July 23rd, 2019
Country: United States
April 09, 2019
05/15/2019 01:53 PM
welcome to rosewood | pt. 1
Welcome to Rosewood -- part one.
“It’s gonna be good for you, Jude,” Nathaniel calls from the front seat of the car. Jude sits in the back, staring lackadaisically out the window. He’s already fought his case and lost. He’s already sitting in the car, so he doesn’t understand why his dad is continuing on about it -- trying to convince him as if he has any say in the matter.
“Did you read the pamphlet at all?” Katherine chimes in. “It looks like a really good place, Jude. They’ve got all kinds of programs set up to get you back on your feet.”
“Don’t you want to feel normal again?” Nathaniel adds.
Jude grits his teeth. Every muscle from the neck down locks up. His hands, which had been fidgeting in his lap the whole drive, cease to move. “I don’t think this feels very normal,” he says flatly, then goes back to picking at his fingernails. He was told to dress plain -- no jewelry or outrageous clothing. He doesn’t have his bracelets to fumble with, so he’s been picking at his cuticles.
“Well, right now it isn’t normal, but once you’re feeling better, it will be,” Nathaniel reasons.
Katherine takes the opportunity to tag-team, even though it wasn’t requested. Jude hates when they do this. “That’s what this place is designed to do. Right now, we can’t help you overcome this, because we’re not professionals. We want you to get the help you need, and I know you’re upset, but this is what’s best for everyone.”
“We can’t keep doing the back and forth, Jude. We can’t have you living on the street either.”
“I know…” Jude gives in. He keeps hoping if he stays quiet, they’ll both stop, but every half an hour -- like clockwork -- they steal an opportunity to remind him. Rosewood is only a few cities over, but it still feels far from home. It still takes almost three hours to get to, but to Jude, it could have been down the street and it would still be too far. To Jude, it feels like entering another planet. Nathaniel pulls the car up to the front. “Kath, why don’t you two go ahead in? I’ll park the car.”
Jude stares at the old plantation home -- just as it’s pictured in the brochure -- in silence, making no attempt to climb out or even unbuckle his seat belt. He just sits, and stares, continuing to exhaust his cuticles to the point of bleeding.
His door opens, and he springs into some kind of alertness, as if alarms are sounding in his head, but only he knows what to do about the. While he spent most of the drive in a state of indifference, now that it’s real -- now that it’s right in front of him -- he wants nothing more than to jump out of the car and take off down the street. The door on his side opens up before he even registers it’s time to go, and when he sees Katherine standing before him, he shudders and scoots away from her.
He feels like a feral animal. Katherine tries to reach a hand out to him, but he recedes a bit further into his cage.
Nathaniel turns to look at him. Jude gets a flashback of the many times he’s said “Don’t make me turn this car around” with that same expression, but this feels more dire. This is much more crucial. Instead of a threat, he asks, “What’s going on?”
“I don’t wanna do it,” Jude spills. “I told you I don’t wanna do it, why are you still taking me here?”
He’s riled up. Trembling, and flinching at every unexpected movement from Katherine or Nathaniel. His heart is ricocheting back and forth off the walls of his chest while his stomach does somersaults. “I told you I don’t wanna go here, I just wanna go home. Why are you making me do this?”
“Jude, we’ve told you --”
“And I’ve told YOU,” Jude cuts her off. “I don’t want this, I can’t do this.”
Katherine’s face reddens. She and Nathaniel both expected obedience based on his silence, and the meltdown that ensues instead has her flustered. “Jude, we’re not doing this,” she snaps. “You have to go. Don’t you want to get better? Please.”
She reaches her hand out again. It’s familiar, the way she grabs for him. It brings him back to Utah, when Paul would grab him from his hiding space in the corner, or underneath the bed. When she does, he backs all the way to the other side, to the other door, and climbs out of the car. He does it. After imagining it several times, he works up the nerve, and starts to take off. He doesn’t know where he’ll go, but it’s not the facility. It’s not Rosewood.
At that point, Nathaniel jumps out and grabs him before he can get too far. Nathaniel’s stronger than him. In high school, he was a star foot ball player, so he’s stronger than Jude too. When he latches onto him, Jude yells out and starts to push on his chest. It’s familiar too. It’s too familiar. It’s so sickeningly familiar.
“God damnit, stop touching me!” Jude crumbles in an instant. His knees threaten to give, but with Nathaniel latching onto his shoulders, he can’t even make it to the ground. He’s stuck, shaking and panicking, and begging while Katherine continues trying to reason in the background. “Get off, stop touching me. Please let go, dad, I’m serious! Why are you doing this to me!?”
“ENOUGH,” Nathaniel roars, silencing all three of them -- silencing Jude’s entire world, or at least it feels that way. “You think we don’t want you to come home, Jude? You think we wanna bring you here? You think I want everyone to know my son is locked away in a loony bin somewhere? I don’t, but you need help, and we can’t help you.”
Jude stares at him with tears streaming down his face. He sucks in a deep breath, feeling like there’s something caught in his throat. “I wanna go back home,” he insists, running his fingers through his hair, to keep it from sticking to his face. The more he speaks, the more shrill his voice gets. “I promise I’ll try harder, I just don’t wanna be here… I don’t wanna be here, why are you doing this to me? I hate you, why are you doing this to me…?”
A voice in the other direction stifles their argument in an instant. “Is there a problem?”
05/07/2019 11:47 PM
descent pt. 2 | drabble.
Descent -- part two.
“What is that?” Jude’s eyes are sharp as he scrutinizes the drink. Just behind it in view, his ten year-old sister sways proudly, her hands locked behind her back. Despite his skepticism, she’s smiling, like she doesn’t notice.
“Sweet tea. Momma made it,” she says. “I thought you’d want some.”
His eye twitches, his nose scrunching up with repulsion. He didn’t ask for anything to drink. He didn’t see it being poured. His mother is humming in the kitchen, so carelessly, so casually -- she’s up to something. They’re all up to something and he can feel it, but they think he’s too stupid to realize it. They think he’s too stupid to remember how Paul got him. They underestimate him. He knows these things. He can feel these things the second he looks at someone, and he’s felt it in all of them. He felt it in Benji. He knows exactly what they’re up to, and he’s not falling for it again.
“Take it back,” he says. The chill of his tone doesn’t seem to rattle Emily, who comes closer to the table to look over his shoulder at what he’s drawing. He shuts the page. All his drawings come out ugly, because he only thinks of ugly things. He’s supposed to be trying to get back into school, but he can’t find it in him. He only wants to draw ugly things. He glares at Emily, but doesn’t speak.
“You sure you don’t want it?” She asks, still not deterred. “Momma made it for you!”
“No, take it back,” Jude snaps, a little more stern the second time. “And don’t drink it. Tell momma good try though.”
“Sweet tea is your favorite though! Momma says so.” Emily pushed the glass toward Jude only to have him smack it away all together. “Stop!” With a swipe of his arm, it went flying across the table, and finally, she jumped back from him.
“Hey!” Nathaniel finally stands up from his recliner in the next room. Even though he’s an adult, Jude is still terrified of his father. As soon as he stands, Jude feels himself shrinking. “The heck is wrong with you?”
Lured by the commotion, Katherine steps out from the kitchen. “What’s going on -- oh!” She’s cut off by Emily, crying as she clashes into her mother’s side for comfort. She won’t explain. She just hides her face in Katherine’s shoulder. She looks at Nathaniel and Jude, then finally notices the spill on the floor. “What’s going on? Jude?”
Jude shrinks even further, feeling everything close in on him. He glares at Katherine in particular, because she seems to be playing dumb. “Stop trying to get Emily in on your weird plans. I’m not falling for it even if you use her.”
“What?” Katherine’s eyes are wide like she’s just been smacked across the face. Emily is still crying, which becomes so distracting that Katherine has to step down from the argument. She’s rescued. As she turns to lead Emily away from the situation, she just shakes her head at Jude. Nathaniel remains strong, unfazed by the distraction. He comes to sit down by Jude, and Jude starts to scoot away. “Ah! You stay right there,” he barks.
“Look, I don’t know what’s got you convinced your mother n’ I are out to get you, and I don’t really care. But I will not sit here n’ let you talk to your sister like that, understand? You started lookin’ at schools? Or you just giving up on that?”
The barrage of questions is daunting to think about, let alone answer.
“Have you thought about what we said about a therapist? When are you gonna get back on track, Jude? And don’t give me ‘when I feel like’ or ‘when I feel a little better’. Give me a real answer. Tell me what I need to do to help you, because we can’t keep doin’ this. We’re not gonna keep doin’ this, and if you can’t get it together, you can’t stay here. How much longer do you need Jude?”
Jude just stares at him with his jaw seemingly locked in place. It’s too much. His brain feels like it’s been forcibly shut down, like an overheated hard-drive.
“Paul Miller is gone, Jude. He’s never gonna see the light of day again, and we’re not helping him get to you. I don’t know how many times I’m gonna have to say that.”
Jude has nothing to say, because he doesn’t believe that, and he’s said it a hundred times. He’s tired of repeating himself.
“Nothin’?” Nathaniel prods.
Jude shakes his head slowly. Underneath the table, where his hands rest in his lap, they’re trembling. His shoulders and neck feel like stone. He steals a small break, staring at the window, praying for some kind of rush, some kind of push so he can get up and escape. He imagines it several times, crawling through the window, to freedom -- never to be seen again. Maybe he should let them kick him out.
Nathaniel sighs, then begins to stand, the signal he’s giving up. Jude knows that sigh too well. It irks him every time he hears it. It feels like a kick to the stomach, because he doesn’t want him to give up, yet he doesn’t exactly want him there either. Katherine comes back without Emily and starts to clean up the mess. She’s all about damage control, even when she’s disappointed. Her face is eerily stoic as she looks at Jude. “Why don’t you go upstairs now, Jude? I’ll take care of this,” she insists. “You look like you need some rest.”
“Katherine, we can’t --” Nathaniel tries to interject, but Katherine stops him by holding up her hand. She then looks at Jude, nodding her head toward the stairs. “Go on. Please.”
Jude knows he can’t make it to the window, or out the front door. Upstairs is the next best thing, so he doesn’t argue. He stands, gathers his things, and goes without looking back at them. When he shuts the door, he immediately locks it and leans against it. It’s only then that he can finally breathe easily. He releases a long sigh, sinking down to the floor with his knees to his chest. He reclines his head so he can stare into the ceiling, the only thing offering any comfort, because it’s so blissfully blank -- so uncomplicated. He’s still shaking. How long could he keep evading them? How long could he keep evading Paul? How long before everyone in town was in on it, and he had nowhere to run?
How was he ever supposed to endure this?
How was he ever supposed to get through this?
It’s instinct for him to pray, but he doesn’t think God’s listening anymore. In fact, he’s convinced God stopped listening a long time ago, so what is he to do? Who can he turn to? He’s tired. He’s so tired -- too tired to lean on himself, and too stubborn to lean on his parents. He can’t now, especially after their argument downstairs, but he needs someone. He needs something. He can’t endure this. Even he's fed up.
He sighs again, running his fingers through his hair before lowering his head to the tops of his knees. “God Jude, what are you doing…?”
05/03/2019 04:57 PM
descent pt. 1 | drabble.
cw: brief mention of suicide, depression and kidnapping
- - -
Descent -- part one.
January 4th, 2016
The basement light flickered on, revealing a living room set-up, seemingly normal other than the profound stench of sweat and the panic that rose among inhabitants upon the opening of the door. Two young men -- between twenty and twenty-five -- shot up from a triangle of couches in the corner with wide eyes. They were both underweight and drained of color in their faces, apart from the dark purple blotches forming under their eyes, evidently from lack of sleep. Both were dressed casually, one in a T-shirt while the other wore a red flannel. They looked suspiciously clean -- untouched, yet they both trembled as if the pressure of standing was too much for them. The boys looked at each other, then at the police officers barreling their way in. Paul Miller, the owner of the home, was slinking behind them, looking deflated and miserable. When faced with the boys on the couch, he lowered his head away. “Hands up,” one officer called out, to which they both obliged. “Are you two victims of this man?” They looked at each other again, then at the officers, giving a nod in unison.
With the basement exposed, one officer began hauling Paul Miller back up the stairs, while the other moved in further to investigate the surroundings. “Are you hurt?” He asked. “You can put down your hands. Is one of you Jude Fletcher?”
“Jude’s here,” one of the boys said.
“Okay, and what’re your names?”
“Kevin,” the boy in the flannel responded.
“Brandon,” came from the other.
Kevin nodded to the right, where a large curtain was. “Behind there, ‘e’s probably asleep.”
”Asleep?” The officer furrowed his eyebrows, but didn’t pry. Instead, he made his way to the makeshift curtain, blocking off a tiny corner of the basement. Pulling it back revealed a third boy, sprawled out unconscious atop a large mattress. His left arm was chained to a pipe along the wall. The officer looked at the other boys, who shook their heads. Then he ventured in. He had an oversized t-shirt draped over his body, which looked much the same as the other boys -- covered in marks, and withering away, drained of color. He was straining to breathe through his nose. The officer tapped his shoulder gently, then his cheek which stirred him. “Jude?”
Jude’s eyebrows furrowed. He rolled from his side to his back, but his eyes never opened. His head remained lulled to the side. A better view of his face showed clammy skin, glazed over with sweat.
“Jude? Can you hear me? Can you open your eyes?”
“He took something,” Brandon chimed in. “Right before ‘e fell asleep.”
“Okay, was he drinking? Were either of you drinking?” The officer remained kneeling beside the mattress.
Brandon and Kevin shook their heads. “Can I try?” Kevin spoke up.
“If you can help us out, sure.”
Kevin came to the other side of the mattress. He reached over to tip Jude’s head forward, tapping his cheek a few times. Kevin brought a hand underneath Jude’s back, the other tugging his arm to get him up, which seemed to work, despite alarming the officer. “Hey… Jude, c’mon buddy, you gotta get up now.”
- - -
“What d’we got, Thomas?”
“Three victims -- Kevin Jones, Brandon Sharpe, and Jude Fletcher. Early twenties. No prior relation. Jones and Sharpe are coherent. Fletcher’s conscious but unstable, probably under the influence. All of them are gonna need medical attention. It’s bad down here. It’s really bad.”
- - -
Two Weeks Later
St. Francisville, LA
Jude sat as his desk, staring out the window. In front of him, he had his sketchbook on an empty page. He held a pencil between his fingers, yet it never touched the surface even once. The last month or so was all a blur to him, and surprisingly, his most vivid memory was trudging through overgrown grass out to the officer’s car. The sun was blinding, yet welcomed after weeks spent in darkness. After being locked in stagnant air, the winds of freedom wrapped him up, causing him to pause a moment and take it all in -- the real world. A world he thought he’d never see again. A world he could no longer fathom. Had he died? Was it a drug-induced dream? The winds were strong, forcing him side to side in his state of delirium, until the rapid motions caused him to get sick and crumble to his knees.
A knock at the door yanked Jude from his head, the initial flinch causing him to drop his pencil just before every muscle from his neck downward froze over.
“Jude? Can I come in?” His mother asked, though she was already pushing the door open. Katherine Fletcher couldn’t be deterred by a simple “no” even if he’d brought himself to say it. Right then, Jude couldn’t bring himself to say anything at all, or even turn to face her. Katherine took a seat at the edge of his bed, leaning over slightly, in an increasingly desperate attempt to get a look at his face, but he made it harder for her and lowered his head. He didn’t want her to see him, because if anyone saw him, that made him real. If he was real, everything else was real; and if it was real, he had to face it. “Are you feeling okay?” Katherine asked.
Jude stared at his sketchbook, rippled with tears he hadn’t realized he’d shed amid his daydreaming.
“Are you hungry or anything?”
Jude shook his head, running his fingertips across the tear-stained page with furrowed eyebrows.
“Benji’s been asking about you.”
“Maybe you should give him a call sometime, let him know you’re okay? He’s the one who figured out where you were.”
”Maybe…” He didn’t want to think about Benji. He didn’t want to think about Utah. “S’that all?”
Katherine cleared her throat, choosing to move on. “I brought you something,” she said, pulling out a photo album that had been tucked beneath her arm. “We found this while we were cleaning out the attic. Go on n’ open it.”
Jude stared at the book, pursing his lips together. “The Disneyland one?”
Katherine smiled, “Mhm. Remember it?”
Jude took it and flipped open the first page. Two blonde-haired kids flanked either side of Mickey Mouse, spreading his arms out wide, as if to make it absolutely known where they were -- as if to say “Look at this giant castle behind me!” The little girl, about three years old, was wearing a Cinderella costume. She didn’t care about Mickey. She was mid-twirl, watching the way the skirt of her dress bloomed. The boy, about sixteen, had his arms folded over his stomach. He was squinting, or even blinking, a forced smile plastered on his face. He was tall for his age, and slouching, like he was trying to hide it. In the next photo, he seemed to disregard himself to try and catch the little girl, who’d tried to run off while Mickey touched his hands to his cheeks.
It didn’t look the least bit familiar.
Jude could make sense of Emily, but he couldn’t make sense of himself.
It felt like he was looking at someone else’s photos.
Was he supposed to act interested?
Was he supposed to act like he remembered?
He continued turning pages, in the hopes it would spark something, but even the book didn’t feel real. There was no way he could have ever been a part of it.
In the following series of pictures, he’d notoriously covered up his face, either by hiding behind something, or putting up the hood of his sweatshirt and turning his head away. However, in the last picture, the whole family was gathered at the Santa Monica pier. He was holding Emily in his arms, smiling genuinely, confidently even. It was endearing, and it made him sick.
He didn’t belong there, among a family so seemingly happy -- so seemingly perfect.
“That was the last trip we took together,” Katherine recalled. “You said it was your favorite, remember?”
Jude just kept staring at the final picture, trying to put himself in that place.
“Jude… I know it’s probably hard to talk about, and I’m not expecting you to tell me everything, but can you at least say something?” Katherine pleaded. “Your dad and I are trying so hard, we’re worried about you. We want to hear you speak, we want to know you’re okay.”
“It doesn’t feel real to me…” Jude muttered.
Katherine tilted her head. “What doesn’t, sweetheart? The book?”
“Anything… I don’t feel like I’m really here. I don’t feel like this ever happened. I want to, I just… can’t remember it.” Jude handed the book back. “Take it, I don’t wanna see it.”
“Jude, don’t you think it’s time you talk to someone? A professional?”
“What’s the point?” Jude asked, turning his head away. “Everything’s already f***ed up.”
“Hey…” Katherine scolded.
“Baby, I know it was bad. I know, we all know, but if you sit here’n do nothing, how is that gonna help you?”
“I don’t want help,” Jude snapped. “I didn’t want help. You might as well’ve let me die out there.”
Katherine stared at him for a second with her eyes wide, her jaw unhinged. “But you’re here now, so what do you want us to do? How can we help you?”
“You can help me by going away,” Jude blunted. His hands were starting to tremble in his lap. The more he thought about it, the more he remembered; the more he remembered, the realer it felt. He caught glimpses of Paul’s face in the back of his mind. He felt the cold from being dunked in in bathtub -- the fluid trapped in his lungs. He covered his eyes with the palm of his hand, shaking his head. “I want you to go, please, just… leave me alone for awhile. I don’t wanna talk, I don’t wanna see old pictures, I don’t wanna do anything.”
“I really just want everyone to leave me alone.”
04/10/2019 03:41 PM
disclaimer: I am not Taylor Hanson. I'm not involved with him, any other member of Hanson, or their family, etc. I don't own crap except the storyline itself.
Alright, here we go!
1. I consider myself a multi-para / novella writer, but I'm honestly not that picky. I've written amazing storylines using only one paragraph. Conversely, I've written really bad storylines where each post was like 10 paragraphs. In short, quality>quantity. Don't stress how much you're able to write, I'll write with anyone.
2. Don't stress grammar / spelling too much either. As long as I can see you put genuine effort into your post, I'm not gonna come after you for errors. I make 'em too! Also, you don't have to tell me if English is your second language either, unless you want to. You frankly don't owe me that. Just write and have fun.
3. As far as storylines / verses go, I'm down for anything. Seriously. Although August's storyline is set in an asylum, I can play him outside the asylum as well, and during different periods of his life if that's what suits you. I love to collaborate with other writers, and I'm pretty open-minded to suggestions, and placing August in different situations. Going along with this, I'm usually pretty quick to throw out a suggestion or two when I meet someone, but please don't make me do all the work. Creating a storyline is a two-person effort.
4. I cherish communication, but I don't expect it. If you wanna cut our storyline short, or you don't wanna reply anymore, you don't have to tell me and I won't hold it against you. However, if you want to approach me and talk about things, I'm totally open to it. I'm understanding and I will appreciate the honesty; and if it's a problem you're having with my writing, or my post, I will give you my best effort to fix things.
5. I don't do OOC drama at all. At. All. IC drama is highly encouraged!
6. I'm not always on here. I have obligations in real life that make it hard to get on every day, or reply as often as I'd like. I also like taking my time in order to give you the best response I can, OOC or IC. Please don't pester me about replies. If it's been a week or two, I don't mind a friendly message about it, but if you start getting impatient on the same day, it's not really gonna do anything but piss me off.
7. There are themes within August's storyline as well as my writing that may be extremely triggering for some. Such themes include, but are not limited to:
- violence / gore
- drugs / alcohol
- mental illness, specifically BP I and PTSD
- torture, human trafficking, abduction
- mention of suicide and / or self-harm
If any of these themes are triggering to you, I will understand entirely if you wish to refrain from / discontinue writing with me. Your mental health and comfort is more important to me than anything else.
8. I don't write smut.
I'm pretty sure that's all I got.
I'll add more later on if necessary.
Thanks to those who took the time to read this. I look forward to writing with you!
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