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"Sure," Barrel said. "Maybe some poison to go with it."

He pondered a moment.

"Or wine. Wine would make it taste great. Probably better than the cider we've got."

Barrel turned to go.

"I'll see if I can catch them, then. Go ahead and tell him if you see him, though."

Barrel actually caught her hint, looked at his groceries, then back to Lillith.

"Actually, yeah!" he said. "If you could bring a drink, that'd be great!"

He shifted his bags again.

"Anyway, I gotta go," he said, with one last glance to Vlad. "I need to find Wolfboy and tell him. ...Actually, have either of you seen him lately? I've checked the usual places on the way, but he wasn't there."

Come to think of it...when had he last seen Wolfboy?
Barrel shrugged.

"I wouldn't be here if you both weren't invited," he said. "Otherwise, we'd just have Lock tell you on a date."

He gave a glance to Vlad, remembered to be careful about what he said, then looked over at Carmilla.

"It's Carver's party," he said, "and they want all their friends there, so Shock agreed."

He giggled and shook the shopping bag.

"Besides, I got more popcorn just in case fireworks fly."
Barrel was pulled out of his hungry thoughts by Lillith. He grinned and waved at her and Carmilla.

"Yeah, what he said."

He shifted the bag in his hands.

"We're having a party tomorrow," he said, "and you two are corj-ly invited."

Barrel gave an exaggerated bow in an attempt to show good manners, then straightened up.

"Wanna come?"
"We're having a party tomorrow, and they're--"

Barrel took a moment to try to remember the fancy word Lillith used whenever she told Lock he was invited over for dinner. He grinned, confidently lifted a finger, and continued.

"--Cordly invited."

Vlad titled his head.

"...Cordially?" he gently offered.

"Yeah," Barrel said. "Corj-ly."

His grin never faded, though it became a bit nervous, as Barrel took the head tilt as suspicion.

"A-anyway, it's gonna be great!" he continued, in an attempt to allay any fears the vampire elder might have. "Sobki and Agatha are gonna come, we'll have music, and snacks..."

Barrel held up his shopping bags.

"We're gonna have snake chips, and popcorn, stuffed toadstools, blood pudding cups, jellied slugs--"

He licked his lips. Death, he was hungry just thinking about it!

"--monster cheese fondue and all kinds of stuff to go with it, rodent rolls, death dip, tentacle surprise bites, scream cheesecake bites..."

Barrel looked down at his groceries, then tried to think if he was missing anything. He had quite a list, because he wanted to make sure no one left hungry.
Barrel had only been inside Vampire Castle a few times over the last few decades. As such, he took a moment to appreciate the majesty of the foyer, before he was startled out of his thoughts by one of the four vampire clan leaders suddenly appearing.

"Oh! Um..."

Barrel readjusted his shopping in his hands as he regained his train of thought.

"Are Lillith and Carmilla home?" he asked again.
"Great!" Barrel said. "We'll have music and snacks and such, but you can bring something if you want."

He stood up and collected his things.

"See you tomorrow!" he said cheerfully.

He headed out with his purchases to find some more of their friends. The square was bustling. There really weren't many monsters out and about - or many more monsters to invite, either. Huh. It was times like this where he realized just how small Halloween Town was. Or maybe it was just that there were so few monsters the trio's age.

Barrel strolled past the fountain and up to the gate by Town Hall that lead into the main residential area. On his way to Vampire Castle, he saw Sobki and...what was his name? Chud? Whatever. Sobki was one of their friends, and here he was. As Barrel got closer, he briefly overheard their concersation.

"...derstand her fascination with Egyptian mythology," Sobki said, "but I don't think she understands that I'm not actually a god."

"What's she want to be called again?" Chad asked. "Basket?"

"Bastet," Sobki corrected, "the cat goddess."

He sighed.

"Maybe I should break up with her..."

Chad shrugged.

"Bro, no offense, I know every dude wants a girl that worships him, but you can get dat ass anywhe--"

"Hey, Sobki," Barrel said.

He completely ignored Chad.

Sobki looked up, somewhat with relief at the sudden topic change.

"Hey, Barrel," he said.

Chad looked up at the newcomer.

"Ooooh, this one's Barrel!"

Barrel grinned. Looked like that trick was over.

"Yeah, that's me." He turned back to Sobki. "Can I talk with you for a minute?"

"Sure," Sobki said. "About what?"

Barrel briefly glanced to Chad. While he had been helpful getting the door down yesterday, he also remembered Shock's discomfort and fury in his presence. He wasn't going to risk Chad not having his older sister's permission to be in their home.

"...It's personal," he said.

Chad calmly held up a hand.

"Reading you loud and clear, bro," he said, then gently waved. "Catch you later!"

Barrel and Sobki both waved back. As soon as he was out of sight and earshot, Barrel turned back to Sobki.

"We're having a gathering at the lair tomorrow night," Barrel said. "Just a small celebration for Carver getting their old body back. Anyway, you can come if you want."

Sobki nodded.

"...Actually, yeah, that sounds fun," he said. "I need to get my mind off of Veronica anyway. We're...having some difficulties."

Barrel shook his head.

"Mortals," he said.

Sobki shrugged.

"It was nice starting out, but now...I don't know." Sobki shook his head. "Anyway, who else is coming?"

"Agatha," Barrel replied, "and I was about to ask the vampire twins."

"Lillith will probably come," Sobki said, "but...Carmilla? In the same room as your sister?"

Barrel giggled.

"Yeah," he said. "It's gonna be great!"

"...You're serving popcorn, aren't you?"

"Along with other stuff," Barrel said as he held up his bag from the Witches' Shop.

With that, he headed to Vampire Castle.
After nearly a minute of awkward silence and uncomfortable staring, Barrel reached behind to scratch his neck. At least she seemed pleased by the thought, if her smile was anything to go by.

"Um...I'll take that as a yes?"
Barrel picked up a few items he needed while he waited, and chatted with Aggie in the meantime about toadstools. Maybe he'd try a different type the next time he made stuffed ones. He looked up when Agatha burst in and giggled as she slid across the floor. He hadn't even given the invitation yet, and she was already ready to party!

"Hey, Agatha!" he said.

He let Aggie ring him up while they talked. Barrel crossed his arms, set them on the counter, and leaned over it to better be at Agatha's level.

"We're gonna have a party tomorrow," he said. "Wanna come?"
Jack, for his part, took a marker and drew over Barrel's obscene sketch into something less...attention-grabbing.

He politely greeted Jewel once they arrived, and aside from a quick discussion of the things Carver needed, he mostly allowed the pumpkin creature to speak with Jewel uninterrupted. There might have been a small chuckle at the mention of the hammer.

"Carver needs a frame, soon, though," he said, then looked up the ramp towards the lab, where they could faintly hear the doctor working. "Hmm..."

He thought it over for a moment.

"I'm sure having the doctor assist you would expedite the process, but the problem is ensuring he follows your designs and expectations."

An idea came to him. Jack grinned.

"...And I'm certain Shock would be happy to assist with that task."

He turned to Jewel.

"Within set conditions, of course."
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