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Slenderman: The Story of Halbrooke

Copyright: The creator of this roleplay has attributed some or all of its content to the following sources:

http://www.theslenderman.wikia.com/wiki/slender_man

Setting

Default Location for Slenderman: The Story of Halbrooke
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Halbrooke; a small, wooden town in Washington is a part of Slenderman: The Story of Halbrooke.

9 Characters Here

Evan Manno [17] "Nothing will stop me from finding my niece, Faith. Nothing."
Darlene Star [16] "I want fame. Finding this girl will give me just that, and no one will stop me."
Joanna Bell Harvelle [14] "The future is uncertain but the end is always near."
Frank Hayden [13] Former police detective-turned-private investigator
Clementine Parlour [11] "This is strange. Too strange to be real."
Alex Harding [4] "Wait, start over. What is this thing?"
Clarissa Banedon [2] A girl with a defined knowledge towards others in an irrelevant opinion, along with the wits to outsmart the dear Slender Man.
Ethan Stirleng [2] Police Detective
Slenderman [0] ...

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Evan Manno.


Evan sat quietly at his laptop inside the local diner, a dark, rainy day trudging on through the windows. His hoodie and jacket were dotted with dark-gray specks of water, a memoir left by the rain. Evan's face was illuminated by the glow of the screen as he scrolled through Halbrooke's local news website, which he had built himself a few years ago. His eyes scanned through one particular story over and over, his nearly unblinking stare never wavering. This particular story happened to be headlined "Local child's mysterious disappearance baffles Police".

He bit his lip and finally broke gaze with the screen, leaning back from the computer and releasing the breath he was not aware he was holding. Evan stood from the booth he occupied and stretched, checking his cellphone for the time, as well as any further messages from his friends. "Nine twenty-four at night..." He thought, running a hand through his black hair. He'd look to the counter to see that the charming waitress, Jo, happened to not be there. He assumed she was in the back, doing things necessary to close up shop. She was kind enough to let the group stay after hours as a private meeting place. Evan walked toward the front door and placed his hands on the bar of the door, peering out at the night. The few streetlights there were along the street cast a sallow glow on the wet sidewalks. There wasn't a soul outside in his view, something to be expected from such a small town.

Evan had moved here about 3 years ago, immediately after he finished high school. HE left so quickly out of a hate for his parents, which he called them such loosely. He felt that they were never truly there, and merely provided a room to sleep in and food to eat. He was forced to raise himself. Evan lived in a tiny apartment complex not far from the diner, which he payed for through his web designing and occasional quarterly royalty checks he received in the mail from a book he published in high school. It had been rushed in production and was not the bestseller he wished it to be, but it was a nice supplement.

Evan He expected his friends to arrive soon.

☪ Joanna Bell Harvelle ☪


Joanna stood in the back room of the diner, at the moment she was changing out of the red and white stripped uniform all of the waitresses had to wear and into her blue jeans, black tank top, gray hoodie and her favorite green jacket that she buttoned up half way. It was still raining outside, through it had been raining all day. After nineteen years of the rain and cold from this town you got used to it. You got used to the dark woods and muddy grounds, you pretty much got used to everything that came with small, rainy towns, including the gossip and how fast new's traveled. The most current news that was flying through town was the missing child, Faith Krusser. The police said they she just disappeared from her backyard, gone in the wind. Personally, Jo didn't think they were trying hard enough, if they really wanted to find the child they would be sending search party's through the woods and searching homes, but they didn't, all they did was put her picture on milk cartons and news papers. The thing that irked Jo the most was the fact that almost no one was searching for this girl, it's horrible that most people just thought he ran away.

Joanna had know Faith, she often babysat the girl for her parents, she was a good child, not the kind you would expect to run away. She sighed and shut the locker she used to keep her clothes in during the day before going around and locking the back door, she didn't need the diner to get robbed tonight of all nights. Lately the boss had been asking her to stay later and close up, which meant she also had to clean up, that wasn't much of a problem since she had no one waiting for her to get home, she could go home any time she wanted, hell she didn't even have to go home, no one would notice if she went missing unless she didn't show up for work or at the hospital or the gun range. That kind of scared her, but she got used to it when she was sixteen.

Tonight was different from the other nights she had stayed late to lock up, tonight she was letting a group of friends stay after closing time to have a meeting of some sorts, that also meant she couldn't go home until they were all gone. Not that it was a problem really, she was happy to help, they all seemed nice enough, through she had never met them all, she was trusting Evan on this one. She flipped off the lights to the back room and walked back out so she stood behind the counter. "Evan do you want anything to drink?" She asked politely as she took in his form. he stood by the door, gazing out at the cold, dark rainy night as his hands rested on the bar of the door. He looked troubled to her, but everyone had been looking troubled lately.

Frank Hayden was in his study looking through a pile of documents. A bright lamp on his desk illuminated papers on information on the missing girl's parents, various criminal records, and other factual details surrounding the case. On his desk was a framed photograph of him standing with his former partner Ethan Stirleng by his side. The two were smiling as though they were heroes. Indeed, throughout Frank's career the two had put countless criminals to justice and saved innocent lives. There were numerous cutouts of newspaper articles pinned to a board on his wall featuring the duo's spectacular performance in solving crime. Good-hearted macho bullshit. Frank looked at the picture of him and his partner with a look of satisfaction on his face, but then turned dark and troubled. He picked it up, walked over to a drawer, and put it away.
Frank put on his brown trenchcoat and headed out. He drove to the local diner and took a seat at one of the tables, waiting for the waitress to come to him.

Image


Darlene sighed, putting her hand up to her forehead in the hopes that her headache would go away. Living by herself for the first time ever was finally taking its toll on Darlene; all her life she was sheltered and pampered like some kind of precious queen. Once her twentieth birthday hit, it was time for a goodbye to the high-end kind of life and a hello to the working-class world. Darlene's parents realized how much they spoiled her and refused to give her a large amount of money after moving out. Now, a few months into living in Halbrooke, Darlene began to feel desperate and hopeless.

She opened her wardrobe and carefully picked out her outfit: a turquoise polo shirt, a white sweater draped over the shoulder with the arms tied near the neck, a khaki skirt, and turquoise heels to match her top. After a quick freshening up in the bathroom, Darlene grabbed her designer purse and headed to her car. It was time.

Darlene started her car and headed for the local diner. Along the way, she popped a few pain-killers into her mouth to ease the fever pulsing in her head. Once she arrived at the diner parking lot, she got out of the car and casually strolled up to the front door of the diner. There, she spotted a young man gazing outside.

"Excuse me," Darlene knocked on the front door to catch the man's attention. "Are you Evan?"

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Evan Manno.


Evan had allowed himself to be mesmerized by the rain, the gentle patterns and rhythms he picked out of the white noise of the falling water easing his mind into an easier place. A simpler being. He was crashed back into the complexity of reality by a voice, a bit of blameless annoyance forming in his gut, akin to what a heavy sleeper feels towards a shrill alarm clock. He turned his head to her and smiled. Jo had such a cheerful voice. That was probably why she got hired here. He pondered behind the smile, then said "I'm thinkin' a coffee with two of those hazelnut creamer things in it. Those're the shit." Evan had a tendency to come across as thuggish and juvenile, but that was just his medium of casual conversation.

He returned to his rainy serenity, only to find a new face before him. A very cosmetic feeling woman approached the door, before knocking and inquiring about him. Evan examined her, likening her to a daisy in the middle of a storm. What was she doing in sullen ol' Halbrooke? He opened the door and stepped aside to allow her in, as gentlemanly as he could. "I am. Might I ask of your name?" Evan replied. He pondered her appearance. She was very model-esque, in a way some would find beautiful. Evan saw beauty in a very abstract way, so this woman's appearance was almost TOO much. He felt like under all that makeup, there was something to hide. Outside, inside, he wasn't sure.

Image


Instead of giving Evan a smile when he opened the door for Darlene, she just nodded and stepped into the diner. She observed the place and caught sight of a middle-aged man in a brown trench coat who appeared to be waiting for someone. Maybe it was the waitress standing behind the counter.

"Darlene. Darlene Star," answered Darlene. She awkwardly stood there, unsure of how to start the conversation. After a quick stare at Evan's eyes, Darlene finally let her words emerge. "I'm sure you've heard about that girl's disappearance. The one who was last seen in her back yard before seemingly vanishing in thin air."

Halbrooke was a small town; Darlene knew that news travels fast in a town with a population of approximately three hundred. She had heard of Faith Krusser's disappearance on the local news few days prior. Immediately after watching the reports on the girl, a plan came into the light in Darlene's mind. A plan that could get her out of Halbrooke and back into the world of the wealthy.

☪ Joanna Bell Harvelle ☪


Joanna mentally winced at the fact that there were now three people within the diner after closing hours, but instead of freaking out she returned Evan's smile and turned around into the kitchen, but not before she heard the rich woman speak. "I'm sure you've heard about that girl's disappearance. The one who was last seen in her back yard before seemingly vanishing in thin air." Jo's limbs locked and she turned to cast a strange look at the woman. "She has a name, when you speak about her you should use it... just out of respect...please." She said this in a slightly off tone, not quite annoyed but not quite happy either, she almost sounded sad. Without another word through, Jo turned back around and went into the kitchen. She ended up making a whole pot of coffee, and divided it into four mugs, she left the rest in the oven so it would stay warm.
The only coffee that had anything extra added to it was Evan's and it was only because of his request.

Walking slowly, Jo switched back off the lights and headed back into the main dining area. She set her own cup of coffee down on the counter before walking over to Evan and the woman, Darlene, and handed them back a mug, she hadn't really put anything in the woman's glass, since she didn't know how she liked her coffee but she did direct her to one of the tables that had sugar packets on it. Joanna then went over to the other man and set his coffee down on the table. "Sorry, because it's after hours, this is all I can really give you...sorry sir." She offered a small smile to the older man before turning to the counter and sitting down on the bar stool. It had been a long day, but Jo had the feeling this strange little meeting would be interesting, she honestly wouldn't mind hear their opinions on what had happened to Faith, no matter how insane they might sound, anything these people said couldn't be worst than what the damn police were saying.

#, as written by Phoeni
Image




She felt it, but — oh, stupid woman — she didn't know what it was until now. Like the pulling of stitches, quiet and easy to overlook, her soul had been unravelling until the seams split and now everything spilled out all at once. Pop. Pop. POP. The loss of a young girl a tug at her heart, all this time she was coming loose and didn't even realize. She thought it was alright when she lost her husband , that I would be fine because she still had purpose and her leaving couldn't destroy that no matter how hurt she felt. Clementine Parlour wasn't in a helping out mood. To be fair, the woman was often in a helping out mood. Today- not so much. Today, her arms were crossed firmly over her chest and her boots were stomping across the rain smattered pavement.

A babysitter, especially one of such a young age, was not Clementine's ideal carer for her children. But she had to. The girl, Amandine, charged much less than an older babysitter. Her money was scarce, really. Being a teacher only barely payed the bills. She was holding on to the house by her teeth. Clementine was uncomfortable about the whole babysitter ordeal, and this put her in an uneasy mood. But she needed the answers. She needed to know why a young girl- who she had know very well - Had disappeared. Things like this don't happen. There had to be an explanation for this.

For a second, she had thought he wouldn’t be noticed as she walked into the diner. Perhaps her mind made that she wasn't very noticeable. Still, she hid behind the haze and conjured up the thought that because so many willfully ignored her—parents, workmates, even sisters—there was no need to fear discovery, even when she thought to engage the person sitting in the diner room. She pressed a finger against the glass of the diner, stared through the glass, and looked in for another moment without moving. Her breath fogged up the glass as she pressed against it. Pulling the handle, she stepped inside to find Evan sitting there, with a girl she didn't recognize.

"Hello there" She said, grabbing a seat. She presumed Evan remembered her face- the teacher of Faith. "I hope i'm not interrupting" She added a warm smile in for good measure.

[OOC= Sorry, I mixed up the names- Evan and Ethan are quite similar names!]

(OOC: Hey Phoeni isn't it supposed to be Evan Manno not Ethan Stirleng? Bit confused here..."

Frank finished his coffee and proceeded towards the counter where the waitress was.
"If I'm correct." Frank said. "Ms. Harvelle? I would have word. My name's Frank Hayden. I'm not from the police or anything. I just want to ask some questions if that is okay." He said eyeing the small group of people who were also in the diner.

Evan Manno.


Evan's eyes never left the girl. He had an uneasy feeling about her. Evan shut the door behind her to keep the rain out. Small, agile gusts had already found their way in, chilling the area around the door. Evan stepped aside and sat down in his seat at his laptop. He reached for the mouse-pad, but stopped as the girl answered. Her name was Darlene. Hmm... It seemed familiar. Her next words stirred up dusty clouds as they awoke a feeling Evan had been shoving back for quite some time. He hesitated, shocked by the reoccurance of these emotions. Jo spoke from behind the counter, and Evan couldn't agree more. He replied, a bitter edge in his voice. "Yes, Darlene. I am aware of Faith's disappearance. She was my niece." He turned his head back to his computer.

Clementine slid into the booth chair across from him in a lithe manner. He hadn't even heard her come in. He wasn't surprised, though; After all this time of knowing Clem, Evan knew she had a quality about her that made her... Invisible, per se. He knew this quality of himself all too well, and he feels like it gave an unspoken bond between the two of them. Evan smiled up at her and replied. "Hey Clem. You're not interrupting anything important." Evan looked directly left without turning his head, pointing to Darlene with his eyes in a manner that Darlene herself could not see.

Evan looked back to Clementine, then heard a voice to his left. He turned his head and looked, and strange man he had never seen before was at the counter, speaking to Jo. "Who let him in?" Evan thought. Jo had reserved after hour privileges for the search party and the search party only. Was this man with someone here? And how did he know tonight, of all nights, the Diner would be open after hours? Evan supposed it wasn't too strange as he glanced at his watch. It was only 5 minutes after closing. Perhaps he thought he could slip in before the place went dark, and just happened to show up tonight. Evan didn't believe in 'fate' or anything, but he did believe in strange coincidences. He was no stranger to peculiar circumstances.

Evan strained his ears to hear what the man was saying. It appeared Evan had tuned in mid-sentence. "...Hayden. I'm not... police... questions if..." Evan caught only snippets. He pondered his words. Was this a police investigator? Evan suddenly turned angry. "If this guy fucks up our chances at finding Faith, I'm gonna rip him a new one." He thought to himself before pulling his phone from his pocket to check for messages again.

Image


Darlene exhaled with relief when Evan confirmed that he knew about the girl's, Faith's, disappearance. She glared at the waitress coldly before heading to the booth chair across Evan. Not even two steps into Darlene's walk to the booth chair did a auburn-haired woman swiftly take the spot, seemingly from nowhere. Darlene frowned, annoyed that this woman had just simply taken a spot that was clearly not meant for her. Knowing the woman was a teacher at the local elementary school from the many times she's seen her walk out of there every week, Darlene knew that the auburn-haired woman surely had something to say about Faith's case, as teachers and babysitters were one of the few careers in Halbrooke that dealt with many children.

When Evan replied to the teacher saying that she was not interrupting anything important, Darlene made a high-pitched grunt that most people found extremely annoying. She watched Evan for a moment as he looked to the left. Darlene joined in Evan's observation and saw the man in the trench coat. She shook her head, not caring about the man or the waitress, and walked towards the booth Evan and the teacher were sitting at.

"You kind of were interrupting something important," Darlene hissed, arms crossed and lips pursed. She then turned and looked at Evan. "I want to find this girl, Darlene blurted out. She was starting to feel impatient that everything seemed to be moving slow. Darlene looked at Evan coldly for a second, then made her to the counter where the trench coat man and the waitress were. She drank the coffee the waitress gave her. A horrible taste was born in Darlene's tongue and she immediately spit the liquid back into the mug.

"What is this?" Darlene asked in disgust, interrupting the trench coat man, pushing the mug towards the waitress.

☪ Joanna Bell Harvelle ☪


Jo stood behind the counter, watching everything unfold. Evan didn't seem pleased with Darlene, who didn't seem pleased with Clementine and herself, honestly through, Jo could care less what the woman thought of her, the woman, Darlene, hadn't known Faith, so honestly she didn't have much of a reason to try and find the young girl. Self gain. A small voice in the back of her head reminded her that some people were shallow enough to try and gain from a child going missing by finding them before anyone else. "Ms. Harvelle? I would have word. My name's Frank Hayden. I'm not from the police or anything. I just want to ask some questions if that is okay." Jo blinked and looked at the man that had broke her train of thought. "Frank Hayden? Where have I heard that name before?" She frowned for a moment before realization sparked in her eyes. "Oh." She said blinking once before glancing over towards everyone else. Who had let this guy in? "I'm sorry, but I don't talk to police about Faith without her mother present, not even former police." She looked away with a frown before going back over to Darlene, who was about to take a drink of the coffee without adding anything into it.

Jo opened her mouth to protest, but it was to take, the woman took a large drink, and then proceed to spit it back into the cup.
"What is this?" She screeched in disgust. Part of Joanna wanted to snort or laugh, but she settled with a sigh and eye roll before going over to assist the woman. "It would be smarter to put sugar in it get you try to drink it." Jo grabbed three sugar packets from the table, since two never seemed to be enough, and mixed the sugar into the coffee with a near by spoon. Soon the dark liquid turned a light milky brown color and even the smell improved. "There..." Jo smiled a small smile before handing her own mug of coffee, which she had yet to drink out of, over to Clementine. She knew her because she had babysat her kids one time, after that Jo had mostly just watched Faith, she had considered her a little sister because of how they acted with each other. The younger girl vanishing so suddenly had been hard for her to cope with, she could only imagine how Evan felt about it.

#, as written by Zaptakz
Clarissa

Clare hugged her waist, the cursor blinking over the finished sentence in the three-paged document. The screen strained her eyes against the darkening room as evening came across the small town. Clare sit in a diner, many occupants leaving and paying their checks, grasping their coats and hats before briefly exiting the door, ringing every time someone exited or entered. Clare exited the document and closed her laptop, finding that it was time for her to part and leave like the others that massed the side walks. The small cottages lined the gravel streets like stocky, small men. The trees wavered behind the cottages, their leaves becoming raveled and tangled in their twining limbs and thin bodies as the breeze became swift with night dawning. Clare could only think of what lurked behind the lush vegetation that lined the fields. It was limitless and boundless, to run across the ground and trails that lead towards dank corners embroidered by shrubs and more trees.

Clare tucked her hands into her beige coat, stopping at her knees, allowing the sudden chill to bite and snap at her ankles like a hungry dog. Clare felt the sting of her jacket smacking her legs as the breeze became a wind and the wind would become a storm that had torrential rain hammer down upon the harsh tiles of the cottage roofs. Clare pulled her hand out, the feeling of vibration coming from her back pocket. Her phone, but she lacked the contribution to take her hand out of her warm pocket and busy it with grasping for a phone slick with humidity and dew, to only stop ringing as soon as her fingers clutched it. It was probably another case or investigation of Slender Man, and that could wait.

"I know you used to babysit Faith Krusser." Frank said to Joanna. "I understand it must be difficult for you to talk about this matter, but any information you can give me can help me greatly in my investigation. Even if it may seem unrelated or trivial to you. You don't have to worry about Faith's mother, as I've been hired by her to investigate this herself. Statistics show that the chance to find a missing person 10 hours after disappearance decreases the chance to find them by 30%. The chance to find him or her decreases again by an additional 40% 15 hours after disappearance; you get the idea."
"When was the last time you saw Faith? Where were you with her, and what were you doing at the time?"

Image


The waitress walked up to Darlene with three packets of sugar in her hand and mixed them in the coffee with a spoon. She smiled and Darlene simply nodded slowly and began drinking the now lighter and sweeter coffee. Next to her, the trench coat man continued to press the waitress into giving him answers. From the questions he asked, Darlene assumed that the man was some sort of cop. She tapped the man on the shoulder, hoping that the man would know a little bit about Faith.

"Trench coat," said Darlene. "I'm guessing you're some sort of law enforcement dude, am I correct?" Darlene took out a tiny mirror and a stick of pink lipstick out of her purse and began to apply it while talking to the trench coat man. "You have to know at least a little bit about this girl's disappearance. Do you know where the police suspect she is?"

Darlene was determined to do whatever she could to find out as much as she can about Faith. Seducing men? No problem. Manipulating idiots into helping her? Easy. Whatever it took, Darlene would absolutely do it with no complain.

#, as written by Phoeni
Image




"Hey Clem. You're not interrupting anything important." Evan replied, gesturing to the girl who sat next to him when she looked through the glass. She didn't look normal, exactly. Fake was a good word to describe it. Clementine didn't trust the strange girl, who she had never seen in her life before. That was unusual, she usually knew all the happenings in the small town of Halbrooke. She would have to note this girl down. What was her name, again?

"You kind of were interrupting something important," The girl retorted, pouting her lips in a manner that would be fit for a child. Afterwards, she burst out with "I want to find this girl."

After drinking some coffee, subsequently spitting it out and Jo telling her it would be smarter, the girl walked over to the counter. Inwardly, Clementine giggled slightly, and she could see slight amusement on Jo's face. After a few moments, she noticed an older man talking to Jo. The most unnerving thing was that he was wearing a trench coat. That never meant good things. Then the girl started talking to the man with the trench coat. Where is this going?.

Clementine turned her head to the fake girl and raised an eyebrow. "And how again is it any of your business? Did you even know Faith?" She stated with a hint of annoyance in her tone, looking up at the girl.

Image


Before the trench coat cop could even reply to Darlene, the teacher spoke up, asking her if she knew Faith and if it was any of her business. Darlene's eyes met the teacher's. "No, I didn't know Faith," Darlene held on to the arm of the sweater draped over her shoulders and pushed through the trench coat cop. She sauntered over to the teacher, one hand on the sweater arm and the other holding her purse. Darlene's posture made her look like a barbie doll: plastic and modelesque.

"And no, it isn't any of my business," Darlene gave Evan a quick look, then returned her focus on the teacher. "But I want to find this girl. What's your name, anyway?" Darlene observed the teacher, looking at her head and going down to her toes.

Darlene could tell that the teacher was surprised that she didn't know her. Halbrooke was a small town; everyone knew everyone. Ever since Darlene moved into the town a few months ago after her parents kicked her out, she refused to interact with much of the people, dubbing them as "peasants" and "commoners". However, she began to realize a few weeks into living in Halbrooke that she was low on money. This has never happened to Darlene in her life, so of course she was frustrated. Since the realization that she was no longer a wealthy woman, Darlene felt insecure of herself and to mask this insecurity, she pushed anyone away from getting too close to her emotionally.

#, as written by Zaptakz
Clarissa Banedon


She profoundly fumbled with a piece of thin lint amongst her dry pocket, compared to the ground which smelled of mist and dirt.A worm straggled across her path, but her boot scuffed it's body, landing amongst weeds and other earthly assortments. Her house was far from where she had dined for the evening, and she lacked the reasoning to tell others why she had even simply gone at such a time, when the forecasting of weather was broadly disputed for rain. The wind whipped at her brown hair, being enclosed amongst the collar of her jacket which simply had her neck tucked dry from the bristling cold. Amongst all of this chilled havoc, her social fragrance in life was quite warm. As she was planning to meet with friends tomorrow for other signified purposes, maybe have coffee and cinnamon rolls. Her feet smacked against the ground. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Clare reared against an oversized man who blocked her path, his obtuse frame clearly signifying that he work amongst the gym.

"Excuse me." Clare said, her voice teemingly small compared to this large man. Reverted towards a stride around his build, he stood still, and she could only look past her shoulder, the man barely visible with a hat tipped over his profile and a black jacket swirling amongst his feet.

#, as written by Phoeni
Image




"But I want to find this girl. What's your name, anyway?"

Clementine cocked her head to the side slightly. She wondered if she should tell this girl her real name. She didn't trust her. Not one bit.

"Clementine." She paused, for a James Bond effect. "I don't see it fit to tell you my last name, you are a stranger after all."

Clementine ruffled through her bag for a second and brought out her phone. She had a new text message. Slightly nervous, she checked it and found that it was just from the phone company. "And yours?"

She yawned slightly before pulling her auburn hair into a pony tail at the back of her head. It was reasonably late, and she was getting tired. Clem was about to ask where the others were, before she realised that that would be rude to the girl who had not yet answered her question. And she didn't want to be rude.

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Darlene shook her head when the teacher answered the her name was Clementine. What an idiotic name, Darlene commented in her head. She put on a fake smile when Clementine added that she didn't see it fit to say her last name, as she didn't know her. "That's fine with me. I couldn't care less about your last name," retorted Darlene, turning around. "I'm Darlene. I moved here a couple months ago from Hollywood."

Darlene pulled out her mirror and lipstick once again. She turned and faced Clementine and Evan. "You know what, I like you, Clementine," Darlene stepped up to Clementine, resting her hand on the teacher's shoulder. She honestly hated the woman, but she couldn't let her know.

While applying her lipstick, Darlene put on another fake smile for Clementine.

"Used to be a cop." Frank said to the Darlene. "They've pretty much taken their hands off this business though."
"As far as I know, whomever was responsible for this was someone Faith knew and trusted. If it was a complete stranger, she would have screamed or went to her mother-" He remarked without seeing that the blonde girl's attention was towards the female elementary teacher.

THE OFFICE

Five hours. Five hours was the length of time Ethan had spent peering over his desk at the paperwork filed under his name. Few sheets of little value strewn across his office; all labeled under the same name. Stirleng. How he'd loathed reading over the same file with a continuous notion these past few days, silently connecting the very few similarities piece by piece. Turning from the papers as a blare of sound comes from his phone, Ethan stretches back as he rolls silently and retrieves it. With the same monotone voice he's had for the past days, he says his last name for a reply once more. "Stirleng." "Ethan? We may have a lead towards the Krusser case." Yawning with a passion, he rolls back to the desk with the phone in-hand. "And what would that be?" Ethan replies. "Nobody in our 'group' has interviewed the girl's mother."

"You're good. Give me an address on the house and anything that might provide help on the case on my cell." Stirleng replies, stretching from the seat as he began making his way outside. As he trudged beneath the weight of a continuous rain in which had lasted for days, Ethan slid into the aged Ford and turned the key. Stumbling to a start for a few moments, the screech of rubber beneath the car was all that remained in the now empty lot.

Even when under the brutal force of weather, he found his way to the house mere minutes away. It stood still in the rain, no sound or light radiating about. The rain pounded atop the roof, slithering between the shingles and finding their way for the soil. Ethan began to knock on the door, a hollowed ring continuing in even the rain as a still shudder. No answer. Yet again he slammed his fist harder unto the door with no result once more. "No answer..." Ethan thought aloud, readying his revolver in one hand. Facing the aged door, his foot collides with the wood as it snaps with a sheer force. "Halbrooke P.D, if you are in the house step outside now!" Waiting moments for the faint steps to echo as Mrs. Krusser steps for questioning to come along, Ethan steps inside with his own footsteps being the result. God damn it. The house remained silent even in the rain, his flashlight beaming across the dusted surfaces of the home. Glass was brutally shattered about the kitchen, cupboards torn from the walls and chipped with some wedged tool. A thin, liquid soaked staircase lead to the bedrooms above. Ethan bent for the carpet, investigating the liquid with a harsh cough. Gasoline, seemingly fresh. Either someone else is in this house or Mrs. Krusser tried cutting off investigation.

The gasoline was artistically strewn across the walls, touching every surface of the upstairs hallway. Again fine china glittered the carpet, furniture split and replaced with more and more gasoline. At the end of the hall, an eerie aura radiated around the only untouched door in the house. Reaching for the doorknob, Ethan grasped the polished metal and pushed away with a startle. In the dark they radiated, drawn in blood across the walls of the bedroom. A demonic, awkward symbol touching all the walls in red. Ethan snapped a photograph of the walls but felt a kick-like pain to his back as he collapsed beneath the weight of an object. It was suddenly boiling hot and lit like a candle throughout the house, flames licking over his back to singe his body away. Part of the roof held him down with a vengeance, trying to take him as well in this sudden house fire. Pushing the wood and chunks of ceiling from his chest, Ethan streaks for the window to his left. Glass shattered in the rain like crystals as he tumbled from the shingles; rolling in midair into the grass. All that is seen before he went unconscious was the collapse of the house, flames eating away at every surface of the Krusser house itself.

Along the rain-soaked street of Halbrooke, a lone figure trudged, jacket zipped up, hood drawn low over his head, hands stuck firmly in jean pockets. Under the hood, the hazel eyes of Alex Harding wandered, wary of every noise that he could hear over the rain and every movement he noticed in the dark. Ever since the disappearance of Faith, he had worried in empathy with her parents, raged at the inability of anyone to find her, and then quietly slipped back into his "new normal" moroseness. He had talked about it with Dr. Barton, but that hadn't gotten him any good ideas. He figured eventually he'd get back to a level of normal, and thus had devoted much of his time to guitar, figuring that he could do something on his own even if Edge of Reason was gone. Maybe he and Leo could find a new drummer and start over...maybe. Maybe.

All maybes.

Fuck.

He looked up as he forced himself from the negative thoughts, saw the diner's neon sign flickering red in the night, and seeing Evan in one of the windows, along with someone Alex didn't quite recognize. He shrugged and made his way up to the diner. Once he got inside, he unzipped the jacket and threw back the hood, then looked over to where Evan was. There were actually two women there with him, neither of whom Alex recognized. He stood there, confused. Evan had sent for him, but he hadn't mentioned many other people being involved.

Evan Manno.


Evan flicked his eyes up from his cellphone without moving his head when Darlene claimed to want to find Faith. The dust cloud continued to billow in his gut as more and more awakened inside of him. His eyes spat daggers, but they softened as the 'Princess', as he had dubbed her, sputtered on her coffee. He slipped his phone into his pocket, before standing and leaning his back against the side of the booth. He crossed his arms in front of his chest and listened in on the conversations. "Princess seems to have a hard time making friends" He mused to himself.

Evan glanced at Jo, who appeared to have just flicked her eyes away from his. Or had she? Evan hadn't been sleeping well, and he had been used to slight hallucinations when he was tired. He looked to Princess, then to the older guy, who was STILL persisting in asking questions. Evan couldn't resist the temptation to laugh as Darlene brazenly referred to the police officer as "...law enforcement dude." He chuckled and covered his smiling mouth, the warm laughs breezing out onto his palm.

Evan listened closer as the tension almost tangibly increased between the women. Princess was from Hollywood? Fitting. But what did not settle with Evan was her general vehemence toward the rest of the group, as well as her carelessness with Faith's name. Evan looked to Clementine and locked eyes with her, nodding. He then placed his hand in his pocket, fumbling with the folding knife he always carried on him after he was mugged a few years ago, leaving a large, yellow-purple discoloration on his left cheekbone. He approached Darlene and stopped too close to her, clearly disrespecting her personal space, for he held no respect for her. He looked her straight in the eyes, the dust cloud of emotion erupting from his lips in a shallow snarl.

"I think it's about time you leave." He said, his eyes never wavering from her left pupil. He felt it was more imposing to stare unflickering than to glance from eye-to-eye. He didn't notice the door open behind him as Alex walked in behind him.