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Violet Horizons


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9 replies to this topic

#1 Toby Aldebaran

Toby Aldebaran

Posted 22 June 2020 - 01:58 AM

It was the summer before his senior year.

 

That knowledge felt... surreal, like understanding how much time he had left before he met the person he'd spend the rest of his life with, or how, exactly, he would die. He imagined if a random stranger told him he would die by bus crash. He would go his whole life avoiding bus rides, utterly terrified each time he saw one pull up the street, obsessing over types, jolting awake from bus nightmares-- these thoughts were strange. He closed his eyes tight, willed them away, pressed a smile to the surface instead. It was the summer before his senior year. Why waste it with such dread?

 

Still, Toby couldn't help but let his gaze drift over the ceiling, the crown molding of the old fraternity house he stood in. He let his weight bounce down the hardwood stairs, creaky but sturdy. He absorbed every voice, the energy and atmosphere of the house as it geared up for another night, another party, another sea of new faces and stories. Each of these things he seared into his memory. Anything in limited quantity was precious, and Toby knew this was his final summer. His final football season. His final year. This was all there was left.

 

Perhaps it wouldn't have been so frightening if he had a sense of what the future held-- if he had something to look forward to-- but Toby had never been much of a planner. He preferred to live from one moment to the next, and while he wanted to have constant faith that the next moment would undoubtedly occur, there was this persistent fear that... perhaps it wouldn't. 

 

After this, he might have to grow up. 

 

But for now, he didn't. For now he could simply be among his brothers, among these moronic shenanigans. He could laugh the night away and be none the wiser to his fate. So he cracked open a keg (or whatever the fuck happens with kegs), shouting to his early partygoers-- "Let's make this a legendary night!"


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#2 Noah Maddison

Noah Maddison

Posted 22 June 2020 - 01:43 PM

Existential dread, thy name is Noah.

Contrasted to Toby, counterpoint to his every whim and worry stood Noah, a man that lived in the pit of his own worries. Today was no different than any other day - the threat of the future haunted the horizon of his mind since he'd graduated high school; getting closer to his graduation did nothing but fast-pass that fear to the forefront of his mind even further.

But he, like Toby, and likely like every other single Kappa in the house, was a master at mental deflection. Worry was a palpable thing, weak, and it could drown just like anything else. Beer had a good way of making none of it matter, and not for the first time was he thankful for Kappa's tendency to party.

He was something of a drifter at parties. Externally a social butterfly, internally someone that had ulterior motives, though even those weren't anything too major, and even then he wasn't what anyone in the business would call successful. Noah was, to put it nicely, the world's worst pot dealer. It was a miracle he hadn't been caught, probably thanks to his partnership and hands-off dealing at all.

Weaving through the crowd, eyes trained to find Scott, Noah wisped by handful of rowdy guys before slapping a heavy hand on Toby's shoulder, leaning in to give his voice leverage against the pounding bass.

"You ready for tonight, man?"

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#3 Toby Aldebaran

Toby Aldebaran

Posted 22 June 2020 - 05:20 PM

A red plastic cup was fixated to Toby's hand. Already he'd been through two refills of beer. As he drained the dregs of the second, he imagined his pessimistic younger brother, Nick, telling him all the things that were wrong with the world-- that this very cup would end up in a landfill or in an ocean or something, taking ages to rot, more than a memory but a semi-permanent fixture. Do better, be better-- he needed a third to drown that voice, ever encroaching. Not tonight.

 

Toby snapped to attention as a hand clapped his shoulder, his bubble of cyclical thoughts popping, relief spreading across his cheeks as he recognized Noah's voice. Where beer failed him, his best friend never did. "Always," he said with a huge grin, holding up his cup in a sort of toast. Then he tipped it back and chugged it fast, both in an effort to chase these persistent blues away and start a dick-measuring contest. Everyone knew, after all, that it was the easiest way to prove one's manhood.

 

A gaggle of girls came into the house and Toby's gaze followed, eyebrow lifting. "I'm sure gonna miss this," he said to Noah, even as he tried to contain these feelings. So much for being macho. Embarrassed of even acknowledging such a feeling aloud, he shook his head, cheeks tinging pink. "Have we got any harder liquor in the back? Shit-- have you got anything on you?" Weed often made him paranoid, but he was willing to try anything to clear his head.


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#4 Noah Maddison

Noah Maddison

Posted 22 June 2020 - 11:02 PM

Being about as business savvy as a particularly damp paper bag smashed into the pavement on a particularly forgotten stretch of I-96, Noah would have been perfectly content spending the rest of his evening alongside his best friend. Pounding back beers and hands-on helping girls get acquainted with the place was but a simple dream in his simple mind. He had already halfway settled into the warmth of it as he toasted and slammed back his own cup (which, unlike Toby, had no dreary attachments associated with it, but instead that godforsaken Red Solo Cup song that was something of a guilty pleasure), meeting Toby's dick-measuring competition with a hearty entry.

Being something of a sentimental soul (read: disastrously anxious and downright dangerously dramatic), nothing about Toby's general air of malaise registered as odd - in fact, Noah found himself agreeing vocally, a throaty hum surfacing as he followed his best bro's stare and lingered just a second too long. "Me too, man, not even gonna lie."

It wasn't until substance roulette was brought up that he snapped out of his trance, his warm, happy dream, and remembered - shit! He had things to do here. An actual job. Kinda. "Yeah man, I do. Gotta leave you to it, though... I forgot I had actual rounds to make."

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#5 Max Sirius

Max Sirius

Posted 22 June 2020 - 11:27 PM

While one man dreaded an ending, another dreamed a beginning. Max Sirius stood before the lawn of the Kappa house, his wide, impressionable eyes reflecting the cheap string lights draped over the plantation-style balcony, the warm windows as shadowy silhouettes passed before them, the greek lettering in need of repainting. Sounds filtered down the lawn, shouts and laughter and pulsing music. A couple barreled out of the front door, giggling, then entwined as they rolled onto the grass, drunk and hormonal. 

 

Images coursed through his mind, one after the other: movies like Animal House or Revenge of the Nerds; Toby coming to his first extended-family Christmas in lettering and that smug grin on his face; the sheer amount of Kappas he'd seen across campus that were popular, likableIf he wore those letters, his world would be wildly different than it was in high school, where he was rejected and teased. This was the most logical conclusion to come to.

 

Nerves rattled his bones, but so too did exhilaration, naive expectation. College. His life was about to change. He started up the lawn, fists clenched, arms so stiff at his sides that he shook. He felt as though he was floating, far away. The couple rolling on the lawn barely noticed him as he walked up the creaking old steps, pulled open the front door. He was assaulted first by scent-- alcohol, smoke, bodies. Then the shift in light from natural to the strange: the black lights in the living room where the music pulsed, and the yellow, homey lights in the kitchen where people yelled at one another and poured more alcohol. Max stood at the center between these two moods, faced with his first hard decision.

 

It was this stasis that brought him the first sign that his night would not go as anticipated-- cold liquid all down his front. The scent of alcohol was so pungent that for a moment he imagined his mom scolding him, then remembered she was a state away, that only he was responsible for washing his own clothes. "Oops," was all he said for a moment, peeling back one eyelid to look. "Did I do that?" He asked in his best Urkel impression. 



#6 Adora Rae

Adora Rae

Posted 23 June 2020 - 05:29 PM

A Beta walks into a Kappa party.

Her existence is the build up for a joke with no punchline - she's hovered Kappa adjacent her entire school life, attended every party, known more than half of its members impersonally and biblically, so it's no surprise that she shows up now, fashionably late with not a hair out of place. Kappa parties are a flavor of fun her own house and its brother house don't quite master and she so desperately needed that fix, so often sandwiched in a world of perfectionism and pressure.

Her stance at these parties is counterpoint to a wallflower but instead of being shy and uncomfortable, she stands on the outskirts of the main crowd like an untouchable fixture, pristine and pretty in a sea of sweaty faces.

Or she was pristine and pretty until gravity ruined her entire image with a splashing sharp scent and the sudden sticky chill of some cheap mixed drink pouring down the front of her very expensive (and tastefully tasteless) v-neck blouse.

Adora was known for being effortlessly bitchy. Her expression was plagued with the sort of permanent scowl often found on sneering upper class statues; lips pursed, brows pinned, she was beautifully angry even in her most neutral of moods. Needless to say, shock read more pissed on her features than anything, body contoured to stare down at the skittering kid a good few inches shorter than her.

"You did,' was the cold, crisp response he earned, something watery and hard to grip, unreadable.

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#7 Max Sirius

Max Sirius

Posted 23 June 2020 - 07:17 PM

Whoa. Pretty. Girl. Pretty girl. Max's mind was primal and moronic at the very sight of her, hardly a breeding ground for thoughts that made him appropriately sociable. It would be right to apologize. A screaming siren went off in the back of his mind that told him so, but it was dwarfed in comparison to his stunning reality, a far cry from his life a mere month before. He gaped and stared and blinked as if she was a mythical creature, a legitimate unicorn summoned to being in the midst of a college party. Then he finally said, "My bad."

 

She was tall. Tall. Wow. This was the moment in all his dreams where he said something smooth and cool, a joke that played him off as One of Them but also nerdy, his own person. Unique, a contribution to this contained society rather than another nameless face. She would laugh and lean into him and introduce herself. They would drink together, dance, end up rolling in the front yard like the couple moments before. Yet every response was buried underneath this sensory overload. It felt as though he'd been hit with one of those stun guns from 70s science fiction; he imagined the circular rays going through him still, the unseen power of beauty.

 

"You're-- you're really pretty," he said, grinning dumbly up at her. Poor soul had no idea that this was the girl his cousin sought. "Stupefying. Do you need like a--" He finally tore his eyes away to look for napkins, but none were in immediate sight. He hadn't brought a bag or anything, either. He scrambled out of his wet hoodie, which took most of the hit, then tossed it at his feet. Then out of his shirt, which was still dry, his scrawny body revealed right there in front of everyone else. A few snickers emerged from around them. He held his own shirt up to her, an offering to a goddess. "Take this."



#8 Adora Rae

Adora Rae

Posted 24 June 2020 - 01:55 PM

The truth behind Adora's razored expression was much less intimidating than it seemed. Behind the pinched, beatdown stare Max was currently pinned beneath was an ever churning sea of boredom, which was coincidentally also Adora's primary motivation for doing anything at all. Now I'm certainly not implying that she sacrificed her shirt for some hand delivered, top notch entertainment in the form of some nerdy freshman literally giving her the shirt off of his back, but as she watched the entire thing develop more rapidly than a snowball would going downhill at 90 miles per hour, she couldn't find a reason to be mad about it.

It was pure, genuine, and amusing, which were rare things to find both in her own house and this one. The compliments were nice too, sure, but she didn't really give a damn about them either way; subconsciously she realized that the literal act of eighteenth century chivalry was probably tied to the fact that he thought she was really pretty, too, but in the end she didn't really care too much about that, either. Usually being really pretty earned her a catcall or a 'pick me, pick me!' Shower of free drinks, not this.

The dark side of her lust for amusement almost had her wanting to know just how far his stupefied chivalry would go; the deeper, more raw side of her desperation for real affection left her feeling something she couldn't quite pin.

Everything bubbled in a small, sideways quirk of her lips upward, nose wrinkled as she took his shirt at dabbed at her own. "Thanks. Pretty sure you could have found napkins, though. Not exactly ideal to be at one of these without a shirt for too long." Especially not when your chest looked more like a bird cage and less like a well built human body.

Then again, she wasn't exactly extending the kindness necessary to help him out, either.

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#9 Max Sirius

Max Sirius

Posted 24 June 2020 - 07:49 PM

The goddess opened her mouth and spoke unto him, her words... quite normal and expected, actually, but still Max basked in them as if they were ancient wisdom. He laughed, a sort of dumb, guttural sound, less amused and more pleased that she was giving him any attention at all. Moments later, the actual meaning of her words processed, and he blinked, nodded, glanced down at himself. Right. He was topless in the doorway of his first college party and he wasn't exactly buff, either. Weight-lifting had always been on his to-do list before he got to college, but-- well-- so were a lot of video games.

 

"It's chill. I've still got my hoodie," he reassured her, diving back down for the sticky, wet heap of fabric on the floor. He clambered back into it, effectively getting the drink into his hair, down his face, smearing it where it wasn't already. But he was dressed again. A pair of eyes drew him away from hers-- Toby, his cousin, glared at him from the black light side of the party, squinting, gaze hooded. He stood still among dancing bodies. Max cleared his throat, a shiver racing down his spine. 

 

"I'm Max," he said. Consequence be damned, he would not waste this opportunity. He turned his gaze back to her and smiled, his dimples on full display.



#10 Adora Rae

Adora Rae

Posted 29 June 2020 - 06:08 PM

She lives a life based in thrill - the stare from the darker corner of the house isn't something she misses, even if it isn't particularly directed towards her. Adora isn't inherently cruel; she doesn't enjoy jealous ploys, she doesn't go out of her way to try and pit cousin against cousin, but she can't deny finding a certain curious flame burning in her gut.

 

He dove back into his hoodie with an ease unexpected considering how absolutely drenched it was and she couldn't help but smirk a little, nodding once. "I see." Arms crossed but still unwilling to surrender his shirt, she mentally weighed her options. 

 

"Adora. You don't come to these often, do you? Or are you a freshman?" He very obviously was - still baby-faced, still wide-eyed, he was here to integrate. Probably wanted to join. It didn't fit him, and she kind of hoped he didn't.


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