[Memory] Ink on a Page

Old Rose Harbor is Anaxas' main trade port; it is also the nation's criminal headquarters, home to the Bad Brothers and Silas Hawke, King of the Underworld.
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Tom Cooke
Posts: 253
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2018 3:15 pm
Topics: 29
Location: Vienda, but also hell
Race: Raen
: "disturbingly unheimlich individual"
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
Post Templates: Notes & Tracker
Writer: Graf
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Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:55 pm

Ishma’s House The Dives
Afternoon on the 13th of Intas, 2715
He woke up shaking, heart hammering in his ears, sheets wound round him tightly as a strangler’s fingers; his fist was knotted in the threadbare blanket, fingernails digging into the frayed wool. The first thing he registered was the rasp of his own voice in the dark. Every breath he sucked in burned his lungs with its cold, and try as he might to slow down, he was greedy for air. “Hama,” he whispered between frantic gulps, feeling around the creaking bed, searching through the blankets.

Finally, he forced his eyes open. Blinked the matter out of them, let them adjust to the dimness. His head was swimming, but breathing was getting easier. The dregs of his dream drained from his head; he tried to hold onto them, but they were gone, and there was no making sense of the panic. He was left with the steady thud of his pulse, the rhythm of his breath, the empty bed with its cold twist of sheets and moth-eaten blankets. Still, lavender and sage and patchouli hung thick in the air, clinging with the faint but ever-present smell of cannabis. It set his heart at ease.

Tom disentangled himself from the sheet, lying there for a moment on his back. The curtains were drawn and the shutters shut tight against the Intas chill, but a pale, frosty light drifted in through the cracks.

It took him awhile to orient himself. Sitting on the edge of the bed, he groaned, pressing the heel of his palm to his forehead; that dull headache, that old demon, had started up at the base of his skull again. Last night’d been his first long, deep sleep in days. He’d been tangled up in work for weeks, taking what little rest he could get where he could get it, and now, he felt as if he were taking his first few breaths after he’d had his head held under the water.

He would’ve sworn he could see his breath misting in the air, but he knew it was much colder out there. In fact, it was warmer in here than it should’ve been, warmer than it’d been when he’d gotten in. Somebody must’ve lit the woodstove. Ishma had been out when he’d gotten in in the small hours of the morning, and Tom wondered when he’d gotten back. By the light and by his senses, he thought it must’ve been sometime around noon, but he didn’t know for sure.

At length, he forced himself to stand up, rolling his shoulders and wincing at a crack in his back. He’d dropped off in his clothes, and even under heavy wool, he shivered from the cold. As he left the bedside, he dragged the blanket with him, wrapping it round his shoulders.

Tom was still knuckling the sleep out of his eyes when he wandered out, and so he didn’t see her immediately. He heard the low crackle of the woodstove – and smelled it – before he saw it, and he smiled tiredly. “Hama?” he called; the old floorboards creaked under his heavy footsteps. There was no response. Grunting irritatedly, drawing his aching shoulders up and burrowing deeper into the patchy wool, he dragged himself over to the stove, thinking he might put on a pot of water—

When he glanced out into the room, he finally saw her, nestled on the sofa. He raised his heavy brows, pausing with one big hand curled round the handle of the kettle. “Hey, hey. Look what the banderwolf dragged in,” he said, gravelly and slurred with sleep, but a little softer. “Far’ye, Caina?” He squinted for a moment, brow furrowing. “What’s that you’ve got?”

He didn’t spare it much thought. The kettle was still mostly full, so he set it on the stove, then wandered over to the cabinet.

“Can I get you a cup of tea, lass?”
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Last edited by Tom Cooke on Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 703

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Caina Rose
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri May 31, 2019 6:10 pm
Topics: 6
Race: Human
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
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Plot Notes: Plot Notes
Writer: Bash
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Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:09 am

Quarter Fords • Anaxas/Old Rose Harbor
on the 13th of Intas, 2715 • during the time of afternoon
C aina spent most of her days on the streets, waking up before dawn and spending the day until the sun went down either begging or working for what little pay she could get. It had been almost five years since her father died- the anniversary was in just a few month’s time. And like every year around this time, her thoughts were turning more and more to her family. How her mother was always cold, and kept the fire burning day and night, not caring about the cost. And her father would already be hinting about her birthday present, even though her actual birthday was a month away.

She’d sit at the docks and pretend her father was right next to her, standing close enough like he always did, so as to make sure that she wouldn’t fall. Caina had been terrified of the docks as a child, refused to go near them without holding onto her father’s hand. She used to have nightmares of falling into the swirling darkness of the waves, and falling deeper and deeper for all eternity. But her father had gotten her a book about the ocean, and Caina learned how full of life it was.

That had been when she was six, and the fear had disappeared soon afterwards. Her nightmares persisted, though they held much darker content.

Five years, alone. It was true that Caina had found a friend in Tom Cooke, that she frequently visited his and Ishma’s house in the Quarter Fords, but she didn’t live with them. Besides the fact that there wasn’t enough space for her there, the wounds were still too fresh. She was unwilling to consider this place home, even after Tom had given her a key and told her to come by whenever she needed a place to stay. Well, those weren’t his exact words. “In case you’re ever freezing to death again,” He’d said, and Caina’d known what he meant.

Over the past four years, Caina had grown more and more comfortable with entering their home, especially unannounced, and when nobody was there. She’d started hiding clothes and other supplies under the couch, where she thought no one would look.

Which brought her to this morning. Caina had woken in the room she’d been renting for the last week, torn from sleep by a new nightmare. She had been in the house in Quarter Fords, with Tom and Ish, and her father had walked through the door. He’d taken one look at the three of them together and started to yell- calling her a terrible daughter, that she’d abandoned her family. That her mother had been right, and she should’ve been the one to die, instead of him.

A quick breakfast of stolen fruit, and it was down to the docks. But Caina was distracted for most of the morning, and decided not to return after lunch. Her mind was on a particular book, hidden in a shirt underneath Tom’s sofa. It was her favorite, but Caina hadn’t read it since her father passed, and a good portion of the details had slipped from her mind.

So she slipped quietly through the streets of the Rose, and knocked on the door of the house. No one answered, so she’d let herself in. That’s what the key was for, after all. Apparently Tom and Ishma were out for the day, so she started a fire and got comfortable.

The shambling steps of a ‘zombie’ pulled Caina from her book-stupor, but she didn’t look up until He spoke.
“It’s a book. You’ve seen one before, right?”
She finally replied as she marked her page and shut the book.

“I’d love one, please.”
She pushed the book underneath the couch, not even trying to hide the movement, and stood, carrying her own blanket over her shoulders.
word count: 738
User avatar
Tom Cooke
Posts: 253
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2018 3:15 pm
Topics: 29
Location: Vienda, but also hell
Race: Raen
: "disturbingly unheimlich individual"
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
Post Templates: Notes & Tracker
Writer: Graf
Contact:

Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:19 pm

Ishma’s House The Dives
Afternoon on the 13th of Intas, 2715
Tom laughed, oes. He did. He laughed.

But for once, something about that joke’d hurt. Still, he watched her across the little house, tucking her book away. He knew about her little cache underneath the couch. It’d always been a point of contention with Ish, but Tom didn’t see any harm in it. He didn’t see as there was any reason to let her know he knew, either. It was hard enough to earn her trust, and he reckoned that was for the best: the Rose was a hard place. But it wasn’t always she decided to stay here, and he wondered what’d brought her this time.

The kettle creaked, popped; he could hear the susurrus of its warming, the stirring of the water. All the while, he busied himself with the tea. He got down a couple of mugs, one a lopsided clay thing, the other shot through with a crack that made it look like it was going to fall apart any day. He shuffled round on the counter, round the blackened, cold stick of incense Ish’d left out, the ashes, an empty glass that caught the light from the window.

He found the old tin jar underneath that window, and he paused to look out. Hama’s winter garden, as opposed to his spring, summer, fall gardens. Some things always thrived, dusted with frost though they might’ve been: the delicate red quince, petals like drops of blood among the curling, bird’s-limb thin branches – the witch hazel, winterbloom, pale yellow and spiky. The goldenrod and mint, friends all the year.

The teapot was nearby, and he scooped in a couple spoons of black tea leaves, breathing in the bitter-dark scent in the still-chilly air. He heard soft, padding footsteps – she always walked quiet, did Caina, quiet as a cat – and the hiss of another blanket dragging on the old wood. He turned around, leaning back against the counter, watching her as she came to the table.

He offered her a wry, crooked smile, scratching at his beard. “I’ve seen ’em, I reckon. Can’t say I ever opened one,” he replied. He crossed his arms, watching her. His dark eyes glittered under his heavy brow.

Kettle started whistling, then, and the shrill noise cut through the quiet, stole his attention. He took it off the stove, bringing it over to the pot. He waited a few seconds, careful. Right after they’d moved in together, when they’d had the most troubles, Ish’d told him – hurt, he remembered, about something else – that he always burned the tea, that you had to wait. That you couldn’t pour boiling water over the leaves, that it’d come out wrong.

So Tom waited, counting out the breaths, and when the water’d calmed down, he poured it in. Steam billowed up in the air, and, wafting on it, the tang of bohea – dark, but with a twist of orange. He waited there a few minutes, waiting for it to steep. Waiting, too, for Caina to get settled, before he turned his attention back on her, before he said anything else.

Then he poured out two cups of tea, still at the counter. Quick-like, hiding the motion with his blanket, he fumbled his little flask out of a pocket. There was still a little in the bottom, and he poured just a touch into his mug, the cracked one – maybe a shot. He tucked it away just as covertly.

Still steaming, he brought the cups over to the table, setting one in front of her and one in front of the vacant seat. He left the pot over on the counter.

He sat down across from her careful, ’cause he’d never much liked the way that old chair creaked. He couldn’t help a little clumsiness, though. He felt creaky enough himself: his shoulder hurt, and his legs, and his ribs, and his erse. And his head, always aching. He must’ve had a dozen bruises. He’d felt it all when he’d staggered in last night, when all he could do was collapse into bed, but he’d forgotten about it awhile. Now, he moved like a man who’d just taken a beating. Then again, when didn’t he?

He rested an elbow on the table, tapping his mug with his fingertips. Tea was still too hot to drink, so he just raised his brows, looking across at Caina.

“I’m told a book’s usually about somethin’,” he started, after an expectant pause.
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word count: 808
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