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Grunvale, Ch. 8.2
"What do you guys have against James Taylor's music?" Randy asked. "Does it make your head hurt, or your stomach sick?"
"No, Randy," Chandler replied, reaching over to his radio to turn its volume down a few notches. "We just find him insufferably bland. The worst thing ever to happen to popular music. Well, except maybe Anne Murray."
"Ugh, don't even mention that name," Gretchen replied, as she walked into the kitchen. "Anne Murray. She's the feces of pretentiousness eating stupidity-flavored blandness."
"Gobdamn, mom -- oof!" Gilda exclaimed. She hissed as she rubbed her brow, feeling another sudden pain strike her head from the inside. "My head... dammit! Why does my head hurt?"
"Yeah, that's why we needed to talk to you, Gilda," Gretchen said, sitting herself down at the table.
"We have a few things we need to clear up to you," Chandler added.
"A few things?" Gilda remarked, scowling. She pushed her tissues away from her mouth as she continued speaking. "A few t
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Grunvalified Jessika by PhoenixOfGrunvale Grunvalified Jessika :iconphoenixofgrunvale:PhoenixOfGrunvale 7 3 Saber Says the Line by PhoenixOfGrunvale Saber Says the Line :iconphoenixofgrunvale:PhoenixOfGrunvale 31 6 The Light Side of Darkness by PhoenixOfGrunvale The Light Side of Darkness :iconphoenixofgrunvale:PhoenixOfGrunvale 6 0 Margo's Stupid Cosplay Selfie by PhoenixOfGrunvale Margo's Stupid Cosplay Selfie :iconphoenixofgrunvale:PhoenixOfGrunvale 9 0 Gilda's Shitty BluRay Cover by PhoenixOfGrunvale Gilda's Shitty BluRay Cover :iconphoenixofgrunvale:PhoenixOfGrunvale 14 1
Grunvale, Ch. 8.1
Dazed and Confused
Gilda felt the soft cushioning of a mattress against her back, as her eyes opened to the light around her.
"...whaaaaaaaaaa?" she moaned, groggily.
All she saw when she opened her eyes at first, were dark, blurry splotches, that slowly sharpened into actual shapes, with depth and texture. As her vision came into focus, so did her mind. Many things were clear to her. She was in a bed, for one. And she was in a guest room in somebody's house. There wasn't a lot in the room. It was mostly just the bed, a basalt boulder sanded down into a nightstand, a chunky old Philips CRT TV on a dresser, and some other things lying about, on the nightstand and on the dresser and hung up on the stone walls. Oh, and there were also trees. Quite a lot of them, actually. Four pines and a single birch, that were embedded within the walls.
Gilda could tell this room, in fact the house itself, was older than hers just by the roots of the trees. The tree of 514 Elm Hill had only two p
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Not an Ideal Friendship Hug by PhoenixOfGrunvale Not an Ideal Friendship Hug :iconphoenixofgrunvale:PhoenixOfGrunvale 5 0 Sweet Failure Ain't (300 Watchers Special) by PhoenixOfGrunvale Sweet Failure Ain't (300 Watchers Special) :iconphoenixofgrunvale:PhoenixOfGrunvale 12 3
Grunvale, Ch. 7.3
Now the creaking noise was really loud. April could hear quite well now, that it was right above her. She looked up at the ceiling, and saw that there were cracks forming in some of the hemp-fiber panels, and the metal frame around them was bending and snapping. April continued to stare at this spot, as the creaking got louder and the cracks got larger... when suddenly, much to her confusion, she heard a voice, ridden with panic, coming from the ceiling, as well as the vigorous buzz of a pair of wings.
"Wha --"
And then the ceiling finally gave way. First as small clouds of dust and fibers, then in small chunks of hemp. April set her Snapple down on the floor as the smaller debris floated down, and then jumped out of the way and onto the ground, as soon as those chunks started raining upon her. And then the rest of the failing panels, and parts of the framing, crashed around her feet, bits of the debris grazing the heels of her shoes as she landed. And yet, she managed t
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Pretending to Fancy the Fancy by PhoenixOfGrunvale Pretending to Fancy the Fancy :iconphoenixofgrunvale:PhoenixOfGrunvale 9 1
Grunvale, Ch. 7.2
"Cool. Hey, you don't mind if I call you 'Kenshin' from time to time, do you? Since, you know, you look like this guy?"
"Actually, I'd prefer.... 'Swordsy'. Yeah. That's a good name. 'Swordsy'."
"Heheh. Yeah. But seriously, we need to sort these books out."
"Yep. Right."
And then the freckled duo quickly got to sorting those books.
On the other side of the library, April was sorting the... 'real books', as Alan would call them. More specifically, the 'H' books in the fiction section. Obviously, she saw a lot of Harry Potter books; at least two copies of each of the seven. And the very sight of these books, made her really irritated. Not because she hated Harry Potter though, quite the opposite actually.
You see, April and both of her siblings were fans of the Harry Potter series on different mediums. Her twin brother August was more into the movies, and their little sister Abby was more into the video games. You know, from the Voldemort of video game companies
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JennALT... contest entry by PhoenixOfGrunvale JennALT... contest entry :iconphoenixofgrunvale:PhoenixOfGrunvale 9 4 Classy Gilda (Color Version) by PhoenixOfGrunvale Classy Gilda (Color Version) :iconphoenixofgrunvale:PhoenixOfGrunvale 6 0 Margo and August by PhoenixOfGrunvale Margo and August :iconphoenixofgrunvale:PhoenixOfGrunvale 8 0 Shitty Ass-Scent by PhoenixOfGrunvale Shitty Ass-Scent :iconphoenixofgrunvale:PhoenixOfGrunvale 12 1


If you really like my art, you can buy it. I'd really appreciate it if you did; this is my only means of income at the moment.

All prints are in their intended aspect ratio; prints wider than 1.50:1 are letterboxed to preserve the integrity of the image.


Collection of Carrie Emotes by RadiumIven Collection of Carrie Emotes :iconradiumiven:RadiumIven 29 6 Peacher? Bowsette? by Goomenstein Peacher? Bowsette? :icongoomenstein:Goomenstein 251 15 Princess Bowsette by Artemisumi Princess Bowsette :iconartemisumi:Artemisumi 199 6 Tiny Louds vs Giant Fox Quints (Part 1 of 5) by JFetishStuff Tiny Louds vs Giant Fox Quints (Part 1 of 5) :iconjfetishstuff:JFetishStuff 72 14 Coming Soon - Presenting the Perfect Parents by MrEnter Coming Soon - Presenting the Perfect Parents :iconmrenter:MrEnter 93 21 Back to the Loud House pg3 by GLiB-stuff Back to the Loud House pg3 :iconglib-stuff:GLiB-stuff 19 1 Back to the Loud House pg2 by GLiB-stuff Back to the Loud House pg2 :iconglib-stuff:GLiB-stuff 18 0 Back to the Loud House pg1 by GLiB-stuff Back to the Loud House pg1 :iconglib-stuff:GLiB-stuff 20 1 Lynn Loud as Dorothy Gale by J-Zrod98 Lynn Loud as Dorothy Gale :iconj-zrod98:J-Zrod98 55 11 She's got the giggles by JTrexe She's got the giggles :iconjtrexe:JTrexe 70 6 Just a B-Day Post by SP2233 Just a B-Day Post :iconsp2233:SP2233 94 81 Lola Loud And Unikitty by TheFreshKnight Lola Loud And Unikitty :iconthefreshknight:TheFreshKnight 229 39 1980's Pines Twins by Luxojr888 1980's Pines Twins :iconluxojr888:Luxojr888 12 0 [R] Chibi Leni in a Poncho by JTrexe [R] Chibi Leni in a Poncho :iconjtrexe:JTrexe 69 11 Lincoln and Lynn Dancing Together (Remake) by Julex93 Lincoln and Lynn Dancing Together (Remake) :iconjulex93:Julex93 42 9 Eco Lucy by kaykeyser Eco Lucy :iconkaykeyser:kaykeyser 2 0



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RIP Gary Kurtz. May the force be with you always.
So... Bowsette.

Can I have a Princess Daisy version?
(goes on Twitter)

...Bowsette? Seriously?! What's next, sexy female Goombas?!

1) Grunvale Chapter 8, 'Dazed and Confused', has come out to fifteen pages. Including the currently-blank starting page of Chapter 9, 'The Brightest Darkness', the story is now 137 pages long, with ~58,800 words.

2) Not gonna spoil anything about Chapter 9, 'The Brightest Darkness', yet, but I will say this about Chapter 10, 'The Beef of the Leaf*'.
* Tentative title

It's a Margo chapter. So if you were waiting for my favorite of my own characters to get her own chapter, you'll finally get it with chapter 10.
Heh. Lay. Ree. Us.
No Suck Luck fics are the worst. None of them are any good.…

...okay, you win this round.
"What do you guys have against James Taylor's music?" Randy asked. "Does it make your head hurt, or your stomach sick?"

"No, Randy," Chandler replied, reaching over to his radio to turn its volume down a few notches. "We just find him insufferably bland. The worst thing ever to happen to popular music. Well, except maybe Anne Murray."

"Ugh, don't even mention that name," Gretchen replied, as she walked into the kitchen. "Anne Murray. She's the feces of pretentiousness eating stupidity-flavored blandness."

"Gobdamn, mom -- oof!" Gilda exclaimed. She hissed as she rubbed her brow, feeling another sudden pain strike her head from the inside. "My head... dammit! Why does my head hurt?"

"Yeah, that's why we needed to talk to you, Gilda," Gretchen said, sitting herself down at the table.

"We have a few things we need to clear up to you," Chandler added.

"A few things?" Gilda remarked, scowling. She pushed her tissues away from her mouth as she continued speaking. "A few things?! Try a lot of things! Like, why am I here? And what happened to me? And how long have I been blacked out? And... and what the fuck kind of brother is Terence to rescue my cassettes instead of me?!"

An idiot brother, Gilda. That's what kind of brother Terence is. Anyhoo!

"Settle down, Goldie," Chandler said. "Settle down. First of all, we need you to explain, in your own words, everything you remember up until you blacked out."

Gilda grabbed the bottle of syrup, and poured it over her pancakes. There were four of them, stacked on top of one another. And Chandler didn't hold back on those blueberries; there were at least a dozen of them scattered across each eight-inch-wide flapjack. Mmmmm, delicious... perfect for reciting exposition over. Especially the kind where the first part of it is worth fast-forwarding through, since you already get the gist of what Gilda's gonna say.

"...and then, next thing I know," Gilda finished. "I'm in a bed. Confused like mad and having this epic headache -- agh!" She hissed and rubbed her brow once again, as yet another biting pain made itself felt.

"...circular TicTacs?" Randy said. "Those are a thing? I must say that is quite fascinating."

Gilda picked up her fork, and dug into her pancakes. She pulled decently-sized chunks off of each, not small enough that she could just swallow them without chewing, but not big enough to get in the way of her tissues, either. The stack was as delicious as it looked; the blueberries had a very prominent fruity taste, and Gilda could tell just from the creamy texture of the flapjacks, that there was cashew milk in there. Mmm-hmm. Delish.

"Those weren't TicTacs, Goldie," Chandler said. "There's no such thing as circular TicTacs. They were..."

Chandler paused, as he struggled to get the words out. He knew all the horror stories about those 'TicTacs'. It was hard enough just hearing about them happening to other bipedes, it was even harder for him to tell the girl who was basically his daughter, that one of them had just happened to her. Gilda watched Chandler shake in his seat as she swallowed her pancakes.

"What?" she said. She paused for another sip of orange juice before continuing. "If they weren't TicTacs, what were they?"

Chandler looked up at Gilda, and finally, albeit slowly, answered.

"...ruh -- Rohypnol. Tablets. They were rohypnol tablets."

There was a long, confused silence from Gilda after Chandler had given his reply. What was this 'rohypnol' thing Chandler was talking about? And why did he seem so afraid of it? Was it something that she should be afraid of, too? All his answer did, was leave her even more confused. All Gilda knew about rohypnol tablets, was that they weren't... well, TicTacs. Or any kind of mint, for that matter.

"...rohypnol?" Gilda asked. "What's that?"

"Roofies," Gretchen replied. "Truman roofied you. Slipped one into your Sprite, apparently."

...oh. So they were roofies. Gilda knew what those were. Almost exclusively through her brothers, of course. She heard them mentioned a few times on some show called Family Guy, which was one of Terence's favorites. But the place she heard about them the most, was directly from her second-eldest brother Truman the Hutt. He was known to make several jokes about them, particularly ones involving a certain promoter of Jell-O pudding. You know who this narrator's referring to.

Anyhoo, it all made sense to Gilda now; her headaches, her blurred vision, her confusion, her fainting. That fat bastard Truman slipped her a fucking mickey. She knew her brothers were capable of some pretty horrible things, but this... this was a completely different level of evil. And worse, she remembered seeing Truman threaten her with a knife. Just putting those two pieces together, gave Gilda a pretty good idea of what her brother had planned to do. And it horrified her just thinking about it. She just sat there, silently staring at her mother, as her eyes welled up with hot tears. After dozens of tense, silent seconds, she shook her head in disbelief, as the tears began flowing down her cheeks.

"No..." she said, shakily, barely audible. "No, no... no!"

"I warned you Truman was evil of another kind," Randy replied, sympathetic, yet reminding Gilda that he did indeed warn her. He took a sip from his glass, filled nearly to the brim with Dr. Pepper (great taste in soda, by the way, Randy), before continuing. "It's a beast of true evil that has control of his mind."

"From another world?" Gilda said, wiping away her tears. "I still don't know what you mean by that, Randy, but at this point, I'm willing to believe anything you say about him." She then pulled the bloodied tissues out of her nose as she turned to Chandler. "How'd this... how did this even happen to me?"

"Well, I did watch some news reports earlier," Chandler said. "Apparently, some bystanders heard your brother say that he was trying to cut out your tongue. Also, that some drink you made burned his."

"She calls it the GOLL," Gretchen added.

"Oh. Right. That's... that's that mix of orange, lemon, lime and... what, grapefruit, is it? That you've told me about before, right, Goldie?"

"Yeah, that's the one," Gilda said, as drops of blood trickled down from her nose. "It had this really sour lemon in it, most sour I've ever tasted. Sour even for me."

"Must've been quite the sour lemon," Chandler replied, grabbing a couple tissues to hand over to the big-nosed procyonine. "You usually have a strong tolerance towards anything sour. Anyways, your oldest brother Terence saw what was happening, and came to beat the tar out of Truman. He managed to get in quite a beating, too. Truman ran off like a little pussy, bruised and battered. Hasn't been seen in the six hours since then, and neither has Troy or Tom. They've gone missing. Hopefully, they're found dead."

"Jeebus fuck, Chandler!" Gretchen retorted, sternly.

Damn, Chandler. You're savage.

"Anyhoo," Chandler continued, stealing this narrator's line. "You can guess what Terence did next, Goldie. He was heard saying that your cassettes were in danger of getting wrecked by Truman. He ran off, went back to what was once your home, got all your cassettes, and drove them all here. Terence I'll admit seemed like he was trying to do good this time, but the fact that he put your cassettes' safety over yours... yeah, that idiot can go fuck himself."

"I'll say," Gilda replied, stuffing the fresh tissues up her nose. She downed a third sip of her orange juice as she processed what her father figure had just said. There was one detail, however, that was the sore thumb. "Wait, what was once my home?"

There was another profound silence at the dinner table, as everyone else looked at each other awkwardly. Gilda could tell just by the looks on their faces, that this was gonna be important to listen to. She gave them all their attention, as they all finally turned to her.

"Yeah..." Gretchen said. "About that. It was Randy saw you faint in the food court. He was the one to tell Chandler, and Chandler was the one who called me. When we all met up here, Randy suggested to Chandler that he let you and I live here, so that your brothers can't find us back at home. He agreed that it was for the best, and so did I. I don't think I need to ask you if you agree."

"Of course you don't, mom," Gilda said. "Anywhere is better than Elm Hill."

"I knew you'd like that," Chandler replied. "Oh, and Randy's gonna be living here, too, by the way."

"He is?" Gilda asked, before turning to the nerdy-looking chiropteran. "You are?"

Randy downed the last of his Dr. Pepper, before finally responding to the freckled procyonine's reply.

"A place to go," he said. "I have no URRRP-ther. As far as I can tell, I'll be filling in as your... your..." Randy paused for a moment to let the next belch out. "Br-URRRP-ther."

Rhyming with a burp? Uh... that's new. And that's exactly what Gilda thought, too.

...dammit, Randy, now you got this narrator doing it! Heheh... heh. Anyhoo, in all seriousness, Gilda was pretty surprised by the direction Randy went with his rhyme. Her eyes widened as she tried to think of how to respond.

"Um... okay then," she said. She paused for a moment, and then she finally gave a smile. "Awesome! You'd make a great brother!"

Gilda reached over to rub an affectionate hand through Randy's hair. She could hear him making a soft moaning as he closed his eyes and smiled. Gilda continued to rub Randy's hair, albeit slower and slower now, as her own smile gradually melted, into a confused, puckered-lip expression.

"But wait a minute, mom," she said. "You said we were hiding from my brothers. Okay. But how did Terence find this place, though?"

"I can answer that," Chandler replied. "I've seen him like a dozen times, skateboarding here on Yonderpine. He probably saw my surname on the mailbox outside a few times. Even putting aside how well-known I am in the pop culture fandom..."

"Egomaniac," Gretchen muttered quietly, as Chandler continued.

"...the surname 'Chromos' itself, is the most common of chameleonine surnames. It's basically our 'Smith' or 'Jones', and barely anyone other than us goes by that surname. Even someone as dumb as him could figure out that I'm the Chromos that lives here. I didn't see him come here with your stuff, though. Randy did."

"Terence left your cassette bag and carousel on the walkway," Randy spoke. "I saw him, to one of the middle schools I was on my way. I scared that mullet-headed bastard off the property. He ran off and will hopefully lurk 'round town in poverty. If I find out to Truman he discloses your location, a morgue will be his next destination."

"And hopefully he stays away from me as well," Gilda replied. "It's scary enough for me to have one, probably three brothers that want to kill me. I don't need another making things worse by trying that Family Guy shit on me, where he does something unforgivable and stupid and then tries to win me back with some sentimental speech. I know he'll try it. I'll bet you five... no, ten note he will!"

Gilda paused, and turned back to her plate of pancakes. They were still mostly untouched, with only the one eaten chunk ripped off the edge of the stack. The orange juice was mostly unfinished as well, barely even a third of the way down to the bottom. Gilda didn't want to see perfectly good pancakes go cold, nor that sweet, pulpy orange juice to spoil. So she decided it was time to finish off the conversation.

"Anyways," she said. "I think we've said enough for now. I don't want to see this dinner go to waste. Let's just eat dinner. Sorry I ruined you guys' day. Especially you, Mr. Chromos, I... know you especially had been looking forward to opening that theater for so long."

"No need for that," Chandler replied. "Like you know already, I can just --" He paused to turn his green skin black, like the chair he was sitting in. " that."

"But what if my fainting ends up giving your theater bad publicity?"

"Um... eat your pancakes, Goldie."

And so Gilda... and Randy, for that matter, got to doing just that. Mmm. Delicious. The length of that... long bit of exposition cooled those pancakes down to perfection. Chandler and Gretchen, too, got to eating their pancakes as well, as they struck up another, lighter conversation.

"I've a lot about this 'theater' today, Chandler," Gretchen said, as she ate a piece of her stack. "Can you tell me about it?"

"Of course," Chandler said. He went on to explain the history of how he got that theater in his store built. "Ever since I first bought that empty space in the Grunvale Mall back in 1986, I knew that getting to build a theater in a store was an opportunity, that could only come around once in a lifetime..."

Meanwhile, in the center of town, something happened that allowed this narrator to segue from that conversation.

"Letting the days go by..." Wendy sang, along to the Talking Heads song blaring on her phone.

Wendy was sitting in the bathtub, the water coming up to her chest, and dyed red with over a dozen cans worth of tomato paste. Snakes were slithering all around her, around the rim of the tub, up the white, dirt-covered walls, on the dusty tiled floor, and even a few on the sink and the toilet. Wendy's phone lay against the back of the sink faucet, facing a dirty, cracked mirror. The snakes stayed away from it, however, either because they didn't see it as any kind of food, or they were scared to eat it. Or maybe it was just that they found that music it was playing weird. The Talking Heads, in fact the entire new wave genre, did have a bit of a reputation as punk rock's eccentric younger brother, after all.

Anyhoo, Wendy herself was covered in the tomato paste, her grey fur and black-and-fuchsia hair tinted red, with thick splotches of tomato sticking out on a few spots. She may have hated having April's rancid stench on her, but hey, at least she got to take a bath in what looked like blood. Looking at that water made her feel like a vampire. And she had the snakes there to keep Wendy company, from the earthly-colored to the brightly-colored, the foot-long to the meter-long. So she wasn't as bothered as she probably would have been.

Wendy looked out of her tub on the floor, at the cans of tomato paste she had used for her bath. There were sixteen of them, one still unempty... with a two-foot-long, black-and-gold garter snake wrapping itself around its circumference.

"Silly Kuklos," Wendy chuckled. "I need that can."

Wendy reached out of the tub and plucked the can from out of Kuklos' grasp. The little snake looked up at the raven-haired sciurine and stuck his tongue out, as if to blow a childish raspberry at her.

"You go find some bugs to eat, circle boy," Wendy said, opening the can. "I need this."

Kuklos slithered away as Wendy dumped the tomato paste onto her head. She rubbed it onto her face and arms, as she continued singing along to the Talking Heads. Well... speak-singing, anyway. Most of the song was David Byrne's philosophical rambling.

"Same as it ever was," Wendy said. She repeated those words three times, before turning to sniff her left armpit. "I think that's all the stench."

As Wendy began to scoot herself over to the drain plug, she couldn't help but take another look at the red water that surrounded her. Heh. It really did look like blood. She may have been clean now, but the sight of that water made her want to stay in, maybe to fantasize about being a vampire, for just a few minutes longer --


Wendy's phone sounded with a sound of a bell chime, a new text having just arrived. All the snakes turned and tilted their heads toward it, and so did Wendy. Who could it have been? Alan asking about what songs they'll be playing for their next practice? April trying to apologize? Or perhaps it was just some random junk text she didn't need to pay much heed to --


The phone dinged again. Okay, that's not junk. There's never two junk texts in a row. This was real deal; whatever these texts were about, Wendy needed to answer to them as soon as she possibly could.

"Hermes, bring my phone to me," Wendy said. "This sounds pretty important. Or long. Whatever it is, just bring it to me."

A snake, four-foot-long and hog-nosed, slithered down the wall as Wendy stepped out of the tub. The emo sciurine put on her bathrobe, aubergine with a plaid mulberry pattern, as she stood on her feet in every way but soles on the ground, trying to avoid cutting herself on a lid or tripping on a can, or worst of all, stepping on one of her beloved snakes. Wendy's phone sounded with a third ding as she tied her robe closed around her torso. By this point, Hermes was now off the wall behind the faucet, nudging the phone towards his master with his hog-nosed snout. Wendy dried her hands on her robe, and then reached out to pat the snake's head.

"Thanks, Hermes," Wendy said. "Now let's see who texted."

A fourth ding sounded from Wendy's phone just as she was picking it up. Four gobdamn texts... one was enough to get her attention, but four? Something big must've just happened that she didn't hear about. Her curiosity rising, Wendy opened the messages app. Hopefully it wasn't any kind of tragedy...

...and it wasn't. The four messages were just a thread from an old friend of hers.

"Oliver Gallagher," Wendy read. She looked around the bathroom at her snakes, before turning her eyes back towards her phone. "Huh. The Jester of Darkness himself, eh? Haven't talked to him in a while. He must be up to something crazy."

Wendy opened up her chatroom with Oliver as she exited the bathroom, and set foot into a darker, much larger room, that was in just as much disrepair as the bathroom. It had a torn, navy-blue carpet, cracked grey walls, a worn-away staircase with a broken rail, and the hundreds of footsteps of dozens of mice, that could clearly be heard from its walls and ceiling. The whole place could easily be mistaken for abandoned, if it wasn't for Wendy's drum kit, some posters of rock bands, and the furniture (a well-maintained bed and a dresser). Oh, and Wendy's snakes, too. Scores of them, maybe even a hundred. She had so many of those slithering companions, even she wasn't keeping track. One of these snakes was right at her feet as she exited the bathroom. It was an orange snake, patterned in black and gold, with a mouthful of a brown mouse it had caught. Wendy chuckled at the snake, as she turned on a light at the bottom of the stairs.

"I bet that's delicious, Thyra," she remarked.

Finally, Wendy plopped herself onto her bed, and got to reading Oliver's texts. And let this narrator tell you: she didn't call him the 'Jester of Darkness' for nothing. Because Oliver was quite the goof, and the texts he sent only solidified that point:

'Greetings, Wyler. Sorry we haven't talked in a while. You in Davis and me in Larson... blast the GSD for that!'

'That prick Chandler put a theater in his store today. Blast that arrogant fool, thinking having a master's makes him a deity.'

'I'll see that his house gets egged... papa will be proud of me!'

'Also, apparently some girl who works in his store fainted. I hope she's okay, though.'

Under that last text of his, was a speech bubble with an ellipsis, dots swaying up and down like a wave. And then, POP! A fifth text suddenly appeared in its place, ready to read the instant Wendy finished with the four preceding texts:

'...but not Chandler! Blast Chandler, always stealing my father's thunder in everything!'

Wendy chuckled at Oliver's texts, and rightfully so. It takes a special kind of weirdo to swear revenge on someone and wishing someone well, in the same thought. And Oliver was that kind of weirdo, a Jester of Darkness indeed. Wendy replied to Oliver, with some playfully mocking texts of her own.

'Nice hearing from you, Oliver, you old goof.'

'You really have quite the hatred for that Chandler guy, don't you? Want to egg his house... lulz.'

'Good luck with that. You're more of a chicken than the things that laid those eggs.'

'You'll throw one, maybe two or three, and then you'll get embarrassed and run away like a sissy.'

'You're a wimp that likes to talk tough... but then again, that's what makes you fun.'

'You really are the Jester of Darkness.'

Wendy turned her head to the left, towards the rest of the basement. She could tell that her snakes were getting hungry; they were beginning to crowd around a hole in the wall, a hole bored by a mouse, and had scratch marks in an arc around it, like the stars of the Paramountain. A jar of Jif peanut butter sat in front the drum kit, a metal spoon placed over its lid as it stood against the bass drum. In the center of the room, the dusty grille of a vent lay on the floor, one of Wendy's snakes slithering across it, picking up its dust as it moved.

"Whoops," Wendy said to herself. "Forgot to put that thing back up when I came in." She then turned her eyes back to her phone, and sent two last texts:

'Anyways, I gotta feed my snakes. You can tell me how the egging goes tomorrow. See ya 'round.'

'Or in your language, buck buck bigock.'

"Heheh... buck buck bigock," Wendy said, amused by her own remark. She put her phone into her right robe pocket as she got up off her bed. "Everyone wait for me by the feeding hole. I gotta put this screen back up. Where's the screwdriver? It was under my bed, last I knew..."

Wendy turned around and looked under bed. Yep, there it was, in plain sight, lying in front of all the boxes. She picked it up, and crawled on over to the vent. It was only a few feet away and inches above the floor, so there was no need to actually stand up for this.

As Wendy picked up the grille, her phone dinged again, with another message from Oliver.

'Wimp? Blast you, Wendy! I'll egg his house, just you see!'
Dazed and Confused

Gilda felt the soft cushioning of a mattress against her back, as her eyes opened to the light around her.

"...whaaaaaaaaaa?" she moaned, groggily.

All she saw when she opened her eyes at first, were dark, blurry splotches, that slowly sharpened into actual shapes, with depth and texture. As her vision came into focus, so did her mind. Many things were clear to her. She was in a bed, for one. And she was in a guest room in somebody's house. There wasn't a lot in the room. It was mostly just the bed, a basalt boulder sanded down into a nightstand, a chunky old Philips CRT TV on a dresser, and some other things lying about, on the nightstand and on the dresser and hung up on the stone walls. Oh, and there were also trees. Quite a lot of them, actually. Four pines and a single birch, that were embedded within the walls.

Gilda could tell this room, in fact the house itself, was older than hers just by the roots of the trees. The tree of 514 Elm Hill had only two prominent roots as part of the house's interior structure, that grew along a corner in the kitchen, where the floor meets the wall. These trees had several roots, that grew along the walls, and into the mud floor... in fact, one of the pine trees' trunks was beginning to wrap itself around the bed's headboard, and its roots around the legs.

"Wha... whasisplace?" Gilda muttered to herself, her speech slurred.

Then some more things came into focus. A soft, dark glow was coming through a window, shining upon the dresser. It was obviously the early evening, sometime around 5:30 or 6, Gilda guessed. She herself, was still wearing her light green polo and dark green skirt, and her hair was tied in a loose ponytail. The big-nosed procyonine girl ran her fingers through her dirty blonde locks for a while, confused. She remembered that her hair was in pigtails before she went to the food court --

"Oh, right," she whispered. "I put my hair that way before lunch."

Finally, the sounds around Gilda came to focus. "Sundown" by Gordon Lightfoot was playing on something on the nightstand. Gilda didn't even need to turn on the lamp to see what it was; she could make out its silhouette in the dark. She knew that carousel shape from anywhere, it was her prized Russ. She felt a slight relief, emphasis on slight, when she saw the thing she treasured so much by her side, playing one of folk rock's best. But it was not nearly enough, to clear the thick fog of confusion in which she remained. If anything, it only created more questions. What was the Russ doing here? Where is here, anyway? How did this all happen? And why is there a burlap sack next to the bed --

...wait, burlap sack? And a note pinned to it? What the flying fuck is happening?!

Gilda turned on the lamp over the Russ, and leaned over to read the note. It was written in red ink on an index card, with a loose string from the sack threaded through a hole punched into the card. What was written on the card? Not words of sympathy... well, maybe they were. But the context was so stupid, that it ruined any good intentions it may have had. How stupid was it? Well, read it for yourself.

'Thought I'd save your cassettes from Big Teej, little sis. I know how much you care about them, and I don't want him getting his hands on them. - Terence'

...warned ya.

"Save my cassettes from Truman?!" Gilda growled, like anyone with a decent grasp of morality rightfully would. Like, seriously, Terence! What about saving your sister from Truman?! "Seriously, Terence?! "What about saving me from Truman?! I'm the one in danger!"

...that's what this narrator's saying, Gilda! Thank you!

"My little sis!" Gilda continued, mocking her eldest brother with that Spinelli-sounding voice. "My little sis is in trouble, better save a bunch of inanimate objects instead of a life on the fucking line! Ouch!"

Gilda winced as a sharp pain shot through her head, as if she was being punched in the head by a ghost. She grunted and moaned as she rubbed her brow, before slowly tilting her head back up as the pain faded.

"...worth it."

At last, Gilda stood herself off the bed. The sudden ache in her head had blurred her vision back up, and she couldn't clearly see anything from more than five feet away. She knew there were photos on the walls, all Polaroids and Kodachrome, but they were now so blurry to her, that she couldn't tell what they were. But what she could tell, was that there was a door right in front of her, open just a crack.

"Sometimes, I think it's a shame, that I'm not feelin' better, my head caused me some pain," Gilda mumbled along to the Lightfoot song, still playing on the Russ, as she walked to the door. "And now to figure out where I am."

The hallway, like the guest room, was built around several trees. More pines, more birches, Gilda even noticed a twisted beech forming a huge section of the hallway. The trunk was part of the wall, the roots were embedded in the floor, and a few branches were holding up a section of ceiling. The beech tree... okay, so this was a Yonderpine home. Somewhere on the border of Grunvale and the neighboring Skunektady.

But whose house was this? That's what Gilda needed to know, not where it was.

"Hello?" the procyonine girl called. "Hello? Anybody home? Heh... heheh. Back to the Future, 1985, directed by Robert Zemeckis. Starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd. It was Crispin Glover, I think, that said that line... but, what am I doing spouting movie trivia?! Where am I?! Terence?! Nah, he saved my cassettes instead of me, stupid prick... uh... oh, Tom? Troy? Truman?! Truman, are you using our little brothers as your little minions to carry out... whatever you're about to do me? Or... whatever you already DID to me?! What did you guys do to me, you little punks?! WHAT DID YOU --"

Gilda fell silent at the sound of footsteps racing towards the cobblestone stairs. 

"Oh, ho ho ho," she sneered. "You want a piece of me, you little bastards?! Well, I dare you! I'll mess you up Mortal Kombat style! Subzero under ABACABB style! I'll rip your heads off with your dangling spines! I... eh... actually, what's a good female equivalent of Subzero? Elsa? Uh... yeah, Elsa's a badass too. That works. I'm ninja Elsa, bitches!"

...Gilda, you are such a nerd. 'Ninja Elsa'. Heheh.

The cold never bothered her anyhoo. And Gilda wasn't gonna let whoever was coming up the stairs either. She (quite comically, if this narrator may add) stood herself like a standing sprite from a fourth-gen fighting game, complete with bouncing torso movement and clenched fists, and let out a gusty breath as she saw shadows coming up the stairs. The first solid figure Gilda saw come up the stairs, was that of a feminine, procyonine figure about five-foot-six, with a snaky-looking tail and long hair. It looked like her mother, but with everything around her dark and, thanks to her vision, inconsistently sharp, she wasn't about to take any chances.

"Nice try, Tom!" Gilda shouted, threateningly. "I've seen you do the kids-in-a-costume thing with our brothers! You're not fooling me this time!"

"...what?" the figure said. "Gilda, it's me."

"Don't worry, Gretchen," a masculine, middle-aged voice sounded, from down the stairs. "It's just more of the side effects."

"...Mr. Chromos?!" Gilda exclaimed.

Indeed it was. Gilda saw the light from the bottom floor shine on Chandler from the side, on his sca -- um, reptilian green skin, and his ragged dark grey hair, as he stood on the bend of the stairs. As Gilda's vision sharpened again, she also noticed that the feminine figure in front of her was indeed her mother... her living Madame Tussauds reject of a mother, complete with overdone makeup... and... botched... surgery.

Ugh... age naturally, ladies. Anyhoo.

"Yeah," Chandler replied. "And your mother Gretchen. We heard you citing Back to the Future. And it was actually Thomas F. Wilson who said that line, not Crispin Glover."

"Good gob, her eyes are bloodshot," Gretchen remarked.

"What's going on here?" Gilda asked, confused, even scared about what was happening. "Please tell me what's going on here, I'm freaking out right now!"

"We'll tell you over dinner," Gretchen replied, putting a gentle arm around her daughter's back. "It's blueberry pancakes. Figured we'd fix you a dinner you like after the day you've had."

Gilda gave a small, yet sincere smile as she looked up at her mother Gretchen. Sure, she was an unsightly freak on the outside, but dammit, she was still her mother, a kind and tortured soul who knew the same pain as her and worse. If anyone could sympathize with her pain, it was her own mother. And Gilda was more than relieved, to know that she was now in the company of those that she trusted.

"Thanks, mom," she said.

"How nice," Chandler remarked. "Now, let's the four of us have dinner."

Gilda looked on at Chandler in confusion, as he walked back down the stairs.

"Did he just say the four of us?" she asked. She spoke louder as she called out to Chandler. "You mean the three of us, right, Mr. Chromos?"

"Actually," Gretchen said. "We have another visitor, some nerdy-looking kid who speaks in rhyme. He said he didn't have a place to stay, so Chandler offered him this place as his thanks for helping save you."

"Nerdy looking kid? Speaks in --" Gilda paused for a gasp. "Randy!"

"You know him?"

"Yeah, I do! He approached me at the bus stop this morning. He caught my orange as I was having... some kind of weird feeling, like I was falling through the sky. I was running from Truman at the time. It felt so real, like I was really falling, it's hard to describe."

"Sounds like it was just an adrenaline rush."

"Oh, it felt more real than an adrenaline rush, Mom. I don't know what it was, but it felt way too real to be just an adrenaline rush. Anyways, he also told me that Truman was... some kind of a beast from another world or some junk. Which... at this point, I'm willing to believe anything about that pube-headed pig. Where is he so I can thank him?"

"He's been out in the town for the past two hours. Said he saw something over at one of the middle schools. He should be back any minute now --"


The sound of an opening door carried along the walls of the house. Speak of the fucking devil, Gretchen thought to herself. He's home already.

"Back I have arrived from what I have seen," Randy said, closing the door behind him. "At the school in the town of the valley green. Mmm, blueberry pancakes. I love that sweet smell. Now, I ask you both this... has Gilda gotten well?"

Gilda rushed down the steps to greet Randy, as he continued speaking.

"If I ever find that Truman, in streets or in malls, rest assured, I'll go up and chop off his --"

"WHOAAAAA!" Gilda shouted, as she tripped on the bottom step. She fell to the floor with a loud THUD, right on her enormous black schnoz. She lied still on the ground for a few seconds, before slowly raising her arm off the ground, giving a thumbs-up.

"I'm okay, y'alls!" she said. Holding a hand over her nose, she rolled over on her side to face the front door, and sure enough, there he was. Randy Haggard, that weird chiropteran boy from the bus stop. Gilda couldn't help but smile as he saw him standing there, looking upon her. "Hi, Randy. Love the glasses. You look like Harry Potter. Oh, and I heard you saved me. Thanks! You're awesome!"

Randy gave a bashful smile, his cheeks flushing a cute shade of pink as his top-row teeth showed through his grin. Both his fangs overlapped his bottom lip, which made his smile look even cuter to Gilda. It was almost criminal how cute he looked, given that most bipedes saw his race as a bunch of vampires.

"You have the cutest smile ever," Gilda chuckled.

"And you have a very... cute-looking nose," Randy replied. "Must come in handy for a good sniff of a rose."

"You... you actually find my nose cute?" Gilda fell silent once again, processing what Randy had said. And then she let out a giggle. "Wow... I don't ever get that from anyone. Most I come across say really mean things about the way I look. Like 'cavecoon' and 'piggy' and 'shit panda'. My brother Truman's even thrown 'Jimmy Durante' and 'toucan face' at me."

"I don't want to hear anything more about that fat fucking freak," Randy replied. "Jimmy Durante... that insult's just really weak!"

Gilda let go of her nose, and stood herself up from off the floor. She had her head tilted towards the ceiling the whole time, as she could feel the ominous taste of a thick, lukewarm liquid running down her throat, and touching the back of her tongue. Gobdammit, Gilda thought to herself. She knew what that taste was, and where it was trying to go down. And she was not gonna let it happen, not in front of her newfound friend Randy. She kept her head tilted, looking as directly at Randy as she could as he continued speaking.

"The important thing now is that you're here where you're safe. Um..." Randy paused for a few long seconds, scratching his head as he thought of what to say next. And then he reluctantly admitted, "There aren't many words that rhyme with 'safe'."

"There really aren't, are there?" Gilda said.

Hold on a minute! Chafe, strafe, waif, unsafe... well, what do you know? That's about it. Carry on!

"You deserve better than Truman the slob, and the rest of your brothers coming at you like an angry mob. Residing on the east of town, for you, is what's best. The Hatcher side's best described as the wild, wild west."

"Ooh, speaking of which!" Chandler said, as he was serving the pancakes. He had a radio playing in the kitchen, which he turned the volume up on. And what better song for it to play at this moment, but 'Wild Wild West' by the Escape Club. Chandler started singing along to it, albeit poorly. "Forty-seven deadbeats living in the backstreet..."

Gilda gave an unimpressed scowl as Chandler continued singing. She didn't like this song. It was one of the few songs from the 80s she didn't like.

"I hate that song," Gilda remarked. "It's just a rip-off of Elvis Costello's 'Pump It Up'."

"What do you mean?" Chandler replied.

"How can you not hear that, Mr. Chromos?" Gilda responded as she walked into the kitchen, head still tilted towards the ceiling. "It's the same beat and everything. Forty-seven deadbeats living in the backstreet, I've been on tenterhooks ending in dirty looks. It's literally the same thing!"

"Actually, you singing it that way, it sounds like 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' by Bob Dylan."

"Bob Dylan?" Gilda grabbed a few tissues and stuffed them up her nostrils, before tilting her head back down. "You mean that apian folk singer from the 60s who has such a thick buzz to his voice, you can barely hear what he's saying?"

"Buzz-buzz-buzz-buzz-buzz-buzz-buzz-buzz-buzz-buzz," Chandler sang, to the tune of 'Hurricane'. "Yep, that's the one. At least he has an interesting kind of bad voice, though, unlike James Taylor who just sounds like he's mumbling in his sleep."

BURRRRRN! BOO-YAH! Heheh! Heh... yeah, James Taylor is quite the tool, isn't he?

"Good one, Mr. Chromos," Gilda replied. She looked over at the table, and saw that all the pancake stacks had been served. "I'll handle my own syrup. And the drink too."

"Fair enough," Chandler replied. "Guess it's dinnertime now. Randy, you sit next to Gilda, and, uh... Gretchen, where you at?"

"Coming!" Gretchen called from upstairs.

Gilda grabbed her cup from off the table, and then went over to the fridge. Chandler had a lot of stuff to drink in there. Milk, beer, wine... and about six 20-liter bottles of Dr. Pepper. Damn, he had good taste in soda. What's better, Coke or Pepsi? Dr. Pepper. No contest. Rule of thumb, the third popular option is always the best. VHS or Beta? LaserDisc. Sony or Sega? Nintendo. Democrat or Republican? Independent. And Coke or Pepsi? You better believe Dr. Pepper. And that's what Gilda decided to have.

...or at least she would have, if not for a carton of high-pulp orange juice that was sitting on one of the door shelves. Mmmmm, delish. And it was Minute Maid. Gilda preferred Tropicana since it was less awkward to pour out, but hey, any citrus fruit drink could easily win with her over anything. She poured the OJ into her cup almost to the brim, took a quick sip, and then brought her drink over to her spot at the table, next to Randy.

"What do you guys have against James Taylor's music?" Randy asked. "Does it make your head hurt, or your stomach sick?"

"No, Randy," Chandler replied, reaching over to his radio to turn its volume down a few notches. "We just find him insufferably bland."
Now the creaking noise was really loud. April could hear quite well now, that it was right above her. She looked up at the ceiling, and saw that there were cracks forming in some of the hemp-fiber panels, and the metal frame around them was bending and snapping. April continued to stare at this spot, as the creaking got louder and the cracks got larger... when suddenly, much to her confusion, she heard a voice, ridden with panic, coming from the ceiling, as well as the vigorous buzz of a pair of wings.

"Wha --"

And then the ceiling finally gave way. First as small clouds of dust and fibers, then in small chunks of hemp. April set her Snapple down on the floor as the smaller debris floated down, and then jumped out of the way and onto the ground, as soon as those chunks started raining upon her. And then the rest of the failing panels, and parts of the framing, crashed around her feet, bits of the debris grazing the heels of her shoes as she landed. And yet, she managed to remain mostly unscathed --


...key word, mostly.

The ceiling may not have gotten her, but what was hiding within it did. It was a male aedine, who looked to be around forty or so. April hated insects, so she couldn't tell you what a 'good' insectoid looks like, but this one was horrifying and sickly-looking. The aedine was very thin, almost anorexic-looking, with a brittle-looking dark taupe exoskeleton, glassy wings, a full head and antennae of unkempt brown hair, a stain-covered tank top and pair of jeans, big swamp-green eyes... and most horrifying of all, a giant mouth, that would put to shame even Steven Tyler.

...'s most ridiculous-looking caricature. It was disturbing how huge it was; a mouth that big, the aedine looked like he should've had Kirby's food-inhaling ability. Not to mention it had sharp teeth, with strings of drool running between them. And they had ended up dug deep into the shin of April's leg.

April screamed in pain and fright, as she saw the pools of blood forming at the aedine's teeth. Then the aedine looked up at her, and screamed as well. As they both screamed, April felt something go out of the aedine's mouth, and up her leg... inside her leg. At first it just felt like saliva, but then she felt something else go in. Something thicker, more solid. Could it have been a piece of food? A drumstick or something? Or, knowing April, she'd probably think it was something way more gross.

The aedine finally stood himself up, looking down at the bloody bite mark he'd left on April's leg as she continued to scream. He was as horrified as April was by the whole situation, and only felt worse when he saw her scratching at the swelling wound. She was certain there was something that wasn't spit in her leg, and he knew that she knew that she wanted to know what it was.

"Oh gob, oh gob, oh gob, oh gob..." he said, shaken. "So sorry about this... how'd... how'd I even --"

"Ya bleedin' snot!" April shouted, frightened and enraged. "What did ye pit in meh?!"

"I don't... I don't know! I don't even know how I got here! I don't --"

Suddenly, April jumped up and tackled the aedine. He was able to take off five feet off the ground before she was able to grab him by the feet.

"What did ye spit intae mah laeg?!" she shouted. "Mangoworms?! Jiggers?! Botflies?!"

Called it.

Anyhoo, it was this question, of course, that finally broke the aedine. April saw the sweat leaking out of his forehead, and the tears flowing out of his eyes. He looked like a broken sprinkler, and sounded like one too, whimpering like a coward as the mephitine girl held an iron grip to his feet. As the silence from him continued, April became more and more certain of what she thought. His silence was just too incriminating. She went over this thought a few more times in her head... before she let out a loud, shocked gasp.

"Ye dirty WANK!" she shouted.

And then April threw the aedine to the floor. He yelped as his body was yanked downwards, and bounced around on the floor like a balloon as he tried to fly away, before he finally plunged face-first into the wall. April now had him right where she wanted him, right where she could tell him off as he trembled.

"Ye gave meh botflies, dinnae ye?!" she yelled. "Dinnae t'ink ah dinnae ken what diseases an' parasites ye aedine fucks 'ave! Ye left a gingin' dipterous maggot in meh bodeh! Ye gross, dirty wank! Ye've given meh botflies! YE'VE GIVEN MEH --"

CCK... CCK... CCK...

April froze as she felt something pull at her shin, in tune to faint sucking noise. It felt like someone was tugging on a string threaded up her leg. But there wasn't any string around... what was it tugging at her leg? Or was on her leg? Or was... in her... leg... oh. Oh no. It couldn't have been... that, could it? Could it?!

April slowly tilted her head downward as she stuck her foot out, looking down upon the streams of blood going down her shin. She quickly patted away one of the trails with her middle finger... only to come across something to make blood look tame. The confirmation of her suspicions. A quarter-sized hole in her shin, with something that looked like a giant ball of leporine shit wriggling inside, thrusting about, swelling her leg up, looking like a tumor from the outside.

Yep. It could. And it was. How freaked out exactly was April at this sight? Well... hopefully these long strings of A's followed by single H's answer your question.


April fell over screaming, screeching, at that little dipterous larva in her leg. She'd seen those videos on YouTube, of bipedes and occasionally pets, having larva and worms and other gross parasites, plucked from their bodies. It baffled her that those videos had such a huge following, disgusted her that parasites so horrible actually existed... and horrified that one was now inside her leg. And it was big enough to be a bipedal one, which was just even more...


As April continued to scream, the aedine decided to sneak off and fly. He managed to avoid any physical wrath the mephitine girl could bring upon him, but not the last few insults she had built up in her.

"Ah yeah, ye better fly aweh! Fly away, ye wee bastid, ye waste o' eggs! Piss off!"

Not that April didn't make the attempt, though. She threw a chunk of hemp at the aedine as he flew, but it ended up missing him, as she threw it at the wrong angle. It only ended up hitting the upper wall, next to him, about six feet up. Sports weren't exactly one of April's strong points, and neither was dealing with bugs... especially bipedal ones inside her.

April felt the area around the larva... well, more accurately, held her finger so lightly on the area, she was basically hovering her finger above the wound. She didn't want to touch it. It was far too gross for her to want to make any physical contact with it; it was the size of a fucking tennis ball, if not bigger, and was covered in barbs that felt like fingernails scratching against the inside of her skin. When part of April's finger actually ran over the wound hole, she let out another scream.

"AAAAAAAAAAH... AAAAAGH... Agh... Egggggh..."

April let out a few panicked breaths as she backed up against the wall, next to her half-drunken Snapple. And then she pulled out her Android from the pocket of her dress, and tapped the power button. The nine-dot lock screen faded in from the black.

"Ye be'er answer 'is, Auggeh!" she said, hastily entering her password, running her finger through the dots. "Ah swear tae gob!"

Meanwhile, in the library, Margo and August were still organizing the manga section, straightening out and alphabetizing all the books on the shelf.

"And that's why Teen Titans' 'Things Change' is one of the worst finales of any show ever," Margo proclaimed. "Why would they even end the episode on a cliffhanger when they hadn't even been renewed for a sixth season to resolve it?!"

August stared silently at Margo for a while with a puzzled expression on his face, before finally making his reply.

"Next time," he said. "Don't just randomly make a concluding comment to a rant, when you never even began one in the first place. It makes you look weird."

"You at least agree with the jist of it, right?"

"Uh, yeah, I guess --"


August heard his phone go off in the pocket of his khakis, vibrating as it made that high-pitched bell sound.

"What in the..." August muttered to himself, as he looked over at his pocket, glowing with the light of his screen. "I thought I turned this thing off."

"Dude!" Margo scolded, as she watched her mephitine friend pull out his phone. "You can't be on your phone! Mr. Beast -- uh, Mr. Hansen's gonna come any minute now! 

"Chill, Swordsy. It's probably just a junk text. Either that, or my little sister Abby."

"You mean there's a difference?"


...okay, only this narrator reacted like that. But August did let out a light chuckle at that funny little burn of Margo's.

"Good one," he remarked.

And then August finally turned his attention to his phone. He was confident it was just a junk text, not even thinking enough about it to read a preview of what it said. He just tapped it with his thumb and let it bring him to the messages menu, he was so sure it was a junk text. Then he actually read the text... and his head hurt so bad reading it, he felt like he was about to have a migraine.

The text on August's phone was from his twin sister April. And he could tell just by how badly written it was, with the capitalization and punctuation and even a few grammatical errors, that she was freaked the fuck out:

'Fuking aidine gave me botfly! Im runing home now Auggie sry GROSSGROSSGROSS! Help me when your home GROSS!!!'

...this narrator will take 'frustrating incorrect uses of homophones' for 400, Alex.

Anyhoo, August stared at the message for a while, shocked at what he was reading. A botfly? But those live down in South Amareica... not in the United States! He was willing to believe that a mosquito would bite his sister, even a bipedal one if it was on accident. But giving her sister a disgusting parasite? That seemed like a bit of a stretch, even for her. Regardless, like a good brother would, August still was worried about his sister. April would never lie about seeing something so gross to her.

August continued reading the message, several more times, as its words slowly sunk in. And then his arms went limp, dropping his phone at his feet as he looked back up and stared, just stared into nothing, like a traumatized war vet.

"You alright there, Kenny?" Margo said. "You said it was just a junk text."

"I said it might be," August replied, emotionless, seemingly broken. "But it wasn't. It was my sister April. She's skipping out on detention."


"Some aedine apparently bit her, and she says she has botflies."

A long... cackling laughter came out of Margo pretty much immediately. Yep, no long silence for tension this time. She just went right for the reaction, couldn't contain it. That statement of August's was just too hilarious. It sounded like some hilarious excuse, one of the funniest she'd ever heard. Like, seriously? Botflies? As in dipterous robots?! How funny!

"That's not funny, Margo!" August shouted. "Do you even know what botflies are?!"

"Why, of course I do," Margo replied. And then she broke out in a stereotypical robot impression, complete with the jerky body movements and a monotone, computery-sounding voice. "Beep. Boop. I am a botfly. Buzz buzz. RAHHHHHHHHHH! Ding ding!"

"Oh, for the love of --" August muttered, dragging his hands down his scowling face in frustration. "No, Margo!"

Margo darted her eyes over at August, and let her body slowly go limp, like a robot powering down. She let her arms hang like wet noodles and hunched her back like Quasimodo, as she made a progressively quiet whirring sound.

"Then what is it?" she asked.

"A botfly is an insectoid that lives down in South Amareica," August remarked. "Mosquitoes and aedines pick up its eggs and carry them for a while, until the larva hatches when it finds mammalian skin to burrow into. If it's a regular one, it can be plucked out with tweezers or even crawl out on its own after a while. But a bipedal one... a bipedal one can grow big enough to leave my sister crippled or worse if it's not surgically removed."

"Wait, that thing?!" Alan shouted, annoyed. "She's skipping out on detention, because she had a panic attack over something that doesn't even live in this part of the world?! Boo!"

August turned to the rest of the library, to see that everyone was turned his and Margo's way, sided with Alan in booing and jeering him... well, April. But being her twin, anything stupid she did, would always reflect badly on him, like ink on a paper. Sure, the ink mark be made on one side, but part of it always bleeds to the other. And August's was the side to which the mark on April's bled.

"Help me, Auggie!" Alan said, in a mocking, whiny tone. "The aedine, it gave me a botfly, it gave me a botfly, Auggie, help me! Ehhhhh, wehhh wehhh, it gave me a botfly! Help me, help --"

"Leave my sister alone!" August shouted, raising his bushy tail an inch or two. "Leave my sister alone or I'll fill the library!"

"Dude, August," Wendy said. "Your sister made that dumbass excuse --"

"Hey-haw!" Donnie groused.

"...sorry, Donnie. That dumb excuse."

"That's what I thought you meant... hmph!"

"She obviously made that dumb excuse so she doesn't have to face us for that spectacle she made of herself earlier. You need to learn how to call your sister out for her shit, instead of just coming up with excuses for her every time. Besides, she owes me --"

Wendy paused to retch at her own smell for a moment. She puffed her cheeks up before popping her mouth open like a balloon against a needle, and then took some deep breaths for some fresh, not-trashy-smelling air.

"She owes me one hell of an apology... preferably in the form of sixteen cans of tomato paste! It's bad enough I get neglected at home, I don't need my parents locking me out because I don't smell 'decent', as they put it!"

"Excuse?!" August retorted. "My sister doesn't lie about her experiences with insects!"


August heard his phone go off again as it lay on the floor. He looked over at it, and saw it was still on his little chat thread with April. She had sent an image now, a vertical nine-by-sixteen shot that August could only make out from a distance as a dark, gray-and-red blur surrounding an even darker object. But once he got a good look at the image, he could tell exactly what it was... and it made him feel like his brain was shitting itself.

It was a close-up of the larva in April's blood-stained leg. And it was a big one alright; the lump in her shin was the size of a grapefruit. Eww. Gross. Her right index finger was pointing to the lump, and there was an X-eyed emoji sticker pasted in the top left of the image. Eww. Even grosser.

...sorry, that was just this narrator. Emojis are awful. August only cared about the larva.

"BLEGH!" he revolted, almost spitting the sound out like a bile. And then he turned to face the rest of the library, holding up April's selfie for them all to see. "Okay, look at that, you see? She's really got one. Can we all shut up now?"

"Oh, there you go again," Alan said. "Spewing crap out of your mouth just to defend your sister. That's a stock image she sent to you, I bet."

"And just what is going on here?" a familiar, adult voice scolded.

The kids all turned their heads to the front of the library, and saw none other than their feared feline principal Hansen, standing in front of the doors, hands behind his back. He scanned the area silently for what felt like ages, with his piercing yellow eyes. And then he made a low, grumbling noise, intimidating like a sleeping bear. A lot of things weren't sitting right with Hansen about what he saw, but one glaring thing stood out the most. And everyone, especially August, knew what thing that was before he even said it.

"...where has Miss Lowry gone to?" Hansen spoke. He turned his head over to August. "Ah, Mr. Lowry, you're her twin. You tell me. Where's your sister gone to?"

August felt drops of sweat leaking out of his skin, trickling down, making him feel like he was out in the desert. He grabbed the collar of his polo, feeling like it was suddenly strangling him, wrapping around his neck like a snake. His head slowly turned away from Hansen for a while, at all the other kids glaring at him. From his point of view, it looked like one of those cliche shots in the movies, one of those shots of a bunch of disapproving faces pointed the protagonist's way after their epic screw-up.

"Well, Mr. Lowry?" Hansen spoke again. "Where's she gone to?"

August turned back towards Mr. Hansen, and tried to get the words out.

"Uh..." he stuttered. "Well, um, she's gone to, uh..."

"'Uh' is no place I've heard of," Hansen replied, slowly walking up to August, looking like a giant, ominous shadow. "Where is this Uh? Does Jeff Goldblum live in Uh?"

"Uh, no, Mr. Hansen, she's gone out of the building. She's... she's ran off."

"Ran off, has she? What's the excuse this time, she's afraid of a fly?"

"Yeah, uh... yeah, actually, that's kind of right. She has a botfly larva in her leg."

" she doesn't."

"Yes, she does! I have the photo to prove it!"

"Oh, do you now?"

August held up his phone, still on the image of April's selfie, for Mr. Hansen to see. He was determined to prove to him that his sister wasn't lying. Margo hadn't yet seen the photo for herself, however. So she decided to sneak a peek at it, as Hansen took his own look at the photo.

"Wait a minute," she said. "I haven't seen the photo yet -- DAAAAAAAMN!"

...heheh, that reference will never get old. Anyhoo, Hansen stared at the photo for ten long, dragged-out seconds, before finally voicing his opinion about the photo.

"Anyone can inflate a part of an image in Photoshop," he stated. "I've had real botflies pulled out of me from vacations to Panllama. They don't make ridiculous bulges like that, that's cheap photo-editing trickery anyone can do. Real ones look like pimples from the outside, really large pimples, not tumors."

"But this is a bipedal one!" August retorted. "And look at the blood stains! You don't fake --"

"Stop, August," Hansen demanded. "Just stop. Your sister is a stupid cow who likes coming up with excuses. Tell her that she's suspended for the rest of the week. I don't want anyone else in this school getting any ideas from that prissy little shit."


Your permission to insult Principal Hansen is granted. Seriously, fuck him.

Anyhoo, Principal Han -- 'scuse this narrator, Pissable Hansen, looked over at the manga shelves, and saw, much to his satisfaction, that the mephitine and his ginger leporine friend, were well on their way to getting the shelves fully organized.

"With that said, however," he continued. "Glad to see you and Tab -- uh, Margo here, are getting these shelves in order. Keep up the good work and don't stop."

And then he walked off, not even taking any notice of how August reacted towards his words. He was pissed the fuck off, gritting his teeth, giving him a fiery glare... which of course he didn't see, either that or he just cared that little. He wasn't usually the shouting type when he got angry, or even the physical type. He was more like the bottling type, someone that suppressed their anger for whatever reason, either because they thought anger was a useless emotion, or that they'd only make things worse if they did get angry.

Luckily, though, he had Margo by his side, to give a voice to his thoughts.

"Fuck Hansen," she muttered.

"Yeah," August replied.

They continued glaring at their principal, as he made his way over to the shelves being organized by Alan and Wendy.

"Blegh!" Hansen revolted. "You stink, Miss Wyler! Take a shower!"

One hour later, the clock had passed 4:30PM. The detention kids had gotten the library shelves all organized, and were allowed by Hansen to leave, one by one, as he checked their work one last time. August and Margo were the first ones checked and, likewise, the first allowed to finally leave. August waited until the door had closed behind him, before he said what was on his mind.

"If he wasn't our principal," he said. "I'd go full sacs on him."

"If I was a mephitine like you, Kenny," Margo replied. "I'd go full sacs on him. Principal or not."

"And that's why you're such a great friend, Swordsy."

Margo squealed with joy as bright splotches of red shined through the freckles on her cheeks. She lightly clenched her hands over her mouth as she smiled, and then lunged over to August to wrap her arms around him in a tight embrace. April was right, August thought to himself. Margo really did like him. As in actually liked him, wanted him as a boyfriend, not just a regular friend. And the thought of it made him blush, turned his whole face a cute peachy shade. His friend had a crush on him. How cute, how awesome... how flattering.

August looked down at Margo as she continued hugging him, and ruffled her messy, carroty hair a little as he smiled.

"I hope your sister gets the help she needs, Kenny," Margo said. "She doesn't deserve that, nobody does."

Margo let go of her mephitine friend -- excuse this narrator, crush, as she continued speaking.

"And sorry I made fun of botflies earlier."

"Ah, don't feel so bad," August reassured. "Dipterous scum like that deserve to be made fun of. Besides, 'botfly' is a stupid name anyway. I thought it was the same thing you did when I first heard the name."

"Can't say I blame you, Kenny. I mean, 'Beep. Boop. I am a botfly. Buzz buzz.'"

"Heheheh. Actually, that is pretty funny, Swordsy. Can you do it again, one more time?"

"Beep. Boop. I am a botfly. Buzz buzz."

"Haha! Love it! I think I should have you do that to cheer up April when we get the chance. Don't know if she'll appreciate it, but it's worth a try."

"She'll find it funny in the right timing, trust me. Anyway, I best be heading off now. See ya tomorrow, Kenny!"

Margo adjusted the straps on her backpack, and then ran off, giving one last wave before leaving August's sight, disappearing as a blur to him, going behind the walls.

"Goodnight, Swordsy!" August called out.

Now alone in the hallways... save for a few more students being let out in the library, August realized that he suddenly felt thirsty. Two hours of sorting books bought eight to twelve sips from the fountain, and he was not leaving until he was quenched. Luckily, there was a water fountain right in front of him, right outside of a dimmed hallway, that had only one distant light at the intersection of the hallways left on. It was almost as if it the hallway was lit like that on purpose, to have someone emerge from its darkness in a dramatic reveal.

Anyhoo, August walked over to the fountain, and slurped up all the water he felt he needed. As he took his last sip, he heard a voice, a strange, male, raspy voice he hadn't heard before, of a bipede who sounded his age.

"You straighten sixteen shelves," the voice said. "What do you get?"

August looked up from the fountain, and saw, to his surprise... and this narrator's confirmation, a messy-looking chiropteran boy, emerging from the darkness of the shadowy hallway. In a dramatic reveal. Heheh.

"A ravenous appetite for Ma Nature's sweat."

...yeah, no use trying to build it up. It was Randy Haggard. Remember him? That weird rhymer from chapter 3? Well, nothing much had changed over the past several hours with him. His black hair was still moppy, and he was wearing the same hoodie and sweatpants that he was in the early morning. Except how, he was also wearing glasses. Really goofy-looking, thick-rimmed glasses, that looked like Buddy Holly's. As he walked out of the shadows, he turned his head over to August, and spoke again.

"What is it, you silly boar? Have you not seen a chiropteran before?"

August could only think to stare silently at Randy, bug-eyed with astonishment at his presence. He really hadn't seen a chiropteran before, at least not anywhere in the town of Grunvale. The closest ones he knew about, were those who lived in the caves of Mount Hatcher. He knew all about how secretive they were, how protective they were of their caves. To see a chiropteran actually come down to Grunvale was a very rare experience. So imagine how lucky August must've felt to see one with his own eyes.

"...n -- no," he mumbled, shocked at what he saw.

"The name is Haggard," Randy spoke. "Randy Haggard, of Hatcher the mountain. These words I must tell you, before you're far from the fountain."

There was a few silent seconds between the two of them, preceding August's reply.


"I saw your sister get that nasty bite, infected with a gross little parasite. While I hope she gets the help she so desperately needs, I'm gonna give you a warning, that you must heed."

Randy darted secretive eyes around the hall for a moment, making sure no one was around to hear what he had to say. He then let out a deep, anxious sigh, before he continued.

"The mother of that worm is an insectoid corrupted. It's otherworldly power, that has her mind interrupted. If you know what's best for you, you'll listen to my rhyme. You do not want to be knocked out, like my friend Gilda Grime."

August's face slowly melted into a puzzled expression, as he processed the words of that weird chiropteran boy.

"Gilda... who now?"
"Cool. Hey, you don't mind if I call you 'Kenshin' from time to time, do you? Since, you know, you look like this guy?"

"Actually, I'd prefer.... 'Swordsy'. Yeah. That's a good name. 'Swordsy'."

"Heheh. Yeah. But seriously, we need to sort these books out."

"Yep. Right."

And then the freckled duo quickly got to sorting those books.

On the other side of the library, April was sorting the... 'real books', as Alan would call them. More specifically, the 'H' books in the fiction section. Obviously, she saw a lot of Harry Potter books; at least two copies of each of the seven. And the very sight of these books, made her really irritated. Not because she hated Harry Potter though, quite the opposite actually.

You see, April and both of her siblings were fans of the Harry Potter series on different mediums. Her twin brother August was more into the movies, and their little sister Abby was more into the video games. You know, from the Voldemort of video game companies, they who must not be named. You know which one this narrator's talking about. But back to the Lowrys themselves.

April herself, of course, was more into the books. She liked the movies fine, and she enjoyed watching them with August. But the books were way better; they had so much more story to them, from details like Harry having his mother's green eyes, to characters like Peeves, to entire subplots like Hermione and SPEW, that the movies decided to cut out, just to fit into two-and-a-half-hours. The movies were like having Raisin Bran without raisins; sure, the bran flakes were the essential part of the cereal, and they stood well on their own, but it was missing those delicious raisins that really made it complete. Why have just bran flakes, when you can have them with raisins?

Yeah, exactly.

Anyhoo, if April liked the books so much, why did the sight of them get her so worked up? Well... because she was always used to doing things a certain way. For instance, she always put the Harry Potter books, in fact every entry in any franchise, in series order, not in alphabetical order like she had been tasked to do. And you can probably guess how the books were ordered on that bookcase shelf.

But if seeing those books in the wrong order wasn't enough, the book April knew was called Philosopher's Stone bore the fucking stupid Amareican title of 'Sorcerer's Stone' on its cover. Seeing the books like this, and having to keep them that way, was a betrayal to her psyche. She was shaking her head in disbelief, panting and sweating like she was out in the sun, as she looked upon the books.

"Nae, nae, nae," she said, shakily. "Ah cannae dae t'is! Ah cannae laeve these books like t'is!"

And then April started hastily arranging the books, just to get them in order. Sure, she looked quite crazy doing it, talking to herself, yanking books off the shelves, and shoving them back in, but in her mind, books being arranged in any other way than chronological order, was an imbalance, a mistake she'd get cripplingly anxious about if she didn't correct it immediately.

"Philosopher's Staine gaes befahr Chamber o' Secrets... an'-an'-an'... an' screw 'em bampots who called t'is book Sorcerer's Staine! Eh... eh... an'... Deathly Hallows is last, nae the one... nae the one followin' Chamber. Eh... an' Prisoner o' Azkaban's the one 'at follows Chamber. An'... em..."

At this point, a few other kids that were also sorting out the fiction section had taken notice that April was... going insane, no better way to put it. And they couldn't help but stare on, in discomforting anticipation of the embarrassing show that was sure to unfold.

"An'... 'kay then, Gobleh o' Fire's in the richt place, an'... an'... wha... what..."

April looked around, and saw that a lot of those who were staring at her, uncomfortable with what they were witnessing. Her eyes darted around the fiction section, at all those weirded-out, borderline frightened faces pointing her way. Whatever April's behavior was building up to, it was bound to be quite the cringefest to witness.

"What are ye all starin' at meh fer?!" April yelled. "Stop it!"

"Is this... seriously how you get over books?" one of the kids said.

"'ey're in the wrong places!" April replied. "Ye dinnae put Chamber o' Secrets as the first book! A'body kens 'at the first book's called Philosopher's Staine, not Sorcerer's Staine! An' it gaes befahr Chamber!"

"But didn't you listen to Hansen?" another one of the kids said. "The books have to be alphabetized."

"Ah cannae sort 'em like 'at!" April said, looking like she was ready to break. "Ah'd goo bonkers if ah pit 'em like 'at!"

April started to pant more heavily now. She felt like her mind was literally being ripped in two, torn by the mere concept of a 'correct' order, one half the alphabetical order she had been told to keep them in by Principal Hansen, and one half the chronological order she felt she needed to put them in. At this point, the commotion she had made, got the attention of Alan and Wendy, who were sorting the shelves of a nearby bookcase, in the non-fiction section. And they regretted giving the situation any kind of attention, pretty much the exact second they turned their eyes towards April. They stared at her silently for a few seconds, before Alan finally spoke.

"You go get involved," he said, as he quickly turned back to the bookcase. "That over there is too much stupid for me to deal with."

And then he turned back to the bookcase as Wendy walked up to April.

"April, are you sure you're not going bonkers right now?" Wendy asked, in a blatantly condescending tone. "You're making a big deal out of nothing. Just alphabetize the books and --"

"Dinnae tell meh what ye t'ink's th' richt order, Wendeh!" April shouted. "Nae every book series is bah Sue Grafton! If ah dinnae pit 'ese books in th' richt order, I'm gonna 'ave a bad deh! Noo laeve meh alaine! Buh-bye!"

...okay, now this narrator's frightened. Seriously, who the fuck gets like that over books being put in the right order? Uh... anyhoo, April swiftly turned back to the bookcase, to put Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince in the order she... oh-so-needed them to be in, because apparently she'd have a bad day if she didn't. Even though she was already in detention. You'd think that's bad enough a day, wouldn't you?

Wendy could only look on at April, baffled by her snappy behavior over something so petty. She'd expect this kind of behavior from a toddler, not from someone as otherwise mature and ladylike as April.

"You serious right now, April?" Wendy uttered. "And who the fuck is Sue --"



And then everything when silent, for what seemed like forever. April stood against the bookcase for a few seconds, frozen with the fading remnants of her rage, before straightening out the books. As she finished with that shelf, she couldn't help but notice the smell of... something. It was a thick and rotten stench, like moldy old eggs. And it penetrated April's nose something fierce. She gagged just getting a small sniff of that smell.

"BLEGH!" she revolted. "What's 'at reekin' smell?! Dae ye guys smell 'at, or's mah naise... eh..."

April fell silent as she saw everyone, literally everyone in the library this time, fiction section and beyond, staring her way. What was more, none of the kids were standing any closer than ten feet away from her, and the ones standing closest to her looked disgusted. But what stood out to April the most, was Wendy. She was lying on ground, propping herself up with one arm and holding her nose with the other, as she gave the young mephitine sow a hard, icy glare. It was at this exact moment, that April figured out what the smell was.

It was her spray. Her rancid, foul, mephitine spray. And oh, was she mortified.

The entire library watched April as she pulled her brown, wavy locks over her face, as it turned rosy red with embarrassment. Their eyes continued to follow as she ran for the door, still holding her hair over her shame-ridden face. April ended up bumping into the metal column between the doors like an idiot, before finally pushing the door open with her hip and running out. Everyone was silent for a while as they looked towards the door, embarrassed to have witnessed such a humiliating spectacle.

Well, everyone except Margo. She was snickering the whole time, from the moment April sprayed Wendy. She found the whole thing hilarious, because it reminded her of something she saw in a movie.

"You find that funny?" August said, seemingly offended by his friend's reaction.

Still bearing a goofy-looking grin on her face, Margo pulled her iPhone out of her pocket, turned on her data, and went to YouTube to play a clip from Zack Snyder's Watchbucks. Namely, the scene in which Dr. Manhattan, played by Billy Crudup, is bombarded by the press, after Janey Slater blames him for causing her cancer. She scrubbed to the exact moment she was thinking of, and played it for August.

"I said," Dr. Manhattan shouted, as the screen was engulfed in white. "LEAVE ME ALONE!"

Margo laughed again as she paused the video.

"That's your sister," Margo said, pointing to her phone. "Your sister's Dr. Manhattan. Heheheh. 'I said leave me alone!'"

She continued to laugh, until she realized that August wasn't laughing along with her. In fact, if he didn't look offended before, he did now. He had his face in an anguished frown as his cheeks turned red with embarrassment. Margo kept her grin, however, although it looked more like a nervous grin now, than a grin of enjoyment.

"...too soon?" she said.

You think? Well, anyhoo.

Meanwhile, April continued running from the library, still humiliated about what she had done to Wendy. She was seriously considering running home now, considering bailing on her detention. She knew she'd be getting herself in even more trouble doing so, possibly risking getting suspended even. But she couldn't go back into the library and face everyone, not after what just happened. And she especially couldn't face Mr. Hansen. Spraying was considered an act of violence by the Grunvale School District, and if Hansen got a whiff of Wendy in the library, April would be a dead sow. And she couldn't let him see her in the halls either, obviously, because then she'd be busted for skipping out on detention, right in the act.

It was just past 3:00PM now, and April had made it to the gym hallway. She was about as far away as she could get from the library; the library was at the center of Davis Junior High, on the top level, while the gym hallway was on the east side's lower level. It was a pretty big hallway, a few hundred feet long, like the gym it led into. The boy's locker room was on the far left side, the girls' on the far right. Both sides had water fountains, but the left side that had a vending machine, that gave out some of the best sodas and ginger ales, from Dr. Pepper to 7UP, and Schweppes to Canada Dry. While the right side, had a machine that offered Snapple, only Snapple, in four different flavors.

April liked Snapple. Her preference was for banana and grape, but mango and peach were awesome as well, not to mention more commonly found from the machines for convenience. She also loved the lemonade flavor, because, let's be honest, who doesn't love lemonade? There was pretty much no flavor of Snapple that April didn't like... well, aside from fruit punch. The red dye of fruit punch came from crushed bugs. It didn't matter to her that they were already dead when they were grinded; all insects were gross to her, alive or dead, bipedal or not, in the body or out. But, at least there was every other, bug-free flavor of Snapple, for her to enjoy.

April looked over at the Snapple machine, and saw a female castoridine, with dark brown fur, thick-rimmed glasses, and black hair in... a lot of braids, half a dozen of them at least, chugging down a bottle. The castoridine girl then looked at the cap, reading the 'real fact' that was printed on it, before putting it in her pocket, and chucking the glass bottle into the recycling bin.

...that was all the way at the other side of the hall. The very sight of the throw surprised and impressed April, and made her jump in shock too. Holy moly, she thought to herself.

"And Cameron makes it through the hoop!" the castoridine girl shouted, egotistically praising herself. "Woop! Woop! Woop!"

"Damn, Hazell!" April exclaimed.

"You think that's impressive," Hazell replied, walking towards her. "You should see me on the basketball court!"

"Ooh, trust meh, ah've heard. 'ey, what deed yer cap seh?"

"That beavers have orange teeth. And guess what? They do. See?"

Hazell flashed her teeth at April, and pointed to them. They were orange, sure enough, as orange as Q*Bert wearing a Lorax cosplay giving Garfield a bath in carrot juice, surrounded by the aroma of pumpkin-scented candles. April hadn't gotten a good look at castoridine teeth before, so the sight of Hazell's surprised her quite a bit, even disgusted her a little.

"What in the..." April said, dumbfounded.

"It's 'cause of the iron," Hazell said. "It's what gives it the orange hue. Beavers and the bipedal castoridines have really iron-heavy teeth. We never need to brush. Anyhoo, see ya round."

Hey, that's this narrator's word. Ahem. Anyhoo, Hazell then opened the doors into the gym and walked in.

"Who's up for round two?!" she shouted, as the door closed behind her, with a soft CLUNK.

"'er need tae brush?" April said to herself, unconvinced. "Or jus' ne'er dae?"

And then she walked on over to the Snapple machine. All the flavors were a note twenty-five each... and none of them were banana or grape. But, of course, there was peach and mango. There was always peach and mango. The machine also offered raspberry and kiwi-strawberry. But April had a bit of an appetite for peach. So that was what she bought. As everyone does, April read the cap first, before drinking.

"The spotted skunk daes a 'andstand tae warn oaff its enemies," she read. "Befahr sprayin' its stench."

April rolled her eyes, before taking a sip of her Snapple as she walked over to the recycling bin.

"Ah'm striped," she said. "Sae ah cannae --"


A high-pitched creaking sounded through the hall. April paused for a moment, darting her eyes in confusion, before continuing down the hall.

"Sae ah cannae speak fer it."

April and tossed the cap into the bin, right next to the... somehow still intact bottle Hazell threw into it, and took another sip of that peach drink. As she took this sip, a thought suddenly came to her mind: maybe she could just go apologize to Wendy. What was the worst that could happen -- April, don't even think about it!

"Ye know," April said to herself. "Maybeh ah can jist goo apologize tae Wendeh. What's th' worst 'at could 'appen?"

Gobdamn you April! Come up with your own dialogue!

"Actually, yeah. 'at's what --"


April paused again, trying to figure out what the creaking was. It was louder this time, sounded like some obese bipede on a wooden floorboard. But the floors of DJH were made of stone, not wood. What could possibly be making that noise?

Eh, maybe it's nothing, April thought to herself. And then she continued her thought about Wendy.

"'at's what ah'm gonna dae. Apologize tae Wendeh. Jist apologize tae 'er, an' 'en 'is whole sprayin' t'ing'll be o'er an' daine wit', she willnae hauld it agains' meh, an' ah willnae be in aneh mahre trooble. Ah'm sure a'thing'll work oot jist fine."

...yeah. 'Everything will work out just fine'. That cliche line that always seems to be said right before shit goes down. And wouldn't you know it?


Now the creaking noise was really loud. April could hear quite well now, that it was right above her. She looked up at the ceiling, and saw that there were cracks forming in some of the hemp-fiber panels, and the metal frame around them was bending and snapping. April continued to stare at this spot, as the creaking got louder and the cracks got larger... when suddenly, much to her confusion, she heard a voice, ridden with panic, coming from the ceiling, as well as the vigorous buzz of a pair of wings.

"Wha --"

And then the ceiling finally gave way.
Grunvale, Ch. 7.2
Part 2 of chapter 7 of Grunvale. April has an embarrassing meltdown.

Also, I rewrote the ending of part 1. Margo's now 'Swordsy' instead of 'Kenshin'.

Ch. 7 - April Bails (Part 1)
Ch. 7 - April Bails (Part 2)
Ch. 7 - April Bails (Part 3)
April Bails

One thing no school has ever agreed on, is how to handle the kids who end up in detention. Some use boredom as their weapon, allowing the kids only to sit silently until it's over. Others force them to write lines, Bart Simpson style; the same line, 'I will not (insert violation here)', dozens of times. And others still, assign chores. Monotonous, and sometimes dirty chores, that no kid ever liked doing. August Lowry never thought he would end up in detention, and neither did his twin sister April, nor his close friend Margo Hynde. So as they sat in the library waiting for Principal Hansen to arrive, none of them knew what exactly he was gonna force upon them. But as you can probably imagine, they were all equally nervous about it.

It was minutes till 2:30PM. The word 'DETENTION' was written in big letters, underlined twice, on a white board in red ink, before rows of tables, built from rock pebbles and diseased wood. There were quite a few kids sitting at the tables, some checking their phones, others just sitting and waiting. But who cares about those extras, really? They're not the focus. You want to know the whatabouts of those five you saw got detention. So let's get to them.

August, April and Margo sat at a table to the left of the board's perspective. August was sitting in the middle, staring at that big red word on the board, while Margo was sitting to his right, face-down on the table. August couldn't see her face completely, but she knew she was frowning, that she felt bad.

"I hate 'D' words," Margo said, with a depressed -- no, umm... with a downer tone -- no, that word's no good to her either. Uh... with a distraught tone -- gobdammit, Margo, you're making this narrator's job very frustrating! Hmm... ooh! With a dull tone -- agh, you know what? Fuck it. Let's just start that part over.

"I hate 'D' words," she said, with a feel bad tone to her voice. Ah, good. There we go. "They always mean bad things. Like death. And destruction. And disease. Damnation, demons, darkness... detention. And about twenty other words I can think of. Why does everything bad have to start with 'D'? Why can't they start with, oh, I don't know, 'J'? Nobody likes 'J'. 'J' is for jackasses."

"Hee-huh?!" a male, black-haired asinine at a nearby table sounded, looking around the library for who uttered his word.

"Th -- that wasn't against you, Donnie," August called out.

"It better not have been!" Donnie replied, as he went back to whatever he was doing on his phone.

"You shouldn't say 'jackass' in front of equines," August said to Margo. "They don't like anybody saying that word except them."

"Yeah, well still, though." Margo replied. "I hate detention."

April sat to August's left, giving him a disapproving glare that he was deliberately trying to avoid laying his eyes upon. He knew she was disappointed in him, though. Twins just know those things. It's the borderline psychic power they're all built with. And August knew that looking his sister in the eye right now was a bad idea... and then, accidentally, he turned his eyes towards her. Oops.

"What happened tae 'stee oot o' aneh mahr trooble'?!" April scolded. "Ye tell meh tae stee oot o' trooble, tell meh tae put mah phaine aweh after ah git detention, an' 'en ye git detention yerself?! What in the blazes, ya goon?!"

"Well, how was I supposed to know this was the day I'd get busted for editing Margo's essays?" August replied.

"Why were ye e'en helpin' 'er cheat in the first place?"

"She needs at least a C-minus average to sign up for spring sports. She hadn't been doing so well in Language Arts, so she turned to me for help."

"Spring sports? Ah dinnae recall 'er likin' aneh sport 'cept the ones oan wheels. An' competitive eatin', which ain't a sport tae meh, bit 'at's forby the point. No' o' them sports are offered."

"Yeah, but volleyball is," Margo responded. "I want to sign up for it."

"Vollehboll?" April said, surprised. "Since when dae ye like vollehboll?"

"I've liked it for a long time," Margo replied. "I play it a lot at the gym, it's the only sport without wheels... aside from competitive eating, that I'm good at. My bro Paddy and I even have a net between our beds, and we play it with this inflatable ball --"

Margo was interrupted by the sound of mocking chuckling. Ugh, there's Harper again, she thought to herself. But when she and the Lowry twins turned back to face whoever was laughing, she saw that it wasn't Harper, but rather, Alan. He was sitting next to Wendy, holding a can of Dr. Pepper, while his sciurine friend was just staring at Margo, with a baffled look on her face.

"What?" Margo asked. "I want to be on the one of the school's volleyball teams. What's wrong with that?"

"You want to play volleyball," Wendy said. "And you seriously think you'll be accepted?"

"Of course I do. Volleyball is awesome."

"Think again," Alan remarked. "Nobody wants your kind a sports team."

...'their kind', huh? Hoo boy. Here we go.

"My kind?" Margo retorted. "What's that supposed to mean?!"

"Well, first of all," Wendy spoke. "You're a leporine. I know this sounds strange coming from a sciurine, but rodents don't usually get picked for team sports. A lot the good athletes are canines, lupines and vulpines, and most of the rest are the biggest mammalians. Bovines, hippopotomines, macropodines, odobenines, ursines... you know, the real upper-class types, the ones that usually make even more money than your grandfather, my father and the twins' mother. In some cases, combined."

"Eh, Wendeh, ah dinnae 'ink rabbits are rodents," April remarked.

"They're close enough, April," Alan replied. "What Wendy's trying to say is, leporines don't come to mind when someone mentions team sports. Track, maybe."

"Track is whack," Margo muttered.

"Second, Margo," Alan continued. "You're too small. You're smaller than like, 80% of the kids at this school. You don't even crack a whole five feet, neither of your parents are taller than five-foot-four, and you're not even heavy enough to make up for it. Maybe if you were short and heavy, you'd look like you could pack some power, but you don't. So you'd look like a total wimp going against anyone else. And third? It's mostly the eighth graders who get chosen for the sports teams, the ones who have pretty much established themselves as the jocks and stuff."

...yep. Just what this narrator thought. All their reasons are stupid at best and poorly-closeted prejudices at worst. Congrats, you two. You just established yourselves as dicks. Anyhoo, at least Margo was strong enough not to take that shit from them.

"What about Hazell Cameron and Scarlett Olivier?!" she brought up, visibly offended by Alan and Wendy's remarks. "They're signing up for volleyball, and they're seventh graders! And Hazell's a castoridine! A rodent, Wendy!"

"Yeah, but you know what?" Wendy said, unfazed by Margo's salty tone. "Hazell's amazing at basketball. She can make a shot from half the court away."

"And Scarlett?" Alan tacked on. "Scarlett's a real high achiever for an ovine, especially for her age."

"Hey, I can achieve stuff too!" Margo retorted.

"Being able to down a footlong isn't an achievement," Alan replied. "At least not one anyone cares about, anyway."

"The most notable thing about you is that your grandpa's one the greatest drummers of the 70s and 80s," Wendy added. "That's awesome to me because I am a drummer myself, but not to a coach, unless they happen to be a Myxoma fan."

"Wait, wait, wait, w-w-w-w-wait," August spoke up. "The three points you guys brought up. You do realize you basically gave the same reason in three different ways, right?"

Oh! Forgot to bring that up too! Another reason their reasoning is shit. But why this narrator explain, when August is already doing so?

"Your first reason was that she's a leporine, and not something bigger. So, basically, you said she's too small. Your second reason, you outright said she's too small. No implications, no trying to get around it, you just said, 'she's too small'. And your third, you basically said that she's too young. Which is basically the same as saying 'she's too small'. Do you guys have any actual good reasons? Or are you just gonna mock my friend for being short?"

"Oh, yeah, I forgot," Alan responded. "She can't write an essay on her own. Like, seriously, Margo, how can you not do well in Language Arts? That's like, the easiest class there is! You speak Eaglish! You speak the very language, that the class teaches! And yet you can't do well in it without help?! I know this sounds harsh, but it needs to be said... you're an idiot!"

Those last three words were all it took to push Margo over the edge, bring her over the line, from frustrated, to legitimately angry. She looked almost like something out of a cartoon, she looked so angry. All that was missing was the steam coming out of her tiny brown nose and big floppy ears. But everything else was there: the fire-red face, the gnashed teeth, her fists shaking violently... and then she went Super Saiyan before proceeding to beat the tar out of that smug snot of a eusuchian, and that pesky sciurine friend of his.

...just kidding about that last part. That would be awesome though, wouldn't it? But it didn't happen. Margo did go quite berserk, however. She lunged towards Alan, fist pulled far back, ready to punch out all those thin, pointy teeth of his. April and August, however, held her back, grabbing ahold of her by the arms, so she couldn't get any closer. Margo swung her arms around as much as she could, struggling to break free from the twins' grasp. She wanted desperately to go after Alan, and then Wendy... and then maybe Harper, if she could find her around someplace too.

"Let me at him!" Margo growled. "Let me at him, let me at that puke stain!"

"Don't, Margo," August said. "It's not worth it!"

"Isnae worth th' trooble, Margo!" April said. "Isnae worth it!"

Margo continued to struggle in the twins' grasp, swinging her arms around, trying to break free, wanting to unleash her inner beast. But August and April were able to subdue her, like a lion on a chain. Nothing was worth Principal Hansen slapping her with even more detention, or even worse, a suspension. Because that, would pretty much kill whatever chance Margo had to get on the team.

Speaking of which, Margo froze as soon as she saw Principal Hansen coming through the doors.

"Whoop, there's Hansen," she said, nervously.

Principal Hansen wasn't a hard sight to miss. No matter where he went in the school, he was a distinctive dark blob of a feline, a six-foot-tall, fluffy black tom in a dark purple, XL-sized suit, that stood out among the scenery, and could be seen from the opposite side of even the longest hallway in the building. He was quite intimidating in appearance, pretty much all that was missing was him sounding like Mark Hamill. Although he did sound like Kelsey Grammer, which... was a pretty close second. Anyhoo, the very sight of him was enough for all the kids to put their stuff away, hurriedly and nervously. The Lowry twins, as well, released Margo literally the second they locked eyes on him, so that all three of them could sit down as he came.

Hansen walked in front of the desks, and stood next to the white board, as he spoke.

"Well, look what we have here," he said. "A bunch of kids who thought they were to cool for school, that rules were for fools. Well, you're all paying for it now, aren't you?"

Those sitting let out varying replies of 'yeah', without a shred of energy or joy. Either that, or they just thought negatively of their principal.

"Look, I know you all think the rules are 'stupid' and 'dumb' and whatever," Hansen continued. "And, yes, from time to time, there are a few bad and unjust rules. That's why this world has certain rebels to weed them all out. If we didn't have those rebels, we wouldn't have anything like the Gaea Accords, or the Civil Rights Act, or even the Amendments. But rules exist for a reason. We can't have anybody being late for class or teasing others, drawing in the textbooks or sleeping during class, spouting a bunch of cusses or... whatever else it is that got you here. Life without rules, is a life without order. And because you hate order so much, I think it's fitting that you all get this library in order."

Hansen paused for a moment before calling out for the librarian.

"Hey, Rockwell," he said. "You got that return cart?"

"Right here," the fifty-something voice of a vixen replied.

The vulpine wasn’t the big red type, but a small, golden, big-eared Fennec. She was only about a foot taller than the cart she was pulling, and... yeah, it was hilarious to watch her pull that thing. Some of the kids even snickered as they watched her bring that heavy, 150-plus load of books over. It was like watching a go-kart pull a monster truck, it was too funny a sight not to at least crack a chuckle at it.

"Yeah, you're laughing now," Hansen said to the students. "You won't be when you're arranging those shelves, though."

Those who were laughing fell silent as their faces melted into nervous expressions. August saw this punishment coming, however, so it didn't hit him quite as hard. He was just relieved it wasn't one of those 'sit silently and do nothing' kind of detentions. Not that having to work was much better. 

"Thanks, Rockwell," Hansen said to the librarian, as she walked off. And then he turned back to the students.

"I trust you all know how to alphabetize books. Well, that's what you'll all be doing. Putting all these books on their proper shelves, in their proper place, spines all neatly aligned and facing frontward. And don't think I won't notice when something's off. I minored in fine arts, I know a mistake in a detail when I see one. Now all of you, group up, take a section, and get started."

Hansen continued speaking as the kids all got out of their seats and walked over to the cart.

"I'll be back at the halfway point at 3:30, and then at 4:30 when your detention is over, so I can check up on your progress. And I want these shelves looking like something professional, something presentable. This is a public institution, not your bedrooms. Oh, and before I let you all be. Anything you don't finish today, you'll be coming back to finish tomorrow evening."

"Tomorrow?!" Wendy called out. "But my band has practice tomorrow!"

"Well, then, I'm sure you won't want to miss it," Hansen replied. "See you all in an hour."

And then he walked out of the library, as all the kids grouped up. Well... all except Margo. She remained sitting down for a while, before looking over at one specific section... her favorite section. 

"The manga section!" she shouted, dashing over to the shelves. "I call the manga section! Kenny, we're doing the manga section!"

August, who was still digging through the cart for books, looked over at Margo, as she waved over to him, with a big, goofy grin on her face. He was silent for a few seconds, before he finally thought of his reply.

"Uh... sure," he said. "The manga section."

"Of course she calls the manga section," Alan said. "Prose is too difficult for her. That's why she had you write her essays. She's too dumb to read real books, that's why she likes --"

Alan fell silent as he realized August was giving one of them hard stares. And then he started mumbling like an idiot.

"Um... I mean... uh... I mean... she's entitled to her opinion, and she's allowed to like whatever she likes, and..."

As he tried to get the words out, he saw August's tail rising, higher and higher, seemingly growing bigger and bigger by the second, as he kept his fiery glare. He couldn't have possibly been planning on... oh shit, Alan thought to himself. His eyes got real big, so big they looked ready to burst like balloons, as he realized what the freckled boar was about to do.

" wouldn't dare."


Alan fell over coughing, trying to get that rancid stench out of his mouth. It smelled like boiled eggs left out in the sun too long, and made  his whole mouth feel like there was a whole dumpster inside of it. It was only a small puff of mephitine stink, but was still disgusting to him, made him want to vomit. His face was already green, so nobody could tell if it was turning a more sickly shade, but his expression and body language read, 'ugh, that was gross, I want to puke'. His pupils were shrunken, his tongue was sticking out... and he was gripping his stomach, as if something was coming up his throat.

"Okay, ya made ya poin," Alan said, his words slurred as he held his mouth open, trying to get some fresh air in. And then he got up from the floor and dashed off.

"And if I hear you trash-talking Margo for the rest of the day," August shouted. "I'll spray you till my sacs are dried up!"

Without looking over at the cart, August grabbed a manga and walked over to Margo.

As much as this narrator doesn't want to side with a blatant insult, Alan was actually kind of right. Margo could read regular books, but she found them really boring to sit through. Most of the time she'd read, it became less reading everything and taking in the information, and more about looking at the words describing only the most important parts, not letting all the little details sink through. Which better not be how you're reading this. So help this narrator, if that's how you're reading this story...

Anyhoo, while the books told through prose were difficult for her, comic books, graphic novels and manga were a completely different story. You see, Margo was a more visual leporine. It was easier for her to make sense of something if she was shown it, rather than having it described to her. And it was no different with stories. Why read a bunch of words describing superheroes and vigilantes and magic and sword fights and all that awesome shit, when she can have it shown to her, through the awesome artwork of names such as Kirby and Eisner, Spiegelman and Miller, Oda and Toriyama?

Even better was when they got turned into movies and TV shows and the like. But before we stray off for too long, let's get back to the story.

Margo had gotten half a shelf of manga straightened out by the time August had gotten over. She was too focused to have heard everything that had gone on between him and Alan, but she picked on enough to have gotten the gist of it.

"Thanks, Kenny," she said.

"Anytime," August replied. "Manga, graphic novels, those are real books. Don't let anybody tell you otherwise."

"Oh, I know," Margo responded. "Alan's the stupid one. For all I know, he thinks manga and anime and all that, he thinks it's stupid just by watching one scene of a crappy 2000s Eaglish dub. And to that, I say, screw him. And 4Kids."

"He's in desperate need of proper exposure to the medium," August added. "Not just manga, but comics and graphic novels too. Something like Bone or Naruto or 300 or --"

August flipped over the manga he was holding, when he realized the back cover was the one facing him. Damn the right-to-left style, he thought to himself. And then he read the title of the book.

"...Ru -- Rurouni... Kenshin. Am I saying that right?"

"Yeah," Margo replied. "Oh, and that's an awesome series, by the way. I have all 28 of those."

August looked at the cover for a while longer. He'd never read Rurouni Kenshin before, but he could tell just from the cover it was about some swordsbuck called Kenshin, in 19th century Nippon. The book he was holding was volume 13, the one that had the cover with the swordsbuck, posing against the moon, holding his sword in the air. It was the swordsbuck that had August's particular attention. He had flowing orange hair tied into a ponytail, and big blue eyes. The more August stared at the character, the more he realized something quite funny about him. And it made him chuckle just thinking about it.

"Yeah, I know," Margo said, with a subtle smile. "My brother thinks the same thing."

"That you look like this Kenshin guy?" August replied.

Margo gave a bashful little smile as she bit her bottom lip, her cheeks glowing a cute, salmonly hue, and her blue eyes sparkled like a pond in the sunlight.

"Yeah," she chuckled.

She cupped her hand over her mouth as she continued to blush, before she began to speak again.

"I like you, Kenny. You're really fun."

"You too, Margo," August replied. "Not to mention cute and tough... and a great friend."

Margo let out a sweet little giggle, holding another cute smile, until it faded as she gave her response.

"Really? Even after I sold you out to Hansen and Lane?"

"Of course. Besides, it's my fault. I shouldn't have been letting you turn in my work as yours. We were both bound to get caught eventually."


"Yeah. Nobody gets away with anything forever. Except politicians and their cronies."

A short pause followed. Margo nervously scratched the back of her neck as she spoke some more.

"I'm just worried what my Mom and Dad are gonna do when I get home," she said.

"Probably ground you until you're finished with Gulliver," August replied. "That's the worst I can think of. But you know what? I'll help you with writing that essay. And I mean actually help you, like give you a few tips about the book and stuff. Not do the thing for you. That sound good?"

"Um... sure."

Margo's face gave off a weird look as she gave this answer; it was a half-smiling, half-scared expression that made her look like she was chewing on a gross flavor of taffy, and was pretending to like it. But August knew the weird face was only because she was thinking about her parents; he knew Margo she was on board with idea, and was glad that she was.

"Awesome," he said, pausing for a moment. "Glad you're on board, Kenshin."



"It's a reference to the series, it basically means 'huh?'. He says that a lot, especially when something really funny's happening."

"Oh. You think I'd like reading... or watching that?"

"Yeah, you should. I think you'd like it a lot."

"Cool. Hey, you don't mind if I call you 'Kenshin' from time to time, do you? Because seriously, you do look a lot like him."

"Nah. Paddy calls me that sometimes, too. Heheh."

"Heheh. Funny. But seriously, we need to sort these books out."

"Yep. Right."

And then the freckled duo quickly got to sorting those books.
Grunvale, Ch. 7.1
Part 1 of chapter 7 of Grunvale. Somewhat of a breather... portion of a chapter this time, after the shit that went down last chapter. Mostly stuff involving Margo and August.


I was not aware at the time I was writing this that Rurouni Kenshin’s creator has a... demented background. The only reason I made the reference was because Margo and Himura have similar hairstyles.

Ch. 7 - April Bails (Part 1)
Ch. 7 - April Bails (Part 2)
Ch. 7 - April Bails (Part 3)
Moral of the week: No matter your opinion on Donald Trump, whether you like him or hate him, don't compare his dick to a video game character. Especially one as innocent as Toad. You're just ruining the character's good name when you make a comparison so juvenile.

I'm sorry, but this argument is all kinds of ridiculous.

This is literally comparing something in which you have no input in the result, to something that you do. Yeah, like cheering on your favorite team is the same as beating a level. No it's not. This is comparing two completely different things without any explanation as to why they're similar other than a condescending 'That's you! That's what you sound like!*' Unless you have an explanation as to how betting on something and actually playing it is similar, your argument is invalid to me. Sorry.

* One of my personal most hated quotes
"Why do you get so angry over dying in a video game? It's just a game!"

Why do you get so angry over your favorite sports team losing? It's just a game!

That's you. That's what you sound like.
Hey guys, how you all doing tonight? Good? Cool. I just have one announcement I'd like to make.


Aromantic Pride (F2U)

Yeah. I haven't been interested in romance for quite a while now. I still like girls, but I'm not interested in forming any romantic relationships with them. So I'm coming out as an aromantic heterosexual.



Made with pride by the DeviantArt community BROWSE ALL ART


PhoenixOfGrunvale's Profile Picture
Phoenix Rainier Storm
Artist | Student | Digital Art
United States

I created a thing called Grunvale.

There are four forms of animation: 2D (either hand-drawn or Flash), CGI, stop motion and puppetry.

It is not a crime to have a minority opinion. In fact, any minority opinion you have on anything, shows that you have an interesting way of looking at something in a way no one else did.

P.R. Storm's Personality Type Results

Luna is extremely overrated (really!) by CartoonAnimeFanDude7
This is just a little... unfinished TV Tropes page I've been making on and off for my little story, Grunvale. It's not anywhere near finished, and it's mostly just a list of all the tropes it does. I'll be adding them as the story goes, and anyone who notices any tropes is free to tell me. I don't know every trope in the world. Any... hoo, this is what I have so far.


— Narrator

Grunvale is a serialized novel posted in broken form on DeviantArt and in complete form on FurAffinity, written by P.R. Storm. Set in a world of anthropomorphic animals, the novel focuses on eight eleven-year-old characters and the strange things they encounter in their town.

The story begins with Gilda Grime, a raccoon (referred to as a 'procyonine', the -ine name of a raccoonwith a big nose and a love for citrus fruit who prefers old technologies like Walkmans and LaserDisc players over smartphones (and is frequently bullied for all of it), who, one rainy night, decides to get revenge on her four abusive brothers by fixing up a sour drink with grapefruit, oranges, lemons and limes (which she calls the 'GOLL'). However, it works on Gilda's second-eldest brother, Truman, a little too well, burning and scarring his mouth and tongue and leaving him with impaired speech. When Gilda sees that Truman is now out for revenge for what she has done to him, she goes on the run. And the story only gets crazier from there.

The novel is written in an unusual style, where the third-person narrator (who refers to themself as 'this narrator') frequently breaks the fourth wall, to talk to the readers, state what they think about the story, and to critique the characters on their actions. It is also heavy on the pop culture references. The narrator does not shy away from stating what they think of certain movies, TV shows, music albums, video games, even celebrities. And can get pretty mean-spirited with their descriptions.

Anyhoo, this TV tropes page lists the following tropes for Grunvale:

- Accents Aren't Hereditary: Despite the rest of her family having an Amareican (the Grunvaliverse's equivalent of 'American') accent, and her having not lived in Scotterland (Scotland) since early childhood, April Lowry still has her Scotterish (Scottish) brogue.
- Alliterative Name: Gilda Grime, Wendy Wyler, Chandler Chromos and Harry Hynde.
  - Gilda even remarks to Randy that she was given her alliterative name because her father thought it sounded like that of a cartoon character, like 'Bugs Bunny' or 'Woody Woodpecker'.
- Alphabetical Theme Naming: 
  - The males in the Grime family all have names beginning with 'T' (Theodore, Terence, Truman, Troy, Tom), and both of the females have names beginning with 'G' (Gretchen and Gilda). Additionally, both the parents have eight-letter names, and each succeeding child has one letter less in their name.
  - All of the Hynde family has five-letter first names that end in 'Y' (Harry, Sally, Tabby, Paddy, Molly).
- Big Brother Bully: Truman, inverted with Troy and Tom. Terence starts out as this in Gilda's Brothers, but when he sees what Truman is becoming, he tries (and frequently fails) to reform himself in front of Gilda throughout the story.
- Curse Cut Short: In the chapter One Strange Oasis:
    - Randy: If I ever find that Truman, in streets or in malls, rest assured, I'll go up and chop off his --
    (Gilda trips on the stairs)
    - Gilda: I'm okay, y'alls!
- Heroes Want Redheads: Inverted. The orange-haired rabbit/leporine Margo Hynde has a crush on brunet skunk/mephitine August Lowry.
- Middle Child Syndrome: Gilda Grime is a frequent abuse victim at the hands of her brothers. Her character arc involves trying to push her eldest brother Terence out of her life, and running from her second-eldest brother Truman and younger brothers Troy and Tom.
- N-Word Privileges: When a donkey/asinine takes offense to Margo uttering the word 'jackass', August remarks that equines (asinines/donkeys in particular) don't like any non-equines using the term.
- No Fourth Wall: The narrator themself frequently reacts to what's happening in the story.
- Precision F-Strike: While the story is littered with swears, there are several moments that stand out.
  - Randy utters '¡joder!' (the Spanish equivalent of an F-bomb) while examining Gilda's sweat.
  - Alan drops an F-bomb when he sees that Harper has written a racial slur written on his gym locker.
  - Gilda utters a long, drawn out 'fuck!' as she succumbs to the effects of the roofie Truman slips in her Sprite... just as she sees him coming towards her with the knife.
- Reference Overdosed: Barely a page goes by where a character or the narrator doesn't crack some kind of reference to pop culture.
- Slipping a Mickey: In Lunchtime, Truman does this to Gilda, so he can easily cut out her tongue, as revenge for burning his.
- Waxing Lyrical: The chapter April Bails has two of these:
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: April hates insects. Even the bipedal, anthropomorphic ones.
- World of Pun: Many of the names of towns, cities and countries are animal puns, e.g. 'Amareica' (America), 'Eagland' (England) and 'New Pork' (New York).


And that's what I have for now. Again, if you know of any tropes Grunvale uses, don't hesitate to tell me.


Pencil Sketch (Regular)
Pencil sketches in 4:3.
Pencil Sketch (Colored)
Colored pencil sketches in 4:3.

Journal History


Add a Comment:
cheesecurdfan33 Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Froggy Emoji-62 (Hi) [V4] 
DA-PrinceAntiTheCD Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Remember I said I would give feedback on your project of Grunvale? The reason why I have been delaying it is because I have been busy with the new semester of college and also trying to find a job. Forgive me for taking a lot of time and really hope to do as I told you.
Colonel-Knight-Rider Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for watching me! :+devwatch:
MrBiteo Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2018  Hobbyist Artist
Hey, Phoenix. Is it weird of me to believe that most of religion (including Christianity, Judaism, Hindu and the Greco-Roman, Norse and Egyptian pantheons) are actually man's encounters with aliens?
Gwiber49 Featured By Owner Edited Sep 8, 2018  Hobbyist Filmographer

You'd be surprised to know that there are plenty of people, who share the same theory. 
MrBiteo Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2018  Hobbyist Artist
Okay, good to see I'm not the only one. Thank you.
Gwiber49 Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2018  Hobbyist Filmographer
You're welcome.
citytoon Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
ZEDIC0N Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2018  Student General Artist
Thank you for the watch! I hope you enjoy my future work!
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