Part 4 – It’s hard to tell laughing and crying apart without sound

Grace and Huddie are in her Rav4 outside a much nicer apartment building.  Grace has a momentary flashback to being one a similar stake-out with Christie Lane – lurking outside an apartment building on a raining night.  Nothing much looks the same, and Huddie isn’t telling bad jokes, but it’s enough to evoke a sad feeling of regret.  Grace would consider this reminder an ill omen if she believed in that kind of thing.  Although she did save the world in end of that Christie Lane deal.  It just didn’t work out so good for Christie Lane.

After a long moment of awkward silence Grace is about to ask Huddie who they’re supposed to be watching for when she notices that someone is standing by her side of the car staring in at her through the rain-spotted window, someone who goes to the trouble of wiping at the rain with their sleeve to try and see better.  It doesn’t work very well but that’s how much they want to see inside.

Are goths still a thing?  Or did Portlandia and NCIS put an end to that sub-culture?  Is it still around and called something else now?  The window wiper is a young woman wearing a choker with a cluster of silver skull charms, a shiny black shirt with a mesh-boob window in the shape of a cross, a fake leather jacket, suspenders hanging by her knees, chunky metal jewelry.  She sports jet black hair hanging soddenly down past her short ribs.  If she’s not a goth what is she?  I suppose she could be a mime based on her make-up, although I’ve never seen a mime with runny mascara.  Then again I’ve never seen a mime in the rain, I’ve only seen one pantomime being in the rain.

It takes a moment for Grace to realize that the maybe Goth staring in at her is Cassie.  Partially that’s because Grace never clapped eyes on Cassie before in real life, only a few pictures from the social media.  She sort of saw her through the eyes of her fetch but she was dying at the time so it wasn’t a good look either.  That’s part of it.  But the bulk of the reason it takes her a moment to recognize Cassie is due to the fact that she used to be a blonde who dressed like the music director at a Christian youth camp, most likely because she was the music director at a Christian youth camp. 

You guys remember Cassie right?  She’s the one who was given a book of death spells by God Himself because He wanted her to keep the world safe for dedication and true love by killing her fuck boy ex and various Spring Break sluts that were running around tempting good Christian boys into . . . uh, temptation.  Oh, and also her parents.  And a handsy youth minister.  That’s a lot of murders now that I list them all out here.  I’m not sure she should be running around free even after Grace took away that magic book. 

Grace hasn’t been able to continue stalking her online because after the incident where the father of the ex-boyfriend that Cassie murdered kidnapped and was getting up the nerve to revenge murder her back because of said murder Cassie decided that she would stay off social media for a while.  Which is really something for a person of her age.  Most of them would rather just get murdered than quit social media. 

Anyway, that’s why Grace wasn’t aware of Cassie’s nu-Goth transformation, which is clearly a cry for attention.  In Cassie’s case right here I mean, I am not trying to imply in any way that the Goth subculture only exists as a symptom of childish impulses for attention.  I don’t want to demean the Goth subculture if it still exists.  

Cassie starts wiping at the window more frantically and uselessly with her fake leather sleeve “It’s you . . . you were there . . . you’re her!  You were there that night.  It’s you!”  She starts slamming her palms on the window awkwardly “You were there!  Who are you?!  What happened?!  What happened?!”

Huddie gives Grace a smarmy look “Friend of yours?”

Grace waves at him to shut up and rolls down the window, and I mean that literally, there’s a crank she turns.  If anyone reading this is younger that’s how windows used to work, there was no button, you had to turn a lever by hand to roll down the window.  Which is where the term “roll down” comes from in terms of windows.

Grace winces as a young raindrop comes in the window and hits her in the eye “Hey . . . Cassie right?  Uh. . . . we’ve never met actually . . . but . . . uh . . . I was there that night . . . sort of . . .”

Cassie gapes at her like someone who’s come across a crashed alien spacecraft “Who are you?  What were you doing there?  What are doing here?!  Where did you go?  What happened that night?  Who are you?!”

“Uh . . . your . . . uh . . . stepmom?  Didn’t tell you anything?”  Grace puts her hand out the window awkwardly for a shake which Cassie ignores “My name is Grace . . . and . . . uh . . . see . . . what happened . . . uh . . . you remember . . . uh . . .”

“Cassie who are you talking to?!”

This shout comes from a newcomer across the street coming out of the apartment building.  You know when there’s a “boy band” and one of five to eight dudes in the “band” looks like he’s a “boy” in his thirties?  The shouting guy looks like that guy fifteen years after the group breaks up.  He looks like the kind of guy that somehow manages to makes a living off owning a seasonal Halloween shop.  He looks like the kind of guy who never served in the military but kind of implies that he did.  He looks like the kind of guy who doesn’t sell meth to kids at the local community college but he knows the guy that does.  They’re in the same fantasy football league.  Is that even still a thing now that sports betting is legal? 

Cassie ignores this shout like she doesn’t hear it but Huddie nods at the newcomer “That’s the guy you’re looking for.  I guess the stake-out is blown.”

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