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Tanuchan

WW XXXVII: Toys R Wolves

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Welcome to Werewolf XXXVII!

 

It's Christmas time, and in spite of a rather harsh Winter you are in the biggest toy store in town. Whether you work there, had to buy a last-minute gift, or are just window shopping, the variety of toys for every age - from newborns to adults - impresses you. There is even a special section for pets!

 

 

Our players are:

  • Patrick => Santa (alias Michael Short, 47)
  • Mynx => Sally Kellerman, 17, high school cheerleader and part-time employee at Customer Service
  • Giles => Brian, 10, Sally's kid brother
  • Mardrax => Nick Degras, 10, fulltime student and Santa's helper
  • Panther => Thomas Steward, 21, employee
  • Vene => Matthew Jonathan Clarke von Wunscheringen III, Mattie the Third for short, 11, spoiled-rotten-to-the-core-and-then-some son of an extremely wealthy CEO
  • Blby => Bartleby, a guinea pig who works as one of Santa's elves
  • Guinea Pig => Pig, a guinea pig, representative for GP Toys
  • Gryphon => Jamie Baron, 12, whose parent works on the janitorial staff
  • Mithrandin => David Reyes, 18, student, took the job on the store in the seasonal wrapping presents department

 

Important Notes

Because of the season and theme for this game, I will be allowing anyone to post and interact as NPC, regardless of their signing up. Please, just keep with the spirit of the thread. However, the NPCs (or non-signed-up guests) cannot vote or interfere with the voting in any way, be it by voicing suspicions or trying to make people vote in a certain way. If I catch any involuntary interference in voting, I might be editing the posts to not spoil the game for those who are actually playing it - so please, don't be offended if that happens :)

 

If Christmas comes before we can wrap-up the game, I'm sure also that we can accommodate a few days on freeze if needed be.

 

Other important notes are at the OOC thread, please check them.

 

Game starts next post. Sign-up is open until the first NPC kill, which should occur in a couple days and when roles will be PMd. Guest posters (NPCs) can post at any time without signing up.

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(With special thanks to Peredhil, Patrick, and Mynx for their suggestions)

 

 

With Christmas but a couple days away, Apt Toys seemed and sounded as a busy beehive. Customers and employees filled the ample corridors, with the staff having a hard time keeping the shelves supplied with the toys everyone looked for. In every corner it was possible to see people trying toys, from toddlers to adults. Some customers had even brought their dogs or cats with them, so that they could choose their own presents in the Bark & Co section - where a big banner read, "For all your Owner needs! Leashes to lead them, small bells to alert them, litter boxes so they may clean!"

 

Several of the sections had banners identifying them, and one of the biggest greeted the customers at the same floor as the Customer Relations and Returns.

Almost Perfect Toys for Perfect Pennites! (An Almost Dragonic Christmas display with a plethora of goodies for all ages. and we mean ALL ages...)

That banner had never failed to bring both chuckles and grimaces from the CRR staff from the day it had been put there, and they had soon learned to recognize the special customers who looked for that section of Apt Toys.

 

At the center of the main hall, under a canopy decorated with icicles and reindeer antlers, Santa listened to children. Some of them, to the despair and embarrassment of their parents, just abandoned the line to chase employees carrying any toy that caught their eyes, and most often than not ended up lost in the corridors. Not that they cared, since they were always found while entertaining themselves with the several toys displayed for their pleasure. One of them had recently ended up in a security guard's lap after running over the guy while "test-driving" a ride-on scooter.

 

All over the store, people were busy admiring either toys or undecided customers...

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"Ho-ho-ho!" Santa's laugh rang out as children thronged around him, one on each knee, one sitting in his neck and about a dozen sitting around him in a half-circle. As Michael asked the children what they wanted he could see several parents in the background scribble in notepads or whisper to their partners the answers the children gave. For them it was a great way of finding out what their children wanted.

 

Above all, Michael needed to use the toilet. He had been sitting there, overwhelmed by the kids since midday and it was getting close to five pm. He really needed to go. He gently placed the five-year old girl, Sarah, who had been sitting in his neck down and then gently stood up, leaving time for the two sitting on his knees to slide off.

 

"Santa needs to check on his reindeer. But I'll be back in a few minutes. In the meantime I'll leave you in the hands of my more than able helpers." He indicated Bartleby and Nick.

 

"But Santa, can't we come and see the reindeers?" asked a young boy.

 

"Well, you see," he replied, crouching down and putting a hand on the boy's shoulder, "the reindeer are supposed to be sleeping and I wouldn't want to wake them up by taking all of you there. And it would be unfair to take just a few." He winked at the boy and stepped through a door marked "Personnel only."

 

Inside the employee toilets he blatantly lit a cigarette, defying the no smoking signs, took a nice long sip from his hip flask and released the contents of his bladder. He belched as he pulled up his zipper and brushed the ash from his white beard. He noted with satisfaction that he had not spilled any of the precious vodka on his santa outfit this time round. When he had done that two days ago he had gotten a scalding tell-off from the manager.

 

He threw his cigarette butt into the bowl of the toilet and flushed. Popping some menthol chewing gum into his mouth, to take away the cigarette scent, he stepped back out into the store and was almost immediately overwhelmed by a group of kids asking him for mp3 players, laptops, and in one case for a tractor.

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Sally heaved a sigh and flipped the tassle of her santa hat out from her eyes. Stupid hats, she grumbled quietly to herself. Isn't it enough to have the store santa wear one? Why do we have to as well?

Noticing a customer approaching her, Sally forced a bright and happy smile on her face.

"Good afternoon!" she beamed, accepting the board game from the customer and scanning the barcode before placing it in a plastic bag. "$29.90," Sally chirped, accepting two $5 and a $20 note and handing back a 10c coin.

"Thank you! Have a Merry Christmas!" The customer returned Sally's smile before leaving with their purchase.

Sally maintained the smile for exactly two more seconds, before she slumped back over her counter and resumed her scowl.

Stupid late night shopping...This was going to be a very long shift...

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Oh my, so many kids! Do they all have to grab me? eepepeeep. That boy almost stepped on me!

 

"Thank you dear. Yes, I'm an elf. I don't know if most of Santa's elves like me, but EEPOW! the hair is definitely real." Where is that Santa, these kids are fun, but they're tooo much. AAh, there he is and ....WHEW! He stinks of nicotine and menthol with something else *whiffwhiff* booze thrown in! UGH. I wish humans had the sort of smell we do. Eh, time to go distact the girl.

 

*nuzzlenuzzle* "Don't cry! I'm small and fuzzy and my Santa hat will tickle you. There! That's better ....

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"Can I hold him?" a sixteen year old girl asked of the store employee standing next to Pig. The man nodded. Pig tried to shy away, fearing encountering indelicate hands, but surprisingly the girl knew how to hold him and it was rather comfortable. "He's so cute," the girl said stroking Pig's fur. If guinea pigs could blush, Pig would have. "How much does he cost?" she asked.

 

Pig squealed in surprise. "I'm not for sale!"

 

The girl almost dropped him in her surprise. "He talks?!?"

 

"Of course I talk. Why shouldn't I?"

 

"Stop it!" the girl said turning to the man, who like Pig, was wearing a uniform for GP Toys. "You're a ventriloquist aren't you? It's not funny, you know?" She put Pig back on the table and rushed off to meet up with her friends.

 

"She clearly doesn't like Narnia enough," Pig observed to his colleague and the two of them shared a laugh, before they introduced a young boy to their new collection of guinea pig plush toys. The boy managed to convince his mother to buy the one, which looked just like Pig. It had been the best selling model so far.

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Jamie drifted through the aisles watching as people helped themselves to the contents, occasionally stopping to touch a particularly entrancing toy before wistfully moving on.

 

It would be so nice to be able to take some of these home he thought as another overstressed parent ran by with her arms full of gifts for her children. <Jamie sighed and moved on>

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Thomas could be seen visibly frustrated with the customer he was dealing with over the phone...

 

Yes ma'am, you are right, that car doesn't come with the battery pack that it require to run... rolling of eyes Yes, ma'am, we do carry the packs, they are right beside the cars section, in aisle 12. If you have any questeions as to which one you will require, our associates will be happy to help you out...more eye rolling... No ma'am, we have no control over if the manufacturer sells the battery packs with the toys, even if they are specialized. We just get them how they want them shipped to us..... Ok ma'am, you can call the manufacturer and lodge a complaint with them. Their number should be on the car's package, as well as the battery's package. Thank you and have a Merry Christmas!

 

Thomas couldn't hang up the phone fast enough. He's spent the last ten minutes on the phone with that woman, and she didn't understand that it wasn't his fault. He didn't make those types of decisions. Oh well, if all worked out, he wouldn't be working here much longer. He'd saved up most of the money he would need to go off to college and away from this job, but he still needed a little more, and after christmas, he should have it. College girls here he comes!

 

*phone rings* Thomas sighs...

 

Apt Toys, customer service department, this is Thomas, how may I help you today?...

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Mattie the Third was wandering through the aisles, looking at all the fascinating toys in the version that didn't belong to him, slowly making his way to the electrical trains section. When he finally reached it he was about to become upset that the display wasn't as impressive as last year's when he noticed a new steam engine coming out of one of the tunnels on the display. The lights on this one were so impressive that he completely forgot about last year's display, and stood staring at the engine for at least five minutes, quietly going "ooooh" every time it passed by him.

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Night falls, and all of a sudden the promised snowstorm falls. Lights flicker inside the store, and windows rattle with the wind. Several people look up, while others rush to the exit. Those few who manage to leave the store soon come back in, shouting about the heavy snowstorm and the dreary wind. Murmurs arise, and mix with loud crashings coming from the outside.

 

"Lord, the trees are falling!" One of the employees at the first floor looks through the window, pointing to the trees that surround three sides of the store.

 

"I told them that it was a bad idea to have them planted so near winter... they don't have roots!" mumbles his colleague, shaking her head. "I've always said that the first strong wind would make them fall as kindling..."

 

Then power fails.

 

Darkness brings, at first, just silence. And then, shouts and screams mixed with children's wailings and whimpers. Several minutes of confusion follow, as people try to find out emergency lights and doors.

 

Soon the full situation reveals itself: without power, the elevators and the ground floor automatic doors do not work; emergency doors are found locked, and fallen trees block the back doors. Upon calling the emergency services, it is found out that the snowstorm has intensified and that it will be several hours before the store, at the outskirts of the town, can be reached.

 

Little by little people start calming each other, employees bringing out flashlights and helping with their knowledge of the store. Lost children are found and cared for, while lost parents are nudged towards productive action, helping out where needed.

 

As people finally start sorting things out, a scream is heard from one of the upper floors. Both customers and employees rush towards the sound, stumbling sometimes in scattered boxes along the way. As they reach the corridor, they find a stocking ladder fallen over a rather large Lego display. The unfortunate employee who had been on the ladder, Marion Partridge, gurgles and struggles to speak, her lung pierced by the Lego pear tree she had fallen on. Her feeble efforts soon stop as she loses conscience, but a few people listen to her last words.

 

Someone pushed the ladder.

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~

OOC: This was the first NPC kill. It's day phase, and you have roughly 48 hours from this post timestamp to try to find who ruined poor Ms. Partridge's lung.

 

Sign-up for the WW game is closed, but you can still post as a guest writer. Roles will be PM'd within the next five minutes, and the list of players is at the OOC thread.

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Wandering past the service desk Jamie gave Thomas a friendly smile and a wave.

 

It was a shame that so many people seemed to make life a misery for Thomas, that's not the way it's supposed to be at this time of year.

 

Jamie's attention switched to a mother with some loud screaming children on their way out of the store, her arms weighed down with gifts. They had so much, how could they complain and want more??

 

Shaking his head he drifted back towards the shelves heading for the electronic toys section.

 

~~~

 

Bah! This is out of sequence. I started typing before Tanny posted the kill and posted after she'd posted... bugger. Pretend this happens before the lights go out.

Edited by Gryphon
Timing mixup - this should sit before Tannys post.

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Thomas exhaled a long breath when the power went out. Thinking to himself that even if the storm keeps him away from home, at least the darned phones have stopped ringing! But now he would have to wander the store to make sure that everyone was accounted for, parents and children reunited and hope that no one took the darkness as a chance to do some extra "shopping".

 

Then he hears the screams. The screams that will haunt him forever. The scream of pain, severe pain.

 

Following with other staff and customers, they all come upon Marion. He could see that many people were very nervous when seeing the position that she had fallen in, and really, so was he. Seeing blood on the floor of the display didn't help Thomas' stomach either. He'd never really been able to stand the sight of it, even his own. It was a good thing he wasn't planning on becoming a doctor.

 

He watched helplessly as the staff members that knew first aid tried to help Marion, wondering to himself how this had happened.

Edited by Lord Panther

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Jamie is about half way between the service desk and the electronic toys when the lights go out. Carefully, he freezes not sure where to go in the darkness.

 

As the lights come back on and the screams start he stares at a stuffed bear in confusion. Why were people screaming?

 

He begins to run towards the sound.

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"Eeepeepeepeep!" Probably nobody heard it, but that was the shouted opinion of one of Santa's elves when the lights went out.

 

A guineapig wants to hide when trouble comes but in this dark, he didn't even know where the furniture was. "God I hope no one steps on me" was the next thought."

 

Then there were the screams. Blby knew immediately when he heard them that those were heartfelt. Some things you can't mistake and at that Blby stopped thinking sanely and fell to small guineapigish prayers.

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When the power had first failed, Sally could only groan in frustration. This hadn't been the first time they'd had power cuts, but they were never pleasant. Sighing heavily, she didn't move from her place at the desk, having been drilled countless times not to EVER leave the till in case someone tried to take the money bla bla bla...

Sally's initial frustration however soon turned to worry when word of the severity of the outage and fallen trees got back to her.

Then there had been the screams. Screams of real fear. Cries of murder...

And Sally remembered that she hadn't seen Brian since his appearance at the store a while earlier.

Please no...

Grabbing the torch that she kept under her desk and vaulting over the till without a second thought, Sally turned on the torch and entered the panicking crowd.

"Brian? Brian where the hell are you?!"

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Despite the noise of the wind on the windows, David was just as surprised as the customer to who he was wrapping a Nintendo Wii , when the lights went out. Both looked up at the same time, the customer's daughter pulled the sleeve of his father's jacket and asked what was going on. His father lowered, wrapped one arm around her to keep her calm when the cryes broke out and the child started to cry.

 

Leaving the wrapping counter where he left the customer conforting his daughter, he went in the direction of the screams and the growing whispers.

 

(draging his feet made him take longer but ensure no guinea pigs would be steped on in the way)

 

Upon arrival on the lego set, he fell into a silent mumble watching at the horror show presented before his eyes.

Edited by Mithrandin

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Nick couldn't make it back to Santa's old stand fast enough. He'd thanked every single one of his gym classes while on the way there, not making a bigger flaw than leaving a trail of candy canes behind him while dodging all sorts of dropped toys on the floor. Stupid costume.

He slammed the "Personnel only" door behind him, clutching his stomach. The lingering smell of smoke was the drop to flood his bucket. He ducked inside a stall, was on his knees a moment later and emptied the 'bucket' out.

Every time he'd seen just a tiny hint of blood, he'd had a band aid on it a moment later. He'd never even seen someone else's. The aisle 6 bloodbath was just too much.

 

He emerged from the stall some minutes later, heading straight for the mirror. The boy that looked back at him looked like a cross between Jack Skellington and a Who. After using some toilet paper to wipe his face clean, and flushing, he staggered back out of the "Personnel only" door.

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The scent of blood was more than enough. Pig knew that he did not want to go closer...and besides wherever the scent was coming from was quite far away. A human had died somewhere and for Pig it was clear that only another human could have killed him or her. Obviously he did not suspect himself and neither did he suspect Bartleby, because, well, solidarity between guinea pigs was a must in an environment where massive bipeds ruled.

 

Who else could it have been?

 

OOC: voting for Santa (Patrick), because he doesn't smell good.

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When Sally got to the scene of the crime, a mix of horror and shock - and, yes, relief that it wasn't Brian - filled her so that for a moment she could only gape. Then something caught her eye...one of the store Santa's helpers?? He was rushing away from the scene of the crime as fast as he possibly could. He looked like he was about to be sick, and to be honest Sally couldn't really blame him, she was feeling queasy herself.

But...a part of her wondered...what if he was running for another reason?

I mean sure he was just a kid but kids these days...

 

OOC: Nick/Mardrax

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Michael cursed silently under his breath when the commotion broke out and then followed it up quickly with a loud "Ho-ho-ho!" in an attempt to mask the foul words he had just spoken. He looked around for Nick, but couldn't find his helper. Michael gently scooped up Bartleby from the floor and placed him on a top shelf. "Keep the kids entertained won't you?"

 

He entered the personnel only toilets just as Nick emerged from his stall. Heading to the mirror the boy did not see Michael, who quietly stepped back out and shut the door behind him, the idea of smoking a cigarette to calm his nerves firmly gone after the sight of Nick's face in the mirror. He headed back to where he had left Bartleby and scooped up a terrified looking girl.

 

"Don't be afraid child. Santa is here."

 

OOC: Vote for Nick/Mardrax.

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Nick staggered out of the "personnel only" door, his ghastly face scaring away more than one small child. He looked at Santa's chair, barely noticing Bartleby trying to talk to a little girl. All he could hear in his mind was Ms. Patridge's scream, and try as he might he could not shut it out. His whimpering called the attention of a number of people, who after a glance just stepped back and made sure they knew exactly where Nick was.

 

Santa frowned at his helper over the head of the little girl he was listening to, and Sally matched that frown from the other side. She was still looking frantically for Brian, and kept glancing at Nick and shuddering at his expression.

 

Nick took some time to register the murmurs around him and notice the wide berth people were giving him. He blinked, turning from one to another only to see frowns and either angry or fearful stares, parents clutching their children to themselves and hiding them from his view. Heart thumping, he tried to say something, to ask for some help or understanding, but all that came out was a gurgling that turned into hysterical laughter in a few seconds. Nick saw two security men circling towards him and, panicking, started to run.

 

He ignored the shouting, the ailes blurring away as he ran blindly. He finally stopped at a dead end, panting, looking around for an exit. Seeing none, he sobbed and turned around, only then realizing that he was hopelessly lost. A soft noise called his attention, a cooing mixed to a Christmas song. He peeked around a shelf, and found himself facing a tall, half-decorated Christmas tree. At its top, two stuffed turtledoves cooed soothingly.

 

He started to draw a deep breath when he heard a soft laugh behind him, and something sharp hit his back. He screamed, stumbling towards the Christmas tree. As he grabbed it trying to recover his balance, it toppled over and crashed loudly to the floor.

 

 

Nick was found some minutes later, his eyes glazed over and his hair matted with blood. The stuffed turtledoves were now silent, staring at the railing where Nick had hit his head as the tree toppled.

 

~~~~~~~~

OOC: Mardrax/Nick was a villager. It is now night phase. Specials, you have 24 hours to send me your targets. RP is free at this time - have fun! List of players at the OOC thread.

 

As a note, everything will happen during one full night at the store in spite of my so-called "day" and "night phases" ;)

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Thomas had moved back to his desk and was seated in his chair when the news reached him. Nick had now been killed too. Thomas put his head down between his knees and took deep breaths. Obviously, whoever was the killer didn't care who they killed. Nick was only ten years old.

 

So, at least for now, Thomas was staying at the relative safety of his little department, keeping his head low and waiting for help to arrive, or the power to come back on. He just hoped that there would be no more death today.

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Brian was bored, after spending most of the time in the baby toys aisles -- the only ones close to where Sally was and where she could keep an eye on him. The only reason he did not pout was because that would make his big sister keep looking at him as a baby. So, when the power went off he grinned and, letting his eyes get used to the darkness, darted exactly five aisles away from Sally. He had noticed where his favorite toys were, and had just been waiting for the chance to get there. The darkness didn't bother him, since he loved playing in his darkened room and scare Sally when she entered thinking he was not in there. And besides, he knew either power would come back soon, or people would get emergency lights. That was how things always happened in movies, and he was an expert on them.

 

He didn't notice the time, and pretended not hearing Sally calling his name. He did hear a scream, and that made him stop for a while almost scared. Then he remembered there were toys that screamed just like that, and also remembered the recording he had -- blood-curling screams that had made Sally hysterical one night some months ago, when their parents had travelled and they were left alone at home. He giggled remembering that night, and when the second scream came, echoing somewhere far to his right, he just shrugged and wondered who could tell him where to buy more of those special effects recordings. And how to convince dad to give him the money to buy them.

 

Brian kept walking among the aisles, making sure to always go in the opposite direction of Sally's voice. He didn't want her to come and drag him out as if he were a baby, scared of the dark. He was actually enjoying that hide-and-seek game, and wished he could taunt her sister. That had always made her mad, and she was funnier when really mad.

 

He stopped in front of a big display, and blinked. He could not believe someone would do that -- what manufacturer would be so dumb as to think French hens could be cool toys? But there they were, a big wall in front of him. In all sizes, of all kinds -- baby toys, electronic toys, games... everything picturing French hens was collected there. Brian tried to make out the phrase at the top of one of the shelves, picturing three French hens fighting each other; one was dressed as a ninja, the other as a samurai, and the last one as a pirate. He went as far as reading aloud "Send your true love Three French Hens" when someone laughed.

 

Brian turned, and saw just the shadow of an electric forklift before being crushed by the knocked-over display wall.

 

 

Moments later, there was another scream -- a mother looking for her child had seen Brian's hand under the pile of toys, and on removing these she had found his mangled, bloodied skull. She immediately passed out.

 

 

===================

OOC: Lucky wolves... Giles/Brian was the Seer. It's now Day Phase, and you have roughly 48 hours from this time stapm to vote and try to avenge Brian! List of players at the OOC thread.

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Jamie sat next to a display of transformers shaking. More screams, so different from the screams of the spoiled brats earlier in the evening.

 

What kind of person would cause so much disruption and chaos at Christmas time?

 

Suddenly Jamie knew the answer: One who didn't understand the true meaning of Christmas.

 

Getting to his feet Jamie ran through the shelves until he found some adults and someone else, someone pretending to be innocent.

 

"It was him, I saw him do it!"

 

~~~

 

OOC: Jamie is accusing Vene, Mattie the Third, because he's convinced himself as only a child can.

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"Brian!" Sally heard the commotion and ran to the scene, heart in her throat as she rounded the corner...saw the blood...recognised what she could of the mangled body...

Oh no...NO!

"Brian!" Sally shrieked, folding as if she'd been punched in the stomach. Her mind raced in a tangle of thoughts. This was real. Her kid brother was dead...He'd been a twerp at times but he wasn't a bad kid...how could anyone do this to her brother?

 

"It was him, I saw him do it!"

 

Another child's cry caught Sally's attention. Looking up, she noticed one of the kids pointing accusingly at another...Mattie, the rich kid...he was enough of a brat that Sally suddenly found herself wondering how valid the accusation could be...

 

OOC: Mattie/Vene

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