|Joan Marlowe - Mother Nicki Marlowe - Sister (Younger)
Personality[edit | edit source]
Some have described Charlie Marlowe as a time-bomb. They wouldn't be wrong. At her core, Charlie was a ball of ambitious manipulation fueled by a deep love for her family. But Charlie was also a pressure pot of compounding mistakes waiting to explode - inevitably hitting those she loved with the shrapnel. But for the moment - as Charlie would say- it's fine. Everything's fine.
Charlie held a cool demeanor when she was in control and could be vindictive, petty, and cold as long as she held the reigns. For the most part, though, Charlie was an anxious mess. The thought of large groups and having to actually know what to say in any social interaction gave her hives. She much preferred the company of her small inner circle and her turtle Tater tot.
Family[edit | edit source]
Charlie lived on the North side of Ravendean with her mother (Joan) and her sister (Nicki). Growing up, it was just the three of them; or rather it was just the two of them. As a nurse at the neighborhood clinic, Joan often works long hours and, while she cares deeply about her daughters, it became up to Charlie to watch out for Nicki. Charlie was fiercely - and often misguidedly - protective of her sister. Charlie was not an overly empathetic person, and when pushed she wasn't afraid to kill her darlings to get something done. But she would have died for Nicki. She nearly did.
Friends[edit | edit source]
Though technically Class President, Charlie was not outgoing in the slightest. For the first couple years at Ravendean Prep, she spent the majority of her time with Jamie and Claude. Charlie and Jamie met at Ravendean's scholarship qualification exam just before the start of Freshman year. While their friendship does not make much sense at first glance - Jamie's effusive, bubbly demeanor made sure that she was easily accepted in the upper echelon of Ravendean's social circles - Jamie and Charlie were fast friends. At the end of the day, they were both kids from the North side of town suddenly plunged into a world where the cafeteria was staffed by private chefs and the grounds included a goddamed lake. They challenged one another - Charlie grounded Jamie and Jamie pushed Charlie to put herself out there - but more importantly, they kept each other afloat in a sea of unknown.
Claude came into the picture in Sophomore year. By that point, Jamie had charmed her way into the popular crowd and had gotten close to the quiet, and slightly forlorn heir to a failed mushroom dynasty. To an outside observer, Jamie and Claude made more sense as friends. While they had a lot in common, Jamie's mercurial nature would leave Claude uncertain of where they stood at any given point. The pressure would build throughout the week: passive aggression would lead to an outburst, each would take a moment to lick their wounds, and Claude would apologize. Rinse...repeat. Meanwhile, Charlie had been crushing on Claude since freshman year. Once she and Claude had hooked up at a party while Jamie and them had been been in an "off" season, but Charlie would never actually act on anything. Instead, Charlie watched this from the sidelines, and waited for a day that would never come when Claude stood up for themself.
History[edit | edit source]
From an early age Charlie understood that if her family was ever going to leave the North Side, she was going to have to work for it. And that she would have to work smarter, not harder. Charlie was smart, but no matter how many times she applied to the Ravendean Prep school all throughout Middle School she kept getting rejected. She would roll up to the qualification test, and the words would swim on the page when she opened the test booklet. Mentions of authors she had never heard of and complex Magi-physics equations covered the page. She had tried. She had studied. But it wasn't enough. Every time she would approach one of her teachers at North Ravendean Middle, they would look equally perplexed by the published prep problem sets and hand her a textbook that had been published when her mother was still in school.
This is where Clippy came in. While doom-scrolling, Charlie came across an ad for "Homework Helperz" (a personalized homework and test prep app). She quickly started using the app to help her study for her tests in school, and it was eerie how surprising targeted the practice problems sets were. When her free trial lapsed, she got a pop-up offering an extension. The company, it said was trying a new Beta mode, where it encouraged a holistic approach to test prep and would include a personal test coach. Charlie quickly scrolled through the terms and conditions, clicked accept, and was introduced to a small paperclip in a wizard hat with a #2 pencil wand and a small text bubble stating "Hi I'm Clippy!".
Charlie initially thought that this was just another extension of the app's programming, but the more she chatted the more she realized that there was something alive on the other end of the message thread. Clippy started to offer small deals to Charlie, each time asking very little in return. Most of Clippy's requests were merely that Charlie live a little and take some risks. The risks grew but so did the rewards.
Charlie's deals: [redacted]
In Game Plot (First Person)[edit | edit source]
There's something so serene about waking up at 4 in the morning. Sure it's tiring. Sure I wish I could sleep in. But there's something special about the way the new moon glints off the metal of the bus terminal as it crosses the horizon. For a brief moment the light scatters across the dewy pavement and you are surrounded by stars. It makes you feel small, but in a good way. It reminds you that this too shall come to pass, and that everyday magic can happen in a place like North Ravendean. I try to hold onto that as I head into school every morning. To take a moment to center myself before the coil inside tightens and it becomes hard to breathe again.
However, that Monday was different. I awoke to an alert on my phone and a mission: make friends with the new girl. Or should I say new-old girl? And I tried. You can't say I didn't try. At the end of lunch period, I found myself somehow agreeing to attend both a karaoke fundraiser and the party of the semester. Don't get me wrong. I like people. There's nothing wrong with people. Well most people anyways. But the thought of a group like that? What if something were to happen? I know that's broad, but what if something were to happen? What if cops came to the party? I know Zoob is Zoob, so he probably paid someone off. But what if Jamie ran into Claude and ended up taking 6 shots when I'm not looking just to wipe away the thought of them. So now Jamie is wasted. So wasted that I end up having to take her to the hospital which I'd rather do than have her die but when we get there she doesn't have insurance info so they have to take my insurance info which doesn't exist either because who can afford insurance in this shit town so now we have to hide the fact that Jamie almost died and now there's a hospital bill the length of my arm and Jamie's family can't pay for it and I sure as hell can't pay for it and it all would have been avoided if I had just -
As I said. I don't go to parties.
But Sofia goes to parties. So now I go to parties.
The second morning I woke to yet another missive. This time a warning flashed across my phone: Sofia is not all she seems. That morning as I boarded the bus, theories swirled in my head. If Sofia wasn't Sofia what was she?
Sofia goes to parties. Sofia also goes to open mic nights. So, in true fashion, I now go to open mic nights. To be completely honest, it was really that Lauren goes to open mic nights. The way Lauren looked at me when she slammed that poster down on our table the day before held a fire that I couldn't not match. And before I knew it, I had agreed to another something I would regret.
It gave an excuse, though, to get Sofia alone.
Sofia wasn't Sofia. This much I knew. What I didn't know was that not-Sofia was a blue shapeshifting being from Pelor knows where. And Clippy wanted them.
Aesthetic[edit | edit source]