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[NPC-M] Raw Knuckles - Printable Version

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Raw Knuckles - Little Rose - 01-22-2019

The ocean reached out for kilometers, expanding vastly into the horizon without an imaginable end. From the shores of Costa del Sol, the three large islands making up the city of Velo might as well be on the other side of the planet. Further still, the Industrial District sat under constant motion as hard-working men and women made lives for themselves, sometimes for families that depended heavily on the weight they carried every day. These people did what they must for the people they loved. Backs break, sleep is lost, wills are tested, but every day the heart wins the war.

Deeper still, there lay a neighborhood where actual houses crowded the cliffs of this one island. Safe places to raise a family on the working man's salary, open concept houses with enough room to grow, a park within the community that was protected by carefully watching parents sharing the same struggle of peace at mind, and plenty of fresh air. Normal families thrive in this small but guarded environment.

On either side of the McDaniel's residence was open yard, just enough for a son and a father to play catch on fine summer days; just the right amount of land to teach a boy the responsibilities of owning his own house but not too much that a single father couldn't groom it faithfully in his older age of retirement when it came. Their neighbors chose to fence off the land, one side for privacy because of a pool and the other because of a dog.

Down the packed stoned road, a couple houses over were the neighbor's who dropped off a box of hand-me-down clothes every once in a while. It generally appeared on the back steps every time the couple downsized their burden, often at the blessing of their son. The Amerson's son was roughly four years older than McDaniel's and after the death of Mrs. McDaniel, they offered to help in the little ways that they could. That included watching the youngest member of his family during all his night shifts and providing extra clothes for the child. Sometimes that was a hot dinner for the two when the time was tight for the father and his only child. Even now as Lance closes in on his seventeenth birthday they were doing what they could to help.

School let out for the season of summer on this tropical trio of islands roughly three and a half hours ago. The sun still burned the atmosphere, turning the evening sky into a painting of peace and hope.

RE: Raw Knuckles - Little Rose - 01-22-2019

A whistle pierced the air and brought all machinery to a stop at the Sameth Factory. There was no particular product tied to this place, the workers just did what was instructed of them. Sometimes it was assembling a set of vehicle parts, sometimes it was as simple as picture frames. Today it was neither of those but John McDaniel’s memory of it melted away the moment the whistle went off. He, the two guys in the two stations next to him, and a crowd of other adults stood up and marched to the main staff room where a line of people were already waiting at one of the punch clocks to get started.

The hammering of the old-time clock as it punched the time in red ink onto their assigned cards swiftly turned into the clinking of glasses at a sports bar. He and his two buddies tossed pint after pint back, testing the Irish man’s blood and liver. He smiled and joked with his friends until it was fairly difficult to recall just how he made his way home.

Alone in the dark, he sat on a very old couch. His boots caked with dust and mud sat just under the coffee table, off his tired feet. On top of the shin-high surface scattered dozens of empty beer bottles. Some were the typical brown bottles of a familiar brand name, others were a sickly green like kelp in the sea, and yet a few were clear. What wasn’t as transparent was how long he’d been sitting there and how many of these bottles had been emptied in this single night.

Behind him the vague light from just over the sink filtered through roughly fifty more to cast a poisonous halo over his head. Some of the light reflected off cans that were much bigger than the average cola, dulled by the frosted designed etched into the silver cylinders.

John was well into his thirties and carried himself very well. His body was every bit as muscular and powerful as it was in his youth. Shoulders built to bear the weight of the world, big and wide. As a man who came from a Celtic island deeper in the Vasty Deeps, his face met with several hardships and for that, he carried a scar across his lip that reached down and around his squared jaw. He was a handsome man. Dark black hair, cropped short, piercing green eyes behind sleepy-looking hooded lids. He was a big man as well, standing at 6’4”.

But at that moment, Lance could only see the bastard for the deadly demon he was…

RE: Raw Knuckles - Little Rose - 01-24-2019

The boy hadn’t gone to school today as per usual, but the summer’s sun rays had driven him back inside for what little comfort the box fan in his window provided. They had an A/C unit, but the bastard who sat on the couch at that very moment had ripped off the wall unit and its been busted ever since. Despite the sweltering heat, he’d fallen into a desperately needed rest after weeks of struggling to do so.

He hadn’t even thought to set an alarm and in doing so had apparently slept for hours.

Lance was a light sleeper, though it might surprise people to know this given his various other quirks. As someone who was constantly getting kicked out of school for lack of attendance and causing trouble among his fellow students, people have already made up their mind to call him a bully among other things. When he did make it through the gates of his current high school it was generally covered in a mess of bruises or worse. Often though, people were more interested in whose ass he kicked on the way to school.

So when his guardian stomped through the doorway Lance had bolted up from his bed so fast he was on his feet before he knew what was happening. Even in his groggiest state in weeks, he ducked behind his stripped mattress in fear. There was where the Irish youth staid while heavy boots stumbled through the house. He held his breath when he heard his father walk up to the barely closed door, only releasing it when the older McDaniel passed it for the bathroom.

He’d tensed up when he heard the door kicked open and the boots as his father shuffled into the cramped bathroom to take a loud piss. Despite what Lance wanted and didn’t want to hear, the rushing stream hitting the still water came to him through thin walls. He began to panic as his storm-grey eyes darted through the darkness of a room he was no longer familiar with.

Lance needed to get the hell out of here before he was caught, but the teenager felt trapped. Even if he was to dart out his room now, John would hear him. And it wasn’t just him he needed to get out, his bag with everything he thought was valuable to him was in the living room where he’d tossed it. He’d surely be captured before he could say-

“Bloody hell.” the boy whispered to himself as he pushed back strands of unkempt black hair from his face. His breathing was already unsteady, he felt a cold sweat break over his skin in the warm air of his room. He was not the smartest person in the verse, but he knew he was screwed if he did and was damned if he didn’t. Why didn’t he set a damn alarm!?

The sound of the toilet flushing made Lance catch his breath in his throat. He looked back over the naked bed, no quit or sheets to obscure his or that bastard’s view of one another as he did. Again he inhaled and held his lungs in place while John lumbered back through the short hallway, making his rounds.

By the time John was on the couch, silence had taken over the house again. He downed a good two-thirds of a bottle before Lance braved the journey through his childhood home. The floor was carpeted, allowing his worn-out converse shoes to pass the five feet from his door to the living spaces' wall in just a few quick deft steps.

At the wall, Lance could make out a mark made in permanent marker on the fake wood panel just outside his direct vision. His trembling fingers reach up and caress it while his memory filled in the places he couldn’t read. Beside it was his mother’s name elegantly written in her precious hand, and numbers. Her height. Below it somewhere was a set of lines just like it that had two sets of numbers beside each of them. They started at age three when she started and showed her son’s growth up until the beginning of his ninth year.

His birthday was next month and at seventeen years old he stood at 5’9”, five inches taller than she ever did. He was no bigger than a buck and a half, a generous guess of his weight as he hasn’t been on a scale in some time. Thankfully, in his distant opinion.

He shared his father’s dark hair which he hasn’t cut in a few years and now it grew as wild as his mother’s. He was also fairly handsome, sharing strong features with the demon in the next room. Strong angular jaw and general bone structure, thick shoulders hidden under a baggy shirt he snatched off the floor on his way out. He looked older than what he was with his hunger pained frame, which also gave him a weakened look overall. You’d think with how much he could put back he’d have filled out more but it wasn’t the case. For reasons.

Lance inched further out from behind the wall to check the status of the beast. He could make out the green and brown glare of the bottle over John’s dark hair. Because the older man stood so still, he wondered if John had fallen asleep. Not willing to linger long at all in his present position, his eyes flick back to the door. He couldn’t make out which locks have been engaged, if any, from where he stood.

His bag and board had been dropped just on the other side of the couch, ready to grab and take his leave. That did assume his father hadn’t tripped over them on his way around the house in this drunken state and then did what he does to everything in his way when he gets like this; Kick it.

Lance lowered himself to one knee and peered back out. If he’s been noticed he couldn’t tell. With any luck, the fucker would fall over dead finally...

With nothing to gain by standing still, he crept out from behind the wall and basically crawled across the floor. The carpet turned to hardwood floors which upped the risk as he lowered his knees onto the harsher surface but he reminded himself that this would be nothing in comparison to what kind of punishment he would take if the man found him.

Every step was painstakingly careful and slow, he put every ounce of energy he could into not being found, and it was fruitful. The youthful teenager pushed past a particularly dangerous part where he had no cover and would have breathed a sigh of relief had he had the chance. Instead, he shuffled silently to the edge of the couch, thankful suddenly for the oddest furniture choice he ever saw the old man make.

At the end he found his bag and skateboard propped against the old worn out three seat couch with its dirty brown fabric and the patchwork pillows he’d been forced to stitch up as punishment one day. It taught him enough about the simple skill that it would later come in handy in unsuspected ways, not that he was grateful in any way.

Now the hard part…

John wasn’t awake, but he wasn’t asleep either. If his father had fallen to a drunken slumber, it would have been far easier to achieve the goal he aimed for. The guy snored so loudly that a hurricane couldn’t wake him up though and he didn't hear that so it was mostly guess-work.

So Lance was met with the choice… Hold off long enough for that to become the obvious, or just take off. Each choice had their risks. If John was awake at this hour it could take him a while to submit to rest, and the boy wasn’t sure he could last that long in this coiled up position. And if the man was still awake, he may have sobered up enough that making a run for it would end up in another argument, another grounding, another fall into hell…

Doing nothing wasn’t an option either, it never has been for him.

RE: Raw Knuckles - Little Rose - 01-24-2019

Lance took a collective deep breath through his nose as he made his decision, breathing it out in a determined sigh past his snake bite lip rings he clutched his things in his arms. The next moment he was standing up his full height and took two quick steps towards the door. He felt the cold brass knob in his fingertips a fraction of the briefest moment.

Like his father had noticed him and was waiting for him to make his foolish move, he grabbed Lance by the long ponytail and gave the boy’s head a solid yank. Ignoring the internal echoing of strands ripping from his father’s unhindered rough treatment, Lance turned around to give a reactional swing. Apparently, while it has become second nature for him to lash out in response to his father’s grabbing, it has become second nature for John to expect it.

The stronger and more experienced man blocked the boy’s futile attempts to sucker punch him again and released an endless bounty of rage upon him with a blow of his own.

Lance felt a mature fist slam into the side of his head, and in the next minute, his entire body crashed against the coffee table. Bottles flew in every direction - some breaking on the hardwood floor - before the flimsy piece of furniture broke under the weight of an even flimsier teenage boy.

The boy hissed painfully as a piece of plywood stabbed the tender meat of his leg, dropping his shoulder sling bag in the process of falling to the floor with the broken table. He had no time to think about all that though, instinctively he gripped the tail of his skateboard and swung it as hard as he could while he rolled over onto his back. He ignored the stabbing feeling of broken wood and glass, his life was more important than his body.

The side of the board made contact with his father’s jaw before slipping out of Lance’s grasp. It snapped violently against the wall beside a very old fashion television, inches from the glass screen. Instead of breaking the old technology for entertainment the shelves rattle off their cheap nails and clatter to the floor.

As Lance tried to roll his body back up to his feet his face met with the back of his father’s strong hand in retaliation for his attack. This threw the boy in a way that his chest slammed against the couch’s front, compressing against its worn out wooden frame and knocking the breath out of him. Still, he didn’t stop. His nails dug into the course cushions of the couch as he tried to climb away.

He felt his body lifting from the floor just before a meaty hand grabbed him again. Desperate he found the edge of one of the pillows before the demon threw him back to the ground. He fell into place as his father’s socked foot stomped on the bare ground of the other side of Lance, the pillow followed his fallen arm to lay beside him. Lance felt the wood vibrate behind his hips and his ears were filled with the sound of crunching glass as his father fell to his knees on either side of him. If the man on top of him felt any of it, he didn’t show it as both arms reach down and grab him by the shirt.

“Where da fuck do ya think yer goin', boy?” John yelled down at him.

The actual nerve of this guy! Unadulterated anger exploded in the younger McDaniel and with his good arm brought the pillow across his face. Harmless as it may seem, the zipper apparently caught the older man’s nose and sliced it open across the bridge. First blood goes to him, this time.

“You ungrateful fuckin' brat!” The older man growled slapping the pillow and Lance’s hand away. Then with a clenched fist, he slammed his knuckles down on the boy’s chin, hard enough to fore his face to whip back so that the other cheekbone hit the broken table under him.

Lance felt that one. So much he had to pause to deal with the pain of the strike before looking back up at him with a piercing glare. He swirled the blood in his mouth together while he stared defiantly, breathing deeply the scent of alcohol he detested so much.

Very quickly another choice forced itself upon him. He imagined his father years back, holding him down much like this and slurring out a line about how they could do this the easy way or the hard way. He had desperately chosen the easy way in his naive youth. Now he was a bit older and much wiser.

There was no easy way in life, least of all his life…

Lance clenched his jaw, took a deep breath, and then without as little warning as he could get away with, launched his gathered spit and blood at high speeds into his father’s face. It went perfectly as planned and splattered across his bleeding wound over his nose. He had hoped it was enough to get the man off from him, but alas…

As Lance tried to lift himself up to escape the distracted monster, he found himself forced back into the ground yet again. He managed to look up just in time to wince his eyes closed again before the other fist - his father’s meanest right hook - forced itself into his stomach. It left him breathless as all the air in his lungs shot less reformed spit out from his mouth in a horse sound of agony.

The boy fell back limp with pain, tears forming at the corners of his clenched eyes.

“Ya son-ofa-bitch,” John complained, wiping the loogie from his face with the cuff of his sleeve. “Just like that worthless woman.” Even in the heat of the moment, his rich Irish accent burned through.

“Go… An' fuckin' die... Ya bastard.” Lance wheezed. His reward was another smack across his face.

RE: Raw Knuckles - Little Rose - 01-26-2019

Lance woke up in his bed the next morning, the sun shining deceivingly bright rays into his bedroom. He had new bruises all over his body from the beating he received last night and he could feel his jaw was swollen in the places he took the hardest punches and smacks. Before he even opened his eyes he knew he looked like a wreck and a half…

When his stone-like eyes appeared from behind the slowly opening lids his vision was blurry. It was like looking through a foggy window and took a few long, slow blinks before it cleared up. If this kept up… If a miracle happened and he didn’t die by his dad’s hands… He can’t imagine this being ignorable in the future.

As his vision cleared he realized he was face down in his bed. The mattress top was nearly worn through… He barely slept on it anymore so he is always surprised to see the pitiful shape it was in. With that thought, it was like looking in a mirror every time he risked a run in like last night.

In his view. from his position, he was able to see a decent amount of the carnage that seeped into the bed. Rusty-brown stains across the top where his blood soaked into his mattress dotted the surface, the ones at the head of the bed being the most prominent. Partially from the layers created over the years of his abusive father’s outbursts, and partially because his face was an easy target.

This one had been fairly mild… He had to be thankful for that, right?

Lance’s bones cracked like he hadn’t moved an inch throughout the night as he picked himself up. Each muscle he used ached, his face burned, and the cooler morning air across his semi-naked body was welcomed. He moved carefully so that he sat on the edge of his twin-sized bed and took stock of his room.

There wasn’t much. He had a sliver of a blanket left from when his father trashed his room, which worked fine enough to cover his bed on cold nights. There were two boxes from the neighbors stacked up neatly in the corner. His closet was long with two accordion-style doors, they were open to reveal very little in the way of owned clothing being hung up properly. Given there was no dresser, it's to be believed that everything he owns can be found in the various piles of seemingly dirty clothes collecting wrinkles and dust on the floor.

‘Maybe I should wash them…’ Lance thought to himself passively before he pushed himself slowly onto his feet.

He shuffled like a zombie towards the boxes, opening the top one and rummaging through it casually. Very quickly, as expected, the Irish youth slipped out a loud colored t-shirt with a simple graphic on it and a pair of jeans. That collected, he turned to the closet. In the corner sat a small basket of clean clothes, he snatched out a pair of colorful boxers and some socks. He then made his way out of the relatively empty room, taking a sharp right that would lead him to the bathroom.

Lance flicked the light on with a curl of his finger, tossed his clothes over the sink, and stepped up to the toilet. His hands worked quickly to unzip his pants. After relieving himself as nature intended, he kicked the clothes he’d been wearing off his ankles and twisted the knobs on the bathtub to start warming up the hot water. Giving it a minute he leaned over and opened the cabinet leading to under the sink where he found a clean towel.

His wrist flicked and the door slammed shut. Lance flushed the toilet to kick the hot water in gear, dropped the lid, tossed his clothes and the towel over the lid, and then reached for his brush. He stopped when he found it was empty, forgetting his dad broke it when he threw it at the wall. With a heavy sigh, he snatches a comb he kept as a backup and tried to get through the knots of his ponytail without too much damage to the utensil. However, by the end of his damage control, he’d throw the thing away.

The hot water burned the stress out of his constricted muscles as he went for a long rinse and then began to lather up. Soap and shampoo were about the only thing he could promise he had in the house. It was a necessity for the living demon he shared a house with. Then again, so was food, but it’s been a long time since there was an abundance of that in this place.

When the soap and water finished its job Lance wrapped the towel around his waist, ringed out his hair, and stepped up to the foggy mirror. A wet hand slid across the glass, giving him the clarity he needed to inspect his face. Both sides have swollen up to twice the size he normally was. His lip would have been as bad, but he thinks the split in the left side accounted for why it didn’t. The finer details like his lip rings weren’t clear in the mirror, but he knew they were irritated.

He let out another sigh and turned to the inside. Already he was missing two teeth on his left side, one on the top and the other on the bottom. But it was the right side he was concerned about. With some picking at the sorest spot, he is happy to find nothing broken. It would seem the blood was from something else. Whatever it was, he wasn’t bleeding anymore.

Lance grabbed his toothbrush, gave his mouth a scrub, and then dried off. He scooped up his hair into a ragged bun to keep his shirt dry, got dressed, and collected his older clothes before going back into his room.

After the hot shower, he moved a bit more like a human, taking five long strides to make it to his room instead of the several light steps. He discarded his dirty laundry on the ground and went to the box again. He grabbed three more shirts, pulled on his worn out shoes, and headed into the living room.

He was not surprised to find the place cleaned up, mostly because that had been his punishment for the night. When John was done taking his blind anger out on his boy, he forced him to clean up most of the mess. His dad sat there on the couch and watched him sweep up the debris. Between the wood chunks, broken glass, and collection of all the intact bottles, he had two large bags. That’s not including the overflow of trash in the kitchen. His old man made him do the dishes.

He took too long to answer his father’s beck and call by the end of the night, and if Lance remembered correctly, got slugged pretty hard for it. The older McDaniel must have dragged his pathetic son to bed at some point in the early hours because Lance didn’t remember getting the option. His guess was it had to have happened after John got some sleep and woke up. Either on his own or for work, because he doesn’t normally do those kinds of things. More often than not, he woke up where he’s knocked out…

What Lance was surprised by was the plate of food on the table with a blue note sitting over the cling wrap. He could see his father’s signature lumpy scrambled eggs, a couple thick slabs of ham, a breakfast link, whole tomato sliced just how they like it, a scoop of baked beans, and a piece of toast on the plate waiting for him.

His fists balled up tightly as he gritted his teeth in built up rage, veins in various parts of his body stood out as he tensed up in anger.

Lance didn’t need to approach the table to know what this was. He didn’t need to read the note if indeed it at all had anything substantial written on it to know it was some fake apology. And as the tears ran down his bruised and beaten cheeks from his bubbling up ignored emotions, the boy knew he’d find a large amount of money left behind as well.

It only added insult to the injuries he inflicted upon Lance with a mockery of a false apology, like damage done to his body could be forgiven with a breakfast his mother used to make for him. As if the cost of his suffering could be summed up and bought off with a few large bills tossed his way…

RE: Raw Knuckles - Little Rose - 11-12-2019

There was something inherently relaxing about the sound of skateboard wheels running over sidewalk slabs. Combined with the brisk morning breeze which caressed every inch of him, a full stomach, and weeks of unchecked freedom up ahead of himself Lance was feeling content. He hadn’t quite forgotten everything, but it didn’t plague his mind as strongly.

And how could it? He stood on top of the world as he balanced on some plywood covered in grip tape.

He rode his board out of the cliff-side neighborhood and towards a bus stop destination nearby. His anger has subsided into mere embers that would eventually settle under the same ashes it normally did. Hidden away but not yet smothered out. By the time he reached the first skate park, he would put all this behind him for at least a couple of weeks.

The bastard that called himself his father worked a nine to nine job. About five years ago he dedicated himself to his job and left Lance to fend for himself or to die trying. It wasn’t the biggest change the man-made in his life after all Lance couldn’t remember seeing much of the guy when he was growing up before it happened. In hindsight, he realized it was because he didn’t want to see them. His dad went from five days of non-stop working to seven per week when his mother passed away. In fact, it was rare to see the old guy stalking the house than it was to not. At least outside the hours of midnight and 7:30 A.M when he’s usually passed out on the couch or one of the two beds.

Actually, if he can avoid it, Lance didn’t see his old man for weeks on end. He generally only went home for showers and clothing, often not seeing his own bedroom for more than an hour and a half all month.

This changed only when the weather forced him indoors. Also, only if special circumstances have been met. Namely that the islands were under severe conditions like a hurricane or an ice storm and he had absolutely no other option. He was much more willing to hide at home as well if the storms were contained in that fourteen-hour period when John was guaranteed to be gone. This became exceptionally hard during the winter since he doesn’t have a particularly designated winter coat.

That’s so far away though, it wouldn’t cross his mind. Right now, he just wanted to get into the thick of summer. It was his escape from everything he was leaving behind right now.


The bus stop was relatively close to the cliff-side neighborhood. Some of his technical neighbors also made their way to the public transportation, needing a way to several destinations around the islands. While there were many vehicles all over Velo, the best transportation - in his opinion - was the board. Many chose skates, bikes, and just running around in general, but the general public was cursed to use cars. To be fair, it was easier on his wheels if he took the bus, too.

There was a group of people already waiting at the bus stop. A mixture of people from his cliff-side and the other surrounding communities. Too often did they see him like this, covered in the result of a shameful secret that he couldn’t tell them about even if he wanted. Not only did John’s threat to kill him before they took him to prison scare the ever-living shit out of him, but no one would believe him.

Everyone had their own image of him and his father. Lance could practically hear their thoughts and they painted him as the punk-ass kid that knew nothing. He hardly looked up at anyone there but he could feel them all staring. He purposely held back from acknowledging them and pushed himself into a corner to avoid too many questions.

“...just look at him. John works day in and day out for him, Lance can’t even stay out of fights.” he overheard someone talking while on the bus. A woman, obviously she knew them.

“I’m surprised to see him out like this. I never see him leave early for school. He’s always getting into trouble… The bruises aren’t even the half of it. I’d never let my son carry on as he has.”

“Its because his mother died so young…” Lance looked harder at the window to keep them from seeing his heartbreaking.

“Oh no… What happened?”

“She…” Lance could feel her looking to him to make sure he wasn’t listening. Funny that it was this part that they didn’t want him to hear. “...It was suicide.”

“No… Why? John’s such a sweetheart…”

“...She left a note, but nothing about it was made public.”

“How long ago?”

“Oh… About 8 years ago.”

“She must have been very young.”

“Yes. John’s never even looked at another woman either.” her friend was clicked her tongue and shook her head. “If Lance keeps this up though, John will be without his son, too.”

“That poor man.”