When Worlds Fall

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Finally...

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26 Re: Finally... on Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:34 am

"Rude," I scoff as I shake the beer from my fingers and then hold a hand up toward Itsy. I make a sign like I'm drinking something when she responds, my attention returning to Ljuba after Itsy's acknowledgment. 

"So what's been going on in my absence?" I ask. "Anything interesting or important?"

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27 Re: Finally... on Wed Dec 02, 2015 3:59 pm

"Well, there's my roommate. He's massive. Thor. I mean, who names their kid Thor? This guys parents, apparently." I shrug, taking a long drink of my beer before I twist to start absently gathering my things. People have begun filing into the bar and it leaves an uneasy feeling in my stomach with my things strewn across the table.

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28 Re: Finally... on Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:20 pm

"Do you really have a roommate named Thor or are you just trying to make me jealous?" I ask, taking note of the way she starts clearing her things from the table. I pause for a moment as I cock my head back toward the door where the people have filed in, the sound of heavy boots and boisterous chatter enough to convince me to begin clearing my own things from the table. Too many to coax into fair trade, unfortunately. They'd be more likely just to take what they want given my seeming handicap in comparison to their own girth and numbers.

Smiling slightly, I turn my attention back to Ljuba as Itsy comes over with my drink. "Because you know how much I've always wanted my own roommate named Thor."

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29 Re: Finally... on Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:23 pm

"Oh, he's totally real," I respond quietly as Itsy heads away from the table, watching her with a bit of envy as the crowd seems to part for her passage. 

"Rotten roommate, though. Eats all the cheese, chews on my wires."

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30 Re: Finally... on Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:36 pm

"...," I stare toward Ljuba sightlessly, my head cocking to the side thoughtfully as my eyes narrow. "Is Thor a rat? Did you really name one of the rats? Oh, honeybee. Now you're making me feel guilty, leaving you alone like that."

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31 Re: Finally... on Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:38 pm

"As you should," I grin into my beer, anxiously watching the crowd as they settle in around the bar. "Thor's my friend, now. He won't like you, so... You know."

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32 Re: Finally... on Wed Dec 02, 2015 5:08 pm

"I guess I'll have to buy his loyalty," I smile as I take a sip of my drink. "In all seriousness, though, there's something we should probably talk about... do you remember that man you told me about?"

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33 Re: Finally... on Sat Dec 05, 2015 9:09 pm

"Hmm?" I frown a bit as I watch the tables around us fill, my hand catching his wrist as I squeeze it gently. It's a familiar notion, a silent way to let him know it's time to go. The bar is getting loud, raucous laughter and loud voices reverberating off of every surface. I tuck my coin purse back into my pocket after I've rounded up what few coins were left on the table, a hand reaching up to draw my hood back over my head. 

With one hand resting on the neck of my guitar, I reach back out to catch Marnie's hand, my finger tapping against the back of his hand to signify where we're going. One tap is outside, two is his place, three is mine. Three taps.

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34 Re: Finally... on Sat Dec 05, 2015 9:20 pm

"Right, yeah," I nod, remembering how uncomfortable she is in crowds. Clearing my throat, I pull a few coins from my pocket and drop them on the table for Itsy before taking one last drink from the mug. I'm a bit sad to leave it behind, but Ljuba is already on her way to the door before I can even pull my cane from my bag.

"Alright, alright, slow down, will you?" I call once I've made it outside.

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35 Re: Finally... on Sat Dec 05, 2015 9:50 pm

I hesitate just outside of the bar's dim light, keeping my head down as people meander around me. It's always busy this time of night. People tend not to wander so far from the city they can't be back by dark. I wait as Marnie makes his way to me, reaching out to pat his arm before I turn to head towards my apartment.

We walk in silence, much to Marnie's disdain, before I remember the lack of anything in my apartment. There's a small bodega right around the corner, and the man who runs it is one of the few who doesn't give me grief for coming in. No, in fact, Kray is one of the few who looks at me with empathy. When the world turned to shit, the ones who weren't killed by the blasts but were too close to get away unscathed had their bodies ravaged by the heat and debris. Some were so scarred by the magic that disfigured them that it seemed to mutate in their flesh, their organs, even spreading to their offspring.

It's rarer now, but there are still mutts lingering in the populace. Mutts, a pejorative term, stemming from mutated. They're seen as the lowest of the low, living ugly reminders of what happened. The stories would lead you to believe that the original mutts were rabid and fierce, often alienating themselves from civilized society, instead choosing to raid or attack whoever was unfortunate enough to cross their paths. These rabid mutts allegedly still roam the world outside of the cities, or so they'd like us to believe. 

Kray's mother was the daughter of a mutt, making him only two generations removed from the war that ruined our world. His ears fused to the side of his head, his nose flat and skeletal, he looks like a burn victim. According to him, people used to fear him when he was younger. His eyes had a fierce glow that demanded attention, and his towering height didn't help. Now, though, well into his old age, he's simply frail. Perched on his stool behind the register, a shot gun resting across his lap should anyone try anything. Kray's made a life in our little city, even earned the respect of the lowly who populate his neighborhood. 

"'Ello, beautiful," He calls as we make our way in, his eyes twinkling as he smiles at me. His eyes don't glow anymore, the cataracts instead turning them glossy and reflective behind his spectacles. I raise a hand in a wave, smiling up at him as he leans a bit to try and see under my hood, a broad smile stretching his cheeks. Monstrous as he may look, he's only ever been kind to me. 

'Hi, Kray,' I sign, nodding towards the far wall as I glance back at Marnie, 'I need some things for home, won't be long.'

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36 Re: Finally... on Sat Dec 05, 2015 10:00 pm

I don't usually come by Kray's shop. Not because I have anything against the man, but because it's obvious by the way most of his customers speak to him that there's something off about him. The fact that I can't really make out what that is leaves me feeling my handicap, and more importantly, irritatingly out of the loop. I'm always left with a gnawing curiosity when I speak to the man, and now is no different.

"Evening, Kray," I greet the man after a moment. I can hear his smile in his voice as he responds, and I feel almost guilty for avoiding his shop. "Can I help carry anything?" I ask after another moment, feeling somewhat awkward as I stand here idly.

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37 Re: Finally... on Sat Dec 05, 2015 10:05 pm

"Uh-uh," I shake my head as I gather a few bottles of alcohol, a loaf or two of bread, and head to the counter to see what meats Kray may have. He's already pulling out a variety by the time I get there, and I rest my guitar against the edge of the counter as I look them over curiously. 

"Someone brought in some boar," Kray says, unwrapping the meat as he slides it towards me to make room for the others, "and I got some deer, rabbit, and a little beef left over."

"Mmm," I smile up at him, pulling my coin purse up as I open it to see what all I can afford. All I've got at home are jarred vegetables. Pickled, stewed, what have you. With the cold moving in with winter, crops are slowing and things like lettuce, raddishes, and potatoes have bolted in price. Luxuries I can't afford. 

Counting out my coins, I hold out my hand and Kray smiles as he nods. He'll surprise me, mixing up the selection to get the most for my money. Since knowing him, I've gone hungry far less.

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38 Re: Finally... on Sat Dec 05, 2015 10:20 pm

I'm impressed with how much Ljuba is able to get with the small handful of coins she has. Envious, even. I have yet to meet a merchant in this town that isn't itching to take me for all they can, somehow believing that my lack of sight makes me an idiot as well.

"Ready?" I ask when she gathers her things, Kray helping bag them in frayed, reusable bags. I know better than to touch her guitar, so I step back toward the door to hold it open for her instead.

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39 Re: Finally... on Sat Dec 05, 2015 10:32 pm

I hoist the bags onto my shoulders before scooping up my guitar, Kray settling back into his spot with the gun in his lap as he watches us leave. The walk to my apartment is short, only a block off and a few flights up. I'm too busy ensuring I don't drop anything to bother talking, avoiding the two tenants I pass in my building as I head up the stairs. 

Once I hit my door, I let my bags slide to the floor, my hand digging into my pockets as I fish out my key and start undoing the various locks. 

"Grab them?" I ask softly as I glance to Marnie, shuffling the bags with my foot as I finish unlocking the door.

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40 Re: Finally... on Sat Dec 05, 2015 11:19 pm

It's easier to manage the bags now that I'm able to put away the cane. I'm familiar enough with her apartment that moving around is easy, though I'm quick to notice that some of her furniture has moved since the last time I had visited.

"You got a new chair," I comment as I come in behind her and head toward the counters to put the bags down, taking care to avoid the new item as I do.

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41 Re: Finally... on Sun Dec 06, 2015 12:42 am

"Found it on the second floor." I respond, locking the door behind us before I follow him to the small kitchen.

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42 Re: Finally... on Sun Dec 06, 2015 12:46 am

"You should have seen all the furniture I found while I was out there," I say with a low whistle. "I wish I could have brought some of it back. As it is, I sold quite a bit on the road. We'll have to go out with a wagon for us when it gets warmer."

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43 Re: Finally... on Sun Dec 06, 2015 12:48 am

"Like I'm leaving the city," I scoff, tugging the fridge open as the fan in the back kicks on to keep it cool. The lights flicker as I do, and I try to make quick work of shoving the meats inside. 

"And you're not either. Ever. Never again."

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44 Re: Finally... on Sun Dec 06, 2015 12:50 am

"I don't know about that," I sigh as I begin putting things away on the shelves. "And you might change your mind, too, if I'm right about this man I ran into on the road."

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45 Re: Finally... on Sun Dec 06, 2015 12:51 am

"When are you going to stop trying to match me up with someone?" I grumble as I shut the fridge, dropping the bag on the table as I head back to the door so I can grab my guitar and kick my shoes off. Leaving it near the door makes me anxious, and I make my way to the other end of the apartment to tuck the guitar into it's stand near my bed.

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46 Re: Finally... on Sun Dec 06, 2015 1:02 am

"I don't think he's the kind of man I would want anywhere near you," I respond seriously, my lips tugging down into a frown. After I've finished putting everything away on the shelves, I head back into the sitting area to have a seat. 

"He hummed, Lju," I say solemnly. "That song. He was on an excursion with me, he hummed it the entire time we were out. Our group would set up camp, and I'd lay down to sleep and all I could think about was what you'd told me. I had nightmares about it, and when I woke up, he was still fucking humming."

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47 Re: Finally... on Sun Dec 06, 2015 1:08 am

I still, sinking onto the edge of my bed as I look over at Marnin seriously. 

"So?" I ask weakly, "It's not an unheard of song. I mean, what are the chances?"

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48 Re: Finally... on Sun Dec 06, 2015 1:12 am

"You said he had a smell, too," I frown, rubbing my hands across my knees uncomfortably. "And a knife. A knife that he kept scraping against his cheek, like he was trying to shave off the stubble or something. Lju, I know I'm not exactly the most credible witness, not being able to see, but I swear... I was ready to kill him. That's how sure I am that it's him."

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49 Re: Finally... on Sun Dec 06, 2015 1:35 am

"You said you traveled with him?" I ask, glancing up at Marnie just beyond the room divider at the foot of my bed. My hands are shaking and my palms feel sweaty, my chest aching at the idea. "What is his name?"

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50 Re: Finally... on Mon Dec 07, 2015 12:46 am

"Wesley," I respond after pausing to think about it. "Wesley Gatz. But he was very adamant we call him Gatz."

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