Weekly Check-In #32
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07
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CLIFFHANGER
Welcome to Brook Haven!
Welcome to Brook Haven Ranch! We are a 18+ premium role playing community set in Trader's Bend, Montana. Our concept is the culmination of twenty years of plotting and planning. We feature a rich, developed program in which many troubled characters thrive. Our community is one of the best on jcink and we look forward to you becoming a part of it!
Healing Horses & Troubled Teens since 1995
Not every teenager has the benefit of growing up in a loving, happy home. Some are victims of abuse, neglect, a system that shuffles them from foster home to foster home. Brook Haven Ranch was established in 1995 as a refuge for abused and neglected horses -- and teenagers who needed a second chance in life and the opportunity to become something more than society expects of them.
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8/25/2017 - Revamp Executed! 11/3/2017 - Holiday Event Launched!

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 There's Always Tomorrow, @NALA
anne howard
Artist • 35 YRS
INFP
Occupation
Artist
Nickname
Annie
Pronouns
she/her/hers
Sexual Orientation
Homosexual
Status
single
Partner
n/a
Riding Style
Western
King
is
Last Man Standing

Breed
Quarter Horse
Gender
Gelding
Age
12 years
Disciplines
Reining
Application
is Offline


Age
37
Pronouns
she/her/hers
Timezone
GMT-5
Contact
PM for Discord
23 Posts
205 Points
cliffhanger
Leader
18 September, 2017 for @Dawn Barnes
TW: closeted homosexuality
Annie shut the equipment shed and gave it a tug to ensure it had locked. It seemed silly that students couldn't get to the equipment whenever they wanted it. Supplies went missing from time to time, but usually only when an event on the ranch drew the townies. Local kids, it seemed, felt entitled to what didn't belong to them. Financiers paid to make sure the kids on the ranch had their needs met. It wasn't fair for the local parents to let their hooligans run wild. Children are alright. I like them just fine or I wouldn't be doing this job. What I don't like is parents who let theirs run wild. The town kids weren't entitled to what belonged to the ranch. She would have liked it better if the students could grab a ball or a jump rope whenever they wanted. Why not? She didn't believe in the word "no," not when it came to kids. It was an advanced concept that a lot of people didn't grasp. "You can have water instead of coffee" was reasonable. "No, you can't have coffee" produced more resistance. She had learned there were ways to get kids to cooperate that didn't involve harsh punishment. It didn't mean letting children get away with everything. They can't have everything that they want, but I won't set the kids up to fail. Her common phrase had become "We'll get the equipment out tomorrow." And most times, they did. She also didn't believe in the word "can't." Tomorrow they would be rock climbing. They'd rappelled, but this would be different. This time they'd be going up the cliff face instead of down it. Students would use the same equipment to achieve different goals. They'd work together to achieve a common goal of getting everybody to the top. They can do it. Every one of them can do it. The weaker ones can get help from the stronger ones. I don't want to hear a single "can't" out of their mouths tomorrow." Annie had faith that every one of her students could do it. And if they couldn't do it tomorrow, maybe the next day or next week. "Can't" was too often a way of saying "I don't want to try." A handful of students on the ranch couldn't. None of them belonged to her. Annie lingered for a moment by the equipment shed, then checked her watch. Ten minutes past the time that she could leave. Normally she'd have been racing her way home to get to her studio. Tonight, she'd decided to wait until after the evening's group had finished. Something about the chill in the air and the aroma of falling leaves. That was the true smell of autumn, not "pumpkin spice" everything. A shiver went down her spine. It made her crave something impossible. She'd put it out of her mind, but tonight, a cup of something hot. They'd talk, and that was all. She kicked off the instant that the familiar frame exited the Cliffhanger commons. "Dawn!" she called. Then hesitated. No such thing as can't. Annie took a deep breath. "I was hoping you had some time to go over tomorrow's expedition with me." If she went over it with anybody, it ought to be Jack. This wasn't about the activity; It was about the company.
Dawn Barnes
Counselor • 31 YRS
ENFJ
Occupation
Counselor
Nickname
Dawn
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Sexual Orientation
Homosexual
Status
Single
Partner
None
Riding Style
English
Rosco
is
Journey to the Start

Breed
Dutch Warmblood
Gender
Gelding
Age
10
Disciplines
Hunter/Jumper
Application
is Offline


Age
22
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Timezone
Central
Contact
pm
25 Posts
185 Points
cliffhanger
Counselor
18/September/2017 for @anne howard
TW: closeted homosexuality
"Don't forget to go to bed on time tonight, folks." It was a typical request, but tonight as Dawn wrapped up evening gathering with her resident cliffhangers she emphasized it more than once. "Big day tomorrow." A few groans rose from the crowd; several kids even slumped over in their chairs protesting physical activity at such an early hour. "You are cliffhangers. Come on, come on. Have a sense of humor." A light laugh escaped her and she smiled at the few who were infected by her attitude. Dawn rose, clipboard in hand as she finished signing off that their group had been completed. Tanner was by her side immediately, his tail wagging lightly and his eyes droopy from the days activities. Her thin wrist rose to display her classic brown leather strapped watch. Only 7:40pm, a relief considering how long it took her to rally the troops from evening chores. "To bed with the lot of you." The kids scattered quickly, their night counselors weaving around them to get the required supplies they'd need to finish their nightly routines. This was typically Dawn's favorite part of the shift, but being that she'd volunteered to attend the expedition Anne had planned for tomorrow, she was off for the evening. That being said, just as quickly as they'd scattered, she knew they would return, seeking her expert tucking in abilities. Of course they'd never admit they appreciated the time she spent individually with them before they drifted off to sleep, but she knew how much it meant. Dawn made herself sneak out with the same stealth that they had to escape the impending time eater that was their bedtime routine. She motioned for Tanner to join her. Slipping through the doors of their main bunk house she found herself tightening the sweater around her chest. The zipper was, of course, a lost cause and the autumn wind invaded her space without a care for her wellbeing. The days were getting shorter, and the light had already begun to fade to a dim glow surrounding the ranch. "Cold, huh bud? She patted the golden dogs head softly. Her cabin wasn't far from where the rest of the cliffhangers resided so with a spring in her step she began the journey. "Dawn!" The voice was familiar and warm, soothing really, but it still caused her to start and spin around all too quickly. Anne was in the distance, moving towards her from the shed. She was graceful in the way she walked, her long legs carrying her body with a strong purpose that looked effortless. It was too dark now to see her eyes in the distance, but even the thought of them was nearly too much. Can you knock it off, good Lord. She likely would have shaken the thoughts out of her head had Dawn not been close enough to see how ridiculous she would have looked. Focus, please. "I was hoping you had some time..." if she was honest she didn't catch the last part of was Anne had said. Her brain immediately responded yes. Dawn's body effectively had turned into one of those human anatomy cartoons. The ones where the bladder has far too much control and the hearth and brain are always fighting. Except when it came to Anne, her organs were pretty much in agreement. Tanner wasn't an alert dog, but he often reacted to Dawn's emotions as therapy dogs do. His body pressed into her leg as she grounded herself. "Yes, of course." She responded, confidently. Her arms were still wrapped around herself, the sun fading fast and taking with it any heat that was not being created by Dawn's radiating emotion. "It's getting quite chilly out here. Would you like to come back to my place and have some tea?" Tea, yea. That'll do it.
anne howard
Artist • 35 YRS
INFP
Occupation
Artist
Nickname
Annie
Pronouns
she/her/hers
Sexual Orientation
Homosexual
Status
single
Partner
n/a
Riding Style
Western
King
is
Last Man Standing

Breed
Quarter Horse
Gender
Gelding
Age
12 years
Disciplines
Reining
Application
is Offline


Age
37
Pronouns
she/her/hers
Timezone
GMT-5
Contact
PM for Discord
23 Posts
205 Points
cliffhanger
Leader
18 September, 2017 for @Dawn Barnes
TW: closeted homosexuality
When Dawn turned, the sun caught off her hair, turning it gold at the top. Like a halo. Annie's cheeks warmed, and she shook her head, alarmed that the thought had so much as crossed her mind. It's a trick of the light, like when the light shines on the leaves and turns the tops of the trees gold. That's all that it is. Something about this time of year. Everything was about this time of year, when it came down to it. Did everyone relax this much in the Autumn? For Annie, it changed everything when the chill came to the air and the light faded earlier in the evenings. Of course, it meant less time in her studio. During the colder months, Annie had to find other ways to occupy her time. This year, she had chosen to throw herself into the work as much as possible. Nothing wrong with focusing on the kids. They need somebody to show them how things can be, everything they can accomplish. At least it's a purpose when I can't do the things I'd really like to be doing. That had been why she'd taken on the job -- as a backup plan that didn't force her into medicine the way her mother wanted. The crazy part was that she wasn't the only one with a background in biology. This place seems to attract them. The thought made her crack a smile, the slightest change to her face. It was a background smile, not meant for Dawn, but when their eyes met she didn't let it fade. She makes me feel funny. I don't know how to describe it, but it's not like it's been with other people. Instead of saying anything about it, Annie nodded. "That sounds fantastic. It's been a long day." Had it? The words had come from her without warning, and it seemed that the day might not have been so fraught with difficulty as she had made out. Still, she needed an excuse to enjoy an evening with Dawn. With another woman. Sometimes the thoughts crept in without warning. She shooed it back, ignored it, battled the feelings. She'd had them before, that pinch in her belly when a pretty girl approached her. That was different than what she felt sure she felt for Dawn. Annie took a deep breath and smiled, a stiff quirk this time instead of the instant, genuine smile of the initial greeting. "I miss tea and coffee when I'm on the ranch. I only drink them at home. How did you get it past Logan?" Some of the staff was stricter than the rest about caffeine on the ranch. Still, most of the leaders and counselors had coffee or tea when they were at home (even if their homes were on the ranch). "Did you manage to get dinner tonight? I ate on the go. Still a lot to work out for tomorrow. Some of the kids seem pretty anxious about this thing."

Dawn Barnes
Counselor • 31 YRS
ENFJ
Occupation
Counselor
Nickname
Dawn
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Sexual Orientation
Homosexual
Status
Single
Partner
None
Riding Style
English
Rosco
is
Journey to the Start

Breed
Dutch Warmblood
Gender
Gelding
Age
10
Disciplines
Hunter/Jumper
Application
is Offline


Age
22
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Timezone
Central
Contact
pm
25 Posts
185 Points
cliffhanger
Counselor
18/September/2017 for @anne howard
TW: closeted homosexuality
"It has!" She sent out with a small chuckle, one that caught in her throat as if it's shakiness couldn't find its way across her tongue. In reality the day had been mostly like any other. There hadn't been any major meltdowns, and certainly no insanely shaking breakthroughs. The day had mostly been filled with the mundane. Dawn felt Tanner sit in the grass beside her as the trio awkwardly stood in the silence, the thoughts of the taller pair churning in the air between them. Hesitating for a few moments longer, Dawn finally broke free of her stance motioning towards the group of cabins in the distance that housed a few of the staff. Dawn's was the third one on the left, nestled in a grouping of pine trees. As they began their trek forward, Tanner left the pair in the dust, bounding off to the front steps of his home. Dawn smiled watching her old friend, grey hairs and all joyously bouncing along. She nearly forgot Annie was walking beside her, nearly. Her senses were heightened however, and with each step she found herself overtly aware of the placement of her right hand, the hand closest to Annie. Her smile and cheery disposition were a welcome development between them. On an average day, Dawn felt like she was pulling teeth to get a conversation with the leader of her grouping. "Oh. It's decaf." She laughed again, less choked than the last. "I didn't know anyone could sneak anything past Logan." As they reached the door, Dawn reached to open it for them, fumbling slightly with the keys. Tanner didn't wait to enter as per usual, but Dawn stood aside for Annie to go through. "I caught an early meal with the kids. I can certainly find something to whip up around here, though, if you haven't." Entering behind Annie, Dawn moved to the fridge a little too quickly. It was sparse. Most of the time Dawn ate with her group, and she had to admit her cooking skills were lacking these days. Frowning into the cold she worked with what she could. "Do you like guacamole?" She held up two avocados and a lime as she turned back to face her company with a raised eyebrow. She started assembling items, again a little too fast. A knife, a cutting board, a bowl, salt, garlic, cilantro. Crap. Dawn despised the stuff, but wasn't it a staple in the standard serving of guacamole? "I guess I'm out of cilantro." She observed aloud over the counter, but nervously she didn't stop assembling. Tanner sighed as he took his spot in the corner chair, watching his old friend completely ruin any chances she had at a normal visit. "The trip! You said you had questions about the trip." She cut into the larger of the two avocados.
anne howard
Artist • 35 YRS
INFP
Occupation
Artist
Nickname
Annie
Pronouns
she/her/hers
Sexual Orientation
Homosexual
Status
single
Partner
n/a
Riding Style
Western
King
is
Last Man Standing

Breed
Quarter Horse
Gender
Gelding
Age
12 years
Disciplines
Reining
Application
is Offline


Age
37
Pronouns
she/her/hers
Timezone
GMT-5
Contact
PM for Discord
23 Posts
205 Points
cliffhanger
Leader
18 September, 2017 for @Dawn Barnes
TW: closeted homosexuality
Somehow Annie managed to finish every day tired. The muscles of her thighs hurt, her back ached, and her batteries had drained. It was the effect of being an introvert in an extroverted world. She ached to change into her comfortable pajamas and spend some time in her studio. Or maybe I'll curl up with a good book later, read until it's time to sleep. The curse of introversion was the peculiar ability to manage people. She didn't say much, but a lot of that was because she spent her time examining the recesses of her own mind. When Annie did speak up, she generally had something important to say. And perhaps because she didn't speak up, people didn't realize how much she craved her "alone time." That, and sometimes she could have her alone time with somebody else. That was how she felt tonight. It'll be good to have somebody around for a while. Work and be social at the same time. On the other hand, she couldn't be social and rest, no matter who she was with. Her mother insisted that she 'get out more' and to this day was disappointed with her choice in career. Most days it was easier to ignore her than to engage. Today she dreaded the old argument about going back to school. "How can you lead by example if you didn't finish your education yourself? Only she had. Just not in biology. It was a good time to be outdoors. The weather had just begun to turn cool, but the days had remained beautiful. Leaves turned color, beginning with the gold of early Autumn. This year it had come early, but Annie loved it anyway. These were the scenes she enjoyed painting, Autumn in all its dying glory. She closed her eyes as she walked and breathed deeply. No, it didn't have its scent yet, but it would soon. A shiver went down her spine, and her left hand brushed the knuckles of Dawn's, taking her by surprise. Annie opened her eyes and subtly shifted to put a tiny bit more space between them, but her fingers tingled where they had touched. She said nothing of it, but followed Tanner and Dawn toward the cabin. "It'll be time for sweaters and fires in the fireplace soon." She spoke in simple sentences that masked her intelligence. Nature itself painted the most beautiful scenery, and she craved those colder months. Still, Annie clung to the last remains of summer like a drowning man to a life raft. "It will be good for the students to get one last trip in before Fall." She and Jack had planned it carefully to make the most of the warmer weather and to get the kids out of their comfort zones. Part of her wondered if a simple trip the swimming hole wasn't in order. Well, maybe after their rappelling trip. She slipped through the door into the cabin ahead of Dawn, surprising herself with her own curiosity. Annie tried, as a rule, not to be nosy, but something made her want to know. She'd lost herself in her own mind when Dawn spoke again, and had to shake herself out of it. "Guacamole? Actually I've never had it." It seemed strange, suddenly, never to have had a staple in party food. Maybe that was because Annie didn't tend to do a lot of partying. She offered a shrug and a smile. "I'd love to try it though." By the time Dawn spoke again, Annie had gotten lost once more observing. It took her a moment to realize that cilantro was even a question. "I'm always surprised people like it. It's fine." Annie stood awkwardly for a moment. "Is there something I can do to help? I'm not the world's best cook, but I'd be happy to try."
Dawn Barnes
Counselor • 31 YRS
ENFJ
Occupation
Counselor
Nickname
Dawn
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Sexual Orientation
Homosexual
Status
Single
Partner
None
Riding Style
English
Rosco
is
Journey to the Start

Breed
Dutch Warmblood
Gender
Gelding
Age
10
Disciplines
Hunter/Jumper
Application
is Offline


Age
22
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Timezone
Central
Contact
pm
25 Posts
185 Points
cliffhanger
Counselor
18/September/2017 for @anne howard
TW: closeted homosexuality
Coming from a family of introverts, Dawn had never struggled to keep her own extraverted tendencies to herself. On the outside, if you didn't know her well, Dawn was frequently mistaken for a calm and collected person who liked sitting still and meditation. Ha. What a laugh. She fidgeted with the small tomato on the cutting board before finding the best angle to cut it at. The juice squirted out across her hand and she nearly gaged. Thankfully this piece of composure was well disciplined into her. She hated tomatoes, but they were necessary for the correct consistency of guacamole, and she loved chips and dip. Racing thoughts - racing heart- racing everything. Dawn's slim fingers moved quickly and with purpose. Within a few passing minutes she'd compiled the ingredients, completely ignoring her guest. Muddle in hand she looked up and met Annie's gaze from her awkward placement within Dawn's humble cabin. "Oh." She choked out, her mind and heart not missing a single hummingbird beat as she stood behind the counter, hands covered in tomato insides. Annie was taller than Dawn, which was funny considering they were both a little more than bellow average on the height scale. Still, she looked like an elven creature from across the room. Slender and angled in a way that could slice you right open if you weren't careful. She scared Dawn, but that was the point wasn't it? She was exciting and warm and quiet and distant. She invited Dawn in, but there was something blocking the direct path that made the journey all that much more special and enticing. All the while the silence clung. No matter how fast her thoughts were she was still standing dumbfounded with a muddle way too long for anyone to be comfortable with. "Uh... It's a pretty quick recipe. Almost done." Her gaze drifted to the smooth green mixture in the bowl at her finger tips. With a few more whips she transferred in to a serving dish and dumped a fair amount of chips at it's side before floating towards the living space. Dawn set the dish on the coffee table at the center of the room. She was thankful she'd put the ladder to her loft up earlier in the day, the space kept in its typical tidy fashion caused for less concern. There was a couch parallel to the table that Annie was standing closer to, and two chairs opposite. "Please, sit." She motioned to the couch, taking the seat Tanner wasn't in herself. "Theres a blanket there if you're cold." She tucked her right leg under herself as she attempted to quite herself enough to have a normal conversation. "I guess I don't get many visitors." She laughed. Too late.
anne howard
Artist • 35 YRS
INFP
Occupation
Artist
Nickname
Annie
Pronouns
she/her/hers
Sexual Orientation
Homosexual
Status
single
Partner
n/a
Riding Style
Western
King
is
Last Man Standing

Breed
Quarter Horse
Gender
Gelding
Age
12 years
Disciplines
Reining
Application
is Offline


Age
37
Pronouns
she/her/hers
Timezone
GMT-5
Contact
PM for Discord
23 Posts
205 Points
cliffhanger
Leader
18 September, 2017 for @Dawn Barnes
TW: closeted homosexuality
Annie had never been particularly good at visiting. Growing up, people came to the house, sat primly perched on the edges of chairs and settees designed "for good." They had the living room and the "parlor" as her mother called it. "Like proper people." There was a certain elegance about her mother that Annie both admired and loathed. It was a difficult standard to live up to, but it was also altogether fake. The woman behind those perches was loving and loud and pushy and affectionate. But when she got around "company" it was as though someone had turned off the heat. Her experience, therefore, with "visiting" was to sit at the edge of the seat as though she might at any moment spring up and dash off again. It had all been past the days when people made the Sunday rounds, but sometimes she wondered if her mother had ever realized that. Maybe it was her attempt to integrate into white culture, to become something that she wasn't. In spite of her shy, introverted personality, it had filled Annie was a realization that she could do anything if she wanted to. It had emboldened her, turned her into the woman who said "yes" because everything was possible. Others might not see how the two were connected, but Annie could see it clearly. She had broken the mold. And things had changed, eventually. She couldn't remember the last time someone perched on the couch that way, sipping a cup of tea with a saucer. Her mind flashed to trivia. "Did you know you're meant to drink from the saucer?" The words had tumbled out, the awkward, shy invitation for conversation from someone who often didn't know how to make the words come out right. Or maybe it was Dawn. She had to admit that she was a bit warm in spite of the coolness of the room. How had that come to be? She sat, primly, on the edge of her seat. Embarrassment painted her cheeks, and she glanced sideways at Dawn. It was her neck that first came to mind, that long, delicate length. Annie swallowed. Women weren't meant to think of women that way. She looked away to the hands she had folded primly in her lap, and then moved them to the arms of the chair on which she sat, forcing herself to push back into the seat. Breathe. Relax. This had been her plan, but she'd not planned to feel closeness with such a distance between their bodies. "I've thought of moving into one of the cabins, but I think art supplies would take over the entire space." Now she raised her head to look around, to really examine her surroundings. "But it's such a shame to live with my mother at my age. I was on my own at college, but that took some getting used to." She paused, reminded of social propriety. "What about you? Where's your family from?" Her own mother was Choctaw and when Annie had to think about "where she was from" she thought of herself as African American in the very truest sense of the term.
Dawn Barnes
Counselor • 31 YRS
ENFJ
Occupation
Counselor
Nickname
Dawn
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Sexual Orientation
Homosexual
Status
Single
Partner
None
Riding Style
English
Rosco
is
Journey to the Start

Breed
Dutch Warmblood
Gender
Gelding
Age
10
Disciplines
Hunter/Jumper
Application
is Offline


Age
22
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Timezone
Central
Contact
pm
25 Posts
185 Points
cliffhanger
Counselor
18/September/2017 for @anne howard
TW: closeted homosexuality
Dawn was very aware that when she sat on her foot, the way she was currently, it was more than likely going to fall asleep. A funny way of describing the feeling, asleep. The tingling feeling was much more electric than any sleep she'd ever experienced. This electricity hadn't made its way to her leg quite yet, but she felt the static in the air. It bounced about the cabin as she caught more than one glance coming from Anne's peripheral. Her guest's cheeks tinted the lightest of pinks in the growing dimness of the cabin. Had Dawn not been paying close attention to her guest since the moment she'd called across the yard, she would have thought the coloration was merely a shimmery makeup that had been gently applied before the day of work began. Dipping her head slightly, Dawn took in the warm brew of earl grey that she often craved. Her eyes closed briefly, opening only when her ears caught the most unusual statement she'd heard all day. "Did you know you're meant to drink from the saucer?" A blink or two followed in the silence, her cup held still in the space between mouth and saucer as her brain processed. Tanner adjusted in his chair as the moment hung in the static of the room. And then it jolted straight into her leg. "I did not." Dawn said, finally placing her tea cup back in its place and setting it on the side table to her left. She too adjusted, the tingling relentlessly moving from her toes to the back of her knee. She wanted to cuss about it, but she hid her discomfort well listening to Anne make up for what she seemed to think was an inappropriate space filler. Dawn couldn't help but smile as they both stumbled around on themselves, neither one confident enough to move their physical bodies more than an inch at a time. With the waning of her dead leg she began to relax. "My family is still in Virgina. They're both professors." Right leg crossed over left, she leaned onto herself, pressing the last of her dead leg into the floor without releasing a single exploitive in the process. "Southern bell." The statement followed up with a shrug. "You wouldn't be able to tell unless I started talking about sweet tea or grits. Both of which I hate, by the way." The conversation was picking up, and while she wasn't quite sure how Anne was getting along, Dawn began to settle into her home space and allowed her curiosity to ripple over. "Did you study art then, at college?" She wasn't quite ready to pry into why Anne had left her studies.
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