(2018-10-09) It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Halloween
The Town Square has been decorated for Halloween and several business owners are out and about, attempting to lure people into business and discussion.

Katherine is here serving creamy pumpkin bisque topped with a few kernels of spiced popcorn. The face painter was kind enough to allow her to set up a crock pot at her tent. She has small paper bowls and disposable spoons, and when people try to give her money she laughs and shakes her head. "Lucy and I aren't charging today. It's the first day!" A little girl pulls at her mom's hand when she hears that, looking to be about six. "You mean I can get my face painted for free?" She asks, a rapturous expression on her tiny face.

"Absolutely." Lucy says firmly, tapping a stool as she grins. "What do you want, bats, skeletons, ghosties ..I can paint you to look like a scary lady!" She seems just as excited as the little girl. A few feet away, the farmer is handing out pumpkin carving contest fliers. "Best pumpkin gets a prize, and all pumpkins get dipped so they'll last until Halloween!"

Never fear, Heather is here! With a camera crew. She clambers out of the KCC1-TV van, slipping a mic in one ear as she does so. A cameraman and a soundman emerge from the back of the van. "Brian. Geoff. I want you to get shots of everyone and everything, ten second minimum. Go crazy with expressionist framing if you want but please do it /after/ you get some establishing shots. Then find me when you're done and we'll get the report down. And…have fun." A smile for her crew before she grabs a smaller camera from the back of the van, closes it up, and then heads into the crowds to find her own fun.

Just off the main drag, the Boardroom probably isn't quite up the same alley as most of what's going on here, what with the 'family friendly' atmosphere, but the doors are open, and a couple of bucks suffice to pay someone to card people on their way in. Halloween music (Thriller, Somebody's Watchin' Me, Monster Mash, etc.) spills out from those open doors, as does Ethan after a spell - armed not with beers and cigarettes but with his camera and its bag. Like, actual camera. Not video camera. (That's so plebian.) Thus, he makes his way toward the main buzz of excitement, steering wide of the news van.

Kris arrives at the Town Square after parking pickup in the nearest lot. It's her own red one, not the official white that she drives while on duty. Her hair is down past her shoulders and she wears a red flannel over a t-shirt, with simple jeans and hiking boots. A holster is visible on her belt, her service sidearm resting there just in case. She makes her way to the tents, to see who she could run into. It's been some time since she stepped foot into the town proper.

Kris grins as she spies Heather, walking up to her. "If it isn't Calaveras' own Barbara Walters. Are you here to uncover the myth of Halloween? It's really all a conspiracy placed on us by the town elders?" She grins, totally joking.

Not everyone might be exactly sure of what's going on at the moment. And so, there's a rather surprised Canadian standing a bit off to the side, as Brendan looks around at the stuff happening. He shakes his head after a few moments, turning around to look around once more.

Katherine is still dishing out food to people who stop by the tent she's at, watching as Lucy continues to paint faces. A lull sets in as people disperse to explore the various things going on and she settles down on a folding chair. She spots Heather's arrival with the news van, reaching to to poke Lucy. "Remember her from high school?" She asks, a grin on her face. Lucy gazes at Heather and frowns. "Vaguely. Did she bring a camera crew?" Kate doesn't respond, she picks up her coffee cup and takes a drink. "Let's hope people don't suddenly get star struck and start hamming it up for the cameras."

"I'd like to think I'm not as old as Barbara Walters" Heather deadpans to the unrecognized woman with a gun. "Probably not the town elders. More the ancient ones under the earth…" She studies the ranger for a moment, her mouth slowly dropping open. "Kris? Kris Chippendale? Oh. My. God. You look…great" she smiles before looking a little worried. "And armed." A moment's hesitation before she gives her old school friend a hug. "So good to see you. What have you been up to? Oh…" Heather steps back to get some quick footage of the ranger - for the story.

Ethan's very in to his picture-taking at the moment. It's mostly random, what he stops to click, but he's generally working his way toward the square.

Kris grins. "It seems like we can leave Cal but we keep coming back." She pats the weapon on her hip. "Totally legal and safe. I'm a park ranger. And as for looking great.." She leans in and stage-whispers. "The Navy has a great fitness program. I've stuck with it even though I'm a civilian now." She looks around as the crowds begin to gather. She smiles to Katherine and waves. "There's Kate. Let's go say hi." She wraps her arm around Heather's.

Another brief shrug, and Brendan makes his way further into the square, looking around to see what kind of things that's happening. He mutters something to himself, before he smiles to some of the people he passes.

Katherine sees Kris approaching with Heather and she gets to her feet, stepping out from the inside of the tent and holds her arms open. "Kris! Looking good!" She gives the woman a hug before she smiles at Heather. "Heather. I see you brought cameras with you, going to catch some candids of the townsfolk for your programs?" She gestures towards the canopy and smiles. "Woudl you two like some bisque, or maybe a drink. We can go over to Java Junction's tent and get a latte."

"Katherine" Heather greets with a nod and a smile - look how adult they are! She releases Kris so she and Katherine can hug, looking around at the stalls while they do so. "This is news, Katherine" she explains. "The beginning of the tourist season. Halloween festivities. And it's…positive. Which is way too rare these days. I'm just reporting, not looking for dirt. Honest." A glance over at the bisque. "Did you make it yourself? A coffee sounds good too. I am on the clock though…but I can spare some time for friends."

Ethan, who's not just a creeper with a camera, happens to be in range of Brendan doing his muttering. He looks over the top of his camera, dredging up a smile that's equal parts sympathy and entertainment, when he addresses the younger guy. "You looking to get your face painted? Or - if you wanna beer, you're headed the wrong way." Pointing back down the sidewalk behind them, he suggests the general location of the Boardwalk, adding, "Just be ready to show ID. I'm paying good money to have 'em checked at the door."

Kris smiles and nods "Bisque would be great.. And a latte. You're looking mighty fine yourself." She says, watching Katherine and Heather. She knows full well what happened in high school but there's no reason why people can't grow and evolve. "It's a good piece. It'll help bring business to the shops and that's always a good thing. More tourists mean more people staying at your Scare B&B right?" She says to Katherine, pointedly. "Is there anyone else we know from school hanging around?"

Brendan shakes his head a bit, offering a grin in Ethan's direction. "Not really, no. I was just going to take a bit of a walk, but I forgot there was going to happen something here." He shrugs a little bit. "And it's not the right day for a beer, since there's practice to be done soon, you know…"

Kate hands Kris a bowl, and winks as a smile forms on her face. "Fall agrees with me, an opportunity to settle in and gain some hibernation weight." She nods at Heather, holding out a bowl for her as well. "I did make it myself, hope you enjoy it." She nods at Kris, chuckling softly as she joins them, walking toward the Java Junction tent. "Wait until this thing morphs into the carnival, things will get moved to the stadium, and it will be amazing." She aims a smile at Heather. "I think it will help the small businesses a lot, but Heather seems to have that well in hand. Did she tell you that she's trying to get the local Vet to sing?" She glances around, eyes narrowed. "There are a lot of locals here, I'd imagine we terrorized some of the people here in high school."

After a short laugh for the whole 'didn't know what he was getting into' bit, Ethan looks toward the fray; "Well, you can still kinda take your walk? Depending on how well you navigate crowds." He ahhhhs, an enlightened sound, about the practice. "Fair enough. If you guys're looking for something to do after practice, though, it's two-for-one shots till midnight. In honor of - " Expansive wave at the budding festivities. " - all this."

Heather takes the bowl and even has a wary taste of it. It's good! "That's not bad, Katherine" she states flatly. "Maybe you can do the cooking show instead of the chat show. Though I did meet a fireman this morning who also cooks. What do people think of…'Fire Chef!'." A beat. "Still working on ideas. Hey, Luke said he could sing…and Kyrie said it should be set in a shower. Don't think you're getting out of this, Kris. You couldn't be more TV ready if you tried." A sigh from Heather. "Gosh…I remember the carnival. It's been way too long. And we didn't terrorize anyone. It was more of a promoting justice thing."

Kris takes a sip of the soup and smiles widely, agreeing with Heather. "This is great." At the mention of Luke singing, she blinks. "We… have a Singing Vet in town?" She shakes her head. "I need to come into town more. All we have is peace and quiet in the San Juans.. At least for now. Ski season's starting up soon." She looks to Heather. "Well, we *could* have some kind of a cook-off, hmm?" She offers as a suggestion. At the mention of her being on TV, she freezes, like a veritable deer in headlights. "M..Me? Whatever the hell for?" She giggles nervously. Talk of the carnival and the past comes up, waxing nostalgic. "Did we miss Homecoming?" She tries to remember when that is. "I haven't been by the school in ages.. One of the drawbacks of living AND working in the forest." She walks with the two as they meander towards the JJ tent.

Brendan nods, "I'll keep that in mind, the drinks, that is," he replies, before he nods a little bit as he adds, "As for the crowds… Reminds me a bit of tourist season back home. At least out by the Falls, that is."

"Apparently Luke can sing." Kate responds, shooting a look at Heather, frowning at the tone of her voice. "Thank you, and no cooking show. I do this for fun, if I did it for work — I'd probably hate it." She snorts out a laugh when Kris gets all frozen in regards to being on television. "Not so easy is it." She mutters under her breath. They reach the Java Junction tent and Kate pays for three pumpkin spice coffee. "Here we go, to Fall and the return of annoying friends and frenemies." She takes a deep drink from her cup and raises both brows. "This isn't bad." She spots Ethan and Brendan and waves in their direction. "Come try some overly sweet coffee!" She calls out, glancing back at Heather. "Fire Chef huh? Sounds…interesting."

"Mmmm, tourist season." Ethan drawls that 'mm' out like he's really enjoying a particularly delicious thought, though it ends when he scrunches up his face. "Tens of thousands of flat-landers that can't drive in the snow. Can't wait!" The enthusiasm is just over the top enough to make it clear that it's anything but authentic. Out of the side of his mouth, after Katherine waves them over and he starts in that direction, he adds, "We've been spotted, you still have time to escape, but I'm done for. Save yourself."

Then turns on the high-beam smile for the trio - Katherine, Kris, and Heather. "Afternoon, ladies."

Heather smirks at the toast before bumping coffee cups. "To annoying friends and frenemies" she repeats before downing a mouthful. "Mmm…that is nice. Homecoming? Gosh, that would have been already. I wonder who gets to be queen these days?" A look of concern at Kris's impersonation of a deer before she reaches out with a consoling hand. "Calm down, Kris. We can talk about it later. Hey, mind if I come up to the cabin sometime?" A quirk of her brow at what Kris said, she is a nosey journalist after all. "'We'? Something you need to tell us, Kris?" Heather teases before being distracted by the wandering Brendan and the approaching Ethan. "Hey, Cheers" she smiles, nicknames are compulsory it seems - and it works on so many levels. "Who is your friend?" she asks with a nod to Brendan.

Kris cheers with Heather and Kate. She takes a sip and nods. "One of the best parts of Fall. Thank you, Kate." She shrugs about Homecoming. "There's always next year. I'm pretty sure I'm not going anywhere." She nods to Heather at the reassurance. "Sure.. we can talk about it later." She blinks. "And… yeah. Come up to the cabin anytime. I mean, it's my Dad's old place, if you remember where it is." She stops at the mention of 'we'. She blushes.. "No.. no 'we'. I misspoke. I meant 'we' as in us." She uses a finger to indicate the trio. She looks up as Ethan and Brendan walk up. "Evening, Gents. Enjoying the festivities as well? Did I overhear something about shots?"

"Ah yes, people driving in snow can be a bit… interesting." Brendan offers, a bit lightly. "Doesn't matter if you're up here or at lower altitudes, as long as there's snow and slush, people seem to have challenge with the driving." He pauses as he hears Ethan's words about having been spotted, turning to look at the approaching ladies. "Hellp," he greets them, before he shrugs a little as he hears Heather's question. "A pleasure to meet you. I'm Brendan Cameron," he introduces himself. Those that follow the university's sports teams might recognize his name from the ice hockey team.

Ethan squints for a second and asks, "It's Heather, right? Hi." Turning with a look, he might've introduced Brendan… or might not have, but it's irrelevant, since the guy does it for himself, and he just opens a hand in a 'there you go' gesture. "You just might have heard someone talking about two-for-one shots till midnight, yes, ma'am." Adjusting the lay of the camera-strap around his neck, he leans toward Katherine (totally in her personal space) to look at the coffee cup she's nursing. "I might take a pass on the sticky-sweet coffee. I gotta go to the dentist, I think."

Kate smiles at Kris, nodding a few times as she takes a sip of her drink. "Don't let her get you to sign a deal with the devil Kris. Be strong." She smiles at the guys when they join the three of them, turning to give Ethan a kiss on the check. "Gonna get all of these people riled up and drunk? I'm sure the cops will love it, I'm serious too, they just love dumping people in the drunk tank.

"I think I remember where it is" Heather nods slowly to Kris about the cabin. "Great place for sleepovers when your Dad wasn't around. Umm…not that we ever did that. No one in your life then?" A consoling hug for Kris. "It's better that way, believe me." She seems to recognise Brendan - she has sport reporters. "The ice hockey guy, right? You would know when Homecoming is. Season started yet?" A nod to Ethan. "Yeah, Heather" she smiles, though she will do her best to look the other way when he and Katherine get lovey-dovey. "I could do some shots…after I do some reporting. Hey, all of you are typical Calaverans, who's up for a brief on camera interview?"

Kris chuckles to Kate. "I've signed enough contracts with my blood. Not about to do it again." She nods. "I'm off-duty, but no alcohol for me. The roads up are treacherous enough at night when I'm sober." She nods to Heather and leans into the hug. "It's all good. I've got my work and… well.. work." She nods to heather, chuckling. "I'll do an interview for you, if it's short. And is there an atypical Calaveran?"

Repluying to Heather's question, Brendan offers the whole group a smile and a nod. "I'm afraid I'll have to run. Got to get to the rink in time to prepare for practice. I hope you all enjoy the festivities, and that we meet again at a later point in time," he offers to them all

Kate holds out some coffee towards Brendan, a smile on her face. "Take this with you to get warm? Have fun, and I hope you guys do good at your next game." She watches Heather and Kris gossip for a little bit, smiling at their hug. "I suppose you can interview me, but ..just a short one?" She murmurs, taking a drink of her own coffee before she glances towards the other tents. Several kids are carving pumpkins, and there are more than a few people walking around with paint on their face.

Glancing across a couple of the kids getting their faces painted, Ethan answers, "Not all of them." Heather's question about an interview has him - making a face that Brendan got an excuse in before he did. His, "Uhhhhm," is a little long for polite conversation, and he searches the immediate vicinity for some kind of out. Then just goes with, "There you go. Two typical townies. Now if you'll just excuse me…" He follows suit, pecking Katherine on the cheek before making a break for it. He'll mill around a while, taking some more pictures, then eventually drift back to the bar to put in a night's work.

As her prospective interviewees start to drop away, Heather gets her camera out to do the spontaneous, totally natural, unrehearsed chat. "As we celebrate the start of tourist season…" She's talking into her mic. "Let's hear what some everyday Calaverans think of the cdlebrations…and the season. I have with me tonight, Katherine Stone and Kristine Chippendale. I'm sure many of you recognise them. Thank you for stopping to chat, ladies. So, what brought you out here tonight? Having fun?"

Kris smiles and waves as the men leave. She then stops short as Heather takes the camera out. She saves any fresh comment for after the camera's put away. "Um.. Hi.. yeah, well." She clears her throat. "Well, the weather's great and the air just feels so clean around this time of year. I've been away for a bit and a time like this is a great way to reconnect with the community. It feels like everyone in town comes out for this and that's awesome. I'm.. having a great time." She hushes, letting Katherine get some face-time. Kris looks at herself, making sure she has her clothes on, no repeat of the last time she was on camera…

Kate watches Ethan leave, a slight smile on her face before she turns to watch Kris speak to the camera. She waits until she's done speaking before she leans in, a winning smile on her face. "Halloween isn't typically the holiday that we're known for here in Calavaras. We're more of a winter town, but we're trying to change that. Come on down, have some pumpkin spiced everything and reacquaint yourself with the people you grew up with, you won't regret It." She flashes a happy smile and adds. "We're having a lot of fun down here!" She turns to wink at Kris, leaning back to sip at her drink.

Heather is impressed. No matter what her friends say, they're perfect for television. "Thank you, ladies. Enjoy your night." She clicks off the camera. "And clear. You two are naturals." Though it was a bit odd that Kris seemed to be checking if she was dressed. Maybe she just wanted to make sure the Park Ranger badge was seen? Finding her drink, Heather drains it with a satisfied sigh. "I'm serious. You two should be on screen."

Kris growls slightly. "You might wanna warn a girl before you str…" She huffs and stops herself mid-sentence. She doesn't stay too mad for too long. "And what possible benefit would I bring? I'm not curvy enough to do the weather." She winks, sipping her latte and her soup. "I should head out. Gotta make sure the trails are clear on the way up. Thank you, Kate, for everything." She smiles to Heather. "One of these days you're gonna get me in more trouble than I'm already in. Townie folk have weird memories."

Kate shifts her gaze to Kris when she growls, her lips twitching but she manages to keep the grin at bay. "You don' have to be curvy nowadays to do anything. I went and visited Eternity, and the guy there says that people come in all shapes, and people like it." She looks smug, nudging Kris with an elbow. "Be safe getting up the mountain, and come down to visit more often, yeah? I'll cook you dinner sometime." She glances at Heather, eyebrows raised slightly. "Natural huh?"

"You're leaving, Kris?" Heather frowns for a moment before a nod to Katherine's words. "Yeah, take care of yourself on the drive. I'll drop by soon, okay. Great to see you again." Another hug for the ranger - Heather usually ignores annoyance directed at her. Or doesn't even notice it. "Hey, trouble is fun. You taught me that." A wink for her friend before turning to Katherine. "You went to a strip club? You go, girl." She looks curious. "Were you after a job? But, yeah, you're a natural. You should totally do that chat show. Maybe even co-host 'Wake Up Calaveras'. Don't even have to leave your home."

Kate glances down at herself, and then up at Heather, an eyebrow quirked. "I'm not stripper material. Not even a little." She folds her arms over her chest and lets out a breath, eyes slightly narrowed. "Okay, I might be curious, depending on how much time it takes out of my day. Why don't you tell me what it will entail and I'll give it some consideration, okay?" She looks thoughtful for a moment and shrugs. "Stop by for lunch tomorrow?"

Kris waves to both. "I'll be safe, I promise. I usually call in anything bad before anyone else can get to it." She hugs Heather back. "Well, since you know where the place is, don't be a stranger." She chuckles, muttering to herself. "And she told ME not to get into any deals.."

Heather nods to Katherine. "Tomorrow. It's a date. And I have work to do. Great to see you both again. Don't be strangers." A sly smile for her frenemy. "Hey, you were the one that said strippers are all types now. Catch you later." Should she hug her? Are they that much adult now? Does the truce extend to hugs and air kisses? Not yet. Ane then she is off too.

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