Caislin Hallows

Caislin Hallows vs. Naiser Vale : This is a tale of two villages one of medieval, one of modern. While there is a mysterious fog that connects them where the water divides.

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» Once again...
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» In The Depths Of The Hallows
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» Ornell: Vampire
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» Okiku Fuyu Absent
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» Lingering thoughts cause accidents in the dark.
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Lingering thoughts cause accidents in the dark.

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Aizawa Kouichi

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The stone road was so quiet at night. How rare to see anybody, yet still always know one was not alone. Such was how Kouichi would rather spend his time. His stride was slow, clumsy as though he had just acquired the body. A lazy appearance accompanied the sluggish demeanor. His jeans were old, faded with dark burn holes from cigarettes smoked in night long past. Wooden sandals echoing, imitating the sound of horse hooves on stone. That dark colored jacket of his was unzipped, revealing a clean white shirt. The night breeze causing the open flap of his jacket to flutter some. A katana at his left hip stopping the fabric and forcing it to bend around the hilt.

The clicking of his sandals had a rhythm to them, and if one had been close enough. They would have heard the origins of it. His lips moved with a silent whisper of a single word. Though the specifics were left only in Kouichi's mind. Coming to a cross road of the quaint little town, his lips curled into a small smile. Pulling out three tiny balls of string he had collected and made in his spare time. Two in his left hand, one in his right. As though hypnotized into his actions, he began to juggle. His eye lids, which normally stayed closed were open wide.

It took little effort for the ex-street performer to begin. Yet seemed impossible for him to finish. Like second nature, he performed his tricks to the audience of no one. Still, his smile only grew. More than happy to just perform, even if no one saw. It calmed his angered mind. The argument with the vampire still echoed in his head. Why couldn't he forget? Without missing a beat, he continued to juggle as he thought it through in his head.

"Maybe... I was missing the point." Kouichi spoke to himself. "Maybe it had nothing to do with the building but some out-of-date belief system he had..." No, that didn't make any sense. If only someone was among his audience of shadows. Maybe they could shed light on the topic. He stood alone, once more going silent to enjoy his simple tricks. Knowing that simply wishing was not going to fix anything. Upon going silent once more the string balls can out of synch and scattered as he fumbled and lost concentration.

Angelica

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It couldn't be helped...

The night somehow called to her. Not that she was Vampire, no. Heavens no. She shuddered to think of what he'd said when she mentioned it. She closed her eyes for a moment, putting it out of her mind. If she didn't think about it, then it couldn't hurt.

She took a moment to look around. She'd been so lost in thought, she'd forgotten where she was going...Her neck craned and her crystal eyes focused on the area. There was a crossroads about twenty feet ahead, and a slow smile spread over her lips. Kouichi-san happened to be standing in that very same crossroads she was looking at.

Without thinking, she concentrated her energy, giggling quietly to herself and froze the balls he juggled. She took a few slow steps toward him, still busy with concentration. White hair fluttered around her face, slightly damp with sweat.

While she loved the sweet, beautiful, golden sunshine she simply could not tolerate the unnatural heat that hung over Caislin Hallows this summer. So she took to the nighttime. It was simply the only time she could stand to be outside. She still found herself mildly uncomfortable though. It's why she only wore her blue jean shorts and white tank top. It kept her the coolest, but she was still slightly sticky.

She waited for a moment, once the last ball turned to a colorful red ice ball. It was a deep color, rich in the hue. The second ball was a bright blue. And the first ball had changed to a beautiful yellow, almost like the sparks he frequently produced. She gave him a delightful smile and waved childishly him.

Aizawa Kouichi

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When the tiny balls of yarn turned brilliant hues of ice, only one person came to mind. His lips curled into a gentle welcoming smile. "Did you run away a lot as a child?" He teased, tossing one of the ice balls to her without warning. As though his worries were carried away by the wind, he allowed no sign to be visible of his struggle. "I seem to run into you an awful lot at night." He chuckled, his left hand reaching into his back pocket to pull out a bandana. Which he quickly fixed his hair and tied it up behind the fabric. The crest that was printed on the fabric was of the Nobunaga army of Japan's history.

Nervously he glanced around, listening closely to their surroundings. "I'm not going to be attacked and called a 'heretic' am I?" He snickered, as though he was actually taunting the shadows more than being afraid. His left palm slowly finding the cold metal of the hand guard on his katana. Still his facial expression was just hoping to avoid any conflict. "I honestly can't understand why he gets so uptight..." He finally sighed out. Relaxing once he figured it was safe.

"Anyways, Angelica-chan, you've been practicing I see. I'm glad to see I was able to help." He began to toy with the two balls of ice he still held. "What brings you so deep into the town at such a late hour? Did you have a nightmare?"

Angelica

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She caught the ball, looking down at the ice ball in her hand. Funny how she could remember how hard she'd worked on making these at first, and now they came like second nature. She twirled it around for a few moments before it shattered into a few thousand pieces and then disappeared. In this heat it wouldn't last long anyway.

She giggled quietly, a childish glint in her eyes. Strange that she sometimes still felt like a child, despite the fact that she was staring down her twenty first birthday in just a few months. Not very old by anyones standards but for all Angelica knew about her race, she might be coming up on her last years.

A pained look contorted her face for a moment, at the mention of a certain Vampire. She wiped the look away, but her eyes were slightly guarded. She dared not speak about what had happened with that certain Vampire. She worked to push the pain away, only glancing away for a moment. "It's too hot for me in the daytime...I'll melt." she told him.

Changing the subject was the best idea. If she didn't think about it, then it couldn't hurt. She just kept repeating it over and over in her mind for a moment, a smile forming on her lips. She just put it away, she didn't bother to think about it now. It was too much for her to handle right now, with Kouichi standing right in front of her.

So she put on her best smile and closed the distance between them. She didn't reach out to him though. She didn't have her gloves with her...and she knew just how much cold really bothered him. So she folded her arms behind her and wrinkled her nose at him. "So how are you Kouichi-san? It feels like it's been ages..."

Aizawa Kouichi

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Angelica's hesitation to speak about the vampire, and even her abrupt subject jump was more than enough. Without speaking a single word, Kouichi drew his katana slowly. It was painfully obvious that she wouldn't tell him even if there were problems. He had made a promise once before, and aimed to keep it. The crack between his eye lids began to illuminate and the very blade of the katana hissed and cracked with electricity. Kind words were not his forte.

So instead, Kouichi stepped so that his left shoulder and her right shoulder were touching. The jacket blocking actual contact. Kouichi's right arm lifted and aimed directly out from his shoulder. The blade edge aimed into the air. "I wont push the matter, I'll just keep my promise..." No sooner had the last word left his lips, than his sword went up and then came back down to the ground. Cutting at the air behind her back. The electrified blade leaving a trail of blue particles in the air. "And I'll only slay the nightmares."

Such an action was most likely to be seen as aggressive or unnecessary. Even with his cold and agitated exterior, he had deliberately aimed so not to harm her. It was the best way he knew how to be a kind person when he could not hug a friend in need of support. Quickly he sheathed the blade and smiled once more. As though he no longer needed to worry. "It has been quite some time... I apologize."

Once his little ritual of cutting away her nightmares had been finished, he seemed almost like the street performer once more. "I've been good. Staying out of trouble at least. And yourself?"

Angelica

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She watched the Katana with interest, her head tilted as she focused on it. After a moment, she craned her neck the other way to look at him. She hadn't missed the way his shoulder brushed against hers. She smiled at that, it was his way of giving her a friendly greeting. She would have liked to throw her arms around his neck and take comfort in the physical contact between the two of them. But this was for the best...it kept her from being tempted into crying on his shoulder.

She gave him a sweet smile, her eyes watching him carefully. She knew what a danger he could be with a sword, and she had no idea if he was springing a training exercise on her or not. Somehow she could see Kouichi-san doing that to her.

She seemed less than affected by the whoosh of his sword through the air behind, but her hair did rustle from the movement. Honestly, she appreciated the rush of air against slightly damp skin. "You're such a good friend.." she murmured. She wished it was as simple as he made it seem. But somehow, even though she knew that he was only cutting air, she felt better. Kouichi-san always made her feel so strong.

She shifted a little, moving to face him now. She could well remember thinking that in another life she might have been born into the same family. He was an elemental, the same as her, however, his control over electricity fascinated her. Somehow she doubted that he shared the same fascination for her gift though.

"I've been staying out of trouble as well...or perhaps I've just not been getting caught." she giggled, covering her face playfully. She shrugged lightly though, her lips parted to reveal her teeth. "I'm sure you know how it is..." she told him, nudging him lightly, careful not to touch actual skin.

Okiku Fuyu

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The lithe figure of woman aimlessly walked around on rocky road toward town; long white tresses danced in the passing winds along with her tail. A thin tan jacket was the only that covered her baby blue knee high dress. It wasn't the best choice of clothing on this sort of night, even though she was dressed more lady like that normal. She couldn't go out without her pitch black combat style boots, the heavy chains rattled with every step she took.

"Such a nice night to be out...look at the pretty stars..." She murmured softly to herself before starting a hum a soft lullaby. Those triangle ears of her's twitched idly picking up the various sounds of the night. But one particular sound caught her attention, the crackling of energy filled her over sensitive ears.

"What was that?"
It didn't take long for her curiosity to kick in, just as a horse moved passed. Quickening up her pace till she noticed two forms don the way. The closer the bright eyed circle came, the more she recognized one of them. "Angelica...is that you?" Bowing to the two of them, smiling softly toward them. "How are you two doing?" Taking hold of the thick black strap that ran across her chest, pulling her sword matching tube carrying case closer to her back.

Aizawa Kouichi

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"I tend to cause trouble more then get..." Kouichi's words froze in place as his ears caught the voice of a third. Curiosity distorted his already foolish face. Click, click, click. He took three tiny bunny hops towards the new comer. Even if his eyes seemed blinded by their lids, his gaze was obviously on the new girl's ears. "Angelica-chan... Do you have a pet cat?" His right hand lifted the his lips and he began to mindlessly nibble his finger tips. Resisting the urge to touch the furry triangles.

His back hand hunched forward, shoulders pulled in like a child who had witnessed a new thing. Cautious and yet friendly. "What is it with you girls and being out late?" He chuckled, a transition from Kouichi acting his age and becoming childish happened. Click, Click, click. Again, the young man hopped. This time circling the person. The difficulty of fighting back small little nicknames and teasing. That was what got him in trouble last time.

Satisfied with his lazy inspection, He stepped back to Angelica's side. "I'm Kouichi. Nice to make your acquaintance." Bowing at the waist, he sighed and pulled a cigarette out of his pocket. Stepping back two steps, he lifted his right index finger using an electrical spark to ignite the cigarette.

9 An Interruption on Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:49 pm

The Puppeteer

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With a bemused smile, the Puppeteer stared out the window of his shopfront and witnessed the small meeting of misfits standing in the street. His store the Nimble Needle, offered a fair vantage of the scene as it was second from the crossroad in the line of buildings along one of the two streets. He watched as they chattered, the simple innocence of youth seeded in their antics. He knew the trials of Caislin Hallows and Naiser Vail could steal that innocence from them and his expression melted into a faint sadness. A second after the frown had formed on his lips, he banished it with a dismissive thought. Perhaps, his time stranded in the quaint town, with its petty people and plain manner of life was depriving him of something as well. With each day he lived the mundane life of a simple tailor, plying his wares, had he, too, sold off a bit of himself? His sense mischief? His confidence that all the world was his to do with as he pleased?

He loosed a heavy sigh, his breath as thick with disappointment as dense as any Irish mist in the cooler months, and closed his eyes. How long ago had he promised to take that youthful maid as one of his dolls before another tainted her in his eyes? Months? A year? He could hardly remember, his memory, already less than perfect, muddled by the multitude of mundane events that repeated day after day in his life. The Puppeteer opened his eyes, head shaking in a silent refusal. Since when did he brood over anything but revenge? Since when did depression sap his motivation?

“Bah!” he scoffed, almost shouting in disgust, and with a flick of his wrist, he flung a mannequin across his store. It crashed against the wall and slumped to the floor like a dying man. His hand sliced through the air again, as if slapping an invisible servant, and another model flew. Its cloth draped form smashed through the window, sharp shards of glass shredding the previously pristine outfit that had adorned its shape before it bounced into the street. It skidded to a halt feet from the trio, but before they could turn to see from where it had come, the Puppeteer bid the curtains shut across the front window of his store with a swipe of his hand. For a moment, his silhouette stood as a dark shadow on the cloth, and then the store went dark. Save for the soft whistle of wind over the jagged opening in the window and the faint rustling of the curtains, his store appeared as it always did.

A minute later, the garments on the dummy evaporated in wisps of thread like dark smoke, leaving it bare in the road.

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Angelica

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She shifted her weight between her feet, smiling up at him. How right he was...he did tend to cause trouble more than he actually got himself INTO that trouble. Her hair rustled over her face, but she quickly brushed it away and then let her arm fall to her side.

When she realized that he'd stopped mid-sentence, she blinked, looking up at him and then around...her eyes fell on another white haired girl, one that she'd only had the pleasure of meeting one, maybe two, other times.

"Hello Okiku!" she exclaimed, giving the girl a bright smile and waving lightly to her. She giggled at Kouichi-san, following behind him slowly. Crystalline eyes shifted back to her the girl and she nodded in greeting. "It's nice to see you."

She bowed lightly at the waist, when Kouichi-san did, her hands folded in front of her. "This is my big brother." she glanced up at Kouichi-san, hoping that he wouldn't mind the title she bestowed him with. Obviously she wasn't blood relation, but she hoped that he wouldn't protest.

The sound of glass shattering was like nails on a chalkboard for her. She turned towards it, her eyes shifting over the shards of glass as they fell. The few shards that came close enough to hit any one of them turned to ice and then shattered into nothing. She had gotten rather good at doing it in a split second, without thinking really.

The sound of the shattered window hung in the air around them, polluting their moment of fun, tainting the atmosphere with mystery and...anger? It radiated out of the shop, despite the closed curtains. The shadow across the fabric wasn't missed by those sharp crystal eyes either though, and a shiver of terror ripped down her spine. Hadn't that shadowy man made some threat against her in the past? It was hard to recall exactly who'd said what. Her heart hammered in her chest for a moment, before her eyes traveled to what had flown through the glass.

She only got a moment to look at the pretty outfit that the mannequin wore before the clothes turned to threads and just disappeared. She looked up at her two friends, wondering if either of them knew anything about what had just happened.

Okiku Fuyu

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Returning the gentle smile with one of her own, her tail swayed happily behind her. "Good and you?" But her moment of happiness was quickly ruined by Kouichi's comment. Her left eye twitched out of annoyance, while her ears blend into her pulled back locks. Pouting her cheeks slightly, while attempting to calm herself down. "I'm not a cat nor a pet...I'm a fox..." Thinking to herself while forcing a smile toward the bowing gentleman.

"Ah I see, Well it's very nice to meet you Kouichi-san" It was actually nice to see others from the school out and about this time of night. Usually being used to seeing a alley cat or two hunting for their meal.

Other than Kouichi's comment everything was going pretty well till, the crashing of glassed entered her ears. Instinctively she jumps back growling at the source of the noise. What was going on in there, trying her best to see what was going on. To only see the same sight Angelica saw, the clothes turning into various threads. Then she recognized this place, or at least the location. She remembered coming to a store here buying the very dress she was wearing now. "Guys lets go inside to see what's going on.."

Aizawa Kouichi

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"Fox, understood. I'll try to remember that." An ear piercing crash followed by thud of a larger object hitting the ground below. Kouichi's eyes locked on to the human sized dummy. He had no memory of meeting a tailor. It could have very well just been a domestic problem. Still, both his companions seems concerned. Bending at the waist once more, his right arm curled around fashion doll body. When had he become such a good citizen? Lifting the awkward dummy from the ground, he looked back to the window of which it must have originated.

Setting the false body up-right, Kouichi removed his jacket and set it around Angelica's shoulders. "Hold this for me." He chuckled, and once more took the mannequin up into his arms. "Shall we return it?" His gaze shot back to the two females. A gentle smirk accompanied what may be conceived as a blind man's eyes. Closed off and hidden. Even Kouichi had to acknowledge he was curious.

Even in the dark, one could see the excitement on his face. As if he expected them to be right behind him. "Doesn't that top hat live here? I've seen him around a few times... What's he like?" His habit of nicknaming every person he encountered was still as strong as ever. The stupid smirk on his face was almost too natural. His face seemed to imitate the fox festival masks of Japan. Possible versions of this mystery man ran through his mind. Almost too fast to distinguish. As though he had A.D.H.D His attention once shot to Angelica. "Be on your best behavior." He warned, in a playful and kind voice. "We don't want him scolding us for bothering him." Now it just sounded like he was warning himself.

Angelica

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She turned, looking between her two friends, trying to keep the fear from her eyes. She really didn't think it was such a good idea to go inside as they both seemed to think it would be. However, she wasn't about to let them go inside by themselves...but that was mostly because she didn't want them to think her a coward. And she was worried about her friends as well.

Her heart still thumped loudly in her chest though, it was so loud that she was sure Kouichi could hear it. She swallowed hard, looking up at Kouichi as he dropped his jacket on her shoulders, and she gave him a slightly worried smile and stepped up behind him as he got closer to the door to the shop.

She shot a clear eyed glance back at Okiku, wondering if she was entirely okay with this. But hadn't she said that they should go in? She swallowed hard, and despite how hot she already felt, she pulled Kouichi's jacket tighter around herself.

Okiku Fuyu

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"Yeah it'll be the right thing to do..." Eying the shattered window and the minefield of glass spread across the store front. Glancing back to Angelica, picking up her loud thumping heart. Was she scared of entering this store?

"He's a nice fellow when I went in. Helped me pick out some outfits."
Returning her focus to the store, as she moved closer toward the door. Her thick boots easily crushed the glass beneath them, a shaky hand took a hold door knob pulling the door open. Poking her head inside first, golden pools scoping out the clothing store. "Hello? Sir are you okay?"

With one more quick shot over her shoulder, to ensure her two companions where right behind her. Her normally perky ears laid flat against her head, while her tail was tugged between her legs. This place was quite different at night than in afternoon.

Aizawa Kouichi

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Kouichi's left eye brow perked and he stepped up behind Okiku. Giving her slight nudge with the mannequins base so that she would go further into the shop. "If we are trying to do the right thing, then we can't be quiet and sneaky." His gaze staring deep into the shop. Hesitating to even step over the threshold. His right arm shaking with a slight anxiety. "It's pretty dark, uh?"

With a gulp to steady his nerves, his eye lids opened wide. The electric blue orbs that set in his skull focusing on the darkness directly in front of his face. What dangers laid waiting? Was it safe to bring Angelica along? That single thought was anchoring Kouichi down with caution. There was only one option to give light to his company. The blue of his eyes seemed to intensify and the crackling of static in the air began. Like a field of electrical charge had been placed around Kouichi's personal bubble.

Right hand lifting, he pulled the bandanna from his head and twisted it around his knuckles. The fabric was held out and pressed to the fields edge. Causing a cluster of sparks that illuminated the ay for them. This however useful, stole away almost all of Kouichi's combat ability and restricted his movement to smaller motions. "Try to call out a bit louder Kit-chan." There it was again, nicknames that were not granted.

Angelica

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Her companions seemed so eager to go in and return the mannequin...or so it seemed.

Her head tilted and she slowly followed Kouichi-san and Okiku, her eyes narrowed slightly. She stood on her tip-toes to peer into the shop, having to look around both her companions just to see into the darkness.

Briefly she wished that her Vampire was here, or that he'd changed her, so she could see into the darkness. She inhaled sharply though, watching Kouichi from the back. What was he doing?

It occurred to her that this was indeed the right thing to do. If someone was robbing the place, which she highly doubted since throwing the mannequin out the window would certainly give them away, then Kouichi-san, Okiku, and herself could catch them red-handed.

But she couldn't help but think about the other side of that. Who had thrown it out the window? She knew that she had seen the shadow of that top-hat man. Perhaps he had been the one to throw it out the window...but why? Why would he throw his own mannequin out the window and into the street?

Her eyes widened, seeing the sparks fly from Kouichi-san's hand, and it was when she noticed that he wasn't wearing his bandanna. She was on high alert now though. She looked around, swallowing hard, her eyes darting back and forth between the room and her companions.

The Puppeteer

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Intruders? The Puppeteer perked up from his reverie, his thoughts interrupted by the opening of the door to his store. A nearly undetectable sentinel thread rigged along the jam to call his attention to customers during the day alerted him of the disturbance. In his haste and agitation, he had failed in finishing his nightly routine, forgetting the ritual in which he locked the mundane human-made mechanism and bound its tumblers with his magical threads to prevent tampering. It seemed his oversight had beckoned to a burglar. Pondering the audacity of whoever it was that entered his shop uninvited, the Puppeteer was already contemplating ways to punish the interloper. As he thought, he held a glass snifter in his steady, outstretched hand, lithe fingers cradling the crystalline bulb as the ripples in the amber-hued brandy faded away to nothing. Biding his time and brooding in silence, he was surprised to hear a soft call. No thief would so blatantly announce themselves, he realized.

The Puppeteer lowered the balloon of brandy onto his desk, setting it beside the half-empty decanter, and plucked the multifaceted glass stopper, which glittered like a diamond as it moved through the light, from where it rested and replaced it in the mouth of the ornate vessel. Despite having just started his third glass, the warmth of the alcohol coursing through his veins and the weight of the liquid having settled pleasantly in his belly, the Puppeteer stood gracefully from his seat, the chair gliding back a few inches across the floor with a soft scraping sound as the backs of his knees nudged its edge while his legs straightened. As he swept around the corner of the desk, he glanced at himself in the full-length mirror he kept in his office. His clothing was rumpled in a few places, wrinkles rising across the cloth like ebony mountain ranges. With a swipe of his hand, he smoothed their formations from the landscape of fabric like God wiping the world clean. It would hardly due to not appear as his normally immaculate self.

The door to the office, across the store from the entrance, opened, the faint glow of a lamp within radiating around the Puppeteer’s dark silhouette like a halo. His features were cast in shadow, and as he held the door open, the fingers of light stretched towards the trio at the other doorway. Unobserved by them as he was beyond the iridescent illumination of the one boy’s electric sparks, the Puppeteer quirked an eyebrow at the sight of such an unusual and unexpected display of inhuman ability.

“What is it? Why are you in my shop?” demanded the older man. “I’m closed for the night.” And that was as stern as a rebuke The Puppeteer gave as he addressed the youths.



Last edited by The Puppeteer on Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:59 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Okiku Fuyu

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The young fox girl's heart raced within the confines of her chest, her body quaked with fear as the eerie feeling of her surroundings settled in. Even with others so close she couldn't help herself, radiant eyes scanned quiet establishment for any signs life.

Taking a few more steps from the entrances, allowing the onyx tube from her back to slide free from her shoulder. A small pop could be heard, just as the hitched top dangled free. Revealing the sheath of pure gold and hand painted design over a dark red base.

But the moment when she saw the door on the other side of the room open, a shadowy silhouette appearing in the open door. She could literally feel her heart skip a beat.

"Umm heh..." Chuckling nervously she continues on, while her free idle left hand went up behind her head. Rubbing the neck gently before continuing on. "Sorry for intruding sir...but we found this outside. We thought it best to return it and make sure everything was all right..."

Aizawa Kouichi

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When light was given to their view, even if it was slivers allowed only from around the shop owners silhouette, it allowed Kouichi to halt production of sparks. Leaving only a burnt bandanna in his palm. What a waste of a perfectly good piece of clothing. His face seemed to shift with a slight pout of his lower lip. The tips of his right hand lead the now tattered fabric into his pocket before he sighed.

Oh how the temptation swelled in his throat. He wanted to chime in with mocking comments back. Still, past experiences had taught him not to simply begin with such actions and comments. Instead he bit his tongue so to speak. As if restricting the uncontrollable urge to spout insults, taunts and mocking statements.

The mannequin upon that thin boys shoulder seemed weightless. It's shoulders spinning in a repeated side to side roll. Like it was just waiting to be handed back to the owner. Still why did it feel like tension was building between the owner and the good little youths trying to return his stuff.

Was it really smart to leave the talking to this timid little fox? She seemed a bit too shy to complete the task that she had taken upon herself. Yet he was already acting outside of his personal ideals. Returning a lost object, Angelica was really a bad influence on him. Oh yes, Angelica, where had she gotten lost to? His head turning to double check for his lost little sibling. Slightly hoping to find her clinging to the doorway. His plan to stay silent was working well so far, leaving Okiku to do the presentation of returning the mannequin to the tailor.

Angelica

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Kouichi-san seemed perfectly at ease, walking into this darkened, and creepy shop. Her heart hammered so hard in her chest she was sure she'd have a bruise where it thumped. Her mouth felt like sandpaper, her eyes wide. She scurried a tiny bit closer to Kouichi, tugging the jacket tightly around her shoulders, as though she were cold.

The sliver of light that appeared, blocked by the shadowy figure had her peeping around Kouichi-san lightly, careful not to touch him because of her lack of gloves. Those colorless eyes peered at the figure that outlined in the light. Her eyes quickly traveled from him to her companions, noting Kouichi's scorched bandanna. Perhaps she could buy him a new one, and stitch something on the front of it. She'd worry about that later...if they managed to make it out alive.

His tone demanded answer so she was glad when Okiku answered for them, unsure if she could keep her voice from shaking. Thankfully she was not alone with this strange man. She'd never been more grateful for her friends. On the other hand, she could have been happy to just leave the mannequin in the street and let the shadowy man deal with it in the morning.

When Kouichi-san glanced back at her, she shifted to stand a little closer to him, her eyes locking with his. She was less afraid since he was here, but the fear was hard to keep from her eyes. She did manage to lift her lips up in a little smile though.

The Puppeteer

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While the pair of women, both of which he recognized, were timid, he noted the almost rebellious courage of the young man and a small smirk played over the Puppeteer’s lips, hidden within the shadows that veiled his face. He, too, the Puppeteer remembered, though he did not recall much. It had been shortly after his own arrival, while still confined to the school by his weakness and the Unseelie’s scheming, that he had ventured into the gymnasium and discovered the young man sparring with a mattress bound to a post. There had been another young man there as well, but the Puppeteer’s memory of him was but an unimportant grain of sand that had slipped between his fingers. Strange, how the Puppeteer could conjure up the memory of so insignificant of an event as his meeting the electricity shrouded youth but could not remember so many other, far more important happenings in his long life. He had mocked them, if he recalled, but the words said did not resurface in his mind. The nervous chatter of the girl with triangular animal ears protruding from her hair like bad cowlicks dragged the Puppeteer back to the present.

“You can set it down there,” he instructed, cutting the fox-eared girl off before she began stammering and embarrassed herself any more with her anxiety, and pointed towards a spot a few feet in front of the trio. He really didn’t much care where they put it, just that they put it somewhere and then, more importantly, left. They had interrupted a perfectly good evening of brooding and his glass of brandy, while not getting any warmer since it was stored at room temperature in the crystal decanter, was sitting out unattended and drop by drop, the flavor was evaporating into the air instead of being savored. He wondered, do they expect some kind of reward? as he scrutinized them while waiting for them to obey his bidding. Another question popped into his head, do they return people’s garbage, too? For all they knew, the dummy was no longer of any value to him, and pitching it out the window was simply his chosen means to dispose of it. While unlikely, it seemed a better conclusion to him than whatever one had brought them into his store after hours. If they wanted to return it, they could have even more easily left it on the stoop for him to retrieve in the morning.

The Puppeteer clucked his tongue. Was that concern in the girl’s voice, nearly masked by her nervousness tone? “Yes, everything is fine.” Did they also want to be rewarded for compassion? The Puppeteer rolled his eyes, momentarily canting his head to one side. “Boy. Your bandana, hold it out,” he ordered. Of course, he expected that both times he gave commands for them to be followed. From his perspective, simple answers and a simple reward seemed the quickest way to be rid of the nuisance. He needn’t be polite about it, only direct. The Puppeteer lifted a pale hand, stretching long, nimble fingers out towards them that caught and shone in the light cast from the lamp within the office behind him. They were the digits of an artist, capable of creating masterpieces that were so awe-inspiring they could steal one’s breath. They were the digits of a murderer, capable of summoning threads to strangle the breath of a victim to steal one's life. It was impossible to tell what marvels they intended, whether wondrous or wicked.

As for the ice-witch, or whatever she was, that cowered and cringed behind her braver partners, The Puppeteer paid her little mind--she was nothing to him. A mote of dust to soon be swept from his shop. All three of them were, and he wanted his store clean.

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Okiku Fuyu

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No Rank
"Uh huh, well good..." She doubted that everything was alright, a person wouldn't just throw a mannequin out of a window in the middle of the night. Just nodding her head toward the store owner, she wasn't never one to pry much. If he said he was fine, she would just leave it alone.

Tossing a glance back toward her two companions, just when the fear inducing store owner asked for Kouichi's ruined bandana. Curiosity was now settling into her mind replacing the fear that was there. Cocking her head to the side, a befuddled look appeared across her face. What was he going to do with it, he couldn't fix it. IT was clearly ruin maybe he was going to toss it away for him. That had to be it there was no other possible reason.

"Well then guys I think we should leave let him get back to his evening" Okiku was ready to get back out of the semi lit clothing store. The crescent as calling out to her animistic nature, she wanted to be back outdoors. Enjoying the sweet air of the quiet town during night time, glancing out the shattered window for a brief moment to only return his focus to the Nimble Needle's owner.

Aizawa Kouichi

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Bronze
Bronze
When that shadow shrouded man demanded to see his bandanna, Kouichi nearly stumbled back. Every muscle stiffened. What an odd order, this man had inspired the lightning boys most basic instincts of fight or flight to stir. He was dangerous, and what threat followed if orders were disobeyed? A chill ran down Kouichi's spine like a waterfall of ice.

Should he draw his sword? Run away maybe? No, neither option was present. Simply feeble minded choices. His back arched, finding the balance point of the mannequin. Releasing the grip, the false body was left standing, and Kouichi straightened up. His mouth was dry, every breath felt as though shards of glass tore away at the insides of his throat. How could he reply, there was a commanding presence before him. Finally words began to form at the tip of his tongue.

"Sir, I must respectfully decline. Who am I to accept, when without invitation we have entered." His voice was sturdy, yet fear trembled in the shadows of his soul. Escape routes being reviewed in the back of his mind. "Perhaps when the sun is up, I can come and pay for your services. Still, with no money at the moment, I have noting to pay with but flesh." His head lowered, followed by his shoulders. His upper torso lowered in a proper bow. "Please excuse our rudeness. Please do enjoy the rest of your evening."

Angelica

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Bronze
Bronze
She had known that this was a bad idea from the start, however it was proving to be more interesting than she would have thought. What did this man want with Kouichi-san's bandanna?

She had noted that the shop was one for clothes, that much had not escaped her notice, but why would the top-hat man want the scorched piece of material? Did he plan to somehow revive it? It seemed...well useless now.

She peeked a little further out from behind him, making note of all that he said. At least Kouichi-san was being respectful to the man, simply saying that he didn't feel comfortable accepting gifts from the man for no reason. Even though he had carried the mannequin back inside from the street.

She felt the need to remember to buy a new one for Kouichi, and stitch something on the front of it, perhaps she'd look up the Japanese symbol for 'big brother' and stitch that. Or perhaps she would think of something else.

She released the jacket a little, her body temperature rising from the garments weight, mixed with the air of anxiety that hung over her. But she didn't remove it completely. He had ask her to hold onto it, and even though he was right there in front of her, she wasn't willing to take the chance that something might happen to it.

She did take a few cautious steps backwards, feeling the little bits of anger radiated off the top-hat man. She knew that this encounter was over. And she had no desire to draw it out any longer. One hand reached up to tug on Kouichi's shirt, but she didn't say anything.

The Puppeteer

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Bronze
Bronze
Fear. It was in the air and was as pungent as the sickly sweet scent of decay. It roused long-forgotten memories, still only half-remembered, to the surface of the Puppeteer’s thoughts. He recalled ages passed, lives lived long ago, and the fear of others then. It had thrilled him then as it thrilled him now in the quiet of his shop, confronted by the trio of interlopers with good intentions. Even if the one acted bravely, the Puppeteer could read in his body language the instinctual response for flight or flight that screamed to him on a primal level. Again, a smile split the Puppeteer’s lips, a thin crescent like a sliver of moon in his heavily shadowed face.

The Puppeteer rolled his shoulders in a shrug, his outstretched hand lowering to his side. “Suit yourself,” stated the twisted tailor, refusing to push the issue. He would not force a gift on the boy if it was not wanted. For a few silent seconds, he scrutinized the three youths in the dark room and then he gave a wave of his hand. “Then go, leave. Don’t let me keep you.” After dismissing them, the Puppeteer crossed his arms over his chest and waited for them to leave his shop.

As they exited though, the Puppeteer added, "And thank you for returning what is mine." But as he spoke, The Puppeteer's eyes focused not on the mannequin, instead, he watched Angelica.

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