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Kat and Jaya wake up in Lochland Grove after some mischievous spirits get a hold of the latest copy of The Lochland Times. Site work is never done!

This Episode: Missing: lost Kat. Jaya may have spotted her, but there is a suspicious ghost running away. Should she chase the ghost or go wrangle her friend?

Welcome to Lochland Grove
Open since January 2, 2014

We are a Real Life Roleplay site focused on enriching character driven stories through events, newspaper headlines, and even death. Set in modern day Connecticut, our background plot follows the on-goings of a small town with a murderous past. Whether your character explores it is up to you. Life is about choice - this is your story. Our goal is to provide a place where you will feel comfortable writing it. Come join the fun!

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Halloween has come to Lochland, and the old Richfield Family Manson welcomes everyone to attend a costume party unlike any other.

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 Gerbil Frenzy, Pierre Bauer
Joshua Caminero
 Posted: Oct 25 2017, 08:27 PM
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Jen


Gerbils weren’t the kind of pet you should ever take out of the house. They didn’t need to go outside to play or hunt. In fact, all they ever did was stare at you from their cage with those cute little beady black eyes of theirs. Josh was fine with this. While he would’ve liked to have a dog instead, he accepted his gerbils for who they were, tiny little angels that only ate, pooped, and ran in their wheels. This meant he really didn’t expect them do much. He definitely hadn’t expected them to somehow climb out of their cages and for one of them to suddenly pop out from a bag of tomatoes while he was trying to work!

Joshua had been in the middle of a transaction, bagging groceries for a sweet old lady while she pulled out money from her purse. “Rudy!” He’d said under his breath in shock as he saw the light brown gerbil staring up at him. He couldn’t let this woman see a gerbil amongst her produce! It was completely unsanitary! He scooped up the gerbil into his hand and slipped it into a bucket under the counter meant for products customers would change their mind about last minute, so Rudy had the company of a cheese wheel, some Gushers, and a couple cans of tuna.

Once he was done with the transaction, he crouched down to watch the gerbil nibbling on the cheese wheel. Well, that would be coming out of his paycheck, but hey, Joshua liked to look on the bright side, and the bright side here was that he learned that Ruthy appreciated cheese. It definitely wasn’t something he’d feed it regularly, but maybe it could serve as a treat or something, and maybe he would make a surprise cheese platter for his moms before dinner out of the cheese wheel he’d undoubtedly have to buy.

“Hey, Rudy, are your siblings here?” His question received a blink. “What? How did you guys get here? You crawled into my backpack? Oh no, your cage door must be damaged! Maybe that’s why it was so easy to open.” Of course, he wasn’t Dr. Dolittle by any means. He was simply coming up to conclusions himself. There was no way Ruthy made it here on his own, and gerbils didn’t have the necessary spy skills to break out of their cage, so it had to be damaged.

He scooped up the rodent again as it was time for his break and walked away from the counter to a relatively empty part of the store. “Rudy, lead me to where I must go,” he whispered, looking around before setting it down on the floor and following its trail. Okay, maybe he was having a bit too much fun with this, and the consequence of it being that he lost Ruthy again as she’d crawled under a fruit stand. “Um, excuse me, have you seen about three gerbils running around here?” He asked a random person, not noticing whether they were a customer or an employee. He was too worried about his babies to take note such things.
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Pierre Bauer
 Posted: Oct 31 2017, 12:50 AM
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Stranger
Mikko


The first time Pierre had walked into an American grocery store he had, quite frankly, been amazed at how different it had been. It had taken him quite a lot longer than he had originally planned because he kept stopped to look at all the different products on offer, unsure what some of them actually were. He might have ended up with extras, and having trouble finding some things he actually wanted because he hadn't known what they were called in America.

Moving to a country that mainly spoke English had been a far bigger shock that moving from a French speaking part of Switzerland to a German speaking part. His English was good, but there were still things that he got confused on, and some accents he found particularly hard to understand.

Generally Americans were quite friendly, which was nice. Just about everyone asked where he was from, and seemed geniunely interested when he said that he was from Switzerland.

Despite having been here since early August the grocery store still proved a fascinating place. Certainly, there were lots of things that he didn't like, and a few that he did. Caramel M&Ms were one product he particularly liked. Bread in general, however, he found that he didn't like. Thankfully he didn't eat a lot of it, but he had yet to find a loaf that didn't taste unbearably sweet, much to the point that he had actually looked up recipes for Swiss bread online and attempted to make his own. After a number of tries they now weren't turning out to badly either.

He was considering what fruit he felt like when an employee came over looking like he was carrying something small. Pierre didn't pay him much attention apart from keep a slight eye on where he was, but the person spoke up, asking if he had seen three gerbils running around.

That might be fine, but he didn't have the slightest clue as to what a gerbil was. "I am sorry, what are gerbils? What do they look like? I can help you look but I do not know what they are."

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Pierre Bauer
Mathias Falk


Pierre Bauer | 30 | Physiotherapist | From Switzerland
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Joshua Caminero
 Posted: Oct 31 2017, 12:02 PM
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Jen


Once Joshua realized that it was rude to not be present in a conversation instead of immersed in his thoughts about gerbils, he put his full attention on the stranger. Oh no, this man wasn’t an employee. This could be a problem. He would surely be fired if said man complains to the manager about having gerbils in the store, and it appeared that he didn’t even know what a gerbil was, which worried Josh even more since that meant he could easily mistake the innocent and domesticated lost rodents for a rat infestation. However, Josh liked to trust people, almost to a flaw. Actually, it was a miracle he never got kidnapped as a child. He’d had no problem running off to talk to strangers, which prompted his mothers to watch him extra closely and even make him carry around one of those backpacks with leashes for kids for some time. His mothers had firmly been against that kind of thing, but they would rather do that than let their kid go missing.

“I am sorry, what are gerbils? What do they look like? I can help you look but I do not know what they are." “Oh, okay, well, let’s see…hm…they’re these cute little animals from the Rodentia order and-oh actually,” he pulled out his phone out and scrolled through his pictures real quick, finding a picture of his three gerbils in their Halloween costumes, which just meant little pirate hats. He turned the phone around to show him. “These are my pet gerbils, Rudy, Bob, and Chavo. I know they look a lot like rats, but I promise they’re clean and stuff. They must’ve escaped from my cage this morning and snuck into my backpack.”

Once the other had looked at the animals, he pocketed his phone again. “Please don’t tell my boss? They’re not gonna cause any trouble, and I’m just going to put whatever they nibble on my paycheck.” While he was practically pleading for the man not to say anything to the manager, Rudy had popped up on the fruit stand behind Josh and launched herself right into a sliced watermelon that sat on the fruit cart behind him, her favorite treat. It was covered in plastic though, so she was having a tough time gnawing through.
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Pierre Bauer
 Posted: Nov 1 2017, 11:40 PM
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Stranger
Mikko


While Pierre might have been thinking that a gerbil was another strange American word for a food item or some sort of household item, he hadn't expected that they would be an animal. And when the guy mentioned 'Rodentia' he knew enough to realize that sounded like 'rodent', and that rodents were things like rats and mice. Certainly not animals that he would ever consider call cute, but some people did. Someone he knew back in Switzerland had rats as pets, and Pierre remembered seeing the big cage full of toys and hiding spots for the animals.

But it turns out that rather than trying to explain what exactly they looked like he was going to be shown a photo.

They did indeed look a bit like rats, albeit a bit chubbier. Although in saying that, he had seen mice back in Switzerland that looked similar. His second thought was that Americans really did go overboard with Halloween if they were dressing their pets up as well, even if the little creatures were just wearing hats. "We get mice that look similar in Switzerland, living outside though. But I know someone who has rats as pets, had a big cage with lots of stuff in it." Not the sort of animal that he would ever keep as a pet, he preferred his fish. No chance of one of them getting out and climbing into a backpack and popping up at work.

Pierre briefly wondered how secure the cage was if they had escaped. Maybe it was something that he ought to look into, but Pierre wasn't going to suggest it. Certainly he always made sure that the lids for his fish tanks were down to ensure that none of the fish got out should the decide to jump. "So that is what they look like, they look cute."

He hadn't actually considered telling the guy's boss, although not that he mentioned it that probably wasn't a bad idea. While Pierre didn't want to go and complain to the buy's boss and get him in trouble, he did think that perhaps the guy should have taken a little more care with the little animals.

They did look little, so perhaps finding them in a big store like this might not be so easy. Though, if they were domesticated they wouldn't mind people, and might just sniff out their favourite food item.

Just like one of them had apparently done, appearing on a piece of plastic wrapped sliced watermelon. Watermelon sounded quite nice actually, but he was sure he wasn't going to be picking up that one. "What do the other two like to eat?" He asked, watching the man with one of his found pets.


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Pierre Bauer
Mathias Falk


Pierre Bauer | 30 | Physiotherapist | From Switzerland
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Joshua Caminero
 Posted: Nov 2 2017, 11:30 PM
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Local
Jen


At the sound of paper crinkling and fruits rustling, Josh turned to see Rudy furiously gnawing at the plastic wrapping around the watermelon. He quickly scooped both the gerbil and watermelon slice into his hands before looking back at Pierre. “Oh, Switzerland? Wow, I’ve never met anyone from there,” he commented with his signature grin as he tried to somehow unwrap the melon slice and hold Rudy at the same time. He successfully managed to open it just enough to dig a couple of seeds out, which the gerbil took about as gratefully as a gerbil could. She couldn’t eat the watermelon itself, of course, but she obviously didn’t know it was bad for her, and probably would’ve ended up eating it in attempt to get the seeds she liked so much had Joshua not caught her at the right time.

He smiled brightly at the other as he commented that the gerbils cute and nodded in agreement, putting Rudy up on his own shoulder and keeping a hand near it in case she were to fall. She was too busy nibbling on her watermelon seeds to run off though. As he was asked what the others liked to eat, he stared thoughtfully at the watermelon in his hand. “Hm, they mostly eat various seeds and some vegetables, so I guess I’ll find Chavo in a similar place as Rudy here, but Bob’s a little different and seems to have a preference for Cheerios and stuff like that.”

“Excuse me a moment,”
he said before turning to grab an abandoned shopping basket nearby and pulling a napkin out from his pocket. He placed the seeds on the napkin and wrinkled it up in somewhat of a bowl shape so the seeds wouldn’t fall and slip through the tiny holes of the basket before placing Rudy in it. Now that she had the seeds, she would ignore the melon slice itself, which Joshua placed at the far end of the basket from Rudy’s makeshift bowl. “Well, we have one down and two to go,” he said, assuming the other was still willing to join him. “I’m a bit worried they’ll eat something that will get them sick so I’m trying to get them quickly, and they’re so small I don’t know if I can spot them both myself, you know?”

He nodded in the direction he was taking and started walking, hoping the stranger would follow. Instead of holding the basket by the handle as normal, he was carrying it by the bottom so as not to shake the gerbil around. “But uh…oh no, I’m so rude! My name is Josh by the way,” he said, coming to a stop and stretching his hand out for a handshake after wiping them on his apron, which was made more complicated by having to shift the weight of the basket to one arm. The stranger could’ve easily gathered this information by the employee’s name tag, which clearly said ‘Joshua’, but he felt a need to formally introduce himself anyway.

“What brings you to Lochland anyway?” He asked casually as he started walking again, keeping his eyes peeled for gerbils. If they were going to be partners in this gerbil search party, he needed to learn more about the stranger. Now, he was still panicking on the inside, but having a companion sure made things better.
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Pierre Bauer
 Posted: Nov 3 2017, 01:54 AM
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Stranger
Mikko


Pierre didn't know how many people from Switzerland they got from here. Certainly he hadn't met anyone else yet, although he had run into a German man just the other day. "Well, I'm not sure how many Swiss you get here, I haven't run into any either yet." He was watching as the guy was trying to hold the gerbil and unwrap the watermelon slice at the same time. Pierre was just about to offer to help when he got the plastic open and dug out a couple of the seeds. Pierre didn't know if gerbils ate watermelon or not, but it would make sense that they would eat the seeds.

Anyway, the little creature seemed happy with it's snack, sitting ont he guys shoulder. But Pierre had to pay attention as he was talking about what food they liked. Seeds and vegetables made sense, that seemed like the right sort of thing for a creature like that to eat. However he wasn't completely sure what Cheerios were. He was sure he had seen that name somewhere, but couldn't quite pick where exactly he had seen it. He was presuming that it was some sort of processed food, of which the Americans seemed quite fond of.

Pierre was about to ask what Cheerios were when the man dashed away to pick up a basket, setting the gerbil up in it with a napkin underneath so the little seeds weren't lost. "Understandable, there would certainly be lots of things here they could get into. And I do imagine that they would be hard to spot. But if you don't mind me asking, what are Cheerios? I know I have seen that name something, but I can't quite remember where." Certainly it wasn't something he had seen in Switzerland.

Pierre followed when the other man headed off with the basket, pushing his trolley along with him as he had a few things in it. Then it became apparent that neither of them had introduced themselves properly, and Pierre felt a little stupid for forgetting. "Oh, you are not, I have not remembered either. Nice to meet you Josh, i am Pierre." He reached out to shake the offered hand, smile on his face. There was a name tag on Josh's shirt, but it was nice that he properly introduced himself as well. It was what Pierre always did.

What brought him to Lochland? Pierre certainly wasn't going to tell him the full story, that he had been beaten and raped by his girlfriend's brother. So he went for the basic explanation, which was true just not really telling much information. "Time for a change of scenery. Lochland came up when I was looking at places, and I liked the idea of moving to a small town because I have lived in big cities all my life." Both Geneva and Zürich were big cities. He had lived in Paris for a little while as well, but he had been five at the time and couldn't remember it all that well, he only remembered it from the odd visit.

"What about you, have you always lived in Lochland?"

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Pierre Bauer
Mathias Falk


Pierre Bauer | 30 | Physiotherapist | From Switzerland
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Joshua Caminero
 Posted: Nov 3 2017, 12:48 PM
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Local
Jen


“Cheerios is a cereal,” he chuckled at the unintentional near rhyme. “Not the best, if you ask me. I find it stale and flavorless, but apparently it’s good for you if your heart is starting to decay from all the Lucky Charms and Fruit Loops,” he commented, shaking up a box of the latter as they passed it in the cereal aisle, then putting it back. Josh would feed his gerbils some Fruit Loops from time to time as well. One little piece for each as a treat, then a handful for himself. “I’m sure Bob would recommend it though,” he joked, stopping in front of a row of Cheerios boxes and gesturing to them.

“Here we go. He might’ve gotten into one of these. Do you mind holding Rudy for a moment?” He asked, handing Pierre the basket if he accepted. The gerbil wasn’t causing any trouble now, just piling up her seeds, having managed to dig some out of the watermelon. Usually, he’d dry them first, since watermelon wasn’t something she should be eating, but once in a while wouldn’t do her any harm, and she needed something to keep her busy. Besides, she wasn’t so much eating as saving it in her pile for later, and Josh would have it dried by then. “You can pet her if you’d like, but she’s a bit shy and bites when she’s scared, so I recommend giving her a seed first so she knows you’re nice.”

He wasn’t sure how Pierre felt about gerbils other than them being cute, but he figured the man might be curious to pet the soft little creatures. As he started inspecting the boxes of Cheerios for any signs of damage that might indicate Bob sneaking into it, Pierre mentioned that he moved to Lochland for a change in scenery, which seemed like a perfectly reasonable excuse to Josh, but having been in the town for as long as he could remember, there wasn’t so much special about it. He loved the town, but figured it couldn’t possibly compare to Switzerland. Wanting to be in a small town did make sense too though. Lochland had a good sense of community, at least from Joshua’s perspective, and it was generally more accepting of people than most small towns. Pierre might not have to worry about that, but it was something Joshua took note of, having been raised by two women.

Josh nodded occasionally to let Pierre know that he was listening, then looked at him for a moment once he was asked whether he’d always lived in Lochland. He felt rude not giving his full attention, so he tried to balance his focus between the man and the Cheerios boxes. “Pretty much. I was adopted from Mexico, which is where my moms are from, but I was 4-years-old at the time so I don’t remember it much.” He’d visited once before with his family and wished to go back someday, but he still considered Lochland his home. Besides, his mothers’ families still didn’t accept their lifestyles, except for an odd cousin here and there, so Joshua had no interest being near them, though he was sure there were plenty of open-minded people in Mexico. He just knew that the country had some painful memories for his moms. If he were to visit again, he’d do so alone.

“So, does the Swiss cheese here actually taste like the cheese back home?” He asked, somewhat jokingly, but also actually curious as to what Pierre thought about American food in general. “I mean, I was shocked when I visited Mexico a few years ago and realized that real tacos aren’t at all how I thought they were,” he chuckled. His mothers hadn’t focused on having him connect to Mexican roots since they wanted him to assimilate to American culture more easily, so visiting Mexico had been quite a culture shock.
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Pierre Bauer
 Posted: Nov 3 2017, 08:31 PM
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Stranger
Mikko


So that was why Pierre hadn't been sure that Cheerios were, he generally didn't like those sugar-laden, highly processed cereals that Americans were so fond of. Admittedly he had brought some more for curiosity value, but hadn't actually liked it. He couldn't quite remember which one it had been, and he had ended up giving it to one of work colleagues who did like it. So while he hadn't heard of Lucky Charms, he had heard of Fruit Loops. Even though you couldn't get those in Switzerland either. In fact, pretty much almost all of the common processed breakfast cereals you found here you couldn't get in Switzerland. But then after reading the back of a couple of boxes and finding out how much sugar were in them, he didn't quite understand why you would want something like that for breakfast.

Breakfast for him had usually been a selection of bread, cold cuts of meat, yogurt and soft boiled eggs or bircher museli. And that was what he usually ate now, and he was quite happy with that. Even if finding good types of bread and cheese wasn't that easy here. The good cheese he liked was imported and expensive, but he brought it because he liked it better than the other stuff on offer.

But Pierre wasn't sure sugar-laden cereal would be good for a gerbil, however it wasn't his place to tell the other man how to feed his pets. The one he had looked healthy, although in saying that Pierre didn't know enough about them to tell if they weren't.

Pierre took the basket carefully, looking at the little creature as Josh spoke, saying she was a little shy but if he offered a seed he should be fine.

So Pierre did just that, deciding to offer the little creature a seed and then carefully petting the little animal. It surprised him that the coat was softer than he would have expected.

Josh didn't press for any more information about Pierre's decision to move, which Pierre was grateful for. Some people he had met wanted more information, and he always found it hard because he didn't want to give them anything, but he didn't want to be rude either.

It seemed Josh had lived in Lochland for most of his life but not all. Pierre wasn't bothered by the mention of 'moms' which meant to women together, that didn't bother him at all. He thought it was nice that they had wanted to adopt and raise a child. As for leave a place young Pierre could relate to that; He had lived in Zürich until he was five, and couldn't remember much from then, and only had a few memories of his father. But his mother had killed herself in Paris several months after, and he only had a couple of memories of Paris at that time, and not a lot of memories about her either.

So it a way he had been adopted as well, raised by his sister and his brother-in-law. Although he probably would have preferred to be somewhere else, as his childhood hadn't been pleasant thanks to his brother-in-law. His sister never knew, although she never knew what her husband had done, and didn't understand why Pierre didn't like her husband or want to visit. He could say that he could relate, but he wasn't going to voluntarily talk about his family or growing up; Never had, never would.

"That was good of them to adopt you. Have they never taken you back?"

"It tastes better in Switzerland. The stuff you consider Swiss cheese here is very Americanized, the most familiar type we get there is known as Emmenthaler, and in my opinion is much nicer. But there are lots of different types of cheese which are all Swiss cheese, all much nicer. The cheese section at a Swiss supermarket would probably be double the size of the frozen food section." It had been a surprise to see how little variety had been here, and how lots of it was rather horrible cheddar or that orange stuff the Americans like to think of as cheese.

It didn't surprise him that food items you had somewhere were completely different in the country where they originated from. The culture shock had certainly been big for his, and still was in fact. He was still learning. "That doesn't surprise me. Bread here is another thing I'm not fond of. And Croissants taste quite different; I've visited Paris, and there is nothing more more delicious than working down to a bakery in the morning and having a croissant still warm from the oven." His favourite place was one called Blé Sucré. They had lots of other delicious items on offer, but he was particularly fond of the croissants.

It almost made him want to visit again. He had tried to make croissants a couple of times but they had never turned out particularly nice.

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Pierre Bauer
Mathias Falk


Pierre Bauer | 30 | Physiotherapist | From Switzerland
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Joshua Caminero
 Posted: Nov 5 2017, 10:05 AM
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Local
Jen


It was a shocker that Joshua even ate breakfast at all. Maybe it was a good thing that he wasn’t fully independent yet. He really wouldn’t be able to cook for himself every day, and it was only because of his moms that he ate a full and balanced breakfast. On the surface, it sounded like he was still being babied, but his mothers always made him contribute. They still bought and paid for the groceries themselves, with Josh’s employee discount, and made it clear that he would need to start chipping in if he moved onto another job. He also had to help cook as well, unless he wasn’t home at the time and called to let them know he wouldn’t be there, but he didn’t often miss meals anyway. He knew they didn’t quite like to do it since they actually did spoil him and his siblings as kids, but he also knew it was for the best since he’d easily end up relying on them way too much if they didn’t establish some rules.

All in all though, he saw the silver lining in these rules. Cooking with his moms was fun, and he liked feeling helpful by letting them use his discount. Otherwise, he did often feel like a nuisance to them. Many teenagers in America moved away as soon as possible once they turned 18, and he was sure he would still be with his parents by the age of 20. He didn’t want to turn into that deadbeat stereotype, but he wouldn’t go back to college even if it was free, and there were only so many jobs he could get without a college degree, this being one of them, and none of them were generally attainable or well-paying enough for him to move right now.

“She’s really soft, right?” He grinned as Pierre stroked Rudy’s fur. “Ah, I haven’t travelled much either. My family went to Mexico that one time and we went on a Disney cruise when I was little. I think my parents just didn’t want to have to deal with three kids of similar ages while traveling,” he joked. While they had been relatively well-behaved thanks to the more stern mother, one kid alone had energy to spare, so he couldn’t imagine having to deal with three at the same time, especially when all three got along so well.

Josh hadn’t had much luck in finding open Cheerio boxes so far, so he thanked Pierre for holding the basket and kept walking. “I’m gonna check the vegetables. He might be there,” he commented before listening to Pierre again. “Wow, that sounds great. I love bread and cheese, and I had no idea I was missing out on the real thing,” he chuckled. Having a huge section dedicated to cheese sounded like heaven on Earth. “I guess growing up on America’s version of them just makes me think it’s the best thing ever. Have you tried the bread from the bakery on Plum Street though? I have a hard time thinking that one’s bad, though I can see how the grocery store’s brands aren’t great. You should let me know if you find a store that has some stuff similar to the Swiss. I'd love to try it.”
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Pierre Bauer
 Posted: Nov 7 2017, 01:26 AM
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Stranger
Mikko


When it came to leaving home, Pierre had hardly been able to leave quick enough. Certainly he hadn't wanted to stay at home with his brother-in-law David a single day longer than he had to. So applying to study at university in Geneva had been out of the question, because that would have meant staying in the same house as David. Pierre had actually considered Frankfurt, Berlin or Paris but had eventually settled on Zürich. Not only was it on the other side of the country from Geneva, he had heard David saying that he hated the place, so that made it appeal even more.

But he had been happy in Zürich. Up until he had been attacked last year that was. That had changed everything. But so far a fresh start in somewhere new was just what he needed. He was enjoying life here so far, and it was certainly quite different to what he was used to, and part of him loved it because of that.

"Yes, she is. I didn't expect her to be quite so soft." He didn't know how he expected the animal to feel. Rougher maybe, coarser.

Pierre knew some people who always traveled. They were always coming back or heading off somewhere exotic. Travelling for Pierre had always been a hassle. Up until he had been nearly nineteen he had been dependent on a ventilator to breath at night, and the logistics of having to organize everything that was needed was a nightmare. You really had to take a spare ventilator, and they couldn't travel by air with them in the cargo hold because they were delicate, and the pulse ox had to go in cabin as well. It necessitated getting in contact with the airline to ensure it was okay. Short haul flights was fine he would just stay awake and not need to use them. But the first long haul flight he had been on was the one coming to America, and he had to make special arrangement to not only be able to use his diaphram pacer which he used when he slept but to take his backup bipap and a pulse ox in the cabin.

He didn't mind that he hadn't traveled much. Occasionally he thought it might be nice, but for the most part he was happy in his own life, and to just travel somewhere by car. He had never been on a cruise of any sort, let alone a Disney one, and briefly wondered what that might be like. But in all honestly he would probably get quite bored with it, sitting around by a pool on a boat wasn't really his idea of fun. "Nothing wrong with that. I've never actually been on a cruise. But I could imagine that wouldn't be easy." He smiled, his tone light as the other man's joking tone. "Most of my travels had been by car. Air travel is more complicated for me because I have a breathing condition, and have to make arrangements to bring my medical equipment in the cabin because it won't survive in the hold, and permission to use my diaphram pacer on the plane." He wished that he could just book and turn up, and not have to worry about spending weeks in talks with the airline trying to arrange everything.

Pierre had been looking a little bit but hadn't spotted any signs of another creature, and neither had Josh, so Josh took the basket and spoke about checking the vegetables. Pierre followed along behind.

"If you like bread and cheese then Switzerland is your place, just about everyone I know loves it. And it is definitely worth trying proper Swiss cheese fondue." That was something that had popped up on the kitchen table growing up regularly, and it was something that he had always enjoyed making as well, although if it was just him he made a smaller quantity of it. Thinking about it made him crave it, and he thought that he might have to see if he could find any appropriate cheese to use in the cheese section.

"No, I haven't actually been in the bakery yet, but I must have to. I have heard people saying it is quite good. I have actually been making a little of my own bread and it doesn't turn out to badly." As they headed over to the vegetable section he was still keeping an eye out for any little creature that might be hiding, pausing for a moment as he saw movement out of the corner of his eye.

"I think I saw something move just to your left." He was slightly ashamed to say that he didn't actually know what thosevegetables were called in English.

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Pierre Bauer
Mathias Falk


Pierre Bauer | 30 | Physiotherapist | From Switzerland
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Joshua Caminero
 Posted: Nov 18 2017, 04:28 PM
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Jen


For kid Joshua, a cruise didn’t involve sitting around by a pool on a boat. It was the mother-effing Disney cruise! Maybe for an adult it would be different, but Josh was very much kid-like in some ways and would probably enjoy it still. Of course, running around and meeting a bunch of Disney characters paled in comparison to going down the world’s longest zipline, which is what his first choice in traveling would be if he actually had the money to take a vacation right now.

Having to drag along breathing equipment did seem like a huge inconvenience. He felt kind of bad that Pierre had to go through that, but it would be rude to say something alone the lines of, ‘sorry your life sucks.’ So, he nodded instead. As Pierre mentioned never having gone to the bakery, Joshua was about to recommend some of his favorite treats, but it was interrupted as Pierre pointed out movement among the asparagus. Aha! Of course one of the gerbils would’ve found there way there already. This was concerning since the vegetables weren’t wrapped, but uh, oh well. His main concern was collecting his gerbils. Health and safety concerns would be addressed later. He started digging through the pile of asparagus until he found the little gerbil nibbling on a sprig.

It was an adorable sight if you ignored how unsanitary the whole situation was. He attempted to scoop the gerbil up, but the little rebel leaped from his hand and landed on the floor, skidding away much faster than Josh had ever seen him run. “Chavo!” He called, eyes scanning the floor before spotting not only Chavo running towards the end of the hall, but a strange upright Cheerio box that seemed to be dragging itself across the floor on the other end of the aisle. There was not a doubt in Josh’s mind that this was Bob!

“Pierre, the time has come.” He was definitely enjoying this on some level even though he was worried about someone stepping on the gerbils or calling the manager and getting Josh fired. “Let’s split up! Leave Ruthy here on the vegetable stand and go get the moving Cheerio box. I’ll get Chavo and we’ll meet back here!” He strategized before zooming off get Chavo. Leaving Ruthy unsupervised seemed like a bad idea, but she didn’t know how to climb out of the basket, so she should be safe in the meantime.

“Please and thank you,” he’d turned around to add, feeling rude for just barking commands at Pierre even though the man had agreed to help. He then turned back and watched as Chavo ducked under another fruit stand but alas, he was not quick enough for Josh! He jumped over a crate with style for days and landed on the other side just in time to have Chavo run right into his hands before the gerbil could even realize it. Josh could’ve been a gymnast at some point. He definitely had the energy and spryness for it.

Josh walked back over to the basket where Ruthy had been placed and placed Chavo in it, watching while they bumped into each other as a greeting as he waited for . He definitely needed to catch his breath after running behind Chavo. Gerbils weren’t usually fast, but this one in particular seemed to be on some effing energy drink or something. Josh hoped not, since it was bad for them, but he also hoped this wasn’t some natural skill the gerbil had been hiding until now when he’d gotten a taste of freedom. Actually, the difficulty of catching him was probably more due to how tiny he was rather than the actual speed, but still.
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Pierre Bauer
 Posted: Nov 18 2017, 07:16 PM
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Mikko


While he still wasn't sure what the vegetable was called, it was likely that he would have brought some of it had there not been a gerbil running around among them. Of course, the would probably be fine as long as they were washed properly, but he still wasn't quite so keen. Maybe another time.

The little creature didn't seem to want to be caught, making a dash for freedom by leaping out of Joshua's hand and running across the floor. He spotted the strangely moving cereal box at the same time Josh seemed to, and realized that had to be the third creature that had escaped.

If someone had told him that he would spend his morning in the grocery store chasing gerbils he wouldn't have believed them, but here he was.

Leaving the one they had caught in the basket, Josh went one way to catch the one that had run away while Pierre was left to go after the moving cereal box. He caught the box easy enough, but was a bit more cautious after that because he didn't just want to whip the box away and have the little creature run away under a shelf.

So he lifted the box up a little bit, and by what he thought of as sheer dumb luck the little creature ran out towards him. So he abandoned the box, catching the little creature and holding it securely yet gently in his hands so that it couldn't escape again.

So with the little creature safe he brought it back over to where the basket was with the two other gerbils safe inside.

"They can run pretty fast for such little creatures." He spoke as he carefully placed the animal in the basket with it's two friends. He wasn't out of breath, but he hadn't run hard either. Mainly it was due to his breathing condition; unlike normal people, his breathing didn't speed up when he was physically working hard. He had to be conscious of it, usually by looking at a pulse oximiter and consciously breathing harder if his blood oxygen levels started dropping.

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Pierre Bauer
Mathias Falk


Pierre Bauer | 30 | Physiotherapist | From Switzerland
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Joshua Caminero
 Posted: Nov 23 2017, 07:28 PM
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Jen


Joshua was just hyped on excitement, not that he needed anything to add to his already bursting energy levels. “I know. It’s probably because they haven’t had this much freedom for so long. Actually, they haven’t been out of the house since we bought them,” he commented before chuckling, “though maybe my siblings have had them running around their own work places as well and I just haven’t heard of it.” It would make sense if sneaking into backpacks had been a learned skill. After all, they were usually somewhat noisy yet he hadn’t heard a peep on his walk to work.

“Thank you for helping me catch them,” he grinned, looking over at the man. The gerbils were done greeting each other and back to collecting food into their own piles. There were some Cheerios now to add to the watermelon seeds, and Joshua threw in the few sprigs of asparagus he’d seen be touched by one of the rodents. Um, he probably should tell the manager about this.

“My break was technically over a couple of minutes ago. If you’re done picking up groceries I can ring you up,” he said, gesturing at Pierre’s basket. “And uh, no need to tell my manager,” he reminded. “I’m going to tell him myself after my shift is over.” He didn’t like keeping secrets or lying to authority, and there would be questions for sure. It was still better for the manager to hear it from him than a customer. The latter would surely get him fired, whereas the honesty of the former might just let him get away with a mere stern warning. After all, he was a good worker. Josh was always on time, did what he was told, and had a warm smile for even the most troublesome customers. Sure, he was a bit slow with instructions, but overall, there wasn’t much to complain about.

He grabbed the basket in his hands, careful not to shuffle the gerbils around as he did so, and waited for Pierre’s response. “I’ll be at the register, so come say goodbye to these little guys when you’re done shopping if you aren’t yet,” he joked, walking back to his station after he’d heard what Pierre had to say. If the man was done shopping, Josh led the way. If he wasn’t, then Josh simply went to the counter and waited for the other to come pay for his groceries.
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Pierre Bauer
 Posted: Nov 24 2017, 01:12 PM
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Stranger
Mikko


Pierre wasn't sure of gerbils were the sort of animal that you would take outside of the house much, they certainly didn't seem like it. But then, he didn't really know anything about the furry little creatures. Certainly he preferred fish. As long as the lid on the tank was shut to prevent any fish that decided to jump from escaping, they stayed safely inside their tank. Besides, even if they did get out it wasn't as if a fish would be able to run far. "Do they normally stay in their cage all day, or do they have time outside it?"

It wasn't any problem catching the gerbils. Certainly it wasn't how Pierre had expected to spend some time today. "It's no problem, honestly." He said with a smile, looking at the gerbils who now seemed happy in their basket.

Telling the manager would probably be a wise thing to do, but Pierre didn't want to get the boy in trouble. After all, it wasn't like he had done it on purpose, and he had done his best to catch the creatures as soon as he could. "Don't worry, I won't say anything. I haven't quite finished yet, so I will come over an pay when I am done." There were still things that he wanted to get.

He watched the other man heading off with the basket for a moment before going back to his trolley and getting what else he needed. It didn't take to long.

Before long he was back at Josh's register, putting his items up to be scanned. It was obvious that he ate healthily because there were lots of vegetables, fruit, meat and other unprocessed food items as well as other general household supplies.

"Will the little guys be safe in the basket until you finish?"

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Pierre Bauer
Mathias Falk


Pierre Bauer | 30 | Physiotherapist | From Switzerland
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Joshua Caminero
 Posted: Nov 24 2017, 05:45 PM
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Jen


"Do they normally stay in their cage all day, or do they have time outside it?" “Yeah, they stay in their cage all day unless I’m cleaning it out. Even then they just stay in their run-about balls, which is only a problem when someone leaves the door to my room open and the gerbils decide to try launching themselves off, the stairs,” he chuckled. For such calm pets, they sure did give their fair share of trouble. “I’ve always caught them on time though,” he added just in case Pierre was curious.

He was then relieved when Pierre confirmed that he wouldn’t tell his manager. Great. He’d just have to tell the manager later, maybe doing so with the little fur balls in hand. Who could be upset in front of such cute little rodents. He’d put the gerbils in the space of the counter under the cash register, and since there weren’t any customers at the moment, he emptied out the food that was unsafe for them such as the watermelon before drying out the seeds as well. That earned a bite from Ruthy as she probably thought he’d been stealing, but she then calmed down and went back to chilling with her gerbil mates.

He smiled at Pierre as the man approached the register and started scanning the items. "Yeah, they don’t know how to climb out so they should be fine. If anything, they’ll just be bored until my shift ends,” he commented, taking note of all the healthy ingredients in Pierre’s basket. Despite how some people felt embarrassed about some of their purchases, Joshua could confirm that cashiers really didn’t care about what they were ringing up, and probably wouldn’t notice. However, he couldn’t help but notice Pierre’s things since he’d helped collect the gerbils. Even if the man had had anything strange though, Joshua was judgement free.

After telling Pierre his total, he tried to make some friendly conversation in the few minutes left of their transaction. “Next time you come around, let me know how you like the Plum Street Bakery bread,” he smiled.
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