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alias: Ellie
age in ##: 26
story: Moby Dick
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Last Seen: Jun 19 2017, 03:38 PM
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Permanent Rose Owens

Enchanted Forest

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Mar 31 2017, 04:44 PM
"Some women get left holding the baby but oh no, not me," muttered the redhead with some feeling, glowering down at the blood soaked cloth in her hand. It hadn't been particularly clean before the blood, smeared as it was with oil and grime, but the blood had definitely not improved it. Nor, she would later realise, had it greatly improved her jeans and it hadn't done wonders for her makeup either.

It wasn't that she particularly wanted to be left holding a baby - her sisters kept on saying she'd get maternal instincts one day, right now she regarded babies as ticking time bombs and was always grateful when the mothers, fathers or main carers took them back - but as part of her day job she'd ended up holding someone's fingers as they raced to the hospital. Presumably the good doctors were presently attempting to reattach the fingers, she'd been told they could do that these days, and as they'd run off with both accidental amputee and amputated fingers she'd been left standing in the emergency department with the bloody cloth they'd wrapped the fingers in looking like she'd just wandered out of a horror movie.

If she had still been Rosie Palmer she'd probably be in the girl's bathroom throwing up right now, severed fingers not being unheard of in the shipping industry but a relatively rare event in their port, but she'd seen a whole lot worse while serving in the navy of Cinderella's kingdom and right now she was regarding the bloody rag with a degree of irritation.

To wash or not to wash? On the one hand, it was a reasonably cheap cloth covered in blood. The part of her that was Rosie Palmer was insisting that she throw it out right this minute and buy a new one. She could even get it on her way back to the harbour, if she wanted to. On the other hand there was nothing wrong with the cloth apart from the blood and that was nothing a hot wash wouldn't sort out. The part of her that was Permanent Rose and used to spending months and months at sea and lived in a world where both nappies and menstrual clouts were washed by hand and reused was insisting that it be taken home, cleaned and put back to use.

Both parts of her, as far as the Permanent Rose-Rosie Palmer hybrid that she was was concerned, had a point.
Mar 31 2017, 04:38 PM
Ok. She could do this. She'd come armed with the actual recipe, she'd already crossed off the things she had in, she had two days to sort things out if they didn't have what she was looking for and she knew her sisters were not that picky when it came to food and would eat anything she put in front of them, it was all going to be fine.

But it was the first time she'd hosted their girls' movie night.

From experience she knew her sisters were absolutely content eating Chinese takeout sprawled on the floor surrounded by stuffed toys and half built lego palaces while absolutely awful slasher films and truly questionable romantic comedies played, but that was not the point. The point was that for the first time in forever (actually ever in both lifetimes) her sisters were coming over to her house where she would be feeding and entertaining them.

She'd had to go out to sea and spend a very trembling half hour talking to the whale just to settle on a menu. Chicken casserole with lentils, pesto and cheesy dumplings followed by a set cheese cake, enough to say that she'd made an effort but casual enough to not make a huge deal out of it. She hoped. She thought. Maybe she should have gone with a pasta bolognese? But Coral had done that so beautifully just two months ago and she was sure hers couldn't compare.

No. She wasn't going to go down that route. If nothing else the people who worked in the supermarket would think she was mad (she was already turning up with her hair stood on end from the wind and thoroughly damp from the sea, to say nothing of her mismatched and crumpled clothing as she'd grabbed whatever she first laid hands on that morning so she was sure people were already thinking she was some sort of weirdo) and ask her to leave. So. First of all, chicken thighs, one each. Easy enough. Then lentils, that involved a bit of maths to work out how many bags she needed but nothing as difficult as plotting a course by dead reckoning or moonlight. Green pesto, again easily enough, and chicken stock. White wine.

She arrived in the wine aisle and stared. She looked at the recipe in her hand, now somewhat crumpled, then looked up at the shelves again. She had a reputation for being the family member who knew her alcohol, but she'd had an armed forces career with a slogan of rum, sodomy and the lash attached to it. Wine, apart from the rare occasion when she'd dined at the captain's table as an officer, did not generally come into it. She'd never even had to transport the stuff when she was with the merchant fleet.

"The hell kind of wine do you cook with?" She whimpered. The shelves had no helpful answer to offer.
Mar 31 2017, 04:34 PM
It was silly.

It was probably even sillier with a scented candle but she hadn't quite been able to get the idea out of her head and if she was going to be silly she'd been looking for an excuse to try scented candles anyway so... scented candle. In her office, which invariably smelled strongly of the sea, machine oil, damp clothes, coffee and whatever she'd had for lunch and was generally a place where a delicately scented candle was not going to make much of a mark.

But still. When she'd sniffed it it had smelled like Drizella's favourite perfume and she hadn't been able to resist.

Given the generally cluttered state of her office it took her surprisingly little time to find the matches, in fact it took longer to clear a space for the candle and it's little pot holder on the windowsill where it was, she judged, unlikely to get knocked over or set fire to anything. Coloured stones and shells from her siblings were shuffled out the way, the Tauriel action figure she'd found washed up on the beach was moved to one corner with the one eared Fluttershy where they could prop each other up, the carved whale to the other corner and the can of bug spray was found new home on the shelf behind her desk.

It looked pretty, when it was lit. Almost like it was part of a shrine with the coloured pebbles, shells and fragments of smoothed glass scattered around it and the larger objects framing things at the edges.

She stood with her arms wrapped around herself, watching the flame as it flickered and waved. Was she supposed to say something? Do something? She didn't think she was up to a dance number like the girl in the film had been, but she could hop on one foot while trying to take work boots on and off with the best of them. "Please come back, sweetheart." Her whisper took her by surprise and her hand reached out of its own accord, fingers resting against the candle holder. "I miss you. The movie said waiting by a lit candle was supposed to bring you back to me faster, so, I'm waiting. Right here. Whenever you're ready."

But no one materialised beside her, no one knocked on her office door. Eventually she sighed, turned away from he candle and back to her desk where reports, proposed building regulations and docking permits were stacked and sprawled everywhere. Life was so much simpler back when she wasn't expected to manage a harbour which contained everything from a Viking longboat to a space age submarine and some sort of ghost pirate ship she was fairly certain could actually fly.
Mar 14 2017, 09:37 PM
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<h3>26 . Ishmael . Moby Dick . Eleanor Tomlinson </h3>
<hr />
<h2>Freeform:</h2>

Call me Ishmael. That was what she said when people asked for her name, not exactly a lie but not exactly an answer to that one inconvenient question either and only one person both noticed and looked amused at her grammatical deception. At a guess she’d say most people just didn’t care what she called herself as long as she did the work well and didn’t get underfoot.
<P>
It had made a nice change. All her life people had been staring at her for her name and making comments about how they were so sorry about her mother the court painter being dead and how hard it must be for her. For a while she tried telling people that really it was alright, her mother had died a week after she was born so she’d no recollection of the woman at all and really her stepmother was wonderful but her grandmother kept scolding her for talking back so she went back to smiling vacantly at people and thanking them for saying they were sorry for her loss. It made her oldest sister coldly furious, saying that she was the one who remembered their mother, she was the one who’d lost her, she was the one who’d inherited the artistic talent and she had no right, no right right at all, to even pretend that she’d lost someone for politeness’s sake. But her eldest sister was a Violet to her Permanent Rose and while they were both named for paints (indeed Juniper and Coral were as well) only she was immediately identifiable as the artist’s daughter.
<P>
They’d left court when their mother died – another sin Violet slung at her feet – and Permanent Rose grew up in her father’s busy inn where she did a fantastic job of slipping through the cracks. It was a hectically busy place, she had an army of siblings and while she doesn’t think her family ever set out to make her feel like an outsider or somehow lacking they did in a hundred small, thoughtless ways. Her father would look at her, shake his head and say that she was just like her mother in tones that said he loved her but would never understand her. She was the only child consistently forced to refer to their mother as her stepmother for clarity’s sake although she’d never known or wanted to know another mother and while her stepmother hugged her she also pasted unguents on her face to get rid of her freckles as often as not. Her siblings weren’t cruel, she wasn’t bullied and that one time Billy pushed her over in the playground it was Violet who punched him so hard his nose bled, but they didn’t have the sort of relationship where she could take her inclusion in things as a given and had to ask or be invited before she felt she could be involved in anything. Her grandmother, responsible for the day to day care of the children as her son and daughter in law ran the inn, could probably have put a stop to Permanent Rose’s downwards spiral very easily had she noticed but she was run off her feet and quiet, well behaved Permanent Rose just wasn’t a priority, just needed reminding to not sit on the hearth rug like a little heathen, telling to wash and brush her unruly hair and the occasional hurried update on the duties, roles and responsibilities of a well brought up girl in her social station between feeding and naptime. To Permanent Rose it sounded as if her grandmother thought her a failure as a girl.
<P>
In short when her aunt reviewed her schoolwork and her character and said that she might do as a scholarship girl at the finishing school where she taught her family thought it was a wonderful opportunity but ten year old Permanent Rose thought they were sending her away. She just couldn’t make them understand no matter what she said or how hard she cried – indeed crying only seemed to make them angrier and she was sent to her room that night without supper. That was the last her family saw of her for over ten years for the following morning all that was left of her was a mass of roughly hacked off red curls. No letter, no note, no word. They searched, asked around, wept, shut her tiny cupboard of a room up as a standing shrine to their lost girl and wondered what had become of her.
<P>
She had in fact disguised herself as a boy and joined the navy. This was not her original plan – that had been to apprentice herself to her uncle the bookbinder although there had been a good chance he’d give her a meal and send her home in the morning – but it wasn’t entirely a whim either as she marched into the office and signed on as a cabin boy. At the time it felt like the way out and although the work was desperately hard she never once went through with her occasional daydream of revealing her true gender and being sent home in disgrace. For the first time she felt like she fitted in, had a purpose, even had a hope for the future after the fourth lieutenant mentioned that he’d started out as a cabin boy and if she learned how to do the job and survived long enough there was no reason why she shouldn’t be an officer one day herself.
<P>
That lieutenant was also the only one to know that she was a girl, although he never said so in as many words. When puberty struck he all but marched her to a somewhat unusual brothel where she got a lot of hands on advice about the facts of life, concealment, comfort and the correct placement of socks and afterwards he walked back to the ship with her as if nothing had happened. She was an able seaman already by then and less than a year later her lieutenant got her a post as a midshipman when he was moved to another ship as part of a reshuffle. She ended up on a number of different ships in a number of different roles over the years due to such reshuffling and promotions, sometimes moving with crewmates and sometimes not, but by the time a downsizing of the navy saw her put ashore at age twenty she’d been serving as a lieutenant herself. She also couldn’t see herself settling on land and so signed on as a sailor with the merchant navy. Some of it was good, some of it was bad, after a few years of ferrying goods here and there though she felt bored and in need of a change and as promotion wasn’t on the table (fewer deaths meant a slower turnover and the owners favoured relatives) she elected to go whaling.
<P>
Things started off strange as she met a man on her way to the world’s foremost whaling port, shared a bed with him as there were no others available at the inn and honestly never quite worked out if Queequeg thought they were married or not. There was no ceremony, no sex, but he did give her half his money and said he’d join the same ship she did so there was definitely something there she wasn’t quite grasping over the cultural divide. Not that she had a huge amount of time to wonder once they got underway, whalers kept everything to a bare minimum to maximise profits and as such they were working flat out most of the time with slightly too few hands and slightly too few resources. Still, things weren’t too bad until their captain put in an appearance about a week into their voyage.
<P>
Things did not immediately go sideways. Looking back she thinks she can spot certain times when she should have been more alarmed than she was but it was her first whaling voyage and their captain might be swearing vengeance on one particular whale but it was a really, really big ocean and she figured the chances of actually finding it were somewhat slim. Besides which the business of whaling as normal was going on, Queequeg decided that he was going to die and it wasn’t as if anyone but the mates saw their captain a whole lot as he kept to his quarters, so what with one thing and another she didn’t know how bad things already were and how much worse they’d get.
<P>
Rachel – the ship – found her as the one survivor floating in a coffin in the middle of an ocean, the ship and her home of over a year sunk by the very whale they were hunting and she herself thrown clear of everything when Moby Dick had struck her whaleboat. She said she’d been in the coffin for a full day and night, that there were no other survivors of the disaster and that she’d work for her passage home. Only some of it was a lie. Dawn that day, she’d been resigned to a slow death with no way of reaching land and no ships in sight when Moby Dick had come up beside her. Whales, even after a year hunting them, were not her speciality but she could tell something was wrong with the way he was moving and after a while came to the conclusion that he was too bound up with trailing lines to swim properly. She’s still not sure why she did it, thinking that at least one of them should survive this disaster perhaps, but she slid from her coffin and set to trying to cut the lines. Eventually her scrabbling with her small knife saw the lines and the bodies of her captain and his harpooner freed from the whale, who swam off after nudging her back towards her drifting coffin. So she wasn’t the only survivor if you counted the whale but she was still the only one able to tell her story to the world and was willing to work for her passage back to port. From there she hoped to work her way back home at last.
<P>
On the way there, oddly enough, she got impressed by the navy. Her old lieutenant, now a captain, came alongside hoping that there’d maybe be a spare crewmember or two he could poach to replace his lost ones and was quite delighted to find her amongst the crew and able to be spared. She even got her old rank of lieutenant back for the duration of that trip, a reasonably short but profitable year as he put her ashore in the same port she’d joined the navy in and made sure that this time she was discharged with a master’s ticket in sailing so she could easily go back to sea in a position of authority should she wish it.
<P>
She spent most of the miles home wishing to turn around and run away to sea again, but when she’d been in that coffin all she’d regretted was not seeing her family in so long and so she kept walking and imagining every scenario she could in her head. They were all dead, plague or fire or both. They were mad at her and didn’t want to see her. They didn’t believe her when she said who she was. They welcomed her back with open arms in the taproom with all their old regulars looking on, just slightly more grey than she remembered. They welcomed her back as if she’d just been down the shops and moved on to serving the next customer. As it was Violet ran up to her and flung her arms around her before she’d even made it to the inn, having been painting a view of the landscape for one of her patrons at court, and dragged her inside without giving her a chance to explain where she’d been or the second lieutenant’s uniform she was wearing.
<P>
Permanent Rose quickly became an interesting addition to the inn – tripping over her own skirts, regarding stairs as a particular evil and hurling unruly patrons out on their arses with a barrage of curses. She’d never fitted in less with what a daughter of a respected inn owner should be and at the same time she’d never felt more at home with her own family. She even went back to using her actual name, although she still wrote to her captain under the name of Ishmael, and began to dream of a future on land with her family.
<P>
With a certain Drizella Tremaine as well.
<P>
Permanent Rose swore that she only approached the young lady (and she was every inch a lady, she raised the entire tone of the inn just by setting foot in it) to offer her protection because one of their… less polite regulars was leering at her in no uncertain terms. Coral has very clear memories of Permanent Rose hurriedly straightening skirts and trying to rub a smut off her nose behind the bar before approaching her and Juniper clearly recalls that she spent the entire afternoon flirting with her over rum punch before helping her into her cloak and offering to walk her home.
<P>
The same scene played out several times over the coming weeks, each time Permanent Rose thought it would be the last time with her lady but every time Drizella came back. Soon it wasn’t just the relative merits of alcohol they were discussing but what books they’d read, what songs they liked, the different fashions inflicted on them and how they’d decorate a home if they had the perfect building and unlimited funds. Soon, Permanent Rose was struggling to imagine a future that didn’t include Drizella.
<P>
Sadly Lady Tremaine did not want her daughter’s future to involve Permanent Rose the inn keeper’s daughter, nor a future involving Ishmael the former second lieutenant and sailing master of no particular fortune. If Permanent Rose’s family hadn’t been so supportive of their relationship she might well have thrown in the towel early on, bowed to the disapproval radiating from Drizella’s mother as she used to bow to the imagined disapproval of her own family, but her family adored Drizella and she thought Drizella adored her as much as she adored Drizella, so she didn’t don her uniform and run away again but stayed put and talked to Drizella about what they wanted to do.

When the dark curse hit they’d been on the verge of moving in together.
<P>
Rosie Palmer spent twenty-eight years on the docks of Storybrooke as the town’s harbourmaster, failing to save whales stranded on the beach, not talking to her family despite the fact that she lived a five minute walk from them and dodging her many, many relatives whenever she was out in public. She was lonely, depressed, often daydreamed about just taking a boat out and never coming back to port and didn’t think her life was ever going to get better. In fact it didn’t until she met the whale. The curse, unbeknownst to her, had stated breaking and one day when she was out on the water the white sperm whale was just there and all tangled up in a fishing line. It was dumb, she knew that even as she slipped into the water with her whittling knife, but she’d been on one of her toeing-the-suicide-line trips and had no way to get help so it was just her and the whale out in the ocean. And really, the whale was probably worth more to people than she’d ever be so if it ended up killing her it could do so with her blessing.
<P>
Only, the whale didn’t. It saw her back to shore and kept her company whenever she went out alone after that. Just having someone to talk to, even if they couldn’t really answer back, eventually gave her the courage to return one of her grandmother’s phone calls and interact with her baby half-sisters when their school class came on a tour of the harbour. The next time an animal got stranded on the beach all of her relatives came to help her in her rescue efforts and when the curse finally broke they were at her side.
<P>
Drizella, however, was not. Nor could she find her no matter how hard she looked. So she kept working at the harbour, kept going out to see her whale, kept looking for her dark haired beauty and dreaming of the day when they might finally have their own little place together, just the two of them.


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<h2>Ellie</h2>
<h3>gmt . other characters: Caspian X, Sasha Draconis</h3>


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