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Topics - jerome.

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1
Bluestem Prairie / LONELY SOUL // OPEN
« on: November 16, 2020, 09:09:30 AM »

standing amid the vegetable patch, jerome busied himself with burying a stake further into the ground. he stood surrounded by a few clothing articles and straw, lips pursed in concentration. careful and wary hands were far too gentle than most would’ve been. others most likely would’ve already had the task done by then. though jerome at least tried to make himself of use around bluestem. it wasn’t like he could be much help to the darker, more sinister deeds bluestem prairie often had in mind. he couldn’t allow himself to.

he wasn’t unaware of the plots going around in bluestem. in fact, to say he was oblivious wouldn’t have been the right assumption at all. in ways, it would have been missing the mark completely. he had known about the evil lurking in bluestem for quite a while, now. it seemed almost evident in the ways he silently found his way around not going to any of the raids, or the gentle frown and downcast eyes he wore during meetings as brock talked about their next big plans. the man’s hands were clean; that didn’t make him oblivious.

jerome was used to turning a blind eye to the darkness surrounding bluestem prairie and its members, oftentimes by keeping himself busy with other smaller matters. stepping away from the stake buried in the ground, he furrowed his brows. leaning, and looking close to toppling over with the slightest breeze. the blonde should’ve brought a few more supplies than what he did bring. placing his hands on his hips, he worried at his lower lip in thought.

Spoiler: tags ― updated 08/31. • show
BASICSI'M STILL FINDING OUT WHO I AM
‣  ❝ jerome hemingway ❞ | j | male [he/him] .
31 years old . | january 11th; capricorn.
‣  currently a member of bluestem prairie


PERSONALITY EVERY TIME IT'S MY FAULT SOMEHOW
‣ genuine . humble . kind . reassuring . loyal . polite . put-together . charming . down to earth . amiable . appreciative . caring . colorful . honest . considerate . cooperative . curious . cultured . tidy . uncomplaining . understanding . warm .
↳ fond of drawing, reading, writing, and piano
↳ starting to exhibit signs of depression


APPEARANCENOW I KNOW WHY YOU DON'T TRUST ME NOW
five foot nine & one hundred and fifty five pounds ; reference .
↳ blonde hair kept short and neat
↳ average build - a little on the slimmer side
↳ baby blue eyes , warm smiles and gentle eyes


FAMILYI'VE BEEN STITCHING UP MY MIND
‣  donald hemingway x beatrice hemingway | deceased
‣ only child
‣ considers his best friend, eben viljoen, the last family he's got left

RELATIONSHIPSFROM THE TRICKS AND THE EASY LOVE
‣  bisexual ; monogamous | never been in a relationship before
‣ crushing on elinor rose
↳ thinks the absolute best of her; most likely will never make a move


INTERACTIONSDON'T YOU TREAD ON ME
‣   [ 9/10 ] physically  |  [ 6/10 ] psychologically .
↳ difficulty w/ guns [ very easy ] | difficulty w/ melees [ very easy ] | difficulty w/ hand-to-hand [ very easy ]
@elysian. | dm for any major plots .
‣  friendly or nonviolent actions may be powerplayed .

2
Bluestem Prairie / FIGHTING BACK TEARS // OPEN
« on: October 08, 2020, 10:28:47 PM »

jerome didn’t know how he felt nowadays. most days, he’d go so far as to say he hardly felt anything at all. he sat by himself at the bar, absently swirling his half-empty glass of water. the lack of feeling felt completely paradoxical to how the man would often describe himself. he was known to feel so deeply; to picture him unable to feel anything at all seemed more of a cause for mourning than relief. still, the blonde couldn’t help but decide that the brief numbness was nothing short of bliss. at least he couldn’t feel the dull ache in his heart nearly as much anymore. that was nothing short of a miracle.

he smiled warmly at the person sitting closest to him; a kind and convincing smile.

why did he work so hard to hide the pain he felt on the inside?

placing his glass down, he opted to grab at a deck of cards nearby. “are you any good at cards?” he fished the deck out of the worn box, awkwardly shuffling the cards about in his hands. “i can’t say the same for myself, but i’m usually pretty lucky when it comes to ‘go fish’ at least.” his tone suggested playing the rather childish game. though for someone who didn’t grow up getting to play those games with other kids, who was there to say he couldn’t give it a go, now? besides, he could use the distraction.


Spoiler: tags ― updated 08/31. • show
BASICSI'M STILL FINDING OUT WHO I AM
‣  ❝ jerome hemingway ❞ | j | male [he/him] .
31 years old . | january 11th; capricorn.
‣  currently a member of bluestem prairie


PERSONALITY EVERY TIME IT'S MY FAULT SOMEHOW
‣ genuine . humble . kind . reassuring . loyal . polite . put-together . charming . down to earth . amiable . appreciative . caring . colorful . honest . considerate . cooperative . curious . cultured . tidy . uncomplaining . understanding . warm .
↳ fond of drawing, reading, writing, and piano
↳ starting to exhibit signs of depression


APPEARANCENOW I KNOW WHY YOU DON'T TRUST ME NOW
five foot nine & one hundred and fifty five pounds ; reference .
↳ blonde hair kept short and neat
↳ average build - a little on the slimmer side
↳ baby blue eyes , warm smiles and gentle eyes


FAMILYI'VE BEEN STITCHING UP MY MIND
‣  donald hemingway x beatrice hemingway | deceased
‣ only child
‣ considers his best friend, eben viljoen, the last family he's got left

RELATIONSHIPSFROM THE TRICKS AND THE EASY LOVE
‣  bisexual ; monogamous | never been in a relationship before
‣ crushing on elinor rose
↳ thinks the absolute best of her; most likely will never make a move


INTERACTIONSDON'T YOU TREAD ON ME
‣   [ 9/10 ] physically  |  [ 6/10 ] psychologically .
↳ difficulty w/ guns [ very easy ] | difficulty w/ melees [ very easy ] | difficulty w/ hand-to-hand [ very easy ]
@elysian. | dm for any major plots .
‣  friendly or nonviolent actions may be powerplayed .

3
Bluestem Prairie / NOT THE SAME PERSON // ONESHOT
« on: September 07, 2020, 09:46:59 AM »
tw: suicidal thoughts, overall depressing aspects, violence, death

snow fell serenely onto the ground below, blanketing the large estate in cloudy white. a young blond stepped outside and stood amid the falling flakes, blinking up at the pitch-black sky with wonderment and awe. hands in his coat pockets and lips parted by an amazed smile, the boy stood there for a couple of seconds. the gentle crunching of snow behind him caused him to turn his head, his smile softening at the familiar sight of a motherly figure. he turned back up towards the sky. alice. this is amazing, isn’t it?” he tilted his head back and stuck out his tongue, and tried to catch a few of the snowflakes as best as he could. “have you ever seen so much snow?” the woman laughed warmly, crossing her arms over her chest.

“you think this is a lot of snow? this is hardly anything compared to the snow i got back at home.” the boy hummed, brows furrowing in gentle contemplation. alice always talked about her home; the place she lived before she was hired to work at the hemingway estate. sometimes he couldn’t help but wonder why she decided to stay. her life back at home sounded far more amazing than getting to watch after a young boy all the time. she looked up at the sky, seeming nostalgic almost as she assured, “but i’ll be home soon enough, you know.” warm eyes turned back to the young boy. “you’re growing up so fast. it feels like just yesterday i was holding you as a baby. and now- oh, where does the time go?” sighing wistfully, she turned her gaze back up towards the sky. his gaze lingered on her before slowly looking up with her.

he was quiet. then, in a gentle breath, he admitted, “i don’t know what i’m going to do when you’re gone. i- i don’t want to be alone.” the admittance made his heart race with gentle anxiety, unable to turn his gaze away from the tranquil snowfall up above. he couldn’t meet alice’s gaze. his words were met with silence, then a forced clearing of her throat. she shifted uncomfortably. he swallowed hard, saddening eyes blinking up at the dark sky. she gestured towards the house.

“let's get you inside. your parents would lose it if they knew i let you stand out in this cold.”

the boy’s heart plummeted in his chest. he lowered his gaze to the ground as he followed after his nanny, head low. seconds later and his heart still ached from the fall it took.

greeted by warmth as he stepped inside the backdoor, the blonde lifted his head up to glance around. alice wasn’t anywhere to be seen, anymore. he sighed a gentle breath through his nose and closed the door behind him. he made his way through the large house and towards the sound of warm chatter. “heading out for the christmas party already?” alice asked. he stopped to peer around the corner, down the hall to observe the couple. the man chuckled warmly as he put on his coat, eyes alight as he wore a charming smile. the boy’s lips twitched gently.

“we would’ve left even earlier if i had a say in it. this weather-”
“alright. see if you can get a gift for me, while you’re there.”
“for you? of course.”

alice opened the front door for them to leave. this was the kid’s chance. he stumbled closer towards the front door, stopping a short ways down the hall. “mom, dad?” he said to their backs, turned to him. the words felt so unfamiliar on his lips. his dad looked back at him from over his shoulder, the charismatic gleam no longer in his eyes. the boy held his breath. straightened. then, he forced a smile to his lips, the same as his parents always did; the corner of his lips trembled as he tried to keep it there. “can i go?” it was hard to be brave with shaking hands and trembling fingers. the room felt tense. he looked between them all, his feigned smile slowly starting to fade.

“no.”

“just this once-”

“i said no, jerome!”

the boy’s eyes were like saucers, lips parted gently in surprise amid his father’s outburst. annoyed eyes met his own. beatrice placed a hand on her husband’s shoulder. “you deal with him. i’ll be outside.” he abruptly stepped outside. the young kid stood paralyzed. his mother turned to him with eyes feigning kindness.
“not tonight, sweetie. it’s too dangerous outside for you right now.” he swallowed hard. he heard this narrative many times before, for many years. he nodded his head slowly. “when the electricity comes back, we’ll all go out as a family. okay?”

his throat was tight as he uttered, “okay.” his mom uttered goodbye to alice before leaving, the door closing behind her. alice turned to walk past him. she paused, as if contemplating saying something- then shook her head and walked further into the house. eyes slipped closed in silent anguish, sighing heavily through his nose. he shouldn’t have asked; he should’ve known better. eyes slowly opened again to stare ahead at the door. he blinked. then, he stepped closer towards the door, turning the handle to open it just a crack. he looked past the sheet of snow, down the driveway and towards the gate.

eyes slowly wandered down the hall where alice had retreated. he could go, he thought. he could leave right now and no one would notice. he’d be back before anyone even knew he was gone. he could be free. careful hands slowly opened the door--

“hey, jerome?” alice called from a few rooms away.

he felt a rush of anxiety and he swiftly closed the door in one quick movement. his hands lingered on the doorknob, trembling gently as he leaned against the door. a quiet cry was stifled by a breath of air; he pressed the side of his head against the door. he moved away from the door with a shaky breath. “coming!” he turned to walk further into the house. only a few steps in and he slowed to a stop. spared a glance back at the door again. then, he turned and swiftly walked further back into the house, trembling lips pressed tightly together

jerome hemingway would never get to experience the freedom he so desperately craved for.




fingers danced purposefully over ivory with effortless ease. jerome had played the song so many times before, eyes hardly ever glanced up towards the sheet music. holding his fingers down on the final chords, he paused. then, turning his gaze towards the corner of the room, he stilled. an empty stool sat unoccupied and alone, picking up dust. his gaze lingered on alice’s old seat before looking back to the piano keys. he started the song from the top again, looking more somber than when he first played it.

piano wasn’t as fun, anymore. not when there wasn’t someone else to enjoy it with.

things were different now that alice was gone. he wanted to be happy for her- of course, he was happy for her. she spoke many times about her true home, painted a picture of this beautiful world outside of here. happy as he was for her, though, there was still the same sadness that lingered in his heart. jerome hemingway was all alone, in a world that didn’t much care how he felt or what he had to say about it. the house was a little more empty, the lack of company left the young teen often feeling uncertain what to do with himself. jerome had grown up - that was certain - though there were still parts of him that felt missing. love. friendship. eyes wandered towards the doorway as his dad stepped by, papers in hand. freedom. part of him wondered if his parents would ever give him those pieces back.

stopping abruptly, he stood up from the piano and stepped out of the room after his father. he watched as the older man disappeared into his study, waiting before walking to stand at the door frame. his gaze lingered on his dad as the man made himself comfortable at his desk, leaning back comfortably in his chair. jerome’s fingers gently knocked on the door. “what is it, jerome?”

shifting his weight to one leg, he cleared his throat. tipped his chin up. “so i was thinking,” he started. his dad continued to read over the newspaper, absently flipping through the pages. “it’s unfair to have the piano instructor come all this way every week.” donald hummed, nodding his head.
“so you don’t want lessons anymore?”
“no, i still want lessons,” jerome disagreed. “but. i was thinking it would be more fair if i took lessons at her house every once in a while.” confident as he sounded, eyes darted worried towards his dad, giving away just how false the confidence truly was. “i think she’d appreciate it.” the silence that settled in was stiff and deafening. the teen sucked in a short breath, watching his dad expectantly. the older man kept flipping through newspapers, unfazed.
“well,” he drew out in thought, clicking his tongue before deciding, “we’ll talk about it more once the electricity comes back.”

jerome blinked. then, he huffed a short breath of disbelief, a smile coming to his lips. he muttered, almost bitterly, if the electricity comes back.”
his dad finally looked towards him, brows furrowing. “what are you saying?”
the teen straightened as he responded with a disbelieving smile, dad. the electricity has been out for years now. isn’t it safe to say it’s never going to come back? not for a long time, at least.”
donald gazed at him. his gaze was hard to read. he lowered his gaze dismissively back to the papers, nodding towards the doorway. “you don’t know what you’re talking about. get back to your piano.”
usually jerome would’ve done just that. he would’ve hung his head in disappointment, trudged back to his safe space. chastised himself for not speaking up for what he believed in. though there was something that kept him rooted at the front door. he couldn’t let this happen; not again. how could he help his dad see the truth of the situation? turning his gaze away, he shook his head as he quietly said, “the electricity’s not coming back. so i think-”
“that’s enough.”
jerome swallowed hard. ”instead of waiting for it to come back, we should adapt. get used to-”
his dad stood up abruptly, smacking his papers down onto the desk. “enough!”

his heart raced anxiously in his chest, a sick feeling of dread numbing him, pins and needles at the tips of his fingers. “how many times do we have to go over this? there are people out there that would love to have your head on a platter. we’re protecting you by keeping you here. you should be goddamn grateful.”
his lip wobbled as he said feebly, “i am. i am grateful-”
”you have everything you need right here. it’s about damn time you started acting like it.”
“okay.” jerome swallowed hard and lowered his head, blinking away watering eyes.
his dad huffed a short breath. cold. “what, now you’re going to start crying?”
jerome quickly shook his head, reaching up a hand to wipe underneath his eyes. “no,” he softly rasped.
shaking his head, his dad waved dismissively. “if you aren’t going to be a man about this, then get out of my sight.”

not knowing what else to do, jerome turned and fled for his room. he still heard his dad as he climbed up the stairs, the disappointment in his voice as he remarked, “pathetic.”

hours later and jerome still laid in his room, blinking away whatever emotions that tried to surge to the surface. trembling lips and fighting back the urge to cry. the sound of his bedroom door creaking open made him tense, slowly closing his eyes. his mom sat on the edge of the bed opposite him, sighing heavily. “jerome-” she sounded disappointed. sad. she had never stepped into his room before. not since jerome could remember.
”i know,“” he murmured gently. reaching up to wipe at his face, he softly admitted, “i shouldn’t have said anything. but this- this what? this unfair treatment? this loneliness? these shackles? … this life? shaking his head, he swallowed down the lump in his throat before uttering, ”i don’t know what came over me.”

silence filled the room. his mom sighed again. she hesitantly reached a hand over towards the teen, hands cautiously running through his hair. jerome laid there, stunned and shocked. she’d never done anything like that before. the unfamiliarity made him want to embrace it and run away from it all at once. “you know what i wish i told you when you were younger?” she huffed a short breath of laughter. “be like a duck.”
he turned onto his back to look over at her. she drew her hand away. “a duck?”
yes. calm and happy on the surface, but paddling and working hard underneath.” a warm smile on her lips, she stared down at her son. “that’s what i see when i look at you. my little duck-” she paired the words with an affectionate touch over his arm; the action felt hesitant and forced. “i know this isn’t what you want, but it makes your father and i upset whenever you get this way. could you keep being my little duckling until this is all sorted out? for me?”

he didn’t know how to respond. though, after a long moment of contemplation, he slowly started to smile. forcing a warm smile to his lips, he murmured, “of course, mom.”

the smile almost seemed convincing.



nothing ever changed.

occasionally he watched his dad from afar, observing as he flicked the living room lightswitch up and down. up and down again. as if expecting the impossible to happen. jerome couldn’t remember the day he saw the defeat in his dad’s eyes; he couldn’t remember the last time he flicked the lightswitch up. the young man eyed the lightswitch every now and then, as if he himself were waiting for that miracle too. if his dad had stopped believing, what did that mean for the future? what did that mean for jerome? what did that mean for freedom?

instead of the family adapting, it seemed that jerome had adapted his beliefs. or, at least, he feigned acceptance of his new reality. years spent sitting by the windowsill, longingly looking outside but never saying a word about it. opportunities of escape wasted in the pursuit of making those around him happy. the years could wear down any person’s perseverance. at some point one simply figures that the other people are right. he wasn’t equipped for the dangers out there. he could never fend for himself. whether he believed that or not, he stuck to those beliefs anyway without so much as a complaint. his mom, his dad… they were strangers to him, and yet he chose their happiness over his every time. would that be his fate? always choosing the happiness of others over his own?

to keep those he cared about happy, he remained in the same routine. a day spent in the living room chair reading and studying, heading into the study room to play the piano for a while. the hours went by painfully slow; he was always grateful for the chance to excuse himself to go to bed. at least in his sleep he tasted some sense of freedom; a dream of the world outside of his own small bubble. if he had known that night as he laid his head down that his life was going to change forever, perhaps the old hum-drum would’ve been more bittersweet. perhaps he might have savored it that much more. that was the thing about the past; it always seemed so much sweeter than the present one currently lived in.

eyes groggily opened at the sound of a thundering crash. heart raced as he held his breath, eyes staring over at the door. silence. he blinked a few times. after a few seconds, he proceeded to dismiss it as nothing, shifting around to grow comfortable enough to go back to sleep. eyes closed again as he started to drift into a comfortable slumber. though at the sound of hurried footsteps and bursting of glass and doors, he felt his eyes open wide. gunshots. gaze fixed on the door, he slowly stood up from his bed, lips parted for each slow, shaky breath. screams. shadows ran past the other side of the door, jerome watching the moonlight underneath the door flicker. a nauseating swirl settled in his stomach.

he needed to get out of there.

but how?

with his heart racing anxiously in his chest, he stepped closer towards the door. if he made a run for it, there was a chance he could get out of there… but were the odds truly in his favor? features scrunched up helplessly as he, as quietly as he could, gently turned the lock. locking the bedroom door. that wouldn’t keep him safe, but it would at least buy him some time. right? but how much time did he have left? what other options did he have left? he stilled. and then, he slowly turned around to look at his bedroom window.

he hesitated and weighed his options. he’d be lying if he said that he wasn’t scared. he didn’t want to go out through the window. his head snapped towards the door at the sound of the doorknob turning, the person on the other end vigorously trying the locked door. his breath hitched in his throat. he really didn’t want to do this.

“hey! there’s someone in here!”  he turned and scrambled towards the window.

then again, did he truly have a choice?

trembling hands pulled the window up, crawling out onto the roof. as he stood there, looking down at the ground below, many thoughts raced through his mind. what about his parents? what about his life, ruined without putting up a fight? a man ought to have far more courage than jerome hemingway did in that moment. a true man would fight for his family and what he believed in. though in the face of fear, jerome was nothing more than a coward. he never would’ve been able to save anyone. he couldn’t have made this end up any differently. his throat tight with anxiety and shock, he shucked in a short breath before he went to the edge of the room- and jumped.

if he hadn’t been in such a shocked and traumatized state, the fall would’ve hurt a lot more than it did. it still hurt, throbbing joints and aching bones, winded lungs gasping for air. it took him a moment or two to get up, wincing with the slow struggle. then, full of adrenaline, shock, and fear, he did the only thing he could think to do. running toward the fence, he dared not to look over his shoulder. terrified of what he would see. terrified of it being the last thing he would see. if jerome died, at least let his last sight be the vision of running for the fence, towards the world outside.

clammy hands grasped desperately at the fence. then, with every ounce of strength left in him - strength he didn’t even know he had - jerome managed to pull himself up and over the fence to the other side. he spared one last glance towards his home before he turned and ran for a place to hide.

he didn’t know how long he sat among the nearby foliage, gasping desperately for air. lips gently parted, he peaked out through the tree’s branches to look towards his home. where were his parents? if he had made it out, surely they would have made it, by now. “come on,” he urged in breathless puffs of air. eyes scanned around the house. “come on.” his parents never made it out of the house. as jerome sat and watched the thieves leave the house, gathering near the front of the estate, he started to accept that his parents never had the chance to.

as the house went up in flames, jerome stood shockingly still. eyes wide open. paralyzed. the ground gave out from underneath him, the young man collapsing down onto his knees. the putrid smell of ashes suffocated him with each quiet breath. his home. he slowly shook his head. all the times he talked to his parents about wanting to get out of there… all the times he cursed himself for staying cooped up in there all these years… suddenly he found himself wishing to have those moments back. his life back.

was that the cruel twist of fate? would jerome always want what he didn’t have?

slowly, he lowered himself down to sit on the ground, scooting back to be hidden by the nearby foliage again. drawing his knees to his chest and back pressed gently against the tree trunk, he slowly started to process everything that had unfolded. life as he knew it was forever changed. his parents… he could say he hardly knew them, more so shadows in memories so long ago. distant memories from a time jerome was too young to remember. and still, his heart ached unbearably for the loss of his two detached, distant parents. hot tears started to prick at his eyes, sniffling pathetically to himself. eyes stared blankly down at the ground in front of him.

this was all his fault, wasn’t it? he was the one that always wished to be out of the house. he wished for a miracle to come and get him out of there. but this? features scrunched up slightly. he rested his forehead down against folded arms. then, he silently wept.

if only he had known that freedom came at such a price. if he had, he never would’ve wished for it at all.



night turned to day. days turned into nights. less than a week after the incident and things already started to look hopeless for the young man. each day became more bleak as he struggled to cope with the weight that had suddenly been thrusted on his shoulders. no place to call home, nobody to turn to, no means for survival… he wandered the streets alone, arms crossed over his chest comfortingly. eyes glanced around the abandoned and destroyed city, solemn features eventually looking back towards the cracked pavement in front of him as he walked. his stomach grumbled painfully in his chest; when did he last eat? how long could a man go without any food? how far could a man run if he had nowhere to run to?

it was glaringly obvious he couldn’t stay here; he needed to leave the city. however, there was a certain fear in the unknown that jerome never prepared for. time and time again he found himself standing at the edge of city limits, only to turn back around and head back to the familiar. he slowed to a stop at the welcome sign, somber eyes blinking tiredly. he couldn’t keep living that way. there was nothing for him here. sparing a glance back at the cityscape behind him, he breathed in a heavy breath. then, turning back ahead, he released a short puff of a sigh and started down the worn road, covered by foliage and forestry after years of misuse.

not even half a mile out, he slowed to a stop and stared at the treeline to one side. eyes lingered on a small trail of smoke leading up into the air, intrigued. apprehensive. slowly looked down the road, holding his breath. what good could come out of leaving the road? what if he got lost? what if his fear was right, that staying on this road was the best choice?  but then again, hadn’t it also been fear itself that kept him in such an awful predicament for all those years? with a surge of courage - a lot of courage for a man who never once had to summon such an emotion before - he sucked in a short breath before he stepped off the road.

he was free; he couldn’t let fear be the shackles that dared to hold him down. not anymore.

careful feet stepped past the trees and through overgrown grass, following the occasional sound of movement. he had no way of knowing whether the person he was bound to meet would be as bad as the rest of humanity he had witnessed in the last few days. his stomach growled almost on cue. scared as he was, the desperation and exhaustion longed to find someone who could put such a weary heart at ease. it was worth the risk in jerome’s mind.

following the smoke and the distant crackle of a fire, jerome eventually stepped into a small clearing amidst the woods. he blinked in surprise. the man he came across looked - more ghostly than he expected. dark. he sat next to the flames, unflinching next to the contained fire. contained. in control. did the man do that himself?

“... what?”
it took jerome a few moments to realize he’d been staring at the other man in uncomfortable silence.

he turned his gaze back towards the other man. he stared for a moment longer than he should’ve before he cleared his throat, shifting his weight onto one leg. with hands resting on his hips, he gestured with one hand towards the slow-burning fire. “did you make this fire yourself?” dumb question. catching his lip for a moment in thought, he quickly restated, ”how did you do that? i’m amazed, really.” the man seemed casual about it, as if making fire wasn’t nearly as great a feat as jerome played it out to be. he did, however, seem a bit chuffed by j’s awe.
“it’s nothing. i do it all the time.” a pause. the man looked down at the fire casually. “i’m actually a survivalist, so i was raised to be good at these kinds of things.”

jerome’s brows raised with intrigue. “really?” a lightbulb went off in his head. this man, jerome thought, might as well be his ticket to surviving out in this new world. crossing his arms over his chest, he repeated thoughtfully, “a survivalist...” the blonde tried not to look as elated as he felt, barely holding back a grin as he casually hummed, “i can’t believe it. you survive out here all by yourself? that’s quite the feat, isn’t it?” interested, he nodded towards the fire. ”what else can you do?” the man appeared reluctant at first, though the more he started to talk about his skills, the more jerome became absolutely floored. it seemed almost too convenient, too easy that the hopeless man suddenly stumbled across a survivalist-extraordinaire.

as the man talked casually about his expertise, jerome occasionally butting in with - over exaggerated, but not feigned - awed remarks, the man almost couldn’t stop himself from smiling. “you can do anything and everything, can’t you?”
“just about.”
jerome shifted contemplatively. this was it. if he didn’t ask for this man’s help, if he didn’t take a chance, then surely he had no means of surviving all alone. “say,” he started thoughtfully, “you sure know a lot about what it takes to survive out here. and i-” know nothing. shaking his head, he huffed a short breath as he opted to say, “don’t even know half as much as you do. i was thinking… it would mean the world to me if you let me tag along with you. it doesn’t even have to be a lifelong commitment, just long enough that i can learn from you. learn what it means to be a true survivalist.” he allowed the words to linger in silence, hopeful eyes staring down at the survivalist. he felt almost fearful of the answer as he asked, “so. what do you say?”

the man paused momentarily in thought. though, it didn’t take him too long before he smiled just slightly and responded, “sure thing. i can show you a thing or two.” jerome tried not to look as visibly relieved as he felt. though, the soft elation and happiness in his eyes as he adorned a gentle smile said it all. it meant a lot to the young man. he moved to sit down next to the warmth of the fire across from eben.
“thank you, uh…?”
“eben.”
he smiled as he offered in return, “jerome, but you can call me anything, really. i’ve never had a nickname before-”

at the time, j couldn’t recall a time where he felt so alive. for once he was around someone who actually didn’t mind his company. fingertips trembled with excitement and hope of living past the following day, the following weeks. time flew by so fast when jerome traveled the world with eben, before he knew it years had passed. everything felt so simple in the beginning, just two men making it in the world together.

if jerome had known what a winding path the friendship would’ve led him - if he had known those darker sides to eben - would he have done anything differently? his best friend was also his very own enemy, and jerome didn’t know what he could do about it.

lackluster eyes stared into the mirror that hung on the bedroom door. look at you. eyes wandered over his frame dully. slowly looking back up to look himself in the eyes. where was the happy kid that he used to be? why wasn’t he happy? would he ever be happy? he was supposed to find this happiness with his newfound freedom all those years ago, and yet he felt that he never truly experienced freedom before. he never had the opportunity to fend for himself. and he couldn’t. he couldn’t fend for himself. he couldn’t take care of himself.  slowly he raised the gun at his side, careful hands pointing it towards the mirror.

he couldn’t even protect himself.

his throat felt tight as he stared at himself in the mirror. what happened to you? memories flashed of that morning, of hands around his throat, of everything fading to black. hands started to tremble weakly. god, what happened to you? he hardly even recognized himself anymore after that. he felt broken. all those years went by and he hadn’t even found what he was looking for. he never got what he truly wanted. eben was both the prison and the man that set j free.

turning the gun, he pressed the barrel to his forehead, hands shaking and eyes slipping closed. freedom. there was much the blonde had learned about freedom. every time he found it, every time he thought he had it, he never felt completely satisfied. he always wished he could have more. was that how his life would always be? would he always be longing for freedom, only to want even more once he had it? would he ever be happy with what he had? brows furrowed as eyes remaining closed, slowly lowering the gun. not the head, he figured. it’d be too painful. the barrel of the gun stopped against his heart. he visibly paused, a finger awkwardly hooking around the trigger. he sucked in a deep breath through his nose, feeling the cold metal rise and fall with his chest. this was it. tears fell from his eyes, dull features cracking into more agonized features. freedom.

“hey, j?” eben called from the living room.

he felt a rush of anxiety and he swiftly lowered his gun, eyes blinking at the door. he paused. then, a quiet, anguished cry was stifled as he bit into his lip, quickly kneeling down to stash the gun underneath his bed. hands wiped away the trails of tears, willing himself to breathe and relax. then, he stood up from the floor, and with as even a voice as he could muster, he called out, “coming.” he turned away from his bed to open up his bedroom door and step out into the hall. only a few steps out the door and he slowed to a stop. spared a glance back towards his bed. then, he turned and swiftly walked to the living room.

jerome hemingway would never get to experience the freedom he so desperately craved for.

//yo yo yo ! ! almost 5700 words and i still am not completely proud of this oneshot
there's a lot i could've changed, a lot i could've done. i kept having to take a break from the oneshot out of the idea that if i worked on it any longer i'd scrap it - and i almost did. but i'm just leaving this out here because j deserves a oneshot
i hope it's okay

4
Bluestem Prairie / CALM DOWN // OPEN
« on: August 18, 2020, 09:37:21 AM »

jerome hadn’t gone boating before. careful eyes looked off one side of the boat, along the rippling cascade of water around them as someone else rowed. usually he was terrified of the unknown, of trying something new. he had grown used to staying within his own comfort zone, he often never left it. though, he felt almost grateful to get to go out on the water, even if it meant recruiting people to go out along with - and find someone to row the boat for him (he didn’t think he’d have the knowledge to do it properly). eyes wandered over the few other boats out with them, each with about two or three people sitting and chatting happily.

he looked down at the water with absent calm. peacefully. he found his reflection in the water after the gentle ripples went away. his lips couldn’t help but twitch into a gentle smile. “this is nice,” he remarked, lifting his gaze towards the others on his boat. “maybe we’ll have to do this more often.”

in a life where the hard days seemed to heavily outweigh the good ones recently, having a moment like this felt like complete and utter bliss for jerome.


5
Bluestem Prairie / TAKE YOUR TIME // OPEN
« on: July 03, 2020, 10:48:57 PM »

making his way towards one of the occasional trees throughout the flatland, jerome took a moment to glance over his shoulder towards graveyard. he squinted his gaze briefly, the wind picking up and briefly ruffling his hair. sometimes it was nice to take a break from the town and head right outside of its borders. spend time in the prairie getting to simply be - no time to feel worried about how little he fit in. no time to think about how he was so horribly broken on the inside.

he most often favored the idea that nobody knew the internal pain he faced almost daily. however, sometimes he wished there was someone he could confide in besides him. after the wind died down, his gaze lingered only momentarily before he looked down to the ground, finding a decent spot to sit. he lowered himself down onto the ground and leaned against the tree, opening up the pages of his worn leather journal. it was old and worn, most pages full with writing and doodles that there was hardly room for jerome to write his thoughts legibly down anymore.

though he still tried with the little pencil lead he had left, placing the journal in his lap as he started to write down those loud thoughts he almost never worded aloud. it was cathartic;  the closest thing he could get to venting his inner turmoil and pouring it out for anyone to see, even if it was only his eyes. breeze gently tousling his hair, gaze focused on the pages with an absent smile; he couldn’t remember the last time he looked so genuinely at ease.


6
Bluestem Prairie / SOUND THE SAME // OPEN
« on: June 30, 2020, 03:15:29 PM »

he stared at the wall ahead of him, hands in his pockets and eyes slowly wandering over the numerous guns lined up on the wall. his hesitation and wariness, though not particularly visible, felt nonetheless apparent. jerome held himself to a high moral standard, never once entertaining the idea of holding a gun, let alone possessing one. though the more he found himself alone with his thoughts, and the more alone he felt, the more he started to realize that it wouldn’t hurt to have one to defend himself with.

he already failed to protect himself once. the utter helplessness he felt then had shaken his principles to the core. there were so many morals that could be altered when one felt as overwhelmingly terrified as jerome. he didn’t want to feel the way he felt then ever again. his opinion felt justified. no one seemed to even bat an eye when he had walked into the gun shop moments prior. no one even noticed.

“you lookin’ for anything in particular?”

straightening, he turned towards the gunsmith. the man sat behind a counter, arm propped on his chin, looking less than impressed as he dryly asked the question to jerome. bored. not even entertaining the idea that j might be interested in getting weaponry for himself. “maybe. well-” his gaze lingered on the man before he eventually pressed his lips into a thin line, glancing around with a halfhearted shrug. “i'm not sure. i’m trying to expand my- collection.” the noticeable pause made him gently flinch at his own white lie.

even with a man that barely knew jerome at all, a man that had simply seen the man out and about and nothing more, the answer was still enough for the man to start to laugh to himself. “your collection, huh?” chuckling to himself, he stood from the counter. j’s features twitched subtly, trying to work up a good enough reply. he couldn’t defend himself, though. the man had easily caught him in a lie.

how could others catch the small lies so easily when there were bigger falsehoods standing right in front of them?

a small smile twitched at his  lips, features softening as he remarked, “we all have to start somewhere.” the man simply hummed a small note of laughter, shaking his head. a bit of a soft spot for j’s mildly endearing efforts. he turned to walk towards the back room.

“alright. whatever you say. if you find anything that catches your eye, holler for me.” jerome watched the man turn to leave, gaze lingering before turning back to the array of guns lined up on the wall, seeming just as clueless as before.

7
Bluestem Prairie / TURNING OUT // OPEN
« on: June 20, 2020, 01:51:50 PM »

jerome hadn’t often had the same opportunities that most others around graveyard had. of course, his life growing up was most likely more comfortable than others, born with a silver spoon in his mouth that others could only dream to get a taste of. a past that he learned to keep to himself, ashamed of the connotation that came with such affluence. he experienced a comfortable life within immaculate four walls; though he would be reluctant to say he experienced much if anything. most lives around here seemed filled with experiences and adventures, whereas j’s was lacking any events to even say he had lived much at all.

sometimes he wondered if his life ever began. there weren’t enough memories of him around to say his life would be missed if it were to end in the first place. even when he had been gone for days on end from graveyard, even still choosing to come out less frequently than usual, the town still carried on as it always did. he was but only a shadow in graveyard, never to truly leave a mark in the place’s history.

though he didn’t want himself to be deprived of such experiences any longer. perhaps that all started with trying to share in the same things others had had. which was how he found himself standing uncomfortably against a post, observing the nearby horses with cautious eyes. there were some that if he simply extended his reach a bit and leaned over the post, he could probably touch them. still, his mild reluctance kept him from even attempting to touch the beautiful animals. instead his feet remained planted on the ground, slowly resting his chin down against his arms propped up on the post. maybe some things in life just weren't quite his to know and feel for his own.

8
Bluestem Prairie / SWEET HURRICANE // OPEN
« on: June 06, 2020, 11:32:17 AM »

it took him nearly two weeks. if anyone had been trying to keep track of the exact number of days, then it had taken jerome eleven days to scrounge up the courage to wander outside again. eleven days since jerome last stepped foot out of his home. he had spent most of his time the first couple of days simply laying in bed, disinterested in doing much else. parts of him felt physically unable to get himself up and face the day. sure, he still tried to stick to the usual routine - make himself and eben a cup of coffee, sit with his friend as they drank silently - though he found himself seeking solace in the privacy of his own bedroom once more.

sometimes, when he knew he was all alone, he’d stare up at the ceiling. tears would fall silently down the sides of his face, features scrunching up as he worked to quiet himself. though, eventually, jerome came to learn he couldn’t keep spending his time that way. as much as it felt like his world had stopped, the world around him kept carrying on as it always had - shouldn’t he do the same?

near the end of his time as a recluse, he started to get out of his room a bit more. cleaning up the house, tidying it up the way eben would like it. slowly starting to learn how to smile again, even when it felt so painfully forced, but believable. he was ready to get back into the world again. and, even if he wasn’t ready, he wasn’t particularly giving himself much choice.

eyes wandered around cautiously as he opened the door to his home, tempted to go back into the comfort of his home yet again. wait for day twelve to roll around - yet he was certain that if the day were to come about, he’d say the same thing about waiting for day thirteen. swallowing hard, he then forced an easy, absent smile to his lips as he strolled out -- looking as if his world hadn’t momentarily stopped, as if the world hadn’t briefly pulled everything out from under him. he looked like the same unbroken, comfortable man that he was, even when that didn’t quite ring true on the inside.

he didn’t know where else to go except into the saloon, eyes wandering around towards others chatting and going about their day. he huffed a breath to himself, lips twitching upwards shortly. there was something sad, almost, in his gaze. he decided to wander over towards the abandoned piano by the staircase, a few empty bottles of alcohol sat atop it as if it was more a coaster than an actual instrument. cleaning off the bottles, he chose to lift up the cover, looking at the keys underneath.

slowly, he moved one hand to press a finger absently down on one of the keys. the note, although who knew how long since its last use, resonated beautifully. j blinked, though part of him felt almost fond of this piano already. it had been so long since he last touched a piano - though this felt like something that he so desperately needed.

// this post Sucked but
y'know

9
Private Threads / ALL THAT WE KNOW // EBEN
« on: May 26, 2020, 11:57:43 PM »

it wasn’t easy being jerome hemingway. he felt almost ridiculous for thinking anything even remotely close to the statement. after all, he was the man who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, possibly possessing the easiest life compared to most in this new world of theirs. if that was the case, though, why did he wake up in the mornings and feel so painfully numb? each morning the man would roll over in bed and gaze at the door solemnly, something almost sad and painfully empty in usually expressive eyes as the world went on without him. each day came a lack of motivation to do anything, a bitter part of him convinced he wouldn’t amount to much in that day anyway. sometimes he laid in that bed for hours, if not the entire morning. simply lay there and listen to the sound of his heartbeat pound away in his ears. on the brink of deciding if he wanted to go about another day- pondering if he was even existing at all. such an empty life surely wasn’t a life at all.

he would eventually sit up on the edge of the bed, taking a long pause before slowly standing up. he looked so somber, sullen and morose features as he dragged his feet across the room, his head hanging low as if he didn’t have the strength to hold it high like he used to. the emptiness inside of him often felt painfully heavy.

this so-called “easy life” didn’t feel so easy anymore.

things were finally starting to look up, though. that was what he convinced himself of, at least. it was becoming easier to drag himself up and out of bed, to convince himself to eat, to tell himself that things were going to be okay someday. and, believe it or not, most days he found his only motivation was none other than eben viljoen. there was something that made him feel like his life had some sort of purpose as he stepped out of his room, coming out and seeing eben already up and ready for the day. sometimes jerome got himself out of bed and dressed solely to wish the man a warm good morning, hair a mess and appearance rather disheveled before he offered to make them both a cup of coffee. sitting down and idly smiling over a cup of coffee, a pleased and content smile always sure to find its way to his lips. acting as if he had it all because, in that moment, he did.

did eben even know how important his presence was to jerome? j didn’t think the man ever would know.

his presence was possibly unnecessary in eben’s own life, but if there was anything jerome was good for, at least it could be a cup of coffee. he sat at the table, just like the usual routine, gazing at eben over the usual cups of coffee. taking the last gulp of his own drink, he lowered his own empty cup down onto the tabletop, clearing his throat gently. he reached a hand forward to gently nudge his cup over towards eben, as if silently asking for the man to take the cup to the sink with him once he was done with his own. if anything else, it was also a subtle grab for attention, recognition, anything.

fingers tapped against the table, eyes slowly looking over towards eben as if waiting for the perfect moment to speak what was on his mind. each passing second felt unbearably drawn out. j turned his head to the side, swallowing hard and momentarily clenching his jaw. he glanced over towards eben, waiting until his friend stood up. if there was any such thing as a perfect time to bring it up, now was as good a time as any. he waited to speak until eben’s back was to him. “you know ellie?” cautious eyes wandered over towards eben, as if gauging his reaction, weighing his options carefully in that situation. when did he suddenly start walking on eggshells around the person he considered his favorite person in the world? more importantly, why did he feel the need to walk so carefully when he easily claimed the man was so near and dear to his heart?

huffing a breath, he shook his head and looked down at the table. folding his hands together on the tabletop, he leaned forward. “well. we’ve been talking for a while, getting to know each other, and-” he couldn’t help the smile that made its way to his lips, shaking his head as he further explained, “she’s kind, and bright. beautiful..”  he could evidently go on forever about the woman. he chose to bite his tongue, smiling gently to himself before he softly admitted it; “i really like her.”  he went quiet as he said it out loud, the first time he ever said the small confession aloud. he couldn’t bear to look towards eben as he said it, face feeling flushed from embarrassment.

“i want to know if she feels the same way as i do, but…” if the man could hardly explain this smoothly to his best friend, how would he even go about asking her? he huffed an awkward breath, finally flitting his gaze over towards eben as he said, “i don’t even know how to go about it.” swallowing hard, his embarrassed smile faded into a more solemn, almost pleading look. a silent plea for eben’s help. asking for eben’s advice without having the pride to tell the man exactly that out loud.

he didn’t know how far eben’s expertise on the topic went. all he knew was that eben knew just about everything. where jerome lacked, eben more than made up for. it had always been that way; why would this be any different?  j shifted his weight in his seat, lowering his gaze momentarily. “do i ask her on a date? should i? surely it's not that easy...” it was quite evident he didn’t know the first thing about romance. though if he needed to find a reason to get up and start living, this seemed like the best place to start. eyes stared over at eben eagerly, as if the man held all the answers and advice he could possibly need. though there was a bit of caution in that same stare, as if the very man who could so easily give him the world could just as easily take it all away. 

10
Bluestem Prairie / LOVER IS A DAY // OPEN
« on: May 20, 2020, 10:26:47 AM »

arms outstretched, jerome stepped along the rail with absent concentration, head low as he watched his footing. his features were impassive except for his brows, knitted subtly together in concentration as he put on quite the balancing act. it was a bit of a childish thing to do, jerome was aware of that- yet for a man who hadn’t truly experienced a childhood, it felt more like an attempt to try and pass the time. he often explored the surrounding landmarks around graveyard, seeking out new things to do and see. he wobbled briefly, arms flailing before he regained his balance again. he paused before he kept moving forward, eventually lifting his gaze up ahead of him.

the railroad went on for miles. what places did it lead to? how many times had a train breezed by before the electricity went out? he could only try and imagine it. people with bright eyes full of wonder and hope as the train rolled into the station, each of them ready to start life anew. it was easy to get away from the lives they had before. so easily, they could get a fresh start. losing his footing, ankle clumsily rolling, one foot fell off to the nearby ground. the other stayed on the rail, eyes sparing a glance towards his throbbing foot. he looked back up at the neverending tracks. somber eyes blinked.

how easy could it be for this railroad to take him away?

features cracked briefly, trembling lips turning downward, brows knitting together amid quiet, shallow puffs of air through his nose. jerome hemingway ached for a place that he couldn’t name. perhaps it wasn’t even the place he so desperately longed for, but the state of being he desired. what it would feel like to not feel so weighed down, so heavy; what it must feel like to do something so wonderful, it wouldn’t be forgotten even after death… he regained his composure, straightening up and blinking bleary eyes. he wasn’t sure a place like that existed along these railroad tracks, one that could put such a restless and heavy heart at ease; he doubted he would even know it if he saw it, anyway.

shifting his weight onto his rolled ankle, he winced and stepped off the rail and onto the track. he lingered there, shoving his hands in his pockets, looking out at the never-ending tracks beyond the horizon.


11
Bluestem Prairie / TRYING // OPEN
« on: April 25, 2020, 10:49:38 AM »

jerome wasn’t having the best of days. then again, it seemed only normal at this point. no one was constantly at their best; he wasn’t an exception to the case. everyone had their occasional off day - though jerome couldn’t recall the last time he had a particularly good day, either. today, though, his nerves felt exceptionally frayed. he convinced himself that heading to the ever-popular saloon could boost his spirits, make the day less dreary in other’s company. as he stepped into the bar, he flashed a few familiar faces a convincingly warm smile. how exhausting it was, to always look so put together when he felt like he was falling apart.

he wandered over towards the bar, fingers gently drumming against the counter. the bartender glanced up from cleaning a glass, looking j’s way. “hey. how’re you doing?” the question was asked almost absently, an easy smile on the man’s features. jerome glanced down at the counter, nodding to himself. “i’m great,” he lied casually, “how are you?” the other man answered with a quiet nod and hum. a beat. slowly, jerome slid into a seat, folding his hands together. “could i have a drink?” the question felt foreign on his tongue. though it seemed that people so often chased their sorrows with liquor; what could it possibly hurt? eyes followed the bartender warily, as if expecting to be called out for a request that was odd, coming from him.

the bartender didn’t seem to think much of the rare request from jerome. if anything, he seemed pleased with the remark, chuckling to himself. “about damn time, jerome. thought you’d never ask.” jerome lowered his head briefly, huffing a short breath through his nose. “what do you want? i’ve got just about anything.” the young man paused. he lacked even the most general knowledge about alcoholic beverages. there were times where his parents would have wine and cheese in the late evening, never inviting j to partake. they could drink the whole bottle of red wine like it was water; the sweetest delicacy. determined not to make a fool of himself, he sent a smile the man’s way and answered, “surprise me.”

the other man grinned. “you play a dangerous game, man.” yet he went about making a drink for the man, nonetheless. jerome tried to keep track of what all went into it, though he admittedly lost track. sliding the glass across the counter, the bartender went off to serve other people. and the drink looked innocent enough. slowly raising it to his lips, he took a generous sip--

oh, that burned. the blonde tried his best to not wince or grimace at the taste, slowly lowering the glass back onto the counter. this was what people drank to calm their nerves? there didn’t seem to be anything numbing about the drink at all. he returned his gaze back to the drink and took another sip. “pretty good, isn’t it?” jerome hummed in agreement. lying so effortlessly. “when you’re done i’ll refill that glass.”

j tried to look more enthused by that as he felt, forcing himself to down another sip - this time noticeably grimacing when it seemed all eyes were off of him. this would not be his favorite way to cope.

12
Bluestem Prairie / ANGEL EYES // DARTS, OPEN
« on: April 13, 2020, 04:06:19 PM »

biting his tongue in concentration, he closed one eye. holding a dart carefully in his fingers, he worked to line up the dart as best as he could with the target. most people frequented the bar for drinks - some would sit at a table and clean their rifles and other forms of weaponry with a lack of worry about others’ opinions on the matter. j didn’t belong in the bar, yet he tried so desperately to fit in. there were interesting people to talk to, people who could bring up interesting propositions he would’ve arguably never found anywhere else. jerome didn’t belong in this environment, though he had to say that he at least felt welcome. he couldn’t say that for other places.

the arguments were getting more out of control seemingly each day. perhaps if jerome simply followed the usual pattern, refused to break the cycle, then he wouldn’t be feeling as hurt as he currently did. defiance was never the best look on him; it left a foreign, coppery taste on his tongue that was hard to swallow. being passive was a pill that was equally as hard to swallow nowadays he noted. though after observing how others interacted, how friendships blossomed and showed themselves in every other duo except his own, j felt desperate for change.

“any day now.”
the remark broke his concentration, causing him to turn his head towards the man at the bar. huffing a short breath, he grinned and gestured towards the board. “i’ve never played before.” from a sheltered life, cooped inside, you would think there would’ve been plenty of games inside those confining walls; darts was never one of them. the man seemed impassive, uncaring about the excuse. jerome turned back towards the board and, with a sharp exhale, finally threw the dart -- and it didn’t even hit the board.
the man barked a few notes of laughter. “jesus. you’re going to kill someone, ‘ey?” placing his hands on his hips, he smiled to himself and shook his head. it wasn’t worth it to try and speak up for himself; not to mention he didn’t really have an excuse. instead, he chose to observe the board, as if surveying it would increase his chances of possibly getting better at this new game.

13
Bluestem Prairie / BEIGE // OPEN
« on: March 05, 2020, 02:12:12 PM »

the wind had calmed down within the last week or so enough that it seemed like it would be shameful to stay inside for the majority of the day. that was exactly why jerome sat outside on one of the more trusted steps in front of a building, gaze focused on a book in his lap. in one hand he held the book steady, the other hand wielding a pencil. the pencil had been messily sharpened, appearing a bit rougher on the edges. that didn’t stop jerome from smiling to himself as he sketched in his makeshift sketch book. the idea of finding a book with empty pages had been abandoned long ago in his search for something to draw on. instead, he simply drew over the weathered words inside on the worn pages.

he didn’t call himself an artist. drawing hadn’t been a craft his parents fondly encouraged him to pursue growing up; all of it was self-taught during his free time. he never considered seriously putting work into his artwork, though he did consider it to be a fun pastime whenever he felt like he had nothing else better to do. squinting slightly, he raised his gaze from the book for a short break. breathing a relaxed sigh, he leaned back a bit and simply basked in the nicer weather of the day.


14
Bluestem Prairie / SWEET TO ME // O, BIRTHDAY
« on: January 14, 2020, 10:55:21 PM »

jerome had never really felt compelled to host a party. his childhood had been filled full of memories of sitting in the background while adults chattered away and socialized with one another. from those moments he’d concluded that never, not even once, would he throw a party for himself. there had to be other ways to enjoy someone’s company without the need for alcoholic beverages and a need to climb the social ladder. for once, for his birthday, jerome simply wished that he could have fun.

for some reason, j’s idea of fun revolved around doing something he’d never done in his life before: camping. he didn’t have the guts to admit that he had essentially guilt-tripped most of those who decided to attend (who would say no to a man on his birthday?). however, that being said, he was grateful nonetheless for the turnout he got. he’d managed to get together some of the stereotypical camp sets; tents (which he had needed help setting up), sleeping bags, and more.. everything they needed was right in front of them. granted, they weren’t too far away from their town. however, to jerome, it meant a lot.

he was a sheltered city kid who always wished to get out into nature and explore. this was as close as he could get. admittedly, while he was another decade older, now thirty, there was still a child in him beaming at their temporary campsite. he sat in front of the campfire, a soft smile on his lips. “it’s perfect,” he breathed, at no one in particular, before slowly bringing his gaze up towards the stars. he had looked up at them hundreds of times in his life, yet that night the stars made all the other times seemingly pale in comparison. being in his thirties wouldn’t be so bad, after all.

[pretend this was january 11th pls and thanks,,, she retro
but the baby is!! 30!! doesn't time fly]

15
Bluestem Prairie / ( where no one ever goes - o, intro )
« on: January 03, 2020, 09:33:57 AM »

click !

one eye still closed, jerome raised his gaze from the lens. he moved the polaroid camera away from his face, then carefully plucked the film as it developed. the pair had found themselves in bluestem for a few days, after coming to find this place instead of eben’s childhood home. it was a cozy lifestyle; j could get used to it. the people were nice and welcoming. the territory was wonderful. perhaps it was here where eben and jerome could finally stay. whether they stayed shortly or for a long time, he figured it would be best to pick a task to make himself useful. there hadn’t been anything more appealing than taking photos of the world around them. at least with this task, he was able to get to know and explore the territory a bit more. it also gave him an excuse to drag eben around (even if he wouldn't state the ulterior motive behind the task).

“would you hold this?” he turned slightly to hold the film out towards eben. the two stood a ways out of the town- and with the town so perfectly in the background of eben’s outline, j smiled to himself before turning to face his friend. click! he snapped a picture before the man could interject. the start of a grin pulled at his lips as he took the film between careful fingers. he looked at the developing film with fond eyes. “this’ll be a good one,” he murmured, gaze lingering before flitting over towards his friend. "the best one yet, if i dare say so myself."

rather than giving it to eben, he held onto it himself. camera in one hand, film in the other, he took a few steps backwards before turning to snap a few more photos. the soft smile grew into a grin; it stayed on his lips even as he focused on the task at hand.

// look at the boys 

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