Life is Good

Every Rose Has its Thorn

Approximately a month has passed, pushing us to mid-October.

Derrick is moderately despondent over Hazel dumping him. Paul is back at work and once again feeling the pressures of his impending transformation. Travis is back from his time following the Sanders campaign trail on the road.

The three decide to attend a large sorority party within walking distance, across the river in Burlington. Derrick is more accustomed to THC and hallucinogens than ETOH, and finds himself quickly inebriated after a coconut rum jello shot or two. He spots Hazel at the party commiserating on a couch with a fellow graduate student in the social work department, Karen. Derrick sees Karen slipping something into Hazel’s drink when she is not looking. Derrick attempts to fall on the table, knocking over the cup, but instead drunkenly falls face first on the floor, bringing the party to a grinding halt. Paul and Travis remove him from the premises.

As Paul and Travis attempt to bring Derrick back home, they hear the sounds of an assault happening behind a home. Paul runs behind the home to find a slight woman being berated and pummeled by a large douchebag. The woman sobs and the man screams at Paul to leave, attempting to intimidate Paul away even in the face of Paul’s revealed policemen’s badge. Paul offers to escort the woman to the police station. Showing obvious fear of the man, she refuses his request and says she is fine. Paul backs away and calls the domestic disturbance into the police. They tell him two cruisers will be there shortly. Paul informs them he has been at a party and had 1 or 2 beers. Before the police can arrive Paul once again hears the sounds of the woman being beaten. If anything, the asshole’s treatment has increased in severity. Paul runs back around the house and kicks the jerk in the ribs hard enough to send him away from the woman he had been standing over and smacking into the ground. Travis also runs around the house intent on observing the whole affair, potentially documenting it for the news. Unsupervised, Derrick walks into these people’s front door and finds himself in a drug den.

Paul further restrains the abusive man, the police arrive and collect everyone. Derrick shouts about drugs in the house. Travis continues documenting. Paul is asked to go back to the station with the police and the methed out coupled to file reports. Travis gets Derrick back to the apartment on their own.

The next day a detective (Davidson) visits the apartment. He had heard that Paul, and his roommates had been at the sorority party before getting involved in the meth domestic disturbance. He has come to ask them about the party because someone has gone missing and their last known whereabouts were at that event. Before the officer can reveal who has gone missing, Derrick asks after the safety of Hazel. The detective relates that Hazel is the missing person. Derrick tells the detective he and Hazel had dated for a short period of time some weeks before. He informs the detective that he did see Hazel at the party and that he saw Karen put something in her drink. Paul does his best to suggest that Derrick could in now way have been involved with Hazel’s disappearance. The detective seems dubious.

The three have lunch together in Burlington and stop at Pearl Street Beverage to get some hair of the dog for Derrick. Karen is working in the refrigerator restocking drinks. Derrick confronts her about Hazel’s disappearance and asks about what drugs they were doing and what had been put in Hazel’s drink. Karen assures Derrick that while she was at the party, she was not with Hazel and did not put anything in her drink. Derrick comes away convinced she is correct and tells his room mates as much. Once home, after a couple hours, Derrick can’t shake the feeling that something is wrong. Finally he convinces himself that Karen was lying to him, he really did see her at the party and he saw her put something in Hazel’s drink. He informs his room mates of this. He also calls Detective Davidson to report the interaction with Karen.

Travis’s suspicions are aroused. Curious as to how Karen had been able to temporarily convince Derrick to believe something other than what he knew to be true, he took to the web to find documented evidence of Karen and Hazel together at the party. From a man’s Instagram account (Sidney) he finds a picture of the party with Karen and Hazel sitting together on the couch.

Detective Davidson shows up at the apartment and berates Derrick for telling him lies about Karen. Karen was never at the party and Derrick is sure to be arrested if he doesn’t start telling the truth. Travis asks the officer to look at the pictures he found. The detective looks at them and shakes his head in disbelief. He leaves saying he needs to take a walk and clear his head.

Paul accesses departmental software so that he can see into the casefile Davidson is building on Hazel’s disappearance. He sees notes on the detectives conversations with Derrick and Travis and Paul, and notes on the detective’s conversation with Karen. Lastly, there are also notes in the interaction with Travis and the Detectives reaction to the photos, the words headache are written over and over again.

Derrick focuses on thinking of Hazel as he goes to sleep, attempting to infiltrate her dreams for the purpose of communication. In the dream he finds himself in a dark wood obfuscated by heavy fog. Hazel can be heard in the distance. He finds here, tentatively pawing at the air with her eyes closed asking where she is and why is she here. He calls to her but she does not respond. Her eyes open, the fog vanishes, the trees all turn yellow, and she disappears from the dream immediately.

Travis continues investigating Karen. He that she is from Putney VT, he learns about her family. He finds pictures of her in front of where she lives, a yellow house.

Paul feels his transformation is imminent and prepares to sojourn in the woods at his campground. Derrick offers to come along to attempt to help Paul maintain control through the transformation. On the drive to the campground Derrick relates the content of his dream to Paul. Paul suggests this must mean that Hazel is at least still alive.

At the campsite Derrick dozes by the fire, from 9 to 1 Paul painfully struggles against the urge to change. When the fight starts to overwhelm him Derrick comes to his aide to try to increase his focus. By 1 it’s too much and Paul must allow the wolf to come into being. Derrick is successful and keeping the wolf’s attention. After a few moments, Derrick’s words cut through the chaotic miasma of the wolf’s need to hunt and feed, giving Paul the opportunity to regain full control and revert to his human form. However, without having eaten anything in his wolfish state, Paul feels exceedingly drained, almost sickly.


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