Hello, hello, and welcome back! When we last visited our friends at the Gross household, Melody’s son Milton had grown up into an awkward little nerd.
Today we join them again and discover that he’s not just an awkward little nerd, he’s an awkward little nerd with emotional problems. He spends the bulk of his time fuming with rage, stomping in puddles in the back yard.
Melody is too exhausted to care. She spends the bulk of her time sleeping.
During the brief periods when Melody is awake, she spends her time gardening and trying to illegally hack into corporate systems to steal their money. This particular session was less than fruitful. Only §37?? Ripoff.
Looks like Melody’s not the only one who’s exhausted. Iris comes home from school looking ready to pass out. Bonus: She’s also sad! Meanwhile, Milton is embarrassed, apparently because he dropped his tray in the cafeteria?
And then between punches, staring at it like he’s about to kill it.
Oh good, now Milton’s sick.
And little Iris is sobbing into her franks and beans.
Aaaaaand, Melody has arrived home from work, in labor, and two hours away from passing out.
Melody arrives at the hospital just in time to catch the doctor outside.
Surprise, surprise, Melody’s obvious presence does not actually encourage the doctor to interrupt her pre-delivery zen-standing ritual. Melody finally gives up and heads into the hospital to check in, but she doesn’t make it very far before she starts to slump down to the floor.
Aaaand, she’s down. Mr. Fancy Shirt Capris Man over here is just ever so tickled. Just completely delighted by this poor, blue freak show having collapsed in a heap on the floor.
Eventually, Melody manages to wake up long enough to stumble into the delivery room, and the doctor manages to STOP FUCKING LOLLYGAGGING long enough to DO HER GODDAMN JOB, and…
Oh god, it’s twins.
Two boys, which Melody names Vincenzo and Kaiden, because why the fuck not, at this point? On a side note, little Vincenzo looks smooth as hell.
Melody continues to dote on Vincenzo while Kaiden lies attention-starved in his bassinet. Even the doctor won’t see to him. Poor little Kaiden.
The neglect continues at home, as the twins are immediately left with a sitter, because…
And, ummm, pumpkin carving? Whatever floats your boat, Iris.
Having settled into the campsite, Melody and the kids all change into their camping gear and gather around the fire for a story.
Of course, Milton, being the nerd that he is, can’t resist sneaking away to do some extra credit work. And Iris just has to finish that jackolantern. So much for that campfire story.
But after they finish, Melody is able to get the kids back on track and convince them to go fishing.
…For like, half an hour, minimum.
Unfortunately for Milty, he neglected to extinguish the candle inside. He is quickly enveloped in flames, starting with his crotch.
The fire quickly gets out of hand, and Milton is too panicked to remember the stop, drop, and roll trick he learned during that fire safety assembly at school last week.
Melody rushes in to the rescue. Lucky for Milt, she happens to always carry a fire extinguisher on her person. Just in case her kid starts acting like a dumbass or something.
Milton escapes the fire wide-eyed and sooty, but otherwise unharmed. But the fire rages on, and Melody has one heck of a time putting it out.
Finally, the fire is out, and Melody is feeling like a damn superhero.
But Milton’s bad luck just won’t quit today. The showers are infested by mosquitos! Poor Milt gets swarmed and covered in bites.
Now that things have quieted down, and Melody has made Milton pinky swear that he won’t come within three yards of fire, Melody can relax and go on a nice, leisurely nature walk. She finds some bugs, and instead of leaving them on the ground like a normal person, she picks them up to take with her.
On the other side, she finds a hidden mountain paradise, full of plants and treasures and even a waterfall! But I didn’t bother to take any pictures of those things, so instead here is a shot of the “hermit”, who is not wearing proper hermit garb at all, and looks suspiciously like a lost hiker himself.
Creeped out by this guy’s vibe, Melody makes her way back to camp, only to stumble upon an old, spooky tower.
Never able to resist a good creepy tower exploration, Melody cautiously makes her way inside. The tower is filled with obscure markings, like this one on the floor. Perhaps used for some sort of occult ritual?
On the very top floor, Melody finds a crystal ball. Without regard for the potential power of such an object, she takes a seat and gazes into it, wondering what she should do about this mysterious place she’s discovered.
Eureka! The crystal ball reveals the answer: Melody should take advantage of this creepy tower, by throwing an epic Halloween party! She whips out her cell phone to start making calls, but for some reason, she’s getting some kind of strange interference up here… Every time she puts the phone to her ear, all she hears is a crackling static, and the faintest hint of some other sound like backwards whispering… o_o
…No worries! 😀 She heads back down to try again outside, and her phone works just fine. She calls up all her “friends” (Psych! Melody doesn’t have friends, just jilted lovers) and invites them to the tower.
Good thing Melody packed emergency costumes for the whole family! She’ll be the belle of the ball in her “sexy” witch costume. As she puts the final touches on the buffet table, a few guests start arriving.
While Melody greets the adult guests, Milton, dressed as Yoda because he’s a nerd, schmoozes with our old pal Turtleshirt, who’s wearing some lackluster skeleton costume.
Meanwhile, Iris is busy carving more pumpkins, because you can never have enough shitty jackolanterns at a Halloween party, and also because I think she just likes playing with knives.
The party is going quite well! Everyone is eating, drinking, and dancing to spooky music. And so far, there have been no repercussions for invading what is pretty obviously an ancient occult ritual site. Once everyone has eaten their fill, Melody gathers everyone around the campfire outside to tell a scary story about the wandering spirit of a murdered witch. Just when she gets to the scariest part…
Everyone behind Melody gasps. She looks up, only to see a real ghost sitting across the campfire!
Luckily, Faith is a friendly ghost! She just stopped in because she can’t resist a good ghost story. Also, free marshmallows!
The party rages on until dawn, when Melody boots everyone out before cleaning up the tower.
With her camping trip drawing to an end, Melody heads up to the top of the tower to take one last look around and reflect on the events of the last twenty-four hours. Fresh air, pine trees, mountains… Fishing, hiking, copious amounts of weenies… And a seriously monumental party in a haunted witch-tower… Overall, this has been a pretty successful trip!
Well, that’s it for today’s adventure. This chapter has been in the works for a long time now, and a lot of effort went into it, so thanks for reading! I’m off to snuggle up under a blanket with some cocoa and watch a scary movie with my boo (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?! BOO, GET IT? LOL). I hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween!
At the very least, try not to burn anything down.