Village of the Damned: Turning Back Time

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Village of the Damned: Turning Back Time Empty Village of the Damned: Turning Back Time

Post by Warrior Queen Hawk on Sat Apr 26, 2014 5:00 pm

"Why did you kill them, son? You had to have had a reason."

"I did what had to be done."

A blonde hair girl listened as the tape recorder in her hands played a fit of laughter from its speaker. After a few moments, the tape then cut off and the play button jumped up to sit evenly with the other buttons. She sighed and closed her eyes. "There has to be more, right? What else did they know? What more could they have done?" She pondered as she lied on a mattress in a dark blue room. She has had this stupid little tape for three days and her mind still couldn't fathom any of it. "Did it really end with laughter?"

Crystaline sat up and spun so her feet were dangling off the side of the bed. She placed her elbows on her thighs and lied her head on top of her fists. "There's nothing in the police reports either... Gah, police force... why didn't you try harder to get information out of him?" She looked to the files on nightstand, remembering the only useful thing about them being the man's name and that force was minimal to get him into a cell.

"It didn't even tell how he had killed them! Ahhh!" She flopped back to her bed, her arms spread across the bed. "The worst part is he could help us a lot more than the guys about to get out... and he could be the least likely to be alive in a cell underground, making the entire operation a complete waste of time." The girl took a pillow from the top of her bed and covered her face with it. Take the risk or don't? They could end up with someone who knows more about Herhaling than anyone... at least if he had a real reason for killing his family...

"Sweetheart, I am off to work! I will see you are 7 tonight unless I work an extra shift." Joseph called from down the stairs. 

"Thanks for the update, dad!" She said, realizing these police reports weren't going to "re-appear" at the police station till after dad got of work. Great, one more thing to put on her plate. Not only did she have to get a select few people into the jail during her dad's lunch break, but also she had to sneak a felon out of there too. 

All to bring the village to normal... whatever normal is. She reminded herself. Crystal sat up and slid off her bed, grabbed a belt that held two sheathed weapons and buckled it around her waist. She then picked up the files and stowed them away in her backpack which held a few paperclips, a bottle of water, a bag of pencils, and a house key. She took one last look at the room before she headed out on the streets of the village. The Village of the Damned.

Crystaline laid out a crumpled map on a table in a small alleyway between a store and an apartment. The table had been set up along with the flashlights, lanterns, and candles by a few of the rebellion members. The girl was a part of a group that still had a sliver of hope that they could win against this beast and its army of locust and set the village back to when Herhaling didn't exist. She normally had the most energy, and having her dad as part of the police made getting information easier though rare if she was able to sneak the keys from a sleeping guard. 

So, she wasn't the perfect daughter. Who is?

"Alright, guys. Where's Johnny? I want his input on how many days we have before Herhaling. I want us to have time after we follow through the plan to work out the kinks we might need to fix. If we don't have enough time..." Her face fell for a split second before her eyebrows furrowed and her eyes showed her determination again. "Guess we will be following through with it after Herhaling. Everyone good with that?"

"Sure... not like we aren't used to the catastrophe." Someone said from the left of the eighteen year old.

Sure, I get this happens every couple of months... but why the hell must you be so sarcastic? She thought and took in a deep breath to distinguish the urge to speak her thoughts aloud. "Right... Thanks Bert. So, has anyone seen Johnny? Would he be over on the farm still?"


"One month, nine days, sixteen hours, thirty-eight minutes, twenty-seven seconds. One month, nine days, sixteen hours, thirty-eight minutes, twenty-two seconds."

Johnny Erikson's rhythmic chant guided his hoe as he raked his way past acre upon acre. In the end, it was all for naught. The Reaper would come, legions of insects in his wake. They would devour his crops, mutilate his cattle, murder his kin, and it was all for naught. Johnny uprooted a potato and threw it across the field. It didn't matter where the potato went. It would be gone, same as the others, same as everything, in one month, nine days, sixteen hours, thirty-seven minutes, and fifty-eight seconds, just like the rest of them. Just like all those that had come before it.

Was he even Johnny Erikson anymore? Was he not a mere husk of a man? What man, indeed what animal, could be killed so many times and yet still be alive? He was living a dead man's life, and had been living it for thirty years. Three hundred and sixty Ravagings, Herhalings, Repetitions, Apocalypses, whatever one may call it, he had been killed every time. The town had rejoiced during the coming of the thirtieth year of Herhaling, thinking that at the three hundred and sixtieth occurrence that their luck would come full circle, that they would be freed from this hell on earth, that they would be free from the Village of the Damned.

They were wrong.

Byatha cared not at all for time. Byatha was eternal. Byatha would be destroying the village when Johnny's son Charley took over the farm, and Byatha would be destroying the village when Charley was long dead. The only time Byatha cared for was one month, nine days, sixteen hours, thirty-six minutes, thirty-three seconds. "One month, nine days, sixteen hours, thirty-six minutes, twenty-eight seconds."

Truth be told, Johnny was rather selfish. He had never allowed himself to watch his family die before him. Johnny was always the first sacrifice, which was seen as an honor, a character flaw, and everywhere in between. Altruism was a convenient cover story, but Johnny gave his life so that he needn't see his beloved wife and son give theirs. All the while, however, Shannon and Charley had to watch him die horribly, time and time again, trying pitifully to fight against the Monster and losing invariably. They did not always try and fight back. But they always lost.

"One month, nine days, sixteen hours, thirty-five minutes, forty-eight seconds."


"I believe he is still at the farm. Maybe he finally gave up whatever hope he had and is just going about his d-" Someone began before the girl slapped her hands on the table. 

"Shut up. You can leave if you can't deal with the fact that we are fighting it, Bert." She offered, getting tired of the man's constant remarks. "I didn't invite you here, remember? You came into this group because you thought we had a chance. Then we didn't get anywhere after three, count them, three, Herhaling and you gave up." Silence fell over the two and the girl did her best to hide the slyness she felt for getting him to be quiet.

Once she was in control again, Crystaline put her thumb under the strap of her backpack. "I will be back later today when we have Mr. Du'Marix." She said and began walking.

A mile down the sidewalk and she slipped a silver coin out of her pocket. She tossed it in the air and caught it as it came back down. Being able to do something with her hands made it so much easier to fight boredom... and think. "Alright... so what do we know." She began.

"We know it happens every two months... we know there are too many bugs to fight back, and we know most of the village is done with hope." Thinking about it hard, that is definitely why the resistance has very few people in it. "If we were to find a weakness to this day, could we restore hope? Yeah... that requires having one!" She clenched her fist around the little coin. "All we know is Byatha pillages the village and the locust do the dirty work!" The girl relaxed her fist and breathed out slowly. 

"Well... that could be a good weakness if we could get rid of the locust... it seems they do all the work and Byatha just walks around tripping over buildings." Crystal held her coin up to the sky, holding it over the sun with her thumb and index finger. She closed one of her eyes and saw the dark coin seem to have a halo around it. 

Suddenly, she was on the floor and hearing apologies from a man who hadn't been looking himself. Crystal smiled and took his welcoming hand before continuing on her way. She really needed to be more... observant.

Or even better. She pocketed the coin and stood against a store wall with her hands at her side. Slowly, she became transparent and her sight blurred just a bit as she became a little ball of light that only some could see. With a trail behind her, she was off faster than walking toward the farm.

When she could see the black letter she knew, she went straight for the pasture to find Johnny. Just before she was within five feet of him, she began to return to normal, her sight sharpening and her body growing into a human form. Crystal walked up to the man and tapped his shoulder as he mumbled to himself. "Johnny, you realize you missed another meeting, right? Today is when we are supposed to go to the jail! Remember? You are one with me and Tim because you have the muscle to get us out of a sticky situation."

"Come on! Let's get moving!"


I laid back with a sigh, stretching contentedly on the soft bed of pillows that had been prepared for me. I settled in more, giving lazy glances to the two girls on either side of me. They both held giant palm leaves and were gently fanning me. I glanced over the wispy wrappings they wore before dismissing them with a small gesture. I wanted to enjoy the sun, not be fanned.

My relaxing nap was cut short when a shadow covered me, blocking the warm sun. I opened my eyes to be met with the sight of a man, dressed in a robe and a tattoo of a moon on his bald head. “Sire, your ride awaits to bring you to the castle again.”

I gave a heavy sigh and rolled lithely to my feet, giving a great stretch before turning to look at him. “Fine fine, a change in scenery is just what I need I guess.” I grumbled and took exactly four paces before stopping short. “Heck, why ride. I can teleport!” I declared and clapped my hands.
A flash followed the clap, blinding me, but when I could see through the spots brought about from the flash, I was standing in the middle of a great throne room. My actual throne four paces behind me. I turned and moved to it, sitting down with a flourish, before giving yet another great stretch. I gave a clap of my hands calling out to the empty room. “I need people to mingle and watch here.” And as if they had been waiting in the wings, a great many people flooded the room, mingling and chatting with one another in a great ball. 

I grinned, my fingers dancing and moving in the air as if I was directing an orchestra that only I could hear, and as I moved my fingers the people danced and moved and mingled to my command.


The few poor souls who lived on the lowest floor of the prison, either ignored, or shuddered as a delighted laugh came rolling down the corridor. They knew the source of that laugh, and it wasn’t fear or nervousness they felt at such a laugh. But jealousy. For they knew that at its source was a resident, driven mad to the point where they didn’t care about the war going on upstairs, or the prison they were in now. If they could, they would kill the man, all in an effort to silence that laugh that made them envious.

Oblivious to the envy and jealousy of his fellow inmates, Jest laughed on. Lost in his madness and illusions, he existed in a world of his own creation. Only limited by the four paces he had from wall to wall in his cell.


"Crystaline, for the last goddamn time, I am NOT a part of your little club." Johnny gave an exasperated sigh. She kept asking again and again to go to her little meetings, when he had made very clear that he was not interested. He fought the beast alone, out of principle rather than purpose. There was no purpose to be had, besides the purpose of one month, nine days, sixteen hours, eighteen seconds. "I don't go to your meetings, I don't try and come up with clever little plans, and I certainly don't break into jails in order to let psychopaths free. I like you, Crys, I really do, but you need to grow up and act like an adult."

"Is everything alright here, guys?" Johnny's wife Shannon had walked up to the conversation, unseen by either of them. Shannon, lovely Shannon...she was the one hope Johnny had left in this world. He had never suffered to let himself see her die, though he had subjected her to that fate God knew how many times. The farmer was hopelessly in love with her, so much so that he had allowed himself to bring a child, a beautiful child into this Godforsaken hellhole. He had done so for her, and only because she begged him. He couldn't say no to anything she asked when she looked at him with those eyes... God, those eyes...

"You remember Crys, don't you, Shannon?" Johnny asked. "She came down a while back to help on the farm and help with the... well." Johnny always had trouble talking about Herhaling and its implications with his family. Crystaline had come down to fight on the front lines a few years back. This used to be a common practice, at least in the beginning years of Byatha's reign. All the men would come to Johnny's farm to fight the Ravager, and they would be killed, same as they were before, same as they have been ever since. But Crystaline was new, different, full of energy and full of foolish idealism. She wanted to see what it was like, and she was not disappointed.When she started out she was killed quickly, gruesomely; one locust was enough to take her out. However, as time progressed, Johnny became increasingly impressed with her. She was able to hold her own against three locusts at a time, even kill one if she got it alone. But she died, same as the rest. She always died.

"Yes, well... Yes. How are you, Crystaline?" Shannon asked. She didn't like Johnny going out to meet the monster, never did. As far as she was concerned, Crystaline only encouraged her husband to go commit suicide every two months, to fight instead of hide. Hiding was sensible. Hiding was correct. Hiding was what all the villagers did, and those who did not could be counted on two hands. Johnny was about to give in to her demands until the girl came along. She rekindled his fire, and he hadn't been reasonable ever since. It was all her damn fault.


The girl was boiling inside. Grow-up? Little club? Why did he always pick the worst words!? "Look I just wanna help the vil-" by that time, Shannon had appeared and Crystal gave her a warm smile. 

"Hey, Shannon. Sorry to bother you so much... Just wanted to talk to Johnny about something really important. I'm doing rather well though! I have a good feeling about this month." She said with a fire burning in her eyes. "Anyway... how are you?" 

This was going to be the month. Crystal knew it was! Her plans were bordering on simple and complex along with doable and completely off her rocker. Jest, a man with unknown power... Unlike his jail mates, he didn't have a power listed or a symbol distinguishing "Human has no powers" on his file. This could mean he has something that will trick, confuse, maim, or destroy that monster if he doesn't destroy us first... 

The only problem with this guy? Details. Details, details, details. It was hard enough digging through all the case files in the station without getting in trouble. This Jest guy almost seemed to be dancing around and laughing in striped clothing and a hat with bells trying to toy with her. Hell, not even the villagers or the police knew anything about the guy! He might not even be down there! But what other options do we have? None. 

What have they tried? Better yet, what had Crystaline tried? All of it! Fighting, hiding, disappearing with her ability, running away, scaring it, confusing it, and even entertaining it once... An embarrassing memory that she would never tell... nor does anyone really know the full story. Most could only remember a blue light, Crystal holding a mop, and a scream... 

"So... um, Johnny? Please you come and help us? At least come here what we thought about! I mean... if you don't want to do it, fine, but you are obligated as the first to get killed to at least hear the plan!" Crystal had to admit... she was giving him some serious bullshit... but she needed him for this one! All she could do was fly around in a ghostly form and freak the prisoner out. She couldn't open a freaking cell! Especially if the police force didn't even know about which keys went to the lowest floor!

"Please, Johnny?" She asked, giving him a pair of big eyes and a hopeful smile.


Before Johnny could open his mouth, his wife's eyes lit up with the righteous fire of a protective married woman. "Excuse me?" Shannon asked, trying and failing to keep herself composed. "What the heck is that supposed to mean? 'Obligated as the first to die?!" The woman took a deep breath and glared darkly at the girl who had the audacity to come to her farm and demand her husband to follow her for whatever hare-brained scheme she had cooked up in her witch's pot. "My husband is not obligated to do anything! He fights every cycle so that he can try and save even one of you cowardly hillbillies, and he fights hard! I see him fight! If you would come down and watch, you'd see that he has done what he is obligated to do and more! Go tell that to your little friends you... You slut!" Shannon burst into tears, sobbing uncontrollably into her husband's chest.

The bewildered farmer held his wife in his arms, confused, anguished, depressed, and slightly proud at the display his wife had made for him. He tucked her in closer, then looked up. "You'd better get going, Crysty." Johnny had no idea whether he would have actually gone with Crystaline to the prison. To be honest, he really had been considering taking her up on the offer; she had certainly made it seem reasonable enough. However, he had no choice in the matter now. He couldn't possibly go when his wife was so insistent on shutting this girl out.

"Hey mom, dad? What's happening? I heard shouting so I came over here and...oh." Charley, disturbed by the volume of his mother, had run over to see what the commotion was all about. The poor boy, bless his heart, had been in love with Crystaline from the first time he had laid eyes on her. He was not particularly unattractive himself; all the work his father had put him to on the farm made him and his muscles quite popular among the young ladies of the town. Not a few women had tried to approach him at the farmer's market to try and get to know the sandy-haired boy better, but he had eyes only for the mysterious girl who had come to live with his family so suddenly and disappeared just as quickly. "H...hi, Crys...what are you guys talking about?" Charley asked nervously.

"You were just about ready to leave, weren't you, Crystaline?" Shannon informed him, glaring at the girl in question. It wasn't enough for her to demean her husband's sacrifice, but she had to steal her son's heart as well? The heart Shannon intended to keep for herself until she could find a girl that was right for Charley? No, she would not allow that.

"Actually..." Johnny began, "I just had a great idea. Why don't you take Charley, Crys? I'm sure he would be able to provide as much muscle as I could. And seeing as I have so much work to do here on the farm..."

"Really?!" Charley's face looked as if he had just been told that Byatha wasn't going to come next time. "I mean, is that alright with you, Crys? I promise I won't slow you down! I promise!"


The girl crossed her arms over her chest. Charley? Why... why him? He hadn't been in this for awhile... Could he really be of help? "Um... Fine." She said and started walking off toward the police station. "Stay close behind and I will give you the details soon." She said to the boy. 

"I guess I will see you around, Johnny! I hope you have a good day!" And I hope your wife soon realizes she can't escape this. She added to herself. That woman... it was obvious she despised Cryst because she still had hope this could be stop and Shannon didn't want her husband dead. Well, the woman should know by now he dies every two months anyway! It's inevitable! The woman needed to face the facts and let the man fight against it in a different way than taking a sword to its leg. That didn't seem to be working either.

Crystaline could bet money on Shannon's hatred growing now that her son was with Cryst too. Poor guy... then again, just like Johnny, his death could never be helped either. At least he could kill a few bugs before being killed every two months, right? She should be proud that they fought against it! 

Halfway to the station, Crystaline looked back to Charley and sighed. "Alright. Basically we are breaking into a jail to get a long forgotten psychopath. Still up for helping or do you want me to go and convince your dad to come instead? Once you decide to go in, I won't let you leave until we finish. If we get caught, we are in a cell. Probably not underground level cells, but we won't be leaving anytime soon and we won't be able to fight Byatha in a cell. Make sense? What do you think?"


I tapped a tune out on my fingers, kneeling on the side of the road in front of a small cluster flowers. I chewed on my lip as I ran a finger over the dry petals. Dry and dead, the product of neglect, poor care, or perhaps some kind of parasite or disease. It made me sad to think that these plants were so forgotten.

I set a hand on my chest, fingers running over the bells contained within leather pouches. I tugged on the edge of bandolier to adjust it a little giving a small sigh. It always felt so heavy, but my mom wore them every day. I could do no less, she had been the one to train me and teach me about them and what they can do. It worked well with my control over magic, but I knew it was my magic and not the bells that I would be able to help these flowers.

I wished I had my half-harp with me, it was my best tool to help plants grow and heal and flourish. But I knew that any tool I used to make music would work. And so from a pouch at my waist I pulled out a small ocarina and brought it to my lips and just started to play. I poured the magic inside of me through my breath and then through the notes being played.


A psychopath? In this town? Charley's eyes drifted toward the ground, but landed on Crys' bosom. Curse these teenage urges! "I'm up for whatever you need me to do, Crys! I'm your man!" After all, if he was supposed to break this psychopath out, the guy should be grateful enough not to murder the farm boy where he stood. Then again, the key word there was 'should'.

He had no real way of knowing whether the psychopath would murder him or not. Then again, he didn't know if he or she was murderous at all. But then, why would heshe be in jail if he didn't kill someone? Charley knew there were many unknowns, but even if he asked the woman in front of him, it was likely she didn't know all the answers to his questions either. Crystaline was never one to analyze the situation carefully. She always wanted to rush in and destroy the problem, which had served her well during Herhaling, considering there wasn't any real risk when it came to dealing with Byatha. But this, this was real. This was dangerous. If they died here, they would be dead for good. Charley almost opened his mouth to back out of this deal and to hell with Crys.

But, then again.


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Village of the Damned: Turning Back Time Empty Re: Village of the Damned: Turning Back Time

Post by Tsubaki on Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:15 pm

Everyone had left on a secret mission, and once again she was left behind. A small part of her resented being treated like such a baby. She was only ten years old, sure; but she had been through so much! Sure she had never died... but she had seen as much death as any of them! She had seen half of the people standing here die at least once.

Then again she probably would not have gone even if they had asked. Deep down she knew she was only a child. She resented herself for being such a coward. She harbored so much guilt for always surviving the Herhaling while almost everyone else had suffered numerous deaths. She had been injured several times. Huge lacerations or crushed bones that probably would have killed her had it not been for everything always changing back when the monsters were finished.

"The jail is no place for a kid, you would only get in the way." Harris said. He must have noticed the look she gave Crystaline as she left. "Just try to stay out of the way kid." She wanted to snap at him, tell him to stop being such a jerk all the time; but it was not in her nature. She gave him a little smile and found a place to sit down away from the rest of them. She practiced opening a portal over and over on the ground next to her. No matter how much she tried, she had never been able to open one faster than twenty seconds.

She looked around, no one was looking at her. She opened a portal to the lower floor of the jail and put her ear close. For a moment she heard nothing, then a distant echo of a maniacal laugh. Her heart skipped a beat and she quickly closed the portal. Now she knew, she was glad she did not have to go. That laugh, it sounded so... well her child's mind lacked the vocabulary to describe it, but it terrified her. Then she realized that if Crystaline succeeded, she would be coming back with that person, or a person like him. Suddenly she did not even want to be in this alley. They were not expected back for a while but she wanted to leave right now.She stood and walked toward the street.

"Where are you going?" Harris asked, stepping in her way.

She looked down and studied her hands. "I just... want to go get some food. I can leave if I want." The last part she said just barely above a whisper.

Harris scoffed. "Grow a spine kid." He walked away laughing.

She was angry that he made fun of her, but more angry that he was right. She forced a smile on her face for everyone else and walked away.

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Village of the Damned: Turning Back Time Empty Re: Village of the Damned: Turning Back Time

Post by Aurum on Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:43 pm

Oric noticed her walk away. Maybe she wanted some company. Either way, he was late leaving for the jail, so he might as well walk with her for a while and give her some company. After all, Crys probably had Johnny with her. It was unlikely she needed him. His priority was taking care of the villagers in this town and making sure they didn't do anything drastic. He worried about Abigail sometimes. She was so small, yet she had already seen so much death. Did it matter if she had felt it? She had grown up living in the village of death. There had to be some negative effects from that. Grabbing his large hammer and his luck's trinket (he couldn't just leave without taking one with him), he shot a look over at Harris and ran to catch up with Abigail.

Harris had been pretty mean to her, something nobody should be in this town, let alone to a 10-year old. The amount of people who had lost hope by now is insane to Oric. It's not like he didn't know what death felt like. He had died a fair number of times while doing his best to protect others. With his trinket, he could occasionally be lucky enough to kill two or three of those stupid bugs. But there were too many for him to handle alone. They needed some sort of edge to keep them going. Hopefully Crys's plan works. Then again... No! He can't think like that. He may be one of the last people here to have hope in any form of escape. If he loses it, what will happen to the town?

"Hey," he said to Abigail. "You feeling all right? Harris wasn't very nice to you. Do you need some help?"

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Village of the Damned: Turning Back Time Empty Re: Village of the Damned: Turning Back Time

Post by Warrior Queen Hawk on Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:38 pm

The optimist smiled small and looked to see the station in her line of sight. "Glad to hear you're up for this. Oric should be meeting up with us there to help us down in the sewers. You aren't afraid of mice, right? I don't think there are alligators, but you never know. We should be fine." She exclaimed, more to scare the boy than anything.

As much as she hated to admit it, she really didn't like Charley all that much. He always seemed too eager to see her and she was someone who dealt with most people who that she was too open-minded about finishing Byatha off. People who were kinder and eager to do her work made it easier, but sometimes she enjoyed the challenge of getting people to help her out. The only reason she could stand Oric was because of his determination to get rid of Byatha... not his eagerness to help her.

When the two arrived at the station, Oric was missing. Crystal searched the wall and down the street for him, but had no luck. "Huh... Maybe he got caught up in something..." She rolled her eyes and walked toward the manhole cover. "Come on over, Charley. We can reach the underground jails through the tunnels. It's a short trip to the jail." She commented. "This is also your time to back out if you want."

The girl shoved the cover off the tunnel and stepped on the first rung of the stairs leading down. "We have to replace the cover, so if you're coming, you're replacing it."

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Village of the Damned: Turning Back Time Empty Re: Village of the Damned: Turning Back Time

Post by Tsubaki on Sun Apr 27, 2014 9:02 pm

She put the hood up on her thin hoody and kept her head low as she walked. She genuinely liked most of the people in this town, but she was not in a mood for company. Just as she was thinking that very thought, Oric caught up to her and offered to keep her company. This, however, was the one person she would gladly make an exception for even in her current mood, because he was the most handsome and charming man she ever knew. If she could marry anyone right now, she would choose Oric without hesitation! She loved everything about him! His looks, his voice, his unyielding optimism. There was only one problem, for some reason every time he was around she became a giggling idiot!

She tried hard to be all confident and tough like Crystaline, but she usually ended up sounding like a lame schoolgirl.

"Hey, You feeling all right? Harris wasn't very nice to you. Do you need some help?"

She looked up at him and instantly felt her face flush. She quickly looked down again to hide the wide smile on her face.

"I'm alright... thank you for asking though Oric." She giggled quietly and then mentally kicked herself for it. Grow up you idiot! She thought. Be cool and sexy like Crys!
"Umm... I...umm... you are very nice..." Another giggle. IDIOT!

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Village of the Damned: Turning Back Time Empty Re: Village of the Damned: Turning Back Time

Post by Aurum on Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:02 am

Boy, Abigail sure perked up quickly. Oric hoped it was because he's starting to bring hope back to some of the townsfolk. For some reason, she always seemed nervous to him. Is it because I'm big? he wondered. Still, her little laugh was so adorable. It always brought a smile to his face, a rare occurrence since the Herhaling began. "Why, thanks!" he exclaimed. "I do my best to help out. And I'm glad to hear that you're okay."

He walked with her a little while longer, then told her, "If you're sure you're okay, I should get going. I'm supposed to go meet up with Crys and Johnny." He starts to walk off without a response, hoping that it would have been yes, because he actually DID need to be with the others. The plan was key to finding a way to stop the madness of the town from carrying on any longer, and those two might need him for something. He just hoped he wasn't leaving poor Abi in too unstable a condition.

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Post by Tsubaki on Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:39 am

Abigail nodded when Oric said he had to go, she did not trust herself to talk again without giggling. She pulled her hood low and tried to hide the ear-to-ear smile on her face. He was so perfect, she could not wait until she was old enough to be his girlfriend. She giggled quietly to herself at the thought.

She wandered the village streets aimlessly, lost in a daydream about Oric. She was grown and they had married and were sharing a small cottage on the outskirts of town. It was lovely and perfect; until the Herhaling of course. Oric was slaughtered in front of her eyes and then the bugs turned on her as well. Even when she daydreamed about moving to another town, Byatha always found them and killed them both. She hated the monster for what he did to this town, invading even her fantasies made her despise him.

But she was only a child. Weak and helpless, or maybe useless was a better word. She had seen dozens of people die, and never once lifted a finger to try to help them. She always spent the entire Herhaling sobbing in a dark corner and fled through a portal at the first sign of trouble. She was a coward. She did not even deserve a hero like Oric.

Her thoughts had gone from peaceful and dreamy, to dark and spiteful in an instant. She stopped and took a seat on a curb. She had no home and therefore no where to go. How she wished she had a bedroom and a bed to curl up in like other girls. It must be nice, when one was in a dismal mood like she was now, to curl up under some warm blankets and listen to sad music all day. Instead she sat on a curb and watched the ants crawl around on her shoes. When a tear slid from her eye and dripped off her nose, she turned her head a little so it would not hit the ants. She was not about to become their giant nightmare monster, killing their friends and ruining the tiny little lives they had. She put her face in her hands and tried not to cry too loud...

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Post by King Staragna on Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:47 pm

Charlie took a deep breath, and immediately regretted it. The aroma of the sewers was odious, if one were to put it lightly. Nevertheless, his hormones drove him to take the lid upon himself and climb down the ladder, replacing it as he descended. "This smells like shit," the young man muttered to himself, dropping into the sewage below. He still didn't exactly know just why they had to go through here, or why they were breaking the damn psychopath out at all, but his dad had beaten a sense of responsibility into him that was nigh impossible to resist. He was committed to this cause now, even though he did not particularly know what it was.

As the two companions progressed through the dark corridor, Charlie's apprehensions grew more and more pronounced. "Crys? I... I have to ask." I'm going to regret asking this, I know I'll regret asking this, why am I so stupid, I'm not gonna ask, but she's going to look at me funny, she'll think I'm an idiot, dammit I have to say something now, why am I so STUPID?! "Um... why... why are we doing this? You don't have to answer if you don't want, but I mean... how will breaking a psychopath out of jail help us in any way?"

Great, now she'll think I'm stupid, she's going to send me back to dad, dad's going to be so ashamed of me, I can't even keep up with this girl, what the hell is wrong with me?! Oh well, nothing to do now. Charlie looked at his feet, fully expecting Crys to tear into him with no mercy.

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Post by Tyrial on Thu May 01, 2014 2:14 am


As the man held his illusions they changed. From people bending to his will to something out of his hands. The gathering of dancers switched to a different sort of song, unbidden by what he believed he wanted to hear. As it grew out of his control the dance grew more depraved, more intimate. Clothes began to be shed among the members of the crowd. The dancers moved closer to partners and other groups till one could scarcely move at all without touching another. Hands, limbs, faces all began to find places not normally touched or even politely looked at in public. All of this was not lost upon the would be king of the court. He leaned forward an interest growing in his eyes. "Oh, what have we here? Ha ha ha! I approve! Dance on!"

In his cell the man who looked no more older than a boy fresh into adulthood adjusted the tattered rags he wore, exposing more skin much as the dancers did. He licked his lips and settled back against the wall, a pleased far off look in his eyes. "Naughty, naughty...what has gotten into all of you...can't say I mind though..." To him his voice purred out, adding to the debauchery before him. His voice actually rasped harshly in comparison to his illusion one. The man was only hearing and seeing what he wished, just as he had for many years. As his illusion continued he gave a sharp sigh of ecstasy, followed by a splattering feeling going up his chest. He paused and looked down at his chest, giving a soft sigh.

Starting from his belly button a trail of drops all the way up his chest to his chin was a trail of blood. His eyes slowly followed it to its source, his arm. "Naughty thoughts cause naughty deeds you know." He remarked to no one. He focused more on the wound and smiled. "Oh hello there, come on out you." A quick ripping motion and a thin piece of jagged metal was held in his hand. He sighed then as he looked over the wound once more, a long jagged gash that dropped blood with every throb of his heart. His face brightened as he began to take the blood and draw tribal patterns on his arm, then chest, then face, then to eventually all of him. To any looking upon this site would think this man truly, truly mad. And they might just be right, because there was no blood, no wound that actually existed. In fact if you stared close enough you would see that the person was easily seen through. And across the cell in the corner was the controller of the illusions.

Jest sat in his corner, his knees pulled up close to his chest. His arms wrapped around his knees while he pressed his forehead against the same. His eyes were closed, clothing dirty and ragged. It was thin enough and full of enough holes that he might actually be warmer without it. What ever color it might have been it was now a faded dirty grey. His hair raggedly long and the same dirty grey as his clothing. His hair was supposed to be dark, but dust, dirt, and other filth colored it other wise. His skin was tanned from the same dirt that covered the rest of him, though to less amount. Tears leaked out of his eyes, cutting through the dirt to show the pale skin underneath that hadn't seen the sun in many, many years. He had once been laughing, enjoying the time in his madness, but now he felt was not the time to laugh. He was plagued by the thoughts of everything he had lost. And all that he still had yet to lose.

A soft chirping whistle brought him out of his thoughts and he lifted his head, focusing on the bars over head. Soft moonlight streamed through the window of his cell. A bird poked its head and looked down at him. It chirped again and hopped into the room itself. Settling down on the floor to cock its head at him. A tiny jump and it moved closer. Jest let go of his knees with one arm, extending his arm out till his hand was pointed out. His fingers were curled slightly with only his pointer finger straighter than the rest. The bird gave a melody of chirps to the boy as it flew up and alighted on his finger.

"Hey little one...I'm sorry it's been so long since we last talked..." his voice was scarce, but a good shadow of what it once might have been. Soft under currents of laughter and pleasant authority. The voice of a king, a general, a leader of men. But it wasn't that anymore. Too long of either sudden harsh use, or long periods of silence. It took its toll.

The bird responded with rapid chirping and whistles. He nodded in response and got softer, gentler sounds from the bird. "I know, I know...I promised. Are you taking good care of Mom and Dad? What about the new born brother of ours hm? He was getting to be a handful and he was so young..." A merry song answered him and one corner of his lips turned up slightly. "Good, try to keep him in line okay?"

He lifted his arm more, the action a visible strain on him. The bird as if expecting this leaned towards him as he pressed a soft kiss to the top of its head. His eyes closed and while no new tears fell his voice was even more broken as he whispered. "I miss you little song bird..." The bird, window, and moon light began to fade. Replaced with the dark rough walls of his prison. Jest pressed the hand that had held the bird against his chest and seemed to curl inwards even more.

"Your disgusting." The bloody illusion snarled. "You don't miss them at all. You were glad to see the knife entering them. All of them. Every drop of blood that stained your skin that night. Every cry, every shout of terror and fear was utterly delicious." A mocking laughter issued forth boring into the ears of none but the boy.

No response only encouraged the specter, "Aw does the little hero believe he is still good at heart? After it was all over, after every member of your family lay dead at your feet what did you feel? Was it guilt? Remorse for the atrocity? Vengence hm? No. Your sick self felt only one thing. Relief." More mocking laughter echoed into Jest's ears. "You were glad! You were happy and at peace with it! You. Were. Relieved. Relieved they were dead. And you think I'm evil and insane."

Jest lifted his head to glare at the illusion but it brought more taunts, "Aw what, does he not like to hear the truth from his own mind hm? Is he going to make me go away? Make me vanish from view so he doesn't have to see me or hear me anymore?"

I am inside your head Jest. I am inside your head because I am you. Jest moved the hand rapidly from his chest to clutch at his head. His teeth clenched tight for a moment before the other occupant in his cell quieted down. "We are in this together Jest." The voice came from the illusion and echoed around in his own head. The illusion leaned against the wall, one leg fully extended in front of it, the other bent at the knee so that the foot rested near the other knee. It's arm was draped lazily over the raised leg and its head rested back against the wall. It would abide its time until it grew bored and tormented its creator again.

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Post by Warrior Queen Hawk on Thu May 01, 2014 3:35 am

The strange female looked around the rotten sewers and recalled the map of the place she looked at to find the correct tunnel to get underneath the police station. She turned left and stayed on the cement pathway to stay out of the disease-ridden waters. It wasn't the best idea to take the sewers... but it was the easiest in Crystal's opinion.

"Hm..." She thought aloud as she conjured up a response to Charley's questions. "Well... we need something, right? Nothing the resistance has done up to now has worked... Byatha still exists and we are running out of options. We need someone who has different views. With nobody outside the village being able to guide us, we have an entire village full of people who think very similarly to one another, right? Since we all have lived in the same situation when it comes to Herhaling.

"What I am hoping to achieve with this is the man we find will have a different view of the situation after being down here for so long. He might have information we haven't been able to crack." Her voice fell, no longer echoing through the tunnels as much as before with excitement.

"Actually... to tell you the whole truth..." She narrowed her eyes and turned to face Charley, a hint of distrust passing through her eyes. "You can't tell a soul, got it?" The boy nodded and Cryst kept moving forward. 

"This mission is actually really selfish... Since my dad works with the police, I hear stories about unique characters from older days. My dad used to tell me about this young boy who killed his family. Everyone made up talltales about why he did it and how, but it was never told in any records. I searched for days for those files on this guy and I always came up short. All I had was the stories..."

She smiled and her pace quickened. "Three weeks ago I found it though! I found some information about this felon even if it was just a cassette tape. It basically made me more curious as to who this person was. I don't even know if he is alive anymore. He could have died of old age or something." She looked behind her to see Charley and glared again. "Don't tell anyone we might be doing a wild goose chase that could end with all of us getting in jail. This has to stay a secret. Just between you and me, got it, Charley?" 

Crystaline stopped in her tracks and started climbing upward on a ladder. "I am pretty sure this is our destination. It should put us right under the station and into the underground jail house." She grunted as she slowly open the cover and crawled out. 

Iron bars stood up from the floor and little to no light entered. Cryst's eyes had to adjust slowly to the lack of light before she called down to Charley to head up. "Get up here! I was right!" She rasped, hoping she wasn't loud enough to be heard from above. Hell, she doubted anyone was loud enough to be hear up there.

As she waited for the boy, Crystal walked around, seeing all of the cells empty. "Jest? Jestain Du’Marix?" She called, walking down the hall.

"Oh look, little Jestain has company." A voice giggled, directing the girl's attention to a cell to her right. A man with a vest and mid calf length pants was tracing circles and swirls on his skin with his finger in the cell. Her curiosity got the better of her and she moved closer to the cell and knelt down to get a better look in the dim light. The vest she saw before was actually a shirt that had been ripped right down the center to reveal his chest while his pants had holes in the knees and two or three more in the sides. "Jest...?" She asked and shook her head. No... Jest would be much older than this man. By the sound of the recorder, he wasn't that old when he killed his family... but this had happened quite a while ago since it was just a story.

The man reaction was far more bizarre than she had anticipated. Slowly, the lunatic faded into the background, chuckling to himself madly until he was no longer visible. She looked around and soon couldn't hear the laughter anymore... had he teleported? Abby had that power... could he have the same power? What happened?

"Jest? Are you here?" She called out, hoping for an answer from the mystery man.

Last edited by Warrior Hawk on Sat May 03, 2014 5:04 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post by Tazz on Thu May 01, 2014 8:38 am

These lions, caged and shaved and stripped of their claws. They pace around their little cell, planning plans and plotting plots. They are not even aware that they are the predators. They are the hungry kings and queens of this jungle, only they do not know it so they submit to endless slaughter. Suffering. That is their crux.

Thomas strolled casually down the sidewalk, thinking to himself in the singular elegiac way only he thought. He passed a small girl sitting on the curb crying.

That is right, lament your birth mademoiselle. And for mercy's sake, die young dear...

He passed her with hardly a glance. He was headed nowhere in particular. Just wandering like any descent vagrant should do. He took a swallow of his wine and shot a venomous look at a couple that stared at him distastefully.

Dainty little clawless lions... cowards. How long do you have left to look down on me? One miserable month to go. The countdown begins to destroy ourselves.

The thought crossed his mind to turn around and shoot them both. Then maybe go and shoot the crying girl as well. It would be a mercy. Still, he was not about to waste two perfectly good bullets on the high-and-mighty couple, and he did not have the heart to shoot the girl even if he would be doing her a favor. Instead he just kept walking and drinking his wine. There were so many walking corpses here, he could not be responsible for ending the suffering of each one. That could not possibly fall to him.

He saw Kevin heading in his direction from the other side of the street. He quickened his pace and tried to avoid the sprightly old prick. He was too late though and as usual the old man caught him by the arm. Thomas resisted the urge to punch him in the throat.

"Let go."

The old man ignored him. "How are we today Thomas?" He asked in his jolly Santa Claus voice.

"How the hell should I know how we are?"

"All sunshine and rainbows as usual I see." The old man was truly testing the limits of Thomas' patience today. He jerked his arm away and moved on.

"Have a great day Thomas!"

"F**k off."

Before long he come to the bar. He stumbled inside, already a little drunk. The bouncer took his bottle of wine away, promising to give it back on his way out. He was well known at this establishment, probably the most regular customer they had. He took a seat in his usual spot at the end of the bar and sat there with his head down. He had counted thirteen people here, including the muscle-head bouncer and the skinny little floozy tending the bar. Again the thought crossed his mind to pull his revolver and put them out of their misery, and again he dismissed the thought. Thirteen bullets on these lowlifes? Nah. Instead he ordered a beer and a double shot of whisky.

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Post by AkaiJose on Sun May 04, 2014 9:18 pm

Business, as per usual, crawled along at an inchworm's pace, the clock ticking along as Zora focused on her little game. On the counter before her in her small cafe sat a tower of wooden blocks, alternating in patterns with missing spaces where the blocks right by Zora's left hand once were. The overhead light buzzed and flickered every now and then, attempting to disrupt the woman's concentration. Yet she knew to ignore the recurring spasms, as she was perfectly used to the odd space she liked to call "home". Her silver eyes narrowed as her finger stretched forward, tapping at one block that seemed unbeneficial to withholding the stability of the block tower. As expected, it slide forward with ease, as though nothing seemed to be sitting upon it. The woman smirked, pushing it out all the way and grabbing it on the opposite side with her finger, gently removing it from the tower and setting it by her left side like the rest. The tower tottered slightly, wavering as though a quiet, nearly nonexistent breeze came by, threatening to topple it.

Zora could hear her heart thumping in her chest, determination to set a new record for herself growing with each beat. Her father, sitting nearby, was reading in his rocker with an ancient book in his hand, reading glasses sitting precariously on his slanting nose. His apparent squinting at the text defined the crow's feet that wrinkled at the edges of his eyes, making him seem even older, despite still having a full head of hair. The rocker creaked with the beats of the old clock, interrupting the stillness of the space.

Another block retrieved.

A quiet rumbling began, growing louder and louder until it could not be overlooked. With a look of fear, Zora stared at her father, the crashing of the blocks before her not able to take her glance away. Her father snapped his book closed, running over to the counter and grabbing her hand, leading her away to the back of the store. He pointed at a cabinet that seemed rather small for the woman, but, miraculously, she was able to squeeze in. Before shutting the door, she watched her father grab a nearby sword, determination mixed in with terror and rage written all over his face. It seemed, however, that the crow's feet were gone, giving way to scars that crisscrossed his visage. His stance was straightened and no longer was he the calm, collected old man in the corner, reading a book. No, her old man was a warrior without his armor.

He went out before the counter, half his body out of Zora's line of sight. The bloodstained sword glinted in the flickering light, showing the wear of many years. A blade that had been passed on through centuries of her bloodline, to each swordsman to the next, hoping to defend families from the plague of the city. The front door opened with a crash, its hinges breaking and, eventually, falling to the floor swiftly. A large bug seemed to stand at the entrance, yet all Zora could see was the shadow. Nonetheless, she knew exactly was it was. Her father held up his blade, grumbling indiscernible words under his breath. Whether they were directed to her or to himself, the woman would never know. Yet in response, she reached out her hand, palm out toward her father's head, a quiet blessing murmured under her own breath.

And soon, the door snapped shut.

Zora blinked open her eyes, picking her head up from the counter-top. She rubbed away the wetness that seemed to have formed on her face, trailing down like tears would. The woman had no recollection of ever crying, however. She knew it was a memory that made her shed tears of sorrow every so often, something she couldn't control consciously.

The blocks sat before her, still stacked but with different holes this time around. She sighed and poked it vigorously, letting it fall over into a pile of rubble. The game gets a little tiring... She thought, her disheveled clothing showing how she didn't care too much about her appearance that morning. Even her hair frizzed, sticking up at the oddest ends. But she didn't even pay attention to it; rather, the woman began to zero in on the gentle cries outside her door.

When she stepped outside, the door ringing cheerily, Zora found a young girl hunched over on the curbside, hiding her face with small hands. She was only a child, with black hair trailing down her back. But, as the village was a close community, Zora was able to easily figure out who the girl was. regaining her usual composure, she smiled happily and knelt down right next to Abigail, a light hand resting on the small shoulder.

"Hey there, Abi!" She cooed sweetly, squeezing the shoulder as she spoke. "What are you up to? You know, sitting on the curbside all alone isn't fun. Mind if I joined you?" Even without invitation, she stuck out her legs into the street, sitting down right beside the younger girl, letting go of her shoulder and leaning back to look at the sky. "It's a great day to be out, though. Whaddaya say we take a nice trip around here? Doesn't that sound nice?" She knew how children never liked to be asked directly about crying, so she tried to act normal, treating her like a close friend rather than a baby. Hopefully, it would have worked once more.

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Post by Aurum on Mon May 05, 2014 8:38 pm

Oric, once out of sight of Abigail so as not to hurt her feelings, ran as quickly as he could to the sewer location. Stopping by the hideout briefly to take a glance at the map, he dashed off in pursuit of Johnny and Crystal. He kept holding his lucky trinket.

As he ran, Oric thought about the events that have happened in his life. He had been born into the Herhaling, as many of the others in the town. Johnny hadn’t, but he had a child (Charlie, or something like that). Abigail was, Crystal was, most were. Most of the original townsfolk were one of three things: crazy, hopeless, or dead. Byatha seemed to radiate such large amounts of hopelessness that it was hard just to live without losing humanity. But Oric knew. He knew there was a way out of this; he just had to find it. The answer must lie through the sewers, he thought.

The first Herhaling that Oric had remembered experiencing was terrifying. His mother, the blacksmith of the town, had given him a small dagger just in case, but she had locked Oric in the cellar in order to protect him. He got out because he wanted to see what was happening. What he saw was brutal on a five-year old mind. He saw his mother being torn to pieces in front of his very eyes. He didn’t know what was going on. He didn’t know she would come back. All Oric knew was that his mother was dead, and these… things had killed her. He didn’t care that he was vastly outnumbered. He charged the stupid bugs. But one blow from them, and it was over.

A year later, after suffering through five more and watching his mom die countless times, she forged a large war hammer for him. She said that he would be able to use it once the time was right. She ran off into the woods, claiming to go off to collect firewood for the fireplace and to buy some coal for the forge. She never came back. People found her body a few days later. She had killed herself with one of her own knives. That was when Oric swore to rid this town of Byatha. Ever since he was twelve, he handled his final gift from his mother. That hammer had killed at least three dozen locusts. Sure, there were thousands more, but who’s counting?

Oric reached the sewer. He opened it and entered through the narrow passage. It stank, but not more than other situations. He could still hear faint echoes of Crystal. Oric dashed through the sewers to catch up. He heard another voice that didn’t really sound like Johnny’s. Oric wondered who it could be.

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Post by Tyrial on Wed May 14, 2014 6:28 pm

"Jest? Are you here?" A young voice called. Jest's head lifted slowly, lips parting in surprise for a moment before pressing into a thin line.

Another trick, it had to be. His inner self trying to make a joke, a cruel one at that. But at the same time, it had sounded so clear, so pure in comparison to what he usually heard. He felt for his power, thinking himself silly for even considering that another might be here. It had been what? Ten years? Fifteen? Time had little meaning, but it had been many meal cycles. Though even those became unreliable as the machine that gave food began to break down.

His surprise grew tenfold when as he touched his power, he saw not a single bit of it being used. It all lay inside him, waiting to be used. He brought himself out of his inner mind, and tried to peer through the darkness. Though his eyes had long adjusted to the dark, it was still difficult to see more than the general shape of everything.

Curiosity an emotion long since laid dormant began to rear inside of him and even that surprised him. Even more than that though was the feeling of hope. Hope had not been felt long before his imprisonment. That was what shocked him to the core and finally made him move. If this was nothing more than a cruel joke, he didn't know if he would be able to continue matter the promises made to his imaginary bird of a sister.

And so Jest began to move, his body screamed at him in protest. His muscles barely able to summon the strength to support him as he tried to get to his feet. Even then he only managed to collapse back to his hands and knees. And so left with only one option he began to crawl. Time meant nothing to him as he moved across the cell to the bars. Seconds, Minutes, Hours, Days even it could have been to Jest and he wouldn't have cared.

In all since the voice had spoken, barely a minuted had passed before he was able to grip a hand around a bar. For his voice to rasp out in first a croak, then into words as he found more of his voice. "A-are you there?" A simple question, but it was a question that he clung to as a support. If this really was a trick, then he truly had lost his entire mind.

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Post by Warrior Queen Hawk on Tue May 27, 2014 5:57 am

The curious child knelt down to see the face of the voice that had spoken in the darkness of the jail cell. His forest green eyes brought a uncomfortable chill up her spine as she scanned them for something. What? She wasn't quite sure. Perhaps an unspoken answer to the questions that danced in her head, ready to burst and search for the puzzle pieces.

"I'm here to get you out. You have to stay quiet though." She whispered and felt her heart race. Until now this hadn't seemed real. Crystal didn't feel the fear of being caught or the fear of breaking a criminal out of jail. She didn't think about the consequences of her dad finding her. Everything rushed into her mind like a waterfall that crashed on the rocks at the bottom. 

Too late now. She thought and smiled a little at the malnourished boy. "Will you please cooperate with us?" She asked, her stomach feeling a little queasy as the stench of the sewers and the underground jail began to get to her. Hopefully Charles was doing all right. 

The boy grunted as he came through the manhole and walked over to Crystal with a frown on his face. "He doesn't look too good, Crystal... Do they just leave the criminals down here to die? No food or water?" He wondered aloud and Cryst could see in his face his next question forming.

"Weird, huh?" The female shook her head and looked back to the dark haired boy in the cell. "We can talk about it when we get out of here. Right now, we have to get him out."

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Post by Tsubaki on Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:23 pm

She heard a ding behind her and knew immediately who it would be. This was her town after all and she knew who's shop was behind her. A wave of relief washed over her before Zora even said a word. If there was one person in town that could always brighten her day, it was Zora. In Abigail's mind Zora was as close to a mother as she would ever have. The thing she was probably most grateful for in her life was that she had never actually seen Zora die.
Her dark mood lifted completely when the sweet motherly woman sat down next to her and asked if she wanted to go for a walk. Abigail still had a bit of a lump in her throat though so she looked up and offered a teary smile and a nod.
She stood, taking Zora's hand and when the lump finally receded she asked, "Where should we go?"
Before Zora could stand up Abigail threw her arms around the older woman's neck and pressed her face into her shoulder. She wished so desperately that Zora really was her mother, and that she could just stay here in the comfort of her lap forever. But this was not to be, she lived a dark, cold, bloody life. At least Zora made that a little easier to bear. She stood and collected herself, trying to act more mature than she had a moment ago.

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