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In a Pickle

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In a Pickle Empty In a Pickle

Post by Damian Tue Dec 07, 2021 4:26 pm

In a Pickle Aurpost

Aurora St Clough



In the middle of the day, with a prominent dusk enchantment dressing the skies in soft shadow, very few streaks of light parted the trees and slithered through the windows of a sleeping cottage hidden deep within the woods.  Aurora was sitting on her bed, unsmiling, with her crimson robes wrapped about her. Her mostly unbound hair, which she had just washed after a long trip to the market, covered her shoulders and expanded like a fan toward the bottom.


She could lay there for hours more if she wanted to, relaxed, sans activity, sans needing to think. The gravitational pull of utter laziness passed through the uninspiring somnolence of her body. And then she fell back again and sank deeper into the mattress. She could have disappeared into the softness and disregarded the adventurous craving that struck her back to life in the first place, but then she thought it best to simply get out of bed.


Craving might have been too strong of a word; a proper one would have been curiosity that lured her away from her bedroom and into the quaint, cozy kitchen.


Wood-carved furniture, cream-colored curtains, and candles that once burned brightly perfumed the air with a hint of cinnamon. There were elements of nature in her home, in which animals were posed in life-like attitudes and situations—featuring fanciful scenes of whimsy such as small group of exotic birds preening themselves before a grand mirror, a rabbit peering through a patch of neatly arranged wild flowers, and a small batch of acorns being guarded by a vigilant squirrel.


Her hearing, dormant and numbed by drowsy comfort, caught no sound that passed, except that of her small white lillies for feet poking out of her dress with every step.


Pregnant with a pause, her spider-like hand elegantly brushed up against the glass of a jar that contained the peculiar greenery, the prime vegetable everyone liked to rave madly about, and took a mighty hold of the lid for a try.


With a twist, it did not budge and neither with two persistent hands did it loosen. Raven bangs could not hide the growing desperation in her crimson eyes, such dark strands quivering under her less than poised lid-prying endeavors.


There was a time when these hands could claw out the eyes of her boldest enemies, but years of peace have made them soft and yielding to the prowess of a pickle jar.


The most audible noise in the entire house to date left her lips in the form of a sigh.


She would retreat to the living room to sulk lightly before trying things just a smidge differently.


Round two.


She seized the knife from the drawer and wildly slammed the dull end of it against the edges of the lid in the hopes of hearing the longed-for victory pop.


She could see the blemished ends, the dents giving way to what may come—- her prize. Encouraged by its shabby appearance, she gave the top another fierce turn for the right and one for the left.


If she were characteristically more expressive, her jaw would have dropped to the floor and shattered all her teeth. To reflect her surprise, her eyes simply widened before they got heavier and darker. Her legs were mostly obscured by her robe as she walked back to the living room, and because they weren’t quite so visible, she seemed to sort of ‘slink’ back to the armchair of defeat.


The solemn way she sat upon it painted her profile with a false sense of peace. She allowed her eyes to linger upon an aged picture of her former girlfriend who left her some years back over a few creative differences.


It was visible upon the shelf of books.


Perhaps she would never learn the taste of pickles in the same way she would never see her again. Not unless she decided to give up what she loved doing, but that was just too difficult for her.


Then a brilliant blue light pulled her from the deepest recesses of her mind before a daunting little pop could be heard. Having already been quite serious up to now, her pallid countenance merely intensified as she put on an act that betrayed all wariness.


The tension in her face did not make its way to the shoulders nor the arms that elevated her fingers and loosened one of the elaborate pins from her locks.


Her hair accessories, however beautiful, weren't just for show.  


Aurora would have preferred to be armed with a spear. But she was so far from it that, no matter how fast her legs would carry her if she tried to make a dash for it with all her might, she would be just as dead as her animals.


So, the pin in her hand would have to do. It could not gleam as brightly in the dark, which played out in her favor as she nonchalantly left the comfort of her seat to better survey her surroundings.


And then the fanged wonder saw it.


The loosened lid of the cursed pickle jar.


She oddly lowered her guard, raising an eyebrow as she tried to mentally process the sort of psychopath she was dealing with. Slowly backing away from the hair-raising sight, her senses were heavily blurred by cinnamon, extreme vigilance and fear.


“Show yourself, you bloody coward!” Aurora finally spoke, her cry fiercer than a hundred whippings to the back.





Word Count; 909
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In a Pickle Empty Re: In a Pickle

Post by Bahadur Tue Dec 07, 2021 7:57 pm

In a Pickle 2227f7e7e6bded440d11b5cc6706d6bb


---



As the jar of pickles sat unopened, resistant to the frustrated attempts to reach its contents, a silent form appeared overhead. A pale but arcane blue light gently illuminating the room as a blue orb of flame sparked into life and roared out in expansion till it formed a shame not too far from a human. Their thin fingers wrapping around it’s lid with a delicacy as if any wrong move may shatter the glass container.In an instant the twisted their wrist, ancient strength releasing the tension of the pickle jar as the lid was opened but not removed, leaving such honours for the hosts of the cottage. By the time the home turned to face her uninvited guest, hair pin at the ready, there was no one in sight but the jar itself.

She seemed confused, uncomfortable, agitated, and as she cried out with ferocity for the identity of her stalker she was not met with words or a sight. Not at first, an uncomfortable pause of silence followed before her guest reappeared. A small wisp of grey smoke and blue cold embers hovering in the air over her armchair which was now left open. The smoke extended, stretching down over the edge until i took the form of someone almost mortal. They were under 6 feet in height and gaunt, as if they had not fed themselves in months. But despite this malnourished appearance there was a strength and athleticism in their build, contorted in further confusing shapes by their patchwork flesh. Eyes of a bright and vibrant pale blue looked out from under a wild black mane of hair and they were dressed so casually t would appear they were almost at home. A baggy, oversized white shirt hung over their chest as soft sweatpants covered their lower body. Their arms were mostly encased in bandages but they were making no attempt to cover the horrific scorch marks across their clearly once handsome physique.

“Now now Rory, don’t be going calling me names like that.” He replied calmly in his playful voice, a deep and rich sound paired with an almost childlike mischief behind every sentence. “If i wanted to be scarring your pretty wee eyes i would have shown myself sooner, now go take your pickles.” He teasingly instructed as he nodded over to the jar, leaning back comfortably into the armchair as if he had not take a seat since the Holy War itself. His head lulling back as he propped a pillow under the arch of his back, one leg crossed over the other as cold blue orbs of light and flame began to orbit over his head like a halo of spirits. “Ooooooh yeah, i forget sometimes… you Royals really know how to stay comfy.”





Word Count; 465
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In a Pickle Empty Re: In a Pickle

Post by Damian Fri Dec 10, 2021 2:42 pm

In a Pickle Aurpost

Aurora St Clough



Aurora began to sigh in relief. She had not in the least suspected him to be the thing to go bump in the night. But she did not need to acquire an additional reason to simmer down on the account that the two were very old friends.

She tucked the pretty pin away. A quiet resignation of her now silly aggression.

At a glance one would think because of their platonic bond, she would have had an easier time of recognizing the tell-tale signs of his visit, but Aurora was unnecessarily cautious.

There was always the possibility of another entity in this world that could burn as brightly a blue as he could, and yet, if she thought long and hard about it, there wasn’t a single soul who could adequately replicate his unique personality.

Was she too guarded? Maybe. Friends were also known to betray at will, so was she totally in the wrong for baring her teeth and claws?

He began to platicate playfully—calming her down like an old blanket of familiarity that she never outgrew despite the wear and tear of time. The tightness in her neck and her face vanished gradually, and she smiled shortly after the release.

It wasn’t incredibly vibrant, but was it void of any warmth? Not entirely.

“You put the heart crossway in me,” she murmured with a pout in her voice, purposefully making it so he could hear her clearly.

The sulky thing crossed her arms over her chest as she eased back into the kitchen to pry the loosened lid off. She felt he should have had the honors of doing so since he put in the effort of its removal, but she also didn’t want to extend a lack of graciousness by not opening it up herself.

“You’re more of a sight for sore eyes. I’ve missed your stories, ” she corrected her guest with her back turned to him, forgiving him for the unintended scare by sprinkling a compliment of her own.

She was smacked with a bitter odor. The unexpected surprise reached her eyes as soon as she started having second thoughts about maybe trying the highly praised pickle.  The smell wasn’t helping any of that.

She washed her hands, dried them up with an autumn patterned kitchen towel and poked at three slices with a fork. A tart trio for one tea saucer and a like set for the other.

On the inside she was holding a funeral for their taste buds; on the outside she was quite fine with this.

Not wanting to feel like she was sentencing him to a poisoning, she swallowed down the growing knot of disgust in her throat and nobly said with notable bravery, “I’ll try it first,” she raised her chin, “and if you see me starting to get just a wee bit stiff, then I trust you to…”

A moment of silence, and she said the following so seriously that it sounded completely absurd, “…bury me six feet under.”

She handed him the diminutive saucer as she sought for the armchair adjacent to his, watching him cozy up to the chair she had been occupying a few minutes ago with a light shake of her head. She visibly flinched at being called a royal, but didn’t say anything about the old life as she popped the vegetable into her slightly open mouth.

“Mmm, the smell is rough, but the taste is passable.” She judged, wondering if he had ever eaten one himself. Would he have scrunched up his face so hard like that of a child’s whilst sucking on a sugared lemon? That was the fun of being an innocent spectator and not prying too much.

She paused mid-bite for the second one, her vibrant red eyes widening under the beautiful siren call of a green box hidden in the depths of her cottage. This only pushed her to swallow it as fast as she did before she chose to follow the crumbs of her guilty pleasure.

All this recreational eating and drinking was going to make her sick eventually.

What she really needed was blood, but it was too expensive to gather in a pouch nowadays and she did not look upon humans too favorably to brave out a bargain. It was quite the dilemma for a vampire like herself. She had her ways of gathering it, except it was a constant struggle and she often suffered migraines for it.

“I have a box,” she called unceremoniously from where she stooped to peel a small opening for her treasures hidden in the pantry. The boring sentence seemed to have the funny feel of a dark, smooth-coated feline bumping into a massive jar of catnip.

She pulled out two soda cans, “Fancy a pop to wash that down with? You didn’t give me enough time to prepare for your arrival. Not even a warning, Bahadur. I could have made you something better than this.” Aurora, while considerate, was also throwing the proverbial venom in very small doses. She was someone who couldn’t decide if she actually liked surprises or not.

She was still in that very sulky mood, and hopefully he understood that she wasn’t trying to shoo him away with that passive aggressive nature of hers.

She calmly swept her gaze over the pretty halo over his head, sauntering over to his chair to greet him with a drink. Her eyes were mildly sensitive to the light, and it showed as she tried to adjust to the brightness without blinking.

“Thank you for the help.” Aurora began, tilting her head to the side as the can awkwardly made a fizzling sound during her cinematic pause.  To her ears the hiss of the can was extraordinarily prolonged and a hint of color rushed to her cheeks to signify her embarrassment. She couldn’t get another word in until it stopped completely.

Now she could speak properly without the added noise.  “Are you troubled by something? Is that why you’re here?”

She often forgot that he was the mere embodiment of trouble and mischief.




Word Count; 1013
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Damian
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In a Pickle Empty Re: In a Pickle

Post by Bahadur Sun Dec 26, 2021 3:43 pm

In a Pickle 2227f7e7e6bded440d11b5cc6706d6bb


---



Though they had been listening to her words, all of them, and focusing on her voice as if there were few other matters in the world worthy of thought, they made no move to react initially. There he sat, as if he had already passed out into sleep that he did not need, with his eyes closed gently. Her words were fair though foolish in a way, if the young one didn’t realise by now she should have, that the one sat in her home never planned ahead of time where he would be and when. Therefore how would they warn her ahead of time, or appear at a more obvious period of the day. Despite this though, and the light venom in her tongue, it was clear he was not an unwelcome guest even if he were unexpected.

When the hostess reached him, her cold presence comforting shadow of life that he felt more kin for than almost any other, she greeted him with a drink and he held it though looked at it for a moment as if in confusion. “Never a problem, Can’t let friends go without aid when life is in a pickle now can i?” He responded in jest, his voice playfully unaware of the pun which was entirely intentional. An obvious act though one he did not care to hide from her common sense and judgement. She seemed to wait however as the can began to open, a long drawn out hiss of air pressure which drew out far longer than intended due to her anxious pause in pushing the tab fully.

He watched the scene play out with a blank expression, his eyes dancing between her own can and his, while the orbs around Bahadur’s head stopped in the air where they hovered. When it did stop, and she asked him about his being there, the demon’s halo continued spinning and they shrugged, their right hand sparking with embers as it transitioned into a bony three clawed talon. The top of it’s thumb cutting a neat line around the rim of the can to remove it entirely and ending the hiss within seconds as it rolled to the floor, the claw burning away once more into the humanlike hand. “Oh so many woes my dear, so many troubles on my helpless mind.”

The guest rose from it’s chair floating, stepping onto the floor once free of the seat though the transition was weightless and unnatural as if the air were water they had to drift through and the floor was only optional. He stood before her with a pleading face of despair, sad eyes and pouting lips as they hunched over to tower over her less than normally. “There be no one else i could turn to Princess, no one is as full of love and comfort like you are.” While his words were perfectly sounding in honesty, the nature of them and the years they had known each other made it clear they were in no way true.

He circled around her, at his normal height, but his toes never touched the ground. Sadly sipping his soda as the demon dwelled on some fictional trauma. “I am troubled, troubled… by…” He stopped, his feet planting on the ground as he squatted, now looking up into her awkward eyes with live and joy but the faintest hint of concern. “What it is that be making my friend so sulky aye? It is you who be troubled, aint it?” He asked her in a light hearted interrogation, slowly sipping from his decapitated can.





Word Count; 599
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In a Pickle Empty Re: In a Pickle

Post by Damian Thu Dec 30, 2021 3:57 pm

In a Pickle Aurpost

Aurora St Clough




Aurora, more stern than she wanted to look, projected an air of icy calm and watched the idle entity embellish the act of opening the meager can lodged in their grip.


It appeared he wasn’t in any rush to cut into the silence and just about levitated from the chair at a pace that was his own.


She could not help watching him, with interest and even amusement, for he was so good at playing the role of the tragic heart.


“That was a fierce performance. I give you a ten out of ten.” She praised, her words were like the softest pat on the cheek as she smiled into her drink.

He didn’t stop there, and she found herself in that unpleasant place of doubt. She froze mid-sip, her eyes darting from side to side in clear confusion. Did she make light of an actual concern? That was not her intention; yet it happened and here she was— the terrible sort to hold herself accountable for all the small things.


Staring at him through her dark bangs, her commanding gaze demanded a swift and honest answer to that same golden question from before.


Oh, but he took his sweet time, and she stayed quiet so as to not miss his explanation.


She would be lying if she said she didn’t want to shake it out of the lad with her bare hands, but she opted to be as composed as she had always been.


Ah, but that patience of hers was lace thin and plenty fragile.


He was forever in her good graces until proven otherwise.


“Bahadur,” came the light chiding from Aurora, a sure sign that she was inwardly squeezing a confession out of him without the aid of physical contact.


When she couldn’t follow him with her sharp gaze, what with all his playful circling, she turned briskly and stayed there.


Even around very close friends, she never liked to take her eyes off them, no matter how at home they made her feel.


They were like roses. Such flowers often came with thorns and could prick the gentlest of hands on the warmest summer day. That was the standard expectation she had of people.


“You can tell me anything, love,” she encouraged him to speak freely, brushing the loose strands away from her face to distract herself from growing a lot more impatient than she already was. “But if you’re going to act the maggot by stalling…”


Her friend’s follow-up to that earned him a raised eyebrow and an appreciative glance.

A genuine smile too.

“I’m as right as rain,” she said transparently, implying that much of her earlier sulking was playful and not to be taken seriously.

Warmed by the worry in his tone, she seemed to soften up just a bit and think deeply on what to do next.

Aurora, whenever alone, was not a very lively individual. She was quite boring when she wasn’t working, attending a party; though, who would invite her to anything now? Not that she relatively cared.


“Would you like to go for a stroll with me tonight,” she offered gallantly, to make up for her pushy, somewhat catty, attitude, “or would you rather I leave you to cuddle up with that chair you’re so fond of? There seems to be a fire there, if you’ll pardon the expression.”




Word Count; 560
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In a Pickle Empty Re: In a Pickle

Post by Bahadur Sun Jan 23, 2022 8:33 pm

In a Pickle 14cb30f3e6db7a168cf10caf2dee8366


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“Oop, there ya go” He teased her with an outstretched finger to point at her cheek, an unnatural grin possessing his features as he drew attention to her own smile. It was not common to draw concern from the spectre who haunted the forests of the continent, but even someone like Bahadur had a weak spot for old friends. Friends who like him, had seen the seasons turn, trees rise and cities burn, they were each monuments who laughed in the face of time, even their friendship was a spit in the face against the usual rules of life. An undead, elegant women, and the monstrous demon who formed the boogeyman of more than one village’s local mythology.

One eye brow raised in exaggerated shock and intrigue as the vampire offered company on a night time walk. It was no secret that she was not of a social nature, and even between the pair it was not too common to spend excessive amounts of time in each other’s company, but even the dark and terrifying creatures of the continent needed an anchor to ground them over the years. Crossing his legs he began to float, his head level with her as he studied her features as if looking for any sign of humorous deception. “You want to stroll with little old me?” He let the question hand in the air before his smile returned, his head bowing moments before his legs dropped, light feet standing properly upon the ground for the first time since he set foot within her home. “It would be my honour.”

With a snap of his fingers blue embers began to engulf him, spreading across his clothing and leaving behind different outerwear though all of it was merely for aesthetic purposes, after all i Bahadur felt the cold he never let it be known. Around his body now hung a beautiful fitting long dark trench coat, over his hair sat a nice warm hat and he rubbed his hands together as if already chilly until they burst into flames. “Ah, much better don’t ya think?” a Giggle of laughter followed once more as he clapped and the flames went out, his hands sliding into his pockets as he hovered over to the window. “But aye Princess, a stroll do be sounding lovely tonight. I follow where ya lead, as always.” He said with a more soft and subtle smile, a glance over at her as his eyes momentarily turned into bright orbs of flame then back into their human like appearance.





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