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Author Topic: Just Passing Through  (Read 3152 times)


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Just Passing Through
« on: May 01, 2020, 01:38:39 AM »
Bard's day had been uneventful and commonplace. Business as usual. Freight transportation through the Lake and the town's canals had taken up most of his time since the very early morning. Today he had not left Laketown's area. Sort of illegal fish selling at the market was also part of his daily activities even though fish were scarce in the lake this winter as it is normal at this time of the year. He still needed to find the money to legalize the fishing license he had inherited from his father upon his death, but up until now it was unlikely that he'd get it sorted any time soon. He was sure that the Master was increasing the price of his license transference so he would have a reason to arrest Bard for illegal fish trade whenever it suited him.

Though it is fact that Bard, against his will, became quite a skilled fish, recently other merchandise as well, smuggler, so far he was never caught doing anything illegal as giving fish to others, like any other donation, wasn't considered a crime. He was never found actually selling anything but for space on his barge for the transportation of cargo. That his license as a bargeman allowed him to do legally. So far he had managed to dodge the Master of Laketown, but for how long?

Upon arriving at his home, Bard had the usually warm welcome of his children. All four of them were at home at the time he crossed the door's threshold. He was late that evening and that worried look was present in all four young set of eyes. The undeniable feeling of relief he could sense in all of them, certainly the most important people in his life right now, made him feel in debt with them. Just leaving Bain, Sigrid, Gard and Tilda for most of the day had always been hard, but it had become more so since his own mother's death last year. Now it meant that they were left truly alone at home and Bard would need to trust the neighbors to watch his house and its inhabitants while he was away working. Dinner was already at the table when he arrived, but the family could still share the meal together and talk a bit before they said their good nights.     

Bard, though tired from his day's journeys, didn't find his bed to be a resting place that night. Soon he found himself thinking about subjects that aren't suitable for that time of the day. The inevitable nightmare invaded his mind when his eyes closed and made him restless. Knowing that it was no use to insist in trying to sleep, Bard just changed back into some fresh clothes and his weathered coat that wouldn't be seeing another winter most likely and, trying to make as least noise as possible in order not to wake up his children, left the comfort and warmth of his small home. The chill of the windy night would help him find some peace, he hoped.

Since his youth Bard's relationship with the sight of the Lonely Mountain never changed significantly. It was always a piece of memory to him, not necessarily a good or bad one. There was surely all the tragedy that had come from the mountain and kept coming sporadically until it ceased 60 years ago. He was relieved that Smaug had never been active during his entire lifetime and that of his children, but if the thrushes were right in their chirping, and he had no reason to distrust his friends as Bard considered birds to be since his childhood, the dweller of the mountain was getting each time more restless within it.

Doom could befall Laketown anytime and it was incredible how most people there were still thinking about little daily matters, himself included. Also the tales of Ancient Dale had always mesmerized him. Just to think about all the wealth their people once possessed and even here at Esgaroth did bring him some hope, yet Bard was no longer a boy and he knew that it didn't do to dwell in dreams that will never come to pass. The current situation of Laketown was nothing like it was in the past, fear having made many traders and merchants forsake the place for their own safety. Dale was but a memory and ruins at the feet of the ancient Dwarven realm's mountain.

The present was a gloomy place for Men at the north of Rhovanion. If the constant threat of a dragon attack wasn't enough to get him on the edge of gloominess, there was all the personal tragedies to add to it even though he had to remain strong in order to give the support his children, nephew included, needed. His parents were no longer here, the cold had claimed them already, his sister also gone in a similar way and his wife was taken by a fatality during childbirth.

Memories of his childhood's simpler times were inhabiting his mind as he walked down the wooden streets and docks in the chilly wind of that night. His home was very close to the best view of the Lonely Mountain from Laketown and even though he didn't actually feel any personal need to seek such sight at this moment, his steps took him there because it was in the way to the Minnows and Trouts.

Bard wasn't going to get himself drunk at the tavern. He could never be found in such a state as he considered it demeaning to a person and he had to be an example for his children on how to behave in society. He was going there to vent, to speak his mind in the only place he felt he could do so freely without fear of being turned in to the Master. He was in a mood to steer trouble tonight. If life in Esgaroth could be just a little bit better, he'd do whatever was in his power to make it so. He owed his children a better life if he could grant them that.

Yet, he didn't make it to the tavern. His steps halted and his sight was completely taken by the Lonely Mountain. As he observed it, his thoughts went back to the thrushes' chirping as he held the railing that separated him from the lake's waters. Bard's sharp ears heard steps coming his way, but he made no movement nor said a word of acknowledgement. He was now in a world made of his own thoughts. He also wasn't doing anything wrong and had no reason to fear nor to leave that place. The streets were public and he had the right to be there at this time or any other. Most likely it was just someone passing by.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2020, 06:55:07 AM by Bard »

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Re: Just Passing Through
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2020, 02:38:05 AM »
[ooc: oh I know it's super late! D: and not super long, but I hope you like it! #yaypapasonbonding?]

Life had always been hard for Bain. Being the Eldest of three, and Sigrid being more mature than himself, it was tough. What was tough? The fact that he was expected to behave like his father - well, that was accomplished, you can put a check mark next to that. He was always getting into trouble. ‘That son of Bard’s is a mess’ one person would say (mostly Mrs. Opal who lived closer to the shore), or ‘You’re starting to look like your father, boy’ (the nearest drunk on the corner, usually some snide remark from a guard, and sometimes it was said with love intended - but, let’s face it, it was rare). Either way, it left Bain feeling a little hollow inside. Like he had no idea how to be his own person - almost.

Almost. When he was away from the townspeople, in the secret places that only Gard knew about when he needed to come and find him, he could be himself. Make all the stupid jokes, and pretend to talk to the pretty girl who lived down the street (if Bain had any sense, he would have asked his father about girls, but as they say in teenage-boy-ez: eh.)

Fact of the matter was, he didn’t really spend all that much time with his father. So, when he came home, only to head out again, Bain left shortly after. He followed his father from a distance, watched what he did. When he (Bain, for his following his father rather beside him, than directly behind him) passed by a tavern, he could hear laughter, and listened for the particular laugh of the only town drunk he had in his acquaintance. But, Bard continued on, so that meant that Bain must as well. He walked along, lost in his own thought until he came to a view that Bain had seen a million times before. Everyone had.

The sight of the Lonely Mountain - once inhabited by Dwarves, and visited upon by Elves. There were  several spectacular views from all points along the lake, and along the shore. This one was no different. Bain smiled to himself as he took it in, and watched his father for a few moments; deciding at the last minute to try and get closer. To see if he could hear anything his father might be mumbling to himself, to get a better sense of the man he admired so much from a distance. Heh, how unfortunate that the wood slats under his feet should betray him! Like they were saying, you should talk with him, lad, you might not have another chance for a while.

So, instead of stopping, he continued on; relaxing his posture, and stuffing his hands in his pockets like he fully intended to be here, but it didn’t stop his heart from pounding with fear and anticipation of the harsh rebuke that could - potentially - come from his father. Yes! Alright, he should be at home helping Sig  looking after Tilly, and their nephew, Gard.

But… but… and Bain fought himself to keep a calm composure. If his father ordered him home, then he would go without complaining. And when Bain was close enough, he waited for his father to speak to him, hoping it would be a kind word. 
speech color code: EBE594

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Re: Just Passing Through
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2020, 06:30:03 AM »
The sound of steps wasn't passing by as Bard had expected and even hoped for. They were approaching him with intention. Sometimes he wished his hearing wasn't so good. This was one of such times. He couldn't help but think something negative. Not after the nightmare he had just had before deciding his bed wouldn't grant him any rest in that cold night. What now? Can't a man be left alone with his thoughts? The thought crossed his mind and, for a moment, he was angry at the one who was disturbing his sought out loneliness. It was better to just let his wannabe companion, whoever that was, know that he didn't want any company that night.

As he turned to share a piece of his mind with the other, something Bard was known for, he saw no other than his oldest son standing right in front of him with his hands stuffed in his pockets and that look he knew so well. He had seen it many times in the mirror when he was his son's age whenever he felt he would be scolded for something he knew he shouldn't be doing, but he just had to do anyway. Maybe that was a chance to share some quality time with Bain before the end. They were Men and just passing through this life anyway, some of the ancients from Dale believed. It didn't mean it wasn't meant to be cherished and shared with those one loved.

In a second his face turned from upset to pleased and a full smile, rarely seen on his features nowadays, graced his face. Bard closed the space between himself and Bain in a heartbeat and three large steps, then gave his son what was possibly the tightest embrace of his life. The image in his nightmare couldn't leave his mind. The city in flames. Smaug giving another pass. People screaming in pain and despair. His house falling apart in flames. Who could sleep after having such an image burned into their mind? The worst is that it could become true sooner rather than later. Bard didn't believe in prophetic dreams. He knew it was his own fear screaming, but he couldn't do anything to stop it either.

Bard realized he could be holding Bain a little too tight and let him go. "Bain!?" For someone known for always having something appropriate to say at the tip of his tongue, his words were failing him now. His thoughts seemed slower than usual. "Is everything alright?" His worry was evident. Did something happen after he had left? Why else would Bain come after him when he was so cautious not to make any noise to awaken his children? It didn't cross his mind that maybe Bain just couldn't sleep too and heard him leave, deciding to follow him. A much simpler train of thought, but worry and a level of guilt didn't allow him to see it as a viable option now.

[[OOC: No worries, Hades. I hope the reply is on par and a little unexpected.]]
« Last Edit: June 05, 2020, 07:00:11 AM by Bard »

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Re: Just Passing Through
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2020, 05:55:12 PM »
His father should have yelled at him. Should have told him to get back to the house, protecting the family, and making sure that Sigrid and Tilda were not alone. His duty was to the part of his family that were still living, still capable of carrying on. But, to Bain, his father counted in those numbers. In as much as he was prepared to give a speech on the spot, stumbling with every word as he tried to get his thoughts together to defend himself, to give an explanation.

But the tight hug his father gave him instead stunned him into silence. He didn’t quite know how to respond. He wanted to hug back, to cling to his father, to inhale the linger smell of the lake water and soapy scent that was familiar since birth, that smelled like mom, but only slightly. To see if he could allow himself to give into his emotions, and let out all of his frustration, all of his stress, and anxiety that he was too young to contend with. Growing up so fast, and only having Gard to live out some sort of childhood, and allowing Tilda to live without fear of anyone except the Master.

But before he could find out, his father pulled away, and instant regret pooled in the pit of his stomach. He let it stew there, staring up at the concerned face of his father. A small smile tugged at the edge of his lips, and he shook his head. “No, everything is fine back home. You stepped on that loose board by my door…” Bain explained, smiling bigger, “I just wanted to make sure that you’re  doing alright… you are, right?” Bain asked, his eyes staring into his father’s. “It’s the mountain, isn’t it?” He asked, without hesitation, only fifty-percent sure that this was problem.

Ever since those Dwarves came there had been a type of worry that the young man had not seen in his father before - not even … not after…

Bain looked at his father as he began to speak.

ooc: omg... so damn short... I'm so sorry! if you need more, just let me know, and we can brain storm ideas of how to take this forward...also, if I have the time frame wrong, I can edit the speech...
speech color code: EBE594

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