Chapter 29, Part 1: Life After Death

Windenburg Woods

“I don’t want…” she hesitated and looked down. “He’s annoying. And bossy. A know-it-all…and my best friend.”

The longer they sat there, Alice picking at her stew, the more of the story came out. She told him about how Ben leapt into her head on her 13th birthday. How hard it was to manage school work or activities because he demanded constant attention. She talked about hunting ghosts and raising the dead and the irritating way he recited the Book of the Dead every night before bed.

By the time she got to the contest and the part where she decided to go after The Owl, they were cuddled together on the bench. 

“And then I said yes…because I wanted to be normal. I wanted everything I didn’t have because he was stuck in my head.”

That’s why she was unsure. Like him, she wanted The Owl to fix something about herself, but other desires stood in the way.

He must’ve said it out loud because she sat up angrily. “That’s not why…it’s not always about you and me and whether or not we’re going to bone!”

“I didn’t—”

“My whole life is in shambles!” she snapped. “Ben is missing! Everything I wanted is gone and all you want to do is talk about is a relationship we don’t even have!”

She was clearly in denial. Ben wasn’t missing, he was gone, sacrificed so she could have a fighting chance. And as for them having nothing…Vlad’s expression darkened. “Everything you want is gone? Everything, Alice? Tell me, what have you lost? What dreams are not fulfilled because of this supernatural life?”

“I-I don’t…” she sputtered. “LIFE!” she finally exclaimed, throwing up her hands. 

“Am I not, in a manner of speaking, alive?” he demanded, his voice dangerous. She didn’t take the bait, and he was glad because a wiser part of him knew she didn’t mean it like that.

“I want normal stuff! Like…like…buying a house!”

“Do supernatural creatures not buy homes?” Vlad shot back.

“Having a career, with meetings…and coworkers.”

Meetings? She wanted to go to meetings? Ha. Vlad gave her an impassive look. “I assure you even the immortal are not immune to meetings.” 

“Going on dates and hanging out with friends,” she said hotly, “Doing fun activities with people and not having them look at you like a freak!”

“And when, Alice Martin, did I ever make you feel like a freak?” he growled, feeling his irritation rising. Why couldn’t she see what this was really about? “You haven’t described a single thing that you don’t already have or can’t get. The only difference is that you think you need The Owl to do it and the rest of us understand that’s not how it works!” 

Her eyes widened. He didn’t mean to raise his voice. 

“This is stupid,” she said. “There’s nothing wrong with what I want.”

“Alice,” he scrubbed a hand over his face. “That’s not what I’m saying—”

“I’m tired,” she announced. “I’m going back to sleep.”

He followed but she turned around and gave him a mutinous look. 

“You know what’s not normal?” she exploded, gesturing angrily at the room. “Fucking murders! Calling the flames of the Underworld! A boyfriend who enjoys literal fucking bloodshed! Magical statues! And for the record, telling me The Owl won’t fix all my motherfucking problems is especially rich coming from you, since the only reason why we met was because you intended to use me to get it!”

When she was finished shouting she turned on her heel, muttering about the cottage’s distinct lack of doors, and threw herself down on the bed.

Vlad didn’t correct her. Technically, he had discarded the idea of using her pretty early on…mostly because he didn’t think she could win. But that was unlikely to go over well. And perhaps he had been a small amount of denial himself about The Owl, but that was the key word: small.

Either way, he was right: she would feel something again. Even if it was anger, which now that he knew she was a god and capable of smiting him off the face of this world, kind of turned him on. Cognizant of her need for space, he cast about for something to occupy himself with when he froze…

…had she…had she called him her boyfriend?

  • Dolly Llama
    May 25, 2020

    This chapter marks the first time in recent memory someone’s mentioned Magnolia Promenade. I’m also appreciating the shift from Alice having a huge secret to Alice being oblivious to everyone else’s secrets. So now it’s not even just what’s going on, it’s who knows what. Who Jimena’s master is, for example; it seems like she has some seductive abilities? Are the seven deadly sins in on this or something?

    “You could be an inanimate object without a spell.” Dang. That one hit me. How much things have changed, and still we’ve got so far to go…

    Since I have zero interest in any of the supernatural gameplay, I did have the treat of looking up Vlad Bloodvein for real and seeing what that mofo actually looks like. Hooooo boy that’s some good camp. I was like, isn’t this tame for one of these outfits? I mean if I saw someone wearing that blazer I’d elbow the shit out of my friend, but it’s tame for him. AND THEN I SAW THE SHOES.


    • feroshgirl
      May 26, 2020

      – I like to think of those shoes as some of my best work. HAHAHA. Yeah, EA Bloodvein was already bringing so much to the table, I didn’t have to do much to draw inspiration.

      – I literally forgot about Magnolia Promenade until I was like: damn it, where is a place she can be from that I haven’t already mentioned? I can’t believe that even counts as a “world.”

      – Miss Hell is 100% All For Self and chaotic neutral (goals) so she is always dropping truth bombs. I think if I don’t write her saying it so I can laugh, I’ll cry.

      – Oooohhh you are so close on Jimena’s master. There are a key set of Gods and their respective “patrons” definitely excel in the domain they rule over. Every player is on the board at this point, now I’m just in the business of reveals so you’ll have your answer by the end of this chapter.

      – I’m glad you noticed the shift and liked it! In the first part, everyone is the protagonist of their own story. The most important secret Alice was keeping was about herself. The world largely operated in a way that she understood and she was an expert at navigating it. Then shit got weird. Now she’s in this place where she’s having to consider that the world is bigger and more complex than she realized. And she ain’t the weirdest thing in it.

      • Dolly Llama
        May 28, 2020

        Alright, Beauty for Jimena’s master and that’s my final guess. And while we’re in the business of predictions, if William brings a date to the filming and Bernard flips out on him for being in a gay interracial relationship, I am going to lose my shit. Other than that, Miss Hell’s probably going to get a lot more likeable and I still have no clue what the hey Miko is up to. That’s all.

      • feroshgirl
        May 31, 2020

        Miko’s plans are going to become clear soon…like next chapter. I love Miss Hell she is…complicated. I can’t wait to get into her story arc.

        After Bernard’s debut, I think it’s safe to say that’s exactly how he’d react. Though to be clear, that’s not part of his introduction 🙂

  • theplumbob
    Jul 9, 2020

    Ah ok, that explains Ben’s absence, kind of. I adored Vlad and Alice’s moments as always, hough honestly, maybe he’s too good for her (plot twist!). There’s nothing he wouldn’t do for her, while she’s attracted to him, but not all that invested, I feel like. She cares for him, sure, but she’s still subconsciously looking for excuses to cast him aside.

    Jimena is actually surprisingly composed through all of this. Is she not a regular mortal? I feel like any regular human would have pooped their pants. My theory is that she’s a double agent.

    The meeting in the restauruant, is Morgyn adopting a particular twist on things? I don’t feel like what was discussed exactly reflected the sages’ conversation… so what’s Morgyn’s game here?

  • Yimiki
    Feb 17, 2021

    You know, despite the strings being pulled behind the scenes by literally everyone, and the backstabbing, and the supernatural threats and the literal hand of fate orchestrating this grand event of getting the owl of undoing, I can’t help but laugh every time I remember that all these superpowers and monsters and spellcasters and vampires are focused around… a baking contest. 😂 It gets me every time, lol.

    • feroshgirl
      Feb 17, 2021

      HAHAHA Thank you! I mean my brain works in wacky ways so I’m glad you’re enjoying it. And listen, you’ve described my story in a nutshell: everyone is backstabbing, the hand of fate is everywhere, strings we don’t even know are being pulled are being pulled. It’s wild.

  • Ninja Pink Sex
    Nov 3, 2022

    I like how L.Faba is like, dude we’re trying to have a fancy feast in the comfort of our own magical HQ, get your shit together Simeon.

    Morgyn is absolutely terrifying in BBD, in comparison to The Strauds (even though Morgyn in The Strauds is far more powerful). Turning Jimena into a child’s source of comfort is quite hilarious. Jimena is neither comforting or cuddly, and I doubt she has a heart.

    Despite the passaging of time, Ana still holds onto memories of her former life, and they cause her distress/PTSD. It’s a very VERY different Ana from The Strauds, this one is more vulnerable and I never thought I’d see her cower. Goodness. I prefer my Ana with a backbone of steel.

    Vlad: Did she call me her BOYFRIEND??? lol he’s a plasma pack away from jumping on Oprah’s couch and claiming how lucky he is. In case that reference is too obscure:

    Ana to Jimena: You are useless. Why are we keeping you alive.
    Jimena: I am useful. Wink, wink, wink.
    Ana: Hmmmm. Let’s see where this goes…

    Muhgawd, who let the dogs out! Werewolves cause some havoc.

    • feroshgirl
      Nov 15, 2022

      God, Faba is just out here living her best life. She is a survivor and I LOVE writing her. You can see why she and Morgyn have such affection for each other.

      Speaking of Morgyn, I think I already mentioned this but since the Strauds is a BBD AU where some of the characters have crossed over, they are the same Morgyn. It may be good to keep in mind the level of ruthlessness that Strauds Morgyn is capable of hehe.

      You and me both prefer that backbone of steel! Strauds Ana is definitely an evolution of BBD Ana.

      Vlad has no chill. He would jump on that couch and also throw it through a window.

      Oh Jimena. Sigh.


      • Ninja Pink Sex
        Nov 15, 2022

        At least Penny werewolf looks fierce af!

        Yeah I’m not taking my eye off The Strauds Morgyn for one minute. The calm before the storm sounds about right for them.

        LMAO OMG VLAD THROWING THE COUCH. I’d die. Why wasn’t THAT on Oprah?!?

      • feroshgirl
        Nov 15, 2022

        God, Tom Cruise really missed an opportunity LOL

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