setting
Index was once a small and close-knit community, but the town located on the western side of Washington state has grown in recent years beyond anyone's expectations. It is the ideal place for those who work in Seattle but can't afford the city's high real estate prices, and for others the natural beauty attracts them to the town. And Index truly is a beautiful place - surrounded by thick evergreen trees, tall mountains and glistening rivers and lakes. While weather is typically rainy with overcast skies even this does nothing to take away from the beauty of the town, and it is only highlighted further when the heavy snow graces the town and caps the mountains in winter. To many, Index would seem like a paradise. And yet lurking beneath this visual beauty there is more to this town than anyone might ever imagine...

Current Time in Index, Washington:
rules
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 [Private] Tents - Page 7

[Private] Tents

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Re: [Private] Tents

Lenny Tronconi | Army of God; Hunter

Posted on Wed Jul 01, 2015 9:15 am

Quote Begin Yeah...Quote End I turned rapidly to Helios at his answer, nodding enthusiastically, Quote Begin The river's fault... and no rapids yet, I dunno if they were gonna do something tomorrow or shit but.. well.. I don't wanna get wet anyway and I didn't bring any swim stuff or whatever. And.. the water was fucking cold! It wouldn't be so bad if it was warm.Quote End

The thought had just made me feel colder as we exited the tent. I crossed ym arms, still holding the solar light, and rubbed them with my hands to try and keep some warmth as I trudged after Helios. Quote Begin Shit, yeah... I hadn't thought of that...Quote End I half-yawned as I followed him. Helios was right, waking up the smell of the previous night's urine didn't sound so good when he put pissing just outside the tent like that.

I watched Helios find one tree and headed to another beside it, still carrying the solar lamp. I set it down, looked around over my shoulders, and unzipped my pants and started relieving myself. I felt more relaxed, letting out a sigh. There was just a spattering sound against bark and ground amidst the softer rain in the peaceful quietness of the woods, first in unison and then solo until I was done too.

Quote Begin I miss the tent. Quote End I replied to Helios, joining him again for the walk back. The rain was light enough that it hardly felt it was raining at all, and yet when my hand brushed against my sweater it was wetter than I'd expected. I grimaced and tried not to think about sleeping in wet clothes because I had no choice. The solar light swung from my hand in between us as we walked towards the tent and I let myself pause, looking over the dusky night scenery. Quote Begin It's shitty they come out at night.. I always used to like it at night before I knew about them.Quote End I said softly, looking back at Helios with a small smile. The bathroom trip seemed to have sobered me up.

After unzipping the tent flap I threw the light onto the pile of blankets and pillows and dove inside again. I groaned, shifting about when I realised the previous warmth of the tent had diminished slightly and it was going to take time to warm up - again. I sat up and frowned, for the second time hearing an audible crinkling sound from underneath me. In the dim light I could see an edge of brown paper sticking from under one of the blankets I'd been sprawled across. I pulled at it and my stomach dropped when it became obvious it was a brown envelope.

I'd stiffened where I sat, staring down at the unmarked, back of the envelope and beginning to feel sick. I knew what it was. I could tell, feel what it was, knew that it would be identical to the stack I had at home, but I delayed turning it over to see what I knew would be printed on the other side because I just couldn't handle what that meant - how the letter had gotten into the tent.

Quote Begin Helios.. I, did you bring.. is this yours?Quote End I slowly glanced over to him, eyes wide with fear. I already knew the answer to the question and yet I wanted it so badly not to be true. But I slowly turned the envelope, eyes widening even more at the words handwritten onto the other side.



     To
         Mr Helios Talon & Mr Leonardo Tronconi

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Re: [Private] Tents

Helios Tallon | Army of God; Chief

Posted on Sat Jul 04, 2015 10:46 pm

''I may not be wise on the matter... But in my experience, warm water is usually a bad sign unless it's from a bath or a hot tub.'' I could not help but laugh, no matter how immature it may have sounded. Maybe he would get it, maybe he would not. Maybe it was the task at hand that had me thinking about something so juvenile. I did not know. I am beginning to miss it too I admitted, despite the fact that I could not shake this feeling that I would not be getting much sleep tonight. I was getting too old to sleep on the ground.

It did not take long to reach the tent, and I was looking forward to actually relaxing without mother nature calling me. Plus, as much as I liked to try and stay calm and confident, him mentioning them made me want to get away from the cold even faster. I still do like the night, but I do agree that they have ruined some of it's appeal. It was strange, the tent was just fabric, but it did provide some feeling of safety.

I followed him into the tent and immediately laid down, trying to take my shoes off without the aid of my hands was proving difficult already. When Lenny sat up, as did I to slip my shoes off and tuck them neatly into the corner of the tent. When I laid back down I groaned as the handle of my dagger dug into my ribs, so I sat up once more to remove my jacket, and it was in that moment when I caught Lenny's face. It was barely illuminated on the opposite side from the lantern, but I saw enough to know that my concerned feeling was not without purpose.

My hand instinctively placed itself lightly on his shoulder as I leaned forward to try and catch his gaze. The item in his hand had not even registered yet, but now I was beginning to feel my heart sink. When he turned it around, I did not know what to say, I did not know how to react, or how to even fake some calm or confidence, because I, just like him was surprised at it's presence... And afraid of the writing on the front. I wished I had entered first, I wished I had seen it first so I could have hidden it from him, and kept this entire camping experience pure and happy to him but I had not. I should have anticipated, I should have done something to prevent this moment from happening. All it did was reassure me that nothing had changed, it was still incredibly unsafe for me to let my guard down. And it always would be.

I do not know if we should open it. Maybe... Maybe it was slipped into the pocket of my jacket and I had just not noticed, and it slipped out before we left the tent, or... Maybe... I tried to talk around the obvious explanation, but Lenny was not stupid. He knew, as well as I, that this letter did not exist to us until we left the tent, which only meant one thing... Maybe... Do you want me to read it? This is what I hated most about this vampire. He was without witchcraft, but I still felt compelled to know what the letter contained, what he had to say. Curiosity was a torturous thing...





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Re: [Private] Tents

Lenny Tronconi | Army of God; Hunter

Posted on Sun Jul 05, 2015 2:35 pm

Quote Begin I dunno, sometimes it can be a bad sign in a hot tub or bath too...Quote End I added on, smirking and then laughing, trying to stifle the loudness when we passed a tent.


-

I glanced back to Helios, watching his reaction, taking in the uncertainty gleam of his dark eyes in the poorly lit tent. And yet, though the solar light was by no means an actual protection, being inside the tent walls with just that little light felt like a barrier against the rest of the world - against him.

Inside it had been just Helios and I previously, but the letter had broken that visage. It was a figurative bomb, a reminder that there was a world outside the tent and us, and of what it contained.

My eyes pricked slightly and I sniffed, still staring at the letter down in my hands. I couldn't even be angry at Helios and take it out on him for the way he'd answered. More than anything, I wished what Helios was saying could be true. I wished it so much, nodding at him in agreement of his sentiment behind his reasoning, even if it was so flawed, we both wanted the same thing. Or more importantly, we both feared one thing, the one thing that had apparently just happened.

Quote Begin No.. yes - no, I don't know.Quote End I said softly, voice rising with frustration. My gaze moved from the letter to meet Helios' eyes, then to the closed tent door, Helios' jacket, the letter again and finally Helios. Quote Begin I can't.. I can't not...Quote End I said, thinking of the countless letters I had at home. No matter how many times I tried not to open them, I always did. Not knowing and my mind wandering onto anything that it could contain was worse than just opening it up to see whatever horrible contents were inside.

My hands shook slightly on the envelope and I leaned closer to Helios, looking over to his jacket again, thinking of the weapons he'd shown me earlier. After the letters I'd received I had become slightly less panicky when each one turned up, but the idea that he'd posted them and been near was still too much for it not to affect me before. It wasn't my previous experiences that kept me from having a full on panic attack in the tent though, but Helios. If the vampire was around, even watching us, I felt sure I was in the right place, with the right person. If anyone was able to protect me or help me, it would be Helios.

Quote Begin You took your jacket with you, right? Your knives are still in your jacket?Quote End I whispered, even though I knew it might do nothing to stop a vampire hearing us, I couldn't help but default to hushed tones. I could remember him wearing his jacket on the short walk but asked just to be certain, already my mind offering up images of the vampire looming behind us and Helios reaching for a weapon, only for it to be gone. It was also an effective way of putting off answering Helios question properly. I did want him to read the letter, but at the same time it seemed so weak to have him do it, to just pass it all over to him. I fixed my eyes on the envelope, moving it to my lap and turning it over in my hands, taking in every well-known curve in the handwriting of my name I'd seen written identically so many times. I turned it again, not able to look too long. I huffed out a sigh of frustration and quickly ripped down the side of the envelope, determined not to look too long or seem too affected. The longer I thought, the more time my shock had to transform into anxiety or panic.

I felt, rather than saw, two things fall out of the envelope and into my lap. I gave a start of surprise, only expecting one thing, and let the envelope drop too in order to pick one of the other items up. I reached for the letter, went to read it and quickly rethought that decision, shaking my head as soon as my eyes met the words and thrusting it out to Helios instead. I moved on to the next item. My stomach flipped when I picked it up and could see in the light that it was a polaroid style photo. I held it up so Helios could see too, looking to him in confusion before going to study the picture. I turned the blank back away from us and then bought it closer when I struggled to make out what was in the photo on the other side. I peered at it, the colour, the shadows, and my mouth slowly fell open when I realised what it was, making out the light and shapes that made up the image. It was of us - Helios and I, just a few hours previous. We'd been enjoying ourselves in front of the bonfire, oblivious, never knowing something was behind us, taking the photo...

I looked up to Helios, still not sure what I was feeling or what to say about the photo, my expression of shock hopefully speaking loud enough. Why? That was all I could think - why - and with a dread I couldn't help wondering if the letter would explain it. Quote Begin What does it say?Quote End I said suddenly, keeping my eyes on Helios rather than the letter I was asking about. I didn't even want the answer, but I couldn't cope with the alternative of not knowing either.

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Re: [Private] Tents

Helios Tallon | Army of God; Chief

Posted on Sun Jul 05, 2015 7:06 pm

The letters were nothing but a symbol of power, I had known that since the beginning. They were a way for him to prevent the fear of his existence to ever completely settle. They were an attempt to keep himself and everything he represented relevant and alive within Lenny, and myself. My entire life was filled with holes of uncertainty, but every once in a while something like this would happen. A letter, an encounter, a voice... Something would happen and one of those holes would be filled with certainty. What I knew now was, he had been here. That was the only certainty I had. I had no idea if he was still here, how long he had been here, where he came from, or where he was going. And those unanswered questions poked more holes into my mind. And they would never be filled or answered.

What infuriated and frightened me the most was not the letter or who had delivered it. What infuriated and frightened me the most was myself. How had I been so blind? Not just now, but now and always. How could he have come so close and I did not even flinch? Tonight, how could I have allowed myself to dismiss every sound, smell, or movement caught by my peripheral vision as safe? If I would have investigated every sound, would I have found him? If I would not have allowed myself to accept that those we were camping with were the cause of every stir in the night, was it possible that I could have prevented this? As much as I despised this moment, it was a lesson I needed to learn. I was not a friend, I was not normal. When I took my oath, I relinquished my right to the freedoms and joys that come natural to most, and I would do well to remember that. I was a fool to stay, and I would not make that mistake again.

I tried to stay focused on Lenny's reaction, prepared to comfort him, even if I was at a loss for words. But my eyes kept traveling back to his hands, or more, what they held. I suddenly wanted to reach out and prevent him from opening it. I wanted to tell him this was what he wanted, to benefit from our curiosity and reap the rewards of the fear and discontent that curiosity would inevitably bring. But it was too late. He was already tearing it open, and I was not blind to the ill feelings the act represented. I would not try to calm him, not yet. He was entitled to his fury and fear in this moment.

I took the paper from his hand when he passed it to me and  straightened my posture as I closed my eyes and took in a deep breath. Now was not the time to show any negative emotion. Being relatable was not important now, being level headed and confident was. When I opened my eyes I exhaled as I began unfolding the paper. My eyes tore away from it long enough to examine the photo Lenny showed to me, but I quickly went back to reading. My mind was working overtime to find a hidden meaning, something other than the obvious. Was this a riddle, or was it simply an attempt to make his presence known once more?

I was feeling angry, and that brought out more fear. I did not want Lenny to know my true emotions. But I felt helpless. In any other situation it would not anger me, but when it came to his kind, it made my blood boil. He would not hurt Lenny, he would not hurt me. Maybe he was always one step ahead, but I had spent my entire life training and trying to catch him, that had to have counted for something?

I looked up to Lenny and paused for a moment, my mind was working against me, it was fighting me. I did not want to read it to him, but if I did not, he would read it himself. All I wanted was to spare him, to free him from that curiosity that had taken him over, and me... The forest is a dangerous place at night. You never know what might be lurking in the shadows. We would be so disappointed if you were hurt. I immediately let my hand fall to my lap, and the letter with it, and placed my other hand over my mouth as I just stared at the paper in front of us. My other hand eventually fell to my lap before reaching forward to take the photo so I could examine it.

It was us. Not only had he been close once, but twice, and who knew how many other countless times. This means nothing. I was not sure if I was speaking to Lenny, or myself. There is no meaning to it, there is no purpose other than to make us feel unsafe. It is the only thing I can think of. I looked to Lenny, and for the first time, I was looking to him for something to say, I was looking to him for answers. Maybe he knew more? Maybe he knew something I did not, that could explain why this had happened. It means nothing. I echoed, this time with more anger in my voice than I would have liked. I took in a deep breath to try and regain some sense of control before looking to my jacket. I immediately reached for it, Maybe I should scout the perimeter.

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Re: [Private] Tents

Lenny Tronconi | Army of God; Hunter

Posted on Mon Jul 06, 2015 7:45 am

My chest felt heavy and full, so inflated with fear that the feeling pushed against my lungs and made breathing a task, pushed against my heart and just amplified the sensation of my rapid pulse. It intensified before Helios went to read the letter, my heart hammering away right up until he opened his mouth. The fear of what could be in the letter was so real, his voice already in my mind...

Then Helios started speaking and the feeling slowly deflated until it was gone. Instead of that cold, hard and fearfully familiar English accent repeating the words in my mind, it was just Helios' own voice, familiar in the best way. The words still resounded in my mind, but it wasn't so fear-inspiring when it wasn't with his voice - as I'd feared it would be if I read it myself.

My gaze darted to the letter when it dropped into Helios lap. I felt in a daze, the words going over and over in my mind and distracting me from everything was was real. Dangerous.. lurking.. disappointed.. what did it mean? Did it even mean anything? I was snapped back to reality when Helios echoed my thoughts aloud, and for the first time I was pulled out of my own fear and could see how it had affected Helios too.

I gently placed my hand on his knee, squeezing slightly and trying to think of what to say. I shrugged, open and closed my mouth a few times before squeezing again. It was disconcerting to see Helios actually affected too, but I swallowed the lump of fear in my throat down. We were safe in the tent, together. Neither of us were going to invite him in. Quote Begin Maybe.Quote End I glanced to Helios, then back to the letter, thinking of all the other letters I'd received, Quote Begin The others - sometimes they meant stuff, stuff he'd said before, or done, or.. threats,Quote End I swallowed thickly and retrieved the letter from Helios' lap, letting myself look it over and then dropping it in front of us. Quote Begin Some didn't mean anything to me either. Just.. it's just knowing he's there..Quote End My mind started drifting again, floating into memories as I stared at the letter.

I started when Helios moved, flinching in my place. I turned to stare at him in shock, all the fear that had been ebbing at the corners of my mind and only put to rest by the fact I was with Helios threatening to spill over. Quote Begin No!Quote End  I put my hand back down on Helios leg, this time without any comforting intention. Quote Begin No, you can't! ..what if.... I mean, I... what if that's what he wants? To lure you out there, to split us up? We need to stay together.Quote End Helios couldn't leave - I didn't want him to leave, and I clutched at any half-excuse I could find to try and make him stay. The thought of being left alone in the tent and Helios going out into the night was terrifying - beyond terrifying - it sent a chill over my skin like all my nerves were set alight. Quote Begin We need to-Quote End I broke off, my words making me think of the letter. We. I stared at the letter a second and then grabbed for it, creasing the paper from holding it so tight. My eyes frantically scanned the words as I read over the last part again to make sure I wasn't going mad. Quote Begin We... it says we...Quote End I said, my movements once again slowing as realization and then further confusion set in. I held the letter up, jabbing at the word so Helios could see. We? But what did that mean? There was more than one of them? Was this just another twisted joke on his part? Quote Begin None of the other letters ever said we.Quote End I said, slowly, thinking so hard in trying to come up with a conclusion that my head started hurting. I put the letter back down, shaking my head, when I realised something else. My gaze snapped up to Helios' again. There were so many thoughts in my mind, whirling round and interfering with each other, that it was difficult to make sense of any of them. But slowly, they were becoming clearer the longer the initial shock had to fade.

I gestured in the direction of the tent door, Quote Begin It.. he can't have gotten in.. we closed the tent before we left - we didn't invite him in... Quote End I said, slowly, trying to work out what it meant as I stared at the closed tent flap. A tent was a type of home, wasn't it? A place you lived or slept, and this one currently belonged to Helios and I, so if what I knew was true... Quote Begin They can't come in unless you invite them... right?Quote End I asked lowly, frowning at Helios in confusion. My stomach twisted into knots - knowing they couldn't enter without permission was something that haunted me, making me wish I'd known earlier and been able to stop him from attacking me - but more than that, I didn't know what the vampire not putting the letter in the tent himself meant - if it meant anything at all! But, if he hadn't placed the letter there, who had?

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