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Nicki BluIs

They walked a bit aimlessly for a while before the silence started to frustrate Hazel. Who was this kid anyway? And why was he acting like she was contagious or something?

Finally it was too much. "I'm Hazel," she said suddenly. "I don't remember if I had told you already so... yeah." She looked back to check if he was still following. "Do you have a name? Or do like to be mysterious?"

4/16/2009 #31
Pirate Bones

Do you like to be mysterious... That sounded quite nice to Jethro. Mystery had it's own special appeal in his head after all. But, though he didn't really want to let this girl know too much about him, he was a nice enough guy to tell his name. He is silent though, his mind is still debating about telling her or not telling her. His paranoid self was just kicking in after all.

Maybe she has heard of our school, he asked himself. He really didn't want another person in his life mocking his existence. He peeked at the girl who was smiling at her, then he lowers his head.

"Jethro..." He sadly said, as if he needed condolences. He certainly hated his name... and even more for his surname - but he didn't have to say that. The girl's expression was changing and he suddenly wishes that he had been mysterious.

4/17/2009 #32
Nicki BluIs

Hazel thought for a moment. "Jethro. A good solid Southern name." She smiled again hoping he understood it as a compliment. "My name is Hazel. Not really that special but whatever. You work with what you've got."

Hazel teetered on the heels of her feet, eeling unsettled in the silence. "So, uh. What do you want to do? I'm not from around here so, uh, well it's really up to you what we do next..."

4/17/2009 #33
Pirate Bones

Southern name, huh, now Jethro wondered which history books her mother has been reading during his youthful days. Hazel to him was a very nice name, not too weird but also not heard too often. And then the positive comment - you work with what you've got. It was impossible for Jethro to work with what He's got - a name that existed only to torture his already pitiful and sad life.

They walk in silence as the girl ask what to do next. Then Jethro stops. Hazel wasn't from around here... So was Jethro. He looked from left to right, hoping that he would remember any streets at all. He had been wandering about to clear his mind that he didn't realize how far and where he'd gone.

He's a lost lamb.

"I want to go home" He said in a small voice, his eyes starting to get teary. The worst - and only the worst - was what he had in his mind. The sun was setting and the sky was red, his stomach is rambling from hunger but he really didn't mind being hungry. The girl was cheerful with her big brown eyes staring him down, maybe she knew the place better than him even though she isn't from around here. "Do you know where we are?"

4/17/2009 #34
Nicki BluIs

"Um..." Hazel looked around frantically, horrified that none of the streets had names or markers. "Damn small towns," she grumbled. She fished a map out of her tote bag and held it under a streetlamp.

"Okay." She turned to Jethro. "Do you know where you live?" What a stupid question... "On the map, I mean. Can you find your house on the map?"

4/17/2009 #35
Pirate Bones

"I live near Tauton high school, if I can get my way there I'd know where to go" He said, trying to have a look at the map as the girl looked at her map in slight panic. "It's in front of Abbey school for girls"

He wonders if his mum would worry. She's probably not home yet though. He suddenly feels very guilty for troubling Hazel, he feels extremely guilty.

"I'm sorry, I'm such a worthless guy. I can't even find my own way home. Just pathetic. You could just leave me here to rot... I deserve it" He rambles on, pessimism slowly taking control of his mind.

4/17/2009 #36
Nicki BluIs

"No, you're not worthless, I'm worthless!" How could she let herself get lost?! And why didn't she bring her GPS thing! Hazel scanned the map and found the schools Jethro had mentioned. None of the buildings near those schools looked familiar to her.

"Um... okay! The greenery! that's where we started right? If we find that on the map we can figure out where we are! I hope..."

She chewed on her lower lip and wished she had stayed home this weekend.

4/17/2009 #37
The Perfect Soldier

((I do'nt mean to overstep my boundries and spin a slug into the barrel, but could we call for an arc closed and maybe breathe some new life into this thread? :) ))

7/1/2009 #38
Chasing Skylines

She stepped out of the shadows, the bush twitching as she left her spot. Making sure to grind the cigarette butt firmly into the sidewalk and correcting her posture a bit for the sake of the tremulous kid, she walked over to where the woman was squinting at a map.

"Tauton High's over thereabouts," Casey said, turning around and pointing up the road. "Kid, you got a mom, dad, some family? If ya do, there's a payphone at the gas station down the street. Better than you walking around at night. Suburbia's only so nice." Not to mention the kid looked underfed and was practically a glowing corpse in the night. The kid inspected her for a moment, mumbled something, nodded a thanks at the woman, and walked down the street. She kept her eyes on him until the darkness slipped behind and obscured him.

Now under the sheen of the lamppost, Casey glanced more closely at the woman. "Did you ever date someone named Danny?" Casey wondered where her brother was now. Dad used to say nowhere and everywhere. She got to the first place; he gets what's left. Weird how things seem to have reversed.

7/2/2009 . Edited 7/2/2009 #39
Nicki BluIs

"Um, I don't think that's any of your business," Hazel answered, bristling at the mention of an old boyfriend. She took a deep breath and let the stress slip away. Despite the rocky start this was still her vacation.

"Thanks for dealing with that kid by the way," she said. "I really had my hands full..."

7/4/2009 #40
Chasing Skylines

She shrugged. It wasn't, and of her own volition, too. Besides, what's another chance encounter with one of her brother's flings?

"Kids are worth every amount of trouble," she said, idly twisting the Spiderman watch around. "What're you doing out in middle-of-nowhere, Iowa, anyway?" Somewhere I shouldn't have come, Casey reflected. But there wasn't much difference between a D.C gas station and the one here. Prices would still be higher than ever, and she wouldn't care; after all, man walks on two legs in the noon, and she wasn't old. "Not the number one tourist destination of America. Your car break down?" Maybe it was time for some change. That local diner could probably use a waitress without a lazy eye.

7/4/2009 . Edited 7/4/2009 #41
Nicki BluIs

"Well, no," Hazel said while scanning the map for a way back to the bed and breakfast. "I come from the middle-of-everywhere, New York, so I thought this'd be a nice change of pace." She looked up at the girl and was taken aback by how distracted and skittish she seemed. What's up with the people here... "Get away from the hustle and bustle and relax a bit... y'know?"

7/5/2009 #42
Chasing Skylines

Returning her gaze back to the woman, Casey said, "New York? Big scene change. So where're you staying at? I know a couple good inns 'round here if you need them." The women still had the map open. Casey guessed the boy hadn't been the only lost one. "Need help finding your way back?"

7/5/2009 #43
The Perfect Soldier

Ben whistled softly as he walked down the street. Smoothing out a ruffle in his shirt, he glanced around. Up ahead were two women talking. Unconciously, he appraisingly looked them over. Not too bad He thought The one...is she spanish? Cuban? She's rather attractive. The other one had a different look to her, like she'd seen more in her life than she should have just yet. I wonder what her story is? Reporter instincts kicking in, Benwent from male appraising to interview appraising in a flash.

Walking by, he over heard part of their conversation. It sounded like they....were looking to get a room together?! I couldn't of heard that right. Graceful as a drunk gibbon, he stumbled over the curb, surprised. Blinking, he looked around.

"I meant to do that."

7/6/2009 . Edited 7/6/2009 #44
Chasing Skylines

People shouldn't drink beer if they couldn't hold it - or themselves. Casey stepped down the sidewalk and onto the road, heading over to him. When she got close enough, she hooked her arms around his stomach and pulled him up. Strands of his long hair kept getting in her eyes.

Hopefully, he wouldn't barf.

7/6/2009 #45
The Perfect Soldier

"Thanks" Ben accepted the help as one of the girls hleped him to his feet. Brushing some dirt from his jacket he looked up at her. "Sorry about that. I was distracted by.....uhh..." He looked around, "The clouds up there. There was one that looked kinda cool."

7/6/2009 #46
Chasing Skylines

It was a cloudless night. The full moon shone prominently, dominating the sky and sharing only with the stars.

Casey nodded. "I think that moon-shaped cloud looked kinda cool too. Do you need help getting to wherever you're staying too? Unless you're a resident?" He did resemble Uncle Avery's nephew.

7/6/2009 #47
The Perfect Soldier

Blushing slightly, he realized she was right. There wasn't a cloud in the sky. "I'm not a resident, although my family is from around here. I'm kind of estranged though. I moved to New York to prove there was a world beyond the corn fields. So... yeah i guess i could use some help finding a place to stay." Looking at the woman again, he looked her in the eye, and flashed his half-smile. "Th'name's Ben. Do you hav ea name, or do you just answer to Miss Helpful?"

7/6/2009 #48
Chasing Skylines

Casey felt a hint of guilt now that she'd realized he was still sober enough to recognize sarcasm. "Looks like they're featuring Iowa on the billboards down in New York. Maybe you and her know each other?" Casey said, motioning toward the woman. "There's a motel closeby. I can take you there if you can't yourself," she said.

"I'm staying at a place further on the east side of town," she clarified after he straightened his back and gave a subtle smile. "Just call me... Michelle." Her Spiderman watch said it was nearing midnight.

7/6/2009 #49
The Perfect Soldier

Ben glanced at her awkwardly. "Pleasure to meet you, Michelle. And no, sorry, I don't know her. Why, she from New york too? Anyway, if you could show me where the motel is, that'd be great, it's been a while, I don't really now my way around here anymore."

7/8/2009 #50
Chasing Skylines

He looked uncomfortable. Did he think her telling him where she was staying was coming on to him? Way to accomplish the opposite, she thought. "It's a big city. I'm not surprised you don't," she said. "I'll show you, but it's midnight. I don't think it'd be safe to leave her behind. Maybe she's staying at the same place you are." Casey waited for a response from the woman.

7/8/2009 #51
Nicki BluIs

She had been staring at the map for at least five minutes before getting frustrated. "Okay so this thing's completly useless." She crumpled up the map and fished her hand-held GPS. After punching at the keys and scowling more, she gave that up too. "Do you realize," she said, looking up at the girl, "that this town is so freakin small that none of the roads are registered?!" She shook her head. "Next time, I'm going to Maui..."

7/8/2009 #52
The Perfect Soldier

Ben perked up. "Maui?" He gave a lopsided grin. "Nice place, ever been there?"

7/8/2009 #53
Chasing Skylines

Casey realized she was talking with a lost Hispanic woman and weak drunk in the middle of a town in Iowa, and that the forefront thought in her mind was "tourists" with a mental roll of the eyes. Stranger things happened.

She quietly slipped back into the unlit yard behind her. She wasn't going to get anything worth it from these people, so what was the point of helping, especially when you're tired?

7/8/2009 . Edited 7/8/2009 #54
Nicki BluIs

Hazel hadn't even noticed the man till then. He had this odd sort of smile - like he had a secret and he would make you beg before he told. She was suddenly conscious of her stupid hat and her sunburnt shoulders. She could practically hear Kym chiding her: Always look hot 'cause you'll never know who you'll bump into.

"Yeah... I mean, no!" Hazel cringed. "No, I haven't been but yeah, I bet it's nice." She shifted her totebag to her other shoulder and extended her hand. "Hazel Rodriguez."

7/8/2009 . Edited 7/8/2009 #55
Chasing Skylines

"Fuckin' hell." The voice was gruff; his beard would be peppered with salt. His demeanor was slouched, and yet his stomach jutted outwards. Even in the dark, Casey could imagine a food stain streaking down the center. Actually, she wasn't imagining it. She'd seen him just this morning, though he hadn't spotted her.

She crouched down beside the bushes.

7/8/2009 #56
The Perfect Soldier

Ben took the proffered hand. "Ben, Ben Brown. It's a pleasure to meet you, Hazel. This lady," He gestured towards the now unseen woman, "Well... that lady who said she was helping you, mentioned you're from New York? She also said there was a hotel around here, maybe we could go there together?" Suddenly, he realized just how that sounded. "Uhh... I mean... " he fumbled with his words, tounge tied before this hispanic beauty.

7/9/2009 #57
Nicki BluIs

Hazel shook her head. Typical single-minded sleazeballs... "No offense," Hazel said, caught between a giggle and a scowl, "but I don't know you enough to go anywhere with you." He probably hadn't meant it that way, but still... It was late and she was tired and the claws were already out. Hopefully he wouldn't notice the edge in her voice.

7/9/2009 #58
Chasing Skylines

The curtain of night muffled the town. It was not a large settlement, and definitely not a city, so no cars passed by, except the rare roadtripper crossing through for gas or a night away from a leather car seat. Only Ben and the woman's voices broke the silence.

The bluish-white light illuminated the sidewalk. She could see their shadows, but not her dad's. She scooted back further, the soles of her sneakers scuffling.

A twig cracked and then, startled from the noise, she yelped and tumbled into the bushes. Casey closed her eyes as the leaves and brambles scratched her face. Maybe he wouldn't notice.

7/9/2009 #59
The Perfect Soldier

"Heh, you're right, and I understand if the answer is no, but we do seemto be going to the same hotel," he regained his verbal footing as quickly as he had lost it, years of reporting experience kicking in to smooth things over. "Would you at least do me the favor of gracing me with your presence until we get to the front door? After that, I'll be out of your life forever." Without waiting for an answer, he turned and started towards the direction the vanishing act had indicated, keeping a little slower than normal walking speed, in case Hazel did actually walk with him.

7/9/2009 #60
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