Dance Magic Dance

8.5: Maggie's Awakening

Maggie was lying in bed, Athos was sitting next to her

RIght—and Athos was asking Maggie to repeat all the things Athos had told her!

Yes! “There…may come a time where I’ll comfort,” the word bad because she can’t quite remember, “terrible things. Nightmares. They’ll be super scary. There’ll be a maze, and monsters. Fear — fear is like a test for your brain.” She hesitates. “And then you said to make my brain an impenetrable fortress and things could only hurt me if I let them. And um, to trust myself. And to always fight back. And – go to the tower.”

“Mhm,” Athos says, gently. “But you forgot one thing, Maggie.”

“What’d I forget?” She asks.

“To trust no one else.” Athos holds Maggie’s head down on the mattress, and in a flash she draws a wicked-looking knife from behind her, which she immediately plunges into Maggie’s stomach. The sharp bite of the knife is a shock beyond any pain Maggie’s innocent brain could have possibly comprehended before this moment. Athos shoves the knife in deep and begins raking it left to right, carving up her internal organs.

Maggie gasps at that immediately, her eyes widening – she writhes away from it, first thing, letting out a mewl of pain. Her hands wrap around the knife – it takes her a few moments of reaction. “Ow,” she says, twisting and shifting. “Ow ow ow ow!” Trust no one else. She tries to get away from it any way that she can – and in the moment, she only panics.
Fear, fear is like a test for your brain. You have to make it an impenetrable fortress. It can only hurt you if you let it. These run through her head, but they don’t take hold for a moment – because the moment is shock and fear sudden and overwhelming – “No,” she says as the knife digs into her organs, and then violently she tries to shove at Athos’s hand. “No!”

Athos utterly overpowers her with raw physical strength as she rakes the knife around in Maggie’s insides. “Did you know,” she says coolly, “that it actually takes hours to die from disembowelment? It’s not like in the movies. The feudal Samurai used to commit suicide in this way, but because the death took so long, a second man, an attendant, would stand behind the person killing himself, standing ready to cut off his head and make the death quicker.”

Maggie panics a bit more at this. And then suddenly the words Athos earlier said to her seem to settle in, digging into her brain. Only hurt you if you let it, impenetrable fortress: and she screws her eyes shut and focuses hard, throws her mind away from the pain like Wesley in the Princess Bride. “You can’t hurt me. You can’t hurt me.” Half of her saying the words aloud is to try and make herself more defiant, make herself feel it.

And all of a sudden, Athos stops talking, stops cutting—Maggie no longer feels Athos present in the room at all, actually. And she feels…fine. No more pain.

She opens her eyes – first one, then the other. She stares where Athos was, and then lifts her head to look down at her stomach.

Her stomach is unhurt, but when she opens her eyes Maggie finds herself in a very different place. The bed is still there, still the same, but everything else is different. The walls are now black stone, veined with gleaming bloody red. The glow of the ambiguous red substance is the only source of light. She seems to be situated in a cavern from which there are countless tunnel exits.

Uneasily, Maggie slips to the edge of the bed. All at once, she’s suddenly utterly grateful for her footie pajama pants and her baggy and draggy shirt, something old and familiar that can give her some soldering strength beyond what she can muster in her head. She slips out of bed – she recalls standing defiant before Bob and not fearing him hitting back. She thinks about wanting to run from the paint monster but knowing Vee and Pip were falling behind her and standing before it. she draws in a deep breath and channels some of that now. “Impenetrable fortress,” she says then, though a quiver at the end betrays her fear. She moves slowly for one of the tunnels.

“Not that way,” says a dark voice through the walls. “Any way but that way.”

Maggie pauses as she peers down it. Now, she’s seen Labyrinth like 5 times in Theater, and asked for it on VHS for Christmas. Maggie KNOWS Labyrinth. And she pauses. And those words sound EXACTLY like the worms. Well, not exactly. He says Don’t go that way. NEVER go that way. But close enough. She draws in a breath, puffs out her cheeks. “My will is as strong as yours, and my kingdom is as great. You have no power over me.” And she puffs her cheeks and steps down that hall.

The voice through the walls laughs slowly as Maggie moves forward. “That’s just adorable,” it says. “You think some little VHS tape your mommy bought you is going to save you here. In the Nightmare. But here’s the thing, little Margaret. I know you. I know you because I’ve seen your mind. And so if you’ve seen Labyrinth, I’ve seen it too. So maybe I said what the worms said, on purpose, knowing how you’d react—knowing that you’d go right where I wanted you to. Where all the monsters are waiting, and where you’ll be lost forever.”

She hesitates at that, for a moment, uncertainly. “Well,” she says then. “Well, then – then let them come,” she says. There’s that false bravado again – her heart hammers in her chest, even as she lifts her chin. She tries to recall the real Athos’s words – or was that the real Athos? She doesn’t know – where nothing can hurt her unless she makes it. “Because – nothing can hurt me. Nope.” Probably? Right? The knot of doubt curls in her stomach, making her feel a little sick and uneasy, but – she tries to keep the words settled in her head. And she steps forward and starts walking down that path.

“You don’t sound so sure, little Margaret,” says the voice disparagingly. “Are you doubting Athos’s advice? Or…no. You’re doubting your own strength, aren’t you? Yes…you’re not sure you’re cut out for this, are you? You think you might end up worthless and alone, aren’t you?”

“I’m not listening to you,” she says then, and begins to walk down that long and twisty path. She lifts her fingers to plug her ears, trying to ignore the voice – that’s what Vee and Epiphany say when she starts getting mad at Bob. Ignore it Maggie. Drop it Maggie.

“Do you think covering your ears will do anything? I’m INSIDE YOUR MIND!”

She pulls her hands out of her ears and shakes her hands then. “No. But – but Athos says I can do it, so I can do it. And – I can do it. You’re just – you’re just the goetic demon, and you’re angry and you’re mean." She keeps marching down the path she’s on, studying the veiny walls – and putting her hand against the wall as she walks.

The wall is unsettlingly warm, and rough and rocky. “How do you know Athos wasn’t lying to you? How do you know she wasn’t trying to lure you into the Nightmare, so that she could harvest your soul for herself? Or—even better—how do you know Athos isn’t just ME?! Wasn’t it a little CONVENIENT, after all, that Athos seemed to shut me up so easily? And where is she now?”

“She’s a girl and you’re a boy,” Maggie says then, as if this should be obvious. “And – and you’ve been in my head before she knew me, and – and Ms. Mendeleeva went and got her and Ms. Mendeleeva did something to help Rick after he got eaten and so she wouldn’t go and get someone to help us who’d hurt us.” LOGIC! She looks around a little bit. “Where are you?” And then: “Oh — you’re – everywhere, right? You’re – everywhere here? Come out."

“But there’s one thing you didn’t think of,” says the voice, as a figure appears at the far end of the tunnel. The figure comes nearer and nearer, until finally Xyza appears there with her paintbrush. “You never tried your paint-thinner on Athos, did you?” she says.

She stares quietly at Xyza for a long moment. She stares for a moment, and then, uneasily: “No, I didn’t. But I didn’t have to.” She looks to the paintbrush, and then she straightens up. “You’re dead. I watched you get – get shot in the head, even though I didn’t want you to get shot in the head. You didn’t turn to paint or anything, so it was you. And — and then – and then – “ she stares past Xyza, and then looks at her again. “Um – let me passed.”

“Was that really me? Are you SURE I didn’t turn to paint? Are you sure that shooting a paint-creature in the head even turns them into paint?” Xyza rolls her eyes to the cavern ceiling contemplatively, as she starts to paint an Athos into existence.

“That’s not going to be Athos. And you can’t hurt me. And – and of course they’d turn to paint. Colby turned to paint.” She shifts and tries to slide past Xyza then. “And – and so it’d have to. You can’t paint BLOOD. You don’t paint all their INSIDES."

“No?” Xyza finishes painting Athos, who immediately comes to life. She has just enough time to say, “Maggie, you have to get out of here, I was wrong, I’m sorry—” before Xyza pulls out a gun and shoots Athos in the head. Blood and brains splatter all over the cavern walls. She falls to the ground quite realistically—despite having been painted.

She stares at the fallen Athos for a moment, and then: “Y-you’re just trying to scare me. You said you’re in my head, so you’re just – you’re just making me – you’re TRYING to make me scared. That’s what you’re trying to do.” She remember what Athos said – that she’d see all sorts of terrible things. Was that the real Athos though? She’s unsure. But that’s what Athos said. “You’re trying to make me scared and – and so I need to keep moving. And – anyway that was paint-Athos, so she wasn’t even the REAL fake Athos.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about,” Xyza says. “You don’t know anything. You think you’re so smart, don’t you? But you’re just a stupid little fifth grader who reads books and watches movies and thinks she knows everything. What an arrogant little piece of crap you are. No wonder everyone hates you.”

“I’m not – I’m not ARROGANT and NOT EVERYONE HATES ME!” She says then, stomping her foot. “Sure, not everyone LIKES me but I know not everyone hates me. Rick doesn’t hate me. And — and Laverne doesn’t hate me, and Petra, and Epiphany, and Vee. They like me. Maybe I’m not their FAVORITE but they LIKE me. I – I don’t like YOU! No one likes YOU! You’re just mean!” And Maggie stomps her foot again, her face screws up – and then she stomps forward and shoves Xyza with all her strength.

Each time Maggie names someone, that person appears from one of the tunnel exits to the room—the cavern walls part to reveal each of them standing there.
“You’re the worst cousin anyone could ask for,” Rick says. “You just stood there and watched me die.”
Laverne: “Did you forget that time you snapped at me? Because I didn’t.”

“I told you to run,” she says to Rick. “And — and you’re alive. You even said to me – you whispered and you said not to believe the voice in my head ‘cause it told lies and you’re just – you’re from my head.”

Petra: “What about when you left me all alone to fight against the paint-monster? What about when you forced everyone to kill that poor, defenseless dog? I didn’t help, because I knew how wrong it was. You were stupid, and you were wrong.”

“AND — And you CAN’T ACT LIKE YOU KNOW EVERYTHING and then just – and then not say anything and then act like – act like it’s our fault we can’t read your mind! That’s why I snapped, and I said sorry because I could have said it in a nicer way,” she says then to Laverne.

Laverne: “Oh, so I KNOW EVERYTHING now? I’m so arrogant? LOOK IN THE MIRROR!”

And then she whirls on Petra. “I didn’t force ANYONE to kill the paintmonster dog. I was gonna do it by myself, and then everyone just followed me, and so it was everyone ’s choice, and the fact that you sat out is fine. And – and I am sorry about leaving you alone. I was scared. I’m sorry.” Her shoulders sink a little bit and she glances away from Petra to focus back on Laverne. “You ACT like you do! And — and YOU look in the mirror!"

Petra: “You keep telling yourself that. But the kids are your friends. WERE your friends. They followed you. And you led them to murder an innocent dog! You’re a terrible person!”
Laverne: “Oh, that was SUCH a witty retort, Maggie. That was just SO very clever. How will I ever recover from such a horrible insult as ‘no, YOU’? You’re pathetic.”

“They ARE my friends.” She says then. “And – it wasn’t an innocent dog! Even that Remainder lady said. She said it was good that we did it. And she has no reason to be nice to me ‘cause I don’t even know her. He was a paint monster, and Ethan would’ve been way more hurt. I don’t regret k-killing that dog! And—and if they thought I was their leader, they’d have listened when I told ‘em not to go.” She draws in a deep breath. “I’m not good at insults. And that’s okay.” She draws in a shaky breath, shaking and unnerved, and then starts stepping forward as quickly as she can – trying to head deeper into the tunnels, not looking at Laverne. Am I arrogant? I don’t think I’m arrogant. I talk to everyone. If I’m arrogant, I’d be like – - I’d be like Emily, right?

Petra, Laverne, and Rick all turn into horrible painted monsters as Maggie turns her back on them. They charge after her, snarling, lashing their teeth and claws menacingly.

‘I’m not like Emily. I’m not like Emily at all. I – I try to be nice to people who are nice. I don’t just try to hurt people because I think they’re uncool. As soon as those three turn into paintmonsters, she screams and whirls around again, diving back against the nearest wall. “Stay back!"

The foremost of them steps forward and gashes Maggie across the face with its horrible claws.

“No,” she says then, flailing and scrabbling back – paintmonsters are terrifying. Paintmonsters make her think of the one that drove her mindless with terror – the one of many hooves and heads and lashing tongue and biting teeth, and she scrabbles back further, holding up her hands. “No.” TRY TO KEEP BRAVE MAGGIE. “YOU—YOU CAN’T HURT ME,” she says loudly. Make your mind an impenetrable fortress. Make your mind an impenetrable fortress. What does that mean? Try to be stronger? Fear is just — fear is just a test. Fear is just a test. A test of what?

As Maggie steps backward, the paintmonsters step forward, with their horrible faces, horrible claws and teeth. One of them grabs her with its foul arms, and begins scratching her open, making her bleed all over. Another sinks its teeth into her shoulder, chomping and ripping her apart.

A test of strength for your mind. She straightens up – she tries to stop backing up. Her arms quake, her legs jostle a bit, becoming weaker. Each bite and all the blood loss seems to hurt her more. “You can’t hurt me. You can’t hurt me. You can’t hurt me.” She holds her hands out in front of her, palms out. She starts struggling and fighting – never stop fighting, Athos said. Never stop fighting. “You can’t hurt me.” Her arms burn. She claws and snaps and smacks. “YOU CAN’T HURT ME,” she says then – apparently shouting it loud seems to make it more real, she sounds stronger then. “YOU CAN’T HURT ME."

The final scream, of utter defiance, made just as her throat is being ripped out of her neck, makes the whole labyrinth quake powerfully. Everything shatters all at once, somehow—and Maggie finds herself standing on her own two feet, on a floor of black bedrock. This rock forms a sort of natural bridge, over a chasm which seems bottomless and horrible. The bridge begins quite wide, but as it moves forward, it narrows until it’s barely a foot across. But at the other side, there’s a tall black obelisk, the top of which is shaped like a clenched fist.

She heaves for breath then – taking a few moments to gather herself. Her legs continue to quake, her arms shaking. Her face feels ashy, and her lions mane of hair is now smashed against her. Her limbs quake and then she straightens up. “You can’t hurt me,” she says again, quietly, filled with spite. She looks around at the crumbled ground, and then looks at the bridge. She looks up at the obelisk, with the fist. “…Is that the tower?” She asks herself, uncertainly. She hesitates, and then she steps forward on to it – and then sinks to her knees to slowly crawl across it. “I always wondered in movies,” she says to herself -s peaking to herself to stay focused, “why people don’t just crawl. It seems silly to walk across.” She peeks down into the abyss below and then looks back up to the obelisk.

As she gets about halfway across the crawling part of the bridge, the ground quakes—collapses—and Maggie finds herself plummeting into a bottomless pit.

Maggie panics as she topples head over heels toward this bottomless pit. Things that stand before her that hurt her – that makes sense. “Can’t hurt me,” she says, an echo of what she’d just screamed – but as she tumbles into the darkness, she focuses. No – nothing can hurt her here, certainly, right? Only if she lets it. It’s silly. Athos – Athos in the closet, Athos stepping around the corner – can Athos appear anywhere? And Athos said she’d learn magic like her. Can Maggie appear anywhere? Is that silly? It’s – it’s HER brain, she can go ANYWHERE in HER brain, right? Epiphany had that book about dreams too, where you astral project in your dream and you can make your dream do stuff and – and so she topples, panicked, and works this out – and then focuses – the ground by that tower thing. The ground by that tower thing. “Please work,” she says into the darkness. “I want to – I WANT TO BE ON THAT GROUND UP THERE. I WANT TO BE BACK UP THERE. I CAN BE. YOU CAN’T HURT ME WITH FALLING."

“Hurt you? Oh, Margaret, you don’t understand. You’re not going to fall to your death—you’re not going to GET hurt. You’re just going to fall forever. Welcome to the rest of your life. And do you know why? Because you FAILED. You’re a FAILURE.” The dark voice echoes off the nothingness around her, powerfully blasting her ears.

“I – I am NOT! And stop calling me MARGARET! You’re – you’re not my MOM. Eeee,” and she lifts her hands to try and cover her ears, and then remembers how useless that was.

“You had the Tower staring you in the face, and all you had to do was be brave one last time. But no. You decided to be CAUTIOUS. You decided to CRAWL. Like a little weakling. And now the Tower doesn’t want you anymore. Now this Realm is done testing you. It doesn’t care about you anymore. You’re discarded. You’re worthless. You’ll never Awaken. You’ll never leave this place. You’ll fall forever, until everyone in the world has forgotten you, and your body back home has shriveled and died.”
“And all because you couldn’t just follow Athos’s advice and be brave. All because you gave in to FEAR.”

“I – I DIDN’T GIVE IN TO FEAR,” she says then. “I was being SMART! There’s – there’s a difference between being – being BRAVE AND FACING YOUR FEAR and being – being the – the – FOOLHARDY.” She’d read that in some of her books. “Y-you can’t always just charge in and kick someone in between the legs, but just cause you don’t do that doesn’t mean you’re scared!” She inhales deep and lets it out. “And—“ And tears perk at the corner of her eyes. “And I’m not – I’m not a failure. And the – and I’m not worthless! And no—no one will just f-forget me! There’s a — there’s a difference, and sometimes I f-forget it, but there’s a DIFFERENCE!"

“There is no difference,” says the voice. “You crawled because you were scared to fall. And now the Tower sees that you’re just a stupid little coward that will never succeed. You FAILED, Margaret. You FAILED. And now you have ALL ETERNITY to fall into nothingness—the Realm doesn’t even care enough to kill you—and think about what a WORTHLESS FAILURE you are.”

She draws in a deep breath, she lets it out.

“But it’s perfectly logical, Maggie,” says the voice—it almost sounds like it’s taking pity. “If you try not to die, then you fear death. If you’re afraid of something, you’re not brave.”

Focus Maggie. Focus. She focuses as hard as she can, focuses on what she knows – it is a labyrinth, and she keeps arguing with – with what’s in her head, like Jareth, and – and she’s ahd to go through hardships, she had to watch Rick get eaten and come back alive. Even as she’s falling, even as the cold wind buffets her, even then her arms quake, and her tears still fall – she still manages to quote and shout: “Th—THROUGH DANGERS UNTOLD, and HARDSHIPS OUTNUMBERED I have—I have FOUGHT my way here to the castle BEYOND the — BEYOND THE PAINTMONSTER CITY TO TAKE BACK THE CHILD THAT YOU HAVE STOLEN which is — which is ME. My WILL is as STRONG as YOURS and my KINGDOM AS GREAT. No, that’s NOT logical!” She says then, snapping out of the quote. “It’s not!”

“Oh, but it is. And it means you’re a FAILURE.”

“NO,” she says then. “Brave is — brave is even when you’re scared, even when you’re afraid — even when you’re scared, you do it anyway. You do it however you do it! That’s what brave means. B—Brave was when – was when I was scared, and wanted to run, but I knew I’d hurt Epiphany and Vee and instead stood in front of the paintmonster knowing it’d eat me. B-brave isn’t about being not scared. It’s about being scared, and knowing you’re scared, and – doing whatever it was anyway, however it is you do it.”

Maggie seems to be slowing down in her fall. And below her, she can see the Tower coming into view, can see the chasm again, and a bridge—this time a longer bridge, a wider one. She coasts down toward it, turning end over end until her feet face downward, and slowly, almost gracefully, touch down upon the rock. Once again she finds herself facing the Tower.

“Brave is – is about knowing you’re scared and doing it anyway,” she repeats as she lands then. She’s harried, her eyes wide. Her hair is everywhere, wild about her head like a great big frizzy mess. She draws in a breath. “You have no power over me,” she says then, quietly finishing Sarah’s line. She shakes a little bit, her limbs quivering, and then she steps forward slowly, stumbling toward the tower.

As she approaches the Tower’s black steps, the double doors at the entrance unclench and slowly creak open, revealing a fiery-looking interior.

She hesitates on the steps, staring into the interior. She looks in there for a long moment, and then slowly mounts the steps. She’s encountered paintmonsters. She had someone she – liked rip her open and gut her. She had her friends yell at her for things she’d thought was her fault and – in a way – still did. She fell. She’d seen a paintmonster eat her cousin. She’d seen a friend who she maybe had a kid crush on captured in a giant science place. She could – she could see whatever this was.

Inside the tower, she finds a forge. The heat of it blasts her face harshly. But she finds that she has tools there, waiting for her. There’s a huge metal gauntlet—it looks like it weighs about a thousand pounds, and is meant for the hand of someone far, far bigger than her. Bigger than Athos, even. Then there’s a hammer and a chisel that look like they’re about a billion years old. They look so heavy. So impossible to lift. The rest of the Tower’s interior has a spiral staircase going all the way up—and the walls of the inside are covered, floor to ceiling, everywhere, with names that have been etched in.
Give me a Wits+Comp -3 roll.

That would be… Wits 3 + Comp 2 – 3 = 2

At just a foot or two above eye level, near the forge’s hottest fires, Maggie can see one name that stands out to her, with the sheer power and audacity with which it was chiseled into the stone. Seeing the lettering, she can almost feel the defiance, the cold, hard bravery that matches her own feelings as she marched across the bridge and into this tower: LISA REYNOLDS.
There’s an empty spot pretty much right below it.

“Athos,” she says then, recognizing that name. “Okay, in – in stories, you gotta,” she moves to the gauntlets then. Athos said to put on the iron gauntlets. They’re too big – but – if Athos could do it, and Athos said she was about her age – so – she tries (her arms hurt SO MUCH, they feel like JELLO) to shove her hands into the gauntlet and lift them, gritting her teeth to do it. Those first.

She finds that the gauntlet, which looks intimidating and let’s face it metal as hell, which fits up and past her elbow, weighs practically nothing.

“Oh,” she says then, lifts it. She pauses, and then turns and slowly picks up the hammer and chisel. Does she have to heat the chisel? Probably, that’s what the gauntlets are for, right? She pauses, and then moves to put the tip of the chisel in the fire for a moment.

The chisel, which also weighs pretty much nothing, grows hot and turns red in the fire.

She moves over toward LISA REYNOLDS. She stares at it for a moment, and then starts writing. MARGARET STARK. All capitals. She wants everyone to know this name – she wants it to be obvious.

The carving is slow, methodical, laborious. Maggie is sweating bullets by the end of it, despite the weightlessness of her tools. But after what feels like hours, it’s finally done.

She heaves out a breath at that and steps back, staring at her name then. She steps back, wearing the gauntlets and clutching her tools. She feels sweaty – she feels it pouring down her cheeks and into her pajamas. She feels her pajamas covered in dust and ash, her hair clinging to her face and slightly singed.

She has just enough time to admire her name, there, to feel the rightness of it—to feel her sense of belonging cement itself—before the scene of the Tower fades away, and Maggie finds herself standing in a…library. A huge library. The biggest library she’s EVER seen.

Is this another test? I pause and look around then, spinning in a wide circle. I clutch the hammer in my right hand, the chisel in my left – and then I drop them. Probably some sort of test to read and puzzle out the books. I pause to study the nearest books.

The hammer, chisel, and gauntlet are all GONE!


ALso, Maggie isn’t all disheveled and burned-up.

Oh. Well then!

Her pajamas are undamaged.

Her hair is still probably frizzy.

A bit.

She moves over to the books to peek at them.


Maggie understands almost none of that. A treatise? She heard that in school. That’s…a treaty. Ethical means…moral. Viability is – um, she isn’t sure. Sympathetic magic though, probably means on making people sympathetic! She looks at the inside, and then like a kid who can’t decide in a book store, starts poking around at the next book over. This place is HUGE. And that one was on MAGIC. There’s probably SOMETHING here about GOETIC DEMONS.



Somewhere on the other side of the book stacks, Maggie hears the crisp flip of a page.

A…librarian? Or someone who shouldn’t find her here? She squints a little bit. If this is a test, she should face it. She moves quietly around the book stack to peek to see who flipped the page.

Through the book stack, she can see a man standing on the other side. He’s holding a book in his hands, and is placidly flipping pages, one at a time, methodically.

She stares up at him then for a long quiet moment, pauses, and then: “Hi.” And she steps around the corner, hugging the TREATISE ON THE ETHICAL VIABILITY OF THE PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS OF SYMPATHETIC MAGIC, VOLUME 7. That’s about all that she says – until she decides that even if he ISN’T the library, he probably knows where something is, or can point her to the right person. “Do you know if there are any books about goetic demons?"

The man tilts his head, looking at the spine of the book she’s carrying. “That seems a little beyond your reading level,” he says.

“I’m not a baby,” she says, and hugs it tighter to her chest. “I read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.” She’d gotten a near perfect on the Accelerated Reader quiz too which meant she’d gotten all the points, and that was in 4th grade, a full year before. “Do you?"

“All right,” says the man, folding his arms, “What does that mean, then? The ethical viability of the practical applications of sympathetic magic.”

“I don’t think you know where the books on goetic demons are,” she says then, and folds her own arms then – over the book, mirroring his own arm folding, even on accident. “Can you point me to the librarian?” And then she pauses. “Um – well, ethical is – is like moral stuff, being good or bad. Practical applications is uses, like doing something rather than, um, just thinking of something, and – sympathetic magic is – is a kind of magic. So it’s discussing whether it’s good or bad to use sympathetic magic. And – viability, that’s the word I don’t know, but um – the ethical viability of the practical applications – um, “ context, her teachers talked about context. “But it probably talks about – how to be moral when using sympathetic magic over and over, and if you keep doing the same thing over and over is it still good if it’s good the first time?"

The man slowly raises his eyebrows. “That’s pretty good,” he says. Then he points to his left. “Goetic demons that way.”

“Thank you,” she says then, bobbing her head – and still hugging the book that she got pretty good (she’s pretty proud of that, though she probably messed up on viability – what does that word mean, anyway?) she begins moving toward his left, peeking at the books as she passes. “Mr. Librarian?” She pauses as she looks over her shoulder, hesitating for a moment.

“Yes?” he says, looking back at his book.

“Ummmmm,” she fidgets a bit. “do you know Ms. Athos or Ms. Zoia? And if you do do you know their phone numbers? And after I get my book can I use a phone to call them? And do I need a library card? And can you not tell them that I’m checking out a book on goetic demons?" The library at home always makes kids tell their parents if they check out books above their reading level, after all, and didn’t Athos say books on goetic demons weren’t gonna be shared yet with Maggie? So thus, obviously…

“Athos is on her way to come get you,” he says, without looking up from his book.

“What!?” She says then, and then wild-hared, she turns and darts down the alley toward where he pointed the goetica out. She dashes hurriedly, looking for Goetica as fast as she can.

The man spares Maggie a bewildered glance, but just shakes his head and goes back to reading. As she’s running toward the bookshelf containing books on goetic demons, Athos rounds a corner all of a sudden. “There you are,” she says.

She comes to a scrambling halt then, breathlessly – she’s still clutching that book to her chest as if it’s some sort of defense from the fact that she was in a castle bedroom, and then someone stabbed her, and then her friends said they hated her, and then she got attacked by paint monsters, and then she fell, and then she carved her name in a wall, and then she was in a library. She gasps for breath – and then huffs. “I was almost to the section on goetic demons!” She says then.

“So you were,” Athos says, glancing around a bit. “My favorite section.”

“Oh.” She neglects to note the fact that she was pretty certain that Athos had said she couldn’t borrow any books on goetic demons. “Do I need a library card?” She moves up to one of the bookshelves then. “I went to the maze place."

“I know you did. And now you’re back.” Athos holds out her hand out. “Let’s go somewhere else to talk. You can come back here later, if you want—and you can look at all the books you want.”

“Oh, okay.” She shifts the book she picked up to one arm and holds out her hand to take Athos’ with the other. “Should I put this one up?”

“For now, yes.”
Athos walks Maggie back over to where she got it. The man with the book looks at Athos. “When I said ‘let your pupils explore’…”
“She just Awakened,” Athos says. “If you think—”
“Oh, relax,” says the man. “I know she’s just Awakened.”

“Who’s he?” She asks of Athos, and then she looks to the man. “How’d YOU know?”

The man closes up his book, and looks down at Maggie. “I’m Misterio,” he says, with a wiggle of his fingers in Maggie’s direction, “And I’m very mysterious.”
Athos sighs. “Misterio is my teacher.”
Misterio: “So that means I’m sort of like your grand-teacher, huh?”
“You can call me Pappy. Pappy Misterio.”
Athos groans.

“Oh.” She says then. “You’re old,” Maggie says at the same time. And then she looks to Athos and then to Misterio, and then she giggles at that.

“I’m ancient,” he says. “Grand Pappy Misterio?”
Athos sighs and rolls her eyes. “Please…”

“GREAT grand pappy Misterio,” she volunteers.

Misterio: “Even better!”

“Gee-gee-pee for short,” she adds, “because that’s not very shoutable.”
“…Not that Gee-Gee-Pee is either.” she pauses and considers what is both short and shout-able.

“Gee-gee-pee. Hear that?” Misterio taps Athos with his hand. “I’m a gee-gee-pee.”
Athos sighs and pinches the bridge of her nose. “Let’s go, Maggie.”

“Grandpa is shoutable but is too boring to shout,” she says then, thoughtfully, tilting her chin up as she things, and wiggles a little bit. “GEE GEE PEEEEEE!” She says then – suddenly, loudly, almost startling herself with how loud it is. She quiets immediately. “No, it’s shoutable. Okay!” She says then. “Do I get a nickname too since you have one and Zoia has one and Gee-gee-pee has one?” Because that’s apparently what he’s dubbed now. She pauses, beams, and waves to Misterio, even as she takes Athos’ hand again.

Athos cringes at the shout; Misterio clicks his tongue. “Shouldn’t shout in a library,” he says. “At least not when there’s a librarian around to wag his finger at you disapprovingly.” Notably, he doesn’t wag any fingers.

“Oh,” she says then. She beams. “Bye, Gee-Gee-Pee,” she says then, and offers him her palm – for a high five, apparently.

He absently high-fives her.

And then she looks up to Athos. “Where are we?” And she happily walks off with the woman.

“We’re in the Mysterium’s Great Athenaeum in Paris, France.”

“What?” She says then. “How’d I get here? Did we fly here? Did you use your magic and I got here? Or – wait, you said if I Awaken I can do magic like you. Did I use magic and get here?”

“Remember when I opened your closet door, but it didn’t lead to your closet?”

She nods her head. “Yeah."

“That was my magic, bringing you here. But it was your magic that brought you from the bed I left you in to here.”

She bobs her head up and down. “Coooool."

7: The Angry Voice

SO, the following morning, the kids come into school and Mrs. Horn is going over more dinosaur stuff. Laverne and Petra are both back in school today, but Ethan is still absent.
[12/7/2014 10:07:33 PM] Maq: Maggie looks a bit better than yesterday, though she’s still got a haunted, paranoid look about her, and she’s hunched over her notebook. She’s got all their notes gathered on their dinosaur, and quietly listens to Mrs. Horn as she talks.
[12/7/2014 10:09:14 PM] Auds: Vee showed up with a little more actual research on dinosaurs, since she did dick-all the day before, but she’s still glum, quiet, sitting in her assigned desk in the window row, mostly looking out at the yard.
[12/7/2014 10:10:15 PM] Kii: Epiphany looks like she didn’t get much sleep, although someone has french braided her hair tight enough to help keep her eyes open. She pauses when she sees Petra and gives her a small hand wave before sitting down at her desk. She seems to have no new notes on dinosaurs of any sort. Instead she slides a thin book into her desk, and pulls out her notebook.
[12/7/2014 10:11:01 PM] Auds: She did seem glad to see Petra and Laverne.
[12/7/2014 10:12:12 PM] zuarkeror: Petra offers quiet, shy waves to those who wave to her; Laverne, less shy, cracks a half-smile, gives a chill upward nod while Mrs. Horn drones on about herbivores and carnivores.
[12/7/2014 10:12:41 PM] zuarkeror: Everyone except Vee, roll Wits+Comp at 1.
[12/7/2014 10:13:01 PM] Maq: 2s!
[12/7/2014 10:13:06 PM] Kii: 2s
[12/7/2014 10:14:03 PM] Adam: 5s
[12/7/2014 10:14:51 PM] Adam: Rick looks pale when he gets there, but – he always does. He’s down to just a black tee and jeans at school today, paying much more attention to whatever he’s sketching in the margins of his notebook than Mrs. Horn.
[12/7/2014 10:16:27 PM] Maq: She glances toward Vee’s desk quietly, and then looks back to Mrs. Horn. Idly she fusses with her note, and then starts slowly scrawling something and then erases it, and then starts doodling a t-rex.
[12/7/2014 10:17:31 PM] Kii: Epiphany also turns her head to get a better look at Vee, but then just rests her cheek in her hand as Mrs. Horne drones on. She looks to be writing notes in her scrawling loopy handwriting.
[12/7/2014 10:22:36 PM] Adam: Rick glances over at Vee for a long moment, at one point, then turns a page and starts some new drawing.
[12/7/2014 10:22:43 PM] zuarkeror: After a while, Mrs. Horn once again breaks up the class into their dinosaur-researching groups. This creates some complications, however, as Petra and Laverne have yet to be assigned.
[12/7/2014 10:23:43 PM] zuarkeror: Also, Bob complains
-loudly—when he discovers that Rick has been assigned to Maggie’s group. “THEY’RE allowed to have four?!” he balks incredulously. Mrs. Horn attempts to patiently explain that Rick was added late yesterday, but Bob is kind of incensed, since he is still stuck with Aaron and Eddie.
[12/7/2014 10:24:33 PM] zuarkeror: Mrs. Horn rather heartlessly shuffles Laverne into Bob’s group and Petra into Emily’s. Petra’s eyes alight with fear as she is being forced to comingle with the most popular group.
[12/7/2014 10:24:47 PM] Adam: Rick, as a matter of fact, is with Bob on this one. “Let him join his friends, Mrs. Horn, it’s only fair,” he pipes up.
[12/7/2014 10:24:50 PM] Maq: Maggie draws in a sharp breath and covers her face for a long moment. She’s stiff – and it’s as if she’s pondering going over and smashing Bob in the nose. She DOESN’T, but she is stiff and silent and covering her face as she apparently ponders it. “Mrs. Horn,” she says, “can I switch places with Petra.”
[12/7/2014 10:25:01 PM] Maq: “Or -y eah, let Bob be with Emily and move Petra there with Laverne. Please?”
[12/7/2014 10:25:06 PM] Maq: She removes her hands and nods to Rick.
[12/7/2014 10:25:13 PM] Auds: “They can join our group, Mrs. Horn,” Vee offers. “Then we’d have six, but we could do another dinosaur too, to make it fair.”
[12/7/2014 10:25:32 PM] zuarkeror: “No, Rick,” Mrs. Horn says, “It is too late for that. The groups have already begun their research. I understand you children want to be with your friends, but disrupting the groups now would be wasting time. Now, let’s all try to make new friends, shall we?”
[12/7/2014 10:25:46 PM] zuarkeror: Emily and Melissa are already glaring daggers at Petra.
[12/7/2014 10:26:23 PM] zuarkeror: Emily raises her hand wildly. “Mrs. HORN,” she announces, “Today, MY group would like to make use of the LIBRARY!”
[12/7/2014 10:26:34 PM] Adam: Rick glares his own daggers at Mrs. Horn for a moment – how is it not obvious that elementary school emotions are more important than dinosaur research?? – but then sighs and lets it go.
[12/7/2014 10:27:01 PM | Edited 10:28:20 PM] Kii: Epiphany gives Petra a sympathetic look as she’s sentenced to a group project with the popular kids, and shuffles off to sit with Maggie, Vee, and Rick, stopping at Emily’s announcement. “Yeah! Can we use the Library again, Mrs. Horn?”
[12/7/2014 10:27:56 PM] zuarkeror: “Now, Epiphany, let Emily’s group have a turn, all right? I don’t want too many of you children in the library at once. It will cause a ruckus.” She pushes herself wearily out of her chair. “Come along, Emily’s group—let me escort you to the library.”
[12/7/2014 10:28:11 PM] zuarkeror: Mrs. Horn, Emily, Melissa, Bill, and—very reluctantly—Petra, shuffle out of the classroom single file.
[12/7/2014 10:28:22 PM] zuarkeror: Petra leaves with one last forlorn look back at the others.
[12/7/2014 10:28:37 PM] Adam: Rick gives Petra a look normally reserved for doomed gladiators as she leaves.
[12/7/2014 10:28:55 PM] Auds: Vee tries to shoot Petra a reassuring look, slouching back down into her desk.
[12/7/2014 10:29:00 PM] zuarkeror: Laverne makes eye contact with Emily as she’s heading out, and draws her index finger across her own throat in silence.
[12/7/2014 10:29:37 PM] Kii: Epiphany gives Petra a sad shrug and takes her seat, sighing softly.
[12/7/2014 10:29:46 PM] Maq: She looks to Petra as well, and then she pushes to her feet, idly. She puts her notebook down next to Epiphany’s. “Watch this for a bit please?” she says then to Vee and Epiphany.
[12/7/2014 10:30:12 PM] zuarkeror: As soon as Mrs. Horn is out of the room, Bob glowers at the other group of kids. “You losers think you’re so cool,” he says disparagingly.
[12/7/2014 10:30:36 PM] Kii: Epiphany arches an eyebrow up at Maggie. “Um, sure, but… Don’t get into another fight, ok?”
[12/7/2014 10:30:58 PM] Adam: Rick shoots Bob his own glowering, dead-eyed stare, silently willing him to back off.
[12/7/2014 10:31:02 PM] Kii: She doesn’t seem to even acknowledge that Bob’s in the room.
[12/7/2014 10:31:17 PM] Maq: “No, you think you’re cool when you’re the most hated person in school,” she says bluntly to Bob, and then she nods grimly to Epiphany. She moves for the door, peeks out to see if Mrs. HOrn is halfway down – and if she is, walks out into the hall.
[12/7/2014 10:31:29 PM] Auds: “We are,” Vee says, wrinkling her nose at Bob. “Okay,” she whispers at Maggie, “But come back ’cuz I gotta talk to you guys.”
[12/7/2014 10:31:47 PM] Maq: “Okay,” she says with a nod to Vee. “I won’t be too long. Probably.”
[12/7/2014 10:31:57 PM] zuarkeror: “Where are YOU going?” Bob says incredulously to Maggie as she starts out into the hall. He follows her, with a pretty obvious intention to tell.
[12/7/2014 10:32:13 PM] zuarkeror: Aaron and Eddie look at each other and kind of exchange quiet shrugs.
[12/7/2014 10:32:15 PM] Kii: “Oh!” Epiphany whispers, scooching a little closer to Vee. “Who gave you that note, huh?”
[12/7/2014 10:33:01 PM] Adam: “Emily, wasn’t it?” Rick says as he gives up caring about Bob and scoots a bit closer to the group.
[12/7/2014 10:33:04 PM] Maq: Maggie really wishes she knew what Bob feared more than anything else so she could insult him with it, but she doesn’t seem to especially care. She heads into the hall and walks down it, pausing to turn to stare up at Bob. She leans in, and she quietly whispers to him.
[12/7/2014 10:37:39 PM] Auds: “Shh,” she worridly shushes the other two, even though they’re already whispering. “She wants me to ditch you guys at recess and hang out with them. But remember what she called me last week, at the junior high? She doesn’t think I’m cool.” Kind of a bitter worry in her voice; clearly being invited to the popular crowd holds a lot of allure for her, even if she feels guilty about it, or doesn’t trust the motives. “She must want something.”
[12/7/2014 10:38:34 PM] zuarkeror: Everyone except Maggie: Wits+Comp.
[12/7/2014 10:38:45 PM] Adam: 2s
[12/7/2014 10:38:47 PM] Kii: 2s
[12/7/2014 10:39:22 PM] Auds: 1s
[12/7/2014 10:40:08 PM] Auds: “She’s so MEAN lately,” Vee adds, whispering, with a glance at the door.
[12/7/2014 10:40:25 PM] Kii: “Her?” she says, and then stops, tipping her head and then looking back at the door. “Speaking of… Is… Do you hear that?”
[12/7/2014 10:40:33 PM] zuarkeror: Laverne watches the door with slightly raised eyebrows, but says nothing.
[12/7/2014 10:41:27 PM] Adam: “Well…don’t you want to know what Emily wants?” Rick ventures slowly, after nodding to Epiphany’s question. He slips a book from his backpack inside of their dinosaur textbook, propping them together down in his lap.
[12/7/2014 10:42:02 PM] Maq: Maggie darts back into the room looking panicked.
[12/7/2014 10:42:18 PM] Maq: She moves to her desk and then just sits down, yanking her notebook back in front of her.
[12/7/2014 10:42:43 PM] Kii: “…He’s really crying… I wonder if she hit him.” Epiphany waves Maggie back over, staring at everyone awkwardly before she finds her voice again.
[12/7/2014 10:43:51 PM] Kii: “…Are you going to go see what she wants, Vee?” she says after a few moments, opening up her textbook finally.
[12/7/2014 10:44:42 PM] Maq: “What who wants?” She asks as she glances back over to the door and then back toward the others, staring down at her notebook, and then looking toward Vee.
[12/7/2014 10:45:27 PM] zuarkeror: Aaron and Eddie eye Maggie with a bit of healthy respect—and maybe some fear—before quietly getting out their dinosaur books.
[12/7/2014 10:45:35 PM] Auds: “Yeah .. but they’re probably just gonna be JERKS,” she whispers. Then she gives Maggie a wary look. “Did you stab him?”
[12/7/2014 10:45:40 PM] zuarkeror: “Okay, you jokers,” Laverne says to them, “let’s do this right.”
[12/7/2014 10:46:33 PM] Maq: “No!” She says and shakes her head. “I was – trying to convince him to help me in – getting him there with Petra with Laverne, and I said – um, I know all you do is cry like a baby, because he DOES, and he started wailing.”
[12/7/2014 10:46:39 PM] Maq: She whispers this, in a quiet panic.
[12/7/2014 10:47:07 PM] Kii: “…You said THAT and he started crying?” she whispers back in disbelief.
[12/7/2014 10:47:08 PM] Auds: “How was that supposed to convince him?!”
[12/7/2014 10:47:48 PM] zuarkeror: The kids can all hear Mrs. Horn’s voice out in the hall, although it’s indistinct, largely because she shuts the classroom door first.
[12/7/2014 10:48:12 PM] Maq: “Because I was MAD at him!” She says then and then she nods to Epiphany. “And – and then I um, I wasn’t that nice,” she sinks down a little bit. “But I thought he’d be okay with being with his friends.” She darts a look that direction, wide-eyed, and then looks to the others, and then gets up to move by the door and press her ear against it.
[12/7/2014 10:49:41 PM] Maq: Her eyes widen due to whatever she hears, and she straightens up, looking suddenly pale. She stumbles away from the door and then moves to sit back down, wrapping her arms around herself.
[12/7/2014 10:49:59 PM] Kii: “Maggie!” she whispers loudly after the girl, and shake her head. “Well… Tell us what happens, Vee.” Epiphany stares uninterestedly at her open textbook.
[12/7/2014 10:50:53 PM] Auds: She purses her lips to the side, staring confusedly at Maggie for a few seconds,then shrugs and nods and digs her overnight notes out of her backpack. “Okay. Will you guys have my back if it’s just a nasty trap?”
[12/7/2014 10:52:36 PM] Kii: “Of course,” Epiphany says, a small smile on her face. “I mean, I can’t really throw a punch but we wouldn’t send you out to THEM all alone.” Her eyes dart back to Maggie. “What’s going on…?”
[12/7/2014 10:53:15 PM] Maq: “Yeah,” she says. “I’ll have your back. Bet they just want you to hang out with them to show you that they’re cool an’ we’re not.” She pauses and looks to Epiphany. “Mrs. Horn was saying she’d slit my throat.”
[12/7/2014 10:53:39 PM] Auds: “What?” Vee says, too startled to remember to whisper.
[12/7/2014 10:53:57 PM] Kii: “…I don’t… What?!”
[12/7/2014 10:54:05 PM] zuarkeror: The classroom door opens, and Mrs. Horn enters the room looking kind of irritated. “Margaret Stark,” she says sternly. “Step out into the hall.”
[12/7/2014 10:54:54 PM] Maq: “While I’m asleep. I’m not asleep yet,” she says. “I won’t sleep anymore.” Yeah, like the lack of sleep has done her any good. She looks alarmed to Mrs. Horn and gets up. She pats Vee’s arm – it’s a bit hard, but it’s obviously meant to be comforting – and then she slowly walks toward Mrs. Horn and out into the hall.
[12/7/2014 10:55:14 PM] zuarkeror: Mrs. Horn steps out after Maggie, shutting the door behind her.
[12/7/2014 10:55:31 PM] Kii: “…I’m getting pretty worried about her,” Epiphany whispers.
[12/7/2014 10:55:34 PM] Auds: Vee springs up this time to listen at the door.
[12/7/2014 11:00:07 PM] Auds: And then slinks back in a similar hurry, evidently content that Maggie’s not going to die.
[12/7/2014 11:00:24 PM] zuarkeror: A fraction of a second after Vee hits her chair, the classroom door opens.
[12/7/2014 11:01:06 PM] Maq: “M-may I go to the bathroom please?” Maggie says – she stumbles back through the door, looking panicked.
[12/7/2014 11:01:24 PM] zuarkeror: Mrs. Horn half steps into the room, but then turns around to glower at Maggie. “Margaret,” she says, pointing in Epiphany, Vee, and Rick’s direction, “return to your work.”
[12/7/2014 11:01:48 PM] Maq: She straightens up, stiff as a board – and marches over to her desk to sit down, silent and pale as a ghost.
[12/7/2014 11:02:19 PM] zuarkeror: Mrs. Horn sighs, shakes her head, and retakes her seat at the teacher’s desk.
[12/7/2014 11:02:26 PM] Auds: “What’d she say?” she whispers at Maggie, frowning as she opens her notebook.
[12/7/2014 11:03:11 PM] Maq: “She’s getting mad, and I’m on my last warning before she hires someone to kill me and put me at the bottom of the nearest river,” she says, harrowed. “Let’s – let’s do our work.”
[12/7/2014 11:03:38 PM] Kii: Epiphany leans to the side to whisper to Maggie, trying to avoid Mrs. Horn’s eye. “Maggie, did she… Say that, or did um, /he/ say that?” She looks very worried.
[12/7/2014 11:03:48 PM] Auds: “Maggie, that’s – that’s not what she said,” Vee says, looking worried. “I was listening. I think maybe it’s-” but she cuts herself off, nodding at Epiphany.
[12/7/2014 11:04:05 PM] Maq: “Her! It was her voice, it—” She cuts off, not apparently talking about /him./
[12/7/2014 11:05:34 PM] Maq: “What’d she say?” She asks of Vee, peeking at the other girl desperately.
[12/7/2014 11:05:43 PM] zuarkeror: Laverne is keeping an eye on Maggie, quietly, but is mostly doing mundane dinosaur work with Aaron and Eddie.
[12/7/2014 11:06:04 PM] Auds: “That she had half a mind to call your parents and send you home,” she whispers back.
[12/7/2014 11:06:32 PM] Kii: “That sounds more like something she’d say, Maggie.”
[12/7/2014 11:07:35 PM] Maq: She nods her head slowly – and then glances awkwardly toward Mrs. Horn and then back to the others. “Y-yeah, but — I still – I still heard that other stuff and it’s…I don’t want to make her mad,” she says, and starts awkwardly just writing…gibberish.
[12/7/2014 11:09:58 PM] Kii: Epiphany frowns, looking back to the utterly uninteresting book on her desk. “I tried looking up what could be happening to you last night Maggie, but… I didn’t really come up with much. Your aura’s getting all muddied and jumbled up though, you at least need to sleep.”
[12/7/2014 11:10:41 PM] Maq: She shakes her head once. “I can’t. Okay, our – dinosaur has big club tails and…stuff and they hit people with them…”
[12/7/2014 11:12:41 PM] Auds: “Um,” she says worriedly, “I looked up a bunch of stuff about ankylosaurus last night, and we got some stuff yesterday so maybe we can just .. arrange it into a presentation real fast..did she say how long it has to be?”
[12/7/2014 11:13:01 PM] Maq: “I don’t think so,” she says. “So long as we…do it.” She shakes her head a little bit.
[12/7/2014 11:13:16 PM] zuarkeror: A little while later, Mrs. Horn leaves the room once again to collect the library kids.
[12/7/2014 11:13:40 PM] Maq: Maggie, this time, doesn’t move. She just stays quietly in her seat, doodling. “I hope Petra’s okay.”
[12/7/2014 11:15:01 PM] Kii: “Laverne made it pretty clear what woud happen if she wasn’t,” Epiphany says idly, closing her book. She’s written about 3 things on her paper— that seems to be enough for her.
[12/7/2014 11:16:12 PM] Maq: “Yeah,” she says then, dizzily. “And – and if Emily did do something to her, I’ll – I’ll make her life so bad,” she just cuts off at that, and lifts her hands up to either side of her head, and then inhales and exhales again, closing her eyes and sitting back.
[12/7/2014 11:16:17 PM] Auds: “Good.” Vee nods at Epiphany and then gets a little actual work done – maybe more guilty impulse for completely wasting yesterday – but this mostly consists of organizing facts into different categories.
[12/7/2014 11:17:14 PM] zuarkeror: Mrs. Horn returns with the library kids in tow—Petra walks at an incredibly brisk pace, head down, like she’s just been to a concentration camp. She rushes to her seat and drops into it hurriedly. Emily and Melissa giggle to each other quietly, like they’re sharing some kind of inside joke. They seem to have had a great time. Bill is tagging along like usual.
[12/7/2014 11:17:33 PM] zuarkeror: Laverne is already glaring at the back of Emily’s head with a knot forming in her jaw.
[12/7/2014 11:18:12 PM] Kii: “…We’ll be there if you need us at recess, Vee,” she whispers lowly.
[12/7/2014 11:18:13 PM] Maq: Maggie looks to Petra at that, her eyes narrowing. She turns her attention to Emily and Melissa too, and her eyes narrow further – she breathes in sharp through her nose and lets it out a bit more slow, her shoulders tensing.
[12/7/2014 11:21:37 PM] Auds: She gives Epiphany a nod of thanks, then (other than a quick glance at Petra) looks back down at her work, with a good show of being studious.
[12/7/2014 11:21:58 PM] zuarkeror: And a short while after that, it’s time for recess! YAY!
[12/7/2014 11:22:02 PM] Maq: Yay. : |
[12/7/2014 11:22:06 PM] zuarkeror: The kids are unleashed out into the playground.
[12/7/2014 11:23:07 PM] Maq: Maggie walks slowly out on to the playground then, hovering near Epiphany and Rick and touching Vee’s arm in a show of companionship. She looks like she wants to charge over and punch Emily – and darts a look toward Emily and Melissa that looks like it means exactly that – but she seems to at least be restrained enough to wait on Vee, and instead goes over to Petra.
[12/7/2014 11:23:50 PM] zuarkeror: Emily, Melissa, Bill, and Bob go off by the jungle gym to talk whatever gossip popular kids gossip about. They completely ignore the others. Laverne is pretty much fuming. Petra walks with her eyes even more downcast than usual.
[12/7/2014 11:24:21 PM] Kii: Epiphany gathers up the thin book from her desk— it seems to be about tarot cards— and hurries along outside, making sure to hover away from Vee to make it look less suspicious… And to make sure Maggie isn’t within sprinting distance of decking Emily in the face. “What do you think this is all about?” she wonders softly.
[12/7/2014 11:24:30 PM] Maq: “What’d they say to you?” She asks of Petra, folding her hands over her stomach.
[12/7/2014 11:24:45 PM] zuarkeror: Petra just shakes her head at Maggie.
[12/7/2014 11:25:21 PM] Maq: She looks to Laverne.
[12/7/2014 11:25:52 PM] zuarkeror: Laverne looks at Maggie. “What,” she says. She’s very obviously angry.
[12/7/2014 11:26:21 PM] Maq: “What did they say to her.”
[12/7/2014 11:26:35 PM] zuarkeror: “How should I know? I wasn’t there.”
[12/7/2014 11:27:20 PM] Maq: She shakes her head a bit and turns to stare over toward where Emily is, starting to fume a little bit too. She looks around and then goes to snatch a four square ball, which she starts bouncing, apparently, by herself to try and get out excess energy.
[12/7/2014 11:27:25 PM] Auds: Vee stays at lunch a little longer than normal, but then when she does emerge, she heads for the jungle gym. “Hey,” she says with a smile, looking at Emily; she’s adopted a friendly, but slightly skeptical air – like she’s not quite sure they’ll impress her enough for her to bother with, the same kind of look they give Aaron, and sometimes Bill.
[12/7/2014 11:28:25 PM] zuarkeror: The girls appear, to those not close enough to actually hear what the popular kids are saying, to welcome Vee with warm smiles and inviting gestures.
[12/7/2014 11:30:29 PM] Kii: Epiphany opens her book, reads a few lines… And then glances up at Vee for a few moments, then back down again, then repeats.
[12/7/2014 11:30:38 PM] zuarkeror: Laverne watches Vee go off to talk to the popular kids with an expression of faint disbelief.
[12/7/2014 11:31:43 PM] Maq: CHERRY BOMB! Maggie throws her ball down as hard as she can so it bounces high up and then comes back down. She snatches it, and then promptly does it again, exhaling through her nose heavily.
[12/7/2014 11:34:05 PM] Kii: Epiphany JUMPS the first time, edging away frrom Maggie and closing her book with a frustrated exhallation. “Maggie, you gotta calm down, if you hit Emily you’re gonna get sent home and grounded, and…” She squints, and stands up on her tiptoes. “There’s a cop car outside the school.”
[12/7/2014 11:35:24 PM] Maq: “I am calm,” she says then, irritated and fidgety. “I’m super calm. I’m so calm I’m not wishing anything bad right now.” She pauses. “Why is there a cop car?”
[12/7/2014 11:35:37 PM] zuarkeror: “A cop car?” Laverne cranes her neck, peering over where Epiphany was looking a moment ago. “Yeah, there is. Huh—wonder why.”
[12/7/2014 11:36:50 PM | Edited 11:37:15 PM] Kii: “I wonder why too.” Epiphany says quickly, tucking her book in her pocket and wandering off in that direction.
[12/7/2014 11:37:24 PM] Maq: Maggie looks to Epiphany – and where the cop car is – and then looks toward where Vee is with Emily.
[12/7/2014 11:37:46 PM] zuarkeror: Epiphany can get a bit better of alook at the cop car from the playground, but to get really close to it she would have to leave the designated playground area, risking getting In Trouble.
[12/7/2014 11:39:26 PM] Kii: Epiphany takes a quick look for playground attendants… And then keeps going if the coast is clear. Maybe she WOULDN’T get In Trouble if she just looks real quick!
[12/7/2014 11:40:40 PM] Adam: Rick seems skeptical of this. He’s sitting on the jungle gym or whatever, reading an uncovered black book.
[12/7/2014 11:43:39 PM] zuarkeror: Epiphany: Dex + Stealth.
[12/7/2014 11:44:04 PM] Kii: holy shit?? 4s???
[12/7/2014 11:44:06 PM] zuarkeror: Rick must not be on the jungle gym, because that is where the Popular Kids are, so he’s on the “or whatever.”
[12/7/2014 11:44:17 PM] zuarkeror: Epiphany makes it all the way up to the cop car without being noticed!
[12/7/2014 11:44:24 PM] Adam: Definitely sitting on the whatever. Call it the blacktop.
[12/7/2014 11:44:54 PM] zuarkeror: Laverne stays near Maggie, watching Epiphany with one eye and Vee with the other.
[12/7/2014 11:46:23 PM] Maq: “I’m going to kill her,” she says then, to Laverne, glaring toward Emily and Melissa – and seeming to refer to one of them. “Hopefully they’re just trying to make Vee go against us or something.” She furiously bounces the ball again, pauses, and then glances toward Laverne. “Sorry. Um. About telling you to shut up.”
[12/7/2014 11:48:42 PM] zuarkeror: “Don’t worry about it,” Laverne says. She doesn’t respond to what Maggie says about ‘killing her,’ but it’s plain enough to see in her eyes that she feels similarly.
[12/7/2014 11:48:58 PM] zuarkeror: Petra quietly sits down next to Rick, saying nothing and staring at the ground.
[12/7/2014 11:52:52 PM] Maq: She nods her head once to Laverne.
[12/7/2014 11:53:07 PM] Adam: Rick gives her a quiet look of solidarity, or something along those lines, then turns a page in his book.
[12/7/2014 11:54:29 PM] zuarkeror: Petra glances over Rick’s shoulder, slightly leaning into him so she can get a quick look at what he’s reading. Then she goes back to staring at the grass.
[12/7/2014 11:59:07 PM] Adam: “Maggie,” Rick says then after a moment, looking up and waiting for her attention.
[12/7/2014 11:59:41 PM] Maq: She glances over toward Rick and the asphalt then. She’s mid-process of holding the ball over head, about to fling it down as hard as she can. “What?”
[12/8/2014 12:04:10 AM] Adam: “You know we’ve got your back, right?” he says mildly.
[12/8/2014 12:05:28 AM] Maq: She stares at Rick for a long moment. She looks sort of taken aback by the question, like she was prepared for all but it, and then: “…Yeah, I know.” She twitches a little bit and looks away to stare at the bouncing ball.
[12/8/2014 12:05:59 AM] Adam: “Good.” He glances towards the popular kids, and the police car, then goes back to reading.
[12/8/2014 12:10:17 AM] Maq: And with that she brings her ball down over head with a loud kaPLOONG! and it goes sailing high into the air again and she raises her hands to catch it. She looks over toward where Epiphany went.
[12/8/2014 12:11:59 AM | Edited 12:12:06 AM] Kii: Epiphany is walking back now, looking a little disappointed. “There were two cops talking to Mrs. Horn,” she calls out as she gets closer, pulling her book back out. “They said the principal was going to make an announcement later this afternoon, didn’t say why though.” She squints off towards the jungle gym. “Vee’s not back yet?”
[12/8/2014 12:12:23 AM] Maq: “No, she’s over there talking to them. I wonder what the announcement is about,” she says, uneasily. “What if it’s about Colby again?”
[12/8/2014 12:12:36 AM] zuarkeror: Laverne glances over in Vee’s direction, but doesn’t say anything.
[12/8/2014 12:13:20 AM] Kii: “The police don’t investigate missing pets— at least I don’t think so. Maybe it’s about Ethan?”
[12/8/2014 12:13:41 AM] Maq: Her eyes widen. “…What if Ethan’s missing? What if – what if she hurt Ethan?” She says suddenly, in a sharp whisper.
[12/8/2014 12:14:44 AM] Kii: Epiphany purses her lips, thinking hard. “No, I think we would have seen that in the reading. But… Maybe he ran away. That’s something he’d do, run away looking for Colby.”
[12/8/2014 12:18:02 AM] Maq: “Maybe,” she says then. “If he did, we have to find him.” She looks a bit panicked, looking around a little – and then looking back toward Vee again.
[12/8/2014 12:21:07 AM] Adam: “I hope he didn’t,” Rick says, closing his book and standing up with a frown.
[12/8/2014 12:21:12 AM] Kii: “Well, we’ll have to wait for the announcement for sure.”
[12/8/2014 12:21:18 AM] Maq: “I hope he didn’t either,” she says, quietly.
[12/8/2014 12:23:11 AM] Kii: Epiphany flips a page in her book, biting her bottom lip. She glances up at Laverne, and then back down to the pages.
[12/8/2014 12:32:22 AM] zuarkeror: Vee can be seen storming away from the jungle gym, and Melissa can be heard sing-songing at her back: “Dweeeeb!”
[12/8/2014 12:33:00 AM] Maq: “Oh, I’m going to murder them,” she says then, sharply, and she throws the ball to the side.
[12/8/2014 12:33:12 AM] zuarkeror: Laverne pushes up to her feet.
[12/8/2014 12:33:16 AM] Adam: “Stay here,” Rick says levelly.
[12/8/2014 12:33:32 AM] Kii: Epiphany looks up, stuffs the book in her pocket and starts quickly walking to go catch up with Vee. “Maggie!! NO MURDERING!” she calls over her shoulder.
[12/8/2014 12:33:36 AM] Maq: “No, that was Petra AND Vee and I was already mad about Petra and now they’re making fun of VEE and I won’t stand for it.” She immediately starts storming that direction.
[12/8/2014 12:34:33 AM] Auds: “Maggie, stoppit,” Vee says, when she sees Maggie storming. She looks a little frantic with her back to the other girls but has her jaw set in a stubborn way. “Just don’t. Okay? Let’s go one day without a big fight.”
[12/8/2014 12:34:45 AM] Adam: “Maggie. It’s not worth it. Stop.” Rick chases after her – and tries to grab her before she can get more than halfway.
[12/8/2014 12:36:51 AM] Kii: Epiphany looks flustered— she’d scowl harder if her braid wasn’t pulling on her face so much. “You’ll get grounded or suspended and then how are we supposed to stop Xyza?!”
[12/8/2014 12:42:10 AM] Maq: “Not right now,” she says to Vee and to Rick – and it’s in a weird way that Maggie would normally not speak – but then she gets up to Emily, and she gets right in her face. She doesn’t punch her, she doesn’t shove her. "Emily Burke. You come from a family that doesn’t love for you, and you act out and dress as slutty as you do solely so you can gain attention with the proclivity of your clothes that you know you will never get from your personality. You will grow old and bitter and jaded, and no one will ever truly love you – even Bill’s current crush will turn from you and to others as he finds your worth as something he can just briefly use and toss away like a crumpled chips bag on the side of the road. " She’s still got more to go – but right now she’s straightened up, her eyes focused straight on Emily’s. She’s assertive, standing up straight – not casual and easy going like Maggie even is while paranoid. She’s looking /down/ at Emily, somehow, even though Emily is wearing those heels and should be towering. Her face is rigid – there’s no light, no twitch, nothing – she’s just in Emily’s face, talking to her in a cold, clinical way.
[12/8/2014 12:43:14 AM] Adam: (Hold up. I was going to stop her before she got more than halfway.)
[12/8/2014 12:43:16 AM] zuarkeror: Emily stares at Maggie—first condescending, then perplexed, and then, it seems, rather cowed. She shrinks somewhat from Maggie, as the girl seems almost to grow a larger shadow in front of her, and she goes slightly slackjawed in the face of this verbal assault.
[12/8/2014 12:43:25 AM] Kii: Epiphany stands there with eyes wide and her mouth slightly agape, rooted to the spot.
[12/8/2014 12:43:40 AM] Maq: (LET ME BE RUFUS!)
[12/8/2014 12:43:49 AM] zuarkeror: (Adam, stand by.)
[12/8/2014 12:46:02 AM] Adam: Rick stopped stopping her and then all that happened.
[12/8/2014 12:48:47 AM] Maq: She steps forward as Emily steps back, asserting herself fully into Emily’s personal space. Her eyes are dark – even her curly hair seems to form a dark shadow around her. She seems bigger somehow, seems to somehow grow more menacing. The shadows under her eyes seem to make her more hollow and monster like – and she’s not giving Emily any quarter in this. Her voice is clear and crisp. “And I know now, standing before you, that one day you will end up either in a loveless unhappy marriage, your soul being crushed bit by bit into the endless monotony of it all. Or because you’re a psychopath incapable of love,” Another step forward, so that her face is only inches away from Emily’s face, “you will find that your selfish use of men and other people goes too far, that you will drive a man insane by leading him into your bed and saying you adore him, only to turn him around and drop him for someone more financially capable, and when you do this, this man will decide to dig his knife into your gut and cut it open so your innards spill out on to the ground and as you scream and tear away he’ll bring his knife down again and again along your back until your blood splatters all over his face and hands your screams become glottal moans, and your breath will come out of the flaps of skin that was previously your throat and then you’ll bleed out on the cold ground until your eyes see nothing anymore.”
[12/8/2014 12:50:32 AM] zuarkeror: Emily takes a step back, and then another, seeming to grow shorter, or shrink toward the ground, each time. Her eyes go wide in horror, mouth hanging agape—and as the description of violence becomes increasingly visceral, she begins to scream out, as if in pain, as if this assault were actually happening in real time. Though there is no outward bodily damage, with each description of injury, she clutches that part of her body—first her stomach, and then she rolls on to the ground struggling desperately to cover her back (she gets muddy from rolling around in the dirty grass), and her screams turn blood-curdling briefly, and then become choked moans of agony, as she finally covers her throat and her face, screaming into her hands.
[12/8/2014 12:50:50 AM] zuarkeror: By the time Maggie is done with her, Emily is a convulsing wreck, sobbing hysterically.
[12/8/2014 12:51:57 AM] zuarkeror: Melissa crouches down to shield her friend, and glares at Maggie. “Get the fuck away from us, you psycho bitch!”
[12/8/2014 12:52:07 AM] zuarkeror: “Holy shit,” Laverne says quietly under her breath.
[12/8/2014 12:52:12 AM] Auds: Vee kind of takes a step back, too, looking angry at first, then sort of miserable, then astonished.
[12/8/2014 12:52:15 AM] Kii: Epiphany’s curiosity turns to horror as she watches Maggie twist and loom and as Emily’s shrieks turns to full on screams of terror. She rushes up and grabs Maggie by the arm, a little too firmly, trying to pull her away from the scene as quickly as possible.
[12/8/2014 12:52:38 AM] Adam: “What the fuck?” Rick murmurs, book almost slipping from his hand before he clutches it tightly, almost hugging it against his hip.
[12/8/2014 12:52:40 AM] Maq: “YOU are a TERRIBLE BITCH,” Maggie says, taking another step forward, her face livid as Emily screams, her finger lifting and jabbing at her in the air – never touching her, “And I hope -” – and then her face goes suddenly slack, and she stares down at Emily, her eyes wide. She stares for a moment, and then looks down at herself, and then panicked, she takes a few steps back. She looks wide-eyed to Melissa, and then: “Shut—” she begins to say, half panicked, half angry – and then she lets Epiphany start to pull her away.
[12/8/2014 12:54:53 AM] Kii: Epiphany doesn’t say anything… But her face is pale, her eyes frightened. She takes a deep breath as she leads Maggie to a group of trees or the portables or some secluded place on the playground before she stops. “Maggie… Maggie, what did you /do/?” she whispers.
[12/8/2014 12:56:03 AM] Maq: “I didn’t do anything!” She says to Epiphany. “Why’s everyone freaking out? Why was Emily on the ground, anyway? Is she that scared of me that when I walk over to her she suddenly falls to the ground or something?” She seethes, turning her head toward the jungle gym, then back toward the others. “Stupid Melissa calling me that, she can go shut her stupid mouth.”
[12/8/2014 12:58:32 AM] Auds: “Maggie, you said some really awful things,” Vee whispers, somewhere between angry and panicked herself. “I dunno why you’re hearing things AND saying horrible things, but we’ve got to – it’s probably the puppet master – but how do we stop it?”
[12/8/2014 12:59:23 AM] Kii: “You didn’t just say them,” Epiphany exclaims, “you said how they would hurt her and then she FELT IT, Maggie. She was screaming! And you were all… Tall and shadowy and scary and what happened?!”
[12/8/2014 12:59:48 AM] Adam: “What do you remember?” Rick says, peering at Maggie with a curious (and intense) stare.
[12/8/2014 1:00:22 AM] Maq: “I didn’t even get a chance to say anything,” she says, alarmed, and then she looks between Vee and Epiphany, looking suddenly panicked. She looks toward Epiphany. “What?” She says then. "I – " she looks to Rick. “I was storming over there to give her a piece of my mind, and then she was on the ground and Melissa was telling me to get away from them.”
[12/8/2014 1:01:24 AM] Kii: “Is that what you did to Bob?” Epiphany blurts out.
[12/8/2014 1:01:33 AM] zuarkeror: “She doesn’t remember,” Laverne says, stating the obvious.
[12/8/2014 1:01:42 AM] Maq: “No! I just called him a cry baby and he burst into tears!” She holds up her hands, as if to say I-Didn’t-Do-It-Officer.
[12/8/2014 1:03:21 AM] Kii: Epiphany takes Maggie squarely by the shoulders and looks at her… Intensely, as if she’s trying to look through her, staring grim-faced and offering no explanation.
[12/8/2014 1:03:37 AM] Maq: She stares back at Epiphany, wild-eyed – but she doesn’t move or try to pull away.
[12/8/2014 1:05:01 AM] zuarkeror: Mrs. Horn begins to call the kids inside (although this a sort of slow process which takes a few minutes). The popular kids, for once, are filing in first. Emily looks shaken, much like Petra looked coming out of the library. Perhaps even more strangely, none of them tattle on Maggie for what she did as they shuffle past Mrs. Horn and go inside…
[12/8/2014 1:05:31 AM] Kii: Eventually she blinks, and her shoulders slump, hands dropping to her sides. “…Well… I don’t think you’re possessed… But it’s not good that you can’t remember, Maggie.”
[12/8/2014 1:05:44 AM] Auds: “You ignored us again” she points out unhappily. “When we asked you not to storm over anywhere at all! And now it’s actually hurting people! Maggie, please listen to us. Can you try not to yell at anybody else until we figure this out?”
[12/8/2014 1:06:17 AM] Adam: Rick scratches at the back of his neck uncomfortably. He tries to get next to Laverne on the way back inside.
[12/8/2014 1:06:30 AM] Maq: “Possessed?” She says then, worriedly. And then she looks to Vee. “I – they make me so MAD!” She says then, waving her hands. “I’ll – try,” she says then and nods her head once. “Um – I’ll just pretend to be sick from school and stuff so I won’t be in- a place to get mad.”
[12/8/2014 1:06:42 AM] zuarkeror: Laverne paces back toward the school very slowly, looking pensive.
[12/8/2014 1:06:50 AM] zuarkeror: Petra shuffles after her.
[12/8/2014 1:07:45 AM] Kii: “If you were possessed, I’d see something over your aura… But I didn’t. So it’s not that,” she says, patting Maggie reassuringly(?) on the arm before starting to lead her back to class. “Just… Like Vee said. Listen to us once in a while.”
[12/8/2014 1:09:21 AM] Maq: She nods her head. “Sometimes I just – okay,” she says then quietly, looking mollified. She looks back to the jungle gym – now with less malice, and looking more paranoid and panicked. She curls her arms around herself.
[12/8/2014 1:09:27 AM] zuarkeror: “Yeah,” Laverne says to Rick, as he walks alongside her.
[12/8/2014 1:10:52 AM] Kii: “We’ll figure it out,” Epiphany says gently.
[12/8/2014 1:11:31 AM] Auds: Vee paces back towards the school with growing dread, but falls silent as they file back to class.
[12/8/2014 1:11:47 AM] Adam: Rick murmurs something quietly to Laverne, tapping his book slowly and rhythmically against his leg.
[12/8/2014 1:12:52 AM] Maq: She’s much more quiet on the way in too, looking harrowed – she takes her seat and then leans over her notebook, not even bothering to doodle now.
[12/8/2014 1:13:48 AM] Kii: Epiphany doesn’t say anything more, but once she sits back down she starts furiously scribbling down things in her small notebook, fingers immediately getting splotched with ink.
[12/8/2014 1:18:42 AM] zuarkeror: The rest of the day’s classes go…surprisingly boringly. Largely the students sit in tense silence. Emily, utterly cowed, doesn’t so much as look at Maggie the entire time.
[12/8/2014 1:19:16 AM] Maq: Maggie seems quietly silent too. And then after school, after a few minutes thought, she seems to decide she’s going to walk home. Though – of course – there’s the announcement first.
[12/8/2014 1:19:38 AM] zuarkeror: Yup. Before classes are out, the principal actually comes to visit the kids’ class, personally.
[12/8/2014 1:19:59 AM] Auds: Vee doesn’t look at anybody, really, slouched over her desk, holding the pencil but not doing much writing.
[12/8/2014 1:20:19 AM] Kii: Epiphany puts her journal— which she’s been writing in all day instead of paying attention— down once the principal comes in, looking up silently.
[12/8/2014 1:20:37 AM] zuarkeror: Dr. Kutner is the sort of principal that the kids are only used to seeing when there’s an assembly, or when they’re in trouble—but even then it’s usually a vice principal that handles it, so this visit very much strikes of Important Things happening.
[12/8/2014 1:20:57 AM] zuarkeror: Dr. Kutner adjusts his glasses as he surveys the room of terrified kids.
[12/8/2014 1:21:18 AM] Maq: She stares quietly up at Kutner, her eyes looking dark and hollowed a bit. She hugs her backpack to her chest.
[12/8/2014 1:21:58 AM] Adam: Rick’s quiet and sketching for the afternoon. Once Kutner arrives he sinks back into his seat and crosses his arms, not surly so much as guarding himself.
[12/8/2014 1:22:09 AM] zuarkeror: “Some of you children may have seen police officers in the area this morning and this afternoon,” he says mildly. “And while there is no reason to believe that any of you children are in immediate danger, we did feel like you should be told what is going on. A student from this class, Ethan Russo, has recently gone missing.”
[12/8/2014 1:22:33 AM] Kii: Epiphany slinks down in her seat.
[12/8/2014 1:22:34 AM] Maq: Her eyes go wide, alarmed – apparently all of her fears confirmed. She looks, panicked, back toward Rick, Vee, and Epiphany – and then to Laverne and Petra.
[12/8/2014 1:22:41 AM] Auds: With slightly widened eyes, Vee glances nervously at Ethan’s empty desk, then back at Kutner.
[12/8/2014 1:23:28 AM | Edited 1:23:35 AM] zuarkeror: “Now, Ethan disappeared from his home, not from school, so again—there is no reason to believe that any of you children are in immediate danger. However, please be cautioned: until this is straightened out, you are all strongly advised to obey your parents’ curfews, and to never wander off, especially into strange or unfamiliar places, by yourself.”
[12/8/2014 1:24:14 AM] zuarkeror: “The police are investigating this as best as they can, and it is our sincerest hope that little Ethan will be returned to this class safe and sound. But until then…please, if any of you children know anything that might help us find Ethan, please come forward.”
[12/8/2014 1:24:29 AM] zuarkeror: Dr. Kutner waits for a long silence, apparently waiting to see if any students will indeed come forward.
[12/8/2014 1:24:47 AM] Maq: Maggie stares wide-eyed back up at Dr. Kutner, clutching her bag more tightly.
[12/8/2014 1:25:12 AM] Kii: Epiphany glances at Maggie, Vee, and Rick in case any of them start to raise her hands… And folds her own tightly in her lap.
[12/8/2014 1:25:53 AM] Auds: Vee doesn’t say a word. She can go to the principal’s office later, she figures, after they’ve all talked it over.
[12/8/2014 1:27:25 AM | Edited 1:27:42 AM] zuarkeror: Seeming to decide none of the kids is going to speak up, Dr. Kutner nods. “All of you children stay safe,” he says, and walks briskly out of the room. With that, the kids are released for the day.
[12/8/2014 1:28:42 AM] Maq: She stands up. “We need to go to Ethan’s house,” she says, sharply, to the others.
[12/8/2014 1:29:20 AM] Auds: “No, Maggie, we really don’t,” Vee says firmly. “Not until we’ve talked about it first, for once.”
[12/8/2014 1:29:28 AM] Kii: Epiphany gathers up her things quickly, and looks surprised at Maggie’s command. “You think there’s like… Evidence the police haven’t found?”
[12/8/2014 1:29:46 AM] Adam: “And that’s the one place we know he isn’t,” Rick says as he shrugs on his backpack.
[12/8/2014 1:29:49 AM] Maq: “Not even just to look around,” she says. “No just – imagine Angelica! She needs – someone to comfort her, right? And she doesn’t seem like she has many adult friends anymore. And we know Ethan and her.”
[12/8/2014 1:30:02 AM] Maq: She looks to Vee. “We can talk about it, but someone needs to go hang out with Angelica!”
[12/8/2014 1:30:28 AM] Kii: “Angelica hates us, and she’d be happiest getting Ethan back, Maggie.”
[12/8/2014 1:30:33 AM] Auds: “She’s really mad at us. Seeing us is not going to make her feel better, Maggie,” Vee says quietly.
[12/8/2014 1:31:29 AM] Maq: "I mean, we need to find Ethan too, just – " she shakes her head. “That’s – it won’t make her feel bad. She’d be – I don’t think she’d be really mad after this. Just imagine her being there all by herself! Ethan was all she had! We gotta find him and – we gotta – I just know I wouldn’t like being alone.”
[12/8/2014 1:32:29 AM] Adam: “What we know that the police don’t is where he’d go,” Rick says levelly. “The school. To leave another poem.”
[12/8/2014 1:32:38 AM] zuarkeror: “If Xyza wasn’t behind this,” Laverne says, “I’ll eat my foot.”
[12/8/2014 1:33:02 AM] Auds: “We can’t do both. Finding Ethan’s more important. She’s a grownup, you don’t know that she doesn’t have any grownup friends, and anyway she’s probably talking to the police. She PROBABLY gave the police OUR names,” she whispers this part. “So let’s find Ethan.”
[12/8/2014 1:33:05 AM] Kii: Epiphany shakes her head. “Angelica is an adult, and—” she stops and stares at Rick wide-eyed. “I can’t believe I didn’t think of that… You’re probably exactly right!”
[12/8/2014 1:33:40 AM] Maq: She looks toward the front of the class room – and paranoidly toward Mrs. Horn – and then to the others. “So – we go to the art class room then? Should we prepare? How do we prepare?”
[12/8/2014 1:34:50 AM] Kii: “We need a plan first… A good plan,” Epiphany says, looking off out the window. “Maybe we should talk at your place, Maggie? Or at least outside?”
[12/8/2014 1:35:26 AM] Maq: “Let’s – go outside, yeah,” she says, quietly. “Let’s – start walking toward the Junior High. We won’t get a ride this time, so we have time. Even if we don’t go, we can just say we were walking.”
[12/8/2014 1:35:36 AM] Maq: “But if we do decide to go then – we’re already there.”
[12/8/2014 1:36:31 AM] Kii: “There’s no way we’re going to go after Xyza with the stuff we brought to school,” she says pointedly. “We can’t do this today.”
[12/8/2014 1:36:55 AM] Maq: “We can’t just wait around while she’s doing who knows what to Ethan,” she says then, desperately. “We need to plan quickly and do it today.”
[12/8/2014 1:37:07 AM] Adam: “We could investigate at the school,” Rick says mildly. “And then plan.”
[12/8/2014 1:37:32 AM] Maq: “I’m more with Rick. I don’t want to wait around too long in the first place. The LEAST we can do is look into stuff!”
[12/8/2014 1:37:52 AM] Auds: “Remember the cards,” Vee warns quietly. “Let’s see what we can find, and then .. we can ask them again?”
[12/8/2014 1:38:27 AM] zuarkeror: Laverne says, “What cards?”
[12/8/2014 1:38:38 AM] Maq: “Epiphany got some magic tarot cards,” she says to Laverne.
[12/8/2014 1:38:46 AM] Kii: “Asking repeatedly about the same thing is going to get you answers that don’t make sense,” she snaps. “Plus it doesn’t even matter—” she PUNCHES MAGGIE IN THE ARM
[12/8/2014 1:38:55 AM] zuarkeror: Laverne’s eyebrows practically roll off the top of her head. “Magic what now?”
[12/8/2014 1:39:18 AM] Maq: “Owww,” she says, though it’s clear Epiphany’s punch doesn’t actually hurt. She just starts walking for the door, looking anxious.
[12/8/2014 1:39:40 AM] Auds: “About a different thing, I mean,” she says, frowning some when Epiphany snaps.
[12/8/2014 1:40:11 AM] Kii: “It’s… Nothing. Let’s just go, but I’m telling you that we already know what to expect at the school.”
[12/8/2014 1:40:35 AM | Removed 1:41:03 AM] Adam: This message has been removed.
[12/8/2014 1:40:39 AM] zuarkeror: “It’s not nothing,” Laverne says. “Magic cards isn’t nothing. What are you guys talking about?”
[12/8/2014 1:41:02 AM] Maq: “We didn’t see anything at the school on the tarot cards,” she notes. “We saw Ethan looking up at something and wandering off, but that was it – there was nothing about the junior high, but we know it lets out there, the – place you and Vee went.”
[12/8/2014 1:41:43 AM] Kii: “Anyone can use them,” Epiphany says, “I just use them really well,” Epiphany says simply. “I’ve had lots of practice. Don’t you know about Tarot?”
[12/8/2014 1:41:52 AM] Kii: (if you would like fast talk rolls, I am prepared to give them)
[12/8/2014 1:42:38 AM] zuarkeror: “Yes,” Laverne says, guardedly, to Epiphany. Petra tugs on her shirt sleeve a few times, and Laverne looks at her. Petra mimes a telephone handset to her ear, and Laverne catches on, as if that was somehow a reminder of something. “Oh, right,” she says. Then she looks at the others. “You all go on ahead—we’ll catch up to you at the school.”
[12/8/2014 1:43:44 AM] Kii: Epiphany looks relieved, giving Petra the slightest of nods. “Okay, we’ll see you both there.”
[12/8/2014 1:47:11 AM] zuarkeror: Laverne nods to Petra. “Come on.” She gives Rick—for some reason—a chummy clap on the shoulder, and then she and Petra walk off.
[12/8/2014 1:48:14 AM] Auds: She gives Laverne and Petra a faint smile. “Okay. See you there.” She’s been packing up her bookbag as they talk, and slides it over her shoulders now to start walking.
[12/8/2014 1:48:37 AM] Kii: She breathes a long sigh, as they walk out of the classroom and then glares hotly at Maggie. “Maggie I know it’s been really… Hard for you today, and you’ve got a lot on your mind but please please PLEASE just listen to me for once?”
[12/8/2014 1:49:22 AM] Maq: “See you later,” she says glumly toward Laverne and Petra and quietly begins walking along, her eyes staring blankly forward. She looks wide-eyed to Epiphany. “I AM listening to all of you! Right now all I want to do is run to Angelica’s and talk to her and go punch Xyza, but I’m here, right now, walking along and being as CALM AS I CAN BE. Stop acting like I’m in the middle of storming off!”
[12/8/2014 1:50:07 AM] Kii: “I’m talking about,” she leans in a little closer so she can whisper loudly, “NOT telling Laverne about the cards or where they came from!”
[12/8/2014 1:50:28 AM] Maq: “Why?! You told her the other day!”
[12/8/2014 1:50:39 AM] Adam: Rick seems puzzled by this rapidly unfolding argument.
[12/8/2014 1:50:52 AM] Maq: “When you were coming to get me before we went to get rid of the paintmonster dog,” she says then. “You pulled them out IN FRONT OF HER and said I GOT MAGIC TAROT CARDS. Who cares if I repeat it AGAIN?”
[12/8/2014 1:51:12 AM] Auds: Vee frowns a little, but since she wasn’t there for the original reveal, just watches.
[12/8/2014 1:51:56 AM] Kii: “That was BEFORE I knew that it was important not to let her know and I told you YESTERDAY not to!”
[12/8/2014 1:52:41 AM] Maq: She flails her hands. "Okay! Fine! At least /I’m/ – " and she shuts her mouth again, clapping one of her hands over her mouth.
[12/8/2014 1:52:56 AM] Auds: “Why?” she asks Epiphany, genuinely puzzled.
[12/8/2014 1:54:09 AM] Kii: “I…” She looks around, making sure Laverne and Petra aren’t within earshot. “Remainder told me, over the phone. She said it was really important not to let her know, alright? I think it might really mess things up even more than they are. So just… Don’t talk about them, ok?”
[12/8/2014 1:55:01 AM] Maq: She just keeps her mouth clamped over her mouth, walking glumly along.
[12/8/2014 1:55:42 AM] Adam: “Did she say why?” Rick says skeptically.
[12/8/2014 1:56:21 AM] Kii: Epiphany looks sidelong at Maggie, “…Um… She just said not to, and it was very important. I think we might still be too early, and… Maggie, what are you doing?”
[12/8/2014 1:58:05 AM] Adam: “About the cards, or about anything?” Rick says with a tilt of his head.
[12/8/2014 1:58:17 AM] Maq: She removes her hand from her mouth. “If I’m about to say something that might get someone killed, I cover my mouth,” she just says simply. Why something she says would kill someone, who knows, but she seems sure of it.
[12/8/2014 1:58:50 AM] Kii: “Who’s killing who? What?”
[12/8/2014 1:59:05 AM] Maq: She shakes her head, clapping her hand over her mouth and then removing it. “Let’s just go and investigate the art room. Please.”
[12/8/2014 1:59:21 AM] Maq: “We don’t – have to go charging, even though I want to, but pleeeeeasse lets at least investigate it.”
[12/8/2014 2:00:28 AM] Adam: “Seriously, I want to understand this thing with Laverne,” Rick says, for some reason blase about Maggie’s fatalism. “What can’t we tell her? About the card readings? About anything? What about Petra?”
[12/8/2014 2:02:06 AM] Kii: “We can’t becaaause it might mess things up! She said she was too early, right? That we needed to wait a few days? Well if we go and tell Laverne now it might… Spiral out of control, into some terrible new fate. The same thing happens if you ask the cards the same questions often.” She says this like it’s the most obvious thing in the world.
[12/8/2014 2:02:21 AM] Kii: “And we’re going to the school now Maggie, we’re doing it, alright?”
[12/8/2014 2:02:44 AM] Maq: “Okay,” she says, and then heads out the door of the elementary to start walking that way. She looks ill again.
[12/8/2014 2:03:08 AM] Adam: “So what can’t we? The card readings or everything?”
[12/8/2014 2:03:57 AM] Kii: “We can’t tell Laverne, and we can’t ask the cards the same questions. It’s like, um… That movie.. Back to the Future! Did you see that one?”
[12/8/2014 2:04:46 AM] Adam: “Let me try this question a third time,” Rick says, growing impatient. “What can we not tell Laverne? Are we not supposed to tell her about only the card readings? Or are we supposed to blow her off?”
[12/8/2014 2:05:32 AM] Maq: “He means, can we not tell her about Ethan and Xyza or anything, or what we’re doing, or can we just not tell her about – your magic tarot cards and stuff?” She asks Epiphany, and she rubs her arms a little bit. " I hope Emily’s okay."
[12/8/2014 2:06:37 AM] Kii: Epiphany looks increasingly annoyed “She obviously knows about Ethan and Xyza. But if she sees me using the cards, or us talking about them, she’s going to ask us WHERE I got them and WHO I got them from. So nothing about the cards, geeze.”
[12/8/2014 2:09:24 AM] Adam: “Thank you,” Rick says tightly. He moves ahead more briskly towards the school.
[12/8/2014 2:09:46 AM] Maq: “Did I hurt her really badly?” She asks the others. “She didn’t even snark or look at me and normally she’s snarking at me all day.”
[12/8/2014 2:10:52 AM] Auds: Vee looks thoughtful at that, glancing at Epiphany, then shrugging glumly at Maggie. “It looked like it hurt.. but there wasn’t any blood. You described how nobody would ever love her and someday her husband would murder her and cut out her intestins and then slit her throat and it looked like her stomach hurt, then her neck.. whatever you were describing..”
[12/8/2014 2:11:24 AM] Adam: “You sounded like an adult.” Beat. “A really dickish rich adult.”
[12/8/2014 2:12:37 AM] Maq: “Oh,” she seems even more glum. “I dunno how. I’m not. And I dunno how to sound like an adult. I try sometimes but it doesn’t work.” Her eyes flicker around a little bit and she looks down at the sidewalk as they walk along. After a beat, she changes the subject awkwardly: “Should we be prepared for when we get into the junior high? Like – we should be prepared to flee if we gotta, like split up. We know two of the exits.”
[12/8/2014 2:13:38 AM] Auds: “I’m gonna go out the window,” Vee says, still somewhat subdued.
[12/8/2014 2:14:44 AM] Kii: Epiphany looks like she’s about to object, and thinks better of it. “Window, doors… There’s a lot of ways out of the school.”
[12/8/2014 2:15:20 AM] zuarkeror: Just a couple more blocks and the group will be at the junior high.
[12/8/2014 2:16:26 AM] Auds: “What if Xyza’s waiting for us there?” Vee says, nervously, all of a sudden like it just occurred to her.
[12/8/2014 2:16:39 AM] Maq: She nods her head then. “Okay, so if something goes bad, if Xyza is there,” she nods to Vee, “everyone just start running because then she can’t get all of us.” She draws in a breath and lets it out. “But otherwise – we go in there, and we try to find evidence of Ethan having gone there with another note to try and get Colby again. And – anything else we can find too. Is that something people can agree on?” She darts a look especially between Epiphany and Vee.
[12/8/2014 2:17:37 AM] Kii: “…I don’t know if she’d really be waiting for us. I mean, if she had wanted to, she could have gotten rid of all of us… That night…” She shakes her head. “Go in, look for signs of Ethan… If things go bad again, run away. I agree.”
[12/8/2014 2:17:52 AM] Auds: Vee nods agreement, too.
[12/8/2014 2:18:32 AM] zuarkeror: The group arrives at the school. Getting inside has become something of a routine, at this point.
[12/8/2014 2:19:45 AM] zuarkeror: The back door by the parking lot. The long, darkish corridor. The art room door.
[12/8/2014 2:19:57 AM] zuarkeror: The dark classroom within…
[12/8/2014 2:20:01 AM] zuarkeror: It’s quiet.
[12/8/2014 2:20:39 AM] Maq: She nods her head then, and then looks quietly toward Rick. She gets to that door, staring at it with weary trepidation. She looks over her shoulder – pauses to look for Petra and Laverne, and then quietly lifts her hand to touch the door. She looks to the others, as if to ask /Ready?/
[12/8/2014 2:20:47 AM] Adam: Rick totally nodded agreement, not having needed to deal with a dog.
[12/8/2014 2:21:17 AM] zuarkeror: Eerily, there is now a painting of a suspiciously Colby-looking dog hanging up outside the classroom.
[12/8/2014 2:21:17 AM] Kii: Epiphany can’t help but look nervous, fidgeting constantly as they enter the building. It’s still been much too soon since she and Vee escaped that night, and the memory is clearly making her jumpy.
She nods at Maggie anxiously.
[12/8/2014 2:21:31 AM] zuarkeror: It’s signed in the corner with a black “X.”
[12/8/2014 2:21:42 AM | Edited 2:21:44 AM] zuarkeror: It’s very life-like.
[12/8/2014 2:22:05 AM] Auds: “We could ask for Ethan back,” she whispers nervously, stopping to look at the painting as she moves towards the door. “Like, later, as challenge. She’d know it was us.”
[12/8/2014 2:22:45 AM] Maq: “We could even work the challenge into it,” she says quietly—and then steels herself and pushes the art room open.
[12/8/2014 2:23:22 AM | Edited 2:23:23 AM] Adam: Rick stares at the painting for a long time, even as the others start to go into the room.
[12/8/2014 2:23:26 AM] Kii: “…You really want to goad her into painting Ethan?” she says breathlessly.
[12/8/2014 2:23:51 AM] zuarkeror: As the group gets the door open and makes their way inside, they find that someone is already sitting there—in the dark—waiting for them. There’s a sharp, lithe female figure seated on the teacher’s desk; she’s clearly older, much older than junior high age—maybe even older than high school age. She’s got long, straight hair, and as the group walks into the room there’s the glint of something small and round in her hand, which makes a flicking sound as it comes open and a light snapping sound as it closes up again, vanishing into the dark.
[12/8/2014 2:23:52 AM] Auds: “No,” Vee says. “I think if she took him it’d let her know that we know, and want him back.”
[12/8/2014 2:24:55 AM] Kii: Epiphany stops abruptly, staring wide-eyed ahead and clearly on edge at the stranger in the room.
[12/8/2014 2:25:03 AM] Maq: She comes to a sudden halt, staring at this new female figure. She holds up her hands as if to stop the others. She doesn’t move for a moment, and then reaches up to grasp for the lights, flicking them on – seeming defiant in that moment to…at least see if it’s Xyza.
[12/8/2014 2:25:15 AM] Adam: Rick’s stare ends up on the woman once he follows through the door.
[12/8/2014 2:25:30 AM] Auds: “..Remainder?” Vee asks timidly.
[12/8/2014 2:26:07 AM] zuarkeror: The lights come on, revealing…not Xyza. It’s a woman, perhaps late teens or early twenties, with longish auburn hair. She squints a bit, and lifts a hand to shield her eyes from the fluorescent. “Geez,” she says quietly, “my eyes were used to the dark. I looked all mysterious.”
[12/8/2014 2:26:47 AM] Maq: She seems relieved to not find Xyza then. She steps aside to let Vee and Epiphany lead here – though she drifts over to the back table, opening it to peer inside.
[12/8/2014 2:27:00 AM] Kii: A huge smile spreads across Epiphany’s face, and she visibly relaxes. “It’s you!” she exclaims, edging into the art room all the way. Her relief is palpable.
[12/8/2014 2:27:18 AM] Adam: Rick remains impassive – he shuts the door behind all of them quietly, then slips off his backpack.
[12/8/2014 2:27:29 AM] zuarkeror: “It’s me,” she says, in answer to both Vee and Epiphany. “Now, Laverne and Petra will be here in about six minutes, and you all need to be out of here by then. So let’s make this quick.”
[12/8/2014 2:29:12 AM] Kii: She nods quickly. “We came here looking for Ethan— he’s missing, and we know it has to be Xyza, but we don’t know how or when she took him or where he is now.”
[12/8/2014 2:29:27 AM] zuarkeror: “I know,” Remainder says.
[12/8/2014 2:29:36 AM] Adam: “Why do we need to get out?” Rick says, gamefully managing to suppress most of his suspicion.
[12/8/2014 2:29:53 AM] zuarkeror: “That,” she says to Rick, “would take way longer than six minutes for me to answer.”
[12/8/2014 2:30:11 AM] Maq: Finding nothing in the desk, she looks back to Remainder. “…How do we get rid of Xyza to best get Ethan back?”
[12/8/2014 2:30:22 AM] Adam: “What, no ‘come with me if you want to live?’” he says dryly.
[12/8/2014 2:30:27 AM] zuarkeror: She answers Maggie: “Take the cards to Angelica and do a reading.”
[12/8/2014 2:30:43 AM] Maq: She looks toward Epiphany.
[12/8/2014 2:31:24 AM] Kii: Epiphany looks sidelong at Maggie, and then back up to Remainder. “…They said Xyza or Angelica would die,” she says quietly. “Are they always right?”
[12/8/2014 2:31:29 AM] zuarkeror: She looks at Rick and lowers her voice to Schwarzenegger levels: “GET DAOHN!”
[12/8/2014 2:32:10 AM] Auds: “Do you know where Ethan is?” Vee asks hopefully.
[12/8/2014 2:32:22 AM] zuarkeror: “Yes,” she says to Epiphany. “No. Sometimes. Maybe. Look, the point is, you need to take the cards to Angelica and you need to do a reading in front of her.”
[12/8/2014 2:32:40 AM] Maq: She nods her head once to Remainder. “Then – then obviously that’s what we’ll do if that’s what will get us back Ethan in the safest condition.”
[12/8/2014 2:32:51 AM | Edited 2:33:04 AM] Adam: Rick grins just a little bit, but then takes a slightly deeper breath and crosses his arms as he leans back against the wall next to his backpack. This is what passes for Rick looking uncomfortable.
[12/8/2014 2:33:12 AM] Auds: “Is this our fault?” she asks more softly, “for killing the dog-monster?”
[12/8/2014 2:33:30 AM] zuarkeror: “For what it’s worth, Ginny—that was necessary.”
[12/8/2014 2:33:55 AM] Maq: “Ginny?” She asks quietly, and looks toward Vee – and then pauses, and looks pleased. “Thank goodness. I KNEW it was necessary.”
[12/8/2014 2:34:33 AM] Kii: Epiphany shifts in place, fingers figeting with things in her pockets. “Will you be there to help us, when we face Xyza?”
[12/8/2014 2:35:04 AM] zuarkeror: “Would if I could, sugar-plum,” she says placidly, as she pulls out her pocket-watch, flicks it open, looks at it, closes it up. “Four minutes.”
[12/8/2014 2:35:09 AM] Auds: She nods at Maggie, glancing at Remainder, then at Epiphany, then back.
[12/8/2014 2:35:57 AM] Adam: “What do you want out of all this?” Rick pipes up, still staring at Remainder.
[12/8/2014 2:36:06 AM] Kii: “What’s the Puppetmaster?” Epiphany asks suddenly.
[12/8/2014 2:36:07 AM] zuarkeror: “Want?” The question seems to give Remainder some trouble.
[12/8/2014 2:36:16 AM] Adam: He seems to think that if he looks away from her for wrong she’ll disappear or explode.
[12/8/2014 2:36:29 AM] Adam: “Everybody wants something. It’s why they get involved.”
[12/8/2014 2:36:30 AM] Maq: Maggie’s awkwardly silent for a moment, and then to Remainder: “Is the Puppetmaster the reason why I hurt Emily?”
[12/8/2014 2:37:44 AM] zuarkeror: Remainder snaps her fingers of both hands, snapping them into gun-fingers at Maggie. “You’ll have an answer to that in, like…wait, what day is it?”
[12/8/2014 2:37:58 AM] Maq: “Tuesday,” she says.
[12/8/2014 2:38:22 AM] zuarkeror: “Thursday, maybe. Or Friday, possibly. Saturday at the outside, I guess. I’m hazy on the whole thing. It’s not that important.”
[12/8/2014 2:38:53 AM] Maq: “Oh,” she says. “Okay.” She nods her head once to that, uneasily. “Okay – so we need to go do a tarot reading for Angelica.” She puffs her cheeks out a little bit. “And then we can save Ethan. So we need to go do it.”
[12/8/2014 2:39:02 AM] zuarkeror: “Oh! I was supposed to tell you what I want. My ULTERIOR MOTIVE.”
[12/8/2014 2:39:25 AM] Maq: She nods her head absently.
[12/8/2014 2:39:35 AM] zuarkeror: “I want…you guys…NOT to die.” She grins, and swings her legs a bit off the end of the teacher’s desk.
[12/8/2014 2:39:37 AM] Adam: “My father told me not to just do whatever strange women tell me,” Rick says, though it’s light-hearted. Ish.
[12/8/2014 2:40:05 AM] Kii: “…Will you still talk to us after we deal with Xyza?” Epiphany asks hopefully.
[12/8/2014 2:40:45 AM] zuarkeror: Remainder thinks Epiphany’s question over. “Yeah,” she says, finally.
[12/8/2014 2:40:53 AM] zuarkeror: “Two minutes.”
[12/8/2014 2:41:06 AM] Maq: “That’s all I have,” she says. “We should go to Angelica and do the card reading to save Ethan.”
[12/8/2014 2:41:34 AM] Kii: “Maggie keeps saying and doing stuff she doesn’t remember. Can we help her? What’s happening to her?”
[12/8/2014 2:42:04 AM] zuarkeror: “Laverne and Petra will give her the answer to that. They’re on their way to deliver it now, actually. Too early, though. You guys have to go.”
[12/8/2014 2:42:26 AM] Adam: Rick’s eyes narrow.
[12/8/2014 2:42:43 AM] Maq: “That’s the stuff we’ll find out about on – whenever,” she says then, quietly. " I think. Probably." She pauses and moves for the door. “Okay,” she says then. She opens the door and looks to the others. “Come on.”
[12/8/2014 2:42:54 AM] Kii: “R-right…” She smiles a little, and nods at the woman. “Thank you, Remainder. We’ll make sure things go right.”
[12/8/2014 2:42:55 AM] Auds: “So .. I guess we better go,” she says, reluctantly. “We’ve just gotta keep you from hurting people til then.”
[12/8/2014 2:43:06 AM] zuarkeror: “Always so suspicious, young Padawan,” she says, wiggling her fingers in Rick’s direction. “These are not the droids you’re looking for.”
[12/8/2014 2:44:38 AM] zuarkeror: She checks the pocketwatch again. “Less than a minute. Really, you all need to go.”
[12/8/2014 2:44:55 AM] Adam: “If you’re -” He waves his fingers around like the world’s most somber jazz hands. “You know why. But I’ll trust. Does the door work, or do we need the window?”
[12/8/2014 2:44:57 AM] Maq: “Come on!” She says, and hurries out into the hall.
[12/8/2014 2:45:29 AM] Kii: Epiphany looks wildly between Rick, the window, and Remainder, before waving and then rushing after Maggie.
[12/8/2014 2:45:37 AM] Auds: Vee gives Remainder a pensive, worried sort of glance, then waves goodbye and heads out with the others.
[12/8/2014 2:45:50 AM] zuarkeror: “If you take the door, Epiphany bangs her elbow on a locker. If you take the window, Vee scratches her arm on a bush. Pick your poison.”
[12/8/2014 2:46:10 AM] Maq: “Sorry Fee!” She calls over her shoulder as she gets into the hallway and looks around and starts heading for the exit.
[12/8/2014 2:47:06 AM] Adam: Rick follows them out the door, grabbing his backpack on the way. “Sorry,” he says with a faint grin.
[12/8/2014 2:47:49 AM] Kii: ""it’s alright!" she says, still with a small, bright smile on her face as she half runs through the halls.
[12/8/2014 2:48:27 AM] zuarkeror: As the kids run in a group, Epiphany accidentally gets jostled—she half-steps on the back of Rick’s foot, stumbles lightly, and indeed bangs her elbow on a locker which was partially open. Ouch!
[12/8/2014 2:49:08 AM] zuarkeror: But the kids make it out of the school without any problems. They do see a car pulling up into the lot—the same car that Petra’s mom drove Maggie home in, the night of the monster.
[12/8/2014 2:49:35 AM] Adam: Rick suddenly seems particularly determined to get out of sight.
[12/8/2014 2:49:56 AM] Maq: “Petra’s mom is so scary,” she says quietly under her breath, looking pained – though she heads for that car.
[12/8/2014 2:50:11 AM] Auds: “Scary how?” She grabs Maggie’s arm to hold her back.
[12/8/2014 2:50:34 AM] Kii: Epiphany, rubbing her bruised elbow, is keen to follow suit, but she backpedals when she sees Maggie start to head off.
[12/8/2014 2:50:46 AM] Maq: “She’s just – you know those super serious parents who are all work all the time and always seem like they wanna squish you and just say stuff they need to say?”
[12/8/2014 2:52:02 AM] zuarkeror: The car parks, the lights turn off, and three people get out of the car: one adult, two kids. Petra’s skinny outline is easy to make out as she steps through the light of a street lamp, twisting her head this way and that as she follows the other two toward the school.
[12/8/2014 2:52:14 AM] Auds: “Remainder said we had to be gone before they got here, right?” she said urgently.
[12/8/2014 2:52:29 AM] Maq: “No, that we needed to be out of that room before they got here,” she says, shaking her head. “I thought? They couldn’t see her.”
[12/8/2014 2:54:05 AM] Kii: “Right, she said we needed to be out of the room.” Epiphany says quickly, “but that means they can’t come to Ethan’s when I do a reading. Just remember that.”
[12/8/2014 2:54:23 AM] Adam: “And they had news you’re not supposed to hear yet.”
[12/8/2014 2:54:44 AM] Maq: “No, I know.” She shakes her head. “I’ll – not mention that. And they have news that they’re coming to tell me now but I’ll find out more on Thursday or – gosh this IS confusing,” she stomps her foot a bit.
[12/8/2014 2:57:31 AM] Kii: “I think… I think you should talk to them. They’d be even more suspicious if we just left. She said they had something to tell you, and that… Um… Something else happens Thursday.” She gives Maggie an encouraging nod.
[12/8/2014 2:58:15 AM] Maq: She nods once to Pip and then looks to Vee and Rick – and then moves quietly to go lightly jog toward Laverne and Petra and ProbablyMom
[12/8/2014 2:59:13 AM] Auds: Vee looks like she’s pretty sure this is Against The Rules – “Just don’t let them tell you anything about the voices you’re hearing, I guess,” she says, as Maggie jogs off.
[12/8/2014 3:00:06 AM] Kii: Epiphany looks back at Vee and Rick. “…We should probably make sure she doesn’t say anything like that, actually.” She starts to wander off after Maggie.
[12/8/2014 3:00:21 AM] Adam: Rick follows along with a small sigh.
[12/8/2014 3:03:53 AM] Maq: “I think what she was saying,” she says, “was that they were on their way too early, not that they were TELLING me too early.” She shakes her head a little bit.
[12/8/2014 3:04:05 AM] zuarkeror: The group catches up to Laverne, Petra, and Petra’s mom just as the latter is opening the door to the school. They all turn around, seeming surprised to see them coming up from behind—instead of being already inside.
[12/8/2014 3:04:22 AM] Maq: “Hi,” she says then, awkwardly.
[12/8/2014 3:04:24 AM] zuarkeror: “There you are,” Laverne says.
[12/8/2014 3:04:44 AM] zuarkeror: “This one?” Petra’s mom walks right up to Maggie, looking her over.
[12/8/2014 3:04:53 AM] zuarkeror: “Yeah,” Laverne says.
[12/8/2014 3:05:23 AM | Edited 3:05:32 AM] Kii: Epiphany glances from Petra to her mother as she gets closer, looking… A little apprehensive.
[12/8/2014 3:05:47 AM] Maq: She stares up at Petra’s mom then, looking glum and worried – having endured a long awkward, silent car ride with her before, she doesn’t look pleased to be looked over. “…Hello Mrs. Mendeleeva,” she says then, carefully.
[12/8/2014 3:06:04 AM] zuarkeror: She gives a sharp glance to Epiphany, and then to Vee—she pretty much ignores Rick. “And these others?” she says, over her shoulder to Laverne.
[12/8/2014 3:06:06 AM] zuarkeror: “Uh,” Laverne says.
[12/8/2014 3:06:07 AM] Adam: Rick nods to the assembly of russian speakers, bringing up the back of the group.
[12/8/2014 3:06:55 AM] zuarkeror: “Vee, Epiphany, we’ve—got to investigate inside, right? Let’s go look while Petra’s mom talks to Maggie.”
[12/8/2014 3:07:45 AM] Auds: Vee gives Laverne a worried look, glancing at Maggie, then shaking her head. “We checked. There wasn’t anything.”
[12/8/2014 3:08:12 AM] zuarkeror: “Child,” Petra’s mom says to Vee, without looking at her, “That was Laverne’s very polite way of telling you that you are not welcome here right now.”
[12/8/2014 3:08:38 AM] Kii: “Um…” She looks at Vee, then to Maggie in a ‘are you going to be ok’ sort of way.
[12/8/2014 3:08:40 AM] Maq: Maggie looks toward Vee as if to say /see, I told you she was scary./
[12/8/2014 3:08:45 AM] Maq: She nods to Epiphany then, grimly.
[12/8/2014 3:09:15 AM] zuarkeror: Petra stands there looking awkwardly embarrassed for, and terrified of, her own mother.
[12/8/2014 3:09:45 AM] Kii: “…We might have missed something.” Epiphany says after an awkward moment, turning back towards the school.
[12/8/2014 3:10:28 AM] zuarkeror: Laverne nods and follows Epiphany.
[12/8/2014 3:10:38 AM] Auds: “Is Maggie going to be okay?” she asks Petra’s mom, nervously, starting to shuffle after Epiphany.
[12/8/2014 3:10:49 AM] zuarkeror: Petra’s mom ignores that question.
[12/8/2014 3:11:12 AM] Adam: Rick lingers for a moment, unclear of which way he’s expected to go but certain someone scary will make it clear.
[12/8/2014 3:11:15 AM] Maq: “I’ll be okay,” she says then, firmly.
[12/8/2014 3:11:34 AM] zuarkeror: She doesn’t even acknowledge Rick’s presence one way or the other—not telling him to stay, but not telling him to go, either.
[12/8/2014 3:11:40 AM] Auds: Equal parts dejected and worried, she slinks of towards the junior high.
[12/8/2014 3:12:07 AM] Adam: Without a cue, Rick stays.
[12/8/2014 3:12:09 AM] Kii: “Why does Rick get to stay?” Epiphany asks Laverne in a hushed whisper, walking back into the halls and careful to keep her elbows close.
[12/8/2014 3:12:48 AM] zuarkeror: “Just…don’t question Petra’s mom,” Laverne says, shaking her head, as she heads into the school with Vee and Epiphany. “So what did you guys find? Or…not find, I guess.”
[12/8/2014 3:13:17 AM] Auds: “She hung her painting of COlby up out in the hall.”
[12/8/2014 3:13:31 AM] Kii: “Signed it too, like she knew we’d come back looking.”
[12/8/2014 3:13:33 AM] zuarkeror: “Creepy,” Laverne says.
[12/8/2014 3:14:52 AM] Kii: “Everything Xyza does is creepy,” she says simply, rounding the corner and heading for the art room door.
[12/8/2014 3:15:23 AM] zuarkeror: Laverne walks up to the art room door and stops to look at the painting a bit. “Is this the one that was in her bedroom…?”
[12/8/2014 3:16:03 AM] Kii: Epiphany pauses, looking a little more carefully at the painting this time. “…It could be, the other one was unfinished, right?”
[12/8/2014 3:16:31 AM] zuarkeror: “It was.” Laverne nods. “She must have finished it. I wonder why.”
[12/8/2014 3:18:15 AM] Kii: “Hmm…” Epiphany considers, opening the door to the art room and stepping inside. “Maybe she doesn’t like to leave her work unfinished?”
[12/8/2014 3:19:05 AM] zuarkeror: “Maybe,” Laverne says, nodding. “Or maybe it’s some kind of signature. Or a trophy. Or maybe she actually needs to do a normal painting of the things she….paints.”
[12/8/2014 3:20:08 AM] Kii: “…We did see that… What was it? That brownish demon looking thing, the first day we came here.”
She starts looking around Xyza’s desk, skirting around the closet if she gets too near.

6: The Shadow Tarot

The kids go their separate ways after yet another traumatic day in what has been quite the traumatic weekend. But come Monday morning, there is a stark (heh sorry) return to normalcy, as each of the kids is ushered to school by (mostly) well-meaning parents who just don’t know any better.
[11/30/2014 10:01:29 PM] zuarkeror: Except Rick, who, along with Laverne and Petra, is conspicuously absent.
[11/30/2014 10:02:22 PM] zuarkeror: This morning, Mrs. Horn has put the kids into STUDY GROUPS to learn about DINOSAURS. Each group will consist of THREE PEOPLE and will be devoted to one particular dinosaur! And each group is to prepare a presentation.
[11/30/2014 10:02:31 PM] zuarkeror: Welcome to Hardcore Fifth Grade.
[11/30/2014 10:02:39 PM] zuarkeror: Oh, Ethan is absent, too.
[11/30/2014 10:02:42 PM] Maq: Maggie hasn’t slept well – her eyes are basically a dark and permanent color of purple now, the lids rimmed with red. She begs to not have to go to school, but when forced, heads in. She’s hunch backed, clutching her backpack and looking incredibly twitchy and uneasy behind her glasses (which are still the blue ones, with the masking tape around the nose bridge).
[11/30/2014 10:03:59 PM] Kii: Epiphany is strangely sullen, looking disappointed at Petra and Laverne’s empty seats as she takes her own. She slides into a group (not containing Maggie) and rests her cheek on her palm, looking like she also could use several hours more sleep. She has the wrong book out on her desk and nods along to the rest of her classmates.
[11/30/2014 10:04:39 PM] zuarkeror: Emily, Melissa, and Bill Turano group up. That leaves Aaron, Eddie, and Bob ungrouped, along with the others.
[11/30/2014 10:04:51 PM] zuarkeror: Bob BEGS to make a group of four but Mrs. Horn denies him.
[11/30/2014 10:05:19 PM] Maq: Normally the first person to grab a group, Maggie is instead quiet. She’s zoned out – in the way of someone who has no idea they’re supposed to be grouping up, and she’s staring down at her notebook paper.
[11/30/2014 10:05:39 PM] zuarkeror: Aaron and Eddie shuffle towards each other reluctantly.
[11/30/2014 10:05:55 PM] Auds: Vee seems disappoitned by the absences too – well, except Ethan’s, which is a relief. She’s been subdued for most of the morning but the dread of ending up in a group with Bob wakes her up enough to try to catch Epiphany’s eye.
[11/30/2014 10:07:18 PM] Kii: Epiphany stands up, halfway wanders towards Aaron and Eddie and then notices Vee’s hand. She slides into the desk beside her, sliding her pencil behind one ear. “Um… Hi. I don’t… What are we supposed to do?” She rubs at her eyes.
[11/30/2014 10:07:56 PM] Maq: By the time that Maggie rouses, she looks around. She darts a look toward Epiphany and Vee – and then looks toward Aaron and Eddie, and moves to sit down with them.
[11/30/2014 10:09:18 PM] Auds: “Something about dinosaurs,” she says, and tries to catch Maggie’s eye too – just in time to see Maggie snub them, so instead she just ignores Bob.
[11/30/2014 10:09:33 PM] zuarkeror: Maggie practically collides with Bob, who is also heading toward Aaron and Eddie. Bob glowers. “I’m with this group,” he says.
[11/30/2014 10:10:34 PM] Maq: She looks up to Bob then, staring at him blankly for a long moment, and then shrugs, and turns to go sit back down with Vee and Epiphany, sitting on the edge of the seat and dumping her notebook down.
[11/30/2014 10:12:48 PM] Kii: Epiphany doesn’t even look at Maggie— she just blows a lock of hair out of her face and begins tapping her pencil against the desk.
[11/30/2014 10:12:54 PM] Maq: “Hi Vee,” she says, greeting her, but not Epiphany, apparently.
[11/30/2014 10:13:42 PM] Auds: “Hi,” she says, both looking and sounding very glum.
[11/30/2014 10:13:44 PM] zuarkeror: Mrs. Horn assigns the group of girls ANKYLOSAURUS to research.
[11/30/2014 10:15:29 PM] Maq: “Ankylosaurus means fused lizard,” Maggie says, starting to doodle in her notebook. “They’re herbivores, and are basically tanks. They hit carnivores who tried to eat ’em with their tails. Maybe one of you could draw one for our presentation.”
[11/30/2014 10:17:17 PM] Auds: “I’m no good at drawing,” says Vee, flipping sullenly to the index of their science book, not really looking at the other two girls.
[11/30/2014 10:17:39 PM] Maq: She nods her head to Vee and then darts a dark look toward Epiphany. “Can you draw one then?”
[11/30/2014 10:18:54 PM] Kii: Epiphany writes down ANKLYOSAURUS and outlines it a few times. “I can draw it,” her eyes flit up to Vee and back down to her paper. “Are we going to have to go to the library for this?”
[11/30/2014 10:19:27 PM] Auds: “I hope so.” Not that the library is really all great, but it’s away from class, and that means it’s better.
[11/30/2014 10:20:03 PM] Maq: She shrugs. “I dunno,” she says, glumly, and then she looks toward Mrs. Horn, raising her hand wearily. “Mrs. Horn? Can we go to the library?”
[11/30/2014 10:23:46 PM] zuarkeror: Mrs. Horn looks forlorn at the suggestion. “We have books here,” she says. But then she ponders it over. “Well…if you think you can find more in the library, I suppose I could escort you down.”
[11/30/2014 10:23:53 PM] zuarkeror: Bob mutters, “Nerds.”
[11/30/2014 10:24:09 PM] Maq: Maggie looks toward Bob. Is he closer than Mrs. Horn? This is important.
[11/30/2014 10:24:49 PM] zuarkeror: Yes, he is closer than Mrs. Horn.
[11/30/2014 10:24:51 PM] Auds: “Thank you, Mrs. Horn,” says Vee, hopping up.
[11/30/2014 10:25:14 PM] Kii: Epiphany stands up, looking relieved to be getting out of the classroom. She just ignores Bob for the moment.
[11/30/2014 10:26:00 PM] Auds: “C’mon Maggie,” she whispers, warningly.
[11/30/2014 10:26:29 PM] Maq: She leans over toward Bob then, and knowing Mrs. Horn has terrible hearing, she whispers in a hiss: “I look forward to the day something tears open your chest and chews your heart so that you can hear the sound of flesh being torn between teeth, Robert.” Her voice sounds darker as she says it, and then, as if she didn’t do anything, she stands up, picks her notebook, and follows Vee and Epiphany toward the door.
[11/30/2014 10:27:21 PM] Kii: “She’s just going to do whatever she feels like,” Epiphany hisses to Vee, and then moves to wait by the door for Mrs. horn.
[11/30/2014 10:28:39 PM] zuarkeror: Bob stares at Maggie. There’s a brief flare in his eyes, perhaps a flare of fear, before his face returns to that mask of snide confidence. “I knew you were a complete psycho,” he hisses back.
[11/30/2014 10:29:13 PM] Maq: She rolls her eyes at Epiphany. “You didn’t have to come,” she mutters as she follows her out. She ignores Bob.
[11/30/2014 10:29:22 PM] Maq: She reaches into her pocket then, slowly.
[11/30/2014 10:29:47 PM] Auds: She looks between the other two girls, then looks down, wrapping her hands around the straps of her backpack.
[11/30/2014 10:29:52 PM] Maq: Maggie looks suddenly terrified and yanks her hand out of her pocket, curling her arms around her notebook and holding it tightly to her chest.
[11/30/2014 10:30:46 PM] Kii: Epiphany glares at the other girl but keeps quiet, instead folding her arms across her chest and scowling out the window.
[11/30/2014 10:31:58 PM] Maq: Her arms curl tighter around her notebook, her face pale. She looks sick – and she idly reaches down to tug her hoodie down too on her pants, uncertainly looking around. “Mrs. Horn, could I go – to the bathroom while we’re on the way?”
[11/30/2014 10:32:31 PM] zuarkeror: Mrs. Horn begrudgingly walks the three girls down the hall to the library, and leaves them in the care of the librarian—an old lady named Mrs. Willoughby, who must have a whole foot in the grave. But along the way they’re waylaid by Maggie, who wants a stop in the little girls’ room: Mrs. Horn nods and stands outside the door, making Vee and Epiphany wait while Maggie goes in.
[11/30/2014 10:34:29 PM] Maq: Maggie disappears inside then, for a good five, ten minutes.
[11/30/2014 10:35:18 PM] Kii: Epiphany leans against the wall by the girl’s bathrooms, hands fidgeting with something in her pockets for at least five minutes before starting to get antsy. She glances at Mrs. Horn, “Um, should I go make sure she’s ok?”
[11/30/2014 10:35:55 PM] zuarkeror: Mrs. Horn nods. “Yes, please do that.”
[11/30/2014 10:36:36 PM] Auds: Vee just stands quietly, leaning against the wall, fiddling with the adjustment straps on her backpack.
[11/30/2014 10:36:57 PM] Kii: Epiphany slips into the bathroom and looks around, listening carefully for sounds of… Puking? dying? weeping?
[11/30/2014 10:37:41 PM] Maq: Whenever Epiphany enters into the bathroom, she finds Maggie. She’s near tears, for whatever reason, looking shaky and panicky, and currently continually pumping out paper towels, crumpling them, and throwing them into the trash can in an apparent panic. She hisses to the trashcan: “I dunno what that MEANS.”
[11/30/2014 10:38:19 PM] Maq: “I don’t want it!” she says to it, even though the trashcan says nothing.
[11/30/2014 10:39:43 PM] Kii: Epiphany’s previous scowls and glares disappear as she listens to Maggie, and they’re replaced by looks of hope mixed with increasing panic. “Maggie,” she says quietly, tapping the girl on her shoulder. “Maggie, who are you talking to?”
[11/30/2014 10:40:53 PM] Maq: She freezes, and then she looks over toward Epiphany then, like a deer in headlights. She quickly turns to place her body between Epiphany and the trash can as if the trash is about to fling itself in an attack at Epiphany. “M-myself.”
[11/30/2014 10:42:08 PM] Kii: “No,” she says carefully, doing her best to peer at the trashcan from over the other girl’s shoulder. “You sound like grandpa during one of his nightmares. Who were you talking to?”
[11/30/2014 10:42:32 PM] zuarkeror: Mrs. Horn stands outside the bathroom obliviously.
[11/30/2014 10:43:22 PM] Maq: “M-myself, really.” She says then, darting a look around. “It’s nothing. I was just – I’m just filling the trash can, that’s all.” She looks down at her feet. “We should go.”
[11/30/2014 10:44:01 PM] Auds: Vee starts to get curious, but figures it’d be suspicious if all three of them went in – she just sort of leans to push the door open. “Maggie, you okay?”
[11/30/2014 10:44:13 PM] Kii: “You were having an argument with yourself?” She doesn’t seem convinced. “Are you afraid that if you tell me I’ll think you’re…. Weird or something?”
[11/30/2014 10:44:37 PM] Maq: She darts a look toward the door then, and waves her hands. “Yeah, I’m fine!” She looks to Epiphany then, as if considering this question very hard.
[11/30/2014 10:45:15 PM] Maq: She suddenly twists – as if something has curled in her stomach – and she turns and vomits into the can. Annnnd there goes the lunch she sullenly ate, pouring out into the can.
[11/30/2014 10:46:59 PM] Kii: Epiphany winces at the sound of vigorous vomiting and covers her nose and mouth with a hand. “Maggie,” she says quietly, moving to pull the other girl’s hair back from her face. “What are you so scared of?”
[11/30/2014 10:48:16 PM] Auds: “That doesn’t look fine,” Vee says, wrinkling her nose.
[11/30/2014 10:48:59 PM] Maq: She finishes vomiting them, coughing for a long moment and dry heaving. And then she straightens up and covers her face. “Nothing,” she says her voice high pitched as if strained. “No, everything’s fine, let’s go, Epiphany, Vee thanks for opening the door.” All of this is said in a panicked rush as she dives for the door. Her notebook is still on the floor in the bathroom.
[11/30/2014 10:49:49 PM] Auds: Vee just looks confused, stepping out of the way as Maggie dives out into the hall. If Epiphany doesn’t grab it on her way out, she ducks back in for the notebook.
[11/30/2014 10:50:18 PM] Kii: Epiphany frowns as the other girl speeds past her, kneeling down to pick up the notebook. “She’s not fine at all,” she says as she walks after Vee, flipping idly through the notebook.
[11/30/2014 10:51:12 PM] Maq: “I can get it later,” she says, maybe referring to the notebook, maybe not, maybe to Mrs. Horn, maybe not. She curls her arms around her middle, and looks around a bit, sinking back to stand vaguely near the other girls.
[11/30/2014 10:51:58 PM] zuarkeror: Mrs. Horn, who had to not have heard the puking, asks, “Are you well, Maggie?”
[11/30/2014 10:52:12 PM] Maq: “I’m fine,” she says with a nod to Mrs. Horn. “Just – something I ate or something.”
[11/30/2014 10:52:47 PM] Auds: Vee’s still frowning, but saves her questions until they’re alone in the library. While they’ve got an escort she just falls silent again for the trip.
[11/30/2014 10:53:02 PM] zuarkeror: Mrs. Horn escorts the girls the rest of the way, leaving them in the care of the librarian.
[11/30/2014 10:54:23 PM] Maq: Once they’re in the care of the librarian, Maggie goes to hover by a table they can use. She stares at it for a moment, and then: “I’ll go get the books we need?” she asks Vee and Epiphany.
[11/30/2014 10:54:50 PM] Kii: Epiphany motions for them to sit off at a more secluded table, keeping the notebook in her lap as she continues to flip through it. “If you’re not going to talk about what’s wrong…”
[11/30/2014 10:54:55 PM] Auds: “Maggie, what happened?” Vee says, plopping down, not really concerned about the books.
[11/30/2014 10:57:01 PM] Maq: “Um,” she says then, her head obviously spinning. She looks to her notebook, then, blankly for a moment, and then she looks back to Vee. She sits down and rubs her arms. “Ummmm,” the words stretch out. “Do you guys…” She begins, and looks over her shoulder toward the librarian.
[11/30/2014 10:57:56 PM] Kii: “Do we what?” Epiphany asks gently, trying to help Maggie through this conversation as best she can.
[11/30/2014 10:58:50 PM] Maq: “Do you guys hear stuff sometimes?” She asks then, looking worriedly between the two.
[11/30/2014 10:58:50 PM] zuarkeror: A short while after the library doors close, they open again—and Mrs. Horn, looking slightly weary from all the walking, returns, with Rick in tow. She directs him toward the group of girls, and then disappears back down the hall.
[11/30/2014 10:59:10 PM] Maq: She looks toward Rick and Mrs. Horn then, looking even more concerned.
[11/30/2014 10:59:28 PM] Auds: “Like what?” she asks, giving Rick a glum sort of wave.
[11/30/2014 11:00:05 PM] Kii: “Stuff? Like… You mean like… Things you shouldn’t be able to hear?” She just nods at Rick, feeling a small bit of relief to see him whole and unmauled again.
[11/30/2014 11:00:20 PM] Adam: “Hey,” Rick says simply. He moves in and grabs a seat. He looks tired but, you know, not dead.
[11/30/2014 11:00:24 PM] Maq: “I’m NOT,” she says then, like one of them accused her of something. She waves her hands a little bit, and then she clamps her hands over her mouth and goes silent as Rick officially joins them.
[11/30/2014 11:00:34 PM] Maq: “Hi,” she does offer through her hands.
[11/30/2014 11:00:57 PM] Auds: “Like what?” she asks again. “Like noises and stuff, or someone talking?”
[11/30/2014 11:01:30 PM] Maq: She nods her head toward Vee.
[11/30/2014 11:02:02 PM] Auds: Vee wrinkles her nose slightly in thought. “Who do the voices sound like?”
[11/30/2014 11:03:03 PM] Maq: Her eyes start to water for some reason and she lowers her hands. “Do you guys hate me?” She asks. “Not that you’d tell me the truth,” she adds a moment later glumly. In answer to Vee’s question: “I dunno.”
[11/30/2014 11:03:32 PM] Auds: “I wish you’d listen to us sometimes,” Vee says, sinking back into glum. “But I don’t hate you.”
[11/30/2014 11:03:35 PM] Kii: Epiphany doesn’t seem very rattled, instead she just nods along as Maggie talks. “I… I don’t hate you Maggie. I’m still a little mad. But… Do they tell you to do stuff? What sort of things to they say?”
[11/30/2014 11:03:47 PM] Adam: “She heard voices too. Or saw someone we didn’t. So you’re not exactly alone.” Rick hikes his thumb at Epiphany as he gets out a notebook of blank unlined paper and some unusual-looking pencils.
[11/30/2014 11:04:46 PM] Kii: “Just because you didn’t see her doesn’t mean she wasn’t there,” Epiphany adds, eyebrows furrowing slightly.
[11/30/2014 11:05:23 PM | Edited 11:05:45 PM] Auds: “I didn’t see anything that nobody else did, or hear anything. But someone came to see me later and told me everybody was alive.” She’s fidgeting with the straps on her backpack, mostly, but at some point she gets a book out to keep the librarian from getting suspicious.
[11/30/2014 11:06:39 PM | Edited 11:06:42 PM] Maq: “He just complains all the time,” she says, miserably. “I don’t want to talk about it anymore.” She looks toward Rick then. "We’re doing a presentation on the ankylosaurus. " And then she looks to Vee. “Someone came to you? Who?”
[11/30/2014 11:07:42 PM] Auds: “She said her code name was Remainder,” she says, sniffing slightly. “I asked if she was a secret agent and she said kinda.”
[11/30/2014 11:08:08 PM] Kii: Epiphany’s eyes widen immediately. “Did… Did she have long reddish hair? And blue eyes?”
[11/30/2014 11:08:23 PM] Maq: “…Like CIA?” She asks then, wide-eyed. “I’ve never met anyone like that. My dad says he’s a spy sometimes. But I dunno, he never told me his code name.” She pauses and looks to Epiphany.
[11/30/2014 11:08:44 PM] Auds: She nods at Epiphany.
[11/30/2014 11:09:13 PM] Adam: Rick idly draws on a corner of his notebook. Sunshine, looks like. He looks between Epiphany and Vee curiously.
[11/30/2014 11:10:46 PM] Kii: “THAT’S the lady who I was talking to! Who gave me the cards!” she says in one of those loud whispers. “I knew she didn’t have anything to do with the paintmonsters!”
[11/30/2014 11:10:58 PM] Auds: “Cards?”
[11/30/2014 11:11:15 PM] Kii: “My magic tarot cards,” she says plainly.
[11/30/2014 11:11:20 PM] Maq: “Can I have my notebook back?” She asks Epiphany quietly, making a ‘gimme gimme’ motion with her hands.
[11/30/2014 11:11:42 PM] Kii: Reluctantly, Epiphany hands it back over to Maggie.
[11/30/2014 11:11:51 PM] Maq: She takes her notebook back then, and just quietly starts doodling in it.
[11/30/2014 11:11:55 PM] Adam: “And – this is good, I want us to talk, but – can someone get me a picture of an akylosaurus?” Rick is adding clouds to his prehistoric sky.
[11/30/2014 11:12:05 PM] Auds: “You have magic tarot cards?” She pronounces ‘tarot’ like she’s never heard the word before.
[11/30/2014 11:13:12 PM] Kii: “It looks like a turtle with a sea-mine for a tail,” she says to Rick quickly before nodding to Vee. “I told you yesterday, remember?”
[11/30/2014 11:13:19 PM] Maq: “Epiphany will do that,” she says to Rick then. “And – I can list facts or whatever, and we can present it or…whatever.”
[11/30/2014 11:13:47 PM] Maq: “They’re really big and dumb,” she adds. And then to Epiphany: “Vee wasn’t with us yet. You said that at my house before we left.”
[11/30/2014 11:13:53 PM] Auds: Vee just gives Epiphany a blank look. “No..”
[11/30/2014 11:14:54 PM] Kii: “Oh…” She shrugs and then nods again to Vee, “Well I do! And I did a reading, although it was a little strange. I mean, I’ll probably have to practice to get really good with them….”
[11/30/2014 11:16:23 PM] Auds: “What are they for?”
[11/30/2014 11:16:33 PM] Auds: Vee does not seem to care about ankylosaurus.
[11/30/2014 11:16:42 PM] Adam: “I mean, sure, but I can draw and I can’t talk in front of the class, so I’d rather draw,” Rick says with a shrug of one shoulder. “Let’s – can we go – let’s start at the beginning. What happened in Xyza’s house after the monster comes up the stairs.”
[11/30/2014 11:17:37 PM] Maq: Maggie focuses on writing out facts about the ankylosaurus. “It ate you,” she says. “It bite into your chest, and there were wet crunchy sounds as it chewed, and it crunched and it tore, and you could hear all the fleshy strings ripping and tearing,” she says then, lifting her hands and mimicking tugging. “And I watched it eat you and hid under the bed and vomited.”
[11/30/2014 11:17:58 PM] Auds: “I hid in the closet, with Epiphany. Only it wasn’t a closet.”
[11/30/2014 11:17:59 PM] Kii: “You ask them questions— it can be about anything, really. Usually about your life, or your path, or something that could happen in the future. And they answer you using symbols and pictures.” Her pale green eyes glance sidelong at Rick, “I…” Her face pales as Maggie goes on about the description of Rick being eaten alive.
[11/30/2014 11:18:21 PM | Edited 11:18:31 PM] Kii: “Y-yeah, we hid in a closet that was really a big room… A studio.”
[11/30/2014 11:19:51 PM] Adam: “Sorry,” he says, mostly towards Maggie, after she’s described his death. “I had a stupid plan.”
[11/30/2014 11:22:00 PM] Maq: “And its – its – throats? throat? worked, and it bobbed, and it swallowed. Munch munch, chomp chomp, gobble gobble,” she says then, whispering. “Gulp. When it came into the room. And Petra was in the corner, and she was crying. It crept closer, and I knew I was going to die, and I was going to watch Petra die first, and it got closer, and she yelled something weird, and there was a…a … green…monster, and it came out of her clothes and it attacked the thing, and there was a fight.”
[11/30/2014 11:22:16 PM] zuarkeror: The librarian occasionally looks up and glances over at the group, but it’s fairly clear that she can’t hear anything the kids are saying. For one thing, she’s far away; for another, she’s got to be totally deaf and senile or something.
[11/30/2014 11:24:01 PM] Adam: Rick snags one of the books the others have found and flips to a reference image for an ankylosaurus.
[11/30/2014 11:24:38 PM] Kii: “I didn’t see any of that,” Epiphany says quietly. “A… A monster came out of her clothes?”
[11/30/2014 11:24:46 PM] Maq: She nods her head a bit and stares at her notebook.
[11/30/2014 11:24:46 PM] Auds: “A green monster came out of – Petra’s clothes?” Vee whispers, wide-eyed.
[11/30/2014 11:24:52 PM] Maq: “Yeah, after she shouted a weird word.”
[11/30/2014 11:26:06 PM] Kii: Epiphany nods, as if she’s noting that for later, and continues. “Well, where we were, in the studio, there were two doors. One leads to the supply closet in the Junior High art room, and the other… Xyza was in the other, doing her homework.”
[11/30/2014 11:27:16 PM] Auds: “I tried to ask her about the monster but she – painted my mouth away. I couldn’t talk, or anything.” Her head tucks in between her shoulders slightly.
[11/30/2014 11:28:25 PM] Maq: She nods her head slowly, her purpled eyes darting between Vee and Epiphany.
[11/30/2014 11:29:29 PM] Kii: She shifts in her seat, beginning to look a little agitated. “I asked her why she just let Rick die… And told her you guys were in trouble… But she just didn’t care. So I tried to take her paintbrush from her, and it went flying, and Vee picked it up and used it. And then she tried to break it, but it wouldn’t, so… Xyza just took it back from her.” Her voice gets very tense at that last part.
[11/30/2014 11:30:22 PM] Maq: “She’s a junior higher, so she can probably beat any of us up except Rick,” she says then, nodding her head slowly. “And you and Vee can’t fight very well, so…probably not much you could do.”
[11/30/2014 11:33:33 PM] Auds: “I tried,” she says, not quite snapping at Epiphany, but her face is a little red with urgency. “You keep acting like I did it on puppet but I didn’t, I tried to break it, and I tried to keep it from getting her back, but she was WAY stronger than me.”
[11/30/2014 11:34:59 PM] Kii: “And I thought everyone was /dying/ and trying to do everything I could and all you did was stand and cry,” Epiphany says all at once, blinking rapidly as her own eyes start to sting. “But… But I guess it doesn’t matter, really, everyone made it out ok.”
[11/30/2014 11:35:30 PM] Auds: Vee, suddenly in tears herself, stands and dashes off into the stacks.
[11/30/2014 11:35:30 PM] Maq: “All I did was sit under a bed and cry and vomit,” she says.
[11/30/2014 11:35:54 PM] Maq: She looks over to Vee, and then gets to her feet. She darts quickly after Vee, heading into the stacks.
[11/30/2014 11:36:40 PM | Edited 11:37:19 PM] Adam: Rick, whose eyebrows slowly creeped up through all of this, now focuses intently on drawing ankylosaurus.
[11/30/2014 11:37:18 PM] Kii: Epiphany looks down at her hands, sighing softly. “Wh-what happened to you, Rick? I know you said you poured paint thinner on yourself but… Was that really it?”
[11/30/2014 11:38:10 PM] Adam: “You heard Maggie describe how I died, right?” Rick says quietly after a moment.
[11/30/2014 11:38:29 PM] Kii: “Yes… I heard it too,” she says softly.
[11/30/2014 11:38:38 PM] Maq: She hurries quickly after Vee, looking toward the librarian, and trying to make it look like they’ve just gone in search of more information on the ankylosaurus. “Vee,” she says as she goes after the other girl then. “Vee, it’s okay.”
[11/30/2014 11:39:50 PM] Adam: “If I tried to explain how I came back,” Rick says simply, blue eyes meeting Epiphany’s squarely, “I’d be doing that to your brain.”
[11/30/2014 11:40:55 PM] Kii: “…I don’t understand. If I hear it, I’ll die? Is it some sort of… geis?”
[11/30/2014 11:41:53 PM] Auds: “Just leave me alone,” she snaps, wiping furiously at tears that stream down her cheeks, trying her best not to sob out loud. “I couldn’t breathe! At least I tried to go back and help you and Petra and Laverne! She didn’t, she just ran for the junior high to go dig up her stupid master cards.”
[11/30/2014 11:42:38 PM] Adam: “You not understanding is the point,” he says, somewhat patiently. “It’s dangerous for you to understand. You can’t. And I don’t know what the fuck a geis is.”
[11/30/2014 11:42:57 PM] Adam: “If you want to know something useful, I can tell you something else,” he says after a beat.
[11/30/2014 11:43:45 PM] Kii: “It’s like a curse. If you violate a set of rules, you end up dying.” She sits back, a little disappointed. “Why is it dangerous for me to know?”
[11/30/2014 11:44:30 PM] Maq: She doesn’t rile up for once – likely if someone else (see: Bob) had told her to leave them alone, she’d have gotten riled and argued. “Okay,” she says. “And I know, you called me and stuff.” She moves to crouch nearby, staring up at the other girl through her puffy, sleepless eyes. She fidgets a little bit, rocking forward and back. “Did you mean to say puppet? Were you – being – puppeted stuff?” She rubs her eyes a little bit. Her eyes drift down and to the side.
[11/30/2014 11:45:08 PM] Adam: “Because…you know, bees…no, uh…” He also sinks back in his seat, setting down his pencil and holding his hands out in front of him like he can somehow grab the right words out of the air.
[11/30/2014 11:45:16 PM] Auds: “What?” she asks, mostly hunched and turned away but glancing back at Maggie, confused, wary, like she’s pretty sure Maggie’s making fun of her.
[11/30/2014 11:45:35 PM] Adam: “It’s like staring into the sun,” he says finally.
[11/30/2014 11:46:36 PM] Maq: “Um, you said you didn’t do it on puppet,” she says, slowly, lifting her hands. “Not purpose. And – I was wondering if maybe Xyza was puppeting you too and stuff, like you were a doll, cause painting and stuff.” She draws in a breath. “But even if you COULDN’T breathe, like, the fact that you stood there crying and not able to breathe makes you better’n me,” she shrugs. “I couldn’t even – I just went under the bed, and watched, and cried, and I had no good reason.”
[11/30/2014 11:47:56 PM] Kii: “Oh… Well, I guess that… Sort of makes sense.” Epiphany folds up her legs so she’s sitting cross-legged in her chair. Suddenly she tilts her head and looks curiously at Rick, “Can you…Tell someone else, that we know, and they won’t be harmed?”
[11/30/2014 11:51:51 PM] Auds: “I didn’t just stand there, not for more than a few seconds while I was trying to breathe. I tried to talk to her first, that’s why she did it. And then I tried to go back and help you but the door didn’t go to the same place anymore. Epiphany’s just – just being mean.” She turns away again and presses the heels of her hands against her eyes.
[11/30/2014 11:52:06 PM] Adam: “I haven’t met anyone else who’s…come through like me,” Rick says slowly. “So – I want to. But I’m working on it. I wish I was more helpful, just,” more grasping at the air. “I can’t explain anything. And it’s not like I really understand more.”
[11/30/2014 11:53:42 PM] Adam: “Anyway,” he says awkwardly, “I know it’s weird, but, it’s…not an answer to anything.”
[11/30/2014 11:54:10 PM] Maq: She nods her head a little bit. “Okay,” she says. “Yeah. She was mad at me for making her do the dog thing too when I told her and Rick and Laverne and Petra not to come and I was gonna do it just me and you, but they came along anyway, so it was their own choice to do it, even if she doesn’t wanna admit it. But I guess some of us don’t wanna admit it.” She rubs her eyes for a moment and then stands up, awkward, and twists around to look this way and that in paranoia for a moment, before she looks back to Vee. She stares at the other girl for a moment – and then steps forward to hug her, if she lets her.
[11/30/2014 11:56:13 PM] Kii: “No, I get it… I wish you could talk, so we could help you.” She sighs and looks off towards the way Maggie and Vee went. “What happened was… Was a disaster. We need to talk about it though, because we’ll have to go back again. I know we will, and we have to do something different this time.”
[11/30/2014 11:56:48 PM] Adam: “Probably,” he says heavily. “But uh…you…” This thought dies on the vine, apparently.
[11/30/2014 11:57:40 PM] Kii: “But I what?” she asks, frowning a little.
[11/30/2014 11:57:43 PM] Auds: She does, but kind of stiff and awkwardly. “Okay but I’m still mad at you for not listening to us,” she says, sniffling. “You gotta plan these tihngs, Maggie. It woulda been so much easier if we’d snuck over at night and done it without Ethan seeing. Or – or something. Next time, stop and let’s all talk first?”
[11/30/2014 11:58:17 PM] Maq: “Maybe.” She says then, and then she pulls back. Awkwardly, after a moment: “Do you sometimes find stuff on you that wasn’t there before?”
[11/30/2014 11:58:36 PM] Adam: “You need to not, uh.” A measured breath in and out through his nose, steadying himself. “You need to not care so much about being right,” he says finally, in just a little bit of a rush but relatively even.
[12/1/2014 12:02:08 AM] Kii: She looks down, fingers fidgeting with the end of her pencil. “It’s not about being right… It’s… What happened, happened, and I really thought everyone died. Or was dying, and we were the only people who could help. And we failed.” Epiphany looks up at Rick, lips pressed into a determined line. “More people could die, next time we try. And I don’t want to hurt Vee’s feelings, but ignoring our mistakes… It’s…” She rubs at her eyes. “…I couldn’t handle that again…”
[12/1/2014 12:03:26 AM] Adam: “Lemme put this another way,” he says after a beat, stubbornness putting more ease into his words. “How many times has someone in our group fled from you, crying, in the past few days?”
[12/1/2014 12:03:54 AM] Auds: “No,” she says, frowning a little as she pulls back, still sniffling and snotty. “What’d you find? Maybe someone reverse-pickpocketed you. Like if Laverne was here I wouldn’t puppet master.”
[12/1/2014 12:04:49 AM] Kii: “Two,” she says lowly.
[12/1/2014 12:04:59 AM] Maq: She flails her hands. “You did it again,” she says suddenly. She lifts her hands to her head and looks around. “Are you doing that?” She asks, and then hastily adds, “On purpose? The puppet master thing? You just said it again. I don’t know what you said. Like if Laverne was here I wouldn’t puppet master. What does that mean?”
[12/1/2014 12:05:21 AM | Edited 12:05:26 AM] Maq: “Put it past her? But you said puppet master? Is that me hearing more things. Are you actually doing it?” She looks suddenly panicky. “I’m hearing things aren’t I? Stop doing that!”
[12/1/2014 12:05:33 AM] Auds: “Doing what!” she asks, taking a step back. Quick to feel blamed for something, what with the way things have been going. “Put it past her!”
[12/1/2014 12:06:01 AM] Maq: “It’s okay, it’s probably not you, it’s probably him,” whoever him is. “Okay okay okayokay.” She nods her head. “Yeah, I was – probably reverse-pickpocketed.”
[12/1/2014 12:06:44 AM] Maq: She turns her head and stares wide-eyed into space.
[12/1/2014 12:07:05 AM] Auds: “What was it?” she asks, watching through red eyes as Maggie looks off into space. “What’d you find?”
[12/1/2014 12:07:31 AM] Maq: “What’d I find when?” She asks, dizzily, looking back to Vee. “In my pocket?”
[12/1/2014 12:08:20 AM] Auds: “Yeah,” she says, wiping her face again. “That’s why you’re asking, right?”
[12/1/2014 12:08:48 AM] Maq: She looks nervously left and right, and curls her arms around herself. She whispers to Vee, quietly: “A—a knife.”
[12/1/2014 12:09:04 AM] Adam: “It’s not weird that we’re crying and touchy,” Rick says, rubbing a hand against the back of his neck. “That’s…that’s the territory. But – you know – it’s because we all feel that weight, E. We’re all torn up about what happened and what could. And so we have to get a handle on it. That’s as important as details. So you gotta be able to ease up some. Jesus, it’s…so fucking lucky to have a group like this, you know that? Just what we did, in the face of all that…crazy shit, was impressive. For adults. And we’re eleven.”
[12/1/2014 12:09:40 AM] Adam: He glances over at the librarian and leans forward to keep working on his mostly-formed ankylosaurus, but his eyes keep going back to Epiphany as he sketches.
[12/1/2014 12:12:40 AM] Kii: “But I know what /could/ happen,” she whispers, resting her elbows on the table and her chin in her palm. “And it isn’t bad, I don’t think. And I really didn’t mean to make Vee cry, I was just really angry with her that time, and I didn’t know how to really say it…” She sighs. “Don’t you feel like we need to do something, and soon?”
[12/1/2014 12:12:46 AM] Auds: “Can I see it?” she whispers, glancing over towards the librarian, then worming further into one of the aisles.
[12/1/2014 12:13:13 AM] Maq: Her eyes suddenly fill with tear. “No!” She says then – though this doesn’t seem directed at Vee, but more toward the air. She flails her head, and then looks to Vee, and shakes her head again, and this time says more calm, “No.”
[12/1/2014 12:15:00 AM] Auds: “Why not?” she asks, but she just seems kind of confused, kind of worried. She grabs Maggie’s hand and starts steering towards the actual natural history sections to grab some actual books about dinosaurs.
[12/1/2014 12:15:46 AM] Adam: “Do you really?” Rick says skeptically. “Seeing the future isn’t so easy. We need to know more. We don’t have a way to handle what Xyza can throw at us, not in the thick of it. Painted mouths and monsters are a whole league up from one dog.”
[12/1/2014 12:15:50 AM] Maq: “Because I don’t have it anymore,” she says, miserably. “I’ll get it later.” She clings to Vee with one arm and stuffs her hand into her pocket with the other.
[12/1/2014 12:16:47 AM] zuarkeror: The phone at the librarian’s desk rings. She picks it up and starts quietly talking on it.
[12/1/2014 12:17:32 AM] Adam: Rick eyes a completed ankylosaurus skeptically, then begins shading it more idly.
[12/1/2014 12:18:51 AM] Kii: “I asked a general question, I got a general answer. The paintmonster is what we need to overcome, but there’s something that we haven’t found out that even Xyza is scared of, and she thinks she’s a god. But if we do… There will be a tremendous change— a good one. I could ask another question,” her eyes dart to the librarian and back, "but I don’t think this is a good place.
[12/1/2014 12:19:43 AM] Auds: “Okay,” she says, finding a few books that seem to be on the right topic – plus it’s an elementary library, it’s not like things get that esoteric. “‘No’ what? What’s he saying?” she whispers.
[12/1/2014 12:20:43 AM] Adam: “The cards?” he says, arching his eyebrows. “What was the thing she’s scared of? How, uh, what symbol was it?”
[12/1/2014 12:20:50 AM] Maq: Maggie suddenly yanks her hand back from Vee and covers her face, apparently suddenly near tears herself. “I c-can’t tell you,” she says, suddenly. “I’m — I’m gonna go to the bathroom and – c-can you cover for me, please?” She asks in a whisper. “Say I’m – sick again, please.”
[12/1/2014 12:21:57 AM] Auds: “I – okay. But I don’t want to go back,” she says, looking down. "I was gonna ask you to cover for me.
[12/1/2014 12:22:17 AM] zuarkeror: “Miss Hayward?” the librarian says quietly. She glances in the group’s direction. “Yes, she’s here,” she says into the phone. “May I ask who’s calling?”
[12/1/2014 12:22:47 AM] Maq: “We both gotta vomit,” she says then, with a single nod. “Or we – we can go and – let’s go talk to them real and then – we can go and – maybe I can go and you can go check on me, or you can go and I can go check on you or something?”
[12/1/2014 12:22:48 AM] Kii: Epiphany seems to perk up, finally having someone interested in her MAGIC tarot cards! “It was the Five of Swords— and it showed Xyza, getting dragged into the dark by some green hands, screamin—”
She looks up suddenly as her name is called.
[12/1/2014 12:24:04 AM] zuarkeror: “I see,” says the librarian. She clears her throat, and, looking back to the group, calls out: “Miss Epiphany Hayward? I have your sister on the phone.”
[12/1/2014 12:24:25 AM] Adam: “You have a sister?” Rick whispers.
[12/1/2014 12:24:58 AM] Kii: Epiphany glances at Rick, looking… Quite alarmed. She shakes her head. “Ok!” She calls out, making her way hastily towards the phone.
[12/1/2014 12:26:11 AM] zuarkeror: The librarian passes the phone disinterestedly into Epiphany’s hand.
[12/1/2014 12:26:51 AM] Kii: Epiphany holds it up to her ear, turning and walking away as far as the spiral phone cord will allow so she can have at least some measure of privacy. “Um, Hello?”
[12/1/2014 12:27:06 AM] Auds: “We should take them the books anyway,” she says, sniffing again and wiping her eyes with the back of her free hand, then trudging back to the table.
[12/1/2014 12:27:46 AM] Kii: “Yes,” Epiphany answers, a slight tremble in her voice.
[12/1/2014 12:28:05 AM] Kii: A more confident “Yes”.
[12/1/2014 12:28:32 AM] Adam: Rick is alone at the table quietly adding a pitched battle between a t-rex and a brontosaurus into the far background of his drawing. “Hi,” he says mildly to Vee and Maggie.
[12/1/2014 12:28:39 AM] Maq: She nods silently to that, clutching some of the books to her chest then – and moving back toward the table with Rick and dropping the book down. She glances to Vee, and then to Rick, and then back to Vee, as if expecting Vee to know what to do here. Then, “Hi,” she says to Rick.
[12/1/2014 12:29:17 AM] Auds: Vee seems sorta glad to find Rick alone. “Hi,” she says, still red-eyed and snotty, dropping the stack of books onto the table and then moving to stuff her science book back into her backpack.
[12/1/2014 12:29:55 AM] Kii: Epiphany looks confused, and blinks a few times. “…No.”
[12/1/2014 12:31:04 AM] Adam: “Things okay?” he says, looking up to them.
[12/1/2014 12:31:21 AM] Maq: She nods her head and rubs her eyes a bit.
[12/1/2014 12:31:31 AM] Kii: “No,” she says again, starting to fidget anxiously with a button on her sweater.
[12/1/2014 12:32:42 AM] Kii: “Not… Exactly…”
[12/1/2014 12:33:37 AM] Kii: Epiphany is quiet a few moments, thinking hard. “No. I don’t think so.”
[12/1/2014 12:34:08 AM] Kii: A more serious “Yes.”
[12/1/2014 12:34:23 AM] Auds: She shrugs at Rick, glancing over at Epiphany on the phone.
[12/1/2014 12:35:57 AM] Kii: Epiphany looks a little disappointed, and reaches over to hang up the phone before wandering back to the table. She sits down, staring not so much at the books as through them, and looks… Puzzled.
[12/1/2014 12:37:08 AM] Adam: “Who pretended to be your sister?”
[12/1/2014 12:38:00 AM] Kii: “The lady who gave me the cards,” she says quietly. " She asked me a bunch of questions, and said she was too… Early, and that in a few days it will make more sense."
[12/1/2014 12:39:03 AM] Adam: “Huh.” He drums his fingers on the table lightly.
[12/1/2014 12:39:22 AM] Maq: “…What were the questions?” She says then, slowly, awkwardly.
[12/1/2014 12:39:24 AM] Auds: Vee’s still packing up her backpack, not looking up when Epiphany gets back.
[12/1/2014 12:39:33 AM] Kii: Epiphany reluctantly looks up at Vee. “I’m sorry about what I said, Vee. I didn’t… I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. What I said was mean.”
[12/1/2014 12:41:37 AM] Kii: She waits a few moments in awkward silence, and turns to Maggie. “She asked if I showed Angelica the cards, and if I asked them about Ethan. If I told anyone about her. Then she said that if I hold out for a few more days, stuff will start to make sense.”
[12/1/2014 12:45:40 AM | Edited 1:02:14 AM] Auds: “Thanks, but it was wrong, too,” she says, sniffing. “We were all scared and different stuff happened and its not fair to tell everybody that I didn’t do anything just cause I couldn’t do what you wanted me to do.” She gets this out in a rush – then sighs, reluctantly dropping her bag again and plopping back down into the chair. “It’s okay. So we wait a few days. She made me memorize something like, a year from now, and he waits for you in Arcadia.”
[12/1/2014 12:46:11 AM] Auds: This time she seems to catch it herself, though – her eyes go wide, and she opens her mouth again, then closes it, adopting a slightly frantic look.
[12/1/2014 12:46:28 AM] Kii: Epiphany stares at Vee like she grew two heads. “….Who waits…For me in Arcadia…?”
[12/1/2014 12:46:32 AM] Maq: She grabs the side of her head again. “I gotta go to the bathroom,” she says, then, immediately. “I gotta go vomit.”
[12/1/2014 12:47:17 AM] Maq: She puases as Epiphany catches it too, and lowers her hands, and then looks at Vee as she reacts too.
[12/1/2014 12:47:17 AM] Adam: Rick’s brow furrows in concern, starting to mouth something – probably a profanity – and then just closing up and frowning.
[12/1/2014 12:47:26 AM] Auds: “I – I dunno. I don’t know if it’s you, even. Or -” White-faced, she looks around at the others
[12/1/2014 12:48:02 AM] Maq: “What’s that even mean,” she says then, in a whisper. “Arcadia?”
[12/1/2014 12:49:36 AM] Adam: “And who’s he?” Rick says after a moment, crossing his arms and settling back in his chair.
[12/1/2014 12:50:54 AM] Auds: “I dont know!” she says, scrambling for her backpack again, easily on the edge of tears again after such recent weeping. “I don’t know! I guess the – the puppet master.”
[12/1/2014 12:51:05 AM] Kii: Epiphany looks at Maggie— a little alarmed that she might puke again, but she takes in a deep, slow breath. “It’s… It’s like a paradise. It’s from some mythology… Greek? Norse? I can’t remember.” She looks back to Vee, “She made you memorize that? W-wait! What is the puppet master?”
[12/1/2014 12:51:26 AM] Maq: She darts a look to Rick, and then seems to realize something and relaxes, looking to Vee. “Do – you know – and you’re saying it without realizing most of the time. And it’s maybe—” She cuts off and looks to Epiphany. “Oh, I remember that form my book.” She blinks a few times, and then: “Vee said puppet earlier.”
[12/1/2014 12:51:47 AM] Maq: “I — I do gotta go to the bathroom,” she says. “But I’ll be right back, okay?” She says then.
[12/1/2014 12:51:49 AM] Auds: “I don’t know!” she says again, voice raising. “That’s not what she made me memorize. I don’t know what this is!”
[12/1/2014 12:53:04 AM | Edited 12:53:28 AM] Adam: “Hey, it’s okay,” Rick says, laying a hand down on the table in Vee’s direction. He’s not really ready to casually touch a girl to calm her down, it’s just a half-conscious connecting instinct. “We’re here. We’re going to help.”
[12/1/2014 12:54:30 AM] Auds: “You’re all going to die,” she says, then claps her hands over her mouth, breathing fast, tears running over her fingers.
[12/1/2014 12:55:15 AM] Kii: Epiphany… Looks very alarmed, but she manages to keep her voice even. “Vee… Vee, it’s ok. Maybe… Maybe you should just keep talking, and let it all get out. Maybe it will wear off.”
[12/1/2014 12:55:22 AM] Maq: Maggie stares at Vee for a moment, looking panicked, and then: “Bathroom,” she breathes – and goes jogging, because that’s the prerequisite sign for I’m-a-kid-and-going-to-vomit.
[12/1/2014 12:56:02 AM] Kii: Epiphany’s face contorts into a look of half horror, half realization.
[12/1/2014 12:56:11 AM] Kii: “The paintbrush…” she whispers, pointing to Vee’s mouth.
[12/1/2014 12:56:46 AM] Adam: “How did you get speech back?” Rick asks, trying for light tone and getting halfway there.
[12/1/2014 12:58:20 AM] Auds: She’s breathing quick and shallow but drops her hands, reluctantly, on Epiphany’s advice. “ mine,” she answers.
[12/1/2014 12:58:51 AM] Auds: “I painted it back,” she says to Rick, gulping. “But then wiped my face with turpentine the next day, so .. I hoped..”
[12/1/2014 12:59:53 AM] Kii: She leans a little closer to Vee, as if that would somehow give her more insight. “…I don’t think that’s Xyza talking through your mouth…” she murmers.
[12/1/2014 1:01:09 AM] Adam: Rick rubs at his chin with a few fingers, face studiously calmed as he watches Vee.
[12/1/2014 1:01:10 AM] Auds: “I don’t know,” she repeats, pleading.
[12/1/2014 1:02:07 AM] Kii: “Maybe you can lead it,” she says suddenly, scooching her chair even closer to Vee. "Like say, “My name is…” and see if you finish the sentence."
[12/1/2014 1:03:49 AM] Auds: “My name is..” she tries tremulously, wiping her cheeks again; the tears are still flowing but she doesn’t want the librarian to get suspicious.
[12/1/2014 1:05:27 AM] Kii: Epiphany waits, chewing her lip anxiously.
[12/1/2014 1:07:25 AM] Maq: She comes wandering back from the bathroom, quietly, looking ill – though the three kids likely get the idea that she’s just playing up how ragged she already looks for the librarian – tugging her sweater down and looking miserable. She moves to sit back down.
[12/1/2014 1:07:42 AM] Adam: “You alright?” Rick asks Maggie quietly, all the same.
[12/1/2014 1:08:03 AM] Maq: “Yeah,” she says then.
[12/1/2014 1:08:34 AM] Auds: She shakes her head slightly, slouching down in her seat and opening one of the books.
[12/1/2014 1:10:38 AM] Kii: “Well, don’t give up Vee. It’ll happen again, and we’ll figure out why. Who knows… Maybe this is the one thing Xyza never expected. And when we figure it out… Then we can find a way to get it to stop.” Her lips form a small smile, and she nods to Maggie. “Has that been happening a lot? Needing to puke?”
[12/1/2014 1:11:08 AM] Adam: “Maybe you’re pregnant,” Rick quips dryly for some reason.
[12/1/2014 1:11:20 AM] Maq: “No, I just do it when I’m scared,” she says, sullenly, as she sits down. She looks to Rick. “Ew, gross!”
[12/1/2014 1:11:59 AM] Kii: She frowns, “Is it… The voice that makes you scared?”
[12/1/2014 1:13:01 AM] Maq: “No,” she says then, shaking her head. “He’s just mad.” She rubs her face a little bit and then settles into her hands for a moment, and then she looks to the librarian again and then back to the table, and then down to her hip, and then up.
[12/1/2014 1:13:17 AM] zuarkeror: The library door opens, and Mrs. Horn appears. “All right, kids,” she says, “project time is over for now. Come back to class.”
[12/1/2014 1:13:30 AM] Maq: She looks toward Mrs. Horn. “Okay,” she says and she rises, gathering her notebook.
[12/1/2014 1:14:14 AM] Auds: Vee picks up a couple of the books and hurries to check them out, since she’s already got her stuf packed up.
[12/1/2014 1:14:35 AM | Edited 1:14:41 AM] Kii: Epiphany nods and gathers up her own notebook— which still just says ANKLYOSAURUS in it.
[12/1/2014 1:15:24 AM] Maq: “If we gotta present now,” she says in a whisper to the others, “um, someone talk about how it’s a herbivore which means plant eater and big and dumb and someone say how it’s a walking tank and describe it I can …lead the talk and Rick can hold the picture.”
[12/1/2014 1:15:57 AM] Adam: Rick’s ankylosaurus is suspiciously violent-looking despite enjoying a sunny day. It’s labeled with big block letters with some illusion of depth, and by the hills in the background other dinosaurs are fighting. He got a little carried away. This is possibly a stress relief technique and not just a class project.
[12/1/2014 1:16:22 AM] Adam: He never actually got out any books, so he just picks up his backpack and slides it over his shoulder after carefully putting away his weird pencils.
[12/1/2014 1:16:28 AM] zuarkeror: The rest of the school day goes pretty normally—that is to say, it’s uneventful and boring. At the end of the day, the principal gets on the PA to make some announcements. Most of them. are totally forgettable, but one stands out to the group. “One final announcement,” the principal says. “We’ve received a call today about Ethan Russo’s dog, who seems to have gone missing. The dog is a Border Collie, black, white and gray, and answers to the name Colby. We have a special request from Angel Russo, Ethan’s mother, to keep an eye out for this very special family pet. Do your best, kids, and if you see anything, let your parents or your teacher know.”
[12/1/2014 1:17:52 AM] Adam: Rick mostly ignores this announcement, though he shades in his latest doodle a little too intensely.
[12/1/2014 1:18:06 AM] Maq: She sinks lower into her seat then and stares at her notebook. “Angelica,” she says, quietly under her breath, and then she stuffs her notebook away, looking uneasy and like she’s going to vomit again. She stands up and hitches her backpack on quickly as soon as possible.
[12/1/2014 1:19:03 AM] Kii: Epiphany slouches faaar down in her seat once the announcement about Colby comes on, and picks up her things as quickly as she can as well. As they file out of the class room she taps Maggie, Rick, and Vee on the shoulder. “I’m gonna do another reading after school… If anyone wants to come.”
[12/1/2014 1:19:06 AM] zuarkeror: With that, school’s out, and the kids are free to go where they please.
[12/1/2014 1:19:43 AM] Auds: Vee stays quiet through the announcements, though she nods at Epiphany and grabs her stuff, ready to go.
[12/1/2014 1:20:01 AM] Maq: She looks to Epiphany, and then bobbles her head. “Where?” She asks, uneasily. “My – playhouse, maybe?”
[12/1/2014 1:20:17 AM] Adam: “Sure,” Rick says easily, though he’s glancing back over his shoulder a few times at – something.
[12/1/2014 1:21:28 AM] Kii: “Sure, that’ll work.” She glances over Rick’s shoulder, and then looks back to the other girls. “Let’s go.”
[12/1/2014 1:22:31 AM] Maq: She nods and leads the way to her bus – unless they need a written note, in which case she leads the way quietly outside and starts walking to her house.
[12/1/2014 1:23:40 AM] Auds: “Maggie,” Vee says as they walk, “Your angry voice. What’s he angry about?”
[12/1/2014 1:24:35 AM] Maq: “Me,” she says then, quietly. Once they’re well away, she digs into her pocket and then pulls out a knife. This isn’t a kitchen knife, nor a pocket knife. This is a knife designed for murder – the kind you’d use to shank someone in the ribs to kill them.
[12/1/2014 1:24:50 AM] Adam: “Holy shit,” Rick says quietly.
[12/1/2014 1:25:04 AM] Maq: “He gave me this to show Bob that I really was a psycho when he called me it earlier,” she says then, holding it up.
[12/1/2014 1:25:21 AM] Auds: “Wow,” says Vee, softly. “Is that why you — well, said what you said to Bob? Cuz of him?”
[12/1/2014 1:25:26 AM | Edited 1:25:28 AM] Kii: Epiphany blinks. “He can give you things?”
[12/1/2014 1:26:36 AM] Maq: “No. I said that because I didn’t wanna deal with him. And then it was in my pocket and he told me to use it, but I didn’t. And then I went to throw it away in the bathroom.” She looks a little blank-faced as she holds it up, and then she stuffs it away quickly back into her pants pocket.
[12/1/2014 1:27:08 AM] Auds: “If he’s mad at you why’s he giving you a knife though?”
[12/1/2014 1:28:15 AM] Maq: “I dunno,” she says then. “He’s mad at me right now especially because I didn’t keep him private.” She stuffs both hands into her pockets and slumps along.
[12/1/2014 1:28:36 AM] Adam: “Can I see that?” Rick says from where he’s been very quiet at the back of the group.
[12/1/2014 1:28:57 AM] Kii: “Sounds like he’s mad that he can’t control you,” Epiphany offers.
[12/1/2014 1:30:12 AM] Maq: “I’m bad at keeping secrets,” she says then to the sky. “He’s not wrong. But it’s hard to keep secrets when you try to hide a knife in a trashcan and get caught.” She looks toward Rick. “What? My knife?” My, she says.
[12/1/2014 1:31:05 AM] Adam: “The weird knife you don’t know anything about, yeah,” he rephrases deadpan.
[12/1/2014 1:31:43 AM] Maq: “It was taken where it was no longer needed,” she says with a shrug, and pulls the knife out to offer it to Rick.
[12/1/2014 1:32:07 AM] Auds: “What?” Vee wrinkles her nose.
[12/1/2014 1:32:39 AM] Adam: “What?” he says with a squint, taking the knife carefully – avoiding the cut of the blade and putting his fingers on the handle before he takes the weight of it.
[12/1/2014 1:32:40 AM] Kii: Epiphany stares at Maggie with a smiliar expression to Vee, twisting to look back at the other girl.
[12/1/2014 1:33:09 AM] Maq: “I—I dunno, he said that. He said it was mine. And it was taken from where it was no longer needed.” She looks awkwardly between Vee and Epiphany and then stares at her feet.
[12/1/2014 1:34:02 AM] Maq: “No!” She says then, alarmed.
[12/1/2014 1:34:17 AM] Maq: “Give me that back,” she says, scrabbling to take it back from Rick in a panic.
[12/1/2014 1:35:17 AM] Adam: “Woah, careful, it’s a knife not a fucking candy cane,” Rick says, getting his body in between her and his far hand with the knife. “Calm down and I’ll hand it back.”
[12/1/2014 1:37:13 AM] Auds: “Where was it taken from?” she leans in (cautously) to take a look at the knife in Rick’s hands. “Does it – well, can you tell?”
[12/1/2014 1:38:23 AM] Maq: “G-give it to me,” she says then, slightly calming and waving her hand. “Please,” she says then. She holds her hands out, and then darts her head sideways, and then focuses on Rick again.
[12/1/2014 1:39:53 AM] Kii: Epiphany stops and waits, looking at the unfolding scene curiously.
[12/1/2014 1:40:37 AM] zuarkeror: FYI you guys are handling something like this:
[12/1/2014 1:40:56 AM] Kii: sweet
[12/1/2014 1:41:01 AM] Kii: that’s a killin’ knife for sure
[12/1/2014 1:41:13 AM] Kii: how did she keep it in her pocket though D:
[12/1/2014 1:41:23 AM] zuarkeror: GOOD QUESTION.
[12/1/2014 1:41:28 AM] Maq: Deep Pockets ™
[12/1/2014 1:41:35 AM] zuarkeror: Carry on.
[12/1/2014 1:42:01 AM] Kii: “…Maggie.. Um… You’ve been carrying that in your pockets all day?”
[12/1/2014 1:42:19 AM] Adam: Rick reaches out with his free hand first, taking Maggie’s wrist, and leans in to whisper something against her ear. Then he carefully turns the knife around in his other hand – dull edge against his palm, pommel out, pinching the middle – and places it into Maggie’s hand before he steps back and lets go of her wrist.
[12/1/2014 1:45:01 AM] Maq: “Since we were leaving to go to the library,” she says, eyes locked on Rick. She listens to what Rick whispers, intently, and then slowly puts the knife back into her pocket. “I know that,” she says then, and slips the knife back into her pocket.
[12/1/2014 1:46:00 AM] Kii: “I mean, HOW are you? That knife is nearly half a foot long. Even my grandpa’s swiss army knife barely fit in my pocket, and I could fold that.”
[12/1/2014 1:46:25 AM] Maq: She blinks at Epiphany as if she’d never considered that, and looks uneasily down at her waist.
[12/1/2014 1:47:28 AM] Kii: Epiphany tilts her head. “I wonder if it’s the knife… Or your pocket…”
[12/1/2014 1:47:55 AM] Adam: “Or you,” Rick adds simply.
[12/1/2014 1:48:56 AM] Auds: “You always look off to the side,” Vee says, after a moment. “Does the voice come from somewhere? Can you see this guy?”
[12/1/2014 1:49:25 AM] Maq: “It’s – it’s probably nothing,” she says, uneasily, sticking her hand into her pocket and rooting around. “It’s not me! No. He always sounds like he’s next to me, but he’s not there. I just – expect him to be.”
[12/1/2014 1:49:57 AM] Adam: “What does he sound like?”
[12/1/2014 1:50:41 AM] Maq: Maggie’s eyes widen and she clamps her mouth shut. Her eyes widen as she stares into space for a moment. She shakes her head, and then: “Let’s – just – go to my house.” And she turns and starts walking, slumping her shoulders forward.
[12/1/2014 1:51:11 AM] Auds: “No, but really,” Vee presses, as they walk. “Old, young? Foreign?”
[12/1/2014 1:52:27 AM] Maq: Her jaw tenses. She keeps her hands in her pockets for a moment as she walks. She glances to Rick and then Vee, her eyes for a moment looking pained, and then she looks to Epiphany. “Wh-what questions should we ask?”
[12/1/2014 1:53:50 AM] Kii: “Well, we will only have one per reading… And they tend to get really muddled if you ask a lot of questions, so we should probably just do one for today.” She pulls her hair over one shoulder as they walk along. “I’ve been trying to think of what’s most important to ask about right now. Xyza? The paintmonster? Whoever made the paintbrush?”
[12/1/2014 1:54:33 AM] Auds: “Were you supposed to ask about Ethan too?”
[12/1/2014 1:55:15 AM] Kii: “Yeah, but… She said she was early. Maybe it’s too early to ask about him? Or know what’s important about Ethan and Angelica?” she shrugs. “What do you guys think?”
[12/1/2014 1:55:54 AM] Auds: “What have you asked about so far?”
[12/1/2014 1:56:20 AM] Kii: “I asked… What we should do. I’ve only asked one thing, so far.”
[12/1/2014 1:56:32 AM] Maq: “I—I think either something about how we stop Xyza, or – I dunno what we’d ask about Ethan. What we can—” She stuffs her hands into her pockets again and tenses, probably feeling the knife again, “—do to…help him? Get over Colby? I dunno, ask what’s in the future for Ethan maybe.”
[12/1/2014 1:56:57 AM] Auds: “We could ask about the puppet master,” she suggests quietly, hiking her backpack up her shoulders.
[12/1/2014 1:57:25 AM] Kii: “That’s true… But whatever we ask, it has to be specific.”
[12/1/2014 1:59:24 AM] Adam: “You mentioned the green hands, that Xyza was scared of,” Rick muses. “Them, or the paint monster. The solution or the problem.”
[12/1/2014 2:00:17 AM] Maq: “I wish there was a way to combine all our questions into one,” she says, miserably – they reach her yard. She gestures back to the tree house, and goes to poke her head into inform her mother she’s home (on time, for once), and then she drifts after the other kids.
[12/1/2014 2:00:54 AM] Adam: “Maybe like – how we can protect ourselves?” Rick calls down from clambering quickly into the treehouse.
[12/1/2014 2:01:25 AM] Kii: “The challenge we must overcome is the paintmoster,” she says as they march through the yard. “The green hands are the recent past… One could give the solution for the other, that’s for certain.” Epiphany begins to climb up into the treehouse. “We need to do more than protect ourselves.”
[12/1/2014 2:01:34 AM] Auds: “We could ask who Remainder is, too,” she suggests, drifting towards the treehouse.
[12/1/2014 2:01:36 AM] zuarkeror: Mom cheerily greets Maggie (although there is a slight undertone of worry which all kids easily recognize—but she seems glad Maggie’s got friends over).
[12/1/2014 2:01:49 AM] Kii: “N-no questions about her,” Epiphany says too quickly.
[12/1/2014 2:02:12 AM] Adam: “Why not about her?” Rick says, looking to Epiphany with arched brows.
[12/1/2014 2:02:40 AM] Auds: “She said she coudln’t tell me stuff, but she didn’t say I couldn’t ask some magic cards.”
[12/1/2014 2:03:25 AM] Kii: “If we know too much about her… I think things could change, could spiral out of control. She said she was too early, right?” She sits down crosslegged. “It’s like… Time travel, almost. See into the future, see into the past.. But if you change too much, who knows what could happen?”
[12/1/2014 2:03:45 AM] Maq: She climbs up last, and quietly sits in a corner, staring into space. “Maybe like…how do we solve the issues of the paintbrush currently bugging us and people we care about? And…then it’s about us and Ethan and Angelica. And then it’s also about Xyza and whoever this other guy is?”
[12/1/2014 2:03:54 AM] Maq: “And if Remainder is involved in this, it’d involve her too.”
[12/1/2014 2:05:55 AM] Kii: “We only get one question, Maggie. If there’s too many elements, I won’t be able to read the results very well.” She leans back, and pulls out a long thin case of cards. “So… We can ask about the paint monster, Xyza, the thing Zyxa is afraid of, or Ethan and Angelica.” Her eyes go from person to person. “Can we agree on one?”
[12/1/2014 2:06:33 AM] Maq: She’s silent for a moment, rubbing her arms. “…I-I’d be more concerned about Ethan and Angelica,” she says. “We can – figure things out about the monster ourselves. We need to keep people safe.”
[12/1/2014 2:07:15 AM] Kii: “I think that if we can get past the monster and deal with Xyza, we can keep them safe.”
[12/1/2014 2:07:48 AM] Adam: “How about this,” Rick suggests after a pause. “Instead of picking one, we eliminate them one at a time.”
[12/1/2014 2:09:07 AM] Adam: “So like – how many people say Xyza isn’t what we need to ask about?” He raises his hand up idly.
[12/1/2014 2:09:28 AM] Maq: She raises her hand up slowly.
[12/1/2014 2:09:59 AM] Maq: “What we could do,” she says, “is – maybe lay ‘em all out, and then just say what we don’t think it should be, one at a time. Just pick the one we personally think is least important until we’re down to one? And since none of us picked that one, obviously we don’t think it’s least important?”
[12/1/2014 2:10:00 AM] Auds: “I vote Ethan and Angelica,” she says, after a moment of consideration.
[12/1/2014 2:11:35 AM] Kii: Epiphany looks to Rick. “…Two people voted for Ethan and Angelica. I mean, there’s no way to do a tiebreaker, but… It might be a good place to start for today. We could learn something, and Maggie and Vee would feel better knowing if they’ll be ok.” She nods to herself.
[12/1/2014 2:13:14 AM] Adam: Rick leans back for a long moment, slowly crossing his arms. “Alright, sure,” he says finally.
[12/1/2014 2:14:12 AM] Kii: “Okay,” she says, taking a deep breath and tapping out her cards. They’re as long and wide as regular cards, a little worn, and all… Blank. They all feature the dark purple and blues of the night sky.
Epiphany taps the deck with her index finger.
[12/1/2014 2:15:05 AM] zuarkeror: The colors on the cards swirl around a little bit, in ways that they shouldn’t. At first it just looks like an optical illusion, or maybe a hologram or something, but the longer one stares at them, the more the swirling colors look…real.
[12/1/2014 2:15:43 AM] Maq: Maggie stares down at the cards then, watching blankly.
[12/1/2014 2:16:18 AM] Auds: Vee’s gotten comfortable in one corner of the treehouse with her backpack behind her to square off the corner, and leans forward now to peer at the cards. “Woah,” she says softly.
[12/1/2014 2:21:13 AM] Kii: She begins to shuffle the cards, closing her eyes as the cards slide against one another. “In what ways has our friend Ethan, and his mother Angelica, been affected by our and Xyza’s actions in weeks past and weeks to come?” Epiphany exhales slowly, opens her eyes, and begins to deal out six cards, face-down, in a cross-like pattern. She sets the rest of the deck down… And flips over the first, the one in the middle.
[12/1/2014 2:23:59 AM] zuarkeror: The first card comes down—and the colors swirl vibrantly to life, starting to become an image of crisp clarity—and not only that, but a moving image, almost like a TV screen. There’s the image of a boy, crystal clear, hugging his knees, burying his face into his forearms, shuddering—as if crying. He looks up suddenly, and you see Ethan’s tear-stained face, as his head swivels to look at something out of view. Slowly, he gets up to his feet and walks off the field of view afforded by the card. A golden cup shimmers in the background, standing out of place.
[12/1/2014 2:24:28 AM] zuarkeror: (For all those who have Occult, you may make a number of Int+Occult rolls during this reading equal to your Occult score to discern which Tarot card is represented by the image.)
[12/1/2014 2:24:59 AM] Adam: (can we choose between different ones at the end, or do we need to call it when it’s up?)
[12/1/2014 2:25:09 AM] zuarkeror: (Call it when it’s up.)
[12/1/2014 2:25:23 AM] Maq: (I’ll call this one!)
[12/1/2014 2:25:31 AM] Maq: (3s)
[12/1/2014 2:26:58 AM] Kii: (1s, idk if I should add anything since Epiphany is pretty well versed in tarot)
[12/1/2014 2:27:31 AM] zuarkeror: (Presumably Maggie will share her roll result with you—the idea is you guys work together on this.)
[12/1/2014 2:27:46 AM] zuarkeror: (You can save your roll for another card, Kii.)
[12/1/2014 2:27:52 AM] Auds: “Maybe that means he’ll be sad for a while but then something else will distract him and it’ll be okay,” she ventures, somewhat hopeful.
[12/1/2014 2:27:52 AM] Kii: (ok!)
[12/1/2014 2:28:29 AM] Maq: Maggie stares at the card for a long moment. “He’s – the page of cups, right?” She says. “Um,” she glances to Epiphany. “That’s – the one where – there’s super imaginary stuff? I read in one of the books you gave me that it’s like – my mom’d say his head is in the clouds and he’s super dreamy? Which is good…”
[12/1/2014 2:29:58 AM] zuarkeror: The next card comes down: a black and violet background brightens somewhat, to the color of a sunset sky. The backdrop is a graveyard, littered with identical, cross-shaped tombstones. Each tombstone has strings attached to it, dangling from above, like strands of spider-silk coming down from the heavens to attach to the graves. Standing in this graveyard is a lone figure, robed, the hood of the robe obscuring the face—and he is carrying a book, held tightly against the chest.
[12/1/2014 2:30:17 AM] Adam: (oh MINE)
[12/1/2014 2:30:33 AM] Adam: (because uh reasons)
[12/1/2014 2:30:36 AM] zuarkeror: (In addition to the Occult roll, anyone with Trivia Hound may roll Int+Composure on this one.)
[12/1/2014 2:30:41 AM] Auds: “Oh.. that can’t be good, can it?” Vee whispers.
[12/1/2014 2:30:53 AM] Maq: (3s, Trivia Hound)
[12/1/2014 2:31:25 AM] Adam: (2s, occult, and spent a wp)
[12/1/2014 2:31:37 AM] Kii: “The first was the situation as it is now… This is the challenge that must be overcome,” she explains.
(I’ll let someone else take this one)
[12/1/2014 2:32:23 AM] Kii: “The Page, or Ace of cups can also mean a moment where you can achieve emotional or spiritual fulfillment.”
[12/1/2014 2:32:32 AM] Adam: “It’s the Magician,” Rick says after a beat, with perhaps surprising confidence.
[12/1/2014 2:32:43 AM | Edited 2:32:51 AM] Maq: “Oh,” she says. “That’s like the new CD my brother got,” she says then, staring at the picture. “Um – the one with the loudy screamy people. Like — you know? OFF TO NEVER NEVER LAND!” She sings this as it’s supposed to – in Enter Sandman. She rubs her face a little bit and sinks back against the wall, glancing up to Epiphany. She darts a look to Rick and then back to Epiphany.
[12/1/2014 2:33:00 AM] Auds: “So what’s that mean?” she asks, looking at Rick.
[12/1/2014 2:34:32 AM] Kii: “The Magician has the power to manifest his desires. He wants success…” She looks at the card carefully. “I think this card is the Puppet Master, right? He has his power, his book of spells, and he is trying to raise the dead… Or things that have passed.”
[12/1/2014 2:35:00 AM] Maq: She nods her head slowly to that and darts her eyes up to look slightly over Epiphany’s shoulder for a moment, and then back down to the card.
[12/1/2014 2:35:29 AM | Edited 2:35:38 AM] Kii: Epiphany nods to herself, and moves to flip the next card. “This card will be the distant past.”
[12/1/2014 2:37:00 AM] Adam: “Sometimes they also call the Magician the Juggler,” Rick says after Epiphany. “It’s a…the Magician is something earned with work or trickery. Not sudden and unexpected. Willworker.”
[12/1/2014 2:39:29 AM] Kii: “True, the Magician wants to succeed at all costs.” She looks genuinely surprised that Rick knows anything about tarot!
[12/1/2014 2:39:48 AM] zuarkeror: The next card is…strange. The border erupts into what looks like green thorny vines, and the colors around the outside of the frame are bright as the sun shining in—but this light doesn’t penetrate to the main surface of the card, which is a much more ordinary-looking room. A living room, specifically. You guys recognize it. It’s Ethan’s living room. You recognize the scene, too—there’s Colby the dog, being scruffed by Laverne, who is hauling the dog across the floor toward the bathroom in a disturbing scene you all know all too well. There’s a twist to this, though—layered on top of the image, looking almost like it’s sitting ABOVE the card, in a way 3D-tricksy-sort-of-way, there is another image superimposed, a vague outline of a person, an armored knight sitting atop a horse, with a lance couched underarm. The figure is hard to look at, the armor shining so glinting bright, it strains and confuses the eyes to see. In one hand, the armored figure bears the lance, and in the other, a golden chalice.
[12/1/2014 2:40:45 AM] Kii: (ooh me! 3s Trivia Hound)
[12/1/2014 2:40:58 AM] zuarkeror: (No Trivia Hound on this roll.)
[12/1/2014 2:41:25 AM] Kii: (it was meant to be… 3s int + occult)
[12/1/2014 2:41:36 AM] Maq: She stares at this picture then, quietly. She lifts her hand and tugs on her hair, knotting her fingers into it and yanking on it a little bit.
[12/1/2014 2:45:18 AM] Kii: “The Knight of Cups,” Epiphany begins, shifting to get a better look at the card. “He is ruled by his heart, not his mind. He is in touch with his emotions and intuition… He will always follow his emotions, even if it will end poorly.” She frowns, thinking harder. “He can also mean an invitation, or be a messenger of sorts.”
[12/1/2014 2:46:03 AM] Auds: “So.. maybe we shouldn’t have done it?” she guesses softly, settling down with her elbows on her knees and her chin on her upturned palms.
[12/1/2014 2:46:21 AM] Kii: “I think… It means that, what we did, has opened up an opportunity that was not there before.”
[12/1/2014 2:46:51 AM] Adam: “He was being emotional. But the moment brought change?”
[12/1/2014 2:46:53 AM] Maq: She rubs her nose a little bit, silently, her eyes drifting over behind Rick this time.
[12/1/2014 2:47:06 AM] Auds: “So were we, though.”
[12/1/2014 2:47:43 AM] Kii: “We were ALL being emotional,” Epiphany says, nodding at Vee, and moving to flip the next card. “This one is the recent past… So, very, very recent.”
[12/1/2014 2:47:54 AM] Maq: “But the first thing was the present moment, right?” She says then. “So by being emotional we – made him cry and he’s got his head in the clouds,” she says to the first card. “Or something.”
[12/1/2014 2:48:49 AM] Kii: “Yeah, because of what happened, it could mean that now Ethan has a chance for some sort of emotional fulfillment that he wouldn’t have had otherwise.”
[12/1/2014 2:49:14 AM] Maq: “Maybe getting to deal with Colby dying,” she says.
[12/1/2014 2:49:25 AM] Kii: “Or death in general,” she says softly.
[12/1/2014 2:51:46 AM] zuarkeror: The next card that comes up is a little darker than the one previous, but still looks like a fairly well-lit room. This has the feel of an attic, but it’s too big to be the attic of any house the kids have ever seen—the room is full of paint supplies, canvases, easels, et cetera. On to the card walks Vee, who steps forward as if looking into the ‘camera’—that is, looking directly out of the card at the viewer. She has no mouth—just a flat patch of skin where a mouth should be. She has a paintbrush in her hand, which she raises up to her own face, and proceeds to paint a pair of lips on to herself. That image fades to a plain black background—all except the brush, which floats forward to take up the whole of the card over the black background, gleaming with a wreath of golden light.
[12/1/2014 2:52:16 AM] zuarkeror: (In addition to an Int+Occult to identify the card, if anyone wants to do that, anyone with the Study skill may roll Int+Study now.)
[12/1/2014 2:53:07 AM] Maq: (I got the study!)
[12/1/2014 2:53:10 AM] Adam: (3s Int + Study)
[12/1/2014 2:53:20 AM] Maq: (Or naw, Rick has it yo)
[12/1/2014 2:53:22 AM] Kii: (not gonna go for this one)
[12/1/2014 2:53:27 AM] Maq: (I’ll take the Int + Occ)
[12/1/2014 2:53:35 AM] Maq: (2s)
[12/1/2014 2:54:54 AM] Auds: (2s on study but it may be covered already)
[12/1/2014 2:57:08 AM | Edited 2:57:45 AM] Adam: “Something’s – this is weird,” Rick says, changing course midsentence as he leans forward with a squint. “You said this was recent past, but Vee did that the night we were at the house, right? And you said that,” pointing to the slaughter-living-room, “was the far past, but that was the day after.”
[12/1/2014 2:57:10 AM] Maq: She stares quietly at the card and then looks over to Vee this time. She brushes her hand past her eye.
[12/1/2014 2:58:09 AM] Auds: Vee shrinks back against her backpack some, but has no insight to offer.
[12/1/2014 3:00:28 AM] Kii: “Huh…” She frowns. “You’re right, time is out of order here. That could be important. I think this is the Ace of Wands though— it means an opportunity, a breakthrough moment. At this moment new ideas and possibilities are opened to you… Normally it’s a really good card, it means that you can ‘make your dreams reality’.”
[12/1/2014 3:01:21 AM] Auds: Vee frowns. “Well that’s what the paintbrush did, I think. I just wanted my mouth back. I don’t know how to paint.”
[12/1/2014 3:02:47 AM] Kii: “Well… Wait, wait… It also means that it is the seed, opportunity will grow from it, but what you want hasn’t actually happened yet. It could mean that we need the paintbrush…?” Epiphany frowns as she thinks that over, and moves for the next card. “This one is the outcome if something changes the current situation.”
[12/1/2014 3:03:57 AM] zuarkeror: The next card that comes down contains a flurry of images that are almost too hard to keep up with: it’s hard to get more than the barest of details of each piece of this little ‘montage.’ Everyone roll Wits + Composure.
[12/1/2014 3:04:17 AM] Auds: 1s
[12/1/2014 3:04:17 AM] Kii: (holy shit 5s)
[12/1/2014 3:04:21 AM] Maq: (2s!)
[12/1/2014 3:04:23 AM] Adam: 4s
[12/1/2014 3:04:34 AM] zuarkeror: Okay, stand by…
[12/1/2014 3:05:56 AM] zuarkeror: Please wait until I give everyone their results.
[12/1/2014 3:12:22 AM] zuarkeror: Results given. Proceed.
[12/1/2014 3:12:34 AM] Maq: Maggie watches this card play out. She stuffs her hands into her pockets and then sits back, hunching forward. She wiggles her fingers a little bit inside of them, and then looks back up and over to the other three.
[12/1/2014 3:13:07 AM] Auds: “Oh – that- Angelica,” Vee cries softly, looking horrified.
[12/1/2014 3:13:21 AM] Maq: “What?” She says, glancing toward Vee.
[12/1/2014 3:13:22 AM] Adam: Rick leans further forward and squints hard. “The hell…” he murmurs under his breath.
[12/1/2014 3:13:23 AM] Kii: Epiphany looks at the card for over a minute, mouth opening and closing, and she looks back up at the other kids. “I um… Wait, what did you see Vee?”
[12/1/2014 3:15:09 AM] Auds: “Angelica,” she repeats. “Only – she was all busted up, with one eye gone and no teeth, and grinning. Like, in a scary way.”
[12/1/2014 3:15:47 AM] Maq: “Oh,” she says then, looking at the card. “All I saw was it looked like a movie director making fast jumps in like, scenes? But like he was actually cutting them in half or something.” She rubs her neck. “…Poor Angelica.”
[12/1/2014 3:16:44 AM] Auds: “Cutting who in half?”
[12/1/2014 3:17:04 AM | Edited 3:17:10 AM] Maq: “Just all the scenes.” She shakes her head.
[12/1/2014 3:17:18 AM] Kii: “I saw… I saw someone with their arm blown off, and the paintbrush painting it back good as new. And then the paintbrush painting a grenade, and a kid tossing it playfully. Um, and then there was a huge explosion, and out of it a skinny woman riding an elephant… And… A prison, but all I could see was the person’s smile, smiling really wide and bright. The last thing I saw was a blimp.”
[12/1/2014 3:18:09 AM] Adam: “Did she have, uh – blue hair?” Rick asks after a moment.
[12/1/2014 3:18:20 AM] Maq: “I counted seven cuts though – like um, seven scenes?”
[12/1/2014 3:20:25 AM] Auds: “This is – what happens if we mess things up?”
[12/1/2014 3:20:29 AM] Kii: “I couldn’t really tell what color her hair was…” She frowns. “Seven scenes. We saw seven all together, right? I don’t know what this card is at all… There’s so many images. If I had to guess… The World? A very important point in time, maybe… I really don’t know…”
[12/1/2014 3:21:00 AM] Kii: Epiphany moves to flip the last card. “This will be what happens if things continue as they are, if nothing changes.”
[12/1/2014 3:21:25 AM] Adam: “I don’t know what to make of it, I only saw this one thing. A girl with blue hair coming out of an alley, almost like a cartoon character but – not. She hops up on the side of a white truck, pulls out a pistol, kills the driver.”
[12/1/2014 3:22:58 AM] zuarkeror: The final card comes down: it begins blank and white—or, rather off-white, with little cracks and crevices, much like a painter’s canvas. An invisible brush begins to paint the scene in broad strokes—though it’s done in a sort of cartoon animator way, with a broad brushstroke creating an actual picture, full of photographic detail, rather than just the smear of color a real brush would leave behind with a stroke of that sort. The image is revealed in a series of strokes, piecemeal, as if it were an image covered in wrapping paper slowly being torn open. First, a pair of legs. Then, an arm. A paintbrush, lying on the ground. Finally, the image becomes completely clear: the brush lies beside Xyza, who is lying on the ground, on her side. Her face is directed toward the viewer, her eyes wide open, unblinking. She has a bullet wound through the center of her forehead.
[12/1/2014 3:23:18 AM] zuarkeror: Everyone can roll Wits+Comp on this one as well.
[12/1/2014 3:23:28 AM] Maq: (fail!)
[12/1/2014 3:23:40 AM] Kii: 4s
[12/1/2014 3:23:42 AM] Adam: (1s)
[12/1/2014 3:23:46 AM] Adam: (wtf kii)
[12/1/2014 3:23:51 AM] Auds: 1s
[12/1/2014 3:23:56 AM] Kii: (this dice roller loves me tonight)
[12/1/2014 3:24:15 AM] Kii: (also I roll 7 dice)
[12/1/2014 3:24:38 AM] Adam: (I do too and no love)
[12/1/2014 3:27:01 AM] Kii: “The Nine of Wands,” Epiphany whispers, sitting back and looking at the card. “It usually means… You will overcome your challenge, you will achieve your goal, do not give up hope. Be determined through your final trials. But…” She touches the corner of the card with the tip of her finger. “I don’t… I don’t think anyone wants Xyza to DIE, right?”
[12/1/2014 3:27:51 AM] Adam: “That depends,” Rick says slowly. “But also – does that mean, uh – Angelica’s goal is to kill Xyza? Or Ethan’s, I guess.”
[12/1/2014 3:29:12 AM] Maq: “I think we should kill her,” she says then, suddenly, out of the blue and to the side. “I mean, she’s obviously not caring about killing us right?”
[12/1/2014 3:29:42 AM] Maq: “She makes paintmonsters to kill people.”
[12/1/2014 3:29:57 AM] Kii: Epiphany stares at Maggie, looking a little unnerved. “N-no, I don’t think we should kill her at all! Why should we do something because SHE does it?”
[12/1/2014 3:30:11 AM] Kii: “She’ll be powerless without the paintbrush!”
[12/1/2014 3:30:35 AM] Maq: “Because if we don’t, she’ll do it to someone else.” She says then. “She’ll just need to find another way.” She rubs her jaw and looks behind Epiphany.
[12/1/2014 3:30:41 AM] Auds: “I dont’ know,” she says, frowning. “Angelica didn’t do anything wrong, though. And what if Xyza hurts other people?”
[12/1/2014 3:31:16 AM] Kii: “Xyza has done… Really terrible things, but that doesn’t make it right to murder her,” Epiphany says firmly.
[12/1/2014 3:32:09 AM] Maq: “If we change our current situation, bad stuff happens to Angelica, who has only been nice to us, really,” she notes. “But if we don’t change our current situation, Xyza dies. That’s better.” She folds her arms over her stomach.
[12/1/2014 3:34:14 AM] Kii: “It’s Ethan and Angelica, not us.” She curls her fingers tightly into fists, resting them on her knees. “If nothing changes for them, Xyza… Will die. If something puts them on a new path, then… Explosions? Paintbrushes? Elephants? This is really strange…”
[12/1/2014 3:34:39 AM] Maq: “Then – then obviously we should try not to change things,” she says then. “Right?”
[12/1/2014 3:35:03 AM] Adam: “Did she paint the portals into her closet?” Rick says as he crosses his arms again. “That seems like a different set of tricks. She might not be so harmless without the paintbrush.”
[12/1/2014 3:35:07 AM] Auds: “Can we ask about other things now?”
[12/1/2014 3:35:44 AM] zuarkeror: The cards all return to their original color scheme, like the night sky just after a sunset. The colors stop swirling and go still.
[12/1/2014 3:36:55 AM] Kii: “I don’t know if she painted the portals, no…” Epiphany begins to gather the cards back up, and shakes her head. “I feel like these are more strict than regular tarot cards… We shouldn’t ask more than one question every day, or we’ll start getting answers that don’t make sense, or mislead us. We need to figure out all of this anyway” she looks up, “maybe WITHOUT killing someone?”
[12/1/2014 3:37:30 AM] Maq: “But if someone HAS to die,” she says, “Xyza, instead of anyone else.”
[12/1/2014 3:37:56 AM] Adam: “If killing someone is what it takes to make everyone else safe, it’ll have to happen,” Rick demurs mildly.
[12/1/2014 3:38:31 AM] Kii: “You know how you felt about killing Colby? Well think about how it will feel to kill a person.” Epiphany says lowly, putting her cards away.
[12/1/2014 3:39:04 AM] Auds: “Angelica was a sniper, wasn’t she?” she muses, pulling her knees into her chest. “I bet she’s done it before. But if she kills Xyza, and goes to jail, what happens to Ethan?”
[12/1/2014 3:39:24 AM] Maq: “Colby had to die,” she says then, with a shrug. “Or he’d have hurt Ethan at some point.” She looks to Vee, looking unnerved. “…I dunno. Do you go to an orphanage?”
[12/1/2014 3:39:41 AM] Adam: “Does he have other family? Cousins?”
[12/1/2014 3:39:45 AM] Auds: “I dunno,” she shrugs.
[12/1/2014 3:40:10 AM] Maq: “…What if you go to an orphanage and then get sold into slavery and have to only eat oatmeal with little weevils in it?” She says, uneasily. “Like in that cartoon?”
[12/1/2014 3:40:27 AM] Kii: “We shouldn’t even be talking about this,” Epiphany snaps.
[12/1/2014 3:41:26 AM] Adam: “When would you prefer to talk about it?” Rick says, somewhat acidly. “Next time we’re in their living room?”
[12/1/2014 3:42:11 AM] Kii: “What are you even talking about? Do you really not care if she dies because of something we choose to do?”
[12/1/2014 3:43:04 AM] Adam: “A guy died in the card going the other way,” Rick says with a wave of his hand. “Probably deserved it less, too.”
[12/1/2014 3:43:29 AM] Auds: “Who died?”
[12/1/2014 3:43:41 AM] Adam: “Some guy in a white truck in another city.”
[12/1/2014 3:44:06 AM] Maq: “I’m saying if we have to choose, then — then OBVIOUSLY we pick Xyza because she’s BAD! Look at everything she’s already done! Like, if these are our two things to happen, like if things change and Angelica gets hurt and some other guy dies and if things don’t change and Xyza dies, then – then we choose Xyza.”
[12/1/2014 3:46:12 AM] Kii: Epiphany looks exasperated, and clutches the now boxed up cards to her chest. “Tarot… Is only one possible future, you know… It might just be the easiest future. I’m… I’m gonna go home.”
[12/1/2014 3:46:55 AM] Maq: She nods a little bit and rubs her face. “I’m gonna go inside and …I dunno,” she says, glumly. “I’ve just been sitting in my bedroom.”
[12/1/2014 3:49:11 AM] Adam: “Want to hang out for a bit?” Rick asks Maggie with a tilt of his head, unfolding his arms. “Strictly no magical or violent talk. Just parallel reading, even.”
[12/1/2014 3:50:33 AM] Maq: She glances to Rick and then shrug-nods. “I might just – play piano too. But – just – yeah, let’s just do something and not anything with this.”

5: Dogmurder

Okay, we’re returning here!
[11/23/2014 11:48:44 PM] zuarkeror: The location: Maggie’s house. The time: NOW.
[11/23/2014 11:48:51 PM] Maq: Oh god.
[11/23/2014 11:48:55 PM] zuarkeror: Maggie is getting ready to head over to Ethan’s house.
[11/23/2014 11:49:34 PM] zuarkeror: Petra and Epiphany arrive on Epiphany’s bike, and around the same time, Rick and Laverne arrive from a different direction, riding Rick’s and Maggie’s bikes, respectively.
[11/23/2014 11:50:01 PM] zuarkeror: ‘Cause all dem bikes got left at the horror house.
[11/23/2014 11:50:15 PM] Maq: Maggie steps out of her house with a backpack on, wearing plain clothes, and closes the door behind her – she pauses mid step and stares at the four people arriving, blankly.
[11/23/2014 11:50:26 PM] Adam: Rick can’t help himself. He waves to Maggie.
[11/23/2014 11:50:42 PM] Auds: Same as Vee’s rollerblades – which, as she prepares to head out from her own house, she rediscovers. So it’s a long walk to Ethan’s.
[11/23/2014 11:51:04 PM] zuarkeror: Laverne’s totally got Vee’s rollerblades slung over her shoulder or something.
[11/23/2014 11:51:14 PM] zuarkeror: Buuuuut that doesn’t help Vee at the moment.
[11/23/2014 11:52:07 PM] Maq: Maggie doesn’t look the best – she’s got the red-purple eyed look of someone who got no sleep, and an uneasy wary look of someone who probably spent their whole night peeking out her window. If she were an 85 year old woman, she’d have a radio and be constantly calling people on the neighborhood watch to tell them about suspicious shadows.
[11/23/2014 11:53:22 PM] Kii: Epiphany backpedals to a jerky stop, smiling brightly at Maggie. “Hi Maggie! We came as fast as we… Oh, you look… um…” She looks at Rick, who is obviously whole and alive and uneaten. “Rick, how did you do it?”
[11/23/2014 11:53:50 PM] Maq: “…Came as fast as you could? Why?”
[11/23/2014 11:55:02 PM] Kii: “Oh… Petra said she was supposed to get me, and we were all meeting here, so I just thought that you were the one who called everyone here…”
[11/23/2014 11:55:29 PM] zuarkeror: Laverne does that supercool thing where she half-dismounts the bike as it rolls up, standing with both feet on just one of the bike’s pedals as she coasts up to Maggie, redelivering the girl her bike. “Hey, Mags,” she says placidly. “How you doing?”
[11/23/2014 11:55:42 PM] Maq: “No.” She pauses for a moment, and then holds up a hand. “I’m fine. Be right back.” And she moves to disappear inside of her house for a few minutes.
[11/23/2014 11:56:13 PM] zuarkeror: Laverne watches Maggie go back into the house. “I don’t think she’s doing so hot.”
[11/23/2014 11:56:49 PM | Edited 11:57:08 PM] Adam: Rick smiles faintly and rubs a hand against the back of his neck as he comes to a stop, propping the bike up with one foot. “The paint thinner, basically. And then the wounds were gone this morning. Don’t really understand it myself.”
[11/23/2014 11:57:38 PM] Maq: She returns in short order, carrying an open bottle. She walks straight over to Epiphany and – no questions asked – dumps a hunk of it on her hand and stares.
[11/23/2014 11:57:45 PM] Maq: It smells awful.
[11/23/2014 11:58:50 PM] Kii: Epiphany wrinkles her nose, hands grasping at… Whatever the hell Maggie’s just poured out. “Wh-what is this stuff??”
[11/23/2014 11:59:28 PM] Maq: “Nail polish remover.” She freezes for a moment, still as a statue, as she watches Epiphany’s hand. She draws in a breath and nods once when Epiphany is in fact still Epiphany.
[11/24/2014 12:02:13 AM] Kii: Epiphany shakes as much as she can off of her hands, and kneels down to wipe her hands on the grass. “…Uh… Maggie, are you… No, you’re not ok.” She moves to pull Maggie into a comforting hug. “I’m me! Everyone is here, we’re all ok.”
[11/24/2014 12:03:05 AM] Adam: “Except Vee, and Ethan,” Rick says mildly. “You want us to all try that stuff, Mags?”
[11/24/2014 12:03:56 AM] zuarkeror: “People are going to think we’re huffing,” Laverne says casually.
[11/24/2014 12:04:08 AM] Maq: “I’m fine,” she repeats, firmly. She hesitates as Epiphany hugs her, uneasily, and then pats her back. “No, it’s fine. What’s huffing?” She moves over to Rick and promptly dumps more on his hand.
[11/24/2014 12:04:41 AM] Maq: “I gotta go though. Thanks for bringing me my bike.”
[11/24/2014 12:04:46 AM] Adam: Rick sticks his hand out as she gets close. There’s not really condescension in it, either; he might not entirely understand it but this seems practical to him.
[11/24/2014 12:05:07 AM | Edited 12:05:17 AM] Kii: “You gotta go where?” Epiphany asks, rubbing her sticky, acetone-reeking fingers together.
[11/24/2014 12:05:16 AM] zuarkeror: “Yeah,” Laverne says, “where we going?”
[11/24/2014 12:05:49 AM] zuarkeror: Petra watches Maggie quietly, biting her lip.
[11/24/2014 12:07:05 AM] Maq: “I’m going to Ethan’s,” she says. “But I only got permission for me, and Vee’s already called and is gonna go cause she has turpentine, and so that’s already one more person than is supposed to be.”
[11/24/2014 12:07:40 AM] Adam: “So you’re bringing turpentine,” Rick muses with a small arch of his brows, “but you’re worried about permission.”
[11/24/2014 12:07:50 AM] Kii: “Going to Ethan’s… Why?”
[11/24/2014 12:08:08 AM] Maq: “I told Ethan on the phone last night that I’d show him,” she says, evenly.
[11/24/2014 12:08:13 AM] Maq: “Colby’s a paintmonster.”
[11/24/2014 12:09:06 AM] Kii: Epiphany shifts from foot to foot uneasily, “you think he wouldn’t just ask Xyza to paint him another ‘Colby’?”
[11/24/2014 12:09:43 AM] Maq: “Colby’s a monster,” she says – and moves to Laverne to dump paint on her hand, uneasily looking over her shoulder for a moment. “Do any of you hear that?”
[11/24/2014 12:09:58 AM] Adam: “Yeah, you’ve said it twice now.”
[11/24/2014 12:11:06 AM] Kii: “No… I didn’t hear anything.” She purses her lips, looking conflicted. “I…. I think it might be good if we all came, Maggie. We need to see what exactly happens to um, paintmonsters. It’s important.”
[11/24/2014 12:13:06 AM | Edited 12:13:22 AM] Maq: “Okay,” she says then, nodding. She moves to take her bike, and climbs on to it. “Thank you.” The thanks is toward Laverne, but she offers an uneasy smile toward Petra for whatever reason, and then caps the bottle, tucking it into her backpack. “I told Angelica only me. So if she gets mad, it’s not my fault.”
[11/24/2014 12:15:06 AM] Kii: Epiphany looks back at Petra nervously, and then looks back to the group, opening her mouth and closing it. “I… I need to tell you something else. Well, everyone else. There was a lady across the street last night from Xyza’s house— I was talking to her, while you were climbing the tree.” She stuffs her hands into her pockets. “Well, she gave me something.”
[11/24/2014 12:15:36 AM] Maq: She eyes Epiphany as if Epiphany just revealed that she’d murdered babies or kicked puppies or something of equivalent horror. “What was it?”
[11/24/2014 12:17:36 AM] Kii: “…She’s not bad! At least, I don’t think so. I didn’t get to talk to her for very long.” Epiphany pulls out a long, thin card box from her pocket. “Magic tarot cards.”
[11/24/2014 12:17:59 AM] Adam: “Can you guys talk on the way?”
[11/24/2014 12:18:11 AM] Maq: She eyes the box. “Okay,” she says then, uneasily. “We should go get Vee, yeah. And – how are they magic? Are you sure they aren’t painted?”
[11/24/2014 12:20:01 AM] Kii: Epiphany starts to look flustered. “Yes they ARE magic because I used them and pictures appeared and I saw Xyza and the paintmonster and Ethan and Colby!” She starts to climb back on her bike, shaking her head.
[11/24/2014 12:20:37 AM] Maq: “…We need to get to Vee and Ethan,” she says then – and then kicks off on her bike without waiting for any further word, starting to speed hurriedly along.
[11/24/2014 12:21:27 AM] Maq: “YOU PROBABLY SHOULDN’T TRUST THEM,” she calls over her shoulder as she rides – her voice is rising a bit, she sounds paranoid, panicky. “B-BECAUSE IF THEY DO THAT, THEN THEY MIGHT BE – IF THEY’RE FROM NEAR THERE, YOU SHOULD TEST THEM. BUT WE NEED TO MAKE SURE ETHAN’S OKAY.”
[11/24/2014 12:24:17 AM | Edited 12:24:52 AM] Kii: Epiphany waits for Petra to get seated before she starts pedaling again, looking unprecedentedly glower-y. She doesn’t respond to Maggie.
[11/24/2014 12:24:29 AM | Edited 12:24:38 AM] zuarkeror: The group, while riding bikes, comes upon Vee who is walking in the direction of Ethan’s house. Laverne, mounted on the back of Maggie’s bike, holds the rollerblades out coolly, the laces of the skates tied together, draped on the end of her index finger. “Hey there, Sport!”
[11/24/2014 12:25:57 AM] Auds: “Hey!” she says, looking surprised, then relieved to see Laverne, catching the skates as Laverne coasts by. “Thanks!”
[11/24/2014 12:27:02 AM] Maq: She slows, staring wide-eyed at Vee and then comes to a jerky halt, sticking her feet on to the ground. She curls her arms around her chest and watches the skater girl in silence as she waits – her eyes drift off to the side a bit, studying a tree intently.
[11/24/2014 12:27:15 AM] Adam: Rick skids lightly to a stop while he waits for Vee to put on the skates, glancing down the road behind them, but then mostly studying Maggie.
[11/24/2014 12:27:55 AM] Kii: Epiphany slows as well, her attention drifting to Maggie.
[11/24/2014 12:28:13 AM] Auds: She is surprised to see Maggie with the group – opens her mouth, but then closes it without saying anything, looking a little bit like she’s got her feelings hurt as she sits on the curb to put on her skates.
[11/24/2014 12:28:24 AM] Maq: She looks to Vee. “I didn’t invite them.”
[11/24/2014 12:28:29 AM] Auds: She has one of Xyza’s turpentine jars with her!
[11/24/2014 12:28:56 AM] Maq: “They showed up at my house as I was leaving, and then said they were coming along.” And then she looks to Epiphany and Rick. “Why are you staring at me?”
[11/24/2014 12:29:10 AM] Kii: “Because you’re acting really, really weird.”
[11/24/2014 12:29:28 AM] Adam: Rick just nods.
[11/24/2014 12:29:47 AM] Maq: “I’m not either,” she says, defensively.
[11/24/2014 12:30:43 AM] zuarkeror: “With what happened the other night,” Laverne says, “I’m surprised more of you aren’t acting really weird.”
[11/24/2014 12:30:53 AM] Adam: “So if you’re not a terminator,” Rick says with soft huff of breath out his nose, “maybe calm down on the angry drive and ignoring us.”
[11/24/2014 12:31:21 AM] Maq: “I’m not angry or ignoring you,” she says then. “I’m trying to get to Ethan because he has a PAINTMONSTER for a DOG.”
[11/24/2014 12:31:49 AM] Auds: “Yeah, speaking of,” Vee says, “This is probably way easier on Ethan if we do it before we tell him we’re there.”
[11/24/2014 12:32:23 AM] Adam: When Maggie raises her voice in protest, Rick just rolls his eyes and glances both ways down the street again.
[11/24/2014 12:32:25 AM] Maq: “I told him I was going to show him that Colby was a paintmonster.”
[11/24/2014 12:32:51 AM] Maq: “Well,” she clarifies, “I just said monster.”
[11/24/2014 12:33:17 AM] Adam: Rick rubs a few fingers against his brow. “How did he take that?”
[11/24/2014 12:33:48 AM] Kii: “He’s going to cry.” Epiphany says softly.
[11/24/2014 12:34:07 AM] Maq: “He said I was being weird and that everything was fine,” she says. “But Angelica made Colby stay outside last night, at least.”
[11/24/2014 12:34:16 AM] Auds: “Why’d you tell him that?”
[11/24/2014 12:34:33 AM] Maq: “Because I didn’t want him sleeping wtih Colby!”
[11/24/2014 12:34:48 AM] Auds: “Why’d you tell him you were gonna SHOW him?”
[11/24/2014 12:36:08 AM | Edited 12:37:56 AM] Maq: She draws in a sudden sharp breath, as if there’s ice water running down her spine; her hands curled around her waist dig sharply into her sides. “We need to get there fast in case they didn’t put Colby outside. And because,” she seems frustrated – as if she doesn’t get why others aren’t grasping her logic even though she hasn’t really explained clearly, but eleven years old and frustrated in general doesn’t really equal the most coherent line of thought, “he asked why I wanted him to put Colby outside, and I said it was cause he was a monster, and he said how is he a monster, and I said I’d show him today and I’d make his mom let me come over even though he was a grounded!”
[11/24/2014 12:38:03 AM] Kii: Epiphany shifts uneasily, seeming to be thinking very deeply about something. She chews her bottom lip, and then slowly nods to herself. “Maggie’s right. He would never believe it unless he saw it, right? He would just hate Maggie, and ask for another Colby.”
[11/24/2014 12:39:23 AM] Auds: She just sighs, looking up at Petra, Laverne and Rick. “I’m really glad y’all are okay. I tried to come back but the door didn’t go the same way anymore.” Since she aleady knew the other two were okay, presumeably.
[11/24/2014 12:39:58 AM] zuarkeror: “Doesn’t matter,” Laverne says. “What matters is we’re all safe.”
[11/24/2014 12:41:46 AM] Adam: He smiles faintly at Vee, then looks up at the sky for a moment before musing out loud. “Maybe if we stay on the sidewalk we won’t be coming over. Technically.”
[11/24/2014 12:42:15 AM] Maq: “He likes me most,” she says then after a moment. She stares at a nearby house, as if she thinks a monster is going to charge out of it. “So I should probably do it.”
[11/24/2014 12:45:16 AM] Maq: She kicks up on her bike again and grimly leads the remainder of the way to Ethan’s house – for ease of transportation.
[11/24/2014 12:45:17 AM] Auds: “So? Everybody likes you most.” She loops her shoes around her neck by the laces and pushes on towards Ethan’s.
[11/24/2014 12:45:36 AM] Adam: Rick rubs a finger at the corner of his eye, and he’s very quiet on the journey.
[11/24/2014 12:45:43 AM] Kii: Epiphany, strangely quiet, pedals on after Maggie.
[11/24/2014 12:45:48 AM] Maq: “Not everyone,” she says. “Not most people.”
[11/24/2014 12:46:07 AM] Adam: “I don’t,” Rick volunteers wryly.
[11/24/2014 12:46:24 AM] Adam: “But I’m stuck with her. I don’t know your guys’ excuses.”
[11/24/2014 12:46:36 AM] Maq: “None of you,” she says then, seeming strangely assured by this.
[11/24/2014 12:46:48 AM] zuarkeror: “I like Petra the best,” Laverne volunteers. “Sorry Mags. You’re tied for second.”
[11/24/2014 12:47:51 AM] Kii: Epiphany…. Just keeps pedaling, trying not to look too upset.
[11/24/2014 12:48:48 AM] Maq: She doesn’t seem particularly upset. Or well – not beyond her didn’t-sleep-paranoid-neighborhood-watch-self. She just nods her head and bikes – only coming to a halt when they reach the Russo yard. She stays on her bike, her gaze sweeping the yard, in a quick panicked way.
[11/24/2014 12:50:23 AM] Auds: She sits back down to change into her real shoes, leaves her rollerblades on the curb despite having learned the danger of this the day before, and stands back up, with the turpentine, unscrewing the cap to dab a little of it out on her palm.
[11/24/2014 12:51:06 AM] zuarkeror: The Russo house looks quiet from here. No sign of Ethan or Angelica from outside.
[11/24/2014 12:51:41 AM] Maq: This doesn’t seem to ease Maggie’s worries. She climbs off her bike and lets it drop, hurrying up to the door and knocking.
[11/24/2014 12:52:37 AM] zuarkeror: Laverne follows Maggie. Petra follows Laverne.
[11/24/2014 12:53:04 AM] Kii: Epiphany slows to a stop at the edge of the front yard, letting Petra slide off before leaning her bike on the kickstand. She looks back to Rick, Petra, and Laverne, and then hurries to follow the rest of the girls.
[11/24/2014 12:53:06 AM | Edited 12:53:21 AM] Auds: Vee follows Petra, quietly touching the turpentine-dampened palm to her face before it evaporates.
[11/24/2014 12:54:20 AM | Edited 12:54:23 AM] zuarkeror: Vee’s FACE MELTS OFF!
[11/24/2014 12:54:26 AM] zuarkeror: (no)
[11/24/2014 12:55:04 AM] Maq: Maggie looks uneasily up at the little hole in the door. She tightens her hands into knuckles and presses them into her cheeks, staring.
[11/24/2014 12:55:23 AM] zuarkeror: Angelica comes to the door after a moment. She regards Maggie with a warm look, Laverne with a bit of cool suspicion—and the rest of the kids, neutrally. “Hey,” she says. “Ethan should be back soon—he just took the dog for a walk.”
[11/24/2014 12:55:58 AM] Maq: “Hi, Angelica where’s – oh,” she says. “Where? Which way did he go?”
[11/24/2014 12:56:56 AM] zuarkeror: “I don’t know, around the block?” She shrugs a shoulder. “He didn’t go far, I’m sure.”
[11/24/2014 12:57:08 AM] zuarkeror: “Want to come in and wait?”
[11/24/2014 12:57:31 AM] Maq: She nods her head. “Okay, thank you.” A pause, and then: “I’m sorry everyone else is here and stuff, it was gonna be me and Vee but the others showed up as I was leaving and I didn’t wanna be rude.” She fidgets a little bit, uneasily, and then darts a look toward Vee.
[11/24/2014 12:58:03 AM] Auds: “Hi, Angelica,” she says politely, with a small, uneasy sort of smile.
[11/24/2014 12:58:08 AM] zuarkeror: “it’s all right.” Angelica steps aside to let everyone into the house.
[11/24/2014 12:59:04 AM] Maq: “What if he doesn’t come back?” She asks, as if this is a perfectly sane and rational thing to say. “I should go look for him.”
[11/24/2014 12:59:35 AM] zuarkeror: Angelica knits her eyebrows at Maggie. “He’s just around the block,” she says. “He’ll be fine. He’ll be back in just a few minutes…”
[11/24/2014 1:00:10 AM] Maq: She stares at Angelica for a long moment, and then just bobbles her head a bit and looks to the ground. A second passes, and then: “Okay, that sounds fine. Um, if it’s okay with you.”
[11/24/2014 1:00:27 AM] zuarkeror: “All right. Can I get you kids anything?”
[11/24/2014 1:00:47 AM] Maq: “No thank you,” she says.
[11/24/2014 1:01:32 AM] Maq: She moves to take off her backpack and starts rooting through it.
[11/24/2014 1:01:51 AM] Adam: “No thanks,” Rick echoes.
[11/24/2014 1:01:56 AM] Auds: “No thank you, I’m fine,” Vee says, finding somewhere to sit and wait.
[11/24/2014 1:02:40 AM] Kii: Epiphany shakes her head, moving into the house and sitting down near a coffee or end table, fidgeting with something in her pockets.
[11/24/2014 1:02:54 AM] zuarkeror: Angelica nods—and, without asking Laverne if SHE wants anything—wanders off deeper into the house.
[11/24/2014 1:03:50 AM] Maq: “Okay,” Maggie says as she draws out the nail polish remover. She mimics Vee’s earlier move – opening it, dumping some into her hand. “She might be painted too. I’m going to go check. You guys – wait here? Look for Ethan in case Colby tries to eat him?”
[11/24/2014 1:05:32 AM] Maq: “I don’t know what to do. But we need to make sure they aren’t painted.”
[11/24/2014 1:05:34 AM] Auds: “Why would Xyza make a fake Ethan’s mom?”
[11/24/2014 1:05:46 AM] Maq: “To lure us in so we could die. You said she was crazy.”
[11/24/2014 1:06:00 AM] Kii: “Maggie,” Epiphany says slowly, “…Did you meet a doppleganger?”
[11/24/2014 1:06:16 AM] Kii: “Xyza doesn’t want to kill us.” She says simply.
[11/24/2014 1:06:24 AM] Maq: “No!” She says, then, alarmed. “But you guys came from the house. She could have painted you guys to ride the bikes! If she painted a DOG she could paint a PERSON.”
[11/24/2014 1:06:43 AM] Adam: “That’s his real mom,” Rick says with utter conviction.
[11/24/2014 1:06:52 AM] Auds: “How do you know that?” she asks, glancing at Epiphany. “Didn’t she SAY she didn’t care? That she was a god?”
[11/24/2014 1:06:56 AM] Maq: “I’ll believe that when I’ve put nail polish on her.”
[11/24/2014 1:07:26 AM] Kii: “She had every opportunity to do it and she didn’t. She doesn’t care enough about us to kill us.”
[11/24/2014 1:07:48 AM] Adam: “Maggie. If she was a paint thing she’d have left gray all over the floor by now.”
[11/24/2014 1:08:07 AM] Maq: “Colby didn’t leave colors all over the floor. He left it on our hands,” she points out.
[11/24/2014 1:09:13 AM] Kii: “…I’m also the only one here who actually talked to her, Maggie, so for the time being I think I know her better than you do. You need to… You need to trust us. Even a little.”
[11/24/2014 1:09:22 AM] zuarkeror: Laverne quietly murmurs something to Petra in Russian.
[11/24/2014 1:09:26 AM] Adam: “If you get kicked out before we can deal with Colby, that’s pretty bad, Maggie.”
[11/24/2014 1:09:53 AM] Auds: She scowls slightly at Epiphany’s words, but doesn’t say anything.
[11/24/2014 1:09:57 AM] Maq: “She won’t kick me out if she’s really Angelica,” she says then. “I’m trusting you guys now. You didn’t melt when I put the stuff on you in the first place.”
[11/24/2014 1:10:15 AM] Maq: “And Vee put the stuff on herself. Obviously Vee thinks like me.” She gestures.
[11/24/2014 1:11:03 AM] zuarkeror: Angelica pops back into the room, sniffing at the air a bit. “What’s that smell, by the way? Is that nailpolish remover?”
[11/24/2014 1:11:42 AM] Maq: “Yes,” she says then to Angelica. “Can I put some on your hand please?” She stares wide-eyed at Angelica then – it’s an urgent sort of look, for whatever reason.
[11/24/2014 1:11:56 AM] zuarkeror: “On my…hand?” Angelica gives Maggie a curious look.
[11/24/2014 1:12:26 AM] Maq: She nods her head.
[11/24/2014 1:12:41 AM] zuarkeror: “…May I ask why?”
[11/24/2014 1:12:58 AM] Adam: Rick is busy staring a hole through the floor at this point.
[11/24/2014 1:13:04 AM] Auds: And then thinks better of her silence, for whatever reason. “I was there too,” she reminds Epiphany pointedly, in a whisper.
[11/24/2014 1:13:13 AM] Maq: She stares silently at Angelica for a long moment, and then: “Please. Just – to check something.”
[11/24/2014 1:13:57 AM] zuarkeror: “Whatever game you kids are playing, you shouldn’t play with nail polish remover.” She shakes her head. “The fumes are bad for you, okay?” She walks back out of the room, calling over her shoulder, “Ethan’ll be back soon.”
[11/24/2014 1:14:46 AM] Maq: She stares wide-eyed at Angelica, looking ghastly pale then – as if this has proven everything terrible. She stares down at her hand, and with her other hand, quickly pulls her backpack on.
[11/24/2014 1:15:04 AM] Kii: Epiphany looks up at Vee, curling her fingers into fists. “Did you tell Maggie that you HAD the paintbrush?”
[11/24/2014 1:15:34 AM | Edited 1:15:44 AM] Auds: “And that it wouldn’t break, and that I shoulda tried to paint Xyza into a straightjacket or something instead, yeah.”
[11/24/2014 1:17:24 AM] Maq: “We need to leave,” she says. “And it doesn’t matter. If she is a god then she has the paintbrush and would probably get it back and probably have painted things to get back at us.”
[11/24/2014 1:17:39 AM] Auds: “She isn’t a stupid god, she just has a magic paintbrush,” Vee says, frustrated.
[11/24/2014 1:17:56 AM] Adam: “Why do we need to leave?” Rick says, a bit tightly.
[11/24/2014 1:18:29 AM] Maq: “She doesn’t want the nail polish remover to touch her hand, which makes her one of the – things. She’s lying.” She looks toward Vee, and then nods her head slowly.
[11/24/2014 1:18:57 AM] Adam: “Or she’s a normal fucking person. Christ. Maggie. Just sit down.”
[11/24/2014 1:19:14 AM] zuarkeror: Laverne sighs. “What adult would want to have nailpolish remover on their hand? That stuff smells.”
[11/24/2014 1:19:31 AM] zuarkeror: Petra looks around at everybody nervously, saying nothing.
[11/24/2014 1:20:00 AM] Kii: Epiphany is starting to look incredibly frustrated, and she stands up and walks over to Maggie. “Are we friends, Maggie?”
[11/24/2014 1:20:35 AM] Maq: She looks toward Rick and then to Laverne – and then to Epiphany as she stands up. “Yes!” She says. “And we’re friends with Ethan, and that’s why we’re here.”
[11/24/2014 1:21:36 AM] Kii: “Then why are you acting like we’re all trying to mislead you? You aren’t listening to us at all.”
[11/24/2014 1:22:05 AM] zuarkeror: The front door of the house opens, and Ethan walks in, accompanied by Colby, who is trotting alongside him obediently and without a leash.
[11/24/2014 1:22:36 AM] Maq: "Because you guys – maybe not you, but I know you guys were – " she says then, paranoidly – and pauses to look over to Ethan – and then her eyes lock on Colby.
[11/24/2014 1:23:02 AM] zuarkeror: “Oh,” Ethan says as he sees everyone in his living room. “Hi, guys…”
[11/24/2014 1:24:03 AM] Kii: Epiphany reaches out to put a hand on Maggie’s shoulder. “Hi Ethan.”
[11/24/2014 1:24:23 AM] Adam: “Hey man,” Rick says with an upnod.
[11/24/2014 1:24:32 AM] zuarkeror: Colby sits oin his haunches at Ethan’s side, placidly looking at everyone.
[11/24/2014 1:24:46 AM] zuarkeror: Ethan pets him. “Good boy!”
[11/24/2014 1:25:18 AM] Maq: Maggie doesn’t say hi. She just watches Colby uneasily. She looks to Epiphany, and then turns to start digging into her back pack – and also glances over toward Vee.
[11/24/2014 1:27:27 AM] zuarkeror: “Um,” Ethan says, looking at Maggie. “What’s up…?”
[11/24/2014 1:27:57 AM] Auds: “Hi” she says, with a little smile at Ethan. “Hi Colby.”
[11/24/2014 1:28:32 AM] zuarkeror: Colby wags his tail.
[11/24/2014 1:28:58 AM] Maq: Maggie withdraws the bottle that by now is well associated with nail polish remover. She uncaps it. “I’m going to prove what I said on the phone. Can you make Colby lie down?”
[11/24/2014 1:29:33 AM] zuarkeror: Ethan eyes the nailpolish remover suspiciously, and instinctively steps between Maggie and Colby.
[11/24/2014 1:29:59 AM] zuarkeror: “That stuff’s poison,” he says.
[11/24/2014 1:30:01 AM] Maq: “I’ll do it on his tail first, and then you’ll see,” she says to Ethan, watching him. “But I’m not gonna let him hurt you.”
[11/24/2014 1:30:56 AM] zuarkeror: Laverne mutters, “Here?”
[11/24/2014 1:31:23 AM] Kii: “Yeah Maggie… Maybe we should go outside.”
[11/24/2014 1:31:24 AM] Auds: “Outside, maybe,” Vee suggests.
[11/24/2014 1:32:54 AM] zuarkeror: “I’m not going outside,” Ethan says. “And I’m not letting Maggie pour poison on my dog.”
[11/24/2014 1:33:35 AM] Maq: She stares at Ethan, her eyes red-purple. She draws in a slow breath, lets it out, draws it in, lets it out. “Are you one of them?” She asks then. “Tell me something only Ethan would know.”
[11/24/2014 1:33:49 AM] zuarkeror: “One of WHO, Maggie?!”
[11/24/2014 1:34:19 AM] Maq: “A monster, Ethan,” she says in a hiss. “Let me put it on YOUR hand then first.”
[11/24/2014 1:34:38 AM] zuarkeror: “You’re crazy. I didn’t invite you over so you could talk crazy.”
[11/24/2014 1:34:51 AM] Maq: “I’m not CRAZY!”
[11/24/2014 1:35:15 AM] Kii: “Maggie,” Epiphany says, trying very hard to keep her tone even, “What will change if you do this? Really?”
[11/24/2014 1:35:44 AM] Maq: "I’m not letting a paintmonster stay with him and eat him like it ate – " she shoots a look toward Rick, and then back to Epiphany. “I’m not doing that again. I’m NOT, and I’m not letting any more run around and possibly hurt more people. No.”
[11/24/2014 1:36:09 AM] zuarkeror: Rick, Epiphany: Wits+Comp.
[11/24/2014 1:36:26 AM] Adam: 0s
[11/24/2014 1:36:30 AM] Kii: 4s
[11/24/2014 1:37:58 AM] Kii: “Your glasses didn’t attack you! Ethan is obviously fine. I think if we do something about the source of the problem… You won’t have to worry about finding every single thing that she painted, ok?”
[11/24/2014 1:38:04 AM] Adam: Rick stands up, steps over to Maggie and Ethan, and pulls the bottle sharply out of Maggie’s hand. He pours a bit of it on his hand. “Look,” he says flatly. “No poison. I’m alive.” He splashes Ethan with some. “Look. He’s alive.”
[11/24/2014 1:38:38 AM] Maq: “I MELTED them.” Because Mackenzie forgot to note – Maggie is wearing huge circular blue glasses – not the brown gold ones. These have masking tape around the nose. She snaps her head toward Rick then, and then to Ethan, staring at his hand.
[11/24/2014 1:38:44 AM] zuarkeror: Ethan recoils when Rick splashes him with the nailpolish remover. “What are you DOING?!”
[11/24/2014 1:39:10 AM] zuarkeror: He is not melting, or anything, however.
[11/24/2014 1:39:59 AM] Auds: She holds her clean hand out to Colby, making subtle kissy nosies to catch his attention, offering pets.
[11/24/2014 1:40:07 AM | Edited 1:40:14 AM] Kii: Epiphany glances at Vee, and purses her lips into a disapproving line.
[11/24/2014 1:40:24 AM] zuarkeror: Colby sniffs a few times in Vee’s direction, but remains seated where he is, not seeming interested in her.
[11/24/2014 1:40:54 AM] Adam: “Are you dying of poison?” he asks Ethan with arched brows and an impassive look.
[11/24/2014 1:41:13 AM] Maq: She stares at Ethan’s hand in silence, and then looks to him. “Okay,” she says then – though she’s still tense. “You’re okay.”
[11/24/2014 1:41:15 AM] zuarkeror: “It smells HORRIBLE!”
[11/24/2014 1:41:37 AM] Adam: “And you think this is the real Colby, right?” Rick continues levelly.
[11/24/2014 1:42:05 AM] zuarkeror: “Are you starting that crap again?!”
[11/24/2014 1:42:09 AM] Auds: Vee doesn’t notice, or ignores, Epiphany’s disapproval, though she eventually gives up on the dog, too.
[11/24/2014 1:42:36 AM] zuarkeror: Laverne sighs and pinches the bridge of her nose.
[11/24/2014 1:43:06 AM] Maq: She watches Rick now, silently.
[11/24/2014 1:43:57 AM] Adam: “Alright. Let’s all go outside then. Fresh air. Play catch with the nice dog.” Rick lowers the bottle to his side, hand over the top, and moves over into the room’s doorway.
[11/24/2014 1:44:26 AM] zuarkeror: “I said I’m not going outside,” Ethan says. He folds his arms and regards Rick with undisguised suspicion.
[11/24/2014 1:44:28 AM] Maq: “Give me my bottle,” she protests then as Rick moves for the doorway.
[11/24/2014 1:47:12 AM] Adam: Rick closes his eyes for a moment too long for it to be a blink, taking a level breath in and out through his nose. The kids can practically see him counting in his head.
[11/24/2014 1:48:28 AM | Edited 1:48:40 AM] Auds: “Ethan,” Vee says, wiping her hands, “Last night we went to talk to Xyza, and she attacked us with a monster, and she might have made it the same way she made Colby. It almost killed Rick and Petra, and she didn’t even care. And if she DID make Colby the same way, if she decided to, she could turn him into a monster too. And Maggie doesn’t want you to get hurt so .. she wants to make sure.”
[11/24/2014 1:49:15 AM] zuarkeror: “Monsters aren’t real, and you guys are talking crazy, and even if monsters WERE real, Colby is my DOG, he loves me and he’s not dangerous, stop being WEIRD.”
[11/24/2014 1:50:14 AM] Auds: “So whatever, we prove it, then everybody can stop worrying about it and nobody will bother you about him anymore.”
[11/24/2014 1:50:24 AM | Edited 1:50:34 AM] Maq: Maggie offers Vee something of a smile – likely, if she weren’t running on two hours of sleep and also wasn’t acting twtichy it would be a lot better, but as it is she looks vaguely serial killer kid from Exorcist with it, but it’s obvious it is at least an honest one. She then looks to Rick. “Just – throw it on his butt!” She says then, urgently.
[11/24/2014 1:50:44 AM] zuarkeror: “FOR THE LAST TIME,” Ethan says, screaming it out now, because he’s about had it with this shit, “NO ONE IS PUTTING POISON CRAP ON MY DOG!”
[11/24/2014 1:51:12 AM] zuarkeror: Ethan glares in Rick’s direction and shouts, “DON’T YOU DARE!”
[11/24/2014 1:51:31 AM] Adam: “Sorry,” Rick says more quietly, and tosses a splash of it onto ‘Colby.’
[11/24/2014 1:51:48 AM] zuarkeror: Dex+Athletics, Rick.
[11/24/2014 1:52:14 AM] Adam: 2s
[11/24/2014 1:53:53 AM | Edited 1:54:12 AM] zuarkeror: When the nailpolish remover makes contact with Colby’s rear end, he goes from placid, happy dog to creature in complete and total AGONY in the bliink of an eye. He makes a horrible yelping sound like, well, like a puppy that’s just been shot with a gun, or worse, and starts hobbling around the living room making that horrible yelping sound continuously. Ethan screams, “NO!” and hurls himself at Rick in a fit of rage. Rick, and anybody else getting involved with this, roll for initiative.
[11/24/2014 1:54:23 AM] Adam: 13b7
[11/24/2014 1:54:30 AM] Maq: 9b4
[11/24/2014 1:54:32 AM] Kii: 6
[11/24/2014 1:55:21 AM] zuarkeror: Okay, Rick, you have the initiative. Ethan is attacking you.
[11/24/2014 1:55:38 AM] Auds: (15b5 but not acting yet)
[11/24/2014 1:55:45 AM] zuarkeror: Noted.
[11/24/2014 1:57:27 AM] Adam: Rick looks around with widening eyes and tries to lob the jar over to Laverne as he calls out to her quickly, and then focuses on not getting hit by Ethan.
[11/24/2014 1:57:49 AM] Adam: I’ll use dodge if I can do that + throw but otherwise it’ll just be throwing and scrambling to the side.
[11/24/2014 1:58:01 AM] zuarkeror: You can’t dodge and throw, but you can throw and apply normal Defense.
[11/24/2014 1:58:12 AM] zuarkeror: Dex+Athletics to throw.
[11/24/2014 1:58:29 AM] Adam: lol, 0s, right on time
[11/24/2014 1:58:35 AM] Adam: gg rick
[11/24/2014 1:59:07 AM] zuarkeror: The bottle of nailpolish remover falls down onto the floor by Laverne’s feet and starts glug-glug-glugging its contents on to the carpet.
[11/24/2014 1:59:30 AM] zuarkeror: Vee, still holding?
[11/24/2014 1:59:45 AM] Auds: Vee runs to try to catch Colby!
[11/24/2014 2:00:39 AM] zuarkeror: The dog is reeling and scurrying away from the group of kids, obviously in total agony and unable to defend itself very well. You can catch up to the dog easily—if you’re trying to grapple it, you can roll Str + Brawl 1.
[11/24/2014 2:01:42 AM | Edited 2:01:52 AM] Auds: Vee chases the dog down and tries to grab it, making soothing noises, but – can’t really find a way to get close. (fail/3 on a chance die lol)
[11/24/2014 2:02:05 AM] zuarkeror: Maggie.
[11/24/2014 2:02:08 AM] Maq: “He’s a paintmonster!” Maggie says in a loud, frantic panic. “Vee! The stuff!” She doesn’t have anything to throw, and she seems too terrified to approach for direct contact. She dives hurriedly for the bathroom for whatever reason, scrambling. (will dodge if attacked, but otherwise just scrambling for the bathroom!)
[11/24/2014 2:02:25 AM] zuarkeror: Nobody attacks you, Maggie.
[11/24/2014 2:02:27 AM] zuarkeror: Epiphany.
[11/24/2014 2:03:03 AM] Kii: Epiphany looks as closely as she can at ‘Colby’
- is his hind end melted?
[11/24/2014 2:03:37 AM] zuarkeror: Yes—the dog’s rear end is ‘bleeding’ the colors of its fur on to the carpet, and is dissolving in a way that seems to defy all the laws of physics.
[11/24/2014 2:04:06 AM] Kii: Epiphany will move to pick up the bottle of nailpolish remover.
[11/24/2014 2:04:15 AM] zuarkeror: Done.
[11/24/2014 2:04:50 AM] zuarkeror: Laverne hops up and runs to assist Vee—she grabs the animal by the scruff, and clamps its mouth closed with her other hand, muzzling it, and partially muiffling its agonized yelps. She starts dragging it, with Vee, after Maggie, heading for the bathroom down the hall.
[11/24/2014 2:05:11 AM] zuarkeror: Ethan throws himself at Rick with everything he’s got. The punch lands squarely on Rick’s chest, but Rick barely feels anything. It doesn’t hurt. Not even a tiny bit. It’s kind of sad, actually.
[11/24/2014 2:05:36 AM] zuarkeror: From deeper in the house—a few rooms down the opposite end of the hall—everyone can hear Angelica groan, “What the hell is going on in there?”
[11/24/2014 2:05:40 AM | Edited 2:06:41 AM] zuarkeror: Vee, you’re up.
[11/24/2014 2:06:42 AM] zuarkeror: (Sorry)
[11/24/2014 2:07:43 AM] Auds: “Let’s get him in the bathtub,” she urges, helping carry the dog and trying to do that – wide-eyed and slightly horrified even as she prepares to upend her turpentine once that’s done.
[11/24/2014 2:08:36 AM] zuarkeror: The dog is freaked-out, trying to scream, like…well, like an animal that’s being tortured. But it’s too weakened to struggle.
[11/24/2014 2:08:40 AM] zuarkeror: Rick.
[11/24/2014 2:11:07 AM] Adam: Rick has his balance now, and a very uncharitable observer – like, say, Ethan – might even think he’s enjoying himself. He moves after the others without ever turning fully away from Ethan, leading him along. He doesn’t say it out loud, but he’s got one goal; he needs Ethan to see it happen.
[11/24/2014 2:11:37 AM] zuarkeror: Maggie.
[11/24/2014 2:11:44 AM] Adam: Dodge puts him at def 8 with his FS.
[11/24/2014 2:11:49 AM] Maq: Maggie dives into the bathroom in a panic, seeming to think along the same lines of Vee (or perhaps even thinking of a nice safe place to lock the door if things go wrong) and when she gets in, she dives for the bath tub. On it goes. The shower started, shwishing down. “Soap,” can be heard from the bathroom, in a panic. “Soap. Shampoo. Soap. Shampoo. Stopthepaintmonster.” Her hands shake a little bit.
[11/24/2014 2:12:13 AM] zuarkeror: There’s soap and shampoo in the shower, because it’s a shower.
[11/24/2014 2:12:20 AM] zuarkeror: Epiphany.
[11/24/2014 2:13:02 AM] Kii: Epiphany rushes into the bathroom— if the dog is in the tub, she is going to do what needs to be done. She pours what’s left of the nailpolish remover into ’Colby’s’ head to end it’s suffering.
[11/24/2014 2:13:49 AM] zuarkeror: It’s not in the tub yet—it will cross the threshold of the bathroom at the end of this turn. You can take another action if you want, or just start the pouring on the face now.
[11/24/2014 2:15:23 AM] Kii: ….Let’s just get this over and done with. Epiphany starts pouring the stuff on it’s face, expression quite grim.
[11/24/2014 2:16:00 AM] zuarkeror: The yelping turns to a horrible gurgling sound, and the dog’s face starts to dissolve and melt before Epiphany’s eyes, in total-nightmare fashion. Much of the liquifying paint gets on Laverne’s hands.
[11/24/2014 2:16:18 AM] zuarkeror: Ethan throws another screaming punch at Rick, but whiffs completely.
[11/24/2014 2:16:26 AM] zuarkeror: Angelica’s footsteps can be heard approaching the living room.
[11/24/2014 2:16:41 AM] zuarkeror: Vee and Laverne manage to get the dog into the bathtub.
[11/24/2014 2:16:47 AM] zuarkeror: Rick, your turn.
[11/24/2014 2:16:55 AM] Maq: (Vee is first!)
[11/24/2014 2:17:03 AM | Edited 2:17:08 AM] zuarkeror: Yes, but I assume Vee is continuing to drag the dog?
[11/24/2014 2:17:18 AM] Auds: Sure, if that’s my turn
[11/24/2014 2:17:25 AM] zuarkeror: It is.
[11/24/2014 2:17:28 AM] Adam: How close are Rick and Ethan to the bathtub/bathroom?
[11/24/2014 2:17:39 AM] zuarkeror: Couple yards away from the door.
[11/24/2014 2:18:35 AM] Adam: What I’m thinking is like – taking the turn’s move, waiting for him to catch up, then trying to grapple before he can interrupt the others.
[11/24/2014 2:18:51 AM] Adam: valid or overthinking?
[11/24/2014 2:18:52 AM] zuarkeror: Valid.
[11/24/2014 2:19:22 AM] zuarkeror: I’m assuming everyone else is either getting the dog into the tub or pouring paint-thinner and/or nailpolish remover on to the dog?
[11/24/2014 2:19:30 AM] Maq: Maggie, as soon as the screaming dog is in the bath tub, shower already going, she grabs the shampoo and dumps it on it with one hand, and starts massaging it frantically into the dog’s fur with the other hand. “Wash it down. Wash it down,” she says, urgently – she’s obviously in a sort of …manic panic right now. Her arms are shaking as she does this. Her hair and glasses get soaked. And yup!
[11/24/2014 2:19:32 AM] Adam: Rick hustles up and then squares himself up by the door, watching Ethan closely.
[11/24/2014 2:19:55 AM] zuarkeror: Ethan charges at Rick and/or the bathroom door.
[11/24/2014 2:19:58 AM] Kii: Yes, and once that bottle is empty Epiphany is going to fling it away from herself.
[11/24/2014 2:20:09 AM] zuarkeror: Go ahead and roll the grapple attempt, Rick. Ethan’s Defense is 1.
[11/24/2014 2:20:35 AM] Adam: 1s, spent wp
[11/24/2014 2:21:46 AM] zuarkeror: Okay, everyone else is dog-murdering. Rick, roll Str + Brawl 1, as the contested grapple action.
[11/24/2014 2:22:10 AM] Adam: 2s
[11/24/2014 2:22:24 AM] zuarkeror: All right, your choice of overpower maneuver.
[11/24/2014 2:23:25 AM] Adam: Holding him still.
[11/24/2014 2:23:31 AM] zuarkeror: Okay.
[11/24/2014 2:23:58 AM] zuarkeror: Angelica arrives on the scene, marching into the living room, eyes bright with attention. This turns to a cold fury when she spies Rick grappling hold of her son.
[11/24/2014 2:24:10 AM] zuarkeror: Anyone else taking any non-dog-murdering action?
[11/24/2014 2:24:31 AM] zuarkeror: The dog is about half-dissolved, now, but is still wriggling and writhing in the bathtub, surviving with much less…dog…than a real dog would.
[11/24/2014 2:24:46 AM] Auds: Turpentinig! Just pouring it on.
[11/24/2014 2:25:08 AM] Kii: Crying in the bathroom corner?
[11/24/2014 2:25:10 AM] Maq: Once Vee turpentines – Maggie pulls her hands back, and just collapses on to her butt and bawls, half out of relief, half out of sheer panic.
[11/24/2014 2:25:29 AM] zuarkeror: Laverne slams the bathroom door closed, blocking Rick and Ethan off from the dog-murder.
[11/24/2014 2:26:39 AM] zuarkeror: Angelica is on top of Rick and Ethan before Rick can do anything. She has Rick’s arm in an iron grip, and in about a half a second, Rick finds himself on the bad end of a very painful joint lock. Angelica’s other hand grasps a fistful of Rick’s hair and she starts marching him toward the front door of the house. “Think you’re such a little tough guy, huh?”
[11/24/2014 2:27:48 AM] Adam: “He’s not hurt,” Rick says tightly. “He would’ve been if I let him keep charging around.”
[11/24/2014 2:29:41 AM] zuarkeror: “So you’re man-handling my son in his own house for his own good, huh? That’s rich.” She hauls Rick effortlessly to the front door, releases her grip on his hair long enough to yank it open. “My son may be a moron, but at least he’s not a bully like you.” She shoves Rick out the door. “Get lost.”
[11/24/2014 2:30:48 AM] zuarkeror: Meanwhile, Petra is sitting on the couch, staring at all of this in wide-eyed terror. She hasn’t moved, this whole time.
[11/24/2014 2:30:53 AM] Adam: Rick narrowly stays on his feet, glaring at her wordlessly and stalking off to the street.
[11/24/2014 2:31:14 AM] zuarkeror: Once Rick is out the door, Angelica marches to the bathroom. Along the way, she barks at Ethan, without looking at him. “Go to your room.”
[11/24/2014 2:31:15 AM] zuarkeror: Ethan goes.
[11/24/2014 2:31:46 AM] Auds: Vee, by then, has neatly thrown away the empty bottle of turpentine and is sitting silently on the closed toilet, miserable and probably covered in grey an white paint.
[11/24/2014 2:32:19 AM] Maq: Maggie digs her hands into her hair and sobs wildly. “Paintmonster,” she says then. “It was a paintmonster, I SAID it was a paintmonster.” Her hands are, one imagines, covered in paint, and since they’re digging into her hair, her hair probably is too. Her glasses are wet, and steamy.
[11/24/2014 2:32:33 AM] Auds: Oh – actually.
[11/24/2014 2:32:45 AM] Kii: Epiphany has pressed herself against the wall, only splattered a bit with paint and wiping at her teary eyes.
[11/24/2014 2:32:53 AM] Auds: Given the chance, Vee would’ve pulled off Maggie’s glasses and given them the same treatment. Fair’s fair.
[11/24/2014 2:32:57 AM] zuarkeror: There is almost nothing left of the dog: a tiny nub of flesh and fur, wriggling and writhing, desperately clinging to life
-to animation—until the turpentine finally dissolves it and it washes down the drain.
[11/24/2014 2:33:02 AM] Maq: Oh, no. These are Maggie’s other glasses.
[11/24/2014 2:33:05 AM] Maq: Not the paint-glasses!
[11/24/2014 2:33:08 AM] Auds: Oh okay, then nevermind!
[11/24/2014 2:33:38 AM] Adam: yeah she mentioned in front of all of us she melted her own
[11/24/2014 2:33:56 AM] Adam: Rick slinks out to the appropriate place on the street where he can be just out of Angelica’s sight while waiting for the others – slumped down against a thick fence, or squatting behind a bush, or what have you.
[11/24/2014 2:34:02 AM] zuarkeror: The kids in the bathroom have a couple of seconds to digest what’s happened before Angelica yanks the door open. “I don’t care what the hell you’re all doing, or what kind of stupid game you’re playing,” she says, her voice booming with authority over all, “but it is now officially out of control. Get OUT of my HOUSE.”
[11/24/2014 2:34:57 AM] Auds: “Sorry, Angelica,” Vee says quietly, but goes, immediately, pausing to whisper “Sorry,” to Petra too as she hurries for the door.
[11/24/2014 2:35:28 AM | Edited 2:35:29 AM] Kii: Like a cat being released, Epiphany bolts out the door, past Angela, and out to the sidewalk, where she stops, sniffles, and hugs herself before hurrying to her bike.
[11/24/2014 2:35:55 AM] zuarkeror: Angelica glowers at the kids as they file out. Laverne marches out solemnly, eyes downcast.
[11/24/2014 2:36:04 AM] Maq: Maggie’s on the floor, bawling her eyes out. She’s breathing heavily for a few moments, just taking her time to do that – but she scrabbles to her feet, her arms quaking. Before she darts out the door, she at least tries to wash her hands off, in a frantic, obsessive sort of way.
[11/24/2014 2:36:22 AM] zuarkeror: At the slightest of delays, Angelica barks: “MOVE.”
[11/24/2014 2:36:49 AM] Maq: Maggie dives out then, past her, running and half tirpping over herself.
[11/24/2014 2:37:32 AM] zuarkeror: Petra, who still hasn’t moved from the couch, stares wide-eyed at everyone going past. She seems frozen, until Angelica looks at her, sighs in that you-didn’t-do-anything-but-too-bad sort of way, and points at the door, at which time she hops up and dashes out the door.
[11/24/2014 2:37:48 AM] zuarkeror: Once everyone is out, the door of the house slams closed, and the deadbolt loudly flicks into place behind them.
[11/24/2014 2:37:59 AM] zuarkeror: “Well,” Laverne says, “that could’ve gone a lot more smoothly.”
[11/24/2014 2:38:26 AM] Adam: This prompts Rick to straighten up by the street, pulling up his bike. “We all need to talk,” he says as he pushes over towards them.
[11/24/2014 2:40:18 AM] Auds: “We shoulda just done it without telling him,” Vee says, shaken, still covered with paint as she plops down to put her rollerblades on.
[11/24/2014 2:40:18 AM] Maq: “I need to go home and shower. I need to get the paint off of me,” she says then, shaking her hands out – and leaning to wipe them on the grass.
[11/24/2014 2:41:11 AM] Kii: “We didn’t NEED to do anything in the first place,” Epiphany says hoarsely.
[11/24/2014 2:41:30 AM] Adam: “It’s almost like talking over a plan would have worked better in general,” Rick says with a hint of acid.
[11/24/2014 2:41:51 AM] Maq: “I WASN’T. GOING. TO. LET. HIM. HAVE. A. PAINTMONSTER. IN. HIS. HOUSE.” She says then – loudly. “We got rid of the paintmonster. We succeeded. We saved him, even if he’s mad and Angelica’s mad, we SAVED them.”
[11/24/2014 2:42:08 AM] Auds: “It’s not like Maggie was gonna listen anyway,” she scowls.
[11/24/2014 2:42:12 AM] Kii: “We’re NO closer to stopping Xyza and NO closer to any answers and instead you MADE US DO A HORRIBLE THING MAGGIE.”
[11/24/2014 2:42:45 AM] Maq: “A HORRIBLE THING!?” She whirls on Epiphany. “Oh yes, I stopped a paint monster that she could probably control and change at ANY MOMENT from DOING JUST THAT and KILLING MY FRIEND. But apparently you thought it was fine and dandy to let that HAPPEN. YOU’RE horrible!”
[11/24/2014 2:43:07 AM] zuarkeror: Laverne groans.
[11/24/2014 2:43:18 AM | Edited 2:43:30 AM] Adam: “SHUT UP,” Rick barks, louder than any of them have heard him. Well, other than his death screams.
[11/24/2014 2:43:29 AM] Maq: “SHUT UP!” She snaps to Laverne then ,apparently at the same time as Rick – and then moves to grab her bike. And she glares at Rick then.
[11/24/2014 2:44:05 AM] zuarkeror: Laverne eyes Maggie steadily. The ‘shut up’ has gotten her attention. She doesn’t say anything, but there’s a bit of an I’ll-remember-that look in her eyes.
[11/24/2014 2:45:18 AM] Adam: “We all need to go home,” Rick says tightly, “and calm the fuck down, and then tomorrow, when we’ve slept and had some food and breathed and shit, we are going to talk.”
[11/24/2014 2:45:26 AM] Maq: Maggie climbs on her bike, kicking the…stand thingy. Kickstand? up.
[11/24/2014 2:45:41 AM] Kii: “Whatever,” Epiphany hisses, hopping onto her bike. “Stay with your best friend Ethan.”
[11/24/2014 2:46:06 AM] Maq: “Stay with your probably cursed paint cards,” she snaps toward Epiphany.
[11/24/2014 2:46:07 AM] zuarkeror: Laverne says something to Petra in Russian.
[11/24/2014 2:46:09 AM] Auds: Vee’s just lacing up her rollerblades with jerky motions, clearly upset, and doubly so as everybody screams – also there are so many stupid laces to do, which is clearly very incovnenient.
[11/24/2014 2:47:31 AM] Kii: “They didn’t drag us over here,” she snaps back, and starts to pedal off down the road.
[11/24/2014 2:48:11 AM] Maq: “I DIDN’T EITHER!” She says then, voice raising. “YOU DEMANDED YOU COME, SO SHUT UP!” and with that, angrily, she kicks off and pedals as fast as she can down the road.
[11/24/2014 2:48:48 AM] zuarkeror: “No, don’t worry, it’s cool,” Laverne says quietly to herself as Maggie and Epiphany pedal away. “We’ll just walk home.”
[11/24/2014 2:49:28 AM] Auds: “I’ll walk with you, if you want,” Vee offers, subdued. “Or skate slow.”
[11/24/2014 2:49:50 AM] zuarkeror: She half-smiles at Vee, and, less sarcastically: “No, it’s cool.”
[11/24/2014 2:49:54 AM] Adam: “I can get at least one of you on here,” Rick says, looking over his bike a bit skeptically.
[11/24/2014 2:50:10 AM] Adam: “…no, probably not.”
[11/24/2014 2:51:07 AM] zuarkeror: She taps Petra on the arm. “Go ahead and get on Rick’s pegs. I’ll meet you at the bus stop later.”

4: The Thing

[11/17/2014 12:10:00 AM] Kii: “Yeah, you’d only need one, maybe.” She glances at Rick and raises an eyebrow, "are you going to… " her green eyes drift to the painting of Colby.
[11/17/2014 12:10:06 AM] Maq: “I bet it was the weird creepy tree one,” she says. “Oh, I wonder if it’s that tree. It does look menacing enough.” She darts a glare out the window. “And maybe she pours it over the paper when she wants to start over?” Maggie knows art gud.
[11/17/2014 12:10:52 AM] Maq: She looks at Rick, at the paint thinner, at the painting. “No,” she says then with a huff. “If you do that, you gotta do my glasses first.” She takes her glasses off then, blearily holding them.
[11/17/2014 12:10:54 AM] zuarkeror: The closet is full of black clothes, mostly.
[11/17/2014 12:11:17 AM] Auds: “Hello?” she whispers, just in case that’s where Xyza’s hiding.
[11/17/2014 12:11:24 AM] Adam: Rick is still looking for brushes, though it’s more because he vaguely suspects she ran off with them.
[11/17/2014 12:11:24 AM] zuarkeror: No one answers Vee.
[11/17/2014 12:11:41 AM] Adam: “I’m not a wizard, I’m just investigating,” he protests mildly.
[11/17/2014 12:11:44 AM] zuarkeror: There are a couple of brushes lying around. A few other painting tools, too.
[11/17/2014 12:11:59 AM] Maq: “Good,” she says with a huff and puts her glasses back on. “I bet she just steals things and paints ’em.”
[11/17/2014 12:12:14 AM] Maq: Maggie pauses, and then drops on the floor to peek under the bed.
[11/17/2014 12:12:20 AM] zuarkeror: “No,” Laverne says to Maggie, piping up all of a sudden. “I think you’d better try that.”
[11/17/2014 12:12:35 AM] Auds: This is pretty much what she expected. She leaves the closet alone and quietly closes it. “No, I wanna see,” she says, moving to grab one of the bottles of thinner. “With the glasses.”
[11/17/2014 12:12:36 AM] Maq: “Huh?” She says from her spot on the floor. “Yeah, I am?” She gestures under the bed.
[11/17/2014 12:12:40 AM] Kii: Epiphany moves to the easle, and takes a jar. She pours some turpentine in, takes a brush, and then holds her hands out. “Let me see your glasses, Maggie.”
[11/17/2014 12:13:01 AM] Maq: She huffs and then takes her glasses off, handing them to Epiphany. She then takes a few moments to scramble back up to her feet, mostly blind.
[11/17/2014 12:13:11 AM] zuarkeror: Laverne watches Epiphany intently.
[11/17/2014 12:13:16 AM] zuarkeror: Under the bed: nothing.
[11/17/2014 12:13:17 AM] Auds: She waffles, then puts the thinner back.
[11/17/2014 12:13:17 AM] Adam: “Just like the back tip, though,” Rick says, reaching out to steady (and restrain) Maggie with a hand on her shoulder.
[11/17/2014 12:13:54 AM] Kii: Epiphany takes the brush, gets it sopping wet with the noxious smelling turpentine, and very carefully runs the bristles over one of the prongs of Maggie’s glasses.
[11/17/2014 12:14:01 AM] Maq: Maggie squints – and smiles blankly to Rick – before squinting back at what Epiphany is doing.
[11/17/2014 12:14:23 AM] zuarkeror: The prong melts, dissolving away into a drip of liquid color that runs down Epiphany’s fingers.
[11/17/2014 12:14:46 AM | Edited 12:15:11 AM] zuarkeror: Granted, most 11 year olds don’t dabble in physics or chemistry, but this is strikingly unrealistic.
[11/17/2014 12:15:15 AM] Kii: Her eyes go as big as eggs, and she holds her hand out away so that the color doesn’t drip onto her clothes. “It… It melted!!”
[11/17/2014 12:15:20 AM] Maq: Maggie can only sort of see this, and probably doesn’t really react until the others do, but when they react, she leans in close. Her nose wrinkles at the turpentine, and then she flails her hands. “Woah, what?!”
[11/17/2014 12:15:31 AM] zuarkeror: BOOM.
[11/17/2014 12:15:33 AM] Adam: “Just part of it,” Rick assures Maggie.
[11/17/2014 12:15:33 AM] Auds: “I knew it!” Vee says, startled, as she returns from putting the bottle back in the corner.
[11/17/2014 12:15:42 AM] Auds: Then she startles, spinning around and trying to pinpoint the noise.
[11/17/2014 12:15:44 AM] Maq: She flails and looks around at the BOOM sound, not that she can really see.
[11/17/2014 12:16:18 AM] zuarkeror: There’s the quiet sound of a switch being flicked—something, somewhere, clicking on.
[11/17/2014 12:16:33 AM] zuarkeror: Music begins to play. Very…very loudly.
[11/17/2014 12:16:36 AM] Kii: Epiphany lets out a tiny EEP and nearly drops the glasses, wiping the melty end and her hand on a rag and jamming the brush into the jar. She quickly pushes the half-melted glasses into Maggie’s hands, and pokes her head out into the hallway.
[11/17/2014 12:16:36 AM] zuarkeror:
[11/17/2014 12:17:31 AM] Kii: Epiphany does not wait— she is out of the room and going as quickly as she can to the source of the music.
[11/17/2014 12:17:42 AM] zuarkeror: The music is so loud that the source is indiscernible.
[11/17/2014 12:17:47 AM] zuarkeror: It practically shakes the entire house.
[11/17/2014 12:17:57 AM] Adam: Rick tries to make sure Maggie gets her glasses on.
[11/17/2014 12:18:20 AM] zuarkeror: Maggie’s glasses don’t sit quite right on her face, now that one of the prongs is partially melted.
[11/17/2014 12:18:23 AM] Auds: Vee is rattled by this, scrambling some as she races to follow Epiphany, bolting for the stairs.
[11/17/2014 12:18:32 AM] Maq: Maggie scrabbles to get the half melted glasses and put them on her face, blinking owlishly through them. Now they’re a bit lopsided though, so she holds them on with her finger as she looks around, and then scrambles a bit after Epiphany, trying to find the source all the same.
[11/17/2014 12:18:47 AM] zuarkeror: As Vee and Epiphany head for the stairs, they start hearing something else, downstairs in the house—something loud. It sounds like a horse galloping or something of the like.
[11/17/2014 12:18:48 AM | Edited 12:18:56 AM] Adam: Maggie at least partially seeing again, Rick also scrambles to follow.
[11/17/2014 12:19:36 AM] Auds: “What’s going on?” she squeaks at Epiphany, half-sliding down the stairs as she tries to abruptly stop mid barreling-descent, alarmed by the hooves.
[11/17/2014 12:20:04 AM] Adam: Rick stops, wheels around, and goes to grab a thing of paint thinner to bring with him.
[11/17/2014 12:20:04 AM] Kii: Epiphany jumps to the last step, grimacing as the loudness of the sound hurts her ears, and looks around wildly for the source of the ‘hoof’ sounds. “I DON’T KNOW!” she tries to shout over the music.
[11/17/2014 12:20:24 AM] zuarkeror: Vee’s words are completely drowned out by the cacophony—until further notice, no one can be heard unless they shout or scream, and even then, only people directly adjacent can understand. This is now a rock concert.
[11/17/2014 12:21:12 AM] Maq: Maggie comes to a halt dead last, staring down the stairs. She doesn’t try to scream or shout – just holding her glasses on. She looks down, looks around, and then gestures for people to take a few steps down, straining on her tip toes to try and see past them.
[11/17/2014 12:24:20 AM | Removed 12:30:01 AM] Auds: This message has been removed.
[11/17/2014 12:24:44 AM] Adam: Once he has the paint thinner Rick tries to get to the bottom of the stairs and see where everyone’s gone.
[11/17/2014 12:24:51 AM] zuarkeror: As the group starts to head down the stairs, the thing comes into view. The monster is enormous and defies all description. The kids will remember it differently after the fact: some will swear they saw a goat’s head, others a pig’s, still others a wolf’s or horse’s. It’s some manner of animal head, to be sure—maybe. And yet, didn’t its expression seem so very human? Did it not walk on two legs? Or did it walk on four, and have arms to spare? The group—those of them who survive, anyway—may debate this later. For now, there is a monster that defies all description directly approaching the stairs from below in a thunderous approach, its eyes full of blood and murder. The thing is nightmare come to life—it is a stark statement against all reality, against all assurances these children have had from loving caretakers that the world was a fair, safe, or even sane place. From this point forward, all actions which are NOT directly fleeing or remaining in an established hiding place suffer a 3 penalty. This includes any and all actions to assist others in fleeing. Please confine your posts from now on to a single action at a time.
[11/17/2014 12:25:41 AM | Edited 12:25:59 AM] zuarkeror: Additionally, anyone attempting to take any action apart from directly fleeing or hiding must pass a Res+Comp test at -2 in order to be allowed to do so.
[11/17/2014 12:26:44 AM | Removed 12:29:53 AM] Maq: This message has been removed.
[11/17/2014 12:27:11 AM | Edited 12:29:46 AM] Kii: Epiphany’s ghastly SHRIEK is mostly lost in the roar of music, and she does her best to squeeze past the other kinds/step over them in her wild attempt to race back up the stairs.
[11/17/2014 12:27:44 AM | Edited 12:27:47 AM] zuarkeror: To be extremely clear about how everyone is situated:
[11/17/2014 12:27:45 AM | Removed 12:29:42 AM] Adam: This message has been removed.
[11/17/2014 12:28:48 AM] zuarkeror: Rick → Petra → Laverne → Epiphany → Maggie → Vee → MONSTER. Everyone is crammed into a stairwell that’s only about one and a half kids wide. It is a straight stairwell, blocked on one side by a wall and another by a bannister and wooden slats. The monster is directly at the bottom of the stairs and is about to come charging up.
[11/17/2014 12:29:06 AM] zuarkeror: That is to say, anyone going DOWN the stairs is running through Maggie and Vee and running straight at the monster.
[11/17/2014 12:29:56 AM] Kii: (edited my post, thanks!)
[11/17/2014 12:30:17 AM] Auds: (deleted mine too cuz it was premature!)
[11/17/2014 12:30:55 AM] Adam: Rick scrambles back the other way again – he’s good at the shuttle run, he thinks inexplicably amidst the madness – then turns right towards the bedroom, pressing himself up against the wall but still clutching his paint thinner.
[11/17/2014 12:31:13 AM] zuarkeror: Which bedroom?
[11/17/2014 12:31:18 AM] Adam: The dark one.
[11/17/2014 12:32:22 AM | Edited 12:33:42 AM] Auds: Vee tries to scream but can’t actually make any noise, as it turns out – it’s lost in her throat somewhere, but she wildly tries to run, pushing against the people above her on the stairs, trying to worm her way through if they don’t get out of the way.
[11/17/2014 12:34:04 AM] Maq: Maggie has one hand devoted to holding her glasses up, and one devoted to being in a total panic. It’s flailing wildly. She seems to dimly realize she’s not going to make her way fully up the stairs what with the other kids being in the way, and she seems to realize too that this THING is probably going to EAT one of them – she scrabbles up the stairs as best as she can but stumbles as the others run and shove passed her, and then does the only thing she can seem to think of – and that is for one spare moment as she trips in her panic on her way up her stairs, just fling something that she can at the thing to try and distract it for even a moment while she’s fleeing. This thing, of course, being the only thing she’s got in her hands – that is, her glasses, now with a bit of stinky paint thinner on one ear.
[11/17/2014 12:35:15 AM] Auds: Vee – if she makes it, though at the moment it seems impossibly far away – is clawing and scrabbling in an attempt to get back to Xyza’s room. But the stairs are awful long and crowded.
[11/17/2014 12:36:56 AM] zuarkeror: Just waiting for Epiphany.
[11/17/2014 12:37:06 AM] Kii: (errr, sorry, I will repost it?)
[11/17/2014 12:37:20 AM] zuarkeror: Oh, sorry, I thought you deleted that post entirely.
[11/17/2014 12:37:28 AM] Kii: Epiphany’s ghastly SHRIEK is mostly lost in the roar of music, and she does her best to squeeze past the other kinds/step over them in her wild attempt to race back up the stairs.
[11/17/2014 12:37:58 AM] zuarkeror: Epiphany, Vee, roll Str + Brawl. Whoever gets more successes gets to the top of the stairs.
[11/17/2014 12:38:20 AM] Kii: 0s
[11/17/2014 12:38:36 AM] Auds: ..also 0s
[11/17/2014 12:38:54 AM] zuarkeror: Epiphany and Vee trip over each other and fall down near the top of the stairs. This leaves the two of them, plus Maggie, in a sort of heap on the stairs.
[11/17/2014 12:39:18 AM] zuarkeror: Maggie hurls her glasses at the creature, which uses one of its huge appendages to slap them away. The glasses can be heard clacking off the wall and skittering away to who-knows-where.
[11/17/2014 12:40:26 AM] zuarkeror: Laverne and Petra scramble into Xyza’s room. Laverne is screaming something in Russian at the top of her lungs.
[11/17/2014 12:41:00 AM] zuarkeror: Another round of posts, please. The monster is nearly on top of Maggie, now in its lumbering charge up the stairs.
[11/17/2014 12:41:46 AM] Kii: Epiphany claws at the floor and the walls, trying to pick herself up. She’s stopped screaming, but her eyes are wild and focused on one thing: getting into Xyza’s room.
[11/17/2014 12:42:08 AM | Edited 12:45:21 AM] Maq: Maggie, at least, is intent on not shoving, and just goggles at the two as they fall over, and then stumbles backward, staring down at the creature which (quite fortunately) she can now only see in blurry outline. “MOVE!” she shrieks loudly at Epiphany and Vee, like that will help. But until Epiphany and Vee gets up, she seems to recognize she’s not getting up. She seems to steal herself as this terrifying monster gets close, trying to buy Epiphany and Vee time to move. (2s on 2 dice to do something other than flee or hide so as to not stumble over the others) She steels herself, and then lifts her foot and tries to smack it into the things…face…nose blob, frantically.
[11/17/2014 12:42:49 AM | Edited 12:42:55 AM] Auds: Vee gets a real scream out now, though it’s mostly lost in the music, grabbing onto the banister to try to lurch to her feet and sprint back up onto the upper story, still striving for Xyza’s room, tears of terror startng to stream down her face.
[11/17/2014 12:44:49 AM] Adam: Rick takes a full breath in through his nose and breathes out as he steps out a bit from behind the wall, trying to arc paint thinner through the air into the monster’s eyes, or face at least. Even if the thing’s not made out of paint, turpentine in the eye has to hurt, right? He can’t quite keep his face from sinking when he sees Maggie not even scrambling. (3s to do something! and at 3/5 wp)
[11/17/2014 12:45:24 AM] zuarkeror: Dex+Athletics -3 to splash the turpentine.
[11/17/2014 12:45:53 AM] Adam: 1s!
[11/17/2014 12:47:40 AM] zuarkeror: The arc of toxic paint-thinner splashes from overhead, rippling over Epiphany, Vee, and Maggie and a little on to the…thing. If the impact of the paint-thinner makes any noise, it’s easily drowned out in the cacophony, but the monster’s screams of agony at its touch certainly aren’t. The thing clutches its own face, and emits a noise that is even louder than the blaring Metallica
-a noise which takes a tone that the kids will probably all disagree about later, if they survive this.
[11/17/2014 12:47:50 AM] zuarkeror: Epiphany, Vee, Str+Brawl both.
[11/17/2014 12:48:05 AM] Kii: 0s again
[11/17/2014 12:49:03 AM] Auds: 2s!! with willpower!
[11/17/2014 12:49:22 AM] zuarkeror: Vee manages to shove past Epiphany, leaving her there on the stairs, and bolting into Xyza’s room.
[11/17/2014 12:49:53 AM] zuarkeror: Okay, another round of posts.
[11/17/2014 12:50:52 AM] Maq: With Vee up and gone, it’s time for Maggie to scrabble further up the stairs – she scrambles desperately to try and lift Epiphany up and shove her. “MOVE!” She shrieks again – though now with the monster shriek-roaring and the Metallica, the sound is lost, and instead she just lifts and shoves. (1s to help someone else!) She scrambles and tries to shove Epiphany forward, twisting to stare down the stairs again.
[11/17/2014 12:51:02 AM] Kii: Epiphany’s eyes water at the unbelivably loud roar, her hands trembling as she attempts to right herself again and flee after Vee into the bedroom full of turpentine before she’s ripped in half on the stairs.
[11/17/2014 12:51:10 AM] Adam: “MAGGIE. EEE. MOOOOVE.” Rick roars at the top of his lungs (and probably still in vain). He backs up to get out of their way, hiding on one side of the bathroom doorway.
[11/17/2014 12:51:16 AM] Auds: She can hear the screams behind her – she’s stll breathing fast, making half-screamy noises herself, but when her feet find purchase on the floor she barrels into Xyza’s room and grabs the bottle of thinner she’d put back earlier, trying to pry off the lid.
[11/17/2014 12:52:38 AM] zuarkeror: Vee, Res+Comp-2 to think of anything that is not running or hiding.
[11/17/2014 12:53:13 AM | Edited 12:53:21 AM] Auds: (fail!)
[11/17/2014 12:53:34 AM] zuarkeror: Change your action, please.
[11/17/2014 12:54:12 AM] Auds: Instead she bolts for the window, sobbing as she tries to open it.
[11/17/2014 12:55:44 AM] zuarkeror: Epiphany and Maggie finally get into Xyza’s room. Vee tries the window and finds it locked. Laverne has already grabbed up a chair with the obvious intention of smashing the window. Petra is cowering uselessly in a corner.
[11/17/2014 12:55:58 AM] zuarkeror: Next round.
[11/17/2014 12:56:49 AM] Auds: (same roll to try to do something other than flee?)
[11/17/2014 12:56:59 AM] zuarkeror: yes.
[11/17/2014 12:57:34 AM] Adam: Rick darts forward to pour out great gobs of turpentine along the stairs as fast as he can, hoping to ward off the monster’s steps. (2s to do something other than run and hide, at 2/5 wp)
[11/17/2014 12:57:35 AM] Kii: Epiphany pauses for a brief moment once she bursts into the room, breathing hard and reaching out towards the easle… For the opened bottle of turpentine, and the third-filled jar. (2s for res+comp 2)
[11/17/2014 12:57:54 AM] Maq: As everyone tries to smash the window, Maggie turns. “RICK! GET IN!” She says. (1s to…do something not to flee????) If Rick DOES get in, she promptly and violently slams the door, and if there’s a lock, locks it – if not, she tries to yank something in front of the door to slow down the thing. If Rick doesn’t well…that’s another game. She stares at him – and then she dashes to get some turpentine as well.
[11/17/2014 1:00:17 AM] Auds: Vee backs away from the window with a desperate noise when Laverne goes to smash it, grabbing the turpentine again as she passes the stack, snotty and teary-eyed. (1s to do something other than hide!)
[11/17/2014 1:00:45 AM] zuarkeror: The thing leaps directly over the last few stairs, and the splashes of turpentine Rick had run forward to put on the floor. It lands directly on top of Rick, with its enormous weight, thumping down on top of the boy with a force as immediately and powerfully decisive as if someone had just dropped a refrigerator on top of him. He is pinned to the ground instantly with no hope of release. Maggie sees the hulking creature’s body completely eclipse her cousin’s, and there is the sound of feral growling and…chewing…out in the hall. There are not words to describe Rick’s animal screams.
[11/17/2014 1:02:33 AM] zuarkeror: Next round.
[11/17/2014 1:03:02 AM] zuarkeror: Again, anyone not wishing to RUN or HIDE needs to roll for it. Which is a strong suggestion that maybe RUNNING or HIDING are pretty good options.
[11/17/2014 1:03:22 AM] Maq: Maggie screams at that – she can’t see what’s going on very well, but she can HEAR the chewing and Rick’s screams, and so her scream is loud. (finally a failure on the res + comp – 2!) She screams violently and dashes – seeing people around the window and it still not open, she instead scrabbles to try and get under the bed or something – anywhere to hide, really.
[11/17/2014 1:03:54 AM] zuarkeror: Please define “or something”
- are you going under the bed?
[11/17/2014 1:04:15 AM] Maq: Oui! Didn’t know if there was room to scramble under, but Maggie will dive frantically under there as necessary
[11/17/2014 1:04:22 AM] zuarkeror: Okay, under the bed Maggie goes.
[11/17/2014 1:05:03 AM] Kii: Epiphany…. Drops the jar immediately once she hears Rick’s screams, and DIVES into the closet, closing the doors roughly and pressing herself back as far as she can among the black clothes, clutching the bottle of turpentine to her chest.
[11/17/2014 1:05:20 AM] Auds: Vee’s back to being unable to make real noises; she turns for the window again, but it’s still locked – at which point she dives for the closet too.
[11/17/2014 1:05:51 AM] zuarkeror: All right—Epiphany and Vee go for the closet.
[11/17/2014 1:06:17 AM] zuarkeror: I’m splitting up the chat, so please stand by.


[11/2/14, 10:04:48 PM] Daniel Harris: Okay, we’re picking up a week after when we last left our heroes: long enough for the grounding-type punishments which were inflicted on the kids to be lifted, for the most part. Though some sanctions remain in place, namely, Vee still doesn’t have her gameboy or compuiter privileges, and Maggie is still officially not allowed to be spending time with Laverne.
[11/2/14, 10:05:22 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie, of course, promptly ignores this whenever she goes to school. As expected.
[11/2/14, 10:07:04 PM] Daniel Harris: School has been pretty normal and uneventful during this week—Ethan has mostly been fussing over trying to make his Colby poem absolutely perfect. Laverne and Petra have been pretty scarce—both of them have been absent on three separate days, always both absent on the same day, no explanation.
[11/2/14, 10:07:55 PM] Kii: Epiphany has lent a book to Vee about MAGIC that is probably incomprehensible to most adults, so good luck Vee.
[11/2/14, 10:09:31 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick has been offish for a while – scornful of necromancy plans and a bit miffed by the whole affair in general, though in the way of a school with limited social circles this means he’s generally near them anyway. It’s not like he’s going to stay close to Bob and Bill.
[11/2/14, 10:10:55 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie, of course, sees this as some grand experiment, and also as a way to help a friend get back what was lost – because of course, to her, if this manages to work out well, then think of the possibilities! Maggie doesn’t really have much in the way of possibilities. But she listens in class with her New Glasses ™ and is quite cheerful, returns one of Epiphany’s books that she’s supposedly memorized, and hangs out more with Ethan, working carefully on poems and offering her own via notes passed when Mrs. Horn’s back is turned.
[11/2/14, 10:11:11 PM] Aurya Stark: Vee’s been keeping mostly to herself – she can’t make a lot of sense of the book about magic, but she’s got it in her backpack, even if she’s too socially conscious to read it much at school. She’s on a quiet crusade to make Bob’s life as difficult as possible, though mostly this has involve filching pencils from his cubby and putting them in Emily’s.
[11/2/14, 10:11:32 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Oh, also, Rick has definitely been trying to get a peek at that green book Vee found.
[11/2/14, 10:12:22 PM] Kii: Epiphany, true to her word, refuses to help with anything related to resurrecting Ethan’s stupid dog and has spent a lot of time in class trying to learn how to tie knots for some reason. 5 knots have been confiscated from her so far.
[11/2/14, 10:14:00 PM] Daniel Harris: It’s currently recess. Mrs. Horn has let the kids out onto the playground. Ethan is sitting on the little platform near the top of the slide, scrawling in his notebook. Laverne and Petra are near the kickball court, talking, seemingly half-watching Ethan. The popular kids are messing around over by the jungle gym.
[11/2/14, 10:14:32 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie tromps over to Ethan to sit down next to him. “What have you got most recently? I wrote up one that’s six lines like mine was!”
[11/2/14, 10:16:02 PM] KhAlf Drogo: There is, presumably, somewhere, a basketball hoop, probably missing a net or with a half-rusted one of chain, beat up and depressing. Rick is bouncing shots into it casually.
[11/2/14, 10:16:12 PM] Daniel Harris: Ethan frowns at his notebook. "Mostly crossouts,’ he says miserably. “I’m bad at this stuff.”
[11/2/14, 10:16:49 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “How’s this?!” And Maggie riffles in her probably glitter covered, tear-laden jeans, and yanks out a crumpled paper to offer it to him. “You can rewrite it if you think it works! Your name, three times, Colby described, AND it rhymes!”
[11/2/14, 10:16:50 PM] Kii: Epiphany is hovering within earshot, combing through a huge patch of overgrown clovers, trying to pretend like she’s not eavesdropping.
[11/2/14, 10:17:49 PM] Aurya Stark: Vee always gravitates towards the swings, but finding them full today, she ends up on the slides with Maggie and Ethan instead, swinging absently on the handrails of the steps up. Eavesdropping way more blatantly than Epiphany.
[11/2/14, 10:18:05 PM] Daniel Harris: “Wow!” Ethan says, marveling at the poem Maggie has given him. “This is AMAZING! It’s PERFECT! THANK YOU!” He glomps on to Maggie and hugs her tightly.
[11/2/14, 10:19:00 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Yessss!” Maggie says then, beaming and hugging Ethan back, even though this no doubt will probably start rumors that they’re dating or something. “You’re welcome! You can rewrite it really nicely and then I can fold it for you and we will go deliver it, okay?” She squints toward Epiphany and Vee – and then waves.
[11/2/14, 10:19:29 PM] Daniel Harris: “Okay!” Ethan says cheerily. “I was really hoping to do it today! I don’t know how long the…uhm…offer? Lasts?”
[11/2/14, 10:20:09 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “We can do it today.” She nods then. “Don’t worry! We’ll go after school, okay? No one else wants to go so it’ll probably just be me and you.”
[11/2/14, 10:20:30 PM] Daniel Harris: Ethan nods. “I’d do it by myself if I had to.”
[11/2/14, 10:20:51 PM] Kii: Epiphany’s hooded green eyes squint slightly at Maggie, and she looks down and shakes her head. She plucks a clover and looks at it closely before tossing it away.
[11/2/14, 10:21:53 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “It’s okay, I’ll go with you. Since the poem is done, wanna slide?” She gestures sideways toward said slide.
[11/2/14, 10:22:05 PM] Aurya Stark: She waves back. “Are you gonna do it today?” she asks, reluctant and incredibly curious at the same time.
[11/2/14, 10:22:13 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Yep!” She nods to Vee.
[11/2/14, 10:22:24 PM] Daniel Harris: “Yeah,” Ethan says to Vee, “Today’s the day I get Colby BACK!”
[11/2/14, 10:22:38 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “You know, if the door’s locked, you’d be pretty useful…?” She asks of Vee. “I mean, you wouldn’t have to like PUT IT DOWN, just help us get the art room open? Then you wouldn’t like, be doing it yourself?”
[11/2/14, 10:24:35 PM] Daniel Harris: “Yeah,” Ethan says, “I didn’t think about how I’d get that door open…”
[11/2/14, 10:24:47 PM] Aurya Stark: She purses her lips to the side, glancing at Epiphany in the clover. “..okay.”
[11/2/14, 10:25:01 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Yay!” She claps her hands together, bouncing a bit. “Thank you, Vee! You’re the best!”
[11/2/14, 10:26:04 PM] Kii: “You know it’s wrong, Vee,” Epiphany says shortly. She glares at the trio, looking unusually frustrated.
[11/2/14, 10:27:27 PM] Daniel Harris: “Yeah, Vee, you’re the best! Thanks!”
[11/2/14, 10:27:48 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “It’s not wrong,” she says with a huff. “I mean, the ghost can bring back what’s gone. So it’s natural to try and bring back something that is gone, totally gone. I mean, TECHNICALLY my glasses were just broken, Colby is ACTUALLY gone.” She pauses and then holds up a finger. “And, AND! In a lot of my books they mention who the Goddess could be, like it could be the Morrigan, and she’s all about death and the undead and stuff!”
[11/2/14, 10:28:25 PM] Kii: Epiphany momentarily stops in her judgemental glowering to squint her eyes a little more, and stands up, wandering over to stand underneath Maggie and peer up at her face.
[11/2/14, 10:29:04 PM] Daniel Harris: Laverne suddenly walks purposefully over to Maggie and company, rather all of a sudden—it didn’t seem like she was going to come over until she apparently made a snap-decision to do so.
[11/2/14, 10:29:52 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie puts her hands on her hips, and looks toward Epiphany. “So really, if a variant on the goddess supports that then it can’t be too bad. I mean, there are rituals where you can bring the dead back right, and so long as you follow the rituals they’re fine – think of um…that O guy in my Greek Myth book. Yeah. If he just hadn’t looked back it would have worked. And so we’re doing it exactly as it says to go, and it will work.” She flashes a smile. “So it—hi Laverne.” She blinks toward the other girl.
[11/2/14, 10:30:03 PM] Aurya Stark: She wrinkles her nose, staring distractedly at Maggie’s hands for a second, but Laverne’s approach makes her look up. “Hi.”
[11/2/14, 10:30:27 PM] Daniel Harris: Laverne looks directly at Maggie. There’s an odd gleam in her eye—gaze slightly narrowed, a little intense. “What are you guys talking about?” she says, although she’s looking RIGHT at Maggie, ignoring the others.
[11/2/14, 10:30:42 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Doing the ritual thingy again,” she says.
[11/2/14, 10:30:57 PM] Kii: “They still won’t listen,” Epiphany quips.
[11/2/14, 10:30:58 PM] KhAlf Drogo: This seems to get Rick’s attention for some reason. A crush on Laverne? Fearing Maggie’s about to get beat up again? Hard to say.
[11/2/14, 10:31:21 PM] Daniel Harris: Laverne stares at Maggie—somehow this feels oddly confrontational. “You said something about Morrigan.”
[11/2/14, 10:31:49 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Uhhh, Morrigan the goddess?” She says then. “She was um, like, of battle, strife, and ruler of the underworld thingy?”
[11/2/14, 10:32:24 PM] Daniel Harris: Laverne eyes Maggie a moment longer—but then she seems to relax, become her usual, more easygoing self. “Oh,” she says. “Yeah, okay.”
[11/2/14, 10:32:47 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: She blinks once. “…Why?”
[11/2/14, 10:33:22 PM] Daniel Harris: “No reason.” Laverne looks around at the others, only just now seeming to acknowledge their existence. “So you’re still going to go through with this?”
[11/2/14, 10:33:33 PM] Daniel Harris: Petra slinks up behind Laverne, quiet as usual.
[11/2/14, 10:33:43 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Yeah,” she nods. “I wrote a poem and Ethan’s gonna write it out and then I’ll fold it and we’re gonna place it.” She looks to Petra and offers her an honest smile and wave.
[11/2/14, 10:33:53 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Epiphany doesn’t wanna, though, so she’s not gonna. No one’s gonna who doesn’t wanna.”
[11/2/14, 10:34:00 PM] Daniel Harris: Petra offers Maggie a very slight wave.
[11/2/14, 10:34:16 PM] Daniel Harris: Laverne lifts up her on her toes, peering at the paper containing the poem. “Can I take a look?”
[11/2/14, 10:34:22 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: She looks to Ethan.
[11/2/14, 10:34:23 PM] Aurya Stark: Vee blinks a few times at Laverne and Maggie, then offers Petra a little lopsided smile hello as she slinks up behind her friend.
[11/2/14, 10:38:01 PM] Daniel Harris: Petra seems just a tiny bit less horribly uncomfortable in the presence of the group—the little smiles and waves and stuff making her not have her guard up quite so much. She still isn’t talking, though, if she is even capable of talking.
[11/2/14, 10:38:46 PM] Daniel Harris: Ethan, with some reluctance, nods to Maggie, indicating it’s okay to pass the poem to Laverne. Laverne takes the piece of paper if it is indeed offered, taking it between her fingers to look it over quickly.
[11/2/14, 10:39:03 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick rolls his forgotten basketball back and forth a bit on his hip. Now that he’s drifted over it would be weird to drift away.
[11/2/14, 10:39:50 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie does offer it over as Ethan nods, because apparently she was only waiting to ensure that Ethan had the chance to say no if he wanted. She waves to Rick. “Hi Rick!”
[11/2/14, 10:40:01 PM] Daniel Harris: Without much fanfare Laverne passes the poem back to Ethan/Maggie.
[11/2/14, 10:40:15 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie takes it back and hands it to Ethan so when it comes time, he can copy it neatly.
[11/2/14, 10:41:06 PM] Aurya Stark: “You guys wanna come?” she asks, looking between Laverne and Petra.
[11/2/14, 10:41:16 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Yeah – you wanna come?” She looks between the two – and then also to Rick.
[11/2/14, 10:41:27 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: This message has been removed.
[11/2/14, 10:41:50 PM] Daniel Harris: Laverne glances at Petra, with a raise of her eyebrows. The two, as usual, seem to communicate without words. Laverne again speaks for the two: “Yeah, all right,” she says. “If only to make sure you all stay out of trouble.”
[11/2/14, 10:42:36 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “Maggie? Get in trouble if not carefully managed?” Rick snorts.
[11/2/14, 10:42:56 PM] Kii: Epiphany lets out a soft defeated sigh and crosses her arms tightly over her chest. “…I guess I’ll do that too.”
[11/2/14, 10:43:11 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Hey,” she huffs. “I don’t always get in trouble!” And then she beams. “Yay, another full team adventure!”
[11/2/14, 10:44:15 PM] Kii: “Are we going to do the same as last time? Walk together after school?” She still sounds less than excited about all this.
[11/2/14, 10:44:37 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Seems like it’s the best way probably.” She nods and looks around to see if there are any other ideas.
[11/2/14, 10:44:41 PM] Daniel Harris: Ethan pipes up: “I could get my mom to drive us again!”
[11/2/14, 10:45:03 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “That sounds good! I like your mom, she’s pretty cool.” A pause. “She hasn’t said you shouldn’t see any of us, right?”
[11/2/14, 10:45:17 PM] Daniel Harris: He shakes his head. “No—she was really happy to see that I had friends!”
[11/2/14, 10:45:46 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Good!” She beams then. “Then she can give us a ride to the middle school, and we’ll do it then. And you’ll write it all nice up and I’ll fold it into a football. And – and it will be super cool!”
[11/2/14, 10:46:25 PM] Daniel Harris: Ethan pumps his fist. “YES!”
[11/2/14, 10:46:26 PM] Aurya Stark: “Your mom was cool,” she agrees. “If she’s coming to get you anyway. Is the football part of the spell?”
[11/2/14, 10:46:48 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “No,” she says to Vee with a shake of her head. “It just seems PROFESSIONAL. Because then it’s folded like origami?”
[11/2/14, 10:47:22 PM] Daniel Harris: “Wait,” Ethan says, “will a ghost be able to unfold it?”
[11/2/14, 10:47:32 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Mine was folded like that and he did, right?”
[11/2/14, 10:47:43 PM] Daniel Harris: Ethan shrugs.
[11/2/14, 10:48:05 PM] Kii: “Just be careful not to smudge it too much with whatever you’ve got on your hands, Maggie. Is that paint?” Epiphany peers again at them, frowning slightly.
[11/2/14, 10:48:20 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie looks at her hands and flips them over to study her hands. “Huh?”
[11/2/14, 10:48:35 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick looks at Maggie’s hands.
[11/2/14, 10:48:43 PM] Daniel Harris: Maggie’s hands are indeed splotched, with a sort of tannish-brown color, in places.
[11/2/14, 10:48:46 PM] Aurya Stark: “I figured it was paint,” Vee remarks, clambering into the top of the slide with the others.
[11/2/14, 10:49:08 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Oh,” she says then, looking confused. “I don’t remember doing any paint, but,” she looks around the slide a bit. “Maybe I touched some wet paint somewhere? Probably.”
[11/2/14, 10:49:29 PM] Kii: “It’s the same color as your glasses!” Epiphany offers helpfully.
[11/2/14, 10:49:38 PM] Aurya Stark: She grabs one of Maggie’s hands to rub at the paint-or-whatever.
[11/2/14, 10:49:58 PM] Daniel Harris: The color on Maggie’s hands is dry and does not come off by rubbing.
[11/2/14, 10:50:04 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick, lacking boundaries, draws a finger along Maggie’s glasses to see if something smudges onto him.
[11/2/14, 10:50:27 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Oh,” she says. “Well, I probably touched something. It’s okay!” She smiles and shrugs absently. “I’ll wash my hands. Heeey, don’t touch my glasses.” She shifts sideways.
[11/2/14, 10:50:41 PM] Daniel Harris: Rick’s finger comes away with a very small, almost imperceptible, brown smudge.
[11/2/14, 10:51:30 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “Woah.” He brings his finger closer to his face and stares at it intently. “Maybe they’re like…homunculus glasses. Effigy.”
[11/2/14, 10:51:56 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “What’s a homunculus?” She asks then, and finally takes her glasses off to peek at them. “Whatever, they work! And the note was super nice from whoever X was!” She puts the glasses back on.
[11/2/14, 10:52:09 PM] Daniel Harris: Laverne stares at Rick blankly. “That’s your first guess. And not, like…somebody else’s glasses, stolen, and painted the color of Maggie’s?”
[11/2/14, 10:53:01 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Anyway,” she says, “unimportant. Recess is over soon, so we’ll all have Ethan’s mom drive us and then get Colby back, right?”
[11/2/14, 10:53:04 PM] Kii: “A homunculus is like a golem,” she answers, and then nods at Laverne. “But stolen glasses are more likely, although how are they the same prescription?”
[11/2/14, 10:53:17 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Well, the doctor says my bad eyesight isn’t THAT unusual.”
[11/2/14, 10:53:38 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “Could be that too,” he says, unruffled, shrugging one shoulder. “But that’d be a good paintjob. Which is its own kind of telling.”
[11/2/14, 10:53:52 PM] Daniel Harris: Laverne folds her arms. “Whoever did it would need to know the prescription either way. Seems much easier to guess a prescription correctly than to conjure one up out of thin air with magic.”
[11/2/14, 10:54:30 PM] Kii: Epiphany considers, shoving her hands into her large pockets. “They’d need to know where Maggie lives, too, and where her bedroom is.”
[11/2/14, 10:54:50 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Second floor with the circle window!” She says then, holding up a finger, seeming pleased.
[11/2/14, 10:56:39 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “I mean, if they broke into my eye doctors office they’d know where my house was, and it’s not too hard to figure out where my room is cause I keep stuff in my window.”
[11/2/14, 10:56:50 PM] Daniel Harris: “And that can all be explained without homunculi and magic spells and Celtic death gods.”
[11/2/14, 10:57:23 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Oh, celtic death gods had NOTHING to do with it, I was just trying to tell Epiphany that it’s totally usual that if this DOES work it’s okay and magick says it is.” The magick obviously has a k.
[11/2/14, 10:57:25 PM] Aurya Stark: “That’s a lot of work though. Checking an art room in the junior high, then breaking into the eye doctor’s, then stealing glasses and painting them and climbing up to Maggie’s room, all before midnight?”
[11/2/14, 10:57:25 PM] Kii: “It’s just as improbable as a junior high kid breaking into Maggie’s eye doctor’s office,” Epiphany says quickly.
[11/2/14, 10:57:34 PM] Kii: “Exactly!!”
[11/2/14, 10:58:12 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “I could do it,” Maggie says after a moment, narrowing her eyes. “I bet. I’d just have to hurry.”
[11/2/14, 10:58:13 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “They could have prepared beforehand,” Rick reasons. “Especially if they never needed to check the art room.”
[11/2/14, 10:58:20 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Yeah, I mean we weren’t SUBTLE.”
[11/2/14, 10:58:47 PM] Kii: “That makes less sense than spirits stealing and painting glasses.”
[11/2/14, 10:59:15 PM] Aurya Stark: “So what, you think it’s somebody in our class who knew before that Maggie’s glasses broke?”
[11/2/14, 10:59:27 PM] Daniel Harris: Laverne gives Epiphany a look. “You honestly think magic spells are as common as junior high school kids who can sneak into places.”
[11/2/14, 11:00:22 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “Could be an older type person sneaking, too.”
[11/2/14, 11:00:36 PM] Kii: “It depends on what you consider a spell,” she says gently, “but most importantly the only people who knew that we were going to do this were here at recess. I don’t see how it could be someone from the junior high at all.”
[11/2/14, 11:00:45 PM] Daniel Harris: “Sure,” Laverne adds to Rick. “Could be the art teacher.”
[11/2/14, 11:00:50 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Yeah.” She pauses. “I bet it’s Mr. Curtis. He’s always kinda creepy but always super nice. And all the teachers would totally talk about that.”
[11/2/14, 11:00:59 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Oh, or the art teacher,” she nods to Laverne.
[11/2/14, 11:01:08 PM] Aurya Stark: “That would be SUPER weird,” she says – probably about Mr. Curtis.
[11/2/14, 11:01:31 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “An art teacher would know how to paint the glasses, yeah.”
[11/2/14, 11:01:49 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick has possibly lit up a bit at having the same theory as Laverne for five seconds.
[11/2/14, 11:02:10 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: She looks to the doors and then back to the others, and then she beams at Ethan. “You’re gonna get Colby back, I think.”
[11/2/14, 11:02:18 PM] Kii: Epiphany shrugs her shoulders. “Then why bother going to leave a note if you think it’s a teacher? A teacher isn’t gonna bring Colby back.”
[11/2/14, 11:02:23 PM] Daniel Harris: Ethan can barely contain himself, such is his excitement.
[11/2/14, 11:02:39 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “Then we’ll know, though.”
[11/2/14, 11:02:52 PM] Aurya Stark: “Yeah, I mean, at least they’ll answer, and we’ll learn something, right?”
[11/2/14, 11:02:59 PM] Daniel Harris: “Because,” Laverne says, “if it’s a teacher, he’s not going to want to advertise that he’s going around stealing kids’ glasses so he can create some kind of weird myth around his classroom?”
[11/2/14, 11:03:23 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Yeah, then we’ll know for SURE, and if he CAN bring Colby back, then obviously it’s not a TEACHER and it is a ghost.” Maggie nods. Flawless logic, Mags.
[11/2/14, 11:03:45 PM] Daniel Harris: Laverne: “…Or someone very, very dedicated found a very similar looking dog.”
[11/2/14, 11:03:51 PM] Daniel Harris: Ethan chimes in: “I’LL KNOW COLBY.”
[11/2/14, 11:04:16 PM] Kii: Epiphany looks sort of horrified at the thought of a teacher dog-napping some kid’s beloved pet.
[11/2/14, 11:04:41 PM] Aurya Stark: “It’d take more than one night to train it to answer to Colby,” Vee says, as though this were obvious.
[11/2/14, 11:05:11 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Yeah! And – and plus you just KNOW your dog, like I’d just know one of you guys.” She nods once.
[11/2/14, 11:06:46 PM] Daniel Harris: Laverne: “I guess we’ll cross that bridge if we ever come to it.”
[11/2/14, 11:07:09 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: She nods her head to that once.
[11/2/14, 11:07:29 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick is staring off into space, brow furrowed, like he’s working something through.
[11/2/14, 11:07:53 PM] Daniel Harris: Recess is winding down—the popular kids start making their way inside.
[11/2/14, 11:08:15 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: She waits until the popular kids are inside before she starts wandering that way, a hop in her step, humming and bouncing along a little bit.
[11/2/14, 11:09:06 PM] Aurya Stark: Vee pushes forward to slide down the slide, the heads back to class with a burst of energy.
[11/2/14, 11:09:42 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick still seems consumed by whatever thought as he puts away the basketball wherever it goes and heads back to class.
[11/2/14, 11:10:40 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: She sits up front – next to Ethan as ever – and writes him notes and quietly, when he’s written out the poem, folds it perfectly, to ensure that X. gets a nice and pretty note.
[11/2/14, 11:11:07 PM] Kii: Epiphany wanders off after Maggie, and pulls a length of twine out of her pocket once she sits in her desk and begins to fiddle with it in her lap.
[11/2/14, 11:12:50 PM] Daniel Harris: The kids all make their way inside and resume class, which is pretty routine and boring today. Ethan is barely able to sit still. Laverne keeps a reserved silence. The popular kids aren’t up to much today, and mostly leave the group alone. Soon enough, however, it’s time to file out, and the group once again finds itself standing outside, now waiting for Ethan’s mom’s car.
[11/2/14, 11:13:56 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Your mom is really cool,” she says to Ethan. “That she’ll give us a ride and that she’s just happy you have friends. My mom tells me I shouldn’t hang out with people and tries to boss me around.” A pause. “But Dad just lets me play video games and stuff so long as I don’t tell her, so I don’t!”
[11/2/14, 11:14:24 PM] Daniel Harris: “Oh,” Ethan says. “Mom is happy I have friends because I haven’t ever had friends before and she’s worried that I’ll develop into a sociopath.”
[11/2/14, 11:14:59 PM] Aurya Stark: “How come?” Vee’s just in front of Maggie, sitting on her backpack while they wait.
[11/2/14, 11:15:16 PM] Daniel Harris: “Uhm, I guess a sociopath is like, a serial killer? And serial killers have no friends?”
[11/2/14, 11:16:23 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Oh,” she says then. “Well, I don’t think you’re a sociopath,” she says. “And actually, a lot of serial killers are charming and have a lot of acquaintances but no friends.” Maggie reads too many books. “So she doesn’t have to worry about that probably.” She pauses. “Do you still pee the bed? And do you set fire to things?”
[11/2/14, 11:16:53 PM] Daniel Harris: “Um,” Ethan says. “That’s private.”
[11/2/14, 11:17:22 PM] Kii: Epiphany waits quietly during this exchange, working on a very untidy boat-knot. “He pees in closets, not beds,” she says simply.
[11/2/14, 11:17:42 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “I mean, those are two out of three of the things a serial killer does, but I know you DEFINITELY don’t do the third.”
[11/2/14, 11:18:09 PM] Daniel Harris: “I was AWAKE when I peed the CLOSET.”
[11/2/14, 11:18:24 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “What’s your dad do?” Rick asks out of the blue, bluntly.
[11/2/14, 11:18:30 PM] KhAlf Drogo: He’s looking at Ethan.
[11/2/14, 11:18:57 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “He said his dad left when he was little and walked out on him,” she says, remembering the Truth or Dare game.
[11/2/14, 11:19:10 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Or left? Or something. I dunno. Like how my mom and dad divorced probably.”
[11/2/14, 11:19:29 PM] Daniel Harris: “Oh, my Mom met my Dad in the war and he died before I was born.”
[11/2/14, 11:19:46 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Oh,” she says. “I’m sorry.” She awkwardly rubs her neck.
[11/2/14, 11:20:19 PM] Daniel Harris: “It’s okay, I didn’t know him and Mom says I shouldn’t worry about it so I don’t.”
[11/2/14, 11:20:45 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “Oh.” Rick rubs a hand against his chin. “Do you do things to remember him? Like, honor who he was?”
[11/2/14, 11:20:48 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Okay.” She nods, and then looks around for signs of Angelica.
[11/2/14, 11:21:09 PM] Daniel Harris: Ethan squints at Rick. “Huh? I never knew him, so how can I remember him?”
[11/2/14, 11:22:38 PM] Aurya Stark: “Like Veteran’s day or something,” she says, though she’s brooding a little, elbows on her knees, chin on her fists.
[11/2/14, 11:22:46 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “Did you know the Founding Fathers? We remember them anyway.”
[11/2/14, 11:23:15 PM] Daniel Harris: “Um, we don’t REMEMBER them, we just read about them in BOOKS.”
[11/2/14, 11:23:43 PM] Kii: “We have President’s Day and Veteran’s Day too.”
[11/2/14, 11:23:53 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “I don’t really honor ’em much,” she says, thinking about it. “I just on Veteran’s day like to take my day off and play video games at home and sometimes do work if Mrs. Horn gives it to us.”
[11/2/14, 11:24:03 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “Okay, whatever. Celebrate them. Honor them.”
[11/2/14, 11:24:11 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Sometimes Mom makes me drive out and put flowers on my great grandma’s grave, but I don’t like to do it and it’s super boring.”
[11/2/14, 11:24:42 PM] Daniel Harris: Ethan looks up at the sky. “I don’t think my Dad has a grave.”
[11/2/14, 11:24:49 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Well,” she mollifies herself a bit. “…We also put graves on other people I do remember and that’s a bit more sad. But I don’t like great grandma’s grave.” She looks to Ethan. “Why not?”
[11/2/14, 11:24:59 PM] Daniel Harris: “Uh, I dunno.”
[11/2/14, 11:25:08 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Oh.” She nods.
[11/2/14, 11:25:17 PM] Kii: “I have to go to a bunch of meetings with my Grandpa, he gets all dressed up too. It’s really boring.” She frowns at Ethan, “Did he… Um… Go MIA? Is that it?”
[11/2/14, 11:25:22 PM] Daniel Harris: Ethan’s mom’s car pulls up.
[11/2/14, 11:25:37 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: She moves to stand on her tiptoes and peek through the window. “Hi Angelica! Can we get a ride to the junior high again?”
[11/2/14, 11:25:38 PM] Daniel Harris: “Um, I don’t think so?” Ethan says to Epiphany.
[11/2/14, 11:26:16 PM] Daniel Harris: Angelica reaches over and unlocks the passenger side door from the inside. “Sure—everybody pile in. What do you guys do at the junior high school, anyway?”
[11/2/14, 11:26:53 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “There’s a RITUAL that if you do it a ghost will give you something.” She piles into the back seat, same as last time. “So we did it and I got my glasses back.” She points.
[11/2/14, 11:27:06 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “And we’re gonna do it again. Don’t worry,” she says, assuringly, “I know parents don’t believe in that. My mom says it’s a phase.”
[11/2/14, 11:27:29 PM] Kii: Epiphany scoots into the back seat, once again stuck wedged in the middle. “My grandparents say that too,” she remarks softly.
[11/2/14, 11:27:42 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: She gestures demonstratively to Epiphany.
[11/2/14, 11:27:50 PM] Daniel Harris: Angelica laughs a little, good-naturedly. “Oh, I’m all kinds of superstitious.”
[11/2/14, 11:27:52 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick ends up next to Maggie again, staring up at the front with a look that screams ‘not everyone believes Maggie.’
[11/2/14, 11:28:17 PM] Daniel Harris: “Mom,” Ethan says, “does Dad have a grave?”
[11/2/14, 11:28:31 PM] Aurya Stark: Vee blinks a little when Maggie just comes out with it, piling in against one of the windows. “Thanks, Miss Angelica.”
[11/2/14, 11:28:47 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “What are you superstitious about? Do you believe walking under a ladder’ll give you bad luck?”
[11/2/14, 11:29:34 PM] Daniel Harris: Angelica focuses on the road as she puts the car into drive. “Let’s talk about it later, Ethan.” She answers Maggie’s question then: “I haven’t thought much about ladders. It’s more like, if I do something a certain way, and good things happen, I’ll keep doing it that way. Or if something bad happens, I’ll never do it that way again.”
[11/2/14, 11:30:36 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Oh, yeah! I do that too! I got lucky socks,” she says smugly. “And a lucky headband. I put them through the rite spell to get them lucky though. You gotta cleanse them with some water and then wave them through some smoke.”
[11/2/14, 11:31:35 PM] Daniel Harris: “Oh yeah?” Angelica says. “I’ve—never tried that one.”
[11/2/14, 11:31:49 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Yeah! It says that in my How to Be a Teenage Witch book,” she beams.
[11/2/14, 11:31:58 PM] Aurya Stark: “How do you know it’s lucky?”
[11/2/14, 11:32:09 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Because when I wear them, I’m lucky.”
[11/2/14, 11:32:18 PM] Kii: “It gives off a residual type of energy as well.”
[11/2/14, 11:32:50 PM] Daniel Harris: Petra nudges Maggie lightly with a finger.
[11/2/14, 11:33:26 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Hm?” She turns her head attentively toward Petra. “What’s up?” She pauses – and then cups her hand around her ear for whispering purposes?
[11/2/14, 11:33:45 PM] Daniel Harris: Petra extends an arm toward Maggie and makes a grabby, ‘gimme’ sort of motion with her fingers, opening and closing a fist.
[11/2/14, 11:35:57 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “I don’t have the socks, Petra, but,” she digs into her backpack and pulls out the most 80s bright pink headband one can imagine, and puts it into Petra’s hand.
[11/2/14, 11:36:09 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: It’s also got a garish bow on top. For 80s.
[11/2/14, 11:36:25 PM] Daniel Harris: Petra takes the headband in her delicate fingers. She stretches it this way and that, peering at it intently. After a moment, she returns it to Maggie, with a quick, shy shake of her head.
[11/2/14, 11:37:26 PM] Kii: “Do you like magic, Petra?” Epiphany asks curiously, suddenly paying very close attention to the mute girl.
[11/2/14, 11:37:41 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: She takes it back. “Not actually lucky, huh?” She looks at it. “Well, that’s okay. It still makes me FEEL good, and sometimes all you gotta do is make people feel one way and suddenly it seems to happen. Can you just tell by its aura?” A look to Epiphany. “Do things have auras?”
[11/2/14, 11:38:02 PM] Daniel Harris: Petra does not look at Epiphany.
[11/2/14, 11:38:44 PM] Kii: She blinks and looks up at Maggie, “Yeah, they can, but much less um, noticeable. I can’t really read the aura of things yet…”
[11/2/14, 11:39:24 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Radical,” Maggie says and nods. She tucks away her headband into her back. “Do you have anything lucky, Angelica?”
[11/2/14, 11:40:23 PM] Daniel Harris: “Sure do,” Angelica says. “I’ve got a few lucky hair-ties. Oh, and my dog-tags of course. They’re very lucky.”
[11/2/14, 11:41:20 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Yeah, from the war?” She asks. “My dad doesn’t get any dogtags because he’s just a navy civilian. How do you get dogtags? Are they just an extra thing?”
[11/2/14, 11:41:41 PM] Kii: “Ethan said you were a sniper in the Vietnam War,” she offers helpfully.
[11/2/14, 11:41:50 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “They’re for people who might need to be identified,” Rick says quietly.
[11/2/14, 11:42:21 PM] Daniel Harris: “That’s right,” Angelica says, although whether it’s in answer to Epiphany or to Rick is a little unclear.
[11/2/14, 11:43:10 PM] Daniel Harris: “Well, here we are.” The car pulls up outside the junior high.
[11/2/14, 11:43:41 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Thank you Angelica,” she says then, leaping up, despite the fact that she’s the farthest in and there’s no way she’s scrabbling out first. “You’re like, the BEST mom!”
[11/2/14, 11:44:01 PM] Kii: “Thanks for the ride,” Epiphany says as she squirms and nearly falls out of the over-packed car.
[11/2/14, 11:44:13 PM] Aurya Stark: “Thanks, miss Angelica,” Vee answers, clumsily gathering up her stuff and piling after the others.
[11/2/14, 11:44:52 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “Thanks,” Rick echos, moving maybe a little more slowly than necessary for the amusement of keeping Maggie penned in.
[11/2/14, 11:45:07 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “RICK!” She says, too loudly. “Moooove!”
[11/2/14, 11:45:27 PM] Daniel Harris: Angelica smiles at Maggie. “Thanks,” she says. “That actually means a lot.”
[11/2/14, 11:45:40 PM] Kii: “Oh, you forgot your book Vee!” She tugs on the other girl’s sleeve and points to the back seat pocket.
[11/2/14, 11:46:09 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Huh?” She looks at the book. “Yeah, you left this, Vee. You might wanna take it.” And then she idly shoves Rick – though not hard, just a gentle nudge of a cousin who is very impatient.
[11/2/14, 11:46:16 PM] Aurya Stark: “No, that was there, I was just reading it,” she says, glancing back with a shake of her head.
[11/2/14, 11:47:24 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie drops it, at least. “Okay,” she says. “Riiick!” Because important things come first, and important things are ghosts.
[11/2/14, 11:47:36 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick does eventually finish getting out of the car.
[11/2/14, 11:47:38 PM] Kii: “Oh,” she says, frowning. “I thought I heard you open your backpack.” Epiphany just sort of shrugs and turns away, ready to sneak into the art room once again.
[11/2/14, 11:47:58 PM] Daniel Harris: “See you later, Mom!” Ethan climbs out of the car.
[11/2/14, 11:49:23 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Byyyee,” she says – with a beaming smile – to Angelica, and leaps out of the van, moving straight for the door.
[11/2/14, 11:50:42 PM] Daniel Harris: “Have fun, guys.” Angelica pulls away and the car zooms off, leaving the kids once again where their scary adventure into the JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL begins.
[11/2/14, 11:51:29 PM] Aurya Stark: Vee seems kinda tense as she pulls her backpack on and bustles along, quiet, behind the others.
[11/2/14, 11:52:15 PM] Daniel Harris: Errybody Wits+Comp!
[11/2/14, 11:52:39 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie is blissfully unaware of anything. (Failure!) She goes straight to the door, opening it.
[11/2/14, 11:52:44 PM] Aurya Stark: 2s
[11/2/14, 11:52:44 PM] KhAlf Drogo: 2s
[11/2/14, 11:53:09 PM] Kii: 2s
[11/2/14, 11:54:20 PM] Daniel Harris: Everyone EXCEPT Maggie notices that, as the group passes by the football field, who of all people but Emily Burke, the most popular 5th grader in the world, is suited up in a cheerleading uniform and taking the field with a bunch of middle school girls to practice. As the group of misfits passes by, she turns from the field and squints in their direction. “Hey,” she says, in a voice that suggests she’s totally trying to impress the older kids, “what are you little faggots doing out here?”
[11/2/14, 11:54:50 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie just keeps blissfully walking, quite cheerfully contented with NOT noticing Emily Burke.
[11/2/14, 11:55:22 PM] Aurya Stark: “You don’t even know what a faggot is,” she taunts back, like this is totally a valid insult, and trots along after Maggie
[11/2/14, 11:55:32 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Huh?” She offers to Vee, distractedly.
[11/2/14, 11:55:33 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick ignores her.
[11/2/14, 11:55:49 PM] Daniel Harris: “I know a faggot when I see one,” Emily snaps back. She adds, “Your hair is totally disgusting. Do you ever, like, bathe?”
[11/2/14, 11:55:54 PM] Kii: Epiphany also seems to be very used to ignoring everything that comes out of Emily’s mouth, and doesn’t even look at her.
[11/2/14, 11:56:01 PM] Daniel Harris: The junior high girls begin to notice all this, and titter.
[11/2/14, 11:57:02 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie for once is NOT causing anyone to get in a fight, good job Mags. She bounces cheerily along, heading straight for that building. She does glance to Ethan, waving her hand, as if making him scoot along a bit faster.
[11/2/14, 11:57:10 PM] Aurya Stark: Vee rolls her eyes dramtically and tunes Emily out.
[11/2/14, 11:57:46 PM] Daniel Harris: Emily calls out at Vee’s back, with cupped hands around mouth: “DIRTY SLUT!”
[11/2/14, 11:58:08 PM] Daniel Harris: Laverne, who had been ignoring the girl, turns on a heel and marches on to the grass to face her.
[11/2/14, 11:58:28 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie may have blissfully missed the first insult, and gotten confused – but she definitely hears that – and she turns, and marches right after Laverne.
[11/2/14, 11:58:48 PM] Kii: Epiphany turns around slowly and bites her lip. “You guys…!”
[11/2/14, 11:59:28 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick turns as the others do, lips pursing, but elects to stay back by Epiphany and Ethan, arms crossing.
[11/2/14, 11:59:35 PM] Daniel Harris: Laverne says to the others, in a calm voice, “You lot can go on inside.”
[11/3/14, 12:00:07 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Can you call her a puke-eating walrusfuck for me?” She asks Laverne, quietly.
[11/3/14, 12:00:30 AM] Daniel Harris: Laverne: “Sure.”
[11/3/14, 12:00:30 AM] Aurya Stark: “Oh, whatever, don’t listen to her,” she calls to Laverne and Maggie, though she turns around to march after them. “I bet she doesn’t know what that really means, either. Nobody ever said Emily had any brains.”
[11/3/14, 12:01:43 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Thanks,” Maggie says to Laverne. “To be honest,” and she turns on wheel, seeming to trust Laverne will do what needs to be done, she goes to stay focused on Ethan, “I think SHE’s the one. Also, she’s stupid. Also, no one actually likes her, they just wanna use her.” She pauses for a moment as she walks – pauses talking that is – and squints, as if considering something.
[11/3/14, 12:01:53 AM] Kii: “They’re going to get in trouble,” she says matter-of-factly. “Let’s just go!”
[11/3/14, 12:02:11 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: Rather, she says this to Vee while staying focused on Ethan’s needs for the day.
[11/3/14, 12:02:24 AM] Daniel Harris: Ethan follows Maggie like she’s Jesus Christ.
[11/3/14, 12:03:26 AM] Daniel Harris: Petra sticks close by Laverne, until Laverne gives Petra a ‘go’ type hand gesture—then Petra reluctantly follows after Maggie and the group.
[11/3/14, 12:04:13 AM] Kii: Once the whole group (minus Laverne) has rejoined, Epiphany starts off quickly towards the art room.
[11/3/14, 12:04:48 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick seems faintly relieved by Laverne being the only one still on the field, and tails after everyone else.
[11/3/14, 12:05:01 AM] Aurya Stark: “C’mon Laverne!” she calls back, seeming worried.
[11/3/14, 12:05:31 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “I trust Laverne will be okay,” she says. “We can help out Ethan, and then we will come back and make sure she’s okay, and if need be, we will bring Emily’s life crashing down around her STUPID heels,” she says – with conviction.
[11/3/14, 12:05:44 AM] Daniel Harris: Anyone watching Laverne please note privately—otherwise it’s assumed you’re all heading into the building.
[11/3/14, 12:06:21 AM] Daniel Harris: Ethan moves toward the front of the group, bustling with excitement as he heads down the dark hall toward the art room.
[11/3/14, 12:07:30 AM] Aurya Stark: She frowns but moves back inside for the art room, since she’d promised to get them inside – but sticks close to Petra, sort of protectively, in Laverne’s absence.
[11/3/14, 12:08:34 AM] Daniel Harris: The art room door is as before: closed, and locked.
[11/3/14, 12:09:44 AM] Kii: Epiphany takes her position like she did the previous week: in front of the door, blocking anyone’s view of Vee as she wiggles her lockpicks around. “What do you think Laverne is gonna do?” she asks quietly, looking off down the hall.
[11/3/14, 12:10:47 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Say what I told her to say definitely, and probably smear poop in Emily’s face.” Probably not Maggie. She pauses. “No, Laverne’s too classy for that.”
[11/3/14, 12:11:02 AM] Aurya Stark: She pulls a bobbypin out of her hair and breaks it into two, bending down to try to pick the lock like she’d done last time – somewhat more confident now having done it once.
[11/3/14, 12:11:22 AM] Daniel Harris: Dex+Larceny, Vee.
[11/3/14, 12:11:22 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick glances back down the hall the way they came and then leans against the wall.
[11/3/14, 12:11:35 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie calmly blocks Vee, same as last time.
[11/3/14, 12:11:56 AM] Daniel Harris: The hallway is clear, for the moment—although those who listen closely can hear quiet voices coming from INSIDE THE ROOM.
[11/3/14, 12:12:03 AM] Aurya Stark: 2s
[11/3/14, 12:12:12 AM] Aurya Stark: Vee is obviously not listening closely.
[11/3/14, 12:12:13 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: She pauses at that then, and flails at Vee – and moves to push her ear against the door.
[11/3/14, 12:13:02 AM] Kii: Epiphany’s eyes widen, and she does the same.
[11/3/14, 12:13:31 AM] Aurya Stark: “What?” she whispers, stopping – and then she does listen, nose wrinkling – she presses her ear to the door to see if she can pick up the words.
[11/3/14, 12:13:42 AM] Daniel Harris: The voices are that of a boy and a girl—older than the kids. The boy is saying, “Should I do it?” and the girl is saying, “I dunno, it was your idea.”
[11/3/14, 12:13:55 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick twitches a bit, then glances either way again, crossing his arms.
[11/3/14, 12:14:15 AM] Daniel Harris: Vee, dex+larceny if you’re continuing to pick the lock.
[11/3/14, 12:14:17 AM] Kii: “Should we just knock?” she whispers to the other girls.
[11/3/14, 12:14:26 AM] Aurya Stark: “It’s okay,” she whispers, and goes back to her work. (2s again!)
[11/3/14, 12:14:32 AM] Daniel Harris: The lock clicks open.
[11/3/14, 12:14:34 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie squints her eyes a bit, and then gestures to the door as if to indicate for Vee to keep picking the lock. She looks to Epiphany, pauses, and then shakes her head, letting Vee keep picking it.
[11/3/14, 12:14:46 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: She nudges the door open quietly and gestures for Vee to pick in.
[11/3/14, 12:15:07 AM] Aurya Stark: She slips in right away, poised with a finger to her lips so she can ‘shhh’ at the kids already inside.
[11/3/14, 12:15:22 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: She slips in behind Vee.
[11/3/14, 12:15:53 AM] Kii: Epiphany… Awkwardly ducks in after Maggie. She isn’t so great at this sneaking-past-people stuff.
[11/3/14, 12:16:06 AM] Daniel Harris: The art room door creeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaks loudly, and lets light into the room from outside in the hall—it’s patently obvious that it’s been opened, even slightly. The pair inside the room, who are just a pair of silhouettes standing by the desk at which Maggie left the note last time, look immediately in the kids’ direction.
[11/3/14, 12:16:38 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: She glances toward Vee and Epiphany, and then decides to slip sideways to attract the attention, straightening up. She prepares to say something cool, maybe distracting, and manages…“Hey.” With an upnod.
[11/3/14, 12:17:39 AM] Kii: Epiphany stares at them like a deer in the headlights.
[11/3/14, 12:17:58 AM] Daniel Harris: The boy—well, ‘boy’ is maybe a misnomer, as, relative to the size of you, this ‘boy’ is halfway to being a grown-up—stares at he group of elementary school kids in disbelief. “What the fuck are you little faggots doing here?” he says. Apparently ‘faggot’ is popular to say these days.
[11/3/14, 12:18:19 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick urges Petra and Ethan in, then follows at the back of the group and tries to close the door too quick for it to creak again, but not slamming it. It’s a delicate balance.
[11/3/14, 12:18:35 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: She looks to the desk, and then back to the …teenager. “Same thing you’re doing.”
[11/3/14, 12:18:42 AM] Daniel Harris: Ethan slips in and hides behind Maggie. Petra goes in and seems to immediately regret doing so.
[11/3/14, 12:18:56 AM] Aurya Stark: “Same thing you are, duh,” says Vee, putting her hands on her hips.
[11/3/14, 12:18:58 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie calmly spreads her legs into a wonderwoman stance, all the better to hide behind.
[11/3/14, 12:19:34 AM] Kii: Epiphany points to the note in the boy’s hand, “you heard it too.”
[11/3/14, 12:19:34 AM] Daniel Harris: “Well, piss off,” the boy says. “We were here first.”
[11/3/14, 12:20:23 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “There’s no limits on how many notes can be there,” she says with an eye roll. “What’s your name?”
[11/3/14, 12:20:30 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “What are you bringin’ back?”
[11/3/14, 12:21:40 AM] Daniel Harris: Boy: “She only does one at a time, IDIOT.” The girl whispers to him, harshly: “They’re just little kids, Steve. Don’t be a tool…”
[11/3/14, 12:22:00 AM] Kii: “She?” Epiphany perks up. “You know who does it?”
[11/3/14, 12:22:28 AM] Daniel Harris: Steve: “Uh, yeah? Everybody does? It’s not like that little freak hides it or anything.”
[11/3/14, 12:22:32 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “X,” she says then with a nod. “And uh, we’re not THAT little,” she says. She looks to Eiphany and then back to Steve. “Who does it?”
[11/3/14, 12:23:07 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “We heard it was a ghost,” she says.
[11/3/14, 12:23:07 AM] Daniel Harris: Steve snorts and rolls his eyes. “It’s not a ghost, morons.”
[11/3/14, 12:23:08 AM] Kii: “Then who is it?”
[11/3/14, 12:23:27 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick’s eyes have widened a bit as his gaze darts back and forth between the speakers.
[11/3/14, 12:23:27 AM] Daniel Harris: “We’ll tell you if you piss off and go back to the kiddie school where you belong.”
[11/3/14, 12:23:41 AM] Kii: “Ok!” Epiphany says brightly.
[11/3/14, 12:23:53 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “We have to come further to get here than you guys,” she says – pointing it out. “So we can get to do it today, and you can do it next time, since you’re FROM here and it’s EASIER for you.”
[11/3/14, 12:24:24 AM] Daniel Harris: Steve: “What part of WE WERE HERE FIRST didn’t you understand, bitch?”
[11/3/14, 12:24:36 AM] Daniel Harris: Girl: “Steve! She’s, like, SEVEN!”
[11/3/14, 12:24:39 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “This is not an argument worth having, Maggie,” Rick says quietly.
[11/3/14, 12:24:57 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “I’M ELEVEN!” Maggie says then. “And come on, you guys GO here right? You can just stay after school. We gotta get a ride and everything. We’ll be here next year!”
[11/3/14, 12:25:30 AM] Kii: “Yeah, I mean, we don’t even have to be here if we know who the one answering the notes are.” She tugs on Maggie’s sleeve, trying to draw her attention away from arguing with Steve. “We can just go once he tells us.”
[11/3/14, 12:25:41 AM] Daniel Harris: Ethan steps forward. “WE’RE GONNA GET MY DOG BACK AND YOU’RE NOT GONNA STOP US!”
[11/3/14, 12:26:10 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Ethan wants COLBY back,” she says then, flailing her hand a bit to Epiphany. “He’s relying on us. Or at least, ME!” And she whirls on Rick. “And we can’t let someone relying on us down, right?”
[11/3/14, 12:26:14 AM] Kii: “You shouldn’t shout, Ethan.”
[11/3/14, 12:26:42 AM] Daniel Harris: Steve takes one look at Ethan and just starts cackling. “Look at—look—look at this little shit-stain!”
[11/3/14, 12:27:00 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “Don’t be stupid,” he says, face growing hard. “If you want to be reliable, walk here tomorrow.”
[11/3/14, 12:27:11 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie squints, and steps forward. “Hey,” she says. “Don’t talk to Ethan like that.”
[11/3/14, 12:27:18 AM] Aurya Stark: “Is it a teacher or something?” She’s still got her eyes on the older kids.
[11/3/14, 12:27:29 AM] Daniel Harris: Steve: “I’ll say whatever the fuck I want to him. He’s a little shit who doesn’t belong here. And so are you.”
[11/3/14, 12:27:43 AM] Daniel Harris: Footsteps approach from down the hall, outside the door of the classroom.
[11/3/14, 12:28:14 AM] Kii: “If we fight here,” Epiphany says patiently, “whoever does this is gonna be found out and will have to stop so just tell us who it is and then wecanallleaveok??”
[11/3/14, 12:28:22 AM] Aurya Stark: “Shh!” she warns urgently.
[11/3/14, 12:28:41 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick glances at the door, then moves over with quick quiet steps towards the windows.
[11/3/14, 12:29:00 AM] Daniel Harris: Steve and the girl with him both shut up, half-ducking down behind desks, watching the door.
[11/3/14, 12:29:01 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: If Maggie ever wished there was a time she could read minds, now is it. She steps forward. “And YOU’RE a shit stain who is so dumb he calls someone who can get anything back for him a LITTLE FREAK. You should RESPECT people who HELP you like that, and the fact that you don’t tells ME that you’re nothing more than a nasty obnoxious shit stain.” She pauses and looks over her shoulder. She reaches toward Ethan for the note, gesturing with her hand.
[11/3/14, 12:29:20 AM] Daniel Harris: Ethan pushes the note into Maggie’s hand.
[11/3/14, 12:29:28 AM] Daniel Harris: The door creaks open, and Laverne steps through it and into the room.
[11/3/14, 12:29:37 AM] Kii: Epiphany ducks behind one of the stands that holds the umpteen-bottles of tempra paint, and pops back out when she sees it’s Laverne.
[11/3/14, 12:29:40 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie nods to Laverne, and then moves over toward the desk, glowering toward Steven and his partner.
[11/3/14, 12:29:52 AM] Aurya Stark: Vee dashes off to hide when Maggie goes off.
[11/3/14, 12:29:54 AM] Daniel Harris: “Just another fucking elementary kid,” Steve says, standing back upright.
[11/3/14, 12:30:11 AM] Aurya Stark: Then – relaxes. “Hi Laverne. Did you punch her in her stupid face?”
[11/3/14, 12:30:20 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Steve,” she says, “did you know that wolves in a pack can take down even a MOOSE.”
[11/3/14, 12:30:26 AM] Daniel Harris: “Nah,” Laverne says casually.
[11/3/14, 12:30:38 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “I saw this on Discovery Channel,” she says, not knowing if Animal Planet even existed as her player goes to check this on El Wikipedia.
[11/3/14, 12:31:06 AM] Daniel Harris: Steve looks Maggie over a bit, and snerks. “Are you actually saying you wanna fight me? A little girl wants to FIGHT me?”
[11/3/14, 12:31:13 AM] KhAlf Drogo: (launched in 96)
[11/3/14, 12:31:20 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: (EDITED TO WORK!)
[11/3/14, 12:31:42 AM] Kii: “NO, she doesn’t want to fight,” she says looking pointedly at Maggie.
[11/3/14, 12:31:53 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: She lifts her chin up a little bit toward Steve. She opens the desk and sees if he already has his note in there – or if in fact he’s still holding it.
[11/3/14, 12:32:15 AM] Daniel Harris: Steve gets in Maggie’s way, preventing her from accessing the desk.
[11/3/14, 12:32:21 AM] Daniel Harris: But he is, however, holding a note.
[11/3/14, 12:32:29 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “What’d you lose, Steve?” She asks.
[11/3/14, 12:32:32 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “Are you two really doing this right now?” Rick says finally. “It’s a fucking secret mailbox. Don’t treat it like Vietnam.”
[11/3/14, 12:32:45 AM] Daniel Harris: “None of your goddamn business,” Steve says.
[11/3/14, 12:33:22 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Was it yooouuuuur,” she says, folding her arms and tapping her foot, “…brain?”
[11/3/14, 12:33:37 AM] Daniel Harris: “What did you just say to me, you little shit?”
[11/3/14, 12:34:13 AM] Kii: Epiphany drifts over to stand by Laverne and Petra. “He said there’s somebody who comes in and collects the notes and,” she glances at Maggie worriedly, “…Uh oh.”
[11/3/14, 12:34:21 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Oh, I know what it was,” she says then, her eyes lighting up.
[11/3/14, 12:34:36 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Despite himself, Rick moves closer to Steve and Maggie, looking wary.
[11/3/14, 12:35:09 AM] Daniel Harris: The girl behind him says, “Steve, don’t,” but it’s too late. Steve has already put his hands on Maggie’s shoulders and shoved her—hard. From Maggie’s perspective, she may as well have been pushed by a garbage truck. She goes flying backwards, slamming into some desks, making a huge racket, and hitting her head loudly on the side of a desk before falling on the floor dizzily.
[11/3/14, 12:36:05 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “Oh, FUCK you.” Rick charges at the Mountain.
[11/3/14, 12:36:09 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: She opens her mouth to say who knows what – but then she goes flying backward, and with the CRACK she smacks her head against the wall and slumps to the floor, her legs splayed out in front of her. She winces then – and lets out a gasp of pain and arcs a bit, and then just crumples to the floor, one hand clutching her head, and the other with the note working to ensure her glasses are in place.
[11/3/14, 12:36:32 AM] Kii: Epiphany gasps as she hears her friend’s skull crack against the desk, and she immediately darts to her side, helping her up and making sure her head isn’t bleeding. “A-are you ok?!”
[11/3/14, 12:36:40 AM] Aurya Stark: “Hey!” VEe shouts. SHe was okay with Maggie picking a fight until it was an actual fight. She charges too, but she tries to snatch Steve’s note while Rick’s doing the actual tackling, and tries to duck back with the note in hand.
[11/3/14, 12:36:44 AM] Daniel Harris: Inits to everyone who is entering combat.
[11/3/14, 12:37:28 AM] KhAlf Drogo: 15b6, Def 3
[11/3/14, 12:37:29 AM] Kii: 15b6 but I’ll go after Rick, it’s cool
[11/3/14, 12:37:49 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: 8b4!
[11/3/14, 12:37:49 AM] Aurya Stark: 15b5, def 2
[11/3/14, 12:38:06 AM] Daniel Harris: Maggie, you’re down and out, too dizzy to get up.
[11/3/14, 12:38:18 AM] Daniel Harris: Rick, you’re up first.
[11/3/14, 12:38:42 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Def?
[11/3/14, 12:38:59 AM] Daniel Harris: 6.
[11/3/14, 12:39:45 AM] Daniel Harris: (There is a significant difference in age, here. Steve’s stats are inflated to reflect this difference in power.)
[11/3/14, 12:41:12 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick is small and outmatched, but he’s fast – and vicious. He comes to a crisp stop just below Steve’s reach and snaps a roundhouse kick into the bully’s knee. (2s, and FS makes one of the damage lethal. All-out and 1WP)
[11/3/14, 12:42:34 AM] Daniel Harris: The kick lands fast and hard. There’s a satisfying snap of…what? Tendons? Bone? Or is that just the snap of the fabric of his jeans with the impact? Rick doesn’t have much frame of reference to know. All he knows is that the kick lands as it should and that Steve lets out a sudden snarl of surprise and pain.
[11/3/14, 12:42:53 AM] Daniel Harris: Epiphany, it’s your turn. The note that was in Steve’s hand has now fallen out of his hand and is fluttering, sweaty and crumpled, toward the floor.
[11/3/14, 12:43:12 AM] Kii: Epiphany gently sits Maggie up against the wall, brushing the other girl’s hair away from her face as she puts her limited first-aid knowledge to use. (Int+medicine for 1s)
[11/3/14, 12:43:16 AM] Daniel Harris: Sorry, Vee, you’re after Epiphany.
[11/3/14, 12:43:21 AM] Aurya Stark: Vee snatches the note and darts back, flustered.
[11/3/14, 12:43:47 AM] Daniel Harris: Epiphany notices that Maggie is bleeding from the head, and appears concussed.
[11/3/14, 12:45:01 AM] Daniel Harris: Rick’s made quite the impression on Steve, but he’s left himself quite vulnerable as well, and the bigger boy, while startled and hurt, is not without a counter-attack. He winds up and throws a haymaker at Rick’s face, which lands with all the stopping power of a speeding freight train. It’s lights out immediately for Rick.
[11/3/14, 12:45:26 AM] Daniel Harris: The girl shouts, “THEY’RE JUST KIDS, STEVE!” to which Steve replies, “HE FUCKING KICKED ME!”
[11/3/14, 12:46:13 AM] Kii: “She needs to go to the nurse!” Epiphany pleads at the older girl, trying her very best to remain calm and not cry.
[11/3/14, 12:46:27 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie is on the floor, disoriented – but god bless her, she’s still trying to say something coherent and be insulting. She’s not good at it due to the oncoming concussion, but she’s trying. She mumbles dizzily, and manages to say something that sounds like: “PINK FRILLY PANTIES!” but then she trails off with: “Where’s my lucky socks…” so who really knows.
[11/3/14, 12:46:38 AM] Aurya Stark: “YOU HURT OUR FREND!” Vee yells, shoving the note into her pocket, near tears herself. “Rick!”
[11/3/14, 12:46:54 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick is too busy crumpling to answer.
[11/3/14, 12:48:04 AM] Daniel Harris: Nimble as a Tolkien elf, and opportunistic in the way only a Bad Kid can be, Laverne slinks forward, taking advantage of the fact that Steve is well distracted by punching Rick in the face. She steps in, utterly nonplussed, grabs hold of his arm with both hands, and, using it like a lever, upends him swiftly, tossing him in a forced vertical somersault that causes him to land loudly and painfully on his back. Still holding his arm, she, in practiced motion, kneels down beside him, trapping the bicep between her legs, and leverages the arm to pin him stomach-down on the cold classroom tile.
[11/3/14, 12:48:27 AM] Daniel Harris: His female companion emits a quiet, “Holy shit.”
[11/3/14, 12:49:43 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie mumbles something to Epiphany. Epiphany might recognize it as: “…Did I forget our math homework again?”
[11/3/14, 12:50:05 AM] Daniel Harris: Petra scurries over to Maggie and starts pawing around on the injured girl’s skull with her hands, looking concerned.
[11/3/14, 12:50:12 AM] Aurya Stark: Vee runs over to check on Rick as he crumples, though she nearly misses a step as she sees Laverne.
[11/3/14, 12:51:24 AM] Kii: Epiphany gasps as Laverne throws the older boy to the floor, hugging on to Maggie tightly. She nods vaguely to her question, her eyes wide and stuck to the scene in front of her. “I… I…” She looks back to Maggie. “You got really hurt, Maggie. You’re bleeding.” She quickly darts over and takes a huge wad of paper towels, pressing them to the girl’s head wound and then placing her hand on top. “You gotta hold this here, ok?”
[11/3/14, 12:51:54 AM] Daniel Harris: Steve struggles to get up, but embarrassingly, seems helpless in his conquered position as Laverne calmly holds him there. “You can try,” she says placidly, “but my uncle taught me this hold. Not even my dad could get out of it.”
[11/3/14, 12:52:29 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Okay,” she says. “This is a bad hat,” she offers, and then she smiles vaguely to Petra. “You’re really pretty, you know that? You should smile more. You could totally kick Emily in her face.” Dizzily she tilts her head back. “My glasses are okay right…? I don’t wanna get yelled at cause of my glasses…”
[11/3/14, 12:52:38 AM] Daniel Harris: The girl who was with Steve walks over to Maggie and bends down a bit. “I’m sorry he pushed you. Are you okay?”
[11/3/14, 12:53:15 AM] Kii: “She’s not ok, she has a concussion.” Epiphany says this flatly. “She really needs to go to the nurse’s office… Or a hospital.”
[11/3/14, 12:53:40 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Hi,” Maggie says to the older girl. “My head really hurts…” A pause, and then sudden panic as she waves her free hand. “Where’s Ethan? Is Ethan okay?”
[11/3/14, 12:54:22 AM] Daniel Harris: Petra gently parts Maggie’s hair a bit, around the bleeding cut on her scalp. Her eyes are wide in concentration.
[11/3/14, 12:54:51 AM] Kii: Epiphany stares at Petra, and then at the cut, not saying a word.
[11/3/14, 12:54:57 AM] Daniel Harris: “Ohmygod,” the girl says. “She really is bleeding…”
[11/3/14, 12:55:56 AM] Daniel Harris: Steve growls: “You can’t hold me down forever, you little faggot.”
[11/3/14, 12:56:02 AM] Daniel Harris: Laverne answers, “No, but I can break your arm.”
[11/3/14, 12:56:17 AM] Daniel Harris: Laverne leans forward slightly, and Steve groans.
[11/3/14, 12:56:51 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Ethan?” She says again, and then she mollifies a little bit at that. “My mom is gon’ be soooo maaaaad,” she slurs a little bit, closing her eyes for a brief moment.
[11/3/14, 12:57:13 AM] Daniel Harris: Petra puts her thumbs on Maggie’s eyelids and forces them open.
[11/3/14, 12:57:45 AM] Daniel Harris: “Maggie?” Ethan creeps out from the corner where he was hiding. “Maggie?!”
[11/3/14, 12:57:59 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: She opens her eyes again, and then she blinks once, and holds out the note toward Ethan. “Where’s Rick?” She asks.
[11/3/14, 12:58:29 AM] Aurya Stark: Vee’s crouched next to Rick to see if he’s bleeding.
[11/3/14, 12:58:48 AM] Daniel Harris: Rick isn’t bleeding, but he has a HUGE BRUISE on his face.
[11/3/14, 12:58:55 AM] Daniel Harris: And he’s slowly regaining consciousness.
[11/3/14, 12:59:13 AM] Kii: “Will you stay with her?” She asks Petra, momentarily forgetting that the girl probably won’t answer. She then turns to the Junior High girl, “Will you show me where the Nurse’s office is? You don’t have to go in, but she’s really really hurt and Rick probably is too and I don’t want to make her walk.”
[11/3/14, 12:59:43 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “Fuuuck,” he groans as the lights start coming back on. He’s the kind of kid who really is profane if he’s not editing himself. Even in fifth grade.
[11/3/14, 12:59:51 AM] Daniel Harris: “Okay,” the girl says, "but
-the nurse probably isn’t here now…"
[11/3/14, 1:00:51 AM] Kii: “Oh, right.” She frowns, and fiddles with something in her pockets. “Is there a phone nearby?”
[11/3/14, 1:00:53 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Okay,” she says as she hears the noise. “You need to get your thing,” she says to Petra. “Okay?”
[11/3/14, 1:01:33 AM] Daniel Harris: Petra puts a finger to her lips, looking at Maggie—a silent ‘shh.’
[11/3/14, 1:01:34 AM] Daniel Harris: Ethan takes the note from Maggie, but is too worried about her to bother with it right now.
[11/3/14, 1:01:57 AM] Daniel Harris: “So,” Laverne says, “Who’s the one taking these requests?”
[11/3/14, 1:02:25 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick tries to straighten up a bit to peer at the voices, pushing himself up onto his elbows.
[11/3/14, 1:02:28 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Okay,” she says then, voice trailing off to Petra. Her head lolls a little bit, and she sighs through her nose, watching the Russian girl in silence.
[11/3/14, 1:02:44 AM] Kii: Oh yeah! The whole reason they’re here! “Yeah, who is it?” she asks the Junior High girl.
[11/3/14, 1:02:48 AM] Aurya Stark: “Hey, you okay?” she asks, gently trying to help Rick sit up.
[11/3/14, 1:03:35 AM] Daniel Harris: Steve starts to spit out something full of expletives, but it dissolves into a groan of pain as Laverne leverages the arm-lock.
[11/3/14, 1:03:45 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “It’s just a flesh wound,” Rick deadpans groggily in a reference probably no one will get. His eyes widen a bit as he takes in Laverne pinning Steve.
[11/3/14, 1:04:45 AM] Daniel Harris: The girl looks at Steve, then at Epiphany, and then at Steve again. “Just tell them,” she says. “Jesus Christ.”
[11/3/14, 1:04:56 AM] Daniel Harris: “I don’t think it’s Jesus,” Ethan deadpans.
[11/3/14, 1:05:23 AM] KhAlf Drogo: At Ethan’s crack Rick grins crookedly.
[11/3/14, 1:05:52 AM] Aurya Stark: “Come on,” she urges/heckles Steve, pulling the note out of her pocket. “Who was gonna bring you-” she unwads it to read it off, “..condoms?” This word is less scathing, and more confused.
[11/3/14, 1:05:53 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie blinks a few time, and pushes against the wall to straighten up a little bit, still resting her head back against the wall slightly.
[11/3/14, 1:06:18 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “You can just buy those at the grocery store,” she says, mumbling. “That’s so dumb…”
[11/3/14, 1:06:48 AM] Daniel Harris: At the mention of condoms, the girl’s face goes deep, DEEP red and she covers her mouth. Steve growls, “It’s that little goth freak, Xyza Wilder.”
[11/3/14, 1:07:03 AM] Daniel Harris: “That’s a pretty stupid name,” Laverne says flatly.
[11/3/14, 1:07:11 AM] Daniel Harris: “No shit,” Steve answers.
[11/3/14, 1:07:35 AM] Kii: “Not much rhymes with condoms,” Epiphany remarks thoughtfully.
[11/3/14, 1:08:01 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “What’s the poem…?” She asks of Vee, her eyes trailing toward her.
[11/3/14, 1:08:02 AM] Aurya Stark: “Why does she DO it?” she asks, confused by the blush too, smoothing the note out and folding it up.
[11/3/14, 1:08:09 AM] Aurya Stark: “It’s not a poem.”
[11/3/14, 1:08:38 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Pfft,” she huffs idly and then reaches her other hand up to carefully rub the back of her head, wincing where it’s sensitive.
[11/3/14, 1:09:10 AM] Daniel Harris: Steve: “Why? Who the fuck knows. Are you gonna LET ME UP now?”
[11/3/14, 1:09:20 AM] Daniel Harris: Laverne: “That depends. Will you be a good boy?”
[11/3/14, 1:09:31 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick pushes himself up further until he’s sitting up, cross-legged, than works his way carefully to his feet.
[11/3/14, 1:10:08 AM] Kii: Epiphany turns back to Maggie, trying to assess whether or not she should be moved. Girl Scouts really didn’t cover this in much detail.
[11/3/14, 1:10:18 AM] Aurya Stark: “Is she in your grade?”
[11/3/14, 1:11:53 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: It takes her a few moments before she notices Epiphany looking at her – and she offers her a toothy smile. “I’m okay,” she says. “Just a bit woozy…” She blinks a few more times, though she remains sitting for the time being.
[11/3/14, 1:14:12 AM] Daniel Harris: “Yeah,” the girl says, “she’s in our grade.”
[11/3/14, 1:14:37 AM] Daniel Harris: Steve grunts and wriggles a bit, but it’s useless. Laverne looks like she could pin him there all day without effort.
[11/3/14, 1:14:52 AM] Aurya Stark: “How does she know where we live?” she asks, disapointed, and still confused.
[11/3/14, 1:15:12 AM] Daniel Harris: Steve: “How the fuck should I know? She’s weird.”
[11/3/14, 1:15:21 AM] Kii: “Do you know where her locker is?”
[11/3/14, 1:15:47 AM] Daniel Harris: Girl: “I do. Why?”
[11/3/14, 1:16:41 AM] Kii: “I want to talk to her,” she answers determinedly. “Um, can you show me?” she asks the older girl, getting to her feet.
[11/3/14, 1:17:09 AM] Daniel Harris: The girl looks doubtfully down at Maggie. “Is she going to be okay…?” Petra looks up at her and gives her a little bit of a nod.
[11/3/14, 1:17:29 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick tries walking back and forth a bit, testing his balance.
[11/3/14, 1:17:30 AM] Kii: Epiphany smiles at Petra, and then looks to the girl expectantly.
[11/3/14, 1:17:34 AM] Daniel Harris: Ethan, looking relieved, goes and tosses the folded note into Xyza’s (apparent) desk.
[11/3/14, 1:17:48 AM] Daniel Harris: The girl looks at Laverne. “Uhm—let him go, please.”
[11/3/14, 1:17:48 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: She nods her head slowly. “I will be okay. Thank you, older girl,” she says. She blearily smiles up to Petra. “I’ll stand up in a minute. Just want to not be dizzy.”
[11/3/14, 1:17:55 AM] Aurya Stark: She hands the other note, Steve’s note, to Ethan, like she wants him to put it into the desk too.
[11/3/14, 1:18:20 AM] Daniel Harris: Ethan takes the other note but frowns at it like he doesn’t know what to do with it.
[11/3/14, 1:19:04 AM] Aurya Stark: “Just put them both in, whatever,” she says, slightly sour. “If it’s just another kid I – dunno if she can help with your dog.”
[11/3/14, 1:19:26 AM] Daniel Harris: Ethan turns sour at that. “SHE’LL HELP. SHE HAS TO. AND SHE ONLY DOES ONE AT A TIME!”
[11/3/14, 1:19:32 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Just – leave the note out, Ethan. You don’t LOSE condoms.” She shakes her head. “That’s not what it is. You can get ’em at the drug store.”
[11/3/14, 1:19:43 AM] Daniel Harris: Ethan: “SEE.”
[11/3/14, 1:20:15 AM] Daniel Harris: Laverne carefully folds Steve’s arm, pressing his wrist into the small of his back, before finally letting him go. Steve groans and shakes the arm out, rolling away from Laverne—and actually looking a little scared of her.
[11/3/14, 1:20:45 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick stares balefully at Steve, clearly expecting him to leave.
[11/3/14, 1:20:50 AM] Aurya Stark: “Where’d you learn to DO that?” she says quietly to Laverne.
[11/3/14, 1:20:57 AM] Daniel Harris: “Come on,” the older girl says to Epiphany, “I’ll show you the locker…”
[11/3/14, 1:21:15 AM] Daniel Harris: Laverne shrugs a shoulder casually. “My uncle’s a black belt in Judo.”
[11/3/14, 1:21:25 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie chooses to try to stand up about now, leaning against the wall and pushing to her feet.
[11/3/14, 1:21:35 AM] Daniel Harris: Petra helps Maggie up.
[11/3/14, 1:21:41 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Thanks, Petra,” she says, warmly.
[11/3/14, 1:21:59 AM] Kii: “Thanks,” she momentarily turns back to Maggie and Petra, “I’ll be right back! Stay together, ok?” She then moves to follow after the older girl, digging her pen and journal out of her pockets.
[11/3/14, 1:22:21 AM] Aurya Stark: “That was awesome,” she enthuses quietly.
[11/3/14, 1:22:32 AM] Daniel Harris: The girl leaves the room, with Epiphany. Steve mutters some curse words and slides out the window, leaving the building.
[11/3/14, 1:23:02 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “Sad I missed it,” Rick adds dryly after Steve’s left.
[11/3/14, 1:24:00 AM] Daniel Harris: Laverne looks at Rick. “You gave me a good opening,” she says. “How’s your face?”
[11/3/14, 1:25:48 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “Not great, but he didn’t break anything and he had shitty form. His hand’ll hurt tomorrow.” Rick snorts softly. “My plan was more to get his attention and then…not get hit.”
[11/3/14, 1:26:33 AM] Daniel Harris: Laverne quirks a half-smile. “Well, you definitely had that first part down pat. Maybe work on the second bit for next time…”
[11/3/14, 1:26:34 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: She smiles to Petra a bit again, and then quietly and slowly makes her way over to Ethan – she takes Steve’s note from him and carefully rips it in half, with some sort of vindictive pleasure.
[11/3/14, 1:26:52 AM] Daniel Harris: Ethan nods at Maggie with approval.
[11/3/14, 1:27:36 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “The second bit should be easier than keeping Maggie out of trouble, at least.” Rick grins, glancing down at the ground.
[11/3/14, 1:27:48 AM] Aurya Stark: Vee lingers around Maggie and Petra, glancing at the door where Epiphany disappeared.
[11/3/14, 1:28:23 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “I’m fine,” she says then and rubs her head. She moves toward the trashcan and throws Steve’s note into it. “Won’t even be noticed for this one…”
[11/3/14, 1:28:33 AM] Daniel Harris: Laverne nods a bit, looks around. “Once Epiphany’s back, we should probably get out of here.”
[11/3/14, 1:30:10 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick slides up on top of one of the desks, running a hand back through his hair.
[11/3/14, 1:32:08 AM] Kii: A few minutes later Epiphany returns, tucking her thick hair behind her ears in an effort to get it out of her face. “Ok… Um, you guys are still here.” She looks around the room, and beckons at everyone. “We should all go home, right?”
[11/3/14, 1:32:39 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: She nods her head. “Yeah. Umm – my mom will probably be grumpy I’m home late so I should probably go by myself or just with one or two people so we don’t all get in trouble?”
[11/3/14, 1:33:27 AM] Daniel Harris: “You mean me,” Laverne says, smiling slightly. “It’s all right. Petra and I have to get home anyway.”
[11/3/14, 1:33:39 AM] Aurya Stark: “What’d you find?” she asks Epiphany, though she seems to agree, standing up again.
[11/3/14, 1:33:48 AM] Kii: “I can go home with you,” she replies, moving to put an arm around Maggie’s shoulders to steady her.
[11/3/14, 1:34:13 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Honestly,” she says to Laverne, “I mean everyone, but yeah, Mom is always like YOU SHOULD AVOID LAVERNE, when really I’m the one who keeps getting us in trouble.” At least she’s aware of it. She curls an arm around Epiphany.
[11/3/14, 1:34:32 AM] Daniel Harris: “Your mom’s right.” Laverne smiles wider. “I’m trouble.”
[11/3/14, 1:34:39 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “Yeah. I’d…like to avoid pointing out to our parents this was another family affair.” Rick sighs a bit.
[11/3/14, 1:34:44 AM] Aurya Stark: “I got a long walk from here,” she says, glancing at Laverne and Petra. “Which way are you guys going?”
[11/3/14, 1:34:47 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Well, whatever,” she says with a huff. “I like you.”
[11/3/14, 1:35:05 AM] Kii: “Yeah, you’re pretty cool.” She smiles back at Laverne.
[11/3/14, 1:36:48 AM] Daniel Harris: “South,” Laverne says, in answer to Vee. Which is strange, since most kids don’t have anything resembling a cardinal-direction sense. Is it the city that’s south of here…? Maybe…? But the city is so far…
[11/3/14, 1:37:28 AM] Daniel Harris: She gestures to Petra to follow, and the two of them head over to the windows.
[11/3/14, 1:37:41 AM] Daniel Harris: “I hope Colby comes back,” Ethan says.
[11/3/14, 1:38:10 AM] Aurya Stark: Vee doesn’t have much of a sense of direction and, rebuffed by her own uncertainty, ends up just waving at the two as they leave.
[11/3/14, 1:38:14 AM] Kii: “Remember you said that,” Epiphany says quietly as she leads Maggie out of the art room.
[11/3/14, 1:38:29 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: She smiles wide to Ethan. “He will,” she says then, and pats Ethan’s arm a little bit, and then moves for the window. She studies them a bit, and then sighs and tries to climb out after Laverne and Petra. “I can’t wait to see your face tomorrow,” she says to Ethan.
[11/3/14, 1:38:43 AM] Aurya Stark: “Epiphany,” she says again, following, “what’d you find?”
[11/3/14, 1:39:19 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick rubs a hand against his neck, apparently resisting the urge to reach higher to his bruise, and then slides down off his desk to move towards the window and clamber out.
[11/3/14, 1:39:51 AM] Kii: Epiphany does her best to help Maggie out the window, craning her head to look back at Vee. “Oh! Um, I found that girl Xyza’s locker, and I wrote her a note. That’s all, I can only really hope she contacts me.”
[11/3/14, 1:40:59 AM] Daniel Harris: Petra and Laverne walk off, disappearing from view. Ethan hangs on Maggie.
[11/3/14, 1:41:45 AM] Kii: Epiphany walks the concussed Maggie home, arm-in-arm.
[11/3/14, 1:42:07 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: She loops her arms around Epiphany and Ethan’s shoulders, walking quietly between the two of them all the way home!

2: Rituals, Truth or Dare, and Necromancy

[10/26/14, 9:31:28 PM] Daniel Harris: A few moments later, the children are called in from recess, and Mrs. Horn’s class resumes. On today’s agenda? DINOSAURS. You guys are learning all about Ankylosaurus.
[10/26/14, 9:32:37 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick – sitting at the back of the class no doubt – promptly starts speculating about how to use a fighting force of dinosaurs. He starts scribbling out formations and tactics in his notebook.
[10/26/14, 9:33:07 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Ankylosaurus are COOL. Maggie is in to that. She spends the class taking notes, up front, and squinting – and occasionally trying to make a litle thin hole with her eyes so she can maybe see a little better. Also, she delicately pulls out a piece of paper and delicately transcribes her poem on to it to make it look nice.
[10/26/14, 9:33:41 PM] Kii: Epiphany takes her usual seat, but the way she’s leaned heavily on one hand and staring off into the corner of the classroom would make you think that she’s not paying very close attention.
[10/26/14, 9:35:48 PM] Daniel Harris: Laverne, who usually cracks wise at some point about how everything Mrs. Horn teaches is stuff she learned like 3 or 4 years ago, is uncharacteristically quiet. She and Petra keep making meaningful eye contact throughout the class, though no apparent words are exchanged. While Mrs. Horn is yammering on, Ethan, the class weasel, reaches over and tugs on Maggie’s sleeve. “HEY,” he whispers loudly, “WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR GLASSES?”
[10/26/14, 9:35:56 PM] Aurya Stark: Vee’s seat is nowhere in particular, somewhere in the middle of the room, not far enough towards the back to draw automatic suspicion, not far enough towards the front to seem bright and eager. Nice and generic. She’s got her science book open to roughly the page they’re supposed to be on, and she glances up frequently, but she’s fiddling with something in her desk.
[10/26/14, 9:38:47 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: She squints toward Ethan as he whispers and then whispers – a bit more subtle, at least – back: “Got smashed earlier during PE.” She holds her hand up in that circle to peer at him through the tiny hole – and then decides to take Laverne’s second advice and just poke a hole through some paper and use that instead. “Didn’t you see?”
[10/26/14, 9:39:02 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Still, whispering in the front row, not exactly the most…innocuous way to whisper.
[10/26/14, 9:39:28 PM] Daniel Harris: “I DIDN’T SEE THEM GET SMASHED,” Ethan says—staring raptly at Maggie through his own thick spectacles. “WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO?”
[10/26/14, 9:42:02 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: In this moment, Maggie sees two paths before her. One involves just mumbling something about how her mom will totally just buy her a new pair and yell at her. The other involves mentioning magic spells or ghosts or something. She instead goes for option three. “I heard about this thing,” she whispers, “which I’m gonna try,” because obviously that’s what it is. “Buuuut it might not work so my mom will probably just yell a lot at me and buy a new pair so I’ma be blind for a few days probably.”
[10/26/14, 9:42:29 PM] Daniel Harris: Ethan nudges his own glasses up further on his nose. “WHAT ARE YOU GONNA TRY?”
[10/26/14, 9:42:53 PM] Daniel Harris: But before Maggie can answer the question, Mrs. Horn clears her throat and glares at Ethan until he snaps back to attention.
[10/26/14, 9:44:43 PM] Daniel Harris: Class resumes, and is largely uneventful—until Mrs. Horn arranges the kids into two lines, one for bus kids and one for walk- and pick-up kids. Lavrne and Petra, who are usually bus kids, switch to the other line, and Mrs. Horn doesn’t seem to notice, or remember, or give a crap which line they’re normally on.
[10/26/14, 9:45:02 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie jolts and looks forward too – and then once Mrs. Horn looks away, she quickly scrawls a note to Ethan, which she wraps into football shape: (thanks grade school) and passes to him. The note says: “there’s a story about a ghost in jr high who can return what is lost and so i’m gonna try to talk to it!” She waits until the blurry form of Mrs. Horn again turns away to pass it to him. And then when it comes to lines – she quickly moves to walk-and-pick-up.
[10/26/14, 9:45:36 PM] Daniel Harris: Ethan stands behind Maggie in line, fidgeting like he’s going to explode or something. CLutching, of course, the niote which was passed.
[10/26/14, 9:46:34 PM] Kii: Epiphany eagerly waits in the walk line, clustered in with the rest of the kids journeying to the Junior High. “We’ve got almost half the class,” she remarks simply.
[10/26/14, 9:47:22 PM] Daniel Harris: Bob remarks loudly, “Don’t you losers take the bus?” But Mrs. Horn tells him to mind his own business.
[10/26/14, 9:47:30 PM] Aurya Stark: Vee’s probably supposed to be in the bus line, but she’s established such a habit of swapping to the walk/pick-up line that it’s really no different when she does it today. She’s got her gameboy back out while she waits.
[10/26/14, 9:48:38 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick is a walk kid, I think. His youthful attempts at stoic brooding cannot conceal a definite enthusiasm for getting out of school.
[10/26/14, 9:48:58 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie beams to Ethan because standing behind her means he’s within her I-can-see-you-clearly range, and then bounces on her toes a little bit, swinging her arms.
[10/26/14, 9:49:39 PM] Daniel Harris: And the kids march out of the school, left to their own devices once they reach the exit to the daylight. It’s a beautiful day outside: sunny, with a brisk breeze. Laverne takes a deep breath as she stands at the curb, angling her head down the street, in the direction of the junior high school—which is about a 20-minute walk from here.
[10/26/14, 9:50:24 PM] Daniel Harris: Petra clings to Laverne like she’s the other girl’s own shadow. Ethan similarly hangs on Maggie. “Hey,” he says to her, “how is a ghost gonna get you your glasses back?”
[10/26/14, 9:51:11 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “I dunno,” she says. “But you gotta give it a poem in exchange for them, so I worked on one at recess earlier.” She shifts her bag around in front of her and reaches in. “You know, rituals have power. I’ve read that in a bunch of books! If you do the right things, you can get magic to happen.”
[10/26/14, 9:52:42 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: She squints, trying to find Epiphany who is way better at explaining it.
[10/26/14, 9:53:48 PM] Aurya Stark: “You wrote a poem about your glasses?” Vee was a bit ahead of the group, but paused to set her backpack on a fence and put the gameboy away, falling back in alongside them when they catch up.
[10/26/14, 9:53:50 PM] Kii: Epiphany walks at Maggie’s side, hands in her deep pockets as they all march along. “It probably won’t be your glasses /exactly/,” she muses, “but something very close. Something made with the energies that the spirit can control. It’s explained very thoroughly in several of those books I let you borrow…”
[10/26/14, 9:54:28 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick lingers in the back of the group, hands in his jacket pockets.
[10/26/14, 9:54:57 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Yeah, I read them, but you seem to grasp ’em WAY better than me,” she says then to the other girl. “And I did,” to Vee then. “That’s part of the ritual! Got to describe them, rhyme it, and use your name three times.” She beams. “So we need to head to the junior high, right?”
[10/26/14, 9:55:12 PM] Daniel Harris: “That’s weird,” Ethan says. Laverne answers him, without looking at him, “Then don’t come.” Ethan opens his mouth, looks stricken, closes it. “My mom’s here anyway,” he says. A four-door sedan pulls up to the curb, driven by a woman with a brown ponytail.
[10/26/14, 9:55:48 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “You can come if you want,” she says to Ethan then, flashing a smile – always be friendly, Maggie. “Want to see if your Mom says it’s okay?”
[10/26/14, 9:56:31 PM] Daniel Harris: “I—I can?” Ethan lights up at this. “O—okay!” he goes running off to the car, and practically throws his head into the open passenger side window to shout at his mom: “MOM, CAN I HANG OUT WITH MY FRIENDS AFTER SCHOOL TODAY?”
[10/26/14, 9:56:42 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie waves cheerily to Ethan’s mother.
[10/26/14, 9:57:04 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: And then – realizing what HER mom is like, perhaps – she goes to peek in after him. “Hi Ethan’s Mom! I’m Maggie Stark! My mom can drop him off at your house afterward?”
[10/26/14, 9:57:31 PM] Daniel Harris: The pony-tailed woman waves back to Maggie, looking over Ethan’s shoulder. “Sure,” she says easily. “Where you kids going? You need a lift?” She half-addresses this question to Maggie.
[10/26/14, 9:58:37 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “We were going to go to the junior high and then head to my house!” She beams. “Could you give us a lift? There are um,” she looks to Ethan, down at herself – and turns to count Rick, Vee, Epiphany, Laverne, and Petra. “Seven of us? I don’t know if you have room, so we can walk! My mom says that makes me not be HYPER anyway!”
[10/26/14, 9:59:29 PM] Daniel Harris: Ethan’s mom laughs. “Seven of you, huh? Well…it’ll be tight, but pack in.” Ethan says, “Yessss,” and climbs into the passenger seat of the car.
[10/26/14, 10:00:01 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie turns and flails her hands toward the others. “Mrs. Russo is giving us a ride!” And then she opens the back and scrambles in to the far side – packing in, as kids can.
[10/26/14, 10:00:11 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick seems a little put out by this, which is probably just the impending confused anxiety of a fifth grade boy about to be packed in among a bunch of girls.
[10/26/14, 10:00:29 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Way to abandon him to the cooties mosh pit, Ethan.
[10/26/14, 10:00:42 PM] Kii: Epiphany looks to the others, and reluctantly gets into the car— probably squeezed into the middle somewhere, knobby knees jutting into the other kids.
[10/26/14, 10:00:49 PM] Aurya Stark: Vee seems quietly but completely surprised by this, though she recovers quickly and gives Ethan’s mom a sweet, beaming smile as she piles into the back. “Thank you, Mrs. Russo.”
[10/26/14, 10:01:06 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “Yeah, uh, thanks,” Rick manages quietly as he shuffles on in.
[10/26/14, 10:01:45 PM] Daniel Harris: Petra looks extremely put off by the idea. She gives Laverne a pleading sort of look, which Laverne more or less ignores. Laverne and Petra end up sitting on the floor of the back seat, as the other kids all sprawl over each other in Tetris configuration.
[10/26/14, 10:03:10 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie seems completely a-ok with however packed in she is, her knees bouncing in a way that no doubts jostles whoever is next to her or splayed across her. “My dad has this big van, and it can hold like ten people,” she says conversationally. “And it’s like, a really ugly red, and there’s a FRIDGE in the back. He got it for my older brother to drive, but my brother left it at home when he went to college so now dad drives it because it’s blocking his truck in.” No one cares, Maggie.
[10/26/14, 10:04:32 PM] Kii: In this close proximity it’s becoming pretty apparent that Epiphany smells like a mix between grandma parfume and cigars. It isn’t exactly pleasant.
[10/26/14, 10:05:10 PM] Aurya Stark: Vee grimaces sort of dramatically as she wedges into the middle somewhere, and grins and bears it for a block or two before she squirms and twists around and yanks a small green book out from under her. She flips through it while Maggie rambles.
[10/26/14, 10:05:30 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick is jostled by Maggie, but he’s used to it. And her stories. He gamely ignores her and pages through one of his notebooks with a thoughtful expression.
[10/26/14, 10:05:57 PM] Daniel Harris: The sedan drifts along smoothly as Ethan’s mom heads for the Junior High. Petra more or less buries her face into the back of the passenger seat, barely able to stand being in such close proximity to so many other kids.
[10/26/14, 10:06:51 PM] Daniel Harris: “I’m glad Ethan’s got so many friends,” Ethan’s mom remarks casually after a moment of silence. “Maggie already introduced herself—what are the rest of your names?”
[10/26/14, 10:07:25 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie is, from constantly hanging on to Epiphany, at least used to how she smells. She opens her mouth to introduce everyone, and then probably recalls some adult scolding her at some point – and gamely at least waits.
[10/26/14, 10:07:55 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “Rick Stark,” he says absently.
[10/26/14, 10:08:18 PM] Kii: “Epiphany,” she replies smoothly, “but I don’t think Ethan and I are friends.”
[10/26/14, 10:10:02 PM] Daniel Harris: Ethan looks embarrassed by Epiphany’s candid disclosure, but his mom at least has the social graces to take it in stride. She gives Rick a long look in the rear view mirror, and says, “So you’re Rick. I heard about your dad. I’m sorry.” There’s a kind of firm, earnest quality to her voice, a hardness in the eyes—this is a person who knows what losing people is actually like.
[10/26/14, 10:10:55 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “He’s my cousin!” Maggie adds.
[10/26/14, 10:11:03 PM] Aurya Stark: “Vee,” she answers politely, “Vee St. Claire. It’s nice to meet you.” She glances at Rick, and by extension Maggie, not seeming to catch on to what Ethan’s mom is talking about.
[10/26/14, 10:12:05 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Her tone catches his attention, and then her eyes when he looks up, surprised, then – grateful. That must be what grateful looks like on Rick’s face. “Thanks,” he mumbles, looking back down.
[10/26/14, 10:12:39 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “And in the back we have Laverne and Petra. Laverne is the redhead, and Petra is the blonde, but Petra doesn’t speak much because she’s shy,” Maggie says, not seeming to realize that that’s just a way to make a shy person feel more awkward. But she tries. She beams to Ethan. “It’s okay, she’s just getting to know you! Epiphany’s my friend, and you’re my friend, so it works out!” One gets the idea that right now, Maggie would happily claim everyone but likely Bob, Bill, Emily, and Melissa as friends.
[10/26/14, 10:14:54 PM] Daniel Harris: “Well, nice to meet all of you,” Ethan’s mom says. “Obviously I’m Ethan’s mom. But I’m not old enough for Mrs. Russo, and I’m not married, either. So just call me Angelica.”
[10/26/14, 10:15:51 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie stares wide-eyed and blind up front toward Ethan’s mom. “I’ve never called an adult by their first name,” she whispers, loudly, toward the others in a way that literally everyone can hear it. And then, carefully, like it’s a foreign language: “Okay, Angelica!”
[10/26/14, 10:16:18 PM] Daniel Harris: Angelica smiles wryly in Maggie’s direction via rear view mirror. “Not too weird, right?”
[10/26/14, 10:16:49 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “Oh, Maggie’s real comfortable with ‘weird.’” Rick says with an amused huff out his nose.
[10/26/14, 10:17:50 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Nope. Not TOO weird.” She lightly thwacks Rick. “One time, I think a guy in a jeep tried to chase me because I was picking honey suckles without permission from his yard, but I managed to out run him and escape to the pirate thing my dad built that’s now behind my mom’s house.”
[10/26/14, 10:18:07 PM] Daniel Harris: “Where should I drop you all off?” Laverne, who hasn’t yet said a word through this car ride, suddenly pipes up: “East side entrance,” she says, “by the auditorium.” Angelica nods slightly as she veers the car into the junior high’s parking lot. “You got it.”
[10/26/14, 10:18:18 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Thanks!” Maggie beams.
[10/26/14, 10:19:17 PM] Daniel Harris: The Junior High School is a mysterrrrrrrrrrrious building, which has this forbidden air to it—it’s so much bigger than the elementary school. And it’s full of big, terrifying kids, and strange class-swapping rituals, and lockers in the middle of the hallways with Master combinations locks and shit, and the ceilings are probably astronomically high.
[10/26/14, 10:20:57 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie climbs out of the car then with the others – piles more like it, and waves cheerily to Angelica. “Thank you for the ride!” She says again. And then she folds her arms. “I think at least with all of us together we’ll look like we know what we’re doing, huh!” To Epiphany: “You said you always go past it? Can you lead the way?”
[10/26/14, 10:22:35 PM] Aurya Stark: “Thanks for the ride!” she says, beaming at Angelica as she piles out after the others and swings her backpack back on. “Yeah, you know, as long as you look like you know where you’re going they usually don’t stop you.”
[10/26/14, 10:22:50 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick feels a bit rushed by Maggie, shooting her a look as he carefully folds his notebook closed and puts it into his backpack on the way out of the car.
[10/26/14, 10:22:55 PM] Kii: Epiphany eagerly gets out of the vehicle, attempting to stretch out a leg that was beginning to cramp. She nods enthusiastically at Maggie, “Yeah! I can always tell because they put projects right outside to dry. It’s around this way, I think!” She points off in a vague direction.
[10/26/14, 10:23:13 PM] Daniel Harris: Laverne thanks Angelica for the ride and climbs out of the car along with Petra. Angelica says goodbye to Ethan, tells him she’ll see him later, and drives off, leaving the kids in the parking lot of the junior high. Kids on the nearby athletic field are having football practice. Whistles are blown in staccato chirps.
[10/26/14, 10:24:09 PM] Kii: Epiphany starts to walk off in the direction that she remembers the art class being, if no one stops her.
[10/26/14, 10:24:43 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: She cheerily moves after Epiphany – she squints toward Rick, barely catching his look, and then flashes him a quick smile. “Everything okay?” She asks – and then she looks to Ethan, making sure to include him as much as possible. “The ghost is supposedly in the art room.”
[10/26/14, 10:25:17 PM] Daniel Harris: “Oh,” Ethan says, pushing his glasses up on his nose—they seem perpetually to be sliding off his face. “Wouldn’t all the kids and teachers know about it then?”
[10/26/14, 10:25:49 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Nah,” she says. Grimly: “Sometimes, people just don’t believe.” She darts a glance toward Epiphany’s blurred form.
[10/26/14, 10:25:56 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “This stuff is always super conditional,” Rick opines sagely, shrugging at Maggie’s concern.
[10/26/14, 10:27:00 PM] Kii: Without turning around, “Some of the students know about it, of course. But teachers don’t believe in anything, so why would they bother to listen? If you don’t think it will work, you don’t have to come, you know.”
[10/26/14, 10:27:34 PM] Daniel Harris: Ethan huffs. “I’m coming.”
[10/26/14, 10:28:11 PM] Daniel Harris: “The door’ll probably be locked,” Laverne says as she walks along toward the side entrance. “It’s after hours, and the art club only meets on Tuesdays.”
[10/26/14, 10:29:07 PM] Aurya Stark: Vee tags along with the group, sliding her hands in her pockets, making sure to look super cool and unconcerned. “That’s okay, I’ve been practicing. I got my dad’s filing cabinet open yestereday.”
[10/26/14, 10:29:51 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “According to my books, it’s important for people to believe if they actually want to try these things,” she says to Ethan. “Because if you really believe, they’ll start working, you know? So it’s why when I want to get a good grade on a test, I make sure to do a mind clarity ritual, which involves candle smoke and some other stuff. And then I get As on my tests!” She beams.
[10/26/14, 10:30:17 PM] Daniel Harris: “Oh,” Ethan says to Maggie.
[10/26/14, 10:30:44 PM] Kii: Epiphany purses her lips thoughtfully, “Even if Vee can’t open it… One of us is probably small enough to get through a window, I think. I don’t know how hard it is to pick locks. Are you really good?” she looks back at Vee curiously.
[10/26/14, 10:31:12 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “I trust Vee!” She says then as they get to the doors then. Then she steps to the side to lean on the wall – she digs in her pocket to pull out the paper with the hole in it, squinting around at the others.
[10/26/14, 10:32:53 PM] Daniel Harris: Laverne opens the door to the school, revealing its dark and intimidating interior. For many of the kids this is their first time setting foot in such an ‘adult’ place. The halls are quiet, and their footsteps echo loudly off the tile floor. The walls are lined with dark blue metallic lockers, each with air vents that seem to scowl at them like angry eye-slits.
[10/26/14, 10:33:17 PM] Daniel Harris: Something about being in the ‘wrong’ school, and being there when school isn’t even in session, with no adults around, feels pretty unsettling.
[10/26/14, 10:33:54 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick quietly closes his hand around something in his jacket pocket, which seems to soothe him a bit as he sticks to the middle of the group.
[10/26/14, 10:34:25 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie sucks in a breath as they step inside, her eyes wide. She spins her head this way and that, twirling in a circle, squinting at what she can. “I heard that,” she says in a sharp whisper, “you get randomly put next to the eight graders when you’re a sixth grader and that they beat you up for having the locker next to them. That’s what my brother said.”
[10/26/14, 10:34:58 PM] Daniel Harris: “I heard it’s like prison,” Laverne says. “You just have to kick someone’s ass on the first day.”
[10/26/14, 10:35:15 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Does it need to be someone older? Or is another sixth grader okay?”
[10/26/14, 10:35:27 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “They just have to be scared to mess with you.”
[10/26/14, 10:36:14 PM] Daniel Harris: This is pretty obviously the hallway containing all the off-beat classes: Art. Technology. Wood shop.
[10/26/14, 10:36:20 PM] Kii: “I heard there’s lots of fights… One kid got expelled last year.” She doesn’t seem to sound too nervous though, the click of her buckle shoes echoing in the empty hallways. “I doubt I’d win in a fight anyway.”
[10/26/14, 10:36:29 PM] Aurya Stark: “I heard you have different classes on different days and you get detention if you forget where to go,” she says, lowering her voice, though she looks wary at the talk of the fighting.
[10/26/14, 10:37:33 PM] Daniel Harris: Laverne: “I heard a kid got stabbed last year just for being Mexican.” At this, Petra gives her a sharp look, and she looks right back at Petra and says, “What?”
[10/26/14, 10:37:47 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “I heard that the classes you have are super hard too,” she nods her head and then follows the others along toward Art, hovering by the door a bit. She digs into her backpack and gets out her poem, holding it up to her face to squint and make sure it’s in perfect order. “Really?” She says then to Laverne. “That’s RACIST.”
[10/26/14, 10:38:22 PM] Aurya Stark: Vee slips up to the front of the group, but has the good sense to at least try the door first.
[10/26/14, 10:38:22 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “The stabber was probably selling crack.”
[10/26/14, 10:38:40 PM] Daniel Harris: “Pretty racist, yeah.” She gestures with a nod up ahead. “There’s the art classroom.” This didn’t necessarily need pointing out: as has been suggested, there are several paintings hanging up in the hall near the door. Here are a few:
[10/26/14, 10:38:44 PM] Daniel Harris:
[10/26/14, 10:38:47 PM] Daniel Harris:
[10/26/14, 10:38:52 PM] Daniel Harris:,550×550,075,f.jpg
[10/26/14, 10:38:55 PM] Daniel Harris:
[10/26/14, 10:39:07 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: One of these is not like hte other.
[10/26/14, 10:39:15 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: One of these just does not belong. Maggie stares at the third one, squinting.
[10/26/14, 10:40:09 PM] Daniel Harris: Ethan stops and stares at the same one Maggie stares at.
[10/26/14, 10:40:14 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick seems to think it’s cool.
[10/26/14, 10:41:12 PM] Daniel Harris: Laverne walks up to the art room door and tries the knob. It’s obviously locked, and the lights inside the room are off as well.
[10/26/14, 10:41:14 PM] Aurya Stark: Vee glances the art with an air of ‘how embarassing’ (like she could do better) and pulls a bobby pin out of her bow/half ponytail configuration.
[10/26/14, 10:41:25 PM] Kii: Epiphany also seems to think these paintings are pretty cool. She waits patiently for Vee to open the door, leaning in close to inspect one.
[10/26/14, 10:41:47 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Do you think it’s maybe a haunted tree?” She whispers to the others – Ethan especially since he’s hovering nearest to her. “It kinda looks like a tree. Or like, one of those haunted rides they have at the fair.” She leans closer to squint.
[10/26/14, 10:42:05 PM] Daniel Harris: “It looks like the Devil,” Ethan says.
[10/26/14, 10:42:40 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “I wonder why they blotched all over the apple,” she adds as a second comment. Future art critic, here.
[10/26/14, 10:42:42 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “Or a bloody zombie.”
[10/26/14, 10:42:46 PM] Aurya Stark: Hiding behind the other kids, she tries to pick the lock! She’s never successfully picked the lock on an actual door before but this doesn’t diminish her excitement about having an actual reason to try.
[10/26/14, 10:43:21 PM] Daniel Harris: Okay, Vee, Dex+Larceny, extended. One roll at a time please.
[10/26/14, 10:43:56 PM] Aurya Stark: (first roll is a fail XD)
[10/26/14, 10:44:13 PM] Kii: Epiphany has some sense to look back down the hall for any teachers that might be wandering close by.
[10/26/14, 10:44:42 PM] Daniel Harris: From down the hall and around the corner, after Vee’s been fiddling with the lock for a bit, the group can hear some clack-clack-clacking of shoes approaching, and two girls talking. “Ohmygod,” one of them is saying, “and then he reached out and he touched my HAIR.”
[10/26/14, 10:45:36 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie cheerily moves to block Vee from sight from that way. She darts a look to the others and hisses: “Surround Vee like we’re talking!”
[10/26/14, 10:46:29 PM] Kii: Epiphany shoulders her backpack and takes a step to hide Vee as well, trying to stand up straight to appear… Maybe a little taller than a 5th grader.
[10/26/14, 10:46:45 PM] Daniel Harris: Laverne leans back on the lockers, twirling her hair in a finger. “And, ahmahgerd, did you see Emily’s HAIRTIES today? They were, like, so totally rad?”
[10/26/14, 10:47:12 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick leans casually against a locker. He totally leans against lockers all the time.
[10/26/14, 10:47:44 PM] Daniel Harris: Anyone taking part in this charade, with words, roll Wits + Subterfuge. Vee, roll Larceny again.
[10/26/14, 10:47:46 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Ew at Emily’s heels though? Like, who would WEAR those.” She folds her arms. “And um – Melissa’s shirt? Like…gross?” She squints a little bit.
[10/26/14, 10:48:12 PM] KhAlf Drogo: 0s, natch
[10/26/14, 10:48:16 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: (2s from Maggie)
[10/26/14, 10:48:18 PM] Daniel Harris: “He TOUCHED your HAIR?” squeals the girl around the corner. “Ohmygod!”
[10/26/14, 10:48:28 PM] Daniel Harris: Rick doesn’t roll anyway, since he didn’t use any words.
[10/26/14, 10:49:04 PM] Kii: Epiphany’s giving some well-timed nods and "oh my gods”. (3s)
[10/26/14, 10:49:20 PM] Daniel Harris: Laverne: “I wouldn’t be caught DEAD wearing heels like that in SIXTH GRADE. THose were, like, third grade shoes, at best.”
[10/26/14, 10:49:54 PM] Aurya Stark: Vee nervously glances up, then goes back to her work, wrinkling her nose as she concentrates intensely, tongue poking out between her lips. (4s)
[10/26/14, 10:51:17 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Yeah, I KNOW!” Maggie says to that. “I mean, PLUS she’s like ALL over Bill, she’s going to be um…And he’s going to be super gross and like, he’s always SLOBBERING on her.”
[10/26/14, 10:51:57 PM] Daniel Harris: The two girls round the bend and start to clack-clack their way past the group. “What a PERVERT,” one of them is saying. “GOD.” But the two of them both shut up as they move, in awkward silence, past the gaggle of kids by the art room door. There are glances exchanged, perhaps even suspicious glances, but neither of the two girls stops or interrupts. THey simply walk past.
[10/26/14, 10:52:08 PM] Daniel Harris: Again, Vee.
[10/26/14, 10:52:34 PM] Aurya Stark: (..4s again!)
[10/26/14, 10:52:40 PM] Daniel Harris: The lock clicks open.
[10/26/14, 10:52:44 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: She waits a moment until the girls are past, and then awkwardly she whispers: “…Is touching someone’s hair perverted? Why?”
[10/26/14, 10:53:09 PM] Daniel Harris: Laverne murmurs back, with an eye on the two girls as they head out of the building: “I have no idea.”
[10/26/14, 10:53:35 PM] Aurya Stark: “IdiditIdidit!” she squeals soflty, thrilled by her success, then pulls the door open to wiggle inside.
[10/26/14, 10:54:01 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: She whirls toward Vee then, and then beams bouncing up and down on her toes. “GOOD JOB!” She says in a delighted whisper. “That’s really awesome! I thought that was just a movie thing, it’s so cool you can really do it!”
[10/26/14, 10:54:03 PM] Kii: “Don’t know. I think it feels kinda nice,” she says dreamily, following immediately behind Vee and into the dim classroom.
[10/26/14, 10:54:09 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “Everything’s perverted in middle school.” Rick moves over to follow Vee, unusually quick.
[10/26/14, 10:54:38 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Yeah! It feels nice!” She agrees with Epiphany then, bobbling her head a little bit, and then looks to Rick. “Oh.” She looks toward Ethan then, waving a hand at him. “You okay?”
[10/26/14, 10:54:48 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: She carefully folds her note into a football shape. She seems to like doing that.
[10/26/14, 10:55:50 PM] Daniel Harris: The art room has some easels and canvases near the front, by the teacher’s desk, and behind that there are cubbies filled with students’ things. On the opposite end of the room there are paints and brushes of all types, mostly worn-out from being treated like shit by 11-13 year olds all year long, as well as some sinks for washing up, and hooks from which numerous smocks are dangling. There is also a sizeable closet in the back left corner. And, of course, rows of students’ desks, significantly bigger than what the kids are used to at their school.
[10/26/14, 10:56:05 PM] Daniel Harris: “Huh?” Ethan says to Maggie. “I’m fine…why?”
[10/26/14, 10:56:59 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “You’re one of the quietest, and while Laverne talks and Petra is normally quiet, you talk a lot sometimes and so my brother says you should ALWAYS make sure everyone’s okay.” She steps inside and looks blankly around, mostly blind and incapable of seeing. “Okay, where do I put it…? And do I do anything else?”
[10/26/14, 10:58:13 PM] Kii: Once inside Epiphany removes her pendant, stepping off to the side and letting it hang down straight from her hand. After a few moments of intense concentration she gently swings it in a circle, stares at it, and then once it starts bobbing one way or another slowly walks in that direction— and halts awkwardly at Maggie’s question.
“Huh? Oh!” She points at the desk in the back, the rightmost one. “UNDER the top left corner of that one back there."
[10/26/14, 10:58:29 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick goes over to peer into the closet, probably for no reason.
[10/26/14, 10:59:34 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: She nods her head toward Epiphany then. She holds her note in both hands, and then walks somberly back toward that desk. She looks at it for a moment, and then carefully lifts up the top left corner of the desk as best as she can, and nudges her note into it, poem carefully written within.
[10/26/14, 10:59:44 PM] Aurya Stark: Vee closes the door behind them, shoving the two broken halves of the bobby pin into her pocket, because throwing them away would be leaving behind evidence. Then - well, she’s less sure about this ghost thing, and goes to sit in the teacher’s chair instead, to watch.
[10/26/14, 11:00:26 PM] Daniel Harris: The desks each have their own storage space, each one sort of like an open drawer or cubby facing the student’s chair. These little spaces are mostly empty, though.
[10/26/14, 11:01:22 PM] Daniel Harris: Petra slinks around the perimeter of the room, and Laverne trails after her. The two of them end up going into the corner by the front of the room, over by the student cubbies
-Laverne starts talking to Petra quietly.
[10/26/14, 11:01:42 PM] Kii: Epiphany watches Maggie with those hooded green eyes of hers, pausing momentarily in…. Whatever she’s doing.
[10/26/14, 11:02:16 PM] Daniel Harris: The note goes into the desk. If something magical was supposed to happen, it…well…doesn’t? No big dramatic oogty-boogity anything, anyway. Ethan stands around, looking this way and that, as though waiting for something.
[10/26/14, 11:02:48 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick meanwhile has wandered over to stand next to Vee and whispers something to her.
[10/26/14, 11:02:58 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: She closes the desk solemnly, nodding once. “There we go,” she says then, in a whisper. She waits a few moments, and then carefully opens the desk again to peek inside to see if her note has disappeared, or if the glasses are there.
[10/26/14, 11:03:13 PM] Daniel Harris: The note is still there. And no glasses.
[10/26/14, 11:03:38 PM] Kii: Epiphany resumes walking around the room, letting the gentle bobbing of her crystal guide her. “It might happen at a certain time, like midnight, or a certain day…” she remarks thoughtfully.
[10/26/14, 11:03:58 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Right,” she closes the desk again. “Must give it time.” She steps away then, drifting away to squint around a little bit. “Oh – so we should maybe step out of the room or come back at midnight? Or – umm…maybe come back in a bit, or just give it an hour?”
[10/26/14, 11:04:39 PM] Daniel Harris: Ethan: “I don’t think my mom would let me come back here at midnight. It’s—scary enough at 3 in the afternoon…”
[10/26/14, 11:04:55 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Well, my mom wouldn’t either. We’d have to sneak out.”
[10/26/14, 11:05:04 PM] Daniel Harris: Laverne and Petra have their foreheads practically pressed together. Laverne says something very quietly to Petra. Petra shakes her head a little.
[10/26/14, 11:05:04 PM] Kii: “Well,” she bites her lip, “I don’t think you have to come back here. After all, it’s supposed to be returned to you. I think you’ll… Find them, somehow.”
[10/26/14, 11:05:27 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Oh,” she says then. She rubs her chin. “Cool.”
[10/26/14, 11:05:51 PM] Kii: Epiphany glances over at Laverne and Petra, “…is she scared?” she asks softly.
[10/26/14, 11:06:12 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “…I was looking forward to sneaking out and trying to see a ghost at midnight. But that’s okay, my dad lives near some woods, I’ll just play the MIDNIGHT MAN GAME some time.” She beams, and then looks to Laverne and Petra. “Oh. I don’t know.”
[10/26/14, 11:06:50 PM] Daniel Harris: Laverne looks up and over at Maggie. “Huh? Oh—yeah, a bit.” She smiles, and pats Petra on the arm a couple of times. “Any luck?”
[10/26/14, 11:08:07 PM] Kii: “I haven’t sensed any strong reactions,” Epiphany says, sounding a little disappointed. “I think we might just have to wait until Maggie’s glasses are returned.”
[10/26/14, 11:08:20 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “The note is where it’s supposed to be,” she says with another flash of a smile to Laverne. She looks to Petra for a moment, and then back to Epiphany, beaming and nodding her head.
[10/26/14, 11:08:36 PM] Aurya Stark: She whispers back to Rick, then grumpily gets up out of the chair to cross over towards the cubbies, where the other kids seem to be congregating. “Maybe we can just come back tomorrow and see.”
[10/26/14, 11:09:33 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick, feeling super rebellious, slides over an empty stretch of the teacher’s desk before he follows Vee to the others.
[10/26/14, 11:09:51 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Well – we could – go and do something fun? I have a pirate playhouse in my back yard, which we can climb up into the top bit and just sit and talk and play games or something, and see if stuff shows up?” She shifts her backpack around front again, and then zips it closed since she didn’t when she got her note out, and then pulls it back on her shoulder.
[10/26/14, 11:11:14 PM] Daniel Harris: Ethan bobbles his head, seeming relieved at the prospect of doing something normal with friends. “That sounds like fun!”
[10/26/14, 11:11:30 PM] Daniel Harris: Laverne glances at Petra, and then at Maggie. “We’d love to, but we should probably get going.”
[10/26/14, 11:11:51 PM] Kii: Epiphany perks up, nodding and curls going everywhere. “I can practice my tarot readings with you! Or well, with anyone who wants one I guess.” She looks to Laverne and Petra with a soft “oh”, and waves goodbye.
[10/26/14, 11:11:56 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Could tell ghost stories!” She adds. “And play Truth or Dare. Oh.” She looks disappointed, glancing to Laverne and Petra. “Okay.” And she flashes a smile. “Well, thank you for coming anyway! Since we have to wait on my glasses.” And then to Epiphany. “Okay!”
[10/26/14, 11:12:08 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Er – since we have to wait on my glasses we can all sneak out together?”
[10/26/14, 11:12:57 PM] Daniel Harris: Laverne nods, and walks smoothly over toward the far side of the room, where there are windows. She begins to prop one open. “Easy enough. Good luck with the glasses thing—and we’ll see you tomorrow?”
[10/26/14, 11:13:02 PM] Daniel Harris: Petra follows quietly after Laverne.
[10/26/14, 11:13:20 PM] Aurya Stark: “Bye, guys,” she says, with a little wave at Petra and Laverne.
[10/26/14, 11:13:59 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Oh, yes, of course! I am aiming to get the certificate that says I never miss a day of school.” Way to be a nerd, Maggie. “They give you a candy bar when you get that, you know.” Oh, never mind. Plans made more obvious. “And Petra, it was nice to hang out with you!” Because you should always be friendly – a flash of a smile.
[10/26/14, 11:14:45 PM] Daniel Harris: Petra manages a little bit of a smile at Maggie, and sort of half-commits to a wave. This is probably the closest thing to actual social interaction any of the kids have seen her partake in, Laverne excepted.
[10/26/14, 11:14:51 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “Bye,” Rick says with a tiny wave of his own.
[10/26/14, 11:15:17 PM] Daniel Harris: The two of them slip out to the school’s exterior and start walking off. “Those two are pretty weird,” Ethan remarks, once they’re gone.
[10/26/14, 11:15:45 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “So’s your face,” Rick says coolly.
[10/26/14, 11:15:46 PM] Aurya Stark: “I like them,” Vee says staunchly, glancing into the desk where Maggie put the note.
[10/26/14, 11:16:28 PM] Daniel Harris: “I didn’t say I didn’t LIKE them,” Ethan says, defensively. “Just that they’re WEIRD.”
[10/26/14, 11:16:33 PM] Kii: “There’s worse things to be,” Epiphany says simply, before moving over to the open window.
[10/26/14, 11:16:53 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Yeah, kinda,” she says then. "I think maybe they’re related or something? I mean, my grandma is a redhead and my aunt is a blonde – " she looks to Rick, “You know Aunt Sue?” and then back to Ethan. “But it’s okay to be weird, I think right. Do you guys wanna play Truth and Dare and tell ghost stories and do tarot cards?” She moves to the open window too, blindly trusting the others to not lead her into doom.
[10/26/14, 11:17:52 PM] Daniel Harris: Ethan: “I heard they’re cousins and orphans and their foster parents are illegal aliens in the mafia and that Petra doesn’t have a tongue.”
[10/26/14, 11:18:27 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “Aunt Sue’s crazy,” Rick mutters with a roll of his eyes, then looks to Ethan skeptically. “She talks to Laverne without sign language, Ethan.”
[10/26/14, 11:18:42 PM] Daniel Harris: “I’VE never heard her talk. Have YOU?”
[10/26/14, 11:18:43 PM] Aurya Stark: “Who’d you hear THAT from?” she shoots Ethan a look, though her nose-wrinkle isn’t really derision.
[10/26/14, 11:19:06 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “Yeah,” Rick says with a little shrug of one shoulder. (This isn’t true.)
[10/26/14, 11:19:16 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “I wish my parents were with the MAFIA,” she says then. “Though I think my dad’s like a spy for the government, so that’s close.” She moves to try and climb out the window.
[10/26/14, 11:19:18 PM] Daniel Harris: Ethan eyes Rick skeptically. “What’d she say?”
[10/26/14, 11:19:33 PM] Daniel Harris: “My mom was a sniper in Vietnam,” Ethan announces proudly.
[10/26/14, 11:19:44 PM] Kii: “I’ve seen her eat a popsicle on field day. She definitely has a tongue.” She pushes her backpack out first, and then with a slightly graceless hop Epiphany slides out the window.
[10/26/14, 11:19:45 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “That she hates your jokes.” Rick says, heading for the windows.
[10/26/14, 11:19:52 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Really?!” She says then, in a whisper, looking over her shoulder. “That’s AWESOME.”
[10/26/14, 11:20:11 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “Your mom is definitely cool,” Rick adds with a sage air.
[10/26/14, 11:20:22 PM] Daniel Harris: Ethan puffs up. “Yeah, she once walked through a whole forest full of NAPALM.”
[10/26/14, 11:20:42 PM] Aurya Stark: “Wow,” Vee says, staring at Ethan for several seconds, genuinely impressed.
[10/26/14, 11:20:54 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Really?” She says again, apparently wide-eyed about this. “My DAD works on submarines, really, but he likes to say he’s a spy. That’s SUPER awesome. Napalms are bombs right?” Maggie knows little about bombs.
[10/26/14, 11:21:19 PM] Daniel Harris: “Napalm is stuff that if you get it on you it sticks to your face until you MELT.”
[10/26/14, 11:21:55 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Ewwww,” she says then, in only the way that you can when you’re a kid and something gross is actually great. “It’s good your mom didn’t get any of that on her, that would SUCK!”
[10/26/14, 11:22:45 PM] Daniel Harris: “Yeah, my mom wouldn’t ever get killed by any stupid Napalm or Viet Congs.”
[10/26/14, 11:23:13 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “The plural is Viet Cong, or VC,” Rick says with another soft huff out his nose.
[10/26/14, 11:23:15 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “My grandpa calls them Charlies,” she says. “That you had to shoot a lot of Charlies.” Once they’re out, she begins the absent walk toward her mom’s house.
[10/26/14, 11:24:52 PM] Kii: “…My grandpa doesn’t like to talk about the war. Well, the second one. I don’t know if he was in the others. I don’t think there was melting in those.” She resumes her cheerful stride along Maggie’s side, accompanying her back to an afternoon of truth and dare and ghost stories and tarot readings.
[10/26/14, 11:25:25 PM] Aurya Stark: “Why Charlies?” she asks, swinging her backpack back around her shoulders after she hits the ground, jogging to catch up.
[10/26/14, 11:25:43 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “I dunno,” she says, squinting to Ethan and Rick for this information.
[10/26/14, 11:26:05 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “My grandpa trained plots in the second war,” she says to Epiphany then.
[10/26/14, 11:26:10 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “It’s the military alphabet,” Rick says enigmatically, like this should explain everything.
[10/26/14, 11:26:38 PM] Daniel Harris: Ethan bobbles along with the group. “Because C is for Charlie. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Epsilon Alpha Beta Gamma Omega Charlie David Furlong Mary. I—made some of those up.”
[10/26/14, 11:27:53 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: She stares wide-eyed at Rick and then Ethan, and then: “…So it’s like Pig Latin!?” She flails her hands a little bit. “We should MAKE UP A LANGUAGE!” Maggie has big ideas. “Or just speak in pig latin.”
[10/26/14, 11:28:15 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Aye-may ame-nay is-hey Aggie-may.” She beams.
[10/26/14, 11:29:27 PM] Daniel Harris: “There was an explanation of Pig Latin on the back of one of my action figures,” Ethan says.
[10/26/14, 11:29:52 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Yeah?” She says. “What’d it say? What action figure?”
[10/26/14, 11:30:45 PM] Daniel Harris: “Uhm,” Ethan says, “The pig ones? The military commando pigs. I don’t remember what it was called. It’s from when I was a kid.” The walk to Maggie’s mom’s house isn’t terribly far, and the group reaches the house before long. It hasn’t been quite long enough for parents to really be worried, but Maggie’s mom’s house’s door hangs open nevertheless—a quiet sign from Maggie’s mom that, y’know, Maggie should be home by now.
[10/26/14, 11:31:44 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie eyes this for a long moment, awkwardly, and then: “Okay, my … pirate stuff is around back – you guys can climb the ladder or slide and hide there, and I’ll go talk to Mom and be out in a few minutes because she’s probably been called by the principal…”
[10/26/14, 11:32:20 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “I’ll go in with you,” Rick pipes up. “I want to bum a drink anyway.”
[10/26/14, 11:33:00 PM] Aurya Stark: “We could make up a language. My friends and I used to have one,we had this clubhouse in the alley that we made out of boxes and stuff but it got knocked down right after our first official meeting.”
[10/26/14, 11:33:27 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: The play house is similar to this: But a lot less awesome. There’s a single swing, there’s no climby-thing, no monkey bars, but there IS a slide, two stories, and the upper part is shaped (vaguely) like a boat and has a steerin wheel that’s useless in it. “We should do it then!” She says then with a nod, and then to Rick. “Yeah, you’d be good since she knows you anyway…”
[10/26/14, 11:34:31 PM] Kii: “Ok!” she replies cheerily, making her way to the backyard— she’s been here quite a few times already. “Maybe you could teach us, Vee. We need something that only we know, as good as Pig Latin is….”
[10/26/14, 11:34:56 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie looks grimly to her cousin, and then – like…well, a soldier going off to war – moves to open the screen door and step inside, holding it for Rick to enter behind her.
[10/26/14, 11:35:45 PM] Daniel Harris: Maggie’s mom is practically on top of her just a few seconds after she’s in the door. Hands on hips. Stern look. “The principal ca—WHERE are your GLASSES, young lady?!” She sighs, pinches the bridge of her nose, and adds wearily afterward, “Hi, Rick.”
[10/26/14, 11:36:23 PM] Daniel Harris: Ethan meanwhile goes to the playhouse and starts climbing up the slide—that is, going up the part you’re supposed to slide down. He slips and half-falls, catches himself, wobbles, continues the ascent.
[10/26/14, 11:36:34 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: She fidgets a little bit. “Ummm…they’re broken…”
[10/26/14, 11:37:12 PM] Daniel Harris: “Broken, huh. And how exactly did they come to be broken?”
[10/26/14, 11:38:00 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “Hi Aunt Tab.” Whatever his intentions of providing some cover for Maggie, he does go to the fridge first. Priorities and all.
[10/26/14, 11:39:02 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Ummmm, Emily was yanking my hair and my glasses fell off and then someone stepped on them, probably Bob, but I dunno I can’t see without my glasses.” She fidgets a little bit. “I’m sorry mom! Bob was really mean! He said that if he wanted to fight a Stark he’d look for us in a CRACK DEN!”
[10/26/14, 11:39:04 PM] Aurya Stark: She follows Ethan and Epiphany back around to the playset, and promptly beelines for the swings. “If I can remember any of it. We had, like, symbols for all the letters. Hey, Ephiphany, you’re really into this magic stuff, huh?”
[10/26/14, 11:39:39 PM] Daniel Harris: Maggie’s mom tchs and rolls her eyes. “I don’t care what he said, Maggie. You’re supposed to be better than that. What did we talk about last time?”
[10/26/14, 11:40:24 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “That I need to ignore what people say…” She scuffs her feet a little bit. “And just not play with people who are jerks…and that I shouldn’t try to punch someone…”
[10/26/14, 11:40:56 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “She couldn’t not play with them,” Rick pipes up helpfully from pouring orange juice. “It was gym class.”
[10/26/14, 11:41:08 PM] Daniel Harris: “That last one is the one I was looking for, young lady. How many times do I have to tell you?”
[10/26/14, 11:41:13 PM] Kii: Epiphany sort of half-sits on the ladder, hooking her arms through the slats so she doesn’t fall. “I am. My grandma says it’s just a phase but I think she just can’t understand because she never developed The Sight. You have to start at a young age if you want to get good at it.” She looks to Vee somewhat hopefully, “I could teach you, if you want.”
[10/26/14, 11:41:31 PM] Daniel Harris: Ethan: “What’s the Sight?”
[10/26/14, 11:42:16 PM] Aurya Stark: “Maybe,” she says, the word a little drawn out as she feels the pressure of being cool warring against temptation. “What do you mean, The Sight?”
[10/26/14, 11:42:28 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “…This is only the second time?” She says helpfully. “I’m sorry. I did get an A on my spelling test though, and I – I had a hard time spelling definitely but I got it right? And I don’t normally think about punching people, I was being nice when he was too and then he just said something and I dunno he was just being really mean to people and stuff…” She scuffs her feet. “Umm, is it okay if Rick and I go outside, I’m really sorry…”
[10/26/14, 11:42:32 PM] Kii: “Being able to see energies. Like auras and spiritual residue and stuff like that. Things you can’t see with just your eyes… Well, I guess unless you’re a medium or something.”
[10/26/14, 11:43:19 PM] Daniel Harris: Maggie’s mom sighs. “Let me get your backup pair of glasses. You can’t walk around not being able to see.” She disappears in a huff, leaving Maggie standing there to think hard about what she’s done.
[10/26/14, 11:43:32 PM] Daniel Harris: Ethan: “Are you a medium?”
[10/26/14, 11:43:55 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie – more rarely in trouble than Rick – looks at her feet and shuffles a little bit.
[10/26/14, 11:44:03 PM] Aurya Stark: “So can you see all that stuff?” she presses, kicking off the dirt to swing, still keeping her eyes on Epiphany.
[10/26/14, 11:44:41 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “It was kind of a bad hit,” Rick confides quietly as he wanders back, drinking over. “If you piss him off back he’ll hit first.”
[10/26/14, 11:45:34 PM] Kii: Epiphany shakes her head, fiddling with her pendant. “I’m not a medium, no… Not naturally, anyway. Mediums can talk to ghosts and spirits really easily. The only thing I can do is read auras. It took me forever to learn that too— almost a year. But I could teach you, if you like.”
[10/26/14, 11:46:22 PM] Daniel Harris: “Oh,” Ethan says, seeming disappointed. “I was hoping you could talk to my dog.”
[10/26/14, 11:46:31 PM] Aurya Stark: “Yeah,” she says. But clearly she has no idea what she’s really agreeing to because she continues with questions. “But what do auras tell you? Can you read mine?”
[10/26/14, 11:46:55 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “He’s easy to piss off,” she says in a whisper to Rick then and tilts her head back. She darts a look toward where her mom disappeared to. “You just gotta talk about his flute.”
[10/26/14, 11:47:24 PM] Daniel Harris: Maggie’s mom returns a few moments later, with a glasses case, which she opens up. She holds the glasses out to Maggie with a disapproving look—these glasses are an older prescription, and are repaired in one spot with tape, but they’ll do the job for the most part.
[10/26/14, 11:48:14 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: She takes the glasses back and puts them on them – they’re also garish circles, making her look absolutely nerdy. She blinks a few times. “Ummm, thanks Mom. Rick and I are gonna go play outside on the play thing is that okay? And then – can you drive everyone home probably?”
[10/26/14, 11:48:18 PM] Kii: “I’m not sure if dogs would have anything very interesting to say, is the thing.” She brightens up at Vee’s request and hops down, moving to stand beside her. “They can tell you about what someone’s REALLY feeling, if there’s something… au-spicious about to happen, stuff like that. I can look at yours, if that’s what you want.”
[10/26/14, 11:48:53 PM] Daniel Harris: “Okay,” Maggie’s mom says wearily.
[10/26/14, 11:49:12 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “Thanks Aunt Tab,” Rick says, almost brightly.
[10/26/14, 11:49:35 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Thanks, Mom, sorry,” she says and then gives her mom a hug around her waist, and then turns and scurries quickly outside – dramatically running across the porch and out to the play set and climbing up to join the others as if she’s being chased by a monster.
[10/26/14, 11:51:12 PM] Aurya Stark: “Yeah,” she agrees, starting off eager and then slightly wary at Epiphany’s brightness. “Do I need to do anything so you can see? I wanna know if anything’s about to happen.”
[10/26/14, 11:51:27 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick follows Maggie less dramatically.
[10/26/14, 11:54:12 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie climbs up in, stumbling over wheover’s nearest, and then drops into a corner, fussing with her past prescription glasses. “Whew.”
[10/26/14, 11:54:52 PM] Daniel Harris: Ethan sulks quietly upon being told ‘dogs don’t have interesting things to say,’ and instead opts to just litsen quietly to Epiphany’s psychic babble.
[10/26/14, 11:55:25 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick claims another corner, setting his backpack down next to him.
[10/26/14, 11:55:53 PM] Kii: “Just sit right where you are,” she says gently, squaring her shoulders with Vee. She stares at the other girl like she’s looking right through her, unblinking, for nearly a minute before she speaks. “Mostly it’s… A bright silver. That’s pretty good, really, it means that your intuition is developing and you could be able to see things in a new way or things you hadn’t noticed before. There’s also peaks of a murky red and grey— you might be wary about something, or be trying to get people to think contrary to your actions.” She nods confidently. “That’s pretty much it, right now. It can change from day to day you know.”
[10/26/14, 11:57:35 PM] Daniel Harris: “Dogs can tell you a lot more than that,” Ethan mutters.
[10/26/14, 11:57:49 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Epiphany’s really good at seeing auras,” Maggie says, bobbling her head up and down. “One time, she noticed I was sad when I was acting like I wasn’t! I’m not too good at it yet. I’m better with ritual stuff though, mostly just small things that clear your mind or help you alter how other people feel, like love spells and stuff. But you shouldn’t do that because the universe will bite you back tri-fold for forcing people to do that stuff.” Maggie has had absolute no luck with her love spells, but that’s obviously because the universe didn’t like who she chose. “Huh?” She looks to Ethan, not knowing the first part of the conversation.
[10/26/14, 11:58:19 PM] Kii: Epiphany glances up at Ethan, frowning slightly. “What do you think your dog could tell you?”
[10/26/14, 11:59:11 PM] Daniel Harris: “Colby could tell me all kinds of stuff about how he was feeling.” Ethan kicks the slide absently—not hard, just bumping his foot up onto the side of it. “I’d know when he was happy or when he was sad or when he was hungry or when he thought there was something bad nearby like when there was a thunderstorm he’d know before anybody else.”
[10/26/14, 11:59:55 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “I bet a dog could totally tell you where there are suspicious smells,” she says, finally catching on. “Oooh, or what if you were tracking a BAD guy and you gave him the smell and you could more directly say what you wanted! What kinda dog is Colby?” A more important question.
[10/27/14, 12:00:39 AM] Daniel Harris: “Colby was a Border Collie which is the smartest kind of dog.”
[10/27/14, 12:01:04 AM] Aurya Stark: She holds very still while Epiphany stares at her, then frowns at the colors, just looking a little confused, peering down at her hands. “Silver, okay,” she says, but she’s listening now, still absently frowning as she lets the swing slow down.
[10/27/14, 12:01:12 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Was?” She asks.
[10/27/14, 12:01:28 AM] Daniel Harris: “Yeah. He died of belly cancer when I was nine.”
[10/27/14, 12:02:07 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Oh.” Her face falls. “I’m sorry. I had a cat, Prince after the singer, and I kept him at my grandma’s, and he died of fleas. We put a flea collar on him and everything and yet somehow I guess he got them in the woods and the doctor couldn’t do anything.”
[10/27/14, 12:02:15 AM] Daniel Harris: “I was nine and he was nine because my mom got both of us at the same time and we grew up together from puppies.”
[10/27/14, 12:02:30 AM] Daniel Harris: “I know I’m not a puppy but that’s what my mom always said that we were puppies together.”
[10/27/14, 12:03:04 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “That’s awesome!” She beams. “But – sad still. I’m sorry that Colby died though. I wish I had a good puppy.”
[10/27/14, 12:03:22 AM] Daniel Harris: “Colby was the best puppy. I didn’t even need human friends when I had Colby.”
[10/27/14, 12:04:08 AM] Kii: Epiphany’s frown becomes more gentle, if a little sad. “I’m sorry that he died. I’m not sure if you can talk to the ghosts of animals… Or if they have ghosts at all.”
[10/27/14, 12:04:18 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “I like having human friends,” she says. “I’ve always had Rick, and I met Epiphany in second grade and have had her too. It’s nice, because you can talk and hang uot with everyone.” She pauses and squints. “I bet they have ghosts.”
[10/27/14, 12:04:20 AM] Daniel Harris: “OF COURSE THEY HAVE GHOSTS!”
[10/27/14, 12:04:44 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Of course they do! I can see if my new book I got has a way to contact animal ghosts!?”
[10/27/14, 12:04:49 AM] Aurya Stark: “Why wouldn’t they have ghosts?” she asks. “Unless it’s ‘cause they’re always happy. You never hear about happy ghosts.”
[10/27/14, 12:05:11 AM] Daniel Harris: “Colby was always happy. But there are happy ghosts. Sometimes I can still feel Colby near me if I really focus on him.”
[10/27/14, 12:05:15 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “I read a book once about a happy ghost who tried to help kids,” she says then to Vee. “And how she always wanted kids so she loved kids showing up and playing with them and stuff and would roll balls and things!”
[10/27/14, 12:05:54 AM] Kii: Epiphany seems much more interested in this conversation now, her eyebrows arching curiously as she drifts towards Ethan. “You can feel him? Like, all the time? Whenever you want?”
[10/27/14, 12:06:09 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: Her eyes widen to Ethan too. “You’ve got PSYCHIC POWERS Ethan!”
[10/27/14, 12:06:35 AM] Daniel Harris: “Ummm, no, I’m not psychic. Mom says that if you love someone enough you can feel them no matter what.”
[10/27/14, 12:06:53 AM] Daniel Harris: “And I love Colby more than I ever loved anyone, except Mom. So I can feel him when I want to.”
[10/27/14, 12:07:40 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Oh,” she says. “I dunno if I love anyone that much.” She frowns. “Maybe my mom and dad?” She leans forward. “But what if Colby really is a ghost and you can just sense him nearby?”
[10/27/14, 12:08:20 AM] Daniel Harris: “Of course he’s a ghost, because he’s in heaven now. You don’t have to be psychic to feel him. You just have to love him like I do.”
[10/27/14, 12:08:45 AM] Kii: “Maybe he isn’t a ghost,” Epiphany says to no one in particular, “Maybe he’s like… A guardian spirit. Or angel. Whichever you prefer.”
[10/27/14, 12:08:53 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Oh.” She pauses. “I dunno him though. Oooh,” she looks to Epiphany and nods.
[10/27/14, 12:08:57 AM] Aurya Stark: “Yeah but was it like a kids book?” she asks Maggie skeptically.
[10/27/14, 12:09:56 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “It was a book about mostly scary ghosts,” she says then and shakes her head. “I could totally go get it!”
[10/27/14, 12:10:09 AM] Daniel Harris: “Well, yeah.” Ethan nods. “He looks after me. If Bob ever tried to really hurt me, I know Colby would bark and probably bite him for me, and Bob would get one of those ghost-wounds like in the movies and he’d probably get ghost-rabies and go crazy and bite people and die.”
[10/27/14, 12:10:40 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Oooh,” Maggie says then. “…That would be AWESOME. Um, not you getting hurt, I mean. Just – Bob dying of ghost rabies.”
[10/27/14, 12:11:05 AM] Daniel Harris: “Yeah but Colby wouldn’t do that to someone unless they really, REALLY tried to hurt me. Colby was nice to everybody.”
[10/27/14, 12:11:41 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: She nods her head a little bit and then darts an awkward look back to Rick for whatever reason, and then she looks to Epiphany. “You wanna do tarot readings, or — NO! RICK!” She says then to her cousin. “TRUTH OR DARE?”
[10/27/14, 12:12:11 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick has been quietly working on his notebook, trying to look disdainful of the conversation but mostly in uncertain waters. “Uh. Truth.”
[10/27/14, 12:12:29 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Who do you have a crush on?” Because what else do you ask at 5th grade.
[10/27/14, 12:14:39 AM] Aurya Stark: Vee’s eyes widen as Maggie escalates. She slips off the swing, finally, to climb up into the top level clubhouse with the others.
[10/27/14, 12:15:08 AM] KhAlf Drogo: He glares at her for a moment, then settles down. He scratches at his cheek as he thinks. “Uh. Laverne, I guess,” he says, trying to sound super-casual despite the clearly weighty pause.
[10/27/14, 12:15:52 AM] Daniel Harris: “I thought he was gonna say Petra,” Ethan remarks.
[10/27/14, 12:16:08 AM] Kii: Epiphany makes her way to the others as well, her eyes flitting back to Rick in anticipation. She seems momentarily disappointed with such an anti-climactic answer before she sits down. “Every boy likes Laverne.”
[10/27/14, 12:16:17 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “What, just because I’m not racist against the eastern bloc?”
[10/27/14, 12:16:25 AM] Aurya Stark: “Or Emily,” she agrees with a sigh.
[10/27/14, 12:16:35 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Oooo,” she says then. “She is pretty.” And she looks to Ethan. "Yeah, I thought so too, he’s always kinda staring. " And then she nods to Epiphany. “Yeaaah, even if they don’t SAY it. Her or Emily,” and a nod to Vee. And then to Rick. “Okay, ask someone else truth or dare or not me.”
[10/27/14, 12:16:45 AM] Daniel Harris: “No, because you defended her and because you’re always staring at her. But I guess since she’s always standing next to Laverne you could’ve been staring at Laverne.”
[10/27/14, 12:16:49 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Because you have to ask EVERYONE in this place.” She points around the place.
[10/27/14, 12:18:22 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “That’s because I’m a good person, and I’m going to be an investigator,” Rick says to Ethan with a slightly haughty air that seems to come to him naturally.
[10/27/14, 12:18:23 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “Uh. Vee. Truth or dare.”
[10/27/14, 12:19:05 AM] Aurya Stark: She bites her lips, eyeing Rick nervously for a second or two – then shrugs. “Truth.”
[10/27/14, 12:21:27 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie looks wide-eyed from Vee back to Rick, apparently waiting for some in depth question here.
[10/27/14, 12:24:10 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “If you could make two people in our grade get together or break up, who would they be? Not including yourself.” Rick thinks this is super in depth.
[10/27/14, 12:24:54 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Oooh, that’s a good one,” Maggie says, immediately complimenting the question. She sits back and kicks her feet out – and leans to peek her head out the door to make sure her mom hasn’t somehow creeped up and is listening in, and when she, of course, hasn’t, she looks back to Vee.
[10/27/14, 12:27:24 AM] Aurya Stark: “Emily and Bob should break up,” she says, with a roll of her eyes." Duh. But it’s gotta be a big, like tv breakup where they scream at each other in the cafeteria, and then nobody wants to go out with either of them afterwards."
[10/27/14, 12:27:42 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Oooh, that’s a good answer!” she says, immediately complimenting the answer too. “That was GOOD!”
[10/27/14, 12:27:59 AM] Daniel Harris: “Emily isn’t dating Bob,” Ethan corrects. “Emily is dating Bill.”
[10/27/14, 12:28:29 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Whatever, they’re basically the same except Bob is meaner,” she says waving her hand to Ethan. “I mean, Bill is better at poetry but he’s still a butthead.”
[10/27/14, 12:29:06 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “Bill’s worse because you can tell he kinda knows how to be nice, but just puts it away if anyone popular tells him to.”
[10/27/14, 12:29:13 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Yeah,” she nods to Rick.
[10/27/14, 12:29:20 AM] Daniel Harris: “Bill is okay,” Ethan says.
[10/27/14, 12:30:10 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Melissa’s okay if you get her away from Emily but then she always tries to show off which makes her lame too.”
[10/27/14, 12:30:12 AM] Aurya Stark: “Whatever, as long as totally ruins their whole little bully squad,” she humphs. “Epiphany, truth or dare?”
[10/27/14, 12:31:25 AM] Kii: Epiphany looks a little surprised that she’s been chosen, and shifts in place. “Um… I don’t really like dares. Last time Maggie made me walk down the street in my underwear. So, truth.”
[10/27/14, 12:32:03 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Only in front of my house!” She protests and waves her hands a little ibt. “And it was like, nine PM so no one even saw except that guy on a bike and I think he just thought you were wearing a swimsuit.” She pauses. “…But it was pretty funny.”
[10/27/14, 12:32:14 AM] Aurya Stark: “What do you think about all day, when you like, stare off at nothing during class?”
[10/27/14, 12:35:04 AM] Kii: She relaxes a little— it seems like she was expecting something a little more personal. “I think about all kinds of stuff. About leylines and out of body experiences, or sometimes I analyze my dreams, sometimes I read the auras of other people and put it in my chart and well yeah that’s about it really, I mean, stuff like that.” she hurridly ends that line of thought.
[10/27/14, 12:36:17 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: She bobbles her head a little bit. “That makes sense! I don’t think the leylines at school are that thick, though, so probably not much to look at right?” She pauses, looking worried that’s wrong. “Now, you gotta ask Ethan because he’s the only one left before me, so then Ethan will have to ask me this time so we can get everyone.”
[10/27/14, 12:36:33 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: A pause. “…The leylines aren’t really like – they don’t run through school much right?”
[10/27/14, 12:37:08 AM] Kii: “Of course they don’t,” she says matter-of-factly. “Ok Ethan, Truth or Dare?”
[10/27/14, 12:37:11 AM] Daniel Harris: “I kinda wanna say dare just because nobody’s said dare yet but I’m a chicken and have nothing to hide so truth.”
[10/27/14, 12:37:49 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “It’s okay,” she says. “I hate answering questions and I hate telling things like my crushes so I go dare,” she pats Ethan’s arm a bit in a comforting sort of way. Maggie? Hate answering questions? She rambles all the time.
[10/27/14, 12:38:49 AM] Kii: Epiphany considers for a moment, and then asks cooly, “what’s the most embaressing thing you’ve ever done?”
[10/27/14, 12:39:18 AM] Daniel Harris: “I peed in a closet.” he looks at Maggie, matter-of-factly. “Truth or dare, Maggie?”
[10/27/14, 12:39:39 AM] Kii: She wrinkles her nose, “…that’s gross, Ethan.”
[10/27/14, 12:39:48 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Why’d you pee in a closet?” She says then, furrowing her brow. And then she puffs her cheeks out, arcs her back as if to proudly lift her chest – as if to show off. “DARE!”
[10/27/14, 12:39:50 AM] Daniel Harris: “If you didn’t wanna know, you shouldn’t have asked.”
[10/27/14, 12:40:00 AM] Daniel Harris: “Because it was DARK and I thought it was the BATHROOM.”
[10/27/14, 12:40:05 AM] Daniel Harris: “POOP ON THE SLIDE.”
[10/27/14, 12:40:23 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Oooh,” she says then, nodding. And then she stares at Ethan. “Ewww, no! And I don’t HAVE to POOP.”
[10/27/14, 12:40:33 AM] Daniel Harris: “You can’t REFUSE a DARE.”
[10/27/14, 12:40:34 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “Nope,” Rick pipes up. “Veto. Vetoing that right now. Give her a new dare.”
[10/27/14, 12:40:41 AM] Daniel Harris: “THE DARE HAS BEEN SPOKEN!”
[10/27/14, 12:40:51 AM] Kii: “Yeah, one that doesn’t involve going to the bathroom.”
[10/27/14, 12:40:54 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: She folds her arms. “If that’s the only one you’re going to come up with, I’ll go TRUTH!”
[10/27/14, 12:41:00 AM] Daniel Harris: “You can’t CHANGE!”
[10/27/14, 12:41:04 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Can too!”
[10/27/14, 12:41:07 AM] Daniel Harris: “Can not!”
[10/27/14, 12:41:08 AM] Aurya Stark: “Gross!” Vee chimes in, making a face at Ethan. “Is that just a thing for you?”
[10/27/14, 12:41:14 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Can too!”
[10/27/14, 12:41:19 AM] Daniel Harris: “No, but it’s the hardest dare I could think of.”
[10/27/14, 12:41:21 AM] Daniel Harris: “Can not!”
[10/27/14, 12:41:30 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Either change the dare or give me a truth, and you can’t make it about POOPING! Make me run up and down the street in my underwear!”
[10/27/14, 12:41:36 AM] Daniel Harris: “Otherwise you could just keep changing to avoid doing or saying anything.”
[10/27/14, 12:41:51 AM] Daniel Harris: “POOP ON THE SLIDE! YOU STARTED THE GAME!”
[10/27/14, 12:41:55 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “If the group vetos it, you have to give a new one, Ethan.”
[10/27/14, 12:42:01 AM] Daniel Harris: “That’s not a rule!”
[10/27/14, 12:42:04 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “I’m not pooping!” She points at Rick. “Yeah, EVERYONE’S vetoing it, not just me!”
[10/27/14, 12:42:16 AM] Daniel Harris: “I didn’t veto any of you guys’ stuff.”
[10/27/14, 12:42:18 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “You want me to enforce the rule the hard way or the easy way?” Rick says with a cool arch of his brow.
[10/27/14, 12:42:18 AM] Aurya Stark: “You can’t get her in trouble, that’s like, bad trouble.”
[10/27/14, 12:42:39 AM] Daniel Harris: “She’s not gonna get in trouble. It’s her own HOUSE.”
[10/27/14, 12:42:57 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Hey, don’t threaten Ethan!” She says immediately with a huff. And then she looks to Ethan. “My mom’d be mad if I pooped on the slide.”
[10/27/14, 12:43:17 AM] Daniel Harris: “It won’t even stay. It’ll just roll down and drop on the ground and then it’ll decay in the ground and be fertilizer.”
[10/27/14, 12:43:25 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “But my mom will see the like…brown streak!”
[10/27/14, 12:43:34 AM] Aurya Stark: “I bet she’d get GROUNDED for that.” Grounding is a big, scary adult threat, when one is eleven.
[10/27/14, 12:43:34 AM] Daniel Harris: “There won’t be a streak unless you have diarrhea.”
[10/27/14, 12:43:37 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “I reserve the right to defend myself against shitty potty humor.”
[10/27/14, 12:44:01 AM] Kii: “She said she doesn’t even have to go, Ethan. Think of something else!”
[10/27/14, 12:44:11 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Um, like, all poop makes brown stuff. And yeah, I don’t have to go.” She folds her arms. “Not doing it. Ask me a truth.”
[10/27/14, 12:44:22 AM] Daniel Harris: “The colon is like thirty feet long, she’s got to have something in there.”
[10/27/14, 12:44:51 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “Ethan. Give it up. Not your treehouse and no one agrees with you.”
[10/27/14, 12:45:06 AM] Daniel Harris: “It’s the rules of the game. I told you guys about the closet.”
[10/27/14, 12:45:17 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “I’ll answer three truths to not do it.”
[10/27/14, 12:45:36 AM] Daniel Harris: “I could have said, no, I don’t wanna answer that, veto, I swtich to dare, and then when you gave me a dare I could’ve said, no, veto that dare, I switch back to truth, and I could’ve done that all day and all night.”
[10/27/14, 12:45:46 AM] Daniel Harris: “It’s the PRINCIPLE!”
[10/27/14, 12:45:47 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Yeah, but I won’t do that!”
[10/27/14, 12:45:54 AM] Daniel Harris: “It’s the RULE!”
[10/27/14, 12:46:06 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “The veto has to be everyone. You can’t do it frivolously.”
[10/27/14, 12:46:09 AM] Kii: “It’s not how we play.”
[10/27/14, 12:46:11 AM] Aurya Stark: “Ugh,” Vee sighs.
[10/27/14, 12:46:26 AM] Daniel Harris: “What does frivolously mean?”
[10/27/14, 12:46:33 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “For stupid reasons, idiot.”
[10/27/14, 12:46:42 AM] Daniel Harris: “You have a pretty big vocabulary, huh.”
[10/27/14, 12:46:59 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Three truths for not pooping on the slide. Pinky swear. Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye.” She crosses her hand over her heart.
[10/27/14, 12:47:15 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “No. Don’t do that, Maggie. We don’t negotiate with terrorists.”
[10/27/14, 12:47:35 AM] Daniel Harris: “I don’t want your three truths. Obviously you guys don’t treat me like an equal because nobody vetoed your stuff but I get vetoed, so I don’t wanna play anymore anyway.”
[10/27/14, 12:47:55 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick sighs.
[10/27/14, 12:48:02 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Fine,” she says then with a huff. “And that’s because nobody elses stuff was POOPING! But that’s fine. We can go to GHOST STORIES instead.”
[10/27/14, 12:48:20 AM] Daniel Harris: “Pooping is a natural human process.”
[10/27/14, 12:48:25 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “But it’s gross.”
[10/27/14, 12:48:29 AM] Daniel Harris: “Everybody poops.”
[10/27/14, 12:48:31 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “So’s beating people up. Just leave it.”
[10/27/14, 12:48:44 AM] Daniel Harris: “If you beat me up I’ll have my mom shoot you in the head.”
[10/27/14, 12:48:52 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “STOP IT!” She says.
[10/27/14, 12:49:31 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “Great plan,” Rick says with a roll of his eyes, then leans back at looks at Maggie with a ’i’m stopping now’ look.
[10/27/14, 12:49:47 AM] Daniel Harris: “It’s not my fault you guys are uncomfortable with your own bodies.”
[10/27/14, 12:49:55 AM] Kii: Epiphany leans out and looks at the sky, frowning to herself. “I think I gotta go home now Maggie, it takes me a little bit to walk and Grandpa said if I came home after sunset again he’d ground me.” She frowns at Ethan, “your mom would go to jail.” She turns back to the other kids, “See you guys later!”
[10/27/14, 12:50:26 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: She darts a glare at Rick and then waves her hands. She looks to Epiphany then. “Oh – okay. Want my mom to drive you home?” And then she waves her hands a little bit. “Have you guys heard about the GHOST that lives in that old ladies house by the water tower?”
[10/27/14, 12:52:52 AM] Kii: “Nah, I like walking.” She smiles at them all, and then quickly disappears from view as she scrambles down the ladder.
[10/27/14, 12:53:00 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Bye, Epiphany,” she says. “See you tomorrow!”
[10/27/14, 12:53:10 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “Later.”
[10/27/14, 12:53:30 AM] Aurya Stark: “Bye,” she answers, and then once Epiphany is down the ladder she has a sudden second thought and leans out one of the windows, “Hey, show me later how to do that thing?”
[10/27/14, 12:54:07 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “You can borrow one of my books. I’d let you borrow one of Epiphany’s but they’re not mine to let people borrow and I’m borrowing them from her right now and trying to memorize ’em and write the important bits in my journal.”
[10/27/14, 12:54:38 AM] Kii: Epiphany pauses and smiles up at Vee. “Sure! Find me at recess!”
[10/27/14, 12:55:22 AM] Daniel Harris: As the day wears on into evening, one by one the kids have to head home.
[10/27/14, 12:55:37 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie goes to get her mom to drive everyone home – and then goes to her own house (a bit easier as it’s right there).
[10/27/14, 12:56:21 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick is the last to get out, muttering about how Ethan is dumb. He spends most of the time between dinner and bed reading.
[10/27/14, 12:57:26 AM] Aurya Stark: Vee very nicely thanks Maggie’s mom for the ride, though prior to and after that interaction she’s somewhat sullen about the prospect of returning home.
[10/27/14, 12:57:46 AM] Daniel Harris: The night goes by peacefully and sleepily for all the kids. Come morning, Maggie glances out her window—after putting on her substitute glasses—to find a pair of glasses very strongly resembling the ones that broke sitting on the outside of her windowsill. And as she pries the window open to retrieve them, she finds them lying folded neatly atop a handwritten note:
[10/27/14, 12:58:02 AM] Daniel Harris: Glasses, to restore your sight.
I hope I got the lenses right.

[10/27/14, 12:58:18 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie seems to quickly forget the Truth/Dare thing and just babbles about stories. She pries the windows open and blinking at them giddily. She stares at this and gasps – and promptly lets out an excited squeal that very much likely annoys her mom.
[10/27/14, 12:58:24 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: She puts these glasses on. She goes to school hugging the note.
[10/27/14, 1:01:33 AM] Daniel Harris: Maggie’s mother is predictably astonished that Maggie suddenly has her glasses back, but ultimately seems to chalk it up to kids exaggerating shit and telling lies to cover their asses or whatever.
[10/27/14, 1:02:20 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: Whatever the case, when she gets to school, like a torpedo, she’s searching for Epiphany, Ethan, Laverne, Petra, Rick, Vee, flailing the handwritten note excitedly. “GUYS. GUYS. GUYS. GUYS!”
[10/27/14, 1:03:46 AM] Kii: Epiphany is just arriving and looks a bit sleepy despite Maggie’s sharp cries. “Huh? What is it? What’s that?” She stops, and a HUGE smile crosses her face. “YOUR GLASSES!!”
[10/27/14, 1:04:00 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “YES! AND I GOT A NOTE!” She says. “IT WAS OUTSIDE MY WINDOW AND I SLEEP ON THE SECOND FLOOR!”
[10/27/14, 1:04:02 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “Huh,” is Rick’s response, though he looks kind of impressed.
[10/27/14, 1:04:25 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: She spreads the notepaper in front of her. “Glasses to restore your sight, I hope I got the lenses right, SIGNED X!”
[10/27/14, 1:04:44 AM] Aurya Stark: Vee’s in a better mood, a day removed from the kickball game. She’s unloading her backpack for the day. “What?” Then she realizes it’s for real, and stares. “Oh my gosh. For real?” She leaps up to look at the note.
[10/27/14, 1:05:02 AM] Daniel Harris: Laverne’s response echoes Rick’s: “Huh.” She seems more surprised than impressed. She glances at Petra, who shakes her head once for some reason.
[10/27/14, 1:05:24 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: She hands the note off, flailing her hands giddily.
[10/27/14, 1:05:41 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick leans in next to Vee to read the note.
[10/27/14, 1:05:50 AM] Kii: Epiphany hops from foot to foot in excitement, peering over the other girl’s shoulder at the note. “See? I told you it would work! From X, huh…?”
[10/27/14, 1:06:12 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “The ghosts name must be X. X is a weird letter to start a name. Xander? Xenophilius? Zero, but with an X?”
[10/27/14, 1:07:06 AM] Aurya Stark: “Or maybe that’s what you sign stuff when you don’t want to give your real name. Or can’t read.” She looks at the back of the note, and then, impressed but mystified, offers it to Rick. “Wow, they showed up at your house.
[10/27/14, 1:07:42 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Oh, that’s true. Sign an X on the line.” Her eyes widen a little bit. “That’s SO COOL! I GOT VISITED BY A GHOST! EEEE!” She flails her hands and dances around a little bit.
[10/27/14, 1:08:02 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick stares it with the air of someone who is vaguely aware of the idea of handwriting analysis but has no idea how to actually do it.
[10/27/14, 1:08:35 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Oh my gosh, I wonder if we can TALK to the ghost and not ask for things from him? And he’s worried about getting my lenses right, how NICE is that!?”
[10/27/14, 1:08:50 AM] Daniel Harris: Awkwardness of the day before forgotten, Ethan scurries over to the group. “It worked? It worked?”
[10/27/14, 1:09:05 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “IT WORKED!” She says to Ethan, and then turns to get in his face and points at her glasses. “LOOK!”
[10/27/14, 1:09:05 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “Maybe he just needed something to rhyme,” Rick says a bit wryly, passing the note to Epiphany.
[10/27/14, 1:09:06 AM] Aurya Stark: “We’ve totally got to go leave it another NOTE,” she says, eyes widening, giving Ethan an eager nod and scooting over to pull him into the circle.
[10/27/14, 1:09:26 AM] Daniel Harris: “Yeah!” Ethan says. “Let’s try it with something else!”
[10/27/14, 1:09:27 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Eeeee! WE DO! But I’ve not lost anything else! Have any of you lost anything?!”
[10/27/14, 1:09:34 AM] Daniel Harris: “MY DOG! COLBY!”
[10/27/14, 1:09:39 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Maybe we can just leave him notes too? Maybe just friendly ni—OH THAT’S A GOOD IDEA!”
[10/27/14, 1:09:58 AM] Kii: Epiphany shifts uncomfortably, “…That would be black magic. Necromancy. That’s never a good idea.”
[10/27/14, 1:10:02 AM] Daniel Harris: Laverne frowns slightly at that. “I don’t know if that’s such a hot idea.”
[10/27/14, 1:10:11 AM] Daniel Harris: Ethan shakes his head. “It’s like a SCIENCE EXPERIMENT!”
[10/27/14, 1:10:32 AM] KhAlf Drogo: With the air of being slightly confused to be agreeing with Epiphany – “Necromancy, yeah…not good.”
[10/27/14, 1:10:41 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “But he really wants his dog back, right, and plus – well it might only be things, so we can at least see if he can bring back living things, right? Maybe he can, we should at least test.” Maggie is totally ready to go Pet Semetary.
[10/27/14, 1:10:53 AM] Kii: “No, they never come back like you remember. They come back dark and changed. Pick something that didn’t used to be alive.” She crosses her arms with a small ‘hmmph’.
[10/27/14, 1:10:59 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Colby,” she says then. “…Moby?”
[10/27/14, 1:11:04 AM] Daniel Harris: “I mean, imagine what this thing might be able to do? If it can do glasses, or car keys, and maybe if it can do stuff that’s alive—you could even maybe bring back PEOPLE you’ve lost!”
[10/27/14, 1:11:30 AM] Daniel Harris: Laverne folds her arms, mirroring Epiphany.
[10/27/14, 1:11:36 AM] Kii: “Absolutely not,” she says firmly.
[10/27/14, 1:11:53 AM] Aurya Stark: “Have you done it?” she breathes at Epiphany, assuming, based on her wide eyes, that she speaks from experience.
[10/27/14, 1:12:37 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “None of the rest of us are missing anything, and Ethan is missing something and so we get to do what he lost and that’s Colby,” she says then. “What if he comes back perfectly a-okay though?”
[10/27/14, 1:12:56 AM] Daniel Harris: “Yeah,” Ethan says, “he’ll come back and he’ll be a-okay.”
[10/27/14, 1:13:02 AM] Kii: “No, but… I’ve read about it. Voodoo and stuff. It’s things you don’t want to bring into the world, it all ends awfully. Things that die need to stay that way. It’s just… It won’t work, ok?!” She seems uncharacteristically unnerved right now.
[10/27/14, 1:13:21 AM] Daniel Harris: Ethan looks to Maggie hopefully. “Will you help me with the rhymes?!”
[10/27/14, 1:13:40 AM] Kii: “You’re going to suffer a CURSE if you do this, Maggie.”
[10/27/14, 1:13:50 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “But GHOSTS are a thing,” she says then. “And maybe Colby WILL be a ghost.” She nods firmly to Ethan. “Of course. And it’s not BAD magic if you aren’t HURTING anyone.”
[10/27/14, 1:13:58 AM] Daniel Harris: Ethan: “She didn’t get cursed for the GLASSES!”
[10/27/14, 1:14:52 AM] Kii: “Glasses aren’t dark and unnatural!” She sighs, exasperated. “Maggie… if you trust me, you won’t do this, ok? Because I’m not going to bail you out if you get cursed!”
[10/27/14, 1:15:24 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “You can do your stupid thing, sure, but I’m not helping with this,” Rick says, crossing his arms. “Sometimes…little things should just stay little.”
[10/27/14, 1:15:33 AM] KhAlf Drogo: He’s also glaring at Maggie.
[10/27/14, 1:15:47 AM] Daniel Harris: Ethan looks at Rick. “What about your dad, huh? Didn’t you lose your dad?”
[10/27/14, 1:16:07 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “You’re fucking right I did, and some art project isn’t bringing him back,” Rick says tightly.
[10/27/14, 1:16:22 AM] Daniel Harris: “It brought Maggie’s glasses back. Who says it can’t?”
[10/27/14, 1:16:34 AM] Aurya Stark: “Maybe we can just ask it?”
[10/27/14, 1:16:57 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: She huffs and then looks to Ethan and then looks to Vee. “That’s a good idea. Maybe leave it a note in rhyme and mention we want – the answer? And – he can tell us.”
[10/27/14, 1:17:14 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick glares at Ethan, not deigning to respond to that with words.
[10/27/14, 1:17:23 AM] Daniel Harris: Ethan: “But that’s not what the RITUAL was. The RITUAL was for stuff that you LOST.”
[10/27/14, 1:17:49 AM] Daniel Harris: “You guys even said, rituals are important.”
[10/27/14, 1:18:28 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Yeah, but I was hoping to try and talk to him because I figure ghosts can get bored, and I wanna talk to him.” She nods her head once. “That’s true.” She chews her lip a little bit, looking back to Epiphany and then Rick. “I mean.” And then to Epiphany. “The legend said THINGS right, I dunno if dogs count as things, so just trying it won’t hurt probably RIGHT?”
[10/27/14, 1:18:30 AM] Kii: “Not raising the dead is also important.” Epiphany says cooly.
[10/27/14, 1:19:32 AM] Kii: “Anything alive can’t be a thing,” she says, shaking her head. “I’ve already told you: don’t do it. I won’t help you.”
[10/27/14, 1:20:17 AM] Daniel Harris: “Well—we don’t need your help! Me and Maggie’ll do it. Right Maggie?”
[10/27/14, 1:20:25 AM] Daniel Harris: Laverne sighs. “This is such a bad idea.”
[10/27/14, 1:21:06 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: She looks to Ethan – draws in a breath, and then: “I’ll – think about it, okay? We can talk about it in notes during class.”
[10/27/14, 1:21:10 AM] Kii: Epiphany just shrugs her shoulders. “If you two are so set on doing this… Maybe it’ll teach you a lesson.”
[10/27/14, 1:22:04 AM] Daniel Harris: Bob, Bill, and Emily pass by the group, and Bob snorts out a laugh. “What are you dweebs so worked-up over?”
[10/27/14, 1:22:23 AM] Aurya Stark: “Okay but .. can we try the dog first? And not Rick’s dad?” She gives Rick a look that’s kind of apologetic but not sure it ought to be.
[10/27/14, 1:23:13 AM] Kii: “Necromancy,” Epiphany answers casually before going to take her seat.
[10/27/14, 1:23:25 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Yes,” she says then nodding her head. “I’ll do Colby first.” And she looks at Bob. “Uh, nothing.” And she moves to take her seat up front right by Ethan.
[10/27/14, 1:23:42 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick doesn’t bother to respond. He stalks back to his seat, double brooding today.
[10/27/14, 1:24:05 AM] Daniel Harris: “Neko-what? Are you guys into some Dungeons and Dragons shit too? I always knew you were a bunch of devil-worshippers.”
[10/27/14, 1:24:31 AM] Daniel Harris: Bill starts, “Actually, D&D isn’t—” but Bob cuts him off: “You dweebs better not get caught worshipping Satan or you’ll be in some deep trouble.”
[10/27/14, 1:24:41 AM] Aurya Stark: “Hey Ethan,” she says, motioning him over to the cubbies.
[10/27/14, 1:25:19 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Uh, my cousin used to do Dungeons and Dragons and it’s just a GAME, dumbface,” she says to Bob. “And also, like, no way am I worshiping Satan. YOU probably worship him to try and get good at anything. Like Flute.” Oh, fighting words, Maggie.
[10/27/14, 1:25:38 AM] Daniel Harris: Ethan, emboldened, blurts out to Bob and company: “THE MAGIC WORKED IT BROUGHT MAGGIE’S GLASSES BACK AND NOW IT’S GONNA BRING BACK MY DOG AND HE’S GONNA EAT YOU IF YOU DON’T BE CAREFUL, BOB!”
[10/27/14, 1:25:52 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “YEAH! What Ethan said.”
[10/27/14, 1:25:52 AM] Daniel Harris: There’s an awkward silence, followed by uproarious laughter from the popular kids.
[10/27/14, 1:26:40 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick is working hard at staring a burnt hole through the ceiling.
[10/27/14, 1:26:44 AM] Daniel Harris: Bob gets in Maggie’s face, pointing a finger at her nose. “I’ll break every pair of glasses you’ve got,” he says quietly, “if you don’t shut up about that.”
[10/27/14, 1:27:11 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: She lifts her chin a little bit. “Shut up about what, Bob?”
[10/27/14, 1:27:34 AM] Kii: Epiphany shifts in her chair and begins to write furiously in her journal again, eyes moving from the page to Bob and Maggie, then back again.
[10/27/14, 1:27:36 AM] Daniel Harris: “You knoiw damn well, you little…” he pauses, a slight hesitation before he commits to the word: “cunt.”
[10/27/14, 1:28:45 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Oh no, Bob, I’m SORRY I’m just a DWEEB, I don’t know what you’re TALKING ABOUT. What did I say? Can you SPELL IT OUT for me?” She reaches a finger up to nudge her shiny glasses up her face. “And oooooo, MISSUS HOOOORN BOB SAID THE C WORD!”
[10/27/14, 1:29:26 AM] Daniel Harris: “Children,” Mrs. Horn says tiredly, “Take your seats now.”
[10/27/14, 1:29:36 AM] Aurya Stark: Vee sucks in a scandalized breath, forgetting about getting Ethan’s attention and staring at Bob with wide eyes.
[10/27/14, 1:30:11 AM] Daniel Harris: Ethan, rapt from all these exchanges, and emboldened from all his blurting out, goes one step further: “HE SAID CUNT, MRS. HORN!”
[10/27/14, 1:30:23 AM] Daniel Harris: “ETHAN!” Mrs. Horn bellows. “PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE. NOW.”
[10/27/14, 1:30:34 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “IT WASN’T ETHAN, MRS. HORN!” She says then. “BOB SAID IT!”
[10/27/14, 1:30:54 AM] Daniel Harris: Mrs. Horn snaps back, “You want to join him, Miss Stark?!”
[10/27/14, 1:31:14 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Fine!” She says then, stepping up to her feet again, grabbing her notebook, and stomping to the door. “Come on, Ethan.”
[10/27/14, 1:31:38 AM] Daniel Harris: Ethan huffs and drags his feet. “No, Maggie, you got in trouble yesterday…”
[10/27/14, 1:32:09 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Nope. Nope nope nope. This is UNFAIR! Because Bob said it and she ignores it when HE says it but when you say it SUDDENLY it’s a problem and that’s not COOL!”
[10/27/14, 1:32:10 AM] Daniel Harris: Mrs. Horn: “Every child who is not seated by the time I count to three is getting a mark on their permanent record for disorderly conduct.”
[10/27/14, 1:32:52 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick is still seated and trying to act oblivious, but he crosses his arms and his jaw sets.
[10/27/14, 1:33:14 AM] Kii: Epiphany is still seated and STILL writing in her journal.
[10/27/14, 1:33:19 AM] Daniel Harris: Petra bolts to her seat. Laverne remains standing. “Who cares?” she says. “There’s no such thing as a’permanent record’ anyway.”
[10/27/14, 1:34:06 AM] Aurya Stark: “Miss Horn, how come some people never get in trouble for all the lousy things they do?” she asks as she slides into her seat.
[10/27/14, 1:34:23 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: She remains standing firmly by the door. “Yeah, how come SOME people never get in trouble but the others ALWAYS do?”
[10/27/14, 1:34:31 AM] Daniel Harris: Mrs. Horn sighs belaboredly. “Mr. Russo, Miss Stark, Miss Ward—and now Miss Saint Clare—I am calling all of your parents.”
[10/27/14, 1:34:48 AM] Daniel Harris: “My parents are dead,” Laverne says cavalierly. “If you find the number for Heaven, let me know?”
[10/27/14, 1:35:03 AM] Aurya Stark: “They’re not gonna care anyway,” she says, but this is at a mutter as she slouches in her desk.
[10/27/14, 1:35:04 AM] KhAlf Drogo: This gets Rick to blink.
[10/27/14, 1:35:22 AM] Daniel Harris: Mrs. Horn points at the door. “Miss Ward. Out. Now.”
[10/27/14, 1:35:32 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: This seems to make Maggie waver a little bit, because her mother is going to be mad – though fortunately tonight is dad night, and dad is more oblivious. “So what?” She says then, emboldened by Laverne.
[10/27/14, 1:35:35 AM] Daniel Harris: Laverne shrugs, and walks out the door into the hall.
[10/27/14, 1:35:47 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie turns to trot out with Laverne.
[10/27/14, 1:35:52 AM] Kii: Epiphany looks up at Laverne, who is doing surprisingly well at resisting authority, then up at Maggie.
[10/27/14, 1:35:55 AM] Daniel Harris: As Maggie walks by Bob’s desk, he mutters, “Cunt.”
[10/27/14, 1:36:05 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie quietly kicks Bob in the leg.
[10/27/14, 1:36:19 AM] Daniel Harris: “OWW!” Bob says, bending over. “Mrs. Horn! She kicked me in the LEG!”
[10/27/14, 1:36:24 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “I did NOT!” she says.
[10/27/14, 1:37:03 AM] Daniel Harris: Mrs. Horn is about to blow a gasket. “I am calling Principal Seward in here this instant.” She walks over to the corded phone.
[10/27/14, 1:37:34 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Whatever, I’m going to his OFFICE so he can just FIND me!” She throws her hands up and then storms out into the hallway.
[10/27/14, 1:39:15 AM] Daniel Harris: Ethan, Maggie, Laverne, and Vee are all—utlimately, after their little mutiny—shipped off to the principal’s office, where all of their parents and/or guardians get to receive phone calls about their behaviors.
[10/27/14, 1:39:59 AM] Daniel Harris: Laverne is sent home without much fanfare—some aunt or other is apparentlly coming to pick her up, with assurances that she will be disciplined. She seems not to be worried about this.
[10/27/14, 1:41:30 AM] Daniel Harris: Vee’s parents, upon learning that she’s been INSUBORDINATE at school, are so annoyed (moreso at the convenience of being called and having to come pick her up than anything else, of course) that they take away her Gameboy and revoke her computer privileges for two weeks.
[10/27/14, 1:41:37 AM] Aurya Stark: “All I did was ask a question,” she protests, “Bob called someone the c-word and he didn’t even get called out in class!”
[10/27/14, 1:42:29 AM] Daniel Harris: Maggie’s mom is “severely disappointed” to have to pick her daughter up from school—Maggie is grounded for a week and is no longer allowed to spend time around apparently-bad influences like Laverne.
[10/27/14, 1:43:30 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “IT WASN’T LAVERNE!” She protests loudly. “BOB CALLED ME THE C-WORD MOM! HE SAID CUNT! He was making fun of us, and so I told him that I wasn’t a satanist and he called me a CUNT!”
[10/27/14, 1:43:52 AM] Daniel Harris: Maggie’s mom just shakes her head a bunch and tells Maggie to stop making a scene.
[10/27/14, 1:44:16 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “HOW COME BOB ISN’T GETTING PUNISHED!?”
[10/27/14, 1:44:45 AM] Daniel Harris: Ethan’s mom is shocked to have to come pick her son up, but she responds to the call with crisp professionalism. Ethan is taken away from the school by his mom in quiet tears.
[10/27/14, 1:44:57 AM] Daniel Harris: Nobody answers anyone’s objections about Bob not being punished.
[10/27/14, 1:46:18 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “THIS IS UNFAIR!” Maggie may in fact grow up to be a hippie who holds signs about how the establishment should be torn down. “JUST BECAUSE HE’S STUPID AND GOOD AT SPORTS HE SHOULD GET PUNISHED FOR SAYING THE WORD FIRST!”
[10/27/14, 1:46:27 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie may also be a drama queen. One of the two.
[10/27/14, 1:46:42 AM] Daniel Harris: Maggie is hauled out of the school by her mother, pulling her old-school by her earlobe.
[10/27/14, 1:46:53 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “OW!” She says, flailing her hands.


Fade in on black top, chainlink fence, and a school playground. MISS APPLEBY, the gym teacher, holds a ball. A group of 5th graders stands sullenly by the fence facing her. RICK STARK, a lanky boy wearing a low-pulled beanie, slumps near the back. VEE STCLAIR, pretty and fashionable, strides along at the front of the line, haughty and grumpy. MAGGIE STARK, glasses on the edge of her nose, bounces around toward the front whispering excitedly to EPIPHANY HAYWARD, who chips at her nail polish and stares blankly around.

Appleby walks to the center of the nearby kickball field and then surveys the kids.

APPLEBY: “Team captains. Any volunteers?”

BOB TURANO, a snotty looking blonde kid, steps forward and raises his hand.

Appleby ignores him.

Maggie raises her hand and bounces on her toes.

APPLEBY: “Maggie, you’ll be a captain! Any other volunteers? Anyone BESIDES Bob?”

Maggie leaps forward and moves to stand by Appleby. Vee fidgets and nods to Appleby.

APPLEBY: “Vee? Did you want to?”

BOB: “Oh, come ON! I’ve had my hand up for like a YEAR!”

VEE: “I guess.”

Vee moves to stand by Appleby’s other side. Vee and Maggie get to picking people. In the end, Maggie’s team consists of: Bob, Epiphany, Laverne, Eddie, Melissa, Ethan, and Vee’s team consists of: Rick, Aaron, Petra, Bill, Emily.

The kids then take their places on the field, with Vee’s team moving up to kick first and Maggie’s moving to the field. The kids play for a while, and there was some banter back and forth – mostly with Bob being negative and insulting Rick and Ethan and complaining loudly.

Eventually, the assistant principal comes out to take Miss Appleby aside.

APPLEBY: “Keep playing everyone! I’ll be right over there.”

As soon as Appleby leaves, Bob leaves to join the other team.

MELISSA: “Hey! No fair! This team sucks!”

EMILY: “Come join us, then.”

Melissa walks over to join Emily, Bob, and Bill.

MAGGIE: “Whatever. Melissa go over there. Rick! Join my team?”

RICK: “You’re such a sore fucking loser, Bob.”

VEE: “No fair, he’s on base! Take your losers back!”

MAGGIE: “You can join my team too, Vee!”

BOB: “What’d you say, dipshit?”

RICK: “I said if you had any actual confidence in your pitching, you’d still be out here.”

Epiphany scoots closer to this arguing and starts scribbling in her notebook.

BOB: “Confidence in my pitching? Like Kickball’s a real sport, you fucking retard.”

RICK: “So you can’t even win at a fake sport? That’s pretty pathetic.”

Cheerfully, to Vee, MAGGIE: “You could join my team, and Petra, and Aaron, and we can just let the twins and their girlfriends play against all of us?”

BOB: “Whatever. You’re such a fucking retard. Isn’t he a retard?”

BILL: “I guess.”

VEE: “Says the guy who was practically wetting himself to be team captain.” She loops her arms through Aaron and Petra’s and drags them over to the other team.

Rick goes to the pitcher’s mound.

BOB “Good, take all the losers on your team. But we get to keep Aaron.” He grabs Aaron by the arm and pulls him back from Vee.

MAGGIE: “Well! Aaron, you can PICK where you want to go. But we’re nicer, probably, most of the time?”

LAVERNE, a bright and pretty redhead, calls out: “Hey Aaron. This is one of those life-changing moments. You get to choose between being a narcissistic, snide, empty-headed moron, like them, or you know…not.”

Aaron goes to the field.

Maggie crouches behind the base, ready to catch. Bob steps up to the plate.

BOB: “Okay, anything goes. FULL CONTACT. NO RULES. Somebody pitch.”

Rick pitches. The ball spins, and Bob completely whiffs. Bob immediately throws a fit.

BOB: “That was the fucking WORST PITCH I’ve ever seen, you fucking RETARD!”

Rick flips Bob off.

Vee whistles for Rick, a loud WHEEEET of a noise.

MAGGIE picks up the ball. “Hey! Stop being a douchecake! Maybe you’re just bad at kickball!”

Bob, red-faced, grapples the ball roughly from Maggie. He throws it at Rick, who ducks down to catch it and ends up pelted in the face.

EMILY: “Wow, he really is a retard.”

Maggie pushes her glasses up, and crouches again. Rick gets the ball.

Vee watches, wide-eyed, waiting for a fight. Epiphany wanders closer.

EPIPHANY: “Um, if you really do fight, the Vice Principal is out here.”

BOB: “Don’t worry. If I want to fight a Stark, all I gotta do is find the nearest crack den.”

Maggie stands up slowly.

MAGGIE: “What was that, Bobby?”

RICK: “Why the fuck would we be in a crack den looking for your mom, Bob?”


Maggie immediately kicks Bob right in the junk.

Vee drifts closer.

VEE: “Wow, they’re really gonna!”

Bob lets out a high-pitched groan of pain and doubles over. Bill comes immediately to his brother’s aid dashing forward. He’s intercepted by Rick who charges into him. Emily dashes forward and grabs Maggie’s hair from behind.


Maggie throws an elbow into Emily’s face.

Melissa joins the fray, scratching Maggie’s face.

VEE: “LEAVE THEM ALONE, BOB!” And then to Epiphany: “He’s such a bully!”

The principal and Miss Appleby start hastily running toward the action.


Her glasses go flying. She tries to smack Emily in the jaw again.

EPIPHANY: “We might want to back up a little, unless you want to get in trouble too.”

She and Vee take a few steps back.

There’s a loud CRUNCH of glass in the scuffle.

Maggie: “My GLASSES! Let me GO!”

Miss Appleby reaches the group, and she and the vice principal manage to pull the kids apart. Maggie scrambles away from her to try to find her glasses. Emily and Melissa immediately pull back.


Maggie ignores them, searching for her glasses.

Vee: “No, BOB started it! Like he ALWAYS does!”

Miss Appleby yanks Maggie back up.

APPLEBY: “They’re broken. Get up. Stand up. I’m VERY disappointed in ALL of you.”

The kids start arguing, everyone assigning blame to everyone else. Miss Appleby sighs.

APPLEBY: “You’re ALL in trouble.”

Everyone goes to the principal’s office and gets varying punishments with Maggie and Rick getting the brunt of it, and go back to class. Eventually, at Recess! Epiphany hovers near Maggie, and Vee hovers near Rick.

Epiphany: “I just remembered something! Something for getting back lost things. Though I guess your glasses were destroyed, not lost, right? But it still might work!”

Vee: “Did they actually hit you?”

Rick: “Who? Bill? He can wish. The ground hurt me more than he did.”

Maggie: “Oh. If we get my glasses back, my mom won’t even be mad. What do we do? Is it a spell?”

Epiphany: “Supposedly, the way we get back anything that has been lost is to write a note, but there are three requirements. It must describe the item, it must rhyme, and it must state the victim’s name – yours – three times. The rule of threes, you know! Anyway, after that, you stick it under the corner of the top of the desk in the back of the art room in the Junior High. Whatever it is will come back to you. You wanna try it?”

Maggie immediately starts whispering rhymes under her breath.

Vee: “Your cousin kicking his brother in the balls was pretty awesome. Didn’t know she was the type.”

Rick: “Starks don’t shrink from the call!”

Vee rolls her eyes.

Rick, bashfully: “Thanks for what you said.”

Vee: “Yeah, whatever, no big deal.” She shrugs. “They’re jerks.”

The kids eventually join together and chat – and they all decide (with additions of Laverne, Petra, and Ethan) to go to the junior high.


[10/19/14, 10:01:15 PM] Daniel Harris: The kids attend Daniel Webster Elementary in New Rochelle, where they are in Mrs. Horn’s fifth grade class. Mrs. Horn is a crusty old lady who is oblivious to everything but is vaguely terrifying when her ire is actually roused by misbehavior that crosses the line into obviousness. Miss Appleby, the gym teacher, is a young, peppy, cheerleaderish sort of creature. Mr. Curtis, the music teacher, is a short, bespectacled, gentle-voiced man who kind of gives the kids the creeps sometimes even though he’s never been anything but nice.
[10/19/14, 10:01:33 PM] Daniel Harris: The class consists of the following people:
[10/19/14, 10:02:48 PM] Daniel Harris: Emily Burke, a very pretty blond girl who is the “Queen Bee” of the class. Popular to the max, Emily wears hjigh heels and her snub power is tremendous. Most of the other kids worship the ground she walks on.
[10/19/14, 10:03:28 PM] Daniel Harris: Melissa Delgado, a pretty Hispanic girl who mostly serves as Emily’s side-kick. She’s pretty nice if you catch her when Emily’s not around, but when Emily is nearby she is known to be extra vicious in an attempt to impress.
[10/19/14, 10:05:14 PM] Daniel Harris: Eddie Mather, the shaggy, shabby class clown. Rumor (uncomfirmed) is that his parents are homeless. He comes up with most of the “yo mama” jokes that circulate through the class every so often. He’s nice to you until he decides you’re a target for ridicule for whatever reason.
[10/19/14, 10:06:25 PM] Daniel Harris: Petra Mendeleeva, the mute kid. She’s pretty, almost as pretty as Emily, and this combined with her difficulty speaking English has made her the target of the brunt of Emily’s viciousness. She avoids the crap out of everyone whenever possible and it is rumored she is mentally slow.
[10/19/14, 10:07:43 PM] Daniel Harris: Ethan Russo, the class weasel. This boy is short, and weak, and looks like the typical nerd—only he’s not as smart as the “nerd” label might lead one to believe. This results in the dumber kids trying to make him do their homework and then beating him up when it turns out he can’t do it much better than they can.
[10/19/14, 10:08:56 PM] Daniel Harris: Robert Turano: “Bob” of the Bill/Bob Turano Twins. A strong, good-looking, outgoing kid, probably a high school quarterback in the making. He plays the flute in band and is extremely sensitive about it. Seriously, mention the flute at your own risk.
[10/19/14, 10:10:01 PM] Daniel Harris: William Turano: “Bill” of the Bill/Bob Turano Twins. Also strong, also good-looking, although Bill is not as interested in sports and doesn’t play an instrument. Instead, he writes (probably terrible) love poetry to his girlfriend, Emily Burke. Bill will do whatever Emily says, and will react with terrible violence to anyone who upsets her.
[10/19/14, 10:10:36 PM] Daniel Harris: Aaron van der Meer: A HUGE black kid, this guy could easily pass for a ninth grader. Everyone is kind of terrified of him. But he’s kind of a nice, kind of quiet guy, actually?
[10/19/14, 10:11:52 PM] Daniel Harris: Laverne Ward: A pretty girl who is good at everything and knows it. Most of the class hates her, as the common perception seems to be that she thinks she’s better than everyone else. Most frustratingly, she usually is. She’d be a teacher’s pet if she weren’t also infuriatingly rebellious, constantly getting in trouble for questioning authority.
[10/19/14, 10:32:25 PM] Daniel Harris: Okay, so it’s mid-morning, mid-October. A brisk breeze, but a lovely day otherwise. Halloween is fast approaching, and here and there candy is shifting from hand to hand, pocket to pocket. Mrs. Horn’s got a plastic Jack-O-Lantern full of candy on her desk that some of the kids stare goopily at intead of doing their reading assignments which are totally BORING.
[10/19/14, 10:33:28 PM] Daniel Harris: Mrs. Horn has just shipped the kids off to Miss Appleby’s gym class, whereupon they are being marched outside single file for, apparently, kickball purposes. The kickball “field” is just a big swath of blacktop, encased in impossibly-tall-seeming chainlink fence, within view of the school playground.
[10/19/14, 10:35:01 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick’s in the back of the line unless the teachers were really determined for him to be elsewhere.
[10/19/14, 10:35:12 PM] Daniel Harris: Miss Appleby tosses the big kickball…ball…from hand to hand. It makes that inflated, slightly off-kilter basketballish noise as she pops it back and forth between her small, taut hands. Most of the kids march in grim silence; kickball is soooo last year, most of them seem to be thinking. Haven’t we outgrown this?
[10/19/14, 10:37:37 PM] Aurya Stark: Vee’s pretending to hate kickball, like she pretends to hate a lot of things these days, marching along one step sideways of the single file line, hands in the pockets of a satiny black windbreaker. Her brownish hair’s loose in the back, tossed around in the breeze, with long bangs pulled back in a half ponytail with a bow.
[10/19/14, 10:38:12 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie is all smiles and bouncy, probably falling somewhere toward the front. She even voluntarily waves at Appleby as she gets out there, and turns to whisper to whoever is behind her: “I hope no one kicks it far and we have to chase it down again. I HATE when it goes that far.”
[10/19/14, 10:38:46 PM] Kii: Epiphany doesn’t seem to be paying any attention, instead staring contemplatively at her hands while chipping at some of her nailpolish. She almost runs into the kid in front of her, but stops just short and jams her hands into the pockets of her long mustard yellow sweater, fishing for something.
[10/19/14, 10:39:25 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick’s hair is short, the better not to be grabbed in a fight, plus he’s got a dark blue cap on. A denim jacket, denim jeans, and a red tee somehow make him look even paler than he already is. He’s considering his shoes – ragged but sporty – and the best way to destroy the opposition.
[10/19/14, 10:40:46 PM] Daniel Harris: Miss Appleby walks out to the center of the ‘field,’ and turns around to survey the group of kids. She smiles, tosses the ball up and down a few times. “Well, you all know the drill. Team captains. Any volunteers?” Bob Turano immediately steps forward and raises a hand—Miss Appleby seems keen not to notice Bob straightaway, however. Maybe she’s thinking of giving some of the other kids a chance to be in the spotlight, for a change.
[10/19/14, 10:42:31 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie looks up and down the group, and if no one else raises their hand, she quickly darts her hand into the air, bouncing up and down on her toes. “Miss Appleby!” She whispers then, in …a stark whisper.
[10/19/14, 10:43:20 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Volunteering seems, um, risky. Yeah. Rick sticks his hands in his jacket pocket and does one of the things he does best – be quiet. He glances at Petra for a moment, then Aaron. Then the sky.
[10/19/14, 10:44:07 PM] Daniel Harris: Petra is way at the back of the group, and seems to be thinking about slinking off the field altogether. She doesn’t make a break for it, though. Aaron is standing right in the middle, looking like he could pass for some kind of teaching assistant or something with his hugeness.
[10/19/14, 10:44:28 PM] Kii: Epiphany seems to be waiting for the inevitable to happen, and looks to Bob expectantly.
[10/19/14, 10:45:04 PM] Daniel Harris: “Maggie,” Miss Appleby says pleasantly, “you’ll be a captain! Any other volunteers?” She glances around the group. “Anyone BESIDES Bob?”
[10/19/14, 10:45:48 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: She jitters excitedly and leaps out then, moving to stand on one side of Miss Appleby. She folds her hands on her hips and surveys her classmates, slowly, apparently trying to decide who she’s going to pick.
[10/19/14, 10:46:40 PM] Aurya Stark: Vee’s still looking dour, but after a glance up and down the line, she looks up at Miss Appleby, skeptically trying to catch her eye. Without, you know, strictly volunteering..
[10/19/14, 10:47:21 PM] Daniel Harris: Miss Appleby seems resigned to the fact that there are no volunteers, although she makes eye contact with Vee cautiously. “Vee? Did you want to?”
[10/19/14, 10:47:41 PM] Daniel Harris: Bob groans. “Oh, come ON. I’ve had my hand up for like a YEAR!”
[10/19/14, 10:48:05 PM] Aurya Stark: “I guess,” she answers, wrinkling her nose.
[10/19/14, 10:48:47 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick gives Bob a Look, which is to say if you were paying very close attention you might briefly notice him glaring a single dagger at Bob before he looks away again.
[10/19/14, 10:48:56 PM] Daniel Harris: "Okay!’ She gestures to the other side of her, opposite Maggie. “Maggie, you get first pick, okay?” SHe takes a step back, letting the two team captains have the center of the field. Bob can barely contain himself; the urge to punish Vee is immediate and obvious. “Pick me, Stark,” he demands.
[10/19/14, 10:49:36 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Oh, okay!” She says then, beaming, and surveys the group, and then she glances to Vee, and then to Bob. “Okay, if you wanna, sure!”
[10/19/14, 10:50:04 PM] Daniel Harris: Bob goes over to Maggie, taking a place behind her. He immediately starts murmuring into her ear: “Pick my brother next. We’ll kick their butts.”
[10/19/14, 10:50:27 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Nooo,” she says. “I’m going to pick Rick next if Vee doesn’t pick him.”
[10/19/14, 10:50:58 PM] Daniel Harris: Bob starts to say something like, “That loser?” but a sharp look from Miss Appleby keeps him from finishing the thought. Instead he just says, “Come onnn.”
[10/19/14, 10:51:12 PM] Aurya Stark: She glares back at Bob, then points at Rick without saying anything.
[10/19/14, 10:51:29 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick moves over to stand behind Vee’s shoulder without saying anything.
[10/19/14, 10:51:33 PM] Daniel Harris: At this, Bob emits a quiet “Yessss.” He nudges Maggie. “Pick my bro.”
[10/19/14, 10:51:33 PM] KhAlf Drogo: This time he glares two daggers.
[10/19/14, 10:51:45 PM] Kii: Despite having little to no athletic ability, Epiphany gives Maggie a little hopeful smile.
[10/19/14, 10:52:22 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “Aaron?” Rick murmurs to Vee tentatively.
[10/19/14, 10:52:28 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie immediately spots Epiphany smiling, and to be contrary, she points to Epiphany. “Epiphany!” And then she looks to Bob. “You guys are ALWAYS on the same team, though. Doesn’t that get boring?”
[10/19/14, 10:52:56 PM] Daniel Harris: “Oh, come on, she su—” Bob lowers his voice so Miss Appleby ’can’t’ hear it. “She sucks! What are you doing?!”
[10/19/14, 10:53:02 PM] Aurya Stark: She shrugs at Rick, and waves Aaron over, though she’s keeping up the disaffected act.
[10/19/14, 10:53:22 PM] Kii: With a little bounce in her step Epiphany moves to stand behind Maggie!
[10/19/14, 10:53:34 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “She smiled at me,” she says. “She wants to be on our team.” She shrugs to Bob like this is OBVIOUS. “Umm,” she surveys the remaining people. “LAVERNE!”
[10/19/14, 10:53:37 PM] Daniel Harris: Aaron ambles slowly over to take Vee’s side. His tremendous girth speaks for itself; many of the kids are shuffling in that direction, wanting to be on Vee’s team now.
[10/19/14, 10:54:13 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick smiles a little bit, satisfied.
[10/19/14, 10:54:39 PM] Daniel Harris: The Laverne pick aggravates Bob greatlly. “Uuuuggghhh! Forget it, we lost!” But upon being picked, Laverne pushes herself off the fence and strolls casually over to Maggie. She wears a slight smile, and casts a quick glance at Bob, but doesn’t say anything at the moment.
[10/19/14, 10:55:18 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “You remember the cat poster hanging in Mr. Curtis’s room?” she says then firmly to Bob. “Believe.”
[10/19/14, 10:55:48 PM] Daniel Harris: Bob gives Maggie a WTF-styled look.
[10/19/14, 10:57:09 PM] Aurya Stark: Vee shifts from foot to foot, then points at Petra.
[10/19/14, 10:58:09 PM] Daniel Harris: Petra isn’t looking at the field at the moment. She’s staring off into space, looking at the weeds and crushed used-to-be-dandelions on the pathway leading to the track. Everyone stares at her, waiting for her to notice that she’s been picked.
[10/19/14, 10:58:33 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Eddie!” Maggie says then, immediately, pointing to the shaggy looking boy.
[10/19/14, 10:58:56 PM] Daniel Harris: Emily blurts out, “What a LOSER.” Miss Appleby hisses, “Emily!” and Emily retorts, “What?! She can’t understand us anyway!”
[10/19/14, 10:59:41 PM] Daniel Harris: Miss Appleby, dutifully: “Petra, please join Vee’s team.” She repeats this a couple more times and eventually the girl shuffles over to her place.
[10/19/14, 11:00:03 PM] Daniel Harris: Eddie snickers, “Sounds like what your MOM called out last night!” and trots over to Maggie’s side.
[10/19/14, 11:00:14 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “What does that even mean?” She asks.
[10/19/14, 11:00:25 PM] Daniel Harris: “It MEANS your mom wanted me on her KICKBALL team, yo.”
[10/19/14, 11:00:32 PM] Aurya Stark: “Hey Petra,” Vee says, making some conversational effort not to embarass her. “Um, Bill, too.”
[10/19/14, 11:01:11 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “That doesn’t even,” Rick starts to say under his breath, then realizes Eddie and logic are a burned bridge. He gives a little upnod to Petra.
[10/19/14, 11:01:13 PM] Daniel Harris: Bill sidles over to Vee’s team, with a forlorn look in Emily’s direction. “You should pick Emily,” he murmurs to Vee, “and we’ll totally win.”
[10/19/14, 11:01:34 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Oh,” she says then, furrowing her brow. “That doesn’t even make sense,” she says, and then points again, beaming. “Melissa!” She says, cheerily.
[10/19/14, 11:01:47 PM] Aurya Stark: “I will, if she’s left,” she answers Bill, and – then she is. “Emily!”
[10/19/14, 11:01:57 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Annd Ethan!” She finishes.
[10/19/14, 11:02:55 PM] Daniel Harris: Melissa looks satisfied enough to join Maggie’s team, until Emily is called to the other side, whereupon she looks forlorn. Emily gives Melissa a too-good-for-you shruig and goes to join her boyfriend, clasping his hand in the manner one clasps one’s arm candy. Ethan looks not the least bit surprised to discover that he’s last picked. He slinks over to Maggie in a defeated sort of way.
[10/19/14, 11:03:30 PM] Daniel Harris: Bob: “Miss Appleby, we have an extra person. Can I go over to the other team?”
[10/19/14, 11:03:39 PM] Kii: “Picked second to last… I don’t think that’s ever happened before.” she remarks quietly.
[10/19/14, 11:03:58 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Sorry!” She says to Ethan, in a way that likely suggests she honestly didn’t mean to pick him last. She pats his arm, and then looks to Bob, and then looks up to Appleby.
[10/19/14, 11:04:03 PM] Daniel Harris: Appleby chides him: “You wanted to be on Maggie’s team, Bob.”
[10/19/14, 11:04:51 PM] Daniel Harris: “Okay,” Miss Appleby chimes out, “Maggie’s team picked first, so Vee’s team is up to kick first!”
[10/19/14, 11:05:25 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Ethan!” She says then. “Since you got picked last, what do you want to play? Like, where do you want to go and stand!?”
[10/19/14, 11:05:43 PM] Daniel Harris: Before Ethan can answer Maggie, Bob grumpily takes the ball from Miss Appleby and goes to take the pitcher’s position. Laverne goes to first base. Eddie takes short stop.
[10/19/14, 11:05:51 PM] Daniel Harris: “Uh,” Ethan says, “outfield?”
[10/19/14, 11:05:55 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick moves over to slouch against the fence. He isn’t exactly trying to be first in line, but he’s hardly gonna say no.
[10/19/14, 11:06:22 PM] Aurya Stark: Vee eyes Aaron. “You go first.” She treats Rick as the first in line after that, though, and lines up behind him.
[10/19/14, 11:06:35 PM] Daniel Harris: Petra moves to the very back of the line, behind Rick, and stands a few feet away from him for good measure. She looks forlornly toward the track, as though she yearns for nothing more than to run a few laps.
[10/19/14, 11:07:00 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Okay,” she says. “I will go outfield too! LEFT FIELD!” She says then. “Epiphany! You — uhmmm, or do you want outfield? Where do you want to go?”
[10/19/14, 11:08:09 PM] Kii: “Oh, probably somewhere out there.” She gestures loosely to the outfield as well, and meanders to the center… And then a little bit further as she sees Aaron stepping up first.
[10/19/14, 11:09:34 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Oh, okay. Umm,” she pauses, and then moves to second base instead of outfield.
[10/19/14, 11:10:09 PM] Daniel Harris: The kids all back up quite a bit as Aaron comes to the plate. Bob seems to respect Aaron too much to try to mess with him on the pitch—he rolls the ball forward firmly and decisively. Aaron, with a foot motion resembling a slightly leisurely kick, as one might lightly nudge a pebble down the road, pounds the ball and sends it flying into the sky. The kids all squint up into the sun as it soars.
[10/19/14, 11:10:18 PM] Daniel Harris: Epiphany, Dex+Athletics.
[10/19/14, 11:10:32 PM] Kii: (2 successes?!)
[10/19/14, 11:11:00 PM] Daniel Harris: Just kidding, Epiphany. The ball flies way over the chain-link fence and you have no chance whatsoever of catching it. You do, however, have the privilege of chasing it all the way out to the sandy playground.
[10/19/14, 11:11:36 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: As she realizes that Eddie has short stop and will basically need to cover second and third – she dashes back up to play “catcher” – though she pauses to watch it sail over the fence. Poor Epiphany.
[10/19/14, 11:12:09 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick grins like he’s just masterminded an escape from Alcatraz.
[10/19/14, 11:12:25 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Which is to say he grins very subtly so the police don’t notice, but is very content.
[10/19/14, 11:12:39 PM] Aurya Stark: “I probably shoulda put him third or fourth,” she muses, as she watches the ball soar over the fence.
[10/19/14, 11:12:43 PM] Kii: She takes off quickly, her mass of brown curls bouncing behind her as she dissapears after the ball with a soft sigh.
[10/19/14, 11:13:36 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: And then Maggie is cheerily bouncing behind home plate. Ever dependable Maggie, who apparently really doesn’t mind losing. As Aaron runs around, she even tries to offer him a high five. “Good kick!” She beams.
[10/19/14, 11:13:39 PM] Daniel Harris: Aaron walks leisurely around the bases. Nobody gets in his way.
[10/19/14, 11:13:46 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Or walks, as the case is!
[10/19/14, 11:13:50 PM] Daniel Harris: He high-fives Maggie in passing.
[10/19/14, 11:14:08 PM] Daniel Harris: “I should’ve been on your team,” Bob says to Bill. “This is stupid.”
[10/19/14, 11:14:13 PM] Daniel Harris: Bill answers, “Sucks to be you.”
[10/19/14, 11:14:25 PM] Daniel Harris: Apparently Emily finds this very witty, as she cackles gleefully.
[10/19/14, 11:14:38 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick steps up to the plate, finally taking his hands out of his pockets.
[10/19/14, 11:15:19 PM] Daniel Harris: Bob eyes Rick with an appropriate level of disdain and loathing while he waits for Epiphany to come back with the ball.
[10/19/14, 11:15:34 PM] Daniel Harris: “Bet your stupid jean jacket falls right off when you run, loser,” he says.
[10/19/14, 11:15:35 PM] Aurya Stark: She gives Aaron a thumbs up as he makes it around – her grin would be sardonic if she were old enough for that. It’s pre-sardonic.
[10/19/14, 11:15:49 PM] Aurya Stark: Probably at Bob’s expense.
[10/19/14, 11:16:01 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick takes this in stride without really deigning to respond. This is basically every scrimmage he’s had with Bob. For years.
[10/19/14, 11:16:15 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Hi Rick!” Maggie says, casually making conversation as they wait. And then she looks to Bob. “Who cares! We just need to have fun!” This is something she says regularly. Why she thinks anyone listens is anyone’s guess.
[10/19/14, 11:16:34 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “Hey Maggie,” Rick says quietly, conceding social nicety to his bouncy cousin.
[10/19/14, 11:17:04 PM] Kii: Eventually Epiphany returns, pink-cheeked and holding a slightly muddier kickball. She hands it off to Bob, hesitantly noting the tension between the two, and eagerly retreats back to the outfield.
[10/19/14, 11:17:26 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: She crouches then a few feet behind Rick, cheerily waiting on the ball.
[10/19/14, 11:17:48 PM] Daniel Harris: Bob eyes Rick with some more loathing before he lines up his pitch, and, putting a stupid amount of spin on the ball, whiffs it down toward him, making it bounce awkwardly as much as he can manage.
[10/19/14, 11:17:55 PM] Daniel Harris: Rick, Str + Athletics 1.
[10/19/14, 11:22:22 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick eyes it for a moment, shuffles a bit to one side, and swings into it with the broad side of his foot, sending it racing out hard rather then up for anyone to catch. (1s)
[10/19/14, 11:24:37 PM] Daniel Harris: The ball flies up and out
-right toward Ethan, who squints up at it as it comes his way. His tongue comes out of his mouth in concentration—he holds his arms out as if half wanting to catch it and half being terrified of it. The ball bounces off his arms and lands on the blacktop nearby. Bob groans loudly enough for everyone to hear. By the time Ethan tosses the ball in to Eddie, Rick’s made it to 2nd base.
[10/19/14, 11:25:09 PM] Daniel Harris: Petra quietly steps to the back of the line, distancing herself from home plate as much as possible.
[10/19/14, 11:25:37 PM] Daniel Harris: Bob glowers at Ethan. “You are TERRIBLE.”
[10/19/14, 11:25:44 PM] Daniel Harris: Appleby: “Bob, be quiet and play!”
[10/19/14, 11:25:47 PM] Aurya Stark: Vee shucks her windbreaker, giving Petra a quiet look, and then steps up to home plate with a blank sort of nod to Bob.
[10/19/14, 11:25:55 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “GOOD TRY ETHAN!” Maggie shouts, because she’s the captain, and the captain encourages people. “Boooob,” she says. “Don’t say that. He did really well trying there! I BELIEVE IN YOU ETHAN!”
[10/19/14, 11:26:26 PM] Daniel Harris: Ethan looks stunned from the ball maybe hitting him in the face or something when he tried to grab it. He adjusts his glasses and mutters verbal abuse to himself quietly.
[10/19/14, 11:27:15 PM] Daniel Harris: Bob eyes Vee disdainfully and rolls the ball aggressively at her. It’s a fierce pitch, and if it didn’t bounce on the pavement a couple of times it would almost look like he were just straight-up trying to peg her.
[10/19/14, 11:27:20 PM] Daniel Harris: Vee, Str + Athletics 2.
[10/19/14, 11:30:14 PM] Aurya Stark: She doesn’t flinch – but doesn’t do much with it, either, the ball glancing uselessly off her heel as she kicks through a bounce. (9 on a chance die >.>)
[10/19/14, 11:30:45 PM] Daniel Harris: The ball bounces awkwardly off Vee’s foot and flies straight up into the air. Maggie, Dex + Ath + 3!
[10/19/14, 11:31:10 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie catches the ball as it goes up, cheerily, in both arms! Probably! (3s!)
[10/19/14, 11:31:48 PM] Daniel Harris: Eddie stands vigilant at shortstop, ready to catch the ball (in theory) if Rick tries to run for third.
[10/19/14, 11:32:19 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: This does jostle her glasses a bit, and she shifts the ball to one arm and nudges her glasses back up. She looks to Rick – and apparently waits to try and throw it if necessary.
[10/19/14, 11:32:22 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick is waiting hesitantly to see if Maggie catches the ball, but poised to run.
[10/19/14, 11:33:08 PM] KhAlf Drogo: If she has caught it, he briefly fakes towards third to see if her throw goes wild, but doesn’t mostly try to run.
[10/19/14, 11:33:12 PM] Aurya Stark: “Aw,” she mutters, tossing a glare at Bob as she slinks back to stand next to Petra.
[10/19/14, 11:33:28 PM] Aurya Stark: (oh wait, that might’ve been too early!)
[10/19/14, 11:33:55 PM] Daniel Harris: Maggie indeed catches the ball. Meanwhile, the assistant principal walks out from inside, part way to the field, and begins waving Miss Appleby over. Appleby eyes the class uncertainly, and then announces, "Keep playing, everyone
-I’ll be right over there!" and starts heading that way. Theoretically she’s still going to be within supervisory range, but this suddenly increases what the kids can get away with by a great deal. Bob immediately takes advantage of this; he abandons the pitcher’s mound, and goes to join his brother and the popular girl on the kickers’ line.
[10/19/14, 11:34:18 PM] Daniel Harris: “Hey,” Melissa calls out from her spot on third base, “no fair! This team sucks!”
[10/19/14, 11:34:31 PM] Daniel Harris: “Come join us, then,” Emily says, and Melissa promptly abandons the field to join them as well.
[10/19/14, 11:34:32 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: She rolls her eyes upward as Bob does that. “Whatever, Melissa go over there. Riiiick, join my team?”
[10/19/14, 11:34:49 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “You’re such a sore fucking loser,” Rick says in Bob’s general direction, with some venom.
[10/19/14, 11:35:00 PM] Aurya Stark: “No fair, he’s on base!” she protest when Maggie tries to steal her player. “Take your losers back!”
[10/19/14, 11:35:11 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “You can join my team too!” She says to Vee then, shrugging.
[10/19/14, 11:35:16 PM] Daniel Harris: Bob turns around to look at Rick. “What’d you say, dipshit?”
[10/19/14, 11:35:44 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “I said if you had any actual confidence in your pitching you’d still be out here,” Rick says, jaw setting.
[10/19/14, 11:36:06 PM] Kii: Epiphany moves within earshot… And wildly scribbles something in her notebook, looking up and down rapidly as things begin to escalate and seems… Delighted?
[10/19/14, 11:36:13 PM] Daniel Harris: “CONFIDENCE IN MY PITCHING,” Bob mimics Rick acridly. “Like KICKBALL’s a real sport. You fucking retard.”
[10/19/14, 11:36:41 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “So you can’t even win at fake sports? That’s pretty pathetic.”
[10/19/14, 11:36:43 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: And then, cheerfully, to Vee: “You could join my team, and Petra, and Aaron, and we can just let the twins and their girlfriends play against all of us?”
[10/19/14, 11:37:37 PM] Daniel Harris: “Whatever,” Bob says, “you’re such a fucking retard.” He looks at Bill. “Isn’t he a retard?” Bill shrugs and says, “I guess.”
[10/19/14, 11:38:21 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick rolls his eyes and sticks his hands in his pockets.
[10/19/14, 11:38:52 PM] Aurya Stark: “Says the guy who was practically wetting himself to be team captain,” she grumbles, then loops her arms throuth Aaron and Petra’s and tries to drag them over to the other side.
[10/19/14, 11:39:14 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick goes to the pitcher’s mound.
[10/19/14, 11:39:17 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: She nods her head. “Okay, who wants to pitch? I can pitch if no one wants to, but I don’t really think I should, I like catch—yay Rick!”
[10/19/14, 11:39:25 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “mound”
[10/19/14, 11:39:39 PM] Daniel Harris: Both Petra and Aaron look pretty uncomfortable to be arm-linked in this manner, although Petra’s desire to get away from Bob overrides this, for her, at least. She’s also looking kind of deserpately in Laverne’s direction.
[10/19/14, 11:39:45 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: She points two fingers at her eyes, and then points them back at Rick. This is universal language for I’m watching you, but Maggie seems to mean it as I-got-you-cuz.
[10/19/14, 11:39:51 PM] Daniel Harris: “Good,” Bob says, “take all the losers on your team. But we get to keep Aaron.”
[10/19/14, 11:39:59 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Nope! Aaron joins us!”
[10/19/14, 11:39:59 PM] Daniel Harris: He grabs Aaron by the arm and pulls him back from Vee.
[10/19/14, 11:40:24 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Well,” she says. “Aaron, you can PICK where you want to go. But we’re nicer, probably, most of the time?”
[10/19/14, 11:40:44 PM] Aurya Stark: Vee gives Aaron a slightly plaintive look, but lets him go and slides away from the twins.
[10/19/14, 11:40:48 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick studies Aaron neutrally, though it’s kind of weird for Rick to watch someone for this long without punching them.
[10/19/14, 11:42:36 PM] Daniel Harris: Laverne, meanwhile, is standing on first base with her arms folded, and looking way too good for this crap. But when Aaron looks indecisive about which way to go, she pipes up: “Hey, Aaron,” she says. “This is one of those life-changing moments. You get to choose between being a narcissistic, snide, empty-headed moron, like them—or…you know…not.”
[10/19/14, 11:42:47 PM] Daniel Harris: Aaron shrugs and walks into the field.
[10/19/14, 11:43:13 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Thanks Laverne!” Maggie offers toward Laverne. And then she looks back to Rick, nods, and crouches, hands lifted and ready to catch.
[10/19/14, 11:43:26 PM] Aurya Stark: Vee glances at Laverne, trying not to look impressed, but failing. She scurries over to third.
[10/19/14, 11:44:08 PM] Daniel Harris: Petra slinks over to Laverne, occupying the position that, if this were baseball, a first base coach would occupy. Which is to say, not actually on the field of play.
[10/19/14, 11:44:38 PM] Daniel Harris: Bob steps up to the plate. “Okay, anything goes. FULL CONTACT. NO RULES. Somebody pitch.”
[10/19/14, 11:45:03 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Rick’s pitching,” the bespectacled girl says, in a way that’s honestly meant to be helpful, even though it’s obvious Rick’s pitching.
[10/19/14, 11:45:13 PM] Kii: Epiphany shoves her pen and notebook back into one giant pocket, trying to wipe her ink-smudged fingers on her knees as Bob’s voice booms out.
[10/19/14, 11:46:08 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick tries really hard not to look at Laverne, because that might show how impressed he is. Instead he takes the ball from – whoever – eyes Bob distastefully, and then sends in a very twisty spin on the ball, doing his best to fuck with Bob as he fucked with everyone else.
[10/19/14, 11:46:32 PM] Daniel Harris: Dex + Athletics.
[10/19/14, 11:46:49 PM] KhAlf Drogo: 5s. Spent WP.
[10/19/14, 11:46:54 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: If there are no rules, Maggie is doing what is proper in softball. “HEEEEY KICKER, HEEEEEY KICKER, HEEEY KICKERSWING!” To try and get Bob to kick at an inappropriate moment.
[10/19/14, 11:48:10 PM] Daniel Harris: The ball spins in just the right way—and Bob completely whiffs with his foot. He lets out a cry of frustration as he practically falls all over himself, and even his brother and Emily snicker a bit at his obvious incompetence.
[10/19/14, 11:48:40 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick flips Bob the bird.
[10/19/14, 11:48:47 PM] Aurya Stark: Vee puts two fingers in her mouth and whistles loudly to cheer on Rick. She just learned how to do this, and is very proud.
[10/19/14, 11:49:06 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “HEY!” She says then, grumpily – and grabs the ball to pick it up. She throws it back to Rick. “Stop being a DOUCHECAKE. Maybe you’re just BAD AT KICKBALL.”
[10/19/14, 11:49:14 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie can only be nice so long.
[10/19/14, 11:49:53 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick’s eyes narrow as he’s half readying himself to charge Bob before Bob can turn on Maggie.
[10/19/14, 11:50:12 PM] Daniel Harris: Bob, red-faced, grapples and wrestles the ball roughly from Maggie, with the obvious intention of pegging Rick with it afterward.
[10/19/14, 11:50:18 PM] Daniel Harris: “DO IT AGAIN, RETARD! DO IT RIGHT!”
[10/19/14, 11:50:38 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: “HEY! GIVE ME THAT BACK!” She tries to grab the ball from him, latching on to it if possible…and just kicking him in the shin, if not.
[10/19/14, 11:50:49 PM] Daniel Harris: Str + Brawl, Maggie.
[10/19/14, 11:50:52 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “Are you fucking serious right now?”
[10/19/14, 11:51:30 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: (Fail!) Maggie kicks as hard as she can at Bob’s shin, but she’s not too good in the moment – and her glasses fall down her nose a bit. “Stop being a DOUCHE, Bob!”
[10/19/14, 11:51:56 PM] Daniel Harris: Bob hurls the ball at Rick as hard as he can, pegging him in the leg with it. Of course, it’s just a kickball—it doesn’t really hurt unless you get it in the nose or something.
[10/19/14, 11:52:16 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick moves to catch the ball before it can hit his leg anyway.
[10/19/14, 11:52:41 PM] Daniel Harris: Tough since it’s a low throw—Dex+Ath-3.
[10/19/14, 11:52:58 PM] KhAlf Drogo: lol, fail
[10/19/14, 11:53:06 PM] Daniel Harris: Rick gets it in the nose, and that actually hurts.
[10/19/14, 11:53:19 PM] Daniel Harris: Bending over trying to catch the low throw and all. Doh.
[10/19/14, 11:53:37 PM] Daniel Harris: Emily laughs. “Wow,” she says vapidly, “he really is a retard.”
[10/19/14, 11:53:43 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick straightens up slowly, brushing at his nose with one knuckle.
[10/19/14, 11:54:32 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Having entered fullblown grumpy mode – Maggie pushes her glasses up, shoots Emily a look that says who knows what, and then she crouches behind Bob and lifts her hands again, eyeing Rick.
[10/19/14, 11:55:24 PM] KhAlf Drogo: (Does Rick have the ball or is it bouncing off towards somewhere?)
[10/19/14, 11:55:45 PM] Daniel Harris: Probably it bounced right back toward home plate, redirecting off Rick’s face. Maggie can have it.
[10/19/14, 11:56:14 PM] Aurya Stark: Vee looks a little eager and wide-eyed when it seems like it might all break out into a fight, but she never quite gets around to shouting and egging them on.
[10/19/14, 11:56:22 PM] Kii: Epiphany has dared to wander a little closer, eyes darting over the way Mrs. Appleby went. “Um, I just wanted to say… If you really do want to fight, the Vice Principal is out here.”
[10/19/14, 11:56:59 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: She catches it then, steps sideways away from Bob and loosely tosses the ball back to Rick, and then crouches again behind home plate. She looks up to Bob in silence, and then to Rick. She’s silent – totally silent – and this time she waits until the right time before shouting anything so she can try to throw him off with the silence until the sudden shout. Probably. If a fight doesn’t break out first.
[10/19/14, 11:57:15 PM] Daniel Harris: "Don’t worry,’ Bob snaps back to Epiphany, “if I want to fight a Stark, all I gotta do is find the nearest crack den.”
[10/19/14, 11:57:38 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: At that, Maggie stands up – her voice low and cold. “What was that, Bobby.”
[10/19/14, 11:57:48 PM] KhAlf Drogo: “Why the fuck would we be looking for your mom, Bob?”
[10/19/14, 11:57:56 PM] Daniel Harris: “I said,” he sneers at Maggie, “All I gotta do is find a crack den.”
[10/19/14, 11:58:19 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie narrows her eyes, grits her teeth, and then tries her damndest to kick Bob right in the junk.
[10/19/14, 11:58:32 PM] Aurya Stark: “Oh, wow, they’re really gonna,” she whispers to Epiphany, drifting closer.
[10/19/14, 11:58:37 PM] Daniel Harris: Str + Brawl 2!
[10/19/14, 11:58:40 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: WP and AO!
[10/19/14, 11:58:57 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: (2s!)
[10/19/14, 11:59:09 PM] Maq R. R. Martin: Her foot makes solid connection then, and she smashes her heel as hard as she can RIGHT between his legs.
[10/19/14, 11:59:45 PM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick starts to move closer to intercept any move from Bill.
[10/19/14, 11:59:49 PM] Kii: She grimaces as Maggie kicks her leg into Bob’s testicles. “They’re gonna get suspended,” she says to Vee. “It always happens like this…”
[10/20/14, 12:00:15 AM] Daniel Harris: Maggie’s foot goes faithfully right between Bob’s unexpecting legs. He makes a high-pitched groan of pain as he doubles over, the strength immediately leaving all of his limbs and sending him collapsing to the ground in a heap. This action triggers a rather complex network of alliances: Bill, coming to his brother’s aid, Emily coming to his, Melissa coming to hers
-within moments, Emily has grasped hold of Maggie’s hair from behind, and Bill has stepped forward to shove her away from his brother.
[10/20/14, 12:01:10 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: She lets out a shriek of rage that normally isn’t heard from her, and she twists to try and slam her elbow into Emily’s face. “LET ME GO OR I WILL BEAT YOUR ASS, EMILY BURKE!” She says then, totally forgetting to even remotely try to keep her voice low in this.
[10/20/14, 12:01:25 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick is a sterling defender of his cousin from all comers, but he’s not quite ready to punch a girl. Instead he charges Bill just as Maggie screams out.
[10/20/14, 12:02:04 AM] KhAlf Drogo: He’s probably trying to ram into Bill’s gut, specifically.
[10/20/14, 12:03:54 AM] Daniel Harris: Bill isn’t quite prepared for the sudden charge, but he takes on a defensive posture and steels himself for impact. Meanwhile, Emily and Maggie grapple, and Melissa joins the fray from the other side, viciously defending her kiss-up buddy by scratching Maggie’s face.
[10/20/14, 12:03:57 AM] Aurya Stark: “LEAVE THEM ALONE, BOB!” she shouts – slightly strategically – bouncing on her feet with kind of an urgent, unfocused panic when she sees Maggie get grabbed by the hair. “He’s such a bully!” she hisses at Epiphany.
[10/20/14, 12:04:36 AM] Daniel Harris: Across the field, the Assitant Principal and Miss Appleby are hastily making their way over toward the action.
[10/20/14, 12:05:07 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “YOU’RE NAMED AFTER A MURDERER!” She shouts at Emily. She’s not a trained fighter, so she’s mindlessly kicking and scratching at whichever one gets closer to her. “YOU STUPID BITCH, LET GO OF MY HAIR!” And she focuses again on Emily, trying to jab her had in the jaw.
[10/20/14, 12:05:42 AM] Kii: “They’re really going to get hurt if—” she spots the Assistant Principal and tuggs on Vee’s sleeve. “We might want to move back a little, unless you want to get in trouble too.”
[10/20/14, 12:05:42 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick is a trained fighter. He fakes high like he’s going for Bill’s face, but who the fuck punches the face? That’s hard bone. He goes for the gut as his charge concludes.
[10/20/14, 12:06:18 AM] Daniel Harris: Hair is pulled, skin is scratched, faces are elbowed—and at some point during the fray, Maggie’s glasses are wrested from her face and go clattering to the pavement. Everyone NOT in the fighting, Wits+Comp.
[10/20/14, 12:06:48 AM] Kii: (6s :|)
[10/20/14, 12:06:50 AM] Daniel Harris: Rick and Bill collide together and go slamming down to the ground in a tumble. Both get bloody scrapes from the impact with the rough blacktop.
[10/20/14, 12:07:16 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “My GLASSES,” she shrieks – in a frantic I need-to-find-them-fast way of a kid who is totally blind without them. “Let me GO!” She says – and if any flesh gets near her, she just tries to bite it.
[10/20/14, 12:07:46 AM] Daniel Harris: Miss Appleby shouts, “That’s ENOUGH! BREAK IT UP! NOW!”
[10/20/14, 12:08:57 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick whispers a threat in Bill’s ear – something about Bob shouldn’t leave the house at night until he’s not taking out his diaper rash on others – then rolls to the side and hops up quickly to his feet.
[10/20/14, 12:09:04 AM] Kii: Epiphany’s green eyes go WIDE and a hand shoots up to cover her mouth. “Maggie, your glasses…!” She points to what remains of them, by Bob’s foot.
[10/20/14, 12:09:28 AM] Aurya Stark: 3s, belatedly, sorry!
[10/20/14, 12:09:38 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: At that noise from Epiphany, she practically shoves Emily off of her and goes stumbling a little bit toward where the blurry outline of Epiphany is pointing, and gets on her knees to pat her hand around on the ground.
[10/20/14, 12:09:51 AM] Daniel Harris: The two girls, Melissa and Emily, come away from their scrape with Maggie looking for all the world like the true victims in all of this. Both of them immediately start crying, tears and all, and shouting in a unified chorus, “SHE STARTED IT!” with accusatory points at Maggie.
[10/20/14, 12:10:31 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: She’s too concerned with trying to grab at her glasses to even counter this in the moment. “Nooo,” she says as she finds the remains with her hand – maybe. “My mom’s gonna kill me if I have to get new glasses…”
[10/20/14, 12:10:44 AM] Aurya Stark: “No, BOB started it!” she shouts, glaring daggers at Melissa and Emily from the fringes. “Like he ALWAYS does.”
[10/20/14, 12:10:47 AM] Daniel Harris: Miss Appleby grabs Maggie and prevents her from pawing the broken glass and probably cutting herself. “They’re broken,” she says, in a tone that’s half compassionate and half furious. “Get up. Stand up. I’m VERY disappointed with ALL of you.”
[10/20/14, 12:11:16 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick scowls a bit as the tear brigade fires up, sticking his hands in his pants pockets. He knows the real battle of words comes later, when an adult decides to talk to him about it privately.
[10/20/14, 12:11:18 AM] Daniel Harris: Bill, getting up from the ground, barks, “He didn’t start anything! He said a few things and then these Stark animals just ATTACKED us!”
[10/20/14, 12:12:16 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: She scrambles to her feet, less because she wants to, and more because Appleby is grabbing her up. “Bob was being a DICK and he kept making fun of RICK and he threw a ball at his face and it hit hard and then he said that the only place to find a stark was a CRACK den!”
[10/20/14, 12:12:53 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “I was just looking up at the sky and when I looked back Bill was attacking Maggie,” Rick deadpans. “So I got mad.”
[10/20/14, 12:12:59 AM] Aurya Stark: Maggie’s accidental rhyming makes her snerk under her breath.
[10/20/14, 12:13:26 AM] Daniel Harris: Appleby says to Maggie: “Whatever he might have SAID, young lady, it doesn’t justify you assaulting him.” She gives Rick an exasperated look, suggestive of outright suspicion and disbelief.
[10/20/14, 12:13:57 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “HE HIT RICK IN THE FACE!” She says then. “JUST BECAUSE HE PITCHED SO GOOD BOB MISSED!”
[10/20/14, 12:14:04 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick looks back at her innocently. He is good at keeping a straight face.
[10/20/14, 12:14:07 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “It’s not MY fault that BOB sucks at KICKBALL!”
[10/20/14, 12:14:11 AM] Daniel Harris: Emily whines, “Miss Appleby, they totally started it! They said horrible things about us, and when Bob got mad and tried to say things back, they practically tried to KILL us!”
[10/20/14, 12:14:47 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “Oh come on, there were like four of you on Maggie before I even closed,” Rick says, exasperation breaking his composure.
[10/20/14, 12:15:16 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “And even if I DID KICK FIRST, which CONSIDERING Bob THREW THE BALL AND HIT RICK first, THEY WEREYES! All four of them were attacking me before anyone else even did ANYTHING!”
[10/20/14, 12:15:25 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Also my glasses are gone,” she adds, plaintively.
[10/20/14, 12:15:32 AM] Daniel Harris: Emily, plaintively: “We were just defending ourselves!”
[10/20/14, 12:16:07 AM] Daniel Harris: Appleby sighs exhaustedly. “You’re all in trouble,” she says.
[10/20/14, 12:16:17 AM] Aurya Stark: “Nobody said anything about you!” she shouts at Emily, “but now that you mention it it’s STUPID to play KICKBALL in HEELS.”
[10/20/14, 12:16:27 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “ALSO YOUR HEELS ARE STUPID!” Maggie can get behind this.
[10/20/14, 12:16:39 AM] Daniel Harris: “Tch!” Emily says. “As IF!”
[10/20/14, 12:16:54 AM] Daniel Harris: Laverne deadpans: “Really? ‘As if’? Really.”
[10/20/14, 12:17:22 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick thinks to look for Petra, assuming she hasn’t already escaped to the track.
[10/20/14, 12:17:44 AM] Daniel Harris: Petra is standing over by the first base line, staring wide-eyed at all of the chaos and looking pretty horrified.
[10/20/14, 12:18:16 AM] Daniel Harris: Emily, eyes full of tears, bursts out at Laverne: “NOBODY LIKES YOU!”
[10/20/14, 12:18:36 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “You’re just jealous she’s hotter than you, bitch.”
[10/20/14, 12:19:02 AM] Aurya Stark: “I like her,” she snaps back at Emily, but her eyes go wide as people start swearing in front of a teacher.
[10/20/14, 12:19:23 AM] Daniel Harris: Appleby grasps Maggie by the arm. “That’s ENOUGH, now!”
[10/20/14, 12:19:48 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: She draws in a deep breath then – and suddenly looks a lot more mollified as Appleby grabs her arm, and she swipes at her eyes, and tries to push her glasses up her nose before, again, being reminded she no longer has her glasses.
[10/20/14, 12:20:10 AM] Daniel Harris: Laverne quips, “Well, I DIDN’T have any friends, but it looks like you’ve made me a few.” Whereupon Appleby, losing patience, tells her to shut up.
[10/20/14, 12:20:50 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick snorts, nodding a bit to himself as he rocks up and down on his heels. He hasn’t paid any heed to the scrapes on his hand and cheek.
[10/20/14, 12:21:09 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Maybe some of the utility of the denim jacket is he didn’t seem to scrape anywhere else.
[10/20/14, 12:21:26 AM] Daniel Harris: With the Assistant Principal’s help, the group is ushered down the field and indoors, where order can be restored, and punishments can be doled out.
[10/20/14, 12:22:09 AM] Daniel Harris: Of course, it being fifth grade, there’s nothing too serious. But the Stark family is sure to get a talking to, at the very least, over this. And poor Maggie is going to have to go the WHOLE DAY without any glasses.
[10/20/14, 12:22:59 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie slumps in the office and wipes her face and apologizes a lot because she doesn’t know what came over her and she’s very sorry normally she’s better she knows and she’s so sorry. She sniffles a little bit and then sits, of course, in the front row (like she didn’t before) and can’t read anything. Everything is too squiggly.
[10/20/14, 12:23:51 AM] Kii: Epiphany will comfort Maggie, explaining that “since one of your senses is supressed, you can get a lot of practice with psychic sensory abilities. It’s not all bad!”
[10/20/14, 12:24:14 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “I tried to drink the water that had flower petals in it like my book told me,” she says miserably to Epiphany, “and it didn’t work.”
[10/20/14, 12:25:00 AM] Kii: “Did you stirr it five times clockwise and three times widdershins?” She taps a finger thoughtfully to her lips. “I always forget the widdershins part…”
[10/20/14, 12:25:12 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Deadpanning, bullshitting, and staring his way through his punishment is old hat to Rick. A bit of sticking to his dumb story that the teacher can’t contradict. A bit of saying he really can’t deal with more loss in his family right now and it’s a hot button. His advantage is that he’s not at all trying to get out of it – just keep his guilt moderate.
[10/20/14, 12:26:16 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “I can’t ever remember which way is widdershins and which way is sungate,” she says then, miserably. “But I thought I did?”
[10/20/14, 12:27:12 AM] Aurya Stark: Vee’s interrogation is an excuse to lash out, though she gets angry, and when she gets angry she gets teary and shaky and generally makes a mess of herself, but she talks a lot about how mean Bob is, and how much of a liar emily is, and how Aaron and Petra and Laverne and Epiphany didn’t do anything and shouldn’t be in trouble.Afterwards she’s sullen and finds a corner to play on her gameboy.
[10/20/14, 12:30:48 AM] Daniel Harris: The teachers make a cursory attempt to question all of the kids, but it’s mostly Maggie and Rick who get the brunt of the trouble. Emily, Melissa, Bill, and Bob each get the equivalent of a slap on the wrist.
[10/20/14, 12:31:58 AM] Daniel Harris: And after these talkings-to are done, regular class resumes, with Emily returning to her usual haughty self, and her cronies filling in formation around her. A little while later, it’s time for recess, and the children are once again loosed upon the outdoors—although this time with a great deal more supervision. And Emily’s crew is expressly forbidden from making contact with Maggie’s crew.
[10/20/14, 12:33:23 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: Maggie is probably, at best, lurking near the four square area and near the wall anyway, since she can’t see and playing at recess when you’re basically blind is impossible to do anyway. She sniffs a little bit, sticking near to Epiphany. “I know it says something about three-fold path will come back to you, but I might actually try that curse of bad luck on Emily and Bob tonight.”
[10/20/14, 12:33:28 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick holes up at a far end of the playground with one of his notebooks, scribbling furiously.
[10/20/14, 12:34:19 AM] KhAlf Drogo: He’s careful to keep Maggie in sight, though.
[10/20/14, 12:34:37 AM] Kii: Epiphany taps Maggie on the shoulder, looking left and right as if she’s got some sort of important bit of information. “I just remembered!” she whispers excitedly. “We can curse them later, I just remembered something! Something for getting back lost things. Although, I guess your glasses were destroyed, not lost, right? But it still might work!”
[10/20/14, 12:35:15 AM] Aurya Stark: “Hey did they actually hit you?” she says, drifting over near Rick, not far from the other two, but she’s smuggled her gameboy out here again and she’s staying as far from the supervision as she can without being suspicious.
[10/20/14, 12:36:05 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “Who, Bill?” Rick scoffs. “He can wish. The ground hurt me more than he did.”
[10/20/14, 12:37:06 AM] Aurya Stark: “Your cousin kicking his brother in the balls was pretty awesome,” she admits, sagging into one of the swings and kicking off. “Didn’t know she was the type.”
[10/20/14, 12:37:16 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Huh?” She looks to Epiphany then. “Oh, if we get my glasses back, my mom probably wouldn’t even be mad.” She says then. “What? Where did you hear that? What do we do?”
[10/20/14, 12:37:20 AM] Daniel Harris: The cool kids are over by the jungle gym, clustered around and talking. Laverne and Petra are back by the chain-link fence that divides the playground from the kickball court, not talking, but just kind of standing around together.
[10/20/14, 12:38:09 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Is it another spell from the book? Or do you have another book? You always seem to know stuff that isn’t from the book.” She huffs and sinks back against the wall and rubs her eye a little bit miserably. “I can’t see anything.”
[10/20/14, 12:40:15 AM] Kii: “Supposedly,” she begins, staring off into space with that slightly vacant look she usually has. “The way to get back anything that has been lost is to write a note— but there are three requirements.” She lifts up three fingers, " It must describe the lost item, it must rhyme, and it must state the victim’s name—that’s yours— three times. The rule of threes, you know! Anyway, after that, you stick it in under the corner of the top of the desk in the back of the art room in the Junior High. Whatever it is will come back to you."
She nods to Maggie, “I think it must have something to do with that ghost that haunts the art room. You wanna try it? Can you see well enough to write?”
[10/20/14, 12:41:08 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “Starks don’t shrink from the call,” Rick says simply, like everyone should know this. He’s still scribbling, albeit slower.
[10/20/14, 12:41:34 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “I can see well enough to right,” she says then with a sniff. “So rhyme, state my name three times, and describe my glasses.” She rubs her nose. “Okay, I can work on that during our math lesson, I already did our homework for today and she always goes over it again. Um…glasses…passes…Maggie…saggy…”
[10/20/14, 12:42:14 AM] Aurya Stark: Vee rolls her eyes, swinging back down and driving her heels into the travel. “What are you writing, anyway?”
[10/20/14, 12:42:54 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “You wouldn’t understand,” Rick says, though since Vee’s cute, stood up for the Starks, and maybe most importantly has a gameboy in hand, it’s not an unkind tone.
[10/20/14, 12:44:22 AM] Aurya Stark: “Uh-huh,” she answers, skeptical. She’s got this notion, now and again, that being skeptical is cool. She hops out of the swing and straightens her jacket.
[10/20/14, 12:44:41 AM] Kii: “I don’t think it will matter how good the rhyme is. Hmm, glasses… flashes? Lashes? Just make sure to keep your third eye open, and I’m sure it will come to you.” She smiles reassuringly at Maggie.
[10/20/14, 12:46:18 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “Uh.” Smooth, Rick. “Thanks, though. For uh – what you said.”
[10/20/14, 12:46:25 AM] Daniel Harris: The cool kids snicker to each other, about something none of the other kids can hear. They glance in Rick’s direction, and murmur to each other, and then in Maggie’s direction, and murmur some more. They all laugh.
[10/20/14, 12:48:20 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: She nods her head then to Epiphany. She is, fortunately, blind in this situation and totally misses the popular kids snickering. “Right, it does not have to be a good rhyme, probably. Ummm.” She closes her eyes. “Yes, I will do this. I put a folded paper star under my pillow last night, it is supposed to make me smarter!”
[10/20/14, 12:48:44 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick just ignores the cool kids. He cares, but he’s not gonna let anyone see it.
[10/20/14, 12:50:43 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “With lenses all thick and strong, Maggie’s glasses never did her wrong. Yellow and brown were the frames – Maggie’s glasses kept her in the game. And when she wore them on her face, Maggie was always on top of the case.” She squints once, and looks up to Epiphany. “That work you think?” She pauses. “Where’s Rick. Maybe he’ll go with us into the junior high…”
[10/20/14, 12:50:49 AM] Aurya Stark: “Yeah, whatever, no big deal,” she says wtih a shrug. “They’re jerks.”
[10/20/14, 12:52:02 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “They’re fucking assholes,” Rick says with some venom, maybe looking to relish Vee’s apparent discomfort with swearing a bit.
[10/20/14, 12:52:47 AM] Kii: She gives a delighted “oooh!” and nods, curls going everywhere. “I think that’s perfect! Rick is…” Epiphany points over to Rick and Vee, “over there. It might be good to have more people, in case Bob and Bill want to finish the fight. That’s what happens when no one wins, right?”
[10/20/14, 12:53:10 AM] Aurya Stark: She doesn’t seem to care as much when there’s not an adult in earshot, though it still makes her glance over with the obvious suspicion that he’s trying to make her uncomfortable. It annoys her.
[10/20/14, 12:53:16 AM] Daniel Harris: Laverne climbs up on to the monkey bars. Petra follows after her, like a lost puppy, while Laverne heaves herself up, and perches up on top of the bars, like a bird. There’s a conversation goiing on between them now, but it’s mostly one-way, with Petra staring mutely.
[10/20/14, 12:54:02 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Probably,” she says, wearily, and scrambles to her feet, using the wall. “Where?” She follows where Epiphany points then, ambling toward the two blurry shapes down the playground. She moves over toward Rick and Vee then, glancing occasionally to Epiphany to ensure she’s coming.
[10/20/14, 12:54:05 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick looks over at Petra and Laverne for a moment, in a way that says oh yeah, look at that, huh, totally not paying them a lot of attention but hm, interesting, well not that much, uh, looking away now.
[10/20/14, 12:55:05 AM] Kii: Epiphany is a few paces behind her, quickly slipping a card back into her pocket as she hurries to catch up.
[10/20/14, 12:55:52 AM] Aurya Stark: Vee’s about to wander off towards the monkey bars, looking grumpy with Rick, but she’s stopped when she spots Epiphany and Maggy heading heir way.
[10/20/14, 12:56:07 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “Thanks anyway,” he says finally, getting up to his feet as his cousin approaches. “Hey Mags,” he calls out warmly – which is to say like a normal person, instead of like Rick.
[10/20/14, 12:57:05 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Hi,” she says then, and when she sees Vee, offers her a flash of a smile too – funny how her mood can swing. “Hi Vee.” And then back to Rick. “Hi. I’m gonna do one of my weird things, will you go with me, and then we can walk home after to my place and my mom can drive you to your house?”
[10/20/14, 12:57:45 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “Sure,” Rick says without really asking details.
[10/20/14, 12:57:59 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: She nods her head. “Thanks,” she says.
[10/20/14, 12:58:13 AM] Aurya Stark: “Hi Maggie,” she answers. ‘Nice kick."
[10/20/14, 12:59:09 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Thanks,” she says then, though more modest. "I wish it’d fallen off. If I were better at soccer, I bet it would have."
[10/20/14, 12:59:30 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: "It"’s antecedent, in this case, being the genitalia that was kicked.
[10/20/14, 12:59:54 AM] Daniel Harris: Laverne hops down from the monkey bars and ambles over toward the group. Petra trails hesitantly behind her.
[10/20/14, 1:00:36 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “Your kick was good, you just needed to plant yourself more. Use both legs.”
[10/20/14, 1:00:38 AM] Aurya Stark: “Maybe it will. I dunno. Takes a while for things to rot.” She squints over at Laverne and Petra, then hesitantly waves.
[10/20/14, 1:00:56 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Something about their approach makes Rick very carefully close his notebook.
[10/20/14, 1:01:15 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: She looks as she sees Vee gesture, and watches the blurs move forward – when she can make out the red hair of Laverne and the blonder hair of Petra, she waves her hand. “Hi,” she says.
[10/20/14, 1:01:18 AM] Daniel Harris: “Hey,” Laverne says, as if she’s been in on this conversation the whole time or something. “Wanna know a trick?”
[10/20/14, 1:01:44 AM] Kii: Epiphany smiles as they get closer. “I’m sure it will hurt for a little while, anyway.” her eyebrows arch curiously, “A trick?”
[10/20/14, 1:02:08 AM] Aurya Stark: “Yeah, sure,” Vee answers, leaning against the swingset’s crossbrace and coiling up her headphones.
[10/20/14, 1:02:42 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick’s eyebrows arch silently as he sticks his pencil behind his ear and by extension under his cap.
[10/20/14, 1:03:02 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Okay,” she says, offering a smile – and squinting a little bit, like she’s going to miss it just by nature of being blind.
[10/20/14, 1:03:42 AM] Daniel Harris: “A trick! For your eyes.” She looks at Maggie. “Near-sightedness is caused by all the light beams coming in at all kinds of angles and stuff. If you look through a really small hole, all the light comes in from one way. So if you need to see, poke a little hole in a piece of paper—or just make a hole with your finger, like this.” She curls her index finger tightly, into her thumb, and puts the middle of the knot thus formed up to her own eye.
[10/20/14, 1:04:53 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Oh,” she says then. She curls her finger into a circle, imitating Laverne’s movement with her own hand, and then pressing it up tightly against her right eye, squinting through it.
[10/20/14, 1:05:13 AM] Daniel Harris: “There you go!” She pat-pats Maggie’s arm.
[10/20/14, 1:07:04 AM] Aurya Stark: Vee’s trying it, though she doesn’t wear glasses. “Cool.”
[10/20/14, 1:08:00 AM] Kii: Epiphany gives it a try as well, squinting through the tiny gap in her finger. “Interesting… I guess you can use this until you get your glasses back, Maggie.”
[10/20/14, 1:08:00 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Thanks for yelling at Emily,” she says then to Laverne, warmly. She squints a little bit, and then lowers her hands. “I can maybe use that in class once I write the poem down.” She looks to Epiphany. “Does it need to be in fancy handwriting or anything?”
[10/20/14, 1:08:11 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: She nods her head, and beams. “Yeah!”
[10/20/14, 1:08:30 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick tries it, shrugs one shoulder, and nods his approval.
[10/20/14, 1:08:35 AM] Kii: “Just legible,” she replies dreamily.
[10/20/14, 1:08:45 AM] KhAlf Drogo: It’s almost like Laverne and Petra have left him particularly quiet or something.
[10/20/14, 1:09:01 AM] Daniel Harris: “Sure, no problem,” Laverne says casually. “She’s a moron. What poem?”
[10/20/14, 1:09:31 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: "Epiphany heard that – " she begins, and then looks to Epiphany, then, allowing her to explain. “She should explain it, because she heard it first, so it’s her thing.”
[10/20/14, 1:10:48 AM] Aurya Stark: “What poem?” Vee says, at about the same time, but then shoves her headphones in her pockets and looks at Epiphany.
[10/20/14, 1:12:04 AM] Kii: Epiphany lets her hand drop after a while, large eyes blinking rapidly a few times. “Oh!” She turns to Laverne, “it’s for a ritual, of sorts. To return lost things. You see, you have to…” She repeats the rules and conditions, emphasizing the rule of threes again quite purposefully. “So that’s why after school we’re going to the Junior Highschool, to place the request and get her glasses back!”
[10/20/14, 1:12:33 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “And so I have come up with a poem to write down and – we can do it, and get my glasses, and my mom won’t be AS mad.”
[10/20/14, 1:14:41 AM] Daniel Harris: “Huh. Really?” Laverne sounds more…scientific about this, than doubtful. “Does that really work? Sounds too good to be true. My mom always used to say, you rarely get something for nothing. And then she’d eat all the Cheetos.”
[10/20/14, 1:15:26 AM] Aurya Stark: Vee stares at the two of them, supremely skeptical. “No way does that really work,” she protests, but there’s a hint of curiosity. “Have you ever actually gotten it to work?”
[10/20/14, 1:15:55 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “This will be my first time trying,” she says and looks to Laverne. “I figure that the magic is worked by the poem, because … the ghost that is there likes poems, probably,” she says.
[10/20/14, 1:16:31 AM] Kii: “She’s exchanging her spiritual and emotional energy, of course. Imbuing it into the poem.” Epiphany nods to Vee, “I’ve heard that it really works! It has to be an important item. It probably wouldn’t work with something you weren’t attached to.”
[10/20/14, 1:17:46 AM] Daniel Harris: Laverne purses her lips. “Okay,” she says after a moment. “You’ve got me curious. I’ll come along. Petra, too.” At this, Petra looks vaguely alarmed, but says nothing.
[10/20/14, 1:18:47 AM] Aurya Stark: “I’m going there after school anyway,” she says, glancing off at the fence line.
[10/20/14, 1:19:00 AM] Kii: “Oh good! They probably won’t try and attack us with this many people,” Epiphany says cheerfully.
[10/20/14, 1:19:34 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “You say that like Bob knows how to count,” Rick quips in a dry tone.
[10/20/14, 1:20:16 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: She snickers a little bit toward Rick as he says this, and then she nods. “Well – it will be a group thing then! It will be fun. And I’ll write out my poem, I’ve already got it written, so that will be good. And Epiphany knows where to put it. Shouldn’t take much time? I don’t think? And um – no one has a bus to catch that they’d be worried about catching, right?”
[10/20/14, 1:22:18 AM] Kii: Epiphany nods, looking off into the far distance again. “I’ve passed the art classroom a few times on my way home, I like to go a different way every third day.”
[10/20/14, 1:22:55 AM] KhAlf Drogo: “You really like threes, huh?” Rick seems more struck then teasing.
[10/20/14, 1:23:06 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: “Threes have a lot to do with magic,” Maggie explains promptly.
[10/20/14, 1:23:53 AM] Kii: “Yes, it’s one of the most naturally-occuring types of numerology.” She says this completely seriously.
[10/20/14, 1:24:00 AM] KhAlf Drogo: Rick glances at his notebook for some reason, then nods.
[10/20/14, 1:24:22 AM] Daniel Harris: Laverne looks at Epiphany, and then at Maggie. She opens her mouth, but whatever it is she was about to say, she seems to decide better of it, and closes it again.
[10/20/14, 1:24:43 AM] Aurya Stark: Vee just kind of stares at them. This isn’t the knid of thing that comes up a lot in her usual circles. “So .. who’s the ghost?”
[10/20/14, 1:27:18 AM] Kii: “Not really sure if it’s a ghost, or a spirit, or a thought-form…” She purses her lips together. “I guess we’ll find out when we get there.”
[10/20/14, 1:28:06 AM] Maq R. R. Martin: She nods her head toward Epiphany then. She looks to Laverne. “What were you going to say?” Because she may see blurs, but she can notice them. “And at least the dumbheads are ignoring us, right? And if I get my glasses back immediately, Mom won’t be mad? Well, she’ll be mad. But not MAD mad.”


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