Very welcome new material.
I've got some good news and some bad. Good news is that I've got a job offer up in Michigan and they want me up there ASAP. Bad news is I have to short sale on the house and give up almost all my pets. I miraculously managed to find a town house willing to take me and my family despite the extremely bad credit I have because they're offering it as a "lease to own". The town house regs only permit two pets and as it is I'm trying to sneak more than my quota in there and hope that no one tattle-tales on us. I'm penniless and somehow I have to come up with the $1200 for the moving truck, $600 plus for gas for a 1164 mile trip(never mind a motel, I'm going to have enough money problems without spending on that) and $1550 just so I can walk in the door of the place. Almost Every waking moment I have I've been spending on running around from appointment to appointment hoping to get charities to help out with my utility bills to keep power on and water on long enough till I move out, and seeing what bit of money I can dredge up by mowing peoples lawns with my crappy lawn mower that has broken down and I've rigged more times then I can remember.
Yea, I'm in dire straights, but I'm trying to keep my fingers crossed (like that'll serve some practical purpose... Ha!), and hope that silver lining across the sky is genuine and not just a glimmer of hope that's out of reach.
I'm still sneaking in a bit of writing here and there, but I'm sure you can imagine it's hard for me to concentrate or even get into the mood when I have so much pressure on me coming from all different angles. I'm hoping that things will settle down toward the end of August and the beginning of November where I'll be able to write and post more regularly.
Wish me the best of luck and we'll find out what happens to me soon.
I hope you find that your reach regarding the proverbial silver lining of things exceeds the limits you place on yourself. =] Good luck.
Thanks, Soul. Somethings are starting to come together. We are waiting on an insurance claim to come through in order to get the $1550 we need in order to move in. Regardless if I have the money or not we still have to start making our way up to Michigan by Wednesday/Thursday morning. It's my plan to get up there by Friday morning and hope the money from the claim has cleared the bank by then or else we're going to be living in a tent for a few days. I don't mind camping so much, but two things are going to really get to me... the heat, but even worse is how am I going to manage the dogs, cats, and bird in those kind of conditions? Hopefully we'll have the money and won't even have to worry about it, but until we do it's a dreaded thought in the back of mind. The reason I have to leave by that date is because I have to be up there by the following Monday on the eighth to start work. I've been trying to look into alternative means to cover the 1500+, but with bad credit I haven't had any luck so far. For those interested I'll try to keep you updated on the progress of it all although I'd much rather be posting story segments, LOL.
Good update. Glad I got it.
Looks like time to raise a glass to new adventures and hope for the best! Good luck and will be nice to see you finally settled.
Looks like time to raise a glass to new adventures and hope for the best! Good luck and will be nice to see you finally settled.
wish you the best of luck and for many good times to come your way.
Just letting you all know my family and I made it to Oscoda Michigan last Satarday. It was a 15 hour the first day after getting 2 hrs of sleep followed by 2 and a half hours of sleep at a hotel I couldn't even sleep in. My wife had researched places we could stop over at that were pet friendly, but after we got there we were told we couldn't bring 4 of our cats and the bird to the room. So I snuck all the cats via the stairs plus the two dogs and I stayed out in the moving truck waking up every now and then to turn it on and make sure the temperagure was staying cool enough for the bird and his pet rabbit. I only got about 2 and 1/2 hours of sleep that second night. Oh, and the room we had was the top floor so it wasn't fun making the 7 trips plus carrying everything up to the room for the wife, kid, and pets.
The second day was a 12 hour drive. I should also mention that inside the truck cab was me, my wife, daughter, both dogs, four of the cats (two sharing a crate, two not) and the bird and bunny in a crate. Needless to say it was a very cramped ride all the way there. I drove a truck with a 26 foot cargo length plus a flat bed in which to tow our car. In overall length we were longer than some of the semi trucks I passed which was one of the reasons the wife was not comfortable driving so I did it all.
Sunday we unloaded the truck and Monday I headed into work 6 in the morning. No rest for the weary. I'll let you all know more soon.
Wish you well on new job.
Can"t wait 'til "Friday".
Another friday has passed, and still no "Friday".
I guesss this octogenerian just has to be patient.
A quick update...
The job is working out great. I've been adapting fairly well to working dayshift (I've been working nightshift for the past eight years or so). Our new home is more than twice the size of our old one and even though we're paying rent its about half the price of what our mortgage payment was. I nearly have all our bills paid off / caught up. We had lost one of our cats just before we left the house in Florida. She got out of my wife"s hands (clawed her up pretty well too) as we were getting them all moved into the truck. But luckily, a few weeks after we were settling into the new home in Michigan, we discovered she had taken up residence under one of the neighbors houses and after about two weeks of coordinating our efforts we eventually were able to fly her up. Once she was in the new house she did a quick walk about the place in about five minutes and then was purring. She was so happy to be back with us. Poor thing must've been very scared and upset during the whole time we were gone from her life. We're just really happy to have our little furry family member back with us, as I'm sure she is happy to be back with us. We still don't have any real furniture. No table, a couple of folding chairs, the bed for the wife and I, a desk for her computer (mine is on the floor, LOL), a couple of book shelves and the piano. Recently we bought a futon mattress for my daughter because one of the people my wife knows through WoW was kind enough to send us money to buy her something to sleep on. I'm finding bits and pieces of time to continue writing, mostly during my breaks at work, so the story is progressing. I think it'll be a couple of months until I'm settled in enough to be able to comfortably get back to writing on a more consistent basis (laying on the floor and propped up on my elbows isn't exactly the most comfortable position to be in while writing). With catching a few minutes here and there to write, it's been making it difficult for me to keep all of Sean's thoughts in order and to hit the highlights of all the issues he's facing, but I will get there and you will have more of this story soon.
Last edited by SilentStrider (2011-09-11 10:37:01)
I know cats are weird that way. I don't have any pets
because I can't afford to feed the descendant of a wolf! lol
Hey Ss, hope everythings working out for you! Good luck, and don't give up, K pal?
SS - Hopefully your days on the banks of the Great Lakes are going well. Any chance of a Halloween update?
Hey, just letting you know that in chapter 7, tara introduces Sean to Dawn as Sean instead of john. And later on the chapter Dawn starts calling him john.
Last edited by thegreywolf (2011-12-13 12:27:43)
Heya guys and gals! I know it's been a while. Too long in fact, but here's a quick update. I have one, possibly two more story posts ready. I still want to proof read it again (because 17 times isn't enough for some reason) before I throw up the next part. I'm still only getting a sentence or two done during breaks and if I happen to catch a writing spark within t hose 15 minutes sometimes a whole paragraph or two. I apologize to both you and myself for the delay, but I have never given up. As you may suspect due to the minimum time I've had available to write I fear the quality might be a bit choppy so I'm doing my best to deliver as smooth of a story line as I can while also telling myself to stop wasting so much time reviewing it and to just get it all down on paper no matter how bad it might read as a first draft.
Thanks Greywolf for catching that little mistake. I think I may have already corrected it in the version I have saved on my computer, but I can't be sure. I'll have to double check that and (eventually) correct here too.
I keep checking back here every week or two and I've seen you Clair, posting some new stories up. I'm sorry to say I haven't given myself the chance to read it yet. It a decision of do I write or read. I'm saving it for when I don't have that inspirational spark to write. Hope you don't mind.
Thank you all for continuing to keep checking back here every now and then. You can expect to see the next update within three days or less from this posting. Got to go to work now. Read you all soon
Last edited by SilentStrider (2012-02-05 12:52:57)
Alright! Got it done sooner than I anticipated. Hope it's good enough. I'll keep working on the rest.
First thing he did after getting into his apartment was greet Serenity who met him as she normally did the second he entered. She immediately displayed her affection by rubbing up against his legs and he returned it, scratching her gently behind the ears. Following their traditional routine she led the way into the kitchen and he fed her a special treat. Since he hadn’t brought anything home with him from work he opened up a Fancy Feast and scooped it out into her food bowl. She offered her gratitude, licking his hand once with the soft tip of her tongue, then anxiously began devouring her snack.
Sean understood since she nearly starved to death in an alley it gave her a different perspective toward food and she felt the need to consume whatever was available as fast as possible. Because of this he learned he couldn’t leave anything around for her to eat or else she would gorge herself into obesity.
Before settling down onto his couch he felt it necessary to wash off the sticky stench of work and took a fast shower. The cool water felt refreshing, clearing his mind in preparation for a long night of studying. He felt well rested mentally since he had been essentially absent for the past two days while his alter ego had free run. It wasn’t a thought he wanted to dwell on and before long he had slipped into a pair of grey sweatpants, and sat cross-legged in the nook of his living room couch. Making himself comfortable he was soon surrounded by text books and class notes as well as his cat who occasionally requested a tithe in the form of a scratch or a back rub.
The night pressed on and he managed to breeze through his English material with relative confidence that he’d do well on the test in the morning, but half way into his review of his math he began to get side tracked with the many issues he was avoiding. He mainly thought about the girls and how much they had affected his life in the brief time he had known them. He’d never have imagined based off of their first encounter they’d wind up becoming friends let alone finding out exactly how special they all were.
He reclined back, resting his head on the worn cushions, looking up at the ceiling while he contemplated that last thought. It seemed odd to him the four of them coming together the way they had. “What were the chances?” he wondered.
Before he knew it his mind was delving into the many aspects of their relationship. They fascinated him and although he felt reluctant to admit it, even to himself, he found he cared very much what happened to them. He allowed himself the luxury of imagining a future with them in his life, but the brief moment was cutoff by a sudden violent memory that seeped in around the edges of his wishful thinking.
His emotions spiked, filled with fear and dread at the thought of his friends being ripped apart by the monster plaguing his life. The imagery that flashed across his mind was so vividly appalling he couldn't help but to feel full of rage and pain. His anger also extended to himself for exposing them to his own dangerous past.
Sean closed his eyes, trying hard to put the imagery out of his mind and to calm himself. A wave of deep depression and regret overcame him, as if he had already suffered the tragedy. His eyes felt warm and a couple of unwilling tears escaped the outside corners, creating a wet trail that streaked across his temples.
Leaning forward he shook his head, attempting to purge such thoughts. Desperate to return to a calmer state he grabbed a calculus book and forced himself to study and memorize the formulas. Unfortunately it wasn't enough. His hands were visibly shaking and his heart beat hard against his chest. Pressure built up behind his eyes as his blood raced through his body causing his temples to throb. But the worst part of all was the heat he could feel radiating off of his skin.
He was on the edge of losing control to the werewolf within. It was far too soon to be feeling a transformation forcing itself so powerfully. It hadn't even been a full day since he last changed and already he was on the brink of another.
Could Tara's warnings be true? Had his time run out and he was on the verge of a desperate struggle of wills to determine which personality of his would remain dominant.
Sean no longer felt at ease where he sat and sprang to his feet carelessly knocking papers and books to the floor. Serenity looked at him wide eyed wondering what was going on and cautiously rose from where she was laying. He tried concentrating on his breathing, slowing it down and using that to regulate the calm he wished to adopt. It had worked countless times before when he needed to master his body, but this time the affects weren’t so noticeable. His attempts were slowing the change down, stalling the inevitable, but it clearly was not having the same affect as it normally had.
A dreaded thought crept into his mind and he wondered if this was it. Had his end come so abruptly? This was not how he thought it would happen. What would his werewolf self do? Where would it go, and what would his friends think and do in his absence?
Just then Serenity started pawing gently at his leg. He looked down realizing she had hopped onto the floor in front of him and now meowed her concern for what was happening. She caused a simple thought to pervade his mind. Who would take care of her?
An overwhelming amount of sadness came over him and the struggle for control melted away as if it were inconsequential when compared to the fate of the innocent feline at his feet.
Sean bent down to pet and reassure her with a sad smile. He was feeling emotionally raw with the extremes he was going through making him half wonder if he had allowed his mental shields to slip, but a quick check showed him everything was in order and his empathic abilities were sufficiently contained. Continuing his studies was beyond him at the moment and he felt moving about was better. Without a second thought he quickly got dressed and headed out into the cold night.
The air felt good as soon as it hit his face, helping him to focus his thoughts and to reign in the emotional outburst. Feeling the urge to expend some of his built up energy he decided a jog through the city would be a good idea. The physical exertion would take the edge off and enable him to sort out what was going on. He started off slow and gradually built his speed up to a steady pace without breaking a sweat or breathing heavy.
Once again his thoughts drifted back to the three girls. They were good people and were doing what they could to help, but how fair was it to expose them to his problems? As far as he was concerned he was living on borrowed time. Eventually his past was going to catch up and he didn't think he'd live through another encounter with the other werewolf. Surprisingly, however, he wasn't concerned with that as much as he was with any one else close to him. The thing had been deliberately malicious in the way it killed and for whatever reason wanted him to suffer.
What motivated the creature he hadn't a clue and his hopes of finding out weren't promising. There was a slight chance Tara could shed more light on the matter, but was it important enough to endanger her life? Given the choice he doubted she'd back off, even if he insisted, so that left him to wonder whether or not the right thing to do was up and leave before she and the others got too involved.
The fact that he was even considering all this was because of her in the first place. She had wanted to know the truth so badly she continuously pried until she got it, which irritated the hell out of him. If Tara hadn't found out so soon he might not have been forced to face this decision. If so, would he even be thinking of leaving?
Yes, he had to admit, he most likely would have. Essentially it didn't really matter if his friends knew of his past, or not. He'd still be faced with the same decision. It was only a matter of time. The only real question was when.
Why was he still here?
Earlier he promised himself he'd stay long enough to help with whatever immediate danger was going on, and now it seemed the problem had been dealt with. He could justify his continuing to stay was because of Gregor informing him he'd be safer from the Veil, but in his heart it felt like a convenient excuse to keep what he wanted most.
The answer was simple. He had finally found the one thing he'd been hoping for since before he left the manor and now was reluctant to let go. Friendship. Understanding. People he could relate to and not feel like he had to hide. The loneliness that had hung over his heart for years faded and he was reluctant to return to that dismal state.
Sean picked up his pace, pushing harder and harder until he felt like he couldn't move his legs any faster. He forced himself to take in air through his nostrils for as long as possible, managing to cover the better part of two miles before he had to breathe through his mouth. If anything was in the way he either ran around it or jumped over. Before he realized it he was reaching the city limits and reversing direction. More than a few people turned their heads, wondering if he was chasing after something or running away, but no one had time to ask since he was gone before the question could completely formulate in their mind.
Perhaps he was indeed running from something, for in his heart, that's what it felt like.
He was trying to escape the life he had known hoping for a better future.
His relationship with the three of them wasn't perfect, and there were issues, like the embarrassing fact of how they witnessed all of his repressed memories, but the more important part was, despite all the ugliness, they still accepted him. Sean had more trouble accepting himself than they did. It’d be nice if he could share their opinion.
He found himself wishing his uncle was there to offer guidance. He always had an answer or solution for every problem and if he were present now he'd surely have some sagely advice.
The more he thought about what Gregor might say, the more he was reminded of what he had done to his mind. It wasn’t just blocked off memories. He had also implanted parts of his own experiences. How much of him was real and how much was a copy? The very idea nearly had at the verge of feeling enraged, but instead he poured that energy into running even faster.
He knew Gregor was brilliant and multifaceted when it came to making plans. The man accounted for his mistakes making it look like everything was always working out the way he anticipated. Sometimes this made it very difficult to understand the reasons Gregor did certain things until the very end when the pieces fell into place.
It was clear his uncle certainly had done more to his mind than was apparent, which brought into question whether or not Gregor had ulterior motives. Would he ever take advantage of his only surviving blood relative?
Sean doubted it. Gregor always placed a strong emphasis on family and valued it too much to take advantage. In essence his uncle had always striven to do all he could for him, but now, in light of what was discovered, there was doubt. Sean’s faith corroded the more Tara’s warning about vampires echoed through his head.
His opinion of his uncle hadn't always been positive, especially in the beginning, but over time the two of them earned respect for each other. Part of him felt guilty for questioning what Gregor had done, but taking such liberties without saying anything filled him with a sense of betrayal.
It was difficult to imagine that perhaps he didn't know his uncle as well as he thought.
After more than an hour of running throughout the late night city streets and alleys it didn't come as much of a surprise when he noticed himself moving along the familiar route to Chris' house. Slowing his pace down he allowed a chance for his body to cool off before coming to a walk by the time he turned the corner onto her block.
The street was poorly lit with only two of the six overhead lights working, and all the windows were dark, but Sean could see well enough the white Lincoln parked in the driveway. It was a sure sign Tara and Dawn were spending the night. Ever since they discovered the place had had a makeover it was quickly becoming the preferred hangout.
Sean found a shadowy spot next to a telephone pole across the street and leaned against it, considering his future while he watched the little house. The neighborhood was mostly quiet with an occasional dog barking in the background and a couple of distant arguments muffled by closed doors and thin walls. With the recent improvements he made on Chris' home her place was starting to look like one of the better houses on the block. Granted, the lawn could still benefit from being reseeded, but it would have to wait until after the cold season passed.
He imagined all three of them sleeping soundly, getting a good nights rest before whatever final exams they'd have tomorrow. It would've been nice if he'd been able to relax enough to do the same, but a small part of him feared what he might dream.
Taking his sleeping pills was his way of compensating. If he took enough at one time he'd sleep soundly to the point he wouldn't dream, but he had to allow time for uninterrupted rest. It was difficult becoming fully conscious after taking so many and not always predictable when he came to. Not even an alarm clock was reliable when he had to be up at a certain time. He either risked sleeping or skipped sleep all together.
For now at least he was feeling calmer, but he wondered for how long. If he was indeed beginning to lose himself and his time being human was coming to an end, how would he spend what he had left?
He shocked himself with how calmly the thought popped into his mind and the utter lack of concern he felt. Perhaps it was diluted with disappointment for not coming up with any ideas that stirred his passion. Was he so shallow as to not see his life as worthwhile? Had he truly become so complacent with the idea of dying?
He wanted to be angry at himself, but the most he could muster was shaking his head with a weak look of disapproval. Despite the fact he felt clear headed, emotionally he was drained. His insides were numb, but at least he could identify enough to know he still cared. Thankfully, he hadn't crossed that line yet.
Last edited by SilentStrider (2012-02-05 11:20:46)
Here's a second update
The next day was a blur to Sean. He knew he had taken his English and Math test and felt confident he had done well, but all the details were lost to him. After class he had gone straight to work without any recollection how he had gotten there. Chris came in later that evening for a few hours to augment the dinner shift and talked to him more than once before he realized she was there. What made it worse was he knew he had responded to her each time, but couldn’t recall anything said until she had startled him with a shout to get his attention.
He could remember pieces of that conversation, explaining how he felt like he was coasting on autopilot. Blaming it on being tired and the stress of college finals was convenient, but he could tell Chris wasn't sold. She knew him better than that, but was kind enough not to ask more than he was willing to give.
Sean didn't become fully aware of himself until he had returned home that evening and sat down on his couch. He sank into one of its corners resting an elbow on the furniture arm and lightly touched two fingers to his forehead. Mentaly he was tired. He hadn't slept in nearly thirty-six hours and his eyelids were heavy, staying closed without effort.
On some level he knew his cat had jumped onto the cushion next to him and was settling down, happy to have him home regardless of not receiving her usual greeting. She probably had some idea he wasn't feeling well and was doing her part in offering comfort. Before he could think of anything the soft drone of her purring lulled him to sleep.
One moment he was drifting off, the next he was on his feet, crouched and with a racing heart as if from an anxiety attack. Colors and smells were extremely vivid which was a sure sign his senses had increased without conscious effort. A low rumbling growl came from somewhere within the room and it took him a couple of seconds to realize he was the source.
Another change was forcing itself upon him and the stress of it had snapped him awake. Quickly he dug his mental heels in and resisted by focusing on what he normally used, a calm steady breathing rate. Within a few moments his racing pulse had slowed and his body was back under control. The after affects of the adrenaline still coursing through him had completely wiped away the fatigue and it took him a little longer to lower the sensitivity to his other senses. Even though he had stilled the pounding in his veins and was breathing evenly his hands shook from the after affects.
He was afraid to sit down again; afraid the werewolf within would reemerge. The moment he let his guard down he knew he'd be facing the resurfaced memories and the possibility of the werewolf side taking over. There was a lurking sensation of his other personality pacing back and forth in the depths of his subconscious where it restlessly prowled searching for a way out. Every now and then throughout the day he had the feeling of someone watching him, but it didn't come from an outside source. Rather the watcher he felt came from the inside looking at him through the portals of his own eyes.
Sean knew it was wrong, but he had to cut himself off from all that he was feeling at least until he figured out a way to handle what was going on. Right now he was beyond tired and didn't believe surrendering to sleep was the best idea despite how inviting it was. At the same time he understood it was unavoidable. Sleep was going to claim him sooner our later and there was only one thing he could think of that might subdue both him and the beast.
Without waiting another second he headed straight for the bathroom medicine cabinet. It was better to act on the decision quickly while he was still able to think. There were twelve sleeping pills left in the little bottle and he dumped the entire content into his mouth swallowing it with water.
If he couldn't stay awake then he was going to make sure the werewolf side of himself wasn't going to awaken either.
It didn't take long for the affects to kick in. Before he knew it his eyelids were getting heavy and he was able to get under the covers before the dreamless void claimed him.
When Sean awoke it was still dark outside. He was breathing hard and fast, clutching at his sheets twisted up around his body. Heat was radiating off him and there were spots damp in sweat from a monstrous struggle of control he had only just become aware of.
Right away he used his will to clamp down on his form which seemed to have been in a continuous state of fluctuation. Only after the random shifting had ceased did he realize how bad off he actually was. His body was a patchwork of white fur with various muscle groups expanded beyond normal. The way his face felt swollen and hurt told him there were some extreme changes there as well. Even though he still felt groggy from the affects of the pills he could tell his senses were heightened and the smell of blood nearby had him snap wide awake.
Instantly he shot out of bed looking around for the source. Within a few seconds he locked in on its location where his sheets were spotted with dark red stains. His chest was squeezed tight with dread while he glanced around for Serenity.
To his relief she was sleeping on top of the dresser completely undisturbed.
Upon realizing she was safe the pressure around his frame released and the air in his lungs escaped with a loud sigh. With his senses still turned way up he grabbed a handful of sheets that had the largest splotch of blood and lifted it up to his nose to confirm the scent. Sure enough it was his own.
Normally he didn't bleed during transformations due to the speed he regenerated. The only reason he could think of to account for the blood was due to his body's healing ability having been exhausted, which meant the whole time he was unconscious his other half was trying to take over. Taking all the sleeping pills prevented a complete change, but unfortunately, the midnight struggle made his rest pointless leaving him more exhausted than before. A glance at the time told him he had been in bed for less than two hours. The pills should have kept him under for much longer than that
Going back to sleep wasn't an option no matter how much he wished for it. With effort he forced himself to stay awake by cleaning his apartment all the while thinking about the werewolf side of himself and how its strength of will was growing.
Questions flashed across his mind. Questions he didn’t want to face. What would happen if his other half took over? Would he ever be able to change back? Would he cease being human and completely forget who he was?
That last thought really bothered him the most. It implied he, as in "Sean", would be gone forever. Effectively it would be the same as if he ceased to exist. His identity would be swallowed up by his baser instincts drowning out his sense of humanity. He'd be little better than an animal and all that he was would be gone.
If this was the reality he faced then what was he going to do?
He finally admitted he couldn’t handle this on his own so he grabbed the phone and dialed the one person who might be able to help. It rang only once before Tara's voicemail picked up which meant her phone was probably off. Trying to remain calm he left a message for her to call as soon as she got the chance.
Right after hanging up he reconsidered his options, but thinking clearly was beyond him at the moment. He needed to have Tara's objective viewpoint and clear head so he could figure out what to do. Not feeling satisfied to sit and wait for a return call he decided to head out and find her.
His first thought was to head to Chris'. It was the likeliest place to find her. Not until he had exited the building did he realize the awkward hour he was trying to contact her. The light of the sun still hadn't broken the horizon and when he took note of the time it was a little before six in the morning. Still though his problem couldn't wait. If she knew what was happening she'd want him to get in touch with her right away.
When he got to the house her car wasn't there. He went up to the door and thought about knocking, but changed his mind. It wasn't likely Tara was there, and if Chris was, he didn't feel like dealing with her. He knew he wasn't acting very stable and the way Chris panicked around him could easily make his condition worse.
Since Tara wasn't there, the next likeliest place he knew to look was the dorm. With hardly a second thought he turned about and started walking to the college campus. He could've easily taken the train or possibly called for a cab, but the walk felt good. As long as he kept moving he'd be alright.
It took him almost an hour to get to the girl's dormitory and to sneak in past the front desk. He could've been there sooner, but a slow and steady pace was more important at the moment. When he arrived at their door and knocked, it was softly at first. By the third time it was louder and more insistent.
No one answered. He was sure he had been loud enough to wake someone up if they had been sleeping. With a groan that sounded too similar to a growl for his liking, he grabbed the marker from the message board hanging on the door and left a quick note to call him ASAP.
Sean was considering skipping his Mythological final, but now that he was in the area and with nothing else to do, it seemed like the best way for him to do to keep his mind distracted.
Passing Mythology wasn't a major concern. The material came easily enough even if half the stuff the teacher taught wasn't correct, but it was interesting to see how the rest of the world viewed the supernatural. On more than a few occasions he had to bite his tongue rather than argue the accuracy.
Sean was the first to arrive outside the classroom. He took up a spot leaning against the wall near the door while waiting for the teacher to get there and unlock it. One other student showed up early before Professor Collins and there was an attempt at idle chat until the rest of the seats filled. He heard himself respond automatically with minimal words, but never fully registered what was being said. He was mainly focused on maintaining his pulse and staying awake; a difficult combination with sleep deprivation.
The test was handed out and time ticked by slowly. Halfway through his phone buzzed in silence mode and without thinking he took it out and looked at it. Right away he was reprimanded by Collins, but Sean didn't care. The voice was a distant that didn’t matter. Without taking his attention off the phone he went to the front of the room handed in his incomplete test and walked out. Collins continued to say something else, maybe with surprise, but none of it was important. All that mattered was the text message he was reading.
It wasn't from Tara like he had hoped. Instead Dawn had texted him saying she got the message and asked what was up. Sean replied by calling her number.
After a brief conversation she told him Chris had accidentally broke Tara's phone which was the reason his call didn't go through. When he asked if she could get a message to her he must've sounded more desperate than he thought because right away her reply was "What's wrong?"
Hesitation made him flounder with a nonsense excuse. He didn't want to discuss the details with her. She got his location and told him she wasn't far. Somehow Dawn sweet talked him into meeting her at the cafeteria using a matter-of-fact voice, leaving no room for argument, and then hung up before he realized what he had agreed to.
Irritation nipped at his nerves and he choked off another growl. He was doing far too many of those lately, another sure sign how close he was to losing it. He remained in the hallway taking a full minute to check his pulse and regain his composure. If meeting up with her was how he'd get in touch with Tara then so be it.
When he got there Dawn was already sitting at one of the small round tables. Before he approached he found himself scanning the large room as if expecting some hidden danger or a trap. Sean gave his head a solid shake and mentally criticized his behavior. How could he suspect her as dangerous. It was the animal in him working its way to the surface and displaying paranoia.
He got a grip and put on his best display of being a normal human being, greeting Dawn with a smile as he came up to the table. She smiled up at him, but the corners dropped a fraction and her eyes widened slightly as she looked at his face.
"Hey! How're you doing?" she said, pretending to be normal too.
He paused at the chair next to hers contemplating if he should even sit down. Her reaction wasn't genuinely inviting. Maybe at first it was, but in an instant it changed when she looked into his eyes.
"Where's Tara? I need to talk to her."
"Taking a final. She won't be done for at least half an hour." She looked at him with concern, the smile having left her face completely.
He stood there picking a spot on the table to stare at while thinking of what to do next. It was better than focusing on Dawn's face.
"Why don't you sit down?"
He couldn't get to Tara right now and there wasn't anything else he could do at the moment. Sean took a second more to consider his current company. He realized he couldn't disguise from her what was going on inside himself, although it wasn't certain how much she understood. There was always an air of innocence about her causing him to underestimate what she comprehended, but if she was willing to accept him...
Without a word he pulled out the second chair and sat.
"I haven't been sleeping well," Sean answered, unconsciously staying focused on the center of the table.
Dawn leaned lower to the table to try and get a more direct view of his face. Her action annoyed him so he turned his head to the side, but she tried to follow.
"Your eyes... they don't look right."
He stared right back at her shocked and partly angry. "What do you mean?" His voice sounded rougher than intended. It was another sign of how he was slipping and couldn't wait any longer for Tara's help.
"Are you close to changing?"
An uncontrolled sense of panic threatened to envelope him upon hearing those words. His heart started racing despite how perfectly still he sat there. A bead of sweat rolled down the side of his face. It was hard to tell if it was out of nervous fear or the rise in body temperature.
The noises in the cafeteria were getting louder. People engaged in conversations, chairs scraping across the floor, trays clattering on tables, even the eating sounds were all assaulting his sense of hearing. He dared to glance about. There were a lot of people in the area. This was not the place for him to lose control.
"Dawn... could you do me a huge favor?"
"Take that crystal off, the one disguising your aura, and just talk to me."
"Uhh... I don't think I should. Tara said...,” her voice kept on going but none of it was important.
He ignored the rest and talked over her. "Please trust me. I really need you to do this."
She stared at him, reevaluating the request, and perhaps grasping the severity of his situation. Still uncertain if what she was doing was the right thing she dug around her neck, found the leather cord and removed the enchanted necklace.
Immideately Sean felt the affect of her presence embrace him like a light growing in intensity. A serene calm replaced all of the anxiety and a genuine peaceful smile spread across his face. He was only aware of the first few seconds of her asking what she should say and his dreamy reply of, "Anything you want."
Last edited by SilentStrider (2012-02-05 13:14:11)
Wow! Over 100 views since I last posted these updates. Glad to see there's at least a few silent readers still out there. Thanks again!
It was worth it.
Thanks Oldwolf! I'm glad to hear it
Love the building tension in these last two segments. Great way to leave the reader wanting more. If I am correct we are nearing the "great chase" segment you mentioned a while back. Can't wait for more!
Indeed you are mrRW. I'm going to try and make more posts shorter in the hopes of being able to post more frequently, and in an effort to make my writing more concise. Although the "concise" part probably should be something I reserve for when I'm working my way through the editing process, but we'll see how I do. It might improve my writing style, but I just have to watch out for how much time it consumes. I'm estimating the chase scene will be in four more posts. I have another one ready to go but I still need to give it a read through before I let you guys sink your teeth into it. I don't want to embarrass myself with poor quality when I know I'm capable of giving you better. I don't think I've disappointed anyone yet... well either that or you all have fairly forgiving eyes as this is all a first draft essentially, lol.
Thanks again to all of you. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
You'll get more of the story soon
Last edited by SilentStrider (2012-02-19 10:27:44)
This addition is a lot shorter than I thought it would be, but the next post I've been working on isn't. I might split that in two so I can get more of it up here sooner.
The next thing he knew her hands were raised, lifting her hair to replace the necklace. He was certain more time had passed and they had been engaged in conversation, but he couldn’t recall the words. It was like waking up from a really good dream with the images of it lingering in the mind’s eye. He could remember actions and general details, but specific information was difficult. The harder he grasped at one point the more others faded into his subconscious.
More importantly was how he felt. Positive was the simplest way to sum it up. He was relaxed and happier than he had ever been. If someone had shouted “FIRE” at that very moment and alarms were going off with people panicking he wouldn’t have batted an eye. Dawn was in the center of his vision and he was reluctant to look else where.
“How do you feel now?”
It took a couple of seconds for her question to register, but when it did it was obvious how the magic in her voice was missing; the first sign of reality breaking apart the daydream.
“You look better.” There was something in her eye when she spoke; something that wasn’t there a moment ago and he was just noticing it now. It was as though she had gained a new perspective and saw the world in a different way.
What had she asked him, and how had he answered? The question should have concerned him more than it did, but the impact failed to completely make it through his good mood. He’d worry about it latter if it was important.
“I feel a lot better now,” he said with a sigh, reluctantly letting go of the last visages of the past few minutes that clung to his memories. “Thanks.”
She sat there quietly gazing back at him. “You don’t remember what we just talked about, do you?”
“No. Not really.”
She turned her head down, avoiding looking directly at him. It wasn’t easy to tell, but he thought there was an expression of disappointment she was trying to keep hidden.
Dawn recomposed herself quickly and refocused on him. “Should we go see if we can find T now?”
He turned his attention inward trying to detect the presence of the werewolf and found nothing. He hadn’t felt this normal in as long as he could remember. Now there was a new reason for the smile to be on his face.
“No,” he told her as he checked himself. “I don’t think it’ll be necessary.”
“Hey, can we not mention anything to her about me taking off my necklace?”
He considered it for a moment, imagining how she’d react if she heard what Dawn had done for his sake. “Yeah. I think that we can both agree neither one of us want to tell her about this.”
“So what now?”
“The first thing I’m doing is heading home. It's been over forty-eight hours since I've gotten any decent sleep. Now that I can relax I know I'm going to crash real soon."
"You sure you're okay?"
"I'll walk with you."
"You don't have to."
"I think I should."
He wanted to tell her he was grateful for what she did, but no thanks for the extra company. He was feeling balanced and the last thing he wanted was to be around people in general. It didn't seem like she was going to turn away easily so he agreed to let her walk with him, hoping he wouldn’t regret it.
They took the train, which dropped them off a coupled of blocks away. For the most part conversation between the two of them never really took off. Dawn would try to begin something, but Sean habitually kept his answers short and wasn't very engaging. His lack of participation made the space between them increasingly more awkward while one unasked question in particular stuck to the forefront of his mind.
What had they talked about that he couldn’t remember?
After arriving at the apartment complex he thanked her and tried heading inside, but she either didn't get the hint, or she was insistent on seeing him to his door. He hadn't the will to argue so they walked up the three flights of stairs in silence. Sean thanked her once again as he unlocked the door and crossed the threshold, being sure to emphasize his intentions with a yawn. Dawn lingered a moment more, like she wanted to say something, but couldn't find the right words. Possibly she was acting timid. He was so exhausted he knew his perception was skewed so he couldn't figure out what she wanted. The only thing he really cared about at that moment was climbing into bed and closing his eyes. Pretending the rest of the world didn’t exist sounded perfect at that moment.
They eventually exchanged farewells, and she told him to rest well before he slowly closed the door. Whatever else she wanted he'd figure out later; after a good solid nap. Hell, he was even considering skipping his evening shift altogether and sleeping straight on through the night. Before getting ready to lie down he called work, telling them he wasn't feeling well and he'd not be coming in. Surprisingly, Ed took it rather well. Sean expected to receive some kind of lecture or a threat entailing he'd lose his job, but instead he told him to feel better and to try and make it in Saturday.
The last thing he did was make sure there wouldn’t be any nightmares. Grabbing a brand new unopened bottle of sleeping pills, he popped the top off, and without counting chucked back at least half of the contents.
Last edited by SilentStrider (2012-02-19 09:57:26)