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Everything posted by Antwaine

  1. The future is ours.. isn't it?

    Yusai listened as Steal explained his story. It was disjointed and didn’t piece together well, but that was just the nature of Steal’s story-telling in this case. It was obvious that it was a hard subject for him to talk about, and Yusai regretted having asked, as Steal seemed pained just thinking about it. From what Yusai could make sense out of in the vague details was that Steal’s upbringing was not particularly pleasant, if not downright abusive. He should have guessed, given Steal’s withdrawn nature and aversion to conflict (rare as it ever came up), and it brought Yusai no comfort to hear a subconscious suspicion confirmed. He listened for a while, wanting to interject and reassure Steal that there was nothing in his past that was his fault, wanted to apologize to him for having broached the topic, but there wasn’t an opportunity for him to do that. Not until Steal slipped up and off the mattress, his bruised face wrought with distress, and headed for the hallway, saying something about gathering his things. Yusai wasn’t sure what he was getting at, but he didn’t want Steal to leave him abruptly in a state like this. He pushed himself up off the mattress himself and tailgated Steal, yelping “Wait!” before the younger man could go any further. He bumped into Steal in the hall, tripping over him almost, but catching Steal in the commotion. “Oi, it’s okay,” Yusai said, his voice just above a whisper. He wrapped his arms around Steals shoulders and clasped his hands, hugging the smaller man. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make you pick at an old scab like that. Your life sounds like it was right shit. I’m glad you got away from it. I’m glad… That I met you.” He leaned forward and rested his head in the crook of Steals shoulder and neck, and squeezed his arms a little. Steal trembled and sniffled. Yusai could feel warm tears dripping from Steal’s cheeks and onto his forearms. They were both silent in this moment. Yusai unclasped his hands and brought them to Steals upper arms, and turned the smaller man around so that he was facing him. Steal hung his head, maybe to keep Yusai from seeing him cry, but he didn’t care; He pulled Steal toward himself and gave him a proper hug, as well as a proper shoulder to quite literally cry on. They stood like that for a little while until Steal sucked in a breath and composed himself, and pulled away from the embrace. “Don’t worry, it’s alright. I won’t tell anyone,” Yusai said, putting his right hand to his chest and raising his bandaged left, a motion he did when he made promises. “…Prince might, though.” He added in quietly, jokingly, just as he caught glimpse of Prince scurrying around the corner into the hallway where they were, then past them, then into the bedroom where he quickly made a home for himself on the bed… Much to Yusai’s annoyance. “Oi, the little bastard,” Yusai muttered, hoping to lighten the mood a little. He looked at Steal and saw a hint of a smile, but there was still a clear, invisible burden on Steal’s shoulders, and Yusai knew it was one of those things that he couldn’t lift from him even if he had wanted to. Just like Steal could never lift the burdens Yusai carried on his shoulders no matter how much he wanted to. Still, he’d be there with him to try. It was a sentiment he could never vocalize, but existed in thought and action. Yusai gave Steal a pat along his shoulders and stepped aside. “Go on and get comfy, alright? I’m going to order some food.” He gently pressed Steal forward toward his bedroom, then brushed past him and headed toward the living room where the phone was. He didn’t exactly have an appetite, but figured maybe some comfort food might be in order if not just to make the both of them feel a little less shitty tonight. The food order was quickly placed and not too long afterwards, arrived. Yusai brought their dinner into the bedroom and ate quietly and complacently, simply observing Steal for any improvement to his mood. He looked like he was enjoying the meal, little as he ate, but like Yusai he probably felt more overwhelmed by tiredness than anything. As soon as they were finished eating, Yusai packed up their leftovers, stuffed them into the fridge, and when he returned to the bedroom, saw that Steal was out like a light. It was 8:34 when Steal had fallen asleep. It was 9:35 when Otto had returned to the apartment with Yusai’s keys and car, and some odds and ends of information. “They had a whole bunch of investigators over there, and a news crew. They wouldn’t let me get a good look at anything though,” Otto started in, shucking the keys into Yusai’s palm. “Yeah… I just saw the news earlier. They just did a small report, nothin’ we didn’t already know.” “I figured,” Otto said conversationally, stuffing his hands into his pockets. “How you guys holding up?” Yusai sighed gently. “Steal’s in the bedroom sleeping… I’m about to join him. I’m fair knackered.” “How’s he doing?” “Ah… Well. Not great, I ‘spose. I hope when he wakes up he’ll be better.” “Oh? His condition getting worse or—“ “No,” Yusai interrupted, “I just… Ah, nevermind. I’ll tell you about it later. I’m gonna hop in the sheets though. Thanks for picking up me car.” Otto eyed him speculatively for a moment, then nodded. “Anytime.” He said, then turned and ambled down the stairs to the entrance of the building, giving Yusai one last look before heading off. Yusai was not sure what to make of that exchange, but he closed the door behind him feeling as though he were the object of suspicion for a crime he wasn’t exactly sure he was committing. Whatever. He tossed his keys onto the counter and yawned, the last of his energy being expelled with the exhalation, and he resigned himself to his bedroom for the remainder of the night, the name “Stephen” a vague pulse in the back of his mind. … S’good name…
  2. The future is ours.. isn't it?

    hat evening, Yusai and Steal were discharged from the hospital under strict instruction to monitor their symptoms for any abnormalities, and to take their prescribed medications to completion. Orders typical from any health care clinic. Otto had generously played their escort back to their apartment and dropped them off, sassing Yusai for his car keys so he could then go and pick up his car from the haunted hotel. Yusai simply obliged to his kindness, knowing full well that arguing to the contrary would just agitate Otto, and that he’d just do it regardless. Yusai simply thanked his friend profusely for everything he’d done. Otto shrugged and said, “I owed you one.” Then it was just he and Steal left in their “newly” arranged apartment. Otto had mentioned before leaving that he had found a notice under their door, mentioning some new fire code that disallowed for large and obtrusive furniture in any apartment that was less than three bedrooms. Yusai was barely affected by this, as it was Steal who had to make due sleeping on an air mattress for as long as he had been living there. Steal seemed pleased by this news, and Yusai figured it was because it meant no longer having to sleep on furniture he had to inflate every night. Besides, sharing his own bed for a while was no big deal. Yusai’s mattress was large enough as is—one of the few luxuries he allowed himself (besides his car) from the settlement after he had lost his eye—and it wasn’t as if Steals company was unwelcome. Having a bedmate would take some getting used to though, no matter how Yusai looked at it. Meanwhile, Steal was already making himself comfortable on the bed. Yusai looked to the clock on his nightstand and read the time: it was 7:15. So much of the day had just been a vague, numb blur. Yusai was surprised at how tired he still felt even though he had been resting most of the day. He yawned and stretched, then proceeded to remove his shirt and trousers, leaving him there in just his briefs. “Oi, this is my side of the bed,” Yusai said as he was sitting down, feeling one of Steals limbs before he even hit the mattress. “Are you trying to colonize my bed? You’ll be hurt to try. It’s a king sized mattress, and I’m the monarch here.” He gave Steal a sideways grin, then a push when the smaller man wouldn’t budge. Before Steal could slink his way back over to his portion of the mattress, Yusai sprawled his arms and legs out. “This… Is my land,” was Yusai’s muffled declaration, face-down in his pillow. Steal squirmed underneath his arm and leg, which he had slung over his body when he laid down, and Yusai chuckled. He removed his limbs off from Steal and turned over on his back, making himself comfortable. He exhaled a long sigh, and reached for the remote to his television on the nightstand, turning on the TV in front of them on his bereau. He skipped around channels idly, not really looking for anything in particular to watch but wanting the background noise anyway. While he channel surfed, he suddenly came across a familiar image: the hotel he and Steal were at last night! The local news was airing a piece. He turned the volume up a little to hear the report. “—leak in the gas pipes. Six participants, as well as twelve other staff members were hospitalized and treated for minor injuries, but are reported to be in stable condition. Among those admitted was Stephen Masters, son of Lawrence Masters, President and CEO of Master’s Banking. It is unknown whether Lawrence will be seeking legal action at this time, and declined to comment on the—“ “Who the hell is Stephen Masters?” He asked aloud, puzzled by this reel, no longer paying the story much mind. He heard a meek “Um” at his side, and like a slow moving train being thrust into full speed, Yusai suddenly realized he knew the answer—and was completely, utterly shocked. “Your name is STEPHEN?” Yusai said with a peculiar, incredulous smile spreading across his face. He couldn’t believe it. In all the years Steal had been living with him, he’d never once heard the name uttered. It was like discovering treasure. Then, there was the fact that he was the SON of this banker… Hell, he KNEW the bank by name! He drove by a Masters Bank on his way to work every night! “AND you’re one of THE Masters? Coooor! What else haven’t you told me!” Yusai asked, completely animated now. Judging by Steals expression, it didn’t look like the younger man knew how to react. He looked a cross between mortified, stunned, and wishing he was dead. Yusai tried to dial back his own surprise, but admittedly, it was difficult. He had so many questions now, and wanted to ask them right away. “I mean, I ‘spose I know why you wouldn’t tell me you’re one of the Master’s,” Yusai pondered quietly, a fleeting ransom scenario going through his mind, or knowing Steal, the worry that his peers would only value him for his name and fortune. “But… Stephen. I would never have guessed that was your real name! What’s your middle? Is the birthday you got comin’ up your real birthday? Are you really turning 21?” Yusai tone was joking, but there was a hint of speculation to them that Steal must have picked up on, as he was stammering to answer. Yusai, seeing the pleading look on Steals face, raised his hands placatently. “I was kidding! Steal, I don’t think you’re some liar con-artist or nothin’…” He said gently with a grin. “I’m just… I’m sorry, I just can’t believe I’ve not heard your real name until now. I thought I knew everything about you, and then it turns out I didn’t even know what your name was!” Yusai rolled onto his side, facing Steal and looking deeply into his shimmering blue eyes. It was strange. He was the same person he’d always been since Yusai met him, but he was also different now, too. Something as simple as a name had this bizarre effect on his perception of the younger man. He wondered if there were any other secrets he had. “Oi… You know, normally I ask this question for people who come to me bar, but… Steal, what brought you here? Or in your case, what made you wanna ditch home and change your name?”
  3. The future is ours.. isn't it?

    The day carried on listlessly and without much disturbance, outside the occasional nurse butting into Yusai’s room every now and then to check up on him and Steal. It was around noon that a nurse and practitioner of some kind entered the room with, summoning Steal for his MRI. Yusai shook him awake and quietly told him it was time for his scan. Steal had sighed—nervously, Yusai thought—in response and got up from the bed, sat down in the wheelchair the nurse had brought in, and was promptly wheeled out of the room. He was gone for some time. While he waited to be summoned himself, Yusai took this time to finally pick at his breakfast, which had become even less appetizing now that it was cold. He choked it down, then resigned himself to the bathroom to freshen up a little. He was just in the middle of dabbing his face dry with a cloth when he heard his name being called, and Yusai hobbled out of the bathroom, just in time to see Steal being wheeled back while the doctors instructed him to take a seat so he himself could be escorted to his appointment. He obliged. Preparation for the MRI was more intimidating than the process itself. The machine was large, yet had a small opening that Yusai was convinced he could never fit through. His concern was barely quelled when the doctor said that the machine was able to accommodate large patients, but he let himself be subjected to the machine anyway. There was no sense in prolonging the inevitable with frivolous questions and worries. When it came to the actual scan, Yusai was surprised at how obnoxious the machine was. And he hated that he couldn’t move. Toward the end of the process, he was getting a little anxious to get out, as the enclosure was starting to make him feel claustrophobic. He was out and done before he became too agitated though, and Yusai was thankful when he was being wheeled back to his room. He was even more thankful to see Otto there, sitting bedside to Steal, who was asleep. The doctor and nurse had dropped him off and Yusai quietly slipped back onto the mattress, shirking himself next to Steal. “Ey, you came back,” Otto said conversationally, leaning back into the chair. “How’d your CAT scan go?” “Dunno yet,” Yusai replied, also making himself comfortable. “Hopefully well. I’d rather not do that again any time soon. How’d you know, anyway?” “Steal told me before he fell asleep,” Otto said with a sigh as he stretched his limbs. “Hey, I went over and fed your asshole cat, by the way.” Yusai sighed as well, and the corners of his lips flinched to a smile when he heard Otto badmouth their pet. “Oi… Thanks.” Steal lazily squirmed at his side and stretched his arm over Yusai’s waist again, as he had earlier that morning. Yusai gently shivered at the sensation, as it was just a soft and delicate enough maneuver that it slightly tickled. He was oblivious to the look Otto and Steal had exchanged just then. “So, what are you doin’ back here, anyway?” Yusai asked. “Just thought I’d check back in, make sure you hadn’t died overnight or something. You know, you worried me a little last night—You disappeared for a while and when you came back, you practically just collapsed on the bed.” Yusai was having trouble recollecting this particular detail, but he took Otto’s word for it. “Oh? I guess I was real out of it.” “I’ll say,” Otto said, scratching at his gotee. “Are you feeling any better today?” He shrugged, not sure how to answer Otto honestly. “I suppose. My hand doesn’t hurt so much, anyways. I feel like I could stand to sleep for another day or two, though.” Otto nodded. “I guess that’s what carbon monoxide poisoning does to you. Don’t bother coming into work for the next week until you’re clear in the head and your hand is at least functional.” “Thanks.” Yusai said, sighing again and bringing his arm just around Steal’s shoulder. He had squirmed again, his arm just shifting over his lap with his hand resting along the ridge of his pelvis. Yusai shivered slightly again and goosebumps rose along his arms, legs, and thighs. He was starting to feel a little squirmy himself. Otto, suddenly taking a mischievous look, leaned forward in his chair, prepping to stand. “Looks like Steal has the right idea,” he said, pushing himself up. “Huh?” Yusai didn’t realize, but his face was flushed. “Sleep, dumbass. I’m gonna get going. I’ll swing by your place again tonight and feed your cat, if you want.” “Oh. Yeah, thanks… I’ll keep in touch, let you know what’s going on tonight,” Yusai said, eyeing his friend as he nodded affirmatively at him again, and then was up and off on his own way, leaving he and Steal alone. It was quiet for some time, Yusai not wanting to make noise or rouse much at the risk of jarring Steal awake. He was moving around an awful lot, though, his arm and hands seeming to be unable to find a comfortable spot to rest. Yusai was starting to feel a bit like a piece of braille paper, the way Steal’s hands and fingers were roaming. His leg bent up instinctively when Steals fingertips just barely grazed a spot around the top and inside of his thigh, close to his groin. A sheet of goosebumps covered his whole body then, and Yusai was definitely aware of the bashful blush creeping over his face. He felt a little uneasy, in a strange way, caught somewhere between having liked the sensation but a part of him scared to death of ever admitting it. Gently, he put his hand over Steal’s, and re-directed a few inches north of his southern parameters. His whole body was strumming with something and he swallowed thick for a few minutes afterwards. But, after a moment, he was fine, and he and Steal settled back into a comfortable doze until their next interruption. A doctor had come by late in the afternoon, waking both he and Steal from their slumber. She stood at the foot of their bed with a big manilla folder cradled in her arms, and began explaining some results they had gathered from their earlier testing. Blood oxygen levels had been low last night, but were now normal. Brain activity was predictably sluggish, but they both appeared to be “normal” with no signs of brain damage. Their wounds were treatable, stitches would be removed after a week or two, and at worst, would be a cosmetic blight unless they decided not to take care of them properly. Yusai would have to be delicate with his injured hand. “So,” the doctor was finishing up, “You should both be fine to go home this evening.” Yusai was a little stunned to hear this, but glad in a way. “You sure? We’re not gonna drop dead if we do?” “Anything is possible, but… No, not based on these results.” She said. “If your symptoms suddenly change though, please don’t hesitate to put in an emergency call.” And that was that. Yusai shook Steal, not realizing he was already awake. “Oi, you hear that? Guess we can go home tonight,” He repeated, sitting forward. “I mean, are you doing alright? You don’t wanna stay another night, do you?”
  4. The future is ours.. isn't it?

    Yusai had just began drifting back to sleep when he heard a sudden commotion outside his door, and then Steal appeared in the doorway, his cheeks slightly flushed and his hair tussled around one side on his shoulder. His spirit lifted a little. It was good to see Steal up and about. He waved at him weakly and invited him to come in. Steal nodded and looked in and around, attempting to find a seat but there weren’t any in his sight; he settled for sitting on the edge of Yusai’s bed, giving the larger man quite the peep-show from where he was laying. Yusai couldn’t help but grin. “Oi… Looks like the doc forgot to stitch this up,” Yusai said, giving Steals butt a little poke, then retreating when his gesture was returned with a severe-but-engaging look. Steal squirmed and turned over, forcing himself onto the bed and nesting himself close against Yusai’s body. A small sense of relief came over Yusai then, just laying like this and having Steal close by. It was strange, but nice, how the younger man had this effect on him. Yusai relaxed against Steal and pressed further into his pillow. Steals hair puddled into the divot with him and Yusai, too lazy to brush it away, simply blew what he could out of his immediate breathing space. He felt Steal shudder a little and asked if he was cold. His inquiry was returned with a question of his own, asking if Yusai was mad at him. “Mad at you? Why would I be mad?” Yusai asked, letting the question float for a minute and before Steal could answer, he spoke again. “You didn’t do anything wrong. Don’t be sorry about last night. None of what happened was your fault.” He guessed that little statement was enough to content Steal for the time being, as he only heard a soft sigh in response. To further assure Steal that there were no hard feelings, he wrapped his arms around Steal’s shoulders and gave him a little squeeze, trying to be a little delicate too, since Steal still looked in rough condition. The smaller man nuzzled against him like a contented housecat and returned the gesture by wrapping his own arms around Yusai’s waist (which resulted in shirking up Yusai’s hospital robe to expose his nads, but he didn’t even notice, not with Steal so close) They were silent for a little while. Yusai could feel Steals breath becoming shallow and knew that he was beginning to fall asleep. He’d let him, as he didn’t mind the company. He lay there and let Steal drift deep into sleep, staring at the ceiling and listening to the gentle hum of hospital machinery, his own thoughts wandering lazily for a time. There was still a feeling of misery Yusai couldn’t quite shake. He had initially chalked it up to waking up in poor spirits but the more he thought about it, his head was cycling around what remenants there were of his dream he remembered. Something about being back in school… Looking at his hands… Yusai slowly lifted his hands up, doing his best not to disturb Steal, and examined them blankly. His left hand was still bandaged up, still stinging, and even gently clenching his fingers sent dull throbs of pain up his pinky and ring finger and down his wrist. He could see a bold, dark crescent of dried blood in the bandage wrapping where Steal had bit, just around the knuckle and his palm. What was showing of the crescent was large. Yusai could hardly even believe Steals mouth was as huge as the bite mark on his hand had looked. He glanced down at Steal, whos head was resting just on his shoulder. He crooked his head to get a look at his mouth, which was bruised, cut up, and a little swollen still. While sleeping like this, his mouth certainly didn’t look so big. Under normal circumstances, Steal had a thin set of lips that shielded a very surprising smile. Surprising because it wasn’t the kind of smile you’d expect from the younger man, who’s features were more delicate and… Slightly feminine? However, when he happy or was getting a good laugh, he had a very dog-toothed grin that pulled just slightly beyond his bicuspeds, which replaced any femininity he had with a certain boyish charm unique to younger men. Yusai himself was self-conscious about his own smile. He didn’t have bad teeth or anything, but he knew his smile was too toothy, his laugh just too boisterous… And he knew he took after his father in that regard. He wished he had his mother’s smile and her laugh, which he (among many others) considered very charming. At least he got his mother’s eyes. Meanwhile, he wondered how Steal was able to take as big of a bite out of him as he was able, and stupidly, he gently raised his bandaged hand and bore the crescented edge to Steals lips, seeing if he could measure how large the mark was. He couldn’t, of course, but Yusai fancied for a minute that he could surmise. He drew his good hand up to his mouth and opened as wide as he could, then gently-yet-firmly gave himself a bite. Just hard enough to get indentations on his hand. It was at that moment another nurse had walked in, and immediately paused after entering through the door. She beheld the sight of two men squished together in bed, one with his cock and balls out and chewing on his hand while the other lay asleep, pitching his own tent. She stammered for a second to find words and Yusai, surprised to see company had entered the room, spit out his hand. “Uh—“ “…Mister Perupe?” The nurse interrupted, her face flushed. “I just wanted to inform you that you’re going to have an MRI this afternoon. Your clothes have been stored in the locker in your bathroom here,” She gestured toward the bathroom door. “Just page a nurse when you want to change into them. They’ll bring you a key.” “Thanks.” Yusai said with a nod. She lingered momentarily and bit the corner of her lip. Her eyes shot down his body and back up to his eye again, and without another word, she was off. A few minutes later, there was giggling down the hall. Meanwhile, Yusai was left lying to wonder what the MRI was for. He’d never had one before, and admittedly, what he knew of them sounded kind of scary. They put people on these planks and shove them into a big, magnetic coffin essentially… Then run a bunch of tests. He supposed that the hospital wanted to test him—and Steal too, probably—for any sort of abnormalities or deeper injuries they might’ve acquired at the haunted house. He wondered if the other patrons would be undergoing the same treatment. He was sure they would. Yusai could faintly recall bits and pieces of conversation he had with Otto last night, remembering the little tidbit of information he had dropped about one of the women there who seemed to have suffered a fair amount of trauma in particular. Yusai glanced down at Steal again, resting his arm along the one Steal had overlain on his waist. Poor Steal was still in such rough shape, he thought, his eye focused on the small strip of stitches in the midst of a shaved bald patch in the middle of his long hair. Briefly, he thought with some regret that Steal would likely need to get his hair cut, just to even out the look. He’d resolve to get his hair cut, too, if that was the case.
  5. The future is ours.. isn't it?

    Yusai looked with a mixture of awe and fright when Steal pulled a cross from his bedside table and displayed it to him. It looked exactly like the cross he had laid to rest on Richards’ gravesite: but how had he obtained it? There was just no way… None… Wordlessly, Yusai shakily reached for the necklace and delicately took it from Steals palms, his focus entirely on the cross and his mind dully racing around a singular thought: How? Over and over he was repeating it in his mind. It was like he was stuck in a loop. But he couldn’t help it. By all means, none of this could be possible. There was no conceivable way Steal would have possession of this precious item without knowing… Without being there… Just, how? Without saying anything, even so much as a “goodbye” or “goodnight” to Steal, Yusai clutched the necklace weakly to his chest and shuffled out of the room, lost in a daze. To anyone who could see him, he looked like a haunted man, shambling to his grave. Somehow, he had made it back to his room, barely taking notice of the concerned look on his friends face, taking no heed to his inquiries. Yusai just slumped to his bed, his hands firm around the cross he held, and he stared beyond the ceiling tiles above with the cross in his hands on his chest. Somewhere between Otto’s pestering questions and Yusai’s non-committal grunts of assurance that he was fine, he drifted off to sleep. ** That night, he dreamed. He dreamed he was back in his last year of high school. Back in Adelaide, back in Australia. He was sitting in the last period of the day—What American’s would call English—and was nose deep in a book that he could neither read nor understand. That was the way of dreams, after all. During his reading he heard a whisper from his right and felt a poke at his ribs. Yusai turned to look, instinctively knowing who to expect to see there while simultaneously knowing that it wasn’t possible. A small, nagging voice inside his head was telling him that this was only a dream and that was all, but the part of his subconscious that was engaging in the dream didn’t care; To be able to see his late friend again, sitting beside him in class and giving him that mischievous look he always used to was a welcome and overwhelming delight. Yusai felt his chest swell and his throat tighten. He closed his book and immediately threw himself on his friend and embraced him as tight as he could. Then suddenly he was back in his chair again, as was Richard, and they were sitting normally, attending to their reading. “I can’t believe you’re here,” Yusai said lowly, but his cheeks pulled in a smile. “I’ve missed you, so, so much—“ Richard shook his head and laughed, giving a casual shrug and holding out his hands from his sides. “What’s there to miss?” He said, smirking, “We always hang out.” Yusai was a swirling mess of emotions, even if he didn’t outwardly show it, even in his dreams. His eyes were burning hot with tears, but none fell. His chest was heaving, but he felt as if he was wearing the world’s tightest vest to keep his lungs from bursting out. He felt as if he was being strangled but a cool, clean breeze was wafting up his nose, down his throat, in his lungs. Forgetting all this, Yusai replied; “You’ve been gone for a long time. Eleven years now, in fact.” He could feel himself trembling over the words but couldn’t stop. It was a truth that was grappling Yusai, keeping him grounded in the dream, reminding him that none of this was real. Still, a loftiness in his heart wanted to keep him here. “Yeah, I know,” Richard said, shrugging again. “But I still hang out with you sometimes, you just don’t notice.” At this, Yusai felt himself freeze. Richard had been hanging out with him? He hadn’t noticed? How was that possible? His vision darkened for a second and he could see his sight vanishing from his left eye. “Ha ha, yeah, like that,” Richard said. “Remember how I’d do this?” He picked up his book from his desk, saying “Think fast!” and before Yusai could prepare himself, Richard had chucked his book at Yusai’s head, the binding hitting him across his eyes. Yusai recoiled and wailed, but it was odd: He felt no pain. He didn’t even feel the rise of anger he’d sometimes get when Richard did this to him. As a matter of fact, he felt happy. He began laughing, uncontrollably at first, as he was truly happy to re-live something—even if it was a dickish thing—with Richard all over again. “You fuckin’ asshole—“ Yusai started, rearing his fist for a backhand, secretly relishing Richards instinctive flinch. “Besides, you couldn’t have done this… Some bloke in the club put it out with a bottle six years ago.” Richard shrugged. “Yeah, you’re right. I guess I wasn’t there that night, or I would’ve kicked his bloody arse.” He leaned back in his chair and propped his long legs up on his desk, tucking his long fingers into the pockets of his trousers. “But, I’m still around, just not all the time. Anyway, I wanted to ask you something,” “What?” Yusai replied, feeling his guts sink as if he already knew what the question was. Richard was silent at first, his strange blue eyes twinkling for a second before he asked, “How come you didn’t come see me?” All the feelings Yusai had been suppressing internally suddenly came spilling out, all at once, in one big display of overbearing emotion. The vest tore, the hands around his throat clenched, and his eyes began pouring tears. “I’m sorry,” Yusai sobbed, once again throwing himself at his friend, sinking into his chest. “I’m sorry I didn’t see you. I’m sorry I didn’t visit the day before you died. I’m sorry I didn’t come to your funeral. I’m sorry that I hung up on you, I’m sorry, I wish I could go back just one more day and talk to you and—“ Yusai’s head was throbbing and his chest aching. He was absolutely wretched in agony from years of hoarding guilty feelings, and it felt as if the burden was only getting heavier as he spoke, because in the forefront of his mind, he knew none of this was real or taking place. “—I wish I could’ve said something, anything, to save you. I’m sorry I was such a terrible friend.” He felt a cool embrace around his shoulders, and wetness on his forehead. Tearfully, Yusai opened his eyes that he had slammed shut to weep unabashedly into Richard’s chest, and looked up at his friend, who was crying as well. “It’sok, mate. I didn’t mean anything by it. I just missed you too, is all. I thought you hated me.” Yusai peeled away and shook his head, frantic with the thought. Hate Richard? How could he ever hate him? They had spent so much time together, short as Richards life was, and there wasn’t a thing in the world Yusai would trade the memories he had with him for. “I didn’t. I don’t. I couldn’t ever,“ He was crying so desperately, so hard now, that it hurt. His face was hot and his chest felt like it was on fire. “Rich, I—“ Suddenly, yet subtly, Yusai felt himself sinking, fading into blackness. He was still weeping as hard as he had been, but he felt like he could catch his breath now; the air was cool and refreshing. His face didn’t feel so hot, his head wasn’t throbbing anymore. But, his heart ached. It ached more than he ever thought it could, stinging with a fresh but familiar pain he thought he’d never have to feel again. For some reason, Yusai looked at his hands and saw how large they had become, how weathered they were with callouses and wrinkles that came with age. His tears stopped, and he took a deep breath. He had to compose himself. He was an adult now: A man. He had come to terms with Richard’s death long before this dream. This dream didn’t change anything. When Yusai would wake up, his friend would still be dead. There would be nothing he could do or say to change that. But still… He clutched his hands to his chest, feeling the imprint of a cross there. The cross… That’s right. He had it, now. Steal had given it to him. But how had Steal gotten it, again? As he wondered this, he swore he could hear Richard laughing in the distance somewhere, saying something unintelligible that he couldn’t quite make out. Yusai turned to face him, but his friends visage was a faded thing, and he resembled nothing more than dying wisps from an idle cigarette. “Rich… How did Steal get this?” Yusai asked. Mumbled, really. He couldn’t understand Richard’s answer, and couldn’t see anything now but a brownish-white haze. He felt the cross slip up from his hands though, and was contented by this, somehow. “Just let him hold onto it, you big baby,” he heard a voice say, thinking it was Richard. ** Then he woke up. There was daylight streaming through the window. Everything Yusai had dreamed immediately puffed up and away from his memory like a cloud of smoke, but residual feelings of pain and sorrow hung in his heart with every beat. He felt awful. Physically, he felt alright, despite the still-fresh sting in his arm from Steal’s bite. His face didn’t feel like it was pulsing in agony anymore, and the pain he felt there now was a duller ache. All the scratches Steal had inflicted with him were minor, if not itchy, stings. Yusai figured he looked worse than he felt. But outside of physical ails, Yusai was grappled by an all-consuming misery. He wasn’t sure why, exactly, but he felt heavy in a way he had never felt before. It was as if the air around him had suddenly taken on weight, and he was completely powerless to lift it off of his shoulders. When he opened his eye fully and observed his surroundings, he saw that Otto was no longer at his bedside. Hmm, he must have gone home several hours ago, he thought. Briefly, he wondered if his friend would return, but ultimately he didn’t care one way or the other if he did. Yusai didn’t feel much like company, anyway. A larger part of him just wanted to be alone, wanted to sleep for a long time. Of course, he’d be granted the opposite of his wishes. A nurse had scuttled in with a tray without so much as a peep and surprised Yusai, which made the nurse laugh. “Sorry, sorry! I didn’t mean to frighten you,” She said, placing the tray down across Yusai’s lap. “I’m just bringing you breakfast. Don’t eat it too fast, it’s still hot.” She said, and opened the silver dish top to reveal some scrambled eggs and some overwhelmingly fragrant sausage patties. Neither looked particularly appetizing to Yusai right now, but he thanked her regardless, and was relieved to see her contented by this and leave the room. He lifted his tray and put it on the table beside him, then turned over on his bed. Yusai was suddenly aware that he could feel a breeze on his back and ass, and looking down at himself, saw that he was donning hospital garb. He noticed he was also clean now, too, and was wearing a fresh bandage on his injured hand. “Huh,” Yusai uttered aloud, but didn’t wonder about it much further than that. He summized that at some point during the night, he had been instructed to change—or was changed—and was just too tired to remember the other details. To be honest, he couldn’t remember many details from last night, now that he thought about it. But, maybe that was for the best? He remembered visiting Steal in his room though, and Yusai wondered how he was doing. He wondered if he was wearing the same stupid get-up as he was. A little pang of him was curious what his butt looked like, sticking out the back of the garment. He also wondered if Steal felt as lousy as he did, too. But, he supposed he’d have to wait and see.
  6. The future is ours.. isn't it?

    Yusai opened his eye. He was in a beige room, surrounded by curtains. He could hear beeping and the scuffle of shoes nearby, and he wasn’t sure what it was about the sound of that particular walk, but, without having to look around, he knew he was in a hospital. Briefly, he wondered how he had gotten there. “Hey,” A low, honeyed voice said beside him. Yusai turned over and was surprised to see his friend—and boss—Otto sitting in a chair beside him, absent-mindedly leafing through a magazine. “Look who’s awake. How you feeling?” Yusai went to rub the bleariness out of his eye, and winced violently at the shock of pain that shot down his arm. His breath hitched and he immediately lowered it, only then noticing that it was bandaged up. “I’ve been better,” Yusai said, his voice heavy and tired. “What time is it?” “It’s two in the morning. By the way, thanks for using me as an emergency contact, you piece of shit.” Otto said in an effort to strike friendly rapport, but to no effect on Yusai, who looked genuinely remorseful. “Sorry—“ “I was kidding,” Otto interrupted, his brows knotting. “What happened to you? You AND Steal look awful. Got some word you guys went to a haunted house down in Queens and they messed you up pretty bad over there?” “Something like that,” Yusai replied. His mind was working slowly to remember all the evening details, though much of it was too bizarre for him to absorb still. “They locked me and Steal and a bunch of others up in these rooms. Thought we were gonna go on a bloody scavenger hunt… Then it all got kinda squirrely.” Otto nodded, his chocolate brown eyes searching around the room for a moment before he spoke, “I heard they had to bring some other people from the house here, too. There was some woman screaming bloody murder down the hall across from Steal’s room about it. She sounded crazy. They finally shut her up about an hour ago.” Yusai just stared soupily at him, his mind still chugging away at half its normal capacity. But oh, Steal, he heard that part, and his ears pricked to attention. “Oi, where’s Steal at? Down the hall, you said? Have you seen him?” Yusai went to sit up but immediately felt a rush of dizziness hit him. He groaned softly and slowly leaned back down, defeated by the weird, dull pain that was radiating through his head. Otto simply watched as Yusai reeled. “Yeah, I saw him. He’s been up for a while. I talked to him first about everything. He’s real shaken up by whatever it is that went down tonight. By the way? He says he’s sorry for that,” Otto pointed to Yusai’s bandaged hand. “And—“ Otto was suddenly interrupted by a gentle rap on the doorframe. An officer stood outside, looking in with an expression that read plainly, ‘Can I come in?’ Before deciding for himself to enter the room. Yusai looked up at the officer, a man who appeared to be in his late 30’s, a mixture of blonde-to-copper colored hair cut square and short on the sides, but quaffed on the top of his head, all of which was groomed finely to match with his trimmed beard and mustache, which covered some of his rosy complexion. The hairs on his strong looking arms were pale and mostly blended in with his skin tone. In those arms, the officer was carrying a bulky clipboard, a walkie-talkie, and some other gadgets Yusai couldn’t be fucked to name. “Hello, mister… Pairoopay?” The officer looked at Yusai, who only nodded in affirmation. “Hi. I’m officer Andrews. I got a call from the hotel you and your spouse were staying at this evening regarding a potential assault. I’d like to speak with you about that, if you have a moment.” Yusai could feel whatever color was left in his face draining, and his brows knotting. “Officer, there wasn’t an assault—“ He started to say, but Andrew’s raised his hand to quiet him. “Don’t worry. This isn’t an interrogation, and nobody is being accused of anything… Yet. There were some related incidents at the hotel that I was called in to investigate, and that’s all I’m here to do. So, if you wouldn’t mind, I’d like to ask you a few questions.” Yusai recounted all the details of the night that he could remember to the officer, including the bizarre incidents that had taken place in the room they were locked in. It was here the officer had given him a firm-but-pleading glance, which halted Yusai’s story-telling. “That should be enough, thank you,” The officer said, finishing his jotting notes. “I just have one more question—Have you or your spouse taken any substances tonight? Alcohol, drugs, prescription medication?” “No?” Yusai answered, confused. But the question did make him think: the strange things he saw, Steals irratic behavior… What if at dinner, there was something put in their food, or drink? “… I mean, I could take a test, if you’d like…” Yusai said earnestly. The officer simply clacked his pen down under his thumb. “Don’t worry about it. You and the others will get samples taken later while we go investigate the facility. In the meantime, why don’t you just focus on getting some rest and taking it easy for the rest of the night?” Then Andrew’s was ambling for the door before Yusai could protest, and disappeared down the hall. Yusai looked over at Otto, and Otto returned his glance, the two silent for a moment before Otto spoke. “... That uh, sure does sound like some shit alright,” Otto said, baffled. “Seriously Yusai, what the hell happened? Shadows, strange sounds… And then you end up here? Are you SURE it wasn’t some kind of drug thing? The kid using drugs, and then spazzed? It’s happening more and more now. I mean, I know he’s a good kid, but stranger things have happened…” Yusai shook his head and turned away, exasperated by Otto’s insinuation. “It’s... Look, it’s not possible. I know Steal and I know he wouldn’t… Willingly… take any drugs or start beating me up for no reason. It was just… I don’t know,” Yusai shook his head, stammering to find the right words. “I’m telling you Otto, he was like a man possessed.” “Yeah, well, the fact of the matter is that he took a big bite out of you and messed up your face. You think maybe he’s got some underlying mental issues that are just starting to come up?” “No—Christ, I’m not a doctor! I don’t know!” “Calm down dickhead, I was just asking!” Otto barked, the two of them giving each other severe looks before collecting their sensibilities. Yusai took a deep breath and sighed. “Look Otto, I don’t know what happened back there, and I’m still tryin’ to make sense of it, okay? I don’t think Steal was hopped up on anything and I don’t think he’s gone mental. I don’t know what to think about anything that happened.” Otto nodded and sighed, too. “Right, right… And I mean, besides… The kid cares too much to do any of that.” He placed his palms together and rested his chin on the tips of his fingers, staring blankly ahead at nothing in particular. “Shit though… What does this all mean?” “I don’t know,” Yusai answered, staring ahead at nothing in particular himself, exhaustion starting to get the better of him again. His head was a mess of thoughts but none of them were coherent. He kept replaying the events of the night over in his head, and the officers questions. For some reason, his mind kept swirling around the possibility of being drugged. But, would the event hosts do that? They certainly could have, however, very illegally. The more Yusai contemplated the possibility, the dumber it sounded. But… In a way, he was desperate for it to be the truth. He wanted some other explanation for the strange and supernatural things he witnessed—thought he witnessed—because otherwise, the reality would be that he and Steal did have contact with some strange and terrible beings. Yusai was snapped out of his brief reverie when there was yet another knock on the frame of the door. This time, a nurse was standing there, wheeling behind her a cart with what looked like an oxygen mask with an accompanying difibulizer, and two tanks. “I’ve just come in to replace your oxygen, don’t worry,” She said, wheeling up to Yusai’s bedside and immediately throwing herself into the task of switching over supply units. Yusai hadn’t realized until now, but he had two plastic prongs stuck up his aching nose. And here he just thought the pressure on his face was from when Steal had punched him… “There, you’re all set mister Perupe,” The nurse said, clicking on the machine that was supplying him with oxygen. “Now, how are you feeling?” “Like garbage,” He answered, taking a few weak sniffs. “Why am I hooked up to this thing? I can breathe just fine.” The nurse gave him a strange look, as if he had asked the most stunning question of her career in nursing to date. “Uh, breathing wasn’t the big concern when you folks got brought here from that hotel. It was what you had all been breathing all night that put you here,” She said, and then placed her hand gently on Yusai’s shoulder. “You had all been breathing in carbon monoxide for several hours. It’s really a miracle that you’re all alright.” The information hit Yusai like a hammer on the head. Carbon monoxide? Good God. He only had a brushing familiarity with what it was and its subsequent affects it had on people, but he did know that it was something you shouldn’t be huffing for hours on end, and he knew that it could kill you. “You’re kidding!” Otto exclaimed for him in disbelief. “Carbon monoxide? It really IS a miracle nobody died over there!” He began to absently pat Yusai’s upper arm, the firm but ginger touch showing an undisclosed affection that would never be vocalized. The nurse nodded in agreement as she busied herself assembling some tools at Yusai’s bedside. “It sure is. Unfortunately for you and the others, you’ll have to spend a night or two here so we can monitor your condition. Now, lend me your arm…” She said, and Yusai obliged. She briefly explained she was going to draw blood and run some tests, and seamlessly slipped a needle into his elbow and took a small sample. After that, she placed the tiny vial into a tray, and seemed contented to leave. “I’m going to take these down to our lab for testing to see what your CO levels are. You and your friend can page a nurse any time with that button there if you have any trouble or need anything, okay?” She lifted a finger from the tray to point at a button on Yusai’s bed cradle. “Just take it easy!” And then, she was gone, too. Once again, Yusai and Otto shared a look, neither of them knowing how much their own faces were telegraphing a silent fear, yet thankfulness, to how circumstances from the night turned out, but seeing it plainly written on each others features. It was a weird moment of morbid silence they shared, until Otto broke the quiet. “… Guess that explains all the weird shit you saw.” He said, his mouth pulling sideways into a peculiar smirk. “Yeah, I guess…” Yusai replied quietly, simply absorbing it. “And I guess that explains why Steal went off on you, too. Although…” “Yeah…” Yusai said again, still quiet, but with an upward tone; In a way, he was a little glad that an explanation for all the weird things that happened tonight existed. Even if it meant being near-fatally poisoned… Otto paused for a length, and his face softened into something a little more serious. Yusai saw this change in expression and was curious. “What?” Otto shook his head gently, giving a little shrug. “I got a weird question. Did you ever… Did you give Steal your cross?” “My cross?” Yusai asked, baffled momentarily until he suddenly remembered what he was referring to. There was only one cross he ever had, and it was one he had parted with a long time ago, back when his friend Richard had died. He remembered it vividly and remorsefully; And shook the memory away before it could begin to fester in his mind. “…No, why?” Otto shrugged again, but he looked pensive. His eyes darted from Yusai’s, then straight ahead at the wall, and he sighed. “Just wondering how he got a hold of it, is all.” He said finally, and leaned back into his chair, attempting an air of non-chalant about his musings. This statement baffled Yusai. What did Otto mean? What was he talking about? How could Steal possibly have the cross he’d laid down on Richards’ gravesite… All the way back in Australia, no less? Otto had to be mistaken. And why was he even bringing this up? Whatever, Yusai thought decidedly, but sat up in his bed and swung his legs over the side. He took hold of the handle for the oxygen cart the nurse had rolled in, and started to make way for the door, his motions entirely automatic and his brain in this bizarre haze, as if he himself was the possessed one, now. “Hey, Yusai—Where are you going?” Otto called, sitting to stand. “Stay put you idiot, you’re not supposed to leave the room!” “Gotta piss,” Yusai said, lying. It was a fairly obvious lie too, since he just passed the door to the bathroom in his own room. Luckily, it didn’t seem as though Otto had noticed this, and settled himself back down in his chair, contenting himself with his phone for a minute. So, Steal was just down the hall, right? Yusai was glad to see that they were mostly empty at this time, save for a few nurses scurrying between rooms some length down the way. He wouldn’t have to worry about getting in trouble, or being coerced back into his room. He made his way down a length of doors, peering in to each one to see who inhabited each. A few faces he recognized—but only barely—as other patrons from the hotel. They were rigged up with oxygen units the same way that he was, although some looked more battered and bruised than he likely did. He had yet to look into a mirror to know what his condition was truly like. He was able to find Steals room in a short manner of time; he could tell by the slick of peppery, silver-grayish-white hair he saw tufted up on a pillowcase. Yusai entered his room to see the younger man looking miserable and tired. “Hey,” Yusai greeted him quietly, shuffling to stand by Steals bedside. “How you feelin’?” He felt stupid for asking, as he could see very plainly that Steal was not in the best condition. The area around his lips were swollen, and all around his nose and along the apples of his cheeks were bruised. Some of his hair had been parted and shaved aside to the right to allow for some stitches in the temple of his head. What was exposed of his arms were also covered in bruises and scratches as well. He stood there and listened to Steal recount his injuries, and he sounded very tired, very weak as he did. He tried to tell what had happened over the night, but like Yusai, seemed at a loss of words to properly talk about everything, and it was here that Yusai told him about the carbon monoxide leak in the building. “Don’t worry about what happened, ey? I know you didn’t mean it. Guess we aren’t the only ones who turned out the way we did, either,” Yusai said, placing his hands over Steals. “Don’t keep thinkin’ I’m angry about any of this, ‘k mate? I’m just glad we came out of everything alive.” Yusai leaned to sit on the edge of Steals bed, suddenly remembering what it was that had possessed him to visit Steal in the first place. He made himself comfy at Steals knee and spoke gently; “Oi… Steal… Otto told me you had something with you when we got escorted out of the hotel,” Yusai began, looking up at steal from under his blond fringe. “He said you had a particular cross with you. Could I see it?”
  7. The future is ours.. isn't it?

    Yusai still had the angel in his grip, his hand trembling with the wane of adrenaline in his body. He looked down at the unconscious man underneath him, and his stomach sank. Oh God, what had he done? Automatically, Yusai tried to gently shake Steal awake, a new fear taking over him: He knew he was stronger than Steal. He could’ve hit him harder than he thought and killed him. For the last time tonight, panic took the front seat of Yusai’s emotions and he started shaking Steal in an effort to rouse him. Then there was a rush of noise, like a violent wind in a tunnel. Yusai jerked his head to look behind him and saw nothing, but in returning his attention to Steal, he saw a huge, black, oily creature quickly slithering away from underneath the younger man’s head. Yusai gasped, and hurriedly pulled Steal upright and held him to his chest, watching in horror as the creature disappeared into the mess of toys, causing them to stir violently. There was another noise then, one that sounded like a thick cloth was being torn up. Yusai watched blankly—all rational thought having abandoned his head for the night—while toys and other debris from the room undulated for a moment, then stopped suddenly. Then, there was another loud crash that shook the entire room. Yusai closed his eye and buried his face in the nape of Steals shoulder, the noise having startled him, and he resided that he did not want to be witness to any other horrors that the evening had to offer. He just wanted everything to be done, for the night to end, for all of this mess to go away, and for Steal to wake up. The room had stopped shuddering, and silence had taken over once again. Yusai looked up and around at his surroundings; Toys were still strewn everywhere, and what appeared to be black skids that resembled scorch marks were now splattered throughout the room, centering around the middle of a dark, black ring where Yusai had seen the creature crawl last. And, there was a hole in the ceiling. That was new. Yusai didn’t dare move from his spot, far too afraid now, and also the pain he was feeling with his scrap with Steal was starting to creep back ten-fold. His face was numb and his hand was still bleeding, the searing pain was also beginning to migrate up the length of his arm. Still, in spite of this, he couldn’t help but worry about Steals condition. And then, as if by some miracle, Steal began to wake in his arms. “S..Steal? Are you alright?” Yusai asked, his voice strangely quiet. Steal took a minute to come to, but when he did, his eyes shot open wide with alarm, and he was squirming out from Yusai’s grip. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry! I’m so sorry!” Steal said, trembling, his bloody face suddenly wet again with tears. “It wasn’t me, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to—“ Yusai watched Steal distance himself against a wall and huddle into his knees. This was a reaction that seemed typical for the younger man, as much as Yusai hated seeing him like this. Instinctively, Yusai outstretched his good hand to Steal, though it quavered with the pain and adrenaline strumming through his own body. “It’s okay, it’s alright… I’m fine, I’m—“ He stammered to find words. “Steal, it’s alright, I know you didn’t mean it.” Yusai said finally, not sure what else he could say that would assure either of them that there would be no more horrors from here on out. He shuffled over to Steal on his knees, and slumped against the wall next to him, giving the younger man a cautious look. He wasn’t sure how to approach Steal right now, as he was pale and shivering in fear. He wasn’t even sure how to look at Steal either, as he wasn’t sure he wouldn’t lash out at him again. He wasn’t sure how to even talk to Steal, since Yusai was still in disbelief and shaken up by the events that had just transpired, and all of him felt like shutting down. In fact… He wasn’t so sure that the room wasn’t getting darker, or if he was just imagining it. And God, his hand hurt. His whole arm hurt, in fact. So did his head. He suddenly felt very heavy and like every ounce of energy in him was fading. Maybe he could take a rest, just a small one… “Hey, Steal,” Yusai said, his breath escaping him rapidly. “I think I’m… Gonna pass out,” And the last thing Yusai remembered doing that night was grabbing Steals hand and giving it a squeeze before everything went black. While he was out, Yusai thought he saw a small boy and a younger man that looked an awful lot like a late friend of his waving at him from the room. The younger man was holding the lion. Yusai didn’t know who the little boy was, but he had the angel statue he had hit Steal on the head with at his feet, and then it occurred to him that it must’ve been some kind of grave marker. Huh. Strange that he would be seeing his, but he didn’t question it. He waved back at them and watched them fade away into the spiraling nothingness around him. The sound of sirens and worried talking flooded into his ears briefly before he fell deeper into sleep. He could also hear Steal too, and wondered if he’d be okay.
  8. The future is ours.. isn't it?

    (double posted sorry)
  9. The future is ours.. isn't it?

    (To make up for about a week and a half... WORD SALAD) The lights suddenly flicked back on, and Yusai was momentarily stunned. He withdrew his hands from the door to felt them tingling and sore, the sides of his palms red and swollen from pounding so hard. His knees were buckling. He felt trickles of sweat beading down his back despite the room being on the cooler side. He was terrified—fine, physically, as far as he could tell—but he was trying to process the events that had just transpired and was not coming to any satisfactory conclusions. But then Steal approached, reminding Yusai of his previous worries that his friend had been in danger. He was glad to see that the younger man was unharmed and about, however, he himself was still caught up in his own adrenal rush and was not able to greet him with the same geniality. Which... Seemed odd, given the circumstances. For the time being, Yusai didn't give Steal's manner a second thought, as he was trying to bring himself down from the state of panic he had approached. He only half-heard what Steal had mentioned about the key, the door, but it was not a topic of immediate concern for him. He wanted his body to just calm down... For his hands to stop shaking, his knees to stop buckling, and he wanted to catch his breath. And now Steal was pressing up against him, crooning into his ear. For some reason, this did not bring Yusai any sense of comfort. In fact, something about Steal's unusually affectionate manner struck him as odd and alarming. As if reacting on instinct, Yusai brought his palm to Steal's chest and pushed him away, sending the young man tumbling backwards. “Stop it!” Yusai said sternly, eyeing Steal, “What are you doing? What's gotten into you?” There was a pregnant pause between them with Yusai staring Steal down, his look demanding an answer. But he didn't respond right away, and Yusai was having a difficult time discerning the look on Steal's face. His brow was knotted tight and his lips twisted in a horrific grimmace that Yusai had never seen on him before, and he wondered briefly if he had hurt him. Marshaling his reservations, Yusai slowly approached Steal, his hands raised in front of him placatingly. “Oi, hey, sorry... I didn't mean to hurt you, I just--” And then Yusai was interrupted, taken by surprise for the third time tonight when Steal suddenly looked up at him, his blue eyes a piercing, horrible visage, and then lunged at him, knocking Yusai onto his back into a pile of toys. This attack had taken him off guard completely. He was even more surprised at Steal's strength, which was disproportionately strong given his slim frame. He listened to the sickening growls and hissing coming from Steal's mouth and winced in pain as the younger man dug his fingernails into his shoulders, and dragged them down his chest. Yusai raised his elbow to Steal's neck and tried to push him away to free himself from the scuffle, but it was no use. “Aaoow! Steal! Stop it!” Yusai shouted as Steal, with his talon-like fingers, tore into him again, this time drawing shallow, bloody abbrasions along the side of his neck. Yusai, still with his forearm pressed into Steal's collar, tried to grab hold of Steal with his spare hand, but couldn't find his grip anywhere. He was like a wild animal. And he was beginning to attack like a rapid one, too. Now, Yusai found himself fighting back in earnest. He withdrew the arm from Steal's neck and reared his fist back, going in for a right hook, but missing when Steal dodged at the last minute. He retaliated by punching back, getting Yusai square in the nose, which immediately ruptured into a bloody mess. Yusai was stunned, but only for a second. Automatically, he responded by grabbing Steal by the cuff of his shirt and drawing his head down, raising up his own to give him a head-butt, and returned the bloody nose. This action somehow seemed to amuse Steal more than anything, however, if the wicked grin plastered on his face was any indication. Yusai threw his weight to the side and was able to send Steal tumbling off of him, and before he could get up to attack, Yusai was on him, pinning his legs to the ground. Then their arms were a scuffle again, an aimless mess of punches and scratching and grabbing until Yusai felt a hot, seering pain shoot up from his hand, Steal's teeth having found a grip there. He wailed in agony. “Aaah! Let go—STEAL, LET GO!” Yusai hollared, feebly attempting to prise his hand from the younger mans jaw. But it was useless—any attempt Yusai made to wriggle his hand free just made Steals jaw clench tighter around the muscle there. He tried to pull his jaws open with his spare hand, but to no avail, as Steal just grabbed with his free arm and dug his fingers into the soft flesh around Yusai's elbow, making him hiss in further pain. God, what was happening? Yusai couldn't make any sense of it. What had he done to prompt this fight with Steal? Why was Steal acting this way? He was in pain, he was frightened, and he was angry all in one. This whole night was a total mess and it wasn't at all what Yusai had come into it expecting. He wanted this to be over. He wanted to wake up and find out that this was all some kind of stupid dream, and that the horrible cat had been tearing him up in his sleep. But, there was no denying this pain, and there was no denying that this was real. There was no denying the sinister look in Steal's eyes as he was drawing blood from Yusai's hand like a vampire. It was an awful look that Yusai had never seen in Steal's eyes before. It was unnatural and out of place. He could've sworn he was looking at a completely different person, even... Like some kind of creature had crawled into Steal's body and was running the show. Not that Yusai really placed stock in that sort of thing—demons, posession, and other spiritual nonsense of the like were all things Yusai had abandoned shortly after his friend had passed—but he couldn't help but feel a slight twinge of doubt that he had been wrong about this all his life. What a revelation to come to now, though. And to what use? Yusai was the furthest thing from a holy man. It wasn't as if he could perform an exorcism on his friend. It wasn't as if he knew any spells or incantations to ward away spirits. These were all ridiculous scenarios Yusai mulled about in his head and... God, his hand hurt... All of him did. The pain was all he could focus on right now. Yusai could feel his body starting to submit to the pain almost completely now, and his struggle to free himself was becoming more feeble. But then he heard something, the sound of a familiar voice, speaking to him in a strange and soft whisper, “Look over there... The angel!” He looked up and around frantically, wondering where the voice had come from first, seeking out this angel second. Was there another supernatural being in the room he had failed to address before now? No... That would've been silly. There was, however, in plain sight and sitting just in Yusai's reach, another angel statue, similar to the one he had found not long ago, but this one in pristine shape. In fact, it was the only non-worn and un-battered looking item in the entire room. Strange how he hadn't seen it around before—and he certainly would've noticed it earlier, as it was practically irredecent—but Yusai didn't think about it too much. He made a quick swipe for the statue and in a similar quick movement, did the only thing he could think to do with it: He hit Steal in the head, and knocked him out cold.
  10. The future is ours.. isn't it?

    Yusai cupped the angel in his palms, examining the crack to see what was inside. Steal was right; there did appear to be something lodged inside the figurine. Without a moments hesitation, Yusai took the statue between his hands and squeezed what he could of his fingers between the crack, and pulled it open. There was initial resistance, then suddenly, the angel split wide open with a loud crunch. The key that had been inside tumbled just outside of his reach, and somewhere into the mess on the floor. “Ah, hell—“ Yusai groaned, lamenting his carelessness. “I’m sorry. Lemme dig for it, it shouldn’t have fallen far.” He bent to his knees and began rummaging through the small pile of toys there, still cursing at himself, and starting to wish that this was all over. Slipping his hands under a small pile of stuffed animals, Yusai felt the cool brush of steel against his fingertips. Aha, that must be the key, he figured, and began to wrap his fingers around it. As he did, he felt a peculiar sensation run up the backside of his hand. It was as if someone were running their own hands up the length of his. Instinctively, Yusai recoiled, examining his hand quickly to see if maybe a bug or something of that nature was crawling up it. He couldn’t see anything… But… He was so sure he felt something… He reached down and slapped away the pile of toys, revealing nothing more but the key that had been underneath. He grabbed it, but not before giving the toys he removed to see if there was some kind of thing that would’ve created the sensation. There was nothing but soft plush all around. “H… Huh.” Yusai hummed, rising to stand quickly in a manner that betrayed his sense of alarm more than he thought. He gave Steal a soft pat on his back, and brandished the key. “Found it. I’ll go try the door and see if it unlocks the bugger.” He patted Steal again, and trudged his way to the entrance, examining the frame to see where the keyhole was. Well, he found a key hole. Whether or not the key he was holding opened it was another story. The lock on the door looked slightly different in shape than the key in his hands, but, he’d try it anyways just to make sure. He was just beginning to insert the key when he heard Steal yelp again, and startled, Yusai turned to face him, only as he did, the lights suddenly went out. What happened then was anyone’s guess. Yusai had pinned his back to the door and was trying to make out any shape as he could in the darkness. He called out Steals name and heard him whimper back in return. Then there was a thud, a laugh, another yelp, and then Yusai felt something at his feet wrap itself around his ankle. He tried to shake it off, but whatever it was felt heavy—cold too. The sensation bled through the fabric of his jeans and made the skin underneath break into goosebumps. He tried to shake his leg again, but now he couldn’t even lift his foot off the ground, and Yusai bent down to grab at whatever had him pinned down. There was another clatter, and Yusai could hear Steal’s panicked breathing somewhere in the middle of the room. There was the sound of scuffling, and then a sudden creak. Yusai called out to Steal again, a short breathed “I’m here, I’m here!” being the only affirmation that Steal was still in the room and not in danger. Yusai tried to move again, but to no avail. “Steal—are you alright? Can you see anything? I can’t bloody move!” Yusai said, struggling against the weight with all his strength. His question was interrupted, however, by loud notes being struck on a piano—the funeral march—and then there was a deafening “CRACK”, almost as if lightening had struck down in the room. This time Yusai screamed, for one of his fears had come to surface. He fell back against the door, his fists banging backwards against it in a vain attempt to break it down or anything, but it was useless. He couldn’t get enough momentum, couldn’t get his bearings in the position he was in, and now… He was starting to panic.
  11. The future is ours.. isn't it?

    They were both sorting through piles of toys for a while, Yusai’s thoughts idling on the task of finding a lock, and nothing more. It felt as though he had been sifting through things forever until he heard Steal cheer from behind him. He leaned himself upright and turned to face an exuberant Steal, who leapt at him excitedly—nearly toppling him backwards—and planted a kiss on his lips. It wasn’t the first time Steal had expressed his glee in this particular fashion. In fact, it was something Yusai had grown quite used to by now. And strangely enough, it was something that had never really bothered him. It had confused him the first couple of times, sure, but he always figured Steal was just the kind of person who was raised to show his happiness that way. Yusai had done some traveling across the world when he was younger, and could recall some of the social customs in Italy and France that were similar. Although maybe not full-on mouth-to-mouth… Still, he didn’t mind. Secretly, he enjoyed it. Steal placed both key and box into Yusai’s hands, and parted from him to take a look around the room again, with instructions to open the box. “Ah, alright then…” He obliged, fumbling with the box and key in hand. He was a little distracted however, because Steal was investigating the hole in the wall again and said something about hearing a noise. Any noise that could be heard in the room was apparent when present, because otherwise, it was deathly quiet. And, besides Steal’s occasional questioning, Yusai couldn’t hear a thing. He figured whatever it was Steal was hearing was part of the nights events, however, so he didn’t place much stock in its importance. “They probably got a speaker lodged in there makin’ noise. Or maybe they trained those snakes to talk—You know, like they did in that Harry Potter kid movie.” Yusai said, giving Steal one of his grins he wears when he knows he said something stupid. Steal didn’t seem convinced, though, nor did he seem relieved. Instead, Steal wandered back to where he had been standing, and huddled close by Yusai’s side. Ah, no more jokes, then. Yusai thought to himself, then went to the task of opening up the music… toy… Whatever box he was holding in his hands, was. The key slid in easily enough, and Yusai gave it a quick crank. The lid of the box gently popped up, but not open, and Yusai hesitantly pulled it up to have a look inside. Thankfully, nothing sprung out or was crawling around, but that was a small relief compared to the actual contents inside. It took Yusai a moment to figure out what he was looking at, because they were shapes he was not familiar seeing without their bodies attached. A dozen or so black, petrified, diamond-shaped, scaly snake heads littered the interior of the music box, which was now playing a slow, disjointed melody. Yusai shuddered. The crew upstairs were now having a hard time keeping focus to any one group, as each of the guests were beginning to discover new clues and set off the surprises they laid out. The couple that had been placed in the basement were now working their way up and out, which of course lead to more spooks and other traps of the like, much to their dismay. One of the other couples had been placed in a room adjacent to Steal and Yusai’s residence, and were in the midst of their own creepy puzzle involving detangling a large rat king, which was wrapped around another dire clue. The husband was desperately gagging and the wife was doing her best to keep color in her face. They were glued to the screens while simultaneously too distracted to notice particulars of what was going on, between all the radio-relay they were doing with the hired specters. But, if anyone had been paying attention, they would’ve been able to see a brief flicker of a childs face, and a bigger shadowy figure behind him, smiling mischieviously. Although it grossed him out to have to do it, Yusai knew he needed to reach into the box and grab for their next clue that he saw inside. Atleast, that’s what he thought he had to do. A smarter man would’ve simply dumped the contents of the box out and sorted through the mess to get to the puzzle piece that way—and Steal started to say as much as he was reaching in—but the realization came too slow, and Yusai was already palm-deep in the box of snake heads with a knot in his stomach. He grabbed for the piece of paper that was buried underneath, and then promptly tossed the box aside. “Alright, let’s get on with this…” He mumbled, wiping his hand along the side of his pants, and unfolding the scrap of paper with his other hand. Again, it was another childs drawing. The picture itself looked vaguely familiar, and after a minute, Yusai figured out that he was looking at some crudely-drawn musical notes. “Oi, Steal, you can read this, right? What’s the tune?”
  12. The future is ours.. isn't it?

    Steals ingenuity was a godsend, because there was no way in hell Yusai had any intention of jamming his arm into a mystery hole in the wall. He watched Steal take the arm of a nearby doll and attempt to reach into the hole at whatever was inside. To his surprise, Yusai heard a familiar “hissing” noise that he could only chock up to snakes, which seemed a bit alarming that the hosts would stick something so dangerous into a game. Thankfully, Steal soon discovered that they weren’t real. Or atleast, they weren’t harmful. However, Steal’s clever idea to use the doll arm as a grabbing apparatus was futile. “Ah, that’s a real bint.” Yusai said, cocking his neck to the side to stretch. “Do they honestly expect us to go reachin’ in and—oi!” He anxiously watched as Steal jammed his arm into the hole and went fishing for what was inside himself. Although, he had to admit, he admired his bravery in the moment. Yusai knew from experience that reaching into dark, strange holes never often lead to anything good. He brushed aside memories flitting in his head of mishappenings in his youth, involving sticking his arms in crevices outside his home in Australia, only to have upset a nest of mice… Or moles… Or snakes… Or spiders, all in the name of retrieving lost toys. The toys he lost often remained that way. During his brief reverie, Steal made a discovery; There was something inside the wall, perhaps a clue? Yusai watched Steal attempt to retrieve it, only then to turn to him with a peculiar look and say, “I can’t get my arm out. It’s stuck.” Yusai’s lips tersed. “Well, that’s no good. Here, lemme just…” He took a firm hold of what he could of Steals arm, which was just above his elbow and up, gave the flesh there a little squeeze, and tried to prise him out. No avail. Steals arm barely moved an inch before it felt like it was being tugged back, or maybe it was just resistance? He doubled back, this time stabling one hand on Steals shoulder, and the other around his arm. “Try to tug back with me, alright? Not too hard…” And, after a pause, they both pulled. This time, it seemed as though Steal’s arm was just starting to slide out… But then he AND Steal were caught off-guard, when his whole arm suddenly plunged back into the hole, up to his shoulder, the two of them yielding bonks on the head as they collided with the wall. “Hey!” Yusai called in frustration, giving the wall a pound with his fist. “What the hell is going on here!” But there was no reply. Although, he could’ve sworn he heard a child laugh from somewhere… “Bugger this,” He said in a somewhat severe tone. “Steal, mind your head a sec.” And after that short warning, Yusai reared his fist back and punched at the wall just around the opening where Steals arm was stuck. The wall only cracked a smidge, but as soon as it did, Steal went tumbling onto his back, as if released from a great force. ---------------------------- “What’s going on in there?” One of the crewmen asked, peering over the camera monitors shoulder and pointing to one of the screens that featured Yusai and Steals room. The monitor shrugged, his eyebrows raised and mouth slung to a gawk. “I don’t know… The kid got his arm stuck somehow and that big guy tried to put another hole in the wall.” “Does that count as property damage? Will that come out of our pockets?” One of the other crew members piped in jokingly. The monitor gave him sideways look, shaking his head slowly. “… Anyway, forget those guys. Check out the feed from the basement. I told you that red-head chick was a total psycho.” He brought up feed from the basement, which was in nightvision. On the screen was the red-head and her boyfriend, both trying desperately to pull the hatch out of a rusty lock that was connecting a set of chains, which of course was draped across a door that they needed access to. The woman, between struggling, reared her head back every now and then to release a shriek of frustration. The boyfriend just kept his head down and continued to work at the lock, the sheen of sweat on his body collecting. “…Who would’ve guessed she was claustrophobic? Were there any bets on that?” ----------------------------- Meanwhile, Yusai and Steal had collected themselves, and were ready to move on with their next bit of the puzzle. In a trembling, weak hand, Steal held a ragged pouch containing a key. Between the two of them, they were in the process of trying to figure out where the key went to, since there were no obvious doors around outside the one they came in from, and it wouldn’t open with the key that they had. “Agh… Maybe it doesn’t even go to a bloody door.” Yusai growled, smearing one hand across his eye. “I’ll bet it goes to one of these toys in this bog of junk.” He grunted again, admittedly growing tired of the search for clues. He was growing increasingly irate the longer the events of the night went on, and he was also starting to feel stupid; He was sure that the other participants had figured out the mystery of their rooms or whatever, and were well ahead the both of them while all they managed to accomplish was find a ragged key in the wall. Still, he went with his intuition and silently began trudging through the mess of toys, looking for anything that bore a lock. Steal was beside him doing the same, occasionally nursing his arm, which was starting to develop bruises. Yusai took a glance at him, his arm, and told himself that the next time there was something to be done, he’d be the one doing it.
  13. The future is ours.. isn't it?

    Yusai shook his distractions away and was suddenly alert, and sprinted to Steals side to make sure that he was okay. He was. Startled, but fine. Yusai gave him a gentle pat on the back and allowed a weary grin to pass over his face. "Guess this is all part of the spookiness. They'll have to do better than stack a bunch of toys over to get us to scare." Yusai said, although a part of him was beginning to feel a little doubtful about their combined ability to stay composed. Steal had pulled out the sheet of paper again and was reading. In the meantime, Yusai had preoccupied himself with doing some more inspecting of the room, looking for anything that even resembled a clue or... Whatever it was they needed to get out of this room, complete this game. Not being entirely sure what the goal was for this event, Yusai was not particularly hopeful that they'd succeed in winning, even if he had been assuring Steal that they would. In his slow, leering trek through the room, Yusai saw buried under a bundle of paper with crude crayon with gruesome depictions of violence an object that shimmered in a familiar way, though blotted and mottled in the dim light in the room. He reached for it, unveiling the object and knocking over the stack of papers, and in his hands he held a bottle. Huh. It was an old liquor bottle, the label reading "Hopps Scotch". For once in his life, Yusai had a moment of instant clarity, and he turned to Steal, holding the bottle up to show him. "Oi! I think I found a clue!" he proclaimed, giving the bottle a shake. He paused when he heard a sound from inside the bottle, and he turned it over in his hand to examine it further. There was something wedged inside. Another clue, maybe? Yusai wasted no time in satiating his curiosity and opened the bottle, giving it a few shakes to dislodge the thing inside. A tightly wrapped piece of paper slid out, and when Steal came to his side, he turned it over to him so he could unwrap it. Yusai eyed him curiously to see what was on the new sheet of paper, and was mildly confused to see what was drawn on there. It wasn't as though the picture was of anything especially weird, or hideous, or scary. It was however, poorly drawn. A childs drawing. It was virtually impossible for Yusai to decipher what it was, but admittedly, Yusai didn't exactly have an eye for art. To him, the picture was a confusing mess of paisley patterns with a large, black hole in the middle, with a scribbled red outline surrounding that hole. It didn't make much sense. Yusai scratched his head. "... What do you think it means, Steal?" he asked quietly--but suddenly he heard a loud, rasping gasp, followed by a gurgling exhale come from somewhere in the room, somewhere among the toys, and darting his head to look around, he couldn't see anything that looked to be... alive that would've made the noise... But then it came again. And this time Yusai tried to follow where the noise was coming from. ----------------------------------- "He found that clue pretty quick!" One of the men in the control room said, smirking. "You think they'll figure out what to do next?" "Maybe. But I tell ya, it'll be fun to see which one of them goes sticking their hand inside the hole." Another man responded, giving the first man a knowing glance. "Speaking of--how many of those phony coiling snakes we got in there?" "I think 6. Fuckers take like 4 triple-a's a piece..." One of the men chuckled. "Yeah, but it's worth it. I think we'll get some good footage from their reactions." ----------------------------------- After some more searching, Yusai was able to pinpoint the location of the sound. There was a large, life-sized doll against a darker section of the room where the noise seemed to be eminating from. He had to admit, it was a little creepy; the juxtaposition of the doll sitting lifeless while emitting this ugly noise was unsettling. He kneeled down and cautiously grabbed the doll by the shoulders, pulling it upright from the wall. Its half-lidded eyes shot open and its mouth clacked wildly, and instinctively, Yusai gasped in alarm and tossed it aside. It clattered to the floor, and the noise it had previously been making stopped. "Bloody hell..." Yusai breathed, looking at Steal, "... I'll be honest, that got me a little!" He said, smirking. His smirk faded away though, as he saw Steals eyes trailing down somewhere behind him, and Yusai turned back to where he'd been previously looking. Oh... Paisley wallpaper there was cracked and torn around a fist-sized, pitch-black hole...
  14. The future is ours.. isn't it?

    After being roused from his all-too-brief nap, Yusai and Steal were instructed to meet in the hotel dining room to have dinner. Yusai groggily obliged to the invitation, and when seated with a plate, soupily ate what was in front of him while the familiar entertainers of the hotel gave them some more details about the nights events. They said there was to be some sort of “ghost hunt”, and that each group would be stationed inside a room. While the bug-eyed woman in pink talked, Teddy silently handed out papers to each group. Steal had taken the sheet and leaned to Yusai to show him what was written on it, and from a cursory glance, Yusai gathered that there was a scavenger-hunt element to these rooms, tied in with a mystery. He supposed everything would start to make more sense when they were actually playing. Which, after their dinner, they were unceremoniously told to get into their pairs, and were then escorted to their respective rooms. Teddy had wordlessly-but-courteously let Yusai and Steal into a small, dim room filled to the brim with toys in varying states of decay, shut, and then locked the door behind them. It was oddly quiet. Yusai hadn’t realized how much ambient noise and other things he had been taking for granted outside of this room until Teddy shut the door. He looked down at Steal, who looked nervous, but was tentatively scanning the sheet of paper in his hands. Yusai leaned in for a more in-depth look himself. Find Your Inner Child… The first sentence in the sheet read. Remember all the games you used to play? Hop-scotch. Jacks. Ring-around-the-rosie. When did the playing stop, and your inner child disappear? Take yourself back, and remember the days... Come back and play... Yusai looked down at Steal, trying to decipher the look on his face, and seeing his own mood reflected there. Which was to say, he looked confused. But, wanting to keep the appearance of a man who knew what he was doing up, Yusai gave a long stroke to his neck and said, "Well, alright then. 'Spose we ought to... Start lookin' for our inner child, I guess." Then he scouted the room, his eye dancing over the mess of toys and childrens furniture littering the space. He walked over to a row of baby dolls, all of which were dingy, grody, and obviously defective in some way. Missing eyeballs, lower jaws, patches of hair, limbs... Yusai then looked over in the corner of the room to see a pile of stuffed animals, all of them in a similar condition. One stuffed animal in particular made him start a little, and it wasn't because anything about it was especially frightening. It was because he recognized it, in a distant memory somewhere in the back of his head, beginning to re-surface. He walked over to the doll, an orange lion with a multi-color mane, and picked it up to stare into its scratched up, beady eyes. "Huh... Never thought I'd see one of these guys again," Yusai said quietly, turning the doll in his hands. "Man, these were real popular back in Aus when I was a kid. I think I had the lizard. Rich--" Yusai stopped himself, having suddenly remembered where he had seen this brand of doll now. He remembered the countless afternoons he spent over at his friends house, hanging out in his room, watching television, listening to the radio, reading books and magazines... He could remember the details of his friends room so vividly then, and strangely, he felt gutted as he held onto this doll and stared at it. Not only were those boyhood days long over, but all Yusai had of them now were memories. And those memories would only ever exist in his head, because the only person he could ever share those memories with or reminisce about had been dead for several years. The thought of which was always a very sobering, miserable, numbing reminder. Putting the doll back into the pile, Yusai quieted his breath and said simply, "... He had this one." Then began his scouting throughout the room once more in an attempt to distract himself from the thought of his late friend. In his distracted state, Yusai's observational skills were not the keenest, so he didn't even notice one of the piles of toys shift on its own around him until he heard a distinct crash, and Steal yelp in alarm.
  15. The future is ours.. isn't it?

    Yusai was unconcerned with the specters of the hotel, for as far as he could wager, all of this was pre-arranged, a game, a manufactured night of cheap thrills. He yawned and turned back onto his stomach, his ears catching only snippets of Steals conversation and his eye catching the sight of Steal fighting the same battle he was, which was against sleep. And it was a difficult fight; Yusai eventually succumbed to it, reassuring himself that he would just rest his eye for a minute… Just a minute… Meanwhile, outside of their room, two more guests had arrived and gone through the process of signing themselves in and meeting the fellow spooks who had arranged the event. They were also given their own rooms to call their own for the night. They had all settled in, unaware of what the night had in store but each of them eager to see where the events would lead. While they had been getting themselves settled into their rooms, the hotel staff was in a tizz. Costumed men and women were scuttling around, hiding cameras, microphones and wires wherever they could be obscured. Some of the men and women themselves were finding places to tuck themselves away in. Two hours later, and they would have quite the show to put on for all of their guests. Upstairs, in a room inaccessible to the guests, a group of 4 men were seated around a row of monitors that were hooked up and playing what looked like surveilence footage. In some of the screen feedback, actors and actresses could be seen positioning the cameras. One man sporting an ear-piece would occasionally press a small button mic to his chin and instruct the actors to move the camera elsewhere, while one of the men who was in control of the camera relay would signal a thumbs-up when he deemed the visual feed acceptable. “Are we about ready? It’s almost nine.” One of the men asked, looking up at the man sporting the earpiece and microphone and waiting for his instruction. “Just about. I think we’ve got most of the camera’s where we need them to be, right Andrew?” Andrew, still hunched forward an observing the camera feed, nodded. “More or less…” He said quietly. “Some of these areas are so dark, though. It’ll be hard to catch any good footage in some of these feeds…” His hands skimmed the surface of a keyboard, pressing a key and sifting through some especially dark camera feed. “The only way you could tell anyone was there would be if they had their face right up against the lens.” He said, clicking through the cycle of cameras still. “Eh, I think that’s as good as it’ll get. If we put them anywhere else, they’ll be too obvious. I don’t want anybody to know what rooms they’re going to be filmed in. I want all the reactions to be as genuine and real as possible.” The first man replied with a cross of his arms over his broad chest. “Man… Who do you think we’re gonna see cry first?” One of the other men piped in, the blue glow from the monitors illuminating his smirk. “I’m putting bets on that chunky red-head.” One of them chuckled. “Oh, that chick? Nah, no way. You see the crazy eyes on her? She’s seen some shit. Probably worse things than a bunch of people in costumes, bangin’ on the walls.” This man paused for a moment to ponder, skimming his fingers through his short hair, and saying finally, “Nah, if I had to place bets, I’m betting it’ll be that one-eyed guys boyfriend. The twink.” They all chuckled then in agreement, one of them composing themselves sooner than the rest of the group. “Look, look, look... Just because he’s a twink doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a little bitch. He could be, you know, one of those power-bottoms, or whatever—“ “You’d know, queer,” Andrew piped in jocularly, giving the speaking man beside him a sideways look. “You’re damn right I’d know. That kid has power bottom written all over him—“ The room started to laugh, and he too, as they all knew he was getting ready to spin some ludicrous scenario out as he often did, “—It’ll be his big bear boyfriend that’ll be sobbing in a corner, and just when you least expect it... WOOSH, that kid will come storming in with assless leather chaps--" "Why do they have to be ass-less?" "--Ass-less leather chaps," he continued, "Riding crop, the WORKS, and we'll just watch the footage of him giving his boyfriend a savage beating out of hysterics. Mark my words! I'm taking bets here!" The conversation continued on in a similar fashion until the man baring the earpiece held up his hand, bringing everyone to quiet. He held the pause for a moment, then spoke quietly, "Right, okay, make the announcement to everybody." He looked up around the room at expectant expressions, and smiled in return. "Well guys, it's nine-o-clock. We're ready to roll!"
  16. The future is ours.. isn't it?

    Yusai had expected some kind of monster or some other equally spooky creature to come popping out of the door when it opened, but he was instead surprised to see that there was a room before them and nothing of any overt threat coming their way. It was a relief. Sort of. Steal was the first to enter, and Yusai stepped into the room behind him, only hearing the tail-end of instructions from Teddy before the door creaked to close. He paid him no mind for the time being, and instead devoted his attention to the large, but ever-so-inviting bed in the middle of the room. Suddenly Yusai felt as if all his limbs weight a thousand tons and the only relief to be had was to throw himself onto the mattress and be dead to the world. Steal had already made himself comfy on it, so Yusai followed suit; Allowing their napsack of nightlies to sag off his shoulder onto the floor, Yusai trudged to the edge of the bed and flopped face-down into its velvety--although mothball-stinking--cushion. "Oi... Forget all this Halloween stuff. Let's just crash for the night, ey?" Yusai protested, half serious because damn, was the day really starting to catch up with him. Maybe laying down was a mistake... "Are we supposed to use that thing?" He heard Steal ask beside him, and prising his face up from the mattress, Yusai turned to look where Steal had been pointing. He saw a small side-table with a board on it, and piece of wood with a lens stuck in the middle. Yusai was familiar with the game, but the name of it was escaping him at the moment; it was some silly thing teenage girls used to talk to the dead, or some stupid thing. It was all a lot of nonsense as far as he was concerned. "I don't suppose we have to," Yusai said, resting his head on his forearms. "We don't have to do anything if we don't want. In fact, let's sleep through the night. In protest. Fuck the spooks, you dig?" Yusai extended an arm out and slung it over Steal's torso, essentially pinning him down to the bed at the middle so he couldn't sit up. He smiled at the small hint of protest from him, but only redoubled his effort to keep Steal where he was. "Oi! Stop movin', ain't you ever sleep-protested before? You're the worst at this!" He could keep at this indefinitely, but he didn't want to tread that fine line between play and being a genuine annoyance, so he let up after a minute or two and grinned in repletion, satisfied he was able to get in a small amount of teasing for the day. "I'm just kiddin'... I'll stay up for this." Yusai said with a long breath. "Besides, the competition is showin' up. And you know what those teams are gonna have that we don't? Gals. And gals are always scared of everything." He turned on his side and gave Steal a look, something of a cocky expression, if he could see himself in a mirror. "If this is a contest about not bein' scared of things, I think we got this down-pat." Of course, Yusai could only talk themselves up so much: He had no idea what the hotel staff was planning or what the rest of the night was going to entail, but he was going to do his best to put on as much bravado as he could, if it meant assuring Steal that he could count on him for support.
  17. The future is ours.. isn't it?

    Yusai was just finishing signing his name when he noticed that the large man beyond the counter had suddenly disappeared from his peripheral view. There was then commotion behind him, and Yusai turned to see more guests entering the lobby. Ah, good, so he and Steal wouldn’t be the only stooges getting frightened this evening, he thought with some gladness. He took a moment to glance over their company for the night. It was a man about Yusai’s age, and about as tall as he was, too. He was hazel-eyed, brown-haired, broad-chinned and broad-shouldered. Looked something of an outdoorsy type, Yusai thought, and if his attire was anything to go by, he must be very into hiking. He donned a very-well-worn pair of rugged hiking boots, and dangling around his neck, tucked into the cuff of his collar, was a small compass. His girlfriend on the other hand, Yusai couldn’t tell a thing about her other than that she was as plain and non-descript in appearance as the majority of women he’d ever come to known. Her eyes were dark brown, and her bottled-red hair was tied back in a messy bun. That was about all he took away from her. Yusai turned back to face his own companion for the night, only to find that Steal had disappeared. He looked around the room frantically, suspecting one of the hotel staff had snuck him off somewhere as part of the nights festivities, but was immediately put to ease when he caught the sight of Steal peering around the corner of the hallway. Was he talking to somebody? Yusai simply peered curiously and watched what his friend was up to. Steal appeared confused, then startled when Theodore came around the corner and bumped into him. He watched Steal fumble and stammer and Theodore simply continue on with his dry act. The poor guy--Steal, that is. Yusai knew how easy it could be sometimes to fluster him. And truthfully, Yusai occasionally went out of his way to get a rise out of Steal on purpose, just to see him react...The way his brilliant blue eyes get big, the way he'll fidget with his hands, or bite his lip, or the times where maybe he's enjoying the tease a little bit more than he lets on, and he tries to scowl over a smile. It was cute. Of course, Yusai would never admit that thought to himself. This was also not an occasion to take any delight in, either. He had to go an rescue the poor guy before any real spookiness was allowed to happen. Shrugging the tote bag of their nightlies onto his back, Yusai approached Steal and Teddy to dispel their conversation, and asked, "When do we check into our room?" Theodore's glazed eye never met his while he delivered his answer. "I will show you to yours now... If that's what you wish..." Then, without another word, turned away from the two and began an unceremonious march toward a hallway, where only a few lights had been lit, while the remainder were turned off, leaving the hallway to fade into an ominous, creeping darkness. Yusai followed closely behind, extending a hand behind him so Steal could grab on for guidance, if he liked. He hoped they wouldn't have to do too much wandering around in the dark. Not because he was afraid of the dark or anything silly like that, but Yusai was concerned about how well he'd get around in the dark with just one eye and in his current stiff, exhausted disposition, which made him prone to being a bit clumsy when his reflexes were otherwise keen. He'd be relying on Steal some tonight, he figured. Suddenly Yusai found himself nearly tripping over the heels of the butler, for he stopped dead in his tracks just outside a door with the number "128" just barely illuminated by the light from the dim, grimy sconce on the wall. There were some other markings on the door that Yusai could just barely make out (they looked like scratch marks, from what he could tell) but he didn't pay much mind to the appearance of the interior of this place. Half because it was difficult for him to. One peculiarity he did notice though was a low, rumbling sound--like a construction vehicle idling in the distance--eminating from somewhere down the hall, and he wondered briefly if that was a noise planned to be part of the evening, and if so, if it would be something he'd have to listen to all night. Boy, he was starting to think a lot about sleep now, he thought with a crick of his neck. The butler wordlessly unlocked the door, and pressed it inward. It let out an agonizing, low creak and opened to an even deeper pit of blackness. Theodore, of course, made no effort to illuminate the room, or invite them in. Instead, he stepped aside, and gave a bow to allow Yusai and Steal to enter at their own discretion. Already Yusai could smell a trap ahead, but he wasn't entirely sure what was in store... With an inhale of breath, he took a step forward into the room, and waited for whatever it was to come, to come.
  18. The future is ours.. isn't it?

    Yusai should've predicted the response he'd get from Steal. He could always tell when the other man was trying to conceal his real feelings, because he'd always try to mask them with a smile. The first few times he'd seen that smile, Yusai had been fooled into thinking things really were okay with Steal. However, during the time they lived together, and the more Yusai found himself in Steals company, he grew to knew these little nuances. But, he wouldn't pursue him with any further questions. Yusai also knew when to stop pressing Steal for details, especially if he had an inclination that he was not so willing to talk about them. Yusai simply tersed his lips and nodded, following in Steals footsteps to exit the car, and enter the motel. They were soon in the lobby, being greeted by the evenings characters; A woman in a tattered, faded pink-and-black outfit that somewhat resembled Jacqueline Kennedy's iconic "assasination" suit approached them, reaching out for Steals hand and shaking it gently between delicate gloved hands. She and Steal briefly conversed while Yusai's eye wandered around the room. Surprisingly, the place was (slightly) better shape than he had come to anticipate when he had initially seen the outside. The interior structure was atleast solid and in-tact, and the only real problems the place appeared to suffer was cosmetic damage (Which, Yusai supposed added to the charm of a haunted hotel theme) At the very least, Yusai could rest just a little bit easier knowing that he wouldn't have to worry about the roof collapsing over their heads while they stayed the night. As for the spooks, though... Well. The night would simply have to play out. Shaking his head back to awareness, Yusai was coming out of his reverie just in time to catch the attention of another "specter", whom was an older gentleman sporting an unusually clean and pressed tuxedo, and, to Yusai's strange delight, an eye patch. It wasn't often he saw other person with the same visual impairment he had--or in Yusai's case, simply missing an eye-- so to see someone sharing his likeness made Yusai smirk inwardly, having mentally forged an immediate kinship with this stranger (He'd be happy if he turned out to be Australian too, but he wasn't about to get his hopes up.) The older man approached Yusai, dipping to bow and saying in a rather stiff, dull tone, "Good evening, gentlemen." He rose, his one good eye looking past the two men. "You are the first of tonight's guests. Allow me to introduce myself: I am Theodore, and I will be your personal... Attendant," He lingered on each word, selling his character as the lifeless, creepy butler pretty well, Yusai thought. Atleast, he was impressed. " 'Ello Teddy," Yusai responded in good nature, holding out his hand. "I'm Yusai, and this guy right here is Steal." He clapped his other arm around Steals shoulder, and drew him abreast. He drew his hand back when he realized that Theodore was not going to indulge his jocularity, and pat Steal gently on the chest instead with it, going on to say "We're real chuffed to be here tonight!" However, it was dawning on him that the tone he was striking had little effect on the mood of the room. He knew the attendants were just playing their parts--and they were doing a fine job so far--but poor Steal... The guy probably needed to feel more like he had a supportive friend, rather than a big lummox being a goof, not taking any of this seriously. Yusai made a mental note to tone himself down a little, and let the evening run its natural course. He cleared his throat, and the smile that had come across his face before. "So, uh, when do things start around here?" he asked, his eye darting between Teddy, and the wide-eyed woman in pink. "Oh! Shortly," The woman said, as if surprised by her own voice. "You can sign-in at the desk in the meantime... Yes." Yusai turned to look at Steal, and gave him a contented look as if to say, "Well, alright," and sauntered over to the dimly lit, empty desk in the center of the lobby. On the edge of the dusty counter, he spotted an open, tattered guestbook, and a very nice fountain pen resting on top of it. Yusai picked up the pen to sign, and no sooner that he did, a tall figure sprang up from behind the desk, causing Yusai to startle with a loud "CRIKEY!", the most stereotypically aussie thing to ever come up in his vocabulary. "GOOD EVENING," the large, lanky man behind the counter said in a deep barritone, staring down at Yusai with dark eyes. "PLEASE, SIGN YOUR NAMES HERE,..." When Yusai caught his wits, he gave into laughter. "Good God!" He exclaimed. "You bloody well scared the hell right out of me!" "MY APOLOGIES, THAT WAS NOT MY INTENTION," the ghoulish receptionist responded, "I MEANT TO SCARE YOU INTO HELL."
  19. The future is ours.. isn't it?

    Yusai grinned wolfishly, laughing gently when Steal rebuked with, "Uh, well that was.. I mean it wasn't real either but, I mean, this can't be THAT bad." He loved to make Steal fidget for a response sometimes, and this was one of those times he took a small pleasure in making the other boy squirm a bit. Steal went on to explain some other details for the event, and reached into his pocket to hand Yusai a small postcard-flier detailing the haunted attraction. Yusai gave it a cursory glance, half reading the details, his attention more on Steals explanation. "I'm sure it is just some kind of game." "Oh, I'm sure it is too, and I bet we won't be the only ones playing." Yusai said, looking up from the card to see Steals smiling face. He matched his expression and clapped his hand on Steals shoulder, bringing him in for a side-hug, and giving him a little tussle. "But we'll sure as hell be the ones to win it!" Of course, Yusai said this with no real intention to turn a harmless night of fun into a competition, but he hoped that his enthusiasm would ease any doubt or anxiety that may be brewing in his friends mind. He could practically feel Steals hands skirting up his shirt and clutching in desperation already. *** One week later, and it was Halloween. Yusai, having had an exhausting week at work, was feeling stiff, sore, and tired, but ready to tackle the weekend haunt festivities. Maybe not so much for the actual experience he'd have at the haunted house, but moreso because he had been looking forward to spending some time with Steal. He was admittedly very curious to see how things would pan out tonight, and maybe in a secret way, had been looking forward to playing the role of Steals body-shield. There was just something about Steals touch... Thankfully, the drive to the haunt location was short and sweet. Yusai pulled his car into a parking lot that was on the outer skirts of a large, gated motel that, from the looks of it--the building had cracks in the paint, was covered in graffiti, some of the windows either busted or boarded with plywood, and roof speckled with bald-spots in its terra-cotta tiling--must have been abandoned for a few years. Unsurprising, given that the motel was in one of the "sketchier" parts of Queens, but a part of Yusai's gut sank a little as he contemplated the nights bedding situation. After a long week, he was looking forward to getting a decent nights sleep... He hoped they would atleast have a nice bed. Thrusting the gearshift to park, Yusai looked over at Steal, uncertain how to read his expression. He saw Steal knotting his hands in his lap, but wasn't sure if it was out of nervousness, or if he had the same thoughts that Yusai did just looking at the place. He moistened the rim of his teeth with his tongue, turned his body a little in his seat to face Steal, and with the backside of his hand, gave Steal a little nudge on the elbow. "Ey. What're you thinkin'?" He asked, placing his hand along Steals wrist, and waiting for his response.
  20. The future is ours.. isn't it?

    Yusai was happy to see Steal appear from the hallway, and even happier when he approached with his arms open for an embrace, as he always did, the familiar greeting being something Yusai looked forward to after a day out. He wouldn't admit--part because it wasn't a facet he was willing to admit to himself yet--but there was just something about Steal's warm welcomes that always made Yusai feel like he was the most important person in the world. He returned the embrace with a hug of his own, his arms curling around the warm curvatures of Steal's back for a moment before the younger man pulled away. "You know he did, the little bastard," Yusai said in response to Steal's greeting, shooting a glare at the cat who was bouncing fiendishly among the plastic bags. "He'll get me one of these days. Just make sure when he does, you bury the bugger with me, and make sure you lodge him in my arms good and tight." Prince batted wildly at the plastic netting on a sack of potatoes, uncaring of the egyptian fate Yusai would seal him to if he continued making mischief. As Yusai was talking, Steal occupied himself unpacking groceries and setting them on the counter, talking as he did. Yusai's eye was keen on observing the curves of Steal's back as he bent over and pulled out items, making subconscious mental notes that the guy who existed somewhere in the limbo of lithe, lean muscular build and soft suppleness was one hell of a sight, even when he was performing casual, basic tasks. Somewhere in the back of Yusai's mind, he supposed that's what made Steal so attractive in the first place, if not moreso because Steal had no idea how good he looked. Shaking himself out of the trance-like state of mind that seemed to take over from time to time when Steal was in close proximity, Yusai found himself thrust into the middle of a question. "Want to stay the night in a Haunted House with me on Halloween?" Yusai's eye widened in surprise. Steal? Booking a stay at a haunted house on Halloween? To say he was gobsmacked would've been an understatement! "You... You want to stay in a haunted house? On Halloween?" Yusai repeated back, quick to catch the sheepish look shot his way when Steal bent up and moved around the counter to begin putting away the items he'd removed from bags. Yusai only smiled in return, practically beaming with both amusement and disbelief. Steal, in a haunted house, of all places! If it weren't for the look the younger man had just shot him, he would've been certain that he was joking. But, sure that he wasn't, Yusai mulled the question over in his mind, rolling the tip of his tongue over the ridge of his teeth as he though, his focus still entirely on Steal and watching him bend to his knees to stuff some items into the bottom drawers in the refridgerator. Between the options Yusai had open to him for Halloween plans, staying in a haunted house sounded like it may be cheesy and maybe a bit silly... But the alternative was going to a Halloween party at work, while having to work. And there was nothing Yusai hated more than working the bar on certain holidays. St. Patricks day was his most loathed holiday to work, because it was always a night filled with belligerent, rude Americans with one-eighth irish heritages flaunting their glittery clover affects, demanding rounds upon rounds of beer until they were completely shit-housed, and then taking it upon themselves to involve anyone within arms-reach in their loud, occasionally violent deubatchery. Halloween placed second in Yusai's mind; While it was never as busy as St. Patricks day, the nights were nonetheless filled with loud, obnoxious people--mostly women--who through the 'anonymity' or sluttiness of their costumes thought that by hiking up their ill-fitting skirts or casually "forgetting" to pull up the blouses from their too-tight corsets on their ill-defined "witch" costume, would excuse them from having to pay their bill. Even if money during these nights could be really great, it wasn't worth the grief of staggering home at two o' clock in the morning, ears ringing, feet and back aching, and feeling as though 15 years had been sucked from your life. He'd come to a decision there and then. "Well sure! A haunted house would be great fun!" Yusai said, leaning on the counter with his elbows and letting his eye fall on the sight of the slight hint of Steals buttcrack poking out from his jeans while he was still on his knees and stuffing things away, grinning to himself without really realizing it. "You sure you won't get too scared though? I think I still have your fingerprints embedded in me belly from the last time we watched 'Friday the 13th'..." Yusai chuckled, remembering the night with fondness.
  21. The future is ours.. isn't it?

    Yusai's day-to-day had been in something of a stand-still for many years, until circumstance--or fate, or whatever it was--brought Steal into his life. Steal had been a welcome wrench in the machine, so to speak, for Yusai couldn't really remember the last time he felt bored or dissatisfied with his life since Steal started living with him just a few years ago. It was funny, but Yusai couldn't even really remember when it was that Steal came along--no longer than 2 years ago, he thought, because he certainly remembered celebrating his 19th and 20th birthday--but the time in-between was a bit of a blur. They were mostly good times, Yusai was certain of that too, although he could recall those bleak days of misery and drama that threatened to jeopardize their friendship. He supposed that any good friendship couldn't just be built on just happiness alone, which was one of the reasons why he valued his friendship with Steal the most. Now that he thought about it, his thoughts wandering in the weird way that they do when one is driving down a familiar street they've driven down a thousand times before, Yusai couldn't think of anyone in his life that he could call a friend (and mean it) the same way he could with Steal. Sure, he had "friends", good people that he knew and people who he cared about, and who cared about him, but they were not the same kind of people he felt like he could bear his soul to. Although, he had yet to ever do that with Steal. However, Steal had never been ashamed to wear his heart on his sleeve, and it was a quality in him that Yusai admired immensely, almost to enviable degrees. Yusai took comfort in the fact that if he ever needed to, or wanted to, he could express himself that way with Steal. The only time Yusai could remember having as close a friendship with someone was ages ago, when he was a teenager and living in Australia. Yusai shook his head; This was a train of thought he was not particularly fond of going down, but brains being the stubborn things that they were, faint hints of a face, of a presence, of a person who had been dead for many years creeped back into his mind, and Yusai's lips pressed to a straight line, doing his best to fight off the memory. It was peculiar how even after all this time, it still hurt to think about. He shook his head, dispelling the thought and instead concentrating on the road in front of him. Thankfully, he was only minutes from home. The row of stoops and alley space decorated by pumpkins of varying states of ripeness, some with carved faces, others sloppily painted with caricatures of spookiness were a familiar blur in the peripheral of Yusai's eye. As Halloween was drawing near--only a week away, in fact--he supposed the more zealous celebrators would bring out their more horrific decorations to really get the people on the block in the spirit. He himself had some usual holiday items he'd soon have to dig out and put on display, but he'd worry about that later. Yusai just remembered though, upon pulling in to the numbered parking spot outside his apartment building, there was a Halloween party he (and guest) had been invited to. As he parked and gathered his affects, Yusai wondered if it would be a thing that Steal would be at all interested in going to. It was just a silly event to be held at the club he worked at, and of course Yusai would have to work that night if he went (because who else could manage a busy bar on a weekend holiday?) but as he reflected, he couldn't think of the last time Steal had ever expressed any interest in Halloween, or all the "spooky" things it entailed. In fact, from what he did know about Steal, he knew he was more or less terrified by all things horror. Yusai laughed into a bag of groceries he cradled in one arm, fumbling with the door keys with his other, remembering the last time he and Steal watched some B-level slasher film... The way Steal would flinch, or yelp, cover his eyes, fuss with his hair, or practically burrow into the space between Yusais shoulder and ribs whenever something particularly grousome or scary would happen. Ah, but horror movies were one thing, dopey Halloween parties were another. He'd pitch the idea, anyway, and see how Steal felt about it. Fumbling with the last set of keys to his apartment, Yusai clumsily opened the door and stepped inside, damn near almost tripping over the cat in the process, and, before he could utter an annoyed "OI, CAT!" he heard hurried conversation suddenly coming to a halt, the "beep" of a phone being clicked off, and then muted footsteps from the other room. Yusai set his armful of groceries down--the cat immediately tackling the plastic--and called out "'Allo in there!" waiting for Steal to show up with a smile on his face.
  22. Hey guys. It's been a while. I guess my purpose these days is to come back every now and then and gather everyone I possibly can around, and get y'all to submit music to these stupid album projects that come up on a whim. THAT BEING SAID, Halloween is not too far around the corner. I think its only appropriate that we all assemble a scurry album to play throughout the month and irritate ourselves to death with. And so, this albums theme is: SCARY HALLOWEENY SPOOKY FRIGHTFUL SHIT WOOoOoOOoOOO! I'm sure you're all thinking to yourselves, "But Antwaine, there's only like, 4 shitty songs that you can submit to an album project like this! And theyre all remixes of Andrew Golds' SPOOKY SCARY SKELETONS!" Well thats where you're wrong, assholes. This theme is pretty broad, because I'm not asking for particularly halloween-centric music. I want y'all to go through your collection of music, and pick out atleast 5 songs (or less) that deal with SCARY subject matter, or songs that SCARE you, or songs that SOUND SCARY (even if they're not), or... Worst case scenario, songs about halloween and halloween-centric things. I'm also making this an arbitrary rule--I don't want to see any NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS MUSIC SUBMITTED. IT WILL BE DELETED FROM THE SUBMISSIONS AND I WILL SEND YOU A STRONGLY WORDED PM TELLING YOU YOU ARE THE WORST. This arbitrary rule is to keep people from going easy-mode with this. So far, so good on the rules? Here they are in bulleted list form, for good measure: You may submit up to 5 songsThey must be scary/spooky/about halloween i some wayNO NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS MUSIC Now onto the technicalities.... For those of you new to this process, there are some particulars on how you should go about submitting your music. The preferred method is for yall to take your music, upload them to a file sharing website, PM me a link to your uploads, and give me all the file/song info in said PM. For those of you looking for some easier reading though, HERES ANOTHER BULLETED LIST: Take your music--in MP3 FILE FORMAT--and rename the file in the following manner: 00 artist-track name (yes, do actually include the 0's, it makes ordering them for me easier) OPTIONAL NOTE: Try to keep your songs under 6 minutes if you canTake said music, zip it up, and upload it to sites like SENDSPACE or, if you wish to share your e-mail with me via PM, you can upload your music/tracks to DROPBOX. IF YOU DECIDE TO USE DROPBOX, YOU DO NOT NEED TO BOTHER ZIPPING UP YOUR FILES. JUST DUMP THEM ALL IN THE GENERAL FOLDER THAT I HAVE CREATED, AND PROCEED TO THE NEXT STEP.Afterwards, PM ME WITH A LINK TO YOUR TRACKS (if you used sendspace) or PM ME WITH YOUR SUBMISSION INFO (What tracks you submitted, playlist info, etc) UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU REVEAL WHAT TRACKS YOU SUBMITTED UNTIL AFTER THE ALBUM HAS BEEN RELEASEDwhich will be, like, Monday, October 13th, 2014. Have your submissions to me by 12am EST the prior Sunday.Sound good? Good. Additional member specific arbitrary rules: The Dan sucks and is not allowed to submit anything that even remotely resembles prog rock, metal, symphonic rock, dubstep, or anything in between. Kyo must sort his submissions from "least likely to be racist" to "most likely to be racist"ACK is not allowed to submit linkin park and must also punch Zien in the face.HerculeHastings nor Daydreamer are not allowed to submit anything from Babymetal.All of Blecks submissions must include the banjo. HAPPY SUBMITTING, EVERYONE
  23. well the submissions have been p bogus and theres only like 8 songs submitted. i guess i can extend the fuckin submission date but man album projects just aint the same around these parts no mo
  24. yo