Chapter IV. Fabric of the Woven Carnation

Chapter IV. Fabric of the Woven Carnation

A Chapter by Writer #00
"

Iris...what's so funny about animated corpses?

"

Iris:

 

She wasn’t exactly thrilled by the idea of having to drag the Rabotte’s body out of a parking structure via method of towing, but she didn’t want the creature’s death to go to waste and there was no way she’d be able to haul nine hundred pounds of Rabotte all the way back to their secret base without some sort of assistance.  So, she scoured the concrete building for any vehicle with even a tiny drop of gasoline left in its tank; however, she found none.

 

She sighed, her hands on her hips and eyes on the Rabotte’s corpse.

 

“You’re not gonna get away from this,” she told it, as if it could respond, “I am going to find a way to bring your fat a*s home.  I will NOT be deterred by your posthumous attempts at perverse victory!”

 

She, having exhausted all other possibilities by now (now being noon, by the light of the sun), bent down to its limp, bloodstained being and tried to pull the thing across the lot, down the ramp to the first level, and through the narrow, sandy streets of the dozing town.  She adjusted her position, placed her hands elsewhere on the body for better grip, tugged at its ears, tried to get it to defy the laws of strength-potential-to-weight rationality somehow. Emphasis on ‘tried’.  She made absolutely no progress.  Not even a budge.  After a while, she sat breathlessly on its red-and-gold chest, Mortician strapped portably to her back, and let out a long, exasperated exhalation.

 

“M. Rabotte,” she breathed, poking some bit of its fluff, “don’t be so stubborn.  Just resurrect yourself for a bit and follow me to my and Duke’s hideout; then you can go back to being dead, decomposing, and all that goodstuff.  You won’t even feel me skin and flay your flesh from your bones!” she patted its furry head in mock reassurance, “Isn’t that good news, M. Rabotte?”

 

She flopped down on her back, chuckling if only to amuse herself.  Iris, she thought, I think you’ve gone insane.

 

Duke, Falip, and Culous:

 

They arrived where he and Iris had begun their day�"a clearing of asphalt surrounded by mounds of unwanted materials ranging from whole vehicles to things such as crumpled, rolling gazettes.  The parking lot Iris had rushed into loomed over them, and he found himself wondering if she’d made it back to the hideout.  Falip indicated the multiply tiered parking structure that stood, dilapidated and deteriorating, before them. 

 

Culous glanced down at the wavy-haired little boy.  “Is she in there?” he asked.

 

Duke tensed, truly hoping to hear a negative reply.  It had been many hours since she’d entered that morning, so the only reason she would still be in there as opposed to the hideout would be... He shook the thought away.  The Iris had killed Gold Rabottes.  Whatever had caused such commotion would be easy to deal with. He watched Falip for an answer.

 

The boy nodded.

 

Duke fought back his fear.  Maybe the boy was wrong.  No one could really smell out another human, right?  Falip was shooting blindly in hopes of being correct, he assured himself. 

 

Ironically, the Iris emerged from the first level of the building just as he thought this.

 

“Is that her?” Culous asked with an eagerness that made Duke cringe.

 

He nodded slightly, her white hair a beacon of recognition.  Culous smiled, approaching the Iris happily.  He cupped his hands and shouted:

 

Ami�"!” or, rather, begun to shout before the girl produced her great shotgun and launched a bullet of blue electricity at him, catching him off guard.

 

The bullet hit him in the thigh, causing him to collapse to his knee, but this vulnerability was short lived.  Duke was confused, and, in all honesty, a tad frightened by the sudden shift in personality the tall male exhibited less than a second following the Iris’ assault. 

 

M. Cone-Main, protect Falip!” Culous called, showing almost no sign of having felt any pain.

 

Startled, Duke watched as the boy rushed over to his injured companion.  Duke grabbed his wrist firmly.  “She might think you’re an enemy and shoot,” Duke explained, “duck behind that car�"“ he indicated the decrepit antique of a former era, the rubber of its tires having long since deflated, that the Iris and he had found a ‘bot in that morning, “�"and I’ll get her attention.”

 

Falip was shaken, obviously not wanting to leave his friend.

 

“Culous will be fine,” Duke assured, hoping he could get the Iris’ attention before she fired another bolt of electricity.

 

The boy reluctantly obeyed, and Duke felt a pinch of emotion as he thought he saw the glimmer of a tear peek out from the corner of Falip’s eyes.  Duke turned back to Culous.

 

“It’s me,” Duke called, standing beside the tall man, who had now come to his feet, clutching his scythe, “Duke!”

 

He was surprised by how easily she chose to trust him, quickly folding her gun and slinging it onto her back.  As she approached, Culous sighed sadly.  It wasn’t the girl from the note.

 

“Who’s with you?!” Iris asked, coming towards them.

 

“Um...” he wasn’t sure how he should refer to the two males; he hadn’t even known them for a day.

 

He looked up at Culous, whose height cast a slim shadow as black as his clothing over him.

 

Amis.” He answered.

 

Duke, Falip, Culous, and Iris:

 

The four were in Iris’ tacky hideout, Culous lying on the floor while Falip rummaged through his pockets for some sort of first-aid material, Iris and Duke sitting on separate stools at the other end of the canvas-walled head quarters.

 

“Something about you seems familiar,” Iris mused, popping a pear into her mouth and peering intently at Culous.

 

Culous stiffened, having recognized the girl the moment she had come into view half an hour ago.  Iris, being the keen-eyed survivor that she was, saw the man’s slight twitch obviously, but she interpreted it as a wince, considering his friend (whom Duke had interested as Falip) was gently dressing his wound.

 

“I-I don’t know what you mean,” Culous lied as Falip used the end of his t-shirt to clean the burn mark Mortician had given him, “we haven’t seen any girls lately.”

 

Iris nodded, now drinking the left-over juice from the can of pears.  She slammed the can on the crate next to her, wiping her mouth clean of the pear juice.  “That may be so, but I still feel like I’ve seen you somewhere before...”

 

Her voice trailed off as she allowed her mind to recollect the recent past.  Ding.  Light bulb.  Angry light bulb.  Iris thrust an accusing finger at the two guys: “You two stole my food this Nivôse!” she shouted, in sudden realization.

 

Culous sat up, leaning on a crate, “That was your food?”

 

Iris glared down at him from her stool, “Yes, idiot, and I almost starved to death that winter because of you two thieves.”

 

Judging by Falip’s eyes of shock, his partner hadn’t told him where all the food he’d been eating had come from.  He tied the end of the gauze over Culous’ wound, staring at him in horror.

 

“You told me you found those canned goods in a nearby town,” Falip insisted.

 

Culous smiled, “I did, Falip, I did.”

 

“Well, yeah,” Iris agreed, completely vexed, “he found a whole pillow case full of goods in this hide-out”

 

“But it was unattended,” Culous reassured his innocent little comrade.

 

Look at this place, someone’s obviously made this area their own, which means everything�"the crate, the stools, the canvas and sheets�"in it belonged to someone, too.”

 

“Not necessarily,” Culous counteracted, “the world’s unconscious for the rest of its measly life.  We’re not even supposed to be out here, but suspended in the animation of thick gélatine.  How are we supposed to know what belongs to sleeping people and what belongs to Rogues?”

 

“You saw me,” Iris reminded him, remembering the cold days of three weeks prior, “I had come back to my home with more blankets to keep me warm, and I saw your freakishly tall body with my winter’s-worth of perishable foodstuffs slung greedily over your shoulder.  And you took advantage of my surprise and made a mad dash for it.  I had been too weak to follow or attack you, so you got away.  To think you and your partner in crime have been hiding in this very city this whole time.”

 

Culous removed his hat, placing it on his lap, and fiddled with the fabric of the woven carnation.

 

“First of all,” the man sighed, his arms and hands aiding his words with feminine gestures, “my partner didn’t even know I’d stolen the food.  He was ill and hungry, so I would have done anything to get my hands on some food and water.  I told him a vague truth, one that wasn’t too suspicious, and wouldn’t anger his angelic morals.  So if you’re planning on taking your anger out on one of us, take it out on me.”

 

Iris blinked, the violet-shawled male’s protectiveness briefly uncovering memories of the person she had first traveled with a year ago.

 

|A reassuring tone drifting in the air|

 

“I guess I sort have already,” Iris commented after a slight silence, nodding at the electric bullet wound she’d inflicted upon him.

 

Culous laughed uproariously.  “I guess, so, Iris” (they’d each introduced themselves by then) “I suppose temporary walking inhibition is comparable to near starvation.  It was near starvation, oui Madame?”

 

“Yeah,” Falip added, “You’re not dead, are you?”

 

Iris felt the awkward-bird drop a few ellipses in the quiet air that followed this question.  The boy was young, but Duke hadn’t thought he was so young that even the comprehension of death and life were yet in his realm of understanding. 

 

“Of course not,” Iris chuckled, “I’d be dead if I were dead.”

 

“I dunno,” Falip muttered, “maybe you’re a ghost summoned from the Hereafter.”

 

Culous reached out to tug the boy’s soiled shirt, hoping the others hadn’t heard him say something so odd.  Iris burst into hysterical laughter, wiping a tear from her eye and doubling over.

 

“Yeah,” she laughed, “maybe.  And Duke here is a necromancer!”

 

Duke cocked his head, “Necro...mancer?”

 

Falip looked wide-eyed at the cloaked boy.  “You are?  So is Culous.”

 

This sent Iris into a new level of laughter (which neither of the three understood in the least�"what about controlling corpses called for laughter?).  Culous pulled the boy down to him, whispering something in his ear before bringing him into his chest for a hug.  Iris stopped laughing. 

 

“Wait,” She said, “you were serious?”

 

Queeeelle?  Noooon?” Culous replied, but Iris could already here the accents of denial in his voice.

 

“So you two are either extremely deluded,” the girl concluded, “or you’re actually a...necromancer.”

 

Falip flashed two fingers.  The second guess.

 

“What’s a ‘necromancer’?”  Duke asked, breaking the silence secret-revealing was often the mother of.

 

Culous stood, hunched over under the playground apparatus Iris’ home was built under, and placed his hat over his mop of black hair.  He couldn’t stay with these people any longer, not now that his being a Necromancer had been figured out.  He glanced at Falip.  Or, more accurately, blatantly told.  He snickered internally, the kid was so innocent.  He probably should have reminded the little boy not to mention his Necromancy, but he hadn’t expected to come across anyone so soon.

 

Au revoir, mon amis,” Culous told the two, shaking each of their hands in turn before parting the curtains of the secret base...

...and finding a town misted over by the beginnings of rain.

 

“You can stay with us until the weather clears up,” Iris offered, already rearranging the furniture so that Culous could lay down and rest his leg (she really did regret firing that bullet, but she had just taken on a Gold Rabotte and hadn’t fully reverted back into her less jumpy prey-mode).

 

To anyone else that offer would have been seen as welcomed hospitality, but all Culous saw was a twinkle in her emerald eye and a spark of longing in her voice.  He couldn’t let Falip tread in the ever-strengthening rain in fear that the little boy’s delicate body would be overcome by sickness just as the snow of Nivôse had affected him two months prior. 

 

Culous sighed, removing his hat; regretting his decision even before he’d made it: “If you insist, Madame.”

   

--Chapter IV. Fabric of the Woven Carnation

 

 



© 2013 Writer #00


Author's Note

Writer #00
Here's the second chapter of this month. I finished sooner than I expected, so I might post another March chapter (heheh, Marchapter). Does Culous' random French disrupt the flow of the dialogue? Are the terms used hard to keep track of? Should I make a glossary? Please review and thanks for reading.

Note: Nivôse = December.
Their calendar is the same as the Jan.-Dec. calendar except that the names of the months are those of the French Revolutionary Calendar. They are in the month of Pluviôse (January).

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Reviews

I really think that you should post a glossary I can't understand some terms, but nonetheless your characters are very well portrayed and you hit it all in one spot (:

Posted 7 Years Ago


Rhianne Ney

7 Years Ago

Lolz, I actually think that the characters were great. Iris and Culous are my fave ones
Writer #00

7 Years Ago

Well, that's nice to know. Iris and Culous are flattered...mainly Culous.
Rhianne Ney

7 Years Ago

(: Haha (: Culous is kinda my type
All good, but why does this one person have to leave? So what he's different. Dang now i have to wait until you have more.

Posted 7 Years Ago


aaahhh i knew that those two knew Iris. But its great that Duke knows how much she trusts him. There was something fishy about Fulip and Culous cuz their thieves. I hope you continue to write this story. I like how you made the confrontation so intense and sudden.

Posted 7 Years Ago


Writer #00

7 Years Ago

western.
Xerclipse

7 Years Ago

oh thats a difference.
Xerclipse

7 Years Ago

and thanks, hope i will

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Added on March 5, 2013
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I'm participating in the Summer Writing Project through Jukepop.com, an online serial website, those entering had to submit a novella on Jukepop.com. The finalists will be decided by the number of +V.. more..

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