Log:Gossip Office Hours - 5 April 2018

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Gossip Office Hours - 5 April 2018

Annapurna as Enid Schmitt. Esther, Adalbert, CB

5 April, 2018

Enid has more visitors to her office!


(MT03) The Tamarack Times - Official Gossip Zone Yes Please

Sitting at her desk while she reads a magazine, Enid has a pair of half-moon glasses perched on her forehead, the cloudy, gloomy sky of the chilly Spring afternoon visible through the slats of her pink and yellow blinds. The 'salt' of her salt and pepper hair is dyed a lurid acid green a bit brighter than the walls of her office, and it looks like someone left a small container of doughnut holes on the desk. There are also two vases, both with flowers, and a roll of toilet paper signed in Sharpie with a heart on it.

Esther enters the Tamarack Times with a heavy tread, ducking a little to clear the entry. She looms large, taking up space with her sweater, skirt, and trenchcoat clad self. She carries a woven basket full of muffins, the area filling with the scents of apple, cinnamon, peach, and ginger. She looks over to her escort, one Adalbert, smiling weakly. "Thank you for coming with me." She walks over and knocks on Enid's door. "Good afternoon, Miss Schmitt," she says in a clear, but raspy alto. "May we come in?"

Adalbert just grins to the woman in a supportive way. The police officer, though, is not wearing his uniform today. Instead, he's in tight jeans pants, trekking boots and a dark green sweater."I bet she'll like those." He murmurs just before Esther starts talking to Enid.

Setting the magazine down when she hears the knock at her door, the columnist half turns in her seat to face it and calls, "Come on in. What's the news?"

Because there is always news.

While there flowers on the desk, there are also a few teddy bears and, notably, a very lengthy fake snake filled with millet draped over the back of the loveseat.

Esther blinks a few times as she enters Enid's office, getting used to the bright colors. "Thank you. My name is Esther Buckingham. I mainly just wanted to, um, give you these muffins, and to make sure you're well." She blinks again. "That is a lovely hairdo! It...matches your room!"

Once inside, Adalbert looks around and sees all the decoration of the place, including the teddy bears that weren't there the first time he came by. But his scrying is interrupted when Esther is being friendly and making compliments to Enid. At that, Adalbert just nods, trying to take part of the conversation."Looks like a lot of people had the same idea." He suggests and offers the mortal woman a gentle and warm smile.

Enid looks to Esther first, since the tall woman is the first speaker, and when she introduces herself, the columnist looks up -- though of course she can't SEE her own hair-do -- and lifts a hand to pat the vibrant acid-green and black with visible satisfaction. "Thank Lou and Bang Bang up the street. I'm thinking I'll go closer to blue when this fades out, or maybe just a darker green. What do you think?"

With a look around the room and a wry smile, she admits, "The other writers are getting jealous of all my goodies. I keep telling 'em, hey, all -I- had to do was get kidnapped and end up on the local news. Get crackin'." She shakes her head with a dry look at the rest of the office outside her door. "For some reason, no one's taking me up on it." Considering the muffins, she waves Esther toward the loveseat and asks, "So, Esther Buckingham. That a family recipe?" Her eyes dip to the muffins, then up to Esther's, dancing with lively interest.

Wait, is someone else here, too? Yes. Someone who just meanders into the room like he's been here all along. Scruffy-faced, wearing a worn brown leather bomber jacket and a beat-up Red Sox cap, C.B. wears an expression of cynically curious disdain. He has a thick manilla envelope tucked under one arm, and stands behind the other two, silently. Just glowering at Enid, and eventually, glowering at what he no doubt considers to be kiss-ass behavior from the other two...

Esther actually tilts her head and examines Enid's hair, carefully. "A blue shade would bring out the blue in your eyes, I think. I'm sure Lou and Bang Bang...did I get the name right? I'm sure they'll have a wonderful color for you." She carefully sets the basket in one of the spaces not occupied by other gifts. "Oh? Actually, I got the recipes from an Good Housekeeping magazine. But I did alter them a little bit. There's apple cinnamon, and peach ginger. And..." She actually jumps a little when CB enters her line of sight. "Oh. Hello there. I didn't see you."

Despite being off-duty Adalbert remains behind Esther in a guard kind of position and lets the big woman do the talking for both of them. It just when CB comes inside the office, that the Fairest moves to offer the other man a nod of his head in a greeting.

Unsurprisingly, Enid recognises CB when he walks in, a slow smile curving her lips. "Well, now, this is a surprise. C.B. Alexander, as I live and breathe. Didn't expect to see -you- here." With a glance at his hands, she grins a bit and teases, "Doesn't look like you brought me muffins. What can I do for you all?"

Looking to Esther, she assures, "I've got more locks on doors, but let me tell you, I've been sleeping with one eye open since it happened. Good Housekeeping's a good magazine; I'm sure the muffins'll be fine, and thank you kindly for making 'em."

Esther lightly rubs the back of her neck, her gaze lowered. "To be honest, Miss Schmitt, I wanted to know if there was anything I, we, could do for you. This all seems so vulnerable. I'd hate for you to be hurt again, or hurt at all. You've done a lot for the community." It's all a touch awkward, but well meaning.

C.B. gives Esther and Adalbert a rather grim-faced nod, taking a step or two further into the room. The lovely scent of recently-smoked cigarettes and lived-in bourbon moves with him. "Unlike the /rest/ of them, no. I'm not here to kiss your ass. Nor am I here to find out if you're 'alright.'" He squints a little more, like he's trying to determine exactly what's going on with her. "Clearly you're 'alright,' since you keep posting your libelous column. I'll have you know that I was always on the side of Number Six. I think your writing's a disgrace to this town, which is pretty disgraceful as it is." He looks downright offended when Esther says she's 'done a lot for the community.' "That's /bullshit/! If anything, she's more of a liability. More now than ever before." The squint returns to Enid. "They can brownnose all they want. If I have to be the bad cop to their goddamn good cop," and at that, yes, he looks at Adalbert, "then so be it."

Adalbert remains in silence and calm while Esther asure that Enid safe and sound, but when C.B. starts acting as the 'bad cop' and is throwing at woman his opinion, the Fairest arches a brow."We're not here to kiss no anyone's ass, C.B." He says calmly without looking at the man. Instead, his bright blue eyes focus on Esther. Just in case.

Patting at her head to find her glasses, then working to get them free of her hair when the nosepads inevitably get stuck in a few strands, the columnist quirks a smile at Esther. "It's not that bad, but we're a small place. Half the people here don't even lock their doors at night. If someone's bound to do a mischief, there's fertile ground for it most anywhere. I just happened to be the soil of choice."

C.B.'s unhappiness with her and with her column draws her eye, and Enid cocks her head at him to ask, "What's so disgraceful about Tamarack Falls?" She spreads a hand as if to encompass the whole town. "Sidewalks are a sandy mess, but that's winter for you. They'll clean it up."

Esther slowly turns her head and focuses her gaze on CB, with a frown. "You're not a cop. You don't even like cops. Why would you want to be a cop, much less a bad cop? Bad cops are...bad." She snorts. "Miss Schmitt is a writer, you're a writer. Show some sympathy." She looks to Adalbert and gives him a small smile of assurance.

C.B. snorts at Adalbert and nods towards the muffins. "What do you call those? Classic brown-nosing behavior if I've ever seen it." A touch of lightning sparks and fizzes around his head. Enid gets a scowl. "You don't /have/ to be the soil. You could do /something else/, instead of making people's lives miserable." He turns to Esther next, the scowl still in place. "Don't be so pedantic. And the fact that I'm a writer is /exactly/ why I have no sympathy." He gestures towards Enid. "Even /you/ can probably do better than /this/." At that, he tosses the manilla envelope down in front of her. There's nothing marked on its surface.

Adalbert glances at C.B. before rolling his eyes in dissaproval. To Esther, though, he offers a grin back. It's quick and doesn't meet his eyes, just to asure her he's not going to react to the other man's words. Finally he looks at Enid to see how she reacts to C.B. speech.

Enid smiles at Esther, though the expression's brief, head turning to let her watch C.B. rant. "Fertile soil for kidnapping, Mr. Alexander, and I entirely agree. I'd much rather do something other than getting dragged into thorns." Thorns, or THE Thorns? There's no indication that she knows the trio is anything other than human. Without opening the envelope, she lifts a hand to tap it and asks, "What's in it?"

"I call those muffins." Esther seems to warm up to her role as pendant as she responds to CB. "You can have one if you want, they're homemade." She also grows curious about the contents of the package, but since the envelope is clearly meant for Enid, she offers no further comment, aside from a furtive glance that grows less furtive and more blatant.

Naturally, C.B. looks suspicious when Enid starts talking about thorns. But does he probe her? No. Not yet. Not today. He purses his lips as Esther tries to buy him off with a muffin (no doubt what he's thinking), but the issue at hand takes precedence. "In /there/, you'll find I've highlighted every instance where something you have published has caused real-life damage to someone's life in some way. Your petty musings cause actual pain, but it's all just a big joke to you, isn't it?" And then, he just can't help himself... "Well, if you can't make it as a writer yourself, why not fuck up some lives, right?" He makes a large gesture with one arm, like half a windmill, and then it seems like he's a moment or two away from storming out. CB pages: Should she actually open that envelope, she'll find dozens of newspaper clippings of her columns, with all of such examples underlined or circled in red felt-tip pen. Quite a few of them are for himself, but there are plenty of ones with Kip, Mina, Cerise, Franklyn, Green, and others...

When things start getting hotter, Adalbert looks at Esther with a worried look before turning his gaze to an almost frenzied C.B."Why don't you calm down a little, C.B.?" He asks with his gentle voice as he tries to het closer to the man and lands a hand on his shoulder."Do you want to go outside for a little while with me?"

Enid seconds Esther's offer, indicating the bonbons on her desk with a generous, "You're all welcome to the chocolate, if you don't mind cinnamon filling. It's got a good bite, but it's a sweet burn."

The columnist, in contrast to C.B., is as calm as she has been throughout, expression thoughtful. "I can't control what you think, Mr. Alexander, but I'm sorry to hear that you're unhappy with the column. I happen to disagree with you on several points about the purpose of the column, but we've already proven our opinions there. No sense in rehashing old news."

She flashes a brief smile at Adalbert, then looks to Esther to ask, "You been in town long?"

Esther looks very thoughtful. Then she nods. "I see, Mr. Alexander. You're not a cop. You're an activist. That's a fine and noble career. I'm surprised that you're confronting Miss Schmitt directly and not taking your examples to the...oh. I can see how that might be a problem. Maybe call the television news?" Then she looks to Enid. "I've been in town for around two years, I think. I was living in Maine and thought I'd try somewhere new."

C.B. swats at Adalbert's hand, trying to shrug it off. "Get your hand off me, Hunkpig." Nostrils flaring, he points accusingly in Enid's direction. "You can write me off all you like, but the evidence is there, in that envelope. Ignore me all you want, but SOME of us still use our BRAINS in this town, and I'm WATCHING YOU, Enid Schmitt." Before he storms out, he stops and stares into Esther's face. "I am /not/ an activist. The term is 'organizer.' It's always been organizer. 'Activist' means nothing. I refuse to do things on /her/ terms. You'd all be wise to do the same." Then he finally storms out, and on his way out he shouts -- from down the hall, no less -- "And stop calling me 'Mr. Alexander'!"

Adalbert doesn't look shaken by the way C.B.'s response to his suggestion of going outside to chill and when the other Lost is finally gone, the police officer turns and glances quickly at Enid before giving Esther a more longing look."I guess it worked." He says.

Waiting until C.B. has left the office, Enid muses, "Anyone else have strong suspicions that we've just met Number Six?" She leaves the manila envelope untouched, relaxing back into her chair, and asks the duo, "So. Anything I can do for you two?"

Esther looks slightly befuddled by CB's aggressive exit. She purses her lips. "What's wrong with being an activist? Is being an organizer better because an organizer is organized, but an activist just acts?" More pedantry. She sighs and looks back to Enid. "I believe he means well. He just comes from a place of anger. Maybe fear." This makes her even more thoughtful. She then pulls out a small notebook and a little pencil (the type found at bowling alleys and mini golf). She carefully writes a phone number down, tears off the sheet, and hands it to Enid. "I'm a seamstress, and I've been told that I'm decent at helping people move. If you need my help, call me."

Esther looks slightly befuddled by CB's aggressive exit. She purses her lips. "What's wrong with being an activist? Is being an organizer better because an organizer is organized, but an activist just acts?" More pedantry. She sighs and looks back to Enid. "I believe he means well. He just comes from a place of anger. Maybe fear." This makes her even more thoughtful. She then pulls out a small notebook and a little pencil (the type found at bowling alleys and mini golf). She carefully writes a phone number down, tears off the sheet, and hands it to Enid. "I'm a seamstress, and I've been told that I'm decent at helping people move. If you need my help, call me."

That last bit of information coming from Esther makes one of Adalbert's brows to arch lightly, but soon it's back to its properly place as the man offers Enid a assuring smile, as to make sure she gets that they're there just to offer some support.

Enid spreads a hand, ambivalent. "I'm sure he'd have an explanation for you if you want to chase him down." The columnist watches Esther with the pencil, and, when the paper is offered, reaches out to take it with a crooked smile. "Trade you." Leaning back, she opens a drawer in her desk and pulls out a business card with the paper's information on it. "My number here's on there. I'll get you in my contacts list, and thanks."

Esther takes the card from Enid carefully and tucks it away in a pocket. "Well. We should probably get going. Mr. Alexander has given you some homework, it looks like. Thank you for your hospitality, Miss Schmitt."

"And be safe out there." Adalbert adds less than a second after Esther and offers the columnist another of his polite smiles before following the big woman.