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Roots of Jade; Calling on Medic
Topic Started: Feb 6 2016, 01:22 PM (1,274 Views)
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((Clarice Halwood continued from Hecate on Roman Halloween.))

Bowling time! Bowling wasn't something Clarice did too much, but she enjoyed it when she did. Hell, she enjoyed any competition, really. And it was all the better when she was challenging a friend.

She'd jogged to the bowling alley—why miss the chance for exercise—and took a moment to stretch outside before going in. She spotted Kimiko sitting nearby, looking at her phone, so she ran over and smacked her shoulder lightly and playfully.

Her and Kimiko had been friends for ages. She'd admittedly, same as most others, seen her as 'the mute Asian kid' before she'd seen her as just Kimiko. But Clarice had known what it was like for people to see your race before they saw you, so she'd tried to talk to her. And it turned out to be super easy to get along with her. Anyone who hated bullies, got that politics were important and was just as generally awesome as Kimiko was would always be great in Clarice's book. Even if Clarice didn't always quite grasp the Taiwanese politics that Kimiko was concerned with, although she tried to follow as best she could.

You ready to get your butt kicked?” Clarice signed, grinning.
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“I don't think so. I know so,” Clarice teased. Well, really, she figured the chance was about equal for either of them. Neither of them were actually bowlers, and it wasn't as if Kimiko didn't have arm strength. She was a gymnast, for fuck's sake.

She wandered towards the desk where games were paid for and shoes were rented. She signed as she trotted along. She used to have a problem where she'd try to sign too fast or too enthusiastically, and her various signs would just blend together.

Nah, that carpet's gonna survive until the apocalypse. Besides, no matter what you spill on it stains blend right in. Super practical, really.

Clarice opened her mouth to ask the person working the desk to rent a lane, before letting out a little 'oh' under her breath and turning back to Kimiko.

How many games do you want to play? And what shoe size?
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Gotcha.

Outloud, she asked the person at the counter for two games and two sets of shoes. Soon, they sent Clarice and Kimiko to Lane 3. Clarice grinned as she pushed Kimiko's bowling shoes into her hands before trotting towards the lane.

She recalled going bowling with her mother the last time her mother came to visit her instead of Clarice going to her. Clarice had always preferred visiting her mother than vice versa, since it meant also connecting with the part of her family that lived in Kayenta, and had always done so since getting her licence. But she remembered it being fun. Her mother was similarly competitive.

Do you want to go first? Should I?” she signed, once she'd put her shoes on the ground and dropped into a chair so she could put them on. “Also, how are things? I saw you going—“ Clarice made an exaggerated sigh. “—for a moment right when I was coming in. While looking at your phone? Anything up?

Once she was done, she started putting on her shoes. The only real issue with ASL is that she couldn't really do it when her hands were busy. Any chatter would have to be crammed in between rounds. Not too different than only being able to talk between mouthfuls of food during a meal, and on her part she could say things outloud if she really had to. She preferred to keep it ASL with Kimiko when possible, though. That just seemed like good etiquette.
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Clarice nodded. That did sound irritating. She remembered enough to know Mayor Lai was in the area of 'not an asshole' where politicians were concerned, although she couldn't remember the specific reasons why he was important.

Clarice gave a thumbs up at the six. Could do way worse.

Pretty good! Got some more videos up. I think I'm gathering popularity. That's totally one step in the direction of fame and fortune.” Clarice left out the part about how people always watched her more educational v-logs—usually on language—and the projects she put tons of work into—the occasional short films, for example—tended to get very little attention at all. But that was the way of things, she supposed. At least people were watching her stuff at all.

She'd failed to notice, until that point, that Bradley was in the next lane. Now that she'd noticed, however, it made her mood immediately sour. Because this fucking asshole, right?

Clarice hadn't punched anyone since she was a little kid. She liked fighting, but only in the proper wrestling way. Her dad had always told her that strong people didn't go punching weaker, more annoying people. Bradley, however, sorely tested her in this regard. It was like everything he said was designed to anger her.

Outloud, Clarice couldn't suppress an irritated grunt. Otherwise, she acted like she hadn't noticed him. At least in any way that Bradley would be able to notice. She very much doubted he knew sign language, though.

Oh good, I was just thinking the atmosphere was too nice and needed a giant, steaming lump of shit called Bradley in the middle of it,” she signed.
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God. First he had to interrupt, and then of course he would go right to something like 'Mr. Bean.' She'd be peeved enough at the Hulk/Bull reference—ha ha, she was bulky, gee she'd never heard that one before—but really?

She wished she could say she was surprised, but she really wasn't. Bradley was of the sort who'd probably think the height of humor was a dead baby wearing a Nazi uniform. This was comparatively light and it still made her angry.

“Fuck off, Bradley. I'd ask if you had anything better to do but that'd imply your existence was relevant,” Clarice snapped. “We're trying to have a conversation, so if you could shut up for once?”

To Kimiko, she signed, “How hard would it be to 'accidentally' get him in the head with a bowling ball? Probably too hard. And I'd hate to make the carpet worse.

Once she'd signed that, she retrieved a bowling ball and sent it down the lane. It knocked down eight of the pins, leaving the ones on each of the furthest ends standing. Goddammit. This would have normally earned a light but amiable swear, but combined with the rage it just resulted in a barely suppressed urge to walk over there and kick over the other two pins.

Clarice didn't turn back to Kimiko until she'd gotten her face resembling something closer to happy again, although she couldn't keep all irritation out of her expression.
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Oh good, and he was providing commentary. Because that's what this game needed. Colour commentary from King Asshole. (Although he had a point about goal posts. Why would you call them goalposts if your goal was to aim somewhere that wasn't in between?)

Clarice could literally feel the bile rising in her throat at the idea of being one of Bradley's notches. The expression on her face was similar to that of someone who'd just found a dead rat being devoured by maggots, and she made an audible shudder.

She wasn't going to even dignify that with a proper verbal response, because what the hell did you respond to that with? Well, Kimiko knew. Clarice read the message on Kimiko's phone and snorted.

Nice,” she signed, before Kimiko showed it to Bradley.

She managed to hit one of the two remaining pins, putting her one behind Kimiko. Not too bad. There was time to catch up, if she didn't get thrown out for attempting to make Bradley shut up with her fists. But no. She wasn't going to do that. She wasn't five.

Enjoy your lead while it lasts.” She grinned at Kimiko.

They were going to have fun, goddammit. And Bradley 'Dead Baby Comedy' Floyd was not going to fucking ruin it for them.
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God. This… asshole. Just… this asshole.

Clarice would have tried to get a hold of Kimiko's attention to remind her that she could translate for her outloud. Occasionally Kimiko forgot when she got agitated (and who wouldn't be agitated after Bradley had the fucking nerve to keep making fun of her muteness) probably because her phone was accessible way more than Clarice was. But she also didn't want to just interrupt Kimiko (and just because it was typing didn't mean it wasn't an interruption.)

Instead, she directed words at Bradley while waiting for Kimiko to finish.

“What about you learn sign language before you start flinging shit about how she has to talk to you? Since you've got hands and all you don't exactly have an excuse not to, except that would require you to actually give a shit, wouldn't it?

“And there's a goddamn difference between virgin-shaming, and pointing out quite truthfully that Hell will freeze over before anyone could get over the repulsive shit-heap that you are. Only reason you even have friends is because the other skidmarks need someone to look at so they can remember there are shittier people around. Besides, you wouldn't know political correctness if it broke your jaw—something that I am seriously considering right now. Given that you don't know shit about talking with your hands you'd have to shut up for a while if that happened.”

Okay, she wasn't actually considering breaking his jaw. Not really. Maybe in the little part of her brain where fantasies were born she had this lovely image of Bradley with his jaw broken. Or his mouth stitched shut. Or his tongue removed and his throat slashed. She could go on. But like any thought of seriously injuring someone, it was just that. Daydreams to stop her from cracking.

And she could always hope Bradley might think she was serious and shut up. Though it was unlikely. Bradley was too thick for that.

And great. Isaac was here now. Because Bradley wasn't enough. Not only did they have Mr. It's-Not-Funny-If-It's-Not-Offensive, but now they had the slightly off-brand version of the same fucking horrible mixture.

“Speaking of. Isaac. Hi. Shut the fuck up.”

After Kimiko showed what was on her phone, Clarice added, “In fact, what she said. Just shut up and leave us alone, and we'll do the same. It's not like we actually want to talk to you.”

She signed at Kimiko. If they keep this up, I can translate for you. Typing enough words to tell these assholes how gross they are will take far too long. It won't leave any time for bowling.

Granted, Clarice's mood was not bowling-centric anymore. She felt more like hitting a punching bag for a while and imagining it with Bradley's face. But maybe Bradley would stop now that he had someone else to pay attention to.

Besides, if they left it meant Bradley had won.
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“Oh, was it a joke, Bradley? Because the only thing you've ever said that was funny was claiming to be a comedian at all,” Clarice snapped.

Clarice turned and watched Kimiko sign and nodded before translating, “Jokes are funny. What you do is just crappy shock humor, looking for a reaction over anything else. It's not funny. It's not clever. You're just a shitty clown with one trick.”

Okay, the translation might have been a bit loose. Definitely a bit more… sweary. She hoped Kimiko wouldn't mind.

“And since you apparently can't read, Isaac, maybe you'll get this gesture just fine.” Alright, so maybe double middle fingers wasn't the most mature gesture, but fuck it.

God, she just wanted to bowl. Her mood had gone right back to wanting to, but now it was more due to an overwhelming urge to do something physical. Whenever she got agitated, she needed afterwards to wrestle or jog or throw things. And goddamn, she was gonna bowl that ball so hard. She was gonna get a damn strike.
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Okay, there were so many things wrong with what Bradley was saying. First of all, Bradley was a fucking idiot because jokes were meant to be funny. They were fucking jokes. The literal definition was 'to cause amusement or laughter,' and if he wasn't causing amusement or laughter he was a fucking failure as a comedian.

But, fuck. FUCK.

He was going to go all Andrew Jackson on her ass?

Fucking… fucker! Fuck.

She didn't even have words for the level of offensive he was being. Not only was he making fun of genocide—because ha ha your people were subjected to being removed from their lands and killed en masse that's hilarious—but—

“I'm fucking Navajo, you prick! Navajo! Diné! We weren't part of the Trail of Tears, you fucking asshole!” she shouted. “You fucking… gah!”

Somehow, the fact that he'd gotten that wrong added that extra level to her anger. Not only making fun of her, but not even doing his fucking research on it. Like it was too much effort to namedrop Christopher Carson instead.

And then there was Isaac claiming that she and Kimiko were the ones being bitches—because god forbid they be offended by mockery of their disabilities and the genocide of their people, how dare they—and Kimiko saying that they should just keep bowling and ignore them.

Clarice tried to sign something as simple as, 'yeah, I agree.' It wasn't working too well. Her hands were kind of shaky.

But ignore them. Right. Right. If you ignore them, they'll go away. What teachers always told her. They'd never been right, though. Ignoring it just gave them the impression that they could keep doing it.

But she tried. She picked up a bowling ball, but fuck… fuck, she was so angry. So she didn't roll the bowling ball so much as throw it. It sailed through the air, over the boundaries between her lane and Bradley's. As it so happened, just as Bradley was stepping up to bowl.

The bowling ball hit Bradley's lane, rolled down it and hit the pins for a perfect strike.

Clarice was speechless.
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Clarice would have been quite happy if the world had detonated at that moment.

She tried to shut out Bradley's laughter and mockery, as well as Isaac's slow clapping. She looked down at Kimiko's phone. She felt like exploding on reading it. Dammit, Kimiko, I am not in the mood for that emoticon.

But no, it wasn't Kimiko's fault, she couldn't explode at her. Clarice did a frustrated bounce, hands clenched, before sighing and trying to calm down.

Trying wasn't working. So Clarice signed at Kimiko.

One second. I need to get my ball.

With that, she stepped over the little divide that kept her from Bradkey and Isaac's area. She took a few slow, deliberate steps forward, encroaching on Bradley's space a lot more than what was necessary.

For a moment, she resisted the urge to smash her fist into his face. It was a close call, but she suppressed the urge, staying entirely silent until her bowling ball rolled back out of the machine that processed the thrown bowling balls. She picked it up.

“Just getting my ball,” she said, suppressed anger in her voice.

She was going to be calm. And mature.

On her way back to her own lane, she spotted some nachos that had been placed on a nearby table, clearly belonging to either Bradley or Isaac. Casually, she swung the arm that was holding the bowling ball a little. The bowling ball collided with the plate, knocking the nachos to the ground.

“Oops. My bad.”

Correction. She was going to be somewhat mature.
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What really annoyed her is that Bradley was not entirely incorrect with that statement. She had made a mess that someone would have to clean up, and it sure as fuck wasn't going to be Bradley.

Fucking. God. Dammit.

Clarice didn't respond, only threw her free hand in the air with a frustrated 'aaagh' and retreated back to her and Kimiko's part of the alley. Bradley and Isaac stopped bothering them afterwards--she supposed they had to get bored sometime--but Clarice spent the rest of the day stewing in rage, rage that wouldn't go away even after a long run with Grommit.

Fucking jackasses.

((Clarice Halwood continued elsewhere.))
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