1. drop_dead

    drop_dead Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2020
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Connecticut

    Our Dystopia

    Discussion in 'Role Play' started by drop_dead, Dec 2, 2020.

    OOC: https://www.writingforums.org/threads/our-dystopia-ooc.167516/#post-1892031

    Rain. All that Chanderlin has seen for the past 10 days is rain. The streets and buildings have remained mostly dark, the only electrical light coming from the government buildings. Not even the wealthy were permitted to use electricity during the blackouts, since everything was solar and there was only so much on reserve. That reserve was only used by the government, and to ensure this rule the city was effectively “turned-off”. But that didn’t stop city life from happening. The people have become accustomed to such blackouts since the weather has become more unpredictable over the years. Candles, oil lamps, and emergency light bulbs were common household items. Small gadgets had been invented over the years that stored solar energy in small capsules of sorts but had a limited reserve. Many shops and restaurants used candle chandeliers to keep the business coming in. The rain did, however, make everything so much messier. Mud from the streets was caked against the side of buildings, making it near impossible for the businesses and living quarters to keep the entrances clean. It was a constant struggle, but everyone was just so used to it by now. Kids were often time seen cleaning these areas with big brooms, making a little extra money for their families while sometimes having a bit of fun with other children doing the same work.

    There was a buzz in the air, the government had teased there was a celebration they were planning for the upcoming holiday, Saving Day. It commemorates the day long ago that the government officially sealed up the cities, which resulted in saving mankind. Saving Day. Every year there was usually a huge celebration put on. Parades, performances, street vendors selling their food, drink, and crafts took over the streets. It was a time that the government kept the lights on all night, the only night this was done, so that celebrations could continue. People were often stumbling into the streets drunk, joyous, but with the occasional scuffles. This year was different. The government wouldn’t say what, but LoT (Leader of Territory) Daniels had announced this year would be special. Something they had never done before was in store for the residents, but it was being kept a surprise.

    Saving Day is next week, and many residents have been nervous about the lack of sun. If they didn’t get some soon, and for at least a couple days, the chances that the lights wouldn’t be on all night were looking pretty high. According to officials, however, the weather was supposed to start improving within the next 48 hours, so nobody was truly worried. The government assured everyone that even if it did continue to rain, it wouldn’t ruin the fun they had planned. It was all anyone could talk about in town these days, speculating as to what it could possibly be that they hadn’t seen before. Excitement buzzed all around as everyone prepared for the celebrations.
     
    EFMingo likes this.
  2. drop_dead

    drop_dead Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2020
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Connecticut
    “Hey, get the hell out of the way!”

    Anna smiled to herself as she swerved her cart to the far right, watching another cart zoom past on her left. Clearly someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed today, she thought to herself. The rain always made her smile because the rain always brought her more money. The wetter the better she’d often say, while flashing a mischievous smile. She was currently driving a businessman to his destination, a building in the middle of the city that she was all too familiar with. A lot of her business came from hanging out around those buildings. No businessman or woman wants to walk in their expensive clothes in the rain. That’s where Anna came in.

    “About five minutes out, sir.” She shouts behind her shoulder as she pumps her legs and gets the bicycle moving faster.

    A muffled response came from the back as she could feel the weight of the cart shift slightly. Anna bent down so that the rain didn’t completely wash her out. An attachment to the bike gave her coverage from above, so it really wasn’t all that bad. As she neared she pulled up as close to the side of the building as she could, ran to the back of the carriage, pulled out a wooden slat with grip tape on it, and laid it down at the opening of the carriage. Anna opened the door to the carriage and stood to the side, gesturing with her arm and hand for the gentleman to now exit.

    “We have arrived at your destination, sir,” she said with a bright smile.

    The man gave her a fleeting look, the corners of his lips turning ever so slightly up. Her smile was contagious, even for the stoic type.

    “Ah, yes. Thank you,” he said as he pulled out a few bills. She watched as he pulled out an extra one, more than what she charged.

    “Oh, no no, that’s way too generous. I’ll just take…”

    The man pushed the money at her and had Anna not grabbed it awkwardly in time, it would have fell onto the wet pavement. He didn’t even say anything, just continued walking forward and into the building. Glancing down at her hand, Anna quickly shoved the money into a pocket in the inside of her leather jacket. She took a look around, it didn’t appear that anyone was watching her. You had to be careful sometimes while working on the streets. Petty crime was common, and if someone got a look at the amount of bills in her hand it increased the chance of her getting jumped. Most of the time she made it out ok and kept everything she earned, but she had been burned a few times in the past to know better than to have any sort of money visible on you.

    Anna hopped back onto her bike and moved to the other side of the street. It was late afternoon and most people were about to start leaving work. She parked herself under an overhang of one of the buildings. Anna sat on her bike seat with one leg on either side to keep her stable and balanced while she bit her nails furiously. She could just see down an alley way between the two buildings she parked near, and a few blocks down she could make out the parking garages. Her attention was often times drawn to the area, it was known to house some of the more peculiar types in town….or homeless. Her heart ached for the homeless, and she did her best to give when she could. Today, though, it was just too damn wet to venture that way. It was also a bit too dangerous, since there weren’t as many people outside to witness anything if it were to happen.
     
    EFMingo likes this.
  3. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Modern Dinosaur Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2014
    Messages:
    5,202
    Likes Received:
    6,782
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    Fragments of shattered picture frame glass shimmered with every lighting bolt that cut across the heavy skies. It lay haphazard near the entry to the bedroom, blocking the passage of bare feet. Nestled in the corner, protected by the glass, lay an unhinged frame with a crinkled photo of a woman, her face blurred by the growing lines. By the well-worn folds, one could tell it wasn't the first beating the picture had taken. The room lit up in the glass refractions and thunder followed.

    Ten days the rain beat against Jarrel's window, taunting him in its prevention of him going to work. Not that the pay stopped, as field workers got paid whether they worked or not, but the relaxation of the skyline breeze and the deep colors of the horizon had been lost in gray. His daily look into longing was lost, flooded in the yearly tides of rain. Acid he would have to wash off the panels in due time. Here he remained for days on end in his thoughts. And as day seven and eight came to pass, the thoughts turned to her. He could see Ireena with another man by this afternoon, together in that darkened bedroom lost in the empty porthole. Jerry had drug her picture out of the bottom of his shirt drawer just to throw it again. The wall was riddled with little divets over the last year.

    As Jarrel sat in the darkness, shades open to let the day's gray seep through, he wrapped his bleeding knuckles. He used them again instead of his palms for his push up sets again on the stone floors. The pain edged Ireena out as the skin split on sets four and five of fifty repetitions each. Kept up until he couldn't take it anymore. Until all that was left was a mess of his hands that he had to focus on and tend to. Jerry poured alcohol on the wounds and wrapped gauze around his hands. He had to get out of his chamber. It was killing more every day.

    Even though there were countless stairs between him and a walk about the city, he didn't care. A walk in the rain to cool off was what he needed. A way out. Jerry had been on the self-improvement kick for so long now that a ten day lull had killed his spirit. His longing for anything grew uncontrollably. Jerry threw on a thin, dark green coat and head over to the stairwell. The thought of the flights back up didn't even bother him. He needed that escape, and if something came up he would be entirely happy leaving that broken glass to cut someone else's feet in the darkness. He could disappear in second, abandon the road he worked on so hard the last year, if only to do something different.

    The door locked behind him as lumbered towards his something else.
     
    Memesis and drop_dead like this.
  4. Twisted Fate

    Twisted Fate Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2020
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    14
    Julia had on her favorite pink dress as she spun around and gazed at her reflection in a full length mirror upon the wall of her room. How beautiful the dresses were that she and her Uncle Marvin made in the shop, fit for a princess to be sure. “Molly, do you think I look like a princess?”, she asked the little rag doll sitting on her bed. “May I have this dance?” she questioned as she snatched the doll up and began to twirl whimsically around the room. “Prince Mychol I presume”, and she took a bow. “Oh no, the pleasure is all mine”, she continued.



    Her little day dream was interrupted by the sound of her Uncle Marvin's bellowing voice. “Julia! You've got much work to do! The Saving Day Celebration will soon be here and there are so many orders. Stop that fooling and get busy! This is going to be your shop one day and you really need to take more mind of it.” Julia put on an apron, tucked the little doll into one of the pockets and went out front to the shop.



    She sat down at a machine hidden in the far corner and started sewing. Behind the counter at the front of the store her Uncle stood talking with a customer. The sound of a bell clanging brought yet another customer as the door opened and shut. “Julia, would you please take Miss Juniper's measurements for me while I wait on Mr. Dean here.”



    “Yes Uncle Marvin, she replied and pulled a tape measure from her apron. Right this way Miss Juniper”, she said as she lead the woman to a tiny cubicle drawn by a curtain for privacy.

    “Sorry my dear about the wetness, this damn rain seems to never cease”, the woman grumbled as she held her arms straight out from her sides.

    “Quite alright, Julia assured her as she drew the measure around the woman's bust. Then around her waist and yet again around her hips. Then she jotted down the numbers and tore the sheet from the pad giving it to Miss Juniper. “You may just give this to Mr. Marvin and he will assist you with the rest of your order.”

    “OK, deary”, the woman said as she took the note and proceeded to the front of the store and then Julia went back to her sewing.
     
    drop_dead likes this.
  5. Memesis

    Memesis Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2020
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    An island where the weather hates everyone
    The rain was so heavy that it obscured everything in a veil of grey. Stefan wasn't able to see a thing. The walls of every building in this city would have been too slippery to climb, which meant he had to get to the roofs the boring way: taking the stairs. He didn't like being in that cramped little corridor. It wasn't as fun as gripping onto the thin windowsills of skyscrapers, leaning dangerously back as gusts of wind threatened to send you falling thousands of floors down.

    "Flamin' weather... it's been pouring out there for 10 days... when's it ever going to stop?" He muttered, as he climbed step by step.

    The stairwell was pitch black, with all the lights unable to turn on from the citywide blackout. Stefan's eyes were still adjusting to the murky darkness as he tried his very best to not miss a step. He felt like he'd been climbing for so long that he wanted to swing his fist into someone's face just to let off a little steam. He peered into the dark to watch out for the next step in his way but saw and felt none. Instead, there was the faint outline of a door just in front of him a small distance away from where the stairs ended.

    "Oh, thank God!" He exclaimed, before slowly feeling his way to the door and getting a grip on the handle.

    He pushed open the door and was thankfully met with the sight of the flat, solar panel covered expanse of concrete that was the rooftop of a skyscraper across the road from his apartment. He stepped out into the downpour, easing on his still-soaked navy blue poncho and hurriedly pulling the garment's thin hood over his head.

    He went over to a large solar panel that was tilted at just the right angle and crawled underneath to seek shelter from the rain, finding a dry spot where he could sit comfortably. He pulled out a worn notebook and pencil from the inner pocket of his leather jacket and flipped to a fresh page. Gazing out at the blurry city skyline, he began to draw, forming the edge of the solar panel he was sitting under in graphite lines. He used a finger and carefully smudged the lead to make his drawing look like how he saw the city - all grey and hazy. No birds were out and about, sadly. He would have loved to draw them too - detailing their wings and feathers with his usual precision and care.

    Thunder roared overhead as Stefan finished his sketch and held it out to give it a look, satisfied with his work.

    "Eh?" He said, "I think I've improved!"
     
    drop_dead likes this.
  6. Twisted Fate

    Twisted Fate Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2020
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    14
    Julia pressed her foot up and down quickly on the pedal of her machine in the far corner of the Shop display window which let in enough light during the day for most purposes, even on rainy days.“Ah fudge, that was my last needle”, Julia declared in frustration. How am I going to finish this dress on time? I gotta go get more needless.”

    Julia pulled on a pair of white cotton gloves that she used for riding as she headed toward the door. She thought it a shame that there were two other newer machines in the back of the shop, but with the power outage she was unable to use them, nor were the needles the same type as the one that she needed.

    “What's the matter sweetie”, Uncle Marvin asked as he approached her.
    “I'm out of needles Uncle, I'll go fetch some OK?”
    “Uh, again in this rain? Alright, you may as well fetch some more lamp oil too while your out, but please be careful.”


    Julia grabbed a flowery blue and white hooded rain poncho from a hook near the door and slipped on a pair of matching rain boots. Her Uncle gave her his Resource card which is how he did most of his purchasing these days. The bell above the door clanged as she opened it and stepping out onto the street. She thought about how nice it would be to step out into a flower garden instead of the cold hard city.



    It was getting darker now with evening approaching as Julia mounted her bicycle and turned on her little generator light attached to the handlebars. Two baskets straddled the seat of the bike. They accommodated each, one empty two-liter oil bottle. In the front was yet another somewhat larger empty basket for whatever else she might pick up while she was out. The wonderful smell of someone's near-by cooking reminded her that she hadn't eaten yet this evening so she first headed toward the local Food Pantry. The usual kids were out sweeping the walkways to earn a bit of money and surprisingly there were a lot of bikes on the road. As she looked up at the tall buildings and the dark sky she imagined what it would be like flying above the buildings and soaring with the storm clouds; blowing like the wind and beating down rain upon the world below.

    Her eyes quickly widened when she made a sudden turn and felt the bike slip on the mud-laden street under her, laying her down to the ground. Being startled as she was, she almost started to cry, though, for the most part, she was quite alright except for a small scrape on her left arm. The bike, however, had lost its chain and she had no idea how to fix it. In the back of her mind she could hear her Uncle saying, 'that's what happens when you daydream' and 'you need to be more mindful of the here and now.'
     
    drop_dead, EFMingo and Memesis like this.
  7. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Modern Dinosaur Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2014
    Messages:
    5,202
    Likes Received:
    6,782
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    His mind had calmed but not settled by the time he reached the street. Jarrel exited the building and let the berating drum of raindrops on his coat lull him into trance. The sidewalk narrowed and its other inhabitants disappeared. Just wet concrete surrounded by darkness, disappearing at a distant point he would forever continue to walk towards.

    Thunder broke thoughts across darkness. Visions of the passed swept by in languid movements, all variations of himself in moments he chose to do nothing rather than take the initiative: the acceptance into guard work work he let expire, party invitations he never showed up for, Ireena. But as the darkness grew someone bumped into him, enough to throw himself back into reality. A bike's tires slipped and the driver crashed. More thunder, trailing lightning that the glowed upon the lines of towers for only an instant and then flashed right back out of existence, drummed around him.

    Jarrel knew he needed to get back to doing something. Left stagnant, he would loose it in this city. Socializing was a work activity and he knew his skill was limited to chance meetings and quick interviews. Friends weren't something for his back pocket. The government building's lone lights shined out like a beacon in front of him. Their walls and their rules tightened on his sanity like a noose. The cold, gray everyday was dead and gone for him, tired as his parents patience during his childhood.

    A bike cart skidded to a stop a little ways in front of him, with a chipper woman driving the cab. The blonde hair seared through the city's gray, and her movements were hurried but exact. Jarrel could see the patching on the jacket and knew she was of the lower class, which ordinarily made him cringe, but she was different. In a city full of the same every day, full of constant progress towards the exact same ending, even a little different was something he could get used to. He watched her awkwardly receive payment and ride off, wondering where he could find himself someone interesting. Instead, he settled for a corner store and cigarettes he'd never smoked.

    A few choking coughs later, and a floating head rush in the rain, he felt the road to being different might be harder than he had thought.
     
    drop_dead, Twisted Fate and Memesis like this.
  8. drop_dead

    drop_dead Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2020
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Anna continued chewing her nails, able to take her time finding a new patron as she had just made extra money she wasn't expecting. Forcing herself to relax, however, usually led to unrest. Her anxieties started to amplify, her brain screaming at her to keep moving while her body refused. It was exhausting, always on edge yet always so happy. Lost in her thoughts, Anna came to as she heard a startling crash nearby, then quickly noticed a girl sprawled on the ground with her bike a few feet from her. Jittery with anxiety Anna immediately bolted towards the girl, worried she was hurt. The first thing she noticed was the jacket, so floral, so pretty...so not white anymore. She would never wear anything like it, convinced an athletic body like hers wouldn't fit comfortably in it. Anna reached out to give a lending hand as the girl began to stand up.

    "Are you alright? That was quite the tumble you had there." Anna continued to help pull her up and then awkwardly circled the girl, eyeing her up and down for any obvious wounds, arms crossed over her chest as she did so. She noticed tears starting to well up in the girl's eyes.

    "You seem to be ok, that jacket of yours probably saved you from getting any holes in that pretty dress of yours. There, no harm done," she said smiling. Sometimes it was hard to tell with Anna if she was being genuine or sarcastic, because most couldn't comprehend how someone could be -that- happy all the time in a place like this. But as always, she was naive to the way she came across to people, always taking others at face value and expecting they did the same with her. Anna turned her attention to the bike, noticing the chain on the ground next to it.

    "If you were hurt, I really wouldn't be able to do much. But that-" she said as she pointed to the girl's bike, "is very much something I can help you with." Beaming, she walked over to her bike cart confidently, excited to be able to help. She walked back with a little canister filled with oil, then picked up the chain and started getting to work.

    "It's really not hard, once you get the hang of it." Anna's hands worked fast in a very mechanical way. Suddenly she pauses, then peers up at the girl as she remained crouched down by the bike. For the first time Anna noticed the rain splattering her face, and brought a hand up to cover herself as she looked at the girl. "I'm Anna, by the way," she said as she finished putting the chain on the girl's bike. She popped up, walking the bike back to its owner and offering her the handles. "All set!"
     
    Twisted Fate likes this.
  9. Memesis

    Memesis Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2020
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    An island where the weather hates everyone
    Stefan carefully made his way down the empty rainy alleyway; his everyday boots, usually made for gripping on surfaces, felt slippery on the slick concrete ground. If anything was to scare Stefan, it was this. He knew he was at ground level and he had nothing to actually fear. Maybe his years of climbing giant skyscrapers was taking a toll on him.

    "Gah! Damn this stupid rain!" He cried to no one in particular, "First it makes me unable to work, now this?! Bloody Hell!"

    He kicked a loose pebble into a wall and watched as it hit a wall soundlessly and skittered away somewhere where he couldn't see it. He shook his head, tension building up in his chest. He looked around, eyes searching for people who could hear his voice. Luckily he found none. He heaved a sigh of relief and continued on his way, now little more silent than before. His accent was not to be heard by anyone but his family and him. He hadn't found anyone he could trust enough to let them hear what he actually sounded like.

    He made it to the end of the alley - the area where it split into the crowded main road; and saw two women, one collapsed on the wet ground and the other kneeling in the rain, fixing a fallen bike between them. It made Stefan remember a time where his family had a car. He'd asked his dad for a motorcycle when he was a kid. But that never really went anywhere.

    Regardless, he dismissed that thought and raced over to the girl on the ground. She was way younger than him, maybe in her late teens, and wore a pretty dress and a flowery sleeved poncho draped over her shoulders. She was teary eyed and seemed a little bewildered. Poor kid.

    "Hello? You alright?" He said, letting his voice take on a New York accent as he crouched beside her.

    He knew he didn't sound convincing - at all. But no matter. He quickly looked over her, checking for limbs twisted in odd positions and other injuries, but luckily only found a minor scrape on her arm. He looked at the blonde-haired woman fixing the bike, who was now bringing the fixed bike over to the girl on the floor.

    "I'm Anna, by the way." He heard her say as she offered the handlebars to the girl, "All set!"

    "Hello? What happened here?" He asked, ignoring the fact that the hood of his poncho had fallen back and the rain was now soaking his hair, "Are you two okay?"
     
    Twisted Fate likes this.
  10. Twisted Fate

    Twisted Fate Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2020
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    14
    “Thank you so much Anna, You are very good with bikes I see. My name is Julia by the way, and I am so glad to meet you. I don't know what I would have done if you hadn't stopped to help me. I'm sorry I don't have any cash on me right now but here is one of my Uncles cards. He will be happy to pay you for your service if you would just stop by the shop. Perhaps you would even like to order a nice dress while you are there.” Julia handed Anna a card which read, 'Marvin's Dress Shop, 21 Linden Street, Chanderlin Territory.'

    Julia turned to see a man standing to the right of her asking about the situation.

    “Yes sir we're all right, I fell off my bike, but I am fine now thanks to Anna here. Well, I better be on my way now, my Uncle will be getting worried and I still have a few stops to make. She mounted her bike but paused for a moment tilting her head to one side. Then she looked up at the sky and smiled. “Oh my gosh! the rain stopped and by the looks of that pink sky, I do believe tomorrow is going to be a beautiful day.”
     
    Memesis likes this.
  11. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Modern Dinosaur Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2014
    Messages:
    5,202
    Likes Received:
    6,782
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    By stick number three, Jarrel had got the hang of smoking basics. Leaning back against the tower wall under an overhang above, he stared off at the blonde and some other guy helping the fallen girl. It played out like any other little happenstance. An accident where she was clearly just fine; a bunch of people running out to help for nothing. Like most of his past, he would just sit this one on the bench and let the smoke cloud his vision instead

    They did seem genuine to him, though, as if they cared for someone else. He hadn't seen much of that up in his isolation chamber even when Ireena was around, or even from his rooftop hideaways. The kindness was foreign. Jarrel believed he was probably incapable of it. Of all the adventures and expeditions he was interested in escaping to, kindness or empathy weren't on the ledger.

    The rain seemed to slow and the fallen girl brightened, but Jarrel knew the rain would just come back. The darkness of the days hadn't finished casting its shadow over this prison of a city yet.

    The end of cigarette glowed brightly in the darkness. Ireena would have thrown a book at him if she saw him now. Called him a street rat. He breathed in heavily a took in the clouded air. Ireena's image struggled to stay in his head. Then suddenly, as he breathed out the hot air into chilled humidity, she was gone. Out in the street on a shit day, wasting it by smoking of all things, he had let her go.

    That's one freedom. Time for another.
     
    Twisted Fate and Memesis like this.
  12. drop_dead

    drop_dead Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2020
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Anna handed the bicycle back to Julia, and startled at the man that she hadn't noticed prior to her return...the rain probably obscuring her vision a bit. She quickly glanced him up and down, the space between him and Julia, then darted her eyes back to Julia. Men could be strange in this city, that's one thing she's learned toting them around all over the place. You could never be too careful. When she got no indication from Julia that there was any issue here, she eased up, realizing she was tensing her shoulders. Giving them a good roll, she smiled at the stranger as she realized that she had awkwardly left the conversation hanging in the air while assessing the situation. His accent was odd, wasn't really anything she had ever heard. But Anna learned early on never to ask anyone about anything, really. If you wanted your money, you kept your mouth shut and just smiled, no questions asked.

    Clearing her throat, Anna thrust a hand out to the man, "Anna," she said with a beaming smile, "and I would say this looks like a classic case of butter wheels!" Anna chuckled, always able to at least amuse herself.

    "I think the only real damage done here is to Miss Julia's dress." As she said this, Julia handed her a card as payment and Anna immediately balked at the offer.

    "Oh no, no really it's fine. I uh," she took a step back and opened her arms out to her sides, "I'm not much of the dress type." Slapping her arms back to her side, she quickly shoved the card into her back pocket. "But I appreciate the offer"

    Anna followed Julia's gaze to the sky, for the first time realizing that the rain had stopped. The sky was pink, beautifully so, and it made her pause and briefly be transported to place and time that no longer existed.

    His hands were cold on her skin, but it made her tingle with delight. His lips, so pink...so inviting...

    Jolting back from the memory, she sucked in a hard breath then turned back to the two standing behind her, smiling again but with a hint of sadness. "I would get going if I were you, Julia," she said softly, "because I don't think the rain will be stopped for long." Anna headed towards her own bicycle and carriage, turning around and walking backwards the last few feet. "It was nice meeting you Julia, I'll certainly stop by soon, if at the very least to make sure your bike is holding up." Her attention snapped to the gentleman, "Are you needing a ride anywhere? It doesn't come free, mind you, but I do guarantee getting you faster than any of these other lots," she said, throwing a thumb in the direction of where other bike taxis stood.
     
    Twisted Fate likes this.
  13. drop_dead

    drop_dead Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2020
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Connecticut
    The rain did cease, and left in its wake a filthy, mud splattered city. As the clouds began to part, a beautifully pink sky peeked through, suggesting the sun was soon to set in the next hour or two. As soon as the rain stopped, however, people began to emerge from the surrounding buildings as if life was paused and the 'play' button was just pushed. The end of day hustle had begun: children started coming out into the streets kicking a ball around, business men and women scrambling to find a taxi or walking briskly to their apartment buildings, shop owners opening their doors to get some fresh air in their venues. The clouds started to close back up again, but the pink somehow remained. The color started to appear more saturated, turning more of a red than a pink, and it was moving. Tendrils of this red color started to spring up around the edge of the Territory, curling up and slinking around buildings off in the distance. Many citizens paused in the streets, staring off to the northeast edge of the Territory and watching the mysterious smoke in awe.

    The awe was shattered by piercing screams off in the distance.

    Like a rolling wave crashing on the shores, the screams started barely audible, but as the red smoke began to engulf the buildings on the northeast edge the screams trundled towards the group and everyone around them.

    Murmurs, shouts, confusion all around. "What the hell is going on?" "What's happening?!" "Why are they screaming?" Voices heard but lost in the wind as the red smoke creeped forward in a taunting manner.

    Then, chaos. People started running towards their homes in all directions, even if that meant towards the smoke, shouting over one another and desperately trying to reach their families.
     
    Twisted Fate likes this.
  14. Memesis

    Memesis Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2020
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    An island where the weather hates everyone
    Stefan shook the woman's - Anna's hand.

    "Stefan." He shot her a grin, his fringe dripping with rainwater and sending streams down his face.

    He saw her look up at the sky, which was a pretty, light pink, then saw her expression grow blank. She stared into space for a long time before snapping out of it and looking at him and the girl on the other bike; he'd picked up her name as Julia. He observed her as she turned to the girl, Julia and spoke briefly. Anna sounded less chipper; more sad. Perhaps she was reminded of something. But he didn't want to question it.

    "Are you needing a ride anywhere? It doesn't come free, mind you, but I do guarantee getting you faster than any of these other lots." He heard her ask.

    He was about to refuse, before he heard what sounded like screams and cries for help on the edge of his senses.

    Stefan froze. Glancing at Anna, then at the rising plumes of smoke, he watched carefully. The smoke was thick and acrid; it was completely opaque. It reminded him of that from a fire. But there was something odd about everything: the sky was a pinkish red and the rain had stopped. It didn't look like anything he'd seen before. No weather phenomenon he knew about matched up with this.

    "What... what is this?" In his surprise, he failed to notice he had lapsed back into his regular British accent, only realizing after he spoke.

    Forget the stupid accent! No time to bother about appearances!

    "Anna!" He called, "We've got to leave now! Something about this weather seems pretty dodgy! This shite isn't normal!"

    He sprinted to Anna's bike cart and looked back at Julia,

    "Julia! Run!" He hollered as he stepped into the bike cart. He hoped the kid would take heed and run for her life.

    "Anna, how fast can you get me to that skyscraper?" He said, pointing to a gleaming silver tower that rose above every other building in the Territory, ending in a single long needle in the sky, "Because that smoke is coming here quickly and I have no idea what it's goin' to do if it catches us."

    "... and I'll pay you when we get there." He added, "Promise."
     
    Twisted Fate likes this.
  15. Twisted Fate

    Twisted Fate Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2020
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    14
    Julia pedaled quickly down an ally and stopped in front of the Food Pantry. She heard the screams too and saw that red sky with billowing smoke creeping up over the wall and into the city. What was going on? She was so frightened as she swung open the door and ran inside the building. There were several people shopping and several more heading out to the street. Julia grabbed a water bottle and a bag of chips off the shelf and then made her way to the back of the store where she sat on the floor near the restrooms. Then she pulled her doll out of her deep apron pocket and held it close to her heart as she thought about her brother and wondered where he was. Was he safe? Was he even alive? Would she ever see him again? She missed him so much that it hurt.

    Julia was still hungry after eating her chips so she grabbed a few Slim Jims and an apple pie to eat. She also found the needles she needed for the sewing machine and some nice blue thread. She took everything up to the counter to pay and added two liters of oil to the bill which she would pump into her containers outside. On a wall behind the counter Julia saw a fire mans mask and asked how much it would be to buy it. The clerk told her that he used to be a fire man and that the mask wasn't really for sale but that he would sell it to her anyway for fifty dollars.

    Julia handed the man her Uncle's resource card. The man swiped it through a machine and then handed it back to her. He placed everything into a bag and handed it to her.

    “You hurry on home now youngin. Looks like a heck of a storm brewing out there.”

    Julia grabbed the bag and ran out side to her bike. She pulled the mask out of the bag and put it on. It was way to big on her but it made her feel safer so she wore it anyways. Then she pushed her bike around back and pumped her oil. After that she was still afraid so she went back into the store to try and figure out what to do. Julia must have looked pretty funny in that big old mask and mud splattered dress because the man behind the counter giggled when he saw her walk back in.
     
    Memesis likes this.
  16. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Modern Dinosaur Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2014
    Messages:
    5,202
    Likes Received:
    6,782
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    A red smog enveloped the buildings between Jarrel's home tower and where he had walked off to. It grew violently, like the screams of terror he heard in the distance running towards his current haunt. It could have been a fire, no, gas burst, but the smoke was wrong. Unnatural. It moved menacingly forward, not up, and with purpose. His cigarette fell to the pavement.

    It was time. The time he had been waiting for. Changes were on the horizon. Not comfortable or promising, but changes none-the-less. He was ready for them. Anything that mattered to him, like his wallet and phone, were in his pockets anyways. He could vagabond it and survive on his own. Or at least so he thought, as he had never actually done it before. But change was coming, and he welcomed it. Though now, he needed to get away.

    The blonde was still in the street, apparently about to haggle with the odd boy who changed accents. Jarrel briskly walked over to them at a near jog and knocked on the side of the cart. "Room for one more? I got the cash in hand. I know you seen that shit behind me. We gotta get goin'."

    He looked back across at the incoming smoke and screams, then noticing the girl who fell coming out of the shop and back in hesitantly. She seemed lost to everything around her. He had to wake her up. "Yo, mudslick! Get on your fucking bike and get! You see that shit don't you? Get going!"

    He turned back to the blonde driver. "Seriously though, let's hit it."
     
    Memesis and Twisted Fate like this.
  17. drop_dead

    drop_dead Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2020
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Anna watched the red smoke in the distance, the screams not fully registering in her mind. She stood gawking at the sentient-like red ribbons, watching as they wrapped themselves around each building. The screams grew. And then it clicked....her parents. They were in one of those buildings that she could clearly see was engulfed in smoke. Anna snapped to as she heard two male voices interrupt her thoughts. The one she had just unofficially met was climbing into the carriage, while another was helping himself in. Mechanically she hopped on her bike and peddled hard. Her thighs were burning, and she was heading in the direction of the building her parents lived in, towards the smoke,

    They're alright. They're inside hunkered down, waiting for me. It's all ok she continued to say in her head as she peddled onward. She turned a corner a bit too quickly and the carriage rocked to the side violently, almost tipping over, but Anna was able to regain control and continue on. As she neared the building she stopped abruptly, the smoke much closer, but still 100 yards away. People were running towards her, some barely doing so and covered in what appeared to be blisters. Their skin looked at if it was peeling off of their bodies, bright red and pink and exposing cooked tissue.

    Then the smell. It hit her like a ton of bricks and caused her to retch a bit in her mouth before swallowing it down. Cooked meat, but a meat she had never smelled before. Someone came from the side and grabbed Anna's arm tightly.

    "Help....me...." it said and when she glanced down her face filled with horror. The arm the man reached up to grab her with was all but muscle and bone, the other arm covered in large, angry blisters. His face looked like it was peeling, his lips nonexistent.

    "Wha-...what happened to you?!" she screamed as she ripped her arm away.

    "The....smoke...." he muttered before dropping to her side. She watched as he took one last big breath, then let it out slowly until his chest no longer moved. Dead. He was dead. She looked up at the building not far off where her parents would be. Dead.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2020
    Memesis and Twisted Fate like this.
  18. drop_dead

    drop_dead Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2020
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Connecticut
    People were running frantically, some towards the smoke, some away. Other than the smoke, the chaos was the biggest threat. Nobody seemed to understand what was happening. No alarms were sounding, alarms that should have bee going off long ago to alert of a threat. But they weren't on and never were on, the only alarm coming from the mouths of those being burned alive. Some people stood crying in the streets, holding on to themselves or the ones they just lost. Others were being trampled by the masses as they gave up on their will to live. The government building that had been lit up this whole time was no longer, all power now officially out. The smoke continued to bellow forward.
     
  19. Memesis

    Memesis Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2020
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    An island where the weather hates everyone
    Stefan felt his heart rise into his throat when Anna started heading towards the smoke,

    "WHAT?! Why are we goin' towards the fire?!" He shouted.

    That was until he saw the ones who were running out of the smoke.

    Blisters as if formed from burns covered their skin, which was red with exposed, singed flesh. The horrible odor of burnt human - a smell that Stefan had only heard described verbally, was in the air. He only managed to choke out a strangled: "Holy shit..." in his horror. Holding back the urge to vomit, he pulled off his still-wet poncho and put it on again it in such a way that it covered his nose and mouth, hoping it would help.

    The bike and cart had stopped. He watched as a man dragged himself towards Anna on the bike, his face disfigured beyond recognition. His skin had fallen off his body, like when you boiled a pork leg for too long and the meat started disintegrating off the bone. It was a horrifying sight that made his skin crawl. The man was dead in seconds, his body slumped on the road as throngs more people, also covered in burns and blisters, scrambled past in their useless efforts to get away. Stefan felt around in his trouser pocket, and heaved a sigh of relief once he touched the familiar grip of a compact stun prod - an old gift from his dad. He had a feeling he would need to use it if things got ugly.

    "What's going on...?" He said, partially to the stranger sitting next to him, "Between this and the raining... I'd pick a fuckin' thunderstorm over this any day!"

    He leaned forward in his seat, "Oi, Anna! You seeing this?! People are dying here, mate!" He cried, "We shouldn't be here!"

    His throat felt like it was sealing up. His legs and arms were frozen, tense and shaking, which only made his already-racing heart go faster. He gripped the edge of his seat so tightly, his knuckles turned white. The only time he'd ever felt like this was when he first started parkour. He prided himself on the fact that he could stare Death in the eyes on a daily basis and laugh. But this was a different kind of Death altogether. It was cold, unfeeling and ruthless; the worst part was that it was already at his doorstep glaring straight at him.

    I don't want to die.

    And for the first time since he was small, Stefan, a man who could free-climb the tallest skyscrapers in Chanderlin and never taste fear, was terrified.
     
    EFMingo and Twisted Fate like this.
  20. Twisted Fate

    Twisted Fate Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2020
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    14
    Julia walked back out of the store and stood for a moment with her fire mask perched upon her head and the hose dangling over her shoulder void of any kind of oxygen tanks. Though the mask was rather useless, it sort of empowered her at least in her own mind. It gave her strength and courage that she would not have had otherwise. As she watched the red smog approaching she heard a man yell to her. Telling her to get out of there. To get on her bike and go but, where was she going? She was unsure. Of course she saw the red smog coming. The problem being, it was coming from the direction of her Uncle's Shop. She had no choice but to go the other way and try to find another route home. She leaped onto her bike, pulled her mask down over her face and began pedaling as fast as she could away from the smog.
     
    Memesis and EFMingo like this.
  21. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Modern Dinosaur Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2014
    Messages:
    5,202
    Likes Received:
    6,782
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    He sat there sort of dead, eyes glazed over with a broken aura of seeming disinterest. But it wasn't so. The sensory overload was too much. The horror of smell and sight singed into his memory. Burned into his mental state like the seared frames of the countless dying in front of them. The horizons of the new never factored this.

    She had it too. The thousand yard stare of someone stuck in horror and calculating loss. The other young man was losing his cool next to him, but his heavy frame didn't budge to all the man's bouncing around. But the melting man who grabbed her arm broke them out of their respective trances. She pushed him to the side, yet questioned. Her care was caught between her horror. Then the stare again. He knew it.

    Jarrel leaned forward, close to her ear. "Whatever's that way ain't there no more. You gon' have to turn 'round and pedal hard the other way. Or I'll do it if you can't, but we gotta go."

    The man next to him was still yelling, riding the edge of his seat like a cliff. Jarrel was have tempted to shove him back down and tell him to relax, but the confrontational aspect still gave him pause, even in the wake of terror. His dead calm wasn't experience or fortitude, only a defense mechanism to push out everything he didn't like and do nothing. His old self would have sat there and waited for death to take him. At least new horizons of change kept him moving.

    But not Ireena. He could see the tower the other man lived in, the room she snuck off to for so long. The red cloud rolled out of the building as it finished its final victims there and he knew somewhere in the cacophony was her melting, screaming and dying in misery. Jarrel didn't know what to feel. The horror wiped his slates clean. As long as this cabbie started pedaling, everything forward was something new.

    "Come on. Hit it."
     
    Twisted Fate and Memesis like this.
  22. drop_dead

    drop_dead Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2020
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Connecticut
    "Whatever's that way ain't there no more. You gon' have to turn 'round and pedal hard the other way. Or I'll do it if you can't, but we gotta go."

    Anna turned her head slightly, tears streaming down her face, but otherwise stoic as ever. She gave a slight nod as she turned back towards her parents' grave. All gone, everything was ripped from her. Anna lived to take care of her parents, it was her one life objective, and now? What was she now, but just a stupid girl riding a bike, toting people around. One thing she did know, however, was that she didn't want to die, at least not the way everyone else around her was.

    "Come on. Hit it." It was enough encouragement to get Anna going. She swung the bike around and started to pump her legs into the pedals, weaving through people and doing her best to avoid hitting any bodies in the street. Other than away from the smoke, Anna wasn't quite sure where she was supposed to be taking them all. The gates. Surely they've opened the gates by now to get people out. She pedaled harder and faster, now with a sense of direction. Her heart was racing, not just from the cardio but with anticipation and anxiety. She could feel her breaths were irregular, verging on a panic attack, but she continued to go through her mantra over and over in her head to keep it just at bay.

    As they neared the furthest gate from the smoke, it became evident very clearly that it was not open. Huge crowds were piled near the exit, people yelling and screaming up at the guards to open up. Anna noticed one guard waving his arms in the air, as if he should have been holding a white flag. As she looked down both ends of the wall, it became evident that most of the guards had left their positions. What the hell is happening? Why aren't they opening the gates?

    Anna turned back to the two men, brows furrowed, face flushed. "This isn't the way out. We need to find one. Otherwise this will be all of our graves."
     
    Twisted Fate likes this.
  23. drop_dead

    drop_dead Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2020
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Connecticut
    The crowd at the gate continued to grow, making it increasingly harder to move about. People were filing in like sardines, not realizing it was to their detriment. Off to the left was an alley way that snaked between buildings that were now mostly abandoned, save for the few that sought shelter within them. Stefan knew the route well, the route to his escape. He took it all the time, but without ever going -over- the wall...it was mostly an escape from his every day life. One of the buildings he knew he would pass was a local handy store, where he knew he could find rope.
     
    Twisted Fate likes this.
  24. Memesis

    Memesis Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2020
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    An island where the weather hates everyone
    Stefan eyed the alley, an idea forming in his head. It was a risky one, but it was worth the try.

    He jumped out of his seat, loosening his hands and legs, which were stiff from being so tense. A stiff body would do no one any good if they needed to climb something. He glanced at the nearby walls and saw that no guards were present, having disappeared somewhere. Fantastic! The coast was remarkably clear.

    "This isn't the way out. We need to find one. Otherwise this will be all of our graves." He heard Anna say.

    "I've got an idea." He said, "But leave the bike and cart. We're not goin' to need it anymore because we're leavin' this blasted place."

    He raced off in the direction of the small back alley, calling for the other two to follow him. He automatically ran to the tiny hardware shop he'd passed by so many times, having seen various ropes in the window. He hurriedly dashed in and bought a length of the strongest rope they sold, leaving the girl at the counter with a smile and an extra tip, as well as a precaution to close all her windows and put blankets under her doors in case the smoke got to her.

    Stefan coiled up the rope in one hand and was about to check up on Anna and the other guy but heard the soft crunch of bicycle wheels on concrete. That was before Julia, the girl who fell off her bike earlier, stumbled into his field of view. The poor girl looked lost and confused, still on her bike in that dress she was wearing.

    "Hey!" He hollered, "You doin' alright there, Julia?!"
     
    Twisted Fate likes this.
  25. Twisted Fate

    Twisted Fate Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2020
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    14
    Julia's eyes widened as she came to a Holt. She didn't think anyone would recognize her with her mask on.

    “I'm OK," she hollered back to him. "But I need to find a way around this stupid red cloud of smoke. My home Is that way but I can't go that way, and I need to get to my Uncle Marvin. Maybe If I go up to the roof of one of those tall buildings over there I could see which way to go.”

    Julia wrinkled her nose noticing a strange stench in the air. “What is that stuff anyway? And where did it come from?”

    Just then Julia saw Anna and that other guy that she was hauling approaching. Anna did not look so good. Had she been crying? Julia jumped off her bike.

    “It's me Julia”, she said pulling her mask up on top of her head to reveal her face. Oh my dear Anna, everything is going to be all right”, she assured her as she took her hand in hers.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice