Stone Gaze [intro]

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Stone Gaze [intro]

Post by Hollis Brown on Sun Nov 01, 2015 1:12 pm

On the first of November, as she was leaving for work, Dr. Nora Green passed by the well and saw a white sign leaning against the base of the well. She parked black Honda Civic near the center of the large cul-de-sac and stepped out into this morning’s cold November air.

When she read the sign, she covered her mouth with her hands and took a few steps back. She quickly looked around, determined no one was nearby, and slid her phone out from the inside pocket of her white doctor’s coat.

Her voice rose and quickened in pace as she explained to the sheriff what she had seen. By this time, her back was turned toward the well. While she averted her eyes, the inside of the well was glowing red. This light shone for a short radius, making the white sign appear a shade of pink.

The sign reads, in red lettering:

“LEST FOR MY DARING PERSEPHONE THE DREAD,
 FROM HADES SHOULD SEND UP AN AWFUL MONSTER’S GRISLY HEAD.
 ANOTHER FLEETING WISH, ANOTHER HAS SEEN HER LAST DAYS,
 AT THE BOTTOM ANOTHER VICTIM, ANOTHER WITH THE STONE GAZE”


* * * * * * * * * * * * * *


This time they victim was easy to identify. When the sheriff and his deputy went down to investigate the bottom of the well, the sight was enough to cause the deputy to turn and vomit. They both knew immediately who it was. It was impossible to deny it, unreal as it seemed.

Brandy Smith was the first one to be informed. She had a right to know.
The paper’s headline was to the point: “JENNY SMITH NEXT VICTIM IN WELL MURDERS.”

Brandy took the photo of the well, which still had the original crime scene tape around it, that was directly under the header. Brandy wrote the article about the discovery that had just occurred, and she also interviewed herself on the spot.

For the first few days after, it was hard to find Brandy. People did not look for her, either. The town was solemn. The police were searching for more witnesses, but again, there was nothing to report. The Stakeford Tribune continued to report on the latest, but they were scraping the bottom of the barrel. Instead of news, the paper became a cathartic means of recycling grief, as new voices gave clarity to the same perspective. Even the most cynical townsfolks, the ones who managed to dismiss the murder of an unknown prostitute, were struck with grief and fear. Jenny had been one of them.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Mayor James Douglas called for a town meeting to discuss the recent town events.

The meeting was to take place outside, in the “well” district. However, the day they had planned the event, November 3rd, did not cooperate. As if to drive the knife in deeper, Stakeford had seen nothing but rain the first and second, and the third day of the month brought a heavy downpour.

The town meeting still occurred, inside the old courthouse. Most of the town was there. The event had been staged as a means of sharing information about the case, but due to the lack of new information, it turned into a collective mourning. Friends and family of Jenny Smith shared stories of their lost companion.

Notably absent from the town meeting was Brandy. Far away from the courthouse, the sister was at the river, holding an umbrella with her right hand as she sat on an orange beach towel.

Across from her, the woman in the pink dress and pink hat rowed her canoe along the river. Brandy watched her with distant eyes. The woman in pink turned her face toward Brandy. She was humming a song that Brandy could have sworn she had heard before, but she just could not place where. The woman was smiling. She waved at Brandy.

Brandy lifted her left hand and, with some hidden effort, made a partial wave.
The woman rowing along the river stopped whistling suddenly. She called toward Brandy, in a voice that cut through the heavy rain, “You have to stay! You have to stay! You have to stay!”

Brandy dropped her left hand. She grasped at the orange beach towel and squeezed it gently.

“I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry!”

The woman was soon out of sight. Just when Brandy stopped looking toward her, when she was no longer in view, the woman’s whistling traveled back to Brandy.

“I have to stay?” Brandy looks at her left hand, which is clenched into a fist. “And Jenny…? Why didn’t she have to stay?”

She bows her head and wraps her left arm around her knees. She pulls her legs in and cries on her knees, such that her muffled cries cannot be heard over the pouring rain.
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Re: Stone Gaze [intro]

Post by Hollis Brown on Mon Nov 30, 2015 1:04 pm

Julee’s Bar – (11/30, 11:50pm)


Oricle Older points across the table and says, slowly and in a deep voice, “Oricle Younger.”

Oricle Younger points across the tables and says, slowly and in a deep voice, “Oricle Older.”

The two look at each other for about 15 seconds in total silence. Oricle Younger suddenly points toward the band, frozen in time, and says, "Crank up that radio." He turns and looks at Oricle Older. "Let me tell y’all a story.”

Oricle Older holds the gaze. He pulls out from an inside pocket of his brown leather jacket a dark gray cup, identical in appearance to the one Oricle Younger has. Each holds his cup slightly over the table and shakes it.

Oricle Older gestures toward the others in the bar with his free hand and says, “Them coming from all around, flyin’ down that wide highway--”

“Coming like crowds, like never before!” Oricle Younger interrupts, excitedly.

Oricle Older nods and raises his cup. “Her being the one they can’t wait to see--”

Oricle Younger raises his cup. “Every night they come to dream of her.”

They take their hands off the top of their cups and thrust the cups forward. From each cup a die rattles onto the table—from Oricle Younger’s cup, a blue die, and from Oricle Older’s cup, a red die.

The die land near the center of the table. Instead of numbers already on the die, when they land, a word slowly materializes on the face-up surface that, just before, was blank. The two men look at the results:


Neither man shows a reaction on his face.

Oricle Older says, quietly, “Star dream girl.”

Oricle Younger nods. “Every night they come...”

Oricle Older looks up from the dice and back at the man across from him.

Oricle Younger looks up as well and repeats solemnly, “To dream of her.”

The two men are gone in a split second. They disappear suddenly, with no flash or pomp. The bar returns to life. The music begins to play again, and people in the bar are moving and talking like usual.

Mil Bradley is humming while he cleans a glass.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * *


The red die signifies who will die at midnight, when this month transitions into the next. The victim’s head will be at the bottom of the town well, and the body will not be discovered.


The blue die signifies who will receive a dream on the last day of the next month. In this dream, the blue die dreamer will have an opportunity to prevent the next death. The blue die dreamer will pronounce the name of the person he or she wishes to protect. If the person he or she wants to protect turns out to be the red die victim, the blue die dreamer will save him or her. However, if the person the blue die dreamer selects is not the red die victim, then not only will the red die victim still die, but the person the blue die dreamer tries to protect will suffer imminent, great misfortune. Because of this risk, the blue die dreamer can opt to not attempt to protect anyone. In that event, the red die victim will certainly die, but there is no chance that anyone else will face additional misfortune.
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