4th Mar 2020, 1:02 AM
Prepare for the sleepover

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Prepare for the sleepover
"Home," you reply. You didn't specify a time--to Cici or Kate...'s mom, but the vague idea of 'tonight' is rapidly approaching.

The bus returns you to your house.

"Thank you!," you tell the bus as you hop off.

You unlock the door and walk in, and begin to take stock of what needs to be done before guests arrive.

. . .

You have no furniture. Or dishes. Or... a TV, or really anything.



You check the kitchen. It's... clean-esque. There's still an empty box in the kitchen not being used, but that legally makes it the only decoration you own. If you get rid of it, you own zero things that are not defined by their function and that's just kind of sad.

You could move the empty box. The living room is pretty spacious.

You're not sure about getting rid of it, though.

Besides, you might need a box later. You don't know.



You check your bedroom. There's a ... plural of soda cans, and the other box is still holding it down as your improvised laundry basket. Your library books and video games are still just... kind of sitting around, longing for shelves but settling for a desk and dresser.

Your bathroom is a little dusty but otherwise barely used. You don't really own an exciting variety of cleaning supplies, either, now that you stop to think about it.



You step back out into the living room.

You should probably do something about food.

You have ... potatoes. And sodium rich noodles. And other food and food-like products not designed for enriching the evening of visitors.

You could order a pizza.

You're not sure you can afford the dream ring as it stands, never mind if you splurge on a pizza, though.

You, Kate, and Cici could chip in for a pizza.

Maybe someone picked up that you are horribly poor and will bring pizza of their own volition.

You ... probably shouldn't rely on that.

... But then again, if you squander your precious currency on pizza and then someone else brings pizzas you'll be mad at yourself and you know this.

Cici might not even eat pizza. She probably has like... a diet.

And an exercise regimen, and other shit healthy people do.


Hmm.


You wonder if you should mention what Marlow was saying earlier.

Cici may have some insight into it.

Alternatively, this might just be a really racist conspiracy theory.

Racist? Birth...ist? Source-ist?

It could potentially come off as really fucked up to someone genetically engineered. You're not sure there's a word for that yet.

Someone's probably going to coin one.

You're familiar with a lot of atrocious human behavior thanks to the internet, and a lot of the protesting and legal fighting (and actual fighting) that's been going on against some of the fouler prejudices in the world. That said, Addersfield was predominantly white, Protestant, straight, cisgender, mutation free and 'born as the good Lᴏʀᴅ intended.'

It would probably be really easy for you to say something monumentally ignorant, to Kate or Cici.


. . .


You realize that you have just been standing in your living room, contemplating pizza etiquette and how woefully unprepared you are to interact with real people, for a not insignificant amount of time that you cannot get back.

You can't even

you can't even order a pizza because

yooouuu don't

♪ own ♪

A GOD DAMN PHONE,

PLAIRE

FA;FJA;JFGGGHHHHHHHH

YOU FUCKING IDIO--



A KNOCK AT THE DOOR

It looks like Cici.

You answer the door.





"Hey!," Cici says. "I brought pizzas."

fucking score

"You didn't need to do that," you say, completely denying the urge to smile you manipulative piece of shit

"Well," Cici begins, "I bought me a pizza, and I'm not gonna sit there and eat a pizza while you guys watch me. So, everybody's getting a pizza."

Damn, she's good.

That's a pretty solid excuse for buying a broke friend a pizza.

You will not call her on her bullshit later if she fails to consume an entire pizza

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4th Mar 2020, 1:22 AM
5-5-13-6
Excuse me? Plaire expects Cici to be unable to eat a pizza? Jeez, I can consume a good three pizzas on my own and I'm not a genetically-engineered force of destruction.
4th Mar 2020, 1:22 AM
Cici is a good friend. Thank her for pizza and invite her in! Then we can do the whole apologizing for not having furniture yet thing. (We can say "yet" and it'll make us sound much more like a functional adult who *totally* planned to have furniture for our house soon!)

Good idea to keep the box. Never know when you'll need a box. We could even use it as a table for pizza!

Edit to add: Re: talking about what Marlow said. If it comes up, we can just be like "he has... *interesting* ideas about genetically engineered people" and see how Cici reacts. If she's like "okay lol, now I've GOTTA know" then we tell her, and if she's like "man I knoooooow" and acts really annoyed or says like, "I don't even wanna THINK about it" then we don't say anything further. We don't have to predict people's emotional states or reactions, we can learn about them and react based on that!
4th Mar 2020, 8:11 AM
Snervalton
+1 to using the remaining empty box as a pizza table!
4th Mar 2020, 1:32 AM
Macheman7
First I just want to say I love you Matt, your style of writing is wonderful and amazing and perfectly (almost too perfectly) encapsulates what it feels like to have severe anxiety.

Also, thank Cici. She is a good friend.
Also Plaire do you own a trash can throw away your soda cans and stuff.
4th Mar 2020, 1:47 AM
Leafia_Barrett
With how many things Plaire doesn't have, I would be a little surprised if she had a trash can.
4th Mar 2020, 6:38 AM
Anotherdamntimeclone
The empty box can be used as an impromptu trash can if there isn’t one available.
4th Mar 2020, 3:36 PM
This cannot be emphasised enough, honestly.
So genuine my sides hurt.

+1 to using the empty box as a temporary trashbin.
4th Mar 2020, 7:17 AM
Definitely something to put on the list of things to do: Get more "furniture". Even if it's only more boxes to serve as stand ins. I mean, if it works, it works, right?
4th Mar 2020, 8:13 AM
Snervalton
Maybe scavenge from an abandoned construction site in town or something. But will the extra furniture in the house translate into extra obstacles in the dream dungeon? Just lightheartedly wondering...
4th Mar 2020, 3:13 PM
Plaire must become the box lord of her box fort kingdom. Just boxes everywhere as everything: chairs, tables, trash can, dome-of-invisibility to hide away from the world, etc.

Though thinking about it now, she could become the box lord in a very different sense of the word. ;)
4th Mar 2020, 12:47 PM
Hari_Seldon
Plaire should think about if she can afford both getting some anxiety pills from Kate tonight and a dream ring tomorrow.
4th Mar 2020, 3:01 PM
Snervalton
This entry cast doubt on whether she can even afford the dream ring by itself. I think it'll have to be an either/or decision.
4th Mar 2020, 4:10 PM
The dream ring may have to wait, but the anxiety meds are an absolute necessity. Making friends already seems to be improving things for Plaire, but BrainSate is a miracle quick-acting drug and we need a solution that works *fast* for dealing with living in a ghost house.
4th Mar 2020, 3:22 PM
I'd like to think the garbled mess of Plaire's near-freakout is the result of her being so used to computers that she just head-slammed her mental keyboard in frustration.

Plaire, be prepared to apologize tonight, a LOT. I'm not even talking about the grand, terrible adventure you're about to take these people on. As you've just realized, this sleepover is a really bad spur-of-the-moment idea you're unprepared for.
Just, psyche yourself, and try and barrel through it and eventually you'll come to the end. It'll probably help to mention you got gypped hornswoggled and the house did not come with everything that it was supposed to.

EDITed for taste.
4th Mar 2020, 4:08 PM
Quick note, the term "gypped" is actually racist, even though a lot of folks don't realize it, because it's derogatory toward the Romani people. Even "gypsy" itself is considered derogatory ("My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding" notwithstanding; that show only covers a specific family from a specific group in the UK that doesn't consider the word derogatory). Folks in the US don't tend to realize how offensive it is, but you might wanna select a different word in future.
4th Mar 2020, 3:36 PM
Snervalton
Whoa, could sleeping in the spooky house activate Cici's sleeper agent programming? Could be dangerous if it does...
4th Mar 2020, 3:44 PM
Frission
Not convinced that's a thing. :p
4th Mar 2020, 4:39 PM
If it does activate it, it probably won’t work while in the dream. Another commenter noted that Plaire didn’t suffer from anxiety as much while in the dream, and any sleeper-agent shenanigans are probably less ingrained then anxiety is.
That said, it might end up being a monster or something, so that’s something to watch out for / interrogate.
4th Mar 2020, 5:42 PM
Snervalton
My concern was that it would trigger something in Cici while in the waking world. There's no telling how the sorcery and tapping into the traumatic subconscious of a tube-person with artificial memories and other programming could mess with her head.
4th Mar 2020, 3:43 PM
Frission
Just a thought to tuck aside for the future: Maybe the bus has a way to help locate Plaire's old phone, assuming at some point she's up for a mini road trip to retrieve it
4th Mar 2020, 4:18 PM
Snervalton
Yeah, this might not be a bad idea, seeing as Plaire doesn't have much other evidence that she's the owner of the spooky house...