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Should Have Taken the Stairs

By Neuromancer
Backup thread

[google-font] [Lora [size13 This is a thread meant to be short as a start, but if we grow fond can continue; Two university teachers who seemed to run into each other as of late. At first it was small things; getting coffee at the same time, needing a book the other just handed in. Until today, and the start of our thread, that is. Today, they're both in the same elevator—a rickety old thing at the back of campus—when suddenly it halts, and within a few seconds the lights go out, stuck. What were usually less than a minute meetings of pleasantries turned into thirty minutes of, well, that's up to us. Helios is a chill biology teacher, the kind of man to crack jokes too often and laugh at them too, who easily starts talking to strangers and acts perhaps a bit too friendly, a bit eccentric if you will. To him, being stuck in an elevator is just an oppertunity to get to know someone, an adult play date even. Whether your character feels the same, well, that isn't my choice to make, is it? Brainstorming is a big part of writing for me, so I would adore discussing their earlier meetings, and what we want the elevator scene to be. And of course, once we get closer to rescue arriving, whether we prefer to wrap it up and say thank yous for getting some writing in and ending a thread—Or add more plot to the thing, more meetings, or the like. [center [size11 [b Thread Guidelines:] • Be above 21 years old. • Write at least 300+ words (I tend to land between 500~600) • Faceclaims will be photographs • Be willing to brainstorm and talk plot • Title your PM '[#FCCA03 Crocus vernus]', and tell me your own thoughts and ideas. [right You will find Helios [ here]]
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Neuromancer/helios   298d ago

[size12 A flurry of snowflakes made their way into the hallway when the door opened up to the winter morning, though melted just as quick to become nothing but dark dots on the grey doormat, unnoticed by the man exiting. What he did notice, however, was the loud noise of the heavy door as it slammed shut behind him. A snorted laugh escaped him, and he whispered a soft sorry to whoever in the block of flats might still be asleep at this hour, before he made a hasty escape should any of them look out a window to find the culprit. By the time he had rounded the corner out of sight, he shook with laughter. There had always been something thrilling in running away, even if there was no reason for it, then again, for Helios Hyland there was always something to laugh about. He brought his mitten-clad hands up to cover his mouth as though he would blow warmth back into frozen skin, as he kept moving at a more leisured pace, and kept them there until his laugh petered out completely. He did not live too far away from where he worked as a biology professor with a focus on flora, and it was just how he liked it. A nice walk was always something he could enjoy in the morning, and especially more after work when there was still energy that needed expending. He was not one to be ashamed to do a little skip every now and then, usually when the students in his course were enthusiastic about nature—Although some of them, he knew, mostly got him on tangents about various flowers to pass the lecture time without any job having to get done. Though he did not mind that either. While the snow was undoubtedly pretty, and the muffler and mittens a comforting warmth, by the time he was closer to campus he had started to feel a bit frozen. The idea of trudging up the stairs  had Helios feeling much like a child told to eat the last of the cold porridge, and he did not need to contemplate for too long before continuing on towards the lifts. They were rickety things, but anything was worth not having to move much more. More than anything he wanted to get to the professors lounge and nab himself some warm tea and warm up, maybe he’d even see others there. He thought of Laurel, as he often did these days. He wondered if the two would meet in the lounge, as he waited for the lift to arrive. They had ran into each other quite a lot recently, or at least that was what it felt like to him, but maybe it was a frequency illusion build from his developing crush. The sound of the lift doors opening brought him out of his thoughts, and he quickly stepped into the welcoming warmth of the lift, stuffing his mittens in the pockets of his jacket before unzipping it to feel less constricted, and give himself the access to put his hands in the pockets of his black slacks.]
muta|laurel|   183d ago

[google-font] [center [size15 [abel Laurel Wixx woke before the sunrise, which wasn’t a hard thing to do during the winter months. The clock by her bedside table read 6:37 AM. Daylight savings was tormenting the college professor and her ability to feel well rested after a night of sleep. Rolling over on her side, Laurel pulled her quilt over her head and let out a groan. The slumbering mass at the foot of the bed meowed in protest at the sudden shift. It sauntered up to Laurel and perched on her thigh, beginning to kneed her muscles like freshly made dough. [b [#4D8751 “Five more minutes Jeremy,”]] she grumbled to the cat, her voice muffled by the fabric. After a few minutes, she sighed and forfeited her warmth. Laurel threw off her blanket and crawled from her bed. The cool air of her apartment sent a shiver down her spine. She retrieved her fleece robe and a pair of slippers that had disappeared beneath her bed. She started the morning just like any other by picking a record from her tightly packed bookshelf and turning on her scuffed turntable. A familiar tune filled the cozy living room and Laurel bobbed her head to the beat. Dancing her way into the kitchen, she contemplated what she wanted for breakfast. A plump grey cat leapt onto the counter and yowled a greeting. Laurel eyed the feline before opening the refrigerator and located an open can of cat food. She dumped the beige mess into a ceramic dish that read ‘Jeremy’ on the side in handwritten font. When she placed it on the floor, Jeremy dropped from the counter and inhaled his meal. Eating in the morning was always a war for Laurel. After a moment of internal conflict, she decided on a slice of carrot cake. She’d rationalized that cake was significantly more nutritional than skipping the meal entirely. The cake melted in her mouth and she knew she’d made the right choice. When she was finished, Laurel filled a mug with coffee and polluted it with sugar and oatmilk. As she sipped at the pale liquid in her cup, she glanced out the window that hung over her sink. Small flecks of white fell from the sky catching the light as the sun began to rise. For a moment, Laurel toyed with the idea of canceling class but ultimately decided against it. Glancing at the clock on the stove, Laurel nearly choked on her coffee. She was going to be late for work if she didn’t hurry up. Laurel searched the mountain of semi clean clothes that had accumulated on the chair in the corner of her room for something warm to wear. She found a pair of dark jeans and a burgundy sweater. Once she was bundled up, she checked herself in the mirror once more. Her honey colored hair was unruly and her light eyes looked tired. There wasn’t anything she could do to make herself look more presentable so with a shrug, she headed out. The frigid winter wind assaulted Laurel through her thin sweater when she exited her apartment. Nope. She needed something warmer. Turning on her heels, she returned to the comfort of her home. She reemerged with a heavy jacket, a scarf, and a knit hat. Usually Laurel rode her bike to work but the ice on the roads made her rethink her commute. Her bus ride to campus was short. When she entered the university building, warm air burned her rosy cheeks and the tip of her nose. She shed her bulky jacket and draped it over her arm as she made her way towards the elevator. The metal doors were just beginning to close as she approached. [b [#4D8751 “Wait, hold it!”]] She called to whomever had just got on. Laurel slipped inside and breathed a thank you. Looking up, she recognized the passenger as her budding office crush, Dr. Helios Hyland. His wavy brown hair was wet with snow and his face was flushed from the cold. Laurel stared at him silently for a moment too long before looking away quickly, a blush warming her cheeks. [b [#4D8751 “Uh, Good morning,”]] she tried to say casually as she pressed the button for the fourth floor. Suddenly she was painfully aware of how close the two of them were. She hoped she'd put on deodorant.
Neuromancer/helios   183d ago

[size12 His hand had not been long in the warmth of his pocket before someone called for him to hold the elevator. That someone being none other than the person of his thoughts. For a moment, as the two of them looked at each other, he entertained the thought that he’d magically manifested her by merely thinking of her. Before breaking out in a smile the moment Laurel looked away, keeping his hands firmly in his pocket once more to still the urge to run his hand through his hair, due in equal parts to not wanting to seem as excited as he was and not wanting to get caught on the wet tangles the snowmelt had caused. A moment later Laurel spoke a greeting, before pressing the button to her floor. Which made Helios all to aware that he had not said anything, even as his eyes strayed to follow the movement of her hand and the red of her sweater cuff; too busy thinking of her magically stepping out of thin air. He leaned his weight on the leg closest to her as he proceeded to greet her in turn, an enthusiastic [b [#E8AE27 ”Good morning!”]] followed by a small nod, his arm brushing against hers with how close they were—which only served to pull his attention to the sweater she was wearing again; a nice burgundy colour that reminded him of certain dahlias. [b [#E8AE27 ”That looks cosy,”]] he blurted, nodding towards her sweater, when he realised he’d looked at her hand as it moved, instead of her eyes, while saying good morning moment earlier. He attempted to remedy it by looking her in the eye with a smile before clarifying, [b [#E8AE27 ”your shirt, I mean. Your shirt looks cosy. It's a really nice colour, too, there's actually some dahlias in that colour at the botanical garden next town over.”]] Then, closing his mouth to not descend into a tangent about dahlia flower colour chemistry, promptly turned his head to stare at the red light around the button to floor number four as the elevator starts moving, thankful that the snow had flushed his face enough to hide the warmth that was starting to take over them. No amount of practising conversations with his potted crab cactus at home seemed to make talking to Laurel any easier. [i [#E8AE27 ’Perhaps it would be better to practise with the orchids’]], he found himself thinking. Once again noticing how close together they were standing made him remember that time they met at the bar not too long ago, having been ditched by their friends and left to entertain themselves. Having to lean in to make themselves heard over the loud music, and just as they were now, occasionally brushing arms on accident. It had been fun, he recalled, even with his sister—who had gotten intel from her girlfriend who had also been at the bar—teasing him about talking with someone for several days afterwards. Although thankfully the elevator did not smell as much like alcohol as the bar had done, instead simply the distinct smell of gravel and snow sludge. Thankfully, it only took him two breaths to realise a better conversation topic than dahlias, bumping their arms together once more as he stepped diagonally to make better eye contact before asking [b [#E8AE27 ”So, what’s your—”]] only to be interrupted by a jolt of the elevator, before it continued to move, [b [#E8AE27 ”Woah, eh, what’s your first class today?”]] Just in case the elevator jolted again, Helios found himself pulling his hands out of his pockets to give himself more reaction time to put his hand against the wall to support himself if he were to trip, or on Laurel’s shoulder to steady her if she were to trip. Not that they weren't both used to the elevator jolting every now and then, it is, after all, a rickety old thing.]
muta|laurel|   182d ago

[google-font] [center [size15 [abel Helios nodded at her as he warmly greeted her, his arm brushing against hers in the close quarters. She felt her stomach do flips in response to the slight contact. Kicking herself internally, Laurel felt like a schoolkid again, just being around a crush made her giddy. [b [#ff9900 “That looks cozy,”]] the man said, grabbing her attention. It took her a moment to understand what he was referring to. [b [#ff9900 “Your shirt, I mean. Your shirt looks cozy. It's a really nice color, too, there's actually some dahlias in that color at the botanical garden next town over.”]] He reiterated with a smile. Laurel was hesitant to meet his eyes for fear her face would give away the feelings blooming in her chest. She quickly returned his smile, thumbing at the hem of her sweater. The material was a soft cotton and a great distraction for her restless hands. [b [#4D8751 “Thanks, it was a gift from my mom for the holidays. Comes in handy on days like this,”]] she said. She wanted to ask him about the botanical garden but wasn’t sure if it was a conversation for the elevator. Small talk was her mortal enemy. Her anxiety constantly got in her way whether she was oversharing or not engaging enough. Laurel would much rather talk about silly things like debating the existence of an afterlife or the psychology behind the color red, but she felt like she could never find the right time or maybe the right person to share her thoughts with. Helios seemed like maybe the right person, perfect even, but when she let herself think about their evening at the bar, she remembered the girlfriend he brought up and the thought made her chest ache. Helios was the one to break the silence first. [b [#ff9900 “So, what’s your-”]] he was cut off by the sharp jerk of the elevator. The bump knocked Laurel off balance causing her to nearly knock into her companion. She steadied herself on the wall, and mumbled an apology.  [b [#ff9900 “Woah, eh,”]] he exclaimed, jarred by the motion, [b [#ff9900 “what’s your first class today?”]] [b [#4D8751 “Oh, um it’s Intro to Graphic Design,”]] she paused, unsure whether to explain what the class was. The name seemed to be straightforward but she did have students who’d never taken an art class before and were oblivious to the subject. [b [#4D8751 “It’s my favorite class to teach because I get to teach the students the fundamentals of design. They get really into it,”]] she explained, excluding that she [i also really got into it.] [b [#4D8751 “Honestly, I thought about cancelling class due to the weather. But here we are,”]] she laughed. Her kids would have loved the snow day but she couldn’t cancel class every time it snowed or they’d never get any work done. Another jolt of the elevator caused Laurel’s heart to skip a beat. The machine made an uncomfortable clash before halting completely. For a split second, the light inside the elevator flickered on and off. Instinctively, Laurel reached out a hand and grabbed Helios’s jacket. Her heart hammered in her chest as they stood in the darkness. A moment later, the light came back on, illuminating the small space. She pulled her hand away and noticed she was trembling. Glancing up, she searched for reassurance in Helios’s expression. [b [#4D8751 “H-Have you ever been trapped in an elevator?”]] She asked, trying to keep her voice steady, panic filling her lungs.
Neuromancer/helios   182d ago

[size12 In his peripheral, Helios caught Laurel beginning to thumb at the hem of her sweater, and found himself wondering just how soft it was. He replied with a small hum as she explained it had been a gift. [b [#E8AE27 ”It’s a good gift, sweaters.”]] he confirmed, because they were. Although so were socks, and mittens—Helios was fond of soft packets.  [b [#4D8751 “Oh, um it’s Intro to Graphic Design,”]] Laurel replied, when asked for what class she had, and Helios repeated the name in his head. Pictures of logos and advertisements popping up in his head, quickly shooed away as she continued to speak. As soon as she mentioned it being her favourite class he held onto the thought to ask her why it was her favourite; what parts she loved the most; if she got as into it as her students. Losing track only briefly at the sound of her laugh, unable to stop himself from echoing it. Smile brightening. He was just about to ask if she often cancelled classes due to the snow when the elevator jolted again, and with a metallic sound, came to a halt. The suddenness of it had Helios’ stomach jolting like on a roller coaster, before his attention got caught on the flickering light—He felt excitement build up for a second, because it felt as though they were in a film scene. Before a tug on the fabric of his jacket took his attention; Laurel had grabbed it. The elevator was plunged into darkness and Laurel had reached for [i him] instead of the wall. The thought had him smiling softly, and he was about to reach out to grab her shoulder when the light came up and Laurel pulled away. Something about the way her voice was barely steady as she asked if he’d ever been stuck in an elevator had the excitement dip for a moment. As he realised that unlike him Laurel was clearly not as at ease with the situation. He wondered, quickly, if it was the elevator itself, or the tight space, or the darkness, before shoving the thoughts aside and going through with the previous motion of putting his hand on her shoulder, followed by the other hand on her other shoulder. Squeezing with a gentle touch as if to steady her. [b [#E8AE27 ”I haven’t. But this things real old, I’m sure it happens all the time! At lunch we’ll be able to laugh with the others about the times they were stuck.”]] he offers a smile, before letting go of her shoulder to reach for the call button, [b [#E8AE27 ”I’m sure it will start up on it’s own, but we’ll call the janitor, yeah?”]] he realises he’s blathering, and only barely stopped himself before shoving his boot in his mouth by saying ’it hasn’t fallen yet so I’m sure it won’t’. Instead blurting out the next best thing he could think of, [b [#E8AE27 ”You can hold my jacket, if it helps. I don’t mind touch.”]] He leaned his weight on the leg closest to the button, and glanced briefly away from Laurel to make sure he could press his thumb against it the alarm button as the instructions said while not straying too far away. As soon as it was pushed in he intended to turn back to Laurel, but was surprised to hear an actual bell ringing from the top of the elevator, immediately causing him to remove his thumb, before pressing it down again. [b [#E8AE27 ”I did not know it did that,”]] he mumbled to himself, before turning to Laurel again, squeezing her shoulder again, fighting the urge to tug her in for a hug to hide her from whatever caused her to have that expression on her face, before beginning to press the button again, resisting the urge to make it play a music tune [b [#E8AE27 ”they’ll surely hear that and come right away. Yeah?”]] He tried to keep his smile gentle and reassuring, not wanting his own curiosity to come across as him making light of the feelings she had to deal with.]


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