Close Encounters

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Close Encounters

Post by Jackles on Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:02 pm

Emily St. James wasn't doing well, though she supposed she was faring better than most, lasting much longer than most people would have expected her to last. She hadn't seen a live person in a week now - and that person hadn't exactly seemed friendly. She heard them at night, the looters and the opportunists, while she curled up in drainage pipes and in dumpsters, protecting herself from the toxic world outside. She knew better than to venture outside and risk an interaction with these strange, nefarious figures. She had a hunting knife to protect herself and her wits - and she had never been much of a gambler.

It was getting close to night but she hadn't eaten in more than a few days now. She needed to get food, and she had begun backtracking halfway through the day to get to the bakery she had spotted earlier that morning. Unlike most of the buildings, it looked relatively well preserved, and she hoped to break in and pull anything out of it that might be edible. She had miscalculated the distance, however, and the sun was setting. She knew she the wiser solution would be to bed down and wait for morning, but the gnawing in her stomach was beyond any pain her comfortable life had ever presented her with. She had to try.

The skyline was turning orange, streaks of peak piercing through what was left of the grey the skies had become permanently stained with. She finally spotted the bakery, but she was beginning to hear the distant noises of dog fights and breaking glass. She knew it would only get worse with time, so she crossed the street, lugging a heavy brick with her. She broke the window and ducked away, watching for anyone who might have heard. She counted thirty heartbeats and then carefully picked her way into the building, struggling to ensure she did not get cut on the glass.

Floorboards creaked beneath her. The building was shifting - it had stood this long, but it certainly was not going to stay for long. She pushed her way past the abandoned front of house to the back area where the kitchen must have been. She began to root through the cupboards and pantries, finding an old can of peaches that she quickly tucked away into her bag. She skipped over the bags of flour and sugar, but plunged her hand into a bag of nuts, throwing some into her mouth and chewing ravenously, before shoving the bag into her knapsack.

It was a small noise, almost hidden beneath the crinkling of the bag of almonds. She felt her entire body tense, her senses kicking into overtime. She could feel her hairs on her arms rise as she heart the smallest of creaks from the other room. She immediately sweeped aside, pressing her body against the shelving as she began desperately to look for an escape route, blue eyes piercing the musky room. She swallowed as she heard the crunch of someone stepping on broken glass, and she reacted instinctively, moving towards the back of the pantry and attempting to lift the window. It let out a grating screech and she immediately dove to the side, eyes now darting for an escape. She dropped to her knees to crawl behind the kitchen island... waiting...

Step... Step... Step...

Emily forced her breathing to take place in her nose rather than her mouth, listening carefully. She moved opposite of the feet, hoping to keep the island between her and the figure. The second she was closer to the door, she stood and launched herself through. She knew she could not fight someone off, so she had to rely on her speed. She crashed through the kitchen and the front room, diving through the window. She rolled to her feet and tried to take another step, but that move was not one that happened easily. She stumbled and that's when she heard it.

"STOP."

She whipped around and there was a face in the window, a gruesome, skeletal face. Was it a face at all, or a mask? She blinked and felt her muscles tense to run.

"Don't run."

She whipped out her knife and pointed it outwards. "Just leave me alone. I don't want any trouble." Her voice sounded remarkable calm and adult considering the adrenaline beginning to pump through her, preparing for flight. The man slowly lifted a... twig? What was that gonna do?

She scoffed and turned, beginning to leave. And then the world was illuminated in red.

Jackles
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Re: Close Encounters

Post by Lindsss on Fri Jan 29, 2016 3:52 pm

Christian had practically ransacked his childhood home, and although he felt a bit bad about thundering through the house and ruining things that were already devastated, it did hit him that this was the house of the father that hadn't cared about him. It felt weirdly cathartic, though it probably shouldn't have done. Daphne wasn't there, and that did break him. For a time, anyway. He had spent the night in one of the rooms that provided some sort of cover from the elements, regardless of the fact that it wasn't intended as a bedroom. In the morning, he finally braved the library, particularly underwhelmed with the idea of seeing all of the destroyed texts.

When he walked in, Christian frowned. Pages were scattered and a breeze whipped over a tattered wall, whipping them around. For a breath, it felt like there should have been someone standing there, Christian holding a camera. It didn't look real, and it should have been in a magazine, not in his home. A shudder ran through him, but he shook his shoulders violently to chase it away. With that, he stepped into the room with purpose, avoiding glass shards and upturned furniture. Picking his way through the books and the few items that appeared unharmed, he was surprised when he found himself blinded by a flash of light from his left.

Underneath the archway to his father's office, there was a metallic item attached to the wall, and Christian was certain that he had never seen it before. He walked over and studied it, then looked at the wall beside it. There was a vertical crack there, and Christian realized that his father must have been hiding something from them. He stepped back and kicked the wall, only partially surprised when it was thrown open like a door and presented him with a staircase heading down into what looked like a basement. The first step creaked and he immediately started testing each one before putting his full weight onto it.

At the bottom of the stairs, a cavernous space opened in front of him and he found himself staring at shelves of frightening objects. No wonder he hadn't heard about these. Did Apollo know? Realizing that items like these would be useful in someone else's hands just as they would in his own, Christian hesitated only a moment before approaching. From his knapsack he pulled a pouch that was designed to hold more than it seemed to, and carefully picked up each item, placing them inside.

Although he was careful not to disturb the items as he returned the pouch to his bag, Christian decided it was time to move on. He couldn't remain in a place that held nothing for him. So it was time to move on. It was a day and a half before he ran into another human, and it wasn't exactly under the best circumstances.

Christian had brought along what he could from the stores at his old home, but he wasn't a fool. He wouldn't last forever, and had to find something to add to his bag just in case he didn't come across anything after passing this ghost of a town. He had just turned a corner when a girl suddenly came into his line of sight. He ducked back, wondering which side she was on. That question came up no matter whom he came across, and even though this girl was somewhere around his age, there was always a chance of danger.

She made her way into the bakery he had been aiming for, so he intended to wait, but a man in an utterly obvious getup followed her and the hair of the back of Christian's neck stood on end. He wanted to turn and hope for the best but not interfere. But that wasn't him at all. He was no Gryffindor but letting someone who might be an innocent come into harm's way?  That wasn't in his nature. He wished his brother was there for a moment, aching for that backup he no longer had.

Drawing in a steadying breath, he drew his wand out and hoped desperately that it would do as he needed it to. He forced his feet forward and threw the door open right as the Death Eater let a spell loose. His hand flew forward, a blocking spell shooting from his lips. Christian threw himself in front of the girl, shocked that she seemed nonchalant about what was happening. Thanking Merlin that the spell worked, he went for a follow-up attack, hoping desperately that he could collapse the ceiling above their enemy.

A cracking sound met his ears and he started, backing out of the building and yanking the girl's arm to pull her along with him. She cleared the entry just as a crash sounded and a plume of smoke came at them. Christian covered his eyes even as he turned to her, shouting, "The hell is wrong with you?!"

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