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River Grayson

The half-lit territories of the street and the heart are savage and full of risk.

0 · 404 views · located in Seattle, Washington

a character in “Wolves Reign: Blood Moon”, as played by Caged Bird

Description

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ABOUT RIVER

AGE ; EIGHTEEN

SPECIES ; MONGREL

HEX CODE ; #979FAD

SEXUALITY ; HETERO

TROPE ; THE HARD HEART

FAMILY ; FATHER, MOTHER

FACE CLAIM ; LYDIA GRAHAM

ETHNICITY ; THAI, CAUCASIAN

FEARS ; BEING DISCOVERED

SONG ; RESCUE MY HEART

STRENGTH ; FORTITUDE

WEAKNESS ; WITHDRAWN

DISLIKES ; PERSECUTION

LIKES ; ANONYMITY

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PERSONALITY

There’s something eerie about how quiet River is, slipping down corridors like a shadow without so much as uttering a sound. Her rare smile is slick and cold, tainted by a sadness that enshrouds her like a cloak. Those who know of her say she’s fearless, diving head first into danger, not appearing to regret it afterwards. They don't know how right and wrong they are, what it's like not caring if you live or die but having too much fearful instinct and pride to intentionally do either. Her secret weighs her down like an anchor.

She smells of flowers, like the first day of spring or more aptly a funeral.

River holds her head high, but new recruits make the mistake of thinking it's for show. They think her harmless in where they're concerned. Sharp teeth lurk beneath the curves of her lips; the dark color of her chipped nail polish there to hide that of blood. She fights, hard and dirty, and cries only when she's alone. She breaks hearts and forgets she has one too. She has her way of shutting up and never ever asking for help, because she's smart enough, capable enough to handle it. Because she has to. She is her innocent face that hides the darkest mind. She is her coldness, how she has locked away her resentment to fester.

River's a white blooming rose with petals soft and enticing, but her thorns prick skin at the slightest touch. Anyone that tries to hold her tight in their fist will watch the blood drip down their hand.

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BACKGROUND


"I remember how, that night, I lay awake in the car-lit in a tender, confused misery, my burning cheek pressed against the tear stained upholstery of the backseat and the pounding of my heart mimicking that of the pistons ceaselessly thrusting the vehicle that bore me through the night, away from my old life, away from the gray enclosed quietude of my childhood home, into the unguessable.

My mother, even in all her speed and fervor, drove as if it was with reluctance that she might banish the specter of that grisly scene from our minds. For she had once gladly, scandalously, defiantly thrown herself into love; and on that night, her love--her gallant werewolf--had been strung from the boughs of the oak that once stood proudly in their yard, leaving his wife and child a scarring memory and legacy of tears that they'd soon discover would never quite dry."

How could you say goodbye to such a memory of the one you loved? But in the same respect, how could you not? This is supposed to be a story about River, but River isn't quite a story but rather a ghost of one that had been told before her. The story of her parents.

"I knew it then as we approached our destination...Into the ghettos, into exile; I sensed it--that, henceforth, I would always be lonely. I would always be a dirty little secret to be held at distance. 'You will be safer here,' she said to me in her resonant voice that was like the tolling of a bell and I felt, all at once, a sharp premonition of dread. She then pulled the car to a slow crawl as strange woman approached from behind a wall that we had pulled up along side of. I could see her white, broad face as if it were hovering, disembodied, above the window, illuminated from the headlights below like a grotesque carnival head. Her scent filled the compartment with a remembered wolfish fragrance that made me think of my father, how he would pull me into his warm comforting embrace, when I was younger still, before he kissed me and left me and died.

They began to speak in hushed whispers, my mother, utterly dazed and at a loss, giving a tortured account of my father's death as a bystander, not his wife. She guarded my identity even with those who were supposed to take me in, sowing the seed of a little girl that differed from me in all the ways that mattered. She, the girl, wasn't a mongrel at all, but rather the daughter of a werewolf couple who had BOTH been lynched for the simple crime of existing outside the ghettos. She was an orphan, pitied by a human neighbor who stole her away to sanctuary, thought her place to be here with her own kind. The lie tasted bitter on my tongue as I chewed it over thoughtfully. I was losing both parents in very different ways in the same night. One meeting the noose for defiling a human woman by daring to love her and granting her a child, the other abandoning me to strangers least I meet the same end.

I didn't know it at the time, but she would eventually answer for her sins as well. An unpure thing could never exist to deceive the pure into touching her and sullying their hands, after all. She'd have to wear her crime in the form of a brand, a shame that could never be washed away. As was the all too common fate for mixed race couples at the time.

A thick darkness, unlit by any star, glazed the windows. The headlights still burned, to keep the dark outside, yet it seemed still to encroach on me, to be present beside me, the night like a permeable substance that could seep into my skin. The woman hearing all she needed nodded once coldly, and came along to my door to pull me free of the metal trap and the human world. I wanted to resist, I knew it to be the last time I'd ever see my mother, but I did not. I left the remnants of the old River in my seat, for my mother to keep. The bold, happy creature who once joyfully played in the light of the sun, who loved without hesitation, whose eyes crinkled like her father's and smile blossomed like her mother's. I emerged a new being, older than her seven years and cold as the hostile environment that greeted her. To love is to lose all that you are and all that you have. It is not a sentiment worth protecting. Now I wear a wolf's mask, and fight a wolf's battles more fervently than any beast around me. I will not be that girl I left behind who I know to be less than."

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So begins...

River Grayson's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jared Geyer Character Portrait: River Grayson

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J A R E D
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"What do you mean β€œit's old”? This box was updated 50 years ago!"

In a mildewy backroom of a bungalow on 45th Street, Jared found himself faced with a rusted electrical box and an even more rusty old man. It was the second time Humphrey had called him with the complaint of sudden power outages and flickering lights.

"Exactly, and in technological terms that makes this thing a dinosaur, sir." Jared explained.

"I'm much older than this thing! Do I seem old to you?"

Humphrey looked to be about in his late 30s but his wardrobe said he was probably 100. He wore suspenders on his pants, a button-up shirt and was just a fedora away from being a Bing Crosby impersonator. But he supposed he might be able to pass for a hipster in these parts.

"Excuse me sir, I guess outdated would have been a better term." Jared said clearing his throat. He bumped his fist against the exterior of the electric box. "It’s likely it just can't support all of the appliances that are in most households nowadays... Coffee makers, toasters, microwaves..."

"I don't have no microwave, kid. Don't you know that thing uses radiation? Like an atomic bomb and you seen what the radiation did to the Japanese."

He had a feeling anyone under the age of 50 was a kid in his book.

"Right…" Jared rubbed his forehead and thought. "How about I do a test than… May I turn off the power and take a look at the meter?"

"Sure, meter’s in back." Humphrey chin gestured through the screen door to the backyard.

Jared switched the circuit breaker off and went into the backyard. The yard was just as poorly maintained as the inside, it was mostly dark clay mud with patches of grass and scrap metal. A makeshift chicken coop of corrugated sheet metal and plywood was set up in the corner and the emaciated chickens inside clucked wearily at him as he went by. He squished over to the meter towards the rear chain link fence and inspected it.

There was nothing tampered with but the needle was still spinning in the meter just as he suspected.

He scratched the back of his head, someone, likely one of the neighbors, was siphoning electricity somehow. He walked along one side of the house and hoisted aside a rusted car hood and a full set of mattress springs to find an outlet with an extension cord coming out of it that burrowed down beneath the mud. He pulled it up a little to see which direction it went and followed it, hopping the short chain link fence into the yard next door.

The bungalow on the other side was a little smaller than Humphrey’s and its windows were shuttered closed and quiet. He saw where the cord resurfaced out of the ground and disappeared through a small drilled hole in the exterior shingles. As he stood there thinking of what to do, he had the sensation of someone watching him and looked to the window above his head where he saw the closed blinds swaying as if they had just been touched.

Someone was home.

He thought he didn't get paid enough to deal with neighborhood relations. Yet two werewolves fighting for resources could spark a nasty conflict and the once Beta in him still couldn't help sticking himself in the middle to keep that from happening.

Humphrey probably didn't know the outside outlet existed judging by how little the backyard was used and he could have just unplugged the extension cord and called it good. The whole block was owned by the same landlord who charged a flat rate for utilities so the bill wasn't an issue, but Jared had no desire to come back for the same complaint over and over into the foreseeable future when the electricity thief plugged it in again or perhaps found a sneakier way to steal power.

He didn't even know who lived in this house, it could have been a bigger and antsier werewolf than Humphrey. Still he marched to the front porch of the bungalow and gave the door three hard knocks.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jared Geyer Character Portrait: River Grayson

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R I V E R
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River floated in and out of her atelier all morning, visiting the kitchen to top off or reheat her coffee as the need arose. The soft humming of the servers accompanied by the faint padding of bare feet across the hardwood floor was comforting. She was enjoying the rare, quiet moment bathed in the cool glow of the monitors. Most days, the neighborhood was alive with obstreperous beasts who wouldn't know peace and quiet if they were smacked over the head with it. Hard. Today was the odd exception.

She took a long sip from the steaming cup cradled in both of her hands, propping herself up against the door frame with a well-placed shoulder. Her connection here within the confines of the ghetto walls was...well it sucked. She was tapping into the power from her neighbor's neglected line and still it would be another millennia before the download was finished.

River was considered an odd wolf by most. Quiet, thoughtful, intellectual. Though, she has razor blades for teeth when provoked.

It wasn't that werewolves as whole lacked intelligence. On the contrary, knowledge was usually a by product of time which they had plenty of since they were - in essence - ageless. It was technology that they were at odds with. Their whole lives were regulated by passes and chips, things unseen. Computer sciences was somewhat like religion to them in that it was summed up as something they didn't understand and feared. If only they saw the artistry of it. River's workshop was no cathedral, but to her it was just as beautiful...no, more so. It was a chancel for change, a doorway to freedom for a fortunate few.

A mongrel with no natural place to belong to had found a small corner in her world where she could be useful, wanted, and appreciated. Praetor Lupus needed someone like her, and that made her invaluable. She took another sip. Not that anyone knew she was a mongrel, that was her little secret. Mongrels didn't last long in ghetto Harlow.

Just then, no sooner than the notion to check her progress had occurred, some creature could be heard blundering about outside her place. Her head snapped in the direction of her blinded window. It was more than likely nothing, a sound only marked as odd or significant because of the unusual lack of noise, but her work made her paranoid and for good reason. Were she ever caught...She idled close, pulling a single blind down to peer out into the yard. The aberration met her gaze and River leapt back in surprise. What the fuck?! This was no unruly child crossing fenced barriers like they were lines on a hopscotch court. She hovered in place for a second too long, unsure if she should abandon her work altogether and scurry out the back. The creature decided for her.

A hard knock sounded at her front door and nearly made River jump out of her own skin. She clutched her drink a little too firmly as a growl rattled underneath her breath. Patrolmen? Couldn't be...who would be ballsy enough to tip them off and risk the ire of the rebellion? River stealthily sidled up to the front entrance, resting the mug on the nearby entry way table before peering through the peephole to get a better look at him. A man about her age, or appearing to be anyways, stood before her. He looked innocuous enough, and was not any official she recognized. It was too difficult to scent whether he was human or beast through the door. She cast a furtive glance back to her atelier before she made up her mind.

She deftly turned over about a hundred locks before she wretched the door open, straining the chain that kept it from opening more than an inch or two. Her body blocked the view of the inside of her place.

"What do you want." It sounded less like a question and more like an accusation the way she hurled it at him.