Welcome Guest [Log In] [Register]
Welcome to Survival of the Fittest, a RPing board loosely based off of Koshun Takami's Battle Royale, with its own unique plot and spin on the 'deadly game'. We've been around quite a while, and are now in our thirteenth year, so don't worry about us going anywhere any time soon!

If you're a newcomer and interested in joining, then please make sure you check out the rules. You may also want to read the FAQ, introduce yourself and stop by the chat to meet some of our members. If you're still not quite sure where to start, then we have a great New Member's Guide with a lot of useful information about getting going. Don't hesitate to PM a member of staff (they have purple usernames) if you have any questions about SOTF and how to get started!

Let the games begin!

Username:   Password:
Add Reply
Carry the Fire; the candlelight vigil mentioned in v6 prologue
Topic Started: Sep 23 2016, 03:36 PM (718 Views)
The Burned Handler
Member Avatar
I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
In the course of a few hours, the entire city of Kingman, Arizona ground to a halt. The fist of God itself had come down from on high and slugged each and every one of the 28,000 or so souls in the city square in the gut. Two buses, 107 students of Cochise High School, had disappeared without a trace. Kingman PD scoured the desert and the sky turned pink like blood in water, and would keep searching as long as it took. Everyone knew what happened somewhere deep down but refused to say it. To name it would give it power and bring it into being. Even unnamed, though, reality choked the life out of the city.

Night approached and nobody moved who didn't absolutely have to, until as one a wave of mourners - who hoped, deep down, there would prove nothing to mourn - descended upon Cochise. Streetlamps dimmed but soon thousands upon thousands of candles sprung to life, washing the grounds and the streets around Cochise in light. The flashes of cameras, held by reporters and citizens alike, were little thunderclaps that briefly drew attention then faded away.

Funny how it took something like this for Roderick Kanuho to realise just how many people were in this town. Candle flames flickered and swayed in Kingman's ever-present wind, but none dimmed or faded, held up by a horde of concerned citizens who hoped their prayers wouldn't turn into mourning. They hoped even knowing what they would find and Roderick couldn't find it in himself to condemn it. After all, he still felt the cold panic deep in his guts clawing at his heart which had started as confusion and over the course of that evening turned to dread. Something hadn't been right when classes came to an end and he was warming up for practise, some of the wrestlers wanting to keep on top of their game even with the season over and with him wanting to put his healed ankle through its paces, and nobody was back yet. Then when Nadia and his teammates never answered the texts he sent them. Then when it was growing dark and the news spread and Kingman's fleet of police cruisers went on the hunt and the journalists started circling.

Someone had muttered the possibility that was getting more real every second and Roderick had told them to shut the fuck up.

Now he stood bathed by candlelight and his palm being warmed by one he held himself as he stood among the crowd in one of his best suits, hoping in the less rational part of his mind he would suddenly wake up next to Nadia and tell her about the fucked up dream he'd just had. They would laugh and he would kiss her and then go on a long run to forget all about it. His father stood to his left, an unyielding boulder of a man who looked like he could wrestle a grizzly to the ground and filled out his business suit like a knight in plate armour, staring straight ahead with effortless solemnity and dignity that made Roderick wish he knew how to hide his own thoughts half as well. His mother took the other side, her composure not as practised but also not as strained to those who knew what to look for. Roderick had needed help from both of them to come here without wearing dread and heartache on his sleeve.

Traditionally Navajo did not mourn the way American culture did. To speak the names of the dead was to invite evil spirits that would make you obsess with grief. But 107 school children had just vanished and the worst was feared and tradition could be broken from to hope for their safe return.

A podium faced the crowd and from it spoke Mayor Lionel Sharpe, his craggy and desert-worn face having replaced the usual genial "aw shucks" grin with a determined scowl that suggested he intended to track down whatever had caused Cochise's students to disappear and throttle it to death. This was the most understated and most important speech of his career. Roderick wouldn't have voted for Sharpe in the last mayoral elections if he'd been of age, the man's usual style was all grand sweeping gestures with his far-too-long arms and booming Shakespeare-quoting oratory and ignorance of Kingman's insignificance. Tonight however his exuberance and flair for the dramatic were gone. The mayor's shoulders were tense and although his face was neutral Roderick could see the tightness of Sharpe's jaw and the low hiss in his tone that gave away the concern and rage boiling inside him. He didn't swear or spin oaths of vengeance or call God to answer for His callousness, but his voice showed iron in his spine that Roderick had no idea existed.

It kept his attention until Sharpe was done. The mayor's shoulders sagged and he visibly let out a breath but his eyes still had fire in them as evidenced by him glaring right through the first reporter to try to ask him something.

"I'll answer questions when we have answers," he said in the voice of a king pondering whether or not to order someone's head struck from their shoulders. Then Sharpe all but stormed off the podium, stopping only for a whispered word with City Manager Gordon Parker before taking a seat.

At Parker's word, three figures stepped forwards: a priest, an imam and a rabbi. Kimiko was among the missing and she was Taoist, but there simply wasn't a Daoshi around these parts, so the absence of one was forgivable. The three old men spoke one at a time, announcing that they wished to lead a multi-faith prayer for the safety of all missing students and staff members, and the shifting crowd fell quiet. A rippling wave travelled up and down its mass as people bowed their heads and listened to the words being spoken. Roderick cast a look around and saw the chief of police, the Mohave County Sheriff, the city council, and ancient Gregory Luz with his clan gathered around him, including the pitcher Crisanto dressed up and groomed for a change, all among those falling silent to listen.

Rod thought about Nadia, and Clarice, and Ty, and Harold, and Scout and Kimiko and Travis and everyone else, and then bowed his head and held his eyes shut and tried to ignore the thundering of his heart.
Edited by The Burned Handler, Sep 24 2016, 05:34 AM.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.

18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!

16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene

Things SOTFers say
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
Cicada Days
Member Avatar
keep running yoshi
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Latanna Beckstead continued from Sometimes when we reach for the stars...))

The clear of her eyes filled with the somber tones of flames burning soft. It was said. That at the end times all candles would be naught but the light of God.

'... for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever...'

'... and...'

Sharpe stepped down, concluding an inspired speech that carried the harshness of brevity. The power in Kingman had disproportionate balance towards the quiet budgetary legislature of Parker, undeniable, but Sharpe still carried the broad, meaty air of political acumen. Latanna wasn't so sure she favored his rebuttal of the media, it struck her as gaffe. But she likely couldn't have done better herself. The speed of the government's rallying of the police, of the media, it had been admirably neat and effective by the judgement of Latanna's ever studious eye. On the national scale the optics would surely be...

Her thoughts fell silent as the crowd.

Latanna huddled, lame and meek by the ever familiar, all too familiar bench on The Green Belt where she'd almost always eaten for... what? Years of her life now? Her armpit was tightly wound around one of the bench arms as if cold metal could somehow be comfort. In her free hand her phone was held dearly as if scripture.

Ma and Pa had gone out of town on business consultation with Uncle Samuelson, all the way north in Provo. Her darlings, all so young, so innocent, so fresh from the nest though they were in middle school and high school... None of them had been home when the news had come, in a klaxon blair of police sirens from sea to shining sea.

She'd been doing student council work, reviewing, signing proposals. Sometimes she liked to pretend the half-eaten, ink-blotty papers she took home were sheaves worth of official documents on a congresswoman's desk, soon to be found in the Oval Office. When the news of disaster had dropped, she'd been naively stalwart. Had dared to continue on with a curious lump in her throat, thick as potatoes. Work had to continue. Great souls and great hearts did not falter from their duty when the unthinkable...

She'd found one paper, indistinguishable from the many.

Conrad Timothy Harrod. A nice, friendly, practical sort of voice. The sort who knew when to fold his hand and when to go all in, in the protracted poker game that was student politics. Latanna vaguely recalled he had a brother who liked foppish things like fantasy and dungeons and dragons. That information hadn’t even been intended for her. Just a brief spat of friendly eavesdropping.

All that was just a name, a cramped signature tossed onto paper that most people on God’s world wouldn’t have cared twice about.

She'd come alone. Nobody had responded to her texts yet. Lord knew how many names in her contacts were...

Five minutes of silence, ten. Fifteen minutes worth of walking from home to school. She hated counting the minutes, let alone the seconds. Each lost second dripped away painfully slow, a glob of sand in an hourglass eroding away.

She saw Roderick. Standing with his ever noble poise in the thick of the crowd. He was lit by flames, shadows cast across the crevasses of stone and marble he'd been carved from. She didn't want him to see her. Not like this. No, she wanted nobody to see her, the pathetic wretch of a girl obsessively wringing the laughably Americana-themed casing of her phone dry. She...

she was still strong. Still noble of spirit and intent. She just needed... Time. Something. Anything.

The preachers began to collect, their voices calling to God.

Her phone's voice called to her. A blurting yelp of a ringtone that she hastily squashed underneath her shirt.

She fled. Though she knew it was wrong, so horribly wrong, the only prayer her heart whispered into the flickering of the candlelight was that nobody had seen her.

((Latanna Beckstead continued in ... but we must pick ourselves up again...))
Edited by Cicada Days, Jan 31 2017, 05:57 PM.
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
Member Avatar
Who is this sassy lost child
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Ethan Parker had never been one for denial, or for prayer. For many years, the two had been nearly synonymous in his mind. He bowed his head and closed his eyes anyway when the group prayer began.

Vernon Kanuho's commanding presence next to him was a comfort. Ethan acknowledged that he likely never would have returned permanently to Kingman, much less moved his family there, if it wasn't for Vern's job offer years ago, the fact that he'd seen something in his old friend that he valued enough to reach out and offer aid when they were struggling with Hye's illness and scarce jobs. If you bought into the butterfly effect, that job offer was now responsible for his missing son. Ethan didn't think that Vernon put that much stock into taking responsibility for life's random cruelties, but he still hoped that his old friend didn't blame himself in some roundabout way.

The flame of Hye's candle flickered as her hand shook. She had one arm wound around Ethan's, nails probably biting into his arm even through his sleeve as she held onto him to anchor herself. She had been suspecting an upcoming MS attack for some time now, and as much as she wished she had more control over her own body, the sudden shock of the news combined with her increasingly worsening pain over the last few days now meant a flare-up was all but inevitable. She just needed to stay standing for the duration of the vigil.

She hadn't yet notified her family that Min-jae and his classmates were missing. She wasn't sure when she'd be able to face that without wanting to shriek at her own mother, to say nothing of her younger sister. Eun-jae was the safest bet, but she needed time to compose herself before contacting him. His daughter was Jae's age, and Hye could easily picture her brother going into a spiral of fear and worry spurred on by imagining what it would be like to lose her.

Lost. Jae was just lost, and he would be found, and he would come home. Hope or denial, whatever you wanted to call it. It tasted sickly sweet.

Some people would be trying to find meaning in this. Hye had no God that moved in mysterious ways. Ethan had no God at all. They were just two candles in a storm that didn't know or care that they existed.

Ethan felt when Hye's strength failed her almost before she did. He didn't need to look to picture the frustration on her face as he disentangled their arms to put his around her waist and better support her.

"We're going," he said in a low voice to Vernon. Hye reached out to brush her shaking hand over Roderick's arm as they passed him. Rod was a good kid. He and Jae weren't close, but they were good to each other for the most part. They had their mutual connections in their parents and friends, and they sniped at each other the way teenage boys did. Rod could probably put more names to faces than most of the parents could, but he was doing his best to bear his suffering stoically. He was doing a better job of it than some of the parents, too.

Ethan blew out their candles and dropped them on the grass before leading Hye to the car.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."

Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
Member Avatar
[ *  * ]
She didn't have a candle.

Minnie Lichter waded through the sea of fire, the pinpricks of light showing faces and people and sadness and despair.

She didn't want a candle.

She walked in the darkness that separated flame from flame.

A candle would make her part of this.

Small as she was, she slipped past stranger and friend alike, moving from nowhere to anywhere.

A candle would make it real.

The tears had come when she'd come home from school. There, waiting for her, had been her mother and grandfather. Her grandfather walked with a cane, but until then no one would have ever called him stooped. He had sat on the edge of his armchair, leaning forward, both hands on his cane and with a face that had echoed every loss and every heartbreak he'd had in his lifetime. Her mother had been sitting beside him on a kitchen chair, also leaning forward, her head in her hands. She had looked up when Minnie came in, and Minnie had seen that she'd been crying: her face was wet, and her eyes red. After that, everything was a blur. Her mother had told her Ben was missing, she had cried, run to his room, had an asthma attack, sat crying on her mother's lap like she was six years old again, listened to more of what had happened. Something like that.

Now they were at Ben's school, Cochise. Her mother was talking with some other parents, somewhere. Her grandfather was still at home, in their apartment. Part of Minnie wished she had stayed with him - neither he nor she felt they could face the masses of grieving and sympathetic people. It was for this reason that she had slipped away from her mother and slunk into the night. She wanted, more than anything, to be alone. That wasn't like her, she knew - she had loads of friends, friends who would have wanted to help her. But she didn't want them.

She remembered who had been there for her, years ago, when she was little. Who had been there when she went to the playground? Ben. Who had comforted her when she hurt herself? Usually, Ben. Who had read her Dr. Seuss stories? Ben. Who had sung those stupid nursery rhymes with her that she used to love so much, over and over? Ben.

He'd been there just this morning. She had rushed out the door as fast as she could, wanting to meet with her friends before school. She had almost - almost - forgotten to say goodbye. Minnie wandered over to a deserted bench. She sat down quickly, hunched over and immediately began to cry again. Instead of the big, splashy tears that had rolled down her cheeks before, she had almost no tears and sat there, arms over her stomach, shaking like a leaf.

She stopped crying eventually, but stayed sitting there until almost half the candles were out, and her mother came to take her home.
Edited by Malloon, Sep 28 2016, 06:48 PM.
V6 Character:
Benjamin "Squirrel" Lichter [ ~ / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / + / > ] - You'll find him in the clouds.
V7 Characters:
Chloe Bruges [ - ] - You'll find her doing math.
Joseph "Joey" Quintero - You'll find him writing speaches.
Keith Rogers - You'll find him out with his gang.

In the unlikely event you want to use my characters...
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
Member Avatar
maybe if you're lucky the random avatar will sync up to the character you're reading right now
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Man, this was literally a cult gathering if Julian had ever seen one.

The 6’1” man did not have a candle in his hands, instead opting to put them in his hair and on a small, green coloured scrunchie. His parents were somewhere further into the crowd, likely getting hazed or baptized or something if his theory was correct. He was back here, fairly far away from the mayor when he gave his speech. The possibility had erupted in his mind at some point that he should just text his parents and bail, but the crowd of people who were suddenly behind him meant that even if he did want to do it he couldn’t. Not that he didn’t want to be somewhere else, of course. This was… weird. There were faces he recognised, in the crowd. Not faces of people that were personally friends of his, but others from around town. The old man who ran the bakery. The middle aged women who he saw sometimes whenever he went for a walk. Shit, he was pretty sure Felicity was one of the people in front of him holding a candle. It was weird. All these people in the same place, doing the same thing. It was disconcerting. Probably part of why he considered skipping out.

He stayed though. It was the right thing to do, after all.

Still, there was a feeling, and it wasn’t one that he could easily shake off. It had all been so sudden. One moment he was just browsing AskReddit and the next he had been informed that the bus his sister was on had just suddenly disappeared. Even ignoring the fact that it was his sister who had disappeared and probably died, this was something that had never happened to him. He saw and read stuff on the news, a lot. Things that were real that happened in places far beyond his reach. He lived in what was basically your average everyday ghost town. Barely anything happened here. People just went down the route, stopped for a cup of tea or something, and then went on their way. Nothing more, likely less.

Now though, he was part of the news. He was in the story. If he turned his head back he could see the cameras and the reporters. Even if he didn’t he could still see the white of the flash. He had seen all of those stories, about the shootings and the attacks and sometimes he criticised the people reporting for crossing what was so obviously the line. Now he was here, and every time he felt he was in this crowd the flashes would always take him back out, and he’d turn his head.

And again, this was even discounting the fact that his sister had disappeared. Jasmine was gone. Likely dead. As much as he knew how horrible it was to say he... never really liked his sister all that much. He knew that brother/sister love was supposed to be a thing but she had never given him any love. She was always so… aggressive. Like a thorn in his side. She always said that she was better than him. She always tried to be louder than him. She would always give him those devil eyes when he suggested she relaxed when she was stressed. There was no doubt that she hated him, for whatever reason she had; and he wasn’t obligated to give any love to her in return, especially considering how she treated him. But still, she was gone. Forever. Unless there was an afterlife he’d never see her again. He knew that part of him wanted to feel relieved, now that one of his few sources of stress was gone, but there was still something. He couldn’t quite put his finger on it, but it was like…

She was a thorn in his side. He got that. And now, totally suddenly, he woke up and the thorn was gone.

But it remained. The feeling did, anyway. The thorn was gone, but it felt like it was still there. He’d look down at himself, expecting to see it, but he couldn’t.

It was like…the people who had lost limbs. He remembered once reading in one of his books that sometimes those who had lost arms or legs could feel them itch. They’d reach to scratch it, but they’d claw at empty air.

Yeah, it was something like that. At least now, it was. He’d wake up tomorrow, go down to make breakfast, and when his sister didn’t come down while it was in the microwave he’d figure that it was because she was trying to sleep in.

He smiled.

He hoped that that was the case.

He looked up again, hair in a ponytail and hands by his side. The priests were talking about something. Julian wasn’t really all that religious, so he was mostly ignoring what they were saying, but he saw the wave of people putting their heads down and their hands up.

Yep. Definitely a cult. No wonder Kingman felt so empty sometimes.

Still though, he joined the crowd, as the wave got to him.

It was the right thing to do, after all.
Online Profile Quote Post Goto Top
Member Avatar
Has seen that which cannot be unseen.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Jane and Louis Banks stood near the front of the crowd at the vigil, their tall frames unfortunately becoming a bit of a hindrance to the attempts of those standing directly behind them to see the stage. Normally they would not have put themselves in such a position, but this was not a time for them to worry about that sort of thing. At this time, the only thing on their minds was their son.

It was just that morning that they had seen Barry being his usual self. He wolfed down his breakfast with the enthusiasm that one would expect from a teenage boy before practically running out the door to make sure he got to school early. It had just been another morning for them, with no indication of what horrors were to come.

Partway through the speeches from the holy men, Louis broke down and started to cry openly. His sobs were soft, but could still be heard by those around him. Rather than feeling embarrassed by her husband unintentionally creating a scene, Jane put a hand on his shoulder to show her support.

There was so much that she wanted to say to her husband. Things that would make him feel better. Barry was strong, smart, and kind. He was the kind of person that one would think could be relied on in a crisis. Not only that, but he had too much ahead of him in life for something like this to happen. She wanted to tell him that Barry would be okay, but she couldn't. There were no words of support that she could give her husband with confidence. She just silently wrapped an arm around him as he wept, overcome by despair.

Nick and Lorna Cappotelli stood in the middle of the crowd with their candles, not really knowing what to say or do, but just going along with the proceedings. This was a situation that they had never prepared for, because they had never anticipated that it may actually happen. Now that it was here, they felt clueless and afraid.

However, no matter how badly they felt standing there at the vigil, they knew that it was nothing compared to how Bart had to be feeling wherever he was. Bart had always been a sensitive, skittish young man. He was awkward and unsure of himself in his daily life. More than anything, they just wanted him to find comfort in who he was and face the world with a confident smile. They wished that was the only problem that their son had to deal with, but they knew that was not the truth. While they had no clue about their son's current situation, they knew that he wasn't in a good place.

Nick's thoughts wandered to Bart's notebook. Bart had left it at home, and it was full of his sketches and stories Nick dared not look at it, though. He worried that if he read it, then he would be overcome with sorrow and dread stemming from his fears for his son. Lorna seemed to have the same idea, since the notebook had sat untouched on Bart's desk since that morning. But at the same time, it was the only part of Bart that had remained at home, so they felt conflicted about whether they should read it or leave it.

Regardless of what they decided, now was not the time to worry about that. Now was the time for them to pray that, wherever he was, Bart was okay.

The Wolfes, despite their daughter's penchant for the theatrical, were not a very dramatic or overly expressive family. Even at the vigil, they were dressed in their Sunday best and did not make a spectacle of themselves by crying or even speaking to their neighbors.

Their faces, however, told a very different story. Fred and Sarah Wolfe looked like two of the most crestfallen people on the planet as they listened to the speakers. Both of them had their heads tilted downwards and their eyes closed, their facial expressions frozen in the form of sad grimaces. They did not care to look at the candles of their fellow mourners, nor their own. They were dwelling in their own minds at the moment.

They were stuck on one major thought, and that thought brought one emotion with it: regret.

When Rene was growing up, there had always been a bit of a distance between them. Their jobs meant that they were away from home a lot, so Rene was by herself a lot of the time. While this helped her grow into a highly independent person fairly quickly, they worried that the lack of time that they spent together had done damage relationship. Rene never behaved in a way that suggested that was the case, but since she had grown to have a personality was so wildly different from theirs, and had almost no shared interests with them to boot it made them wonder what impact, if any, they had really had on her growing up.

The worst part was that there was no other way they could have made things work. They needed the income from both of their jobs in order to sustain their lifestyle and make sure that Rene could grow up comfortably. Her many afternoons and evenings alone had been a necessary evil so that they could give her the best upbringing they could. But even though they knew that there was nothing that they could have done differently, they still felt regret.

More than anything, Fred and Sarah wanted to be able to tell Rene how much they loved her, even if they only got one more chance to do so.

At the back of the crowd, where there were few candleholders and a lot of community members who had not lost children in the abductions, Heavy L observed the ceremony. Normally he would have been working to set up his club for the night, but tonight was not a regular night, not by a long shot. He sent all of the performers home with their pay for the night's work and came to the vigil to pay his respects.

Heavy L didn't have kids, but that didn't mean that it he didn't feel anything when he found out about the abduction. He didn't need kids to know that a group of high school students disappearing like that was all kinds of wrong. But even though he hated to think about what had happened, he knew that whatever he was feeling was nothing compared to what the parents whose children had been taken must be feeling.

He may have made people laugh for a living, but there was nothing that he could say or do to ease these people's pain, and he was entirely aware of that. In a strange way, he felt powerless. All he could do was bow his head, hope for a miracle, and knowledge that it was a sick, sad world that they were living in.
Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image


Posted Image
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
The Burned Handler
Member Avatar
I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"That's fine. If anyone asks I'll cover for you."

Vernon Kanuho's voice was akin to the first rumblings of an approaching thunderstorm. It came as a bass growl bordering on a roar straight from his diaphragm and was the voice that promised annihilation if opposing counsel didn't get out of his way but with the right injection of just a little warmth, such as now when Vernon ever so briefly took his eyes off the prayer leaders to regard his old classmate with just the faintest upward turn of his lips, also promised comfort and protection to those who needed it. He spoke as someone who would go to war for clients or colleagues and had done. Through his suit his muscles twitched when a ringtone yelped through the crowd and caused a ripple of irritation that made the three preachers trail off for a moment and soft, fleshy yet steel-nerved Parker direct a glare into the audience, but the ceremony went on and Vernon didn't outwardly respond. He had defended men accused of murder and worse, a phone couldn't rattle him. The smile remained calm and vaguely paternal on his face, and he gave Ethan a nod then a little pat on the shoulder.

"Let us know if we can do anything. For what it's worth, I hope he's okay."

He turned back to the podium like the shifting of tectonic plates, allowing Ethan to do what he must. Prayers in English, Hebrew and Arabic washed over him and he let out a long breath and wondered at how he would react if it were his own son missing. It took every ounce of his mighty discipline not to turn to Roderick and hold him and refuse to let go.

Roderick opened his eyes and returned to reality when trembling fingers trailed down his bicep. Mrs. Parker. He knew Min-Jae of course, knew his folks, knew his mother's condition. He'd been raised to be courteous, protective, supportive, and Mrs. Parker wasn't his family or even someone he knew well enough to feel comfortable using her first name even though he knew what it was, but she was still someone suffering. He looked to her and Mr. Parker as they edged away, to his parents, back to the Parkers.

Wordlessly, he slipped away and tagged along if only to make sure Mrs. Parker got out of there okay. He spoke only if spoken to, stood ready to lend support if needed. If asked he couldn't really tell anyone why he felt compelled to serve as silent escort. It just felt like the right thing to do. All he could do in this situation, and that simple fact bit deeply into him. This wouldn't be fixed no matter how hard he worked, no matter what he tried to do, no matter how much weight he could lift or who he could beat on the mat. That more than any amount of in-born stoicism might have been part of the reason for his stony visage tonight as the realisation twisted and churned in his guts.

When Mr. and Mrs. Parker were seen off, he returned to his parents' sides and remained there with his candle. The Kanuhos would be among the last to leave that night.

Gregory Luz knew about fear and suffering. Being in his ninth decade he had seen so much of both that they might as well have been the tide coming in and out. He knew them well enough he'd spent much of his existence building the Luzes into a clan that would never have to know either. Fate had denied him the chance to fight Franco, Hitler, Mussolini or Hirohito and so he had made that his service. His family had been strong and happy and the road his life had taken seemed worth it.

The ache where flesh met prosthetic, as familiar as those few of his oldest friends that still lived, trailed up his leg and aimed a mocking stab all the way up to his heart like the Nationalists marching on Madrid. Fate laughed at the world he had built just like it laughed at his patriotism all those years ago. Not satisfied with his leg it now took so many of his grandchildren, arbitrarily plucking them from their family and their future like apples from the tree. The candlelight around him and the stars above shone as if laughing about it. When he heard about the disappearances his ancient heart had nearly stopped forever right then and there.

It took more than that to kill a Luz. He buried the horror, the shake in his hands, gripped his cane - bloodwood with a head of gold, a rare concession to the damage done by passing years - tightly enough he might have broken it had he the strength of his youth, soldiered on. The clan needed its patriarch. A misunderstanding, he told them all, a couple buses just lost for a bit and back in no time. No blood relative of his was enough of a fool to believe that.

Young Crisanto was the first Luz to drift away. Crushed under the weight of candlelight and reality and how much more clearly he could put a face to all 107 names than his grandfather could, he mumbled an apology and slinked back to his car as if drunk. Some of the others stayed, others went. Gregory intended to be the last.

It was the least he could do for all those young futures, as bright as the flame of his candle and snuffed out just as easily.
Edited by The Burned Handler, Oct 24 2016, 08:11 AM.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.

18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!

16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene

Things SOTFers say
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
1 user reading this topic (1 Guest and 0 Anonymous)
ZetaBoards - Free Forum Hosting
Create a free forum in seconds.
Learn More · Register for Free
« Previous Topic · V6 Meanwhile... · Next Topic »
Add Reply