Chatterbox: Pudding's Place

Dropping your backpack to the floor with a shockingly loud thud, you kick off your shoes and groan. What a day! You shudder at the thought at all the homework sitting in your backpack, probably plotting ways to become more difficult…

“Why does everything hate me?!” You cry very dramatically. You flop down on the couch as though one more second standing would have killed you.

Ouch! The sharp edge of something wedged into the couch cushions pokes your rear end. Huffing, you turn and grab it. It’s an envelope… Addressed to you. How curious… You take a closer look.  The envelope itself is a handsome olive, but there’s no stamp, address, or return address. Most peculiar. Gently, you unseal the flap and remove two pieces of paper. The first one says:

To whoever’s couch cushion this was wedged in,

You and thirteen others have been detected to have elemental magic. To harness these powers within you and learn how to control this magic, you have been invited to Magicae Palace, a place where magic abounds. There are five elements you and your companions may be taught- fire, water, air, earth, and on that is not truly considered an element but I believe is truly essential- life. You AE(s) and CAPTCHA/CAPTCHAE have been detected to have magic as well, so they are encouraged to come. Vacation will last two weeks. The popcorn is free.

Best wishes,

Your hostess,

Simul Stoicheio (sigh-mull Stee-HE-oh)

P.S it is required that you fill out the second sheet.

You hastily stuff the first sheet away and proceed to the second-

Name:

Pronouns:

CBer, AE, CAPTCHA, or CAPTCHAE?:

Packing list:

Which is your favorite: Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Lord of the Rings, Hunger Games, or all/a mixture/none/different?:

Other:

Your instinct tells you that this is some kind of scam. Magic? But a voice inside of you knows that going is the right thing to do. How? You don’t know. You can just feel it.

~~~~~~~~~

You guessed it- ski lodge!

Spots are open for fourteen CBers and however many companions they may bring. Feel free to guess me.


submitted by Simul Stoicheio, age Mystical, Magicae Palace
(November 19, 2018 - 7:00 pm)

Day eight, part two

Devin paced around in circles in the Earth classroom, panic rising through his frustration. Time was slipping away, and he had run out of ideas of where his notebook could possibly be. Rubbing his index fingers to his temples and closing his eyes, he forced all of his concentration onto the clue of the word 'dirt', trying his hardest to figure out where he might have seen it or anything relating to it. 

It soon became clear to him that it was pointless. He stomped over to the window and pushed it open for some fresh air. He stared down, defeated.

It took Devin a few seconds to realize that down below him was a giant pile of dirt.

He did a double-take, staring, then almost laughed out loud with relief. of course! He had heard from a disgruntled Leeli about the messy, dark Earth classroom on the very first day. Only now did he remember...

Silently thanking his late CBer, Devin raced out of the room and back down the giant flight of stairs. Outside, he once again saw Porcelain, who was now holding a brown, leather notebook bearing the number 4, examining at it with a look on her face that was both sad and relieved. Devin raced to the back of the castle near the forest.

Artimerrx, meanwhile, was peeling the tape from his notebook, which had been attached to the back of the mustard. he ripped up the final piece triumphantly and took his prize back to the spare room where he had read that note earlier in the morning. He found Porcelain, Nihil and Estrella had already found theirs and placed them under their nametags, as per their instructions. He did the same, sucked in a deep breath, and let it go slowly. It was a relief. 

On his way out, he passed Nymph clutching her own notebook with the number 14, Reese looking rather crazed, and Wendy looking very lost- though not much more than she usually did. He found some quiet in a tiny library hidden under a staircase. 

Devin, meanwhile, was tearing through the mound of dirt in search of his notebook, and Bean was pacing the Life dormitory. Noon was getting closer, but so were many of the guests. The spare room was visited more and more as the guests found their notebooks and came back to place them under their name tags. With only half an hour left, Mor, Reese, and Wendy were the only ones not to have brought their notebooks back- Bean had found hers at the foot of Leafy's bed, bearing the number 15. Mor had found hers, but it was dangling from the chandelier in the entrance hall; she just had to figure out how to get it down. Wendy wasn't quite noting the urgency she should be feeling at the moment, and was searching through a trunk in a closet half-heartedly. Reese was still frantic, running around with her note clenched in a sweaty fist, looking for anything at all that had to do with Protection.

Mor, standing on her tiptoes and wobbling precariously on a ladder, stretched her fingers just as far as they would go and grabbed the corner of her notebook. With a forceful tug and a perilous sway of her ladder, Mor successfully got the notebook down and proceeded to scurry down the ladder happily. Bounding up the stairs, she almost ran right into Reese.

"Mor, help me! Where could I find something relating to 'protection'?"

Mor searched her memories for a moment before saying, "Tthe fire clas room. Iitt hhas-"

But what exactly it had, Reese didn't wait around to find out- she took off at a crazy speed, leaving Mor on the steps. She shrugged and continued on her way to the spare room.

Wendy was is search for a flashlight, it not having occurred to her that this could relate to the time the murderer shut off the power throughout the castle and Nymph became an odd humanoid beacon. Her searches in various closets were in vain. The last half hour slipped away, until, roused by her growling stomach, Wendy checked the time to find that it was at last noon.

Minutes later, Wendy found the murderer waiting for her. She closed the dorr behind her.

~~~~~

It was silent around the dining table at lunch. Wendy wasn't there and it was clear she wouldn't be coming back. Marigold took to staring at her lap. Caspian had nothing charming to say as he usually did. Nobody dared to strike up a conversation. For most of them, the meal was short. 

Agent Winter kept wondering all through lunch how to help Marigold as she had helped her. And, there was something AW wanted to talk about with her...

Gracia, the one who had something secretive to tell them and could very well have been the one to confront the murderer, was killed the morning after she was about to spill all these secrets. Win was certain there was a connection. Gracia knew something the murderer didn't want anyone else to know, and with Win's discovery of the ski lodge's connection to the murderer, she had a hunch that the secret wasn't only the murderer's identity.

Meanwhile, when AW was once again battling with her thoughts, Simul had gathered together all five of the elemental instructors and sat them down at a table. She clapped her hands together loudly.

"So!" she began, "I'm sure you've guessed why I brought you all here. There's a way to tell you all the secrets you discovered I've been keeping while ensuring your safety as well as the guests' safety. Now, if I'm doing this right, this won't hurt a bit..."

Terra and Ingus both opened their mouths to interject, but before they could say anything, Simul clapped her hands together twice, and an odd sensation came over all of them. And suddenly, they knew everything... yet somehow it didn't feel odd. It was almost as if they knew it all along.

"Well then, congratulations!" Simul said cheerily. "Perhaps now you'll get the chance to share in my headaches."

Some of them once again tried to say something to her, but before they could, Simul left the room with a flourish.

There was a pause at the table. "That certainly wasn't what I had in mind," Vita commented finally.

"In the actual secrets, or the procedure?" Caeli asked.

"Both, I'm sure," Terra replied. 

It was never spoken about, but all of them were now granted with a sort of instinct... to protect the secrets from the guests. They knew what could happen, and they also knew they need not speak about it. Though they weren't aware of it, they had found themselves with a duty to the ski lodge, and it wasn't just to teach magic.

~~~~~

Far found his favorite library in the castle and was preparing to settle in with Lord of the Rings once again when he saw Caspian out of the corner of his eye, looking like he didn't know what to do with himself. Far took pity on him, and eventually asked him, "Are you doing okay?"

Caspian looked up at him, his air of charisma almost evaporated, then almost immediately looked away. "I'm not quite sure," he answered eventually. "But thank you for asking."

Far nodded, though he didn't know if Caspian saw it or not. After a moment he proceeded to his library and soon got lost in his book, leaving Caspian with his thoughts while Far explored the history of Ents once again.

And still, all through the castle, the vacation went on. Wren wrote in a notebook, Reese ate popcorn, Nihil messed around with shadows, Catsquill read a book, Porcelain looked through some DVDs she had found…

And still, things continued to go on. 

submitted by Day eight, part two, Top
(July 30, 2020 - 12:51 pm)

Sorry, this took me a little bit- I've written far ahead of what's been posted, and I'm not sure why I haven't caught myself up...

Top, top, top! 

Day eight, part three

Simul bounced around the upper floors of the castle, relieved about having finally told the instructors about everything. (She was careful to omit the word “secrets” in her thoughts.) It was nice for her to feel like she had something off her chest and that she didn’t have some other big chore to take care of. That is, until she remembered that she had meant to consult with them about having two magic lessons a day, and now to do so she would have to gather them all back together. Internally kicking herself, Simul wheeled around without knowing why- obviously the five teachers had already gone their separate ways after their meeting. She heaved a sigh. That would be a nuisance later on.

She shrugged it off. No use dragging her feet around about it. Simul turned back the way she was originally going, her destination unknown to even her.

~~~~~

Artimerrx was getting tired of playing games like Uno and Monopoly with everyone, and he was trying to seek out some other source of random entertainment. So far, he wasn't very successful. The castle, he had observed, was too full of libraries and random closets and empty rooms. It was like Hogwarts, but with a different, less fun kind of magic, and no Dumbledore, no Hagrid, no ghosts or moving staircases or house elves or Rooms of Requirement...

So to Artimerrx, Magicae Palace was a second-rate Hogwarts kind of thing. A weird observation, he thought.

Artimerrx, absent-minded as he thought of comparisons of Magicae Palace and Hogwarts, opened a door and stepped into a room with a lethal trap, and was found twenty minutes later by Terra, who alerted Simul, who gathered all the guests together and they held a funeral.

It was all quick, quicker than even Artimerrx knew. There he was, minding his own business, and then... 

His friends were lingering around the stone where he lay.

~~~~~

Marigold was absent-minded during magic lessons that day, think about her own Wendy, about Artimerrx... but especially about Gracia.

Like Agent Winter, she was burning with curiosity, wanting to know what it was Gracia was going to say, and also if her knowledge is what caused her to fall. When Leeli was killed and it started a game like this, she had been killed because the murderer didn't like how she was trying to re-start TAMPS. It made sense to Marigold that Gracia's similar situation would also be for a reason. So was it the secrets that the murderer didn't like Gracia knowing, or was it that Gracia would have shared them?

In between her thoughts, she felt pangs for her AE... strange, distant, yet loved nonetheless, and now, she was gone. Marigold worried about how Caspian was doing, and how she could reach out to him again... By then. Marigold had pretty much forgotten about trying to do magic, but Aqua took pity on her and said nothing.

Marigold slowly realized that she had to find out what Gracia was going to say. Those secrets lead to the death of Wendy. She died for them, and now, Marigold was determined to find out what they were. her mind was set, and she planned to find Agent Winter once lessons were finished. Marigold, now satisfied with her new plan, went back to her magic.

For most of the guests, the shock of Artimerrx's death, as well as Gracia's and Wendy's, had barely worn off. They all seemed to have happened so quickly. The Fire classroom was especially quiet, because both Artimerrx and Wendy were missing among them. Yet, a small handful of the guests as a whole managed to snatch a bit of progress from the traps of grief. 

After magic class, Marigold went out to execute her new plan, and she wasn't the only one with a mission. Simul used some magic to broadcast her voice around the castle, just as she had done on the second day. This time, she requested to see all of the magic instructors back in her room. She was surprised that she had forgotten about that trick in the first place. Oh, well. She was using it again, and it worked, because all five of the instructors had done as they were told approximately seven minutes later.

"Sorry I didn't think to talk about this when we were all together earlier," Simul began brightly. "Guess it just slipped my mind.

"Anywho, I wanted to talk to you about an idea that I had, and I need to see if y'all are on board. I was thinking we could start having two magic lessons everyday! A bit of extra practice, you know." Simul beamed at them all. They looked back with a little bit of confusion. There was a pause when all of them thought through the proposition.

"I think it's an interesting idea," Caeli said finally, "And a good one. Unexpected, sure, but yeah, I'd be down."

"Excellent!" Simul cried. "And the rest of you?" She surveyed the other four. Aqua was nodding slowly, and Terra had his brow furrowed.

"I think, if you believe it's going to do some good for the guests, then we should do it," Vita announced.

"It will do good," Simul assured him. "I'm certain."

"I really don't see why not," Aqua added. Simul looked to Terra and Ingus expectantly- the two most stubborn instructors.

"You really think it's necessary? Like, it wouldn't just be some random extra thing, it would actually help them improve?" Terra asked.

"Yes," Simul insisted. "Thank about it. It'd be practical. More practice is more improvement." Simul knew using the word "practical" would help, considering Terra was easily the most sensical of the five. he nodded slowly in agreement.

"Ingus?" Simul prompted.

She shrugged. "I don't see the point, but I also don't have a problem with it, so whatever," She mumbled.

"Awesome!" Simul exclaimed. "We'll start it tomorrow. I'll announce it at dinner."

"Tomorrow?" Terra questioned.

"Sure, why not?" Simul replied. Ingus shook her head a little and left before anyone could stop her. The rest followed. Simul watched them go, then shrugged and shut herself in her room.

~~~~~

Day eight, part four

Agent Winter, wandering the halls just after her Air lesson, was approached by Marigold, who looked like she had something important to say. 

"What's up?" AW called. "Well, first- are you doing okay?"

"Wh- oh... yeah. I'm fine. Thank you for asking," Marigold replied. "I just wanted to talk with you... about Gracia."

"Oh," said Agent Winter, surprised. "What... about her?"

"I can't stop thinking about what it was she was going to tell us," Marigold whispered.

"Me too," AW admitted. 

"But, I also keep thinking... is that the reason why she was killed? Because she had that knowledge, or because she was going to share it?"

Win nodded slowly. "It would make sense," she agreed. "They did the same for Leeli."

"Exactly! And I guess... there's some part of me that... I feel like I owe it to Wendy to figure it all out. She died for it... and I guess, I just, I need to know what it is. For her."

Agent Winter nodded again, looking at Marigold sympathetically. "I sort of feel the same. Like, ever since that day at the fence, I've just felt like... it's so important that I figure out what it means. You know?"

"Yes, exactly!" Marigold agreed, now getting excited. "So, I mean, now we're both in agreement... but, Win... Gracia did get killed because of these... I just want to make sure that, you know, you're ready for this?"

"I am," AW said firmly. "I have to know. I have to... the ski lodges, what they mean, why they're connected to the murderer-"

"What? They are? When did you figure that out?" Marigold hissed, alarmed.

"Oh! I totally forgot- I haven't told you!" Winter looked around her and found a door standing ajar. Cautiously, she pushed it open and checked for traps. Seeing that it was clear, she stepped in, waving to Marigold to follow.

Once they were both in the room, AW shut the door behind her and explained to Marigold the conversation she had overheard, and what she had felt during it. Marigold listened intently, searching Win's words for clues. Marigold was instantly fascinated. So the ski lodge had something to do with the murderer... or, the murderer had something to do with the ski lodge. Though she couldn't  quite figure out how, she knew this was important information.

"Have you told anyone else about this?" Marigold asked once AW was finished recounting the story. Win shook her head in reply.

"Okay... I think we should go back to the fence, and see what we can see. Learn whatever we can learn. Then we'll go from there, and see if there's anything around the castle that might point us in the right direction," Marigold said.

So they set off for the fence. As they were going down a flight of stairs, they almost ran into Reese.

"Oh- hey!" Marigold cried, a little startled. "What, um, what're you doing, Reese?"

"Um... you know, going to my room?" Reese replied., raising an eyebrow at Marigold, whose cheeks turned rosy.

"Sorry," she muttered, "That was stupid."

"So, uh... what are you doing?" Reese asked, barely trying to keep her tone casual.

"We were just going outside," AW said, a little hastily.

"Okay then.. can I come with you?" Reese inquired. Marigold opened her mouth, giving AW a look she couldn't interpret.

"Sure," Win said finally. "Marigold, I think I should... fill her in."

Marigold, her lips pursed, nodded quickly. Reese, now looking thoroughly confused, was led into a closet and told about things like ski lodges and murderers and suspicious conversations...

~~~~~

Alex, Estrella and Far, three bookish AEs, were all sitting around the same wood table in the same library. Far and Estrella were both reading the Two Towers, but Estrella was slightly ahead of them. Alex was reading Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan, which was similar in  that it was a rather large fantasy novel. Alex had her knees curled up to her chin, Estrella's feet were kicked up on the table, and Far had his legs crossed and was tapping his left foot. 

In some close-by hallway, Marigold, AW and Reese were whispering together about things that their minds had no knowledge of. A strange thing, since they seemed to be the ones that knew everything- or at least, according to their siblings they did.

But, who knew then... would any of the three find out? And what would become of them, and all that was around them? The consequences, the facts,  the possibilities all unknown to the three AEs sitting in the library. Marigold, AW, and Reese crept right outside the room they were in, thinking about Wendy and Night, thinking about the things that were unbeknownst to Alex, Estrella and Far.

Reese took a deep breath once she got outside. She was still in shock about all that had happened in just the past five minutes- and what an odd sort of investigation she had roped herself into. She was honestly very unsure of what was going to happen next or if she even wanted to be a part of this, but she was glad for Marigold and Winter's confidence. And anyways, this was an adventure, some excitement! She was always ready for that!

In the minutes that it took to walk from one edge of the forest to the other, Marigold had become more curious, AW more hesitant, and Reese had simply been trying to look around her at the forest. Once they were standing a few yards away from the fence, Reese finally looked in front of her, not knowing what she should be searching for.

AW took a deep breath and stepped closer. the other two followed her. She examined the fence, from the diamond-shaped holes in it to the gnarled pieces of wire at the top. Her breathing grew shaky as she extended her hand and rested her fingers in the wholes between the wires.

She gasped, but tightened her grip. There it was again- the ski lodge. But this time, she knew the murderer was tied to it- she just had to figure out how..

The ski lodge. The murderer. The ski lodge-

No. Not just one ski lodge. Ski lodges. She knew those! They were the vacations...

Win's hand flew off the fence as though she had been electrocuted. "What? What is it?" Marigold asked, both anxious and curious.

"The ski lodges!" AW cried, her voice filled with triumph.

"What about them? What did you learn?"

"The ski lodges... they're the vacations," she explained. She saw the confusion on Reese and Marigold's faces change to understanding.

"And- oh my gosh- that's why- the murderer! There's always..." Reese's thought trailed off, but the others finished it off in their own thoughts. There was always a murderer at the vacations, the ski lodges.

"But... why?" Marigold mused. "Why is there always a murderer at these ski lodges?"

"Just bad luck?" Reese suggested. But even she knew that couldn't be a very plausible explanation. AW shook her head.

"We know the murderers and the ski lodges are connected, and they form a pattern. There's definitely a reason they always happen, you know, together," She theorized.

The three of them began to discuss what they thought about their new discoveries, sitting on the forest floor, stealing occasional glances at the fence, wondering if it contained any more answers to their new questions.

Marigold asked if it was even the fence that was showing them all of this, or if it was something beyond the fence, or even the reasons why the fence was standing.

Reese shook her head; it was starting to hurt from the weight of all the information. Beside her, AW sighed and announced that she thought it was time they all went back to the castle. The other two agreed. As they walked, they discussed what their plan was for how to handle this new information, and how they could discover more.

Little did they know, they were embarking on the most dangerous- and most important- endeavor of the whole Magicae Palace ski lodge... 

submitted by TOP Stoicheio
(August 9, 2020 - 5:36 pm)

Ack, why does this keep sinking? TOP!

Day eight, part five

One of the guests, perhaps innocent and perhaps guilty, once again found themselves being cornered and questioned by another.

"No..." they whispered, "I didn't... I swear to you..."

"You can swear all you want, but we both know what you've done," the interrogator hissed.

"I haven't done anything! Okay, so, I was up early one morning, but so were you. You could very well be the murderer!”

“Ha! Think that through. If I were the murderer, do you think it’d be smart for me to just go and interrogate someone, using their slightly suspicious actions as my weapons, when I know in my head that they’re not the murderer at all?”

The other guest had no reply for the interrogator other than a dirty look.

The interrogator, breathing heavily, closed their eyes for a moment. Then they softened. “I’m sorry to have been so harsh on you,” they said. “I am. But, I have this theory, and I’m almost certain it’s correct…”

“It’s not.” The other shook their head. “It’s not.”

The interrogator sighed. “If that is true I’m sorry to have done this to you. But I’m not done… yet.”

With that the interrogator turned and left, walking down the hall like nothing had happened at all. 

~~~~~

Nihil looked around the dining table with interest. Catsquill had started a game of Truth or Dare, and Devin, Darkking, Reese, and Bean were all playing with him. Most of those who weren't participating were watching and listening, though Nymph was stubbornly pretending like she wasn't. Catsquill cleared his throat loudly.

"Darkking," he asked, "Truth or Dare?"

"Dare," came the reply from a smirking DK. Catsquill looked around for some kind of inspiration as the other guests watched with anticipation.

"Darkking... I dare you... to... hmm." Catsquill searched the table, his eyes landing on a giant bowl full of pudding. "Aha. I dare you to eat this entire thing of pudding-" he presented the bowl to Darkking- "Using only your face." Nihil, as well as many of the others, scrunched up her face in disgust. Darkking, however, had a grin slowly creeping up on his face, running over his lips like a trickle of water.

"Challenge 100% accepted," he proclaimed. Catsquill laughed and reached over the table to steal DK's utensils.

"Mor, make sure his hands are behind his back!" Catsquill hooted. "Face only!"

Catsquill was going to do a countdown, but before he could begin, Darkking dove right into the pudding, smashing his entire face into it.

"That is so disgusting!" Alex shrieked. Devin laughed so hard he nearly fell out of his chair. Nihil looked away, shaking her head. Porcelain's friends could be so strange sometimes.

Darkking emerged from his bowl of pudding with his face completely covered, his eyes pinched shut. He licked his lips and grinned before diving back in. Mor was shouting something unintelligible at her CBer. Devin had started chanting something; nobody had joined in, but he didn't seem to care. It was an outburst of chaos that Magicae Palace hadn't seen in a long time. A crazy kind of fun that the game of mass tag and the chase between Darkking and Reese over the mustard popcorn had generated. A few of the AEs weren't enjoying the craziness (namely Nymph, Alex, Estrella and Far), but it did good for most everyone. So, in multiple ways, Simul picked a bad time to re-enter the dining room.

Her ears were attacked with lots of shouts, but that was nothing compared to the assault on her eyes. Many of the guests were leaning over the table, pumping their fists, and clapping, not caring about the rest of the food on the table. The room slowly went quiet as they all realized that Simul was back.

The guests watched her anxiously. Alex began thinking about an excuse in her head about what had happened. To the confusion of many, however, Simul didn't seem to be getting angry. In fact, far from being upset, she was almost delighted and felt a desire to join in the fun. They all watched in confusion as a grin seeped to the corners of her mouth. Darkking was facing the opposite wall and, Simul couldn't see his face. He sat very still, biting his lip to keep from bursting out laughing.

"I'm sorry to interrupt your fun," Simul said, "But I have an announcement to make.

"Starting tomorrow morning, we're going to have two magic lessons per day. One after breakfast and one after lunch. It'll be good just for some extra practice. We want you to reach your full potential with your magic!"

Simul beamed at the guests. Some of them looked like they wanted to laugh. Others looked relieved for her distraction from the craziness that had been taking place. There was an awkward pause.

"Okee dokee, then. I'll leave you to it." Simul left with a flourish. Immediately, the room erupted with laughter.

"HAHAHAHAA!!!" Devin shouted. "Did you see her face? I thought for sure she'd stick her face in some food too!!" Reese was laughing so hard tears leaked out of the corners of her eyes. Marigold was shaking her head, but she couldn't hide her smile. Someone threw a napkin on DK's head. He laughed and threw it back. There was a flurry of people throwing random things at each other, during which Nymph got up and left without eating much of anything.

Eventually, after many minutes of shouting and a brief food fight, Darkking had cleaned out the entire bowl. He looked like he might throw up, and Mor was giving him a very concerned look. Many of them missed the fun once it had finished- they had forgotten why they had come to Magicae Palace in the first place; to learn magic and have a good time. Now, it looked like they were finally succeeding at both, what with the extra magic lessons coming up. Right then, the Mystery wasn't invading Marigold's, AW's, or even the murderer's thoughts at that moment. In an unexpected but wholly welcome turn, the guests were having fun as they should, and the ski lodge was at peace. 

submitted by TOP Stoicheio
(August 18, 2020 - 2:41 pm)
submitted by Luna-Top!
(August 18, 2020 - 2:45 pm)

Oh my gosh! WHY does this keep sinking?

TOP! 

submitted by Luna-Top!
(August 23, 2020 - 6:19 pm)

Top~

I'm sorry, I'm so behind, in my writings I'm past halfway through day 10...

Day nine part one

Wren rubbed at her eyes and looked out of the window. Fluffy clouds had gathered at the horizon, peeking out over the tops of the trees. She stared at the picturesque scene for a moment before getting out of bed. Far and Marigold's beds were both empty, presumably because they were both at breakfast. Wren got ready for the day and headed downstairs.

As she was buttering a piece of toast, she looked around her. She saw Marigold chatting with Caspian, Nihil silently eating fruit, Darkking laughing with Mor and Reese... but no Far.

"Hey, um, had anyone seen Far this morning? It's just that his bed was empty and I'm not sure where he is." Wren bit back the panic that threatened to creep up in her voice.

"He was gone before I woke up," Marigold said.

"I was the first one down," Estrella stated quietly. "I didn't see him." Wren's gut twisted horribly. Devin's eyes darted around the table.

"I'll look for him," Catsquill announced, jumping up from the table and leaving the dining room swiftly. Bean put a hand on Wren's shoulder.  She took a deep, shuddering breath, fearing the news Catsquill's return might bring.

Sure enough, Catsquill found Far near a library with a poison dart lodged in his back. There wasn't a trap nearby, so he assumed the murderer had done it themselves. He sighed deeply, knowing it would have to be his duty to bring the news to Wren, Devin and the rest. He walked back down the stairs with a heavy heart weighing him down.

~~~~~

Aqua was wringing his hands, waiting in the Water classroom for his students. He hoped the new morning classes wouldn't be hard to adjust to.

Marigold entered the classroom quietly. "Far's dead," she whispered.

Aqua took in a sharp breath. Far had been doing so well...

"I told Wren she didn't have to come to lessons this morning, but she might anyways," Marigold continued. Aqua nodded. His expression was almost mournful.

Sure enough, just as Aqua was coaching Marigold on how to better control the sphere of water she had produced, Wren slipped in the room with a small creak of the door. Her eyes were red and puffy. Aqua tried to look away and give her some privacy, but Marigold was more concerned with asking how she was doing. Wren mumbled her response and looked at the ground. Marigold took the signal and left her alone. Wren was grateful not to be bothered, but that left her with her thoughts of Far...

For Aqua it was almost frightening to realize that he only had two students left, one of whom was grieving her brother (and her CBer!), the other having lost an AE. He suddenly felt so bad for his students- and not just his own, but he companions' students, all of the guests. There was not one person who hadn't lost someone important to them, not one. In his melancholy thoughts, Aqua forgot he was supposed to be coaching Marigold, and had to be brought back to Earth by the sound of her voice.

"Aqua? Are you okay?"

"Oh- um, yes, I was just... er, no, I'm fine," Aqua replied falteringly. Marigold opened her mouth like she wanted to say something else, but then shut it and tried to re-focus on her magic.

The other magic students were doing better than Marigold and Wren, though they were still showing the signs of being distracted- they had just gotten the news of Far's death, after all, and they were adjusting to the new morning magic lessons. Ingus was warming up to the idea of the extra lessons. If her students' skills improved from more practice, she'd find herself less annoyed- even though Devin and Mor were her only students. Caeli was giving an encouraging smile to Nihil, Porcelain, Winter, Reese, and Nymph, all of whom were blowing gusts of air around themselves.  Alex and Bean were the only ones left in Life, but both were doing very well, getting vines to grow along the walls. Terra was being faced with a slightly sick Darkking, but around him Estrella, Castquill and Caspian were quaking the floor with their combined power. All in all, the new morning lesson was proving to be very effective.

Reese left magic lessons feeling energized. She had a fun time with Winter and Nihil in air lessons, and now she was ready for some excitement. She wasn't sure what form that excitement might be able to come in, but she wasn't picky. As long as it wasn't boring like almost all of the days leading up to yesterday had been. She already missed the excitement of the game of truth or dare that lead to Darkking being covered in pudding. A crazy smile crept up on her face just thinking about it.

"Win!" Reese called to her CBer as soon as she saw her. "Can we do something fun today? Please??"

"Well..." Win half-smiled at her AE, considering how she could fit in to her plans for the day. "I was just going to go to Marigold and see if she was ready to search the castle for some other clues. Is that fun enough for you?

"Maaaaaybe," Reese said, hatching a plan of her own. "Could someone else come with us?"

The question surprised AW. But the more she thought about it, the more it made sense to get someone else on board with their discoveries. But she didn't know who to trust. Anyone else could be the murderer, and they could kill them the instant they got wind of what they were doing.

"I'll have to check with Marigold first and see if she's okay with that," AW replied finally. "Who did you have in mind?"

"Porcelain?" Reese suggested. "She's friends with all of us, anyways."

AW nodded along. "Okay. Should we go find Marigold together?"

"Alright!" Reese said, now getting excited. She tagged along behind her CBer, smiling widely. 

submitted by Day nine part one
(August 23, 2020 - 6:21 pm)

Fun fact, when I click on the Name box, the name "TOP Stoicheio" appears before my regular topping name.

Here's day nine, part two:

Nihil and Mor, the two CAPTCHAs of the group, were sitting in giant bean bag chairs, watching A League of Their Own. Nihil had found it buried under some books, and they decided to watch it. Mor seemed to really be enjoying it. Nihil kept her thoughts to herself, though she was also liking it.

They were both slightly startled by a knock on the door, but it was only Bean. "Ooh, A League of Their Own?"

Nihl nodded in response, and Bean smiled. "Awesome. I've always loved this movie. Could I watch with you?"

"Offf curse!" Mor replied. Bean leapt forward and sat cross-legged beside Nihil's bean bag. Picking the remote up, Bean turned up the volume- her favorite part was coming up.

Nymph, lurking around the hallway outside, heard someone shout, "There's no crying in baseball!" and the sound of Bean, Nihil and Mor laughing. For some reason, Nymph was suddenly reminded of Sea Glass. She stopped short and stood very still. Then, after a few confused seconds, she shifted into a small bird and flew away out an open window.

~~~~~

Marigold was humming a tune from some musical when Agent Winter and Reese approached her. Reese was grinning widely.

"What are you up to?" Marigold asked, suspecting Reese was hiding something.

"Can Porcelain come with us today to search the castle? Please?" Reese burst out. "I don't wanna do it just the three of us!"

Marigold almost wanted to laugh. Reese's enthusiasm was comical. And she had thought Reese had planted a big prank or something. She never would have expected that Reese would be all this excited to go look for some clues around the castle with Porcelain.

"Okay, um." Marigold was stumped about what to do with this proposition. "The thing is that she could still be... the murderer. I mean, I don't want to accuse her, I really don't, but it's just a possibility we have to consider, and if the murderer got wind of what we were doing..."

She trailed off, but Winter and Reese both knew how to fill in the blank. "Well, we could come up with some kind of work-around," AW suggested. "Like, even if she was the murderer, we could find a way to make sure that our hunt for these clues could still go on."

"Yeah... yeah. I like that," Marigold murmured. "The question is, how do we go about doing it..."

Marigold furrowed her brow. Reese paced around in the little space they had met in. AW was sure there was a good solution...

After a pause that lasted a few minutes, Marigold snapped her fingers. "This may seem counter-intuitive, but what if we brought two different people into this? That way if one of them really was the murderer, there would still be someone else around to know what we did."

"How could we prevent them from knowing about each other, though?" AW wondered. "Like, even if we took Porcelain as well as someone else with us, we would still be telling them at the same time, and if one of them was the murderer, they would still know that the other one had all this knowledge as well."

"But we don't have to tell them at the same time," Reese pointed out. "Like, we could take Porcelain with us now, then later today we could pick someone else who we could clue-hunt with. Then even if Porcelain doesn't have ALL the clues the second person does, she'll still be able to continue!"

"Wow... that actually sounds... really, really, good! Great job, Reese!" AW cried, giving her AE a high-five.

"Awesome, now that's settled," Marigold said. "Now we just have to find Porcelain. And remember, she can still say no to us." The three set off, confident in themselves and their plan, looking forward to figuring out the truth.

~~~~~

Darkking jiggled around the dice in his hand, staring down at his piece (the car). He let go of the dice and watched them roll across the board, coming to a stop at a four and a two.

"Ah," he said, jumping forward the appropriate number of spaces, "The okay-est roll possible."

"So you've made 'okay-est' into a word now?" questioned Porcelain as she scooped up the dice.

"Was it not a word before?" Darkking wondered. 

"I don't believe so," Porcelain informed him as her dice clattered onto the board. 

"That's my space," Darkking added quickly. "You owe me twelve bucks."

"I know! I was getting there!" Porcelain said. A few seconds passed in silence.

"Monopoly is really boring with only two people," Darkking announced after a few quiet seconds.

"You think so? I like it better in some ways. It's a little less exciting, but it gets to be more competitive," Porcelain reasoned.

"But I don't like the competition as much as you."

"Hmm." Porcelain shook her clasped hands. The dice jiggled around. She wasn't quite sure what to say about that.

Marigold, Win and Reese entered the room just as soon as her dice fell onto the board. They waved to Darkking and asked if they should come back later.

"I think we might be ready to stop anyways," Porcelain said, Darkking's words in the back of her head. "If that's alright with you, DK."

"Yeah, no, that'd be cool," Darkking said, getting up from the floor and brushing off his knees. "Maybe we can play later and ask someone else to join."

"Okay, well, great!" Marigold said. "Porcelain, we were just wondering if you'd like to help us with something..."

~~~~~

The murderer plastered on a smile and tried not to look suspicious. Really, their head was throbbing. They had never had a headache quite like this before. And they knew if was connected somehow to some of the other guests... they were almost certain someone was poking their nose in where it didn't belong. They had no idea what could be done about it... they'd tried distractions and so had Simul, but it felt like people were finding things out anyways...

They took a deep breath, taking a cautious glance around them. Something had to be done, but they had no idea what it could be. So, they came up with the only solution they knew: when this was done, they had to go see Simul. 

~~~Boo says "tediu" 

submitted by TOP Stoicheio
(August 24, 2020 - 7:01 am)

Wonderful! You're such a great writer, and the ski lodge keeps getting more and more interesting!

submitted by Quill
(August 25, 2020 - 1:58 pm)

Thanks, Quill! ^^

Here's day nine, part three:

"So... wait. Let me get this straight," Porcelain began. She wasn't regretting her decision to join her friends in their endeavor, but it was a lot to wrap her mind around. "First you went to the fence and that was where you first started find out all of this... 'ski lodge' and all that. Then you overheard that conversation..."

"That's its own beast. We could probably start to theorize more about it, but that's not important right now," AW said. "But what I got from it was the connection of the ski lodges to the murderer."

"Right. Okay." Porcelain nodded slowly. "Then, all three of you went to the fence again. And you found out that the ski lodges are the vacations."

"Like this one," Reese added.

"Like this one," Porcelain confirmed. "And now we're trying to figure out why there's always a murderer at these vacations?"

"Exactly," Marigold replied. "Great overview, by the way."

"Oh, thanks," Porcelain said. The four of them glanced at each other, wondering if they should say something.

At last, Marigold took a deep breath and took a look around. "Okay, well, I think that's been enough awkward standing around." Porcelain smiled just a little.

Marigold began to smile too. "Are we ready to go?"

~~~~~

The Interrogator was lying belly-up on their bed just as the three girls were discussing with Porcelain about what they had discovered. They were throwing a rubber ball at the ceiling and catching it, over and over again, and thinking about their encounters with the murderer- or at least, the one they believed to be the murderer. They sighed deeply, out of both boredom and of frustration. because of the supposed murderer's sincere pleads, they were beginning to wonder if, truly, they were the murderer after all.

But the fact was, they were too sure of themselves to let go of their theory. What had they seen that morning? They came across the person in the halls...

They had been walking the halls in search of a bathroom. They had been up very, very late, reading. Then suddenly, the Interrogator had heard a sound to their right. Panicking, they looked around themselves and found a door slightly ajar on the other side of the hallway. The interrogator dashed towards it, peeking out of the slightly open door.

They saw someone walk by holding a flashlight- someone they recognized. But... why was that person up? The interrogator held their breath as the other passed, then slowly peeked their head out of the door. Tiptoeing, they began to follow the other from afar, watching them to see where they were going. 

Up ahead, the person the interrogator had been following suddenly stopped- then the interrogator heard why. Someone, a third person, was muttering to themselves, walking through these same halls. The person up ahead hastily turned off their flashlight and ducked behind a tapestry. The interrogator followed suit.

Soon Simul rounded the corner, holding a glass in search of water to fill it with. The other moved where they were, rustling the tapestry, making Simul look back. Once she had passed, the interrogator looked ahead to find they had lost the other- their flashlight had been turned off and it was too dark to see where they had gone. Hesitantly, the Interrogator crept over to their left, where Simul had come from, to see if they could find the other that way. 

they found themselves near Simul's room and had yet to see anything... but then, was that something moving just over there? the Interrogator hid away once again and watched as a shadowy figure crept into Simul's bedroom. The interrogator couldn't see very much, but they did distinctly see that the figure was carrying a note, and when they exited Simul's room, they didn't seem to have it anymore.

And then, later on that day, they were in that room, that room where Night had died... and they heard Simul muttering to herself, about how she knew this was bound to happen, how it was horrible, and maybe she should have gone around the castle taking down the traps herself... so she knew. Simul knew where all the traps were. And the pieces of the puzzle in the interrogator's mind fell into place.

Looking back on it, the interrogator tried to see what they could look at differently, to see ways this person could be innocent, and see if they made sense...

What about those shadows they saw in different cases that night? Were they different shapes, from the one they had followed to the one that was carrying the note? But they were sure they had been the same person... right? How could it have been to different people? No, that just wasn't very possible at all, for multiple people to be at that same spot on the same night.

Then... well, what else could have happened to excuse them? the interrogator knew exactly who it was they had followed and made Simul look back when they moved. They knew there was no way Simul could have known about where every single one of the traps were... well, unless she did something weird like send out the magic instructors to find all of them, but if she had bothered to do all of that, then why wouldn't she have shared that information with all the guests?

No, the interrogator decided, their theory made the most sense with the clues they had been given. They sighed heavily and threw the rubber ball across the room, and took to staring moodily at the ceiling.

~~~~~

Just outside the interrogator's room, Nymph was prowling the hallway as a half-dragon, half-lion, not sure what to do with herself and feeling very bored. One of the other guests walked along beside her, and she nodded at them as they passed by. Nymph sighed heavily.

And then, she felt a horrible pain sear her back... a knife had entered her body from the hand of the passing guest. She sank to the floor, crying out, searching herself for a bit of strength, for one last effort...

She shifted from her powerful, mythical form to that of a small human boy, and grew still. The attacker had long since gone.

The interrogator burst open the door, having heard Nymph's cry, to find her... a little boy, not older than eight in appearance, a knife in their back. The interrogator's hand flew to their mouth. The sight of her was so horribly sad. They looked around. No-one was there.

No-one was there by Nymph. 

submitted by day nine part three
(August 28, 2020 - 7:06 am)

Day nine, part four

Nihil stood beside Porcelain, staring at the stone most recently added to the makeshift gravesite behind the castle. Nymph was gone now too. Nihil wondered what she had doing... people had hardly seen her since Sea Glass and Viola? both died... Nihil felt a stab to her gut. She thought of Nymph's final form, one that was plain and innocent, and she wondered why... surely Nymph would prefer something powerful?

Nihil sighed deeply. Her questions, she knew, would go without answer. She stepped a little closer to her CBer, who had her arms crossed and was shivering just a little. People around them began to leave. When Porcelain saw Reese and Marigold heading away, she followed them, and Nihil trailed along behind her. Together, followed by Agent Winter, the five of them trekked back to the castle. Nihil's stomach grumbled, and she followed Caspian into the dining room. Porcelain, Marigold, Reese and Winter remained in the entrance hall together. They stood silent for a moment.

"Okay, so, do you guys want to get lunch and then go to magic lessons first? I mean, I'm assuming here that we're still going to search the castle."

"Of course we're still going to search!" AW cried, much to the others' relief. No-one had really wanted to give up before it had really even begun. "But me, I don't want to search on an empty stomach at this point."

"Agreed, very much agreed," Reese shouted. With that, she sprang towards the dining room. The three others followed with a shrug. As per usual, the dining room was near silent, but the four girls seemed to be more lively than most of the group- maybe they were just anticipating what might come next. They were the first to finish, and they met back up in the entrance hall.

"We'll have to meet up right after magic lessons," Marigold concluded. "We can just come back here. I know our plan was to go during the morning, but, oh well. We'll still be going, after all, and that's what counts."

And so, they attended their magic lessons as they were supposed to. Though they were distracted, their abilities were strengthening, likely because of how long they had been practicing them at this point in the ski lodge. In the fire room that day, Devin would have set the room ablaze if not for the fire-proofing, and Nihil blew a gust or air all around the classroom, watching as it blew around her classmates' hair. Overall, it was a productive lesson.

"Now we've got our plan and our clues," Marigold said, "Now all we have to know is where we'd like to go first."

They all thought the question over, considering where they might find some hints- though they didn't know what the hints could even be. Even though they had done well in finding out what they could, they didn't have much to go off of.

"Maybe just think of... places the murderer did something significant?" AW suggested, though in her head she knew what this really meant: places people were killed. And she certainly didn't want to go poking around those places. It felt weird, and sad, and oddly disrespectful to the people who had died.

"Well, I mean, I don't see why we couldn't just go back to the fence. We did find pretty important clues there anyways," Reese brought up. But Marigold shook her head.

"I feel almost like if we keep going back to that same spot, we're sure to get discovered, or run out of clues to be given just from there, and then we won't have any more leads. You could very well be right about it being the best spot, but, I don't know. I don't have a good feeling about going there over and over again," Marigold explained. No-one argued with her on it.

"Maybe, we could just... start here, on this floor of the castle, beginning with the popcorn room, and just... go search places we know the murderer's been?" Porcelain suggested. They all agreed; it sounded like their best bet if they were to find anything. 

So, the four girls entered the dining room and slipped through into the popcorn room. A sick feeling spread through Porcelain as she looked around the room; this is where they found Leeli...

They all did hesitate for a moment before poking around the room; they were all thinking about Leeli as they looked around the room, not quite sure what they were looking for...

If this is how it is in just this one room, AW thought, How will we be able to do the same with all the other places we go?

She asked herself a good question; they were all feeling unfocused, a little awkward, and fairly lost; what were they looking for, after all? With the fence, all they had to do was approach it, and suddenly things would be revealed to them... how on Earth could they know what, if anything, in the popcorn room would do the same for them, and how would it just... happen?

Eventually, they did give up on the popcorn room, deciding it didn't hold whatever secrets they were looking for. They moved on through a hallway near the Fire room, trying to remember which rooms nearby held some significance with the murderer.

They wandered around the castle for a long time like that, making suggestions of where they could explore, each time more unlikely to behold anything important, until they eventually were worn out and didn't have much hope of finding anything, at least not in the way they were going about it.

AW sighed with frustration and sat on a couch in a lounge room they had stopped in to regroup and form new ideas. "I feel like there has to be a better way we could do this," she said.

"Me too," Porcelain said. "I mean, obviously there is more to find, we just maybe aren't looking correctly. It's like we have a map telling us how to get to where we want to go, but we're... holding it upside-down or something."

"Great simile," Marigold commented

"Thanks," Porcelain replied through a smile.

"Bruh. It's not like similes are going to get us anywhere," Reese complained.

"I have a pretty good simile in mind for you," Agent Winter retorted, "But there are words in it I wouldn't like to utter."

"Calm down, you two. We'll figure this out, I promise," Marigold soothed them.

"I do feel like we've run out of steam for now," Porcelain admitted, "But we'll do more, I'm sure. You've got me sort of hooked now; I know what's going on now and I don't think I can go back."

They all did conclude that they could stop for that moment. AW was disappointed not to have found anything, but Porcelain was growing excited. She couldn't wait to see what may come next in their hunt for secrets.

submitted by day nine part four
(September 2, 2020 - 1:35 pm)
submitted by TOP Stoicheio
(September 2, 2020 - 1:36 pm)

Day nine part five

(TOP!)

Simul was twirling about her room, humming something to herself- possibly a song she had tried (and failed) to write. She had on a t-shirt boasting the name of some obscure band from the eighties, and her long, rainbow hair was tied back with a scrunchie. She wasn’t expecting anyone to come and try to talk to her, much less about something important and possibly life-altering, so that's exactly what happened.

There was a knock on the door. Simul whipped around and examined her door. She had learned how to tell certain knocks apart; she thought that she recognized this one. Her eyes darted from left to right, and she hesitated for a moment before pulling the door open.

“Finally, I thought you had managed to get lost in your own room- what the heck are you wearing?” The murderer spat. They were irritated, and Simul could tell it wasn’t truly at her. She did have a theory on what they might have come to talk about…

“Just come on,” she said wearily, waving the murderer in. They stepped inside and Simul shut the door behind them. The two turned and faced each other, and stood silent for a moment.

“Are you going to ask what I’m here about?” the murderer asked harshly.

“No,” Simul replied simply.

“Oh really? And why, might I ask? Because I suggested it?”

“For one,” Simul began, “I think I already know why, and for two, that sounds like work I don’t really wanna do.”

Simul almost smiled at the annoyance that showed on the murderer’s face, but then she remembered what they were going through and what they had to do, and she turned serious.

“Sorry,” she said hastily, “Uh, what are you here about? I’m interested to know.”

The murderer shook their head. “You can’t fake it now. We do both know it, after all; something went wrong. Again.”

Simul knew it was true, but she didn’t want to admit it; that things were still at risk despite their precautions, and also that the murderer was right. 

“Yeah,” she said eventually. “Yeah, it’s true. This morning I thought my head was going to explode.”

“Me too,” the murderer sighed. “I’m just.. frustrated. There’s no way we can stop them from figuring all this stuff out, but I gave myself hope that I could. I tried, Simul,” they said, and finally Simul saw into what they were really feeling: desperation, mixed with hopelessness, and grief, for everyone they never wanted to hurt, and did. Simul felt horrible for them.

“I know,” was all she said in reply. “I know.” The two went silent, but they both knew there was much to be discussed.

“So,” Simul began awkwardly.

“So,” the murderer echoed. “So… what? Do you think there’s anything to be done? And how can we know… what they know... whoever they are?”

“I don’t know, do some eavesdropping,” Simul suggested lamely, not knowing if she meant it or not.

“Yeah, okay,” the murderer said sarcastically, “I’ll just spy on… random people… hey, wait, that idea isn't half-bad.”

Simul rolled her eyes. “Of course it isn’t,” she said, “I came up with it.”

The murderer gave a look she knew to mean, “Shut up now.” Which she did. “How humble you are,” the murderer said. Simul felt her cheeks go red, just a little. She guessed the murderer had been practicing their guilt-tripping skill.

“Whatever. Is that it, is that your plan now? Spy on people and hope you can tell who’s in on this stuff and who isn’t?” Simul asked, now irritated.

“I suppose. Unless you have any better ideas,” the murderer mumbled. Their mood kept changing, and quickly- one second cool and powerful, hopeless the next. Simul wasn’t sure what to make of it.

“I don’t,” she replied shortly. With that, the murderer nodded at her curtly and made for the door. They didn’t say anything else to her before leaving.

~~~~~

Porcelain went off to play her promised game of Monopoly, this time with a number of other people along with Darkking. Alex was off reading again, Wren was writing in a journal, Caspian was strolling the halls and humming to himself, and Marigold, AW and Reese were off trying to find Bean, the one they thought might try to discover some secrets with them. She was bright and able to keep secrets, and as Reese tried to convince them, “She’s too sweet to ever hurt us anyways.” Marigold reminded them to be wary anyways. They all knew they had to be now.

They found her strumming on her guitar in the life room, and she was glad for something to do; little did she know what she was investing her time into. They warned her of the dangers before telling her all they knew. Instantly, she was intrigued. She couldn’t believe there could be a mystery like this hiding under all of their noses, other than that of the murderer… and, despite the risks they had described, Bean was certain she wanted to join Marigold, Reese and Win in their hunt.

“It’s set, then,” Win said brightly. “Marigold, where do you think we should go this time? Or do you think the fence is now looking like our best bet?”

“No, I think you’re right,” she sighed. “The fence is what gave us answers multiple times. I’m sure it could have more, I just don’t know what we’ll do after it’s given us all that it can.”

“We’ll figure it out, I’m sure,” Reese assured them. “We’ve gotten this far, right? Sooo, can we go now? Are you ready? I am. I am extremely ready.”

“For that, I might make you wait,” AW replied with a roll of her eyes. Bean giggled.

“Alright, yes, let’s head out,” Marigold said. Nobody was sure when she began to be unofficially in charge, but she fit the roll well, and nobody found a reason to question it.

Once again, the girls found themselves bounding down flights of stairs out towards the lawn and through the paths of the forest. AW noticed something new every time she went through; the sights, the sound, the smell. She was glad to be able to appreciate what was around her even when they were on such a mission.

They arrived at the fence minutes later. As they had done the day before, the group looked around at each other uncertainly, though this time they knew exactly what they had to do.

“Does anybody else want the honor this time? I’ve done it twice already,” AW offered.

“I think one of you should do it. You know about this stuff better than I do, I’m sure, and I wouldn’t know what exactly to… do,” Bean said.

“Let Marigold do it,” Win decided. “I trust her more with it than I trust Reese.”

“Awww…” Reese whined as Marigold stepped slowly forward.

She had been confident in herself beforehand, but now that she was stepping towards the fence, she wasn't totally sure of herself anymore. The fence, though only about a foot taller than her, looked to be so intimidating, towering above her...

Marigold took a deep breath and focused her thoughts on what she wanted to know- but what was that? Marigold closed her eyes and rested her fingers in the wires of the fence.

Just as it had with AW, the fence filled Marigold with unease, yet also an odd sensation that almost felt... powerful. Like there was so much more at her fingertips than she had ever known.

She forced herself to take deep, steady breaths, trying to channel all the thoughts that were rushing around her. She wanted to know. She wanted to know. There were so many things she wanted to know, and she felt them all around her. Marigold opened her eyes and gazed at the fence inches from her eyes. There was so much beyond what it had to tell her.

Beyond.

That was the answer.

"Guys," Marigold said, trying to keep her voice steady and not daring to tear her eyes away from the fence, "We're going to have to climb over the fence." 

submitted by TOP Stoicheio
(September 8, 2020 - 6:58 am)

Oh, I'm going clue hunting! And apparently over the fence.

Be careful! Alright, so from the murderer's conversation with Simul, I'm reasonably certain that Porcelain, Marigold, AW, or Reese can't be the murderer. The murderer didn't know who was figuring stuff out, so it couldn't be one of the clue hunters. And along those lines, it probably isn't Bean, because she's in on it now.

Thank goodness for that. 

submitted by Quill
(September 9, 2020 - 4:10 pm)
submitted by Top!
(September 14, 2020 - 1:59 pm)