two moonshiners on the cusp of a breath

POSTED: Fri Feb 28, 2020 11:47 pm

[000]Why can't you go to sleep like everybody else?

Calrian did not know much about the realms of the dead nor the sprites that were said to haunt darkwoods, but he knew about little firebugs that gleamed at night. When they were children, he and his brother would spend evenings on the riverbanks chasing down every fiery speck until only the moon was left aglow.

They did not do that anymore, but he thought of it now and again during his walks through the woods. When the blistering cold had abated, he stole the opportunity for a pensive stroll among the trees. The long, dark spires reminded him of his father's arms, and trudging in their silent company had the same feeling as a boy scampering at his heels. Like the forest and everything else in his tiny world, Lokr had seemed impossibly tall back then. He would look at his family with great tenderness, but it was in the wilderness that Calrian first glimpsed the sharp, shadowy edges of his character. As a child, such unknowns were taken as answers in themselves. It was only recently, in the midst of his own adulthood and the fraying daylight, that he began to ask the question of his father that he had begun to ask of himself. Who was he?

A light glimmered before him; immediately, Calrian was entranced. The lone spark drifted on between snow-laden boughs. It was too early in the season for firebugs, he thought. From the smallest whisper of green underfoot to the modest rise in temperature, life was only just beginning to start again. It was still a full moon cycle before they would start to see any real changes.

Calrian paced after it, leaving only the fog of his breath behind.

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POSTED: Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:07 am

Sometimes she felt as if the clouds above hovered too close, too tight – tendrils of twitsting grey prepared to pluck at her golden head. Sometimes all of it was too much; the blue sky and the perfect sun… Indis found that she spent a lot of time inside of their new camp, teetering about the campsite as Cook explained his herbs to her. She listened with the patience of someone absent minded, mumbling and humming when it was appropriate to his story.

The Troupe did not smother her with questions, and instead revealed quite thoughtfully the pieces of themselves that they were prepared to share.

She wandered in the night with a blanket clasped tightly about her shoulders, her gaze shifting between the wind-swept trees and the moist earth beneath her feet. Indis has lay on her tiny cot and stared unblinking at the spotty ceiling until shapes began to emerge – leave and twisting vines that left her gasping for air and clutching at her throat. There were memories there just out of reach, and the only thing that calmed her was the sudden rush of cool air as she escaped into the dark.

”There,” She whispered, smoothing the frayed edge of her make-shift blanket cloak, ”You are alright.” Indis chewed her lip, ignoring the disheveled way her hair rose around her ears, ”You are alright.”

She hummed to herself softly, and when the first firefly floated toward her she gasped audibly, dropping her cloak with a surprised chuff.

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POSTED: Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:39 pm

[000] • lookit this BUG

He hadn't gone too far from camp, not so far that the walk back would be laborious, but the edges of the Dampwoods were well enough away that he hadn't expected another Trouper to show up. The sound and scent drew him away from the call of darkness, and Calrian found himself hurrying to find the other.

The one to join him that night was none other than the Dreamer, one of the newer faces to their merry band of ruffians. It was hard to place her, both in terms of skill and personality, and Calrian suspected that who she truly was had yet to fully come to light even to herself. Something had happened to her was all they knew. With a kind of patience that only the disregarded and forgotten ones could muster, they offered their support for as long as she would have it.

Calrian had grown used to her mumblings around camp, although at first it had stirred a primal type of concern in him. Calrian made a conscious effort not to judge in this matter, as someone who spoke often even when alone. From what he could tell it soothed her, and he saw this as a better coping skill than the kind of quiet, simmering displeasure that emanated from some others.

Careful not to surprise or embarrass her, Calrian made his approach known with a tentative greeting, his open palm suggesting no harm. Seeing that she had started at the sight of the firebug, he smiled. "Here," he said, swiping his hand through the air with a well practiced accuracy. The light disappeared into his gray fingers. He beckoned her closer with a tug of his chin.

"C'mere. Look. It won't hurt you."

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POSTED: Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:27 pm

He was soft looking, like a baby bird. Indis spent a long time just looking at the feathering of his cheeks, the way his eyes looked at her as if she were some half-wild thing, a horse that he was frightened of spooking. She felt herself shifting her weight beneath his gaze, the way she clutched her elbows too tightly – afraid of what he might say or do if he came too close.

Deep down, she knew that there was no reason to be afraid of Calrian, but her instinct caused her to flare her nostrils – the fur along her shoulders raised for no apparent reason at all.

When he spoke she couldn’t help but cant her head, the mess of golden curls spilling across her front. The glowing fireflies danced around him, drawn to like a halo to the man who believed so stalwartly in Lady Luck. Cook had mentioned it to her, but she did not understand its place in the Troupe, and she was too shy to ask.

When he swiped at the air and gestured for her to come close she hesitated a moment before creeping close, her large blue eyes wide as she stared at his curled fingers.

"You caught it?" She whispered in the dark.

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POSTED: Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:53 am

[000]

He knew she was more than just a stray that Malik chanced upon and brought home, but her reactions were often wild, and Calrian knew very little about taming such instincts. He reserved his patience for these moments, and had never been let down for it.

Fortunately, the Dreamer calmed. She seemed to be more interested in what he caught than in him, which he saw as a good sign, and he gave a low wag of his tail to show that he meant no harm. She approached, her long gold hair in disarray, and Calrian thought for a moment that she could easily transition to their way of life someday, if she so desired. She certainly looked the part.

Her whisper caught him off guard, and he couldn't help but laugh quietly. "Yes, look," he encouraged, and then as she careened forward, he opened his palms. The firefly whirled out in a loopy spin, clearly disoriented by its brief entrapment. It joined the rest of its kind in a funny little dance above their heads.

"Malik and I used to catch them all the time," he said, his gaze trained to their glimmering pattern. "It's very easy." He looked back at her and gave an encouraging smile. "Want to try? If we're both going to be sneaking away from camp, we might as well have fun."

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POSTED: Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:52 pm

Mention of the dark headed man’s brother had Indis nodding her head, though her eyes never left the glowing bug as it rose from the centre of his palm. It was beautiful, the soft glowing light refracting against her pale cheeks. Soon there were others there, all buzzing slowly as held in place by the power of her expression. Some of them matched the hazy sheen of her hair, while others appeared almost green as they hung like a crown over the brokers ears.

He had a face full of stories unlike Malik, who had a voice that carried them like a river upstream. At a glance the two men appeared to not be related – but Indis had begun to recognize the lines that bound them like threads of twine. She was a quiet in her observation, but there were similar lines about their eyes that made them easier to read – pretty slopes to each of their noses that Indis found she appreciated.

So often people had commented on the differences between her and Solas. When she remembered him now it was almost as if he was a figment of her imagination, as if the edges of him had been made of smoke and not flesh. The Troupe had afforded her a new sense of family, and though there were still some who made her leery… Calrian was not one of them. He did not hide anything, and instead wore his heart on his sleeve - blinding in its warmth just like the glowing fireflies.

When she finally smiled it was like a new dawn, the shadows chased from the edges of her expression as she uttered firmly, ”Show me.”

She held out her hands and prepared to mimic the man in the dark.

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POSTED: Mon Apr 06, 2020 1:19 am

[000] • Aww bb

Calrian realized he hadn't truly seen Indis before. As a man of commotion, he was prone to overlooking things every now and then. She was quiet, aside from her harmless mumbles, and seemed to prefer the peace of Cook's company. Now he could see she had a very comely face, wolfish in design, and belied by her powerful physique was a gentleness that enticed the smallest and kindest of creatures. Fireflies danced around her hair like fairy lights of his mother's tales, some of them alighting on her braids.

He had to wonder what life had offered such a woman, and what she had to offer the world.

Encouraged himself by her response, he came closer and shored up his stance, like he might grapple the fireflies rather than pluck them from the air. It was unnecessary theatrics, but he thought she might enjoy it.

"The trick is to stay very still," he said with a grin. "And then, when the moment is right, you just—" he swiped at the air, "—grab one."

A light winked away into his palm. He felt the little bug beat around the edges of its temporary enclosure. It settled as he waited for Indis to repeat after him.

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Sticks and Stones