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Reprieve.



 
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Tiber Loche

Starting over. Reinventing the wheel. Anyone who'd ever done it surely had not been so quick to carelessly suggest doing so. Parts of Tiber's rediscovery were painful. Physically. Emotionally. The only way to put some memories to rest was to draw them up and relive them. Over and over he saw familiar faces flash through his mind. Like ghosts they haunted him relentlessly until he was finally ready to let go. To forgive himself. The person he had been. Ultimately the Tiber from his past had paved a long and crumbly road. He'd driven across it and hit every single pothole along the way. Atonement came in the form of the loss of his life. Painful injections that subtracted years from his life with every dosage.

It might have been impossible to deduce exactly how long he had left on this earth. But no longer would he spend his days idling over what once was, or what could have been. From here, it was only what could be. Though he felt like the chance he'd been given was less than a whole one— he wouldn't waste it. He couldn't. There were too many people here who still relied on him. People that he cared about. He couldn't imagine leaving Addie and The Den behind, ever. Not after everything that she'd done for him.

There was just one thing left that he needed to do. One thing that stood between him and the breath of fresh air that he'd long awaited.

His parents.

Autumn was starting to settle in over the landscape. The color of the vegetation would soon turn, and there would be no sign that warm breezes and the suns beating rays had ever played a part in any normal day. Even with a body that ran as warm as his, Tiber had to throw on a jacket in order to remain comfortable. If it were possible, it seemed that the lack of people and an eerie sort of silence added a startling chill to the atmosphere. It managed to penetrate his skin, even beneath the woolen shell of his clothing. Sank deep in to his bones. Sent a shiver down his spine.

Maybe this was how the dead communicated with the living. He'd be a fool, knowing as much as he did, to think that it wasn't a possibility.

It was appropriate how his family had chosen to lay their tombstones next to one another. Tiber's mother and father had been married all of his life, and most of their own. Even in death they'd remain together. At least being buried six-feet under meant that they could no longer supply the poison that would ruin peoples lives. Couldn't make decisions that they had no right to weigh in on. No more legacies to continue, on his end. There were no more expectations to carry and be crushed beneath. So why didn't Tiber feel a sense of freedom, standing here over their graves? When he'd placed the flowers atop their tombstone, why hadn't it brought him some magical wave of relief? Did he still feel guilt, after all of this time?

As his jaw tensed, he slipped his hands in to his front pockets.

No. It's over.

He wouldn't come back here. There was nothing left for him. Tiber had said everything that he needed to say, and that was the end of it. But he would make a detour in to another row, a short walk away from the stones marking his parents graves. The movement of another person catches his attention briefly, but he doesn't pay it any mind. Not while his eyes have fallen upon a dark stone carved out of marble. The words Casey Loche etched across the front. Tiber missed his brother now more than he ever did. It might be the one regret that he never let go of.

"Jacka-s." He said out loud, foot grazing the top of the grass that grew over his brother's grave. There was a soft smile that touched his face. A memory of when they'd only ever referred to each other by crude names. He sighed lightly. "I miss you so much."

It was here that he would remain a bit longer. Tiber was in no rush, and in the moment, there was no place else that he'd rather be.
September 25, 2018 09:42 am

Eden Kennedy

It had been two years since she set herself free from the toxic spiral of her life. The apartment that now sat empty was a testament to that. Broken dreams and unfulfilled promises were all that were left there, that wasn’t enough for Eden. The decision wasn’t one she’d reached lightly and she’d struggled not to let herself sink back into old patterns. This was right, this was better. She was better. Unlike all the times before, this time Eden hadn’t looked back.


Even through all that she had learned one thing: no one can truly escape their past. It seemed that hers was especially determined to follow her. It happened three weeks ago in London. Haven was dead, Eden was almost certain of that. Still she caught sight of her cousin’s face for a moment. The moment Eden had turned back for a second glance she was gone. Maybe she was paranoid. Who could blame her? In this world people died and returned all the time, the rules of life and death didn’t always apply.


That’s why she found herself here today. It was rare she set foot here among the unattended and forgotten graves of those gone on before. Part of walking away was not dwelling on things she couldn’t change. At least that’s what she told herself, there wasn’t a night that went by that she didn’t relive the night she should have died herself. This place was harsh reminder of her mortality. Scattered around the cemetery Eden could find the faces of her past.


Daphne, Belle, Dorian and so many others. In fact the people that she knew that were dead were beginning to outnumber the living. There was one that had affected her more than the others and perhaps it was what had set her path of self-destruction. Her old brother Adam. It wasn’t just that he’d died and that she hadn’t ever known him well. It was how he’d died and who’d killed him. Eden shook her head. She didn’t want to think about that now. Finally she reached the one she’d been looking for: Haven McKinley


The varied hues of gray seemed a perfect match for the onset of the cool fall weather that would soon be followed by an even colder winter. She despised the cold, in an already dark world the chill in the air made it even more so. Eden pulled her jacket tighter. What did she really expect to find here? Nothing was out-of-place. The grass was still overgrown and many of the headstones remained unkept. It was the same as the first day she’d come here six years ago.


A rustle in some nearby bushes caused Eden’s jump. Her blue gaze shifted towards the spot, then nothing. She shrugged it off and took one more look around. Nothing seemed out-of-place. So, what was the purpose of this? Proof that Eden had to stop getting inside her own head. There was another rustle in the bushes. “No. Just walk away.” she told herself. ”It’s just a squirrel or a stray. Who was she kidding? As quick as she could, without running Eden turned and started to head back out. Just confirmed, she hated this place. Before she’d gone more than three steps something darted out from those bushes and right in front of her. Before she finished her tumbled to the ground she caught the blur of a cottontail just as it disappeared into further off set of bushes.


A rabbit, that’s what had sent her on a beeline out of the cemetery. For a moment she stared after the thing dumbfounded. Yet still not the most embarrassing moment she’d ever experienced, even better there wasn’t anyone around to witness it. On her feet she again she brushed herself off. She did notice one man at a grave not too far from where she was but from what she could tell he might not have noticed the little mishap. Yeah, she was done with this place.
September 26, 2018 07:28 pm

Tiber Loche

He's weathered a lot of experiences and situations in his life. Still, he's not sure there was any place he'd been that made him feel quite the same as a cemetery. Even during the peak of summertime, there were chilly undertones that always seemed to reach him at his core. The unease he could live with, but it was the emptiness that made him feel uncomfortable after a while. For some reason, it seemed even more out of the ordinary to see another person. He's not sure if he remembered ever making eye contact with a stranger a graveyard. It was undoubtedly some unspoken understanding. To connect in such a way might suggest a sharing of their pain.


And no one wants more pain than they are owed.


Tiber, too, had heard the ruffling from the bushes, though he remained blissfully unaware that any other person had lingered as long as he. It's only then that he's finally forced from the wells of his hyper-focus, the smell of a woman briefly catching his senses. It wouldn't normally pique his interest, but the scuffle that came afterword had him mumbling a goodbye to his brother's grave and sent him off investigating.


The white, fluffy tail of the bunny hopping off into the shrubbery disappears like a streak from his vision. Tiber's brow furrows briefly as cerulean eyes dart back and forth, searching the scene for the source of the scuffle. He finally noticed another body, but she was neither on the ground nor battling the cottontail with her bare fists. He shook his head a little, not quite curious enough to look in to it any further. Without assessing the woman, he idled, waiting for her to close the space between them just a little.


"You... I don't suppose you saw anyone else around here?" Tiber called out once he was sure she was within earshot. "I swear I heard a bit of a commotion." His jaw tightened slightly when his teeth came together, and his body swiveled as he looked around. Realizing now that this was a total stranger and she had no reason to believe that he wasn't some sort of predator, he took a small step back. "Sorry if I startled you. I didn't know anyone else was here."
October 05, 2018 11:06 pm
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