Laurel and Hodges Funeral Home
“I feel like this is a terrible idea,” Alice said, as she glanced at the funeral home’s ornate double doors.
“Not terrible! We head in, we blend, we get some food and then we slip into the back and interview the body. Bing Bang Boom: Barbara Jean’s banana bread recipe.”
“Where the hell did you learn the phrase “bing bang boom?”
“I have my ways.” Ben insisted smugly, before admitting that he had watched an entire season of the cooking show where the host always talked about going to Flavortown. No matter how hard Alice tried, he could not be convinced that “Flavortown” was a metaphor.
“We’ll see about that,” he said cryptically.
Regardless of the existence (or non-existence) of Flavortown, Alice was still not sure how she let herself get talked into this insane plan. Barbara Jean Jeffries was a renowned celebrity pastry chef. She had a veritable empire of baking that all started in her home kitchen back in Willow Creek. She had passed away after a long bout with llama flu and her funeral was scheduled for this morning.
Of all the plans that involved using her power, Alice supposed this was most reasonable one. Contrary to popular belief, ghosts didn’t usually pop out of dead bodies right away. And when they did, you never knew what you were going to get: poltergeists, banshees, orbs. The recently dead could be raised without much conflict or fanfare.
Still, creeping through the front doors of the funeral home reminded Alice of her various stints at the StrangerVille County jail. Detective Mary would not be pleased to hear that she was getting arrested again.
“But they confiscated our ritual skulls!”
“We were arrested for “naked cult practices,” Alice reminded him.
“Disturbing the peace,” Ben corrected.
“Naked. Cult. Practices.” Alice shook her head, “It doesn’t matter. We can’t talk about this right now.”
She crossed the entryway and peered into the main vestibule. Rows of sims filled the small space, and there were enough flowers in the room to fill a parade float.
The worse part was something so obvious about funerals, Alice was embarrassed she forgot about it: everyone was dressed to the nines.
“Ben,” she said softly, looking down at her cut-off button down and jeans, “We have a problem.”
Agnes Crumplebottom’s Ladies’ Fashions
Agnes Crumplebottom’s Ladies Fashions was a small, garishly decorated shop, conveniently located next to the funeral home. From the moment Alice stepped into the store, she could sense something was wrong. Instead of the typical “how can I help you,” the place was filled with the sounds of hysterical crying.
“Umm…is everything okay? I just need a dress…to wear to the funeral I’m sneaking into so I can get a recipe from a dead celebrity chef,” Alice said, murmuring the last part under her breath.
“When you say it like that, it does sound like a crime!” Ben accused.
“It is not a crime!”
The sniffling paused. “A-are you a c-criminal?” a voice called out.
Alice was not a criminal…per se. Though she had broken some laws and yes, had been arrested, all the laws she broke were all stupid and mostly Ben’s fault and she wasn’t even on probation anymore so everyone just needed to relax.
“I’m not a criminal,” Alice called back.
“You haven’t been arrested?”
What the fuck?
“I have not recently been arrested, no. Is there like…I just want to buy a dress or a suit or something…” she again looked down at her clothes, “nice.”
Alice followed the sobbing sound upstairs to find a small blonde woman dressed impeccably in an off-the shoulder gown and fur stole.
“This is the source of the crying? I say we move on. She could really bring the whole vibe of the Underworld down,” Ben predicted.
“Hush!” Alice snapped.
The woman looked up, giving her a strange look. “I mean, are you okay?” Alice continued in a softer voice.
The woman sniffled. “Yes…no…my girlfriend just broke up with me and I…I don’t know what to do!”
The crying began again and Alice noticed, with no small amount of panic, that the room was beginning to vibrate. A crack formed in the paisley wallpaper as the painting on the wall crashed to the ground.
“Oh dear, a whole Potion of Emotional Instability bottle? She’s been bamboozled by a witch,” Ben said sadly.
Alice gave the woman her back. “What the heck are you talking about?”
“Potion of Emotional Instability, temporarily causes your emotions to surge to dangerous levels. The bottle is empty and the room is vibrating. She’s like a ticking time bomb.”
Alice bit her lip and kept her whisper very low. “So what does that mean? What are we supposed to do?”
“Decursify her. Or run, I guess.”
Alice shook her head. She could not summon up that kind of power (what the hell was decursify anyways?) and risk puking all over the floor when she still needed to get that recipe. And she couldn’t very well leave the woman here to die, even if she did “bring the whole vibe of the Underworld down.”
There had to be another way.
“Hey, what’s your name?”
“Agnes C-Crumplebottom. My whole family is cursed. We all end up like this!”
Before Agnes could launch into another round of sobbing, Alice put her hand up. “Your family is not cursed. Falling for someone stupid and underserving is the mortal condition.”
When had she started referring to sims as mortals?
Agnes’s crying subsided a little bit. “It is?”
“Yeah, it is,” Alice confirmed, warming up to an idea that was percolatingin the back of her head. She needed to dampen Agnes’s emotions. Make her chill out until the effects of the potion wore off.
“Agnes, you don’t happen to have a bubble blower lying around do you?”