Log:The Blood-The Cure
What Esme had told the gang drew some interest, though what was most noticeable, in truth, was her odd change in mood from warm and friendly to someone with far less patience than they'd remembered. Either way, there was a sort of mystery surrounding what was said, especially when she informed them that a group of older kids were there playing a weird kind of party game. Something about secrets. Kids play games all the time, so it wasn't that alarming.
Either way, after spending the early part of the afternoon on a movie and some lunch, the gang decide to head out to the beach and scope it out. In truth, there was no way of knowing if those older kids would be back or not. It was something that happened in one night, the bonfire. Dressed in a navy colored polo shirt and a pair of slacks with a navy blazer thrown over the ensemble, Landon and the others wander along a path through the beach, everyone being on the look out for anything of interest, perhaps looking for familiar faces as well.
"I have a few more articles to edit, so hopefully this doesn't take long." There's this air of uncertainty that they'll even encounter anything this night.
"Shouldn't really," Silver says as she peers through her lens against the late afternoon light. They're seaking the source of the bonfire based on where Esme directed them. "And I've photos to devellop. I'm sure it won't take long," She says as she looks around for discarded bottles and anything left behind.
Lucas strolls along with asking with some distant, but wry amusement, "Is that your way of saying Lucas when I hand it in stamp it I'm done?" Hnad stay in his pockets as he plods up the beach looking for the bonfire or sign of recent gather. He stands and gets a good view of the lake having a number of ideas run through his head; mostly unrealistic, and almost guaranteed having to deal with buying up lakefront property. "It's not like clods of sand has its own address, now is it?"
Sunset is still fairly early as it's only early Spring, and while the sky isn't entirely dark, the sun is hidden by the mountains on the California side of the lake, only an orange and purple glow left around it. They find the far end of the beach and remnants of a bonfire, but nothing else. No group of partiers, no people at all, really. It's quiet and somewhat secluded. Park custodians haven't even found and cleaned up the mess from the bonfire yet.
While Landon didn't think Esme was a liar, he looks content enough when they come across what is left of the bonfire from the evening before. He'll note the discarded bottles and such as the group draws in closer. This could be anyone's bon fire, but just its location so far from the crowds, he has a good feeling that this is it. It's not just the sand that he's looking at, those dark eyes of his make a sweep of the place. In fact, he lifts an arm to check his watch for the time. "This was probably it." He says kicking up some of that sand with a nudge of his foot. "So we know where it happened. We're just not sure if they'll be back." A pause, before he murmurs, "At least not tonight." He then says something that he almost regrets saying once it comes out, "But the night is still young." It is, but he has work to do!
Silver begins taking a few pictures while there is still some ambient light. The flash going off as well. "Mmmmhmmmm. We can check the bottles for roofies. I bet I can talk mom into letting me use some equipment. Not like I don't know how," Nerd that she is. Having been obsessed with forensics and their corresponding television shows and media, since she could read. "Didn't she say some older guy came along and was angry about the bonfire?" She asks from behind her lens.
Lucas slaps a hand on his brother's shoulder and gives him that look. IT's that loo that Lucas has that can sell one timeshares if they are not careful. It's that look that very clearly broadcasts, But you know you want to... "Spring break is dawning. If we have to I'll stay up and help you finish it. You're missing rightthefucknow, Lan." Enjoy stuff, then we kick ass. Looking to Silver he arches an eyebrow, "We can try. I will be honet, I have no idea how that stuff works. What I do know if Esme said something about some old dude going all get off my lawn on some people chilling out. Correct." Walking over he picks up one of the bottles and looks inside for anyhting interesting.
Down the hill from the parking lot comes a short figure in a big, old-fashioned London Fog coat that dwarfs her. An unruly mop of black waves spills about her head and sunglasses cover her eyes. As she nears she smiles, big and broad and full of white teeth.
"Well hello, poppets," she greets, English accent hard to miss. "Looking for someone particular-like? You must be Esme Reed's friends, and friends of hers are friends of mine. I'm Fran."
Silver is happily taking pictures of the fire, bottles, and as Lucas picks up a bottle she asks, "Any liquid inside? Don't need much!" She's far too chipper about it. But wait, a new voice? The teen spins around gracefully, clutching her camera, and stares at the woman in surprise. Then up comes the camera and off goes the flash.
Silver's not the only photographer around, Lennon is here too, but she's broody and lingering in the background snapping her own shots. With a hand in his pocket, Landon watches as the others look for clues as he continues to scan for people not things. Feeling the prod at his shoulder by his brother, there's just this hint of a smirk on his lips. "While that may be so, it doesn't look like anything is happening rightfuckingn--" That's when he catches sight of the petite figure in the sunglasses heading their way.
"Hey." He'll state in greeting, one head nodding in her direction as some friendly gesture, even though he isn't really smiling. "You were here at the bonfire last night then?" He turns to look over at the remnants of that from over his shoulder. "Heard something interesting was afoot, so we came to check it out."
Well this can't go at all bad. She's smiling. Lucas is smiling. His eyes lift up to the lady and watch with guarded interest, and then to Landon. The slight elevation translating easy to But I'm right. There may be no living with him peaceably after that fantastic timing. He will enjoy his victory quietly. God, it's a great feeling.
He isn't the sort to simply trust adults, but he is insaly curious about people and it's that curiosity that brings his feet across the sand a few paces offering a hand to her. "You're Fran? Lucas. We are and she had some good things to say. Sounded like one hell of a time."
"Of course you did," says Fran, coming to a stop before them. "Intrepid newsies and all that. Here for the story then, are you? All right, lovelies, I'll play along. We had us a little party here last night, yeah. What of it? This is a party town. When in Rome, yeah? Hardly a front page story. That's not why you're really here, though, is it?"
"I think someone slipped Esme something. She said she was feeling funny and she sure was acting funny," Is Silver's reply as she continues to view the woman through the lens. Zooming in on her face in the dark. "Weird dreams, appetite disruption, and memories being vague in some parts. All suspicious. Parties are okay, drugging people not so much." *click* *FLASH* "I like your coat."
"We're students writing for a high school newspaper." Landon says with a touch of smile now forming on his lips. "Inquiring young minds love to know the details of any kind of party, especially the ones that they weren't invited to." Then Silver comes out with the more serious news, making that wry little grin fade slowly. "That." He says with a vague gesture. "We're concerned about a friend. Some of the things that she brought sounded pretty damn interesting, but then she could have made to believe it all if she were under the influence."
Lucas watches Fran with what seems for all the world interest in her answer. Really his interest falls in trying to read her; figure out where there's more to be known or of he can figure out if she's lying. It's all a game really he would love to call 'can they bullshit the bullshitter?' Everyone hides something and if it's cool or valuable well all teh more reason not to miss out. Still, he dives for the question in the back of his head, "Who the hell was the get-off-my-lawn killjoy?"
"Oh I can assure you that she wasn't drugged," Fran says, serious and solemn, right hand coming out of her coat pocket to be held up. "On my honor. No drugs were involved. She just had a sip of something rare. Vintage, even. It was all perfectly open and consenting-like. But I'm afraid that's where storytime ends, lovely doves. See, I can't explain what it is. To truly understand, well, you have to experience it for youself."
Silver's compliment gets another broad grin. "Why thank you."
Lucas' question makes her quirk a 'brow. "Who? Oh. I guess you'd call him my boyfriend. He doesn't like it when I entertain outsiders."
Silver lowers the camera a bit so her green eyes can peer over the top. Then lowers all the way as she tilts her head slightly to the side. With pursed lips she asks, "Is it absinthe? I hear that stuff is trippy." There is the slightest lilt in her voice. The boys and Lennon could easily recognize it as excitement. She rocks up and down on her tip toes and adds, "Made with wormwood and all that. I think it's technically illegal. Or at least hard to get?" She shakes her head and turns to look at Lucas, more than Landon. "I'd be down with trying Absinthe. All my homework is done and my reading for the week." It's Sunday, but that's Silver for you.
Landon was always the more cautious of the Lester-Marchant twins, so when they are offered something vintage, there's this quirk of his brow. There's this side-long look given Lucas, before his gaze resettles on the older girl, "Fran, right?" He uses her name, "Is it Absinthe then? Or at least something that we might have heard of?" Unlike the little dare-devil, he's not one to just jump into drinking some mysterious concoction. And unlike Silver, he had a lot of work to do. Curious eyes study the woman in black before them.
"Not absinthe," says Fran. "But sort of like that. The Spanish call it Blood of Christ. It's a mescaline wine, dark and red and thick. The Cure wrote a song about it, you know."
Another bright smile and a shrug, hand slipping back into her coat pocket. "It was an initiation of sorts, to join my friends and I in shedding our pain and fear. If you really want to know more than that, there's only one way. Only time I'll offer, too. Now or never and all that."
Someone has to leap into the fray, but he does trust his brother on letting him know when and where. "Green Fairy, huh? I think the Euro stuff is illegal and what US absinthe wants to be when it gets older." He turns back to Silver with a faint look of growing amusement, and murmurs something to her. His eyebrow arches a bit and he checks on Lennon. The bottle in his hand spins in palm, then again. stop, and again. It's idle habit. "Outsiders? That's one way to put it." Were he only to really realize the scope of that statement. Ah, hindsight. "SO what do you do other than light bonfires and play guessing games and-" He pauses an d makes a mental note to try playing I Spy with Jaden at some point while his cousin is tripping balls to see what comes of it. For now he lets Fran answer.
Lucas gets only a smile from Fran. "Storytime is over, poppet. Decisions, decisions."
Silver quirks a brow at that. "Pain and fear?" She considers that and glances at the other two. Temptation is there and she says, "Sure. I'll try it. I like The Cure." She lets the camera hand from it's strap around her neck. A glance at Lucas and she raises a brow and then back. "What is it the dead say? You only live once!"
Landon's not much of a Cure fan, but he will shoot a look to Silver. If not her, then one of her siblings probably know of the song. "An initiation?" He comes to ask, "Esme didn't tell us anything about being initiated into something." But just as Lucas uttered the word, he does recall Fran mentioning 'Outsiders'. There's another look now given his brother, one that Lucas can probably read as 'She's a little overly-dramatic, isn't she?' regarding the whole shedding their pain and fear part. There's a slight lift to both brows now.
However, Silver looks more than eager to partake in this mescaline wine. "So it's wine?" He'll ask for confirmation. They've had wine before. It's not that they've never had a drink of alcohol in their young lives. He doesn't verbally agree to indulging in this, but now those wary eyes look to Silver since she's so excitedly volunteered.
Lucas tilts his head holding his ground, but Fran doesn't budge and in fact sort of calls his bluff. That murmur picks up to Silver as, "Yeah alright, but if we get ripped, pass out, and I wake up wearing YOUR underwear? Not a word." His eyes pick up to landon and back to Fran. He mulls it over but oooh wine. What's teh worst that can happen for fuck's sake (Again, hindsight.) "Let go of pain and fear? Sure, I call." Silver's enthuasim seems to win indulgence, "I dunno SIlver, you're the one that has tea parties with them, not me." The look to Landon again Yeah it's dramatic, but look at half the people we know.
Out comes the bottle, an antique made of crystal, the liquid within a deep, crimson red. Fran unscrews the stopper and extends the bottle towards them. "Story of your lifetime," she says. "Just waiting to begin."
Silver giggles at Lucas and then takes up the bottle. Giving it a sniff like anyone would with wine. Anyone with any sense or care to savor a thing anyway. A brow quirks and then she takes a gulp and holds it to Lucas, swirling it around her mouth thoughtfully.
Lucas takes the bottle from her and watches her like a curious hawk. Sure he's brave but he's the second person to try something after the canary in the coalmine. He holds up the bottle in the fading light between thumba nd middle finger with that cocky confidence that never seems to entirely leave him. He lifts it and murmurs, amused, "Well to the death of fear then. Salude." That said he knocks back a swig and holds it out, but pauses withthe back of his index finger to his lips.
Out of the four of them, Landon probably looks the least happy about drinking some unknown substance that may or may not cause hallucinations and things of that nature, from what he'd seen of how loopy and distracted Esme was acting. His eyes on the bottle, his attention is drawn to Silver when it's passed to her, watching as it's raised to her lips. Another cautious flicker of his eyes is given Fran, just to gauge the young woman's reaction.
Then it's handed to Lucas and Landon is even more wary as he takes the image of his brother drinking this thing all up, before shooting only a passing glance at Lennon. "So what's so extraordinary about it?" This is asked to the first two teen drinkers, before he takes the bottle from Lucas. While he might not be too keen in drinking it, Lucas did so, so he's not going to be left out of this experience as the pair have gone through most everything together.
Sniffing at the bottle first, then lifting it up to examine the dark coloring, he tilts his head back to take in a little sip. Holding onto the bottle for a moment longer, just in case something weird were to happen, he eventually passes it along to Lennon who probably just snatched it out of his hands.
It has a coppery scent and a warm, metallic burn - not much like any wine they've had before, but maybe that's the mescaline? It flows through them in a slow blaze, awakening every nerve along the way from head to toe. The world becomes brighter, more vivid and crisp, their senses opening up to spectrums they never knew existed. It's like waking from a dream to reality, and everything that came before pales in comparison.
There's a euphoria, too. All fear and worry and doubt fading away. They are invincible. Evolved. Transcended. It's everything Fran promised, and so much more.
The night from that moment is a blur, and even the events leading up to the drink will be hazy in the morning. There is a sense of having had the best night of their lives and the craziest dreams follow it. In the morning, they feel like Esme did. All those expanded senses are too much, now - the sun is too bright, things are too loud, and nothing smells or tastes the same. Nothing can compare to that sip. Nothing ever will.