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Cricket Arcturus Clara Bishop

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#1 Cricket Arcturus

Cricket Arcturus

Posted 22 November 2014 - 03:15 AM

People.

 

It was outright silly for her to be so worried about interacting with others, especially with someone so harmless looking as Clara. Then again, Cricket knew nothing about her; for all she knew she was someone quite difficult to get along with. From the outside she appeared kind enough, though, so she should've had some security there. But her anxiety was a bit extreme sometimes, so her heart rate was rising exponentially as she stepped into the student center. There was a reason she only interacted with her family, after all.

 

It didn't take her long to find the room they agreed to meet in. And she'd already prepared what she was going to say, how she was going to answer these stupid interview questions. It was surprising that their professor assigned it so late in the semester, as it seemed quite an introductory thing, but she supposed it was some kind of social experiment. It made sense. She just didn't want to participate whatsoever. It was nothing against her classmates, just... you get it.

 

So she waited there, a bit too early in some effort to be endlessly polite, while she toyed around with her phone. She played a silly game on it until she heard the door open, in which case she automatically turned bright red and set her face down on the table in front of her.

 

"Hey," she said, voice not exactly meek, but certainly dull.


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#2 Clara Bishop

Clara Bishop

Posted 22 November 2014 - 03:23 PM

Psychology class.

 

Clara wasn't sure why she had signed up for it.  She wasn't going to be a Psych major and wasn't going to go anywhere near the subject.  And yet, three quarters of the way into the course, Clara was actually glad to have taken it.  She had discovered that there was a benefit to understanding people.  It helped her gain insight to her characters and forced her to do research now instead of at a later point in her writing. 

 

But now she was setup to interview a fellow student - Cricket.  Cricket?  What sort of name was that?  Was that real or just a nickname?  The professor had paired everyone off and Clara got Cricket.  Maybe because they are both at the beginning of the alphabet?  Whatever it was, Clara was a little unsure of the interview.  She had participated in interviews in the past but had never administered one.  She had the questions to ask but didn't really want to answer those same questions.  This was going to be an interesting meeting.

 

Making her way to the student center, Clara eventually found her way to the room they had agreed to meet in.  When Clara opened the door she saw Cricket.  Clara noticed that the girl blushed slightly and when she spoke, she seemed bored to be there.  This was definitely going to be interesting.

 

"Hi," Clara said.  "I hope you weren't waiting long."

 

Clara stepped into the room and put her bag down.  She looked at Cricket again and smiled.

 

"So," she said as she sat down.  "Should we get right into it or did you want to plan how it will go?"

 

Cricket seemed a little uneasy but Clara wanted to ease her mind a bit.


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#3 Cricket Arcturus

Cricket Arcturus

Posted 22 November 2014 - 08:27 PM

She wished she'd just composed a list before she walked in. Answered all of the questions in her own words; maybe she could just read off the paper or just hand it to Clara and call it a day. Perhaps it wasn't too late to suggest it, but neither did Cricket want to appear rude. It already happened too much in daily conversation, thanks to her sort of standoffish personality. "Nah," she answered dully, scooting her phone away from her so that she wasn't tempted to find some kind of entertainment in it. She almost added how long she'd been there just to comfort Clara, but she left it well enough alone. She didn't want to talk any more than she had to, anyway.

 

"I dunno," she answered, at least sitting forward enough to be able to look at Clara. Her dark red hair shrouded her face, the bangs falling into her eyes, though she appeared to be looking at the girl. "Guess we should just get down to it." With that she removed the sheet of paper they were given in class from her bag, setting it down in front of her and giving it a quick once over. The questions weren't too terribly personal, but it was still weird, so she concentrated on trying to see it as a project. Just a project. School.

 

She took a pen and paper from her backpack, jotting Clara's name down at the top. Her handwriting was messy, as she was obviously nervous. "So uh-- you want to start? Or me?"


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#4 Clara Bishop

Clara Bishop

Posted 23 November 2014 - 04:13 AM

Clara watched as Cricket (it was still a weird name) pushed her phone aside.  The girl had probably been reading or playing a game while she waited.  Clara glanced at her watch thinking that she was late but noticed that it was exactly the time that they had arranged.  Clara noticed something about the girl that she hadn't recalled from class - she was a redhead.  She knew why she hadn't noticed, though - Cricket sat toward the back and barely said anything during class.  And Clara was usually one of the first to leave and had a feeling that Cricket lagged behind to avoid everyone else.  Was this girl as shy as Clara?

 

The redhead figured they should go ahead and start and Clara nodded.  She reached into her bag and pulled out the paper with the questions on it and a pen.  She looked them over and then back to Cricket.  The inevitable question came and Clara had to think.  She could tell that Cricket seemed unsure of the entire process.

 

"I guess I can start," Clara said.  "What's the first question you want to ask me?"

 

Clara waited a moment.  There was no order to the questions as long as each of the five questions were asked at some point during the interview.  She wasn't really prepared - was never prepared to talk about herself in any capacity - so she just waited and hoped that she wouldn't have to answer anything she didn't want to.


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#5 Cricket Arcturus

Cricket Arcturus

Posted 25 November 2014 - 03:42 AM

Part of her wanted to suggest writing down their answers and just giving them to one another, as it'd be far easier than trying to have an actual conversation. Oddly she would've felt better if Clara was a random stranger or someone she wasn't required to talk to, as this assignment added a level of pressure that she didn't do well under. It was nearly impossible for her to speak when she felt like she had to, but she was god honestly doing her best. It wasn't as if she wanted to be such a recluse, after all.

 

"Uh--" She started, brow furrowing as she looked down at her notes. It would be at least a bit easier if she was merely asking the questions rather than answering them. That was another monster altogether that she wasn't quite ready to face. Already that anxiety was creeping up on her but she tried to focus on the assignment instead, swallowing nervously and fidgeting a little in her seat. "Full name?" She paused for a second, pencil poised to jot it down. "Major?"


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#6 Clara Bishop

Clara Bishop

Posted 25 November 2014 - 04:22 PM

As Clara sat there waiting for Cricket to say something, she started to recognize herself in the girl.  Not that they looked alike, but it was in her mannerisms at the moment.  She was looking down and taking her time with the question.  Was it possible that Cricket was just as shy as Clara?  For Clara, shyness came out of not having confidence in herself when speaking with others.  Was that the same for Cricket?  It seemed that way.  After a moment, Cricket asked the first two questions.  Clara took a moment before answering because she was contemplating Cricket's personality instead of paying attention.

 

"Oh," she said finally.  "I'm Clara Elaine Bishop and I'm a Creative Writing major."

 

She paused.

 

"And just to get it out of the way, what's your full name and major?"

 

Clara was admittedly shy, but she knew that this assignment needed to be done.  She would do what she could to get Cricket to be responsive with the questions but not to the point where the redhead felt uncomfortable.  Clara knew those feelings all too well, but her schoolwork was going to have to be the focus, not her uneasiness of the situation.

 

Pen ready, she waited to find out if Cricket was the girl's real name or just a nickname.  Either way, the name was starting to grow on Clara, even if she hadn't been using it for that long.


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#7 Cricket Arcturus

Cricket Arcturus

Posted 04 December 2014 - 04:08 AM

Cricket had already known both of those things. Despite being so quiet and easily overlooked, she was incredibly observant. She took in everything around her-- including those people she didn't think she'd ever truly socialize with-- and stored it for any sort of future reference. She hadn't expected to talk directly with Clara, to be sitting with her in the library at all. Not that she seemed bad, not at all, but of course Cricket just didn't do people. So observing was her way of indirectly socializing, strangely enough.

 

She jotted it down anyway, nodding vaguely. "Creative writing," she echoed, as her way of showing interest. She paused a few beats and then shook her head vigorously, as if she'd made a huge mistake. "I mean-- no-- that's not my major. I'm Cricket Arcturus and I'm uh-- graphic design." Already too many words had escaped her mouth. She felt like running away. "I was just saying that-- that that's cool."

 

She scratched the back of her neck, brow furrowing as she looked down at the sheet of paper she was writing on. It might have been evident that she was beating herself up the slightest bit, based on the slightly sick expression on her features. But she continued all the same. "You in any organizations?"


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#8 Clara Bishop

Clara Bishop

Posted 04 December 2014 - 08:58 PM

This seemed like the dumbest assignment.  Clara didn't have any idea why they had to deal with asking questions about each other this late in the semester.  As it was, Clara had a feeling that Cricket was not all that happy about doing the assignment.  Was she nervous about talking to Clara?  The redhead repeated Clara's major as she wrote it down. 

 

When Cricket repeated Clara's major, Clara just assumed it was as a way to remember the information as she wrote it.  But then the girl seemed to fluster and then offered her own name and major in return.  She then mentioned Clara's major once again, suggesting it was cool.

 

Clara nodded at the other girl.

 

"It can be," she said.  "I like to write, so I don't really mind all of the assignments."

 

Clara was being honest.  She had always loved to write stories and never had a problem with writing papers, either, so being a creative writing major was only natural.

 

The girl asked about any organizations that Clara was in and she thought about it a moment.  She was about to answer when she noticed that the redhead looked uncomfortable.

 

"Are you okay?" Clara asked.  "You look like you don't feel well."


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#9 Cricket Arcturus

Cricket Arcturus

Posted 18 December 2014 - 12:59 AM

Cricket didn't have a lot of patience for writing. Sometimes in her journal she enjoyed it, as it was one of the only places she allowed herself to be honest and "vocal," in a sense, but photography was more her medium. She loved it. Perhaps it was her silly way of feeling social-- observing other people, taking photos of them, it made her feel a little better about being such a loner. Still, creative writing was something she could recognize as being interesting. she wasn't exactly creative enough for it, but it was cool nonetheless.

 

But she just nodded instead of saying anything further about it. She, too, enjoyed her photography and graphic design assignments. They were only slightly related to one another, but both still required a visual medium. She was alright in drawing, too, but typically she resorted to comics more than anything else. Perhaps they could relate in the sense of storytelling, but she kept her lips sealed, unsure of how to even put that into words.


And then came Clara's unexpected question. She blinked a few times, confused and perhaps a bit taken aback. Was she obvious? "I'm fine," she answered dully, swallowing dryly. "M'not sick. Just um." Yeah, she wasn't about to talk about her social anxiety with someone, so she went quiet again, rubbing the back of her neck. "Sorry."


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#10 Clara Bishop

Clara Bishop

Posted 18 December 2014 - 06:56 PM

Even as Clara was stuck with Cricket . . . stuck was not the right word - she didn't feel stuck with Cricket, but stuck doing the assignment.  Even though most of her mind was concerned with the task at hand, another part of her brain was thinking about the various stories she had started.  She had her adventure story that really wasn't going anywhere - the one that she had made Rowan the villain.  Rowan.  She hadn't really heard from Rowan in a while and a part of her wanted to text her to find out how she was doing.  If she had more time talking to Rowan, it might be easier for Clara to come up with more ideas for her villain.  There was also the other story she had in her head - the Science Fiction story.  Clara hadn't really thought that one out completely but she had a few things to consider.

 

Her mind focused back on Cricket.  She was nervous or something.  Whatever it was, it seemed that the redhead was distracted or unfocused.  To say the least, she didn't really want to be doing the assignment.  Then again, neither did Clara.  She stumbled over her words but admitted she wasn't sick, so Clara felt better about that.

 

"Book club," Clara said after a moment of silence.  "That's the only organization I'm in right now."

 

She paused a moment.

 

"You know," Clara continued.  "If you don't want to do the interview, we don't have to.  I can just fill everything out on your paper and you can fill out the answers on mine.  Then we can just be done."


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#11 Cricket Arcturus

Cricket Arcturus

Posted 29 January 2015 - 04:21 AM

Book club was interesting, Cricket had to admit. The only organization she'd had the courage to join, though, was Gamma, and even that was a complete stretch. Even then she didn't feel entirely welcome or comfortable with those people, though she supposed it was some sort of social activity to check off some days. She had the tendency to get very lonely, despite her anxiety. But she blinked a few times at Clara's next words, her expression finally flashing with something genuine.

 

She appeared... not exactly upset. There was no relief on her features, though. Apology was perhaps the best way of describing it. It might have been clear that she was kicking herself internally for being such an antisocial kind of person. It was never her intention to seem unkind, yet she was likely pissing this girl off and she didn't like that a bit. It kind of confirmed her fear of people in the end.

 

"I wasn't, uh--" She started, trying to find the right words. "I don't--" Fuck. "It doesn't matter to me," she finally said, shaking her head. "I didn't mean to appear rude. It's just-- sometimes difficult."


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#12 Clara Bishop

Clara Bishop

Posted 04 February 2015 - 12:18 AM

Clara had heard about the many sororities on campus when she had first arrived.  She hadn't planned on pledging because she didn't want to have to deal with the amount of cliquishness that occurred because of the sorority life.  That wasn't Clara, so she just chose to ignore them.  There were probably other clubs that she could have joined, but none had given her enough anonymity as the Book Club.  Most of the other clubs had some form of socializing outside of the club itself and that wasn't Clara either.  With the Book Club, all she had to do was read books - which she loved to do anyway - and then talk about them - which was only a natural response for her when she read a book.

 

Clara looked at Cricket for a moment wondering what might be going on inside her head.  It was clear that the girl was uncomfortable with the interview and most likely wasn't pleased that she had been assigned it in the first place.  It wasn't exactly high on Clara's list of favorite assignments either, but as Clara was poised to get an A in the class, she wanted to maintain that as much as possible.

 

Cricket began to speak and she seemed uncomfortable with talking at that moment as well.  The redhead mentioned difficulty and Clara was figuring she was talking about the act of talking about herself.  Clara understood that concern well because she was never one that liked to talk about herself, she always felt like she was gloating for some reason, even though she wasn't very spectacular at anything in particular.

 

Shaking her head and smiling, Clara spoke.  "I think I understand," she said.  "I don't really like to talk about myself that much."  She paused.  "So let's not."

 

Clara handed her paper across to the other girl and took the matching page from Cricket's hand.

 

"So I'll answer for you and you answer for me.  No talking.  No uncomfortableness.  No worries.  Just answers and then we can be done if you want."

 

Before Clara took pen to page, she looked at Cricket.

 

"But we can talk about something else if you want," she added.  "I don't have anywhere to be."


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#13 Cricket Arcturus

Cricket Arcturus

Posted 27 February 2015 - 07:04 AM

Answering each others' questions sounded like a complete relief. As she looked over this list some more, she saw some difficult questions that she had trouble answering on her own, much less answering to someone she hardly knew. It was nice, she supposed, to get to know her classmates, but this was outright terrifying for her. She smiled just the slightest bit in her relief, nodding as she took the paper, automatically jotting down some of the easier answers. The others she'd have to think about, of course, though she'd do her best to be as thorough as possible.

 

Talking about something else had Cricket glancing up at her, however. Her expression was blank, though she didn't want to be difficult, so she started trying to think of other topics of conversation. It wasn't easy for her; she wasn't used to conversing whatsoever. "Um--" She started, just nodding after a second. "Yeah, yeah. Might as well, uh... chat."

 

Chatting. How she wished that came easy to her. "My cousin's in book club," she said, unable to think of much else. "Sounds cool. I like to read too."


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#14 Clara Bishop

Clara Bishop

Posted 10 March 2015 - 05:14 AM

Cricket seemed happy when Clara handed the girl the paper to fill out.  Maybe it was easier this way despite Clara wanting to get to know the girl better.  Of course, technically Clara would get to know Cricket a little bit once she was finished filling out the paper because she would have answered the questions.  But there was something for Clara about talking to someone and getting to know them that way.  Not that Clara was really a proponent of that and filling out a piece of paper instead of talking was looking better and better by the minute the more Clara thought about the questions on the page.

 

When Clara suggested chatting about something - anything - she had hoped to start a conversation that was more than just a few short words or phrases out of Cricket.  Instead, it was still awkward silence and Clara wasn't sure how to respond.  It wasn't as if Clara needed to talk to Cricket, but she wante to.  She wanted to ask basic questions about the girl's life and how she ended up at Centennial.  But instead, there was silence for another moment until the girl offered a tidbit about her cousin being in the book club.

 

"Cousin?" Clara said as she stopped writing.  "What's his name?"  She paused and then added, "or her name?" 

 

And with just those few words, Clara was actually speaking to a mere stranger.  "I probably know them," she continued.  "I mean, probably not very well, but I probably know who they are.  I love reading as much as I can though sometimes it gets me in trouble with my writing because I start to emulate other writing styles or think that I am coming up with something original that was actually written already.  But I still love to read, more for leisure than anything and all types of books."

 

Clara realized she was rambling.

 

"Sorry about that," she said.  "If you get me talking about reading or writing, I tend to babble."  She paused for an extra moment.  "What sort of books do you like to read?"


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#15 Cricket Arcturus

Cricket Arcturus

Posted 16 March 2015 - 02:40 AM

Cricket watched her for a few moments, fully aware that the girl wasn't a threat. With a deep breath, she convinced herself to talk for once. To try to let go of all of that weird social anxiety that kept her locked up in her own mind. So she smiled the slightest bit as she continued, "Melanie. Sirius. Melanie Sirius. She's um..." There was nothing terribly specific to describe her cousin that wasn't slightly an insult, so she left it well enough alone. 

 

She cocked her head as the girl went on, though she watched her all the while. Her expression often seemed dull or bored, but it was clear by her eyes now that she was paying full attention to what she said. Cricket, of course, understood second-guessing her work too much. "Well-- I mean, there's nothing wrong with taking influence. I think that's the only way to get really good at something. Make your own style by becoming an expert in others' styles and stories, so you know what kind of archetypes you favor." She scratched the back of her neck, unsure if she was making any sense at all. It was the most she'd spoken to someone who wasn't her family in a long while.

 

"I mean-- I'm into photography and pretty much everything has already been photographed. I wouldn't be taking the first picture of a nice landscape, but I'd be the first to do it in my own style. I have to look at other styles to understand what's unique about mine, you know?" Wow. Cricket was honestly impressed with herself for speaking so much. Of course her heart was beating out of her chest the entire time, as she felt legitimately scared in some ways, but it was oddly exhilarating too. She felt social. Somewhat normal.

 

"Babbling's fine," she reassured, nodding. "But um-- I like fantasy and science fiction in particular."


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#16 Clara Bishop

Clara Bishop

Posted 16 March 2015 - 09:35 PM

When Cricket spoke up about her cousin, it took a minute before Clara could pinpoint the name with a face.

 

"Oh," she said.  "Yeah, I know her."  There was a short pause.  "Kind of, I guess."  Another pause.  "I don't really know her all that well, but I know who she is and she has offered some interesting comments on some of the books we've read, so she must be smart."

 

Clara wasn't really sure what she was saying, but didn't want to stop herself more out of embarrassment than anything, so she continued to talk.

 

"I'll have to mention that I know you now," Clara continued.  "We might have something in common now."

 

Clara began to listen to Cricket about stories and becoming an expert.  Her expression must have been confusing enough to force Cricket into further explanation, but Clara was glad that she did.  It was an interesting point of view - one that Clara had never really thought of.

 

"That makes a lot of sense," she said with a smile.  "I think I was getting it into my head that I couldn't write as well as some of my favorite authors so I would have difficulty writing."

 

Cricket was actually the first person to make Clara consider her own style and how it fit with other people's writings.  Clara was a little more than surprised by the amount of conversation the two of them were having based on the earlier lack of conversation they had.

 

"Oh, I love sci-fi and fantasy.  They're probably my favorites as well.  Though sometimes I like mysteries."  She paused a moment.  "Of course, there are times when I just want to read something simple and find something mindless."


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