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Exposition-->Rising Action; Open to all, Late Junior Year
Topic Started: Jul 13 2012, 03:33 PM (2,066 Views)
Laurels
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Cause what you see isn't always the truth
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Rhiannon looked at the knife on the table. It was quite lovely. The handle looked ornate, the wood of the handle must have been carved from a century-old tree. A diamond pattern was carved into the handle. The blade itself was crescent shaped, with small etchings on sharp end. "Servire nocte" the steel letters read.

"An old language," Rhiannon thought to herself. "What does it mean?"

Rhiannon may not have understood the language on the knife, but she knew the secret language of the knife itself. Whoever sent the blade to her made a clear statement: they were going to kill her.


Rachael looked at the text on her laptop screen. She had spent the last few weeks working on a short story she hoped to submit to a literary magazine. The story was about a noblewoman who finds a knife in her bedroom, leading her to believe an assassin is after her so her enemies can seize her lands.

Rachael still had a long way to go though. She only finally began to write the story after laboring over the details of who the woman would interrogate, what her actions result in, and what the knife was really about. But fortunately, she was in the final week of her Junior year, when classes were much more relaxed and she could spend her free time sitting in one of the Aurora High gazebos typing away on the laptop she got last Christmas.

Rachael grabbed the bottled green tea next to her and took a sip. It was pretty hot today. She wore a light shirt and pants, but the humidity was starting to get to her. She had plenty of time before the next class period (where she would most likely just keep working on the story, but hopefully near an outlet for her laptop), so she decided to keep writing.

Okay, time to begin the interrogations. First, Sir Waldo of Rhiannos Wood.

She picked up her mp3 player and flipped to a song from Wicked. She started typing on her laptop and watched as the document filled with her story.
Edited by Laurels, Sep 21 2012, 02:34 PM.
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Yaz took her headband off and wiped the sweat that was forming under it off her forehead as she made her way across the campus. It was a really humid day and she was hot even though she was only wearing a black tank top and a pair of tight fitting jeans. It wasn't like the clothes she had got any thinner either. So she was stuck with what she had on.

Yaz had managed to find a gazebo that seemed empty and she was making her way towards it. As she did so she opened up her bag and took her sketchbook out. Since the gazebo seemed empty it would be easy for her to just put some good time into her current drawing. She had her headphones in and was listening to Three Days Grace. Yaz always found that she worked better and was more creative whenever she listened to music.

As she walked into the gazebo however she saw that there was actually someone in the gazebo already. Yaz froze momentarily. She recognised the person as Rachael but she couldn't remember her surname. Luckily for Yaz Rachael was also listening to music and had yet to notice her. Yaz pulled her headphones out and said a greeting.

She then stood there awkwardly. Rachael must have had her music on louder than Yaz had thought since it didn't look like she had heard her. Yaz didn't want to interrupt Rachael because she seemed to be concentrating, but at the same time she didn't want to just sit down because that would be weird for Rachael. One minute she was on her own and then when she looks up someone is sitting next to her. Yaz didn't want that to happen to her so she didn't want to do it to Rachael so instead she opted for the simplest thing she could think of. She waved at Rachael from over the top of her laptop hoping she caught her eye so she could stop feeling so awkward.
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Cause what you see isn't always the truth
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Sir Waldo, I hope you understand why I brought you here," she spoke to the knight in silver.

"Yes m'lady," he responded. "I assure you I had nothing to do with that


Rachael was suddenly distracted by some movement. She quickly looked up and noticed that there was a girl standing above her, greeting her. Rachael quickly removed the ear buds.

"Oh, uh, hi there," she quickly muttered.

She took a quick sip of her drink and put the ear buds back in her ears. She didn't really know the girl that well. She knew who she was, Yasmin Carroll, but never really spoke to her that much in the three years she'd been at Aurora. Rachael then turned back to her story and tried to keep typing.

Yes m'lady," he responded. "I assure you I had nothing to do with that knife. Rhiannos Wood doesn't produce materials to make such a weapon."

"Yes," Rhiannon said, "but you are rich in lumber. The trees in Rhiannos Wood produce some of the finest lumber for construction in the country. I'm sure someone of your wealth could easily purchase a knife like this, or supply the wood for the handle. So, where did you get it from?


Rachael paused. She needed to have Rhiannon list a few fictional places, but none were coming to her. Maybe it was the humidity, or maybe it was writer's block. She needed to think of a few names.

That's when she remembered that Yasmin was still in the gazebo. Rachael removed her ear buds and began to speak.

"Excuse me. Excuse me. If you could build your own fictional kingdom, what would you call it?"

Rachael hoped that she heard that.
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Rachael had greeted her and then gone back to typing on her laptop. So Yaz just sat down cross-legged on the bench within the gazebo and rested her sketchbook on her lap. She flipped through some of the pages until she reached the picture she wanted to work on. It was currently just some basic outlines that she wanted to add to and then shade. She thought it was kind of rude for Rachael to go straight back to listening to her music and typing. But then she had said "Hi" and Yaz wasn't exactly amazing at conversations anyway so it wasn't all bad. Just in case though she put her right ear bud in so that if Rachael did decide to talk to her, she'd be able to hear her.

The picture she was currently drawing was of some creature climbing a tree in some kind of twisted forest. Yaz had a distinctive style to her drawings where the limbs of a creature would seem to be elongated and the one she was drawing had really long arms which she'd only just noticed. She shrugged and started to shade in the tree it was climbing up. She didn't exactly know what texture she wanted the creature to have so she was going to shade it last so that she had more time to get an idea or decide how she wanted it to look. Yaz liked her pieces to have a specific feel and she tended to be very specific with the details of whatever she was drawing.

Just as she was getting engrossed in the piece however she heard a voice addressing her.

"Excuse me. Excuse me. If you could build your own fictional kingdom, what would you call it?"

That caught Yaz off guard and she froze.

"I don't know much about fantasy." Yaz muttered to herself before turning to Rachael and giving her a nervous smile. "Ummm, I have no ideas." She muttered again before shaking her head. "How about...Runedara? Maybe Yundrasa?" Yaz rubbed her headband. "Sorry if they aren't very good." She said apologetically.

Yaz didn't know how Rachael would react to her ideas but she seemed to be fairly similar to her when it came to conversations. So if she didn't like her ideas she might not say so. Not that Yaz minded, she didn't exactly consider herself to be very good at conversation anyway, let alone with someone she only knew the name of. She tended to keep her sentences short if she was talking to someone she didn't know very well. It was her own way of protection she had developed. It meant she could see how the other person acted and whether they were actually a nice person to talk too. Right now it seemed that Rachael was a person Yaz would be able to talk to.
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Cause what you see isn't always the truth
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Yasmin seemed a bit uncertain about names. Rachael was okay with that. Not everyone could get deep into a fantasy mindset, especially with how limitless fantasy could get at times. Coming up with a name from scratch could be difficult for some.

How about...Runedara? Maybe Yundrasa? Sorry if they aren't very good.

"Uh, no, it's fine. Those will work perfectly," Rachael responded, typing into her laptop.

"So, where did you get the knife from? Runedara? Yundrasa? Any of them would love to have me out of the way."

"Yeah, I can work with these. I just need names to assign people to," she said aloud, "like the King of Runedara and such. Thanks."

I better be sure to ask her for help if I need it. These names aren't like Rhiannos Wood, but they can suggest foreign countries that might want Lady Rhiannon's land. So in which case, the King of Runedara would probably be her next suspect, then I guess the Lady of Yundrasa. Yeah, this will work. This will work for the narrative. Three figures, three kingdoms to suspect, three people to declare war against.
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"No problem." Yaz replied.

Rachael seemed to be alright with her ideas for kingdom names; she'd said that she'd need to assign names to people and then she'd gone back to typing. Yaz had gone back to working on her piece and was looking intently at the creature occupying a large space slightly to the right of the centre. She had been engrossed in the piece before Rachael had asked for help and now Yaz couldn't get her concentration back. She had been thinking of a specific way to shade it so that it popped out more than the rest of the picture but she had forgotten what that way was.

Yaz could still here the sound of Rachael typing and peeked over to see that Rachael was immersed in the story she was writing. She didn't exactly know what Rachael was writing but Yaz was finding that she couldn't regain her focus on the piece she'd been working on. She flipped back through the sketchbook to see if she could find inspiration from any past pieces but apart from finding out that she'd drawn a knight with spikes all over their armour which she couldn't remember there was nothing to help her with what she was currently working on.

Yaz sighed and looked over at Rachael again she didn't seem to be having the same problems and Yaz was getting increasingly curious as to what she was actually writing. Yaz carefully set her sketchbook down next to her before starting to speak.

"What..." Yaz couldn't even believe herself sometimes. "What are you writing?" She asked nervously.
Edited by Deamon, Jul 18 2012, 05:43 PM.
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Well, the deed was done. Sir Waldo was in jail. The lord or Rhiannos Wood would probably take offense to his brother being arrested. She would let him go, once she knew he wasn't responsible for the knife. She at least had a knight of Runedara and Yundrasa in her castle, so Rhiannon knew she would be able to find the intended assassin by then.

Queen Lyrrine's favorite knight was next. Sir Essmall of Yundrasa would likely crack if Rhiannon interrogated him enough.


What......What are you writing?

Rachael quickly looked up. Yasmin was curious about the story. Rachael figured that was likely, since Rachael asked her to contribute.

"Oh, uh," she said, taking her earbuds out, "just a story I'm writing. I, uh, like to write, and submit to some magazines. Nothing has been published yet, but this might be the one."

She took a quick sip of her drink.

"Yeah, this one is about a lady who finds a knife in her room and thinks someone's trying to kill her, so she investigates a few people and arrests them."

"So, uh, what are you drawing?"
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Yaz wasn't aware that Rachael wrote stories and sent them to magazines. It seemed very similar to what Yaz did with photography magazines. Rachael seemed pretty confident with the story she was currently writing. Yaz thought story sounded interesting. Although she was more interested in drawing and photography Yaz did like to read if a book caught her eye but she couldn't exactly judge the quality of them. Yaz did sometimes read comics if that counted, but that was few and far between.

Then Rachael asked what Yaz was drawing and that was where it always got awkward for Yaz. She found it hard to explain to people why she was always drawing monsters since that was personal to her. She was also aware that it was awkward for people to hear why since it was linked to when she was bullied about her height when she was younger. It was the main reason why all her drawings of creatures had weird proportions and were all really tall and Yaz didn't like explaining that to people. She flipped the sketchbook back to what she'd been drawing and showed it to Rachael.

"It isn't finished but it's going to be a monster in some woods. I was just trying to figure out how to shade it." Yaz flipped through the rest of her sketchbook to give Rachael an idea of what else she drew. "I also take pictures and send them to magazines and stuff. Kinda like you do with your stories." Yaz had no idea why she had added the bit about her photography but know she had said it she just had to wait for Rachael's reaction.
Edited by Deamon, Jul 19 2012, 05:38 PM.
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Rachael watched as Yasmin flipped the sketchbook open and tossed the pages. She showed Rachael a terrifying image, explaining that it is supposed to be some kind of monster in the woods.

"Yikes," was all Rachael said when she saw the image.

One of the things Rachael enjoyed about literature was that it allowed her to form the images in her own head, so any sort of person or creature could look the way she envisioned it. If the person or thing was shown to her with an accompanying image, she found that it could spoil the fantasy of it and force her to view it that specific way. This was particularly awful if it was something terrifying. Cthulu was terrifying to imagine, but Rachael had seen plenty of illustrations of the monster that drove men to madness at the sight of the unearthly monster, and that terrified her. Same with any detailed image of the mechanical dog from Fahrenheit 451 or Carroll's Jabberwocky.

Yasmin then mentioned getting sending photographs to magazines as well.

"Oh, I didn't know you could do that," Rachael said. "I thought magazines hired photographers for specific stories. Or, is it for art magazines, where anyone can get their pictures published? Any success so far?"
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Rachael didn't have much of a reaction to the picture which was fine with Yaz. It meant that she didn't have to explain what the picture meant to her or why she drew the pictures she drew. It was something Yaz didn't like explaining to people she wasn't comfortable with and even then she rarely explained it to people anyway. It was a subject Yaz didn't especially like talking about with anyone but sometimes she had too and she was glad it wasn't one of those times.

Rachael then started asking questions about Yaz's photography and it would have been impolite to leave them unanswered.

"Yeah it's for art magazines and stuff like that. I had one photo published earlier this year but none since then, which is sucky."

It for Yaz to talk about something she liked to do with no strings attached. Photography was like drawing for her but without the negative feelings...did she just say 'sucky'? There Yaz was having a regular conversation and then she had to ruin it. Yaz felt her cheeks start to go red and she held a hand over her face.

"Nice one." She muttered to herself.
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Rachael nodded as Yasmin explained the magazines. She thought that was cool. She didn't think someone Yasmin's age would get pictures published in a magazine, so that sounded like quite the accomplishment.

Yasmin then turned red and buried her face in her hand. Rachael paused.

"Uh, are you alright?"

Huh. What's wrong with her? Oh, the story!

Rachael quickly turned back to her story and clicked the save button. She had no idea how much time she had left on her laptop battery, so she quickly saved the document so she wouldn't lose anything.

She then turned back to Yasmin. Was she any better?
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Every time Yaz got involved in a conversation she always managed to say something stupid or maybe she was just worrying too much about what she said to people and how they'd react. Yaz didn't really know herself, but she did tend to think about what she was saying and consider how people would react.

Yaz was brought back to reality when Rachael asked her if she was alright. "Huh? Oh yeah I'm fine." She gave a small smile. "Sorry I tend to think too much about what I say. Do you ever do that?"

Yaz wondered if it would help if she talked to someone about the habit she had. Not that it was all bad. But over thinking what she said; especially in regards to wondering what people thought her probably wasn't the healthiest thing for her mentally. Taking into account how much Yaz worried about what she said especially. So talking to Rachael about it may be for the best, because she seemed friendly at least.
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Rachael sighed when Yasmin revealed she was okay. That was weird, and Rachael wasn't sure how to react about that. Yasmin explained that it was mostly just her overthinking what she says. She asked Rachael if she every did that.

"Um, I believe so. Well, at least if I'm near people I don't know. Sometimes I feel like I really need to make a good impression to them, although it can be weird at times. Especially if they make it hard to feel comfortable."

"Do you get what I'm saying? Sorry if I'm being confusing."

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“Yeah, I get like that all the time,” Arthur said to Yaz. “I was almost like that right now.”

By the fourth or fifth time Arthur made himself go outdoors and draw, his initial anxiety at the prospect had started to abate. It wasn’t the wide open space that made him nervous. He kind of liked the fresh air when there wasn’t any dust or pollen being blown into his face. It wasn’t the hard and dirty surfaces that were uncomfortable to sit or lie on. He could get used to that. It wasn’t even the idea of walking everywhere. The more opportunities he got to shave off calories, the better.

No, it was the loneliness that got to him. He didn’t often go out by himself because of how quiet everything was around him. There were barely any people outside, all of them strangers and unknowns, and so he started to feel like the friendly faces from his memories didn’t exist at all. If he were to need help, or if some of his more negative thoughts started to surface, he wouldn’t be able to lean on anyone. It was why he liked the internet so much. He had so many people available through one filter, at least in theory, and so he never felt alone for long. Even though he had a laptop, using it outdoors was quite the challenge, and so he often didn’t bother, putting him back at square one.

His comfort zone was squarely with his laptop, indoors, taking in things and learning rather than putting them out there for everyone to see. But sooner or later, he’d have to leave that zone, whether he liked it or not. He could already assume that Yaz and Rachael were already starting out on that path. And so he greeted them when he saw them at the gazebo, sketchbook and pencil in hand. He was a little louder than he’d liked to have been in answering Yaz’s question, but he was so happy to have actually heard that from thirty feet away that he didn’t wait to answer.

Once that happened, he walked over to the gazebo and sat down across from Rachael. She was smart enough to have brought her laptop, apparently, not that she was using it. “What’re you doing with that?” he asked her. “More writing?”
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Yaz listened to Rachael's response and found that she had a similar thought process when it came to what she said. She was starting to enjoy talking to Rachael more as well, which was always a bonus. She nodded as Rachael spoke and smiled when she had finished speaking. It was almost like hearing someone say exactly what Yaz did. Whether that was weird or not Yaz had yet to decide. In any case she understood what Rachael was saying exactly. "No I get what you're saying." Yaz said with a reassuring grin. "Mainly because I'm the exact same way."

Then a voice addressing her directly rang out across the campus making her jump. "Jesus!" Yaz turned to see Arthur Wells standing a little way behind her. She had art class with Arthur but she hadn't spoken to him too much. She was friendly with him but Yaz didn't talk to many people during her art classes, she mainly just put her ear buds in and got lost in her work. She'd speak to her close friends but that was about it since Yaz's true passion was art and when she was truly focused on her piece it was very hard to snap her out of it.

"Hey Arthur." Yaz said with a friendly smile. "What're you doing out here?"
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