2.0.2 O GREEN WORLD — private au
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Private O GREEN WORLD — private au

Offline RED

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O GREEN WORLD — private au
« on: July 30, 2019, 09:14:51 PM »
Arrow was dead.

It hurt just as much to never have known her than to have been her best friend. To think that she fell before him and heaved her last breath to a stranger - it feels like a sin to witness. It wasn't meant for him to see. Tangle had been thrown into a state of disarray the moment her heart went silent. Her friends grieved hopelessly after her loss, and the medic who tended her in her final moments collapsed upon realization that she had failed to save her. He could only guess how Arrow's family reacted to the news. In the wake of chaos, those who remained steadfast were those who never knew her; even then, a stranger himself, he felt sympathetic pangs at the sight of so many broken faces.

He's taken up smoking again. Red stopped, only briefly - a few weeks, but they dragged on like years as withdrawal cloyed at his chest - but he figured nobody would question him after what they had all been through. Hell, Leroy had been a mess that night and he didn't do much to hide it. If anyone wanted a word with him for having a cigarette in these dire straits, Red thinks he'll snap for real. He works the filter between his teeth and gives a sigh.

He feels bad for losing his cool, almost: their fight was salt added to a raw wound. It didn't help that most of Tanglewood had watched and begged him to stop berating Leroy, and now most seemed to have something infinitely better to do than to spend more than a few minutes in the same room as him. And yet, Red reasons, Leroy was shouting about his woes, crying out that he'd do something terrible - all while Arrow laid dead in a hospital a few blocks away. You didn't even know her, Leroy had snarled. The cognitive dissonance between his guilt and his convictions, that bitter feeling that they should all be strong for her, made his head hurt.

And thus he lights another smoke.

Beck had been gone for a while, locked up in his house. His "house" was an abandoned boat on the edge of town, rusted and decrepit, but he hadn't said anything about wanting to move out so Red didn't bother to question it. The child gave off weird vibes, anyway. Something was off about him that Red couldn't quite put into words but knew he had seen in others - before Tanglewood, back at home. For this indescribable reason, he worries about the kid.

Red didn't have clear directions to the houseboat, only a few vague descriptions of the wooded path that would take him to the general area. He was also heavily warned to watch his footing, to keep a close eye on his surroundings, but there wasn't much elaboration as to why. He's got a few bags in one hand, and the corners of the boxes inside threaten to tear through the plastic and spill the contents across the ground. As the solid path turns to mud and then to shallow puddles, he figures he's close.

"Beck?" The demon calls out his name into the woods, cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth. He should've picked up another pack while he was out - he didn't expect to run out so quickly, it had only been a day. (Maybe he ought to work on his habit.) When the houseboat comes into view, he heeds the advice he was given and steps carefully through the overgrown grass. Red holds out the bags like an offering, shakes them a little like he's calling out to a nervous stray. "Just trying to check in, nobody's heard from you in a while. I brought snacks."
IF YOUR FORTRESS IS UNDER SIEGE,
YOU CAN ALWAYS RUN TO ME

Offline beck

Re: O GREEN WORLD — private au
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2019, 09:51:18 PM »
     She was gone, and it hurt. It still hurt. Even after he cried until the tears long since dried on pallid cheeks and a dull ache lingered; even after he expended all his anger on a stuffed copy of the man responsible for his pain, the regrettable outburst burning in the back of his mind; even after he squeezed his eyes shut and attempted to erase any memory of her he had left. Nothing worked to relieve the anguishing misery, and so, the boy continued to hurt in the solitude of his shadowed home, too tired to lick the grief-stricken wounds that plagued his still heart.

     He knew he couldn't reverse the hands of time. He knew he couldn't work miracles, dragging her spirit through the one-way veil without any fear of the consequences for disobeying the fundamental laws of nature. No, if he could, his heart would not be scarred by fractures, fraying band-aids clinging to the bruising memories of every kind face that couldn't stay with him. All Beck wanted was to have said goodbye before her body rejected her and she succumbed to the alluring fatigue he remembered so well. But fate proved itself to be oh-so cruel towards him, extinguishing any delusional hope for resolution.

     Unlike his peers who turned to the bottle or even the inhaled rush of nicotine for coping, the poltergeist couldn't rely on homebrewed whiskey to ease his troubles. To add insult to injury, Selby confiscated his alkaline comforts, sharpened knives and anything else he could improvise -- now he couldn't even overwhelm himself with distracting pain. And so the little ghost lolled sideways on his tattered excuse for an armchair, his bad leg dangling off the cushion as he idly swung it back and forth, the scuffed toe of his shoe an inch from brushing the floor. The old gauze that bound and concealed his forearms lay discarded on the dust-blanketed floor; he only wore the bandages to hide the grievous damage inflicted by his death from the public anyway. Bruises and scratches and scrapes would only garner more attention, maybe concern or even pity -- all three sickened him. Scarred hands fidgeted with a rock pocketed a year or so ago, absently rubbing the smoothed surface with a thumb. Two tacky eyes with wobbly pupils remained fastened haphazardly on the rock. Arrow's rock; the physical remnant of her place in his well-worn memory and another grim souvenir that would be treasured in his collection of abandoned belongings... mementos of those late friends to keep with him, so he wouldn't forget about them entirely. Just in case. But as he turned the innocent rock over in his hands, a pang of sadness threatened to tighten around his throat, forming a strangling wad as he fought to keep his face set in cold indifference.

     Inevitable curiosity wormed its way into his thoughts. Had she already crossed over into the afterlife? Was she scared like he once was? Or had she lost herself on the journey, condemning herself to roam on accident? No, he would have sensed her if she tarried. A wheeze slipped from blue-tinged lips. His hazel gaze drifted to the opposite wall of the room, vision landing on a neglected structure hidden beneath a moth-eaten sheet. What if he... no, he shouldn't. Beck returned his focus to the rock again, shallow breath faltering with a wet rattle once more. His expression darkened, a decision settled behind glassy eyes. The boy stumbled from the armchair, dizzily wobbling for a moment until he steadied himself against the wall. In a limp or two, he was in front of the tarp, hesitating before he gripped the sheet and yanked it down. A floor mirror stood revealed, its glass face chipped from prior abuse. Nonetheless, it would still function as a gateway to the land of the dead, to where he truly belonged. Beck grimaced at the sight of the mirror, a blatant flaw evident as he stared at the reflected world behind him. A world excluding a reflected version of his apparition. Pushing aside the unease of not being able to view himself, the poltergeist gingerly reached outwards, pressing his burnt palm against the chilled surface, causing the glass to ripple from his touch as though he were upsetting stagnant water. He swiped his hand through the mirror's veil, but the rest of him refused to follow, other hand clenched tightly around the decorated rock.

     He was cold. And it was dark. His senses, once stripped away as the last of his blood rolled off frigid skin and soaked the dirt below, inexplicably returned to him. Had it all been a nightmare? But it all seemed so real. Dully aware of his surroundings, Beck forced heavy eyelids sealed with blood partly open, only to gaze upon pitch black. He was on his back, sprawling with stiff limbs crooked and bent at awkward angles -- he last remembered being suspended upside-down before his vision was consumed by the darkness he now found himself in. It took considerable effort to move, his mind veneered in fatigue as he drew his arms closer to him and dug sore palms into the surface beneath in vain attempt to prop himself back up on rasped elbows. Untangling his legs, he folded one knee under him, biting his tongue as he glimpsed the ragged gash splitting his kneecap, and then the other. The scrawny child could only tremble in shock, realizing the hellish nightmare had been a reality after all. Oh God, he was dead, he died. He died. Beck shook his head in denial, refusing to believe the blood painting his face, back, and chest was his. He couldn't be dead; he was alive only a minute ago! He wasn't supposed to die, he was supposed to grow up! The boy buried his blood-stained face in equally slick hands, a sob wracking his broken frame as he gripped at matted hair.

     By the time his shuddering cries lapsed into sniffling hiccups, he peered from folded arms at a hand above him. He flinched backward, uncurling from his sorrowful heap to stare at the hand's owner like a spooked animal. Through the shadowed mist, the figure could barely be distinguished, but the hand wasn't moving to grab him by the shirt collar as he expected. It remained in place, palm upturned -- did it want something from him? Realizing the hand meant no harm, Beck recognized the gesture as an offer to help. Wiping his nose with the back of his arm, the boy cautiously reached for it, allowing the firm grip to pull him back to his feet -- or rather, the only foot he dared put weight on. The figure seemed to glance him over with sympathy in its obscured gaze, and Beck could faintly make out similar silhouettes around them, randomly dotting the empty landscape yet still forming a semi-cohesive line. A line for what? Before Beck could regain his voice to question, the figure already retreated back into the darkness. The boy glanced over his shoulder, finding no forms in sight behind him. Fearing what might happen if he stayed, he turned to face the opposite direction and limped without an idea of where he wandered to, fractured ankle trailing uselessly behind. All while remaining painfully unaware to the hollowed eyes boring into him --


      Effectively torn between the hope of finally conversing with Arrow one last time and his own memories, Beck was paralyzed in uncertainty. The rustle of plastic snapped him from his reverie and he wrenched his hand away from the mirror, bringing it close to his damaged chest as he wheeled around in panic. A voice, one of familiar yet gruff intonation, disturbed his thoughts. Snacks? His attention perked, and he tilted his head inquisitively. Casting the mirror a skittish glance, Beck staggered to the door, warily prying it open to peek before allowing it to swing ajar once he spotted the towering crimson figure in his yard. He squinted, in both suspicion and reaction to the direct sunlight, but he stepped past the threshold nevertheless. Red was checking in on him? "Why?" the poltergeist croaked, posture tense as though he would flee at any sudden movement. He felt pointedly vulnerable; the threadbare cloak so frequently draped over hunched shoulders was missing along with the bandaging wrapping his arms, leaving his poorly condition plain for anyone to see. Yet his expression softened upon sight of the grocery bags, and his words regained their usual childish tone as he asked, "D'ya have twinkies?"
set the phasers to rot; what has got you distraught?
it's negative attention at best, but call it nothing
maybe it's something, a little bit, a little bit - maybe it's something to do a little bit
​​​​​​​----------- poltergeist > tanglewood​​​​​​​ > chaser >info >@tricky ​​​​​​​-----------

Offline RED

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Re: O GREEN WORLD — private au
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2019, 05:21:02 PM »
Red was born in Hell but recalled nothing of it. If he did, it would go a little something like this: Being ripped from the bloodied womb, eyes focusing in an absence of light that doesn’t quite match the familiarity of his mother. Screaming - a child screaming, a thousand spirits wailing, a clamoring pile of burnt witches reaching to pull him limb from limb. One day they’d get their wish. For now, the child is crowned and held aloft.

And then, where the memories start to filter into view in a hazy blur, there first comes movement. Then light, too much light, and the taste of holy water salty on his tongue. Cold, cracked marble underfoot. Rain-drenched fur and the sudden, cold steel of a gun muzzle to his chest. Panic buzzing across unfamiliar faces. Noise, a cacophonous symphony of voices above the rumble of the cracking earth. Arms, human arms, pulling him away from the cold ground and bundling him close. Warmth, safety, like mother. Rebirth.

“Father,” he once said, “I think I would like to go home, now.”

There was a silence that sounded like heartbreak. The doctor responded, carefully, “This is our home.”

“No, I mean
my home. Before I was here. That home.” He doesn’t know what he’s talking about and his father knows it, but the conviction is there, all the pain and yearning of a lost child searching for their mother. Though his father spent day in, day out pouring over texts of old, he finds himself trapped between the calligraphic lines. He pushes his magnifier up onto his forehead and rolls his chair back - and his son is there, strange as he is and not of his blood, eyes wide and seeking.

”...I don’t believe you would enjoy it there.”

”Well, what was it like?” Red’s voice is taking on a cutting tone, almost accusatory - as though his father was keeping him away from something he deserved. At his side, the child’s fist clenches, stone grinding together like nails on a chalkboard. ”You’d go with me, right?”

There’s a pause in which it feels as though he is about to spoil a bitter secret. It all feels better left unsaid - all of the things Red would never have to worry about until he was older needed to stay under wraps for as long as possible. He deserved a chance at innocence. ”You recall the books we’ve read together, yes?” There’s a frown, a nod. His father thumbs the rosary on his neck. ”It is much, much worse. Evil creatures will eat you alive, down there - they’ll take everything you hold dear and crush it, until the only thing you have left is that fading memory of your love. And then they will take that, too. They’ll burn it -”

”I’m not afraid of fire,” Red spits, frustrated.

”- But they’ll burn you, too, with weapons worse than fire. And I would never see you again, child. They’d take you away from me and hurt us both until we forget each other’s names. And then what? I wouldn’t be your father anymore if I could not remember you.”


His father was a Catholic - among other things, he’d always say. He’d taught his child every psalm, every rite, and after that they’d spend hours reading through the grimoires circulated throughout human history: books of magic, books of demons and creatures spoken of only in myth. He’d been taught to fear these beasts, and as the moons cycled onward he was taught to fight, to kill them. He wasn’t - could never be, not after the years they’d spent as a family - one of them.

The child looks unconvinced, but angry tears still prick at his eyes as he shakes his head. ”I don’t care. I want to go home,” it comes out choked, desperate. He already knows the answer. Fighting it won’t do him any good, but it makes him feel stronger. Strong enough to make decisions for himself, maybe, even if he lacked the maturity his father was painstakingly trying to instill in him. Perhaps he is just tired of living by others' choices.

“We can’t. Even if I wanted to, there’s no way without -” (No, he doesn’t need to know. He cannot know.)

As his father reaches to take him up in his arms the child jerks away, roaring out a pitiful scream, ”I wanna go
home!

He was destined to reign in hell, and brought to life to carry the world into hellfire. He was a creature built to kill, built to destroy. He was saved from this violent fate by a man he came to know as his father - his nature was to burn, and yet he was nurtured into humanity by someone who saved him from his own naivety. When that man was lost to time Red went into hiding, only because every other living being on this Earth was put in place by the holy beings above to hunt him for sport.

Until he faces that question of choice - to serve humanity or damn it to hell - he bides his time. He kills the creatures that call out to him. Avoidance is the key to survival, he thinks, and he’d rather die than see the world fall at his fingers. He wasn’t going to fail his late father now.

But until then, he stands here.

Beck looks like shit. It’s the first thing that comes to mind, and Red almost spills it into the space between them before he catches himself. There’s a moment where he notices the brown-grey wounds that decorate the other’s arms, either a physical memory of death or something more recent, something worse. He looks away before it turns to staring, because across his forehead a twinge in broken horns tell him that they aren’t so different after all, no matter how hard Beck tried to ostracize himself. They both had their wounds exposed.

Instead, he focuses on the youth’s face. His expression doesn’t look much better either - the redness in his eyes and the slight pink across his nose tells him that Beck’s holding a lot of emotions back. He’s probably been crying, or doing his best not to. A familiar sympathy crawls snakelike in his chest - it’s like he’s looking at himself. Red shakes off the thought.

"Huh? Actually, I think I -" Red opens the bag a little, peering inside, "Yeah. I do." He’s carrying a fistful of plastic bags in the Right Hand of Doom - which serves an excellent purpose when it comes to carrying all of his groceries inside at once - so with his Left Hand of Normal he reaches over and thumbs open the box.

”Catch.” A single Twinkie sails slightly off to the left, because Red is a terrible shot. He looks at the bags again, then to the marshy shoreline, just beyond the trees. A plan is hatched. ”You’ll have to come outside if you want some more. I’m not letting you become the local hermit.”

He doesn’t really wait for Beck to follow, figuring that one way or another, he would eventually gravitate at the lure of free food. The demon makes his way towards the woods, where beyond the copse of trees lies a stretch of swamp.

The flora has long since died, the soil contaminated and the air too polluted to sustain life - normal life, that is. The few trees that separate Beck’s “property” and the marsh lack foliage, their few branches dotted with new growth but the mess of rotten detritus on the forest floor telling enough. On the muddied shore, a worn-looking dock protrudes into the water. It creaks underfoot, which leaves Red feeling a little wary (especially with the alligators that liked to sun in the shallows), but he nonetheless drops his bags and sits down on the edge. He looks over his shoulder, once, and gives a flick of his tail in gentle invitation.

Red picks at a bag of chips, and he waits. That poor kid.
IF YOUR FORTRESS IS UNDER SIEGE,
YOU CAN ALWAYS RUN TO ME

 

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