Chatterbox: Pudding's Place

A Ski Lodge

You flop down onto your bed, exhausted from another long day of school. Is it really necessary for your teacher to assign you to write three essays this week? You have other stuff going on. Life. And you can’t afford to fail this class. Your academic success is hanging on a precipice, and one nudge will send it falling into an abyss so deep that it will never be found if it is lost.

The computer is open in front of you, the white, electronic pages of your word processor beckoning to you. You sit down at your desk.

And then you stand up again and go to the kitchen for a glass of water. You can’t work with a dry mouth. Then, once the water is drained, you grab an apple. It’s slightly withered, but you slice it and slowly eat. You glance over toward the counter where a digital clock squats, its red numbers blinking threateningly. 9:48. If your parents knew you were up this late on a school night, eating old apples, with three essays to write, they would go completely out of their minds.

But your parents aren’t here to boss you around at the moment, so who cares what they’d say? It’s not as if the essays were due tomorrow. At least, not all of them are. Just one.

The apple is gone, and you can no longer think of any stalling techniques. You are fighting a losing battle against yourself. It’s past ten at night, you have school tomorrow, and your teacher is expecting a nice, long essay from everyone’s favorite student.

You walk slowly back to your room and sit down at your desk. You type a few words, yawn, type a few more, open up a web browser, surf Wikipedia for a couple of minutes, yawn again. So far you have only twelve words.

You open up the CB. It’s late, you know, and no one will have posted a thing since you checked last, but maybe you can read an old ski lodge or two.

You click on Pudding’s Place, intending to look for Lake Lelilo or something, when a new thread catches your eye. A Ski Lodge, it says, in those red letters you know so well. You click on the link, and start to read.

“You flop down onto your bed, exhausted from another long day of school. Is it really necessary for your teacher to assign you to write three essays this week?”


You keep reading, watching your own movements of that night laid before you in second person, right up to this very moment.


I’ve got your attention now.

My dear CBer,

You are having trouble at school. You have unwritten essays, and you don’t know what to write.

That’s okay.

We are offering you the chance of a lifetime, the chance to fix everything. Come to Camp Juniper, where you have the chance to be freed from the bonds of school. You will no longer have to study late into the night in order to pass a test. You will no longer have to struggle for hours on end in order to write a good essay. In short, we are giving you a Get Out of Jail Free card. And, if you choose not to accept this card, you will be given a free college scholarship.

There will be competitions throughout the days of camp. Each camper will have the chance to earn juniper branches. Anyone who is able to weave their branches into a wreath by the end of the camp session will earn this freedom.

Sounds nice?

We thought so.

All you have to do is fill out this form. And be prepared to die.


CBer, AE, CAPTCHA, or CAPTCHAE? (Note: CAPTCHAs, and CAPTCHAEs are not allowed):



Companion(s) (up to 2 companions per person) (please fill out a sheet for them as well) (AEs only):


Personality in five words. (Any more or less and you will no longer have the privilege to eat popcorn):



Brains or Brawn?:

Envy or Empathy?: 

Reverie or Realism?:

Luggage, in order from most to least important:

Choose a number:

Choose a color:


We are excited to see you. And yes, we WILL see you.

Your obedient servants,

L. Reine & B. Ambrose

P.S. The popcorn is free, as well.

P.P.S. Please be prepared to participate fully, whatever this may mean.

P.P.P.S. Obviously, this is a ski lodge.

You read over the letter again. Is it worth it? You could die. . . but people always come back to life after a ski lodge. You could be a murderer. . . but who cares about that? It’s just a story. And how hard could it be to weave a few branches into a wreath?

Yes, you decide.

It’s definitely worth it.

And so, you fill out the form.

And then, you press submit.

submitted by Liberté and Basil, Camp Juniper
(October 31, 2020 - 8:09 pm)

Happy Friday the thirteenth, friends and companions! All your charrie sheets have now been posted. Congratulations! You are now ready to embark on the next part of your journey. You have entered the World After the Submit Button. The world of pure, unrelenting light that can be found only after you have submitted a comment and before the Admins have posted it. It is a strange world, and a scary one, and you will be forced to live there until the first of December, when you will be escorted into Camp Juniper by our assistant.

Prepare yourself.

submitted by Liberté and Basil, Camp Juniper
(November 13, 2020 - 6:10 pm)
submitted by tipity top, in the void on the top
(November 14, 2020 - 7:04 pm)
submitted by TOP
(November 16, 2020 - 1:27 pm)
submitted by TOPhat
(November 16, 2020 - 3:40 pm)

You are floating, falling (sweet intoxication) through an expanse of light. The World After the Submit Button. Everything in your head is cloudy. You don’t know who you are or what you do. You don’t know why you are here. All you know is that somehow, there are words racing through your mind.

What is your favorite song? What is your favorite song? What is your favorite song?

 And then, out of the uncertainty clouding your thoughts, you remember. You know what your favorite song is, and you say it aloud. Again and again, the one thing you know for sure.

And then you forget again, and more words are in your mind.

Thank you. Your information has been processed.

submitted by Liberté and Basil, Camp Juniper
(November 20, 2020 - 12:36 pm)
submitted by top
(November 20, 2020 - 2:51 pm)

We would like to bring to your attention a few minor details:

1) Please do answer the question in the post above (What is your favorite color?)

2) Kitty Cat and Nightfall: Would you like for us to change your gender and pronouns from female, she/her to nonbinary, they/them?

3) Velvet Serpent, would you like for us to change your name to Edgar Hush or Edgar H, or are you still content

as Ari? Heroes, would you like us to change your name to dreamiing or Dreamiing?

4) This is meant to be a largely interactive ski lodge, and we will ask for you to do your part to keep this running, out of respect for both us and your fellow participants.

Thank you for joining!

submitted by L & B @ EVERYONE
(November 21, 2020 - 2:52 pm)
(November 21, 2020 - 4:08 pm)

My favorite color is Dark Blue, and sure, I'd like for you to change my pronouns. Thank you so much!


submitted by Nightfall
(November 21, 2020 - 4:59 pm)

Oooh, Fireflies, by Owl City

submitted by Nightfall
(November 22, 2020 - 12:35 am)

Sorry, wrong word. Song, not color. What is your favorite song?

submitted by Liberté and Basil
(November 21, 2020 - 5:55 pm)

Yes please! Thanks for asking! And my favorite song is Queen of broken hearts by: Black Bear.

submitted by Kitty Cat, age Teen, Gotham City
(November 21, 2020 - 6:16 pm)

Hmm. Favorite color? Sky blue. Favorite song...?

That's hard. I like a lot of songs, and it changes based on what I've listened to most recently. Probably my most current favorite song is Landslide by Fleetwood Mac. 

submitted by Summer, age tau, Nowhere at all
(November 21, 2020 - 6:18 pm)

My favorite song is Mercury by Gregory Alan Isakov, but I don't know if that would count since it's unreleased. After that it's 3 am by the same artist.

And if you do need to know, my favorite color is azure blue. 

Are we allowed to guess your identity? 

submitted by Luna-Starr, age 27 eons, Existential Ponderment
(November 21, 2020 - 10:56 pm)

Yes, you are. There are two of us working together, since that may be important.

submitted by Liberté and Basil
(November 22, 2020 - 12:26 am)