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Author Topic: come on down | Virtue  (Read 116 times)

Lia Ayres

    (08/21/2018 at 01:45)
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Lia tossed another grape half to the ducks, grinning as they battled to see who would get it. They weren't trying overly hard, perhaps because she had a whole bunch in her hand that they could easily see, but a couple would go for each one that she tossed. She was pretty sure that she was supposed to be doing something productive right now, but this was more fun.

While taking an after lunch walk through the vineyards, she's remembered something her grandmother had said about ducks liking grapes, so long as you cut them in half. Curious to test this theory (since she'd only really heard of people giving ducks bread), she's grabbed a couple bunches of grapes and headed over towards the lake, figuring she would be most likely to find the funny birds there. Settling down a few metres from the edge of the water, she convinced some of the ducks to come her way with a few grapes.

She ripped another grape apart with her fingers - she wasn't in the habit of carrying a knife, which thought spoke well of her - and tossed a half to them. This had definitely been a good decision, much better than whatever camp activity she should have been at that time. The ducks had way more personality than a lot of the other kids at the camp, and they were easy to please. She just had to toss them another grape.

She glanced up, catching sight of another girl not too far away. She couldn't tell if the girl had been watching, or if she had just happened to be there. But watching the ducks had put her in a good mood, which boosted her confidence just enough to offer up an invitation.

"Hey!" she called. She held up some of her remaining grapes before she could get shy again. "Want to help me feed them? I think they'd appreciate getting their snacks faster."

* Virtue Hir

    (08/22/2018 at 17:42)
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She had come, as was usual, to write.

There was something about Lake Alexander that attracted the other campers to her shores--it was beautiful, she supposed, and had interesting flora and fauna or something--and, because if this, it attracted Virtue Hir.  As a watcher of people, she found herself often in situations like this--in places she wouldn’t have chosen to go on her own (she’s much prefer a proper beach with sand, or the inside of a cafe) because that was where the people were.  At present, she sat settled on a rock, her legs crossed and her notebook in her lap, and was watching a girl.

The girl was lovely, with light hair and (she imagined, her black ink pen filling in the detail in her notes) probably light eyes, and had about her a kind of whimsy.  Perhaps that was just the grapes in her hands, fat little fruits which she split in two with her fingers and fed to an eager gaggle of ducks before her.  It looked like something she might see on screen, a sort of scene starter she herself would write to speak to the innocence but subtle wildness of a character.  All this, of course, Virtue wrote into her notes, her brown eyes not truly watching the movement of her own hand or that of the other girl’s but rather somewhere in between, in the easy limbo of people-watching.

So, at least, she thought.

When the girl called out, Virtue looked up as if taken but surprise, her red lips going round in the shape of an oh!  Feeding ducks was, again, not something the girl would have chosen for herself, and but the girl she had been watching was pretty and poetic and Virtue herself thought she might be able to better write about feeding ducks if she had done it herself.  Her lips twitched into a smile and, closing her notebook, she stood and crossed to join the blonde in her activity.

“Golly, thank you for inviting me over,” she said, still smiling.  The grapes she was offered were purple, which contrasted nicely with her red nails when her fingers closed around them.  She plucked one, eyeing the ducks where they paddled in the water.  “Greedly little things, aren’t they?”  Virtue shrugged, then bit the grape she held in half, eating part of it herself and then tossing the other, the shape of her incisors etched into the flesh, to the waiting flock.  Behind her glasses, she winked at the girl.  “Then again, so am I.”

Virtue split and ate another grape before she spoke again.

“Say, have I seen you around before?”  Though Virtue considered herself to know almost everyone at school, she couldn’t recall this face.
i wanna confess it in a whisper that's just loud enough to make out.
i want you to listen from the kitchen to me confessing on the couch.

Lia Ayres

    (08/24/2018 at 04:26)
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Lia wasn't sure why she had asked the girl to join her in her duck feeding adventures. Maybe it was as she'd originally thought, and the ducks making her laugh had bolstered her confidence. That typically wasn't her style, but that didn't mean that things couldn't have changed. She almost got the vague impression the girl had been watching her, or at least someone had, though it was more of a hair-standing-up-on-the-back-of-your-neck thing than a holy-macaroni-look-at-that-girl-blatantly-stare-me-down sort of thing. She might have been imagining that. Or maybe these sorts of things were just more fun with company, and Lia was feeling a little lonely.

Whatever the case happened to be, the girl came over to join her, so it was too late to do anything about that now. Lia could only hope that the girl was actually as friendly as her smile would suggest.

The girl thanked her for the offer, and took the grapes, the ducks immediately looking between the two to see who would feed them next. The girl commented, immediately popping a grape into her mouth. Lia couldn't help but raise her eyebrows at the girl, only to compare herself to the ducks, leaving her to laugh.

"They'll fight for them too, if you don't make it clear who you're throwing them to," she said, grinning. "Hopefully they don't come up here and try to fight you for the grapes, now that you're eating them too." It was terrible to think that it would be kind of funny if that happened. She was pretty sure that the girl could take a duck, even though she doubted that the ducks would get that close to them. They'd kept their distance so far. "I think you'd win even if they did."

She squashed another grape in half, tossing one half and then the other to the ducks. She looked up at the girl as she asked if she'd seen Lia around, unsure how to answer the question. She'd done her own thing so much in her past couple of years that it felt like she didn't know anyone.

She shrugged. "I'm not sure," she said. "I've been around Hogwarts, but mostly keeping to myself, I guess. I've been running into new people every two minutes since getting to camp, it seems."

She wiped her grape-juice-covered hand on her skirt before holding it out to the girl. "I'm Lia. It's nice to meet you. Thanks for helping me feed these guys."

* Virtue Hir

    (08/26/2018 at 20:42)
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As if to prove the blonde girl’s point, the grape which Virtue had just tossed into the lake equidistant between several ducks but not properly to any of them caused quite the scuffle, two ducks in particular chattering their beaks at each other while a third divided below the water to rescue the half-eaten fruit.  Still chewing through the half in her mouth, she grinned, closed lipped, at the girls other comment.

“If that happens,” she said, plucking another grape from the bunch she had been given and dividing it in two neatly with her teeth.  She chewed and swallowed and sent the second half flying towards a particularly rotund white duck before she spoke again.  “I’m fairly confident that I can take a duck.”

This was a little bit of a lie.  Anyone who had seen her on the dueling block recently would know she didn’t have the keenest of luck when it came to animals.  She didn’t see why a duck would be any different than a rat, or, as it had turned out, a crocodile.

A few more plunks sounded as she sent a few more grapes in the general direction of the ducks, and it turned out the girl--Lia--was not new but in the background.  This, really, worked in the girl’s favor; if Virtue didn’t know the girl, it meant most likely that she had no great scandals or tragedies attached to her.  That felt like more than half the camp could say.

There was a noticeable hesitation as Lia held out her hand, Virtue’s own hovering half way between having just tossed a grape and getting her skin coated in the juice.  The Hir girl, however, was nothing if not polite (...this was a bit of a stretch; she was certainly many things before and after she was polite, but she was well-bred, at the very least), and so she took the other girl’s hand in her own, shaking it not-too-firmly and with a flash of her red nail varnish in the light.

“It’s a pleasure, Lia,” she said, suppressing (much to her own testament) a look of being utterly displeased with the sticky feeling on the back of her hand when she let go of the other girl’s.  “I’m Virtue, but you can call me True, everyone does.”

Because she told everyone to call her the same, this was absolutely as true as her nickname was.

“Do you feed the ducks often?”  Splitting another fruit in half and throwing it just past a fat brown drake, she wasn’t entirely sure she could see the appeal, the other girl’s company notwithstanding. “Is this a hobby of yours, I mean?”
all the very best of us string ourselves up for love.

Lia Ayres

    (08/27/2018 at 03:57)
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Lia laughed, immediately picturing the girl and a duck locked in combat, staring each other down as they battled over the grapes. It sounded like something out of one of her fairy tale books, though perhaps a little more strange.

"That duck wouldn't know what hit him," she responded, grinning after her laughter had subsided. She couldn't quite get the image out of her head, and it was far too amusing to really want it gone. "One good kick and you could do him in. You wouldn't even need your wand. He'd hand over all his grapes."

Lia sent another few grape halves sailing over to the ducks, pleased with her new company so far. Though, if she was being totally honest with herself about being a little bit on the lonely side, as long as the girl hadn't been outrightly mean or creepy, Lia probably would have thought of her as decent company. Nice enough and good spirited were really just bonuses.

She didn't miss the girl's hesitation as she held out her hand in introduction, though. For a moment, Lia wondered if it was her. Did this girl think she was gross? Or maybe she was just humouring her with this whole thing? Oh no, was she just being nice because Lia had asked her directly?

It was when the girl's hand connected with her own that she realized there may have been a much more reasonable explanation for her hesitation. Grapes. She'd had the chance to wipe off her hand, but not given the other girl the same chance. She was barely able to suppress her sigh of relief.

"It's nice to meet you, True," she said, offering the other girl an apologetic smile. "I guess waiting until you had just squished a bunch of grapes was a bad time to try and shake your hand."

“Do you feed the ducks often? Is this a hobby of yours, I mean?”

Was that a thing people did? Lia had no idea. This had just been a random idea that popped into her head, something better than her other options for the afternoon. She hadn't even thought about feeding ducks until about ten minutes ago.

"I think this is the first time I've done it since I was five, actually. It just seemed better than... whatever camp thing I'm supposed to be doing right now. I might have to take it up, though. They're funny." She tossed another grape to the duck closest to her. "Do you think I'd get in trouble for skipping camp activities?" she asked, the thought only just occurring to her. She'd gone to everything so far, so this was new ground for her. "I know it's not like class, but I don't remember if that was a rule or not." She'd take her chances.

"So, True," she said, after a moment of tossing a couple more grapes to the ducks. She was running low on fruit. "What do you do for fun? When you're not sharing a snack with our new friends, of course."
« Last Edit: 08/27/2018 at 03:59 by Lia Ayres »

* Virtue Hir

    (08/30/2018 at 22:20)
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Splitting another grape with her front teeth and chewing through the half that fell into her mouth, Virtue listened (mostly), nodding in a way she thought must look terribly elegant, at least for a girl chewing half a grape on a dock.  If she remembered correctly, the last time she had been to feed the ducks had been when she was nine or maybe ten; her two brothers would have been the age of five that Lia had rattled off, and it was probably them, more that Virtue herself, that her mother had taken to do so.  True remembered vaguely wandering out into the back garden with the three of them until it became too unruly to be a garden and was instead just the Hir property instead, all the way to the lake at its edge.  Much more than that slipped her mind, though she had been sure there was a gander who had tried to bite her.  Virtue hucked her grape half into the lake a bit harder than she should have, thankful there were no geese to be seen.

“It’s been a bit since I’ve done it as well,” she confessed, plucking another grape. 

Whatever it was she was meant to be doing by the camp schedule was beyond her, and it seemed terribly sweet that Lia even thought of such a thing.  She was sure there was something planned--especially for the other girl, whose counselors weren’t Jeremiah Smallweed and Cecelia Bramston--but equally as sure that if there was, she, Virtue, didn’t know what it was at all.

“I doubt you’ll get in trouble if there’s anything you’re missing,” she said, and meant it; Virtue didn’t know if it was a rule or not, either, but she couldn’t imagine someone like Mia Green trying to reprimand Lia for feeding ducks.  “As long as you act like you know what you’re doing here, people treat you like you’ve got permission to be doing it.”

So, at least, it went for her.

For a while, Virtue watched the girl beside her more than the ducks she tossed grapes to, considering her through her periphery and the corner of her glasses.  She reminded her slightly of Nash but gentler, softer, maybe.  Nash, after all, would never do something like feed ducks grapes.  To be fair, True wouldn’t either--not without the invitation of Lia, at least.  In the moment, she was sure that she was glad that she’d had it; sticky hands notwithstanding, it wasn’t the worst way she could think of to spend an afternoon.

“Well, when I’m not feeding ducks,” she joked, the girl’s tone getting a smile from her, which twitched, red, on her lips.  “I like to be a little here and a little there so I can keep up with everyone.  There’s the most interesting people here, you know, doing the most interesting things.”  This was partially a lie, or at least only half the picture; there were also the most boring people doing the most boring things.  Virtue had decided that Lia was a part of the first group.  “I write, so it’s fantastic people-watching.”

It was that very thing, in fact, that had landed her beside Lia in the first place.
i would sleep better on your floor than i would ever in my bed,
and if your carpet makes my face it, it would still be heaven in my head.

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