A Poem for AlexTen fingers,A Poem for Alex by LilStomples
and ten toes.
and one nose.
Two ears and two lips,
one heart in one chest.
One big home,
with one big roof.
One big fridge,
with meals for you.
...And one kiss,
to get you through.
(Profile Skeleton Format)
Bradley Forest (#9)
Bradley Forest, or as she likes to be called, 'Brad', is an incredibly tom boyish girl, so much so that she's often mistaken for a guy. She stands at five foot and nine inches, a smidgen taller than most women her age and just a bit shorter then most guys as well, with choppy dark brown hair going every which way, stopping at about her shoulders. Her irises are a pale hazel, so much so that they appear almost greyish without much scrutiny, something she gets told often, and her eyes themselves are very doe-like, wide and naive, but can turn very stubborn and determined if you get her in the right scenario. Freckles adorn her face, mostly her cheeks and nose, as well as the rest of her body, found mostly on her shoulders, arms, and a few on her hips and legs. Brad is also big boned, so she doesn't have a very slim body. Instead she has very wide hips and thighs, and a slight hourglass figure, worked on with days of running, swimming, and climbing. Her womanly features are almost always hidden away beneath a pair of baggy jeans, a t-shirt, and a hoodie adorned with patches due to all the rips and tears it's suffered. Also hidden beneath her baggy jeans is a prosthetic on her right leg, going to just below her hip. It's detachable so she can clean it, and her knee works as a sort of button that pops out her shin, showing a hidden compartment where she keeps not only the cleaning supplies and some tools, but also a knife and a lock picking kit. The design of the prosthetic itself is made up of springs and tensions, allowing her to run and swim. It's a design you can't really find anywhere, and was made specifically for her, making it valuable to thieves and bounty hunters. You can also almost always find some bruise or scratch on her, and while she's willing to get down and dirty to survive, she tries her hardest to stay cleanly.
Brad, as already explained, is incredibly stubborn and admittedly very naive. She's a weary girl, but tries to see the best in people before writing them off, giving everyone a chance before deciding how to act. Thus far, this means she'll act incredibly weary and defensive around new people. She may keep her things a bit closer, and watch them, but she won't judge them for who they are or what situation they might have been in. So long as you aren't shooting at her, she doesn't consider you a threat, and will do her best to help you out. Whether this means just letting you use her sleeping bag for the night, and maybe a nice meal, or trying to protect you from bandits or what have you. At the same time, this means Bradley won't attack someone if they can keep face, so it's easy enough to trick her and try to steal her things in the middle of the night, or worse, kill her. However, Bradley does have a very high morale, so whilst any random stranger could walk up to her and get help from her, someone she's seen shooting at innocents or just basically causing good people problems won't get anything from the woman, and might even find themselves fighting her, even if it happens to be a lost cause. Another personality trait of Brad's is her very child like behavior, something she had even before she lost her memory. Most mistake the girl to be younger than she is based on her behavior or outward appearance, and she finds no problems with this factor, even though others might call her 'immature' or 'childish' for it. This childlike behavior can also be very annoying, as well. These traits however do add up to make Bradley very curious and sweet hearted. Her heart is in the right place with everything she does, and she tries incredibly hard to make sure everyone in a situation can come out happy. As already mentioned, Brad enjoys drawing and singing, and will often stop her misadventures to settle down and draw the world around her. By this point she's become incredibly talented, and has learned ways to the use the plants and trees around her as coloring utensils and even paper. Her singing is more of a side hobby then anything, just the occasional song or humming she might do while trekking along, or for money if she ever has to stop at a camp or town. Her voice isn't fantastic, but it has it's own soul to it, and the songs she tries to sing people tend to get a lot of attention from the stories they tell.
'The End did not happen the way everyone thought it would.
From what Bradley Forest had read on all those newspapers, the end of everything was actually very mundane compared to the idolized concepts of the walking dead, or of the corruption of electronics causing mass murdering robots. ‘The End’, as she and everyone else took to calling it, was actually far simpler, far more annoying, and far more indignifying to everything that humanity had accomplished: ‘The End’ started with a mosquito, and a cornucopia of germs that mutated into the ultimate super sickness. The outbreak started slow, beginning in Haiti with a few children who had been playing by the water, and who died the very next day. From that point, the pandemic began to spread, tossed around by touch to everyone and everything. The germ transferred from the children, to the doctor that treated them and the children’s parents. Then, from them, to the parent’s friends, and the doctors companions, and then from them to the next, and so on and so on. By the time methods where being taken to shut down and lock off the small Caribbean country, the plague was being transferred across seas to Jamaica and Cuba on a boat of dead sailors, and the military was unable to keep up. Tourists in Jamaica would fly off to their own countries and spread it further around, and Cuba would be entirely wiped out within days.
Humanity would then proceed to finish whatever the super disease, at this point called ‘Uperimorbus’, could not. Mass panic began to appear across the world, people began to drop dead not only from this incurable disease but also from violence brought on because of it. Scientists and doctors worked day and night trying to find a cure, but it was the perfect sickness, masked as the typical flu with symptoms varying from fever, fatigue, sweats, vomiting, and aches. Before Uperimorbus was even discovered, it was already mutating from being treated as influenza, growing an immunity to the cure and traveling faster and faster from person to person. Within a week, the military would be bombing countries in an attempt to wipe out any traces of those infected and stop the disease in its tracks, and wars would be declared. Mass murder would encompass the world, and within months, Uperimorbus would take the lives of 90% of the world population over, effectively ending the world as we knew it.
The ten percent that survived would do so because of a small mutation in their genetics, making them immune to Uperimorbus. Twenty years later, these survivors would live by scavenging the ruins of what was once the booming world. Some would live in small nomadic groups, others would hole up in cities with friends or family. Few, like Brad, would travel alone and see the world for what they could: Overgrown, and empty.'
Bradley Forest was born a slave in this world. Her mother was among many who cleaned, cooked, and tended to whatever her master demanded of her, and was occasionally sold to 'buyers' as a prostitute. Brad was her seventh child born in this way, since in the world wrecked by Uperimorbus, birth control and condoms where hard to come by and regretfully not very sought after. The children born of the prostitutes, if healthy and stable, where handed off to the female slaves to be taken care of until they came of the age that they, too, could begin doing their duties as slaves to their masters. Brad was no different, and was spat out by her mother and handed off to the other women of the home to be taken care of. 'Taken care of' being a very loose term, as in a household such as this, there was much work to do and many things to take care of. So aside from the necessities, like food and rest and the very rare and occasional medical care, Brad was basically ignored. Her mother, much like all the others, didn't care to take care of a child, and it wasn't considered her duty to do so either, so there was almost no interaction between the two. Instead, Brad was often set to play with the other slave children, all mostly boys. Thus Brad grew up very fast, playing with the other boys and becoming much a boy herself, wrestling and getting into scrapes as any child would unattended.
At the age of five she was plucked from her friends, and was slowly taught how to go about doing the chores and business that the other slaves did. Along with this, she was taught a basic education of reading and writing, and was also taught her morals and obligations by the older woman and men of the camp who took to the outspoken little tomboy. At the same time, she got a lot of flack from the masters of the camp for the very same reasons. Due to this, the girl is very versed in cleaning and cooking, and minor things like medical care and remedies for odd things like headaches or scrapes, taught to her by the older woman of the camp. She also delved herself into reading books, mainly fantasy and fairy tails, so she has a very adventurous imagination, and a very big vocabulary.
At around the age of seven, Brad began to be visited in secret by a man named Arthur, an older man with a graying white beard and salt-and-pepper hair whom had been smuggling children and some of the younger adult slaves out of the camp and to better homes and situations. Uperimorbus was still in it's beginnings (Having just been around for a year when Bradly was born) so there was still some healthy portions of the world where these slaves could be taken to. Brad was going to be the next slave that Arthur would save, but on the night that the girl was supposed to sneak out, there was a large riot amongst the slaves. In the fray, Brad was shot in the leg, effectively crippling it and stalling her escape.
However, as typical to the young, stubborn girl, she kept on, and found herself traveling for a couple of days on her own, in nothing but rag tag clothes and with a bullet wound that she couldn't do anything more with but wrap up. The leg got infected, suffering horrendous necrosis that put Bradley on the brink on death. Just as her young body gave out, causing her to pass out on the side of a barren road, Arthur, whom had been searching for her since the riot, found her. The man would take her to his own home, a small shed on in the midst of a forest, and would tend to her and her leg as well as he could.
Arthur, a doctor and a scholar, would be forced to amputate Brad's right leg almost entirely, and would immediately delve into making the girl a prosthetic leg, blaming himself for the trouble the girl had been forced to go through. Bradley would make a splendid recovery, and would live for three years with Arthur, whom had taken to the young girl himself and thought of her much like a daughter. During this time in her life, Arthur would teach Brad many things. He'd hone her love for books and teach her new things, like math, science, and history, as well as a better understanding for her hobbies of drawing and singing, and how to survive in the world of Uperimorbus and how to understand it.
At the age of ten, tragedy struck both Brad and Arthur. The girl fell to a sudden and very severe infection in her leg, originally through to be brought on by the neglect of her prosthetic, but as it turned out was brought by shards of the bullet left in her leg. The infection grew very slowly in the young woman, slowly branching to her nerves and causing Brad to go into a deep coma whilst Arthur treated the infection. At the same time, Arthur found that he was dying from Uperimorbus. Bradley had been born a year after the disease took over the world, given the mutation from her mother that left her immune to the disease. Arthur, however, was very much still able to catch the currently incurable sickness at the age of fifty-six. His time was very short for this world, and he knew it. So Arthur did the last thing he could for Brad: He went and collected all the books he could to teach her what she didn't know, medical books, survival books, hunting books, dictionaries, history books, math books, everything he could find that could teach her anything she could ever need, and then began to write.
By the time Arthur finally died, he had written Bradley fifteen journals filled with everything he could teach her, each with roughly one hundred and twenty pages front and back of anything she needs, from advice and stories and memories to how to hunt, or how to fight, or what to do with certain plants or animals, things she would eventually need to learn or know...anything a ten year old girl stepping out into the world riddled with death would need to know, as well as new legs suitable for her when she got older and any tools he could have find, including the knife she still carries to this day. Unfortunately, when Bradley finally awoke from her coma, she wouldn't remember the man that had done everything he could for her, nor of anything about herself or who she was. Her memory would be entirely destroyed, aside from the basic functions and knowledge honed into her body from muscle memory, and from what she would learn from the books and journals Arthur would give her.
A couple of days after Arthur would die, Bradley would wake up, alone in a bed with a tube forced down her throat, steadily feeding her nutrients and antibiotics. In the room with her would be the body of Arthur, resting against the wall with everything he had done for her sitting in his lap, on top of these an envelope sat, with a hastily written greeting on top of it.
'For Miss Bradley Forest, please read post haste.'
The years following this final encounter with Arthur would be spent mostly in solitude for Brad, the world dying more and more as she grew older, being overrun and taken back by mother nature and destroying the humans that used to run it. The ten year old Brad would stay in the small cabin as Arthur's letter instructed, eating soft foods and reading his journals, recuperating and getting back her strength the infection had taken away. The young girl would bury the man that had taken care of her, per his request, behind the cabin. And within a few weeks of learning how to hunt and how to take care of herself, Brad would set off by herself. And for nine years, she would travel and learn, with almost no interaction with other human beings, learning and growing every day as a young woman.
Brad is very good at conniving her way out of situations, her quick wits and silver tongue often save her quite a bit of trouble, and her 'jack of all trades' knowledge of many skills helps a lot as well. She's a decent hunter, and can use these skills on people too, though it's never come to that just yet. Bradley is also pretty strong and incredibly determined, so if it came down to a fist fight she could have a chance so long as she tried hard enough and could possibly get her knife out of the compartment in her fake leg. Finally, her most prominent and currently her most important 'ability' is her 'gut instinct'. Brad has an incredibly good instinct, and she follows it almost every time it comes around, and it's saved her quite a bit thus far.
Brad, as a normal human being, has the same weaknesses as everyone else. Specific weakness to her could include her diversion to heat, she can handle it but too much could give her heat sickness very fast. Her prosthetic leg can also prove to be a weakness in the wrong situations, if shot at or lodged it could slow her down or even force her to be stationary. At the same time, attempts at her involving her leg haven't killed her yet, but some have come close. She often finds her own emotions causing her issues and getting her into serious situations because of them, varying from her brash words and stubbornness, or her own determination forcing her to aid people she had nothing to do with. Her curiosity also gets her involved in things she originally had no part in as well. If not cleaned and treated properly, her leg could also kill her with something as simple as a small infection or a couple of bugs.
She's talented at long range weapons more then anything, including an old .270 rifle she found whilst scavenging a house one day, and a cross bow she keeps for closer range.
The only 'family' Brad has ever had was the very brief beginning with her mother, a nameless prostitute, and her 'adoptive father' Arthur.
'Bang Bang' 2Cellos
Brad will often speak of Arthur as if he's still alive and with her, even though she's aware that he is dead and only has her 'interactions' with him through reading what he's written for her.