When Worlds Fall

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Finally...

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1 Finally... on Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:14 pm

It's the same fucking routine every day, but at least it was bearable before. Now it's just sad. Lonely. I wake up in this rat's nest apartment, to the sound of rodents chattering away in the walls. Scarf down whatever remnants of last night's meal are in the ice box, and tug on whatever clothes are at the top of the 'clean' pile. Grabbing Maja's old guitar, I head out of my apartment. 

How my day goes is entirely dependent on who's working the bar down at The Rusty Nail. My stomach is already flipping anxiously at the thought. Richie hasn't been to work in a few days, so he's due for a shift, and Richie hates me. Says I'm bad for business. I say he's just a prick. I spend much of my days there when Walyan or Itsy are tending bar, and no one so much as complains.

I'm kind of hoping Itsy is there. Waylan is indifferent to my being at the bar, but Itsy is almost friendly. She reminds me of Maja, with her charisma. Broad smile, loud laugh, and all-around good nature, it's no wonder she's found her niche behind the bar. I've seen the things people leave as tips. 

I'm relieved to see Itsy rested against the bar, in the midst of talking to a few travelers as they dine. She glances up as I enter, waving at me with a smile as I take my usual spot in the corner. Out of people's way, but still present enough that people will leave the occasional coin on my table. It's always something small, usually copper. Pence, the occasional silver piece. But it's rare, and today is no different. The hours pass, with only a small few people heading towards my table to drop their change. Never make eye contact, keep my head down. It's the same mantra it has been for years. 

Scars are no oddity in this world, with travelers coming through who often times hardly look human anymore, their faces and skin mutated and discolored from years in the wilds. But scars are not things people look for on their entertainers. We're here to distract them from the evils outside the cities, to offer an escape, and because of that, I keep my hood drawn and my scarred face in the shadows. Fingers plucking away.

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2 Re: Finally... on Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:06 pm

It's raining as the wagon I'm on rolls into the walled off little town of Old North. I've been away so long, I'd almost forgotten the familiar and welcoming scent of home masked behind the blanket of wetness. I pat the side of the wagon as we roll up in front of The Rusty Nail, the sound of hooves clacking on cracked pavement as we slow to a stop.

"You need any help with your bags?" one of the men on the cart asks as I slip off the end and turn to grab my things. He's been eyeing me since I got on, though he doesn't realize I know this, my lack of vision giving him a false sense of security as he scrutinizes my weaknesses. 

"No, thank you," I say politely as I put one of the bags over my shoulder before hoisting the other one up and grabbing my cane from the cart. "I'll manage." I'm not about to have some rat make off with half my goods. "Thanks for the ride, Jimmy!" I call up to the driver. "See you next season?"

"Always," the man responds, flicking the reins as I turn toward the bar. I don't really need the cane to find my way to the door, the area so familiar I could navigate it easily even without my senses. Still, I tap at the sidewalk as I go, as much for show as to reassure my own senses as I listen to the echoing click of the cane bounce off the face of the bar as I get closer.

I can't help but smile as I approach the bar and hear Ljuba's guitar filtering through the doors. I can almost feel my chest swell with the anticipation of hugging her after I walk in. Itsy is behind the bar, her laugh catching my ear as surely as Ljuba's music when I push the door open.

"Hey, Itsy," I wave as I let the door swing shut behind me, my cane dangling from my wrist as I begin shucking the bags from my shoulders before I've even made it halfway to Ljuba's table.

"Marn'!" the woman calls back with a grin as she returns the wave. 

"And Ljubie," I grin as I approach the table, dropping my bags and my cane to hold my arms out expectantly.

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3 Re: Finally... on Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:14 pm

As soon as I hear the familiar voice address Itsy, my guitar quiets as I look up to see Marnin heading for the table. Despite not wanting to, my lips spread crookedly into a grin as I set my guitar on the table and sit up to watch him. 

"Uh-uh," I hum up towards him, sliding towards the edge of the bench towards him as I cross my arms. I kick at his bag as it hits the ground, glancing down at it a bit curiously. "Dick."

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4 Re: Finally... on Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:17 pm

"Aw, what's that for?" I pout as the bag hits the floor, my arms sagging as I squat down to search for the bag with an exaggerated helplessness, my hands searching across the floor blindly. "I got you a present and everything!"

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5 Re: Finally... on Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:19 pm

"I don't want a present," I respond quietly, watching him grab the edge of the bag as he tugs it back between us. "You didn't even say bye, you know."

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6 Re: Finally... on Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:26 pm

"I did so," I retort as I push the bag back on the bench and lean my weight against it to keep her from kicking it off again. "I left a note."

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7 Re: Finally... on Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:32 pm

I shake my head before thumping his knuckle, "No, you didn't. I looked. Liar."

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8 Re: Finally... on Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:35 pm

"Okay, maybe I didn't," I respond with a pout. "But I thought about it! I really did, but I got so excited, Ljubie! The wall on the South end of the boneyard finally gave out! It was ripe for the picking, I had to go or I'd have missed all the good stuff. And there was so much good stuff."

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9 Re: Finally... on Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:36 pm

"You're still a jerk." I grin a bit at his excitement, glancing down at the bag curiously. "So what'd you get me?"

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10 Re: Finally... on Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:42 pm

"I don't know, I can't see it," I respond with a smirk as I take her curiosity as permission to sit down. Pulling the bag into my lap, I begin digging around in one of the side pockets to find the little bauble I had saved for her. "It could just be some garbage, who knows, but it feels neat."

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11 Re: Finally... on Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:53 pm

I watch as he digs into the bag to retrieve the item, glancing up at him occasionally before he hands it to me. My eyes widen as I look down at the brooch, the cool metal rough against my fingers. Enamel colors the bee and beehive, beads dangling as honey from the bottom. Another immaculate gift from the seemingly oblivious Marnin. 

"Well, it's hideous," I tease, still inspecting it as I nudge him with my elbow, "You're really awful at this."

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12 Re: Finally... on Tue Dec 01, 2015 12:01 am

"Damn, I guess I should find another job," I sigh heavily before cocking my head as I reach forward to pick a string on her guitar. "And this whole time, people have been paying me for trash. I hope they don't find out."

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13 Re: Finally... on Tue Dec 01, 2015 12:09 am

"They'll run you out of the city," I grin, watching him as I tuck the brooch into my pocket. "Poor blind man like yourself, you wouldn't last long."

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14 Re: Finally... on Tue Dec 01, 2015 12:17 am

"Nope," I sigh as I grab her glass and bring it to my lips to take a sip. "It would be up to you to protect me. So I can keep bringing you hideous things."

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15 Re: Finally... on Tue Dec 01, 2015 12:33 am

"So how was your trip?" I ask, twisting to look up at him as I nudge his side with my shoulder, "Was it so awful you decided to never leave again?"

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16 Re: Finally... on Tue Dec 01, 2015 12:38 am

"Even worse," I respond as I nudge her back. "So bad that I'll need to sleep at your place tonight. Otik will have turned my heat off while I was gone, and it'll take him a day or two to get it back on and I could really do with someplace warm and dry right now."

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17 Re: Finally... on Tue Dec 01, 2015 1:00 am

"Oh, you can't. I've a roommate." I nod with a grin, "Big solid bloke, real jealous."

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18 Re: Finally... on Tue Dec 01, 2015 1:02 am

"Not to worry, I won't look if you decide to get frisky," I respond without missing a beat, only just managing to mask the falter in my voice as I wonder at the truthfulness of her claim.

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19 Re: Finally... on Tue Dec 01, 2015 1:07 am

"No, of course you won't, hmm?" I laugh, "Maybe, next time, you should tell Otik you're leaving, too?"

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20 Re: Finally... on Tue Dec 01, 2015 1:21 am

"I'm not too worried," I shrug as I settle back to begin rifling through my bag as I lay a few items out on the table, each one in their own neat little rows. "You know my neighbor. She'd have his hide if he kicked me out again. She told him I was her son last time. Poor Otik... really, I didn't mind him giving the apartment to someone else. I was gone so long, it's only fair."

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21 Re: Finally... on Tue Dec 01, 2015 1:25 am

"So why don't you go stay with her, I'm sure she'd take you." I answer, "And dote on you, cook your meals and clean your glasses. I'm not convinced she isn't in love with you."

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22 Re: Finally... on Tue Dec 01, 2015 1:56 am

"She's not as pretty as my Ljubie, though," I respond with a teasing wink as I nudge her side. "I'd be lost without my Ljubie."

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23 Re: Finally... on Tue Dec 01, 2015 2:12 am

"You sound like you're saying loogie," I remark, "Always sounds like that. Am I spit, now? Snotty spit?"

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24 Re: Finally... on Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:38 pm

"Better than Ljoob-ah," I retort as I draw her mug to my lips again. "Sounds like someone trying to say lube and getting cut off by something pleasant. Like an orgasm."

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25 Re: Finally... on Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:26 am

"Get your own," I chide, snatching my mug from his hands as a bit spills out on the table. "And there's nothing wrong with my name, just when you say it wrong."

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