a/n: yup, back with a new chap after, what, two years, maybe?

not that anyone's still reading this thing, haha. but hey, new material is new.


Suckage of Metafalss ep. 11: C.P. vs Milk, Round 4

Metafalss, the land of no moo-cows. A land that had long ago forgotten the ancient practice known as cow tipping. And the land wept not at the loss...it having always been such a goofball pastime for bored teenagers, anyway.

On this crispy morning, C.P. was strolling by herself along the train tracks nearby—

Hm...

Hang on a sec. Are there any farms on Metafalss? Any ranch lands? If not, where does all their food come from? Where are the rice paddies that make the rice for Jacqli's tasty Seafood Tales treats? Where do they keep the chickens that lay the eggs? Or for that matter, the chickens that they put in blenders for Luca's glass-o'-grease Chicken Soda?

Does anyone even care about all this?

...Meh.

On this crispy morning, C.P., who couldn't care less where her food came from, was strolling by herself along the train tracks nearby Sasha's General Store. Last night, Lance had thought to use the save point just outside her store as their campground for the night, and Sasha herself had come out to extend greetings to her front-porch campers (in her "Baby Gergo"-themed PJs, no less — d'awww already). She thought it only polite to do so, being that she was more or less hosting their campsite, as she had often done before for that other guy in glasses and his two squabbling chick-sisters. Yet C.P. noticed the pitiful, scared look that quickly came into Sasha's young eyes as she looked over her visitors:

— A skinny guy sporting a retarded-looking headband, a girlie tattoo on his arm, and a greasy smile that screamed, "I Raep Lolis"...

— Another guy who seemed rather blah and squinty-eyed, but carried a nasty-looking spiked-bat-slash-shotgun and wouldn't stop staring vapidly at Sasha...

— A feisty girl who wore a perennial look on her face as though she wanted to slug a few blockheads like a Lucy van Pelt in pigtails...

— Another girl, cute, whiny, neurotic, who looked sorely in need of antidepressants...or a security blanket...

— And herself, a warrior girl whose hard, steely stare could kill happiness at a hundred paces.

And so, C.P. suggested to Lance that they should find another spot to rest for the night, and leave the poor little shop girl be. Lance protested. C.P. insisted. Lance pitched a hissy fit befitting a twelve-year-old schoolgirl. C.P. plucked Rikkey the Reyvateil from Cloche's belt and tormented Lance with her, sticking the doll in his face until he was reduced to a cringing, jibbering idiot. By the time he recovered, they were already far away from Sasha's shop, with a frowning and pissy Cloche trying to assist him as he stumbled about. Meanwhile, Sasha couldn't suppress the impulse to latch all the bolts and locks on her doors after they left.

So, back to the crispy morning. Hi, Mr. Crispy Morning! How are you today? Crispy as overcooked bacon, you might say?

C.P. suddenly stopped, mid-stroll. She put face to palm.

Lovely weather for a stroll, isn't it, Mr. Crispy Morning? Oh, yes...the day feels warm and clean like freshly washed girl's underwear!

"Would you stop that⁉" C.P. snarled at the writer. "Are you even listening to yourself⁉"

But just then, C.P.'s eyeballs locked in on a young shota just outside of Sasha's shop, guzzling down a small jug of shiro-pan-colored liquid. Her eyes widened. She promptly forgot about the writer enjoying himself with needless references to panties as she hustled over to the lad, eager to ask him a question or three.

...

...Why the hell do some people call them "moo-cows", anyway?

"Excuse me...is that milk you're drinking?" said she, her hard steely stare suddenly gone, replaced with a look of girlish curiosity in her eyes that raised her kawaii stats by 44 points.

The boy swiveled an eye or two in her direction — most likely two. "Uh...yeah?" said he through his vitamin-D-fortified mustache.

"Is it good?" said she.

"Um...I guess?" said he, then after a pause, adding, "I-It's just regular milk, you know?" because it seemed to him that his answer of "I guess" wasn't satisfying that look of girlish curiosity in her eyes that was beginning to creep him out.

"No, I mean it's not curdled or anything, is it?" said she, drawing closer.

"Uh, no?" said he, drawing back. "But why are—?"

"Where did you get it⁈? Please tell me!" said she, suddenly bursting forth with antsy energy that was completely un-warrior-like, and startling the boy into doing an involuntary mouse impression:

"Eek! Th-that store over there?" whimpered he, with tremulous finger pointed in Sasha's General Store's general direction.

"Thank you! Thank you very much!" gushed she, and she turned and sprinted across the platform to Sasha's, post-haste.

The boy and his mustache were left confuzzled over their strange encounter with the girl with the vicious chain whip that looked like it had killed many kittens in its time, but whose owner seemed strangely desperate to do her body good. And as the writer pondered how sorely outdated that last reference was, the boy gradually recovered and thought to himself, 'Well that was...weird?', thus concluding his appearance in this fic, in which every line of dialogue he had was in the form of a question. For some reason.

Meanwhile, somewhere above Sasha's entryway, a door chime was quietly minding its own business when it was suddenly bashed into a jangly spazz as C.P. burst through the door. She rapidly scanned the shop — dimly lit, old wood everywhere, papers scattered on the floor, an old fish chain and a cobwebby lamp hanging from the ceiling, tattered boxes piled in one corner (sheesh, Sasha, clean up your shop once in a while), a twintailed little Sasha looking up at her in surprise, and beside the cash register, a black-and-white cow-shaped jar with a label taped to it that read "Tips". A-hurp-a-durp. Then, she spotted her target: a refrigerated storage bin of cold snacks for sale. She rushed to it and threw the lid open — sodas, teas, fruit juices, overcaffeinated "energy drinks", cheese sticks, cheesecakes, cheese crackers (yup), cans of biscuit dough (yup yup), and a vacuum-sealed pack of fresh squid (de geso) —

And the milk?

Sold out.

Yeah, you saw that coming, didn't'cha?

Slowly, sorrowfully, C.P. sank to her knees before the refrigerated bin, eventually coming to rest her forehead against its side. The bin's refrigeration cycle kicked on, and for a few hum-filled moments it was the only sound she could hear. Well, except for the distant belch from the boy outside who was enjoying the last jug of milk in the store, that is. Gradually though, she became aware that a little girl was repeatedly addressing her:

"...Onee-san? ...Excuse me, onee-san? Are you okay? ...Um...onee-san?"

C.P. dazedly looked up into Sasha's concerned face. She said, "Huh?"

Sasha's mental gears of facial recognition lit up. Wait...gears don't light up. Oh, whatever.

"Oh! You're one of the girls from last night!" said Sasha, while involuntarily taking a step back away from C.P. She then dashed off to her back office with a hastily blurted "Um...'scuse me for just a sec!", rummaged hurriedly through the drawers of her grandmother's old office desk, and, finding what she was looking for, held it up: a cute little handheld taser with flower and kitty stickers on it. She briefly tested it and watched the sparks dance, then stashed it away in the folds of her merchant's kimono, just above the waistband of her Pippen-print panties. Nice alliteration, eh? Okay, not really. Anyway, she then hopped back out to the shop area, feeling 73% safer.

"Sorry about that, I had some Puchi-eggs cooking in the back...um, can I help you?" Sasha said.

It's 'may I help you', Sasha-tan. But C.P., who couldn't care less about proper speech, or anything else right now, still hadn't recovered herself, and was still on her knees in front of the bin of cold goodies. "...Huh? ...Oh. ...Uh...sorry..." she mumbled, and sluggishly she hauled herself to her feet. "I was just looking for some milk, that's all," she said, gazing mournfully into the still-opened bin.

"Oh, no! I'm sorry, we just sold our last one!" bubbled Sasha.

"Oh. Yeah. I see," flatlined C.P.

Awkward pause.

"But, um, we'll be getting another shipment next week!" Sasha said hopefully.

"Really? Cool. That's great," flatlined C.P.

Another awkward pause.

"Er...w-would you like me to reserve some for you?"

"Huh? No. S'okay. I'm an adventurer, y'know," flatlined C.P.

"Oh. I see," said Sasha, totally not seeing.

Again an awkward pause.

"So I go all over Metafalss and stuff. And do adventuring-type things, y'know," flatlined C.P.

"Oh. Okay," said Sasha. She sighed inwardly. I have to deal with one of these customers this early in the morning? she thought. Not these meaning adventurers, of course; these meaning the customers that would give any retail worker the jeebies, the ones that acted like they were two bananas short of a fruit basket. You know. Those customers.

Awkward pause, once more. Yup.

"So I dunno where I'll be next week..." flatlined C.P.

"Awww, that's too bad," said Sasha in her "shopkeeper's sympathy" voice. Then, quickly switching to her "helpful salesgirl" tone, she added, "Well, um, is there anything else you need? We have plenty of stock for all kinds of battle items and healing items, and I can help you find just about anything an adventurer would— ...oh...uh, okay."

Sasha trailed off as C.P. trudged away without a word, heavy-hearted and saggy-shouldered. The door chimes above the entryway made barely a jingle as she exited the shop. But just before she departed, she stopped in the entryway and, silhouetted against the morning light, gave a slight turn of her head.

"Hey..." said she.

"Um, yes?" said the other she.

"You know those 'Have You Seen Me?' pictures of the kids they put on the milk cartons?"

"Uh-huh?"

And finally, the level-boss awkward pause, longer and more awkward than any of the others. Sasha waited for C.P. to finish...waited and listened to the breeze blowing past her entryway, waited and heard the sounds of the morning birds cheeping, waited and heard the refrigerated snack bin clunking around inside of itself as it shut off its cycle, and thought in the back of her mind somewhere that she really needed to get that dang thing looked at.

But in the end, all C.P. said was:

"...Never mind."

And her silhouette walked off into the morning.

Sasha's brain cells chugged away at the weirdness of that last comment, but nothing between those two cute twintails could figure out what the heck that was all about. But somehow, her general sense of safety had just plummeted by 14%. No loli wanted to end up on a milk carton.

She patted her trusty taser. At least she wasn't unarmed. And with that reassuring thought, she shifted her mental gears out of neutral and cheerfully readied herself for another capitalistic day of free enterprise. Incidentally, this might be as good a time as any to insert some kind of cheap-shot "Capitalism, ho!" reference, mwehehe...

"I'm not saying that!" Sasha flatly told the writer.

Dangit.