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Verse

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The Woodland Wounds
« on: July 21, 2015, 09:26:14 pm »
The sun was barging in, cut up by the metal dividing the windows of the buss. Same buss most took to school. The teacher tried not to hear the clank of wine coolers and bigger bottles every time the yellow vehicle ran a bump. This group of teenagers were already a hard bunch to control, having them pour out their alcohol when they’d thought they’d been clever would probably incite mutiny. It was an unspoken tradition, to let them behave this way. Small town, small town rules.

Then sun wasn’t so warm anymore, but the summer air still held heat from the midday that had passed. Green, fat trees spelled the season out on the way to the lake. Perfume, some people had put in the effort, and hairspray. Chipper talk and theatrical brooding in wake of a good connection. It was shaping up to be a good evening. A sister with a harsh history spoke with another sister, who was becoming increasingly like her. He hadn't said, yet.

He deliberately did not play with his phone. The knee of the leg with all the rips in the denim was lifted to support his forearm. A black shirt for the occasion, over a ribbed t-shirt, wound taut around his narrow frame. He’d rolled the black sleeves and completely neglected the buttons. Brown hair in his green eyes. Torgrim knew what he was, because he’d promoted the image ever since he’d seen it on a particularly lucky search. He’d held a few conversations, even initiated one since they’d left the bus stop. He’d laughed loud and joked dark. Torgrim wasn’t the kind of guy to pretend he wasn’t having fun when he was.

He put the leg with no rips out first. The weather really was perfect, and this year there’d been no mosquitoes at the lake. Their own strange little miracle. Soon he was jogging around, backpack left by the back wheel. Food and lavations. He was supposed to help people with setting up tables and such, but he’d rather see the breeze about a rush. The trees chattered as he made his way down something that couldn’t be a path. He wouldn’t wander far. He just wanted to smell the algae. Ever since he’d had floaters on his arms he’d liked the different aromas here, anywhere. Mom called him her little blood hound. Chin lifted, he dragged in a deep helping. There was no lake in the air. He let it out with a sigh and narrowed his eyes. The beloved body of water wasn’t far, he should be able to sample it by now. Disappointed, he pulled up a woodchip and held it to his nose instead. It smelled right, dry.

Torgrim was a lonely, long silhouette in the forest. Growing fast but not growing up. Not lost but not home. Self-neglect on his cheekbones and strength on his shoulders. His usual appeal was a more ballistic kind of charm, but if Mrs. Walters who owned the bookstore or Dana Friedman in his class had seen him then, they might have noticed an honesty that had not been there when he’d turned their heads and ruffled their hair.

A wave broke against the beach for no one to see. The water was clean. A blueish sheen, that deepened to black where usually it would be brown. The ghost of Vera Covall was in the liquid. It was a beautiful place now, strangely so, with her as an ingredient. There would be a bitterness to the sweet water and the temperature would be alluring. She was the mother of a million swimming things, hoping to become a million other things. The lake was hungry.

Eventually Torgrim came back, stretching and then grabbing the back of his neck with both hands as he walked around, trying to find a good spot where no one would ask him to help. He settled by his backpack, and sat against the buss, pulling out a bottle of water, the only on he'd brought. The other bottles contained a far more precious liquid.

Thunderstruck

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Re: The Woodland Wounds
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2015, 10:54:54 am »
Henry-God, how he hated that name. Even worse was the nickname Hank; made worse considering Pineland was one of last places on earth to have a Hardware Hank chain hardware store-missed the bus. Intentionally so. He'd been studying his ass off all year, to stay ahead of the curve, just enough so that when finals came, he could test early, and have the rest of the days free to work on his Bike. Said bike was a World War II classic of German make. Henry had cut a deal with the shop teacher, Mr. Callows, to make it his Senior project. That gave Henry access to tools and equipment he didn't have at home. Home being his uncle's place. What Mr. Callows had gotten out of the deal was a steady supply of weed, which Henry scored under the table via his father's corrupt partner Detective Cameron Ferret. True to his name, and the weasel like creature's thieving nature, Ferret, would undercut confiscated Marijuana by about twenty percent, then make some excuse to take a ride out in the country back in Pineland, where a drop with Henry would have been prearranged, using a secret code word in a face book motorcycle enthusiasts group for cover.
This had gotten Henry into a precarious situation, should it be discovered; it also provided him with unique opportunities he would not have had access to otherwise. Getting to work on his own bike, as a gradeable project, on and off school time, case in point.

Two days ago, he'd finally finished the Bike. Yesterday he'd taken it for a test drive, out to his and Ferret's meeting point.
Tonight he would ride it out to the lake, his saddle bags loaded up with enough contraband to make tonight an out of this world experience for one and all.

He adjusted his equally vintage German helmet-one of those with the Imperial German Eagle on the front, and the single spike jutting from the top-then made sure his goggles were properly secured. Taking a swig from his whiskey flask, he said in his best German accent, "Henry ist dead, You may call me: Heinrich." He made sure to put enough achk in his voice for the last syllable, the way Germans in the movies always sounded like they were getting ready to hock a lugi, every time they finished a sentence.

With a final rev on the accelerator, he was off. The bike had been equipped with the same on/off road suspension as the original, and he didn't stay long on the highway. The old bicycle trails were nearby, and one a motorcycle one could take the trails as a short cut, and just about beat the bus.
So it was this evening. Heinrich didn't think too much about anything, on the ride out to the lake area; too exhilarated was he in being the master of his own destiny for a change. To emphasize the point his ipod, was hooked up to speakers mounted on the bike-one of two modern items he'd installed. The other being a bright white halogen bulb, in place of the original, traditional, weaker headlight. The music blaring from the speakers, was Queen's Gimme the Prize.

About fifty yards out from the lake, on one of the nature tails, he stopped his bike, cut the music-which was now at Kiss's Lick it up, killed the engine, and after dismounting, and getting his prized stuff out of his saddle bags, went in search of someone looking to have a good time.

He found that very someone, in Christy Martainsen. Christy-every-bit-as-beautiful-as Lori Johnson-head-cheerleader-but-not head-cheerleader herself stood in a clearing nearby with some of her friends. They'd brought some packs of cigs along. Considering their inclusion with the goodie-goodie-students abstaining from substances, legal and non club, to be out here, where just anybody could happen by, smoking, was a risky move.
But then, Heinrich, was expected. He waited in the trees until all but her two best friends had departed, then he stepped into the clearing. "Eet's Time Fauline", he said still in his cheesy Hollywood German accent.
Christy took a long drag off her smoke, held it, exhaled, then turned around, a rare smile on her face. "Iv'e been here for awhile. You're late."
Heinrich tried to look mysterious, even nefarious. He failed on both counts, but if Christy noticed, she didn't show it. "So okay, like how do you want to do this?"
"Zat ist a loaded question." he replied.
"Cut the crap Henry, you got the stuff of no?"
Heinrich's mysterious smirk faltered. He had hoped she'd play along. She often did after all. But she was the one person in all of Pineland, he couldn't be mad at for long. True they were from different universes, but they both seemed to prefer it that way. Never too close, just close enough.
He patted one of his bags. "Got it right here shweetheart." he said in his best Bogart voice.
She rolled her eyes.
"So what'll it be?" she started. "Like you say: gas, grass, or ass, nobody rides for free."
Henry chuckled, in spite of himself. For your friends, cash will do. Cut 'em a deal. Twenty bucks, an eighth. For you..." He looked her up and down.
She blushed, then started to smile. 'Well" she began coyly.
He held up a hand. "For you, it's on the house. That way you don't owe me anything."

Her coy smile only widened. she walked toward him, slowly undoing the buttons of her blouse with every step. "Oh, but mister Heinrich, sir, don't you want to capture me and search me for military secrets?"
This was both a dream come true, and too much. Henry was used to being the aggressor. "Well I.." he stammered, then lost his voice. Yet when she raised her hand to take his, his hand knew what to do, and grabbed it. "Come along then, and let's see what you've got." she looked back at him, tossed her hair, adding, "and I don't mean the weed."

Christy led him further into the woods, away from the trail, but still well away from the where the other students were setting up. At last they stopped. "So", she began. Let's see it."
He couldn't think. All the blood had fled from his head, into his grey/blue Luftwaffe style cargo pants.
"It..." he said, lost. She had him. He was not often taken off guard, but Christy knew his secrets too well, despite that they'd hardly spoken at all this past year. That alone should have tipped him off, but it didn't. Not until it was too late.

He dumbly handed over the saddlebags containing about six pounds of premium grade stuff.
Christy opened the bag, and inspected the contents. At long last she smiled and nodded. All the while backing up a step. "Okay guys, he's all yours." she called off into the growing darkness.

Henry's eyes darted to where her voice bee lined; and there, to his shame and horror stood, his arch enemy, Todd Darling, Captain of the football team, and his friends.

"Oh, I am so going to love this", he said, as he and his posse advanced, on the clearly suckered senior outcast.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2015, 11:06:02 am by Thunderstruck »

Ara

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Re: The Woodland Wounds
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2015, 01:12:32 pm »
Lovisa had been one of the first off the bus. It happened when you were stuck sitting in the front of it. Her dirty blond hair was cut short, strands stretching for the sharp curve of her jaw and those fragile lips. The thick blue band of her headphones formed an arch over her cranium, music low but always giving her an excuse to pretend not to hear.

She was about two steps off the bus and onto dirt, shifting the weight of her bag on her shoulder when he blue eyes caught the leaving form of Grim. She watched him walk off into the trees and then a bag struck her from behind, pushing her forward with enough force to have her dropping her own backpack.

Lori Johnson laughed out an apology and picked up the bag she had thrown. Lovisa twisted to look back at her only to see Astrid standing beside her, hair a glossy blond so pale it bordered on white, and smiling at the bag her little sister had dropped like a wolf at a piece of meat. Lovisa moved quick to retrieve it, but not quick enough. One steps of those long legs and Astrid was on her, the next was a pendulum motion of skinny jeans and boot, kicking that bag like a boll, spewing books and pens and clothing from its belly and into the grass and dirt.

Lori continued to laugh and Astrid walked away easily, stuffing hands into the pockets of her leather jacket. Lori hurried to catch up with the other girl, curling an arm around hers so that they could lean into each other as they walked. Lori had only recently become so snuggly with Astrid. They had always been friends of sorts, the way pretty girls in small towns are, but she had always been a little too on the good side for Astrid and Vera. But Vera hadn't been seen in some time now and that left holes in Astrid's social life.

Astrid raised an eyebrow when they saw some of the other girls returning to the in-construction camp site. The bus ahead of theirs had already started work on setting up tents and building fire pits. Ah, boys on teams could be so useful. “Where's Christy?” Lori was quick to ask the other girls. Astrid could see the mischief in their faces though, something Lori never quite noticed. They struggled to come up with an answer. “Better question might be, where's Darling?” Astrid mumbled with little amusement. She had done the cheerleader route in middle school. She still couldn't remember if it had been her idea of Vera's to join but she remembered a unified decision of boredom not to bother when they went into High School.

Astrid untangled herself from Lori to deposit her with the new whispers of scandal. Lori liked to give her girls and idea of moral standard within the squad. It often led to some pretty brutal shaming. She left them to find Genna Walker, another friend, more legit than Lori, who she was supposed to be sharing a tent with. Her mouth peeled into a wide grin when she saw Genna behind a tree already taking swigs of what looked to be a bottle of tequila. Yes, Genna was going to be a much better replacement for Vera than Lori ever could be.

Vera. Astrid couldn't help but glance through the trees in the direction of the lake. She'd almost skipped this trip all together.

Beau

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Re: The Woodland Wounds
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2015, 05:56:08 am »
Climbing the tree seemed like a good idea at the time.  He figured he’d be alone, and away from the crowd.  Maybe in an hour he’d go do some people watching:  when the animals on the ark paired off two by two and the misfits made fools of themselves. It was always fun to see who had an axe to grind, but never worth being the target.  In the meantime, he still had some java script to write and the charge on his I-pad mini was at 50 percent. If he could catch a break from all the foliage and get a clear cell signal he could finish the code and put the project away.  But how was he supposed to concentrate when the party was busy coming to him?

Terrance looked down at the pair who was walking within a stone’s throw of his perch.  He doubted they could hear his sigh or see the eye roll he offered over the wisp of conversation that drifted up into the evergreen.  Seriously?  Terrance leaned back on the branch and wished he could beat his head against the wood.  Weren’t there other trees in the forest?

He didn’t think they’d look up.  Few people ever did. In fact, few people noticed or bothered Terrance after they realized that he wasn’t going to do his homework for them, and that he had no lunch money.  He’d made his trademark the ‘Mr. Invisible’ game.  At the same time, he knew just about everyone’s name, their GPA and what made the tick. Tonight he’d sat across the aisle from Torgrim on the bus, and not exchanged a word, but watched the interplay of facial expressions as the poser tried to find himself.  Now Christy was in her best Barbie mode. Henry was about to be played like a gullible fool.

The pending scenario wasn’t just a lucky guess on his part.  He’d seen the football team a few minutes before, strutting off the path and guffawing like hunters after snipe.  Terrance figured they planned to initiate one of their own, and was pleased they’d be doing it out of his view, but now they were back and he wondered how much the alcohol would subtract from the limited intelligence available.  The only potential variable was how long this would take and how much clothing Henry would have left at the end of it.

Terrance shifted position.  He angled the I-pad so that the camera was pointed at the ground below him.  The luminescent screen illuminated his features and caused his pale blue eyes to glow.  He pulled up the movie program and selected a soundtrack.



Verse

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Re: The Woodland Wounds
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2015, 07:14:06 am »
The lake could sense the presence of others. It could see them through the trees. They were a lot like Vera had been. On its surface it replayed the burning innards of a canvass and leather bag. A toxic friendship, but one of peers. Beloved friends and adversaries. Interests of love. The lake wanted their attention. A school of creature sizzled into existence in the depth and wove once through the water, waving at the kids to come. They wouldn’t see, of course. But the life force that had taken over the lake wasn’t so debilitated that it didn’t have other ways to beacon them in. Humans are imbeciles, after all, young humans only slightly more in tune with their real, truly wise instincts.

A breeze would come, flitting over the water to then reach and chill the visitors slightly. The lake could not control the wind, but it could affect it. The minerals in the bottom sand were drawn out and spent. The resulting energy had the water warm quick, bubble quietly. The creatures, thumb sized, disappeared in the white that became of the clear blue. Now the breeze would not carry a chill. Warmth would rise from the water, with a pleasant, light scent, to ride on the wind and make songs with the trees before it would envelop and tease the newly arrived group of teenagers and their chaperons. The countenance of the little visit from the big mountain tempest would be ‘it is warm here, unusually so, shouldn’t you all get in the water?´. A certain girl, with features many times in the deceased, lovely Vera’s memories, would be able to hear the voice of the drowned but never found classmate. The sound might be a thought, but it clearly called Astrid to The Lake, to remember, or to pay tribute.

The gust that came to the scene of Henry Tyler’s execution, however, was not so kind. It held the fuel of an artificial testosterone, entering the boys to swell their egos and bloat their need to do harm. The Lake didn’t doubt that a wounded, bruised Henry Tyler could still drag himself to the water, perhaps to wash his cuts, or drink to his defeat. Its own ego also wanted, perhaps, a little sacrifice to honor how well it could pull the strings of man. And a man who went from monkey to man, and back to moneky again.

Once that little messages had been delivered, both the one of come hither and battle on, The Lake reclaimed the heat into its molecules, staying the energy that made it boil. For a while it fluctuated, the waves almost wild with the turmoil in temperature, so that it would be good to wade in, but not so warm that it defeated its purpose of providing some refuge from the heat they’d think they felt. It remembered the body of Vera Covall, and consulted her old synapses on what she might find irresistible. In her files of preferences, it discovered other things that it could use to lure. The Lake was pleased, excited, priming itself for the horde of hormones it would incite.

The bottom was threaded through with hair-width anchors, replicas of roots, to hold wrist girth stems that reached to break the membrane between water and air. There, breathing, the stems would erupt into hand sized structures, like the flowers Vera had made to celebrate her crush on Terrance Knight before his savvy for screens made him an inept social character. Instead of paper, they would be made out of cartilage covered with the skin of the inside of the human cheek, kept slick by the water. These flowers would bob in the soothed waves, further out on the lake, to call for people to swim out, if the thought of swimming alone in the new lake wasn’t enough. The teens would know that water lilies and other flowers were not native to their summer haunt. The petals of the little, organic siren designs would take small breaths, as the small Mr. Covall had done, when she hid in her room, in the company of two curled fingers and the latest year book.

Torgrim held the opened bottle to his forehead. Mother always did that during summer. It never really cooled him the way it did her. He tipped the bottle into his lips instead, and gurgled before he let the bubbles settle in his mouth, looking around. Mr. Thomas walked by with all the judgment a man his age should have. Torgrim winked an eye, its green saturated with sunlight, and waved the bottle of actual hydration, smiling with inflated cheeks. The adult shook his head with what should have been disapproval, but still there was a smile cracking through. Torgrim swallowed and watched the teacher leave.

He picked up one of his treats. Import, a bottle of vodka, hand sized, like beer, and with a screw cap. Supposed to be done with in one sitting. Overseas looked better and better. He sighed in contentment as he stood, brushing off the back of his jeans. He trapped his fingers over his shoulder in the top hook of his backpack, vodka dangling in the hold of his other hand as he made his way toward the trees again. He wasn’t going to abstain from drinking, but he’d still pay a modicum of respect to Mr. Thomas.

On his way he bumped into the youngest of the Finnians. He smiled widely at the headphone adorned face. “Genious.” He said, a nickname he’d given her without her consent. “Here. Now you have a set.” He proceeded to extend his arm, leaving the loud backpack in front of her. It was a hiking bag that used to be yellow with black straps. His mascot. It would both draw and deter attention, like t-rex piss. “Have at it, I’ll be back for the left-overs, eh?” he said, meaning it. He always had his eye on corrupting the younger sister of his ex.

Hurrying away from the scene, so she wouldn’t be able to protest, he ran deeper than he’d meant to. Perhaps he was more eager to get out of setting up than he thought. The woods were noisy, more than wind in leafs. He held the bottle up to a crack in the green ceiling and laughed, excited. When the sound of that glee died, he head more of that scuffing that wasn’t native to the woods. He frowned, following the disturbance to its source. The frown deepened. Henry vs the muscle of Pineland. Torgrim sighed and wrung the cap off his drink, swigging hard for the pain that would come. The Tyler kid had all the makings of a social lion, but he was a nicer guy than that, too nice for his own good, actually. That’s why Torgrim didn’t like him. A bad reflection of what he could have been, if he was a better person. Poor Henry still peddled good stuff for cheap to make friends, or that was Torgrim’s diagnosis. Torgrim wasn’t so bad that he’d let lil’ ol’ Hank get beat up for running a the school’s best service, though.

“Uaaaghhh!” Torgrim roared through the chemical burn on his tongue. He placed the bottle by a tree before he staggered into the scene, hands crossed over his crotch. “Mnnghh… f@ckbrowns-on-mars, dude.” He said, distressed expression directed at Darling. His shoulder bumped Henry’s. With some feigned effort, Torgrim stood straight, hands on his hips as he sighed, labored, eyes still on the leader, a quarterback half a head taller than himself. Muscle built on the field and in the gym. Torgrim was looking forward to this as much as he wasn’t. “That Christy sure knows how to get things done, doesn’t she?” he rubbed his crotch again, act bleeding off his persona to reveal the real grin underneath. “But I feel like I’ll be pissing through a hickey for weeks. Man, where’d the romance go in the world?”

True to his sport Darling tried to tackle Torgrim, who was able to spin out of his way only to be hit by the same basic attack from one Joseph Aldon. It didn’t hurt, Torgrim simply found himself on the ground with the giant over himself. With an assortment of dirty tricks, one of them being throwing fallen foliage in the face of the aggressor, Torgrim was able to spin them around and rain some punishment on the not-so-witty Joseph. He looked to the side, eyes starting to blank from the hard drink he’d had before this ordeal, at the Tyler kid. “Anytime, Hanky.” A breeze. "F@ck it's getting warm, eh?" He said before he was pulled off Joseph by a third player.

Thunderstruck

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Re: The Woodland Wounds
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2015, 10:26:56 am »
Heinrich had been weighing his options. He could have possibly taken Darling in a one on one, but Darling was too much of a social whore to ever go anywhere alone. Just then Grim, came in from the side, called him Hanky, and, and goaded Darling into a fight.
After the Hanky crack, Heinrich, had the fleeting notion of leaving Grim, to his fate, and going after Christy, and his runaway weed. But no. Grim was a pain in the ass more often than not, but the guy, did put his own on the line, for a fight that wasn't his own. Though Darling, and Joseph-known among the cheerleasders as joe the hoe, and not for any love of gardening-A full back named Gary, something, squared off with Heinrich.

Gary lunged, Heinrich went into a dive, executed a roll, came up just at the fullback's feet, and put a hard uppercut, right into the boy's groin.
Gary something or other went down with a gasp, which became a howl, which became a low moan. "Hey asslickers, the party's over here. I got a keg of whoop ass for all of you.
"You're so dead, you miserable punk!" Darling roared, as he looked at the Tyler kid. Gary was on the ground, out of the fight, and probably out everything for at least a few days. Being suckered by Grim was one thing, but having one of his own suckered by the high school drug dealer, was even worse.
"Dave, you and Joe finish the poser boy. Kevin. and I will take out Hanky Panky here."

Kevin tried to get around behind Heinrich, but the Tyler kid, was faster than he looked. Kevin's failed grapple was countered by a right cross from Heinrich. The guy's jaw may as well have been made of iron, for all the good that did. Heinrich, felt something in his right hand go pop. Kevin grabbed him by the arms, and turned him to face Darling, who in turn grinned the grin of the victorious-or the grin of the empty headed, and possibly inbred, Heinrich wasn't sure which.

Darling took his sweet time winding up for the punch, meant to lay waste to Tyler's face.
Heinrich, forced himself to relax, and felt Kevin's grip relax as well.
Darling pitched his fist.
Heinrich, ducked his head, felt Darling's knuckles graze his head, but otherwise sail on past,
Heard Kevin cry out in a surprised "What the-"
Heard the sickly snap, as some part of Kevin, probably his nose, was obliterated by Darling's fist.
Kevin's grip was gone, Tyler was on the ground, but an even more furious Darling was coming for him.
There in the gathering darkness, a metallic click could be heard.
Darling came on.
Heinrich, came up.
With a switch blade knife, in his left hand.
Darling's fury turned to panicked surprise, only too late as Heinrich, sliced him across the face, cutting deep into Darling's cheek and nose.
"Not so Darling, now are you, Todd? Or should I say, Toad?

Todd Darling was too surprised to form a clever retort of his own. He looked at the knife in Tyler's hand. Covered in blood. His blood. He forgot himself, He forgot everything but his rage.
He ignored the knife, and charged Tyler. He ripped the knife from the outcast, and used it to stab Tyler in the stomach.

"You miserable little son of a mother fucking bitch!" Darling grabbed Tyler by the throat, and squeezed until the other boy's eyes started to glaze over.
"Oh no, Tyler," Darling said. "You're not going to get away that easily."
He punched Henry in the stomach where he'd just recently stabbed him. Henry came back into full consciousness in a burst and howl of pain.
Darling laughed. "Now that's more like it! I like a guy to meed his end with his eyes open. Just like on the field. So what'll it be for a last request?
"I know! How-about-a-drink-of-water!"
He punched Hnery in the stomach again then picked him up, carried him over his shoulders, like a sack of potatoes, off toward the lake.

"Last stop! Everybody out!" said Darling as he threw the half conscious Tyler into the water.

***************************************************************************

The organism had been floating about for...how long? It did not know. Only that it was a long time indeed.
A long time to be floating about, only partially aware of life.
Just then, something nice
something warm
something that carried with it, the lover's kiss
and promise of life.
It followed this warm trail to its source. There.
The thing was like Vera, yet, it was not. It was different in more ways than one. For one thing, it LIVED!
But not for long.
The near microscopic being sensed the warmth, flowing out of the human before him was its life source.
The being came closer.
Closer.
The being transcended the barrier being the universe of water, and the universe of..of what?
LIFE!
New life.
But not if it didn't act quickly.
So it did.
************************************************************************
From somewhere, half submerged in the lake, Henry Tyler, both ceased to be, and became something more...
« Last Edit: July 23, 2015, 10:53:53 am by Thunderstruck »

Ara

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Re: The Woodland Wounds
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2015, 09:41:46 pm »
Lovisa looked down at the offensively bright bag Grim had dumped at her feet. It was a nice offer, she supposed, but it was also dropped with the expectation that she would take care of it, keep an eye on it, tend to it. She felt eyes on her then, snickers. She looked up and the only pair of eyes she looked back at were the only ones not amused. Pale blues staring at her. Astrid was a mystery to Lovisa. They shared so much and yet they shared nothing at all.

There had been a time with Lovisa loved her, worshiped her, desired to be her, but that time had given way to hurt feelings, confusion and eventually hate. She had hated her sister and all of her nasty friends until that night last winter in this forest. Now she was just confused.

Astrid looked away, grabbing at Genna Walker's hand and leading the half drunk girl and a group of others off toward the lake. That lake. Lovisa watched her go, wondering what she was thinking. How she could come here at all. Had she really never loved Vera? Was Astrid really that ruthless? They hadn't talked about that cold night when the ice cracked. They hadn't talked about it at all. Lovisa still remembered Astrid holding her hand and half dragging her back to the car. It was the first time since they were small that her sister had held her hand. She had pushed her into the passenger seat, the seat where Vera had been on the drive up, and they had gone the whole way home in silence.

Astrid had never told her to keep it a secret. She had just gone back to life like nothing had happened. If it weren't for the news of Vera's disappearance sweeping the small town into a frenzy, Lovisa might have believed that it hadn't.

Astrid looked down at the backpack in front of her, shifting her own recently picked up pack on one shoulder before pressing her small mouth and walking around it, leaving it there. Astrid would have left it there.

Astrid led Genna with tangled fingers toward the lake. She felt it before she saw it. It was Vera's lake now and when she reached it she almost asked her friend if she had missed her. Genna squeeled in delight at the sight of the water, dropping the half empty bottle of tequila for Astrid to catch before it hit the rocks. Genna was in her underpants within a second and making violent splashes of that previously serene pool. It wasn't long before she was joined by a few others.

Astrid stood at the edge, holding that cold bottle by the neck and staring out at the summer water. It didn't look the same as it had in the winter. They had walked so far out on that ice, so bold then, grinning like wolves, eyes dark like the sky. They been bored that week. It had been after her breakup with Tor. She had seen the swoony way Lovisa still looked at him and so she'd fed Vera's plans to scare her. She could still hear the ice cracking and Vera screaming for help.

New shouting, real shouting, jarred her from her thoughts and her stare at the water, turning her jaw and then her body to look down the curve of the wild bank just as Darling broke through the trees with a body. She saw the blood on Henry before he was thrown into the water, the water kicking up around him. "What the hell?" She shouted, loud enough to jar Darling and have him twisting suddenly to stare back at her. She was already walking around the bank, abandoning Genna and the others to their swimming glee on her path toward the idiots. "Seriously? We're here for five minutes and you're already going to wreck this thing and have the cops out here?" She was laying into him and taking wide steps to surpass rocks and weeds.

She stopped at the edge of the lake, water rolling up against her boots, ready to tear him a new one just because it suited her mood when she twisted to look at the water where Henry had gone in. "Why isn't he coming up?" She said, voice dark as always but lower now. She turned to look at Darling again and this time saw the knife in his hand.

Lovisa appeared from the trees to the side, behind Darling, catching Astrid's eye for a second and making the older sister click her teeth angrily at the younger, as though it would be enough to order her back to the camp and away from what was turning out to be a crime scene. Who turns a fight between stupid boys into a reason for jail time? The answer? Stupid boys.

Lovisa dropped her bag and hurried past the jock, brushing by her sister and stomping into the water. She dove even with her headphones on, some part of her loving the way Astrid snapped her name. "Lov." That was what she called her. It had been so long since she had that Lovisa had forgotten. The water was dark and it burned her eyes at first, like little needles, but Lovisa was only really looking for the lumpy shape of a fully dressed teen. She grabbed at his arm and pulled.

Beau

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Re: The Woodland Wounds
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2015, 05:13:54 am »
Terrance used his index finger to scroll through the music.  Torgrim mentioned a girl, and that caused his hand to hover over Queen, and Somebody to Love.  He contemplated the opening chords and slow pace, thinking the build-up might work.  The irony would play well – love and hate close together. But the dynamic below shifted quickly to a fight scene, which required more of an action oriented soundtrack.

“Front 242?” Terrance tested the thought aloud as he searched for the old, techno Headhunter.  The figures  could be considered dancers.  He could add some lighting effects, like a laser show if he stayed interested in the film making process long enough.  Maybe he’d Photoshop a dress on Darling.

Torgrim was being thrown to the ground as Terrance smirked and decided instead on Pour Some Sugar on Me.  The pacing seemed to match the football players plodding movements.  Big-hair wanna-bes...The splattering of blood he could see as Henry slashed with his knife, had a certain rhythm and symbolism.  Thus resolved, he managed to link the song as well as continue filming the scene below.

His earlier words, however, drew some attention.  Apparently his voice traveled, although such wasn’t intended.

“Somebody up there?” Joseph said.  He’d managed to get up off the ground and moved out of range of Torgrim, coincidentally to the base of the pine tree Terrance had climbed.  The football player jumped, reaching for Terrance’s leg, but apparently wasn’t familiar with the forces of gravity, or had over estimated his athletic prowace.  Fifteen feet was even a bit much for Michael Jordan.

Terrance aimed the I-pad Mini down to get a clear close-up.  “Smile.  You’re on candid camera.”

“Why I ought ta –“

“Learn English?”  Terrance said as his fingers flew over the screen, playing with the zoom lens.  “Bit late.  Unless you got relegated to summer school.”

Darling was shouting and ruining the voice over.  Things were rapidly getting out of hand, but before Terrance could shout that ‘enough was enough’ Darling had picked Henry up and was carting him away.  As for Joe he made another leap at the tree branch.  This time he managed to grab some of the needles and branches, but only succeeded in raining pollen in his eyes.  He howled and cursed.  Terrance had excellent balance and merely shifted his weight on the balls of his feet to compensate.

“All right, boys.”  Terrance said, raising his voice in what he thought was an authoritative tone, but likely just sounded bored.  “Break it up, or I’m posting this film on my Youtube channel. I have all your parent’s emails.  Hate to see you grounded or worse.” Although his expression implied otherwise.  "You do remember Henry's dad's a cop, right?  Or is policeman too big a word?"

« Last Edit: July 25, 2015, 07:49:13 pm by Beau »

Verse

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Re: The Woodland Wounds
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2015, 02:25:33 pm »
As Grim was struggling to get up, he heard Darling delegate the abuse. He wanted to say something like ‘what, just two? That’s all I’m worth?’, but only got off an “ouff!” when Joe tackled him again. Tired of the time honored attack, Grim threw Joe off. Dave was of course there, ready to replace him. The behemoth was many times Joe’s physical superior, so Grim had no intention of letting him land. Taking Henry’s lead, he threw his heel up, almost blind. The sneaker, however, was guided by Dave’s thighs until the desperate stomp found its goal at the apex of Dave’s legs. The pain stunned the giant and afforded Grim enough time to stand himself up, using the motion to swinging at Joe who’d finally found footing and initiative. The punch found Joe’s ear and toppled him as his legs flailed with the stark, pulsating pain.

While Joe and his dark locks, both on his head and his chest, exposed under a v-ring, weren’t out for the count, he did seem busy enough with the  misplaced punishment that Grim could again come at Dave, who was still a towering being, even on his knees, holding his crotch. “Lemme take your mind off that.” He offered as he took the two leaps required before he could plant a knee on Dave’s cheekbone. The picturesque maneuver became more shove than ram, and Grim fell forward, holding on to Dave’s head, while Dave had no choice than to fold back. Grim was able to deal exactly two slugs and one attempt at a third before Joe pulled him off again. The two were standing, ready to exchange some quality fisticuffs, judging by their guards.

The joy and adrenal high Grim was surfing caught another swell when Hank pulled a knife. Grim made sure Joe saw it. “That’s right, footballsacks. Don’t bring a meathead to a knife fight, or you get…” Green eyes were strung wide, Grim’s gasp accompanying Darling’s gush of blood, curtaining his cheek. “D-dude.” Grim breathed, hand out for Hank from a distance that could impossibly be breached by the length of a human arm.” F@ck. “ He muttered as the wound kept giving, and Darling expressed horror around the flow of blood before his face was stretched over a wrinkled formation of anger.

Grim was about to disarm Hank somehow, walking past Joe, when Darling claimed the blade. By his hand it found its way back to its original owner, visiting Hank’s stomach, deep. Grim kicked off to get the large man off the fallen Hank when Joe saw it fit to bring something dull to the back of Grim’s head.

Everything played out without consequence for a few moments. He was sure he saw every one still on their feet leave, and Hank. Eventually Grim realized he was breathing in the forest floor. Somewhere off to the side Joe was trying and failing to court whatever was up a tree. Grim pushed himself up on his knees and coughed. And then he remembered.

Grim stood, dirt thrown outward, crescent pattern, at the violent rise. With some malice he scooped up a rock by his feet, possibly the very same that had knocked him to the ground. He ran for the lake, fell toward the lake, and on his way he made sure to pass Joseph, and toss the rock at close proximity to hit the back of the footballer's leg. He gave a thumbs up to Knight before he continued on his way to the water.

There was Darling, breathing like a beast, looking out over the surface, broken by Henry’s floating torso.

He pushed Darling from behind. “Are you crazy? You just stabbed that guy. You’re going to prison. You’re going to the chair. They’re gonna roast your nuts. They’re gonna stick to your jumpsuit!” Grim said, shoving him again, away from himself as he waded out in the water. Did they even have the death penalty here? Didn’t matter. His point had come across. How did things get so f@cked so fast? “Better call someone, psycho!” he yelled as he dropped his outer shirt, only now seeing Genna and Astrid. He shot his ex a glance as though this was her fault, all of it. “F@ck its hot here!” he complained, frustration and fear boiling over in juvenile belligerence as he pulled at the collar of his t-shirt. The water felt refreshing. In fact, it was tingling around his legs.

Before he could dive, Lovisa rose from the shallow depths, dragging Hank with him. Had she been under the surface when Grim arrived? All he could do now was help her pull and roll Hank onto the sand.

“Good work, Genius.” He said as he absentmindedly pushed Lovisa aside. She couldn’t possibly know what had happened to Hank.

He tore Hank’s shirt where the knife had already made a rip. Nothing. Clean skin. Grim made sure to turn him around and rid him of the shirt completely, never caring what this might look like to the others. Hank looked as though he was sleeping. He looked at Lovisa and then a her older sister, last at Genna, as though they might explain the absence of the wound they knew nothing about.

“You lucky shit.” He said and kicked Hank in the side. “You better have some free stuff for me, Switch Blade. You owe me big time, like, stupid owe me. Us.” Lovisa had obviously done most of the legwork, here. He sighed and settled down, the water soaked into the low of his jeans ringing. He must be imagining it, along with how the flowers floating toward the middle of the lake were mouthing something with their petals.

"You're a better person than your sister, Genius." he said, standing up and patting Lovisa on her wet shoulder. Her headphones couldn't possibly still be working, she had to hear him, Astrid definitely would, which was the point. He pushed Hank's shoe with his own.

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Re: The Woodland Wounds
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2015, 01:54:03 am »
Henry jerked awake, as if jolted by an electric shock. He looked around numbly. for a moment, he heard nothing. A strangely dressed boy with ripped jeans was flapping his gums, but strangely enough, he couldn't hear what was being said.
Finally, silence, gave way to sound. He just stared, as if not understanding the language. Which, after a fashion, he didn't. He looked from Grim to Lovisa. Finally, comprehension returned. As did sensation. He was in no pain, but by got he could feel everything[/B], and not just in the tangible sense. He could smell the others' fear, mingled with relief. Strangely, the fear was the more appetizing of the two scents. He froze for just a moment, wondering why he thought that, even in the back of his mind.
He moved his arms and legs. Everything seemed to work. His mind assimilated what had just been said by...Grim...Now he remembered. The guy's name was Grim. Neither friend, nor foe, just a guy, but a guy who had entered a fight that wasn't his own. An ally perhaps?
Henry looked back at Lovisa again, now realizing that he was shirtless. Looking into her eyes, and the various emotional factions, no doubt duking it out behind those lovely orbs, he spread his arms, and half smiled up at her
"Look baby, I can explain everything", letting innuendo slip into his voice. Then he looked over at Grim, who appeared in the early stages of undress. The innuendo was replaced by feigned shock "Then again, maybe I can't."

"See He's just fine!" Retorted Darling. "I didn't even graze him. The blade musta retracted on impact." he pointed to Grim. "You freak out too much you weird little spaz!"

Henry craned his neck up from where he lay, so that he could get a better view of his most hated enemy. At this remained constant. Except now he had this strange, calm, certainty that he would get Darling for this. Get him ten fold.
For now he only sat up, half turned to look Darling squarely in the eye-after taking a moment to examine the jock's still bleeding face. He donned that sly smirk of his and said, "You're bleeding rather heavily this month, douche face. You better have your Gyno take a look at that."

Darling balled up his fists at his side, started forward, but then, realizing how close he'd just come to being arrested, and that the night was still young, he merely pointed at Henry, and said: You just watch your back form now on. With school out of the way, it's new rules from now on.

How right you are, enemy, mine.

That thought came unbidden. Henry recognized it as his, and yet, he didn't.

After Darling stormed away, henry stood up. "Thanx, guys", he said, honestly this time. He looked at Lovisa again, seeing her headphones were soaking wet. "Guess, I really owe you huh?"
His left hand went to his back pocket. Miraculously, his wallet was still there. He took it out, opened it, and whipped out a fifty dollar gift card from Amazon. "Here", he said. "I got it for graduation from my Mom's sane sister, in the mail. You should take it. Maybe replace your headphones or something."

He reached into his water weighted cargo pocket took out his whiskey flask, took a drink. The seal had failed. Some lake water had mixed in with the liquor. Strangely, he didn't mind. Even welcomed it. He'd no idea why, but it felt like home, and it made him feel stronger. From the back of his mind came the idea, that the lake water mixed with whiskey might be just the thing for Grim. He didn't know why he thought that, for it seemed a really messed up thing to think; especially where liquor was concerned.
Still, the idea seemed a grand one, and the thought of it was persistent.

"Here, Grim." He said "You look like you could use a drink." He offered the other his flask, containing both whiskey, and something else. Something extra special.

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Re: The Woodland Wounds
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2015, 04:03:50 pm »
Lovisa had been blind when she rose from the water dragging his body up with her. Blind for that split second even when she opened her lids, light sizzling against her retina, crackling. She saw lightning and then it was gone. She was trudging through water with Grim to bring Hank to the beach. Almost as soon as she recognized her sister's ex, he pushed her aside. It was a natural motion and her lips started to peel back at it, a snarl that started and ending just as quickly, beginning only to twist into a smile and then press back into the casual set of lips.

She stood, her shirt and jeans clinging to her and her blond hair looking darker, tendrils of those short strands sticking to her cheek and neck. She took a step back while Grim ruined Hank's shirt and decided over his living or dying. She turned to look at Astrid without even thinking where her eyes were going. There was something dark in the once clear blues of her eyes. Something living that no one saw just yet. Not even Astrid in those seconds before she sucked a breath of contempt and turned away.

Genna Walker was standing in the water a few yards down the beach with a few others, waving her arms. "Come on, Astrid! Don't be a prude!" She shouted, oblivious to any drama going on on the beach with all her focus currently on bathing. Astrid looked at the group around her long enough to catch Grim's remark and see his hand touch Lovisa's shoulder. She lifted the tequila bottle still in her hand and took a burning gulp before tossing it at Lovisa. She didn't stay long enough to see her sister catch it with both hands.

Lovisa stood there, awkward in her drenched state and looked down at the bottle. It was mostly empty and somehow that was fitting. The one thing he sister had given her in almost as long as she could recall and it was a near depleted reject. She dropped the bottle and it landed in the gentle surf, drenching wet sand. She looked up when Hank spoke, realizing then that she was still wearing the headphone and reaching up to pull them off, shaking them as though that would get the water loose. At least the phone in her pocket with her collection of music on it would survive. She had picked a Sony that could take on nature and the wrath of her sister. While Astrid had picked out an iPhone that broke if you stared at it too long.

She took the gift card Hank offered awkwardly, not sure she was owed it. "Thanks." She mumbled, looking at the card in her pale fingers before starting to extend it back to him, mind racing to prepare a casual rejection but Hank had already moved on to pushing a flask at Grim. She didn't imagine it would be hard to get the other boy to drink.

Astrid had walked a few paces away and shrugged out of her jacket, smiling back at Genna and the others making their way into the water casual. As though nothing had changed. As though that water wasn't filthy with death. She tossed her jacket down on a rock and it was soon joined by her jeans and tshirt. She was lean in that black bikini, youth shaped by jogging and good genetics. Her father has told her she was beautiful. Her mother had warned her it would only lead to heartbreak.

"Grim!" Genna near shrieked in her hysterical delight now, splashing at another couple in the water. "You guys come swim too! Before it gets too cold!" Genna was an all purpose fun girl. The kind that liked everyone just as long as they were contributing to the party. Her words cut off into a mess of giggles when her boyfriend of the week lifted her up and threw her out deeper into the water.


Beau

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Re: The Woodland Wounds
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2015, 08:50:58 am »
He didn’t understand it really, the random nature of people.  Darwin predicted survival of the fittest, but his theories didn’t take into account human emotion, or freewill.  Maybe it was stupidity that caused some to aid others.  Somewhow Terrance doubted it was all genetics.

Most of the others scattered as Terrance threatened his own cyber terrorism.  Grim headed to the water and most of the other football players took the hint.  Except Joe.  He seemed to want to play truth or dare.

“You don’t have the balls to make trouble for me.” Joe smirked.  Crossing his arms, he stared up at the branches where Terrance remained out of reach.  “At some point you’ll have to come down.”

“Yep.” Terrance was patient.  He had to be to deal with all the inferior mortals who surrounded him.  At the same time, he was blind to temptation in the air to do more with his night than taunt the stupid.  He was out of sight of the lake, but the muffled laughter and splashing held little allure.  “But I have all night.  You’re welcome to waste it with me if you want.”

A few crickets added a chirp in counterpoint to the silence that followed.  Terrance went back to his resting place on the tree limb.  He moved the iPad into view and returned to his coding problem.

Joe looked over his shoulder a few times.  Terrance began to count slowly to himself, a mental side bet that he wouldn’t make it to 100 before Joe drifted off.

41…42…Ah the true meaning of life.

A glance down and Joe was gone.  Terrance pocketed his personal device, swung down from the tree and decided to make his way towards the lake.  He could hear more laughing and splashing as he got closer, but he hovered just out of view, his expression unreadable.  Watching and waiting, much like the water itself.


Verse

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Re: The Woodland Wounds
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2015, 10:16:38 pm »
He was sure there was a relief inside Darling when Hank woke. Perhaps that relief was more profound than what Lovisa felt. She had performed a good deed after all, her conscience would be clear whether he made it or not. Torgrim was sure this was mostly projection. To him, it was a good thing to see the boy wake. No water from his mouth. It hadn't been about drowning. What had happened, really? The knife in Darling's hand hadn't retracted, Grim had seen as much before Joe had all but split his head.

The Tyler kid found his wits fast, trying to do right by Lovisa. Grim grinned widely when he saw the two, light making a golden net of reflection on Hank's chest, back from the dead, and Lovisa, soaked, heroine by her own initiative, in her now mute headphones. Hank could not be anything but smitten by her, could he? The girl that had salvaged him from the depths of the lake. A quiet, water coated valkyrie.

It became Grim's turn to receive payment. He wanted to act modest, of course, play the part of the Samaritan, transcending material things and the notes in the ledger between people. The Avanson son reached through all such beautiful pretenses, and stole the flask quickly, where Hank had dropped it. The mouthful of vodka needed company in his liver. He tasted it quickly, and then again, deeper. "Watered down. What, did you swim with it or something?" he asked the leaving boy before taking a third tip. He didn't mind looking greedy if it helped dispel the tension. Hank did not get his flask back.

 

The burn this time was different, shallow. He swallowed to quell the heat, to suffocate it in the contractions of his throat. He didn’t know the fire was real, small things, blossoming like Young Earth, searing the smallest parts of his esophagus, making bonfire light inside him before finding the bloodstream of his aorta, where it could spread like billowing embers of firework. His anatomy was instantly adorned like a clear night sky with these burning decimals. The heat that Vera had not felt when she’d gone through the ice. There was a wisp of smoke out his lips when Grim breathed after the drink. It wasn’t cold out.

 

He picked up the bottle she dropped, which seemed to be what he was doing today. It had been a harsh maneuver from Astrid. Astrid was full of those. Did his sins spill over to Lovisa? It was her deception, now, the little sister, innocent but full of unfamiliar malice. He believed her though, in her, would rather let his ignorance punish him than not trust her. Maybe it was this advanced pity that she saw in him and rejected violently. Or maybe it was other sides of him, equally deserving hate. He held the mouth of the bottle to the mouth of his person. His eyes were on Genna, spreading her joy and imposing her laughter. If she looked back, or if Lovisa or Hank saw, there would be redlined debris in Grim’s green irises, as though he was looking at a coming fleet of lanterns that only registered in his mind, and on his eyes. He drank. Another hard liquor to the mix. Somehow this untainted drink wasn’t as satisfying as the weakened one Hank had offered. Here he stood, a bottle and a flask.

Another swig of the tequila, and he was on his way, after having winked at Lovisa. He ran the same path as Astrid, and slid to a stop on the sand, lifting the bottom of the bottle until it had emptied into his mouth. His legs, clad in denim and throbbing liquid, wanted to topple him into the froth lining of the coming waves, broken up by bodies already wading. Torgrim twisted around and threw the bottle into the thicket, a display of playfulness and aggression, because he was male. The stain on his tongue from the drink curled into vapors through his head, crowing the lining between his brain and the cranium. He was still holding the flask as he watched the merriment in the lake.

Eventually his shirt was off, wrapped around the suddenly precious flask, while the boy ran into the beginning depth. He launched himself at the low back of the man animal that kept Genna elevated above the surface, until he'd felled the two. At that point his head was also under the water, and it was as hot as the baths mother had drawn him when the weather didn't allow the younger him to go swim outside. Torgim gasped as he broke the liquid, but not for want of air, but out of amazement. He breathed with his svelte chest and small waist, sticking up like the blade that he was, looking at the diamond nectar roiling in his palms and coiling off his fingers. Had the lake always tasted like hydration after a long run? He laughed from his belly and a fire-flake uproar was on his green eyes when Genna got up.

"You shouldn't drink and ride, Gen." he said and winked at the boy who sprouted back up after her. Torgirm backed off when the other male rushed forward, competition in his eyes. There was wildly cast clouds of water while Torgrim taunted, laughed and ducked. For a few strokes of his arms and pumps of his legs, the world was a very pocketed kind of perfect.

And then he felt his shoulder collide into a sternum bone. When he got up again, the lake leaving his hair and shoulders in droves, he saw he'd run into the oldest of the Finnians. He chuckled, drunk on the euphoria seeping into him through his pores, and well, drunk. "Hello there, sister of the year" he always thought about her cruelty toward her sibling. It defined her to him. That and her body, full of spring, harbinger of her mouth, full of winter. "you're looking offly fine today. Is that water on your bikini or are you just glad to see me?"

People will not let you be a bastard if they are not under the misconception that you are not, sometimes.

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Re: The Woodland Wounds
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2015, 01:23:10 pm »


At Genna's strip teasing invitiation, he flipped her off. "Sorry Whore Frost, I'm saving it for your funeral!"
Back during their sophomore year, Henry and Genna had gone out briefly. They shared a creative writing class, which Genna had only been taking, because she thought it to be an easy A. Henry took it for the sheer thrill of taking it. The two of them had been paired off on a romantic poetry project. After that, they dated briefly. For Henry, it was the real thing. For Genna, it was more like, a give the influential cop's kid a chance, and see what it does for me, kind of thing. Genna had also been Henry's first.
He thought it was love, so naturally, he was equal measures of angry, and distraught two weeks later, when he found her straddling his then best friend Carl behind a snow bank. He'd been calling her Whore Frost, ever since.

As for Carl, Carl was a military brat, who's father, a Major, had gotten a transfer at the end of the sophomore year, and the entire family had moved, far away. Henry had received a post car once, from someplace in the tropics, bearing an apology from Carl, and a return address.
Henry had burned it, along with all of his Genna Memorabilia.

Presently, he stalked away from the beach, sand clinging to his sagging cargos, made heavy with water.
He kept a change of clothes in a little cubby under the seat of his bike.
Surprised to discover that no one had discovered, and either stolen, nor trashed his bike, he liberated the change of clothes, went behind a large tree and got changed.
A little while later, all changed, and dry, he grabbed a spare pair of boots from his handlebars. These were a special pair. His lucky pair you might say. They had belonged to his Grandfather, Lt. Henry Tyler who had been a British Commando during the second of the Great Wars.  Although his grandfather had died, when he was all of four years old, it had been stipulated in the will that Henry should receive all of the Lt's old Army stuff.  It either a lucky coincidence, or an act of fate, that the present Henry Tyler's feet were the same size and width as those of his {very} late grandfather.

He wasn't finished donning surprises just yet. From a false bottom in the seat, he pulled out something his Uncle Joe had given him on his eighteenth birthday: an medium frame H&K USP .45 Tactical. Joe said Henry should keep it a secret, because it would be illegal for him to carry until Henry turned 21, but that he just couldn't wait to give it. Joe must have had to cut through a lot of red tape, because nobody outside of the military, or special police operations was allows to even touch one of these let alone own one. The gun wasn't so unusual except for the slightly extended, threaded barrel, and the sleek, long silencer attached to its end. The weapon, as Henry remembered, held only 8 rounds in the mag, but that was more than he would need.

He wasn't a hundred percent sure why he thought he needed it just now. Just something. Some force, and thought, or drive deep inside, made him really want to settle some scores tonight. Not Darling. No, he wanted to savor that. No, tonight's score of choice was that weed heisting, man playing bitch, Christy.
If he knew Christy, and he did-quite well in fact-she wouldn't take the weed back to fire central. No, she'd get her elite cool friends, divvy it up, and sell it off for mall money.
Yes Christy was a good girl in that she didn't use the stuff; but that didn't mean she wasn't opposed to hocking it to support her non chemical vices.

His boots, and belt secure, his gun loaded, and ready, he stalked off to where he figured Christy and her friends would be.
'Well, tis is new', he thought. There was Christy, alright, and with his score of  the premium stuff, but she was alone. Not a yes lackey to be seen.

Suddenly Henry wasn't sure how to do this. Should he just take her out, or should he have some fun first> Maybe he ought to get her on her knees, and make her suck him off, before she an entirely different sort of head; a type that would send her soul packing, into the afterlife.

He decided to make it quick. He crept up behind her, leveled the gun at the back of her head, the silenced barrel, just inches away, his finger resting comfortably on the trigger.

Suddenly he became fully aware of what he was about to do. He hesitated, his hand began to shake. quickly-but still quietly, he withdrew the gun, then, slowly, retreated behind the nearest tree, he un-cocked it, and put it in its elite holster, behind his back.
'What am I thinking?' he wondered, horror struck. Sure he was pissed at the way Christy played on his libido, to take his weed, and get Darling to kick his ass; but to kill her? No! No way! That was too much.
No, he'd do this the nice way. The Heinrich way.

He stepped out of the bushes, loudly enough to be heard, and sat down beside Christy, and before she could react, snatched up the saddle bags, which in turn caught Christy off balance. She fell over sideways.

"That wasn't very nice Christy!" he said, in Heinrich mode. I thought we were better friends than that. I thought we had an...understanding. An arrangement."

Christy straightened up, brushing the twigs, leaves, and dirt from her blue and white blouse. When she had regained some small measure of her composure, she looked back at him, half angry, half bored, and scoffed. "What" a cut of the sale, if I hook you up with the unsuspecting, and the desperate? Why should I, when I can just sell your stuff myself and keep it all myself."

Heinrich shook his head, making a repetitive, tsk sound.
"I' Veeery Deesapoinnted een you Frauline.", he said in his best German accent, which at the moment sounded more like a Bela Lugosi, Dracula accent.

"Oh piss off Hank!" Christy retorted. Then, added, "And cut out the cheesy accent, Tyler. You haven't a shred of german in you, and we both know it."
She got up then. "Look, I'll see you later okay?" With that, and a semi-seductive swagger in her hips, she walked away, back toward the main party area, and the bon fire.

Henry just stood there, shaking, despite the relative warmth of the night. A part of him-a surprisingly large part of him, still thought he should have shot her.


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Re: The Woodland Wounds
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2015, 02:27:57 pm »
Lovisa stood on the bank, shoes still in the water, soaked through her beat up green converse and into her socks, toes squishing about in there. Her clothes felt heavy when she finally walked away from the lake, grabbing up her bag from the rocks and ducking into the low branches of trees and tall bodies of brush just out of site of the lake, not far from where Grim's discarded bottle had flown.

She dropped her bag near the base of a tree and peeled off her tshirt, shaking it out before tossing it up over a branch to hang and drip into the grass. Her body wasn't athletic like her sisters. Narrow and pale. Her shoes made resistant wet sounds when she pulled at the strings and stepped out of them, pulling off and abandoning her socks before undergoing the struggle of wiggling out of wet jeans.

Her eyes were dark when no one was there to see, body turned toward the tree and kicking off jeans that gathered blades of grass. She pulled at her bag to drag out a pair of shorts. They felt warm compared to her fingers. Had the water been cold? She pulled them on. She could hear laughter and splashing in the distance. It made her feel even more alone. Silence ate away at her. Astrid had said her name today. It made her feel a little more solid, a little less invisible. It had been a slip of the tongue though. She was still being punished.

Fingers clawed back her hair, pulling the headphones from around her neck and dropping them onto her backpack. They probably wouldn't work anymore but she wouldn't give up yet. Wouldn't condemn herself to that unbearable silence of nonexistence for the weekend just yet.

Astrid had hated Lovisa for almost as long as the girl could remember. But that hate had been fiery once. It had been warm. And then that winter night, the ice cracked and Astrid's hate turned cold just like Vera. It wasn't Lovisa's fault. She hadn't made the choice. She hadn't done it. But Astrid was punishing her all the same. She might as well have been the one that died.

-

Astrid was standing in the water, feet to the bottom, buried in sand and shoulders above the surface. Her eyes were closed and she was listening. Listening to a breeze that whispered like Vera. “You let me die.” It sung in her ear with quiet fury. “You chose her.” Astrid smiled cruelly. Her body felt warm even in the water, beneath the dying sun. She felt phantom fingers of a dead friend wrapping around her legs, squeezing. “You let me die.” Vera cried against her eardrums.

Astrid was knocked from her trans when Tor floated into her. She tensed and turned her head down to look at him, eyes opening and focusing. Sister of the year. He just had to remind her of Lovisa, didn't he? As though she could forget. As though Vera would let her. “He likes her, you know.” Vera's voice whispered in her ear and she could have sworn the dead girl was leaning agianst her back, chin to her shoulder. “He always liked her more than you. But you're beautiful. Beautiful always wins.” Vera's mouth was smiling, turning to kiss at Astrid's neck. “Until it doesn't.”

Astrid moved suddenly, fingers grabbing at Tor's face and body rising to push all her weight down on him, driving that face underwater, into the dark, where she wouldn't have to see it anymore.

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Re: The Woodland Wounds
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2015, 09:51:35 pm »
Henry up and stormed off, fortunately (or unfortunately) he didn’t notice Terrance before heading out to his bike and trouble beyond.  Terrance watched him go, his head turning to follow the sounds, wondering why he’d leave the spot as center of the attention.  Seemed like he was getting all sorts of positive feedback and yet he wandered off?  Terrance shook his head, and took a step back to leave himself, only to have an empty booze bottle land at his feet.

Light blue eyes narrowed at the source, finding Grim within their sights.  Litter bug.

He didn’t drink, so there was no need to pick it up, save for the trouble of putting it in a far off trash can. Terrance wasn’t a naturalist, but the sheer disrespect for the location eat at him.  Couldn’t they all appreciate the view and the quiet?  He’d spent many an afternoon at the lakeside.  Snow and sun didn’t deter him.  He’d even been there when a group of girls had come out to make trouble, and left with one less of their number.  He hadn’t known it was Vera that fell through the ice until much later when simple math made the subtraction evident. 

No one  had noticed him then, and apparently no one noticed him now.  Lovisa approached and started stripping within 20 feet of his silent figure.   He wasn’t moving, so perhaps she’d failed to see the green shirt in the slightly disparate color to the pine needle landscape.  He half turned, unable to resist the temptation to watch.  Contrary to popular opinion, he was human after all.

She put her headset away.  Terrance deduced the issue given how wet the rest of her was.

“If you put them in a bag of rice, you might be able to salvage them.”  Analytical to the end.  He didn’t inch forward to truly engage in conversation, but he also couldn’t stop himself from adding.  “You could also unscrew the cover on the receiver and air them out in pieces.”

He was rambling.  With a blink he cleared his thoughts enough to realize he probably should have waited to offer advice until she was fully clothed.  To appear more at ease then he felt, Terrance leaned against a nearby tree trunk and crossed his arms.  The breeze fluffed at his blond hair, pulling his bangs away from his face as though urging him to move on. He ignored the sign and found himself uncharacteristically adding,  “I’d be glad to take a look at them for you if you’d like an opinion on what might be done beyond that.”


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Re: The Woodland Wounds
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2015, 05:36:38 pm »
The message in her eyes wasn't for him. She looked detached, but engaged in that other thing that wasn't here or now. He wondered what she remembred as he floated comfortably beneath her. Her body was as firm as her resolve to be beautiful, the top of his head told him. And then she returned, some part of her, enough to give him a blinding flare of emotion that looked like many crippling things before she touched his face. He was about to laugh it off, push it off, before water rushed in between her fingers and his eyelids. He could feel the crush when waves from opposite sides of his face met in the middle, where her wrist was now, and he was lodged deeper into this very shallow part of the lake.

It felt good. She had a strong, well balanced touch, keeping him under. His hand ran up her forearm as he looked at the distorted her, masked in her digits. Sometimes she was aligned to look like a spindly beauty, and sometimes she was a disjointed, square, uncomfortable beast, depending on the rippling filter. His climbing hand came over her elbow and eventually cupped her shoulder. He would kiss her, he decided, alcohol inclined and nostalgic. This playfulness was her way of reconecting. It didn't have to mean much. With her, nothing really had to mean anything.

He realized he was drowning after he realized he was pulling at that shoulder. He did not realize there were little barbs growing, insect teeth on his palm, hooking into her skin. When he breathed the water, it came easy, inflating his lungs and soaking into his wide open eyes, as though to put-out the aflight charcoals dancing on his greens. The fire drank it like fuel instead, and spiraled into circular frames for his pupils. When he'd had his fill, finally saturated in the liquid that was not the lake he'd grown up by, his limbs ceased their struggle. He died an incomplete death under her hand.

When he came back, bulging the membrane making the surface the surface until that tent of tension broke, he was empty eyed, looking at her as the swirls of water lived on him like a cloak of calm sea. Something had taken hold, inventing heat from the alcohol in his blood and replacing it with another intoxication. Then the water became water again, relenting his body as gravity demanded, leaving him a lacquered man with dying sunlight bouncing in his details, looking like vengeance. "It'll take more." he warned.

Torgrim woke then, gasping as white and green lives erupted in a larvae chaos where his retina and sclera should be. He looked at the girl that had killed him, and saw all the trouble she was with her high-strung, quiet anger. He remembered her veins and her tasty salts, her heartbeat on palled, her lace against his nose. The worms smoothed until they were again assembled into something that looked like eyes. His mouth was filled with moist and he licked the ball of his wrist, trying to drag it off his tongue as he kept her in his sight. Had her cheekbones always looked this supple? How did she taste like after a run? Would her bones be warmer? What was the aroma in the pockets of her marrow? His hand came out swiftly, speed borrowed from deep space. He aimed to put his thumb on her hip bone, hook fingers around her to pull her in, make like he'd kiss her, like he'd promised himself.

And then he'd knock her forehead with his, rapping that plate of bone to her corresponding one, angle favorable to him. If he hit her, he'd give her her body back, give her to the water she'd killed him in. He'd turn and point at the crowd, laughing, burly, to draw sympathy from the other males. A shrug of nonchalance, to draw attention to his shoulders, well carved, far out.

Alpha?

"I already hit that." More laughter. The boys joined in.

Apex.

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Re: The Woodland Wounds
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2015, 08:13:11 am »
While the others frolicked at the lake, another, older mode awoke in Henry. The side of him that was, and would ever be, the entrepreneur. He went back to the bonfire, within range of the others, but hidden from the view of the adult chaperones. One of the kids, a junior named Marcus Wellby who wished to be on the top of the food chain next year, had agreed to be Henry's decoy. Wellby had taken with him about a pound of ground oregano to the party siteand made mock sales to the church kids, who wanted to suck up to the adults. When the adults became aware of him, and thought they'd make a prime example of by making a bust with this one, Henry gave the signal, and Marcus took off running, back toward the highway.  The adults left one of their own behind of course, but that was old Mrs, Swenson. A teacher so old, she should have been forced into retirement by now, and in deed, would have been had she not been so well liked by the school board, the faculty, and the ruling class of the student body, at large.
Henry liked her too. However his reasons for liking her were different. The board insisted she go on these little outings, to remind the youth, and the adults alike, that there was a thing known as dignity. No one really understood that. Henry, understood that she took her meds promptly at 5 pm, 7 pm, and 9 pm every night. All he had had to do, was arrange for mark, to slip her a slow acting sedative, which Chirsty had done, prior to her earlier betrayal.
Like clockwork, old Mrs. Swenson nodded off in her comfortable lawn chair, while the other grown ups were out on a chemical snipe hunt.
Henry made his presence fully known.
Christy approached. "Henry", she said. "I've been thinking. I don't think this is a good idea. We may be out of school, now, but the scholarship people could still revoke mine if they found out and-" Henry cut her off with an upraised hand.
"it's all right my dear", he said, all soothing warmth again. He couldn't stay mad at her for long. Indeed, he had to admire her grit, trying to sell him out the way she did. He would have done the same thing had he been in her shoes.
"You have already done your part. Why don't you go grab a few sodas, and wait by my bike. That way, when people sort it out later, no one will remember you ever having been around to be linked to anything."
She brightened at this, thinking it just the best idea in the world. "Thanks, Hank, you're the best." And off she went.

The newest part of him grinned inside, or would have, had it a mouth in the conventional sense, with which to grin. These humans were so easy. Having become so completely inter-woven, with this human on the sub atomic level, it had used his/its/their voice, pheromones, and eye contact, to essentially place an irresistible post hypnotic suggestion into the mind of the one called Christy. She'd go on thinking Henry was the greatest guy in the world, for as long as he had at least semi-regular contact with her. A little trick it had picked up once a million years ago, on a planet called Vixemal 4, in a galaxy far beyond this one, in a host body given to psychic ability. The being, now one enough with Henry, to effectively be called Henry, wondered what else it could adapt Henry to do. After all, it/he/they wondered in great curiosity. After all, these human creatures only use a max of 5 percent of their over all neural capability. They, humans that is reasoned a new Henry, were virtually made to be colonized. transformed, made better.

So it went, that henry, now not henry, yet oh so much more Henry, that ever before, sold the remaining weed, that Christy had not already sold, herself-which was not much, because she couldn't sell for crap.
The good stuff sold out in less than an hour. Except for a bit he held back, for personal use. the dreck he tossed into the bonfire, intended to get everyone a little high. Let the police have fun sorting out just who had what, when from slight inhalation by proxy of proximity to the bonfire, everyone had trace amounts of T in their system-or just about everyone, save the ones at the lake, Christy, and Darling's wild bunch, who were likewise not there.
Darling's crew, he'd learned had left to take Darling to the emergency room, for the slash wound to his face.

Then he left the bonfire to make his way back to Christy. Along the way he rolled himself a j, luxuriating in the  sensation. If it was good to human's it was absolutely thrilling to the new Henry.
He'd decided then-though he would not know he had decided anything for a while-not to turn Christy. She held delicious possibility, but there was something in her that was unappetizing to its core species. Yet Neither would he terminate her. She could still be used, and presently enjoyed. For that was what was in the mind of Henry, and it was as thrilling an idea as was smoking some of the "good stuff."

He reached his bike and there she was, happy, and relieved to see him. And there was something else. Arousal? Maybe. It certainly would be in a matter of minutes.
"Come Christy, was all he needed to say, at this point. He locked eyes with her, and then lips. They kissed for several moments, the three of them thoroughly enjoying the sensation.
Then he took her hand, bade her swing up onto the motorcycle behind him.
He flipped the ignition switch, revved the accelerator, and they left the party zone, for more intimate surroundings....

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Re: The Woodland Wounds
« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2015, 12:29:13 pm »
Lovisa jumped at the sound of his voice, dark eyes going wide and arms momentarily awkward, not sure what to do or cover. She was wearing a pair of shorts and a sports bra. More than her sister in the lake. Less than Vera in the lake.

She looked back at the boy. Terrance. “I didn't bring rice.” She mumbled and then almost smiled. “Did you?” She nodded when he suggested she open up the headphones to dry the bits and pieces inside. She reached down and pulled a shirt out of her bag, drawing it on over her head, hair too wet and to plastered to her skull and cheeks to care. It felt warm. Her skin felt cold. She bent over to pull her shoes on, not bothering with socks or even laces, holding onto the heel with one finger in and wedging her wet foot inside the wet shoes.

He stayed. Looking comfortable. She glanced at him from the corner of an eye, against the wet strand that lived there at the edge of sight. He was a lonely creature too, wasn't he? But he didn't look like she felt. He looked content. She felt cold. His skin pulsed with heat. She could see it. She could almost feel it from here.

She was looking when he spoke again. This was the longest anyone had spoken to her in some time. No one got close to Lovisa because no one wanted to share in Astrid's anger. They thought her crime was being a younger sibling. There was much more to it than that.

Lovisa bent and grabbed up the headphones with one hand. She heard ice cracking when she stood but knew it wasn't real. She heard that ice cracking all the time. The sound of Vera's panic. The sharp inhale of Astrid's breath before her decisive move. Lovisa remembered what the ice looked like under her boots when it splintered out beneath them. She walked on the memory of that ice all the way to Terrance and held out the headphones to him. She could feel his heat radiating from his body because she had none. Maybe she had been the one that went through the ice. “It's okay if they're wrecked. At this rate we'll be going home before dawn anyway. As soon as an adult hears about Darling's face. What kind of dick pulls a knife in a fist fight?” She muttered that last bit. She had taken enough beatings of her own to have an opinion on them. She would shuffle a step back from his warmth when he took the headphones.


-


There was a moment of satisfaction. A moment of fear. A moment of relief. And then he breathed again and Vera was laughing against her back. A ghost for certain, but her voice was real to Astrid just as her hands felt real against her sides and her head pushing against her shoulder bone. She felt real. She felt like the horrible friend she'd loved for as long as she had ever loved anyone. “You just can't win, can you?” Vera huffed against her back. “It was so easy to kill me.” Her voice bit with an edge of anger. “But you can't manage him?”

“I didn't kill you.” Astrid whispered but it meant nothing. Vera was dead and they both knew Astrid could have saved her. Could have.

She didn't register Tor's grip on her hip until the water was rippling in her wake, her body drawn in. Blue eyes looked up through thick lashes, plush lips peeling with the threat of teeth but arms doing nothing to stop the advance. She saw the moment. The flicker in his eyes. Not eyes she knew, not the boy she knew. His head slammed into hers and his arms released her into the fall, vision blurred and skull throbbing when she went under, water engulfing her, rolling against that pain and body bouncing from bottom to top to stand again.

She heard the tail of sounds. The laughter of the amused, the sharp intake of the general spectator, and the burbling of curses from those that felt head-butting exgirlfriends might be in bad taste. They might not have seen her attempt at drowning him. She smiled before she could see, blond hair drenched through and water rolling down features before lashes lifted again. Blood rolled down the shape of her socket from where her brow had split, looking more impressive for the water that pulled the red down her face.

“Yeah, and I remember it being just as quick.” She retorted and all was right in their wrong world again. Onlookers of all kind put back to some sort of ease even as Genna and another waded through the water to her, reaching for her face to see the damage with one hand while the other shoved at Grim scoldingly. “Don't be a douche.” Genna ordered. Queen of the party people, in search of fun and never too much work or pain.

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Re: The Woodland Wounds
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2015, 07:03:04 am »
He was fresh out of rice of course.  As she asked he turned one pocket out to show the omission.  A casual shrug as though it was of no consequence.  “Remind me to shop later.”

Terrance couldn’t fathom why she would think it okay if they were wrecked.  His brows furrowed together. Glancing towards the water he remembered that Henry had offered to pay her something for them, although he’d been too far away to see the transaction.  Maybe she’d been made whole.  Maybe she was ultraistic and human life was worth the sacrifice – although that ran counter to what he knew about other visits to the lake.

He stepped closer, taking the headphones as offered.  Looking them over, he glanced down at them rather than her as she asked about dicks.  “Some people need to compensate.”  Big knives took the place of other smaller things.  One corner of his mouth twitched and wondered if she’d catch the hidden joke.  He liked word play but his mind often ran on a different plane from those around him.  Most jokes he made fell flat. 

Terrance focused on what he could control --  the headphones in his hand.  He unscrewed the receiver and glanced inside taking apart the small console and putting it back together in only a few seconds. 

“Seems you might be lucky.  Looks like the seal held.  No water inside.” 

The I-pad mini was in his other pocket.  He pulled it out and plugged the headphone in.  The mini-movie played on the screen.  Lifting one headset to his ear he could hear the music.  “Works.”  Job done he pocketed the I-pad and offered back the headset.

In the distance Genna cackled.  Terrance rolled her eyes.  "Her voice is sooo irritating."

“So tell me,” he said,  “why did you jump in and save Henry?”  He tipped his head and looked at her curiously, a bug under a microscope.  He’d wait for her answer before asking the other question on his mind….why Henry and not Vera…..


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Re: The Woodland Wounds
« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2015, 07:18:04 pm »
She hadn't killed him, she said. It wasn't a reminder of mercy, it wasn't a low spoken bravado. It was so quiet that it felt as though it hadn't been meant for him, even. He'd heard it before he'd drawn her in and cut her brow with his head. She was pretty, breaking the water, denting it, before it had its revenge, filling in the space she'd taken for a bed, burying her. When she came up again, there came a red stretch down her face, a pretty and stark color against everything else. He could count her heartbeats, they were frequent, by the pumping from the wound.

Genna came to examine how the blood lined Astrid's eye, filling the canal between her lids and the frame of bone. The retort had the boys laughing again. Astrid had always been smart, her tongue always jagged, propelled with all the bitterness she felt. He'd tried to nurture that out of her, tried to say things that'd make her forget it without letting on that he knew. In the end, the more she let him become a part of her, the more she mixed him with that bitterness. He could see her turning him into something to be protected, a weakness. If he was allowed close, and he was not an enemy, he must be a liability. He'd been a coward fanning a fire that'd upset her enough for him to end their relationship inside an argument.

His eyes erupted again when Genna ordered him down, the little lives now making up his eye-balls curling and undoing the occulus shape they were imitating. And then they settled again, the screens of green hosting new lantern droves. His shoulder rolled back into position after her shove. He smiled, arms lifting. "What are you going to do about it, Gen?" he asked playfully before darting forward, pulling her away from Astrid and toppling her into the water. He heard her laugh before her heard her gurgle, sliding back to the boy she'd been playing with before. It was what she wanted, that lightness in the atmosphere. Bad, joyful jokes.

He reached out, the Torgrim from before, that cared. His thumb drew in the blood on her cheek, unless she'd move back. "Here. I'm sorry. I was just playing." he said as he wanted her hand in his, waving to petition for that to happen. He'd pull her into shore, and place her on one of the towels the others had spread out. Perhaps the strangeness of it would keep her pacified for long enough that she'd let him tie a shred of his t-shirt around her head. The athletic Astrid, she'd not look out of place with it on.

"Weather's nice." he'd say, hoping the quaint opener could double as a joke. Sitting beside her, he would wonder why having a conversation with her wasn't as urgent in his mind as being close. He wanted the sentiment to be that, sentimental, but felt it was more biological, less hormonal. Her inner thigh against his cheek, goosebumps and arching hips, the memory made his mouth water and his stomach deflate. Once, when he'd been overzealous in a kiss, her neck had popped and he'd felt the sound with his eager hand. He wanted that again, louder. "I think I'm coming down with something." It wasn't for sympathy. It was a statement he thought he should make before it became an understatement. Though, he wondered, what did Astrid's sympathy look like, these days?

"How are you?" he asked. It sounded like he meant the wound on her head, but he was asking in a wider sense.

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Re: The Woodland Wounds
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2015, 02:28:32 pm »
Natural human pheromones, enhanced impossibly by a force not of this world-literally-had exuded from Henry. Strictly speaking, he was not consciously aware of this' yet, somehow he was, and that part of him relished the control he held over Christy. She had responded naturally. Her own, merely human pheromones reciprocating to his own. Despite the speed of the wind which washed over her as she rode behind Henry, upon that vintage bike, the subliminal, even primordial communication between them was uninterrupted, until she, slipping a hand from his wait to thigh, bade him pull over.
It happened flawlessly after that, the way it always does in the movies. The made it against the parked bike, just off the side of the road, behind a set of thick rhododeneron bushes, in full bloom. She propped up against the machine. He propped up against her, the both of them in motion.

***
He too her home, after that. Not back to the site, just home. Home where she belonged just now. Christy, the best of the good girls that ever lived, had given it up to the outcast boy, from the wrong side of the proverbial tracks. She'd need time now. Time to assimilate it all. Take it all in, in a different way this time.
They exchanged a prolonged kiss, and after making sure she was safely inside, which she did by signaling three times with the porch light. Then he rode off, with her panties stuffed down the fron of his belt like some ancient, tribal war trophy.

He felt a different pull, this time. The source of the tug, being back the way he'd come. Not with Christy-although that pull to come had been strong, and how!-but no, this tug came from back at the lake, or at least ,near to it.
He took the main highway this time. In case someone else saw his departure, he might need to explain his absence, so he stopped into a local gas mart, to pick up soda, and chips, as a good cover. First he gassed, then after paying for that, he selected a few cokes, of various flavors-they were on sale: buy two at half price, and so on, plus a bag of nacho cheese tortilla chips, and a bag of sour cream and onion potato chips, and a whatchamacallit bar. He paid for the stuff, which killed off the better part of a twenty.

He was just about to leave, when a familiar Camaro Convertible pulled into the parking lot. Darling and part of his crew, to be sure.
He didn't find it odd at the time, but his enhanced night sight could have surpassed a cat's being twice as good, while still allowing him to see in color.
He could pick out Darling, and Joe, and Gary. But strangely, the others were nowhere in sight.
That irresistible urge to kill, welled up in him again. This time he did not try to suppress it.
He listened from the shadows-he was parked on the  far side of the building, presently-Darling had instructed Gary and Joe, to go inside, prepay forty bucks on pump number two, get some snacks, and energy drinks, and come right back. He also said no looking at porn, this time, as they were in a hurry. That last part, meant that of course Joe, and Gary would be taking their sweet assed time looking at porn.

Predictably, Darling grew impatient, and was about to go fetch his two friends. Henry made some racket, to get Darling's attention. Todd Darling looked over, to see one Henry Tyler, standing alone, flipping him off.
Darling just shook his head, that strange, vicious smirk coming back to his face. His friends forgotten, he stalked a determined pace toward, that Tyler kid. The latter fled around the corner, to the back of the building, where the dumpsters were. The he stopped, and flashed the international sign for fuck you, yet again.

"You just don't learn do you Tyler?" Said a strangely happy Todd Darling, wearing that smirk, and a wicked vengeance in his eye.
Henry could see the line on Darling's face where the knife had done its redecorating, had been sealed off with something that shone in the dim light-probably medical glue, as opposed to thread stitches.
"Well" continued Darling, "Guess that's just too bad for you." His hand went into his letter jacket pocket, came out with Henry's switchblade. Todd clicked the switch, and the blade slide out from the grip, with a metallic snik, sound.
Henry just grinned back a wicked snarl of his own as his quarry stepped ever closer, coming fully behind the building now.

"So, Tyler" said Todd, gesturing with the knife in hand. "Any last words?"
The lyrics to an old Misfits song, popped into Henry's head just then. "Yeah, four."
"What's that", asked Todd, sarcastically, "Daddy, please save me?"
"No", said Henry, calming, still smiling, himself, as he whipped out the silenced pistol, from behind his back.

"Die, my Darling. Die."

He pulled the trigger, once, putting a round in Darling's head, right between the eyes.

The rest was a simple matter of getting the dead Darling into the dumpster, which he did using  a spare set of bags from the store-the clerk had helpfully decided to double bag Henry's purchased items, and so he simply used the extra's as makeshift gloves; after reclaiming his knife, of course.

By this time Gary and Joe had left the store, and were back in the car.
"Man, where'd Todd go?" asked Gary.
Joe laughed. "Probably called up some girl for a post emergency room, sympathy hook up."
"Yeah and leave his car? I mean us he'd leave behind for tail, no problem, but his car?" From Gary.
Joe shrugged: "Maybe it's his way of saying, Happy graduation. As long as we don't dent it, and have it back in his dad's driveway, by dawn, I'm sure he'll be fine with it."
"Are you sure that's the way it went down?"
Joe laughed again. "Look Gary, he left the keys in the ignition, and now he's gone. I'm sure that's it. Beisdes, if  I know Todd, he got some hot honey, doing all the going down, right about now. C'mon."
With that, the two boys hopped in Darling's slick, black Camaro, and tore off into the night, stereo cranked up, and howling off key, like drunken banshees.

Henry, moments later took off more quietly in the opposite direction.

Explaining to the teachers had been simple enough. He had simply told them that Christy was feeling ill, and he had offered to take her home-he'd ditched the girl's underwear in his pocket by that time, and the gun was safely back in its hidden compartment under his bike's seat-and told them he had wanted something non alcoholic, to drink, and something to munch on for later. After a cursory search of his saddle bags, they let him pass, thinking him thoroughly PG, and went themselves back to the fire.
Henry decided on not heading back to the lake. He figured Grim would probably have a five way going on right now, and that was not something Henry wished to see.

Ara

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Re: The Woodland Wounds
« Reply #22 on: August 06, 2015, 08:04:01 pm »
Lovisa watched him with her headphones, not quite hovering but vigilant over her object in his hands. He declared that they were functioning and strangely she already knew. She knew the moment he plugged them in and she felt the snap of current hum in the air around it. She knew when she heard the sounds of his movie playing against his ear.

She looked at the offered headset for a moment, feeling strangely out of place before blinking back that sensation and reaching out in return, taking the headphones from his offering hand, careful not to touch him though she felt the heat rolling off his fingers, scorching her skin.

She pulled up a bit of a smile at his remark about Genna. A slow draw of lips while her eyes still watched his mouth. Maybe she was coming down with something. She didn't feel right. She was cold but not shivering. Just cold. Like it was normal. That seemed right, didn't it? She was empty and that was normal. She was alone and that was normal. Maybe cold was right too.

Her dark eyes moved from his mouth to his gaze when he asked about Henry. For the briefest of seconds she wasn't certain who Henry was and then her almost smile fell away and she shrugged one shoulder. “Seemed like the right thing to do, I guess.” She rolled the toe of her converse against a clump of grass, looking away toward the sounds of water splashing and teens howling. Should she have let him drown? Would the world be better or worse? Did it matter?

And then he asked another question and she felt the cold sink deep into her heart. Her eyes found him again even before her head turning up fully to look at him once more. Why Henry and not Vera? How could he know? “Only one person could have saved Vera.” She found herself answering a question she had asked herself a thousand times. “And it wasn't me.”

-

Astrid let Tor draw her from the water. It was suddenly too warm anyway. Her head was throbbing and he was still talking to her, trying to be sweet now, she realized. “Whiplash much?” Vera remarked with a cruel giggle, nudging her arm with her shoulder. Astrid looked at her, surprised to see her still there. Was she still having that delusion? Why couldn't her ghost just stay in the lake with her corpse?

Tor lead her to sit on a towel that wasn't theirs. It was warm too. Or maybe she was. He said the weather was nice and she scrunched her face in disagreement, watching Vera sit beside her, laying out in the grass with her heels in the sand near the water. She was just as pretty as she had been when the ice broke. Less clothing now though. “I think he wants to fool around with you again.” Vera directed her attention back to reality. “I used to fool around with him, you know.” Vera smiled, closing her eyes as though she was sunbathing at dusk. “Don't you wish you could know if it was before you dated him… or during?”

Astrid frowned, turning away from her ghost to her ex. Both were dead to her in a way and yet still so very lively. “You're probably just drunk.” She said rather than answering his question. Her head was still bleeding but it was less now and she forgot to care. Vera was humming. Astrid looked at the lake past her ghost's toes. “When was the first time you kissed her?” She asked suddenly, dark voice distant now, almost gentle. “The first time I kissed Vera was in the first grade. I think she might have been my first love. I think I loved her as much as I hated her.”

Beau

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Re: The Woodland Wounds
« Reply #23 on: August 08, 2015, 03:01:47 pm »
He noticed of course – how she managed to keep her fingers away from his.  Her expression wasn’t dismissive, but he’d sensed that same ‘don’t give me cooties’ from other girls and learned to keep his distance.  He’d had yet to learn how to make it irrelevant.

She took a step away.  He mirrored the same.  Putting two hands in his pockets he rocked back on his heals as he listened to her answering his question.  “Really?:  He did the mathematics in his head over the odds and distances.  She likely meant that Astrid could have done different, but knowing the sibling rivalry he suspect that would have been her assumption, true or not.  “I just sort of figured there wasn’t a good Samaritan among you.” 

He smiled.  “Karma’s a bitch.”

Perhaps she’d wonder where he was that night, or why he asked – but her opinion of his own ability to be (or not be) heroic mattered little.  Already he was longing for the shield of his electronics.  This was the most he’d actually spoken to someone in awhile.  “You look cold.”   Another step away in retreat.  “You should go warm yourself by the fire.”

As it happened he figured that might not be such a bad place to be himself.  He turned, and made his way back into the woods and away from the lake. The path was clear and easy to traverse.  He didn’t trip over anything in the dark which would have been painful and humbling.  His hands remained in his pockets, only finding their way loose when the picnic tables came in view.  He wanted something to drink.  He considered water, but went with a soda instead.


« Last Edit: August 09, 2015, 07:12:33 pm by Beau »

Verse

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Re: The Woodland Wounds
« Reply #24 on: August 08, 2015, 05:32:27 pm »
She looked in distracted directions, but her mind didn’t seem scattered, it seemed very well aimed, every time she was not looking at him. She’d given him attention once, that was why he’d been so into Astrid Finnian. Real smiles and hot touches, breaking through the crust she’d made of her own cool. Beautiful not because she had the bones for it, but because she like him, in a real way, someone who didn’t dedicate that kind of thing to anyone else. It had made sense at first, to be with the pretty girl, since he fancied himself a good looking boy. Somewhere along the way, they’d transcended those roles.

Then Vera came into the conversation, as fluently as she had left their lives this winter. He imagined the girls kissing, as small, and thought it must have been sweet, before make-up on the face and soul. “First time in third grade. You beat me to it.” He said. It was meant as a joke but his tone of voice made it merely fact. Perhaps this was not a joking occasion. Everyone liked the Avanson kid, when he was a kid. He’d been truly kind then, and cried when Darling threw sand in other children’s eyes. He’d circled the whole heart Vera had drawn on the note, instead of the broken one, and she had held his hand and he had kissed her. His eardrums had tingled.

Torgrim wanted to move a pearl of water around on her shoulder, but watched the bead evaporate before he could touch it. Strangely, he didn’t find it strange. Second time he’d kissed the only child of the Covall family, was three years ago. He’d been on a particularly high run of hubris, fueled by gin, and she’d thought it’d be brave to do something in the closet. He’d called her a good sport afterward, their scents on the hats her mother didn’t wear and the jackets her father had forgotten. He’d regretted what had happened when he’d pulled her clothes up her legs again, and there’d been blood. The part of Torgrim that was still the Avanson kid had marked this in his head. He owed her, and he’d remember through the intoxication.

She called on that debt fully, whispering about it, when she’d said she wanted to talk to him about the Finnians. Another house event, no real clubs here. She told him a secret about Lovisa, a secret she thought she knew, and when that wasn’t enough to elicit the reaction out of him she wanted, she’d talked about blue hearted white cotton with red smears. He’d feigned the shame she wanted from him, and stood for the kiss long enough that it wouldn’t be full rejection when he pushed her off. She wasn’t some heartless, possessive mastermind unbuttoning then, so what he thought would be the best motivated high-school adultery in the history of new hormones, instead became him standing up and fleeing. The kindness she was looking for with her poison, it seemed, had long since grown out of him.

“Last time was this winter, minutes after you.” He didn’t know why he was starting to draw air into his nose, waiting for something. Her sadness, maybe. Why would it become a scent? How did he know it would? Why did his mouth water at the thought? Shame lashed at his heart, and it felt like some kind of closure. Maybe Astrid could punish him for Vera, and he could let go of what he’d done. He put his hand on her shoulder, the same that had burnt the drop to nothing, so that she could properly reject him with a hard shrug or a deep recoil.

"When was the last time I kissed you?" he wondered, a thought whispered as he started digging fingers into her skin, softly, pulling her closer. He wanted his mouth on her, experience that heat. Her lips seemed more appropriate, he could mask the desire to taste as the desire to kiss, so that was where his attention would land if she'd let him, but more than that he wanted at her other shoulder, more meat. He'd target it if she rejected him. The life in his blood wouldn't take her dissapproval as final. It loved her, perhaps more than Torgrim had, because it needed her, and trading violence for a sample of her was more than fair to it.

Thunderstruck

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Re: The Woodland Wounds
« Reply #25 on: August 09, 2015, 05:07:27 pm »
Meanwhile, back at the party.

Henry sat at atop a picnic table in one of those park pavilions, with the wooden roof, supported by wooden posts. The party proper, with the bonfire at its center lay some fifty feet before him. Things were running smoothly, in accordance with the chaperones' wishes. In short, it was a major drag.
Henry though registered little of this, as he seemed to be engaged in an inner struggle of his own. Less than a fight, more than a conversation.

"Why did I kill him?" he asked.
'He had it coming' came the response. The other voice, if you could call it that, was at once the voice of this own thoughts, and yet it was not.
"But did he really deserve it? I mean yeah, Todd, always was the biggest douche eater who ever lived, but did I really have the right to do that? To just take him out like that?"
'Of course you did. He was you enemy. He underestimated you, and now he's dead. That is the law of nature. Those who cannot adapt to survive, are swept away.'

Henry had no answer to that one. Instead he thought "Fine, but what of the law? Suppose between now and garbage pick up day, Todd's body is discovered? Suppose the ballistics get traced back to me? Then what?"
'Then you must prevent that from happening. Lose the gun.'
"I can't do that, I haven't any power without that."
Correction, you used to not have any power without that. You're better now. Improved. You no longer need anything of this world. You're better, stronger, faster, more evolved, now than you were before tonight.
Try it. Look there, the party. Pathetic isn't it? Not how a party should be going. So do something about it.'
"Like what?"
The other voice that was his, but also was not seemed to shrug "Will it to change."


Henry concentrated, looking at the fire.
Ahead the fire, seemed to grow in strength, seemed to burn brighter, hotter, seemed to grow in height, the flames licking higher into the sky than before.
Next he concentrated on the people. From his body, super charged pheromones hitched a ride on the light late spring breeze, moving past him, toward the kids scattered around the fire.
This accomplished, he concentrated with his mind, focusing his will upon all of them.

The end result was an interesting display, to say the least. First the good kids, went over to the bad kids and started bumming drinks. The bad kids, not knowing what was up, but not passing up too good a thing, began chatting up the good kids. The academic slaves, began mingling with the jocks.
Even the chaperones seemed under the influence of the Tyler Kid's will-not that any of them was consciously aware that anything was amiss, entranced as they were.
Among the teachers, those prone to getting drunk, did so, Mr. Golflin, released the stash of whiskey he'd confiscated only an hour before, and started living it up along side the students, he was there to keep in line.
Mr. Rogerson, and the young intern Miss Mcfeelie, snuck back onto the bus, for a little late night speedy delivery.
Old Mrs Swenson was still out. Dead to the world on some mismanaged medical cocktail.

Within ten minutes, the previously well maintained party, with every individual grouped in with his/her assigned clique, was no more. Chaos reigned in its place, as drunken, frisky teen coeds, proceeded to get down, in one form or another.

"How's that"? Henry asked his thoughts.
'Impressive. You adapt quickly. Now then let me show you something else you can do. That is if you're willing to lose that pathetic firearm or yours and allow yourself to grow beyond your original schematics?'
"My schematics? What are you-"
'Just trust me.
'Give in.
'Let go.


And so he did.

Henry cast aside his previous self, merging fully with the one his gut instinct referred to as "the other"
He crept through the forest. His eyes now seeing in the darkness, better than any cat's eyes ever could. What's more, he could see not just in the normal visual spectrum, but also in infrared, ultraviolet, and other types he'd never even have imagined were possible.
He came back to the lake, but a different spot than the one now occupied by Grim, Astrid, or the party girls.

He chucked the gun with it's matching silencer out into the lake. He just knew right where to throw, achieving maximum depth. He disrobed then, and slipped into the warm water. To a standard human, the water would be cool. To him it was just right. No, better than just right, it was like...Home.

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Re: The Woodland Wounds
« Reply #26 on: August 10, 2015, 01:04:11 pm »
Karma's a bitch. Lovisa stood there between trees after Terrance walked away. He doubted her story. Most curious of all was that he knew she was there. He knew that Vera had gone out and not come back. Lovisa didn't feel bad for Vera's death, but she hadn't killed her. Vera had been a cruel girl, petty and wicked. She had been Astrid's closest friend and a constant presence in her life for just about as long as Lovisa could remember.

She had known that they were tricking her when they convinced her to come hang out with them, but she had been so desperate for this to be the time they actually included her that she had gone anyway. Vera had intended to leave her out there, Lovisa realized in hindsight hours afterward. And Astrid would have played along, bright eyes and cold smile. But the ice broke. Lovisa only remembered the surprise on Astrid's face when it happened. When the ground moved beneath them. It caved and Vera screamed. Astrid had grabbed at Lovisa'a arm and pulled, pulled her away from the breaking ice and Vera. And the lake had swallowed up the other girl. She remembered the dark water and the large broken chunks of ice rocking against the solid edges. She remembered the way Astrid stood there, wide eyed, staring at that hole, waiting for Vera to pop back up. But she never did.

Lovisa had picked up her bag with the intention of going back to the fire. Terrance had said that she was cold and she was, but she doubted any fire would warm her. She was starting to suspect that she was as cold as that lake had been that night. She heard him before she saw him, stopping where she stood beside a large tree to watch Henry walk by in the forest, in the deep shadows of rising night. Her head turned to see him make his way to the lake. He smelled like death and liquor and smoke and Christy. What boy in this forest didn't smell like Christy?

Terrance hadn't.

She watched Henry toss away metal into the lake before submerging himself. Maybe she shouldn't have saved him after all. Somehow she doubted her dragging him up from the water had saved him at all. Perhaps saving him would have been holding him under.

Her face scrunched at the darkness of that thought and she turned away, leaving him to his water and making her way back toward the campsite. She wanted to find Terrance again and when she did, she would ask how he knew that she was at the lake that night with Vera. Why hadn't he told anyone yet?

-

Astrid had watched Tor while he spoke of old times and not so old ones. He confessed and she felt her ghost smiling even before Vera let out a string of cackles where she lay beside the real girl. “I guess I was prettier than you, after all.” Vera smiled around her words. “You knew though, didn't you? I mean, why else would I try so hard to cheer you up after the break up? Why else would I spread all those rumors about him having a thing for Lovisa beforehand?” She rolled over to lay against Astrid's leg, cheek to her thigh, ice cold against burning hot. “Is that why you killed me, Astrid? Because he loved me more?” She whispered against skin and steam rolled off of that thigh.

Astrid continued to stare at Tor. She had loved him. She could pretend she didn't all she liked, but she knew she had because now she hated him and that was the truth of her love. Everyone she loved was equally hated. Her mother, her father, Vera and Tor. And one above all others. One she hated the most because she loved the most. “I guess the last time you kissed me was minutes before her, then.” She whispered, voice empty but heart fallen. His fingers put pressure to her bones and she wondered if that impossible heat would burn his digits the way she wished it would.

He loved her because she was beautiful and so he didn't love her at all. “Look at that.” Vera whispered against her thigh. “He still likes you.” She whispered with venom.

Heat rolled off her body, drying her skin, her suit and her hair. He pulled at her until her mouth was close to his, her eyes never closing. “And what about Lo? When was the last time you kissed her, Tor? Or is she still a virgin, waiting for her turn in the closet?” Her words were low, cruel. Of course she knew. Vera only loved secrets she could use and Astrid knew to keep an eye on her, back when she was alive, back when she could do damage.

Poor dead Vera whistled in amusement at the scene.

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Re: The Woodland Wounds
« Reply #27 on: August 12, 2015, 09:26:36 am »
Terrance knew the area well enough to have a keen sense of direction, even in the dark.  His feet were sure on the suto path as he headed back towards the party.  He hadn’t really wanted to come, but he’d arrived on the bus and would leave on the bus.  His parents expected a detailed report.  Coming meant he was demonstrating maturity, and the responsibility to go to Comic-Con next week.  But in the meantime….

Might as well make the best of it.

Another month and he’d shake the dust of this town off his sneakers and head to greener pastures, like some Western rider.  College awaited – California Institute of Technology. Less than a thousand kids to impress or ignore.  He knew the choice started with ‘I’ but he wasn’t sure yet about the rest of the letters.  Surprisingly he heard the sound of crushed leaves and looked back over his shoulder to see Lovisa following him.  He hadn’t expected that.  Wasn’t sure what to do with the reality of the situation.

Then her intent became clear.  She wanted more information.  He realized now that he’d deliberately taunted her, which was probably not the best plan if he wanted to be left alone.  He shrugged over her question.  “I was there.”  Seriously, wasn’t it obvious?  Did she expect him to confess to a lucky guess or a psychic dream?

Now he did smile.  “Don’t worry.  You don’t have enough money to blackmail.  I’ll wait until you’re famous.”

He might have said more, his own sense of humor starting to take hold, but then he heard the scream.  Terrance paused on the threshold of the clearing.  Other noises joined with the first.  He couldn’t see the scuffle and fights, but something definitely was wrong on the other side of the trees.  Breaking glass.  Swearing.  The smell of something burning, and he didn’t think it was hot dogs.

He put a hand out, thinking to stop Lovisa from going closer, but she likely could sense the trouble without seeing it, or needing someone to save her from becoming visible.  Needless to say, he said anyway, “Maybe this is a bad idea.”



(No proofing...).

Verse

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Re: The Woodland Wounds
« Reply #28 on: August 12, 2015, 06:26:02 pm »
Her body came along in his touch. It’d be a kiss on her kiss, after all, no teeth on her shoulder. A kiss salted with what he’d done with Vera, what had happened to her, and the things that had transpired between himself and Astrid. He looked forward to that tinge when his chin lifted, ready to touch his lower lip to the meeting of hers. Warmth billowed out from her, one he couldn’t understand. It was pleasant on his body, and still the hairs on his arms stood. To accompany that wave of a summer usually found in a warmer climate, she spoke, accused.

Lo. Little Lovisa Finnian. The girl who could really have used little boy Avanson’s kindness, but never received it. Genius, tragedy. Astrid’s ragdoll. He sighed his own heat onto her lips before he pulled back, a finger’s length. His hand persisted on her. Tension around his eyes when she mentioned a closet. Vera had said. Of course Vera had said. The two girls were close enough to share something like that. He’d always wondered, when he’d hung out with them, if Astrid knew, and if it mattered, since it was before their exclusivity. Even back then, most of the guilt he’d felt was that he’d not been able to pine for Vera the way she wanted, not leered when she winked, not bitten his lip when she angled herself when Astrid wasn’t looking. Because if he wanted beauty, then he’d rather just look at Astrid.

He didn’t want to let go of Astrid, so he held her firmer with that hand. “I never kissed Lo.” He said. The moment he spoke the defense, he realized the closeness he wanted wouldn’t transpire, and that hand finally left her, sliding down her arm, his fingertips catching fire by the friction. Always Lovisa, with Astrid. He tried to put that fire out by stroking his wet scalp, combing through his wet hair. “Maybe someone should.” He said, automatic, still looking at her, still this intimate distance. “maybe you should have loved me and Vera a lot less, and loved her instead.” He hadn’t meant for it to be bitter. How could it be anything but bitter? He wanted to be vengeful, wanted to say something about her little sister’s innocence, and how he would claim it, stretch it, break it, but there was more truth to what he needed to say first.

“She’s never done anything, Astrid.” He said. Quite true, he was sure. All Lovisa did was blaze through classes and walk mute through the corridors. Momentum fueled his throat. “How can your shadow do anything without you?” he asked. It wasn’t right that he defended Lovisa when really Astrid had meant to accuse him. Perhaps that was why a measure of panic mixed with his riotousness. His breathing had become faster without his intention, and he looked away to soothe the beat of his heart. Her shoulder, her arm. All of it looked pretty, no, beautiful. No. Delicious. She’d let him bite her before. Her tendons had pulled so tight underneath her skin he’d thought she was made out of wire. “That’s why we’re not together, you know.” He mumbled against the new saliva in his mouth. He swallowed. “If you’d been a better sister, I could have pretended you were a better person.” It wasn’t what he believed, in fact, Torgrim did hold to that the girl before him was a good person. If only she’d believe it, too. It was hard to think with her scent surrounding his head. He wanted her closer, in his mouth. He needed to push her away. Astrid didn’t the play the way you wanted, when you wanted it.

“But hey,” he said, looking at her again, lanterns scattered and dancing on his irises. Whiskey flames, the kind Hank had offered him. “I can make do with a bad person too.” He dabbled in this kind of charm every now and then, but he hadn’t with Astrid, not seriously. Hopefully she’d find it appalling. “You want to find her, hang her up by her hair, and do it underneath her dangling feet?” Was it enough bile to chase her away? Perhaps not when it was predicated on a sisterly bond. Jealousy, then. “Or you could hold her down, and she can have her turn in the closet.” He was hoping she’d stand up and leave. Contrary to this, his famished fingers dug into the inside of her hot thigh. “Think she’ll bleed like Vera did, or did she already make herself elastic enough for me in her loneliness?” He didn’t care about the words anymore. He needed to scrape that scorching skin off Asrid’s muscles. He needed her to leave so he could forget the forbidden things he was thinking.

Surely, if normal people had iron in their blood, Astrid Finnian would have diamond dust. He needed to know what salt, sugar and diamonds tasted like.

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Re: The Woodland Wounds
« Reply #29 on: August 13, 2015, 12:33:47 pm »
He knew not why he swam, where he swam. Yet he did. Out to the middle of the lake. He hovered there, at the surface, over the deepest depth. Took a breath. Dove. Henry had never been either a strong swimmer, nor a long breath holder; but things were different now, weren't they? Yes, they were. Everything was different now. Life, death, indeed all of reality was different now. Instinctively Henry knew that, and so he continued on, straight down, to the bottom. He should not have known the true history of the lake, for no one knew. No one had ever known, had ever thought about it. Yet, he knew now. The lake had in time immemorial, been caused by rock fallen from the sky. Then later, much, much later, after the Earth, had done what nature has always done-filled it with life of its own, it was filled again. As before, another intruder from the sky, not a rock, but a definite something, was added, by the universe, into the mix, once more.
As the first allowed for an aquatic realm of life, so the second upgraded that life into life with mind, with intelligence.
That same life which now upgraded Henry, and his friends.
Friends?
No, more like fellow sentient life forms. For the one who had been the other, the newcomer, knew in the thoughts of the one called Henry, that friendship never came into play here. No. For these young humans, it was always more of a game. A brutal game. The stakes were trivial, yet the consequences of violating the nonsensical rules by which they all played, were dire indeed.
Well, that was all over now, baby blue. The rules of the game had been redefined. The game itself had been redefined; because its players themselves had been redefined.
 
Henry's lungs cried out for air, as he neared the very bottom. He ignored it. His old needs were irrelevant. His present needs were at hand. These knew needs demanded a sort of homecoming, which defied all others.
The bottom loomed ever closer. What's more, the nearer he grew to the bottom, to the source of his life's new essence, the more confident her became, despite that burning ache in his chest.

He should have been panicking. Should have been utterly freaking out. Should have been, should have been, should have been.
Ah, but the should have beens were silent now, as the other, which the Henry, which commanded brain and body, sat in the imperial seat now, and from there commanded an Empire of both one, and one hundred billion.
Henry reached the bottom. His enhanced sight let him see clearly through the murk, and the muck. He found what he knew he was looking for, yet without knowing.
'Is this what Faith is like?', he wondered.
He found the shell of the pod which had brought forth the new life to this underwater civilization, in ages long past. He entered, and found the true source of it all. using just his nails, which on the voyage down here had grown sharp, he slashed open his chest, and moved close to the source...

Time to make a change.
Time for an upgrade.
Let the old man pass away.
That the new man may be put on.
To breathe new air, into new lungs.
That the old shell, the crypt of purpose, may burst forth.
As a chrysalis of new life, into a new world.
A world of light.
Of purpose.
Of power!

Henry hadn't known it had happened until it was over. Not until he saw his old form, drift past. An ill fitting shell that could not compare to the new, custom made suit, fit for his new body.
Henry, had been remade anew, and not just in the metaphorical sense. He did not need a mirror to see himself. He knew himself, just as any other natural predator knew itself: with crystal clarity. A thought form melded into a physical state, thus creating a fusion of pure identity, and knowledge of that identity.

On a side note, the part the was still Henry, realized he was breathing. Breathing! He felt fine. No, better than fine. He felt perfect, from the ends of his razor sharp claws, to the top of his razor spiked head, to the soles of his web clawed feet, to the tip his tail.
Tail? Yes, tail. Cognitive thought confirmed the knowledge-presence of said appendage, the same way it would have previously registered arm, or leg, or penis. That latter was still there, and but how it was glorious!
Just as he was glorious.
Yet, hungry.

Physically very hungry.
He needed food, of the warmest, most fresh variety to be had.
Sensing...no, not sensing, Knowing[/I], that this was the right, and proper food to satisfy him, he left the sanctuary of his origin, the oracle of his future, and swam-glided, more like it-shoreward, his pace focused, his passage silent. Not even the fish which dodged at the last moment, to get out of his way, had heard his passage until that last fearful second. The kids, swimming, wouldn't know it either.
And that too was as it should be. For Heinrich had ascended into a higher form of being. These lesser forms, were merely sustenance. That was the way of the world. The way of the universe.
'Is this what salvation feels like? he wondered as he came upon the legs of the one he once knew as Genna, but now considered, breakfast.