The Winter of 1910

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Re: The Winter of 1910

Post by Golden_ » Mon Aug 31, 2020 2:40 am

Five pairs of footsteps left the tiny train station within the small village of Volch'ya Yagoda; some heavier and more pronounced than others, while some held a straighter path, opposite one that veered slightly to the side at certain times. Ymir held a brisk pace, likely due to the length of her trunk-like legs and the stride that accompanied them. Even Misha, who held a taller than average height, struggled to keep up with her. The ankle deep snow, the weight of his baggage, and the slight grogginess in his head didn't make it any easier - hence the occasional stumble to the side. It was getting better though - the drunkenness. It was at this point that he'd get another round going to keep the buzz, but alas, he was now hiking down the side of a mountain.

That steady and loud crunch of snow decreased though, as he suddenly found himself within a trio. A rather odd trio at that; him, of course, Ymir the mysterious she-giant, and Jakob, the quiet yet hot-headed young man who Claudia had indirectly accused of murder.

He didn't know why Marie's and Claudia's departure sent such uneasiness through his body. After all, they were both merely strangers. One of those strangers, in particular, supposedly hid a murderous secret from the rest of the world. Which is the truth and which is the lie, she, herself, had questioned out loud, upon hearing the whisperings of a mad man. Yet when her delicate hand had gently squeezed his, when her warm chocolate eyes looked up at him, Misha didn't get the sense that she was a killer. Surely, that was the lie. And if he was told not to trust her, perhaps that's exactly what he was meant to do. Perhaps that's why he felt the uneasiness as her figure left, turning and disappearing behind a snow-covered bend. Odd, for someone who had great difficulty trusting women back home.

The booming sound of Ymir's voice would mute the crunch of footsteps significantly, seeming to echo out into the wilderness surrounding them. Soon enough, the trees weren't the only things keeping them on the designated path. Her wolves circled out, taking the rear, and boxing the two men in between the woman and their gleaming jaws.

Misha pretended not to notice, keeping his gaze either on the path directly in front of him, to prevent any unwanted trips, or on the beautiful scenery around him. He did take the time to send Jakob, who was walking alongside him, a somewhat worried glance. It communicated unease, and hopefully, brought light to the potentially dangerous situation. What troubled him more was the fact that his only weapon was currently buried deep within his luggage. The new model had been brought for emergencies, though he never imagined he'd have to use it. If one of those wolf-dogs went rogue, it was his only chance.

Suddenly, he had an idea. "It is quite a difficult occasion, I fear. Wouldn't you say, Jakob?" He said gently, before continuing on, "He's dying, you see. Perhaps you know of him? He's a doctor? Exceptional man, truly." After answering Ymir's question, he decided to take his shot.

"One hour, you say? Excuse me Ymir, might I take a minute to relieve myself?" All he needed was a minute to find a bush and dig through his luggage for that gun. It wasn't entirely a lie though, his bladder was beginning to fill, especially after all those generous sips he took before the start of the journey.

Without waiting for much of an answer, Misha looked directly at Jakob, tilting his head in Ymir's direction. If Jakob could occupy her attention for just a minute, perhaps she wouldn't bellow for one of her wolves to attack him for taking a piss. The eye contact didn't last long for the sake of not wanting to seem suspicious, so he veered off the path, towards some nearby shrubbery.
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Re: The Winter of 1910

Post by cz_invazion » Tue Sep 01, 2020 4:34 am

Jakob continued to follow Ymir and Misha while keeping his safe distance from him. Jakob did not want to say the wrong thing to set this crazed man off, albeit however he did feel safer in thinking there's no way someone would do sometimes so idiotic while in the presence of these sma bear sized wolves. Jakob inspected Ymir as well as they walked, this woman left footprints in the snow bigger than most men's heads and yet he saw no snow shoes, just how big was this woman? He thought to himself until he was cut off by Ymir.

Jakob didn't even notice the two girls were gone, his mind was too focused by her version of talking. Her voice was so loud and booming it reminded him of crashing metal falling off of a rack. But besides the thunderous replies she seemed quite nice and cheerful about the group being here, a nice bit of hospitality after a hostile trip made Jakob feel a bit at ease… that was until the wolf dogs followed directly behind him and Misha, the ease felt nice while it lasted. Jakob spoke loudly to at least try and match her tone and volume. "Oh he'll be greatly excited to see us. He asked us to spend his final moments with him." Tact wasn't something Jakob knew how to use.

Misha soon however added that he needed to find a shrub, understandable Jakob considering the nightmarish train ride. Misha then gave a gesture somewhere along the lines of keep entertaining her while relieved himself, it made sense to him, what kind of guest would he be to leave the host in silence. Now to think of something that would take some time. 'what did that old man say…' Jakob thought to himself trying to stir up the conversation. 'WAIT THAT BASTARD HIMSELF!' Jakob snapped his fingers at the thought. Jakob quickly rushed up to be even with Ymir's position.

"Excuse Ymir, I need to ask a question. On the train there was a crazy old man, he talked about this station like he has been here before but he was nothing but a stowaway, perhaps he frequents this town? Does that sound familiar of anyone? I would like to find this crazed old fool and show him a piece of my mind. He insulted and told me terrible things." Jakob told Ymir as he walked with her so Misha would stay out of eye sight. No need to watch a man urinate that would be rude to do to a lady.

"He also mentioned a man named Cuttling or something like that. If there is a man named Cuttling than I wish to speak with him for I feel that he may be in danger from this fool. There's something about the old lunatic that seems abnormal… other worldly really." Jakob added to Ymir
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Re: The Winter of 1910

Post by Annasiel » Wed Sep 02, 2020 1:37 am

Claudia raised her eyebrows and snorted.

"Oh, was that your little secret? I dare say, whoever that old fellow was, he had the most marvelous imagination. No, my dear, the only things I have been known to kill are time, joy, and a good plate of blueberry scones."

Curious, most curious indeed. She wondered if each of them had been told one in their group was a murderer, and if so, what the purpose behind that was. Could one of them have truly killed? Was it all a ruse to turn them against each other? To what end, if that proved true? Or, perhaps, the most salient impression of them all, that she was peering far too deeply into the meaning behind the mad rambling of a train-hopping vagrant.

No, that couldn't be the case. It might've been, fifteen minutes (six hours) ago, but after the wolves, the giant, that feeling - that sense of draw that she thought to put a finger on, but couldn't quite place, like something from a dream that lingered in her mind mere seconds after waking - but now it was gone, along with any doubt that something terribly bizarre was amiss. It felt surreal. It felt -

"Get down!" Claudia hissed, grabbing Marie by the shoulder and covering her mouth, pulling her down behind the train platform. In the near distance, the song of the men rose and fall, their heads cresting around the bend - and with them, now that she had a proper view, another giant bobbing a good head above the rest. Straining her ears, she listened.

Vladimir?

She peered around the edge of the stairs, eyes fixed on the giant. Was he the one she'd been warned of? But no - the younger man beside him replied, the shorter, pallid one in the trench coat. He didn't seem the murderous sort. In fact, he appeared frail, frailer still beside his massive partner, shivering in the cold despite his layers. He spoke some words to the behemoth - words Claudia couldn't make out - and the larger one nodded in reply.

"Vladimir," the author muttered. "I'll bet nine hats he's either the sweetest man we could ever meet - or has a pool of virgin blood congealing in his basement."

Hastily, she undid the clasp on her trunk - careful to deafen the latch with her finger - and drew out her rifle. She tucked it somewhat awkwardly under her jacket, pulling her arm from her sleeve to do so, then closed the trunk once more.

"Listen, dear, whatever is happening here, I do not like it one bit. These giant folk make me quite uneasy. You felt, back with Ymir - no, nevermind." She shook her head, then turned the shake into a short, curt, resolute nod. "It would be safer if you stayed here, I think. I'm going to speak with Vladimir. If it's true what that old coot said, then I doubt he'd want the blood of a matron like myself."

She stifled a laugh, then nodded again, taking a deep breath.

Was this what it was like, to be in a novel? Was she the protagonist, entering into danger, yet swift to make a daring escape when the chance allowed? Or was she simply thrown into this plot to pad the dialogue, a tad, an expendable cost to shock those who remained? She supposed she would find the answer here.

"Hello, friends!" Claudia cried, running up the stairs and waving her free hand. Her other, hidden by her coat, fingered the trigger-guard anxiously. "What a quaint little town you have! Might I ask, is this harvest a wintertide tradition of yours?"
I look in the water and fear what I see
I know it's no stranger but I know it's not me
My life is a lie that was uttered in jest
If I can't change at all, let me rest

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Re: The Winter of 1910

Post by Golden_ » Wed Sep 09, 2020 12:38 am

Back turned towards his new, and only slightly untrustworthy companions, the man couldn't help but to listen in to the voices, even as they faded away with every step he took. From the turn in the conversation, Misha was pleased to hear that Jakob had gotten the subtle hint. Now, he wasn't quite sure if he would've chosen to discuss the psychotic, train-riding lunatic that had greeted them oh so warmly to the quaint village, but it was an interesting topic of discussion. One that would hopefully occupy Ymir's attention while he shuffled towards a nearby bush.

He had to be strategic though. It couldn't be too close, otherwise they could see him crouching and digging through his luggage. On the other hand, he couldn't walk for ages, since that'd be a little suspicious. Perhaps they'd think he was a nervous pisser? No, he certainly didn't want that awful stereotype associated with his fine, gentleman-like demeanor. There were far worse options though; options that involved Ymir sending her wolf-dogs after him.

When their voices were practically non-existent, Misha turned his head to the side, inspecting his current position. They were still within eye-sight, but if he slipped behind a large area of bushes and berry-filled trees, his figure would be obstructed from view. Perfect.

And so he went, stepping into freshly fallen snow cautiously, only to drop the luggage to the ground with intense vigor. He bent over, unzipped the bag, and furiously began to dig. Not to the point of spilling his precious garments onto the snow, but to the point of needing the use of a hot iron press. His finely folded shirts and dress pants were no long wrinkle-free as he shifted through his belongings, aching for the touch of his leather boots. The smoothness and hardness was unmistakable, even through his gloved hands, and in that moment, the feeling brought him great joy. Inside, he found what he was looking for. A new model, 1910, fully loaded, and ready to use on those damn wolf-dogs if they lunged.

Careful when unzipping his jacket, Misha slid the gun into one of the side pockets of his coat, ensuring that it didn't look any more bulky than usual. Given the fluffiness of his coat, it wasn't likely anyways.

With his coat wide open, the man didn't hesitate to take care of his secondary order of business. It was cold though, and time was ticking, so he was rather quick about it.

Once he had relieved, tucked, and zipped everything back into place, Misha strode back out from around the corner, suitcase in hand, prepared for the journey down the mountain. It had made a huge difference for him, knowing that he had easy access to a weapon should a threat arise.

He kept a fairly normal pace as he returned to his companions, while keeping an easy-going smile on his lips. "My apologies, hopefully Jakob here hasn't talked your ear off," he said light-heartedly, giving the younger man a teasing smile. "Whenever you're ready, Ymir. I wouldn't want to hold up your schedule."
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Re: The Winter of 1910

Post by Trinity » Fri Sep 11, 2020 1:35 am

To say Ymir was confused would not begin to grace the absolute nonsense these men seemed to spout. They spoke of doctors, crazed train hoppers and a man named 'Cuttling'? This did not show on her face, however, as she listened intensely to the two. Misha excused himself momentarily to relieve himself and Ymir, breathing deeply, did not feel the need to stop him. She could smell the man's scent- alcohol, cigarettes, and despair- from any distance away at this point. He would not be able to escape the nose of the great Ymir or her wolves.

Looking to Jakob, she watched the man as he explained his story about the crazed train hopper. Her arms crossed, Ymir's face took a far more solemn expression but remained silent. Of course she knew of whom Jakob was speaking about, though she knew not his name. There had been a bum more than ten years ago that had begun to ride the train to and from the town, but Ymir believed he had died at least three years before. For someone of whom she had seen and spoken to nearly once every week to suddenly disappear was often a sign of an accidental death, but perhaps she was wrong. Though it annoyed her that the bum hadn't taken the time of day to at least say hello to her before screwing off.

Ymir nodded at Jakob, but continued in silence until Misha made his way back upon the pair. Shrugging her shoulders in response to the man, she decided to simply tell the boys exactly what was on her mind. Her voice, although significantly lower in volume as her previous joviality reduced to seriousness, remained powerful as she spoke. "You do not hold me back, Misha, though I am thankful for your consideration! Listen, boys, I must speak with you honestly. I do not know a 'Cuttling' in this town at all, and I know everyone. In addition, the only doctor we have in town is old man Vladimir, though I sincerely doubt you know him."

Turning away from them, she continued to lead the pair towards the town. Perhaps this nonsense would fade with a little more walking through the snow.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Vladimir spotted the woman emerging before anyone else, but it would be Sergey who reacted as she announced herself with a welcoming 'hello!' The men loading the cars did not stop working, of course, for they feared the wrath of Vladimir should their hands be found idle. Snapping his small fingers, Vladimir beckoned Sergey aside and stepped forward to meet this young woman. His arms crossed, he spoke up to her in english, "Hello yourself Madam. Do you always seek to interrogate new acquaintances before introducing yourself? I knew England had lapsed in their education of women but truly I did not believe it to be this egregious. Allow me to demonstrate for you-"

Removing his cap, Vladimir made a small bow more akin to something seen in the early 1800s than their current year and introduced himself, "I am Vladimir Gavrikov, and this is Sergey, just Sergey. As for this display, more akin to a weekly delivery than a wintertide tradition. Though this shall be our last for a few months as the cold sets in. Might I have the privilege of knowing your name, Madam?"

All the while Vladimir spoke -in a proper english accent no less- Sergey stood entirely silently to his right. Something was off about the giant, however. His eyes never blinked, indeed they seemed to not even focus upon Claudia. Rather, they stared directly at her as though they could see straight through her and into the ground behind.

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Re: The Winter of 1910

Post by CinnamonBones » Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:08 am

"Oh, was that your little secret? I dare say, whoever that old fellow was, he had the most marvelous imagination. No, my dear, the only things I have been known to kill are time, joy, and a good plate of blueberry scones.” Her words were the absolute truth as Claudia believed it to be. A wave of relief rushed over Marie, and she put a hand on Claudia’s shoulder as they continued back to the platform.

“I must tell you then, that the other thing I was told was about Ymir. We need to g-” She was cut off by the small woman yanking her down behind the train platform, covering her mouth with a hand. She could hear it, now, and wondered how she hadn’t heard it before. Did that man just say that it was nine thirty now? Marie looked down at the pocket watch in her hand, where the time ticked away at nine o’seven. There was no possibility of it being nine thirty, unless Ymir had gotten the time wrong. Then again, she was a murderous giant, so maybe…

In fact, Marie was so focused on her watch and the confusion that she didn’t notice Claudia retrieving a rifle, of all things, from her trunk until she turned to speak to her. "Listen, dear, whatever is happening here, I do not like it one bit. These giant folk make me quite uneasy. You felt it, back with Ymir - no, never mind. It would be safer if you stayed here, I think. I'm going to speak with Vladimir. If it's true what that old coot said, then I doubt he'd want the blood of a matron like myself."

Without waiting for Marie to answer, or indeed correct her on the illusion that Maire was in any way young, the woman stood and strode out in the snow, rifle under her coat and poorly concealed. She watched with nail biting anxiety as Claudia approached the men and engaged in conversation with them. She looked so small, especially compared to the giant. There was only so much she could take, however, and she fingered the handle of her own gun and stood up, gracefully ascending the staircase.

“Oh, Claudia! My dear, you left me behind, I almost lost you for a moment.” She strode slowly, casually, across the platform. If she moved slowly and without concern, they wouldn’t be suspicious. She used both hands to tighten the scarf around her neck before placing both hands casually in her pockets. Casual, natural, don’t stiffen up or tense , she thought to herself. Claudia had reacted incredibly negatively to the man’s name, which meant she had to remain cautious. If she had been told anything else about this man than she had confessed to- and truly, Marie was certain Claudia had said something under her breath back there- then this man was likely as dangerous as she had been told Ymir was.
I like to look at you from a distance I like when you scream in my face
Afraid to say the right words in the right order, So they make sense to a person with such grace
What if my dreams dont become reality? Is my life just a big mistake? Will I be happy for the times I had?
Or would I reconsider and recalculate?
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I wanna be seen, but take no space

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Re: The Winter of 1910

Post by Annasiel » Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:19 pm

The shorter man's English was far better than the giant woman's had been, and instead of being bellowed out like the jolly spirit in that one Dickens book, his tone was calmer, punctuated by an undercurrent of firm, curt politeness. The way he talked reminded Claudia more of a disillusioned middle-aged school marm complaining about the chits of the day than of a labourer in some isolated Russian village. Claudia opened her mouth to reply - slightly unnerved but, on the surface, untouched by the larger man's impassive, unblinking stare - but before she had a chance to introduce herself, the damned French girl burst from behind the stair like a rabbit rushing from its den.

On second thought, considering her apparent wit and steel, a rabbit with particularly sharp teeth.

"My fault, dear! You know how I get with an open trail ahead of me and curiosity nipping at my heels!" Claudia replied, as if she knew Marie her entire life. She offered the girl a sharp smile - disguised by the turn of her head, it held more caution than pleasantry - and returned her attention to the two men before her, bowing in acquiesced regret. "As my darling friend said, I am Claudia, Claudia Von Fleck, and she is Marie. I do apologize for my rudeness, sometimes I allow my mouth to get the better of me."

Biting back on her pride was a bitter thing, but she didn't want to risk incurring the wrath of Vladimir. Even if he didn't have a knee-deep pool of virgin blood in his basement, the other men here seemed to answer to his call, especially - and most concerningly - the giant, Sergey, by his side. A simple word could have the mountain of a man set upon her, and while she wasn't a dodder with her gun, she didn't fully trust her ability to get a shot off before the monster simply snapped her neck. In fact, she even threw in half of a curtsy for good measure, grabbing her coat with her free hand and bending a tad at the knee.

Something about this man seemed off. Off in a way that stood out even in such a queer situation. The other men continued to work behind him, even as he and Sergey stopped, and from the glances they gave, she would almost assume an element of fear. That meant - at reasonable minimum - he was a hard taskmaster - temper, perhaps, as natural to him as his arsemongering condescension.

"Might I ask, what are the berries? They're awfully vivid, and I don't think I've seen such a fruit before. I would assume holly, but the trees don't seem anything akin, so I would venture that is far off the base. Have you ever seen anything like them, Marie, dear?"
I look in the water and fear what I see
I know it's no stranger but I know it's not me
My life is a lie that was uttered in jest
If I can't change at all, let me rest

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Re: The Winter of 1910

Post by cz_invazion » Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:08 am

Jakob to say the least was displeased with Ymir's answer. That bastard old man must have been a horrible liar, it only seemed fair that this woman knew every considering her… proportions, one could assume she was popular. What made him even more upset was the fact she didn't mention the oldman. Maybe she was friends with him, trying to hide him or something. Jakob would have to look into it himself. When Misha arrived back the group continued on their way down the path.

But then the talk of the doctor, Doctor Dimitri with her saying he wasn't here. Of course she would think that the two didn't really explain that well, "Oh no Ymir, we didn't explain it good. We are on our way to him, we are simply passing through the town. Perhaps the doctor wanted us to stop here to experience the town's great sights and try some of those bright berries. I bet they are super sweet." Jakob said with a smile, trying to befriend the giant a little… or more importantly try and not get eaten.

As the trio and dogs continued to walk Jakob took in the scenery. The beautiful mountains remind him of the ones to the north back in Czechoslovakia, Their towering embrace was both memorizing and humbling. He knew many of stories of one getting lost in the mountains, even more stories of the monsters they held, of course they were just tales. "Say Ymir, what are the chances of seeing old Rübezahl here? Or are these mountains not sisters to the ones to the south?" Jakob again tried to strike up a friendly conversation.
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Re: The Winter of 1910

Post by Golden_ » Fri Sep 18, 2020 12:59 pm

First concerned by the possibility of questioning (though who would actually question a bathroom break), Misha's concern and paranoia swiftly shifted to include the conversation he had missed, and the words Ymir spoke. Surely she was mistaken. The letter they had received, from a Dr. Cuttling nonetheless, specifically stated this town as Dmitri's current place of residence. He was privy to check his pockets for the neatly folded letter, just to confirm and calm himself, but quickly remembered that a. he stupidly hadn't brought it with him, and b. he really mustn't shift through his jacket pockets so openly, not now at least. Instead, he had to let it go for the time-being. Perhaps he would enquire further, when they were safely in their lodgings, though with Jakob or Marie or Claudia, rather than this stranger.

But alas, even they were all strangers to him. Strangers that were supposedly quite dangerous. Those thoughts continued to come back to him, even though he had determined that they were senseless ravings of a mad man. They needed to sit down and talk, after seeing Dmitri, of course, and make sense of it all. Clear the air, so to speak. He wanted nothing more right now, in this time of uncertainty. Apart from a nice glass of cognac, a full belly, a warm bed...

His mind almost began to drift as he craved all those wonderful luxuries; luxuries that would be within his eager grasp in one measly hour. But a cool, gentle wind pricked at his warmed cheeks, reminding him that it'd be a cold, miserable hour down the side of a mountain before he got what he wanted. So he kept his mouth shut and followed Ymir's lead.

Thankfully, Jakob's voice continued to fill the silence, keeping Ymir somewhat engaged and occupied. Unfortunately, those words made little to no sense to Misha. No, they were meant to stop in this god-forsaken village. He remembered because the name alone stuck out like a sore thumb, especially for a Russian-born speaker. An odd, ominous name initially, now making complete sense as he passed by bushes upon bushes of those gleaming red berries. For that simple reason, Misha wouldn't be trying a berry, as he doubted they were sweet in any way, shape, or form - as Jakob believed them to be.

He thought about feigning ignorance as well, though it wouldn't make much sense, nor would it reflect positively on his character. Instead, he kept his mouth shut and observed, eager to hear what dear Ymir had to say about it. To lie or speak the truth? Whatever happened next, the answer would speak volumes about who they were dealing with.

Of course, Jakob's sudden change of subject caused Misha to sigh inwardly, and hope that it wouldn't stick. Fictional stories and legends were exactly that, meanwhile, they had much more real and pressing questions to be answered.
...was adopted by Satan himself, before [she] was returned out of fear of [her] awkwardness

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