(2015-09-03) Hunting The Music
Hunting the Music
Summary: Willy's music draws Piper near
Date: 9-3-2015
Related: None

Twilight hits the deep woods earlier than other places. Out in the fields it's still late afternoon, the sun turning a shade of orange. In the woods it's barely enough to see shapes at a distance. An ideal time for hunting.

By the sounds of it, it seems, too, to be an ideal time for music. A mournful, breathy sound of some kind of wind instrument, but not woodwind, threads its way through the woods, the notes systematic, like music, but somehow still merging into the natural sounds, first augmenting them, then becoming one with them. The music becomes part of the ambience, yet somehow still separate, still affecting.

The musician is sitting cross-legged in front of his pack. A clay vessel looking for all the world like a useless vase is held cupped in his hands, his fingers poised spiderlike over the holes that line the sides, his pursed lips practically kissing the top like a teasing lover.

If one were to get close enough one would see the tears as well.

Daytime, nighttime it is all the same to the petite woman who stalks the woods in the twilight hours. Her eyes see no difference between the two, one secret amoung many that she keeps from everyone. She makes little effort to move silently, though she manages it anyway to a certain degree, most just chalk it up to grace and her barefeet. She lets them assume.

Her pack is secured to her back and a compound bow is held lightly in her fingers a makeshift quiver holding a sparse amount of arrows, dangles from her waist. Clearly she has come out to hunt. A distasteful activity to her, but it's one of the few ways she can be useful at the moment.

Trained ears hear the lilting melody and like the proverbial moth to the flame she is drawn toward it. Thoughts of hunting fall from her mind to be replaced by hunting the source of the wandering tune and the emotions therein. It doesn't take her long to find it, it's almost like she is a compass and the music is magnetic north. When she sees the figure from yesterday, she pauses, crouching the lean against a tree and just listen, not wanting to disturb the supposed boy from his release.

The melody comes to a close and Willy sits silently for a moment. Then, coughing a bit to clear his voice, he quietly says, "Hello again. Come for your brake fluid have you?" He looks up at Piper, eyes peering through the gloom to make out her hazy form. "I was going to drop it by the camp, but wasn't sure how to get there without getting grilled. I didn't feel like spending hours answering paranoid questions."

He turns in place and starts rooting around in his pink knapsack. "I found something else for you too. I'll toss it in as a bonus. It's for the new one you have coming."

Piper is quite familiar with the concept of playing for oneself and not an audience, so no applause is forthcoming even if it was a good performance. She shakes her head at the question, then stands and moves a few feet closer to she can be seen more clearly. Conversing distance but well out of arms reach, now that the music is over her wariness of the boy is almost palpable. A nod of understanding is given about not wanting to answer questions. She solves that problem by being mostly mute. Her eyes, with their almost creepy blown out pupils, narrow slightly, at the mention of having more for her, but she can't help the curious look that also invades her face.

If Willy is aware of the new tension and wariness, he shows no sign of it. First a plastic jug. Then another. "Brake fluid, as promised," he says with a grin, looking up at Piper. He leans forward to push the jugs toward her, giving her space to take it as he leans back again. This time he fumbles through his pockets until he finds a small plastic bottle. One that rattles when he shakes it.

"Vitamins!" he says, this time grinning broadly, eyes twinkling. "And not just any vitamins. These are for people like you. Prenatal vitamins. Almost half a bottle!"

He sweeps an arm downward in a vague gesture. "I don't have much use for these, but I figured you're the only person I've seen in … months … who could use them. Want 'em?"

The jugs of brake fluid barely get a glance, clearly Piper isn't super thrilled about, what is to her, useless stuff. His leaning forward has her stepping back and she stays there even as he leans back again. Her head tilts at the rattling of the bottle and his annoucement of what the bottle contains well it isn't excitement, but it isn't met with disdain either. She holds her hands up in a catching pose giving a smirk when he indicates his lack of needing them. The gesture should be answer enough to the question.

"I thought you might like 'em," Willy says, tossing the bottle a bit clumsily. "Hard to come by in these times. I got some anti-bi-otics…" He says this like he's rehearsed the word as a schoolchild recently. "…but not a lot. I'll be keeping those. They're good trade goods. But you were nice enough to let me live, so I thought I'd give the vitamins over to you."

Eyes flick over to Piper's weaponry and then back. "Hunting? What stopped you? The music? Sorry if I chased your prey away."

The woman catches them just as clumisly, nearly dropping them in the process. Hands full of bow makes catching things hard. Piper examines the bottle, quickly opening it to look at the contents and then closes it. She nods in agreement, still listening to what he is saying. Crouching again she sets the bow down and shoulder off her own pack to put the vitamins in and pulls a silver foil package out. She waves of the apology, giving him a grin to show that she isn't bothered by it. The sealed foil package is set on the ground and she uses the bow to push it over to him. Anyone who has eaten Poptarts will be familiar with the packaging. It's frosted cherry flavor, but since Poptarts aren't easy to come by who's complaining.

"Pop Tarts?" Willy's eyes widen. "I've not seen these in ages. That's … yeah, that's a fair trade for sure." The foil packet vanishes into his clothing. "Cherry flavour too. My favourite!" No accounting for tastes, is there?

Willy looks over the silent woman curiously, pursing his lips as he appraises her. "Don't talk much, do you?" he asks rhetorically. "Lost someone dear? Trying to keep the screaming inside to keep your sanity?" He shakes his head, eyes focusing off a thousand yards. "Doesn't work. Nothing left to keep you sane. World's crazy. World always was crazy, actually, it's just now we know it beyond a doubt."

Eyes snap back into focus. "If you ever want to talk, you can talk to me. I don't tell anybody else anything others tell me. None of their business is it?" The smile again. "I'm Willy. Willy Wu." He extends a hand in the almost-universal handshake gesture. "No pressure. If you're not ready you're not ready. Just letting you know the hand is there if you want it."

The grin stays on for a bit at his exuberance over something that was once a trivial thing, but now is something looked on with fondness and nostalgia. The grin fades though, the boy’s words cutting a little to close to home. Though in her case the person she lost was herself. A hand runs down her baby belly, as if caressing the infant within. She has plenty of reason to stay sane. The introduction has her nodding to him and digging through her pack until a whiteboard and marker are produced and she writes "Piper" across it and holds it up for him to read. The offered hand is eyed warily but left hanging. The girl has issues and touching is one of them.

"Piper. Nice name." Willy smiles and withdraws the hand after making sure it's seen and understood. "Nicer name than mine for sure. Willy sounds pornographic. It's even funnier when you hear the whole thing: Willy Wu. Sounds like a yellow movie from England, that." Yellow? What?

"Keep me in mind, Piper," he says, as he slowly gets to his feet. "Good you can write. If you need something, tell me what it is and I'll keep my eyes open. I'm good at that. Someone's got me looking for painkillers right now, in fact. I'll get to that tomorrow."

The woman shrugs, it's what she is called at least. His joking about his own has her chuckling, though if she gets the reference that is unclear. Piper nods at him, if only to acknowledge that she heard and understands, she doesn't take him up on it at this point though. With him getting up she shuffles backward, clutching the pack to her. Geez she is skittish.

"You don't have to worry about me, Piper," Willy says self-deprecatingly. "I can't fight worth shit. I mean, I did a bit of self-defense, but no gun, no bow, not even a pointed stick. My speciality is not getting into a fight at all."

Voluminous sleeves completely obscure the arm as Willy "makes a muscle" in the classic strong man pose. "And," he adds with a … giggle. That's definitely a giggle. A high-pitched one waaaaay over his voice's normal levels. Almost like something escaping and getting suppressed. "I'm not really built for fights. I'm like a bunch of broomsticks tied together."

He slings his distinctive knapsack over a shoulder. "I'll see you around. This is good scavenging ground so I'll be here a while. If you need anything, let me know and I'll do my best to find it. Or if you just need to listen to music. Or just need someone to be there listening to you as you don't talk. Either way is fine. You didn't kill me when you had the chance and good reason to. I'm grateful."

With that Willy slips away, himself actually pretty adept at silent movement.

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