<Storyteller> There is a thick blanket wrapped around Nadine, and she can feel someone carrying her over their shoulder, humming “Jack’s Lament” from the Nightmare Before Christmas. There is also the sounds of a very harsh storm about, but with the blanket over her face it is very hard to determine any other details of where she is.
Nadine goes to struggle in the blanket but gives up after a few attempts, she knew the song. Her little sister was obsessed with the movie since she was small, no small part due to her who went through a slight goth phase. The noirette coughed in the blanket and tried a different approach. “Can you put me down, please?” she asked her seeming to be captor.
<Storyteller> The covering, which now that she gets put on the ground seems to not have an opening, like a sealed sleping bag more than blanket. It clings to her but doesn’t seem to impede breathing. After a moment something sticks inside it, looking like a blade that rips up the front of it and frees her.
The young woman sat up immediately and grabbed at her neck for reasons beyond her. “Where am I? Why am I here and who the fuck are you?” she asked no one in particular, knowing that whoever was carrying her had to be around here somewhere.
<HollowDream> looks at Nadine and then around at the storm howling all around them. There is a pair of long smoke-like wings trailing off her back and a small white knife in her hand. Her neck seems to drip some black blood-like substance and the storm howls and screams.
Nadine jumps when Hollow comes into view and she shouts out a little, reeling back away from her but just manages to kick out the bag she was in from under her.
<Storyteller> The bag looks more like a coccoon, and starts to disapate as soon as it leaves contact with Nadine. The screaming in the storm increases, turning to shreiking.
<HollowDream> puts the knife away and shakes her head at Nadine, hovering just off what little patch of ground is visable… the rest swallowed by darkness and storm. “You need to chill before you attract some Spectres. I got you out of the caul, now you can see at least.”
“Caul? Spectres? What the hell are you talking about?” Nadine answered, looking to where she was hovering and her eyes widened even more. “This is definitely a dream.” She tried to rationalize to herself, trying to pinch herself awake but it didn’t change anything, the lady was still there she was still bleeding and hovering off of the ground. It took her a while to think clearly but she ventually resigned a little. “This is real isn’t it?” she asked the being in front of her.
<HollowDream> “Yeah, pinching doesn’t help cause you can’t really feel anything anymore…”, she says as she eyes the storm’s winds carefully. “You did put up one hell of a fight… I am pretty sure he is gonna have a scar where you got him with those fingernails.”
“Not feel anything?” Nadine mused aloud, remembering that she hadn’t felt a thing and then it slowly came rushing back to her. The tub and the water, the feeling of burning lungs and Ryan’s hands holding her under by the neck. “Is he alright? I didn’t mean to hurt him, I just wanted to… talk.” the young womans tone was quieter when she spoke of him and less obnoxious. She slowly stood up out of the bag and looked toward the storm, where in the hel was she, this wasn’t his bathroom.
<HollowDream> lands on the ground beside Nadine. “That is the Tempest. We’re technically in it, just kinda on part of a byway that is mostly safe from the things that live in the storm. When you die… if you don’t go up or down, the storm is where you end up. Lucky ones, like you, get picked up… unlucky ones end up grabbed by those things out there.”, she says as she points out some of the horrible faces that appear and disappear in the rolling darkness.
“So, I’m dead. Alright I’ll play along.” Nadine spoke spinning in a circle to look around her at the tempest, looking at a few of the faces and wondering if any of them would look familiar with skin. “Well, thanks I guess but I don’t know what happens now, where do we go from here? Heaven?” She asked naively, sticking her hands in her pockets and staring at Hollow.
<HollowDream> shrugged her shoulders a little, causing the wound across her neck to sputter briefly. “I hear that if you resolve what made you not able to move on that you do that but I also hear it’s fake. I don’t much care either way, I still got plenty of shit to do.”, she says as she puts a hand out toward Nadine. “Well, I can show you around and how to get along as you are now. Unless you’d like to just try it yourself.”
“Great, I’ve now become my own biggest riddle.” she grumbled, taking the hand while screwing up her face a little at the sputtering hole in Hollow’s neck. “I’ll take the tour, I’d offer to pay you but… I don’t think you have a currency unless you do oh god, this is all so fucking weird.” Nadine went to cough to clear her throat but frowned a little when the tickling sensation din’t fill her neck.
<HollowDream> nods and holds onto Nadine as she uses the wings to take off, gliding down what almost looks like a road that passes through the storm, though it seems broken up in places. “We do, but you don’t want anything to do with it, trust me. I’ll take you to where some of the others in the city are, back in New Orleans. So hold on cause this might get bumpy.”, she says and then reaches over, tearing open a hole into the storm, making the winds part and then passing through them.
She squose the hand as hard as she could, watching the clouds part and grimacing a little at the odd sensation. There really was some sort of life after death, if only she could throw this in her Christian parents face now. Sounded like the dead had their own rules and Nadine wasn’t looking forward to adjusting to them, having Ryan here would make it easier she thought.
<HollowDream> landed on the floor of the old hospital and her wings evaporated. She let go of Nadine and looked around, there were some other people present… some looked normal enough but some had very obvious deathmarks on them. The building itself looked real enough, solid too. “This place is strange, it exists on both sides of what we call the Shroud. All these people around here, are like us.”
Her head quirked a little as Hollow said that they were the same, she looked very different from Nadine. The people around her did have marks of death but she thought she was lucky to get away with just drowning, looking almost normal compared to these people. “So, you guys basically haunt this place?” she asked, whirling around to take in the room, stomping a little to make sure it was as completely solid as it looked.
<HollowDream> watches her for a moment and then chuckles. “I suppose technically this is a Haunt, but it’s a place where we gather up to avoid danger. Because those things you saw in the storm, they come out sometimes.”, she says as she walks along the hallway as if looking for something in particular.
“They come out of the storm?” Nadine questioned, tilting her head toward the gruesome being that was Hollow. “Let me guess when they come out of that thing… That tempest. They aren’t very happy about it are they?” she asked another question to put the icing on the other. Still getting over the feeling of death.
<HollowDream> nods her head slightly and then seems to find what she was looking for. “Yeah, those things are nasty… if you haven’t heard it yet, you will. Like a little voice in the back of your head… something from your subconscious that while alive our brains kept quiet but now that he don’t have that barrier anymore it can cause problems. The things out there, are the ones that listened to their little dark voice.”, she says and looks at Nadine directly before ducking up a little hanging iron lamp and knocking on the door it hangs over. “Hey, Krista? You in there?”
The newly formed ghost shook her head as Hollow explained the creatures that live in the storm. That’s terrifying but at least while she was dead she would have company, even if it wasn’t pleasant.
<ST> A rather angelic looking pale woman opens the door to the pair, dressed in a flowing white gown. “Yes, Hollow? And… Oh. You decided to Reap her I see.”, she says with a haunting yet soothing tone to her voice. Her fingertips and eyes are jet black, but the rest of her is almost pure white and it is quite a contrast.
The noirette just waves to the new face appearing through the door rather than spewing the bunch of questions that were slowly gnawing at the back of her mind. Reaped? and why did this seem like a normal thing? did people really have that much unfinished business? and what the hell was hers.
<HollowDream> shrugs a bit. “Well, you said one of them was gonna die. Like I wasn’t gonna follow and see what happened? She got cast into the storm so i went and got her.”, she follows the other woman and then pauses, turning to look at Nadine. “I heard him call you Nadine, that’s your name, right? I’m Hollow, this lady here is Krista.”
“Yeah, I’m Nadine.” She responded, almost swooning when Hollow mentioned that he used her name. “It’s nice to meet you both and thank you again for pulling me out of that horrible place, I don’t think I would have made it out alone.” Her tone grows thoughtful and she touches her mouth with her sleeve while following Hollow trepidantly. She was still growing used to the whole atmosphere of this place and didn’t wanna be seperated from the only person who was nice to her so far.
<Krista> “Alright, Nadine. I need you to come sit in this chair and we are going to just have a look at your Shadow.”, she says as she raises up her hands a bit, inky blackness of her fingers reaching almost up to the palms. “My fingers are black because of a power that helps keep it in check, but the Shadow stains you after a while of working with so many.”
<HollowDream> nods that it is alright and hangs bak a little bit, glancing to the windows now and then.
She steps over to the chair and slowly takes a seat, nodding that it was alright to touch her. “My shadow? but there’s no sun down here, at least that I could see.” the young woman asked since it seemed pertinent to actual ask a question but she felt that the answer wasn’t going to be something that she liked and she bit her lip in anticipation for what was about to happen.
<Krista> reaches slowly to and then into Nadine, pulling gently at something that looks black and sticky, staining her fingers as she touches it. “It is not so bad, for now. But you know how violent deaths go.”, she says and then releases it, letting it move back into place.
“Violent deaths? I’m usre it was an accident.” Nadine defended him, almost feeling relieved that whatever the hell this omniscient shadow was pretty far away. “So what does that mean, is that good? It sounded bad?” she asked still full of questions due to the fact that she was well… dead.
<HollowDream> nods her head a bit and chuckles, making her throat sputter some more. “Accident or not, violence is violence. Like getting hit by a car. It’s good, we just have to watch to keep it that way. Speaking of… we should probably go make sure your body is safe. The storm can have an effect on us, make it hard to judge time and it could have been a couple days even though it only seems like hours.”
“My body? Am I going back?” she asked, seeming almost houple even though she somehow deep down knew the answer to that question was going to be no. “I’d loooove to go back. I mean you guys can do that right? I’m sure it’s only been minutes.” The girl was hopeful that she wasn’t going to have to spend an eternity staring at the open throat of the other.
<HollowDream> glances to Krista, avoiding her disapproving glare and reaches out, taking Nadine’s hand again. “Well… not yet. And it’s been a couple days actually. Time… passes weird in the storm.”
She felt her hopes get instantaneously crushed, people don’t come back after days, it wasn’t natural. “Sure, I want to see it.” She stated, gripping Hollow’s hand tightly, feeling a little anxious at seeing herself cold and breathless.
<HollowDream> nods and once again wings sprout out from her back, billowing like they are made of smoke as she moves toward the window and then out, carrying Nadine as if she were weightless. “Hold on, don’t want to draop you through the ground.”
“Just don’t drop me in general please.” Nadine pleaded while staring at everything below her, was flying just a normal ghost thing? or was Hollow something special, especially since she had played the part of the grim reaper in Nadine’s case. “It’s not like I can really… die… again… right?” she asked hopefully.
<HollowDream> looked down at Nadine as she glided along, holding onto her with both hands, which does allow Nadine to notice that one of Hollow’s hands is a little smaller than the other one. “Not from falling… but you can be destroyed… if important objects of yours are destroyed, or those Spectres attack you it’ll be solid to you… but it’s not easy to die a second time if that helps. And you certainly won’t drown again.”
“Oh good so it’s still possible just harder…” Nadine groaned, biting her lip anxiously while looking at the hand. “Before I scream, what’s wrong with your hand?” she asked, staring directly at it as it touched her own ghostly paw.
<HollowDream> frowns a little bit, and the black that oozes from her neck seems to become more active. “It’s… It was a punishment. They took part of one of my hands and made a coin out of it.”, she says and then lands outside of the morgue.