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 Not a tick of the clock sounded in the air [Closed]

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PostSubject: Not a tick of the clock sounded in the air [Closed]   Wed Aug 17, 2016 8:20 pm

The clock wasn't ticking. Madison awoke. She had never noticed the ticking of the clock before, the powerful affects it had on her sleep. With each night it would lull her to sleep when the nightlight that clouded her proved to do the opposite. But it had stopped. The air was still with the eerie feeling that everything had stopped. The girl sat up. The room was fully dark.

Her laptop wasn't blinking. Across the small dorm room were the inspective faces of creatures she could not entirely see. She rubbed her eyes and their faces remained hazy, floaters across her plain of vision. They just all...stared. Some were along the wall, others at the side of her bed, grazing the sheets with long tendrils. She felt a few touch her, either on the face or shoulder or arm or leg or foot, more and more reaching out to make contact with her, stepping over each other in the dead silence. Meanwhile, Madison stayed frozen. In a time where she'd normally be instructed to announce herself their queen, her voice failed to hum on her vocal chords, to gather up the strength to surmount a feeble whisper. That was all she gave, a murmur of nothing. They didn't hear. They didn't care.

One by one creatures began to materialize around her, materialize to what would be the eye of any normal person. Those that did continued to stroke her affectionately. What was this? Why were they doing this? Upon the wall where the clock was, it had been ripped out. All the sockets had as well, the light switch now just a jumble of strewn wires. The girl backed into the corner. The monsters advanced.

"Go away..." she said lowly, unconvincingly. "I'm your queen, do as I say..."

The weight of a dozen now-materialized beings caused the bed hinge to break, a sharp crack sounding into the night.

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PostSubject: Re: Not a tick of the clock sounded in the air [Closed]   Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:07 pm

The dark of night was easier to handle in summer than in the winter. In the winter, it was rare to see the sunlight during what few hours of the daylight remained, leaving the night to be darker and longer and near unbearable for the boy who was so used to the light. While the dark was shorter, the energy given to him by the sun made it difficult to fall asleep at any decent time. After hours of lying exhausted in bed, hoping and pleading with his brain to just fall asleep, Owen finally welcomed the sweet release of unconsciousness, drifting away into the only comfortable sort of darkness.

It felt like it had only been a couple of minutes before he woke up abruptly. It was graceless. A snort followed by awkward, half-asleep slurping as he realized his mouth was open and drool was pooling, and the boy turned over, squinting in the blinding light of his clock. Bleary eyed, he couldn't read it, but it didn't make any difference. As soon as his eyes closed, he fell back into sleep, returning to a dream that was neither pleasant or unpleasant.

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PostSubject: Re: Not a tick of the clock sounded in the air [Closed]   Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:17 pm

Madison kicked at a monster. Though most stood in the corners, unsure of what to do after materialization, a few seemed invested in her. Curious. It was like they were wondering whether to kill her or to crown her; she did bring them into the world, but they were creatures of little moral and emotion. Still, they lingered, long enough for Madison to regain her voice. "I am your queen..." she repeated. "Go. Go away and die." To scream would be to alarm them, and she did not want to alarm a room full of unpredictable beasts. Meanwhile, some continued to shuffle, their path unknown, and her floor creaked violently with each 'step.'

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PostSubject: Re: Not a tick of the clock sounded in the air [Closed]   Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:46 pm

Sleep didn't last long the second time around. An abrupt dream that ended with his falling off a roof shattered the black behind his eyes and he snapped awake, jumping slightly in his bed. It was with a long groan that he opened his eyes and saw how late it was. Exhaustion wore at his eyes, painful both open and closed, and he rolled onto his back, staring at the moon lightened ceiling. White lines from the blinds across his window patterned the edge of the ceiling and wall and acted as a night light he had had as a kid, keeping him awake. It lasted for just a few seconds before he decided to get a glass of water.

Owen pushed himself out of bed, disentangling himself from the sheet he was using in place of a blanket. Half stumbling, he left the room, running into the doorjamb and bouncing off the wall, somehow making little noise as he walked through the dark to the kitchen. A soft glow came from his hands as he entered, reaching for the cupboards with the glasses, the silence pressing on his ears. The sound of water running filled the room momentarily. When he turned it off, bringing the cup to his lips to take a drink, he paused, listening hard. Silence in the dorm didn't usually press on his ears so strangely, like something whispering dark secrets in his ear, dark things he didn't want to hear. It was like everything had been silenced against its will.

Slowly, the glass was set on the counter while Owen stood frozen, listening hard, wondering what the silence wanted him to know. Why was it so quiet?

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PostSubject: Re: Not a tick of the clock sounded in the air [Closed]   Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:52 pm

"Die!"

Crash!

The exclamation pierced the night as Owen was listening through the silence. The crash, it was the sound of a glass cup being thrown at one of the creatures. Madison had reached for it in a flirt with bravery, a flaring in her chest that brought her to assert her dominance. Of course, she regretted it as it left her hand. The forefront monster was hit, a lizardlike being that seemed to be the most assertive of the pack, and it crawled towards her, head shaking violently and unnaturally as it had begun to when the glass had impacted it. Madison stood up to avoid it, and it went from quadripedal to bipedal, like a meerkat, following her as she backed away into the center of the room and into a creature that could only be explained as a man in a straight jacket. It hissed nothings at her and she froze, and looked around, surrounded, having disturbed what once was silence, the tranquil air of a clockless night.

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PostSubject: Re: Not a tick of the clock sounded in the air [Closed]   Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:20 pm

Owen was startled as he heard a shattering from one of the bedrooms. Madison's. Fear, anger, exhaustion, and exasperation rushed through him in a single breath. He was tired of this, tired of constantly worrying, tired of trying to help and realizing he didn't know much of anything about protecting anyone with his gift. But it was Madison. There were muffled sounds, now, a muffled voice, growls, sounds of distress. No sounds came from the other rooms, nothing from Nicola, nothing from their other dormmate. In a state of panic and trepidation, his weariness still clinging to his brain, Owen grabbed a knife from a drawer, not bothering to close it out of fear of making more noise.

He felt the familiar tingling sensation of his whole body beginning to light up as he approached the door to Madison's room. For a brief moment, he considered knocking first, just to see if things were really bad or if it was something he was hearing wrong, but if the latter, knocking would alert anything to his presence and that was the last thing he wanted. Steeling himself, the boy squeezed his eyes shut just a second. He could do it. He could do it. He could...

Without another pause, he lit up and threw the door open, hardly taking anything in at first, his own brightness blinding him. It was dark, that was all he could tell, unnaturally dark in the light Owen gave off. There were eyes, there was Madison, her bedroom was filled.

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PostSubject: Re: Not a tick of the clock sounded in the air [Closed]   Thu Aug 18, 2016 12:23 pm

The eyes turned in an eerie unison. They didn't seem to move, to spin or to blink in any way, but something about them assuredly seemed to be staring at Owen. They all were still, save for the ones who caught the light and hissed, moving backwards. In the light was the revealed smoky purple of limbs, of tentacles and claws and beaks and teeth. Everything seemed to be crowded in the room. Everything seemed to be guarding Madison.

She looked up at the light Owen was exuding, blinded like a deer in headlights, shielding her eyes with her arm and wondering if it was her roommate or someone else with a flashlight. Did she alert the RA? Was she going to be in trouble? It was strange to her that such trivial thoughts were floating through her; perhaps it was because the eyes were not on her anymore. Furthermore, shadowy bodies seemed to begin to form a barrier. Were they...protecting her?

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PostSubject: Re: Not a tick of the clock sounded in the air [Closed]   Mon Aug 22, 2016 12:06 am

It was unlike anything Owen had seen before. Of course, starting at this school and being friends with Madison, it was becoming a regular occurrence, something he saw nearly every day. But it continued to be unsettling, and this was no different.

So many shadows and eyes stared at him. His light was almost ineffective, it seemed, merely bothering the shadows that were closest to him, hissing and shrinking away into their safer partners, protecting themselves. As they melted backwards, they seemed to melt into one another, forming a.. A wall? They all faced him, strategically placing themselves between Madison and the confused, still slowly rousing boy. He redoubled his grip on the knife he'd grabbed from the kitchen. Silently, he wished he'd grabbed the biggest, but it would have to do. What would it have to do, though? How could he get through these...these things?

In a flash of courage he hadn't expected, Owen snapped, "Leave her alone." To him, his voice sounded weak and wobbly, as though he were a nervous kindergartner standing up to the fifth grade bully, not a freak with light powers standing up to shadowy demons. He cleared his throat but didn't reiterate what he'd said. He couldn't tell if it was a trick of the eye or if his light had faltered when he fell into a stance, prepping for who knew what. It was the middle of the night, he was barely awake, and he still knew little about the offensive qualities of his gift. It wouldn't hurt to try.

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PostSubject: Re: Not a tick of the clock sounded in the air [Closed]   Mon Aug 22, 2016 4:24 pm

As the seconds passed without formal confrontation, the shadowy beasts seemed to get more and more unruly, more and more willing to test Owen. The ones closest to him began to make an awful medley of sounds, with hisses and squawks and gargles in the mix and forming an orchestra of mayhemic growls and gutturals. When they moved, they seemed to skate across the ground like a video game character lagging from a bad internet connection. One extra brave creature scratched him on his arm with its shadowy tendrils, then faded back in the mix.

"Stop!" Madison called from behind the barrier, to which she received no obedience. The creatures got more and more willing to test Owen, getting closer and closer. Another monster's claws found his skin.

ooc;; in 1894, the Columbus World's fair in Chicago was destroyed by fire, and the Great fire in Shanghai destroyed over 1,000 buildings. It's the year of fire apparently.

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PostSubject: Re: Not a tick of the clock sounded in the air [Closed]   Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:06 pm

Fear was rapidly waking him up. The braver the creatures got, the faster Owen's heart raced, the tighter he gripped the knife. Just the touch of a creature at his arm caused him to swing the knife like he was holding a sword, a move that would've been more effective if the blade had been longer. Instead, he missed the wall of creatures by over a foot and he overbalanced, stumbling back towards the doorway. His skin stung where he'd been clawed at.

Although the shadow beings ignored Madison, her voice cut through them and rang in the boy's ears. But what was he supposed to do? His light hardly had any effect, he had no idea how to wield a knife, and they seemed to be rebelling against the girl. Slowly, like a fading flashlight, the light he emitted shrunk back into his skin, the room steadily drawing dark again. He had to preserve energy, find the proper moment to use the light. Now wasn't it.
"Leave her alone." This time, Owen spoke clearly, a faint growl in the back of his throat. He drew himself to his full height before settling into a defensive stance, now holding the knife as though it were a baseball bat, hands gripping it near his shoulder, and he stared, hard, at the monsters.

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PostSubject: Re: Not a tick of the clock sounded in the air [Closed]   Tue Aug 30, 2016 12:24 am

A creature went for the knife. It seemed to try to disarm Owen, and its tendril of a hand seemed to wrap around his wrist in one part, in one sketching, drifting part. It was warm and cold at the same time, as fleeting and strange as the limb itself, and soon enough, claws of sorts began to come from the 'hand,' slowly arching their way out like blood being pumped through veins. With each beat they unsheathed, further and further, meeting the skin of Owen's wrist. The monster who had grabbed Owen's wrist to get the weapon didn't wrestle for it. It was eerily still, looking up with a face obstructed by the sheer mass of faces around it; its frozen figure was only disrupted by claws trying to hurt the boys wrist, to get him to recoil and drop the weapon. More monsters began to pool forward, like one organism, stepping up to meet their adversary in an army of masked faces and twisted, distorted forms.

Madison grabbed the 'shoulder' of one that stepped forward. It stopped. She stopped. The thing turned slowly to meet her gaze, entrancing her in a pale stillness. She swallowed. It seemed to give a murmur. Slowly the creature examined her, reaching up to her face and slowly putting a quite-humanly hand on her cheek, cupping it, looking at her with eyes it couldn't see. Then, it turned and moved with the mass of shadows, towards Owen, and Madison did not stop it. In that moment, the creatures closed in on Owen, some running for him brashly, and Madison stayed behind, unsure whether to attack the things that seemed to hold her dear or risk the death of a person with the same sentiment.

She'd tried to get them under her power all her life.

She tried to get them to not attack her all her life.

The feeling of the lukewarm being's hand on her face resided. They were finally there, she couldn't hurt them.

But Owen...

She backed against a wall and put her face in her hands.

ooc;; in 1900, The first modern submarine designed and built by John Philip Holland wass purchased by the U.S. Navy, the Republican Party nominated President William McKinley for re-election, but chose a new candidate for Vice-President, Theodore Roosevelt, and the first flight LZ-1, of a dirigible airship designed by Graf Ferdinand von Zeppelin, occurred at Lake Constance near Friedrichshafen, Germany.

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PostSubject: Re: Not a tick of the clock sounded in the air [Closed]   Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:27 pm

Time seemed to freeze as the one creature reached for his wrist. Owen took a surprised step back, but his hand with the knife stayed with the tendril, the strange limb that held fast and felt weird to the touch. His eyes were glued to it, his breathing shallow, his other hand hanging tensely at his side, open and ready to swing, but he wasn't sure if anything would help. As he stared, claws began to emerge and find purchase on his skin. Gasping in shock and pain, the boy tried to pull his wrist out of its grip, but it held fast, seemingly waiting for him to release the weapon he held. Blood welled up as the scratches grew deeper and the claws continued their work. His grasp on the knife held only to try and squeeze the pain from his arm, but it was getting worse, and the cuts were getting too deep, he was experiencing a different kind of sting than the earlier scratch.

With a yell half from pain and half from determination, he ripped his arm from the grasp of the creature. Drops of blood ran down the length of his arm to his elbow and he had to ignore it. The army of demons were scrambling over one another to get to him, their claws reaching for his skin, hissing and groaning coming from wherever their sounds came from. In a flash of light, Owen lit up again, brighter than before as he drew energy from every light source in the dorm, pulling it towards him and blasting it outwards. Tangible light stretched six inches from him, hitting any creature that tried to touch him and burning them, causing them to shrink away. Before the others could realize what was happening, he started swinging the knife wherever he could reach, hardly pausing to see if it was hitting its mark, his arms a windmill and flurry, the knife glinting in his light.

He wasn't sure when he started and when he stopped. All he knew was that when he finished, his limbs ached, his light was entirely gone, and the knife was still gripped tight in his hand. It was a moment before he remembered Madison. Eyes still hazy, breathing heavy, feeling a little less human, he looked at her.

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PostSubject: Re: Not a tick of the clock sounded in the air [Closed]   Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:31 pm

Madison staggered back. Owen's blur was her clarity, a picture before her of her roommate hacking, slashing, massacring the creatures that had stacked themselves to protect her. In that flurry of violence she saw the boy, his ascent into what seemed to be madness, a neverending frenzy of stab and cut, stab and cut. It ended in her stomach, a pit forming deep with dread. Madison coughed. Blood leaked down her chin. She looked into Owen's eyes, the eyes of the man who killed her children, the hazy, panting stare of the boy who put a knife into her. She staggered again, grabbing the hilt of the blade, intertwining her scarlet fingers with Owen's. The girl pulled it out, practically sliding off it, and took a few queasy steps back, slipping and ending up on the floor. Behind Owen, her tall form projecting through his legs, Madison saw her mother. She did nothing, arching through the doorway. She just laughed.

ooc;; in 1902, Abdulaziz Ibn Saud lead 40 men over the walls of Riyadh and took the city, marking the beginning of the Third Saudi State. J C Penney opened his first store in Kemmerer, Wyoming. "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad was first published in one volume (previously serialized) by William Blackwood in Edinburgh.

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PostSubject: Re: Not a tick of the clock sounded in the air [Closed]   Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:38 am

As his brown eyes met Madison's light ones, he could feel his heart stop beating. His eyelashes fluttered as his jaw set, his gaze refusing to cast downwards where he knew, where he felt his knife embedded in the girl, the one being in this dark room he'd been trying to protect. Owen was frozen. He felt the ache in his limbs, the muscle spasms like he'd run a marathon, the nearly unnoticeable rise and fall of his chest, but he couldn't see it, couldn't control any of it.

Her hand intertwined with his. Blood was on it and she felt cool and slippery to the touch, not a way any human hand should ever feel, as she slid herself off the knife. He was dizzy, dizzy, oh so dizzy. Everything about this was wrong. It was straight out of a nightmare, demons included, hollow laughter ringing in his ears. Or was that his own blood, pounding against his head while hers dribbled out of her, staining her clothes and the floor? He couldn't move. He couldn't.

For what felt like hours, the boy stood, a statue made in mockery of the crime he'd committed. It could only have been seconds, realistically. Mere seconds as he stared at her, life quite literally draining from her before his eyes, but it was too long. He felt nauseous at the thoughts whirling around his head. They were too fast for him to catch, too quick for him to understand what they said. Around, around, around, until he was physically stumbling, stars in his field of vision, the knife clattering to the floor in a less dramatic way than he thought it did. Her blood was on his hands, the scarlet color standing out even in the dark here. This was wrong, this was bad, this was..

"M-Madison?" Voice cracking from misuse, Owen lurched forward, falling hard to his knees beside her. His hands hovered above the girl, afraid to touch, scared they would hurt again, certain they were the cause of this. Tears should have been blurring his vision by now, but the fear and disbelief were too strong, his head was a mess instead of his face. "I'm sorry, sh-shit, I'm s-so sorry." His hands weren't shaking, the warble clearly in his throat as replacement. Don't touch, don't touch, don't touch. The mantra sounded over and over, filling his mind and replacing all other thoughts. What should he do? What could he do? He felt trapped.

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PostSubject: Re: Not a tick of the clock sounded in the air [Closed]   Thu Sep 08, 2016 2:05 pm

Madison? The name faded into a cacophany of the blood rushing through her ears, the pumping of her heart as it gave itself to the lower chest wound that she had sustained, and above her her mother stood, in a place she did not remember the tall figure traveling to. She was eclipsed by Owen, a still shadow whose red eyes pierced the back of his head line the burning flames of the sun, peeking over his hairs. She saw him speak but didn't hear him. She tried to speak but coughed blood at his face. She tried to breathe but felt her lungs heavy, unworking, finished. Owen's words resonated in her dying mind,Madison, Madison, her name reverberating through her like echoes on the walls of a dark, abandoned church. And the church grew darker, colder.

Nicola flashed through her mind. The girl was likely sleeping, unaware of all that happened. This girl, she was annoying, but Madison knew she loved her. She wished she could have told her. She maybe would have smiled, a seldom but beautiful sight, like a shooting star across her pale face.

Her mother came next, a woman she constantly ignored and shunned. The girl felt small, lying there, wondering about how that woman still loved her. Why she would still cry for her. Madison's blurry eyes looked up at the laughing, twisted figure above her and knew what it embodied: not the evil of her mother, but the evil of herself, her ungratefulness. In a life of hiding, she hid from who she loved the most. I'm sorry, her mind painted vibrantly on its graying landscape. I'm sorry.

I'm sorry to everyone.

I'm sorry.

Owen. She looked up at Owen, breath gossamer as a hummingbird's. She forced a smile heavier than the sky, reaching up to his face, feeling his cheek before tiny sparks of numbness overtook her.

And the hand fell.

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