ladyfirestarter: (telling it straight)
[personal profile] ladyfirestarter
"It doesn't seem to be related to what happened last winter," Charlie's saying as the two women make their way slowly along the lakeshore, "but I'm wondering if it could be something left over."

The sun's dipping low toward the horizon, but isn't down yet. Charlie is wearing a messenger bag, open at the top, and carrying (but not yet using) her cane.

Date: 2012-10-15 02:49 am (UTC)
flip_the_lights: (come again?)
From: [personal profile] flip_the_lights
"Why is it showing up now, though?" says Olivia. Her voice sounds a bit gravely from the cough she's been battling; giving in to the persistent chill, she's also dressed in a hat, scarf, and gloves in addition to a thick wool coat. "If it's residual effects from a collapse, I'm surprised it lay dormant this long. No hint, no anything until a couple weeks ago."

Date: 2012-10-15 02:52 am (UTC)
flip_the_lights: (eye to eye)
From: [personal profile] flip_the_lights
Olivia sighs, shaking her head. "But that raises the same question: why now?"

She untucks a hand from her pocket, gesturing toward the woods for lack of anywhere else to point.

"Has anything significant changed in the past year that you've noticed?"

Date: 2012-10-15 02:54 am (UTC)
flip_the_lights: (gasping)
From: [personal profile] flip_the_lights
Olivia pauses for a second to cough into the crook of her elbow. It's deep enough to rattle her whole chest.

Hoarsely, she goes on, "There's always the possibility that it just found its way here by the same path everyone else does. Maybe it's a patron that walked through the front door."

Date: 2012-10-15 03:01 am (UTC)
flip_the_lights: (you have my attention)
From: [personal profile] flip_the_lights
"I do."

Firm, and without hesitation.

Date: 2012-10-15 03:03 am (UTC)
flip_the_lights: (it's been a long day)
From: [personal profile] flip_the_lights
"I wondered that, too. But considering the only form of communication it's shown are those marks..."

Another unfelt gesture toward the trees, and another sigh. They're almost to the line dividing grass from forest.

Date: 2012-10-15 03:07 am (UTC)
flip_the_lights: (furrowed glance)
From: [personal profile] flip_the_lights
"One of the places," she says. "But they seem to be more...frequent..."

Olivia trails off.

Because now that her eyes are adjusting to the gloom, it's clear that they've become more frequent than she realized: scratched deep into the bark of every tree like sightless eyes, some trunks bearing two or even three circled X's.

Date: 2012-10-15 03:24 am (UTC)
flip_the_lights: (eye to eye)
From: [personal profile] flip_the_lights
"No." Just as quiet and flat as Charlie. "Not anywhere near."

She stretches out a hand to the closest one, then thinks better of it and draws back. Something in her head had switched from communication to evidence, like the marks delineate a dead body.

Date: 2012-10-15 03:35 am (UTC)
flip_the_lights: (arms crossed)
From: [personal profile] flip_the_lights
Olivia nods, silent, and pads back a step to stay out of frame.

"Worth it to take video, too?"

Date: 2012-10-15 03:37 am (UTC)
flip_the_lights: (eye to eye)
From: [personal profile] flip_the_lights
"Yeah." By now, it's barely a breath, as if they're on the verge of disturbing whatever left the symbols. Olivia checks her sight lines; after another moment's debate, she pulls off her gloves.

It'll be easier to handle her gun without knitwear getting in the way, no matter how cold it might be.

Date: 2012-10-15 03:40 am (UTC)
dont_turn_around: (woodlane)
From: [personal profile] dont_turn_around
Curioser and curioser

Date: 2012-10-16 03:21 am (UTC)
flip_the_lights: (look up to what lies beyond)
From: [personal profile] flip_the_lights
The cold wraps around her lungs like tendrils; Olivia's next breath threatens to turn into another cough. She presses her free hand to her mouth like she's trying to stifle something much worse.

Her other hand stays at her hip, every muscle tensed around the gun in preparation.

Date: 2012-10-16 03:24 am (UTC)
flip_the_lights: (you have my attention)
From: [personal profile] flip_the_lights



A barely present smile.

"I wouldn't say no, if you're offering."

Date: 2012-10-16 03:27 am (UTC)
flip_the_lights: (in the long black coat)
From: [personal profile] flip_the_lights
She exhales a long breath, taking care not to let it devolve into a cough. It starts out as a plume of mist; by the time her lungs are empty, it's no longer visible in the warming air.

"Thanks," she murmurs.

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