Dark Woods Circus IC

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Azazel, Jul 28, 2016.

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  1. Circus Roster / Accepted Characters
    Killian ~ The Ring Master ~ Helena Sky((Myself))

    Aveline Kimberly Angelo ~ Acrobatics and Aerial Show ~ Helena Sky ((Myself))

    Gydion O'Boyle ~ Human Light Show ~ Petricus Euryale

    Maribel Burgess ~ Sword Swallower; coupled with dagger throwing and juggling sharp instruments. ~ -Vesper-

    Antoinette Maria Polarma ~ Aerial Silk ~ Princess Poisoned Rose

    Brandy Reid ~ "Taking Flight" ((Bird Show)) ~ TuttyTheFruity

    Sosê Lowry ~ "Dusty Buckaroo's Wild West Wallapalooza!" ~ TuttyTheFruity

    Samuel "Samael" Faust ~ Fire dance / Fire breathing ~ Mippu

    Tristan Averian ~ Magician ~ Helena Sky ((Myself))

    ~Their Word Is LAW~
    Helena Sky
    Petricus Euryale

    Reminder of the Rules

    1. Obvious. No god-modding.
    2. Respect the other people. If your character wants to bitch slap another character and cuss them out, go right ahead. If you want to bitch slap another person and cuss them out, take it out of the thread and preferably to a moderator. I'm not going to handle your petty arguments. At least not nicely.
    3. Damn, shit, ass, etc... If you don't like it, don't continue because there is going to be much more of it in the future.
    4. Literacy. Learn the word. Love it. Because I do. I'm not going to go all grammar Nazi on you, just please... please... respect the English language... After all. Good grammar is the difference between helping you Uncle Jack off a horse, and helping your uncle jack off a horse. I will behave. Until i 2ee 2hiit liike thii2. OR SHIT LIKE THIS. I do not want to feel like I am being screamed at through text. I, however, will not murder you for one or two misspellings. Everyone makes mistakes. I understand this. Just, like I said. Please don't abuse the English language. It is a beautiful thing.
    5. One liners are the enemy. Can we have at least a paragraph? Is that too much to ask? If I see a single sentence post, I will go beyond flipping my shit. I understand writer's block is a common issue, just please don't drop below three sentences.
    6. If you have read these rules in their complete glory, please put "Master is the Enemy" in your character sheet. If I do not see this, you do not get accepted. Plain and simple. I will tell you that you can have a place once you've read the rules.
    7. All characters must be approved by me before joining the role play. This is to prevent stupidity and, once more, to prevent shit flipping.
    8. This role play is NOT for children. 13+ please. There will be some screwed up shit in this RP and I don't want to mentally scar children.
    9. Only two characters per person. That's it. No more. We're not having the RP revolve all around one person and their gazillion characters.
    10. If you are gone for more than a week without giving me a valid reason before you disappear, you will be removed from the RP. We're not all waiting on one person, we want to keep moving. If you are going on vacation or something tell me before you leave.
    11. @Petricus Euryale has the same power I do. Listen to him like you'd listen to me. He's my fiance and partner in crime. His words are law just like mine are.
    #1 Azazel, Jul 28, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2016
  2. ~Killian and Tristan~

    "I trust that everything is running smoothly?" The Ring Master asked from his place in one of his comfy chairs.

    Tristan stood before him with his hands balled into fists behind his back. He wanted nothing more than to punch the smug bastard in the face, yet he couldn't. "Everything is running just the way you like it, master." He replied calmly despite the rage he was feeling.

    Killian laughed. "You want to hit me, don't you?" He taunted, only making Tristan's anger level rise. "Run along boy, go check on the performers. Practice is at 10 o'clock sharp."

    With that, Tristan turned on his heel and left the tent.

    Behind her bandages, her eyes slowly opened to the blackness that was now her world. She felt wet. Lifting a hand, she gently touched the bandages only to find them soaked through. So, she was bleeding again. Wonderful. Carefully she sat up, wincing when her wings brushed the wall. She was trying to be quiet, not knowing who all was awake yet. Besides, chained as they were, it's not like anyone could help her at the moment anyways. She'd have to wait for Tristan.​

  3. Annie
    The brunette's morning was starting out in a rather ok way. She had been up early and had been testing out her fingers to make sure that they weren't going to slip out of socket again. It had definitely been strange when she first arrived and her articulated joint threw her off by a lot. The Master terrified her and she was not one to disobey anyone no matter how much she really wanted to. Disobeying just was not in Annie's nature. Threw the low light she could see Aveline. She sighed seeing that the girl's bandages were soaked threw again. It was starting to become a usual occurrence. Atleast until her eyes healed fully. "As soon as we can I will patch you back up Aveline." She said to the winged girl across from her.
    #3 Princess Poisoned Rose, Aug 1, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2016
  4. ~Aveline~
    Hearing a voice, she identified it as Annie's and gave a soft smile in the direction the voice was coming from. "Thank you very much for the offer, but I'd prefer Gydion to change them." It wasn't that she didn't like Annie, it was just that she trusted Gydion more than she trusted the others. She often went to him when she needed help with something. It was just natural for her now since he was the one to patch her up after the escape attempt that lost her eyes. She knew Tristan would have, but the Ring Master wouldn't have let him. So that's how the bond between Aveline and Gydion was formed. She didn't know how he felt about her, but she trusted him with her life. And he didn't seem to mind looking after her so she continued to go to him. Besides, why trouble anyone else? She didn't want to be a bother.​
  5. Maribel BurgessMaribel did not move from the position she found herself in upon waking. She laid alone facing a wall; her back was to the others, so one one could see that she was already awake, as she had been for quite some time in the silence. She would lay there and listen as she always did every morning -- just listen to the others talk about things that they kept quiet when the Ring Master was around. Maribel learned many things this way. When the mind was still fogged over from sleep, honest feelings often slipped from the tongues of the performers without a second thought... and she was there to hear them at this vital hour.

    Any movements Maribel made were slow and subtle. Both of her hands were already curled up near her face fortunately, so she brought them a bit closer to touch the stitches at the sides of her split mouth. With her fingertips, she gingerly inspected the wounded ravines of flesh that tore through her cheeks -- wounds she knew would never heal, because the Ring Master would not let them. Whatever magic he wielded kept the injury he'd inflicted on her from ever closing completely. The cut did not bleed, did not get infected, did not become scarred tissue, yet it remained open and aching, tender and forever sore. The stitches were sort of an accessory at this point; they'd be severed for her sword swallowing act, allowing her to open her mouth much wider for the performance, and then later the stitches would be sewn back in again at the Master's behest. It only hurt to talk when the stitches were present to pull taut, so she didn't do much talking anymore.

    Instead, she listened.
    #5 Vanta Black Heart, Aug 1, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2016
    • Nice execution! Nice execution! x 1
  6. Samuel

    Despite generally being early to wake up, Samuel would rather lie down and laze in the silence. Often, he would be thinking of what possible new features he can do for his performance. He'd peek at his friends to see how they were and would linger on his "brother" Albin.

    He looked at Maribel, not surprised to see her awake as well. She touched her face and Sam briefly wondered if her wounds woke her up every day or if she ever got sleep at all.

    Aveline's eyes had bled again, he noticed. Once or twice he had offered to help but she preferred Gydion's help. He said nothing when she touched her bandages. His eyes darted to Antoinette as she spoke. Silently nodding, he hoped Aveline would let Annie help but even the doll was refused. Samuel sighed sadly.

    Gydeon, Brandy and Sose hadn't woken up yet, but Sam sensed that Tristan may be on his way. He whistled softly at first, then hummed. Finally he started singing quietly. His voice wasn't so bad but he would rather dance in the circus. No one would want to see a devil doing ballads anyway.
    #6 Banana-senpai, Aug 1, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2016
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  7. Gydion was awoken by the sound of Samuel's singing. Soft and quiet, but enough to wake him from his light slumber. As he opened his eyes he sa the usual sigh of them all chained to the walls. From across the room, even in the dim light, he could see Aveline struggling. It was difficult to tell from his side of the room, but it looked like her bandages were damp. He would have to change them again. Just as soon as they were let loose from these infernal chains.

    They would be performing again today. Such a bother. Why couldn't he just be left alone? His skin was itching. Always itching. He could feel the blood pumping through his veins, mixed with the serum. It coursed a hot path throughout his entire body and was always itching underneath his skin. Except for when he burnt it. When he flared the blue blood and lit himself up in bright shades of blue and white, with just a hint of green. The light often reminded him of the photos he used to see of deep sea divers, the wavering blue light that cascaded down in sapphire and azure waves. Fractured into a myriad of rays by the water. Except this water was boiling and burning inside of him. The first thing he felt when he awoke was always the itching. Never would Gydion be able to forget what the Ring Master had done to him. None of them would.

    It was all he could do to stay out of the Ring Master's way. Except for when he hurt Aveline, cutting her eyes out. He had to speak up. But the Ring Master had only made the burning worse. His blood was brighter, losing that slight green tint for a few days. And it had hurt more than ever to make the light. He should of never tried to help Aveline. Helping others only hurt him in the end. But he couldn't sit by and watch people suffer, defenseless and unable to protect themselves. He had never been able to watch other people go through the same things he went through.

    As soon as Tristan came in to unlock them, Gydion would be over Aveline's side so that he could change her bandages. He scratched at his arm. The skin there was severely damaged by the constant scratching.
  8. Brandy

    The first day was always the worst day. Except for the next day. And the day after that. It had been a week now since she was added... roughly. She lost track. She had wrapped herself in her broad, enormous wings, her only safeguard against the chill of the cell.


    She was stirred awake by Sammy's singing, groaning. She shifted, the clink of her chain across the floor confirming her morose situation. Her attention rifted down, seeing her inhuman foot twitch. She choked a bit - when she was ever going to get used to this, she hadn't a clue.

    Trying to contort a bit, she attempted to jimmy the lock. It had become something of a ritual - the claws of her talons were pointed and narrow enough to fit, but... she always struggled. Something wouldn't give in the lock, something about her alien body wouldn't cooperate... it was an uncomfortable position, and she grunted as she struggled.

    "C'mooon..." She whispered urgently.


    Morning for Sosê was equally unwelcome. He was a good deal bigger than everyone else, which made his cramped living quarters all the more obtuse. Of course, Albin's living situation was a fair bit more confined...

    He had more or less woken some time ago, though he wished to get a few more winks in before the day begun in earnest. It was a careful balancing act - being ready and at attention was key to the morning routine. Up to this point he had largely drowned out the morning banter.

    The new girl was being particularly annoying with the insistent clatter of her lock. His mouth stretched as his eyes remained closed.

    "Won't work, y'know." He muttered, lowkey, as he stirred, raising his upper body from the floor. He did some stretches with his arms to loosen up. Sleeping on hard ground left him stiff; if he was to be treated like an animal, the least he could get is some hay to sleep on.
  9. Albin of the Watershow
    Albin woke easily. A habit, he and Sammy were forced to create as they lived in the circus. He curled up into a ball under the water, attempting to douse the scales on his shoulders. It hurt when they dried out. They chipped and it scabbed and it bled. Sighing, he uncurled from his position as he heard everyone start to waken. It wouldn't do for him to be caught unaware.

    In truth, he barely slept at all. The tank was small and it was barely a tight fit. He turned to look at the others, making splashing noises as he did so. The sound made him him flinch, jostling the water again. Those around him would have noticed the sound if they were careful. He gave his lower fin a cold assessing look, he quickly turned away from what he saw. The scales were chipping and it was bleeding again, slightly. He must have had fallen asleep with a part of it out in the air.

    He looked up to the edge of the tank, he saw a telltale glimmer of magic, in some sort of net like form. Smirking to himself, the form change must be because he found a way to get out and curl up against Sammy a few weeks prior. It was cold in the tank and Sammy was always warm. The punishment after wasn't fun, but at least he didn't freeze to death.

    Albin turned his gaze to the direction of their resident Marionette and listened with half an ear to their discussion. He got up from his curled position, ignoring the sound of the water every time he moved. He was flexible yes, but there was only so much you could move in a small tank filled half with water. He stretched his arms and his back, wincing at the loud popping sounds that came with it, a little mindful to not hit the top of the tank, lest he get magic burn or something. There was no way for him to sleep comfortably in the tiny tank. He placed his flirty good morning smile as he turned to one part of his small tank when he heard Sammy sing.

    He knocked on the glass close to the devil's face. "Morning, Sammy~" He greeted with his usual flirty smile, hiding his slightly bleeding fin from view, his face covered in water to do so. Though, he knew that Sammy knew that he was awake for quite awhile now. "Did you dream of me las---," he paused as he heard the scrapping of metal somewhere close. He narrowed his eyes, then shrugged. One of them always tries this, one way or the other, but they better stop soon. Given that if they were all awake, Tristan would be coming over all ready.

    Albin sighed and was hit with an idea. Giving Sammy a playful smile, he pushed some of the water upward, splashing Sammy and those around them. "Sorry! Sorry!" He laughed, oddly cheerful despite the pain, "Early morning shower!" He let his laughter trickle down as to hiccups. He leaned back towards the glass with a smile, placing his right webbed hand on the glass in front of the devil. If one ignored the chains, the bleeding and the pain they had, it could have been some sort of mythical creature camp. He dropped his hand down, his smile turning small and sad.

    He met Sammy's eyes and attempted to make a brighter grin instead. "Let's play a game, Sammy," he offered, refusing to let the darker memories catch up, "Let's play what I want to do!" Sammy's darker eyes offered solace to Albin and his smile turned more geniune. "I'll start." He told the other, "I want to sea the ocean." Albin ended up snorting at his own statement, the water splashing this way and that, as he leaned on the glass. "Do you want to see the ocean with me, Sammy?" he asked softly, "Do you think it'll be pretty, like the paintings?"

    Born with scales and webbed hands, he was never a proper merman. At least, not until the ringmaster came along. But now that he was a proper one, the ocean was something he can never have. Which was fine. Albin wasn't so sure he belonged there, anyway. Not without Sammy.
    #9 Boss Megu, Aug 2, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2016
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  10. ~Tristan~
    The unwilling Magician walked into the darkened containment room, snapping his fingers to undo the chains and flick on the lights. "Alright, everyone let's get you to the showers. Someone help Aveline get there and someone needs to change the water in Albin's tank while he washes. Jobs understood?" He announced, glancing around at everyone. God, how he wished he could help them, but he could feel the Ring Master's presence in his mind even now.

    Slowly, she climbed to her feet, hands bracing the walls. Yes, she knew where everything was, but she didn't know where anyone was. So, she dare not let go of the wall until someone came along to help her. Perhaps she would take Annie up on her offer since Gydion couldn't very well take her to the showers. "Annie, perhaps I will accept your help if you still offer....?"​
    • Thank Thank x 1
  11. Brandy

    Her tinkering with the lock was halted with Albin spraying everyone with water from the tank. It was a fun little ritual to lighten the mood. She raised one of her wings to shield herself. The light-hearted gesture was enough to get a few chuckles out of her. It was also a nice thing that distracted her from the futility of the lock.

    She turned her head to glance over to him, catching the pangs of pain in his laughter. She frowned momentarily, but was relieved to see him trying to be in good spirits. Especially with Sammy.

    "You two are really close... it's kinda cute." She mused aloud, before realizing what exactly she just said. She blushed furiously. "I-I mean, it's not, just, mannerisms and-"

    Suddenly, her lock came undone, and her stammering ceased immediately. She looked over in surprise, before shaking her head, rising shakely to her deformed legs. Her toes wiggled anxiously as Tristan gave the run down.

    "Y, yessir, right away!" Probably the least equipped for dealing with the water change, she sheepishly agreed to hurry along to the showers.


    Sosê was less amused by Albin's cutesy antics, his tag twitching erratically as a cue as water splashed in his direction. He scoffed lowly as talk turned to seeing the ocean again. He personally could do with getting through his mornings without the saccharine hugfests, but if it helped the others cope, he wasn't about to object too loudly.

    Feeling the chain come undone, he rose to his feet, stretching his strong forelegs. He folded his arms, glancing over to the fishtank.

    "Yea, yea. I'll got it. Big bro can help him to the showers, I'll take it from there." He droned nonchalantly, gesturing to Sammy. The use of 'big bro' was curious; he had been paying some attention to how Sammy regards Albin.

    They seemed inseparable. Might as well keep it that way. This routine was old, but he didn't mind terribly. Showering later allowed for quiet reflection. Though there was no such thing as privacy anymore.
    #11 TuttyTheFruity, Aug 6, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2016
    • Thank Thank x 1
  12. Samuel

    Albin's greeting made Samuel stop singing instantly. His thin lips formed a pleasant smile, contrasting his naturally arching brows. Although he looked devious, this was how he often greeted back. "Morning." He drawled. His expression quickly changed when he caught the tinge of red in Albin's tank. He opened his mouth to speak but was interrupted by the clatter of Brandy's chains. Samuel and Albin were in the circus for a very long time and felt bad for the poor girl, the newest prey.

    "Young miss Brandy. You'll injure yourself." He called as he stood up, leaning on Albin's tank. "Don't worry. Tristan will come soon. You too, Aveline. Please do help her, Annie. Maribel? Are you awake?" He added. Being the eldest, he took it upon himself to initiate cooperation between them all. In the circus, they were each others' allies.

    "Al?" He spoke to his "brother", looking into the tank but careful not to touch the shimmering net of magic. Al grinned and splashed water at them all, but Samuel being the closest, got entirely drenched. He chuckled as he wiped the water off his face. "Great, I'm soaked."

    "Sorry, sorry! Early morning shower!" Albin said cheerfully as if to distract Samuel from his chafing scales. Samuel shook his head as he slicked his wet hair back. It stayed in position. "Let's play a game, Sammy. Let's play 'What I Want To Do', I'll start." Albin seemed content not to talk about his injuries and Samuel sighed as he pressed water off the hair near the back of his neck.

    "I want to see the ocean. Do you want to see the ocean with me, Sammy? Do you think it'll be pretty, like the paintings?" Albin prattled.

    Samuel tried not to look at the others, and replied. "Moments are only as beautiful as who you spend it with." He said simply, still with his little smile. He didn't want to talk about life beyond the circus around the others, knowing it only made everyone feel worse.

    "You two are really close, it's kinda cute." Brandy spoke, making Samuel turn to her and chuckle. "Oh my." he managed to say and she flushed red.

    "I-I mean, it's not, just, mannerisms and-"

    Tristan finally entered, looking as melancholy as ever. The lights came on and their chains unclasped with a snap of his fingers."Alright, everyone let's get you to the showers. Someone help Aveline get there and someone needs to change the water in Albin's tank while he washes. Jobs understood?"

    "Oh, Tristan. Do you mean for either Gydion or So to do it this time, because it's been part of my routine for years. It goes without saying." Samuel laughed heartily, glancing at the tank. The net fizzed out and he reached into the tank to pick Albin up. "Join us, sometime will you? Wash that frown, mm? I'll have to help Al before I change the water, though."

    "Yeah, yeah. I'll get it. Big bro can help him to the showers, I'll take it from there." Sose grumbled when he got up. Samuel turned to the centaur with a grateful nod. "Thank you, So."

    Holding Albin carefully, he could feel the dried scales breaking on his own skin. He hurried in silence, ignoring the cold morning atmosphere on his damp clothes. He leaned Albin forward so the latter could turn the knob for them both. Under the shower, Samuel put Albin down. "I'll talk to the Ringmaster about getting you a bigger tank." He said to Albin as he washed the merman's hair. Albin's scales would recover in a while, but Samuel could no longer let the situation be. "I'll convince him." He slicked his hair back again and handed Albin a washcloth for his tail. He too, began to shower.

    As soon as they finished, he helped Albin back into his tank of freshly changed water first. "I'll be back." He said as he turned to leave. He got dressed in his practice costume without the accessories. Basically, it was a long, shimmery, lightweight cloth that was stylishly wrapped around his waist. He went back to Albin's tank and sat by him, taking out his materials for maintaining his fire dance props. Samuel never practiced too far from Albin so they could put out any accidental flames immediately. "I wonder what's for breakfast." He languidly smiled at Albin as he got to work.
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  13. Maribel BurgessMaribel shifted her shoulder back to get a glimpse of Samuel when she heard his voice. It was not as if she ever intended to answer him verbally, still, she didn't get the chance to do much before Tristan arrived and she was instantly on her feet as soon as the lights flicked to life. She stood dutifully with hands clasped at waist level, where she bowed deeply to the young boy in acknowledgment of his commands. It was through him that the Ring Master delivered his message, and so she would treat this proxy with the same respect as she would the real magician who operated through him.

    Even with the inclusion of the newest performers, in time, they all eventually found their place -- found a member among them that would adopt them as friend and family, someone they could rely on, someone who would watch out for them when they were in need. Already, the others around her had fallen into the routine of taking care of one another as soon as the day started. No one needed her help.

    She went to the showers since there was nothing expected of her from anyone else at the moment.

    Sometimes Maribel seemed to be more of a marionette than Annie was; she walked robotically to her destination, her steps stiff and brisk, hands still clasped the same way they had been since Tristan showed up. They broke apart only to begin stripping off her clothes in an efficient fashion, to shed them off into a pile somewhere nearby before she went to stand underneath the shower-head. She turned on the water, then stood there. Stood there, now with her arms crossed over her chest -- not for modesty, mind you -- she just held her shoulders in both hands, as if hugging herself, under the stream of steaming water. She would stay that way for a long while.
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  14. ~Tristan and Avaline~
    Even though he knew he shouldn't show favoritism, he still walked over to the struggling girl and gave her his hand so she could better brace herself. He knew the Samuel would help Albin. He felt the Ring Master's intrigue in his mind as he helped Aveline to a chair where he began the arduous task of changing her bandages. Once the bloody cloth was unraveled, the black haired girl opened her eyes to reveal nothing but blood red surrounded by scratches.

    "They burn a little today, Tristan..." She said off handedly.

    Tristan lightly ran his hand through her tangled hair. "That's because he's displeased that I'm helping you. Would you rather I leave so that the burning may stop?"

    She lightly shook her head. "No, it must get done." She replied. As he worked, she unfurled her wings, trying to work the kinks out of them.

    "You have a few knots..." Tristan said with a frown. She had not been taking care of herself. "I'll work on those next." With that he began to wash the dried blood from her eyes and re bandage them before moving onto the knots in her wings. Once finished he called out. "Is there any female-" He stressed the word. "That would help Aveline to the showers, pull her hair up, and find her costume?" Gydion usually helped her with the things she couldn't do, but their relationship was starting to bothering him. Immensely. ​

  15. Annie
    Annie sighed in relief when the chains were magically opened up. She discovered that almost all of her jointed body parts could pop out and back in again with the exception of the ankle that was always in the shackle and chain. She looked over at Aveline as Tristan changed her bandages. She then bounded over and took Aveline's hand in her own. "I got it from here Tristan." She said with a small smile and began to lead Aveline to the showers. Annie pulled the girl close to the shower area and let her undress herself. Annie undressed and showered quickly and then proceeded to dry herself and her joints so no water got stuck in them. She wrapped her towel around her body and went to the costume area and grabbed both her and Aveline's costumes while the girl showered. She stopped by the make-up and grabbed a few things from there.
    Annie headed back items in hand walked into the shower area ready to lead Aveline out once her shower was complete and done. She hummed and practiced her general routine in her head and decided maybe she would try a new thing she had been working on for the show. Once Aveline was done she helped the girl into her costume and then proceeded to do her hair running a brush through the other girl's hair. She styled her hair into a bun with a couple braids woven threw it. Annie herself dressed and pulled her hair up high on her head and let her hair cascade down in all its glory. She applied on her make-up with a practiced ease. She stood next to Aveline, "Do you want me to draw attention away from the bandages?"
  16. ~Tristan~
    He nodded gratefully to Annie. "Thank you." HE said, checking things once over before going to make sure breakfast was being taken care of.

    She leaned lightly on Annie as they walked to the showers. The water stung where it washed over the places the wings were grafted onto her back. Almost as if they would never really heal. Then again, she had been his first creation. She was bound to have problems. After she got done washing up, she waited for Annie to come and retrieve her. She knew her way around more than people thought, but she couldn't show it. The Ring Master had far too many eyes in here for her liking. She had to look helpless or he would be preparing for her next escape attempt.

    Sitting down once dressed in a pale blue costume that once accented her eyes, she let Annie style her hair. "Yes please..." She said softly. "I hate people looking at them."​
  17. Brandy

    Among the first to make her way to the showers, she was one of the ones that struggled with the task the most. A few weeks in, she was still figuring out how to acclimate herself to her awkward new limbs. She ended up ripping apart one of her favourite shirts with her talons in frustration in the first week, and had to settle for something more... utilitarian.

    She didn't want to rely on others for her daily routines. She didn't want to be a weight. They all had enough to bear themselves without her being a nuisance. So she put her academic mind to the task.

    The blouse was always the hardest part. The changes that had to be made to it, it could hardly be called a blouse. It was closer to a poncho, or a towel with buttons. Her wings simply didn't agree with sleeves, so she had none. Two straps around her shoulders kept the fabric up, and near the hemlines at the bottom were more snap-on buttons to allow it to wrap around her waist. She had to contort to reach those buttons on her straps and waist to POP them off before wriggling out of it.

    Her pants had to be elastic enough so she could fit her monstrous talons through, though she managed by slipping them through one at a time. After some struggle, she removed them, along with the underpants within.

    She finally removed her glasses (which were mostly a fashion accessory at this point) and got a good look at her deformed body in one of the mirrors. The way her thighs transitioned from peach skin into harden talons. She couldn't recognize her arms either, now fully plumed red wings folded at her sides. She swallowed to herself and slowly stepped over to a showerhead, wincing as the claws of her talons clicked against the tiles.

    Another showerhead turned on. She turned her head to look. It was Maribel. She was so quiet, she hadn't even noticed!

    She stood and stared at her from behind, a considerable distance away. She hardly spoke a word for as long as Brandy had been here. Brandy hadn't said much to her up to this point; her stitching honestly spooked her a bit, though she wouldn't dare admit it. She probably got used to it, but...

    She was just standing there. Worry welled up within her. She approached from behind.

    "Ah, excuse me... are you alright?" She paused, then lowered her head. "W-well, relatively speaking, I mean..."

    No one was really alright with their situation, she assumed. Accepting, begrudgingly so, but not 'alright'.


    Silently nodding (the corner of his mouth curling slightly), he allowed Sammy to take Albin away. He turned his attention to the tank.

    Several faucets were installed at the front of the tank to help drain the water, while a hand-operated water pump, likely connected to some underground well, hovered over the top of the tank, at the top of a ramshackle staircase leading to a platform.

    Sosê glanced to an assortment of barrels that lie empty over at the corner. He moved to place them under the faucets, silently setting himself to the task.

    If Gydion was up for lending a hand, he'd have to speak up, or otherwise head out to the showers. He wasn't one to ask for help for a job.
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  18. Maribel BurgessThe clicking of talons on the tiled floor let Maribel know it was Brandy who had joined her in the communal showers. Relatively new to the troupe, their resident harpy couldn't have been with them for more than a month at most. To be honest, not many people were keeping track of their imprisonment at this point. Time plus torture had a funny way of blurring the division between individual days. Perhaps on one of these occasions, the Ring Master would spring out and throw them all an anniversary party in mockery, to really rub it in and remind them of their misery -- a celebration of the culmination of all their pain and suffering for his twisted circus.

    These were the kind of thoughts that occurred to her in the shower. When she stood there soaking in the warm water, it relaxed her body, relaxed her brain; her mind drifted into a gentle daydream of things that would never happen... things that would make her happy. Strangely, her dreams did not extend beyond the circus, and if they ever did, she does not remember what they might've been. This place was the only thing rooted in her mind anymore. These people, no matter how negligent, were her peers. When she imagined a better life, it was merely a rearrangement of this one. Some might say that was pretty sad.

    It didn't matter. She had no one to share those sad thoughts with anyway, since nobody bothered talking to her if they could help it. Maribel kept quiet in her lonely corner of the communal shower, even as she listened to the talons still clicking behind her, coming closer. She minded her own business, not turning to look at Brandy despite the curiosity clawing at her, making her wonder how on earth the harpy managed to clean herself without human hands. Did she lance some bars of soap onto the tips of her talons? Surely, she couldn't be holding a bottle of liquid bodywash properly enough to not drop it, and Maribel heard no obvious sounds of commotion behind her, so that couldn't be the case.

    If either of them should've expressed concern for the other, it should've been Maribel who offered to help her fellow performer clean her feathers. Instead, quite unexpectedly, it was the bird-girl who approached Maribel, to ask if she was alright.

    Maribel turned to Brandy, gave her a head tilt and then a tentative nod. She reached out to pat one of the girl's wings, ruffled the feathers, then patted it again as if insisting on something. She put her hands up into her own hair, ruffled it up and down in a demonstration of washing, then touched some of Brandy's long hair, the whole time maintaining an inquisitive look in her eyes.
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  19. Brandy

    Brandy wasn't 100% convinced Maribel was alright. She was as still as a statue a second ago... in deep thought? Regardless, she let out a sigh of relief she wasn't sure she was holding.

    "If you're sure, I... uh?"

    Maribel began her charades, something Brandy herself wasn't used to yet. She'd seen her infrequently try to communicate through charades, and she would've loved the game back at home... but the painful reminder of her bound lips was unavoidable. Her eyes followed her hands, her feathers ruffling a little with the firm contact.

    Their eyes met, and Brandy stood for a couple seconds, attempting to process. The look in her eyes was... was she asking something?

    "...How do I wash my... ah!" She hoped that was right, but... she swallowed as she nervously pressed on. Her cheeks flashed a little red before she continued.

    "I, uh... I'm still working that out, heh..." She really hoped she was correct on that or else she'd look like an egotistical idiot. She let out a meek groan. It was an odd thing to talk about. "Birds have a few different strategies to clean themselves, so I... I'm trying to use what I know."

    She extended her wings, letting the current of water catch on some of the feathers on her left wing. She shook it, letting beads of water spray across the feather.

    "Splashing water's fine, usually, to get the undersides of their feathers and wings and everything. Thank goodness for running water, yes? I'll take showers over a... ah, bird bath..." Her joke was intended to be more natural than it was, but she remembered she couldn't be sure if the master was watching, and stumbled on it. She laughed nervously.

    She had another thought crop up regarding kicking up sand and dry dirt, but she... hadn't tried that herself yet, and wasn't about to try it. It felt too... animalistic. Her head lowered as her eyes rose up to her long hair.

    "The hair's the hardest part, it's... I don't think I have an answer yet. Sammy helps brush it for me, bless his heart, but..." She trailed off. A mix of pride, bashfulness, depression held her back from admitting it was something she legitimately needed help with.
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  20. "Moments are only as beautiful as who you spend it with." Sammy said simply, still with his little smile. Instantly, Albin winced, internally. Right, don't speak of the world outside. Outwardly, Albin's smile turned dimmer. "Hmmm," Albin hummed and turned to see Tristan enter, snapping out orders like so. Rolling his eyes, he sat straighter, finally stretching his back, and put his arms up to allow Sammy to carry him.

    He hid his wince when his scales chipped as it brushed on Sammy's skin, but by how fast Sammy was rushing, Albin knew his "brother" noticed anyway. When Sammy leaned forward, he turned the knob, and they got in immediately. Sammy gently put him down and the cool floor made him wince. "I'll talk to the Ringmaster about getting you a bigger tank." Sammy said told him as he began to wash his hair. Shocked, Albin tried to turn to look at Sammy, but found he couldn't. "I-what? No. Sammy, it's okay." he tried to tell the devil. "I'll convince him." Sammy assured him as he slicked his hair back again and handed Albin a washcloth for his tail. He too, began to shower.

    Albin grew somber and sighed as he let the water cascade on his tail, moving it slightly to hit the drier patches. "I'm okay, Sammy." he whispered. "It doesn't even hurt anymore. Please, just-just leave it." But the other didn't reply. Sighing, Albin continued with making sure his tail was properly moisturized. It'll heal. It always did.

    Sammy didn't bother getting Albin dry. He needed to be slightly moist anyway, he had scales on his shoulders and arms and back that needed the moisture. He rushed him back to his tank where the water was new. Smiling, Albin turned to the centaur. "Thank you, Sose." he said at the centaur and watched as Sammy hurried away, changing to his practice clothes with a promise. "I'll be back." Smiling at Sammy's retreating figure, Albin lowered himself in the water and fermented. He closed his eyes, listening to the sounds of his fellow circus-mates move around.

    He heard the familiar telltale sound of Sammy's footsteps. Opening his eyes, Albin turned to face Sammy in the tank. "I wonder what's for breakfast." Sammy asked, a small smile on his face. Albin gave a shrug as he lifted himself to the top of his tank, resting his body on the edge. "I wouldn't know. As long as it isn't fish, I'm fine." Albin joked. Looking around the room, Albin turned back to Sammy with a smirk. "Where do you think we'll perform next?" he asked back, "I hope it's nowhere cold."

    Albin mentally shivered. Cold places meant for more pain for his scales, and that his tank water would be freezing. He hated performing in cold places.
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