Shoveling Snow (Open)

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Shoveling Snow (Open)

Post  Nathanial Schram on Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:14 pm

Shoveling snow sucked. And it left him with entirely too much time to think. Thinking was something that wasn’t on the top ten list of things to do today, but it kept putting itself there like an annoying little brother would keep begging you to play tag. He’d been bundled into a coat, hat, scarf and gloves as soon as it was chore time and sent outside to clear the walkways. Being outside was nice, but the constant scrape and toss routine was driving him into madness. Between the talk with Ace and the regret with Ellen, the brunette was in a bad state. He wished that he could turn off his thoughts and just focus on the work, but really, it wasn’t like he was weeding where he had to pay attention. He was simply moving snow from one point to another. The other “residents” that were outside with him weren’t doing much work. Two or three others were doing what he was, heave-hoing the snow into big banks along the side of the path, the others were scooping up snow and throwing it at each other. For some reason, the staff members sent to keep an eye on them were not saying anything, at least not yet.

Nate was dragged from his thoughts when a snowball landed square on his back with enough force to pitch him forward slightly. He dropped his shovel and scooped up snow to retaliate, loading up the face of some kid that was grinning a bit to happily with a nice chunk of cold and wet packed snow. That wiped the smile off the kid’s face, and Nate smirked, turning back to the chore at hand, and the ever-disturbing thoughts. How could he have done that to Elln? Sure, he was angry, but really, he could have stopped himself, he had more control than to give in right? Apparently not. It bothered him to no end that he’d given in to what had happened. How was Ellen ever going to deal with it? What if she told on him? Sure, he’d given Keziah a drawing to give to Ellen, but he couldn’t be sure that it would get to her, or that she’d take it for what it was. This situation was just screwed.

Of course, it was no more screwed than Ace. What was he going to do about that? At least Ellen made sense. Ace was..what was Ace? That was an excellent question that he had yet to find the answer to. He wanted to say that Ace was an aberration, a momentary attraction that had to do with being so willing to let Nate exorcise his demons on the oriental boy’s skin. But it was more than that. There was this simmering connection that he didn’t understand. It confused him and the more he thought about it, the more he wasn’t sure what he wanted.These were supposed to be the best times of his life, if you listened to adults, and he was stuck at this place, shoveling snow, and wondering which way his sexuality currently leaned. Oh, you bet this was the best time of his life. You bet your ass it was.

He finished the whole shovel and fling routine, and leaned on the arm of the shovel to look out over the snowy vista that presented itself. He prayed for some sort of distraction, because without markers and with his fingers taped up, he was soon to be in dire straits. Footsteps sounded near him and he looked around to see who was coming.
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Nathanial Schram

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Re: Shoveling Snow (Open)

Post  Laura Richardson on Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:54 pm

Laura was out in the snow, enjoying the crunch noise that the snow made under her feet. She hadn’t remembered that bit, or that snow came in powdery kinds and crunchy kinds, or that black ice wasn’t necessarily black. It apparently came in path-colour as well, as she’d found out as soon as she trod on it, falling over and grazing her knee again. After checking for blood and deciding that walking in the snow was probably a safer option, she’d gone back to crunching even though her shoes seemed to have developed some kind of leak that was making her socks soggy. She didn’t mind though, she could just pretend she was a polar bear or a penguin or an arctic fox or a leopard seal, although she didn’t like them as much. They looked a bit scary. Weddle seals were nice though, and they looked cuddly and they stayed all the time and made their own breathing holes stay open with their teeth, which Laura thought was a very good idea. Breathing was good no matter what kind of animal you were.

She was feeling a bit better now things were less scary and strange, and she was sort of glad her chores were in the kitchen now, because she was sure she’d try very hard to shift snow but it was heavy. And then she’d probably try to make something with it and forget she had to move it and then people would get cross. And inside was warm, and she could even feel her nose in there. Well, in as much as anyone could ever feel their nose. She crunched happily up to the boy who was taking a break and bounced a couple of times for more crunchiness, even though this seemed to squelch her socks and feet and things, which was a funny feeling. She waved at him and smiled. She wanted to talk to him, he seemed nice. And he was shifting snow and she sort of wanted to help but she didn’t want to get it wrong.

“Hello.” She wasn’t sure she had any idea what his name was, so she turned her attention to the snow heap. “It looks like a snow bear, or a snow… lion. If that was the head…” She pointed and bounced a bit more, wondering if she should draw a snow lion when she got back inside and had wrung out her sock. “I’m Laura. I like your snow lion.” She leaned down to pat it, which took a little more effort than usual because of the eleventeen layers and her coat. She was fairly sure her scarf had caught on something in there, but never mind. She’d decided that snow was fun, no matter what the past little while had been like. It had made everything all white and twinkly and pretty. “Do you like snow?”
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Re: Shoveling Snow (Open)

Post  Nathanial Schram on Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:29 am

The crunching footsteps heralded the arrival of a blonde girl, bundled up against the cold. She reminded him of Randy in A Christmas Story. A small smile crossed his lips at her bouncing and waving. If you could mix Tigger and Randy, you'd have this girl. She was adorable in a younger relative sort of way and he could feel his mood rising just from the sheer joy she projected. Whatever she was in Highgrove for, she wasn't letting it get her down. He admired that, it was hard not to let this place get to you. He knew it was getting to him. Stupid house, stupid chores, stupid snow.

The cheery voice broke into his thoughts and he tried to see whatever it was she saw in the random pile of snow he'd made at the edge of the path. He tried to make out what she was indicating, but saw nothing. Perhaps it was a lack of imagination, or simply the fact that he knew it wasn't meant to be anything. It was just a random pile of snow, flung by the shovel from section A onto section B. Nothing special or planned about it. She patted the spot she'd decided was the head of the lion, and he shook his head slightly, another smile taking up residence on his face.

"Hi Laura, I'm Nate. I didn't mean for it to be a lion, but I like that you have the ability to see what it could be." He paused, looking back over the yard and the path he'd managed to clear so far. "At this moment, I don't like snow very much, but I'm sure its just because of all the shoveling I've been doing." Indeed, his line stretched all the way back up the path, a bit crooked, but it showed all the work he'd been doing. Several other lines stretched up the partially cleared path, but no one else had made it as far as he did. Most of the other boys who had been assigned the duty were busy trampling through the snow and throwing snowballs at each other.

"Do you like snow?" The girl seemed happy enough to be out here, so it was likely she did, but it was worth asking. "Did you get through the blackout alright?" He knew he'd seen her in the activities room when it became the general dorm, but he'd been so busy trying to get a few words in with Ace and avoid Ellen, that he'd not really had the chance to talk to anyone else or get to know them.
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Re: Shoveling Snow (Open)

Post  Laura Richardson on Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:42 pm

She giggled and patted the snow lion again, glad this nice boy didn’t seem to hate her. “Maybe you’ll like it more when you get inside and all warm? I think I like snow more when it’s not in my shoe.” She wiggled the appropriate foot in Nate’s direction, catching herself just before she fell over. “I think I like snow. I don’t like the cold too much though, because it makes me not able to feel my ears.” She thought about this for a moment. “Can you usually feel your ears?” She couldn’t remember what ears felt like. She was glad she had some though, she liked music and listening to things about animals and the crunchy snow. And talking to people! It was hard to talk to people if you couldn’t hear them.

Spinning in a circle to see what pattern it made in the snow, Laura grinned up at Nate. “It was scary, I forgot where everything is, so I went up lots and lots of stairs and I found a door and I sat there, but it was very cold. I had to hide when I heard people coming because they might accidentally touch me in the dark, but it was really really cold. I thought my toes might fall off, but then the grown ups came and found me. And then I got warmer and now I feel lots better. What did you do? Was it fun?” Hopping about, Laura experimented with various shapes of holes in the snow. It didn’t occur to her that this might seem strange; she just wanted to try it and see. It had been a really, really long time since she’d played in snow. And she’d never played with anyone else in snow, and it was exciting but very strange at the same time. It was like a fluffy puddle.

“What’s your favourite colour? I like snow, but white’s not my favourite colour. I think it might be green today, or purple. Spring is like green snow isn’t it? Only less wet and cold. And plants eat from it.” She didn’t think snow was the same, even if it was an insulator and made under the ground more or less the same temperature. It didn’t feel like an insulator to her, it was cold, but apparently they kept plants ok so they didn’t die and when it melted all the plants and animals could drink it. Now she came to think of it, they were probably drinking the snow storm right now. That was a funny thought, but good too. “Do you think snow knows things?” Ira said broccoli knew things. She was doing her best not to eat that any more, not that she’d needed a lot of encouragement in the first place. “Do you like broccoli?”
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Re: Shoveling Snow (Open)

Post  Nathanial Schram on Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:50 pm

Nate blinked at the girl. He wasn’t quite sure what to make of her now, although he wondered why she didn’t go inside and get better shoes if hers had snow in them. As he continued to watch her antics, he realized she didn’t bring on any visions at all, and he began to relax. Perhaps it was the child-like way she put herself forward, but he was glad to find someone else that didn’t trigger all the crazy thoughts. She kept talking about snow, and he couldn’t seem to shake the dumbfounded feeling that his brain was going through. Laura was nice, that much was obvious, but he was a bit puzzled as to how to answer the questions she was putting forth. Finally, he tried, his voice still full of the confusion he was dealing with. “I think normally you don’t feel your ears, but when you go inside after the cold, the blood flows through them more, so they warm up, and then you feel them for a little while.”

He found her story a bit sad. To be so alone on such a dark night as the blackout must have been rather frightening for this cheery girl. As she continued to talk and hop like Tigger on speed, Nate wondered even more why she was here at Highgrove. She broke the pattern of what to expect, and he wasn’t all that sure he was alright with that. You never knew what to expect from people who broke the pattern of normalcy in whatever you happened to call life. “I went to a dorm and stayed under the covers.” Alright, that wasn’t all that he’d done, but it was enough to share. He was not going to think about what he had done. It tore at him. Perhaps he should turn himself in for it?

Her topic changed as she did, quickly, and without much transition. She set him off balance, and the ordered person inside of him didn’t like that, but the child inside him recognized a kindred spirit and wouldn’t let him walk away. Once again, he found himself blinking and he tried to keep up as her conversation changed. “Red is my favorite color, but I don’t think spring is like green snow. Spring is just green.” Nate found that he liked springtime, it was much warmer and more pleasant than winter. He liked seeing the flowers poking through and adding color to the green waves of grass. Her next question brought laughter into the air from the brunette boy. “No, I don’t think snow knows things. I’m pretty sure its just frozen water. And yes, as a matter of fact, I do like broccoli.”

Nate was one of those few people who liked vegetables. Well, most vegetables. Not zucchini or squash. He shivered just thinking about it. All mushy and stringy inside, it was just gross. “Why don’t you like broccoli?” He was guessing that she didn’t due to her asking, but he could be wrong. He guessed he’d have to wait and see if she proved him wrong. This little encounter was turning out to be quite entertaining, if a bit confusing at times. Overall though, Laura was nice enough, and it was good to be able to look at someone rather than at the ground all the time.
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