Maple Shade Timeline S1C1
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Session One: 05/25/2018
Friday, July 9, 1976
- Time in the Bookstore: While Lucas, Matthew, and Rose are hanging out in the bookstore, Natalie drops by with a sandwich and pear for Matthew.
- Natalie asks to speak with Matthew privately (Lucas steals the pear while Matthew is busy). She confides in him that she's been having awful nightmares about being trapped in a dark place that is both huge and confining, with an unnerving smell in it. She also mentions her date that night.
- Date Night: Natalie asks Carol if she can have the apartment that night for her date with a man named Sergio Cavazos, who is coming over to cook for her. Carol agrees, and Natalie promises to save some of the dinner for her. He arrives, and Carol meets him on her way out the door.
- Night at the Pub: Carol, Matthew, Lucas, Rose, Harry, and Nancy all end up at the pub for dart night. Some of the locals are also at the pub that night.
- Dylan & Lisa (Apt B02, First Floor) are there with some of their hippy friends, including a girl named Starbeam, who Lisa told all about Matthew's shop. She asks if he carries sandalwood joss sticks.
- Scott Powers (Apt A09, Third Floor) is there as well, with some of the local vets, including someone Rose recognizes: a Sergeant Haywood Mane, who served under her father on the base back in Vietnam. She greets him, and he is so happy to meet her, although a little deep in his cups, rambling a bit about how Colonel Walter King was the man who saved so many of their lives "from the real dangers over there."
- After they've been there for a while, Tom & Minnie Denly (Apt B06, Second Floor) show up, with Minnie still wearing her waitress uniform from the Italian restaurant where she works.
Session Two: 06/01/2018
Friday, July 9, 1976
- Dart Challenge: The friends are challenged to an informal dart competition by some other team's members there drinking. They accept, with Carol, Lucas, and Harry winning a round of drinks.
- Afterwards, Carol receives an unexpected drink. The waitress indicates that it's from Benjamin Pardo, down the bar, who raises his glass to her. She wanders over to chat with him for a bit, and they start getting friendly. He is clearly into her, and while she doesn't fully reciprocate, she seems to be enjoying the attention.
- Purse Snatching! Suddenly, a wild-haired homeless man (that onlookers will later identify as Ziggy Howe) who's been wandering around the bar darts forward, snatches up Carol's purse, and takes off running.
- Matthew watches after his much more athletic friends giving chase, and glances over at a spotlit portion of the sidewalk, lit by streetlamp. Standing there is a sinister figure, familiar to him in its malice. Before he can even really react, the sidewalk crowds close in on it, and when he can see past them again, the figure is gone.
- Carol and several of her friends leap up and give chase as quickly as they notice.
- Lucas and Harry get into an altercation with drunk and disorderly pedestrians that they try and shove their way through in chasing him.
- Carol missteps and injures herself badly, and Rose stops to tend to the ugly, jagged wound she opened up on her leg from the surrounding rusty garbage.
- The purse snatcher gets away with Carol's purse.
- Coming Home: Everyone heads home afterwards, their nights rather doused.
- When Carol arrives home, she surprises Natalie and Sergio. Sergio quickly covers his naked torso with a sofa pillow, while Natalie darts up, pulling closed her halfway open shirt. She gigglingly apologizes, and quickly ushers Carol off to her room, promising to give her all the details tomorrow morning.
- Early Morning Horror: In the wee hours of the morning, Carol sits up in bed, awakened from a deep sleep by some loud noise, but can't remember exactly what the noise was. As she gets up and around, she finds that the lights are out in her apartment. She stumbles into the other room, and slips on something warm and viscous. It is blood, and she screams.
- Rose is awakened by the talking of her aunties, who tell her to go back to sleep. They begin whispering that they're sure that was a scream they heard.
- Harry is smoking a middle-of-the-night cigarette out on the common terrace in front of his apartment when he the lights all wink out, and he then hears a scream from the floor below.
- Matthew is up late, insomnia and the fear of the figure he's seen keeping hold of his attention. He also hears the scream, distantly below.
- Lucas opens his eyes in a dark room, which he can't seem to find the walls of. He is dimly aware of something in the room with him, however, able to hear its low, half-snarling breathing all around him.
- In the Apartment: Checking things out, Harry, Matthew, and Rose converge on the apartment. It is a shocking sight for several of them.
- Then, Matthew closes the outside door, clicks his flashlight on, and then somehow grasps the light being emanated by the flashlight, and tosses it into a bright glowing ball of unnatural light to illuminate the room, allowing them to search better. This also is a shocking sight for those who witness it.
- Ultimately, they don't find anything, though they are on hand when the police arrive, called by the neighbors who heard the scream.
- The Police Arrive: The police arrive, splitting up Carol, Harry, Matthew, and Rose, asking them questions. They are led by Detective Guy Burgess.
- Lucas is still in the dark when suddenly a figure resolves out of the darkness. She is reaching for him with a terrified face, her naked body mangled and bloody like someone scooped a chunk out of her torso, leaving her blood-spattered. He realizes with horror that it is Natalie.
- As the cops are investigating, they all hear Lucas upstairs shouting, and a loud thump occurs. "She's upstairs!" one of the cops shouts, and several of them go running up the stairs. They kick open Lucas' door and find him still-shouting in his bedroom, having fallen out of bed and thrashing about from a bad dream.
- When he goes from a terrifying dream about a dark room to being manhandled by police, Lucas freaks out a little. They get him calmed down, and one of the cops calls into the station records, to see if he has priors. The precinct replies, and Lucas hears them relay his previous arrest record.
- However, when the other cops ask, the requesting officer tells them he's got no priors. He glances at Lucas with something like concern, but hides it quickly. He hands Lucas his card (which identifies him as Officer Oscar McMillan'), making sure he's alright, and asking him to contact him if anything else happens, or if he needs anything.
- The police end up hauling Sergio away in cuffs, he protesting his innocence and ignorance, and one of the cops snarling "You'll tell us what you did with her, you fuckin' wetback, or I'll goddamn beat it out of you, so help me God!" as they go, cracking his head against the doorframe on the way out.
Session Three: 06/15/2018
Saturday, July 10th, 1976
- The police continue to swarm the apartment, looking for clues, all the while asking everyone in the building all about Natalie.
- Carol stays with Harry and Nancy, with Harry taking a spot on the couch.
Sunday, July 11th, 1976
- Dreams & Nightmares: That morning, Harry dreams about his high school days. He is sitting in the bleachers of the high school, his senior year. Natalie, Nancy, and Carol sit side-by-side on the softball sidelines, cheering for their teammates, when Natalie glances over her shoulder, smiling back at him, and his stomach does the flip-flop that was the first time he realized that he might also have a thing for her.
- He suddenly awakens in the dark, realizing that someone is standing over him in the dark. Flipping the lamp on, though, reveals that no one is there, except there is the slight lingering of Natalie's perfume in the air.
- Terror in the Mirror: Lucas gets out of the shower and as he's toweling off, he notices Natalie's class ring in a drawer. She left it there the last time she came over, removing it to wash her hands in the bathroom and forgetting to grab it.
- As he stands there contemplating it, he can suddenly see his breath and the lights flicker in his house a little. It goes dark as it gets suddenly incredibly cold, and when the light comes back on, the bathroom mirror is frosted over, with the words WHERE AM I traced out of the frost on the glass.
- Old Fashioned Love Song: While Matthew is preparing to open up, the music he is playing on his shop's record player suddenly crackles out, replaced by a portion of Old Fashioned Love Song by Three Dog Night – Natalie's favorite song. It crackles again, and then returns to playing his normal music.
- Logistics: Carol is visited by the manager, Myrtle, who assures her that she's happy to change the locks. She also asks Carol when she is going to arrange the clean-up of the apartment - Carol is horrified to learn that it is her responsibility to take care of.
- She promptly calls her father, Buck Grayson, who is disturbed to learn what has happened. He tells her that he'll arrange for the cleaners to come in. He also promises to find out more from the police chief about the case and what they've found. He then tells her to come over for dinner, and to bring her sister (and Harry, Carol insists, and he grudgingly agrees).
- Adamant Rose: Rose talks to her mother about having a monk come out to put Natalie's ghost to rest. Her mother suggests that she's been listening too much to her grandmother and aunties, but agrees to have Aunt Holly talk to someone she knows. She suggests that they'd need to get into the place where she died – assuming she did, in fact, die – for the ritual to be efficacious.
- Rose goes to talk to Carol, asking her to let her into the apartment.
- After some high emotions, Carol agrees to let her into the apartment after they return from dinner with her father.
- Bringing the Daughters In: Lucas goes downstairs to talk to Matthew, asking him very pointed questions that reveals Lucas is experiencing weirdness. Matthew admits his own strangeness, and they decide their best plan is to call the Daughters of Portlandia.
- Evangeline answers, and agrees to come down with Noelle.
- They arrive, and spend some time discussinges the possibilities, ultimately suggesting that if they have something important to the "unrestful spirit" (the ring from Lucas' bathroom), then they might be able to summon the ghost. She sends them to get access to the apartment while she gets the others and Noelle fetches the materials she needs.
- Punk As Hell: Rose is hanging out with Shirley, and asks her to pick a lock into Carol & Natalie's apartment when Carol and her family are away at dinner. Shirley is happy to help.
- As they are listening to a new punk LP from a local band, suddenly the sound on the LP goes fuzzy and begins playing Old Fashioned Love Song, which Rose recognizes as Natalie's favorite song, but Shirley thinks was pressed on the LP as a joke. She gets upset, but Rose tells her to play it again; she does, and there is no sign of the weird, haunting song.
- Shirley is very confused, and Rose explains her suspicions, which freaks Shirley out a bit.
- Uncomfortable Conversations: Lucas and Matthew hesitantly go upstairs to also talk to Carol about apartment access. She also puts them off until after dinner.
- While they are there, Shirley and Rose pick the lock to the apartment, and then leave, Shirley to head home, and Rose to get ready and bring her family around.
- After the conversation with Carol, Lucas suggests to Matthew that they might try his extra key of Natalie's that he has. They discover the locks have been changed, but that the door is unlocked! They head out to await the arrival of the Daughters, and to fetch the ring.
- Rose's Auntie Holly, Grandma, and a monk named Diem arrive and begin to set things up (burning joss sticks, preparing ghost money, and the like).
- Meanwhile, the Daughters arrive, and Lucas and Matthew lead them to the apartment, opening the door on the King family's preparations!
- Awkwardness abounds.
- Family Dinner: Dinner with Buck is pleasant enough. Afterwards, Buck and Harry retire to the back patio for cigars, and Carol and Nancy do a little straightening up after dinner.
- Buck and Harry talk a little sports while out there, landing on opposite sides of a favorite team. Harry doesn't make much headway winning Buck over.
- Carol tells Nancy that she hates the distance between them, and Nancy is honest about some of her feelings, particularly when others do things for her, as though she were incapable. The sisters achieve some measure of peace together, making for a pleasant night.
Session Four: 06/22/2018
Sunday, July 11th, 1976
- The Ritual Proceeds: After a bit of confusing conversation, during which the monk Diem continues his chanting, Matthew, Lucas, Evangeline, and Noelle are (hesitantly) invited to sit and join the ritual already in progress.
- The ritual involves a great deal of joss-stick smoke, the burning of some "ghost money," and lots and lots of chanting.
- It goes on for so long, in fact, that Carol comes home while it's still going on.
- Always Hanging Around: As Carol gets off the elevator, she finds Jamie Sinclair lurking around her apartment.
- Jamie snidely asks about the party that's going on in her apartment, obviously aware that Carol doesn't know people are there.
- Carol tells her to go home, but asserting her right to "hang around outside," Jamie lingers while Carol opens the door.
- Who Even Are You People? In the ensuing ruckus, Rose's family are horrified to know that they're breaking and entering, Carol freaks out to find all of these strangers doing utterly weird shit in her apartment especially because they seem to be doing it thinking that Natalie is dead, and Jamie is delighted by the shouting and conflict (craning her head in from outside to get a really good vantage).
- Rose's family quickly apologize and make their exits.
- Rose, Matthew, and Lucas seem to resent Carol for being upset about finding them in her house uninvited.
- Noelle is upset at Matthew and Lucas for putting her in the position of being a black woman caught breaking into a white lady's house.
- Midnight Visitation: The night, Carol is awakened by a weird quality of light in the apartment.
- As she gets up to investigate, she finds Natalie's bedclothes are on fire!
- She extinguishes them, and thinks she sees Natalie for a moment in the swirling smoke and chemical mist.
- She finds that there is a burn mark in the shape of a feminine hand.
Monday, July 12th, 1976
- Responsibilities & Expectations: The next morning, Rose's mother Lori has a very serious talk with Rose about the possibility of getting her family in trouble with the law.
- She seems to think that Rose is acting about, missing her father.
- Trying This Again: Carol talks to the others about the burn mark, and agrees to do the ritual with the Daughters that night.
- Matthew calls, and while Evangline isn't able to make it, Noelle agrees to come back. Carol makes him promise to actually wait until the appointed time, though. No breaking in early.
- Matthew contacts the others again.
- An Old Joker: While at work that day, Harry sees a familiar face on a bike: the biker xxx, a member of the Gypsy Jokers biker gang.
- XXX comes over to chat, and talks a little about the days when Harry used to help them out.
- He mentions that they could really use some help of the same sort these days, maybe even getting things to a point where he's running his own damned shop.
- The Ritual, Take Two: This time, Noelle works a ritual inviting Natalie to make an appearance, and boy does she.
- The lights in the apartment flicker and then die again.
- Natalie appears over the ritual table, with its single lit candle. She is gore-spattered, and looks like someone has scooped the contents of her torso out, leaving an empty, gaping space.
- She shrieks in anger and grief as she appears, and everyone kinda freaks out.
- Noelle draws her attention, and she pushes with her hands, causing the flame of the candle to roar into a burst of flame. Lucas interposes himself, and his arm is burned, his clothes catching fire!
- Matthew invokes his strange light control, and it not only lights up the room, but manifests as saints' haloes around the heads of everyone there.
- Carol and Harry are caught up in the horror of what is happening, unable to believe their eyes.
- Noelle acts quickly, scooping a mason jar of blessed salt from her rootworker's bag and throwing a handful of it through the apparition. It comes apart like cotton candy in water, and she is gone.
- Carol extinguishes Lucas' arm as the lights come back on.
- Harry flees the apartment.
Session Five: 06/29/2018
- Nancy's Concerns: Harry gets upstairs and begins ranting about magic and ghosts to Nancy, who becomes very upset. She gets him up with a beer to relax him, and then puts her overcoat on over her nightgown, marching downstairs to confront her sister and the others.
- She accuses them of making fun of him or playing jokes on him, but they affirm what he saw.
- She clearly doesn't believe them, but tells them that she's worried about his state of mind!
- Further Plans: Noelle tells them that she's very sure that was a ghost...which means that Natalie is dead.
- She explains a little about ghostly anchors, and the group surmises that the apartment and Natalie's class ring are probably her anchors.
- She also explains that ghosts frequenty use their abilities to remind people of them, because that surge of memory can be harvested by the ghost to give them the spiritual power they need to perform supernatural feats.
- She also tells them that until they can identify what is unresolved for Natalie, they can't truly lay her to rest. She does surmise that given the weird circumstances of her death, she likely isn't even fully accepting that she is dead, and that solving the mystery of her death might do so.
- In the meantime, though, she advises against leaving the apartment untenanted, as ghosts strengthen their hold on places that the living don't inhabit. When asked if there is a way to protect Carol, she does mention that working a warding is possible, but they'll need to research that method.
- She does agree that it might be wise to pack up Natalie's possessions, however. They decide to do that tomorrow.
- Noelle promises to call Pomona tomorrow morning and bring 'round the books they'll need to do their research tomorrow.
- Night: Everyone goes back to their homes, except for Carol, who goes back to her dad's house to stay the night.
Tuesday, July 13th, 1976
- The Day After: Carol comes home early and sets up her typewriter, and begins working on this entire story.
- Matthew gets up to open his shop, though he's distracted all day - things keep reminding him of Natalie.
- Lucas gets up to try and start his usual day, jogging with Krypto, but he doesn't get too far before he's so aware of how horribly exposed and out in the open he is. He comes home quickly.
- Rose gets up and makes as though she's going to school, but she takes Tenille with her, and goes to work out with her SCA gear at Forest Park. (Grandma decides it must be a "take doggy to school" day.)
- Harry calls in sick to work, and languishes with a hangover. He tells Nancy that he can almost hear Natalie whispering to him. Nancy is worried and disapproving, but doesn't seem to want to talk about it.
- Preparations: Mid-morning, Matthew gets a call from Noelle, who tells him she spoke with Pomona and will be 'round with the books mid-afternoon. Calls are made in response.
- Carol calls the others to help her get Natalie's things packed up. Rose and Matthew are unavailable, but Harry and Lucas show up to help.
- In and among the things they are packing up, Lucas adds Natalie's class ring from his apartment. Harry sees him do this, however, and plucks the ring out surreptitiously, believing Natalie's voice is impelling him to do so.
- They take her things down to the building's storage space.
- Research Montage: Noelle brings by the books, and they situate them upstairs in Matthew's private library. He closes his shop early, and at 5pm everyone begins to read through the books, researching ghostly lore and the atropopaic arts.
- Harry latches onto some weird bits of misunderstood folklore, and his disaffectation for schooling interferes with his researching. He ends up in front of Matthew's TV, watching the game.
- By 1am, people are falling asleep and distracted, but they discover all manner of interesting topics for further research, as well as the method for performing a warding to keep ghosts (and other supernatural entities, as it turns out) out of an area.