Stranger and Stranger

BOOK: Stranger and Stranger
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Rob Reger and Jessica Gruner
Emily the Strange
®
Stranger and Stranger

Illustrated by

Rob Reger and Buzz Parker

For the twins Stevee and Aimee

 

Self-portrait with Boxes, Cats, and Procrastination.

May 27

procrastination units, 13; new diaries started, 1; boxes packed, 0

Am starting a new diary as a way to put off packing all my stuff into boxes like Mom has been asking and asking and asking me to do for the past five days. Am not super happy about moving again. Was kind of enjoying the town of Blandindulle. Yes, it may be bland and dull, but I’ve finally made it my own. Had settled into a strict routine of late-night prowls around town with the cats, daredevil skateboarding, virtuo-spastic guitar sessions on the roof, crazed feral mural art, and a touch of harmless public prankery. Summer is practically here, the nights are balmy, and I am young, and I would much rather be up to unauthorized, outdoor-style mischief than sitting in my room packing boxes as instructed.

Later

Am back. Got interrupted by knock on bedroom door. Mom. Assured her I was packing. Am not packing. Am headed outside.

Mom—beginning her moving-out meltdown!

Later

Am loitering in bushes outside Zenith’s Junk Shoppe and feeling terrible future-nostalgia for this place and its lovely, lovely Dumpsters, which have given me so many treasures over the past several months.

Am having trouble keeping Sabbath quiet. He has a crush on Zenith’s cat, Fiona, and wants the world to know. Oh—here comes Zenith now—

Later

Am now hunkered down behind someone’s garage. Zenith is torn up that we are moving. Not just because I was his best customer, but because he has a sad, unrequited crush on my golem. Had to advise him that Raven was unlikely to call him from our new town, and that he should really set his sights on a human woman instead.

We let Sabbath and Fiona enjoy some alone time while I took a last tour around the shop.

 

M
E
: Thanks for letting me do all my shopping in the middle of the night, man.

Z
ENITH
: Yeah, well, what other time of day are ya gonna need a replacement control grid for a tube amp?

M
E
: Or a new electrostatic ion thruster for my favorite slingshot?

Z: Or a black-light painting of Marlene Dietrich?

 

Yeah, Zenith’s been good to me. Will have to think of a nice going-away present for him.

Goodbye to Zenith and Fiona!

May 28

procrastination units, 23; boxes packed, 7; cats discombobulated, 4

The Packing Effort has begun, but slowly. No thanks to the cats. They know what it means when the cardboard boxes come out and are even less excited to be moving than I am. Am enduring a lot of passive-aggressive feline behavior right now. For example:

  1. Violent headbutts from Sabbath are making it tough for me to write in my journal. Legibly, anyway.
  2. Miles has shredded 17 cardboard boxes. Now I have to go scrounge through the supermarket Dumpsters for 17 more.
  3. Any boxes left open and empty (and not shredded by Miles) have been disgustingly defiled by NeeChee.
  4. Mystery has developed an uncanny talent for falling asleep on whatever it is I’m planning to pack next.
  5. When not doing any of the above, all four have been milling about the room yelling “Now! Now! Now!!!!” at me.
  6. Whatever it is that they want to happen “Now” is totally unclear.
  7. Bowls of kibble and water have been spilled all over the floor. I refuse to say what is happening with the cat box.
  8. Mom thinks I am not feeding the cats, since they are
    going to her and demanding handouts of snack treats.
  9. Rolls of packing tape have been chewed to sticky shreds. Have had to tie up my boxes with twine like they did in thee oldene dayes.
  10. Am not enjoying peaceful four-feline blanket while I sleep. No, the felines are spending our prime nightmare hours clawing my face and biting my scalp instead.
  11. Drastic increase in number of cat-puke puddles.
  12. Cat-puke puddles contain more of my hair than they really should.
  13. Unspeakable stench on 73% of my belongings.

Later

Am completely sick of my room, my stuff, and all those empty boxes, which do nothing but mock me. Have consulted the Magic 8 Ball for advice, and the answer was very clear:

Have instructed Raven to pack up all the boxes. I really don’t expect much on that front. Nevertheless, am heading outside for blessed prankery and general neighborhood goodbyes.

Later

Cats and I are sprawled out on the steps of City Hall, pretending to be protesting something. We’d probably be attracting a lot of attention if it weren’t the middle of the night.

Am glad that Blandindulle’s population has an early bedtime. Am future-nostalgic for that aspect of this place. Am afraid we may end up in a town that prides itself on having a “thriving nightlife.” BLLLLLLEAARG*%HHH!!!!!

OK, am moving on to pranktime. Am planning a little revenge on Drew and Sherry—these ridiculous lowballs down the block who like to drive around town in the middle of the night with their car absolutely full of smoke, narrowly missing feline pedestrians. Will show them what fear tastes like!!!

Later

Have just recovered from long fit of intense belly-busting laughter at Drew and Sherry’s expense. It was PERFECT!!! I’d made a special batch of invisible ink that only shows up when it’s exposed to smoke. Then I used it to paint sinister faces on their car windows. Then I followed them on my skateboard so I wouldn’t miss any of the action. As soon as the air inside the car got foul enough, POP, the spooky faces appeared on all the windows; and then AIEEEEE, Drew and Sherry freaked out, as expected; and then CRASH, they promptly banged into a phone pole. I called in an anonymous tip to the police and bailed.

Life is good here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I do not want to move.

Later—back in my disaster of a bedroom

Returned to find that Raven had packed all the empty boxes inside one another like Russian nesting dolls.

Man, Raven truly is the Amelia Bedelia of the golem world. Am irked at self for not giving better instructions.

Later

Have started to catalog and dismantle all the science projects in progress in my room. Here are some of the more interesting ones:

  1. Prototype of English-to-Catlish translator.
  2. Method of connecting my Magic 8 Ball to electronic readerboards across the nation, so that everyone can get the benefits of its amazing advice.
  3. Partially completed sun-spigot, which I hope will allow me to keep plants alive in my sunproof bedroom.
  4. Tests of various waste products (cat hair, lint, eyelashes, dirty-dish scrapings, dead flies…) and their suitability as building materials when highly compressed.
  5. Jar of liquid black rock that I got from my ancestral home. Have been carefully pondering potential uses for it, as it is too precious to experiment with frivolously.
  6. Superior haircolor for Mom so she can quit the haircolor-related panics she goes into every three weeks or so when the pink isn’t pink enough or the blue isn’t blue enough.
  7. No-drip candlestick. It’s made of a special metal I created myself, which is so phenomenally dense, so incredibly heavy, that no matter how you try to tilt this candlestick, it always points straight down toward the center of the earth. Goodbye, unwanted wax drips! Unfortunately, I would need a crane to lift it, and if dropped it would
    probably fall straight through the floorboards and bury itself in substrata rock far beneath the earth’s surface. Small details to iron out.
  8. Theremin windchime.
  9. Improvement on the cat-cams I’m already using. It’s great to be able to review what the cats have seen and done each day, but I need cat-cams that also deliver painful shocks to anyone (besides me) who touches one of my Posse.
  10. Treadmill that the cats can use to generate electricity and start earning their keep around here. The treadmill works great; I just can’t figure out how to motivate cats to use it.
  11. Coding that will give Raven a little more initiative. I mean, I realize she is just a golem and can only do what she’s programmed for. And I appreciate how she follows my every command, I really do. The thing is, it takes FOREVER to give her all the commands she needs for even the simplest tasks. It’s one thing to get her to hold a cavity resonator steady for me while I spit-shine it; but ask her to tidy up the room, and it’s just blank stares and “Huhhhhhhh?” All I’m saying is, it would be nice to get a more holistic approach to the whole command
    thing, and I wouldn’t mind if she could maybe interpret hints and suggestions. You know, I’m only one person. I could use some help around here!!
  12. Laundry detergent that blackens even the whitest of clothing.
  13. Duplication device. Just THINK of the mischief I can get into when this little beauty is finally functional. Ah, someday!!!!! (rubbing hands together, cackling madly)
BOOK: Stranger and Stranger
12.66Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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