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 Young at Heart, OPEN - snowball fight
Virgil Adams
 Posted: May 25 2017, 10:30 PM
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December 24th, 1868
Christmas Event
Evening


The sun was dipping low in the sky and soon it would be too dark and the cold bite of the air would redden everyone’s cheeks and noses and drive them indoors, but for now, there was still a little left of the daylight.

Hands bunched in his pockets and head lowered into the upturned collar of his coat, Virgil wandered down to the frozen lake. Couples, and singles, glided over the ice on thin blades. He stopped and watched as a few people took a tumble, sliding across the ice on their bellies or their rumps; but they laughed at their own foolishness and struggled up on legs as wobbly as newborn calves, eager to take another tumble, Virgil supposed. You couldn’t pay him enough to get him out on those crazy things.

He wandered over to a metal barrel with orange flames licking out of the top. Holding out his hands to soak up the heat, his gaze went to an army of round-bodied snowmen with sticks for arms. The kids had been at work for hours, rolling up great swaths of snow, but nature was still providing more as the flurries danced in the air.

Eager for Christmas and drunk on the freedom from chores for the day, the town’s children screamed and laughed with abandon, determined to make the most of the day.

It seemed to start up all of a sudden, a redhaired teenage boy picked an armful of snow and dumped it on another boy’s head while his back was turned. The second boy let out a high-pitched shriek that might’ve come from a girl, he was likely going to get ribbed for a while for that, and all the boys around them were doubled up laughing. And then the fight was on.

Boys scooped up handfuls of snow on the run and let fly. Boys dodged and weaved, alliances were forged and collapsed in seconds as the white balls filled the air, splattered on the ground, or made a satisfying thud when it struck home. A few of the ice-skaters were caught unaware and dropped by snowballs. The ball that hit Virgil on the shoulder probably wasn’t meant for him, but civilian casualties were part of war. For a long moment, the nearest boys held their breath and stared wide-eyed, wondering if they were going to have to take to their heels quick.

For a moment, Virgil’s natural surliness almost glared at the boys from underneath the shaggy curtain of hair in his eyes, but instead, he replied, “Oh, yeah? We’ll see about that,”, he crouched down and scooped up a handful of snow, packing it together as he joined the boys on the field of battle. Briefly startled by the addition of a grown man into the game, the pause didn’t last long and battle took off again.

Virgil headed into the army of snowmen, using them as cover as he let fly. Needless to say, not all of his shots hit their intended targets. Later, he’d blame it on his not-quite healed arm.

There are times when even grown men are just big kids at heart.

Notes: Word count: ### tagged: name!
Created by Blitzy of Caution 2.0
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Olivia Rutherford
 Posted: May 26 2017, 09:04 PM
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December 24th, 1868
Christmas Event
Evening


Preston Rutherford had talked his mother into coming out to the lake so their resident border could try out the ice for the very first time in her life. It had been fun to coax her onto the ice and help her around, but now others had joined their party and taken over, the six-year-old boy was feeling bored and in need of some fun. His mother Olivia had purchased him a bag of hot peanuts from one of the temporary vendors, and he was busily munching on them when he was hit squarely in the back by a rather hard snowball.

“Owww!” the boy exclaimed and lost a few of his peanuts as a result.

None of the adults in their group had noticed the beginnings of the snow battle, so Preston took advantage of the situation and scurried closer to the action. If Silas had been there, he felt sure he could have persuaded him to join in helping him get the others back for hitting him with the wet missile. When another misfired, snowball sailed over his head and landed on his mother’s skirts it was war!

Scooping up a fist full of the cold powdery ground cover, he blindly pelted it back toward the fray to avenge his mother.
“Take that you, you, you meanie!” he shouted as his snowball hit the big red-haired boy in the back of the head. Preston's eyes widened as his target turned and glared at him. His best defence had come out into the mix of children and joined in. He was about the same size as Silas, so he made his way over toward him to take some cover behind him.

Notes: @Nox Word count: 287 tagged: Virgil! OPEN
Created by Blitzy of Caution 2.0

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Sasha Bellamy
 Posted: May 28 2017, 09:12 PM
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December 24th, 1868
Christmas Event
Evening


Sasha honestly didn’t know how he got into the trouble he did. Really, it was a matter of others always dragging him into it.

It had all started with the Christmas event. He had been busy trying to run their sorry excuse of festivities before getting terribly bored and wandering off for a drink. When that hadn’t seemed to make him feel any better about life, he’d wandered to where there was a wagon out to the lake where there was something going on. He didn’t have high hopes for it being any more entertaining than when he was in the market place, but maybe no one would find him out there. After all, who would be making snow men and ice skating on a night like this?

Apparently half the town. Lovely.

Walking about, he decided it could have been worse, seeing as how everyone was leaving him alone. They were all too busy with their own Christmas merriment. He was walking along, minding his own business when a snowball connected directly with his chest. Sasha stood stalk still for a moment, sputtering a bit as his eyes spied the group of children and the solitary adult involved in a snow ball fight. He cast one of his best glares in their direction, less than impressed.

So, of course, he did the most adult thing he could think of, bending over and working a scoop of snow into a ball. He was just on the right side of drunk for that logic to make sense. So, he threw the ball, watching as one of the children squawked indignantly.

“And that’s why you shouldn’t throw snowballs at –” he was cut off as another caught him right in the face that time and he was forced to kneel behind a bush and get another snowball together. It was on now. “Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!”

Notes: Word count: 323
Created by Blitzy of Caution 2.0


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Virgil Adams
 Posted: May 30 2017, 01:01 AM
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December 24th, 1868
Christmas Event
Evening


Snowballs flew every which way; Virgil ducked when he could but felt the occasional thud when he got hit. He halt-turned and lifted his shoulder, to take a hit, when he noticed a little dark haired boy, about six years old or so, he thought, taking cover behind his legs. The kid must not have an older brother, was his first fleeting thought. It was hard for boys when they were young not to have an older brother. No grown man came to the boy’s side either, probably no father too, or else he wasn’t around.

Guiding the boy behind one of the fatter snowmen, Virgil took a knee in the snow and looked around for targets.

“Can you make some good balls? Get’em nice and solid, so they stay together until they hit,” he advised and showed the boy how, his bigger hands making quick work of making them some ammunition. “I’m Virgil,” he said, his eyes sweeping the battlefield for likely targets as he talked and packed snow. [b] “You got a name little man?”

Listening to the child, Virgil gave a breathy chuckle at the sight of some guy getting hit square in the chest and giving them all the stink-eye… just before he too joined in. It was a surprise, the guy seemed too fancy for such foolish horseplay. He all out laughed when the guy got clocked again and had bits of snow clinging to his face and beard when he yelled out some battle cry. He wouldn’t have thought that such a frail-looking guy had such powerful lungs.

He didn’t recognize the quote but he heard the Dogs of War part. It struck him funny and he threw back his head and answered the war cry with a dog’s barking howl. “Aaarrrrrrhhhoooo! AhhoooAhhhoooo! Aaarrrrhhhoooo!” The howl was picked up by a scattering of others on the battlefield. Baying like a dog wasn’t exactly in the Christmas Spirit and some, especially the women and girls who stood at the edge of the raucous, exchanged confused looks, but for those in the thick of battle, it felt right.

Virgil sent a few snowballs at Sasha, it seemed fitting given that he was the only other adult in on the game. Before too long, the head and chest of their fat snowman took too many hits and toppled over, barely missing them.

“Looks like we’re gonna have to make a break for it. Can you run, little man?”

Notes: Word count: 423 tagged: @Olivia Rutherford & @Sasha Bellamy
Created by Blitzy of Caution 2.0


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Colin Murphy
 Posted: May 30 2017, 04:36 AM
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December 24th, 1868
Christmas Event
Evening

As the children had moved to the front of the church, looking shy and nervous it had brought a warm smile to Colin’s face, eager and proud parents moving in to catch a glimpse of their sons and daughters reenacting the night Christ was born. Not that Colin didn’t want to stay and watch, but with so few seats and parents trying to watch from the aisle and even from outside through the church windows, he gave up his spot on the pew to a grateful grandmother so she could watch her grandson portray one of the wise men. He didn’t spot Davion right away, figuring he was at the market by now. Sean had been very quiet since getting chewed out by his father for scaring him earlier, falsely claiming his horse had died. Watching Colin remove the exhausted animal’s saddle, talking to the downed gelding he had watched almost with disdain on his face, ”He loves that damn horse more than me.” he had thought bitterly. Thankfully they had managed to coax Amigo back on his feet and bedded both horses in the livery for the evening, something Colin’s cousin had gladly paid for. Sean hadn’t spoken two words to this new family member, he seemed alright he supposed but he needed more time to decide if he liked this guy or not. Apparently the woman he was with was not the mother of his two children, something Sean had thought rather strange, assuming the man’s wife had probably died and then finding out otherwise. Could a man even leave his wife? It was something he hadn’t heard of before.

“What time are they lightin’ the tree?” his father asked as they stood outside the church, Colin lighting up a cigarette and nodding a greeting to a couple as they entered the door. Sean shrugged silently, still not on speaking terms with his old man it seemed. Instead of apologizing the veteran just sighed in his frustration and stepped off the porch, his son and daughter falling into line. Christmas just wasn’t worth celebrating without his mother, he had wanted to stay in Texas until the holidays were over, just to spend one last Christmas with his grandparents, but his father had seemed frantic to leave all of a sudden, seemingly out of nowhere. It made Sean wonder if he had gotten himself into a bad situation, something that wouldn’t have surprised him.

Well, the tree was not to be decorated for another half hour and the young boy was quickly bored and the very sight of his father was putting him into a worse and worse mood. He finally spoke up as Colin was fiddling with something on the tables of one of the vendors. If he knew the man well enough, he was tired of seeing him too,
“Can I go to the lake?” he asked, expecting the grouchy Texan to at least give pause to think it over but he didn’t even look at him,
“Be back in an hour.”

Before he knew it he was trudging through snow, cresting a small hill to see several skaters gliding over the frozen surface of a huge lake. His eyes could just barely make out the glow of what appeared to be another town, far off on the other side of the water. The hills and mountains here were a sight to behold for someone so used to flat terrain, it would take some getting used to. The chaos of a snowball fight quickly caught his attention and Sean decided to let go of his gloomy mood for now and watched a moment. A small gaggle of boys about his age were pelting two grown men and another boy with snow and ice as they took cover as best they could manage. Bounding across the clearing he joined up with the closest boys just as one of the men pegged him with a snowball,
“Ow! That had ice in it!” in retaliation Sean packed a tight ball and hurled it right back, striking the man right in the face and cutting him off mid sentence. As he fell silent Sean and the other boys laughed and let fly a few more in the man’s direction as he released a warcry. They laughed again, ducking for cover, “What did he say?” he asked a redheaded boy knelt next to him,
“Something about dogs?”

Notes: my next one will be shorter! Word count: 733 tagged: OPEN!
Created by Blitzy of Caution 2.0
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Sasha Bellamy
 Posted: Jun 4 2017, 02:26 PM
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December 24th, 1868
Christmas Event
Evening


Sasha glared when he heard the lone adult let out a braying howl. The man was insulting Shakespeare, dogs, and worst of all – Sasha Bellamy. He was not going to put up with such indignity.

“Hell is empty and all the devils are here!” he growled, rolling another ball up tight. He was tempted to put a stone in the middle, but there were parents about and he was sure there would be a lack of love for him if one were to be brained by it.

He let fly another snowball, quickly ducking back behind his bush. He hadn’t been in a snowball fight since he was a child. He and Alexei had joined a group of children who had struck up a fight on the street. They’d been cold and starving, but forgot all their aches and pains for a few hours as they laughed and played like they had a home to go home to. The sound of Alexei’s giggles had warmed him more than anything at that point, easing his own conscience for having taken him into a transient life, knowing his father would have ended up hurting his brother sooner or later. It was one good memory to hold onto and it put a smile on his face as he tossed another snowball forward.

“Do you give up?” he hollered. “Because I can do this all night!”

It wasn’t a lie. He had enough whiskey in his system to make that a viable possibility. And with how he generally did stay up all night, it was an advantage. All he needed was the lantern lights and the flask in his pocket.

Notes: Word count: 279
Created by Blitzy of Caution 2.0


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Olivia Rutherford
 Posted: Jun 7 2017, 12:43 AM
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December 24th, 1868
Christmas Event
Evening


The big redheaded boy was no match for this unexpected ally who was teaching him how to pack a tight snowball. The older kid was always making trouble in the schoolyard, and it was about time he was taught a good lesson. It might have been one thing to push the younger kids around or steal their lunch, but quite another to mess with someone’s ma.

Moving his gloved fingers as nimbly as he could, Preston formed the snowballs as quickly as they’d move for the big man to throw. If he got that red-headed bully in the face, then it would be worth the cold and wet feeling that came with messing around in the snow after sundown.

“Preston,” he replied, holding out his snow covered hand. It wasn’t precisely the time or place for handshaking; however, good manners had been instilled into the child since he was born Old habits and all that. “Pleased to meet you,” the boy added, and he was, especially since the other team seemed to be gaining more soldiers.

Mr Virgil let out a howling war cry, so Preston joined him. It felt exhilarating! They had to get that new kind on their side before he bonded with the enemy. So, at Virgil’s prompt, Preston took the chance to run for it. A few smaller balls clipped him mid run before he slid for cover beside the new kid behind a rock.
“That boy is only brave when he’s bigger than everyone else. You don’t want to be on his side.” Preston advised and started the process of making new ammunition for the fight.

Notes: Word count: 278 tagged: Open!
Created by Blitzy of Caution 2.0

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Virgil Adams
 Posted: Jun 8 2017, 03:53 PM
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December 24th, 1868
Christmas Event
Evening


“Pleased to meet you too, Preston.” Virgil shook the boy’s hand and got a snowball to the back of his head as a reminder to pay attention. But he shook it off; that was one of the good things about it, getting hit by just a bit of snow was the worst that could happen.

He laughed and smiled more freely during the fight than he had for years. Perhaps it was just being around the kids that let him throw off the expectations of being an adult; even if he wasn’t really a very respectable one.

He and Preston moved, dashing through the hail of snow to another position. Preston started chatting up another child, but Virgil was only vaguely hearing what they were saying because he was focused on the other man.

“Do you give up?” [Sasha] hollered. “Because I can do this all night!”

“Like Hell I will,” Virgil called back and punctuated his reply with another flurry of snowballs. “It won’t take me that damn long to put you away, Mister Fancypants!” Both of them were covered in splatters of white and speckles of snow, but Virgil could see that the other man wore fine clothes and had the bearing of someone more cultured than the miners and cowboys and drifters; the people Virgil was used to seeing in the saloons. He had the look of a soft dandy.

Too focused on covering the dandy in a hail of snowballs, Virgil didn’t notice a dark figure squawking from the crowd. It resembled a vulture, all in black and darting a scowl around that had could peel the bark off a tree. But instead of a carrion bird it was the widow Crabtree, though it was easy to confuse them, the two had many aspects in common. Her pinched and wrinkled face glared out of a froth of black lace, Mr. Crabtree escaped her talons into death over thirty years ago, but she still wore black. “Hooligans!” She screeched. “Have you no respect for the Lord?” She continued. Although she had a harridan shriek that could peel paint off the wall, it couldn’t penetrate the cloud of fun and laughter of the snowball fight; much to the Widow Crabtree’s annoyance. Her cold eyes took one last long look at the battle, then she turned and stomped away to find satisfaction.

Notes: Word count: ### tagged: name!
Created by Blitzy of Caution 2.0


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Colin Murphy
 Posted: Jun 12 2017, 02:15 PM
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Miners

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December 24th, 1868
Christmas Event
Evening

Sean never had many friends, hardly ever coming across others his own age unless at school in town, then it was right back home for chores around the ranch. So seeing other children engaged in an epic snowball battle was too much to resist. Normally the Texan would have been amazed at all the snow, the shear amount amassing to more than he had seen in a lifetime but after having ridden through it for weeks, he was almost sick of it. But at least it had a use now, and that use was quite fun!

The other boys had a draw all their own, they were experienced and seemed to be in a close knit group while pelting the younger boy and his older friend, possibly his father? The other fellow who was so smartly dressed seemed to be in the battle by himself. Sean was enjoying himself feeling as though he was somehow fitting in with these older boys even as they threw snowballs some distance away from him and didn’t pay him much mind. At least they didn’t outright reject him and he would take tolerance over that any day.

The younger boy on the other side of the clearing suddenly broke away and the older boys pelted him as quickly as they could while Sean packed some extras, piling them off to the side as the other boy flanked them. Sean was lost in thought, wondering if his father’s military prowess could have possibly given them an edge in this dogfight when the ginger boy suddenly swiped several of his snowballs, a few of his friends taking the rest, leaving Sean with a rather displeased look on his face. They regrouped, moving along the treeline to reposition and take on the younger boy’s “father” when a voice suddenly spoke up from behind him. With his arms still crossed disapprovingly while an old woman squawked at them all he turned to regard the other boy. What made him think Sean was such a nice kid? He could be a bully like the others. He said nothing, looking in the direction the others had gone, and began making more snowballs with the younger kid who appeared to be no older than six or seven,
“I’m Sean.” he finally said as he began to wind up and sent a snowball flying toward his former troops, missing a boy just as he ducked behind a snowman, “Is he your dad?” he asked next, motioning toward the older man who appeared to be accompanying him, and threw another.

Notes: --- Word count: 427 tagged: OPEN!
Created by Blitzy of Caution 2.0

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