[center This river is famous, just not for it’s beauty. ]
Something has always been amiss with Rosebell channel. Every year when summer comes, the water rises and so does the death toll. Perhaps the crystal cool water is too tempting in the long forgotten heat; maybe we’re just too foolish to learn our lesson. As true as those statements may ring, I really don’t think that’s it. That river sings, and its song calls for blood. Can we get to the bottom of the mystery before we wind up sleeping on the riverbed with nothing but the current for comfort?
I’m looking for someone interested in a romance laced with a bit of mystery, and who is comfortable adding to the story.
As far as the mystery goes, I know what is going on, but it is up to you whether you’d rather be in the loop or remain spoiler free for the duration of the roleplay. Though the latter will limit you during our character creation process. That being said, what I have in mind isn’t set in stone. If you have ideas please feel free to share and we can work something out.
As for characters, there is a local who is trying to figure out what is really going on, and a stranger with a secret who wants them to stay out of it. But once again, this can be changed.
Despite how the hook is written, I am looking for a third person perspective, literate roleplay. I can be quite wordy and I want someone who can keep stride with me. I will probably ask for a sample post. Feel free to pull from another one of your RPs.
I prefer to play female roles, but I am flexible and will play male on occasion. I do not have a preference for my partner’s character’s gender.
I generally stick to anime or otherwise illustrated stuff for pictures.
18+ only please. Not for content, just because I am uncomfortable writing with minors.
Not accustomed to being yelled at, Cordelia was somewhat taken aback by his initial reaction to her presence. That soon faded though and he was stumbling all over himself and into the water. She honestly hadn’t meant to startle the guy; she felt a little guilty. Perhaps she should have just left him be. This was all off to a very rough start.
[+teal “Ah, sorry.”] He apologized before she had the chance to.
Well, this was going spectacularly. Not. [+mediumaquamarine “No, no, no, I am sorry. I did not mean to frighten you…”] Quickly, she tried to rectify the situation with her own apology.
Things lightened up quite a bit from there, which the woman was grateful for. If it hadn’t she might just have ran away and there would be no recovering from that. Cordelia would never be able to show her face to him again.
As the wind blew softly, it carried his voice as he explained what it was he was trying to do. She wasn’t much of a science buff, but it was interesting when he said it. Smiling faintly, she looked at the plastic baggy of little green strips. [+mediumaquamarine “That is neat.”] The enthusiasm behind her voice was genuine, though she wasn’t sure how knowing how acidic the water was would help him to figure out what was wrong with the river. Their brains just worked differently she supposed.
As useless as she thought the task to be, she jumped at the chance to try it herself. [+mediumaquamarine “Yes, very much so.”] Her excitement only egged on by his sidelong smile.
Just as she was about to take the small scrap of paper, something in his smile changed. Then he introduced himself. Considering she was the one to approach him, Cordelia should have been the first to make introductions. Unfortunately it seemed her manners were out the window at the moment, she was too excited at finally having the chance to talk with him. Zeke, as he said his name was.
[+mediumaquamarine “Oh, yes, I am Cordelia. It is a pleasure to meet you… Zeke, that is a nice name. I like it.”] She smiled brightly, countenance matching the sunny atmosphere around them perfectly.
Taking the strip, her thin well-manicured fingers gently brushed up against his larger hand. It was barely more than a whisper of contact, but it made her nervous. The brunette still couldn’t believe she was doing this right now. Shifting around, she moved to her knees to get a little closer to the water’s edge. Zeke had mentioned it being slippery, so she did not want to look an absolute fool and fall in. From there she dunked the pH paper into the lazy moving water. The river must have been deeper here for it to go so slowly.
[+mediumaquamarine “This is how you were using it before, right?”] Cordelia had wanted to be sure that she didn’t hinder his progress further by messing up, but her face heated up as she realized she had all but admitted she had been watching him. [+mediumaquamarine “I mean, I was walking by and I think this is how I saw you doing it.”] Her attempt to not look entirely creepy fell somewhat flat with how defensive she sounded. And so she went quiet for a bit and hoped he would not think too hard on it.
After a bit, the paper changed color; it was the same shade of green as the others she had seen in the Ziploc. That meant she had probably done it correctly, which was sensational. Still, she hesitated to take it out, waiting just a touch longer before calling it good. When she was absolutely certain she had left the tester in the water for long enough, she pulled back and let the remaining water drip off and back in the channel. Cordelia passed it back to the man when it was no longer dribbling.
[+mediumaquamarine “Here you are.”] She beamed; glad to be helpful. [+mediumaquamarine “Um, you said you were going to test different spot. Would you perhaps like some help? I mean, the faster you get away from the river the better, right?”] Chuckling lightly at the superstition, but there was a hint of seriousness to her words. He really shouldn’t hang around for too long, something might happen, and if it did she would feel terrible.
pH testing was a lonely, boring business. Slip the paper in the water, wait fifteen seconds , take it out, compare the color to the chart on hand, and repeat. Zeke wanted five samples from each individual location within a twenty-foot radius of where his mother had been discovered. Needless to say, the repetitive action lost its appeal rather quickly. The young man found himself berating such fruitless efforts. It had been a full year back in town with next to nothing to show for it. His coworkers had attempted to welcome him into the fold of friends from time to time, offered him drinks or an invitation to a game night on occasion, but he voluntarily chose to keep the company of a damn river instead. What a life.
Zeke took the strip of paper out of the water and compared it to the chart. The newly changed color revealed the same results as the rest: nothing. The acidity of the water was relatively neutral, if not slightly above. The man exhaled an unenthusiastic sigh, placing the strip into a ziplock bag with the rest. A gentle breeze ruffled his dark hair, displacing a few strands and trapping them behind his glasses. Zeke took the frames off and combed a hand through his hair, forcing the strays back into their original positions. He brought the glasses down to the hem of his shirt, wiping the lenses dully as he had done countless times before. As he did so, however, he thought he saw a figure on the opposite end of the bank. It was a bit blurry, but he was certain there was something or some[i one] there. And was this mystery figure…[i staring] at him?
Zeke jammed his glasses back onto the bridge of his nose for a better look, but whatever it was had vanished. He blinked a few times. The man was not usually one to give in to fanciful things such as curious disappearing bystanders, but he was sure that something had been there. And it unnerved him. After all, it was no secret that whenever civilians poked their nose too close to the river, they were likely to run into misfortune. But then again, if there were people out to get him, he must be close to some kind of breakthrough. Zeke set back to his work.
A few moments of silence passed as he busied himself with his task. Slip, wait, take, compare, repeat. Slip, wait, take, compare, repeat. Slip, wait, take, compare, repeat. And so on. He got to his fifth strip for the location when someone chimed out behind him with a question. Despite the natural charm of the disembodied voice, Zeke had figured himself alone and he became quite startled. His heart jolted in his chest and he stumbled forward, dropping the pH paper into the water. The greedy current swept it away instantly. The man’s eyebrows scrunched together in frustration and he rounded on his “attacker.”
[#008080 “Well, I [i was] conducting some personal research on the pH levels of the river here,”] he snapped bitterly. [#008080 “But now I-“] Zeke broke off midsentence when he whirled around and was overtaken with beauty. A woman in a sundress was standing over him with the wind in her hair and the sun at her back. She looked like she commanded the springtime. The man did not believe in love at first sight. That certainly wasn’t what this was. But there was definitely attraction. He faltered. [#008080 “Now I – um, well, I-I mean I –“] he had to swallow hard as his throat suddenly felt very dry. [#008080 “I think I, erm, I have a few more.”] Zeke did not do anything wrong, but he sounded extremely apologetic nonetheless.
He did not tear his eyes away from the woman as she lowered herself down to crouch next to him. She was so close that he could smell her; her scent was that of flowers and freshly fallen rain. As she looked at him in a friendly way, her arm just barely brushed up against his own. Not even two seconds afterward, Zeke stumbled and accidentally soaked his right shoe in the river. A short string of curses escaped his lips as he jerked it out of the water. There was a distinct heat he felt rising in his cheeks as he turned back to the woman in the sundress.
[#008080 “Ah, sorry,”] he mumbled out of embarrassment. [#008080 “Bit slippery, is all, I suppose.”] He cleared his throat in an attempt to shake off whatever was putting him so out of touch with things. He adjusted his glasses with shaky hands. They trembled more with adrenaline rather than nervousness, but it didn’t look good either way. He moved his focus back to the river. Perhaps if he kept his eyes off of her, she would stop affecting him so strongly. Sure enough, he found his words with a bit more ease.
[#008080 “Yeah. Um, yeah, I suppose not many are keen on being here. But I’m not doing much.”] He held up his ziplock of used pH papers. [#008080 “These are pH papers; they test acidity and alkalinity. So, you know, I’m just looking at some of the different spots here and, uh, yeah...”] He lost his train of thought momentarily as he looked at her again. [#008080 “Just, uh, seeing if there’s maybe anything out of the ordinary.”] He shrugged and dropped the bag back onto the ground to swap it out for the unused strips. He offered her one with a sideways smile. [#008080 “Would you like to try?”] A flash of self-deprecation flashed across his face. [#008080 “Oh, um, my mine is Zeke, by the way.”]
Another beautiful day, bright sun, warm weather, and bustling people. Spring was full of all three and even when the sun wasn’t shining, the heavy spurts of rain brought an assortment of flowers. They bloomed near the river and painted the bank in a mosaic of fascinating colors. Cordelia was fond of this time of year. It was most definitely a change of pace for her and her family. Although, that was a front full of tension these days.
[I [+mediumaquamarine “I’m tired of this. Can’t we just move on?”]]
[I [b “And I’m tired of arguing with you about it. This is the way things are.”]]
She truly was tired of it. No one seemed to be on her side about anything. She wanted to get away from it all. But that meant she would need to break away, and she wasn’t sure how to make that happen. She’d taken a couple of baby steps, so to speak, but she wasn’t sure it would be enough in the long run.
Sighing, Cordelia sprawled out on the sloped bank of the river. Despite the sun being out, the deep green grass was cool against her skin. It acted as a small layer of insulation between the warm air and the cool soil below. The faint dampness was comforting and she didn’t move from that spot for some time. In that time she let her thoughts run wild. Ranging from light daydreams to grand fantasies, she was rather enjoying herself even if it was completely unproductive.
A light breeze rolled by, stirring Cordelia’s hair all into a flutter. Her hand moved to brush the stray strands from her face, but made no other attempt to calm the mess that was on the rest of her head. With the wind picking up, she didn’t hear the man on the other side of the river. It was the flash of movement at the water’s edge that teed her off.
Eyes flashing to his figure, she recognized him, but only by face. His name still eluded her. He came to the channel often, so naturally she took notice of him. Her bright blue eyes watched his every move with interest. The young woman didn’t know a whole lot about the man, other than the fact that he was probably looking into the disappearances and deaths that cropped up every year. That seemed to be the only reason anyone out of adolescence came to the water in this area. What stood out to her was that he’d managed to stick to it so long. He was persistent. And while it was an impossible endeavor, she thought it was noble all the same. That was more than she could say for any of the other men she’d met, and so she found herself quite enamored with this stranger. It was almost a hobby of hers to look out for him, which was probably one of the only reasons he hadn’t been targeted yet. Those who snooped too far into this mystery had a tendency of disappearing.
By this time, she had sat up to watch him. His actions left her enrapt. Perhaps a little too much so, as it took a moment for it to sink in that he’d glanced back over to her. Panicking, Cordelia wasn’t sure what to do. He was going to think she was watching him, which she was. But she didn’t know how he’d take that. So before he could fully do a double take, the brunette was gone.
Out of sight, the woman was kicking herself. She’d been saying she would go and talk to him. Just now had been the perfect chance. It might have even seemed natural. Sighing, she wondered if it was too late... Even if it was, she knew she’d regret it later if she left without trying. After all, what was the worst that could happen, scaring him away? In the long run, that wouldn’t be too bad. In fact it might actually be the better option. Convincing herself that the stakes weren’t that high, she pulled herself from her hiding place and glanced back to him. He’d gone back to whatever it was he was doing before.
Using a nearby park bridge, Cordelia crossed the rushing water. It roared hasty over large rocks below. The cascading water was loud; she thought it strange that so little water made so much noise. Although she only considered it a small amount because she was comparing it to the infinite vastness of the ocean.
It wasn’t long before she came up on the man. Her sundress swayed softly as the intermittent winds passed by. He seemed focused on what was in front of him. So much so that Cordelia didn’t think he noticed her standing there. Taking his relative disinterest into account, it was clear she had overreacted a few minutes ago. Embarrassed in hindsight, she stood there quietly watching him for a little while longer. He on the other hand was staring down at a little green strip of paper. What could possibly be so interesting about it?
Motioning to the little strips of paper in his hand, Cordelia broke her silence. [+mediumaquamarine “What are you doing?”] Her voice was songlike and words unshaking, even though she was incredibly nervous. Raising a hand, she ran it through her light chestnut hair, hoping it might tame it some before he looked her way.
Cordelia was beautiful and she knew it. This was one of the times she felt it might come in handy. Crouching down next to him, she was a little closer than what was actually necessary for a conversation. [+mediumaquamarine “I mean, most people avoid the river this time of year don’t they?”] Nothing she said came out accusatory, after all she was down there too and it would only invite him to prod back at her. She hoped to avoid that if at all possible.
There was a crispness in the air that day. It was the sort that came around just as the leaves transformed from bright hues of green to faded colors of red and orange. A gentle breeze blew through the sleepy town that Sunday afternoon, and with it came the light smell of pumpkin treats being prepared in lieu of the upcoming holiday season. The breeze sent puffy white clouds drifting lazily across the sky and eleven-year-old Ezekiel Young watched them go with a sad sort of thoughtful look on his face. What a beautiful day...for a funeral.
|| Subject: Janine Alana Bennett-Young
DOB | May 27, 1965
Age | 38
Race | Caucasian
Weight | 146lbs
Height | 5'5"
Hair | Brown
Eyes | Brown
[#DAA520 "Ya mind lookin' this over for me, son?"] Ezekiel tore his eyes away from the figure covered in sheets to the slightly overweight mustached man talking to him. He held out a few sheets of paper and shook it slightly as he spoke, as if that would somehow make it more enticing to take. [#DAA520 "Just gotta make sure everything here checks out."] The young boy took the pages reluctantly, but it wasn't long after he had gone to reread the incident report that he found his eyes wandering up back to the body on the cold metal slab.
The police brought the boy in to identify the body. It wasn't the most ideal situation - exposing a kid to his parent's corpse - but finding other people to identify the body of a single mother who worked from home in a remote area was a tad difficult. Her only child was, unfortunately, the only option. Although the police implored the mortician to try and make the body look presentable for a child, there was little that could be done considering the body had been missing at the mercy of Rosebell Channel for days. The image was seared into Ezekiel's brain.
When the police had pulled the sheet off of Janine's face, Ezekiel almost stumbled back in horror. His mother's brown hair was still soaking wet and twisted up in a tangled mat of twigs, leaves, and dirt. The color and life that once lit up her smiling face had all drained out so that all that was left was a ghostly paleness. Her full cheeks had sunken into her face, accentuating her jaw and cheekbones and giving off a skeletal look. Judging by the shallow cuts and scrapes all along her face, it seemed as though the river roughed her up something awful. Despite the frightful condition she was in, Ezekiel managed to tearfully confirm her identity to the police.
The poor boy could feel the hot, salty sting of tears in his eyes once more as he stared at his mother's corpse. His body buckled a bit when, sensing the young boy's emotions were bubbling up, the mustached man clasped his shoulder with a firm grip. [#DAA520 "C'mon son, let's have a look at those papers somewhere outta here, alright?"] Although there was a gruffness in the mustache's voice, there was also an attempt at reassuring kindness. Ezekiel loosened the grip on the papers that he hadn't realized he'd been holding. The young boy attempted to keep his focus on smoothing out the newly created wrinkles on the files as opposed to the horrifying image of his mom as he was led out of the mortuary.
[#B22222 "Janine Alana Bennett-Young was a true light in this world. She was loved by all her friends and neighbors alike, many of whom would praise her positive attitude and parenting abilities. But sometimes, we are so attracted to how brightly a flame burns that we cannot see the darkness that surrounds it."] The pastor paused for effect with a hint of a silent smugness about his own analogy, in spite of the unfortunate circumstances under which it was written. The few spectators that came to the funeral stifled their sniffles and shifted slightly in the silence. [#B22222 "Our dearly beloved Janine suffered so greatly in this life that she felt the need to take it away. We gather here today in remembrance of her happy spirit with prayers that she suffer no more in the next life. Her flame was snuffed out too soon. But whatever she sought out, we hope our Lord, whose light never wavers, guides her there. Amen."] There was a gentle scattered applause as the pastor descended from his pedestal. Various people clad in black stepped forward to say some additional words, but Ezekiel tuned them out.
The boy exhaled deeply, a small bouquet of white roses clutched tightly in his hand. He looked way, way down into the deep depths of the earth where the cheap casket containing his mother rested. If she were alive, she'd hate it down there. Ezekiel's mother never liked small, cramped spaces. It wasn't exactly claustrophobia so much as it was a preference for open spaces that allowed light to warm a room; that's practically how every room in their house was designed. She would love to sprawl out on her back, fully extended under the sunlight as she read her Entertainment Weekly magazines. Sometimes Ezekiel would catch her like this and lie on his back perpendicular to her, propping his legs up on her tummy while he played his DS. Every so often, she'd reach down and tussle his hair. Ezekiel did the same to his own hair absentmindedly as he stared down at the grave.
As the funeral came to an end, Ezekiel stepped toward the hole in the ground and tossed in his flowers unceremoniously. [#9ACD32 "Are you ready to go, Ezekiel?"] The boy turned and looked at his father who stood smoking a cigarette. Joshua Daniel Young was a tall, slim man with a wide variety of colorful tattoos on his right arm. He sported a dark goatee and wavy hair that was cut close on the sides and left long on top. He wasn't a bad man; Ezekiel's mom had made that clear after the divorce. It was just a bad match. But now, the man was stuck with the boy as his caretaker. Ezekiel walked over to him, scrunching his nose up at the rancid smell of smoke.
[#008080 "Ready,"] he mumbled softly. [#008080 "And...I like Zeke better now."] That was only partially true. In Ezekiel's opinion the name 'Zeke' was too easy to rhyme with things like freak or creep, so he didn't want to present others with such an opportunity. But when Janine was still alive, she always fondly referred to him as Cheeky Zekey as they played innocent jokes on one another. If she liked the name, it would be good enough for him.
[#9ACD32 "Sure thing, Zeke."] His father said as he dropped the cigarette to the ground and put out the flame with the heel of his shoe. [#9ACD32 "Now let's get you home."]
[center [size17 || Fifteen Years Later ||]]
Zeke managed to make his way back to his hometown of Conway, South Carolina back in 2017. He had been staying there a year thus far. Not too long after he moved back had he found a job as a substitute teacher at Conway High. It wasn't difficult work. All one had to do was basically just show up, take roll, and follow the instructions left by the original instructor. The kids would take advantage from time to time, sure, but Zeke's backbone wasn't exactly comprised of particularly strong stuff. In any case, his current line of work wasn't what prompted his return in the first place.
A suicide, police ruled all those years ago. Zeke called bullshit. It was a cop out move because there hadn't been any sign of struggle when they found the body. Yet, there was no former evidence that a woman such as Janine Alana Bennett-Young would ever want to do such a horrendous thing. There was no history of mental illness, no prior incidents of self harm, nothing. Zeke believed that not only did his mother lead a full life, but that she deeply treasured every moment of it. So why did she die? He intended to find out.
The halls of Conway High were buzzing with anticipation as the students prepared for their final days of class. Summer vacation was quickly approaching. At this point, no one even bothered to pretend to interested in their lessons. How could they? They didn't even pack their bags with school supplies anymore. Zeke sat at his desk with his iPhone in hand, scrolling mindlessly through some BuzzFeed top fifty list while a large majority of the juniors in class did the same. Since it was the last period of the day, their attention spans were anywhere else but the tasks they were assigned.
[#DB7093 "Ayo, mister!"] One of the students called out. Zeke lifted his eyes just over the rim of his glasses.
[#008080 "It's Mister Young, um...Jake, is it?"] He referenced his attendance seating chart in order to get the name right.
[#DB7093 "Yeah, well, mister, my bus is at like the front of the line so I gotta leave early to get to it before it leaves."]
Zeke glanced at his watch before countering, [#008080 "There's only eight more minutes of class time so I'm sure you can-"]
[#DB7093 "C'mon! Mrs. Gallagher let's us do it all the time."] Zeke seriously doubted that. Even still, he rolled his eyes and nodded his head reluctantly, signaling for the class to leave. He had work to get done anyways.
When the class had emptied out of the room, Zeke made his way over to the science supply closet on the second floor of the school. He had been snatching various odds and ends for the last few months, knowing that the blame would be placed on some mischievous students. As the rest of the school flooded the place at the ringing of the bell, Zeke went over to the bike rack and input the PIN on the lock. He ignored the snickers of the students as he donned his bright red helmet and took off down the line of cars in the student pick-up area.
It wasn't long before he moved from pavement to pathway down to the familiar Rosebell Channel - the place where his mom had died. He had been here too many times to count, trying to figure out the ins and outs of what happened that day. There had been little to no progress, but he was not deterred. Kneeling next to the running current, he removed small thin slips of paper from his pockets. pH papers. He carefully lowered them into the clear water and waited for the colors to change. As the man looked around, he almost wanted for the results to turn up empty; the place, he begrudgingly had to admit, almost made for a scenic site. Almost.
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