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)

Ayyy great job! You literally perfected Sam's personality, as well as mine.

Ahhh yes, the return of Dr.McRock... Hey @Sammy Everlast, can I schedule an appointment with him soon? 

Anywho, I really liked this! Keep it up!

Hey, even Gambler says "isgud", so I guess he likes the story too.

<ilike> <watch> <ingyo> <ufail> <toste> <allll>


submitted by Freak, age Immortal, The Circus
(December 11, 2020 - 3:22 pm)


i will make my sundae tomorrow morning and it will be in as soon as I finish THREE of them. sorry for being late 

submitted by NerdFace , age Infinity, In the void
(December 12, 2020 - 10:32 pm)

Here's my sundae for the challenge! It's a cat sundae!  I think the picture isn't great quality, sorry!

submitted by Kitty Cat, age Teen, Gotham City
(December 12, 2020 - 11:07 pm)

A day late and hastily made, but I've got something...

Are either of you Morning, Azalea or Majestic Mary 

submitted by Luna-Starr, age 27 eons, Existential Ponderment
(December 13, 2020 - 10:01 am)

Thank you, Summer, Kitty, and Luna for submitting your sundaes. They all look beautiful and delicious and I'm so glad that you're participating in the challenges. (:

Also, yes, I am Morning! Congratulations on correct guessing, Luna. Thank you all so much for posting and not letting this fall down in the recent ski lodge explosion.

submitted by Morning/Liberté
(December 13, 2020 - 11:25 am)

Ahhh sorry these are so late! 

submitted by NerdFace, age Infinity, In the void
(December 13, 2020 - 7:54 pm)




✦ ✦ ✦

I was going to do this digitally but there is no time. So, I present:


-Vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate ice-cream 



-Cinnamon/Chocolate sticks (Idk what they're called)

-Pretty glass bowl

✦ ✦ ✦ 

Pine and Felix are skipping all the drawing challenges due to a flood in their apartment, which destroyed all the paper. I told Pine not to try and fix the toilet...

Screen Shot 2020-12-14 at 11.18.02 AM.png
submitted by dreamiing, lost
(December 14, 2020 - 3:00 pm)
submitted by to the top, and beyond!
(December 15, 2020 - 11:25 am)
submitted by tipity top, somewhere
(December 15, 2020 - 2:13 pm)


Unconscious of the killer in their midst, the campers filed excitedly into the lodge, gradually clumping into groups. dreamiing drifted away from her cabin mates and towards Felix, trying to hide from Snow behind his back. Given that she was at least an inch taller than him, it didn’t work very well unless she scrunched downwards in a way that gave serious neck and spine cramps. But, honestly, it’s better to be in pain throughout your entire body than be confronted by a seven-year-old girl with serious temper issues.

Only a few steps behind dreamii and Felix was Hot Coco, once more drifting into shyness, and contemplating whether or not it would be worth the risk to run away from camp. Okay, sure, they had been magically transported to this place from who knows where, and true, the map seemed to drop off dramatically outside of the camp’s grounds in a way that made her vaguely uncomfortable. But no one knew her, no one wanted to talk to her, she didn’t want to talk to anyone, she just wanted to —

Sterling dropped back in line towards Hot Coco. The poor girl seemed to be fighting an internalized battle within herself. Her pink-painted nails drummed against her bare knees nervously, as if she was full of nervous energy and didn’t know how to find an outlet. A few steps away from the two girls was Kitty Cat, who stepped away from their conversation with Nightfall and Inari. They had been feverishly discussing the best way to husk an ear of corn, and, fascinating as that was, it didn’t seem fair to Kitty to leave Coco by herself. After all, they had been the one talking to her earlier. It wouldn’t be fair to leave her hanging like that. Not when everyone else had already come together in groups with the people that they knew already.

Kitty and Sterling reached Coco’s side at the same time. “Hi,” they greeted her together.

“Hi.” She waved nervously. “Kitty. And… Sterling, right?”

“Mhm.” Sterling’s gaze was already drifting back toward the front of the hastily organized line, where her AE, Icarus, was piling toppings onto a heaping bowl of vanilla ice cream. “C’mon, let’s hurry up. I don’t want to miss the ice cream.” The three of them had already fallen behind the others by at least a few yards. They sped up, but, as it was, they were the last in line as a redheaded woman spooned vanilla ice cream into blue, speckled bowls.

“Hello, sugar snaps. My name is Palenia Piper, and I’m the camp cook. I have some homemade vanilla ice cream here with me, but there’s some vegan, gluten free stuff that I got from Target a few days ago.”

Aspen raised her bowl, and, for some odd reason, wiggled her petite ears. “It’s good! And kinder to animals, therefore kinder to the environment. Save the world, and eat vegan ice cream.”

“Nah.” Sterling looked back to cook. “We’re good with regular vanilla.” Palenia Piper looked towards Kitty and Coco, but they both nodded in agreement, so she scooped heaping lumps of the soft ice cream into three bowls and handed them over. “Toppings are on the table.”

“Thanks,” Hot Coco said. But, as she reached the table, she felt a peculiar tugging at her gut. Was it homesickness, or something else? She placed her bowl onto the table. “I’m going to the bathroom,” she announced, just a bit too loudly. The murderer turned their head, and, as she walked away, they rushed up towards her.

“I can do your toppings, if you want. So that you don’t have to. The ice cream is soft, we wouldn’t want it to melt.”

Coco smiled. Maybe the vacation wouldn’t be that bad after all. Everyone was being so nice. Caring about her. “Sure. I don’t want much. Just… some caramel sauce. Rainbow sprinkles and mini marshmallows. Ooh, there are Sour Patch Kids, too, right? I’d like some of those.” Her stomach lurched again. “Or… maybe not. Just some Sour Patch Kids, actually. I don’t feel super great.” She whirled around and raced to the bathroom, not seeing the killer’s smile. Sour Patch Kids. Perfect. The sour crystals would be a perfect disguise.

For a moment, Icarus looked up, and thought he saw the killer pull something from their pocket and sprinkle it into Coco’s ice cream. But he brushed it aside, pushed it from his mind. Why would they do that? It didn’t make sense. He didn’t want to remember. And so, he forgot. By the time he remembered again, it would be far too late. For Hot Coco. And for him.

In the bathroom, Coco kneeled over the toilet. Something was twisting inside of her, and she didn’t know what. It didn’t feel like she was sick, but what else could the feeling be? It wasn’t homesickness. This place was far more interesting than home, despite the overpopulation of violent children.

It was something else, something she had never felt before. Something she couldn’t even name.

The feeling that was tugging on her gut was foreboding.

She walked out of the stall again, only to collide with someone else. “Gum?” the other person asked, holding out a small package.

“Thanks,” she replied, and slipped the stick into her pocket. To save for later. The other person walked up to the sink and washed their hands, then pushed a clip into their hair. “Ugh. This air is so humid. It does awful stuff to my hair. I hate barrettes, but they’re the only way to tame this horrifying frizz.” Coco nodded sympathetically, then they walked together from the bathroom. By the time they arrived back to the group, no one had noticed that either of them had ever left.

Coco picked up her bowl and began to eat.

Summer, too, was taking her first bite of ice cream at the same time as Hot Coco. She had been entranced by everyone else’s conversations, and eavesdropping is just so interesting. Inari and Night were still engaged in a heated debate about how to husk corn. Nightfall was convinced that you should take a pocketknife and slice it down the side of the green husks, then peel everything off in one great tug. Inari, however, refused to give in. “The classic way is far superior, just peeling away each layer one by one. It’s slower, true, but there is no risk of slicing the kernels. The one time I did it your way, I completely ruined my corn by cutting the kernels.”

“That’s because you need to practice, Inari. It’s not that hard if you try more than once.”

Ari and Braoin, too, were just as interesting for Summer to listen in on. Ari had made Braoin’s sundae for him, dumping all sorts of chocolate onto it. Fudge sauce, Hershey’s Kisses, chunks of brownies, even coffee beans covered with shells of melted chocolate. The ice cream was smothered.

“You know I’m allergic to chocolate!” Braoin yelled, uncharacteristically loud. Ari just crossed her arms and leaned against a tree, shutting her eyes and nodding a little. “You know! But you decided to just cover my ice cream with the stuff. Why?!”

“I thought, that maybe, if you couldn’t eat it, you would give it to me,” she answered sleepily.

But, to Summer’s disappointment, just as Braoin opened his mouth to respond, he was interrupted by the sound of a girl coughing and gasping for breath. It was Hot Coco. She gasped one more time, then dropped, twitching, to the ground. Summer raced over to Coco’s side, but Luna was already there, kneeling over the fallen girl, then picking up the half empty ice cream bowl. She raised it to her nose, then reeled backward. “Bitter almonds.”

“Excuse me?” Kitty asked. “Bitter almonds?”

But Summer understood. “The smell. It’s bitter almonds. Almost any reader of mystery novels will recognize it.”

Luna nodded. “Yes. The scent is unusually strong, even through the ice cream. It’s cyanide. Hot Coco has been poisoned.”

The girl drew in one last, shuddering breath, then she went still. Summer knelt by her side, across from Luna, and bent her face downwards, ready to give her own breath to the fallen Coco, but, behind her, Snow pulled her back. The little counselor's face had softened, and there was a glint of sympathy in her eyes as she said, “There’s no point. She’s gone, Summer. And the poison was ingested. There may be traces of it on her lips and mouth. We wouldn’t want you to be hurt too.” Slowly, Summer nodded. Above her, the sky was fading into darkness, and a few stars shimmered above. It seemed as if no time had passed since they had arrived at camp. But it was already night. And there was already one person dead.

Beside Snow, Liberté spoke up. “I suppose this is a bad time to announce that Summer has won the sundae decorating contest? Congratulations! You will be presented with your well-earned juniper branch tomorrow at breakfast.”

A strangled sob built up in Summer’s throat. She barely knew the dead girl. So why was the pain so agonizingly sharp?


Dead: 1 (Hot Coco, may she rest in peace in the glory of Camp Juniper)
Alive: 21
Suspects: ???
Enemies of Snow: Zachary
Juniper Leader: Summer (with one juniper branch)
Congratulations, Summer, you have won the first contest and now have one juniper branch! Everyone else, don't worry, you still have a chance to earn branches and win the contest. We will be having new contests every "afternoon."
Feel free to post your suspects. We value your input!
submitted by Liberté, Camp Juniper
(December 15, 2020 - 3:15 pm)

That was quite... what I'd call a mixed bag. Hot Coco's dead, but I won a juniper branch? Wow. Can't wait to see what happens next.

I don't have any suspects in mind. However, the person who gave Hot Coco gum in the bathroom wasn't named, so I can only assume they're important. They described their hair as "frizzy" in the humidity, and since curly hair tends to get frizzy, I took the liberty of looking to see who had curly hair. I found 3 people who described their hair as curly (or fluffy): AutumnArtist, Felix, and Sammy. Still, I have no idea if that means anything.

(Nice job with the bitter almonds, by the way! I recognized it right away.)

submitted by Summer, age tau, Nowhere at all
(December 16, 2020 - 8:23 pm)
submitted by New Part Out!
(December 15, 2020 - 3:15 pm)
submitted by Is Basil Nerdface?
(December 15, 2020 - 3:20 pm)

Well, there goes my beautiful identity XD. Yes, I, NerdFace, am Basil. Great guess! :)

submitted by Basil/Nerd
(December 15, 2020 - 6:15 pm)

Welp, even Ski Lodge me called it last time. But anywho...

*suddenly transforms into a Sherlock Holmes outfit with a old fashioned smoking pipe but with bubbles* TIME FOR DETEECTIVE WORK!!

(Also @Freak, I'm sure I can schedule you in for an appointment with Dr. McRock!)

The main suspects should be Kitty and Sterling.

BUT- That's too easy.

SO, Felix and dreamii, you two are veryyyy suspicious.

But that can be a misguiding play, and it's really Kitty or Sterling-

Shushy, I invited Zach and Masquerade, not you Lada.

Ahem, as I was sayi- 

OR, it's Icarus, in the style of one insanely poetic murder mystery novel that name escapes me right now.

WOWOWOWOWO- Ivan listen! The person in the bathroom... There was a reason why it didn't say their name!

:( Excuse me Sojo, whilst I go check everyone's charrie sheets for possible hair frizz. ):

Caleb-? Wh- I- Where'd you guys even-

(mbydr) (isbco) (fvani) (llaaa)



submitted by Sammy Everlast, age Immortal, The Everlasting Mansion
(December 15, 2020 - 7:10 pm)