Chapter 28, Part 1: Who Broke It?

The Big Sleep Jazz Club



“Is that your answer?” Miko snorted, “You won’t help me because you’re afraid Phobos is gonna hunt you down and hack you apart?” 

Somnus chuckled. Quick as a whip, he summoned a bartender, ordered drinks, and beckoned her to sit. 

Well?” she demanded.

“Well,” he murmured, fingers curled around his glass, “Why don’t you ask me for what you want?” 

Puhlease. You’re as crafty as the Fae when it comes to words. I ain’t askin’ you for shit.” 

“They should be. After all, it was my magic that made them.” 

Miko shivered. There was something about the slow cadence of his speech, the way his words curved so sweetly as if dipped in honey. It would be her downfall if she let it. 

“It’s an audition, by the way.” He nodded at the stage.

“In a crowded bar with a jukebox blasting in the corner?” Miko rolled her eyes, “She must be thrilled.”

“If she can draw a crowd, the jukebox won’t matter. It’s her dream, after all.” 

“Bullshit, I know you. That girl has a dream, and you’ll grant it to her with some hidden clause because one of the gods wants to bind a musician’s spirit to their court for eternity, and you want to get paid for it.”

“You flatter me.” Somnus laughed, “I promise I’m just doing my job. Elmyra despises musicians, Omar would never take my suggestions, and Sol and Nyx don’t want anyone at the Court of Night who they can’t sleep with.”

“And the God of Death?”

“There’s already a devil at the crossroads,” Somnus reminded her. “And that little lady could sell me her soul and still not surpass his talent. Now,” he paused to shake his drink, the ice clinking in the glass, “Tell me what it is you want, and I promise not to bind you in any way unless you ask for it.”

Once, the God of Sleep had held her prisoner. He fed off her dreams and magic for months, using them to power an army that had, predictably, led to an apocalypse. 

“I’m not a Thread. I’ve had a promotion, as you well know.” 

“Oh? And what of your compatriots?” he asked, clearly fishing for information, “Three Fates are better than one. All that work…” 

“Is a pain in my ass,” she agreed but didn’t elaborate. Information was her currency; she couldn’t waste it all right now, and certainly not on Somnus. “Anyways, it’s like I said: I need a place to stay.”

His gaze turned melancholy as he picked up his glass, staring into it. “I’m fond of them,” he said.


“The Fae.”

Miko’s drink soured in her stomach. “You want to talk about Akira.”

Somnus sat back, the corner of his mouth kicking up in amusement. “Of course. Don’t you?”

Alice’s House



Corporeal forms were tricky beasts. They never behaved. Sometimes, they crumbled, cracked, or if you were as unlucky as Grim, you had an eye snatched out by the physical manifestation of Fear Itself, and it never grew back. 

That’s why this particular situation was so unnerving. Magic could do all sorts of things, but bodies? They had minds of their own. 

“If you’re looking for your torso, I’ve placed it outside your line of sight.”

Ben refocused on Lilith. There wasn’t a speck of plasma on her. She remained graceful even while hacking them to pieces. Or maybe showy was a better term. Flamboyance was a Straud family trait. 

“I’ve placed all your parts in various locations,” she continued, “I thought that would be more fun.”

Grim snorted. He disagreed with Ben’s assessment that Lilith would make an excellent god. The Reaper thought stumbling through a field while having his appendages sliced off randomly was a stressful experience. 

Not that Ben enjoyed being cut up; the pain was excruciating, and he thought his heart would burst from terror. But upon reflection, he could appreciate the creativity of her approach. “So why are you doing this…uh…”—‘Scavenger Hunt’ didn’t seem like the proper term—“Thing that you’re doing. You know we can’t be killed. Why go to all the trouble?”

“Because you’re mysterious ancient beings sniffing around Alice.”

Ben brightened. “You’re protecting her! I was worried you didn’t like her.”

“I don’t,” Lilith squinted at a piece of paper in her hand, crumpled it up, and tossed it over her shoulder. “I think she’s insufferable and needy, and she’ll ruin my father’s life. But it was my task to slow you down, even if you’ll just go after her again and feed her some other lie about your presence.”

Ben smiled, “Oh, I don’t lie. I obfuscate.”

“Whatever,” Lilith narrowed her eyes, “I can’t believe I risked being late for you two assholes.” With a rude gesture, she disappeared in a hail of sparks. As soon as she was gone, the Grim Reaper exploded. 

“I am done with this stupid favor. Fuck you, and fuck Morgyn. When I get my godsdamned body back, you are on your own. For fucks sake, we are not even supposed to be here!”

The Reaper’s fury was understandable, but Ben couldn’t allow him to leave. “Your husband is here.”


There was a herald of grief in that one word. Ben would feel bad about it, except gods were cruel and capricious, and it was hard to shed old habits. “In this universe, Deacon still exists and—” Ben paused at the sound of a vehicle rumbling up the driveway. “Do you hear that?”

“Hear what? You telling me that I’ve been mourning my husband for nothing?”

“No.” Ben shushed him. “Like I said, we’re exactly where we’re supposed to be. Someone just pulled up to Alice’s house.”

  • jolene_jolene
    Sep 17, 2023

    Hey Ferosh,
    It’s nice to see that you have recovered from covid. (I haven’t read this at time of writing, so expect a large comment in reply to this; but in an hour because I’m in class… shhhhhh)

    Myself: immediately sees email notification; opens up outlook; yea new chapter
    Me: inwardly cries because “part one”

    Also: “because spoilers abound” hmmmmmm I couldn’t guess… and Vlad would *NOT* let you abandon him (and everyone else, but him mostly…)

    • jolene_jolene
      Sep 18, 2023

      Ok, so much for an hour. I apologise for how jumpy it is. I’m going through the chapter again and writing this. Also not sure if my WordPress account is working but you know who it is.

      Everyone in the jazz club look so different… Miko and Somnus and the like. I get changing hair and all that but even their faces look different.

      Lilith is acting cute. “… so I can kill you now and get it over with.” How sweet! What a step-mother and daughter bonding moment! Also, confused because Alice has sunnies on to hide her eyes, but doesn’t but a high shirt on to hide her silver spiderweb… I mean the average idiot might think that it’s a tattoo, but…

      Since when was Miko promoted? “I’m not a thread. I’ve had a promotion, as you well know.” She must be overworked, being the one and only Fate…

      What does Lilith have against Ben and Grim? I mean, they’re a pain in almost everyone’s ass, but, seriously? And *then* making them go find and seek? HOLD UP GRIM HAD A HUSBAND??? (Never though he’d be gay) Also, never realised that Ben had sharp teeth..

      Gwen is too cute… no seriously, if she was a kid I’d legit steal her. Hmmm “Gwen was in rare form.” Did she squeal or scream or something? Wait, why does Alice need to hunt? After her new-found “dead form”? And please excuse my horrible memory, but why are they fleeing?

      What’s with grandma? She seems… awful. She can *TELEPORT* but she makes Akira bring up her suitcases. AND THEN she throws him out of a window. Of course she does. Also, I love Titiana. *examines nails while her brother threatens to fight grandma*

      I just realised that Somnus’ moustache is black and his hair is white blonde… Ok, if my memory serves me, SOL is the goddess of sound. She shattered the universe? That’s… impressive, let’s put it that way.

      Ok, Vlad is possessive. We know that. And I’m afraid to ask what that illicit card game was, and why it was *illicit.*

      I completely forgot that Alice “died.” Still don’t get that. My mind is still chugging on, thinking about BBD lore. And the fact that the murder lady was security when Alice was arrested is the absolute CHERRY on top. Hold up… ascension container? Ooooooooo

      *gwen being cute alert* “Gwen big girl, she help!” Since when was Vlad so nice?! Tells her to watch all the Voidcritters, and could be like the bestest dad ever if he’s like that every day.

      Milk pulled on a bra; that basically said that she never had one one, or took it off! Aaaaaa I do not want that in my brain!! “Every thread that runs through me is screaming it. Everything is tangled,” so Miko is admitting that it’s too much! Called it. And Somnus dreams of universes? Well, it would make sense given that he’s the god of sleep… freaky though.

      Huh. That was long.

      • feroshgirl
        Sep 18, 2023

        Oh I LOVE this comment. I’m absolutely delighted. Let me see what I can answer and what things you’ve sussed out that I can’t answer because its coming later hehe.

        First of all, you have a good eye! I gave Miko and Somnus a makeover before I shot this chapter. EA really did them dirty in their design and I am CLEARLY devoted to making everyone a thirst trap so I had to make adjustments. Miko in particular seemed designed on purpose to make her more “kawaii” which…gross. I’ve been slowly but surely updating everyone for Season 2. I don’t think it’ll be anything too drastic, but I got better skin details and finally learned how to actually use the sliders in CAS.

        Hahaha thank you for loving Lilith. Her conversation with Alice is completely unhinged, but she is protective of her dad. And yeah, Alice is just going with the “its a tattoo,” vibe. For me, its a nice way to signal who she finds trustworthy. If Alice is showing off her full form, she’s probably pretty comfortable…

        Ah yes, Miko’s promotion. The three Fates retired at the end of BBD—they literally snipped the Threads binding them to the Universe and left Miko to pick up the pieces (which I’m sure is *fine* and didn’t screw anything up at all). As for whether she is the one and only Fate? Well, there are definitely three Fates and there are clues in this final chapter even if they other two have not been named…

        YAS to Ben’s sharp teeth finally getting the attention they deserve! And yeah, in the BBD universe Grim fell in love with a zombie named Deacon and they did get married, although this happened “off-camera,” so it’s not something you missed. Don’t worry, you’ll get more of them and their story in Season 2. I cannot wait for the insane romance tropes I’m going to put them through.

        TBH almost everyone’s sexuality in my story is vibes.

        ABSG = ALWAYS BE STEALING GWENDOLYN. Honestly, she is the best. And she was screaming bloody murder when Alice and Vlad came home from the battle in the woods which is not great if you’re a vampire with excellent hearing and sensitive ear drums like Vlad. Alice died in the woods fighting that military force (Chapter 26 I think) and as for what she is or what she survived it? Well, I’ll tell you that Caleb is on his way to get answers so you’ll find out more in Season 2…

        GRANDMA IS A QUEEN. I feel like Titania has a lot of her same vibes. I’ve got some scenes with the two of them in Season 2 and I cackled the whole time I was writing it.

        Yes! You remember Sol! I’m sure someone who has the power to destroy an entire planet with the strength of her song nothing to worry about ::looks directly into camera::

        lolololol calling out the God of Sleep for clearly dying his hair


        Vlad is a total and absolute softie when it comes to his kids. And Gwendolyn has had him wrapped around her little finger since the day they met. I mean, is he also a complete monster, unrepentant murder, with an unhealthy co-dependent relationship with the rest of his family including his adult children? Yes. And let me tell you, it’s been fun to write him navigating all of this.

        LOL I like the idea that Miko just rolled out from prison in the Underworld with no bra. And you are absolutely right, she is in over her head.

        As for Somnus…well…let’s just say that God of Sleep has many secrets…

  • jolene_jolene
    Sep 20, 2023

    Hey Ferosh,

    I made a realisation in the middle of the night, so I apologise for the fact this is coming three days later. I also couldn’t reply to your comment so, you understand.

    I didn’t realise the fates disappearing would affect all universes. Like, I’m confused because the gods in BBD universe have teleported themselves over to the Strauds, but… ok? That kinda makes sense, I just didn’t realise that there were THREE fates for, I dunno, a thousand universes…

    • feroshgirl
      Sep 21, 2023

      Cue my evil laughter! HAHAHHAA omg yes I’m thrilled you spotted it. The Fates wear many faces and may even hop from body to body, but there are only ever three.

      Or at least…that’s what we’ve all been told 😈

      Ok now I’m really going to hush up because you will have me revealing secrets!

      • jolene_jolene
        Sep 24, 2023


        Ok, you may hush up for now… but spill it. More or less than three? I’m going to take a bet on more… (that would explain how Miko was absoultely wrecked being the one and only fate for a thousand universes)

        Also didn’t check this in a while because for some reason I don’t get emails for you replying.

  • Yimiki
    Sep 26, 2023

    Season finale time! Season finale time! 🤩

    Miko, aren’t you the one that keeps messing with things to begin with? Wasn’t that a thing? Or did I misremember that? I might have misremembered that. But I do distinctly remember having a lot of anger towards her last time around, and not just because of how she was treating Akira. Hmm….

    Oof, Alice’s talk with Lilith is a tough one alright. She seems to be projecting a hell of a lot, too. Lilith, I mean. That “but he doesn’t love you” and her being convinced that Alice is a problem say enough. Alice handled her like a champ xD

    Yes, I would also very much like to hear about Akira! Go Somnus! Words I’ll probably end up eating before too long, but still!

    Bwahahaha omg their heads on the shelves like that, still talking 😂
    [“I think she’s insufferable and needy, and she’ll ruin my father’s life.”] 🪞.🪞.🪞.🪞.

    Gwendolyn wanting to pack Vlad and nothing else is the cutest thing ever <3 To be fair, Latimer, Vlad’s only been up for 5 seconds. Packing in 5 seconds is a big ask even for a vampire 🤭

    Miko and Somnus’s conversation is going way over my head, but it sounds all kinds of perilous. And full of double meanings. Yikes.

    A casual mini-heist in between moving plans? Heck yes! Easy. What’s the worst that could happen?

    [“I don’t see anything after this. It’s…it’s like the worlds have been devoured, and there’s not a speck of anything left.”] Yes, the shadow of Baldur’s Gate will do that to you, Other Games 🤭 on a more serious note, didn’t Ben happily say earlier that they “obfuscate”? Like, the exact same thing? Does that make Ben and Grim the Fates? And who’s the third… Alice? Her deadbeat ex-partner? Is that why they keep mentioning a container of Ascension? 🤔 Gah, need more info. Not enough data. Onward!

    • feroshgirl
      Oct 1, 2023

      I love that your eye is on Miko hahahah as it should be. Somnus calls her a little liar, which is not wrong. The question is if Miko is lying to herself.

      Every talk with Lilith is difficult for everyone…well…maybe not everyone, but that’s for next chapter hehe. I love that Alice won’t take any shit!

      I will be laughing at that mirror emoji for a thousand years.


      Also, I promise the mini-heist is going to be fine and they are definitely not going to try and do too much and make a mistake that they’ll pay for later down the line.


      “Didn’t Ben happily say earlier that they ‘obfuscate’?” Why yes he did. Congrats, you’ve found the second Fate.

      What container of Ascencsion? ::blinks innocently::

  • SirianaSims
    Sep 26, 2023

    Gods… can’t make deals with them, can’t live without them. Or so they want you to think.

    First of all YOU MADE IT TO THE FINAL STRETCH! Yes, this is a two-parter, but you can see the finish line, and I know you have so much good stuff in store for Season 2, so I am HYPED.

    I love Miko’s new look, less bubblegum and more bad bitch. And Diego, I mean Somnus’, new look. Honestly, I love everyone’s looks, and I am probably missing a shitload of things because I still haven’t read BBD even though I totally should, but like, the brain goblins keep distracting me and… wait, where was I? Right, the finale!

    “What are your intentions with my father?” is hilarious, Lilith may think she’s being clever and reversing the roles and being protective of her poor dad, but she’s being a spoiled brat and SOMEONE needs to set her straight. As straight as anyone ever is in this universe, at least.
    (I do love her “I don’t like rules.” Truly Vlad’s daughter.)

    I’m really into Somnus and Miko’s interactions. There’s something very American Gods (which is highest praise, you know my love for Neil Gaiman) about the careful dialogue, neither trying to show any weakness or give the other the upper hand, and the very human needs like having a place to stay despite being such a powerful being. I am also into the hint at some sort of love triangle drama. Sorry, Miko, but I think this Akira is over you. He has someone he needs to set straight 😈

    A million paragraphs of appreciation for the Ben/Grim scene. I was laughing so hard. So many hilarious but also horrifying lines like “The Reaper thought stumbling through a field while having his appendages sliced off randomly was a stressful experience.” 😂😂😂
    Lilith is a threat, truly, but this was not what I expected after her terrifying display back when she told Gwen she’d keep an eye on the babysitters. This is pure Straudcore shenanigans and I am here for it!

    Ben is SUS. He obfuscates. He knows they’re exactly where they’re supposed to be… so that things unfold like they… should? I SEE WHAT YOU’RE DOING TWIN

    “Mommy, I pack Monster! I all done!” BE STILL MY HEART. Gwendolyn is the best character, anywhere, and I would steal her if I could.

    Of course Vlad would use the word “penchant”. I can respect that, one word nerd to another. And also he may have trauma and he may not really need sleep, technically, but I think it’d do his little autistic head some good to turn it off more often, so I’m Team Alice on nap time!

    [“Quit shouting, or you’ll wake up Grandma before it’s time!” the Queen of the Fae shouted.
    “I am not fucking shouting!” Akira shouted in response.]
    This. This is how you tell someone everything they need to know about the Fae and their interpersonal relationships. Perfection. I am so proud! 😭
    I love the banter here (and grandma also shouting!) and how utterly out of his element Caleb is. Serves him right, he needs to shape up to get with Titania. SHE IS THE QUEEN AND DON’T YOU FORGET IT YOU HIMBO
    “examining her nails as if the sight of her brother nearly falling to his death was a regular occurrence” To be fair, considering his exit from Lilith’s window, it probably is.

    “A good heist is subtle. And look at Vlad; he’s been hiding in plain sight for centuries.” ALICE. Alice. I’m not saying you’re wrong, but Vlad is not… subtle. He is the opposite of subtle. DID YOU NOT HEAR THE FANGS BLAZING PART??

    I like Miko’s room but I also don’t trust it. And I know you’re unhinged and nothing is left to chance (BOATBOATBOATBOAT) but I also see the Cordelia bust(!) and some… seedlings? 🌱 (I also have those seedlings and you know exactly what I plan to do with them!)

    “The Fates don’t lie; they obfuscate.” OH DEAR SOUNDS FAMILIAR?? 🙈

    • feroshgirl
      Oct 1, 2023

      Do you know I cackled at this comment and mined it for dopamine for DAYS. Gahhhhh you see my story so clearly and it gives me wings.

      Excuse me while I expire from you mentioned American Gods and Neil Gaiman anywhere near me.

      DING DING DING You have also discovered the second of the Fates.

      Also, Vlad can be chill! I mean…we’ve never seen it…he’s also never said a chill thing in his life…so…uh…

      (I think the room with the boat and bust will be very fun to go back and look at after the beginning of season 2)

      ahhhhhhhh thank you for the comment <3

  • Snow ~
    Oct 11, 2023

    I like the discussion between Alice and Lilith, and how Lil seems to think Alice is getting in the way of her and her dad actually spending any time together. Alice seems to be trying to find a way to keep things…as civil as they can be whilst also reminding her not to fuck about. But also Lil doing the same thing. Fun combo. Oh fuck the severed heads XC Grim. But of course the banter still continues. XD
    I love the Fae realm pics so much < 3

    You know, I feel like everybody would do so much worse without Latimer around to keep everybody relatively in line : P Yes Alice and Vlad leave! GO! NOW! Ohh so much I want to say about the Owl but can't…BUT YOU KNOW WHAT I'M THINKING…NOBODY KNOWS YET. DO THEY?

    I did notice the obfuscate bit echo at the end…

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