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 Ghost [OPEN]

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PostSubject: Ghost [OPEN]   Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:32 pm

The forest was deathly still. A soft blanket of fresh snow covered the forest floor, and the only sign of passing was a small chilly breeze that stirred life into the trees, filling the wood with an eerie whispering sound. Evelyn sat at the base of an old oak that had half a hundred initials carved into its bark, the last traces of the students that had come before. She took a swig from a bottle and glanced at her own dagger lying by her legs, wondering if she should carve in her own name. Who could forget her then?

A bitter smile came unbidden to her lips and she could feel her face heating up from the alcohol. I can immortalize myself with a tree. Why not? That’s pretty poetic. Evelyn took another sip and grimaced at the sharp and acrid taste. John had said that it would get better the more she drank. John was also a piece of shit liar, she decided with another gulp. All she had done after the Formal was drink and it still tasted remarkably like piss. The old oak had become her hiding place, where she could think and be at peace, with the added benefit of being able to get drunk off her ass without her roommates knowing a thing

Her little place in the woods was nice enough. Pines and oaks and cedars rose high around her, forming a dense canopy overhead, and the frigid air was crisp and clean and smelled of pines and sap and rotting leaves. In the spring and summer it was supposed to be a popular place for couples to meet, which might have explained all of the letters and hearts carved into the bark, but in the deep of winter there was no one. That was the best part. Evelyn had spent her whole stay at Beata wandering from place to place in search of somewhere quiet, and finally she found it. It only took a year. As if in celebration, she brought the bottle back to her lips and tipped it back. It burned at her throat as it went down.

Evelyn pulled herself to her knees and turned to look at the names carved into the oak; tracing a long and slender gloved finger along the letters she came across, wondering just who they were from and from how long ago. Did any of these couples last? Probably not. For some reason, that thought made her feel a little better. That good feeling immediately died. God, other people’s heartbreak made her happy now? I’m so fucking pathetic. She shook the thoughts away and moved her hand over a column of names, one right on top of another.

M + N =
I x D!!!
R + L = J
T + N

The last was crudely scratched out. Evelyn frowned. “I guess that answers my question.” she murmured quietly. Her voice seemed to carry, too loud for the twilit forest. She ignored the chills and creeping fear and grasped her own dagger tightly, pressing the sharpened tip to the bark and etching her own name, large and prominent among all the other initials.

EVELYN WHITE
2034

She sat back, satisfied, and drank deep before brushing the shavings off her pants. Maybe somebody will remember my name now. Evelyn laughed quietly to herself and pinched the bridge of her nose, clenching her eyes shut tight. Her head was swimming, and now her head was full of stupid notions. The power of alcohol. Evelyn guzzled more down. Or not. Probably not. Most likely not.

So invested in her own thoughts and the countless names carved into the oak that she didn’t even notice the sound of crunching snow behind her.

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PostSubject: Re: Ghost [OPEN]   Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:22 pm

It would seem that winter had not released its icy grip upon the world quite yet, as the world shuddered beneath the cold air that whistled amongst the trees. Bundled up in a black jacket, Jacob walked seemingly lost amongst the earth and sky, his movements slowed by the chill that threatened to freeze him down to his bones. The wind blew around the exposed skin of his face, bringing a reddish glow to his features while the white fluffy collar of his jacket fluttered about, as if it threatened to detach itself and fly away into the night. As he crunched the snow beneath his feet, he questioned just why he had let himself walk to the forest in the dead of night, a particularly cold night at that. Maybe he just wanted to calm the whirling thoughts within his mind and gain clarity, insight to the last couple of days. They had been some of the most unforgettable days, that was for sure. His deep blue eyes had paled into a much lighter shade as they glanced amongst the lonely, pristine forest encased in white, when a noise reached his ears.

It was no more than the lightest whisper, as if the breeze was playing tricks on his auditory senses. He came to a halt and looked around, but there was nothing, not even a wayward creature mourning their fate at being left in this desolate temperature. Feeling a bit more uneasy now, the Summer slowly stepped forward, though each step he took now sounded amplified to levels of abject paranoia. He decided that the best course of action was to stop this forest wandering nonsense and leave, but then he came upon a tree. Oh sure, it was a forest, and forest are full of trees, but this one was different. It was an oak tree, aging yet standing proud amongst its brethren, with what seemed like a gaggle of letters carved into it. Memory recall gave Jacob the assumption that these were letters carved into the bark by lovers past, though he had thought this was something sappy television shows had fabricated. Taking another step closer to get a better look, he suddenly felt as if someone was there.

This was definitely unwelcome paranoia talking. Clearly he was the only one dumb enough to be in this forest. Yet, when he concentrated on the base of the tree, he was definitely sure that someone was sitting there, their back to him… A twinge of pain flashed across his forehead, making him clasp a hand against it in surprise. He rubbed two fingers soothingly against it, shaking his head as if to clear away that moment of discomfort. What was that?… His breath billowed visibly as it left his lips, and once more he looked down upon the tree's base. No, there was no denying it now. The longer he concentrated, someone definitely began to appear, as if the chilling weather was bringing about a mirage to him. By the way they looked, it appeared that the person in question was female, but staring at them for too long increased the headache he was receiving, and he was forced to look away to quell it. Taking another shaky breath, he called out into the still night. "Is anyone there?" This had to be the weirdest thing he had done yet at a school where weird usually was the norm. He was clearly talking to himself, or perhaps to a tree, though he didn't know which was worse. Still, if no one was actually there, then they wouldn't know and he was in the clear. If someone was actually there; if there was actually someone sitting there and they weren't a mirage… Well then, he wouldn't be talking to himself. No longer walking, he risked the additional pain and gave another look towards the towering oak.

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PostSubject: Re: Ghost [OPEN]   Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:07 pm

The voice made her freeze, and at once her heart began to pound like a drum.

Fuck! Somebody was here. Somebody had discovered her. Of course somebody found me. Of fucking course! Evelyn could have screamed in frustration, but instead she chewed on her lip and hugged the bottle close to her chest, hoping against hope that the intruder would fail to notice. What had done her in? Tracks in the snow? Too much noise? Whatever the case, she was now cornered, and her fate and student record rested on the shoulders of a stranger.

Evelyn slowly turned her head, scarcely daring to breathe just in case he heard. It would only take a noise or a sudden movement for her gift’s effect to be broken. The intruder was a tall boy she had never seen before, with icy blue eyes and disheveled brown hair. Do I just try and stay still? He didn’t seem to be aware of her existence at the very moment, but if he concentrated hard enough… the consequences might be dire. Yet the same went for standing up and running. Evelyn wasn’t even sure if she could run in the state she was in, or at least not run without falling on her face. Another alternative was just breaking the bottle over his head. Straightforward with possible pay-off if he forgot everything, but she knew the consequences all too well if that plan went all awry. Besides, it seemed like a waste of good beer.

She glanced down at her side, and at her warped reflection in the dagger’s polished surface. The knife was a source of comfort and security for her in her bleakest moments, yet it provided no answers now.

With a quiet sigh, she conceded defeat. It’d be a gamble, but maybe…

H-here.” Evelyn murmured, dreading the reaction to the alcohol in her hand. She stared down into the pretty white snow, so not to look into his eyes when it happened. “D-down here…"

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PostSubject: Re: Ghost [OPEN]   Sat Mar 01, 2014 11:58 pm

The voice sounded again, but this time louder, clearer, and it was coming from the base of the tree. Now it was obvious that someone was there, and Jacob was able to see a small girl sitting upon the snow, her light-brown hair obscuring her facial features from his vision. What appeared to be a bottle was clutched tightly in her hand, and by the timid way she spoke it was plain that she had not planned to be discovered here. What in the world was she doing out here? Heck, what in the world was he doing out here? She didn't seem as bothered by the cold as he was, though. Perhaps she was in the Winter house, though did being placed there really mean they were more impervious to the cold? Probably not. He knew he should say something, though. If she was in trouble, he couldn't just leave her out here alone.

"Are you okay?" he asked simply, not mincing words as he fought this constant headache that he felt whenever he looked at her. Why was it so difficult to look her way? Another cold breeze whirled around them, causing his body to shiver involuntarily. It was no good to stand out here for much longer. Maybe he could convince her to come out of this freezing weather. "It's rather cold, isn't it? Maybe we should both head inside where it's warmer. You wouldn't want to get frostbite or anything." Without knowing who this girl was, he didn't know if it was proper to move any closer or offer her a hand. His experiences at the school had been a mixture of acceptance and reluctance, so there hadn't yet been a clear winner in that regard. It had come to mind, just as a passing thought, that perhaps all the girls at this school were just shy, but that didn't seem likely, considering the law of averages and all that. Still, he hadn't yet met someone who didn't start off cripplingly shy, so there was that.
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PostSubject: Re: Ghost [OPEN]   Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:40 pm

"A-Ah..." Evelyn nestled deeper into her jacket to try and get some respite from the cold. It didn't work. She could feel the chill piercing through her layers of clothing, but freezing to death in the snow by herself was still a thousand times better than walking and talking with a stranger. No, I'm not okay, she thought to herself, gritting her teeth. I'm drunk and miserable and cold. I've been kissed by two girls now, I have a werewolf stalker, Kimply makes shitty tea, and no one can remember my name. In spite of all her bitterness and reluctance, Evelyn began to flounder around in the snow, somehow managing to get herself onto one knee. That was almost standing, right? It had to count for something. Alright... you can do this. Baby steps.

"Y-yeah... S-somewhere warmer..." Evelyn breathed as she blindly reached out for some kind of handhold. Unfortunately, the branches of the oak seemed too high up, and she only grasped empty air. With her stomach roiling and the wintry forest spinning around her, she was seriously considering just puking on her intruder's shoes and calling it a day. Standing was too much of an effort to be bothered with, and Evelyn fell back onto her ass, defeated. "Or... I-I mean, it's n-not t-that cold..."

For some reason she felt strangely apathetic when she would have normally been embarrassed. Perhaps that was the alcohol, and for the moment, she wasn't sure if she was glad or regretful that she had drank so much.

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PostSubject: Re: Ghost [OPEN]   Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:09 pm

Jacob couldn't spend too many consecutive minutes staring at the helpless girl, considering the headache it gave him. Still, he was relieved to see her attempt to stand… well, until that attempt failed and she just gave up. Holding back an exasperated sigh, he decided that if they were going to get somewhere warm, he would have to assist her. With that, he walked over until he was standing over her, bending his knees a bit so he could firmly grasp her free hand with his own and try to help her onto her feet.

"Here, I'll help you," he murmured, his breath billowing out in front of him once more as he gently tried to help her to her feet, since she didn't seem capable of doing it on her own. Being this close to her now, he could tell that the bottle in her hand was not exactly an innocent liquid, and a small frown crossed his features, though he chose to say nothing concerning it. Perhaps it would explain her stuttering, though that could be due to the cold, or even shyness. Somehow he felt that he wouldn't get an answer from her; not that he could look at her for long enough to receive it anyway. His frown increased as he rubbed two fingers against his forehead, hoping to just ignore the pain.

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PostSubject: Re: Ghost [OPEN]   Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:13 pm

With rosy-tinged cheeks, whether from the alcohol, cold, slight embarrassment, or a mixture of all, she reluctantly grasped his hand and felt herself lurch to her feet. The sudden movement made her even more dizzy and even more nauseous, and Evelyn had to lean back onto the tree once she was upright. "Err... t-thanks." she murmured, thinking about how fast she could stumble away if she cracked the bottle across his face. When she found her balance, she cautiously staggered forward, as if she was re-learning how to walk. Her boot sunk into the snow with a soft crunch. Baby steps. She clutched the bottle tight in her hand, and prayed to anybody that was listening that she wouldn't fall on her face. "So... um... s-shall we?" Evelyn wondered if she would be expected to talk on their way back. Maybe death was a better alternative in that case.

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PostSubject: Re: Ghost [OPEN]   Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:39 am

It was a tad embarrassing to watch this girl stumble attempting to get up, plus it had the added bonus of contributing to Jacob's headache, so he busied himself with staring off into the trees until he heard her speak again. Nodding gently, he stayed close to her should she find her balance still unstable and began to take her towards where he hoped the edge of the forest was. Out of here, he would know better how to get back towards the dorms.

Silence settled upon the two travelers as they wandered the forest, neither having much to say, and truth-be-told Jacob only glanced back at her just to make sure she was still there, though it was hard to tell sometimes. "So, what house are you in?" The silence was finally broken by this inquiry, an important inquiry at that. It didn't really help to take her somewhere if he didn't know exactly where that somewhere was.

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PostSubject: Re: Ghost [OPEN]   Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:00 am

It had been a short and silent walk, the only sounds being the crunching snow beneath their feet, when the boy had spoken. Evelyn had been staring at the ground in front of her. The web of bare branches above their heads cast shadows on the virgin snow, which glowed bright in the moonlight. "Um. Winter. One-oh-one. T-the dorm number, that is..." she mumbled. What was he going to do, walk her back? Suspicion crept up her spine, but she ignored it. I can hardly walk. I'm probably a pretty sorry sight. Maybe he's just being chivalrous. Her mouth twisted into a thin and darkly amused smile for a moment before fading as if it had never been there. For a moment she was reminded of Montare, aggressively insisting he carry her case for her. If that was chivalry, then she was glad that it was dead. The silence grew again before she suddenly piped up. "Uh, w-what about you...?"

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PostSubject: Re: Ghost [OPEN]   Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:00 pm

At first, Jacob was surprised that the girl even answered, much less gave him the specific number of her dorm, but then again she was still unstable enough that he might just have to help her all the way up to her dorm in that case. Hopefully she didn't find him to be some kind of creep trying to take advantage of her inebriated state. "Oh, I'm in the Summer dorm. Three-oh-three." He smiled as he recited the number, same as she had. "I hope you don't mind me helping you to your dorm. It would be bad if you weren't able to make it the second I left." Their path finally left the forest, giving them a clear line of sight towards the dorms. It was still a walk, but it wasn't bad enough to fuss over. Still, they continued to move slower than normal as their shoes crunched softly against the fallen snow.

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PostSubject: Re: Ghost [OPEN]   Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:27 pm

Summer, eh? Not as bad as Autumn, but a Spring might have been more of a relief. At least with a Spring she'd know they would be too uptight and prudish to even consider trying anything. The next remark made her flower into a full blush. Definitely a Summer. Ever the romantics. Evelyn said nothing in reply as they continued on with their slow and quiet stroll through the snowy night, finally making it out of the forest and out under the open sky. She glanced up from the ground and at the stars that burned cold and distant high up above. After being at Beata for over a year, you almost got used to there being so many out, but it still managed to strike her in a way. As if all the strangeness of the school wasn't enough, the night sky acted as a regular reminder of how far she was from home, and how far she was from normality. The worst part was that for as much as Evelyn hated the damned academy, she was beginning to question if she really wanted to go home at all.

Evelyn held the bottle up for inspection. That was strange. She would have never even dreamed of drinking alcohol before... Just how much had she changed since coming here?

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PostSubject: Re: Ghost [OPEN]   Sat Mar 15, 2014 10:15 pm

They lapsed back into silence as they walked, him personally trying not to pay much attention to that specific bottle in her hand. All he had to do was finish escorting her to her dorm and that would be done with. Still… "You might want to hide that," he mentioned, pointing at the bottle. "Just in case." At the dorms now, he gently pushed open the door and held it open for her, allowing the Winter to make her way inside and out of the cold. Now that they were inside, he would just have to help her find her dorm and he could go back home. 101. That shouldn't be too difficult to find.

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PostSubject: Re: Ghost [OPEN]   Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:01 am

Evelyn nodded silently and brought the bottle back to her side. This is making me stupid. Her father always used to say that alcohol killed brain cells, and maybe he was right. What kind of idiot held their beer up in the air like that? She rubbed her temple with her free hand. In the morning her head would be throbbing. Maybe I should stop this... She grimaced. I'm fifteen and I'm becoming an alcoholic. That wasn't even a mention to the hit her wallet was taking. John Warner was a penny-pinching miser for all his friendliness, truly his father's son. The girl had even been considering taking up a job in Rosebury to keep up her habit. Maybe...

The creaking of the door broke her out of her stupor, and Evelyn quickly moved inside at the boy's gesturing. "Oh, um, t-thanks." she said. How gentlemanly. Her dorm wasn't too far away now either. "F-for walking me... back, and all." Wait, did she thank him too early? Would she be expected to thank him again when they arrived? Fucking stupid idiot. Evelyn just looked down and continued the walk down the long residence hall. Dorm 110, 108, 106, 104...

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PostSubject: Re: Ghost [OPEN]   Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:05 pm

102, 100. Wait, turn around. 101, there it was. Well, now he had officially taken her back to her dorm with no casualties or problems. That was a success in his book. Turning to face her, he gave her a soft smile. "Well, here you are. I'm glad I could get you back to your dorm safe and sound. I'll leave you here then, unless you still need me." Hopefully she wouldn't construe that as something more than he meant. He was simply being courteous. As if it was an automatic thing to do, he stuck out his hand to shake, if she was so inclined to take it. Admittedly he had begun to let his eyes wander from time to time in order to stave off the headaches that were plaguing him. By this time, he had figured that this had something to do with this girl's power, though he wasn't entirely sure what it was, and he didn't feel fully comfortable asking her while in this state. Still, he felt it polite to at least look her way most of the time despite the pain it caused.

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