Signups/OoC The sun was already high in the sky by the time Ruth Straw woke up. She checked her watch - 10:30. Well, that was fine; it was a Saturday, after all. With a yawn and some creaking of joints, she hauled herself out of bed. I'm getting old, she thought, with a touch of sadness as she shuffled into the hall. Tim and Haley would be impatient for breakfast, probably squabbling over some imagined disagreement while they waited. It'd be chocolate chip pancakes for the two of them, and high-fiber bran cereal that tasted of cardboard for her and Fred. Ah, to be young again. She was surprised to see only Tim sitting at the high wooden table in the breakfast nook, playing with a plastic stegosaurus. Well, Haley would show up quickly enough at the promise of food. She was going through another growth spurt, and Ruth wouldn't have been surprised if she ate them out of house and home. She started getting out ingredients, lining them up neatly along the countertop, next to a big yellow mixing bowl. Batter mix, eggs, milk, and the all-important chocolate chips... She couldn't help but smile at the look of anticipation on Timothy's young face. The children loved to watch her cook. "Haley, I'm making pancakes!" she called absently, pouring the milk into the bowl and stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon in one hand, as the other placed a pan on the counter. It was at this point that one might notice there was no stove in the kitchen, but Ruth didn't appear bothered. "Haley," she called again, louder, but there was still no response. Ruth waited for a moment, listening intently as she completed the pancake batter. "Tim, honey, have you seen your sister?" she asked, and the little boy shook his head. Could she still be asleep? she wondered. She poured a good amount of batter into the pan, which she held balanced on her hand like a plate. It only took a moment for the pancake batter to start to bubble, and then cook to a rich golden color, with dark blotches of chocolate. With a flip of the wrist she slid the pancake onto the plate in front of Tim, handing him a fork with a smile, before walking towards the children's rooms. The far door, Heley's door, was painted white with big yellow flowers, at Haley's insistence. Ruth knocked politely before opening the door. "Haley? Sweetie are you awake -" she stopped. The room was empty. Afterwards, Ruth would say that had been the moment she'd known. She couldn't have, really. Haley might have been just playing outside, or in the bathroom, or maybe hiding as a joke. But that was the moment she felt a tiny chill in her heart, the sense that something might be terribly wrong. They didn't find Haley.