(2018-03-13) How to Make Friends
How to Make Friends
Summary: "Be genuinely interested in everyone you meet and everyone you meet will be genuinely interested in you." - Rasheed Ogunlaru
Date: IC Date (2018-03-13)
Related: none
Player Characters: Karl Russell

Gingerbread Witch Candy Shop - Central PA

A cramped, long store wedged in between a restaurant playing loud Italian music, and a head shop that has an adjoining door, often left open to let the pachoili and dreadlock scent waft in, along with it's munchie-prone clientele. The furniture is 'ye olde', but the employees wear crisp, '50's soda shop style uniforms.

The walls are painted in a bright fairytale mural. A long, glass countertop runs the length of the room, shining a bright light on numerous handmade confections. On the countertop jars of oversized lollipops and cheap novelty toys entice impulse buyers. At the end a freezer offers home-made ice cream and other frozen treats.

Along the opposite wall shallow shelves hold toys and packaged candies. Below them, small tables alternate with wooden barrels full of cheap, bulk candies. At the end of the narrow shop a final counter, set up like an old-time soda fountain-offering Italian sodas and coffee drinks- has a row of stools to sit on. Behind the counters sinks, high-priced items, menus and necessities of the job are arranged in neat cupboards. A set of swinging doors leads to a tiny stainless steel kitchen.

The visitors to the candy shop are usually children accompanied by an adult or those on their lunch break taking a pause to satisfy a sweet tooth. Officer Russell would be the later. He worked out doors and made a visit to the various establishments regularly as part of his beat whether for idle chit chat or to check on the welfare of others. Nothing suspicious would be found here. Attached on his shoulder is a police radio where occasionally the dispatcher could be heard speaking in code. The squad car he drove was parked right out side, his partner was seated within looking over his log book.

There were a few people already in line, just three, waiting their turn to acquire something fluffy, hard or extremely sweet. Russell was kneeling forward, one hand on his knee to check out the brightly colored trays of thousands of candy on display. "That one is new." He points to some chocolate covered nutty thing with geometric shapes.

A few moments later and the front door's ring can be heard announcing that another customer entered. Though, this is one is far from being just a regular customer. He glances around, looking completely Lost. The man stands still a few feet away from the front door, with his emotionless eyes wandering around as if he was trying to understand what this store is about. Some of the other customers murmur to each other while one or another dodge him on their way out/in the store.

Russell doesn't straighten his posture right away after the ring chimed another visitor to the shop. The murmurs gave him reason to turn about to see what was the cause of it all. Once upright the patrol officer sets a casual hand on his hip, just out of habit. It was just a coincidence that it was the same side where his gun was holstered. Visitors to a new city had the same look, well somewhat similar. When he turned away from the brightly accented counter of savory sweets the man gave the new visitor a smile. "Hey buddy, how's it goin?" He asked the elder gentleman pleasantly.

The words make the treant to finally blink and turn his body slowly to face the Officer. When the maneuver is finally complete, the Lost stares at the other man for a second or two before taking another action."Good." He says in a very monotonous and plain voice. Then he blinks. It's a slow movement. As if it the man has to remember on do automated body movements on purpose to look human."You?"

"Hungry." The cop smiled, "Not a healthy choice now is it?" Russell chuckled a touch as the line moved which allowed him to step forward but he remained where he stood. "Officer Michael Russell." The hand rested on his hip was extended forward for a proper introduction to the man.

The treant looks from the man's face to him hand and back to the man's face."Karl has food in the woods." He answers ignoring the police officer's hand while staring at his face with that same expressionless face.

Denied the courtesy Russell's hand lingers for a moment before returning to rest back on his gun hip. "Karl huh?" He said learning the man's name. "I bet you have some good food waiting for you out there. But have you tried the diner up the street?" He asked. "Closer and the prices are fair."

"Diner up the street?" Karl repeats and turns slowly to face the direction where the said place is supposed to be. He strangely stares at the wall for a moment making the customers a little bit more curious about the weird man. After a couple seconds, he finally blinks. "Karl eats only plants." He then murmurs.

"A vegan." Russell confirms. "That's pretty popular these days. Better choice than this place huh. I bet they have some options to suit your preference. I am pretty sure there's an all you can salad bar just down town." He offered in broadening the man's options while studying his unusual mannerisms. "So Karl, do you live in those woods?"

Upon hearing the Officer's words, Karl turns around in the very same way. When his eyes find the other Lost, they stay there. They're completely emotionless and timeless."Karl is part of the woods." He says after another moment of silence."Are you?"

Russell deepens a smile in the corner of his mouth, "Guess you could say I am. Born and raised right here in Port Angeles so the woods are apart of me is likely how it would go." He shared proudfully.
Metaphors. The treant doesn't get it. Instead, he continues staring at the Officer and once in a while, he blinks.

Meeting the treant's gaze the patrol officer continues the pleasantries while other patrons of the candy shop eyed the man warily. "Well Karl, doubt there will be anything to satisfy a vegan's pallet here. What brings you from the woods?" Russell asked, still curious about the visitor.

"Bea told me to come and make friends." Karl says plainly and then, finally, tries something more human. The treant puts his lips together and up in an effort to offer the Officer a smile, probably. The result, though, is a little macabre.

Russell's head tilts sidelong at the smile, rather the attempt at one. His composure remains though even if others within the establishment were rightfully creeped out. "Who's Bea? They sound pretty helpful."

Karl keeps holding the creepy smiley face as Russell speaks only releasing it when he is about to say something. First, he blinks, then, he stares and, finally, he opens his mouth to say something. It's a very slow process."Bea is friend of the woods." He lets out of his mouth."Are you friends of Bea?"

"Not yet but doesn't mean I can't be. Can be your friend too, I am pretty good at making friends around here. It's sort of what I do." Russell answered the treant just as it was his time to place an order. "There we are…" He turns partially to the service worker behind the counter. "Half a pound of those Nutty Buddies. That's all. Actually make it a full pound. And some of that cheesecake fudge. Just half a pound." The officer turns back to the treant, "If you're here looking for friends Karl you just made one. I patrol these streets almost every day so if you see me around say hi. Or give a wave. Can you do that?"

Karl seen to have trouble understanding english by the way his eyes fix on the other Lost's lips when he's speaking. When he's done, the treant's emotionless eyes meet the officer's and blink."Officer Michael Russell is friend." He murmurs and slowly risis his hand and waves it like an automaton would do. The movement is there, but there is no meaning.

"There we go. That's right." Progress. Russell makes a motion with his finger moving back and forth between their bodies. "Friends." His order was ready. The cop turns around just for a moment to pay for two small bags. He does lean a little closer to the young worker with hushed words following. "…harmless…confused." When he resumes facing Karl the treats are not yet sampled. "Do you have family around here Karl? Is Bea family?"

Karl waits patiently for the other Lost to finish with the cashier. In fact, he doesn't look patient. He looks just…there. Like a tree would be. He's motionless and his eyes stare the police officer the whole time with that imutable emotionless expression. But when hears the question, he remembers to blink and, this time, even to breath."Bea is no family. Syl and Ryl are family." He says.

"Syl and Ryl?" He asked. "I don't know of them. Do they live here in the city?" Russell probed the treant catching on that his understanding was below the average visitor.

"They live in woods. Ryl doesn't come to the city. Syl is outside." The treant says as he stands still in the very same position as when he got inside the store. His eyes never leaving the police officer.

Russell nods a touch, "Outside?" His eyes look past Karl towards the large shop window with a view of the street before them. Cars pass respectably minding the speed limit and the sidewalks hosts pedestrian traffic heading both east and west directions. He caught the sight of his patrol partner standing beside the squad car just watching everything. "Well I shouldn't keep you from making more friends Karl. Maybe I'll check up on you out there in the woods. It's been a while since I've been camping. Since I was kid really."

Karl takes a deep breath as if he was preparing to do something special."I'll be watching." He says and then, a second later, he just turns around and starts moving in the direction of the front door. It's slow and, apparently, a bit difficult to him to walk but he manages it.

Russell remains within the shop as he watched the treant make his slow and ill-practiced departure. He leaves only after catching which direction his new friend Karl heads into. Once outside the cop meets up with his partner, Peck, then tosses the bag of recently purchased candy at the man who asks, "Hey, what took so long?" No sooner had the bag of candy reached his possession the man was reaching inside for one to bite into. "Making friends." Russell answered as he rounded the back of the squad car for the driver's seat. "Part of the job. I'm like Mr. Rogers around here. Without the sweater vest and the puppets. Hey.. nuh-uh, no eating in the car."

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