The Funeral [Part II]
The man screamed.
And because the man had screamed, Carl screamed again and ran into a corner to cower.
“What are you doing in my hole? Get out of here!” yelled the man, hissing at them. “I haven’t eaten for days and I don’t want to hurt you!”
“Wait, we can get you food!” said Alice. “Please, I have so many questions to ask you about what’s going on-“
“I don’t want food! I’m hungry for…” He mumbled something incoherent. “…in fact, I’m starving. I was so desperate, I tried drinking from a plant, but I think I only killed it.”
He sighed. “Anyways, it’s not safe for you here while I’m hungry! I wish I had a frog, but they’ve been hard to find lately…”
The Llama lit up. “A frog, you say? Well, Destiny must be playing matchmaker today, because I have one!” She strode over to him and handed him a frog from her belt pouch.
“Wait, what are you going to do with a fro-” asked Alice,
-but she was cut off by a loud squelching. She recoiled. “Oh no…”
“Urgh…” She gagged and tried not to throw up.
The man slurped his liquified frog happily, and The Llama chuckled.
Alice waited for her stomach to settle before turning back to him. “All right. Now can you please tell us what’s going on here? Where are we? Who are you? Where’s everyone else? How do we get out of this neighborhood and go home?”
“Ok,” he said. “I’ll start at the beginning. My name is Caleb, and I used to live in this save file with my sister and master. One day, everyone in the save file got an invitation from someone in Willow Creek- that’s where we’re stuck now- but it was a trap. We were all locked up behind a gate and left to starve.
I was the sole survivor, unable to do anything as I watched all of my friends and family die slow, painful deaths-“
The Llama nodded along. “Mhm, mhm…”
“-the bodies piled up so high, the Grim Reaper couldn’t even make all the rounds-“
“Been there, been there…”
“But I managed to escape, and I’ve been hiding out here ever since, catching frogs to survive. I don’t know who you are or how you got here, just promise me, please, don’t tell anyone about me, especially not her-“
“The woman in red,” he said. “She’s the one who killed everyone.”
“Ah!” The blue-haired girl jumped as a blue ghost materialized in front of her. “Cassandra! Where have you been? I’ve been looking for you all evening! You said you were going to tell me more about this neighborhood!”
“Oh, sorry, crossing over into your world can be a little unpredictable,” said the ghost. “But, now that I’m here, I want to show you something… follow me…”
The blue-haired girl hesitated, wondering if this was a good idea.
But she wanted answers, so she ran after her.
She wasn’t sure how they got there, but they suddenly arrived at the entrance to a cemetery, the wrought iron gates creaking open to a sea of gravestones.
“Cassandra, what is this place?” whispered the girl. “Are these the previous neighbors?”
But Cassandra’s ghost had already floated ahead, and the girl had to hurry to keep up.
The gate shut behind her with a clang and the back of her neck prickled. She suddenly realized she was alone with Cassandra in the cemetery, far away from the rest of the neighbors.
But then some of the names on the headstones caught her eye- Cassandra Goth, Mortimer Goth, Alexander Goth– and she gasped. “This must be your grave, and the graves of your family! But wait, where’s your mother? Did you have a mother?”
“Yeah, my mom’s alive,” said Cassandra, floating over, and the blue-haired girl could feel her heart beating faster as the ghost approached with tear-streaked cheeks.
“My mom’s the one who locked us up to die.”
“What!?” The girl was suddenly very aware of the iron fence surrounding her on all sides. Her eyes darted around, realizing that the gate was the only exit. If it wasn’t locked, that is.
“Uh, I think I should… I should go-” stammered the girl, backing up towards the gate.
“No, wait!” pleaded the ghost. “My mom’s not the bad guy! Someone else made her do it! Please, you have to believe me!”
The girl hesitated. “So… then who did this?”
“Well, I- I don’t know his name. I guess you’d have to ask my mom, if you can find her.”
“Ok, but why did you bring me to a cemetery? You could’ve just told me all that!”
“Oh, no…” said Cassandra softly. “I’m so sorry. I thought it would be fun to hang out at the cemetery, but it seems I’ve scared you… I’m so sorry… I don’t know why I thought this was a good idea…” Cassandra started to float backwards blindly, and she would’ve tripped over a gravestone had she not been incorporeal.
“No, wait, Cassandra.” She wasn’t sure why she wanted to trust this ghost. “It’s ok, I like cemeteries! I just thought you were going to lock me in here and kill me.”
“Oh no, I don’t want you to die!” said the ghost. “Although if you did, we could be ghosts together and- um, what I mean, is that I want you to survive and escape this place.”
“In that case,” said the girl, “what else can you tell me about this mysterious man forcing your mother to do terrible things?”
“I overheard them talking about clowns once. Sorry, that’s all I know.”
“Hm.” The girl paused, collecting her thoughts. She was starting to put together some ideas of what was going on in the neighborhood, but there was still one thing that wasn’t making sense.
“Cassandra, what do the gnomes have to do with everything?”
“The ones in front of the pink house? On Edith’s lawn?”
Cassandra shrugged. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. There didn’t use to be any gnomes here…”
Alice and Carl climbed out of the vampire’s burrow, a little shaken, but alive, and thankfully not drained of blood. They had decided to leave Caleb alone in his hole and keep the vampire’s secret, but Alice made a mental note to check on Buddy the next morning.
Caleb had told them to beware the woman in the red dress, so Alice was grateful that The Llama had left to go patrol the neighborhood.
Carl kept throwing glances over his shoulder as they walked home, feeling like he was being watched. But he couldn’t see anyone following them. No vampire, and no lady in red.
Meanwhile, the whole impending-deaths-thing aside, there was something else gnawing at Alice. And if she didn’t say anything about it soon, it felt like her head would spin off in frustration.
“Carl, we need to talk about last night,” she blurted as they crossed the street.
Last night, they had played video games, and it had, once again, turned into yelling, ending with Alice storming out.
“Ugh, do we have to?” complained Carl, but then he stopped. “But, actually, yeah, I’ve been thinking about it. A lot.”
“You have?” said Alice, surprised.
“Yes. I can’t believe I’ve been so dumb.”
“I mean, last night, it started out kinda fun, like even the trash talking, and then… then it stopped being fun. When you got upset and left, I felt awful. I felt so bad about myself. I was, like, what did I do to end up alone? Again? So, after much self-reflection, Alice, I finally figured out the problem.”
“And?” The word slipped out of Alice with a little too much eagerness.
“The problem is…
…that you’re a woman.”
“And women are out to get nice guys like me! It’s true, I read it online!”
“Women aren’t out to get you, Carl-” Alice couldn’t believe she’d been so dumb, either.
“Do you want to hear my theory, Alice?”
“I’m not sure that I do-“
“I think women are basically a different, alien species with a hive mind, like, a female version of the Formics or something. And they’ve collectively decided that their single mission in life is to make men feel as miserable as possible-“
“-are you even listening to yourself, Carl?”
“I can’t believe I fell for your tricks. You made me think we were having fun playing video games! You tricked me into liking you! Just to make me feel bad later! I bet you don’t even like video games!”
“It was never a ruse, Carl-“
“I’m onto you, hive-brain Alice! I won’t fall for your tricks anymore!”
“C’mon Carl, why don’t you just go inside and go sleep. Like Caleb said, it’s dangerous out here-“
“You can’t tell me what to do! I’m a man! I make my own decisions!”
“All right, suit yourself. Good night, Carl.” She turned around without hesitation.
Alice walked up the porch and into the green house, leaving Carl ranting behind her. “That’s right! I’m a man! I know what I’m doing!”
“-also, I made up the part about liking you!” he yelled, but she was gone.
“Ugh!” he shouted into the empty air. Somehow, he found himself, alone. Again.
Well, seemingly alone.
And he had a few glorious seconds of deluding himself that he was not the problem, everyone else was, before everything went black.
When Carl woke up, his mouth was full of sand.
He stood up slowly, coughing up grains of sand, the back of his head throbbing.
“…where the plum am I?”
Fun fact of the day:
Caleb was never supposed to survive The Great Purge™. But as it turns out, sun-resistant vampires are hard to kill. Sorry, Caleb, for making you watch all your loved ones die and then live to talk about it.
Bud Stoner by orangestripedcat
Lumberjack Fantasy by MannyLikesSims (yo that’s me)
Creepy Graveyard by lasseodamy
3 thoughts on “Stranger Times Episode 6.2”
I loved this episode! The ending had me laughing each time the gnomes changed position. 😂 I wonder what will happen to Carl now. Is he in a new neighbourhood doomed like the last one? Also I loved the part about being in a save file 😆 can’t wait for the next episode!
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Oof that scene with Caleb draining the frog. I might need a barf bag. At least Caleb is harmless.
Oh my gawd, Carl. I can’t even believe the pile of misogynistic crap he spewed all over Alice, and she didn’t kick him in the crotch. She is VERY nice. Thankfully Carl and his opinions were whisked away elsewhere. No one has time for your opinions, Carl. Go get buried in sand!
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i’ll never look at gnomes the same way again
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