And so it begins~!

Oh crap. Deja vu.

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"Wednesday. 17th of November."
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Cruce: [He stood dressed in his casual morning attire: blue jeans and a gray hoodie. Cruce was fairly tall, measuring in at nearly six feet. He was slim, though his physical build was nurtured, especially concerning his legs, although that was quite predictable in a town where everything was within walking distance. His hair was a neutral shade of brown, eyes a deep and exotic blue. His bangs naturally fell over one of his eyes, which annoyed him more often than not.] "Ah hell. I need more jackets. I love this old thing, but I'm kind of a big boy now... Ugh, clothes shopping..." [At that exact moment, he happened to spot a shadow just outside of his room, door open ajar.] "Oh God."

Cruce's Sister: [A small girl who appears quite older than the 13-year-old she truly is. Similar to Cruce, her eyes are blue, albeit brighter. Her hair is the same color, bangs shorter and smoother than Cruce's, while pontytailed in the back. Her skin was very slightly tanned, showing well via her choice of clothes, which consisted of a light blue tube top and denims cut at the ankles.] "Did somebody I know just mutter the words, 'clothes shopping'?"

Cruce: [He rubs his forehead and sighs.] "Good morning, Ashley..."

~

That's my spitfire sister, Ashley. She looks a bit older than she really is, but it's the opposite when it comes to how she acts. Ashley's a social girl. She loves taking risks also. So you could imagine that combines nicely to turn into a hazard or something. I really don't see her get into too much trouble, but she's getting ever closer to those good old teen years. Can only wonder what'll happen there. Whatever, she's a pain in the a** sometimes, but she's fun to have around. As much as she likes to make fun of me and my "boring" routines. Sure enough, that's the sort of thing I want to stay away from. Mindless routines... I can say for a fact she helps with that.

~

Ashley: [Spontaneously, and sure enough, she kicks her brother's door all the way open, leaving her leg up as the door swings open. She is still barefoot, though that does not stop her from dashing up to Cruce.] "I knew you were tired of that jacket! I don't get why you hang on to that rusty thing."

Cruce: [He pinches at the front pocket of the jacket.] "Hey, this thing has seen some wear, but it's still--"

Ashley: "Nope nope!" [She interrupts, reaching up to place the palm of her hand over Cruce's mouth.] "You're totally not about to say 'good as new', right?" [Smiling, she clearly reveals she's enjoying taunting her older brother.]

Cruce: [Silenced, he raises an eyebrow... and licks his sister's palm. She squeaks loudly, retracting her arm.] "Someone sure likes that new soap."

Ashley: [She pouts, frowning with her lower lip out.] "You be happy I wash my hands!"

Cruce: [He gently grabs her wrist and wipes her palm off on his own jacket.] "And you be happy I brushed my teeth. Not to mention let you use my special jacket as a towel."

Ashley: [Again, she squeaks, standing back from Cruce.] "Eeek! That's so gross! I can't believe you made me do that. I'll tell. I'll so tell."

Cruce: "You're just a heap of baby-ness. And before you cry about that, I'm gonna make you an offer." [He pokes the top of his sister's head, leaving his finger there.] "If I take you shopping for a while, will you stop bugging me about my jacket? I'll let you pick out a new one for me."

Ashley: [She gasps overly dramatically.] "What?! You will?! You actually will?!"

Cruce: "Yeah, sure. Why the heck not." [He shrugs.] "It'll have to be after I hang out with my friends for a while."

Ashley: "Anything! Anything to get you out of your boring habit!"

Cruce: "Brutal. I'll let Mom and Dad know. I'm sure Molly would like to tag along."

Ashley: [She groans.] "Ohhhh, but Molly's just gonna take overrrrr..."

Cruce: "Think of it this way: You two can get something together, while you have a little side mission. That would be to help me out."

Ashley: "But that was kinda the point of the whole thing..."

Cruce: "Hm?" [He raises his head, noticing his mother standing in the doorway.]

Mrs. Maximilius: [She is a short-haired, classy looking woman with deep brown eyes and brightly dyed hair. She is almost always wearing her clear glasses, which add to the sophistication of her appearance.] "What are you two going on about?"

Cruce: "Ah, Ashie wants to go shopping. Would it be alright if we did that after school?"

Mrs. Maximilius: "Sure! Just make sure you have your phone and wallet with you. And take Molly. She was mentioning something about needing new sweaters."

Cruce: "Heh, uhm... Take Molly? Honestly, I think Molly would be the one taking us..."

Mrs. Maximilius: "It'll be fun. You three need some time together! Don't stay too long. Molly has a special... occasion!"

Ashley: "Oh boy, I know what it is! Oh oh oh and Mom? Cruce licked me! [Facing her mother, she points a finger at Cruce's face.]

Mrs. Maximilius: "Cruce, don't lick your sister..."

Cruce: "Alright. You know, animals quite enjoy being licked by their siblings!"

Ashley: "Ugh. We're not, like, those kinds of animals."

Cruce: "I don't know. You're pretty close."

Ashley: "That makes you the same! Hmph!"

Mrs. Maximilius: [She smiles and shakes her head.] "Right, well you two should hurry and get your things together. I think your sister is all ready to go."

Cruce: "Okay. Ashie, get your shoes on. Er, flip-flops. Whatever you wear."

Ashley: "Meh. Do it for me..."

Cruce: "Nah, I'm good." [He softly pushes his little sister away.] "Go. Go do stuff. So that more stuff can happen."

Ashley: "Ugh, fine..." [She walks out of the room, following her mother until coming to her bedroom, shared with her older sister Molly.]

~

Stereotypical banter between me and my little sis. It's like that with my twin sister Molly. Maybe a bit less irrational. We all like to joke around. That's assuming we're all actually in the same place. Seems like I see my friends of the Circle more than anyone else here, except maybe Ashley. Molly's always out with her friends, so I'd venture it's the same deal there. Now, Dad's pretty much working one hundred percent of the time. That or he's got these really weird hours. As a police officer, I can understand that. He's an adventurous guy, so it's easy to see where Ashie gets it. 'Wish I could see him more often, but I know he has his duty. Mom works hard, but as a secretary at the main Metedia High office. It seems like she's always running around doing errands though... Hm, I guess another reason I don't see Molly a lot is because of her cross-country, which also has to do with that special occasion Mom mention. Yeah, she met this guy in the sport. 'Known him for a while. He's a good dude. They have a lot in common, so... it's probably a date or something.

~

[Backpacks and binders situated, Cruce, Molly, and Ashley head out the front door. locking up behind them, and commencing their walk down the quiet street.]

~

Autumnridge is small, as I've said. Even though I've lived here all my life, I still feel like I'm impeding on these grounds, because, while I say it's small, I'm referring to the urbanized part of it. If we're talking about the whole area, it's pretty vast. This area is mostly a natural reserve, almost a national park. In my opinion, I'd think it could be called that, although probably a faction of the size of Yellowstone or Big Bear... Our streets are minimal compared to tree-enshrouded bike trails and riverbank paths. We cut through the thick woodland when we walk to school. So that's saying we essentially pass by the Obsidian Circle, which is where I sit with my pals for a while and talk about random crap. 'Sounds mundane, but really, it's a good time. I think out of everyone, I've spent the most time at that strange little ring, which I think was used as a Native American ceremonial ground or something. I've gone there alone sometimes, and I'm not too sure it's healthy for me...

...By the way, I'm probably a freak of nature.

I don't mean to get off on the wrong notes, one of which being that of apathy. The second of which is that typical teenage thing where he or she always thinks his problems are the worst ever and can't be solved. But I feel like there's something out of place about what happens to me when no one is around. I never feel alone. Physically, I might be. But spiritually, it's kinda a different ballgame. And I know this isn't just some miscellaneous thing, because it's strengthened every time I'm at the O. Circle, for short. Not in a bad sense though. Whenever I'm there, I feel like the things in my head--the visions--I have are just a bit more clarified... But not clear by any means. They never were.


~

Molly: "You actually want to go shopping? Today? Of all days?" [Walking with one hand grasping her backpack strap.]

Cruce: "It's not a 'want', as much as it is 'Ashley's desire'."

Ashley: "Yep! See, he knows it."

Molly: [Most of her traits replicate Cruce's, as she is his twin sister. Her brown hair, is longer, falling over the opposite eye. Light brown highlights streak the bangs over that eye, both of which are as deep blue as Cruce's. Like her brother, she is fit moreover with respect to her legs; a clear indication of her history with running.] "Hm. I'm sure both of you have heard from the infamous Autumnridge gossip that I'm going out with Vince Maire."

Ashley: "Uh-huh! I wanna hear how it goes. I've never met him! What's he like?"

Molly: "Brain and brawn... Oh so brawny~. He's smart, but his grades look like they don't show it. I think he spends too much time stressing over his farm work and running times and whatnot."

Cruce: "I keep forgetting he's the one who lives on the farm. But yeah, I mean I have English with him, and he's a smart dude... I think it's the schoolwork that gets him."

Molly: "Probably. I know he's a hard worker, but he doesn't worry about grades as much as you'd think... Kinda like you." [She grins teasingly at her brother.]

Cruce: "Excuse me, Princess with a new Prince." [Giving an as-a-matter-of-fact impression, he puts a hand to his chest.] "There's nothin' wrong with my B's and two C's."

Molly: "Yeah yeah, okay. You two are almost the same way. You're the lazier one though. For sure!"

Cruce: "Oh gee thanks..."

[The morning sun clears the haze as they walk through the lush forest path; a famous location for dog walkers and bike riders who don't mind a narrow trail. They cross a diminutive wooden bridge over the shallow river. Ashley's habit around this area is to look over the edge of the bridge and attempt to locate bullfrogs, or perhaps any animal aside from ducks and shellfish. Soon enough, they pass a narrow mud trail leading deeper into the woods. The path isn't official. That is to say it quite literally the path less traveled. Cruce stops for a few moments, gazing down the leafy trail. He resumes walking without speaking a word to his sisters.]

~

I think it's obvious that this issue troubles me more than anything else thus far. Sure, I've had my fair share of dilemmas. s**t hits the fan for everyone. But this has some unreal property tethered to it. I mean, is everyone in Autumnridge feeling this? Is this the beloved mystifying feeling that the woodland emits? Am I perceiving it differently? Whatever the case, I have yet to talk with someone about this. Maybe it's my ego, but... I'd really rather not. I want to be the one to figure this surreal thing out. It might be easy to determine if I had lived elsewhere for a while, then moved here... But that's assuming Autumnridge is the cause of this. Maybe it is.

Well regardless of everything, it's... only Wednesday. Mom and Dad are working hard, Ashie's pretty much making me do something reluctantly, and Molly's excelling in life. If this keeps up, I'll have a reason to call this just another day gone by.


--E n d i n g--
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Apologies if these episodes are a bit boring.

So, as usual, Parts are separated into a bunch of related Episodes. This Part will be focusing on Cruce's life, as well as the friendly faces of town, and the down-to-Earth troubles and whatnot.