Absence of Light

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Absence of Light

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby NomDePlume on Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:29 am



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| A private roleplay for NomDePlume and StarkandSkinny |

"Heaven and hell suppose two distinct species of men, the good and the bad. But the greatest part of mankind float betwixt vice and virtue." David Hume

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Re: Absence of Light

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby starkandskinny on Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:21 am

They had been touring Southwest Louisiana for the past two weeks - which, to be honest, wasn't proving very profitable for the carnival. Every town had its own... preferences, if you wanted to call it that - but the greater part of south Louisiana was proving to be that of the Armageddon Believers. No hooch, no cooch. And as much as management hated to admit it, there was no denying those two business ventures were the ones that usually proved most profitable. After the next town, it was decided, they would travel up the Mississippi river, hopefully finding better luck in Arkansas or Missouri.

Serpentina had spent the last ten minutes listening to this explanation. She was sitting in one of the carnival's many open trucks, in the company of several of the other performers - it was a sunny day and there was a nice breeze accompanying the convoy as they traveled west.

"Right." She said with a scoff, waving her hand fan. "I don't know 'bout you, Bill, but I pull my weight around here. Don't see why it'd be less profitable than any other town."
"Think what you will." Replied Bill - an albino, sitting to the other corner of the truck. He was wearing a heavy dark suit and, as per usual, fashioned a thickset pair of sunglasses and a dark parasol he was constantly holding over his head. He looked extremely hot, but couldn't afford the risk of losing any of said items in a hot, sunny day like this. "But I'm tellin' ya, it's got everything to do with the hooch 'n the cooch."

This, however, was still unusual for the carnival. Towns that tended to turn to religion would still show up for the show come night-time; even if there weren't illegal alcohol and naked women to attract the crowd, most of them would still show up for the Ghost Boy's performance. Communicating with those who have died in Plague was something that all people were attracted to - religious or otherwise; only, around here, people seemed to be more god-fearing than usual. The mere presence of people who were physical or mental 'freaks' seemed to put people off; as if they were impure or something. The performers of the carnival would have found that insulting, if they weren't already too used to it. None of them minded it anymore.

Serpentina sighed and rolled her eyes dismissively, turning her head to gaze at the view rather than at Bill. She was getting bored with this idle conversation.
"What do you reckon, Dr. Jinks?" Asked Bill, shifting his gaze to Isiah.

A moment of silence has passed on Serpentina's part before she suddenly jumped in her seat and started flailing her arms about. "Stop the truck! Stop the goddamn truck!" She shouted in hopes that the driver would hear her plea.
"What is it?" Bill turned to look at whatever it was that caught Serpentina's attention. He couldn't see anything out of the ordinary - just a rive and some trees. Then again, his sight wasn't as it used to be. Albinism wasn't only a skin condition - it came with many other chronic diseases or disorders. He was thankful having the Doc around, to say the least.
"There's a dead body hangin' by the river!" She got to her feet and banged on the driver's cabin. "Stop the truck, Jesus Christ!"

The dusty vehicle moaned as it came to a slow stop - the rest of the convoy halting behind it. Bill was now on his feet as well, parasol still hanging overhead. He had to squint, but he could see it now - a dark, long object swinging in the light wind was hanging from one of the tall trees.
"Fuck me." He muttered.
No one does a slice like Big Rico.
NO ONE.

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Re: Absence of Light

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby NomDePlume on Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:33 pm

Louisiana was commonly known as the swampland, and it hadn’t much changed with the shaky tide of the world. They drudged through the lowlands as if they were nothing more than a serpent writhing around its’ belly. Being indoors was practically suffocating as the humidity roiled and bubbled much like the innards of a steaming teapot. That was probably why Isaiah was happy for the fresh Louisiana air- if there was such a thing. A cigarette was perched between his lips- not a common connoisseur of such vices he felt almost as if it was necessary in these boggy places where the sun wasn’t as crisp as it usually was- though it was just as hot.

Yet no matter how they wanted to mask it there was a drought in the wetlands- oh no there was plenty of water to be had, but shows were few and money was thin. Why Louisiana? Honestly Isaiah couldn’t ask himself that more, and found the question unanswered. Mister and Missus Black were like a clamp when it came to their decisions, but any other form of debate was bound to ebb and tide over the carnival with their arguing. Isaiah vaguely remembered hearing a proverb about how there was a thin line between hate and love because they were so emblazoned with passion- and even at the Black’s age they were painfully passionate.
Missus Black was as pragmatic as a stone while Mister Black was as romantic as a cool breeze- something that their current trip could use. Isaiah’s fingers were getting stuck on the playing cards as they trundled through the overhang of brush, and as much as he hated to admit it that was probably a godsend. He was doing particularly well in this hand and didn’t want to flash any possible hints as to what he was holding. Walter Lowenson, called Wally by some and Ghost Boy by others, was attempting to reshuffle his playing cards quite neatly. There was a nervous look to the blonde’s face, as he glanced between his numbers and Isaiah’s own stalwart gaze; but the doctor was smarter than that as many people who wouldn’t realize it was a rouse. “Come on Wally- as much as we do have all day- I really don’t have the patience for it.”
Wally’s brows furrowed over his deep brown eyes. “I reckon you do- or you wouldn’t have wagered so high.”
“Dammit,” Isaiah grumbled as he glanced towards the pile of trinkets that formed their pile of winnings. Yet his eyes slunk up just as quickly as Wally jerked and glanced to the right- his eyes wide where they usually were downturned and heavy. “Really- you can’t get out of this by pretending to see a ghost.”
“I’m not pretending,” he muttered- but Isaiah’s attention was turned elsewhere as Bill spoke up. Honestly the doctor had been paying maybe a smidge of attention to their conversation, but in the absence of a move in their poker game- he had been more in tune than he wished.

“Well,” Isaiah started before Serpentina’s exclamation broke their concentration. Every single head turned towards what she was referring too. Slowly the doctor pulled himself from his rather comfortable position leaning against the bed of the truck. Maybe he flashed his cards to Wally, but the blonde was too busy with his eyes transfixed on the figure by the river.
“Well you weren’t pretending.” He acknowledged.
“Actually-“ Wally started before hushing.

As the truck squealed to a halt- Isaiah reached down and grabbed his watch from the pile and left his cards as he hopped out of the back of it. He flicked his cigarette from his lips, and inevitably sauntered to the form that was slowly swinging back and forth in the warm day. “Well he hasn’t been up there long- or we would smell him.”
“Is that a preacher?” Wally hiccupped as he rattled behind Isaiah.
“Not a good sign when they start hanging their church men.” That rumbling voice and steady gait alerted Isaiah that Mister Black had sauntered up with him. If the doctor could offer any comparison for the man it would be that he was almost bear like- thick brown hair that was streaked with gray along the temples, around his crown, and fell into his well clipped beard. He was tall, broad shouldered- hell- he was broad everything- the man could probably block out the sun at the right angle. He slipped his suspenders over that worn gray shirt, and offered his eyesight upwards to the swaying body. “Cut ‘em down- that ain’t a place for preacher.”
“Desmond we don’t have time for this,” harped Missus Black in her usual tone from one of the trucks. She was the only one allowed to call him ‘Desmond’ as he was the only one allowed to call her ‘Francis’.
“Shut yer hole woman- we have enough time to at least give him a proper burial as shallow as that will be. Wally- go get the shovels and some sturdy hands to use ‘em,” Mister Black ordered and the blonde sprinted off. He pulled a knife from his back pocket- an old switchblade from a time before all this end of the world mess- and sauntered towards the rope. This wasn’t at all the sort of hanging that had been of the suicidal endeavor- no the rope tied around the man’s neck, went over the branch and was anchored to the ground. This meant in simple that he had been hoisted up there against his will, and then left for the crows.
That brought Isaiah’s eyes up. He thought it rather queer that there weren’t any vulture-birds about to make a meal of this man. He must be fresher than the doctor had originally thought.

Inevitably Mister Black’s knife bit through the rope and the body tumbled down to the ground with an unsavory ‘whump’. Isaiah approached with a slow uncertainty, but inevitably knelt down and began pulling the rope from around the man’s neck. “I wonder what you did that they would hang you up here in your clerical collar?” He paused, “guess I can ask Wally.”

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Re: Absence of Light

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby starkandskinny on Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:36 pm

Serpentina was the first one to follow the threesome a they approached the hung preacher, with Bill trudging slowly behind her. His joints ached constantly and he was bound to slow, painful movements, leaning on a beaten-down wooden cane as he soldiered on. He wondered how much longer he could do this.
The swift stop the convoy had come to brought most of the carnies out of their hiding. The Twins were peeking from the window of their caravan, sitting atop Julek's mighty shoulders. His square, squished little face that seemed to all drain down towards his nose (and were almost entirely covered with tattoos) were peeking through the window as well. They seemed curious enough but, knowing the Twins, they were probably too frightened to leave their caravan, and Julek wasn't going to abandon them there. A dead body wasn't appropriate for two young ladies to inspect, anyway, even if they wanted to.

Dolores went as far as to leave her trailer, wearing whatever skimpy little outfit she had chosen for the day, knowing that when she did, all eyes would be on her. All male eyes, in any case. She had a pale, slim figure, what she liked to think was a respectable rack, and long brown hair falling down on her dainty shoulders. Most her clothes revealed a thin, long snake-like scar going down her abdomen, but she didn't seem to mind it - nobody minded it, really, with the rest of the view she was offering. Today she was wearing nothing but a white, lacy brassier with a matching pair of short pants. You wouldn't be able to catch her wearing anything more, unless on a really special occasion.
Hands crossed under her chest (god forbid over it), she seemed annoyed by this sudden stop and not the least bit interested in whatever was happening down by the river. Eyelids heavy over her bloodshot eyes, she was probably full of absinthe and opium, as she almost always was.
She spit on the ground and grabbed Wally by his arm as he hurried by her towards one of the trucks.
"Why are we stopped, sweetheart?" She asked, her head tilted sideways as if to emphasize the question.

The Snake Lady stayed a fair distance behind the two men as they were examining the body, giving them their breathing space - but was by the Doc's side, kneeling to inspect the preacher as soon as he hit the ground.
"Don't see things like this everyday," she remarked, examining the man's face up close. "Wasn't too hard on the eyes, either." She added with a smirk. But then again, Serpentina thought all men weren't 'too hard on the eyes'. The rest of the carnies were yet to meet a man she had thought otherwise of.
She was still examining his face for a short moment before she jolted back, falling flat on her ass as she was screaming her lungs out.

The preacher's eyes peeled open and he coughed, loudly and sharply, his mouth dry and sore. He could feel his heartbeat in his throat, and there was a sort of stabbing pain all around it.
He remembered being hung. He didn't even try running away when Sally went to get the sheriff. He just stood there, opposite of the half-naked man with the pistol in his hand, staring at him blankly until he could hear hurried footsteps coming up the back door. He didn't bother resisting when they took him by the arms. He didn't bother walking as they dragged him down to the river. There was going to be no trial - there was no need for one. It was clear what he had done. And besides, even if they did hold a trial - it didn't matter. He could care less about their trial. His trial was going to be in front of God - and he was terrified of it. He knew what he had done was wrong. He knew it from the beginning - from the moment he had even thought about it. Or was it Sally that first brought the idea to mind? No matter. It wasn't important. What was important was that he had sinned. He had committed so many different sins, and deserved what was coming to him. He deserved to rot in Hell for all eternity.

They took him to where they found Robert's body. Where he'd baptized him before. The body was no longer to be found, but he was sure it was somewhere close by. He let them tighten the rope around his neck. He shook his head when asked if he had any last words. He was surprised they'd even asked.

He sat up in one swift motion, hands going to his throat. Still coughing and gasping for air, he worked his bony fingers as fast he could to remove the noose, and then quickly moved over the wound that tore into his throat. Breathing heavily, he looked up at the man and woman kneeling beside him, dark eyes shifting between the two and the convoy of vehicles that seemed to be parked close by.
"Who are you?" He asked hoarsely, throat so dry it was only slightly more than a whisper.

Serpentina kept on screaming, now on her feet, hurrying back to the convoy. She caught Bill by the arm and, being the large woman she was, dragged him with her, the other man complaining all along.
The preacher didn't give them much thought as he shifted his gaze to the man left beside him, awaiting an answer.

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Re: Absence of Light

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby NomDePlume on Tue Apr 16, 2013 5:58 pm

Penelope June Richards watched as Delores poured from the caravan like milk from a pitcher. She sighed deeply as she watched the buxom and graceful woman rope her arm around Wally as if he was just another customer. The poor blonde boy flustered and blushed. The girl scoffed through her lips- he should have been used to Delores by now- everyone should have really. Penelope was tall red head- taller than Wally but shorter than the other half of the male population- with stark features that swayed her looks masculine or feminine depending on her makeup. Her hair was cut short, but with a bit of curl it could seem reminiscent of the period they left, or if left straight it could be pushed back to seem like a dapper gentleman. She lacked the curvaceous flow of Delores, and had pert little breasts that she attempted to either accentuate or disguise with a bit of cloth. It was apparent that Penelope catered to a certain set of men- and while she was paid more to look the way she did- her customers were further between than her counterpart.
She glanced about- taking a head count of whomever was hovered around and noted a lack of the twins, Julek, Fredrick (though he rarely ever left the confines of his vardo due to the various medical problems that had made him quite the spectacle), and Maynard. That last one made her question what the sword swallower was up too if he wasn’t dabbling in everyone’s business.

Wally immediately halted his mission to find shovels and swallowed the lump that formed instantaneously in his throat from Delores’s touch. He tried to remind himself that her interest in him was only the way she was- anything with a pulse might be considered interesting to her. Still it didn’t stop him from offering a complimentary glance at her breasts before finding her sweet face. Of course her eyes seemed dim, and he had to guess that she was in the midst of recreation much as he had before they halted- but her ideal of passing time was far from his own.
“There is a dead body,” he near about stuttered. “Mister Black said to go get shovels- so I’m going to get shovels. But you shouldn’t worry yourself about that- you should probably get back to the caravan. I mean a fine lady such as-“ but Wally’s sentence was cut short by Serpentina’s wailing scream and her flustered retreat back to the caravan. It was enough to make Missus Black peel herself from the truck and saunter down to her husband in curiosity.

Yet out of all the emotions that filtered through the caravan at that moment- Isaiah’s was blindly different than the rest. He wasn’t scared, he wasn’t curious, and neither was he grabbing at a cross, crucifix or the ilk. No he was glaring at his hands.
“But I can’t- I can’t,” he bubble before his eyes rolled over the preacher. He had been dead only moments before: eyes lolled back, mouth open, and body slack. There was even the bright bloody gash around his neck where the noose had been tied tightly, and it was purpled around the edges showing that it more than likely it had snapped his spine upon recoil.

Yet as Serpentina’s scream saturated the air- Isaiah found himself quickly cracking back into reality. Those eyes poured over the man’s face as confusion gripped the preacher’s features. Had he not look like death warmed over- pun quite intended- Serpentina could have very much been correct about him being handsome.
“You are,” Isaiah started and then halted- clearing his throat briskly before beginning again. “I am Doctor Isaiah Jenkins and I am a part of a travelling carnival- and you- you were dead.” He stated the obvious but he still couldn’t quite grasp the idea of it- a man popping up from death like a daisy from the waste.

Desmond’s heavy steps encroached on them- Francis hanging back in vulpine curiosity- and he leered at the young man with an odd sense of trepidation. “And I thought you couldn’t bring anyone back to life Doc.”
“I shouldn’t be able too.” Isaiah responded.
“Well it very well looks like you did,” and without thinking Desmond clapped his large hand on the doctor’s shoulder before hesitating. Yet Mister Black didn’t keel over in that moment, or suffer any sort of fatal malady. Instead he just stood there pitch quiet, but otherwise perfectly the same.

Isaiah frowned quite readily at this new development, and feared what this might hold for the future. Still it didn’t mask the fact that a man had come back to life under his touch. Those pale eyes searched the preacher for any sign of knowledge- any blister of realization that he had been dead only moments before. “How are you feeling?” The doctor asked- honestly not know what else to say in a moment like this. Who knew maybe he would erupt into flames, or maybe he wings would burst out of his back like some angelic martyr ready to shower its’ light upon the earth. Or maybe they would just stare at each other in wide-eyed curiosity- not knowing what to make of these sudden circumstances.

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Re: Absence of Light

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby starkandskinny on Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:22 am

Dolores sighed and rolled her green eyes, retrieving a cigarette from the pocket of her trousers and lighting it with a match. She would usually find Wally's awkwardness entertaining and, most times, would continue her little act of small touches and flattery and calling him words such as sweetheart or honey or pumpkin, just to see the boy flinch - but was too agitated by current events to put her mind to it. They stopped in the middle for this god-forsaken country for a dead body? Had they nothing better to do? She could pretend understanding had they stopped for someone in distress - but this person was already dead. Who gave a rat's ass?

She took a drag off her cigarette and was about to speak when she noticed Serpentina's tedious screaming and, hand finally letting go of Wally's arm, approached the woman, hands raised in a sign for her to stop and calm the hell down. The Snake Lady was still clutching Bill's arm with a tough grip, and the albino hurried after her, his breath strained and a painful expression across his face.
"Goddammit, woman!" He exclaimed and slapped Serpentina's hand off. He leaned on his cane, trying to regain his breath, paying no attention to either Dolores or the Ghost Boy. His joints ached from the short run and he knew he was going to pay the price for this later.
"What's the matter, honey?" Dolores came to Serpentina's side, taking one hand in hers while the other went to rest on the Snake Lady's shoulder, trying to comfort the woman as she patted it.
Serpentina was obviously upset. Her eyes gaped wide and wild and she was thankful to replace Bill's shoulder with the cooch girl's hand. She swallowed and huffed as she looked back at the three figures by the river, then shook her head and tried to fix her gaze on anything else but.
"That preacher," she began, shaking her head furiously, "he ain't dead."
Dolores seemed confused, but rubbed Serpentina's back in further comfort. "Well, that ain't a bad thing, ain't it? Nothing wrong then!"
"No, you don't get it." The Snake Lady continued, fixing a bewildered glare at Wally. "He was dead." She hissed. "But he ain't no more."

Of course he was dead. If there was one thing he could be certain of in this life, it was that he had died. He had no memory of what death was like, to tell the whole truth - but he definitely remembered the pain of dying. As far as being actually dead, the preacher felt like he had taken under a long slumber, and was now awaken by these... well, carnies, as it turned out. How appropriate that a group of God's forsaken children was to bring him back from the dead, he thought. He listened to the conversation Dr. Jenkins held with the large man that had now joined the two of them, but seemed to think little of it. Whatever it was they thought had happened - he was certain the doctor was not the one to bring him back to life. He didn't know why he was so certain of this, but something in his gut told him he would have known had that been the case.
He didn't know what to make of all this. He shouldn't be alive. He mustn't be alive. It's wasn't possible - and, even assuming it was (which it wasn't. It just wasn't) - he shouldn't be alive because this was him paying for his sins. He accepted death because he knew there was no other way for him to be redeemed, to gain atonement; and now, all that was taken away from him.
There was no denying he died. Him being near-death and Dr. Jenkins saving him wasn't a likely option - no, it wasn't an option at all.
Guess the Lord decided he wasn't worth a save.

"My throat's sore." He replied hoarsely, still feeling the wounds where the rope cut into his skin. His dark eyes flicked between the doctor and his new acquaintance, lacking of anything he could say that could make sense of all this.
He wasn't going to volunteer information for the time being, though. He had no idea who these people were and what they were doing there - he had no idea whether he could trust them. Worse - he had no idea why he was still breathing air.

"Job Boucher." He continued, trying to spare his words as it hurt terribly when he spoke. "I believe I at least owe you a thanks, brothers."

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Re: Absence of Light

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby NomDePlume on Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:20 pm

“Do I still need to get shovels?” Wally asked rather lamely before he realized the earnest stupidity of the question. Though he should have known that the preacher was far from dead considering the fact that hadn’t seen a ghost lurking around the corpse- doing the paces around his ‘death spot’. While they weren’t always there- gone to the other side or what not- it usually took quite some time for them to break away from their mortal devices and take to the surrounding areas. They would never truly leave, but they could lose sight of their corpse.
Oh no- there was still a ghost there, but it was far from a preacher. The entire vision was sort of hazy as if it had been blurred by glass and rain. Yet for all its swirling dysfunction Wally noted that it stared somewhat intently at the preacher- almost maliciously. Its’ existence was a large part of the puzzle that had been the hanged man. The blonde just shuttered wildly and prayed- not something he did often given his gift- that they would leave soon. “Ah- of course he ain’t dead.” Wally remarked- finally. “I ain’t seen his ghost so he’s alive proper. Though the fellah boring holes into his body ain’t too happy about it.” It was then that he looked towards the trio, and offered his most sympathetic look . “So-uh- why don’t one of you go tell Mister Black that we need to leave soon-ish, or somethin’ bad might happen.” Wally wasn’t threating- it was just that that was the way of things. So much negative energy gathered in one area it sometimes ruffled the feathers of all the positive energy that happened to lurk about. One might assume that the Carnival lacked positivity at all, but one would be surprised about the camaraderie between those that were lost.

Isaiah blinked as he watched the man move, and breathe, and blink all like a fine human would. His eyes inevitably wandered down to gash in the man’s throat, and he had to stop himself from touching the thrashed ribbon of flesh. “Hm- I don’t think I have any water on me,” Isaiah stated and then glanced towards Desmond.
“What do I look like Doc-? A camel,” yet he reached into his pants pocket and procured a small stainless steel flask. “But this’ll work right.” He pitched the small container towards Isaiah, and the doctor fumbled for a moment before grasping it firmly in his hand. Slowly he unscrewed the stop and took a whiff.
Scotch.
More so it was probably some of the stoutest scotch he had ever had the honor of inhaling. For some reason he was assured that this was not what the preacher was talking about, but nonetheless it was something to drink. “Job,” he tried the name on his tongue- letting it rest there for a moment before he swallowed it down. “Ah- and you don’t owe us any thanks really- we were just about to bury you.”

About that time Francis Black sauntered up in her black dress- which would have been oddly proper given their previous situation- and rested her willowy digits upon her husband’s broad shoulders. “What shall we do with him?”
Mister Black gave a fleeting look to the two before turning to his wife. “Well we can’t just leave him here.” And his paw of a hand went to those slicked back locks and he gave it a stern ruffle.
“Actually I believe we will do just that.” Francis stated through owlish dark eyes- the wrinkles around the edges seeming to exact at that moment.
“But he’s a man of the cloth- I reckon we can at least give him a ride into the next town.”
“And Desmond- what if that town was the same one that hung him? We need to put on a show- love. We can’t keep running on hopes and prayers.”
“Well we can let tha preacher pray plenty for us then.”
Francis frowned- her painted lips bowing downwards. “Stop being an ass Desmond.”
“Look- we do enough as it is to buy our tickets to Hell- we can’t leave a preacher out here to rot. We can at least give him a ride outta the swamp. Fair enough woman?”
Missus Black glanced over Job for a long moment and offered a petite and very polite sight. “Fair enough, but if this causes us any problems – Desmond.”
“I know you’ll have my head.”

Isaiah handed the flask to Job. “That looks pretty bad-what about I patch you up? It seems as if you might be able to get a ride with us for a bit anyway. I would hate for that to get infected.” The doctor still didn’t know if he had brought the other man back to life or not, but it was apparent that he wasn’t causing another living thing to expire. It was a conundrum to ponder on later- when they were away from his river and the bloodied noose.

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Re: Absence of Light

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby starkandskinny on Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:09 pm

If Serpentina could look any more frightened, she would have. All color was already gone from her rouge-painted cheeks, and her eyes were gaped as open as they could possibly get. Not all carnies (performers and employees alike) believed Wally's gift was real - but the Snake Lady wasn't counted amongst them. She knew very well that Wally wasn't just putting up an act (which would seem very odd when the customers weren't around, if you thought about it) - whatever he was seeing, it was real, alright - as real as the preacher that was now holding a nice chat with Mr. Black and the Doc, as it would seem. Jesus.
"What are you talking about, boy?" She asked, letting go of Dolores as she caught the boy's gaze. "You mean to tell me there's another one by the river? One's that actually dead?"
Even Bill stopped cursing under his breath to listen to this conversation.

Dolores was, once again, getting bored. She didn't understand what all this fuss was about. So the guy wasn't dead, so what? Good for him. She was sure he was as happy as a lark that the hanging wasn't fatal. Getting the hell out of here sounded like a pretty good idea. Maybe she should have given the boy more credit than she found appropriate - maybe he was smarter than he looked.
Seeing Serpentina had let go of her and was now otherwise occupied, she took it upon herself to tell Mr. Black the good news - they can finally tail outta here.

"Just as well." There weren't many men left around this place willing to give Job a proper burial. The intention was still a good one, even if... well, leading to other consequences, as it were. He was still unsure as to why it was, exactly, that he was still alive, having this conversation - but he could worry himself about that later. It wasn't anybody's business but his own and this surely wasn't the time to bring it up. All he had to do right now was figure out where he was going to go from here. Bigger, harder questions could be answered later.
He quietly registered the conversation that was going on just a few feet away, noting that the two of them were obviously married or, at least, in a marriage-like arrangement between the two of them. He considered his options - though that took nothing more than a short moment, as he didn't have many of those. He couldn't very well stay here - they'd just hang him again. And he wasn't sure he would die again the second time. In fact - he was surprise no one from town had paid them a visit yet. Maybe they were all in church, he thought, the irony almost bringing a smile to his lips. They didn't have much time, though - if he was going to join these people (which didn't seem like a very good idea - just less worse than the idea of staying), they'd have to leave soon. Very soon.
While he didn't feel like he was well enough to leave the place he was seated in and offer the lady his hand for a shake - there was no reason for Job to be rude. To be honest, he couldn't really blame the woman. He couldn't say he would have done otherwise had he been in her position.
"I promise I won't give you any trouble, Madam." He tried to muster something of a smile, which unfortunately ended up looking more frightening than friendly. "And I'd mighty appreciate the ride."

Job accepted the flask from Isaiah with a thanks, tilting his head back and gulping a large portion of liquor down before he realized what it was. He never had alcohol before. He was too young before the Plague struck the Earth, and after that, they were always under prohibition laws - and he had quite faithfully obeyed them up until now. Whatever this was was sour and dry and it burned down his throat, forcing another serious of coughs as he turned his head away from the Doctor. It nearly brought tears to his eyes.
He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and returned the flask back to Isaiah, mouth still somewhat twisted at the awful taste. Nodding, it took him another moment before he felt like he could talk again. "I'd like that." He muttered, giving another few small coughs.

It was then that he noticed the practically-naked woman that was approaching them. She looked... well, she looked nice, except for that painful-looking scar on her stomach, and, well, the fact that she was wearing her underwear as she walked about out in the open. She approached the couple (Job hadn't got their names yet) standing nearby and, crossing her arms under her chest, gestured her head towards the small crowd that was gathering around the vehicles. "Mister, Missus.Wally reckons we should get on outta here. Somethin' bad could happen, he says."

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Re: Absence of Light

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby NomDePlume on Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:29 pm

The black visage’s eyes was like a set of headlights that peered through the darkness of its’ body and shown its’ maleficent beams on anything that could garner its’ attention. Wally noted that while it seemed transfixed on the preacher- there was a slow realization that there were other forms congesting around its’ intended target. The blonde glanced away as he saw that odd head of the ghost turn completely around and gaze over the rest of the carnival members. If Wally didn’t have some notion of masculine bravado he would have hidden behind Bill. “There is a dark spirit watching over the dead-alive-preacher-man.” Wally gulped audibly before backing away. “I don’t know what he did, but I reckon it was bad, and I reckon that I won’t get a word out of him about how bad it was. That fella is built more fer haunting than peaceful resolutions.”

Isaiah didn’t get that feeling. If anything his eyes were more scrutinizing of Job than they probably should have been. Yet as much as seemed to be analytically observing the man’s gash- he more so found himself buried in his head. There were countless questions there unanswered.
Mister and Missus Black seemed to excuse themselves warmly from the conversation and make their way back up to the line of cars. This seemed to be only expedited by Dolores’s appearance. Francis offered a rather exasperated sigh at the woman’s visage- noting her blood shot eyes and drug induced form. This broke Missus Black’s heart, but if you ever heard him state anything like that- it would be quite the surprise.
Missus Black much loved the whores in her own way- a very callow but forgiving manner- as Mister Black seemed to only note them to be another source of revenue. “Doc get the preacher to the truck.” It was then he turned to the rest of the crew and pointed. “Lets’ move out- no time fer lollygagging- we have a deadline.”

Sam Willows watched with sore brown eyes as the duo made their way over to his truck. He knew why- because the trio of Serpentina, Bill, and Wally would be much akin to having gnats swarm your eye sockets.
Sam was in simple a ‘flim-flam’ artist, but the best sort they could find. He could sell the homeless dirt if they were so gullible. His words were more powerful than a man’s should be, and it was apparent there was a bit extra there beyond his soothing melodic and lupine sinks. Sam was a tall fellow, broad shouldered, but a bit paunchy around the middle. He had dark black hair that was pushed away from his face, a strong jawline with a well-kempt beard, but probably an overbearing nose. The man was as normal as they came in this day in age, and yet oddly enough the carnival goers flocked to him like pigeons to a bread crumb.
“Ah Doc- I see we have found ourselves a patient of pyschopompus powers.” He announced through a bright smile. “Odd I thought such divine abilities were beyond your reach. Ah well I suppose there is are still surprises in this world.” With that he turned back to what he had been doing before- reading an old novel whose binding had been destroyed by age and dust and it was only being held together by twine and luck.

Isaiah sighed. Maybe it was a particularly bad idea to hoist themselves in with the likes of Sam- he didn’t trust the man one bit. Yet he couldn’t go back to Serpentina, Bill, and Wally- Job didn’t much need to be introduced to that facet of the carnival just yet. That and Sam- not being the one to drink or partake in other’s goods or at least those of the carnival- was lording over Isaiah’s supplies. They were rammed rather deeply into an old leather bag, and while it looked worn around the edges it held everything together quite well. The instruments within it were sterile and intact- and that was all that mattered. “Come here- I’m going to need you to take your shirt off- or at least maneuver your collar so it isn’t in my way.”
Sam scoffed. “He means the first one- the Doc likes to be real thorough.
There was a moment of hesitation from the doctor but he inevitably glanced back at Job with a stern scowl. “Ignore him- whatever you are more comfortable with- ah- sir.”
That peeled another scoff from Sam.

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Re: Absence of Light

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby starkandskinny on Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:26 am

"We gotta tell Mister Black about this." Serpentina declared rather than suggested, pausing for a short moment to glare as Isaiah and the preacher walked by before helping Bill as the three of them made their way towards the front of the convoy. "Ain't no way we're takin' him with us! Not if he has the dead going after him."
The Missus objected to taking the preacher with them in the first place, that much was clear - which meant she didn't need a whole lot of convincing. It was Mister Black that might create a problem, obviously, since he had decided that the hanged man stays with them, at least for the time being. But he couldn't possibly allow it after hearing what Wally had to say - they had their own everyday troubles to deal with, they certainly didn't need another mouth to feed. More importantly: whoever (or whatever) this preacher was, he wasn't any good - definitely not for the carnival. She let go of Bill as she approached the Blacks' truck, paying no attention to whether either the albino or the Ghost Boy were following her anymore.
She tapped her finger against the window of the vehicle, clearing her throat. "Mister Black? Might I have a word?"
She waited for the stark man to join her by the truck, her face still paler than they ever were, eyes still wide with fright.
"We can't take that preacher with us, Sir." She started, trying to keep her voice as calm as she possibly could - which wasn't that easy of a task. "Wally reckons there's another dead man by the river. A ghost, I mean. Says it's been borin' holes into the preacher's back. Says it's... malevolent. I honestly sympathize with the man's misfortunes, what with the hangin' and everything, but we couldn't possibly afford to take him with us."

When Isaiah helped him up, Job thought he was going to be sick. He couldn't specifically relate it to either the booze or, well, the fact that he was dead only a few moments earlier - perhaps it was both. He managed holding himself back, though, and was appreciative of the other man's help as they walked towards the line of cars.
He wasn't sure this was a good idea. Again, not that he had any other choice - but he caught nearly every set of eyes that was there staring down at him, through windows or just in plain sight. The lady that was screaming earlier had ceased from conversing with the albino and young man that were standing beside her, dark eyes peeled so wide as she stared at him, they seemed like two very deep, very dark wells. For the short moment she was screaming in his face (before she got up and ran) he managed catching a glimpse of her mutilated tongue - cut across the middle and parted into two, just like a snake's. The thought of it made him cringe and his stomach twist, and he was only too grateful when the Good Doctor was leading him away from the group, who had simultaneously turned their backs on them and were making their way towards one of the other trucks.

He climbed into the truck and seated himself where he was told to - still trying to ignore the many, many questions he would probably never find unambiguous answers to. Why was he put back on this earth? Where was he supposed to go from here? What was he supposed to do? Confess of his crimes? Beg for forgiveness? He was lead to believe he'd already done that.
What was one to do when rejected by the Lord?

He was distracted by these thoughts when he realized he was being addressed and brought his attention back to the two people in the room (if you could call it a room, really). Nodding in understanding, he began undoing the buttons of his clergy shirt. He chose to take the doctor's advice for the meantime and ignore the black-haired man who was currently in their company and was yet to give Job his name. Something about every single person he'd met so far (and there were plenty, considering he was brought back no more than fifteen minutes ago) made him uncomfortable, as if each and every one of them had some sort of secret motive they didn't care to share with him. Then again, it wasn't like he was any different, if you thought about it.
He removed the clerical collar and ever so carefully placed it on his own knee, lest it went missing or crinkled, had he put it in his pocket. "Brother Job." He replied, and, after a having a short thought and realizing he had no idea whether Dr. Jenkins (or any of these people) were any or at all religious and might no be comfortable with calling him 'brother', quickly added, "Or just Job, really."
Besides, it wasn't like he could call himself a man of cloth anymore. Had anyone known he was still alive, he didn't think they would let him hold on to that title. He didn't think he deserved it anymore.
"So you can heal people with your hands, Doctor?"

He had to be more careful in removing his undershirt. The black clergy shirt went off quite easily as it didn't involve touching his wounded throat - he tried to keep the undershirt as further away from it as he could while taking it off.
Albeit being of a rather enviable height, the preacher's form was slim and... well, unimpressive, when compared to large men such as Sam or Mr. Black. He wasn't out of shape, but his size could in no way be intimidating to anyone. Aside from the gash where the rope had cut into him, he seemed to be entirely unharmed by the experience of being hung to death.

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Re: Absence of Light

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby NomDePlume on Sun Apr 21, 2013 7:26 pm

Mister and Missus Black were enrapt in their intense conversation when the sharp knock on the truck door startled both of them into quiet. Francis offered a polite smile and Desmond’s lips grew grim. “Now woman- don’t start that with me.” He stated to his wife, but the white haired woman only pointed towards Serpentina. With that Mister Black jerked around and glanced her over- nothing the her pallid complexion- before answering. “Fine but best make it quick- we need to leave.”
Desmond hauled himself from the truck and stood over the carnival woman. One couldn’t say that Mister Black was overly muscular, but neither was he covered in fat. He was just a solid man- much like a tree had grown from the ground he had grown from this world. Missus Black on the other hand was a vulpine and witchy woman that struck a stark silhouette behind her husband- she was the knife behind his back. They loved the children of their carnival, and so anyone- yes anyone- that stood in the way of them and taking care of their flock was in for a world of pain unlike they ever could have known.

Wally loathed confrontation- hence the reason he had others do it for him. Yet he stood with Serpentina if just for the fact that he would probably be hauled from his duties by Mister Black to validate her claims no matter what. The blonde nodded along with what the woman said as she said it, and offered his most genuine of pleas.
“Is this right- Wally?” Mister Black stated as he glanced over the quivering form of ‘Ghost Boy’.
“Yes- it is staring at us even now. It hasn’t moved yet, but I reckon once we take off then it’ll be after us faster than a cat chasin’ fish.”
That brought Desmond’s fingers to his eye sockets and he breathed deeply. “So how long could it chase us then-?” It was apparent that Mister Black didn’t want to bring this up with his missus considering that they had just come to an agreement.
“Well- normal spirits stay with a truck’s length of their death spot. This fella though- I figure could follow us till the end of the swamp. Anger powers the afterlife- the more angry you are- the longer you stay on this world. It is because you cling-“ Wally was interrupted by Mister Black’s hand raising in a complete stop of his conversation.
“I know, son. You’ve explained this to us countless times before.” He grumbled, and glanced back to his wife. “Did you know about this?”
Missus Black only glanced at the two- as if they were now intruding on a private conversation. “I had my thoughts. No one hangs a preacher lest they want to go to Hell or send him their first.” She stated in an extremely diplomatic manner, but it was apparent that is not what Mister Black wanted. “I still say we keep him til the edge of the swamp. If this apparition follows us- we’ll let our new friend deal with it. I’ve said my piece on it- I would rather not Lucifer have another tally against our souls for abandoning a man in his time of need. Or at least that is the understanding that I came by- with your helpful ministrations Desmond.”
Mister Black looked ruffled. It was obvious he was not the overly religious type, but his wife clung to her morals tighter than a drowning man to a breath of air. Didn’t mean that she looked down on their whores and liquor, but she figured that God would forgive them for it. They were shepherds to a lost flock, and they had to do what it took to keep that flock intact.
“Does that satisfy yah?” Mister Black stated hoarsely. “Just move yourselves away from the fella, and I’m sure you’ll be fine. But I promise you this- one moment of funny business and we’ll throw him off of this caravan faster than you can- well- breathe. Sound good?” He offered a glance to Francis before staring at them. “Now can we get out of here- or do I have to leave your sorry rears here to deal with the ghost as well?”

“Sam Willow,” Sam remarked at Job’s name and offered a bright smile. He seemed somewhat aware of his countenance and tugged thoughtfully on his waistcoat. It still hung around his middle as per the usual- bowed out with straining buttons along the way. Sam didn’t at all feel guilty or aggressive towards his weight, but instead accepted it; considering that he was more freely laid than most of the other carneys was always a deterrent towards impending self-doubt. He offered a glance over to Job as the other began to undress, but inevitably settled back into his book.

Isaiah attempted not to grunt in frustration at Sam’s comment. He had spent far too many nights curled into the ‘flim-flam’ artist’s body to offer any sort of rebuttal that wouldn’t be turned against him sexually. It had been quite some time since he had Sam had been together, but there was still an unspoken heat whenever they managed to cross paths. So instead of considering all the wrong-doings of his past- Isaiah pushed himself towards the future.
The doctor opened his leather bag and pulled forth his sterile gauze, and silver tongs. He then grabbed the isopropyl alcohol and doused the gauze heavily in it. “This is going to sting,” Isaiah remarked in an attempt to avoid looking directly at Job’s half-naked form. He hadn’t really expected the preacher to get that undressed, but inevitably he found himself somewhat happy with the product. Yet that bravado inched away as the other addressed his ability. Those fingers still aptly applied the alcohol to his wound, but his lips found silence. “I- uh- yes yes I can.” He frowned, “I shouldn’t be able to bring back anyone from the dead- but- ah- I really don’t know about that now. I usually can just heal the pained, lame, or wounded- but I give whatever I have taken away to the next person I touch.” Isaiah pulled the bloodied gauze away from Job’s neck and looked the other sternly in the eye. “I don’t use it anymore though. I stopped- once- I- well I just don’t anymore. Everyone else here uses theirs as they see fit- so- while you are with us- be a bit careful.”
“You need to be more than careful,” Sam remarked. “Just don’t offer anyone- anything.”
“Especially Sam.” Isaiah butted in. “So have you seen anything like this- is this the devil’s work?” He inquired- thinking back to his mother and how she used to shun him over his talent.

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Re: Absence of Light

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby starkandskinny on Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:10 am

The last thing Serpentina wanted was to have to deal with any more ghosts - she'd reached her quota for the day. She was reluctant at the idea of keeping the preacher with them, but knew better than to think she had any further say in the matter. In any case, whether she did or didn't agree with Mister Black, she knew that if worse came to worst, the Missus would be quick to act. She was... well, Serpentina wouldn't say 'less forgiving', but she seemed to have a better sense of business than her husband - and whether she cared for the carnival performers or not (she did, Serpentina knew that - but just for the sake of the argument), if things started going wrong, she'd have no problem ditching the newcomer in order to keep the show running. So at least they had that to trust. She nodded and thanked Mister Black before turning back and, eyeing Wally, made her way back for her truck. Bill was no longer accompanying the two of them and had probably went to tend to his aching joints.
"Sorry, kid, I tried my best." She told the boy, waiting for him to get up on the truck before she reached out her hand for him to help her up. "I hope we don't run into trouble further down the road."

"Pleasure to make your acquaintance." Job had managed muttering before the alcohol stung and a warm, burning pain spread itself about the wound. Alone from a low groan he let escape through his mouth, he tried hard not to make a sound or try to swallow. The scotch had started kicking in and, before the application of alcohol his throat felt considerably less sore, but it was just that that made him not want to take any chances. He chose to ignore Sam's comments for now; the only person he felt wasn't trying to sell him anything, so to speak, was Isaiah. He wasn't very well in a position to judge, but there was something about the third man in the room that made him almost immediately dislike him. Something told him he should mind in own business and give no weight to the man's words.

Once he felt the burning start to dwindle he thought it would be safe to speak again. "You didn't..." Job had to give it a short thought. Being revived by the doctor essentially meant whoever he touched next was going to have to die. "... kill the other man with the flask." He continued, not knowing what to call the man, though from the way things went he was obviously the man in charge of this traveling show.
He made something of a huff and a smile at that last remark, but regretted it immediately, hands going to his wounded neck. He managed restraining himself and bringing his hands back to his lap before they reached their destination, not wanting to interrupt Isaiah's work.
"Cajuns call it 'traiteur'." He replied hoarsely. "And it is not the Devil's work. If anything, it's a blessing."
Job wasn't the first man of cloth in his family. His grandfather was a tent preacher and, while he never knew his grandmother, he was told she could, too, heal people by placing her hands on them. He never fully doubted it, but he knew very well what small towns and their stories were like. There was probably some truth in it, but... you should never take those kind of stories for granted. Despite and perhaps especially being what he was.
Sam and their boss didn't seem to doubt Isaiah's abilities, on the other hand. They both seemed to actually believe it. Which was... well, Job didn't really know what to make of it. He couldn't say miracles never happened. "What do you mean, everyone else?"

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Re: Absence of Light

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby NomDePlume on Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:59 am

Wally gulped near audible as Serpentina stated her peace. It was apparent that they were going to have a guest for a while, and the blonde was the only one that could see it lumber them with its’ malicious glare fixated on their forms. He threw his legs over the truck and hauled himself in, and then extended his hand to the other woman- hoisting her aboard as well. “I hope we don’t run into trouble either.” He stated, but somewhat listlessly. He was no fortune teller, but dark and craven spirits never boded well for one’s good luck. He just found his hand against his chest, and softly rubbed the small outline of the cross that his necklace made against the fabric. “Lord protect us,” he said in an ominous tone.

“I didn’t?” Isaiah pantomimed with some hesitation. It wasn’t like him to not be concise and sterile with his words, but the blabbering of his mouth was directly proportional to his confusion. It had only made sense that he was the one that had raised Job, because if he hadn’t- then what had? It was apparent that the man had been dead. No one could have survived that. And yet here the good doctor was treating a death wound as if Job had tripped and scraped up his arm on a rock or some such. Speaking of which he managed to get most of the grime from the soft pink flesh, and now he grabbed his tongs to begin to remove stray strands of fibers from the rope now that he could see them. “You are right- Mister Black didn’t pass- which is something I am quite happy about.” Isaiah only had an inkling of a thought on how that scene would have passed, and it didn’t bode well for him.

“Eh- don’t touch- or this’ll never get clean and then we’ll have to amputate.” He offered a joke as he saw Job reach upwards and then think otherwise about it.
Yet his mumbled chuckling ended quite soon as the other began to speak. ‘Traiteur’ the doctor thought- and decided that he would investigate further, but at a much later time. Job seemed to have a rather uplifted look about their ability while Isaiah was assured that it was nothing but a sickness that plagued their souls. Mind you unlike his mother he didn’t think that his dammnation was already imminent due to possessing this power- or blessing as Job had called it. Isaiah figured one could go either way with a power like this, but- ah- he had done dark things. There was no going back from it now, and all he could hope was that maybe with a preacher in tow that his immortal sanctity would seem a bit more enlightened.

The wound was looking better by the time he felt the engines rumble into action and the truck lurch forward. Their ride wouldn’t be smooth, and so Isaiah had managed to get the small and intricate hand work out of the way. He pulled forth some more gauze from his bag, and applied more alcohol. “I’m going to dab this again, and then we are going to cover it.” That tone went sterile for a moment as he returned to his doctoral duties, but it was short lived considering Job’s next question.
“Everyone else- as in: pretty much everyone in the carnival. Mind you I don’t believe a lot the handy men can do anything special except spit and complain, but all the sideshows are a bit handy with the supernatural.” Sam peeped in, and then flashed a bright smile towards Job.
“Sam can convince you of anything. Mister Black said he’s not allowed to use it on us- and so he doesn’t. You should be alright, but don’t tempt fate.” Isaiah stated firmly. For the longest time he thought Sam and Mister Black had the same ability, because Sam never did use his again on the carneys after that incident so long ago. Yet Mister Black’s seemed- odder- maybe more powerful than their announcer. And there was something else to it. While Sam could beguile with a viperous charm- Mister Black’s seemed more like the voice of God came down and commanded you not too.
Honestly Isaiah decided not to ruminate on it too heavily.

“Wally- I don’t know if you saw him or not- he can see ghosts. Um- one of the girlscan cause things to combust- it takes a bit- for a while things just get warm and then ‘bang’. I think maybe one of the handy men can talk to animals.”
Sam scoffed. “I think Toby is just crackers.”
“I suppose we’ll see someday when we come across more than mangy junk dogs and feral cats.” Isaiah remarked and looked back to Job. “So you think that maybe you brought yourself back to life? Maybe God isn’t done with you yet,” he paused. “Or maybe- he is. But so what-? You are here now. Maybe you can start over. Maybe if you can just come back to life- you can have some act in the circus too?” Isaiah stated with a bit of humor on his tone. “Or maybe- not. But ah- how did you get in that situation anyway? I mean you don’t have to tell me about it- but it seems rather curious.”

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Re: Absence of Light

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby starkandskinny on Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:23 am

He scoffed at the joke - as much as it was meant for humor, he doubted another attempt at his death would result in anything. If the Lord didn't allow him to die once, he doubted He would allow it to happen for a second time.
Whether Isaiah saw his gift as a blessing or a curse - bringing a preacher back to life would hardly damn his soul for all eternity. Then again, this specific preacher was meant to die and stay dead, so perhaps that argument didn't carry as much weight as it should have. He wasn't going to say any of it aloud - saying Job was ashamed of his sins would be a very rough understatement, and he much preferred keeping everybody else in the dark until he got things straight and understood why was it that an off-scouring of creation like himself was still sucking air when another man - a brother, a man of his own flock - was in a coffin. Besides, as long as he kept his trap shut, the whole scene could seem like an unfortunate misunderstanding. He didn't want to lie, and wasn't at all good at it as a matter of fact, but something in his gut told him things would be better off that way, for the time being.

Job nodded in understanding at the doctor's explanation, watching the two men carefully as they spoke of these 'abilities'.
"What is it that you do, exactly?" He asked Sam, not at all convinced, though he was trying quite hard not to convey it. If Sam could convince people of doing anything, why hold an entire traveling carnival? You could simply talk people into giving you their money - a skill that wasn't uncommon in Job's line of work. Following the Event, though, he hadn't been so keen on taking other people's money - he didn't want it for himself (he was brought up within modest means and didn't require much), and he wasn't going to use it to rebuild the church after it was taken apart in the initial hysteria. True, he was brought up to be a preacher from a relatively young age, but he wasn't unfamiliar with handiwork. With the help of whatever townsfolk remained (the bigger portion of the population either died of the Plague or left at the first sign of trouble), they had the church back up and running within less than two weeks.

He gave something of a faint smile upon hearing the Doctor's suggestions of God's plan for him, trying not to look either of the other men in the eye - it was more of a short tug of his lips that was entirely humorless, perhaps even in something of a despair - but resulted in a crooked gesture that looked like it was mainly there to remind you teeth had other uses. God was, without a doubt, through with him. He'd lived alone for most of his adult life; yet he couldn't be lonelier now.
So what? That was indeed an interesting question he did not know the answer to. God didn't want anything to do with him anymore, but he wasn't dead, and he wasn't in Hell. What happens now? Only God knew. Hah, it was almost ironic.

"I've never had any... special abilities before." Whether the rest of the carnies' powers were real, as the two obviously seemed to think - well, suppose he'll just have to figure it out for his own, if they'll keep him there long enough. "I don't know what brought me back, but I've never been able to do anything like it." Besides, he didn't exactly want to attract any attention. Not in his current condition and not while they were still in Louisiana, in any case.
"Has everyone in the carnival had theirs since they were born? I mean, have you?" He asked, not pointing the question to either Sam or Isaiah in particular.
Maybe this was Hell? It didn't feel like it. Aside from his own soul (meaning, aside from the Lord), no one was attempting to torment him. It was, in all honesty, a little too nice to be Hell. He could at least say that for the Good Doctor. Job was grateful Isaiah hadn't pried into the nature of his injury - so, so grateful - until he went and simply asked about it, which made him rethink his latest conclusions of Hell.
Gaze fixated on his hands in his lap, he cleared his throat and spoke. "I've done some things. Things that don't settle well with Him." He lifted one hand and pointed a finger towards the sky before anyone could get confused. "Things that aren't worthy of this collar. I got what was coming to me..." he slowly came to a stop, feeling like he'd already said too much. He let the silence sink down for a long moment before he continued, . "I'm -- I honestly don't know what to make of any of this."

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Re: Absence of Light

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby NomDePlume on Thu May 02, 2013 4:21 pm

Isaiah was ruffled after the events that had proceeded this moment. It honestly a day that he would write away in his memories to relive again and again in hopes that he could fathom the wake of the world. Destruction lay around them in the skeletal digits of destroyed buildings, earth scarred by mankind’s fear there at the very end, husks of dead crops and the nightmarish change in both the human’s physiology and mindset. Even those without ‘the touch’, ‘the gift’, or ‘the oddness’ still found ways to subjugate people in a manner that they would have never have been able to before all of this. They said the end of the world was God calling up his beloved, and letting the others fight amongst themselves in hopes of proving their worth to Him. Isaiah wasn’t an overly religious man- faithful in some degree- and so believed that maybe God’s eyes just stopped looking at the world.
Maybe that is why mortal men so easily hung a preacher.

Yet the doctor didn’t know what Job had done, or what he was capable of doing now. Honestly he didn’t even know if the man was truly a preacher beyond his soft words and clerical garb. Maybe he was hung because he was philanderer disguised as a man of the cloth. Isaiah’s eyes narrowed at that thought, and he still cleaned the wound and offered no voice to his musings.

Sam glanced over to Job in a rather skeptical manner, but he honestly couldn’t pass up a chance to converse about himself. “I can influence folks.” He stated in a simple manner. “Maybe the good doctor here over-states my ability. There are some that can overpower it, and usually they either have a gift themselves or are as dense as rock. You might find it strange that fool-headed men are not so easily persuaded by my silver tongue, but such is life.” Sam gave a shrug. “In the end I am unsure of the proper mechanics of my gift other than I can make certain ideas sound sweeter. Whether people buy in or not is a gamble, and sometimes they just don’t. But they had to put up a bit of a mental fight to do so. That is about the time I stop using it- seems a bit fishy, and they might start suspecting the carnival of having shady methods.” The man then lapsed into a deep chested chuckle. “I know you can’t believe it- us being underhanded- but we would surprise you.” Sam gave a sweet after that, “just as I’m sure you are able to surprise us Brother Job.”
The doctor paused about that moment, and gave a long and scrutinizing look to the preacher’s neck. Now all there was to do was to wrap some gauze around it hope for the best. This was honestly not the best environment for such an injury, because without the care that it should get it might become infected. Inevitably it would leave a nasty scar- a sinner’s scar.

“Sometimes they don’t manifest till you’re older.” Sam answered Job’s question with the best answer he could think of. “I honestly don’t think they have a certain time. I couldn’t tell you when mine popped up- I’ve always been a bit of a liar. But- ah- there was a moment when I was a kid where I knew I was a bit more special. Before that- who knows?” He left it at that- simple and sterile. Isaiah had never heard that story, and honestly didn’t even know that it existed. He figured that Sam had always known he was a bit special and had conned everyone from birth to love him and give him their possessions. What the doctor did know was that he had been run out of a few towns after they figured out what he was doing, and then he joined the carnival shortly after that so it was no longer a travesty.

Isaiah hesitated before telling his story, or at least the part of it that Job seemed to question about. “Mine happened when I was a teenager, and I think I would have noticed had it happened sooner.” The doctor then attempted to skirt any other questions by rummaging about in his bag for a roll of gauze. He didn’t have much left, and would have to make a note to procure some at the next town if they had a pharmacy. Still it would be enough to cover Job’s neck, and that suited him just fine.
Isaiah’s digits stopped in mid-peel as Job began to answer his question. He wasn’t expecting a full answer lest the preacher had truly committed no crime, and that would have proven his sentiment that maybe the man was a liar even more. No the man confessed to something. The doctor could then see the weight on his shoulders and how it made them tip downwards, and the lines on his face deepen a bit. It wasn’t Isaiah’s job to care, and he never offered much in the way of that to his patients. Yet there was a magnetism to the preacher than he couldn’t quite fight off, and so his hand managed to come to Job’s shoulder and rest heavily there for a moment. “I think if he truly wanted you dead- you would be dead. I’ve seen him strike down greater men before.” He sighed, “what do the Catholics believe in- penance? I mean all I ever learned was forgiveness, but I think sometimes you have to do a bit more. And maybe you just need to do a bit more, Job.”
Isaiah still believed that maybe God had stopped watching them, but he wouldn’t just let a man come back to life lest he had a greater purpose.
“Now if you’ll hold still I’ll put this gauze around your neck and you should be good to go. Just don’t get it wet, or touch it.” The doctor attempted to move the mood elsewhere- back to his area of expertise.

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Re: Absence of Light

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby starkandskinny on Sat May 04, 2013 3:52 am

The more he had to listen to Sam talk, the more Job grew uncomfortable. There was something that was simply unsettling about the man. He knew Sam had no reason to lie - none in particular now, in any way - but he felt like he was certain precautions were to always be taken around this man. If the story of his hanging was ever to be told - which currently seemed very unlikely - he was sure the last person he'd want to hear it would be Sam. Whether this skill of his was a true gift or whether he was just a very convincing man - neither sounded like something you'd like to be subjected to, or like something you'd want inflict upon others if you had the slightest bit of faith and respect for God and for the people who were left behind. There was just something rotten about the entire situation - as if Job was one to talk.
He wondered if the boy who could see ghosts could see his when they stopped to bury him. He wondered if he could see Robert Lynn's ghost. They cleared the other man's body before they brought Job there to hang, and he had to wonder if the soul would follow its manifestation in the material world or if it was left there by the river, suspended between Heaven and Hell, having no place to go in either worlds. Maybe it would haunt Job. He hoped to God it wouldn't. Maybe it wasn't even there to begin with; maybe Robert had gone to Heaven and left their world behind...
... probably not. He highly doubted that. Job wasn't even married to Sally Lynn, and she managed corrupting his soul within a time significantly shorter than the time she and Robert had been married. You couldn't live your life with that woman and stay pure. You just couldn't.

He sat still as the doctor attended to his wounds for the last time, nodding shortly at the instructions he were given. He wasn't used to being touched, even after current events - but however strange, there was something comforting about the warm hand on his bare shoulder. He shortly nodded in thanks, not wanting to interrupt the Good Doctor's work.
He didn't think God abandoned them. Quite frankly, he still wasn't sure what to think of the Plague. If God took the righteous away, why did he have to do so in such a cruel manner? He could have given them much faster, less agonizing deaths. Perhaps it were the wicked that God had removed from the earth - just like the story of Noah's Arc, maybe God was trying to cleanse the world of evil and make preparations for a new era of mankind. Perhaps the righteous were the ones that remained.
Prior to his hanging, he might have thought this. He believed his purpose in this life was to make sure the righteous stayed righteous - to please God, to light their path and to keep them in it. He wasn't really sure what to make of it now, though, given he wasn't even near being what or who he thought he was.
He couldn't help but smile and give something of a huff at the Doctor's suggestion, but tried not to move as much. Maybe God still needed Job more than He wanted to wash him of his sins. Yes, perhaps that was true. He didn't think about it that way, but if there was the slightest chance of hope for his immortal soul, he had to at least try to believe it.

He had to wait for the Doctor to finish taking care of his throat before he could speak again. "I could say the same for you." He told Isaiah. If he truly was a traiteur, obviously there was a reason for God to make him into one. Avoiding using this gift didn't seem like something that could last for very long, he thought. Isaiah was going to be bound to use it sooner than later. It wasn't any of his business, though, so he didn't sound any of it off. What the man wanted to do with his... 'oddness', as they called it, was up to him, no matter what Job thought of it.
He then went on, touching the tips of his fingers to the edge of the bandages, though quickly drawing them away. "I fell ill when it happened. I mean, I was sick with the Plague." The rest, he felt, didn't need further explanation: he was supposed to die, but once more, he didn't. His parents and grandmother did, but his grandfather somehow managed nursing him back to health. He never gave it much thought beforehand - it was simply their fate to die and his to remain amongst the living. It was God's will. Thinking about it now, though - he never heard of anyone else surviving the Plague, and while that might not have been proof of anything since he never in his life left Louisiana - perhaps there was something more to it.

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Re: Absence of Light

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby NomDePlume on Tue May 07, 2013 8:01 pm

Isaiah’s exact fingers placed a heavy roll of gauze against the wound and held it as he rolled it gently around his neck in a collar like fashion. He tore it off at the edge, and found some pins in his pack to secure them in. It wasn’t his best work, but considering his lack of supplies and the curiousness of the wound it was probably the best one could find this side of the Mississippi from a travelling caravan. He slowly began to repack his tools as the priest spoke.
“You could.” He said slowly. “But I know with every light there is a shadow, and I don’t much care to pay the price of that shadow.” There was no need for further explanation, because Isaiah had none to offer. He didn’t want to describe the means in which he had ruined lives of others as he saved those that had paid him well enough- oh and they had laid down the money for such services. That was the deal- one fourth of what they owned along with a martyr to contract what they had. Many a time it was a prisoner, someone on their own death bed that accepted it with more grace than they, or some cruel and unwanted person. A few times though- Isaiah had to stop his thoughts then and there lest he lose his sober demeanor. The man was hard one to crack, and he much liked to keep it that way.

“The Plague,” Sam stopped pretending to read at that moment and his eyes fell flat and maladjusted. “No one was supposed to survive that malady- no one.” He reemphasized. There was a story there, but the doctor couldn’t tell you.
About that time- as if on some fateful queue- the caravan stopped and there was some barking of orders about them. Sam slowly stood and pocketed his book in his jacket pocket. “If you excuse me- I need a bit of something to get me through the rest of this trip. And I can’t much touch this,” his hand waved to the crates that were mislabeled and somewhat sloppily covered with a blanket. “Maybe Dolores has something.” He murmured before tipping an imaginary hat at Job before exiting the truck.

Isaiah frowned. He hated to say that too many of the caravan members partook in the darker fruits of ‘the Devil’. Mind you he enjoyed a good drink now and then, but he had watched what the he harder drugs had done to genteel minds that were easy to sway. Mind you he thought Dolores, Sam, and the ilk were not the kind to fall under their sway too easily given their disposition. And yet it was that same disposition that led them to such resolutions. The world sometimes formed cruel circles for them to continue to follow.
Speaking of which- Isaiah rummaged his bag about for a small ‘medical’ flask. As a physician he was somewhat ‘legally’ allowed to have alcohol for medicinal reasons. Mind you he never really used it on a patient. He unscrewed the lid and took a swig, and proffered one to the priest. “So you can’t die-? Is that it?” Isaiah asked bluntly. The swill in the tin container was pure moonshine- it was probably the purest liquor one could purchase. The doctor didn’t have to lift a finger for it. Instead he had healed a moonshiner’s daughter- it was surprisingly one of the most altruistic uses of his talents. He cured her of the mumps and gave it to her ‘Grammie’ who was immune to it as she had had it before the Plague.

“You know Brother- you could probably make a good act with that.” Isaiah remarked with tight frown. “Maybe make more than I or the twins.” It was then he brought a hand to Job’s ragged tresses and he slid his digits through them and away from the other’s brow. “Just trim your hair and get away from your handsome face. I can’t think of anyone that could deny that face. Call you Lazarus, or some such nonsense.” He then smirked as he got a better look at the preacher’s face. “My my Job- you are handsome. Too bad you are a man of the cloth, or I might find a place for you in my tent.” It was then he returned his hand to his side. “But- ah- let me not speak of such blasphemy.” He paused in an attempt to change the subject. Isaiah was not one for flirtations, but had to admit there was a magnetism to be had to the preacher that he was unsure that he had ever felt with any other man. Yet it was as if he was asking fire to burn on water. The doctor was smarter than that. He knew that Job wouldn’t at all find the other attractive or interesting- it was just too hopefully get the other to stumble about on his word and their conversation involving anything of Isaiah’s personal life to come to a close.

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Re: Absence of Light

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby starkandskinny on Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:09 am

"I don't know. I never gave it any thought. My grandmother was a traiteuse, like yourself, and my grandfather was a tent preacher - I always assumed that it was through them that the Lord cured me."
There was a short moment of staring at the bottle, thinking, before he accepted it with a nod of thanks. What more could possibly go wrong with his life? Drinking couldn't possibly make it any worse. On second thought, he had to be careful with that kind of ideas - he was still uncertain as to what his position was now that he no longer was a man of the cloth - but he certainly wasn't going to take the Devil's offered hand just yet. He wasn't raised to do so. And besides - the sip of whiskey he had earlier was already starting to affect his clarity. It was the first time he ever had a drink, after all. But then again, drinking didn't technically make you into a sinner - not really. So what the heck. He tilted his head back and gave it a try; the taste was bitter, far more bitter than the scotch, and a lot stronger, too; he almost dropped the flask, but managed handing it back to the good doctor before he was forced into another series of dry coughs.

"If I didn't know any better," he muttered underneath the hand that was covering his mouth, "I'd think that was poison, brother." There were a few more small coughs and it took him a moment or two to regain his breath, but after the initial burning in his mouth and throat were gone, he started feeling better again. Well, aside from the slights sense of dizziness.
Could he revive himself? Could he have done that since he was born? Probably not. But even if he could - he doubted he wanted to make a show out of it. For one, it was just pushing your luck - the fact that the Lord had abandoned him seemed to suggest that He wouldn't be willing to repeatedly give Job his life back - just enough times in order to keep him away. Furthermore - the pain of dying wasn't something he wanted to relive; not more than was absolutely required of him - which was twice, so far. It wasn't something he'd want to experience on a daily basis. And besides, there was just something... ungodly about it - paying to watch a man being killed, then revived. Or rather, getting yourself killed purposely just for the sake of strangers' entertainment.

He sat entirely still and watched as the doctor reached for his brow, and listened silently as he spoke. He wasn't exactly used to human contact in general - but there was something more to the other man's touch, something soft and intimate - which left him, more than anything, confused. His initial instinct told him to pull back and away from Isaiah's reach, maybe even push his hand away; but something else - the booze, perhaps - left him frozen in his seat, holding his breath until the man retracted his hand back.
He had to wonder if Isaiah was trying to pull his leg. If he was trying to embarrass him for his own entertainment. He was getting the sense that that wasn't the case, though, which was making him even more uncomfortable than before. The thought of it made him shudder. He kept his mouth shut, however. It wasn't like he was in any position to complain or criticize other people's way of life - furthermore, he didn't want to insult his host. The good doctor was, after all, trying to be kind - and he did quite literally save Job from death.
"I uh... thank you, I suppose." He finally retorted, feeling this was the perfect time to put his undershirt back on. He pulled it over his head and unconsciously ran a hand through his own hair, pushing the dark blonde strands away from his eyes. He almost asked if that was better, but decided against it before he could even open his mouth. If this was what alcohol made you do, he wasn't sure he liked it that much. He had to say something else before anything so weird could escape his lips. "Why have we stopped?"

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