I’m a day late on this, but to be fair, I was busy this weekend doing nothing. Also, I told myself that this year, for Stanuary, I’d tone it down on the OCs a bit, but, uh, that’s clearly not gonna happen. I had an angsty thing planned, but got sidetracked and ended up writing this thing instead.
“I’m comin’, I’m comin’,” Stan
grumbled, getting up from his spot on the couch. He stretched idly as he walked to the front
door. “The second I get back from droppin’ off the kids, I gotta get up again. If it’s another damn Jehovah’s Witness, I
swear I’ll-” Stan opened the door. He blinked in surprise at the man on his
doorstep. “Jimmy? What are ya doin’ here?” Jimmy Snakes grinned.
“What, can’t an old friend
“I mean, I guess, but-”
“Stan?” Angie said, walking into
the living room. “I heard the
doorbell. Is someone here?”
“That your lovely wife?” Jimmy
asked. Stan put an arm across the
doorway, blocking Jimmy from entering.
“How did you find me?” Stan
demanded. Jimmy laughed.
“Stan. Like I don’t have my ways.”
“Point taken. Why the hell did ya come to my house? What if my kids were here?”
“I’ve met ‘em before.”
“When they were infants.”
“Stanley, who is this?” Angie
asked, joining Stan at the door.
“An old friend,” Stan said
through gritted teeth. Angie raised an
eyebrow. “Not one of the good old
“I know your kids are with your
brother, that’s why I stopped by now,” Jimmy said. “Figured you’d want them outta the house
“Wh- the kids?” Angie said. “What do you know about ‘em?”
“A lot, Ang,” Jimmy said with a
sly grin. Stan glared at Jimmy. “Too much?”
“Back the hell off,” Stan
rumbled. “And get out.”
“See, I’d love to do that,”
Jimmy said. “But I can’t.” With another devious grin, he took a step
forward, through Stan. Stan let out a
small gasp at the sensation of hot desert air filling his lungs.
“What on Earth?” Angie muttered. She took a step away from Jimmy, who was now
in the middle of the living room, surveying his surroundings with
“I don’t know how he did that
either, babe,” Stan said quietly. He moved
in front of her instinctively.
“Nice place. Modest, clean house in a good San Diego
neighborhood,” Jimmy remarked. “Two cute
kids, another pair on the way. You’re
way better off than I thought you’d ever be, Stan Pines.” Angie paled.
“Stan, we just found out yesterday about the- the bun in my
oven,” she whispered to Stan. “How does
“I have my ways, sweetheart,”
Jimmy said loudly. He winked at
Angie. “And it’s two buns. Not one.”
Angie swallowed nervously. Stan
“Okay, that’s it. Jimmy, why the fuck are ya here?” Stan
asked. Jimmy sighed and shoved his hands
in his pockets.
“To collect on an IOU.”
“Fine, what- what do you want?”
“Your soul,” Jimmy said
“Your soul, Pines.” Jimmy took off his sunglasses. Stan’s heart stopped at the sight of Jimmy’s
eyes. The last time he’d seen Jimmy,
he’d had blue eyes, not unlike Angie.
But right now, they were glowing red, like the last embers in a grill. “You told me, a few years back, that ya owed
me one. So I’m here for that.”
“I didn’t say I owed you a
soul,” Stan protested.
“Ah, but ya didn’t specify,
either,” Jimmy said, holding up a finger.
“Now, my boss is on my ass.
Apparently I haven’t been meetin’ my ‘quota’ or whatever.” Jimmy rolled his unnerving red eyes. “So I figured I’d nab an easy soul. Yours.
Since it’s basically mine already.”
“Jimmy, this is-” Stan started.
“Kitten?” Angie mumbled.
“-we can do this the easy way or
the hard way. Your choice.”
“I’m not gonna just hand over my
soul!” Stan said. Jimmy sighed.
“Prosperity changed you.”
“What, not wantin’ to give you
my soul is a bad thing?”
“For me, yes! Fine, we’re doin’ this the hard way? Pick your duel.”
“Your duel. We’ve gotta battle for your soul now,” Jimmy
said, as though explaining simple math to a small child. “Whattaya wanna do for it? Chess match, fiddle contest, motorcycle
“Motorcycle race is the most
“Just- just one moment, please,
um, I didn’t catch yer name?” Angie said.
“Jimmy. Jimmy Snakes.”
“Okay, Mr. Snakes, just give me
a moment to talk to Stan, please.”
“Fine, whatever,” Jimmy
muttered. He picked up a Scientific American issue Angie had left
on the coffee table and thumbed through it idly. Stan took Angie off to the side.
“Stanley, explain,” Angie
“I don’t know what’s goin’ on,
babe. Ages ago, Jimmy helped me outta a
tough spot, I said I owed him one, but I meant a favor or somethin’. Not my soul.
“We have to think things
through, hon. Do ya really think you can
win a motorbike race against a devil?”
“He mentioned a boss, so I don’t
think he’s Satan hisself.”
“He’s not a devil.”
“Did ya see his eyes? We’re dealin’ with hellacious forces.”
“The eyes are new,” Stan said
dismissively. He looked over at
Jimmy. “Jimmy, so, what’s your deal?”
“Cursed,” Jimmy answered without
looking up from the magazine. Stan
looked back at Angie.
“See? Just a curse from a devil. Not even possession like Ford.”
“That’s only slightly better, darlin’,” Angie
said. She took a breath. “It’s been a while since ya rode a motorbike.”
“Yeah. I might be a bit rusty.”
“Do ya honestly think you can
beat him?” Angie asked. Stan opened his
mouth. “Be truthful.”
“…I don’t know,” Stan said
reluctantly. Angie bit her lip. “Hey, if you’re rootin’ for me, I can win.”
“Yer a very capable man,” Angie
mumbled. She tugged at a loose strand of
“Quit it. Do ya wanna go bald?” Stan scolded, tucking
the hair behind her ear. She rolled her
eyes, then froze. “What?” A wicked grin began to spread across her
face. “Ang, talk to me.”
“A motorbike race ain’t the only
“Yeah, but I don’t know how to
play chess.” Angie shook her head.
“Not what I was thinkin’ of.” She cleared her throat. “Jimmy, I’m steppin’ in fer Stan,” Angie said
“What the-” Stan said. “No, no you’re-”
“Do you really think you can
beat me in a race, sweetheart?” Jimmy asked.
“No, sir. And don’t call me sweetheart. But it wasn’t formally decided that would be
the duel of choice.” Angie jutted out
her chin proudly. “I challenge you to a
fiddle contest.” Jimmy groaned.
“Fine, whatever. I’ll go grab an instrument for you.”
“No need. I’ve got my own,” Angie said cheerfully. She turned to walk away. Stan grabbed her arm.
“What are ya doin’?” Stan
hissed. Angie grinned at him. “You hate
performing in front of people.”
“When it’s singin’, sure. But fiddlin’?
Honey, I can fiddle up and down this country with the best of ‘em. I think I can handle a man who don’t look
like he knows an E string from a D string.
Even if he does have some sort of supernatural knowledge ‘bout us.”
“Are you sure about this?”
“Positive. Jessie and I can handle it.”
“Who’s Jessie?” Stan asked.
“My Grampie’s fiddle. Pa gave ‘er to me. She’s named after my Grannie.” Angie frowned at him. “Have I really never played fiddle fer ya?”
“How long have we been married?”
“And we met three years ‘fore we
got married. Stanley, I’ve known ya ten
years, and not once have I fiddled fer ya?”
“Well, I guess it’s just ‘bout
time fer it, then.” Angie grinned. “And I ain’t just fiddlin’ fer ya, I’m
fiddlin’ fer yer soul, too.”
“You’re being very casual about this,” Stan pointed out. Angie
looked past him, at Jimmy. Stan
turned. Jimmy was frowning at a fiddle
in his hands, turning one of the pegs and plucking it quietly.
“Yer E string’s flat, sir,” Angie
said. Jimmy nodded in thanks. “He’s got a round bridge? What is this, amateur hour?” Angie whispered
to Stan. “He won’t get any good quadruple stops like that.” Stan raised an eyebrow at her. “Like I said, darlin’, I can handle it.” Despite himself, Stan chuckled.
“Fine. Just don’t make him cry, okay? He’s an old friend, even if he is tryin’ to
take my soul,” Stan said. Angie kissed
him on the cheek.
the Gravity Falls graphic novel comes out this year…in a few months we’ll have new content to talk about…we’ll all be curled up with the same book…school will be out, the weather will be hot, the days will be long and the nights will be warm, and there will be new mysteries to solve before the summer’s over…