It’s been a quiet weekend. Like, there haven’t been any new monsters. Just like… the usual monsters that we’re dealing with every day, you know hahaha this is my life now.

I spent most of the weekend at the Circem Street house, with like — everyone. Not even Maisie could stay away. Like, there are imps there dude what are we gonna do, keep going on with our boring ass daily lives?

Like, it’s fun. I have friends? Real friends who I went to the diner with at lunch today? Did I ever think I’d see the day that homecoming king Johnny Undo would spend all his free time with burnout legend Joey Cicero? Or with me, for that matter? No, I didn’t think I’d see that day. But it’s just how it is now. We’re friends. We sit at the big corner booth at Ann Beth’s together.

Madelyn would be so proud of me. I wonder what our friendship would be like if she weren’t constantly nagging at me to stop spending all my time watching old tv in my room. (I’ve moved on to Sabrina the Teenage Witch now. The old school one. It’s profoundly terrible and I love it). I can’t even imagine it. It’s like our whole shtick you know? She’s the pretty, popular over-achieving one and I’m her pet goblin.

And now here I am, hanging out with fucking Maisie Jorna. Super surreal.

But I’m distracted. There’s one specific story that I’m trying to tell and I’m all over the damn place and I need to focus:

On Saturday, Simon Corfield got a phone call from Tilly, asking him what he was doing. So he said that he was hanging out with me and Georgia. Now I didn’t hear what she said in return, but I watched Simon’s face as he realized that like maybe he shouldn’t have admitted so cheerfully that he was with Tilly’s like… ex? I mean we’re not really exes because we were never really girlfriends we just sorta made out a few times, you know? Tilly never even met Feather Dog for goodness sake.

Anyways, when he hung up I could tell he felt bad. He even apologized for telling her. But like, idk, I don’t really care? She’s the one who stopped seeing me, you know? And it’s because her dad was a fucking cultist, so like I’m not mad at her for it getting weird. Also I’m not really trying to date the daughter of the guy who kidnapped my best friend unless she’s real damn sure that her dad is a piece of shit kidnapper and must be stopped you know? Like that’s more drama in a relationship than I’m after.

But then Simon said, “What happened with you two, anyways?”

And I said, “what do you mean?”

And he said, “Well she liked you so much. Like she was SO into you. And then all of a sudden just nothing. Like she stopped talking about you completely. I don’t know I’ve never seen her do that. Usually when Tilly goes for someone she’s all in.”

Which shredded my sad, shriveled heart into a thousand tiny pieces, thanks for asking.

So then Georgia and I went out — oh, I think we wanted to go check out the woods. I hadn’t been back out to the arches since Tilly and I were out there on Halloween, but now that everything is sort of settled — no one’s getting kidnapped and no little devils are trying to burn down the church — I wanted to see it again. There’s something out there, some creature. I re-read some of the posts I wrote from around Halloween, when Tilly and I tried our idiotic summoning and nearly killed Neal (hehehe) and they made it sound like whatever was out there made our spell work, even though we’re not witches.

There’s a magical unknown creature in our woods and it’s probably the reason we’re all waking up out there. It definitely has something to do with our cult. (is it a cult if there are only five people in it? I’m gonna say yes, because they’re kidnapping innocent girls but let me know if you have strong feelings about the terminology).

So, my question is this: if there is a mysterious creature out there, and if it ties together the mystery of us in the woods and the assholes who want magic so bad their chaining up high schoolers in their cellar, than why haven’t we tried to figure out what the damn thing is?

I called the Hawthornes about it, but they didn’t answer their phone, so Georgia and I went out to where we both woke up to explore the arch again. We walked through it and found nothing. No lambs popped out at us this time. It’s just this like weird arch in the woods.

So we hiked back out — waste of an afternoon kinda, but it was a nice walk, mild PTSD aside. War picked us up on the logging road and we grabbed burgers for everyone at the Circem Street house. We were eating on the floor of the imp room, getting ready to feed them their nightly logs, when there was a knock on the front door.

A knock. On the front door of the Circem street house.

I looked around at everyone sorta nervous, trying to calculate who might be knocking on the door, and Simon sort of exploded:

“You can’t be mad.”

And I was like, “what?”

And Georgia said, “just go answer the damn door.”

Which was ominous as shit at the time though in retrospect, who did I think they had out there? I’ve gone all crazy and paranoid.

I went and answered the door, expecting idk what. And standing there, chewing her lip, was Tilly Marlow.

We stared at each other for a long time. And then she held up her bag and said, “I brought marshmallows?”

I just stared at her.

“Look,” she said. “I’m sorry. It was shitty of me to evaporate like that — especially with everything you’re going through with Madelyn.”

I hadn’t even paused to think of it as being shitty of her. “He’s your dad,” I said. “What were you supposed to do?”

Her expression hardened. “Yeah, well.” She looked down. “I just needed time to come to terms with… what he might be capable of.” And then, absolutely not meeting my eyes, “I get it if you don’t want to include me in this anymore.”

It didn’t even cross my mind to doubt her. It wasn’t until just now typing it out that I realized that if she were a spy I’d have let her right on in, no problem.

If she’s a spy I guess the cult knows everything now, because I let her in without so much as a hesitation and the group told her everything about the imps and Feather Dog and what really happened on New Years eve while we roasted marshmallows over the imps. And then, later, I told Tilly everything else. I told her about befriending Georgia, and that Feather Dog killed Bella (and also not to tell anyone about that) and going to jail, and the Hawthornes leaving, and how crazy Sophie is driving me. Just like… everything. You know.

She told me everything too, everything she had guessed about the monsters, and our activities, and everything she’d realized about her father.

Apparently she called her sister to ask about him. “I could tell she didn’t want to talk about it. She asked if I’d been talking to Serena.” And then, more quietly, “Caitlin was supposed to go to the U Dub. She even got a big scholarship to go there. I never understood why she decided to take out loans and go to Colombia instead.”

“But your dad, he’s never —”

“He’s never done anything to suggest that he would ever hurt me,” Tilly said confidently. “But… I mean there’s always been part of him that wasn’t ours, you know? I thought it was because he was a cop. Like, you know he kept his police life away from us. But now I look back and he spends like a lot of time away from us. And there just isn’t that much happening in Black Lake to keep him so busy. Until recently.”

So… she believes me. She’s around again. We all ate lunch together at Ann Beth’s. I looked that cult bitch right in the eye. Fuck her. There are more of us then there are of them now. I feel like we’ve taken the town back from them.

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