Season & Year
TAKE ME TO WONDERLAND----
Aubrey “Pom-Pom” Bouffant strolled up on the lamp post with the air of a young starlet and made a little sigh of contentment to the light drizzle pouring down, down, and down on his head, not oblivious to the fact that he had a perfectly good umbrella to keep him dry. He was so unfazed by the tiny onslaught of raindrops that he was bothered not by the eventual consequence of prolonged exposure to such weather. He struck a delightful, quite-freeing pose as he swung around the pole with ease, extending the arm that held the unfurled umbrella. How he resembled more of an ornate fan being expertly spun and handled about by a dancing concubine.
After a moment of gaiety, he sprung back to the path, kicked at a puddle, and whistled playfully for the empty shops. The late hours of the night brought out the best in people, but it seemed to him the night had a short supply of people. He was all alone, and he minded not a pinch. What Aubrey did mind was being unproductive with the time, and made a turn that led him further away from the city and into a quaint little park. He settled comfortably on a bench. But what was he doing out so late, any normal and sane person would ask? He could not sleep a wink, of course, but not because of any sort of worry or care. He simply refused to sleep through such a beautiful night was such a wasteful thing indeed.
The wind rustled his blouse, and the rain slowed to a halt, revealing the moon and the stars once again. Just as it always did. The finely-dressed wayfarer hummed and tossed his hair back as he closed up the umbrella, giving it a few vigorous shakes until it was acceptably dry. Aubrey hadn’t realized this quite yet, but he seemed to feel a lot calmer and not as restless as he glanced up at the dark sky. To think he could actually sit still and do nothing was a wonder.
Too bad his mouth couldn’t do the same.
"We really can’t go on meeting like this. But if you insist on us doing so . . ." His voice was alight with mischief. He knew well there wouldn’t be a response to his claim, but he fancied the moon to have a personality, a life of its own. There was no harm in believing something like that.
There was a picture-perfect smile of tranquility whilst he spoke, adding a suggestion to the previous statement. “Why don’t we just,” he drawled thoughtfully, “enjoy each other’s company?” He knew he looked positively nutty talking to the big shiny thing in the sky, but he was comfortable in his own skin to acknowledge his good sanity.
Word Count; 466 TAG
made bycapt. meows
made bycapt. meows
The night was quiet as Jen walked hurriedly along a path towards Rivengate. The gentle sounds of drizzling rain were only interrupted by the splash of puddles she stepped through. Not a soul was around at this time of night. The last person she had seen was hours ago along the road, a merchant with a cart full of goods that warned her of the storms hitting the area later on.
Jen had incorrectly underestimated the time it would take her to get to an inn in Rivengate. When asking for directions that morning, the traveler had told her it was only a few hours walk. However, he failed to mention that there was a shortcut she should have taken to make it in time. Wistfully she envisioned the inn she could have taken shelter in the last town she’d passed through. How wonderful it would be to sip an evening cup of tea in a cozy room instead of being out here.
The rain was light, but it had been falling long enough to soak the poor woman thoroughly. Unfortunately, buying an umbrella wasn’t something she had considered for her travels, a detail she woefully regretted tonight. Each puddle she splashed through only added to the water that was pooling up in her shoes. Her steps caused an uncomfortable squelching noise. Even though she was without an umbrella, she did have the buffalope hide shawl her sisters had given her. The pelt was heavy and water-logged now, but at least her satchel and most of her body was relatively dry.
Jen wiped another strand of black hair from her face, slicked with rain. When her hair got wet like this, it was a frizzy nightmare once it dried. She was really not looking forward to the task of brushing it out later. A deep sigh left her lips as she looked around. The rain seemed to cease for the time being, allowing the moon to peek down upon the land. Jen relaxed a bit as the silvery light gave shape to the world around her. The moonlight always brought her comfort, a reminder of her sisters and the purpose she served as a creature of olde.
Stopping for a moment, Jen curtsied at the moon with a deep bow. “Well met, Selene,” she whispered, a smile on her face. Turning to continue on the path, she realized that there was a man sitting on a bench not far from her. Her heart leaped, hoping he hadn’t noticed her seemingly curtsying at nothing. Oftentimes, humans found actions like that rather odd.
Spotting the umbrella at his side, Jen decided to approach. Perhaps she could ask to borrow it for the rest of her walk to the inn. The man seemed just as soaked as she, despite having the tools to shield himself from the weather. He was looking upwards to the sky, the moonlight showing that he had a rather pleasant expression. Jen noticed his mouth moving, but didn’t hear his words until she got closer. He was addressing the moon like she had just moments before. It was as if he was greeting an old friend or a lover, giving personality to something that many viewed as inanimate.
Jen’s curiosity was piqued as she took in the person on the bench. He seemed peculiar compared to a lot of the humans she had met, but in an endearing way. “Hello,” she greeted, stopping a short distance from the bench and giving a quick curtsy. “Sorry if I interrupted something important.” Blue eyes were drawn to the moon, then back to the stranger.
TAKE ME TO WONDERLAND----
The small, young woman had seemingly curtsied for no one in particular; that did not escape the two very wide eyes of the curious stranger with the look of surprise on his face as he, too, did not expect company at this hour of the night. To look away now would make him come across as rude to the slender figure in the distance. He did not consider averting his gaze, still quite fixed on her.
When she neared his general direction; that quite caught the contemplative fellow off guard as he rather expected her to turn the other way and never speak of this moment ever again. He stood up from his seat, amidst the empty park, grabbing the ends of his windbreaker like one would a long dress — bowed cordially into what he thought was a less than stellar curtsy — and laughed a little behind his hand.
“I would not say you’re interrupting anything too important. But it’s not unwelcome. Oh, yes. And, um, do — do you not have an umbrella? About time I do something other than run my mouth. Won’t you take mine? It would count as my one good deed for the night.”
As the soaked man offered the comely form his closed umbrella it had only started to rain; a smile void of regret passed across his face, and seemed to insist that she wordlessly take it and shield herself from the dreary weather. But instead of minding his own soggy state, it only dawned on him just now that he had the gall to not ask for her name or even introduce himself.
He would take care to correct that now.
He looked at her considerately through his lashes. “Where are my manners? Let’s start over. Hello there, I’m Aubrey. And if you’re feeling comfortable enough to tell me — what is your name?” asked the sprightly youth, keeping his distance out of respect for his pretty companion. “Well, It really was a delight meeting you tonight. I’m sure you must be aching to get to wherever you need to go. I’d rather not keep you, then.”
Pom-Pom stopped himself from walking off on her and used his head. She had been walking in the rain and getting soaked from head to toe prior to him pushing his umbrella on her. He was looking terribly worried, and when he imagined the horrible possibilities that could come to an unescorted woman, he had guilted himself into going after her, and then said gently yet hurriedly, "Would you think it seriously rude of me if I asked you to allow me to accompany you? If only for a little while as I’d like to make sure you get to your destination safely. It isn’t good for you to be out here, so alone. Now, where did you say you were going, exactly?”
Word Count; 488 TAG
made bycapt. meows
made bycapt. meows
Any uncertainty she was feeling quickly dispelled when the stranger attempted a curtsy of his own with the ends of his jacket. Jen couldn’t help but let out her own quiet laugh at the awkward gesture. “Oh dear. Yes, I’m afraid I forgot my own umbrella,” Jen replied with a sigh, all at once mindful of the water still sloshing around in her shoes. “Thank you kindly,” she said, shyly taking his umbrella as it was offered.
The borrowed umbrella came at an impeccable time. Drops began to drizzle from the sky again, bouncing in a series of dull taps against the material above her head. Jen was so relieved that they weren’t going in her hair and clothes anymore.
The man introduced himself as Aubrey, to which Jen gave a wave of her fingers in greeting. “I’m Jenevieve, but most call me Jen,” she replied with a kindly smile. Just as soon as they had formally met, Aubrey was dismissing himself. While the moonlet did have an inn to get to, she couldn’t help but feel disappointed at how brief their interaction had been. The eccentric and polite manner of her acquaintance had grown on her in these few short minutes.
With a wave goodbye, Jen took a step to continue her journey along the puddled pathway. It didn’t last long, as Aubrey had turned back and seemed to change his mind about their parting. “I’d be glad for the company,” Jen replied warmly. It was sweet of him to be concerned for her safety. Having someone to accompany her would make the walk more enjoyable.
“Come, get out of the rain,” she playfully chastised him. Reaching out, she gently grabbed his sleeve and pulled him under the umbrella. “It wouldn’t be very kind of me to borrow your umbrella and not share it!” She wiped a strand of wet black hair away from her forehead.
“I’m heading to an inn called the… oh, what was the name?” Jen put a finger on her cheek as she thought for a moment, but it wasn’t coming to mind. “Hold this, please,” she said while handing the umbrella handle off to Aubrey. She pulled her satchel out from under her buffalope hide shawl and began rummaging around. In the outermost pocket, she pulled out a piece of paper. It was rain-soaked, crumpled, and the ink had smudged all over the place from the water. The name was unreadable besides the word ‘inn’ as she peeled apart the folds.
“Oh bother.” Jen stuffed the paper back in the pocket in frustration, a pout on her face. She looked back up at Aubrey. “I… I guess I don’t actually know where I’m going.”
TAKE ME TO WONDERLAND----
“You’re very welcome, Jenevieve,”
He wished he could do more than utter a simple ‘thank you’. The young man raised innocent, admiring eyes to her from time to time, and briefly observed the enormous length and the impressive volume of hair she possessed and how it mingled with the heavy, depressed shawl, which he figured must have added a good few extra pounds to the mass sitting idly on her shoulders. How beautiful.
He was relieved with the vibrancy of her response, which helped him to ease a little more comfortably into that very last-minute decision, which previously caused him to rush back to her side. “That does perfect sense to me. There is plenty of room, plenty of room. I will do as you suggest, then. Thank you.” Reasoned Aubrey, not resisting the kind gesture as she reeled him to join her under the spacious umbrella.
As she tried to recall the elusive name of the inn which he had just inquired about, his fingers wrapped themselves around the central shaft and held it in place for his gentle companion. Each second that passed made him even more aware of the soaked state of the satchel and that worried him -- not to such a dramatic extent -- but he wondered if such a small thing could even succeed in protecting the contents inside it.
Nevertheless, he would wait for her patiently, and while doing so found a moment to mentally address that fantastic mark on her forehead. Did she do that herself? So crisp, so clean, and perfectly sharp. How did it not smear? His eyes were wider than a pair of paper plates as he came upon a most ludicrous, remarkable idea:
Jen’s words, along with the pretty pout on her face, alarmed him to the small revelation: with no name or address to follow, she would lack shelter for the night. This unanticipated twist brought the concerned fellow back to his good senses. He lowered his clear eyes to the soggy piece, looked at Jen again, (did a rinse and repeat) then stopped this little back and forth, as though recognizing her current predicament.
“It seems that way. Luckily for us, I have a wonderful idea; so I thought we’d stop by my place,” there wasn’t a suitable reason for the secretive tone in his voice as he bowed his head a little, “and call every inn in Rivengate.”
Then he looked at her sheepishly after that statement, tapping a finger to his chin, before admitting the less brilliant aspect of his plan.
“I left my cell phone at home.” Clarified Aubrey, not wanting to give her a bad impression of him. He emptied the pockets of his windbreaker to prove his point. That didn't really mean anything -- if he thought about it enough.
Word Count; 471
made bycapt. meows
made bycapt. meows
Silence, save for the sweet drizzle of the rain, lingered in the air between them. Aubrey looked at her, then at her ruined paper, as if taking a moment to realize the predicament she was in. The rain had foiled her plan for the night, but she was trying to stay optimistic. Maybe she would find an inn as they walked, maybe she wouldn’t freeze her toes off out here, maybe her hair wouldn’t be as frizzy as she feared. The least she could do was hope.
With an almost sneaky tone, he suggested they go to his place. Jen recoiled a bit, ready to smack him in the face with her satchel, when he continued, offering that from his house they contact every inn until they found her a room. A great heave of relief filled the moonlet, her shoulders easing the tension they had gained in a short moment. The way his sentence had started was deceiving, and for a moment she almost believed him to be as piggish as many men she had encountered. Again, he had proven himself kind, with good intentions.
Jen smiled at him, nearly laughing at how off-color her own assumption had been. He really did just want to help. “Okay, let’s do that,” she agreed. Hopefully they could find her a place to sleep soon, though she found herself enjoying this moment. Aubrey emptied his pockets to prove his honesty, but Jen was struck with perplexion. She had heard that Rivengate had technology beyond her wildest dreams - and she had a lively imagination - but she was coming up blank for this one.
“Er… excuse my ignorance, but what is a cell phone?” She asked shyly, a look of embarrassed confusion on her face. If only she could hide under the curtain of her hair to ease the blush that was forming on her cheeks.
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