Date : 24/05/2003
Place : Farmhouse
Weather : Currently in Saint Claire, it is partly sunny. The temperature is 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12 degrees Celsius). The wind is currently coming in from variable directions at 7 mph. The barometric pressure reading is 29.83 and falling, and the relative humidity is 63 percent. The dewpoint is 43 degrees Fahrenheit (6 degrees Celsius.)
Farmhouse: Hallway and Living Room
All doorways in the front part of the house lead to the front hallway,
a J-shaped area with the short tail starting at the stairs, the front
door hitting the bottom curve, the doorless opening to the living room
halfway up the long side, and the also doorless opening to the kitchen
and dining room at the very top. The hall has a simple wooden floor,
and decorated with a generic print of soft-colored flowers hanging on
the wall to the right of the front door, and a tall table sitting under
the print which serves as a place to toss keys. A closet under the
stairs serves as a place to hang coats or to toss shoes.
The doorless opening to the living room is halfway up the side of the hall's J, and the word cozy might spring to mind when looking into is, as it seems to radiate comforting vibrations. A long couch sits against the south wall beneath a large bay window curtained only by sheers that manages to obscure the view in but only filters the day's light. A variety of out-of-date magazines are strewn atop a low coffee table; more neatly presented are the plethora of books filling the small bookshelves which line the eastern wall. Three chairs sit about the room, focused inward, to allow group conversations. Large floor pillows are stacked in one corner of the room, except one, which lies carelessly in the middle of the floor, apparently left out the last time it was used.
An opening in the northern end of the hallway allows access to the kitchen and dining room at the back of the house, while carpeted stairs twist up at the other end of the hall, leading to the second floor. A door at the base of the J lets out to the front porch.
This kid is around 5'2" and looks to be in his mid-teens, with dark
hair that /was/ sculpted into a "bowl cut" and neatly parted down the
centre - it's now something of a greasy scruffy mess. His pale skin
belies the fact that he rarely ventures outside, and
emphasizes those deep brown eyes. His nose displays a few faint
freckles from childhood that haven't quite yet faded.
His very baggy blue jeans barely hang at his hips and are wearing out at the back of the cuffs where his dirty bare feet keep treading on them. The faded green teeshirt displays many a food stain, namely fast-food grease and peanut-butter-and-jelly. A well-fitting black zip-up tracksuit jacket keeps him warm. His gangly frame once screamed "bookworm" or "computer geek", but now it's gained an added "...and I've spent the past month in a dumpster looking for old copies of National Geographic/PC Format"
At a little over five foot tall and with a slim build, KL is hardly
awe-inspiring on first sight. She appears to be around sixteen years
old and carries a teenager's air of disenchantment and irritation.
Her mid-length mousy-brown hair is normally brushed back out of her eyes and behind her ears. She's not beautiful, but she would be cute were it not for the sullen and aggressive set of her mouth, the hostility of her gaze and her somewhat laissez-faire approach to bathing. Her hazelnut eyes look out with disappointment and poorly hidden anger, as if the world were a holiday villa that didn't match the travel agent's description. Her skin is oddly pale, considering the amount of time she spends outdoors, and she has a two-inch-square tattoo of a winged horse on her right shoulder-blade.
She's got a habit of slouching and of leaning up against any available support. When she forgets to slouch, however, she moves with a surprising degree of grace and compact poise.
She is wearing a faded and beaten up pair of blue jeans that are just a little too large for her, a pair of worn combat boots and a red tank top with "And your little doggy too!" emblazoned across the front.
At the moment, her left eye is badly swollen and turning a nice shade of purple. She also has a large bruise on the left-hand side of her jaw, stretching back towards her ear.
"Um..tallish women, native descendant, has a bow and an attitude?" KL says,
Karl glances down at the pillow in thought, then shoots his gaze back to Kathryn-Laura. He shakes his head, "She go by any other names?"
"Not that she told me," the Black Fury says with a shrug, "but she might do. It's not exactly a normal name." She pulls herself to her feet and looks at Karl properly for the first time. "I'm KL."
Karl nods and drops his guard. "I'm Karl. With a K. Sorry about the game of 20 questions, but... well, imagine if I came stomping around your place and smashing into things..." He gives a faint smile and uncrosses his arms. "So are... you family, or just a friend?"
"I didn't intend to smash into things. I'm not related to ..." She shakes her head. "Oh, wait, euphemism. I'm family."
Karl says "Uh huh. You first."
Kathryn-Laura nods and says "I'm KL Cole, Black Fury." She looks like she's going to say more, then stops, looking slightly wary.
Karl grins, "Yeah, that's enough for now." He introduces himself, "Whispers. Or Karl Blakely. Homid Theurge Cub of the Bone Gnawers."
Kathryn-Laura smiles for the first time. "Good enough. Escapes, Homid Ahroun Cliath of the Black Furies." She proffers a hand. "Destroyer of nice sitting rooms."
Karl chuckles, nervously taking the hand and shaking it loosely. Any edge (if there ever really was one) is now gone, and he stoops to gather up magazines.
Stooping to help the cub tidy up, KL comments "I've met a couple more of your tribe here. Renee?"
The boy nods, "Yeah, Renee. I'm the only Gnawer staying out here at the moment, though. I'm actually just on vacation, getting the hell out of that basement for once." He smiles to himself, placing a stack of magazines on the floor so he can straighten the coffee-table.
Kathryn-Laura grins. "So /you're/ the cub in the basement. Renee told me about you."
"Yah, that's me. She didn't say anything /too/ nasty, I hope?" Karl jokes.
Kathryn-Laura smiles sweetly. "Anyway, here is definitely more salubrious than the church." She sits down on one of the chairs, watching Karl clear up.
"Well I'm not too sure what salubrious means, but I'm sure you right, " Karl says, thinking back to life cooped up all alone down there with nothing to do and few visitors to see. He finally finishes the clean-up job, tossing the pillow softly in the Cliath's direction with a smile.
Catching the pillow neatly and tossing it on to the pile, KL slouches back in the chair. "Salubrious - You know, nice, neat, comfortable." She thinks. "You from around here?"
Karl sits on a chair opposite KL. "Yeah, from the city. Yourself?"
"Denver. But I had to leave." She blinks and then winces slightly.
"Oh," he says looking at his feet uncomfortably, taking her explanation to be something she'll tell when and if she's ready. "Soooo... how long have you been here?" he asks, looking back up at her.
"About three weeks all told." KL says. "I'm staying with my Tribemate Helen at her house. It's nice, but I get bored."
Karl raises his eyebrows, "Oh okay. Whereabouts is that?"
She sighs. "It's just between here and Wal-Mart. It's not that far. I spent the first week or so running myself stupid, just trying to get to know the place. I still don't know exactly where the caern is."
Karl nods, yawning. "So... what's on the agenda for today?"
Kathryn-Laura shrugs. "Bleeding Sun said that she'd put together something for my eye. Other than that, there's not much to liven my life up at the moment."
Karl says "Yeah, I was wondering about that... looks pretty nasty. What'd ya do?"
Looking straight at Karl, KL says "I had a discussion with someone."
Karl says nothing for a moment, then grins. "But you got your point across the loudest, right?"
"I think my debating partner is aware of the conversation, yes." KL says, deadpan.
Karl laughs, a little too loudly for this time of day. He wipes some crud out of the corner of one eye, then listens to see if anyone else comes down the stairs.
Kathryn-Laura listens closely too, but hearing nothing continues. "It was the first proper fight I've been in since I got here." She stretches her arms out and rotates her shoulders to loosen the muscles. "Was fun. Oh, yeah, I had a row with some street kid who thought he could tell me what to do. But... I scared him off."
Karl tenses slightly, now entirely selfconscious - himself now more-or-less fitting into that category.
Karl chuckles nervously and explains. "Well, it's just that... I'm kind of a street kid now, and I was... kind of bossy with you before..." he trails off, looking anywhere but directly at the Ahroun.
"Did you stroke my cheek and call me chica? Did you suggest I should put out for you? Did you get four of your mates to stand around me and try and prevent me leaving? Did you call me a bitch?" The Black Fury almost spits the last word.
Karl looks directly at the Ahroun now, glaring in disgust at the picture she just described. "No. I certainly did not. And never would," he says dead-seriously, any trace of nerves now completely gone.
You say "I didn't think so. I don't have anything against street kids. Shit, I'm a runaway myself. And if I've spent more time in the woods than on the streets it's been by pure chance. Anyway, I'd kick seven kinds of shit out of you if you tried it."
"Hey, I'd kick seven kinds of shit out of /myself/ for even /thinking/ it." The cub stops there for a while, then realises how that could be misinterpreted. "That's not a reflection on you, though: that's how I feel about the whole thing."
Kathryn-Laura nods. "Yeah. I wouldn't chase after me either."
"Wha? That's not what I said..." Karl says with a crooked smile.
"I'm sure." She says, eyes dancing with amusment.
Karl glances sidewise with an uncertain smile, trying to decypher whatever she's on about. He shakes his head and gives up. "Whatever."
Kathryn-Laura laughs. "Sorry, I'm winding you up." She says. "So, how long has it been since you changed?"
"A moon and a half," Karl says. "You?"
She thinks for a moment. "Three years, give or take. How are you finding it? Anything I can help you with?"
"Wow. Yeah, it's been pretty cool for the most part. Well, having to come to terms with... some stuff at the moment, but it'll sort itself out. Uh, help me with?" Karl thinks for a while, looking up at the ceiling (like the answer's there or something?). "Nah... I don't think so. Not at the moment, anyway. But thanks."
"Yeah, well, any time. I need _something_ to do." She says, slightly ruefully. "Back in Denver, with my old pack, I had stuff to do most of the time. But it takes some time to settle in and meet people."
Karl nods. "Yeah... I know exactly what you mean. I only first came here to the Farmhouse the other day, and within a few minutes I had to memorise half-a-dozen names and faces. I get along okay with 'em and everything, but... it's just a matter actually getting to know each other and to be comfortable. One on one like this is good, but when you're in a room full of strangers, it's... well, it's harder."
You say "Maybe we should all wear name-tags. 'Hi, my name is KL.'"
"Heh, yeah. Say, what does KL stand for, anyway?"
KL looks down for a second. "It stands for Kathryn-Laura. The only people who ever called me that were my parents."
Karl says "Oh, right. Because you don't like it, or just because it's easier?" He rubs an itchy ear.
Kathryn-Laura looks slightly fierce. "Because I don't like that it reminds me of my parents, who I'd really rather forget." She pauses, calming slightly. "It's a hell of a mouthful, anyway."
Karl remains silent, sorry that he brought up the subject. He spends a great length of time looking down at nothing in particular on the floor, and thinking of his own parents.
KL is lost in her own thoughts for a bit, apparently unwilling to break the silence that her outburst has caused.
Karl draws in a long deep breath, releasing it just as slowly. He looks around and scratches his neck, looking for something to say to break the now-awkward silence.
Kathryn-Laura looks up, as if suddenly aware of the silence. "Yeah, well, anyway, my personal demons aside." She stops and thinks. "Best thing about being here is that nobody has told me what to do yet. I'd gotten fed up of being ordered around."
Eamon opens the door and enters the house from the porch, yawning.
It seems that Eamon doesn't grin as much as he used to, as if he's been through something traumatic recently. His bright red hair has grown back fully now and the green eyes still sparkle, but some of the humor has left them. He wears a weathered black leather jacket and a black Harley-Davidson t-shirt. With the black jeans and motorcycle boots, he almost looks like a biker. Indeed, he can be seen tooling around town on a Harley, but not quite as often as usual. His left ear is pierced twice, a gold hoop through each pierce. A scruffy red goatee adorns his chin and below his lower lip. When in public, he wears thin, black leather gloves in all weather, completely covering both hands. Both hands seem to function normally, however.Karl hmmmms and is about to say something more, when he notices the new arrival. "Hey there.""
Kathryn-Laura looks up at the newcomer with some interest, but doesn't say anything immediately.
Eamon looks around and grins at Karl and Kathryn-Laura. "Hey, guys, what's up?"
Standing up warily, KL crosses her arms in front of her chest. "Hey."
"Not much, unless you count /someone/ making one hell of a racket downstairs at stupid hours, and waking everyone up." Karl grins at KL.
Eamon shrugs at the cool reaction he gets. "Well, anyway, I'm Eamon, if we haven't met. Fianna ragabash."
KL's eyes flash dangerously. "I wasn't the one who left nasty surprises all over the place." She uncrosses her arms and puts her hands on her hips. "I'm KL, Black Fury Ahroun."
"Karl Blakely. Aka Whispers, Homid Theurge Cub of the Bone Gnawers." He stands to extand a hand as he says this, then adds, "That's Karl with a K."
Eamon smiles. "Cool. Good to meet new cubs. So, anything going on lately?" He plops down on a sofa somewhere.
"I'm not a cub." KL says, very very quietly, staring straight at Eamon.
Eamon says "Oh, sorry, my bad."
Kathryn-Laura studies Eamon, looking for any signs of sarcasm.
"Going on? Nah, nothing major. Not at the moment anyway," Karl smirks.
Eamon sits down on the sofa, and promptly falls asleep.
Turning away from the sleeping Fianna with an element of disgust, KL looks at Karl. "Shall I fall over a pillow again, to wake him up?"
Karl chuckles, trying to suppress the laughter so as not to disturb Eamon. "Yeah, I'd like to see it this time."
Kathryn-Laura shakes her head. "Kitchen?" She whispers.
Karl nods and goes through the aperture at the northern end of the front hallway to enter the back room of the house.
Farmhouse: Kitchen and Dining Room
Homey is the first word to come to mind when looking at the farmhouse's
kitchen. Dark, wood-paneled wainscoting covers the walls to about waist
height, dark beige wallpaper continuing to the ceiling. Twin
refrigerators occupy the north wall, facing the large six-burner stove
on the south. The kitchen counter runs the length of the eastern wall,
broken only by the double-basin sink. Cabinets run above and below the
counter and a twin-pane window is set in the wall above the sink. A
small pantry is set into an alcove alongside the refrigerators,
presumably holding the deep freezer as well as shelves of dry goods.
Some twelve feet above the floor, a large chandelier hangs from the ceiling, lighting the dining room and casting long shadows over the bar to the kitchen. A long table occupies the center of the dining room, three chairs setting along each side, and one on each end. On the west wall, a large window looks out on the trees alongside the western pasture. Set into the north wall is a large cabinet, its glass doors closed on shelves containing a full compliment of fine china and glassware as well as a few decorative nicknacks. On the east, a wide bar separates the dining room from the kitchen.
An opening in the southern wall allows passage to the front entryway of the house, while a sliding glass door in the kitchen opens to a clearing behind the house.
"Hmmm, no idea," says Karl, pulling up a chair and turning it so as to seat himself facing KL. "I wonder the same thing about the food, actually."
Kathryn-Laura kicks her feet beneath the bar. "Probably some Glasswalker with a credit card." She thinks. "What were we arguing about before Eamon came in?"
Karl remembers but pretends not to. He shrugs, "I don't know, it couldn't have been too important." Liar.
Kathryn-Laura grins. "Whatever. So, what were you doing before your First Change, and your cellar-dwelling days?"
Karl smiles. "School. And loving it. I mean, most of the people sucked, and some of the teachers were just... so manipulative - you know? Yeah all that crap, but... I liked the work. I mean, sometimes it was a load of rubbish, but for the most part I loved it." Karl decides to stop there, lest he embarrass himself further. Not everyone appreciates intellectual stimulation as much as he does... He's sure the Cliath isn't stupid, but you don't have to be thick to dislike school.
The Black Fury appears not to notice. "I didn't like school much. I was too much of an outsider. Something made me different. Can't imagine what."
Karl exhales sharply through his nose. "Yeah... same here. The only real attention I got was negative, you know? There were like one or two guys that seemed to be okay with me, but... I think it was only because we shared common enemies and we would occasionally borrow stuff off each other. But there was something there that made them stay away most of the time too." He pauses for a while, then adds "Looking back on it now, I guess it must have been the Rage."
"Yeah. It marks you out as different." She pauses and grins. "It might explain why I was forever getting into fights as well. Some things never change."
"Yeah, except you probably always come out on top..." Karl observes, rubbing the heel of his left palm with the other thumb.
Kathryn-Laura shrugs. "Mostly. Sometimes you can't do anything about people larger and stronger than you. Or ones with friends."
Karl looks down and nods solemnly, clasping his hands and resting them in his lap. "Yeah..."
"But those were my school days. My education, in that sense, ended three years ago. It's difficult to go to school when you have a private eye chasing after you." She says, looking steadily at Karl.
Karl's gaze shoots instantly to KL, and his eyes wildly scan her face while his mind concentrates more on his situation. Eventually, he looks away, but then straight back to her. "They... they /are/ real expensive to hire, aren't they?"
Kathryn-Laura laughs, tipping her head back. "My dad is really rich. Hence my Garou name."
Karl says "Oh, good. That means my parents are less likely to have one on me... What /is/ your Garou name? Escapes... what?"
Kathryn-Laura grins. "Escapes from Money. My old pack thought it was appropriate."
"Heh." Karl extends his legs, crossing one over the other at the ankles. "Well, I don't know about you, but I'm hungry. Can I get you something?"
"Nah. Actually," She says, sliding off the bar, "I ought to get back, on the off chance that Helen is awake and wants me to do something." She proffers a hand to Karl. "Sorry for waking you, again."
Karl shakes the hand once more, a little firmer than last time. "Ah, that's okay. It's been nice to meet you and talk like this. Ah well, catch you 'round then."
"Sure." KL says. "If you need to find me, try the Greek House. I'll see you around."