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JR's Family Farm and Corn Maze, Egg Harbor Township, NJ. Saturday, September 23rd, 2017. Shortly before 10:00 pm The Richardson family had given the heroes the use of their barn for this initial planning session; Emily Richardson had been nice enough to provide coffee, donuts and several lanterns, but Grimalkin, 'the Mistress of Mystery', had conjured up the long table and a dozen chairs that currently occupied the center of the barn. She'd also playfully decorated the place with colorful streamers, cobwebs and a few skeletons. The barn was redolent with the smells of farm animals and hay. Grouped at one end of the table were three figures; two of them were instantly recognizable by those who knew Freedom City's heroes, but the third, not so much. Grimalkin and her partner in all things the Shrike were joined by an older man in a wheelchair with a gray ponytail who wore a mask made from a black bandana with eyeholes cut in it, but otherwise wore well-worn denim and a pair of black Doc Martins. All of them were enjoying a cup of coffee, waiting for the others to arrive. After a few minutes of waiting, the older man checked his watch and sighed dramatically. "So how late do you think this meeting will go? You know your mom doesn't like me out late on Saturdays." "'Butch', can you please ixnay on the ecret identity-say? Some heroes are paranoid; they might be casing the joint invisibily to see if its a trap." Butch looked around nervously. "Oh, right...hadn't thought of that. 'Loose lips', am I right?" "Exactly." A few minutes later, the older civilian cleared. "Look, if I'm gonna join you on your adventures, can I at least get a utility belt or something? I don't have super-cool powers like you and your girlfriend here." "Dad, I'm not gonna get you a utility belt; you'd...try to use the laser blowtorch and burn the house down." Butch sniffed and folded his arms. "Fine, just let the bad guys take your old man hostage, then!" "Dad, just...ooh!" No said anything for several minutes until Gretchen reached out with her mental link. -You two are adorable.- -Quiet, you!-
Silberman's Books. Saturday, October 31st, 2015, from the Crack of Dawn to the Witching Hour. Originally Lynn was going to give Halloween a pass this year; not that she wasn't going to observe her favorite non-Jewish holiday (yes, she liked it even better than Thanksgiving), but she wasn't going to do anything special beyond having candy for trick or treaters and maybe conjuring up a few decorations. School was taking up more of her time, and since Gretchen had become her personal crime-fighting assistant she was actively hitting the streets again. In addition, last year's Pier 13/Autumn Court incident took a little wind out of her sails, and she still felt bad about how she'd treated Tona at last year's Halloween party. So this year, she planned to keep it low key. That is, until her sidekick saw how pitiful she'd looked all week, what with the sighing and the longing looks at every jack o' lantern or cardboard cut-out of Frankenstein's Monster taped to a window. She hated to see her normally effervescent boss all mopey like this, so she made a decision and confronted her. "We are doing a haunted house on Halloween, right here in the store," she'd insisted. "And you are going to be scary and inappropriately cheerful and have a great time." And that was that. Shaken from her funk, Lynn really went to town, staying up half the night on Friday to cover the place in cobwebs, skeletons and other ghoulish paraphernalia. Gretchen tweaked the store's sound system and ran cables out into the yard so she could set up hidden speakers in the spooky mini-labyrinth her boss had conjured between the back of the building and the carriage house. Lynn's dad Butch dug his vintage 70s haunted house LPs out of storage and lent them to Gretchen to upload and remix. And in the loft of the carriage house, Lynn cleared out all her conjured gym equipment to make a funky, freaky black light party room, where kids and adults could bob for apples, play scary games and make their own Halloween masks. Emails were sent and cryptic hints left on rooftops in the hope that some of Grimalkin's 'friends' might make an appearance. Not bad for a night's work, really! - - - In the morning before opening, the Silberman's staff was rather stunned; Lance wandered around the dusty bookshelves, slowly shaking his head "Uhh, boss lady? When were you planning to tell us about all of this?" "I know, I know, I should have; I wasn't planning anything, but then Gretchen got sick of seeing me all hangdog, so-" "No, it's awesome, I just-" "We don't have anything to wear," chimed in Kiki, who also seemed to be charmed by the whole affair. "We can make costumes; we can use stuff lying around the store, I can conjure more stuff-" "I have lots of makeup!" Maddy dumped out the contents of her purse and began digging through it. Gretchen grinned wryly, crossed her arms and bumped her hip against Lynn's. "See? Told you this would work."
Okay, just in case we need it, I'm putting this here. Let's assume a time jump from the morning when Saku arrived (we will assume she helped out in the background) to the evening when everyone else gets there; I think that will make things smoother.
I typically like to do something Halloween-y with Grimalkin every year, as it's one of her favorite holidays; as a sort of sequel to this thread last year, I thought it might be fun if Grim agreed to help out some local farmers by spicing up their annual corn maze. Yes, they have them in New Jersey; this one would be quite close to Freedom! Unlike last year, i don't really want to do more than have this be a social/fun ideas thread; I didn't have the time to run the combat/mystery elements last year, and i have even less time now. Please let me know if you're interested!