pretentious tiger mom #1: my son’s a violin prodigy, volunteers 6 times a week, got 1st place at a national math competition and got a full scholarship to nyu
pretentious tiger mom #2: my daughter got 1st place at a national poetry competition, raised $5000 for cancer all my herself, is in a professional lacrosse team, and got into uc berkeley for that with a scholarship
yoongi, climbing in through the window: min holly can do all of that And got into harvard-
Finn, Jake, and some friends attend a dinner with a mysterious host. However, the host then reveals himself as a murderous ghost that will possess the body of one guest to kill everyone else. The night turns from a masquerade party into a terrifying whodunit as the guests start to get murdered one by one. “The Creeps” premiered on this day, 6 Years Ago.
Warning for TEG spoilers, some slight murdery death, and vague panicky sensations.
If you were to tell Lucy that she would be cuddled around Lockwood in the middle of the night, her heart beating dangerously fast as she felt him breathe against her, she would have rolled her eyes and told you that you had gone insane. Admittedly, she had a point. It was certainly an insane circumstance she had gotten herself into. No, there were no dangerously alluring ghosts, or centuries old Monks, or Mrs. Barrett’s tomb lurking in the darkness. But there was something much more terrifying at play; feelings. Something Lucy had never particularly done well with, if she were being honest. She had a horrible time connecting to other women, if her relationship with Holly was any indication. Her mother definitely never taught her how to deal with these things. George would occasionally comment that she had the emotional quotient of a half-baked potato, and Lucy was inclined to agree. But now here she was, cuddling into Lockwood’s side and silently cursing at herself. What a mess she had gotten herself into.
Years of working in a bookstore have taught me that readers, like books, cannot be judged solely by appearances. Nonetheless, there are times when someone enters and I immediately know: This person does not belong among books. This was the case a few nights ago. A young man in what I took to be a fraternity jacket stumbled through the front door. He was clearly intoxicated; his first remark – shouted, of course – was, “Pumpkin-spiced beer, old man! Yeah!”
I ignored him, hoping that he would realize quickly that this was a bookstore, and we did not serve alcohol of any kind, let alone pumpkin beer.
He began to wander around, and I decided that the simplest course of action would be to let boredom take its toll, at which point he would surely leave. He staggered upstairs for a while, and occasionally I could hear him yelling random nonsense. I, meanwhile, opened a favorite book – The Illustrated Man – and was soon lost in Ray Bradbury’s beautiful and haunting prose. I might have forgotten about him entirely, had I not heard a sudden peal of loud, drunken laughter. It did not come from upstairs: No, it came from the basement. He had evidently made his way back down the stairs, and had continued on the basement. Had I left the door unlocked again?
“Nothing down there is for sale,” I shouted. To be fair, yes, there were books in the basement – several crates, in fact – but they were mostly odd volumes that I’d gathered from estate sales and auctions. Many, I had never even opened.
There was another fit of laughter, and a sudden shout: “Whore licks!”
“YEEAAAAAH I wanna go to Whore Licks University!”
I stood there, Bradbury still in my hand, utterly and completely baffled. Whore Lick? What on earth was the drunken fool shouting about?
“Open sesame! Open up, baby!” he shouted.
I sighed and closed the book. As I did, I suddenly realized: Horlicks University. There was, down in the basement, a crate from Horlicks University. I had been meaning to open it, but I had never gotten around to it. It was sealed with heavy chains, and it had been gathering dust for ages.
There was a loud crashing sound, and then a noise that sounded like chains, falling to the floor.
He surely hadn’t managed to open it, had he? I suddenly realized that I’d never actually looked to if the old locks on the chains were even latched. Had he unsealed it?
Then, suddenly, there was another sound: A loud, horrible sound that I cannot quite describe. It seemed to be a combination of things, like a scream, and a growl, and a very loud crunching sound… and then, nothing. Silence.
I waited for a moment. What had happened?
Reluctantly, I realized that I would need to go downstairs and, more likely than not, carry the drunken fool up and back to whatever frat party he had come from. I started toward the stairs, then realized that the Bradbury book was still open on the counter. I had a sudden fear that someone might show up and try to buy it. I didn’t want to go through the awkward conversation that always ensues when someone tries to buy a book that I don’t want to sell. Better, I realized, to put the book away. I took it into my office, and locked it away in my desk.
When I emerged from the office I realized that the front door was slightly ajar. Had the young man fled? Or had he not closed it when he had entered?
I went to the stairway and headed cautiously toward the basement. There was no sign of the young man. At first glance, it looked as though nothing had changed. Then, I noticed that the chains that had secured the large crate were on the floor.
There was also a large, dark red stain on the front of the crate. Had that been there before? I couldn’t recall.
No matter, I thought. The important thing was that the man was now gone.
For a moment, I considered opening the crate to examine its contents; after all, it had been there for years, and I still didn’t know what was in it. There was, however, the matter of that unfinished Bradbury book, tucked away in my office. The crate, I decided, could wait. I put the chains back in place, just to ensure that its contents would be safe, should some other errant stranger would venture into the basement.
As I went back upstairs, I closed the basement door behind me. For a moment, I considered writing out a little sign, something along the lines of “Nothing For Sale Here. Stay Out.”
Making a sign, however, would take time that could instead be spent reading, and I desperately wanted to return to my book.
I did, however, find the time to walk over to the front door, close it, and lock it. It was best, I thought, to not risk another interruption.
Needless to say, I reported Austin’s profile, as well as the messages where he admitted to violating pof’s terms of service by lying about his age. Afterward, I typed a stern reply to him about his need to read profiles and not pester women who explicitly state they don’t date military, don’t date guys under 30, and aren’t interested in casual, but pof actually deleted his entire profile before I could send it. Impressive. Bye, Austin.