@Rainjay - Robyn Gladwin @Fox of Spades - Noelle Atkins Based on Life is Strange Prologue: The Vanishing of Erin Rose Robyn ◦ ♢◂◊▸♢ ◦ It was a dark, gray day when Robyn returned to Arcadia Bay. Her parents made a ceremony out of arriving at Blackwell, fussing and hovering over their daughter as if it were her wedding day, the Polaroid spitting out photographs like rice and rose petals on the cheap carpeting in the girl's dormitory. She wasn't the only student with a small entourage; some girls huddled together in packs, and some were surrounded by movers hauling sixty inch flat screens and leather couches from the Modern Home catalogs on grocery store racks. After her own meager belongings were hefted into her room, creaking futon, Lucy, and all, the small Gladwin family huddled together for a lasting farewell hug before departing, mother-and-father bird glancing back at their hatchling as they went. Baby bird was all alone, and it was time for her to fly. She set to work unpacking the boxes and laying herself out across the fresh painted walls of the dorm room. Rolls of posters were stretched out and plastered against the walls. There was one from the Seattle Zoo, featuring all thirty-seven species of bird they kept in their observatory. Next to it was the book art, 24 by 36 inch printed covers of classics like To Kill a Mockingbird and The Secret Garden, all overlapping corners and edges. Following was the placement of books and CDs, overfilling the small shelf the school had left in the corner of the dorm and piling against the walls once she had run out of space. Then she laid out the thrift shop rug, and plugged in the antiquated standing lamp. The room burst into color. Last was the smallest box, a shoe box taped closed with packing tape, containing her most precious memories and treasures. No nest would be complete without them. She laid out the pictures, pinning them to the walls and hanging them on the lines by her bed until she ran out of putty and clips. She stood back and admired her work. It was perfect. Looking about the room, comfortably cluttered and pleasantly decorated, the feeling of inspiration struck her. It had been five years since she'd last seen Arcadia Bay. She distinctly remembered peering out the back window of her family's van, craning her neck to see the receding streets through the gaps between the boxes in the trunk. The image of her home was still vivid in her mind. The high roof and the cracking paint on the window sills, the baby blue siding and the tall bushes laden with red and white buds in the summer time, ground dotted with the clippings. There wasn't a point in visiting it now--somebody else lived there, it wasn't her home anymore--but she could just as clearly remember the rest of her hometown, the places she had dearly longed to see and fervently wished to avoid. And that was how the little bird managed to find herself lost in the beginnings of the storm. She didn't remember it being altogether uncommon for the Bay to be riddled with rain and showers. It was a seaside town after all, the weather could get fairly bad. But the static in the air and the absence of rain itself was uncanny. She noticed this upon leaving a coffee shop, her tea spilling all over the ground as she collided with a blonde, too preoccupied with shoving her way down the street to stop and help Robyn up. With all her attention on the apparent impending storm, she paid little thought to it and, without purchasing a new drink, began to make her way to the beach. If she was lucky, she could get a shot of the waves before the storm fully set in. It would be a prized catch; the ocean reflected mood very, very well. The sidewalk leading up to the beaches was deserted with the exception of a few stray gulls, pecking away at the pedestrian droppings of the day. She crouched down and took a picture before continuing, carefully beginning the descent down the sandy crest towards the low tide. The rush of water was low and calming against the eerie silence in the air. Halfway across the beach, she knelt down in the sand, cautious to keep the sand from the device in her hands, and lifted the camera to her eye to line up the shot. Snap! The photograph spit out from the camera and she snatched it between her fingers before the wind could blow it away. She stuck it between her lips, wanting to grab one more shot before she left. There were a few more minutes before the shuttle arrived. Leaning forward, she narrowed in on an incoming wave, all beautiful green and blue and blonde. Blonde? Lowering the camera, she blinked her eyes hard before focusing on the figure she'd seen. It was a girl, up to her knees in the water with her arms outstretched at either side. The sleeves of her blouse and the folds of her skirt billowed with the rising wind. Robyn heard a twinkling laugh. A familiar one. "Hello?" she called out. After a moment, the figure lowered her arms and turned. Robyn glanced back toward the streets. She could see the shuttle bus in the distance, slowly passing through the winding streets and around the rugged buildings. She only had a minute. Turning back, she had to squint to see the girl more clearly. Her blonde hair, long and straight was lashing about wildly, unconstrained. There was a single blue streak trailing over her face. Her eyes were wide, doe-like. Something was clutched in her hand, but it was impossible to discern what it was. "Robyn?" the girl called out. Her voice was achingly familiar. "Erin? Is that you?" The spur of wheels on gravel pierced through the wind and the sound of the ocean. Robyn glanced back again--the shuttle was here--and rose to her feet. She hadn't seen Erin in years. They had been friends, before the raven-haired girl had vanished from Seattle without a word. She knew that Erin had always wanted to escape, but had always thought she would receive a 'goodbye' before the girl ran away. Now she'd bleached her hair and lived in Arcadia Bay, Robyn's true hometown, without her ever knowing. She had to speak with her. She had so many questions. But when she looked back, Erin Rose was gone once more, leaving nothing but heavy rain in her wake.