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Showing content with the highest reputation on 11/26/2021 in Posts

  1. She was neither wroth nor ravaged by grief. The petite French girl watched, distant, and listened, attentive to the grieving family and friends of the departed. She felt rather calm, and truth be told, still a tad bitter. Kat had not been given much time to create any other sort of bond with Charlie than that of two teens sharing a similar, stressful situation - with its lot of perils, as the past days had shown. Today was a testimony to that very fact. However, no matter how little she knew him, he was - had been - she mentally corrected, one of them, and that itself justified the faint, but creeping sadness she could sense growing inside, fueled by the aching maelstrom of feelings twirling around the coffin, very much in contrast with the actual weather. The least she could do was to stand here, today, next to his, her friends. She winced and sucked on her own cheek, wrestling for control over her restless self. If she had to name one very unpleasant thing to her, it would have been to stand still. Her enhanced emotional radar was not helping at all. Fortunately, Devin's kind words provided her with a welcome, but barely adequate distraction. She swallowed, the saliva barely making its way past the now tight lump in her throat. Her distraught eyes stopped on a familiar face. Courtney was standing slightly apart from the bulk of the small crowd, humid eyes over the thin cherry line of her lips. Whether it was the ambiance, enhanced by their senses, or actual grief, both telepaths were holding it together, but Kat wasn't far from losing it, growing paler by the minute. The petite French girl squeezed her father's hand. "I'm... not feeling so good," she whispered with an unsteady voice. Josh squeezed her hand back, and they both turned away from the burial toward their car, one leaning on the stalwart frame of the other.
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  2. Cade stood with his family, listening through everything, all the words said to mourn his friend, who'd been taken from them by a malevolent force who'd possessed another child from the town, and forced yet more children to take that child's life to halt the spread of the evil that was growing here. It was so surreal, but Cade knew it to be true, he'd fought the horrors, alongside the fellowship. He'd seen the other world, had seen the horrors there, and had attacked Cody with the intention to take his life. There was a part of them that wouldn't let that go. He listened as Devin spoke, and allowed the ghost of smile to curl his lips. What Devin had said was completely true, and Cade envied the ease with which Devin expressed his feelings, letting go of the facade he wore the rest of the time, and was just honest. It was refreshing, and he made a mental note to thank him for that later. Everyone was there, standing with their families, and he felt a hand on his back small, gentle,almost like it wasn't there. That was his mother's, and he looked down, and she was trying to hold back her tears. Seeing one of her son's friends being lowered into the ground, after learning that this really could have happened to any of the children, that she could have lost her own son, it was very hard for Miyakko. her other hand was wrapped around Haruka's shoulders, and his sister held her mother's hand. He felt a larger hand squeeze his right shoulder, and knew that was his Father. Never one for a public display of affection, Some of the same thoughts were going through Ian's mind. He'd known about his son's activities since the hospital attack, and still, he hadn't stopped him. He could have lost his son, any number of them could have died, and there was nothing he with his training, his skill, could have done to prevent it. He felt the gaze of some in the crowd, knowing they sought answers for how this happened, why he as Sheriff hadn't prevented it. He couldn't have, to hear the kids tell of it. Even they didn't know until it had happened, long after anyone could have saved his life. Cade reached up and squeezed his dad's hand reassuringly, before dropping it to his side. They would keep fighting, keep training, and keep Living. The Fellowship had lost one of their own, and each mourned Charlie in their own way. Outwardly, Cade's face had returned to an imperturbable neutral mask, even if inwardly, he cursed his inability to protect his friend. If anyone bothered to look, they'd see the hint of resolve in his eyes. "Nobody Else." He said softly, so much that Even Ian had only barely heard it. Cade knew he didn't really have powers like the rest of them, but that wasn't going to stop him from doing whatever he could do to stand alongside his friends.
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  3. He didn't feel nothing. When compared to the emotional, mercurial Jauntsens, to his warmly passionate girlfriend, even to the very humanly logical Sean and Cassandra, it was easy to glance at the unperturbed, grave features of Jason Bannon as he studied all the graveside mourners and assume him to be untouched by this moment. It was not the case, but only those that knew him would understand that he did register the loss of Charlie, that his perfect recall was replaying every moment spent in the other teen's company. Every word, every inflection, every smile and laugh from every gaming session or movie hangout at Sean's house flickered before his mind's eye like a movie reel. He'd never been close to Charlie - never really had the chance to be. Most of their association had been with the mask that Jase had worn for the last eight years between him and the world. He'd spent the most time with Sean, and the other young genius might have perceived more to Bannon just from proximity, whereas Charlie had spent at most a few hours a week in his company. Only after the summer break, when everything had gotten weird, had Charlie ever really interacted with Jase, and despite the chilling, off-putting manner of the lanky teen, Charlie had tried several times to understand. Perhaps he, like Autumn, could have been a bridge to Jase understanding the strangely erratic behaviour of those around him. And now he was gone, murdered, his spirit devoured by a for-real monster. Jason didn't grieve, but he did register the loss, did regret the waste and the weakening of his circle. As when he'd heard the news of Charlie's murder, he acknowledged that he should have checked on his friend when he'd not answered his calls, should have driven over there and knocked on the door the way he'd done when Sean hadn't turned up. Perhaps if he had, Charlie would be alive. Or perhaps not. There was no logical way to know the truth of that; the only truth Jason knew was that he'd left his friend alone with their girlfriend for a weekend, and now they were dead. That was another thing, too. Charlie, next to him, had possessed perhaps the most combat-capable power set, and yet was dead. He must have been taken completely unawares, perhaps frozen for a moment from fear or indecision. The parallel was not lost on the young Teulu. He, too, had almost been killed without even understanding what was happening. And yet he had survived, and Charlie was dead. Luck, perhaps - his assailants had been mortal human beings, Charlie's an undying elder wraith. How would he, Jason, have fared if Cody/Arawn had come to the farmhouse that night, or even upon him and Autumn the prior night in the woods? Pride told him that he would not have died easily... but perhaps that was merely pride, or his instinct to fight speaking, and not logic. He listened as Devin said a few words, head cocked. The male Jauntsen seemed utterly sincere, entirely at odds with his usual flippancy. Why should he not be, though? Devin likely felt as responsible as Jase did for not checking on Charlie, or not doing something sooner - he just lacked Bannon's detachment from the immediacy of grief. A wry internal observer wondered if such words would have been said if the rogue marshal's bullets had placed him in the ground next to Charlie. It was hard to know with the Jauntsens, though he was reasonably certain Devin at least would not have wanted him murdered. Green eyes sought the pale, freckled face of his girlfriend next, standing nearby his father and himself with her own family, the Keanes and the Crockers both having turned up together, the adults likely feeling a mixture of relief that it was not their child in the ground, and - very humanly - guilt for even thinking such a thing. The idea prompted Jason to look at his own father, sober and grave in his dark suit, his eyes fixed on the coffin. Was his dad also experiencing that sensation? Probably. Likely most of the parents were, just like most of the other children would be glad it wasn't them. As the service ended, and the knots of people broke up, Jase gave his father a brief one-armed hug, prompting the burlier older man to respond with a rough bear hug of his own. "You okay?" Gar looked into his son's face, noting again the pale scar of the assassin's bullet. He didn't know why he asked - of course Jason was likely okay. Gar, on the other hand, really wanted a drink. "I'm fine." the lanky youth reassured his dad calmly, frozen jade eyes intent on the older man's face. "Are you?" "Need a drink. Will settle for a coffee though." Gar replied, quirking a smile. Father and son turned, heading away from the grave in step, taking their time and each deep in thought.
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  4. Marissa was overjoyed that it wasn’t raining. The cloudless sky and slight, worm breeze made her even more photogenic in the stunning dress she’d purchased just for this one event and her heels weren’t digging into damp, muddy ground and threatening to break her ankle with every step. It was no surprise that the Jauntsens turned up like it was a fashion of show, but unlike the residents of Shelly, they possessed style and class, money and refinement. Devin and her father, Carl, were in black suits. Three-piece Panama-style to best match the summer season. Clean shaven, with product in their hair and a well-cut suit, the two men looked great as single women and students, and some not-so-single women and students, would attest to in their DMs later all over Shelly’s social media circuit. Those same DMs would contain mostly spite and vitriol hidden carefully in back-handed compliments towards the Jauntsen women. Misti had decided on a knee-length leather pencil skirt with a blouse and suit jacket that complimented the ensemble perfectly. Marissa specially ordered an off-the-shoulder sweater dress, similar to the one she wore the evening before, that hugged her body so tightly in may as well had been brushed on using paints mixed from the jealousy and envy of the assembled onlookers. Her makeup was impeccably flawless, with her trademark dark maroon lips. She’d opted for her hair up in a tight bun, to better show off the curves of her bare shoulders. Marissa wasn’t really feeling the funeral. That’s not to say she didn’t mourn for Charlie, she did. His death was a tragedy and served as a stark reminder to the Fellowship that the stakes they were playing for were very real and the price they paid could be the ultimate one. Still, she didn’t know Charlie, not like Devin did. Devin and Charlie has actually talked, shared a joke or two; had at least bonded on some level. The one, and only, time Marissa had tried to bond with him (she did find him kind of attractive) he’d just simply stopped talking to her all together, resulting in her leaving their breakfast date in a confused and very frustrated state of mind about him. He passed on shortly after and they’d never had a chance to resolve their issues, and now they never would. Unlike Devin, she didn’t see that a negative. It wasn’t her fault he ghosted her in the middle of their breakfast date. His loss, not hers. Although still fighting with him, she hugged her brother as he returned from his kind words. When Charlie’s mother looked at her, as if to ask if she had anything to add, Marissa replied with a rather heartless, “I’m good.” With a dismissive raise of her hand and a stiff frown. She’d already cried her tears over Charlie’s loss and had ample time to recall how he’d behaved and frankly, she was already over it. It was tragic and sad, yes… but she didn’t know him at all. The whole service felt like one big stranger telling her their grandparent had passed; all she could do was say she was sorry for their loss and get on with her life. She knew her brother was sincere, she, on the other hand, could have mustered a kind word to save her life right now. What would she say? “He was weird, awkward and mercilessly sliced people apart under the responsible guidance of Jason Bannon without any compassion. He’ll be missed.” She didn’t want to lie though. He wouldn’t be missed. Here she was, at his funeral, already having moved on and thoroughly bored. Maybe if he hadn’t ghosted her, he wouldn’t be one right now. That was unfair. She breathed in and slowly and softly sighed, trying to clear those sorts of thoughts from her head. Charlie was a decent guy, she guessed, and she knew that her anger towards the Fellowship and her brother were just making her spiteful for the sake of spite, and why did Tawny show up without any makeup on? She thought she taught the girl better than that. After a few more words from other people began to clear out for the gathering of free food and pointless conversation hosted at Mr. Cole’s home. No one wanted to be in Mrs. Cole’s kitchen once they discovered how Charlie’s body was found. She was considering moving since the event, finding it hard to even be in that room of her house now. Way to go, Charlie. It had to be in the kitchen, right? Not the guest bathroom, or the attic? Some room no one ever goes into. Even now, she couldn’t help but chastise him. The twins were walking away from the service when Tawny approached them. Her complexion still carrying the palette of weariness and near-death tirelessly. “Devin?” She asked, noticing the way he didn’t even bother looking at her. “I-I was hoping we could talk.” “Well, hold on to that,” Devin said softly, not wanting to let their drama spill into the services. “Because it’s all you have left.” He turned to walk off then paused, turning back to her with his finger bobbing as a thought hit him. “And Jacob. Go talk to him. Let him tell you how none of this is your fault and I’m just immature and a waste of your time. Let him be your hero, because after fighting and bleeding and almost dying to save you, it’s obviously not me. Just pray he’s there the next time Darkness comes calling.” “You know he can’t hurt them,” tears began to well up in her eyes as the guy who had been her best friend for years, her first love, her love still, now spoke to her like she wasn’t even a person anymore. “Sounds like a you problem.” He walked off without another word and before he had to listen to any of her excuses or apologies or accusations. Marissa was an expert on cruel but watching this made her visibly wince. She’d never seen Devin so callous and cruel except to those who undoubtably deserved it, like Chet’s cousin when he black mailed her earlier that year. She would never admit that she had romanticized about Devin and Tawny finally getting their chance to be together. Whether it worked out or not, no one could deny that as far as couples went, they were an adorable pairing. That dream was going up in flames quickly, like Autumn in a weed field quickly. “He hates me.” The blonde’s tearing eyes met Marissa’s and all she could do was exhale softly and put on a faux smile. “Give him time,” she said, not really believing herself. As a fellow Jauntsen twin, she knew how proficient they were at holding, and enforcing, grudges. “We’ve all been through a lot. I’m not trying to minimize anything you’ve been through, but we’ve gone and are going through quite a bit too. We’re all a mess.” Wiping the tears from her eyes with a tissue she’d been given at the service, it barely helped. “Are we?” “Yeah, we’re fine.” Marissa deciphered the code of the unasked question of Tawny wondering if Devin hated her, did that mean she hated her too? “As long as I’m not some gateway for you to see or repair things with my brother. This one is between you two, I’ not getting in the middle of it.” They both knew that was a lie, but still traumatized blonde Marissa had called a neighbor and friend for years threw her arms around her. Marissa managed a genuine smile, her first in days as holding Tawny reminded her that she was still alive because of what she and her brother and the others accomplished together. The world was certainly falling apart if her line of thought was to suddenly act as a voice of reason. Swiftly she caught up to her brother. Neither stopped, they just walked as she talked. “That was shitty, and you know damn well it was.” “What do you care?” He shot back, never even taking his eyes off the path that led to their car. “Just one more body on the pile as you climb to the top, right?” “Fuck,” she huffed, pausing for effect. “Off.”
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  5. He wished it was raining. All those in attendance kept commenting on how gorgeous the days was and how God had cleared the skies so Charlie’s soul could find its way to heaven and all that nonsense. They kept saying how tragic it was and how such a bright light had been taken from the world far too soon. Okay, that part he could agree with. Charlie’s passing was too soon, and funerals weren’t for the departed, they were those left behind. Guilt ate away at his insides as he stood there, listening to the speaker, who obviously knew nothing about Charlie aside from what his parents had written on a few index cards. He hated that the most. Devin barely knew Charlie and yet still seemed to know more about him than this guy who was stammering and stuttering between kind words in a vain attempt to make parallels to bible verses and God’s word. It felt so disingenuous to Charlie’s memory. As stood, the sun in his face, he couldn’t recall where he was that night when was murdered. No matter how hard he thought about it, he just couldn’t remember. Was he with Tawny? At home drawing? The more he thought about it, less clear the events leading up to Charlie’s death became. He had tried to fill in the blanks so many times that now he didn’t know which his memories were accurate anymore and that just made him feel even more guilty for not being there. Logically he knew if he had been there, he’d more than likely be dead too, but he was grieving and felt like being there, even if he’d died too, would have been better than not being there at all. As the preacher preached, and the people cried, one by one he watched family and friends say a few words in remembrance, paralyzed by his guilt that he should have been there. He should have had Charlies back, they all should have, but how could they have known? That wasn’t what he wanted to tell himself. It was logical and there was no way any of them could have predicted that Charlie would be hurt; this wasn’t their fault. Inside though, he didn’t want to accept that answer either, not after last night. His fight with Tawny had left his world as bleak and dark, full of hopelessness and the harsh reality that dreams don’t come true. The angst and rage of teenage depression knew no bounds. Tawny had come to the funeral, too. Not far from him she stood silently next to Sophie. They’d been released from the hospital earlier that morning and as the whole would say, repeatedly for the next several weeks, they were so brave and courageous to drop everything and come to Charlie’s funeral so soon after all that had happened to them. Yeah, because they did so much, right? A war was raging across the cosmos, Devin now had the scars and bruises to prove it, but it was Tawny and Sophie and who were so brave because they managed to get kidnapped, cry and pass out. Great job ladies. She hadn’t put any effort into her appearance today, just a black summer-style dress that went to her knees and her long, blonde hair was worn loose over her shoulders brushed, but that was about it. Even while fuming mad at her Devin entertained more hot blonde goth fantasies than was healthy for any teenager, which he mentally blamed on her for looking so goddammed amazing. The poet in him blamed this perfect day on her, telling himself the world could never weep when a heart as warm and a smile as bright as hers could still bringing joy and warmth into the world. God, even mad at her she was still able to captivate and mesmerize him. It wasn’t fair. Nothing was fair, though, right? Life wasn’t fair. People weren’t fair. That’s why it was futile to waste time trying to make things better for everyone and he just needed to worry about himself. No one else cared, but since that was the case, he knew there was still a world to save, and he’d do it alone if he had to. He shook his mind from Tawny and straightened his jacket a bit as the last speaker finished. Devin stepped forward, approaching Charlie’s parents and silently asked them if he might go next. They both nodded, Charlie’s father seemed puzzled, knowing that Devin wasn’t apart of Charlie’s close friends. Still, neither saw the harm in it. He cleared his throat and again adjusted his jacket. The Jauntsens appeared at a formal event the way it was intended, not in jeans and boots like most of the mouth-breathing, ham-fisted residents of Shelly who showed up. Like everything in this small town, the Jauntsens made this funeral look good, classy, even. He stood and addressed those assembled. “I’m uh, Devin Jauntsen, although most of you know that already. I’ve never really lost anyone before, and this sort of thing is a new experience for me.” He took in a deep breath and sighed before continuing. “I’ve heard it said a lot today, that these services aren’t for the departed, that they’re for us. So, let’s make this about us for a moment.” Charlie’s father took a soft step, as if to ask Devin to not speak anymore and step down, fearing he might ruin the service in accordance with his reputation. Charlie’s mother, however, pinched the sleeve of his elbow, signaling to let the boy talk. “Look I, uh, I don’t really feel like I deserve to be here.” He chuckled half-heartedly. “In case some of you aren’t in the know, I picked on Charlie at school, a lot. For years I made his life at school difficult, and yet this summer he and I and some others all came together and started hanging out,” he looked shocked, like the thought of hanging out with Charlie was still something his mind couldn’t process. “None of us expected to become friends, but here we are, friends mourning a friend.” “Long and short of it, Charlie had every right and opportunity to call me out. To hate me with every fiber of his being, but… he didn’t. No matter what he was always in the moment and treated me like he wanted to be treated. He was kind, forgiving, respectful and he showed me how much of a better person he was, than I am. He set a bar that I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to live up to.” Devin coughed into his hand, as he choked on those last few words. The moisture lining his eyes wasn’t acting or some prank. “It was like the past was never as important to him as the present. Now. What was happening then and there in that moment was all that mattered to him and if I was trying to not be a jerk, he made a bigger effort to see the person I was trying to be instead of the person I was, and sometimes still am.” He swallowed down the lump in his throat and stared at the coffin, closed because there was nothing more than a bucket of memories after Not-Cody got done with him. “I never had the chance to tell him that I considered him a friend after all our hang outs and debates and even our disagreements. He was great guy and he shined brightly enough that he burned some of our darkness away before he left us.” He looked to Charlie’s parents offered them a soft smile that pleaded of some measure of forgiveness and knew the Fellowship would get the reference. “He was a great guy, and I couldn’t be sorrier for your loss.” He stepped to the casket and his next words weren’t for the gathered, but for Charlie, wherever he might have been. “I’m sorry I wasn’t there, Chuck. See you on the other side, bro.” Clearing his throat, he composed himself before walking back to where his parents and sister were waiting for him in black within the sea of black that comprised all of those Charlie knew in life. His parents and sister hugged him gently. “Well said, son.” Carl haled him tightly with one arm, trying to comfort him as well as he was able.
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