Alone In The Dark (Open)

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Alone In The Dark (Open)

Post  Josephine St. James on Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:00 pm

Day in and out Josie walked among the living, pretending to be just another girl stuck in a system. Her routine was out of habit more than anything else and she didn’t think about things like eating or sleeping as something she no longer needed to do. Even breathing still came as naturally as they did the morning she died all those years ago. They were necessary to keep up the illusion of life but it was more than that. These actions held some comfort to the dead girl. They allowed her to still cling to a few shreds of what she had and in her darkest hours allow for the foolish hope that one day she would wake up and be alive again. Rationally, Josie knew that her days were done and there was no going back. This was her world now and it ended at the gates of Highgrove House. She knew she should be thankful for even this much for it was unlikely that many who died got to linger. Then again, how many people had she met in her life? How many of them could have been in the same state as she was now? The humans of Highgrove had no idea she was dead so how could she have known if she’d bumped into one while at the cinema or in the very building she’d lived in? There were many lifeless idiots that talked of being trapped in that housing complex. Any one of them could be telling the truth.

On most days, when around the beautiful residents and staff that walked these halls, Josie was her usual self. She felt like the most beautiful girl in the world when all eyes turned to her, staring at her with want. She thrived off that attention and it pushed her forward, made her want to see another day so that she could do it all again. So each night when she climbed into her bunk and pulled her blankets up over her she thought of these things. They put a smile on her makeup free lips and as she closed her eyes she pictured them all, imagining the way their eyes traced her curves. It lulled her to sleep and allowed her to wake the next morning with a skip to her step and a sparkle in her eye.

But Josie sat upright with a start, blue eyes wide and out of focus as they stared down through her bed to the floor. Her chest heaved with heavy breathing and she had to press a pale hand to her mouth to silence the whimpers that threatened to escape. She did not have nightmares often, in fact she barely dreamt at all. At least, not that she ever remembered. On this night she would not sleep peacefully, as if in death, and wake revived to face the living. Instead she would slide quietly from her bed and vanish from sight under the cover of darkness. With the other girls sound asleep no one would see her fade out and creep from the room into the slumbering house. She had no idea what time it was, only that the moon shone brightly in a black sky and put the tiny twinkling stars to shame. Sometime after midnight, she figured, and continued through the house to find a place to hide. She didn’t want to lay awake in that room full of living girls, think about how they would eventually grow up and move on. They would leave her behind and Josie would be forced to become invisible, watch the world evolve around her.

She remained invisible until she’d crept back up to the old ward, her favorite haunt as it were. Although she hadn’t been up much since the day Branbury caught her with Nate, she still felt a pull toward it. When she needed to be alone this was where she went to. She spent so much time here invisible that the creeping feeling that she was not truly by herself was almost comforting. She returned to her solid, corporeal state smiled into the darkness of the room. “Hope you don’t mind some company…” She whispered into the assumed empty room, her bare feet padding through the layer of dust on the old wooden floor. She tugged the hem of her black tank top down over her stomach, adjusting her cotton shorts. In this state of undress, and with no makeup, she felt more exposed to the world that she ever had. Or at least more than she’d ever allowed herself to feel or acknowledged. The wall of bravado kept her safe from feeling as bad about herself as others thought she should.

Josie lowered herself slowly onto the edge of the bed she’d been on, eyes slowly drifting around the room until they settled on the spot where Branbury had stood when he said nothing. Alabaster arms slipped around her slender torso, not from the cold but for comfort. Maybe she really had no self worth like they all said. Maybe she was just a slut who would never be loved. What does it matter? You’re dead. It’s not like anyone will be waiting for you at the altar. Her eyes closed as she argued with herself, wondering which side of her was right. Or were they both wrong? If so, what was she? Why bother making friends? They’ll never be able to look you up in ten years to see how you’re doing. You’ll never attend their weddings, their funerals…hell, they’ve all missed yours. She breathed out a breath to fight off the emotion that was threatening to show on her usually charming face. This was not her. She did not get down on herself like this. She tried to throw up the usual smile, the playful look that melted hearts. But even without being able to see it she knew it was a shadow of what it usually was. It was just...dead.

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Re: Alone In The Dark (Open)

Post  Rueben Westwood on Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:26 am

Rueben had been kicked out of the stables that day...again. Each time he set foot in the place, his presence was greeted by flaring nostrils, tossing manes and restless hooves, signs of mysterious displeasure from the animals within. The irate stablemaster or the residents helping out would take one look at him, look around at the equine rebellion beginning in the stalls around them, and then send him away. He didn't know what the horses didn't like about him; was it his smell, the colors he wore, did they just dislike his face? Furthermore, he didn't know why he felt compulsed to return to the stables over and over. There was nothing there for him. Horses were dumb, filthy, smelly, needy; the building itself stank of shit and animal and hay, an offensive smell to a boy born and raised in the heart of a city. Why would he ever want to go there? Yet he did, he couldn't help it, he wanted to see it, wanted to be inside the building, even if he got kicked out every time. Even if he almost gave the horses a collective coronary merely by existing. The pull was stronger than the aversion and the consequences.

The night, true to form and to the theme of the day, began with restless sleep, broken by an ugly nightmare about horses, horses stampeding, horses heaving and heavy and all around him. He couldn't count the number of times he woke up, breathing heavily, sweating, and then fell back into the tortured sleep, the dream continuing, a neverending loop of running, kicking horses. Finally, he sat up, the blanket on his bed twisted around him like a malicious snake, feeling like he'd been hit by a truck. Or trampled by horses. Instinctively, he scrabbled to the left side of his bed until he remembered that he was quite alone and didn't have to worry about bumping his aunt and waking her up. Climbing down off the top bunk to the floor, Rueben looked around the room. He considered crawling into bed with Milton, or, hell, even Cecil -- he seemed pretty drugged up, he probably wouldn't even notice. But that thought didn't appeal to him for some reason. He had to get out of this room, which suddenly seemed stifling.

Rueben had never had any problem sneaking out at night. Wiping palms that seemed like they should have been sweaty on his green pajama pants, he slipped through the door, down the dark, silent corridors, moving as fast as he dared without being caught. It felt like he was walking down the same hall repeatedly, looping back on itself, a pointless ramble that would never take him anywhere. It was terrifying. He wanted to run for some reason, run as fast as he could for as long as he could, but he knew that that would be a mistake. He'd just get himself caught. The hollow feeling that had been chasing him for weeks was fast catching up; Rueben wasn't used to not being able to fill the abyss inside of him with drugs and sex. Nothing seemed to be assuaging this onslaught of melancholy, and it perturbed him. He instinctively made his way to the most secluded place he knew; the old ward in the attic. People hardly ventured there in the day, let alone in the middle of the night. He slipped in, feeling nearly invisible in the moonlit gloom. It was nice to be alone for once, alone in the -- wait, was he alone? Peering into the attic, taking a few more steps, he realized that he had been mistaken. There was a girl sitting on a bed, white in the blackness, looking pure and clean and...like just what he needed.

"What're you doing up here so late?" he purred from the darkness, a false confidence that he wasn't feeling seeping into his voice. "Couldn't sleep?" He moved closer, sitting on the bed beside her without a second thought. "I know the feeling." For some reason this girl seemed like a godsend, a boon from whatever god looked after people like Rueben; he didn't want to waste his opportunity, even thought he felt like several yards of old leather stapled together on a rickety human form. He restrained himself from hasty action and instead smiled a somewhat tired smile; it wasn't going to be hard to garner sympathy in this state.


Last edited by Rueben Westwood on Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Alone In The Dark (Open)

Post  Josephine St. James on Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:33 pm

The echo of the footsteps on the stairs tore down the fake smiles and for a moment Josie sat perfectly still, bright eyes locked on the doorway. Until now she had been sort of hoping someone would find her up here, be there to comfort her in her hour need and all that, but now that someone was here she was praying for them to turn back around. Any member of Highgrove staff who found her wouldn’t give two shits if she had nightmares and couldn’t sleep. They’d only see a troublemaker and they’d send her right back down. She’d probably get notes in her file, maybe a night in seclusion, and then never hear the end of it from Branbury. If he’s speaking to me, that is. She actually kinda hoped that it would be him, or Simeon. They would understand the nightmares. It was almost like dying all over again with how real they felt. She wished they would stop but what could she do? It wasn’t like it was some subconscious fear of death or anything. This couldn’t be head shrunk out of her. The events that played behind her closed eyelids had really happened and her dreams seemed to be determined to never let her forget. Not that she ever could anyway.

The relief that washed over Josie when her company finished climbing the stairs and rounded the corner was unparalleled. It took her a minute to make out the form in the shadows but once it clicked, there was no mistaking him. Rueben was one ghost she did not envy and each time they met she felt worse and worse for the poor guy. He made her feel blessed to be in the state that she was in. At least she knew she was dead and could make the most of it. Being mentally trapped back in time while the world evolved around you had to be confusing and frustrating as hell. How could he not notice that the world had moved on while he stayed the same? The house had to have changed even a little from back in the day. Surely Rueben would notice the faces changing year to year with the seasons. Maybe he was just that deep in denial that he wrote it all off as…something. She had no idea what. The changes in Highgrove from 1997 to now were obvious to her so it stood to reason that they’d be slapping you in the face if you were from the 60’s.

As she watched him cross the room she found that she could not have been happier to see him. It was a crime that they didn’t spent more time together given their…interests. Not to mention the fact that no one would be able to see them if they did it right. Only other ghosts could interrupt any fun they wanted to have and most of them had jobs that kept them busy. She made a vow right then and there that she would spend more time with Rueben, even if it was just to keep him company. Surely he would recognize her, having met her when she was alive and after she died. Josie remember the really sexy, even if a tad strange, boy when she arrived for her first day. She’d had her heart set on hooking up with him from day one. Now that she knew the truth about him she wished she’d done it more.

The moment he sat down Josie leaned against him, her head dropping onto his shoulder. One pale hand slid out over his thigh, resting just above the knee. He may want to take things a little slower but she needed to be close to someone right now. The physical contact was immensely comforting and if he was looking for more she’d gladly give it. It wasn’t like Josie to say no, especially to someone as good looking as he was. “Yeah…Stupid nightmares.” Josie’s head tilted some so that she could peer up at him without lifting her head. “What about you?” Her gut told her he was out and about for the same reason but she’d let him tell her. One day she’d try to clear the air for him, perhaps show him that he was dead and help him adjust.

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Re: Alone In The Dark (Open)

Post  Rueben Westwood on Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:13 pm

Something in Rueben recognized this girl, but something else in him wouldn't tell him from where, what class, what activity, what year. There were so many faces lurking in his memory, people who seemed to have no place in reality; did he dream them, hallucinate their faces during a bad trip? Were they old friends, were they kids who had left Highgrove before him? It was weird, everything was weird; he could remember being five, being ten, being fifteen, but what had already passed of 1965 seemed a little too hazy for comfort. Sometimes he would wander around the place, confused, and wonder why everything seemed so off, why he felt so hollow and brittle. It was distressing, chilling. Maybe it was the medication. Maybe he was finally going as crazy as they had thought he was to begin with. All other conundrums aside, she certainly seemed to know him even if he couldn't place her; not that her immediate friendliness was a problem. In fact, he was grateful for the contact, as it was intensely soothing just to be near another person. It would have been nice if everyone was as willing to touch as freely as she was. The frantic search for approval was exhausting, and finding it immediately somewhere was refreshing. He just wished he knew who she was and why she felt so comfortable around him already. But it didn't seem to matter as much up here in the dead of night; anyone could be anyone, a different anyone than they were during the day. Anonymity was for the dark hours, and these were the darkest of them, despite the persistent shining of the moon.

"I had a really awful dream...I don't really know what it meant," he said quietly, slipping his arm around her and leaning into her as well. This was nice. Maybe if he closed his eyes and just sat here with this strange girl whose name he should have known, every bad thing that had ever happened to him would melt away and he could stop feeling so bizarre, like he was seeing in fractals. It felt possible in the strangeness of the quiet midnight house. But at the same time, he knew that that was ridiculous; he didn't need fixing, he was fine the way he was. It was just the weather; winter made everyone a little crazy, right? Being stuck inside so much? Searching for an answer that was never going to come, not while he was in this state of undetected, subconscious denial, was almost as exhausting as constantly seeking out the unwavering attention of everyone around him.

Rueben moved his hand up and down her arm, a repetitive motion, a comforting gesture for himself more than for her. Whoever this girl was, she was beautiful; her hair was dark and soft-looking, her skin pale and smooth, not a single blemish to be found anywhere, her eyes shining slightly in the dark. He wanted to tell her so, but instead what came out when he opened his mouth was,

"It was about horses. There were horses all over the place, trampling me, and I couldn't get away; pretty nasty stuff. I don't really know why I would a dream like that, either...it's not like I've ever been afraid of horses before...what did you dream about, if you don't mind my asking?" The befuddled, naive tone of that statement must have been heartbreaking for the informed listener. Rueben was not aware that he was a walking tragedy. That every year, the little internal clock that kept him ticking would revert back to 1965 without fail, incompletely erasing the memories he'd made, the kids who'd phased out of Highgrove, keeping only enough fragments to confuse and torment him, blinding him to modern advances and changes to his surroundings. Whatever subconscious mind was left struggled to lock away the baggage of decades of being dead among the living, to keep him contemporary, a being abiding by the natural laws of time, but it couldn't be done. He only knew that he had been sent away by his aunt to the Highgrove Home for Children, that the year was 1965, that everything he did was governed by some nebulous illness that everyone seemed to see except for him and, lastly, that he was miserable.
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Re: Alone In The Dark (Open)

Post  Josephine St. James on Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:54 am

Settling against Ruben, Josie moved as close as she could when his arm went around her. There was not a breath between them with the way she leaned into his side, her head resting against him. Somehow, this felt right. Not right in the mushy sense but in a way that she felt like he was the one who had to be there right now. That Rueben was the only one who could make the all pain go away, even if only for the night, and finally bring her some peace. Or did that count as mushy? Whatever. All she knew was that she wanted company but it hadn’t come clear just how badly until she was sitting with her ghostly friend. The fact that he seemed to be searching for the same companionship was only a bonus. Part of Josie wanted to just break down and unload thirty some years of baggage onto the decaying floors at their feet but she held it back. The other part of her, the louder part, kept her silent. The part that liked to smile, play and have a good time didn’t want to spoil the private moment she had with Rueben by bitching about her past when there was nothing that could be done about it now.

But Rueben was talking and Josie would not interrupt him. As previously stated, he had it far worse than her. He was stuck in a continuous loop, living the same year over and over while the rest of the world moved on. He’d already been dead for at least thirty years by the time Josie came to Highgrove and to this day he still couldn’t move on from the year he died. She’d heard from the others about what happened to him and when he mentioned the horses she felt knots tighten in her stomach. Dreaming about death seemed to be the norm for her but she’d never discussed it with any of the others. Most of them didn’t care to talk with her about such things and she felt the same about them. But hearing Rueben openly speak of it like it was only a bad dream was truly heartbreaking. Josie’s bottom lip caught between her teeth momentarily, trying to keep her emotions in check and not blurt out apology after apology for what happened to him. So she settled for turning her head more toward him, nuzzling him.

“Me? Oh, um…” Josie had to think. Should she tell him the truth? He wouldn’t know that it was about her death like his dreams were about his final day. She let out a slow breath, a shudder running through her as she thought to the dream. It wasn’t hard to remember. Not a day went by where she didn’t relive it at some point. “I’m…being strangled. I’m trying to fight but I just can’t. The hands are too strong and I…there’s nothing I can do. I feel so helpless and scared.” Her eyes closed to hold back the tears that started to sting her eyes. Fuck Julien. Fuck him to hell and she hoped he rotted there. “Then it all goes black and I wake up. It’s always the same.” Her eyes opened again and she turned her head up, looking at him. After a moment of studying his face she put on her best smile but there was too much sadness for it to be fully convincing. “Sorry for being such a downer. You didn’t come up here to listen to me pout and cry.” She let out a breath, hoping that it would help her get her head back together. And, strangely, it did. Sharing that had actually lifted some of the weight that she’d carried up with her up from her dorm.

The hand on Rueben’s thigh began to move slowly, her fingers ghosting little lines up and down. “I’m Josie, by the way.” She’d forgotten to introduce herself when he came up. She knew him well enough but this may as well be their first meeting. Josie leaned up to press a gentle kiss to his jaw, deciding that she should just go for it. “If you have bad dreams again you can find me. We’ll be nightmare buddies.” Or other types of buddies.

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Re: Alone In The Dark (Open)

Post  Highgrove House on Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:03 am



You Have Just Met Simon

__________________________________________________________________
At first it was quiet, easy to miss through the distractions and murmurs. The first few verses seemed to melt into what could have been a trick of the wind in the eaves, the breath of winter whispering through clap board and stone. But eventually it grew louder, impossible to ignore, an unmistakable rhythm and melody for any child who'd grown up in England. The last few verses were crisp, audible, and as they slithered through the dark, the winter that seemed to creep inside the old windows now and crawl slowly down the barren walls toward them like a thousand insects.

Someone was singing. Someone in the room with them. A boy's voice, young and a little flat, a little chilly. The exact origin of the sound was hard to make out, but as it grew louder it seemed that it might be growing closer too. Only dedicated study, scrutiny of the shadows, would reveal two tiny glints in the blackness, as of light reflecting from colourless, obsidian eyes. The rest was shroud in night, lingering and looming in an oppressive air of foreboding. It was no wonder Dr. Branbury had refused to step foot in the Old Ward, weeks ago...

"Oranges and lemons,
Say the bells of St. Clement's.

You owe me five farthings,
Say the bells of St. Martin's.

When will you pay me?
Say the bells of Old Bailey.

When I grow rich,
Say the bells of Shoreditch.

When will that be?
Say the bells of Stepney.

I do not know,
Says the great bell of Bow.

Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
And here comes a chopper to chop off your head!"



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Re: Alone In The Dark (Open)

Post  Rueben Westwood on Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:39 pm

"You're not a downer," Rueben assured her quietly, giving her arm a sympathetic squeeze. He could understand how her nightmares made her feel; helpless and terrified, like a child again. Vulnerable and uncomfortable and squirmy, like some unpleasant black worm had crawled into his ear while he slept and was still sliding through his brain. "I'm Rueben; I'll make sure to do that." Smiling impishly, reflexively at the sensations of her hand and lips, he continued, "I'm sure we can...help each other forget." The sick, tired feeling that had held him in its grip all night was beginning to dissipate already. Josie was either a good dream or a miracle worker. Who knew; maybe she was karma finally coming back for him after years of neglecting his sad case.'Nightmare buddies' was beginning to sound like a good prospect; he certainly had enough nightmares to keep that relationship a steady one, and by the sound of it, so did she.

Another feeling, one that didn't seem to be related to Josie's proximity, was creeping over Rueben as he sat in the midnight attic on the ancient bed. It was a crawling cold that wasn't entirely external, a chilling tickle in the back of his head and at the back of his neck, a palpable discomfort in the air. He tried his best to ignore it; he leant his head to the side, anticipating a kiss from Josie, but the sound of eerie singing met his ears at exactly the same moment. Quickly, he looked around, eyes picking through each shadow but finding nothing. His hold on the girl beside him slackened as his attention shifted elsewhere. The voice slowly got louder, louder, a child's song sang in a voice that belonged to no natural child. Admittedly slightly perturbed, but still assuming that it was one of the younger residents who had somehow snuck up the stairs behind him, he called out, his voice mildly irritated,

"Hey...who is that? Come on out. It's not very nice to spy." He wasn't exactly sure that he should be requesting the presence of this particular auditory hallucination, but it would be better if he could see whatever was serenading him from the dark. Anyway, it was just a trouble-making kid spying on he and his new nightmare buddy. Nothing big. The tingly, jittery coldness in the air said differently, but he could ignore that. He had ignored stranger things in his time. This night had such a surreal feeling that this development was hardly surprising and only marginally unnerving. Perhaps this was just an extension of his nightmares after all, luring him in with something good and now ready to reveal a fresh horror. If this was actually reality, then he was about to get pissy with whatever young voyeur stepped out of the shadows. They were not welcome in his midnight meetings, though he was slightly flattered that they would want to watch him. Next time, they could ask first before intruding upon impromptu attic trysts with annoying children's songs, though.
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Re: Alone In The Dark (Open)

Post  Josephine St. James on Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:32 pm

Josie’s smile grew a Rueben spoke, her fingers tracing more daring patterns on his thigh. Her ghostly light touches traced lines farther up toward his hips and closer to the middle before sweeping back down just before touching certain areas. “It’s a shame we didn’t bump into each other sooner…”Josie’s confidence was starting to return to something resembling its former self, her voice almost a purr as her suggestive gaze turned up to Rueben’s eyes. “I could have used a nightmare buddy ages ago. Someone to comfort me when I’m upset…” This had worked out better than she could have hoped for. They’d shared their sob stories and now they’d share the bed they sat upon. She had no doubt that Rueben was willing to go that route with her. If they were careful to not make too much noise they were in no danger of waking the house that slept peacefully below, which meant they had all night to forget their nightmares and enjoy the company. Josie still couldn’t believe how lucky she was that it had been Rueben who came up stairs. He was exactly who she needed right now and this couldn’t be more perfect.

…But they could most certainly get worse. With her heart set on jumping the other ghost, she was far too distracted to hear the song coming from somewhere in the room. When it finally did register she paused, the playful look falling from her face instantly. For a moment there was only intense concentration, as if she were trying to place the voice. She hadn’t heard it herself but there were stories floating around between the other ghosts. Why did the creeping, crawling feeling that seemed to work its way over her pale skin ring a bell? The answer was on the tip of her tongue as the voice grew louder. The old ward always had that ‘the walls are watching’ sensation but now it was even worse and the sinking feeling forming in the pit of Josie’s stomach said that they shouldn’t be there. The two of them may be ghosts but that didn’t stop them from getting hurt or mangled. They were still perfectly capable of taking a knife to the chest and it hurting like a bitch. Josie’s train of thought was broken when Rueben’s attention turned elsewhere and her eyes began scanning the shadows, feeling them staring back. She was eventually able to make out the shining dark eyes and that sinking feeling suddenly hit rock bottom.. Oh fuck…

Josie had no idea who was there, or what they wanted, but being in the attic now felt wrong. She may as well have crawled into someone's grave and curled up with their corpse. In a split second the brunette was up off the bed, backing away from the almost unnatural feeling darkness. Fuck fuck fuck. “Rueben, shut up.” There was obvious fear in her voice as she snapped at her companion, reaching out to grab him and pull him up and back with her. Her voice dropped some, trying to whisper to him without their unwanted company hearing. “Don’...say anything. Don’t do anything. We need to get back downstairs now.” This was bad. This was very bad. Oh, where was Branbury when you needed him? He’d know what to do about all this. He'd told her time and time again to not hang around up here so maybe he'd know what to do now. Her hands closed in Rueben’s and she attempted to leg it, aiming to pull him out of the old ward and back down to the second floor. Right now she was not worried about waking the house or getting them caught. Whoever, or whatever, was watching them right now could do a lot worse to them than the staff could.

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Re: Alone In The Dark (Open)

Post  Highgrove House on Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:42 pm



You Have Just Met Simon

__________________________________________________________________
Engaging the singing shadows in conversation was not especially the most intelligent thing one could do, when alone in a dark, abandoned attic ward. Asking it to come out of hiding was probably even worse. The song died on the air, mid-word, previously on its second run around. Pitch eyes flickering in the shadows seemed to blink out of existence for a second, then reappeared like the smile of a Cheshire Cat materialising. And then the rest followed.

A small boy seemed to appear at the edge of the room, as if he'd always been there, as if the onlookers eyes were maybe just adjusting to the dark now, able to pick out his small, youthful face. Endowed with a crop of inky, black hair and bottomless eyes to match, he looked sickly white, plump with the afterthought of baby fat that should have melted from his bones years ago. And he took a step forward.

"Want to play?"

It was all rather unassuming, until you considered the sense of forboding lingering on the air, or the fact that he was far too young to be a resident at Highgrove. He advanced another small step, trailing a string of wooden train toys behind him, each bound together by thin cord. They dragged against the floorboards, the sound like monstrous claws disturbing the dust. There was little to no inflection in his voice or on his face. Just bleakness. The void. No warm humanity. Josephine was right to get up and run, and the little boy's dark eyes followed them as he stood motionless, blank.

"Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
And here comes a chopper to chop off your head..."


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Re: Alone In The Dark (Open)

Post  Rueben Westwood on Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:07 am

The change in Josie was puzzling, but he was in no position to question her. Rueben was feeling the weirdness too, but thought signficiantly less of it than she did. He'd never really believed in the supernatural, in spirits and hauntings, much as he'd wanted to. The irony of this now was lost on him. True, blind belief in anything wasn't something he'd been able to evince for a long time, despite his longing to be able to believe in something, anything. The vast universe that contained all the stars, the unknown, the mysterious void full of nebulous power was the only thing that made sense. What he knew most definitely right now, however, was that he did not like being told to shut up. An angry retort almost fell out of his mouth, but he held it back. Why did she sound so scared? What was there to be scared of? Girls always overreacted to things like this, creepy feelings and unseen voices. But if she wanted to leave, then it was her deal. He would go too, solely in the interest of not being left alone in this attic with the young stalker to contemplate his nightmares and how well his night had almost turned out. Her hand seized around his, and he followed her upward movement, just as some pale white something stepped out of the corner like it belonged there, like it had been there all along. It was a child, one too young to rightfully be here, dragging something behind him that made a horrific dragging, scratching noise on the attic floor.

"Want to play?"

Well, shit. Josie was right to want to get out of here, and Rueben almost felt guilty for thinking badly of her. At the moment, however, his innards were somewhat frozen in terror. It hadn't been a clingy little kid playing a prank -- it was something else, something that had no right being here. Or maybe this was its place, and he and Josie and all the rest of Highgrove's residents had no right to be here. This was the thing that made this place feel so off, that lurked in the dark and terrorized the children. Maybe it was why he didn't like to go in the West Wing. Maybe it was why nothing ever seemed to get better here. The feeling of dread that permeated the room was swelling, and he didn't know what to do but follow the girl's lead. Was there still a chance that this was still his nightmare, and any moment he would wake up in his bed, hot and panicked in the dark?

"What the hell is going on?" he asked, his voice somewhere between a loud whisper and a hoarse query. This dreaminess of this night, first so pleasant and floaty, was now working to his disadvantage. Dreams and nightmares were two sides of the same coin, and the coin was currently spinning on its edge, unable to make up its mind which side to fall onto. Where could they go to get away from this air of foreboding? Was it confined to the attic? Rueben had to admit that he was utterly clueless and just trust that Josie knew what she was doing. Otherwise, this was going to end like a bad horror movie, and he definitely didn't want to die here.
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Re: Alone In The Dark (Open)

Post  Josephine St. James on Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:55 am

There was nothing in heaven or on earth that could keep Josie in that attic now that their little visitor had revealed himself. Watching the darkness slide back away from his features gave Josie the feeling that she was watching Death rise from the shadows. He wasn’t natural, she knew that, but he was something else. He was more than the two ghosts now making a break for the lower levels of the main house. She’d heard talk about those dubbed ‘the others’ but until now they were only spooky stories. She did not doubt their existence but until she met one she wasn’t going to say she completely believed that they were out there. The house was old and full of the unquiet dead but she assumed that all the ghosts that haunted the halls were like her and Rueben. Now, she believed every story she’d heard. She could only assume that this child ghost was one of them and that was more than enough for her to want to put as much distance be her and that attic as possible. There was no guarantee that demon child wouldn’t follow them down but right that hope was enough to keep her moving, tugging Rueben along with her.

Josie was hesitant to stop at the bottom of the stairs, fearing that the little devil would simply float down and continue to follow them. Still holding on to Rueben she tugged him away from the stairs once they were in the hall, unsure of where they would go from here. The attic and old ward were great places to hide since many were too unnerved to go up there. Now where? She didn’t want to go back to her room yet for that meant leaving Rueben. Right now there were few places she’d rather be than at his side. Anyway, the poor guy was probably confused as hell and would want some sort of an explanation as to what the hell had just happened. It wasn’t every day that creepy children with black eyes walk up singing about cutting off heads. But they needed somewhere to go where they wouldn’t get caught by security or wardens. There weren’t many places and she couldn’t really explain disappearing to him. If he could fade out like her they could hang out wherever they wanted.

Once they were a decent way down the hall from the stairs Josie stopped, turning back around to face Rueben. She dropped his hand and raised hers to press against his chest, moving closer so that her head could rest against him. Dear god that had been freaky. The questions began and Josie looked up to him, wishing that she could just explain everything right here and now but that wouldn’t be wise. Someone would surely be on patrol soon and would find them. “I’ll explain…but not here.” She looked back over her shoulder toward the stairs, watching for the hell child. Branbury would know what to do and would likely let them hang out for a while but what if he wasn’t on duty tonight? What if some other staffer caught them and they got sent back to their room? “We need to find somewhere to hide.” She really hated that stupid ghost for ruining everything. Right now they could already be making out and moving forward with their post-nightmare comforting. However, that little creep and to slip out of the shadows and chase them away.

Josie took a step back from Rueben despite wanting to wrap her arms around him and looked down the hall. “Maybe…downstairs somewhere? No one should be down there at this time of night.” If she was correct, the staff still up patrolling would be on the second floor to watch the dorms and wouldn’t be walking the house. Either way, she just wanted to get out of the hall and find a place to curl up with Rueben

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Re: Alone In The Dark (Open)

Post  Rueben Westwood on Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:50 pm

When the two frightened teens stopped running was usually when the evil something caught up to them and did away with them. However, a glance up and down the hall told Rueben that nothing was there, not that that really seemed to mean anything tonight. Josie was still looking over her shoulder, attached to him as she was, and that didn't bode well. Chills were still creeping through him; he doubted that they would stop until daylight. Another sleepless night, hopefully one he could spend the rest of which with Josie. Being alone right now was simply out of the question. Hiding seemed like an excellent idea, though he wasn't sure he even wanted the explanation he'd asked for before. He was torn between never wanting to know and desperately wanting to know everything, the whole story, everything she knew. Which was what, exactly? Rueben shuddered involuntarily. He wished that the girl hadn't moved away from him, but knew that he had to help her think now before they were caught standing like brainless deer in the middle of the hallway. He was always the man with the plan. Why was he drawing a blank now?

"Downstairs," he repeated dumbly, wracking his brain for what was located on the lower floor. He'd spent enough time here; shouldn't he have all the rooms memorized, their furniture, the colors of their walls, their shapes and sizes and locations, for God's sake? "The activities room, the solarium..." Did they lock those doors? Did the staff check those likely dark and abandoned rooms at night? There was nothing to do but go for it and see what happened, he decided. If they were discovered, well...there was nothing he could do about it. There was really no other choice. Upstairs was rife with staff members at night, and the attic, the hiding place of choice, was now out of the question. Ever again. This situation had long since spun out of his control, a feeling which he was not pleased with at all. Taking Josie's hand again, he made to pull her toward the stairwell leading to the downstairs portion of the house.

"We'll give it a go," he said, more confident than he felt about his decision. But then, that was really the story of his life. Feigning confidence usually wasn't a stretch, but at that precise moment it was, as he looked and felt like he'd just seen a ghost. And maybe he had -- God only knew what he'd just seen. When he was small, Uncle Alistair had always insisted that a ghost lived in the basement of their building; he felt like a child afraid of going in the basement again, that sick, clammy feeling multiplied by a hundred. Uncle Alistair's ghost had been fun, though, a bedtime story, a joke. This was no joke. It was purely terrifying, and Rueben just wanted to be as far away as possible from it, somewhere where he and his new-found nightmare buddy could hunker down and wait for the morning. Morning's light had always made things seem better, and no doubt tomorrow would make tonight seem like little more than a bad dream. Or so he hoped.
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Re: Alone In The Dark (Open)

Post  Josephine St. James on Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:27 pm

Luckily for these two teens death had already come and taken them, leaving their souls to wander forever in purgatory and masquerade as the living. That did not mean that she wanted to hang around with the demon spawn that lurked just up the stairs. Whatever he could do to them would probably make them wish they could die again just to end the pain and suffering. Then again, there were days where Josie wished that without the presence of the ghostly child. However, all her thoughts were currently on the poster child for horror movies and what he might do if he caught up to them. Standing in the main hall Josie felt a little safer but perhaps putting another floor between them and the evil wasn’t a bad idea. They may even be able to get in a little post –freak out action. Their options for hiding and staying inside were limited now that the upstairs was off limits but they could make it work. Josie probably shouldn’t be so worried about getting caught. Between the two of them and their abilities they could probably talk themselves out of anything. As long as another ghost didn’t come along the two were set. All that was left was to get out of this hall and downstairs.

“Activities room sounds fun.” If those walls could talk they would tell some tales. Oh, the trouble she’d gotten up to in there. So far she’d gotten frisky with Ace in there and now it looks like it was Rueben’s turn. Really, it should have been his turn sooner. She needed to seek the sexy ghost out more often for nighttime fun. Josie held his hand as they moved through the halls and toward the stairs, her thumb gently moving over the skin on his hand. She didn’t know about him, but their encounter with the ghost kid hadn’t killed the mood too much for her. With the adrenalin pumping, she was ready to drag him to the activities room and go at it. Actually, she was even more turned on than before. The scare got the heart racing and blood pumping, and the fact that they’d made it out of there unscathed made a victory fuck seem like the best idea she’d ever had. “I’m sure we’ll find something to do there in the dark.” Her voice was dripping with suggestion; not bothering to hide what was going on in her mind. Knowing Rueben, he’d probably pick up on it instantly.

Once the two cleared the stairs and weaved their way through the darkened house they arrived at the room. Josie paused in the doorway for only a moment, eyes sweeping the area for evil children or nosey staff. All seemed clear though. Jackpot. “Come on…” She began to tug Rueben into the room and toward one of the old, large couches that were scattered throughout the room. Moonlight illuminated the space some, enough that their eyes wouldn’t take too long to adjust, but it was still quite dark. Not that Josie needed light to navigate around the tables, chairs, couches, and desks. Over the last fifteen years they hadn’t changed the layout all that much and when she wasn’t visible she explored, learning the new places of things to be prepared for nights light this. When her leg bumped into the couch she smirked playfully, turning back around to face Ruben. She gave him a suggestive nudge to sit, wanting to climb into his lap and straddle his legs. If he did as the gentle bump asked, she would be there seconds later.

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Re: Alone In The Dark (Open)

Post  Rueben Westwood on Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:02 pm

The farther away they got from that thing in the attic, the more clearly Rueben could think. The darkened stairwell was empty and silent, calming, and accordingly, his paranoia leeched away bit by bit. It was partly because of Josie's hand in his, the presence of another person to guide him through this especially dark night. There was something about this girl that would drive anyone to distraction, to forget about whatever else what happening to them at the moment and focus in on her. He liked it, just as long as she was focused on him too, which, actually, she appeared to be at the moment. “I’m sure we’ll find something to do there in the dark." Rueben's spine tingled, this time in a good way. Either she found shadow puppets really exciting, or she was thinking along the same vein as he was. If where they'd left off in the attic was any indication, he felt pretty good about his prospects for tonight. Hopefully, no pesky staffers would intervene and ruin it, as they seemed to be especially adept at doing recently.

"I'm sure we will," he agreed, the smile on his face making its way into his voice. "We're both very resourceful people; we'll come up with something." After all, it wasn't every day that he made an escape from a demonic ghost child with a sexy girl and then found himself alone in a darkened house with her; this occasion deserved some sort of celebration, not that Rueben needed the excuse of a special occasion. They made their way through the halls, eerily quiet as opposed to their usual clamor. He didn't like the image; something usually so busy and full of life lying dead, quiet, darkened. He was relieved when they finally reached the activities room...the name that the staff had christened it with always made him smirk. What sort of activities everyone else got up to in here he didn't know, but he was willing to bet it was more wholesome than what he could come up with. The whole of the vaguely moonlit room before them was promising, and he felt monumentally better.

Rueben was just about to make a remark to Josie when she nudged him toward the couch she had just located in the gloom. A smile that looked doubly evil in the darkness spread over his face as he sat down, a smile which grew twice as wide when the girl climbed on top of him. His hands moved automatically to her hips, his fingers slipping under the fabric of her tank top to tease at the warm skin beneath. Every thought that he'd had tonight seeped out of his ears; Rueben was intent on the girl in his lap, on what activities they could get up to in this aptly named room on this amply large couch. This had been a terrible day followed by an equally terrible night, and he wanted nothing more than to let Josie help him forget about everything that troubled him. There was no trouble here, in this moment. She had an incredible aura, one of oblivion and heat and an undeniable sexuality that clung like silk. He wanted her closer, and accordingly exerted a slight pressure on her back with the hands he had slipped under her top. Your move, doll. This was her show now; after all, she was the one on top.
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