This One Goes Out to All the Dreamers at Sea

Echo Echo 
#1



 She was nervous? Was she supposed to be nervous? Probably not. She thought about the last time she'd felt nervous, how she'd managed to not set anything on fire in the process. Hopefully, this would be like that - not on fire and pleasant and girl time, like a normal person and not a wizard or whatever. She ran her hands over the corduroy of her overalls, winced as she imagined striking two pieces of flint together and resigned herself to just suffering quietly with somewhat sweaty palms.

 The first band of the local showcase was on stage to her right and further back, unrolling cords and wires and tuning their instruments as they positioned amps and bickered about lighting. She rocked a little in her chair, reminded herself that she had come early to make sure to get them all a decent table. And no, they weren't going to stand her up - Amber was too nice to do that and by association, Natalie would be a sweetheart and this was when she would really strike gold where Mountainside and being social was concerned.

 Their waiter oogled her and she gave him a small smile before she picked up her menu and busied herself by looking it over. Maybe his sixth sense was tingling, maybe he thought she'd been stood up. She hadn't, they would come. She hooked the heels of her boots on the bar of the stool and stretched, pointed her toes downwards as she skimmed over the appetizers once she decided she had earned a beer even if the other two weren't there yet.

Texting and asking if they were coming felt too clingy so she did the next best thing - devised a sort of plan. Picking up her phone once she had ordered and sent their waiter on his merry way.

I wasn't sure if you guys liked cheese sticks or potato skins so I ordered cheese sticks and potato skins. No rush. Can't promise I'll be able to resist temptation though.
Piper

She hit send, no take-backsies.


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#2
Late again! Ahhhhh. Next time she had the hair-brained idea to run an errand across town right before meeting friends, somebody smack her. Thankfully for everybody, Natalie was far more responsible and was probably already there. Except, Nat didn't really know Piper and Piper didn't know Natalie which could spell DISASTER, unless Amber, the lynch pin of the group, could squeeze herself through traffic and get there already!

Her dumb motorcycle horn sounded like a deflated balloon, so of course these cars were completely ignoring her plight. Amber hit another red light and sent off the faster message of her life.

On wy b there soon !
Amber

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#3


Natalie was literally walking up to the place as her phone vibrated. She wasn't late was she?! Taking her phone out while adding a bit more oomf to her stride, she read a group message from Piper. Oh gosh, she definitely was if food was being ordered! Coming to the door, Amber's scrolled in. This was the first time Natalie had actually beaten her friend to a place and it was oddly different for how this usually worked out. Hopefully, traffic wasn't too bad for her.

Swinging in through the turning front door, Natalie quickly answered, half paying attention to the keyboard while also taking in the space around her.

Sorry! That sounds great! <3
I'm here :D
Where are you sitting?
Natalie

Walking in, she stopped where the room opened up, trying to figure out who Piper was. Without a photo reference, it was going to be trickly, but hopefully her text would be answered soon and they'd be found.
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#4
 Oh ... eesh they were late. She grimaced at the screen of her phone at the squeal of an amp from the stage, wondered if she'd sounded passive aggressive or - half late! The next string of text messages made her perk up despite the initial and fleeting wariness about entertaining someone new to her by her lonesome.

:D
I'm sort of to the side of the stage, back a ways so we can keep our ears - against the wall. Uhhh, I have red hair and overalls and tattoos and I'll just raise my hand.
Piper

And so she did, left hand up in the air as she slowly set her phone down and glance about.
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#5
She had flown down the highway and abused a bike lane or two, but she made it. Vibrations from her phone gave her good indication that her friends had likely met up. As long as they saved some of those potato skins, Amber would be one happy camper.

Kickstand down, she hopped off and hurried to the side entrance. Music played through the door. She didn't recognize the band; they must be a local group. Swinging the door open, her view was blocked by a herd of waiters carrying drinks and trays. Amber craned her neck hoping to spot a familiar face. In the back she caught something reddish and began walking with determination. A few close calls with other patrons had her huff with impatience. She had some friends to meet dammit and some appetizers to inhale.

Almost there ladies! Amber could see them now.
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#6
During the wait for the answers, Natalie looked about from her spot, trying to figure out if anyone looked like a 'Piper'. Which was flawed logic, but she could try. Shrugging off her jacket, she folded it across an arm. Buzzing had her attention within seconds though, saving her from arriving at the wrong table all together. The place chosen was nice to know it'd been so carefully chosen. The description triply helped as did the raising hand that'd she'd see as soon as she looked up.

Noticing the hand being raised from across the room, Natalie made quick strides over, avoiding the various people going about their ways. "Piper? Sorry, for making you wait. I'm Natalie," she smiled, taking a seat, offering a hand. Piper looked so nice and while she was a bit nervous about meeting someone new, everything she'd heard about had seemed really positive.
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#7
 "That's me!" She perked up immediately, lifted halfway out of her chair and gave Natalie a firm but brief shake. "No apologies, I'm usually behind for everything - this is basically a solar eclipse in punctual form." Waving off the idea and motioning vaguely to the two other empty chairs space around the roundtable.

 "I just wanted to make sure we didn't have to sit by the front door and - Amber's said a lot about you. Good things, I mean!" Excited and quick to correct any misconstrued tone or implication.
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#8
Imagine Amber arrive a few minutes after they met :)

They had found each other, no doubt thanks to texting, but Amber liked to imagine they were drawn together by omniscient forces rolling the proverbial dice on their lives.

Anyway, Hurricane Amber had finally arrived! She sailed on in and launched straight into introductions. "So happy to see your girls. Piper this is the marvelous Natalie and Natalie this is the illustrious Piper. I'm sure you're good friends already." She pointed at each in turn, assuming the role of saleswoman. Had she less maturity she'd have ended with, "and now kiss!" But alas, she would refrain.

She claimed an open seat and snatched up a potato skin. "As the last one here, I can get the next round." She used a hand to cover her mouth. This place served some stellar food.
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#9
Yay, so she had the right girl and the joke on her behalf had Natalie giggling a bit, shaking and letting go. Still she felt bad, but at least it was forgiven. ”Thanks and I totally get that.” It came out as a breath of relief. It wouldn’t do to make bad impressions before she even got here. Thankfully, that’d been nicely waved away.

Putting the jacket over the back of the chair, she listened as Piper explained the sitting situation, nodding along. But the kicker was that Amber had spoken a lot about her? That had Natalie looking at her with worry that melted into understanding as Piper kept going. ”Oh! Well, same here. She had a lot of cool, nice things to say about you.”

And as if right on cue, Amber strolled up and Natalie offered a small wave with a smile. As soon as Amber was at their table she went right into over the top introductions that had her laughing a bit. ”Yep.”
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#10
 Elephant in the room: had Amber said anything about powers? It seemed like the answer to that was no, considering that Natalie was holding a pleasantly mundane conversation with her. Silently grateful for the discretion but deciding not to say anything about it just yet - she made a point not to look down at the food as if to avoid the temptation altogether.

 "You should be late more often if that's the case." Now that everyone was accounted for, reaching out to casually steal a cheese stick from the plate. No one in their right and balanced mind liked those cold, after all. "How have you been?" Covering her own mouth with the back of her hand and flipping the cheese stick to dip the untouched end in the communal marinara. People were weird about doubling down.
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#11
"I've been marrrrrvelous." She said between potato bites. There was a waitress heading their way and Amber took the time to order herself a Moscow mule and a request to head by their table later for another appetizer order. She licked some greasy residue off her finger and jumped back in. "Had the spookiest thing happen to me. Went to that old mansion in Bella Vista and found some bones. Alerted the police and everything. Haven't heard anything, so I'm pretty sure they were just a prank." She still had the photos and the experience would be a great blog entry for next year's halloween. I found bones in a haunted house! That sounded nice and click-baity.

She nudged the basket of wedges towards Natalie. She'd eat them all if someone didn't start participating. "Nothing much else of note." Those bones didn't even rank on the scale with all the supernatural business going around, but if felt tame enough to mention on a casual outing. Amber plopped a straw into her drink and crossed her legs, getting nice and comfy.
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#12
At the question towards how Amber had been, she looked expectantly towards her friend. Just then, the waiter came by and she was quick to just get a water and lemon.

Amber and her had had a long phone conversation, but some things could’ve been missed. And boy! She’d totally had not heard that bone story. Listening, she took one of the potato skins and tried her best not have it fall apart upon biting down. Luckily, everything was home free, even while breathing in a bit of a sigh of relief at finding out it was a prank and not she crazy murderer hangout. Thank goodness.

As Amber scooted the appetizers more her way, Natalie put them back into the center of the table, taking another to go.

”That’s still really exciting. If they tell you anything you should definitely let us know,” she said with excitement. Not wanting to leave the other girl out, she turned to her, curious. ”What about you Piper?”
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#13
 "You what?" It was almost immediate, nearly tacked on before Amber could finish the thought as she hovered one hand under the other to avoid a mess, took another big bite of potato skin. "Mm, still a cool story." Not so quick to dismiss a pile of bones no matter if it was authentic or not, especially not in the bizarre place they called home.

 "Uh -" A little caught off guard when conversation volleyed to her, she glanced warily to Amber as if to reaffirm that for the sake of this night out she was entirely normal. It definitely felt like something that would've come up by now, if Natalie knew about it. But then there was the elephant in the room that was her Halloween night spend as a garden fairly dressing up mice and riding on the heads of unicorns.

 Now that felt like something that would get her weird stares and awkward silences, no physical proof of it as far as she knew. "Not much, just a lot of work but I guess that's good with the holidays coming." A far, far safer bet. "I take it you're with me on the new bone pile train?"
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#14
"Hmm?" Amber's head was lost in appetizer world. So greasy and delicious. They needed more stat.

Oh right the bones. Gotcha. "I almost wished they were real, but there's been enough violence in the city." She snapped her mouth shut. That was an unpleasant avenue of conversation and one she didn't think they'd all agree to go down. Amber commandeered the napkin dispenser, pulling out napkins two at a time. She'll try to steer this baby back to some nicer topics.

"I told Natalie how we met at that record store and you both have excellent taste in music." They did. Piper's recommendations had been great and Amber was always stealing songs from Nat's shared playlists. Together they might achieve the impossible and get Amber out of her dance music craze. "Either of you listening to anything new?"
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