The Hallmark Of Age


daryl_icon.gif koshka_icon.gif smedley_icon.gif

Scene Title The Hallmark Of Age
Synopsis A walk in the park that brings a couple of kids and a man with his dogs together briefly.
Date January 30, 2011

Central Park

With the park closest to his apartment in Battery Park City overrun with camera crews, models, and too many vehicles, Wes Smedley has ventured further with his trio of canine companions to let the animals run. Martial Law in New York City isn't all that conducive to letting large toothy beasts off of a strong leather leash, but it is one area in which Smedley is willing to buck out of line. It's a stupid law - one not exactly worthy of the respect necessary to break it surreptitiously.

While the two younger, more robust animals tear through the snow, tongue lolling and tails flying high, Smedley plods along behind them, his hands shoved into the pockets of his oilskin coat, and the much older Carson trotting at his side. "I know, boy," he murmurs to the tri-colored mutt. "S'fuckin' cold." Taking a quick look around, the man slips a silver flask from an inside pocket to take a quick swig before he returns it to its hiding place.

There's an old mutt in Daryl's family. Really old - Daryl suspects the dog may actually be older than he is, all claims to the contrary notwithstanding - and the last time anyone tried taking him out for a walk, they just got a funny look for their trouble. Instead, Daryl is out in the park on his own, talking into a cell phone. "No, still don't see you… I'm over near the hot dot cart with the guy with the green sweatsuit, you gotten that far yet?"

Walking and talking on a cell phone isn't always the safest of things, though it stands to be a less reckless task than texting while walking. At least you can keep your eyes on where you're going even if your reaction time is slower. Normally Koshka would have worked her way through the pedestrians still brave enough to be out and about quickly, but holding a thing to her ear has made it more difficult. At least three times she'd tripped or nearly dropped the phone before reaching the park.

"Hot dog cart," Koshka says into the phone. No longer following the trails, she's cutting through the field. Head and arm turn one direction in search of some vendor in green though she continues walking the opposite way. Unsurprisingly, that way is on a collision course for a couple of bounding, running dogs. "Not seeing it yet."

The smell of hotdogs is the inspiration for the younger dogs' current route. The sheer force of their canine might just may be enough to earn them several mouthfuls of processed glory. With one slightly ahead of the other, they round the bend on the homestretch. For a moment, it looks as though they may just run right over the young girl on her phone, but at the very last second, they split around her, not losing any speed and kicking up snow in their wake.

Smedley may be lumbering behind them, but he doesn't let Raith's dogs get out of sight. And when he recognizes their target, he picks up his pace. Carson lets out a bark, and all it takes is a quick whistle from his master to send the old cow dog after a smaller, more brutal version of the quarry of his youth. But when the two dogs nearly collide with the girl, Smedley is momentarily diverted. "You okay?" he shouts even as he thunders closer, his boots crunching in the snow.

Daryl raises up on his toes, and when that doesn't work, he reaches up for a tree branch to get an extra few inches of boost. "Oh, wait, I think I see—" An accident about to happen, is what he sees. Letting go and stuffing the phone back in his pocket, he heads over in that direction - slowing down to a casual jog once he sees that someone else is already there, and to avoid losing his footing. But he still puts on a show of concern, at least.

The two dogs are a surprise, especially when they break and bolt past Koshka, causing her to jump and juggle the phone until it drops onto the ground. "Woah hey!" she calls after them, stooping to pick up the phone. A frown is cast in Smedley's direction as she straightens and jams hands and phone into her pockets. "Yeah, just… Dude. Are those your dogs?"

For all his apparent concern, Smedley doesn't look at Koshka. Instead, he's watching the progress of the two mutts who, when they see Daryl running, turn their quest for meat into a quest for play. Turning, they run after the young man, barking their plea for entertainment. "No," is Smedley's answer before he shakes his head and squints. There's the faintest odor of alcohol on his breath, hinting at the possibility that the swig from the flash wasn't his first today. "Well, yeah. Kind of. I'm watching them. You okay?"

Oh, good, a chance for Daryl to actually do something useful. The one at home wasn't always a rug who eats, there are some vague memories of coming out to the park and playing together. "Here you go, boys," he calls out, picking up a good-sized rock and chucking it off into the distance, meanwhile taking a couple steps back again to give them more distance to cover. Well, one of them; the other is more interested in pawing his chest. "Watching 'em, huh?" he calls back, giving Smedley a suspicious once-over. Age and odor does not a good first impression make.

Stomping her feet a couple of times, Koshka nods and looks to the two dogs and Daryl. "Yeah, I'm fine." After a shake of her head, she turns a wary look to Smedley, brows knitting together. "Watching them, and kind of your dogs." Right. "You gotta work on your packleader skills. They aren't listening too well, if they're running off like that."

Shoving his hands back into his pockets, Smedley shrugs and sniffs, shaking his head. "Eh. They're dogs. Dogs need to run. S'what they do." Even now, one is on it's way back from an uncompleted sprint after a rock. Carson finally makes it to the one still with Daryl, grabbing it's attention for a roll in the snow. While Carson may be older and thinner, he still have quite a bit of spark left in him, it would seem. When the other nears, Smedley leans to grab at his collar, fishing a lead out of his coat to snap it onto the metal ring. The dog tests the line once before he settles into a sit to pant.

"They're used to space. City ain't good for a thing used t'space."

Daryl arches a brow. He's right, but at the same time, that implies certain things about their history. "So where'd they grow up, like upstate? Anybody warn your friend before he moved here?" He's talking to Smedley, but he's looking at Koshka, making sure there aren't any minor scrapes or cuts that might have been overlooked. Nope, she's right, nothing worse than getting caught off guard.

Save for having been startled, Koshka's perfectly fine. She casts a look at the arrived dog, then one to the two remaining mutts with a half amused grin. "City's not good for a lot of things. 'Specially this one." One hand comes from her pocket while she sinks onto her knees, that now freed hand extending to the mutt at Smedley's side.

Koshka's hand is briefly sniffed before the dog lunges at her face to assault it with a series of intense licks, despite Smedley's fierce tugging on the lead to pull him away. "Yeah," he says to both and neither the girl or Daryl, leaving his answer vague. "Com'n, boy. Leave 'er alone." With the dog in a more polite position to receive affection rather than dish it out, the man sighs and shakes his head. The wrestling match winds down, and the other young dog and Carson meander back over. Someone else is getting petted. This is clearly a breach of some canine contract.

All right, Smedley's got the dogs back under control - at least for now - so Daryl isn't going to push the issue further. "Could be worse," he says to Koshka. "At least today we haven't got some random wino telling us we're too good to be wandering through their crash space. Could you believe that woman?" A classic hallmark of youth, quick to run his mouth about someone else's problems.

Koshka laughs at the dog's advances, pushing him back gently until he's back under control. "He's alright," she tells Smedley, scratching the dog's chest and extending the same pats to Carson and the other mutt should they desire. She grins up at the dog-man then smirks at Daryl. "I know, right? Crazy woman." Giving a shake of her head, she turns her attention to the mutt again, rubbing his head and scratching his muzzle with her knuckles.

The hallmark of age, of experienced is the burden of perspective. "Everyone's got a story," Smedley mumbles as he fishes out one more lead and clips it deftly onto the second younger dog when it nears for it's turn at sampling Koshka's affection. "Everyone's gotta trail they've walked. No one else can walk that trail. Can't understand it." He shakes his head, pulling the two mutts away from Koshka and hunching his shoulders as he starts to move away from the teenagers, his hands returning to his pockets and Carson dutifully trailing behind without the need of a leash.

"Can't even try."

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