Nightmares

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Nightmares

Post  Aasha on Sat Apr 30, 2011 2:10 pm

An Gort, Ireland

Rp through IG mail between Aasha and Axle


The nightmare woke her again. It was the third time in a matter of days, the same nightmare every time. Not that she fully remembered details, just a feeling of dread, and for some reason, her cousin’s voice mocking her, a nightly reminder of his words of contempt; You’re worthless. You’ll never have a man, you’re not good enough. A useless twit. Words that she had been able to stifle and shrug off for a while, words that came back to haunt her after each successive relationship she had attempted had failed. Perhaps she was better off alone, where no one could hurt her, where no one could make her feel those same emotions her cousin had harped upon her for so long.

Aasha sighed and got up. It was pitch black, the sliver of the moon barely penetrating the darkness of the cave. She hadn’t found a home yet, every place in town was too close to the next, and she’d not had the energy to attempt to build her own. Not that she was good with lumber. Give her charcoal and she could draw a breathtaking landscape, give her wood and nails and she was likely to hit her thumb rather than the head of the nail every damn time. It just wasn’t her strong suit, odd when she thought of how accurate she could be with a dagger…survival instincts kicking in? Shrugging off the thoughts, along with what lingered of her night terror, Aasha moved towards the entrance to gauge the time. Perhaps it wasn’t as early as she feared, she might be able to get a head start on the days work. What greeted her at the entrance dispelled that wish quickly; it was still the wee hours of the morning, too dark to get much done yet.

Peering through the shadows, she searched for the form she knew would be there. As soon as she made out the familiar shape, she sighed. Sure enough, he was out there, probably half frozen in a clump of brush outside the cave entrance. It was both a comfort and an annoyance to see him there, she had discouraged him following many times, not that it did any good. They were back in Ireland, her platoon broken up and scattered, battles and travel long over, yet he insisted on sticking close. Why? She had never understood him, had yelled, picked fights, threatened, laughed at him, avoided him…why was he still here? Sighing once more, she walked over and prodded him with her foot.

“Wakes up Axle. If’n yer gonna be sleepin’ ‘ere ‘stead o’ in town, ya may as well be comin’ in the cave an’ stayin’ a’ leas’ a lil’ warm.”

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Re: Nightmares

Post  Aasha on Sat Apr 30, 2011 2:21 pm

Axle wrote:He was laying at the entrance of the cave in a ball trying to keep from shivering so that he could get some sleep, but the cold winds of the Irish shores could not be persuaded to leave him be, instead the winds wrapped around him like a blanket. His teeth chattering at the coldness, when he barely felt a prod. He didn't know if it was the wind poking at him or something else entirely, his eyes were shut hard to keep the air away from entering his body. It wasn't really working. Then he heard her speak, and he slowly peered one eye open to see what she wanted.

I..it...it's too.. c.c..co..ld to move, he answered her.

Aasha wrote:Aasha had never heard someone's teeth chatter in their sleep, but it sure sounded like Axle's were. At the rate he was chattering, he wouldn't have any teeth by sun rise. How did he sleep through her prodding him?

"Bloody 'ell", she muttered under her breath. "Anyone ken come an' kill 'im if'n he's gonna be sleepin' through som'one pokin' 'im."

She was considering pulling him into the cave, or maybe just going back to sleep...if that was possible...when she noticed one of his eyes opening. A frown marred her brow at the sight, trying to figure out why he was only opening one...like that would tell him much? Where were his survival instincts? Hell, she could have robbed him blind by now.

His words did little to assure her that he wasn't the idiot she had called him on many occasions.

"Ya ken nae move cuz its cold? Ain't no point o' freezin' ou' 'ere. If'n I lights a fire unn'r yer bum, ya thinks ya'd be warm 'nuff then?"

Exasperated by men and life in general, and Axle in particular, Aasha sighed, then reached down and grabbed him by his arm, yanking as hard as she could towards the cave. Granted he was larger than her, and dead weight on the ground, but she'd be damned before he'd freeze on her watch.

Axle wrote:He didn't hear anything she was saying except when she said fire. It would warm him up he thought, but he didn't really want to move until the wind stopped blowing, if it ever did.

He opened his other eye to stare at her, and said, We needs to find a house or build one. We can't keep sleeping out here, he told her in a hard tone. I been gathering wood in case you decided to settle down here, just been waiting for you to say something.

He rose to his legs, using her arms as support he lifted himself off the ground and to his full height in front of her. Let's go make a fire now.

Aasha wrote:She growled. There was no other word for it, but growl. Aasha pulled and nothing happened, he hadn't budged an inch. Well, not nothing...Axle did open the other eye, so both eyes were trained on her rather than just the one. It was a little late for him to look now, she could have already gutted him had she wanted...not that he seemed to even care.

Instead, he began prattling on about a house? We? Was he totally delusional? Why was he... Aasha stopped and turned, staring at him like he'd suddenly grown two heads. "We needs to wha'? I ain't livin' in town, where ya ken spits onna neighb'r if'n ya opens yer window. Dun likes livin' tha' close, ken nae sense dang'r if'n ya ken nae hear nothin' bu' bod'es 'round ya."

The tone of the girl's voice changed, growing softer with the effort to control her temper. "We ain't sleepin' ou' 'ere...I was sleepin' in the cave, ya was sleepin' ou' 'ere. An' I damn sure didna tells ya to be doin' it. Ya ken finds a place in town if'n ya wants. Ain't got nothin' to do wit' me now, does it?"

She planned on letting his arm go, suddenly feeling a weight of fatigue settle on her shoulders, the bedroll she'd made within the cave beckoning like it hadn't when she'd come outside. Aasha had left her boots in the cave, and her feet were starting to get cold, the wet dew soaking through her stockings. What she planned and what happened were two different things. Just as she started to let go, he rose, using her arm as support. Not expecting the gesture, Aasha lost her balance, falling towards him with a muffled curse...something about nitwits, bums, fires and houses, all intertwined with the word we said in total disbelief.

Axle wrote:He was so cold and tired when she began rambling about his wanting a house. He was speaking in between her pauses, I ne'er said we gots to live in town. I says a house. If'n you wants one out here, I kens build it here. I got lotsa experience with building from my past and kens make it fortified with my experience in smithy work. Wheres ya want it? I ken works on it starting tomorrow.

He growled at her when she said she wasn't sleeping out here but he was. You didna invites me inside so wheres was I s'posed to sleeps? Just as he rose to his full height, she fell forward into his arms. He held her with his forearms instead of with his hands. He thought for a moment she would cut his hands if he ever touched her. He stood still, not wanting to say anything till she spoke next.

Aasha wrote:She had never met a more exasperating man in her life. It was like he only heard what he wanted to hear, nothing of what she actually said. Well, maybe a little bit...definitely not all. And he put his own context on what he did hear, taking it a totally different way than what she said. Aasha was tired, more than a little cold, and was starting to get a headache. Was arguing with him over a house worth it? Wasn't she already tired of sleeping in a cave regardless? She couldn't think of even one thing that she could say that would convince him that there was no 'we'. And if she was honest with herself, there was a we, just not one in any way she was used to. She could live in a tree and when she woke, he'd be curled up under it. He had no sense of self preservation, and seemed to think that despite the end of the war, he had to be where she was. Aasha had no idea why, or how to fight his single minded determination to 'see her safe'. Safe hell, she'd not been safe in years, not since she was a child.

A deep sigh followed his growl, and her own inner reflection.

"A'rights. Ya ken build a house ou' 'ere. Shows me wha' to do an' I'll be helpin' ya wit' it. We ken go lookin' fer a safe spots lat'r today."

Her hands were still gripping his forearms to keep her balance. Aasha glanced up, her face flushed red, then let go and stepped back from him. He looked no more comfortable than she was with them so close to each other. It was an odd feeling she got being this close, not one she wanted to define. She was almost scared to. Trying to distract herself, she continued speaking;

"Its a cave Axle, ain't a matt'r o' invitin'...ya jus' come in, find a place to lay yer head, an' sleeps."

Stepping back further, she reenters the cave and begins building a fire with the branches she had gathered the day before.

"But if'n yer needin' an invite, gets yer bum in 'ere so ya ken helps wit' the fire an' we ken gets a bit more sleep 'fore dawn."

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Re: Nightmares

Post  Aasha on Sat Apr 30, 2011 2:22 pm

Since that night that Aasha had invited him inside her cave, he'd taken it upon himself to think that meant for anything and everything she was doing, planning on doing, or about to do. He was more involved directly (rather than indirectly) now than he used to be.

A few days after that night, he had tasked himself with building her the greatest house he could build, and then when he had heard she had wanted a ship, well that was on his next list of things. He had first used his workshop to sharpen himself an axe, then visited the forest daily and chopped wood rather than paying for it at the market. He often came home with callouses since he wasn't an expert in swinging his axe; but he was getting better at it little by little every day. He had finally gathered as much wood as he needed for the house, and was going to start getting to work on the actual construction.

Just in time, he thought, his axe needed to be sharpened for continued use at the forest.

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Re: Nightmares

Post  Aasha on Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:08 pm

Aasha had no clue how it happened, she wasn't in the least bit homey, and yet the cave was starting to take on that atmosphere. Perhaps it was because she had been sharing it with Axle. Clothes were strewn about the cave floor, blankets piled in corners, and around a roughly drawn 'fireplace'...that is, a firepit with stones around it close to the entrance to pull the smoke from the cave. She had stopped fighting him following her around...it did no good, and saved energy if she just went with it. In fact, she even took to prodding him awake in the mornings if he happened to sleep in. Surprisingly, she enjoyed his company, most of the time.

Though there were days that a mood would set in and she would do her best to be alone, or pick a fight with him, anything to relieve the stress when memories assaulted her. It was usually after a nightmare. Each one a different scene from her past, or her perceived shortcomings brought out to torture her when she couldn't fight back.

Aasha never asked what he was doing, just watched the pile of logs build up outside the cave. She took to fixing...well burning...food for them both. That, along with the fresh fruit she picked and vegetables she either purchased or swiped, was what she lived off of. If he ate elsewhere, she didn't ask, and he didn't offer.

This morning was one of those bad ones, where the nightmare gripped her and didn't want to let go. Even the sun shining into the cave didn't wake Aasha, she moaned low in her sleep, and thrashed around in the blankets, doing a great job of tangling herself in them. It just fed into the nightmare, arms around her, holding her tightly, suffocating her. Everyone she loved leaving, running to get as far from her as they could.

Crying out, Aasha sat up, her eyes wide and unseeing, trembling while tears tracked down her cheeks.

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Re: Nightmares

Post  Aasha on Mon May 02, 2011 11:36 am

Axle wrote:Axle was used to living alone; ever since he could remember, he was on his own. He taught himself many things, and learned from his experiences too. Living in the cave with Aasha was a new experience, especially when he was used to being alone in the bushes, under the window sill, outside a door...

He had taken to sleeping in one of the corners of the cave, his things thrown around his area in the necessary places for fast use. He wasn't organized, and he didn't need to be. He always knew where his things were and in what order they had been left. He preferred to sleep in the corner, rather than the open space of the cave. Too many things could happen in open area, and he feared he wouldn't be able to protect himself, and now Aasha as well. The open space also contained fire; he had learned his lesson hard when he was younger, and had burnt his hands badly attempting to cook some food. Since then he'd never gotten close to the fire unless to warm himself, and as always, it was from a distance. At least Aasha had been cooking for him; he was grateful. He was usually eating vegetables or fruits, or whatever he could gather that could be eaten in raw form. Even when he had been a fisherman, he always sold his catch or bartered for fruit and vegetables.

Axle wasn't a heavy sleeper; nor did he really sleep for long stretches of time. He usually slept in 2-3 hour increments, and then he would be awake. He was a natural observer, and Aasha didn't like that he would watch her. When she would argue with him, he would simply grumble and head out of the cave. As a result, he took up a second profession at night. He would venture to the nearby town and raid farms and houses for food; he only took enough to fill his sack.

Coming home tonight, he could hear Aasha thrashing and entangling herself in the blankets, and he quietly put the food in the stockpile. He stalked towards his blankets, but didn't make it. Aasha sat up, tears streaming down her face with a look of panicked fear. He kneeled by her side, hands on his thighs and murmured: Ok? We safe. Nobody's 'ere. I been watchin'.

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Re: Nightmares

Post  Aasha on Mon May 02, 2011 2:09 pm

Aasha heard his voice, as if from a distance. She was having such a hard time forgetting, pushing things back into the recesses of her mind like she used to. It was almost if that recessed part was too full, too many bad things had happened in such a short amount of time, none of them wanted to stay away anymore, they were overflowing into her consciousness way more often than they should. She needed good memories to replace the bad, but had no idea how to create them, or even knew that it would help. Having a bad home life at a young age had caused her to miss a lot of how to act and interact, and how to deal with anything. She avoided, always avoided. Not really facing anything, because she had been afraid for so long.

It took a few minutes for Axle's words to sink into her consiousness. Safe...a concept she didn't fully believe in. Safe, a word she wanted to cling to. Aasha pulled the blankets tightly around, finally focusing on his face as he knelt beside her. "Axle? Wha'...ummm...I'm sorry if'n I wokes ya. I'm a'right. Jus'...you been watchin'? Why is ya 'wake?"

The girl's eyes widened. Had he been watching her? Why did he study her so closely? And why would he stay around if he watched her so closely? No one ever stayed, not once they knew her. Why would he be any different?

Aasha didn't voice any of these thoughts, though an observant person would see the turmoil in her eyes. She looked down, her knuckles tightening on the blankets, and took a deep breath, trying to steady her nerves. She didn't even know she spoke when she murmured; "Ken nae keep me safe. You'll be gone...ev'ryone a'ways is...ain't safe from wha' haunts me...nev'r..."

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Re: Nightmares

Post  Aasha on Wed May 04, 2011 4:23 pm

Axle wrote:He shook his head to respond to her, I wasna sleeping or watching. I was getting some foods for us. He pointed towards the stockpile to be distracted from whatever nightmare she had woken from. When he heard her speak about him leaving, he just nodded oblivious to the meaning behind her words. I leaves, comes back and brings stuffs, I did. We can always use stuffs.

He brought his hands to her blanket to slide it up on her and urged her back to the ground. Go to sleeps, I will stays up. First light comes soon and you look tired.

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Re: Nightmares

Post  Aasha on Wed May 04, 2011 8:15 pm

Aasha did her best to focus, letting her eyes follow his gesture to the stockpile of food. You dun gots to be goin' ou' in the middle o' the nights fer food. We gots mor'n enough 'ere Axle. Ain't likes I eats tha'... The girl stopped her flow of words abruptly when she remembered how much he ate. She wasn't entirely sure what she was saying anyway, so silence seemed better for a moment. Until the silence began to press in on her.

Axle's hands helped distract her next, when he drew the blanket up further, trying to help cover her. It wasn't that she was cold, the chill she felt was inside, not out. Almost without thinking, Aasha put her much smaller hand over both of his. I ain't wantin' to sleeps Axle...bu' if'n ya wants to, I ken stays up an' watch ya...I mean fer ya...I'm bett'r if'n my eyes are open.

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Re: Nightmares

Post  Aasha on Thu May 05, 2011 4:19 pm

Axle wrote:He couldn't sleep, and when she mentioned that he could go to sleep, he just shrugged. Since yer ups, and I'm ups, then I can makes some nails I need to starts buildin'. I gots all the woods I needs for now. We needs to go scouting so you ken tell me wheres you wanna live. He withdrew his hands from her grip slowly, and went to his corner to pack what he would need for the scouting trip.

We should go's now so's we dun' attract much attentions. Do you wants to be close' to the port? He was kneeling at his corner gathering his items while he was talking.

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Re: Nightmares

Post  Aasha on Thu May 05, 2011 8:29 pm

Aasha saw and felt him shrug, her hands moving when his shoulders did as they lay on his. Glancing down, she looked at the contrast between their sizes. Even though she had tried to protect him so often, the reality was he could crush her easily...a humbling thought. "Wait...yer makin' the nails? I ken gets some don'ted. Why is ya gonna makes 'em? But yah...guessin' if'n ya ain't gonna sleeps an' I ain't gonna sleeps, we might as well fin' a place to be buildin' the house."

Even when agreeing, an odd feeling washed over the girl when Axle got up and went to his corner. Almost like he was rejecting her....though why she felt that way she couldn't quite fathom. She didn't watch any longer, trying to gather her wits and push down the rest of the feelings and memories that were trying to smother her. She was ready to run, far from anyone...needing to protect herself from who knew what.

The continued discussion about the house brought her head up. "Nae wantin' to be close to wat...town. Is ya los' yer mind? I'm figurin' som'where close to 'ere would works fer me. If'n ya wants to lives near port, ya ken builds yer house an' I'll jus' stays 'ere inna cave. Jus' go Axle, yer gonna be leavin' nohow....jus' go now sos I ken gets on wit' my life alone."

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Re: Nightmares

Post  Aasha on Wed May 11, 2011 7:10 pm

Axle wrote:He gathered what he needed into his satchel, then walked back to where she was. I needs to make nails to make sure the house stays together. I nots gon' build it from straw, he rolled his eyes but didn't think she would catch it. I ken makes it, he said to her. I knows about smithy works. I made this 'ere axe and been sharpening it too because the trees make it go blunt. I kens sharpen swords and makes them too. And knives too. I thinks in 'ur house, I'm gonna get some cows or maybe sheeps. I think wool and meat would be good to barter withs when we goes sailing.

He took out a plan of a house he had drawn to show Aasha. Looks 'ere. Tells me if you likes it. He pointed to the location of the house. Sees the house is near the town, but not too near. There's forests to the left, and the port is down a few miles to the right, sees? He was sweeping his fingers over the map. An' looks I know you like vegetables, so's I got a field 'ere's for your plantin'. I tol' yous I want sheep or cows. It depends on whats NNGO wants to have more of.

He looked at the map, and had noticed he hadn't included the cave. I dun' knows where the cave would be 'ear the house. We can't lives here longer. When winter comes, its will be too cold. We only gots six months to makes 'ur house and get it made proper so's we ken lives with heat and not 'aft to sleeps onna flo'. I ken makes lotsa of stuffs with the iron I gots from Port Lairge and my tools.

He looked up to Aasha to see her reaction, and was about to continue to ask her what she wanted inside the house as he mostly focused on outward appearance of their... he shook his head.. HER house. He had a shed in the back where his place would be but he hadn't pointed it out to her. She probably knew what it would be anyways.

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Re: Nightmares

Post  Aasha on Wed May 11, 2011 7:23 pm

Ohhh...yer the mos' stubb'rn...damn idgit man...dun list'n to nothin'...nev'r... Aasha growled, tempted to bang her head against the side of the cave. She was so exasperated with Axle, she forgot about the nightmare. Deliberately closing her mouth when she realized it was hanging open, she finally found enough sense to string more than a couple of words together. Ya ain't bringin' no damn cows o' sheeps inna house. They ken sleeps inna barn wit' the horses. An' ya needs to be learnin' to ride, nae jus' hangin' on an' prayin' ya ain't gonna fall. Aasha had caught the eye roll and let it pass, she was too busy explaining the obvious. An' Axle, I knows ya ken makes dagg'rs. I been to yer smithy once...ya dun 'memb'r tha'? Ya sh'uld knows I dun bart'r much nohow. I gets don'shins...a' the point o' my dagg'r if'n I gots to.

She straightened to her full diminutive height when he started showing her blueprints. She'd never seen anything like it, there were no words, just little boxes and squiggles. Aasha took his word for where things were, putting in her two pence where she could. Nae too near...makes it where we ken nae see town an' we'll be a'rights. She had no idea how he knew she liked to plant vegetables, she hadn't told him that she remembered, so she just nodded, secretly pleased that he included a garden area. Hmmm...NNGO...prolly cows sos the soldiers ken keeps up their strength. We ain't wantin' no weaklin's ya know.

Following his gaze, she frowned...nothing in that area looked much different from the rest. What was he looking at? Umm...the cave ain't gots to be near the house...is ya wantin' to be stayin' inna cave 'stead o' inna house wit'... The girl's words stopped abruptly. Maybe he hadn't intended to stay with her...she had gotten so used to him being with her, even with her expectation that he would leave, that hearing that he actually would was a shock. A strange pain made itself known in her heart. Aasha looked down, blinking back the stinging in her eyes, hoping that she wouldn't show weakness and cry in front of him...again...or at least that he wouldn't notice.

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