The Merrily Happy City (Edwin) (Open)

Some one-thousand years into the future, Feila is now ruled by pop-crazy teenagers, computer nerds, and gun-wielding gangsters. This period is most like our present day Earth, specifically the 2000's, with the Internet, MP3 players, and towering skyscrapers. All natives are furry (Skin Avian are present here too). No native humans.
JamesG
Inquisitor
Inquisitor
Posts: 3614
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 1:43 am
Gender: Male

The Merrily Happy City (Edwin) (Open)

Post by JamesG »

4:30 AM
St. Cyril General Hospital
Central District
Highgate City

Danger Condition: Moderate

The phone rang in reception. A thump, the squeak of plastic wheels on the linoleum floor, a muffled shriek. The scent of blood mingled with the sharp acrid smell of hospital grade detergent. Dim rectangles of fluorescent light flickered through the windows. A trembling furred hand scrabbled across the reception desk, its owner fumbling around from underneath, trying to find the source of the harsh ringing. It grasped the receiver, and dragged the phone under the desk, the cord going taut.

“Mister Grieves.” The voice coming from under the desk was a dry, weary whisper. “My daughter isn't here. Where have you taken her?

The receiver hissed static. The listener waited, shallow breathed, receiver crammed against his pointed ear. Luminescent yellow feline eyes didn't dare blink. There was a faint sound through the receiver's static, a low murmuring voice. Something metallic clattered in the background, and another voice sobbed. The phone's static signal died with an electronic squeal.

Grif slammed down the receiver, and tossed the phone aside with a strained growl. His tie was strangling his throat, so he hooked his fingers under it to loosen it, and undo his shirt's top button. The wildcat's head pounded with his heartbeat, so he rummaged through his coat pockets, trying to find a pill container that rattled. Got it, a tell-tale pattering of pills. He grasped the plastic container, twisting the lid between thumb and forefinger. He took several, with a dry gulp and a wince of pain.

“Caroline.” Grif muttered, pulling a wadge of tattered old cards from his coat pocket. There were twenty-one, each had a vibrant illustration on the face side, of each of the major arcana of the tarot, and a pattern of coloured diamonds on the back side. The wildcat licked his lips to wet them, and kissed the back of each card fervently, one after another. “C'mon, my beauties. You're still on my side. Tell me what to do.”

Grif's Reading, 4:33 AM
First Card: The Hierophant
Second Card: The Tower
Third Card: The Star


The Hierophant. Wisdom, inspiration, endurance, patience. Grif raked his claws through his mane of unkempt fur, clicking his fangs in frustration. Patience. Think. Where could Caroline be? She had been here only an hour ago, when she last called. Could she have driven away? Unlikely, driving attracted attention. Cars had a strange way of breaking down at the worst moments in this city. Grif's ears pricked for any sound. Nothing. He closed his eyes. Wisdom told him she could not have driven away. He hoped she had run, someplace not even Mr. Grieves could find her. But where?

Inspiration! Grif's eyes opened, and he peeked out from under the desk, searching for... there. A street directory of the city. A dusty, dog-eared tome used as a stained coaster for coffee cups, long replaced by GPS. But GPS either didn't work in Highgate, or seemed to deliberately lead unfortunate survivors into danger. Grif snatched up the old book eagerly, along with a ballpoint pen. He fumbled for his torch, clicked it on and held it in his teeth, flipping through the pages of maps and squinting until he recognised the Central District.

He measured roughly the distance of three miles with his thumb up against the map's scale, then drew a rough circle in blue ink. A three mile radius, his best idea of where Caroline could have gotten in an hour. He peered closely at the map. The question was, where could she hide?

The torch's light went out. Grif froze. The dim light of the street lamps outside flickered, and then plunged the hospital reception into blackness. Every movement Grif made now seemed too loud, from inhaling air to shakily reaching for his tarot cards in the dark. The reception felt stuffy now, as if the wildcat was breathing the moist, warm air of a giant's breath. Grif stuffed the cards back into his pocket, and tore the map of Central District from the book, crumpling it in with the cards. He had forgotten to pay attention to the second card.

The Tower. Danger. Ruin. Sudden death.

Grif crept on all fours from behind the desk, straining every sense for the slightest hint of movement beyond himself. The reception seemed still. The were dim bluish shapes in front of him, and he realised he was looking at the moonlight reflecting off the seats in the waiting area, in front of the reception desk. Beyond them were the sliding double doors onto the street, both of them wedged open. He had come in by the emergency entrance, but he could not go back that way, since that would mean passing the stairs to the morgue again.

Something shifted in the dark, and that was all it took to set Grif off. He bolted, leaping onto and over the seats. One row, two rows, three rows. On the third row he smashed his shin into the back of the chair and stifled a yowl, stumbling for the exit. He heard a muffled crash behind him as the swivel chair at reception toppled over. Something had dove into the little crawlspace he had been curled up in seconds before. Grif didn't have time to look back. He half-ran, half-hobbled past the broken sliding doors, and out onto the street. The moon was disappearing behind the clouds, its pale guidance a last mercy to Grif, as he spotted his next hiding place. A wrought iron arch and fence encircled a gaping maw in the sidewalk. A few words crowned the top of the arch in stylish font; Memorial Park Station.

The subway. Grif dashed down the stairs, tripping and slipping over two or three at a time in the gloom. His shin ached, but he ignored it, not daring to make even one gasp of pain. He could see a weak, bluish-green glow emanating from the depths of the underground labyrinth of the subway station, lighting his way further down into the ground below the city. The wildcat could only pray that was not a sign things were going to get much, much worse.

In Grif's haste, he had forgotten about the third card of his reading.

The Star. Clarity. Unexpected help.

Hope.

4:43 AM
Memorial Park Station

Danger Condition: High
"You can't just remain a root forever. Eventually you grow and change into other things, like stems and leaves and such. Are a tree's leaves an insult to its roots?" - Sade

"It is easy for a statesman, whether he be in the Cabinet or the Chamber, to blow a blast with the wind of popularity on the trumpet of war, warming himself the while at his own fireside; or to thunder orations from this tribune and then to leave it to the musketeer who is bleeding to death in the snow whether his system win fame and victory or no. There is nothing easier than that; but woe to the statesman who in these days does not look around him for a reason for war which will hold water when the war is over." - Otto von Bismarck

My Characters
Sponsor
 

User avatar
RabidFox
The Great Fox
The Great Fox
Posts: 6102
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 1:06 am
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: The Merrily Happy City (Edwin) (Open)

Post by RabidFox »

Mortimer Wembley was a headmaster in the city of Aldrich. It wasn't a very big city. It was actually quite a small city. There were no skyscrapers or very large roads or countless taxis. The streets were always busy, of course, but there was pauses in between cars. Pedestrians didn't die every day from auto-mobile accidents, and kids could actually cross even the busiest streets by themselves. There were quite a few neighbourhoods, supporting mostly houses, and apartments were not common. But it was still a city, and there was still people everywhere. Just not packed side walks and overloaded buses.

He had been at the school last night. He wasn't even sure why. Maybe he was feeling depressed again? Mortimer didn't really know. He hadn't been able to keep track of himself for weeks. Life was hitting the headmaster very hard.

The Red Fox was happily married to the most wonderful woman in the world, his dear Ophelia. He had a daughter that would be a teenager in a few years, and a young son that was still not old enough to go to school. His previous wife had died in child birth, and so his daughter, Phillis, had never met her mother. Ophelia may have come later in her life, but Phillis was absolutely and completely happy with her stepmother. When Mortimer and Ophelia got married, Phillis became attached to the new woman in their lives very, very quickly. It was as if they had been mother and daughter all along.

It pleased Mortimer, it did. But what really bothered him was that he had always been happy that Phillis had never known her real mother. That feeling... that reality deep inside of him... always made him feel like a horrible, terrible father. He never told young Phillis that, but one day, when they were all in heaven together, he knew that Lucinda would tell her daughter the truth. The headmaster wasn't sure why she would... he just knew that she would. And he would take his secret to the grave. Let God pry it out of him. There was no other force strong enough to make him admit the truth.

The truth that he had not loved his first wife. The truth that he had actually been glad when she died. What a dark feeling in his heart, a feeling that he had always despised, but it was simply... sadly true. The marriage had been arranged by their parents long ago when they were both only children. An arranged marriage might have sounded very strange in a day and age like this one, but their families—Very, very wealthy families—were traditional and conservative.

However... it was not his deceased wife who was making him feel depressed.

It was his uncle, Salvador.

That morning, around four, he had woken up in a strange place. A nice, wonderful hotel—Like you would expect a rich man like him would visit—but still nowhere that he remembered from the night before. He had... fallen asleep in his own bed. Why in the hell had someone taken him here? He was completely flabbergasted.

Was it... Could it be?! Why would he drug him and transport him to a hotel? Not only that... but this hotel was not at all familiar. Mortimer stepped outside of the room, looking up and down the halls. He was a very important man—The headmaster of the local school. He had met someone in every hotel there was in the city, and then in the cities around that. This was no place he had ever been before.

He panicked, but instinctually tried to mask the feeling. The overwhelming, overwhelming feeling. He was afraid that he was going to start hyperventilating. It was almost like being stuck in an elevator that had stopped in between floors. He knew. He had been through such a thing before. Twice.

Little did he know, Mortimer was now in Highgate.
User avatar
XLilli
Assassin
Assassin
Posts: 89
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:18 pm
Gender: Female
Species: Cat anthro

Re: The Merrily Happy City (Edwin) (Open)

Post by XLilli »

(Chrissie is a dralibri anthro with black with white spotted feathers, image explaining dralibris here, no credit to me.)

Chrissie's apartment, 10:43 pm.
Chrissie sits with her legs folded behind her on her bed, her tail sways behind her. She is in a purple nightgown with a moon printed on it. Her laptop is open to a blank document, titled "Ch1." She rests her talons on the computer keys after setting a pocket watch, making a ticking sound. She closes her eyes, sighs, and concentrates on the ticking. She slowly falls asleep into an attempted lucid dream.
Tick... tick... tick
Dream, NULLNULL:NULLNULL NULLM
The dralibri wakes in a forest, wearing the same nightgown, yet yellow. Her laptop is again open in front of her. She looks around herself and begins to type. Time seems to pass at hyper-speed around her, day and night becoming a blur. After an unknown amount of time, she picks up her laptop and begins to wander. As she wanders through the forest, it begins to get more frightening, trees growing leafless and more tangled. The wood turns grey and black. Time stops at a starless night, making everything just bright enough to see. She slowly grows panicked, concentrating on the ticking. She drifts off to sleep once more...
Tick... tick... tick... tick...
Wooden bench, memorial park station. 4:44 AM
... And bolts upright on a wooden bench, in her nightgown. Her laptop is closed under the bench and her watch is placed over her heart. She looks around, spotting Grif near her. She approaches him, her tail curling in fear, tapping him once on the shoulder. She sounds fearful as she speaks, stammering, "S-sir? W-why are you here so late? And this may sound s-strange, b-but where is here? And do y-you have any idea why someone would wake up he-here?"

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

"The things you see today will never be the same as what you will see tomorrow."
-Unknown
Last edited by XLilli on Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Look past the things you think you see. Move your head just a touch to the left- a glance in a world of perspectives- and then, you might see it: An entire universe in the corner of your eye.
Dana Cardinal.
You're - You are, your - belonging to you, youre - is not a word, yore - I dunnow
We become what we Behold:
We shape our tools, and then our tools shape us.
Char list: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=7628
JamesG
Inquisitor
Inquisitor
Posts: 3614
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 1:43 am
Gender: Male

Re: The Merrily Happy City (Edwin) (Open)

Post by JamesG »

The only light in the tunnel to the subway came from the ticket booth. Grif hobbled toward the booth window, pausing to catch his breath. He was on the wrong side of forty to be leaping and sprinting about like a teenager. The wildcat caught sight of his reflection in the glass, mottled brown fur striped with black that was fading to grey. Chipped ears, ragged whiskers, yellowed fangs. Drops of blood on his shirt, though not from him.

“Ugly, stupid old cat,” Grif hissed, rubbing his shin to get some feeling back into it. “Come on, you decrepit bastard. Clock's ticking.”

A silhouette appeared in the reflection behind his own. Grif felt the fur on his neck stand, knowing someone was just behind him. He felt a light touch on his shoulder, heard a whisper over the blood rushing through his head. He whirled around, claws out, as if the wildcat was in any condition to fight. He gasped, momentarily confused.

...Caroline?” Grif lurched forward, arms reaching out. His luminescent yellow eyes struggled to make out the figure in the dark, but he realised quickly it was not Caroline. He sagged, and dropped his arms to his sides. “Oh.”

Grif hesitated. He felt a strange tugging of instinct, an old compulsion to be well-mannered. To use apologies and polite introductions to feign civility. It seemed like such a triviality now, pretending to care about the well-being of people you just met. Grif snorted to himself, and shrugged.

“I've nothing for you, girl. No food, no drugs, no weapons.” He paused, frowning at her. Was she his daughter's age? He couldn't be sure in the dark. “I don't even have answers for you. I thought this was my hell. Maybe it's yours too. Better start confessing your sins, right?”

Grif sidestepped the stranger, and rubbed his hands together as he contemplated the turnstiles that led further into the station. Instinctively, he checked he still had his cards, and that was when he remembered his third card, The Star. He groaned, and slowly looked back over his shoulder. He had no idea what help she could be to him. Maybe fate wanted him to help her instead. Either way, time marched on, and he needed to go.

“I hope you can run in that nightgown, or else this is going to be a short trip for you,” Grif snarled. His frown softened, and he put his hand to his head. He could feel his head starting to throb again, but he was nearly out of pills. “But... but you can call me Grif. Just... yeah. I'm Grif. If you woke up here, maybe you deserve it. Maybe you don't. I don't care, but if you keep standing there looking like a lost soul, something foul will probably find you.”

The wildcat shrugged at her, then put his hands on the turnstile, and with a strained grunt, vaulted over. He hissed in pain, and rolled his shoulder blades, trying to work out the aches bunched up in his muscles.

“If you want to come along, I'm gonna need your name, so I can scream it at you when we're in mortal peril.” Grif turned to face her, and gestured at the turnstile. “Well? Don't worry about the cops. We've got bigger problems right now.”
"You can't just remain a root forever. Eventually you grow and change into other things, like stems and leaves and such. Are a tree's leaves an insult to its roots?" - Sade

"It is easy for a statesman, whether he be in the Cabinet or the Chamber, to blow a blast with the wind of popularity on the trumpet of war, warming himself the while at his own fireside; or to thunder orations from this tribune and then to leave it to the musketeer who is bleeding to death in the snow whether his system win fame and victory or no. There is nothing easier than that; but woe to the statesman who in these days does not look around him for a reason for war which will hold water when the war is over." - Otto von Bismarck

My Characters
User avatar
RabidFox
The Great Fox
The Great Fox
Posts: 6102
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 1:06 am
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: The Merrily Happy City (Edwin) (Open)

Post by RabidFox »

The fox started to go down the hall, looking for a way out. He realized that he was on a floor without a lobby, and the only exit he could find was an elevator. So he took the elevator, albeit hesitantly as he hated elevators, but he had no choice. Instantly, he was horrified. Students had always given him strange looks and teased him for being so afraid of the elevators at school. The headmaster would never use them, always telling people when he was asked that he was simply petrified of getting stuck.

The box was tiny. The box was hell. It was golden plated on the sides, with a large advertisement on the inside wall. Suddenly, Mortimer realized that the advertisement was for a casino!

He was in a casino!

The headmaster was overcome with confusion. Why in the hell had he taken him here? Did he think this was some kind of vacation for the two of them? Or three... depending on who all was involved. But this didn't sound like something the other one would do. This was so controlling in a way that only he could do.

The elevator stopped. Mortimer couldn't wait to run out. However...

The doors were not opening.

Well, that made three times.

If you had been on the other side of the doors, you would have heard frantic beating and yelling as if the person inside was dying. Bam, bam, bam! Bam, bam, bam!

Bam, bam—"Woah!" Mortimer cried out, as he fell through the air and landed face first on the floor. "Damn it."

He struggled to get to his feet, and began to look around himself like a wild animal being hunted by a predator. Strangely enough, he didn't see any other people... But... it shouldn't matter that it was so early in the morning. People would gamble for all hours of the day in any casino he had ever been in.

The fox started to explore the building. Everywhere, everywhere... every path and restaurant and store and game room was completely empty. There was no one in this place other than himself. He was starting to lose his mind. He was starting to panic in a way that he had never panicked before.

This was one sick joke. One. Sick. Joke. Only he would ever do something like—Wait a minute... He could have never done something like this. Or could he? Mortimer had decided that he was inside of a closed down casino. But how did he ever manage to get inside?

He started looking for another exit, this time one that would take him out of this abandoned place from hell. It was scary being in a shut down business like this. All the lights were on, the game room full of splashing colours, the buffet still covered in fresh food, and the travolator was still moving. And then an idea came to him.

There had probably been a fire alarm!

The headmaster raced for the front doors, finally having found a map that told him where everything was. A fire would mean that the doors were still open. He pushed on the glass and it just opened up, his feet quickly taking him far away from the casino.

He was now on top of a parking garage. But there was something wrong... and he slowly came to a stop. Ahead of him, looming on the horizon... was the silhouette of a city... that he had never seen before.
User avatar
XLilli
Assassin
Assassin
Posts: 89
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:18 pm
Gender: Female
Species: Cat anthro

The Merrily Happy City (Edwin) (Open)

Post by XLilli »

4:50 am, Memorial Park Station.
Chrissie replies "Names, I'm Chrissie. If you want, you can call me Midnight. Or anything else, as long as you tell me first." She chuckles at her own joke. "And yes, this is runnable in."

She suddenly looks shocked, patting where pockets would be. "Shit," she says under her breath. "Well, I have this..." She picks up her pocketwatch, looping the chain around her neck and fastening it like a necklace. She sighs, "You got a map, right?"

Not waiting for an awnser, she goes to the map holder and picks out a couple. She runs back to the turnsiles, vaulting one expertly. "And who's Caroline? If you don't mind me asking."
Look past the things you think you see. Move your head just a touch to the left- a glance in a world of perspectives- and then, you might see it: An entire universe in the corner of your eye.
Dana Cardinal.
You're - You are, your - belonging to you, youre - is not a word, yore - I dunnow
We become what we Behold:
We shape our tools, and then our tools shape us.
Char list: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=7628
JamesG
Inquisitor
Inquisitor
Posts: 3614
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 1:43 am
Gender: Male

Re: The Merrily Happy City (Edwin) (Open)

Post by JamesG »

“Chrissie's fine,” Grif muttered, rubbing his chin. Chrissie was moving more energetically now, perhaps since the initial shock of waking up in a strange place was wearing off. She'd dropped the stammer too, and was already moving to grab a couple of maps of the Underground before Grif even had time to process her question. Most importantly, she seemed to accept the idea of coming along with him, for now. Perhaps she really was the stroke of luck from his reading. He watched enviously as she cleared the turnstile with ease, and turned on his heel to stride onward, with a slight limp.

“Uh, 's'okay, you hang onto those maps. I know where I am, but if we get separated, head for Little Yamaha.” Grif spoke in short, sharp syllables, punctuated with every step that he put on his hurt leg. “It's not marked on the map, but it's where all the Yamahan expats used to live. Just a couple blocks north of Scarboro Station, there's a Temple of Rin on Ennis Street. It's not exactly safe, but it spooks Mr. Gr- er, well, it's usually quieter around there. This place is good at making you superstitious, you know?”

The pair reached a set of escalators. A single strip of fluorescent light was still shining its cold light here, so Grif could get his first proper good look at Chrissie. He didn't think he'd seen anyone quite like her before. Even her nightgown seemed completely out of place in this desolate and joyless place, with its vibrant colour and moon decoration. Grif leaned heavily on the handrail as he went down the stopped escalator, always putting his left leg first to keep from jarring his right. He had deliberately avoided answering her question immediately, but he supposed it would be pointless having along an extra pair of eyes without telling her what to look for. “Caroline's my daughter. Not much older than you I think, sh-she's uh... well, she takes after her mother, thank goodness, though she's got my temper, ha- argh!”

Grif's face twisted into a snarl of agony as he staggered, and quickly sat down on the escalator step before he fell on it. He rubbed his leg and spat out curses under his breath. He looked up at Chrissie, and grimaced. “This is what happens when I exert myself. Embarrassing, I know. I need a minute, sorry. But, uh, since I was talking about superstition, I'm thinking I need a bit of guidance from beyond, to work out where to go next to find Caroline. That's what I'm doing, see? She's missing. She's tough, but she's on her own.”

The wildcat fumbled for his cards, pulling the crumpled map he had out of his pocket too. He flattened it out on his knee it, and held it out for Chrissie to see. “See that circle? That's where I think she's most likely to be. It's a lot of ground to cover though, which is why I'll need these. I know it seems a little crazy but... things like these cards matter in this place. I can't explain it easily. You'll just have to trust me on this.”

Grif's Reading with Chrissie, 4:53 AM
First Card: The Moon
Second Card: The Devil
Third Card: The Hanged Man


“The Moon. Illusion, deception, falsehood. Not necessarily bad news... perhaps it means we'll need to hide to deceive someone,” Grif said, his eyes fixed on the cards as if he were talking only to himself. “The Devil, that's... temptation. Blind impulse. Unscrupulousness, or strong ambition. We'll be tempted to take a rash course of action. Which leads to... The Hanged Man.”

Grif swallowed drily, and collected up his cards. “Punishment. Defeat. Suffering.”

The wildcat sat for a moment, his face creased with worry. He looked at his map again with longing, as if he could see Caroline on it, somewhere. Then, he stuffed it back in his pocket, and got to his feet. “Sometimes it's obvious the route Fate wants me to take. Sometimes, only much later, do I understand the readings. Sometimes I don't at all. But for now, the decision is in our hands. Let's get onto the tracks, and head out of here. Caroline must be heading away from the city centre. We won't find her by staying here.”
"You can't just remain a root forever. Eventually you grow and change into other things, like stems and leaves and such. Are a tree's leaves an insult to its roots?" - Sade

"It is easy for a statesman, whether he be in the Cabinet or the Chamber, to blow a blast with the wind of popularity on the trumpet of war, warming himself the while at his own fireside; or to thunder orations from this tribune and then to leave it to the musketeer who is bleeding to death in the snow whether his system win fame and victory or no. There is nothing easier than that; but woe to the statesman who in these days does not look around him for a reason for war which will hold water when the war is over." - Otto von Bismarck

My Characters
User avatar
RabidFox
The Great Fox
The Great Fox
Posts: 6102
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 1:06 am
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: The Merrily Happy City (Edwin) (Open)

Post by RabidFox »

Mortimer had walked and walked and walked. The road from the casino stretched over a very wooded area until finally meeting with a wide city road. But he had already noticed.

There were no other people. All he had seen was a little feline beast that ran away the moment he saw him.

The fox was beyond all fathomable emotion. He felt as if he were walking in a strange dream, however, it was no fantasy. Mortimer knew the difference between being awake and being asleep. He had, had many nightmares. Many awful, terrible nightmares. He understood the feeling of being cornered with no way out, monsters on the verge of destroying him no matter what he attempted. Those dreams where you try to fly away and can barely get off the ground.

Shock was something that a person couldn't control. It was something that told them, "Hey, look out!", and yet no warning could ever prepare them. As he stood there, his feet stuck rigidly to the ground, and looking up at the thoughtless sky... he wondered why such a thing had happened to him. Mortimer didn't deserve this, no matter what it was.

And then his mind would lurch and he would think something different. Maybe it wasn't a curse... Maybe there really was an abandoned city in Edwin that lacked any sign of life. Maybe there had been an evacuation because a hurricane was approaching. Or maybe there had been some kind of inescapable plague. Whatever the reason, Mortimer couldn't settle on one. Nature or magic or even something else totally different... He really had no idea what was happening to him. He had no idea what reason anyone could ever have for doing this.

Had he done it? Did he know about this ghost city? Was this his idea of a training session?

Mortimer was angry. He felt this need to... to run! To run and never stop running... So he did... He started running. And running. And running. And running. As fast as he could, as long as he could, until he was so out of breath that he couldn't move any more and fell down onto the pavement.

No cars to worry about. No pedestrians with a cellphone calling for an ambulance. No dogs to lick his face as they walked by.

Just alone. Alone and tired. Alone and confused.

"Lucinda..." Her name sounded soft on his lips. "I'm sorry."

And then, suddenly, it started to rain. At first, it was light, and Mortimer just stayed there on the ground. Then, after some time had passed, it started to pour. But alas, he laid there, getting drenched and cold. Too cold. Once he couldn't take it any more, he struggled to his feet, his face dripping with water.

One foot in front of the other. One foot in front of the other. He had to... He had to get through this somehow.

In his mind, he saw a face. The face was laughing at him with warmth and love and encouragement. Mortimer scowled.
User avatar
XLilli
Assassin
Assassin
Posts: 89
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:18 pm
Gender: Female
Species: Cat anthro

Re: The Merrily Happy City (Edwin) (Open)

Post by XLilli »

4:55 AM, Memorial park station.
Crissie nods, getting up as well. She leaps onto the tracks, avoiding the metal rails. She walks farther from the center, glancing back to see if the wildcat was following her. "If your daughter likes running as much as I do, you'd better hurry. If she wants to get away, she will." She picks up the speed to a light jog before slowing down and waiting for Grif to catch up.

Crissie walks alongside him for a bit before looking up at Grif. "Grif... I think I know a way to find your daughter... I think I know a way to find your daughter. I've been... drawing, or writing, sometimes writing in my sleep and I feel like that might mean something too. But... I got here because I tried to use my sleep. There's a risk I might go away again, or worse. But... I've been feeling... sad, lately. I feel like it's a risk... and punishment... I can take." She looks at Grif, holding her arm behind her back. "But I can still be your 'other eyes' if you will... Your call. Also I'd need your pen, so..." She flaps her wings nervously, unable to keep her eyes on Grif.
Look past the things you think you see. Move your head just a touch to the left- a glance in a world of perspectives- and then, you might see it: An entire universe in the corner of your eye.
Dana Cardinal.
You're - You are, your - belonging to you, youre - is not a word, yore - I dunnow
We become what we Behold:
We shape our tools, and then our tools shape us.
Char list: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=7628
JamesG
Inquisitor
Inquisitor
Posts: 3614
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 1:43 am
Gender: Male

Re: The Merrily Happy City (Edwin) (Open)

Post by JamesG »

The subway platform was deserted. There was something unsettling about a place that had lost its purpose, thought Grif. The hospital didn't have any patients. The subway didn't have any travellers. It just had people that remembered the idea of what those places were for. Scraps of paper, old tickets, plastic wrappers and dust rustled and drifted along the tiled floor, as a cool breeze blew through the tunnels. More scattered memories of when this place had a purpose. The breeze usually meant a train was on its way, but there wasn't any tell-tale shriek of steel from the rails. Sound traveled quicker through metal than air. The corners of Grif's mouth twitched. Funny, the stupid, unimportant things he remembered at a time like this. He sat on the edge of the platform, then dropped down with Chrissie.

“I don't know if Caroline can run right now,” Grif admitted, jogging to catch up with Chrissie. He had to admire her bravery, as the tunnel gaped ahead of them, black and forbidding. There was a light a little further along, where an emergency service telephone was set into the side of the tunnel. The sort of thing passengers would see for less than a second as the train passed by, or most likely not at all. “She started visiting the hospital and uh... didn't tell me.”

The wildcat's frown deepened as he tried to remember details. His voice grew hoarser, and more hesitant as he began to run out of breath.“I found a lot of pills in her apartment. I'd just come over... to return something. I can't remember what. There were medications there I'd never heard of. She's not pregnant... that'd be obvious.”

Grif slowed to a brisk walk, wiping his forehead. “She got angry. Wouldn't tell me a thing. I know it's getting worse though... I called the hospital, they let slip she's been visiting for months. A father's allowed to worry, right?”

The worn-out smile Grif gave Chrissie was far from reassuring. 'Worry' was an understatement about the wildcat's feelings over his daughter's illness. Perhaps the illness was terminal. Perhaps someone was hurting her, over and over again. The possibilities had turned endlessly in Grif's head, day and night. He listened to Chrissie's idea, and hesitated. He was willing to give almost anything a try, but he didn't want her to leave. If she left, perhaps he might start thinking she had been a hallucination. Then he'd truly start to go mad. On the other hand, what she said made a kind of sense to him.

“Alright.” Grif checked over his shoulder. He couldn't see the station anymore, as the tunnel had started to curve. He turned back, focusing on the track ahead. He didn't want to get disoriented down here. He fished out the pen from his pocket, and held it out. “The tunnel's clear now, but it's not going to stay that way for too long. There's... things that pass through here. What do you need to do exactly?”
"You can't just remain a root forever. Eventually you grow and change into other things, like stems and leaves and such. Are a tree's leaves an insult to its roots?" - Sade

"It is easy for a statesman, whether he be in the Cabinet or the Chamber, to blow a blast with the wind of popularity on the trumpet of war, warming himself the while at his own fireside; or to thunder orations from this tribune and then to leave it to the musketeer who is bleeding to death in the snow whether his system win fame and victory or no. There is nothing easier than that; but woe to the statesman who in these days does not look around him for a reason for war which will hold water when the war is over." - Otto von Bismarck

My Characters
User avatar
RabidFox
The Great Fox
The Great Fox
Posts: 6102
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 1:06 am
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: The Merrily Happy City (Edwin) (Open)

Post by RabidFox »

There was thunder, there was lightning, there was wind. All the elements of a storm crashing together. Mortimer had nothing to hold over his head. His clothes were his only protection from the rain, and they were soaked. He slowly trudged further. There was no sanctuary in sight.

The sky was the colour green. It was terrifying. He didn't see any whirlwinds, but flashes kept coming and coming. And then there would be this earth shattering rumble, the few trees in the area blasted by unforgiving winds. It was like water was sailing down the streets. Flooding was already becoming a problem, and Mortimer's shoes and socks were soaked. He cursed, trying to brave the storm. It was without definition.

He wondered if the storm was part of a hurricane. Things started to finally be making sense to him, or at least that was what he thought. A horrible, unspeakable storm. You could hardly be happy about it. But at least it was something from this world.

The fox managed to find an open door. All the businesses had been locked up. He entered the little shop. It was an office supply store. Mortimer shut the door behind him, though, there was some struggling against the wind. He leaned backwards onto the wall, sliding down until he was in a sitting position. Oh, how he wanted to cry. He was scared.

Time passed quickly. You would have thought that the minutes would have dragged onto into intolerable hours, however, that wasn't the case.

The storm was already gone. Completely gone. Shocked, Mortimer pushed open the door, panicking as he looked around him and saw nothing but flooding.

What in the hell was happening? Where was the storm? Surely, a hurricane was worse than this!

Had he not learned enough at school?

The headmaster went back into the store. He began to desperately look for a phone. There was a white phone behind the counter, connected to a land line. Who used land lines any more? He dialled the emergency number. The phone started ringing.

Ring.

Ring.

Ring.

There was no answer.

"I guess they must have evacuated too. Damn it!" He cursed. The fox tried again and again, but there was still no response. He gave up, placing the phone back onto its cradle, which rested on the side of the wall.

Mortimer buried his face in his hands.

There was a roar of thunder. He panicked.

Silence.

He was starting to get really concerned, concerned in such a way that he could actually become more so of it. The fox went outside again, but this time there was nothing. Just the water, still and without ripples.

"Where am I?!" He screamed, beyond frustrated.

Mortimer decided to start walking. And walking. And walking. And walking. Soon, the office supply store was lost somewhere behind him where he couldn't remember. The fox was determined to find some sign of other life.

Then there was the shape of a man! The fox was speechless. The figure didn't seem to notice him, and disappeared down a flight of stairs. It must be a subway! He rushed towards it.

"Sir!" He called out, frantically. "Sir!"

But once he got to the bottom, there was no one there.
JamesG
Inquisitor
Inquisitor
Posts: 3614
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 1:43 am
Gender: Male

Re: The Merrily Happy City (Edwin) (Open)

Post by JamesG »

The phone rang, and Grif dropped the pen.

“Shit!”

Grif felt a twinge in his stomach, swearing in front of Chrissie. A silly thing to worry about, but he'd had to carefully monitor his shits, fucks and sons-of-bitches ever since he'd started working at a job that needed a tie and a briefcase. He hadn't been free to swear at home either with a rambunctious and easily impressionable young Caroline running around the place. He'd broken his self-censoring habit lately, but even the grim satisfaction of howling verbal abuse at the source of his problems had grown bitter.

The pen clattered onto the rails. As far as Grif was concerned, he might as well have dropped it into an abyss. He had better vision than most in the dark, but there was little light to work with. He knelt down, a whimper escaping his lips as he scrabbled around the gravel, trying to feel for something plastic and pen-shaped. The phone's insistent blaring ring was grating at his ears, demanding he abandon everything to pick it up. If he left the spot though, Chrissie would have even less chance of finding the pen.

Something lightly brushed his finger, and he knew he'd found it. Grif grasped it as if afraid it would be snatched away in the dark, and strained his knees to straighten up. He thrust the pen into Chrissie's hands, before he could do anything else clumsy with it.

“Here. I'd better answer it.”

Grif nearly tripped as he hurried to the service telephone. It was dusty and old, lit by a single yellow bulb in a cage. The wildcat glanced back at Chrissie as he picked up the receiver. There were some things about Highgate he hadn't told her, and some things he hoped he'd never have to tell anyone. The person calling him, who seemed to always know where he was, and how to reach him, was one of those things. Grif licked his lips, cleared his throat, and spoke in a low growl.

“Mr. Grieves.”

You're a good liar, Grif.

Grif swallowed, his grip on the receiver tightening. The receiver hissed with static, and the voice Grif heard sounded like it was coming from everywhere, ringing inside his head with equal parts amusement and disdain.

It's not even dawn yet, and you've told her, what? Three lies? Four?

“It's safer that way,” Grif snapped. He took another furtive glance at Chrissie, using his other hand to nervously comb through his hair. “What the hell do you want now?”

The voice tutted, condescending.

Safer? If you wanted Ms. Delta to be safe, you would have sent her away by now, and not to Little Yamaha either. You'd send her to one of your hideouts if you really cared, but that would raise some awkward questions, wouldn't it?

“Make your point, or your offer, then would you kindly go snort crushed glass and wash it down with bleach,” Grif' snarled, his tail swishing impatiently.

The voice chuckled, which somehow raised the cat's hackles in alarm more so than when it spoke.

Oh, Grif, all work and no play? Very well, here's my offer. There's another bit of fresh meat wandering around in your district. He dialed the emergency number, so he hasn't lost his mind, yet. Find him and turn him over to me. I'll make finding Caroline considerably easier for you, and I'll even let you keep dear Ms. Delta.

Grif's chest tightened, the memory of his tarot reading flashing in his mind's eye. The Moon. Deception: That was what he was doing, right now, and what Mr. Grieves demanded of him. The Devil. Temptation: Mr. Grieves' offer. The Hanged Man...

Of course, you could turn over Ms. Delta and keep the other. Makes no difference to me. Don't get greedy though, Grif. If you try to save both, I promise I won't spare either.

Punishment.

Did you hear me, Grif?

Grif's mouth was dry again. He felt numb, his tail drooping until it touched the ground.

“Yeah. I heard you.”

The wildcat replaced the receiver with a dull click, and turned to walk back to Chrissie. He doubted she'd heard much of what he'd said, and hoped she wouldn't ask too many questions. He had a lot to think about right now.
"You can't just remain a root forever. Eventually you grow and change into other things, like stems and leaves and such. Are a tree's leaves an insult to its roots?" - Sade

"It is easy for a statesman, whether he be in the Cabinet or the Chamber, to blow a blast with the wind of popularity on the trumpet of war, warming himself the while at his own fireside; or to thunder orations from this tribune and then to leave it to the musketeer who is bleeding to death in the snow whether his system win fame and victory or no. There is nothing easier than that; but woe to the statesman who in these days does not look around him for a reason for war which will hold water when the war is over." - Otto von Bismarck

My Characters
User avatar
RabidFox
The Great Fox
The Great Fox
Posts: 6102
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 1:06 am
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: The Merrily Happy City (Edwin) (Open)

Post by RabidFox »

There was light, but the tunnels were dark. Black as the sky at night. His slow, careful footsteps took him onto a stone platform. The walls were shiny and looked as if they had been white once, and were covered in tiles. There was a sign above his head that said "Exit" in big, white letters on an alarming red background. On the same sign, there was an arrow pointing up, and letters and numbers that meant nothing to him. Also on the sign was the name of the subway station. He ignored all of this, never having taken a subway car in his entire life.

The columns were green and some of them had the name of the station too. There was a single black trash can. No one was here, and he was all alone. There were no subway cars. Just an empty rail.

"But I could have sworn..." And he could have. His eyes were not betraying him. There was no doubt in his mind what had happened.

It was some kind of evil magic!

And yet... that sounded insane. The stairs came down a long way. The man must have darted into the tunnels. There was no way to see past the blackness. Mortimer supposed that the person had been spooked and was hiding in the darkness.

The fox walked over to a bench. It was silver and there were many of them. He sat down, frustrated, and put his head into his hands. Some time passed.

"Mortimer?" A male voice.

The headmaster's head shot up, deeply disturbed and startled by the sudden sign of life. And then... he nearly choked on air. It was...!

"What are you doing here?" Smiled the man. He was another fox, except the hair on his head was thick and spiky.

"Salvador!" Cried out Mortimer, petrified.

His uncle nodded his head. "Yes... It's me." Then he became quiet. "Now what are you doing here?" It sounded like a demand. And why was he smiling like that?! It put him on edge.

"I don't know!" Exclaimed the headmaster, pure hot rage entering his voice. "You're the one who took me to this place! What is this, Salvador?! Another one of your sick jokes?!"

The smile broke into a grin. "It's only for your own good." Said the ominous man. "I would never hurt you, Mortimer."

"Like hell—" But the teacher was interrupted by his own confused emotions. "Where is that other guy?! He didn't... He didn't look like you...! Is he one of your twisted friends?!"

Salvador said nothing for a long time, and the grin faded into an odd smile. "You never listen..." There was silence. "All I do is try to help you... You don't listen. You're like Jasper and Nicolas... You don't listen to me...

"But there's something different about you... You've always been different. Ever since you were small... And I will never let anyone take that away from you."

"Shut up, Salvador!" Ordered Mortimer, tired of his mind games. "Just leave me a—"

The fox felt strange all of a sudden... and the world blurred. Suddenly, his head hit the bench, his body slumped over sideways.

There was nothing. There was no sounds. He couldn't even hear Salvador's voice. He fell unconscious.

Then, after a while, he awakened.

No one was there.
User avatar
XLilli
Assassin
Assassin
Posts: 89
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:18 pm
Gender: Female
Species: Cat anthro

Re: The Merrily Happy City (Edwin) (Open)

Post by XLilli »

Crissie looks at Grif, saying "This may sound strange... but I think you need to look away." She opens her pocket-watch, shaking in fear. She lays her map on the ground. She sits down and sighs, closing her eyes and concentrating on the ticks.
tictictictictic...
She falls asleep slowly, into her dreams. Her tail flicks slightly as her ears droop. She makes a light humming sound...
Dream
...And wakes up in a similar subway. She gets up and looks around, glancing at a silver thread in the air. She follows it to a set of unmoving escalators. She sighs and walks up into a dark forest. She mutters "Ohnonofucknowhynow..." under her breath, following the silver trail more, now running. Her eyes wander around her, her heart beating quickly. The trail leads up into a working escalator that leads deep underground. She follows it, climbing down tentatively. After a while, she exits into an even darker forest. "No... not again, not again..." she whispers and closes her eyes, trying to wake up.
SUBWAY TUBES, TIME UNKNOWN.
Crissie wakes up in the subway, feathers red with her own blood. There are several scratches on her face, tail, arms, and legs. Papers with subway tubes drawn in blood make a new map around the old one. A single piece of paper lays over the original map, with a dog curled up in a teacup in void black ink. She shrieks loudly.
Look past the things you think you see. Move your head just a touch to the left- a glance in a world of perspectives- and then, you might see it: An entire universe in the corner of your eye.
Dana Cardinal.
You're - You are, your - belonging to you, youre - is not a word, yore - I dunnow
We become what we Behold:
We shape our tools, and then our tools shape us.
Char list: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=7628
JamesG
Inquisitor
Inquisitor
Posts: 3614
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 1:43 am
Gender: Male

Re: The Merrily Happy City (Edwin) (Open)

Post by JamesG »

The biggest mistake Grif could have made was looking away from Chrissie. He obediently complied with her suggestion, his mind too wrapped up in Mr. Grieves' disturbing proposal to question the young lady about her intentions. His pointed ears had gotten so used to the ticking of her pocketwatch, that when the patient rhythm that marked each passing second stopped, the fall of silence jolted Grif from his reverie.

“Chrissie?”

Grif turned, and felt his stomach drop. There was no Chrissie.

He scrambled to where she had been, patting around the spot with both hands, looking for any sign she had been there. The pen, the pocketwatch, hell, even the nightgown. There wasn't a shred of warmth on the ground where she'd sat, nor a scent of anyone else but Grif in the air. The wildcat desperately darted around in the dark, arms outstretched, whispering her name, then pleading it, then screaming it at the top of his lungs. Had she disappeared, back to the waking world, leaving him in this nightmare? Or was it him that had moved, suddenly spirited away from her? How could he tell? All the tunnels of the underground looked the same.

Grif began to run. It was stupid of him, he knew, to run full tilt in the dark, likely to trip and twist an ankle at any moment. The disappearance of Christie had driven him to panic. His mind played back every memory of her, searching for anything inconsistent with what he understood of reality. Had she been real? She had arrived seemingly from nowhere. Her appearance had been so exotic and peculiar, had it come from some confused part of Grif's imagination? She befriended him instantly, confidently leading him down into the tunnels. Now that was strange, Grif hardly looked like the sort of person anyone would want to hang around with in a strange, dark place. Had he just been talking to a hallucination this whole time?

No... Mister Grieves had known about her, and as much as Grif wished otherwise, Mister Grieves was not imaginary. Chrissie had to be real, or Mister Grieves wouldn't have named her in his bargain. So, there was some hope. Mister Grieves couldn't snatch her from him out of the air, or he wouldn't need to make those horrid deals of his in the first place. That meant she had disappeared herself, somehow. She could still be in the city, maybe even still in the tunnels. She was alone, probably confused, scared, and almost certainly in danger.

A faint scream reached Grif's ears. He skidded to a stop, turning his head this way and that, trying to judge the direction it came from, as it echoed throughout the underground network. He had come to a fork in the tunnels as the lines split in different directions. The tunnel that branched to the right was faintly lit. There must be a station just around the corner, Grif reasoned. The other tunnel was unlit, and it was from there that the eerie howl had emanated, at least that's what the wildcat's senses told him. The air felt warmer coming from the left tunnel, whereas the one of the right smelt fresh and cool, air trickling down from the world above. Grif hesitated, then strode towards the left tunnel, giving the lighter tunnel a last, longing look. Hopefully he could find his way back here, and choose the safer option with Chrissie.

An acrid smell grew as Grif hurried through the tunnel, making his eyes water, until he was coughing and sputtering. There was something glowing around the corner..

Grif fell to his knees, one hand on his throat, another holding his sleeve to his nose in a futile attempt to block out the smoke and fumes. Around the corner, there was a train carriage, sat motionless on the rails. The windows were lit with orange light, and smoke poured from the carriage roof, forming a layer on the tunnel ceiling and raining soot on the wildcat. As the seconds ticked by, the smoke grew thicker, lower, and closer to Grif.

There was another shriek, and this time, Grif was certain it was coming from further in the tunnel. His nerve nearly broke, and he turned, thinking he'd run away from the burning carriage, and hope that it wasn't Chrissie in this tunnel, that it was some other unfortunate's final moments. Besides, there wasn't anything he could do, he could already feel the heat singeing his whiskers from here.

But what if it was Caroline, trapped by the blaze? What if she'd gone this way, and only a few paces away, lay in the dark, unconscious and close to dying of smoke inhalation? Grif turned back, eyes squinted, ears pinned back against his head.

“Ah, fuck,” he groaned. “Hold on! I'm coming!

The wildcat got on all fours, closer to the ground where there was more air, and began to crawl and scrape his way towards the carriage.
"You can't just remain a root forever. Eventually you grow and change into other things, like stems and leaves and such. Are a tree's leaves an insult to its roots?" - Sade

"It is easy for a statesman, whether he be in the Cabinet or the Chamber, to blow a blast with the wind of popularity on the trumpet of war, warming himself the while at his own fireside; or to thunder orations from this tribune and then to leave it to the musketeer who is bleeding to death in the snow whether his system win fame and victory or no. There is nothing easier than that; but woe to the statesman who in these days does not look around him for a reason for war which will hold water when the war is over." - Otto von Bismarck

My Characters
Post Reply