Running scared

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Running scared

Post by Liam Farrell on Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:46 pm

Liam hurtled through the woods, not caring where he was going, as long as it was away from his pursuer and he got there fast. Branches whipped at his face and snagged on his clothes and backpack. The fog just seemed to get thicker the further he went. He could still hear his pursuer’s heavy footfalls behind him. If that really was who he feared it was, he couldn’t let them get him like they’d gotten Eve. If he could just find his way back to Mum and Da…

He ran headlong into a tree and stumbled back, clutching his eye as pain blossomed through it. Gasping for breath, he shook his head a couple times and stumbled on. Now even more blind than before, he tripped over a stone or a root on the forest floor. He threw out his hands as he fell—

—into sunlight, and a hard landing on grey pavement. The heels of his palms tore open and bled. Liam scrambled to his feet, hissing in pain, and dashed for the sidewalk. He pressed himself against the side of a building as he caught his breath, staring around.

His pursuer had vanished, but so had the woods. Where the hell had this town come from? He couldn’t have run that far, not without noticing before he wound up in the middle of it. Which town was it, anyway? Liam shivered and looked around again, then ducked into the building he’d been standing against. He’d be able to think better when he’d calmed down a bit. Maybe someone in here could help him figure out what had happened and tell him where he was. And get him some medical attention, hopefully. His eye was probably on its way to black by now.

The rush of cool air from inside carried with it the aromas of coffee and chocolate. Liam sank down in a chair at the nearest empty table, pressing a clean napkin between his bleeding hands. Every few seconds he looked out the window, just in case his pursuer wasn’t gone like he hoped. He couldn’t put too much hope in witnesses—Eve’s killer had been less than concerned about acting in broad daylight, after all.


Last edited by Liam Farrell on Wed Nov 11, 2015 11:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Running scared

Post by Chen Baobei on Wed Nov 11, 2015 11:07 pm

Baby caught the scent of blood just as the door opened. Her table was situated on the other side of the doorway, but the look on the face of the poor lad that skittered in--

He looked like the Hunt itself was on his heels. Baby slunk up to the counter and asked for a cup of warm water and a handful of paper towels. She brought these over to the lad's table and offered him a gentle smile as she took the seat across from him. She couldn't keep her nose from crinkling at the smell of blood and had to blink hard to keep her head from swimming. She would rather be on the other side of the cafe, letting the aroma of coffee and fresh pastry act as a buffer between her nose and this man's scraped palms.

"Here," she said, dunking a paper towel into the warm water and taking one of his hands to start dabbing at his palm. She was very careful not to touch his blood, as passing out at the table would do nothing to help him. He looked terrified.
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Re: Running scared

Post by Liam Farrell on Wed Nov 11, 2015 11:15 pm

Liam looked around as someone came up to his table with a cup of water and a wad of paper towels. He tried to return her smile, and didn't resist as she took his wrist to start cleaning the blood from his hand.

"Thanks." His voice was hoarse, his throat still raw from his run. His heart had yet to slow down, too. He took a slow breath and asked, "Where... exactly am I?"
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Re: Running scared

Post by Chen Baobei on Wed Nov 11, 2015 11:37 pm

"You're in Lakeshore." She kept her eyes on her own hands as she cleaned his, avoiding looking at the blood when she could. She moved on to his other palm.

"It's a bordertown-- there are gray areas between the borders of Arcadia and the human realm, where there are empty spaces or places where the two overlap. You're in one of them. And luckily so, if all these cuts and bruises are any indication." She looked at his face and arched an eyebrow. "We'll be able to take care of that black eye, too. More than half of this town is runaways and strays. No one's gonna make you tell your story if you don't want to."

She grabbed a fresh paper towel and folded it up to dry his palms with. Best to get all the reassurances out of the way. "Are you hurt anywhere else? We can get you to a healer if you need."
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Re: Running scared

Post by Liam Farrell on Wed Nov 11, 2015 11:56 pm

Liam blinked. "Never heard of it... wait. The human realm?" He looked up at her, frowning. "Then what's Arcadia? And how can I get back to where I'm supposed to be? I have to get back to my parents!" He clenched his hands even as they throbbed with pain, and tried to keep from shaking. The rest of her words fell on deaf ears.

/Arcadia's another name for Faerie, isn't it?/ Eve's voice quavered in the back of his mind. /Do you think whoever was chasing us meant for us to get here? Maybe he was trying to lure us into a trap... It is a Fae-ish thing to do./

Liam flinched, his hand pulling free of the strange lass's grasp. His chair scraped backward across the floor, loudly. No matter if the Fae were real or not -- and he wasn't especially eager to find out -- the thought of a trap set by human murderers was bad enough. Who the hell could he trust in that case? He twisted to look out the window again, terrified that the shadowy pursuer would show themselves again. Did he dare try to run? Where could he go?
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Re: Running scared

Post by Chen Baobei on Thu Nov 12, 2015 12:07 am

Baby flinched at the grating noise of the chair and looked calmly up at the panicked young man.

"Hey," she said, keeping her voice gentle. "This is a safe place, mate. Look at me." She tipped her head to try and catch his eye. "You. Are. Safe. Here."
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Re: Running scared

Post by Liam Farrell on Thu Nov 12, 2015 12:12 am

Liam turned back to her, breathing hard, frozen in place. His voice wasn't loud, but it was forceful. "And what about my parents? What if the bastard who murdered my sister goes after them too? What if he lured me here just to get me out of the way? What if he lured me here to kill me on my own? Do you understand? I have to go back."
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Re: Running scared

Post by Chen Baobei on Thu Nov 12, 2015 12:18 am

Baby stood up and pushed her chair lightly into place. "I have no suggestions for where you should go from here," she said, "But Lakeshore presents itself to those who need it. If you were being chased, Lakeshore is offering you a place to hide. But you're outside of either realm right now, so if you do go back, no one can guarantee that you'll land back where you came in."

She held his gaze, unphased. "Lakeshore isn't a trap. Lakeshore is a shelter."
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Re: Running scared

Post by Liam Farrell on Thu Nov 12, 2015 12:26 am

Liam stared at her for a long moment, still tense and panting. "But if I can't get back to where and when I need to be, it still amounts to the same. I'm either stuck here, or somewhere else I don't belong. So what do I do now? I can't just abandon my parents! They've already lost their only daughter, I can't let them lose me too! I'm all they have left!"
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Re: Running scared

Post by Chen Baobei on Thu Nov 12, 2015 12:30 am

Baby shrugged. "Listen, mate, I don't know what to tell you. It's not that you can't get back, it's that the borders fluctuate, so when you pass through it might not be in the same place. Try it if you like, but maybe have some water first. You sound like you're about to work yourself into a fainting spell."
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Re: Running scared

Post by Liam Farrell on Thu Nov 12, 2015 12:51 am

Liam lost the will to keep protesting, and slumped at the table with his face buried in his arms. Now his head ached on top of everything else.

/If we can't go back ourselves, maybe we can find a way to contact Mum and Da?/ Eve suggested, her voice hesitant. /Or at least see whether they're okay?/

"How?" Liam mumbled into his sleeves.

/Well, if there really are Fae here, maybe one of the friendly ones would be willing to scry on them for us. Or maybe we can find somewhere your mobile phone will work and we can just call them. It's worth a try, right?/

Liam made a faint noise in the back of his throat. He didn't know what to think anymore. What would happen if neither of those plans worked?
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Re: Running scared

Post by Chen Baobei on Thu Nov 12, 2015 1:01 am

Baby watched him slump.  She patted the back of his head and went back up to the counter to purchase a bottle of water and a sandwich, and ask for a pen and some receipt paper.  She placed the plate and bottle on the table in front of the new arrival, and carefully wrote the address of the Drunken Loa on the paper, along with Romi will look after you while you decide what to do, and tucked it underneath the water bottle.

The scent of blood still lingered in her nostrils.  Baby felt a little nauseous because of it, and decided that heading back to her dorm was her best option.  Lakeshore as a whole would care for the lad.  

She reached out and gave his shoulder a light squeeze, then slipped quietly out of the cafe.
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Re: Running scared

Post by Liam Farrell on Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:04 am

Liam leaned slightly into the touch on the back of his head, and peered warily out as the lass set something down on the table. The sight of the sandwich made him remember how hungry he was; he couldn't remember if he'd had breakfast or not. Even if he had, all the running he'd done would have nullified it.

By the time he'd opened his mouth to thank her, the lass had gone. He sighed and started on the sandwich, looking down at the note she'd left him. The Drunken Loa had to be a pub of some sort. Hopefully Romi would be as kind to him as... shite, he hadn't even thought to ask the lass's name. Well, maybe he'd see her again.

He ate the sandwich slowly and washed it down with the water, then slipped off to the men's room. His reflection in the mirror made him grimace. The woods had really done a number on his face. Hopefully Romi would have a first-aid kit or something.

Shrugging his backpack onto his shoulders, he tucked the note into his jeans pocket and stepped out of the coffeeshop. Hopefully the Drunken Loa wouldn't be too hard to find.
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