Author Topic: Mud and Straw  (Read 89 times)

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Offline Harlequin

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Mud and Straw
« on: April 10, 2019, 02:00:31 AM »
Reserved for Billiam

Felicia loved the first days of spring.

Like nearly everything living (so to speak) on the Penbrook Estate, the horses had gotten used to the dark; the cold, however, affected them just as much as the rest of their species. Which meant winter made riding difficult.

But spring, ah, when everything was wet with the thaw, and bright and cold and new -- the great beasts were as keen to run as Felicia, their most frequent visitor.

The rest of the horses stamped their impatience as the Ancient returned from her ride, walking her favorite, a blue roan quarter horse named Quinn, back into her stall. The stablehands rose from their chairs with a practiced carelessness, moving to relieve the tired animal of the trappings of riding. Her rider, however, looked fresh as a daisy, her cheeks colored pink with another's blood, the product of the chill wind whipping past her skin. The smell of fresh mud and alfalfa hay clung to her skin as much as it did to her horse's.

But there was someone else waiting for her in the stables, and she regarded him coolly as she tugged off her kidskin gloves, finger by finger. A smile touched the corner of her rose-petal mouth. He'd caught her in the best possible mood, "Brother," she greeted as she approached.
You are the  hole in my head
You are the space in my bed
You are the silence in between
What I thought
and what I said
You are the nighttime fear
You are the morning when it’s clear
When it’s over, you're the start
You're my head, you’re my heart
Florence + the Machine, "No Light, No Light"

Online Billiam

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Re: Mud and Straw
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2019, 04:59:35 AM »
The seasons felt like minutes to Ari at this point, a smearing of cold into hot and back into cold again. He had been human in a very cold place, and so he honored winter differently than the rest of his family. As a mortal boy he'd huddled around large bond fires, as the Vendel priests begged Odin for warmer weather. Now it was spring, the season of rebirth and it presented new opportunities. His latest self help book had told him to use changes in the environment to promote changes in the self, and so Ari walked out towards the stables to find his fledge-sister. Their various duties had kept them apart as of late, and Ari knew he hadn't helped matters by spending all his time tending to the grounds and hunting in the forest.

He'd caught Felicia riding, and she'd looked particularly happy to be back in the saddle. He waited with the stable hands, arms crossed over his chest, and statue like. Upon Felicia's return he moved to help tend to Quinn. He like caring for the horses more than riding them. He was barefoot, and the thaw had made his feet covered in mud. His long blonde hair was tied back into a messy bun, but a single sliver of hair had escaped, and was now running along his left check as he helped Quinn to get water. He regarded his sister with a friendly smile.

"You looked good out there," he complimented, his deep baritone cutting through the sounds of animals, the wind and far off birds. "Next time you're going to ride let me know."

He hoped that Felicia didn't have anything else to do today. Since the south had been taken over by Sabrina, the bloodline of Charon had more free time. He hoped for, what did the books call it, quality bonding.
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Prince~Rebel~Two-Face~Satanist~Spy~Wolf~Huntsman~Priestess~Rodent~

Offline Harlequin

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Re: Mud and Straw
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2019, 11:52:46 AM »
Felicia's first real winter had been a shock, and she remembered it well despite its distance in time. She remembered a lot of things well; and a lot of things not all.

She tucked her gloves into the pocket of her red wool riding jacket, high-necked like most of her wardrobe. She looked immaculate, as if she'd stepped out of a catalogue. The only indications that she'd set foot outside at all were the color in her cheeks and the wisp of hair at her temple that had escaped her tight braid. She came to rest a few paces away from her brother, watching him tend to her horse with her hands in her pockets. She rested her weight on one leg, crooking the other at the knee and crossing at the ankles. "I will," she said.

He'd always been very concerned with the horses. It was one of the few interests they shared. "How have you been, Ari?"

Apparently, bonding time wasn't far from her mind, either.
You are the  hole in my head
You are the space in my bed
You are the silence in between
What I thought
and what I said
You are the nighttime fear
You are the morning when it’s clear
When it’s over, you're the start
You're my head, you’re my heart
Florence + the Machine, "No Light, No Light"

Online Billiam

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Re: Mud and Straw
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2019, 12:50:00 PM »
Ari was always amazed at how done up and sharp Felecia looked. He wasn't a vain man despite his obvious good looks, but when around his much more fashionable family member he wished he'd at least showered. On the other hand, it was nothing new for her to see him covered in earth. He half suspected Charon kept so many different kinds of animals because he knew Ari loved them. With the horses in the well trained hands of the stable boys, he motioned with his shoulder for his sister to follow.

"Better now that the party has come and gone," he admitted freely. The hair tendril on his check had become annoying, and so he quickly and expertly redid his bun as they walked. It looked much better. "Hugh has been pleasing Charon quite a bit lately," he shared, happy to give her good news about her fledge. He missed Royce terribly, but he'd gotten a letter recently from the rascal. He'd be home in a few more months, unless Charon extended the exchange program. He would ask his grandsire not to. He wanted his child back. 
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Prince~Rebel~Two-Face~Satanist~Spy~Wolf~Huntsman~Priestess~Rodent~

Offline Harlequin

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Re: Mud and Straw
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2019, 11:04:26 AM »
Felicia fell into step beside Ari, content for now to let him lead the way. She didn't have anything much planned for the evening, after all. She chuckled at the comment about the party. Crowds had never been his forté. She smelled new foliage, animal blood and leather on her brother. The scents suited him.

"Has he? I'm glad." she said mildly. Her overall apathy toward her second fledgling had never been a secret, but she at least had the courtesy to pretend she cared most of the time. Maybe if Charon took enough of a liking to him, he'd cease being her problem altogether.


"And Royce? He is where? Away on family business?"
You are the  hole in my head
You are the space in my bed
You are the silence in between
What I thought
and what I said
You are the nighttime fear
You are the morning when it’s clear
When it’s over, you're the start
You're my head, you’re my heart
Florence + the Machine, "No Light, No Light"

Online Billiam

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Re: Mud and Straw
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2019, 08:53:40 AM »
Ari was always amazed how little Felicia and Hugh connected. He felt responsible for the boy’s creation. In a rare show of emotion Ari had begged his fledge sister to make him. Charon had felt Royce needed a companion but instead he’d gotten a rival. Ari suspected, although he’d never ask, that Charon didn’t approve of Royce’s free willed love of life. His ability to dive in and make strong choices was not Ari and certainly not Charon. To the Scandinavian, it was this very quality that attracted him to the lad. Ari often didn’t feel excited about eternity, but when he was with Royce he truly felt alive. As he looked at Felicia, there was an absence of this quality.

“He’s part of the family exchange program. He’s in Vienna with the Giovanni clan. They’re part of those clanned vampires Jake McCloud champions. They practice necromancy it seems.”

Ari was open minded, but had written Royce to tell him that he did not approve of him learning that sort of thing. However, Royce normally took Ari’s objections as incentive to do the opposite of his sire’s wishes, and he half expected him to come back with a zombie as a pet. Charon would be delighted or horrified.

“I miss him,” he added, looking only slightly less stoic than normal.
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Prince~Rebel~Two-Face~Satanist~Spy~Wolf~Huntsman~Priestess~Rodent~

Offline Harlequin

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Re: Mud and Straw
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2019, 06:00:32 AM »
Felicia reached out to pat her brother gently on the shoulder, "He'll be back before you know it. These field trips never last too long."

She remembered missing Catherine terribly when she'd been sent on a similar errand. The memory brought with it an unexpectedly sharp pain, like poking at an old scar with the tip of a knife.

"Necromancy?" The idea caused Felicia to frown. She disliked the idea of flighty Royce being under the influence of such characters, "I hope that's not a skill they can teach him."
You are the  hole in my head
You are the space in my bed
You are the silence in between
What I thought
and what I said
You are the nighttime fear
You are the morning when it’s clear
When it’s over, you're the start
You're my head, you’re my heart
Florence + the Machine, "No Light, No Light"

Online Billiam

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Re: Mud and Straw
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2019, 11:09:19 AM »
He accepted the pat, Felicia being one of a very few number of people who could touch him in that way. He didn't hate affection. It just made him uncomfortable. He preferred to be serious, or at his most lighthearted moments, relaxed. However, they'd survived the death of their maker together, and so many other deaths too. Charon wasn't known for being warm or fuzzy, and so in the rare moments of anguish he'd felt it had always been Felecia and Jeanne who'd provided support.

Her reaction to necromancy had been the same as his. His family was interested in many taboo subjects, but not something that dark. "I hope so too. I feel like he knows that I'll disapprove and will learn a few things just to spite me."

He smiled at the thought. Royce loved to shock him, and while he wouldn't admit it, he loved to be shocked by the lad. He turned his thoughts to his sister, and her behavior as of late. He had a small bone to pick with her.

"It's been hard to see you lately," he tried cautiously, testing the waters with a simple observation. "Have you been occupied, or preoccupied, or have I just been spending too much time outside?"   
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Prince~Rebel~Two-Face~Satanist~Spy~Wolf~Huntsman~Priestess~Rodent~

Offline Harlequin

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Re: Mud and Straw
« Reply #8 on: Today at 02:05:39 AM »
Felicia clucked her tongue at Ari's assertion that Royce would likely learn the Dark Arts out of spite. Most of Hugh's charm was in the fact that he was terribly boring, and would never cause her such trouble.


As to the other part, she merely shrugged, "Likely a little of all three, I suppose. I've been keeping to myself a bit, or spending time with my ladies. Though it was a shame to miss the party, from what Jeanne's told me." she turned her gaze on her brother,  "I haven't been avoiding you, if that's what you're asking."
You are the  hole in my head
You are the space in my bed
You are the silence in between
What I thought
and what I said
You are the nighttime fear
You are the morning when it’s clear
When it’s over, you're the start
You're my head, you’re my heart
Florence + the Machine, "No Light, No Light"