Chapter 8: Marionette

Oh, so this is a corporeal form…

Cowplants are actually native to the fifth underworld, though their presence has become ubiquitous throughout all seven of the underworlds. This makes them very easy to summon. Like literally, you can get them on your first try. Someone should have mentioned this sooner. —The Book of the Dead, Revised Edition

“Alice.”

“Alice!”

“…Alice?”

Ben tried to stop Alice’s body from slumping forward but it had been over a millennia since he last had a corporeal form. It wasn’t that he was unfamiliar with bodies, though admittedly he hadn’t ever been in a 29-year-old woman. Still, maneuvering limbs and legs and hands was difficult and he couldn’t quite put his metaphysical finger on why.

Alice’s body continued drop to the ground and despite Ben flailing her arms around, the best he could do was tilt her slightly more towards the grass.

Even with these efforts, part of her slammed into the pavement with a force that knocked the wind out of her body. Ben panicked, gulping in air like a fish and writhing around.

He laid there for a moment but the crick in Alice’s neck told him that this was not the optimal position. 

Slowly, he got up, touching a hand to her forehead. He winced and then he remembered: It was the weight of the body. That’s why it was so hard to control. 

He stumbled a bit and then steadied himself. Alice wasn’t dead, he could still feel her spark of a soul. But she was unused to the outlay of power that magic required and so, summoning a few cowplants and one small fire was enough to knock her out cold. 

It was the weight of the body. That’s why it was so hard to control. 

He supposed it was his fault. When the first use of magic freaked her out, he didn’t push. Instead, he let her dole it out in fits and starts, small expenditures that she didn’t even notice. He shouldered most of the big magic: raising the dead, manipulating nature…harnessing lightning. He should have been preparing her, forcing her to take his training seriously! Especially if she was going to—

Ben silenced the thought by force. Alice was unconscious but they still shared a mind. He had to be careful. 

Slowly, in a shambling sort of fashion, he hauled Alice into the backyard. 

The trailer was so close. He could make it with just one more burst of energy. And it was a good thing too, after just a few yards of walking he was already exhausted. 

Alice did this every day? How did she not simply collapse under the sheer force of gravity?

He stumbled towards the door.

“Alice? Alice is that you? Why don’t you come in for dinner if you’re home?” a voice called. 

Ben kept shuffling toward the door of the trailer and reached for the handle. 

“Alice? Are you drunk?”

Of all the things! Why would Alice be drunk this early on a Friday evening? Honestly.

“Alice, correct these people. Your family has an incorrect assessment of your person. We don’t get drunk until after the final rose ceremony. We need our wits about us to assess which sim is the best match for Alistair.”

There was no answer. 

Was Alice ignoring him?

Was she…

wait

oh no. 

Oh no oh no oh no!

There was no Alice at the moment. Or rather, he was Alice. Who was calling her? Ben whirled around, which was not the most prudent move because it caused her head to spin.

“Alice doesn’t get drunk until the end of the TV show!” he announced. 

Wait, that was wrong.

“Er…I mean, I…who is Alice…doesn’t get drunk until the end of the TV show.”

Valeria Martin stood, arms folded and tapping her foot. She did not look amused.

“Alice Levitica Martin, that is enough. I told you Mayra would be home from school for cousin Betsy’s engagement party. And now it turns out you’re home and you didn’t even come in to say hello to your family?!”

Cousin Betsy’s Mayra Whatsa Who? Ben let Alice’s mouth fall open in shock but Valeria gave him an ice cold, possibly dangerous look, he promptly shut it. So it wasn’t just the body, he was expected to be in charge of Alice’s facial expressions too? 

This was madness.

He rearranged Alice’s face into a more pleasant mask. Valeria needed charming. He could be very charming! He smiled wide. 

“Of course! Just going to freshen up and then I will be in presently!” he used the same cheerful tone that Alice used on customers who asked about items being on sale. 

“Hmph. Don’t be too long, your dad just took the casserole out of the oven,” Valeria said. 

She gave Alice a long look. “Are you sure you’re okay?”

“Does a reaper’s scythe slice? Of course! Never better!” Ben promised.

There was another “hmph” and then Valeria walked back into the house. 

    5 comments
  • Dolly Llama
    November 5, 2019

    Quick question. Are these the Alice and Ben who keep popping up in toy code examples?

  • theplumbob
    July 4, 2020

    😂😂😂 What I said about Ben in the last part still stands. Bhahahaha! I loved watching him attempt to act “natural.” And that outfit! Ah, this is just fab!

    • feroshgirl
      July 5, 2020

      Just stand back and let CAS generator do it’s thing Hahahaha

  • Yimiki
    January 5, 2021

    Ben piloting Alice around was hilarious. Those pictures. Her expressions. I’m dead. xD

    “When he first regained his godhood through his family’s sacrifice, he knew he had a set amount of time to find a worthy replacement.”
    Oooh, so that’s what’s going on here. He’s on a timer to get someone to replace him after… his family sacrificed themselves for him? What happened there, I wonder?

    Aww, Alice’s family is so supportive despite all the weirdness from her. I hope Alice saw their support too, and isn’t screaming inside her head because Ben is making her go to that baking show without her consent.

    • feroshgirl
      January 5, 2021

      LOL Ben is definitely rusty on how bodies work after not physically having one for nearly 2000 years. TBH the way CAS generates townie outfits was a huge inspiration for this outfit.

      Interesting that you locked onto Alice’s family. They really are hoping that this is her thing and it makes her happy. After years of living in the backyard in a trailer as a recluse, they are hoping she is ready to break out of her shell.

      Too bad its technically Ben who gets it going. Hopefully Alice will be on board?

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