An Unexpected Detour

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Post  Aasha on Fri Dec 05, 2008 10:29 pm

This takes place in Holywell, Chester beginning 5 Dec 1456

She'd come to escape, to forget everything that had happened in such a short time span...Aimar's death, Tiff's disappearance, Red, Athorgate...no, this was not forgetting...thinking of what she lost was not helping. Her eyes glittering with unshed tears way too close to the surface, she glances around the town. Taking a deep breath of the salty air, Aasha slowly made her way up to her room, avoiding the laughter she could hear emanating from the tavern below. Pausing on the stairs, she swipes impatiently at her face and almost falls as Pillow runs into the back of her legs. He'd not expected her to stop, his yelp as he headbutted her calf made that abundantly clear.

Sighing, she slowly, wearily forced her legs to move. Yer worse than me when things don't go the way yer exp'ctin' ain't ya boy? Well come on then...gots some dried meat in my bag...bettin' yer hungry... She wasn't hungry at all. The nagging sense of loss that haunted her had killed what little appetite she had, better to do something mindless than examine it closely. The mines had helped, no time to think when you concentrated. So much different from what was supposed to be peace and time alone with her thoughts, which fishing had given.

Her room felt cold, nothing here to hold her, so much like the empty room at her uncle's. Closing and locking the door, Aasha mechanically removes her boots, digs for some meat and throws it to her fox, then lays prone upon the bed, still fully dressed. Sleep...she needed the escape unconsciousness offered.
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Post  Aasha on Sat Dec 06, 2008 4:33 am

She was so tired. Sleep stole quickly over her exhausted form. Her mind empty of thoughts, dreams and memories. But she'd been holding things at bay too long, bindings only partially successful when alert fell easily as her sleep deepened.

It started innocently enough, Pillow's warmth as he climbed on the bed beside her comforting her, her subconscious pulling tendrils of happiness from before. There was too much pain interlaced with happiness though, each friendship she'd gained slipping through her fingers despite her best efforts to hold them. Too many things she'd refused to deal with, instead burying them, pretending they did not exist.

- - Blood, everywhere tracks of blood, macabre pawprints leading to the broken, lifeless body concealed within. Sitting on the cold floor, his head cradled in her lap, whispering his name as tears ran down her face. Broken...lost, her anchor, her first friend ever gone as easily as he'd appeared. -
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Post  Aasha on Sat Dec 06, 2008 4:34 am

Pillow wrote:Meat, flowers, sunshine on his back. Running, jumping, circling her feet. Practically purring beside her, Pillow snapped as she tossed. Her pain breaking through his dream, he lifted a head, sniffing the air. No danger, nothing here. Safe, sleep. Nudging his nose onto her shoulder, he tried to break through the nightmare that had hold on his mistress. Her arm flashed out, a yelp of pain, teeth flashing as instinct fought to keep him from nipping out. The fox sensed her need, moving down from her arms as she thrashed to rest at her feet, his head tilted, watching, waiting for her to waken.
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Post  Aasha on Sat Dec 06, 2008 4:35 am

She continued to toss and turn, dislodging the sheets and blankets beneath her. The nightmare shifted, other memories surfacing in rapid succession.

- Running, she had to get help, Red would know what to do, he could help. No, it was too late...A look of revulsion on his face as he'd taken in her bloodied clothes, her hands and face covered where she'd cradled him, smeared when she'd wiped away tears. Cold, she was cold inside, dead. Blocking reality while she lead him to the scene. She couldn't reenter, leaving him there, running until she was exhausted. So cold...

...so cold, the room was dark, the meager warmth the candle gave gone as the wick died out. Waking, shivering, hurrying before he woke. Trying unsuccessfully to cook, he'd be up soon. She had to hurry, had to finish, get to the stables before he laughed at her pitiful attempts. Better than the kicks...

...a kick. 'You burned the meat. Stupid, stupid girl! Useless! Totally useless! Nobody wants you around. Just give up'...

...'give up friendship so easily?' He turned away, walking out without a glance. Pain stabbing through her...

...throbbing, the pain in her shoulder making her grit her teeth as he twisted her arm behind her back. She only wanted to see him, to ask him about the letter. What did it mean? Why did Tiff leave me the house?...

...Tiff's face as she'd told her about Aimar's death. The unnatural silence, deafening after the warmth she'd always felt around her. Red's voice, breaking through. It wasn't an accident, someone had killed him...

...killed him. Did he really believe she'd not killed Aimar? The scrap of letter she'd seen. There was a reward. Dangerous and unstable...

...the stables. Comfort found in gentle neighing as the horses greeted her. Leaning on the wall...

...pressed against the wall, she couldn't escape. The shovel, the bite, more pain as his teeth broke through the tender skin of her breast. Her heart racing, screaming for help that never came... -


She woke on a scream, Pillow barking frantically at her feet. She was whimpering, trembling, couldn't shake the images flickering through her mind. Not even the distant knowledge that someone would know the fox was in the inn broke through, the sound of footsteps pounding up the stairs unheard.
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:09 pm

Athorgate wrote:Athorgate sat in the tavern, sipping his usual Rum as he thought back over the last few weeks. His time in Holywell has been interesting to say the least, and looking ahead would seem to offer more interesting situations. However, he did wonder about the water here, there seemed to be something in it that was making people behave rashly and desire to become.....married. He could only shake his head and sip once more on his trusted Rum. That beverage never led him astray.

Sitting quietly and musing over his next mission for the County, Aasha enters the tavern and rushes through like a whirlwind, up over the stairs and disappeared. The recent confrontation between the two sat badly with him as he felt it was the result of strong will, on all sides. Looking down at the drink before him he mulled over going to speak with her, this foolishness needed to be straightened out, one way or another. As always, the possibility of a argument intrigued him, so swallowing the last of the warm drink, he stood and made his way to the stairs leading up to her room.

His footsteps heavy to give her advanced warning, he was about three quarters of the way to the top landing when Pillow's high pitched barks and yelps reached his ears. This made him slow and listen. The little creature cries seemed to be desperate and almost a warning to Aasha. Athorgate frowned and jumped up the stairs two at a time, until he stood before her door, hand drawn back to pound the meager frame. He stopped.

Why? Why was he doing this? First of all, his parchment and quill were both back in his pack hung over the back of his chair, second, she seemed to have made her decision the last night they had crossed paths at the Ghost, and third, well that was simple. Despite Aasha's continued claim that he was leashed, there was a level of respect between him and Scarlet that made him both listen and confer with her. Scarlet had been angry, yes, but then again, she had also been supportive of his friendship with Aasha, ever the confusing woman was Scarlet. He drew back his hand and took a deep breath.

He took a sliding step backwards, away from the door. Before he would speak with her, he would first gather the travel pack in the tavern, then go and seek out Scarlet, most likely she was at her new house, and then, well then it would be time to get this rough patch behind both him and Aasha. He turned on his heel and started to walk away, but first, he slipped a piece of dried meat under the door for the little canine, a sideways smile on his. Without pause, he walked down the stairs, grabbed his pack and walked off towards Scarlet's new house....

{Continued in "An unusual home for Scarlet"}
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:23 pm

--Pillow wrote:He heard the footsteps, his barks getting more frantic. Human coming, hurry. Help her, she needs help! Hurry...can't get her attention! Sniffing the air and barking, the fox nudges her every chance he gets and hopes his voice is heard. Stop yelling Aasha, I'm here. You're going to be alright, stop! All that came out was steady yipping, not the words that might have broken through had he been a different type of friend. He was worried, he'd not seen her like this before, and he didn't like it.

Sniff...whats this? Nose twitching, the footsteps stopped outside the door. His barking grew louder as fingers could be seen pushing...meat!! Meat, meat!! Sniff, twitch. It's him! The one from the tavern. Meat!! Overjoyed, someone she knew, and a treat, Pillow jumped off the bed, his voice ceasing as he took an appreciative whiff of the dried jerky. Ears pricked, surprised when the footsteps turned away, but he was too busy eating at that point to call out once more.
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:53 pm

It wasn't the sound of footsteps outside the door, even as loud as they were, that broke through the girl's stupor. It was the sudden silence when Pillow jumped off the bed, rushed to the door like an animal possessed, then suddenly stopped barking. An odd whine came from his throat, or was that? It was then she realized she was whimpering, her arms wrapped tightly around her chilled body.

Slowly forcing herself to move, she got off the bed to see what had caught Pillow's interest so completely. - Meat? Where did... - She knew the fox rarely accepted meat from anyone he didn't know. Mostly her, a few in Shrews, and... She tensed as the last name floated into her mind. - Athorgate - Hesitantly, she pulled the door open, only to be greeted by an empty hallway, not even the sound of boots echoing on the stairs. Pain shot through as she bit her lip painfully, drawing blood with the force. He'd come to say goodbye to Pillow, not even wanting to see her. Her apology had meant nothing...her petite form trembled, eyes filled with tears as she looked blindly around the room.

There had been no peace here for her, no reason to stay and seek more pain. Easier to face her friends in Shrews with her failures than to stay here, her things were there, her family...even if Tiff was away right now, the warm cocoon she could wrap herself in was always present in the house.

Decision made, Aasha quickly jammed what few belongings she'd carried with her into her pack, pulled on her boots and rushed down the stairs, hoping to avoid coming face to face with anyone until she was clear of the town.
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:02 pm

Picking back up in Shrewsbury, Stafford

Her trip hadn't given the peace she'd been searching for. As the town came into view, she gave a sigh of relief. Shrewsbury felt like home, an odd realization for a girl who'd spent so much of her life feeling disconnected. Glancing around, she almost laughed as Pillow ran around, sniffing everything in sight. It was obvious, the fox was happy to be here as well.

As her eyes scanned the familiar sights, they lighted upon a figure in the distance. - Is that? Oh..it is...its Harlan. That means Tiff is home! - Sudden excitement filled her, she had words to say about Tiff leaving her the house, but even more important, her family was back. But why was he at the castle? Tiff hardly ever ventured there.

Picking up her pace, she was only a few minutes behind Harlan as he entered the building. Leaving Pillow to reacquaint himself with the town, she tried to look nonchalant as she approached. The guards, recognizing her for a change, waved her in.

Harlan's posture was one of discomfort. Feeling a vague sense of unease, Aasha moved closer, softly murmuring; Welcome home m'lord...Lady Jas...where's Tiff...


Last edited by aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:03 pm

Harlan wrote:
Aasha wrote:Welcome home m'lord...Lady Jas...where's Tiff...
Harlan turned to see Aasha as the source of the footsteps, her small slight frame and trailing fox were instantly recongnizable even if he had not seen her for some time. He felt his chest tighten at her question, aware now that the poor girl had not been informed of Tiffanyanne's fate.
Taking a deep breath to relieve the pressure in his chest, he let it out slowly as he turned to Aasha and looked her in the eyes, a forlorn look forming on his face.

"I'm afraid I have some bad news Aasha..." He paused again, wondering if there was a good way to say this...probably not a good way, but a better way at least. He looked down at the floor, internally cursing the timing of his arrival and wondering why noone had bothered to tell her yet. "...while we were on our trip to Sussex...." the words were having trouble forming on his lips as he fought with how to say it ..."there was an accident...and well....." He looked up into her eyes with a sigh, realizing he should just spit it out and have it be done. "Tiffanyanne is dead, Aasha. I'm sorry." He shook his head and blinked hard, feeling emotional himself, and very concerned how Aasha was going to handle this, seeing as how Tiff had become like family to her along with the fact she had recenty lost Aimar as well.
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:03 pm

Jasmyne wrote:Jas turned to see Aasha but tears had filled her eyes, she was close to breaking down but suddenly as soon as it started she forced her emotions back and looked at the two and said.

I want a memorial made for Tiffanyanne, maybe a bronze plaque but im so lost on words right now, i would like everyone who shared life and happiness with her to help me with the wording

She closed her eyes and two single tears ran down her face, unable to any longer contain it

I would be honoured if you both would assist me. She knew Mommikerri wouldnt be far behind Harlan but what of Papajay, he would have an important bearing on the words as well, and Moose. Rain was in town as well as many others who she hoped would show up

Harlan, please make sure the plaque has her full name on it: Tiffanyanne Balboa
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:04 pm

Anonymoose wrote:Anonymoose entered the castle carrying a box of candles to be used with the memorial. Seeing Jasmyne, Aasha and Harlan, she placed the box on the ground and rushed over to give Jasmyne a hug.

"Oh Jasmyne, I can't believe what happened! Our poor Tiffanyanne."

She turned to Harlan and hugged him too, saying, "Harlan, welcome home brother. You have been missed. I wish you had brought home better news however."

And lastly, she turned to Aasha and gave her a brisk hug before holding her at arms length so that she could see Aasha's face. "Aasha, are you all right?"
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:04 pm

The sense of foreboding increased as Harlan began to fidget after she asked about Tiff. Something was seriously wrong. She didn't want to hear, couldn't...not if it meant something had happened to the only family she had left. But it was too late, the words seemed to echo from a great distance as Harlan finally got it out. Avoiding his eyes, she made the mistake at looking at Jas. The pain in hers, quickly hidden, stabbed through Aasha's small form.

- I should have gone with her...searched...kept her safe...why...why did she leave me? -

Biting her lip, her hands stiff at her sides, she began to slowly back away. Fully intending to turn and run, she was stopped as Moose walked in and hugged her. She bit down so hard, her lip was bleeding before she answered huskily; I'm...I gotta go find Pillow... gestures vaguely ...he's...wanderin'... Desperately avoiding everyone's eyes, she broke Moose's hold and ran, not caring where her feet carried her, just needing to get away.
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:05 pm

Mommikerri wrote:How she dreaded this moment of coming back to Shrewsbury and dealing with Tiff's death. Trudging up the stone steps to the castle, she didn't see Aasha come barreling towards her and run directly into her. The contact nearly made her lose her footing and she held onto the small girl so they didn't tumble down the stairs. "Aasha, I am so happy to see you! We just got back from our trip. Did you see Harlan inside?" She held her by the shoulders and searched Aasha's eyes and saw the pain emanating from within. Shaking her head, she lowered her head and quietly asked, "You just found out, didn't you?"
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:05 pm

Harlan wrote:
Jasmyne wrote:Harlan, please make sure the plaque has her full name on it: Tiffanyanne Balboa

"Sure thing, Jas. I would be honored to make something to remember her by." He nodded agreeingly too her, noticing the few tears streaming down her cheek.

Harlan turned back to Aasha who was slowly backing away. He had worried that she would run and disappear but he hoped that she wouldn't this time as much as she had changed since first coming to Shrews all those months ago.

Anonymoose entered and comforted Jasmyne and gave Harlan a hug too. "Thank you, Sis. It is good to be back..but yes...I wish it could be more of a celebration." His brow furrowed with a disappointed look as Moose gave Aasha a hug and asked if she was okay. Her question was met with an excuse and Aasha quickly dashed out the door.

Harlan sighed heavily and looked at both Jasmyne and Anonymoose. "I think I'll go to the market now and gather the supplies I need for making the plaque. Let me know what you want it to say and I'll make it happen." He gave them both a quick hug before walking to the door. He was curious to see if Aasha was still in sight.
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:06 pm

She was running blind, uncaring of where she went or how she got there. She just needed to get away. It was all too much, caring hurt worse than any beatings she'd ever endured. Even the attack hadn't been this bad, it was all to her. She could take anything, Jah just needed to leave her friends alone.

One minute she was flying, the next colliding. Her eyes were dry, haunted...she'd not had a chance to mask anything before they met Kerri's. I...saw him... Her lip was between her teeth before she knew it, her eyes darting away, trying to focus anywhere but the empathy she'd find there. Jus' got hom...back...Harlan. He tole...
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:06 pm

Mommikerri wrote:"He told you?" Outrage clouded her normally bright blue eyes. "He told you and yet you are running away? Where is your compassion, Aasha? I heard Jas had called for Harlan. I imagine that she is still in there, hurting, feeling the pain because of the loss of her sister? Yes, you loved Tiff.. who didn't love Tiff? But there was blood between the two of them. There is a connection that none of us can claim and you are going to run away to do what? It's time for you to grow up and think of others, Aasha."

She knew she was being harsh but the girl needed to stop running whenever things became to difficult. If she could guilt her into staying, she would use the tactic. " Now, will you come back with me?"
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:07 pm

She couldn't believe what she was hearing. Kerri was lecturing her? She'd lost the rest of the tiny family she'd attempted to claim, one that actually claimed her, and Kerri was lecturing her? I ain't got no comp'sshin' - whatever that is - Harlan's there wit' her...an' he knows lots more 'bout helpin' than what I do.

It stung, Kerri saying her claim to Tiffany wasn't good enough, but then again, she'd already found out more than once that she wasn't good enough for anyone. Each person reiterating it to her only made the realization sting that much more. The pain now joined by bitter rage, Aasha met Mommikerri's eyes. I'm thinkin' of others now...thats why I'm leavin' it to others what knows what they're doin'. You go in an' help. Yer the lady...not me...

Shaking the hand off, the girl raised her chin high and walked away, not letting tears fall or her footsteps to turn into a run until she was beyond the shadow of the castle walls.
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:07 pm

Anonymoose wrote:Anonymoose was startled when Aasha broke free of the hug and ran out of the castle. She looked at Harlan and Jasmyne helplessly.

"I think I'll go to the market now and gather the supplies I need for making the plaque. Let me know what you want it to say and I'll make it happen," said Harlan.

Anonymoose hugged Harlan back and once he left, she turned to Jasmyne. "What else do you need help with? Have you spoken to the priest yet? I think the bishop is still in town as well. And what about the castle staff?"
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:07 pm

Jasmyne wrote:Could you see to theyre arrival, i've heard the new priest is Peace, i know her somewhat, she is quiet but very intelligent

My last trip out i gathered a few tree's, some are ornamental, i think i'll plant a few dogwood trees around the plaque, i'll have to go back to my home to get them and maybe if i run into Aasha i'll let her know she is and always was a sister to me

Sometimes light prevails out of darkness
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:08 pm

Mommikerri wrote:She watched with sadness as Aasha turned away from her. She was sure that if she had bullied the young girl she wouldn't run away. How wrong she had been. Still.. she couldn't help but cry out to the retreating back. "Aasha.. please.. " she trailed off, worry and sadness overwhelming her.

Sitting down heavily on the steps, she placed her elbows on her knees and cupped her chin in her hand. She thought back to when she had seen Tiffanyanne and remembered her vibrant energy and the way she just seemed to have fun.
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:09 pm

Jerri wrote:Since he had moved here, he had not seen anyone going into the Castle up the road, not till today. But today seemed special and he was enjoying the parade, a woman, another woman then a man and then another woman -- hmm -- he had seen most of them around before, from a distance though. Probably the town council. He had spoken there often enough but he hardly liked looking at anyone while he spoke or listened, remembering the faces was a hard job. And soon he had lost track of who was coming and who was leaving the Castle, chewing a straw while he lay on the fence and soaked in the sun was a favorite pastime with Jerri. After the drudgery of the mines, it was a welcome break time in the sun --

His corn field was only a little way off from the Castle; the open grounds gave him a good view of anyone leaving the gates. And next time his attention was caught by a figure leaving the premises, it was because of a rather disturbed girl running out the gates and almost blindly heading down the road. A momentary smirk crossed Jerri’s features and his right brow disappeared into the locks hanging over his forehead again, I bet that man has something to do with that. Handsome, but they just can't keep their paws to themselves, he sat up with a bitter shake of the head, assuredly balancing on the fence as if he had been riding fences day in day out --
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:09 pm

Even beyond the castle walls, shadows continued to haunt Aasha. Ones from her own past, poking and prodding, reminding her that she'd lost everyone who had ever loved her unconditionally. Pushing in her face how she had no family...shaking her head, tears began to flow as she broke into a run. Trying to escape the pain she carried would be impossible, but she could at least find a place to let it out.

It was with that thought in mind that her feet lead her past to the burned out husk of Aimar's cottage. She took no notice of anyone she past, her internal battle was too strong. She couldn't see, but she could feel exactly where she was as she stopped dead center of the wreckage. A wave of pain brought her to her knees, tears drenching her face and the ground beneath her. There was no life here, much like she felt at that moment. Kerri's words echoed in her mind, one she desperately wanted to refute;

- But there was blood between the two of them. There is a connection that none of us can claim...

She claimed me...claimed me as a daughter, as a sister, as a friend...

...blood between them...connection none of us can claim... -


Each repeat felt like a dagger, unerringly finding and pressing into her already damaged heart.
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:09 pm

Jerri wrote:Lost something? he held the straw he had been chewing on lightly between the tip of his fingers when he spoke, though it was placed back in his mouth as soon as he felt he was heard. He was standing to the side of the figure on her knees and he was very sure what she was looking for was not in the ashes of the burnt down shack. But he still looked around with the apparent casual desire to help find what was lost, never looking at the girl, making sure he avoided eye contact. Curiosity, or maybe sympathy, had brought him here. Two emotions he did not believe in unless he thought they served him a purpose, two emotions he was very vulnerable to even without his knowledge --
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:10 pm

His words blended in with her thoughts, she had lost much, all of it increasing the pain she was finding so difficult to deal with. There was nothing she would find here, no spirits lingering to give comfort, no warmth lay in the cold ash, only emptiness.

It was with almost resentment that she finally acknowledged his presence. Had she not come here to be alone? But did she really want to be alone? She'd left the castle more because she was alone than because she wanted to be so, carrying burdens that only grew instead of being able to share and even the load. Her voice was husky with the effort to speak, bitterness ringing in the tone; too much... ...nothin' I'm findin' here...nothin' what ken be found... Scrubbing at her face, she attempted to regain control of her emotions before letting her eyes bounce off his form.
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Post  Aasha on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:10 pm

Jerri wrote:If he could understand an emotion, it was loss. He nodded solemnly and decided he had intervened at a bad time, something that was very unlike him; going up to a stranger to pick a conversation. But the girl had seemed distraught, which was none of your business. He knew he would have resented anyone thinking his life was their business. What he could still not manage was to leave.

He’d been quite pleased with his find for a home, there were no nosy next door neighbors, the shack had been burnt down for reasons he did not care to know – all that mattered was that he had the privacy he wanted without living at the edge of town. For the first time though, he thought he had been mean, and to think he planned to deter anyone rebuilding the house. Using the tip of his shoes to displace some ash at his feet he hid behind the activity to keep from making eye contact, Your house? There was no sympathy in his tone, no curiosity even. This strange girl was aching for a loss, he was only there maybe to listen or maybe it was to find comfort in another’s loss. Loss was, after all, the only universal tragedy --
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