri Nov 01, 2019 9:09 pm

It's dawn in Amherst, and it's downpouring. Your character has a foreboding feeling.

Adina sighed in her sleep and the large, drafty townhouse sighed with her — through its missing windows, its broken doors hanging from their hinges — stirring the ashen-brown wisps of hair that covered her face. Curled into the bottom of a broken clawfoot tub split right down the middle by some previous inhabitant, she moved restlessly, dreaming. Her legs, drawn nearly to her chest, were mud-spackled and damp.

Outside, a day-long storm raged on, lashing out against the sun-bleached siding of the old house, through the windows, dampening everything in its path. Those brilliant streaks of lightning it threw down from the heavens themselves held no candle to her dreams, however; behind closed eyes she caught flickers of a barn, warm straw, and the vague smell of animals.

When she awoke it was sudden, and seemingly without cause. Paranoia — at being so close to those fire-starting devils, she assumed — licked at her thoughts, stoking the shadows just out of eyesight, conjuring all manner of devilish imaginings and fearsome beasts. A furious gust of wind blew, scattering embers from the fire she'd started in a rusted and cracked bathroom sink, sending them skittering across the floor.

One landed on a piece of broken mirror no larger than her palm. Adi had used it earlier to catch a glimpse of herself and caught only the barest of impressions; amber and smoke, she’d thought, for her coloring… firelight, maybe, for her eyes. After that she’d cast it aside, forgotten until now.

Rubbing one palm against her tired eyes, then harder against her aching temples, it was then that whispers from below alerted her to strangers in the house. Straining to hear, she failed to make out the words; edging closer to the shut door, they seemed to grow no closer.

Maybe, she thought, they’ll stay in the kitchen.

She’d been down there earlier to investigate its dusty corners, had attacked a fierce little she-cat and stolen her mouse bones, only to find they’d already been picked over not once, but twice. Someone had even cracked them and licked the marrow out.

With her back firmly pressed against the door, she listened fervently for sounds of further activity, head nodding precariously to touch her chest.

When the whispering resumed, Adina jerked her head up in anticipation, one hand clutching her cross.


The Troupe
Bonesetter
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Lorraine
Luperci

POSTED: Fri Nov 01, 2019 9:48 pm

my heart was flawed, i knew my weakness

"I don't get the joke," Nazario had started to the pale, ghostly gold Del Mar, who paced along, hunched against the wind, the cold, the sleeting rain that battered the duo sideways. The cold of winter was upon them the moment summer died, it seemed - the warm, balmy days were growing far and few between. Frost collected, come most mornings when it was dry. Nights came sooner, and delayed the surrender to day.

It wouldn't be long, now.

"What ain't there to get?" Ash started, coughing into the sleeve of a ratty old coat, hugging his lean shape tight. "Starting to sound like my old man - don't you know there ain't no God?"

Nazario furrowed his brow, and cast a fist to swipe Ash's shoulder, only for the Del Mar to dance away from that hand with a peal of chittering, brittle laughter.

"Don't go sayin' shit like that, Ash," Nazario chided to the pointed smile shot back to him. "You act like you pray t' one."

"One what? One God?" he barked back by retort. His ears, despite the prickling cold, burned.

"Yeah - what, that's whatcha call it, right? The fire. Fella, that shit's just fire. Whoever told you otherwise was a shit-eatin' fool." Nazario's lips curled and he rounded on the pallid shape that was Ash Del Mar. "Cold as hell, out here --"

"Then go home." There was little room for argument, and the pinched mirth was wiped from Ash's face.

"What are you on about--"

"Ya heard me, Ash. Go home." There was a brandish of his hand, a dismissive wipe through the air, and the cold and wet bit him clear to the bone. Ash was buffeted by the wind, and the two stood stagnant a moment outside the building.

"It were only a joke, Rey--"

"It was a piss-poor one, Unkindled." There was something of a finality to the conversation, and the Rey Salvaje turned again, seeking shelter from the cold, the wind, the rain, and he bowed his way into the house, shaking the water from his shaggy hair. Floorboards creaked underfoot, and he hunkered down alongside the old, mildewed couch that was moth-eaten and faded with age. Sweeping aside the debris of times past, he moved to lay, folding an arm under his head. and staring to the ceiling.

"Well, now what?"

"Wait 'til noon, an' we meet up with the trader to shift off our goods. Forget already?" There was a scoff in answer.

"Should just keep the goods for ourselves. Take what they got."

"That ain't neighborly. 'Sides. I thought I told you to go home--" Ash shushed Nazario then, his big radar ears swiveling on his head. The Rey Salvaje moved to sit up, rather indignant by the uncouth action, but Ash was testing the air.

"You smell something?"

--| [wc — 000] template by hilli
you haven't met me
i am the only son
Del Cenere Gang
Rey Salvaje
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Despi
Luperci
LadróN
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won't stay down

POSTED: Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:07 pm

Minor PP of Ash.

Robbery.

She deduced that the whispers below – after straining her ears toward the door – they were talking about robbing some poor fellow; or, one of them was. The other, whoever he was, didn’t seem to agree with this. By now, after a year and more spent first with Creedence and then alone, she knew a thing or two about men who took what they wanted.

Carelessly, needlessly, violently. The thought made her feel faint again, barely there but also electrified.

Easing the door open soundlessly, she used its handle to pull herself upright. From upstairs she could barely hear them, couldn’t smell them at all, having inherited her mother’s poor olfactory senses. Where she placed her feet, dust whirled in clouds as she crept forward to the banister.

Looking over it with claws roughly scraping the dark-stained wood, and then down, she found green eyes looking back at her.

Falling backward in surprise, she made some noise and simultaneously lurched down the long, open hallway, no longer listening for the snippets of conversation drifting up from below, but frantically searching for an impromptu exit.

God, she half-thought, half-cursed, God help me.

He owed her after the many trials and tribulations He’d seen fit to send her; her brother, her parents, her pack…! Spying another window with its glass entirely blown out by the Red Starfall, she careened toward it in the dark, slamming every door she encountered behind her with a bang.


The Troupe
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Lorraine
Luperci

POSTED: Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:26 pm

my heart was flawed, i knew my weakness

He hadn't the time to even speak - Ash reached over, gaping a bit, and started scrabbling for Nazario's serape, to get his attention instead, green eyes up to the banister where he had seen something.

"What's wrong, ya seen a ghost?" Nazario had started, but there was a noise, a cacophony of thuds and scrabbling feet that made him stand up abruptly. "We aint' alone in here."

It took Ash long enough to finally say that, and Nazario pushed him aside.

"No shit!" he replied, incredulous, and wary. The one-eyed coyote ascended the staircase that groaned beneath his weight. Doors were being flung, haphazard, and his pace picked up. "Who's there!"

The scent answered him, though the fleeing woman had not, and his gold eye went round as he started trying doors.

"Wait-- wait." One door opened, another shut, a glimpse of the charcoal-black and ember-rust. "Wait!"

The urgency of his voice did him no merit as he jostled the handle, the last slam jamming the rusted knob. It's me - it's me-

He couldn't formulate the words, and shouldered the door, which splintered and squeaked as it flew open, but she was gone, quick as a flash, a flutter out the window, and he ran to the sill - the howling wind crooning into the room and whipping his dark hair back into his face.

"Adina!" His voice was swallowed by the downpour, her name a ghost on his tongue, tasting like hunger and smoke and ash. Like longing, like could-have-beens, like a life that had died what felt so long ago by now. Her pendant, that wooden cross, hung off a splinter and he grasped it quickly, the crucifix pressing its corners into his palm. "Adina!"

--| [wc — 000] template by hilli
you haven't met me
i am the only son
Del Cenere Gang
Rey Salvaje
User avatar
Despi
Luperci
LadróN
🙡 🙣
won't stay down

POSTED: Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:38 pm

Afraid — of God, and ghosts — more than the men, these preternatural ghouls were what propelled her over the windowsill, against a strong and waiting tree branch. Having not thought to look for it, she thought perhaps this was her answering salvation. A way forward, downward, that would not kill her.

It would test her though; she felt the leather cord around her throat pull tight and then give way with an inaudible snap. Grief and loss were old friends, boon companions throughout early childhood and adulthood both, and the twang she felt then was a faint one in comparison to everything else.

She could accept this, she would be shriven of her personal belongings if in the end it meant she went on to survive. Someone must, after all, someone who remembered Inferni as it had been and carried its angry blaze onward into the future.

Dropping to the ground below, she felt pain in one ankle, but it was far away.

Hitting the ground running, she streaked off into the storm. Her brothers were strong; she was strong, but in other ways, and blindingly fast. It had helped her escape the inferno that engulfed the mansion of her youth, and it helped her now.

All around her, the storm raged on.

Adina, it seemed to call, and she was aware enough to wrench her head around, for one blind moment staring up at the window, which grew more distant with every desperate step forward.

Acknowledgement, or something like it, flashed across her face. It didn’t surprise her that the Devil knew her name, not after she’d become the instrument of that poor boy’s death.


The Troupe
Bonesetter
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Lorraine
Luperci

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