Interlude I in Dread Romantic | World Anvil

Interlude I

The Inside of the police department feels sterile and incomplete. It's clear they're missing some things. There's no filing cabinets, no rows of benches and desks. There is only a single office in a mostly empty building, most of the interior having been ransacked sometime before the town was settled.   The dusty computer on the sheriff's desk looks past its prime, forced out of retirement when the E.W.B restored power. Next to the office is a hallway leading to the holding cells where Toby was placed after Dread Romantic's arrival.   It's unbearably hot. Power may be restored, but that doesn’t fix the A/C, which hasn't worked since well before the end, apparently.   While whiskey and corey remained at the storefront, Olive and Mavis journeyed out. It's always hard to explain themselves when they arrive somewhere new. Even now the sheriff stares at them with narrowed eyes.   He leans against the desk. Brushing the sweat off his forehead before speaking, "You what, now?"   Mavis spoke then, "We received a letter from a miss October Wyatt. She sounded like she was in trouble."   The sheriff looks down the hallway and catches a glimpse of Toby's delicate fingers as she steps back from the bard and out of view. He shakes his head. "You all touched?" He asks.   "Yes, each of us gifted In our chosen fields." Mavis replies.   "Oh, Thank you Jesus," The sheriff shouts.
Olive and Mavis exchange a look before Mavis responds, "I'm sorry?"   "This place has been a goddamn madhouse and no one knows how to handle it." He notices their puzzled looks and nods. "Now I'm not sure what your goal really is, but if you're here to help with our little dilemma, we could use it."   "I'm confused." Olive turns to Mavis as if asking permission before turning back to James. "You don't want her in jail?"   The sheriff's reply reveals how tired he is, but it still comes with a raised voice as if the question offended him, "Well, of course not. Toby's never bothered me."   "Then why imprison her?" Mavis asks.   The sheriff looks at the ground for a time. A bead of sweat drips down his cheek and he wipes it dry with his sleeve. "At first it was me doing my job. There are some serious allegations here. I kept her in that cell for her own protection."   "Witch hunts?" Olive asks.   He shakes his head. "You could call it that but It's only a select few. That's more than enough for me."   Mavis shifts her weight from one side to the other. "You're excited about our arrival then?" When the sheriff nods, she asks, "Why? What are you hoping we can do?"   "Shed some light on the situation. Most people here have never seen magic in person and the law sure as hell ain't equipped to deal with it."
"The law?" Mavis tilts her head.   "Preliminary hearing is tomorrow morning. Maybe you could-"   The sound of the front door opening cuts him off. In strides a young, clean cut young man in a suit that's obviously too big for him. "Sheriff." They exchange a nod. "Heard there was something going on. What's all this about?"   The sheriff grins. "Looks like our girl's got some proper defense now."   "What?" The man asks. His demeanor shifts. At first you'd think he owned the place. Now he crossed his arms, his stance wide.   "Miss Mavis here," he gestures toward her, "She used to be a lawyer."   "I see." He holds out his hand, "Mitchell Evans." Mavis shakes his hand and the man looks her over and chuckles. "Do you have any idea what you'll be defending?"   Mavis doesn't bat an eye. Her response is almost instantaneous, "Who."   "Excuse me?"   She wasn't sure of it before. She hadn't seen a courtroom since her husband died. The thought made her sick, but it didn't show. Mavis replies, "Not what. Who."   "I'm not referring to Miss Wyatt." The man shakes his head, stifling a smile. "I'm referring to her charges."
The man continues, "Desecration of a corpse, for one, and of graves."   Mavis turns to Olive, her brow furrowed. "Fetch Cory and one of your cold stones, if you would." Olive replies with a nod then sprints toward the door and out of the station.   The man watches her as she leaves. "Are all those your kids?"   Mavis scoffs and shakes her head. "Desecration?"   The man nods. "Yes. You also have endangering public health, assaulting an officer, and other charges we've chalked up to general malfeasance."   Mitchell shrugs, "Violations of confidentiality and acting in bad faith. Technically she was operating without a license but I imagine our own licenses as lawyers are expired by now, too."   Mavis blinks at the man, trying to work up a response. "That's quite a list."   "Stop toying with her, boy." James glares at Mitchell as he speaks. "Tell her the important bit."   Mitchell's smile fades. "Murder or at the very least, manslaughter."   "Oh, really. I assume everything will be easy to get a hold of for me?"   "You're actually planning on defending her?"
"Was that not clear, Mr. Evans?"   For a moment, Mitchell looks at her with admiration. "Hearing is tomorrow morning." He then nods and turns away just as Cory and Olive enter.   Cory catches sight of him, and stops in his tracks. "You, uh… you alright there bud?"   "What?" Mitchell replies. "I'm fine." He says, though the statement is clearly false. As Mitchell leaves, Cory follows Olive to the sheriff's office.   Mavis looks clearly lost in thought. The heat is getting to her now. She barely acknowledged them when they arrived.   Mavis straightens her posture and addresses the sheriff. "Can we talk to her?"   "Would I even be able to stop you?"   Olive laughs and holds out a small object in her hand, a metal sphere that radiates cold.   "What's this?" James asks, taking the sphere.   Olive shrugs. "Twist it to the right once."  
When he does, the upper half of the sphere rises ever so slightly. Air is pulled through the gap and rises out of a hole at the top, the temperature colder than ice. James stares in wonder at the device as it works its magic. The room already feels cooler than it did before.   Olive then adds, "Take it outside and twist to the left when it starts icing up to release the heat."   The sheriff picks up the key in his free hand. "Thanks for this. We're dying out here. I'll open it up for you. Take all the time you need."   They weren't sure what they were expecting, but it wasn't Toby. The girl sitting patiently on the cot waved as they came into view. "Hello."   Mavis shook her head. "Good lord. How old are you?"   "Twenty-four, ma'am." Toby replied. Her eyes darted toward Olive, who studied her every move. "I didn't actually think the letter would work. You don't have to do this."
    When James opens the cell, Mavis steps inside. "Someone has to. Let's talk about these charges."   Toby's eyes go wide and her voice breaks. "I didn't kill anyone." Tears wells up in her eyes.   Mavis sits on the cot beside Toby. "Sheriff, we may need some privacy, if you don't mind."   "Of course." James waves as he walks down the hallway toward his office. Cory watches, shaking his head with a wide smile.   Mavis waves at Cory to get his attention. When their eyes meet, she asks, "Well?"   Cory lowers his voice. "Lawyer man is off. Those eyes are dead tired. He's stressed, terrified. Something's making his life a living hell."   "Kent." Toby's voice is soft, her response spoken as if it were common knowledge.   "Don't be too worried about the lawman though." He gestures to a bench outside of Toby's cell and everyone's eyes follow.   On the bench, as close to Toby's cell as can be without being in it, sits a cold metal sphere.


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Interlude I


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Jul 13, 2023 18:40 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

James is great, I like him.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Aug 17, 2023 20:55 by Stormbril
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