The Soldier and The Dreamtalker

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The Soldier and The Dreamtalker

Post by Amari O'C on Sun Jul 05, 2015 2:29 am

[Private character chat with Teddy!]

(( Hey, Ted! Let's get started~ ))

Kinley

I entered through a lone door on the edge of a beach with a small foresty clearing spread out in front of me. A small shelter was built just a few metres away from the door, backing on to the edge of the never-ending forest. The place was gorgeous, really, and...peaceful; much unlike home. Yeah, we had trees and gardens and grass and a beach, but there was absolutely no way home could ever be peaceful.

I plucked the cigarette from between my lips and tapped off the ashes collecting on the tip of it, a thin stream of smoke exiting my mouth as I did so. The place seemed pretty empty, so I sat down by a small firepit and stretched out my legs in front of me. I adored the time that I spent in this place; it gave me a chance to take a breather.
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Re: The Soldier and The Dreamtalker

Post by Guest on Sun Jul 05, 2015 2:41 am

(( Hellooo! ))

Jake

I was stuck in a tree. Not physically — all limbs and articles of clothing were perfectly (and somewhat remarkably) free — but the branch I was currently balanced on kept making these odd and rather ominous groan-crackle noises. I had never actually learnt the language of trees, seeing as trees don't have mouths to speak with and that kind of threw a wrench in the whole communing-with-the-foliage idea, but I was pretty sure this was tree-speak for, "You're one wrong move from falling on your ass, bucko."

Apparently, that one wrong move was twisting around at the waist to see who had just come through the door. I let out a small yelp of alarm as the branch gave way beneath me and the other I was holding onto snapped off for an extra measure of fuck you; with all the grace of a torn sack of potatoes, I dropped out the tree and landed flat on my back. I pursed my lips as I considered what had just happened, then tilted my head back to look at the new arrival.

"That's the mating dance of the West African glowing gizzard," I said. Then, after a moment's pause, asked, "Is a gizzard a bird or a part of a bird? I know it's got something to do with feathers."

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Re: The Soldier and The Dreamtalker

Post by Amari O'C on Sun Jul 05, 2015 2:53 am

Kinley

I could hear trees cracking off to the side of me, but with how used I was to common background noise, I just ignored it. Flicking my ashes into the firepit occasionally, I watched from a distance as the waves crashed up on the beach; it was almost a soothing thing to watch—

Snap, crackle, and pop! I heard a branch crack, and somebody releasing a yelp as they fell to the hard ground below. In one swift movement, I grabbed my handgun and pointed it at the boy who had fallen.

"Fucking hell, Jake!" I cussed, lowering my gun and getting up to stand over the impressively tall boy. "A gizzard is the part of a bird that grinds up their food. The fuck is wrong with you? Falling from trees 'n' shit."
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Re: The Soldier and The Dreamtalker

Post by Guest on Sun Jul 05, 2015 3:03 am

Jake

I blinked. There was a weapon on me. This was not out of the usual, so I didn't bother reacting aside from raising an eyebrow at Kinley's explanation. "Okay. That's gross. I'll change it to the West African glowing goose, then, I think."

I hauled myself to my feet and smoothed a hand down my back, partially to check for any particularly achey bits and partially to flatten down my hoodie from where it had ridden up. Then, I took a step back so I could see Kinley without looking down so much that my chin was pressed into my chest.

"That wasn't actually the plan, y'know," I said. "The falling out bit, I mean. A better question'd be What the fuck is wrong with you? Trying to climb trees you know can't hold your weight 'n' shit. And the answer to that question: I'm an optimist. Lower the gun before you accidentally turn me into Swiss cheese, will ya?"

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Re: The Soldier and The Dreamtalker

Post by Amari O'C on Sun Jul 05, 2015 3:13 am

Kinley

I blinked at Jake as he spoke, understanding what he was saying but not really caring enough to answer any of it. The dude was like a tower of trouble, getting into antics here, there, and everywhere. I was actually somewhat pleased that he was never really in my world before — he'd fuck things over before I could even get a reprimanding word out. Jesus Christ...

Tossing my gun back towards where I was previously sitting, I cussed again, "You fucking scared me, you wanker!" I whacked his stomach hard, frowned, and then turned away, mumbling about how I wouldn't mind turning him into Swiss cheese if it meant teaching him a lesson or two in How to Not Scare the Stressed Girl With a Gun.

"Do that again and I swear to God, I'll shoot you in the dick."
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Re: The Soldier and The Dreamtalker

Post by Guest on Sun Jul 05, 2015 3:25 am

Jake

"Hey, no, don't do that. I need my dick to be a wanker. You shoot it off, you're removing a vital part of the process, y'know," I said with a laugh, though my grin didn't feel as bright anymore. I touched the spot on my stomach where Kinley had hit me; although the force behind it hadn't affected me much, that force had still very much been there. My brows furrowed.

I stepped forward and looped my arms around Kinley, loosely enough that she could extricate herself with ease if she wanted to. I was never quite sure if physical affection would be welcome with her, but with a glance at where the gun had been thrown, I supposed that at least I wouldn't have holes put through me if this was received negatively. "'M sorry I scared you, though, Kin. Didn't mean to. Y'all right?"


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Re: The Soldier and The Dreamtalker

Post by Amari O'C on Sun Jul 05, 2015 3:34 am

Kinley

I tensed up when Jake wrapped his arms around me and took a deep breath to try and calm myself down. I was close enough to him that I didn't mind it as much when he touched me, but I wasn't in the mood. Squirming out of his hug, I whirled around on my heel to face him, blinking up at his green eyes as I narrowed my grey ones.

"Fine, no thanks to you." I folded my arms around my chest and pursed my lips as I thought over what I was gonna say next. "Are you alright? That was quite the fuckin' fall you took there." I mean, after all, he was my friend, and I figured it would be nice of me to check and see if the asshole had hurt himself or not.
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Re: The Soldier and The Dreamtalker

Post by Guest on Sun Jul 05, 2015 3:54 am

Jake

As soon as Kinley wriggled out my arms, I stepped back, ducking my head a little in wordless apology. I busied myself with picking off the blades of dried grass that had collected on my hoodie while I was on the ground. "Yeah, I'm all right. Had a lot worse falls than that before. I think I'm used to it 'cause I already take pretty hard falls just 'cause I'm tall."

I examined a blade of grass, dried out and ironically yellow with death, then glanced up at Kinley again and tilted my head. She was never exactly a ball of sunshine, but she seemed more off than usual today — although I couldn't tell just yet if this was due to an outside factor, or if I'd brought it on myself with my less than majestic entrance from earlier.

Either way, experience made me hazard a guess that outright asking how she was doing wasn't likely to get me more than the surface responses I always got. So, instead, I said, "Cigarette?"


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Re: The Soldier and The Dreamtalker

Post by Amari O'C on Sun Jul 05, 2015 4:06 am

Kinley

"You're almost seven feet, Jake, and I can't even begin to fathom how big your fucking bones are.  That's prob'ly the only reason you ain't breaking them every time you do some bullshit like that there."  I nodded towards the broken tree branch laying on the ground behind him.  But really though, his bones were obviously abnormally large and thick, so I was never surprised that he seemed to never have any broken limbs.

I had done six full hours of physical training, two hours of teaching myself out of the random, outdated textbooks I'd lifted from various abandoned schoolhouses and shops, and then four hours of patrolling my town before coming to the clearing here.  My life was literally a bullshit hodgepodge of self-disciplinary activities that ended up in me becoming more stressed out and aggressive than disciplined.

I raised my eyebrows when Jake asked for a cigarette, studying him closely for a moment.  Sighing, I reached into my pocket and pulled out a tin case, flicking it open and taking out two cigarettes.  I handed one to him and lit my own, then tossed the lighter in his direction before turning around and walking off and sitting down near the firepit again.
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Re: The Soldier and The Dreamtalker

Post by Guest on Sun Jul 05, 2015 4:23 am

Jake

"I've broken bones before. Depends on how I land. I think I gotta, like, land on somethin' with the rest'a my body if I wanna break it." I whacked the side of my hand against my palm in an emphasising demonstration, then took the cigarette and caught the lighter. I flicked up the flame and lit up the cigarette, both feeling disproportionately small and fumbling in my hands, like they would be better suited to being a toys than the real thing — Baby's First Smokes.

I took a practice drag and held the smoke in my mouth for a second, loath to properly breathe it in. It was an alien sensation; I didn't enjoy it, but that was part of the allure. I blew the smoke out again, then went to sit beside Kinley, crossing my legs and setting the lighter carefully on her knee.

My plan was, initially, to sit in silence until she felt like talking — but, as always, I found something painful about a quiet longer than a minute. "How'd you start smoking?" I asked her without thinking. "I mean — how old were you?"

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Re: The Soldier and The Dreamtalker

Post by Amari O'C on Sun Jul 05, 2015 4:35 am

Kinley

The smoke and the burning sensation didn't even bother me anymore; in fact, it felt more like a comforting warmth as I inhaled and exhaled. But I guess that's addiction for you. I didn't care anymore about 'Smoking kills!' or 'You're ruining your lungs!' or 'What about cancer?'. If I was gonna die a slow death, it may as well be comfortable.

When Jake sat down beside me, I didn't look at him, not even to answer his question. "'Smoked first when I was twelve, but didn't actually make a habit 'til sixteen. Dad would'a kicked my ass if I did."

Smoking was a common thing where I lived — almost everybody did it. To buy smokes, you only had to be sixteen, and with the situation that we were in...well, smoking was a form of relaxation. You would stretch out somewhere, light up, and your hands would stop shaking; nicotine worked wonders for us, really, no matter how bad it was for you.
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Re: The Soldier and The Dreamtalker

Post by Guest on Sun Jul 05, 2015 11:44 am

Jake

"At twelve, huh?" I paused, tried to imagine myself smoking at twelve. A small cough on a drag reminded me that I could barely do it now, and I gave a slight shake of my head.

I looked over at Kinley again and watched her for a couple moments, absentmindedly counting her freckles. I lost my place after a brief glance back at her eyes; whatever part of my mind that was keeping me from saying stupid shit threw in the towel when I couldn't focus on even that.

"I'm sorry, Kin," I said, so quietly that I knew there was a chance she wouldn't even hear it. "Not about the cigarettes, I don't really mean, or falling out the tree earlier, just... generally. And I know you're gonna say something about how you don't need my pity or whatever, and it's not pity, okay? I'm just — sorry I can't fix stuff for you, or at least make 'em a little better. I would if I could." 

Stupid shit: accomplished. It sounded ridiculous even to my own ears, so there was no telling how monumental an ass Kinley would think I was after that whole little speech, but there was no use trying to take it all back or make it sound less like something out of a crappy made-for-TV movie. The words were out there, shrouded by cigarette smoke.

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Re: The Soldier and The Dreamtalker

Post by Amari O'C on Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:11 pm

Kinley

"Yeah, twelve..."

I felt Jake's eyes burning into me, but absolutely refused to make eye contact with him. Instead, I just stared at the grass, taking occasional drags on my cigarette; it remained dead silent for a few long moments, almost quiet enough to hear the burning sound of the tobacco and filter papers. The silence was only broken when Jake spoke again, but he was...quiet, for once, which forced me to look at him to try and make out what he was saying. It took me a few moments to register what it was exactly he was trying to say, and a few more to come up with some sort of reply that wouldn't be overly...pissy.

"Fuck off," I grumbled. Well, so much for not being pissy. "Only fucking intense therapy sessions would have a possibility of making things easier for me, so don't even bother, Jake. Don't worry about me, don't care about me, and don't try to help me, got it?"

People worrying about me absolutely drove me up the wall; I hated becoming a burden on somebody, and hated getting people's hopes up because I was not a good person, I was not going to have a good life, and I was going to die early. It was a given, and that meant that I would let people who worried about me down. Great situation, wasn't it? Absolutely fucking incredible.
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Re: The Soldier and The Dreamtalker

Post by Guest on Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:31 pm

Jake

I cracked a smile at Kinley's response, although it was more wry than genuinely mirthful. I'd expected to be told to fuck off — but any triumph I should have felt at being right or knowing Kinley well enough to expect that answer had skittered off somewhere out of reach. 

She was right, I knew. I wasn't going to fix anything — I was, after all, only a sixteen year old boy. A sixteen year old boy from a whole other world. It would be conceited to believe I could save the day, or even the second — and conceit was rarely, if ever, a reality for me. But there was a difference between thinking you can fix things, and wishing you could. I fell squarely, almost painfully, in the second category as I studied Kinley. 

"Yeah, fuck me, I know," I said, well aware that this was probably going to do little other than inflame the situation, but I couldn't help it. "But you're havin' a fundamental misunderstanding of how emotions work there, Kin. I can't not care about you, no matter how much you tell me not to. You're one of my best friends. That's not something I can switch off."

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Re: The Soldier and The Dreamtalker

Post by Amari O'C on Sun Jul 05, 2015 9:35 pm

Kinley

I tossed my cigarette butt into the firepit and got to my feet, brushing myself off. "I really, really don't give a fuck, Jake. Try your fucking hardest, 'kay? Thanks, glad that's settled." I knew I was being really bitchy, but I couldn't help it; the words just spilled out before I could stop them.

"I'm gonna get shitfaced — care to join me?" I knew that there was a pretty big chance of this idea going wrong, but at this point, I really didn't give any sort of shit. Besides, it was less lonely than getting drunk by yourself.

Without waiting for a reply from Jake, I opened the door and walked through it, entering into the old, three-storey apartment building that myself and a bunch of other people lived in. The main floor was what would have originally been the lobby, bathrooms, and a small kitchen/dining room area. A wooden desk area over to the right side of the 'lobby' had been transformed into a wrecked old bar — empty and broken bottles and cans of alcohol were scattered all over the desk and floor surrounding it, and filled bottles were lined up in a row underneath the desk. On the wall parallel, thirteen names were scrawled across the drywall in thick, black permanent marker. Holes in the walls and floors had been covered with duct tape to protect them from getting any larger and to let people know not to step there.

A couple of teenagers glanced up from the two old couches in the room to look at who had entered before going back to their conversation about who was next going to the city and what they had last found on the previous trip.
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Re: The Soldier and The Dreamtalker

Post by Guest on Sun Jul 05, 2015 10:21 pm

Jake 

I stayed where I sat a moment longer, considering Kinley's words. Her tone hadn't affected me — harshness in this sort of situation was something I was used to, courtesy of Xtina — but I was, admittedly, surprised by the offer to join her. It wasn't something I was used to preceding an annoyed storming-out. 

I did as Kinley had and flicked my cigarette into the fire pit. Then, getting to my feet, I jogged over to the door and caught it with my foot before it could swing shut and potentially lock me out of her world again. I paused a second before I opened it fully; I had never been to Kinley's world before — which was probably a good thing. God alone knew, I'd probably be shot dead within the hour due to an impressive track record of alternating bad luck and insolence, but this was not something that bothered me. More so, it was another track record of mine that made me stop: in the past, I had proven myself to be more than slightly promiscuous when under the influence of alcohol. A niggling awareness told me I would have to be very careful if I wanted to keep things from getting messy. 

But, if Kinley wanted me to accompany her, there wasn't much question about what I was going to do. I had an awfully stubborn streak, one that had brought me much trouble in the past whenever I rebelled against authority figures just for the hell of not doing what I was told, but there was a select group whose wishes I would follow without a second thought. And Kinley was among this group — so if she wanted me to get drunk with her, there really was no instance in which I would refuse. 

I pulled the door open and stepped through, a few long strides making up for any time lost by my brief hesitation. "This where you live?" I asked Kinley. I lifted my hand to give a small wave to a group sitting off on a pair of couches, but changed my mind midway through and stuck it in my pocket instead.


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Re: The Soldier and The Dreamtalker

Post by Amari O'C on Mon Jul 06, 2015 2:10 am

Kinley

I glanced back to make sure that Jake was following me, and offered up a very faint smile when I noticed him enter through the front door. "Don't bother with them," I said, nodding in the direction of the teenagers on the couches. They didn't even bother to look up again when Jake entered the building.

I headed towards the staircase on the right side of the room, pausing for a moment to look behind me and make sure the tall, puppy-like teen was following me, but was instead greeted by Wen. He flicked some of his golden hair out of his blue eyes, but didn't say anything to me. We were at about eye-level with the help of me being a few steps up higher than him, and a joint hung from between his lips.

I took charge of the sexual tension between the two of us, plucking the joint from his mouth and leaning in to make it seem I was going to kiss him. Instead, I brushed my lips against his and reached into his pocket when he was distracted, pulling out a bag of weed, and snickering as I turned away and rushed up the stairs, leaving him to blink confusedly in my absence.
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Re: The Soldier and The Dreamtalker

Post by Guest on Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:28 am

Jake

I nodded vaguely at what Kinley said, trailing behind a bit as I took in my surroundings. When I looked back to check where Kinley was headed, my view of her was instead blocked by another guy's golden head. I couldn't see exactly what was going on between them from the angle I stood at, but I hazarded a fair guess that Kinley was kissing him. A blush heated its way up my neck and tingled in my cheeks; I hurriedly averted my gaze. 

My attention, however, was dragged back by the sound of Kinley's laughter. I caught up to her, darting around the confused-looking guy on the way, and blinked at the baggie in her hands. It took me an abnormally long second to figure out what'd happened. "Jesus, Kin!" I exclaimed once I had, laughter bubbling out of me. "Poor guy. Used and abused. That's cold."

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Re: The Soldier and The Dreamtalker

Post by Amari O'C on Mon Jul 06, 2015 12:29 pm

Kinley

I cracked a sly grin as the realization of what had happened finally hit Jake. Holding the baggie up and giving it a little celebratory shake, I said, "No harm done. I know how to get what I want. Besides, he's already gotten way more than that before. This way." I nodded towards one of the closed doors at the beginning of the hallway and pushed it open.

It was obvious that these rooms had been modified a long time ago; there were no kitchen or bathroom appliances left in any of them. We entered into a semi-large room that was definitely much cleaner than the 'lobby' downstairs. A wardrobe stood up against the wall opposite of the door, just beside a window covered in a thick black sheet; two old mattresses laid on the floor about a foot apart, each with their own pillow and blanket. A dresser was against the right wall, missing its legs, and books were stacked in piles all around the room. On the walls, there were some faded photographs and drawings pinned up, and some newer diagrams and informative paragraphs shared the space. An old guitar, worn out with age, was propped up in one corner, beside a Katana sword.

"So," I started, walking over to the dresser and pulling open a bottom drawer. I picked out a few bottles of alcohol — vodka and spiced rum, specifically — and placed them in the floor in front of me. "I like the hard stuff." I looked up at Jake, raising my eyebrows as I stood and carried the bottles over to the two mattresses.
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Re: The Soldier and The Dreamtalker

Post by Guest on Mon Jul 06, 2015 12:38 pm

Jake

"So, in other words, you trapped 'im in your web and now he's doomed to forever having you steal his pot?" I asked, eyebrow raised. "Even colder." 

I followed after Kinley, ducking so I didn't hit my head on the doorway. My gaze caught on a tired-looking guitar in the corner, and my mouth crooked up in a smile. "This yours?" I asked, going over to pick the guitar up. I glanced back at Kinley, nodded my acknowledgement of the bottles when I saw what they were. "Figured. Didn't exactly think we'd be drinking fruit cocktails."

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Re: The Soldier and The Dreamtalker

Post by Amari O'C on Mon Jul 06, 2015 12:49 pm

Kinley

"Not just him." I left it at that. Jake could do whatever he pleased with that information; I couldn't care less.

Glancing up to watch as Jake picked up the guitar and examined it, I gave a small nod. "Yeah, s'mine and Luka's. He plays it more than I do, but." I shrugged, twisting open the cap on the vodka bottle and taking a drink. "You know how to play, I'm assuming."

Wen had taught Luka and I how to play the guitar a number of years ago, and with how much we enjoyed it, Dad saved up and bought us a used one from one of the shops in town. Luka played it more than I did, but I still occasionally would take it and strum a few chords, just to make sure that I still had it in me. I glanced up occasionally at Jake as I worked with rolling a few joints out of the weed I had ever-so-cunningly lifted from my friend's pocket.
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Re: The Soldier and The Dreamtalker

Post by Guest on Mon Jul 06, 2015 1:06 pm

Jake

I gave a small laugh. "You're a mastermind, Kinley Jones. Remind me to never get in your bad books." Nodding, I told her, "Couple lessons as a kid, yeah. Been ages since I last saw a guitar, though, so I haven't played in years." 

I sat down on one of the mattresses, one leg crossed beneath myself and the other straight in front of me to balance the guitar on. I had its neck to the right to accommodate for being left-handed; although probably incorrect, this had been how I'd learned to play, since my parents hadn't wanted to cash out on a left-handed after already having bought the regular type.  

Several years and many growth spurts since I'd last held a guitar, the fretboard felt unusually small in my hands. I played a few practice chords, then strummed out the base tune to some pop ballad off the top of my head. "My life is brilliant, my love is pure," I sang quietly, frowning a little in concentration. "I saw an angel, of that I'm sure. She smiled at me on the subway; she was with another— Fuck, messed up." I readjusted my fingers and cleared my throat. "She was with another man — but I won't lose no sleep on that, 'cause I've got a plan..."

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Re: The Soldier and The Dreamtalker

Post by Amari O'C on Mon Jul 06, 2015 1:56 pm

Kinley

I continued rolling joints as Jake say down and began strumming, only slowly lifting my head to look at him when he started to sing. I didn't recognize the song, of course, as it was most likely one from his world. The song probably existed in my world, too, but that didn't mean I had the ability to listen to it. We barely had enough electricity to cook food and take showers, let alone listen to music.

I pushed the drugs out of the way and turned on the mattress to face him as he sang, tilting my head slightly when I noticed that he was holding the guitar differently. "Lefty?" I asked, raising my eyebrows a bit. I continued to listen to him strum and sing, pressing my lips together whenever he hit low notes; I had to admit, his voice was pretty damn attractive when that happened.
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Re: The Soldier and The Dreamtalker

Post by Guest on Mon Jul 06, 2015 2:19 pm

Jake

I nodded to answer Kinley's question, not yet looking up. I paused in singing to get the hang of playing this guitar without watching what I was doing, then lifted my gaze to grin at her. "You're beautiful, you're beautiful, you're beautiful, it's true..." My voice sounded slightly huskier than usual after the cigarette from earlier, but at least my throat wasn't dry enough to start hurting just yet. I kept it quiet just in case. "I saw your face in a crowded place and I don't know what to do, 'cause I'll never be with you.

After playing a few more chords of the song, I clapped my palm down lightly on the strings to still them and laugh under my breath. "I know I'm not Elvis, but I wasn't bad enough to earn that stare, was I?" I lifted my hand to examine the shallow indents pressed into my fingertips from the strings; the callouses specifically from playing had softened, though others had taken their taken their places by now.

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Re: The Soldier and The Dreamtalker

Post by Amari O'C on Mon Jul 06, 2015 2:40 pm

Kinley

When Jake looked up, I looked away, and focussed on his hands. He seemed to know how to play a guitar backwards, so I assumed he had always learnt on a right-handed guitar rather than a left-handed one. As he continued singing, I felt warmth spread up through my face, specifically my cheeks, and I knew that I was blushing.

When he stopped playing, I lifted my head again, and tilted it slightly to the side. "I didn't...know that you could sing. Surprised, is all, and definitely not in a bad way." I cracked a small, genuine smile, and moved to sit beside him, giving him enough space to play still. "Go on, continue." I gave a small, encouraging nod, and lit one of the joints I had made. His voice had this...husk to it that made it hard to focus on anything except for him. He sang in a low range, which didn't help at all, and I adored the way it sounded — was I being attracted to him? Dear Lord...
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