roarin: (Default)
a storm comin' ([personal profile] roarin) wrote in [community profile] the_low_reaches2017-01-24 09:43 am


Who: Raury, open
Where: The edge of school grounds
When: The end of the school day
What: Licking his wounds

Raury hit the field hard as pre-teen love. It was an easy thing, with a shock of white hair and a perfectly crafted slouch that radiated bad news and bloody knuckles. When you were that tiny, you had to put a lot of mean into your swing to get it all across, and the boy was king of it: eyes that liked to change with his mood, drifting from untroubled blue sky to dark as the bottom of the ocean; a knife-thin scowl that split easy into worrying grins; an arrogant gait, an easy stomp, the swagger of a twelve year old boy trying to imitate the bad men on TV and tripping gently over himself until he got it right. He was a tiny terror, and he was okay with it. Because you could see it. You could feel it when you were near him. You could hear his bones growing, cracking and popping with all that arrogance and trouble. He wasn't going to be little forever. His body couldn't hold it in. Maybe he'd sprout sturdy and tall like his father, barrel-chested and tree-trunked, or maybe he'd taper into something whip-thin and rawboned, like that strange uncle of his that sometimes showed up to pick him up from school. Maybe he'd explode.

For now though, he was just a shy of five foot squirt. No muscle, no bitchin' scars, just bones and teeth for any kind of scary. Out of hoodies, it was all muscle shirts. Blues and reds. A hot neon pink number he wore with surprising frequency, BAD when you saw him coming, MAN when he walked away. His noodle thin arms danced with temporary tattoos, skulls and knives and cool Pokemon and MOM like a dagger through a heart. They stood out harsh on his pale, pale skin, violent splashes of color joined only by rosy cheeks, split lips, and bloody noses. Shorts that hung well past his knees. Simple boots or expensive, garishly colored shoes. Everything was too long or baggy, and a bandanna was often wrapped around his neck. Cheap, plastic rings curled around his fingers, easy currency for a favorite blonde or that little extra punch when he got in over his head: he always did. Older kids were stronger, bigger. He needed more than gnashing teeth. Worse, kids he'd been pushing around for years were getting their growth spurts before him, and growing some backbone with it. He'd sunk into them with a smile, but he burned from having to bother.. and it wasn't easy. Not anymore.

That's why no one hurt bigger than him. The Gin blood boiled inside him. He could feel it, beating a rhythm through him. Making his heart big, his body sing. White hot inside his stomach, surging and crashing. Better than that hollow hunger that lodged inside him, icy and fluttering and needy. A bird caught under his ribs. And he was sinking into that fast. The bus kept flashing into his head, then the bodies. A sick feeling of familiarity. He could feel it clawing away at him from the inside, the storm that had buoyed him so high only a few minutes ago ebbing out of him.

He made a bee-line towards the end of the field. Stashed at the edge, where the forest met the school grounds, was an oversized jungle gym. Empty swing sets creaking, gently rusty from the year round wet -- enough to leave damning stains on your palms and fingers -- monkey bars and a big, big net set against the main tower of the structure, meant for scaling. Exercise. No one used it any more. Too kiddie. An easy place for some alone time. Nothing but the sigh of wind and whisper of it through the leaves and, today, the gentle patter of a moody drizzle.

It was also too isolated. Too dark. Too right against the edge of the forest. Too easy for white, eyeless faces to peer out from. To snatch and stab with long, dagger fingers. Gobble greedy, mouths slick and teeth sharp and jaws strong.

Raury stuffed himself under the main tower, away from the rain, into that deep dark. Hunched himself in a corner, face lit by the screen of his phone, something purple and grinning lurking over his shoulder, another red and toothy cradled to his chest, and something slick in the shadows beside him; gentle music played, faint against the wind and dappling rain. The opening of a popular sentai show, and the pop of his bubble gum.

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