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|owen gareth woodward||
Posted on: Aug 28 2017, 11:59 PM
quest for camelot
like every word unsaid
is a wounded animal and it bleeds out slow
With the wooden staff gripped firmly within his calloused palm, Garrett propelled himself forward over the last few steps of the climb. He stood on the top of the ridge, the wind at this height tossing hair the color of sand about his head. Eyes the went unseeing were turned in the direction of the small group trailing behind him, his mouth a thin line as he neared impatience. The trio of people in search of aid had crossed his path several miles back, first aggressive and then imploring once they had realized that he could help them. He tried not to take their initial disbelief in his abilities to heart -- people were almost always wont to be suspicious of him, always needing some sort of proof before they accepted him. He wasn’t always willing to provide it for them. These particular individuals had been too weary to maintain their wariness for long. After all, aside from his staff that served as both weapon and walking stick, he was unarmed and definitively blind. Garrett didn’t bother to explain the particulars to them, how he could still see their shapes in full light or how his other senses had gradually enhanced over the years to make up for the handicap of his sight. What was the point? They still spoke louder than they ought to have, somehow thinking his eyes were connected to his ears, and thought he couldn’t tell when they were whispering to one another behind his back. They doubted him still and likely would continue to do so until he delivered them to safety. Something that he ought to have been used to by now, having experienced it for years, but somehow still rubbed him the wrong way.
Like grit across his skin, it irritated but not in anyway that he couldn’t clench his teeth and do what he ought to for them. Though he’d guided more groups like this one than he could accurately recall, it wasn’t an entirely selfless endeavor. It had never been his intention to become a guide; he could make no claims to such altruism. After he’d drug himself out of that ravine he’d been thrown into by the masked men, both literally and figuratively, he’d been of one, fiercely determined mind: find the others. In the beginning, his search had been full of setbacks and pitfalls. Injury and self-doubt had driven him to the point of nearly giving up, he’d had no energy left to put up any resistance to the well-meaning people who had practically dragged his ass across the portal that first time. Those first few days, living in a new body in an entirely different world than the one he had known, had been more than a shock to the system. Even more than he had before, Garrett had felt that much more isolated, cut off from the world around him not by miles of dangerous forest but by the sheer vastness of differences in their experiences. They’d warned him, of course, that San Francisco was different. Everything he’d known to be true belonged to fiction, everything he’d lived through only a fantasy to anyone else not from his world. He hadn’t quite believed them -- not until his first outing into the city. Providence it was that they hadn’t allowed him to go one his own, no matter how his pride rankled, for the tumultuous cacophony of sound and smell had nearly been too much. They had kept him from being mowed down by the automobiles that he still did not understand, or had any point of reference for in his memory, but the assault of the city had driven him back inside the small apartment they had given him at Haven Hill.
For days afterward, he had stayed there, reluctant to even explore the complex that housed others like him. No matter how much he attempted to talk himself into it, berated himself for the missed opportunities to search from the others, he only ever managed a few steps outside his door before he would stumble back inside and shut it solidly against any intrusion -- as if he could somehow shut out even the nightmarish things inside of his head. He only succeeded in locking himself inside with them. All he could hear were the gruff voices of the men, the screams of mothers being torn from their children. The crying and the bargaining and the cruel laughter as they’d tripped him up. The sensation of weightlessness as he’d tipped over the side of the ravine and the crushing impact as he’d made contact with the side of it, the tumble that seemed to take forever. Over and over again that feeling of helplessness that he’d combatted so defiantly while it was all taking place welled up inside until it choked him. Every attempt to sleep had been accompanied by nightmares that ran in a similar vein. Those early days inside his head had been dark ones, indeed. Even with broken bones and bruises that had only faded a little, he’d made short work of that tiny apartment. Countless times he’d walked the perimeter of it, memorizing it, counting the steps from this door to that one. It had succeeded in keeping his sanity intact, that much was true, but the time alone had also highlighted just how much he hadn’t wanted to be all on his own. Not again.
He could only imagine where the others had gone, what had happened to them. As it turned out, his imagination was rather darker than he had ever thought it could be. The nightmares that had plagued him took a more sinister turn and more than once he’d woken on the floor to bruised knuckles and a wet face. It was these that had finally driven him back out into the world, a need to exhaust himself so thoroughly so as to not dream at all. Finally dragging himself out of that little apartment had been a feat in and of itself -- everything was unfamiliar and strange. When he’d finally found someone to guide him back across the portal, it was almost a relief to be away from the loud city sounds even if the trade off was more unfamiliar territory and more danger. It had been like the first time he had entered the Forbidden Forest and, in that sense, comforting. That was a place he had known once, had figured out relatively on his own, and if he could face whatever danger had lurked there then he could certainly face whatever came at him here. If only that sort of confidence had been there to bolster him when he’d gotten separated from Kayley.
Hands sliding to rest atop the staff, Garrett turned his face away from the stragglers making their way up the ridge behind him and turned it towards the sun. He could tell that it was already making its way downward again. They were losing time and would have to increase their pace. These were things he noted absently, his thoughts turning to his best friend. Really his only friend from Camelot that didn’t sport either feathers or scales. What that said about him, he didn’t really care, but without her he likely wouldn’t have had them either. Just why he hadn’t been able to find Kayley again in all this time had been the subject of his thoughts for long enough that he had begun to imagine the worst. Imagine it, but stubbornly refuse to believe it. She was smart, smarter than he’d initially given her credit for, and capable. Whatever the darkness had wrought on their world, Garrett was certain she had survived it. Had fought back. He had to believe that her courageous spirit had seen her through and would allow him to find her again. That belief was the only thing that kept him going, kept him forever putting up with people more willing to die from their own idiocy than trust that a blind man could lead them to safety.
Suppressing an impatient huff, Garrett opened his mouth to urge the trio to climb faster. That was when he heard it: the scream. It punctuated the otherwise quiet air with startling nearness. Other, more muffled yells followed it in quick succession. Head already cocked in the direction of the sound, he felt his heart begin to race at this clear signal that trouble lay ahead. Of what variety, he wasn’t sure. ”Stay here,” he ordered to his group sternly, before carefully picking his way down the other side of the ridge. The urgency of the situation made his feet move faster and he practically skidded across the last rocky steps of the slope and he slid to the bottom. Using his staff to keep his balance, he could practically hear his blood rushing in his ears as he moved towards the sound of fighting. Something large was swooped in to loom over him from the side and he only barely managed to swivel outside if the blow it swung at him, instinctively using his staff to strike one of his own. As soon as he managed to get the creature down, another arrived to take its place. ”And just when I thought today was going to be boring,” he muttered drily to himself between panting breaths as he fought.
|brenna juliet lyons||
Posted on: Oct 4 2017, 05:10 AM
quest for camelot
Shaking her head and tapping the end of her staff on the ground once, twice, three times, she started off down the hill in the opposite direction of where she'd come from, keeping an eye out for any more blood splashed across the ground as she went. Thomas and Astrid and Layla and all the others back at camp were counting on her to learn what she could, to help where she was able, and to fight back the darkness and those who would see it grow wherever it was possible. Maybe she'd even be fortunate enough to find John somewhere out here, though as the hours ticked by, her hope on that front had dimmed and nearly diminished. He had been missing for four months and none of them had been able to find him, so she knew that there was little chance of finding him so close to their main camp now after all this time. Frowning to herself as she stepped carefully through the dying grass and scattered debris, she wondered absently where their friend would have ended up, what could have happened to him to keep him away for so long.
But then, it wasn't as though she had much room to talk about other members of the resistance going missing for long stretches of time when she herself had once left their base camp with a back on her shoulders and a weapon in hand and not returned for nearly a year. Of course, the circumstances were different enough, being that John had gone missing when he was out on a mission and she had made the decision herself to leave behind her lives both in San Francisco and with the resistance team. She'd wanted so badly to strike out on her own and try her hand at tracking down her loved once who she had been separated from when Camelot fell to the darkness. Her king, Arthur, and her mother...Merlin and Ayden...Devon and Cornwall...Garrett. Shuddering at the thought of all of the people she had lost and had yet to find even now after so many months spent out there in the ruined world they'd once called home, searching for any sign of them and coming up empty handed every time. Nudging a stone gently with her feet as she continued to watch the ground with each step, she watched it tumble away and sighed. She still held tight to faith that they were out there somewhere, just as she did with John. Her mother was too stubborn a woman, and Arthur and Merlin were two of the bravest and most accomplished men she'd ever met, and Garrett... Garrett was an entirely different matter. He was stubborn like her mother, though perhaps even more so, and built to survive any hardship thrown his way, and he was brave and strong and an amazingly inspiring warrior despite the ways the world had stacked the odds against him when he'd lost his sight.
If there was anyone who she thought had the chance to make it through the hell their home had become, it was Garrett. With a breath, she paused and closed her eyes, shaking off her memories as best as she could for the time being. There was no place for doubts or for fears when she was out in a world that would pick at any weakness and conspire to use it against her wherever it could. Opening her eyes, she took a moment to survey her surroundings before starting off again, and paused with her eyes trained to the left up ahead of her. Spotting another darkened spot in a patch of gravel up ahead, she jogged toward it, grip tightening around her staff when she realized this blood was still wet, fresher than the marks she'd found previously. Glancing down at the sticky red liquid where it clung to her fingertips, she looked up again, her heart beginning to pound in her chest as a broken scream cracked through the air, breaking the silence. Someone was in trouble, possibly hurt. She had to get to them.
Using her staff to push herself up off of the ground, she took off in the direction where she'd heard the scream, the faint sounds of a fight growing louder as she neared the source of the commotion. With a grip tight enough around her staff that her knuckles turned white, Brenna charged into the fray, noting that someone else was already there as well, fighting their way through, but she didn't spare the time to wonder at why their form as they fought seemed to familiar to her, swinging her staff up to collide with one of the massive brute's threatening the small group of travelers. At the very least, she could tell the resistance when she returned that she'd found a group of creatures threatening those who needed to pass through the area to get to the portal. Even a small group of beasts was dangerous to have to close to their camp, especially considering their size. Dropping low to swoop her staff against her opponent's legs, she watched it tumble and swung her weapon down as hard as she could, repeating the movement until she was sure it was dead before swiveling around to dodge an attack from behind, though she failed to roll out of the way before a claw reached out and tore into her arm, drawing blood but mercifully not cutting deep enough to cause much damage.
Struggling to fill her lungs for a moment, she swung her staff again, though the movement wasn't quite as fluid or controlled as it had been before, and groaned as it stretched and pulled at her frayed skin, widening the wound. Rolling out of the way of another counter attack, she realized how close she was now to the man who had been there fighting when she arrived and she wondered if he was a guide for the group who had been attacked, if he was another member of the resistance and that was why he'd seemed so familiar from a distance. But she couldn't stop now to chance a real look in his direction. That was something she would have to deal with once they had handled the few remaining enemies. Swatting aside another blow from the towering beast that followed her, she cast a glance quickly in the direction of the people who had been the root of the attack, noting the way they cowered in fear as another creature sprang and lunged at them. Rolling out of the way of another attack, she grimaced as her hurt arm scraped through the dirt and gravel and snatched up a rock that was roughly the size of her fist, lugging it with all her strength at the troll or ogre or whatever it was that stood just over one of the women of the small group. "Hey! Hey, over here!" she shouted, waving her arms frantically as it turned to face her and swinging her staff around in a quick, wide circle to slam hard into the side of her closest assailant's head, hoping to subdue it before the other creature she'd antagonized made its way to her. She could only hope, in all the mess, that the man who was there fighting with her was fairing all right and that they could get these people out of this alive and well.