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In The Park; Open Thread
Topic Started: Oct 27 2009, 12:09 AM (1,159 Views)
Outfoxd
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"Thank you." Lily said, but there was little evidence in her tone that she was relishing the comment. She was business now, and she hoped Everett was feeling receptive.

"Well, what I'm looking for is just a quick interview. You tell me about what you do here, just like what you said before, with anything you want to add." She gave a smile on the tail of that.

"Just a human interest piece. Like we've seen before..." she said with arms raised outward, into the park. "A teen actually sticking with their work here isn't a common thing, you know?"

She stopped, letting her arms drop slightly to put the notepad and pencil out of view, to appear nonthreatening. "What do you say?"
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MurderWeasel
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Lily did want an interview. Moreover, an interview about Everett. He paused for a second, totally shocked that she thought people would be interested in him.

"I'd love to help," he smiled, "Just... anything you need to know, feel free to ask."

He paused for a second, not quite sure what he should do at this point. He'd never been interviewed before. In fact, he really wasn't used to being in any sort of spotlight. He had to make sure he didn't sound stupid. He had to make sure not to come across as a total idiot. Of course, all ability to form coherent sentences seemed to have left him for a second.

Then a flash of inspiration hit him, something that excited him enough that he forgot his nervousness entirely.

"Hey," he said, "do you think maybe you could mention that I'm looking for someone to take over after I leave? Maybe then some underclassman'll hear about it and be inspired to help out!"

He paused, then, waiting to see if Lily would agree, and what else he would need to say for her interview.
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Juliette Sargent drawn by Mimi and Ryuki
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Lily wrote that down; a search for new workers was indeed a relevant point to make about the story. "Sure. You being here's news; you leaving and needing successors is news too." Afterwards. she stuck the end of the pain in her mouth. Lily didn't like coming into interviews without questions prepared; took more time and made her seem like she didn't know what she was doing.

"How long have you been doing this, and what all are your duties?" She asked, the pen back to being poised above the notepad.
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"I've been helping out for a little under two and a half years now," Everett said. "My job is mostly just cleaning up trash, clearing up graffiti—well, actually just covering it over with a marker, and generally making sure things are nice. If there are ever serious problems, I call someone at the city and they come deal with it. That's what happened the time I found a little plastic baggy of dried plant stuff lying around. I thought it was pot, but it turned out it was just someone's loose tobacco.

"I come here once a month to clean," he said. "It takes about an hour and a half, usually. Some other people are supposed to cover the other weeks, but it doesn't always happen."

Actually, it almost never happens. Maybe we'll get really lucky and a few other people will want to help. Then the park will actually be clean for more than half a week each month.
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Juliette Sargent drawn by Mimi and Ryuki
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Lily listened, watching Everett intently as she scribbled down important bullet points on her pad. She wrote down both the pot and part about people covering weeks in full, using shorthand and abbreviations where pertinent so she could get through it without having to catch up to Everett.

"Why do you think people tend not to show up for the other weeks?" She asked; an open-ended question, like the first one. She was looking for broad info, more points she might be able to take on the successor angle.
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Lily was actually taking notes on what Everett said, which made him feel a little weird. It wasn't bad, just odd. Usually, no one paid that much attention to him, even younger students he was supposed to be tutoring. He shifted a little, scratched his neck, and tried to stay comfortable.

Then Lily asked him about the other people, and why they didn't come. That was a bit of a tricky issue. He didn't want to condone their misbehavior, but he didn't want to sound too crabby or bitter, either. After all, what he was saying was being noted, and, for all he knew, could end up in the school paper. He took a deep breath, stalling for a second, composing his thoughts, and then spoke.

"I'm sure they've got their reasons," he said. "Some of them are probably busy with other things. I mean, doing what you volunteer to is important, but, say, family issues have to come first. Other people probably forget. Unfortunately, I think some of them just don't care, too. They really should just resign, ask someone else to take over. But, you know, it's fine as long as it gets done somehow."

That was good. He'd kept it nice and positive. Not bitter at all.
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Juliette Sargent drawn by Mimi and Ryuki
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Lily scratched furiously, working fairly hard to keep up with Everett. That was a good quote, as it was giving her some good color as to what the whole situation was with the cleaning. She wished a little more now that she would've had a tape recorder handy.

"What do you think's going to happen to the park when you leave?" She asked. Here was a money question. She didn't want him to talk himself up, necessarily, but she did want his honest opinion on the state of the park. As she waited, she brushed an errant strand of hair out of her eye.
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Everett considered Lily's latest question. It was a tough one, both because he wasn't immediately sure of the answer and because he would again have to make sure his answer wasn't offensive.

"That really depends," he said after a moment, having settled on a safely moderate answer. "If someone else takes over, it could become really great. It might even get better, if a few more people start working on it. It's got potential to be a really nice place.

"If we can't find anyone, though, I imagine it won't end up so pleasant. The trash really piles up just over a month. If no one looked after it, the park could end up looking like a dump. That would really be too bad. A lot of people like it here."

That sounded good enough. Maybe it would motivate someone to take over. Everett's actually predictions for the park, if left unattended, were much worse. He envisioned drugs trades, gang fights, and all sorts of nastiness, most of it stuff he knew was quite unlikely. Still, he felt the park would go to pieces without any caretakers around.
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Juliette Sargent drawn by Mimi and Ryuki
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Lily smiled as she wrote. Everett seemed like he wasn't used to people taking an interest in him, but he was pretty good at being diplomatic. Nothing in what he said was very incriminating, yet it painted a fair enough picture of what was going on.

Once he was done, Lily tapped the edge of her pen against her lips, thinking if there was anything else specific she wanted out of Everett. She couldn't, and if she thought of something later she could probably find him later at school. This was a personal project for the moment anyway.

"Is there anything else you might want me to know?" She asked, the standard parting question her mom always told her to end an interview on.
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"Not really," Everett said with a smile. "Thanks for taking the time to talk with me about this. I really appreciate it. If you need any more info, feel free to give me a call."

He dug a piece of paper out of his pocket, along with a pencil, and scribbled down his phone number. He hoped Lily had enough to work with, but if not, he would be happy to provide more later. Maybe she could actually convince people to care about the park again.
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Juliette Sargent drawn by Mimi and Ryuki
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Lily took the piece of paper. "Oh, no problem. Something like this is nice for the paper, lets students see something positive for a change. We'll see if people will take an interest in it." She stuck the paper into her pocket, and put the sketchpad back into her hip pocket.

"I'll call you if I need clarification on anything. Thank you so much for talking to me." She turned to leave, but then stopped, remember something. The sketchpad came out into her hand again, like a magician making a card appear.

"Damn. Forgot to get your name and title, if anything. Spelling, too. Don't want you coming back to me over a spelling error."
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Everett smiled. Lily was certainly thorough and professional. She would be a very good reporter some day. He said, "Everett Taylor," then spelled it for her, slowly so that she could have time to write it down.

Then he said, "It was a pleasure being interviewed by you. If you need anything else, just let me know. Thanks again for your help."

That done, he waited to see if the interview was over.
V7:
Juliette Sargent drawn by Mimi and Ryuki
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Phillip Olivares drawn by Ryuki
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Lily finished writing down Everett's name, and again the notepad went away into her hip pocket. She smiled.

"That should about do it. Thank you, I really appreciate you taking a minute to sit down and talk to me. If I need to clarify anything I'll give you a call, okay?"

Lily turned and started heading back to her car, noticeably brighter than when she first got to the park. Having an actual story to submit to the paper was doing wonders for her mood, and she was already thinking of how she was going to arrange it. She might even start it when she got home. Never hurt to be early.

((continued elsewhere))
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MurderWeasel
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"No problem," Everett replied. Then he watched Lily head out of the park. He hung around for a few minutes more, enjoying the afternoon, and then he, too, left. He had more things to do today.

((Everett Taylor continued in Let the Dance Begin!))
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Juliette Sargent drawn by Mimi and Ryuki
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