(2018-04-03) Being Human
Being Human
Summary: Karl stops by Bea's farm, and gets some tips on being human.
Date: 2018-04-03
Related: None
Player Characters: Audgrim, Eddie, Karl

----—| Yard - Hippy Homestead - Forks |

A few cleared acres of land surrounded by public forest. A bank of solar panels faces the sunny south, propped against a small barn full of animals that seem unwilling to stay fenced. A tipsy geenhouse, metal toolshed and sticky honey extraction room squat nearby. Much of the space is fenced off to protect the neatly tilled field and orchard. Flashing mylar tape and scarecrows flapping in the wind are set up here and there to keep hungry birds and rodents away. Beehives line the fence like strange, multi-colored guards, sending their buzzing maidens out in force. A large meadow of wild grasses and flowers is usually left to grow wild between the outbuildings. Usually there are at least a handful of people busy with some task or another on the property.

A large, round house made with mismatched materials sits near the front of the property, directly in front of the long driveway. The roof is covered with solar panels, and a line of wind turbines twirling lazily along the ridgebeam. Irregular heights and gables, and a few chimneys of metal or brick puffing smoke year round give a rambling, uneven quality to the place. With mismatched windows, and an abundance of doors, this looks like a different house from almost any angle.

Karl is of an average body build and size. His "skin" is the perfect halfway between human tissue and bark. It's of a dark wood color that contrasts perfectly with his amber eyes. In the top of his head some branches sprout upwards in randon patterns and sizes and, depending on the season, they bear tiny flowers, green leaves, orange leaves or no flowers/leaves at all. He wears casual and monochromatic clothes that look years, if not decades, old in a very discreet indie style.

Audgrim is napping - under a bush near the driveway. It was just a convenient spot to go lay down, shirking some work digging up weeds in a nearby flower bed. He's not terribly dirty, just a normal work sort of stained black tank top, and grey sweatpants. No shoes, of course. His tail flicks now and then, as if he might be having a dream.

From the woods comes the Treant. It walks slowly, but when he spots Audgrim, he comes to a stop. It's a slow process to. The stopping. But when it's done, the man remembers to blink and breath. He tilts his head to the side and stares at the other Lost sleeping. "Are you sleeping?" He asks in a emotionless and monotonous voice.

Eddie's been spending a lot of time here since he got shot up on Friday. Keeping an eye on his hurt friends? Letting them keep an eye on him? A simple emotional reaction to almost dying? Who knows? He's not telling. He was taking a nap himself, out in his car, sleeping off all the painkillers and post-Easter clearance candy he's been eating when Karl shows up. He snorts awake at the sound of an unfamiliar voice and panics a little when he spots a walking tree he's never seen before looming over Audgrim, and he lays on the car horn in warning before he realizes the Treant doesn't seem hostile. Those are leafs, anyway, not feathers. He climbs out looking faintly embarrassed. "Not anymore he's not. You're… Karl, right? I think Bea mentioned you."

Audgrim's reaction is immediate - least he's not a heavy sleeper. He bounces to his feet in some alarm, the bushes getting a bit mangled by the man's sudden rise from under them. "No! No, was not sleeping," he begins, staring at Karl as if he suspects he's come here to check up on his work. "Was looking for, uhm, rat." He squints, brushing some leaves off his shoulders and plucking some grass off his hair. "Nice to see you again, Karl." He peers around the tree-man at Eddie, looking him over with keen eyes. "You better, Eddie?"

Karl blinks as in an answer to Audgrim before slowly turning to face Eddie."This is Karl. Bea is a friend." He says with that same strange voice while his eyes stare at Eddie."Are you hurt?"

"He was sleeping," Eddie assures Karl. His left arm is still in a sling, the arm of his jacket hanging empty at his side, but he's moving around a little easier than he was the last time Audgrim saw him. He looks down at himself appraisingly, then shrugs the shoulder that can still do that. "I won't be making many right turns in a kayak for a while, but otherwise I'm fine. Nice to meet Karl. This is Eddie," he gestures at himself, then sticks out his good hand for shaking, "Bea sure is one of those, isn't she?"

Audgrim shoots Eddie an offended glare, and goes to gather up some tools he's spread out around the whole area (but he's not used them much, he's dug up weeds with his hands and claws, one can tell). He tosses them all into a wheelbarrow. "What have you been doing?" he asks curiously of Karl. "Long time since I see you. Come by here more often."

"I was waking up the trees from their slumber." Karl says as he looks at Audgrim."Here?" He then asks as he glances around blinking just once."What is this place?"

"Huh. I always figured they did that on their own, this time of year," Eddie says, looking off toward the tree line. "You think you could put them back to sleep again? Allergies are really acting up." He watches Audgrim gather up his tools, making no effort to help, then looks around the farm at Karl's question. "I ask myself the same thing every time I visit. Compound? Cult? Commune?" Another one-shouldered shrug. "The short answer is, it's Bea's."

"Bea's," Audgrim echoes Eddie with a firm nod. He looks around all satisfied, like he's proud of his shoddy work. He's only cleared about a third of the weeds in that flowerbed. "Really nice here. Lots of good food, too. Do you eat food?" he asks, because who knows, with tree-people. "Do you stand in water when you drink?"

Karl takes some more time looking around before focusing on Audgrim once more."Vegetables. But Bea told me to have meat once in a while." He answers before turning to Eddie."I can. But it is against the yearwheel." He then blinks to Eddie as he stares at the Winter courtier.

"Well I'd hate to break the wheel," Eddie grins his crooked grin, "I know how expensive those things are to replace." He ambles over to the flowerbed that Audgrim was working ("working") on, inspecting the lack of progress. He seems to approve, shooting the Nightsinger a thumbs up, then crouching down to uproot a particularly toxic looking milkweed to chew on. "Not that we couldn't all do with a little extra winter, if you ask me."

"Bea say something about hunting a bear. Or maybe a deer?" Audgrim says. "I go out to work. She talk about food so much I can't think - she making some feast." He shrugs and looks a bit lost about what the Spring bee is up to. "Hmmm." He looks at the flower bed. Looks at Karl. Back to flower bed. "Can you make weed go somewhere else?"

Karl looks at the weeds, then at Audgrim and then, finally at Eddie. It's a slow process and, sometimes, boring to see, but he does it anyway."Weeds have the same right as flowers." He says to no one in particular. "I can't take them away."

"I like weeds better than flowers, anyway," Eddie says approvingly. He's chewing on one right now, of course, but he doesn't seem to mean just for eating. "Flowers are the butterflies of the vegetable kingdom," he elaborates, "I bet they're all a bunch of snobs."

Audgrim isn't giving up that easily and puts on all his beastly charm, grinning and nodding at Karl. "I like all things that grow too - but look." He walks over to where there's a nearby ditch along the path. "They can grow here." He makes a sweeping gesture to indicate an area that is not flowerbed. "So, you can make them move to here. Nice and sunny. No bushes." He walks back to the flowerbed, crouching to gently cup a flower in a clawed and dirty hand. "This flower, it don't get along with that." He points to one of those creeping sort of weeds that tend to overtake everything. "So, they both be happy. Just happy not at same place." Though the NIghtsinger knows a fair bit about nature, he has no real idea if Karl can or can not do what he's asking. But, you won't know if you don't ask, right? He leans in close to Eddie and sniffs that poisonous root he's gnawing on. "Smell good," he agrees. "I once ate nettles for two days - in Other place. Was not so bad."

Karl tries to keep track of Audgrim's explanation, but at some point it becomes obvious that he got lost."Flowers are not snobs. They're sweet." He says to Eddie as he tries to focus on something far more simple than an explanation about the relationship between flowers and weeds and where the last should grow.

"I'm sure they are," Eddie says, sneering down at the flowers in bloom. "To your face. If you think the two are mutually exclusive, you've never been down south." He swallows the milkweed and wipes the toxic latex from his chin, then kneels down and starts wiggling a flower. "'Why, bless your heart,'" he makes like it's saying, putting on a high pitched southern accent.

Audgrim throws his hands out - he gives up. "Okay," he says and sighs. "I need to go back into house now. Karl - come back soon." He snorts at Eddie's antics with the flower, and grabs the wheelbarrow to walk back towards the farm house. "You should pick flowers, for Ida!" he calls back over his shoulder.

Karl watches Audgrim walk away and only appears to understand the man is not coming back when he sees, in the distance, as he closes the farmhouse door. Then, he finally turns to look at Eddie."Audgrim lives with Bea." He says as he tilts his head to the side.

Eddie aims a dirty look at Audgrim as the Nightsinger makes his retreat. "No," he shakes his head, rising back into a standing position and leaving the flowers unharrassed, "he's just staying over a while. He's got a place back in town, same building I'm in. How about you?" He looks the tree man up and down. "Let me guess- the great outdoors? Well, if you get sick of it, I'm sure Bea could find room for you. It's the next best thing to living outside anyway."

Karl ponders on that. A couple seconds later, he blinks. He then looks from the farmhouse back to Eddie."I want to be human." He just says as if that was part of the conversation about where people live.

Eddie is a little taken aback. He wasn't expecting that one. "You and me too, brother," he finally says with a kind of wary sympathy, "but that ship is sailed a long time ago for both of us. This'd be a good place to learn and fake it, though," he nods at the farmouse, "or any other place with foor walls and a roof on it, really, but at least here you get a lot of humans to practice on."

"Practice." Karl repeats and, taking his time, he offers a hand."I'm Karl Green. Bio logist." He offers and, suprisinly, offers a fake smile. It's a bit creepy, but it is there.

Eddie gives Karl's performance a kind of professional assessment, then cracks a crooked grin and gives the offered hand a shake. "Eddie Brundle," he says, "private eye. Practice is good. You need more of it, but you'll get there. When I got back to the world I couldn't even remember how to put clothes on, and look at me now. I can do my own tie and everything, almost."

Karl's grips is loose and meaningless, but he performs it decently. When it's done, though, he looks clueless again as he blinks and looks at Eddie from top to bottom."I don't have clothes." He says plainly.

"Neither did I, 'til I found a coat in a dumpster. Good thing, too," Eddie says, "it was a cold winter, for California. That was my first step back. You know what they say, clothes make the man." Apparently the detective is made of powder blue polyester. He's resolved to ignore the other man's uncomprehension, or power through it, just talking like it wasn't an issue. "We can help you with that, too, if you want. Just don't take any fashion advice from Bea. She's stuck in the sixties."

"I have no money." Karl says as he keeps completelly motionless."Humans have money." He blinks once.

"Wish I could help you there," Eddie snorts a laugh, "but I haven't got much, myself. Look around, though." He waves his good arm toward the fields, even now being worked by Bea's strange assemblage of migrant workers, community volunteers, and homeless folks. "We're on a farm. I'm sure Bea could find some work for somebody who can talk with plants, and probably even pay you a little."

Karl slowly glances around taking a long time to notice all that is going on outside of the dense wood where quietness is the supreme order. When he's finally done, he puts his eyes back on Eddie."I'll talk to Bea." He finally says."Do you work here too?"

Another laugh, a little louder this time, as Eddie imagines himself working on a farm. "No," he says, clearly tickled, "not except as a part-time garbage disposal. I just come around sometimes begging for scraps. I'm a detective, by vocation, that's what I meant by private eye." He produces a business card, freshly printed, though not very well. Everything's a little down and to the left of where it ought to be. "Mostly it's an excuse to go through people's garbage. Hang on to the card, for when you learn about telephones."

Karl doesn't seen to understand the laughing, but when the business card is offered, he takes it and stares at it for a moment before putting it in one of his pocket."I have one. Someone left it behind in the woods." He says and, from another pocket, he takes a brand new Iphone X in a bright pink case in the shape of a bunny's face with a fluffly ball on the back. The device, though, is turned off. Probably the battery died long ago.

Eddie examines the phone and whistles. "Well, I'd show you how to work it," he says, narrowing his eyes at the blank screen and then shaking his head, "but I still haven't figured out mine, exactly, and it's not nearly as fancy. Bea can probably help, she's all over Twitter." He pauses, and realizes Karl probably doesn't know what Twitter is. (He's not a hundred percent, himself.) "Twitter's a thing on the internet." Another pause, and he furrows his brow and waves his hand dismissively. "The internet's something on your phone."

Karl nods but doesn't seen sure on what those words are."Internet. Twitter. Bea." He repeats as he puts his phone back into one of his pockets."It was alive. But it is was dead." He comments a few good seconds later after staring at Eddie.

"And it'll rise again," Eddie lifts his palm to the sky in a faux-religious gesture, like a preacher in a revival tent. The effect is kind of spoiled since he can't used both arms, but he doesn't figure Karl is going to notice. "Like Jesus, or all the pretty green things you won't put back to sleep for me. Just get someone to show you how to plug it in."

Karl now looks even more lost than before and lifts his eyes to look at the sky as if waiting on something to happen up there. When he finally realizes nothing is coming from the sky, his lows his head again to look at Eddie."I can give you Fruits. I grow Fruits at my garden."

Eddie looks up, too, despite himself. He's had a lot of trouble with things from the sky, these past few months. He shakes his head and laughs gain, at himself this time. "Appreciate the offer, but Bea's fed me all the fruits I can stand, this weekend. Good to know there's another green thumb in town, though, I imagine her stock is running kind of thin with all the bleeding we've been doing lately. You should show her around your garden and she'll love you forever."

Karl seens to focus on only pieces of what people say and, this time, he lifts his both hands up to his face and looks from one thumb to the other."They're not green, Eddie." He murmurs from behind his hands.

Eddie mouths the words along, like he was expecting them. He's dealt with elementals before, apparently. "It's an idiom," he explains, "a figure of speech. Something else you'll want to work on. Don't feel too bad if you can't figure them out, some of us never do. Just means you're good with plants."

"I am good to plants because they're good to me first, Eddie. We take care of each other." Karl says as he lowers his hands."Are you good to plants too? Like Bea and Karl."

"Plants have been pretty good to me, too," Eddie says, taking a moment to think on that. "At least, without Bea's blushberries I'd have been dead eight years ago, probably." He glances back at the flower beds Audgrim was tending earlier, and shakes his head a little sadly. "Never had a talent with them, myself. I had a little potted cactus, once, but it died. Since then I only keep the plastic kind. I'm good with trash, and bugs, and snooping around. We've all got our place on the wheel."

Karl looks to be really trying to keep with Eddie's words by the way he stares at the man's lips with those expressionless amber eyes. But when the last phrase is said, the treant tilts his head to the side once more and blinks."What is my place on the wheel?"

Karl is of an average body build and size. His "skin" is the perfect halfway between human tissue and bark. It's of a dark wood color that contrasts perfectly with his amber eyes. In the top of his head some branches sprout upwards in randon patterns and sizes and, depending on the season, they bear tiny flowers, green leaves, orange leaves or no flowers/leaves at all. He wears casual and monochromatic clothes that look years, if not decades, old in a very discreet indie style.

"That's for you to figure out, pal," Eddie says, half-encouraging, half-apologetic. "Mine's mostly been underneath it, lately. Try and do better than me. You need any help 'til you do, though, give me a call. Or just hang around here, I'm around a lot. We've got to take care of each other, after all." He grins his crooked grin as he repeats Karl's words back at him. "I've got to get back to work, make some of that money neither of us has. Nice meeting you, Karl."

Karl nods slowly."Au revoir, Eddie." He says and without hurry, turns around and heads back into the woods.

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