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Author Topic: Dark Journeys (Modern day horror)  (Read 1144 times)

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Offline The Guide

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Dark Journeys (Modern day horror)
« on: February 13, 2014, 10:50:58 PM »
Introduction:

Dear Friends,

Adventure travel has always been a staple in my life. Nothing compares to meeting a physical challenge in a spectacular outdoor setting. Whether it's doing a solo cycling tour of South America or leading a group of Adventurers up Mount Washington, the feelings that strike me at the close of each adventure are always the same: a renewed sense of self-confidence, a connection to the natural world, and a spirit of discovery. With each adventure I feel like life has gotten a little richer.

At the close of our last season, I kept reflecting on the words of an Adventurer who had just finished her first Discovery Outdoor Adventure. As we were having our last group circle, she continued to shake her head when other Adventurers offered words like "trust" and "leadership". Finally she said, "For me, it's more than that. This trip has had an impact on how I see myself and others. I feel like something clicked inside me, and I'm a different person now... a better person."

I realized then that there was something much more to Discovery than inspiring trust, boosting self-confidence, embracing leadership, and being awed as we challenge ourselves in the natural world. Discovery is about building character. It's about all walks of people discovering new strengths they never knew they had. It's about improving who we are. It’s about a rebirth.

I created Discovery for everyone: Executive, Homemaker, Student; to explore wonderful places and to find something deep and true within themselves. I also created Discovery to set the spark of self-discovery alive in our Adventurers, for once it is lit, it will burn with them for the rest of their lives.

For those with an adventurous spirit and an enthusiasm for the world, join us this summer for the experience of a lifetime!

Sincerely,
Arum Piper

The letter is watermarked with a large star, and is accompanied in its envelope by a first class airline ticket and an invoice showing two weeks pre-paid lodging at the Wintergreen Resort, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

There is also a reply card, pre-printed with your full name.

A single empty check box stares at you:

[ ] YES! I Want To Discover the Person I Know I Can Become!


(Still interested, check the OCC section http://strolen.com/guild/index.php/topic,6848.0.html for the info)
« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 11:27:43 PM by The Guide »

Offline The Guide

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Re: Dark Journeys (Modern day horror)
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2014, 11:13:38 PM »
Downhill From Here

The day after your reply card is in the mail, your phone rings.  The clarity of the voice on the other end of the line is astounding, though it is obviously a recording.  The owner of the masculine voice, butter-smooth, could easily be leaning over you, whispering in your ear. His pace is measured, his tone encouraging: 

"Congratulations on accepting your Discovery Outdoor Adventure. I'm Arum Piper. In the days leading up to your trip, I'd like you to take a few moments to take stock of who you are: your wants, your needs, your strengths, your weaknesses.  Then envision the person that you want, and need, to be. Shed old handicaps. Gain new advantages. Take the time seriously. Take yourself seriously.

When you have that picture in mind, your new you, you have your Discovery blueprint! That blueprint and a true dedication to your transformation are all you'll need to make your adventure a success.  I look forward to meeting with you."

Suddenly, and oddly, disappointingly, the man is gone. Replaced by a woman. More detached. Less intimate. Even the connection seems to drop in clarity.

"Although the blueprint for a new you is the most important thing you can bring on your Adventure, the following items have proved useful for past Discovery Outdoor Adventurers:"

The following list is recited with an occasional odd inflection, as if items were added and removed over time.

"A sleeping bag or three warm blankets.

Flashlight, with batteries

A hat, bandana, or visor

Sunscreen, and any needed medications

Insect repellant, non-aerosol

A mess kit, or plastic utensils, with dunk bag

A warm sweater, sweatshirt or jacket

One complete change of clothes

A raincoat, or poncho

Sturdy shoes, and socks

Waterproof boots

Toothbrush and toothpaste

Comb or brush

Washcloth, soap, and towel

Swim suits

And of course, you are welcome to bring a few, small personal items.

Please note, no firearms of any kind are allowed on Discovery Outdoor Adventures.
Best of luck on your journey of Discovery!
Goodbye!"
Then the woman, too, is gone.

* * * * *

At early evening, the driver leaves you at the condominium check-in center without accepting a tip. "It's been taken care of," he says, to your lack of surprise.  You surmised as much when you first noticed him at the airport, his placard shouting your name in bold, dark letters.  Unfortunately, he didn't know anything about Discovery Outdoor Adventures, and he never heard of an Arum Piper.

He did know a little about Wintergreen, however, and it seems the man gave the place a fair representation.
"Do you golf?" was the man's first question…and indeed, most of the talk that you hear as you stand in line at the reservation counter revolves around the resorts two golf courses: Devil's Knob and Stoney Creek. The former, a challenging mountain peak course where the atmosphere adds lengths to your drives and angle to your hooks. The latter, a well designed and renowned all-around course, rated one of the best resort links in the country.

But that's the talk. From the center of the resort, it's apparent that Wintergreen takes on its true identity in the winter.  Cabins and condos dot the scenery between obvious ski trails and lifts. The 'village center' is  perched at the top of the mountains, and as you exited your car you noticed one of the lifts was actually in operation, apparently servicing extreme downhill bikers. Most of the resorts resources, including the adventure camp and lodgings, are down-slope from the village center.

The driver didn't include extreme biking in his list of the other "outdoors stuff" he listed on the car ride: hiking, tennis, swimming, canoeing, equestrian, fishing, and an adventure-sport complex of some kind.   That sounded a little more like the outdoor adventure you were expecting.

The small-framed high-voiced woman behind the counter takes your name, and raises her eyebrows at her ledger.  "Okay then," she says, "You're with Discovery Outdoor Adventures?" At words or sign to the affirmative, she carefully writes those initials into her book and slides a key across the counter: A real key. Metal, not plastic.

"Okay then," she says, again. "Hope you enjoy it." The comment seems perfectly balanced between hope and doubt.

Walking to the condo, you catch of glimpse of what as known as the "Out of Bounds Adventure Park" through the trees, represented by a twenty-five foot tall rock climbing structure.  Crossing Guard-Orange and Lime-Green safety helmets bob and totter their way up the 'stone', the bodies supporting them tethered to the wall, floor, and seemingly the sky itself with bungee cords and line supports. It gives the odd appearance of gum balls being drawn up a spider's web.  The most challenging thing about the structure, it seems, is to actually find a way to get off of the thing.

The condos themselves are clean, and relatively new, if a bit plain. Wintergreen's main focus as a skiing resort is quite apparent by the fireplace, slope pictures, wood accents, and ski racks; the latter being built right into the closets.  You have been given two-bedroom condos for whatever reason, a kitchen, a bath, and a living area. The bed in the master bedroom has the sheets rolled back.  On the bed are swimsuits: three for the men, six for the ladies.  The women have their choice of bikinis or one-pieces, two a size in three different sizes…while the men all have trunks of the same size...though some fall higher or lower on the leg. All of the suits, both men and women's, are relatively conservative.

A small handwritten note in neat script lies next to the clothing on the bed:

"Welcome Adventurers!

Gregg and I would like to welcome you to Wintergreen, and congratulate you on accepting your Adventure. Your life will never be the same!  Please join us at our home at 8:30 pm, for cocktails, a late light supper, and a dip in our hot tub.  The swim is mandatory, no excuses!  You need to lose that bad stress before we heap on the good. 'You can't transform if your own ash burdens you!' Use any of the suits that fit, if you didn't think to bring along your own.

We're at 3 Greenway Lane, in the Greenway private homes. Maybe 150 yards from the entrance in your condos, if you walk through the woods. Watch the trails, though. Bikers are zooming through here these days. If you need it, there is a trail map under the coffee table in the living area…but it's really a straight hike from your lot.

See you tonight!
Kelsey & Gregg Prince

Discovery Guides

PS, I almost forgot. DON'T UNPACK more than you'll need for tonight.  You'll be off again early tomorrow, and will just need to pack it all up again.

PSS! If you get here early, feel free to use the fitness center/spa, or grab something to eat."
If the ladies try on the suits, they find that the bikini and the one piece in the smallest size fit, while the others are too large. All of the suits arrayed for the men fit perfectly.


By the time you've settled in, it is nearing 7:15 pm…just over an hour before you are scheduled to meet with the Princes.  Not too much time to get much done, but maybe enough time to relax…
For a while, anyway.

At around 8:00 pm a pained-screaming from outside breaks the quiet.  Those of you poking your heads out of windows or stepping out of doors see a teen being walk-dragged by two similarly attired others out of the bushes. The kid's biker clothing is torn, and he's clutching what appears to be a horribly broken left arm to his chest.

"Mother @!#$-EEEEEEEERRRRRRR." The kid screams. "Mother @!#$-EEEEEEERRRRRRR!"  The last swear syllable receives both an accent and a raise in pitch, so it sounds more like an entreaty than an epithet.
An ambulance arrives to meet the kids in the parking lot, and the boy is swiftly carried off while his companions hop into a car and follow behind.  The condos then, are once again quiet, except for the small group of people who stepped out of their condos to observe the events.

Who may or may not be you.

Your Adventure begins.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2014, 11:18:06 PM by The Guide »

Online caesar193

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Re: Dark Journeys (Modern day horror)
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2014, 09:23:05 AM »
Alexander West was beginning to regret coming on this trip. They way they seemed to know he was coming was d***ed creepy, and now this kid... He closed the curtain he was looking at the kid through. F*** it, he was here, and he was d*** well going to have a good time. Maybe he'd find it at the Prince's home. Besides, it was 8:25, according to his fancy, water-proof sports watch by Rolex.

He grabbed his suit, not bothering with the ones that "fit perfectly." The only bit of clothing that he'd found that fit perfectly was his tailored suit. Now that was a f***in' beautiful thing. God bless the American way.

Almost out of reflex, he eyed the picture of his wife as he picked up his wallet. Or rather, ex-wife. The f***in' b**** had turned what they had agreed was going to be a clean divorce into a huge scandal when she had told her buddy. F*** it, they had both cheated on the other, but now no one believed him when he mentioned her little boy-toy.

B****.

Alexander still couldn't believe he had gotten fired over it from his job as CEO over this s***. All of his board probably cheated! He knew Sam did, and Mark had gone with him to a high-class brothel! F***in' hypocrites.

He was so lost in his thoughts (and not to mention a little angry) that he had walked past the house without even seeing it. Before walking to the door, he stood a moment and composed himself. Shaking his head as if to knock the anger out of him, he eyed the house for a bit. It wouldn't do to be angry during a cocktail party.

Alexander West then walked to the door with all the charisma that had seem him to the heights of his life, and knocked on three solid times. Doorbells were for f***in' pussies.

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Offline Alex Mack

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Re: Dark Journeys (Modern day horror)
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2014, 07:03:17 AM »
The girl with the pink highlights stared out the window at 40,000 feet, music blasting in her earbuds.


"Msshwrd" Some garbled up voice said. "Miss Howard!" The voice repeated, the girl removed her earbuds....Howard? Oh right...
"Uh yeah, that's me?" She hesitantly replied. "Would you like a drink?" The stewardess offered. The girl eyed the glass disbelieving. Why the heck not, she thought. "Sure! I'll take a...uh, whatever you've got." The stewardess raised an eyebrow but proceeded to pour the girl a drink.

"Miss Howard...Miss Rebecca Howard...Hi, I'm ReeeBECCA Howard!" The girl snickered to herself, it felt strange but exhilarating posing as someone else least of all her teacher. She wasn't really sure what she had gotten herself into, it all seemed a little whacked the way the letter was worded, but one section had stood out to her, the little checkbox (now ticked in and posted) with the words; "YES! I Want To Discover the Person I Know I Can Become!" Hippie-crap no doubt, but a free getaway none the less, if they tried to sell her a condo or something she would just ditch them. Miss Howard could have used the vacation, but not as much as Alex needed it now. Finders keepers, losers weepers. Some hours later she grabbed her duffel bag and exited the plane.



The Condo, 7:16

Woah... Guess she wouldn't be trying out bike-riding, that guy had looked pretty messed up. She shrugged and pulled her head back into the condo. She threw herself on the bed, flicked on the tv and grabbed the phone, twirling the phone-cord she said; "Uh, yes hello room-service?...Ah, do you serve pizza?"

« Last Edit: February 23, 2014, 06:12:09 AM by Alex Mack »

Offline The Guide

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Re: Dark Journeys (Modern day horror)
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2014, 04:37:31 PM »
Alexander West

Aware of the darkening sky. There is still plenty of light for this summer evening, but the shadows of the woods conspire to make their trip through the woods require a more judicious step or two.

Looking up the lane, Alexander easily spots a break in the foliage where the trail map indicated, opened so winter skiers and snowboarders could make use of the ‘Ski and Stay lodging’ access from the trails. Off-season hikers and bikers likely do their part in keeping the growth under control as well. Alexander's swift stride brings her quickly into the shade of the trail, and instantly into a climate a degree or so cooler.

Even in the conservatively-paletted summer, the trail is inviting; Asters, Oaks, and Chestnut make up the majority of the visible trees, while a few glints of brilliant purple rhododendron demand distinction from the surrounding bevy of wood fern.

No sign of the mountain bikers the letter warned about, though a faint ‘zip-crackling’ can be heard from time to time in the distance...something tearing through the underbrush at speed. Thinking back to the earlier injury, it is easy to imagine he is hearing the wooded path closing in to tear up the vulnerable biker, rather than the other way around.

The noise soon fades, replaced by a clandestine, recurrent knock from a unseen woodpecker.

A reminder of appointments to keep.


Alex Mack

"Hush now baby, baby, dont you cry.
Mother's gonna make all your nightmares come true.
Mother's gonna put all her fears into you.
Mother's gonna keep you right here under her wing.
She wont let you fly, but she might let you sing."


The disturbing nursery rhyme, apparently what passes for "on hold" music at this place abruptly broken off by a buttery warm feminine voice that sounds as if it's taken far to much Prozac over the past few days. "I'm sorry miss, but room service is temporarily unavailable due to circumstances beyond my control, however I have been instructed to remind you tonights cocktail party will have a buffet sufficient to sate any appetite." Her emphasis on "any" was subtle, but brought to mind more disturbing ideas then simply food.

Out her window Alexa noticed most of the accident peepers have dispersed, leaving a single pair of pale skinned men in dark suits, standing together just up the units’ shared lane. She caught the handshake between the two, and the vibe: professional, but earnestly casual, a bit out of place with the natural surroundings if not necessarily the earlier, violent, proceedings. After a moment’s more conversation, the two move off in the direction indicated in her letter.

The warm soothing voice again gnaws at Alex's attention. "Is there anything else I can assist you with tonight?"
« Last Edit: February 23, 2014, 03:30:14 AM by The Guide »

Offline Alex Mack

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Re: Dark Journeys (Modern day horror)
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2014, 06:42:57 AM »
"Uh...No, thanks....That's okay." She hung up. What in the H was up with this place...First class tickets to a lunatic asylum... A late night supper. Guess they were really keen on shelling these time shares. She sighed, but decided on a quick shower, she didn't have much to change into though, she thought as she was towelling her hair...

She hid her duffel bag underneath a cushion in an armchair, then grabbed the swimming wear off the bed. She felt a bit self conscious about putting it on right away, so she put on her old clothes and stuffed the bikini in her pocket, then she picked up the note and read it again. She found the trail map underneath the coffee table and meandered out in search for 3 Greenway Lane, she was gonna be a little late but oh well.

Offline Dozus

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Re: Dark Journeys (Modern day horror)
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2014, 01:29:49 PM »
"What the devil?" Birchard Planchett peered out his window to see the injured boy carried by his compatriots as the sirens approached. It was a nasty looking wound - not surprisng, given those gadgets the kids were bopping about on. He found himself wondering what kind of waiver the owners had their guests sign. The ones small companies were getting off the Web these days, from those ne'er-do-well so-called attorneys on their little ramshackle websites, were often full of loopholes. The acreage and business a place like this had, they had to be worth...

Planchett groaned at himself. This was supposed to be a vacation - a real one this time. No working, not even when opportunity knocked. It wasn't like he needed the money anyway.

He checked his watch. It was a newfangled Tissot, waterproof up to a thousand meters - a full kilometer! He'd bought it just for the trip, not that he'd anticipated any deep sea diving, but he wasn't about to bring the good Rolex. Not terribly long before the party, or dinner, or whatever it was. He was hoping to get a decent drink brought to his room before then, but he knew from prior experience it was always busy around this time. By the time the help would get to the room, he could've distilled and aged his own scotch.

Still dressed in his travel suit, he headed out the door. Birchard almost left it unlocked before he remembered it was a mechanical key; he triple-checked the lock while bewailing the security of such an old-fashioned measure. The locks probably hadn't been changed since the Ford administration.

Planchett marched down to the "village center," as they called it, entering the main building. He strode to the first thing that looked like a concierge desk. "Pardon me, but where can I get a glass of your best scotch, whatever that might be?"

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Offline The Guide

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Re: Dark Journeys (Modern day horror)
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2014, 09:20:00 PM »
Alex Mack

Alex is forced to slow her pace as she reaches a small, stony climb. Loose stones underfoot cause a momentary stumble, but the rest of the climb is navigated successfully.  Once the ground levels off, it becomes apparent she is reaching the path more traveled.

A half-dozen airline size blackberry brandy bottles jut out from the center of the path, a drunkard’s trail marker waving him home from a day on the mountain.  Remnants of a torn Doritos bag battle a wood fern over the slim rays of sunshine that slip through the tree cover overhead, and a spiky lowset outcropping frames what appears to be a full table setting of smashed dinner plates.

Just beyond the angry diner’s tantrum area, the path intersects with a wider downhill trail, likely a common path for the summer cyclists. Alex's keen eye notices the tracks immediately, recent and many.

Beyond the trail, which is perhaps 15 yards wide, the smaller, cross-mountain path resumes.  A slight climb through a denser area of brush brings her up to a slim gravel road, and a small gravel drive leads up to a cabin. She approached the structure, getting nearly to the door before she noticed the peeling white number ‘2’ on the mailbox. 

Birchard Planchett

The young lady behind the counter is different than the one he met while checking in earlier, this girl seems  younger, perhaps 19 at the oldest, with a almost puzzled look on her face, as if she can't quite remember something significant.

She looked up from her desk like a frightened deer startled in the middle of grazing, whatever thoughts she had beenh lost in abruptly destroyed at Birchard's inquiry. "Scotch?" She held onto the word as if it were a foreign language, blinking profusely from behind thin horn rimmed glasses and reaching out to brush an imaginary speck of lint off the counter.

"I-I do believe there's a wide array of drinks being served at tonight's greeting party at the lodge over on 3 Greenway Lane." She partially stammered out the answer much like an actor who'd forgotten their line, her voice smoothing out into a practiced warmth at the end of the sentence. "Or if you would like I could arrange for a bottle to be delivered to your room? Compliments of Discovery Outdoor Adventures of course."

The reflection of the light off her glasses momentarily blinded him as she tilted her head, her features now wearing what he recognized as the same kind of insincere smile he'd given to countless clients and courtroom opponents over his years.


« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 09:24:16 PM by The Guide »

Offline Dozus

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Re: Dark Journeys (Modern day horror)
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2014, 09:28:42 PM »
"Well I'd like a dram or two to warm the innards before the soirée," Planchett answered, jabbing a firm index finger on the desk. "But I can't wait around for your wait staff to finish all their little tasks." He reached into his breast pocket, producing a twenty which he slid across the desk at the girl. "Perhaps, young lady, we can skip past all the red tape and cut to the chase, hm? I walk away from your desk with a bottle of Bowmore 12-year in the next five minutes and the other Mr. Jackson will join his twin here." He gave a grim, curt smile. "Whaddya say?"
« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 10:17:02 PM by Birchard Planchett »

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Offline The Guide

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Re: Dark Journeys (Modern day horror)
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2014, 09:58:50 PM »
The young girl looked down at the money speculatively, as if weighing possibilities in her mind, before shooting him another, different smile. "Of course sir, here at Discovery Outdoor Adventures any desire can be satisfied." Her smile at the end showed too many teeth, almost like the bared smile of a monkey, or that of someone hiding a sudden rush of pain.

She turned with an almost military about face and exited through a side door, the clip of her heels on the polished mahogany barely audible.

In her absence the ticking of a grandfather clock could also be made out coming form parts unknown, and the quiet plucking at the strings of a guitar, as if a musician was tuning it in preparation for a future performance. Outside the raucous crowing of a Blue Jay drew Brichard's attention, as it flapped noisily from a near by tree and defecated onto the shiny hood of a parked Porsche, the white dropping stark contrast to it's deep purple sheen.

"Here you go sir!" The abrupt cheerful exclamation from behind the counter was unexpected, but the bottle of Bowmore lovingly cradled in the crook of her arm drew his attention, the young woman smiling expectantly, much like a golden retriever that had pulled off a difficult trick as her masters behest. "Will there be anything else?" She set the bottle down with a soft thunk on the counter, it's label facing Birchard, the inked chateau a warm reminder of the containers perfectly aged spirits.

« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 10:14:23 PM by The Guide »

Online caesar193

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Re: Dark Journeys (Modern day horror)
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2014, 10:42:55 PM »
Alexander eyed the terrain. Effin' creepy, he thought, and then shook his head to clear it of such ridiculus thoughts. Trees killin' people, ha! Idiots did f***in' stupid things.

He stalked forward, irritable and impatient. It was a good thing he had put on his suit over his swim suit. It was d***ed cold here. Alexander followed the path forward, heading towards the house he had been summoned to.

Gods, I need a drink, he thought. And a long f***ing soak in a good f***ing hot tub.

caesar193
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LEVEL SEVEN
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Necromancer, Acolyte Octavian Morbidius- level one
Divine Syond, Novice Follower of Lunism- level one
Jacob Latris, Demonologist of the Brotherhood- level two
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STR: 6 | END: 6 | CON: 5 | DEX: 5 | CHA: 7 | INT: 11
--------------------------------------------------------
Our maps are always 100% right,. Its the terrain that's wrong.

Offline The Guide

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Re: Dark Journeys (Modern day horror)
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2014, 11:06:31 PM »
Alexander caught sight of the two others on the crest of the hill just as he reached the ‘Ticklebrush’ trail clearing, as the green line was called on his map. A slope marked for beginners, though perhaps that only applies to its winter travelers.

Without the protective cushioning of snow, roots twist dangerously and angled rocks threaten tires and careless shins alike. There is no sign that the broken armed teen fell anywhere around here, but it certainly wasn’t hard to imagine it happening.

Alex, for her part, saw Alexander just as he started up the trail towards her.  He did not see-or hear for that matter-the two bikers who were on him almost instantly as he crossed the path.

“HooooAAAoooh!” one yelled as he blurred in front of Alexander. The other, on a beeline for the man, swung his rear wheel out and to the left, spraying loose dirt on the man and forcing Alexander to jerk his leg back to avoid an impact.  His $900 Mezlan shoe skipped off into the fern as the biker skids to a stop, and simply stares at the man.

The first biker circled back, and traced a few circles around the man and his trail mate.
“Smiley needs to watch where he is going, don’ he?”

The kid next to Alexander straightened out his bike, still saying nothing, blank goggled-eyes staring coldly at the man in the tailored suit before him, a scowl splitting his pale, gaunt chin. He finally pedaled away, neck craned around to stare back at his obstacle even until he passed out of sight.

The first biker toe-kicked Alexander's loose shoe deeper into the bush as he broke off his circling and followed his friend.

“Nice shoes, suit boy.”

As Alexander glances down, he notices that although his body avoided injury, the biker’s skid tore up a swath of dirt three or four feet long, leading right up to his legs.  The overturned earth is darker, and seems to offer up a surprise, an unusual looking palm-sized stone poking out of the disturbed ground:

« Last Edit: March 01, 2014, 12:28:53 AM by The Guide »

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Re: Dark Journeys (Modern day horror)
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2014, 10:57:53 AM »
"You godd*** motherf***ers!" Alexander yelled to their retreating backs. "I'll have your godd*** brainless heads on a f***ing pike!"

He looked down at the curious stone,  and knelt to pick it up. Turning it over in his hand, he examined it thoughtfully. He needed to calm down a little anyway, so if he saw his shoe had been damaged, he wouldn't go on a rampage after those kids. Shrugging, he slipped the stone into his pocket, and then trudged into the brush after his shoe.

As he did so, he looked up at the two people at the top of the hill. Just f***in great. Another f***in kid and some business guy. F***in great. Just what he needed.

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Offline The Guide

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Re: Dark Journeys (Modern day horror)
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2014, 08:51:49 PM »
Alexander

The laughter of the two bikers echoed among the trees, seemingly unfazed by the mans hollow threats, his outburst of anger readily audible to everyone and thing in the surrounding woods, the fading light of sunset deepening the shadows into an almost menacing gloom.

Upon touching the stone Alexander felt something, almost like a minor jolt of static electricity, or perhaps it was just the cold clammy nature of the stone. It's texture was smooth, almost oily, with rough bits that felt somehow relaxing to rub his thumb along, those bits forming in the dim light what almost looked like a face. He could easily imagine it as the face of one of the bikers, his thumb pressing in on the mouth to silence their taunts and expressions for all time.

His shoe seemed deeper within the bushes, the black leather tongue lightly scuffed but otherwise undamaged from it's short expedition from his foot, at least they hadn't ran over it, or worse, taken it as some trophy of their misadventures.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2014, 09:47:29 PM by The Guide »

Offline Dozus

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Re: Dark Journeys (Modern day horror)
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2014, 10:36:30 PM »
Birchard was pleasantly surprised. "Well, atta girl!" he said with as warm a smile as he could muster. He pulled another twenty and placed it on the desk, sliding it across with two fingers while he took the bottle with the other hand. "My compliments to your barkeep on his competent tastes."

Planchett walked satisfied out of the town center, scotch in hand. Two fingers on the rocks would do well, just enough to soften the edge for this god-awful dinner party. He'd come for some orienteering, rock climbing, something physical where he could get his hands dirty. Hobnobbing with whatever assorted shrink cases usually attended these sorts of camps was hardly ideal. But maybe it would be the break he needed.

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Offline The Guide

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Re: Dark Journeys (Modern day horror)
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2014, 10:51:59 PM »
Birchard

Bottle firmly in hand small private drive lead him from the center up to the cabin designed for tonights cocktails, curling around to the left and apparently wrapping around the back of the building, at least from what he could see from the road. 

A welcoming light shined from the entrance way by the drive not doubt activated by the oncoming gloom, already attracting more than its fair share of anxious evening insects. A voice echoed from near by, promising vengeance and the mounting of heads on pikes, a death threat worthy of a restraining order if ever there was one.

As he made final progress towards the cabin, an old looking Cutlass station wagon could be seen parked at the end of the drive, which just barely tucked itself behind the corner of the building.  Despite the car and the light, no other lights appeared to be on inside of the cabin.

Stepping around to the side of the building he was greeted by the  unexpected by the sight of a young girl at the front door, not far away a man in a business suit fussed with his shoe as well, but other than these two no one else seemed near by.

A quick check of his watch confirmed it was 8:30. If the hosts were not home, they were late for their own party.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2014, 10:53:43 PM by The Guide »

Offline Alex Mack

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Re: Dark Journeys (Modern day horror)
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2014, 06:16:24 AM »
Woah, suddenly she found herself surrounded by suits. She would have expected some middle class people, not these posh geezers. They hardly looked like the type to be rubbing elbows with Miss Howard. And one of them seemed overly angry, all thoughts of coming to his aid had been wiped from her mind the second he opened his loud mouth. But those bikers hadn't seemed very friendly either. What the h*ll have I gotten myself into...

She had hoped to be late enough to miss out on any socializing but apparently she wasn't the only one with that idea.... She fixated her eyes on the door, and knocked using the ominous clapper, hoping to be inside before the old farts reached her.

Offline The Guide

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Re: Dark Journeys (Modern day horror)
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2014, 04:43:30 PM »
Alex's knock silences the noise from the trees for a moment, as the entire woods pauses in anticipation of an answer.  When none seems forthcoming, the chatter of the evening resumes, and the woodpecker even gives another mocking knock.
 
There is no screen or storm door present, and no doorbell.  A small plaque hangs to the right of the door, its leather hangar nailed to the wood of the cabin. Crafted of resin to resemble carved slate, the plaque displays the same peculiar lettering as the hand towels in your lodgings, stating a simple lodge number.
 
Looking closer at the door she notices splotches of a russet colored, tacky-looking material on the doorknob and a few inches above it on the door itself.  Some sort of paint perhaps? Food?

Offline Sebastien Stavros

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Re: Dark Journeys (Modern day horror)
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2014, 05:16:15 PM »
The flight was late, his luggage lost and luckily found two hours later before it could depart to Abu Dhabi.
The taxi driver hardly spoke English, and relied on the "you tell, I drive" method.
No, he wasn't familiar with the region.

In the end, Sebastien had hitchhiked to his destination, taken along by a diminutive ancient lady in a car resembling its owner.
Counting the hours, he would have been decidedly swifter in Wintergreen if he had just driven.

There was little time for anything except rushing under the shower for a minute upon his arrival, and putting on a fresh flannel shirt, before proceeding to the evening event.
Serendipity arranged for him to arrive in the nick of time as the others - two well-dressed men and a girl appearing ever so lost - were about to enter.
As inconspicuously as could be expected of a man close to seven feet in height, he joined the group with a nod of his head.

"I hope we are not too early" Sebastien added as he saw the silence of the domicile, so uncharacteristic of a planned soiree.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 05:21:04 PM by Sebastien Stavros »

Offline Dozus

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Re: Dark Journeys (Modern day horror)
« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2014, 09:31:27 AM »
Planchett sighed. May as well get this part over with. At least he has his scotch.

He headed toward the appointed cabin. "Good evening!" he said cheerily as he could manage. "Birchard Planchett," he said, offering a hand to shake to the tall man. "Are you Mr. Prince?"

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Offline Sebastien Stavros

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Re: Dark Journeys (Modern day horror)
« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2014, 02:31:51 PM »
"Not that I remember" he smiled. "Sebastien Stavros - and if Mr. Prince is not here yet, then I'll wait alongside with you."
He offered his hand to the others, shaking firmly, then strolled around the house.
"Mister Prince? Your guests are here!" he shouted, in case Prince had strolled off.
"Did he leave a cell number behind?"

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Re: Dark Journeys (Modern day horror)
« Reply #21 on: March 04, 2014, 01:19:05 AM »
Sebastian peeks in the front window, and confirms that no interior lights are on. A couch is backed to the window, and Sebastian looks in upon a neatly furnished, wood accented, living/dining room area.  Wooden stairs to the second level can be seen to the left. There is no sign of anyone indoors.

As Birchard and Alex make introductions Sebastian's attention is directed more towards the rear of the cabin.  Poking his head around a bit, he can see the edges of a two-level deck with outdoor stairs, and the side screened wall of a porch area.  A foot-worn path is very evident starting from the entrance way, turning around the side of the building and terminating in the deck area.

It is 8:40 pm.

The doorknob, surprisingly is not as tacky as it looks, and scrapes underneath Alex's fingernails as she tries the door. The stuff is soft, but cakey…like a putty or paste beginning to dry. Unfortunately, her hands are dirtied for nothing as the doorknob--and thus the door--does not budge.


"Mister Prince? Your guests are here!" Into the darkness Sebastian's shout is swallowed by the gloom. To his mild surprise, he gets an answer. From the woods behind the back yard clearing he hears a rustle of underbrush, and a woman's voice, soft but clear:

"Discovery? I'm coming."

A moment later a form emerges from the darkening shadows of the trees, and into the yard. The blond woman wears a coat much too heavy for the season under which a short floral print dress can be seen, though the cooler night air has begun to raise a goose bump or two on uncovered skin. She wears a flower in her hair and carries a plastic grocery bag in one hand, while the other fumbles for and then ultimately produces a key from her pocket.

"Sorry to keep you waiting, I'm Kelsey, your poor hostess. Only the one of you?" Kelsey answers her own question as she rounds the corner. "Oh." She stops in her tracks before reaching the door, and her head begins to bob as she counts each person with her chin, including the newly arrived Sebastian, silently mouthing her count up to: "Four."

She frowns a moment, thinking. "Okay, that'll work. Sorry I'm late," she says again, repeating herself for the others by the door, "Gregg had to work late, and I had to go grab some things we really needed for tonight. I would have left a note, but I thought I'd be back on time, and the line at the store…"

Kelsey trails off as the door swings open.  She hoists her grocery bag onto a chair and flips on the lights.  "Please, have a seat. Make yourself at home.  Will one of you guys get the fire going?" she asks, motioning to the fireplace.  "Gregg usually does that. I can manage, but I'm sure one of you can do it faster.  He'll be here later on."

She hangs up her coat in a closet next to the door, and leaves it open as she glides into the kitchen, disappearing with her grocery bag.

"Do you know if anyone else was in your row?" She calls from the kitchen, her voice accompanied by the clatter of cabinets. "It's possible we may have six here tonight. Or were you it?"

Kelsey's voice, now that everyone's heard it for a while, is downright peculiar. Well not her voice exactly, which is soft and pleasant enough, but her tone. Her pitch.

Each one of her phrases starts out high, and then drops continually until its termination. Not a drop in each and every word, necessarily, but the movement in pitch is always in the same direction: downhill. It is particularly noticeable when she asks a question, it coming out sounding like the rhetorical baby questioning a grandmother might use on her grandchild:

“Have

      you

          been a good

                              boy?”


Her declarative's had the same unusual plunging path, giving her what seemed to be an 'Eeyore-like' resignation to her thoughts…as if she knew each one was slipping down a slope, but would be pulled back up the mountain before it reached its final destination, only to have the process repeated as she began her next sentence. The woman seemed, though pleasant enough, a reversed verbal Sisyphus.

Running water turns off, and Kelsey Prince returns, shaking a pair of wet hands.

"What would
                    you all
                             like
                                     to drink?"


« Last Edit: March 04, 2014, 01:20:05 AM by The Guide »

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Re: Dark Journeys (Modern day horror)
« Reply #22 on: March 04, 2014, 06:09:39 AM »
Planchett strode up to her, tapping his bottle of scotch. "I've brought something, if you'd care to pour," he said with a forced smile. He hadn't really planned on sharing the Bowmore, but it might curry some favor with the hostess which was always useful. He hesitantly handed off the bottle, eying her wet hands cautiously.

"Birchard Planchett," he introduced, producing a business card from his jacket pocket.

He immediately regretted it: this was supposed to be a break from work. But the act was instinctual, not exchanging cards was like not shaking hands or making eye contact. "This is a finely appointed cabin, Mrs. Prince, you have exceptional taste."
« Last Edit: March 04, 2014, 10:03:37 AM by Birchard Planchett »

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Offline Alexander West

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Re: Dark Journeys (Modern day horror)
« Reply #23 on: March 05, 2014, 05:42:41 AM »
Alexander West silently followed the suit he know knew as Planchett into the house. Still irate from the godd*** bikers, he didn't want to cause a scene by opening his mouth. Besides, this woman's f***ing up-down speech pattern... he paused to wonder if she had even been through any schooling.

He took the curious stone from his pocket, and held it in his hand. Feeling the jolt, he wondered what caused it. Whatever the case, he considered setting up a company when this whole cheating-scandal thing died down to explore its secrets. That is, unless it was some d***ed occult mumbo-jumbo. Alexander quickly berated himself. Such things didn't exist. He slipped the stone back into his pocket.

He eyed Planchett's bottle. Gods, he could use a drink right now. Oh, please f***ing god, have the d*** woman pour. He wasn't going to say anything. After all, appearance was important, and he didn't want to look like some d*** alcoholic or greedy f***ing bastard.

Offline Alex Mack

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Re: Dark Journeys (Modern day horror)
« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2014, 04:10:05 PM »
Hell-oooooo. Hunky arrival. Still kinda old but miles better than the other two.

"Al- Uh, Rebecca Howard." She said as she shook his hand. His biiiig hand. She wouldn't mind getting in a hottub with that....Or at least watch him get in one.

Huh, just the one old lady. This wasn't much of a party...And also, gross, was this it? Her and some old guys...Well, some older than others. What had she gotten herself into... She really started to regret coming here.

"Uhm, there was supposed to be chow...ahrm food, a buffet, yeah?" She asked the old lady. "I'll have whatever..."