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 I'm afraid of you because I can't be left behind, Nor & the Nöödles
Edna Nödl
 Posted: Mar 8 2017, 12:58 AM
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MEMORIES SO BRIGHT I GOTTA SQUINT JUST TO RECALL
REGRET THE WORDS I'VE BITTEN MORE THAN THE ONES I EVER SAID

Edna Nödl & Nor de la Cruz & Elwood Nödl
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thread warnings
| hallucinations | delusions | dissociation | blood | self harm | thoughts of suicide |
| abandonment | thoughts of death | implications of an eating disorder |



When Edna leaves Donald Weiser's house in the early hours of Thanksgiving morning, she doesn't go home. The sun is still slowly working it's way over the horizon, so that all she sees is dim, pale gold, the shadows it casts as it beats against the trees, and nothing else. It's still too early she knows without knowing the exact time, the buses aren't running yet.

She walks.

It's almost afternoon when she makes it to Cherry Street, lets herself in to Elwood's apartment with the hope that maybe all her instincts and fears were wrong, that maybe he'd only gone out drinking the night before, the way he seemed to do all the time lately, decided to sleep at his place because it was easier than making the trip back out to the backroads where their family home sat.

But he's not there, and his phone still goes straight to voicemail when she calls.

(He's gone, he's gone, he's gone.)

She manages to hold it together for awhile, takes a seat on his couch the way she always does when he's not home, like maybe going through the motions would be enough to have him walking through the front door at any moment, enough to force things to happen the same way they always do. She throws all her faith into routine and she trusts, hopes it's enough.

(It's not.)

Hours pass this way, silent and still with nothing but that voice, the one that's started to follow her everywhere.

He left you

again.

Because why wouldn't he?


He's never coming back.
He's never coming back.
He's never coming back.
He's never coming back.
He's never coming back.


This time it's for real.


She's clenched her fists so tight, dug her long, ragged nails into her palms so deep that she's bleeding, but the pain barely even reaches her. It does nothing to soothe the feeling in her chest, the overwhelming fear that each beat of her heart might be enough to rip her whole body apart.

She waits for that kind of death, she waits for that relief.

When it doesn't come, she's moving again.

As many times as she's been in Elwood's apartment, she's never been in his bedroom, never had a reason to, but that night she curls up in his bed, tangles herself up tight in his sheets, breathes in the smell of smoke and cheap, plain soap that clings to the fabric.

She doesn't doze off, the voice doesn't allow her too, echoing in her ears whenever she drifts too close to sleep.

It's all your fault.

She remembers that night, the two of them in the diner, because of couse she does. She remembers him asking, she rememberings telling a lie so well that is was almost truth.

And she blames herself, because of course she does, believes the voice that follows her everywhere because maybe if she had been honest, maybe if she had told Elwood the truth--

I'm afraid

--maybe he would've stayed, maybe he would've realized how much she needed him to stay.

Something inside her breaks.

She's rolling out of his bed then after what feels like years of not moving, tearing his sheets off with her, punching and pulling at the seams of his pillows until they rip. She loses herself often, loses reality even more often, but never like this, not since--

It's been years, it's rare, these tantrums of hers, when everything she pushes down inside of herself finally bursts and the only thing that helps is destroying everything she can get her hands on.

Elwood's apartment is scarce, minimal, but nothing is safe. She finds his books, rips all the pages without even realizing what she's doing, empties every drawer onto the floor, throws every object that isn't too heavy to lift, pounds her fists against his walls,

she screams, but she can't even hear her own voice.

Even when every inch of the apartment matches the chaos she feels inside of herself, it still doesn't help. He's still gone, he's still not coming back, left behind all his pets, all his things, disappeared.

Anyone else would find it strange, consider it enough of a reason to assume that Elwood might return at some point, but Edna knows better, still hasn't forgotten, could never forget the last time this happened. Instead of taking it all in as evidence that he'd come back, it only makes her dig in even deeper, wonder what would be enough to make him leave all of this behind so unexpectedly.






You know who did this.

You know.






She finds Nor's apartment easy, because she pays attention, because she's heard those rumors of Elwood coming and going, because she's bothered to look into it beyond just that. She picks her way inside, and of course the apartment is empty. Of course, of course.

You knew it would be.

But not long after that is the sound of a key in the lock, and Edna finds herself hoping again, a dangerous feeling, one she knows she shouldn't allow.

And for good reason.

It's not Nor, it's not Elwood.

A quiet voice, a whisper that Edna can't tell is real or not, asking her if she was there for Scoots, if Nor was the one that asked her to be there. Like all of Edna's other lies, her answer slides out easy, a slow and distracted yes that makes the voice disappear, makes the front door click shut again, leaves Edna alone.

It's a mistake, it's a bad idea, because that hope she dared to feel is crushed again, and it has her smashing plates, it leaves gashes on her hands as she breaks mirrors, windows so that the apartment goes cold with late November air that smells like snow.

The next time the lock on the front door clicks open, Edna doesn't hear it. She's tired, doesn't know how long it's been since she slept, how long it's been since she ate,

how long it's been since he left with her.

She's slumped on the kitchen floor, surrounded by the mess she's made, shards of broken dishes and glasses digging into her knees. She's crying, still crying, hadn't stopped, but she can't even feel the dampness on her cheeks, the sting of her eyes.

He's gone, he's gone, he's gone

again.

This time it's for real.

--------------------

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Nor de la Cruz
 Posted: Mar 8 2017, 02:59 PM
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She gets in a little later than she means to. But Moxie is restless when she finally pulls into the familiar parking lot of her apartment building, doesn't want to be lifted and certainly doesn't want to go inside just yet. She misses the backyard, Nor imagines, fenced in from when Penny was just a puppy. So, she takes her time

she's more well rested than she's been in months, curling next to Elwood with some sort of peace in her mind that they were going to be there if she needed them. And the morning here is cold, there's still snow on the ground in Monroeville, but the sun is relatively bright and so she has no issue spending some time to let Moxie walk around, sniff at this and that, do her business until she settled down enough for Nor to lift her. Enough not to squirm when Nor got her bag out of the car and locked it tight.

Nor isn't expecting to come home to much today.

Nor isn't expecting much at all from her day, her plans include looking online, seeking some sort of job so that she can keep a home here, pay her student loans, and stay.

She certainly isn't expecting to come in to the house torn apart.

But that's what greets her when she finally gets in, the lock clicking and the door swinging open to... that. Like a great wind came in, like someone came in and smashed her things. It's unreal to her, panic in her chest going from zero to one-hundred in the second between seeing and registering what she sees, it's unreal

not really happening

can't be happening.

For a moment the world around her seems to stop


and when it picks back up she's at double speed. Pulling out her phone, ready to back out of the room, emergency call swiped... and Moxie where was...

(in the kitchen, having squirmed easily from Nor's hands while she was distracted, barking at the intruder in their home

beneath that noise Nor's heart jumps to her throat

she hears crying

her first thought is of Moss, and this has her stepping forward, picking up her crystal skull rolling on the floor as a possible weapon if needed, has her looking into the kitchen before she even places the call

and when she sees, she pulls up an entirely different number on her phone)

When the world picks back up again, it's at double speed. Suddenly she's calling Elwood, the phone going straight to voicemail the first three times she tries. When she gets nothing in return, she's walking around the room, seeking out Scoots to make certain she was alright too, she's calling Moss, she's thinking about who else, who else

not Jonah

an ambulance maybe?

the police? would they come? would they be able to do anything at all?
she doesn't know if she trusts who's left there, doesn't know if that's the right idea now that she knows this wasn't Ben's murderer, wasn't anyone she didn't know

and further

she worries about what Elwood would say.


she calls him again. again and again and again, leaving a few messages and sending a few texts. she tells herself if he doesn't call her back in five minutes then she has no choice, she has to call the police.

When she comes back to the kitchen she feels breathless, hardly realizing how much she was moving around the house until she stops and everything catches back up to her. She's always been afraid of getting too close to Edna, and now is no different with the way everything felt tilted, like she was just a little out of place in her body, off to the side, falling out. She thinks if Edna were to touch her she'd slip out entirely, thinks already that the little sobs and Moxie's barking is too much when they come out. On the kitchen floor, not unlike another time

Nor sinks down like her feet can't hold her. Has her hands on Moxie, shushing her until the dog is only whining against her leg.

She doesn't know what to do with this, what's the right thing to do


so she pulls out her phone and tries again.

It goes to voicemail.

"Elwood? It's me again, I need you to call me back. Please."

--------------------
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Edna Nödl
 Posted: Mar 8 2017, 03:45 PM
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It's Moxie's barking that drags Edna back to earth, but only barely. Her mind is still cloudy, her body still numb so that she has to clasp her hands together, grinding little grains of glass deeper into her cuts to remind herself who she is, where she is, how she got here,

why,

and it feels like anger, but it's far away, on the other side of the room. It has Edna leaning forward towards it, reaching out then and grasping at only air.

She can feel it anyway, drifting closer on a voice that it takes her a moment to recognize as Nor's.

A name on her lips she recognizes as her brother's.

"Where is he?" Her voice is hoarse from screaming, sore, desperate. It shakes heavy with tears. "Where is he?"

Her hands are still outstretched, searching, feeling until they land on something solid. She latches on. "Where is he?"


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Nor de la Cruz
 Posted: Mar 8 2017, 04:00 PM
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And Nor falls back when Edna moves. Watches and listens as she grasps forward and has Moxie barking again, jumping away from Nor's lap to raise the alarm.

Then Edna is speaking, and the noise mixes together with Moxie's barks that Nor lets her phone slip to the ground, presses her hands to her ears and brings her knees to her chest where she rests her head. Too much, too much, this can't be happening

this whole weekend seemed impossible

and this didn't help.

When Edna's words finally sink in, hitting Nor hard in the chest and making her feel sick, afraid, guilty, she snaps back: "Home, Edna! He's at home!" (This weekend seemed impossible,

so did this

it takes her a long while to remember Elwood went to Portland with nothing, didn't call his family

didn't didn't didn't.)

"He's home now."

--------------------
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Edna Nödl
 Posted: Mar 8 2017, 05:24 PM
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"You're lying."

Elwood's apartment had been empty. He's not coming back, a voice that Edna trusts more than Nor's is telling her. She doesn't want you to find him,

she wants you to suffer.


She's lunging forward then, holds tight and shakes, tries to rattle the truth loose from Nor even as she thrashes, attempts to shove Edna away. It only makes her dig in more, nails biting into Nor's shoulders. "Stop lying to me! You're lying, you--"

The dog is barking, strong winds whistling through the holes and cracks in Nor's windows, the stuttering buzz of a phone vibrating against kitchen tile.

There's no doubt in Edna's mind who's at the other end of that phone call.

Only then is she letting go of Nor, groping at the floor in blind panic, trying to find the phone but only causing it to skitter farther away.

She's screaming again, calling his name like he might somehow, some way, be able to hear her.

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Nor de la Cruz
 Posted: Mar 8 2017, 05:38 PM
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It takes Nor a while to come back to herself once Edna lets go

she's pressed against the wall then, hyperventilating with her hand pressed against her chest still mouthing stop stop stop don't touch me, Edna with no air left to form the words. She's pressed against the wall, having fully removed herself from her self with time stopped until she starts to slide back in. Realize, in some vague distant haze, that the danger is across the room and that she needs to do something about those loud noises

Edna screaming Elwood's name

Moxie barking

(but, it's her heartbeat that brings her back, that familiar patterned sound and feeling against her fingers saying she's still alive

she still exists

she's here, she's here she's here she's here

which means she has to do something)

She sees the phone across the room and moves quickly. By the time she's even aware of what's going on around her it's gone straight to voicemail, 1 missed call from Elwood on the screen once she opens it. She fumbles with it, can't think straight with the screaming and the barking. It takes her longer than normal to work her own phone until she manages to get it to call, and Elwood's name is on the screen again.

"Shh, Edna, stop it stop screaming I can't..." it doesn't matter after that

the phone clicks in answer and it silences Nor, feels like her ears are plugged up so that she misses the first part of his answer. But his voice grows in her ear, louder and more frantic along with everything else around her and she snaps, "stop it, shut up, I can't think!"

And then, a beat when she realizes what's going on again and breathes out his name, "Elwood, you need to come over here you..."

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Elwood Nödl
 Posted: Mar 8 2017, 06:43 PM
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"Are you safe?" Elwood interrupts her in a rush. Standing in the middle of his overturned apartment, shattered plates crunching under his boots, his legs have gone weak at the sound of Nor's voice. All the air has rushed out of him at once. She's alive. Eight new calls from her number blinking up on his barely-charged phone, blotting out all thoughts of calling the police on what he's just walked in to find, and then she hadn't answered and he'd thought -

"You're okay. I'm coming, Nor, are you okay?" He doesn't think she's listening to him. She's talking under him, too fast for him to understand. Moxie's barking in the background; in the background someone's screaming -

For the second time since he pushed open the door to his apartment, Elwood feels the ground go out from under him, feels a spike of fear shooting through his chest. Ed.

That's Ed.


He's already on his way to his truck, the door slamming behind him. "Nor, listen, I'm comin', just hold on. Okay? You okay? What's -" his voice breaks. That's Ed, but he's never heard Edna sound like that. Not ever. "Tell me she's okay."

--------------------
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QUOTE (Aiko Oshiro @ Jul 11 2017, 11:15 AM)
CURSED! Elwood Nödl must give what he considers to be genuinely helpful advice (solicited or unsolicited) to the next 6 people who ask him a question.

( ◑ω◑☞)☞ and so does Aiko Oshiro
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Nor de la Cruz
 Posted: Mar 8 2017, 07:17 PM
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But Nor on the phone is hushed still, walking out of the kitchen and away from the noise so she can think. "I don't... I'm... I'm not hurt, I think she might be though. I think I saw blood... I... I don't know I just walked in and the apartment was wrecked and she was laying in my kitchen, she was... what's going on?"

She's shaking. So is her voice, just a note higher than it usually is and shaking while she tries to think.

"I should call an ambulance I should..."

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Elwood Nödl
 Posted: Mar 8 2017, 09:47 PM
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"Don't do that," Elwood cuts her off automatically, and then what she's saying sinks in. "Why? Does she need one? Is she..."

He can't finish the thought. A minute ago he had been fumbling with the key to his apartment, steeling himself for the trip to collect his pets. Change your coat, change the scarf. Don't let them see. He'd been reassuring himself, with a thin kind of familial pride, that he wouldn't get questions from them. He'd been telling himself he could make this work.

It makes his head buzz, it makes him feel dizzy, to be dropped so violently from one version of reality into another. From last night to this. From some fucked up dream back into his real life.

He jerks open the door to his truck, shifting his phone from one ear to the other. "Listen, Nor, just - I don't know what's - I'm coming over. How bad is she?"

--------------------
i'm sorry about him

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QUOTE (Aiko Oshiro @ Jul 11 2017, 11:15 AM)
CURSED! Elwood Nödl must give what he considers to be genuinely helpful advice (solicited or unsolicited) to the next 6 people who ask him a question.

( ◑ω◑☞)☞ and so does Aiko Oshiro
PM
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Nor de la Cruz
 Posted: Mar 9 2017, 09:22 AM
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"There was a little blood, I don't think... it's not a lot but... I don't know Elwood I think something else is wrong. Mentally... I think maybe..." she's losing words, the ones that pop into her head are the ones she hates

crazy

unstable

out of her mind


but no no no no, they make her stomach drop out and her voice fade again. "I don't know, Elwood, come quick."

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Elwood Nödl
 Posted: Mar 9 2017, 10:48 AM
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"Yeah, I'm coming." But he doesn't turn the key in the ignition yet. "Just -"

He can't get the words out. Can't even think around the fire in his head. "Just don't do anything until I get there," he says finally, more of a plea than a direction. "Okay?"

--------------------
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QUOTE (Aiko Oshiro @ Jul 11 2017, 11:15 AM)
CURSED! Elwood Nödl must give what he considers to be genuinely helpful advice (solicited or unsolicited) to the next 6 people who ask him a question.

( ◑ω◑☞)☞ and so does Aiko Oshiro
PM
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Edna Nödl
 Posted: Mar 9 2017, 10:58 AM
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Back in the kitchen, Edna is still screaming but it's getting rougher, getting weaker, her vocal chords and the muscles in her throat tight, raw with an effort they're not used to making.

She tries to follow Nor when she moves away, still reaching out, grabbing at air, listening to the way her voice fades down the hallway. But Edna hasn't slept, hasn't eaten in days, and she feels it most when she tries to stand and the world spins, tilts, makes her sink back down to the floor.

It feels like disappearing.

The screaming stops, breaks with a single heavy sob that Edna feels in her whole body. It scares her, makes her hold her breath to keep it from happening again, a single thing she can control when everything else going wrong, when nothing else makes sense.

But her body doesn't work that way, she still needs air at some point, and even that gasp feels like admitting weakness.

It's too much, and yet not enough to make anything right.

She pulls into herself, sinks down, curls up on the cold kitchen floor. Still crying, but quieter now, only tears. Far, far away, she can still hear Nor's voice, hazier now, the sound of a door clicking shut.

In the silence that follows, Edna can't even tell if it had really happened or not.

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Nor de la Cruz
 Posted: Mar 9 2017, 04:05 PM
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suicidal ideation
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Nor watches her for a while after Elwood hangs up, leaning against the door to her kitchen with her shoulders raised and her breath shallow and soft. She's looking for little things, the way glass digs into Edna's skin and the way she's breathing, shallow but alive. She's thin, Nor thinks, thinner than she remembers in the dark of Elwood's apartment that night so long ago. She looks sickly, looks paler than she should.

She waits a moment, watching Edna cry in the corner, hidden as best she could to see

whether or not

she would be using the glass

for anything else.

(The thought has occurred to her many times in the past, to dig in glass and let yourself bleed out. But she hates cuts, hates the idea of slow regret, preferred the idea of sleeping and never waking up to simply losing consciousness. There was a difference. She doesn't know if Edna is the same

or different in another way.)

When it's clear she won't be moving, Nor moves quietly as she can outside. The door clicks behind her, and she sees one of her neighbors closing their door far too quickly. Bites her lip and worries that somebody else would have called the police by now, even if she didn't. How thin were her walls? How loud was Edna when she broke in and broke everything she could.

Best not to think of it. Best to wait and see. Best to think of the worst and how she would handle it. Back against the wall, she flips through her phone and calls another number.

(Jonah.)

And she waits there, outside, until Elwood comes up the stairs.

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Elwood Nödl
 Posted: Mar 9 2017, 05:02 PM
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He's taking them two at a time, jaw clenched, a thin line of something between worry and anger pressed between his brows. When he sees Nor standing outside her door the line gets deeper. He slows down. He'd had a plan, worked out in the fifteen minutes he'd been driving: stomp up here, drag Edna out so quick she couldn't do a second's more damage than she already had. Get her away. Make her stop. Fix this.

Nor standing outside hadn't been part of the plan. She looks worried. Looks close to panicked. Fuck. All the things that have been rattling around in his brain this weekend, and this was the last thing he imagined. This shouldn't have happened. This doesn't happen. Ed's not like this.

He almost wants to ask Nor if she's absolutely sure it's her in there.

He pushes down the question. He stops further from her than he ever stands, hands buried in the pockets of his coat to resist the urge to reach out to her. The look on her face is scaring him.

"Cops coming?" he asks, in that faux-indifferent tone that's almost laughable now.

--------------------
i'm sorry about him

5'9 & wiry | looks like / is garbage | talks shit, gets hit
clothes | songs | moodboard

QUOTE (Aiko Oshiro @ Jul 11 2017, 11:15 AM)
CURSED! Elwood Nödl must give what he considers to be genuinely helpful advice (solicited or unsolicited) to the next 6 people who ask him a question.

( ◑ω◑☞)☞ and so does Aiko Oshiro
PM
^
Nor de la Cruz
 Posted: Mar 9 2017, 05:19 PM
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She shakes her head first

pauses

looks over at where her neighbors door had slammed shut just minutes ago

it takes a while for her to speak.

"I don't know. I didn't call but... she was screaming, I don't know who heard. I don't know how long she's been here. I don't even know how she got in, I..." she looks behind her, at her own door. "Is this...? What is...?" Brushes a hand to her shoulder where Edna dug her nails in

presses until she feels it.

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