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2 yrs ago
Current Off Hiatus?
3 yrs ago
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3 yrs ago
"Mecha Cowboys" has less than a thousand hits on Google. I've never been more upset.
3 yrs ago
RP Concept: "Screw just the plans, we're stealing the Death Star and taking that baby for a joyride!"
5 likes
4 yrs ago
The VeggieTales theme song has been stuck in my head for at least three days now. Can't decide if it a good or bad thing yet.
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Bio

Writer of schlock dressed up in some decent clothes.

Most Recent Posts

Cut to Bork getting conned into playing Fuzion Frenzy 2.
Getting forced to play Mario Party is true horror. I'm ready for this opening post to chill me to the bones now.
There's always room for more in the Othergrounds...



"... Awakened always return as Apparitions. We'll see her again, I promise."

Penny gave a wry, pained smile and lowered her head. They’d see Caelea again? Yeah? And what form would Caelea take? Would she be herself, or would she be a smoke monster that moved faster than a bullet and was capable of eviscerating a person in a blink of an eye? Stacey gave words to her fears. What did that mean for the others Penny had already lost? She pressed her hand to her heart and closed her eyes so tightly that the spots she saw were on the inside as well as the out. A sob got caught in her throat and she held it there. She wouldn’t allow herself to break in front of the others.

"If it's a shared dream, is there a way out?" asked Stacey.

“Yeah,” said Penny, the lump in her throat coming out as a dismissive scoff. “We find the dickhead whose nightmare we’re stuck inside of and shove our foot so far up their ass they’ll never be able to lie down to go to sleep ever again.”

She kicked off of the lamppost and tried to ignore how her legs felt like jelly. She wasn’t going to even start entertaining the idea of looking for an escape before she had taken care of the Apparition that had murdered Caelea. Odessa may have dumped another pile of doubts onto Penny’s mountain of them, but she had cleared up one thing that had been a concern: Caelea wasn’t inside of that thing anymore. She wasn’t going to allow her friend to go unavenged. However, before that she needed to recuperate, and she wasn’t the only one. Penny looked around and saw tired, broken faces.

Penny put a hand to her hip and said to Odessa, “Look, I’m not against figuring out what’s going on, but let’s do it somewhere better than this. Like a place with a couch, or even just a chair. Everyone looks like they could use a break, and the street’s not cutting it.”

She threaded her fingers together and stretched her hands high above her head until her knuckles popped. There was little doubt in her mind that the group would be against finding somewhere comfortable to lay low. Penny began to move, but slowed her pace as she neared Odessa and smirked, “On our way, why not tell us about this place the Hound won’t go? I don’t know about you, but that sounds like paradise to me.”
Well. Either we gotta stop here or make 351 more IC posts.
Always trust a Big Al.




Vashti perked up as she heard the ding of the elevator. She tilted her head, saw Madison being carried by Herik, dropped back against the couch with a thump, and stuck her lip out. Some girls had all of the luck. Vashti realized then that Madison was passed out and chided herself. It was stupid to get jealous of a drunk girl. Still, her self-awareness did nothing to cure her envy. Today was turning out to be a horrible day. She looked like an idiot at the meetup, acted like a total asshole to girls higher up in the pecking order, and now was being a total sourpuss for an utterly benign reason. She wished she could blame her behavior on the Leviathan, but even before it her emotions ran rampant. Vashti sighed and massaged the bridge of her nose. What a headache this was all be—

A cry of surprise escaped her throat as she was effortlessly lifted up out of her slump like a ragdoll and constricted between a massive pair of arms. Momentarily panic switched over to even more panic as Vashti realized Herik was hugging her. Words tried to form on her lips as her feet dangled uselessly off of the ground, but the only thing that came out was excited gibberish. Before she still fully comprehended the greatness of the moment she was in it was over as Herik gently set her back down on the couch.

"Thank you!” Ohmigod. “You're a lifesaver.”Ohmigod ohmigod. “How about I treat you to dinner, yes?" Ohmigodohmigodohmigod. Vashti felt her face flush as her eyes darted around the room. This was a prank. Revenge for her shit behavior. No, wait, he was serious? Really? Buy her dinner? Buying dinner was big. Buying dinner was really big. It was practically date territory. Wait, was it one? Holy shit. She needed to breathe. She needed to change outfits. She needed to not have a creepy alligator hybrid body. Most importantly, she needed to say something, because right now she was just staring at Herik in disbelief. She hopped up to her feet.

“D-dinner? Yes! Yeah! Awesome! That’d be great! Totally! I’m in!” How many ways could she give him an affirmative? Vashti never would know, because the goth waiting for the elevator came over.

"Hi, I'm Sin, the best summoner in the world." Vashti gave her a horrified look. The only sin here was that this girl had managed to summon up a total vibe killer by interrupting the chemistry that was clearly sparking between Vashti and Herik. "So uh... You're one us yeah?"

“Geez, I still hope so,” said Vashti. Wait, did the girl just assume she was in the Coven? Did that mean she walked up to everyone introducing herself as a summoner? Vasthi shook her head, wiped the ugly look from her face, and smiled. She didn’t need to butt heads with anymore of the Coven. “I’m Vashti, the best elevator repair-girl in the world.”

Meanwhile, the other girls were rushing around and Herik had checked his phone. Something had gone wrong. Before Vashti could even consolidate plans with Herik, she was whisked away into a different car.




Vashti might’ve been sullen on the way to the Coven’s lair, but nobody could ever be sad in Fantasy Land! Or so said the broken sign covered with dying spanish moss. It was an odd concept for a theme park. Most bragged about being the happiest place on Earth. Fantasy Land was content with just not being depressing and, unlike when it was open, it actually succeeded. There was a haunted house that probably had an actual murder in it, the unearthed dinosaur bones of rollercoaster tracks that were quickly degrading looming off in the distance, and a pet alligator too. Vashti couldn’t help but wonder if Chompy was someone who just had it worse than her.

The Coven was having a wrap-up meeting sans Claudette and Madison, which was fortunate for Vashti. The further removed from the incident the less likely that it would be brought up. Vashti sat on the trunk of a rogue bumper car that was hundreds of yards from its home. She had a look on her face that was somewhere between shocked and intrigued as Maya dished the dirty details to Taylor. Surely, Maya was joking about screwing Blake Schmidt’s wife. Dude didn’t accept the deal so I fucked his wife. It was mimicking business trash talk. Fake machismo, purely ironic. There was literally no way it had actually happened, just like there was literally no way they were actually going to go to a strip club. Right?

"Instead of drinking to bond, how about we go for dinner?” suggested Herik.

Vashti reeled back as if she’d been hit by a bullet and barely kept herself from sliding off of her bumper car. We. He had said we should get dinner. As in, we all should get dinner. Fucking A. She plopped down onto the dilapidated cushion in the cab of her makeshift seat and propped her head up with her hand. Whatever. She was still hungry, and the alternative plan sounded like the perfect way to make a bad day even worse. Besides, maybe the rest wouldn’t want to go. The thought of that made Vashti perk up.

“I’m in. Pretty sure I heard you say that it was gonna be your treat, too,” said Vashti, then she winked. “Just kidding.”

Even if the others came along it’d be fine. She just hoped that she and Herik would have a moment alone. Vashti had made up her mind. He was the one she was going to tell about the Leviathan.




Penny was shaking. Her vision was blurry but she was pretty certain it was from the tears, not from the after effects of her Abstraction. The second that thing moved she would activate it. She didn’t know if she’d have time to react in that window, but it wouldn’t matter if she used it too soon and broke her sight again. Her eyes narrowed and she readied herself to take a swing as the thing that wasn’t Caelea made the girl’s head turn and grin even wider than before at Penny. She felt a chill run down her spine. She almost didn’t recognize what it was. Adrenaline rushes in the face of horror was common, but it wasn’t often that Penny found herself completely afraid. It also wasn’t often that Penny believed she was in a fight where she would lose regardless of if she survived or not.

The shell of a Caelea's grin hit its breaking point, and the thing disappeared. The sigil below Penny’s collarbone glowed as she enhanced her vision, simultaneously swinging her hand forward in preparation of activating her glyphs. Instantly, Penny started to see spots. It felt like someone was taking a jackhammer to her skull. She caught vision of Caelea’s body beelining in the other direction and immediately stopped her Abstraction. The jackhammering stopped with it, but the pain didn’t subside.Penny grabbed her temples and covered her face. She staggered but stayed upright, biting the inside of her cheek so hard that she tasted blood.

The realization of what had really happened hit her again: Caelea’s dead. The pain in her head paled in comparison to the one in her chest. She shook her head, muttering nonsense and disbeliefs under her breath that was punctuated by loud, arhythmic sobs. Penny was completely unaware of her surroundings. She didn’t see Zoey moving to calm Hagan, or notice that the others had actually listened to her call to run, but she knew she wasn’t safe. She wiped her tears, smudging ink from her fingertips onto her cheek, and tried to take control of her breathing.

“What the fuck, what the fuck, what the fuck,” she said softly. She continued to quietly chant her mantra as she whipped her head back and forth to take in the spotted world. Where had the ghost kids gone? More importantly, where had the real kids gone? She caught sight of Isla’s beanie again. She caught sight of Hagan’s barrier again. Penny felt a fire start up inside of her. Zoey and Hagan had been with Caelea. What the hell had they been thinking? Why didn’t they just smash the Apparition? Why didn’t they protect Caelea? She kept muttering her mantra.

She saw the false light of Hagan’s barrier die and her breathing grew heavy. Her face soured. She canned the mantra. The tears let themselves go again, and Penny turned and ran. She wasn’t running after the other group. She was running away from her friends. She had trusted them to watch out for one another, and they had betrayed that trust. There was no way Penny could face them right now, or rather she didn’t want to face them. Penny was quick to catch up to the group of strangers. She slowed down to a jog as she neared them. She made it to them so quickly because some of them were little more than useless deadweight. Penny frowned, shoved the toxic thought back down, and wiped her face clean yet again before she made herself apparent.

“Hey, wait up,” said Penny to get the group right as Isla stopped them. “Yeah, I think we can take a breather.”

Judging by how Trent was looking, they needed one and she needed to prepare. She didn’t know how long puppet Caelea would actually be gone, or if they even really were gone. Penny stepped past the group so her back was to them, partially so she could focus and partially because she really didn’t want to deal with anyone’s shit right now, and flipped open her satchel. Her gear, if it could be called that—it was more like a random assortment of junk—was still there. She pulled out a trifecta of Keno cards. On each one she drew a different glyph, shook them dry so they didn’t bleed, and shoved each one into a different pocket. Penny capped her marker and turned back in time just to get embraced.

Zoey wrapped herself around Penny and cried loudly. Penny felt her body stiffen. Instead of returning the hug, Penny’s arms dropped down to her side and stayed there. Her eyes did water, but the look on her face was not one of sorrow but of anger and disgust. Zoey couldn’t believe Caelea was gone? Caelea was gone because Zoey let that thing get near her! Penny wasn’t surprised that she didn’t return the hug. She was surprised that she didn’t deck Zoey right in the face. Penny’s body started to shake, and she slowly lifted one hand to push against Zoey’s elbow to unlock herself from the hug.

Zoey, don’t you ever fucking touch me,” said Penny, speaking barely loud enough for the other girl to hear her. Her voice was thin. The fire in her eyes was balanced by the ice in her words. She knew that her friend was going to be hurt by her words. She smirked, but then it faltered. Penny took a step back and, refusing to make eye contact with Zoey, added a little less harshly, “I just need space.”

With that, plus a sharp, disapproving look thrown over at Hagan, Penny walked over to a lamppost and leaned against it with her arms folded over her chest. Her eyes narrowed as Odessa suggested that what had happened wasn’t real, but Penny’s skepticism shifted as Odessa mentioned that the Hound didn’t show up. The important question of how Odessa even knew about the Hound was forgotten as soon as Penny picked up on her implication. Technically, Caelea could still be alive because it hadn’t been her time. Penny frowned. Technically, this could just be false hope. Maybe the Hound didn’t operate in Paradise.

“He’s Death, basically,” said Penny, in response to Isla and Finley. Penny had been lucky enough to keep her time with the Hound to a bare minimum. From what she had heard he was also a manipulating piece of shit, but she kept that part to herself. “He comes when it’s your time to go, which means that wasn’t Caelea’s fate. However, just because she shouldn’t be dead doesn’t mean that she is alive. There are things that can interfere with the Hound and break his design.” She closed her eyes and saw the orange light. She blinked it away. “And there are ways to set it back on the right track.”

“So are you saying what I think you’re saying, Odessa? Is there something we can do? Because I—” Penny’s voice broke. She shook her head and continued, “Because I really can’t be jerked around right now.”




Vashti dropped her shoulders and pouted as Taylor called her out. She was about to protest and say that she really didn’t mean to snap at Claudette, but it wouldn’t do her any good. The silent treatment from Claudette told her that no apologies would be taken anyway. She felt like she was going to be sick. She moved quickly as Herik got the door and dropped down to the eighth floor. Vashti turned back to the group and gave them a miserable smile.

“Don’t worry, I’ll be quick,” she said and jogged towards the stairwell. The door slammed shut behind her and she hesitated before deciding to head towards the lobby. The receptionist would help her, whereas interrupting the Coven’s meeting to tell them that she’d managed to fuck up her fast task would not. Actually, technically, she had succeeded in babysitting duty. She had taken care of Madison. Just, Vashti figured trapping her in the elevator wasn’t what Kayla had in mind. Still, it was something positive to hold on to, a light that burned away the worrisome thoughts of what the others would say about her once everything was settled.

Maybe if she was fast they’d be more merciful. She ran down the stairs, cutting the last third off of each flight by jumping to the landing. By the time Vashti hit the ground floor she was panting. Vashti didn’t waste a second and wiped the sweat from her forehead as she bursted through the door to the lobby. Her shoes echoed across the lobby as she bolted past some goth girl waiting for a lift that’d never arrive and skidded to a stop at the receptionist, just barely catching herself from slamming right into the desk. The receptionist looked visibly startled as Vashti fought to catch her breath, holding her chest with one hand and hanging up a finger as if to say one moment to the receptionist. She sucked up one big breath of air.

“Help the elevator has no power, people are stuck, oh my god, I’m never running again, I don’t know, do something,” said Vashti, releasing the words with her breath so they were all hurriedly strung together.

The receptionist gave Vashti a look, and then lifted up the phone to call maintenance. Vashti, having done her heroic deed for the day, let herself collapse against the desk as if she were Pheidippides running from Marathon and sunk to the marble floor of the lobby. The receptionist peered over the desk and, with her hand over the phone’s receiver, said, “They just had to flip a breaker. Also, you can’t sit there.”

Vashti groaned, got up, and made way over to one of the lobby's couches. Hopefully that call had actually fixed the elevator. It had taken, what, only a couple of minutes? That was pretty good. She mentally patted herself on the back. Claudette would have to forgive her then. The small, satisfied smile on Vashti's face soured. Claudette had broken the elevator, she better thank Vashti for fixing her mess.
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