Not Mayberry

Who: Hadley and Dave
When: Late morning
Where: The park

After a successful trip to the grocery store earlier that morning - in which she didn't run into any pricks or toss a bunch of marinara jars to the floor - Hadley unloaded the groceries in her small kitchen and actually cooked herself breakfast rather than spending the cash at the diner. It had been such a long time since she'd cooked herself bacon and eggs and the act itself nearly made her cry even though it was such a small, insignificant moment. But that was one of the many benefits of living alone after spending nine months with strangers. No one could see you at your weakest points and use them against you.

After a quick shower and a change of clothes, Hadley left the house. It took her until she got to the park across town before she finally managed to get her cigarette lit. The sick feeling and shaking hands were almost worth it. Hadley caught sight of the playground area, which she wasn't sure was there before, but maybe she just hadn't paid much attention to it. She sat down on one of the swings and let her feet push her back and forth lazily while she smoked. She wondered if she could get a car. All the walking was going to end up killing her feet and frankly, with the smoking she did, her lungs weren't too fond of the exercise.

Having taken Prophet out for a run with Lina that morning, Dave was out with the dog once again, taking him for a walk before heading off to work. The large, active Elkhound-Alsatian cross needed a lot of exercise, though Dave really didn't have issue with that, being an active type himself. Plus, the park was handily across the street, which made it a very convenient place to walk. The adventure playground attracted his attention immediately, simply because he knew that it hadn't been there the day before. It brought up all sorts of disturbing reminders of things that suddenly appeared with no explanation and made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up as he surveyed it. he caught sight of the girl on the swings. "This - wasn't here yesterday, right?" he asked her.

Glancing up from examining the tips of her sneakers, Hadley found the source of the male voice and looked around to make sure he was talking to her. With no one else in her vicinity, Hadley pulled the cigarette from her lips and exhaled, still studying him. Not anyone she had seen in town yet. Hadley shook her head in response to his question. "You know, I'm not sure? I haven't been on this side of town much since I got here, but I don't think it was. If it wasn't, it seems like an odd thing to build for a town full of adults, right? Unless they think a funslide is going to help cure post traumatic stress or something. Who knows." She shrugged. "Beautiful dog, by the way. What breed is he?" Or she, but she figured he would correct her if she was wrong. Most dog owners did.

Dave was still looking suspiciously at the playground. "Anyone see it being put up?" he asked, though it wasn't to the girl, but to the world in general. He shook his head. He was just being fucking paranoid. Better to concentrate on the question. "Oh, he's... actually, not a clue. Got some Alsation in him, by the looks of it, but something else as well - I'm not good with dogs," Dave admitted. Prophet had just turned up one day - he didn't have parenting papers.

"Well, given the houses around, I'm guessing maybe someone saw, but I don't have an answer for you there." How the fuck was she suppose to know? Although she was suspecting he didn't really expect her to know the answer. It was a jarring thing, she was sure, to come outside and see something new in town all of the sudden. Hadley imagined it would bring forth a lot of bad memories for people. "Well, good with dogs or not, you don't have him in some colorful sweater, so I'm guessing you're better with dogs than some." She took another drag from her cigarette. "You don't look too psyched that you've got an adult sized merry go 'round to play on now."

"A colourful sweater?" Dave asked, raising an eyebrow at that. No - he's a little bit bigger than some celebrity handbag chihuahua," he added, shaking his head. "As for the park, I don't know about you, but I just came from an experiment when the bastards just loved to spring surprise shit on us - things changing round over night, bits appearing and disappearing with no reason. This? Don't like it," he explained.

"I'm pretty sure dressing up your dog isn't limited to smaller breeds anymore," Hadley told him with a small grin. "And the scientists sprung shit on just about everyone I'm imagining, so yeah, I get that this probably isn't the best sign. Though I don't know how many people it'll actually shock." Hadley had been a tad bit paranoid herself that this was just another extension of the experiments, as much as she was hoping against it. "One doesn't spend nine months dealing with mindfuckery to suddenly be trustworthy of any circumstances they find themselves in, you know?"

Dave just nodded, letting her take whatever she wanted from that. He knew he was paranoid - if he was being rational, he knew that this was nothing to do with the scientists, that it had probably just been something to be put in place, to give people something to do, some outlet. there would be a rational explanation. For all he let his paranoia run with Jason, he had to start thinking as though everything was behind him, making efforts to get on with his life.

"Impossible to think paranoia is just going to fade away so quickly," Hadley added. "I'm betting it doesn't fade away at all for some. Even after we leave here. But that may just be the pessimist inside of me. Where are you from?" She probably would have asked what experiment he'd belonged to, but frankly she didn't want to talk about the experiments at all anymore.

Dave was glad of the change of subject, simply because he didn't feel like really getting into things with a total stranger - especially not one who happened to be female. "Florida - you?" he asked, keeping his responses to a minimum.

"Charleston." She swung back and forth lightly on the swing and arched her eyebrow, smirking a bit before flicking some ash away from her cigarette. "Not very chatty, are you?" That was okay, neither was she the majority of the time. And it wasn't like she had any reason to trust anyone in this town either.

"Not as a rule, no," Dave admitted, wondering how soon he could get out of this conversation. He still couldn't shift that twitch. That talking to a woman, especially when she was alone - it felt like a really bad idea.

Hadley shrugged and stopped swinging. Untangling herself from the swing, Hadley stood and went back to her cigarette briefly. "Fair enough," she said with another exhale of smoke. "Can't expect this place to turn into Mayberry. Nice to meet you..." She realized she hadn't gotten his name. No big loss. "Yeah. See you." She waved the hand with her cigarette and started off through the park back to the street. She was more than ready to go home.