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 Summer of the Grey Snow

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Mesh'la Runi

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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Sat Aug 07, 2010 10:59 am

Malorie nodded at Connor's words but dropped the subject when he asked. Evgeny came over then and sat between them. "Oh, don't even go there. I know you slip him a bit of your food when you think I'm not looking."

At the word "food," Morgan lifted his head but Malorie shook hers at him. He laid it back down again and closed his eyes.

"Do you know how to play Crazy Eights, Evgeny?" she asked, accepting her stack of eight cards from Connor. " 'Cause if not, it's really easy to learn."

The smell of the cigarette wafted up towards her nose, but she didn't really mind it. Her mother had been a smoker ever since Malorie could remember. It was a strangely comforting smell, that toxic little cloud of nicotine. It reminded her of home, of days spent reading a book on the porch swing after her chores were done, of her father and how he always tried to get his wife to quit because he knew it was bad for her, but never could because he loved to let her get her way.

She struggled to remember their faces now, a year after their deaths. It was bittersweet when all she could recall was their general outline, puffy colors and a few hints of distinctive features like her mother's smile and her father's eyes. While she never wanted to lose those images completely, she shook her head discreetly to clear her thoughts. Staring off into space tended to give people the wrong impression.

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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:32 am

"I know how to play to lose," Evgeny said taking a drag. "But I'm no good at winning."

He shuffled his little pile of cards and started to arrange them in order properly. "So Mr Canada, have you travelled alone for long? Doesn't it make you so happy to not have nagging voices in your ears all the time? Life was good before Malorie turned up and made me start being a proper person again."

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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:44 pm

Connor laughed at being called Mr. Canada though inward he had to grimace at the mention of nagging voices. He was alone for a long time since Vancouver, that didn't mean he didn't have the voices ringing in his ear. Best not to mention that, he could handle his own insanity without letting people know about it. "Well to tell you the truth being alone doesn't really bother me though I can't say I don't miss talking to other people. I did travel with a fairly large group before but the whole thing went to hell pretty quickly when we couldn't find enough supplies to feed everyone and conflicts broke out. So we drifted away and since then I've really been by myself with the exception of hitching a ride with a caravan here or there."

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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Mon Sep 06, 2010 5:29 pm

"It is best to stay in small groups," Evgeny said looking at Connor slowly, "Although the loneliness is a killer, yes?"

The isolation was something many people couldn't deal with. Pre collapse the world (or more accurately the western world) was in such a height of connectivity that you could shut yourself in your room all night with nothing but a internet connection and a bottle of whiskey and still find yourself capable of making friends. With the death of the majority of the populace and the remaining survivors either isolated or turning hostile the social side of life had taken a huge dip: This was when you had to start watching people.

Evgeny knew how to watch people, he could watch them like a hawk on a caffeine high. You got used to watching people after living in a group of distrustful, dishevelled, dishonest, devious and downright dastardly mercenaries. Most of them were dicks too. Regardless Evgeny knew how to observe people and so knew what signs to look for to see where the strings of stress, fatigue and drugs were forming to make the tapestry of insanity. In short, he could see a nutjob hiding under a mask of sanity.

Unfortunately at this moment in time Evgeny was slightly tired so was not quite so capable of seeing just what Connor might be going through. "Good job I have stupid dog. He is good at keeping me company."

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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Sun Sep 12, 2010 5:10 pm

Connor had to wonder what loneliness felt like. It was hard to describe feelings in the first place, you just had to have felt them, but loneliness was sort of a vague feeling to give. Perhaps he had felt it before but just forgot about it after all of this had happened, after all since he left Vancouver he found finding no people around to be comforting, no chance of trouble. Besides the former firefighter had never been very good with public interaction beyond managing to be polite and perhaps a joke here or there.

Nodding slowly he said," Agreed. Very few people are left now compared to what it used to be. Pretty sad if you think about it, which is sort of why you shouldn't. Getting depressed out here isn't a good idea." He thought back to traveling around and finding buildings and homes with suicides in them, there were always quite a few suicides and there probably was a lot more before cannibalism became rampant in some places.

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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:42 pm

Evgeny leaned back in his chair, trying to relax a bit. "Few people left and even fewer left who are, how do I say it in your language? Human. Yes. Very few left who are humans."

Evgeny felt the hairs on the back of his neck rising and as he tried to figure out what the hell was going on he realised he could hear Morgan growling. Turning to the dog he could see the mutt had stood up and stood at the stairs, growling at something downstairs. Evgeny slowly cocked his rifle, standing up to go towards the stairs. He crouched beside Morgan and patted him on the head. "What is it?"

Evgeny heard the moan first, before the bang of the door. He went down the stairs, rifle raised and was glad to see the door was intact. But it was undoubtedly moving as something unnatural threw itself at the door.

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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Sun Oct 03, 2010 1:29 am

Jamie wasn't quite sure when it happened, but her life had seemed to become one giant game of hide-and-seek. It was a good thing she was so good at it, because being found didn't simply mean you were it. It meant you were dead.

She thought back to the days when bugs made her scream as she apathetically watched a cockroach crawl over her hands and disappear into the cracks in the foundation. Hunger, loneliness, fear, bugs. All things the ten year old girl had to adjust to in a hurry now that she was alone. She remembered the times her little sister would crawl into her bed, afraid of the monsters she was so convinced lived in her closet. She was almost jealous of those children of old; they never had to see the real monsters. They never had to cover their eyes and fight off the panic that the demons banging down the door would tear them apart.

The girl hesitantly looked out beyond the bin she had chosen to sleep behind for the night. She didn't even know Starbucks' had basements, but when she had found the place it had been like a miracle. And yet another miracle had arrived when she heard people entering from upstairs. She knew she couldn't stay like this by herself, there was no way. She hated being alone and she hated being scared. Grown ups would know what to do though. She just hoped and hoped they were the right ones.

She had just been working up the courage to go up when the pounding had started. The terrifying, loud pounding that could only be more monsters, more devils, more things that could hurt her. Logic said to stay away from the danger, and hide there where it was safe. But she was craving human contact. She was craving someone to show her it was safe.

And so, in her tattered jeans and wearing shoes, she slowly left her hiding spot. She was dirty and her long hair was a tangled wreck, but kids don't tend to notice these things, especially kids living post-apocalypse. She hesitantly made her way up the stairs, but too scared to open the door, merely pressed her ear to it to listen closer, willing the people beyond to come and find her. Games get old after all.
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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Sun Oct 03, 2010 12:54 pm

Evgeny tensed up, beginning to sweat slightly. The beating at the door wasn't loud or incessant but it was just a painful reminder that there was somethng out there. Whatever it was it didn't seem to be making any headway on the door and Evgeny slowly came to the conclusion that it wasn't actually aware that he or anyone else were inside. The thing sounded more upset then raging. He slowly lowered the rifle, patting Morgan on the head to quiet him down. He needed to calm down.

It was then that he heard the stairs creak. He swung the rifle round to point it at a door he had hithered ignored. The breathing behind it was light but there was undoubtedly breathing. Were there more of those things trapped downstairs? He could only hear one person breathing so perhaps it was just the one. It would be best to take this one down now, so as to stop anymore finding their way in. Clear the basement and secure it for the night. Yes, that made sound tactical sense.

He approached door slowly, placing his left hand on the door knob whilst trying to keep the rifle as steady as possible with his right hand. Evgeny had always had a pride for how still he coudl hold a rifle, even in the worse of situations. Taking a deep breathe he swung the door open, his left hand flying back to the stock of the gun to keep it steady as his finger tensed on the trigger, ready to stop whatever creature lay beyond.

Evgeny's eyes went wide at the thing before him.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Malawi, two years ago

You never ever thought about what you were doing. If you stopped to think you'd be dead. It had to be instinctive and indiscriminate, especially in a place like this. He'd seen people hesitate before and moments later he'd seen them fall but he was not going to let himself become like them. The only person who would decide his fate was himself. Evgeny was no man's slave.

The building was like any other and the battle was like any other. Two power mad idiots with money would get their horns locked over some little thing and would hire anyone they could to fight for them. Evgeny didn't care for who hired him as long as they paid. They paid him for his skills with a gun, not for his english nor his knowledge of history. Most would never know that Evgeny had a deeper understanding of the background to each conflict then most so called expert journalists reporting on it.

The gun was raised and the trigger was depressed. It that single moment Evgeny had the power of gods, the ability to take life at a whim. It was amazing how powerful such a readily availiable tool made you. He charged forward, spotting a opening to get inside. To get inside and finish it.

He barged through the door, rifle raised, crouched low. Three faces turned to face him, two of which had a gun trained on him. Evgeny did not hesitate. Two went down. The third looked uncertain, frozen on the spot. Evgeny did not hesitate. The boy was put down.

He lowered the gun, breathing heavily. These soldiers were far too short. Their limbs didn't look right. Their faces didn't look right. Evgeny did not hesitate as he skipped over the dead children and towards the objective. Hesitation killed you.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The rifle was waving uncertainly. Evgeny could feel the sweat on his forehead. His whole body was shaking.

"Why are you haunting me?" He said hoarsely, his eyes watering. "What do you want with me?"

Morgan was not growling, but he was not approaching. Time seemed to be slowing. "You will kill me if I do not kill you. You will kill Malorie if I do not kill you. Just like the child in my dreams, just like the child from that town."

The rifle was really shaking now, Evgeny was more likely to shoot empty air then the thing. He let out a strangled cry, "I cannot kill you. I cannot be that man."

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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Sun Oct 03, 2010 1:08 pm

Not expecting the door to be flung back so quickly, Jamie had lost her balance and fallen backward, using her hands to break the fall. She winced as one of them was scraped open. She had more pressing issues to deal with though, like the man with the gun who was now standing over her. He looked big, scary, and his gun was pointed right at her. She froze with fear and did not move, watching with confusion his internal struggle.

Finally, he made his decision and seemed to spare her life. She still didn't move though, too afraid of the consequences. Her eyes welled up with tears, the confusion and fear mixed with an odd relief just too much for a little girl to handle all at once. Her crying was silent.

The only other movement she made was slowly moving her scraped hand off the ground to hold it to her chest, a protective instinct. She glanced behind the man, wondering if there was anyone else with him, someone she could go to. But there wasn't. Besides the dog they seemed to be all alone. She looked back up the man's face with her watery eyes, waiting for a signal, permission, something to show her she didn't have to be afraid.
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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Sun Oct 03, 2010 1:14 pm

It was not trying to eat him. But it was not speaking. It was however crying, or as close to crying as Evgeny could tell. Panic flooded him. What the fuck did you say to a kid when you'd threatened to shoot it anyway?

"Malorie!" Evgeny said urgently, "Malorie!"

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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:12 pm

The cards had been abandoned in the search for weapons. They lay strewn across the table, more than one eight having been in Malorie’s hand the whole time. But now the only thing in her hand was her weapon. She’d followed Evgeny down the stairs quietly; he’d been in survival mode, and as such had tuned her out almost entirely.

At the base of the stairs, she watched him walk toward the front door, pause, and listen. She was surprised when he didn’t try to confront whatever was waiting beyond, and even more surprised when he abruptly turned and moved over to the…

…basement?

She hadn’t even noticed that door before. Damn her sometimes poor observation skills. Maybe some of the things, whatever they were, had found a way in from below. She didn’t hear anything, but apparently Evgeny did as he reached for the handle. Nervously, she gripped her gun tighter and peered around the corner, trying to see what it was that he was to be looking at.

Then the door swung open and she tensed, but he didn’t shoot. And yet, he definitely saw something. His eyes held an uncertainty that she’d only seen in him once before, in a town they’d silently sworn never to speak of again.

Quickly, she moved to peek out from behind him and stopped. It was indeed another dirty, lonely child. But this one had no blood smeared over her face, no eyes full of hunger for their flesh. The little girl was crying and clutching her arm to her body, looking almost as fearful and conflicted as Evgeny. Morgan, meanwhile, stood by faithfully as usual but his body posture had changed. It was subtle, but his tail was wagging.

“Evgeny, wait! She’s not sick, she’s just hurt. She isn’t even armed,” Malorie said gently, pushing his weapon to the side. Despite her words, her hands were shaking a bit as well. The last time she’d tried to comfort a child and be encouraging, he had come running at her like a zombie. This was all too familiar, but she had to trust that it was different. She couldn’t let the girl be hurt if she wasn’t a threat; it would be more than either of them could handle.

“Hey… what are you doing down there?” she asked, trying to appear nonthreatening even though she still had her weapon in hand, albeit pointed toward the floor. Her voice sounded uncertain, but she knew that if this girl could answer, it would mean that she was at least coherent. The basement appeared empty aside from a barrel and some quiet shelves, but was it really?

Please don't let this be a trap...

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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:40 pm

Jamie looked at the woman, also with a gun but a lot less scary. Guns were something she had to adjust to, she knew that. Still, having them in the hands of people she didn't know was worrisome. Slowly and hesitantly, she rose to her feet, but still did not leave the confines of the opening to the basement. She wiped her cheeks with the back of her hand, trying to calm her breathing but not being very successful.

Shaking her head sadly was the only form of communication she could give the two strangers. She knew it would be frustrating, she knew it would probably make them angry or suspicious as she had already gone through these motions before. The first people she had met when she had lost her ability to speak had left her alone, called her an unlucky child. She could only make a silent plead that they would somehow at least vaguely understand what she was trying to say.
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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:48 pm

Evgeny looked at the child, his face sour. This thing had caused him no amount of upset and embarassment and it didn't even have the good grace to talk. Kids were always trouble.

He strode forward, pushing past the kid, and down the stairs trying to get his head cleared. He didn't even pay her a second glance as he examined the room with his rifle raised, it once more stable as a rock. No one was going to make a fool out of him again.

"There is nothing down here," Evgeny said bitterly, walking back up the stairs slowly so he was behind the child. "Nothing."

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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Sun Oct 03, 2010 3:56 pm

The banging on the front door had resumed, and it was now more urgent than it had been. Perhaps whatever it was had heard them. A scraping noise accompanied the groaning from before; whatever it was had found the doorknob, but didn't seem to be having any luck with it. Then again, there was only a couch in the way, and Malorie wasn't even sure if the door was capable of being locked. At least not since she had kicked it in a bit upon their arrival.

"Good to know. Maybe we should get back upstairs," Malorie offered, waving the two forward as she turned to eye the door. The knob was beginning to turn, but the couch was still holding. For now.

Hesitantly, she held out her hand to the girl.

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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Sun Oct 03, 2010 4:29 pm

Jamie quickly walked forward and grabbed the woman's hand, feeling much safer away from the angry man behind her. The hand was warm, and without thinking she pressed it to her cheek, the first human contact she'd had in weeks. It felt nice, but she didn't leave it there for too long out of fear of angering the woman. She didn't let go though, and perhaps squeezed it a little bit tighter than she needed to.

They were still noticeably nervous though, which didn't ease her 100%. She looked towards the rattling door and inched a little bit further away from it unconsciously. She wished her dad was there too. He could have made her feel better.
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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Sun Oct 03, 2010 6:47 pm

Connor chuckled at the saying the foreign man said, but he knew it was quite true. Few people are left, and fewer remain human, that went far beyond just the insane and the forgotten, he remembered Vancouver. Without knowing it he had been watching the dog and had placed the cards on the floor, he wasn't that interested in playing anymore anyway. Suddenly he noticed the animal's demeanor change instantly, the hair on the ruff of its back stood up and teeth were shown from behind his black lips. Connor frowned and inched himself over to grab his axe without standing up just yet, Evgeny meanwhile had clicked the rifle's safety off and cocked the gun while watching the door to the room. Connor hadn't heard anything yet but when the animals were scared then that was reason enough to be aware too, too bad there weren't any animals to give a sign in post-destruction Seattle.

A loud moan from below confirmed the dog's reaction, followed by loud banging at the door. They came around quicker then he had thought. Evgeny stood up and opened the door before Connor could say anything. "...damn it," he muttered before putting his face mask back on, more out of habit then necessity. Standing up he held onto the axe and followed down the stairs, careful to avoid the guano.

Stepping down on ground floor he was glad to see the couch remained relatively intact and unmoved, how long that would last though he wasn't sure and he didn't want to stay to find out. Creaking steps from below caused his heart to skip. The sound crawled up to reach a door that Connor hadn't seen when he had searched the building. Stupid, stupid, stupid he thought over and over as he gripped the axe and inched towards it. Again Evgeny took the initiative and opened the door. Strangely though he just stood there, almost petrified. The grip on Connor's axe tightened. He said something but the former fireman couldn't catch what it was. Soon enough he cried out for Malorie, the grip tightened to an almost painful degree causing Connor to inch forward to see what it was that had struck so much fear in the Georgian's heart.

What he saw made him almost drop the axe. A girl, a young girl had been in the basement. Connor would been less surprised if a unicorn was to fly out and drop explosives from its belly then to find a young, healthy, girl in a place like this. Was this a hallucination? No, Malorie saw it too. Maybe it was a trick? He heard tales of how mutants would trick their prey.. but no, the tell tale wag of the dog's tail told a different story. No, this was a normal girl, scared to death from Evgeny and his gun, scared to death from the insistent banging from outside, scared to death to be discovered by them; a bunch of strangers.

The shock though was still not enough to shake the paranoia that stemmed from the creaking door and while Evgeny went down to check it out Connor remained where he was to watch the door. The Georgian had a gun, going down to a likely empty basement, Connor remained with an axe to watch a rotten wooden door keep out the denizens of hell from entering a coffee shop. He returned quickly to report nothing and just in time, the door was bending strangely now and the couch had moved a foot from where it originally was. The other didn't notice so maybe it was just his imagination but still it was uneasing. By now the girl was clinging to Malorie to dear life and Evgeny still seemed very startled and even a bit angry. Strange man, but that could be addressed later when they weren't in danger.

"Let's get back upstairs," he said and gestured with the axe to the step," quietly though, I'll follow shortly but I might need to deal with this thing before it attracts more of its kind. A gun will be too loud." Hesitantly he took off the mask, and slightly scared to breathe he managed to overcome his fear to hand it to Malorie," some of the ash might get in and we don't have many masks, she can share mine for now. I'll be up shortly." He didn't wasn't watching them by now, he was watching the door and the unseen source of the noise. He had the urge to bash its head in to keep it quiet. Anything to stop the noise.

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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:59 pm

Malorie paused, but took Connor's mask with a nod. It was better for the little girl to have one than not, in case they had to leave the place suddenly. But how had she gotten here? Surely she would have had to have used a mask of her own to avoid the choking dust outside. Maybe she'd lost it and run indoors, or it had been broken. Whatever the case, they could work on figuring it out once they were upstairs.

"Don't worry. Connor here is a firefighter. He'll take care of the monster outside, so we can sleep tonight. C'mon," she said, feeling the girl's grip get just a bit tighter as she lead her to the staircase. Morgan followed behind the two girls, though Evgeny seemed to be straying behind. Maybe he was intending to help Connor, but Malorie just hoped that whatever was banging on the door wouldn't be too much for the two men to contain. She was good with her gun, but most of the mutants around here were huge, fast, and strong.

When they made it to the second story, Malorie closed the door behind them so that the girl wouldn't have to listen to the sounds of the scuffling downstairs quite as much. "It's going to be okay," she said, reaching to wipe off some of the remaining wet streaks from the girl's face. "I'm Malorie. What's your name?"

((Sorry to kind of god-mode Evgeny there. If you want it changed to where he goes upstairs, I can edit. Just figured he'd stay below and fight or secure the bottom floor, since that's what he started to do.))

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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:16 pm

Malorie was a really pretty name, Jamie thought. She could imagine it being signed with that loopy writing her mom used to always use when she filled out permission slips for field trips at school. She was also awed at the bravery of the two men, and hoped they would be alright.

After those thoughts passed though, she found herself in a predicament. With no way to communicate her name to the woman, how were they ever supposed to make friends? She didn't want to seem rude by ignoring her, but her voice was lost, rotting away with the people who had taken care of her in the past. An image of a corpse she had seen one time, flesh falling off and eye sockets oozing, flashed through her mind. She had never wanted to know what a body looked like once it was dead. Now she found herself using the metaphor far too often.

But back to figuring out how to show her name. Conflicted, hesitant eyes stared back at Malorie as she thought. Finally, she pointed her index finger in the air and slowly drew out the invisible letters. However, she had made the "e" backwards and her motions were a bit wide, so it was entirely possible that Malorie wouldn't understand. She wished she had a pencil or something, even a rock she could scratch it out with. She wasn't very good at spelling though, so beyond her name it wouldn't be of much use unless any of the party had the ability to decode the written word of a child.
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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:25 pm

"Oh! Um, shoot. I wish I had something to write with. I didn't quite catch that... but at least I know you're understanding me. I was worried you were deaf or didn't know English or something. Hmm... oh I know. Come over here, there's a good bit of dust layered on the floor. Try writing on that? Just don't breathe it in."

Malorie squatted down and wrote her own name with her finger as demonstration. It wasn't as loopy or as pretty as Jamie's mom's had probably been, but it was legible. Morgan, being a dog and therefore not understanding what they were doing, padded over and started licking Malorie's face since she was now at the perfect level to do so. "Hey, knock it off Morgan. I'm trying to do something here. Ahh, watch your tail. You're moving the dust away, haha."

Meanwhile, all that could be heard from downstairs was the rhythmic thumping, but it was duller than it had been when they were on the same floor. Maybe Evgeny and Connor were waiting to see if it went away on its own, only planning on engaging it if it broke through. So far there had been no gunshots though.

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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:43 pm

Jamie smiled slightly as she watched the dog lick Malorie's face. She had always wanted a big dog, but her sister had been allergic. It was nice to see one around and still living, and made her feel just a little less afraid. She sort of wished she could pet him or her, but she knew some dogs didn't like strangers and so refrained.

She quickly turned her attention to the dust and wrote out "J A M I ∃" in large block letters, the standard hand writing ability for a girl her age. Now that she could see it though, she realized her E was backwards, so she quickly smudged it out and wrote the correct form over it. Once she was done she wiped her finger on her pants and looked back over to Malorie, hoping she could read it okay. She wanted the men to come back upstairs soon, so she knew they were okay, and then she could learn their names and show them hers. She wasn't quite sure yet if they were going to let her stay, but Malorie didn't seem angry when she figured out Jamie couldn't talk. Maybe, if they weren't either, she wouldn't have to be alone anymore and scared of dying all the time.

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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:58 pm

A gnarled and ugly hand managed to worm its way through shattered wood, ignoring the obvious splinters it tried to claw at the handle while attempting to stare through the crack in the hole it made for prey.

All it though was it's own arm detach itself from the body in thanks handle. It wheezed a terrible moan and tried to withdraw its stump but the firefighter was already upon it. He managed to get a grip on the stump even with the sticky ooze of blood that dripped on everything, including the man. Still though he get the grip strong and forced the monster against the door, maybe this was what Beowulf had to go through for a trophy? Well unlike the mythical hero this was actually real and the monster was not in the least bit afraid to try and bite at the fingers of Connor. Every few times he had to withdraw a hand to evade ugly and misshaped teeth but still his grip was strong enough to not only hold the demon but get its head close enough for a brutal tactic. Two fingers jabbed into its eye sockets, giving another howl of dismay and agony from the creature. Using this horrifying new grip Connor pulled the creature's head through the hole and kept it there with the help of sharp splinter poking at its neck.

By now the monster was meek with its main concern getting away but only death faced him. The hand removed itself from its hold and the creature tried to pull back with all its might, stabbing itself with the splinters that did not give and held it in place. The executioner raised the axe blade above his head and allowed one last moan of anger and defiance to escape before it was abruptly cut off.

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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:14 am

Without warning, a whole lot of crashing could be heard from downstairs. Malorie cringed with the loudest blows, but resisted the urge to check on her friend and new acquaintance. If something happened to one of them, she was sure she’d hear yelling. Right now, she tried to keep up appearances for the child, thinking of things to talk about so as to distract her. If only she knew why the girl wasn’t talking. Maybe she had some kind of genetic defect to make her vocal chords immobile. Weirder things existed. For some reason, psychological trauma didn’t even occur to Malorie.

“Jamie, huh? I like that name.” She smiled at the girl, and noticed her looking at the dog. “You can pet him if you want. Morgan’s very friendly if you’re not a bad guy. I think he likes you already.” His tail wagged again at the mention of his name and the attention he was getting. He moved over to Jamie and sniffed at her.

As Malorie watched the girl and the dog interact, she realized that Jamie wasn't using one of her arms and remembered that she had been holding it while down in the basement. “Did you hurt your hand?”

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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Mon Oct 04, 2010 5:18 pm

The crashes that could be heard from downstairs were scary, and she hated not knowing what exactly what was going on. Jamie nervously glanced at the door, but Malorie didn't look all that concerned about it so she tried not to worry. Instead she slowly reached out and patted the dog's neck. When he wagged his tail and nuzzled closer to her, she smiled and began scratching him behind the ears happily. Morgan was nice and warm too, and she really wished she could tell him what a good boy he was. She hoped he understood through her fingertips.

"Did you hurt your hand?" Malorie suddenly asked, and Jamie realized she still had it held firmly to herself. It didn't hurt too bad, but she had already learned the dangers of infection and that was the real reason she kept it close. But now she held it out for Malorie to see, showing her the bleeding, but shallow, scrapes that ran across her lower palm. She was used to shallow nicks and things by then, but she'd never treated cuts on her own before and didn't know how. It was a comfort to know she didn't have to be worried about that too. Even if Malorie wasn't a mom or a doctor, most grown ups knew how to stop a cut from hurting or getting worse.
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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:44 pm

Evgeny stood steady, watching Conor deal with the thing. The man had obviously faced these things before and was quite clearly very adept in dealing with the problem. Moving a few chairs to block the door again Evgeny nodded at Conor. "I must sleep, all these stupid kids make me irritable. I will see you in morning."

Evgeny walked up the stairs slowly to find Malorie on the floor with the kid. Morgan seemed to be taking a interest in the child making Evgeny only more irritable at his earlier mistake. Evgeny never made mistakes. Mistakes were not made by professionals. He did not greet the child, still to embarassed to even talk to it. "Conor has dealt with it. I am sleeping now. Do not disturb me."

Still fuming Evgeny took a seat and in a manner of minutes was sleeping. His sleep was fitful and his nightmares a mixture of the ridiculous and the twisted. In short he was not a happy man.

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PostSubject: Re: Summer of the Grey Snow   Tue Oct 05, 2010 5:15 pm

Connor let the axe slip from his hand and the breath that he had been holding released itself slowly from his chest. All the time he looked at the bludgeoned corpse of... something. He wasn't sure what it was; it looked like a person, or at least sort of. It didn't act like a human, and the blood was wrong. It wasn't even red. It looked more black, and to Connor's dismay, both it and brain matter had coated his forearms and front.

He frowned and lifted up his arms to check the mess, only listening to Evgeny going back up the stairs to rest. Connor moved to go back up as well but then he remembered the child. How great was a first impression covered in blood? Still frowning, he looked around to find something to wash himself with. Eventually he settled with tearing the chair's fabric off and trying to wipe the blood away. It worked to an extent, but a darker stain still remained; without water, it probably would and water right now was too precious to waste on cleaning.

He let out a defeated sigh and hoped it wouldn't be noticeable above the other stains of grime he had collected on the coat, and that Morgan wouldn't find this stuff delicious. Better safe than sorry. Taking off the jacket, he let the suspenders on his shoulders fall to the side so that they were just pants again. With the coat slung over his shoulder and the axe in the other hand he went back upstairs.

Opening the door, he placed the axe against its handle once it had closed and the jacket right underneath it. With the adrenaline gone and Evgeny sound asleep by now, Connor was feeling the effects of the long day. Still, he managed a half-enthusiastic smile when he turned around. Crouching down in front of the young girl, he kept his eyes on her even though he spoke to Malorie, "So, does our friend here have a name?" He didn't notice the marks in dust.

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