Seth got up feeling the pain from the attack as he breathed. He heard the old man's laugh as he collected himself. The old man did pack a lot of punch despite his looks. He went back towards the alleyway where he first began with a slight pain in his breathing. He entered the inn once again with the hatchet stashed behind him. He went up to the bar looked to Maddy who always seemed to be there.
"Know anything about a crotchety old man with a shovel? I met him outside. He seemed... real nice about certain things." Seth said to Maddy while still reeling from falling flat on his ass.
"Well, that's good 'cause it seems we're going to be outside for quite some time." Stephen held his hand out, reaching towards the map. "May I?" He asked politely.
Maddy-"Oh that's just Tim, a bit rough around the edges but a good guy at heart. He's the local handy man and hangs at the lumber yard." Jerking a thumb at the pinned paper map, "You can find it there." Looking Seth over, "Care for a drink? I think Tim gave you his two shovel salute if I'm right?"
"Crap" Malcolm stared at the small cat in the box he had just opened. He grabbed it with his right hand and raised it up, looking at it from above. "Meow. What that hell are you doing here?" Malcolm placed the cat on the counter and continued to look through the contents of the box.
"Lovely" Malcolm said as he gripped the switch-blade, but I'm not sure whether I need to use it at all Malcolm put the switchblade in his pocket and took the deck of cards out of the box. He shook it a bit and opened it, but to his surprise the box contained some thick matches.
He glanced over at a candle and sighed, "Better get a flashlight".
He looked at the cat almost fall down from the counter and shrugged, "I have no idea what to do with you" Malcolm pushed it back to the counter and away from the edge.
Malcolm looked at the various people in the pub, "Who the hell gave me this cat?".
Maddy looked at the we kitten and did like any one usually would "Da'aww." Scooping the cat up she nuzzled and said words of praise. Pausing as she realized what she was doing she put the cat down and ducked in to the back, coming back with a saucer of milk and fish. Placing them at the counter, she turned towards Malcolm.
"Nate there is the one who gives the boxes out, but he rarely actually knows what in them." She shrugged and idly watched the kitten.
Fran handed the map back over even thought she wasn't quite sure what has been said.
"You seem to be taking the whole situation pretty well."
Stephen stashed the map back into his bag and mulled over what Fran had said. "Well, I just try not to think of the insanity of our predicament. I mean if I'm gonna be stuck here, I might as well try to keep a sound mind. What about you, how are you taking this all in?"
"I've been in a lot of horrors, that was where I started out pretty much. So the whole creepy town with lots of fog isn't that new to me.
Plus well look at me I can generally handle myself physically."
The presence of the kitten gave Nina both a sense of calm and normality in this disquieting situation. She sat on the barstool nearest to the kitten, and leaned on the counter watching the kitten. It dawned on her that Maddy's offering of milk was, in fact, dairy, and she took action and scooped up the kitten, parting it from its beverage.
Nina looked to Maddy and spouted out a well-rehearsed rhetoric, "Cats are generally lactose intolerant, and even as kittens, they often can't handle the higher lactose amounts in cow's milk. They like the taste, but my dad gets a lot of calls about little guys like this getting sick, with a saucer of cream as the culprit."
She paused for a moment, worried if it was a bit rude to deny Maddy's kind gesture. She added, blushing, "Sorry, its just that my dad's a Vet and..." She trailed off, hoping that would explain enough, before glancing at the man who the cat now belonged to and asked quietly, "You sold your... Why did you do that? Is that why you're here?"
His words scared her. Is this place some sort of purgatory or Hell? Or perhaps a real Silent Hill...? Well, you can beat those games without running, at least.
"I'm sure you can, but still, let's hope we won't have any physical confrontation on the way." Stephen said, thinking of the possible dangers of this town. "I think it's about time we get moving, I'd rather get this over with before it starts getting dark."
"Sure. Lead the way."
Fran was a little upset to see the conversation get stopped for now but you can't make an omelette, well Fran wouldn't anyway but if she was going to she'd presumably have to break eggs.
Reluctantly Seth nodded then the focus turned to the kitten that seemed to draw all the attention. The cuteness of the kitten was a good way of diverting attention to an already sensitive topic of him getting beat up by an old man. Then the girl that he saw before spoke up bringing up an interesting topic.
"If we're all here for something then what would it be? The things we committed in the past or just the fact that were plain unlucky..." Seth spoke up to Nina.
Malcolm looked over to his covered left arm, "Yes, I did. I don't know whether you did or not, but MY soul is gone." Malcolm took the cat off the hands of Nina and held it in the air.
"What am I going to do with you?" Malcolm stared at the cat. 'Meow' it said, Malcolm turned to Nina, "You know about this crap, would it be harmful if I taste some cat meat? I never did get the chance to do that when I had that gig in Bangcock. Crazy food, great women, some nasty co-" Malcolm suddenly stopped, "Ah, good times" he smiled at the cat.
Malcolm turned to the bartender, "You said that your chef cooks everything, right?".
Malcolm noticed that a man walked in and said something to Nina, "Luck has nothing to do with anything. Luck is a fool's religion" Malcolm moves his eyes back at the cat, "Am I going to name you? Before or after I eat you?" Malcolm said, and the cat replied with a 'Meow'.
Maddy snatched the cat back and placed it down near the saucer again.
"Dear that stuff is formula for Kitten's I'm not a git alright?"
Turning to Malcolm, "We may serve anything and everything, but I certainly won't serve you this kitten, I'll take *looks at the adorable ball of fur* girl off your hands and give you..."
Maddy reached under her table for something, she came back with a stout looking club perfect for bashing unruly drunkards or other things with a leather grip.
"This for your cat. Will you all also damn well introduce yourself, I can't keep calling you dear, sir, or some other thing you know!" Maddy was pissed from her look at Malcolm.
"Alrighty then, let's get goin'." Stephen said cheerily. He waved bye to Maddy then briskly walked to the door. Upon opening the door, he felt the cool air of the outside and breathed deeply. Looking around the rustic buildings, he noted that most looked condemned or as near condemnation as could be. He looked back at Fran and held the door open, smiling politely.
Outside the clouds seem to darken and appear as if rain could burst at any moment, the faint echoing of metal on stone can still be heard, but not in any exact direction by most people. The area asides from that is devoid of any sound of living beings, animal or human.
"Oh good it's about to rain."
Now of course someone who couldn't really manipulate their voice wasn't going to be the best at sarcasm but Fran was being genuine, she liked the rain her skin burnt pretty easily she tried to avoid the sun.
"Well, so much for clear skies." Stephen thought aloud with a disheartened tone. "Hopefully the rain won't decide to start until much, much later." He looked towards the northeast and was disappointed to see that the clouds grew only darker that way. Seems it'll get worse before it gets better. If it gets better that is... Stephen looked at Fran while pointing a thumb up the road, "I say we head east before we head north, maybe we'll avoid the worst of the weather as the clouds roll on by."
Fran started to move as indicated.
She was able to move at quite an impressive pace indicating her fitness. She noticed a small tree and decided to arm herself.
She broke of a pretty big branch before turning to Stephen.
"For the rats and spiders.
Stephen watched in surprise as Fran snapped off a branch that was well suited for use as a club. "I don't think spiders and rats will be that much of a problem, I'm sure they can't be that big. Besides, Maddy said they didn't favor light much, so I have a flashlight." Stephen said and patted the bulge in the front sleeve of his courier bag.
"Oh right she did mention light."
Fran picked up a stone and struck it against the stick.
"Ah good now i have light as well."
Lawrence was alot of things but he was never a morning person. Going asleep was hard enough with insomnia, a dash of paranoia, even a pitch of masocism. Dreams were hard to come by, not as much as work but this was his vacation.
He tossed and turned in his sleep until the bed sheets where mountain ranges.
When he did open his eyes he saw what he expected.
A nice bed and a nice room with an homely comfort to it.
Rubbing the sand out of his eyes and a crack of his back he was ready to face the day.
To his suprise he was already wearing his cloths which was a little odd since he perfered being nude, well he used too.
Its your vacation, time to relax. Maybe its jet lag? Did I take a jet? I'm forgetting too much... wait thats the whole point of this.
With a little self serving chuckle he openned the door to the hall. After going the wrong way he found the stairs and got down to the bar.
Not looking around much at all he plotted himself down on a stool.
The woman on the other side looked a "little" intimidating, air quoted because then a kitten meowed walking allong the counter brushing its whiskers against his hands purring.
"Oh thats just adorable, mam whats its name?"
"I'm afraid she hasn't got a name, I'd suggest you go read that pin up there." Jerking her thumb to the posted paper, "While you're doing that feel free to order whatever you'd like for breakfast."
Nate walked from his corner another box ready to be given, tossing it part way to land on the counter.
"No name? I should give her one, I'm good with names." He said while walking to the poster.
1.Male rooms are to the right stairs, and females to the left, keep to your sides day or night.
Ok, I hope that isn't because they don't clean the sheets...
2.No food in the rooms, you take your meals here, not to go, but here.
Don't want to ruin the beds with hot soup or something.
3.Arnold there is the man dressed as a priest, he's the local doctor, he'll ring the church bell at 5:00 be back in here by 8 or your locked out. I don't recommend staying out at night unless your ready or have some other place to stay safe.
We have a prist thats also a doctor? thats a little... weird.
*checks his watch but it stopped moving*
4.No fighting in my bar, if you want to settle something take it outside or with me.
5.Nate Haiss has all given you a gift your choice to open or not, I could care less. He'll buy and sell anything and everything so talk to him if you have some thing you need.
A gift? Probably a complimentary basket full of-
*looks to the counter and sees the box*
-oh, well thats adds a nice bit of mystery. Perhaps thats tradition.
6.There are dangerous things out there, to the west is the forest, there's a hunting lodge in there but I haven't heard from the owner in a while, if you go walking there stick to the path and come armed to be safe.
Armed, dangerous things? I don't think she means bears...
After that enlightening read he sat back down and made an order.
"I would like pancakes, bacon, eggs, toast with butter, and coffee as black as my soul please." With a nervous smile.
Maddy sighed a bit and ducked in to the back, coming out a few minutes later, in record time. Placing plate, tray with condiments for the pancakes, and the coffee.
Nina's face was red with embarassment at Maddy's reaction, which she attempted to hide by sulking, staring at the floor, her hair draping over part of her face. Her mind off the cat, she heard what sounded like a particularly unfamiliar voice, but didn't bother to look up until a bit after she heard Maddy instruct them to read the sign.
Hrm, a strange man with a lot of pockets, a cool hat and a... camera strap..?
Nina leaned over slightly, in time with fedora pocket man's own movements and saw that he had a nice camera, though models and details were lost to her, and she couldn't even tell if it were digital or manual. But this mild curiousity about the camera dissipated along with the lessening high of being in a close proximity to a kitten.
Nina slipped off her stool and made her way to the seat beside pocket man, her face again grave with worry, a bit of blush still lingering in her face from the earlier embarrassment that made it harder to be level-headed. She was curious about this guy, though- was he a potential friend? someone sane? Nina was already weirded out by all this talk of souls and kittymongering, so she couldn't help but try to strike up a conversation. All in a young, slightly awkward manner as she is inclined to do.
Making a small gesture towards the box, she asked, "Are you going to open the thing..?" Her tone was a wary one, rather than one of curiosity. After a pause, she added, "Unless you need to, I really wouldn't. There's guns and cats and I think Nate might be the devil." Her tone again was a cautious, perturbed one, though she said the last sentence with a hint of matter-of-factness that surprised herself. Supplimenting her comment again to try to sound a little less nonsensical as she felt she was being, Nina said, "This place is weird, its creepy, there's something supernatural, and (in a lower voice) there is something up with Nate clearly, but Maddy knows something, so I can't really even know if she's on our side."
She found that last edition sounding a bit like the paranoia talking, as part of her still doubted that the creepy time stuff with Nate even happened. She blushed a little more, but retained her composure despite feeling like an idiot.
The fire was pretty warm, Fran had to be impressed with how well she'd made it.
I mean she'd only struck a stick with a rock, lucky it was flint.
The silence was of course nothing new to her but something gave her the feeling.
"The fire isn't scaring you is it?"
He was impressed with the meal. It came out so quick he could have sworn it was all microwaved but it sure didn't taste like it. After getting a bite into his pancakes a girl walked up beside him. See looked alittle akward approtching him, like he could bite. Shy enough to be cute if her eyes weren't full of distress. Looking to him like a sailor looks to a light house.
He always left thinking for coffee so he could think clearly but he didn't need her to repeat twice.
Devil, gun, weird, our side?
It was a little much for the morning so he looked beyond her for a second near the entrance, then the floor, then the fresh blood stains on the floor.
His eyes narrowed.
What is going on?
After one more bite he knocked out the coffee in two big gulps.
"Um...." Not sure what to say.
"Your name please?"
Stephen looked curiously at Fran, ymstified that she had managed to fashion a torch so quickly. "That...might be a little excessive...don'tcha think?" Remembering the approaching storm, he wanted to get through with this as quickly as possible. "Nevermind, it'll do I suppose. Let's get moving, hopefully this road takes us far enough east to avoid the worst of the storm. Just try not to burn anyone with that." With that, Stephen started walking down the road, looking back to make sure Fran was following.
Fran followed as expected
"I'm not an idiot I know how to be safe with fire."
She certainly looked confident and did give the impression she was capable.
Seth leaned back in his seat and fiddled with the box in his hand. He still felt the hatchet nudge up against his back like an evil toy wanting him to do something. Even if he were to do the deed of killing said girl, how would he know that Tim would fulfill his side of the bargain. Killing someone, after all, was more than Seth could have bargained for. But Seth still didn't regret it.
Seth looked to the new guest that came before them. He saw the camera and scoffed, almost loudly.
"Nice camera, you a real photographer?" Seth asked him as he motioned to the camera.
great, now everyone is swarming over me. good bye to breakfast...
"Oh this?" He looked down to the camera without much enthusiasm. He didn't even knew he had it on, long ago adjusted to its weight. Now it just felt like a noose over his neck.
I did not pack this...
"Y-Yeah, old school SLR. I am retired, ironically this is-was my vacation." He said focusing more on its settings then the person he was talking too. Turning the dials for an optimal shot, not that he was ever going to use it again if he had any say.
Monkey on my back
"Hmph, is that right? I'm supposed to be on my way to a vacation too. Both my parents were photographers, still are for all I care." Seth noted the man's rather melancholic demeanor to camera. It was nostalgia wrapped in depression.
Seth pushed himself from the seat. The hatchet adjusted itself to the arc in his back filling its place.
"Hate to rush things but I'm going out. Gonna go adventuring for a bit. The offer is open if you want to come along." Seth said to the man but really to anyone within hearing distance.
Nate idly drew an old copper watch and looked at it, shouting to the people in the bar "Time now is eleven, if any one wants to buy anything. trade, or sell, you've got an hour before I go!" Taking a swig of the drink his face was a bright drunken smile.