In Which Chaaruchandra Reappears ((Elijah Emmanual))

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In Which Chaaruchandra Reappears ((Elijah Emmanual))

Post by Guest on Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:20 pm

Chaaruchandra Keer was bored.

He'd developed a sort of tick in his hands recently. He was always playing with his own fingers, twisting his hands together, shaking them, tapping them on his leg. He missed his silks more than anything. He missed the way they felt wrapped around his body, missed the pull in every muscle, missed the freedom of moving through the air with only the fabric holding him up. He missed his lyra, even his trapeze. And his hammock. Sometimes, when he was done practicing, he would curl up in a little ball in the smooth silk and let it surround him, drifting off into a deep sleep as his cocoon swayed softly from side to side. When it was time to head home and Thomas couldn't find him, he would always head to the blue hammock Charlie loved so much and gently kick the warm, snuggled-up ball of boy resting there. Sometimes, if Thomas had a date or other plans, he would just let Charlie sleep. He seemed to prefer the hammock to his own bed, sometimes. And when he woke, early in the morning or late at night, he would play on the apparatuses, like a child waking at 3 in the morning to find he had been locked in the toy store overnight and everyone had gone home. It was freeing. Sure, Charlie liked to show off, but flying as the city slept, alone with one's thoughts and body and was something else. Thomas would bring breakfast the next morning to find the teenager awake and tangled in the silks, high above him.

Charlie missed that. He tried not to let himself dwell on it too much, but that was the thing. Without aerialism, he had nothing to distract himself. Nothing to keep himself from thinking, and it was driving him crazy. He found himself eyeing a pair of his nicer pants, wondering if he could sling them over a tree branch or something. But no, too short, not strong enough. That wouldn't work. He was losing the definition he'd developed in his body from years of holding himself in the air. Charlie wasn't a very vain guy, but he'd worked a long time to get into that kind of shape, and getting weaker wasn't something he liked. He wanted to get stronger. Always, always get stronger. That was the way to stay alive, after all.

The forest was his only salvation. Climbing trees wasn't something he had done much after he started at the studio. No time, and frankly, silks beat trees any day. But now he didn't really have a choice. The trees were really his only option. And while it wasn't nearly as good, Charlie had taken to spending entire days in the treetops. He was like a squirrel, moving freely from tree to tree. And yes, he'd fallen on his butt several times. Another reason not to like the trees as much. He didn't really trust them. Branches could break. And he was constantly getting scratched. His smooth brown skin was marked now by countless scratches, scrapes, and the occasional cut. Fortunately it was getting colder, and he could wear long sleeve shirts and jeans without getting too hot. Fall was making the situation easier. It was hard to be angry or sad when you were perched in a crown of fiery leaves, the sun filtering down to warm your scratched face and bare feet. It might not have been as good as before, but he was in the air again. That was the really important thing. And there was always something new to find. The treetops were a pretty awesome place to explore. A safe place, too. Charlie had heard that there were monsters in this forest, but he hadn't seen any. Seemed most of them were earthbound.

So even though he was bored and scratched and whatnot, he was doing okay. He hadn't fallen in a few weeks. He knew the trees, now, and he'd come to enjoy his time there more than before.

Then came the fall.

He'd started exploring a new area, past his normal realm. He was pretty high up, and he'd grown so accustomed to this place that he wasn't really being as careful as he should've been, and one branch...that one stupid branch. He went crashing to the forest floor.  He curled his head to his chest instinctively as best he could to protect himself, hitting branches on the way down. Thank the gods for fall; a drift of beautiful, bright leaves cushioned his fall somewhat. Still, it knocked the wind out of him. He had several new bruises and cuts, and he was 90% sure he'd at least bruised, if not cracked, a couple of ribs on the left side of his body. Crap.

Oh well. It wasn't a huge deal. It sucked, but it wasn't too bad.

A loud rustling caught his attention. He sat up, looking around him, wincing at a pain in his neck. Not ten feet away from him, a leaf pile was moving. Something massive was shaking the leaves off. A few glowing eyes (either he had hit his head and had double vision or this was some scary stuff) peered hatefully out at him.

It was then that it occurred to Charlie that despite having been at Camp Jupiter for a few months, he had done absolutely nothing productive, such as acquiring a weapon or learning how to use it.

He got to his feet and got out of there as fast as he could (which really wasn't very fast due to the whole rib situation). As far as he could tell, the thing didn't make much of an effort to follow him. But it was still an eye-opening occurrence.

Charlie hadn't really talked to anyone since arriving at camp except for one person: Praetor Elijah Emmanual. This was rather unlike Charlie. He was usually a pretty social person. But he'd withdrawn a little over the past few months. This whole place was weird. His whole life was weird.

But he'd had a few months. It was time to try to get back to himself. He couldn't spend the rest of his life in a tree. And even if he intended to, well, he was going to have to figure out how to defend himself, in case he encountered anything else like the whatever-it-was he'd seen before.

Well, he knew one person here, at least. Maybe it was time to pay Praetor Emmanual another visit. He seemed like a nice guy. And Charlie was sure the guy could help him  get a weapon, at least.

Charlie knock-knocked lightly on Elijah's door in the Principia and opened the door without waiting for an answer. At the last second he realized there were definitely still leaves stuck in his hair. Oh, well.

"Hi again!" the teenager said cheerfully as he poked his head into the room. "Long time no see. How've you been lately?" Charlie remembered his last meeting with the Praetor, in which he'd given the older boy a stuffed llama with an inordinate amount of fashion sense. That seemed to freak him out a little bit. Charlie hoped he'd caught the Praetor in a slightly better mood than last time. He seemed like a cool guy. Charlie crossed to the table and fell into the chair there, rubbing his ribcage. "So I'm kind of going out of my mind with boredom, and I'm pretty sure something tried to kill me today," he said conversationally, wincing as he drew breath.


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