Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Chapter 5: Lawrence Sees the Beacon

Fri, October 16, 2074 11:57 pm-- Pleasant Falls, Arbormoor Forest, Pleasantview


Laurie came to an abrupt halt as a cloud passed over the moon, fully obscuring his view of the ground. The toes of his shoes scuffed the soil, bringing up gravel and clumps of mud that almost tripped him. His eyes darted back and forth across the surface of the pond for some sign disturbance. The water was opaque as granite and still as glass.

beacon 2

"Do you see anything?" It was Ian. He and Enoch came galloping behind Laurie at quite a distance. The clouds shifted away from the moon.

"It's pitch black out here," Laurie shouted back.


Enoch vaulted the narrow side of the pond and stood on the opposite bank, peering outwards. Laurie could just barely make out the purple flush in his lips and cheeks from running in the cold.


Laurie collapsed on at the edge of the pond. He didn't know that he could run so fast. His heart still raced with an unconscious feeling of dread. Something was wrong. He picked a handful of crabgrass and dumped it back onto the ground.

He was losing it. That sound was probably just a deer that missed the bank and climbed out again. Laurie started to pull himself to his feet when he noticed something out of the corner of his eye. It was a solitary bubble, ascending like smoke, signaling him like a beacon. Without taking a moment to think, Laurie climbed to his feet and dove.


"Laurie!" Ian ran to the spot where Laurie's head disappeared. Underneath, Laurie could see nothing but pale blue schools of dust streaming past him on all sides. The dregs shot up his nose and leaked into his ears, irritating his nasal passages. A coarse bit of cloth gently brushed against his right hand. He tugged on it, finding it attached to the limp weight of a convulsing torso. Laurie wrapped his arms around the waist and pushed off towards the night air.


Shivering, he emerged with the lithe figure of a stranger hoisted over his shoulders. He knew nothing about this person, not how old or how young, not a glance, not a gender and certainly not a name. All that he knew was the length, the weight, the circumference- And that was enough. He would never live through his guilt if this person were dead. Coughing, Laurie deposited the body onto the bank and with trembling arms, pulled his own up behind it. By the shoulders of the jacket, he dragged the body into his lap.


"Ian!" Laurie barely recognized the hoarse wail issued from his mouth and ricocheted off of the hills.


Ian jogged over and sat down beside them. His face was stony. Laurie had never seen him so. Placing his fingers against the neck, Ian checked for a pulse.

"He's a alive," Ian reported. He immediately set about breathing air into the lungs and delivering rhythmic compressions to the stomach, forcing water out. Laurie heard the soft patter of Enoch's feet across the grass but he did not look up. Time was slipping away. Enoch crouched down beside the body with a dull thud.


"Who is that?" Laurie was still too shaken to be piqued by Enoch's inappropriate curiosity.

"Give me room," Ian growled. Enoch did as he was told. Privately, Laurie thought that Enoch had a valid point.


The body was about Laurie's age, maybe a little younger. His jacket and vest were of a repurposed vintage tweed. It was a look that was currently en vogue amongst teenage boys of a certain income bracket. Laurie thought that he and the body probably even had the same tailor. But if this boy had been high or full caste, Laurie would have known him. Unless he was from out of town. The other possibility was that he was mid caste, but moneyed. And there was currently only one boy in Pleasantview who fit that description. Laurie turned to Enoch.


"It's LeCroix," Laurie said, proud of his minor detective work. Enoch backed away slightly. At first, Laurie thought that his declaration had caused Enoch to flinch but then he heard the coughing.


Laurie's heart leapt. The boy's head turned. Was it possible to die of relief? Laurie cradled the unaquainted face in his hands as it continued to bring up muck. Ian sat back and smiled.


LeCroix sat up, startled, and looked around him. Laurie tenuously brought himself up to his feet. He extended a hand down to the boy on the ground who, only a few moments before, had been still as the water that engulfed him.


The boy grabbed Laurie's hand. As Laurie helped him up, he caught a glimpse of the his face in the light reflected from the pond. Laurie was first struck by his piercing eyes, then the feminine elegance of his face. There was something both vaguely familiar and essentially unknowable in those features.

"Are you ok," Ian asked.

"I think so," LeCroix grumbled.


"You should probably let us take you to a hospital," Laurie said, eyeing the boy as he continued to cough.

"No, no thanks," he said hastily. It was too dark to see the boy's expression but his voice was pained. The boy approached Laurie slowly until they were standing fairly close.


"You saved my life," he said. His face was marked with a quiet disbelief.

"Er- Actually he saved your life, I just dragged you out of the water." Laurie gestured towards Ian and gave the boy a sheepish smile. The boy looked at Ian as though he were noticing him for the first time. Ian turned to Laurie and smirked.

"If you hadn't found him, I could have never given him CPR, you dipshit." Despite the insult, Ian had trouble hiding the admiration in his smile. Ian extended his hand to the boy. "Ian Aaron Lothario." The boy shook his hand.

"Macaulay Augustine LeCroix," he said. Ian pointed a hand at Laurie.

"This is Lawrence Troy Caliente and that fellow way over there is Enoch Victor Goth," Ian said.

"Charmed," Enoch said with terse wave. Even in the dark, Laurie could see the taut smile that Enoch wore whenever he did not want to be involved in something. Ian waved at him dismissively.

"Don't mind him, he's an entitled prig," Ian said. Enoch stuck out his tongue at Ian.

"Well, thank you. Thank both of you," Macaulay said. Laurie caught his stare. Macaulay's silvery irises flashed like polished steel. Laurie shuffled his feet. He felt strangely undone.

"Listen," Laurie said, reaching into his jacket. He handed Macaulay a soggy bit of cardstock. "This is my calling card. I want you to come by tomorrow so that I know you're ok. When the maid answers the door, tell her you're there to see Laurie, not Lawrence or else she won't believe that you know me." Macaulay slipped the card out of Laurie's fingers and a static shock passed between the two boys. Neither acknowledged it. Macaulay nodded his agreement.


Ian took off his jacket and draped it over Laurie's shoulders. But for that, Laurie would have never noticed the chattering of his teeth.

"It's getting really late, guys," Enoch called. He was ignored.

"Do you need one of us to walk you home," Ian asked. Macaulay shook his head.

"Can we trust that you won't try anything else like this tonight?" Laurie's tone was more accusatory than he would have liked. Macaulay looked away and nodded. Ian patted Macaulay on the arm.

"Have a good night, man." Ian spoke as though they were parting ways after a social gathering.

Macaulay spoke up, "Yeah, you too." Macaulay turned to Laurie, his lips slightly parted as though he were dumb-founded.

"Goodnight, Macaulay," Laurie said.

"Cully," Macaulay hastened. "I'm called Cully."

"Alright, Cully then." The pair exchanged yet another awkward glance before Ian pulled Laurie away. The last thing that Laurie saw as the boys passed through the trees was Macaulay staring out over the pond, his thoughts known only to himself.


  1. Static shock? Awkward glance? Ooh.

  2. Hmmm... little bit of chemistry there perhaps?

  3. Oh there's a little more than chemistry going on there. But I shall say no more. :)

  4. Wait is I sure hope so.

  5. I'm glad to say that your hopes are solidly well-founded.

  6. Nooooo! I wanted him for meeeee!

  7. hehehe
    *peeks over at bf*

    I think I might already have him for meeeee!

  8. Wow... this is the first time I've ever felt that a character got sexier when I find out he's gay. I'm not into Yaoi, but it works for Laurie. <3

  9. hehehe

    It was a character trait that I hadn't originally planned but then it made so much sense. I knew that he and Macaulay had to be friends but I wasn't certain that Laurie would quite take it there.

  10. Well, Laurie did just save his life, so lots of hightened emotions there - but at least it gives Cully a reason not to drown himself again.

    How accepting is your society of homosexuality? Do these two have to keep it repressed? I have a feeling that Enoch will be a douchebag if he finds out Laurie's gay... (I know I'm a year behind and the story's written but it's fun to speculate by myself) I've got a gay couple in my hood who aren't quite out yet, and I'm still planning how to out them ;-)

  11. Somewhere in some distant chapter (I forget which) I wrote a lengthy comment about homosexuality and how it is viewed in society. But the long and short of it is this:

    Everyone open/accepting/forward-thinking about it EXCEPT for the upper classes. In Pleasantview, there's probably about a 50/50 divide between upper class people who have no quarrels with it and people who are vehemently opposed. Laurie's mother, for instance, is a little homophobic. Laurie's father, on the other hand, is not at all that way. And he strongly suspects that Laurie is gay. But he still expects Laurie to marry a woman because he desperately wants Laurie to inherit everything and carry on the Caliente family line.

    We're 46 chapters into Blue Lake and we still don't actually know if Cully is gay. Stay tuned.

    Also, you can almost always count on Enoch being a douchebag no matter what. Almost. ;)

  12. Oh my! I think these two might become one of my favorite couples. So much potential for angsty romance going on there. They're so hot by themselves, I suspect when I see them in a sexy scene I'll burn myself. *drools*

  13. I think someone would have to really TRY in order to not succumb to the cuteness that is Laurie and Cully. :D

    And the images! If only I had known then what I know now about sim image-taking! *walks away shaking head*

  14. Laurie is GAY?

    I did NOT see that one coming.

    (sorry for taking so long to read but real life is taking the piss)

    Joseph (can't be bothered to log in)