(2018-01-31) Forest Frolick
Forest Frolick
Summary: Bea helps Audgrim find a sense of purpose while they frolick in the forest.
Date: IC Date (2018-01-31)
Related: Hats and Crowns
Player Characters: Audgrim, Bea

It's a lovely morning, chilly and clear, and there is no time for sleeping in around here it seems. Volunteer 'WOOFers' and a couple of staff members are already busy with the tasks of the day, tending to animals, plants and equipment. Bea, like some strange conductor, is in the middle of it all, a large metal mixing bowl full of some batter or other in one arm, a whisk in the other hand used liberally to point things out as she directs folks. "Mercedes, did you see the eggs under that pile of wood? Gretchen is hiding them again, silly broody thing. Marcus! Be sure to grab some of the spinach, because I'm going to make omlettes next. Audgrim! Can you get that bale of hay and toss it in with the goats?" She dances around as she directs folks, wings abuzz, for those who can see them, in a totally un-rhythmic sort of hop-skip-wiggle. Between directions, the batter is whisked vigorously, checked, then whisked some more.

This is the perfect environment for Audgrim, with the cheerful general Bea telling him what to do and supervising personally, because once he's told what to do and isn't alone, he is a hard worker. So, he gets up from his lazy crouch against a wall, prowling off to do as asked. "Hay for goats," he calls to show he understands, and picks one up effortlessly, tromping over to toss it to the lively goats. He has an easy way with animals and leans in to scritch them. "What you cook?" he calls back to Bea. He's starting to appreciate things that are actually cooked, baked or grilled rather than just raw.

Bea gives Audgrim a cheer of approval at the following of directions. It does get a bit of an eyeroll fromMercedes, the long-suffering farm manager, but she just mutters something under her breathe in Spanish and continues hunting errant chicken nests. Bea answers Audgrim's question like she's revealing the million dollar prize, "Cheesecake pancakes. And I'll make omlettes too, once the eggs are all found. And there's some fruit salad. And granola and stuff of course, and bacon, and some nice sausages. Oh, and I got this great cheese." She seems about to continue, but is cut off by one of the workers, who knows just how long she can go on about the menu, with a silly question that distracts her from culinary ramblings just long enough. Back on track, she asks Audgrim, "So what do you think about things up here? You know you're welcome to stay as long as you want, really."

Audgrim might have found a kindred spirit in the goats (they have horns and tails like him), so he makes a limber jump over the fence with one hand on it, to disperse the hay around evenly while making soothing noises. "Pancake, omelette, eggs, fruit, bacon, sausage," he sings. Trust him to learn food-words fast, he knows what they all mean. "Is nice here, I stay here and stay Tyla. I help you both. Thank you, you very nice to me." He shoots a grin over at Mercedes, not entirely innocent in testing the woman's tempers during the morning.

Bea nods, delighted at Audgrim's speedy learning, as well as his decision to try a mix of city and country life. "That's great. And always you are welcome. It's nice to have people here, and safer too probably." She hands of the bowl to one of the WOOFers, who takes it inside, presumably to cook it up. Bea dance-walks over to the goats, giving one a scritch behind the horns, and says, "If you want, we could take a quick walk in the woods before breakfast. And I can show you all the best spots. Well, maybe not /all/ of them, just at first, but some of them at least."

Audgrim leaves the goats alone to eat, jumping back over the fence. "Safe with others, alone not good yet," he agrees - he's realising his limitations, as one fresh out of the hedge and displaced in time to boot. He straightens up in interest and some excitement over her suggestion, giving a few quick nods. "Woods, yes, go woods. Is there river?" he asks, having not roamed around that much yet. "You go, I follow." He makes a gesture towards the nearby forest, impatiently.

Bea laughs and shrugs, "Oh, sometimes there's a stream and stuff. Come on then." She gives Mercedes a little wave, letting the other woman know she's on the move in the non-verbal way of people who have known each other for many years. She makes a couple quick stops, grabbing an axe from a selection of tools against the barn wall, and a well-used satchel from just inside the door of the house, and then she's motioning Audgrim to follow, humming a happy, off-key tune. Once out of earshot of the farm workers, she notes, "It's hard sometimes, these days, just to be stuck out here mostly. I know it's been a long time, since we don't remember and stuff, but I used to go hunting all the time in the thorns, and now even looking after my garden sometimes makes me nervous, since I don't know who blocked off the trods, and who might have the key to /unblock/ them. But still, it's nice to get around these woods a little more, like I did when I just first came away from The Man, and probably it was a lot like for you, all new and fun, so it'll be nice to go with you, and try to remember what that was like." She stoops down once in a while, picking up little bits of this and that, plant shoots, nuts, a bit of moss, a small tender branch from a tree. Each of these findings goes into the bag, and the collection process seems quite natural and creates a smooth flow to what soon becomes clear is a pretty meandering walk in the woods. "Are there woods like this in Norway?"

Audgrim saunters along happily, tail swishing behind him. The moment they enter the trees, he's becoming more animalistic, his lazy posture shifting to a being of the wild, alert and ready - and she probably notices the hint of glamour as he almost without thinking about it aligns with nature, becoming one of it. No branch impedes him, roots seem to move out of his way, he "flows" forwards. "Big forests in Norway, almost like here," he agrees. "But more people and house here," he adds and seem to not be too fond of this. "Sometime here, I think was easy in Other place," he admits with a grimace. "Other place, I know what to do, I was Someone. Here? What I am here?"

Bea nods at that, considering the question in silence for some time before speaking, still friendly and cheerful, but tinged with a more solemn air, "It is easy to think that. And sometimes it is the same here, like with women I have met, who's husbands hurt them, but still they say 'but who else will love me, he needed me, he may have broken my jaw, but he paid attention to me'. These are the same things, I think, like what people feel with our Keepers. Even me, sometimes, and for sure I hate The Man, because he is a jerk, and just barges in sometimes when he's not even invited to the party." 7 years may have passed, but clearly she's still indignant about such intrusions. "But I sometimes think, it was easier in the hive, and everyone just /knew/ their job and place, and didn't need to be helped so much, and all I needed to do was keep the plants growing, and wasn't that so much easier, and who am I but just Bea Bramble, who everyone thinks is silly." She pauses, stooping down to pick a pretty, early spring flower that's popped up opportunistically from a slightly warmer, sheltered spot, handing it over to Audgrim with a smile, "But then I remember, here /I/ am Bea Bramble, and I have my own choice whether I want to work in the garden, or make sweets, or just spend the day visiting. And here, I /am/ Bea Bramble, and totally myself, and not some creature The Man decided I should be. And here I am /Bea Beamble/ who everyone knows is a good friend and will always help out if I can." This, an echo of the Spring manifesto of desire, the emphasis on each different part of the statement clearly holding a different nuance. "So now, the fun for you is just deciding who /you/ are. And that is the best part, because it's like a mystery and a game, and all the best surprises."

Audgrim listens with intent attention. In fact, he is surprised and shows it, he understands all of it and his eyes wide as he takes it all in, to learn that this isn't just him thinking this, that it's a struggle for most Lost. Accepting the flower, he instinctually first moves it to his mouth to eat it, but changes his mind and instead tucks it behind his ear. There's something so inspiring about what she says, he now takes the violin from his back and takes it out, leaving the case on his back for now. There's a small stream near them and he moves towards it, taking a deep breath. "I am Audgrim. I can play the violin - not for Other place, but for me," he says out loud, as if telling the Duke to go shove himself - he'll do what he wants, now. And for the first time since he came out, he puts the violin to his cheek and begins playing, haltingly at first but with more confidence after a few strokes. The song is both dark and joyful at the same time, energetic and rhytmic - it echoes across the forest. The River King, moves towards Bea and begins dancing around her with little skips and hops, grinning wildly, tail swishing. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHsledb9tXU)

Bea smiles as Audgrim chooses not to eat the flower, seeming to take that as answer enough to her words. But when he pulls out his violin and makes his statement, she beams with joy and claps her hands, giving out a little whoop she just can't supress. As he begins to play, she starts to dance as well, wiggling, hopping, shimmying, none of it at all in time with the music, but an unadulterated expression of joy and pleasure at the sounds.

If this was in the hedge, Audgrim would use whatever power he has to lure in creatures nearby, to draw them into the darkness. And he almost goes that way now, as playing the violin has become so tightly linked with the Nightsinger's role in the Duke's employ. He begins to move towards the stream, enticing Bea to follow him - but then he sees her happy face and snaps out of it, instead moving forwards in the forest. He plays and dances quite awhile with Bea, that song long and neverending if he wants it to - but he comes to a stop with a few last wild hops and crazy strokes on the violin, letting out a low raspy laugh. He not the type that laughs much normally. "I can play," he says. "Thank you, Bea. I can be someone here now."

Bea claps in over-enthusiastic delight, probably causing a lasting sting to her palms from the force of it, as Audgrim draws the song to a close. She gasps happily, "Oh Audgrim! That was so good, and just the best song I've heard in a while, and you /can/ play, and I am glad that I could help, and make you feel a little better." To celebrate, she dips her hand into the bag at her hip and pulls out a couple of candies, offering one to Audgrim before popping one into her own mouth. "You will see, it will get easier and you will find lots of things you are good at I am sure, now that you're settling in a little."

Audgrim can not resist that candy, snatching it up and munching on it with contentment, eyes crinkled in good humor. "I work as fish man," he suddenly says, "before other place. When I get paper, maybe I work. But, I like not work," he admits, and gives her a lazy grin, putting the violin back so he can have his hands free as he begins doing what she does, looking around for edible things on the ground or flowers to examine as the vegetation here is different from what he's used to. With his clawed fingers, he easily digs up roots to examine them, and taste them to see what they're like. "Maybe I build house in woods. Small, small house."

Bea grins at that, nodding slightly, "Being a fish man is a good job, I think, and at least I used to know someone named Sid, who was like a sushi maker, and probably would buy your fish if you wanted to do that again." She considers, then looks around, waving a hand, "There's lots of places, really, if you want to buy a house. It is a good thing to have goals, and work toward them. That is what I did, when I first came out, and even all the hobs laughed at me because I wouldn't take anything but regular cash money for my fruit, even though they had such nice things. But now I have my farm, and it's nice to have something that's your very own sometimes."

Crunching sounds come from Audgrim as he eats through a root of unknown origin. He seems to like it well enough, but then noticeably, his food preferences seem to be "if it can be chewed, it can be eaten". "I can live in forest, with no money, but money help with things in city. I want to buy coffee. Or new violin thing," he says, since a violin will need new strings and what not eventually. "But, little house, yes, maybe one day." He seem to find this idea a worthy goal. "Who I talk to, about Autumn and Summer? You I talk to Spring, Eddie winter, but Autumn and Summer?"

Bea considers the question, buzzing a little as she also starts eating random things from the forest. Some days it's good to be a Woodwalker. "Oh, well for Autumn I would say talk to Lucas, even if he is kind of a jerk some time. Or Thomas, if he's still around, even though I haven't seen him yet, or heard if he is. Or they used to all hang out at the Princess Theater, and maybe still do, but I can't say for sure. And Summer I don't know, really. I haven't found any one of them back yet, but maybe ask Tyla. Only that Jack person is the first Summer I heard of that was awake, and he sounds like the worst person to talk to about it. But maybe ask anyone you meet who's like us, about what their court is like. For everyone it is a little different, you know. Everyone comes for their reasons, you know. So probably it's a good idea to ask around, like even for Spring, if I was you I would ask also Finn, and whoever else is around, since for sure Finn is a Spring for different reasons than me, and probably better at being Spring too, since he was king once, even if he was the worst one."

Audgrim begins to wittle a spear off a long branch he finds, having gotten hold of an old rusty pocket knife somewhere. He does it just to do something as he ambles around in the woods, aimless but content. "Lucas, Thomas - autumn. Jack, summer. Finn, Spring," he says, memorizing the names. "Who king now? Crowns back, who king or queen?"

Bea shrugs and makes a face, "Well, that's the problem, isn't it? Like, everyone is finding crowns like easter eggs, it seems like, but still there is no freehold, and no king or queen. But still I think we need all the 5 of them, and some sort of magic trick to get them back to one, and the freehold working again, and us not in this stupid trap, even if we did set it for ourselves." She pauses, then says a little more clearly, a definite effort to make sure she's giving Audgrim good information, "Before, like…7 or 8 years ago, before the time we all forgot, we had a freehold, and it was pretty great. And we had kings and queens, and pretty much it was easy to tell what was going to happen, and everyone did their best if they got the crown. But now…now something is broken, and that's what everyone is all worried about, and getting so crazy about the crowns and everything, since something has gone wrong, and we don't know how to fix it yet. But I am pretty sure that we'll figure it out soon, and it'll all go back to normal, and that'll be a good thing."

Audgrim isn't the kind to figure out riddles like the one this town is facing, not unless he stumbles right on top of the answer. But he tries. "Maybe all crown together. If crowns gone and now back, maybe they be together and things be good." To emphasise, he breaks a stick in two parts and then hold it together where it broke, to show it fits together. "Maybe spring, summer, autumn and winter must be together." He st

Bea follows Audgrim's path happily, nodding a little at Audgrim's suggestion. "That's what I am thinking too, but still I think it may be more complicated than that, maybe. Since someone did it for a reason, and maybe it would cause more trouble. But we will see. Everyone is researching, and looking around for answers, and usually it's better to let the smart people figure that sort of thing out, except when you have to do it yourself sometimes. But still, maybe ask around, if you meet anyone who might know something. And I sure am."

"Hmmmm," Audgrim says, thinking hard. But then he just nods at Bea in agreement and drops it, happy to leave the thinking to others. "I listen and look, maybe I learn things." He drops that branch he was wittling on and dislodges a piece of root from between sharp teeth with a dirty fingernail. "And we go hedge. We can look short time. Not go deep. You say, hedge is bad. Can you walk there? Is there hobs?"

Bea makes a face and nods, somewhat reluctantly, "Well, sort of. I mean, we can go into my garden, and there are some few hobs that hang out there, but mostly they are useless, if you ask me. And maybe we could try to get further." She doesn't seem convinced of this, but suggests, "But still I could show you my garden at least, if you want."

"Is fine," Audgrim says, gesturing dismissively as if it's not that big of a concern. "Dangerous, wait more - go later," he agres. Of course, now he's gotten all tired and is yawning widely. "Garden - yes, show garden. But first, eat breakfast. Then I go sleep. Then garden." The Beast/Nightsinger seem to like sleeping during the day and stay up during the night, but he's hardly the only one of the Lost that are more nocturnal.

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