by Lori Meyers
"Babe. Put your computer down. That Mario Paint cart wasn't haunted."
"I didn't say it was haunted! I said it was—"
"Creepy. Creepy from being haunted." Bombshell sat down on the bed next to Mae and pinched the tips of zir ears. She was the only one allowed near that dog bite. Mae's claws popped, and Bombshell smirked.
"That is an involuntary reaction, and you know it. Besides. Harfest is tonight! I need to write this. Possum Springs deserves to know the truth!"
Bombshell rubbed Mae's shoulders against the grain. "Whatever you say, babe."
"I didn't say to stop. It's—it helps me think."
Shrugging, Bombshell pushed zir fur in the wrong direction, methodically smoothed it back rhythmically. "Okay, fine. So, your video game is haunted."
"Creepy! Not haunted. Well. Maybe haunted. Look, that's not the important part. The important part is that I started the game up, and the music was all wrong. Almost none of the buttons worked! And when I opened up the Stamp Maker—"
"The important part is that I think you just purred."
Mae opened a new page, cranked the font to 96, and wrote I, MAE BOROWSKI, DO NOT PURR, SHELLY.
"Message received, Nibbles."
Bombshell ran her claw along Mae's bite. "I like it, you know. Most people pretend they're doing okay. That this world hasn't taken a chunk out of them. But you never act that way. And—"
"And you're a perv with a thing for food ears?"
"Nah. I know it doesn't work this way, but it makes me feel safe to know you can make it. Dog bites, Uncle Cults, tooth vaults—I don't want to..." Shelly got quiet. "I don't want to interrupt your article."
"Good, because I'm getting to the important part. I was fucking around, using the erasers. They still look so cool. And I accidentally clicked on the Stamp Maker."
Mae shivered. "The music—it was—no music should sound like that. Something wasn't right."
"It's supposed to be science-y, Mae. Like in a lab."
Mae's eyes narrowed. "What lab has music that sounds like a sick man coughing into an empty spine?" Clicking through zir folders, "Then how do you explain T H I S ? !"
"Mae. Babe. That's a dog."
"S M I L I N G. They're not supposed to—to—and especially with those-"
"Mae. Nibbles. Shell. Don't you dare say N I G H T M A R E E Y E S."
Bombshell sighed. "This is really important to you, isn't it?"
Mae scrunched zir shoulders. "It's a haunted game... So..."
"Then publish your article, babe." Bombshell slid behind Mae, so ze could lean back into her arms.
Mae hit publish. "Take that, citizen journalism!"
"I don't want to lose you, Mae. This is a fucked up world, and I'm just glad that—Hey, Mae? Promise not to freak?"
"What, are you about to propose to your gnawed-up spit-darling?"
Bombshell pointed to the Hawkington Post main page:
CANINE MANBIULAR EXAGGERATION MENACES NOSTALGICS IN LOCAL VIDEOGAME
10/31/18 Mae Borowski TRENDING! [10.8k views]
I, MAE BOROWSKI, DO NOT PURR, SHELLY.
Lori Meyers is objectively gross. They're a non-binary queer of color whose parents didn't want them, so they threw them in a well.