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The Wichita Falls Murders

The Road

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a part of The Wichita Falls Murders, by AgathaBenson.

The long, lonely road that connects Wichita Falls to the interstate. Take a shot whenever you see someone driving it. You might be waiting a while.

AgathaBenson holds sovereignty over The Road, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

199 readers have been here.

Setting

The road into Wichita Falls is lined on either side by fields of corn which, in winter, don't really look like much. The pavement hasn't been touched up in about forty years, and the road is notoriously icy in the winter.

It branches off the interstate, and takes about fifteen or sixteen miles to reach Wichita Falls by car, without traffic. There's never traffic.
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The Road

The long, lonely road that connects Wichita Falls to the interstate. Take a shot whenever you see someone driving it. You might be waiting a while.

Minimap

The Road is a part of Wichita Falls, Oklahoma.

4 Characters Here

Kim Austin [8] A 23 year old film student both too ambitious and too curious for her own good
Charlotte Calloway [6] "Says the spider to the fly."
Monroe Lorren [5] An artistically sarcastic Casanova who pretends to know more than he really does.

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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Charlotte Calloway Character Portrait: Monroe Lorren Character Portrait: Kim Austin Character Portrait: Gerard Poller
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They had set off from the last truck stop about three hours ago. Most of them were still asleep...or at least not lucid enough to talk. Under normal circumstances, Kim might have berated them, scolded them for being lazy or uncooperative.

But she was tired too, and couldn't blame them. The paper coffee cup from the truck stop trembled precariously in its cup holder, the murky brown liquid sloshing about unpleasantly. Kim didn't like coffee very much, but on days such as today, when she was driving at the crack of dawn, she needed it.

"Exit 16B, 16B..." she muttered to herself, nervously checking the crumpled up MapQuest directions she'd printed out before they left Chicago. She had distributed copies to the others, but they needed their rest. God help her, if they started rebelling over lost sleep. She'd never survive.

At last the exit appeared on the side of the road...across four lanes of traffic.

"Crap! Crap, crap, crap..." Instantly shifting to 'panic mode', and already hopped up on overly sweet coffee, Kim did the only thing she could think of, and cut across four lanes of traffic, inspiring angry honks from other interstate commuters, but not causing any immediate damage.

Safely on the exit ramp toward town, she chuckled to herself, and said in a slightly louder voice, "That's a way to start the day, eh?" Figuring that at least one of them would have been woken up by her unseemly display of automotive safety.
-Kim

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Charlotte Calloway



Charlie was surprised by being awoken so suddenly, and was even more surprised to find that she had dozed off. She was wrapped up in a faux fur jacket and felt as if her skin was melting off along with the ridiculous amount of make up she wore. Usually Charlie was a light sleeper but the mixture of being in a car for so long and running on nothing more than nervous energy had finally caught up to her.

"That's a way to start the day, eh?" She heard Kim say.

"Yes, and what a wonderful way it happens to be," Charlie answers as sarcastically as she can manage. Scowling as she shifts to a more comfortable sitting position and forcing the jacket off of her. "Do you always drive this way or is it just when your responsible for passengers?"

Though Charlie says it in a joking manner there's still a little edge to her tone that suggests annoyance. She was almost, almost, already regretting agreeing to this trip anyways. Not that it mattered she needed the experience and she had already slacked off on too many other projects.

"How close are we?" Charlie asks curiously.

She waits for the answer by searching through her purse for her compact. Once found she sets to work reapplying her make up dutifully. Wondering in her mind what exactly this trip would hold in store for them.



Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Charlotte Calloway Character Portrait: Monroe Lorren Character Portrait: Kim Austin Character Portrait: Gerard Poller
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Kim turns to Charlie in the back and smiles, "Good, you're awake. It was so quiet in here, I almost fell asleep."

Charlie didn't look very glad to be awake at this hour. Not that Kim blamed her; if it wasn't for copious amounts of Red Bull at the truck stop last night, they would have done much worse than skid across four lanes.

"Yes, and what a wonderful way it happens to be," Charlie answers as sarcastically as she can manage. Scowling as she shifts to a more comfortable sitting position and forcing the jacket off of her. "Do you always drive this way or is it just when your responsible for passengers?"

"I'm not used to driving, to be honest. My mom wouldn't let me touch our station wagon after I almost killed our dog." she smiled at Charlie in the rear view mirror, hoping she would perk up if only for a minute.

"How close are we?" Charlie asks curiously.

"Well..." Kim hesitated, "not quite an hour away." Which seemed the safest estimation she could make, given that the not-so-picturesque acres of shriveled corn stalks didn't seem to be ending anytime soon, "In the meantime, we can chitchat. You know how men are, they can sleep through anything," she glanced in either direction at Gerard and Monroe, winking at Charlie, inviting her to share in their little bit of female commiseration.

"Oh, and there are some funky granola bars in the box, under your seat..." she nodded toward it with her neck, "In case you're hungry."

Those bars weren't very good, but they were only two bucks each for a box of six...which was very good indeed.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Charlotte Calloway Character Portrait: Monroe Lorren Character Portrait: Kim Austin Character Portrait: Gerard Poller
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Light snores drifted from the sleeping form of Monroe, his body was covered in a makeshift blanket composed of his tattered jacket and empty to semi-empty potato chip bags he had gotten from the truck stop. Flecks of crumbs dotted his dark shirt, a small dribble of drool trickled down the corner of his wide open mouth, and his glasses hung crookedly on only one ear. Suffice to say, the young man looked like a complete mess.

Though the sudden jerk of the car and multitude of blaring horns didn't wake him right away, the sound of conversation somehow did. "Wa's goin' on?" was the first thing Monroe mumbled, his mind still numb from sleep. He fumbled with his glasses to set them straight, and wiped away the waterfall of drool before glancing out the window. His eyes began to focus as most of his fatigue began fading away.

"What's going on?" he repeated a bit more clearly. He glanced out the window, suppressing a small groan. Nothing but dying corn plants. Lots and lots of corn plants. "Wait don't tell me. I think I already know the answer: absolutely nothing. Nothing is going on." They were probably close to their destination, but not close enough to bring Monroe relief. He was getting sick of being cramped inside this stupid car.

Monroe pulled his jacket over his face, trying and failing to get back to sleep. Giving up, he pulled the jacket down and halfheartedly extended a hand. "Pass me a bar," he mumbled. He was pretty sure that those granola bars were a quick one way ticket to food poisoning, but he was at this point too hungry and tired to care.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kim Austin
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Kim noticed Monroe stirring in his seat, covered in food shavings and saliva, and therefore looking kind of like her mother's shag carpet which she'd kept since the late 70s.

"'Morning, star-shine." she smiled at him. Personally she thought Monroe was well-meaning but slovenly...and a hopeless flirt, to boot. But he'd been nice enough to volunteer to come on this little road trip with her, and Kim didn't want a mutiny on her hands.

"Charlie, could you get him a bar?" she asked her, "I don't want to get distracted again. You know how terrible those insurance claim forms are."

She was much too happy for this early in the day. She dreaded what might happen when she got off her caffeine high.

At Monroe's "lots of nothing" comment, she said, "If you look really closely, you might seen aliens with hedge cutters making crop circles. We can add it to the film for extra credit." she laughed if only to herself. She was much too happy...and besides, she didn't even believe in aliens. Ghosts were different. There was evidence for ghosts. All the 'aliens are out there!' people had were photo-shopped videos and the fourth Indiana Jones movie.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Charlotte Calloway Character Portrait: Monroe Lorren Character Portrait: Kim Austin Character Portrait: Gerard Poller
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Charlotte Calloway


"What about ghost-alien-vampires?" said Kim, snorting in an unseemly fashion, "Like, you know the ghosts of aliens who suck blood?"

"Hah!" Charlie laughs, "I wouldn't mind that." She yawns and is echoed by Kim's comment about being tired. She nods, and watches Kim fumbling for the Sun-Shade screen. "Uhm, Kim should you really be messing with that rig-" Charlie didn't get to finish her sentence as she jerked forward suddenly, without the aid of her seatbelt she had collided with the seat in front of her and managed to jam her foot up under it. "Jesus Christ Kim!" She yells out furiously.

She forced herself back, foot throbbing a little bit from being twisted but otherwise uninjured. She doubted any of them were seriously hurt from the quick halt, but she still feels a little stupid over having forgotten her seatbelt.

"Oh my God, is everyone okay?"

"Relatively, maybe a little shaken up though," Charlie answers without any of her earlier anger behind it. Now she was just grateful that it wasn't worse, her heart hammering in her chest.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bill Fleetwood Character Portrait: Kim Austin
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Bill crossed to the van in three quick strides, glowering as mightily as he could manage. He wasn't sure if the blame should rest entirely on the people in the van, however...it had been year's since they'd touched up the road, and the line dividing the two lanes was almost invisible most of the time. Complain to the state all he wanted, they were never going to do anything about it.

With horror, Kim noticed the cop approaching them was limping. Barely registering Charlie's comment, she said, "Oh God, I think we hurt him! Crap, I need my I.D..."

She reached at once for her book bag, which was wedged down beneath the seat, next to a duffel bag full of extra lens caps.

Bill was not surprised to find that the passengers of the vehicle were all kids... well, young people who might as well have been kids. No apparent injuries were visible, so that was good.

"Ma'am, is this your car?" he addressed the woman in the driver's seat, who was currently rifling through a bag at her feet.

"Oh! Um..." Kim looked around frantically, "Yes. Um...well, actually it's on loan from my...from our school..." she beamed at the cop and gestured to her friends, "We're coming down here for a school project. College," she added the last word quickly, lest he think they were high school teenagers who'd stolen a car or something, "College project. University."

Bill looked at each of the passengers individually, "I'll need to see some I.D." He was ready to believe there wasn't any.

"I.D!" gasped Kim, "Yes, of course..." she looked urgently at Charlie and whispered, "Distract him. I think my wallet got stuck under the brake pedal." Which would explain an awful lot.

"I'll be just a second!" she hastily told the cop before digging back into her bag.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Charlotte Calloway Character Portrait: Monroe Lorren Character Portrait: Bill Fleetwood Character Portrait: Kim Austin Character Portrait: Gerard Poller
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Charlotte Calloway


"Distract him. I think my wallet got stuck under the brake pedal."

"What?" Charlie asks incredulously, "Oh Jesus, fine." She whispers hastily, moving to roll down the backseat window and peering out at the cop. "Excuse me sir," She says to the cop, flashing her most concerned look at him.

"Are you all right?" She asks, referring to the limp. "It would be horrible if you were hurt because of us, I would just feel so guilty about it." She rambles on, a complete and utter lie but hopefully the cop didn't notice this. Charlie wouldn't be surprised if he did believe her though, she had often used this sort of tactic when she was younger to get her way.

"We should have been more careful, I just can't believe this!" Charlie puts a hand to her face, attempting a more guilty face, simply just trying to buy Kim some time now. "I promise we never meant for this to happen." That was probably laying it on a little thick and Charlie had to bite back a wince as her voice faltered. Maybe she wasn't as good at this as she was when she was younger.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Charlotte Calloway Character Portrait: Bill Fleetwood Character Portrait: Kim Austin
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Bill had to admit, he was impressed. No one had ever feigned concern for him to get out of a questioning before. He smiled despite himself at the blonde girl, "No need to worry about that, ma'am, I've had this limp for a while."

Involuntarily he glanced up the road a bit, to where the path curved sharply to the right to make way for a row of telephone poles. If you looked closely at one of them, the third down from where they were standing, you might still see the groove marks from when he'd run his own car into the damn thing.

"I don't suppose you're the same car that cut across the interstate earlier and almost caused a major accident?" he asked, already knowing the answer was yes, "That's why I was coming down here in the first place."

"Oh...yeah, that was me." said Kim sheepishly, at last wresting her wallet from its prison (she noted with distaste that there seemed to be a wad of gum stuck to it now), "It's not their fault at all... You see, we'd been driving since yesterday afternoon, and we only stopped once...in Kansas, I think." she took her driver's license from her wallet and handed it to the cop, smiling, "I hope no one was hurt." She really hoped no one was hurt. Her mom was a retired cop...she'd give her hell when she heard about this.

Bill examined the I.D caustically, "Kim Austin, age 23, from Chicago Illinois."

"Yeah, that's me." Kim realized she'd had her hair grown out since then, so the resemblance in the picture might not be as good.

"Alright, fine." Bill handed the license back to her, "And no, no one was hurt. Take this as a warning, alright? We might be a small town, but that just makes driving that much more dangerous."

"Wait...you're not arresting us?"

Bill shrugged, "I could, maybe I should. But no one did get hurt, and apparently you're down here for school." He'd heard a bit of gossip in town about some yuppie film students coming down to shoot a documentary about the old Shermen house. Not a very flattering depiction of modern-day Wichita Falls, to be sure, but at least it would boost the town's economy slightly in the midst of the centennial.

"Just take care in the future," he warned firmly, "I won't be so lenient next time."

"Thank you!" Kim could have run out of the car and hugged the grizzled old man right on the spot, "Thanks so much, officer, I promise it won't happen again."

"I'll hold you to that," Bill turned to go, but decided it was best he tell them one more thing, "And it's not 'officer', it's 'Sheriff'. Sheriff Fleetwood. Town's right up ahead."

He started for his truck again, saying as he went, "Enjoy your stay!"

Once he was gone, Kim breathed a sigh of relief, "Oh my God, that was the Sheriff! I didn't even know they still had Sheriffs! Oh my God..." she grinned at the others, "See, that wasn't so bad. They're nicer in these little towns, good ole' Americana and all that."

She put the car back into gear and set off, first putting the sunshade back up, just in case.