[identity profile] deadwesley1.livejournal.com
~So where is the bottle labeled "Drink me"? he ponders silently. He remains silent to his companions. He remembers back to when he was a puny child wishing he could grow like Alice and look down on all his enemies- childish enemies like brutish class mates, overbearring fathers; certainly not demons, not then.

He's been quiet since they met and joiined up with the boy and the princess. He doesn't want to admit it, but he likes Hal. He seems locked in a simpler, more innnocent, more polite time; Wesley wonders when the poor boy died. It doesn't seem he belongs in Hell and it pains Wesley that the boy is here.

Then there's Beauty. She certainly appears to be just what she claims: she's royally dressed in medieval attire (12th century, French, maybe?) and her poise and bearing are certainly majestic. She's very young and sweet and, worse than Hal, it tears his heart to see her here, because if she can be trapped in this hideous realm than...

He has to drive the image away by thrusting his fist into one of the swamp trees, the pain momentarily splintering all thought of Fred into unrecognizable shards. But then he catches Lilah staring at him- he's been avoiding those eyes since they came to their senses, post- caveman. He knows he's hurting her, but the shock of her in this place with him overwhelmed him. He'd hoped better for her, God knows why, but she had come to him, hadn't she, when she could have run off and saved herself? He's always wanted to think there was SOMETHING worth saving in her damned soul. He snows he can't help her anymore now than he helped her then, and in his opinion, she might do better tagging along after someone else. He knows he's going to have to speak to her sooner or later...

Instead, he opts to speak to the entire group;~ Snape and I are headed to the demon city Dis. It's a goal, if nothing else. We have our reasons, and you're welcome to come with us.

~He winces, presumably at the tearing pain they're all experiencing, but in truth it's something far worse to his mind: the hollowness of returning to the living world without Fred. But he owes it to the rest of them, doesn't he? If any of the others survived...? He hardens his features and moves on.~
[identity profile] wetandbothered5.livejournal.com
~ When the Neanderthal brow had receded and Regulus' modern-day wisdom had returned to him along with his boyish inability to grow facial hair, he had suffered a rather great and unnecessary amount of shame. To someone who - even when spending the rest of eternity in Hell - wouldn't dream of putting his elbows on a table, the memory of grunting and trudging about like an absolute brute is something that he will never remember fondly. He would take these awful muscle aches any day over that disaster, and has tried valiantly to not let Barty bring up any of his amusing behavior from the weeks past. It's hard going.

The growing pains he can stand. Truthfully, in the beginning he had rather enjoyed the stretched feeling. It had distracted him from the sizzling pain in his feet as he, with Barty always just a couple yards away, trudged on though the acidic sludge of Three. With nothing around them for miles but a barren wasteland of sludge (and hopefully, please, not any residents of this Level as there's nowhere to hide), Regulus and Barty have no frame of reference for their heights and have no idea how much they've changed. Since they smartened-up they've just been limping on and on for who knows how long, just hoping to find anything to stand on and get their feet out of the mud. Only now, finally, does Regulus see something on the horizon. ~

Please say those are cliffs and not a mud mirage.
[identity profile] bigredanhorny9.livejournal.com
~ After some time of pain and discomfort, the cause of the strange pulling sensation comes glaringly into focus. For a while it had gone unnoticed by most since Hell is not exactly filled with doorways with mother's standing by to mark how tall you've gotten, but what had begun as harmlessly sore muscles has flung into full-fledged wrenching sensations and it's become quite clear what's happening. Stretched higher and higher day by day by devilish magic, the pain gets worse and things once at eye-level now need to be stooped to be seen. Their human figures grow taller by the day, like obscene plants, growing taller and forcing them into ungainly lopes like newborn colts. At first the feeling of being pulled upwards is the main concern on everyone's mind, by what happens when hiding places become too snug to be safe? ~
[identity profile] beautysleep4.livejournal.com
~She knows she should not be so flattered by Hal's attention and compliments. She is a betrothed princess all but wed if not for this evil spell. And yet, after centuries of wandering alone and friendless it is impossible for her to dismiss it as her due though she would have done so without a thought in her own time and place. But it is not her time and place, nor does she have her prince while her new champion is handsome and articulate and chivalrous to a fault. He is good company, lifting her spirits when they threaten to sink like hapless creatures in the surrounding mire or listening to her stories of a world he knows nothing about and surely has no interest in save that she does.

They are picking their way through the swamp. Both have had more than enough of the damp and the chill not to mention the myriad of nasty little creatures which threaten to make a banquet of any shade they might catch. Beauty is waving away a swarm of giant hairy gnat-like things when she feels the first strange sensation. A quick searing pain as if she has strained the muscles. Perhaps she has she thinks for the mud is constantly pulling against them as they trek through it. She begs Hal for a bit of a rest. They are at the bottom of a dip with yet another pool stretching out before them. As she gazes across the dull grey landscape she spots figures on the top of the next rise. They are not close enough for recognizable features and yet there is something naggingly familiar about one of them.

Harold~she has not yet become so informal that she uses the diminutive of his name~do you see those people up there? They seem to be coming this way, do you think it is quite safe to stay?
[identity profile] severus-snape1.livejournal.com
~Snape is actually rather relieved to find that this new round of torment seems to be of the physical variety. He handles physical pain better than the emotional, even if it is still unpleasant. Sometimes, he rather suspects that he could have ended up in any number of Hell's levels--probably could have been Regulus' next-door neighbor here in 5--but that some twist of fate knew what his absolute worst punishment would be and put him on 1. He knows that's not the way it works, and there are times when he takes solace in knowing that he did _something_ right, like dying trying to protect Lily's son, for instance. But then there are the times like now when he thinks that Hell knows their weaknesses and preys upon them. Is this rotation brought about through the fears and neuroses of the shades that reside here, expanded to engulf them all? Did they all suffer, simultaneously, the darkest issues of their peers? Was he the reason why everyone suffered the loss of control of their limbs, because he has control issues he hasn't quite yet come to terms with?

Or perhaps, he thinks with a sigh, is he internalizing this far too much?

He pauses long enough to twist his back in an effort to ease the strain. He has decided that, while these aches may be caused by the effort of slogging through miles of mud and water, he truly doubts it. The caveman thing is past, and he knows that there is little relief between Hell's torments. When one ends, another begins.

However, his more immediate concern is the large leech that has been feeding on the back of his right leg for some time. The leeches here grow about as fast, it seems, as the bamboo had, and it's really beginning to interfere with his walking. At first, he and Wesley, and presumably the woman, had been removing them when they first found them attached. But the little buggers were far too numerous, and now they only pulled them off here and there. This one was now too large and inconvenient to ignore.~

I need to stop over there, ~he says, pointing to a rare rise of land that offers a bit of firmer footing.~ I need to get rid of a parasite or two.
[identity profile] bigredanhorny9.livejournal.com
~ Though sometimes people are told that being extraordinary is a goal to strive for, a potential to fulfill, people are predominantly excruciatingly average - much moreso than they might think. Even the stranger members of the population are more average than they are different. You see, in the big scheme of things, the norm perpetuates and any variation of that norm, if it survives, can only either fall into obscurity or become a teeny tiny step into making something ELSE eventually become the norm. Within every species there are thousands of averages - average colour, average weight, average smell, average everything. From the stem length of a particular species of flower to the length of the human penis - ALL members of every species fall into a slot on their range of averages. And even if one happened to find someone in their life who told them to be extraordinary, chances are they weren't thinking on a very extraordinary scale themselves when they advised this. Because averages exist for a reason, and if those statistics were to suddenly fluctuate, it would indeed be an extraordinary disaster.

One of these such averages, and a very important one, is height. Most children, as they get older, experience what some parents refer to as 'growing pains'. Physical aches in legs and arms and backs that keep them up at night and are just a small rite of passage they must endure as they slowly become adults. But after a certain age the body stops growing and any pain isn't as simply explained anymore, which is why the souls trapped in Hell find it quite odd indeed as their bodies begin to feel tense and strained. A peculiar stretching sensation overcomes their muscles, skin, and bones, like being the rope in a game of tug-of-war or the tender and torn feeling after brutal physical activity too much for the body's limits. On average, pain without a serious cause will eventually fade away, but what if there is a cause. What if the cause is something that, to the dead, should have stopped long long ago. ~
[identity profile] noshoesinhell8.livejournal.com
Just stay the fuck away from me, got it?!

~It's confusing. It's disorienting. It's not fair. What is he DOING here? she keeps asking herself. Sure, he's a bit of an ass, but what man isn't? She'd hoped better for him...

Still, the last week was just plain WEIRD. He wasn't the man she knew. It didn't matter that he'd been under the same shitty Hell torment the rest of them were; the other guy didn't act like that. Wes had been cold and brutal and selfish, kinda like the persona he'd tried on after that Connor thing. She'd tried to foster it then. She had to admit she kinda liked it.

But as their true personalities returned with all the nuances of modern man- the foibles, the rationalities, the ethics and philosophies- Wes remained just as cold and brutish as before. Maybe it was the shock of seeing her like this..., she didn't know nor was she going to try to make sense of it. She never could make sense of him. He was no longer forcing himself on her like a oversexed rooster (she wasn't sure how she felt about that, either); he simply wasn't acknowledging her at all. He and his greaseball buddy spoke steadily in low voices, leaving her to tag along behind like some bedraggled, forgotten little sister. Frankly, it pissed her off. She wasn't sure how long she could take it.~

Don't even think about touching me again, mister. ~she screams up to Wesley, hoping to distract him from his goddamn intimate conversation.~ Don't think you can just walk away like this!


Apr. 4th, 2010 09:00 pm
[identity profile] halleyscomet1.livejournal.com
~Nothing could have given him more relief than the gracious return of his manners, grooming and intelligence. If a man doesn't have his principles, what does he have? Over the days of his transition he has been slowly picking his way through the swamp, with the slowly sharpening idea of finding a more permanent structure than a simple hole in the ground. As his wits return to him he remembers to assist Beauty delicately over the more disgusting parts of the swamp, over the hidden logs, pitfalls and... dead things. He's old-fashioned; the idea that she might not need his help never occurs to him.

He wants nothing more than to apologise for his behaviour, but he's too embarrassed even to bring it up. His clothes are damaged due to the transformation of their occupant over the last month, but they aren't in dire need of replacement, and the second he had the faculties to remember to bathe he made up for lost time and was briefly the cleanest man in the entire Level. Some time tramping through slime and marshland changed that quickly.~

If we can get to that vantage point up there we can rest and figure out where to go next. We can eat frogs for lunch. It'll be just like French cuisine.

~He attempts to flash a humourus yet apologetic grin at her, but he's running out smiling motivation.~
[identity profile] bigredanhorny9.livejournal.com
~ To the living, still walking around and going about their lives on Earth, imagining what it must have been like to be anything less than modern man is nearly impossible. Those with imagination enough to try probably get stuck around the century or so before their own if they're quite good at it, but every generation of mankind has seen THEIR generation as being the pinnacle of the species and no matter how curious or thoughtful one is about what life must have been like in the past it all comes down to the fact that living at the height of humanity's success it is rather impossible to imagine life before the advent of tools or, say, the wheel.
For the souls trapped in Hell, however, all they need to do to get the full experience of being ancient man is to think back to just the other day. Evolution takes leaps and bounds every day as thousand and thousands of years of development and trial and error is covered in a mere week to return the shades to their original states. Skulls and the brains inside them morph, bringing everyone back up to speed and leaving them with and unfortunately personal knowledge of what their chances of survival would have been if they had been born just a few millennia earlier... ~
[identity profile] beautysleep4.livejournal.com
~The creature stoops, head ducking side to side trying to make a decision. Somewhere inside something screams shelter,rest. The creature does not question the voice-why should it? She straightens but remains slouched for it has become her natural state.

If the old faerie who cursed her could see the girl now, she would feel the beginnings of vindication. If her retainers could see her now they would never believe that the primitive instinct driven creature was once their Princess Beauty. If she were aware of anything but the mere instinct that now drives her, Beauty herself would be mortified and possibly crawl into a hole never to come out again. As it is she is looking for a space to crawl into more from respite from the heavy mists that fall like rain in the fetid swamps of level 5. When she comes upon the pocket sheltered by mist soaked reeds covered in algae and bent over from the weight, she grunts in satisfaction and wriggles her way inside. Nothing can shake the permanent damp of the place but it is a shield from the worst. She crawls back out long enough to make a wild beckoning gesture to Hal(though she does not think of him by name)and a second louder grunt to indicate he can share her shelter such as it is.~
[identity profile] deadwesley1.livejournal.com
~A once brilliant mind is reduced in a matter of days into its primordial components. At his death, Wesley was a hard-edged irony, a man devoted religiously to the righteous path who had fallen into bed with a decidedly Bad Girl, his bright soul darkened, left with bitter self repugnance and regret, and lots of anger. He set himself into a self destructive spiral that ended with drunken stupors and a knife in the gut. Yet before all that horror, before the betrayals on both sides, before so much loss and hurt, there was a young and ignorant Watcher; and even before that, there was a cringing and desperate son who wanted nothing more to prove himself in the eyes of his father.

Primitive Wesley is imbued with these innate traits. No sophisticated training, no education. But he does retain his experiences, albeit seen through the mind of a neanderthal.

Snape had managed to drag Wesley out from the mire, and now Wesley, younger and desperate to prove his worth to this man, follows him around like a sychophant. A demony snake hisses in Snape's path, Wesley wrings the life from it with his hands so his better may proceed. A demony leech sucks onto Snape's shin, Wesley bites it in two and removes the remaining offending bit. It's a little like having the loyalty of a puppy some big bully used to beat. Wesley lives to serve the Alpha.~
[identity profile] wetandbothered5.livejournal.com
~ Becoming distinctly more and more like a primeval primate would be a tremendously shocking and horrifying experience for prim and aristocratic Regulus, so it's probably very lucky indeed that he is past the point of being able to conceptualise what is happening to him. Regulus' once thin and delicate face has undergone tremendous changes, his hair has become a ratted black nest with the only thing stopping it from begin an wild and windblown mess being his perpetual sodden state thanks to coming from Five. Still, even with his new primitive features he is rather a sorry excuse for ancient man. Hell is a hard world to survive in but unfortunately for Regulus where survival of the fittest used to include a ready mind, now his only tool has been taken away from him and left him with nothing but a skull too heavy for his body. He is, in essence, the runt of the cave.

The only thing that perhaps saves him from reaching the temporary comatose state of 'death' every two minutes is his natural propensity for anxiety which seems to have survived the major evolutionary overhaul the rest of him has been through. It is this weakest of the herd paranoia that makes him just a little more observant, and fear can really save your skin. He may be what he had once gawked and wrinkled his nose at in history books when he was alive, but his instinct is still intact and the instincts of Regulus involve quite a bit of alarm.

Trudging across the vast expanse of Three, his alarm is in full swing the entire time. With every step through the acidic mudflats his feet burn and, without the ability to reason, the only thing Regulus knows is the ground hurts him. But what can he do? There is no means of escape, just mud going on forever. His moan of pain is more animal and honest than any sound he made when he was alive and it carries across the mud as he staggers on not knowing any way to make it stop. ~
[identity profile] bigredanhorny9.livejournal.com
~ One could call the denizens of Hell's new look 'brutish', but that would require a decent vocabulary and that is one of the evolutionary luxuries that has flown out the window - along ago along with the idea of mind over matter. Instinct is an important part of survival here in the underworld but now it seems to have completely obscured intelligence, forcing everyone to operate on their gut reactions to things and left them incapable of any real higher reasoning. From the former geniuses to those who were always rather dim, no one has been spared and everyone has become a broad-faced, dimwitted evolutionary prototype version of their former selves.

This bizarre de-evolution of the human species began with the accentuation of the brow but over time has flared into full-fledged troglodyte looks and behaviors. With these newly heavy jaws and brows, with these shrunken more basic brains, with this new herd-mentality fully taken over, Hell becomes as difficult to navigate as the old world on Earth was to man's ancestors. However though that old world was no doubt difficult, at least they didn't have to face the challenges of nine different levels of hardship. ~
[identity profile] beautysleep4.livejournal.com
~Progress is painfully slow. Beauty no longer stops to consider her utter lack of refinement or the suddenly non existent manners. The years of careful grooming have slipped away in two short weeks leaving a girl wanting for a trace of regal bearing. Her once well mannered curls are a tangled matted mane caked with mud and rotting vegetation. Her features have thickened, feet and hands losing their delicate look and elegant presence as well.

In the beginning, she was aware(always in retrospect)of speech or manner more becoming to a peasant than a princess. But the awareness has been slipping away and with it the disgust and shame of behaving more like an urchin then royalty.

Every few yards Beauty seems to find something to catch her attention. She wades through a reeking and stagnant pool heedless of her appearance or propriety. With a shriek she pounces on something and triumphantly pulls forth from the muck a hideous demonic frog like creature. She slogs back through the mire, hugging the creature close until she reaches Hal. She opens her mouth, stares hard at first Hal then the demon frog and shoving the creature in Hal's face says~ Kiss!
[identity profile] deadwesley1.livejournal.com
It... wet.

~Wesley Wyndam-Pryce never imagined himself being at a loss for words. He LOVED words. To him, wordsmithing was as much an art as fine art, music composition, or sculpting marble. He worshipped words as some men worship women. So to find himself abominably inarticulate was making him rather cross.

He and Severus Snape had perservered, dodging demons, dead ends, and greed-consumed shades until at last they had been rewarded by a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, as it were. Indeed, the glimmer had signaled the end of Level 4; it was the glint of water standing in brackish puddles at the edge of the Swamps. Wesley, still inexplicably brutish, had declared it his superior leadership skills and had released a triumphant belch, followed by a salutory scratch down the front of his trousers.

Now he stands ankle-deep in the fetid wet filth, trying to spit mosquitos out of the air and surveying his options. To the left, swamp. To the right, swamp. Dead ahead and straight behind: swamp. He once again scratches his balls and gives a derisive snort, loud and guttural. He turns to Snape, his face glowery, as if he's blaming Snape for the soggy surroundings. He wants to ask Snape his opinion, tell him how he values his intelligence and companionship, and ask him if he needs a rest after all the digging, hiking, and slogging through muck they've done, but instead and to his inner horror, he instead states,~ You FUCK! You done it, this. We not and where. To any does... no...know... PISS!

~Enraged, infuriated, and completely reactionary, Wesley buries the pickaxe head deep into a bleeding and slimey swamp tree. Somewhere deep within himself where he still maintains a semblance of himself, he prays the tree isn't actually a demon.~
[identity profile] madlymirthful9.livejournal.com
~ Fresh from their perfectly ambicable rendevous with Snape, Barty and Reg emerge from the vast tunnel systems, finally facing the acidic expanses of Three. However, this development can only be met with a grunt, followed by a rather desperate expression. Words have always been one of the few things on Barty's side and losing them, and what little he has left of himself, causes his now brutish voice to take on an increasingly hysterical edge. ~

I -

The mud. How... It'll -
[identity profile] ladycachtice7.livejournal.com
~ The girl is naked and still, half submerged in mud. Her pale limbs all askew, flesh split roughly over her breasts and stomach – the wounds are haphazard and uneven, clearly scratched open with very human fingers over a long period of time. The corpse, still thinking, still feeling, is very much blind, her eyeballs acting as pin cushions for a variety of thorns scavenged off the marshy plant-life.

Bathory is perched above the unfortunate girl on a mossy stump. The hive in her chest buzzes as she carefully pulls bee after bee from her mouth; each is impaled with a thorn before it can escape. She pins them through her hair, creating a vibrant and elaborate headpiece of dying, wiggling insects. ~
[identity profile] bigredanhorny9.livejournal.com
~ It had started with the shades once considered to be the upper class, but like any widespread problem it doesn't take long for the classes to be bridged. There was a little while when the residents of the deeper Levels got quite the kick out of the comparatively pious shades from One slowly acting more like thugs every day. The humour gets a bit lost, however, as things get worse for everyone.

Language skills begin to decline, and not just in the upper class and not just the often-resented Ones, but in everyone from every part of Hell. Those who used to spin tales or speak with any sort of elaborate expression find themselves searching for words more and more often. Those who use their words to exercise any kind of authority or power or in any kind of trickery are in for a change in lifestyle. Conversation between anyone and everyone slowly turns into the most basic descriptions they can muster to get their points across.

It is probably good that intelligent verbal mockery has become more difficult, though, because the gradual physiological changes overcoming everyone would certainly be a topic of conversation. In the gnarled and more wild-looking it is less noticeable, but it's very dramatic in anyone with a once smooth forehead. Brows somehow get heavier as if the very shapes of people's skulls is slowly morphing. It makes it even stranger to watch someone try to think of how to put something, and gives everyone a thicker, dimmer general look. To further mar foreheads, even the most naturally thin eyebrows seem to be growing thicker and moving in to try to meet in the center. That's not the only hair gone wild - everywhere on the body there just seems to be more of it.
The intelligent shades all see what's happening but it's just so hard to care these days, and even harder to describe it to anyone. ~
[identity profile] noshoesinhell8.livejournal.com
You know, Lilah Morgan, sometimes you're a real idiot.

~Still shedding leaves like dead skin flaking from her flesh, Lilah trudges on and on through the maze of the Bulls, following the instructions she bartered from her former coworker just before he re-ignited in his brazier. One thing you can say about W & H employees, they are predictable. The promise of escape from Hell was more than enough to prompt him to "share" some info he'd been able to glean while being imprisoned in Dis for so long. He coughed up directions to Dis' municipal hall, and Lilah promised she'd argue his case as well. As if. He was never anything to speak of in the courtroom; of course he wants Lilah's help. But Lilah only helps Lilah, and now that the damned stir fry isn't poking through her skin, she feels she can really start to make some progress...

Until she realizes with a start that she's no longer on Level 6. She turns to glower at the shiny Bulls now crowding in to prevent her return, and stamps her foot in the inch deep mucky water standing on the surface of the ground as a mosquito tries to taste her.~

This is just wonderful, ~she bemoans.~ Well, at least I may not be the worst smelling thing for miles around. ~But she kinda wishes she had someone there to appreciate it.~
[identity profile] beautysleep4.livejournal.com
~As she had become aware once more of her breathing, eyes blinking, conscious thought, she also sensed that the growth of the aggressive plant had slowed. She had risked a glance at Hal-she could not have been dead for more than what-minutes, hours. Time meant less than nothing here.

It had taken time to break off all the stalks which had continued to grow after her temporary demise. But they had worked together and agreed that they wanted out of Dis as quickly as possible.

They had moved quietly but as quickly as possible, and now they pause to catch their breath and try to gain bearings. The air Beauty notices has changed.~ We must be nearing the boundary of Dis. The air feels cooler here, almost damp and there is a faint odor- is that fish and rotting vegetables? ~She spits on the ground in disgust and then seems both surprised and ashamed of such behavior. They walk on and the ground turns from hard baked and cracked till it is becoming slimy, squelchy and slightly fetid muck. Beauty seems to take no notice letting the train of her elegant gown trail through the ooze. She stops long enough to remove her slippers and continues walking with the muck sucking around her feet. She is singing softly to herself the way a child does and she smiles at Hal as though they are strolling through the gardens from her home.~


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