Craig: *I park my vehicle, begin doing the last of my neighborhood rounds, going from door to door and checking on everyone. Each house I leave, the snow is falling heavier, until I reach the last house on the block, stepping through the heavy wind and falling snow, knocking on the door*
Billy: *I've been holed up on the sofa for nearly an hour now, reading one of the books I got for Christmas and appreciating the roaring fire that I built. The house is too quiet without Dom around. When I hear the knock on the door, I entertain the idea that maybe it's Dom, back early, but I face the fact that he's got a key and wouldn't knock. I go to the door and pull it open.* Hello... Officer. *This is a bit odd... first time I've had a member of the Lauderville police force at my door.*
Craig: *smiles and tips my hat in your direction, trying to look professional and not shiver in the wind* Afternoon sir. Name's Deputy Parker. I'm conducting a new routine of rounds, checking on the locals and seeing you're all happy with the new securitys the force have set in place since the unfortunate mess here a couple months back
Billy: *I nod, thinking how awful it must be to have a duty like this on a day like today.* Well, if neighborhood patrols are part of those securities, then I don't think we have much to worry about. *I smile and peer out into the snow, furrowing my brow at the rushing wind.* Too bad you have to go through this today... *The snowfall only seems to be increasing.*
Craig: *nods, looking behind me, shivering visibly* I'm nearly done. We've a series of questions we're meant to ask each of the town's residents, if you wouldn't mind?
Billy: *I blink and immediately back away from the door, offering you a way in.* Of course! Please, come in. *As you step in I close the door, glad to lock most of the cold out, and I gesture for you to take a seat in the living room.*
Craig: *smiles and nods* much obliged sir. May I have your name for my records?
Billy: Billy - er - William Boyd. *I start a bit when the lights flicker before turning my attention back to you.*
Craig: *nods, still trying to look professional and ignore the flickering lights. Keep it together Parker, you're a professional, you can handle this*
Billy: *I move over to the window, pulling back the curtains to peer out into the storm.* Doesn't seem like it'll be letting up anytime soon... *I murmur, mostly to myself.*
Craig: *nods a bit* we got plenty of storm warnings at the station before I headed out
Billy: Wonder what they have to say about it on the news... *I move towards the TV to turn it on, when suddenly all the lights flicker again before going completely out.* Damn it... *I mumble, casting a worried look at you.*
Craig: *eyes widen, jumps up, pulling my gun out of my holster* dont worry, dont move! I'm trained for this sort of thing *jumping around in circles*
Billy: *I freeze, torn between wanting to laugh and wanting very desperately for you to put down the gun.* It's probably just the storm... *I say slowly.*
Craig: *stops in mid turn, blinks, straightens up* yes, well, I knew that *nods* I am an officer of law *nods yes trying to reassure myself more than Billy*
Billy: *I step away from the TV in the direction of the kitchen, knowing that it'll be dark soon, and though I hope the lights will flicker back on in a minute or two, I had better be prepared.* I'm just going to get some candles, I'll be back. *I call over my shoulder as I disappear into the kitchen.* Make yourself at home!
Craig: *nods, still gripping my gun til I look down and realize I'm doing it. I re-holster the thing and pace back and forth, chewing on a finger nervously*
Billy: *I shuffle through the cupboards, trying to find where I put the candles from the last power outage. I pull them out when I find them and grab some matches, returning to the living room. Setting them up, I turn to look at you.* So... how big is this storm? Have you heard? *I listen to the wind blowing through the chimney.* Must have been awhile since one this size came through here.
Craig: They were saying its a big one but Margie said she didn't believe it so I paid it no mind *is still standing, jiggling leg about nervously in the dark*
Billy: I think she might be eating her words right about now. *I take a seat on the sofa, looking up at you.* Hope it doesn't last too long...
Craig: *nods, sighs a bit* I suppose I should get out and leave you to it then?
Billy: If you're sure... *I get up and take another peak out of the window.* Are you certain you can find your vehicle? *I laugh a bit, trying to make it sound like a joke, but it's not very funny. I can't see anything out there but white.*
Craig: *steps over and looks out the window, blanches visibly* its pretty bad out there, isnt it?
Billy: *I nod affirmatively, looking up at you.* Maybe you'd better stay, wait it out. Can't say I'd want to drive on those roads myself. *Or ride a bike... I think of Dom and move to the telephone, intending to call the post office to see if he's all right. I pick up the receiver and sigh as I hear silence.* Phone's out, too.
Craig: *frowns* it is? I should go out to my cruiser and use the CB
Billy: Are you sure? It looks... well, cold, out there. *I put my hand up against the window.* But I suppose you might want to let the station know where you are...
Craig: *nods yes, tries to look puffed up and important again* I'm sure they'll want to know where I am
Billy: *I nod and move towards the front door.* Why don't you go out and see if you can make contact, and I'll see about boiling some water for some tea. *I flinch at the idea of going out there.* But be careful.
Craig: *nods, steeling self for this as I pull my parka back on* I'll be fine *said more to assure myself*
Billy: *I nod in response, pulling the door open for you and gasping a bit as the cold air hits us.* Good luck.
Craig: *nods and steps outside into a huge blast of air*
Billy: *I shut the door behind you, making sure to leave it unlocked for when you return before stepping into the kitchen. I find an old kettle and fill it with water, grateful that the pipes haven't frozen up, and return to the living room to hook it in the fireplace. I go to the window and push the curtain aside, checking on your progress.*
Craig: *the snow is beginning to pile up in drifts, making walking through it almost impossible. I nearly lose sight of your house before I even reach the road and look down it, knowing my car is a block away*
Billy: *It's getting harder to see through the snow, and I hope you can make it to your car ok... and back.*
Craig: *I go down a bit and get knocked over by the wind a few times, lose my hand completely, eyes watering from the wind*
Billy: *I sit back down on the couch, wrapping the blanket draped over the back of it around myself, and move closer to the fire.*
Craig: *after the forth time getting knocked down I've lost my direction. I crawl on hands and knees back the way I think I came and find a drift with a car*
Billy: *I what I should do if you don't come back... but that's my paranoia speaking. Always loudest when there's a bit of a problem. After all, it can't be as bad out there as it looks...*
Craig: *figures its a car and turns the opposite direction, hoping to find a house, any house*
Billy: *I can't sit here any longer. I wander back into the kitchen to get out two mugs and some tea bags, taking them back into the living room. It feels like a magnet that drags me back to the window to see if I can see anything past white outside.*
Craig: *crawls through the snow drifts, finally comes up to a place, dont know if its billys or not, I get up by the door, use the wall to stand and knock loudly*
Billy: *I jump at the sound of pounding and rush to the door, pulling it open as a gust of wind almost flattens me to the wall.* Deputy Parker! *I exclaim, pulling you inside and slamming the door behind you.* Are you all right?
Craig: *panting, eyes gone a little crazy, shaking from the cold* it tried to kill me!
Billy: I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest! *I rip the blanket from around my shoulders and throw it around yours.* Go on, get warm by the fire.
Craig: *shivering more, stumbing on numb feet toward the fire*
Billy: *I take a seat in a chair across from the fireplace, looking concernedly at you.* Did you find your car?
Craig: *shakes head no* everything is lost in the snow
Billy: *The kettle whistles and I carefully remove the kettle with a hot pad, pouring the water into the two cups and adding the tea bags.* Hell... sounds like we'll be here for awhile. *I offer a small smile and push the mug across to you on the table.*
Craig: *reaches for the mug with shaking hands, clothes all wet from being outdoors* t - th - th - thank y y yyyou
Billy: *I take up my own mug, warming my hands.* You're welcome. *I watch the fire flicker, hoping it won't go out.* How many more houses did you mean to stop at?
Craig: *still shivering, holding the cup in slowly thawing fingers* yours was the last for today
Billy: Well, at least you aren't missing any work. *Miserable excuse for a joke, Billy. I decide to try and make conversation instead.* How long have you been working in Lauderville? I'm not sure if I've seen you around.
Craig: *eyes you over the top of my coffee cup* I've been here since just about Halloween
Billy: Oh. *I blow across the top of my cup, taking a sip of the burning liquid. It's not as if I had expected to recognize him. I don't spend much time in town.* Do you like it here?
Craig: *smiles* its a friendly enough place. Sherrif Dave is pretty cool
Billy: *I grin.* It is a friendly town. Beautiful place, too. It grows on you over time. *I never thought I could get used to life in such a small town, but I did.*
Craig: *smiles and nods a bit, still shivering, though my wet clothes seem to be warming a bit, I sip at the hot tea*
Billy: *I notice you shake a bit and set down my mug.* Is there anything else I can get you? Another blanket, maybe? *Maybe I should see if I can find you a sweatshirt. I wouldn't want you to freeze.*
Craig: *shivers a bit more* well I dont want to put you out sir *shifts wet feet as they're beginning to tingle back to life slowly and it hurts*
Billy: Don't be ridiculous. *I smile softly.* We may be stuck here for a bit, and I'd rather us both be as comfortable as possible. Let me see what I can find. *I get up and head towards the stairs, thinking I probably have a pair of sweatpants somewhere you can borrow, and a sweatshirt.*
Craig: *shivers more, huddling in the blanket, feeling all icky with slightly warming wet clothes and shoes on*
Billy: *I rummage through some drawers, looking for some of the clothes I occasionally laze around the house in and come up with a sweatshirt and a pair of sweatpants. Grabbing a pair of socks, I return downstairs and hold them out to you.* Here... I hope these work for you, they're the best I could find. *I smile again.* Bathroom's down the hall.
Craig: *smiles and sets down the cup, moving to get up* Thank you kindly *drops the blanket and promptly shivers again*
Billy: *I frown when I see how cold you are and wish I had gone for clothing earlier. I get up and add another log on the fire, glad I have a good supply in.*
Craig: *I wander in and change into the sweats. The arms and legs are a touch too short for me but they're quite a good deal better than wet clothes*
Billy: *All trace of light seems to have left outside and I preoccupy myself with lighting the candles around the room. I head back to the kitchen to see if I can find a flashlight.*
Craig: *I stumble back in, still shivering and wincing from the prickles I'm getting in my feet as they wake from the numb they'd reached*
Billy: *I walk back out of the kitchen, hitting the flashlight against my hand to see if I can get it to work. It comes on with a fairly strong beam of light.* You doing all right?
Craig: *is wrapping the blanket back around myself, still shivering* much better now, thank you
Billy: Good. *I settle down in the armchair by the fire with a sigh, hoping that Dom is still at the post office and not, for some awful reason, trying to get home.*
Craig: *I huddle in the blanket, drinking the last of my tea, shivering there as I thaw, wondering if the station will need to find me*
Billy: *The wind whistles louder through the chimney and I jump, feeling the need to try to block it out.* I wonder how many towns it's affecting... *I muse out loud. There isn't that much out here, it could be just an isolated event.*
Craig: *nods* I imagine it must at least be hitting the coastal towns
Billy: *I sit for a moment in silence before standing up with a smile.* Hungry? I've probably got some noodles around that we can boil water for. *I laugh a bit uncomfortably.* Sorry, I've never been much for camping so I'm no good at this cooking-over-an-open-fire business.
Craig: *smiles and nods* I could go for a spot of something, sure *nods more* can I help with anything?
Billy: Just make sure that fire doesn't go out! *I call over my shoulder as I take the flashlight and the kettle to refill it in the kitchen and find our food.*
Craig: *scoots closer to the fire, the warmth of it permeating my deep down cold, though my hands and feet really begin to sting something awful as they're waking even more*
Billy: *I return to the living room and hang the kettle over the fire, sitting back down in the chair. I wrap my blanket around myself and bring my knees up to my chest.* Are you warming up all right? I'm sorry this place isn't more hospitable. *I laugh softly.* I feel like a terrible host.
Craig: *smiles over at you* I'm doing fine. My hands and feet are coming off the numb
Billy: Brave of you to go out there. I think I'd freeze to death before I reached the road. *I smile and lean my head back against the chair.*
Craig: *shakes head no* was just an attempt to do my duty, uphold the law *nods*
Billy: Good to see you take your job seriously. *The kettle goes off and I remove it from the fire, pouring the water into two noodle bowls and passing you a fork.*
Craig: *takes it, smiling and nodding* its the most important part of my life *scoots back so I'm leaning against a chair there, staring at the fire as I wait for the noodles to cook*
Billy: *I know what that's like. I poke at the noodles absently.* How long have you been on the force?
Craig: *slow blink, thinks about that* a little over six years
Billy: Wow. Have you been all over then? Where else have you worked? *I let small talk cover up the sounds of roaring wind.*
Craig: oh all over. My first couple jobs in the states was in Texas
Billy: *I nod and let the silence lapse back into the room, wondering just exactly how many jobs you've had to take you all over in six years.*
Craig: *shifts about, pulls the top cover off the noodles and stirs them in the cup, begins to eat them*
Billy: *I realize I'm not very hungry as I think about Dom again. Now that night seems to be here, I worry that he hasn't got anything to keep him warm besides his jacket. I sigh softly.*
Craig: *I look up at you* are you doing okay?
Billy: *I blink back at you, realizing I had spaced out a bit.* I'm fine, just a bit worried about... the weather.
Craig: *cocks my head to the side, thinging there is something more to it* well alright *nods and keeps eating*
Billy: *I lean forward and poke at the noodles a bit more before taking a bite, wishing the phone lines were up at least. I'm not sure I can eat any more.*
Craig: *eyes you again, thinking its got to be more than the storm, but if you wanted to talk, you would*
Billy: *I push away the container and lean back in the chair, looking up at you, down at my hands, and then up at you again.* Do you have anyone you wish you could get in touch with, besides the station, I mean? *I figure I might as well try to find common ground.*
Craig: *shrugs* I dont really have any friends in town
Billy: Oh. *A year ago at this time I would have been stuck in the same boat. Now I actually have a whole two, count 'em, two friends.* Takes time in a town like this.
Craig: *smiles and nods* well I know the people I work with but they're just acquaintences
Billy: *I nod.* Don't have many friends from work myself. I work in Towerston.
Craig: *nods* I've noticed quite a few of the people that live around here work over there
Billy: *I laugh softly.* We have to, or the unemployment rate in Lauderville would skyrocket. I work at the school, anyway. Not much choice in that department.
Craig: *smiles and nods* so you're a teacher then?
Billy: Aye, I am. First grade. *I smile.* I've been working there for a little over a year now.
Craig: *smiles and nods again* thats got to be great. Kids are so much fun
Billy: They are. You've got your odd day where they're bloody impossible, but for the most part it's very rewarding.
Craig: *grins and nods* I feel the same about my job. I know most people would find the day to day process of being a Deputy Sheriff tedious, but it's what I'm trained to do
Billy: Well, we've all got to do our part, right? *I grin.* I'm sure most of my students are wishing this could have happened just a week or so later. They're still on vacation now.
Craig: *laughs* isnt that a bit young to be wanting to miss school?
Billy: Well, for some of them it is. But there are those early starters who already can't wait to be rid of the place. *I shake my head.* Really, I wish it would have happened in a week or so. *Preferably on a day when the house was occupied with both its residents.*
Craig: *laughs* well I guess there are always naysayers in any age group
Billy: Can't keep down the rebellion. It's inevitable. *I smirk.* I've decided not to tell them it only goes downhill from first grade.
Craig: *laughs* well goodonya mate!
Billy: Got to leave something for their high school teachers to teach them, after all. *Smiling, I pull the blanket around myself tighter.*
Craig: *chuckles* Lets hope they learn a thing or two between your class and high school
Billy: *I scoff.* Naw, everyone knows that the most important learning they do is in the first few grades. The rest before graduation are just filler.
Craig: *laughs* okay *nods and yawns a bit, small shiver* if you say so
Billy: Trust me. *I grin and get up, picking up the containers and forks.* Listen, I'm going to take these into the kitchen and then I'll see what I can do about setting you up in the spare room, okay? I have a feeling it's going to be an all-nighter. *It feels weird to call Dom's room the 'spare room,' but that's essentially what it is now. I just hope it's clean.*
Craig: *nods* alright, thank you very much. I dont know what I can do to repay your kindness
Billy: *I wave the idea away with a smile before heading towards the kitchen.* Don't think of it. I'm glad you stopped by. I probably would have driven myself crazy here by myself.
Craig: *smiles* well thanks just the same mate
Billy: *I smile and dispose of our trash before heading upstairs with the flashlight. I open the door to Dom's room. It's not too bad, which is a relief, but I pick up what I can from what's strewn around the room and change the sheets quickly. There, clean enough. One day we'll actually have to move his stuff out of here and into our room. I return downstairs and smile.* The room's habitable, whenever you're ready.
Craig: *smiles and gets up from by the fire, moving to follow you, still holding the blanket around me* thanks again
Billy: You're very welcome. *I lead you up the stairs and push open the bedroom door.* Here. *I hand you the flashlight.* You'll probably need it more than I will. *I smile.* It was nice meeting you, Deputy Parker. Sleep well.
Craig: *smiles and nods* thank you Mr Boyd
Billy: It's Billy. *I offer one last nod before turning down the dark hallway towards my own room and cold bed.*
Craig: *smiles and turns, moving to crawl in the bed, pulling the covers up immediately, shivering myself into sleep*