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 Altitude

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whilaroo
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PostSubject: Re: Altitude   Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:06 am

His voice was beside her, despite the fact that it was also still yelling at the people within the house, people that were beginning to respond. It was right by her ear as lights flicked on arbitrarily in nearby houses. He was making quite a racket. "Don't act. Keep yourself hidden. Let me take care of this. I'll let you know," His statements were succinct enough, spoken in a sort of clipped voice that indicated rapid adherence to the behavioral patterns that they bespoke. Finally, a light flared in the house, the door of which the man in black was pounding was being unlocked moments later. A very flustered person stood at the door. he could have been a butler or the man of the house, or someone else, but he stood there in relative disarray, his clothing loosely thrown onto his old frame, the appearance not lent to by his bad posture. "Wh-what is the meaning of this!?" the elderly fellow stammered out a sort of blathering sort of exclamation of interrogation, which looked slightly ridiculous against the man in black who, for all intents and purposes, looked like a member of the Spanish inquisition who had fallen into a drum of pitch before coming out peeved and ready to kill somebody, for the sake of the church, of course. "There's a man that has been murdered this night! Not three houses away. I came at his invitation. We were to have tea, but when I arrived the door was ajar, and his body strewn across his writing desk! Is this not the house of a policeman!?" the red lips leapt about as he shouted. His pale features dove and rose like expressive waves. The man at the door pushed out his chest, and act perhaps meant to save face after his eyes had widened in shock and disbelief. "Yes," his tone had become slightly more sure and he huffed the words out now, "Why, and I'm the man of the law for which you seek. Come, let us sort this out at once!" He began to stomp out, after the black-clad man who hurriedly led the way back to the house he had come from. Doors along the street had begun to open, and individuals were slowly, cautiously drifting out. One or two with a bit of force, demanding to know what the racket was about, and more with definite curiosity hid behind sleepy visages.
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PostSubject: Re: Altitude   Sun Mar 21, 2010 7:13 pm

She silently smiled as the policeman was guided away by that man who had promised to help her. The rest of the neighborhood that was slowly waking up because of the tumult obviously wasn’t a potential danger. She gazed down, at the door that had been left open. So inviting. Incredibly tempting. A quick glance was cast over the street. The general attention of the people seemed to be directed to the two men making their way towards the house in question. Eyes glanced at the -still- open door again. He had told her to stay quiet until he finished this. Her back straightened. It wasn’t because someone told her to do or not do something that she had to do as that other pleased. Once the female skillfully and with an amazing grace let herself drop noiselessly off the roof, it was clear what her decision was. Lavinia rapidly glanced around another time. Nobody seemed to have noticed it. And with that, she quickly went inside the house, where the book had to be hidden somewhere.
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PostSubject: Re: Altitude   Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:51 am

Truth be told, the house didn't really belong to the policeman. It belonged to his brother, a younger and far more successful man who had broken into politics. In a moment of philanthropy, or what his wife termed 'insanity', he had agreed to lodge his drunkard, brother who just happened to be an officer of the law. This part of the family, including their servants had been quite awakened at this point, including the butler who was highly disgruntled about not having gotten to the door before the far less appealing gentleman that was his master's brother. He was just telling the cook about how absurd this whole business was when he felt a slight breeze from the door, only then conjuring that perhaps it desired closing. It's not that it was a cold night, and the mistress was coming down the stairs to peer out, so that he was once again thwarted. Many of the lights in the house had been put on. Not a single one of the inhabitants was still asleep, but their attention was all turned outwards.

As was the collective attention of virtually everyone on the street. Specifically, they coagulated about a certain house into which a man of the beat and a what appeared to be a clergyman had disappeared. A small crowd was growing steadily larger in that manner, fed by the open mouths of the doors along the street. The hesitant stood in the frames of their house's largest orifice, but most wanted to know with a sort of vengeance what exactly had transpired that should interrupt their perfectly restful night. It wasn't that the man who had lived in this house had been particularly well liked, he hadn't been particularly anything. You know the type of nondescript human who just seems to exist, but it was really more a thing of the mob mentality. The mob wanted to know, so all the people in it picked up on that like hounds following a sent. So it was that nobody really bothered to care about some lady in costume, whether they had seen her or not. Maybe sometime later a person there might think on it and wonder if she had been the murderess. After all, she was dressed oddly enough, but that thought would be dismissed almost immediately when the memory would become terribly fuzzy. It was probably just some rabid fox, or a stray dog looking for food among all the commotion anyway. Or maybe it was just a shadow on the wall. Then they might be sure that they had seen something, but they never would be able to remember what. The nightmare that they had had that night, though was quite terrifying. Red eyes... Like fire...
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PostSubject: Re: Altitude   Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:07 am

The woman silently hummed an old song, a chant that she thought had been forgotten, as she determinedly walked further inside the house, noticing the clearly wealthy female who staggered off the stairs and was obviously still half asleep. The low melody, somehow containing what one would perhaps call a slightly Celtic tinge, strangely enough did not seem to be noticed by the servants that hastily ran around; neither did the butler hear it, who was currently staring wide-eyed at her from where he had frozen on the spot the second he noticed her. After the small moment of utter surprise, he quickly restored his composure; the usual stern gaze his eyes held immediately returned and with one or two large steps he advanced closer, towering above her. No word left his lips as he slowly shook his head. He degraded her. “Young lady”, his lecturing, unexpectedly not cracking voice boomed through the hallway and pronounced the words with absolute disparagement “there will be, as you undoubtedly realize, severe consequences for…” The butler trailed off, having heard the mistress behind him, and gracefully turned around, the movement ending with an equally elegant deep bow directed to the woman. The atmosphere however didn’t disappear, like the words had. “My most sincere apologies”, he smoothly began, keeping his gaze focused on the large carpet that covered the floor. Persian. His mistress had this certain tendency to love everything that was Persian and luxurious. It was quite entertaining, at times, to watch her hobble after that precious -Persian- cat of hers. Though he knew that he should only admit that to himself. “Your daughter, Madam, I was certain that she was peacefully sleeping upstairs. I myself have ensured that she was.” Silence. The woman, dressed in an expensive looking night gown tiredly yawned, her delicate hand covering her mouth in a very lady-like manner. It wouldn’t have surprised him if she hadn’t heard anything of what he had said. Such things were likely to happen often. “It is late”, she then slowly announced, closely eyeing the two people in front of her; one the most loyal servant of the family, the other her daughter. “Victoria”, a young black haired girl with large brown eyes curiously gazed back at her, “you should sleep now. Or risk your father’s anger. You know that you shouldn’t play silly games at this dreadful hour.” And with that, she turned around, almost stumbling over her dress. A small ‘oh dear’ could be heard while the woman wavered. “Of course, you are exhausted, my lady”, the butler almost tenderly stated and immediately hurried over to the woman’s side, holding out his arm for her to take; “I shall accompany you to your chambers.” The woman weakly nodded, letting him lead the way. Her eyes flickered back for an instance to meet her daughter’s. “Victoria. Good night.” The mother turned around, her posture containing pride and dignity as she was guided upstairs.
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PostSubject: Re: Altitude   Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:51 pm

The man of the house had been awakened, and although he would not normally be bothered by his brother's business at any time of day or night, a murder on his own street was, perhaps, reason enough to get involved. So, he had attired himself only as much as a gentleman must, and proceeded hastily to the scene of the crime. Several of the other more important men on the street were already there, but none who held so much say as he, and when he stepped into the crowd, immediately the crime itself lost a good deal of public interest. After all, what is more interesting: that a murder has been committed, or that a man of high standing is connected to that murder? Of course, his brother, the policeman used the excuse to turn the whole event into a much larger matter than it was. Although, the sheer amount of blood may have given the alcoholic man of the law the cause he needed, or the mutilation of the body. The pale clergyman had gone even paler when he had seen the body again. He had insisted on giving the last rights, before running outside to vomit.

"I thought that I had seen everything there was to see during my time as a military chaplain," he had regained some composure but still looked and sounded quite shaken. The officer, who I should really have named by this point, one, Felix Brodden, attempted to manage a comforting pat on the back. The truth was that although he had seen many brutal things in his time on the beat, he had never seen something like this. It was a terrible mess. When the politician brother, Marius Brodden, arrived and stepped into the house, he made a wise decision to avoid going beyond the edge of the blood pool, which mercifully stretched into the front room as a warning. The brothers exchanged some talk, Felix making the whole thing sound very important with his official voice, while throwing in a few more chummy notes here and there, and Marius looking thoroughly agitated.

Taking the sudden opportunity to be polite, Marius turned towards the shivering clergyman. "You've had a terrible ordeal. Please, I insist that you come to my house. We can get you a cup of tea to fortify you, or coffee if you like it. Either way, we've got to get you out of this terrible place," he supported the man of the cloth out of the rickety old chair in which he sat and gave him a shoulder to lean on while they went back to Marius's abode. The politician took the other man's silence and lack of objection as a positive sign as they stepped back up the walk and Marius called through the open door for the old butler to come and help him, and for the cook to put some tea on.
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PostSubject: Re: Altitude   Sat Mar 27, 2010 2:48 pm

The girl with large brown eyes quickly walked through the hallway when the butler escorted the lady upstairs. A male voice called out to the servants in the home. She bit her lip, halting. What could she do? Quickly running further would only cause her to be noticed anyway. The young one turned around, nervously playing with the ties of her dark blue and purple sleeping dress. “F-father”, she uttered scared, for she knew he was someone who could become furious within seconds, “what’s happening outside? I don’t understand.” Victoria carefully talked to him, unsure of what his reaction would be. Her hand covered her mouth as she coughed a few times, almost doubling over in pain. It didn't sound well in the least; the girl obviously was very sick. Her pale and fragile appearance was more or less screaming that fact. Her face, it did not look like a normal, healthy girl's visage would. A dark discolorization was right under her eyes; it was clear that once she had been healthy and vibrant, but of that time nothing much seemed to have been left. She was thin, incredibly thin, though now it appeared that she had less trouble to stand right. She hated to always stay in bed. It seemed to be the only thing she did and could do, lately. Lying in bed. Resting in bed. Eating in bed. Reading there. Sometimes her mother visited her. What was even more of a rare event, is when her father would sit on her bed and talk to her. No. The only one she occasionally saw was the butler. Creepy old man, in her opinion. And that female servant who had become some sort of a second mother to her. Over the years, seeing as both of her parents were too busy with themselves, she was the one who had taken care of her. Together with the butler, but she was trying to forget his face for as long as she could remember. She was basically being locked up in her room. Often, a personal tutor, whom she also disliked because he sniffed every single time he would say something, would come to the house and teach her etiquette and other subjects a 'lady', as her mother said, should know. What a bother. And all because of her sickness. The brown eyes rapidly flashed over the other two companions. An almost unnoticeable smirk tugged at the corner of her pale lips when she stared at the clergyman. She was curious, if he would notice or not. Then her gaze traveled back to Marius again, staring frightened at the man who was her father.
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PostSubject: Re: Altitude   Sun Mar 28, 2010 8:19 pm

For his own part, there was no smile, not even the slightest hint of anything but the sudden weakness that had taken over his frail frame. He still looked like he was fighting the urge to regurgitate yet again, as he leaned heavily on the support that was afforded him by the man, Marius. The dark hair fell about his shoulders and his head hung low, the tortured face obscured greatly by his hat. Supporting him, was the politician, not dressed in his finest clothes, and those that he wore were quite out of order, but he cast no care at it or what anyone thought of it. He was directed only at the man in need of help, until he saw his daughter. "Victoria!" he called out, distraught, "What has brought you out of bed? Has this commotion stirred you? No, quickly, to the kitchen. We will all be able to restore ourselves together." At the brief conversation, or rather, set of orders, the priest spared a courteous glance at the girl and an attempt at a smile. It was a weak attempt, and his head fell down again after it died in forming on his lips.

They pushed on, into the kitchen, where Marius was able to lever the man of the church onto a stool where he could sit, supporting himself on the butcher's block in the center of the kitchen. After making sure that he was alright, Marius saw to his daughter, fussing her into a chair as well, and then he sped off in a high state of agitation, looking for the cook, not necessarily sure about making the tea himself. As he bustled out, a strange effect of the light made the clergyman, who had just a moment ago look fatigued, distraught, and queasy look much more like a grave keeper who had just had the amusing effect of seeing his own handiwork admired by others. "Your not looking so well tonight, Mademoiselle," he smiled a not altogether pleasant smile, "Perhaps you should retreat to bed and, I don't know... read a book?" He stood lightly and began rummaging about the kitchen, setting about the act of making tea.
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PostSubject: Re: Altitude   Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:45 pm

“I…”, she murmured confused, avoiding that particular one’s gaze by looking warily at her father, “Maybe I should go back to bed, indeed…” The girl bit her lower lip, glancing to the people in the kitchen with a slightly worried stare before she decided to get off the chair. She made a quick bow for the guests, then went to her father. Victoria sighed, smiling, then stood on her toes to give Marius a sweet kiss on his cheek, embracing him warmly. The man carefully laid one hand on her back, afraid to hurt her weak body further. “It is alright, now, rest”, he softly replied, tenderly stroking her cheek before releasing his daughter.
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PostSubject: Re: Altitude   Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:42 am

Whatever he had expected, he hadn't expected her to do that... It amused him no end, as soon as he was alone again, he allowed himself to fall back into the part of the clergyman, those subtle and distinct points that differentiated the two men blended until one began to disappear within the nuances of the other. His hands shook a little as he prepared everything for his tea. And when Marius came back, dragging his cook in tow, he found the priest wringing his hands over the kettle which had not yet come to a boil. "I'm sorry that I didn't wait," the man of the cloth sort of spluttered out, "I had to do something to take my mind off of..." His voice trailed off and his body resigned itself to just sort of shivering. "By all means," Marius nodded. He had specifically avoided looking at the body at the scene of the murder, and by the reaction of this man, and that of his brother even, who despite his natural bravado had been visibly shaken, he was quite glad that he had not, but there was still the fact that the integrity of the neighborhood was thrown into question by such a brutal murder, and only two houses away from his own. He had ordered the butler to make everything secure, and had called for some men he knew to come and make sure the house was safe, at least for tonight. The cook took over her kitchen again, pushing and shoving about with her girth. The clergyman retreated to his stool once again, and he and Marius sat and spoke a little. The man of God was not all that talkative though, and he had a decidedly haunted look in his eyes. He appeared to be mumbling something under his breath, though, and if one caught words of it, they might have been able to assume that he was praying or saying the Hail Marry. "Well, we'll get some tea in you and I'll call for a cab to drive you home, and don't worry, I'll catch the expense." The priest smiled weakly, "I thank you."
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PostSubject: Re: Altitude   Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:51 am

Her body relaxed once she was out of the room, in the hallway again. No one seemed to be near, at first sight. Great. Now she could finally get through with this. Ah, for such an incredibly tormenting long time she had been waiting for this moment to come, and now it finally was near arriving. The girl carefully went upstairs; not too careful, however, seeing as she was expected to actually do that. Still, she made sure to not wake the rest. Victoria bit her lower lip as she pondered further. What could possibly go wrong now? The men were simply sitting a bit downstairs while discussing the recent events of horror, the servants wouldn’t be bothered by her and that butler would most likely be occupied by some kind of task. Her head tilted up, expectantly gazing over the ceiling for a moment. Almost there, almost there. Adrenaline slowly started to become apparent in her body and mind. Her feet quickly led her to the left. With some force, she managed to open the heavy doors that marked the entrance. The chamber was large, a library. There were two fauteuils placed by a large window, she noticed, near an enormous table on which various piles of books had been placed. The remaining space was filled with bookcases, and obviously, books. Lots and lots of them. It had to be here, somewhere between the other texts. No other option existed. Victoria silently walked to the first shelf, rapidly reading the various titles as she tried to find it as fast as she possibly could.
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PostSubject: Re: Altitude   Mon Apr 05, 2010 3:42 am

Somewhere in the house, the distant whistle of the tea, which was evidently ready, sounded like a train far off in the distance. So far away, it's smell was not evident, but it was still a more comforting noise than it was disturbing, strangely. All was dark, and only the soft noises of a house at night could be heard at most, interspersed with the noises from the crowd that still existed outside and with slightly more volume, a bit of banging about in the kitchen. The floor creaked ominously as the old butler made for the stairs, passing by the door to the library quickly, not noticing anything at all. Well, perhaps not everything was so dark, light did come through the large windows on the street side of the library, a strange mixture of moonlight and streetlight eked through the folds of curtain softly but steadily. Many of the books were wreathed in shadow. Somewhere, deep in the blackest corner of the library, something shifted. The light glinted off of an incredibly pale hand, and shone off of dark, dark hair. The form was sitting against a sort of marble balcony which led up to another section of the library. "Brings new meaning to the term fox hunt," the voice was decidedly masculine, but had an odd melodic beauty to it, and was hauntingly familiar, in the sense more that he was using it so familiarly after having the known the woman for only about a half-hour at most.
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PostSubject: Re: Altitude   Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:24 pm

“It certainly does.” The voice sounded deeper, not like a little girl in the least. A strange smile distorted the young one’s face in what some would perhaps find a frightening manner. It promised many things to come. That seemed to have given the cue. A wave, strangely enough reminding a person of how an innocent ripple would disturb silent water, seemed to wash over the female’s figure; the dark hair gradually started to curl, rapidly becoming lighter and changed to a deep red color, the weak small body seemed to grow and develop. Nails lengthened, dangerously sharpening, while the woman who had replaced the girl in mere seconds now turned away her head with a short quick movement, hiding her face. Out of nowhere, a pale hand suddenly seemed to hold the mask. She bowed away from the person who had first spoken, tying the mask skillfully to her head. Ah, how she absolutely dreaded this action that had repeated itself too many times already. No, it was nothing like dread. What she felt was sheer resentment towards the object. Lavinia breathed out, relaxing as she stood right, gazing at the butler. Another smile appeared.
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PostSubject: Re: Altitude   Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:52 pm

The slipping sound of smoke wrung about the room, and the pale hand slid over the firm wood of the door, closing it slowly but surely. The click was audible as the lock reaffirmed itself against intrusion. Dark eyes shone with a strange fire as he through a glance at the masked woman. He did not speak, but a small puff of breath, a tiny snort of derision perhaps, or amusement, escaped him. A sound like wings, and he was aloft, upon the banister of the balcony, a book in hand. It was not the one for which they searched. In fact, it was a rather dry looking old text that had something to do with grammatical patterns of a bygone century. He sniffed at it, interestedly, and cracked the musty old thing open to peruse the pages. "I mean no offense, but how good is your nose? And can it sift through all this dust, or is that why you brought me along?" he smiled at the thought, slamming the book in his own face. The cloud of dust that he did throw up, as if to prove his point, was intoxicating in the largest sense. The act had seemed to put him out like a light, or maybe he had just fallen off of the perch upon which he had sat with such little stability. Either way, he was appearing from behind another bookshelf next with another old, if not massive, book. A sort of illuminated manuscript which he brought over to one of the windows, presumably to cast some light upon the images inside.

Outside, a cab could be seen pulling up. After a moment or so, a darkly clad fellow, a priest perhaps, was bustled out of the house by the owner, and presumably the butler. He was loaded up into the seat, and driven away. The shadowy creature standing with his book smiled as he glanced up from the immaculate workmanship to watch the small event. The crowd was beginning to disperse a bit. It was quite late after all, but they were still sizable enough in terms of number to encumber the house's owner on his way back with questions and demands. It allowed the butler to exercise his superiority, and gave the pale man time to step back from the window, lest he be noticed standing there. Despite that window, he took no step, remaining exactly where he was.
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PostSubject: Re: Altitude   Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:02 am

She did not utter a word, while he moved as he did. Perhaps the slight tensing of her jaw together with the absence of her smile might have indicated her thoughts to the trained eye. Lavinia closely watched the manuscript he was currently viewing, though the woman was unable to discern what the images were about. How frustrating this was. “What do you have there?” A question. Like any question. It sounded exceptionally simple and uncomplicated in its being. “Something that would demand my attention?” However, it was accompanied by a certain fright, a strange stain that disturbed the usual tranquility. Perhaps only she realized the gravity of her own words. Then again, maybe they truly did not matter. Should such a thing appear to be truth, it would not bother her in the least. Au contraire, it would be relieving. Sadly, no such thing was granted to her, like she naturally had expected. She realized that she wasn’t someone who could be granted anything. So far, it didn’t seem to work out like that in this life of hers. Some impatient steps were taken forward, to the book he was holding. A slight, maybe anxiety, was taking over the female. Her hands, they faintly shook. Trembling at the thought of what might be right in front of her. There wasn’t a lot of chance that it indeed was what she had hoped it was for the past few years. She couldn’t help but wish for it anyway. Her head tilted up a bit, proudly waiting for an answer. Or perhaps she was merely putting on another mask…
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PostSubject: Re: Altitude   Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:56 pm

A trick of the moonlight, he seemed to have been, a wind disturbing the curtains, or a shadow of some creature flitting through the opalescent beams, either way... He wasn't there... Nor was there any book where before the pages had lain bare and naked, garbed only in their writings upon which the moon had gazed. Now only dust, stirred by the motion of the woman flitted about in the rays cast by that street lamps. Yet, though he was not there, he was not gone. "Why is this book so important to you?" the voice was soft and dark and almost fiercely melodic. It was all about, a whisper that echoed through the library, through her head, behind her, there by one of the shelves. He stood, the darkness flared up against his features as if to make them even more obscure. "Why do you seek Reynard?" He was looking away from her, looking at the book that rested in his hands, its cover hidden behind his body, that dark,, lithe silhouette which cut through the shadows not unlike a blade greased to hide its shimmer. he was holding the book almost as if it were a child, clasped delicately in his arms, held out for him to look upon. Had she been able to see the black eyes, the woman would have found in them the same tender care with which a mother does bathe her own children. Had his coat also been cut slightly smaller, she might have been able to note the tension in his back muscles. He was prepared to defend this book, but why from her? What threat was she? What did she want?
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PostSubject: Re: Altitude   Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:40 am

The woman kept staring ceaselessly at the hands that covered that which maybe was the main interest of her mind. She could not even claim to be certain that that particular book there indeed was what she had been searching for so desperately. Carefully advancing a large step closer, Lavinia tore her eyes off the book, although such a thing would go unnoticed, for the mask was still tied right where it was supposed to be. “Why I seek him”, she repeated, chuckling a slight bit to herself while brushing away some wandering dark strands, “I need his help for a certain problem.” It was obvious that she did not wish to say anything else. Some instances passed, there appeared to be this tension in the room. However, a decision was taken in this silence. Perhaps it was not that much of a smart one, nevertheless, when something works, it works. And that was exactly what she needed. The younger one stretched out her hand to him, licking her lips. “Well”, again a few more steps nearer, “if what you hold there is what I seek, I demand you to hand it to me.” A sweet smile was the only noticeable change on her features, except, maybe, the sudden rigid stance that controled her figure now.
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PostSubject: Re: Altitude   Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:48 am

He seemed to hesitate for but a moment before, with a look of resignation on his face, he slowly handed the book over. To the last, or as long as it was in his grip, he held it with the same incredible delicacy, as though he thought it might shatter if mistreated. Every motion of his body was with utter fluid and grace and still so slow as to be utterly exaggerated in a manner that made it appear that even as he was so fluid, he was so inside an atmosphere as thick as water. His dark eyes were focused not on the manuscript however, but the woman who required it be given her. There was no trace of the strange fire that had been in them before. No, now they were just bottomless pools, darker than the shadows all around, points completely devoid of light. His silent lips mouthed some kind of words, but the air was undisturbed by their notions. While he was silent the book spoke for him. The title on the cover was in a flowing sort of script, a bit old, and perhaps not as well cared for as they should have been. They were in Latin, a language long thought to be dead, and had been, for the most part. Yet, these words, despite the assurance of their presence, were elusive at best, almost as if they could shift position at will. One was given good call to imagine if the story wouldn't change itself while they read the words. It was as if the book could conjure an image and a piece after its own fashion, to suite its own designs... But then, it was just a book... after all...
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PostSubject: Re: Altitude   Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:26 pm

She silently held the book in her hands, fingers almost tenderly tracing the fading title that had been written so long ago on the cover. Was it truly this easy? The irony of how much time had been wasted because of this, while now it was revealed that it had been hidden in such a simple place, caused a feeling of nearly disappointment that mingled with the general rush of adrenaline that she was experiencing. A smile, a real one this time, showed white and rather sharp teeth. Unnaturally pointed, one would think after a while. Both canines were longer, and more pronounced, than the other teeth. The woman slowly moved around him. “I thank you”, curly hair fell over her shoulder as she slightly bowed her head, while her right hand, the one that did not keep the book close and safe to herself, made a theatrical, yet gracious, gesture. Lavinia halted, standing at his other side, closer to the window. The smile suddenly disappeared, making place for a stern expression on the parts of her face that were visible. For an instance, the female listened carefully to the movements outside; the ones that had left their homes to witness the terrible happenings appeared to have returned to their cozy beds already. And, if she could be fast, which she knew she certainly was, it would not cause any problematic situations with the family of this home. She grasped the book tighter; claw-like nails dug themselves through the old binding. Her muscles strained to a painful extent. Time felt slowed down. The female rushed forwards, as fast as she possibly could run, towards the window.
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PostSubject: Re: Altitude   Mon Apr 12, 2010 5:22 am

He was there first. This time, there was no questioning that he had moved, no trick of the light. He had blown past her with enough speed to put to shame the shadows that descend with the putting out of a light. The terrible sound of the wind around him was like claws tearing at flesh, and for a moment as he passed her, the semblance of humanity seemed to slip away. His dark clothes were like rags, his pale skin like parchment loosely stretched across a frame of marrow, and the eyes were like twin burning points of flame. Then a sound not dissimilar to that of an artillery battery being fired beside the naked ear rang out as he seemed to explode into himself again. The shadowy form, all of him, sped through the shards of glass that erupted outward with a furry unparalleled. Somehow, the air bore his form with the same unnatural speed until he too fragmented as if he was made up of so many pieces of the mind, a phantom as quickly forgotten as he had been conjured to begin with. Still the shattered remnants flew outward and in that odd manner that seems to be brought on by an incredible increase of adrenaline, they slowed to a crawl in their individual paths through the crisp and clear night air. Almost as if the window, now in a myriad and sundry parts removed had come to a halt as if it too had forgotten how exactly it was meant to fall.
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PostSubject: Re: Altitude   Mon Apr 12, 2010 5:55 am

She rapidly glanced around, having landed carefully on the ground right below the window; he seemed to have disappeared, after his rather theatrical and perhaps slightly impressive departure, although she would never admit that last part out loud. However, it appeared that this had a much better outcome than the female had dared to anticipate at first. With utter care and silence, she rose. Immediately the extent of her ease became clear through the way her body loosened up. A sigh, it was as if one washed over her figure. Seeing as one would not deem it necessary to run any further when there is nothing and no one to hide for or demands to be left, Lavinia merely walked, ordinary and plain it perhaps could be called, to the other side of the cobble paved street. Now, she took time to take a good look at the book. It definitely was what she had sought after. The woman only slightly regretted the lack of control and patience on her part, which had caused some damage to the pages. Nothing that would cause any problems, normally, yet it was an undesirable fact. The sound of her heels hitting stone in a nearly rhythmic dance resonated loudly around her. Her feet led her to the right, to a little alley.
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PostSubject: Re: Altitude   Mon Apr 12, 2010 6:36 pm

An alley steeped in shadow as a black tea is clouded by that which gives it flavor, the tea itself, or in this case the shadow, was pervasive, but what better environment in which for a fox to make a den? Even the small lantern burning at the passageways nether end did nothing to alleviate the darkness, instead, it merely cast a red-ish glow about itself. The taper in the lantern was quite steady however, and despite its inability to aid the general miasma the hung of the darkened corridor, it did however, still cast its light, in a fashion that rather oddly illuminated the book if little else. The little else that it did show was not even the vague impression of a door leading into the capillary structure which connected two different streets, some loose objects thrown hither and all a sundry, and something a bit larger that looked and more so smelled as though it must be some form of waste receptacle. The sky above lent terribly small help, with only a sparse star or two in view, and none of those was quite close enough to lend its light while it peered down at the strange scene.
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PostSubject: Re: Altitude   Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:58 pm

She cautiously glanced over her shoulder. How silly, one would think, there really was no living soul out there; so why bother searching for one anyway. At any rate, the woman stopped when she reached some larger crates. Perfect; Lavinia carefully sat down on one of those, slowly opening the book that rested safely on her lap. A hand flipped over some pages, curiously gazing at the strange language that went accompanied with old drawings and images. Well, the comprehending part of reading perhaps was a little difficult, if not very; though she knew enough of this dead tongue to at least realize what was going on in the story. A deep shaky breath, one could cut the tension with a knife. She slightly growled, impatiently flipping through the old book. Now and then, dry protesting sounds of the ancient pages met her ears. Not that the woman truly cared about that, to be honest. A small cry of victory suddenly filled the air, after some frustrating minutes of frantically turning over pages had passed. Lavinia rose, turning to lay the book where she had previously sat. Her hands shook, perhaps in fear, as she reached behind her head, searching the little ties that kept the mask closely secured to her face.
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PostSubject: Re: Altitude   Tue Apr 13, 2010 4:35 am

The shadows broadened, deepened, drew closer around her, as if they did not want anyone else to see the visage hidden by the mask, as if they had a will to stop it from happening. Perhaps it was not the living souls that mattered in the dark, dank alleyway. The cold creeping of stone all around seemed to loom in as if it intended to make an arch above her head, to hide her even from the far away sight of the stars. At both ends, the street seemed to be farther away than it had been not a moment ago, as if the world itself had contrived to stretch a little so that no one might be able to reach this spot at this particular moment to disturb the woman as she made to unmask herself. Then again, maybe it wasn't nature that conspired, or even the spirits therein. The lantern shining out from the alleyway's end shone with even less intensity. The red light seemed to be focused downward, as if it had cast its eyes at the ground to give the woman privacy, to give her secrecy. The air of expectation fairly leered over her, though, perhaps even not so much her as the book. Opening up the scene was what it all seemed to wish for. Opening up the story. The watching force was not focused on the players so much as the stage.
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PostSubject: Re: Altitude   Wed Apr 14, 2010 4:07 pm

However, the strange subtle changes in both shadow and light were not perceived in the least by the female; it would of course be a terrible understatement to claim that the concentration, which currently completely consumed her mind and any existing thoughts, together with what one could call a certain terror for what was yet to come and perhaps what would possibly stay devastatingly absent, was painfully evident to any spying eyes; that is, if it were true, that there indeed was something else except the female and book nearby the dim-lit reeking alley. One’s attention, nevertheless, appeared to be forcefully drawn towards the mask, which was skillfully, if not with some struggle, untied by her own rapid fingers. It oddly enough seemed to stay in place; the hand crafted ever laughing fox-head felt to her as if it had been glued to her face. A shiver teasingly went up her spine. Perhaps it was fear, perhaps something else. Only she knew, or had barely the vaguest of ideas, about what exactly it meant. Both hands leisurely reached up, grasping the rims of the old piece of art. Why the woman hesitated, even she knew not the reason. She harshly pulled a first time. The result stayed out; as the red haired one had expected and maybe even hoped for. In the silence of this bizarre night, words, almost sounding like the incoherent mumbling of an insane mind, quietly made their entrance. Her voice whispered, beautifully, as her hands stayed in front of her face, still reaching behind the brims. Faintly, a little light of an orange color glowed in the small space that now separated her skin from the mask. Agonizingly slow, the mask allowed more room to come in between itself and the being. The tiny light began to shine a little brighter, however, it did not illuminate anything but her; it solely glowed in the darkness that surrounded her. Lips closed, words silenced… And the mask, well, the clattering sound that resonated when it hit the ground relieved yet increased the general tension even more. Her whole stance crumbled down; she frantically tried to somehow hide her body. Nothing, at first sight, appeared to be wrong. The female lowered her head and allowed the river of curly hair that she possessed to more or less fall in front of it, concealing her visage some more. As she took a wavering step, closing the distance between the book and her body more, she hugged herself, suddenly feeling incredibly naked and cold. The leather creaked when she moved. She could not even remember what it felt like, before… Not wearing the mask, it had been erased from her memories. In merely some puny seconds, the woman was weakened down to a sickly appearance. The vibrant color of her hair was dimmed down to a pathetic imitation and even her skin, incredibly pale already, had changed to an even whiter variant, almost giving one the impression to be transparent. Every single bit of pride and strength had vanished; not even a hint remained. Lavinia, now a frail being, only managed to stand more or less right by succumbing to the cold; she moved her arms, from around herself, to the crate on which the book was still safely resting. Dark, bruise-like spots slowly started to appear on the pasty skin of her hands and lower arms. Undoubtedly with certain desperateness, she grasped the wooden structure. Small, breaking sounds erupted form the crate. Her nails dug themselves right through the unresisting wood in her daze, the woman was rather absent of mind and unaware of her actions. They were definitely claw-like and had increased in length and sharpness. Her breathing became uneven; she let herself slightly fall forward, her head resting on her arms, which still harshly gripped the crate. The motion naturally caused her hair to fall aside, over her shoulder. Only for an instance, some mere seconds that were devoid of any meaning at all, her face was partly visible. An eye, hidden in the dark, expressionlessly stared down at the old pages. It was... Partially, blue. Her iris had been invaded by this strange, yellow color -gold, according to some. The two colors were tangled in and around each other; fighting, to gain the upper hand. Or, in a twist of thought, embracing. A thick, black line pronounced the shape of her eye; it was not make-up of any sorts, but, appeared to be a part of her. On her cheek, temple and roughly around the eye, grew hairs. Fur, perhaps, of a shade that was not so dissimilar to the tint that her hair previously possessed. It did not reach further than her cheek. And then, the sight was gone as curls moved back in place, completely hiding her face once again. Though the impression lingered behind. The eye, it was not human, not in the least, but an animal's eye, wild and untamed…
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PostSubject: Re: Altitude   Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:31 pm

"The vixen's fur is soft and light, But hither to she is brought with a plight, And though her beauty shine within the night, Her thoughts are dark with awful fright," The voice was teasing while it was also delicate and caring. It was different than the melodic tones of the pale man who had come before, yet no less mysterious. This one was lighter with a nasal sort of expression, bordering on a slight rasp, and yet in a gentlemanly way. It was the voice of a poet perhaps, and a fellow sure of his own wits and more than willing to share his brilliance with the world, should the occasion arise. For all of its poise and grandeur, it also managed to hide far to much, leaving wrapped in twisted folds second meanings and thoughts unspoken altogether so that everything which slid off of his tongue could have been meant doubly with feeling, or one of millions of other emotions so that even a trained musician could not name exactly what tone at which this instrument sang its chorus.

In the dark alley, the voice echoed out from a definitive origin. He was behind the pile of crates to which the strange case of creature named Lavinia found herself clinging. Had she been able to witness him, she would only have seen the robes of a monk, with the hood of the habit pulled all the way up, the hands tucked into the sleeves, and the body reclined in such a position as to be thoroughly obscured by the heavy cloth. Still, underneath the edge of the cowl could be heard a strange sort of irregular breathing, one might have thought it not unlike the panting of a dog, being composed of longer drawn out breaths that sounded like they came into and left a mouth left hanging open. It gave that natural wet sort of sound to the routine procession of oxygen as it flowed into and out of the lungs.

The world at large seemed to find this whole scene utterly too much to handle, and with the same effect as a watercolor painting in which the water and therefor the colors as well have started to sort of run downwards, it appeared almost to be melting away. As it did this, however, it seemed that the lantern specifically, with its red-ish light, refused to disappear. In fact, it had evidently decided to become more distinct, or perhaps it was the general fading that caused it to have more refinement to its image. Either way, as the colors ran around it, some seemed to smudge in just the right way to imply that the lantern was not a lantern at all. Instead, the mussed area underneath ran like a black sort of blood until the hint of a person's outline stood there. It touched the ground, as if grimy water had flowed down the building in just the manner of a man dressed in a long coat. Their were pale spots where his hands might have been sticking out of the sleeves, and a the pale glass of the lantern, framed by the wavy form of the black metal casing, displaying in its center a pair of blazing red eyes. Slowly, the wash came into relief again, and the world settled back into its dark shades with lighter hues touching it, the lights from the street outside. No distortion played any longer with the reality of the night. At the end of the alley, there was no man, but neither was there a lantern, perhaps it had been the figment caused by a passerby retrieving the apparatus to make his way home, or there was always the possibility that it had never existed in the first place.

However, one absence does not make another, and the figure dressed in monastic attire still rested against the boxes. His voice again pierced the night, "Surrounded by shadows, Of spirits not hallowed, Why draw me from my present rest, What, Mademoiselle, ist Thine distress?"
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