(2018-10-20) Opening Night of the Calaveras Halloween Carnival
Nothing can ever just go right…


Fairgrounds Nowhere
Sat Oct 20, 2018 — Sat Oct 20 20:57:40 2018

The Calaveras Halloween Carnival is a long held tradition in the area, it rolls through for the last two weeks of every October. This has been the state of things for the last twenty-five years. It sprawls all over the fairgrounds on the outskirts of town, a chaotic tumble of rides, games and autumnal adventure. The last big outdoor festival before the chilly fingers of winter settle their grip.

The ticketing booth is decorated with stalks of corn and hay bales, fake cobwebs hanging partially over the window. It sets the stage for the rest of the carnival, which carries a similar ambiance, colored in oranges, purples and greens. Fake ghosts, witches and monsters abound. An immense ferris wheel looms on the far side of the grounds, while other rides are more immediately visible: bumper cars, a carousel, the wipeout, tilt-a-whirl and even those damn little teacups that kids love but that make adults sick. There are many more throughout the carnival, which also includes, for better or worse: a haunted house.

The Calaveras Halloween Carnival is enjoying its first opening night. There's music blasting from the fun house and screams coming from the haunted house. There's a food truck serving ONLY things cooked in a deep-fryer and the smell of that super unhealthy but amazing smelling food is wafting throughout the entire fairgrounds. "STEP RIGHT UP! ONLY FIVE DOLLARS FOR THREE CHANCES TO WIN! EVERYONE IS WINNER!" Sounds kind of like a rip off, but whatever. The people running the games will try to sucker anyone in. Anyone.

It's opening night at the carnival and the place is in a full swing of activity. Abby and Luke are already here, milling around by a petting zoo. Petting zoos at carnivals are weird though, it's not just goats. For some reason this one includes a giraffe? "Are you sure it's legal for them to have him? Don't they need a permit or something?" That would be Abby, concerned about how legitimate it is for this place to have exotic animals. Which isn't stopping her from stretching up on her toes and trying to touch this one right on the nose. It sniffs her hand and appears disdainful when she doesn't have any food.
"I mean, I don't know. How do you even get a giraffe? I did get to work on an elephant once, when I went to Africa. That was amazing," Luke says to Abby, both concerned and in awe of the giraffe that the petting zoo people have managed to aquire. He's dressed in his typical ware of flannel over cotton shirt and jeans, and it seems like this is the only thing he actually owns. Or, altneratively, his wardrobe is suspiciously disappearing and this is the only stuff he has /left/. Who knows! He reaches into a bucket nearby to grab a cracker that the petting zoo has kept out, sniffing it quickly before holding it up to the giraffe. This seems to get the animal's attention, and the giraffe sticks out it's incredibly long purple tongue to lick it out of Luke's fingers. "That's so weird," he murmurs, but he sounds impressed.

Ethan might have intentionally steered wide of the giraffe-laden petting zoo, having long enough ago to have gotten the lay of the land, and is now standing in line for some of the horrible food for sale. Fortunately, he's got Katherine with him when they arrive at the front of the line, 'cause a beer, a cider, two corndogs, and a funnel-cake are gonna be impossible for one man to hold all by himself. "I almost guarantee you Luke's over there somewhere, which is why we are over here. I am not adopting no shelter-giraffe," he tells Kate with mock-sternness, stepping out of the food line with all this crap in his hands. "I may not have thought this through."

New to the area and now sheriff, Gordon took it upon himself to head over to the fairgrounds to wander around the Halloween Carnival. Primarily to keep the peace in case any troublemakers show up but also to get out and see what the town is all about.

His hands tucked into his coat pockets, Gordon leisurely strolls through the carnival and looks at the various booths and all of the families out enjoying the evening until he comes to one of the vendors with the deep-fried randomness. Deep-fried Oreos and butter sticks? Confusion litters his face as he looks from the menu to the people in line and then around at people walking by as if he can't believe people aren't all stunned by it. Blinking and tilting his head to the side, he turns and continues making his way through the sea of people until he notices the top half of a giraffe neck towering above the crowd. He alters his course to head that way and steps up to get a better view, nodding at Luke and Abby politely, "Good evening."

Katherine moves to take some of the food from Ethan, helping him carry things. "You know, just because Luke likes animals doesn't mean he's at the petting zoo." She holds the drinks and jerks her head toward the funhouse. "Are we eating and walking or are we finding a table?" She blinks at the propect of adopting a giraffe. "I don't think ..nevermind." She reaches out to pinch of a piece of funnel cake. "I should warn you now, Ethan, I do not do well with haunted houses. I scream, flail and attack people who attack me. You've been warned."

The giraffe is incredibly impressed with Luke and starts to chew on his shirt. It's unclear what happened to the rest of Luke's wardrobe, but this one is about to be eaten if he doesn't move away. "I don't know, I guess maybe someone breeds them in the states," Abby sounds dubious. She's too far away to notice Ethan and start waving at him and Katherine, but it's probably coming. She's much more easily distracted by Gordon when he approaches and uses her elbow to nudge Luke gently. "Good evening, Sheriff Bennett! Getting the lay of the land?"

Making his way into the area, Brendan comes to a stop again as he watches the people present, shaking his head momentarily. He steps further into the area, though, just looking around.

"Oh, hey. No, the shirt's not food," Luke tut-tuts the giraffe as though he were speaking to a small child, managing to gently nudge the giraffe on the nose and take a short step back. There's a long line of giraffe-drool on his flannel, and now he's getting nudged by elbows. "Uh, huh?" he blinks a few times, peeling his attention away from the giraffe to turn towards Abby and look up to Gordon. It takes half a minute for Abby's greeting to register, before he realizes who Gordon is. And then the man gets a broad grin. "Ah, Sheriff! Abby's said good things," probably, anyway. He extends a hand. "Luke Wright, I own the vet clinic downtown."

"I'm, like, ninety-percent positive," about the whole 'over by the petting zoo' thing. He enhs about finding a table, then Ethan takes advantage of an unused bale of straw and slides the funnel cake onto it for now, focusing on his corn-dog-and-beer combo. "Oh, well. We're definitely going into the haunted house, in that case." After scarfing all the worst food in the world. "Unless some teenage punk is in there with a faceless-guy mask. I'm still having nightmares."

Kate takes a bite of her corndog, glancing toward the petting zoo with a doubtful look on her face. "Well..you know him better than I do." She mutters, leaning against the straw as she takes another bite of corndog. "Oh, sure, when I get arrested for assaulting some well meaning haunted house operator, I hope you're going to bail me out." She snorts a laugh, shaking her head. "I had to throw away my sweater, and the whole Bo Peep costume, no matter what I did, I couldn't get the rotten egg smell out." Someone inside the haunted house screams and Katherine just aims a look at the place, one of resignation. "I might need alcohol."

Looking back to Abby when she greets him, Gordon offers her a smile and a slight nod as he turns to face her and Luke. "Slowly but surely," he says in response to her, then turning his gaze towards Luke. Abby's said good things, eh? A curious smile tugs at his lips as he reaches out to take the offered hand for a shake, eyes looking to Abby for an instant and then back. "Gordon Bennett," he says as he shakes Luke's hand, "Pleased to meet you." His hand returns to his pocket and he glances over at the giraffe, "Last thing I expected to see here in town."

The giraffe is sad. But it's also an opportunist, it starts to wander away when a screaming child starts waving a handful of food around like a maniac. When Gordon and Luke are making their introductions to one another, she's politely quietly for the exchange. "Yeah, me too. I thought they'd just have a cow or something. I guess they decided to really go crazy this year," Abby says in response to the topic of the exotic petting zoo behind them. Behind the sheriff, she spots Ethan and Kate eating up their food. She lifts a hand to wave at them all friendly like while the conversation continues.

In what could be considered a reoccurring theme for Calaveras residents, nothing ever seems to go just right. From seemingly nowhere, all of the power in the carnival goes out. There's a loud, piercing scream from the haunted house but after that it's stunned silence. Except for the people at the top of the ferris wheel, they're pretty unhappy. One frightened teenager can be heard screaming, "I DON'T WANT TO DIE UP HERE!" She's not really in any immediate danger. Some of the vendors have their own generators hooked up, so there are a few spots of light around the festival.

In what could be considered a reoccurring theme for Calaveras residents, nothing ever seems to go just right. From seemingly nowhere, all of the power in the carnival goes out. There's a loud, piercing scream from the haunted house but after that it's stunned silence. Except for the people at the top of the ferris wheel, they're pretty unhappy. One frightened teenager can be heard screaming, "I DON'T WANT TO DIE UP HERE!" She's not really in any immediate danger. Some of the vendors have their own generators hooked up, so there are a few spots of light around the festival.'

"Nice to meet you, too, Sheriff," Luke says, giving the man a firm handshake before he casts a glance to the departing giraffe. There's a wistful sigh, but he stays put and does not chase after said giraffe, and slides an arm around Abby instead. "You'd be surprised about the things you'll see around here, I think," he comments to Gordon, about to say something else when all the power suddenly dies. "Uhhh.." he starts, only for the scream to pierce through the air, and he tunes his attention over to the ferris wheel. "We should probably go over to where there are lights," but he does flash a concerned glance to the animals, as though they may somehow suffer in the dark.
"It never ceases to amaze me how they manage to get all these things in place," Brendan says, mostly to himself, before he looks around again, pausing once more as he looks over to that giraffe. For a few moments he studies the creature, before he looks around again, blinking as he sees the power go out, glancing over towards the people in the ferris wheel, a bit carefully.
For a second, Ethan is sure enough that he sees Abby over there that he lifts his corndog in that general direction, laughing at Katherine. "I don't think they'll arrest you in a fun house, but - well, I'll bail - " POOF, there go the lights. "Awesome. WE'LL GET YOU DOWN SO YOU CAN DIE ON THE GROUND, DON'T PANIC," he shouts back helpfully. Then he pounds his beer, since no one can see him and judge.

Katherine follows the corndog wave, and spotting Abby she hops up and down a few times, waving. She's about to make noise about going toward the pair when the lights go out. Shit. Ethan starts to yell, and she's close enough that she winces and then starts to laugh, she can't help herself. "I'm sure that made her feel so much better." She deadpans, trying to find the funnel cake by touch. "I can't find the best part of this meal, where did the cake go?"

One can assume Alison was out with some college kids enjoying the carnival, taking advantage of the weeks-long Halloween atmosphere and the general partying that goes with it. There's plenty to see and do so she's really just been wandering with some of her friends. Maybe there are corn dogs? And then shockingly… things go wrong! This makes her 0 for 2 on Halloween activites. At least this time she's not covered in goo! In any case, there's some moaning and grumbling over whatever rides getting shut down right before they can get on, and the group diverts toward one of those few areas that the generators seem to have lit. Still, they're kind of bumbling in the dark, and Alison is especially bumbly!

The animals happily putter around in the dark. They're unconcerned about the lights being out, for now.

Abby looks over at the ferris wheel with all of the people stuck on it. "I hope they can get the power back on soon. I'd go crazy if I was trapped up there," she informs Luke and Gordon, giving a little shudder of her shoulder. "But yeah, lets go over by that food truck? It has power." She glances in Brandon's direction, "You look familiar," she comments.

The person on the ferris wheel hears Ethan and starts to hysterically cry. The panic is already setting in. "GET ME DOWN. GET ME DOWN N-" someone on the ride with her helpfully clamps a hand over her mouth. People stream out of the horror house, one of them disappearing around the back. Some of the workers have wandered over to the power source and there's a lot of muttering and cursing. And one incredibly reassuring statement of, "Hey, man. It looks like someone cut the fucking main line. Do you know how to splice? No, what about? Awwww shit, we're so fucked."

When the area goes dark for the most part and the cool air is filled with the sound of people screaming in surprise, Gordon looks around. First back towards the vendors he had just passed, then to the ferris wheel. He shrugs his left shoulder and reaches up to squeeze the walkie attached to his coat and mutters into it, pausing for a moment as he takes another look around, "Yeah, we may need help down here to get people down from the ferris wheel. Stand by."

He looks back to Luke, assuming that since he's the owner of the vet and is probably responsible for the animals being here, he may know something about the administration of the carnival. "Any idea where the office is, or where the power is wired up around here?" He steps to the other side of Luke and Abby and peers down the path in the general direction of the haunted house and beyond, since he hasn't been that far yet and didn't notice anything when he came in. He sees someone exit the haunted house and then slip around to the rear while everyone else is streaming out to the center of the carnival. "Excuse me," he says, another polite nod towards Abby and Luke. He steps into the crowd and makes his way towards the attraction.

Ethan smiles sunnily at Katherine and assures, "Just doin' my part." He leans low over the plate of funnel cake, poking at it with the stick of his corndog, then finally straightens with a helpless shrug. "At this point, you're just gonna have to power through the powdered sugar blindly." Beat. "Get it? Power through blindly?" He plops down on the bale of straw next to the plate of funnel cake, his version of a mic-drop, and remains happily oblivious to anyone planning to splice wires. Someone else's problem.

"I'm sure they'll figure it out. There's probably too much load on the line," Luke says mere moments before someone's heard talking about someone /cutting/ said main line. This brings a deeper frown to etch across Luke's features, and he gives Abby a gentle nudge. "Yeah, getting into the light would be a good idea," he says, glancing over to the Sheriff and shaking his head a little. "No idea," he says of the office, claiming zero responsibility for carnival knowledge. Or the animals. Though he does give them another concerned glance, even if they seem happy and content where they are. But the Sheriff chooses to wander into danger, and Luke isn't about to follow yet, walking with Abby over in the direction to Ethan and Katherine. "Oh, hey, I thought that dick yelling at the girl on the wheel sounded a whole lot like you, Butterbear," he flashes a dimpled grin to Ethan.

"You're such a charming bastard." Katherine says to Ethan, finally finding the funnel cake and picking up the plate. "Listen, I can eat this thing blind and half dead, a power outage isn't going to stop me." She makes the required tittering noises at his bad joke and sits on the straw, watching people as they stand still confused, or panic. "Do you think they're going to get the power back on? Do you think they're going to get the power back on and find a dead body like a scary movie? Do you think there is a serial killer here?" She sure does have a lot of questions, and now there isn't any funnel cake left. She hears Luke, but she doesn't see him yet.

"What do you mean Chad is on a break? It's opening night, get Chad down here with the damn electrical tape and some wires- WHAT DO YOU MEAN HE'S HIGH?" That's the original worker from before, sounding more and more like he's going into a full blown panic over the lack of electricity. "Passed out?!" he screams into his phone.

Abby frowns at Luke when he mentions the load being too heavy and then someone is shouting about the cut wires. "That doesn't promising. You think the fire department has a big enough ladder to get them down?" She's fine with heading in Ethan and Katherine's direction, even as she looks down at the useless repair guys with a dubious expression.

Gordon has gone toward the haunted house where a mysterious figure has disappeared around the back. From the outside, the attraction sounds almost entirely quiet except for a few odd noises. Behind the trailer that the haunted house sits on, is simply the back of the carnival. It's the behind the scenes of all the rides, there isn't someone immediately apparent back there at the moment.

Wincing as he looks around at the various people, and especially hearing the crying from the ferris wheel, Brendan pauses a few moments as he hears Abby's words. "Ah…" he offers, before he adds a brief smile. "I'm easily recognizable, I suppose." He looks around again, pausing as he watches people.all around. "So, how do we get people down from up there?" he asks, after a few moments.

"Well, of course you would recognize my voice in the dark, baby." Ethan blows a loud kiss in Luke's direction, a big ol' MWAH. He probably shouldn't, but his solution to the ongoing darkness is to reach into his pocket and liberate a pack of cigarettes and a book of matches. "Oh, Kate," while he blows a plume of smoke out of the corner of his mouth, nursing his match a second longer to light his face from below, summoning his best Vincent Price impression. "Don't worry, there's nothing to fear but fear itself-shit." The match burns his fingers, and he waves it out hastily, ruining the effect.

"I mean, it is the only time I actually hear you speak, so.." Luke replies to Ethan, smooching the air back at him, and then snorting a laugh as Ethan burns his fingers with the match. It's the kind of humour that helps ease the tension all around them, particularly as the worker starts to talk in hysterics about Chad. There's a glance in the direction of the voice, and an increasingly present frown, as he murmurs to Abby, "I'm sure they'll get the power working again soon. They should have these rides hooked up to generators like the food trucks, for emergency purposes? I can't imagine how they would've gotten a permit to set all this stuff up without safety measures in place.." But he no longer sounds certain about all of that. And the sounds coming from the Haunted House draw his attention that way. "You guys hear that, right? The sounds coming from over there?" Maybe that's where Chad's getting high.

"Very reassuring." Katherine says lowly to Ethan, getting to her feet when Abby and Luke join them. "I'm sure it made sense to someone to set things up like this." She glances around and then quirks an eyebrow at Luke. "What sounds?" She gestures at Ethan and smirks. "He was yelling at a teenager up on the wheel. Scared the shit out of her." She watches people gathering under the remaining lights. "I'm surprised it isn't a stampede of people trying to get out of here."

Finally managing to wade through the rush of people exiting the haunted house, Gordon pauses at the entrance and looks through the door. He sighs and squeezes the shaft of the flashlight attached to his belt to illuminate the dark hallway and give it a quick glance before moving around to the side of the building where he saw the working disappear. Continuing on to the rear, he looks one way then the other without noticing anyone. He grabs the flashlight from his belt and starts to sweep the area for any signs of the individual. Turning to peer back over his shoulder down the side of the building, he sighs and mutters to himself, "You're probably just losing it, Gordy."

"Yeah, yeah. You were at that thing in Cooperstown where the guy got shot. On 'accident'." Abby makes quotation marks with her fingers to Brendan, indicating her interpretation of those events. "I'm not sure we can get them down." She casts a look in Ethan's direction, mildly skeptical of his impersonation but laughing when he burns himself in the act. "Ha."

"Fine, I'll just try this MYSELF. You're all TOTALLY getting fired after this is over." The worker yells into his phone and then begins the frightening prospect of trying to hook the power back up all on his own. He definitely doesn't know what he's doing.

Meanwhile over at the haunted house, while Gordon doesn't spot anything outside? He's not losing it. He can hear something in the attraction that SHOULD be empty right now since everyone ran out.

Ethan blows a plume of smoke into the darkness away from Katherine, his teeth flashing in a smile afterward, then he pushes to his feet, giving up the bale of straw at last. "All right, I'mma go be a real man and stare at something I don't know how to fix till someone shows up who does know how to fix it." He and his cigarette march over to the guy that's about to get them both electrocuted, getting the lay of the land. "Dude, is this thing supposed to be plugged in?" Lip-pinching the cigarette, he bends over and picks up a plug that's probably supposed to be plugged in and looks at the place where it's probably supposed to go.

"No, it's not the people screaming on the ferris wheel. I definitely hear something coming from the haunted house, shouldn't it be empty? Everyone ran out." Luke isn't a repairman, so there's no hope of him helping with the lights, and besides.. the haunted house seemed way more interesting. What could possibly go wrong, going over there? "I'm gonna check it out. It's probably a trapped raccoon or something," he says to Abby, giving her a kiss on the cheek in case this is his parting words before he jogs on over in the direction of the house. "Hey, Sheriff? Wanna swing your light inside here? I think somebody or something might be trapped. Maybe an animal," he shouts over to Gordon.

Katherine watches Ethan for a moment, a goofy grin on her face. "It's hard to make fun of someone who looks that good when he says something like that." She follows along, and takes the panicked employee aside, speaking quietly to him to try to calm him down. They both turn to Ethan as he asks about the plug, Kate just shrugs, and lets the employee person handle that part. She remembers that her cider is in her hand, so she takes a drink, finishing it and tossing it in a nearby garbage can.

Satisfied that he must've just been seeing things, Gordon walks back down the side of the haunted house. As he rounds the corner near the entrance he hears sounds coming from inside. Pausing, he glances towards the crowd and notices there is no one within 100 feet of the attraction. Maybe someone is stuck inside due to the lights being out.

Stepping over to the entrance as Luke jogs over to join him, Gordon nods and walks up to the opening and directs his flashlight inside, sweeping from side to side as he narrows his eyes. "Anyone still in here?" he shouts as he takes a few more steps inside, aiming his light down at the floor so Luke can avoid tripping on anything in case he follows.

"No, asshole! It's the wire here that's cut in half and-" It's actually the cable that runs into the ticketing booth. He looks from the cut cable to the plug that Ethan is pointing to. "I don't understand, why is that cut? Why is this OTHER ONE unplugged?" He makes a horrific screaming noise of frustration and starts tearing out his hair. One of the other guys, one that's decidedly less stressed out, points to where it's probably supposed to go, "Yep."

Once inside the haunted house, it's apparent that this place is really, really dark. Gordon's flashlight is a god send in this moment and gives the place a significant amount of illumination for both him and Luke. The noise is coming from the back of the attraction, inside. But it's sounding gradually fainter. When the light is swung around to the floor, they can see that there's bloody footprints leading out to the exit.

Meanwhile, Abby sits outside on crate and waits patiently for something interesting to happen. She checks Facebook on her phone.

Luke reaches to extract his phone from his back pocket, blindly fumbling to unlock the screen and switch the flashlight on. The white-light illumination extends Gordon's flashlight, helping to make things almost cheerfully bright in the haunted house. "Oh, hey. Neat. Bloody footprints," he comments idly, looking at them for half a second. "Whoever thinks up these Haunted House ideas must be secretly psychotic. It sounds like there's something in the back," he says to Gordon helpfully, already charging ahead! After all, it's probably just a raccoon. That may or may not be rabid.

There is a lot of stuff in her purse, but no electrical tape. Kate watches as the employee screams, a slightly amused look on her face. "You all don't have some sort of toolkit here where it can be easily found in case there is a problem?" She's looking around warily, a frown on her face. "So who cut the wire?"

Ethan, still holding the unplugged plug, takes out his cigarettes and, shaking the box, extends one toward the guy having a fit, a wordless suggestion. "Thanks, man," he gets out around his own cigarette, then fumbles a few times to try to get the pokey-parts of the plug to line up with the holey-parts of the socket, fucks it up twice (Kate's a lucky lady), then leans closer and gets it right. To answer Katherine: "Professor Plum, with the wire-cutters, behind the ticket booth."

Gordon also noticed the bloody footprints trailing out of the house. He moves the light to follow the tracks to see if the footprints continue out into the grass of the fairgrounds just in case, but before he can he turns at the sound of Luke forging ahead deeper inside. He spins back around and follows suit, raising the flashlight to check up above in an effort to avoid hitting his head on any unseen decorations. Under the same assumption as Luke, there's no real reason to suspect anything suspect happening. It's a haunted house and the generators were probably just overloaded. No big deal. "Hello?" he calls out again as the sound appears to be dying down.

"It was probably CHAD," the screaming employee decides, stamping his foot. He looks at the cigarette that Ethan is offering up, initially disdainful until he takes it from his hand and gestures for his co-worker to give him a light.

The footprints go out of the haunted house, Gordon. And then they take an abrupt turn around the corner. As they travel deeper into the building, the footprints get darker and messier and more pronounced. There's a gasping sound, a gurgling noise and then the sound seems to die out entirely. They're just entering a room that has a cage, the kind you keep a fake mummy or something in.

Outside, Ethan gets the pokey-parts into the holey-parts much to everyone's shock and awe.

Light and power begins to travel across the fairgrounds just as the fire department rolls in with a truck and ladder. Nice timing, guys.

Inside, Gordon and Luke are gifted with the sight of a young woman trapped inside the cage. There's a lot of blood and she does not look alive.

Ethan is as surprised as everyone - "Hey, I think I just did a thing." He looks up when the lights start coming on, then quickly pulls his hand away and shakes it out all 'ow ow ow;' whoever ran this electricity was clearly smoking all the crack.

Luke flashes his light down on the footprints, admiring the commitment to detail that these Haunted House creators quite clearly have. "I could definitely see how this place could be scary, when you've got all the sounds and the people jumping out," he says to Gordon, raising his voice just a little, as though he needed to hear something other than that creepy gurgling noise. And then they turn the corner and - "OH HOLY SHIT!" his phone clatters to the floor when he sees the woman in the cage, the screen likely cracking, but it lands flashlight side up, keeping the illumination on the woman in the cage. For his part, Luke practically leaps into the wall behind him, "Oohh fuck me, fucking haunted houses, that's fucking fake, right?"

Kate claps as Ethan manages to restore power. She holds out a hand to help Ethan up, chuckling softly. "Now I want to watch that movie." She glances at the screaming employee and shakes her head. "This Chad sounds like he needs a good slap upside the head, you should take care of that soon." She glances up at the ferris wheel to make sure it's moving again, biting down on her bottom lip. "I don't think I want to go on that after having seen all of that." She hears some yelling coming from the haunted house and she frowns.

Abby is still on her phone, she glances over her shoulder when Luke starts screaming inside. She frowns and taps at the screen distractedly. Go inside, stay out here? Decisions are hard.
You paged Gordon with 'Yes, it's real! :)'

As the two sleuths continue deeper into the haunted house, fainly outside Gordon can here a voice screaming 'CHAD' and he winces, muttering under his breath, "Fucking Chad."

That's when he looks back down to see thicker footprints in puddles of blood, some of which are still slowly expanding. "This looks too fresh," he says as he kneels down to get a better look. He lowers a hand with the intention of dabbing his fingertip into the substance when he hears the gurgling noise and aims his light up to join Luke's. A dead woman in a cage. He's seen plenty of dead bodies over the years and if this one is fake it is damn impressive. He does his best to step over the trail of bloody prints and crouches down beside the cage, moving his light over the body and tilting his head to get a better look. Squeezing the walkie on his shoulder, Gordon rises to his feet and his eyes turn to Luke, "Dispatch, we need units at the haunted house attraction at the fairgrounds." He glances back down at the cage, "We've got a dead body."

Ethan beams happily when Katherine claps for him, like that's all he ever wanted in his whole life, and finishes his cigarette, dropping it underfoot and crushing it out (and not lighting anything on fire). "Uhhh?" when Luke's screaming manages to carry all the way over here. "I feel like I did all the hero-shit I can handle for one night, but…" He jogs across to where Abby is doing things on her phone and pauses; "Was that Luke or am I tripping?"

Katherine follows as Ethan heads over to Abby. She finds a seat near the doctor and sighs. "I don't care if he's yelling bloody murder (har har), I'm not going in there. Those places are horrible, and there is always a guy with a chainsaw." She gestures to the house and smiles up at Ethan. "You should go check and make sure he didn't fall into a hole."

Luke wasn't screaming anymore at least! He just has a glazed sort of look as Gordon calls into dispatch, the color completely drained from his face. "Fuck," he utters, crotching to get his phone. Thankfully it didn't land in one of those bloody footprints. The screen has a nice big crack over it. "I.. I should make sure Abby's okay, should we be checking her vitals?" He looks to Gordon instead of the dead body, but he was already inching towards the hallway again to double back.

The workers around Kate and Ethan start to disperse now that the power is back on, though the one guy is puffing away like a stack on the cigarette he's been gifted. The fire department is asking the staff a lot of questions. A lot of them pertain to why they didn't just /plug the cord back in/ to begin with.

Abby is sitting there, looking over her shoulder at the haunted house entrance and frowning. "I think it was, yeah. I'm not sure that we should go in there though…" She's at least put her phone away, sliding it into her back pocket and inches towards the entrance. "Are you guys okay in there?" she calls out.

Ethan surely went in to check on his best friend, had an appropriate response to the actual dead-body, and then left hastily to collect Katherine. "So I think the carnival is over tonight, I'mma bounce." It's implied that she can leave, too, and find out about the dead person in the haunted house.

Looking from Luke to the footprints leading out and remembering the figure he saw sneaking around back, Gordon looks to Luke with a calm but serious expression, "Dr. Wright?" he starts, "I'm going to need you to step back out and join the others. He turns to move out of the building as well, resting his hand against the grip of his firearm in his holster. He reaches out and guides Luke with a hand on his back, making sure he doesn't fall into the bloody footprints or possibly pass out. "Backup is on the way and we'll take care of everything, alright?" He needs to go search for the suspect but needs to stay close to make sure everyone else is in no immediate danger. Squeezing his walkie one last time, "Dispatch we need those units here now, please."

Luke absolutely needs no encouragement to leave the haunted house. In fact, he's kind enough to make sure that his hetrolifemate doesn't actually see the haunted house, grabbing Ethan by the elbow to guide him right back out. And perhaps for a touch of support as well, though he'd never in his life admit it. And when he's finally out? He goes straight for Abby, to give her the biggest hug known to man. "I uh. I think I'm done with haunted houses for the season," he mumbles to her.

Abby looks confused when Luke comes out, pushing Ethan straight out the entrance. "Hey, what happened in there?" she asks, certainly not objecting to the hug. But a little baffled. It's not long before more units arrive and an ambulance, pretty soon? This carnival is being cleared out for the night. Looks like they're all going home… for now.

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