Alicia and Lulu had a quiet reunion about a month after the events in Toon Town. Lulu still felt the urge to harm herself, believing that nothing bad would happen. "I know that I'm not a Toon anymore, but I can't help the urges to do these…things," she confessed to Alicia. "Maybe I miss feeling animated."
"I know how you feel," Alicia reassured her. She could still smell Eddie Valiant's presence: a combination of cheap booze and liquor, ink stains, filthy clothes, and a sticking sweetness of jelly beans. It was a bittersweet reminder of all they had experienced and all they had lost.
Jenna. Alicia and Lulu missed the girl they loved like a sister. Her parting words rang in their ears, buzzed around in their heads.
"We'll see each other soon…"
"Do you think we should go looking for her?" Lulu wondered one chilly day. "She hasn't come for us…so maybe she's waiting."
"Where would we go? I'm open for suggestions, but I don't know where Jenna would most likely be," Alicia pointed out.
"Hmm…I know she didn't like Lord of the Rings, and I don't think she got a chance to see Mystery Science Theater 3000. Did she like Osmosis Jones? I know she didn't like My Little Pony," Lulu mused. "What about The Princess Bride?"
"I wish," Alicia snorted. "I don't think she saw it, though."
"Did she read the book?"
"There was a book?" Alicia's eyes widened.
"Yes! I have a copy upstairs!" Lulu rushed to her room to grab her favorite story of all time, and returned only moments later with it. "Voila! I think you'd love it, Alicia! It has more of Fezzik in it," she winked. Alicia blushed.
"What about Inigo? Is he in it?"
"Oh, yeah…but Jenna didn't like anyone in this book…ugh, this is getting us nowhere…"
"Well, what are we supposed to do?" Alicia pouted. She was growing tired of waiting. Of the two girls, she had been the closest to Jenna, and she was the one who was the most eager to see her again.
"Let's go for a walk," Lulu suggested. "For all we know, Jenna could be outside, waiting for us to run into her." Although Alicia doubted this very much, she agreed, and the girls set off for a leisurely stroll around Lulu's neighborhood.
"Is it just me, or is the weather getting warmer?" Lulu noted after a while. The chilly November weather was gone, and the sun was burning down on the two of them.
"Let's keep walking," Alicia suggested. "Didn't you say that there's a mall nearby?"
"Yeah, but none of this looks familiar, and I could have sworn that there were more buildings around here…" Lulu's voice trailed off, and they continued to walk, eventually entering a vast, green plane of nothingness. "Great, we're lost," Lulu deduced, moaning. "I've doomed us. We're going to die out here…why didn't I bring my phone? WHY?"
"I'm not getting any reception," Alicia informed her, quickly turning off her cell phone. She squinted at something in the distance. "Hey, it's a house! Let's hope the owners have a phone that works!"
"Maybe they can give us directions!" The friends took off running towards it. As they got closer, they realized that they were approaching a farm. The livestock were making conversation with one another in their stables, but the girls headed to the main building, and Alicia knocked on the door.
A fifteen-year-old girl with hair the color of autumn answered. She was pretty, but not beautiful. Her face was filthy, her body too chubby in some parts and too skinny in others. She narrowed her eyes. "What do you want?" She demanded. "I've never seen you two in the village before. Are you here for milk?"
"Milk…?" Lulu repeated, taken off guard.
"Um, we're lost. Could you help us, please?" Alicia interrupted, giving her best smile to the younger girl, who continued to scowl with suspicion at the strangers.
"Your voices are funny. Where are you from?"
"America," Alicia answered, and the girl changed at once. She was overflowing with excitement and warmth.
"Do you mean it? You're from America? That's wonderful! What's it like there? Is it as grand as my mother thinks it is, or is it just a wretched bit of desert? Oh, why am I talking to you two? You're lost, you have nowhere to be, nowhere to stay, and Farm Boy needs extra help, although I wouldn't want for him to get lazy…Farm Boy!" The young girl called, looking behind Alicia and Lulu. A man had been walking by with a bucket of water, but now he stopped and looked towards the three women. "Farm Boy, these girls are going to help you from now on," the girl announced. "They'll share your hovel. Now hurry and clean Horse…quickly, you lazy thing, or I'll tell Father on you!"
"As you wish," the man replied, and Alicia and Lulu hurried over to meet him. When they looked back to see what the girl was doing, she was gone, probably back inside of her home, lounging around.
"What is your name?" Lulu asked, already knowing what the answer would be.
"It's Westley. Who are you?"
"My name is Alicia, and this is Lulu," the older girl said. "Do you work for that…girl?"
"Her name is Buttercup, and I shall do whatever she wishes of me," Westley replied, a wistful note in his voice. He continued towards the stables, and the two girls gave him some space to share a knowing glance.
"Alicia, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore," Lulu commented as soon as they were out of earshot.
"We're not in America anymore!" Alicia corrected. "What's next: outer space, the future, an alternate dimension, or some combination of the three?"
Exactly one month ago, Jenna passed away. I'm going to make this story good for her.