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PostSubject: Stop right there (That's exactly where I lost it)   Stop right there (That's exactly where I lost it) I_icon_minitimeTue Feb 18, 2014 9:36 pm

"Do you have to stop and scribble every. 5. minutes?"
"Get away from my maps."
"I get you want to make new charts but this is ridiculous."
"You are in my light."
"Oh let him, Yoshie. Its valuable stuff here." She crossed her arms and popped her hip. Alyosha figured she wasn't going to take his side with this one. With a groan he sat down in the shade
"I want to get further south before it freezes again." he continued
"No, you are impatient." she corrected him. Closing his eyes he cracked a smile.

They had walked for another few hours before they had completely lost the light and stopped. The low fire crackled after a rough dinner of dried meat, carrots, and luke warm water.
Ashling was pouring over an old tattered book worn almost through when she paused and looked up.
"I guess we are in an old military zone, we haven't seen any action for a while."
Alyosha nodded and Phineas just kept sketching, carefully adding details with a steady hand to his maps. Alyosha was fiddling with his tin whistle but every once and a while he would watch his brother. He had to admit they looked excellent and perhaps maybe even beautiful. He was sure Phineas already figured that though and so he did not disturb his brother. He instead turned back to an old irish tune, Ash started to softly sing a verse

But the bravest fell, and the requiem bell rang mournfully and clear
For those who died that Eastertide in the springing of the year
And the world did gaze, in deep amaze, at those fearless men, but few
Who bore the fight that freedom's light might shine through the foggy dew

At the end Alyosha smiled and just said
Phineas continued to sketch his map but Ash knew he loved that song. A song of hopeless valor and fidelity even in the face of inevitable loss. She figured he saw their plight as a similar suicidal path. But one that was an honor because it was in the name of people you loved and things you believed. He would never say that last bit but she knew it about him.

"Well, its time for bed children." Alyosha stretched and moved towards the hammock rolls when he froze. Ashling watched his face and saw his eyes get wide. In almost slow motion she looked from him to Phin, and then realized just past him were a pair of glowing eyes.

"Mother Cuss-" Alyosha whispered. In the same second the saber tooth cat lunged, Alyosha grabbed the hilt of his sowrd and Phineas rolled to the left just missing the claws.
Ashling scrambled up the nearest oak and notched her first arrow on the string.
A single shot could only bring it down if she hit it through the eye. She was a great shot but she wasn't any Robin Hood.
On the ground Phineas had grabbed his cane and eased the blade from it. Both boys stood ready. A sickening second passed before the cat lunged again. Swipe, strike, stab, spin. The whir of an arrow and another, in the ribs both times. A third struck the hind leg giving it a gimp limb. But the cat would slide and flip around almost before the boys could reset.
"Shoot him in the head!" Phineas yelled
"Shut it, I'm trying not to hit you, you bastard." came a voice from the tree
Phineas was on the ground now
"Brother!" Alyosha called, and managed to baseball style slide in next to Phin as the cat landed. A still moment. Slowly the two managed to shove the cat up and off their blades and themselves.
Blood and sweat dripped from the brother's faces as they rose. Out of breath they took a moment before Alyosha wiped his face on the back of his hand and said
"I really fucking hate Texas."
Phineas smirked and then began to laugh until Ashling told them to shut up or something bigger might come for them.

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PostSubject: Re: Stop right there (That's exactly where I lost it)   Stop right there (That's exactly where I lost it) I_icon_minitimeWed Feb 19, 2014 7:28 pm

She counted out iodine drops for each container of water letting her bare feet dangle in the cool water. She figured it must be spring water because the sun had been hot for a while now.

Down river blood and silt swirled around the boys as they scrubbed the fight from their hair and bodies. They had to wait until the next morning to come find the river because they would need the light. Phineas sat down in the shallow water and let the cold swirl around him. His right leg was aching, and he could see the swelling in the ankle and foot.
He figured he was lucky, making it as long as they did on that ancient train engine. As he sat there he wondered if they could swim the rest of the way, he figured the siblings would like that. No, they would have to walk this one. He calculated it was another week or so provided they didn't have serious issues.
He wasn't looking forward to meeting these people Alyosha talked about. His faint memories where nothing more than timid observations of the other tots around him. Alyosha might still harbor faint fuzzy memories but Phineas felt nothing but the pain of a lost reality. No Phineas wanted the tangible curiosities this place might hold. Letters, old scraps of forgotten notes and thoughts, books, something other than dried deer meat. He missed his hoard of memories they had to leave up in Seattle, but Alyosha made it clear that this trip was important. Vital. For once Phineas could not deny his brothers logic on this one.

Ashling piled her sundried blonde hair on top of her head and tied it with twine. She was down to a cut off shirt too big for her, cutoff jeans also too big for her, and pair of old hiking boots that fit her just right. Winter, it seemed, had been stored away in her pack wrapped in wool socks and faded sweaters. She wasn’t sure what she thought about the south yet. Her brothers were not comfortable in places that approached sea level and she would admit the flat lands made her feel vulnerable, but mom grew up here. This land new more stories than she did about the old life she lived.
Capping the bottles she looked down stream
“Does this river follow our route for a while?”
Alyosha stretched “Indeed it does, sister mine.”
“Well then” She continued “I think I should like to follow it.”
Alyosha looked from her to Phin, then back to her and smiled
“Brother seems to enjoy the water hm?” she laughed a little
“Come on Phin! Are you nearly ready?”
“Nearly ready? How can someone be nearly ready?” he called back
“Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Don’t test me Phineas Lamar or you will be shamed.”

The day wore on. And so did the walking.
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PostSubject: Re: Stop right there (That's exactly where I lost it)   Stop right there (That's exactly where I lost it) I_icon_minitimeThu Feb 20, 2014 10:00 pm

“What are they Phin!?”
“How would I know, you are the friggen creature captor.”
“Stop it, both of you! You aren’t helping! Ash, whisper to them or something..”
“I can’t do anything when they are riled up, I’m not a wizard!”
“Neither of you guys are fixing that problem though are you? Stop rile-ing.”
“Well we are clearly failing.”
“They are getting closer so just calm the cuss down.”
They had been surrounded. Snuck up on when they let their gaurd down. Rookie mistake really, they deserved what ever fuzzy doom was going to end them. The circle of mutant rabbits was closing in. Ash was crouched, Alyosha was poised, and Phin had his cane raised above him like a club. All three of their backs pressed up against each other, the scene was set like a hair pin trap. A HARE pin trap to be exact.

“Oh babyjesusmotherofmary look at the teeth.” Phin whispered.
Alyosha smirked “All the better to nibble your internals and suck out the bone marrow with.”
“Oh you two are just peachy aren’t you.” Ash, clearly un-amused, clicked her tongue
“I thought you said there was no use when they are riled.”
“Well something has to happen or we will die here wont we.”
The rabbits and their ears turned to look at Ashling, all in unison.
“Okay..” she whispered “Here is the plan. I break formation and you guys collect our things, climb the tallest tree, I’ll loop back around and if I haven’t lost them I will also climb said tree and we wait it out.”
Alyosha snorted “I love your plans of valor and medieval style honor, sister mine.”
She was about to snap at him for sassing but she felt him squeeze her hand and she knew what he meant.
Deep breath.
“In 3, 2, 1..geeeeeaaaaaaahh!” she yelled as she sprinted through and away from the hell bunnies. The boys looked at each other, and then to their things when the rabbits tore off to chase the fleeing morsel.

“We aren’t sitting in that tree.” Phineas said
“Hells no.” a smile “It’s wabbit season, baby brother.”
“Don’t call me that.”
Phin found his mini cross bow and loaded a bolt
“Does it make you uncomfortable?”
Alyosha strung the bow
“Yes actually. It does.”
Phineas winced as he tightened his steel brace
“Well, I don’t very much care.” And with that Alyosha licked his brother’s face and ran off, machete at his side and bow on his back.
Phin snapped “You are the weirdest mother cuss I know, Alyosha..”
“I’m the only mother cuss you know!” he called back
He is demented, Phineas thought as he jogged to catch up. He is demented for enjoying the chase for our sister’s life. But he could not deny his blood pumping as they crested the ravine, following the bunny hoard.

They ran for a bit, and it turned into a jog when they started to lose track of them.
Alyosha could see Phineas was limping, but they couldn’t let up. They could assess bodily damage later.
Phin suddenly froze “Hold up.”
They listened. Dropping to their bellies they army crawled to the edge of a short drop. The hoard. But where was Ashling? The rabbits were also perplexed it seemed, bobbing their heads up and down as they sniffed the air. Were these guys even carnivorous? Alyosha wondered. They acted hungry enough he figured. They waited a few minutes.
“Well, what happens if we shoot just one?” he asked, Phin shrugged
“...in the name of science, I guess...” Alyosha released an arrow and it buried deep into the chest of one. A mistake. Realizing this the brothers tried to scramble away but all too soon the rabbits leapt the edge and were out for blood. Phin squeezed the trigger and the bolt found another rabbit but he couldn’t reload it. They came for his face and his stomach. He had just about grabbed his knife when a strange chuff came from his left.
A rustle. Silence. A second rustle. Silence. The rabbits seemed to lean in. Abruptly a flash of fur and teeth and blonde hair burst from the brush. A loud growl and the baring of teeth sent the tinier hell beasties tearing away.
“Fuckfuckiddyfuckfuck.” Alyosha had started to spew and scramble but he was just met with laughter.
His sister swung off the creature, and gave it a pat. It was a canine of some sort. It’s shoulder was at Ashling’s head, and it’s eyes were clouded and scarred.
“No, Ash. No.” He said as he stood up collecting himself.
“This is Caushic.”
“No. No. No. No.”
“He is coming with us now.”
“Nope. I said nope Ash. Absolutely not.”
The canine bristled.
“Do you see what I mean!?”
“He is fine.”
“Why Ash? Explain to me why he is fine.”
“Because.” she walked over to the rabbit that Phin had shot with a bolt and tossed it to the beast “I brought him lunch.”

Back at the tree where their things had been left Phineas loosened and took off the brace. It had carved into his skin like it usually did when he had to do something quick and fast. He bled from where the joints pinched and tore at his skin and where the iron dug into it trying to make his stride strait.
“Oh Phin. You didn’t have to..” Ashling stopped mid sentence. He wouldn’t like her fawning over him. He looked up at her and gave her a half smile. Like I wouldn’t try to come and rescue you he seemed to say. She nodded. She didn’t need more than that.
The rest of the night she lopped off chunks of rabbit meat to teach Caushic a few simple commands. When he obeyed he got a hunk of meat and some whisper of good will. If he defied he got a hiss and a nose bop. The boys kept their distance.
“I stand corrected.” Phin said as he wrapped his leg “Our sister is the weirdest mother cuss I’ve ever met.”
“I can’t argue with that logic, baby brother.”
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PostSubject: Re: Stop right there (That's exactly where I lost it)   Stop right there (That's exactly where I lost it) I_icon_minitimeFri Feb 21, 2014 5:50 pm

There was a gentle thud as Alyosha dropped down from the tree where his hammock hung. Phineas and Ashling were already up and they were trying to use the voices people use when someone else is sleeping but he heard them anyway. Or maybe he was just sore, he was beginning to feel the stiffness in his joints. He cracked what he could and stretched what he couldn’t but their bodies needed some serious rest.
Phin would never complain about his leg but he had been using his brace since Colorado, and he was needing his cane even with it on now.
Ashling was sleeping later and he could hear her talking more in the middle of the night to the terrors that plagued her. She had spent this night on the ground next to Caushic, much to Alyosha’s dismay, but she was still alive.
Yes, they were all in rough shape, nerves to limbs, everything was taking a beating.
Pulling a shirt on and rubbing his eyes he walked over
“Can I see a map, Phin?” Phineas looked up from his rolls of papers
“Oh, yeah..sure. This one is from an old road atlas, you can see our bit better.”
Alyosha went over to the sun and placed a palm sized rock in front of him. He studied the map a bit, and then dropped it. Arms outstretched he used himself as a needle and closed one eye.
South by southwest as the crow flies he thought to himself.
When he and Phin were younger, and Ashling just a sprout, they had dreamed of flying. They would race around the living room, vaulting up and over the couch and around until they just crash landed in a giggling heap on the rug. Their dad would come in and pick each one up and toss them onto the couch as if they were nothing. He missed that Phineas, he missed his true baby brother. Of course he figured they missed that Alyosha, he supposed they just missed that life. Or the memories they thought they had of that life.
He realized he had closed his eyes and was just standing there in the sunlight. Blinking he walked back, Ashling had broken out the jerky and some other odds and ends. Phineas was putting away his maps.
Caushic loomed next to Ash, his nose next to her head as he sniffed at everything she did. That dog bear wolf thing would snap some day and when it did Alyosha was going to carve him up and wear his hide. But not quite until then.

“Well, what is the verdict? When will arrive to this palace and meet these dweebs?”
“They aren’t dweebs Ash. If anything you are the dweeb.”
“Im going to shank the biggest one. Isn't that how you make friends? Or is that prison?”
"Friends, that definitely applies to friends." Alyosha ignored them
“The answer is soon. We have days or so. And the dweebs have names.”
“Pffft. Like you ever call anyone by their name. Do you even remember mine?”
Phineas opened the creased and worn letter for the thousandth time and began to read

“Charlie and Alaska...”
“Eminey, Jace, and Rosie.” Alyosha finished Phin glared at him
“Mom said there were more but she wasn’t sure if the others would make it. Lost contact or actually watched them die and so on. Alot of them contracted the virus it seems.”
“You hope, you mean.”
“So what if I don’t remember their names, or actual good memories about these people we are meeting up with because mom of all people told us to...”
“You only agreed because mom told you to.” Ashling gave him a smile
“Charlie and Alaska are twins, sassy and headstrong...Jace was Phin's age but Phin didn’t know how to play nice with others and interactions with him left at least one party in tears. Eminey and Rosie were sweet but I don’t think my charming suave nature was at its full force when they last knew me so I’m sure they will be impressed by my metamorphosis.”
“Yoshie, its been awhile. People change, people aren’t pinned down when they are 10 you know.”
“True, although Phin is the same.”
“I made my stance clear when I was 10 and if I have to teach it again I will.” He was serious but Ashling laughed anyway and wrapped him in a tackle hug
“You are our brother. You are important to us.”
“No mush, Ash. None of that.” he fought her grip, but not quite hard enough. Alyosha joined in.
“Oh f-”
“Now now brother. Let it happen. Caushic could eat us all tomorrow you know. Live in the moment and all that.”
“We lo-”
“NOPE. Not having that.” Phineas did break free this time. Ash sighed and looked at him

“Da du bereits wissen.” he kept his head down and tried to hide it but he smiled a little.
“Ja, da ich bereits wissen.”
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PostSubject: Re: Stop right there (That's exactly where I lost it)   Stop right there (That's exactly where I lost it) I_icon_minitimeSat Feb 22, 2014 11:45 pm

“Population, no one. Because why would there ever be anyone else but us.”
“Ash, I’ve met other people, they aren’t all what they are hyped up to be.”
“Well just once I would enjoy meeting one.”
“Then you would want to keep it and I know I will wind up taking care of it so no. You are our sister whom we shall lock up in a castle and Phineas will be the dragon that charrs all knights because the feudal system was a corrupt misogynistic system and we wont have it. Right brother mine?”
They slowly made their way onto the main street area. Glass broken in, hand painted closed for ever signs, bloody hand prints, Ashling could see why mom loved it for it’s charm.
They picked their way through the antique shops, tools and their functions lost with the generations now dead and gone. Some odds and ends they picked up and stowed away, all of them were hoarders so to speak.
Although they didn’t all hoard the same thing and so they of course thought the others had an issue but their own items were of more value, obviously. Ashling had dismounted Caushic and was leading him through the rubble, his muzzle on her shoulder.
“Oh my cricket. Ashling is that beastie blindAlyosha called from his position in a heap of doilies. She smiled at him but said nothing.
“He isn’t here ‘cause he likes us, or you. He is here because he needs you! He isn’t tame at all! Ashling are you listening to me? I am severly not alright with this. He could eat your brother and I, do you hear me? EAT US.” She gave Caushic a pat and just laughed to herself.
“Well fine! Have fun walking to the school on your own young lady because Phin and I choose life! Life I say!”
“Alyosha you are a drama queen.” Phineas looked at him from his position with some ridiculously ornate cowboy hat.
“Shut up, I haven’t beat you up in a while. So shut up.”
“Eloquent as usual.”
“I will punch that bedazzled hat right off your smug head. I swear. I don’t care if we are the last people on earth I will do it.”
“You would have to put the doily down, granny.”
“I can’t handle this. My sister is feeding a predator and my smart ass brother is not helping my case.”
“Welcome to the realm of siblings. Where no one behaves like you want them to and you wind up cleaning up their messes because biology mandates we care about the well being of others that carry a similar genetic code.”
Alyosha punched him. Phineas stopped talking.
Ashling screamed. The boys immediately ran.
“Please be the beastie. Please be the beastie. Please be the beastie.” Alyosha muttered as he ran, Phin a few feet behind.
Much to his dismay Caushic looked very much unlike a killer when they arrived. No, Ashling hiding behind a big piece of rubble telling them to be quiet. Phineas peered in and his face paled when he saw the terror.
More mother cussing rodents. Not rabbits this time, rats. Rats were carnivorous he knew that. But these rats came up to your hip. He had read about them in the old tales. They were called R.O.U.S’s. Rodents of unusual size.
It was just one, sniffing around the shop that looked like a...frozen yogurt shop? Do carnivorous creatures like yogurt?
“Ash, come on, it’s just one.” Alyosha looked disappointed. Ashling’s eyes just widened and she slowly shook her head and pressed her finger to her lips again. Phineas began to back up, he saw it too.
“Bad call brother mine.” he said, and in one blink Alyosha saw it. Eyes, glowing in the recesses of the frozen yogurt store. Beady and all trained on the siblings.
“I take back what I said.” Alyosha whispered, the other two just looked at him
“Get on the beastie.” he breathed
“What?” They other two mouthed
“GET ON THE BEASTIE.” Ashling sprang up and unto Caushic’s back. She pulled Phin up, and with a leap Alyosha grabbed the fur and pulled himself up too. The dog shied at first, he wasn’t a pack animal, but Ashling pleaded with him and he ran as best he could whilist she directed him. The rats came pouring out of the yogurt shop. Like a wave, clamoring over the tops of the others, they chased after the disturbers of their sacred fro-yo.
Phineas was turned around and firing arrows at the closest ones keeping them from Caushic’s heels. Alyosha drew his machete but they weren’t with in arm’s length yet.
“Whose idea was it to walk from Colorado?” Phin asked and dodged the blow that came next.
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PostSubject: Re: Stop right there (That's exactly where I lost it)   Stop right there (That's exactly where I lost it) I_icon_minitime

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