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    welcome to across the chessboard! we're an alice in wonderland based site with an original plot and slight modern dystopian twist and canon characters from alice's adventures in wonderland and through the looking glass and what alice found there, both by lewis carroll. for a longer summary, please visit our information center here. if you have any questions, feel free to give an admin a shout in the cbox (it's to your left- just click the chatter button and it should pop open). again, welcome, and we hope you join us!

    it is currently summer 2015 in london.
    it is currently summer-ish in wonderland.

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    Wonderland wasn't always this way. There was a time when it mirrored medieval England, albeit with a few magical elements: a few quirks and eccentricities that made it truly unique. While all feared the Queen's mercurial temper and the fine blade of her Guillotine, all was well, until a little girl named Alice Liddell disturbed the status quo and sparked a revolution. The kingdom began to fall into decay as the taint of the modern world invaded. History is beginning to repeat itself and no one is happy. As the Queen of Hearts tangles in a battle of wits and riddles with the Cheshire Cat, the rest are starting to wonder ... is it true that the White Rabbit is bringing humans to Wonderland when they themselves are banned from going to London?

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 Mud Baths, Terrence
olivia nightspurre
 Posted: Apr 17 2015, 04:42 PM
Quote
Sometimes the sound of a thousand whispering words can confuse, but when you´re sleeping... They shift and slide together. Bring meaning to the canyon's cry. So I - I keep on dreaming, I live to dream again...
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olivia nightspurre


If Olivia could find a way to turn back time, her first act as a newly established time traveler would be to take the road more traveled on this particular day. Walking into some nondescript place towards a little market on the outside villages was not on Olivia’s itinerary when she had set out. Well… that was a lie. That was her plan exactly when she came out here- to wander into a market place and buy some writing materials for her next travelling. Though the Royal City had the supplies that she needed even the out ring of merchants, Olivia felt that the real artisans of the craft (and ones that did not always ... subscribe to Queen Jacqueline's thumb) lived outside of the City. For things like journals and inks, Olivia made it something of her duty to source local things, and something about a soft bound journals from the tanned skin of a mucyuck bird always seemed to make Olivia’s time writing feel at least feel a bit more important.

So away she went on pilgrimage into the outlying villages of The Royal City. And that was how Olivia found herself stuck- literally knee deep in mud of a quiet path that cut through part of the forest she had traveled on many times before. Livia did not take into an account how much it had rained two days earlier – for she thought the ground would be frozen from the winter. But it seemed as if this was a planned trap for someone one far more important and cleverer than Olivia to fall into. Was it use calling for help? Alerting some sort danger to pick her off seemed irresponsible on her part. She had honestly thought that if she kept going through the mud that it would stop sinking (and stop pulling her in) and she would be free and clear. She was very wrong.

It was probably pretty comical for on lookers, looking down at the seething flower, cut off at the knees and pouting with her arms crossed, already caked in mud from trying to pull free and falling onto her face. Olivia stays there, seething mad in the mud. ”This is the worst.” she spits.

Nothing lasts forever. Some things aren't meant to be., But you'll never find the answers, Til you set your old heart free.
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terrence chelony
 Posted: Apr 19 2015, 03:56 PM
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........Sometimes........ he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.
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terrence chelony


It was a very lovely day, and the Mock Turtle was determined to do his best to actually enjoy it this time. He did it so rarely, but he had so many people telling him lately that he should that he was almost inclined to start believing them. It was very difficult to keep up that feeling, though. He wondered often if he should be getting help for it. Professional-type help. He decided against it more often than not. After all, Pierre liked him the way he was.

So, he decided to find a better way to enjoy the day. He went for a stroll to the outer villages, though he felt he should know better than to do that too, given what happened the other day when he'd done the same thing. He'd gotten caught out in the most torrential of downpours and he was sure that all his favorite routes would be full of mud. But that was life, wasn't it? getting mud on your shoes when you just want to go for a nice walk.

He'd been walking quite a ways from his sea-side home, and he was getting rather bored with himself. He spent so much of his time moping that he didn't know what to do with himself when he wasn't. He started to hum softly to himself as he walked, getting lost in the music in his head.

After a while he started to dance as he walked, and ended up getting both lost in his head and completely lost on the forest path. It was this happy tune and dancing that he was doing as he approached the trapped young flower.

" "Will you walk a little faster?" said a whiting to a snail,

"There's a porpoise close behind us, and he's treading on my tail.

See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance!

They are waiting on the shingle – will you come and join the dance?

Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, will you come and join the dance?

Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, won't you come and join the dance? "

He sang the last line and bowed, assuming it would be to no one but finding himself looking at a very angry Larkspur knee-deep in mud. Terrence frowned deeply, having not anticipated meeting someone else on his travels and a bit embarrassed to realize she must have seen quite a bit of his impromptu performance.

"...Hello. What are you doing down there, in the middle of the road, getting a free show?" he asked, trying to be funny and failing completely. He always failed at being funny.

Gardens are not made by singing 'Oh, how beautiful,' and sitting in the shade.
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olivia nightspurre
 Posted: Apr 25 2015, 01:37 AM
Quote
Sometimes the sound of a thousand whispering words can confuse, but when you´re sleeping... They shift and slide together. Bring meaning to the canyon's cry. So I - I keep on dreaming, I live to dream again...
25RedLarkspur76 postsapplicationplotting
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olivia nightspurre


Olivia doesn't know how long she was struggling in the mud but she felt as though she was starting to growing roots in the middle of the road. It feels almost bitterly ironic being stuck in the mud and sinking back into the earth. Sure - Olivia was a flower at one point of her life, it didn't mean she wanted to resort back to her rooted form in the middle of a mud patch. She was beginning to miss the dry patch of dirt in the garden where she had once flourished. Every time she fought the mud by loosening her one foot, the other foot began to sink further into it. There was the threat of Olivia falling, once again, into the mud- soaking her hair and clothes in a layer of the clumps.

"They are waiting on the shingle- will you come and join the dance. Will you, won’t you, won’t you, won’t you join the dance?" Calls out from down the road and seems to flutter in the wind around Olivia. The mud seeps under the cuffs of her pants when she struggles in the mud hoping that she wasn't about to get robbed by a tight trouser ax wielding minstrel. She manages a quarter of a turn before one of her knees gives out and make her wobbles off balance – Olivia’s arms wildly circling in the air before she steadies herself again. She takes a moment letting her heart settle back into her chest rather before she tries to turn again to see the familiar shape of the Mock Turtle- Terrence emerging in the path and (hopefully) to her rescue.

Olivia is relieved by the figure as she tries to brush a large chunk of hair and drying mud out of her face in hopes that he would recognize her through the dirt caked into her complexion. Terrance bows at the end of his song in front of Olivia as she tries to smile appreciatively at the song rather than giving a pained expression to the Mock Turtle about her obviously more important situation. “Well dear Turtle- it wasn't by choice that I’m in the middle of the road stuck in three feet of mud I can tell you that.” Olivia says snippily. Not intentionally aimed towards towards Terry... it come out maybe a bit too harsh than she had intentionally desired but she doesn't correct herself. She out stretches a hand towards Terry as if some magical cue he would figure out what she means and gives her the memento she needed to tug her out of the mud.

What are you doing out today? No one else seems to be out and about except us?” she inquires.

Nothing lasts forever. Some things aren't meant to be., But you'll never find the answers, Til you set your old heart free.

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terrence chelony
 Posted: Apr 25 2015, 02:11 PM
Quote
........Sometimes........ he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.
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terrence chelony


"I'd rather you didn't call me 'turtle', if you don't mind. I'm not a turtle anymore, I'm Terrence. And did you try NOT walking into the massive lake of mud?" he asked with a frown "Because that is what I would have done."

He nodded and took her hand, catching the hint though he didn't really need one. He would've helped her out anyway, if only because he knew what it was like to be ignored when you need help. He started leaning back slightly to give her the momentum she needed to pull herself out.

"Unless you managed to not notice how much it rained the other day and didn't know it was there. I knew, but I was out in the rain when it happened. Got hit by a massive hunk of hail, too. Mud would've been the least of my problems. "

Terrence was just trying to make friendly conversation, but he managed to sound quite condescending. It certainly wasn't his intention, but the sadness of his tone mixed with his incredibly dry humor just made him sound like a jerk. He had nothing against Olivia at all. He had a rather decent relationship with the flowers as a whole, so he certainly wasn't doing it because he hated her.

He helped her out of the mud and stepped back, brushing the splatters of mud from his pant legs and re-adjusting hid jacket and scarf. He was especially concerned with his scarf. He definitely didn't want to get mud on it. It was silk, after all, and it had quite a lot of sentimental value to him. He would wear it well into the summer if he could stand it.

"Oh, I'm always outside." Terrence admitted "I prefer to spend time outside, even when the weather is unfavorable. Right now I'm out for a walk while the day is nice, and I was trying to do my best to enjoy it. And I was singing to distract myself from thinking about the sad things I usually occupy myself with. It's hard to enjoy the day when you're thinking about sad things. "

He smiled softly, but the smile didn't reach his eyes. It never did, no matter what his actual feelings were. He could be happy as a clam and still look like he was tempted to lay down and keel over on the spot. It was a bit of a curse. No sense of humor, dry sarcasm, and an inability to smile properly gave people the wrong impression of him much of the time.

Gardens are not made by singing 'Oh, how beautiful,' and sitting in the shade.

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olivia nightspurre
 Posted: May 14 2015, 01:28 AM
Quote
Sometimes the sound of a thousand whispering words can confuse, but when you´re sleeping... They shift and slide together. Bring meaning to the canyon's cry. So I - I keep on dreaming, I live to dream again...
25RedLarkspur76 postsapplicationplotting
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olivia nightspurre


Olivia is glad that she has mud stains the sides of her face or Terrance would know that she was blushing with embarrassment. How stupid of it of her to call him that- she should have known better. “Right…”she says as she shakes her hand towards Terrance again to remind him that she still needed help out. Was she supposed to apologize for a mistake, in Olivia’s mind that was just nonsense. The mock turtle- excuse me – exmock turtle grabs onto her hand and Liv is relieved that he wasn't so offended that he decided to leave her there stuck helplessly nature soup in what was once a road. Olivia leave her muddy hand print on Terry’s arm as she forces herself out of the mud – The extra leverage with someone on solid ground made a world of difference as she works slowly to pull her shins from the depth of mud.

Terrance is trying really hard to make conversation but Olivia really needs to focus on getting her foot out with her shoe on, her hand slips on Terrance’s forearm down to his wrist thanks to her own poor grip as she stumbles and loses her shoe anyways. She curses, colorfully, underneath her breath and becomes defeated as her bare foot slaps down in rim of the mud before she lets go of Terry’s arm and stands firmly on the solid ground.

With a sigh of discontent Olivia counts her blessings and finally being on solid ground meant Olivia could starts to shake of larger chunks of mud that had dried to her shoulders and in her now matter hair while she had been struggling. Mud still sticks to her pretty much everywhere else making her look like some sort of monster crawling up from the lagoon of a deserted summer camp. Terrance is going on about something unimportant as she tries to wipe out some mud from the inside of her ear. She tries to look involved in what Terry was saying but that was easier said than done. Terrance, though a wonderful and kind soul along with being someone Olivia felt comfortable speaking to in confidence – could also be terribly dull.

Terry makes sure his scarf isn't ruffled or damage and Olivia does too- she is sure that she has seen that same scarf before tied around him even though they had not crossed paths in a relatively as she pulls her hair back from her face and tucks it behind her ears. Terry stops talking and Livia decides to play it safe and give Terry a polite enough smile as a passable that she was listening.

“Well I know you just came from that way would you like to walk back and help me find some shoes and a hot shower?” Olivia requests from Terrance. Jabbing her thumb over her shoulder from were Terrance had just come from. She is hopeful that the mock- that Terrance- would provide more insight if it was better to keep going in order to find a town sooner than trying to travel back. Her trip out of the Royal City was already a bust, but maybe she could salvage something from her trip yet.

Nothing lasts forever. Some things aren't meant to be., But you'll never find the answers, Til you set your old heart free.

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terrence chelony
 Posted: May 23 2015, 12:29 PM
Quote
........Sometimes........ he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.
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terrence chelony


Terry wasn't overly offended by Olivia calling him 'turtle'. He was pretty used to having to correct people by now. He knew it would take people some time before they comfortably used his correct species and nouns. It was just a sad fact in general, and a daily reminder that he would always be a mock turtle even if he tried his best to change. He could expect nothing less from the world, as awful as it was, but he tried his best not to blame individuals. If anything, he could only blame himself for trying to force everyone else to accept him.

He noticed her attempt to keep her shoe, and when she came out of the mud without it he briefly considered going in after it. He'd get muddy, sure, but what did it really matter? He wasn't much to look at and he wasn't going anywhere special. He decided against it when he realized it could become an infinite cycle if he lost HIS shoe down there, and he didn't want to risk his favorite scarf getting any more mud on it than it had already.

Olivia's attempt to seem like she was listening worked, and Terrence was none the wiser that she hadn't cared about anything he'd been going on about. Not that Terry really would have cared if he HAD known she wasn't listening. He mostly assumed no one cared about what he was saying until it was proven otherwise. He wasn't an important figure, he held no power, he lived in a shack by the beach... and he was the Mock Turtle. No one really cared about him but Pierre, and he was still certain that was only out of pity.

"I don't have anything against going back that way. " Terry said with a slight nod as he looked back down the path he'd come from. It was mostly mud-free, so at least there wouldn't be any repeat incidents.

"I'm just out here for a stroll, after all. I passed a little town not too long ago... I don't know exactly if they'll be welcoming or not, but it would be better try than you trying to walk all the way home without shoes. And if that doesn't work out I suppose we could probably make it back to my home in an hour or so and you can borrow a pair of mine."

Terry tried his best to be helpful, unsure of how Olivia would respond. Was it a stupid offer? He knew his feet were a bit larger than hers, but uncomfortable shoes were better than no shoes, right? He was more reluctant to let her see his awful, small, boring house by the sea, but if she couldn't shower anywhere else it would only be polite to let her clean up there. So, he let the offer sit it the air.

Gardens are not made by singing 'Oh, how beautiful,' and sitting in the shade.

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olivia nightspurre
 Posted: Jun 6 2015, 05:41 PM
Quote
Sometimes the sound of a thousand whispering words can confuse, but when you´re sleeping... They shift and slide together. Bring meaning to the canyon's cry. So I - I keep on dreaming, I live to dream again...
25RedLarkspur76 postsapplicationplotting
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olivia nightspurre


Olivia felt the mud start to clump on her skin as she smiled at Terrance. Accepting to going back with her was very sweet of him. This time, it's a genuine smile that stretched to the corners of her mouth and shone in her eyes- caring and warm. Some people do not think that Olivia is capable of a genuine smile like one she gave Terrance, maybe the way she held herself. Olivia tried wiping some mud off of her chin with the back of her hand and looked back toward the part of the road Terrance had just come from. "Well...a town sounds promising." Olivia said trying to keep it light while she picked up her bag she had thrown clear of the muddy pool and held it far away from her body. On most occasions she would not want it to get wet let alone get dirt on it. But she would must rather have it safely strapped to her back instead of holding it far away from her as they walked. She tried to ignore that the little town that Terrance mentioned might not be welcoming to strangers that passed through but it was something, it was the hope that there was a hot bath and some place to buy new shoes waited at the end of her disaster of a journey.

Terrance agreed to walk with her, even offered a pair of his own shoes it they could not stop in the town. She thought about making a joke about Terrance just wanting her to come back to his place for – what was the expression that the humans used? ‘For coffee’? But what stopped her was the possible backlash against her joke. Possibly with it all ending with a spiraling and more depressed ex-Mock Turtle. Which could not be any further from fun to walk back to this town with.

“I... appreciate that offer Terrance" Olivia said warmly with her whole little petal heart. And she meant it. Truly she did but she still could not seem to make eye contact with anything but the ground. She told herself that she is not a stupid emotional flower anymore- no more whimsical or childlike than any other normal grown up human. And Olivia refused to be one after the moment she changed form. And she was afraid that if she looked up then maybe Terrance would see that stupid and naïve vulnerability that she should have grown out of long ago.

“Lots of people wouldn’t only consider walking someone to a town.” Olivia told him truthfully before she pulled her bag over her shoulder. She knew it was going to be muddy, but it was obviously too late for her and trying to keep the mud off of the backpack since she was already caked in it. She gripped to the straps of the pack for something to do with her hands and she cleared her throat before she started walking around the mud patch (and tried to ignore the ridiculous sound of ‘sludge, slap, squeak, sludge,’ that came from her muddy clothing rubbing together.

Her toes had already started to get cold as the warmth of the day began to leave the forest. She started in the direction that Terrance had come from and avoided the patch of mud as much as possible, very adamant that she would not have to be rescued again. “So, what was that song called that you were singing earlier?” She probed. Being and unlicensed collector for story and songs as she was maybe Terrance could give her a bit more context on what he had been singing? Where was it used? Why did he sing it now?

Nothing lasts forever. Some things aren't meant to be., But you'll never find the answers, Til you set your old heart free.

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terrence chelony
 Posted: Jun 30 2015, 09:56 PM
Quote
........Sometimes........ he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.
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terrence chelony


It was probably best that Olivia avoided making the joke about 'getting coffee', because Terrence would have never understood. He was as thick as his former shell had been, and he'd learned nothing about romance from Pierre in London, either. And on top of that, even if he had understood the implication, it almost definitely would have put him off the idea and Olivia could probably use those shoes at this point.

Terrence hadn't even begun to question her possible stupidity or naivety yet as they began to walk down the path he'd come from to return to the town. Honestly Terry had never really given much thought to others, as selfish and conceited as that sounded. He rarely formed opinions on others, focusing more on what their opinions of him might be- and that always came up negatively.

But, Terry was also not a very observant creature, and so didn't notice that she was avoiding eye contact as she said she appreciated the offer. If anything, he just assumed the avoidance was because she didn't like him, and that was pretty much par for the course in the ex-mock turtle's eyes. He always assumed people didn't like him until proven otherwise.

Terrence smiled his half-smile as the flower asked about his song. Finally, a topic he knew something about and was slightly more comfortable with! His happiness didn't reach his eyes, of course, but it was still more than he'd expressed in quite some time.

"The song I was singing was The Lobster Quadrille. It has a square dance with it, too, of course, being a quadrille, performed by four couples and containing five figures, each of which is a complete dance in itself. It is quite complicated and beautiful, really. Back before Alice, there was always a lobster partner in each of the four couples that danced- that's what made it the Lobster Quadrille instead of any other kind of quadrille. "

Terrence rubbed the back of his neck, sinking slightly into his jacket. It sounded awful silly now that he said it out loud. Everything from before seemed so silly now. But, it had been one of the songs he'd performed for Alice when she first came to Wonderland, so it still had a special place for him. He'd been invited to perform it dozens of times after that.

"I also have a song I composed called 'Beautiful Soup' that I've performed a few times, like for Alice and then later at the tea parties..... " he admitted, then paled slightly. He didn't want to be asked to sing it. It was embarrassing enough that she'd heard him sing the first time. He didn't want to have to do it on purpose.He hated being complimented. It never felt genuine because he knew he was awful. He hated that people pretended otherwise.

"Anyway...yes, the Lobster Quadrille. I doubt it could be performed properly anymore, without getting pinched by a lobster. And any of the lobsters that have changed into people couldn't possibly perform the full routine. It just wouldn't be practical. "

He felt even more silly now, debating with himself the practicality of dancing with lobsters. Why did he always do this? He was almost certainly making a fool of himself now. This was why he didn't talk to people.

Tears started threatening at the corners of his eyes, but he didn't want to cry in front of Olivia. He was trying to be better today! He'd been doing so well, too! He'd even danced, and sung! He didn't need his perpetual sadness to come creeping back on him yet. He sniffled slightly and prayed the Larkspur didn't notice.

Gardens are not made by singing 'Oh, how beautiful,' and sitting in the shade.

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olivia nightspurre
 Posted: Aug 20 2015, 02:57 AM
Quote
Sometimes the sound of a thousand whispering words can confuse, but when you´re sleeping... They shift and slide together. Bring meaning to the canyon's cry. So I - I keep on dreaming, I live to dream again...
25RedLarkspur76 postsapplicationplotting
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olivia nightspurre


Olivia liked to weave when she walked. She liked to think that is stemmed, pun intended, from when she was a flower swaying in the wind. When she was not paying attention to her feet she managed to weave back and forth and surely she was doing it now. It was likely the more that Olivia weaved the more lost she was in conversation or thought. And certainly, Olivia listened attentively to Terrance. Argo, her weave managed to get worse because she had become involved in what he told her.

She had always found in fascinating when she came across a story or a song in Wonderland. She found solace in the stories and found meaning within melody. The wonderment that she felt when she came across a new story was the same amount of emotion Perrault had when he learnt about the French folk tales. Or perhaps how the Grimm’s brothers found stories.

She hobbled along beside Terrance as she pictured the lobsters as they danced along Alice. Olivia imagined there tiny feet as they rushed to keep up. She thought of Alice, holding carefully to their claws so she would not get pinched. Olivia was entirely filled with wonderment that she doesn’t notice the giggle that emitted from her.

She would had loved to see the dance. But seeing how it was it was an extremely important fact that lobster had to be present in order to correctly perform she might never see it. As a flower she never had the chance to adventure out into Wonderland, though she got to hear some of the most miraculous stories from other creatures that ventured far beyond her garden haven. That unfortunate fact left her longing.

“It’s truly unfortunate that I never got to see it then.” Olivia said as she adjusted her backpack. “I would have loved to see it performed properly.” She admitted but tried not to look at Terrance. A swell of regret and sadness seemed flooded quickly through Olivia, just like her anger did when she had found herself stuck in the mud. When she was just a wee seedling she would beg people to hear about their villages. Olivia used to dream about being uprooted and put into a beautiful little clay pot and being able to see it for herself. She could have never imagined what had waited for her after she pulled herself from the dirt.

Terrance stopped talking for a second and Olivia hoped that he would regress into wallowing because of her. “Oh you composed Beautiful Soup!” Olivia tried to lighten the conversation. A weepy Terry meant a less helpful guide to this village.

“I never knew, its quiet beautiful actually. I find that it really speaks to a lot of past animals.” Olivia praised

As they walked longer Olivia found the forest become thinner, opening up to the sky and chopped down stumps. Olivia was relived to think that they were drawing closer to a place that she could buy shoes.

“Terrance?” Olivia asked before she wiped a speckle of dried mud off from her neck, “how much longer do you think we will be?”

Nothing lasts forever. Some things aren't meant to be., But you'll never find the answers, Til you set your old heart free.

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terrence chelony
 Posted: Aug 20 2015, 12:18 PM
Quote
........Sometimes........ he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.
36BlackMock Turtle117 postsapplicationplotting
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terrence chelony


Terrence noticed the giggle when she thought about the lobsters. He hoped she wasn't laughing at him. He knew how ridiculous it all seemed in retrospect. He was hyper-aware of it all. After all, he had once been a turtle with a calf's head, rear hooves, and a tail. You don't get much more ridiculous than a mock turtle.

The thought almost had him missing his old form, if he were to be honest with himself. It had been so long he'd forgotten what it was like to actually BE a mock turtle... But wasn't that a good thing? Didn't that mean he was more human now, like he'd wanted to be? Did he really WANT to forget something so important to his very being? He didn't even really know the answer to that, but the depression that swiftly moved in at the thought made him feel more like a mock turtle than he had in a while. That was something.

"You shouldn't feel so bad about missing the dance." Terrence said softly, keeping his eyes down. "Many people did. Besides, it was nonsensical and silly, just like the rest of the world back then. I doubt it was really as nice as I remember it to be. Especially since I did the choreography, and I'm more than certain I had two left hooves then..... No. It wasn't good enough to miss, though the music is still nice."

A slight look of horror passed over his face as Olivia praised 'Beautiful Soup'. 'Speaks to a lot of past animals', indeed! Especially turtles, not that there were any other mock turtles left to hear it. After all, that's why it had been written! Other animals, hm? Other animals identified with this? He hoped not. He sincerely hoped not. No one should have to understand. No one should know the feeling.

Ah, he thought and relaxed slightly with an audible sigh. She doesn't understand. If Pierre doesn't understand then it's little wonder that she doesn't understand.

"...While I appreciate the praise, Olivia, it is really undeserved." He said and blinked up at the sky, then back down to the ground "You wouldn't think it so beautiful if... if you... "

He ran his hands through his hair, tugging on the ones at the back of his neck. He was shaking like a leaf as he tried to force himself not to curl into a ball and start crying right then and there. He wasn't going to cry. He didn't want to cry today. Today was better. Today he'd be better. It was fine. All of it was fine. Turtle Soup was fine.

He took a moment to compose himself and took off his scarf, wrapping it around his hands idly as he played the silky fabric through his fingers. A gentle reminder to himself that he wasn't a turtle anymore, and that this was a good thing. So many happy memories in this scarf. And none of them would have been possible if he were still a turtle. And that made it okay.

"It isn't a good song. " He said finally "It isn't a happy song, at least. Beautiful, maybe. Obviously others liked it, since I had to sing it often enough. But they didn't understand it. I didn't write it to identify with other past animals. I wrote it while I was still a mock turtle. I wrote it for myself. I don't want it to speak to anyone. It shouldn't speak to anyone. I hope it doesn't speak to anyone and if it does I'm very, very sorry. "

He continued walking for a moment and processed Olivia's question. He looked around at the trees. "Not long now. At this speed, fifteen, twenty minutes. Thirty if we end up a bit distracted by conversation."

Gardens are not made by singing 'Oh, how beautiful,' and sitting in the shade.
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