setting
Index was once a small and close-knit community, but the town located on the western side of Washington state has grown in recent years beyond anyone's expectations. It is the ideal place for those who work in Seattle but can't afford the city's high real estate prices, and for others the natural beauty attracts them to the town. And Index truly is a beautiful place - surrounded by thick evergreen trees, tall mountains and glistening rivers and lakes. While weather is typically rainy with overcast skies even this does nothing to take away from the beauty of the town, and it is only highlighted further when the heavy snow graces the town and caps the mountains in winter. To many, Index would seem like a paradise. And yet lurking beneath this visual beauty there is more to this town than anyone might ever imagine...

Current Time in Index, Washington:
rules
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 [Private] Clear Thinking - Page 2

[Private] Clear Thinking

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Re: [Private] Clear Thinking

Rupert Hemmingway |

Posted on Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:09 pm

I laughed at the coincidence when she pointed out her sneakers. How had I not noticed her own bright running shoes before? Well, maybe I'd been distracted by other things, but they were still very bright and the unusually matched pair we made still had me smirking after I was done laughing.

Quote BeginGreat to meet you, Avery.Quote End I smiled, but something about that name paired with the woman in front of me seemed very familiar. Avery... was it possible I recognized her from more than just our shared running routine? Quote Begin And yeah, I lap it once or twice sometimes for old time's sake, but if I'm honest, I prefer running off the trails on the outskirts of town. Quote End The hiking trails were amazing, and even though the peaceful early morning solitude at the football pitch was beautiful, it didn't come close to the feeling I got out in the woods.

The longer I thought about it, the more I was sure I recognized Avery from somewhere. I mulled over the name again when it hit me, a faint memory of football practice on the very same field but so many years previous. No... it couldn't be, could it? There'd been an Avery at Index High School when I'd attended, a cheerleader who I'd had a silly crush on. It was so long ago that I couldn't remember exactly what she'd looked like, instead just having a vague image of the redhead in the cheer squad's uniform in my mind.

I found myself frowning in surprised delight, not sure whether to believe my gut or not, and decided I'd never know if I didn't investigate a bit. I didn't want to straight on ask Avery just in case I was wrong and ended up giving a creepy first impression.  Quote Begin Did you used to go there?Quote End I asked, thumbing towards the school building.

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Re: [Private] Clear Thinking

Avery Marx |

Posted on Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:30 am

He had a great laugh, I noticed. Easy and genuine sounding, not forced or overly loud like you heard so much. People always wanted to be heard laughing if they found something funny, always wanted to other people to see that they were happy. All these motions that everyone was going through, like they were going through a checklist of things that made them appear 'normal'. I mentally shook off the thought and focused my attention back on the familiar looking man in front of me.

Yeah, great to meet you too. I replied, still looking at him curiously. It was my first time meeting him, right? No, by now I was sure that I'd met him before, especially considering that his name had definitely stirred something in my memory. Now it was just a matter of getting it to the forefront of my mind. Really? I do the same actually. With the laps, I mean. I never get a chance to run the trails... I bit my lip and tried to stop a guilty smile spread across my face, but of course it did so anyway. Actually that's a lie. I have the time but I'd never run it alone, knowing my luck I'd fall, break an ankle and there'd be no one around. Maybe it was irrational but I wouldn't run the trails by myself. Not ever. 

Peyton had run there and we'd never thought anything about her doing it alone. Until she'd been assaulted there before going missing. I'd been to the trails since returning, just to see if they'd held the same ghosts they once had. Thankfully they hadn't and I could see myself going back there, but running by myself was definitely out of the question.

I caught sight of his small frown and immediately wondered what I'd done wrong. Then told myself not to be sill, that he could be frowning at anything and not necessarily in a bad way. I blink in surprise at his question, following the motion of his thumb toward the building, a slow smile dawning on my face. Yes actually... and I'm starting to wonder if maybe you did too? I have this crazy feeling of deja vu standing out here talking to you. I crossed my arms and slowly looked him up and down, trying to be jog my memory and ignore all the things I liked seeing. Like the fact that he was obviously in good shape and had a couple of inches on me in height. What's your surname? If you don't mind me asking. I said, casting my mind back to the football team and all the numbers and names I could still match up.

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Re: [Private] Clear Thinking

Rupert Hemmingway |

Posted on Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:29 pm

Quote Begin Oh yeah, it can be dangerous, especially if you don't know the trails, but enough people go up there that no-one'd be left up there for long without someone coming across them. And I'm sure you wouldn't break an ankle, I've seen you run - remember?Quote End I grinned, and switched the leg I was leaning my weight on. She was right, it was dangerous. Maybe she just needed a running buddy..

Yes, I knew I'd seen her somewhere before. It had to be the same Avery from the cheerleading squad, it was too coincidental not to be. My inner teenager was frothing with excitement that I actually got to meet her again, that she was still beautiful and I was no longer that gawky, gangly, teenager with stupid hair. Of course I tried to play it a bit more cool than that though, even if my excitement was bleeding into my smile. Quote Begin You did go here? It's weird - I thought you looked familiar. I went there too, but I moved after freshman year and I only just came back.Quote End I shook my head, though I was a bit confused why she was asking for my surname. Quote Begin No problem, it's Hemmingway.... but I'm sure I was the only Rupert in the school. And yours... Quote End It was right on the tip of my tongue... Martin? No... I was so excited when the name came to me that I completely forgot about keeping my cool. Quote Begin Marx! Avery Marx, isn't it?Quote End

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Re: [Private] Clear Thinking

Avery Marx |

Posted on Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:52 am

I know the trails well enough, it's really just the idea of injuring myself when no one's around. The trails themselves are like second nature, but I suppose that could be said of anyone who spent their childhood using them as their own personal playground. I grinned, remember the gang of kids I'd hung out with when I'd been quite young, the way the beauty of the area hadn't totally been lost on us seeing as we'd pretended they were magical lands with dragons and knight and wizards. My smile widened at what he sad about my running and I couldn't help myself but flirt a little. Careful now, I might take that as a compliment. I joked, uncapping my water and taking another quick sip.

Could you blame me for exchanging some playful banter with this man? He was incredibly handsome, and very mannerly despite the slight 'bad boy' look he had going for him. I'd thought the same about him when I'd noticed him before, even thought about doing more than just a nod of acknowledgement you always saw runners give each other. Now that had actually happened and it turned out we both thought the other was familiar. Index was showing its' small town roots again. Yeah, I finished up around nine or ten years ago. You got out early, huh? Lucky you. I grinned, though I was so close to placing him now that it was frustrating. Until he mentioned his surname and it clicked into place. Hemmingway? Oh I do remember you! I remember being jealous that you shared the same surname as such a great author. I was a closet literature nerd back then. You were on the football team right? I remember your surname on the jersey. Which had been the reason I'd asked for it in the first place. I beamed at him when he remembered my name, feeling ridiculously pleased that he had. Yes! That's right! Wow, this is crazy. I haven't seen any of the guys from the old team since I moved back, you're the first.

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Re: [Private] Clear Thinking

Rupert Hemmingway |

Posted on Thu Feb 05, 2015 11:45 am

Running was something I enjoyed immensely, but it had been momentarily pushed to the back of my mind in favor of something I was enjoying much more. I folded my arms, a relaxed smile on my lips as I nodded in acknowledgement while I listened.

Quote Begin I think you're on the logic with this one, and I just never developed a sense of danger. Or I've spent too long living on the wild side. Quote End I nodded again, curious that Avery had left the town too, but come back. Quote Begin You know, I never counted myself as lucky. I always missed this place. The business of the city just doesn't compare. It's strange though, towns like this, I bet everyone either stays all their lives, leave forever and never look back or leave and end up making their way back here. It's like the place had a pull on me, I swear. And hey, you're right too!Quote End I grinned, letting myself shake my head in remembrance of my football days, as short lived as they'd been. Quote Begin A closet literature nerd? Weren't you a cheerleader? I didn't know you were allowed to be both.Quote End My smile took a turn for cheeky and I winked at Avery, biting at my lower lip as I grinned.

The early morning wind was cold, and the longer we stood still chatting, the more noticeable it became. I rubbed at my arms, hoping to put off leaving as long as possible.

Quote Begin I remember you cheering at the games though, and honestly you've hardly changed since.Quote End Stick a cheer uniform on Avery and I'd forget which decade I was in. She'd hardly aged at all, and obviously wasn't one of those people who went through a visual transformation as they grew older. Quote Begin And I actually saw Hank - you remember him, the quarterback? - the other day in town. He's still here, never left.. married his high school sweetheart - I think she was the head cheerleader, actually? They've got two kids as well, made me realise how long it'd been. Now he had changed a bit. Quote End I grinned wickedly and outlined a circle from my stomach to emphasize how much larger Hank had been. He'd always been large in a bulky sense, and when I was younger and not so built myself I'd been a bit jealous and had aimed to get a physique like his, but he'd definitely lost it over the years. It might have been mean but I still got a kick to see that the tables had been turned.

Quote Begin Anyway, what took you away from this sleepy town?Quote End I shifted again, refolding my arms and gazing at Avery.

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