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Flintlock Lodge / BLEW THINGS OUT OF PROPORTION » open, joining
« on: October 16, 2019, 12:03:01 AM »
tw for mentions of loss, fire, and drugs.

a ghost of smoke followed her. she was was gretel without her hansel, leaving a trail to tell her how to go home. except, there was no home, and her version of breadcrumbs dissipated within a few steps. the home she'd always known, the place she'd had as a symbol of safety to return to when the world was on fire, had ironically gone down in the same manner. some fuckers had thought it was sweet, sweet justice to burn the farm down. maybe it was, in fact, justice or irony or some other shitty word for deserving that the farm would go down in flames, considering what they grew there. all monroe could think it was anymore was shitty.

the brunette looked about as put together as ever. loose waves hanging down about her shoulders, brushed but still casual, a tee shirt and hoodie adorning her shoulders, jeans frayed at the knees from years of working in them. her only makeup consisting of chapstick and mascara, though she could have certainly made use of some concealer to cover the bruise on her cheek. anyone who knew monroe carter understood that the young woman wasn't much of a fighter; she'd been raised on a goddamn pot farm by a pair of hippies. she and her late brother had been named after marilyn monroe and jimi hendrix, and she really only knew the basics, considering her family's business. she could aim a gun and pull the trigger, she could throw a punch, and that was about it. her brother, ten minutes older and as many inches taller, had gotten more rigorous training, but monroe had always been content with her plants.

and now she had none of it. the farm was gone, her family was gone, her friends were gone. in a night, her world had quite literally gone down in flames, and she was the only survivor, smelling like smoke and rivers and weed. still, even as she stopped by the border, dropping what was left of her blunt on the ground and stomping the small embers out, she didn't grovel. she didn't cry over what she'd lost (she'd done plenty in the last two weeks), nor did she worry for her dwindling supply of drugs. she only stood, holding herself to conserve warmth, waiting in hopes that the last living people she knew were, in fact, on this shitty mountain, while the weed carried the skunk-y scent of her hobby and career upwind.

( shitty but sis is here )

Los Santos /  bruises on both my knees \\ open, meet and greet 
« on: August 16, 2019, 02:32:58 PM »
carter had a quiet, unassuming sort of presence. she moved with ease, with confidence, but nothing about her really suggested anything about her as a person. there was no charm twinkling in her smile, no mischief in her eyes, no danger in her step. she might be a timid wife, the calm to her husbands storm, just as easily as she could have been a crazed killer, discretely hidden behind walls she'd put up long ago. maybe she was a little of both, or something else entirely.

all anyone could really tell, as the blonde stood with arms crossed in front of her frame, lips pursed, eyes attentive, was that whoever, whatever carter was, she kept it hidden very, very well. a year or so, they'd lived in this city, and the only person who knew any shade of her was the man she'd known for the last decade-and-a-half. and anyone who thought that this wasn't intentional, that she hadn't build those walls on purpose, was simply dense.

❝okay everyone, lets have another go at this meet and greet thing.❞ she called out, eyes searching the small group before herself, figuring the least she could do was let them think they knew her. ❝share your name, and a little bit about yourself.❞ most facts, in general, tended to be quite boring, but it felt kind of strange to only share your name. too short, too routine. ❝i'll start us off: i'm carter montgomery, i've lived here almost a year now, i'm almost thirty, i have a twin sister somewhere, and i'm afraid of heights.❞ it was as personal as carter ever really got, and that, in itself, was progress.

Los Santos /  heaven won't let me in \\ open 
« on: August 13, 2019, 10:51:05 PM »
if you asked carter montgomery if she believed in god, you might receive a blank stare, a long moment of silence, then witness a feeble shrug of her shoulders, hear her mumble ❝probably❞ under her breath. she'd been raised by doctors, by people of science. she, herself, hadn't been spared from years of textbooks and charts and all the other dreadful things that came with education. but believing in science didn't mean not believing in god. her parents, though never devout, were certainly believers.

the truth was, after twenty-nine years of living, carter hadn't ever seen evidence. she wasn't searching for proof of a god, she didn't look for men walking on water and turning water into booze. rather, she searched for proof that there was someone beyond this plane of existence who hadn't given up on them all. twenty-nine years, and so far, she hadn't found anything.

and yet, carter found herself seated in a booth. the wood behind her back, beneath her thighs, was well worn but still sturdy. the church the booth resided in was in good condition, all things considered. a little worn, a little weathered, but it stood strong and someone had kept the place clean enough. bibles, the pages flimsy and yellowed from time, were all about. some had been vandalized, pages torn out and crumbled on the floor, but others had been respected. names were jotted inside of many, and whether they were the names of previous owners, or the names of those someone was praying for, it wasn't clear.

but carter sat there, a book open on her lap, staring down at one of the aged pages, a mixture of emotions on her features that left them impossible to read. highlighted on the page, done long before, and underlined, was one verse in particular. ❝do not murder,❞ she read aloud, her voice hardly above a whisper, but carrying through the empty building in the silence, ❝and anyone who murders will be subject to judgement. matthew, nineteen-eighteen.❞ she let out a long breath of air, staring down at them for a moment in the silence, before her gaze shifted upwards, focusing on the statue in the front of the building, which had seen better days, and slumped a bit in her seat, as though whithering beneath the weight of it. ❝damn, man, i'm thinking i might be too hard of a case for saint jude thaddeus.❞ she murmured, head craning backwards in a tired bit of defeat.

( idk what this is really, but uh, it's? something? )

Los Santos /  the prejudice of pride \\ weekly tasks 
« on: August 13, 2019, 04:49:58 PM »
there were dark circles beneath her eyes, most days, and today was no different. the blonde stood in the same position she had during her husband's meeting the prior day, feet planted in the same place his own had been, though she carried a different air to herself. not so much authoritative or commanding, more so a silent confidence. one of a woman, nearly thirty years old, who'd lived a life twice as long as that. her soul, it seemed, was old enough to have gone gray.

❝alright, tasks time,❞ carter called out, voice steady, revealing nothing, ❝c'mon, there's shit to do.❞ as it turned out, from her recent surveying of shit-to-do, there was a whole lot of aforementioned shit, and a limited population of do-ers.

Flintlock Lodge /  beautiful people \\ oneshot 
« on: August 07, 2019, 04:46:45 PM »
there was comfort in familiarity. there was comfort in the things you knew, particularly for anton. one look at the man, at his life, and you could tell that change wasn't exactly his forte. he'd wanted to be a doctor since he was a toddler, and that never changed. he went to college, to medical school, but inevitably came back to the same town he'd been born and raised in. even when hellfire rained down from the heavens and the world drew to a close, he stayed. when almost every nurse, every doctor, everyone ran, he still stayed. he didn't like change, even when the change was for the good.

and now everything was changing. springfield, the entire hospital, had been leveled. most of those he knew and loved were dead. fletcher was an adult now, no longer a preteen who hung on every word her uncle said. he was a surgeon without much use; the vast majority of his supplies were destroyed, and while the lodge had a hefty stock, there was only so much it could do. anesthesia, proper hospital beds, rubbing alcohol, clean needles; they were in short supply.

he finally understood how hanna had felt all those years ago. empty and aimless, such a vital piece of their identities wiped away. there was still plenty he could do, he was a fully trained doctor, but it was different. his instincts told him over and over again to cut things open, cut things out, and that was near impossible. hayley had nearly died in her labor, and he wasn't sure she understood how close it had been. ellie, too; he'd worked side by side with mickey, nearly stuck a needle in his own arm to transfuse blood to the blonde, but his hands had been needed elsewhere. both the women had survived, and he knew he should be grateful. he should be grateful for his training, for the things he could do, but he was only reminded of all the things he couldn't. all the while his fiance sighed and rolled her eyes and welcomed him to her world. she was a neurosurgeon, a brain surgeon. while you could do plenty of normal surgeries in their world, cutting someone's head open and operating on their brain proved to be impossible in this world.

they were in unfamiliar territory. a new home they didn't really know, with new people, with useless skills. all they had were one another, the familiarity within each other. though they didn't get along much, or at all, they knew one another inside out. they'd known one another for fifteen years, since they were scrawny twenty year old's starting medical school. hanna had been a girl raised in the lap of luxury, angry with her very existence, searching for some meaning among it all. she'd been restless and impatient, trying to answer questions she couldn't even figure out how to ask. anton had been a boy born with nothing, a boy with too many traumas to list, with damage and abandonment issues, forced to grow up because no one else in his house could. he'd been raising his niece, raising his brothers, cleaning up the shit of everyone else.

they'd been nothing but kids. brilliant, high achieving kids, but kids none the less. they had been programmed with minds incapable of forgetting a single thing, they'd each had something to prove, and in the end, they'd fallen into one another. they were so different, but similar in the ways that mattered. they were yin and yang for so long complimenting one another's strengths and weaknesses. where hanna was strong and cutting, anton was soft and caring. where she shut down under pressure, he turned on. where he accepted things, she challenged them. they were a dynamic duo for much of their lives, and admittedly, they could have been forever.

but then there was david. there was the man that anton idolized for too long, when the world fell and he clung to the man and the ideals he represented. you left me for him first, hanna had said, and in reflection, anton could admit it was true. he'd never loved david the way he'd loved hanna, he'd never been attracted to the man like that, but there was an emotional attachment he'd formed to the man. david gave anton a purpose in his life when he'd had none, david taught anton everything he'd ever known. anton, in turn, worshipped the ground the man walked on. hanna had been left alone too many nights while anton followed david around, desperate to soak up his knowledge and gain his approval. somewhere along the line, anton had cared more about what david thought of him then what hanna thought of him.

and in the end, after it was all said and done, he couldn't blame hanna for what she'd done. beyond the anger and resentment, he knew it wasn't her fault. it was just david, it was who the man was. he was magnetic and charming, everyone wanted to either be him or be with him.

when david died, it'd broken them both, but instead of breaking together, they'd broken apart. they'd broken with edges that couldn't be mended, they couldn't be glued back together. five years later, when she'd returned and they'd picked up where they'd left off, they'd found that they couldn't do it. they couldn't go back to what they'd once had. they hadn't changed, but their feelings had, their standards had. anton no longer found her sharp demeanor enticing, only unkind. hanna no longer found his mild, kind disposition charming, only weak. she was no longer assertive in his eyes, but harsh; he was no longer empathetic in her eyes, but spineless.

still, there was comfort in the familiar evils.

anton sat in their room, at the little table in the corner. he wore a suit, a little fake rose on the lapel of his coat. his hair was combed and easy on the eyes, face cleanly shaven, and he looked especially nice. it was his wedding day, after all. except, he didn't look like a man about to wed the love of his life. there was a dark, heavy look to his blue eyes. a look of dread and discomfort, like he only wanted to get it all over with. the glass of amber fluid in his hand attested to as much, liquid courage to endure the day. to endure a life with a woman who hated him, a woman he'd lost love for but didn't have it in him to leave. hanna was comfortable, familiar. faced with a life with her, or a life alone, he found himself choosing the evil he knew.

he sat there, tired eyes staring at an empty wall, lost in thoughts of mistakes. how had his life come to this? he could blame anyone else, point fingers and swear it was all out of his control, but the truth was, he was the only one at fault in the end. if he'd tried harder, if he'd fought harder, maybe some piece of this could have changed. maybe he'd be a man who wasn't willing to resign himself to unhappiness.

the door moaned as it opened, and he didn't look to see who it was, he knew without question. ❝hey.❞ he uttered the word like he was twenty again, though the tone was different. the first word he'd ever said to her, hey, had come with sweaty palms and a nervous smile. this one, this reiteration, lacked the same dissonance. it was laced with... nothing. tiredness, maybe. emptiness.

❝hey.❞ she repeated, and this, too, was different. the first word she'd spoken to him, that hey nearly fifteen years ago to the day, had been laced with amusement. she'd had that easy half smile when she'd uttered it, a pretty girl eyeing up a man who didn't realize he was entirely in her league. no, this, too, was empty. she moved with that same tiredness as she approached the table, sat down across from him. grasped the bottle, grasped a glass, poured one into the other and took a sip.

his eyes landed on her, and she, too, was ravishing. she always was, always had been. it'd never been a lack of anything physical between them, but the emotional. still, he nodded to her as he lifted his glass back up. ❝you look just as beautiful as the day i met you.❞ he mused, but words that might have made most women smile and swoon had no effect on her. it was the words that were unsaid that lingered between them: you look just as beautiful as the day i met you, but it wasn't ever your beauty i loved.

❝i'd say the same, but you were a scrawny kid.❞ hanna returned just as lightly, sipping from her own glass. ❝you've gotten a hell of a lot hotter with age.❞ they both laughed a little at that, but neither said what she meant, either. it wasn't physically that she'd cared about him, either. it was the little things she'd loved that she'd now grown out of. things she'd found charming and endearing had become exhausting, had become too much.

the difference between anton and hanna, between the things they said and didn't say, was that hanna hadn't ever been afraid of the unknown. she'd moved far from her family to be with anton, she'd pursued medicine in a family of law, she'd walked away from him once before.

and neither were surprised when it was hanna who sighed and shook her head, almost laughed a little. ❝anton, what the hell are we doing?❞ she said, and the laugh finally escaped, but a look at her face said she didn't find any of it funny. a look at her face told him that it pained her, it killed her, what they were doing to themselves. ❝what the fuck happened to us? to the kids we used to be, the people who respected themselves enough to be happy?❞ with every word she spoke, the laughter in her tone grew, and so did the tears in her eyes. everything she'd held in for too long was falling out in sync with the water that now trailed down her face, smudging well done makeup.

anton's own eyes teared up, and he laughed right along with her. a man and a woman sat at a table, dressed for a wedding they both know couldn't happen, laughing and crying and falling apart. ❝i wish i could tell you, han.❞ he said, his voice cracking a bit as he glanced down, tears falling freely as he shrugged shoulders in defeat. ❝i think we just grew up.❞

❝i wish we didn't,❞ she murmured, slumping over a bit in her seat, ❝i wish we could go back and do it all over again. i'd never have hurt you like i did.❞ her voice cracked a bit as she spoke, and those words in themselves showed a change in character. hanna could admit she was proud, admitting she was wrong was never one of her strong points. but for this, for him, she could admit it. after it was all said and done, she still loved him. fifteen years of her life with anton, even if she couldn't be with him, she still loved him.

anton smiled a little bit as he wiped his face, though the tears didn't really stop. his head bobbed in a small nod, eyes trained on the glass in front of him for a long moment, before he glanced back up to her, smile still there. ❝yeah, i know. i know you never meant for any of this.❞ he mumbled, leaning back with a sigh. ❝i should have loved you better, hanna. you deserved more than what i gave you, i know that. the world ended, our lives fell apart, and i wasn't there for you like i should have been.❞ anton, too, could be proud. in a different way, in the quiet way of a man who had a bad habit of being right too might, but it was a habit none the less. the admission was evidence of the change in character he, too, had had. he'd given up the anger, the resentment, the pain. he'd stopped blaming himself for his own misery.

they sat there for another minute. then another. any second now, they should be down there. he should be at one end of the aisle, hanna at the other. people were no doubt dressed nicely, sitting in chairs and waiting for their happy moment. even hayley had shown up, tired and teary eyed at the word wedding, but trying to move beyond it. and yet they sat up there in the room, without a single intention of going down and becoming husband and wife.

❝what are you going to tell them?❞ she asked finally, glancing back up at him. their tears had stopped, begun to dry, left in this comfortable place of resolution, of conclusion. they'd finally put the period on their relationship, finally concluded a fifteen year tragedy, and they needed to figure out how to start a page of a new story.

anton shrugged again, lifting his glass to draw in a sip. ❝we couldn't do it.❞ he said simply, lowering his glass before glancing back to her. ❝where are you going to go?❞ he wasn't kicking her out, flintlock wasn't his, but he understood hanna. he understood she couldn't stay somewhere with memories like these. she had no problem with change, no problem with picking up and walking away. she'd done it a hundred times before, and she'd probably do it a hundred times more.

❝wherever my feet take me.❞ she said with a shrug, slowly rising to her feet. she smoothed down the fabric of her dress, a strappy, silken sort of gown.

he rose as well, and with only a look, she stepped in to close the space between him. she wrapped her arms around his body and squeezed him firmly, half his size but holding him tight enough to leaving him struggling for hair. cheek against his chest, his chin resting atop her head, their eyes were both closed as they whispered to one another.

❝take care of yourself anton,❞ she murmured, ❝let yourself be happy. demand it, demand happiness for yourself. stop settling for less.❞

he smiled against her, giving her a squeeze of his own. ❝you too, hanna. find some kind of happiness, find someone who will love you like i should have.❞ and they stood there for another minute, locked in one another's arms, until they broke apart. except, this time they broke apart together, in tact as their own people. ❝and if you ever need anything, han, you know i'm always here for you.❞

she smiled a little, bobbed her head in a nod. ❝yeah, anton, i know.❞ she mused, arms crossing low on her waist. ❝same here. i'll always love you, even if i'll never be able to love you the same way again.❞

and in that afternoon, as the sun was setting behind the lodge and the room was cast in a warm, rose gold glow, a man and a woman gave it all up. they gave up the anger, the resentment, the blame. they gave up a broken romance and they gave up their familiarity. they gave it up, and when the left room, theym somehow loved one another more for it.

[ 2610 words, now i'm gonna go eat. don't respond here; there will be a second thread with the aftermath soon. ]

tw for mentions of blood

he'd looked better.

anton carmichael usually minded his appearance, to some degree. he'd keep his shirts clean and his hair combed and everything about his appearance was just about always orderly. he did his best to look put together, look clean cut; a side effect of a childhood in hand-me-down's and clothes from goodwill, as an adult with the freedom to chose his own clothing, he preferred to look... well, nice.

but as he stood there that afternoon, anton looked worse for wear. dark circles beneath his eyes, hair a bit disheveled, there was smoke stains on his shirt and dust covering his slacks. a small gash resided along his hairline, the blood dried and flaking, and he looked like he'd been through hell.

the truth was, he had.

beside the massive man stood a woman, a foot or so shorter, looking arguably as crappy. what had once been a rather nice grey pantsuit was covered in white dust and blood stains, auburn hair pulled into a sloppy bun atop her head, face just as tired and drained as her fiance beside her. hanna had never made a big deal about her appearance, perhaps because she'd been born into money with nothing to prove, but it was obvious that she, too, was uncomfortable, though her unease was more so with being soaked in the dried blood of strangers than an obsessive need for neatness.

the two surgeons stood side by side at flintlocks border, wordless and solemn. though she wore an engagement ring on her left hand, they didn't touch or hold one another in this painful time. instead, they kept careful distance between themselves, isolated in their own personal bubbles. beside each of them were a few black duffel bags, as dirty as they were but clearly packed to the brim, giving away nothing about why the duo looked so... ruined.

they stood there, around where the border anton knew belonged, quiet and tired, defeat written across their faces.

Flintlock Lodge /  and we will try again \\ open, joining 
« on: July 06, 2019, 12:30:41 PM »
he was used to the ache in his feet. he was used to the pulsing sensation beneath them as they screamed to stop walking, to sit for once in his life, but he ignored it then as he always did. he was a soldier, it had been trained into him early on that stopping wasn't ever an option. though the governments had fallen, though the world had fallen, he was still the same, still a soldier at heart. he operated with a mission, though it wasn't to pursue an enemy anymore, but an ally. his kin.

he'd resigned himself to the loss of his family long, long ago. the loss of his wife, his children. though only one of the three was biological, they were all his children in his head. he couldn't imagine what might have come of him, he physically couldn't bare it, so for too long, he'd ignored it. he'd been abandoned overseas, stranded in the middle of siberia. he hadn't spoken a lick of a second language, didn't even have a map, but mason lebonair was bright enough to make it work. he'd learned a number of languages over the last twenty-odd years. he'd made some sort of life for himself out there, he'd made do somehow.

but then there was a boat, and an opportunity, and he'd left it all behind in a heartbeat for the prospect of seeing his family again. family, as it turned out, to be limited. six months, traipsing over the continent, using what special operations skills he'd had, he'd learned his wife to be deceased. he'd learned he'd missed her by mere weeks. hayley, their middle child, was also long gone. miles was apparently alive and well, as was andrea, who'd begun going by hayley's name. it was all messy and confusing, but all mason needed to know was that his children were alive, even if they might not recognize him.

that was what brought him to this mountain. feet aching, head thrumming, sweating from the heat. though it was only in the seventies, the hottest summer he'd endured in years was the low twenties. in his hand, as he neared the lodge, was a faded and torn picture of a family of five, from long, long ago.

Bluestem Prairie /  fuck you \\ open, joining 
« on: July 01, 2019, 03:17:05 PM »
sally overton was, to put it bluntly, a bitter little shit. she didn’t really have much to be all that bitter about; her life was one of her own making, abandoning what remained of her family at only nine years old and marching off into the great beyond. they were a shit show, splintered and scattered, full of chaos and drama, and, still only a child, she’d convinced herself that she’d be better off on her own. though she was only a child, with a shitty temper and a habit of saying the wrong things, she figured she couldn’t turn out any worse independently than she would with the overtons.

and who’s to say she was wrong? it was impossible to tell, impossible to guess. she’d left, and how staying with her family would have shaped her remained unclear. she’d been angry-crying as she tossed her things into a backpack, the note she’d written was covered in tear marks, and before sunrise she was miles away.

she definitely hadn’t turned out good, that much was clear. she’d picked up bad habits from bad people on the road, and at sixteen acted like twice that. jaded and bitter, quick to give someone the finger or tell them to suck her metaphorical dick, she wasn’t exactly a pleasure to be around. but she was doing her best with what she had, finding an escape from the cruelty of the universe wherever she could.

a long chain of messy, sort of terrible, and slightly painful events had lead right up to that moment. sixteen years old, she stood at the border with a frown placed deep on her lips. she wore a hoodie and a worn out tee-shirt, along with a pair of jeans that were rolled up a few folds at the bottom. she’d outgrown them long ago, but rolling them made it seem like they were intended to be capri’s. a backpack hung off her back, covered in various pins, within nothing of real value within; a notebook, a few bottles of various alcohols, a change of clothes, and a comb for her hair. it, too, was worn to all hell, one strap having broken and now tied back together. her features were unhappy and tired, dark circles beneath brown eyes covertly hidden behind dark sunglasses. her hair was pulled up in a sagging bun, and she leaned against a tree, a blunt hanging from between two fingers.

and there sally overton stood, not really sure why she’d turned back up there. her brother’s name had appeared somewhere along the road, she’d been informed he was in charge of a group, and she told herself she was coming to see what kind of shit show he was running. or maybe she was coming to tell everyone she was still alive after all these years, and doing just fine. (plot twist: she was not)

General OOC / disney week
« on: June 15, 2019, 08:27:04 PM »
okay, so we've had a couple of these things and? this one is disney specific, so disney characters only. princesses, princes, side characters, villains, the whole nine yards are welcome.

hereby claiming mulan for hayley and uH cinderella for amity sdkjsdf

General OOC / yo rats who do you know me by
« on: June 12, 2019, 09:07:52 PM »
it's bandwagon hours boyyyyys
what character do you know me/did you meet me/did you befriend me by? or like,,,, when you think van who do you think of?

Spoiler: my kinda established kids • show
jane, kit, hayley, and kinda lake? maybe others too but they're the ones i've been dumping my soul into for the last year and a half

Announcements / Springfield board removal
« on: June 08, 2019, 11:38:41 PM »
hey everyone!

i'm here to announce the removal of springfield's backboard. i'm not able to keep it as active as it deserves, but it's not entirely abandoned, simply existing in the form of the springfield prefix over in the loner lands. all threads are being moved to the appropriate boards.

if anyone has any questions, feel free to pm anyone on the staff team!!

Bluestem Prairie /  i am a new soul \\ open, joining 
« on: May 19, 2019, 07:58:00 PM »
loving things was all that she knew how to do.

she didn't know how to fix things. she couldn't stitch up a wound or glue a vase back together, she couldn't cure disease or save someone who was too far gone. but she could love those things, those people. broken, defective, worthless; she could take her heart and put it in their hands, look them in the eyes and tell them she loved them. she wasn't good at much, but she was good at loving. she was good at appreciating the beauty of the aftermath, at reading the stories written in scars, at giving her all to someone who didn't have the strength or desire to take any of it. she was good at loving the things that didn't work anymore, the things that didn't want to work anymore.

so she collected these broken things, telling herself that, once she had enough, she'd be whole again. she hoarded broken items from the old world just in case she could fix them; she collected abandoned animals just in case they'd ever want to be loved again; and she bathed and fed and cared for her father years after he'd become nothing but a shell.

she stood where she assumed the border was, or around the area, though she was, in fact, about a mile inside of it. she stood there, looking rather nice all things considered; a dress made of an almost aggressive yellow fabric, with thin straps on the shoulders, hanging down to her knees. her skin was a warm shade of tan, hair gathered loosely in a clip on the back of her head, white sandals on her feet. she looked ready for a picnic, perhaps, or church. beside her was a man in a wheelchair, strapped in with a clearly hand-applied seatbelt, somewhere around fifty years old, though looking much older. tired, wrinkling features lacking emotion adorned his face and he sat, hands lazily resting in his lap, staring blankly ahead. his hair was combed neatly, and he wore a button down white oxford shirt, tie carefully placed and tightened, slacks and shoes on unmoving feet.

tied rather securely to the back of his wheelchair was a large platform cart with heavy-duty wheels, and atop it was a large cage, also securely tied down, with five cats curled up together on a blanket. tied around the cage were various duffel bags with clothes and food within. it was obviously not a long term solution to living, but rather, a creative short-term method of transportation, albeit a strange looking one.

but this was it. her family of broken things that, while no one might have wanted any of them, they'd found each other. it would be easy to look at her, to identify her as the one thing that was whole among the group, but she was arguably the most broken. a broken girl, plagued with insecurities and abandonment issues, collecting all sorts of broken things in attempts to fill the void within her heart. she'd thus far learned, in her last fifteen-and-a-half years, that nothing had filled that void, that emptiness, that loneliness. instead, though, surrounding herself with other broken things made her feel less alone, and by loving those things, perhaps one day she, too, would be loved.

❝everyone be nice, okay?❞ she spoke in a hushed, nervous voice as she bent over in front of the man, fixing his hair; he stared emotionlessly into the nothingness over her shoulder. ❝we want to make a good impression, especially if this becomes our new home.❞ she swallowed, straightening his tie before standing up herself, smoothing the skirt of her dress down as she glanced from the man to the cats, then back to the man. ❝it's been a while, since we've had a home, and i think you all deserve one.❞ she mumbled, more so to herself than to them that time, telling herself that. they deserved a home, and whatever she wanted, she deserved, that didn't matter. she was here because they wanted a home, not because she did.

as soon as the sounds of feet on underbrush sounded, however, she was turning around nervously, hands folding in front of her, unsure if she looked presentable enough or not, but hoping for the best.

Archives / Springfield  please don't bite \\ meeting 5.14 
« on: May 14, 2019, 08:56:47 AM »
these sorts of things, lovely as they were an all, were... not always necessary, not in a group like springfield. they didn't have many changes, and for any long term members, they'd understand that these things had consisted largely of no, nothing has changed over and over again. but still, there was some comfort in the routine, and anton approached the renovated fountain that afternoon, hands tucked into his pockets, hanna seated not far and watching with emotionless eyes. ❝alright everyone, let's gather around for a meeting.❞ he called out, voice carrying in the vaulted room, making it's rounds among the people.

[ wow can't believe i've forgotten one of these someone kick my shin please ]

Helping Hub / statistics
« on: April 28, 2019, 01:29:09 AM »
okay so, on the statistics area of your profile, there's a little part that says most popular boards by activity and i was looking at it and uh
i'm not? great at math? but i'm pretty sure those don't add up?
does anyone know what's up?

Site Guides / information about pregnancy & babies
« on: April 25, 2019, 07:35:15 PM »

hi! hello! what's up! (that's a rhetorical question, i'm not expecting anyone to respond with the sky or something)

so tnw has been having a lot of babies and pregnant women lately, and i thought writing up a little thread with details about pregnancy, labor, and child development. i'm by no means a professional; i'm eighteen years old and have never been pregnant or had a baby. i haven't even been around an insane amount of pregnant women. but i've been writing human pregnancy and motherhood with my characters for the last year or so, i've visited a lot of mommy forums, and when i first knocked one of my characters up, i was sort of working from scratch. so after many long nights of googling things, going undercover on forums, and interrogating pregnant cousins, i present my collection of... knowledge and stuff.

also, from here on, i'd like to toss out a content warning for the things you'd expect to read with pregnancy. mentions of blood, bodily fluids, discussions of miscarriage, infant death, labor, pain, and all that fun stuff.

for starters, there are the trimesters. your first trimester starts at conception, and ends at twelve weeks; your second trimester begins at thirteen weeks, and ends at twenty-six weeks; your third trimester starts at twenty-seven weeks and ends when the baby is born, typically approximated at forty weeks.
a baby is considered to be premature if born before thirty-seven weeks of pregnancy; this term is extended to extremely premature when the baby is delivered between twenty-three and twenty-eight weeks, and moderately premature when born between twenty-nine and thirty-six weeks.

the earliest sign of pregnancy is typically a missed period. however, this can be caused by a number of issues, from malnutrition to stress, and in a setting like the new world, it usually wouldn't be a strong indicator until one or two was missed. morning sickness typically begins around six weeks of pregnancy, and lasts until the fourteenth week, however, it's case by case. some women don't experience morning sickness at all, for some women it begins around the third week of pregnancy, and for some women, it can last until the twentieth week, or for the entirety of the pregnancy. a fetus can typically be detected on an ultrasound at around five weeks, though finding a still in tact ultrasound, with all of it's supplies, and proper power may prove difficult depending on the group.

a typical woman will begin to "show" in her pregnancy between twelve and sixteen weeks, but there are various factors affecting this, including, but not limited to: if you've been pregnant before, how many babies you're carrying, your height, your pre-pregnancy weight, the shape of your body, and the positioning of the baby.
women who have had previous pregnancies tend to show earlier, as this bodily change is something your abdominal muscles and uterus have experienced before, and some women have reported showing as early as six weeks. women who were thinner pre-pregnancy tend to show more and sooner, while women who were overweight typically take longer, not showing even until the third trimester. taller women tend to show later, while shorter women tend to show sooner.
women typically feel the need to change into larger, looser clothes around their fourth or fifth month of pregnancy, finding their old clothes don't fit them anymore. just as bumps grow, breasts typically do the same, beginning from six weeks of pregnancy, and most women go up a cup size or two.

pregnancy-specific medical issues
hyperemesis gravidarum (hg) which, while considered rare (occurring in about 1% of all reported pregnancies), can cause persistent vomiting lasting the entirety of the pregnancy, as well as frequently feeling faint, and normally dehydration from being unable to keep fluids down. while there are plenty of treatments in our world, they're limited in the new world, largely left to eating small, frequent meals to help nausea, and foods high in vitamin b6 (pork, poultry, fish, eggs, whole grains, etc).
if a woman experiences hg in one pregnancy, it's very likely she'll continue to experience it in all of her pregnancies. however, it typically peaks at the end of the first trimester, and mostly subsides near the middle of the second trimester, save for severe cases that may last the entirely of the pregnancy.

pre-eclampsia or toxemia is a potentially life threatening complication that occurs in 5-8% of pregnancies, and it has a maternal mortality rate of 6-14% among those who suffer from it. it arises typically after the twentieth week of pregnancy, and is typically characterized by high blood pressure and high protein levels in the urine, though testing the protein levels is largely impossible in tnw. headaches, nausea, swelling in the legs, and fatigue are often common, but they're largely indistinguishable from a normal pregnancy.
the largest damage this condition does to the baby is by limiting blood flow to the fetus, causing babies to be born smaller and often premature. if toxemia presents itself after thirty weeks, the mother is 13% more likely to experience it in her next pregnancies; if it presents before thirty weeks, the likelihood rises to 40% or higher.

miscarriages are an unfortunate, but painfully common complication in pregnancy that takes place in about a quarter of all pregnancies, and that's only numbers of known miscarriages, as some women never even know they're pregnant or miscarrying in the first place. a majority of miscarriages occur in the first trimester, and this is largely why many women in the modern day don't announce it until they've reached the second trimester. about half of all miscarriages are caused by a chromosome abnormality, where either the sperm or the egg contributed one extra or one less chromosome, and the fetus was unable to develop further. this is something that largely cannot be prevented, and most people have a number of eggs or sperm in this state. other causes can range from issues with maternal health, the egg not properly implanting into the uterus, lifestyle (smoking, drinking, etc), maternal trauma, or various other causes. in the modern world, sometimes the exact cause is difficult to determine, and in the new world, it would be close to impossible. however, things like intercourse or moderate exercise are proven to have no effect of the likelihood of a woman miscarrying.

infant development
it normally takes babies a few months to learn to do things, to do them well, and do it for a long period of time. when a baby begins to hold it's head up, they might only be able to do it for a minute or two at first, and they'll get better with time. premature babies tend to go about things a little later, and if you want to know what a baby is capable of, you should measure from their due date.
for example, if a baby is born january first, and their due date was february first, then by june first, they would be five months old. however, they would only be doing the things you'd expect of a four month old.

cooing: 1 to 3 months
smiling: this typically begins at shortly after birth, but they're not real smiles; rather, they're called reflex smiles, often caused by gas. real smiles normally start between 1 1/2 to 3 months old.
laughing: babies typically give off early laughter between 2 to 3 months old, however these laughs are caused by physical things, like raspberries and tickling. responding to funny faces and gestures doesn't begin until closer to 4 to 6 months.
holding their own head up: 3 to 6 months
sitting up independently: 4 to 7 months
crawling: 6 to 10 months
pulling themselves up: 9 to 12 months
cruising (walking while holding on to things): usually 3 to 4 weeks after pulling themselves up
walking: 14 to 17 months
talking: this is where it gets more complicated. if you say "mama" to her over and over again, eventually she'll say "mama" back at 6-10 months, but she won't understand what she's saying, she's just mimicking. understanding the meaning of words ("mama" means their mother, "no" means no, "naughty" means bad) those words back and form them in the mouth starts around 10-14  months. however, most babies by this age only really know 1-3 words apart from mama and dada, and understand nodding and pointing.
at 15 months, they should know 14 words, and from here learning picks up exponentially; at 16 months, that expands to 40 words; at 18 months, about 70. between 18-24 months, they should be able to form short, 2-4 word sentences "want some milk"/"mama pick up please"/"lizzie is mean".
learning their name: babies will realize that, when hearing their name out loud it means them around 5-7 months old. (hope knows "hope" is her, lizzie knows "lizzie" is her, etc.)

i'll be updating this as time goes on, to add on things like fetal development in utero, more child development, labor, breastfeeding, and things like that. if there's anything you want me to research or to add on here, just lmk? all this stuff is extremely fascinating to me, and since there are six children among my characters currently, it couldn't hurt to learn more.

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