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...

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 [Private] Tents - Page 8

[Private] Tents

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Re: [Private] Tents

Helios Tallon | Army of God; Chief

Posted on Sat Jul 11, 2015 8:43 pm

I needed to remember who I was. I needed to remember what I was. I needed to get my head clear. How could he have been so close, and I so blind to it? I allowed myself to have downtime, and while that downtime was usually spent alone, and carefully planned, I almost always had a certain level of focus. I was always alert and ready for anything. So how was it possible? How could one man, no, one vampire continuously elude me?

I felt weak, when I needed more than ever to be strong. My name may have been on that letter, but my name was not the important one, Lenny's was. I needed to get control of my panic, and find the calm words that only an hour ago had come so easily. It is nothing but a scare tactic, we must try our best to not let it be effective. It is how he keeps you on your toes. It is how he keeps control. Once the letters no longer have the same effect they once did, then and only then will he begin appearing again, and as terrifying as that may sound, it is what we want to happen. You cannot kill a ghost, and right now, that is what he is. I had found them, my attempt at encouraging words, but I was not even sure if I believed them. It didn't matter how much conviction was in my tone, inside I felt useless.

A thought had occurred to me in the past. It was not exactly uncommon for vampires to toy with their victims before killing them, or attempting to kill them. However this one in particular had been toying with me for years, and Lenny, well it seemed he was just another subject to his mental cruelty. Maybe Lenny's death was not what he wanted? Lenny's life was my number one concern, but if he did not want Lenny dead, then my number two concern was out of control. Lenny's mental security. Maybe that is what I needed to focus on with Lenny, more than protecting him from death.

Lenny's reaction had caught me off guard, which in itself was surprising. I should have expected his reaction, as it made more sense than what I was trying to do. I stared at him for a moment before letting my eyes travel to the tent's exit. I slowly sat back down and placed my jacket back where it belonged. I will not leave. I tried to reassure him, not only with my voice, but by gently placing my hand over his shoulder and attempting a smile. It was not a hard decision to make, but it was not without reservation either. For all I knew, he only had minutes on me. Yes, he had speed, but if I wanted to catch him, then I needed to think like him, and right now I could only assume that he was under the impression that I would not leave Lenny's side. This was my chance to catch him off guard, it wasn't certain, but it was a chance... One that I would miss if it meant Lenny felt safe, but it was one that I would also regret missing.

Has it not said that before? I asked curiously, and once I had his answer I was curious at the sudden change. Does that mean anything to you? Maybe he addresses himself that way? Like dissociative identity disorder? This vampire was deranged, that much was certain, so I did not exactly deem dissociative identity disorder unlikely. In fact, it made sense considering what I did know about him.

I watched as Lenny tried to put the pieces together, his attempts far more outward than my own. I wanted to answer his question honestly, but I also did not want that to lead to Lenny never leaving his house. He needed to live his life, not be confined to his home like some kind of prisoner. But at the same time, the truth could potentially save his life... His fear now was what I needed to deal with. That much I knew, and that is why I chose the lie, even if it did come with guilt and concern for the future. Maybe he had someone else do it. The letter did say ''we'', maybe he has humans in his ranks. It does not matter, we are safe in here now, and daylight will only bring more safety. My tongue was bitter from my own lie, and even as I was speaking it, I knew it was not the right thing to do.

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Re: [Private] Tents

Lenny Tronconi | Army of God; Hunter

Posted on Thu Jul 16, 2015 6:58 am

The shock of the envelope and it's contents was slowly but surely fading, predictably being replaced with a gut-gnawing anxiety. I twisted my hands together in my lap and vainly tried not to picture the vampire outside, watching, listening...

When I swallowed it felt thick and my throat dry. My lips felt the same and I darted my tongue out to wet them, struggling to calm my racing thoughts. I glanced to the flap of the tent, watching for any shape or movement. What if he was still out there? Close?

I took a deep, steadying breath and reminded myself that we were at least in the tent. I was at least with Helios. I glanced to him, my mouth slightly ajar. I shook my head when the words I wanted to describe how I felt just didn't come and frowned down at my hands again. Quote Begin It's.. it's been so.. [i[long[/i] since the last time I actually, that he actually - that I saw him. The longer it is, the more I...Quote End I trailed off, the taunts the vampire had bid me as farewell that fateful evening resounding in my mind. I shook my head again, frowning in frustration. My body hunched down and I picked at my fingers, the skin around my nails dry and already previously scabbed over in places.

My head snapped up again and I stared at Helios. Quote Begin What? We want him to appear again? But.. I.. if - if he thinks the letters are still scaring us, couldn't.. couldn't we just keep pretending they have the same effect and then maybe he'll just keep sending them and.. never appear again?Quote End I asked, repeatedly glancing to the zipped up opening of the tent as I spoke. My skin felt like it was crawling and I started scratching at my arms, my mind wandering again and gaze drifting to the tent doorway.

I flinched when I felt a heavy presence of a hand on my shoulder and whirled round, heart in my throat and irrational terrors clawing at my mind. I knew it was Helios really but that did nothing to prevent my body acting as if it wasn't at first. The fear died quickly and I glanced at Helios' hand and then him. I nodded. It was all I felt I could do without embarrassingly starting to cry or choke up from how Helios' promise affected me. A flood of relief that he wouldn't leave replaced the fear momentarily and I placed my hand over his, just for a a second before returning both of my hands to my lap.

Even with Helios there, physically, solidly next to me, it was difficult not to fixate on thoughts and scenarios involving the vampire. Even worse were the memories. Flickers of what had happened the last time he'd showed his face replayed in my mind, some things I'd previously been able to recall, snippets of others that I hadn't. I felt one of my feet growing numb from lack of movement and changed my position, realizing that more time had passed that I'd thought and Helios was speaking. I struggled to try and work out what he was saying and felt relieved that I couldn't have missed too much, but the relief didn't last long. Thinking about the vampire when he definitely wasn't around wasn't too bad but it was a completely different story when he could just be meters away. It made him, my memories and experiences seem so much more real. I reached out and dragged a blanket towards myself, letting it unfold. I pulled it messily over my shoulders and sighed, trying to think. Quote Begin I, uh.. he - he didn't say that before, I mean, we. Not.. like that, I don't think.Quote End I struggled to think back, my shoulders hunching up as I glanced to the tent doorway again. I could picture his gaze in my mind, his dark, deep blue eyes piercing through me. I gritted my teeth and breathed out, slowly, willing the image away and trying to focus on speaking to Helios. But I didn't even know what he meant by Dissociative Identity Disorder. Quote Begin How the fuck am I meant to know?Quote End My voice sounded like a shout in the quiet of the night, especially inside the tent, and I immediately felt bad. I dropped my angry glare from Helios and shrugged, taking my feelings out on my nails instead. When I bit at the edge of one the sound was audible through the tent. Quote Begin I don't know.. he just, well, he had that two name thing. When he said his name was Laurence but then there was William too and at first I thought they were actually different people, but... then, that last time.Quote End My mumbles grew hoarse but I fought through it, stopping to take a breath. It calmed me just enough to continue. Quote Begin When first I thought it was William, the human, right? That he just had some shitty grandfather or old relative who was a vampire or something, but then he.. changed right in front of me. Into him.Quote End I shrugged and shook my head again, whether to signify I didn't want to talk about what had happened more or try simply try and shake the thoughts out of my head, I didn't know. There was so much I didn't know and it made me want to crawl and curl up in all of the blankets and pretend I wasn't in a massive forest in the middle of the night. I tried to cling onto what I did know. Quote Begin But I'm sure that's never been in the letters - he's never said we. I.. I don't know what the fuck it means, or if it means anything, I just know that it never happened before.Quote End I said with determination, rising out of my hunch a little.

Quote Begin Why the fuck would anyone want to help him? It's fucking sick.Quote End I spat at the thought of humans aiding a vampire. But Helios' words of comfort worked and I found myself calming slightly, even if I did keep glancing towards the tent flap as if it might suddenly start opening from the outside. I just hated the shaky, vulnerable feeling. It made me feel so weak and useless. Quote Begin Yeah.. we're safe.Quote End I repeated, Quote Begin But if you do need another piss.. this time you're gonna have to go in a bottle or shit.Quote End The attempted joke felt sour in my mouth and I tried to stretch my features into a smile but it ended up more of a grimace. I felt tired and drained and properly grimaced when I hugged my arms around myself and felt the dampness of my sweater. It would have been bad enough sleeping in it without what had happened and I didn't think I'd catch a wink of sleep even with Helios there also. But that took nothing away from how grateful I felt that he was there. Quote Begin I'm glad you stayed.Quote End I said suddenly, looking up from my hands to him and chancing another smile, small, but a genuine smile. I sucked in another slow breath and shifted, reaching up to pull my sweater over my head. I threw it into a corner of the tent. Quote Begin I guess we might as well get comfy.Quote End I mumbled, pulling at the sleeping bags and blankets. I might not be able to sleep but it didn't mean I couldn't at least get warm.

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Re: [Private] Tents

Helios Tallon | Army of God; Chief

Posted on Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:16 pm

The conflict in Lenny's mind caused his statement to break up into drawn out pauses, the thoughts in his mind the only things filling the empty sound. I could read between the lines well enough, and my own mind filled those blanks with it's own interpretation, logical, but providing no solace. The contrast between the vampires tactics and ours was the only thing keeping my humanity in tact, but it's hard to win when your opponent plays dirty and you are left standing on moral high ground; Trying to protect yourself and others while he stands below you and takes cheap shots at your ankles until you fall to your knees. It was not like I had not played dirty before. I had, but the consequences that followed made me wonder if what I lost was more important than what I had gained.

No. I spoke bluntly, and paired the statement up with a somber and almost dubious expression. My tone immediately softened, I am not a strong advocate for grey areas. This is black and white. It is a matter of right and wrong, kill or be killed. You either continue to suffer, both mentally and physically at the hand of this vampire. Or I kill him first. And I will kill him first. But I cannot do that if he continues to communicate through letters, and letters alone. My struggle to stay honest and true, and spare Lenny's mental security was one I felt would never end. But in this moment, I felt it was necessary to speak honestly. There was nothing I could do to provide him with a feeling of safety but be present. Honesty was the right choice... Was it not?

I tried to keep up with Lenny's darting eyes, but felt as if my own were rolling loosely in my head, unable to keep up with his. It was possible that he was out there, but I was also quite sure he was only here to observe. He was like a child. He had planted his rubber spider, and now he was watching us as if we were his younger siblings, finding joy as the aftershock of fear of his prank settled in.

The feeling of Lenny's hand on mine broke my concentration, and I realized I had been staring at the entrance to the tent as well. My eyes turned to Lenny and my own thoughts became so loud I was no longer seeing him. He became something for my eyes to rest on as they focused internally. I wanted him to be home. I wanted to take him home right then and there, even if it meant forcing him home. I wanted it so badly, for a moment I felt I could will it to happen. As if I could focus so hard he'd just disappear and magically appear back in his home, in his bed, safe. It was not only his safety I wished for, but my freedom. He was close, and every missed opportunity put him even more steps ahead of me. But... I had to admit, that as horrible as this was, and even if it was no where near good, maybe it was good for Lenny. To experience this horror and survive to see the morning. Maybe it would harden him, if only a little. Maybe that was not true, but I had to believe it.

''We...'' It could have meant many things, and I was not willing to jump to any certain conclusions just yet. For me, it was best to believe the worst first, and hope for the best. So for now, all I could do was assume that he was not working alone, and hope to find evidence to disprove that theory.

I did not even flinch when Lenny reacted the way he did. In fact, despite his nervous tics, I felt he had handled this situation too well. I was expecting an outburst. In fact, I would have been afraid for his mental state if he didn't have one. They are quite common... I thought aloud, and looked to him again. The names he had given you I mean. They are quite common. They could be false, yes, but very common. I cannot even imagine how many William's and Laurence's there are out there... It would be impossible to track, but they must mean something. I stopped thinking aloud and tried to force a smile, even if it looked unsure and awkward.

It might not be a matter of wanting to help him. If this is true, they might not even know that they are helping him. I admitted, finding it more likely that he would use his power to control said humans like an army of puppets, rather than them joining his cause willingly. There had been reports of worse. People losing decades of time because vampires had used their mind control ability to keep them as slaves. It was not unheard of...

I forced a laugh. I think I will be fine. If I needed to go, I would go after Lenny was asleep. However it was unlikely. I am too. It was not a complete lie. I was glad I was here, but a part of me wondered if this would have even happened if I was not. The letter was addressed to the both of us this time... I had been tracking him before I arrived here, maybe I lead him straight here. Maybe he followed my tracks, maybe this was my fault. It was something I would probably never know the truth about, yet it plagued my mind with doubt and endless questions regardless.

It took a moment for me to register what Lenny had said, and shortly after, I let my head rest against a pillow and stared at the ceiling, thinking about how impossible it would be for me to sleep. It would be a long night without my books, that was for sure. I had sleep aids with me, which was pure coincidence. I had picked them up the day before but forgot to take them out of the pocket in my jacket. I would not take them, I needed to be alert, but... I have sleeping pills, if you think you might need help sleeping... If you want to sleep that is. I offered as I pulled my jacket close to my side and looked over to Lenny. My hand gripped at the handle of my blade through the cloth as I awaited his answer.

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Re: [Private] Tents

Lenny Tronconi | Army of God; Hunter

Posted on Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:07 am

I glared miserably up at Helios. Quote Begin I'm not suffering.Quote End I tried to deny, avoiding eye contact. Picking at the skin around my nails suddenly became a fascinating task again. Quote Begin So... I mean... he has to come back? But - what if you're not there when he does? What if he was going to.. he, I.. tonight, if you weren't here, what if he'd wanted to try something?Quote End

The thought of the vampire in the tent had struck into my mind and I could rid myself of it. It was starting to make me feel nauseous even though I was certain he couldn't enter the tent anyway. What I knew was possible and what wasn't rarely came into play when I started fixating on him and things he might do, logic flying out of the picture when it came to fear.

I flopped down onto my side with force, hugging the blanket round myself and glaring sourly. Quote Begin I don't know. I don't fucking know anything any more..Quote End I wiped a hand over my face. The fear was keeping me awake but aside from that the countless nights of broken or bad sleep I'd had previously meant I was still tired. Quote Begin When I try and think stuff out I just... I mean, it's all a fucking game to him. Maybe the names don't mean shit, or maybe they do, but if they do maybe he wants us to think that or..Quote End I rubbed the backs of my hands against my aching eyes and groaned. I didn't want to think about it. Quote Begin What would William and Laurence mean anyway? They're just stupid English-y names.Quote End I grumbled, frowning at the thought of them.

Quote Begin You mean... the mind stuff, they can do that... sort of, it's not just one thing? They can make you do stuff for that long?Quote End I asked, slightly in awe of it. Maybe even after what he'd done to me I'd escaped more than I'd bargained on from the vampire. Quote Begin And they might not even know? How does that... fuck.Quote End I shivered at the thought of it. One thing was for sure - if I ever had the horror of meeting him again there was no way I'd be making any sort of eye contact.

Lying down had intensified my exhaustion but it was still fighting over the fear in my mind, a battle over my ability to sleep. It was one I fought often. I glanced over to Helios and shuffled closer to him slightly, chancing another glance towards the doorway of the tent. I didn't know how I felt about actually sleeping. But if the vampire couldn't get us in the tent... Quote Begin I, uh.. I guess sleep could be good? I mean, what else am I meant to do? I don't want to fucking stay awake all night thinking about shit. But... are you gonna sleep too? And I mean, the pills, uh, I mean, do they actually work?Quote End I reached about for a pillow until I felt one and dragged it under my head. Quote Begin Are they tablets? How big are they?Quote End I asked, wrinkling my nose up in thought. I watched Helios with a frown on my face, trying to work things out. Quote Begin Why do you have sleeping pills? Do you use them? I mean, normally use them or shit, every day or whatever?Quote End For as long as I'd know Helios I'd known of his almost nocturnal or unusual sleeping patterns and never had a second thought about the odd hours he was often up when I phoned. I hadn't thought of him potentially having any issues that I experienced too, but after some of the revelations in the tent he was starting to seem more and more human to me. Even if Helios had the ability to kill the creatures that haunted my nights it was still possible sleep might not come easy to him but I'd just not seen it that way before. Whenever he was around me he'd seemed so put together that I'd not ever looked past it. I pulled the blanket I had right up under my chin . Quote Begin ...I don't wanna use them if you need them.Quote End I said quietly.

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