Stranger Times Episode 2

The Mansion


The sheets were soft and velvety, and they glided smoothly over his skin as he stirred in bed.

Ay, que suave.” Rogelio swung his legs out, springing out of bed. “Que es esto?”

He surveyed the sumptuous red bedroom and shrugged. “Well, it’s not the first time Rogelio has woken up in an unfamiliar bed…”

His ears perked up at the sound of shouting, and he made his way downstairs.

Rogelio paused. “What’s this?”

A ladder descended into a dark basement that smelled faintly of earth and wood.

“Nope,” he said. “Nope. Nope. Nope. Rogelio is not going down there. Too spooky.”

He walked away, following the sounds of rhythmic grunting.

Rogelio flung open the door to discover a gym stocked with pristine exercise equipment, fresh towels, and a woman who sprang up from doing push-ups on the floor.

Ay, dios mío…” It was the most beautiful woman Rogelio had ever seen in his life.

“Who is this magnificent creature?” Rogelio swooned, scooping up her hands to his lips. “I must introduce myself, I am Rogelio…”

She smiled, nodding politely at him, then took a step back. “Greetings, civilian Rogelio, be not afraid! I am the Llama, sworn protector of all Simanity. Please sir, would you be so kind as to escort me to the nearest Evil, so that I may vanquish it-“

“Alas, mi amor, Rogelio doesn’t even know where he is-“

But they were interrupted by a loud chime, and she started. “Listen to that sound! What sort of high-trumpeted angel is that?”

“The doorbell?” he said, puzzled. Did she not know what a doorbell was? “Rogelio will go see who it is…”

Alice and Carl were walking around the neighborhood, gathering the neighbors. They slowly realized that nobody knew where they were, and nobody knew how to leave.

They first picked up their neighbor Edith from the pink house.

“Is it just me, or are there even more gnomes on her lawn than yesterday?” Carl grimaced nervously.

At the yellow house, they met an elderly man who introduced himself as Dr. Professor.

“Doctor… Professor? Is that like your first and last name, or…?”

“If you have to ask, then you must not be very bright!” he harrumphed.

Next, they stopped by the wood cabin, where a blond man stepped out to greet them.

“Sup, dudes?” he said. “Name’s Buddy, totally righteous to meet you…”

Finally, they rang the doorbell on the largest house on the block, and Carl complained to Alice, “That’s so unfair, why didn’t we get this place, instead of our dinky single-“

A well-groomed man pranced out of the house,

-and grabbed Carl’s hand. “Hola, guapo,” he said. “My name is Rogelio.”

“Guapo? What’s guapo?”

“It means sexy in Spanish-“

“Ugh!” Carl recoiled and turned to Alice.

“Alice!” he whined. “He tried to hit on me! Do something!”

“You’ll have to excuse Carl,” she said, rolling her eyes. “I already know he’s a misogynist, so I’m not surprised he’s homophobic too-“

“Well, Rogelio is no misogynist, princesa,” he grinned, his dimples deepening, and Alice giggled. “Rogelio loves women-“

Two more people walked out of the mansion.

“They also woke up in this house,” Rogelio explained, then leaned in closer to whisper, “Although, the blue-haired one is very quiet and I think there’s something wrong with her…”

The blue-haired girl was whispering, but nobody could hear her.

“Um, hello everyone? I have something to say-“

“I have some really important information to share. I think this is a bad place and… hello? Bueller? Bueller?… and if you’re still reading this fine print, congrats on finding an Easter egg U…”

But nobody was listening.

Edith was gleefully gossiping with Dr. Professor.

“Did I tell you I live next to the loudest married couple, they’re constantly bickering and yelling at each other-“

Dr. Professor arched an eyebrow. “You mean that young couple in the green house? The man who looks like a 12-year-old boy and the woman who dresses like a 12-year-old boy?”

She nodded, “Yes, exactly-“

“I’m on the other side of them, and I, too, hear their unbelievably loud fits of screaming! Tsk-tsk, youth these days! You have kids?”

“Just the one, but he’s a greedy little monster,” griped Edith.

“Tell me about it, my son won’t even let me see my granddaughter-“

Rogelio beckoned to all the neighbors.

“So, you’re probably wondering why I’ve gathered you all here today,” he began.

Carl tried to cut in. “Um, actually it was us who-“

“I’m throwing a neighborhood pool party!” Rogelio shouted over him. “YAY!”

The neighbors murmured excitedly and cheered. Except for Carl.

“Now, hold on,” protested Carl. “Are you forgetting? We’re eight strangers trapped in the suburbs. We need to have a serious discussion about how to leave this place, not act like a bunch of idiots on vacation having a pool party-“

They had a pool party.

Dr. Professor whipped up some hot dogs while The Llama swam laps tirelessly.

Rogelio served Alice a drink at the bar,

-and Edith lounged, gossiping with Carl as he applied a second coat of sunscreen.

“That poor girl,” Edith sighed, looking across the pool. “There’s something not right in her head. Just look at her, sitting all alone in the corner over there, jabbering away to herself!”

The blue-haired girl was gesturing and nodding to the empty air beside her, even though nobody was there.

“She’s just a teenager,” said Carl. “Teenagers are weird sometimes.”

“Yes, but not talking-to-yourself weird,” replied Edith. “She’s erratic, the poor thing.”

Carl was still slathering on sunscreen twenty minutes later when Alice stopped by. She stumbled a little and struggled to set herself down on the lounge chair.

“Hey, Carl,” she said. “Issa shame…”

What, Alice?”

She giggled. “Issa shame your personality is so plum awful, and that you’re such a… a plumming jerk, ’cause then you might ac-acshly be kinda cute- wait, whaddare you doing-“

“I’m trying to telepathically tell you to go away, but clearly, it’s not working.”

“What the plum, Carl?”

“Hey, you’re the one who came over here and started insulting my personality-“

“Plum you!” she yelled. “Whatever, Carl, I can’t remember why I came over here anyways…”

Carl didn’t feel any remorse. Well, maybe a little.

The blue-haired girl was still whispering to the chair next to her. “-at least you can hear me.”

“Yeah, but what good will it do if no one’s listening to you?” replied a ghostly voice.

“Cassandra, I still don’t understand what’s going on,” whispered the blue-haired girl. “Where are we? How did we get here?”

Alice had sidled in next to Rogelio, Carl eyeing them suspiciously.

“Hey, Rogelio, can I ask you a question?”

Dale, princesa.”

“So, Carl and I discovered something really weird in our house…” She told Rogelio about the three mysterious doors they had found in their basement. “Have you seen anything like that here?”

“Ah yes,” he answered. “Rogelio has seen a ladder leading down to a basement, but it was very spooky and he did not go down.”

“Can you show me?”

Rogelio nodded and led her into the house, and Alice tried hard not to stare at his zebra-printed swimwear.

“Hey, where are those two going?” piped up Carl behind them, but they were already out of earshot.

At the bottom of the ladder was a dark basement, the ground soft and earthy beneath Alice’s feet. A single bulb flickered ahead, but it wasn’t bright enough to illuminate the rest of the room. Squinting, she could barely make out a few dark shapes to her left.

“Rogelio, I think there’s something down here, I’m going to go check it out.” She turned and walked into the darkness.

“Be careful, princesa,” Rogelio called after her.

“Cassandra,” said the blue-haired girl to the ghost. “Tell me what’s going on!”

The ghost winced. “Well, I have no idea how or why you’re here, but I do know that you need to leave this place as soon as possible-“

“Why? What’ll happen to us if we stay?”

“The same thing that happened to us,” she whimpered. “Everyone who used to live here, including my family, was killed. You have to get out of here, before they get to you first-“

“Ow!” yelled Alice.

Todo bien?” called out Rogelio.

“Yeah, I just stubbed my toe on a wooden crate,” she said. “Hold on, I think I found a light source, give me a second to light it up- oh plum…”

It wasn’t a wooden crate she had bumped into. It was a coffin. And there were eight total, one for each of them.

Fun fact of the day:
Alice gets a terrible case of Asian glow, which is why her face turned red after like 3 sips of her drink

Parkshore Manor -BaseGame by marjia
Llama Paintings 1 by Durgengoa

Alice’s drawing of the day:
“Look, Carl, I drew a map of the neighborhood and the neighbors to keep track of everyone.”
“Wait, who’s that ugly smudge on the right?”
“That’s you, Carl, hehehe…”

7 thoughts on “Stranger Times Episode 2

  1. Welp, as if I couldn’t love this story series anymore than I already do, you threw in some 80’s nostalgia with the Ferris Bueller reference 😀
    Rogelio is fun, me gusta! I snorted at Alice’s attempt to not stare at his butt :p I mean, if you’re gonna be stuck with a bunch of strangers in the ‘burbs, it helps to have eye candy, eh, Alice 😉 Although, the fact that she called Carl cute makes me wonder which dish of candy will Alice dip her hands into? Hmmm.
    Doctor Professor lol I got a feel for his personality with just his opening statement.
    Oooh Cassandra made quite an entrance into this story! With some creepy warning. And THEN the coffins!…. for THEM.
    Well things are getting creepy af! Looking forward to the next installment …. and maybe some more Rogelio tushy….for ALICE to enjoy…obviously.

    PS the map that Alice made with Carl’s scribbled mug had me ROLLING

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Rogelio’s opening lines will never not make me think of the Language Log post about the French-Canadian cheesy puffs or whatever where the French said ‘Fromidable!’ and the English translation was the far less spectacular ‘Cheesetastic!’

    And then a Spanish speaker bursts out of the gate with ‘Quesoave!’


    Dolly immediately has a favorite character. Dolly still will not sleep with him regardless of favorite-character status. Dolly thinks a pool party is not a bad idea to build trust and rapport behind the people in this odd situation, and will back up his intuition in this case. Dolly is also amused at the decisions (a) to not totally strawman Carl and (b) to have Alice freaking NEG him.

    Dolly thinks the black door belongs to the blue-haired girl and can only be opened by her. Dolly thinks maybe the heavy double doors belong to the professor; Dolly is getting vibes that are more Psychonauts than Sense8 at this point, but enjoys both things.


    Dolly chooses to believe that (Herr) Doctor Professor uses German title conventions and his name is just the null set. It was hell. Every day, taking attendance in elementary school, the teacher would pause until he yelled “Here!” His doctorate just has a blank space on it. Undergrads hate him as much as the DMV does.

    Oh, so Alice flushes! Dolly thought it was sunburn. Dolly would also like to show her appreciation for all the bilingual, dark-skinned, or mixed-race characters; you know how Dolly feels about that. YASSSSS.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lololol, took me a hot sec to appreciate “From-idable” and “Queso-ave.” Käsetastisch, as the possibly Teutonophilic Dr. Professor might say!

      Interesting, interesting. Don’t mind Manny as she pulls out a legal pad and starts taking notes. “No no, it’s fine,” she says. “Please, continue telling me your theories, Dolly; I won’t steal them or anything.”

      My goodness, what kind of parents would do that to their child? But if I’m being real, Dr. Professor would totally and arrogantly embrace the resulting chaos. He would take no responsibility for bureaucratic confusion; clearly, it’s everyone else’s fault for being too dumb to understand his name (or lack thereof).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This took an unexpectedly dark turn at the end (before the map). I love how Carl was singled out in Alice’s drawing. They were wise to throw the pool party. It’s important to have some fun before what looks like an inevitable tragedy strikes.

    Dr. Professor has a talent for insulting people, especially Alice and Carl.

    Liked by 1 person

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