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12 PM




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Standing near the entrance of the community center, Sheriff Thomas Spade snubbed out a cigarette with the heel of his shoe. For the past hour he had been watching the townspeople flow into building, making a mental note of every face that he could. Many he knew, but many he didn't. This large gathering had quickly made him realize just how many new faces had flooded into Emerald City recently. Once there had been a time when he knew everyone in town by name. Now, that just wasn't feasible. It was unfortunate, but he understood why people were attracted to this humble little city. It was too bad that it would be ultimately ruined by them all if this "fad" continued, though. In no way was Thomas happy about the disappearance of Miss Turner, but deep down he did hope that it stopped or slowed this influx of people. Maybe some would even leave if they thought a serial killer was on the loose...

"Sir."

Thomas looked to behind him to find his deputy, a younger man who had been his partner for at least a decade. He nodded, knowing what was being asked of him without having to speak. Reluctantly, he headed to the back stage where the Turner family waited.

"Here he is. Fashionably late, as always. Hmph." William Turner raised his hands in the air in exasperation, clearly not happy that Thomas had waited until the last minute to arrive.

"Apologies." Thomas barely muttered out the word as he passed by the mayor, unfazed by William's impatience. The two had a long history with each other; both good and bad, though he didn't like to discuss it often. His deep blue eyes then found Jackie Turner, who had been chain-smoking in the corner by herself for what seemed like hours. She had been a wreck, though she hadn't said it out loud. She dealt with these sort of things in silence, while William huffed and puffed like the Big Bad Wolf. He loved to let everyone know when he was unhappy.

"Isn't it time to go out there? Lets go!" William glared at Thomas from across the room now, gesturing to the curtain. Beyond it, the voices of hundreds of people filled the room as they all talked over one another.

Thomas nodded, his eyes moving from Jackie to Nathan Turner, who sat near his mother and kept silent as well. However, the look on Nathan's face told him that he was just as impatient as his father. "Let's get this over with..." He put a hand up to stop William in his tracks as the older man began to cross the room, "Remember... I speak, you speak, then I speak. Don't answer any questions...please."

"Of course, of course. Do you think I'm a goddamned idiot, Spade?" William's glare turned colder as he shoved Thomas' hand from his path, though he stayed frozen in place for the moment, eyes locked with the sheriff.

Thomas kept his gaze, giving him a look of knowing. William was normally composed during public appearances, but this was different than some political debate. Emotions were high for everyone.

"Then lets go." He pushed open the curtain, making way for the Turners to appear on stage.

Immediately the crowd fell silent aside for the unmistakable sound of camera shutters going off one after the other. The Turner family quickly took their front row seats on stage, next to the majority of the Emerald City police department. Thomas, on the other hand, made his way to the podium. Being sheriff had been nice, once, but now it involved being the front-man for things that he was never truly prepared to handle in this small town... good thing his term was nearly over.

"Thank you all for coming." He adjusted the microphone height, seeing the notes left on the podium for him to go by. He cleared his throat and looked up, scanning everyone who was sitting in the front row of the audience. Nearly all of them looked like they had been through hell. Although Thomas felt empathy for each of them, he also knew in the back of his mind that killers typically showed up to these sort of events. They offered help, they acted innocent, and they liked to show up to the scene of the crime; this was all entertaining to them. Anyone in the room could be Lillian's murderer.

"Our community has been gutted recently and I know many of you are asking for answers. Trust me when I say that we have been working tirelessly, day and night, to try and get those answers for you. Lillian Turner meant a lot to so many of us..." He let that sit for a moment, moving his eyes to the people who stood further in the back of the auditorium.

"Today, we are calling upon our towns people for help in solving this case." He could hear whispering spread throughout the crowd, seeing people looking to one another. No doubt they were being reaffirmed in their speculation that Lillian was dead by now, especially if the police hadn't found her yet. "Lillian Turner was last seen on the night of March 13th. If you heard or saw anything, I urge you to call our office. Our tip hotline will be completely anonymous." He glanced down at his notes for a brief moment, "Within the next few days we will be sending out a few teams to conduct interviews with many of you. Please don't be alarmed if police show up at your door. We ask that you please cooperate with them. You are not being specifically targeted if we interview you, we're only trying to piece together any information we can for this investigation."

"With that said, I'd like to give the stage to the Turner family." Thomas stepped back and stood off to the side, hands behind his back in an "at-ease" position and his eyes continually scanning the audience.

The family of three made their way to the podium, Jacqueline to the mayor's right and Nathan to his left.

"Thank you all for coming, from the bottom of our hearts... I know Lily would appreciate this- will... will, appreciate it." William looked down for a moment, gripping the edges of the wooden podium while he mentally tried to pull himself together. He refused to think of his daughter in past tense.

Beside him, his wife leaned into him for support. Her eyes were bloodshot as she dabbed a tissue at them and occasionally sniffled, but she was trying her darnedest not to openly cry in front of the entire town. Nathan stood in silence, rigid and cold, just as he had been for the past week.

"Please, if you know anything... call the police department. Anything at all. We know someone out there must know something. There just has to be... someone."

"Please, someone find my baby! Tell me where she is!" Jacqueline suddenly burst out, pushing her husband back a bit in order to get closer to the microphone. Her eyes welled with tears once again as she pleaded, looking to the audience and then to all the media cameras.

"Mother..." Nathan moved from his fathers side and grabbed her shoulders, taking her into an embrace. Jackie broke down then, sobbing into her sons chest.

William frowned, watching his family for a moment before stepping back up to the podium, "As... as you all know, Lillian was deeply involved in the community. For months, she has been planning an event for the town. A fair. She has already planned for many game vendors to come in, for roller coasters to be set up, for a variety of food to be served." He paused, sighing heavily as if the words were weighing heavy on his soul. "In her honor, we have decided to keep the fair going. All of the proceeds are still going to be going back to the town, specifically to help fund our school systems." More whispers spread throughout the crowd as people shared their opinion on this news with one another. "Everything should be set up by tomorrow. Some of you may have noticed things being set up already..."

Suddenly, William realized he had no idea how to end this. There was no good ending to this. No script for him to read off of. "Just... please, help us if you can. Keep us in your prayers." He turned and put an arm around his son and wife, caressing them and gently nudging them to return to their seats among the police force.

Sheriff Thomas stepped up to the podium once again, "I will take questions now..."

The media members all yelled out their own questions at the same time, a mishmash of voices blending into white noise with only a few standing out above the rest.

"Sheriff Spade! Has there been any evidence found as to Ms. Turner's whereabouts?!"

"I'm sorry, we cannot answer that at this time. Next?"

"Is it true that an article of clothing was found within the forest not far from Opal lake?!"

Thomas stared at the man who had asked the question for a moment, wondering where they had gotten their information from. Who in his department was answering questions they shouldn't have been? "This is an open investigation, I cannot confirm or deny any information that may or may not help a suspect in getting one step ahead of us. I'm sure you all understand." His voice was cold, clearly losing his patience with the media quickly.

"Sheriff! What is being done to find Lillian?"

"Everything in our power. We have also begun communications with the FBI to request their assistance. Things are in the works... Next?"

"Sir," Thomas heard that familiar voice behind him once again. He turned away from the media, finding his deputy with a stern look on his face. The deputy leaned in closely, trying to whisper so that his voice didn't pick up on the microphone. "We have an emergency. The mayor's house is on fire."

Thomas was taken aback for a moment, then looked to his police force. Most of them were here aside for a handful of people to man the station. "Fire department is on their way, but I think we should check this out."

Thomas nodded, "Tell William. We'll give them an escort." He turned back to the media as his deputy walked towards the Turners, trying to whisper the news to them as well.

"I'm sorry, everyone. We have to cut this short. There's been an-"

"My WHAT? MY HOUSE?!" William jumped to his feet while his other two family members stared at the deputy in disbelief. "What the fuck. Let's go, Spade!"

Apparently all public formalities had gone out the window. Thomas couldn't say he blamed him. "Thank you all, again. Call the hotline, it will be passed out on business cards near the entrance of the buildin-"

"SPADE!"

Thomas spun around and gestured for the Turners to follow him back through the curtain. "My car is around back."






Arm in arm, Ollivander and Elizabeth walked into the community center auditorium. This room that had once been a source of joy was now utterly tainted. Elizabeth's warm memories of watching her brothers on stage during an elementary school play, the occasional "free movie nights", the display of art from artists around the city... shattered. This would be with her for the rest of eternity. When she thought of this place, her mind would go to this moment in time. Always. Oh, how she wished she could forget, but she knew all too well that those pesky negative memories knew exactly how to superglue themselves to the deep recesses of your mind.

Her legs slowed as they moved through the entrance and for a moment she thought she might collapse. Resisting her bodies temptation to freeze or flee, she gripped tighter onto Ollivander and leaned into him for support. If she couldn't get herself to the front row seat, surely her dear neighbor and friend would get her there. He had pulled her through worse before... right?

Elizabeth's eyes darted around the room, searching for familiar faces. On stage, a majority of the Emerald City police force sat in an arrangement of chairs and a young political administrative assistant organized note cards on the podium. The curtain at the back of the stage rustled from time to time, indicating that more people were back stage. She imagined that the Turners were a few of those people. Much of the press was already in the auditorium, set up as close to the front row as they could get so that they would be in view of whoever would be answering their dreadful questions. They were camera ready, reading over their notes, holding recorders and microphones. It made her feel sick, so she eventually averted her gaze and found her bed-headed friend Elliot sitting up front. Crap! She had told him to come early and then took longer getting inside herself. She was an awful frie-

Who is that? A dark haired girl was speaking to him, though Elizabeth could only see the back of her and not her face. Short hair, petite frame...

A shot of adrenaline rushed through Elizabeth's body and she released herself from Ollivander, legs suddenly finding their ground. "Lily?" The name gently escaped her lips as she took off from her neighbor's side and made a beeline for Elliot and the woman speaking to him. If she hadn't gone into tunnel vision, she might have noticed reporters turning their heads toward her; looking quickly from Elizabeth and then back to the girl that she was staring at.

Out of impulse, Elizabeth grabbed the girls shoulders and swiveled her around so that they were face to face, beginning to force her into a bear hug. "Lily! You're-" She cut herself off as soon as she locked eyes with this woman who was very clearly not Lillian Turner. Her stomach knotted and she recoiled away, taking a few steps back from this stranger. "Oh God, I..." Her face flushed with embarrassment, suddenly feeling a room full of eyes on her. She glanced to Elliot for help, though she was unsure what he was supposed to do in that moment. "I'm s-ssooo sorry... I..." She shook her head, finding it unbearable to speak another word. Elizabeth didn't even know what to say to her. Instead of trying to explain, she glued her eyes to the ground and plopped herself down in the seat next to Elliot, her cheeks redder than her auburn hair.

I'm going completely insane...

It took every ounce of strength she had left not to burst into tears. If she had her way she would have curled into the fetal position and retreated into Lily's orange, over sized hoodie. What a grand idea it was to wear this attention grabbing outfit, looking like she hadn't slept for a month, and audibly saying the name of a girl everyone else knew was dead. Such a fool...

Just then she felt a hand on her shoulder, giving a gentle squeeze. She tensed and looked up from the floor, meeting eyes with Kei; the Cosy Bear's busboy. She gave him a halfhearted smile accompanied with a small nod, as if to say that she was thankful that he was here, but she still found herself unable to work up the courage to speak. It was nice of Kei to attend, even though Elizabeth had told him to enjoy his day off. They even paid him for the full day and made sure that he knew that he wasn't required to attend even if the restaurant did close. "Such a sweet kid..." Elizabeth had not expected him to attend, but she supposed it was in support of her and her family. Plus, he had met Lily many times in the cafe; she had made various surprise visits and often enjoyed their chocolate malted milkshakes. Lily had never said much about him, but it didn't surprise Elizabeth that Lily might have made some sort of impression on Kei. She just had that affect on people.
I already posted this in the discord, but for those that haven't joined, or might miss it: If you haven't started already, please start getting your characters to the community center soon (if your characters intend on attending, at least). I'd like to get through that soon and let the fun begin :)






Sitting on the edge of her bed, tears streaming down her face, Elizabeth stared at a bright orange hoodie in her hands. She had been sitting there for at least 5 minutes, silently crying and unsuccessfully trying to pull herself together.

The hoodie had been Lily's favorite. It was bright, loud, sometimes a bit obnoxious, comfy, and cute. Just like her.

The last piece of Lily that she had to hold had been left in her room by accident. On the eve of her disappearance they had gotten into a... disagreement. Lillian had left the house in a hurry, seemingly upset. The thought crushed Elizabeth's heart. Picturing her walking out the door made it feel like her entire heart had been ripped out of her chest in the process. She was just an empty shell now. Alive, but not really.

"I-I... I'm so s... sorry, L-lily..." She pressed her face into the fabric, the guilt inside tearing her apart. She took in a deep breath, trying to calm herself as well as surround herself with the comfort of Lillian's floral scented perfume left behind.

Before the breakdown, Elizabeth had gone to her room to figure out what to wear for the press conference. What was one supposed to wear to these things? Did people dress up? Did people wear their normal clothes? Business casual? Lillian would have known. She would have told her what was appropriate for the occasion. When the thought crossed her mind, she had locked onto the forgotten hoodie that she had been sleeping with every night since her best friends disappearance.

Pulling her face away, she stared at it again. This was what she would wear. Perhaps it wasn't the right attire, it was most likely too casual. But it was Lily's and that's all she cared about. What other people thought didn't matter... not anymore.

As she pulled it over her head, Elizabeth felt her phone vibrate in the back pocket of her jeans. Her heart skipped a beat. Something inside of her hoped, prayed, that it would be Lily. Somehow, someway, it could be her.

She pulled the phone out quickly, hands shaking from the jolt of adrenaline she had gotten from wishful thinking. "Elliot..." She thought, reading the name on the text message notification. She sighed, letting go of breath she didn't realize she had been holding. It wasn't Lily. What a ridiculous thought to have. Instead, one of her other dear friends. Elliot had been in her life for a long time, and she could imagine that he was hurting similar to her. They had lost their trio and were now a duo. Even though Elliot had often been their third wheel, he always handled it graciously. He, like everyone else it seemed, was closer to Lily than he was to Liz, but it was to be expected. Lily was always the center of attention, rightfully so.

"Yeah... I think I'll need it." She paused with her finger over the send button for a moment, then continued, "Can you meet me there a little early? I don't want to sit up front alone... I should be there in about 20 mins" She hated admitting it, but she wasn't sure if she could get through the conference alone. Her father and brothers would try their best, but it wasn't the same as having someone who knew Lillian closely like she did.



11:45 am




(OOC: Everyone - Please hold off on reactions to Kei the arsonist for a bit. I'd like to get through the conference first, where it will be addressed there. Okay back to your regularly scheduled sad post!)


She had driven alone, wanting some time to herself on the drive over to the community center. It didn't seem to do well for her. She had cried in the car and all her efforts to appear like she hadn't been a sobbing mess for 7 days straight were all for nothing. Her face seemed permanently flushed, even behind makeup, and her eyes a bit puffy and red. Not her best look, but what did she care at this point?

As she pulled into the community center, she rolled her eyes at the surrounding news station vans and all of the news anchors practicing their lines and memorizing what questions they needed to ask. This was all a game to them, wasn't it? Just another story for their job. It didn't matter who it was, it was just good for business. As she surveyed the land, she spotted a family friend sitting on a bench near the river. "Mr. Clarke..."

She exited her car and made her way over to the bench. Silently, she sat down next to him and stared out at the river. It was a little chilly out, which made her glad for the hoodie, but the clouds in the sky only reminded her of Lily. She loved clouds. They brought the rain, her favorite weather.

After a few moments of silence, Elizabeth turned to face Ollivander. "Doing okay, Mr. Clarke?" She forced a sheepish smile, knowing the answer to her question. She had no idea what else to say, and it was typical of her to make sure everyone else was okay; even if she was a wreck. There were no words that could cure this sadness.
@Kitty Looks great! Go ahead and post her in the character tab :)
This is Kei right now hahaha

@Kitty Go right ahead! We'd be glad to have you :)




11am
@Jun@AdmrlStalfos19




Exhausted, Mr. Wilshire watched as the entirety of Mountain View High School filed into the school's gym and took their seats among the bleachers. He had called this assembly not only for himself, but also for the staff and students. He could see the disappearance of Lillian Turner was taking it's toll on teachers and students alike. Everyone seemed distracted, tired, and some were even scared. He had heard that the students were passing around rumors that a serial killer on the loose. Ridiculous, but not surprising.

Being in class, or at work, didn't seem to be helping anyone - including himself. He had once been close to the Turner family, though they grew apart once William Turner (the Mayor) had begun his political journey. The politics of a school district was about as much as Alfred could stomach. Nonetheless, he still cared for them. Lillian had always been the brightest light in the room whenever she was around, even as a child. The thought of something awful happening to her....

He couldn't think of that now.

"Alright everyone." He stepped up to the podium that had been set up on the gym floor, complete with microphone. "Quiet down now." Only half of the students seemed to take notice and halt their conversations. He cleared his throat, loudly, into the microphone. "AHEM... I guess you all want extra homework over the break?" That worked.

He chuckled as the gym fell silent, all eyes on him in horror. "That's more like it. Now, this isn't an easy topic to talk about, so I'll just get on with it." He searched the crowd, making eye contact with every student that he could.

"As I'm sure you all know, we've lost a pillar of our community recently. I know that some of you have been affected directly. Many of you probably remember her from the school functions she has helped us with. She has donated a lot of time, effort, and even money to help our schools thrive." He paused, letting the students search their memories for everything Lillian Turner had done for them. Hell, the girl had even volunteered to be a tutor for so many of the students here. "I want you all to know that you can come to me or any of your teachers if you are struggling with anything. Don't be afraid to talk about it, to reach out. This is a difficult time... We as a community need to come together and support each other."

Some of the students, he could tell, were not impressed with this speech. They just wanted to get out of here and enjoy the rest of the day. He supposed he should let them. Dragging it out wasn't going to do anyone any favors.

"With that said, we are going to close down school for the rest of the day. If you can, please attend the press conference for Ms. Turner this afternoon at the community center." He paused for a moment, hearing the students begin to whisper to one another. "Also, we have decided to close for the rest of the week. In honor of Lillian. I know that Spring Break is next week, I didn't forget. Please enjoy your extended holiday, students. Stay safe, and help each other in this time of need. Assembly dismissed."
I just added in some more information about The Mayor's family in the "Significant NPCs" section in the character tab "updates" post, if anyone is interested.
@Aviaire Awesome! Can't wait to see it!
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