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Weston Norse

Coffee and cigarettes; the diet of any good underpaid, overworked, sleep deprived servant of the people. Unless you were pushing 35 with high blood pressure and a smoker’s cough. For Detective Weston Norse, it was now nicorettes and caffeine patches. At least until the headaches stopped. Reality check: caffeine addiction is a real thing.

Goddamn, you go to the doctor for a cough and suddenly you’ve got to change your whole f-cking lifestyle. This is why he never went.

Anyone who had been around someone in the process of kicking their smoking habit could see the agitation from miles away, nevermind dropping a caffeine dependency at the same time. Behind the wheel of his ‘68 Shelby, Wes was all white knuckles and clenched jaw. He drove a bit too fast on the winding backcountry roads, braked a little too aggressively at the 4-way stops. Six times now he’d caught himself reaching for the cigarettes that weren’t in his pocket.

He already had a love-hate relationship with his job, but today it was all hate.

There had been a string of disappearances in New Orleans over the past few months; not that people disappearing was out of the ordinary in the Big Easy. There had just been an alarming increase, and the police hadn’t been able to get on top of it. There weren’t even any bodies turning up to pull leads from.

Having been serving in the line of duty for as many years as he had, Wes had cultivated a careful emotional detachment from his work. It was vital for survival in his field; the men and women who weren’t able to distance themselves from the work would inevitably wash out. However, with call after call from terrified parents, wives, and husbands piling up with zero results; it was impossible even for him to not get frustrated.

Wes was en route to a potential lead on one of the missing person cases; the car of the woman in question had been found not two miles from the only residence within the area. Today, he was knocking on doors.

The residence - if it could be called that - was one of those massive old plantation homes. Really, these places gave him the creeps. Sure, they were beautiful and picturesque, but the history… who knew how many unmarked graves lay in those fields?

He drove along the long, tree-lined entry to the plantation and parked near another vehicle. Someone was home. Engine cut, sunglasses on, he stepped out of the old blue Ford and shut the door behind him, surveying the property before heading up to the front door.

As a detective, he didn’t wear a uniform. Uniforms set people off. Made them nervous, unwilling to talk. Suits did much the same thing, he’d found, so he avoided the formality of a suit jacket and tie. He wore charcoal slacks and a blue button up, but ditched the tie and toned it down with a brown racer jacket that hid the shoulder holster carrying his gun. However, try as he might, he would never pass as a harmless narc. A history of military service was clear in the loose confidence of his gait and the keen sweep of his eyes. He knew how to handle himself.

A series of knocks on the front door garnered no response. After a short wait, he walked around the side of the building on the chance someone might be outside. He saw no one, although he did pick up the sound of music coming from a cabin some distance from the main house.

Thinking perhaps it was some kind of workshop, Wes made his way toward the cabin and knocked on the door.
January 07, 2018 11:39 pm

Quinn Abernathy

Just outside the busy city of New Orleans, an old plantation house sits that hides not one, but two crews. A Sanctuary, and a Coven. Quinn never felt quite right about the latter, but she is a proud member of the former. She is also, as the case would be, a figurehead of her husband's cult. Rather, his father's. Thusly, her time at the Sanctuary was limited, at best.

The cult wore her down, though she never would let on. It made her feel empty, and scared, all the time. She has to remain strong for the sake of her husband, Gideon. He'd always warned her that he is mentally unstable, and she never really saw it until recently. She needed a break from the tension, and while she couldn't go far, she could go back to the start.

So, a tiny ways from the main house, she goes to the home away from home. Three tiny cabins, something closer to huts. The first was hers, before she moved into the second that belonged to Gideon. The third, across from their own, a single small building that houses a simple, charming kitchen and small, solid table that seats four. Quinn wanted something for more than just them, despite their will to be left to their own devices.

The radio blares an oldies station, the current selection being Suzie Q. Without shame, Quinn sings along as she moves around the kitchen. Oldies are her favorite. Her father always played them, and she found them comforting and fun. She wishes Gideon were with her, rather than back at the compound. She also recognizes that if they had both left, they never would have returned. Her resolve falters every day, but the threat is so real.

No matter where she goes, neither of them are ever safe, no matter having been set free to live her life. Quinn dug herself a grave, and her resting place would be beside Gideon. Zero regrets.

She'd stopped at the store on the way here, buying up more food than she could ever hope to eat herself. The rest would be smuggled into the Abernathy house to share with Gideon. Burgers, fries, potato chips, s'mores. Right now, Quinn is making the ultimate comfort foods: fried pizza rolls.

A small army of them.

She'd been in her own blissful world, singing into a wooden spoon as if it were the one for the money and cooking, when the knock comes upon the screen door. Blond hair sweeps back as she glances over her shoulder, noting the tall form of a strange man. The singing ceases, and Quinn turns the heat down on the stove before approaching with a cautious yet pleasant step.

"Hello," she greets him. He does not look at all familiar, between the compound or the rest of the world. That leaves one last option.

"Are you looking for Ella? If she's home, she's usually at the big house." Pushing the door open, she leans into the frame, "She might be napping though. She's kind of a night owl."
January 08, 2018 08:32 pm

Weston Norse

He easily caught the scent of something cheesy and tomatoey cooking from inside the little hut, and quickly realized that it was probably more of an odd residence than a workshop. His index finger tapped mindlessly upon his leg to the beat of the rockabilly tune playing from within, although his attention returned when the sound of light footsteps reached the door. It opened to reveal a pretty blonde; she spoke to him through the screen door, directing him on how to find ‘Ella’.

Offering a cordial, professional sort of smile, he shook his head. “Actually no, I’m not looking for Ella.” He removed his sunglasses and tucked them into the neck of his shirt. “But hopefully you can still help me out. I’m looking for a woman named Sandy Boyd. Her car was found a few miles down the road from here.” He reached into his pocket for the picture he’d shown well over a dozen people in the last few days, holding it out for the woman to inspect. The girl in the photo was young, no more than nineteen, with dark brown hair and smiling green eyes. She was hugging a grumpy looking bulldog in her lap.

“She’s been missing for five days. Have you ever seen her around here?”
January 13, 2018 09:42 pm

Quinn Abernathy

'Actually no, I'm not looking for Ella.'

A small frown appears as she tilts her head in confusion. What could this possibly be? Has she been followed? A panic, well hidden behind a well crafted mask, begins to build up.

She's in trouble. She knows it. This is it. She did something bad, and now she is going to get in trouble. He must be a friend of John's. And now he is going to force his way in and drag her out, back to the compound, to pay the price for her blasphemy. Is Gideon okay? Is he still there? Is he alive?

'...woman named Sandy Boyd. Her car was found...'

Quinn blinks, focus returning as she finds herself watching him reach into his pocket to procure a photograph. Chocolate hues lock onto the picture, and a second later she opens the door fully to do away with the barrier and have a better look. "I don't really know many people in New Orleans..." she explains quietly, "I see a lot of people out here, when I'm here. Ella has friends over often enough."

Not once does it occur to her that this could be a something.

Raising her gaze to Weston's, she shakes her head gently. "I'm really sorry, but I can't say for sure."

There is a telltale sizzle from behind her that demands her attention. "...Oh, no..." Eyebrows lifting, she looks over her shoulder to see the threat of burnt food and rushes to it's aide, doing her best to stop it from meeting an untimely end. Calling over her shoulder as she makes her epic save, Quinn makes her nature clear, "Sorry! I'm happy to answer anything I can. You're welcome to come in."
January 13, 2018 10:01 pm

Weston Norse

Perhaps it was the jittery aggravation from weaning himself off his favorite vices, but Wes absolutely missed the woman’s moment of terror. He was usually pretty good at seeing what people wanted to hide, but hey. Everyone had their off days.

He watched her face for signs of recognition as she pushed past the screen door to take a closer look at the photograph, but there was none. There was only honesty in her expression as she looked up at him and shook her head.

‘I’m really sorry, but I can’t say for sure.’

Grunting in resignation, he returned the photograph to his pocket. After weeks of roadblocks, he hadn’t really expected to find anything here.

“That’s alright. Maybe I’ll talk to your friend, Ella. Is she-..” He paused as she whipped around to the sound and scent of something burning, and he was quickly left abandoned on the doorstep as her light gait carried her quickly inside.

‘Sorry! I’m happy to answer anything I can. You’re welcome to come in.’

Although she sounded a little frantic, and really, he did have things to do, it was difficult not to be lured in by the unmistakable aroma of pizza rolls. Even burned ones. So, a little bemused, he followed behind her after a moment.

Finding her wasn’t an issue in the tiny abode, and he stood near the door as she tried to save her lunch. “Do you need a hand?”
January 14, 2018 09:20 pm

Quinn Abernathy

"No, thank you," she offers back to the man as she carefully shuffles the rolls from pan to paper towel laden plate. There is a small frown upon her face as she glances at the slight burn to a single side of each of them. Quinn has never cared for the taste of burnt food, much less the smell, but she hasn't had a treat like this in ages.

"Um, sorry. It's been a while since I had junk food. These things are like the holy grail right now." Lifting the plate, she offers him a small smile as she carries it to the table.

The abode isn't much of anything. Just a small kitchen, and a dining table. No bed. No couch. No electronics aside from the radio. It is simple, quaint, and only a piece of a beautiful picture painted months ago.

Only now does she actually look at Weston. Chewing at her lip for a moment, Quinn studies him before offering him a seat and taking one of her own at the table. He doesn't give her the feeling of being in danger, and as such, she decides to trust him - but only a little. "Um, Ella owns the property. Well. She tends the property. Her boyfriend owns it. Kind of boyfriend? I don't know what they are, really, but she's pretty enamored. They're super social, and go out at night or people come visit them. And I haven't been home very much in the past couple months. Plus, I don't stay in the main house. It's quiet out here, you know? And wow you are easy to talk to."

A quiet laugh escapes her, and she pokes at the nearest pizza roll to test it's temperature. Glancing at him, she smiles. "I'm Quinn, by the way."
January 14, 2018 10:05 pm
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