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The Little Bird Falls

 
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Cassidy Finch
The Belle of Rookery Row
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm


Joined: 01 Feb 2013
Posts: 54
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Jobs: Artist, Schoolteacher
Can Be Found: Rookery Row
2242.26 Silver Crowns

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:20 pm    Post subject: The Little Bird Falls Reply with quote

“Crap. Ow, ow, ow!”

Splash.

What just happened?

Where am I?

What is that smell?

Oh gross, what is all over my jeans?

Let’s go back to those first questions. Where in the world am I?


Her jeans had torn through in the knees. Not the stylish, intentionally distressed sort of tearing that was so fashionable these days but rather straight through the denim to scrape away even the top couple of layers of skin. Cassie got to her feet, her scuffed hands finding purchase on the edge of a grimy dumpster to pull herself up. Converse squished through muck and melting snow as she turned a slow circle, trying to orient herself. The door she had tripped through was nowhere to be found, brick walls rising high on either side of her. A sliver of clouded night sky diffused silvery moonlight and cast a pallid glow over the alley she was occupying.

“Aiden?” Her voice echoed, bouncing from wall to wall until it died unanswered.

He was right behind me, wasn’t he?

~*~

Aiden picked me up from Ivanna Cone at nine-thirty, maybe a little after. I wasn’t supposed to close but Jess begged me to stay for her. She said she had a big test to study for but I know she was just going over to her boyfriend’s for the night. Definitely no studying going on there unless it’s anatomy. Thankfully I’m pretty quick at closing so it’s just a matter of running the deposit by the bank and that’s that. Aiden got a little sidetracked though. He swore it would only take a couple minutes, that he had to stop and meet up with someone. The bank’s way across town, so I guess it was okay. It was an area that I wasn’t really familiar with. The sort of place that my dad would throttle me for walking alone in even with pepper spray.

He left me in the car. Five minutes tops, he swore. Five became ten, ten became thirty. I sent him a text somewhere around the twenty minute mark to see if things were okay but he didn’t answer. Ugh. I didn’t want to go in. There was something that just felt intrinsically off about the place, you know? Like a bad energy. But I got out of the car and locked it. In a neighborhood like this, I couldn’t leave my backpack, not with the deposit in it, so I took that with me too. Maybe I’ve seen too many horror movies or something, but this definitely felt like a bad idea…


~*~

“Aiden? Aiden, where are you?” Cassie called again, her chest tightening with rising panic. Her backpack was still on her shoulders, the heavy weight slowing her trudge toward the mouth of the alley. One hand steadied her with a drag against the wall, raking over brick as if it might reveal some secret entryway that she may have stumbled from without realizing it. Its facade was unbroken. With a resigned slump of her shoulders, she emerged from the alley and looked for the car or for Aiden. Maybe he had gotten ahead of her. His red Mitsubishi Lancer was nowhere to be found, nor was Aiden, and to be honest she didn’t recognize the street upon which she had spilled out from the alleyway. Worse, the overwhelming scent of brine and dead fish hit her hard enough to make her stomach turn.

Wait. The ocean?

Beyond the row of buildings opposite of her, she could hear the steady slap of water against wood. It wasn’t possible though, was it? They had been hours from the ocean. Maybe she was imagining things. Her fingers touched to a warm trickle along her hairline, just above her left temple. They came away wet and red. She must have bumped her head when she took that tumble.

That explains it. I’ve got a concussion.

Cassidy swallowed down the bile that tickled the back of her throat. She so didn’t do well with blood even if it was her own. Adjusting one strap of her backpack, she then checked her pockets for her phone. The groan was instantaneous once she pulled it out. Spiderwebbed cracks covered the entirety of the screen, distorting the display into a rainbow of colors that refracted moonlight into technicolor sparkles.

“Crap.”
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Cassidy Finch
The Belle of Rookery Row
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm


Joined: 01 Feb 2013
Posts: 54
See this user's pet
Jobs: Artist, Schoolteacher
Can Be Found: Rookery Row
2242.26 Silver Crowns

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

“Okay. Okay, find the waterline as a point of reference and see if anyone there can help. Right.” Cassie mumbled to herself as she stepped out of the shadows and into the hazy lamplight offered by one of the few working streetlights in the area. It wasn’t a good neighborhood to be in alone but it wasn’t the worst thing in the world. She was trying to be positive and not think about the uneasy feeling in the pit of her stomach. Something was terribly wrong but if she acknowledged it, it would give it validation and validating it would make it real.

We’ll play pretend for a little while, Clover. Then we’ll go home and not think about it. And we’ll yell at Aiden for leaving us alone. Maybe break up with him. Yeah, that’ll show him.

She had tucked her broken phone back into her pocket, tiny slivers of shattered glass catching the thin fabric of her jean pockets and rubbing uncomfortably against her leg. It was another “ouch” added to the list. Between her head and the various scrapes that spread red across her knees and palms both, what was a little glass in the leg?

Who am I kidding? I won’t break up with him. Only guy to show interest in me in forever, yeah, totally going to throw that away. Ugh, you’re so dumb, Cass.

Ten minutes brought her to a rickety boardwalk lining the harbor. Long docks stretched out into the black waters, the wood worn and warped but sturdy. Many had boats tethered, bobbing in slips and grazing bumpers with each wave that sloshed against their hulls. Despite the late hour, there was a boon of activity, sailors unloading cargo or stumbling like drunken ants in and out of the neon illuminated taverns along the pier.

Where in the world am I?

~*~

It was a fairly normal looking building even if it was a little run down. Not quite a warehouse but not quite a storefront, it was a big brick behemoth of a place with a single door in the front. No windows, at least not that I could see. I left the car behind and stumped it to the door. Knocking, my knuckles rattled the metal and made it echo. No answer. Against my better judgment and contrary to everything I’ve ever been taught, I opened the door and stepped inside. It was almost darker within than it was outside, but I could tell I was in a fairly narrow entryway. Surely there would be more light further inside. Taking my phone out, I turned the flashlight function on, the blinding LED flash on the back of the smartphone illuminating the area for me.

God bless modern technology.

The room was empty, void of people and furniture both. The paint was peeling in curling strips and one wall was painted with a rather crude and not very anatomically correct spraypainted, um, man-part. That was gross. Abruptly clearing my throat, I hurried down the only way forward, another dark hallway. The whitewashed glow of my phone told me that this place hadn’t been in use for quite some time, which made me wonder exactly what business Aiden had coming here. Various footprints cut through the dust, dirt, and other detritus scattered across the floor. At the far end of the hall, what looked to be the last door on the right had a crack of light beneath it. It was the only source of light aside from my phone so that’s where I went.

Turning off the flashlight when I got close, I put my ear up to the door and listened. There were definitely voices on the other side but the door was so thick I couldn’t hear what they were saying. Leaning closer, I felt the door budge slightly under the pressure but before I could retreat, it swung open, dumping me on the floor in a less than graceful heap. That’s me, beauty and grace. Someone roughly hauled me up to my feet by my elbow amidst the commotion. I heard Aiden yell my name above the din, something about how I was supposed to wait in the car. Yeah, well this wouldn’t have been a problem had he kept me in the loop. It was a mess of unfamiliar faces, Aiden among them. He was wrestling over what looked to be a gun with a man much bigger than him.

“Cassie, run!” Aiden yelled just as the gun went off. In such close confines, I couldn’t hear a thing after that, my ears ringing and upsetting my balance. But Aiden said to run. So I ran.


~*~

“Watch it!” A gruff voice came with a rougher shove, sending her tripping over upturned crates. Catching herself just barely, she mumbled a diffident apology and hurried away from the throng of disgruntled deckhands who had been interrupted in their unloading. Even when she was paying attention, she still seemed to be under foot and no matter how much she tried to pipe up, nobody was quite friendly enough to answer her questions. So she continued along, away from the waterfront and into the city.


Last edited by Cassidy Finch on Sun Mar 20, 2016 2:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Cassidy Finch
The Belle of Rookery Row
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm


Joined: 01 Feb 2013
Posts: 54
See this user's pet
Jobs: Artist, Schoolteacher
Can Be Found: Rookery Row
2242.26 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember it all. I’m not sure that I want to remember it but I do. It came back in little bits and pieces at first, usually mixed with the worst parts of my nightmares. I’d wake up sweating and on the verge of tears. Tralle is such a light sleeper that he usually came to me before I even woke up. I had no explanation for just what was bothering me though, which I think frustrated him. When he gets frustrated, his eyes get dark and he scowls deeply like I’ve just offended his ancestors or something.

It feels like it was really far away but in reality it was only six months ago that I watched them execute my boyfriend right in front of me. I think to protect myself, my memory decided to stop paying attention after Aiden told me to run. But even after the first shot went off, I couldn’t have moved even if I wanted to. My ears were ringing from it going off in such tight quarters and the man that had pulled me to my feet kept such a tight hold on my arm that I thought he was going to squeeze my elbow off. The other guy got the gun away from Aiden and whacked him across the back of the head with it. He dropped like a rock but they yanked him up onto his knees.

In one moment I was looking into Aiden’s out of focus eyes and the next I was covered in his blood and there was bits of skull and grey matter painted across the floor. There and gone, just like that.

They debated over what to do about me. After all, I had seen too much. I kept my eyes down, refused to look at them as if it would help my case. Coward, that’s what I was. If I was going to die, I should have done so with my chin held high. Go out with dignity, not cowering like a baby.

“I won’t tell… I promise.” I murmured. Their bickering screeched to a halt and they both stared at me. My arm was starting to go numb where the man’s grip cut off the circulation to my lower arm. He loosened it just slightly but I could tell that they were both staring at me like they didn’t know what to do. So I tried again. “M-my name is Cassie. Cassie Finch. I’m only nineteen. I h-have two siblings, Larken and Atticus. They’re both younger than me but we’re really close. I… have parents too… Charity’s my mom. Adam’s my dad, he’s a Colonel in the Army. I don’t want to die…”

“Shut up.” The one holding my arm gave it a jerk as if jarring me into silence. Needless to say, I shut up and kept my head down. “Stay here, don’t ****ing move.”

I nodded meekly and stood exactly where they had left me as they moved away to quietly confer with each other. My eyes were awful but my hearing more than made up for it. They debated back and forth on whether or not to kill me and dump me wherever they dumped Aiden. But my tactics paid off. The argument then turned to just what would happen if they killed some Army Colonel’s kid. I was just a kid after all. Slowly their argument escalated until they were yelling back and forth at one another. One shoved another and I took that as my opportunity to run.

And run I did.

Out a different door than the one I had come through, down a pitch black hallway, around a corner, and right into a heavy, metal door. There were footsteps behind me as I tried to wrench the rusted door open. Running had been a terrible idea. Why did I run? I threw every bit of (lacking) muscle I had into it and finally it jerked open. Moonlight streamed into the shadows of the alley beyond and I was just about to dash when…

BANG.

And that’s how I ended up in Rhy’Din.

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