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WIP: Changeling: The Ghost of Pizza Future

October 8th 2010 in changeling, WIP

Cassie kicked the door closed with a big slam. She opened it up and slammed it again. And then again. And then once more.She didn’t think anyone was home, so she literally jumped when someone cleared their throat behind her. She turned and saw Uncle Theo standing at the fridge, a dark blue bottle of beer in his hand.

“Bad day?” he asked.

“The worst! The… absolute… worst!” she sputtered out. She threw her knapsack against the oven and sat down heavily in a chair, folding her arms and dropping her head into them, on the scarred wooden kitchen table.

“That sucks. Wanna talk about it?”

“No.”

“Yeah. Worst days… you generlly don’t wanna rehash them too much, huh?”

“I hate it here! I hate this stupid school and this stupid town and this stupid house and all this stupid creepy shit in my life! I hate it!”

“Yeah…” Theo knocked the bottle cap off on the edge of the counter, caught the cap in his hand and flicked it into the garbage can.

“I hate this town too.”

She wiped her face with the backs of her hands and turned to look at him.

“Really?”

“Baby girl, I am a city boy inside and out and the fuckin suburbs are like a slow soul death. Fuck. Only reason I stay is cos of Jazz and the only reason SHE stays is cos of the creepy shit you hate so much. It was her dad’s job, you know, and his job, and all the way back to when this shitty little burb was just a farm town. She got roots here. I can’t rip her outta that.”

“What about your roots?”

“I ain’t got roots. I’m like a orchid. I just latch on ta somethin else and suck what I need out the air.”

“And out of beer bottles.”

He raised the bottle to her, half grinning.

“You know it. Look. You still havin trouble makin friends and shit?”

“Yeah. Yes. I just… I don’t know why. I had so many friends back home. Back, you know. Home. This isn’t home.”

“That’s why. All these kids here? This is home t’them. You’re an outsider. Kids’re animals. They circle up and turn against outsiders. You’re an invader.”

“That is… really helpful. Thanks. Thanks a lot, Uncle Theo.”

“No, wait. What I mean is, you gotta become not an outsider.”

“Right, what, by playing nice? Trying harder to fit in? I live in a fucking funeral home! My parents are dead! I will never fit in with those stupid soft asshole jerks! There’s too much creepy shit and I’m, like, marked with it!”

“Pfffrt.” He made a rude noise with his mouth, and then continued before she could yell at him.

“Have a party. Invite everone you wanna know better. Look. We do this thing, every Halloween? We set up a minigolf course in the big basement, the one we don’t use for nothin but overflow storage. It’s real popular. Invite people over on Halloween an we’ll close it early and you all can play at midnight and eat pizza and shit like that. Take your creepitude and turn it to your advantage. Seize it.”

“Halloween is our busiest, most profitable night, Theo.” Jasmine sauntered in.

“Did you bust that cap on the counter again?”

“No. Yes. I did, yes. I forgot.”

Jazz ran her hand down her face.

“If you ruin my new counter tops…”

“They ain’t even installed yet. I’ll stop doin that when they’re in.”

“No, you won’t. You’ll keep forgetting and you’ll bash up the marble. Use the bottle opener under the counter.”

“Sorry, yeah, I’ll try.”

“Aw, that’s my baby. What’s this about a party in the minigolf room?”

Theo took another long pull on the bottle of beer, nearly draining it.

“Cassie ain’t makin friends too good and I thought that might help.”

“Bribing them, eh? As good an idea as any. Cassie, think about who you want to invite. We can get pizza from Montoni’s.”

“But…” Cassie looked over at them.

“What if nobody comes?”

Theo shrugged.

“We’ll be eatin cold pizza for a while.”




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Cassie’s parents died a year ago, and the loss is still a raw and oozing wound. She misses them, and her uncle and aunts and cousins, and hates her “new” family, her new home, her new town, and her new school. She doesn’t understand why her father’s relatives, who always treated her as one of […]

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Cassie dumped her knapsack on the kitchen floor and opened the fridge door, sticking her head inside and looking for something to eat.

“I’m home!” she yelled, her voice mostly muffled by a half empty gallon of milk and mysterious tupperware and take out containers. She opened a white paper container, poking at the beef and […]

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