Capax: Desync'd

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by Rainjay, Aug 7, 2015.

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  1. Day 1
    October 4th, Sunday
    Morning - 10 AM

    Parade Preparations


    Today, Capax was stirring from it's slumber to gather in the streets--at a crazy early hour for most on a sleepy Sunday, mind you--for one of the strangest events to occur in the town in the past five years. Tradition was key in this little town, and apart from a few highly celebrated holidays and festivals, nothing else was largely noteworthy, especially not so publicly. But, in an effort made by several outspoken community members, including several Capax Public High School teachers and the Board of Public Health and Environmental Care (unfortunately, they never found a better name), quite the spectacle was prepared and on it's way to interrupt the daily lives of the citizens of Capax. It was parade, intended to raise awareness for Global Warming and the destruction of the local wildlife. In addition to the fun floats and performances, they would be giving out free things--all natural food, coupons to whole food markets, and even T-Shirts made of vaguely named recycled goods--and running donation booths. It would be a day long event, and would run through almost every major street in town.

    Though the floats hadn't begun their way onto the road, they'd been set up, ordered neatly according to the list in Chloe Kademan's hand. She was just a student at Capax High, but was also the notable president of the Environmental Club--and a control freak. She had been up since the crack of dawn, overlooking the preparations for the parade. She'd double checked each float, glue bottle in hand, checking for tears and breaks that needed fixing. The performers had been spoken to, the musicians had been called an hour earlier than they'd needed to, and the booths were wiped down not once, but twice, before even arriving at their carefully marked spots on Chloe's map. It was fortunate for her that Mrs. Kademan was at the head of the BPHEC.

    Unfortunately, even with Chloe's obsessive double-and-triple checking, the preparations were still in complete chaos. The Fourth of July parade was the same every year--nothing to worry about there. But this parade was the first of it's kind. The town was worried, and you could feel it in the air.

    Not to mention, when Chloe Kademan arrived back at the large warehouse where the floats were being kept, wondering where attraction number #17 had disappeared to, she found not the beautifully decorated wildlife float they had built two weeks before, but a Chinese New Year Dragon, complete with a troop of Chinese men to parade it around, instead. The perfectly composed Chloe collapsed into a fit. Nobody here spoke Chinese, and the men, though confused out of their minds, were determined to join the parade, no matter what Chloe tried to tell them. But nothing could be done, the parade began at 10 o'clock, sharp.




    The parade wasn't going to be any fun for Amber. She had planned on going with a couple of friends, but instead she arrived at school only long enough to make a hundred copies of her paper before ditching for the day. With a staple gun and duct tape on the dash of her car, and the papers filed into boxes in the back, she was quickly on her way. It wasn't long though, until she started meeting the road blocks. Sorry, you can't go this way, miss. Road is blocked for the parade activities until 11 PM.

    She was quickly regretting not bringing anybody with her.

    She piled the duct tape and stapler into the box, and began to lug it down the streets despite its sizable weight. She set it down every ten feet, pulling out a paper and stapling it onto wooden posts, taping it over rails, and even on shop windows. Almost every available surface was soon covered on the main roads, almost every store window showing off the picture of her precious, and missing, eleven year old sibling. In the picture, she was smiling, with a missing front tooth and her softball cap on. There was grass in her hair and smudged on her skin, darker than Amber's but familiar and still family.

    Her parent's hadn't called the police yet. In fact, they didn't even know. They'd gone off, both of them, on business trips the day before, probably hoping to avoid the parade as well as each other. She had made the effort to call herself, but the cops just told her, as they do, "She's probably run off with a school teacher on a community service project. Call us back tonight if she's not home. You'll find her."

    But Isabel would never do that. She was probably one of the most obedient people in the household. She never signed for her parents on permission slips, never left the house at night, and never, ever, ran off without telling her big sister first. So something was wrong, something horribly wrong. And Amber wouldn't stop until she found her.
    The parade is starting, and the crowds are already gathered to witness what might be one of Capax's best, or worst, attempts at change in a long time. Most students from the high school and middle school are either participating themselves in the parade, or are doing community service with their teachers--collecting donations, doing park clean ups, and more. Others are simply volunteering of their own mind, or some are loitering about for the free food and merchandise. Some are just trying to get to their work, or to the grocery store; unfortunately for you, most roads are blocked, and will be all day. Best you find another way to it.

    Feel free to make an intro post for your character. While it's not 100% necessary to meet up with another character immediately, it will help expedite the beginning of the story. After introductory posts have been made, GM events will begin.

     
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  2. The Parade


    Come on, it'll be fun.

    That had been the justification for Amber's call. A call that had come three or four hours too early. Groggy, not quite sure where exactly she had been, Rachel had jolted awake at the first ding of her phone, blood rushing to her head and replacing the momentary sensation of alertness with a low, steady, and unrelenting thud thud thud of veins. Every time her veins pumped, she ached. She'd expected something important, something exciting, but instead got come on it'll be fun.

    "That-that parad-parade?" Rachel slurred out, hand clutching her forehead with vice-like fingers to ease the pain. Before Amber could continue her defense of it, Rachel conceded, interrupting her mid-sentence, "Yeah, yeah, I'll be there. Just, dammit, give me notice earlier, yeah? It's..." She paused, glanced at the clock, and continued, "like twelve."

    Rachel hung up the phone and tossed it across her bed, letting it fall with the faint noise of creaking mattress springs. Overhead, a ceiling fan rotated with an irritating speed, each pass of the blade letting out a high-pitched whine of strain. Bed sheets littered the floor, either never put back in place or tossed aside in restless sleep. Once Rachel had eased herself back onto her feet, head swimming, eyes straining to look past five feet, she noted she was still dressed in the sorely worn and filthy clothes she had been wearing the previous day. Littered across the floor lay half a dozen singed snippets of cloth, the odor of their smoke still lingering in the air.

    Hardly managing to make her way through her doorway, her footfalls clumsy and meandering, Rachel found the strength to shower and dress in new (if not exactly better) clothing. Without bothering to eat or brush her teeth, but feeling a considerable deal better, she left her one-room apartment and set off to walking to the town square.

    ---

    Fifteen minutes later, surprised as always to find the town center already packed shoulder-to-shoulder with people, Rachel arrived, sliding her pink-hued sunglasses over her eyes. Energy already drained from the trek out of her apartment, the sunlight still causing sharp pain despite the glasses, she set herself to finding Amber. Whether it was the near-hangover sensation, the lack of sleep, or aftermath of her night before, Rachel began to feel that the faces in the crowd had blurred. Many times she saw her own shades looking back at her, or otherwise nudged someone her exact same height, only to find that the person had vanished when she turned her head around her shoulder.

    It's nothing.

    An arm clutched her shoulder suddenly out of the crowd, fingers feeling ice-like. Believing it was just another vision, something her head kept throwing out into the foreground, Rachel made nothing of it. Only when the hand yanked her backwards did she double-take, twirling on the spot. Finding herself face to face with Amber, she offered a tired smile and a nonchalant I can't help it shrug of her shoulders. Before Amber could ask any questions, Rachel mimed smoking a cigarette with two fingers held in a 'v' shape to her mouth, puffing out air like it was smoke. Recognition flickered across the girl's face.

    "So why'm I here again?" Rachel croaked out, shielding her eyes from the sun with a raised hand, "I liked my bed much more..."


     
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  3. Wen BonheurWen hadn’t particularly wanted to go to the parade, but gentlemen couldn’t be recluses. If anything, they aided in the preparations.

    He arrived early and offered himself up as a “helper for any in need of an extra pair of hands” in those exact words. None inquired for his assistance, going so far as to evade him when he informed them of his volunteer status. He’d admit it entirely surprising, his choice in dress possibly having a hand in discomfiting them. Maybe the vest and tie was a bit much for such a casual affair? He shrugged, indifferent. No one could blame him of self-sabotaging his efforts if there was no one willing to hold a conversation with him.

    Wen loitered around the town center, purposeless. To think, he could have been doing something with all this idle time. He’s not sure what the activity could possibly have been, but he’s certain it would have been something productive. For sure, it wouldn’t have been an aimless meandering of the town square, knocking elbows with the crowd in the hopes of finding a reprieve from so many people.

    He wandered past a shop, glancing at his reflection only to see the gap-toothed smile of little Isabel Rousseau. Pausing, Wen skimmed the missing persons sign (there could be no mistaking what it was) and sighed. How unfortunate for Amber; to have to go searching for her absent sibling in a time of such joy. Glancing around, he amended his thoughts. A time of such change more like. He couldn’t see much joy.

    Perhaps he could be of help to her. Two were better than one, he’d been told. Considering how he'd been on the grounds since nearly the beginning and hadn't seen the signs earlier, it must have meant she was still in the vicinity. That and the fact that the entire town had gathered around the center as well. Not too long after, Wen found Amber with the gas station employee. He recalled being quite rude to her once in his... earlier days. Some crass words about her eyes and her appearance. He was just thankful it hadn’t been about her race as any attempts to make reparations after a racist comment would be, understandably, rebuffed. Insults based on appearance could always be remedied. Ethnicity, not so much.

    Approaching them, he nodded his head in greeting. “Amber. Wonderful to see you.” Turning, he said politely, “Hello, Rachel. Delighted to make your acquaintance.” Of course he knew her name, he made a habit of it now.
     
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  4. Wes Chambers
    Wes stood in the middle of the lazily milling crowd that had assembled for the parade, a bundle of loosely folded t-shirts held under one arm. He was supposed to be passing them out to people, but he had quickly discovered that very few were interested in actually taking them. It probably didn't help that he was offering the free shirts in a low voice without making much eye contact, but in his mind that was the least of the problems with the task he had been given.

    Looking back over his shoulder, Wes could see the booth he had left about twenty minutes earlier, still manned by Mrs. Clark, the teacher who had been placed in charge of distributing the free t-shirts. Next to her was another student "volunteer" that looked equally as dispassionate as Wes currently felt about this whole thing. Mrs. Clark, on the other hand, was busily bustling about in and around the booth with an almost manic intensity. Wes wasn't sure if she had been one of the adults that had spearheaded the campaign to bring this parade to Capax or had just gotten swept up in it because she taught biology, but either way she had been beaming and oddly peppy all morning. Which was odd, Wes thought, because so far this parade was giving every indication of being a complete mess before it had even gotten started. It wasn't so much a lack of organization or interest from the public as far as he could tell, just a feeling in the air that something was slightly off. He couldn't quite put his finger on exactly what that was, but he saw it reflected everywhere in the faces of the people who had shown up that day. Everyone seemed unsure of what was going to happen, and their expressions betrayed the unease they all could feel as the time for the parade to start drew closer.

    Taking one of the t-shirts, Wes unfolded it to see exactly what it was he was trying to push. It was a fairly plain design as far as t-shirts went, the fabric a bright shade of green with a picture of some kind of local waterfowl Wes couldn't precisely identify, but guessed was probably endangered. The slogan "Capax Citizens for a Healthier Planet" was printed above the bird (egret? loon?) in bold letters. Not exactly inspired to redouble his efforts, Wes resumed walking around with the t-shirt held in his hand, not even bothering to try and get people's attention.

    Spotting a bench a short distance away, Wes made his was over and sat down, hoping that now with the crowd having grown slightly thicker it would block Mrs. Clark's view and buy him some time to take a break from his trifling duties. He set the shirts down next to him on the bench before leaning back and yawning. Being there wasn't the ideal way he might have spent his morning, but he was hoping he might get some extra credit out of it at the very least.

    As the crowd moving along the main drag of the parade route thinned out for a brief moment, Wes was afraid Mrs. Clark might spot him and come over to give him a lecture. Looking over towards her booth, Wes saw no sign of Mrs. Clark and breathed a small sigh of relief.

    Then, a bulky form moved across his field of vision, stooping low and hovering over the shirts laid out on display at the booth. Wes blinked in confusion, trying to focus and make out who or what it was. It was hard to see much detail from where he was sitting, but the person appeared to be wearing several layers of old, dingy fur draped haphazardly over their entire body. It was impossible to determine if the person was a woman or a man, as Wes could not see their face from behind, but whoever it was now leaned even closer to the shirts, their upper body craning down almost as if they were smelling them.

    Wes stood to his feet, alarmed but intending to find out what was going on. Before he could make his way over to the booth, however, a throng of people passed in front of him, preventing him from getting closer. By the time they had all moved out of the way, the strange figure was gone. Stopping in his tracks, Wes stood there, puzzled and more than a little scared. The day was just starting, and already it had been by far the strangest experience in his life. He wondered what could possibly happen next that could be weirder, knowing deep down he probably wouldn't have to wait long to find out.
     
    #4 Auntie Phaz, Aug 15, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2015
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  5. Day 1
    October 4th, Sunday
    Morning - 12 PM

    Parade


    Amber tried not to make it a habit to question Rachel's day-to-day appearance, though the girl was usually more alert than this. It didn't seem likely she'd have gotten baked this early in the morning. She figured Rachel would have more self respect. Her lips pursed into a frown before she shrugged it off, too entrenched in her own worries to care too much about another's. Rachel could handle herself; Isabel couldn't. Shifting the half empty box of papers under her arm, she began to explain. Her words came quick, and fast, though properly enunciated, just in case the brunette wasn't quite to her senses yet.

    "Sorry to wake you. I just, can't, be alone right now? God, that sounds so petty. I woke up this morning to find Isabel gone. Just gone. No note, no call, no word left behind. Heck, she didn't even take that stupid jacket of hers!" she exclaimed. Isabel's friends were absolutely obsessed with this new name-brand, expensive-ass jacket line. Even sweet Isabel couldn't resist the need to fit in. Their father had paid for one a month ago, and she hadn't left the house without it since, no matter how hot it was outside. "No wallet, no phone... she left it plugged in in the living room. What eleven year old rich kid leaves home without their phone?

    "And I called the cops, and all, but you know how scummy they are, especially in this hick town. They won't do anything about it. And the 'rents are away without a care in this goddamn world." She gesticulated as she spoke, waving the staple gun haphazardly as she spoke. "So fuck 'em. I'll find her on my own. Before you ask, no, you don't have to help, or anything. Just stick around for a bit and keep me from going insane. We don't need to stay for long. I don't know what they were thinking with this lame get up. All this 'save the animals' crap is falling on deaf ears."


    She sighed, her gaze scanning across the crowds. A couple of floats were making their way down the street, now, one with papier-mâché animals and another followed by a troop of girls carrying copious amounts of flowers in baskets. They looked like flower girls at an absent wedding. Behind them was the float Isabel worked on with her classmates; it was this beautiful thing, painted brightly and decorated to resemble a thick jungle. A few girls--her classmates--walked alongside it, with green painted megaphones and flyers. Those were the very flyers Amber had used the back of to print her missing persons papers on.

    Wen appeared out of nowhere by Amber's side. She jerked her hand back just before smacking him in the side with her stapler, and offered an apologetic smile. This was good. Wen wasn't always the kind of person that was calming--in fact, it made her laugh to think it--but it'd been a month since she'd heard something truly rude and horrid come from her, now his, mouth. His being here would keep her from doing something stupid. She missed Wen-the-female, but Wen-the-male was fine by her. A change, and one that grossly reminded her of her family, but there was still something different about him compared to her grotesquely fancy relatives.

    "Oh, hey, Wen." she said in reply, dropping the stapler into her box. "I didn't know you knew Rachel? Well, I mean, I guess I'm at fault for assuming. How are you? I didn't think you'd be free. Or... would even really bother coming to the parade, honestly."

    Though you can hear the noise from the crashing Chinese dragon, you're too far away to see the chaos. However, past the din, you can hear a strange crying noise. From the noise alone, it sounds like a female around your age, not sobbing but calling in distress, though you can't make out words. Surrounding you are the crowds and several stores, one a restaurant with a small parking lot behind it, and past that, a thin stretch of wooded area.



    "Hey, Wes?"

    She was tapping on his shoulder lightly from behind, trying to get his attention. He seemed absolutely fixed on whatever he was staring at, though she failed to see anything of interest by the booth. Mrs. Clark wasn't there, and that was obvious. So what he could be looking at? Maybe he needed to get his eyes checked. She tapped a little harder this time, putting her hand on her hip when he finally turned around.

    Carmen was another student, the kind of girl who played a perfect teachers pet and nerd role while still looking fantastic. Most didn't give her a second look, though, no matter how hard she tried. She could paint her hair blonde and give her caramel skin a bleaching and still nobody would see her as more than 'Carmen-over-there'. But it couldn't be said that she tried. In her hand was two rumpled looking T-shirts, the same type Wes held. Mrs. Clark had swallowed up her offer to volunteer, though she was deeply reconsidering it now--as Wes clearly did, too. She'd been watching him for a good half hour before she decided to move forward and initiate conversation. Or try, anyway. She didn't know if he even knew her name.

    "What's so interesting?" she asked after he caught his attention. "Mrs. Clark left, said she had to go get more shirts from the Grab 'n Go lot." The store itself was a good twenty minutes away by walk, probably more with the crowds. It was the perfect opportunity to slip away. She'd never miss a couple of absent volunteers. "Not like we need more shirts. Just because they're free doesn't mean anybody wants a shirt that reeks so badly like old plastic and trash."

    As she spoke, the strangest thing came crashing down the length of the parade. It was the Chinese dragon, with Chloe Kademan in tow. She was still fighting for control, trying to argue with the men piloting the thing, though none of them spoke English and she didn't speak Chinese--or any variant of it. The dragon weaved through the parade line, skipping past other floats, foreign music and shouted complaints following it along. Several pedestrians were knocked to the ground as it bobbed off course, moving onto the pavement. From there it continued on into a series of tables designated "food court", promptly knocking over popcorn machines and hot dog cookers. Glass shattered across the pavement and piles of paper plates took to the breeze.

    "Oh my God," Chloe was screeching again. "Stop, stop, everybody stop!!!"
    The parade seems to be progressing normally... except for the Chinese dragon showing up, of course. Nobody else seems to notice anything wrong, except for you. Lying at the tail end of the Chinese dragon is a small child, dressed in the same style as the strange man by the t-shirt booth. One of the poles used to move and prop up the dragon has speared the child through. Nobody else seems to have noticed in the havoc.
     
  6. The Parade


    Rachel had been quite sure that "Wen" had been a girl when Amber had talked about her before. Was Amber bullshitting her? Or was that haircut just making her look androgynous? The pale skin was there, Amber had always talked about that, but that wasn't exactly a telling sign. Eyes briefly meeting Amber's, using that subtle nonverbal channel, Rachel seemed to ask You serious? She was met with a stiff counter-glance from Amber that meant either to back off or that the conversation would happen later. Rachel could live with later.

    When Amber sparked conversation with Wen, Rachel recognized her window to step out, offering a prompt farewell of later bitches. A mere ten feet later, Rachel was interrupted by the crash. The horde of people on either side of the street made it impossible to pinpoint where the noise emanated from. Curiosity piqued, Rachel made for the crashing noise, dimly aware of a wailing girl somewhere not too off from where she stood bullying her way through the enveloping crowd. It was hot. Sweat beaded down Rachel's face, dripping off the peaks of her cheekbones and the tip of her nose, matting down her hair and forming a glistening layer of fluid across her forehead. Too many bodies in one location. Too many organic furnaces.

    In her frenzy to both break clear of the crowd to catch a feeling of fresh air and investigate the noise, Rachel lost count of distance and time as she pushed and shoved when appropriate, kicking and grabbing where warranted. There. A break in the crowd, big enough for her to squeeze through. Making no move as to be mindful of the others around her, Rachel weaseled her way through a pair of stout, broad-shouldered men. Probably some football jarheads.

    No, definitely not. Unless, of course, they'd been held back. One had graying hair, the other - the other looked at Rachel with her own face. Mouth drooping open in disbelief, the girl took a step back right as a man strode past the jarhead wearing her face. When the form passed, the girlish features and long hair had been replaced by a square chin, fluffy blond hair, and dull brown eyes. The mouth was moving - he was asking her something. Something unimportant. Had she imagined it?

    "Hey, you're that girl from the-"

    Before the jarhead could finish his unsubtle, lousy attempt at flirting, Rachel idled past another individual in the seething mass of humanity and waited, surprised to find her heart ready to burst clean of her chest cavity. Her lungs flared in their attempt to draw air in short, rugged bursts of motion.

    It's nothing, just some post-baking symptoms...

    But were they? It'd never happened before...

    "Hey, look at that!" A child to Rachel's right screeched, clinging tightly to his perch's shoulders. The exasperated mother looked towards the newest addition to the fair and nodded, sending the child bobbing up and down atop his mother's back.

    "That's a dragon - isn't it exciting?" False enthusiasm, Rachel could call that bullshit from a mile away.

    Wait. Dragon. That snared her attention. Head snapping to attention at the very-accurately stated Chinese dragon, Rachel's mouth was caught in something halfway between an idiotic smile and suspended disbelief. Was there some budget increase the town hadn't talked about? Was this the surprise float they'd mentioned? No, it couldn't have been. No way they could have kept that secret so long.

    "What's that on the dragon's back, mommy?"

    "I don't see what you're talking about..."

    Only, Rachel did. A sound of distress pierced her lips, drawing the eyes of everyone in her immediate surroundings. A shaking hand clenched into a curled fist, index finger jutting out to point at the dragon's back. Someone was impaled across the back. Not just someone, it was her. Rachel Hughes watched as this dragon bounced around, sending her limp form sliding up and down across a pole slick with red. Her hands clutched at her face, attempting to cast the thought aside, telling her it was just another post-bake symptom. Rachel glanced up, seeing the limp form still there, and cursed under her breath. Everyone around her had noticed it too, if the gasps and shrieks were anything to go off of. Only, they were saying things like "save that baby!" and "not a child!"

    Child? Rachel had been sure she'd seen herself, lifeless and colorless, on that pole. When she mustered the courage to peel the hands away from her face, her gaze slowly idled to the pole. A child, no older than the boy atop his mother's shoulders, was stuck, pinned through to the dragon.

    Fuck.

     
  7. Wes
    "Hey, Wes?"

    The voice at his back and the tapping on his shoulder that accompanied it snapped Wes out of his perplexed reverie. Turning around, he saw a girl around his age standing there. The hand poised on her hip suggested she had been there long enough to get slightly annoyed, which made Wes wonder just how long he had been lost in thought trying to figure out if he was losing his mind or not. Although he definitely recognized the girl from earlier that day and from seeing her around school, he couldn't match a name to her face. It made him feel slightly embarrassed, since she obviously knew his. That could have just been because of the big stink his coming out in middle school had caused, though. While most of his classmates had either forgotten about it because of their own lives or simply no longer cared, there were still occasions when he got referred to as "Wes, that gay kid".

    "Huh? Oh, I... uh, saw some-" Wes nervously stammered out a response to her question once it registered with him, but then he stopped short before telling her the true reason why he had been distracted. Whatever was going on with him, it probably wasn't a good idea to go broadcasting the fact he was seeing strange things to someone from school. He had long since come to terms with being gay, but becoming "Wes, that crazy, weird kid" wasn't a label he wanted to be shackled with as well.

    "I... thought I saw someone I knew," he lied, hoping it sounded like a good enough excuse to be caught staring intently at absolutely nothing while standing in the middle of the street. Her comment about the shirts' smell turned his thoughts back to the figure he had seen over by the booth. Who could it have been? And shouldn't someone else have noticed them with all these people being around? Wes almost wanted to ask the girl if she had seen the same mysterious person decked in shabby furs skulking around the t-shirts. It only took him a second to consider how ridiculous that would sound and to decide he would just have to keep it to himself for now, even if it made him appear suspicious.

    As Wes was trying to come up with some comment to contribute to the already awkward conversation he was having with this girl, a sudden tumult broke out over by the makeshift food court. Taking it as an opportunity to leave the unsavory topic of what he had seen behind, Wes set out through the crowd to get a better look at what was happening. The girl who had come up to him would probably follow, but that was all right as long as they found something better to talk about than Mrs. Clark's t-shirts and the vanishing hobos that liked to smell them.

    Following the trail of destruction along the parade path, Wes arrived at the food court, which had become a scene out of some bizarre piece of Chinese opera. He first noticed the dragon as it continued to bob and weave frantically at the behest of the runaway puppeteers within it despite the frantic pleas of Chloe Kademan. An instant after that he heard a gasp of horror from somewhere in the crowd, and his eyes then settled on the shape of a child's body skewered by the shaft of one of the poles used to maneuver the dragon.

    That would have been enough to horrify Wes any other day, but it was something else that made his mouth go dry and his mind reel from a dreadful sense of deja vu.

    The child was dressed just like the figure from before, a small form covered in mismatched layers of what appeared to be animal pelts.

    A million thoughts and impressions flashed through his brain in that moment, but the only coherent one was a bewildered feeling of panic.

    What the hell is going on?
     

  8. [​IMG]
    ♛⋮Franny Kingsley ◣

    Chocolate brown hair tied into the girl's signature braided twintail look lightly bounced on her back as she walked out of her favourite convenience store--which wasn't exactly 'convenient' as it was a bit far from her house. In her hand was a bottle of her favourite drink, the thing she reaches out for when something was wrong. While the day was supposed to be a joyous one for the citizens of Capax due to the parade ongoing, Franny was the least bit of joyous at the moment which contrasted her great enthusiasm the night before. Her plans for the day had been simple, she was to help out as a volunteer and collect donations. But all of a sudden her plans were completely changed; all because of a stupid dream she had.

    The dreams were nothing new, they started about a week or two ago. Before it was merely dreams of historic events, but recently these dreams of hers began to manifest into a reality. It scared her, of course it did. She wanted to tell someone but the thought of being thought of having gone mental and placed inside a mental facility was something she didn't want to face. Franny had learned to deal with it, it wasn't like they were anything major anyway... at least not until her latest dream.

    It involved the parade. The image was a bit blurry but in the dream she saw chaos in the parade, chaos caused by a Chinese dragon--the appearance of which in the parade was something she found weird on its own. However, that wasn't what bothered her the most. In her dream she saw a child impaled at the end covered by the dragon's cloth. Recalling the image made her want to gag. Quickly, she opened the drink and downed all of it at once. Franny sighed and wiped her mouth with the back of her hand as she threw the empty bottle into the nearest trash can. She wished that the dream was different, that it wasn't going to come true. It was silly but Franny thought that her not being there would perhaps make it such that the dream didn't manifest into a reality.

    Franny was about to make her way home when she heard two distinct noises: 1) the sound of something crashing, and 2) the sound of a female sobbing. Although she was curious as to what the crash was about, she somehow found her focus to be drawn more to the sobbing than the former. The female--whoever she was--was trying to say something, but she couldn't quite make out what it was the girl was trying to say.

    Franny surveyed the area, trying to locate the source of the strange noise.
     
  9. Day 1
    October 4th, Sunday
    Morning - 12 PM

    Parade


    Carmen frowned, long, mascara drenched lashes sticking together. Wes was lying--or not telling a whole truth. That much was obvious. Carmen wasn't a complete dolt. But she let it slide, offering a shrug and quick words in response, her attempt at conversation. "Oh, yeah. It seems like everyone in town is here. No idea why, though. This is really boring."

    She moved on, beginning to mention something about bailing and a party that was going to start at five, but it was clear that he wasn't listening. She was just listing off the address when he began to walk away. Here she was, trying to invite this guy to a party of all things, and he was walking away! It was a stupid idea to even try, she chided herself. But Carmen followed him anyway. She was nothing if not diligent. There was a weird look on Wes' face, and when she looked up after he arrived at his destination, she realized why.

    It as a grotesque site. It was a small child, speared through by some weird Chinese dragon. She noticed first the blood that was everywhere, staining the colorful paper and fabric; Carmen turned away, retching. "Oh, God. Oh man, what the hell? What the fuck is that?"

    Other bystanders took a few moments to notice. Eventually screams came from the crowd, and a few even ran towards the child, panicking like headless chickens over what to do. The child itself was absolutely lifeless. The strange clothing it wore was soaked through, white and brown fur coated in sticky red. Its eyes, a bright blue, were wide open, glazed over. Nobody seemed to question the strangeness of his, or her, appearance. Somebody was screaming for police.


    Chloe stopped her shouting for order when she finally took note of what was going on, her eyes bulging wide. How could this have happened? At her parade? She felt like retching herself; but instead, she whipped out her phone and called 911 quicker than speed dial could. This had to be fixed, and quick, before it ruined months of planning.

    Hello, 911, what is your emergency...?
    Police have been notified of the 'incident' with the dragon, thanks to Chloe. Unfortunately, nothing can be done for the child. They are well and truly dead... All the crowd can really do is stare at this child, who looks almost prehistoric. Was this some sort of prank? A joke? The child couldn't have speared themselves!

    There's no real point in investigating further. What can you do for this child? Before you can turn away, though, the image of the child flickers to that of a certain Rachel Hughes. It's apparent to you that nobody in the crowd sees this change--they're still crying out for the child--but for just the briefest moment, it's there. You may not even know who Rachel Hughes is, but as you watch, this image keeps flickering back. One second, you see a child. Another, you see a nineteen year old woman. A nineteen year old woman who is certainly not dead. As you watch... she looks directly at you. Mouths words you can't decipher, before falling listless.






     
  10. Day 1
    October 4th, Sunday
    Morning - 12 PM

    Parade


    A sound coming from nearby--behind the shop front, it seemed, or maybe further back, by the parking lots and back streets?--distracted Amber from conversation with Wen. She frowned, pausing for a moment before saying a quick word of excuse and leaving. Rachel had already excused herself--Amber couldn't blame her--and Wen didn't seem to have noticed the noise. But it was audible and clear to Amber, who followed it, pushing past the crowds to the much less dense back streets.

    These streets were narrow, dirty, filthy. The streets you walked to get into the back door, or to get to the trash barrels. Most of the store buildings on the main streets were connected in the back through these dimly lit alleys, where everyone kept their barrels and dumpsters and received their deliveries. It seemed impractical, considering how thin the streets were. Amber could hardly imagine a smart car fitting through here without losing it's mirrors to the brick walls and concrete buildings. But somehow, like most things in Capax, it managed to work out. She could see tire tracks lining the gravel and dust, and a few crates, some emptied, some full, sitting against the walls.

    She didn't have to walk very far to find the source of the noise. Sitting against a stray oak tree that had managed to grow in a patchy bit of earth by the wall was a young girl. Her eyes were wild, wide with terror and fear. She had long hair, hair that must have reached down to her knees--and she seemed Amber's age, if not older. Feathers hung from her ears like earrings, and were laced through her hair in strange looking ornaments. It was her clothing that was strangest. Furs and leathers, though the shirt was shaped like a crop top, and her skirt was definitely not built for warmth. She looked somewhat Native American, though there was something off putting about her. Maybe she was supposed to be in the parade? Some Native American tribute?

    Upon noticing Amber, the girl scrambled to her feet, nonsense spilling from her mouth. Her words were a mixture of sounds, smooth and flowing, but sometimes punctured by harsh, clipped consonants. She spoke faster than anybody Amber had ever seen. Her hands were still by her side, her back stiff as a board. Her eyes were trained on Amber, expectant. Demanding.

    "Uhm. Hello?" What was she supposed to say to this girl? She couldn't even tell what language she was speaking. "English? Do you know English?"

    More strange words. When she finished talking the foreign girl would go deathly silent, and still, as though moving would cause the world to overturn. Then she spoke again--repeating, it seems, what she said the first time.

    "I don't understand...?" Amber could hear more footsteps, from behind. Somebody else was coming? Good, they could deal with this mess. "Uhm, is there someone who can help you? Help? You?" She tried gesturing to get the message across, but it didn't seem like the girl understood.

     
    • Love Love x 2
  11. The haphazard attempt at a family portrait was framed in antique wood, dusty around the rim as the frame encased five smiling people, a happy moment captured in time that Ellis Holland was never going to get back. It had been her mom's idea a few years back, to buy one of those nice cameras, dress everyone in white and go down to the beach to take a few shots. Capax was a windy place, right off the ocean and the weather hardly ever cooperated. Gracie's sun hat had blown off that day, rolling down the beach and getting caught in the tide, and part of Devin's pants were covered in wet sand from a tumble over some driftwood. Still, the two adults were smiling, arms wrapped around one another as the wind blew her mom's blonde hair around—everything always seemed rather perfect no matter what happened.

    I miss you,” Ellis said, catching a glimpse of her own reflection in the glass, but her eyes remained focused on her mother. It had been months since she had seen or heard from the woman and everyone just seemed to accept that Janet was there to take her place. How was she supposed to move on like nothing had ever happened and why wouldn't her dad fess up to any of the details? All he kept saying was that she was there, she had been there when he married the step-monster, but Ellis didn't remember. Everyone had gone crazy, and now the only memory that she had of her mother, Deborah, with her wild personality and funny laugh, was a slightly blurry and very amateurish family portrait.

    It was just before eleven when Ellis finally tore herself away from the picture in the hallway and decided to get going. Normally, Sundays were spent in bed or on the couch, either lazily catching up on homework on binge-watching something on Netflix, not at a parade and passing out fliers for extra credit. Regardless, Ellis was happy to get out the house for a while, and had done her best to stay gone as much as possible ever since Janet had become a fixture. Peeking around the corner, the long-haired girl thought the coast was clear, and all it was going to take was lacing up her sneakers before she was out the door and on her way to the high school. She was probably going to be a little late, but…

    Where are you off to so early?

    Ellis didn't bother to hide the cringe on her face as Janet's grating voice reached her ears. Grabbing her shoes, Ellis sat down on the kitchen floor to lace them up. “I have a school thing—for the parade or whatever,” she answered, not bothering to even turn and look at Janet. Something about the woman's face was so insidious, so out of place that it made her stomach turn.

    Take your sister with you, please,” she requested as the middle-schooler flounced into the room.

    Again, Ellis frowned, her dark eyes rolling as she wordlessly agreed and got to her feet. “Come on, Grace,” she said, and pocketed her cell phone before reaching for the younger girl's hand.

    The back door slammed behind them as they started down the driveway and up the block. Between them, the silence was heavy, worrying, because it never happened before Janet had come into the picture. Gracie, much like Devin and their father, continued to insist that she had been there for the wedding, and that mom had been gone for ages already.

    Do I have to stay with you all day?” the younger girl asked with an overly dramatic sigh as they approached the parade grounds. “I know mom said--”

    Mom didn't say anything,” Ellis snapped, “because mom isn't here.”

    After getting chewed out for being a little more than an hour late, Ellis was doomed to push fliers on unsuspecting parade-goers with Gracie by her side. Despite the black cloud that was now hanging out their relationship and raining all over the closeness that had been fostered and tended to for years, the older girl didn't mind hanging out with her younger sister. They even managed to make a game out of it—how many lies will people believe about erasing their carbon footprint before they became suspicious. Ellis doubted that she had helped to save the planet that day, but the stack of papers in her arms was now less than half the size they had been an hour ago.

    I can't see anything,” Gracie complained as they walked along, the throngs of people dense around them as the parade continued to make its way through town. “And I'm tired, my feet hurt, El.”

    Well, maybe if you didn't wear flip flops everywhere,” Ellis responded in a bit of a mumble. Taking her eyes off of the crowd in front of her, she looked down to count the remaining fliers and only looked up when she heard the sound of cries and gasps up ahead. The lithe girl furrowed her brow and stood on her toes, trying to see what everyone was so concerned about as massive flashes of color passed by—a Chinese dragon that looked out of place and didn't seem to have anything to do with protecting the environment.

    The sounds of the crowd became now bordered on horrified rather than enthralled with the colorful creation, and before Ellis could even see what everyone was staring at, Gracie was taking off, bolting down the street and disappearing among the mass of people. “Grace!” she yelled before dumping the last of the papers into a nearby trash can and sprinting after the girl. It was hard to see much of anything, and shoving her way through was hardly an option.

    Luckily, the back streets were clear enough, and Ellis didn't care how dirty they were, or how narrow as she ran along, hoping to head off her sister at some intersection. However, another sound caught her attention, a language that she couldn't quite place and the resulting confusion of a slightly familiar voice. Panting, Ellis slowed to a stop and cautiously continued down the alley, toward two girls, one with fiery hair and another who was dressed in a convincing Native American outfit.

    Again, the strange language caught Ellis off guard, but when Gracie was lost somewhere, it was hard to focus on anyone else. “Did you see a girl come through here?” she asked the redhead, still trying to fully catch her breath. “My sister took off on me.” Giving a wary glance toward the now silent girl, crouched and possibly attempting to hide, Ellis couldn't help her curiosity. “Who's that?”
     
  12. [​IMG]
    ♛⋮Franny Kingsley ◣
    Merely glancing around the area proved to be futile as Franny was unable to locate the main source. She did, however, manage to pinpoint the direction of which it was coming from. Franny abruptly turned to her left causing her hair to spin round, one of the two twin-tail braids now rested in front while the other remained behind her back. That way. She stared at the direction of an alleyway. Franny was certain that was where it was coming from--well, not exactly there in the alleyway but wherever it led to that was where the source was. The way that Franny saw it, she had two options. She could just ignore it and go back home, constantly consoling herself that her dream did not and was not going to come true; or she could follow the noise, perhaps help out whoever it was that was sobbing with whatever trouble she may have and get her mind off of things. Clearly the second option was the more appealing of the two, and so into the alley she went.


    Nervousness and anxiety slowly filled her with every step that she took, much like how she felt about that dream she had minus the fear. The girl had every right to feel nervous though, after all, she didn't know what would happen. What if it was some sort of serial killer? The thought caused Franny to stop at her tracks. She contemplated on it for a while. The thought of a serial killer sobbing away for whatever reason was just absurd; they were psychopaths after all. But what if she was right? Franny looked back behind her. She bit her lip and balled her hands into fists. To go forward to or go back. She sighed and turned her head back facing forward. If I end up regretting this I'm banning myself from going to that convenience store.

    Franny continued on forward till she finally reached the end of it. Much to her surprise, there were already two people--both girls--present at the area. She looked at each of them before the she finally noticed the third presence, the very reason why she even ended up at such a place. Her attire was...odd to say the least. It certainly didn't fit in the modern world. Was she perhaps a parade participant that had just managed to get herself lost? Maybe they, Franny once again looked from the redhead to the brunette who seemed quite normal, know something. Franny cleared her throat, hoping to catch their attention. "Uhmm... What's going on here?"
     
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