Closed RP A Dark Park After Dark

This RP is currently closed.


Staff member
Pittsburg was quieter than what she was used to, which wasn’t really to say that the city turned silent once the sun dipped past the skyline. Wren had always said that cities buzzed differently this time of night but she never could quite understand what it was he felt. Still, the rumble was different once traffic began to slow and crowds thinned, leaving the streets feeling a little longer. Her blue eyes moved this way and that as she swiftly made her way down the sidewalk. She didn’t really know this part of the city, not that she even really had a part of the city that she knew well, she had just dropped by because of a help wanted sign.

The interview however didn’t go well.

So here she was in her most professional looking clothes she owned, which was just a gray blouse and a pleated skirt that extended a little past her knees, and her hair drawn back into a bun that was more a mess of blond and red strands than structure at this point. Which maybe it had always been a mess but she had tried at least, so that should have counted for something at least! With a sigh Eli took a left at a corner she vaguely remembered taking when the sun had been up and found herself, well, looking at a city park she very much didn’t remember passing by earlier that day.

In the dim light Eli could make out a gently sloping hill surrounded by trees and in the distance was what looked like a greenhouse. Those were called something different when they were larger weren’t they? Botany something? It didn’t matter.

Eli looked back over her shoulder, it would be smart to backtrack but… the park seemed quiet. And maybe it would have a map somewhere. Yeah, a map would be smart. After checking both ways to make sure she wouldn’t get blindsided by a car, Eli jogged across the street.

And maybe if she took a little walk she could figure out what her next move should be.
There are a lot of parks in the city, but this one is her favorite. Or at least it’s her favorite of those she’s explored so far. Most of the trees are climbable, and the hill isn’t too drastically sloped to stop her from rolling down it.

It’s even better after dark, in Adelyn’s opinion. Less people milling about means she has more freedom to stretch her legs, and she can run around without getting too many weird stares. If she stays away from the glass building and the main path, it’s nice and dark. Most people can’t see that well in the dark, she’s found, which makes it a nice place to hide.

The sound of rustling draws her attention to the bushes beneath her perch in one of the sturdy oak boughs. Adelyn sits up slowly, shifting to lay on her belly so she can look down more easily. Little paws, little snuffles, ears twitching. A bunny!

She has to be quick, so she swings herself down from the branch in one fluid drop, hands lingering on the wood before letting go and dropping neatly into the foliage. This startles the bunny, and it scampers away with her hot on its tail. She isn’t sure what she’ll do if she catches it - she doesn’t really need to hunt around here, as her grandparents keep reminding her.

That thought is secondary to the thrill of the chase, and everything after that barely registers as a blip on her radar right up until she leaps and rolls and catches the bunny in her hands. It’s brighter now, and she looks around to see that she’s left the shelter of the trees. The grass is soft beneath her, the ground slightly tilted.

There are shoes not too far from her. Shoes, socks, skirt, blouse. A girl! Oh, haha, whoops. She holds the bunny gently in her claws and makes an effort to smooth down her hair, which may or may not have a few leaves tangled in it, with her human hand.

Then she raises that same hand in a wave, a little sheepish. She left her shoes and gloves around here somewhere, didn’t she…? “Hi there!”
Crickets chirped as fireflies twinkled in in their momentary constellations and dew formed on the blades of long grasses. Eli slowed as she drew in a breath of the cooling night air, it felt a little more peaceful here now that she was finally away from the always moving city. Her shoulders slumped as she allowed herself to relax, maybe things would be fine here, the city was a little crazy sometimes but she was halfway across the country now, and if she could just find a job then… things would be okay.

Almost as soon as she had relaxed however a girl came tumbling to a stop at her feet. A girl with a rather frantic looking bunny clutched tightly in her hands. Eli took a half step back, more of a little hop of surprise really, as she stared at the bewildering scene for a few seconds longer than what was polite. Eli blinked.

“Oh! I, uh, hello? Yes, hello are you okay?” Was that a silly thing to ask? “That’s a cute bunny? I’m Eli, uh, it’s good to meet you.”

This wasn’t going well.

“You… taking a walk?”

That didn’t help. Eli just smiled, awkwardly as she held out a hand to help the other girl up.
No screaming or running away. Good start. Excellent start! Adelyn grins, its brightness undulled by the dirt on her clothes or the tangles in her hair. “Yeah, I’m great! Adelyn’s the name, the name I go by. Nice to meet you, very nice. I- um.”

She looks down at the bunny held gently in her… hand? Where did her paw go? Her… feet are… not paws either. But when she tries to wiggle her toes they all curl at once, and it doesn’t feel any different but she hardly remembers what it was like to have normal human feet, so she might just be doing it wrong. What- what- what- “What.”

Did she actually figure out how to turn back? How? Why? When? Why now?

The bunny wiggles away from her loosened grip and she lets it go with nary a second glance, too busy clapping a hand to the side of her head in growing alarm. Ok, ok, wait. She can still feel the soft tips of her ears, and when she pokes at her left hand she can feel fur blending into the smooth, hard curve of claws, even if it just looks like a human hand with filed sharp nails.

So, no, she’s still got her paws and claws and everything. That’s a relief, she feels surprisingly undefended even just looking like she doesn’t have them.

She probably left Eli hanging a bit too long while she figured that out. When she looks up again the girl is still looking at her, awkward but well-meaning, and Adelyn accepts the hand up with her normal hand, tucking the other behind her back inconspicuously. Nothing to see here. Well, actually though, there is kind of nothing to see.

This is weird.

“I was, um, yes, taking a… walk- sorry, did you do this? Actually, do you have a mirror?” A strange request, maybe, but she’s already accustomed to everyone in the city thinking she’s strange.
“Hi, uh, Adelyn it’s a pleasure to…” Eli trailed off as the odd bunny carrying girl seemed to become suddenly enamored with her own hand in that sort of awe someone had when seeing something strange and new. Eli watched (which was probably rude wasn’t it?) curious herself as the other girl wiggled her feet and was so taken by whatever she was seeing she released her grip on the bunny which immediately went scampering away into the night. (Run little guy run!) After a moment Adelyn seemed to remember that she was there and took Eli’s offered hand and she helped her back up onto her feet.

It was a little thing but when Adelyn stood she tucked her arm, the bunny catching one, behind her back. The why was uncertain, and it didn’t seem like something really worth taking note of. Eli’s brow rumpled, though only for a few seconds as the girl asked two equally confusing questions.

“Did I do… what?” Eli asked, but her tone shifted once Adelyn asked her for a mirror. Right, she had taken a tumble hadn’t see? Maybe she was wanting to see if she got a cut or something. ”Oh, yeah sure thing, just give me a second.”

Eli slipped her bag off her shoulder and opened it up. After a few seconds of sorting through the contents she produced a small compact mirror and flipped it open. She offered it to Adelyn with a smile.

”I don’t see that you’ve cut anything.” She offered, helpfully.
Adelyn accepts the mirror, glad that Eli opened it already so she doesn’t have to fiddle with the tiny mechanism. It sits nicely in her palm, the metal cool against her skin. “Thanks. I don’t know what yet, but I’m uh…”

When she looks into the glass, the girl that stares back at her is her, but not. Pale blue irises and pupils like black holes meet her gaze through the reflection, piercing right down to her soul, and she startles badly.

“Eep!” The mirror tumbles from her suddenly-clumsy hand.

Forgetting herself, she snatches the mirror with her left hand before it can hit the ground. When she straightens up her hair is a little wilder than before, her eyes wide. She clutches the compact to her chest. “Haha, sorry about… yeah. Oh boy.”

After a second’s consideration, Adelyn shuts the compact without looking in it again. She isn’t sure she likes the look of the girl-who-isn’t-her. She takes a deep breath and offers it back to Eli, her smile just a little wooden.

“This might sound strange, but, um, I don’t usually look like this?” It comes out like a question, and she frowns, running a nervous hand through her hair. A few leaves float to the ground, as well as a small twig. “Is that you? Or have you ever, like, heard of something like that, before? Maybe in this area?”

She’s pretty sure she would’ve noticed if this happened before, but it doesn’t hurt to get a second opinion.
”Oh! Are you okay?” Eli said, flinching back as Adelyn suddenly yelped and fumbled with the mirror. Was there something wrong? It didn’t look like there was anything wrong? But it wasn’t like she didn’t know the other girl at all. Maybe she had lost something, that could be it, right? Eli’s gaze dropped to the grass to see if she saw anything, like an earring or something, sparking down there, however, the click of the mirror being closed and Addlyn holding it out for her to take back drew her attention back up.

“You… don’t usually?” Eli said, matching Adelyn’s questioning tone with one of her own. Eli’s brow scrunched as the other girl fidgeted in place, clearly uncomfortable by whatever it was that had suddenly changed. At question of it being her or something in the area that might be causing her to look different, two and two finally clicked in her mind and it was suddenly her turn to wiggle uncomfortably in place as she took the mirror back. That’s right, she was being dumb. If the other girl had some meta thing going on, while she was this close she definitely wouldn’t have a meta thing going on would she.

“Oh, uh, sorry, that’s uh,” Eli fumbled, at first her tongue failing to find the most appropriate way to say sorry, followed soon by her brain failing to provide her an adequate explanation. She lifted her arm and pointed. “If you get away, I mean not that being nearby is bad but uh, if you back away then everything should go back to normal. I mean, sorry, it will go back, I mean I can’t think of any time it like permanently changed anything about a person. Sorry, um, are you a meta? It’s just if you are one that’s probably the problem.” She could feel her ears burning a little hotter with each word as her mouth tumbled.
Adelyn’s confusion fades a little with the explanation from Eli, even if it comes in bits and starts rather than all at once. She frowns a little.

“Yes, I’m a meta, but it’s not a problem.” She says it factually, unflinchingly. It’s not a bad thing, as much as some people might insist. She takes a breath to make the jitters settle back down, and looks down at her hand again. “I’m glad that it goes back. I like being a meta. It’s who I am.”

Other than the maybe-unintentional slight, Eli seems nice enough. Adelyn doesn’t want to be mean to her. She smooths the fur on her forearm down with her other hand and takes a few steps back, then pauses to see if Eli was right about her turning back.

A mirage shimmers over her skin, and she squints and rubs at one eye, going a little cross eyed before remembering she can just step away further. She does, and the illusion is broken further. Her claws! There they are! Adelyn grins, the worry leaving her all at once.

“Oh, phew. Ok, you were right. Are you a meta too? Is that how you did that? Can you turn it off? I can’t turn mine off, so I get it if you also can’t, but also I don’t like not looking like myself so maybe I’ll stay over here if that’s how it is,” she chatters, her high spirits returning as she flexes her claws. They still don’t look quite real, but it’s much better than the shock of suddenly having a human hand.
“What? No it’s not a problem that you’re a meta, it’s just that—“ Eli released a puff of air with a tinge of frustration. She just needed to slow down. Right, that was easy enough, just take a deep breath. In and out. Okay. The other girl was backing away, so that should help her out then. “I’m a meta too, it’s just that I make other meta’s powers weird when they’re close. It just tries to make things normal I guess.”

See? That was easier wasn’t it? Eli released a breath as she looked up, and froze. It wasn’t fear or anything like that that made her lock up, more she was trying her very very best not to grin or laugh. Adelyn’s powers were probably something about having animal limbs but at this distance they were less animal limbs and more like muppet arms with long plastic nails. So, Eli very stoically didn’t laugh as Adelyn quickly rushed through a series of questions.

“No, I uh, I can’t turn it off, it’s just always around. It just makes being near metas hard sometimes.” Eli said, with only a faint quiver in her voice. She cleared her throat. “I can understand how that might feel strange, uhm, so how does your power work then? I take it you can’t make your limbs human anymore?” Well, she also might just like them not looking human. Having claws seems like it would be nice sometimes.
Adelyn nods along with Eli’s words, still grinning. It’s exciting to meet another meta; she doesn’t think she’s run across any outside of her family. Cities really are good for meeting people!

Her smile fades a little when Eli looks up and goes tense. She should’ve guessed that even other metas would be a little afraid of her. It only makes sense, but it still stings a little.

Then she blinks, and looks at Eli a little more closely. ‘Fear’ pings her instincts wrong, because fear usually leads to danger, and nothing about her reads as dangerous. Adelyn tilts her head a little to the side, still studying the other girl with confusion evident on her face.

Still, it wouldn’t do to be rude! It’s only fair to offer an explanation of her own. “Yeah, I can’t go back once I’ve shifted.”

She shuffles a little in place, her toe-claws catching in the grass and tearing up little clumps that she carefully tamps down again. “It’s- um, hereditary, so I knew what I was getting into. It’s fine, I like it this way. I like being this way. Even if it does make some things harder for me. Do you like your… normal… field?”

Adelyn curls her claws in a repetitive way, reminding herself that the return was temporary, just an illusion. Then she winces and tries to be less obvious about her relief. It has to be a little lonely, if every meta reacts like she did.

Normal people wouldn’t notice anything different, though, which must be nice. Back when she made an effort to appear normal, blending in made some things easier. But at the same time, it always felt like lying. She wonders if Eli would think of it as lying, too, but that’s probably not a good question to ask. She’s trying to be better about that.
Eli breathed a sigh of relief when it seemed Adelyn was finally satisfied with an explanation. There, it wasn’t so hard to do after all was it, just talking to the other girl. She was nice too, she didn’t seem annoyed at how long it took to get the answer to her question, just a little uncomfortable with her body changing without her being the one to do it. Which, that was fair wasn’t it? No one really wanted some weirdo showing up and making things weirder than they needed to be, right?

Eli shifted a little when asked if she liked her powers. She looked down at her hand and flexed her fingers. It was troublesome sometimes wasn’t it, but that wasn’t really a problem. She didn’t mind being that weirdo making things weird/ “I… don’t dislike it.” Eli said, her voice coming slowly. She looked back up at Adelyn.

“It's just, you know, other people make it harder than it needs to be. Sometimes.” She said. That was true enough, and didn’t involve dumping a lot of backstory on a stranger. “Do you uh, come to this park often? I just moved here, and it seems nice.” She said, looking to steer the conversation elsewhere.
Adelyn’s shoulders slump a little in understanding. Other people do make things hard. A small twinge of guilt makes her wince. She is the ‘other people’ in this case, isn’t she? But before she can apologize, Eli prompts her with a new question.

Her teeth snap together again with a click, and Adelyn rubs a thoughtful paw across her jaw before letting the subject drop.

“Yeah, this is my favorite park in the city. I’m new too, so I can’t say it’ll always keep being my favorite, but right now it is. Have you seen the trees? They’re great for climbing!” As she speaks, Adelyn gestures with her hands, animated.

“And there’s bunnies like-” Finally, she turns her palms up, only now realizing she dropped the bunny she had been chasing. She turns in a circle, scanning the ground as though it might be waiting by her feet, but alas, it is well and truly gone. “Oh, aw. I had one. It was really cute, too.”
“Oh are they? I’ve never really climbed any trees before.” Eli said, her gaze turning towards the copse of trees looming large in the growing dark of the night. That always just seemed like the sort of thing that other kids got to do, which maybe that statement really just summed up most of her life didn’t? Doing whatever it was that adults demanded of her, right up until… the whisper of a gunshot which lingered like a phantom in her mind’s eye sent a shiver down her spine. Eli cleared her throat. “So, uh, is it any fun? Climbing trees, I mean, can you get a good view?”

The mention of the bunny caused her to wince. “Sorry, I think that was my fault. I think you were distracted by your uh, human hand and it ran into the bushes.” Eli rubbed the back of her neck, “it was cute, uh, before it ran away. I’ve never really seen a wild one before though.”
“Oh, yes, there are lots of wild bunnies around here! I think there has to be a den somewhere, but I haven’t sniffed it out yet.” Adelyn sniffs once, casting a searching look at the edge of the trees. Then, with a shake of her head, she lets the disappointment flow away, water on a duck's back. She grins widely, bouncing on the pads of her paws.

“Climbing is fun! Really fun! If you get up high enough - well, in a proper forest if you get up high enough you can see forever, but here it’s just a little bit of trees and then a lot of city.” She bounces a few more times before taking a few quick steps forward, forgetting herself in her excitement. Her appearance shifts back to what it was, but she hardly seems to notice.

“I can show you! It’s a shame to never have climbed a tree!” Saying this, she reaches for the girl’s wrist with her normal hand, intent on leading her away to find the best climbing trees. Even if it’s dark, there’s no time like the present!
“Really? A den would be fun to find sometime, I think.” Eli said, with a spark of interest. It sounded like it would be cute, like a little nest full of fuzzy balls or something. Or, would you even see inside a den? Didn’t they like borrow into the ground or something so predators don’t find them? Would it just be a hole you could hear some bunny sounds out of? That would be cute too, probably.

She really didn’t know much about the outdoors.

Sudden animated talk about climbing trees pulled Eli out of her bunny filled thoughts and back to the park. She blinked as her now-not-muppet-looking friend(?) took hold of her wrist excitedly talking about how they should go climb a tree now. “H-huh? Wait like now? Isn’t it too dark or something?” Eli asked, as she found herself being pulled along by the wrist towards some distant tall looking trees. ”I mean I’m sure the city lights are pretty at night but, uh…” she added as she was pulled along.
“Don’t worry, I can see in the dark just fine!” Adelyn grins at her new friend and leads her through the trees, angling towards the tree she was in before. She has to retrieve her boots and gloves and things anyways. Every so often she pushes a branch out of the way for them to pass or steps carefully over a root, murmuring a quick, “Watch your step.”

It wouldn’t do to have Eli trip over something and ruin her tree-climbing demonstration before it’s even begun. It just wouldn’t do at all.

“So where are you from, that you’ve never climbed a tree? Even the city has climbing trees, and the city hardly has anything good.” Maybe that’s a little unkind of her, but it’s true. There aren’t any good streams or ponds, only stone ones that you get in trouble for splashing around in. The animals that stayed in the shelter of the remaining trees must all be either wily or really dumb.

But then again, there’s people. And where there’s people, there’s change. For better or worse. She’ll just have to make sure it’s the former, and everything will get better. Starting with making friends! Like Eli!
“Oh you can? That’s good, maybe my eyes haven’t adjusted yet.” Eli said as Adelyn led the way through the trees. She did her best to try to keep up with the other girl, but it felt like the trees had it out for her with how much the branches kept trying to snag her shirt as she walked past. Maybe there was a trick to it that she just didn’t know? She always heard that animals could sense your fear, maybe trees were like that too. Eli’s foot scuffed against a root as Adelyn muttered a quick word of warning, and she did a very good job of not falling on her face! Was she going to break something?

“Well, I was out in California for a while before moving to Columbus, so I guess there were trees I could have climbed.” Eli said, with a faint chuckle as she ducked under a threatening branch. ”It’s just, I haven’t really ever sort of gotten a chance to climb a tree I guess. Adults didn’t like it, y’know.” Eli lips twitched into a frown as her gaze dropped to her feet for a moment. Just a moment though, out of fear that a branch would smack her if she didn’t keep her attention forward. Eli cleared her throat.

“So, I guess this’ll just have to be a new experience then!” She said, pushing a level of cheer into her voice that she didn’t really feel. She was pretty good at doing that, she thought. Just a quick smile and people would look away, it was easier like that. ”What makes a tree good for climbing?” She asked after a moment.
Adelyn looks back at her friend with a very serious expression, but doesn’t stop moving forward. She ducks under a branch without trouble as she says, “There are a lot of things adults say not to do that you have to do anyways.”

The seriousness passes just as quickly as it appeared, and she grins again. Facing forward, she hops up on a fallen log and spreads her arms out to indicate the tree just in front of them, a tall oak with good sturdy branches and a bundle of her stuff nestled in the roots.

Then she remembers she’s supposed to be helping Eli too, and turns to extend a hand down and help her over the log. “It’s a lot of things, but some of them are more important than others. Branches that aren’t too far apart or too high, strong enough to hold your weight, no anthills under it.”

She shudders with her last words. That one was learned the hard way.

“I’ll show you the ropes! Don’t worry.”
“Yeah, I suppose that’s true.” Eli said, stepping over an exposed root that seemed to have pushed its way out of the ground in an attempt to snag her foot before ducking under a low hanging branch. It wasn’t like adult advice had been good for any part of her life, she wouldn’t have bussed halfway across the country if it had been useful. Maybe she should write a quick thank you to the family in Cincinnati who had put her up for a few days. Their advice hadn’t been too bad, really.

“Oh.” Almost tripping over the fallen log pulled Eli out of her thoughts, and she looked up at her new friend. She smiled sheepishly as she reached up and took Adelyn’s offered hand before also hopping up onto the log. “That sounds like a lot of things to keep in mind.” Eli said, hopping down after Adelyn. Ant hills seemed weird, was it because they crawled on you or something? She remembered a time they had gotten into the kitchen when she was a kid and they made a real mess of things.

“I’m a fast learner!” Eli said brightly, looking up at the tree Adelyn had been talking about. ”So, this one is perfect for climbing then?”
“You really don’t want to get ants in your pants. It is not fun.” Words spoken from experience, clearly. Adelyn scampers towards the tree, throwing herself at one of the branches and hanging there with her legs tucked up at the knee. She swings lightly. Her claws dig into the bark, and it’s rough under her palm.

The moonlight through the trees gives precious light to see by, faintly illuminating her grin. “It’s a lovely old tree, I bet she’s seen at least a few generations in her branches.”

That would be the case if it was in her forest, at least. Her grin falls a little bit, and she drops back to the ground. “I guess it depends on who gets out here.”

She falls to her knees and rifles through her bag, pulling out a flashlight and holding it up triumphantly. “Here we go!” She tosses the flashlight to Eli. “That should help if you need it, and you can go first if you like, I can give you a boost to getcha started.”

It hasn’t escaped her that she’s taller than Eli by a good margin, and low-hanging to her might be just a little out of comfortable reach for her friend. The first friend she’s made in the city! It’s so exciting!