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Written for a “crying about craft supplies” prompt. The request was “New scrapbooks,” so you get some not-quite-post-series Stan and Mabel bonding.


The attic was completely silent. Something about that felt off to him somehow. It was supposed to be full of soft humming and clicking pens at the very least. Stan paused, uncertainly, outside the doorway. The floorboards creaked under his feet. He felt like once he’d known where to step so that he could travel silently through the old house, but no longer. Not that it was a problem that Mabel knew he was coming. He didn’t know why he felt so jumpy at the thought that his movements might be heard. There was no one in the house who wanted to hurt him.

Shaking his head, Stan pushed the door open. Mabel was kneeling on the attic floor, her scrapbooking supplies spread out in front of her. Already, Stan could tell that something was wrong; the caps were still on all her tubes of glitter glue and the folder of stickers beside her hadn’t been opened. She was staring at the bright, untouched pages of an empty scrapbook, and her hands were clutching what looked like a pack of playing cards.

“Uh,” he said. “Hey … sweetie.”

She turned to look at him. For a moment he was afraid that she had been crying, but what he saw was almost worse. She was looking at him the way everyone else had when he’d woken up in the clearing, all heartbroken and helpless. He hated seeing that face on anyone, but out of everyone in the world it belonged on Mabel the least.

“You said you were okay,” she said quietly.

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