Neal’s a wreck, and he’s pretending he isn’t. He keeps saying we need to get moving and Julian keeps coming up with reasons to stay. Mercy and Zinia have been stoned for two straight days. They’re pretty banged up, too, but they’re not trying to get moving. They spend all day in bed in their underwear and silky robes eating take out and smoking weed.

Why did I have to be kidnapped by the crusty ass Hawthornes when I could have been kidnapped by these absolute baddies?

I’m kidding obviously, we all know I’m high key obsessed with the boys. I’m just really tired. It’s been a fucked up few weeks. Month? Few months? Everything since Palefish has been fucking bullshit.

The Kellihers called this morning though.

“Heard your case went pretty ugly,” Lodge said on the phone. “Possession case? Real possession?”

“We’re all fine,” Neal said.

“Man, it is getting bat shit insane out here,” Lodge said. “Who even grounded that?”

“Mercy and Zin arrived just in time,” Neal said, to cover the fact that he did it himself and almost died.

“Well, we have candy for you. We wish we could do it ourselves, but we’re a little far out, and these guys don’t have much time.”

“What’s the case?” Julian asked. Julian is Not Amused by Neal’s covering.

“Hailu puppies,” Lodge said. “In REDACTED TOWN. I worked a case there a few years back and the Sheriff gave me a call. Said they spotted five little winged dogs out in the woods. They might be something else, but I’m guessing Hailu puppies.”

“Puppies?” I said. Even Julian couldn’t argue with puppies.

“They couldn’t catch them, and Sheriff decided not to go after them, just in case. We’re a few days out, thought you might be a bit faster.”

“Yeah we can do it,” Neal said immediately despite Julian’s expression.

But again: even Julian can’t argue with puppies. PUPPIES. Little tiny Feather Dog puppies! FEATHER PUPPIES.

We’re in the car now. Julian is tense and withdrawn, and Neal is apparently trying to annoy him into forgiving him. He keeps throwing jelly beans at him. Oh my god he just put on fucking MCR again hahahaha Julian might actually stab him before we make it to the puppies.

We deserve puppies okay, it has been nothing but gigantic insects and dead girls for weeks and we deserve some PUPPIES.

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