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The Fuck..?

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6 Re: The Fuck..? on Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:00 am

The unexpected tap jolts me from the task at hand, my head turning quickly expecting to find Mairon standing behind me. But he's not, and it takes a long moment to process the stranger standing in his place. 

Scrambling upright, I shake my head at him as his lips move frantically, the movements refusing to register as I try to focus harder. Stop, I think, Please, stop! The vibration of a whine builds in my chest as I reach a hand up to stop him, trying to make sense of his frenzied speech and the bag he keeps clutching at as he looks at me pleadingly. What little bits of words I can make out, they're not offering any context. 

"Stop!" I finally bark, "I can't understand you!" I urge, reaching up to pat my ears before calling back to the house, "Mairon!"

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7 Re: The Fuck..? on Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:17 am

"S-sorry..?" I say hesitantly, the woman's speech discernible, but oddly garbled and muffled - as though she's speaking through her nose. I look at her quizzically before registration dawns on me just as another figure emerges from the cottage. Deaf. She's fucking deaf.

"Winifred?" the other figure - Mairon? - calls as he steps out into the garden. I tense visibly as I shuffle away from the woman, my eyes widening as they go to the shovel clutched in the man's hand. So much for bears, I groan inwardly. I'm going to be beaten to death with a shovel for startling some guys deaf girlfriend.

For some reason, the man never turns his attention on me, though. He remains fixated on the woman as he frowns in her direction. And there's something odd in the way he moves, something that doesn't quite register until I notice the and of the shovel swinging slightly in front of the man, the rusted metal clanging on the moss covered stones of the low walls every now and then.

Of course! Lju robbed a fucking blind man and his deaf girlfriend. Fucking perfect.

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8 Re: The Fuck..? on Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:24 am

"There's a boy," I say, the vibrations in my chest soft, something I remain conscious of even with the stranger before me. Volume is important to Mairon, and something I've worked hard to stay mindful of as I watch him make his way towards me, a look of concern and disdain painted across his face. 

"He looks scared."

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9 Re: The Fuck..? on Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:33 am

I grimace a little as I notice the man's demeanor harden, his head cocking toward me as my nervous shuffling shifts the stones beneath my feet. My fingers have long since gone numb as they cling to the bag held to my chest.

"What do you want??" Mairon finally spits out, his patience clearly running out as I continue to stare between the two of them voicelessly. "Are you lost? The road is back that way. Go right to get to the closest town."

"I - n-no," I finally force out, my jaw clenching self-consciously as I try to gain control of my tongue. "No," I say more forcefully. "I'm not lost. I-," my voice fails me again as I glance at Winifred with a frown before prying my arms from my chest to hold out the bag uselessly. "I think my friend stole some things from you last night."

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10 Re: The Fuck..? on Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:37 am

Reaching out to take the bag, I glance towards Mairon before opening it to look inside to the wilted and crushed bundle of various herbs, frowning as I reach in to pull a few out and turning them over in my head. 

"Looks like what went missing," I say as I look up at Mairon, handing the bag off to him before glancing to the boy curiously. He's watching me closely, but I can't quite piece together why he'd return what he'd stolen. "Why did you take these?"

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11 Re: The Fuck..? on Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:50 am

"No, no, not me!" I say quickly, shaking my head as I hold my hands up defensively. "It was my friend... my sister, actually... and now she's having some kind of reaction to whatever plant she used."

"You mean abused," Mairon says sharply as he steps forward to take the bag from Winifred. I cringe a bit as he starts removing the wilted and crushed cuttings from the bag, his fingers feeling over the leaves carefully.

"Yes," I sigh, conceding the point reluctantly. "Abused. Can you help her?"

"Why should I?" Mairon scoffs as he shoves the empty bag into my chest roughly. "Your 'friend' sounds like an idiot who got exactly what she deserved."

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12 Re: The Fuck..? on Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:55 am

I frown at the sharp exchange, watching Marion's lips carefully.

"Friend?" I repeat the word, looking to the stranger. Sister, I remember the word being spoken, my features softening as I turn to Mairon. "She could be very hurt," I say, "More was missing than what's in that bag."

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13 Re: The Fuck..? on Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:07 am

"I know she's hurt," Mairon practically groans as he tries to drop his voice as though I can't hear the exchange as he turns his head away so I can't see his lips. "She's not having a reaction, Win. She took the blood poppies. The ones I deliberately poisoned to deter people like her. And there's a whole mess of other tainted specimens that were in that bag. If she's lucky, the poppies are the only thing she abused."

"Wait, you poisoned her?" I blurt out in horror, the color draining from my face.

"I didn't poison her, no," Mairon scowls as he glances back toward me. "Like any good gardener, I simply applied a pest repellant to my crops. It's not my fault your sister is one of the pests."

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14 Re: The Fuck..? on Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:14 am

"Mairon," I frown, my eyes on his lips as I reach out to grab his wrist softly. "A lot of the blood poppies are gone. You do it to punish her, not him."

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15 Re: The Fuck..? on Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:29 am

I can't quite describe the pinched expression on Mairon's face as his hand makes odd symbols in Winifred's palm. My own expression is pleading as I stare at them hopelessly, my breath trapped in my throat as they seem to carry on their own silent conversation.

I can almost feel Mairon's frustration as the woman's gestures become more intent and forceful in his hands, her fingers curling around his wrist as he tries to pull his hand away - presumably to stop listening to her.

"Would it help if I said I could pay you..?" I offer lamely when the stubborn man finally manages to pry his hands free of Winifred's grasp, his features set in a stubborn scowl that almost looks as though he might concede at her behest.

"No," Mairon says gruffly as he continues to avoid letting Winifred take his hands. My heart sinks for a moment at the response before he sighs roughly. "Winifred won't let me take your damned money. Just give me a minute to get my things, and then you can take us to your idiot sister."

"Really?! You'll help??" My whole body seems to breathe a sigh of relief even as Mairon scowls in my direction.

"No promises!" He says gruffly. "If she took as much as I think she did, she may well already be too far gone." His demeanor seens to soften a bit at that as he sighs and heads toward the door to the little cottage. "But I'll do what I can to either save her, or at least see that she passes painlessly."

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16 Re: The Fuck..? on Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:49 am

I watch as Mairon heads back into the cottage, looking to the stranger apologetically.

"He's gruff," I say, "But he's a good man." I add, reaching out to take the bag so I can dispose of the poisoned herbs. By the time I've cleaned out the bag, and snuck in a few harvested vegetables, Mairon is heading back out. Returning the bag to the boy, I offer him a kind smile.

"What's your name?" I ask, digging into my pockets for a piece of charcoal so he can write it on the scraps of parchment wrapped around it.

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17 Re: The Fuck..? on Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:55 am

I smile slightly as I put the bag over my shoulder before taking the offered paper. I already know how she's going to respond when I hand it back to her, Aodhagan, spelled out in a neat script. Sure enough, her face crinkles in confusion at the foreign name.

"Here," I say as I pat her wrist before taking the paper back and writing out an easier phonetic spelling. "Eegan," I say carefully as I hand the paper over again.

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18 Re: The Fuck..? on Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:04 am

"Eeee-kan," I attempt slowly, the snap of my tongue feeling wrong as I frown at the paper. "Kan. Ga- Gan. Eegan."

I smile at the look of approval from him, looking back as Mairon comes up behind us. "He's Aodhagan."

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19 Re: The Fuck..? on Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:18 am

"That's nice," Mairon responds, not entirely interested. At least until he seems to sense Winifred's pleasure at having wrapped her tongue around the name, at which point Mairon offers her a smile and then nods toward me.

"Nice to meet you, Aodhagen," he says before nodding back toward the path leading to the road. Or at least I think it's the path. Even with an improved night vision, the overgrown trail still seems to be little more than a wall of darkness beyond the light of their garden. "Shall we?" Mairon asks, already starting toward the path without a thought as to the lack of light.

"Uhm," I frown as I glance back at Winifred. Do they have torches? Should I use my light spell?

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20 Re: The Fuck..? on Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:36 am

I hesitate at the edge of the property, glancing back at the cottage a bit anxiously before digging back into my pockets for the small bundles of herbs I keep prepared for when we wander into the woods. Pulling out the leather satchel? I crush the herbs inside with a quick squeeze of my fist before opening the bag and dipping my hand in to grab out the shapeless bundle of light. It's an odd bit of magic, the glowing orb floating up above me and illuminating the path as I offer Aodhagan an awkward smile.

I'm not nearly as magical as I look, the satchels made for me by Mairon. Small bits of spells, enchanted already since my voice lacks the finesse for more intricate incantations. But I don't bother telling him. Silent magic is rare in this world, and I have to admit I like the bit of mystery Mairon and I's shared magic affords me.

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21 Re: The Fuck..? on Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:42 am

I can feel my posture relax as I smile at the woman's show of magic. I never.know how people here might react to magic, so there's an odd kind of comfort in the soft glow illuminating the way as we step into the trees to follow Mairon. I feel comfortable enough to murmur the words to my own light spell, a similar orb of glowing light appearing over us as I glance back at her with a sheepish grin.

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22 Re: The Fuck..? on Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:10 pm

Aodhagan's presence is anything but threatening, and that might be the sole factor in my trailing along behind them as we make our way out to the road. It's probably been almost a year since the last time I left the safety of Mairon's little clearing, and even with his familiar silhouette a few yards ahead of Aodhagan, I find myself getting anxious the closer we get to the edge of the woods. 

Looking over my shoulder, I pick up my pace to walk closer to Aodhagan, my attention moving up to the curious orb bobbing overhead alongside my own. 

"It's pretty," I say before looking over at him as I await a response.

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23 Re: The Fuck..? on Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:25 pm

"Thank you," I reply bashfully, taking care to not shy away so that she can see my lips moving. "I have to be careful with it, though. It catches fire sometimes... Does yours do that?v

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24 Re: The Fuck..? on Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:46 pm

"Fi-" I try to repeat the sound, my eyes narrowing a bit as I struggle to piece together his words. I find myself wondering where he must be from, the movement of his lips sometimes leaving me at a loss.

"Fire! No, not fire." I shake my head, pointing up to my own orb as it weaves around my fingers before returning up. "Just light. Like firebugs, you know? That sparkle in the woods," I smile, nodding past him into the dark of the trees, the occasional flash of green/gold light bobbing erratically before going back out giving the dark life.

"Your sister," I ask after a moment of Aodhagan gazing out towards the bugs, "Does she do light like you? With magic?"

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25 Re: The Fuck..? on Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:49 pm

"Kind of?" I respond with a slight frown, my shoulders shrugging. "Her magic is a little different. She can make things with it. It's hard to explain."

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26 Re: The Fuck..? on Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:56 pm

"Like conjure?" I question, my curiosity piquing.

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27 Re: The Fuck..? on Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:16 pm

"I guess?" I shrug, unsure what conjuring is exactly. My lack of magical knowledge seems glaringly obvious beside someone who has likely actively studied it. "She makes rocks," I offer with a faint laugh. "Like... Magic stones. Stuff like that."

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28 Re: The Fuck..? on Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:18 pm

"Charms!?" I blurt the word a little loudly, shrinking slightly as Mairon shakes his head softly ahead of us. I must've been loud.

"Charms," I repeat quietly, looking to Aodh, "Things that hold magic."

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29 Re: The Fuck..? on Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:22 pm

I laugh at her outburst once the shock of it has passed. "Yeah, charms," I nod at the word. "We don't really use our magic all that much, though, to be honest."

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30 Re: The Fuck..? on Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:24 pm

"Why not?" I frown, his laughter a little confusing at first, "Magic is a gift."

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