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[SS] Cold Wool

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[SS] Cold Wool

Post  Erin Lightheart on Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:39 am

June 18th of the Previous Year, A Certain Rural Town in Gwynedd, Wales

It was time for the annual festival marking the Summer Solstice! People from all around were set to gather in the town well known for its aged, traditional, and rustic aesthetic to take part in the many festivities available. Livestock competitions, crop measuring, target shooting, and no mobile coverage to speak of await the tourists who are certainly aware of the lack of modern technology and conveniences!

All in all, it's a lovely little locale with plenty of sights to see, food to taste, sheep herds to spy, and air conditioning to not have! In fact, it's so perfect that everybody is kind and crime apparently doesn't even exist! This was not a place an urbanite would dare venture to unless they intended to be separated from modernity for some time indeed. For those unfortunate enough to find themselves here against their wishes, perhaps there could be some solace found in the lovely atmosphere and environment...

...This was what Erin believed as she stared sleepily out the window of the taxicab into the eerie darkness of the late night. The traditional Celtic music playing over the radio did little to ease her discomfort at having been given this monumental ordeal to overcome, though the rough, uneven road and all the rattling and squeaking certainly didn't help either. It had already been a long day, and if she had to endure any more long car trips in bumpy rural areas again, she was certain her rear end would forever lose all its feeling.

The driver was noticeably silent throughout the trip, coughing and humming aside. However, he finally spoke to indicate that they had finally reached the town, startling the young detective. After getting her bearings, she peered outside the small window once more, only to find some small lights staring back at her from the black abyss. This sight was at least welcomed after seeing naught but endless darkness for a considerable amount of time once the sun had set.

"There's a sight. I was beginning to think we had journeyed into a land without civilization without realizing it. As much as the countryside can be beautiful, seeing a settlement of people brightens my day."

She attempted to make for some small talk now that the end of the road was near, but the driver merely grunted in response. Perhaps he was not expecting to make such a long trip today, she thought. The car then came to an abrupt halt, and after dealing with the payment, she found herself standing in front of the town's gates, adorned with a large 'WELCOME!' made entirely of flowers. She admired how well-kept the floral decoration was before a powerful gust of wind reminded her how cold it was during the nighttime, and so she began to make her way further into the village, looking desperately for an address she was made to memorize.

A nearby camera watched her every move as she awkwardly stumbled around the town's empty center looking for the Davies hotel. The one overlooking the video feed made sure to get a good look at every move she made. Erin finally came to a stop in front of a monument displaying a list of names:

Keeping our town a shining light in the darkness, we thank the Festival Committee for their tireless efforts in ensuring our town stays pure and clean:

Arwel Lewis
Eiluned Lewis
Meredith Rhydderch
Caerwyn Reese
Carwyn Reese
Llewella Bowen
Celyn Davies
Roderick Evans
Rhiannon Priddy
Aerona Trevor


What caught her attention was that so-called Celyn Davies. Could it be a coincidence that the name of the hotel was the same? She shook her head, and muttered to herself how that wasn't possible as she continued her quest to find the hotel. She soon stopped in front of the address she had taken pains to memorize, and opened its large, thick doors to get out of the deathly cold.

Why was she here, you might wonder? What was a citizen of London doing all the way out here? The answer was quite simple: Aunt Aira and Uncle Rhys were going to show off their prized sheep at the festival, and she was to go ahead of them in order to reserve them a place in the competition before there were no more spaces left. Apparently they believed their niece, who they raised as their daughter, had nothing but free time on her hands, and figured she could use a nice 'vacation.'

At first she was looking forward to taking a break in rural Wales, but the idea of going to an entirely unfamiliar little town by herself without even so much as mobile phone coverage was asking for too much. Not to mention she was asked to drop everything and leave earlier that same day, which is why she arrived as late as she did.

The first thing that greeted her upon entry into the Davies hotel was the sound of thunderous snoring. She made her way into the barely-lit lobby only to find an old man asleep soundly at the front desk. She was about to speak up to wake him when her eyes found an old bell next to a sign indicating that if she needed service, she would need to ring it. And ring it she did! Multiple times in fact. The snoozing old man remained undisturbed, and so she finally saw fit to raise her voice.

"Excuse me, sir? I'm Lightheart, here to check in as per the arrangements made earlier..."

She tried to be as gentle as she could, but the man jolted upright with unimaginable speed. After a loud yawn, he glanced in her direction with a visible scowl.

"...Why didn'tcha ring the f@$&ing bell? Outsiders think they can just do whatever they want..."

He continued to grumble about his rude awakening as he conspicuously placed a nearby walkie talkie behind the desk and got up to fetch a room key. He gruffly placed it into her hands and looked briefly upstairs.

"...It's room 203. Don't make too much noise or bother the other guests. Don't call me unless it's an emergency. I'm Celyn Davies, make sure you remember that, lass."

"Understood. Thank you Mr. Davies, I will see myself to my room. Sorry for disturbing you. Good night."

As she hurried up the stairs to her room, she overheard him grumbling to the walkie talkie about 'another one', but thought it best not to dawdle and test the man's patience any further. Once inside her room, which contained a simple bed, flowers, a lamp, a bookshelf, an old telephone, and a bathroom, she placed her luggage neatly on the ground and laid on the bed to relax. She thought back to the trip she spent the better part of the day doing, and sighed from exhaustion.


Last edited by Erin Lightheart on Fri Aug 12, 2016 12:04 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Date mk. II)

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Re: [SS] Cold Wool

Post  Albrekka Starbright on Sat Jul 23, 2016 12:44 am

June 18th, Haslemere, hours prior

Albrekka waited at his desk, looking over the letter he received a few days ago:

Dear Albrekka,

I had heard you had come back to Haslemere, I wish I would have been there to greet you.  I hope you've been doing we'll; I've been fine.  I actually finally got a break in reporting, few years ago in fact.  Its been hard, but I think I'm giving the outlet a good impression.

Next week I'm going to be in Gwynedd; there's going to be a cultural festival, one of the smaller towns.  The team wanted me to do a report on it, nothing much going on there save that.  Would be nice to see you there, might be a good time to catch up.

Hope to see you soon.  If not I'll come down and meet with you back in town, I'm sure I can find you.  Its what I do!

Best Wishes,

Willard


Willard was certainly the hardworking type.  Wrote some rather cringe-worthy stories for the school paper, which is to be expected.

Albrekka had decided to take him up on his offer.  The sound of brakes outside could be heard, the taxi had finally arrived.

"You ready, miss?", the cab driver called out to Albrekka as he locked up.  It was more of just a saying than a question, though Albrekka made a slight nod to answer him, putting his bags in the back and getting inside.  Soon, the cab started moving.

And so it did, for several hours.  Night fell quickly, Albrekka looking outside the window up into the sky.

"Headed to that festival in Wales eh?  Long distance for something like that, there's one happening soon here right?"  The cab driver struck up a casual conversation, probably to end the silence and ease his boredom; after all, the drive was several hours long.

"Meeting with a friend, he travels a bit."

"Oh?  Strange, most people who stay there usually don't feel like leaving.  Crime rate's so low, I'm not surprised!" He chuckled.

"More of a halfway point, he doesn't live there."

With that the driver grunted in understanding, going back to his driving.  Certainly, the town was known for that.  Why it was would be anybody's guess, most statistics coming from crime rates from there only showed some accidents and not much else.  Police involvement seemed about the same as any other town.  It was certainly a mystery.

Not that it mattered, the festival was the real show.  Well, to a point.  The local goods mainly, perhaps something nice would be sold there?

June 18th, A Certain Rural Town in Gwynedd, Wales

Time passed, the moon high in the sky.  The town came into view.  The stars in the sky were clear, which was a nice change of pace; most towns and cities tended to blot out the night sky with light pollution but, as expected of a town out in the middle of nowhere that was a non-issue.

"Alright, we're here."  Albrekka would get out, getting his suitcase and purse.  Albrekka would rummage through his purse, finding his wallet.

"Here."  Obviously, the driver needed to be paid.

"Nice doing business with you lass."  With that, he would drive off, leaving him outside the town's inn.  He looked around for a moment before entering.

The nearby area was absolutely desolate, not a single person on the streets.  It was hard to imagine, even in Haslemere one can hear people moving in the dark, but here there was none of that.  Seemed that the town lived up to its reputation, for now.  Pulling his rolling suitcase, Albrekka went ahead and entered the inn.

The first thing he noticed while entering was the sound of snoring.  Looking around, it was apparently the person behind the desk.  Walking up and noticing a sign asking to ring the bell for service, he would ring it in the hopes of it waking the man up.

*ding*

It didn't work.

*ding* *ding* *ding*

Well, it will probably work eventually...

*ding* *ding* *ding* *ding* *ding* *di-*

Suddenly, the man quickly reached out his hand and grabbed the bell and Albrekka's hand.

"The hell are you doing?!  Can't you just ask me to wake up?  Outsiders do whatever the hell they want around here..." the man groaned, sitting up in his chair and letting go of the bell and his hand.  "Whaddaya want, a bed?"

"Yes, I'm here for the festival."

The man looked him over, noting his hair.  "Sure, here."  The man would reach behind him, grabbing a key.  "Room 207.  Don't make too much noise or bother the other guests. Don't call me unless it's an emergency.  Also, names Celyn Davies, best remember that while you're here, I run the place."

"Thank you, I'll see you in the morning."  The man would shoo him away and Albrekka would go upstairs, first rolling the bag up the stairs until it was obvious it was not exactly well received by Celyn, a grumble being heard from downstairs.  Picking it up he went the rest of the way up to his room.

The room itself was rather basic, but it had all the usual furnishings.  Essentially, good enough for a short stay.  He would open up the curtains and look out onto the dark streets and up to the sky.  Perhaps he should see the town once he unpacked?  Hopefully there was a place open this late nearby, he did bring something to eat just in case but it would be nice if there was a small store open as a few were back in Haslemere.  Considering the streets outside that seemed unlikely, though.

Some time passed, the room set up in a way that better suited him, most of his stuff unpacked.

"Alright.."  It was about time to walk the streets.  It was his way of getting used to the town, after all.  Maybe he could find a place to eat.  It was pretty late, but hopefully not too late.  Grabbing his keys and putting it in his purse, he would leave his room and walk down the hallway.  Hopefully Celyn downstairs was still asleep.  Though, by the sound of things, it seemed that way.

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Re: [SS] Cold Wool

Post  Erin Lightheart on Sun Jul 24, 2016 6:00 am

Erin continued to lay listlessly on her dull bed, hearing naught but the sound of crickets through her open window, along with the occasional wind gust. As tired as she was, the discomfort she was experiencing on account of the unfamiliar location, the stressful sudden day-long trip, and the uncomfortable bed prevented her from finding sleep. Now that she thought about it, she hadn't even eaten much of anything throughout the day, and her empty stomach was all too happy to make itself heard now that she had time to be idle.

The bed shifted around nosily as she scrambled onto her knees to peer out the nearby window, hoping to find any restaurant signs glowing with a warming and inviting light through the darkness. Her eyes fell upon one such place: The White Heart. It looked to be a traditional pub, and pubs usually meant food, even if it wasn't of the highest quality! She quickly put on a coat and glanced over at the telephone, remembering that she had promised to call her Aunt and Uncle after having checked in.

"...It can wait, but my hunger can't!"

And so she practically flew out the door, despite being as careful as possible to not make any loud, sudden noises that would disturb the owner. However, when the sound of the man's loud snoring filled the hall, she breathed a sigh of relief as she turned to lock her room's door. She took some steps only to suddenly hear another door being opened nearby, causing her movement to cease out of surprise. What was someone else doing up so late?

When she laid eyes on the effeminate man, she breathed a sigh of relief internally, as seeing another young person around this rustic place brought some degree of comfort to her heart.

"H-hello there. Nice night, isn't it?"

She did her best to be polite and friendly, but a stutter still managed to wriggle its way in. Of course, having to speak at a lower volume than normal definitely threw her off, so this was to be expected from someone lacking in developed social skills like her. She compensated for this by giving him an awkward smile, but all it did was make her look more awkward...

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Re: [SS] Cold Wool

Post  Albrekka Starbright on Sun Jul 24, 2016 6:40 am

Albrekka had started walking down the hall a ways when one of the doors swung open. It was that person from earlier. Perhaps he could ask her?

"H-hello there. Nice night, isn't it?" They seemed nervous. Were they curious about why he was seemingly going out this late? It was probably expected.

"Its a nice feature of this town it seems, there's not much light pollution. Say, do you know your way around this town? A place to eat maybe?" It seemed like a good enough time to ask. If not, well, getting used to some of the town's features was on the menu anyway.


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Re: [SS] Cold Wool

Post  Erin Lightheart on Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:01 am

"Its a nice feature of this town it seems, there's not much light pollution. Say, do you know your way around this town? A place to eat maybe?"

The person was actually striking up a conversation with her! She didn't quite know how to react to this, despite the obvious answer of just talking back naturally. Not being on the job meant she wasn't prepared for chatting with strangers, especially informal chatting. After a moment's hesitation, she worked up enough courage to respond properly.

"Um, er...I take it you're not a local either, huh? I was actually on my way to a nearby pub I noticed from my room's window. It's called The White Heart, and hopefully they have some food..."

There was definitely some added relief knowing that this person was an outsider like she was. The less tense she was, the easier it became to speak, as even her stuttering dissipated noticeably.

"Hey, want to go there together? Even if this is a supposedly crime-free little place, girls walking alone in the dark sounds like a bad idea. I'm Erin by the way; Erin Lightheart. What's your name?"

She already began to resume walking, making the assumption that this person would agree to her proposal and walk with her. If this person preferred not to take her up on the offer though, that would certainly make for an awkward misstep if that were the case. Her head stayed trained on Albrekka even as the distance between them increased, hoping that her concern wasn't visible in her expression.

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Re: [SS] Cold Wool

Post  Albrekka Starbright on Mon Jul 25, 2016 8:04 am

"Um, er...I take it you're not a local either, huh?" Albrekka would respond with a nod.  "I was actually on my way to a nearby pub I noticed from my room's window. It's called The White Heart, and hopefully they have some food..."

Considering Albrekka's room was also on the opposite side, its not surprising that he didn't notice it.

"Hey, want to go there together? Even if this is a supposedly crime-free little place, girls walking alone in the dark sounds like a bad idea. I'm Erin by the way; Erin Lightheart. What's your name?"

"Albrekka Starbright, and that sounds like a fine idea." He would smile at the offer.  The mention of the place being crime-free overall was certainly peculiar though.  Thinking for a short moment caused him to stand where he was until he noticed Erin had moved ahead and looked back to him.  "Ah, sorry!"

Their trip downstairs had only a single obstacle; their hearing versus the snoring of the innkeeper permeating the downstairs floor.  Perhaps Erin couldn't sleep because of him?  And why not close up if the innkeeper couldn't stay up to greet anyone?  A bizarre place.

Outside was as dark as anyone could surmise from looking out their windows, the only lights were dim streetlamps strewn thinly across the town; however, it wasn't dim enough for anyone traveling at night to get lost.  The streets were as quiet as they were when Albrekka had come into town.  Normally at this point you would hear at least something, but for this town it was strangely quiet.

"Anything you look forward to tomorrow?"  Striking up some light conversation, he would keep walking with Erin, though mostly relying on her to lead him to where the pub was; he had an idea but obviously if anyone would know where it was it would be her, after all she was the one who saw it.

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Re: [SS] Cold Wool

Post  Erin Lightheart on Tue Jul 26, 2016 9:19 am

The cool nighttime breeze took Erin by surprise again, but she put on a brave face and made certain that her discomfort wasn't made entirely obvious in front of her new acquaintance. The path to the pub was relatively short, but thanks to their respective unfamiliarity with the area and exacerbated by the darkness, the trip's length was at least doubled. Despite the added time, the journey was not an unpleasant one as our young detective was beginning to enjoy herself now that there was someone she could talk and relate to, at least for the moment before there was some inevitable disagreement that would more assuredly have them go their separate ways.

"Anything you look forward to tomorrow?"

This question snapped her back into the reality of the situation: That she was there against her will in order to ensure her Aunt and Uncle's entrance into the Sheep Competition, and that she would most certainly be there for an extended period of time. Away from her flat, away from modern convenience, away from her puppet show equipment, and worst of all: away from a little custard shop she had taken to patronizing on the warmest of days.

"Uhm, well...to be honest, I'm here on behalf of someone else, and i'm kind of out of my element here, so the short and long answer is No."

It probably came across as being too negative, but she didn't feel like lying to the first friendly person she's met here, so that was a risk worth taking. She even made sure to keep eye contact just to make sure Albrekka wasn't getting any sort of wrong impressions from her; a rather nervous social habit.

"But that's okay, really! Are you here to enjoy the festival? It's not really my thing, but I can see why some people would like it. Oh!"

She interrupted herself upon seeing that they had in fact arrived at the entrance of The White Heart pub. The light coming from within was accompanied by the smell of food and unfortunately tobacco. Her empty stomach overpowered her nose though, and empowered her with the courage to open the heavy doors to allow herself and Albrekka inside.

"...Maybe we can talk about it when we're inside where it's warm? After you!"

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Re: [SS] Cold Wool

Post  Albrekka Starbright on Thu Jul 28, 2016 6:34 am

"Uhm, well...to be honest, I'm here on behalf of someone else, and i'm kind of out of my element here, so the short and long answer is No. But that's okay, really! Are you here to enjoy the festival? It's not really my thing, but I can see why some people would like it."

"Well..." Albrekka was about to correct Erin, when...

"Oh!"

The pub had come into view. The smell of smoke was not exactly pleasant, but the smell of food was at least something to look forward to. Regardless, he kept pace with Erin up to the pub's heavy doors.

"...Maybe we can talk about it when we're inside where it's warm? After you!" Accepting her invitation, he would enter first, holding the door backwards for Erin to slip in as well.

It was not a very large establishment, large enough to house perhaps fifty or so patrons at most. The entire building was made of wood, a sort of long standing homage to the sensibilities of the old, podunk town the place really was.

The pub itself was not entirely busy, the time slowly closing in on their closing hours. Still, the pub itself had several patrons, sitting amongst each other and conversing, though several of them looked over to the people just entering, half-surprised by the new faces. It did not take long for everyone to go back to their usual business.

Albrekka would stand look around for a moment before realizing nobody was going to come: he wasn't really used to pubs, and instinctively assumed a waiter would bring them to a seat somewhere. Even if this was a restaurant it would be silly to assume a town like this would even consider such a hospitality, especially if their innkeeper was any sort of taste of such hospitality.

"...over there." He would motion back to Erin, pointing out a table to the side, but somewhat close to the entrance. Albrekka would move to the table, looking as he went for a menu or anything of the sort. Would this place even have that?

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Re: [SS] Cold Wool

Post  Erin Lightheart on Sun Jul 31, 2016 1:01 am

Erin took some time to find her seat; the stares of the locals were more than enough to disarm her earlier confidence, even if their eyes were only upon her for but a moment. Her own gaze darted around the establishment in order to take in the old, traditional aesthetic of the building in order to get her mind off it, only to realize that Albrekka had already found a place to sit. She hurried to join him at his prompting, and nervously sat across from him at the table.

"S-sorry. I'm more used to other places where the whole customer base doesn't collectively stare at you just for walking through the door."

Eventually, a rather heavy-set, older man with thin, grey hair approached their table in a rather impatient manner. He looked at the two as though he were about to say something unkind about them, only to straighten his posture and put on a professional air.

"What can I get for you ladies this lovely evening?"

At first, Erin wasn't sure what the options were, so she found herself quickly looking around the premises for any visible signs of food or drink being offered. Eventually her eyes stopped on one such thing: A vaguely defined "Special." Her stomach began to protest its continued emptiness, so she rid herself of any doubts about what this so-called Special might be.

"I'll have the, uhm....special, please."

"Very well. And what will you be having to drink?"

This threw her for a loop, too, but considerably less than when it came to figuring out what food was being served.

"I'll have some grape juice, please."

As the man responded with an incredulous look, her heart sank. What was so bad about ordering some juice?

"You think I'm going to go out and fetch some grapes just for you when it's this late?"

What...did he mean? Did they not have access to the usual assortment of food and drink that most pubs had? Regardless, she had to think of a way to get out of this situation quickly without making a scene.

"O-oh, I mean i'll have some ale?"

The man returned to normal as he wrote down her orders, and she breathed a sigh of relief in response. They weren't entirely out of trouble yet though, as the man then glanced over at Albrekka expectantly.

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Re: [SS] Cold Wool

Post  Albrekka Starbright on Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:03 am

He would watch the two of them go back and forth.  Just exactly was the special anyway?  It wasn't long before the man had turned to him as well.  Unlike Erin, Albrekka was not exactly used to normal pub food and drink, so...

"Aside from the special, what other food do you have here?  There doesn't seem to be-"

"You don't know what's usually served here?  Its the usual or the special, pick one."  The man seemed a annoyed at the both of them.

"The...usual, then.  With water."

Suddenly, some of the chattering died.

"Water?  You come to a pub in the middle of the night for water?"  Several eyes in the pub drew themselves onto the both of them.

"...ale, then." Albrekka was seemingly about as flimsy as Erin was on the matter.  The tense air slowly evaporated as the man took their orders and walked away, the talk picking back up.

"Thankfully I don't have to come here again.  Was expected some place in this town to be open, like a gas station, but that seems to be out of the question..." Albrekka sighed, putting his purse on the table.  "So, how long are you staying here?  Considering the warm welcome we're getting, not long?  You said you were here for someone else's behalf, so.."  Albrekka would trail off, letting Erin chime in.  For now, perhaps talking to what seemed to be someone in the same position as him would keep the edge off.

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Re: [SS] Cold Wool

Post  Erin Lightheart on Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:22 am

"Thankfully I don't have to come here again. Was expected some place in this town to be open, like a gas station, but that seems to be out of the question...So, how long are you staying here? Considering the warm welcome we're getting, not long? You said you were here for someone else's behalf, so..."

Erin shifted around in the hard seat uncomfortably even as the eyes of the pub were no longer focused on them. She wished to maintain a low profile while she was here, but the excessively traditionalist community here would only continue to find more and more perceived transgressions from her no matter what she did. Perhaps if the other patrons were to overhear her reasons for being here, they would get off her back somewhat?

"I'm actually here to reserve a place in the sheep competition of the festival for my Aunt and Uncle, who will be along in a few days' time. I think they figured that this would be a nice vacation for me too, to get out of the city. Once the festivities are done, I plan to leave immediately."

She spoke with businesslike detachment, the sort that might give any would-be eavesdroppers the impression that she didn't necessarily wish to be among their company any more than they wished her to be part of it. She was there purely because she needed to be, and would soon be gone and no longer capable of bothering them.

"How about you? Here to enjoy all the events taking place? You seem to have come here with expectations that aren't being met, so i'll assume this is your first trip here, too."

Suddenly, a large plate was placed in front of her, containing gressingham duck breast, celeriac puree, roast vegetables, blood orange and star anise sauce. Next to it was a large glass of an unidentified ale, suggesting it was locally brewed and produced. She stared at the assortment of food and drink and smiled weakly and politely at the man, who was busy giving Albrekka his own order.

"T-thank you very much.

That was about all she could awkwardly muster in this situation, hoping or perhaps even praying internally that this didn't offend anyone.

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Re: [SS] Cold Wool

Post  Albrekka Starbright on Fri Aug 05, 2016 7:02 am

"I'm actually here to reserve a place in the sheep competition of the festival for my Aunt and Uncle, who will be along in a few days' time. I think they figured that this would be a nice vacation for me too, to get out of the city. Once the festivities are done, I plan to leave immediately.  How about you? Here to enjoy all the events taking place? You seem to have come here with expectations that aren't being met, so i'll assume this is your first trip here, too."

"Well, truthfully I don't really..." know what events really go on, but considering their cold welcome it would be wise to not even go there out loud in a place like this.  Though, before he could continue further, a large plate was placed in front of Erin.  Was...this the special?  Then what was...

Well, there it was, the usual.  It seemed to be grilled cheese, but the cheese was just on one piece of bread.  Along with that was the ale that he begrudgingly ordered.

"Thank you." He would make a slight bow to the server as thanks with a light smile on his face.  Hopefully that would be appease him, considering the back and fourth earlier.  For now, it seemed to be enough of an offering.

He would look from his meal of what seemed to be a cheese accident while making toast to Erin's luxurious meal.  I suppose it was called a special.  Who knew that someone would take such a name literally?

"Well, lets eat." He would smile to Erin and begin eating.  It wasn't half bad, the taste was rather mild and not too burdened with seasoning, a mistake he expected a pub to make.  Though not exactly a fan of the establishment, they made a decent whatever-this-is.

"To what you were saying earlier..." he would chime in, halfway through his meal, "An old friend of mine will be reporting on the festival tomorrow, he wanted to catch up with me and seemed like it might be a good place to do it..."  Obviously, the concept of this place actually being "good" enough for such a meeting, for now, was souring.  Hopefully by day most of the cold shoulders would dissipate. "I'm not sure if I'll stay the entire time; we'll see."

He would look to his untouched mug of ale, glancing to the patrons to see if they were still looking in their direction.  Some were, but not as many as before.  Well, he ordered it...it shouldn't be that bad, right?  He would reach over to the mug of ale and hold it with both hands, giving it a taste.

To Erin, his opinion of the drink would be pretty clear on his face.  What they gave him was a pale ale, and rather strong one at that.  The bitter taste was hard to stomach, at least for him anyway.  It didn't help that he wasn't much of a drinker in the first place.  He would simply place the glass down, looking down at his half finished plate, weighing his options.  There was no way they wouldn't harass him for not finishing the glass.

For now, he would push the glass to the side and work on the meal, taking some drinks to get the glass down enough to make it "acceptable" enough to not have to drink everything in the glass before he could leave.

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Re: [SS] Cold Wool

Post  Erin Lightheart on Mon Aug 08, 2016 1:44 am

Erin's own drink wasn't easily handled either, as it became rather apparent to Albrekka that she was even less of a drinker than he was. The glass she had been given still contained a sizable amount of ale despite taking what she felt was a large gulp of the bitter stuff. She spent a good moment trying not to gag afterward before nonchalantly resuming their conversation.

"Seems like we're in more of a similar situation than we initially believed. Not only did we not want to be here, the people don't want us to be here either. If this were a book or a play, it would certainly be either comedy or tragedy."

She laughed lightly at the idea, but the reality was that she was only trying to find a distraction from the staring eyes and cold reception of the locals. She was somewhat experienced when it came to working with hand puppets in her puppet show for children, but not quite as talented when it came to more personal interactions where more than her puppet-covered hands could be seen by the public. She conveniently looked down at her plate and began to eat uneasily, her anxiety becoming increasingly apparent to Albrekka.

The table then shook rather abruptly as a loud commotion spontaneously erupted on the other side of the pub. An overweight and obviously drunk man had fallen from his seat with a thunderous effect, spilling his numerous drinks all over himself in the process. The man who served Erin and Albrekka earlier shot a glare in his direction, and to our young detective's surprise, a group of patrons rose up immediately and helped the poor man to his feet. He began mumbling at them in a drunken stupor as the patrons steadied him.

Erin watched this spectacle with curiosity; this little village's reputation for being the safest and friendliest place in the United Kingdom was surely exaggerated for tourism's sake, wasn't it? Was this man about to be helped home merely because he was too drunk to stand upright under his own power? Such a thing was unheard of back in London or even in Caernarfon.

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Re: [SS] Cold Wool

Post  Albrekka Starbright on Wed Aug 10, 2016 5:43 am

"Seems like we're in more of a similar situation than we initially believed. Not only did we not want to be here, the people don't want us to be here either. If this were a book or a play, it would certainly be either comedy or tragedy."

Albrekka would make a slight nod, looking at his finished plate.  It wasn't bad, but he had better.

The noise would startle him as he looked at the scene.  The patrons strangely didn't even come from all near him, but only a few scattered across the pub.

"Here, we got you."  One of them lifted the drunkard up, the other stabilizing him.  "Hey, we got him, don't worry about it."  One of them would tell the bartender.  Albrekka would look between the both of them curiously.  The bartender's expression still had this sort of glare to it, but he would nod, and the patrons would escort the drunkard out of the building.

"...at least there's some good people here, guess what they say has some truth to it..." he would say, though in some way it was still confusing.  Why were so many people rude, yet this person was helped?  Strange...

The bartender would eye Erin and Albrekka for a moment and then go back to his business.  With that, the old liveliness would return, almost as if nothing happened.

"How's the food, Erin?  To your liking?"  He would look at what seemed to be a mountain of food.  Obviously not even Erin expected that much food to be put in front of her, but hopefully it also tasted good.

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Re: [SS] Cold Wool

Post  Erin Lightheart on Fri Aug 12, 2016 2:18 pm

She continued watching this bizarre incident with so much enthusiasm that she nearly forgot where she was and what she was doing. Her ceaseless gaze once more attracted the attention of the barkeep, who proceeded to holler in her direction.

"He'll be fine, girl. Though I wouldn't want to be him in the morning!"

She turned to Albrekka after giving an awkward nod and smile to the man in order to have his attention return elsewhere.

"It's okay...but maybe there are better options around when it's not in the middle of the night. Having nothing but ale to drink makes me wonder if we'll end up like that poor sap who just got escorted out."

With that, she began eating somewhat more quickly, as the sooner she could get out of this environment and back into a quiet room with a bed, the better. After some moments had passed, she discovered that the special mountain of food was considerably less in size than it was moments earlier, and the sight of a noticeably half-finished plate apparently invigorated her enough to increase her speed. Despite the weirdness of the location, Erin's stomach was not something to be trifled with!

"You'd better hurry, or else i'll leave you here alone~"

She masterfully managed to disguise her intention to leave the place as soon as possible through teasing, but the bigger question was if Albrekka would actually pick up on it. As she leaned back in her seat, she happened to notice the time; it had been a good fifteen minutes since those patrons escorted the drunkard outside, and they weren't back yet.

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Re: [SS] Cold Wool

Post  Albrekka Starbright on Sat Aug 13, 2016 2:35 am

"It's okay...but maybe there are better options around when it's not in the middle of the night."

That didn't exactly sound like the best scenario to him; after all, he would have to put up with the pub's cooking for a while, that or save food during the early evening for dinner.  Hopefully Willard's company would make this trip worthwhile, the locals certainly make it difficult.  Erin's company was fine, but in the long run she was just a stranger who he might see again during the festivities.

"You'd better hurry, or else i'll leave you here alone~"

It seemed she was so enamored with her meal that she didn't realize that Albrekka had already finished his plate.  Well, unless she was referring to the drink.

"I'm fine, I'm ready when you are."

He would fish through his purse for his wallet, look around the pub for a place to pay, and find nothing.  His second resort, of course, was the bartender.  He would get up, pat himself clean and walk up to the counter.

"I'm finished; thanks for the meal.  How much do I owe you?" he would say, doing his best to be polite and keep a positive air.

"...you ordered the usual, right?  Usual price."  Well, that ended rather abruptly.

"Lets...say I forgot.  What would it be?"  The amount of awkward moments at this pub were a little too much, but hopefully, if he came back, he would know what was expected from now on.

The man would sigh lightly.  "Six pounds."  For a meal that consisted of melted cheese on bread, that was certainly...overpriced.  Perhaps it was the ale?  Regardless, he would sift through his wallet for a tenner and hand it to him, receiving his four pounds back.  Strange, though, wouldn't there be tax?  Perhaps they like to keep these things simple.

"Oh!  The plate and glass, should I take it somewhere or do you clean up?"

"...yeah, pop them up here, I'll take them."  Well, thankfully the bartender was starting to become a little more reasonable.  Or he was just thankful he was about to leave.  Either way.

With that, he would hand the plate and glass to him and sit back down to wait for Erin to finish, glancing outside the window.  As expected, the night permeated everything.

"...I wonder if they dropped that drunk off at where we're staying.  Its probably the only inn in town."  He would chime in some more small talk to ease the tension.  Thankfully the both of them would be leaving soon.

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Re: [SS] Cold Wool

Post  Erin Lightheart on Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:47 pm

The rest of the pub visit was over rather quickly, as Erin devoured her meal in seemingly an instant and it appeared as though the time was now ripe for them to take their leave. The barkeep donned a rare smile when it came time for the pair of tourists to exit, and even exchanged pleasantries with them as Erin paid the £4 required for her colossal meal. The men from before failed to return even as the two finally departed into the cold night.

Once back on the lonely, quiet streets, Erin breathed a sigh of relief. She could now be herself again, even if only for a short while. She turned to Albrekka with a genuine smile and decided to show off her sweeter side.

"Thank you very much for coming with me. I don't think I would have survived if I were to have ventured inside alone. All of those eyes on me, having nobody to talk to...it would have just been too overwhelming to bear. I really can't get out of this place quickly enough, even if it's considered the safest town in Britain."

With her belly filled and having made a new friend, she for the first time felt happy since arriving. It didn't take much to bring her down, so she had learned to savour moments like these to their fullest extent. This was rather quickly spoiled however, when she noticed that several figures were approaching them from ahead. Upon getting a better look, she was again filled with a sense of relief, as the figures were pretty obviously the men who had escorted the drunk out of the pub earlier.

"I wouldn't want to be him in the morning!"

She playfully greeted the men as they passed so as to not be rude, but the response was that of grunts and quiet nods, with little to no attention being paid to them. Bewildered, Erin shot a glance back at them as they headed back into the pub, looking more than a little worn out. They had been out for a considerable amount of time, perhaps they had a rough time trying to handle the drunk?

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Re: [SS] Cold Wool

Post  Albrekka Starbright on Wed Aug 17, 2016 3:04 am

Once Erin had her fill and was ready, Albrekka followed her out into the dark streets.  Normally, he would feel at home, but something felt a little different.  Perhaps it was the town's attitude?  It certainly rubbed him the wrong way.  He would walk alongside her, looking occasionally at the sky.

"Thank you very much for coming with me. I don't think I would have survived if I were to have ventured inside alone. All of those eyes on me, having nobody to talk to...it would have just been too overwhelming to bear. I really can't get out of this place quickly enough, even if it's considered the safest town in Britain."

With that, Albrekka would look to Erin with a smile.

"I could say the same.  I enjoyed the company."  He would turn back forward, looking down the street, thinking on that little fact about the town until some shadows in the distance appeared.  It seemed to be the two men who were in the pub some time ago who carried the drunk out.  He would step closer to the road to let them pass.

"I wouldn't want to be him in the morning!"  Albrekka would look to Erin and then the men passing by.  Their expression was not as friendly as expected.  Strange.  Erin's expression afterwards moreso.

"Is something bothering you about them?" He would ask, wanting to make sure Erin was alright.  "They sure weren't very friendly once we talked to them.  Maybe the big guy was a friend of theirs...?"  That wasn't too unbelievable; after all, he was in town for a similar reason.

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Re: [SS] Cold Wool

Post  Erin Lightheart on Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:57 pm

"It's...nothing. I'm sure it's nothing."

Her suspicious gaze continued well after the men had disappeared back into the pub. It was reluctantly withdrawn once as her eyes adjusted for the darkness, and she returned to looking at her companion with her smile no longer visible.

"It's late. We should head back to the safety of our rooms, else a wild animal might happen upon us and consider us a late dinner."

She resumed the trek toward the inn with a somewhat hurried pace. No matter how safe this village was, it was not enough to rid her of her fear of wandering the streets at the dead of night where any would-be criminals would be cloaked under the cover of darkness. Even if Albrekka was with her, this fear was not easily abated. Of course, the sound of howling animals in the distance certainly did not help either.

Thankfully, the familiar sign soon came into view, and her tensed muscles relaxed at the sight on instinct. She made sure to open the door for Albrekka before entering quietly herself. The instant the front door was closed, the sound of a walkie-talkie's static nearby was silenced, followed by sounds of snoring.

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Re: [SS] Cold Wool

Post  Albrekka Starbright on Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:27 am

"It's...nothing. I'm sure it's nothing."

Her tone was not very convincing.  Still, despite the strange behavior of the locals, there wasn't much to go on.  Being worried with nothing to go off of would prove fruitless.

"It's late. We should head back to the safety of our rooms, else a wild animal might happen upon us and consider us a late dinner."

Before he could console her, her pace quickened.  He would pick up the pace, though not keeping up with her stride completely.  His new acquaintance seemed...paranoid, at the very least.  Perhaps he could ease her worry?  He would glance at the stars now and then as he followed behind, as well as look to the streets and buildings.

Eventually, the inn would come into view.  At a second glance, the inn's front foliage was fairly well kept.  In hindsight, considering the unwelcome attitudes of some of the locals the inn was a strange view in comparison.  For a moment, he could feel eyes looking at him.  And the sound of...

It was Erin, who was holding the door open for him.

"Oh!  Sorry about that, must've spaced out."

He would enter, the sound of snoring filling the lobby.  He would wait for Erin to come in as well.

"Well, it was..."

It was fairly obvious that Erin probably couldn't hear him, the snoring muffling his voice.

"Well, it wa-"

A loud rapping noise came from the front desk, the snoring abruptly stopping for a moment, then continuing.  Shrugging, Albrekka politely waved, walking up the stairs.  It was nice meeting someone to somewhat relate to here in this...quiet town.

Hopefully his new acquaintance could find some sleep, considering her room was close to the lobby.  For him, though, he had some more time before bed.  Perhaps some reading?  He would put his purse down on the nightstand and...well, he could have sworn he put it there.

"Ah." It had fallen to the floor.  Perhaps the snoring got pretty bad when he had left?  At this point, he wouldn't be surprised...

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Re: [SS] Cold Wool

Post  Erin Lightheart on Sat Aug 20, 2016 1:39 am

Once back in her room, any sense of comfort and safety was sorely lacking as the realization that she was still alone in an unfamiliar place came crushing down on her good mood. Once the silence had become unbearable, she settled on having a shower before going to sleep for the rest of the morning. The inconsistently heated lukewarm water provided enough sensory distraction to get her mind off the situation for the time being.

It's not that she wasn't used to living alone by any means; she lived alone back in London after all. The main issue was the total lack of familiarity with the area, and with it being so remote and isolated this brought back uncomfortable memories of being abandoned in run-down old houses and shacks throughout Ireland during her childhood years. Even just struggling to stay warm in the shower was an unfortunately recognizable sensation and concern, as heat wasn't always easy to come by when your parent was never around to pay for or otherwise provide electricity and heating.

She knew her Aunt and Uncle didn't intend for her to relive those days here. They truly believed that this village would be a nice break from city live, and she could relax in the countryside before spending time with them again as a family. The traumatized mind did not tend to obey logic or reason however, so while she felt anxious about being put in this situation, she also felt bad that she may possibly be ruining their intentions by reacting this way. All in all, it was a nasty feedback loop of negativity which was an all too common visitor these days.

After drying off, brushing her teeth, and getting changed into some nightwear, she laid in the hard bed with moonlight from the window illuminating her form. Erin was glad to have at least made a friend today, as braving this little town alone would surely take its toll on her by the time it was all over. What would the day ahead have in store? As she wondered this, her eyes closed and all conscious thought was quickly replaced with the sheep-filled dreams dancing around in her unconscious mind.

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Re: [SS] Cold Wool

Post  Albrekka Starbright on Sat Aug 20, 2016 2:20 am

It took some time after Albrekka swapped to his night gown for him to fall asleep, the sun slowly rising in the distance, his body still not used to sleeping so early.  The night was quiet save the very small verberations from the man downstairs; it was probably the best part about the trip so far.  Perhaps the evening would be more enjoyable...



At that same time, the day had begin in the small town out in the middle of nowhere.  As a town centered exclusively around farming and an absence of most modern benefits, many people in the town woke up at the same time the sun would give the land just enough light to see clearly.  It would take no time once the sunlight would begin to pass through Erin's window that some of the basic chatter and movement of the town could be heard, the town opening their shops and many of the townspeople greeting each other.  Another day had begun for them, many clamoring over the soon coming festival.

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Re: [SS] Cold Wool

Post  Erin Lightheart on Mon Aug 22, 2016 5:52 pm

Having gotten some decent amount of sleep, it was time for Erin to witness the town in its more sun-filled, daytime glory. She peeked out the window and was taken aback by the village's aesthetic which had been obscured by the darkness earlier. Once in her jogging clothes, she was ready to explore and familiarize herself with the locale.

Not wishing to wake anyone, especially not the inn's owner, she made her way quietly through the building and opened the door to the outside with great care and finesse. The radiant sunlight was almost blinding after being so used to the dark room she had slept in, but it filled her with energy nonetheless. Her eyesight adjusted to the change in brightness and not a moment after her departure, she was already making her way down the road at a brisk pace.

Now that the streets were no longer empty, she felt somewhat safer to be outside, particularly since the people she jogged past were all wearing smiles and greeted her. This degree of collective kindness was a bit strange to her, but it's not as though it were a bad thing.

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Re: [SS] Cold Wool

Post  Albrekka Starbright on Wed Aug 24, 2016 8:12 pm

The streets were certainly not empty, though not exactly bustling with life like your usual city.  From what could be seen and from the interactions from the people on the street, everyone seemed to know each other.

As she jogged, many people would turn and call out to her.

"Morning Erin!"

"Nice day, isn't it Erin?"

"You found me out."  Wait what?

A man would jog alongside her suddenly.  "I'm a killer."  He would pause, letting his words hang for a moment. "Of the mood you and your friend had last night."  He would laugh a little bit as his attempt at a joke.  "Sorry about that.  Hope the food was good?"  He seemed...a little friendlier than last night.

"So, like the town so far Erin?"  He would jog alongside her, playing at a little bit of idle banter, seemingly to want to get to know her better.

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Re: [SS] Cold Wool

Post  Erin Lightheart on Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:43 am

Okay, this was definitely creepy. Erin responded to these sudden outbursts of unearned familiarity with awkward smiles, nods, and waves. However, when the barkeep from last night appeared beside her unexpectedly, she was at a loss for how to react. She was used to being in the background, left unnoticed by most people, so this sudden attention was jarring, to say the least.

"You found me out."

"I'm a killer."

"Of the mood you and your friend had last night."

"Sorry about that.  Hope the food was good?"

"So, like the town so far Erin?"

The rapid fire questions did little to ease her anxiety and discomfort at being put into this situation. Even as she kept jogging alongside the man, her suspicious gaze was immediately noticeable to him. The joke he had suddenly sprung on her served mostly to confuse and distract rather than ease her tension. It took a moment for her to even recognize who this man was. The barkeep was that one who had treated her and Albrekka with a considerable amount of irritability before, so perhaps he was trying to apologize to her in his own weird, awkward way?

"Um... what? You're... a killer of our mood? Don't worry about it. We all have bad days and we sort of barged in unannounced as it was. By the way, I don't think we've been properly introduced, Mister....?"

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