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Crossing Paths at the Crossroads

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101 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:44 pm

*Marnin*

"Can't," I say, the word coming out clipped and strained as I hug my bag tighter to my front, my head coming to rest against the cool glass of the cracked window. I mean to say more, but as soon as Jean opens his door to get in, I fear that keeping my mouth closed is the only thing keeping me from being sick all over the man's soft leather upholstery. I want to accuse him of bathing in his cologne, but I know it's not that he's wearing too much. Frankly, it would be a pleasant, subtle scent if only it didn't share such key notes with another familiar cologne.

"I'm taking a nap," I say after a moment as I wrap my scarf around me more tightly. "Wake me when we get there."

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102 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:59 pm

"It'll be like twenty minutes?" I frown as I twist back to look at him, his rudeness eating at me a bit as I grit my teeth. "Did you not sleep enough?"

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103 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:15 pm

"No, now that you ask, I didn't," I scowl as I lift my head to make a face at her. "It's been a long week, hasn't it? Lot of troubling things coming back to the surface, bonding experiences I didn't think we'd ever get to, but you and Jean would know all about that, wouldn't you? Why don't you sing us a song, Bee? It'll make the time go faster. Or do I need to get out of the car for that? Give you two some privacy."

"Should I give you two a few minutes..?" Jean asks hesitantly, and I want to wail on him for his perfectly apologetic frown as he looks over at Ljuba uncomfortably. I can't stop the disgusted groan that rumbles inside my chest as I drop my head back against the window.

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104 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:51 pm

"No, drive." I say without looking at Jean, still glaring at Marnin angrily. There's a barrage of words coming to my mind that I want to scream at him, but instead I just twist back into the seat and stare blankly out the window. 

"We're to the south of town." I say, my voice so even it comes off somehow harsher than it would be if I hadn't tried to correct it at all.

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105 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:59 pm

We remain in tense silence for the entirety of the drive. I can't even begin to separate the mess of emotions bouncing around inside my chest and stomach, and as we get closer to where we'd left the truck, I realize that it doesn't matter because only one comes to the forefront: dread.


The car has only just slowed near the truck as I open my door and get out, Jean slamming on the brakes when I do. The moment the end of my cane hits the frozen ground, the click of it paints the picture I'd only been able to partially form from the rumble of Jean's motor.

The truck has been stripped. Down to the fucking frame, not a piece of it left unmarred by greedy hands. I can feel Jean's startled gaze on me as I go up to the truck, my hand finding the low sitting frame much too easily for a blind man.

"God damn it!" I shout, throwing my cane off into the cold wind before pushing my coat back so I can put my hands on my hips as I begin circling the bones of the truck like a hungry animal sizing up his prey.

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106 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:18 am

My hands are shaking as I sit up in the car, watching Marnin pace around the truck anxiously. 

"You're kidding me," I breathe, shoving the car door open as I rush out and head to the front of the car. "You're kidding me! Sure glad we didn't walk out here, huh!? I mean, I don't know about you, but I'm fucking thrilled I'm not out here with bags hanging off me and no fucking truck to put them in!"

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107 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:22 am

"What are you yelling at me for?!" I shout back at her before waving off toward the side of the road. "I said we should try to disguise it somehow! It's just sitting out here like a big ugly blue thumb, isn't it?! I'm fucking blind and I could see it a mile off!"

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108 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:44 am

"YOU SAID NOT TO!" I practically scream, my hands shaking angrily. "YOU SAID TO LEAVE IT HERE! 'We'd never get it out!' YOU SAID THAT!"

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109 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:46 am

"I said that to make you feel better, so I wouldn't have to leave your side!" I scream back, waving a hand in the air uselessly. "I do that a lot! Ignoring my better judgment for you! It's a bloody inconvenient fault, excuse me!"

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110 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Thu Jan 07, 2016 1:04 am

"So stop!" I scream, shaking my head as I head back for the car. "I'll let your prostitute know she can send someone to pick you up!"

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111 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Thu Jan 07, 2016 1:07 am

"Right, like it's not obvious that your friend is a whore, too!" I snarl. "That's great, so it's okay for you, but not for me?!"

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112 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Thu Jan 07, 2016 1:20 am

"Well, it hardly counts, does it?" I scowl as I turn back to face him, my hands on the door to quell their shaking. "I haven't paid Jean to be my friend."

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113 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Thu Jan 07, 2016 1:25 am

Flinching as though she'd physically struck me, I nearly bite through my tongue as my jaw clamps shut. Nodding stiffly, I turn sharply to continue down the road, not even bothering to scoop up my cane as I go.

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114 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Thu Jan 07, 2016 1:32 am

I linger near the door for a moment as I watch him walk away, my knuckles going white before I finally jerk the door open and climb back into the car. 

"We can go." I say hoarsely, shifting uncomfortably as I pull the door shut behind me. "I'll give his stupid bags to Lue."

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115 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Thu Jan 07, 2016 1:36 am

*Jean*

"Ljuba," I say hesitantly, frowning as I watch the man continue down the road with no signs of turning back. "It's three days walk to the next outpost in that direction... and there's a storm coming this way. Just - go talk to him."

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116 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:05 am

I can feel my eye roll childishly as I swallow thickly, looking out the window at nothing in particular. 

"You go talk to him," I say roughly, "He doesn't want to talk to me, I promise you."

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117 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:10 am

"Lju, I'm not moving this car until you're both in it," I say as I turn the car off and cross my arms over my head as I stretch with a comfortable groan. "If I've gotta go talk to him, I will, but you know I'm not the one he wants to talk to."

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118 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:21 am

I cut Jean an annoyed look before resting my hand on the door handle, squeezing it apprehensively before I shake my head. 

"You know, no. He's being a prick, he can wander out there and freeze for all I care... Too fuckin' prideful to do anything else."

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119 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:26 am

"I don't think it's pride that has him walking off into a blizzard, Lju," I frown at her scoldingly. "I don't even like him and I still winced when you accused him of having to buy his friends."

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120 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:31 am

I grimace as Jean scolds me, my grip on the door tightening as I shove it open without a word. The wind is biting, and my arms curl tightly around my front as I slam the door behind me. A (semi-)silent protest to Jean's sudden shits-giving.

I've barely made it past the truck before I have to stop, shivering roughly as I turn to look around for Marnin's cane. The sun's light is so painfully bright against the snow, it makes it hard to spot just beyond the truck. Doubling back to pick it up, I can feel my muscles protest as I grip the cold metal. Ugh

"Marn," I call ahead, the man a dozen yards off as I start after him. "Will you stop!? I know you can hear me!"

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121 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:33 am

*Marnin*

"Sorry, I don't have any money to talk to you," I grind out, my hands tucked under my arms against the freezing wind. "I spent it all on my prostitute."

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122 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:41 am

My teeth are chattering wildly by the time I've even gotten close enough to hear the man ahead of me, though they stop cold as my jaw clenches.

"Well, who told you to do that?"

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123 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:42 am

"I didn't actually spend all of my money on her, Ljuba!" I shout as I whirl around angrily. "I'm not that pathetic!"

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124 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:49 am

I tense as he turns to face me, one of my arms tightening around my front as the other reaches out to hand him his cane.

"Just come back to the car, will you." I say, shaking the cane a bit, "It's miserable out here."

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125 Re: Crossing Paths at the Crossroads on Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:10 am

I grind my teeth at the offered cane, my nostrils flaring as I inhale the bitterly cold air in an attempt to calm the angry tears threatening to sting at my eyes. 

"I'm not ashamed of my friendship with Luella," I say sharply as I snatch the cane out of her hand if only to stop her shaking it at me. "She treats me like I'm normal, and yes, that's something I'm willing to pay for."

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