On the road again...

Page 2 of 3 Previous  1, 2, 3  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Re: On the road again...

Post  Garrity on Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:00 pm

Josh shook his head, then "accidently" knocked over the tea pot onto the floor.

"Sorry," he mumbled, moving to clean it up. Eying Lia, he shook his head, taking out a fresh water packet, emptying some into the pot to swish and rinse, pouring it out upon the napkin he was cleaning with, then emptied the rest of the water into it. He thought, then added one of the flavor pouches Zack was so fond of, swishing it again to mix it carefully, then placing it back upon the table. Hopefully the child could be persuaded to consume that instead of the apparent sewage she was currently sipping.

Then he took out a couple of the MRE's from his pocket, opening them and breaking them into "cookie" size pieces, placing them upon the center tray. There was better in the car, it was true, but this was immediately available.
avatar
Garrity

Posts : 52
Join date : 2011-10-31

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: On the road again...

Post  Seabay Florentine on Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:50 am

Seabay nodded to Zack and ordered Marta to halt while he passed her lead to Zack. "Give her a bit more line, if you don't mind me hanging on to you. I just usually keep her close because the terrain's so unfamiliar, I'd trip up whether she tugs or not. We may as well see just how good a guide you are, eh?" he teased the younger boy.

Marta paused until they were ready, then resumed her zig-zag search and exploration. After a bit, she stopped and sniffed the air, seeming confused--testing it in the direction Lia and Josh had gone. The large dog whined.

The blind teen frowned. "Something isn't right. Marta doesn't know what it is... which is strange, because she knows people, and mutants, and animals, and dead things. So what the hell can it be, if it's not one of those?"
avatar
Seabay Florentine

Posts : 15
Join date : 2011-11-01
Age : 39

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: On the road again...

Post  Garrity on Thu Dec 01, 2011 3:45 pm

"I don't know, but I hope it's friendly, cuz I think we might find out. Josh and Lia are in there," Zack answered, a hint of panic creeping into his voice.
avatar
Garrity

Posts : 52
Join date : 2011-10-31

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: On the road again...

Post  Henrietta (Hattie) Smith on Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:16 pm

Hattie placed two little stones in the putrid 'tea' in the lady's cup, answering Josh's question as she did so. "It's spiced tea from China. I've a whole vat of it upstairs."

She sweetly toward him, preparing to accept their offer of 'hostess gifts' when he tipped her little white teapot onto the ground. A startled, strangled cry rose from her lips as she reached her free hand foward, as though she might stretch it across the table to catch her little treasure before it hit the ground.

She looked for a moment as though she were about to cry, her lower lip protruding pitifully for a moment before the fact that no shattering had been heard registered. She stood, absolutely frozen, as she waited for the tall man to rise from his crouched position and produce her little teapot. She seemed to hold her breath, suspended between the two possibilities... that her little treasure was safe, or that it was damaged.

Her expression didn't change for a moment as he brought it back into view, but after a breath's time she smiled brightly and continued on as though nothing had happened.

"Oh! You did bring treats with you! That's wonderful. I so rarely have treats with my tea... Miss Posie ate the last of them a long time ago. Daddy bought them... just a little... when Mother wasn't there to see him. He hasn't got us any in a while. I suppose he must have stopped when Mother got mad and stopped speaking to us..." She broke off at this, her little brow furrowing in consentration, as though she were trying very hard to remember something... then it passed and her expression returned to its dreamy state.

She reached for the teapot, pouring the now clear liquid into her very dirty cup and tilting her head at it.

"Oh, you're clever!" she cried happily, glancing up at Josh. "You've made it lighter. I can never make it lighter, only darker... darker and darker and darker... but it gets very hard to drink if you make it too dark. Then it's more like pudding... but this is very good tea!"

She poured another portion into an empty cup and slid it toward the lady. "In case you like it better. It doesn't do to have so little variety on a table, but I'm afraid Mother and Father don't shop much anymore."

She smiled at them for a moment before turning her head and fixing it upon some point of empty air to the left of her. She hummed softly as she took one of the 'cookies' nibbling absently and drinking the sweat, light tea... muttering something about elves.
avatar
Henrietta (Hattie) Smith

Posts : 14
Join date : 2011-11-11

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: On the road again...

Post  Garrity on Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:36 pm

Josh watched her a moment, trying to figure out the best course of action. Obviously, she couldn't be left here sipping sewage with the stuffed toys until she passed away. And, just as obviously, nobody else was coming to take care of her. That meant it was up to them.

"Where are your mother and father?" He made himself as aloud, realizing that, like most, she hadn't heard him the first time he'd asked. Most people didn't. He needed to know if they really existed, though he didn't hear any other movement in the house. No walking. no talking, no breathing, no nothing. They were alone here, he, Lia, and the child. Meaning she was alone.

He couldn't leave her like that. Not when he remembered so vividly how that felt. Even now...
avatar
Garrity

Posts : 52
Join date : 2011-10-31

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: On the road again...

Post  Lia on Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:18 pm

The image of Lia's own mother flashed before her eyes as the girl spoke of her parents, and she involuntarily looked down, away, taken off guard by the intrusion. She actively avoided thinking about her mother (her father was a much easier venture to ignore), an effort which had gradually become easier over the course of her time alone out in the world and almost seamless since she had joined her boys.

Maybe it was because this lost, albeit obviously disturbed little girl was bringing out her own motherly instincts, not that she had many, given her age. But no one should be left alone out here, let alone someone so young as this poor thing.

"Thank you," she said as brightly as she could manage, though she knew the smile didn't reach her eyes. As she spoke, however, the girl's attention was quickly nabbed by Josh stealing her teapot.

She again showed remarkable restraint by not rolling her eyes and uttering a sarcastic, "Really?" Apparently not only could he not even humor the girl, but now he was spilling her obviously prized tea onto the floor? Was he trying to make her hysterical?

Thankfully, Josh seemed to have had a plan all along, and he cleaned out the teapot with fresh water, adding flavoring. Even the dancer would ahve had to admit it was well-played, though she couldn't say so out loud. "Erm, thanks," she said instead as she was offered a second teacup of her own. Not that she was going to actually drink this one either. THe water in it may be cleaner, but what had been in it before hadn't been, and bacteria weren't that easy to get rid of.

Again, an image came to the forefront of her mind unbidden, this time from a classic old computer game her mother always insisted she play when she was young, something called Oregon Trail.

"You have died from dysentery."

No thanks.

She "lifted," the tea to her lips and pretend to take a long swallow, before sitting up, composed as a tea guest should be, for the girl's explanation on her parents' whereabouts.

"I'm Lia, by the way," she interjected quickly, "and this is Josh. What's your name? Every good guest should know their hostess's name."

avatar
Lia
Admin

Posts : 18
Join date : 2011-10-31

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: On the road again...

Post  Henrietta (Hattie) Smith on Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:07 am

"I..." The girl paused, considering for a moment. "I'm Hattie... Huh... There used to be more. There were more words in my name, but I don't remember... Sometimes I don't, you know. I try to think of something I knew and it's not there anymore... Isn't that odd? Thoughts just walking off while I'm asleep? It doesn't matter, though. I don't think they were important. Mother used to say, 'If it were really important, you would remember it.'"

She sipped her tea some more, the clear water turning a bit muddy as the muck on the bottom of her cup sloshed about. She tilted her head first to one side, then to the other, turning her eyes slowly from the empty space she had still been staring at to look at the 'elf' with the darker hair.

"Mother and Daddy aren't feeling well. They've been in bed since I came home, poor dears... I try to bring them tea, but they don't drink it. It's so sad that they feel so ill, but I take care of them. They even let me sleep with them when I have nightmares, which is very sweet. Mother never used to let me do that, but she says it's okay now. There are lots of things she didn't let me do before, but now she says they're okay because the one I'm supposed to be extra good for isn't around... There was someone, you know, who I had to be very extra good for because they were very extra important, but there must not be anymore very extra important people, because she never makes me extra special good anymore."

As she was babbling, Hattie had grabbed one of the little stuffed figures off of the chair next to her and began stroking it gently, as though to soothe it.

"You can meet them if you like. Mother is always cross with strangers, but Daddy likes them, even when he doesn't say much."
avatar
Henrietta (Hattie) Smith

Posts : 14
Join date : 2011-11-11

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: On the road again...

Post  Garrity on Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:46 pm

Hattie. The name triggered a vivid memory for Joshua. He'd always looked closely at the Amber Alerts and missing child posters, if only to assure himself that his brother's and his own weren't being renewed, as they so often were when they'd been spotted somewhere.

Hattie. Henrietta "Hattie" Smith. If you washed away the grime and took away the hint of madness in her eyes, she looked just as she had in her picture.

But that couldn't be, could it? She'd be older.

A sister, then? Perhaps one driven so mad by the loss and the destruction of their world as to cease being herself and strive to become someone else? He knew it happened. He'd seen it happen.

Poor child.

He nodded and rose, gesturing for her to lead the way. He suspected he knew what he would find when "introduced" to Mommy and Daddy, and so he prepared himself for it. If they were, indeed, dead, he'd need to find a way to convince the child to come with them. He thought he might know how...but it would require a "conversation" with Mommy and Daddy...
avatar
Garrity

Posts : 52
Join date : 2011-10-31

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: On the road again...

Post  Henrietta (Hattie) Smith on Sat Dec 03, 2011 2:39 pm

"Oh, alright," Hattie replied, rising from her little chair. "But we have to be quiet. They're resting. They have to rest to get better."

Walking calmly over to a book shelf which stood to one side of the hole in the middle of the ceiling, its base weighted with large stones that looked to have been torn from someone's artistic backyard landscape. Her tiny, grubby hands, latched onto the highest shelf she could reach and in a surprising show of upper body strength and agility she was nearly to the top. Once more and she'd made it into the room above.

"Mother..." she called in a stage whisper, "Daddy... We have guests. "

She turned then to wait for the elves to follow her, glancing from the blond lady elf to the tall curly headed elf... "They don't have pointy ears..." she muttered softly to herself, appearing put out for a moment.

"Mother and Daddy are in that room..." She pointed to a badly water-warped door which stood at an angle with only the bottom hinge still attached.
avatar
Henrietta (Hattie) Smith

Posts : 14
Join date : 2011-11-11

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: On the road again...

Post  Lia on Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:31 am

Norman Bates from the movie, "Psycho." Or, rather, Norman Bates's mother.

That's the image that was running through Lia's mind, and she was obviously less than thrilled at the idea of going past that hanging door. "Oh, great," she said, her voice tight with false cheer. "They should just peachy, your folks."

The dancer looked at Josh, apprehension clear on her features. "I don't suppose there's a chance they're actually still alive and just being anti-social, is there?" she whispered. She sighed in answer to her own question, however, and rose. "Well, let's get this over with," she mumbled.
avatar
Lia
Admin

Posts : 18
Join date : 2011-10-31

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: On the road again...

Post  Garrity on Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:48 am

Joshua watched the girl, his brows shooting up in surprise at the ease with which she climbed up. He followed easily enough, then paused to wait for Lia. Then he entered the room.

He looked at the dead bodies, lovingly laid out and tucked in, withering and rotting in their beds. Memories of his own mother, murdered before him by his step-father before the man took his own life as well came unbidden and he pushed them way. He considered what to do for several long moments before finally kneeling beside the bodies.

"Hi," he said quietly to the bodies for the little girl's benefit. "We came to pick up Hattie like you wanted. I hope we aren't late," he addressed the female. "I know how much tardiness bothers you."
avatar
Garrity

Posts : 52
Join date : 2011-10-31

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: On the road again...

Post  Henrietta (Hattie) Smith on Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:41 pm

Hattie's eyes widened as the man elf spoke to her mother, listening intently for a moment after his unexpected question.

"Really, Mother? Did you tell them to come get me?" she asked, kneeling beside the corpses on the side of the bed where her father lay. "What about you, Daddy? Do you think I should go?... If I go, won't you be lonely?"

Another long pause... another moment of the tiny child listening to voices that weren't speaking... and even leaning forward to put her ear near the mouth of the man's desiccated corpse.

"Alright... if... if you say so," she said softly, her voice soft and sad. "I love you..."

She got up then and turned to the elves, looking solemn.

"Mother and Daddy said that I'm to go with you, but that I'm not to drink any glowing elf water or else I'll get lost."
avatar
Henrietta (Hattie) Smith

Posts : 14
Join date : 2011-11-11

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: On the road again...

Post  Garrity on Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:53 pm

Josh's heart nearly broke as he watched the scene play out before him. He remembered vividly the murder of his mother and suicide of his step-father. He remembered the look on his brother's face as he tried but failed to block the view of them from him, laid out haphazardly upon the floor. He remembered how he'd failed in that moment to protect him. He remembered how lost he'd felt then, and so many times afterward. Even now....

"I promise," he whispered at last, holding out his hand and blinking back tears he simply could not allow himself to shed, determined that she should never feel the way he did in that moment. "I won't let you get lost."
avatar
Garrity

Posts : 52
Join date : 2011-10-31

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: On the road again...

Post  Lia on Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:10 am

Lia hung back in the room, hoping to avoid looking at the two bodies over which Hattie hovered. In this day and age, these were hardly the first dead people the girl had come across, some much fresher than these.

She had, even, seen people die. People she was close to.

But somehow the sight of these two, with the girl living in such a strange altered reality with them, admittedly made her uncomfortable. Still, she bit her lip and stayed out of the way when Josh addressed them, and when the girl answered.

"No glowing water, then," the dancer agreed quickly. "We'll make a point of steering clear of it." Or they would, when they figured out exactly what that was. "Is there anything you need to pack, before we go?" Lia asked, hoping to be out of there sooner rather than later.
avatar
Lia
Admin

Posts : 18
Join date : 2011-10-31

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: On the road again...

Post  Seabay Florentine on Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:59 am

Seabay called Marta to his side, and she sat by his feet, watching the building with the odd scents from within it. She whined softly, and barked once, whining again. The wind must have just shifted more strongly from the building...

"Someone's dead in there, likely been that way for a while," the blind teen clarified to Zack, frowning slightly. "You said Lia and Josh went in there? Do you think we should run towards them if shots ring out, or away? Just asking... She doesn't smell mutants, so I don't think it's necessarily dangerous, but I'd rather know before we have to act, for future reference."
avatar
Seabay Florentine

Posts : 15
Join date : 2011-11-01
Age : 39

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: On the road again...

Post  Garrity on Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:38 am

"If I hear shots, I'm pulling my weapon and going in to help my brother," Zack answered without hesitation. "We don't leave one another. Ever."

Josh led the small girl back to her "tea room" and waited silently, a look of intense though in his eyes, while she decided what she needed to pack up for their trip.
avatar
Garrity

Posts : 52
Join date : 2011-10-31

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: On the road again...

Post  Seabay Florentine on Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:23 am

"Yeah, well, I had to ask," Seabay grumbled. "I tend to be a bit of a liability in a firefight, you understand, and running isn't what I call my forte these days," the blind teen admitted ruefully. "Guess that means I stay here and send Marta with you... and we see what happens. If something's liable to bring you four down, well, I'm toast anyway."
avatar
Seabay Florentine

Posts : 15
Join date : 2011-11-01
Age : 39

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: On the road again...

Post  Garrity on Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:47 am

"Sure," Zack rolled his eyes. "Take Marta and leave you, then Josh'd rip me a good one for not being where he told me to be. Bad enough Lia don't listen to him, but I know better. He says 'stay with Seb and Marta till I get back' you can bet I'm staying with you. Or dragging you along with me if I'm going in after him. I'm not completely crack brained yet."

***

Josh waited patiently while the little girl gathered what little she seemed to have decided to take with her - really, not much more than her tea set - then reached down to take her hand, glancing at Lia to make certain she was ready.
avatar
Garrity

Posts : 52
Join date : 2011-10-31

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: On the road again...

Post  Henrietta (Hattie) Smith on Sun Jan 01, 2012 6:55 pm

The strange, dreamy eyed child held the carpet bag with her tea things in it under her left arm, and Josh's hand with her right. Whatever pain she experienced at being separated from her 'parents' seemed to have evaporated into a sort of vague uneasiness, which translated in the way she hung close to the young man's side, and the uneven tempo of her gait.

The boards creaked under their feet as they approached the front of the house once more. When they were nearly to the front of the house... passing through the remains of a rain warped family room, she dropped his hand and rushed to a corner where the remains of a loveseat leaned against the wall, what may have once been white cushions now green, brown, and black with mold and mildew. She knelt down on the sodden carpet, her knees squishing in the dank cotton fibers. Within a moment one of her pale little arms had disappeared into a small hole in the bottom of the floor. She shifted, searching, for a moment before drawing back, revealing a can of green beans clutched in her little hand. She repeated the process twelve more times, salvaging two more cans of green beans, a can of corn, a can of peaches, three cans of black beans, four cans of tuna, and a can chicken noodle soup, placing each can in her little carpet bag until the shoulder strap strained at the weight.

Then she returned to Josh's side, holding her hand out to him.
avatar
Henrietta (Hattie) Smith

Posts : 14
Join date : 2011-11-11

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: On the road again...

Post  Garrity on Sun Jan 01, 2012 7:08 pm

Josh looked stunned and somewhat dismayed as he watched her in action. She'd hidden the food. Very smart. And yet, there was no question that a bath and a change of clothes were in order. And, since she hadn't pulled a suitcase full of clothes from that soggy, moldy hiding spot, he suspected they'd have to find her some. Reaching down to take the offered hand, he held out the other in an offer to carry the cans for her, knowing they'd get heavy quickly for someone so small between there and the car.
avatar
Garrity

Posts : 52
Join date : 2011-10-31

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: On the road again...

Post  Henrietta (Hattie) Smith on Sun Jan 01, 2012 7:24 pm

Henrietta looked at the tall man's other hand, cocking her head for a moment before smoothly, easily passing him the straining carpet bag filled with her tea set and the cans of food. She couldn't think why the elf would need her food, but if he were hungry she wouldn't argue. After all, he was taking her with him, and she was rather happy to be going, though she couldn't place exactly why. Maybe it was because the carpets squished, or because the wind made scary noises through the cracks in the ceilings, walls, and windows... or maybe she just liked the look of the elves. They were pretty and graceful... the man elf reminded her of...

Her little brow furrowed for a moment, her dreamy gaze growing troubled as her mouth pursed into a pucker of concentration... The dreamy mist of her mind repeats its prior pattern before she can fasten onto anything in particular, and soon her expression is smooth again, the disturbance forgotten.
avatar
Henrietta (Hattie) Smith

Posts : 14
Join date : 2011-11-11

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: On the road again...

Post  Lia on Sun Jan 01, 2012 7:34 pm

Lia followed quietly as the two led the way, apparently having some sort of silent conversation between them to which she was no privy. There seemed little for her to say, or do beyond keeping an ear out for possible threats. Thankfully, nothing further seemed to stir, and they were soon outside, hopefully about to meet up with Zack and Sebastian, assuming the two had met up and returned to the area of the SUV. Even with this new one in tow, she was ready to get out of here.

"You guys here?" she called. "Got someone for you to meet."
avatar
Lia
Admin

Posts : 18
Join date : 2011-10-31

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: On the road again...

Post  Garrity on Sun Jan 01, 2012 7:50 pm

Josh slung the bag over his shoulder, nodded to Lia, and led the child out. He considered for a moment picking her up and carrying her, supposing he could probably move faster without tiring her out. He decided to simply slow his pace for now unless she indicated she wanted to be carried or things got harried and they had to move faster. He watched with fascination at her expression narrowed a moment, then faded back to the same dreamy expression she'd worn when they arrived. He glanced toward Lia, wondering if she'd noticed it as well. He led her out, following in Lia's wake, to introduce the child to Zack, Seb and Marta.

"Someone to...?" Zack asked, then looked toward where his brother approached, holding hands with a tiny little girl. "Who's that?"
avatar
Garrity

Posts : 52
Join date : 2011-10-31

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: On the road again...

Post  Henrietta (Hattie) Smith on Sun Jan 01, 2012 8:06 pm

Hattie didn't appear to hear the question. Her head of fiery red hair tilted to one side, her sleepy green eyes fixing queerly upon Zack, as though she weren't seeing him at all but were instead looking at something behind his face. Her grip on Josh's hand tightened faintly and then loosened again, nothing in her face or body language altering even slightly, as though her fingers had contracted entirely of their own volition.

Rocking slightly on her toes, she began to hum a strange little melody... she couldn't remember where she'd heard it... she couldn't even remember the notes even as they danced from her vocal chords, out passed the tremor of her pursed lips.

The little child had no way of knowing it, but the tune she hummed so unconsciously... so flawlessly in her little girl's voice... was Chopin's Nocturne #2...

She released Josh's and raised both of her hands to stroke a little chain about her neck, the end of which disappeared into the neck of her dirty, tattered pink party dress.

avatar
Henrietta (Hattie) Smith

Posts : 14
Join date : 2011-11-11

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: On the road again...

Post  Seabay Florentine on Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:05 am

Marta whined as Josh and Lia approached with the girl. She smelled something... odd about the child. The large German Shepherd wasn't sure she liked it, either, ingrained to be suspicious of anything odd. She pulled back on her leash, backing up and away from the newcomer, before looking to her master for direction. When Seabay offered no answers or commands, she took stance before him, tucking tail between her legs and whining further. She'd been taught not to harm children, yet this one wasn't right, and yet her priority was protecting him, so she was too conflicted to know what else to do.

The blind teen looked from Marta to Zack, confused by the dog's reaction, then in the direction Lia had called from, where he could hear multiple footsteps approaching. "Who? You found another stray like us?" he asked loudly, curious.
avatar
Seabay Florentine

Posts : 15
Join date : 2011-11-01
Age : 39

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: On the road again...

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 2 of 3 Previous  1, 2, 3  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum