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Generated: Jul 17, 2021 6:22 AM
Post last updated: Jan 22, 2021 11:34 PM
they say my taste is extreme
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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“I’d, like, be all ‘I should of seen this coming’, but, like, no, no I shouldn’t have, this is super out of left field? I said that I wanted to make them feel like part of the - okay no I can see where you fucked up. I super don’t want to make them feel like part of this family, I, like, want to make them feel like part of a normal family, with super regular pepper shakers and super regular wine and super regular people.”

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“I’ll add prunes to the menu. We aren’t normal, honey. If you want them to leave alive we can aim for that, but the Addams family isn’t ashamed of itself.”

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He takes the pepper shakers and puts them away in the cupboard; they squeak at him annoyedly. He ignores the increasingly faint shrieking noise from the oven.


“I’m maybe, like, a solid fifty percent ashamed? I’m, like, ashamed lite, now made with sugar substitutes. Except the sugar is death. We’re gonna go for a death substitute, tonight, and that substitute is gonna be ‘a completely normal dinner and completely normal conversation’. And you’re gonna call off grandpa, and tell the poltergeists to go poltergeist somewhere else.”

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“I suppose we can get rid of almost anything interesting we’d planned for the evening, and that might be boring enough to qualify... but we really are going to have to keep the game.”

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“Mooooom.”

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“We only have a chance to do it once a year! And I’m sure that your little boytoy’s parents won’t mind it that much.”

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“This is, like, really super not cool, and if they don’t like me I’m totally blaming you.”

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“A little parental resentment is only healthy, darling, I’ve tried to murder my mother eight times.”

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“And Uncle Fester cut up grandpa so he could be the bloodline thingy, I get it. It’s, like, not a super healthy dynamic? I don’t wanna wanna murder you?”

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“I drowned your pet spider when you were twelve.”

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Kitty?”

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“I also paid that young ginger thing to be your friend, when you were fifteen.”

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“Man, now I, like, feel weird about torturing her, it’s super not the same when they don’t actually like you - and that’s totally fucked up but I super forgive you. But I’m not gonna forgive you if you mess things up with Lucas, and that doesn’t mean I’m gonna try and poison you or something, it means I’m just not gonna talk to you anymore.”

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She throws another mouse into the impatient jaws of an herbaceous alien carnivore.

“Fine.”

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Friday and Pugsley are wrestling in one of Addam’s family basements - nobody’s quite sure how many basements the house has, and everyone’s quite sure that the house doesn’t either, but this one is, at least, reliably available.

They wrestle regularly; only one of them ever wins. That perpetual winner presently has his younger brother in a chokehold, pinned to the ground.

”Man, Pugs, I just, like - can’t get over him, you know? I don’t super know whether I wanna lock him up in a basement and never let him go or take him with me everywhere and never let him go. The second one is still cool if I, like, get a leash, right? Maybe I should get a leash and the basement could, like, be a sometimes thing. He’s just so... so. You know! I dunno. We went on a date to the zoo a couple of days ago and I killed this bear and he was super worried about the bear and also super worried for me so I reanimated the bear and we had sex in the moonlight and I - ugh, I dunno. I brought him flowers and they weren’t even the good dead kind and he was so so happy. I think I love him at least a little in the regular way and not the way where you’re plotting each other’s deaths - like, I’m doing that too, but I know for sure I’d bring him back after a minute, you know? Is that weird? It’s weird. Maybe it’ll, like, be less weird once there’s a leash.”

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Incoherent choking and gurgling sounds!

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“Yeah, I think so too.”

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The doorbell rings, a while later; it sounds unnervingly organic.

“We are going to leave them out in the rain for at least five minutes, there’s only so far you can bend decorum.”

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“Mo-oooooom, my boyfriend is going to be we-eeeeet.”

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“I hear it goes... smoother... that way.”

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“I super did not need that mental image from my mom, thanks.”

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“I’m not a regular mom, I’m a cool mom, we get all of the good innuendos and homicides. If you’d rather escort your little playdate in and leave his parents outside for fifteen minutes...”

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“Having my mom call the guy I’m fucking a ‘playdate’; also totes weird and gross.”

He goes to the door, opens it, yanks Lucas in, throws him over his shoulder like a twink shaped sack of potatoes, and heads back to the dining room.

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(“... our evening begins most auspiciously and with great glamour,” observes Lucas’s father, in a sharp and increasingly damp suit. He looks entirely too young to have a nineteen year old son.)

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(“It does! It has. Love you,” says his mother, who doesn’t really look old enough to even seriously consider having children.)

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(“Please be silent.”)

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(She smiles vaguely.)

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Lucas has transitioned very abruptly from being outside to being slung over his boyfriend’s (fiancé’s? does it count if they haven’t announced it?) shoulder, and he’s pretty okay with that.

“... um, hello?” he says, still en-shouldered.

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“No, I think you’re going to have to try that again.”

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“Hi!”

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“Better. Be a dear and drip more onto the carpet, next time, she’s famished for rain. Why should I let my son have you?”

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“... um.”

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Someone does a flying leap over a table and into the room and now Lucas has a sword at his throat! Having guests over is fun, they should do it more often.

”Why should our son, a carrier of a long line of blood taken and blood betrayed, nurtured in the womb of my love and my life, be allowed to keep company with someone such as yourself?”

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“It would be... decent.”

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“Moral.”

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Praved.

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“Mo-ooooom, da-aaad.”

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“Don’t whine, mother knows worst. You were saying, Lucas?”

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“I, um, think that I’m a pretty nice person?”

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“Try again.”

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They’re just going to have this whole conversation while he’s on his fiancé’s shoulder and his future father in law has a sword at his throat, huh.

“I have a pet rabbit and I know how to sew and I play the ukulele and I can cook and my parents hate me.”

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“Do they? Tell us why.”

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“Yeah, the boss asked you a question!”, says Pugsley.

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“Shut up, Pugsley.”

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“Yeah, the boss didn’t ask you a question!” retracts Pugsley, proceeding to leave the room.

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“They really aren’t fans of the whole gay thing, and I’m not particularly interested in joining the family business, and since they adopted me when I was thirteen they’ve been consistently disappointed in my preferences and the way I use my time?”

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“Promising.”

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A nearby lamp flickers, makes a faint gurgling noise, and shuts off; the only remaining light is from a single flickering candle, attached to an incredibly dusty, wrought iron chandelier. Morticia still seems fairly well lit.

“Do you want to turn against them in a bloodbath of calamity and despair, wrenching their hearts from their still struggling bodies as they gasp in betrayal and recognition?”

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“... no.”

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“Son, do you want to wrench their still beating hearts from their bodies? We can sauté them and you can make your heartbroken lover watch.”

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“I’m super sure that I don’t want to kill my boyfriend’s parents, mom. He’d be totally sad and not, like, in the fun way.”

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“Are you sure that you’re feeling well? You really haven’t been yourself lately. I think that a few stolen hearts would cheer you up.”

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“Weren’t you talking like two minutes ago about how you were a cool mom. This is literally so uncool.”

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Gomez’s sword slips away from Lucas’s neck.

“It is not just cool, it is... hot.”

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“Mi amore.”

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“My love.”

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“My brute.”

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“My poison.”

- he lunges towards her, his sword pointed at her neck -

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She dodges, effortlessly, grabs an empty cast iron pot, and parries. 

They... fight? Dance? - they do some very elaborate and dangerous routine that gets them out of the room, at least.

The lamp flickers back on, timidly.

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Friday carelessly shifts Lucas from his shoulder into a bridal carry, now that they’re alone.

“Ugh. Parents.”

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Lucas is steadily realizing that his weird probably-supernatural probably-very-dangerous fiancé  boyfriend is probably from an entire family of weird and supernatural and dangerous people. This probably should not have been surprising. This is probably... fine, or something.

”Um.”

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“Like, I get that they wanna fuck each other all the time and it’s distracting or whatever, but that pun delivery was, like, lame? They jumped around a ton during that interrogation and it didn’t seem super planned or anything? If you’re gonna do a sudden interrogation I feel like you should, you know, put the effort in. It felt like they weren’t really taking our relationship seriously.”

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“Um?”

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“I guess they’re just trying to be, like, normal and boring and stuff?”

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“Um. Do you want to let my parents in from the rain?”

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“Huh? - oh, duh, sure.”

He shifts Lucas around in his arms, somehow manages to do a few dozen consecutive one-handed backflips to the door, and opens it.

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They are very wet and now they are very startled by the sight of their son being held by some hulking brute’s arms. They step in without asking and drip copiously onto the carpet.

”... are you our son’s... acquaintance?”

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“You’re so tall!” says his inappropriately-young looking mother, blandly.

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Friday is not really calibrated on how ordinary aging is supposed to work. It seems very dull.

“Duh,” he says, in response to both of them; it becomes visually apparent that he has fangs. 

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Mal Beineke is very concerned by the fact that his son is not only voluntarily consorting with homosexuals, but also with abominations. Adopting an orphan for their possession of the spring bloodline always went poorly - it was in the nature of the thing - but it did not normally go poorly in this precise way.

”... are you of Christian kind and order?” he asks, lightly.

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(Lucas is just going to sit here in his fiancé’s boyfriend’s arms while said fiancé boyfriend talks to his parents, apparently. This is fine.)

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(Yes it is.)

”I think that Christians, like, have a word for me, but I dunno that that’s what you mean?”

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“It is not. What I am asking in deliberation and precision is the insight of your nature. Of beast or man, you are one.”

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“Nope, don’t think so.”

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... he makes the sign of the cross.

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Friday fails to dramatically flinch away.

“Dude, not... cool? You’re totally gonna break one of the lamps or something. I mean, like, if you wanna start breaking lamps and stuff that’s like, fine, whatever, but Lucas super wanted this to be boring and stuff so I dunno that you’re being supportive.”

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“... the power of Christ compels you?” he says, not really expecting it to work. 

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“Lame.”

He does several more one-handed backflips back in the direction of the kitchen, still carrying an increasingly dizzy Lucas.

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... the overall situation was unusual, but not entirely unprecedented. He had hoped that Lucas would develop a keen moral character and an intimate relationship with God, before his trials, but the world did not always arrange itself as he preferred, and he could hopefully salvage something from the situation.

He goes to hang up his coat; a hand snatches it from him and disappears into a closet before he can locate a coat rack.

His wife’s coat stays on. They follow Friday into the kitchen.