When you're a penniless teen, you have nowhere
to go, but UP!
“Well, here I am. I have run and run, and finally found a place where I
can settle down for the year. It's out of the way, surrounded by trees,
except for where it meets the road. I did have to register with the Land
Office, and I'll have to pay taxes, like everyone else, but if I keep a low
profile, I should be fine. Apparently, the Land Office doesn't care who
owns the land, how old they are, or what sort of living arrangements
they have, as long as the taxes are paid in a timely manner.”
“I know I don't look it, but I'm happy to be settled down, even if I am all
alone. My deaf cousin always used to complain about my 'dead face,'
and I know I'm not as expressive as her, or most hearing people, either,
for that matter. It's just who I am. Speaking of which, I want to send
her my address. She's cool, and won't tell anyone where I am, and I
don't want to fall completely out of contact with family. When the curse
is up, I want to be able to find them again.”
“Heh. Corrie used to chide me for talking to myself. Well, now I don't
really have anyone else to talk to, so I'll talk to myself if I want to! So
“Well, Self, shall we introduce ourselves? I'm Cally, and I am Brave,
Neurotic, Unlucky and a Gatherer. That last trait should help me, if I
have to live off stuff I gather, although I can create things, too, I
suppose. Too bad I'm not artistic.”
“Well, first things first. I need to explore the town. This junkyard is
actually kind of close to my place. I guess that's where you put all the
unwanted refuse – right on the edge of town. I'll surely visit there later
for some dumpster diving and scrounging. But for now, I need to find a
source of foooooood.”
“I'm going to have to just run everywhere until I can get enough money to
buy myself a bike, or better yet, a scooter!”
“A fishing hole! With fish! And fruits and veggies I can collect to eat. I'm
going to spend a lot of time here, I can tell. It only took two hours to run
here from my place, so it's not that far out of the way, as ways go when
“The first thing to do is to gather food I can safely eat raw. Mmmm!
Lettuce makes a yummy salad!”
“Next, to find an alternative source of food, when the raw plants have
gone dormant for winter. The lakes and ponds will freeze over, but I
should be able to fish in the river, right? Anyway, I'd better build up a
supply to see me through, in case the river freezes, as well. Plus, I'm
going to need something to sell for cash, so I can build my own
“OH, yes. This will definitely fill my tummy. Yeah. I'm all set.”
“Corrie used to complain about my sarcasm, too. I miss her.”
“The sun has gone down, and I have a long way to run home. One more
of these tiny fishies and I'm leaving.”
“Oh! That old abandoned building looks interesting. I bet I can scrounge
some building scraps from there, and nobody would mind. Not tonight,
though. I need to get home before curfew.”
“Oh, look! A soaking wet newspaper. I guess once you're registered at
the Land Office, you're on the mailing list, as well? Maybe there are
coupons? Sales notices? I'll have to check tomorrow, when there's a
dry one. In the meantime, these papers can serve as a pillow with my
sleeping bag. It's a good thing the bag is water-resistant, because it's
“But planting a garden during the rain makes sense, because the ground
is all nice and soft, easy to dig up, and the seeds get watered, and I
can just hold my hands out afterwards, and let the rain wash the dirt off
my hands. Joy!”
“Ow! OW! The rain is pelting me in the face! The rest of my body is
warm and dry, but my face is getting pelted with stinging rain! Forget
the pillow. This wet newspaper is being turned into a shield against
raindrops. They feel like needles! OW! I'll never sleep at this rate.
Well, maybe a little. I'm so tired...”
“AAAAAHH!!!! Lightning struck three feet from me! And water-resistant
only means it takes a bit longer to get soaked through than without
water resistance. I'm soaking wet, cold, and scared. HELP! It's so
dark, and there's no one around, and even if there were, I can't talk to
adults, anyway. Maybe if I burrow down deeeeeep into the bag, the
monsters of the night can't get me?”
“Well, I guess I don't have to water my plants this morning. That's a nice
time-saver. I wonder if it's too soon to leave my little lot, yet, or do I
have to wait for the sunrise? I'd like to catch fish while it's early, and
then maybe I can see about finding a place to sell my extras. I need
“I also need a toilet. I think I saw an outhouse at that junkyard not far
from here. If I run, I should just be able to make it before peeing
“Well, I'll be a sailor's maiden aunt! That outhouse has a SHOWER in it!
It's a bit awkward, but it does the job. And this place has some great
stuff, too. I salvaged a chair and a table, an end table, and a lounge.
They're beat up, and I doubt I could fix them up enough to sell them,
but I could certainly use them, myself.”
“These dumpsters, on the other hand, look promising. Sure, they're
stinky, but the sturdy bins and lids protect the stuff inside from weather
damage, wild animals scratching, and all that. It's in surprisingly good
shape. People throw it away, because they just don't want it,
“A television?! Someone threw away a perfectly functional television?
Oh, to be so rich that I can afford to just throw away my old stuff,
whenever I upgrade.”
“Ugh! I have to vomit! And clean myself up. I've been dumpster diving
all morning, and into the afternoon. It's almost four o'clock!”
“So, you're the one in charge of the junk shop?”
Annalove: Yeah, and we close at five, so hurry up and do your business.
“OK. I have some stuff to sell, and some other stuff I'd like to keep, but
it's too big for me to carry home, myself. Can I hire someone to help
carry it for me?”
Annalove: Whaddya think that green truck is there for? 'Course we
deliver! $50, flat-rate fee.
“Oh. Well, if I sell some of the stuff, then I can afford to deliver the other
stuff, so that works. Thanks!”
Annalove: And thank you for using Annalove's Junk Shop for all your
interior decorating needs.
“This place is starting to feel like a home! I sold some of the furniture,
and used the cash to buy tools, so I can gather scrap building supplies,
and build an actual shelter. HEY! It's only just after five o'clock. I'm
going to go see about gathering scrap wood and bricks and such,
before curfew! Maybe tomorrow, I can build a proper shelter. And
tonight, I can have a hot meal, grilling my minnows at the fire pit.”
“Good. The sun has just gone down, and I have cover of darkness, but
still at least two hours before I have to run home. Let's see how much I
can gather. I need to think carefully and plan for the best shelter I can
build, while actually carrying all the stuff. I'll probably have to make
trips two or three times a week, to get the supplies to build what I need,
but for now, I'll be happy with a fence.”
“Well, hello, child!”
Wilhelmina: Call me Mina.
“OK, Mina. My name's Cally. It's nice to meet you. I'm new in town, and
you're the first person I've really met. I'd love to chat with you for a
while. Do you want to hear a joke?”
Mina: Sure! I like jokes!
“OK! You want to hear the best knock-knock joke in the whole world?”
“Great! You start!”
Mina: Knock knock!
Mina: Uhhh, it's uhhh... wait...
“Hahahah! You should see your face! I told you it was good. You
should try that on your friends, tomorrow!
Mina: Ooooh! I get it, now! I will! I'll do it on Draco. He won't get it, but
the other kids will.
“Aww, now, be nice. At least give him a chance to save face, after.”
“Remember, you should use humor to bond with people, not to hurt them.
If he doesn't laugh at it, then turn it around on yourself. Like this...
You say, 'wait, what? I don't get it. Aren't you supposed to be saying
who it is?' and then I say, 'Oh! You're right! I was so busy laughing in
my head at how funny the funniest knock-knock joke was, that I forgot
all about it! I don't remember it, now. Silly me!' and then make your
“Like this! Dooooi! I'm too silly to remember my own joke!”
Mina: HAHAHA! You're funny!
“And you're not offended, right?”
Mina: I guess not. OK, I'll do that with Draco. He can be a bit grouchy
sometimes, so I shouldn't push him into a snit fit, just because I can. I'll
try to cheer him up, instead.
“Awww, you're a good kid, Mina. Hey, want to hear a secret?”
Mina: Yeah! I like secrets. I'm good at keeping them, too. I'd tell you
the secrets I have collected, but then they wouldn't be secrets,
“Oh, well maybe I shouldn't tell you my secret, or it won't be secret. But I
can tell you a story, instead.”
“A long, long time ago, in a neighborhood far, far away, there was a
wicked wizard, named Archibald the Unpleasant. He was very mean,
and liked overkill. Overkilling was his favorite thing, so if anyone ever
ticked him off, he wouldn't just ding-dong-ditch or put flaming poo on
their doorsteps. NO! He would kill them, and just for overkill, he would
kill their WHOLE FAMILIES!”
“One dark night, a man named Harry laughed at Archibald the
Unpleasant, just because the wizard had toilet paper stuck to his shoe!
Archibald was enraged! He vowed vengeance on Harry and his whole
“Archibald went to his secret lair, and mixed up some magic, creating an
awful curse! He bottled it up, and gave it to his pet monster to deliver.”
“Harry knew he had angered Archibald, and knowing his reputation,
Harry packed up his wife and daughter, and together they ran, through
one country and the next, far away from Archibald! But Archibald's
gargoyle was a swift and cunning hunter, and he tracked them down.
On the shores of Isla Paradiso, the gargoyle smashed the bottled curse
at Harry's feet!”
“Harry's daughter watched, helplessly, as the curse took her parents,
making them age rapidly, from young adults, to adults, to elders, and
finally they turned into white ghosts, RIGHT BEFORE HER EYES!”
“The Grim Reaper came, to reap their souls, and he was meant to take
her, as well, but he had already reaped too much that day, and was out
of his reaping power. So, the curse was delayed, but not broken.
Harry's daughter still lives under the curse to this very day! She had to
run away and hide, so that Archibald and his gargoyle can't find her,
and force the Reaper to reap her soul, too! But as long as she stays
hidden, she'll stay a teenager, and live.”
“But it's not a normal teen life! NO! The Grim Reaper stretched out her
life, and in the process, he stretched out the lives of all teens! Now,
every teenager stays a teen for a whole year! And it will stay that way,
until Harry's daughter, and the Grim Reaper can work together to break
Archibald's curse, and bring aging back to normal, so teens can get
past their hormones in a matter of seasons, and adults can live their full
and proper lifespan.”
“But it's a complex curse, and she doesn't know how to break it! All she
can do is survive, and hope that somewhere along the way, she finds
the magic she needs to defeat Archibald's curse, and maybe someday,
she can curse him, in return.”
Mina: Oooooh, that's so scary! Did she really see the Grim Reaper?
“She did. And he's surprisingly friendly. He's just doing his job, taking
souls to the Netherworld, where they live forever as ghosts. It's
Archibald who is the villain, sending them there before their time. Grim
Reaper actually likes children and teens, and he was quite angry to be
commanded to reap a teenager! That's why he decided to work with
Harry's daughter to break the curse! And so there is hope for all of us.”
“Someday, Harry's daughter will see the Grim Reaper again, and
together, they will DESTROY Archibald the Unpleasant, AND his pet
gargoyle! And maybe they'll be able to bring Harry and his wife
Incontinentia back from the Netherworld. Or maybe Harry and
Incontinentia will stay there, just so they can torment Harry and the
gargoyle, when they are stuck in the Netherworld with them. Only time
will tell. The story isn't over, yet. But that's all I can say for now.”
“Speaking of all I can say, it's nine o'clock, and time for both of us to get
home, before curfew. I hope I see you again, though. You're a cool
kid, and I like you very much.”
Mina: I'd like that! Maybe you can tell me another story. You're a good
“Maybe I will. Goodnight, Mina. Be safe!”
“Whew! I'm cutting it close. Fifteen minutes till curfew, and I'm just
passing the junk shop. I need to keep a close eye on the time. And I
need a faster way to get around, too. Maybe I'll be lucky and someone
will throw away a bicycle tomorrow?”
“Now for dinner. Say! Minnows are bigger on the inside! I mean, that
fish was pretty small, but once I cut it open, took the guts out and
removed the skin, the meat just POPPED! It's big!”
“Aaaah! Flame broiled minnow is not supposed to be en flambe!”
“Blech! This is not tasty! But at least it's filling. It actually fills me more
than raw veggies, so that's good. It's worth the time to prepare. Still,
I'd love a real kitchen in a real house. And maybe a cooking class.
That would be nice, too. And as long as I'm dreaming, I'd like a pony.
No, make that a unicorn! If you're gonna dream, dream big!”
“Speaking of dreaming, it's time to see if the sleeping bag has dried out.
Thank the Watcher it stopped raining. I don't mind rain in the morning,
when it's watering the garden, but those raindrops in the face...
aaaaah! This is so much better!”
“Ugh! Now I know why those people junked that furniture. Sure, you can
sit on the chair and eat at the table, but they are filthy beyond cleaning!
This lot STINKS! Like, literally, not just a figure of speech. I think I'll
get rid of the messed-up furniture, and see what sort of fixable-
cleanable-actually-usable furniture I can find from the dumpster. And I
can sell some and buy something better. Like a real bed, perhaps? Or
a fridge and counter, so I can make proper salads. Hmmm...”
“And I'm going to expand the garden, too. Same plants, but by
staggering their plantings, I hope to alternate harvest days. But then, I
staggered by two days, so I might wind up on the same day, after all.
Oh, well, it's still more food for the kitchen. I just need to build that
kitchen! Off to Junkland!”
“I still have raw produce and a few fish, so I can last for a few days. I
even found a few seeds to add to the garden. I'm not worried about
gathering food today. Today, I want furniture, and stuff I can sell for
cash. Then, I'll gather a bit more scrap lumber and rocks, and I'll build
a decent shelter. I have an idea on how to save on supplies, and make
the most of my money.”
“So, I got some more stuff to haul to my place today. Also, do you think I
could hire you to haul some building supplies? They're stacked at the
old abandoned building a short ways from here.”
Annalove: Yeah, but that'll cost you another $25, so $75 total for today's
“Well, I guess I have to do it. I want that stuff today, to build a fence.”
“Tadaa! One fenced-in home, with a gate I can lock. Tomorrow, I'll build
a shelter, but for now, I'm exhausted. Time for sleep.”
“Wow! I'm famished. I was so busy building last night that I didn't fix
anything to eat. Now, I'm wasting daylight to get a good meal, but it
should certainly see me through the day. I'm going to have to forage
for food again, soon, but my garden is growing, and should supply me
with some produce of my own by fall. I hope.”
“Drat it! I'm sunburned, overheated, and I spent a long time watering the
garden, and NOW it's raining. Where were you, rain, two hours ago,
before I started tending the garden? Well, I'm off to the Junk shop to
try to cool down, and see what I can find in the dumpsters. I have the
supplies I need for the next step of the house, but I need a bit more
cash, as well. Tomorrow, I'll probably have to go looking for more food,
but I have enough for today, at least, and need that cash!”
Annalove: Well, I guess you can sit and read if you want, since it's so hot
an' all, but I hope you're gonna bring me some actual business before
“So do I. I'll just read until the heat exhaustion clears up, OK?”
Annalove: Whatever, kid. But if you don't buy or sell something today, I
won't let you come back, and use my air conditioning for free.
“I only have time for a few dives before closing time. I sure hope I get
lucky! This overheating is not good, and I don't want to freeze in the
winter, either. I need a proper shelter, right away.”
“There! How about buying this stereo off me, and delivering the table
Annalove: $50, fee, same as always.
“I know. Here you go.”
“I may have to sit out in the rain, wind, sun and snow to cook my meals,
“I can sleep in security in my basement shelter. It's not much, yet, but I'll
build it into a proper little home. The entryway is small, but it's enough
to keep the rain and snow out of main living room. With lamps and
some decorative objects I find, I'll have a cozy underground 'cottage,' in
“Rain, rain, water my plants. By all means, come every day. You'll never
disturb my sleep, again.”
“It didn't rain this morning, and it's time to take care of my garden.
Hmmm, maybe I'll leave that until later, in case it decides to rain later in
the day. With a garden this big, I should just do it at night, after I come
home before curfew. I have two each of apples, grapes, lettuce and
tomatoes, plus I planted some seeds I found – one ginseng, two
cortado beans and three kona beans! Those should be helpful when
they are ready to harvest! More energy means I can do more stuff.”
“I need to fish some more, and perhaps harvest some more of the wild
fruits and veggies growing here. But right now, I'm so lonely, I think my
main goal should be to find another friend. Maybe I can track down
Mina? Oh, I wish I had a phone I could use to talk to people. Still, it's
the summer festival. Maybe it would not be too suspicious for me to
stop there this afternoon, and see if I can't find a child or teen to safely
chat up. I need to do something, or I'll go mad with loneliness.”
“Wow! This toad is bigger than my head! OK, I'm going to catch just five
fish, and then head over to the festival. Maybe I can score some free
food, as well as a friend. And if I can afford it, I'm getting a photo. I
have pictures of my parents, but nothing of myself. I want to hang the
family portraits on the walls of my new home.”
“Helllooooo, free food! I don't even care if I win. Although, I could
probably score some good merchandise, if I collect enough tickets.”
“Come on! I'm starving! Let's get this competition started!”
“Wait, if the woman leaves before it's over, does that mean she
concedes, and I take second place, or do I take third, because I'm the
last one eating? Whatever. I'm gonna go roller skate or something,
and see what I can get with my tickets.”
“Free snow cones? Yes, please! Maybe that will help me cool down.”
“Well, hello, fellow teen! Would you like to go skating with me?”
Joe: I have to do my homework. It's due tomorrow.
“Well, maybe afterward? I'd like to get to know you better.”
Joe: Really? Why?
“Because I'm lonely, and you're cute.”
Joe: Oooooh, why must you torment me this way? Why do cute girls
come up to me and lie to me, saying I'm cute and they want to get to
know me, when I know full well, they're just laughing at me, inside. It's
all a set-up to make me trust them, and think that I have a chance with
a pretty girl, and then, they'll lure me somewhere, where all the kids at
school are waiting to point and laugh at me. NO! I REFUSE! Get away
from me, foul temptress! I won't fall for your tricks!
“Well... That sucks. I'm just going to get my picture taken, and go home.
Or maybe I'll see what I can scrounge up along the way, at the
abandoned house or at Junkland. If I'm lucky, I can find a cell phone
that works, and just chat with Mina, instead.”
“That was nice, and it didn't cost me a thing, either. Oh, hey! I see a
small child. Maybe she'll be more trusting than that goofball.”
“Hello. My name's Cally. What's yours?”
Felicity: I'm Felicity MacDuff. I saw you talking to my brother.
“Oh, he's your brother? Would you do me a favor, sometime, and tell him
that I wasn't really trying to trick him. I just wanted to make some new
friends. Would you like to be my friend? I tell good stories!”
Felicity: Yeah! I like stories!
“And so, Grim Reaper won the talent contest, playing on his stringed
scythe, and won a whole week without reaper duties. And all the sick
people in the hospital got well and went home and Mr. Carnucci was
saved! But the evil gremlin and the demon who had lost the contest
had to go sit in ashes and it itched their bottoms, for a whole week!
And that's why you never go up against Death, when a Sicilian is on the
Felicity: Hahah! That was a good story. Thanks, Cally!
“You're welcome. I'm glad I got the chance to hang out with you tonight,
Felicity. You seem very nice.”
Felicity: Thanks. You do, too. I'll tell my brother you're not so bad. But I
have to go home, now. It's late and the full moon is out. Mama told me
about the zombies.
“Oh, wow! It really is late! And I haven't watered my garden. It didn't
rain today. I'd better hurry and take care of that before bed.”
“No! That was a really long run, and I'm too tired to tend the garden,
now. It will just have to wait until tomorrow. I'm sure one day without
my care won't kill it.”
“I still have to harvest and weed, but I don't have to water. I love the rain!
More time for dumpster diving, and getting the cash I need to build a
better shelter. I want separate rooms. Ideally, I want a proper
bedroom, a bathroom, and a living room/kitchen. I'd also like a place
where I can create my own decorations, to really make my house a
“I sure hope today makes the $50 delivery fee worthwhile.”
“OK, ready for the regular transaction?”
Annalove: Sure. Say, can I interest you in this lump of woohooium I
“Oh, I wish! But I can't afford it. Perhaps another time?”
Annalove: I may not have it another time. You'll just have to take your
“Today was so worth it! Look what I got! With the time I save on
transportation, I should be able to get a LOT more done!”
“Hmmm. I think I like goldfish better than minnow. But what I'd really like
now is just a jam sandwich. I'll have a kitchen, though. Someday.”
“OH, NO! There's a burglar! I can hear her, prowling around above me.
But what can I do? I can't call the police. Can I fight her off, myself?
Dare I try?”
“I don't think I have much choice. She's coming down the ladder. I can
hear her! She's coming for me!”
“Noooo! Don't take my stuff! You don't know what I went through to get
Robin*: Hahaha! You can't stop me, Sucker! I'll take everything I want,
and leave you in the dust!
Author's Note: The burglar was literally named Robin Steal.
HAHAHAHA! I love this game!
“My lamp? But, I love that lamp. It's pretty! It's pink!”
Robin: Eh, you don't have much worth stealing. I'm gonna go try out the
big house on the hill.
“Thank the Watcher! I guess sometimes, it's good to be poor.”
“She left my scooter. I'm tired and scared, but I guess I'm OK, and I can
get around town without running everywhere. Now I'm doubly
determined to build a proper home. Even if I can't call the police to
help me out, surely I can call upon a friend for moral support. If only I
had a cell phone, or even a landline. But I'll get there! Soon, I'll get
“Ugh. I'm so sleepy! I want one of these at home. This rocking chair is
better and more restful than my sleeping bag.”
“Oh, hi, there! I've never met a werewolf before. Do you like it?”
Waylon: Yeah, it's cool. I can hunt and scratch up furniture. It's fun!”
“Wow, that does sound fun. Wasteful on the furniture front, but fun.
Hunting, in particular sounds good.”
Waylon: Well, maybe someday, I'll let you watch me hunt.
“Suddenly, something happened. It was as if the whole world just froze
up solid, and then, the entire universe had to be rebooted. But on the
plus side, I still have my pretty pink lamp!”
“It made me nervous to contact her twice in one week, but I couldn't
resist sending Corrie a surprise for her birthday. It was just a small wall
hanging, but I thought she'd like it.”
“I've been a very good girl this year. I want a proper bed and a kitchen
and a bathroom, and some way to have fun and express myself
artistically, especially during the winter when it's cold outside, and I
don't want to be diving through frozen trash.
“Word has gotten out around town that people toss out good stuff. Now
I'm not the only one diving for treasure. I just hope that Annalove
doesn't jack up her prices, with the added business.”
A/N: Yes, I DO pay that delivery fee, every day. If she ever has a day
where she only digs up small items she can carry in a backpack, I won't
pay it, and I'll say so. But if she gets even one chair, she has to pay the
delivery fee. Because my challenge can never be completely normal.
A/N: I also let her buy whatever interesting gems and metals she can,
because she's going to profit off them, when it comes time to smelt
and/or cut and sell them. I have a plan for that, later, once she has
enough happiness points to become a Suave Seller. Thanks to fulfill-
able wishes, like “grow this plant,” or “catch this fish,” as well as long
loading screens (bleh), she is only 3600 points away from that! Well,
that's one benefit to game crashes, I suppose.
“You know, kid, if it weren't for the fact that every time I try to talk to a
teenage boy, he runs away from me, leaving me to speak with little
girls, I'd feel like a total creeper. But I need to talk to somebody!”
Sophie: Yeah, Zack is a twit. He ran away from me, too! Said he didn't
like my fairy wings.
“But they're beautiful! And pink! I'd like wings just like them, really.”
Sophie: Oh, you're nice! Here, have some fairy dust. It can make you
fly, for a little while.
“Why, thank you, Sophie! What a kind girl you are! You've made me feel
Sophie: Teehee! I'm a GOOD fairy! Someday, I'll be a fairy godmother.
Maybe when you have a kid of your own.
“Well, I didn't get much money today, but I made another acquaintance to
talk to, and it hailed while we were chatting, so I don't have to water the
garden! Leaving it for last is paying off, although I have to be sure to
save enough energy to actually harvest, at least.”
“It's the end of summer. That season went by so fast, probably because I
was so busy. And I'll be busy again tomorrow. This house isn't going
to build and furnish itself, and I want it done by winter. I'd like to get
into sculpting when it's cold out. I can express myself, while making
beautiful and even useful items for the house, all while staying cozy
and warm inside. Maybe I can even sell some of my stuff for a profit.
Yeah, I'm gonna be a successful sculptor! What a sweet dream.”