It's night. You'r

Chatterbox: Pudding's Place

It's night. You'r

It's night. You're sitting in your bed, staring out the window, searching for something lost. But you can't remember what it is, or was. All you know is that it's out's important...and it was once yours.

Perhaps you never used it, perhaps you did--once, maybe twice. Or more. But for some strange reason, you can't remember if you did or didn't. Or what effect it had on you. Or...where it is now.

As you awoke from a particularly bland and boring dream, the memory that you were missing this...thing slid into your head. As you sat in a haze between asleep and awake, you stared outside, scouring the landscape that, for one fleeting moment, was no longer the familiar world you saw every day.

So here you are, staring outside, searching.

And then you finish waking up.

And here you are, trying to remember what you were just doing.

Hm, you think, smacking your dry lips. The covers rustle as you reach for your water glass, which sits by your lamp on your nightstand like it does every night. That's really wierd...I can't remember my dream. It seemed important--almost real. Your hand meets cold glass and you close your fingers around it. You bring it to your lips for a satisfying sip, but you realize that it's empty.

"Darn," you whisper. You'll have to get out of bed to fill it up--but it's really cold, and you don't have socks on.

Eh, it's no big deal. You'll fill it up.

Throwing the covers to the side, you haul yourself out of bed. With every footstep towards the kitchen all memory of strange dreams and searches leaves you, and by the time you return to your comfy nest of blankets with your full cup of water, the night seems almost normal. That is, until you glance outside the window.

Something moves across the front of the moon, which is full and shines right through the middle of your window, lighting up your comforter. What could it have been? It seemed familiar...And perhaps it's the fact that you're still half asleep, half awake that you can sense it, but a powerful force beats from it. Calling you. Presenting opportunities that you absolutely cannot miss.

Without any hesitation you get back out of bed, but before you can even leave your bedroom you notice a puddle of water near your nightstand.

So that's where all my water went, you realize. I must've knocked it over. Upon closer inspection you realize that there's writing on the carpet, glowing faintly yellow from under the patch of wetness.

The writing is so interesting you don't even realize how strange it is that the puddle isn't soaking into the carpet, or wonder how the words got there. In fact, the words don't even seem scary to you, despite their suspicious nature.

Hello, person! You are one of the lucky few CBers to be chosen to go on a nice, relaxing, beautiful vacation over Lake Lelillo! (Lay-LIH-loh) If you do indeed come, and we absolutely hope you do decide to, you will be given a free getaway from work, school, and empty water glasses! Here at Lake Lelillo, you will have all-day access to the lake itself, the fun attractions, the ice cream stands, the hot dog stands, the hamburger stands, the steak stands, the spagghetti stands, and any other stand marked with a silver star. (Which is all of them, so please don't forget!) Your rooms will be huge and most of them will even overlook the lake! They will of course be inside our one and only Luxury Lake House, which you will live in until your stay comes to a close. Remember this is all completely free, free free! Please pack your things, bring an AE and/or CAPTCHA if you'd like, and wait with them by the nearest stream at sunrise tomorrow morning. As we always say: All inlets lead to Lelillo!

~Your Soon-to-be Chaperones, 

Cassy and Lily of Lake Lelillo 

How you read all that small print was beyond you. Will you go? It certainly seems relaxing enough. The choice is yours to make.


I'll tell you all when the spots are closed, so join while you still can!

Please note that this is my second ski lodge, and it's kind of linked to my first. In a sense, it's the next part. I don't know if I should call it a part two, or what, but some things might reference the first ski lodge. Don't worry--I'm not going to make things super confusing. I'll explain things as I go--and I really need new CBers to join in. But I also need some CBers from my previous ski lodge to come. ('Course, they don't have to join if they don't want to; I'll understand.)

Here's another clue (if you didn't catch the others...) for the CBers who were in my first ski lodge, or read it, and wanted to be in this one:

What do you get when you cross a scorpion and a sloth?

Hehe, my alias isn't going to last the day. :D

submitted by Your Chaperones, Cassy and Lily
(January 1, 2017 - 11:51 am)


"Sqads two and three, split over both halves of the lake!" Spyro ordered. "Puck, take the aerial route!" Ahh, brings back memories, Spyro thought.

Puck turned into a crow and flapped off.
"Okay, I need two teams to purge the tunnels," Spyro said, leading his squad across the cobblestone paths at a swift run.
Ariel, Saphira, Gem, and Cortana broke away from their squad and made for the tubes.
"Then I need a team to go for the forest."
Turgon and Jayfeather darted off.
"Okay, team," Spyro called to his own team of LilyCat and Nico de Furr. "We're going to bypass the water park and search the beach beyond it."
~ ~ ~
"Here comes Puck," Ice Wolf whispered. "I wonder if the AEs found Brooklyn Newsie and Elvina yet?"
Autumn Leaves shrugged. "We should get the signal when they do."
"Where are September and BookBuggy?" Ice Wolf wondered. "They're going to be late!"
"Right here," said a voice belonging to September. "I let Chester see us, and he was on his own."
"Okay, I hope that wasn't too soon, but great," Autumn Leaves confirmed. Suddenly, the trill of a whistle reached their ears.
BookBuggy cocked her head. "That's the signal. Elvina and Brooklyn have been caught."
"Out of the forest, everybody! To the edge!" whispered Ice Wolf.
The four CBers, who had been hiding in the forest by the beach beyond the water park, exited their leafy vantage point to allow the AEs to glimpse them.
"GNGG!" came Chester's voice from across the lake.
A crow swoped down to where the little CAPTCHA was.
"I SEE SOMEONE!" Spyro bellowed. He and two CAPTCHAs were hurtling across the beach, much closer than the CBers had anticipated. "FOUR SOMEONES!"
"Oh, snap, Spyro's found us," BookBuggy hissed. "Bird call! We need to make a defensive maneuver, according to Moonfrost!"
September signaled the other group of CBers, who were hiding farther along the shore than them.
The foursome retreated back into the woods, trying to catch up with the reinforcements up ahead.
"We've got you covered, guys," came another voice--Hotairballoon's. The reinforcement group had arrived. "Keep going--we're switching roles now."
Barely a nod passed between the groups, and they kept running. September swapped groups, joining Hotairballoon, Dragonrider, and Poetic Panda. Autumn Leaves, Ice Wolf, and BookBuggy pushed farther into the trees.
They heard Spyro's yell of triumph. "WE GOT DRAGONRIDER!" he shouted.
"Why is he yelling all that information to us? He's only making it easier for us to win."
September came dashing back to her team. "Okay, we've got him distracted. Three sacrafices is about all we need to expect. The others are safely back in the woods now."
"Back to the edge, guys," Autumn Leaves urged. "Spyro's out of the way now; we can continue."
"SEIM!" yelled a CAPTCHA--no one could tell who; they were too busy trying to pretend like they thought they were invisible.
A crow--that is, Puck--flapped back and forth across the lake.
"No doubt they're sending people at us. A group of four CBers requires five AEs," BookBuggy gasped, leaning against a tree, catching her breath.
Another bird call shot up from somewhere.
"Time to get a move on," September said, and the distractions merged back into the trees.
Cinderpelt appeared from behind them. "They've concluded we're not on the right side of the lake. Hotairballoon's group is in position; just keep going forwards. I'm supposed to shuttle people back to the other side. Look out for Turgon and Jayfeather. They're coming from behind. And Puck and Sir Galahad and all the other CAPTCHAs are coming for you from the right. Hurry, hurry!"
Cinderpelt dashed off.
~ ~ ~
"Go, go, go!" ordered Puck. "We've got to get them!"
Puck crossed the beach beyond the water park and hurtled into forest, leading Chester, Sir Galahad, Holly, and the rest of the CAPTCHAs.
The trees flashed by and, all of a sudden, so did some CBers.
"Ahh! Go left!" Puck squealed, caught by surprise.
Turgon and Jayfeather were trotting through the leaves when the same group of CBers flashed past them. "Ugh I'm too tired to run," panted Turgon.
"GET THEM!" thundered Puck after practically tripping over the two AEs. Her pace was not slowed, however, and her team swept the two AEs off their lazy bums to join the chase.
~ ~ ~
Hotairballoon led his group across two rendezvous points, picking up two CBers to add to his team. He, Poetic Panda, Booksy Owly, and Joan B. of Arc were under orders to cut behind Autumn Leaves's group and snag up all the AEs that were chasing them, leading them away from all the others while they shuttled over to the right side of the lake to hide for the rest of the time.
They whipped past Puck's team...they whipped past Turgon and Jayfeather...they heard the shouts of surprise...they hadn't recognized that these weren't the same CBers they'd been trailing originally...and the next phase was a go.
"Pick up the pace," said HAB. "We backtrack in a minute. Let's round up all the AEs."
~ ~ ~
Dragonrider, Elvina, and Brooklyn Newsie were the only CBers who the AEs managed to catch by the end of the hour and a half.
When it was the AEs' turn to hide, however, the CBers would find that it was not as easy to execute a plan when your quarry is as unpredictable as the unpredictable.
"Oh...You should see what the AEs are doing," Autumn Leaves gasped when the CBers were turned loose from the house.
The CBers clammored to Autumn Leaves's viewpoint. They also raised their eyebrows.
The AEs had formed a living pyramid. They were parading around the beach with the CAPTCHAs at the top of their tower, singing loudly, almost beckoning the CBers to come catch them.
"LALALA YOU CAN'T GET US!" they chorused.
"What...what are they doing?" Owlgirl wondered, aghast.
"They sure have a lot of confidence," Hotairballoon muttered.
" should we carry out our plan?" Poetic Panda asked. "Or..."
"Yep. Let's do the plan. Definitely," Dragonrider agreed.
But while the CBers tried to fan out and close in on the AEs, their pyramid wobbled over to the water and jumped in.
Then they paddled across the lake, and the CBers had to formulate another plan.
But their next plan failed wildly as well; the small band the CBers sent to wait for the AEs at the other shore did nothing to convince them to turn around and go back to the beach, and when they arrived at the other shore, they charged up it, forcing the CBers to flee or be trampled.
Seeing as thirty minutes had passed without any AEs in the hands of the CBers, new tactics were called for.
"Fight random with random!" became the CBers' new motto, and they dashed around madly for the rest of the time. It was a very close call, but no one can match the madness of an AE, and, unfortunately, none of them were caught.
"I think we should've had more time," grumbled the CBers in the midst of the cheering and jeering of their victorious adversaries.
"You will!" Lily replied, indifferent to the disappointment. "In the next round!"
"I hardly think thirty minutes are anything to get excited about," Cassy chirped, showing a rare display of pessimism, "if you don't have a prize at the end of them. But you have the prize to look forwards you should work hard to WIN!" she finished, correcting the CBers' original assumptions that she was being dispirited. "Thirty minutes are all it'll take!"
"The AEs are in the lead by three. Those whose team has the largest total of catches at the end of these two last rounds wins!" Lily announced. "The AEs get to search first! You know the drill, everyone. CBers, you go hide! OH! I forgot. You can only hide INSIDE this time! Ok, you can go now."
Exactly one hour and twenty-six minutes after the CBers dashed off to hide inside the house, the two teams lined up; one, sad; the other, way more ecstatic than it should have been.
"The AEs won, with a total of four CBers caught! The CBers lost, with one AE caught."
The echo room was quiet as the AEs held their breaths, jittering in excitement to see their prize.
Lily continued. "And here's the prize!"
She held up a notebook with pencil marks in it.
The silence continued in expectation of an explanation.
"The prize!"
Lily peered confusedly at everyone's blank faces.
"Yay!" Echosong attempted feebly.
"It's, uh--maybe you should have your eyes checked? I dunno, Cassy, I thought they'd be more excited."
Cassy's face was one of incredulous amusement. "Lily, hah--presenting the scores to them like that...No, no, let me do this. Your prize is a head start in the Lake Lelillo Event Tournament, an ongoing challenge that will last your entire stay! Bear in mind that it won't be easy to win points...which is why you should be excited, because we're giving each of you TEN WHOLE POINTS!"
Lily smiled as the AEs and CAPTCHAs grew more happy. "That's more like it! Now, each of you will be competing individually, but some of the events call for team cooperation. But more on that later! Who's hungry for dinner?"
The CBers and AEs were being buffeted from one fun thing to another, which raised their spirits immensely and occupied their minds so that they had no time to consider the murder mystery progressing right under their noses.
Naturally, Lily and Cassy had been ordered to do a head count whenever shuttling the vacationers to new locations, but in the heat of the moment they may have, as they later confessed, forgotten to as they led the group out of the echo room for dinner.
Two heads were missing from the group.
Spyro, and...well, we can all guess who, now can't we?
Spyro whimpered in fear. He had been pulled behind a tapestry no one would've bothered to look at on his way out, and someone was holding something sharp to his throat. He couldn't see who, as they were also holding something over his eyes, and he couldn't escape, as his arms and legs were being tied together.
The murderer spoke only after everyone had gone.
"The ghost pepper-and-acid salmon was meant for you, Spyro," whispered a cold, deadly voice.
Spyro's eyes would've widened if they weren't being held shut.
"MMMM!" he wailed. "MM MMM MMM MMMMMMM!"
"Yes, it was delicious," the murderer whispered, its face inches from Spyro's ear. "Unfortunately, the plates were mixed up. Sorry about that."
Spyro shook with fear and anger. Suddenly, his blindfold was removed.
"Mmmm," he hissed quietly, glaring into the eyes of his soon-to-be killer. "Mmm mmee mmmmk."
The murderer smiled, a tortured and contorted expression that chilled Spyro to the bones.
"I have to eliminate you, Spyro."
Spyro wanted to look anywhere but the crazed eyes of the murderer; unfortunately, the grey back of the tapestry didn't offer much better scenery. All he could think about was that he was about to die behind it.
"Some murderers use other things to do their bidding--animals, for example. I suppose it's good for anonymity."
Spyro's heart sped up. The idle chatter always came before the death.
The murderer snatched Spyro's earpiece off his ear and crushed it in his hands. It emitted a dull whine, sparked once, and died, spitting a small strand of smoke into the air.
"I don't know, though. It seems cowardly. Using animals, I mean."
Spyro glanced around, uncertain as to whether or not he should agree.
"I'm no coward."
Spyro felt the coolness of the sword blade against his neck all the more clearly.
"Joan won't know it's missing until it's too late. I snatched it while we were playing afternoon."
Spyro closed his eyes, taking calming breaths, hoping the murderer would remove his gag and allow him a few last words.
"Spyro, cheer up! Times are dark, my friend. You don't know what I'm talking about, naturally, but you will, one day. And no, before you get your hopes up, I'm not using your ghost."
The murderer, in one swift, fluid motion, took the sword off Spyro's neck and plunged it into his heart. The AE slumped to the ground, his arms and legs still bound, all the life gone in an instant.
The sword clanged to the floor.
The murderer slunk out of the echo room, to rejoin the CBers in the house. With any luck, no one would notice it had been gone.
Luck or not, no one noticed.
NOOOOOOO! Poor Spyro! This part broke my heart!
submitted by Lily and Cassy, Lake Lelillo
(January 29, 2017 - 9:32 pm)



SO GOOD!/freaky too, but GOOD!~

Sorry if I was picking on you to write more, it happens when I'm....excited. 

submitted by Icy, age 12!!!, The Forest
(January 30, 2017 - 12:26 pm)

*Screams into a pillow* SO GOOD!!!! Dun dun duh!!!!!!!!! Keep up the amazing writing! 

submitted by Ember
(January 30, 2017 - 2:11 pm)

That was intense. Poor Spyro!

submitted by Owlgirl
(June 22, 2017 - 3:36 pm)
"Hey, er, where's Spyro?" asked Jayfeather. "I wanted to make a spagghetti Eiffel Tower, and if he's not going to eat that spagghetti..."
Pepper Star looked to Wordsy, who looked to Gem, who looked to LilyCat, who looked to Cortana, who shrugged.
"I dunno," Pepper Star concluded.
"Hmm..." Icy mused. "Mighty suspicious, if you ask me..." She scribbled something down in her notebook.
Booksy, however, looked nervous. "What if something bad happened to him?" she asked.
"Like...if he got murdered?" Rosalyn asked emphatically.
"POOR SPYRO. What's Leafpool, then, chopped meatballs?"
"And don't forget about Saphire," BookBuggy chided.
"Wait, you think she was murdered?" Rosalyn asked blankly. "Didn't she just choke?"
"What kind of choking makes the victim scream, 'It burns!'?"
"Good point."
Icy looked up from her notebook, which was almost completely full. "I've concluded that Saphire was murdered. Don't ask me how, or I'll launch into a--"
"How'd you conclude?" Shadow asked.
"Well, I'm glad you asked," Icy said, settling into her seat. "You see, the statistics say that the chances of someone choking on the first day of a vacation at a lake on the food native to that eco system and was served by one of five people are very, very low, which in turn gives lots of standing evidence for a provoked choking, especially when served by one of five people, and the chances of her being murdered are raised when another murder enters the calculations. I've also looked through my notes and right here, she was breathing normally when she took her bites of food, and that she looked increasingly uncomfortable with every bite, which suggests it was something in the food that caused her death. And if the heimlich maneuver made it worse, then she definitely wasn't choking. I think that it's safe to say she was murdered. And Leafpool too--here's the pr--"
"That's good; I'll take your word for it," Shadow interrupted.
"So there's a murderer among us," Poetic Panda said quietly.
"Yes, yes there is, and I think we should go look for Spyro before it's too late," Icy urged.
"But why would someone want to murder us?!" Panda asked nervously. She still remembered her training from the last vacation she'd been on, and wasn't afraid to defend herself and her friends, but the instances seemed different this time, somehow.
"I'm going to look for Spyro," Hotairballoon said decisively, standing up, "if no one else is."
"I'll go with you!" Joan said. "Puck, you come, too."
"What about me?" Airel asked, giving them puppy eyes.
"All right, just don't goof off," Joan ordered. "This is serious stuff."
The other CBers had mostly finished eating, but pushed away what was left of their food. They grew too restless to eat, and therefore busied themselves with helping find Spyro.
Rosalyn stumbled upon his body maybe ten minutes later by mere chance. She was passing through the echo room when she saw something glint out of the corner of her eye. It looked like...a crushed earpiece?
She turned around and approached the tapestry next to the earpiece cautiously...there was a lump behind it...she pulled back the cloth...and held back a scream. (The echo room would've made her regret it if she hadn't.)
Instead, she pulled out her stylish new phone and contacted the others. "Come to the echo room," she told them, her voice shaking. "I found--I found Spyro."
Moments later, she heard clattering footsteps coming down the hall...the doorway, which was already open, was soon filled with anxious CBers.
"Look," Rosalyn whispered, and pointed behind the tapestry.
Wordsy screamed hysterically, and everyone covered their ears.
"And why is it always me who finds the dead body?" Rosalyn demanded.
"He's dead..." Kate the Great breathed. "Obviously murdered..."
Brooklyn Newsie inched over to Spyro's body. "Who's sword is this?" she asked, quieting the group by raising her hand up.
Joan gasped. "It's mine! I didn't even notice it was gone!"
Icy leapt up to Brooklyn Newsie's side. "IS THAT SO!" she thundered dramatically.
"It is so," Joan replied coldly.
"FNGR! FING! INGR! NGER! FING! ERRR!" Tina the Thunderbird squealed, shaking her feathers for attention.
"Finger?" Ember guessed.
Brooklyn shook her head. "No, she says we should have a meeting."
"Meetings," scoffed Turgon. "They're overrated." 
submitted by Lily and Cassy, Lake Lelillo
(January 31, 2017 - 9:41 am)

Whyyy?! Whyyyyyyy!! He was so young!

...Actually, he really wasn't. He was like 104 or so in human years. But still!

The worst part is I have no idea who it could be - my best guess is it's Turgon and he's still ticked off about his dr--


DON'T DO THAT! I nearly had a heart attack! Even as a ghost, you're the bane of my existence!

Want me to tell you who it is?

No! Come on, you know how mad I get when I hear spoilers, even if it's something I don't care about.

You don't care who killed me, then? Wow. Friend of the year right here, ladies and gents.

No, that's not what I... ugh. Can you just go back to your heavenly donut buffet and leave me in peace?

Gosh, somebody's moody. Have some respect for the recently deceased! 

I really want to resurrect you just so that I can kill you again. Is that a thing? Can we make that a thing? 

submitted by hotairballoon, and Spyro's ghost
(January 31, 2017 - 8:03 pm)

NO ONE TOUCH THE SWORD! We should check for fingerprints first! 

Just a thought.

SOOOOOOOOOO good so far! Keep up the great work.

iiii like thhe waay shhe wrte mmee. 

(I like the way she wrote me.)

submitted by Brooklyn Newsie
(January 31, 2017 - 7:25 pm)

Ooh hey, we're studdying DNA electrophoresis and meathods to compare suspect's DNA to crime scene DNA. Maybe we could use that? Which reminds me... I should probably go back to studdying for my test...

Great writing, Micey! And I'll miss you, Spyro... 

submitted by Booksy Owly
(February 3, 2017 - 12:15 am)

This story is AMAZING Micearenice! I forgot about it for a while, so I just read like 10 days/parts at once! :)

submitted by Dragonrider
(February 2, 2017 - 5:42 pm)

Ok, so now the murderer uses my sword as a weapon. Great. I'm a suspect.

Sorry Spyro; I had no idea. R.I.P.

*Puts hands up in defense* What? I'm not saying I was the one who did it. . .

It still could have been anyone; including my AE's Puck and Ariel. (I let them use my sword sometimes. . . for learning fencing and defense.)

Or, it could have been H.A.B. He was leading my group during our game of "Capture the AE/CBer." Who knows? It could be anyone!

submitted by Joan B. of Arc, age 14, Camelot
(February 3, 2017 - 6:52 pm)

I brought a knife. It better not be used against me! It's for self-defense! I mean, helloooooo, what do you CBers expect on a ski lodge?

submitted by Grace, Owlgirl's AE
(June 22, 2017 - 3:35 pm)

Really good as always! Um, just a question, but since the room placements, my AE Briar hasn't been mentioned. Just wondering. Thanks for writing this!! 

submitted by Ember
(February 3, 2017 - 10:29 pm)

Oops, *facepalm* sorry! Goodness, I always forget someone. I'll remember her now; don't worry!! Sorry again.

P.S. I'll post the next part(s?) today. 

submitted by Lily and Cassy, Lake Lelillo
(February 4, 2017 - 9:19 am)

That's ok! Trust me, I know the feeling; I'm the most forgetful person ever lol. 

submitted by Ember
(February 4, 2017 - 12:21 pm)
Here's the next few parts! All in one long thin post!
The CBers held a funeral for Spyro, cleaned up the floor to the echo room (after Icy got a good look at it, snapped lots of pictures, and dusted it for fingerprints), and gathered in their living room.
"Notes, notes, notes," Icy began. "Let's get things simplified. We went on vacation, and now we're being murdered. By one of us? Or two of us? Or three of us? We've lost three of our group so far. Saphire was the first to go. Then came Leafpool. And lastly, Spyro. The purpose of this meeting? To get a good idea of our situation. WHO is murdering people? Are there two murderers, or just one? WHY are they doing it, whoever they are? IS there a pattern yet? AE, CBer, AE. DOES it mean anything?"
"Okay, it's always nice to have our points laid out," Poetic Panda said. "Things we know--the murderer is taking its time. And it doesn't want us to know who it is."
"We can't really do anything about it," Dragonrider said. "Can we?"
"That's not true," argued Hotairballoon. "There's a number of things we could do. Set up security cameras. Always travel in a group. Or...leave."
"Leave?! But if we caught the murderer, we wouldn't have to!" September said, alarmed.
Hotairballoon shrugged. "Just a suggestion."
"Then let's resolve to catch it. The only problem is, the murderer could be anyone. It could could be you, Poetic Panda, or you, Hotairballoon, or even you, Ember!" Icy exclaimed.
"Or it could be you, Icy, or Jayfeather, or Gem," Hotairballoon retorted. "Even one of the CAPTCHAs."
"We know it can't be Lily or Cassy," Owlgirl said. "Let's bring them in to the meeting."
The CBers waited for Lily and Cassy to arrive. None of them really believed it was one of their own who was murdering them. None of them really could believe it--the thought was so outrageous; so random! Even those who had just returned from a particularly nasty trip found the thought inconceiveable...And yet no one bothered to ask why.
When Lily and Cassy arrived, they had a large binder with them. The edges were frayed and papers stuck out from the ends.
"So," Lily said in a businesslike voice. "Let's get to it." She plopped down on the floor.
Cassy sat down on the ground next to her sister. "Ways to get rid of the murderer. Buddy systems. For sure. Totally. Groups of five? Got it."
"What about security systems?" Moonfrost asked.
"Um, our budget won't fit it," Lily frowned. "Sorry. We spent all the money on the water park."
"Oh, ok. What about during the events? How can we travel in buddy systems then?"
"You have your communications devices! Put them on 'always on' mode. That way we'll be able to hear your every word! Pass them to me and I'll fix them," Cassy said.
The CBers handed their devices to Cassy one at a time while she tinkered with the numerous buttons on their sides. She opened her binder, which had a diagram of each device's different modes and uses.
"We'll connect them to this walkie talkie, which will recieve your signals and record everything it gets," said Lily, patting the little radio connected to her belt.
"Won't that get annoying?" Briar asked.
"We can turn down the volume if we have to. It'll still record everything."
"Meanwhile, everybody keep an eye out for suspicious behavior!" Cassy said, fixing the very last walkie talkie.
"Try to stay in groups of five," Lily reminded them.
"We've got to go fix our walkie talkies now. We probably won't see you again tonight, so good night! Sleep well! See you tomorrow!" Cassy said, and she and Lily left, shutting the door behind them.
"That was fast," Moonfrost remarked.
"But it'll work!" September said. "The murderer won't be able to murder anyone...and we can finish our vacation in peace!"
But, as we all know, nothing is foolproof, no matter how much it seems to be. The little safety system would work just fine for the rest of the night...until the murderer tweaked its own earpiece to work only when it wanted it to.
The CBers fell asleep feeling very comfortable and not anxious at all.
Day 3:
As the CBers slept, their subconsciousness went hard to work. Their brains picked apart every conversation they'd had, every sight they'd seen, and eventually settled upon the conclusion that they were very, very perplexed at the day's happenings. It wasn't very helpful at all, but then, when has your subconsciousness ever given you a straight answer? When they awoke, they did realize that they weren't as calm as they had been the night before, but, telling themselves they were being irrational, they shrugged off the thought and leapt out of bed.
The morning was dark and cloudy; a cold front had moved in during the night, and dark gray cumulonimbus clouds blew across the sky. The lake reflected the stormy morning, making the entire outside look like a sandwich between two levels of shadow. It was, in short, a very bad day to go outside.
"Aww, and so soon after your arrival!" Lily had sympathized when the CBers came down from their rooms for breakfast. "I'm sorry. At least there's a lot to enjoy inside!"
Cassy set steaming bowls of cheese grits and scrambled eggs in front of each CBer, AE, and CAPTCHA.
"Does anybody want syrup?" Cassy asked, sitting down at the head of the table. Lily chose a chair at the other end.
"Whatever for?!" Ice Wolf wondered.
"For their eggs!" Cassy replied, and upturned her bottle of maple syrup, drenching her breakfast.
"I'll try some," Jayfeather shrugged.
"You'll need a new bottle; this one's almost out." Cassy jumped up and ran into the kitchen to fetch some more, tripping on the carpet in her haste.
Ember stretched, reaching her arms up to the ceiling with a great yawn. "Soooo...Puck, wanna take us on the grand tour of the house today? I feel like we've been putting it off. I'm worried I'm going to get lost one of these days."
Puck spooned the rest of her grits into her mouth and swallowed. "Sure. Why not."
Cassy came back in with a fresh bottle of syrup and set it in front of Jayfeather. "Tell me how you like it!"
Jayfeather poured some syrup into his bowl of grits and ate a spoonful. "Pretty good," he admitted, and added some more.
Lily and Cassy and the CBers cleared the table and gathered around Puck, who would naturally be leading their expedition, since she could best read the map.
They started inside the dining room. Puck led them through hallways and more dining rooms and sitting rooms and theaters, and the CBers soon made the realization that this floor was the leisure level.
They eventually ended up back in the reception room. Taking one of the doors behind the desks (after asking Lily's permission) they found a short corridor and some stairs leading down.
They found a few more billiard rooms and guessed that they were in the basement with the game room--suggesting that this floor was the activity level.
Puck took them through all the rooms and closets and then discovered yet another set of stairs (these had not been on the map) in the gymnastics room. When they reached the bottom, however, there was a locked door and nothing else.
"You can't go in there; sorry. Top, job contracts," Lily told them.
"Yeah," Cassy agreed. "Job contracts."
The CBers explored the activity floor a little more and then went up to the leisure floor and took the magnificent staircase up to the little balcony that would eventually lead to their bedrooms. Puck showed them along all the passages and corridors, through extremely large bedrooms and tiny little dorms, more living rooms, and epic bathrooms with swimming pool-sized bathtubs. There was a pillow room, with cushioned walls and floors, and a window room, with a window replacing one whole wall. If the CBers squinted, they could see a snowcapped mountain off in the distance, perfectly centered with the window.
The guest level had a stairwell hidden inside a closet. The CBers took it up and found the next floor to be just like any normal old mansion's third floor. The furniature here was dusty and mostly untouched by Lily or Cassy; the CBers could tell because it matched the walls and paintings rather well.
The next floor was just the same; the floor after that was the attic, and it was completely empty except for a few mouse droppings and cobwebs covered in dead wasps and dust.
Lily coughed a few times and looked around the attic critically. "Cassy, I thought you cleaned up this place."
"I did. But this place is so old that it practically breeds dust!"
The vacationers inched their way out of the attic and made their way back to the second floor, the bedroom level.
They gathered in a large living room that was not connected to their rooms, but offered plenty of space for them to meet.
Autumn Leaves stood on a chair. "I'm going back to the trampoline room downstairs. Anybody want to come with me? I can't go unless four other people want to come..."
Autumn Leaves formed a group with Ice Wolf, Gem, Poetic Panda, Ember, Jayfeather, Ariel, Cinderpelt, Shadow, Booksy Owly, Turgon, Hotairballoon, Briar, BookBuggy and Saphira (the trampoline room had looked really fun).
Dragonrider also went down to the game room with LilyCat, Chester, Holly, Sir Galahad, Tina, Cinderheart, and Legolas to play CAPTCHAKart, which was basically MarioKart played with CAPTCHAs.
Puck and some of the more adventurous AEs snuck down to the bottomost staircase to try and get into the locked door.
The rest of the vacationers chose to stay in the living room and build pillow forts, since they were, after all, on vacation.
The trampoline room was lit with disco lights and had trampolines covering the walls, floors, and ceilings.
"I can do a flip!" Jayfeather announced, and bounced off the wall. He spun in the air, yes, but 'flip' isn't quite the right word to describe his trick.
"Cool!" Cinderpelt said. "That was more of a...horizontal cartwheel, but still, it was cool!"
A large twanging noise emitted from one of the trampolines. "Uh oh, that didn't sound good," Booksy said.
"Nah, it's fine," Jayfeather said. "All trampolines twang sometimes."
But it was not fine, and the CBers would soon learn that to be in a large group is not to be safe.
Turgon triple-bounced off the walls and landed hard on one of the trampolines. The twang came again, louder this time, but Turgon landed back on his trampoline before he could register the noise and try to land somewhere else.
With one great rip, his trampoline's stretchy skin gave way, and his legs sank through it. All its springs twanged at once, and a split second later the entire black trampoline skin shot into the air, with Turgon wrapped in the middle of it. The CBers watched, horrified, as the thing bouced rapidly all over the room like a cannonball. There was a cracking sound, and a crunching sound, and pretty soon all the trampolines were breaking, shooting their springs and skins everywhere.
The CBers screamed and made a hasty escape, but not before Gem was trapped by another trampoline skin that blasted into her.
Seconds later, all the noise stopped, and the CBers ran back into the room to rescue their friends.
Every single trampoline frame was empty. The CBers could see the wooden floor below, scattered with springs and nails and screws, and the lights on the ceiling had been busted out by the ceiling trampolines, scattering the mess with shards of colored glass.
Black squares hung haphazardly about the room, and the CBers soon saw that it was too late for Turgon and Gem; the force of the trampoline cannons had obviously broken some major bones.
"No, no, no, this can't be happening!" BookBuggy cried. "Both of my AEs! Who's next!"
"What are we going to do!? The--the murderer--"
"Help! Lily and Cassy! Help!"
"We're coming," came their chaperones' voices, and by the sound of it, they had already been on their ways.
The CBers were summoned from their various locations to partake in the meeting that followed.
"The murderer isn't going to rest until we're all dead." It was BookBuggy. Her face was determined. "So we are going to have an interrogation. We need to find the murderer and get them out of here!"
BookBuggy whispered something to Lily and Cassy and the two chaperones hesitated before nodding their heads.
"I'm going to ask you all by this room," BookBuggy explained. They were once again in the large living room. The pillow forts still stood. "I'll call you one by one into my pillow fort. The rest of you have to wait outside."
The CBers glanced at each other and then nodded. It was worth a try.
BookBuggy first called Elvina into her fort. There was a small flashlight illuminating the blankets that surrounded them, and BookBuggy's face was etched in shadows, giving the entire interrogation an overall spooky feeling.
"First question, Elvina. How do you know I'm not the murderer?"
Elvina shrank back a little. "Um...I don't."
"Are you sure?"
"Okay...second question. Have you noticed a pattern at all between the many deaths?"
Elvina paused to think. "Alter Ego, Chatterboxer, Alter Ego, Alter Ego, Alter Ego."
"Mostly AEs, huh. Don't you think it could be a message?"
Elvina was perplexed. "Um, not really..."
"Other I, Chatterboxer; other I, other I, other I."
"I don't know what that could mean, though," Elvina said.
BookBuggy eyed Elvina. "Okay...last question. Did you MURDER my AEs?"
Elvina shook her head. "No!!!"
"Okay, you can...go now."
The rest of the questionings passed in a similar fashion. BookBuggy finished and was no closer to finding the murderer than she had been in the first place.
"Then...shall we have lunch?" Lily asked. The Chatterboxers shrugged.
Outside, the rain had begun. Lightning flashed at the horizon, the trees' leaves fluttered wildly, parting with their branches and tumbling across the lake. Thunder rocked the mansion.
Meanwhile, the CBers were having soup, which they had decided to eat in the living room.
I don't know how we can ever relax, September thought, with a murderer among us. Even if we get rid of them, how can we relax knowing that five of us were killed here?
Cassy slurped her soup very, very quietly. "So how have you gotten rid of murderers in the past?" she asked, looking very, very curious about what their answers would be.
The CBers looked at each other. "Um...we haven't. Not really."
Poetic Panda looked up at Cassy in wonderment. "Hey, wait a minute...yes we have!"
The rest of the CBers looked at her. "We have!" Panda insisted. "In fact, I can't believe I haven't thought about that!"
I can, thought the murderer. That's what's supposed to happen. The fact that you remembered is more proof for my current state of mind.
"We--that's strange," Poetic Panda repeated. "I mean, it's like my brain kind of shoved all those memories they were from completely different circumstances."
Booksy and Joan's eyes lit up. "Oh yeah! I know what you mean!" they said.
The other CBers began to remember various moments from past ski lodges.
Cassy frowned, as did Lily. "That's...really odd!" Lily exclaimed.
"I totally agree!" Cassy said.
"That's exactly what it was like, Panda," Moonfrost said slowly. "But now that I think about it...don't you think it's odd that this happens on every vacation?"
Hotairballoon nodded. "Every vacation goes horribly wrong."
"Odd," Autumn Leaves agreed.
"Hmm. Just bad luck, I suppose," September suggested.
"I guess so," said the others.
The murderer raised its eyebrows.
"Well. How are we going to catch the--uh oh..." Lily said. Her radio was crackling. She turned up the volume slightly...
"--And now it's time for you to die," said a voice.
"NOOOOOO!" screamed another.
"HAHAHA!" Then came more noises...
Lily and Cassy performed a quick head count and concluded that two CBers were MISSING!
"The murderer!" everyone shouted and sprang up from the table. Naturally, the voices they heard over Lily's walkie talkie were recordings, but over the static of the radio no one could tell that it was really the murderer altering its voice to sound like two different people.
"AND TO THINK I COULD'VE JUST WAITED!" came the awful screeching over the walkie talkie again. "WHY!!!!! WHY!!!!!"
The CBers were scrambling around the living room. "Where are they?" they yelled. "We have to save them!"
Lily happened to hear thumping coming from downstairs. "They're on the leisure floor! Downstairs!"
The group raced through the guest floor to find the balcony. When they emerged in the reception room, they hardly paused to jump over the potentially hazardous wrinkles in the carpet.
They ran through another door and followed the thumping.
It all happened in a jumble. The entire group reached a small sitting room door, where the thumping was presumably coming from. No one knew who was where, or what was who.
Two giant crashes came from the room, and dust and smoke filled the air.
Two CBers, who had been in the restroom the whole time, finally found their group among all the yelling and shouting.
And two more AEs lost their lives.
The smoke cleared and the group calmed down, peeking into the sitting room very carefully. Old wicker chairs, haphazardly strewn about, were smoking, and the carpet was torn up in places, revealing the multicolored padding below. Knives had been embedded in the carpet near the chairs. A lightsaber-wand-slingshot lay in the middle of the room, also by the chairs, and to the left, by a fallen china cabinet, was a sword.
As the smoke cleared further, the CBers saw, to their horror, a body next to the sword. Then, as the windows shed a bit more light on the situation, they saw another body next to the lightsaber-wand-slingshot, under a wicker chair and surrounded by scattered cutlery.
Rosalyn's hand still grasped Brooklyn Newsie's weapon.
And by the cabinet, covered in shattered glass and bits of shredded, flaming carpet, was Cortana, inches away from Joan's sword.
"So who killed who," Lily asked quietly, stepping lightly into the room. "We were too late, but we can still figure out who dunnit."
Icy rushed forwards, holding a small notebook in one hand and a blurred pen in the other.
"I see, I see," she said.
"It's an AE killing spree!" someone screeched.
"I should've known!" Wordsy wailed. "The clues all pointed that way!"
"Be careful!" someone else warned.
Icy took one last look around and put her hand up to quiet the others. "I think I know what happened, based on the clues that are set before us."
Icy walked over to Cortana and observed the china cabinet. "One of these AEs was the murderer, as we heard over the radio. Now, this is what it looks like happened: The murderer followed the victim down here and cornered her. They started fighting--Rosalyn used the lightsaber, and Cortana must've used the sword--after all, the room is sliced and burned. Then, it looks like someone knocked over the china cabinet. But they're both dead. So either Cortana bumped into the china cabinet and it fell on her and Rosalyn died of strangely natural causes...or Rosalyn knocked the china cabinet over with her, died of natural causes. But those ideas are both impossible in this situation, so here's what really happened, I think.
"Rosalyn has the lightsaber, but the entire side of the room she's on is covered in burn marks. Why would she attack herself? Cortana's side of the room is less damaged. But there are slices all over her shirt. Why would she attack herself? She didn't! Cortana began with the lightsaber and Rosalyn had the sword! And all those knives! Then, at the last minute, Cortana must've thrown the lightsaber at Rosalyn, and Rosalyn threw the sword at Cortana! But Cortana got smashed by the cabinet when Rosalyn's aim was off. Rosalyn died because she obviously was killed by a spell! Then you might ask why the weapon is right next to her. It's because CORTANA framed her! CORTANA was the murderer! And she's dead now? Yes! BUT WAIT! Why would Rosalyn grab it? SHE WOULDN'T! She grabbed it because she was framing Cortana! So ROSALYN WAS THE MURDERER!"
"But why would Cortana throw it if she didn't have to?" asked Hotairballoon.
"'re right! Rosalyn wasn't framing Cortana after Cortana is the culprit! It makes sense, you know. Everyone would think Rosalyn killed Leafpool, and she had the very same weapon in her hands when she died...Yep, case closed!"
The CBers hated to admit that Icy's theory was probably right. But at least the murderer was dead...? The tight knots in their stomachs hadn't really lessened; they would have to wait and see if the murderer really was gone. After just seemed too lucky to be true...
Of course they held a funeral for both AEs, since nobody really deserves to die on vacation, not even a murderer. Then they gathered around in the living room, subdued but slightly more hopeful.
"That's that!" Lily said, dusting her hands off. "The murderer's gone!"
"Yep," the CBers agreed halfheartedly.
"The others had come here to have you'll have to have fun for them, in their memories!"
"...Yeah! I guess you're right!" the CBers said, perking up a little.
"Don't be down; you'll see them after you get back to the Chatterbox, right?" Cassy asked eagerly. Lily stamped on her foot. "OUCH! I mean, um, I'm just guessing, of course. After! SHALL WE CONTINUE WITH VACATION?!"
The CBers glanced at each other; they would have to discuss this slip later on.
"YEAH!" cried the AEs. "TOTALLY!" At least they were able to fully enjoy themselves.
Too many deaths at once? Yeah, probably. *Sigh* Sorry, guys, if the whole thing's way too confusing. I keep trying to make things interesting, but I don't think it's working. I promise, (if things go as planned), it'll get way more exciting as time goes on! 
submitted by Lily and Cassy, Lake Lelillo&NEW PART!
(February 4, 2017 - 9:27 pm)