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Messages - edmund.

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1
Flintlock Lodge / Re: A Night's Dreaming ~Joining~
« on: April 27, 2022, 08:53:41 AM »
Truth be told, there had also been a time once in Eddie's life where he too had that same niggling thought at the back of his mind: what the hell was he doing here? Boston looked like a lifetime away now, skyscrapers dominating the skies, peering down and applauding any brave soul who still had the tenacity to battle it out for territories and goods in a world which had otherwise abandoned them. Despite the destruction down below, those high-rises lingered in a recumbent commiseration, marked as sorrowful reminders of just how far mankind had come before the sudden regression back into the dark ages. 

Back then, the Stirling family was in their prime and Eddie grew up in a world where he was given every opportunity to thrive. Some would even say that the teenaged boy was taking a very sinister path in becoming a vicious man. Perhaps little had changed in that light - same man, different circumstance. His world had been tilted off of its axis the day his family was torn apart by their arch enemies. The Stirling empire had finally fallen in Boston and now the only proof of their power was his father's reputation that so often preceded him. Up this very mountain Eddie trekked alongside his father and step-mother, two young children in tow, as the base of Flintlock Lodge had always been decided upon as the family's safe house if situations in Boston were to ever go awry. Once things would turn in their favour once more, then they would swiftly return to Boston to take a firm hold on what was theirs once more... At least, that had been the plan.

Half a decade on and most of the Stirling family had reconvened in one way or another. His father was buried deep in the ground where he belonged, and Eddie had since taken on his position as the head of the family. Some of his brothers had found their ways back to this new place that they called home. Alfie had died in this lodge as a noble man. Nik did not have the good fortune of doing so. Thomas had kept his loyalty to his brother unwavering for years, but there had come a time where he had chosen that it was finally time to reunite with the woman that he loved for the sake of their son and their happiness. Eddie missed his older brother's firm means of providing advice, but no man could step in the way of love. It'd be foolish to do so. As for Franklin, he had finally come to his senses upon realising that running away from the duties of a Stirling was futile.

Frank was the only brother that Eddie had left, and sometimes it left a bitter taste in his mouth.

Despite the tension that had once been apparent between the brothers, Frank had to admit that Eddie was right all along. It was a win in Eddie's books, and so he'd offer to give his brother another chance. He had to count his blessings; some people would kill to have a second chance with a loved one.

And so together they'd wander on an evening patrol together, making sure all Flintlockers were safe and sound in the comfort of the lodge before nightfall. The nights out here were a death wish, and Eddie wasn't sure he could bear the thought of one of the younger members stumbling across a hypothermic body one day. The brothers wandered in silence, Eddie's brows bunched together firmly as he trudged through the slowly melting snow.  ❝ Ed. ❞ Frank alerted with a mutter, pointed finger landing on a small silhoutette pressed up against a tree in the distance.

Upon closer inspection, it appeared to be a woman, an unrecognisable one at that. ❝ Are you hurt? ❞ Eddie enquired upon approaching, instinctively feeling for the strap that kept his rifle close to his person just in case this were a set-up. One could never be too sure nowadays, especially after the trouble that Flintlock had faced formerly. Those wicked events that had sealed Alfie's fate in the first place. Eddie wasn't prepared to lose his only remaining brother, even if the woman did appear to be unassuming.

Frank was less concerned of any perceived risks, sighing before crouching down nearby and shimmying his thick coat off to reveal a thinner layer beneath. He offered the thick coat to the woman without question, the cold sending a shudder coursing through his body at the sudden new chill he felt in the air. ❝ The lodge is not too far away. Just hidden behind those trees over there. ❞ He nodded towards the grove of trees in the distance before looking up towards Ed for instruction. With a sigh,   Eddie reached for his walkie talkie, ❝ Injured newcomer just east of the village. We're gonna need a sled. ❞

And, with that, Ed looked back towards the woman, his usual deadpan expression perhaps somewhat intimidating, before he stated, ❝ Lets get you seen to first. Once you've warmed up and someone has checked your ankle, I'll need to know what brought you all the way here. ❞ Especially with her lack of warm coat, Edmund observed warily. She could have been chased this way. If so, where was the danger? Would it risk Flintlock? Was she the danger? A damsel in distress, only to turn around and strike once Flintlock got too comfortable? Was she a member from one of the many groups that wanted to see Flintlock crumble? Perhaps many would brush Ed off as too suspicious, but his suspicious nature was what kept people safe.

2
Private Threads / catch me falling — mia.
« on: April 01, 2022, 07:29:11 PM »
This was the most remarkable thing he had ever seen. Blue gaze like cold steel welcomed the eventual sunrise in all of its golden glory. The approaching morning was so-often perceived as a promise well-kept but for Edmund it felt more like a sigh of relief. He had come to see another sunrise, a gift so often left unappreciated until one witnesses first hand the people who never got to see the break of a new day. Sometimes, Edmund's head was a dark and unnerving place. Sometimes, the promise of a new day could be more likened to another slow-burn death sentence, but today he was okay. Was he obliged to be any more than that, or was being okay more than anyone could expect from him?

Here’s the thing: life is not a cohesive narrative of good days or bad days. Good people or bad people. It’s more like puzzle pieces. It’s layered.

Take Edmund Stirling at face value for example. On the steps leading to the front door, he was slouched over so that he could preserve his own body heat — spring was well on its way, although the crisp night breeze confessed otherwise — whilst he sat beside a woman he could not yet concede to loving. The two star-crossed lovers chose to keep each other company on their current sleepless encounters, and if a newcomer were to come face-to-face with them now, they'd only conclude that Edmund was an adoring man keeping his lady-friend company.

And that would be it.

Every bad deed of his, every murder, extortion, unfaithfulness and more — erased by ignorance.

But that was what made Edmund realise the moment he knew he was in love with Mia Carlisle. This was the most remarkable thing he had ever seen, he thought. Mia Carlisle had heard his heart beating alone in the darkness, and so she sat in the darkness with him, too. After all that she knew about him, all of the horrors he had caused with his own two bloodied hands, she chose to accept him anyways.

God, he hoped she didn't love him in the way that he loved her — if someone like that had come to love him, he'd certainly die. And so, for as many years as he knew her, he kept a safe enough distance. Until now.

❝ Anya was a lovely girl. ❞ With reference to the ex-girlfriend that had briefly occupied his time until recent, eyes darted over to glance towards Mia in the softened glow of the early morning sun. ❝ Really, she was. But it's not about finding someone who will fill the void for you — to... to feel a little less alone — but to find someone that makes you feel like that void is no longer a notable part of who you are. ❞ He explained his contemplations in a soft murmur before taking a long drag of his cigarette. If there was one person Edmund felt like he could even somewhat open up to, it would be Mia. After all, she had been his confidant way back in their teen-hood before any of this really mattered.

Even though she broke his heart back then, the feeling of trust still seemed to remain. And that was the remarkable thing about Mia.

Soft gaze shifted back towards Mia, down to her lips, back up to her eyes, before he looked away once more. Sleepless nights always exposed the innermost confessions of a man.

❝ The sunrise; it's a pretty one... Thanks, you know. For staying up to sit with me. I'm sure you would've wanted to go to bed by now. ❞ He shifted the conversation quickly afterwards, gesturing with his cigarette towards the aureate glimmer of sunlight bearing through the spines of the conifers. Rolling his shoulders back in an exhausted attempt of a stretch, Edmund eventually allowed for his free hand to settle in the space between himself and Mia, grip against the coolness of the wooden step until his finger twitched at the warmth of Mia's hand nearby. Like a comfort. As if he'd been lost all this time, and Mia had been the one to find him. To bring him back down to earth.

And, with a cautious twitch of his finger, Edmund brought his hand closer to rest upon hers. A silent move so reposeful. So comforting. A move which did not fill the void, but made it seem insignificant in that very moment. Edmund rarely knew what peace was meant to feel like, but he could imagine it felt a lot like her.

3
Flintlock Lodge / smile with the risin' sun — open .
« on: January 18, 2022, 04:57:45 PM »
The fire was crackling and, for the first time in a long time, Edmund felt at peace.

Once Edmund had finished bathing Christian and Charlotte (and dressing them in their usual matching pyjamas) to prepare them for bedtime, Ida wandered into the lounge with a proposition to make. It sounded more an eager plea, one which did not at all frustrate Edmund despite the fact he already had his hands so full handling two excitable three year olds. ❝ How do you play the guitar? ❞ She had initially enquired with a curious wrinkle of her nose. With furrowed brows, Eddie peered up towards his half-sister from where he crouched on the floor, jumbling up puzzle pieces for the twins to figure out whilst they warmed themselves up nearby the fire. ❝ Well, ❞ Giving Christian a gentle ruffle of the hair, he rose to his feet before fitting the fireguard across the fireplace — he had always been a very thoughtful father, doing everything in his power to protect his children — and only then did he turn his attention to Ida.

❝ It takes practice, and maybe a little bit of help to get you started. ❞ Quirking a gentle brow Ida’s way, the young girl huffed before glancing down at her niece and nephew. ❝ Do you think I’d be good at the guitar? ❞ She asked, cocking her head to the side expectantly. So that was what this was all about, huh? ❝ Oh, of course. How about you go grab my guitar from my bedroom and when you get back I can teach you a couple of chords? Sounds good? ❞ Ida barely wasted a moment before excitedly scuttling off in search of Eddie’s treasured guitar. Whilst it meant that the twins would probably go to bed a little later than Eddie would have liked, they were already so immersed in figuring out the puzzle together that the extra half an hour would do them no harm.

Soon Ida returned, guitar nearly weighing her down as she eagerly hopped onto the couch beside Eddie. And then, with his voice as soft spoken as always, he began to guide her through the basics of learning the guitar. Surprisingly, Ida picked up on it relatively quickly, granted she was only thirteen years old. It had been enough to earn Christian’s attention — unlike his sister, who was intent on finishing the puzzle — the young boy pushing himself up onto his feet to investigate. ❝ Can I play? Only once, Daddy, please?! ❞ He squeaked, resting his hand on Eddie’s knee before Ed nudged Christian gently over towards the guitar. ❝ All right, but only once, okay? ❞ Ida began grinning as she held the guitar in place, Christian leaning over to strum a discordant sound from the guitar before erupting into a giggle. ❝ You liked that? Well, maybe Ida can teach you when you’re a little older. How does that sound, Ida? ❞ He looked towards his sister, giving a gentle shrug her way as she beamed proudly. ❝ Obviously! ❞

It hadn’t taken long for the twins to settle down, both of them eventually clambering up onto the couch before falling asleep to the sound of Ida learning how to play Three Little Birds, slowly but surely. With gentle utterances, Eddie guided Ida through the simple chords, gently stroking Charlotte’s hair whilst she slept soundly with her head on his lap. In moments like these, Eddie was truly at peace from the war inside his mind, and those constant, raging wars out in the world beyond Flintlock Lodge. For now, close to his family, close to his children, Edmund would relax as much as his ever-racing mind would allow. Instead, it was in these moments where Eddie could shed the aloof and closed off front he was so exceptional at maintaining. The tiniest glimmer of a smile quirked at the corner of his lip and he praised Ida as she conquered a chord that she had been stuck on. Oftentimes, Eddie loved people too much yet never showed it enough but he was trying to change, if not for himself, if not for the people of Flintlock, but for his children who deserved a father that cared. He was not Alfred, after all.

He was by no means the perfect man — God, he was far from it — but he could look back at those mistakes, try and pick them up. Make certain that his children would never follow in his footsteps and make those same, many mistakes. He wanted to prevent it, but he could never truly  prevent history from wanting to repeat itself. Who was he at the end of the day? Was he himself or was he merely the image of the man that he was trying to be? The man that was so desperately trying to be so gentle around his children, the man so eager to prove to them (and himself) that he was enough for them. Eager to prove that he was not the sinister man with blood on his hands, the reputation that had far superseded any attempts at a faultless fatherhood.

He was like his father in many ways, but at least his smiles were warm and his eyes lit up whenever he’d see those gleeful grins on his children’s faces. Eddie hoped that it would be enough for them. He hoped that he would be loved by them as much as Eddie cherished them.

4
Perhaps Edmund and Cass were more alike than they had initially supposed. Like Cass, Edmund had often left the talent of charm and likeability to his brothers, more precisely to the late Dominik and Alfonso. They were both way ahead of their years in terms of popularity — who wouldn’t adore their talkative nature? But, with notability came a risk, one which had led both brothers to an early grave. Perhaps being likeable wasn’t so practical after all; all that it did was make the target on their backs just that little bit bigger.

No, no — it’s alright, I can come with. ❞ Edmund retorted with assurance, lips pursed into a thin line as he shrugged his shoulder to emphasise the rifle he kept close to his body. ❝ Bears are pretty common around here this time each year; imagine it’s because there are more than enough places for them to hibernate around these parts. ❞ He explained, trudging closer towards Cass as he peered out across the treeline. ❝ Luckily, it’s nothing that a rifle can’t fix if you ever found yourself with an unhappy grizzly. ❞ Eyes naturally avoidant, Eddie stopped nearby Cass, brows bunched together before he gestured towards the woods. ❝ Shall we get going then? ❞ Onwards Edmund trudged, boots crunching below against untouched snow.

Footprints in snowfall this fresh were often a good indication for whatever was nearby. Deer tracks were often a positive sign; its flesh could satisfy the hunger of many plus its pelt could be used in so many ways. As Edmund walked, he was silent for quite some time until eventually querying, ❝ So how do you hunt? I’ve never seen you with a gun, so I supposed I’d ask. ❞ A somewhat fumbling attempt to make small talk from a man notoriously terrible at such. But, he maintained the calm and cool presence he was so renowned for; after all, it was not that he was awkward, it was just that he preferred solitude as it had always been what felt safest for him.

5
tw. mercy killing, mention of death

It had been a year.

A year since Victor had been laid to rest by the hands of Edmund. A mercy killing, he would relentlessly remind himself, otherwise he would be driven to the brink of madness with the remorse he felt. He simply could not define the state that he had been in following Victor’s death. That had been his best friend. Edmund had been in mourning the time that Cass and Ronan had come along, exacerbating Edmund’s general cold and less than forthcoming nature. The problem was that Eddie loved too much but never showed it enough. He cared but his protectiveness was veiled with a coolness that naturally pushed people away.

Sometimes people would understand.

Alone, Edmund would wake up each morning at the crack of dawn, guided by the warm hues of sunlight filtering across his bedroom. Oftentimes, Eddie still had a couple of hours before his two children would wake up and the responsibility of carrying the lodge on his shoulders would begin. It was an exhausting cycle. Everyday, he’d wake up heavier than the sum of all his parts. He could shift, toss and turn in his sleep, restless and perturbed, but it would never help. If he could sleep a couple of hours longer, then maybe he would wake up and feel like a different man. But it would never happen. Edmund was obliged to wake up in the early hours, because it was the only fragment of peace he could cherish before becoming overcome with responsibility once more. Before he would have to face the next day with a calm indifference to the world around him.

Had Edmund and Cass gotten off on the wrong foot? Not at all — instead perhaps they hadn’t gotten off on any foot at all. It was the curse of Edmund Stirling; he may reign as the long-lived Captain of Flintlock Lodge, but it never made him fit to be hospitable at the best of times. Instead, he was often monotonous, some even labelled him shy in the company of others. Maybe he was somewhat, or maybe he favoured being a silent observer in his own life. His father had beaten that into Edmund enough times; emotional restraint was a man’s greatest power. But, more than anything, it caused Eddie to unintentionally keep everyone at arm’s length. He drove people away and he could try and blame it on his father all he could, but that was all on him.

Edmund would try to be the father that his own father could never be.

Returning from a lonesome morning patrol, Edmund shrugged the strap of his rifle further up on his shoulder as he searched for something else to get on with before the majority of the lodge would rise from their slumber. Nearby, Cass had stopped nearby, Edmund meeting his gaze before hesitating in one spot. Out to go hunting again, Edmund imagined. He ought to admit that Cass seemed to be a fine hunter, often bringing plenty of food to the table if he remembered correctly. ❝ Hey. ❞ Edmund greeted softly with a polite tip of his head, pausing for a moment longer before wandering over. ❝ Need an extra hand? I was just about to head back to the lodge to find something else to do. ❞

6
Flintlock Lodge / RAISE A GLASS — OPEN.
« on: November 18, 2021, 05:36:21 AM »
tw. childhood trauma, mention of homophobic upbringing

Edmund wasn’t used to being loved. He never knew what to do. Every time he’d reach out, eventually — one way or another — his raw and real self would never be enough. Who really wanted damaged goods anyway? As much as Edmund wanted to blame his upbringing for how he turned out, maybe the problem lay with him? But he couldn’t be held accountable for what happened to him as a child — none of the Stirlings deserved that. All they needed was some love. A hug. A hand on the shoulder as they were told that they were adored.

But the truth was, their past still haunted them because that was what happened when a relentless cycle could not be broken. He was on Edmund’s mind every waking moment of every single day. The things Alfred had pressured the Stirling brothers into was barbaric and cruel. How could they love when they were taught only hatred and savagery? How could they ever be loved when they were never shown what love meant? Every moment was snarled into his fighting soul, carved into weary bones. Memories burned behind eyelids, Alfred occupied his brain as if it were his home.

He had been dead for two years, but he lived on in Edmund’s head nonetheless.

Franklin too had been cursed with such horror, but perhaps the two brothers dealt with their anguish in different ways. Whilst Edmund was adamant on trying to follow in his father’s footsteps because it was the only lifestyle that he knew, Franklin had been preoccupied with the niggling thought that there ought to be a better life out there somewhere for him. His homosexuality was something that he was quiet about around his family for fear of judgement, but his life in Bluestem Prairie had felt so liberating. The constraints of fear had been eradicated, and he had been unshackled from Alfred’s cruel and, quite frankly, dated beliefs.

But what was a life free of constraints when Franklin had to go about it alone? He never fit into the western dream Bluestem Prairie made itself out to be — he had only settled down there so that he could be with the man that he loved. He sacrificed everything that he had once known, only to be betrayed. His husband disappeared in the night, taking all that Frank had come to adore with him. Ever since, waking up in an empty home became unbearable. Soon after, Frank retreated back to the only place that felt like home. Despite the tensions between Edmund, perhaps he had been right all along. His ex-husband was bad news. With bitterness in his heart, Franklin did all he could to settle back into the life of the Stirlings once more. He became cold and aloof again, just as Alfred had taught him.

Perhaps Alfred was only raising his children in such a way because he knew that life was harsh. Life could only be tolerated if it were done with a cautious guardedness. Like Edmund, Franklin learned better than to defy that life lesson.

Edmund could acknowledge that he and Franklin were the same; it was just about time Franklin came to understand that as fact too. With his hands tucked in the warmth of his coat pockets, Edmund wandered towards the bar in Flintlock’s village, the bell jingling softly as he nudged the door open to find his older brother sitting alone at the bar, taking a sip of lager. ❝ Thought I’d find you here. ❞ Edmund acknowledged, chin tipping upwards in greeting as Franklin glanced over his shoulder towards Edmund dully. ❝ Yeah? ❞  He returned with a restrained murmur. Ed huffed a soft breath, sliding onto a nearly barstool. ❝ Yeah… I was thinking... ❞ He glanced around the quiet bar, unmanned since the passing of Frederick. ❝ how would you like taking over the bar as your own? ❞ Frank looked over towards Ed, eyes squinting almost suspiciously before nodding his head slowly. Carefully. ❝ Yeah. I can do that.❞

Whatever could tie Franklin down to Flintlock, Edmund would do his best to keep his brother around.

❝ Well, as the new owner, ❞ Frank put down his now-empty glass as he stood up. ❝ how about a drink on me? ❞ He looked over at his brother, straight-faced, as Edmund shook his head slowly with a glimmer of a smile. There was the brother Edmund had missed — his snide, dry sense of humour. ❝ Sure. ❞ Eddie returned, drumming his fingers on the bar counter as Frank went to pour the both of them a drink. A lager for Frank and a glass of whiskey for Eddie; Frank still knew his brother well, despite their differences.

7
Flintlock Lodge / Re: wonderful life — open.
« on: November 11, 2021, 03:01:38 PM »
Edmund’s gaze lingered for a second. Perhaps sometimes he took for granted the things he adored in his life — he was often so skilled at predicting peoples’ next moves that he seldom lived in the moment, appreciating all the little things that actually mattered. Unlike Bernard, Edmund was still graced with a family that he so loved and a fortunate lifestyle that he had been bred into. But, despite all of this, Edmund was trapped in his head, deep in thought and rather obsessed with the very worst that life had to offer. The loss of his brothers and the weight of his mistakes heavy on his shoulders, there was much that Edmund let cloud his mind.

Edmund’s eyes were contemplative as he peered across at Bernard. The way he spoke about his family was one of sheer nostalgia. A fleeting memory that had since passed. Lips tightened into a straight line, Edmund giving Bernard a sympathetic nod before glancing over towards the mixture Ida was concocting. Henry and Ida were both orphans, technically speaking, and had not received any sort of paternal affection for the entirety of their lives. Alfred was cold and aloof as a father, certainly not the kind of man to enjoy baking treats with his children. If Edmund were to be honest, people around the lodge treated the two children more like their offspring than Alfred ever did, Bernard included. The way he so carefully assisted Ida, it was as if Bernard had his child back and Ida had finally felt the love that a warm-hearted father could bring.

But moments like these were fleeting; Bernard’s son would never come back, and Eddie and Ida’s father could never rise from the grave to seek redemption.

Once the mixture had been poured into the tins, Edmund slid them into the wood-fired oven, brushing his hands together to signify a job well done. Ida had since taken it upon herself to collect the spoon from the mixing bowl nearby, licking at the batter merrily. A gentle sigh, then Edmund shifted his gaze to look over towards Bernard. ❝ Thank you. She appreciates it. ❞ He pointed out in a hushed murmur. ❝ She will never say it, but I know she does. ❞ Edmund cleared his throat, gaze darting away as he watched the fire roar inside the oven. ❝ Our father… He was not a man who wanted to be a dad. Just a father. So Ida hasn’t ever really had the opportunity to do things like these. It’s different with me — I can try and raise her the best I can but, at the end of the day, I’m still her brother so she’ll never know what it’s like to have a father figure that cares. ❞ Edmund glanced over towards Ida, forlorn features lingering as his half-sister was far too preoccupied to listen in on the conversation.

Perhaps this was exactly what Ida needed. Bernard, too. This was something that the both of them needed.

8
Flintlock Lodge / Re: SAID HE'S A SCUMBAG DON'T YOU KNOW? && double joining
« on: September 30, 2021, 10:14:48 AM »
Edmund was no stranger to the cold.

It began with the coldness of an indifferent father. Then the dregs of blood once spilled for an unworthy cause, pooled around a body that had since grown cold as it was left behind as discarded waste. Sometimes by Eddie, sometimes by others. Cold was the cutthroat survival the New World had thrust the innocent generation into. A world many had to grow accustomed to over the years, but a life Edmund had been born into. All of these cold, self-serving prerequisites in order just to make it through the day because life had never been about ❛ loving thy neighbour ❜, but about scrimmaging and grappling for any small piece of hope that one was strong enough to avoid the inevitable; the cold.

But the cold, it could creep into one’s bones when they least expected it. When each heartbreak of watching a loved one die turned from one deep lamentation to an unfortunate expectation time and time again. One could only survive the New World if they were hardened by the cold. When a loved one was once someone he would take a bullet for, yet now they were the one standing behind the trigger. That look in their eyes — cold, cold, cold. This world was bitterly inhospitable, especially to those who deserved nothing but warmth and kindness. Eddie could only sympathise from afar. Flintlock was home because he was well accustomed to the cold in one way or another, but he was learning how to seek the warmth. The kindness.

The only thing was that it tended to despise him, as did most things.

Bernard had caught Edmund’s attention as he watched the man trek onwards away from the lodge, something which he would likely otherwise avoid doing unless he had good reason to head in that very direction. Through the window, Eddie’s eyes narrowed slightly as he looked for any movement along the horizon before rising to his feet to leave the lodge in search of Bernard. Several moments behind him, Ed eventually spotted Bernard in conversation with two newcomers, the Captain slowing a stop nearby as he awaited the response of the two unfamiliar faces.

9
Flintlock Lodge / memento mori — open.
« on: September 22, 2021, 03:54:21 PM »
tw. reminiscing on the death of loved ones

There was not a day gone by where the ghosts of Edmund’s past did not linger in the forefront of his mind. He still daydreamed about those lost in his memory, perhaps somewhat romanticized by the grief that he struggled to shake off. However, after experiencing loss on such a relentless scale, as well as being someone who seldom acknowledged his own fragility in his bereavement, it was no surprise that eventually the feelings became monumental. The build-up was unfaltering and some day he’d no longer be able to bear the weight of his own head on his shoulders as it would be so heavy with thought. But for now, Edmund would slog along, working his fingers down to the bone because honour and duty would be prioritized above all else.

Young Ida was built for speed; whilst she was petite, she was strong-willed and her frame was muscular for her age, likely from just how active she was becoming. After being introduced to botany in the more recent weeks, Ida had become besotted with the idea of exploring the forest verdure for any signs of herbs that could be used at her disposal. Alternative medicine, Ida would suggest with a smug smile. A word that she most certainly learned recently, Edmund theorised. ❝ This one is… a purple bittercress. ❞ Ida pointed out a wildflower emerging from the mulch beside a forest evergreen, hardly hesitating a second before whipping her head to the side to make sure Edmund was paying attention.

Nearby, Eddie stood with his hands tucked in the pockets of his coat, head tipped to the side to examine the lilac flower before nodding his head in one short motion. ❝ Very good. That’s something I didn’t know. ❞ Eddie pointed out, soon glancing away briefly to keep an eye on Chance’s whereabouts. The old mastiff lumbered around nearby, paws leaving heavy indentations on the rain-sodden dirt as he held his head low to the ground, sniffing at the moss that had extended across a rotting, fallen tree. Whilst observing the hound, Eddie was being subjected to a look of expectancy, Ida awaiting his full attention once more before plucking the plant to add to a bunch of wildflowers she was collecting. ❝ Yes, that’ll be a pretty one to add. ❞ He admired softly as they then continued their slow walk through the forest to reach the burial place of many that they used to know.

10
Flintlock Lodge / Re: EVERYBODY DIES / RETURN, o
« on: September 16, 2021, 01:59:28 PM »
It shouldn’t be a surprise for Edmund to have a target on his back. He’d been aware of where he stood in this world for his entire life, and it only progressed once he’d taken over in his father’s stead. There was bound to come a time where his loyalties were to be tested, where Edmund would truly understand what it meant to be betrayed by someone that he thought he could trust. Perhaps it was naive of him to believe that he was so distrusting in character that it would never happen to him. He never thought that someone like Colt could ever have such malicious intentions. If Edmund had been as aloof and cold as people made him out to be, then maybe he would have been dead by now. But, it was his brief lapse in malignance which had saved him for the time being.

Eddie’s lips twitched slightly as Colt spoke briefly about his childhood. He could ever pick out similarities between the both of them; sometimes, it felt as if Eddie was looking at himself five years ago whenever he set his gaze on Colt. Perhaps it was what drew Eddie towards Colt — the familiarity, yet also the desire to make sure Colt would not have to figure the world out on his own. Sitting back on his haunches, Eddie looked over towards Colt as he asked for an update on the Lodge. ❝ Apart from the issue regarding The Badlands? Been running as smooth as it can. Starting to prepare for the winter time. It’s already starting to get really icy again, so I anticipate this winter’ll be a cold one. Could do with some help with a couple of things, actually; whenever you have the time, of course. ❞

11
Flintlock Lodge / can you feel the sun — open, sunrise.
« on: September 09, 2021, 12:45:50 PM »
The peace was temporary, yet came about so indefinitely that its fleeting nature was a comfort. As if at least one thing was everlasting in his life. The cold and moonless sky blended effortlessly with the sunlight as it did every single morning, and Eddie could confidently say that the sunrises in these parts were nothing to sneer at. As he sat right on the highest peak of the world (the highest that he had experienced, anyways) the sky looked more like a canvas in its panoramic glory from way up above. It sure beat the views from a lower altitude.

He wasn’t much of a tender man, not outwardly anyway, and so it was hard to believe that he would take time to appreciate the colours of sunrise as he sat on the steps outside of the lodge to admire the view ahead. A cigarette in one hand and a mug of coffee in the other, Eddie’s early starts were common. With a dog, two children and an unwillingness to sleep at all, the dark rings below his eyes were a sign of his abiding exhaustion. He took a long drag from his cigarette, raised protuberances emerging through a slight shudder at the morning breeze. Even with a sweater on, Eddie felt the cold, a tangible sign that winter was creeping in.

The deciduous trees were withering slowly and the sky began to appear perpetually cloudy, masking the sun’s full capacity away from the sky. Soon the snow would return and the lodge would be as cold as Edmund believed he was. His rosy cheeks, pink from the morning breeze, were proof of this fallacious belief. He was very much alive, surviving, being — that didn’t mean that one was living at all though. Only existing, if not for himself then at least for others. He exhaled a plume of cigarette smoke into the crisp air, and his eyes traced the clouds that lingered at the break of day.

12
Flintlock Lodge / Re: EVERYBODY DIES / RETURN, o
« on: August 25, 2021, 04:34:13 AM »
It had been no secret to Eddie that Colt’s appearance around the lodge had been more sparse as of late. He wanted to blame it on the fact that Colt was still young, and some youngsters wished for nothing more than to cling onto the very last strand of innocence before being shoved out into the big wide world. But, Colt wasn’t like most young people. Like Edmund, he never knew what it was like to enjoy a childhood and so knew not what he was missing out on. Ed knew that look very well. Shoulders sagging and discoloured bags below the eyes as if the world drained all life from all that had to witness it in its sinister entirety.

He was tired of having to carry all that the world amassed on his back. Eddie knew that feeling, too.

In this instance, Eddie favoured silence over confrontation. After all, at the end of the day Colt was just a kid; it would be wrong to expect him to put forth the weapon that he’d been crafted into when it had been Eddie’s pledge to protect the younger generation in the lodge. Instead, he allowed Colt to take a small step back, from all of the danger and fighting that Eddie was hatching tactically, and from Eddie himself.  This was only self-preservation in its finest form, Eddie believed. He never thought that these chain of events were because Colt wanted Eddie to stay around for longer, rather than avoiding all of his hundred flaws as he had initially assumed.

Eddie stepped into the lounge, quickly taking notice that Colt was the only person in the room at that moment. ❝ Taking good care of what’s yours, ‘ey? ❞ Nodding his head briefly towards the pocket knife, Eddie smoothed his hair back as he wandered further into the living room, picking up the lighter that he had placed at the corner of the coffee table earlier before crouching down to attempt to relight the fireplace that had dwindled since the last time he had checked up on it an hour ago.

❝ It’s always good practice. People like getting things but it’s pointless if you never nurture it… Knife’ll treat you well if you keep it in good condition. ❞ It'd been the most that Eddie had spoken in casual conversation for some time, ever since he'd been far more invested in the current affairs between Flintlock and The Badlands. But, for Colt, he liked to make the effort.

13
Private Threads / Re: fight for my survival — leonardo.
« on: August 22, 2021, 12:09:37 PM »
Edmund was relieved when Leonardo agreed to help Eddie with this task. It was a big thing to ask of someone but both Ed and Leo were part of crime families and understood the extent of loyalty. If Leonardo ever needed something from Eddie, he could always be rest assured that Ed would be there for him, and vice versa. And, in this instance, Eddie knew that he could trust Leonardo to get the job done. ❝ Good. ❞ He murmured softly, head nodding as he processed the information. ❝ That’s good. Thank you. ❞ Not only had this perpetrator damaged his reputation as well as his family recipe’s longstanding multigenerational reputation, many people were unwell now, including a young teenager. He knew he could rely on Leo, though; after all, sometimes the quietest of people were the deadliest. Take it from Eddie — he rarely spoke and yet he was widely feared.

❝ People are all right from what I can tell. Sick, but not dead. ❞ Eddie explained carefully as he sat back against his office desk, knuckles slowly turning white on the hand that clenched down on the edge of the desk. He couldn’t or wouldn’t be optimistic about the situation, at least not until he had unequivocal proof that this was a storm that would pass. Brows raised ever-so-slightly as Eddie’s eyes averted to the side of him, clearly deep in thought as he then thought of his next words carefully. ❝ My brother is ill from it at the moment y’know, ‘ey? The youngest one. I let him have his very first lager to appease that curiosity of his, and now he’s sick. ❞

Ed’s lips tightly formed a line, watching Leo’s face carefully as he then pointed out quite matter-of-factly, ❝ If he dies, I will stop at nothing to ensure I seek justice for him. If he lives, I’ll make sure they learn their lesson and not put innocent lives at risk again. I hope that you can understand why it’s imperative to me that this is done. ❞ Whilst Edmund’s requests often painted him in a sinister light, it was solely down to the fact that he was a stern and no nonsense Captain who refused to let any outsider tread on his toes. If one were to look past the blood and destruction that followed him in his path, they’d see that he was not a bad man — only a man who did whatever it took to protect those that he cared for.

14
Flintlock Lodge / Re: wonderful life — open.
« on: August 19, 2021, 06:14:30 AM »
Ida had been the first to take notice of Bernard as he peeked his head into the kitchen, Eddie not taking notice as he had his back turned away so that he could find something to place beneath the bowl to stop it from sliding around. ❝ Mister Bernard! ❞ She lifted a hand to wave back before eagerly pointing out, ❝ We’re making muffins! Eddie said that if they taste good he will make some with me every week! ❞ Eddie looked over his shoulder towards Bernard, huffing a small  breath through his nostrils before returning with a damp dishcloth to place beneath the mixing bowl.

❝ All right, Ida, I- ❞ Eddie was speechless, realising that perhaps Ida had just exposed his soft spot to the world: his family. Ida was blissfully unaware, smiling as she mixed the mixture before looking at Bernard again.  ❝ You can help put the mixture into the muffin tins. ❞ It was less a suggestion and more a command, earning a stern look from Edmund as he mumbled, ❝ Say please. ❞ ❝ Please! ❞ Ida held up the mixing spoon, then adding with certainty, ❝ And I can lick the spoon clean. ❞

15
Flintlock Lodge / Re: pedal pusher — hunting, open.
« on: August 17, 2021, 10:44:21 AM »
This mountain was no place to go misplacing weapons. Weapons were a man’s livelihood around here, sometimes their only means of survival. How many years ago had it been since Eddie lobbed his pistol into the snow following the death of his oldest brother? It had taken hours of scouring the area in order to come across the handgun again, in a time where it could have been used to try and defend the Lodge. Ever since, it remained attached to the hip, safe in its holster. The very same thing went for his rifle, so loyally near to him as he’d wander the mountain with it slung over his shoulder. After everything that he had experienced whilst being in Flintlock Lodge, Edmund was always seen with a weapon.

Call it paranoia, but there were seldom a moment where Edmund wasn’t on edge, perhaps sometimes too quick to clutch at a weapon as if it had become more a comfort blanket than a means to harm another life. It wasn’t healthy the way he relied upon danger as a means to comfort himself, but danger was all that he knew. And even when it came to butchering the carcass in front of him, he seemed too comfortable with the idea of using something made to harm another.

❝ Ed, can’t find my knife. ❞ Leo announced with a gesture towards the kill that he had managed to return back to the Lodge. Without his knife, he’d be unable to go any further with the rabbits  — there was no way he could butcher any of them without it. Henry and Ida said nothing, only quietly looking between where Leo stood and the game that Eddie was collecting meat from, until Eddie turned to face Leo, shoulders slumping slightly. ❝ Where’d you see it last, ‘ey? ❞ He enquired, hands open and palms facing up as he left the knife on a tree stump beside him. ❝ Could probably let you borrow somebody’s for the time being otherwise. ❞ 

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