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Dec 07, 2021 12:01 AM
Turquoises with Addams family values
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There is an old, faintly decrepit mansion at the top of a hill. It doesn’t bother staying on any one hill in particular; consistent spatial locations are so yesterday.

Tonight, it’s on the top of a particularly hilly cemetery.

Tonight, the dead don’t content themselves with walking - they dance.

 

A man - tall and broad by most standards, slender in this company, a sword on his hip and a scar on his cheek - begins to speak to his gathered relatives.

”Love! Fraternity! Filial piety! We come here, tonight, to embrace these, and the passions of life, and the passions of death, to embrace the sweet embrace of the grave married with the rose wine of fleeting pleasure. Tonight, we honor our ancestors. Tonight, we raise the dead from the sweet kiss of the soil to feel the tender caress of the moon! And how do we accomplish this, my love, my life, my Morticia?”

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This is an important part of the ceremony; they say it every year.

It never gets old.

“We wake them up, my love, by dancing on their graves.”

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“And ain’t that little injoke the best damn part of this shitshow of a family reunion! Let’s get this goddamned rodeo jiggered up and ready to ride before the sun rises and we all have to skedaddle. Friday, kiddo, feel like startin’ up the party?”

(This is not an important part of the ceremony, or in fact a part of the ceremony at all. It’s already getting old. Fester can get away with it anyways.)

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Friday towers over everyone else present; he looks a bit like someone took the height of a professional basketball player, stirred in the physique of a professional football player, put the result in a formal suit, and added in a fair bit of boyish charm, for a meaning of ‘boyish’ that allows the adjectives ‘fanged’, ‘venomous’, ‘pallid’, ‘ambiguously undead’, and ‘looming’ to also apply.

 “Uh. ‘kay. Are we, like, going for the standard acrobatic stuff, because I’m totally down for doing the standard acrobatic stuff, but I kinda assumed we were gonna have Pugsley do the opening bit this year? He’s been, like, working on it for a while, and I think he’s earned it, and stuff.”

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Pugsley seems to lean less in the direction of ‘looming undead creation’ and more in the direction of ‘werewolf’; he has a fairly striking resemblance to his father, enhanced by the fact that they look to be about the same age.

”... I dunno, boss, whatcha’ thinkin’ would be good? I only been comin’ to this gig for a coupla years now, I ain’t got no horse in this race.”

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“We kinda did rehearse this with you as the kickstarter? It’s, like, totes cool if you just wanna just do last year’s choreo because you don’t feel comfortable with the new stuff yet, though.”

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“I, um - I dunno, boss, this ain’t no ordinary gig and some’a those steps were kinda quakey in the wakey, ya know?”

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”Not, like, super well, actually, but I get it, we’re chill. Thing, could you give me a beat?”

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The disembodied hand in their assembly begins snapping, in rhythm. 


Bass! 

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Baritone!

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Tenor!

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Alto.

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Soprano!

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“Meh, meh meh meh meh! Meh meh meh meh, meh, meh meh meh!”

(Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc!)

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Aaand that’s his cue to start with the introductory gymnastics.

 

Seeing someone closer to seven feet than six do a backflip is milldy surreal; the rest of the night is substantially moreso.

Pugsley leads them in breakdancing; Gomez in mambo, Morticia in waltz, Grandmama in ballet, Thing in vogueing, Fester in swing.

(Cousin Itt just sort of flails around wildly while everyone attempts to imitate them. The overall effect is somehow refined, contemporary, and beautiful.)

And the dead dance with them, few at first and then more and more - brides with bloodstains, soldiers with bullet holes, aristocrats with detached heads, vampires with sunburn, creatures unmentionable and quaint and crazed.

It’s a lovely time.

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The sun rises; the spirits fade from sight.

“I done reckon everybody else should mosey on back to the house, right about now.”

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Grandmama leans on her purely decorative cane.

"I didn’t even raise you in the south.”

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“I’ve never been one to begrudge someone their affectations. I assume you’re going to refuse to give us any real information, drop a tantalizingly torturous hint, and then monologue at length about your diabolical intentions by the light of the moon?”

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“Had it in one.”

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“You madman! You scoundrel! Fabulous. I’ve never been prouder to have you as a brother.”

She sweeps off.

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Friday shrugs, and follows her back to the house, doing cartwheels on the way. The rest of the family follows.

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“All y’all need is love!” he shouts after them. “And maybe Jesus, but that part ain’t no kind of clue.”

 

He turns back to the assembled ghosts - they’re still visible to him, obviously, he’s Fester. Several of them are semi-audibly grumbling.

”Now, ordinarily y’all would be headin’ on back to the undertown by now, but I find my own self in need of a little unfriendly assistance from the other side, and since everybody and their dead mother is already ready and waitin’, I figured I’d keep y’all around to do some dirty work. Now, I could just harness y’all to my will all direct like, but my momma didn’t raise herself no civilized son of a bitch, bein’ more of a feline herself, and I decided to threaten you all instead. Any of you sob stories wanna guess what y’all got comin’ in store?”

”... is it unimaginable torture and agony?” asks one corpse, with a reserved - yet hopeful - anticipation, and an excited look in its demented eyes.

”... nope. Good try. Anyone else?”

”Are you just not going to let us go back to the underworld until we do whatever you want,” asked another corpse, resigned.

”Bingo! So here’s the plan -“

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“So, uh, mom, is everything super set for that dinner thingy that’s happening tonight?”

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Morticia is feeding a very large, disturbingly animated carnivorous plant some very large, disturbingly twitchy mice, one by one.

One of the mice starts to outright struggle; she glances at it, and it stills, black fur turning abruptly sheet white in fear.  She throws it; the plant snatches it out of the air. It lets out a shrill squeak of pure terror.

Crunch, crunch. 

”Yes, my unspeakably horrific ray of darkness? The dinner you captured is in the oven, the poison is in the pepper shakers, I have three separate poltergeists on payroll, and I asked your grandfather’s kidney to make an appearance in the wine.”

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“- nope, nope, nope, super nope, totes not cool, not happening, we’re not going there, it’s not gonna happen. Tonight is gonna be, like, totally chill, and it’s not gonna have any polter-thingies or kidneys of - these are my boyfriend’s parents, why the fuck did you think I’d be cool with this? I wanna make them like me, I don’t wanna kill them. Did you, like, talk to dad about this?”

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“He wanted to feed them to the squid, I didn’t want to give her indigestion. I don’t understand why you’re upset...?”

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